New Atheism: A Shipwreck of Fools

first_imgFaith & Science New Atheism: A Shipwreck of FoolsMichael EgnorDecember 12, 2019, 5:01 AM Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Michael EgnorSenior Fellow, Center for Natural & Artificial IntelligenceMichael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.Follow MichaelProfile Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Recommended TagsaquinasArc DigitalAsherah polesatheismautopsybacteriabook dealschild sacrificeChristopher Hitchenscomputer programcreation mythEdward Feserevolutionary theoryFirst AmendmentFive WaysGaiagenetic informationJohn HaldaneLawrence KraussLudwig Wittgensteinmeat machinesNew AtheistsNobel PrizepaganismplagiarismreligionRichard DawkinsValley of Hinnom,Trending New Atheism is dead. It was conceptually dead from birth, but now it’s stopped twitching. Ben Sixsmith at Arc Digital has a good article with a lot of insight into its demise. From  “New Atheism: An Autopsy”:To be sure, New Atheists could be very, very bad at arguing that God does not exist. There was, for example, Lawrence Krauss writing a book about how something can come from nothing while attributing material qualities to the latter. There was Richard Dawkins trying to refute the famous “Five Ways” of Aquinas without even attempting to understand their terms. (“Whereof one cannot speak,” groaned Wittgenstein, “Thereof one must remain silent.”) There was Christopher Hitchens striding into philosophy like an elephant onto an ice skating rink and saying:“…the postulate of a designer or creator only raises the unanswerable question of who designed the designer or created the creator.”Why is it unanswerable? People have certainly tried to answer it. Answers readily came centuries prior to Hitchens himself, actually. Hitchens is free to take issue with Aquinas’ distinction between contingent and necessary existence if he wants, but he’s not free to suggest no answers have been offered. How does the concept of the “necessary being,” for example, fail? Hitchens offers no sign of knowing what it is, because that “unanswerable” is not a logical conclusion but a rhetorical sledgehammer swung at the reader’s skull.I know atheists can make better arguments. But the New Atheists never felt obliged to, because they were so confident in their own rationality that they never learned about the ideas they were mocking. If challenged on their philosophical ignorance — as the philosopher Alvin Plantinga brilliantly skewered Dawkins here on this very point — they were liable to observe that the average Christian does not have the theological sophistication of an Edward Feser or a John Haldane. True enough. But if I’m on the street and ask the average believer in evolution by natural selection to explain it and declare Darwin refuted because monkeys did not turn into men, am I being scientifically honest? No, not really.Primary FindingThe primary autopsy finding here is that New Atheism was born dead. It was an intellectually vacuous vanity project from the start. Its vanguard was a coterie of dullards and narcissists who glanced away from their own mirrors only long enough to beg book deals. The arguments they made in their books were the stuff of comedy acts — “everything came from nothing for no reason,” “the universe came from quantum mechanics, which is nothing,” “acknowledging an intelligent Creator is an impediment to science, but asserting meaningless existence is a boon to science,” “we are meat machines, and you should pay attention to what we say,” “there is no good or evil, and if you think there is, you’re evil,” “there is no free will and you should change your mind and agree with me,” “there is no guilt because there is no free will, therefore livestock management, rather than justice, is best for mankind,” “things change and survivors survive is a scientific theory,” “survival of the fittest explains why I’m sad your kid has cancer,” “without evolutionary theory, we wouldn’t understand that bacteria aren’t killed by an antibiotic that doesn’t kill them,” “gene duplication adds new genetic information, and plagiarism is not permitted in my class,” “kin selection explains altruism, except that bacteria in a clonal colony, which are identical twins, aren’t altruistic,” “evolutionary biology is indispensable to medicine, so we should start teaching it in medical schools,” “evolution is the cornerstone of physiology and medicine, and maybe someday an evolutionary biologist will win a Nobel Prize,” “information is not detectible in nature, except in my book about it,” “the selective breeding experiments I designed in my lab are excellent examples of mindless evolution,” “the First Amendment prohibits questioning a scientific theory in schools,” “let me show you how undirected natural selection works in a simulation on the computer program I wrote,” “intelligent design isn’t science, and it’s scientifically wrong” (my favorite — these two assertions are commonly made in the same sentence), “the mind is what the brain does, but I’m not a dualist,” “my assertion that your mind can have no contact with truth is true.” The list is bottomless. A Perennial Achilles’ HealNew Atheism never had a chance. It was intellectual vapor, and its practitioners were repellent fools. They were defeated by atheism’s perennial Achilles’ heal: they were forced to explain themselves. Atheism never reigns openly and explicitly for long; it cannot withstand even cursory scrutiny. Heck, it can’t withstand the scrutiny of schoolchildren — witness the panicked litigation to prevent schoolchildren from asking questions about its creation myth. But rational moral theism will not easily emerge victorious from this little fight. Paganism, not atheism, is the natural religion of unreflective men. We worship, and creation is full of beauty and mystery and ravishing idols. Pride and lust of eyes and flesh reigns in our culture, and Asherah poles are popping up everywhere. The Valley of Hinnom is our altar of child sacrifice, and we tithe in penance for our sins against Gaia.As New Atheism stops twitching, another beast — a rougher beast  — is rolling the stone from its perennial crypt.Photo credit: Josh Adams-Ford via Unsplash. A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more

