Economy tops expectations and grows faster than expected in January

first_img Related news “One month does not a year make, but Canada opened its 150th birthday celebration with January alone registering a quarter of the gains expected for the year as a whole,” CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld wrote. “Even for those of us with enough experience to downplay any one data point, the fact that GDP is up 2.3% from a year ago, and is gaining leadership from the ‘right’ sectors, makes a compelling case that we’ve put the post-oil-dive blues behind us.” The increase for January was the biggest increase for the economy since June 2016, when it also advanced by 0.6%. The strong figures cap a recent string of better-than-expected economic data that included retail, wholesale and manufacturing sales as well as job creation. The Conference Board of Canada also reported Friday its index of consumer confidence rose 1.1 points in March to 111.7, its highest level since January 2010. Still, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said earlier this week that risks for the economy remain. “We’ve had positive data points in the last three years, too — and they didn’t last,” the central bank chief said Tuesday. “So, we’re being very cautious in that outlook.” In its most recent monetary policy report, the Bank of Canada predicted growth in the first quarter of 2017 to come in at an annual pace of 2.5%. TD Bank raised its forecast Friday for the first quarter to an annual pace of 3.4% compared with the its earlier expectations of 2.6%. TD senior economist Brian DePratto said the central bank will likely also raise its forecast in the next monetary policy report on April 12, but he expected Poloz to remain prudent. “Core inflation remains very weak in Canada and we still haven’t seen any kind of meaningful comeback in business investment, so those are two areas that he’s probably going to remain concerned about,” DePratto said. “He’ll be happy but I don’t think this is really going to change the tone for him. He’s going to want to see a little bit more.” The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate has been set at 0.5% since July 2015, when it cut its target for the overnight rate by a quarter of a percentage point. Statistics Canada said Friday that goods-producing industries grew by 1.1% in January, while service-producing industries rose 0.4%. The manufacturing sector was the largest contributor to the increase as it advanced 1.9%. A partial rebound in the oil and gas industry also helped the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector, bumping it up 1.9% after contracting 0.5% in December. Oil and gas extraction was up 2.0%, offsetting some of its decline in December. Mining and quarrying excluding oil and gas extraction gained 1.1% in January. Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May Leading indicators signal steady rebound: OECD Craig Wong The economy kicked off the year with a bang, rising faster than expected in January, providing further evidence of robust growth but not enough to alter expectations that the central bank will maintain its dovish position. Statistics Canada said Friday gross domestic product increased 0.6% in the first month of the year, with strength across both goods- and service-producing industries. Economists had expected a gain of 0.3%, according to Thomson Reuters. center_img Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Keywords Economic indicators Household debt-to-income ratio fell in first quarter: Statscan Share this article and your comments with peers on social medialast_img read more

