MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The last time the New York Yankees won the World Series, a full decade ago, Gleyber Torres was not yet a teenager in Venezuela.Boosted by an age-defiant performance by their 22-year-old star second baseman, the Yankees moved one step closer to that elusive trophy.Torres got New York going with a second-inning home run, scored after each of his two doubles and made a pair of sparkling defensive plays, fueling the Yankees to a 5-1 victory over Minnesota on Monday night that finished yet another Division Series sweep of the Twins.Didi Gregorius hit two RBI singles, Cameron Maybin homered and Aroldis Chapman struck out three batters in a five-out save for the Yankees, who completed the three-game wipeout and pushed their postseason winning streak over the Twins to 13 games.Following a 103-win regular season and their first AL East title since 2012, the Yankees will start the AL Championship Series on Saturday, either at Houston or at home against Tampa Bay.AL Central champion Minnesota became the first 100-win team swept in the Division Series and dropped to 2-16 against the Yankees in the playoffs, including 0-13 since winning the 2004 ALDS opener. Outscored 23-7 in the series, the Twins batted just .218. After hitting a record 307 homers, they had just four in the Division Series, all solo shots.Minnesota went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11, falling to 3 for 28 in the series with 25 left on base.Minnesota has lost 16 consecutive postseason games, tying the North American major sports record set by the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks from 1975-79. DES MOINES — Radio Iowa High School Football Poll 10/7/19Class 4A1. WDM Valley (6-0), LW #1 vs C.B. Abe Lincoln2. Dowling Catholic (5-1), LW #2 @ Sioux City East3. Cedar Falls (6-0), LW #3 vs Waterloo West4. Bettendorf (5-1), LW #4 @ #5 CR Kennedy5. Cedar Rapids Kennedy (5-1), LW #5 vs #4 Bettendorf6. Ankeny Centennial (5-1), LW #6 vs Fort Dodge7. Southeast Polk (4-2), LW #7 vs Sioux City West8. Ankeny (3-3), LW #8 @ DSM Lincoln9. Waukee (3-3), LW #10 vs Ottumwa10.Des Moines Roosevelt (5-1), LW (X) vs Marshalltown AMES — Iowa State coach Matt Campbell expects center Colin Newell to play in this week’s game at West Virginia. Newell suffered a sprained knee in the opener against UNI and dressed but did not play in the win over TCU.Campbell says how much Newell will play is yet to be determined.Campbell says the play of quarterback Brock Purdy has helped the offense develop an identity sooner than past seasons. Purdy passed for two touchdowns and rushed for two more in a 49-24 win over TCU.===Under first year coach Neal Brown West Virginia is 3-2 after a 42-31 loss at home to Texas. Brown says the dual threat of Cyclone quarterback Brock Purdy is a concern.Brown says the Mountaineers will need tackle well when Purdy runs with the football.Brown says the Mountaineers will need to mix up their defenses.Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 11 o’clock. Class 3A1. Western Dubuque (6-0), LW #1 vs #3 Xavier2. Solon (6-0), LW #2 @ Mount Pleasant3. Cedar Rapids Xavier (6-0), LW #3 @ #1 Western Dubuque4. Lewis Central (6-0), LW #4 @ Harlan5. Dallas Center-Grimes (5-1), LW #5 vs Boone6. North Scott (5-1), LW #6 @ Clinton7. Sergeant Bluff-Luton (5-1), LW #7 vs Spencer8. Independence (6-0), LW #9 vs Charles City9. Norwalk (5-1), LW #10 vs Bondurant-Farrar10.Glenwood (5-1), LW (X) @ Adel ADM Class 1A1. Dike-New Hartford (6-0), LW #2 @ Jesup2. Van Meter (6-0), LW #3 @ #10 Panorama3. West Branch (6-0), LW #4 vs Northeast Goose Lake4. West Lyon (6-0), LW #5 @ #7 West Sioux5. Western Christian (6-0), LW #7 @ Sibley-Ocheyedan6. South Central Calhoun (6-0), LW #6 @ Madrid7. West Sioux (5-1), LW #1 vs #4 West Lyon8. Iowa City Regina (5-1), LW #8 vs North Linn9. Treynor (6-0), LW #10 @ Missouri Valley10.Panorama (6-0), LW (X) vs #2 Van Meter Class A1. West Hancock (6-0), LW #1 vs West Fork2. Saint Ansgar (6-0), LW #2 @ #7 South Winneshiek3. North Tama (6-0), LW #3 vs GMG Garwin4. South O’Brien (6-0), LW #7 @ LeMars Gehlen5. Grundy Center (5-1), LW #5 @ Mason City Newman6. MFL MarMac (6-0), LW #8 @ Lisbon7. South Winneshiek (5-1), LW #9 vs #2 Saint Ansgar8. Earlham (5-1), LW #10 vs Southwest Valley9. Edgewood-Colesburg (5-1), LW (X) vs