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The New Development Bank (NDB), established by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), has expressed its interest in expanding its membership to include new countries.
2023.06.03 09:29 Vroges The New Development Bank (NDB), established by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), has expressed its interest in expanding its membership to include new countries.
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Amidst this initiative, Saudi Arabia has emerged as a potential candidate seeking to join the esteemed group. The possible inclusion of Saudi Arabia in the BRICS Bank holds significant implications for both the bank and the kingdom, offering opportunities for enhanced collaboration, increased investment, and regional development. This article explores the motivations behind the NDB's desire for new members and examines the potential benefits and challenges associated with Saudi Arabia's potential entry into the BRICS Bank.
The NDB's pursuit of new members aligns with its objective of fostering global economic cooperation and promoting sustainable development. By welcoming new countries, the bank seeks to expand its reach, leverage diverse expertise, and diversify its investment portfolio. The inclusion of Saudi Arabia, a prominent regional player with a robust economy and extensive investment potential, would bolster the bank's credibility and further strengthen its role in driving economic growth and infrastructure development in emerging markets.
Saudi Arabia's interest in joining the BRICS Bank stems from its ambition to diversify its economy and enhance its international partnerships. Membership in the bank could provide the kingdom with access to funding for infrastructure projects, technological advancements, and sustainable initiatives. Moreover, the collaboration with BRICS countries would enable Saudi Arabia to tap into their extensive experience and knowledge, fostering innovation and driving economic growth. Joining the BRICS Bank could also enhance the kingdom's visibility and influence on the global stage, facilitating closer ties with emerging economies and opening doors for potential trade and investment opportunities.
While Saudi Arabia's potential entry into the BRICS Bank offers numerous benefits, several challenges and considerations should be taken into account. The bank must ensure that new members align with its values, goals, and commitment to sustainable development. Furthermore, the inclusion of Saudi Arabia could pose geopolitical considerations, given the regional dynamics and potential differences in policy approaches. The bank will need to strike a balance between diverse perspectives and maintain a consensus-driven approach to decision-making to ensure effective collaboration and avoid potential conflicts of interest.
2023.06.03 08:50 EchoJobs Stripe is hiring Staff Engineer, Banking as a Service [Chicago, IL] [API]
2023.06.03 08:42 Academic_Fail_3949 NEED DESPERATE HELP/GUIDANCE. Friend's family on brink of homelessness.
My friend's family can NOT catch a god damn break. They have only 1 working car, as another one of theirs recently broke down. They're a family of 6, with 2 parents working, and 4 dependents. Parents are a waitress and a chef, incomes are low.
Their electricity got cut off today (unsure of the reason, but I'm assuming an issue w/ payments). They've moved at least 7 times, and have only rented their whole lives; rent is probably eating them alive, around ~$1,000 in payments monthly, probably more now.
They have nothing to their name except cars that keep breaking down on them, because it's all they're able to afford.
Right now they're staying with family in Nuevo Laredo, but I imagine that if something ELSE comes up: a medical emergency, another broken car, they'll be wiped out for good.
I really care about my friend and their family, and it really stresses me out even hearing about their situation.
So, I want to know if there are any financial assistance programs here in Laredo, or places that are able to offer some kind of services to them.
I only know of one, like South Regional Food Bank, but if there are any others I should be aware of, please reply below.
Extra Note: my friend is also of working age, and they've sent about 20+ applications to lots of job postings, but no luck so far. If anyone knows of any local job opportunities, please reply below as well.
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2023.06.03 08:30 BruhEmperor Presidential Term of Thomas Custer (1889-1893) American Interflow Timeline
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After 12 years of trials and errors, Thomas Custer
would finally rise and claim the presidency in a Post-Barnum era. With the nation being fundamentally changed in the past 8 years and with the effect of Barnum’s administration still very prevalent, like the still persistent Revelationist and Communard issues, Custer would need to uncharacteristically tread carefully to prevail in such a climate. President Thomas Custer’s Cabinet
Vice President - Alfred A. Taylor
Secretary of State - Francis Cockrell
Secretary of the Treasury - Adlai Stevenson I
Secretary of War - John Potter Stockton
Secretary of the Navy - Arthur Sewall
Secretary of the Interior - Thomas Goode Jones
Attorney General - Jesse Root Grant II
Secretary of Sustenance - Sylvester Pennoyer
Secretary of Public Safety - Lyon G. Tyler (resigned May 1891), John R. McLean
(read about the campaigns against the radicals here
) Left? Right? No, Custerite!
During his election campaign, the president promised a wide-range of groups things he would do in a future administration. Appealing to liberals, conservatives, nationalists, populists, militarists, anti-imperialists, and pro-reconciliationists, Custer would be flexible and non-partisan in his policies in order to fulfil such promises. Custer would first appeal to the anti-imperialist wing of his support by renegotiating to United States' promised port in the Congo during the Berlin Conference, crafted by Secretary Francis Cockrell, the United States would sell their land claims to the French on August 1889 for $1,250,000
. The move would receive praise from anti-imperialists like Senators George Boutwell (F-MA) and Grover Cleveland (C-NY), and Representatives Edward Atkinson (C-MA) and John Wanamaker (P-PA), although opposition was brought in by some Commons and the old Barnumites like Representative William McKinley (F-OH). Land designated for the United States (dark blue) were sold to the French Empire
Appealing to the pro-reconciliationists would be a harder feat than any of this. Ever since the end of the Civil War, stigmatism between the black and white communities in the south grew, it was further boosted by the barring
policy of the Davis and Hamlin administrations which divided communities between whites and blacks to prevent violence. Forced integration was implemented by Custer with the Integration and Co-operation Act of 1889
which merged local segregated communities and forced some citizens living in those communities to live within the other group's area. Anti-reconciliationists like Senator Arthur Pue Gorman (C-MD) and Representative Benjamin Tillman (C-SC) opposed the bill, as they were elected within or with the backing of a white-only segregated community, though the pro-reconciliationists, which composed of both of the old pro and anti Barnumites, populists, salvationists, and progressives pushed the bill to pass Congress. Capitol Building 1889
The act faced major scrutiny from both black and white anti-reconciliationists, which pushed it as dictatorial and a breach of their civil liberties. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States in the case Jennings v. Gibbs
, in which Florida county lawyer William Sherman Jennings sued Representative Thomas Van Renssalaer Gibbs (F-FL) for 'infringing on and decrying civil liberties' by his support of the act. Gibbs' lawyers sighted the act was to end possible future violence between the two groups and claimed it was for the overall wellbeing of the country and to the citizen as their move was paid for by the government itself and that it was within the government's authority to enforce such acts, while Jennings sighted the First Amendment, claiming to this act violated the right of petition the government as the citizens were more or less forced into integrating without a say. The court decided on June 10th, 1890, and sided 5-4 in favor of Gibbs
, claiming that it was within the government's right to enforce such an act. Although the court did also sort of sided with Jennings, pushing that the citizens moved out of their communities must give their consent and approval of moving out. Justice Robert Roosevelt wrote the majority opinion: "It is within Congress' right to enforce such laws that they apply, although it is also important to receive the consent and approval of those being affect by the laws they apply, as without it is simple tyranny.
". The Supreme Court just marked pro-reconciliation acts as constitutional. Lawyer William Sherman Jennings and Representative Thomas Van Renssalaer Gibbs
With Custer getting the greenlight on reconciliation, he began to deal with those dissenting on his new laws. Some violence and unrest arose from anti-reconciliation protestors causing riots and clashes with the police, in one incident, an anti-reconciliation mob beat one police officer to death and threw in body in the streets. The incident shocked the nation and many demanded justice, this gave Custer the backing to enact another plan he had. In the span of June-August, thousands of anti-reconciliationist rioters were arrested and sent to 're-education facilities
' to be 're-educated' about their beliefs, those re-educated would be release after a month and if they caused more dissent they would be thrown back into the facilities to be 're-educated' once again. No one exactly knows what happens in the facilities but rumors going from torture to brainwashing are common, but those released from the facilities never talk about their experience there. Although, anti-reconciliation violence has been significantly reduced ever since the program was created. Custer's Politics for Dummies
The Presidential Cabinet has always been more or less been aligned with the president's beliefs, although in this case, with the president's beliefs all over the place, the cabinet would be quiet diverse. Some would have quite populistic beliefs like Treasury Secretary Stevenson and Sustenance Secretary Pennoyer, some would be traditionally conservative like Navy Secretary Sewall, War Secretary Stockton, and Secretary of Public Safety Tyler, and some would be considered more liberal like Secretaries Cockrell and Jones, and Attorney General Grant. This caused some division in the cabinet, with many members having different opinions on issues, like the admission of more states in the plain, with the more populistic members being for it and the conservative ones being against it. Vice President Alfred A. Taylor, who was often the most moderate within the cabinet, often had headaches due to the amount of bickering in the cabinet, privately saying, "I would rather have been the presidential cook than a member of this cabinet.
". Taylor was known for serving delicious Tennessee Cornbread
during cabinet meetings and public events, which were from his own recipe.
On the Congressional front, politics there too was starkly changing. The Radical People's and Christian Salvation Parties had faced a significant decline over the last election and were facing even complete dissolution. The bells did toll for the Salvationists, as on June 1, 1889, waiting for a train going from his hometown of Freeport, Illinois to Chicago, Senator Charles J. Guiteau was shot by an assailant who was connected to the Salvationists. The bullet did not puncture his heart though and he was immediately treated by doctors. The doctors, however, operated on him with unsterilized fingers and tools trying to find the bullet, and Guiteau contracted an infection which slowly weakened his health. Guiteau would pass away on June 30th
, which ended a major figurehead for the Salvationists. With their main leader gone, the Salvationists and their party were now certainly going to fall, so once again they turned to the Populists to help, they proposed a merge of their parties, unlike the Visionary Alliance back in 1884, this move would be permanent. A joint Radical People's-Christian Salvation convention was called in D.C., in which they decided to form the Reformed People's Party
which would incorporate both Populist and Salvationist agendas. All Salvationists and Populists would run on this party's banner starting on the 1890 midterms, causing a wave of new support of their joint movements to grow. Representatives like Jerry Simpson (RP-KA), Charles Tupper (CS-NS), and Marion Butler (RP-NC), and Senator John P. St. John (CS-KA), although notably the party leader Senator James B. Weaver (RP-IA) did not outright support the merger. Representative Jerry Simpson and Senator John P. St. John.
Troubles also arose within the ruling party itself. With Custer's moves in office being controversial not only nation-wide but also within his own party. Many Commons were repulsed by Custer's appeal to nationalists and populists, like his push for isolationism, labor reform, free trade, and anti-gold standard policies, which saw as the reason why the current economy was entering a small recession. The Custer administration was also known as notoriously corrupt, though Custer himself was more blind to the issue than actually involved in it, it was well-known that politicians like Secretary Tyler were making backdoor deals with businessmen like J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, even personally aiding in putting down worker strikes. Representative William Kissam Vanderbilt (P-NY) even once said, "The difference between a crafty serpent and a pro-big business politician? They have heels, I suppose.
". These anti-reform and anti-Custerite politicians within the Commonwealth Party were called 'Reactionaries
'. The reactionaries would included members like Senators Arthur Pue Gorman and John M. Palmer (C-IL) and Representatives like John Carlisle (C-KY). The reactionaries would form a major bloc within the party, often favoring militarism and traditional values in Congress, as seen from there opposition of the pro-reconciliation bills and their support for things like the gold standard and imperialism. But also from the other side of the spectrum are the people who see Custer as not reforming enough. Although they weren't as loud as the reactionaries and still mainly accept the situation, many still want more reform coming from the high office. The groups members included the likes of Representatives Samuel M. Jones (F-OH) and Charles N. Felton (C-CA), advocating mostly for internationalism, taxes, anti-corruption measures, and tariff reduction. Though more extreme politicians like Jones would call for monopoly busting, strong regulation, and direct elections. Senator Arthur Pue Gorman and Representative Charles N. Felton would represent two very different sides of the same party
The Freedom Party had faced its largest split since the Federalist-Freedomite split during Henry Clay’s term. After the elections of 1888, the former Anti-Barnumites had taken control of most major positions in the main Freedom Party after the Conservative Freedom Party remerged with them. Staunch Anti-Barnumites like the pragmatic Representative Thomas Brackett Reed and stanch conservative Senator William Pierce Frye (F-MA) would all head their party in Congress. The remaining former Barnumites such as Representative William McKinley sought to amend the wounds between their counterparts and began the works to begin reconciling between the factions. Though many Freedomites were unsure about reconciling with the other faction, members like McKinley, Reed, and Representative Henry Clay Evans (F-TN) were influential in eventually mending their relations by the 1890 midterms, showing a mostly fully united party. This also was partly helped by the fact that former President Phineas Taylor Barnum would call for his old party’s unification, which had some mixed reactions in the party. The aging former President P.T. Barnum who would later die on April 1891
(read here about the Military Crisis of 1890 here
) The Military's Resolve
The government would once again refused the military extremists' demands of increased power. As such, the 700 or so extremists would attempt to storm the White House, with others were sent to seize government buildings and offices against the capitol. The D.C. police was immediately called to hold back the group and a shootout immediately ensued outside the White House. 2 hours passed as the shootout continued and both rebels and police were shot dead, the White House received significant damage due to artillery brought by the rebels, with some rebels even entering the now evacuated building. As the 3rd hour mark hit, military loyalist finally arrived at the scene, led by Harrison Gray Otis and Arthur MacArthur, the 3,000 loyalists sent engaged the rebels who were now resorting to guerilla warfare. 3 more hours would pass as the loyalists would trek to find the rebels scattered around Capitol Hill, it finally cease as the loyalists would find and capture both Jacob H. Smith and J. Franklin Bell hiding in an abandoned building, the remaining rebels would surrender in the 7th hour. Over 500 people would die in the so-called "Battle of Capitol Hill
". Government loyalist in the outskirts of D.C. looking for rebels
The affair caused a uproar across the nation, with some siding the government claiming the military was being spoiled, while some supported the rebel's calls claiming the remaining restrictions were still ruining their careers. It also divided the military more, with some siding with the loyalists and some adhering to the rebel's calls. Fears began to rise of a second Civil War due to such divisions, as some Reactionary politicians began to support the militarist cause. Immediate calls within the government were pushing for appeasement to the militarists to avoid another rebellion. Thus negotiators began to work on something to ease the stress of the military resulting in quite the controversial move.