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, February 10, 2021

first_imgPress Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, February 10, 2021 The White HouseMS. PSAKI: Good morning. Is it morning? Is it lunchtime?Thank you all for your flexibility. I know we moved the briefing up a little bit today.At 1:00 p.m., the President will deliver remarks on the administration’s response to the coup in Burma, which I think that guidance just went out, but just so you all have — are aware.A couple of other updates for all of you: The President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Treasury had a productive and substantive conversation yesterday with the business leaders about the need to urgently pass the American Rescue Plan. The group discussed the importance of getting direct assistance to families who are suffering, and there was consensus that getting immediate help to the American people is paramount.The President also raised his priority to increase wages and ensure no one who makes minimum wage is living below the poverty line. The business leaders shared the experiences of their own workforces and discovered — discussed, sorry — discussed the challenges their employees and customer base face to overcome the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.The group agreed to work together moving forward to help grow the economy, particularly around infrastructure investment, and help make life better for working families across the country.Another scheduling update for all of you: This Friday, President Biden will continue his engagement around the American Rescue Plan by meeting with a bipartisan group of mayors and governors here at the White House to discuss the vital need to get more support to their communities and to those on the frontlines of this fight.He has proposed $350 billion in support for state and local government. That means keeping cops, firefighters, public health workers, teachers, and other public servants on the job in the fight against the virus. And that means getting help to cities, counties, and states to get vaccines in arms faster, something many governors and mayors have spoken about.Mayors in particular are on the frontlines of this, and we’ve seen widespread bipartisan support from them. We’re hoping to even bring some of them to the briefing here to talk — briefing room here to talk with all of you on Friday.Just a couple of other updates:Today our COVID response team gave an update on its progress and sweeping action in addressing the health crisis facing our nation. They announced the launch of five new community vaccination centers across Texas and New York State.In Texas, sites in Arlington, Dallas, and Houston will collectively be able to administer more than 10,000 shots a day in some of the hardest-hit areas in the state. Teams from the federal government are being deployed immediately to help get those sites running and are expected to start the week of February 22nd, so before the end of the month.In New York, sites in Brooklyn and Queens will open the same week and will together have a capacity for 6,000 shots a day. This follows two sites announced last week and other ongoing efforts to accelerate equitable vaccination efforts, including by increasing weekly state vaccine supply by 25 percent since entering office; deploying federal personnel to support vaccination efforts nationwide; and over $3.15 billion in funding to states, tribes, and territories.Second, our team also announced members of its Health Equity Task Force. This is something all — many of you have been asking about since the President took office. The President’s 12 members — the 12 members will bring noteworthy backgrounds and expertise to represent a range of racial and ethnic groups and other key constituencies, including children and youth; educators and students; healthcare providers; immigrants; individuals with disabilities; LGBTQ individuals; public health experts; rural communities; state, local, territorial, tribal governments; and labor unions.This board is charged with issuing a range of recommendations to help inform the COVID-19 response and recovery, including equitable allocation of resources. And, of course, it will be chaired by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.Finally, someone in here — I think it was your colleague from AP — asked last — a couple of days ago, I should say, about the President getting COVID tested. And I just wanted to provide an update that the President’s last COVID test was last Thursday; it was negative. We will venture to ensure we are providing that information to you as it comes out moving forward, or as he has tested for.But just so everybody has a full assessment of why or the timeline: Ninety-five percent — there’s 95 percent protection from the vaccine, but it’s not 100 percent protection. So the President’s doctor believes it is reasonable and prudent to randomly test the President every two weeks as surveillance, and we’ll keep you all updated. But that’s kind of the — while there isn’t CDC guidelines, that’s his recommendation.That is it. Let’s go to you. Go ahead.Q Well, thank you, Jen, for the follow-up there. On two topics, first being impeachment: The President has said consistently that he will not be watching the trial. He said so again yesterday.MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.Q But yesterday, the House impeachment managers unveiled videos of the Capitol riot that clearly was very moving to a lot of people. It resonated to a lot of people, including those in that chamber. Is the President really not going to participate at all in this historic experience, this national moment? Does he have nothing he wants to add to those who may have been impacted by what they saw yesterday as part of this trial?MS. PSAKI: Well, it may seem like some time ago, but the President has spoken repeatedly to the events of January 6th. On January 6th, he called the insurrection at the Capitol “an unprecedented assault” on our democracy, bordering on sedition. He called — said it was “unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times.”Again, when the House voted on January 13th, following that vote, he called the events of January 6th an “armed insurrection against the United States of America” that was carried out by “political extremists and domestic terrorists, who were incited to this violence by President Trump.”He has certainly not been silent. He won’t be silent on, of course, the — you know, his concerns about hate rhetoric and speech, and the impact that has on society. And he hasn’t been silent on the actions of the former President.Q On another matter, the CDC today announced that they find it — they have a study that show that two masks are significantly better than one in slowing the spread of coronavirus. Will the White House champion the position that Americans should be wearing two masks? And is that a behavior will be modeled perhaps by White House staff?MS. PSAKI: Well, I’ve learned a lot about this myself — the issue of studies versus recommendations, or specific guidelines, I should say.So this was a study, which was a reflection of the importance of well-fitting masks, something that many of our health and medical experts have talked about. It doesn’t actually issue definitive guidance on one mask versus two masks. Obviously, if that’s something they were to issue as official guidance, we listen to our health and medical experts.But the study does show that if a person has a loose-fitting mask, that they should consider options to improve that fit, and this includes: nose wire, knotting the ear loops on your mask, wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure disposable mask — something we do here quite a bit.So the bottom line of that study is actually to improve the fit of the mask, and a second mask is one of several options to be able to do that.Q And then, just to follow up, and then I’ll hand off: In terms — where is the — is there a plan underway for the White House administration to send out masks to Americans — to mail them to addresses so Americans will have their own high-quality mask, when there’s often confusion as to what kind should be worn, what offers more protection?MS. PSAKI: Sure. Well, one, the President uses every opportunity he has, as he did at the Super Bowl — not that he was there, but in the PSA — to make clear to the American people the safety of wearing masks, the impact of wearing masks. He said that it would save 50,000 lives — more than 50,000 lives if Americans wore them for 100 days.There are a range of options under consideration on to –how to ensure that people who need masks the most, people who need this type of protection the most receive it, but no decision has been — no final decision has been made.Go ahead.Q The President’s remarks at one o’clock on Burma — could you give us a little flavor of what he’s going to say? Is he going to announce sanctions?MS. PSAKI: I’ve been here long — we’re having such fun together. I don’t think you want me to get fired on week three of my time here as the Press Secretary. He will have more to say about actions being taken by the United States in rea- — in response to the coup in Burma.Q Just to follow up, he’s called for the military coup leaders to stand down. Is there any indication that they are doing that yet?MS. PSAKI: I don’t have a specific update on the actions of the military leaders. Obviously, this is an issue that we are following closely from here, from the State Department, from our entire national security team.As we’ve noted in here previously, but it’s worth repeating, we’re also in consultation and close coordination with our partners and allies in steps that can be taken, pressure that can be made.There’s been a statement from the U.N. Security Council, which is a significant act, as you all know. So I don’t have an update on the actions on the ground, but clearly, this is on the President’s mind, this issue, and it’s essential that we lead here from the United States.Q Just a second topic: Has the President abandoned the plan to force the sale of TikTok’s American operations to a group that would include Oracle and Walmart?MS. PSAKI: I know there was some reporting on it this morning, I think that you’re referencing — I believe.Q Wall Street Journal.MS. PSAKI: Wall Street Journal. So it’s not accurate to suggest that there is a new proactive step by the Biden White House. It looks like there was a conflation of two ongoing processes: one that’s through the courts and one that is through the CFIUS process that goes through the Department of Treasury. There is a rigorous CFIUS process that is ongoing. I’m not going to, of course — not that you’re expecting me to — set a precedent of commenting on those reviews in process, but would just stress that they are distinct processes.I will note, broadly speaking, that we are comprehensively evaluating, as we’ve talked about in here, the risks U.S. data, including from TikTok, will — and the risks to U.S data, I should say, including from TikTok, and we’ll address them in a decisive and effective fashion.But if we have news to announce, we will announce it. So I wouldn’t take it as a new step.Q Lastly, is there a timetable for this review?MS. PSAKI: I don’t have a timetable for you. Again, it’s a broad review that’s expanded beyond TikTok, of course, from here. And I think what I was referencing in the beginning is the fact that there are ongoing processes through the courts, which we’d certainly send you to DOJ and others, but there’s also an ongoing CFIUS review that’s happening at the Department of Treasury.Q (Inaudible.)MS. PSAKI: Sure. Go ahead, Kristen.Q Jen, thank you. So President Biden will be speaking at the Pentagon later today. Among the top issues he inherits, of course: Afghanistan. So will he be addressing the situation in Afghanistan? And Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said over the weekend it’s his understanding that the troops will not be leaving Afghanistan in May, as was determined under the previous administration. Is that an official decision that President Biden has made?MS. PSAKI: I don’t — I’m not aware of Senator Graham being a spokesperson for the administration. I will say that I wouldn’t expect there to be an update in his remarks today at the Department of Defense on Afghanistan. Of course, this is a topic that is of utmost importance to the President and his national security team, but I don’t have an update on force posture, and I wouldn’t expect one today.Q So just to be clear: no official decision on the troop withdrawal that was previously determined from the previous administration.MS. PSAKI: There’s no update on a change or an update on a status — a force — the status of the force posture. Obviously, that would be something determined in consultation with the Secretary of Defense. So I understand why you’re asking, he’s going there today, but that’s not the focus of his trip.Q Okay, and if I could just follow up with you on comments he made yesterday about school reopenings. You said the goal was for more than 50 percent of schools to have some teaching in person at least one day a week. You said you hoped it would be higher. But why is the administration setting the bar at one day a week? Why not go higher?MS. PSAKI: Well, certainly we are not planning to celebrate at 100 days if we reach that goal. That is our own effort to make our own — set our own markings, bold and — set a bold and ambitious agenda for how we’re going to measure ourselves and progress.But we certainly hope to build from that, even at 100 days. And from there, our objective — the President’s objectives is for all schools to reopen, to stay open, to be open five days a week, for kids to be learning. That’s what our focus is on. This is simply a goal for 100 days.Q But, Jen, a lot of schools are already doing that. And for working parents, one day a week doesn’t help a lot.MS. PSAKI: That’s, again, the bar of where we’d like the majority of schools across the country to be, which they’re not at this point in time, and we want to build from there. And it really depends; it differs from school district to school district. Part of the reason that there is funding in the American Rescue Plan is to ensure that school districts that don’t have the funding they need to ensure they are equipped to reopen, to meet that bar and exceed it are able to do exactly that.Go ahead.Q Thanks, Jen. I want to pick up on Jonathan’s comment on the President — or question on the President not engaging on impeachment. Indulge me.MS. PSAKI: Sure, always happy to.Q How should the American public interpret the President’s silence on this? Is he not invested in the outcome of this trial or is he?MS. PSAKI: The American public should — should read it as his commitment to delivering on exactly what they elected him to do, which is not to be a commentator on the daily developments of an impeachment trial, but to push forward an American Rescue Plan that will put people back to — that will ensure people are back to work, get the assistance they need, get shots in arms, reopen schools. That’s what they asked him to do, and that’s what he’s focused on doing every day.Q Might he address it when it’s wrapped?MS. PSAKI: Well, he did put out a statement at the conclusion of the House trial, so I’d certainly keep that option open. And he was obviously asked a question, as you referenced, yesterday about it and reiterated that — where his focus is. And I expect that will be his focus for the coming days.Q And then one other housekeeping thing. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is indicating that he hasn’t heard directly from President Biden, and that he reached out on January 8th and has yet to hear back from the President directly. Why is President Trump — pardon me, why is President Biden, not engaging with Republicans —MS. PSAKI: I won’t tell him you called him “President Trump.”Q Why is he — why is he not engaging with Kevin McCarthy directly?MS. PSAKI: Well, I can assure you that senior members of our team are in close consultation and in touch with senior members of Congressman — Leader McCarthy’s team.I don’t have any additional calls to read out for you, other than to repeat or reiterate that the President is open to and committed to speaking with a range of Democrats and Republicans, as is evidenced by the people he’s brought here to the White House. And he picks up the phone on a daily basis and calls people, but I don’t have any calls to Leader McCarthy to read out for you today.Go ahead.Q Two topics. First of all, what does President Biden think about the Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban, deciding to indefinitely stop playing the National Anthem before his National Basketball Association games?MS. PSAKI: Well, I haven’t spoken with the President about the decision by Mark Cuban on the Dallas Mavericks — or the, I should say, the National Anthem — but I know he’s incredibly proud to be an American and has great respect for the Anthem and all that it represents, especially for our men and women serving in uniform around the world.He’d also say that, of course, that part of the — that pride in our country means recognizing moments where we as a country haven’t lived up to our highest ideals, which is often and at times what people are speaking to when they take action at sporting events. And it means respecting the right of people, granted to them in the Constitution, to peacefully protest. That’s why he ran for President in the first place, and that’s what he’s focused on doing every day.Q And then, on schools, when President Biden talked for the last couple of months, particularly during the transition, about reopening schools within the first 100 days, why didn’t he ever mentioned the small print that that was just going to be for one day a week as the goal?MS. PSAKI: Well, again, the President made a — set a goal of reopening the majority of schools within 100 days, and when you asked what that meant, I answered the question.So we are — that is the — that is not the ceiling, that is the — that is the bar we’re trying to leap over and exceed. And as I said in response to Christian’s [sic] — Kristen’s question, the President wants to not just open schools, he wants them to stay reopened. He wants kids to be back in school learning five days a week. He wants everybody — parents to feel safe, teachers to feel safe.That’s why he asked his Department of Education and the CDC to work together on guidelines. That’s why he’s put funding — proposed funding in the American Rescue Plan, because he knows that’s not going to happen on its own. It’s going to need some assistance to make it — make it reality.Q Is there a thought that this goal though that you guys are setting for the first 100 days is more of a dry run for next year? Because 100 days from January 20th — April 30th — that’s when a lot of schools are getting ready to close for the year anyway.MS. PSAKI: Well, it just happens that January 20th is when every President is inaugurated, so we can’t change that. And 100 days, we felt, was a period of time — a measurable period of time where we could set a goal; measure ourself against; hopefully leap way past that goal — you know, that’s always our objective; and then build from there.And you’re right: Schools won’t be in session for the summer, but this is a pandemic we’re working to get under control, making progress every month. And we’re certainly hopeful that things will be — more kids will be back in school five days a week as quickly as it can safely happen.Q And then just one more for one of our colleagues who could not be here because of social distancing guidelines. What do you say to teachers who are nervous about going back into the classroom without being fully vaccinated?MS. PSAKI: Well, we say to teachers: We want you to be able to go back to school and go back to school safely. And, you know, the President is married to a teacher, Dr. Biden. He has known many thousands of teachers throughout his career. He listens to them. We all — we all engage with a range of groups about their concerns, about what their objectives are. Most teachers will tell you they want to be in the classroom and they want to be there with their students, especially of younger kids, and do that in-person learning. They want that too. They want to do it safely.We’re waiting for the CDC guidelines. We are — those will be the first guidelines that will be coming from the federal level that will outline recommendations based on health and medical experts. We’re waiting for those. We’re hopeful that those will give a sense to school districts across the country on the steps that they can take to increase the safety in their schools. It will be up to school districts, but that’s really the next step here.We want schools to open, but we want them to open safely, and we want teachers and parents to all feel that.Go ahead, Mike.Q Thanks, Jen. If I could talk to you a little bit about the sales campaign that you’ve talked about to pass the COVID relief package, and the — and the COVID vaccination effort.MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.Q If you compare to the Obama administration, when he was trying to sell the healthcare — Obamacare — Affordable Care Act, the President went around the country; held very long, very involved town hall meetings. There’s obviously COVID restrictions, but the President — President Biden seems willing to travel now. He will be going on his second trip on Air Force One next week.MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.Q And so, you know, why aren’t you guys using that opportunity to at least, you know, get out to the — to the American people and sell the plan a little bit more aggressively? And he seems to be just staying here.And then second, on the — on the vaccination in a sort of related way, you know, once the website was fully up for Obamacare, there was a massive multimedia campaign — TV ads, you know, you worked with partners to sort of get out there into like underserved communities to, you know, to get people to sign up. Where is the similar effort to get people vaccinated?MS. PSAKI: There will be a similar effort. We’ve just —Q And when will that start?MS. PSAKI: We’ve only been here three weeks. It takes some time to get a paid media campaign off the ground. We want to do that in an effective manner.We’re not — we’re not waiting or delaying. We obviously just announced the Equity Task Force today. All of these individuals are experts, represent different parts of the country and different communities in the country who are deeply impacted. We expect to have many of them out there communicating broadly. We have done dozens and dozens and dozens of interviews with the senior administration officials, with Cabinet officials to communicate about the American Rescue Plan. The President has been out talking about it nearly every day.So we have not held back from using the bully pulpit of the presidency to communicate with the American public. He will be out next week, as you mentioned, and I expect he will be out more in the weeks ahead to communicate effectively and directly with the American public, but a little different from the Affordable Care Act.What we’re doing, in part — it may be what’s — the components of what are in the plan: reopening schools; getting vaccines in arms; ensuring that Americans who don’t have food have — or have, you know, concerns about putting food on the table have money to get through this period of time — is working. More than 70 percent of the public, in almost every poll, supports this package.So, we are certainly out there, everybody is focused on this every day, selling it, and the public seems to like what they’re hearing. But we — our job is not done; we need to get it across the finish line. It’s why the President will be traveling and others will be out there even more in the weeks ahead.Q And on one other topic, the President put forth on the first day a comprehensive immigration proposal legislation that would — that would wrap a lot of things into one bill. There seems to be support in the advocacy community — immigration advocacy community now for moving ahead with components of that separately, both for DREAMers, perhaps for ag workers.Does the President support splitting that effort up? You know, while — you know, while they’re, you know — essentially, while the bigger package is being worked on, does he support going ahead, and would he sign into law if they got passed — the smaller pieces? Or does he want to put that off and wait for the bigger effort?MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, Mike, from following this closely, the formal bill has not been proposed yet on Capitol Hill. The President proposed it with three key pieces of it because he felt they were all important, including investing in smart security, providing a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, and also addressing the root causes that are causing people to flee their home country, something he worked on even as Vice President.So, it hasn’t even been formally proposed. I think we’re going to wait for that to happen before there’s, you know, readouts or our engagement on what is looking like it’s going to happen on Capitol Hill. But we’ll see what happens.Go ahead.Q Two questions, please. In India, Twitter has shut down hundreds of accounts from people who criticize the government. Is this — is the White House concerned about this crackdown on free speech by the Modi government? And to what extent does this impact the U.S.-India relationship and your administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy?MS. PSAKI: I know that my colleagues at the State Department have spoken to this more extensively, and I would certainly point you to them. Of course, we always have concerns about crackdowns on freedom of speech, freedom of expression happening around the world, and — when it doesn’t allow people to communicate and peacefully protest. But I would point you to the State Department for more specifics.Q And then the second question is on the — on this chip shortage that has now moved beyond just automakers. A lot of automakers have shut down production. Obviously, they need the chips to come in from Asia.You’re planning to do a broad supply-chain review, presumably including these chips. What does that mean? Does the White House consider these parts essential? And are you interested at all in creating incentives for chipmakers to make them in the U.S.? Because there’s a lot of — everything basically relies on them.MS. PSAKI: Right. Absolutely. That supply chain is essential. This kind of flows into both the national economic — the economic team and the national security team. Let me talk to them and see if there’s any more specifics on our plans for incentivizing production here in the United States.Go ahead.Q Thanks, Jen. I wanted to ask if you could share more about the trip to Wisconsin. Why Wisconsin? Is he going to be doing more — you alluded that he’d be doing some outreach. Can you talk about what kind of outreach he’ll be doing? Is — I assume it’s on the Rescue Plan, but if you could — will he be meeting with first responders, people in the communities? Can you talk about that a little bit?MS. PSAKI: Sure. And the specifics are still coming together, but I’ll tell you what’s knowable at this point in time. You know, the President is going to Wisconsin. Obviously, it’s a state where, you know, many people have been impacted by COVID and many people have been impacted by the economic downturn. And he always enjoys traveling and engaging directly with people, so while he’s there, he’ll do a town hall, and that’s an opportunity to hear directly from people about how the dual crises are impacting them.In terms of other events and stops he’ll do while he’s there, the schedule is still kind of coming together and being finalized.Q On Myanmar-Burma: In Burma, you know, the economy is really weak. It’s shrinking. There’s COVID. I mean, the question I have is, is: Would sanctions, beyond sanctioning the generals, really help in any way?MS. PSAKI: Help in terms of change the behavior?Q Correct.MS. PSAKI: Well —Q Or just hurt regular people and the country.MS. PSAKI: Well, you know, we’ll wait for the President to actually announce the specific details, which I know will happen more — later this afternoon. But part of our effort is not just unilateral action from the United States, but also working with our partners and allies, including in the region, to determine the right ways to put pressure on and have engagement.As I noted earlier, there was obviously the statement from the U.N. Security Council permanent members. There is ongoing discussions and talks with our partners and allies in Asia and Europe. And, you know, there’s certainly a recognition that this will need to be a coordinated effort.Q And on immigration: I know, on Monday, you talked about, kind of, working out the priorities — national security threat, recent entries. There’s more reports of, you know, a growing number of people arriving on the border. How closely is President Biden watching this? Obviously, attacking the root causes of this migration is something that he knows well, that he’s worked on for a long time.But what about in the short term? What steps are going to be taken to confront this issue? Because more — so we don’t have a repeat of things that we’ve had had in the past, which obviously President Biden is very familiar with.MS. PSAKI: Sure. He’s certainly following it closely, but obviously defers to the leadership and the guidance of his Secretary of Homeland Security, Ali Mayorkas, who is now confirmed — been in office in his role for just over a week now. Obviously, is — comes to that job with a great deal of experience working on these issues, including during challenging times.But since you gave me the opportunity, I mean, one of the things we are certainly doing is communicating that, due to the pandemic and the fact that we have not had the time, as an administration, to put in place a