Best chief ministers poll: Karnataka CM S.M. Krishna tops charts consistently

first_imgClick here to EnlargePoll January 2002Pluses: A suave administrator and a firm believer in teamwork, his modern outlook, openness and accessibility have helped put the sheen back on Karnataka’s image. Minuses: Considered too soft and sometimes indecisive. Still has to execute all that he has promised. Could face difficulties because,Click here to EnlargePoll January 2002 Pluses: A suave administrator and a firm believer in teamwork, his modern outlook, openness and accessibility have helped put the sheen back on Karnataka’s image.Minuses: Considered too soft and sometimes indecisive. Still has to execute all that he has promised. Could face difficulties because Karnataka’s finances are in a mess.Call it Krishna and the art of political consciousness. For he has a Zen like approach to his job – a calm and a detachment that are reassuring. He doesn’t sound embarrassed about admitting that he enjoys the good things of life.Popularity IndicatorThe Congress party’s overall popularity may have shrunk in the past six months but three of its chief ministers head the popularity charts in the states. A.K. Antony and Digvijay Singh are the laggards. For the BJP, its relatively new chief ministers, like Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh, have done well, as has its Punjab ally Parkash Singh Badal. But there is a problem with other allies, notably O.P Chautala. The Haryana chief minister competes with Tamil Nadu’s O. Paneerselvam and Bihar’s Rabri Devi for the status of unpopular chief ministers.It may not be politically correct to do so especially when you head a state whose 53 million people have a per capita income less than the national average.His sartorial sense is regal and his official bio-data even lists designing men’s clothes as his hobby. He jots down notes with his blue Mont Blanc and has discarded the dowdy Ambassador car for a pearly white Hyundai Sonata.advertisementIn Karnataka he is known as the “Western Gowda” in contrast to a predecessor who went on to become prime minister and made a fetish of his earthy roots.In two years and four months as chief minister, Somanahalli Malaiah Krishna continues to lead with elegance, clarity and efficiency that have for the second successive year seen him being rated as India’s best chief minister by the INDIA TODAY-ORG-MARG poll.What is his secret? According to Krishna, it is his ability to blend orthodoxy and conservatism with modernism. It means being a quintessential Congressman in white kurtas while dealing with party politics and sporting Saville Row suits and a Dallas accent-he studied law in Texas-to woo foreign investors.Click here to EnlargeWhat Krishna certainly has done is bring Karnataka back in focus as the state of the future-an image that had slipped in the 1990s as a succession of chief ministers (one an unabashed tippler)-whittled away its prosperity.Industry big daddies such as Infosys Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy praise him for his “accessibility and openness to implement new ideas”. Software whiz Ashok Soota, CII’s president-designate, terms him the “feelgood” chief minister.Not one for getting embroiled in the nitty-gritty, Krishna sets targets and expect his colleagues to deliver. He also has set his priorities right, pushing for roads, jobs and houses for townsmen, irrigation schemes for farmers and drinking water for the poor.But Karnataka’s finances continue to be a mess, something he will have to answer for. He will turn 70 soon-the Old Turk he says derisively-but with tennis and yoga as pastimes Krishna appears fit to complete the remaining half of his term with panache.last_img read more

