Bond rate shift may suggest recession

first_img Kennedy School’s Robert Z. Lawrence analyzes the pivotal issues and possible outcomes Related The sparring over trade The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 800 points Wednesday, the largest single-day decline of the year. Some analysts attributed the selloff to growing worries that the United States is likely to follow China and Germany into an economic slowdown, stoked in part by American trade policies. Other analysts suggested that the rare case of long-term bond rates falling below shorter-term rates startled investors because such shifts often have been harbingers of economic peril.Economist Jeffrey Frankel is the James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth at Harvard Kennedy School and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He serves on the bureau’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, which officially declares recessions. The Gazette talked with him to analyze the markets selloffs this week and to gauge whether he sees a U.S. or global recession coming.Q&AJeffrey FrankelJeffrey Frankel serves on the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee, which officially declares recessions. Benn Craig/Belfer CenterGAZETTE: The U.S. still has positive economic indicators: record low unemployment, steady jobs growth, and consumer spending remains robust. But clearly the stock market selloff Wednesday suggests that many feel otherwise. What are the warning signs people are seeing that have them so worried?FRANKEL:  Certainly, what’s been happening in the stock market and the bond market has people rattled. There’s been speculation for a few years, given erratic economic policy and geopolitical policy both in the U.S. and some other major countries, that maybe this would have a negative effect on markets, and yet there has been little sign of that until now. The single indicator that has people the most worried is the [bond market] yield curve. We’re now in what’s called an inversion of the yield curve, which means that long-term interest rates, in particular 10-year interest rates, are quite low, even below short-term interest rates, which is quite unusual and suggests that financial markets are not optimistic about the future 10 years in the economy. According to an estimated equation by the New York Fed[eral Reserve Bank], the current inverted yield curve, that raises the probability of a recession in the next 12 months to 1 in 3. At the beginning of the year, it was maybe 1 in 4; in a normal year, maybe it’s 1 in 5. So for the odds of a recession to have gone up to 1 in 3 is noteworthy, but it still means it’s quite possible that we’ll get through the year without one.GAZETTE: Is the yield curve inversion as reliable a harbinger of recession as many investors seem to believe?FRANKEL: Statistically, it’s got a pretty good record. It’s worrisome and suggests a lack of confidence in the markets. But some other indicators are more reassuring.  We’ve had this very flat or occasionally even inverted yield curve for a couple years now. In other words, long-term interest rates have been very low for a few years now. And during most of that period, the stock market has been very high, which seems like a sign of confidence. And even now, even with sharp declines we’ve had this month, the stock market is still close to record highs.GAZETTE: A decade into the economic recovery after the Great Recession, are we simply “overdue” for a reversal of fortune. Is the U.S. headed toward a recession?FRANKEL: Just because a recovery or an expansion period has lasted long does not in itself mean that the probability of a recession in the next year is higher. You need imbalances in the economy like the overleveraged housing market, which gave us the mortgage crisis in 2007-08. You need something like that.Economists can’t really predict recessions. But when a recession comes, I bet that it’s going to be worse than the average U.S. recession. The reason is that in 2017, 2018, macroeconomic policy was pro-cyclical. By macroeconomic policy, I mean fiscal policy, monetary policy, and also financial regulation. And by pro-cyclical, I mean loosening up at the peak of the business cycle, when unemployment is below 4 percent (it’s the lowest it’s been in 50 years), and output is above potential (the economy was growing relatively strongly last year). But that’s not the time to be running trillion-dollar budget deficits or have interest rates close to zero or to be dismantling financial regulation and protections we put in place after the last financial crisis. And in 2017-2018, we did all three of those things.The reason why I draw the connection between pro-cyclical policy and a prediction that, when the next recession comes it’ll be worse than the average, is the government is now out of ammunition. In the past, the Federal Reserve has had room to cut interest rates, fiscal policy has had room to cut taxes and raise spending to stimulate the economy, and financial regulation has