A newly-announced symposium will examine the unique sub-culture associated with jam bands. Billed as “Sharing in the Groove: Jam Music & Culture Through the Years,” the one-day gathering will offer “a chance to hear from the jam community across disciplines, from those working behind the scenes to those approaching the music and culture from academic perspectives.” Sharing in the Groove will take place on Saturday, April 21st at the Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center in Burlington, VT, a city that has some serious jam band history of its own (hint: Phish). Many of the scheduled speakers are people who have written about the jam band community from an academic and/or cultural angle, such as Melvin Backstrom (The Music Played the Band: The Jamband Genre and Musical Sociality) and Taraleigh Weathers (How to Rock Your Life: Maintain the Magic of Live Music in Your Everyday Experience). Other speakers include Brando Rich of CashOrTrade and Kevin Statesir of Burlington venue Higher Ground.”I’m looking forward to framing jam band discourse in a symposium setting,” says symposium organizer Isaac Slone. “We will hear from those involved with different eras of jam culture and will pass the mic as much as we can to drive a holistic discussion. Talks will range from exploring the anarchist aspects and attitudes that can be found in Phish’s music and career to learning about the development of facets of our scene like CashorTrade.”In addition to the speakers and panelists, Sharing in the Groove will also feature a set of music as well as an after party. Tickets for the event are currently on sale, and more information can be found via the Facebook event page.
Collier Winters ’12 speaks with a low Oklahoma accent. He has long, white-blond hair and facial scruff, along with the rugged Southern looks to make a girl scream. He might make a decent country singer, but he has an even better gig as Harvard’s quarterback.Winters is one of the “summer dogs.” Though the Crimson’s first game isn’t until Sept. 17, Winters and a group of other players stuck around Cambridge all summer, practicing and preparing for the opening game against Holy Cross.”I’d like to end this season as the best quarterback in the Ivy League,” said Collier Winters ’12. They got jobs, moved into alternate housing, and lived with a discipline typically unheard of once June rolls around. They awoke at 5 each morning, save for Thursdays. They got on the field. They worked out for hours, went off afterward to each do their own thing, but returned come evening to do it all again.“I’d rather wake up at 5 a.m. and be with these fellows than anybody,” said Treavor Scales ’13, a running back from Stone Mountain, Ga., who was recently named preseason All-Ivy League by Phil Steele’s College Football Preview.Linebacker and team captain Alex Gedeon ’12 and towering defensive tackle Josue Ortiz ’12 stuck around with Winters and Scales. With the exception of Scales, this is their final season playing college ball, so it’s all on the line.“I’d rather wake up at 5 a.m. and be with these fellows than anybody,” said Treavor Scales ’13, a running back from Stone Mountain, Ga., who was recently named preseason All-Ivy League by Phil Steele’s College Football Preview.Winters, who tore his adductor muscle early last season and was replaced by a third-string quarterback, is more than ready to make up for lost time. “Our goal this year is to win every game,” he said. “And I’d like to end this season as the best quarterback in the Ivy League.”Despite Winters’ injury, the Crimson finished 7-3, which included a victory against rival Yale.“I was proud of our team last year,” said coach Tim Murphy. “We weren’t a great team, but we were cohesive and resilient. We still managed a second-place Ivy finish and an Ivy League record 10th-consecutive year of minimum seven wins.”Having Winters back is a bonus, said Murphy. “But it’s a very unusual year with every team in the league returning an All-Ivy-caliber quarterback. For that reason and others, the 2011 season shapes up as one of the most competitive and interesting races in many years.“Defensively, we have good players at every level, and Josue Ortiz, Alex Gedeon, Matt Hanson, and Dan Minamide will be among the best players in the league at their positions. But we also must become a stronger, more physical team on both sides of the ball to reach our goals.”The Crimson has but three short months to make history.“Our goal is the Ivy Championship and to beat Yale for the 10th time in the last 11 years,” said Murphy. “But only time will tell with this team.”“We all have higher aspirations of being in the NFL,” said Ortiz. “But if that doesn’t work out, we have that Harvard degree.”Ortiz, an economics concentrator from Avon Park, Fla., said he tries to keep his teammates grounded, but uplifted. “I want to be remembered as a spiritual leader, on and off the field,” he said. “What you do off the field is important, too.”He doesn’t much go out on weekends and is involved in a Christian fellowship on campus. After slow-performing freshman and sophomore years, Ortiz climbed the ranks to make this year’s first-team All-Ivy League, as well as the College Football Performance Awards Watch List and preseason All-America third team by College Sporting News. Now he just wants to win, plain and simple.“When I started out, I wasn’t very good. But I worked, and I got there, and now here we are.”And everyone is watching.View the season’s full schedule.