The 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution
would add 9 seats to the House of Representatives that would be designated for the military. Called the 'Military Representatives', 9 servicemen would be chosen from either branch of the military to serve as Representatives for the military's interests. The Representatives would be appointed by the president and approved by the Senate and members could be removed by the president during House elections. The amendment was ratified with astonishing speed, being ratified only two months after it was proposed on February 23, 1891 right before the 52nd Congress met on March 4th. Custer also personally backed the amendment, with others like Representative Thomas B. Reed and William Kissam Vanderbilt supporting it. The 9 Military Representatives were sworn in along with the other 349 normally elected Representatives. Despite the amendment being quickly ratified, it still faced major opposition from anti-militarists and especially the remaining Populists and Salvationists. Representative Henry Clay Evans about the amendment, "If this amendment were to pass, we would be nothing but lapdogs to the armed forces, always in fear of a military rebellion.
". Senator Daniel W. Voorhees (P-IN) stated, "Giving any more powers to the military would strip our fairly elected government of independence and reason, as fear would now dominate our politics.
". Speaker Alexander S. Clay (C-GA) would be ousted as Speaker by John Wanamaker after the midterms in an anti-Commonwealth vote, Clay would later state, "Was supporting the amendment to the Constitution the right action? I do not know that answer. Yet I know one thing. It was the only action there was.
" Results of the 1890 House of Representatives Elections Results of the 1890 Senate Elections Tommy the Man
After the meltdowns of the past two years, Custer would focus in his domestic and foreign policy. Custer would continue his pro-reconciliation policies, achieving slow success across the south, with some forcefully integrated communities prospering and with some having being burnt to the ground. Both pro-labor and pro-business policies would be implemented, such as an 8-hour work day and a shorter work week, other than this, businesses would be usually deregulated and were given reigns in handling any of their practices, with businessmen such as J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller emerging as powerful figures nationally, with their monopolies being wide reaching. Cartoon mocking the rise of corporations and their growing power over politics
Custer's more reformist policies would deter some of his allies against him, as the likes of Public Safety Secretary Lyon G. Tyler, who disliked Custer's rowdiness in politics in general. Tyler basically had enough went Custer vetoed many legislations that were drafted by the Commons themselves. Tyler resigned as Secretary on May 1891, being replaced by the more moderate John R. McLean. Despite being bashed for his reforms, Custer would also be criticized for his more conservative policies too. A believer in laissez-faire economics and free trade, Custer would refuse to intervene in the economy even when it entered a recession during 1890-91. Custer would often get criticized for allowing big business to skyrocket out of control with their monopolies and trusts, though he would claim his concern was only of the workers' well being. Governor Nathan Goff Jr. (P-VA) would criticize Custer's domestic policies by stating, "Protectionism, direct elections, and internationalism are core things we need in this day and age, not only in Virginia but nationally, yet the president has rejected all of them.
". Custer's domestic policies would see opposition from the new reformed populists, which called the Commonwealth Party the party of 'Business, Booze, and Boors
Custer, despite being a self-proclaimed 'isolationist', often had interest in foreign affairs yet couldn't act on them as fearing it would deter his supporters. When war broke out in South America in December 31, 1891
, when Argentina, who is run by the dictator Nicholas Levalle who recently staged a coup against the government, and Bolivia invaded Chile and Paraguay (more on in the foreign events section), Custer privately sought intervention in favor of Chile and Paraguay to preserve their democracies. Yet Congress and the general public were staunchly against any intervention in South America as they saw as another foreign war. Anti-intervention sentiment grew even further when the Empire of Brazil intervened in favor of Chile and Paraguay on April 1, 1892, their force now being called the 'Continental Alliance
', causing the scale of the war to increase and the death toll to grow. Though the public opinion was firmly sympathetic to the Continental Alliance, some in government sought to aid the 'Golden Alliance
' of Argentina and Bolivia, as they saw helping them as a way to control their economy and politics, though yet again the majority rejected intervention. Custer did consult his cabinet on what to do on the matter, which Secretaries Sewall and Jones were in favor of intervention, though other like Secretary Cockrell and Attorney General Grant were against it which ultimately led Custer to not intervene for the time being. The US did sell highly demanded imports to both sides of the conflict, which yielded major profit. - Major Foreign Events - The War Down Even More South
High inflation, corruption, and bad worker rights in Argentina caused major unrest against the government. The Revolution of Park broke out against the government then run by the conservative National Autonomist Party on July 26, 1890. The rebels captured an arms and ammunition facility in the city and began to arm themselves as government began to apprehend them. The government forces were caught off guard by the now armed rebels and were forced to retreat, the rebels then turned to the Casa Rosada and the president, the revolutionaries successfully broke through the guards and stormed the building, forcing President Manuel Celman to resign. A revolutionary junta was put in place of the government as a new larger government loyalist force was organized to recapture the capitol, which led was by General Nicholas Levalle. The loyalist force successfully defeated revolutionary resistance in the capitol and entered the Casa Rosada, the revolutionary junta was defeat although President Celman had been executed and Vice President Pellegrini had fled the city. Levalle, seeing an opportunity, declared himself emergency president, even rejecting Pellegrini when he returned to the city. Over the past months, Lavalle would style himself with dictatorial powers over the Argentine government, which only fueled his ego. General Nicholas Levalle of Argentina
Lavalle was a man who opposed the resolve of the border dispute between Chile in Patagonia which restricted Argentina outside the Pacific Ocean. In tandem, Bolivia's Gregorio Pacheco, who succeeded his very pro-Chile predecessor, had designs on Chile after Bolivia had lost the War of the Pacific, as well as Paraguay. Lavalle had secret meetings with Pacheco regarding their plan on Chile, later including Paraguay to the discussion, many meetings later and they decided on a plan to demand land from both nations. Their militaries were built up in the coming months to prepare for the incoming conflict. On December 26, 1891, Bolivia sent an ultimatum to Chile demanding their coastal provinces lost in the War of the Pacific to be returned, Argentina would back them the next day. On the 27th, Bolivia demanded full recognition of the control of the Chaco region from Paraguay, which Argentina backed the same day. Given until the 31st to respond, the Chilean and Paraguayan governments refused to respond to the ultimatums, so on the 31st, Bolivia declared war on Chile and Bolivia, Argentina would declare war on January 2nd.
The campaigns at first favored the 'Golden Alliance' of Argentina and Bolivia, which saw advanced in the north of Chile and southern Paraguay. By February, the Golden Alliance would be nearing the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion, which worried their neighbor to the east, the Empire of Brazil. Empress Isabel I was facing a waning popularity, especially after her father abolished slavery, and the public were firmly against the Golden Alliance. Fearing Argentina's and Bolivia's victory would shatter trust in her even more, she decided to intervene. An ultimatum was sent to Argentina, dictating to end the war or face a blockade, the Argentinians ignored the order. Brazilian ships would begin a naval blockade against Argentina, but oddly some ships were ordered to go dangerously close to the Argentina coast on February 25th. As the ships grew near, the Argentine coast guard were unable to recognize the vessels and assumed they were Chilean and open fired. Despite Argentina apologizing for the incident, the affair caused enough outrage in Brazil to secure that a war was a certain. Brazil declared war on both Argentina and Bolivia on April 1st, forming the 'Continental Alliance' with Chile and Paraguay. The war would rage on from April-August as many foreign nations watched, with both sides gaining the upper hand many times and thousands dead or wounded. By August, both sides would be exhausted by war and bloodshed and needed something to tip the scales. Empress Isabel I of Brazil View Poll
2023.06.03 05:54 harry-jg Best VPN for ChatGPT
In this bustling digital world, ChatGPT is, without a doubt, a gleaming beacon of technological triumph. But the winds of fortune do not always blow favourably, and the gallant ChatGPT finds itself banished from most regions, with the likes of China and Russia leading the draconian brigade. Even the sunny land of Italy has decided to give ChatGPT the cold shoulder on account of some privacy hullabaloo.
Never fear, however, for the intrepid Virtual Private Network (VPN) is here to save the day. It's quite like a cunning detective in a thriller novel, adeptly masking your whereabouts by routing your digital footprints through a crafty labyrinth of its own servers. Moreover, it adds an extra layer of cloak-and-dagger charm by encrypting your data, ensuring that your usage of the AI chatbot remains as confidential as a whisper in the wind.
Now, I embarked on a quest akin to a rigorous sporting season, putting numerous VPNs through their paces, matching them against the wily ChatGPT. Speed, security, and the elusive 'user-friendliness' were the metrics on my scorecard, and after a thorough evaluation, I present to you my handpicked selection of the top 5 VPNs for ChatGPT in the year 2023. While each entrant is a worthy contender, ExpressVPN stands tall as my top pick, thanks to its unparalleled speed, formidable security, and the simplicity that makes it a crowd favourite.
ExpressVPN, my dear old thing. It's the cream of the crop, the top of the pile, the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas - essentially the belle of the ball when it comes to VPNs suitable for ChatGPT. It's armed to the teeth with security features that would make a British spy blush, speeds akin to a greyhound with a tailwind, and, it positively thrives in restrictive locales like China. Indeed, it's so dazzling, it's claimed the number one spot on our 2023 list of the finest VPNs.
Now, what sets ExpressVPN apart is its nifty 'split tunneling' feature, quite the deus ex machina for your digital life. It allows you to decide which apps don the invisibility cloak of the VPN and which ones stroll around in their everyday attire. This means, while your ChatGPT antics remain as hush-hush as a secret handshake, your banking activities can safely continue over your local network. It’s a fine compromise, considering many banks tend to look askance at VPN connections.
This whiz-bang VPN also holds the title for being the fastest gent on the circuit. It makes ChatGPT load like lightning, and lets you enjoy HD music videos on YouTube without the slightest stutter. What's more, it doesn't make you drum your fingers waiting for the next video to load.
ExpressVPN's apps are as simple to operate as a door handle. Servers are found and connected to with an ease and speed that would make a gazelle envious. And if that wasn't enough, there's a splendid 'Shortcuts' feature which lets you create one-click pathways to specific apps and sites. I had ChatGPT tucked away in my Shortcuts menu, giving me instant access to the site with the slightest twitch of a finger.
The trusty NordVPN, I must say, offers a splendidly secure setting for your tête-à-têtes with ChatGPT. It comes equipped with more advanced security features than a modern-day detective novel: full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and this thing they call perfect forward secrecy. Moreover, its commitment to keep your data logs to itself has been vouched for by multiple independent audits. Jolly reassuring, I must say.
But wait, there's more. It sports a feature called 'Threat Protection', which is akin to having your personal digital bodyguard. It shields you from the wickedness of malicious sites, keeps ads at bay, and thwarts any attempt to download files that reek of malware. Best part is, this trusty bodyguard stays vigilant whether or not you're connected to a VPN server.
There’s also this rather cloak-and-dagger tool called the 'Dark Web Monitor' which alerts you if your email address, the one linked to your NordVPN account, has taken an unauthorised detour into the shadowy alleys of the dark web. Terribly useful if you're using the same email for your ChatGPT account.
Now, NordVPN's speeds could give a marathon runner a run for their money. I conducted several tests on both local and distant servers and found only the slightest of lags during my conversations with ChatGPT. However, I did observe that websites took about the time one takes to hum 'Three Blind Mice' before they loaded. Its speeds are commendable, but ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost VPN tend to sprint a tad faster.
NordVPN is as friendly to use as a loyal Labrador. Its apps, compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux, come with an interface as intuitive as a butler anticipating your needs. Plus, there's a quick-connect feature which seamlessly attaches you to the fastest server available, making your ChatGPT experience as smooth as a well-mixed cocktail.
For those wanting an efficient and user-friendly confederate when chatting with ChatGPT, Surfshark plays the role perfectly. Its plans are as pocket-friendly as they come, and its apps are so intuitive, you could be whistling Dixie while setting it up even if you've never heard of a VPN before. It's as if the settings come with their own handy guide, explaining everything in plain English. There's even a nifty quick-connect feature you can tweak to your liking, and the ever-so-convenient list of recently visited servers for easy revisits.
Its digital butler services extend to Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. What's more, it's quite the social creature, allowing an unlimited number of devices to connect simultaneously.
In my foray into testing this provider, I found its speeds to be rather agreeable. ChatGPT’s site loaded up as quickly as one could recite a limerick, HD videos took as long as tying a neat bow tie, and 4K videos were up and running after a leisurely count to five. There was a bit of buffering at the start, making it slightly less nimble than the swift-footed ExpressVPN.
But here's where Surfshark really shines – its security features. It boasts RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, and a no-logs policy that has survived the scrutiny of audits. It also flaunts an IP Rotator, a nifty little feature that changes your IP address as often as a chameleon changes its color. The only blemish on this otherwise spotless record is that it doesn’t consistently manage to outwit the restrictions in certain countries.
Decoding the Art of Selecting the Finest VPN for ChatGPT in 2023
Place security on the highest pedestal. In the bewildering world of the internet, a VPN should be your stout knight in shining armor, defending your online maneuvers, including your tête-à-têtes with ChatGPT, and keeping your private information safe from the rapscallions of the virtual world. The VPNs named in this list boast of the crème de la crème of security features - the unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch that acts as your virtual parachute should your VPN connection fail, a strict no-logs policy to ensure your data isn't filed away, and protection against the stealthy IPv6, DNS, or WebRTC leaks.
Search for a VPN as swift as a racehorse. For a smooth, uninterrupted gabfest with ChatGPT, you'd want a VPN with speed to spare. ExpressVPN takes the trophy in this department, with its fleet-footed speeds across all servers.
Aim for a VPN as easy to handle as a well-trained retriever. The VPNs on my list are designed to be as intuitive as a nursery rhyme, making it a walk in the park to find and connect to any server for accessing ChatGPT.