Alburnett10.Woodbury Central (5-1), LW (X) vs Logan Magnolia MASON CITY – The NIACC volleyball team is ranked No. 20 in the latest junior college Division II poll released Monday.NIACC (20-6) was 4-1 last week, including a win over then No. 14 Kirkwood.NIACC was ranked No. 19 in the Sept. 16 poll and that was the first time the Lady Trojans appeared in the national rankings since the final poll of the 1995 season.Other Iowa Community College Athletic Conference teams ranked this week are Iowa Central (11th) and Kirkwood (19th).NIACC returns to action Wednesday at home against Northeast Community College in a conference match. Eight-man1. Don Bosco (6-0), LW #1 vs Dunkerton2. Turkey Valley (6-0), LW #2 @ West Central (Maynard)3. Remsen St. Mary’s (6-0), LW #3 @ West Bend-Mallard4. Audubon (6-1), LW #5 @ West Harrison5. Easton Valley (6-0), LW #7 vs Lansing Kee6. CAM (6-0), LW #10 vs Boyer Valley7. Coon Rapids-Bayard (5-1), LW #4 vs Glidden-Ralston8. Newell-Fonda (5-1), LW #9 vs #10 Harris-Lake Park9. AGWSR (5-1), LW (X) vs Baxter10.Harris-Lake Park (5-1), LW #8 @ #8 Newell-Fonda Class 2A1. Waukon (6-0), LW #1 @ #4 Waterloo Columbus2. Clear Lake (6-0), LW #2 @ Forest City3. Algona (6-0), LW #3 vs Estherville Lincoln Central4. Waterloo Columbus (6-0), LW #4 vs #1 Waukon5. Des Moines Christian (6-0), LW #5 vs PCM Monroe6. Greene County (6-0), LW #6 @ Atlantic7. OABCIG (6-0), LW #8 @ Shenandoah8. Nevada (5-1), LW #10 @ West Marshall9. Benton (5-1), LW #7 vs Roland-Story10.Monticello (5-1), LW (X) vs Anamosa
24 May 2019 Ellen pulls off a championship upset Hertfordshire’s Ellen Hume caused the upset of the day when she knocked out defending champion Georgina Blackman at the English Women’s Amateur at Saunton, Devon.The 19-year-old from Mill Green, who won by two holes, admitted that she felt some nerves as she prepared to face the England international in the first match play round.But Hume (pictured) has returned from her first year at college in the USA with her confidence high and she commented: “I’ve been paying well out in America and I knew I was in a good place with my game and I battled it out.”Blackman, from Essex, took the early advantage and was three up after six, helped by holing an enormous birdie putt on the fifth. But after 10 holes the two players were all square and trading holes as the match moved to its conclusion.Hume pulled off a delicate up and down on the 16th to move one ahead and she sealed her win with a par three on the last. “It was an amazing feeling to win, especially playing such a talented golfer. I’m very happy,” she said.Elsewhere England internationals Lily May Humphreys of Essex, Bel Wardle of Cheshire and Emily Toy of Cornwall came safely through the first round, as did girl international Charlotte Heath, from Yorkshire.Humphreys, the number one seed, held off a strong challenge by Briony Bales from Co Durham, winning through on the 17th. “We both played well, with lots of pars and birdies,” said Humphreys. “It was always up and down, there weren’t many halves!”The 17-year-old, who has won Irish and Welsh titles already this month, got ahead with a birdie on the 14th – after taking on the corner with her drive – and then won with another birdie on the long 17th, after reaching the green in two.Wardle and Toy both won 4/2 while Heath was a 3/2 winner.Meanwhile Staffordshire’s Emily Brennan won through two matches today. First she beat Gloucestershire’s Ebonie Lewis in a preliminary round to decide the final place in the main draw. Then she caused another of the day’s upsets when she beat Yorkshire’s Nicola Slater, an international and the winner of the 2018 English Women’s Match Play Championship.Click here for full scoresImage copyright Leaderboard Photography Tags: English Women’s Amateur, Saunton Golf Club
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 12, 2016)–There is a Pick Six carryover into Sunday’s races at Santa Anita of $166,118, and it is expected Sunday’s total Pick Six pool should approach $750,000.Santa Anita will present a nine-race card on Sunday, with first post time at 12:30 p.m. PT. The Pick Six will begin with race four, which has an approximate post time of 2 p.m.Fans are encouraged to note that clocks will be advanced one hour with the onset of Daylight Saving Time, which begins at midnight tonight.