Digital Wave Corporation wins cylinder certification

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

MTG personnel changes, Herman Miller expands presence | ESI Digest #2 (24/07/20)

first_imgEach week, ESI Digest breaks down the weekly happenings in the esports industry, making sense of things so you don’t have to. As well as being housed on YouTube, ESI Digest is available on all major podcast platforms and is also available in written form below.This week on ESI Digest, we cover MTG and ESL’s CEO changes, Herman Miller’s latest partnerships, Misfits Gaming’s innovative partnership with Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, and HUYA’s new broadcast deal with ESL.MTG president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann to departJørgen Madsen Lindemann, President and CEO of ESL and DreamHack parent company Modern Times Group (MTG), submitted his letter of resignation to the company board.Lindemann, who was promoted to the roles in 2012, will remain at the company for up to 12 months per his employment contract until the board appoints a replacement.Craig Levine appointed as Co-CEO of ESLTournament organiser ESL appointed Craig Levine as its Co-CEO, promoting him from his previous role as Chief Strategy Officer.Levine replaces David Neichel as Co-CEO alongside Ralf Reichert, with Neichel now serving as a senior advisor to them both.HUYA acquires broadcast rights to ESL CS:GO and Dota 2 eventsTournament organisers ESL and DreamHack entered an exclusive broadcast deal with Chinese live streaming platform HUYA.The one-year deal will see the CS:GO Pro Tour and prominent Dota 2 tournaments broadcast exclusively on HUYA for 2020 in standard Mandarin along with other Chinese languages and dialects.TSM selects Herman Miller as gaming chair partnerNorth American organisation TSM established a partnership with office furniture company Herman Miller.The announcement comes just a day after Herman Miller unveiled its collaborative Embody Gaming Chair with Logitech G.San Francisco Shock finds chair partner in Herman MillerOverwatch League franchise San Francisco Shock also established a partnership with Herman Miller.In line with typical gaming chair deals, NRG Esports’ franchise will promote Herman Miller’s gaming product.Miami Heat and Orlando Magic enter rights deal with Misfits Gaming GroupFlorida-based esports organisation Misfits Gaming Group (MGG) expanded the current scope of its partnership with NBA franchise teams Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.The union will fuse together all three Florida organisations to expand and “develop further opportunities in the endemic and non-endemic space” through a strategic partnership rights deal. Benefits of this accord include heightened accessibility and deeper sponsorship options across a variety of teams and markets.ESI Digest is part of ESI Network, a collection of podcasts encompassing the esports industry. For deep dives into the major areas of esports with subject matter experts, check out ESI Focus. For conversations with key personnel and major stakeholders in esports, ESI Insight is the series for you.last_img read more

Job Vacancies: Project Manager and Office Manager sought for local community centre

first_imgJob Vacancies: Spraoi agus Spórt in Carndonagh, Inishowen, is seeking experienced applicants for two positions at the busy and vibrant resource centre. Spraoi agus Spórt is a social enterprise based in Carndonagh, Inishowen providing excellent social, recreational and educational activities for the community which are focused on family development and which bring social, recreational and economic benefits to the area.Management are currently seeking a Project Manager (2 Year Contract) and Office Manager (12 Month Maternity Leave). See below for job details and application information: To apply for either of these roles, please email your CV outlining how you match the criteria above to [email protected] by 4pm on Thursday 20th September 2018. Job Vacancies: Project Manager and Office Manager sought for local community centre was last modified: September 4th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CarndonaghOffice ManagerProject Managerspraoi agus sportlast_img read more