Find a VPN that offers the best bang for your buck. Each VPN listed here comes decked with bonus features like split-tunneling, obfuscation, or an ad blocker, generously allows at least 5 simultaneous connections, tags a reasonable price on its plans, and even offers a sizeable money-back guarantee. It's as if they're gifting you a perfectly brewed cup of tea and throwing in a plate of biscuits, too!
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2023.06.03 04:11 dreaming_mystic M 25 Looking for someone to hang out with over the summer
I don’t really have anyone I can hang out with at the moment and would love to change that with the summer approaching. I don’t have anyone in particular I’m looking for, just be around my age and a nice person! I am from the York region area but am okay with connecting with people further out too.
In terms of activities, going to the movies, out to eat, for walks, and just hanging out all sound great to me.
I am south asian, work in banking, and am big basketball/hiphop fan. I also like to read and watch movies from around the world.
Pls PM me if you’re interested:)
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2023.06.03 03:54 AutoNewspaperAdmin [IN] - IL&FS arm booked by CBI for defrauding 19 banks of Rs 6,524 crore Times of India
2023.06.03 03:36 AutoNewsAdmin [IN] - IL&FS arm booked by CBI for defrauding 19 banks of Rs 6,524 crore
2023.06.03 03:36 Dan_Stainberg [Econ][Retro] Canada's bid to win Net Zero
The Inflation Reduction Act passed in the United Sates continues to mingle in background of Canadian policy-making, as massive subsidies from Washington make even the tax on carbon increasingly less efficient, with many leading Canadian companies opting to focus on their projects in the United States. With American carrots on clime policy, the Canadian stick becomes increasingly less effective
, as many business leaders see an ever growing policy uncertainty over whatever little of an invective Canada has to offer. This is especially prevalent for long-term decarbonisation projects, that would un-economical without either a nation-wide price on carbon
that forces companies to invest in going green, or a recast subsidy regime for green technologies that turn decarbonisation for an expensive exercise into a completive advantage.
While some people believe that abolishing the federal price on carbon on Canada would still allow the country to meet its Paris climate commitments, offsetting the lack of a "climate stick" with a carrot of additional subsidies, it's widely recognised to be an unlikely option. Canada simply doesn't have the either fiscal nor private capital firepower to compete with American incentives. Thus making a combination of a "clime stick" through a federal carbon price, complied with more modest positive incentives remains the only viable strategy to foster a nation-wide tradition to the green economy.
Federal pricing on pollution has also created increasings tensions between Ottawa and provinces, especially in Western Canada - a region traditionally dependent on natural renounce extraction and processing to support their economy, and generate energy. Thus, the main opposition party - the Conservative Party of Canada - that has traditionally viewed the West as their stronghold, has unsurprisingly committed to repealing the federal price on carbon
. Something that becomes increasingly likely as the the governing Liberals continue to fall behind the Tories in all provinces except Quebec. Therefore, putting the future of Canadian climate policy at risk.
You know, businesses hate uncertainty more than anything else.
To resolve this uncertainty, Canada is launching comprehensive hedging mechanism to guarantee a Pan-Canadian Price on pollution, especially on carbon emissions through Pollution Pricing Contracts for Difference (PPCDs)
- a proposal originally mentioned in the Federal Budget 2023
, is finally being rolled out across the country in 2024. PPCD
represents a contract between the Government of Canada and a private company that guarantees a nation-wide solution price remains above originally announced projects, such as $170 price per tonne of carbon emissions. If the price falls bellow bellow the original threshold at an expected date, the Government of Canada is set to cover the difference through direct subsidies to the given project and its investors.
To further strengthen the carbon pricing regime, the Government introduces the "PPCD default provision"
that allows any company in Canada to claim a fully refundable tax credit to fully compensate for estimated cost of carbon tax paid thought its operating period, including the gap between "would be" and an actual carbon price. Thus, if national carbon price falls bellow its original schedule, not only can a company have their carbon taxes paid back, but also receive full payment for forgone future carbon tax expenses.
The provision can be used by any company without a PPCD contract, and is triggered automatically upon any changes to federal carbon price. It also applies to carbon credit markets, where the Government of Canada is set to guarantee a specific price for carbon credits
for specific projects or a market as whole, providing direct finical compensation when the actual price falls short of an expected benchmark.
Simultaneously, Ottawa is set to enter into Carbon Credit Forward Purchase Agreements
for duration of 5 years or longer with individual emitters and industry associations. This would allow for the Government of Canada to guaranteed carbon and other pollution pricing for specific projects, directly compensating lower than expected pricing for designated projects.
The Government of Canada has concluded a set of Federal-Provincial Pollution Pricing Agreements
, where Ottawa is set to be opearte as a last-resort buyer of carbon credits for local or sectoral marlets, using the federal carvon price as a benchmark. However, under the FPPPAs the federal government has also onbidgted to disapply the federal carbon backstop
and fully absorb the cost of pushasing exessive credits. Notably, Ottawa has also committed to maintaining a more harmonious price on carbon across the country, through allowing local authorities to increase the supply of credits to align it with other provinces, so long it doesn't fall bellow the federal benchmark.
Most importantly, however, FPPPAs also oblige provinces to introduce contracts for difference when it comes to energy markets - traditionally a provincial jurisdiction.
Traditionally, energy markets operate through energy generating companies singing purchase contracts with energy distributors to deliver it to final customers. The cost of buying the energy and delivering is effectively passed onto consumers buy distributors with a higher mark up for to maintain to profitability. However, in markets where energy has been generated largely through fossil fuel extraction, the final price of electricity is eagerly determined by prices of fossil fuels.
To ensure the markets operate smoothy, Energy Contracts for Difference
are used, to narrow the gap between wholesale price on electricity and the strike price - the point at which energy generation remains economically viable - desired by generators. The strike price is determined through an open auction of multiple generators, on an open auction, until with strike price suggestions being accepted until the budget or the capacity of the grid have been exhausted. The sealed bid for the last project accepted sets a multi-year strike price that all successful bidders receive, that is further indexed for inflation, for annual adjustments.
Thus, whenever the average wholesale price for electricity runs bellow the strike price, the government is set to cover the difference for renewable energy generating companies, to keep their business afloat. However, whenever the reference price - the average wholesale market price - exceeds the strike price, the companies should return excessive profits to the government.
Under respite FPPPAs, the monitoring those markets as well as operating the payments is set to be done by an independent provincial agency, funded through levies on non-renewable energy generation, generally following the approach of the United Kingdom
The price guarantee however also applied to generation for nuclear energy, clean hydrogen, and - in provinces dependent on fossil fuels - temporary natural gas.
Since, energy prices remain flat across the market, they become effective regressive when it comes to income distribution. Households have to pay based on their individual consumption, being identical and per household consumption being largely balanced, causes lower income households to spend more on energy since per unit price of electricity remains the same regardless of household income. Additionally, some provinces have energy generation that is largely dependent on fossil fuel generation, causing future ECfDs to increase prices of electricity substantially. Thus, the Government of Canada is set to absorb the cost of energy rebates to households to offset those increased costs, with the specifics determined by the provinces through the Canadian Green Energy Rebate Program (CGERP)
A similar approach is used for critical minerals, where the Government of Canada opens auctions to determine strike prices for natural resource exploration and processing projects, and the guaranteeing that specific price for projects associated with a given auction. If the market price falls from bellow the strike price, the Government of Canada shall compensate the difference, while extra profits from elevated prices shall be compensate to pay-back to Ottawa.
For critical minerals
specifically, CfDs are signed over 25-year period, with the strike price being reference against a comprehensive benchmark against fossil fuel. The contracts guarantee critical minerals shall remain more attractive in terms of return guarantees as opposed to fossil fuels.
Finally, the Government is also expanding carbon contracts for difference to all Investment & Innovation Canada institutions, rather than just the Canada Growth Fund
, instead incorporating emissions reduction as a supplementary mandate for all bodies of the IIC. Instead, the CGF sees their mandate expanded to support commercialisation of market-ready technologies not just for the green transition, but when it comes to energy production, construction, aerospace, life sciences, communications, and inflation technologies.
While managing the issue of PPCDs and other contracts for difference backed by Ottawa - including kickstarting auctions - falls under the jurisdiction of the newly created Office of Contract Guarantees
The Government is also launching a new Equity & Asset Finance Program
that aims to provide confessional funding to smaller investors, especially those in equity markets, when it comes to purchasing equity in IIC-backed projects. The Program allows IIC institutions to partner other finical players, and through income-contingent grants, matching programmes, and all other available instruments lend to smaller investors, including individual ones, to cover the purchase of corporate equity for companies that have been listed on a Canadian stock exhale for 5 years or less, or operate in the renewable energy, battery production, clean energy and industrial equipment, IT, pharmaceuticals and life sciences.
Additionally, the Government strengthens the accountability for IIC institutions, through the creation of the Innovation & Business Assistance Council of Canada
, including provincial jurisdictions. IBACC provides through supervision and independent assessment the combined and overall perforce of IIC institutions, including their finical health and long-term profitability. It also uses overseeing councils of Regional Development Agencies to monitor the success of individual RDAs, calculating their finical soundness and long-term market impact. The Council is also tasked with screening individual applicants and projects together with relevant institutions within the IIC, using the data collected as proxy for an overall assessment of a programme, or an institution.
The key performance indicators that the Council uses to assess the perforce of specific programmes, as well as IIC insertions include:
- Crowd-in Effect - how much private investment has been committed, as opposed to direct subsidies.
- Degree of Maturity - IBACC assesses whenever a project is immature enough to actually require public business assistance or whenever the funding may not be necessary at all, with further interference crowding out rather than facilitating private investment.
Those two impact assessment remain mandatory for all projects, together comprising the assessment for long-term ability of a project to remain financially viable without governmental support.
- Impact on Competition - jointly with the compensation authorities, the Council assesses whether the project is conducive to greater competition among domestic companies, rather than simply favouring incumbent companies. This also includes the impact of competition in capital markets. This criterion is also considered superior to the productivity and clause, since higher competition is assumed to increase productivity on its own.
- Productivity and Resource Utilisation - to what extent a given project, programme, or institution results in productivity increases, as opposed to simply greater use of existing resources. Notable exception is granted whenever greater recourse use involves higher labour participation.
- Environmental Impact - to what extent the project is conducive to lowering emissions as well as broadener human footprint in the environment. This assessment is only mandatory for companies and projects seeking support for "green" investment, and may override the productivity consideration.
From a policy standpoint, the current policy mix unveiled during the Fall Economic Update 2024
effectively provides comprehensive insurance for the Liberals' climate policy in case they loose the upcoming election - something that seems to become increasingly likely.
However, when it comes to pure politics, both Trudeau and the federal Conservatives find themselves in a tight spot.
For Team Red the problem lies in a trade off they made, opting for enshrining their climate policy through Carbon Contracts for Defence (PPCDs) where even minor changes to price on pollution will result in massive fiscal punishments for the Government of Canada. Additionally, the Federal-Provincial Agreements effectively commit both the provinces and Ottawa to maintaining some form of carbon pricing, with the Feds still maintaining the role of a backstop party. However, Trudeau had to effectively pull the breaks on two of his major policies: the Clean Energy Regulations
- with similar objectives being achieved through FPPPAs - and the federal emissions cap
, as a concession made as part of an apparent close-door negotiants with western provinces to sign the agreements. Which will be quite difficult to sell to a more progressive side of the Liberal electorate.
Team Blue on the other hand is seemly trying to dial down on their promises to repeal federal price on carbon, instead aiming for the Environmental Impact Assessment
, emphasising how the Act may likely slow down exploration and development of critical minerals. The Tories are also doubling down on housing affordability
, as slowing inflation shifts Canadians' perception Liberals' economic competence
. Nevertheless, Conservatives still resonate with people, on another key issue: national unity. Although Liberals seem to have successfully avoided direct head-to-head collision with the Conservative-run Alberta, lack of Western support for Trudeau climate policies
may provide a hook for the Tories to hang on to. Especially as neither party seem to be able to secure a clear majority in Quebec, to un-seat the nationalist Bloc Québécois.
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2023.06.03 03:11 marmeeweasley FWCCU risk assessment. What does my astrological sign have to do with risk???????
2023.06.03 00:53 yolorehab Market Recap - 6/2/23 - goldilocks data
| || |The Fed submitted by yolorehab to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]
US Labor May Nonfarm Payrolls +339K; Consensus +190K US May Private Sector Payrolls +283K and Government Payrolls +56K US May Unemployment Rate 3.7%; Consensus 3.5% US May Average Hourly Earnings +0.33% MoM, or +4.30% yoy (exp 4.4%); Hours worked 34.3, down a bit.
Today's Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) data is a perfect goldilocks data. A significant gain in payroll numbers, indicating strength in the economy. However, the increase in the unemployment rate suggests that the jobs market is loosening up, also low than expected wage growth both gave the Fed a good reason to pause in June.
This observation aligns with the regional Fed survey data for this month, that although business conditions are deteriorating, companies are reluctant to lay off employees due to the tight labor market and expectations of improvement in business conditions in the coming months.
