HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Rockets were the best team in the NBA in the regular season.They played like it Wednesday night, using a balanced scoring attack to rout the Golden State Warriors 127-105 and even the Western Conference finals at one game apiece.James Harden and Eric Gordon each scored 27 points on a night Houston had five players score 16 points or more.“We can beat anybody, anywhere at any time playing the way we play,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.The Rockets didn’t trail after the first quarter and led by double digits for most of the night. They head to Oakland, California for Game 3 on Sunday night feeling much better after rebounding from a deflating 119-106 loss in the series opener.P.J. Tucker added a playoff career-high 22 and Trevor Ariza had 19 as both bounced back after struggling in Game 1. Tucker had just one point in that game and Ariza scored eight, but was limited on defense after collecting his fifth foul early in the third quarter.“I never worry about my offense … it’s all on defense,” Tucker said. “If we get stops we’ll be able to run. It changes the game and it changes the way we play and we know that.”Kevin Durant had 38 points after scoring 37 in the opener, but Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for just 24 points after the pair went for 46 in Game 1.Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) drives to the basket as Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) defends during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Houston wasn’t able to slow down Durant, but did a much better job of limiting open 3-pointers by Thompson and Curry, and the two made just 3 of 12 attempts.“They were desperate tonight and played like it, and we weren’t and it showed,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said.The Warriors made three free throws to get within 11 early in the fourth quarter before the Rockets scored the next 11 points, with 3s from Gordon, Tucker and Harden to make it 111-89 with about 6 1/2 minutes to play.Durant made a basket after that, but Houston scored the next eight points to extend the lead to 119-91 with about five minutes left.The Warriors got frustrated in that stretch, with Durant getting a technical for shoving Harden in the back and Draymond Green pushing Ariza out of bounds seconds later. It was then that Kerr sent all of his starters to the bench for good.Gordon came off the bench to make six 3-pointers, Tucker tied a playoff best with five and Harden added three.Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) scores past Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in the first half during Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)“They were more settled tonight and they hit timely shots,” Durant said. “The first quarter was still the most important part of the game. Eric Gordon hit two big 3s and that kind of settled them in. Those shots did it for them.”Houston avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this postseason and the Warriors lost in the second game of a playoff series for the first time since the 2015 NBA Finals, snapping a 10-game winning streak in such games.“We got outplayed the whole game … we got it handed to us,” Kerr said. “You can look at it any way you want … and parcel it out, but it didn’t matter who we had out there tonight we got beat.”Houston led by as many as 19 in the first half and was up 64-50 at halftime. The Warriors cut it to 74-64 with five quick points from Durant, but the Rockets opened it back up to 89-72 when Gordon made an off-balance layup before crashing to the court while being fouled and made the free throw.The Rockets were up by 16 to start the fourth quarter but Golden State got within 98-86 with about 10 minutes left. Curry had five points in that span, including his first 3 after missing his first six attempts of the night.Curry finished with 16 points and Thompson was 3 for 11 for his eight points.TIP-INSWarriors: It was Durant’s 19th straight playoff game with at least 20 points. … Curry made one 3-pointer to extend his NBA playoff record of 81 straight playoff games with at least one 3-pointer. … Durant and Curry were Golden State’s only players with more than 10 points.Rockets: Houston improved to 8-0 this postseason when leading after three quarters. … Houston made 16 of 42 3-point attempts. … Paul finished with 16 points.A LITTLE SHORTGrammy Award-winning rapper Lil’ Wayne took the Rockets’ first shot for charity before the game. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the 5-foot-5 Wayne’s shot was a little short. The New Orleans native, who has attended several playoff games in Houston this postseason, still received a loud ovation from the crowd.THEY SAID ITCurry on Durant: “He’s been amazing. He’s making plays. He’s just aggressive and I think we all need to feed off that, the focus and determination.”UP NEXTAfter Game 3, the teams will play Game 4 on Tuesday night in Oakland before returning to Houston for Game 5 on Thursday.—By KRISTIE RIEKEN , AP Sports Writer TweetPinShare0 Shares
Carrick manager for 48 hours as Man Utd seek external caretakerby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveMichael Carrick will be appointed interim manager until a temporary boss is hired within the next 48 hours, according to Sky Sports.The temporary boss will be hired externally, with the hope they will have ties with the club.United currently sit in sixth position, eleven points off the top four.A club statement on Tuesday confirmed that “manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect”.The statement continued: “The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.”A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Don’t worry, Sam Ponder fans. The ESPN college football personality won’t be completely gone from your television sets this fall. But late Thursday night, Ponder announced, via Instagram, that she’ll be “hanging up” her sideline reporter flats for Thursday Night Football. Her reason? She no longer wants to take her daughter, Scout, away from her father, Christian, for five days a week. Needless to say, it’s a respectable, mature decision.As Ponder mentions, she’ll still be part of College Football Live, SportsCenter and College GameDay. This year’s college football season starts on September 3.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for states coast to coast to legalize betting on sports, breaking a longtime ban and creating a potential financial boon for states and the gambling industry. The first bets could be placed within weeks.Despite opposition from the major sports leagues and the Trump administration, the high court struck down a federal law that had barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. States that want to take advantage of the ruling now will generally have to pass legislation to allow sports books to open. Some, including New Jersey, which brought the case to the Supreme Court, have a head start.Sports leagues had expressed concerns about any expansion of sports gambling. Their huge businesses could be badly harmed if people thought the outcome of games could be altered by someone who had wagered money on a certain result.However, the ruling also could be seen as merely bringing an activity out of the shadows that many people already see as a mainstream hobby. Americans wager about $150 billion on sports each year illegally, according to the American Gaming Association. The law the justices struck down forbade state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions and made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.Stock prices for casino operators and equipment makers surged after the ruling was announced.Gambling