Anna Deavere Smith, known for her roles on “The West Wing” and “Nurse Jackie,” hosted acting and playwriting workshops at Saint Mary’s over the weekend, teaching participants that before they can run to a curtain call, they have to learn how to break a leg.Smith said actors should block out distractions while they listen closely to their stage partners’ scripts and observe their gestures.“It is really about being present with the other, and that’s the first step,” Smith said. “You have to ask yourself, ‘What are the things that keep me from being present?’”Through devoting complete attention to a scene, actors can best emulate reality, she said.“I think that at a certain point while I’m rehearsing and performing, there could be something about that person that knocks on the door of my subconscious,” Smith said. “I’m not interested in that. I’m asking you today to free yourselves from that idea. I want you to think about what it means to focus on the other. So why not explore that other land that has absolutely nothing to do with you whatsoever?”Smith said actors can make a greater impression on audience members if they take a natural approach, allowing themselves to experience every emotion the scene demands.“You shouldn’t underestimate how much you can actually absorb if you are really listening,” Smith said. “When we open to others, they open to us, and then, we can go from me to you to we.”Smith said actors should free themselves of inhibitions since they cannot always anticipate exactly what will happen on stage.“You are inclined to want to come to conclusions quickly, but when asked to examine it, your conclusion is disrupted,” she said. “We wait for the people who appear to have the power to make us comfortable, but do we make them comfortable with us?’”Smith said interpreting others’ gestures and learning the meanings behind their mannerisms helps actors more fully understand one another.“If your aspiration is to become a communicator, whether that is to lead or to help someone who is suffering, wouldn’t it be useful to have a way of communicating that’s really in response to the moment?” Smith asked. “I don’t think we can know each other if we don’t make the jump to know each other.”Smith said actors can give memorable performances if they take original approaches and make their characters different from anything audience members have seen before.“We all are mimics, and we are sponges, so my question is always ‘When does it become individual?’” Smith said. “I don’t even like it that all babies cry exactly the same all over the world. I’m like, ‘Why can’t you laugh?’”First year EV Dundon said Friday’s workshop built on her previous experience and helped her explore new and unfamiliar dimensions of acting.“It’s so much harder than I thought,” Dundon said. “I’ve [acted] for a while, and I love it. It’s one of the most familiar things I’ve done … but I never realized that it’s not only memorizing lines.” According to Dundon, Smith emphasized the importance of remaining open to others’ mannerisms and ways of speaking, for in embracing distinct gestures, actors can best portray their characters.“I learned how to completely throw myself away and be someone totally different,” Dundon said. “It was challenging, but I felt like it helped because I’ve had struggles with that. I thought I had to have a little of myself that I could relate to, but now I don’t think so. Maybe I just need to throw it all away and start fresh.”Dundon said she values the opportunity to learn from an expert such as Smith.“To have a professional eye around us, that was a benefit because we are surrounded by students and professors who have had experience, but [Smith] has been on a TV show, and she’s been recognized from that show,” she said. “I think it’s important to see it from that perspective.” Tags: acting workshops, Anna Deavere Smith, Visiting artist