As mentioned yesterday, it appears that the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) may have reached a low point, indicating a potential stabilization. However, if the PMI does not recover, there may be job losses in the second half of the year. https://preview.redd.it/a9vt8p30lo3b1.png?width=936&format=png&auto=webp&s=2979eb2fa76f6c6c2649f241398a23cd1a82038d
More good news for disinflation: Food prices hit a 2 year low in May. The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 124.3 points in May 2023, down 3.4 points (2.6 percent) from April and as much as 35.4 points (22.1 percent) from the all-time high it reached in March 2022. https://preview.redd.it/wgse8bgylo3b1.png?width=936&format=png&auto=webp&s=f0642943af71cc6286d2df6cf3c4f14e2bfdafd1
On the international front, ECB's Makhlouf says likely to see another rate increase at next meeting. But on the other hand, rumor has it that more liquidity is coming from China. I mentioned a few times that China is have a hard time as the re-opening rally didn't last nearly as long as people have hoped. To further boost economy growth, a fresh property-stimulus package may be on the way. Even though just a rumor at this point, XLB and XLI rallied big time today on the news. The Economy
BoA is still projecting recession in Q3 and Q4 with negative GDP and job losses (so are most banks). https://preview.redd.it/1u1ltuhsmo3b1.png?width=936&format=png&auto=webp&s=eba1bd8aa433f8cd54ac6172200fd9f6399c5858
Loan default is at an alarming level, but given how much loan were issued during COVID, this is probably not as alarming as it looks. https://preview.redd.it/h5bp4756no3b1.png?width=936&format=png&auto=webp&s=993aad9234c889bf8d4ce507c3f7bbb97c2dad75
JPM President Pinto says economy looks okay for now, doesn't see a crisis. The Business
Speaking of FOMO, last month had the biggest institutional inflow into tech since Feb 2021 and last week had the biggest inflow since ever. https://preview.redd.it/nbuakhxwno3b1.png?width=936&format=png&auto=webp&s=3defd7fc2b1523263a0a3e36a4c27b17e84e2607
MS on AAPL - "Near term, “AVR is <1% of revs but .. has the potential to become Apple's next $20B+ compute platform.” Upgrade price target to $190. Yeah, that's right, the Metaverse is still alive.
JPM desk on yesterday’s rally: “.. limits are moving up .. hedges coming off .. we’re seeing underperforming core names get bought .. the most notable thing is no one is selling in size… Trimming, yes. Shorting, barely. Exiting winning positions, absolutely not.”
China plans to extend the purchase tax exemption for new energy vehicles (EVs). TSLA holders are happy today.
Investors are betting on the long part of the yield curve. TMF (Direxion Daily 20-Year Treasury Bull 3X), a tripled leverage ETF, has more than doubled in size since the beginning of the year. https://preview.redd.it/pwbgx13koo3b1.png?width=936&format=png&auto=webp&s=138d7658e2c19bf630117cbd5b59b502d2d881ea
Amazon is reportedly in talks to provide mobile service to Prime members in the United States. As a result of this news, telecom stocks in the U.S. experienced a decline.
Bank insiders are currently purchasing shares in their own companies at the fastest pace since the COVID crash. In the second quarter, the ratio of buyers to sellers has reached a record high of 14.7 to 1. https://preview.redd.it/d0v36titoo3b1.png?width=936&format=png&auto=webp&s=4330b3ef02c2de2dbee754a3108d5eb08f0d7c24
Last but not least, here is the GS conviction buy list https://preview.redd.it/vxhofpv7po3b1.png?width=936&format=png&auto=webp&s=d4ef9d56d751163b3cbce4b0ac79ddcd86ca978d
Bought some garbage (KRE, CCL, CVNA) and IWM calls today. Let's see if we can have a final squeeze before the pull back.
2023.06.02 23:55 CampCat75 Back from work, writing to pass the time
I am writing a fiction and am inspired by my work as camp manager. In my job I get to travel a lot and by talking with colleagues from petrol companies (mostly american) I came up with an idea I want to stick to. Just to imagine what it would be like to pull off a stunt that would get me rich if I ever have the balls to do it. It is the story of a group of expats who have the chance to steal off petrol property during the negotiation process with international banks. Here is the first page wich is a fictional first page of a newspaper:
"Black Gold Scandal in Uzbekistan:
U.S., China, and Russia Locked in Tense Negotiations as Theft of Chinese Petrol Creates Geopolitical Turmoil
In a shocking turn of events, a clandestine operation targeting internationally shared petrol production in Uzbekistan has sent shockwaves through the global community. The incident, involving the theft of valuable Chinese petroleum resources, has embroiled the United States, China, and Russia in a tense standoff as negotiations stall and tensions rise.
The Chinese government recently discovered that an independent group, shrouded in mystery, has been surreptitiously pilfering their precious "black gold" reserves. The scale of the theft has led Chinese authorities to suspect involvement from a major global power, prompting accusations and casting a veil of uncertainty over the situation.
Amidst mounting evidence and diplomatic pressure, the three nations find themselves at a stalemate in their efforts to identify the perpetrators responsible for this audacious act of resource plundering. This impasse has not only strained relations between the United States, China, and Russia but has also ignited a fierce competition for control over the disputed oil camp.
The stakes are high, as access to the oil camp provides significant geopolitical advantages in an energy-dependent world. With each nation vying for supremacy and protecting their interests, the possibility of a new war over oil possession looms ominously on the horizon.
China, aggrieved by the theft and desperate to regain control of its valuable petroleum resources, has spared no effort in launching an extensive investigation. While their suspicions have gravitated towards either Russian or American involvement, concrete evidence remains elusive, fuelling tensions between the three global powers.
On one hand, Russia vehemently denies any involvement in the theft, branding the accusations as baseless and emphasizing its commitment to international law and order. On the other hand, the United States, equally insistent on its innocence, asserts that it is dedicated to maintaining stability in the region and assisting in the search for the true culprits.
As the clock ticks, the international community watches anxiously, fully aware that the outcome of these negotiations could have far-reaching consequences. The fragile balance of power in the region hangs with a potential escalation of hostilities posing a threat to global stability.
In the midst of this geopolitical storm, the search for the perpetrators continues, and the stakes grow higher with each passing day. The world holds its breath, hoping for a breakthrough that would defuse the mounting tensions and avert a catastrophic clash over the coveted black gold reserves.
Only time will tell whether the United States, China, and Russia can overcome their differences, unmask the thieves, and prevent this volatile situation from spiralling into a full-blown international crisis. As the nations involved teeter on the brink of conflict, the world holds its collective breath, awaiting the resolution of the Black Gold scandal in Uzbekistan."
What I'm asking is: Do you have any information, whether it is closer to fiction or not, that I could add to the story ? I am doing this for myself with no intent to publish, so the idea is to ponder over the geopolitical dynamics of such a conflict and how would it realistically develop. Thank you !
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to FictionWriting [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 23:49 aayafit Rishpon real estate, Houses and Villas for sale and for rent, Plot of land for sale. A.A Yafit Real Estate Agency. Agent Michal Ben Ari +972-54-4788444. Agent Gil Solomon +972-54-9377793 #aayafit #herzliyapituach #villasale #villarent #housesale #houserent www.aayafit.co.il
| || | submitted by aayafit to RishonRealEstate [link] [comments]
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2023.06.02 22:57 agency4711 La storia del Quebec
Il Quebec è una provincia del Canada con una storia unica e una cultura distintiva. La ragione per cui si parla francese nel Quebec risale alle radici stesse della colonizzazione europea della regione.
Nel XVI secolo, il navigatore francese Jacques Cartier esplorò le terre del Quebec e reclamò il territorio per la Francia. Successivamente, furono inviate spedizioni francesi per stabilire insediamenti permanenti e avviare il commercio di pellicce con le popolazioni indigene locali.
Nel corso del XVII secolo, la Nuova Francia, come era conosciuta la colonia francese nella regione, crebbe e prosperò. Le città di Quebec e Montreal divennero importanti centri commerciali e amministrativi. I coloni francesi si dedicarono principalmente all'agricoltura, alla pesca e al commercio delle pellicce, stabilendo stretti legami con le comunità indigene.
La presenza francese nel Quebec fu però minacciata durante il XVIII secolo. Durante la Guerra dei Sette Anni (1756-1763), la Francia e la Gran Bretagna si scontrarono per il controllo delle colonie nordamericane. Nel 1759, l'esercito britannico sconfisse le forze francesi nella Battaglia di Quebec, segnando una svolta nella storia della regione.
Con il Trattato di Parigi del 1763, la Francia cedette ufficialmente la Nuova Francia alla Gran Bretagna. Nonostante il cambio di dominio, gran parte della popolazione francofona scelse di rimanere nel territorio. Gli inglesi garantirono loro il diritto di continuare a parlare la lingua francese, praticare la religione cattolica e mantenere le loro leggi e tradizioni.
Tuttavia, nel corso del XIX secolo, la presenza anglofona e la cultura britannica iniziarono a esercitare una maggiore influenza sul Quebec. Ciò portò a tensioni culturali e politiche all'interno della provincia. Nel 1977, il governo provinciale adottò la legge 101, nota come "Legge sulla lingua ufficiale e comune del Québec", che stabiliva il francese come lingua ufficiale e promuoveva l'uso del francese nella sfera pubblica.
Negli ultimi decenni, il Quebec ha continuato a difendere e promuovere la sua identità francofona. La provincia ha un forte sistema educativo in lingua francese, e il governo provinciale sostiene attivamente l'uso del francese nella vita quotidiana e nei servizi pubblici.
Oggi, il Quebec è un luogo in cui la lingua francese è ampiamente parlata e celebrata. La sua cultura distintiva, che fonde le tradizioni francesi con l'eredità indigena, si riflette nelle arti, nella letteratura, nella cucina e nelle festività locali. Il Quebec rimane un'importante roccaforte della lingua e della cultura francofona in Nord America.
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2023.06.02 22:39 trentcrimm-indep Explain the connections between interest rates, the robust labor market, and practical solutions to lower housing and food inflation?
It seems there is a connection to me between interests rates held too low, Fed money printing, rampant food and housing inflation, and the resilient labor market.
You view of any of these aspects?
We printed so much money, it flowed into corporate buybacks, equities and real property. So how will a solution work focused on tamping inflation by raising rates? Is Reich or Jon Stewart right we are doing this on “the backs of low wage workers”?
1) How should the Fed navigate interest rates?
2) What is sound tax policy to spread tax burden more efficiently between corporate profits and medium to lower income workers, yet still benefit small businesses (that generate the majority of jobs)?
People have to work more hours to cover essentials. Yesterday in the US, Macy’s Costco and Dollar Tree all indicated recessionary forces and customer spending pullback for essentials. That said, I understand corporate profits and oligopolies are the reason food prices are high.
Commentary on forces, your views welcome:
-Combining Macro and Demographics, Gen X, Millennials and younger who are not home owners have a long wait ahead, and still rental housing prices that are too high. The rent eats first.
I believe home prices will not correct until 2024, as the bid ask spreads in commercial multifamily and residential are too wide. We won’t see meaningful corrections until loans are up for renewal, and we uncover how regional banks won’t lend (due to rising interest rates).
3) And current homeowners stay out as they cannot replace their low mortgage rates. Any solutions here?
We also have market forces that are quite different-does that change recommended policy?
-low housing starts, (do we have lower household formation too?), crisis of affordable housing.
-social media news (see bank run for Silicon Valley), Yardi software extracts highest possible rents, and a demographic baby bust in western countries not fully replaced with immigration.
I’m leaving out unpriced externalities like climate change, but seems we are —spending prolifically now before we need it —we used up all the gas with pedal to the metal zero percent rates, when the workers in the economy needs support.
Help an Econ minor out? Non homeowner here struggling with housing, food and daycare inflation.
submitted by trentcrimm-indep
to AskEconomics [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 22:36 TickingAwayTh4Moment Bonjour! J’acceuille (16m) un étudiant francais (15m) chez moi ce weekend! Avez-vous des conseils?
Nous passerons une semaine en angleterre, et je cherche des idées, des activités, des repas qui pourraient créer un séjour confortable, ludique et mémorable. Peut-être quelque-chose pourrait lui rappeler de la france? J’habite dans une région rurale au bord de la mer, et il habite dans une region similaire de la france. Merci!
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to voyageons [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 22:22 Dismal-Jellyfish $86 billion deposited to commercial banks in the last week (May 17th-24th). $920 billion in deposits has been pulled since the all time hit 4/13/22. Since the run picked up momentum 2/22/2023, $452 billion in deposits have been pulled. Is the bank run stabilizing? Still a TON of BTFP borrowing...
| || | submitted by Dismal-Jellyfish to Superstonk [link] [comments]
Happy Friday Superstonk, I hope everyone had a great week! Resident Jellyfish back again to review this weeks commercial bank deposit data (and how deposit outflows are still being 'made up' with borrowing from sweetheart liquidity programs for the banks. https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h8/20230602/
(to be added when update publishes)
A little over a year ago (4/13/2022) the high was hit at $18,158.3536 billion
|Date ||Deposits, All Commercial Banks (billions) ||Down from all time high (billions) |
|4/13/2022 ||$18,158 ||0 |
|2/22/2023 (Run picks up speed) ||$17,690 ||-$468 billion |
|3/1/2023 ||$17,662 ||-$496 billion |
|3/8/2023 ||$17,599 ||-$559 billion |
|3/15/2023 ||$17,428 ||-$730 billion |
|3/22/2023 ||$17,256 ||-$902 billion |
|3/29/2023 ||$17,192 ||-$966 billion |
|4/5/2023 ||$17,253 ||-$905 billion |
|4/12/2023 ||$17,168 ||-$990 billion |
|4/19/2023 ||$17,180 ||-$978 billion |
|4/26/2023 ||$17,164 ||-$994 billion |
|5/3/2023 ||$17,149 ||-$1,009 billion |
|5/10/2023 ||$17,123 ||-$1,035 billion |
|5/17/2023 ||$17,152 ||-$1006 billion |
|5/24/2023 ||$17,238 ||-$920 billion |
All this money pulled from commercial banks as M2 (U.S. money stock--currency and coins held by the non-bank public, checkable deposits, and travelers' checks, plus savings deposits, small time deposits under 100k, and shares in retail money market funds) is decreasing: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M2SL https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/current/default.htm
A little less than a year ago (July 2022) the M2 high was hit at $21,703 billion
|Date ||M2 (billions) ||Down from all time high (billions) |
|July 2022 ||$21,703 ||0 |
|August 2022 ||$21,660 ||-$43 billion |
|September 2022 ||$21,524 ||-$179 billion |
|October 2022 ||$21,432 ||-$271 billion |
|November 2022 ||$21,398 ||-$305 billion |
|December 2022 ||$21,358 ||-$345 billion |
|January 2023 ||$21,212 ||-$491 billion |
|February 2023* ||$21,076 ||-$627 billion |
|March 2023 ||$20,840 ||-$863 billion |
|April 2023 ||$20,673 ||-$1030 billion |
Bank run in commercial banks picked up in February 2023.)