Buy Back South Africa, save and create jobs

first_imgRob Davies, minister of the Department of Trade and Industry, launching the Buy Back South Africa campaign in Sandton on Tuesday 20 November.(Image: DTI)MEDIA CONTACTS• Sidwell Medupe, spokespersonDepartment of Trade and Industry+27 12 394 1650+27 79 492 1774Mary AlexanderSouth African consumers and procurement managers at large companies are being urged to fight back against cheap, subsidised imports and help create and save more jobs by buying locally produced manufactured goods, in a new campaign, Buy Back SA, launched by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies on Tuesday 19 November.The 2008 global crisis hit South African manufacturing hard, and cost the country round 300 000 jobs. In the last few years South Africa has suffered the double whammy of substantially reduced external demand for products and fierce competition from other manufacturing countries. Difficult economic conditions in the US and Europe – South Africa’s principal export markets – have been a severe knock for local manufacturers.The Buy Back SA campaign, announced at the Industrial Development Corporation offices in Sandton, Johannesburg, has been funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Manufacturing Circle, Absa and Proudly South African.A key part of the venture is a video featuring veteran South African actor John Kani urging support of localisation and the manufacturing sector, which will be aired on national television.Watch the Buy Back SA campaign advert:The ad was paid for by both the government and private sector. “This is a clear sign of the close working relationship that is in the process of being built between government and industry, and one that we think can be strengthened and deepened in a number of ways,” Davies said.Festive season spending“We are launching the first phase of this campaign before the festive season because we want to impress upon consumers and stakeholders in the private and public sectors the importance of buying locally manufactured goods and products,” Davies said.South African manufacturers, he said, made products of good quality, available at reasonable prices.“We want to encourage people to buy these products because this has significance in terms of job creation, revenue generation and service delivery improvement.”The South African government has developed a number of policy instruments to support localisation, the minister said. These include local sectors and products – including clothing and textiles, buses, rolling stock and power pylons – the DTI has designated for government procurement under the Preferential Public Procurement Finance Act.“We have also reviewed and put in place a new policy framework for the National Industrial Participation Programme to oblige overseas companies that have benefitted from state contracts above $10-million to invest a percentage of the contract directly into the productive sectors of the economy, wherever possible in the sector in which they are involved,” Davies said.Company procurement is keyThe minister said buying local is not only for consumers.“It is also crucially about companies – especially large retailers with large procurement budgets and supply chains – supporting local manufacturers – not only because this is in the national interest but because there are very often sound commercial reasons for doing so related to total cost of ownership: after-sales service, quick response, security of supply, niche product requirements, quality assurance and so forth.”The Manufacturing Circle represents many big South African manufacturing concerns. About 80% of the country’s manufacturers procure some 40% of their input locally. Coenraad Bezuidenhout, executive director of the body, said at the campaign launch that South Africans had stopped giving preference to local goods.“For manufacturers, the last couple of years have been quite difficult,” he said.After the Manufacturing Circle, Proudly South African and Absa bank contributed the initial funding, Buy Back SA will now need another R12-million to continue the campaign.“I want to appeal to the private sector,” Davies said. “We need to expand this campaign.” He invited companies to register by emailing [email protected] precedentDavies said the Buy Back SA campaign, while a government initiative, was not inappropriate for a free market economy.In the US, the Buy America campaign was an integral part of efforts to rebuild that country’s economy after the 2008 crisis. A close partnership between the government, private sector and further education institutions, Buy America was also an effort to save and create jobs.“The US economy has reportedly created 500 000 new high-quality jobs in the manufacturing sector since 2010, with 50 000 of these directly attributable to those efforts,” Davies said.International and local competitionMany African countries are rich in commodities, but development is held back by an inability to turn those commodities into manufactured goods. The more resources countries take out of the ground and export, unprocessed, to foreign buyers, the more intrinsic capital is lost.Manufacturing creates jobs and skills, and established manufacturing industries create a base of skills, capital and production infrastructure that can cushion country against the often irrational shocks inflicted by the global economy.Other than the 2008 meltdown, the over-valuation and volatility of the rand has also undermined South Africa’s manufacturing competitiveness, as have higher electricity, transport and labour costs, and strike action.Manufacturing has also suffered from local competition. Over the past two decades, the sector’s contribution to the South African economy has been gradually eroded by other industries, particularly the services sector. In 1994, manufacturing’s contribution to GDP at market prices was 20.9%. In 2012 it was 12.4%.last_img read more