1Richard Kerr, “Another Hint of Planetary Marauders,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5742, 1800, 16 September 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5742.1800a].2Strom et al., “The Origin of Planetary Impactors in the Inner Solar System,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5742, 1847-1850, 16 September 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1113544].Several things stand out from stories of this genre. (1) The new finding contradicts earlier beliefs. (2) The new finding is put in the context of a vast field of unanswered questions. (3) Evolution is a given. (4) The accepted age of the solar system (4.6 billion years) is a given. (5) Most of the work remains to be done. (6) The check is in the mail (e.g., from this tiny tidbit of hypothesis, “we can now recover the prehistory of our solar system”). (7) Once we figure this out for our solar system, we will unlock the keys to other stars and planets, and to the whole universe. (8) This finding is the greatest thing since primordial soup. This is the way evolutionists kid themselves that they are doing science. They envelop themselves in periodic tables, lab instruments, and equations. So far so good. But since the Big Picture of Evolution has already been decided to be fact by decree, every piece of data must be forced into it. Working this way requires adding whatever ad hoc elements are needed to keep the story going, as well as ignoring uncomfortable facts. Dr. Walt Brown, for instance, who has a very different theory for the origin of impactors (see website), said this about Strom’s theory:Without explaining how asteroids formed in the first place, Kerr and Strom try to explain why asteroids in the main belt were shaken up by moving the giant planets around, and appealing to the extremely weak Yarkovsky effect and planetary resonances. (The radiometer effect is much stronger, because water molecules are much more massive than photons.) Showing that the size distribution of MBAs [not accountants, but Main Belt Asteroids] corresponds to the early craters in the inner solar system does not mean that the early impacts came from the asteroid belt.Each scientist working under evolutionary, naturalistic assumptions is a willing accomplice to this game of self-deception. Their motive is to contribute a brick for the Temple of Charlie, which produces gratification that one is doing his part to advance the cult. Whether the cult matches the real history of the universe, well – how could they ever tell? Of course, you’re only likely to hear the evolutionary side in the media, because they are all part of the cult, too.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Several researchers lately have claimed that meteorites can tell us the history of our solar system. How can this be?Messages from Heaven: Richard Kerr in Science1 reported on work by Strom et al. in the same issue2 that the asteroid belt was the source of the so-called “late heavy bombardment” that is said to have pummeled the early solar system 3.9 billion years ago. One researcher who had been working on this “problem” for 35 years completely changed his view based on the study. Strom’s team hypothesized that the gas giants rearranged themselves, and then modeled how impactors might have been flung inward from the asteroid belt as a consequence. Kerr writes, “Cratering specialists suspect that Strom and his colleagues are on to something, but they say the case remains open.” Another said they could be right, but “we have to be careful.”Crystal Balls: A Purdue University press release says “meteorites offer glimpse of the early Earth.” Purdue scientists measuring the isotopic ratios in Antarctic meteorites think they can deduce the temperature of their formation. From this, they believe, they can tell whether they formed at the same time Earth formed, or later. It’s not like reading a book, exactly; one scientist said, “There are still quite a few unanswered questions about the earliest periods of the Earth’s history, and this study only provides one piece of the puzzle.”Treasure Chest: As if to one-up the previous claim, EurekAlert printed a Florida State story that an “unusual meteorite unlocks treasure trove of solar system secrets.” The Tagish Lake meteorite that fell in Canada in 2000 led a FSU “geochemist to a breakthrough in understanding the origin of the chemical elements that make up our solar system,” the press release claimed. What did he find? An unusual ratio of isotopes of osmium. From this, he believes he can tell what kind of star produced the element, and when. His hypothesis, however, flies in the face of earlier suggestions that the element came from dust from a nearby star. No, the leader of the team says: his findings “reveal that the raw materials from which our solar system was built are preserved in a few exceptional meteorites, from which we can now recover the prehistory of our solar system.”