By Nancy C. HinkleUniversity of GeorgiaThe best and cheapest way to control mosquitoes is to prevent their larvae from developing.Mosquito larvae can develop only in water, pupating while they’re suspended from the surface. Getting rid of places where water collects, or making these places inhospitable to mosquito larvae, can keep you safer from mosquito-borne diseases.Used tires are significant breeding sites. Tires should be recycled and properly disposed of to prevent their becoming mosquito sources. Tire dumps should be reported to county officials and removed so they don’t become health hazards.Around the yardAround the yard, turn any vessel that holds water upside down, or remove and recycle it.Clean out birdbaths weekly and replenish them with fresh water. This will keep mosquitoes from developing.To control mosquito breeding, drain or flush the water weekly in wading pools, roof gutters, flowerpot saucers and other spots where rain and irrigation water collect.Trim shrubbery and eliminate tall grass and weeds where adult mosquitoes hide during the day.For personal protectionFor personal protection: Agnique. The active ingredient forms a film on the water surface that smothers mosquito larvae. You can buy it from Adapco through a toll-free number (800-367-0659).Altosid 30-Day Briquets. The active ingredient is methoprene, an insect growth regulator. You can buy it on-line.Bactimos Briquets. The active ingredient is Bti, a bacterium specific to mosquitoes. It’s a sustained-release, floating formulation.Mosquito Dunks. The active ingredient is Bti. It’s available at hardware, feed-and-seed and garden stores. Each dunk treats 100 square feet of water surface.Mosquito Bits. These contain the same product as Mosquito Dunks, but in small amounts that can be used for smaller areas.Zodiac Preventative Mosquito Control. The active ingredient is methoprene. It’s available at pet stores. Wear light-colored clothing when outside, because dark colors attract mosquitoes.Stay indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are usually most active.Wear a repellent containing DEET and treat clothing with a product such as Permanone mosquito repellent (containing permethrin). Herbal repellents work for less than 1 hour.If using citronella candles, orient them so that the breeze is directing the candle smoke toward you. The smoke is what repels mosquitoes. What doesn’t workMosquito plants don’t repel mosquitoes. Neither do garlic, ultrasonic devices or herbal bracelets.Traps that use light and/or carbon dioxide to lure in and kill mosquitoes may attract more mosquitoes than they kill. If you decide to use one of these, consider buying one and giving it to your neighbor down the street.For severe infestations, an option is to hire a professional pest control company with expertise in mosquito control. Vector control personnel often treat breeding areas with a low-toxicity pesticide called Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis). It is deadly to mosquito larvae, yet harmless to people, pets, fish and wildlife.You can’t see in your rain gutters, so assume there are puddles trapped up there. Some of the mosquito larvicides listed below can be tossed onto roofs so they wash down into the gutters and control mosquito larvae there.OTC larvicidesOver-the-counter mosquito larvicide products: Mosquito fishAnother biological control option is stocking standing water (ditches, ponds, lily pools, etc.) with mosquito fish (Gambusia).These small minnows feed on mosquito larvae and reproduce so they maintain themselves and provide ongoing suppression. Thesetiny fish can be ordered on-line (for example, from Ken’s FishFarm, toll-free at 877-536-3474).Mosquito fish can even be used to stock watering troughs. Pools formed by creeks that are no longer flowing are prime sites for using mosquito fish.When using any insecticide, always read and follow label instructions to protect yourself and the environment. For more information, call your county Cooperative Extension office.
