Cash woes prompt Moody’s to lower outlook for ExxonMobil’s credit rating

first_imgCash woes prompt Moody’s to lower outlook for ExxonMobil’s credit rating FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Exxon Mobil Corp. had the outlook on its top-notch debt rating lowered by Moody’s Investors Service Inc. to negative due to a “substantial” cash burn to fund growth.The oil major’s credit metrics will probably weaken over the next few years as it pursues a rebuild of its upstream portfolio, as well as new chemical facilities and refinery upgrades, Moody’s said in a statement Tuesday. The outlook on its Aaa rating was reduced from stable.“ExxonMobil’s negative outlook reflects the company’s substantial negative free cash flow and expected reliance on debt to fund its large growth capital spending program,” Peter Speer, a senior vice president at Moody’s, said in the statement. Debt will likely rise despite asset sales, he said.Over the past 10 quarters, Exxon has frequently spent more cash on its operations and dividends than it generated as it ramps up mega projects from Guyana to Mozambique. Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods says now is a good time to be investing while rivals are retreating. But investors are wary, with the stock underperforming rivals over the past five years.“The company’s high level of growth capital investments cannot be funded with operating cash flow and asset sales at projected levels given ExxonMobil’s substantial dividend payout,” Moody’s said.During the 2016 oil price crash, S&P Global Inc. stripped Exxon of its highest AAA credit rating for the first time in the producer’s history, cutting it by one notch to AA+.More: Exxon’s credit rating outlook goes negative on ‘substantial’ cash burnlast_img read more

S. Korea on alert over holidays despite slight drop in COVID-19 cases

first_imgSouth Korea appealed on Tuesday for strict social-distancing despite a slight fall in the number of its new coronavirus cases, with millions of people set to travel for a major holiday.The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 39 new infections as of Monday midnight, which marks a fifth day of double-digit rises. It brought South Korea’s total infections to 23,699, with 407 deaths.The numbers came a day after the daily tally fell to its lowest since a new clusters of the novel coronavirus emerged from a church and a big political rally last month, which have resulted in more than 1,800 infections. Kang also warned of strict punishment against anyone who takes part in a political rally. Authorities have said they have banned some 137 demonstrations.Polls have shown mixed forecasts about travel.More than 78% of Koreans said they planned to stay at home for the holiday in a survey conducted over the weekend by the Korea Society Opinion Institute.But airport authorities said on Sunday the number of people taking domestic flights would drop by 25% compared with last year.  Health authorities pleaded for people to stay home and refrain from gatherings ahead of the Korean thanksgiving holiday of Chuseok, which begins on Wednesday, although millions are still expected to travel across the country.”We request you to be aware that the Chuseok holidays must not ignite another nationwide spread of COVID-19 and to act accordingly,” Vice Health Minister Kang Do-tae told a meeting.”Keeping distancing rules and wearing masks is the safest way to protect you, your family and society.”The government eased some social distancing rules after the rate of infections slowed this month but imposed special measures for the holiday, including banning dining at motorway rest areas and nursing home visits and requiring temperature checks at all stations.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Nigerian Army Team Wins National Boxing Championship

first_imgThe Nigeria Police Force boxing team was third with one gold, two silver and one bronze medals. Ogun State finished fourth with one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.The six-day boxing fiesta featured teams from 20 states of the federation, armed forces of Nigeria, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and nine boxing clubs including Kanu Nwankwo, Alafin, Golden Gloves, WWBA, Abbey International, Oba Adeyemi and Bukar Tiger.The championship also featured bouts in 10 weight categories for male and three weight categories for female boxers.On the whole, 209 male and 42 female boxers competed for honours during the championship. According to the spokesman of the army team, the good showing of army personnel in sporting activities in the country is part of the new resolve of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai to re-establish the Nigerian Army as a power house of Nigerian Sports.A fortnight ago, the Nigerian Army Marathon Team had a fantastic outing at the 2nd Lagos City Marathon.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Nigerian Army team at the weekend emerged champions of the 2017 National Open Boxing Championships which held at the National Stadium in Lagos.To emerge winners, the army team won four gold, one silver and five bronze medals.The Lagos State boxing team finished second with three gold, six silver and three bronze medals.last_img read more

‘Haley’s Comet’ gets players who fit his offense

first_imgLE’VEON BELL by Smokin’ Jim FrazierRunning the football is an important part of the Steelers offense and their history.Offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s offense is a zone blocking scheme where stretch plays can create cut back lanes to be exploited by a back with some speed and power and they found their man in the second round.Le’Veon Bell (6-2, 245), of Michigan State, is a big back that draws comparison to Eddie George and Steven Jackson.  Bell rushed for 1,793 and 12 touchdowns to lead the Big Ten in 2012.He can step out of tackles, drop his shoulder and plow through contact.  Bell is light on his feet, displays an effective spin move and hurdling ability in the open field.Rashard Mendenhall plays for the Arizona Cardinals, so Bell will compete with Issac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer for the starting running back position.The Steelers were looking for a player who has the speed to stretch the field the way that former receiver Mike Wallace could do.Wide-receivers are the engines that drive the high-flying, big-yardage offenses across the league and the Steelers found a replacement for Wallace in the third round.Markus Wheaton (5-11, 185) set the Oregon State school record for career receptions with 227.  He led the team in receiving with 91 catches for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012.Wheaton, is a speedster, who also ran track for the Beavers and he joins Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Plaxico Burress to give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger a dangerous group of receivers.Editor’s Note: To keep up with the latest news, opinion, lifestyles, sports and entertainment go to the Apple Store or Google Play and download the New Pittsburgh Courier App for iPhone, iPad or android devices. It’s free! Check it out and let us know what you think!last_img read more