The microscopist fired for his publication of Darwin-embarrassing dinosaur soft tissue has won a historic settlement against Cal State University.Exclusive: Mark Armitage tells CEH that his case against Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) has resulted in a settlement after Judge Dalila Lyons of the California Superior Court ruled in a motion of adjudication favorable to his complaint. Rather than face a probable loss before a jury, CSUN’s lawyers chose to settle with him. Armitage writes:It was not simply a motion for summary judgment that the judge ruled against. The judge ruled against them in a motion for adjudication. There’s a big difference. In other words the judge made a ruling on the case and as a trier of fact concluded that we proved our case that they discriminated against my religion and they failed to follow up or investigate a written complaint of religious discrimination. There was no sense for the University to be dragged into the jury trial because it was clear that they were going to lose at trial and the awards would have been much larger than they presently are.According to FreedomX attorney Bill Becker, who litigated the Coppedge vs JPL case in 2012, a motion for adjudication means that the judge has confirmed certain evidence to be factual, and thus not in need of debate before a trier of fact. Said evidence can thus be stipulated as factual at the beginning of a court proceeding. Whatever the facts were, they must have been significant enough to scare CSUN’s attorneys from chancing a trial before a jury.Mark was employed as a microscopist and lab instructor at the university, but was abruptly terminated in 2014 without explanation after he and Dr. Kevin Anderson published a paper in Acta Histochemica describing soft tissue they had found in a Triceratops horn in Montana. That paper mentioned nothing about intelligent design or creationism, but Mark is well known as a young earth creationist, being a board member of the Creation Research Society (CRS), along with Anderson. The case caught the attention of Nature (11/05/14). Finding intact soft tissue inside a dinosaur bone causes obvious problems with the geological time scale (6/10/15). Since his firing, Mark has continued electron-microscopy work on dinosaur soft tissue under the auspices of CRS.Indications are that significant haggling went on before reaching a settlement. Mark and his attorney, Alan Reinach of Church State Council, apparently stood firm, according to Dr. Jay Wile, who spoke with Mark and wrote about it on a blog entry. Mark tells CEH that all parties signed, checks were written, and “my oh my some of them were very big.”So this is a done deal and we won a clear Victory. As my attorney has said, especially to a group of his peers at a meeting of employment lawyers, we have won an historic victory.Details of the settlement are not available until Reinach issues a formal press release. Mark tells CEH that there was no non-disclosure agreement, “so I’m free to give out the whole story including the amazing deposition testimony,” he said. So far, however, the only news online about the case as this entry goes to press is a Jay Wile’s blog, a homemade YouTube video by Mark posted October 1, and our email conversations with Mark quoted here. When a press release is issued, we will update this entry below.Update 10/04/16: Mark has written more information under his YouTube video, and is responding to comments.Update 10/05/16: An article on The College Fix adds more information, stating that Mark received a six-figure amount in the settlement, approximately 15 times his annual part-time salary. Alan Reinach says the university is still not admitting to discrimination: “the judge did not rule, in the settlement agreement there is no admission of guilt, and they have rehashed their claim that he was fired for budgetary reasons.” So there does not appear to be a ruling on the merits. Nevertheless, CSUN’s would not have agreed to such a large settlement if they thought they could win in court, Reinach believes; “they certainly would not have paid that kind of money if they did not recognize that we had them dead to rights.”While we wait for more detail, this appears to be a historic turn of events indeed. While some plaintiffs have won settlements against Darwin bigots (e.g., the California Science Center case, the Martin Garlick case, the Eric Hedin case), the vast majority of court cases have turned out badly for design advocates and creationists. Jerry Bergman’s 2nd volume of Slaughter of the Dissidents was just published: Silencing the Darwin Skeptics details additional stories of creationists and design advocates suffering loss of jobs or tenure for going against the Darwin Party. Will the Armitage case put the bigots on notice that they stand to lose significant money and prestige if they continue to discriminate? Time will tell.According to Jay Wile, CSUN’s lawyers pulled the same stunt as JPL’s lawyers in the Coppedge case, claiming Mark was fired for “budgetary reasons.” It also appears that having a good judge is key. Mark thinks the Honorable Judge Lyons is a Christian. Coppedge’s judge who ruled against him in the JPL case, Ernest Hiroshige (in the same Los Angeles courthouse as Lyons), is a Democrat appointed by Jerry Brown—unlikely to have wanted to face his peer group as having given aid and comfort to the “enemy” (intelligent design advocates). His decision was given without explanation. 