Praise from the President By Dialogo November 03, 2014 While Unaps and FUSINA agents are rescuing abduction victims and kidnapping suspects, World Cup soccer player Wilson Palacios is participating in “Conffe vs. Gangs,” an initiative to discourage young Hondurans from joining organized crime groups. “We want them to get involved in sports, soccer and for them to learn to study so that young people can keep away from crime,” Palacios said. But those organizations have had to contend with the combined skill of Honduran security forces. For instance, since FUSINA went into action in February, agents with the elite unit have captured more than 1,800 criminal suspects, including individuals wanted for kidnapping, extortion, homicide and other offenses. FUSINA has dismantled at least 41 criminal extortion gangs, some of which engaged in kidnapping for ransom. Coordination between Honduran security forces, including the military and the National Police, and cooperation from Colombian and the United States, which have provided training and intelligence, has helped Unaps and FUSINA carry out successful operations against kidnappers. Street gangs like Los Corrales, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (M-18) are among the criminal groups that engage in kidnapping in Honduras. Some large drug trafficking organizations also commit abductions for ransom. Palacios and his family were devastated by a kidnapping in 2007, when gang members kidnapped his younger brother, Edwin, who was 14, from the family home in Honduras. Law enforcement authorities found Edwin’s body 19 months later. A kidnapping tragedy inspires a soccer star to help at-risk youth But those organizations have had to contend with the combined skill of Honduran security forces. For instance, since FUSINA went into action in February, agents with the elite unit have captured more than 1,800 criminal suspects, including individuals wanted for kidnapping, extortion, homicide and other offenses. FUSINA has dismantled at least 41 criminal extortion gangs, some of which engaged in kidnapping for ransom. FUSINA is one of those capacities. President Hernández created FUSINA to aggressively confront international drug traffickers and organized crime groups, many of which engage in extortion. It is comprised of 4,400 members of the Armed Forces, the National Police, and the Public Ministry. Police and military intelligence officers are also part of FUSINA. The elite unit began operating in February, one month after Hernández was sworn in as president. While Unaps and FUSINA agents are rescuing abduction victims and kidnapping suspects, World Cup soccer player Wilson Palacios is participating in “Conffe vs. Gangs,” an initiative to discourage young Hondurans from joining organized crime groups. “We now have the tools that we previously lacked” to fight gangs, drug trafficking groups, and crime in general, President Juan Orlando Hernández said in a La Prensa article published September 29. Praise from the President “Honduras has put in place significant capacities to confront the kidnapping groups, these capacities have been supported by the governments of Colombia and the US,” said Armando Rodríguez Luna, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). “We want them to get involved in sports, soccer and for them to learn to study so that young people can keep away from crime,” Palacios said. Palacios and his family were devastated by a kidnapping in 2007, when gang members kidnapped his younger brother, Edwin, who was 14, from the family home in Honduras. Law enforcement authorities found Edwin’s body 19 months later. “We now have the tools that we previously lacked” to fight gangs, drug trafficking groups, and crime in general, President Juan Orlando Hernández said in a La Prensa article published September 29. The combined efforts of an elite team of Honduran Army soldiers, National Police agents, and the National Interagency Security Force have made a significant impact on abductions by street gangs and drug trafficking organizations. Kidnappings have dropped 20 percent during the first half of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. And among the kidnappings that have taken place, many have ended in daring rescues by Honduran security forces. For example, in March, agents with Unaps – part of the Honduran National Police – worked with Army soldiers and Choluteca police to rescue a 21-year-old man who had been abducted, allegedly by a gang known as Los Corrales. They also captured five men who are alleged to have conducted the kidnapping and demanded nearly US $245 thousand in ransom. Initiatives of this type can be effective. These kinds of programs seek to get young people involved in programs not only for sports development but also to develop teamwork. “Honduras has put in place significant capacities to confront the kidnapping groups, these capacities have been supported by the governments of Colombia and the US,” said Armando Rodríguez Luna, a security analyst at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Coordination between Honduran security forces, including the military and the National Police, and cooperation from Colombian and the United States, which have provided training and intelligence, has helped Unaps and FUSINA carry out successful operations against kidnappers. The effort