- M1 consists of (1) currency outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks, and the vaults of depository institutions; (2) demand deposits at commercial banks (excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign banks and official institutions) less cash items in the process of collection and Federal Reserve float; and (3) other liquid deposits, consisting of other checkable deposits (or OCDs, which comprise negotiable order of withdrawal, or NOW, and automatic transfer service, or ATS, accounts at depository institutions, share draft accounts at credit unions, and demand deposits at thrift institutions) and savings deposits (including money market deposit accounts). Seasonally adjusted M1 is constructed by summing currency, demand deposits, and other liquid deposits, each seasonally adjusted separately.
- M2 consists of M1 plus (1) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000) less individual retirement account (IRA) and Keogh balances at depository institutions; and (2) balances in retail money market funds (MMFs) less IRA and Keogh balances at MMFs. Seasonally adjusted M2 is constructed by summing small-denomination time deposits and retail MMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding the result to seasonally adjusted M1.
- Currency in circulation consists of Federal Reserve notes and coin outside the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Banks.
- Reserve balances are balances held by depository institutions in master accounts and excess balance accounts at Federal Reserve Banks.
- Monetary base equals currency in circulation plus reserve balances.
- Total reserves equal reserve balances plus, before April 2020, vault cash used to satisfy reserve requirements.
- Total borrowings in millions of dollars from the Federal Reserve are borrowings from the discount window's primary, secondary, and seasonal credit programs and other borrowings from emergency lending facilities. For borrowings included, see "Loans" in table 1 of the H.4.1 statistical release.
- Nonborrowed reserves equal total reserves less total borrowings from the Federal Reserve.
However, borrowing from the liquidity fairy is spiraling to make up for it shrinking M2 and dwindling deposits:
- Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP)
- Discount Window/Primary Credit
- "Other Credit Extensions"
|Tool ||Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP) ||Up from 3/15, 1st week of program ($ billion) |
|3/15 ||$11.943 billion ||$0 billion |
|3/22 ||$53.669 billion ||$41.723 billion |
|3/29 ||$64.403 billion ||$52.460 billion |
|3/31 ||$64.595 billion ||$52.652 billion |
|4/5 ||$79.021 billion ||$67.258 billion |
|4/12 ||$71.837 billion ||$59.894 billion |
|4/19 ||$73.982 billion ||$62.039 billion |
|4/26 ||$81.327 billion ||$69.384 billion |
|5/3 ||$75.778 billion ||$63.935 billion |
|5/10 ||$83.101 billion ||$71.158 billion |
|5/17 ||$87.006 billion ||$75.063 billion |
|5/24 ||$91.907 billion ||$79.964 billion |
|5/31 ||$93.615 billion ||$81.672 billion |
- Association, or credit union) or U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank that is eligible for primary credit (see 12 CFR 201.4(a)) is eligible to borrow under the Program.
- Banks can borrow for up to one year, at a fixed rate for the term, pegged to the one-year overnight index swap rate plus 10 basis points.
- Banks have to post collateral (valued at par!).
- Any collateral has to be “owned by the borrower as of March 12, 2023."
- Eligible collateral includes any collateral eligible for purchase by the Federal Reserve Banks in open market operations.
|Tool ||Discount Window ||Down from 3/15 high |
|3/15 ||$152.853 billion ||$0 billion |
|3/22 ||$110.248 billion ||-$42.605 billion |
|3/29 ||$88.157 billion ||-$64.696 billion |
|4/5 ||$69.705 billion ||-$83.148 billion |
|4/12 ||$67.633 billion ||-$85.22 billion |
|4/19 ||$69.925 billion ||-$82.928 billion |
|4/26 ||$73.855 billion ||-$78.998 billion |
|5/3 ||$.5345 billion ||-$152.3185 billion |
|5/10 ||$.9323 billion ||-$151.9207 billion |
|5/17 ||$.9048 billion ||-$151.9482 billion |
|5/24 ||$.4211 billion ||-$152.4319 billion |
|5/31 ||$.3971 billion ||-$152.4559 billion |
Primary Credit allows banks to borrow against collateral at the current federal funds rate
Federal Reserve lending to depository institutions (the “discount window”) plays an important role in supporting the liquidity and stability of the banking system and the effective implementation of monetary policy.
By providing ready access to funding, the discount window helps depository institutions manage their liquidity risks efficiently and avoid actions that have negative consequences for their customers, such as withdrawing credit during times of market stress. Thus, the discount window supports the smooth flow of credit to households and businesses. Providing liquidity in this way is one of the original purposes of the Federal Reserve System and other central banks around the world.
The "Primary Credit" program is the principal safety valve for ensuring adequate liquidity in the banking system. Primary credit is priced relative to the FOMC’s target range for the federal funds rate and is normally granted on a “no-questions-asked,” minimally administered basis. There are no restrictions on borrowers’ use of primary credit. https://www.frbdiscountwindow.org/Pages/General-Information/Primary-and-Secondary-Lending-Programs.aspx Examples of common borrowing situations
- Tight money markets or undue market volatility
- Preventing an overnight overdraft
- Meeting a need for funding, including a short-term liquidity demand that may arise from unexpected deposit withdrawals or a spike in loan demand
The introduction of the primary credit program in 2003 marked a fundamental shift - from administration to pricing - in the Federal Reserve's approach to discount window lending. Notably, eligible depository institutions may obtain primary credit without exhausting or even seeking funds from alternative sources. Minimal administration of and restrictions on the use of primary credit makes it a reliable funding source. Being prepared to borrow primary credit enhances an institution's liquidity.
Notice how use of the Discount Window has PLUMMETED as BTFP has come in to play? BTFP offers slightly lower interest and longer terms. I wonder how many folks paid back their Discount Window loans with BTFP money? https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WLCFOCEL
|Tool ||Other Credit Extension ||Up from 3/15, 1st week of program ($ billion) |
|3/15 ||$142.8 billion ||$0 billion |
|3/22 ||$179.8 billion ||$37 billion |
|3/29 ||$180.1 billion ||$37.3 billion |
|4/5 ||$174.6 billion ||$31.8 billion |
|4/12 ||$172.6 billion ||$29.8 billion |
|4/19 ||$172.6 billion ||$29.8 billion |
|4/26 ||$170.3 billion ||$27.5 billion |
|5/3 ||$228.2 billion ||$85.4 billion |
|5/10 ||$212.5 billion ||$69.7billion |
|5/17 ||$208.5 billion ||$65.7 billion |
|5/24 ||$192.6 billion ||$49.8 billion |
|5/31 ||$188.092 billion ||$45.292 billion |
"Other credit extensions" includes loans that were extended to depository institutions established by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The Federal Reserve Banks' loans to these depository institutions are secured by collateral and the FDIC provides repayment guarantees.
For example, $114 billion in face value Agency Mortgage Backed Securities, Collateralized Mortgage Obligations, and Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities about to be liquidated 'gradual and orderly' with the 'aim to minimize the potential for any adverse impact on market functioning' by BlackRock.
How I understand this works:
- The FDIC created temporary banks to support the operations of the ones they have taken over.
- The FDIC did not have the money to operate these banks.
- The Fed is providing that in the form of a loan via "Other credit extensions".
- The FDIC is going to sell the taken over banks assets.
- Whatever the difference between the sale of the assets and the ultimate loan number is, will be the amount split up amongst all the remaining banks and applied as a special fee to make the Fed 'whole'.
- It can be argued the consumer will ultimately end up paying for this as banks look to pass this cost on in some way.
There has been an update on this piece recently:
Whatever the difference between the sale of the assets and the ultimate loan number is, will be the amount split up amongst all the remaining banks and applied as a special fee to make the Fed 'whole'. FDIC Board of Directors Issues a Proposed Rule on Special Assessment Pursuant to Systemic Risk Determination of approximately $15.8 billion. It is estimated that a total of 113 banking organizations would be subject to the special assessment. https://www.fdic.gov/news/fact-sheets/systemic-risk-determination-5-11-23.html
What does all this borrowing look like for the banks? They sure as heck aren't getting funding from deposits...: https://www.reddit.com/Superstonk/comments/13eme4d/bank_funding_during_the_current_monetary_policy/
Over the few weeks prior to the FDIC receivership announcements on March 10 and 12, the banking sector lost another approximately $450 billion. Throughout, the banking sector has offset the reduction in deposit funding with an increase in other forms of borrowing which has increased by $800 billion since the start of the tightening. https://preview.redd.it/q162qztuvn3b1.png?width=572&format=png&auto=webp&s=5f802c33839e95f31b97d10d3e78c568189956b9
The right panel of the chart below summarizes the cumulative change in deposit funding by bank size category since the start of the tightening cycle through early March 2023 and then through the end of March. Until early March 2023, the decline in deposit funding lined up with bank size, consistent with the concentration of deposits in larger banks. Small banks lost no deposit funding prior to the events of late March. In terms of percentage decline, the outflows were roughly equal for regional, super-regional, and large banks at around 4 percent of total deposit funding:
The blue bar in the left panel above shows that the pattern changes following the run on SVB. The additional outflow is entirely concentrated in the segment of super-regional banks. In fact, most other size categories experience deposit inflows.
The right panel illustrates that outflows at super-regionals begin immediately after the failure of SVB and are mirrored by deposit inflows at large banks in the second week of March 2022.
Further, while deposit funding remains at a lower level throughout March for super-regional banks, the initially large inflows mostly reverse by the end of March. Notably, banks with less than $100 billion in assets were relatively unaffected.
However, during the most acute phase of banking stress in mid-March, other borrowings exceeded reductions in deposit balances, suggesting significant and widespread demand for precautionary liquidity. A substantial amount of liquidity was provided by the private markets, likely via the FHLB system, but primary credit and the Bank Term Funding Program (both summarized as Federal Reserve credit) were equally important. https://preview.redd.it/no5wga6xvn3b1.png?width=557&format=png&auto=webp&s=a8b2fe4a73e16ac898400327a4fb4d60b7fd15bc
- Large banks increased borrowing the most, which is in line with deposit outflows being strongest for larger banks before March 2023.
- During March 2023, both super-regional and large banks increase their borrowings, with most increases being centered in the super-regional banks that faced the largest deposit outflows.
- Note, however, that not all size categories face deposit outflows but that all except the small banks increase their other borrowings.
- This pattern suggests demand for precautionary liquidity buffers across the banking system, not just among the most affected institutions:
- Banks have been replacing deposit outflows with the borrowing we have covered above.
- Folks have pulled $920 billion in deposits since 4/13/2022
- Folks have pulled $452 billion in deposits since 2/22/2023
- Folks have added $86 billion in deposits 5/17-5/24
- Is the bank run stabilizing? More fuel for June rate hike?
2023.06.02 20:33 yupanda 24 days in Japan. Osaka - Onomichi - Shimanami Kaido/Matsuyama- Hiroshima/Miyajima - Kyoto - Takayama/ Kamikochi/Matsumoto - Tokyo
Hi lovely people,
We just came back from our first trip to Japan and it was truly a memorable trip. We spent over 3 weeks in Japan from 07th May until 30th May.
WE LOVE JAPAN! Can't wait to come back.
A little bit about us: We are both ~30y olds and enjoy a mix of urban, outdoor and culture during our holidays. We are foodies, but not hard-core as in we don't specifically organize our trips around restaurants. There are so many restaurants in Japan, it is hard to get a bad meal. We enjoy just wandering around neighbourhoods. Mostly low/mid-budget stuff with a splurge once in a while.
Our travel itinerary can be found here General comments
- Time period of travel: We arrived 7th of May which is the last sunday of Golden week. We specifically wanted to avoid Golden week, as we heard it can be crazy busy due to domestic travels. And we also didn't want to go too late in May because June is rainy season in Japan. We were pretty lucky with the weather overall as we only had a couple of days of rain, most days were sunny and we even had some days of sweltering heat :O
- Like other people suggest, try to get in shape before you go! We are both in average shape. Almost every day we walked around 20.000 steps or more. The only rest days we had were the days where we were switching between cities, i.e. sitting in trains for longer periods of time. No complaints ;). I brought two pair of shoes: water-proof hiking shoes and one pair of light-weight running shoes. Switching between shoes was nice, I didn't have any blisters during my time in Japan luckily. All the walking compensated all the eating though!
- Check whether region specific JR passes might work for you. We decided against getting the nationwide JR passes as they didn't fit our needs and were expensive and instead opted for a regional JR Setouchi area pass. It was perfect for the Shimanami Kaido. We could travel from Osaka to Onomichi -> Hiroshima/Miyajima -> Kyoto. And it also gave us access to Nozomi shinkansen (fastest) and a great ferry ride between Matsuyama and Hiroshima.
Japanguide has a nice overview of all the passes : https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2357.html
- Be flexible (That's how we like to travel). I mapped out most of the sights beforehand according to must-see's and mapped out what other interesting sights there would be in those areas. The day before or in the morning, we would decide what we would do roughly, sight-see according to neighborhood and just wing it a little bit. We just love to wander around and see what we come across, mixed with some google maps + "explore" function. Some days you are just tired and just want to hang out in a park, or you have temple-fatigue and want to do something entirely else. Same with food/restaurants, we usually just used google maps to see what kind of great restaurants were near us at that moment. We haven't lined up more than twice our whole time there and still ate wonderfully. We do tend to avoid overly hyped stuff anyways. I do keep in mind that everyone has their own ways.
- Buy e-sim if possible, it is the cheapest and easiest way. My partner bought an e-sim and it was so convenient! My phone unfortunately didn't support it and I had to buy a sim. I opted for getting one at BIC camera, which was the cheapest I could find. 10GB for 30 days for 3200 yen.
- Keep plastic bags for trash. Buying food from conbini, and eating it somewhere? say yes to that plastic bag, because you will need it to stash your garbage until you are back at your hotel where you can throw it away or you find a garbage bin at the train station per chance. I read about this a lot on this subreddit, but still I found it astonishing the lack of trash cans. Fascinating how the streets of Japan are so damn clean.
- Try Pokari sweat. :) I tried it for the first time there and I was hooked immediately. It is awesome! Best electrolyte drink ever and it definitely saved me during those hot sweaty days there. CC lemon is also great!