Axar Patel credits Virender Sehwag after snaring first hat-trick of IPL 2016

first_imgHat-trick hero Axar Patel, who joined forces with his new skipper Murali Vijay, to help Kings XI Punjab take the first step towards reviving their disastrous Indian Premier League campaign, credited mentor Virender Sehwag for his good showing on Sunday. (Full Coverage|Points Table)Kings XI were forced to axe South Africa star David Miller as skipper mid-way this IPL season. Led by Test specialist Vijay, Punjab stunned table-toppers Gujarat Lions yesterday to register their second win of this season. (Also read: Kings XI Punjab skipper Murali Vijay confident of reviving fortunes) Punjab, who were put into bat, were given a solid start by Vijay and Marcus Stoinis. However, Suresh Raina’s men struck back with regular wickets and restricted Punjab to a below-par total of 154. (Also read: Murali Vijay floored by Axar Patel’s ‘incredible’ bowling performance) The 155-run target had looked like a walk in the park for Gujarat. Destructive opener Dwayne Smith, after chasing a 180-run target against Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier in the season, had boasted of the team’s firepower.  However, on Sunday, the home team was stunned and was handed a thrashing. Thanks to Axar, who joined a legion of greats with a hat-trick against the Lions.The 22-year-old left-arm spinner dealt the death blows to derail Gujarat’s chase after Punjab pacer Mohit Sharma struck twice in the first six overs. Patel’s victims included Smith, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja.The young left-armer said he was thankful to Sehwag for helping him detoxify his thought process. “Sehwag asked me to do my own bowling analysis after every game. He wanted me to understand if my bowling style has changed over the years,” Axar told MumbaiMirror. advertisementNot many would have seen this coming from the youngster who had had a poor season before the game against Gujarat. From six matches, Axar managed only four wickets and leaked aplenty. On Sunday though, Patel was in his elements and was ably backed by skipper Vijay. Patel didn’t try to anything fancy but stuck to bowling arm-balls that has worked for him all these years.Axar said Sehwag had helped him understand his strengths and had asked him not to crib about what he wasn’t able to do. “Since every bowler is unique, he stressed that I shouldn’t ache to be what I am not. He felt I must not stress over deceiving batsmen in flight or change my trajectory too often, which is not my style anyway,” he said.The youngster chose yesterday’s spell as his best in T20 cricket. The young spinner said he was trying to do what he did in season 7 of IPL, in which he was named the ’emerging player of the tournament’ for picking up 16 wickets at a tidy economy of 6.22.”This has been my best bowling performance. I was just trying to do what I did in IPL-7. I was focusing on bowling in the right areas as that is something that had worked for me earlier. I had never taken a hat-trick in my career before, so it feels really special that I got the milestone at this level. The fact that we won the game and my efforts have resulted in a win makes it even more special,” Axar told iplt20.comAxar, who had played 22 ODIs and 4 T20Is, said he was focussed on getting back into the national team. “Now that I have bowled well, I will look to carry this confidence forward. If you feel confident about your game and your bowling, it opens more doors for you and ultimately you can win your place back,” he said.last_img read more

Israel Folau’s fight for religious freedom leaves behind ugly mess

first_imgShare on Messenger The Israel Folau dispute is set to become a test case for religious freedom in Australia with ramifications that will potentially go way beyond the confines of rugby. Rugby Australia chief-executive Raelene Castle announced Folau’s $4m contract had been terminated after an independent panel found he committed a high-level breach of the code of conduct for posting religiously inspired, anti-gay, comments on social media.Folau has three days to appeal the decision, but there was strong speculation he will by-pass an appeal and take the matter straight to the Supreme Court. He confirmed he was “exploring his options” but there is not much point in Folau appealing. Even if a new three-person panel was appointed to hear an appeal, it is highly unlikely Folau would escape without any sanction at all. Topics Share on Twitter Play Video Rugby Australia terminates Folau’s contract – as it happened Share on Facebook Unlike the US, Australia has no constitutional or statutory bill of rights that protects religious freedom. Section 116 of the Australian Constitution precludes the federal parliament from making laws that prohibit the free exercise of any religion, but does not stop the states from making such laws. But the Federal Fair Work Act prohibits discrimination on the ground of religious belief or activity in employment contexts as do laws in all states except NSW and South Australia. Read more Australia sport Support The Guardian Since you’re here… Israel Folau sacked by Rugby Australia: here’s why – video report Reuse this content RA stated Folau was entitled to his religious beliefs, but had to express them more “respectfully”. If ever laws required clarification, it is those relating to religious freedom in Australia.While Folau fights for the right to religious freedom, what about the state of the game he is leaving behind?RA is not flush with funds. There is a report that RA has already spent more than $350,000 in attempting to sack Folau. Could it afford a protracted and costly legal battle it is not guaranteed to win? Going from a code of conduct hearing to a court-room would be a whole new ballgame.Folau’s controversial social media comments have divided the community and the game. Some of Folau’s former teammates at the Wallabies and the NSW Waratahs have publicly criticised his comments, but many are Pacific Islanders who share his religious beliefs and may feel resentment at the way he has been treated.The Waratahs’ season has been adversely affected by Folau’s absence. They have won only one of four games since he was suspended and will struggle to make the playoffs. And, of course, rugby is now without the services of one of its best players in a World Cup year.There will be a lot of soul-searching about how rugby arrived at this point. Is there anything RA could have done to prevent it? Were there missteps along the way in handling the issue? When Folau posted his first anti-gay comment a year ago, RA simply could have stated that Folau’s views were his own and did not reflect those of the organisation and left it at that.Did Rugby Australia pursue Folau over the matter to uphold its policy of inclusion or was there commercial pressure from sponsors? Or a combination of both? Or was this matter always going to end up in court no matter what RA did or did not do?If Folau takes legal action and is successful, it be a victory for religious freedom across Australia, particularly in workplaces, and if he fails, he will become Australia’s first sporting religious martyr.center_img 1:45 Australia rugby union team Israel Folau sacked over social media posts after panel rules in favour of Rugby Australia Israel Folau Share via Email Read more And given Folau believes he has done nothing wrong, it would be hard to see him accept a suspension or a fine. For Folau it seems the issue is not just about saving a multi-million contract, but a crusade for the right to express his religious beliefs without discrimination. Folau believes he has a “duty to share God’s word.”Folau, 30, has steadfastly rejected overtures to end the dispute, which re-ignited on 10 April when he posted that Hell awaited homosexuals and an array of other sinners if they did not repent.Folau could have saved his career by taking down his offensive posts, but did not do so; he reportedly knocked back an offer of $1m to settle the matter before the code of conduct hearing, but rejected it out of hand. He has dismissed mediation as a possible solution.All of this leads to the conclusion that the matter was always heading to a court of law where it will almost certainly become a test case – a legal action whose purpose is to set a precedent. There has certainly been nothing like the Folau dispute in the history of Australian sport, perhaps even workplace relations in general, where contract law is pitted against freedom of religion. features … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Rugby union Share on Pinterestlast_img read more