humane, comprehensive process for processing individuals who are coming to the border, now is not the time to come, and the vast majority of people will be turned away. Asylum processes at the border will not occur immediately; it will take time to implement.And as DHS and CBP have said, you know, when long-term — you know, this is — you know, there have been incredibly narrow and limited circumstances where individuals have been — have come into the country awaiting for their hearing, but the vast majority have been — have been turned away.And so this is not the time to come. And, you know, this is obviously an emotional issue for many of us who’ve worked on this in the past, for the President himself, but we need time to put in place, and partners to put in place a comprehensive process and system that will allow for processing at the border of asylum seekers, but also, you know, providing a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who are in the United States.Go ahead.Q Thank you, Jen. Jim Murren, who is the head of the Nevada COVID Task Force, has proposed making Nevada have an elite level of health and safety measures. And he said that, by fall, he thinks there’ll be enough shots in arms that there’ll be fans in seats of a variety of venues — sporting venues, concerts, stuff like that. Do you think that that is possible? And is that a priority for the administration?MS. PSAKI: Well, I think the President said during his Super Bowl interview that he certainly hoped that next year, at this time, we would all be watching the Super Bowl at parties, and the stands would be full.Our — but we defer to our health and medical team who look at the entire country — and I’m not sure if this individual is just looking at Nevada or looking at the entire country — and what their guidelines and their guidance offers us.We know that we will have enough vaccines to provide them to the American people by the end of the summer, but a vaccine is not a vaccination. And in order to get to a place where we are returning back to normal, we need to ensure that those vaccines are made and — are turned into vaccinations and that, you know, the vast — that a large swath of the American public is vaccinated.But obviously, we defer to our health and medical team working for the federal government here. No disrespect to the individual you mentioned.Go ahead.Q Yeah, does the White House have a position on the prosecutors opening up cases in Georgia on efforts to subvert the 2020 Election?MS. PSAKI: I’m not — I have not followed this closely. I would likely send you to the Department of Justice for any comment on it.Q And on the HHS Secretary-designate: There are plans on the part of Republicans to paint him as taking actions and supporting actions in California that have been punitive to people there, that the state has been overly aggressive. What is the — what is your position on that, with — as far as it goes with Becerra?MS. PSAKI: Tell me a little bit more about your question.Q Well, what is your response to the idea that he — that he has stepped in and taken actions in California that have been overly aggressive, and that he should take — bear some blame for the problems that the state is having with COVID?MS. PSAKI: Well, first, I would say that the President nominated Attorney General Becerra because he felt he was exactly the right person to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this time, and that his work on a range of issues, including in working to pass the Affordable Care Act, including his defense of the Affordable Care Act on a number of cases in California, were certainly part of that decision.And, frankly, it is disappointing that Congress — the Senate — is delaying any further in confirming his nomination at a time when thousands of people are dying every day of a pandemic, and people need leadership at the top of an agency that has an important role to play.Go ahead.Q Thanks, Jen. I want to ask you questions on two fronts here. First off, you know, it’s been over a month since the January 6th Capitol attack, and we have not received any kind of public briefing from the Capitol Police. A lot of people have raised concerns about that. Does President Biden want to see that kind of briefing? And also, on a similar note, what does he think about efforts from — such as Congressman Jamaal Bowman’s to establish a congressional investigation or commission into the Capitol attack?MS. PSAKI: We certainly leave the determination about whether there’s a congressional investigation up to members of Congress. I’ve seen that proposal. Obviously, there are others who would need to support that to move it forward, and I note a number do.In terms of the timeline of a briefing from the Capitol Police: You know, I would again for refer to them on the timeline. We, of course — here in the federal government, there’s an ongoing investigation, as you know, out of the Department of Justice, and I defer to them for any reports or updates from their end.Q And a second question: You know, obviously the President is going to be addressing the coup in Myanmar today.MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.Q You know, he’s, I’m assuming, speaking out against it and taking action there. You and Secretary of State Blinken have talked about how the January 6th attack, you know, makes it — I think the Secretary of State said a “greater challenge.” You said it will take some time for America to gain its status as a beacon of leadership again.As we address this, how important is it to have accountability for the Capitol attack, including potentially impeachment, as we want to, you know, spread democracy abroad?MS. PSAKI: Well, I think what Secretary Blinken and I were both referring to is the fact that, in order to project to other countries around the world that there should be a protection of democracy, that there should be freedom of speech, that there should be freedom of expression, we have to conduct ourselves in that manner from here. And the pieces we have control over are what the President of the United States does, what the Secretary of State does, and how we all conduct ourselves from this administration.He has spoken, as I started the briefing talking about, to his views on the horrific events of January 6th and the fact that it was an attack on our democracy here. He has — he made those statements because that’s how he felt, and also it’s important to make that clear to the public and to the world. But in terms of what steps will be taken from here, we leave that to the Senate.Q Obviously, we’re calling what happened in Myanmar a “coup.” Do you think that’s an accurate description for what happened on January 6th?MS. PSAKI: I’m not going to give any new definitions. There’s obviously a process that’s ongoing. I’m sure you’ll all be watching today as the Senate proceeds with the hearings.I appreciate your creativity, though.Go ahead, in the back.Q The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels attacked Saudi Arabia today in Abha. The coalition called it a war crime. Does this undermine the President’s effort to end the war in Yemen? And are you putting too much faith in the Houthi rebels’ intention to get into the negotiation?MS. PSAKI: Well, thank you, Nadia. Let me first say that we condemn the Houthi attack today at the Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia, a civilian airport. The attack coincides with Special Envoy Lenderking’s first trip to the region in his efforts to bring a lasting peace to Yemen that will ease the suffering of the Yemeni people.The Houthis, meanwhile, continually demonstrate a desire to prolong the war by attacking Saudi Arabia, including attacks on citizens. And we will continue our diplomatic outreach and engage with various stakeholders, including members of Congress, humanitarian aid organizations, the U.N. Special Envoy, and others to bring a negotiated settlement to end the war.As President Biden has said, we are stepping up our diplomacy to end the war, as I say — I should say, as he said last week at the State Department. And the main focus of our efforts will continue to be on diplomacy to end the war via the U.N.-led process: to impose a ceasefire, open humanitarian channels, and restore long-dormant peace talks. We believe that remains the best path forward.Q Oh, thank you. I have a quick question on Iran. Some reports indicate that you’re considering baby steps to get back into the negotiation. Is this on the table? Is this something that the administration is considering (inaudible)?MS. PSAKI: Did you say “baby steps”? I’m sorry, the masks make it hard to hear.Q Yeah.MS. PSAKI: You know, the President’s focus is on reiterating what he did last weekend, which is that in order to move forward, Iran needs to comply with the outlines of the JCPOA and the agreement that was formed just a few years ago.In terms of any additional steps under consideration, I don’t have any update on that.Go ahead.Q Thanks, Jen. I wanted to ask you about the budget, which I know it’s a little early to be thinking about, but —MS. PSAKI: It’s never too early to talk about the budget — skinny budget, all sorts of budgets.Q Can you lay out a timeline for us of when to expect to see the President’s first budget? And my second question is, does the President plan to cut his proposal — or cut defense spending, or propose to cut defense spending?MS. PSAKI: As you know, our nominee to lead the OMB just had her hearing yesterday, and hopefully she’ll be in place soon. But there was — there were some challenges that came about during the transition in terms of a bit of intransigence from the outgoing administration and lack of cooperation, as it related to OMB on the budget process. So we expect there to be a delay in the first — in the release of his first budget. I don’t have an exact timeline of when that will be though.Q Would we see an outline or something? I mean, I know the budget is a thick document, but would you see an outline before that? Or what are you thinking?MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything to preview yet for you. I can talk to our friends or connect you directly with our colleagues at OMB and see if there’s anything more specific they can preview for you at this point in time.Q Thank you.MS. PSAKI: Sure. Go ahead in the back.Q Yes, thank you, Jen. On Iran as well, does the administration welcome any role that its allies in the region can play in order to help facilitate talks with Iran or bring it back to the table? I mean, General McKenzie said on Monday, namely about Qatar, “When you consider the problem with Iran, they have a large role to play in that.” Does the administration consider Qatar as a potential, maybe, role-player in bringing Iran back to the table? And knowing that both National Security Advisor Sullivan and the Iran’s envoy Rob Malley, they both spoke with the Qatar Prime Minister.MS. PSAKI: Well, the way to move things forward is for Iran to come into full compliance with its obligations under the JCPOA. And if they do that, the United States would do the same and then use that as a platform to build a longer and stronger agreement that also addresses other areas of concern.So that’s really — the ball is really in their court to take those steps. And whether there are roles of other countries in the region — obviously, in any of these — you know, if we were to reach that stage of consultations with countries in the region, we’d be a key part of that process, but we’re certainly not there yet.Q And also, on the Houthi (inaudible) — delisting the Houthis from the terror list — other than the humanitarian assistance, does it have any strategic significance? Is the administration willing to enter a dialogue with the Houthis in order to end the war in Yemen in a peaceful way?MS. PSAKI: I know there have been some reports, but I don’t believe my colleagues at the State Department have confirmed anything about delisting, so I would point you to them for any confirmation or specifics and any of the reasoning.Q But is the administration going to do that at any time soon?MS. PSAKI: Again, I’d point you to the State Department. They have not even — they have not even spoken to these reports.Q Thank you.MS. PSAKI: Go ahead, Mike.Q One quick question. I know the Speaker hasn’t yet set a date, but I assume we all expect a joint address to the — to Congress in the next few weeks. Has the President started the process of both thinking about what he wants to say personally and also the, sort of, interagency collection of information that a President normally does for these things?MS. PSAKI: “Interagency collection” — it doesn’t make it sound that interesting. Discussing with experts all of the ideas they have to put Americans back to work —Q You’re the spokesperson.MS. PSAKI: (Laughs.) We have — I don’t have any update on a date. Obviously, there are — you know, there — the impact of COVID includes the fact that it is challenging to envision how you’d have 500 people in attendance at a joint session, but obviously —Q Do you think you can remote? Is a remote speech possible? Is that on the table?MS. PSAKI: There are — there are a range of options under discussion. We’re engaged on that. I don’t have any updates for what it will look like or when it will — when it would be.But I can say that, you know, the President is eager to lay out more specifics of his Build Back Better agenda, and he is in ongoing discussions with a range of stakeholders in Congress and the administration, outside, about what that’s going to look like.And he mentioned that when he gave his joint — not joint session speech, sorry; he wasn’t in office yet — but when he gave his primetime address a couple of weeks ago, that that would kind of be the next step. So he’s, you know, always discussing with experts and policy experts what that would look like, but I don’t have anything on the timeline or what the format would look like at this point.Q Does he want the American Recovery Plan to be passed before he delivers that speech?MS. PSAKI: You know, he wants the American Rescue Plan to be —Q Rescue.MS. PSAKI: — to be — it’s okay — to be — the “ARP,” you can call it; sometimes it’s easier — to be passed as quickly as possible. He certainly, as — having served in the Senate for 36 years, he knows that there’s a process that needs to take place. As you know, it’s working its way through the committees in the House; then it will go to the Senate. That takes a little bit of time just by the nature of the important work that happens. He is pleased with the progress and the urgency he sees from the House and Senate. But in terms of a specific date for his next speech or next proposal, I just don’t have anything to preview for you.Q Thank you, Jen.MS. PSAKI: Thank you, everyone.12:35 P.M. EST /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Afghanistan, america, california, Cuba, Georgia, Government, India, Iran, Myanmar, Nevada, New York, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Texas, United States, White House, Wisconsin, Yemenlast_img read more