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World Walking by William Kentridge ispart of the Caversham exhibition.(Image: The Heritage Agency) MEDIA CONTACTS • Jo-Anne DugganThe Heritage Agency+27 83 285 3600• Ehllene BekkerUJ Arts Centre+27 11 559 2099Chris ThurmanTradition is a loaded word that tends to evoke strong responses.Those who oppose tradition tend to associate it with the conservative, the old-fashioned, the out-of-date. Those who endorse it prefer to think of tradition as representing the authentic, the timeless, the tried-and-trusted.In most countries, cultural traditions, or traditional cultures, are of greater interest to tourists than to locals; they are part of national identity and history, but rarely register in citizens’ collective daily consciousness until they are used as political tools.In South Africa, tradition is typically allied with indigeneity and thus set against modern or Western practices and institutions. We often refer to traditional leaders, traditional healers, traditional beliefs, traditional music, traditional beer, traditional dress; but, in practice, these and other traditional elements combine with other influences and adopt hybrid forms.Two recent art exhibitions in Johannesburg challenge viewers to re-think their assumptions about what tradition implies.Artistic breeding groundA common misapprehension is that traditions are hundreds of years old.The Caversham Press, for example, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010 – and during those two and a half decades, this creative hub in rural KwaZulu-Natal has developed a tradition in its own right.In 1985, art teacher and master printer Malcolm Christian established Caversham in a run-down former Methodist chapel near Lidgetton, a small village in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands.Christian invited artists such as William Kentridge and the late Robert Hodgins to use the Caversham facilities and to participate in a collaborative print-making process. Kentridge and Hodgins would, of course, subsequently become two of South Africa’s best-known artists.Other highly respected artists have produced work at Caversham, including Deborah Bell, David Koloane, Penny Siopis, Magkabo Helen Sebidi, Marion Arnold, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Bonnie Ntshalintshali, Malcolm Payne and Karel Nel. Their work forms part of People, Prints and Process: 25 Years at Caversham, an exhibition which ended on 4 December at Johannesburg’s Standard Bank Gallery.What is equally significant, however, is that the walls were also adorned with prints by relative newcomers to the arts scene. Christian and his colleagues constantly encourage young artists, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, to visit Caversham and develop their skills. Residential fellowships, an educational trust and programmes such as the CreACTive Initiatives have broadened the scope of Caversham’s influence.Its tremendous value is evident in the current exhibition – not only because of the world-renowned names, but also because of success stories such as that of Sthembiso Sibisi, a self-taught painter whose Caversham prints have become widely sought-after.This, then, is an eclectic tradition. The prints exhibited range from woodcuts and linocuts to engravings and etchings, from screenprints to lithographs. There are portraits, still lives and landscapes; there are symbolist, surrealist, narrative and abstract pieces; there are black-and-white works as well as prints in bold colours.What provides the thread of continuity is that each of the artists involved has a direct connection to the organic tradition of Caversham Press.A trip through Venda cultureAvhashoni Mainganye’s work engages with a very different tradition – one that is made clear to visitors the moment they enter the University of Johannesburg Art Gallery through dzikhareni totems, which mark the entrance to a site where Venda boys undergo their initiation into manhood.Mainganye’s exhibition, Walking the Ancient Path, is a kind of initiation for those unfamiliar with aspects of Venda culture. Structured around the elements of water, earth, fire and air, the exhibition incorporates wood and stone sculpture, painting, photography and multimedia works.Many of these relate directly to traditional Venda practices, beliefs and sacred sites in South Africa’s northern province of Limpopo: Lake Fundudzi, Thathe Forest and the Phiphidi waterfalls are depicted in abstract paintings, a typical family shrine is recreated and there are photographs of an initiate and a tshiawelo or stone cairn.Yet the form, content and even names of these works resist any artificial notion of African authenticity or purity. The shrine includes candle-holders made out of Coke bottles. Titles in French such as “Le Monde” and “La Femme” gesture towards a global context of production and reception. Sculptures and paintings alike demonstrate a fusion of, on the one hand, traditional African patterns and styles and, on the other hand, a