TAS to Host SSA National Championships

first_imgProspect Park in Launceston will be the venue for the 2008 School Sport Australia National Touch Championships hosted by Touch Football Tasmania.In excess of 300 participants from all States and Territories will contest the ONLY truly National competition in the sport, from Monday 20th – Friday 24th October in 12 & Under and 15 & Under divisions.Trials are set to commence in Hobart on Sunday 18th May for Tasmanian teams being selected to represent in their home state, in boys and girls for both age divisions. For more information visit the Touch Football Tasmania websitelast_img

25 days agoCleverley calls on fans to ‘stick with’ struggling Watford

first_imgCleverley calls on fans to ‘stick with’ struggling Watfordby Freddie Taylor25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTom Cleverley wants everyone associated with Watford to stay patient as they attempt to climb out of a hole.The Hornets have yet to win a game all season, while they only have two points from their first seven league games.It puts them rock bottom, four points off safety. But Cleverley does not want a knee jerk reaction from players, fans or management.”Stick with us,” he said to reporters when asked what he would like to tell fans.”It’s not a work rate issue, hopefully they can see that. Maybe at times, there’s been a lack of quality and maybe a lack of intensity defensively but stick with us, we’ll keep putting the work in and we’re working for our performances to improve.”As players, we just have to be accountable for our own performances, take responsibility and work as hard as we possibly can until it gets better.”We’re a team with two points out of seven, low on confidence, it’s not clicked. “The new signings have both started today and maybe we need a little bit of time to bed in, but you’ve just got to be accountable for yourself and that’s what I’m going to do until we’re out of this little lull we’re in.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Blaz Rola wins mens NCAA Singles Championship

Blaz Rola, junior for the Ohio State men’s tennis team, has been crowned the 2013 NCAA singles champion.Rola took down No. 3 Jarmere Jenkins of the University of Virginia 7-6(8), 6-4 on Sunday to complete his run through the tournament to claim the first ever singles championship in program history.Mark Batke / Lantern photographerAfter the Buckeyes fell to No. 1 UCLA last week it looked as though the men’s tennis program would be left without a national championship again this season. Rola was the highest ranked player entering the tournament for the Buckeyes but his No. 12 ranking did not instill much confidence in the OSU faithful.Despite this Rola defeated six ranked opponents, and only lost one set throughout the tournament en route to his championship victory.The championship comes a year after Rola advanced to the semifinals but fell 6-2, 6-1 to Kentucky’s Eric Quigley. It completed a 32-1 season for the Slovenian, his only loss coming at the hands of Jared Hiltzik of Illinois, the Big Ten freshman of the year.A hard fought first set saw Rola win the tiebreak 10-8 despite giving up four-consecutive wins to allow Jenkins to tie the set at 6-6. In the second set Rola broke in the 7th game and held serve for the rest of the match for the 6-4 and the championship.This was not the first national championship Rola has earned in his time at OSU. He was last season’s doubles champion with his partner Chase Buchanan. Rola is also a four-time All-American and a three-time unanimous First Team All-Big Ten pick. read more