- Go for a haircut or some other beauty/massage treatment. The hospitality is amazing in Japan. You won't regret getting pampered in Japan. They have all kinds of crazy treatments. I got the best haircut of my life for 4400yen.
Trip report PS. I am not mentioning everything we did in this post. I will just mention highlights. It is still a long read though ;). D1 - D2 Osaka
We landed at Kansai airport. Before our trip, we also bought train vouchers for Osaka online (https://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/
). Best decision ever, because the journey was rough and we were exhausted by the time we landed. We only had to exchange our vouchers at the station and off we went.
Osaka was nice city to start with as it is a more manageable "smaller" city whilst recovering from our jetlag. Despite being smaller, I do think it is worth a visit. Osaka is so iconic at night. We stayed at a spacious Airbnb near Kuromon Ichiban market.
- Takoyaki :) We had our first try of takoyaki at Takotako King instead of one the places at Dotonbori to avoid the crazy lines. You can sit down, have a beer and yes the takoyaki is amazing. It should be crunchy on the outside and deliciously goeey on the inside, doused with sauces and katsuobushi. Man, I wish I could go back and eat it again. It is true, you can't get great takoyaki outside of Osaka, at least I didn't get that same crunchy gooey combo again in other cities.
- Discount sushi from Takashimaya department store. For the budget-minded, this is a no-brainer. Around 7PM, an hour before closing time, you can get delicious fatty tuna maki at discount prices in the basement of takashimaya. Other foods at the department store food floor such as the fresh mochi are delicious also. Takashimaya is my favorite department store for food I think!
- Osaka castle - Our first castle in Japan. The green roof and the golden ornaments are beautiful and unique!
- Dotonbori - iconic :) fun to walk along. The queues are long there. We avoided eating at Dotonbori.
- Shitenno-ji - beautiful pagoda with buddha statues inside. Do pay the fee to go inside and see the garden. You can also go into the pagoda and walk up.
- Huge fan of Shotengai's, Shinsaibashi-Suji Shopping Street. They are so quintessential Japan.
- Ramen Tendo, the first ramen joint that we tried in Japan, so it has a special place in my heart. They specialize in chicken broth with lots of umami katsuoboshi flavor. Noodles were great too, very bouncy. Delicious! Little did I know that this ramen joint was really one of the best we would have this trip. It set the bar high for sure!
- Visit a local grocery store. Maybe it is just me, but I love to browse at local grocery shops (KOHYO namba Minatomachi) and be fascinated by all the different things they sell. It is also a great place to buy food souvenirs, like miso, green tea etc. Lots of pre-cooked meals/ fried stuff. Just a wider selection than your typical conbini. And again discounts if you go ~1hr before closing time.
Skip Shinsekai: We visited during the day and it felt very empty to me. More like a tourist-trap, the eateries didn't look appealing to me. Maybe during the evening this area is more fun. D3 Nara
We did Nara as a day-trip from Osaka.
- Yes, to feeding the deer. It is touristy, but it is so much fun to be chased by cookie-crazed deer. One more thing: deer's fart a lot. We were wondering where this weird high pitched sound was coming from, those are actually deer farts.
- Todai-ji is very impressive, definitely a must visit.
- Just wander around in Nara park, it's very lush and beautiful and has many more shrines and interesting sights, such as manyo botanical garden. I wish we had one more day to explore Nara but oh well maybe next time :)
- We ate lunch at Magura Koya, a small restaurant run by a lovely elderly couple. Delicious tuna dishes. I had a tuna sashimi bowl and my partner the fried tuna set meal, so fresh!
- We had the best pork bun at Hourokutei at the end of the Higashimuki shopping street. It's a small hole in the wall, but omg the squishy-est juicy-est porkbuns ever.
After staying in Osaka for 3 days, we headed west for the Shimanami Kaido. We decided to stay in Onomichi (Hotel Beacon Onomichi) for the night before we started our two day bike trip. For this part of our trip, we picked up our 7-day Setouchi area pass at Shin-Osaka JR station. I just want to mention that I really love the hospitality of the staff in Japan. The JR office people were so nice and helpful. We reserved our seats for the shinkansen and off we went to Onomichi. Onomichi is a lovely little seaside town to just stroll around and take in the views. I really recommend spending at least half a day here. Don't skip it!
D5 & D6 Shimanami Kaido -> Matsuyama
- Senkoji park observatory - we walked up to the observatory (ropeway available), please walk up as there are lots of nice alleyways, shrines and cats along the way :). The view is amazing, especially at sunset.
- Cat alley: honestly, every alley is cat alley.
- Onomichi Shotengai - very retro, lots of cute shops. We bought a nice poster from a little granny there.
The next day, we picked up our reserved cross bikes from the general bike rental and off we went. Honestly, biking the shimanami kaido was the highlight of our trip. We took two days to bike the whole way, one day would definitely be too rushed for us. We stopped at Ikuchi island (Shimanaido NEST) for our halfway stay.
The sights along the way were great! It was so much fun to go down-hill, the uphills were do-able. We had great weather also, not too hot and no rain. Everything was clearly indicated, we just followed the blue lines. I felt very safe biking in Japan. PS. My butt did hurt from the saddle, so be warned! Bring some cushioned pants if you want to be safe side.
- First pitstop after the first bridge was Hassakuya. You have to stop here! They have delicious strawberry and citrus daifuku! The citrus had a bitter aftertaste, but they are famous for their citrus so its definitely nice to try.
- Just enjoy the views, stop everywhere to take pictures. There are lots of things to explore along the way.
- Stop at roadside stations such as > tatara shimanami park and yoshiumi iki-iki-kan. Especially before you take on the last bridge just do a little pit stop. It's a nice place to take some pictures of the insanely long bridge and have a citrus/vanilla soft cream.
for more info and bike rental
We decided to bike one-way from Onomichi to Imabari and we have no regrets. I liked that we ended the bike trip with the longest bridge (4km!!). Imabari is very industrial, but after the fun long way down from the last bridge and being exhausted from biking you just want to get to the station and stuff yourself with pastries from the bakery at the station and go on to your next destination. Thus, we immediately took the train to Matsuyama. Originally, the plan was to enjoy the famous onsen in Matsuyama, but we didn't have enough time and we were also pretty tired. After checking-in at the hotel, it was already 4, we made our way to Matsuyama castle but unfortunately, we were too late to go in. It was still nice to view it from the outside and walk around the park. We planned to do sightseeing in Hiroshima the next day, so there was no more time to explore Matsuyama further. D7 Hiroshima -> Miyajima
After Shiminami Kaido, we headed towards Hiroshima/Miyajima. We took an early ferry from Matsuyama. The ferry was included in the setouchi JR pass, so we gladly took advantage of that. It's a nice way to get to Hiroshima, just one last view of the Seto inland sea. One remark: if it is not JR serviced transportation, you do have to obtain separate tickets. Normally, just showing your setouchi JR pass is enough to get onboard the train, but for the ferry you do have to go to the ticket desk and show your JR pass to obtain the ferry tickets.
- Peace memorial museum - a history we must not forget and do not want to repeat
- We tried another Hiroshima speciality for lunch: Hiroshima Tsukemen. This tsukemen is GREAT. One of my favorite dishes. We ate at Tsukemen Karabu Tokaichimachi. The spicy umami dipping sauce is very addicting!
Surprisingly, it was very hard to find affordable good accommodation in Hiroshima. It was the weekend and two weeks before G7, so maybe that was the reason why it was harder to find accommodation. In the end, I found a nice simple hotel on Miyajima island and it was a good decision after all! After a long day in Hiroshima, we made our way to Miyajima to stay two nights. Staying on Miyajima island is lovely especially when all the day-trip tourist leave. D8 Miyajima
Honestly, Miyajima is truly magical. Another highlight of our trip! We started the day early to get ahead of the crowd and that made it all so much more enjoyable. Seeing shrines and temples without a crowd is truly 1000x better! If you can stay at Miyajima island, do it! You don't have to splurge on expensive ryokan (although it would have been nice). We stayed at Sakuraya, which was very budget-friendly.
- Itsukishima Jinja - Nice but Daishoin and surrounding nature were the highlights for me.
- Daishoin - it is the most beautiful shrine complex I have seen in Japan this trip. I think it's because it was so quaint and it was embedded in the hill, surrounded by lush green nature. There were multiple complexes. There was a pathway studded with Jizo statues, buddist cave, prayer wheels and much more. While we were there, a ceremony with a monk was ongoing and everyone could participate in helping burning the origami peace cranes made by children, to make their wishes come true. We bought a little peace crane made from the ashes to remember this moment.
- Mt. Misen - we hiked up from Dashoin. It was ~2hrs? of steep stair climbing, 500m elevation gain. A challenge for sure but we definitely earned our way going down by ropeway :P. Views are great! go go! There is a bus to the ropeway so you don't have to suffer if you don't want to.
- Momijidani park - If you don't like Momiji trees, you can't be my friend.
- Snack along the Miyajima ometesando street. Crowded, but the cakes are great!
One remark, our hotel didn't include dinner and all the restaurants on the island close quite early. Luckily, with our setouchi JR pass, we could take the ferry for free, so went to the mainland for dinner. Just keep this in mind, when booking your stay. D9 - D13 Kyoto
We took the early train to Kyoto and checked in at Tokyu stay Sanjo-karasuma. We had 5 days to explore Kyoto and by this time we had lost our FOMO a little bit and also decided to take it a bit more slow. We still ended up walking a lot anyways but at least we were sleeping in.
The day we arrived,15MAY, was supposed to be Aoi matsuri so we headed to Kamo river to see the festival. Unfortunately, the festival was postponed due to the slight rainfall and we had no clue! but we were next to Kyoto botanical garden and we decided to visit that instead!
- Kyoto botanical garden: it is a lovely garden with a huge variety of plants and trees to see. Really well maintained and during our visit there was a great rose garden in bloom. I recommend going there! It has a nice japanese garden section too with momiji trees and moss. A greenhouse with orchids. Lot's to see here. Only 200 yen.
- Arashiyama area - I really loved this area, not just for the bamboo forest. Togetsukyo bridge and Katsura river were the highlights for me. You can walk along the both sides of Katsura riverbank. A nice way to get to the bamboo forest and bypassing the busy beginning at the start of bamboo forest is by walking along the katsura river bank into Kameyama park and following the signs to Okochi sanso garden. You will end up at the backside of bamboo forest, which is the nicest part. We went more north to visit Pottery Tanuki, this area was very nice and quaint to walk around; bamboo, shrines and traditional houses everywhere.
- South kyoto - Fushimi Inari + Uji day trip - We visited fushimi inari around 9am and it was already very busy! If you hike deeper into the Tori gates, it gets more quiet. We decided not to hike to the top, but instead do a little loop and we stumbled upon some lovely fox shrines. After Fushimi Inari, we took the train just a little bit more south to Uji. If you like matcha, visit Uji. It is a scenic little town with lots of matcha specialized cafes. We ate at Torikiku, famous for their matcha soba and udon. I had the best matcha icecream dessert at Nakamura Tokichi Byodo-in. Again, the river views are beautiful! It's a great daytrip from kyoto. On the way back to kyoto, we spontaneously decided to visit the Gekkeikan Sake museum. It's a small museum, mostly about the history of Gekkeikan, but for 500 yen entry fee, you also get 3 small sake tastings. Fun for an hour or so. I wouldn't go all the way here just for the museum, but for us it was a nice stop on the way back to Kyoto.
- Gion - visit Gion in the evening and just wander around the little streets. Hanamikoji street is one of the more famous streets there.
- We ate amazing gyoza lunch at Gyoza-dokoro Sakemasa. Best gyozo of our trip.
- Higashiyama area - Heian jingu shrine, visit the attached garden for a fee, definitely worth it! We ate amazing mazesoba and ramen for lunch at Menya Yamahide. We also visited Kyoto handicraft center in this area where we bought an ukiyo-e painting. There was also a vintage antique market at that day. We just browsed a bit around the market and honestly that was a day worth of exploring :).
I didn't mention everything we did in Kyoto here. We also had so much more planned for Kyoto, but didn't get around to it, which was totally fine! We were also a bit temple-fatigued by that time and needed a slower pace. Hopefully next time, we can visit some of things we skipped. Furthermore, some days were incredibly hot (30 C degrees and humid) or we had whole days of rain. On those days, we decided to go shopping instead.
D14 - D15 Takayama
- Sanjo Meiten-gai shopping arcade , Compasso teramachi. One long shopping street between Omiya and Kyoto-kawaramachi station. My favorite shops were: Standard products, Tokyu hands and Loft.
After spending 5 days in Kyoto, it was time to leave the city and head for the Japanese alps. We took the shinkansen to Nagoya, where we changed to a limited express to Takayama. It took around 3 hours to get to Takayama, but we didn't mind. Train travel = resting time for our legs! Also, the views from the train were great!! I really enjoyed this train trip to Takayama. We arrived around noon and immediately checked in at our hotel (Hotel Kuretakeso Takayama). We had two nights in Takayama to explore the town.
D16 Kamikochi -> Matsumoto
- Hida beef - it's the wagyu of this area and I found my favorite place to eat it: Ajikura Tengoku. We went there twice for lunch, because it was that good. It was our first time in Japan to try yakiniku and sukiyaki. I really do appreciate the taste of wagyu but only in small amounts. I couldn't eat it everyday, because it's really so rich and yes paying for the premium cuts really does make a different in taste and texture of the wagyu beef.
- We really loved Takayama. Again, if you have time, stay overnight and wander around the streets during the evening when all the daytrippers leave. The town has such a nice vibe and it still has a very local feel to it.
- Miyagawa morning market. Fun to stroll around
- Hikaru museum - we stumbled upon this via google maps. It's a mayan temple-inspired building, very unique. You could visit the place just for the architecture itself, really impressive. It has a very nice collection of art. When we reached the top floor, there was a whole exhibition dedicated to a specific religious person. We didn't know beforehand but this museum is connected to a cult. Suddenly, it all made sense why this museum was so unique. We didn't mind, but it definitely puts the whole experience in a different light. It's a 1-hour walk from downtown, there is no direct bus connection unfortunately.
