Archive for November, 2010
Alexei Ukykayev the first deputy chair of the Russian Central Bank said that the Canadian dollar has been added to Russian international reserves. Ukykayev said:We have recently begun investing in assets denominated in the Canadian dollar,So far, the amounts are very small, but theres perhaps potential for increasing our holdings.
Russia is planning to diversify its reserves. Russia also wants to promote the use of regional currencies in international trade and finance . This move would reduce risks posed by the dominance of the US dollar. The Central Bank has said it also plans to increase gold holdings. It may consider including other currencies as well including the Australian dollar.
The present Russian reserves comprise 47 percent US dollars, 41 percent euros, 10 percent British pounds, 2 percent Japanese yen and a small amount in Swiss francs. Russia has reduced its US dollar holdings from 50 per cent to 47 per cent so it is still holding plenty of US dollars. Russias reserves totaled $495.7 billion as of Nov. 12.
The Canadian dollars share of Russias reserves is very small at present but Ulyukayev said.Within several months we may be able to speak about more substantial volumes and any changes in the structureCanadas dollar is called the loonie after the loon on the back of the dollar coin It has gained 4.2 percent against the greenback this year on increasing demand for higher-yielding assets and raw materials. Commodities generate about half of Canadas export revenue.
There is growing support for a new global currency system that is less reliant on the dollar as a reserve currency. However, Ulyukayev said that the US dollar would still remain the leading global reserve currency even as rivals appear on the scene.
Ulyukayev said.There is competition, and it looks like it will intensify among currencies that play the role of global and regional reserve currencies,I think the dollar will be leading in this competition,. Given the size of the USeconomy and its well developed financial markets Ulykayev claimed that the US dollar would remain the main reserve currency.
President Dmitry MedvedevDmitry Medvedev is attempting to reduce the dollars dominance He is promoting the ruble as a reserve currency.The ruble has become a regional reserve currency for the countries of the former Soviet Union and nations with a traditionally large share of trade with Russia, Ulyukayev said. Ulyukayev said that the Chinese yuan will also become a global reserve currency but only after it becomes fully convertible. He said:There is a discrepancy between Chinas share of global trade, GDP and the lack of convertibility of its currency,If this discrepancy will be overcome quickly, the yuan will enter their ranks.
Two Elk lodges will challenge each other to help raise money for The Salvation Armys Red Kettle Campaign for the fifth year in a row.
The Ilion Elks will ring bells at Subway at the corner of Main and Otsego streets in Ilion on Dec. 4 from 9 am to 3 pm and the Herkimer Elks will do the same at the Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppe at the corner of Caroline and Mohawk streets during the same block of time on Dec. 11.
Charles Sullivan, the Elks district public relations chairperson, said the two clubs could not do it on the same day this year because of previous commitments, but are still looking forward to the friendly competition.
The big winner is The Salvation Army, said Sullivan, in a telephone interview Friday.
He said the Elks want to help the campaign during its time of need.
Were trying to do our part for community service, he said.
Sullivan said the competition plays in because the two clubs do what they can to attract donors to their site. The Herkimer Elks will have, for example, Santa Claus and elves ringing bells between 1 and 2 pm during their bell round.
Last year, the Elks raised $700 for The Salvation Army through their competition. Sullivan said that made for one of the better days throughout the campaign, raising about $110 an hour between the two sites.
I think thats pretty good, he said.
The Salvation Army hosts food, toy and gift drives for members of the community throughout the holiday season. They recently received 10 brand-new childrens coats from the United Way, that were donated to them by Herb Philipsons Army and Navy Store.
Danville, VA- We still have a few days left until Thanksgiving, but members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Danville got a chance to celebrate early.
The kids and teens were treated to a turkey feast last week.
The meal was funded by the Southside Virginia Society of Human Resource Management and The Entwistle Company and prepared by a volunteer.
The impact of community volunteers, such as those we have had here tonight, is immeasurable, Executive Director of the Boys amp; Girls Clubs Don Nodtvedt said.
More than 100 guests enjoyed the dinner and time spent with family, friends, and volunteers.
GUMC researchers have indicated that aging changes how people view themselves and others through mind wandering.
Every industry has seen its business model altered by the Web.
Same goes for investors.
It used to be that they bought and sold stocks by making a phone call to their broker, with limited access to information.
Now the self-directed investor can trade stocks online in an instant, access a plethora of company data and share his or her thoughts online.
With social media tools, investors can chat online with like-minded people, post blogs, share chart data and see whats being traded. The trend is not widespread, but its gaining traction.
In a poll of IBD readers, 63% say they dont use social media tools to help with their investments, but 37% do, up from 30% a year ago.