Aaron Craft Lenzelle Smith Jr prepare for final home game as Ohio

Senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. (32) takes a shot during a game against Wyoming Nov. 25 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 65-50.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorBeing in the same recruiting class with the likes of Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger, Ohio State senior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. might have been a bit overshadowed initially among Buckeye fans.Thomas and Sullinger — both five-star products out of high school — were big pieces of the OSU squads who made trips to the Final Four and Elite Eight in back-to-back seasons. But they’ve since moved on to play professionally, and even though Craft and Smith Jr. might have been second-tier then — they’ve certainly left their mark on the program.“Both guys, you look at how many games they’ve won here, championships they’ve been a part of, it’s really an amazing four years,” OSU coach Thad Matta said Friday, two days before the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 22 Michigan State in what will be the final home game of the regular season. “I think with that said, both guys have had a major impact on this program in terms of making it better. And that’s what we ask guys to do.”Craft and Smith Jr. were the fastest players in school history to record 100 wins, reaching that milestone in just 119 games after OSU beat North Florida 99-64 Nov. 29.Craft, Smith Jr. and the rest of the Buckeyes have had some tough and exciting contests against the Spartans recently.Last season, the Buckeyes beat Michigan State 61-58 in the Big Ten Tournament, but fell in the two teams previous meeting this season in East Lansing, Mich., 72-68 in overtime in their first lost of the season. With a familiar opponent on the docket for their final home game at OSU, Craft said he wouldn’t rather it be against anyone else.“I honestly don’t think there could be a better way to play our last game here. I’ve loved playing against Michigan State,” Craft said Friday. “Since freshman year we’ve always had great battles with them. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m excited to see what we can do as a team going into this game.”For Smith Jr., however, the game against the Spartans means something a little differently because of the friendships he’s formed with members of Michigan State’s team.“It’s actually kind of the sweet but not so sweet moment. Just seeing as how I’m so close to some of those guys on the team,” Smith Jr. said Friday. “We’ve hung out in the summer, we went to the Big Ten media days in Chicago … We talked, had fun and it’s different when you see them on the opposite side of the court. It’s like, ‘I’m not here to be your friend, don’t even talk to me.’”Craft enters the game as OSU’s all-time leader in steals and assists with 293 and 623 respectively, and with numbers like those is likely to be remembered fondly in Buckeye lore. But he said he doesn’t think about being in the same breath as former players like David Lighty, Mike Conley Jr., Greg Oden or Scoonie Penn.“I just don’t feel comfortable putting myself in close to the same categories of guys that (have) come before,” Craft said. “I’m just very honored and humbled to continue on what they’ve established here. And to play a very small part of that.”Aside from it being Craft and Smith Jr.’s final go around at the Schottenstein Center, the game against the Spartans (23-7, 12-5, 3rd in the Big Ten) holds implications for next week’s Big Ten Tournament. OSU (22-8, 9-8 tied for fifth in the Big Ten) sits one game behind Nebraska for fourth place in the conference, and would need a victory against the Spartans and some help to finish in that spot and earn a first-round bye in the tournament.OSU has lost two straight games, falling on the road last week to Penn State and Indiana. Matta said no matter where they finish in the standings, a win against Michigan State would certainly be a step in the right direction.“This is our 18th Big Ten game, and 16 of them have been tooth and nail and down to the last couple minutes,” Matta said. “With that said, you’re playing a team that’s obviously a great basketball team. It’s a great opportunity for us to come out and close out the final game of the season.”As OSU searches for any bit of momentum it can get its hands on as the season draws to a close, Smith Jr. agreed with Matta and said a victory Sunday would be key to build that.“We can get a lot of momentum here with a win on Sunday to carry us over into the Big Ten Tournament,” Smith Jr. said. “We can get that going, and if we get hot at the right time, that’s the name of the game. You want to play your best basketball toward this time of the season and I think we can accomplish that.”Matta has gone on record as saying he would get behind putting up a statue commemorating Lighty’s accomplishments and what he’s meant to the program outside the arena. The same would go for Craft and Matta said he would want to “put it right next to David.”When Craft was told his head coach said that about him, though, he naturally spun it back to be more of a team oriented affair.“Legacy and all that stuff, it’s not about me, it’s not about Lenzelle. It’s about this university and the things we’ve been able to do as a team, whether it’s putting a year up on the banners in the gym,” Craft said. “That’s what’s going to be remembered. That’s what should be remembered.”Tipoff between the Buckeyes and Spartans is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday. read more

