Thereâ€™s plenty of exciting stories to come out of our Australian team announcement for the 2016 Trans Tasman Series. Join us as we look through the teams, pointing out some honourable mentions for the upcoming series. Menâ€™s Open The Australian Menâ€™s Open team sees 10 players return from the successful 2015 World Cup team, as well as 2015 World Cup Mixed Open champions Scott Bundy and Daniel Barton. Shaun Francis will wear the green and gold for the first time, while Jordan Marshall-King, Jayden Love and Lachlan Pierce have all transitioned through the Youth program into the Menâ€™s Open team, with Marshall-King playing in the 2011 and 2013 Youth Trans Tasman Series events (20â€™s Boys), Love in the 2015 Youth Trans Tasman Series (20â€™s Boys) and Pierce in the 2013 Youth Trans Tasman Series (18â€™s Boys). Pierce, the 2015 Elite Eight Player of the Final and Player of the Series, follows in his late fatherâ€™s footsteps by being selected in the Australian Menâ€™s Open team. Craig Pierce represented Australia on 37 occasions, including three World Cups, and was inducted into the TFA Hall of Fame in 2003. Lachlan joins Peter Norman and Daniel Barton in the current team as players whose fathers have also represented Australia in the Menâ€™s Open division.Womenâ€™s Open Nine players return to the Australian Womenâ€™s Open team from last yearâ€™s World Cup winning side, as well as Yasmin Meakes, who has moved into the Womenâ€™s team after two years in the Mixed program. The side welcomes Hayley Maddick for the first time in Australian colours in her international debut. Sisters being selected in the Australian Womenâ€™s Open team has been a regular occurrence over the past decade, with the likes of the Juddâ€™s, Winchesterâ€™s, Hopkinâ€™s and now the Davisâ€™ sisters, Danni and Shellie. After captaining the Australian 18â€™s Girls team in 2015, Shellie joins Danni in the Womenâ€™s Open side for the 2016 series, with Danni heading into her third campaign in the Australian Womenâ€™s Open team. Four players from the Australian 18â€™s Girls team have transitioned into the Womenâ€™s Open side for the 2016 Trans Tasman Series â€“ Shellie Davis, Tayla Clifford, Mia Johnstone and Emma Sykes. Thereâ€™s plenty of youth in this Australian team, with three 18-year-olds (Shellie Davis, Tayla Clifford and Hannah Dyball) as well as two 17-year-olds (Mia Johnstone and Emma Sykes). Mixed Open Like the Womenâ€™s Open team, nine players from the 2015 World Cup winning side return to the Mixed Open team for the 2016 Trans Tasman Series. The six debutants in the team have all progressed through to the Openâ€™s divisions from the Youth program in recent years â€“ James Blackwood (2015 Australian 20â€™s Boys), Ciaran Toner (2013 Australian 18â€™s Boys and 2015 Australian 20â€™s Boys), Adam Pryde (2011 Australian 18â€™s Boys and 2013 Australian 20â€™s Boys), Paige Parker and Katherine Stevens (2015 Australian 20â€™s Girls) and Zara Nicholas (2015 Australian 18â€™s Girls). Keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information in the lead up to the 2016 Trans Tasman Series:Website â€“ www.touchfootball.com.auFacebook â€“ www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter â€“ www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (Be sure to use the #transtasman2016 hashtag)Instagram â€“ www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia YouTube â€“ www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus Related LinksAussie Team Announcement
Ohio State started the game on a 13-2 run and never looked back, defeating UNC Pembroke 81-63 in its final exhibition before the start of the regular season.Ohio State used the exhibition game to its advantage, bringing out a variety of lineups, each showing a strong defensive intensity and willingness to move the ball. Every player active on Ohio State’s roster saw time on the court during the exhibition.“A lot to take from this game for us, good and bad, a lot to take from it, so I was glad we got to play a lot of different guys,” head coach Chris Holtmann said. “We’ll move forward, a lot to improve on, we have some significant, significant areas that need improvement, significant areas.”The Buckeyes held the Braves to 32.8 percent shooting, and allowed 20 free throw attempts in the game, 16 of which came in the second half.Among the multiple switches in lineup, freshman guard Luther Muhammad stood out, finishing a plus-32, the highest on the team.Muhammad finished the game with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting to go along with three assists.The freshman guard said he sees his role as mainly a defensive player that can work well with senior guard C.J. Jackson.“I’ve been known for my defense, so that comes first,” Muhammad said. “Be a high-intensity guy and try and set the tone with C.J. and the rest of the three other guys that’s on the floor, and basically just be yourself.”Late in the first half, Muhammad drove to the basket, forced contact, earned the foul and finished the layup while falling to the ground, one of several strong drives to the basket by the Buckeyes throughout the game.The Buckeyes used their size advantage, especially through junior and sophomore forwards Kaleb and Andre Wesson, to gain a massive edge on the boards.UNC Pembroke, a 27-win team and Peach Belt Division II conference champion in 2018, was held to 35 rebounds on the night.“I think it’s a solid defensive team that we have to start the game,” Holtmann said. “We don’t have the versatility that we have with last year’s group in [Jae’Sean Tate] and Keita [Bates-Diop], and that’s significant, we’re gonna have to figure some things out as coaches because we don’t have that versatility.”Kaleb Wesson led the team with 10 rebounds, helping the team total 56 boards, including 21 offensive rebounds. Ohio State went up 42-24 in the first half, led by Muhammad’s nine points. Junior center Micah Potter scored eight on 3-3 shooting in the half, each of the three shots coming with an and-one opportunity.Potter led the team with 13 points, making all four of his attempts. He added a fourth and-one chance in the second half, getting a pass down low and finishing a tough layup before adding the free throw, putting the Buckeyes up 61-31.Even with an 18-point lead halfway through the game, the Buckeyes had nine turnovers and shot 2-10 on its three-point attempts. The second half was more of the same. Ohio State totaled 21 turnovers, and shot 5-of-25 from three on the night.“I’m not as worried about our shooting, because I think some of that is just you’re getting a feel and jitters,” Holtmann said. “But certainly turnovers, certainly, way too careless with the ball today.”Holtmann said he will not play guys extended minutes moving forward that don’t take care of the ball.Ohio State will officially open the season Wednesday when the Buckeyes take on Cincinnati at 6 p.m.Story updated at 10: 28 p.m. to include quotes from postgame interviews.