on sports could quickly become widely available, with one research firm estimating that 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.The ruling “opens up the floodgates” for sports gambling in any state that wants to have it, said Daniel Wallach, a sports law expert in Florida.The decision had been eagerly anticipated by gamblers and also states that hope their cut of legalized sports betting can help solve budget problems. States that have already laid the legal groundwork include New Jersey, where one racetrack said it would begin taking bets within two weeks. Mississippi and West Virginia have also been preparing for sports betting, and gamblers there could be placing bets as early as this summer and certainly before the NFL season starts in September.Delaware, too, could quickly expand beyond certain bets currently offered at its casinos. Pennsylvania and New York have also made moves to begin sports gambling. However, other states that want to allow sports betting could still see several Super Bowls come and go before people there can place a legal bet close to home.The Trump administration had urged the high court to uphold the law, surprising perhaps because the president is the former owner of a New Jersey casino, the Trump Taj Mahal, now being remade into a Hard Rock casino resort. All four major U.S. professional sports leagues and the NCAA also had urged the court to uphold the federal law, saying a gambling expansion would hurt the integrity of their games. They also said that with legal sports betting in the United States, they’d have to spend a lot more money monitoring betting patterns and investigating suspicious activity.Sports gambling proponents argued that the leagues already do that work and that legal sports betting will make enforcement easier than it is now, when most bets in the U.S. are made illegally. They say state regulators are capable of monitoring suspicious bets, as is done in Nevada.On Monday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Major League Baseball issued statements saying the “integrity” of their games would remain a priority. Representatives of the National Hockey League, National Football League and NCAA said they were reviewing the court’s decision.Some saw other concerns, including for some gamblers. The ruling “will likely increase gambling participation and gambling problems unless steps are taken to minimize harm,” said Marlene Warner, the president of the National Council on Problem Gambling’s board of directors. The council said any government body or sports league that receives a direct percentage or portion of sports betting revenue should dedicate some of it to treat gambling problems.The law the justices struck down was passed by Congress in 1992 and called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court, “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.” The court’s “job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution,” he wrote. “PASPA is not.”Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Ginsburg wrote for the three that when a portion of a law violates the Constitution, the court “ordinarily engages in a salvage rather than a demolition operation,” preserving what it can. She said that instead of using a “scalpel to trim the statute” her colleagues used “an axe.” Breyer agreed with the majority that part of the law must be struck down but said that should not have doomed the rest of the law.Congress could try to step in again. Sen. Orrin Hatch said he would soon introduce legislation to set national standards for sports betting, but It is unclear whether the rest of Congress will want to join him.The ruling was a particular victory for New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks. Former Republican Gov. Chris Christie tweeted that it was a “great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions.” The state’s current governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, said he was “thrilled” to see the high court strike down the “arbitrary ban.” Several hours after the Supreme Court ruled, New Jersey lawmakers introduced new legislation that would regulate and tax sports gambling in the state.Casinos and racetracks in the state are also moving quickly. Monmouth Park, a racetrack at the Jersey Shore, has already set up a sports book operation and said Monday it plans to start taking bets within two weeks “unless someone stops us.” And Tony Rodio, president of Tropicana Entertainment, said his Atlantic City casino will offer sports betting once it can get it up and running.“It’s been a long time coming,” he said.___Parry reported from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Associated Press reporters Michael Catalini in Oceanport, New Jersey; Ben Nuckols in Washington and Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, contributed reporting.___Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jessicagresko
BOISE, Idaho — Some CenturyLink customers across the country were without the internet as outages stretched from New York to California.The company said on Twitter Thursday that its network was “experiencing a disruption” and that it was working to quickly restore services. It provided no other details, including how many customers were affected. CenturyLink didn’t respond to a request for comment.Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, said via Twitter that this was a “nationwide outage” and her agency needed to investigate.It appeared that most of the trouble was in the West.The Idaho Statesman reports that the internet problems led to the temporary shutdown of phone services at the Idaho Department of Correction and the state’s Department of Education.There were reports of ATM machines not working in Idaho and Montana.The Associated Press
MATHURA: Actor and BJP lawmaker Hema Malini on Sunday campaigned in her parliamentary constituency, Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh with her husband and actor, Dharmendra, by her side. The popular Bollywood couple addressed a crowd for the Jat community where a massive crowd turned up. Addressing the rally, Dharmendra recalled how his humble beginnings helped him become a successful actor. “I am the son of a farmer and I have worked very hard in the fields when I was young,” he said. Dharmendra had a brief political stint about ten years ago when he contested the 2004 national elections from Rajasthan’s Bikaner on BJP ticket and won. Raising the poll pitch in the constituency, where the BJP has won four out of six Lok Sabha elections since 1991, Dharmendra told the crowd: “Gao walon, (Hema ji ke liye) vote karna. Nahi to kisi aas paas ki tanki pe chad jaunga aur wahan bahut mausi ko pukarunga. Bahut mausiyan aa jayengi. (Dear villagers, please vote for Hema Malini ji. Else, I will climb on one of the tanks and give a shout out to Mausi ji. I am sure a lot of them will come).” He reminded the crowd of the iconic scene from the movie, “Sholay”, where Hema Malini starred together with her husband and played the role of “Basanti”, a village girl. Hema Malini said she was excited to have her husband by her side. “With just two days remaining for the poll campaign to end in Mathura, people are excited to see me and him together. People have seen both of us together in so many movies. We are seeking votes for Mathura’s development,” she told reporters. Before the rally, she tweeted a picture of two of them together and said it was a “special day”. “Today is also a special day for me! Dharam ji is here in Mathura to campaign for a whole day on my behalf. The public is waiting eagerly to get a glimpse of him & listen to what he has to say! A photo taken in my house in Mathura just now before we leave for campaigning…(sic),” she wrote.