encourages young people to pursue a better future through sports, education and job training. For example, in March, agents with Unaps – part of the Honduran National Police – worked with Army soldiers and Choluteca police to rescue a 21-year-old man who had been abducted, allegedly by a gang known as Los Corrales. They also captured five men who are alleged to have conducted the kidnapping and demanded nearly US $245 thousand in ransom. Street gangs like Los Corrales, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 (M-18) are among the criminal groups that engage in kidnapping in Honduras. Some large drug trafficking organizations also commit abductions for ransom. Law enforcement forces are not the only ones fighting organized crime groups, however – sports stars are also joining in to save youths from the dangers of joining a gang. A kidnapping tragedy inspires a soccer star to help at-risk youth Law enforcement forces are not the only ones fighting organized crime groups, however – sports stars are also joining in to save youths from the dangers of joining a gang. Kidnappings have dropped 20 percent during the first half of 2014 compared to the same time period last year. And among the kidnappings that have taken place, many have ended in daring rescues by Honduran security forces. Initiatives of this type can be effective. These kinds of programs seek to get young people involved in programs not only for sports development but also to develop teamwork. SOMETIMES ONE, AS A CITIZEN, WANTS TO HELP THE YOUNG PEOPLE. YOU LOOK FOR SUPPORT AND DON’T FIND IT WITH SOME POLITICIANS… IN OTHER WORDS THE YOUNG PEOPLE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD WE CARRY A SPORTS UNIFORM SO THEY CAN PLAY SOCCER I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO GET IT…SO WE’LL CONTINUE FIGHTING TO GET IT FOR THE GOOD OF THESE BOYS…GOD CONTINUE TO ENLIGHTEN THEM AND PROTECT THEM FOR THE GOOD OF THIS COUNTRY. Hi.Yes, I.like.itA lot All those little guys are a bunch of corrupt men Why has it taken you so long to present such relevant news…why wasn’t it mentioned before, why don’t you mention true heroes, who gave their all for all, in the institution? And they weren’t given what they deserve, but God in heaven will. You know what they’re doing as of now…they’re being chased, they’re accused in order to justify a charge against them, such is the case with Mr. Fusina. God protect us, with the executions being carried out by the President of Honduras, I am sorry I gave him my vote, it’s a deception. God give him much wisdom…and one day he’ll answer to the Sovereign God…and he will be judged by his works. God have mercy. Give them a 100 year prison sentence Hi, the efforts made for security in Honduras are important thanks to the Military Police. I like the [unintelligible] of our Honduran armed forces We thank God for putting into the hearts of the authorities keeping the police and other entities they have created pure to protect the citizenry which trusts them.Those of us who believe in God and who do his will pray for all the men and women who sirve with all their strength and even with their lives to enforce the country’s laws which allow us to live in peace and harmony as well as in peace and security. Very good day, publication, if you were embargoed by Honduras, publish printed information without publishing photos of dead bodies. When two people are doing the same thing, one of the two is in excess. Why not define it for once and for all? Military police or national police? So much of the budget is spent on questions of security (which isn’t bad) as long as there are concrete results. But the figures are the same, as reflected in the cemeteries. More people die in Honduras than in a country at war. It gives me chills, really, to live in this country. Let us learn to live, to be tolerant, let us respect others’ differences en every sense, let us be in solidarity, and please, politicians, get to work and stop looting the country. Gob Bless Honduras and those who lead it. The combined efforts of an elite team of Honduran Army soldiers, National Police agents, and the National Interagency Security Force have made a significant impact on abductions by street gangs and drug trafficking organizations. The effort encourages young people to pursue a better future through sports, education and job training. FUSINA is one of those capacities. President Hernández created FUSINA to aggressively confront international drug traffickers and organized crime groups, many of which engage in extortion. It is comprised of 4,400 members of the Armed Forces, the National Police, and the Public Ministry. Police and military intelligence officers are also part of FUSINA. The elite unit began operating in February, one month after Hernández was sworn in as president.