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, Jan. 19 (JIS): The Ministry of Education is expressing confidence in attaining its goal of85 per cent of students in the grade four age cohort achieving mastery of literacy in 2015.An optimistic Portfolio Minister, the Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, notes that the country is now 7.6 per cent away from achieving this target.“The final measurement will be made at this year’s sitting of the Grade Four Literacy Test,” he said.The Minister was speaking at a meeting with senior journalists at the Alhambra Inn Hotel in St. Andrew recently.Rev. Thwaites pointed out that when the 15 per cent of students who suffer from learning disabilities are accounted for, 85 per cent translates to 100 per cent of the educable cohort.According to National Literacy Co-ordinator, Dr. André Hill, the Ministry will do everything it possibly can in the next few months to maximise as much as possible students’ outcomes in the 2015 Grade Four Literacy Test.He pointed to the deployment of 66 reading coaches across the island to provide direct support to 420 primary schools. Each will work with approximately seven schools. “They will be particularly working with the struggling readers in grade four, providing clinical attention to these students as well as pedagogical support for classroom teachers, in addition to extending further support to the parents in schools that have registered low achievement at grade four over the last three years,” he said.Dr. Hill contended that if the Ministry gets support from the community in addition to what the Ministry is now extending to the school system, “we are certain the outcomes, certainly for this year, will take us very close, if not actually to the 85 per cent.” Meanwhile, the Minister reiterated the importance of the role parents, home life and community have in helping to achieve the target. He noted for instance, that encouraging children to read in Sunday school greatly helps the literacy levels of students.He further urged parents, even if they are not literate themselves, to encourage their children to read.The Minister informed that at the 2014 sitting of the grade four literacy test,77.4 per cent of the age cohort achieved the acceptable standard of mastery in literacy, which represented a 30 per cent increase for the 10-year period – 2004 to 2014. He noted that the improvement in literacy has been the result of the combined efforts of the Ministry’s National Literacy Team and dedicated teachers. “In addition, the country is indebted to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for its support in improving literacy outcomes,” he said. In terms of the numeracy test, Rev. Thwaites informed that 58 per cent of students who sat the Grade Four Test last year attained mastery, a marginal decline of 1.4 per cent over the previous year.“But, there has been a 20 per cent improvement for the past five years, moving from a low of 38 per cent in 2010,” he said.The Minister said that using literacy as a benchmark, the Ministry is pleased with the progress the country has made so far.The Grade Four Literacy and numeracy tests are administered to children to determine their literacy and numeracy levels at grade four, in keeping with international requirements and standards. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Jamaica’s Senate Begins debate on National Identification and Registration Bill Related Items:jamaica, ministry of education, Ronald Thwaites Recommended for you Bahamas DPM Turnquest, as IDB Governor, Talks Technology and Climate Change Resilience at IDB Conclave Two boys die, bicycle and van collide in St. Catherine, Jamaica
A suspected drug peddler who received mass-beating at his house at Dattarail Naoapara village in Gapanganj upazila on Monday afternoon, died at Osmani Medical College Hospital at night, reports UNB.The deceased is Lipon Chandra Deb, 40, son of late Nagendra Chandra Deb of the village.Being tipped-off that Lipon has been carrying out drug business at his house in broad daylight, police with the help of the locals conducted a drive at the house to arrest him, police sources said.As the law enforcers approached to arrest him, Lipon pelted a broken bottle at the locals and policemen, forcing the locals to react befittingly. The local offered a good-beating to the drug trader, leaving him severely injured.Later, Lipon was admitted to Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital where he succumbed to his injury around 9:00pm.Confirming the incident, officer-in-charge of Gopalganj Model police station AKM Fazlul Haque said Lipon was accused in several cases including drug businesses.
There are many restaurants to please the Punjabi palette in the Capital, but then there are also classics. Nestled in the post Chanakyapuri locale, we took time to check out Garam Masala, a part of the Forte Grand complex. The complex has the restrobar Garam Masala, a kebab and grill lounge Pepper and a banquet hall as well. The enclosed space is also perfect for out-door parties if the weather is right. But in the terrible Delhi humidity and heat, the AC interiors worked best. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Garam Masala can be described as the perfect family restaurant, it has very comfortable seating arrangements that provide the right amount of comfort and privacy. If you want to take your family out for a nice meal, this is it!Serving a great variety of Indian dishes, the restaurant also holds its own with some Chinese options. The kebabs are a must try, we suggest the chicken tikkas which were quite perfect. If you want something else as well – the dry chilli chicken is what you can pick. They also have a great fish tandoori. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixOf the Indian breads the Lal Mirch Parantha was very well made and it went perfectly with the dal makhni. The parantha is a must try, it is light, flaky and not as spicy as it looks. We have always been a little partial about restaurants that make their dals well and Garam Masala is definitely one of the places that do.What you definitely must not miss are the desserts. Garam Masala dishes out some great Indian deserts like the ever-favourite gulab jamun, rasmalai and the moong ka halwa. After a scrumptious Indian meal, nothing goes better than a nice cold piece of rasmalai. The place also has a very well stocked bar so pick your poison with the meal. A meal for two comes to about Rs 1200 (without taxes and alcohol). Great location, great food and some very comfortable time out – head over.