had room to have a little forbearance. But if we’re already having all those instruments at full throttle, it leaves very little space to respond to a recession if and when it comes.GAZETTE: The president continues to be very critical of the Federal Reserve’s pace and timing of interest rate increases and cuts, saying that they have slowed the U.S. economy. How significant a role does the Fed play in all of this? What can it do and not do to minimize or prevent a recession?FRANKEL: Under the conditions of the last 10 years, monetary policy doesn’t have as much power as fiscal policy. But it’s still very relevant. When we entered the previous four recessions, the Federal Reserve responded by cutting interest rates by more than 400 basis points, 4 percent, and that made a real difference. That stimulated the economy through a variety of channels and helped bring an end to those preceding recessions, including the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. Cutting interest rates by 400 basis points wouldn’t be possible now and won’t be possible when the next recession comes because interest rates are barely above 2 percent, so you can’t cut them that far. The Fed can do something, but it’s limited in what it can do.The situation is worse in the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, where interest rates are already not just zero, but negative. There’s very little room for them to cut.GAZETTE: Some economists say new tariffs and trade disputes with China, Mexico, Canada, the European Union, Japan, India, Guatemala, and Vietnam have increased the odds that the U.S. slips into recession by the 2020 election. What are some of the direct and indirect effects of current U.S. trade policy and the uncertainties surrounding it?FRANKEL: Most economists think that President Trump’s trade policy is very, very bad. It has all kinds of negative effects on the economy: 1). It raises prices to consumers and lowers their standard of living. 2). What we’ve seen a lot of up until now is raising prices of intermediate goods and inputs that firms use in producing. So if you have a tariff on steel, then any company that uses steel faces higher costs. That hurts them and also costs jobs in those industries. 3). When you put up tariffs to reduce imports, there’s a whole variety of ways you hit exports too. Sure, imports from China have gone down, but our exports to China have gone down even more. Part of it is retaliation. It’s completely predictable and to be expected that other countries will retaliate, especially when our tariffs violate our international agreements, which I would say the Trump tariffs do. Another way that blocking imports ends up losing you exports is if you hit the Chinese economy hard and cause a recession in China. Maybe Trump wouldn’t mind that. But if the Chinese have lower income, they’re going to buy less from us. A third mechanism is that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods tends to cause the dollar to become more expensive in the foreign exchange markets, and the renminbi (Chinese currency) become cheaper.  This makes American goods less competitive on world markets.  In short, there’s an illusion that tariffs will help the trade balance, but it doesn’t really work that way.GAZETTE: Are the frequent on/off pronouncements of tariffs with China, for example, causing harm in and of themselves, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell and others have suggested? FRANKEL: Absolutely. Many of the recent movements in U.S. trade policy have been part of a change, not just a radical change from the past and from our international treaty obligations, but a change from what Trump had last said just a few days or weeks before. And, when it does come through, you don’t know what direction it’s going to be. So if you’re a producer that exports, like a farmer, and your decision concerns what crops to plant, you don’t know.  Or say you’re a company that competes against imports and you want the tariff protection, let’s say the steel industry. But they don’t know: Should they invest in more steel capacity? What if the whole thing is negotiated away? What if you’re a user of steel and an increase in the price of steel hurts you? So, I think we’re going to see a bigger negative effect on investment, regardless of whether you’re in an exporting sector or an import-competing sector. You don’t know what direction the policy is going to be, so you wait. You’re not going to build a new factory if the prices are completely uncertain, [if you don’t know] whether you’re going to be facing competition for your product, or whether the prices of your input are going to go way up. And that is one channel where the trade war could lead to a recession. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. A ringing defense of Trump on trade Economist Peter Navarro says policy shifts are bearing fruit The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Bush Elementary Student Tests Positive For COVID-19, Contact Tracing Now Underway