Ohio State football more than all right with JT Barrett at quarterback

OSU redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett scans the field during practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Aug. 9.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWhen a team loses its senior Heisman-candidate quarterback, it can typically expect to see a big drop off in its offensive strength.If you ask Ohio State redshirt-junior tight end Nick Vannett, though, he’ll tell you that won’t necessarily be the case as redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett takes the place of the injured Braxton Miller.“I think with the way they (Barrett and redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones) have been playing right now, I don’t think we’ll skip a beat,” Vannett said Monday after practice. “I think we’ll be just fine.”While Barrett has yet to take a snap outside of practice for the Scarlet and Gray, he and Jones have been practicing with the first-team offense since the spring. Miller initially injured his shoulder against Clemson in the Orange Bowl to end last season, paving the way for Barrett and Jones to get the only significant reps at quarterback in spring practice.Miller was limited again this fall because his shoulder was sore after an offseason surgery. And then he tore his throwing shoulder labrum in practice Aug. 18.Vannett said practice time will help the offense continue on the same beat going forward, even though the team initially expected Miller to make a full recovery from the first injury.“We did a really (good) job with our quarterbacks, 0having J.T. and Cardale getting reps in the spring as well with (Miller) out,” he said. “It’s not like it’s a last minute thing where we’re just jumping in and kind of rushing stuff.”Senior wide receiver Evan Spencer said there will be changes to the offense, but agreed that Barrett, as well as Jones if he plays any reps, will be ready to go because of the amount of practice time they’ve had since the season ended.“They’ve been throwing the ball so much all throughout camp, and really all throughout the offseason, that it’s not that much of a transition for us just because that’s what we’ve been going through,” Spencer said.While many wrote off OSU as a contender in the National Championship race after Miller went down, Spencer said he’s seen enough in practice to have plenty of confidence heading into the season.“Personally, I think what we’ve been seeing out at practice — and a lot of the other seniors can back me up — is … we’ll be way more than all right this year,” he said. “That’s for sure.”OSU coach Urban Meyer said he believes Barrett and Jones have been up to the challenge since Miller was injured, and the changes at the position will be helped along by a plethora of talented receivers.“J.T. and Cardale responded very well (after Miller’s injury),” Meyer said at a Monday press conference. “The biggest issue I see, or the positive we have right now, is we have a good one and two group of receivers that are just rotating out.”Meyer said there will be six different receivers rotating through the lineup, with the plan being to give Barrett the freshest and most rested targets possible throughout OSU’s season opener.Then-redshirt-freshman quarterback Cardale Jones (12) avoids a defender during a game against Florida A&M Sept. 21 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 76-0.Lantern file photoEven though Meyer announced Barrett as the No. 2 quarterback before Miller went down with his injury, he said there isn’t a big gap between his and Jones’ talent. The third-year OSU coach confirmed, though, that Barrett is the starter heading into the season.Meyer also said it would be possible for Jones to come in for Barrett if the latter doesn’t perform up to expectations in the first weeks of the season.Regardless of his performance on the field, Spencer said the team has confidence in Barrett as a leader, which is a role he has taken on since Miller’s injury.“You could kind of tell from the beginning of camp that (Barrett) was trying to work on his maturity and his leadership as a young player,” Spencer said. “But after Braxton went down in practice, I think he kind of realized pretty quickly, ‘All right, well, time to take a leadership role.’”Spencer said as soon as the team realized Miller would be out, Barrett stepped up to the challenge of filling those shoes.“In the huddle from then on, when (Barrett) was in practice and doing stuff like that he was just making sure that he was keeping people going,” Spencer said. “If we were having a rough day, he was making sure that we’d stay up, that we’d stay motivated.”Meyer said one of the first things he noticed about Barrett was his competitive spirit. He said Barrett isn’t any louder as a leader than Miller, but added the’s “very confident.”Spencer said Miller and Barrett have different leadership qualities, but said both are good at what they do. He added Barrett is a strong motivator and he’s excited to see what happens going forward.OSU’s first game of the season is scheduled for Saturday against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