New Delhi/ Lucknow: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu held a flurry of meetings with Opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, BSP’s Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, in an apparent bid to rally support for a non-BJP government at the Centre. Naidu, who arrived in the national capital on Friday, also met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and leaders of the Communist Party of India. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkHe then flew to Lucknow and met the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party chiefs. “It is a pleasure to welcome Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri N Chandrababu Naidu Ji to Lucknow,” Akhilesh Yadav tweeted. Naidu did not speak to the media after any of his meetings. Sources, however, said that Naidu and Gandhi discussed the possibility of forming a joint alliance of all Opposition parties. He told Gandhi to have a strategy ready, in case the NDA falls short of a majority and still stakes claim to form the government, the sources said. Naidu told all the leaders that “we all should come together and put our act together” to form the next government by keeping the BJP out, a source said. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenLater, Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and other Congress leaders met at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s residence to evolve their party’s strategy. “The campaigning of this Lok Sabha Election 2019 has ended and as we await the last phase of polling, Andhra Pradesh CM Shri N Chandrababu Naidu paid me a visit to discuss the ongoing and future political scenario of our country,” Pawar said in a tweet after the meeting at his residence. Naidu met CPI leader G Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja over breakfast, asking them to “come together”. Reddy and Raja separately met Pawar at his residence. The Telugu Desam Party chief has held several rounds of discussion with various Opposition leaders, including TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Naidu’s TDP was a part of the NDA but quit the alliance a few months ago. On Friday Naidu said that not only the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) but any outfit which is against the BJP is welcome to join a grand alliance after the election results are declared on May 23. As Opposition leaders scramble to form a joint anti-BJP front, hectic deliberations among them are likely to continue in the days ahead.
Tajh Boyd put on a dominant performance to lead Clemson over Georgia Tech Thursday night.Boyd broke Philip Rivers’ Atlantic Coast Conference career record after throwing four touchdowns and 340 yards in Clemson’s 55-31 win over Georgia Tech. Boyd shook up the Tigers coaches, teammates and 75,324 fans at Death Valley, getting hurt at the end of the third quarter and having to be rushed back into the locker room.The QB suffered a collar-bone injury, but after discovering it was only a bruised bone, Boyd begged his offensive coordinator Chad Morris to put him back in the game where Clemson was already ahead 41-24.“If it was a dire situation I felt like I needed to play, I felt like I could’ve,” Boyd said. “But we were in a situation where it wasn’t needed.”Will the injury sideline Boyd for Clemson’s next game on Nov. 23?“No, man, I’m not going to miss my last game in the valley,” he said. “I’ll throw a pad in there and I’ll be fine.”Talking with the media after the game, the coach praised Boyd. “He’s a competitor,” Morris said. “My gosh, look at the records this guy has broken in the ACC. Wow. And in just three years.”
Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets feels that they only have themselves to blame after their unbeaten league run came to an end in their shocking 5-4 defeat to LevanteThe Catalan giants were 5-1 down against the 15th-place side at the Estadi Ciutat de València on Sunday night, before Phillipe Coutinho and Luis Suarez put the deficit down to 5-4 with 19 minutes remaining.However, Barcelona was unable to find an equaliser in the final moments and fell to their first La Liga defeat in 44 games.“Conceding five goals makes it very hard. We were caught on the counter-attack and there was a lack of concentration at times, too. Like I say, when you concede five, it’s hard to get anything positive from the game and that’s been the case,” said Busquets, according to Sport.The league champion’s late comeback proved to be futile in the end, despite their best efforts.“The fourth goal came with 20 minutes left,” he added.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“We were pushing, working hard and used lots of energy, but that takes its toll in the end. We had chances to equalise but it wasn’t our night. When you give away five goals it’s hard to haul it back.”While disappointed to have not finished the season unbeaten, Busquets hopes that this defeat does not spoil what has been otherwise an outstanding season and the Spanish midfielder feels that his teammates should be proud to have managed a record 43 games unbeaten.“It’s clear we wanted to end the season unbeaten, but this doesn’t take any credit away from what we have done this season and everything we have achieved in La Liga,” said the 29-year-old.“The record [for games unbeaten, 43] we have over two years, but it’s shame [to lose out on an unbeaten season].“But we have won the league, it’s been an incredible season beyond this one game and I think we can be proud. Now we can celebrate with our fans in the final game.”