first_imgCredit sandbergkessler.comJAMESTOWN – A student at Jamestown’s Bush Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.The Jamestown Public School District says the student last attended school on Monday.The School says they are working closely with the Chautauqua County Health Department to complete contact tracing so that any close contacts are notified and so that appropriate steps will be taken.The district would like parents to know that a confirmed case doesn’t mean that other children have been exposed to the student who has tested positive. Other students who may have been in close contact, as defined by the Chautauqua County Department of Health, will be contacted directly by the New York Department of Health contact tracers with pertinent information and next steps.“We want to remind our families, students and staff to keep our students and staff safe by wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and continuing frequent hand washing whether at school or in the community,” said JPS Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker. “As a parent, if you see your child exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, please keep your child home and contact his or her health provider for a diagnosis. We appreciate our community’s efforts to work together to keep our school community safe and we will continue to keep our JPS community updated on any new information regarding the health and safety of our students and staff.”If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, significant diarrhea, sore throat or a fever greater than 100 F or 37.8 C) officials say contact your health care provider and notify your child’s school health office.Those with questions are asked to contact a school nurse or email JPS Coordinator of Health Services, Jill Muntz at [email protected] or call her at 716-483-4376. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

CFPB needs more coffee and less Kool-Aid

first_img 56SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Henry Meier As General Counsel for the New York Credit Union Association, Henry is actively involved in all legislative, regulatory and legal issues impacting New York credit unions. Whether he’s joining … Web: Details Appearing before the assembled masses of credit union groupies last week, CFPB director Richard Cordray, the benign dictator of Consumer Finance and Oracle of all that is good, told credit unions that “it was time to wake up and smell the coffee: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not your enemy; on the contrary, it is an important new friend and ally.”Well, Mr. Codray, I enjoy the aroma of my Starbucks French Roast as much as anybody. I am still here to respectfully suggest that you need to drink a little less of your own Kool-Aid: it’s going to your head.Why would credit unions possibly be frustrated by the CFPB, you wonder? Because they are tired of being told that they were not a cause of the financial crisis only to be subjected to the flood of post-crisis regulations. Talk is cheap but regulatory compliance sure isn’t. The CFPB’s authority to “unconditionally exempt any class of covered persons, service providers, or consumer financial products or services,“ from its regulations is broad enough to exempt all credit unions from the QM mortgage requirements, for example. Instead, it has established exemption criteria which penalize smaller credit unions that make more than 500 mortgages or that sell mortgages to the secondary market.I was also a little taken back by the triumphal “I told you so” tone of your prepared remarks. I half expected you to announce “mission accomplished” from an Aircraft carrier.According to you there is “good news all around.” when it comes to mortgage lending. Credit unions are making more mortgage loans and the consumer has “a wider path to the American dream in a mortgage market made stronger by the changes we made.”This is a rehashing of the “you can bake your cake and eat it too” nonsense that has kept this country from having an adult conversation about housing policy. It makes sense to hold reckless institutions responsible for poor underwriting standards; but, let’s not fool ourselves: higher underwriting standards mean fewer people are going to qualify for mortgages than would otherwise be the case. For example, the New York Fed has identified a strange trend in which home prices have risen since 2012 but the aggregate amount of mortgage debt hasn’t.Furthermore, mortgage lending is now more closely tied to credit scores than ever before. What’s more, there is plenty of evidence that tighter under writing standards are one of the factors keeping millennials from buying that first home.You are also really jumping the gun to gloat that hot-headed critics greatly exaggerated litigation fears. Oh Really? Remember that, since many of these regulations kicked in just two years ago cases involving them are only now beginning to work their way through the system.  Why just this week a homeowner on Long Island tried to put off a foreclosure by arguing that Emigrant Bank failed to follow the loss mitigation procedures mandated by 12 CFR §1024.41(g) (Emigrant Savings Bank-Long Island v. Berkowitz, 27142/2012,) Other litigation has taken place in Michigan involving whether the loss mitigation rules should be retroactively applied ( Campbell v. Nationstar Mortgage, 611 F. App’x 288, 296 (6th Cir.) cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 272, 193 L. Ed. 2d 137 (2015).No one should be surprised that Litigation is coming All you have to do is look at the foreclosure defense litigation that routinely takes place in states like NY, NJ and California, states whose foreclosure mitigation laws provided models for the Bureau’s own requirements, and you quickly realize that more litigation is coming and with it will come absurdly long foreclosures. It takes more than 900 days to foreclose on property in New York which makes it more expensive for residents to get a mortgage.   And, by the way, the know-before-you-owe foreclosure requirements have made it more time consuming to close on mortgages and imposed increased compliance costs on any institution offering mortgage loans.Believe it or not I used to be a defender of the Bureau. Dodd-Frank is a gross abdication of legislative leadership. It’s as if Congress took some of the country’s most vexing problems and told your Bureau to solve them. In addition, I agree with you, credit unions and the CFPB share many of the same goals. After all, credit unions were started largely as a reaction to the indifference of mainstream banks to the needs of ordinary consumers.That being said, it’s inevitable that we won’t be on the same side on many issues. There is one big difference between credit unions and the Bureau: credit unions can go out of business. Credit union CEO’s have to make tough calls every day balancing the desire to do what is best for the consumer against the need to generate enough revenue to keep the doors open. In contrast, the CFPB can craft regulations for an ideal world in which no well-meaning consumer protection costs too much or accomplishes too little to justify its imposition.In short, credit unions have to deal with reality every day. It’s the CFPB that needs a reality check.last_img read more