Calcutta Walks strikes the right chord with foreign domestic tourists alike

first_imgKolkata: At a time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has chalked out elaborate plans to boost tourism of Bengal and Kolkata, a move taken by Calcutta Walks has become immensely popular among foreign and domestic tourists.Calcutta Walks organised by Iftekhar Ahsan over a decade ago has become quite popular among the tourists. The walks are conducted everyday by Ahsan and his associates. The groups are taken to visit north and south Kolkata. In north Kolkata, the walks start from Sovabazar- Sutanutui metro station then Bagbazar and ends at Sovabazar Rajbari. Belonging to the well known Bose family of North Kolkata, Dr Pasupati Bose and his brother Nandalal, Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsthe famous painter and artist, it was in this house Swami Vivekanada was treated over breakfast after his return from the West in January, 1897. Sri Ramakrishna had visited the house to see the oil paintings of gods and goddesses. It was a custom to keep the photograph or oil painting of Queen Victoria in the houses of rich people in those days but no photograph of Queen was there in the house. The house played an important role during the movement to protest against the proposal to partition Bengal by Lord Curzon in 1905. The building is in shambles now. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe group members are taken down the lanes and by lanes of north Kolkata. There are such narrow lanes in north Kolkata where just one person can pass. The groups are taken to the bank of river Hooghly in Baghbazar. It was here in North Kolkata that Job Charnock, a representative of the east India Company started trade.In south Kolkata, the walk is organised in areas surrounding Park Street. “There is great enthusiasm among the tourists. The history of Kolkata is not only about buildings, mansions and monuments. It is something beyond the monuments. Every street has a history and every locality has a story to tale.”It may be mentioned that the state tourism department is planning to introduce religions tourism where people will be taken to different religious places in north Kolkata and finally to Dakshineshwar temple and Belur Math as these places are in high demand.last_img read more

