Do something to drain the swamp

first_imgIt’s a pretty good choice of words for those who populate the halls of Congress and its offices, bureaus and other government establishments.Now, this may be a little too harsh an observation. However, in light of the exposure of alleged child molesters, the charges of sexual misconduct brought against legislators and the petty partisan politics played by Congress men and women, it is disheartening to the American public. All this is holding back progress and the improvement of the American way of life.You know, someone with enough courage, strength and will should call for term limits in state and federal elected offices.We, the American public, should demand competence from those elected to public office. Too much to ask? Well, maybe so.  It might take a less-biased media to turn it around and get us out of the swamp.Allen R. RemaleySaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Some time ago, flying south into the area of New Orleans, the view from the plane offered up the scene of the huge marshy site surrounding the bayous and waterways leading to the city’s airport.Endless water and green vegetation covered the area, and trees stood out like some inundated fence posts guarding, but not holding in, all kinds of moving things, most of which would kill and consume you. The word, “swamp” came to mind. It reminded me of what our nation’s capital has been called by various politicians and media personnel — a place teeming with creepy things, things which slither, crawl and bite.  Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Opioid surcharge has many pitfalls

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAm I the only one who feels it’s truly wrong for the governor to propose making money on the opioid crisis? His proposed surcharge of 2 cents per milligram of prescribed opioids could generate $125 million. (That’s a lot of pills.) That $125 million would be used to “support ongoing efforts to address the opioid crisis,” but it could well just end up in the general fund. The opioid addiction crisis is getting worse all the time, so we need to take very different, possibly drastic, steps instead of “supporting ongoing efforts.”How do we get physicians to strictly limit (or eliminate) the number of hydrocodone pills prescribed for surgical recovery? This seems to me to be the gateway, especially for young athletes. There have been studies showing that non-prescription anti-inflammatory drugs combined with icing work just as well. As Sara Foss says [Jan 23 “Is opioid surcharge a good idea?”], the surcharge will simply be passed along. I don’t believe it will decrease the number of prescriptions written. While there are some chronic medical conditions that require opioids, I think doctors have gotten in the habit of prescribing them unnecessarily, perhaps due to marketing by pharmaceutical companies. A surcharge on opioids is another state revenue source that just seems wrong on so many levels.  Judith D. BreitensteinDelansonMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsLocal movie theater operators react to green lightEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Accusers must take responsibility, too

first_imgThe #MeToo movement has amplified the campus culture, which redefined both sexual assault and the rights of the accused. Then-president Obama’s 2014 campaign against campus sexual violence was followed by a now-retracted 2014 Rolling Stone article about a falsely reported rape story and a flawed 2015 survey by The American Association of Universities stating that one in four undergraduates have been sexually assaulted. Attempted hand-holding and the unexpected kiss were included as assault, with little deference to the due process of the accused. Young men have faced expulsion, despite patent inconsistencies on the part of their accusers. This practice is now being used to defame prominent men.Thirty years after the alleged incidents, during his Alabama senate race, Roy Moore’s campaign collapsed amid allegations he denied. Similarly, subsequent to winning his third Olympic gold medal, Shaun White was antagonized over an already-settled sexual-harassment lawsuit. Now, adult-film star Stephanie Clifford is attempting to discredit President Trump over consensual behavior she now regrets, an idea that has become synonymous with rape. Andrea Constant’s paradoxical choice to take pills offered to her by Bill Cosby, only to become too weak to refuse intercourse, proved adequate to convict a comedian once known as America’s Dad.Prosecutor Steele’s refute of “the real Bill Cosby” is as bastardized as the notion that role models are no better than the culture around them. These men achieved success by taking responsibility for their own actions, which is more than their accusers can say.Stephen DansereauAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFeds: Albany man sentenced for role in romance scamEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

How to … Keep up with the government’s planning reforms

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Offices: Extra time at the Stade de France

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Poor Europe showing hits JLL

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Minerva buys out Hunter with increased Allders bid

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World shares trampled in coronavirus panic, oil prices plunge