The users of social media tools for investing arent fully satisfied with the results. Our poll found a majority saying social media tools have not helped them form a good picture of market trends or make timely trading decisions.
It might be that theyre unfamiliar with advancements in the technology among the more aggressive sites with social media tools. Facebook and LinkedIn are among the most popular sites mentioned in the survey, but these sites are low on features compared with the rich set of communication tools on sites like TradeKing, Zecco, StockTwits and others.
The hesitancy in using social tools for investing mirrors the largest brokerage sites, which have been slow to adopt the trend. But just as the Web changed how people get news and hear music, it may be only a matter of time before the self-directed investor gets the social media bug.
The Schenectady-based New York Folklore Society may be among the first groups to feel the effects of early retirements by state workers.
Members of the society travel the state helping small, locally based organizations put on folk festivals and other cultural events that inform people about the myriad traditions and ethnic roots of Empire State residents.
Theyve taken their expertise to Irish musical festivals in the Catskills and have helped Guyanese immigrants in Schenectady stage performances for their Hindu temple.
This month, theyre headed to Batavia to work with the communitys enclave of Mexican-Americans who are exploring their Latino roots.
Part of the Folklore Societys funding comes from the state Council on the Arts, which for years has acted as a grants clearinghouse and a source of arts expertise for organizations statewide.
But thats changing, as the New York City-based council, facing more than a half-dozen early retirements, is doing away with its panel of arts experts.
Instead of grant requests being reviewed by leaders in fields such as literature, architecture, theater or folk arts, they will be reviewed by a more generic group of staffers.
That, says arts promoters across the state, could leave small, locally based groups without the kind of expert guidance they depend on for developing high-quality programs.
That expertise is being shuffled around, said Ellen McHale, the Folklore Societys executive director.
Without the expertise on staff, I really think its going to change the way they give money away, said Amy Williams, executive director of the The Arts Center of the Capital Region.
The Troy-based organization acts as a conduit for Council of the Arts grants that go to dozens of local, often small, groups.
Theyve helped with dance classes for youngsters in Troy public housing projects, and free classical music concerts at the Voorheesville library.
Officials from the council did not return a request for comment.
The changes also have gotten some attention in the state Legislature.
Earlier this month, Buffalo Democratic Assemblyman Sam Hoyt sent an e-mail to arts groups urging them to contact their local lawmakers to protest the changes, many of which, he contends, have been done behind closed doors.
Hoyt, who serves on the Assemblys Tourism, Arts and Sports Development committee, said the changes were made without the knowledge of committee leaders. And he noted that they are happening in the final weeks of Gov. David Patersons term.
These are draconian changes that completely transform the arts council, he said.
Rick Karlin can be reached at 454-5758 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hundreds of students at East spend part of each day singing, playing instruments or practicing dance routines. These activities are important to their growth and success, and shouldnt be seen as extra-curricular tasks, school leaders say.
Principal Ed Dorff said the school has completed a feasibility study for the academy and hopes to receive approval for it from the Green Bay School Board by the end of the year. It could start as a pilot program in 2011-12.
Theres a need for people to understand the arts are essential, Dorff said. Just like athletics, they should be considered core classes, yet they are the first things on the chopping block when people are looking to cut.
The new academy would start with a focus on piano, choral and orchestra students, he said.
To be part of the academy, participants would be required to take private lessons outside of school. Dorff said he expects a third of students would continue to pay for their own private lessons, a third would pay using a sliding scale and a third would receive scholarships.
We dont want anyone to not be able to participate because the family cant afford it, he said. A half credit would be given for every 90 hours of fine arts work, and students could receive up to two credits during their time at East.
Students in the program also would take music theory classes at East, put together a portfolio of their work and participate in public performances. A jury also would review students work to complete the class.
They dont already have to be involved in music, Dorff said. But this is for the serious student who wants to take it to the next level.
The hope is to eventually expand the program to include drama, photography and other arts.
East High School students would need to apply to join the academy, and about 18 would participate the first year, Dorff said.
Dorff said he could accommodate the first year of the program with current staff. The school would raise money to help buy two new pianos, he said.
Alumni and parents at East began laying groundwork for more vigorous fine arts programming at the school in 2007, Dorff said. Volunteers raised funds for a new concert grand piano for the school auditorium and a $150,000 endowment fund was formed to help finance music studies for qualifying students.
Fine arts took on new importance when the School Board discussed eliminating the fifth-grade instrumental music program in 2009 to balance the district budget, Dorff said. Instead of eliminating it, the board reduced the program by half.
There isnt a culture in the world that doesnt have music or the arts or some aspect of it, he said. We dont want to lose that.