Today is the final day for the big traders to be o

first_imgToday is the final day for the big traders to be out of the May futures contract in silver. The gold price didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading—and was back to Friday’s close in New York by the London open on Monday morning.  It popped for a couple of bucks at that point before trading virtually rule flat into the noon London silver fix.  Then it rose another couple of bucks before inching higher into the London p.m. gold fix.  The price blasted higher, but it was obvious that JPMorgan et al were at battle stations, as volume exploded—and the price wasn’t allowed to get far.  The rally finally petered out around 12:45 p.m. EDT.  From there it inched lower for the remainder of the New York trading session, both COMEX and electronic. The low and high ticks were recorded as $1,177.60 and $1,206.70 in the June contract. Gold finished the Monday session in New York at $1,201.70 spot, up $21.30 from Friday’s close.  Net volume was monstrous at 185,000 contracts, as “da boyz” threw everything but the kitchen sink at the rally once the price broke above its 50-day moving average. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 403 gold and 72 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  In gold, the largest short/issuer was JPMorgan out of its client account with 372 contracts.  HSBC USA was in very distant second with 31 contracts.  Not surprisingly, the tallest hog at the trough as a long/stopper was JPMorgan out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account with 211 contracts—and Canada’s Scotiabank was on the receiving end of 186 contracts. In silver, all 72 contracts were issued by JPMorgan out of its client account—and Canada’s Scotiabank stopped 70 of them.  The CME Group stopped one contract, so it could deliver five contracts into it’s 1,000 troy ounce mini-silver contract.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that the remaining gold open interest for April fell by 26 contracts, down to 415 contracts.  With 403 contracts already posted for delivery tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if the 12 contracts remaining will get delivered on Thursday, or will they simply disappear.  In silver, the April open interest jumped by 50 contracts to 72 contracts and, obviously, they are all out for delivery tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see who the big short/issuers and long/stoppers are in the May delivery month—and we’ll find some of that out on Thursday evening, as it’s First Notice Day. There was a big gold withdrawal from GLD by an authorized participant on Monday.  This time it was 105,527 troy ounces.  And as of 8:50 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.  But when I checked the iShares.com Internet site about 3:45 a.m. EDT, I saw that an authorized participant had added 1,434,162 troy ounces.  Based on the price action, it’s a reasonable assumption that this was used to cover an existing short position, just like the 1 million ounce add to SLV on Friday. There was a small amount of gold sold at the U.S. Mint on Monday—4,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—and 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes. The in/out activity in gold at the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday are barely worth mentioning, as 700 troy ounces were shipped in—and 132 troy ounces were shipped out.  Nothing to see here. There was decent in/out activity in silver, as 259,426 troy ounces were shipped in—and 259,426 ounces were shipped out the door.  None of it involved JPMorgan.  The link to that activity is here. For a change, there wasn’t any in/out activity at all in the gold kilobar warehouses in Hong Kong on Friday. Despite my best efforts, I have a large number of stories today—and I’ll happily leave the final edit up to you. Not one ounce of the 59 million equivalent ounces sold by the speculators in the managed money category this [past reporting] week was remotely connected to legitimate hedging; yet the sale was the indisputable sole price influence. That silver prices only declined by around 30 cents in the reporting week proves that the commercial buyers were more interested in buying the 59 million ounces from the managed money traders than they were in driving prices even lower. What this proves is that silver prices are being set on the COMEX with no regard to the actual world of silver production or consumption. The managed money long side is down to less than 42,500 contracts and is undoubtedly less than that since the cut-off and near the 40,000 contract non-technical fund core long position I have long postulated. Unless I’m off by a country mile (always possible), significant additional managed money long liquidation is not likely. The short position of the technical funds, at 32,283 contracts in the current report is already larger than the peak in January and higher, admittedly, than I thought it would be at this point. And it must be higher still since the cutoff. Simply put, the rocket fuel tanks appear to have been topped off in silver. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 25 April 2015 There was no precious metal news to speak of on Monday—and the fact that prices blew up at the London p.m. gold fix [just like they melted down on Friday at that time] should be proof positive that this was all paper trading on the COMEX/GLOBEX between the brain-dead technical funds in the Managed Money category on one side—and the Commercial traders on the other. I was surprised that silver’s net volume was as low as it was, but I’m sure that  a certain portion of it was used to put out the fire in silver—and that was very noticeable in gold, with a huge blow-out in volume when gold broke above its 50-day moving average.  Silver just broke above its by only a few pennies. Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals courtesy of stockcharts.com. Silver traded quietly either side of $15.80 spot all through Far East and London trading, but starting shortly after 9 a.m. EDT things changed.  The first bump up in price took it up to $16 spot—and then it had two more quick rallies, one at the gold fix—and the other at 10:45 EDT just before London closed.  The high tick of the day came a minute before the London close—and the price didn’t do much after that. The low and high ticks were recorded by the CME Group as $15.68 and $16.445 in the May contract. Silver finished the Monday session at $16.40 spot, up 64.5 cents cents from Friday’s close.  