first_imgGlobal share markets tumbled on Monday as panicked investors fled to bonds to hedge the economic shock of the coronavirus, and oil plunged more than 20 percent after Saudi Arabia slashed its official selling price.Investors drove 30-year US bond yields beneath 1 percent as they wagered the Federal Reserve would be forced to cut interest rates by at least 75 basis points at its March 18 meeting, despite only just having delivered an emergency easing.The safe-haven yen surged across the board as emerging market currencies with exposure to oil, including the Russian rouble and Mexican peso, tumbled. Read also: Disappearing act: Market braces for volatile March after $2.4b vanishes in a weekThere were also worries that US oil producers that had issued a lot of debt would be made uneconomic by the price drop.Energy stocks took a beating and E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dived 4.89 percent to be limit down. EUROSTOXXX 50 futures fell 5.7 percent and FTSE futures 6.9 percent.Japan’s Nikkei fell 5.7 percent and Australia’s commodity-heavy market 5.9 percent.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 3.7 percent in its worst day since late 2015, while Shanghai blue chips dropped 2.2 percent.Not helping the mood was news North Korea had fired three projectiles off its eastern coast on Monday.“The scale of the collapse shows that any hopes of a temporary respite were in vain,” said Sean Callow, a senior FX strategist at Westpac. “The notion that overweight equities is the only real option in a world of super-low rates now seems to be from ‘The Time Before’.Read also: Coronavirus crash wipes $5 trillion off world stocks“US officials have barely moved beyond platitudes about ‘strong fundamentals’ so there is surely plenty more room for markets to price in major damage to the economy.”The number of people infected with the coronavirus topped 107,000 across the world as the outbreak reached more countries and caused more economic carnage.Italy’s markets are sure to come under fire after the government ordered a lockdown of large parts of the north of the country, including the financial capital Milan.“After a week when the stockpiling of bonds, credit protection and toilet paper became a thing, let’s hope we start to see some more clarity on the reaction,” said Martin Whetton, head of bond & rates strategy at CBA.“Dollar bloc central banks cut policy rates by 125 basis points, not as a way to stop a viral pandemic, but to stem a fear pandemic,” he added, while noting many had little scope to ease further.Bond bubbleA seismic shift saw markets fully price in an easing of 75 basis points from the Fed on March 18, while a cut to near zero was now seen as likely by April.The European Central Bank meets on Thursday and will be under intense pressure to act, but rates there are already deeply negative.“The onus is falling, perhaps inevitably on the actions of governments to abandon budget surpluses and reinvigorate the demand side of the economy,” said Whetton.Urgent action was clearly needed with data suggesting the global economy toppled into recession this quarter. Figures out from China over the weekend showed exports fell 17.2 percent in January-February, from a year earlier.Read also: Asian factories slammed as China’s PMI drops to record lowAnalysts at BofA Global Research estimated the latest sell-off had seen $9 trillion in global equity value vaporized in nine days, while the average 10-year yield in the developed world hit 16 basis points, the lowest in 120 years.“The clearest outcome of the exogenous COVID-19 shock is a collapse in bond yields, which once panic fades can induce huge rotation to ‘growth stocks’ and ‘bond proxies’ in equities,” they wrote in a client note.Yields on 10-year US Treasuries plunged to a once-unthinkable 0.48 percent, having halved in just three sessions.Yields on the 30-year long bond dived 35 basis points on Friday alone, the largest daily drop since the 1987 crash, and slid under 1 percent on Monday to reach 0.96 percent.The fall in yields and Fed rate expectations has pulled the rug out from under the dollar, sending it crashing to the largest weekly loss in four years.Read also: Bank Indonesia announces 5 measures to support rupiah amid market routThe dollar extended its slide in Asia to as far as 101.60 yen, depths not seen since late 2016. It was last down 3.1 percent at 101.97 in wild trade. The euro likewise shot to the highest in over 13 months at $1.1492.Gold jumped 1.6 percent to clear $1,700 per ounce and reach a fresh seven-year peak. Topics : Saudi Arabia had stunned markets with plans to raise its production significantly after the collapse of OPEC’s supply cut agreement with Russia, a grab for market share reminiscent of a drive in 2014 that sent prices down by about two thirds.Brent crude futures slid US$11.14 to $34.13 a barrel in chaotic trade, while US crude shed $10.58 to $30.70.“Today’s price action puts at risk the fiscal health of the vast majority of sovereign producers and budget cuts and increased debt loads are now looming in the event of a prolonged period of low prices,” warned Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.“For the most politically and economically fragile producer states, the reckoning could be severe.”last_img read more

China reports 22 new virus deaths as imported cases rise

first_imgThe number of new cases has dramatically fallen in recent weeks but Wednesday’s numbers were a slight uptick from the previous day due to the increase in imported cases.Ten of the new cases came from abroad — most from Italy, the worst-hit country outside China.Six of the imported cases were in Beijing, which is enforcing a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries deemed to be high-risk, including Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan.There have now been 79 cases imported from abroad. The country, however, has made significant progress in curbing domestic infections.New cases in Wuhan fell to a new low, with 13 infections reported on Wednesday, while only one other non-imported case was recorded elsewhere in the country.Wuhan and its surrounding province, Hubei, have been under lockdown since late January in an unprecedented effort that has prevented 56 million people from venturing to other parts of China.But with Hubei reporting zero cases outside Wuhan for several days in a row, the province announced Tuesday that it would allow healthy people in low-risk areas to travel within the province.The virus has infected nearly 81,000 people in China so far, with a large majority having already recovered. The national death toll rose to 3,158 on Wednesday.The global death toll from the new coronavirus has passed 4,000 and the outbreak has spread to over 100 countries.Topics : China reported an increase in imported coronavirus cases Wednesday, fuelling concerns that infections from overseas could undermine progress in halting the spread of the virus.There were 22 more deaths and 24 new cases nationwide, according to the National Health Commission.China has made massive progress in its battle against the virus, prompting President Xi Jinping to visit Wuhan, the central city at the heart of the global epidemic, on Tuesday and declare that it has “basically curbed” the spread of the disease.last_img read more

Indonesian badminton power duos Kevin-Markus, Hendra-Ahsan claim All England quarterfinal spots

first_imgFan favorite duos Kevin Sanjaya Sukamulja and Markus Fernadi Gideon and Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan have claimed two spots in the 2020 All England quarterfinals. In Friday’s quarterfinals at the Arena Birmingham, the top seed Indonesian pair is set to play against eighth seed duo Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia. Meanwhile, second seed pair and defending champions Ahsan and Hendra are to face sixth seed duo Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe of Japan. In the second round on Thursday, Kevin and Markus, popularly known as the “Minions”, defeated China’s Ou Xuan Yi and Zhang Nan, while Ahsan and Hendra, nicknamed “The Daddies”, outclassed Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan.Ahead of the quarterfinal battle, Kevin praised the Chinese pair’s abilities. “We need to perform our best and stay focused right from the beginning of the match,” he said in a statement. (gis)Topics :last_img read more