See at Amazon Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Citizen scientist Kevin M. Gill, who describes himself as a “planetary data wrangler” at NASA, processed the images to create the full tableau of clouds and storms dancing across the planet. Juno has delivered some wild and crazy images of Jupiter, including a formation that looks like a South Park character and one that took the shape of a dolphin. The marble portrait is simply beautiful to behold, a reminder of the wonders of our solar system. DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. $210 at Best Buy 13 Photos Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Tags Rylo $155 at Google Express The Cheapskate 0 Post a comment Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Share your voice Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Sarah Tew/CNET Jaw-dropping Jupiter: NASA’s Juno mission eyes the gas giant Tags See It $59 at eBay Sarah Tew/CNET Chris Monroe/CNET Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Read Google Home Hub review Sci-Tech Share your voice $999 $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) See at Turo Comments Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) NASA view of Jupiter looks like an infamous South Park character NASA spacecraft nabs best picture contender of Jupiter’s swirling clouds Jupiter stands out in this marble-like portrait. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill We have a new entry in the competition for Most Beautiful Photo of a Planet Pretending to be a Marble. The classic Blue Marble view of Earth from 1972 still stands strong, but dark-horse Jupiter is contending with a fresh NASA image.NASA delivered the view this week with the simple title “Jupiter Marble.” The color-enhanced view melds three images taken in February by the Juno spacecraft, which has been investigating the gas giant since 2016.Juno’s close pass gave us a gorgeous look at the planet’s southern hemisphere, including a sideways sighting of the infamous Great Red Spot, a massive spinning storm that’s about twice the size of Earth. It looks like you could pluck the planet out of the darkness of space and shoot it into a game. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Read DJI Osmo Action preview Sarah Tew/CNET 7 Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Read the Rylo camera preview Apple iPhone XS $60 at Best Buy $299 at Amazon Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Hello, Jupiter Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. See It The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. $999 $999 NASA Space,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Sprint $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express See It $6 at Tidal $999 Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Turo An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Boost Mobile Read the AirPods review Angela Lang/CNET $520 at HP See it TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Amazon
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G. Madhavan Nair listens to Indian Minister of Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi prior to a felicitation ceremony in New Delhi on December 24, 2008. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) felicitated officials of Chandrayan-1 team.PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images [Representational Image]After the dreaded Pulwama terror attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the terrorist organisation has now sent a death threat to the former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair for supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in ASAT test.According to the reports, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials received the letter from the mailbox at Nair’s Sasthamangalam residence in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. The letter was later handed over to the investigation agency by the CISF.The letter has warned the 75-year-old Nair from supporting PM Narendra Modi and if he continues to do so he will be killed. The threat came on the same day after he praised PM Modi for the announcement of the successful test-firing of India’s anti-satellite missile, Mission Shakthi.Madhavan Nair had joined the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in October 2018. He confirmed that he had received a letter at his residence. “I have not read the letter but the investigation officers contacted me and divulged about the content of the letter,” he said, reports Indian Defence News.The former ISRO chairman had praised the Modi for the ASAT test and criticised the UPA government for their lack of political will as they did not allow this test earlier. “Now Modiji has taken the initiative and he had the political will and courage to say that we will do this. We have now demonstrated this to the whole world”, said Nair, adds the report.According to the Kerala police, the death threat came in a letter to the former ISRO chairman’s house with the militant group’s name mentioned on it. The letter has been sent to the forensic department for a high-profile examination and is awaiting the results.The police have registered a case and investigations are conducted by multiple agencies over the death threat on G Madhavan Nair.G Madhavan Nair is a Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awardee, who retired as the chairman of ISRO in 2009. He initiated and implemented the establishment of Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram. He also led India’s first lunar orbiter mission, Chandrayaan-1.
Investors gave a lukewarm response on Friday to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowing banks to raise funds through masala bonds to beef up their capital requirements under the Basel III norms. Shares of most banks were trading in the red on Friday afternoon, with both the BSE Bankex and the NSE Bank Nifty falling close to 0.75 per cent.The shares of State Bank of India (SBI) were down 0.69 per cent at Rs. 252.90 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) at around 1.24 p.m. PNB shares were trading 0.44 per cent lower at Rs. 125.75, Canara Bank was also down at Rs. 269.30, while Bank of Baroda shares were trading with losses of 1.55 per cent at Rs. 159.30 apiece.The BSE Bankex declined almost 0.70 per cent at 21,983 while the NSE Bank Nifty was down 0.70 per cent at 19,168.On Thursday, the RBI had announced a series of measures aimed at developing the money markets in India, the most significant of which was allowing commercial banks to issue masala bonds.”To further encourage the overseas rupee bond market, banks are being permitted to issue rupee bonds overseas (masala bonds) for their capital requirements and for financing infrastructure and affordable housing,” the central bank said in a statement.Masala bonds are rupee-denominated bonds issued overseas. Two recent such issuances were from HDFC Bank and state-run power producer NTPC.Encouraged by the response to its first issue of masala bonds, HDFC Bank plans to raise Rs. 2,000 crore for which it is reportedly in talks with investment bankers.The company had raised Rs. 3,000 crore in its maiden masala bonds issue at a coupon rate of 7.875 per cent per annum. The bonds are listed on London Stock Exchange.In another significant development, the RBI has removed restriction on corporate lending to banks via government securities.”Currently, listed companies can lend through repos in G-sec for a minimum tenor of seven days to banks and PDs, which constrains their participation. It is proposed to allow such companies to lend through the repo market, without any tenor or counterparty restrictions,” the RBI said.