Health leaders: World far from ready for flu pandemic

first_img “Certainly at higher levels in many governments there is no longer the concern there was five years ago,” Heymann said. She warned against complacency stemming from either misplaced confidence that a solution is at hand or a belief that nothing can be done to stop a pandemic, according to the story. As the H5N1 avian influenza virus continues to thrive in birds, there is no vaccine that can provide sure protection if it evolves into a pandemic strain, and governments are paying less attention to the threat, officials said. Juan Lubroth, senior officer in the infectious diseases group at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said a stronger response to the H5N1 outbreaks in poultry 5 years ago might have prevented it from spreading from East Asia to the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, the Bloomberg report said. “We are a long way from being fully prepared, said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a Bloomberg News report published today. She spoke at the International Congress on Infectious Diseases in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Larger vaccine stockpile?In other news from the Malaysia conference, Heymann said a committee of experts would meet in November to discuss whether the WHO should plan to build a larger stockpile of prepandemic H5N1 vaccines, according to a Reuters report published yesterday. Jun 23, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The world is far from being well prepared for an influenza pandemic, leading national and international health officials warned at a meeting in Malaysia last week. Heymann said a WHO advisory committee “will determine whether or not there should be a greater stockpile or even consider vaccinating populations against H5N1 as an insurance policy,” Reuters reported. He made the comments in a news conference at the Kuala Lumpur meeting. So far, two drug companies, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur, have pledged to provide a total of 110 million doses of H5N1 vaccines for the WHO stockpile. The WHO has said the stockpile would be used to help battle the initial emergence of a potential H5N1 pandemic and to provide vaccine to countries that would have little access to it. Lubroth said the FAO’s efforts to drive H5N1 out of poultry are being hindered by poor surveillance systems in some countries and “donor fatigue.” Jun 16 CIDRAP News story “Sanofi to give WHO 60 million doses of H5N1 vaccine” He warned that widespread use of the vaccines could backfire if they cause serious side effects. “If they are severe, it may cause concern and might even derail activities to vaccinate in the future,” he said. See also: “We do not have a vaccine that will provide universal protection, we do not have surveillance in every country, we do not have control of the virus in animal reservoirs, and we have huge gaps in our basic understanding of influenza,” Gerberding said. David Heymann, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) assistant director-general for health security and environment, said governmental attention to the pandemic threat has waned, according to the Bloomberg report. An Associated Press (AP) report quoted Gerberding as saying, “Public health enemy No. 1 is the challenge of complacency and our inability to maintain a focus on threats when they are around the corner or potentially in our backyard.” However, she also said much progress has been made in pandemic preparations, the AP reported. Heymann said the committee would also discuss whether the prepandemic vaccines are safe and whether they provide protection against different H5N1 strains, Bloomberg reported. He noted that many countries have written pandemic plans and are stockpiling antiviral drugs, but he agreed with Gerberding that the world “is not prepared as far as vaccines go,” Bloomberg reported. The assessments from Gerberding, Heymann, and Lubroth contrast to a degree with recent comments from David Nabarro, the UN’s influenza coordinator. At a Jun 17 news conference, he said pandemic preparedness was “really improving,” though he expressed concern that the virus is still entrenched in Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Egypt, and Indonesia.last_img read more

High flyers put Ascot mansion on the market just months after paying $3.5m for it