Our school: Seton Catholic Cougars

first_imgOur school: Seton Catholic CougarsPosted by Paul ValenciaDate: Thursday, April 9, 2020in: Youthshare 0 A loving, faith-based environment Student leaders Jerrica Pachl and David Carrion describe what makes Seton Catholic High School so special.It is Jerrica Pachl’s go-to place to be.David Carrion commutes an hour each way just to go there.“Honestly, I could not imagine myself going anywhere else. It is truly my happy place,” Pachl said. “I love being at school. When I’m not at school, I find an excuse to be at school because I love the environment there.”David Carrion would commute an hour, each way, to attend Seton Catholic. He said all that mileage was worth it. Photo courtesy David Carrion.David Carrion would commute an hour, each way, to attend Seton Catholic. He said all that mileage was worth it. Photo courtesy David Carrion.Carrion lives in Toutle, roughly 60 miles from campus, but that does not keep him from Seton Catholic.“It’s a lot of mileage, but definitely worth it,” he said.Carrion is a three-sport athlete, a member of the National Honor Society, is in the newspaper club, and he started an outdoors club as his senior project.“Seton is very special and unique. The only catholic high school in Southwest Washington. That has a big impact on the way we view ourselves as a high school and the impact we have in the community around us. I have a connection with 90, 95 percent of the school. That’s definitely special.”Pachl, as well, is a three-sport athlete for the Cougars. She is the public relations officer for ASB, an ambassador for the school, and is involved in campus ministry.Jerrica Pachl said all of Seton Catholic High School is her support system. Photo courtesy Jerrica PachlJerrica Pachl said all of Seton Catholic High School is her support system. Photo courtesy Jerrica Pachl “Oh, Seton is family. That is what it is. Everybody is super caring for one another,” Pachl said. “When I tore my ACL my sophomore year, I had students calling me, asking me if I was OK. Everyone there was my support team.”She noted that the school’s principal gives out birthday cards to every student. “We all have one goal, to make it through high school successfully, together,” Pachl said.She brags about her school as an ambassador.“I love the idea of being part of the legacy at Seton, being involved as much as I can,” she said.These interviews were conducted after Washington schools were closed for six weeks but before the governor cancelled in-building learning for the rest of the academic year. Now, the Cougars are doing online courses but will not be back on campus.Carrion and Pachl said they miss track and field season and the energy the sport brings to the whole school. Mostly, though, they miss being with all their friends and teachers.“We are doing online classes, but it’s a different level of connection,” Carrion said. “Face to face is really important in learning.”“I miss being in the classroom,” Pachl added.They also are missing out on Wednesday’s mass, a gathering of all students, every week. Carrion plays guitar at mass.Even though they will not return to campus as students, they will always have special memories from Seton Catholic. When they see the school colors, or the mascot, they will smile.“Every time I see it, I’m proud to be a student at Seton Catholic,” Carrion said. “I’m proud to have gone all four years and how much it has taught me. It really hits home.”“Being a small school and seeing the school colors make me proud to be a Cougar,” Pachl added. “Representing our school colors proudly, it definitely makes for an important impact.”Carrion did not know hardly anyone when he first came to Seton Catholic. He went to public school, an hour away, until his freshman year.“I was still able to create very strong bonds with my classmates,” Carrion said. “Anyone can start fresh at Seton. They give it their all, and they can do great things. Everyone would have a great experience at Seton.”Advice to other students during the school closure:“Just stay positive,” Pachl said. “To the Class of 2020, we are such a strong class. This isn’t going to stop us. Our school community isn’t just inside the school. We’re all here for each other.”Carrion said to stay in contact with classmates and keep an optimistic outlook on things.“Just think of all the things we have in our life that we can be grateful for,” he said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTags:Clark CountyLatestOur SchoolVancouvershare 0 Previous : Clark County COVID-19 cases surpass 200, one additional death reported Next : Vancouver honors its volunteers with tree plantingAdvertisementThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