Mary Frantz, an East alumnus whose daughter graduated from the school, has been an active supporter of fine arts programming.
Study after study shows exposing kids to the arts at a young age gives them a leg up in anything that might follow, she said. Were overwhelmed by the response were getting from students. I think the popularity speaks to the huge need for arts in peoples lives.
It is the week of food! More important it is a week of family, friends and people gathering and sharing a meal together. All year round parents attempt to guide their kids and teens to healthy habits, however during this week (actually the entire holiday season) it can be a struggle.
Childhood obesity is still a major concern for parents, children and teens. It is also a very serious concern that we need to take seriously.
We all love food, but what happens when our food turns against us? How much do we really know about the substances we eat every day? New research has showed that we may not know nearly as much as we thought about what we eat and that some of our favorite ingredients may be slowly eating us alive.
Here are the top 10 toxic food ingredients you want to avoid:
- Sodium Nitrate: Sodium nitrate is the ingredient used as a preservative in meats that can have severe cardiovascular effects if ingested in large quantities. Sodium Nitrate is thought to cause blood vessel walls to narrow and harden. This damage to blood vessels changes the way the heart pumps blood and can lead to severe heart problems. Monitoring the amount of meat you eat or ensuring that meats are preservative free can help you to avoid the side effects of Sodium Nitrate toxicity. Your heart will thank you later.
- Hydrogenated Oils: Hydrogenated oils, like margarine and Crisco, are animal or plant oils that have been infused with hydrogen at high pressures. This is done to prolong the shelf life of these items. Ironically, items like margarine were once touted for their health benefits in addition to their resistance to spoilage. Now, most countries recognize that these oils contain high levels of trans fat and can lead to atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity. Avoiding deep fried foods and checking packaging for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils as ingredients can help you maintain a healthy weight and a healthy heart.
- Excitotoxins: What are excitotoxins? Excitotoxins are reactive forms of amino acids found in the body and are present in things like Aspartame and MSG (Monosodium Glutamate). While the fact that these amino acids normally exist in the body may make you think they are perfectly safe, but the reality is that the forms ingested are highly reactive and can interfere with normal neurological signaling, causing migraines, seizures and other neurological problems if ingested in very high doses. Avoiding foods that contain these taste enhancers will help you to avoid these problems, but beware that they exist in many more foods than you might think. Always check the packaging and know what youre eating.
- Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG): Monosodium Glutamate is a flavor enhancer which can cause severe headaches and neurological problems in certain individuals. As an excitotoxin, MSG is a derivative of a common human amino acid, but if ingested in large quantities this amino acid can interfere with normal neurochemistry. MSG is particularly found in canned foods and Asian food, but its use in the US has become a subject of controversy. While the FDA lists the ingredient as safe, it may be a good bet to avoid MSG because it does nothing but enhance flavor.
- Olestra: Olestra has been hailed as a miracle ingredient. It is a fat substitute that allows savory foods like potato chips to retain their delicious flavor without the added fat of their natural predecessors. While the critical acclaim has been pouring in, Olestra has recently come under attack. It has been shown to cause severe gastrointestinal problems, including loose stool and cramping. Perhaps more importantly, it has been shown to deplete carotenoids from the blood. Carotenoids are essential in the prevention of cancer and their depletion has been linked to increased risks of development of certain types of cancer. While the FDA has yet to act in restricting the use of Olestra, it might be a good idea to avoid this ingredient until it is better understood.
- Caffeine: Humans have been ingesting caffeine for centuries, but only recently have some of caffeines negative health effects come to light. If you rely on a cup of coffee or tea to provide you with energy and focus, there is an underlying biochemical problem that you are not addressing. Are you getting enough sleep or exercise? Caffeine can become a problem when people develop a tolerance to its energizing effects and require more and more of the liquid that contains it, ingesting more and more calories in the process. And if you try to cut back on your caffeine intake cold turkey, you will experience some potentially severe withdrawal symptoms that can make your life temporarily miserable. Monitoring your caffeine intake closely will help avoid dependency and prevent withdrawal, but beware how much you depend on coffee in the morning to wake up. It may be a sign of another more serious problem.
- Trans Fat: Trans fats are created when partially hydrogenated oil is used in the preparation of fried foods. The effects of trans fats have been shown to be absolutely devastating, and America appears to finally be taking action to curb the debilitating health effects of excess trans fat intake. Americans love fried food, but the trans fat in our favorite fried treats can lead to high LDL cholesterol and increased risk of heart disease or stroke. Many restaurants are now flaunting their 0 trans fat foods, but always check packaging to be sure youre not eating too much of this potentially deadly additive.