first_imgThis home at 26 Mayfield St, Ascot, sold in one of the biggest deals of 2017.The Kitchener Road house has council approval for plans to add a large, two-storey extension.“Being built in 1928 means you have to keep the front facade the same, but the back can be demolished and rebuilt if you wish,” Mrs Fenwick said.“I spent a lot of time (working on the plans) but people’s plans change.” More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus19 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market19 hours agoThis home at 26 Mayfield St, Ascot, sold for $7.6 million last year. The kitchen in the home at 14 Kitchener Rd, Ascot. Picture: comes after the Fenwicks offloaded an even more impressive, seven-bedroom home just around the corner at 26 Mayfield Street for $7.6 million only three months earlier in one of the biggest deals of 2017.They transformed the property into what many in the industry regarded as one of the finest homes in Brisbane, appointing architect Derek Trebilcock and interior designer Mary Durack to tastefully renovate and restore the Queenslander to its former glory. CASHED UP BUYERS FORCE PRICES UP NORTHERN SUBURB GOING GANGBUSTERS INTERSTATERS DROP $4M PLUS ON PENTHOUSE This home at 14 Kitchener Rd, Ascot, is for sale. Picture: HIGH flying Brisbane couple is selling a grand Ascot mansion with development approval to make it even more impressive, just eight months after paying $3.5 million for the property.Radiologist Dr John Fenwick and his interior designer wife, Christin Fenwick, had big plans to turn the charming Californian bungalow at 14 Kitchener Road into their dream home when they bought it in September last year.But an unexpected change of circumstances means someone else now has the chance to make that dream a reality. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE This home at 14 Kitchener Rd, Ascot, is for sale. Picture: This home at 14 Kitchener Rd, Ascot, is for sale. Picture: Clark said the property had attracted both local and interstate interest so far.“It’s a lovely house as it is,” she said.“It sold before it hit the market last time. “And it’s ideally situated.”Ascot has long been one of Brisbane’s most exclusive blue chip suburbs, full of multi million-dollar estates and sprawling Queenslander homes favoured by the city’s wealthiest residents.center_img This home at 14 Kitchener Rd, Ascot, is for sale. Picture: This home at 14 Kitchener Rd, Ascot, is for sale. Picture: property is scheduled for auction on May 23 and is being marketed by Ray White New Farm principal Matt Lancashire and Alma Clark Real Estate principal Alma Clark.The house is on one level and sits on a huge 1316 sqm block, within walking distance of Ascot State School and surrounded by some of Brisbane’s grandest homes.It has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen with island bench and Miele appliances, a saltwater pool, wine cellar, sauna room, fireplace, ducted airconditioning and a security gate.“I hope someone likes it as much as we did when we first walked in to it,” Mrs Fenwick said. This home at 14 Kitchener Rd, Ascot, is for sale. Picture: This home at 14 Kitchener Rd, Ascot, is for sale. Picture: read more