VW unveils new Golf wagon and Alltrack, but they’re not coming to Canada

first_img We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. VW teases a new compact SUV model to be revealed October 13In addition to the hybrid, the Golf also continues to offer a diesel version – something we undoubtedly wouldn’t have seen anyway, even if the car had been sold here – with a system called “twin dosing” of dual DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) injection, and with two catalytic converters.The Alltrack, basically the Golf wagon with all-wheel-drive, more ground clearance and different bumpers, now enters its second generation with this makeover. It gets matrix headlights, made up of a cluster of LED lights, and driver assistance safety systems that work at speeds of up to 210 km/h. Volkswagen shows off all-electric ID.4’s production interior See More Videos Bummer.The redesigned Golf wagon, called the Golf Variant overseas, is longer and with more legroom in the rear seats than before; offers a new R-Line trim level; and is available with a mild hybrid system.RELATED advertisement PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack  Volkswagen COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Trending Videos Volkswagen’s European head office says the Golf Variant wagon has sold around three million copies since it was launched in 1993. And while Canadians have always had a soft spot for wagons – far more than our neighbours to the south – sadly, we’ll no longer be able to add to that number. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever First Look: 2022 Lexus NX The sport-cute’s looks have been softened, but its powertrains and infotainment offerings have been sharpened Volkswagen early September unveiled its all-new eighth-generation Golf SportWagen and its sibling Alltrack in Europe — just as Volkswagen Canada has confirmed we won’t be getting either one of these beauties in our market.Instead, VW Canada said in a statement we’ll only get the Golf GTI and R.As for the Golf wagons, “that segment will be filled by the addition of two new compact sport-utilities that will arrive next year, including the ID.4 all-electric model, and an as-yet-unnamed model that will come to Canada in the spring of 2021.” Trending in Canada RELATED TAGSGolfGolf AlltrackVolkswagenStation WagonSUVNon-LuxuryNew VehiclesNon-Luxury ‹ Previous Next ›last_img read more

New College’s Journalism subcommittee meets Wed., Oct. 16

first_imgThe journalism subcommittee that is helping to plan CU-Boulder’s proposed new College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) will hold its public meeting Wednesday, Oct. 16 to share initial ideas about the program’s curriculum and structure, and to solicit comments. The subcommittee’s meeting will be from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Continuing Education building, Room 140.The journalism subcommittee is among several charged with recommending curriculum and structure for the college’s seven academic units. The CMCI will be an interdisciplinary college. In addition to journalism it will house programs in advertising and design; communication; intermedia digital art, writing and performance; media production; media studies; and information.CU Provost Russell L. Moore appointed an implementation committee earlier this year, which established subcommittees that will explore how academic units and curriculum should be organized and how the college would be governed and financed. Other committees will draft a diversity plan, draw up bylaws and faculty policies and procedures, design the college budget and make recommendations about student issues, including advising and assessment. CU-Boulder is scheduled to make a complete proposal for the college to the university Board of Regents next spring.Look for more information on the new college process at the CMCI website, scheduled to launch late Wednesday, Oct. 16 at www.colorado.edu/cmci. Published: Oct. 14, 2013 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

Health Minister Willing to Look at Outdoor Areas for Smoking

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Advertisements Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says he is willing to look at the possibility of allowing businesses, especially in the tourist industry, to have a special area outdoors to facilitate smokers.The Minister, who was speaking on the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) programme, ‘Issues and Answers’, on July 18, was clear about not allowing smoking rooms.“The evidence is clear that smoking kills. The evidence is clear that passive smoking kills. So, to put 10 to 15 persons in this room, what you are essentially setting up is a death chamber, because you now have concentration of smoking,” the Minister said.He noted that on a visit to one of Kingston’s most popular hotels, he was shown an area some five metres from the entrance, where smoke was not allowed to get into the building, and “they have created a little garden and an area where, if persons want to smoke from time to time, you can go out there and have your little smoke.”“I am not encouraging it, but I am not opposed to that,” Dr. Ferguson said.He pointed out that the new anti-smoking regulations are not a wholesale ban on smoking. “What we want to define is that once it (smoking) is going to impinge on someone else’s right, then the ban chips in. So in essence, if you want the right to smoke, do it where you do not affect the public in general,” the Minister said.Dr. Ferguson said he is not averse to having a second look at the penalties for breaking the ban, to include mandatory counselling for offenders.“I know some persons are a little worried about the fines and even conviction. My thing is not about sending anyone to prison. So, probably we might need to look, in revisiting, at some kind of mandatory counselling sessions, because cigarette smoking is an addiction and to that extent, it oftentimes require professional help,” he argued.The Minister pointed out that the ban on smoking in specific public places, in addition to protecting the lives of non smokers, including workers and children, is also part of an overall vision of the administration to “create for Jamaica, going forward, the health hub for the Americas.”Dr. Ferguson noted that Jamaica is the fourth in the region, behind Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Suriname, to have implemented the ban on smoking in specific public places. He also informed that it is not an attempt at any kind of draconian action to trample on anyone’s rights, but to protect workers, children and non-smokers.“For those who are arguing…rights have to be balanced, because the evidence we have, relative to smoking, is that six million persons are dying annually across the globe from cigarette smoking. Of that number, 600,000 are dying from passive smoking,” the Minister said.“Every six seconds, someone dies from some kind of tobacco related illness. One in 10 adults across the globe annually dies from some kind of tobacco related illness. Fifty per cent of the one billion smokers who continue to smoke will die from some kind of tobacco related illness. Eighty per cent of the persons affected by tobacco smoking are found in low and middle income countries like Jamaica,” he added.He emphasized that the impact of the ban will be seen in the long term, noting that he will be saving people’s lives in the process. He also informed that the Ministry, in collaboration with other stakeholders, will be embarking on a massive public education programme over the next eight months. RelatedHealth Minister Says No to Smoking Areas RelatedMinistry Open to Dialogue on Tobacco Regulationscenter_img RelatedNo Reversal on Public Smoking Ban – Dr. Ferguson Health Minister Willing to Look at Outdoor Areas for Smoking Health & WellnessJuly 19, 2013Written by: Andrea Braham Story HighlightsMinister willing to consider allowing businesses to have a special area outdoors to facilitate smokersDr. Ferguson said he is not averse to having a second look at the penalties last_img read more