Carnatic music is considered as one of the main sub genres of Indian Classical Music. The main focus of Carnatic Music is on the vocal part where the music is composed in the way where they can be sung and when rendered through instruments, they are meant to be performed in the singing style. In order to enthral the Carnatic Music lovers, Carnatic Violin Concert by R Sridhar, disciple of Gurus V S K Chakrapani and presently Akhila Krishnan will be held today at the CD Deshmukh auditorium, India International Centre in the national Capital. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The artist will present a musical homage to past violin maestros – Lalgudi Jayaraman, T K JayaramaIyer and others. Accompanying artists are N Padmanabhan (mridangam); and J Vignesh (kanjira).Sridhar is an accomplished violinist from Delhi who from a very early age displayed immense potential. With able guidance from his gurus, V S K Chakrapani and presently from Akhila Krishnan, Sridhar has carved a niche for himself in the field of Carnatic music. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAn engineer by profession who is passionate about Carnatic music, Sridhar is interested in collaborating with other systems of music to achieve a musical communion.In recognition of his contribution to Carantic music, Sridhar received the title of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Asthana Vidwan by H H Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal in 2012; Natya Tarang Yuva Puraskar by Natraj Music and Dance Academy, Visakhapatnam 2013; the title of National Sangeet Mani conferred by the Utkal Yuva Sanskrutik Sangh, Orissa 2012; Yuva Ratna by Hindustan Arts and Music Society, Suta Nuti Parishad, Kolkata among others.Apart from performances, Sridhar is actively engaged in training and imparting his art to a younger generation of musicians many of whom have gone on to win prestigious scholarships. Sridhar has released two audio CDs titled ‘Rare Ragas and Rare Kirthis’ and ‘Bhakti’.
Carl IcahnBillionaire investor and Apple shareholder, Carl Icahn, said he expects the firm to make a “more dramatic push” into the TV market next year. In an open letter, addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Icahn said he believes TV’s role in the living room is a “strategically compelling bolt-on to the Apple ecosystem” and predicted the launch of a much-rumoured Apple branded TV set.“In addition to an Ultra High Definition television set, we expect Apple to launch a related suite of tiered products and services, including a ‘skinny bundle’ of pay TV channels (partnered with various media companies) and an updated Apple TV microconsole (which will continue to service the massive install base of televisions offered by other OEMs),” said Icahn in the letter, which was co-signed by son Brett Icahn and business partner David Schechter.“This will enable Apple to pursue the entire market by offering multiple products at various price points across the demographic spectrum. Netflix offers a similar tiered approach to pricing today by charging a higher price for those seeking the ability to receive ultra high definition content.”Icahn said that a larger move into TV would benefit Apple’s other devices and services – suggesting that the recently launched Apple watch could be use as a remote control.“Similarly, as we expect Apple to launch a larger 12.9” iPad, it would offer an enhanced viewing experience for an Apple pay TV service, or act an improved “second screen” to an Apple UltraHD television,” said Icahn.Outlining the opportunities in the TV space, he claimed that people spent an average 25% of their free time watching TV and that excluding advertising, the addressable market for TV is roughly US$575 billion – “which is larger than the smartphone market.”According to previous reports, Apple is planning to launch a revamped version of its Apple TV set-top box in June, along with a new version of its App Store and a software development kit optimised for the device.It is also reported to be planning to launch an online TV service this autumn in partnership with broadcasters including ABC, CBS and Fox.However, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Apple’s long-rumoured TV set plans were “quietly shelved” more than a year ago after almost a decade of research. Crediting people familiar with the matter, the WSJ reported that Apple did not consider features that it was looking at “compelling enough to enter the highly competitive television market.”Carl Icahn is currently ranked 31 on the Forbes rich list, with an estimated worth of US$22.4 billion.
Sponsor Advertisement By their very silence, the silver and gold mining companies are co-conspirators against all of their shareholders…us. The gold price was on the rise as soon as trading began in the Far East on their Monday morning…and was up eight bucks or so by shortly after 10:00 a.m. Hong Kong time. From there, it more or less traded flat into the Comex open…and that point jumped another five dollars or so before trading sideways until about 10:35 a.m. in New York.At that point there was another sharp spike that took gold up to its high tick of the day…$1,736.80 spot..about ten minutes before the London close. From that point it traded sideways once again before getting sold off a few dollars in electronic trading.Gold closed the Monday session at $1,731.90 spot…up $18.20 on the day. Net volume was very light…around 109,000 contracts.As usual, the silver price was more ‘volatile’. The price traded flat until just about 9:00 a.m. Hong Kong time…and at the point the price jumped almost 30 cents.From there, the price traded flat until about ten minutes before the Comex open. Then, the silver price began to rally…and jumped up the moment that trading began in New York. The ‘big’ rally only lasted about ten minutes…and then, like gold, traded flat until 10:35 a.m. Eastern before renewing its rally…albeit at a much slower pace. It appeared that the high tick of the day [$33.35 spot] came around 2:15 p.m. in electronic trading…and from there got sold off a bit into the 5:15 p.m. close in New York.Silver finished the day at $33.11 spot…up 80 cents. Net volume wasn’t overly heavy…around 34,000 contracts.The price patterns in platinum and palladium were more or less the same as gold and silver’s.The dollar index hit its 81.44 zenith on Friday morning at 11:30 in New York…and was in decline for the rest of that day. This trend continued right into the Monday trading session. There was a bit of a bounce at the 81.00 level around 11:30 a.m. in London, but the decline resumed at precisely 8:00 a.m. Eastern time…and three hours later, the index had fallen 27 basis points from its 8:00 a.m. peak.From that point the dollar index didn’t do a lot until 5:00 p.m. Eastern when the dollar spiked up into the New York close. The index, which had closed on Friday at 81.20…finished the Monday session at 81.03…down only 17 basis points…but had a bit of a wild ride between those times.I suppose the co-relation between the dollar index and the precious metal prices was more apparent on Monday…but the moves in the metals themselves was out of all proportions to the tiny moves in the currency index. Here’s the chart showing last Friday’s high…and all of Monday’s action.Not surprisingly, the gold stocks gapped up at the open…and stayed up for the entire day, closing almost on their highs. The HUI finished up 2.68%.The silver stocks turned in a similar performance, with a lot of the junior producers doing much better than their senior brethren. Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 3.28%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was a blank page yesterday. There were no contracts of any metal posted for delivery on Wednesday.The GLD ETF showed a smallish withdrawal of 13,891 troy ounces, which may have been a fee payment of some kind. And, for the third day in a row, an authorized participant withdrew about 1.5 million ounces of silver from SLV. This time it was 1,452,093 troy ounces. All withdrawals for the last three days have been within 50 troy ounces of the above number. On Thursday it was 1,452,135 troy ounces…and on Friday it was 1,452,117 troy ounces. Does it mean anything? Beats me!There was a smallish sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They sold 1,500 ounces of gold eagles…along with 32,000 silver eagles.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving 623,635 troy ounces of silver…all of it went into the JPMorgan Chase depository, which now sits at 25,654,294 troy ounces. Nothing was shipped out. I’d sure love to know who the owners are. Is it JPM itself, or does it belong to its customers? The link to Friday’s activity is here.Here’s a nifty chart that Washington state reader S.A. stole from somewhere yesterday. It shows a ‘cup and handle’ technical formation. If you can believe T.A. in a rigged market, it may mean something…or not!(Click on image to enlarge)It was a busy weekend for stories…and I have a lot today…so I hope you can find the time to read/watch the ones of most interest to you.I would calculate JPMorgan’s concentrated short position in COMEX silver futures to now be 33,000 contracts, only 1,000 contracts below their recent peak. After removing spread positions from the new data, JPM’s silver position is 32.9% of the true net total market. This is so off the charts as to defy comprehension. Nothing else comes close to being the critical factor in silver. If we all live long enough to see any legitimate position limit regime in silver, JPMorgan’s current dominant position would not be allowed. That position is more than six times larger than the loose-as-a-goose limits proposed by the CFTC…and more than twenty times the 1,500 contract position limit proposed by thousands of public comments. – Silver Analyst Ted Butler…17 November 2012It was nice to see all the precious metals pop up in price yesterday. I’m sure some of it was currency related but, considering the low volume, I’d guess that there may have been a bit of short covering during the Comex trading session in New York as well. Whatever it was, we may or may not find out in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.The preliminary volume and open interest numbers from the CME that were posted on their website in the wee hours of this morning, indicates otherwise…and I’ll be very interested in what they show when the finals are posted later this a.m. New York time.I have nothing to add to what I’ve been saying for the last ten days or so. Nothing would surprise me…up or down. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at JPMorgan Chase or Scotia Moccata…as I get the impression that there are big changes going on under the surface that we have hints about…but we’re certainly not privy to.But one thing that did come as a big surprise, was how just how far the story of JPMorgan Chase and the silver price management scheme has spread world-wide. The reach that Russia Today has is truly astounding. GATA in gold…and Ted Butler in silver…can only get so far even with the Internet helping out. Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert carry a very big stick…and I wouldn’t bet much on JPMorgan and Scotia Mocatta being able to keep up this price management scheme much longer with this kind of public exposure…which is getting bigger with each passing day.But when the end finally comes, it won’t be because of anything that the gold and silver mining companies did on our behalf…and the same holds true for the World Gold Council and the Silver Institute. Any person who works, or has worked for either of these organizations, is not the slightest bit interested in finding the truth…even though they all know full well what’s going on. By their very silence, the silver and gold mining companies are co-conspirators against all of their shareholders…us. All we can do is wait it out and be prepared emotionally for whatever happens. The only thing I can add at this point is that price activity is going to get more volatile as the year winds down…and I shan’t hazard a guess as to which direction it might take.Very little happened in Far East trading on their Tuesday…and the same can be said for the first two hours of London trading as well. Volume is light in both metals, with very few roll-overs…and the dollar index is not doing a lot, either.As is usually the case, I would expect that things will change once New York begins trading. If you subtract the American Thanksgiving holiday from the equation, there aren’t a lot of days for the remaining December contract holders to decide on what they’re going to do with their current positions. And the longer they wait, the more frantic the trading activity will become as the month winds down.For that reason alone, the rest of the month could be full of surprises…and I await the 8:20 a.m. Comex open this morning with great interest.See you on Wednesday. Pelangio Exploration Inc. (PX:TSX-V; PGXPF:OTC) announced the results of seven diamond drill holes totaling 1,574 metres from its ongoing drilling program at the Pokukrom East zone on the Manfo Property in Ghana. Highlights of the results included:· 1.19 g/t gold over 113 metres, including 9.05 g/t gold over 7 metres; · 2.60 g/t gold over 64 metres, including 11.94 g/t gold over 10 metres; and · 16.72 g/t gold over 4 metres.The results continued to confirm a higher grade, shallow north plunging core of Pokukrom East zone with an open plunge of 600 metres from near surface in previously reported hole SPDD-088 (7.01 g/t gold over 19 metres) to 210 metres depth in the holes reported this week. Warren Bates, Senior Vice President Exploration, commented: “These are our best holes on the Manfo Property to date. These holes represent the north-plunging core of higher grade mineralization at Pokukrom East, now demonstrating an open plunge length of 600 metres.” Please visit our website to learn more about the project and request additional information.
Dr. O’Dea has a track record of creating strong, well-financed companies built on high-quality projects and run by technical leaders. As President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Fronteer Gold (2001 to 2011), Dr. O’Dea grew the company from a $2-million start-up into a well-funded, high-profile, development-focused gold company acquired in 2011 by Newmont Mining Corp. for $2.3 billion. Over the past decade, Dr. O’Dea has raised more than $750 million through equity financings, equity investments and asset divestitures, providing strong returns to his shareholders and bringing financial strength and stability to his companies. Importantly, Dr. O’Dea and his team have a proven track record of discovery, having been integral in advancing and/or discovering five large gold and gold/copper deposits located in Nevada and Turkey and two world-class uranium deposits in Labrador. Dr. O’Dea is the Founder of Oxygen Capital Corp. and plays leadership roles in all Oxygen companies. He is the Founder and Chair of Pilot Gold, Executive Chair of Riverstone Resources, and Founder and co-Chair of True North Nickel. He was also Founder and CEO of Blue Gold Mining, which merged with Riverstone Resources in December 2012.