Nikesh Arora has been appointed as the new CEO of Palo Alto Networks and he is being paid a whopping $128 million packageNadine Rupp/Getty ImagesCybersecurity brand Palo Alto Networks has named former SoftBank Group Corp president Nikesh Arora as its chief executive officer and chairman. Arora succeeds Mark McLaughlin, who will remain with Palo Alto as the company’s vice-chairman.Arora begins his role as the CEO and chairman at Palo Alto on Wednesday, June 6, and has reportedly been given a package of about $128 million, which is about Rs 850 crore. The 50-year-old is also investing about $20 million (about Rs 130 crore) in shares of Palo Alto, apparently to prove his loyalty to the company.”It’s sort of like put your money where your mouth is,” Fortune quoted him as saying.Who is Nikesh Arora?Born on February 9, 1968, in Ghaziabad, Arora is an Indian businessman.He is an alumnus of the IIT, BHU in Varanasi and went on to get an MBA from the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.After starting his career with Fidelity Investments in 1992, Arora joined Google in 2004 where he had held many senior-level postsHe was the company vice president for Europe operations from 2004 to 2007 and went on to become the president Europe, Middle East and Africa from 2007 to 2009.Arora was also the senior vice president and chief business officer of Google Inc. between January 2011 and July 2014.He resigned from Google in 2014 and joined SoftBank Corp.The 50-year-old has also been on the board of directors of several other firms such as Airtel, Aviva, Colgate-Palmolive, and Richemont Sprint to name a few.As Softbank is known to have investments in Ola, Snapdeal, Oyo and a few other firms, Arora had board positions and other rights in these brands.Arora has also worked with T-Mobile and was the CEO and founder of T-Motion PLC, which merged with T-Mobile International in 2002.Arora married Delhi socialite Ayesha Thapar in 2014. He was earlier married to Kiran and the former couple have a daughter.At Palo Alto, Arora will be entitled to equity awards of about $126 million, half of which banks on him staying at Palo Alto and the other half on if the firm manages to at least double its shares. Under McLaughlin, the California-based company is known to have seen a five-fold since its initial public offering in 2012.Meanwhile, McLaughlin believes that Arora will be able to do take the firm places and seemed pleased with the appointment. “The company is executing extremely well and is the clear leader in next-generation security,” he said in a statement.”Over the course of several quarters, I have been discussing succession planning with the Board and I couldn’t be more pleased that we have found a leader in Nikesh who is ideally suited to take the company on the next leg of its journey. I look forward to working with Nikesh as we transition and serving as vice chairman of the Board.”Arora too seems immensely proud and said that he has grown very fond of the company and its values and culture and that the team will work towards providing flawless security to its customers.Apart from the stock options, Arora will draw an annual base salary of $1 million (about Rs 6.7 crore).Looking fwd to working with the Palo Alto Networks team. Mark, Nir, Lee, Rajiv, Rene and many others have built a unique company. Feel honored to become a part of it. https://t.co/vM07vameE3— Nikesh Arora (@nikesharora) June 2, 2018
Al-Qaeda in Yemen overran three southern towns just days after a deadly US raid targeting its commanders, before withdrawing from two of them on Friday, officials said.The jihadists’ entry into the Abyan province towns of Loder, Shaqra and Ahwar came as the White House defended Sunday’s raid on an Al-Qaeda compound as a “success”, even though multiple civilians and a Navy SEAL were killed.Abyan has long been an Al-Qaeda stronghold and it was only through a major offensive backed by a Saudi-led coalition last summer that the government was able to drive its fighters out of the province’s main towns.But the jihadists have faced some opposition from ordinary Yemenis.”The Al-Qaeda fighters withdrew from Loder and Shaqra after protest demonstrations by residents,” a local government official said.”Residents made clear during the protests that they were ready to take up arms if necessary.”The jihadists’ entry into the two towns on Thursday evening was helped by a pullout by government forces angry over the late payment of their wages, a security official told AFP.”Our forces are also angry that they have not been provided with the weapons and other equipment to confront the jihadists, who have been stepping up their armed attacks,” the official said.Al-Qaeda fighters set up roadblocks around the towns and blew up two security service buildings.Saudi-led aircraft carried out two strikes on jihadist positions in Loder overnight, the official added.Al-Qaeda has taken advantage of nearly two years of fighting between government forces and Shiite rebels who control the capital Sanaa to entrench its presence in the south.Washington has kept up its long-running drone war against the jihadists but that has done little to dent their influence.Sunday’s raid on an Al-Qaeda compound in Baida province was the first such operation of Donald Trump’s presidency.Navy SEAL Team Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, was killed and three other US troops were wounded in a fierce gunfight.And on Wednesday, the Pentagon acknowledged that several non-combatants, including children, had apparently been killed.A Yemeni provincial official said eight women and eight children died.The International Crisis Group think-tank warned on Thursday that operations like the Baida raid risked fanning hostility towards the United States among civilians, providing fertile ground for recruitment by Al-Qaeda.
With smartphone owners now downloading more than 2 billion mobile applications every month, the app store gold rush is in full swing. But precious few software developers are striking it rich. As of late last year, developers had published close to a million apps optimized for devices running Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android–but for every juggernaut, like Angry Birds, there are a multitude of mobile games that earn only a few thousand dollars over the course of their life cycle.The problem is that consumers love playing mobile games, not paying for them. App search engine Chomp reports premium applications made up just 27 percent of Apple’s App Store downloads in November 2011 and a mere 3 percent of downloads from Google’s Android Market. That’s why so many mobile developers are turning to in-game purchases–like virtual currency and weapons–to boost their fortunes. Others are relying on revenue derived via in-game banner ads.Brian Wong believes there’s a better way. Kiip, the San Francisco-based company the 20-year-old co-founded in 2010, eschews conventional mobile advertising formats in favor of offering real-world rewards for virtual achievements. For example, a gamer who successfully advances to the next level of play is rewarded with coupons and freebies from Kiip partners like Dr Pepper, Carl’s Jr., 1-800-Flowers and Sephora. The solution also allows developers and advertisers to match higher-value rewards to higher-difficulty achievements, driving gamer engagement.”Traditional advertising has always had a bad rap. If you offer users something for free, they think, What’s the catch?” says Wong, who launched Kiip after a brief stint heading business development at social news website Digg. “Our message is about retention. We’re helping developers keep their user base engaged and happy. When I ask developers, ‘How are you thanking players?’ they get stumped. The answer is that you do that through rewards.”Kiip applies a complex system of algorithms, tags and consumer data to determine not only the optimal juncture to deliver rewards but also what kinds of prizes to offer, and how often. “We extract value from the moment,” Wong says. “[Rewards] depend on the game itself, along with other environmental factors, like where are you, what kind of gamer are you and who are you.”Advertisers pay Kiip only when a consumer accepts a reward offer, with fees ranging from 25 cents to $3 per interaction. The firm splits revenue 50-50 with the game’s developer. As of late 2011, Kiip had integrated into about 60 iOS and Android titles with a combined user base of more than 35 million. According to Wong, between 30 and 40 percent of gamers engage with Kiip reward offers, with an average of 1.7 million rewards delivered each month.”We help developers build a business around user retention and engagement,” Wong says. “Rewards help guarantee that people come back to the game and play it more often.”Look for the number of developers embracing Kiip to grow significantly in the months ahead: During the waning days of 2011, the startup inked a deal with GameSalad, a mobile-game development platform provider, to integrate its rewards network into GameSalad’s Creator authoring toolset. More than 200,000 developers have leveraged GameSalad solutions to build roughly 20,000 titles.Wong is already mulling over how to expand the Kiip model beyond gaming into other mobile-app categories and digital channels. “There’s applicability across different types of mobile apps, e-commerce and entertainment,” he says. “Say you’re running with the Nike+ app and you beat your last run time, so here’s a coupon for a free vitaminwater.”Even if you’re not a mobile-game developer–heck, even if you don’t know how to send a text message–Kiip is a company worth watching. Wong plans to simplify marketer access to the Kiip network during the months ahead, enabling local and national brands to automatically set up their own rewards campaigns.”All apps are location-aware. Location is a given now,” Wong says. “My goal is to offer rewards from businesses in your immediate area that are coming to you as a result of your actions within an app. You shouldn’t have to go into a store or check in, you just have to be in a contextually relevant location. Our rewards platform can exist anywhere there is an action–that’s why we’ve never had the words play or games in our name or our slogans. ‘Kiip them happy,’ that’s our tagline.” Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 4 min read Register Now » March 9, 2012 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story appears in the March 2012 issue of . Subscribe »
TV technology outfit Kudelski Group has posted strong full-year results, with a 12.3% increase in revenues driven by digital TV and its public access arm.Kudelski posted revenues of just over CHF1 billion (€940 million) and operating profit of CHF98 million, up 20.4%.The group said it expected to continue growing this year, although profitability will not reach the same level as 2016. It expects revenues of US$1.15-1.2 billion (€1.1-1.13 billion) and operating profit of US$60-80 million.Digital TV revenues grew by 10.5% in 2016, reaching CHF730.2 million, and segment operating income increased by 19.3% to CHF99.4 million.The growth was boosted by a number of new contracts, including a contract to supply conditional access for Altice USA’s 4K Ultra HD cable offering and a new multi-year contract with Canal+ covering its domestic and international services. Canal+, in addition to CA, will use the Nagra Insight analytics platform. Revenues were also boosted by the ongoing supply of CA for Dish Network in the US.In South Africa, Sentech partnered with Nagra to launch its satellite gap filler programme in order to bring service to areas not covered by its DTT network, while DTH operator Platco switched from competition to Nagra cardless security technology for its new Openview HD service offering, which was launched in November 2016.Nagra cross the 10 million digital cable subscribers milestone in India, while Taiwan Broadband Cable shipped close to one million OpenTV5 set-top boxes, making Tawian one fo the largest OpenTV5 deployments in Asia.Kudelski’s other conditional access brand, Conax, signed 11 new deals in the course of the year across Europe, Latin America and India, and signed 20 additional contracts with existing customers.Revenues in the public access segment also grew strongly, by 14.4% to CHF318.7 million.
By Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay – Fondation de l’École polytechnique (FX), CC BY-SA 2.0Telecom tycoon and founder of Altice, Patrick Drahi, has made a shock move into the art world by purchasing London auction house Sotheby’s for £2.9 billion (€3.37 billion).This marks the first time in 31 years that the historic company has been privately owned.“I am honoured that the board of Sotheby’s has decided to recommend my offer,” said Drahi, who founded Altice and serves as chairman. “Sotheby’s is one of the most elegant and aspirational brands in the world. As a longtime client and lifetime admirer of the company, I am acquiring Sotheby’s together with my family.”Drahi has a current net worth of approximately US$7.9 billion (€7.05 billion). He was ranked by Forbes in 2015 as the 60th-richest person in the world and the third-richest person in France.The mogul said that the takeover would be funded through financing arranged by French bank BNP Paribas and equity provided by his own funds. Reuters reports that Drahi will not be selling shares in his Altice Europe business, but would be cashing in a small stake in his Altice USA division. Drahi continued: “This investment will further demonstrate the anchoring of my family in the United States, a country where we have been very welcomed since the successful acquisitions of Suddenlink in 2015, Cablevision in 2016 and just recently Cheddar.”