Couples: Riviera ‘going to be a blast’ with Spieth

first_imgLOS ANGELES – Fred Couples doesn’t talk in circles, but that’s generally the path of his conversation. He can talk about Justin Bieber and Blake Griffin one minute, switch over to the redo of the fifth green at Riviera the next minute, and then wonder why the Champions Tour gets to play Pebble Beach during the prime part of the season. The 54-year-old Couples went silent when talking about his 32nd appearance at the Northern Trust Open, where he will play the opening two rounds with Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth, his two captain’s picks for the Presidents Cup. Did he realize that Spieth was born a year after Couples won the Masters? ”No,” he finally replied. ”Wow.” Couples was equally amazed to learn that Spieth, who won’t turn 21 until the end of July, was born two month before Tom Watson was Ryder Cup captain the first time around, in 1993 at The Belfry, where the Americans last won on European soil. The clinching putt came from Davis Love III, a Ryder Cup rookie, who turns 50 in April. Northern Trust Open: Articles, videos and photos Back to Spieth. ”He’s 20. I’m 54. This is going to be a blast,” Couples said. ”He’s one of my favorites. He walked into that Presidents Cup and he owned the place. He loves Steve Stricker. He played great. There were very few missed shots in that slop.” And then Couples is off on another tangent. He received a sponsor’s exemption to the Northern Trust Open, which he first played in 1982, so long ago that Watson beat Johnny Miller in a playoff. Tom Weiskopf finished third. Couples tied for 13th with a group that included Gene Littler. This is one of the few appearances on the PGA Tour that Couples will make, because it’s one of the few courses he still feels like he can play reasonably well. The other is Augusta National, and Couples had a chance to win both of them since turning 50. Why does he love Riviera? Results help. Couples won twice in the early 1990s. He has 14 finishes in the top 10. He said the greens are small, much like the courses he played as a kid in Seattle. But the course reminds him of Royal Melbourne. It’s hard to make the connection from Seattle to Royal Melbourne, but he quickly adds, ”Basically, it’s just fun to be here.” There is a charm about Couples that makes him so popular, and he is regarded by players half his age as the coolest guy in golf. ”I hope I’m that cool when I’m 52,” Rory McIlroy said a few years ago at the Masters. Couples was on the practice range an hour before his pro-am time, and he probably hit no more than a dozen or so balls before he teed off. He was too busy talking – pick a subject –and kibitzing with players that most guys from the 50-and-older circuit wouldn’t even know. He showed defending champion John Merrick a photo on his phone of a table named in honor of Merrick, who played at UCLA. ”You’re the first Los Angelone to win, Angelonian, Angelean, whatever,” Couples said. Then it was time to go, but not before walking over to Kevin Stadler to congratulate him on the Phoenix Open win. First, he had to say something to Keegan Bradley. Couples knows everybody. Everybody knows Couples. And if they don’t, they want to. Nicolas Colsaerts was walking out of the equipment truck when he walked out of his way to greet Couples. They talked like old friends. ”A funny thing,” Couples said. ”The most disappointed I’ve ever been was when I played with the Belgium – what is it, Belgium Basher? Bomber? – OK, the Belgium Bomber, two years ago in Dubai. He had to quit after nine. He wasn’t feeling all that good. But I got nine holes out of him. These greens are firm.” The subject changes that quickly. He really is loving life. He already has won nine times on the Champions Tour, including a U.S. Senior Open. He has been Presidents Cup captain the last three times, all of them U.S. victories, and he still holds out hope a Ryder Cup captaincy is not out of the questions. Players love playing for him. And he’s still a big fan. That’s why he pays so much attention to players who weren’t even born when he was No. 1 in the world. ”I begin the second half of my life and I’m actually in tune, and I really like a lot of golfers I see,” he said. ”When I played, I didn’t dislike anyone, but I didn’t pay attention. When you’re out there on Saturday and you’re with Nick Price and Greg Norman and John Cook and Nick Faldo, you know who they are. But now I have a lot of interest to see how good these guys are.”last_img read more

News / Brexit deal a ‘step in the right direction’, but not the end of the road for the UK

first_imgOne area that remains a thorn is the Irish border, and Mr Barnier said a backstop solution with Northern Ireland remaining a member of the European Customs Union was “on the table”.As far as customs issues are concerned, deputy chief executive of the Freight Transport Association James Hookham told The Loadstar the ideal solution would be mutual recognition of EU-UK customs checks.“We’d like to see inspections done away from the border, for instance an Irish veterinary certificate being accepted by UK customs and vice versa,” said Mr Hookham.“This would be ideal, as this is how it is done now, but there remains a big argument on regulatory divergence or the UK sticking to EU standards.”Despite the backstop solution remaining within the legal text of the agreement, Mr Davis said the UK wanted to find an alternative solution.In Smart Border 2.0, former World Customs Organisation director Lars Karlsson suggested the use of a “smart border” to tackle the issue, which Mr Baxter described as “sensible and positive progress”.“It allows cross-border movement and trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland, but all principles and recommendations within it can be projected on to the wider post-Brexit picture,” said Mr Baxter.“In essence, it puts forward a proposal for what is known elsewhere in the world as a ‘smart border’, where customs and other border practices keep the border open.”Smart borders utilise technology, risk management, domestic and international cooperation, as well as international standards, to create secure and low-friction borders. The systems separate customs flows, dependent on type of goods and associated risk, so they can be managed differently.“It suggests hauliers make a submission to customs before arriving at the border, and by arrival, the driver gets a text saying whether they are free to proceed or not,” said Mr Baxter.“This would involve entering a simplified entry before crossing the border and a post-import supplementary declaration would be carried out retrospectively.”Mr Baxter said that in “99.9%” of cases the driver would be free to go, and described the two-step process as “hugely smooth” compared with existing customs processes.While also offering praise for Smart Border 2.0, Mr Hookham said it did not show anything that was not already known, adding that the timeframe involved remained a “problem”.“One aspect of the report that is good to see is the involvement of the EU – it shows interest and is helpful in presenting something other than Brexit being solely a UK problem,” said Mr Hookham.“But I can’t see the system proposed by Mr Karlsson being up and running within the transition timeframe without an inordinate amount of investment.” Brexit-backing MD of Europa Worldwide Andrew Baxter has praised a template for future EU-UK border relationships as negotiators reach agreement on the transition process.Chief negotiator for the European Union Michel Barnier, in a joint press conference with UK negotiator David Davis, said an agreement had been reached for the UK’s “orderly” withdrawal.“This is a decisive step, but it is not the end of the road,” said Mr Barnier. “And nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, but this new draft text is certainly a decisive step forward… and a good landing spot.”The transition, due to run until 31 December 2020, relies on both parties agreeing the complete withdrawal process. © Skypixel center_img By Alexander Whiteman 19/03/2018last_img read more

Pressure on Cheetahs after poor form

first_img Cheetahs captain Tian Meyer believes the pressure is on his side to return to their standards in this weekend’s derby against the Kings in Port Elizabeth.The Cheetahs last PRO14 outing was a poor one by their own standards, as they slumped to a 41-13 defeat by Italian side Zebre, sending shockwaves through a side hoping to make this year’s Championship playoffs.Combined with the renewed confidence the Kings took out of their win over the Stormers last Friday night in Knysna, and a fixture that has traditionally been close in Port Elizabeth, the Bloemfontein side need to up their own play if they are to keep their aspirations on track.ALSO READ: ‘Kings need to draw a line in the sand’Meyer believes the side were ‘terrible’ in the Zebre game and will need to take a massive step up this weekend.‘It doesn’t matter if you performed well or badly in the previous game, each week will be a challenge. You can’t rest on your laurels and take any game for granted,’ Meyer said.‘We were terrible in the last game and we were very hard on ourselves. We trained hard the last two weeks and mentally we are trying to take a step up to put out a better performance than last time.’ALSO READ: No slowing down for ambitious ReinachMeyer said the team had an ‘honest talk’ and only they can answer the lingering doubts the Zebre defeat brought to the surface.‘We were very hard on each other. There were a lot of stones thrown from outside on the performance but we took it very personally. It never looked like us on the field. We needed to stand up as brothers in the team and answer if we were up to our own standards in the game and the frank answer is that we didn’t. We will stand up and in the next games we want to rectify it.‘It is a derby game and whatever happened against Zebre, we would have approached this game in the same way. Our previous games in the PRO have been close and we expect the same on Saturday. I feel the pressure will be on us, and we can just do the best that we can. If we can play the game we want to play, it will go well.’The Cheetahs will name their side for the clash on Friday.Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile/Gallo Images ‘  0  0 Published on January 22, 2020 ‘ Post by SA Rugby magazine Buzz TreatmentRemember Grace Jones? Try Not To Smile When You See Her NowBuzz Treatment|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Pressure on Cheetahs after poor form ‘ Watch: I wanted to rip Jean’s head off – Jaque FourieSA Rugby MagUndocenter_img Posted in Cheetahs, Pro14, Top headlines Tagged Cheetahs, Kings, Pro14, Tian Meyer ‘ Life Exact BrazilRemember Grace Jones? She Is Almost 73, See Her NowLife Exact Brazil|SponsoredSponsoredUndo Loans | Search AdsGetting a loan in Hong Kong may be easier than you thinkLoans | Search Ads|SponsoredSponsoredUndo The Cheetahs after a game to Connacht ‘ BuzzSuperDetails About Meghan Markle’s Wedding Will Leave You SpeechlessBuzzSuper|SponsoredSponsoredUndoAaron Smith names South African as greatest World Cup scrumhalfSA Rugby MagUndoJapan-based Kiwi player: I hope to never experience this againSA Rugby MagUndoAlphaCuteOprah’s New House Cost $90 Million, And This Is What It Looks LikeAlphaCute|SponsoredSponsoredUndo ‘ World Cup-winning Bok quartet in Eddie Jones’ all-time XVMaverick coach Eddie Jones has named his Test dream team made up of players he has worked with throughout his illustrious career.SA Rugby MagUndoDatemyage.comOver 40 And Single?Datemyage.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoGrammarlyAvoid Grammatical Errors with This Helpful Browser ExtensionGrammarly|SponsoredSponsoredUndo熱門話題對肚腩脂肪感到後悔!試了在萬寧賣的這個後…熱門話題|SponsoredSponsoredUndoBuzzAura16 Cancer Causing Foods You Probably Eat Every DayBuzzAura|SponsoredSponsoredUndoGoGoPeak10 Most Beautiful Cities You Should Visit Once In Your LifetimeGoGoPeak|SponsoredSponsoredUndolast_img read more