Net volume was well in excess of 100,000 contracts, but it all netted out to only 28,000 contracts, so it didn’t appear that there was much interference in the silver rallies—and had all the hallmarks of short covering. Platinum chopped around unchanged until it hit its spike low shortly before 11 a.m. in Zurich.  Then it rallied a bit into the London p.m. gold fix—and away it went to the upside as well.  The high came at 1 p.m. EDT in New York—and from there it got sold off a bit into the close.  Platinum finished the day at $1,146 spot, up 23 dollars from Friday. The dollar index closed late on Friday afternoon in New York at 96.90—and rallied unsteadily in Far East and morning trading in London, hitting its 97.27 high tick shortly before the COMEX open in New York.  From there it got sold down to its 96.48 low tick about 12:45 p.m. EDT.  The index rallied back to 96.80 by 2 p.m.—and then chopped sideways in a tight range into the close.  The index finished the day at 96.86—down only 4 basis points from Friday. Once again the price activity in the currencies—and in the precious metal market—weren’t even close to being related. Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations. An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in October 2012 and using 0.3 g/t cutoff  the current resource is 73,580,000 tonnes grading 0.67 g/t Au for total of 1,576,000 contained ounces in the indicated category, and 223,300,000 tonnes grading 0.62 g/t Au for a total of 4,437,000 contained ounces in the inferred category. In addition to the Golden Summit Project the Vinasale also hosts a NI 43-101 resource calculation which was updated in March 2013. Indicated resources are 3.41 million tonnes averaging 1.48 g/t Au for 162,000 ounces, and Inferred resources are 53.25 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t Au for 1,799,000 ounces of gold utilizing a cutoff value of 0.5 grams/tonne (g/t) as a possible open pit cutoff. Please send us an email for more information, ir@freegoldventures.com I was out with my camera again on Sunday.  It’s spring, but this far north in continental North America, it arrives slowly.  A lot of the waterfowl and a few other species of birds have returned from the south, but the rest are weeks away from showing up. The first photo is of a jackrabbit—and it’s not quite in focus as the auto focus couldn’t keep up with him.  They’re very common around here—and this one looks a little shaggy, as it’s in the final throes of losing its inner and outer winter coat.  This is not your cute little bunny, this is a big animal—and there are only a few dogs it can’t outrun. The silver equities turned in a better performance—and their highs came about the same time as gold’s, but they didn’t sell off as much after that, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 4.18 percent.center_img Here’s your typical drake mallard in its breeding plumage.  I was using a 1.4x teleconverter with my 400mm telephoto lens when I took this shot, so the image quality is not quite what it could be.  The photo below it is of a drake mallard as well, as it flew overhead.  It’s a view very few get to see for any length of time—but at 1/3,200 of a second, the wing action gets stopped cold—and you can view the wing pattern at your leisure. The gold stocks gapped up a bit at the open—and barely reacted to the big jump in price at the London p.m. fix.  However they did continue to rally steadily from there, hitting their zenith minutes before 1 p.m. EDT, which was gold’s high tick on the day.  From there they slid lower for the remainder of the Monday trading session, giving back over half their gains, as the HUI only closed up 1.90 percent.  I was underwhelmed. Here’s the 5-minute tick gold chart courtesy of Brad Robertson.  All the volume that mattered on Monday came between the London pm. gold fix and the COMEX close, which was 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. EDT—08:00 till 11:30 on this chart, which is scaled for Denver time.  Add two hours for EDT—and don’t forget the ‘click to enlarge’ feature. Palladium rallied as well, but on a slightly different time schedule from the other three precious metals.  The low came about the same time as platinum, but the high came shortly after it’s rally at the London p.m. gold fix.  From there, like platinum, it got sold down into the the close of electronic trading.  Palladium only finished up 8 bucks on the day. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is fifteen minutes away.  All four precious metals got sold down a bit during the first couple of hours of Far East trading on their Tuesday morning—and have all traded pretty much ruler flat since then.  Gold is hanging onto the $1,200 spot mark by its proverbial fingernails at the moment. Gold volume is a bit over 16,500 contracts, with virtually all of it in the current front month, which is June, so it’s all of the HFT variety.  Silver volume is very decent, but once you remove the roll-overs, net volume is barely moving the needle at 1,500 contracts.  It’s like yesterday’s price action never happened. The dollar index has been chopping sideways as well—and is currently down 8 basis points. Today is the final day for the big traders to be out of the May futures contract in silver, so I expect Tuesday’s volume to be pretty chunky as well, with a tiny net volume.  Of course that may all go out the window if we have another price surprise in COMEX trading this morning, but I don’t ever remember big price moments on this particular day of the trading month—but after yesterday, I guess one shouldn’t rule it out entirely.  But if I had to bet money, it would be on the former scenario. Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is also the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report—and it will be interesting to see if all of the reporting week’s price/volume action makes it into that report, particularly Monday’s action.  We’ll see. And as I send today’s column off to Stowe, Vermont at 5:15 a.m. EDT, I see that all four precious metals are still down a hair from Monday’s close—and with the exception of palladium, all are trading absolutely flat.  Gold’s net volume is way up there at 27,000 contracts, with 99 percent of that in current front month. As expected, there’s still heavy roll-over volume in silver, but net volume is still extremely light at barely over 2,100 contracts—and the dollar index is virtually unchanged from two and half hours ago, down 5 basis points. I haven’t the foggiest notion as to how the precious metals will trade for the remainder of the Tuesday session, but I will be surprised if we do see a lot of price action either today or tomorrow, as the May silver contract goes off the board. That’s all I have for today—and I’ll see you here tomorrow.last_img read more