- BPA: BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical building block in polycarbonate plastics. BPA can be found in just about anything that is plastic, but it is particularly common in reusable plastic containers like drinking bottles and baby bottles. The health effects of BPA are controversial. Some evidence shows that intake of small amounts of BPA over time may lead to sexual side effects, like nonviable semen in men and depleted ovary function in women. These studies are not conclusive, and other studies have shown that the doses of BPA humans ingest from plastic drinking bottles and the like are so low that the compound plays no role in physiology. So what should you do? Do your own research and decide how you feel about BPA.
- Diacetyl : Diacetyl is a compound found most commonly in microwave popcorn. Recent studies have shown that inhalation of this powder like substance can cause severe lung problems. So do we need a gas mask before firing up our popcorn in the microwave? It turns out that manufacturers of microwave popcorn are the ones who are really suffering the tragic health effects of this ingredient, but its not a bad idea to avoid breathing in the fumes from freshly popped popcorn or other hot butter substitutes.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup: This sweetener is in more foods than you would ever imagine and has been linked to severe health problems, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. High fructose corn syrup is difficult to avoid, but a careful check of a products packaging and a general preference for organic foods will help you to avoid this common and dangerously common sweetener.
Contributor: Anna Miller, Online Degree
Last year in Broward County, Our First Lady, Michelle Obama has championed the campaign to Lets Move and visited our local students in Weston at Falcon Cove Middle School. This exciting and educational visit inspired the students to get out and get moving and create an active lifestyle.
Be an educated parent, you will have healthier and safer teens!
Larry Probst made his comments Monday to The Associated Press at the Asian Games, where he met with Asian Olympic committee officials as part of a new outreach effort after Chicago lost in the first round of voting for the 2016 Summer Games last October.
Probst declined to identify the cities, but said the USOC is far from ready to put together another bid because it needs to first improve its presence internationally and resolve differences with the IOC over revenue sharing.
We have to build more, better and stronger relationships with people within the Olympic movement before it would be realistic for us to bid again, Probst said, adding that he doesnt have a timetable for a new US bid.
The 2022 Games will be awarded by the International Olympic Committee in 2015. The host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which has three bidding cities lt;emdash /gt; Annecy, France; Munich, Germany; and Pyeongchang, South Korea lt;emdash /gt; will be announced next July.
This takes “Keeping up with the Kardashians” to a new level.
In case you missed it earlier this month, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian have branded their starpower name onto a new prepaid debit card. The Kardashian Kard, as it’s been dubbed, is aimed at teenage fans of the celebrity sisters and reality show stars.
Nothing against the E! network trio, but the Kardashian Kard is one of the dumbest marketing gimmicks I’ve ever heard.
Similar to other prepaid cards, users load a set amount of money onto the plastic, which can be ordered online. The MasterCard product works much like a regular debit card and can be reloaded with money.
The Kardashian Kard is being marketed as a “fast and convenient way to manage money.” But there’s more to this glitzy piece of plastic –it’s loaded with fees.
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, issued a report recently urging consumers to steer clear.
“There’s nothing glamorous about a prepaid card that comes with a bunch of hidden fees and other gotchas,” said Suzanne Martindale, policy associate for Consumers Union.
The Kardashian Kard offers two sign-up plans: A six-month plan for $59.95 or a 12-month offer for $99.95.
The six-month plan includes a $9.95 purchase fee, a $5 minimum deposit and a $7.95 monthly fee for the duration of the plan.
The 12-month cost includes the same fees, except the $7.95 monthly charge runs the full year.
There’s more. Consumers will be tagged with a $1.50 fee for withdrawing funds from an ATM, on top of the fee the ATM operator charges; a $1 fee to check balances at ATMs; a $1.50 charge to speak to a customer-service representative; and $9.95 to replace a lost or stolen card.
Let me repeat, this is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard. To have the Kardashian sisters — with their money-is-no-object image — act as spokeswomen for a prepaid card is not the type of message I’d want consumer babes in the woods to hear.
Besides, there are far better ways for teens to learn how to use credit responsibly.
For starters, consider a regular checking account that comes with a low-cost debit card.
If you decide on a prepaid card, find one with low fees and link it to your child’s checking account. Then, their money, not yours, is on the line when the card needs reloading. And as we all know, teens tend to be much more thrifty when spending their money.
But if celebrity plastic is a must, consider this suggestion from Susan Beacham, owner of Money Savvy Generation, which sells financial education products: Go online, print a color picture of the Kardashian sisters, and then tape it to a regular debit card or to your young fan’s wallet.
It’s certainly a lot cheaper alternative.
Reach Steve Rosen at email@example.com or call 816-234-4879.
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