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York No matter what or how you celebrate the magic of the holiday season, traditions make this time of year extra special. Year after year we look forward to family holiday traditions and this extraordinary holiday season we are looking forward to them more than ever. We are happy to be sharing some of our favorite holiday traditions with you to enjoy and even make your own.Something Fun for Everyone (even for holiday mashups Chrismukkah)!Family PajamasNothing says holiday spirit than our favorite tradition of wearing matching family pajamas! There are sweet sets for every holiday and every type of family. Calling all the moms, dads, grandparents, kids, babies, dogs, and even crazy uncles to coordinate –just call it the Fam Jam tradition! We are cozying up this holiday season in PJ Salvage’s first-ever set of family jammies in the Festive Fair Isle design. It is the ultimate holiday classic jammie set in their super-duper soft, peachy jersey. This combo is sure to be a family favorite, leading to great family photos and memories to match.ChristmasElf on the ShelfOne of the kids’ most favorite family Christmas traditions ever is the Elf on the Shelf. This Christmas, the adventure continues with a new original story: Elf Pets: Santa’s Reindeer Rescue Animated Special DVD and a new twist on a holiday classic, The Elf on the Shelf’s Night Before Christmas. There are so many new, fun adventures to have with your Scout Elf like riding the North Pole Advent Train and enjoying Santa’s Enchanted Cookie Plate. Straight from the North Pole, Santa and his Scout Elves and Elf Pets also deliver new play experiences with the Christmas Cabin Playset, the Soaring Snowflake Set and much more! They also have a new immersive kids’ website and on the site, kids can explore a fully realized 3D world and play more than 30 interactive games and activities.HanukkahHanukkah Pocket BannersHanukkah Pocket Banners by Memory Threads NYC serve as a unique counterpart to advent calendars and stocking. Jenna Fox, a local mom, created these unique and beautiful banners composed of 8 flags; each with a pocket to stash toys, treats, gelt, or clues to where a present is hiding. There is one pocket flag for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. We love the idea of hanging two banners; one for fun and one for giving. The giving banner holds ideas for helping others (whether drawing cards for seniors, baking cookies for your local firefighters, or making a donation to your family’s favorite charity). We also love that this one-of-a-kind item is easy on the environment since it’s made from reclaimed and repurposed textiles that no longer function as they were intended.DiwaliModi Toys Mantra Singing Plush ToysCuddle up with Baby Krishna from Modi Toys, makers of the first-ever mantra-singing Baby Ganesha, Baby Hanuman, and Baby Krishna plush toys. These are sure to be a favorite tradition when they appear every Diwali! They spark curiosity about Indian roots through play. Each one of their plush toys plays mantras respective to the deity, and are sweetly sung by child artists based in India. They are sure to be a child’s new best friend during Diwali and every day.For the full list of holiday traditions, visit NewYorkFamily.com.Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Is there anyone else who sees the hypocrisy and lunacy of teachers’ principles and so-called government “officials” backing and promoting the children of America to riot in the streets for “gun control?”It’s very obvious to me that these children can’t be spokespeople for causes such as this. However, they’re being used as pawns to exploit this confiscation of guns, which dictators in government usually do to take over a country. Can these children get this? Can they see to understand what is truly involved in all this? Stop and consider the teen years, will you? Teens, and I used to be one, think they know everything. They can’t see past the end of their noses because they aren’t educated by life in the real world. Yet, the liberal media and left-wing radicals exploit their passion and lead them astray like dumb sheep. I would say that these people responsible for this should be ashamed of themselves, but most of them have no conscience left towards truth, just the failed policies of liberals, communists and progressives. I hate adults who use kids for their purposes!Barry GroatSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to online
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Australian solidarityPompeo has championed a hard line on China, questioning the half-century US policy of engagement and urging an alliance to confront a “Frankenstein” Beijing.Despite Australia’s reliance on trade with China, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s right-leaning government has largely backed the United States.Australia has seconded its longtime ally’s calls for an international investigation into the origins of COVID-19 and joined Pompeo in rejecting Beijing’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea. Pompeo hailed Morrison for refusing to “bow to Beijing’s wishes” after China retaliated by discouraging travel and trade with Australia and was accused of waging cyberattacks against government sites.Foreign Minister Marise Payne, however, acknowledged that the two nations “don’t agree on everything” and stressed the importance of multilateral institutions, after Trump bolted from the World Health Organization.As the ministers met, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi — in a phone call with his counterpart from another US ally, France — accused Washington of “reckless provocation of confrontation.” Topics : Tied to US election? China as well as Trump’s domestic critics accuse the US president, who is trailing in polls ahead of November elections, of seizing on China to divert from criticism of his own handling of the pandemic in the United States, which has suffered the highest death toll of any country. But Trump’s presumptive Democratic rival Joe Biden has also vowed a tough approach on China amid wide criticism of the Asian power on issues from trade to its incarceration of Uighur Muslims to its clampdown in semi-autonomous Hong Kong. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, a close US ally that maintains cordial relations with China, said the US relationship with Beijing historically “always gets entangled” in US presidential elections but stabilizes afterward.”I’m not sure whether it will happen this time because I feel it’s quite different,” Lee told the Atlantic Council in Washington. “The degree of animus and, sad to say, bipartisan consensus on treating China as a threat is quite extraordinary and I fear that it may carry over past the election and, if it does, I think that bodes ill for the world.” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper hailed the participation of five Australian warships last week in exercises with a US carrier strike group and a Japanese destroyer in the Philippine Sea.”These exercises not only bolster interoperability, but also send a clear signal to Beijing that we will fly, we will sail and we will operate wherever international law allows and defend the rights of our allies and partners to do the same,” Esper said.Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said the two countries will build ties across a slew of defense areas including hypersonic, electronic and space-based warfare. The cooperation will “strengthen our shared ability to contribute to regional security and to deter malign behavior in our region,” she said. In a joint statement, the ministers said they discussed expanding operations in the northern Australian city of Darwin, where US Marines have been rotating in since 2012 under an initiative of former president Barack Obama.The United States will establish a military fuel reserve in Darwin and the allies will consider exercises there with like-minded countries — a likely reference to Japan and India.In one step that had been too far, Australia last year said it would not serve as a base for US intermediate-range missiles — widely seen as a way to target China.Esper, asked if Australia had warmed to the missiles, said the allies had a “full suite of capabilities and strategies we intend to roll out together in the years ahead.” The United States and Australia said Tuesday they will expand military cooperation as tensions soar with China, presenting a common front between the allies.Going ahead in Washington with annual talks despite the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s foreign and defense ministers offered clear, if more mildly stated, support for a hawkish shift on China by President Donald Trump’s administration.”The United States knows the threats that you and the rest of the free world face. And the United States stands with you in our unbreakable alliance,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Australian ministers during a joint news conference.
“With potentially weaker diversification characteristics, investors with passive commodity exposure may be more inclined to consider an active approach.”In February, Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, said it saw potential returns of 15% on its commodity index – and 10% over the next year.Falling commodity prices, particularly the fall in the price of a barrel of oil, which sank below $28 (€21) just two years ago, and bullish global stock markets have combined to dent the performance of the asset class in recent years.However, due to possible US sanctions against Iran, oil spiked recently at a little over $75 a barrel.“Commodities are very cyclical and moves can be pretty violent,” said Michael Spinks, manager of Investec Asset Management’s Diversified Growth Fund. “Interest has been low for a number of years as performance has been poor.”Accessing the market through an “index-based structure” might be more appropriate for investors, Spinks added.Gold remains a problematic investment, according to a note from the natural resources team at BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager.“We see both headwinds and tailwinds for gold today and our base case is that it remains range-bound this year,” its report said. “Economic growth expectations have improved, dampening investor appetite for ‘safe-haven’ assets like gold.” Investors should reconsider commodities as the sector shows signs of a marked resurgence after years in the doldrums, analysts at investment advisory firm bfinance have argued.“After a decade of poor performance, many commentators delivered a more bullish outlook for commodities during the first quarter,” the firm stated in a report. “Such predictions are buoyed by global economic growth and some helpful market dynamics.”Toby Goodworth, head of risk and diversifying strategies at bfinance, said that the core tenets for allocation to commodities – inflation protection and diversification – “still hold true”.“Yet some market participants have cited a long-term turning point in the decorrelation between commodities and equities in early 2017, with the two markets appearing to be more positively associated through the last year,” he added.