For a change, overnight activity in the Far East in both gold and silver showed some real signs of life.It was a very slow day in the gold world on Wednesday…and most of gold’s price movements, such as they were, were most likely currency related. Gold closed at $1,693.40 spot…down $2.80 from Tuesday. Volume, most of it of the high-frequency trading variety, was decent at around 113,000 contracts.Silver’s price pattern was similar…and the price briefly dipped below $32.00 spot before recovering as the dollar index headed south. Silver closed at $32.70 spot…down 9 cents on the day. Net volume was average…whatever that means these days…at around 33,000 contracts.All the ‘action’ yesterday was in the dollar index. It opened at 81.34 at 6:00 p.m. in New York on Tuesday night…and by 9:30 a.m. in London the next day, it had hit its zenith at around 81.65. From there it went into a decline that bottomed out at 81.14 shortly after 11:00 a.m. in New York. It recovered a hair from that low…closing at 81.20…down a whole 14 basis points when all was said and done.Both the gold and silver charts show this currency move pretty clearly.The gold stocks started in the red, but finally got into positive territory…and then mostly stayed there for the rest of the trading day. The HUI closed up 0.45%.The silver equities were mixed yesterday…and gave back a bit of their Monday and Tuesday gains, as Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.45%.(Click on image to enlarge)For a change, the CME’s Daily Delivery Report was much more interesting. They reported that 16 gold and 485 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday. Jefferies was the short/issuer de jour, posting 476 contracts…and it should come as no surprise to anyone that the big long/stopper was JPMorgan…with 253 contracts in its client account and 186 contracts in its proprietary [in house] account. The Issuers and Stoppers Report is definitely worth checking out…and the link is here.There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday…but after a big withdrawal from SLV on Tuesday, there was an even bigger addition on Wednesday, as an authorized participant[s] added 2,934,108 troy ounces.The U.S. Mint had another smallish sales report yesterday. They sold 4,500 ounces of gold eagles…and another 125,000 silver eagles.It was another very busy day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. They reported receiving 602,812 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 1,558,280 troy ounces out the door.While on the subject of the Comex-approved depositories, I noticed something different about the CME’s web page when I clicked on it early yesterday evening…but I didn’t investigate any further. It took an e-mail from Nick Laird very late last night that pointed out the difference. There’s a new depository added to the list. It’s called CNT Depository…and a Google search revealed this.I’ll be very interested in seeing how they fit into the grand scheme of things…and just how much metal they accumulate on behalf of their clientele. According to Nick, they reported receiving 631,389 troy ounces on Tuesday…the first day they showed up as a depository.In the same e-mail, Nick sent along this chart entitled “Comex Depository Warehouse Silver Stocks” that goes back about 41 years…and here it is.(Click on image to enlarge)I have the usual number of stories today…and I hope you have time to read the ones that interest you the most.It was a nothing sort of day in the precious metal markets yesterday…another day off the calendar as Ted Butler would say…so I’ll just move along to other things.Tomorrow we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report…and as you are already aware, I’m more than interested in what’s in it.For a change, overnight activity in the Far East in both gold and silver showed some real signs of life. After rallying a bit in early morning trading, a more substantial rally began around 2:30 p.m. Hong Kong time…and is continuing into early London trading as well. The rally in silver is even more impressive.However, the volume in gold is getting way up there…35,000 contracts. And silver’s volume is already an eye-watering 12,300 contracts as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:13 a.m. Eastern time. The dollar index is comatose.These are not short covering rallies by any stretch of the imagination, but new long positions being established and, without doubt, it’s JPMorgan et al going short against all comers. Unfortunately none of this data will be in tomorrow’s COT report. We’ll have to wait until next Friday…and in the current environment, that’s a lifetime away.It remains to be seen whether these rallies continue in London…or get stepped on before New York opens, as the similar rallies that developed in both platinum and palladium earlier today, have already met that fate.Here are the current gold and silver charts as of 4:53 a.m. Eastern time. Avrupa Minerals Ltd. is a growth-oriented prospect generator focused on aggressive exploration for valuable mineral deposits in politically stable and prospective regions of Europe with a growing pipeline of prospects in Portugal, Kosovo and Germany.Company highlights:Alvalade Project JV with Antofagasta Minerals SA – Copper and Zinc on 1000 km2 project area in the Portuguese Pyrite Belt – 2012 exploration budget of US$ 2.5 million, all provided by Antofagasta, including 6000 meters of core drillingGold exploration in the Erzgebirge Mining District, Germany – 307 km2 exploration license in 1000+ year producing region of tin, tungsten, silver, base metals, and uranium – Increasingly favorable permitting and mining regulations, long mining culture, widespread known gold panning locationsCovas Tungsten JV with Blackheath Resources Inc. – 922,900 mt @ 0.78% WO3 (non NI 43-101 compliant) historic resource – Potential to increase the tungsten resource – New gold target on the projectStrong management including Paul Kuhn, CEO, previously involved with several discoveries around the world, and Mark T. Brown, Director, founder of Rare Element Resources Ltd.Low risk exploration strategyShare structure and cash on hand (12/31/2011):16.1 million shares outstanding; 23.7 million shares outstanding, fully diluted40% of shares held by insiders, family, friends, and long-term investorsApprox. C$ 500,000 cash on hand (consolidated Canada and Europe)Antofagasta has provided US$ 350,000 for all anticipated Alvalade JV expenses for Q1 2012.Please visit our website for more information. Sponsor Advertisement Considering the start to the Thursday trading session in both the Far East and London…it could be a wild one in New York today…and I’m looking forward to the 8:20 a.m. Eastern time Comex open with more than the usual amount of interest.Before hitting the ‘send’ button on today’s column, I want to bring this Casey Research offer to your attention ONE LAST TIME…as you’ve only got THREE DAYS LEFT TO ACT. As you probably already know, the September 7th Casey Research/Sprott Inc. Summit: Navigating the Politicized Economy, will be held in Carlsbad, CA. If you’re not registered to attend, you may want to purchase the complete audio collection (available in a 20-CD set and/or MP3 downloads) to listen to at home.The faculty presenting includes David Walker, former US Comptroller General, Dr. Lacy Hunt, former Senior Economist, Dallas Fed; Executive VP, HIMCO, Don Coxe, Global Strategy Advisor, BMO Financial Group, David Webb, hedge fund phenomenon, Origin Investments, AB, Dr. Thomas M. Barnett, former Senior Advisor, Office of the Secretary of Defense, G. Edward Griffin, author, The Creature from Jekyll Island, Bob Hoye, Chief Financial Strategist, Institutional Advisors, Peter Schweizer, Hoover Institute, author of Throw Them All Out, Doug Casey, contrarian speculator, Eric Sprott, Chairman, Sprott Asset Management, and 18 other financial luminaries.These are top-drawer speakers…and the ladies at Casey Research in Stowe, Vermont are telling me if you order before the summit ends on September 9th, you’ll save $100. To learn more about the 28 financial experts and what they are presenting, please click here…and it doesn’t cost a dime to look!See you on Friday…Saturday west of the International Date Line.