— For the first time ever: a guided tour of Doug’s Ranch in UruguayDoug Casey was kind enough to take our cameras on a guided tour of beautiful Uruguayan Estancia. We even captured Doug showing off a few special pieces in his art collection. Click here for a rare look inside the private life of one of the world’s most reclusive millionaires. Recommended Link Justin’s note: At Casey Research, we’re always looking to pass along smart ways for you to make money. My colleague Nick Rokke, analyst for The Palm Beach Daily, is one of the brightest guys I know. And he recently wrote about one such way.It’s a historic opportunity for you to add some quality companies to your portfolio… By Nick Rokke, analyst, The Palm Beach DailyEarlier this month, Apple announced the largest stock buyback in history.During its May 1 earnings call, Apple said it would buy back $100 billion worth of shares. That’s about 12% of the company.Not surprisingly, shares of the iPhone maker reached an all-time high.In October 2017, Palm Beach Letter editor Teeka Tiwari told me that President Trump’s tax cuts would boost the fortunes of companies like Apple… and therefore, that of their shareholders.Here’s what Teeka said then:Apple was one of the biggest benefiters of the last tax repatriation holiday (in 2004).Today, Apple has $230 billion in foreign cash. Based on history, we expect Apple to repatriate 90% of that cash, or $207 billion…And if it goes through, shareholders will be the No. 1 beneficiary.Since Teeka added Apple to The Palm Beach Letter portfolio in August 2017, it’s up nearly 21%. (Apple is above his buy-up-to price, so we don’t recommend buying it now.) Here’s the thing…Apple isn’t the only company buying back shares. So far in 2018, companies have announced over $400 billion in new buybacks. Some analysts predict there will be over $800 billion in buybacks this year.This is giving us a historic opportunity to add some quality companies to our portfolios.Before I get to the companies, let me tell you what’s going on.Tax Cuts = More Money for ShareholdersThese large buybacks aren’t happening just because companies are doing well. They’re getting a boost from the tax cuts that President Trump signed into law last year.As Teeka told Palm Beach Letter subscribers last year, the most important line in the tax law was this: “One-time tax on trillions of dollars held overseas.”Here’s why that line is important…President Trump’s new law would drop the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.So any company that had an effective tax rate of 35% in 2017 would be able to hang onto an additional 14% of its profits in 2018. How Doug Casey Turned $1,875 Into $1.2 Million, With One Bold Move Back in ’93, Doug Casey took a $1,875 stake of money, then made one bold move. Exactly two and a half years later, his stake was worth $1.2 million – a rare and extraordinary 64,000% return. To see how he did it, click here. Recommended Link — Any time a company keeps more of its money, that’s good thing for stock prices.But the tax law had another benefit for corporations… They can “repatriate” money held offshore for a one-time, low rate of 15.5%.Teeka predicted that corporations would repatriate up to $2.6 trillion in overseas cash… and return that extra cash to shareholders via increased dividends and buybacks.We’re already seeing that with Apple.Investors loved hearing that Apple was buying back $100 billion worth of its shares. That’s why the stock shot up so much.But as I said, Apple isn’t the only “tax refund” company buying back bucketloads of stock.Where to Find “Tax Refund” CompaniesCompanies have announced almost a half-trillion dollars’ worth of buybacks in 2018.Ironically, to discredit the tax cuts, Senate Democrats have put together a list of companies that will buy back the most shares. They call it the “GOP Tax Scam.”(Democrats believe Trump’s tax cuts benefited wealthy shareholders over the middle class. One senator even wrote a bill to prohibit companies from buying back shares, which is ridiculous.)Nevertheless, we steer clear of political fights in the Daily. Our goal is to find you money-making opportunities. And in this case, the Democrats have made our job easier by compiling a list of companies buying back stock.There are a few companies I like on the list, including former Elite 25 company AbbVie, as well as Facebook, Google, and Visa.For the complete list, click here.Now, we haven’t researched every company on this list. And just because a company buys back shares, doesn’t make it a good investment.Sometimes the timing just isn’t right. (For instance, we had to sell two of our “tax refund” stocks for small losses.)So make sure you do your due diligence.But when a company buys back its shares, it’s a good thing. In fact, I’d use this list as a starting point for my investment research.Regards,Nick Rokke, CFA Analyst, The Palm Beach DailyP.S. As I mentioned above, some companies will be major winners from President Trump’s tax plan. And we’ve found five “all-star” companies that we think will benefit the most. To access this report, you need a subscription to The Palm Beach Letter. To learn how to become a subscriber, and about our other income-generating ideas, please click here.In Case You Missed It…There’s a tiny clause buried in the new tax bill that’s gone completely unnoticed by the mainstream media…It has nothing to do with income taxes, estate taxes, or special deductions.In fact, this section of the tax bill—located on page 553—has been completely overlooked by accountants… even though it creates a potential $460 billion windfall for everyday Americans. Click here to get all the details…
Rural hospitals close when they don’t have enough paying patients to care for, but they’re also dinged when the same patients show up over and over again. That puts outlying medical facilities in the precarious position of needing to avoid repeat customers.Charlotte Potts is the type of patient some hospitals try to avoid. She lives in Livingston, Tenn. — a town of 4,000, tucked between rolling hills of the Cumberland Plateau.”I’ve only had five heart attacks,” Potts says with a laugh. “I’ve had carotid artery surgery. Shall we go on? Just a few minor things.” She jokes that she’s “a walking stent.”The heart trouble has affected the way Potts deals with her health problems. She spends much of her day in a recliner in her apartment, tethered to a pulsing oxygen machine, and listening to the radio.Fortunately, her apartment sits within spitting distance of Livingston Regional Hospital — a 114-bed facility large enough to have a dedicated cardiac unit. But the hospital doesn’t want to see her every time her heart flutters.So last time she landed in the ER, they helped her connect with a few companies that could provide care at home.”If I’m going to have certain things going on here in my chest, I call for help, and they’re there,” Potts says of the home care team she chose.A new era in hospital managementThere were days when the hospital might have viewed a home health agency as a competitor. Not anymore.”When I started this almost 40 years ago, the mission was different,” says Tim McGill, CEO of Livingston Regional. “We wanted patients in the hospital. That was the incentive. We were paid for it. Now you’re not.”Hospitals used to run on a so-called fee-for-service model with virtually no limit to how many times they could see a patient. But, under pressure from private and government insurance programs, that model is transitioning to one in which hospitals are rewarded for safety and efficiency — which often results in a patient spending less time in the hospital.Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare began to ding hospitals if too many patients are readmitted to any hospital within 30 days of discharge. The measure is broadly unpopular with the hospital industry, since so much falls outside a hospital’s control. Medicare has even walked back the rules for safety-net facilities, which tend to treat a sicker population.The penalty is meant to encourage hospitals to get it right the first time. In Livingston, the hospital operates on the thinnest of margins — just 0.2 percent in the most recent figures. And “readmissions” have been a drag on the bottom line.One in five patients with heart failure was back within the month. The hospital has paid the maximum penalty in some years — nearly $200,000. So leaders started asking a basic, unifying question of other providers in town, McGill says: “What can we do together so they’ll stay out of the hospital and stay healthier in their home setting? That’s where the work is.”Collaborating instead of competingThe work took the form of quarterly lunch meetings at the local library.Mary Ann Stockton, a nurse at the hospital, invites all the home health agencies as well as hospice providers and the leaders of nursing homes.At one meeting, she applauds the other providers for increasingly meeting patients inside the hospital before they’re discharged. She says it helps patients and families accept these home health workers.”We know in our area, people don’t like to have a total stranger come into their home,” she says.The group brainstorms how to generate the same kind of acceptance for hospice care, which — as one doctor in the meeting puts it — some families view as assisted suicide.And on this day, the groups spends much of its time reviewing the value of flu shots, especially for the staff in nursing homes. Stockton says elderly patients with bad lungs become a hospital emergency room’s “frequent fliers.””Flu starts off, goes into pneumonia, COPD exacerbation — and they are a revolving door in our hospital,” Stockton says. “They’re hitting that ER a couple of times a week.”Advance directives are on the agenda for next time — another way to keep people near the end of life from becoming ER regulars.Livingston’s parent company, LifePoint Health, is launching this community approach in many of its 80-or-so markets, which are primarily in the Southeast and almost all rural. LifePoint vice president Cindy Chamness helps hospitals find willing partners.”We were very frustrated for many years,” Chamness says, “because we weren’t able to impact readmissions just working on it by ourselves, as a hospital.””Are we saving ourselves right out of business?”The solution looks different from one town to another. In Lake Havasu, Ariz., paramedics now visit discharged patients to make sure they’re following doctors’ orders. The house calls also cut down on government-funded ambulance rides.It’s not just rural hospitals — all hospitals can be penalized for readmissions now. And threatening the bottom line in that way does seem to be effective. Readmissions have been falling across the board, according to the latest research.But rural hospitals, which already treat fewer patients than urban hospitals, wonder if they’ll have enough patients to survive, says Michael Topchik of the Chartis Center for Rural Health.”[A] CEO from Montana said to me, ‘The problem is, when we do the right thing, are we saving ourselves right out of business?’ ” says Michael Topchik of the Chartis Center for Rural Health.The focus on cutting readmissions — by definition — cuts overall admissions too, he notes.”So, this is the real inherent tension and challenge: Hospitals get reimbursed for doing ‘sick care,’ ” Topchik says. “But more and more they’re being asked to do population health, and really focus on ‘wellness.’ “To make up the volume, the Livingston hospital is expanding its maternity ward and general surgery offerings.There is also some immediate financial upside to reducing readmissions: Livingston Regional has cut readmissions more than any other rural hospital in Tennessee and even the nation, according to data compiled by Chartis.As a result, the hospital’s Medicare penalty in the coming year will be reduced to 0.3 percent of its reimbursements — down from the maximum of 3 percent, which was roughly $200,000 a year.That’s all because patients like Charlotte Potts now can safely stay home.”I got a real bad tightness in the chest,” Potts recalls about a recent episode. She’d questioned whether to call an ambulance. “I was very uncertain about what was going on.”But she phoned her home health agency, took a nitroglycerin pill as the agency advised, and instead of going to the ER, was able to get back to sleep. Copyright 2018 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit Nashville Public Radio.
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
A regulator failed to find a single nurse “not fit to practise” despite more than 220 complaints about face-to-face disability benefit assessments carried out for government contractors, its own figures have revealed.The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) figures show it dealt with 224 complaints about the way nurses carried out personal independence payment (PIP) assessments and work capability assessments (WCAs) in 2016 and 2017.But not one of those complaints led to the regulator concluding the assessor was not fit to continue to work as a nurse.In 2016, of 88 complaints dealt with, 87 were closed in the initial “screening” process and one nurse was found to have “no case to answer”.The following year, of 136 complaints, 129 were closed in screening, four nurses were found to have no case to answer, while one led to the conclusion that the nurse’s fitness to practise was not impaired, and two complaints had not been concluded.Only two months ago, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) said it had found widespread mishandling by NMC of complaints it had received about the way nurses had carried out PIP assessments.PSA found a string of failings, including a refusal to consider all the concerns raised by complainants.It also found that NMC relied on the findings of government PIP contractors Atos and Capita to justify closing cases about their employees, and failed to consider crucial documentary evidence, often ignoring the evidence of the person who had lodged the complaint, and failing to ask them for further information.NMC also told some complainants that the role of PIP assessor was not relevant to the nurse’s fitness to practise, unless it involved dishonesty.The new figures suggest NMC’s problems extend to complaints about nurses who have carried out WCAs on behalf of the government contractor Maximus.Disability News Service (DNS) spent months investigating allegations of dishonesty by PIP assessors in late 2016 and throughout 2017, hearing eventually from more than 250 disabled people in less than a year about how they had been unfairly deprived of their benefits.It continues to receive such reports today, more than two-and-a-half years after the investigation began.NMC released the new figures under the Freedom of Information Act to Andrew Hill, from Norfolk, who has himself lodged a complaint with the regulator about the nurse who carried out his face-to-face PIP assessment in 2017 on behalf of Capita.An appeal tribunal found the nurse had been “unreliable” and that her “incorrect and inaccurate findings” about his mental health condition contributed to him having his benefits cut.Hill has diabetes, and has had one leg amputated, and has further serious diabetes-related impairments which are “fluctuating and