Transgender regret in NZ: From girl to boy and back again

first_imgFrom girl to boy and back again, Zahra Cooper shares her journey: ‘Everyone is different’NZ Herald 29 April 2017Family First Comment: This is a fascinating read – and backs up the legitimate claims that changing your biological sex is not the answer, and that healing the mind is the real solution. “Her first doctor, in Whangarei, refused to even discuss the issue. “He was really transphobic,” Zahra says. “He said ‘you’re a female, you were born female, I pulled you out of your mother’.” Afterwards, Zahra began seeing a counsellor. They wrote a referral for a second GP, who arranged an appointment with an endocrinologist, who could prescribe testosterone – a first step on her journey to becoming male… “….after the suicide attempts he pushed for Zahra to see another mental health specialist. This time, she was diagnosed with borderline Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism. “That’s when everything clicked,” Zahra says. “And that’s when I started doing some deep thinking.” On the internet, she learned Asperger’s people commonly struggle with gender identity issues. Experts say this is because of a tendency to think in black and white, to have a very fixed idea of the rules, and therefore look for reasons why they don’t fit in – often landing on gender dysphoria as an answer.” So the first doctor wasn’t ‘transphobic’ – he was operating (correctly) under the principle “First do no harm”.Read more stories: www.sexchangeregret.comZahra Cooper was born a girl. Then she became a boy. And now she’s a girl again. Kirsty Johnston reports.Some people call it “transgender regret”. When you change from one gender to another and then feel, somehow, you’ve made a mistake. Others call it “detransitioning” or a “reversal”.Zahra Cooper calls it, simply “going back”.“It sounds weird so I don’t usually say it. It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to go back.”Under the table she is holding a smooth round stone, gripping it to try to keep from shaking. She looks at the floor, and hunches her shoulders as if trying to hide herself in her black Batman sweater. Talking doesn’t come easy for Zahra, 21, particularly when it’s about the events of the past year – her transition, her suicide attempts, her eventual Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis.”If I’m asked, I just say my voice sounds deep, because it is,” she says. “It’s not a thing to say to someone I used to be a boy and now I’m a girl … again.”Zahra was born in Kaitaia. As a girl. Or, as they say in the transgender community, she was assigned as female at birth. Photos show a smiling child with an impish grin, dark hair, round cheeks. She was shy, a little naughty. Her family split up, and Zahra moved between Whangarei and Kaitaia.At school, she struggled to make friends, preferring to spend time with her animals while feeling constantly out of place. “I’ve always struggled with my gender identity, always questioned whether I was a boy or a girl,” she says.Everyone thought she was a typical tomboy, wanting her hair short, asking her mum if she could wear blue or black clothes. “I knew I was different when I was about 14. I hated my boobs at the time. Everything on the body, I just hated it.”At first, Zahra thought she was gay. But after searching the internet and watching YouTube videos about transgender people, she realised she felt more like she was trapped in the wrong body.For four years, she struggled between the genders, being bullied at school and online for being “weird”. At 18, she asked her family to start calling her “Zane” and using male pronouns. She began to think about formally transitioning – taking hormones to become more masculine.Her first doctor, in Whangarei, refused to even discuss the issue. “He was really transphobic,” Zahra says. “He said ‘you’re a female, you were born female, I pulled you out of your mother’.” Afterwards, Zahra began seeing a counsellor. They wrote a referral for a second GP, who arranged an appointment with an endocrinologist, who could prescribe testosterone – a first step on her journey to becoming male.It took eight months to see the endocrinologist because of long wait-times in the public health service. During the wait, Zahra was required to meet a psychiatrist, who questioned her about her childhood, and how long she’d been dressing like a male. She was diagnosed with gender dysphoria – feeling at odds with one’s biological sex – paving the way for the endocrinologist to go ahead with the hormone treatment when the appointment came.In December 2015, Zahra began taking testosterone, at first swallowing pills three times a day, and then via injection. After what seemed such a long wait for treatment, she expected to feel elated. But the euphoria many trans people describe at that point never really set in.“I started getting really angry from the testosterone, which is a side effect,” she says. “But then I started getting depressed. I was like, why am I depressed? I should be happy.”As the physical changes began, Zahra grew more and more anxious. She fought with family, often storming out of the house.“I was getting a deeper voice, facial hair and many other changes but I just wasn’t happy with them,” she says. “I didn’t feel like myself.”Then eight months in, things hit crisis point. Zahra tried to kill herself. Twice.Her grandfather, Victor Rakich, found her, comatose after an overdose, and helped to save her life.Zahra had been living with Rakich, a retired farmer, for four years prior to her transition. He “took her in”, he says, and Zahra loved life at his little farmlet north of the township, where she hand-raised a duck named Ducky, and bottle-fed the sheep.Initially Rakich, who Zahra calls “Poppa”, struggled to accept his granddaughter’s new identity. He refused to call her Zane, despite wanting to support her. “I couldn’t handle it,” he says. “I said I can’t change. If you want to change, you change, but I can’t. But I wasn’t going to kick her out. I love her.”They puddled along like that, until Zahra began taking testosterone.“When she went on to those pills and stuff I could see her going downhill, but no one believed me,” Rakich says. He was concerned she hadn’t seen the endocrinologist again, despite the rapid change in her mood and appearance, and was told it was partially because of their remote location.“I kept saying, why isn’t anyone monitoring her? Why isn’t anyone coming in? If you were in Auckland they’d do it, but since you’re in Kaitaia you can’t do it.”Rakich says after the suicide attempts he pushed for Zahra to see another mental health specialist. This time, she was diagnosed with borderline Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism.“That’s when everything clicked,” Zahra says. “And that’s when I started doing some deep thinking.”On the internet, she learned Asperger’s people commonly struggle with gender identity issues. Experts say this is because of a tendency to think in black and white, to have a very fixed idea of the rules, and therefore look for reasons why they don’t fit in – often landing on gender dysphoria as an answer.READ MORE: read more

Penville residents urged to take care of refurbished health center

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! Tweet LocalNews Penville residents urged to take care of refurbished health center by: – April 25, 2012center_img 18 Views   no discussions Share Mrs. Helen Royer (file photo)Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Helen Royer has advised residents of Penville to cherish their newly refurbished Health Center.Royer noted while addressing the official opening ceremony for the $215,000 facility last week that it is apparent that many communities still are entirely dependent on government and little attention is paid to broader and more fundamental communities.“You do not have to wait on someone to plant a flower, to keep the area clean. You all can help the health officials to ensure that the building was a worthwhile venture,” she said.According to Royer, the Ministry of Health will continue to work with the government and relevant persons to ensure the necessary support is received, however the villagers must also play an integral role in this process.Refurbished health centre in Penville. Photo credit: GIS News“I believe that you have a role to play that the continuation of the services offered are not lessened by any means. For any program to be successful, several things are needed. The community needs to want to work together, they need to understand the value and benefits of the program identified, and it should be supported for as long as it is needed. The clinic must be owned by the community,” she explained.Meanwhile Primary Health Care practitioner Dr Martin Christmas expressed confidence that the new facility will radically improve health care services in Penville.“It should be of great benefit to the local community, both in terms of improved and more accessible services. It should also symbolize a great relationship between the ministry of health and government,” he added.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