- Hida folk village - Open-air museum with nice re-builds of traditional mountain houses. We spend over half a day there. You can see local craftsmen doing their thing and you can also participate in pottery for example. There is a lovely pond and it is just pleasant to walk around. it's only a ~10 min. busride from Takayama bus station. You can buy combined entryfee+bus combo tickets at the bus station.
After checking out of our hotel in Takayama, we took the 7am bus to Kamikochi. We were only going to spend a day here, and then continue our way to Matsumoto to stay overnight.After ~1 hour of bus, we finally made it to Kamikochi. The Japanese alps are amazing. I wished we stayed longer in this area, but just the bus ride alone to Kamikochi was already a great with the views. We decided to hop off at Taisho pond bus stop and walk along all the major sights in the park. We had no specific plan. Just hike around as far as time allowed. For lunch, we stopped at this cute teishoku restaurant, where we ate katsu curry, a big lunch to fuel our walking. We also saw wild japanese macaques and lots of wildflowers where blooming during our time there.At the local shops, we bought some yummy pastries to snack on. I had the tastiest baumkuchen with cheesecake center and my partner had a chocolate ganache cookie. I really regret not buying more kamikochi pastries to take home while we were there.After spending the day walking around, we hopped on the 4pm bus towards Matsumoto. Checked in at Tabino hotel lit Matsumoto, where I relaxed in the onsen.
D17 Matsumoto Tokyo
- We were only carrying backpacks, so we hiked with them until we reached the kamikochi bus terminal, where you can drop off you bag at the storage for a small fee.
- Reservation is mandatory for the bus Kamikochi -> Matsumoto, you can do it online or while you are at the busstation before hiking.
- Transportation in the Japan alps is mostly by bus, do reserve ahead if you go at peak times. Main bus company is Nouhi bus: https://www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/.)
After sleeping in, we did some sightseeing in Matsumoto before we moved on to Tokyo. We really liked wandering around in Matsumoto. Lots of cool shops with local crafts. We didn't know but the biggest national crafts fair is held in Matsumoto. Unfortunately, we were only able to stay for one day, but next time we would love to visit this crafts fair! Matsumoto Castle
- I really like the interior of the castle. It has been renovated, but still contains that castle feel. It is 5 story castle and you are allowed to climb all of it. It also included a pretty extensive gun/weaponry exhibition. Do arrive early because you do have to line-up within the castle to get from one floor to the other. This is due to the steep stairways, on which they allow only one-way traffic at a time. Matsumoto city art museum
- There was a nice exhibition from Yayoi Kusama. We didn't know but Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto. It is a good replacement exhibition if you aren't able to snatch up tickets for Yayoi Kusama museum in Tokyo. Nakamachi street and Frog street
- street with persevered houses with craft shops, cafes, brewerys. What more do you want.
After spending the day in Matsumoto, we took the train to Tokyo, our last destination of our stay. We decided to stay in Ueno (Hotel resol ueno). This hotel was located close to Ueno JR. D18 - D24 Tokyo
Last 7 days in Tokyo. By this time, we were just enjoying everything at a much slower pace. Tokyo is huge! Staying near the JR line is indeed a must like everyone said. I could go on hours about Tokyo, I am just going to mention some highlights here.
- Anmitsu at Anmitsu Mihashi. My favorite dessert! It contains agar jelly, mochi balls, red bean paste, fruit and a scoop of matcha icecream.
- shopping in Ginza - It's nice to go during the weekends when they close of the streets for cars. We liked visiting flagship stores of Muji, Uniqlo. Go to Itoya if you are a stationary freak.
- Ueno park - Museums, shrines, Lotus pond. Have a look at their website, there are almost always events in the park. :)
- Tsukiji market - very busy, but fun to have a look. Lines everywhere. Look for sushi restaurants that open around 11am, line up at one of those places. I don't think it has to be the one with 4.5 rating and 1000 reviews. Why? There are so many good restaurants in Tsukiji area. We went to Tsukiji Kagura Sushi.
- Hamarikyu gardens - Bonsai pine trees pruned to perfection. Ponds filled with sea water, thus there were seabass, little sardines and jellyfish in the water. Very special! You also had a nice skyline view from the park which is a cool contrast! It was nice and quiet.
- Tokyo Skytree - best view :) it also has a great shopping complex attached to it.
- Asakusa area - Senso-ji
- Yanaka Ginza - we went during the weekend and there was live music, little stalls and just very lively in general. Really nice to spend a morning. Largest preserved cemetery, which apparently welcomes visitors a lot for flower viewings. It is a preserved neighborhood with traditional houses and lots of shops selling crafts, gifts, souvenirs, and unique snacks.
For 24 days, we spend around ~2500 euro p.p. (excl. 1000,- flights). This amount includes food, transportation, entrancefees and shopping/gifts. so average is ~100 euro/day. We didn't track every cost. Hotel costs were 900,- pp, which ranged from 50,- to 120,- per night accommodations. The conversion yen/euro is also great at the moment, so it might have contributed!
I hope you enjoyed my trip report. Let me know if there are any questions.
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2023.06.02 20:22 Chico237 #NIOCORP~The United States Needs a Shift in Perspective on Mining & a few other odds & ends....
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June 1, 2023~The United States Needs a Shift in Perspective on Mining~ The United States Needs a Shift in Perspective on Mining (csis.org) Photo: JJW Photography/Adobe Stock
The energy transition involves more than a move away from high-carbon fuels to low- and zero-carbon fuels. It also entails the fundamental reorganization of the global economy around so-called critical minerals—the metals and other raw materials needed to build electric cars, solar panels, power lines, and other technologies that cut carbon emissions.
At the risk of stating the obvious, mines are needed to produce critical minerals, and right now, United States doesn’t have enough mines meet the demands of the energy transition—not even close.
While the United States also has to work closely with allies to secure the supply chains for these materials, something has to change at home, too.
Like many other U.S. industries, mining was largely outsourced to other parts of the world during the late twentieth century. As a result, global markets for most in-demand minerals are now dominated by the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, of the 50 critical minerals listed by the U.S. government, China is the top producer of 30 of them.
“For most critical minerals, the United States is heavily reliant on foreign sources for its consumption requirements,” a U.S. Geological Survey report
said. It further reported that domestic metals production fell 6 percent in 2022.
Simply stated, the United States needs to build new mines and expand existing mines in the United States. Rather than stop digging, the United States needs to start.
To be sure, it will not be easy. Before the passage of landmark environmental laws in the 1970s, including the National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act, the U.S. mining sector was known for polluting practices and indifference to the concerns of neighboring communities. Public anger and distrust proved to be a major factor in the offshoring of U.S. mining after the 1970s. This was understandable, but there were unintended consequences.
An “out of sight, out of mind” approach to metals and other mineral commodities took hold, giving tacit approval to toxic waste dumping, the use of child labor, and other reprehensible mining practices abroad.
Today, there is an opportunity to write a new chapter for the U.S. mining sector, in which the some of the raw materials for advanced energy technologies are produced here, under close scrutiny, subject to the most protective standards in the world and—above all—with strong public support.
The complicated history of mineral extraction in this country must be addressed fully and forthrightly, but it cannot be used as an excuse to keep saying no. At this point there doesn’t seem to be a mine on federal land that is not facing opposition, delays, or rejection.
Fortunately, there are already some promising examples of this new approach to mining in the United States.
A Sense of Patriotism
In southeast Nebraska, for example, the developers of a mine that will produce materials for electric-vehicle batteries have built a strong base of support in the local community. As reported by the New York Times
, the mine has secured all the permits it needs to start digging and the developer—Colorado-based NioCorp—is now working with the U.S. Export–Import bank to complete financing for the billion-dollar project
The planned Elk Creek mine will produce niobium, scandium, titanium, and a series of magnetic rare earth minerals. The global market for these minerals is dominated by other countries, including China, Russia, and Brazil.
These critical minerals can be used to build the components for electric vehicle batteries, fuel cells and wind turbines. But in conservative southeast Nebraska, NioCorp has found ways to connect with people who are less concerned with the energy transition and more worried about economic issues and national security.
The minerals produced at Elk Creek will also be used to make lighter and stronger steel products for the automotive, construction, and oil and natural gas industries, and to build fighter jet engines, among other military applications.
“NioCorp is being very thoughtful in how they’re communicating with Southeast Nebraskans,” Senator Julie Slama (R-NE), who represents the Elk Creek area, said. “In Nebraska, we have a sense of patriotism and desire to serve our country.”
While the proposed mine still has its detractors, the broad-based appeal of the project has helped maintain a sufficient mass of support, also known within industry circles as the “social license to operate.”
Same Rocks, More Value
While building new mines is absolutely necessary, it will also be important to make the most of the mines the United States already has. In some cases, existing mines will be expanded, but another strategy is gaining momentum: full-value mining.
This strategy identifies new ways to get other metals and other valuable materials out of the same rocks, which improves the economics of the existing mine and reduces mining waste.
A leading example of full-value mining is taking place in Utah at the Kennecott copper mine, southwest of Salt Lake City. Last year, the mine’s owner—Rio Tinto—started producing tellurium
there as well.
The tellurium, which is used to make highly efficient thin-film solar panels, was in the same rocks as the copper. But until last year, it was not cost effective to separate it out, and the tellurium was discarded along with other waste.
That changed when Rio Tinto found a U.S. buyer for the tellurium, First Solar, which builds solar panels in Ohio. The deal was “an important step towards securing a North American supply chain of critical minerals to support the clean energy transition,” the mining company said
Old Mines, New Tricks
The idea of reprocessing piles of discarded rocks and other mine waste has also gained steam. Innovative companies like Nth Cycle
and Phoenix Tailings
have developed technologies that can cleanly and safely extract critical minerals from this waste.
These breakthroughs also allow for the reprocessing of waste at pre-1970s mines that were abandoned and never properly cleaned up. For example: Regeneration
, a start-up mining company is scouting for locations
where critical minerals can be produced from abandoned mines and other so-called legacy sites, while creating new revenue sources for cleaning up those sites.
According to Corey Fisher
, the public lands policy director for Trout Unlimited, an environmental nonprofit with experience in abandoned mine restoration, the work of Regeneration and others “will help both clean up abandoned mines and recover much needed transition minerals.”
Confront the Past, Build the Future
Abandoned mines are not the only legacy to confront. The quest for mineral wealth in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was especially cruel to Native American communities.
That history, and the distrust it continues to produce, should not be brushed aside in the quest to build a domestic supply chain for clean energy technologies. According to investment research firm MSCI
, between 68 percent and 97 percent of U.S. cobalt, copper, lithium, and nickel reserves are located within 35 miles of Native American reservations.
Changing minds about mining in Native American communities will be a massive undertaking, and there are bound to be conflicting signals along the way.
For example: Lithium Americas, the developer of a Nevada mine that will produce lithium carbonate, a key mineral in batteries, reached a “community benefits agreement” last October
with the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe that includes job training, local hiring, cultural education, and other initiatives. However, three others—the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Burns Paiute Tribe and Summit Lake Paiute Tribe—are fighting
the project in federal court, arguing they were not properly consulted.
Conflicts like these can be resolved or even avoided, but the amount of work needed should not be underestimated, according to Daniel Cardenas of the National Tribal Energy Association
“If you want loyal and long-term mining partners who can supply the most environmentally friendly and sustainable critical minerals, start talking to the Tribes now,” Cardenas wrote
A Project-by-Project Focus According to the Bipartisan Policy Center
, leaders in the White House and in Congress have plowed billions of dollars into research, resource assessment, and workforce development programs focused on critical minerals since 2020.
The area of critical minerals also offers one of the rare slivers of bipartisan light. Among other things, that means allowing national security concerns—such as materials needed by the Department of Defense—to play a bigger role in the discussion, as opposed to only seeing mining through an environmental lens.
There are also promising efforts within the Biden administration
and on Capitol Hill
to speed up the years-long permitting process for mining projects while maintaining environmental safeguards.
These initiatives are essential, but it would be a mistake to assume that all the work to build a domestic supply chain for critical minerals can be done from Washington, D.C. in one fell swoop.
This endeavor will succeed or fail based on delivering this new positive narrative for mining. And the difference will be whether the neighbors can be persuaded that digging for critical minerals in the United States is not just good for the planet—it is good for them too. Morgan Bazilian is a former lead energy specialist for the World Bank and the director of the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines. Simon Lomax is a program manager at the Payne Institute and a former congressional fellow with the American Political Science Association.
Join us in Washington DC for Battery Gigafactories USA 2023, a live, and in-person conference being held 8-9 June at the JW Marriott Washington DC, USA.
Two days of discussions will explore the rise of USA's lithium ion battery gigafactory economy and the need to build secure, sustainable supply chains for lithium, nickel, graphite, cobalt, manganese, rare earths and other critical raw materials.
June 2, 2023~China Is Digging a Big Frickin' Hole 33,000 Feet Into the Earth~ Well at the Shunbei oil and gas field belonging to Sinopec Northwest Oil Field Co. in Tarim Basin of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on February 21, 2019.
China has seemingly set off on a journey into the center of the earth. This week the country has begun digging what will eventually become the deepest hole in China’s history to test drilling technology and further understand the Earth’s underground structure, Bloomberg reported
Once completed, the hole is going to be 10,000 meters (32,808 feet). That’s a little more than 6 miles deep into the earth. The drilling is expected to occur for 457 days and is being led by the China National Petroleum Corp, according to Bloomberg. It will cut through 10 continental strata, which are the various layers of the earth. Once completed it will reach down into the cretaceous system; rocks in that layer of the year date back more than 140 million years
The drilling project is part of the country’s efforts to expand underground research. During a speech back in 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged scientists to break new barriers in different areas including deep earth exploration, China Daily reported
. And earlier this year, Chinese officials vowed to strategically build up the country’s energy supplies and mineral resources. “China will launch a new round of domestic prospecting operations, focusing on strategic bulk minerals that are in short supply,” Wang Guanghua, the minister of Natural Resources, said in an interview
with Xinhua News Agency, according to Bloomberg
This could explain why the project is based in the Xinjiang region, which is the largest oil and gas-producing area in the country, the South China Morning Post reported
. China also has some of the world’s largest crude iron ore
reserves in the world, which is widely used in steelmaking
. This could present another energy opportunity for the country as it tests drilling technology.