The business case for a streaming Xbox

first_img 2 years ago I don’t think the trade in idea is going to fly. They’d have to offer a full refund if the console reports your network connection can’t do it. A 7-day money back guarantee isn’t the worst idea.Honestly, a streaming console like that, assuming that it works decently, should be part of a large offer in a cell phone style offer “buy 2 years of game pass and gold and get streambox free”Streaming will never be viable for anything where timing is crucial without a lot of major predictive code in it to operate as a super aim assist, and then the hardcore won’t touch it. It works really well for more casual games however. Board, turn base strategy, puzzle, adventure, etc. Hinestly, I see it as the answer for the people who buy 4 games a year and never finish any of them 😉 The business case for a streaming XboxMicrosoft may be experimenting with streaming as a full-parity option for the next generation of Xbox – question marks remain over tech, but the commercial case is soundRob FaheyContributing EditorFriday 27th July 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleMicrosoftWe’re still a pretty long way out from being able to talk about the next generation of console hardware in anything approaching concrete terms – but every new drip of information or rumour that does make its way into the wild hints strongly at a much more central role for game streaming technology when new consoles finally drop in a couple of years’ time. While game streaming in the current generation has been very much a case of ‘oh, hey, we kinda do this too’, the next generation seems poised to be the one where console makers push to make game streaming into a full-parity option alongside ordinary console ownership. The goal, presumably, is to achieve a critical mass through this approach that would allow some future console generation to shift entirely to a thin client model.The latest rumour to align with this trend is Thurrott’s widely disseminated report earlier this week, which suggested two key things regarding Microsoft’s next-gen plans. Firstly, that the company has found a technical solution to some latency problems with streaming involving running a low overhead “slice” of the game on local hardware, and the rest in the Azure cloud. And secondly, that it will capitalise on this by launching two next-gen Xboxes, one of which will be a cheaper streaming-only device. An essential part of this approach, which ties in neatly with the idea of this being a full-parity option, is that all next-gen Xbox titles will work on either device; the non-streaming Xbox will be much more expensive hardware but will play the same games as the streaming box.”Cloud services can accomplish many impressive things, but bending laws of causality (and physics) are not in their repertoire” The technological component to this rumour may be over-selling Microsoft’s innovation somewhat. There are a handful of clever things it’s possible to do which reduce the perception of latency for streaming, some of which are more difficult than others, but even if Microsoft has succeeded in doing some very difficult things there are hard limits to what can be accomplished. Ultimately, no matter what local processing you’re doing, the user’s input eventually needs to be reflected in a high resolution rendered screen, requiring a round trip to the server. Cloud services can accomplish many impressive things, but bending laws of causality (and physics) are not in their repertoire. The game “slice” running on a local client could do some things to make the system work better than any other game streaming system we’ve seen so far, but it will still be reliant on stable, high quality network conditions to an extent that many consumer broadband connections will struggle with.The commercial side of what’s proposed, on the other hand, is interesting and sounds plausible. It’s not just that Microsoft wants to push Xbox consumers towards an eventual streaming future, it also speaks to the company’s more short-term strategy of turning Xbox into part of its broader platform offering. Microsoft briefly discussed a planned streaming service at E3 2018If we assume – as now seems quite obvious – that Microsoft’s play for the next generation of Xbox products will be a kind of ‘Xbox Anywhere’ concept, where pretty much any Windows device – and perhaps even non-Windows devices – will be able to act as a window into your library of Xbox games, then a low-cost streaming Xbox is a perfectly positioned addition to that ecosystem. A box that costs far less than a full powered Xbox console, but demonstrates the concept of Xbox Anywhere in an absolutely best-case way – with special hardware to improve the streaming experience, and a proper Xbox controller to play games with – would be a perfect entry-level device and an exemplar of the value of what the company is offering.”Consumers who end up having a bad experience with the streaming box will need to be handled with kid gloves” In fact, when you think about the idea of the next Xbox having a streaming-focused baby brother in those specific terms, the concept itself starts to feel oddly familiar. The sense of déjà vu comes from your dim recollection of Sony’s ill-fated PS Vita TV, which, disastrous though it was commercially, hit many of the same conceptual notes as the system Microsoft is supposedly ramping up. Vita TV was essentially a console designed to let you access PS Now and also play some less demanding games (i.e. PS Vita titles) locally. The failure of that device isn’t a significant reflection on the idea of an Xbox streaming console; if anything it’s interesting to wonder what would have happened to Vita TV if PS Now had been a really big, mature platform that Sony was putting a lot of its weight behind. As it was, PS Now was in its infancy (and remains very much a side project), and there wasn’t really space in the ecosystem for Vita TV. The ground conditions for a streaming Xbox device are likely to be very different. The risks here, however, are significant. There’s going to be a big marketing challenge to showing ordinary consumers the actual difference between a cheap streaming box and an expensive console that ostensibly play the same games. The very USP of the streaming box is that it plays full-strength games, which is going to make it hard to devise marketing that effectively pushes that USP but also explains the difference. Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Consumers who end up having a bad experience with the streaming box will need to be handled with kid gloves; how the customer service experience works for someone who bought one of these devices and then found that their broadband connection wasn’t up to the task of high quality game streaming is going to be insanely important for the Xbox brand as a whole. Some kind of no-questions-asked, full-price discount when you trade in a streaming box for a ‘proper’ console might be the only way to head off a lot of negative publicity and negativity around the brand in general if these devices launch side by side. There’s are other questions raised as well. I wonder, for instance, if the idea of a ‘split’ code-base that runs part of the game on the streaming box is for real, how much development overhead this will add. It sounds like it would be non-optional to support this for any game that wants to launch on Xbox. Very, very clever development tools may help, but it’s still going to be a factor that developers (especially smaller developers) bear in mind when choosing target platforms.Given the vision of the future of Xbox that Microsoft seems to have devised internally, there’s a strong business case for this being how the next Xbox shapes up. But even stepping outside the thorny question of whether a game streaming future makes a lick of sense for anyone, industry or consumer, the technological and marketing challenges of this approach are significant. We won’t know for some time whether the rumour is true – or even if it’s an idea floated out of Microsoft itself as a trial balloon – but if it is, it will suggest a commitment to streaming from Microsoft that will truly define the company’s future as a gaming platform holder.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesApple questions credibility of Xbox testimonyiPhone maker asserts that Microsoft did not produce evidence to back Lori Wright’s claims of unprofitable consolesBy James Batchelor 2 days agoEpic pushed for subscription-free multiplayer on Xbox ahead of Apple battleCEO Tim Sweeney told Xbox boss Phil Spencer that “certain plans for August” would create an “extraordinary opportunity”By James Batchelor 7 days agoLatest comments (1)Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more