Bacolod City to send cash aid to Taal volcano victims

first_img Last Sunday, NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said around 300,000 individuals were brought to safety, later noting, this was the “target number of persons” that would have to be evacuated in Batangas and Cavite. BACOLOD City –The local government unit of this city will extend financial assistance tovictims of Taal Volcano eruption.  He also said the NDRRMC Operations Center in Manila has been raised to a “red alert” status, which means all associated agencies and offices in the affected areas must report to their headquarters 24/7. Mayor Evelio Leonardia As of press time, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council disclosed there are 966 displaced families, or 7,742 individuals, in Batangas and Cavite. In addition, based on an online report, NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said displaced residents are currently being sheltered at 38 evacuation centers across Calabarzon. Mayor Evelio Leonardia pledged to donate part of the city’s disaster fund but they will identify the affected areas first. The budget will come from the allocation of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office he said. Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has deployed search, rescue, and retrieval teams, along with various military assets, for the ongoing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Batangas./PNlast_img read more

IMCA Stock Car payday is $1,500 at Arlington Shootout special

first_imgARLINGTON, Minn. – IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars bat­tle it out for $1,500 to win at Arlington Raceway’s Wednesday, Aug. 2 Sibley County Stock Car Shootout.Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods run for $750 to win and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks for a $400 top check that evening.MCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, re­gional, Allstar Performance State and local track points will be awarded at the draw/redraw show.Pit gates open at 4 p.m. Racing starts at 7 p.m. Grand­stand admission is $15 and pit passes are $30.More information about the Geib Well and Water and MS Trucking-sponsored Stock Car Shootout is available by is available at the website or by calling 507 380-6998.last_img read more

Udi  Confident of Sunshine Stay in Top DivisionÂ

first_imgSunshine Stars of Akure head coach, Duke Udi has assured teeming fans of the club that the side have escaped relegation in the on-going top-flight after a massive win against FC IfeanyiUbah.The Owena Waves whipped the Anambra Warriors 4-0 in one of yesterday’s  Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matchday 37 clash at the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu Ode.Ajibola Otegbeye scored from the penalty spot in the 18th minute to give the Akure landlords the lead and only goal in the first half of the clash. Central defender, Kelechi Ogoh scored a brace in the 56th and 71st minute while former FC IfeanyiUbah attacking midfielder, Tope Orelope grabbed the winner for his side in the 80th minute to hand the Akure side the cushioning three points at stake.Udi said his side met tactically and technically sound side but insisted that the Akure outfit were hungrier for the whole the points at stake.“Yes, Sunshine Stars will certainly play in the top-flight next season with this massive victory against FC IfeanyiUbah.“I can tell you comfortably that we are completely out of relegation for this season with a game to go at Remo Stars.“What we need at Remo Stars in Sagamu next Sunday is just a point to successfully put a seal on our top-flight stay.“FC IfeanyiUbah are good side tactically and technically we did not allow them room to operate in the game.“Of course, the game was a-must-win for us but not a-must-win for FC IfeanyiUbah and we are hungrier for victory than the visitors.“We needed the three points badly to have a clear chance to avoid relegation so we went the extra mile in our performance.“Right now we have 100% destiny in our hands going into the final day match at relegated side, Remo Stars.“We always respect our opponents same thing will happen when we square up against Remo Stars, we will never underrate the side despite their poor position on the log.“I think the unity among the players and motivation from the management has helped us tremendously to stay clear of the drop especially since I joined the side,” said the former Osun United coach to Stars are 13th on the 20-team top-flight log on 51 points 12 behind league leaders, Plateau United.NPFL MATCH DAY 37 RESULTSKatsina Utd 3-0 Remo starsRangers  1-1 EnyimbaWikki  1-0 Plateau UtdRivers Utd 3-0 Gombe UtdMFM FC 2-0 Nassarawa UtdLobi Stars 1-0 Tornadoes3SC 1-0 Akwa UtdSunshine Stars  4-0 FC IfeanyiUbahABS FC 2-1 Abia WarriorsKano Pillars 2-0 Elkanemi WarriorsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more