Countries around the world are increasingly focused on mineral exploration. Rare earth minerals and other elements found deep underground are necessary for new clean technology
. They’re often used to make batteries for electric vehicles, for energy storage, and for wind turbines. And as the market for more clean energy continues to increase
, nations and businesses will need steady access to those minerals to keep up with demand. https://preview.redd.it/a5r5gi3qcn3b1.png?width=191&format=png&auto=webp&s=3a070512b1e2d65404c884978b59127efc3f3183
Form Your own Opinions & Conclusions above!
Just a few tidbits for today! Have a Great Weekend ALL!..... https://preview.redd.it/obiolj30cn3b1.png?width=1774&format=png&auto=webp&s=57ec33fed81e25d92132338f6270f2e8b7dff486
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2023.06.02 18:36 astroaron Trade on the Abo Peninsula
Obsidian The lifeblood of the Abotinam. Along the vast fields surrounding the Three Elders, the remains of their previous eruptions spill, drawing gashes in the already desolate landscape. And in these scars pick the Abotinam that have settled in the highlands, those who stick to a more pastoral way of life as they maneuver from field to field, picking out the volcanic glass best suited for toolmaking. These tools drift down to the lowlands, where they are carried far and wide by traders proclaiming the superior quality of Aboti Obsidian, tools as hardy as the folks that live in the shadow of these volcanos.
Tin Along the river Niba, the settlement of Nibalam was hard at work pursuing a different kind of material. While copper was a rare material in Xanthea, its presence in scant amounts more than justified the exploration into the soft metal that was bountiful in the foothills around Nibalam. Such as it happens, these tin deposits would prove a massive boon for Abotinam dominance in northern Xanthea. But for the time being, this deposit was more of a local curio than an economic engine. With bronze work still in its infancy, most tin was cold worked into jewelry, accenting gems and obsidian in the crafting of basic rings and necklaces.
Foodstuffs Owing to how spread out the Abotinam population is, trade of food remains largely internal, with only the import and export of special cultivars reaching other cultures. With the advent of the Xanthean Drought, trade of food suffered even more, and those northern settlements, who were hit by the drought less harshly, began to command larger exchanges of the resources of the south than before.
Major Trade Routes
The Coastal Loop Picking its way around the cliff faces, a network of dirt paths navigated the rocky coastline, connecting disparate villages around Abo. This loop is not a very apt description, as it does not form a complete circle, nor is it only a single route. However, the name persists, perhaps due to the sheer inertia of trying to rename the most well-travelled route for internal trade between Abotinam villages.
The Coastal Loop formed the backbone of all connections between all settlements on the Abo peninsula. While various tracks would eventually wander into the highlands, all eventually connected back to the paths near the water, as that remained the easiest place to navigate and travel without enduring the endlessly draining trek up and down the picturesque rolling hills. It fords the three major rivers, skirts the three bays, and cuts through the three largest cities of Abo. Navigating it is a lesson in local knowledge, as every intersection is a question that can only be answered by someone who has already been through. It is convoluted, built with no grand plan but simply by people needing to get somewhere, and it allows for resources to get where they need to go, eventually and with an amount of ease.
Laveno Laveno, or literally "Veno's Pass", was an important trade route at the base of the Abo Peninsula. While caravans would regularly skirt the coastline, visiting the many settlements along the route, there was great interest in connecting the Selneam and Qel-Savaq lands more directly, a proposal that would take weeks off the journey. The access that the Selneam people had to rock salt was of specific interest, and so much work was done to find a path from river valley to river valley, along the base of the peninsula. In the shadows of Mount Veno, a collapsed stratovolcano that was one of the three holy sites in Abotinam spirituality, such routes were found.
The pass was not without its hurdles. Travel was frequently forestalled in the winter, as snowfall prevented navigation of the easier routes, and guides hunkered down to wait out the storms. The summer, too, presented the usual issues of wildlife attacks and rockslides, forcing constant vigilance. But the time savings where the most valuable commodity in the region, and so the trail became more and more well established, a boon for the local communities. It was this trail that would eventually lead to the establishments of [Hot Springs Hostels] in the highlands.
Toward The Luzum With a lack of seaworthy vessels, further trade relied on pack animals to carry goods long distances. Trade routes through Qet-Savaq land continued on towards the Kanganna, Hortens, and from there to even more distant settlements. These peoples, who inhabited the banks of a great river called the Luzum, would provide in return significant gifts in exchange for the obsidian and tin crafts of the Abotinam. It was in this way that the Abotinam name began to make an impression beyond its borders, for better or for worse.
The Merchants It is those traders travelling far to the south that first found gainful employment with no need of agriculture. While artisans primarily embarked in their craft when the fields laid fallow, and obsidian-harvesters simply incorporated their work into the normal work of herding and hunting, the people that took these wares to the south where they could be traded for quantities of cheap foodstuffs found that they never needed to grow their own food. It was in this situation that the famine broke down the trade networks, forcing the merchants to travel further south and further east in search of those willing to provide sustenance in exchange for their wares. Those that could not make the journey were forced to return home, working to till the fields, the prodigal children if there ever were any. But those that were able to go the distance helped build the continent-wide trade networks that would come to shine in the future.
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2023.06.02 18:20 Troll-e-poll-e-o-lee Fall 2024 hopeful. Should I even apply? 31M First Gen URM w/unusual path. 670 GMAT. Be honest w/my chances.
Brief-ish background (more detail on some of the career description below).Grew up in the southwest. Not very good options as far as schools and career paths post college (it’s all operations and warehouses). Could have probably gotten into better undergrads but as a first-gen student (parents not from US), I didn’t really understand the importance of college choice for career path nor what career paths were out there.
Post graduation I worked at an insurance firm since it was the first role I was offered. Didn’t really like it but stayed about a year.
Worked at an investment management firm as a broker. Stayed for 21 months. The role was a call center environment and was not a good fit for what I was looking for. Struggled to get a promotion. Was ultimately fired
Took a job not long after doing the same thing at another broker. Was there for about 10 months. Was also fired over a weird reason elaborated further below but the broker sold their practice to a larger broker-dealer which I think factored in the decision.
After this I was feeling pretty down and lacking confidence in finding a career in business. I decided to try my hand at Computer Science and studied math and computer science at a local community college. Took a night shift job to cover cost of living after a semester. COVID hit and I decided it was best to not take hard math and computer science classes in an online environment.
After much deliberation, I explored and decided to attend a Masters in Finance program as a mini-MBA. I found a program that would suit me well and still had in-person options. Graduated in a year.
Accepted a job offer at a regional bank (in the S&P 500) working in Corporate Finance; specifically Corporate Profitability Analytics. The role is more data related and has me using SQL, Power BI, and other data related software/programs in addition to Excel. Currently 1.5 years in. Have been doing well and hoping to be able to gain a promotion soon although the company is sort of cheap when it comes to this sort of thing. While I don’t mind my current work, it is niche and not something I find particularly interesting outside of the skillset I’ve been able to gain.
If I weren’t considering applying to an MBA I’d probably start searching for other opportunities, however, I also realize that with my pre-MSF experience, the job hopping doesn’t look good and there will be more benefit to sticking with the company for almost 3 years at the start of the program and having a promotion under my belt.
· Why I want an MBA:
· Short-term I’m hoping to pivot into management/strategy consulting for my longer-term goal of being able to be a leader in my community. I would want to pivot into starting my own non-profit firm where I help members of low-income communities and URM owned businesses grow with the knowledge I gain from my consulting experience. I also think consulting would help with my eclectic nature and help with preventing the need to job hop given constantly being in new environments (probs wont mention this in an application though)
· Why I want one now:
· My current role is pretty niche in the banking industry. I’m afraid of being pigeonholed and the skillset I’m gaining, while desirable, isn’t necessarily one I see that aligns with my long-term goals.
· Target schools:
· Planning to apply through Consortium. Columbia (reach), Tuck, Yale, NYU, UVA, Rochester (safety school). Also open to applying outside of Consortium or changing the schools I apply to if better fit is recommended.
· Work experience (starting from most recent)
· Nov 2021-Present; Corporate Financial Analyst at regional bank in S&P 500*.*
· I work in Corporate Profitability Analytics. While my title is a Financial Analyst, skillset wise, I would say my role is closer to a data analyst. I utilize SQL, Power BI, Excel, and other software to help develop, design and refine models to allow the bank to conduct data driven research in regards to the profitability of the bank. I develop and maintain reports and dashboards to disseminate information to executives and other relevant stakeholders and field questions and concerns related to the information.
· Oct 2020 – Aug 2020; Masters in Finance student at a state school
· This served as a mini-MBA for me. In my previous roles prior to this program, I was a bad fit as the roles were far too customer service oriented and led to me being fired from 2 of the roles and me quitting before I could be fired from another.
· December 2019 – July 2020 Bi-Lingual Fraud Representative at a large Credit Card Company (Capital One/DiscoveAmex type)
· This was a role I took on while I was considering a career switch into Computer Science/Financial Engineering. The role was a night shift and allowed me to work while taking classes.
· Left the role on my own terms as I wanted time to prepare for my Masters in Finance program
· Aug 2019 – March 2019; Math/Comp Sci student at community college
· Attended a local community college where I was majoring in Math/Computer Science as I was considering a career switch during a crisis of confidence. Took math, programming and engineering classes while attending. COVID struck during second semester and decided that taking a STEM heavy course load online was not optimal for me.Around this time, I decided to look into MBA’s and Masters in Finance programs. One MBA program (Rochester) really wanted me to apply there, but overall, I felt the MSF suited me better for my experience and where I was at in life. It would allow me to keep the MBA in the back pocket for any other potential switches.
· Oct 2018 – Jul 2019; Licensed Investment Professional at a Broker-Dealer
· Worked as a Series 7 and Series 63 licensed contractor. The company is large and serves a specified client base but did not have a large broker-dealer segment. Took a hands-on approach in all aspects of wealth and asset management: consulting and educating investors in mutual fund options and other products to help meet financial goals.
· Consistently led entire department in relationship management and engagement metrics: survey responses, survey scores, and new business development through sales referrals to advisory consultants in a fast-paced environment
· Consistently led entire department in operations and efficiency metrics while exceeding accuracy requirements and adhering to legal compliance through attention to detail
· Ended up being fired after a client complained to a friend of his in the Board of Directors that I wouldn’t help them with something that was not possible. The company ended up being bought out by a larger broker-dealer during that same month and they had been letting contractors expire w/out being renewed. I am under the impression they were downsizing regardless. I understand this section is speculative and would most likely omit it from any actual application.
· Nov 2016 – Aug 2018; Licensed Investment Professional at a top Broker-Dealer (PIMCO/Vanguard/Schwab type)
· Similar functional duties as other broker-dealer. In addition to those duties, demonstrated leadership and ability to work collaboratively through training and development of new hires, presentation of materials and investment methodology for new hires in multiple meetings, coaching, and mentorship of peers
· Voluntarily cross-trained and developed skills from higher level departments in order to liaison with those departments and assist in their service levels and learn new skills
· Consistently led the department in efficiency metrics such as calls taken and average handle time while maintaining high accuracy
· Ended up being placed on a performance improvement plan without warning and subsequently fired by my manager not long after. This happened after she found out I was looking into other companies as I was feeling dissatisfied with my lack of promotion. I had talked about seeking other roles within the company that would be less customer service oriented and she said she was supportive of that. When I would apply to jobs that were more in line with what I was looking for in the company, I would get great feedback from the interviewers. They would then ask my current manager for feedback and after that I would seemingly get rejected. I understand this section is speculative and would most likely omit it from any actual application.
· Aug 2015 – Jul 2016 Workers Compensation Insurance Adjuster at a top firm (Travelers/Hartford/Zurich type)
· Under minimal supervision interpreted and applied insurance contract policies exercising sound judgment in order to quickly reach outcome of fraud investigation while still maintaining high quality and meeting regulatory audits and requirements.
· Knowledgeable point of reference and correspondence for witnesses, agents, other insurance companies, medical providers, attorneys, and others.
· Utilized discipline, self-motivation and strong organizational skills to properly handle multiple tasks for proper case management of existing claims as a full caseload was often 100+ claims.
· Worked with internal partners on a special project to help conduct and report data driven risk analysis by identifying patterns and industry trends and researching strategies to reduce negative trends; provided qualitative feedback/analysis as an adjuster.
· Consistently led the department in client survey feedback in both number of survey responses and survey scores (never received less than a 9). Won the monthly competition 7 of the 8 months it was in place.
· Left on my own terms. Realized early on into the job that the insurance industry was not interesting to me nor where I wanted to be. Once I received a job offer from an Investment Management company, I put in my two weeks.
· Extra curriculars and other experience:
· I’m a religious individual. During undergrad I was very involved with my church in its ministry and even interned there. Since graduating, I have been heavily involved in youth ministry in poor areas that are heavily minority. I have a particular calling to kids of these backgrounds because I used to from a similar background and know many of them don’t see enough positive male role models who have been able to overcome many of the trappings that growing up in less-than-optimal conditions can provide. In this role, I am able to connect with youth and facilitate conversation about life, faith, and development with them.
· I also serve as a member of the Finance Council and Development Advisory Board of a local church. In these roles I take part in creating and monitoring budgeting and finances of the church as well as developing ideas to raise revenue and seek out potential tithing partners.
· Undergrad school/major:
· State School ranked outside of top 200. Double majored in Political Science and Business Economics
· Chose to attend there due to full-ride scholarships. Did not realize the importance of choosing certain colleges for certain career paths
· Other education/coursework:
· Masters in Finance at state school w/top 50 business program
· Graduated with a 3.5 GPA
· Primarily Hispanic (mixed w/other minorities but not sure how it classifies)
· GMAT Score: Include breakdown
· 670 (42q/40v). Looking/probably need to retake as it may expire soon. Think I can score 700+ since I took this before taking math/computer science classes at community college
· Undergrad GPA:
· 3.41 for Bachelors. (3.6 at community college)
· Grad School GPA
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