Playing Tests in India will require adjustment, says Ponting

first_imgAustralia captain Ricky Ponting feels playing a Test series in India just ahead of the Ashes at home will require major adjustments in the squad.”It’s obviously vastly different, if you look at the squad that we could probably put out for the first Test in Brisbane compared with the squad you’d think about playing on a spinning wicket in India, they’re probably two completely different squads,” Ponting was quoted as saying by ‘The Age’.”It’d be nice to get some match hardness into the guys, having not played a lot of Test cricket at that stage, but we’ll come home then and be back into one day cricket in Australia anyway so we’ll just have to manage that as well as we can,” he added.Australia’s tour of India later this year was supposed to be a seven-match ODI affair but after India became the world number one Test side, the BCCI requested Cricket Australia to include five-day matches during the tour.CA is yet to respond but there is a possibility that it would not have any problem in accommodating the Indian Board’s request.The Aussies are busy gearing up for the Ashes, aiming to beat old rivals England in the historic series at the end of the year.”We won’t be underdone, there’s no doubt about that, we’ll make sure that hopefully every player will get at least two Sheffield Shield games under their belt leading into that first Test, which I think would be really good preparation,” Ponting said.advertisementlast_img read more

Enrique Iglesias To Perform At Charity Show To Cure Paralysis

first_imgThe Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, is proud to announce that iconic musical star Enrique Iglesias will perform in concert and Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour presents Emilio Pucci’s Spring 2013 Fashion Show Designed by Peter Dundas which will be featured at Destination Fashion 2012 on Saturday, November 10th at Bal Harbour Shops.This musical legend and designer extraordinaire will join Master of Ceremonies Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism and a special correspondent for NBC News.Honorary Co-Chairs, Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones and his wife Dawn Jones, along with International Polo sensation Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras and his wife Delfina Blaquier, will join a who’s who of celebrities, philanthropic icons, business leaders, fashionistas and other South Florida notables for this star-studded celebration.This event remains the only time in Bal Harbour Shops’ history when its doors are closed to host this truly one-of-a-kind, high-profile, private celebrity-styled affair. In addition to the Enrique Iglesias concert and Emilio Pucci’s Spring 2013 Fashion Show presented by Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour, guests will travel their way through “The Destinations” showcasing the sights and sounds of each Destination. Partygoers will experience the Tiffany & Co. Blue Box Wall, have the opportunity to bid on the magnificent “Too Good to Keep Silent Auction” items donated by the Bal Harbour Shops, and witness the 2012 Women of Substance and Style walk down the runway with their Celebrity Presenters, and end the evening dancing to the musical stylings of DJ Irie.The November 10th affair will also include the presentation of the Inspiration Award to Micky and Madeleine Arison, the Champion for a Cure Award will go to Edie Laquer and the Laquer Foundation, the Humanitarian Award to Christine E. Lynn, The Buoniconti Fund Award to Paul and Swanee DiMare, and the Philanthropist Award to Beatrice and Dr. Sanford Ziff.The Buoniconti Fund will salute its 2012 Women of Substance & Style, including: Norma Jean Abraham, Raphael Bastian, Trish Bell, Yolanda Berkowitz, Lauren Book, Adrienne Bosh, Chanin Carlin, Roberta O. Chaplin, Wendy Crawford Boardman, Andi Edelstein, Lian Fanjul-Azqueta, Ingrid M. Fatio, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, Mary