Emission systems. Demand for platinum in autocatalysts dropped by 1% in 2012, mostly due to lower vehicle production in Europe and lower market share of diesel engines. However, emission-system demand from Japan and India is expected to increase, and diesel-emission controls recently introduced in Beijing will also support industrial demand for both metals. Auto sales in China rose a whopping 19.5% in the first two months of the year and are 6.5% higher in the US than a year ago. Platinum is a precious metal, as is palladium, though to a lesser degree. However, like silver, both are also industrial metals. Unlike silver, it’s their industrial use that is the primary price driver for both platinum and palladium – and that use is undergoing a fundamental shift. The largest source of demand for platinum and palladium is the automotive industry, for use in autocatalysts. In turn, the fortunes of the auto industry are sensitive to the health of the world’s major economies. We’ve been bearish on platinum-group metals for years, primarily because we weren’t convinced a healthy – much less roaring – world economy could be sustained when so many governments continue spending beyond their means. We reconsidered the market last year, when strikes in South Africa – home to 75% of global platinum production and 95% of known reserves – threatened supplies. But as we wrote last December, the strikes ended without great impact on long-term supply. Since then, however, the fundamentals of this market have changed. Others may disagree with our economic outlook, which is still bearish, but it’s due to supply issues – not demand – that our interest is now drawn to these metals, and particularly to palladium. Here’s a look at global supply against auto-industry demand for both metals. Demand. Autocatalytic demand rose by 7% in 2012, as palladium can be easily substituted for platinum in emission-control systems for gas-powered motors (but not diesel-powered ones), such as are favored in China and India. In fact, several experts we consulted were more bullish on palladium than platinum due to this “substitution factor” – and China just mandated catalytic systems for all cars in the country. Palladium investment demand was positive last year, though palladium jewelry has yet to gain traction in China, one of the world’s biggest jewelry markets. Total jewelry demand for palladium was 11% lower in 2012. However, we expect a greater shift to palladium in the expanding Asian automotive market, which in turn will boost palladium prices. The fundamental drivers of the palladium market are similar to those for platinum, which makes the palladium market an equally attractive investment. If this all weren’t bad enough, most companies’ production costs are now above current platinum and palladium prices. This can only be solved one way: higher metals prices. Bottom Line The supply disruptions in South Africa combined with secondary factors have led to deficits in both metals that won’t be erased overnight. Such imbalances, together with mainstream expectations of global economic growth, create a favorable environment for PGM price appreciation. This much seems like a safe bet. There is, however, a great deal of speculative upside in the not-inconceivable case of South Africa going off the rails in a major way. Massive – not marginal – supply disruptions in the world’s main source of both metals would send their prices through the roof. You get this speculative potential “for free” when you bet on the more conservative projections that call for rising prices regardless. While we wait for our gold positions to rebound, an investment in platinum and palladium could be very profitable. How to invest? You can learn which company is our #1 pick for this space with a risk-free trial subscription to BIG GOLD. Note: our longer-term outlook remains in place: most G7 economies are not fundamentally sound and continue to print money. Gold is still our priority asset class, so we don’t recommend that investors replace their gold holdings with platinum and palladium investment vehicles. This PGM trend is simply an addition to and diversification of our current investment strategy. Recycling. This important source of supply is falling in reaction to lower metals prices. It is estimated that recycling fell by 11% in 2012. Investment. Although it represents just 6% of total demand for the metal, investor demand nonetheless grew 6.5% last year, adding to pressure on supplies. Given these factors – primarily the first one – a supply deficit stretching into 2014 seems almost certain. Until South Africa can resolve its labor and power issues, pressure on platinum supply will remain, producing a favorable environment for rising prices. Palladium Palladium, platinum’s “little brother,” also faces a market imbalance. In 2012, the deficit totaled 915,000 ounces, the highest level since 2001. Supply. Russia is the second-largest producer of palladium, and some analysts report that rumors of its stockpile being close to depletion are true. Recycling is also falling, and production disruptions in South Africa – the largest producer of palladium – are the same as outlined for platinum. Overall supply of the metal is falling. Jewelry. Worldwide demand for platinum jewelry rose last year, with strong demand coming from China and growth in India, and is mainly the consequence of lower prices. Jewelry accounts for 30% of total platinum demand. Approximately 55% of platinum and the bulk of palladium supply was used in catalytic systems last year. The shrinking supply that’s under way with both metals is obvious, and palladium is approaching a supply/demand crunch. Here’s what’s going on… Platinum The fall in platinum supply has been so great that it moved from a surplus in 2011 to a deficit in 2012, with Johnson Matthey estimating that deficit to hit 400,000 ounces, the highest level since 2003. Why the shift? Labor strife and power outages. The mining industry in South Africa is, frankly, a mess. Labor strikes continue to haunt the platinum mining companies. The largest mining union in South Africa, AMCU, recently refused to sign a collective bargaining agreement on worker compensation, and CNBC is predicting a massive strike. Amplats, the world’s largest platinum producer, is threatening to cut 14,000 jobs and mothball two operating mines due to various issues. Meanwhile, power outages, a longstanding problem, continue unresolved; they have already forced the closure of some mines and are widely expected to cause further cuts in production. As a result, supply from mining is expected to decline another 10% this year.
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