unreliable” and have left him with significant support needs.He had asked for a reassessment of his PIP because his health had deteriorated and he had lost his partner and carer.But the nurse’s assessment instead led to him losing his PIP enhanced rate of mobility, as well as points on his daily living component – for which he had previously been granted the standard rate.A subsequent mandatory reconsideration of its initial decision by the Department for Work and Pensions restored him to the enhanced mobility rate of PIP but left his daily living component unaffected.An appeal tribunal last July allowed his appeal and confirmed his enhanced rate of mobility as well as awarding him the enhanced rate of PIP daily living for the first time.Meanwhile, he has lodged a complaint with Capita and the NMC about the nurse who assessed him.NMC is still investigating his complaint. Capita has not yet ruled on his complaint against the nurse.Matthew McClelland (pictured), NMC’s director of fitness to practise, said: “After the PSA published its report, we acknowledged that our approach to PIP-related cases fell short of what is expected. We didn’t get things right and I am sorry for that.“Since 2018, we have taken action to address these concerns. We have reviewed our processes, improved our quality checks, and enhanced management oversight of cases.”DNS has now asked for NMC’s 2018 figures through a freedom of information request. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] learned something very sad indeed today, at London’s finest patisserie; Cocomaya. When finishing up one of their delicious salmon and egg croissants, I asked the waitress what happened to the huge amount of left-over food, and if it was given to a local homeless charity? The girl sighed, and said it wasn’t, as some of the food had nuts in it, and an ‘ahh nah mah rahts’ homeless person could eat it, start pretending to puke up, and then sue the charity.All of the food is thrown out. All of it.There are so many expletives and condemnations one could write or say when thinking about that, but quite frankly, I just think its very sad. HOW can we have allowed political correctness to escalate this far? For the GENUINE homeless people out there (not the con-merchants on Edgware Road praying on wealthy Arab tourists), living in pure hell, because their lives have simply collapsed, surely a cake from Cocomaya would be such a perfect and simple pleasure, to have at the soup-kitchen, before going back out onto the streets? Whoever thought up the stupid law or right, that is prohibiting that food being distributed, is not only an idiot but also a disgrace to society. This is quality food going to waste and the situation is a crying shame.In other news:Blog, check out Nigel Farage, giving the EU hand-out club, the full and deserved treatment. This man is a class act, unlike the rest of the wally-woo’s, running our other identical political parties. He talks well, and speaks the truth! He just says it the way it is – no more, no less. No more hand-outs for the unlucky-face countries, and no more silly rules for Great Britain, please!Over and out, B x
Image credit: Maskot | Getty Images 4 min read Innovation I was privileged to be a judge recently at a pitch event hosted by Angelou Economics where entrepreneurs born outside the US pitched their ideas and companies. Some ideas were half-baked, others solved problems too small to be of interest to investors but some startups were very enlightened, polished and tackling big problems.I strive to be on the bleeding edge of technology and solutions. Three companies stood out for me.Related: 5 Exciting Ways Health-Tech Startups Are Improving LivesOfoThis green/transportation company is further along (closed a $450 million Series D in China) and wasn’t part of the pitch event. Some big players invested in Ofo include Ali Baba’s Ant financial, DST Global, Matrix China and Didi Chuxing, the largest car-hailing app in China which bought Uber’s China division. Depending on the source, this company’s valuation is between $1 billion and $2 billion U.S.I met Ofo’s representatives through my business partner, Joshua B Lee. Part of Ofo’s big vision is to bring to the US the platform they’re successfully growing already in China. I believe the company’s future and the path to achieve their vision is a variation of what Car2Go has done with cars.Ofo started in China as an “open sourced” bike sharing program where people could share their own bicycles. Unfortunately, bike owners were slow to share their bikes with the public. The company pivoted and found a better business model was providing bikes to the public for a nominal fee.Ofo maintains a company owned fleet of bicycles anybody on the app can use. Ofo solved the inconvenience problem with the app allowing a “dockless” bike share program. Riders can pick up and drop off bikes at any bike rack in the city.One big limitation I see is the American preference for cars. Uban millennials and younger people are bucking this trend but I don’t see bike share having a huge presence in rural areas of the U.S. But it can be a significant reducer of pollution (and cellulite) in urban areas and geographically tight knit communities.Related: Startups Are Offering Basketball and Umbrella Sharing in ChinaSanantiaThis company caught my eye because it’s in medical care, one of the big three industries I see trending and ripe for technology to disrupt in a positive way.The big vision for this company is to to give disconnected medical providers (family doctors, pharmacists, nurses, etc.) access to a patient’s information in one secure, central dashboard. I am intrigued by this idea. The main founder was a national sales representative for Merck. The team’s background and accomplishments give me higher confidence they can execute on their vision.Related: Augmedix, the Google Glass App for Medical Data Entry, Raises $16 MillionInterludeThis is another company in the medical care industry. It’s so early they don’t even have a website live yet. It caught my eye because I didn’t know how vast the problem was they’re attempting to solve. According to World Bank stats, around 1 billion people worldwide have some form of disability. A staggering 110 million to 190 million people have significant disabilities. Interlude aims to help disabled people rehab more effectively to improve the disabled person’s functioning and capabilities.They don’t do this by compelling the disabled person or the insurance company to purchase expensive therapy equipment. The company uses Xbox Kinect technology to monitor the patient’s therapeutic movements. The healthcare practitioner (doctor, occupational therapist, physical therapist, etc.) can monitor the disabled person remotely.The Interlude system records the disabled person’s movements. The health practitioner can see trends in progress over time. The system also seeks to show the ideal movements and allow the practitioner to see how far off the patient’s current movements are from the ideal path. The practitioner can then coach the patient for even faster improvement.Startups have a high failure rate. But these industries and trends will have clear winners. From what I saw, these three companies have the best combination of size of the problem, innovative and simple solution plus the team to execute. –shares Add to Queue Enroll Now for $5 Clint Evans and Joshua Lee 3 Startups Attempting to Capitalize on 2 Very Big Trends Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Strategy coaches Medical care and transportation are problems facing people all over the world. Next Article Guest Writer July 18, 2017