Frank, Dorothy Hamill, Sheila Hollo, Cathy L. Jones, Irene Korge, Judy Lefton, Linda Levy Goldberg, Maria-Rosa Lopez-Munoz, Nicole Lozano, Lilliam Machado, Judi Prokop Newman, Silvia E. Rios Fortun, Michelle Simkins Rubell, Ann Rubino, Frances Aldrich Sevilla-Sacasa, Millinda Sinnreich, Sheila Slewett, Penny Stamps, Jennifer Stearns Buttrick, Dara Torres, Lesley Visser, and Pat Wallace.Each woman will be escorted down the runway by Celebrity Presenters. Past Presenters have included: NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, Golf Legend Jack Nicklaus, actor Dwayne Johnson, NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, Indy Car Champion Helio Castroneves, Miami HEAT President and NBA HOF Coach Pat Riley, NFL Winningest Coach Don Shula, Super 8 film star Kyle Chandler, Grammy Award Winner Emilio Estefan, NBA Hall of Famer John Havlicek, NFL Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed, Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis, and Friday Night Lights television star Brad Leland, to name a few.Proceeds from Destination Fashion 2012 will directly benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The Miami Project is the world’s most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center located in the Lois Pope LIFE Center and is a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.“Each year we are amazed by the level of entertainment and support we receive from our friends around the globe, and this year is no different. We are thrilled to have Peter Dundas, the world renowned Emilio Pucci designer, share his Spring 2013 fashions with us thanks to Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour, and to have international music star Enrique Iglesias headline our event,” said NFL Hall of Famer and Miami Project Founder Nick Buoniconti. “With the support of our long-time friend and outstanding journalist Tom Brokaw, who will emcee this phenomenal affair, and involvement from Academy Award Winning Actor Tommy Lee Jones, Dawn Jones, Nacho Figueras and Delfina Blaquier, it will certainly be a night to remember that will go a long way in helping us raise much-needed funds for our efforts to cure paralysis.”Destination Fashion 2012 is presented by Micky and Madeleine Arison. Destination Fashion Champion for a Cure: Edie Laquer and The Laquer Foundation join Event, Continent and Ocean Sponsors including Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour Village, Barton G., Carnival Corporation & plc., Roberta and Harvey Chaplin, Coastal Construction Group, Susan and Mark Dalton, Wayne Gaunce, Kim and James Pallota, and Warren Henry Auto Group. Scene Sponsors Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, Aventura Worldwide Transportation Service, Bunny Bastian, Trish and Dan Bell, Chanin and Adam Carlin, Swanee and Paul DiMare, The Fairholme Foundation, Mary and Howard Frank, Richard Gray, Gretchen and Jay Jordan, Kandy and Jeffrey Kramer, Krupnick Campbell Malone Buser Slama Hancock et al, Lauren’s Kids, Christine E. Lynn, Robert and Judi Prokop Newman, Victoria Ranger Nunez and Mike Nunez, Simkins Rubell Family, Southern Wine and Spirits, Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, Laura and Irwin Tauber and Beatrice and Dr. Sanford Ziff. Sponsors including Comcast, FranklinDodd Communications, Ocean Drive Magazine, One Bal Harbour Resort and Spa, and Quarzo Bal Harbour Boutique Hotel, Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbour, Selecta Magazine, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort and Tiffany & Co.For more information about Destination Fashion, please call Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard, Director of Major Gifts, Corporate Relations, Marketing & Events at 305-243-4656 or email [email protected] For more information about The Buoniconti Fund, please visit: www.thebuonicontifund.com, Facebook, or Twitter.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Powell US economy and banks seem sturdy but face some risks