modernism with its roots in Europe. This collapsing of the Africa-Europe binary is nowhere more evident than in the Baptism of Fire series, in which both acrylic and cow dung have been used on burnt and torn canvasses.Moreover, rather than emphasising cultural distinction, Mainganye chooses to affirm similarity. Alongside the Venda tshiawelo, for instance, is a photograph of a Celtic cairn in Scotland. Likewise, a number of the sculpted figures are archetypal and thus universal: a pregnant woman, a mother, a supplicant.There are also strong trans-national connections in works that allude to parallel but diverging histories of freedom and oppression in South Africa and Zimbabwe – Venda people, after all, live on both sides of the Limpopo river that marks the boundary between the two countries.In this case, the continuity offered by tradition presents a powerful critique of the disruptions of modernity that take the form of colonialism and postcolonial legacies.Tradition and artIn a famous essay on “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, Anglo-American poet TS Eliot argued that – despite the common assumption that the role of the artist is to create something new and, in doing so, depart from tradition – great works of art emerge only when an artist is steeped in the work of his or her predecessors.Artistic creation, according to Eliot’s formulation, is a dynamic process in which past and present are mutually formative. Individual artists respond to a tradition but, in the process, change that tradition through their contribution: “What happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art that preceded it”.In the 1970s, half a century after Eliot’s essay was first published, literary critic Harold Bloom propounded a different theory. He suggested that, instead of extending a tradition, the work of great artists is produced through “the anxiety of influence”. In other words, feeling all too aware of the effect that famous forerunners potentially have on them, ambitious artists deliberately avoid their precursors, or parody them, or imitate their style in order to improve upon it.Both Eliot and Bloom are unfortunately Eurocentric in their definitions of tradition, but the tension that is evident between their respective positions can be identified in various debates about visual art in South Africa. These debates inevitably take on racial overtones. What does it mean for a white artist to eschew the history of Western art and embrace instead the aesthetic of bushman paintings? What does it mean for a black artist to deliberately separate himself from the modes of township art?When we attempt to answer these questions, the reductive connotations of words like “traditional” prove inadequate. Likewise, if we are to appreciate the living history of the Caversham Press or take up Mainganye’s invitation to “walk the ancient path”, a more complex understanding of tradition is required.http://www.cavershamcentre.org/
Toyota South Africa Motors CEO explains their continued investment into South Africa By Tsabeng Nthite – South Africa’s vehicle market remains the biggest in Africa, accounting for 37% of new vehicle sales on the continent. Mr Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors attributes this to the direction that the South African government has taken to make South African an attractive investment destination. “The automotive sector is a bright spot for us in South Africa because we have long-term stability of the industrial policy from government, and over the years there has been consistent support from the motor industry,” said Mr Kirby. Brand South Africa in collaboration with Business Leadership SA – is running a six week campaign to position South Africa as in ideal investment destination. The CEOs Know Campaign features CEO’s from multinational corporations based in South Africa who share insights on the value of their respective organisations’ investment into South Africa. Mr Andrew Kirby, CEO and President of Toyota South Africa is one of the CEO’s featured.“The benefit for us is that we get asset investment support, and we also get support through the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), which incentivises the production and exports of vehicles which allows us to offset a lot of the initiation costs, and that makes us globally competitive,” concluded Mr Kirby. Other CEO’s featured include South African Tourism CEO, Mr Sisa Ntshona; the Johannesburg Stock Exchange CEO, Ms Nicky Newton-King; MD and Partner of Goldman Sachs South Africa, Mr Colin Coleman; Executive Head of Anglo American South Africa, Mr Andile Sangqu, as well as CEO of Shell Companies South Africa, Mr Hloniphizwe Mtolo