Add to Queue Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Laura Entis Airlines Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Register Now » Guest Writer 3 min read The Best and Worst Airlines for Customer Experience –shares March 20, 2015 Next Article JetBlue is flying high in the eyes of its customers. Out of the 10 airlines included in the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, which polled 10,000 U.S. respondents on 293 consumer brands, the airline comfortably landed in first place with an overall score of 75 percent, a 15 point percentage point climb from its 2014 rating. (For context, Temkin considers a score of 70 percent to be “good,” and a score of 80 percent and above to be “excellent.”)On the other end of the line-up: Spirit Airlines, which came in last by a wide-margin, with a customer experience rating of 47 percent.Related: After Earnings Nosedive, JetBlue Enters the Premium MarketThe two airlines’ ratings underscore their very different approaches to flying. Recently, JetBlue has revamped its image with the introduction of a premium service equipped with private cabins, the longest beds in the United States domestic market and a swanky new menu. Its ads are sleek and/or pointedly humorous.Spirit Airlines takes the exact opposite approach. “We’re not even Wal-Mart,” Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza recently told NPR. “We’re Dollar General. And we like being Dollar General, because we save people lots of money.” As for Spirit’s ads? Let’s just say that much was made of the discount airline’s recent acquisition of its 69th plane.While JetBlue offers travelers complimentary amenities such as snacks and beverages, Spirit isn’t looking to compete anything but price, Baldanza told the outlet. While it’s a strategy that gets people to book tickets and fly with the airline (Spirit is growing), it’s not an approach that makes them feel warm and fuzzy about the experience. Recently, Spirit came dead-last in a Consumer Reports survey, which Baldanza takes issue with. “That survey never asks people about the price of their ticket,” he told NPR. “Why doesn’t Consumer Reports put out a survey that says a Mercedes S-Class is better than a Ford Focus?”Related: Keeping It Classy: Spirit Airlines Uses Nude Celeb Pic Scandal to Sell TicketsFor its part, Temkin asks consumers to evaluate brands based on three components: success (did you accomplish what you wanted to?), effort (how easy was it to interact with the company?), and emotion (how do you feel about your interactions with the company?).Check out how other airlines stack up in the list below.1) JetBlue Airlines 75%2) Southwest Airlines 72%3) Delta Airlines 69%4) Alaska Airlines 69%5) Virgin America 63%6) American Airlines 57%7) United Airlines 56%8) US Airways 55%9) AirTran Airways 52%10) Spirit Airlines 47%Related: Porn Accident: US Airways Issues Worst Brand Tweet of All Time
U.S. Regulators Aim to Ban Founder of Blood-Testing Firm Theranos U.S. federal health regulators have proposed banning Theranos Inc. founder Elizabeth Holmes from the blood-testing business for at least two years after determining that the company failed to fix deficiencies at its California laboratory, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) said in letter dated March 18 that it planned to revoke the lab’s federal license and ban Holmes and Theranos’s president, Sunny Balwani, from owning other labs for at least two years, the WSJ said.The proposed ban would include Theranos’s only other lab, located in Arizona, which along with the California lab generates most of the company’s revenue, the Journal said.The Journal said CMS gave Theranos about 10 days to provide adequate evidence of why the sanctions should not be imposed. Theranos had responded and the CMS was reviewing the response, the WSJ said, citing a person familiar with the matter.A Theranos spokeswoman told Reuters that the CMS had not imposed any sanctions on the company as yet.Theranos had promised to shake up medical testing by conducting a wide range of tests with just one drop of blood in a user-friendly manner with quick results.The company has been in the spotlight after reports in the WSJ suggested that the blood-testing devices were flawed and had problems with accuracy.The CMS in January had said that deficient practices at the California lab posed an “immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety”.Around that time, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, said it would stop using the services of the lab until all issues raised by the CMS were addressed.(Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza) Next Article –shares Add to Queue Theranos founder and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes. This story originally appeared on Reuters Reuters The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Image credit: Theranos | Facebook Apply Now » Theranos April 13, 2016 2 min read
Enroll Now for $5 Starbucks, Anheuser-Busch to Partner on Bottled Teavana Teas Anheuser-Busch and Starbucks announced a deal on Thursday to produce, bottle, distribute and market Teavana ready-to-drink teas in the United States, with products expected to be available in the first half of next year.The world’s biggest coffee chain bought tea seller Teavana in 2012. The bottled teas falling under Starbucks’ agreement with the maker of Budweiser beer will not contain alcohol. Anheuser-Busch will lead production, bottling and distribution to retailers nationwide in partnership with its established network of wholesalers, the companies said.Starbucks and joint venture partner PepsiCo Inc. market, sell and distribute ready-to-drink coffee products in the United States. PepsiCo already has a ready-to-drink tea partner. It joined with Unilever in 1991 to form the Pepsi-Lipton Tea partnership. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney) June 3, 2016 Add to Queue Image credit: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket | Getty Images Reuters Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. 1 min read –shares Next Article Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand This story originally appeared on Reuters Starbucks
Add to Queue Reuters Alibaba Expects to Nearly Double Transactions Volume to More Than $900 Billion by 2020 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Reuters | Aly Song | File Photo –shares June 14, 2016 China This story originally appeared on Reuters 1 min read Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said on Tuesday it expects to nearly double its transaction volumes by 2020, signalling it still expects rampant growth as Executive Chairman Jack Ma pledged to intensify a crackdown on fake goods.At an investor conference at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Alibaba said it expects to record 6 trillion yuan ($912 billion) in gross merchandise volume in fiscal 2020, nearly double 3.09 trillion yuan in fiscal 2016.Echoing that growth, Ma said Alibaba expects to have 2 billion consumers on its books by 2036, up from 423 million active buyers in 2016.Addressing concerns about the company’s efforts to remove counterfeit products from its online platforms, Ma said Alibaba will do “anything to stop the fake products.” The company has been dogged for years by accusations that its shopping platforms were conduits for counterfeiters.”I promise you guys that counterfeits, fake products, and intellectual property theft — we are more and more confident than ever that we can solve the problem,” Ma said.(Reporting by Yimou Lee in Hong Kong; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell) Next Article Register Now »