first_imgWASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says he’s pleased with the state of the U.S. economy but cautions that some forms of corporate debt have reached risky levels. At the same time, Powell says the financial system and markets appear far sturdier than they did before the 2008 crisis.Powell said in a speech Wednesday to the Economic Club of New York that the Fed is monitoring potential vulnerabilities in the banking system to ensure its continued stability.“We see no major asset class,” Powell said, “where valuations appear far in excess of standard benchmarks.”Powell stressed that future interest rate hikes aren’t on a “preset policy path,” which may suggest that the Fed would consider a pause in its rate hikes next year to assess the impact of its credit tightening.Some of Powell’s previous observations and similar remarks from other Fed officials have raised hopes in financial markets that the central bank may be close to slowing its rate increases, which have gradually raised borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. Any such slowdown — or pause — in its rate hikes would be welcome news for a stock market that has been battered by fears that the Fed’s continued credit tightening could end the long bull market.In an appearance earlier this month, Powell cited strong annual economic growth above 3 per cent and unemployment at a near five-decade low of 3.7 per cent. Those trends, he said, were coinciding with inflation remaining “right on target” at the Fed’s goal of 2 per cent annual price increases.But Powell also noted a number of looming risks, including the slowdown in global growth and the fading economic benefits of the tax cuts and government spending boost that took effect this year as well as the cumulative effect of the Fed’s own rate hikes. Many economists also worry about potential economic damage caused by President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts with China and other nations.For his part, Trump has sought repeatedly to shift blame for any economic troubles to the Fed and its rate increases. In an interview Tuesday with the Washington Post, the president complained bluntly and at length about Powell, who was Trump’s hand-picked choice to lead the Fed.Trump argued that the Fed’s policies were damaging the economy and pointed to the recent stock market declines and General Motors’ announcement Monday that it would cut up to 14,000 workers in North America and put five plants up for possible closure.After keeping rates at a record low near zero for seven years, the Fed three years ago began gradually raising rates, including three hikes this year. Those increases have raised its benchmark rate to a still-historically-low range of 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent.Higher interest rates tend to slow economic growth over time as well as pressure stock prices. For those reasons, this year’s hikes have made the Fed the target of unusual public attacks from Trump — criticism that has accelerated with the past month’s sharp declines in the stock market. Trump has complained that the Fed is threatening to undo the economic stimulus being provided by the tax cuts and that its rate hikes are unnecessary because inflation has remained relatively low.In its most recent projections, the Fed forecast that it would raise rates in December for the fourth time this year, followed by three more hikes in 2019.Analysts think a rate hike next month is all but certain, possibly in part because they think the Fed doesn’t want to appear to be bowing to pressure from Trump. But some economists say three rate increases for next year are beginning to look less certain.Other Fed watchers still expect at least one or two rate increases in 2019 before the central bank pauses to observe how the economy is performing.In a speech Tuesday, Vice Chairman Richard Clarida suggested that the Fed would continue to strive to be “data dependent” by using the latest readings on the economy “with a healthy dose of judgment and humility” to determine its interest-rate policy.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Presslast_img read more

1.2 lakh voters in Assam not to exercise franchise: EC official

first_imgGuwahati: A total of 1.2 lakh people in Assam will not be able to exercise their franchise in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as they have been marked as ‘D’ (Doubtful) voters, a senior Election Commission official said Monday.However, the people who have been left out of the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be able to vote if their names figure in the electoral rolls, Assam Chief Electoral Officer Mukesh Chandra Sahu also said. There are 40.08 lakh people whose names have been left out of the complete draft of the citizens’ register after including the names of 2.9 crore people out of a total 3.3 crore applicants, he said. The system of ‘D’ (dubious or doubtful) voters was introduced in 1997 by the Election Commission of India, which prepared a list by incorporating names of those who could not provide evidence in favour of their Indian nationality. It does not exist anywhere else in the country. ‘D’ voters were not allowed to vote in the 2014 general elections too. “Currently, we have 1.2 lakh ‘D’ voters in the electoral rolls as per the last revision. The rolls are being updated continuously and the list will be finalised on the last date of nomination. Therefore, it will be separate for all the different phases,” Sahu said. The existing draft roll was published on September 15, 2018 and the final roll was released on February 6. “There has been a slight fall in the current number of ‘D’ voters from the last revision due to disposing of court cases. The current figure is likely to change at the time of election,” Sahu said. On security arrangements, Sahu said that 33 companies of central forces have already reached Assam and have been deployed at various places as a confidence building measure. “More central forces will come to the state during the election. We have made a detailed security arrangement considering the sensibilities of different polling stations. Our state nodal police officer has already held meetings with the Ministry of Home Affairs on this,” he added. As per the last summary revision, over 2.17 crore voters, including at least 7.06 lakh first timers, will exercise their franchise in the three-phase elections in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam. The voting in Assam will take place in 28,143 polling stations on April 11, 18 and 23, EC sources said. In the first phase, voting will be held for Tezpur, Kaliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur constituencies at 9,574 polling stations where 75.16 lakh electorate will exercise their franchise. In the second phase on April 18, polling will be held in Karimganj (SC), Silchar, Autonomous District (ST), Mangaldoi and Nawgong constituencies where a total 68.36 lakh electorate will vote in 8,992 booths. Dhubri, Kokrajhar (ST), Barpeta and Gauhati seats will see elections in the last phase on April 23 in 9,577 polling stations where 74.08 lakh people will vote. There are also about 60,000 service voters, who are staying outside the state and will vote through postal ballot, the EC sources said.last_img read more