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest CornUSDA surprised Chicago analysts last week by reducing 2015 corn acres estimates — 200K planted but 500K harvested. This could reduce 2015 bushels by 80 to100 million, and ultimately support prices. Still questions remain:• Will harvested acres stay low?• Will USDA revise estimates in the future?• Will excessive rainfall cause a drop in USDA yield estimates in July?• With abundance of forage in the South will some silage acres be harvested for corn?Interestingly, sorghum planted acres were up 1 million. Comparing total corn and sorghum acres between 2014 and 2015, there was no change. When the massive amount of low quality wheat is also considered (which will likely replace some corn feed), could long-term corn be a bit “overdone?” Crop reportsNE — with the recent good weather, crops are looking much better than two weeks agoKS — some progress was made on double crop soybeans last week.IN & OH — crops are uneven and yield estimates are uncertainEurope — Very hot with dry top soil, likely reducing corn yields over 10%China and Canada — some dry weather concernsWeather is clearly critical to yield for the next few weeks. Market volatility will continue.End users bought more corn this week than any other week in the past few years. Many farmers behind in 2014 sales “pulled the trigger.” This caused basis (cash price verses CBOT price) to drop 15 to 25 cents across the country. Corn is trading at levels that farmers can largely make money at this year, so some started making new crop sales as well. SoybeansBean acres are still an unknown. Even the USDA will resurvey farmers in July to get better planted acre estimates. With the recent $1 per bushel rally in the futures market, farmers are scrambling to get beans planted even at such a late date verses taking prevent plant. The price range for beans has gotten wider instead of narrower, making predictions impossible. Futures TradeBefore last week’s report, I suggested having “wish orders” in the market. I placed an offer (5% of my production) to sell Dec futures at $4.24, a target value I have had on since April. This is the first futures sale I’ve made since last October when I had extra grain production at harvest. The trade before that was 8/11/14 when I made a sale at $4.08. Options TradeFollowing deconstructs a recent trade that shows not only how farmers can pick up market carry premiums but also how it allows me to take advantage of rallies and reduce risk by keeping my choices open.On 10/9/14 futures were trading $3.40, which was up 22 cents off harvest lows 10 days earlier. Hindsight shows I should have waited. However, I sold a Jan $3.60 call (selling a call is giving the rights to someone to buy grain at $3.60 from me) for 13.5 cents that would expire on 12/26/14. On 12/26/14 futures were above that $3.60 call, so that trade became a futures contract sale at $3.735 ($3.60 + $.135 premium I received for selling my rights).On 12/29/14 because the Dec futures were ready to expire I had to move them forward in time unless I wanted to move grain at the end of December, which I did not want to do. I bought back my Dec futures and sold the Jul ’15 futures at a 15 cent profit (thus I pushed the trade forward). After commissions the sales price was now $3.875 ($3.735+$.14 profit to move it to the July futures).July ’15 is about to expire, so I have to move this trade forward to Dec ’15. Once again, I will buy my sale back in the Jul and sell it again in Dec ’15 for another 17.5 cent profit – Now the trade is worth $4.05 against Dec ($3.875+$.175 profit to move it to the Dec futures after commissions.)So basically, I increased my sales position by moving my trade forward using market carry and call premium from $3.40 to $4.05 while maintaining flexibility in my marketing strategy.I am nearly 100% sold for 2015 harvest, so I’ll likely need to move this trade forward again into 2016 (unless there is above average yields this harvest). In Dec I’ll make that decision based upon the market conditions and crop yields at that time. Listening to ExpertsThe recent market “run up” highlights why farmers need a “game plan.” Many experts analyze technical signals to predict market trends. In many cases, their records are pretty good — estimates indicate they are accurate 70% of the time. This is why speculators follow expert advice and why farmers hear “the trend is your friend.” Weather is the big unknown and why the experts can’t predict more accurately long-term what will occur.Last week an expert was asked, “What should farmers do before the report?” He said it is difficult to know from a farmer’s point of view, but from a “trader’s perspective” he would look for a rally. Clearly that expert was correct, considering the recent rally. The trouble is, most farmers aren’t traders (really just a fancy word for speculator). Most aren’t getting in and out of the market.There are only two kinds of people involved in the futures market — hedgers or speculators. You are either one or the other. Farmers are natural hedgers because they have to continually sell their crop (at least eventually, grains have a shelf-life). Since they HAVE to sell, farmers have to take a different view of the market from the experts.I urge all of my clients to let go of the fantasy that they will always hit the top of the market. I don’t know anyone who can do that. Rather, I recommend setting a “game plan” or marketing strategy that takes advantage of the available premiums in the market based upon historical trends and utilize all the marketing “tools” in the tool box to increase flexibility and reduce risk.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations. Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. 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