Gay wins 200 at nationals with season-leading time

first_imgby Pat GrahamDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Mentally, Tyson Gay is now in a good place. Physically, too.That’s the healing power of running fast at nationals.Once and for all, Gay put to rest any questions about his surgically repaired hip as he completed the 100-200 sprint double Sunday at U.S. track championships, winning the 200 meters in 19.74 seconds.It’s the fastest time in the world this season. Gay also beat Justin Gatlin in the 100 on Friday in a season-leading time of 9.75.“I’m pretty tired,” Gay said. “I’m just glad I’m leaving the race healthy.”With his strong performance, Gay delivered an emphatic message to the rest of the world, and more specifically Usain Bolt: The Gay of old is back. Not the version hobbled by nagging injuries over the years, but the one who captured the 100 and 200 titles at the 2007 world championships.“I’m just happy to be healthy,” Gay said. “It feels good, man.”It should be quite a show when he meets up with Bolt at the world championships in Moscow this summer. Not that Gay is thinking any farther than icing down his legs after an exhausting weekend.“I’m just focused on myself right now,” Gay said. “It’s no secret Usain Bolt is obviously the greatest of all time. He’s definitely going to be prepared.”In the women’s 200, Kimberlyn Duncan upset Olympic champion Allyson Felix. Duncan finished in 21.80, with Felix 0.05 seconds behind. Jeneba Tarmoh was third.Felix said she got a late start on training and hasn’t completely found her racing form just yet. She skipped the 100 earlier in the week to be more prepared for her signature event, the 200.“I’m lacking a little bit of speed right now,” Felix said. “Overall, my conditioning could be a little better.”Duncan did what few have done on Felix by making up ground at the end and blazing by her to close out the race.“I’m just overjoyed to having been here and to have the opportunity,” Duncan said.Gay built a lead after the curve and then fended off the hard-charging Isiah Young, who finished in 19.86. Curtis Mitchell, the training partner of Gay, was third to grab the last spot in the 200, while Wallace Spearmon, a three-time U.S. outdoor champion, wound up a disappointing fourth.It was a busy day to finish nationals, with one final after another in rapid succession. Other winners include Alysia Montano (800), Jennifer Simpson (5,000), Duane Solomon (men’s 800), Ryan Wilson (110 hurdles), Bernard Lagat (5,000), Erik Kynard (high jump), Riley Dolezal (javelin), Evan Jager (3,000 steeplechase), Dalilah Muhammad (400 hurdles), George Kitchens (long jump), Ryan Whiting (shot put), Gia Lewis-Smallwood (discus) and Tim Seaman (20,000 race walk).Olympic pole vault champion and indoor record holder Jenn Suhr cruised to a national title, setting up a showdown with outdoor record holder Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia.In Isinbayeva’s backyard, no less.“I’m inviting as many family members that will go over to Moscow as I can to help cheer for me,” Suhr said. “I think I might be the underdog there. We’re hoping to get a big crowd over there.” Tyson Gay, center, leads Isiah Young, left, and Wallace Spearmon, right, during the senior men’s 200-meter dash finals at the U.S. Championships athletics meet on Sunday, June 23, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. Gay won the race. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)last_img read more

Sustainable and Resilient: Getting from Point A to Point B

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0By Ramsey Zimmerman We hear a lot about being “Sustainable”.  Most of us have some vague notion about that meaning living our lives without using up too many resources so that people in the future can live good lives too.  When I think about sustainability, I think not only about those distant relatives seven generations from now … I wonder what it will take just for US to make it through the next 10, 20 or 40 years.  That is where the concept of being “Resilient” comes into play alongside the notion of being sustainable … as resources get scarce and changes happen without warning, how do we continue to live productive, meaningful and steady lives?In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined Sustainable Development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.  Back in 1987 (when Guns ‘N’ Roses released Appetite for Destruction, one of the greatest musical achievements of all time, in my humble opinion), practically no one wondered if there would be enough gasoline or electricity or wheat to go around.  Sure, there was lots of income and wealth disparity, there were “have’s” and “have nots”, but no one thought we were pushing up against any limits to growth or that natural resources or natural systems had any scarcity.Today, we’ve got green this and green that and rainforest certified toothpicks and soup spoons made out of corn starch that you can eat when you’re done with your Chunky Noodle.  Everyone is thinking about green and sustainable, whether or not they are actually taking it seriously.  Gasoline prices spiked above $4 a gallon more than once, and hang out north of $3.50.  American muscle cars are beaten off the line of stoplights by Japanese hybrid electric cars that are practically silent instead of throaty, growling things.  Meanwhile, “Global Weirding” has left the pages of Thomas Friedman’s books, made a devastating stop in New Orleans, and now hurricanes are cancelling Broadway Shows (hurricanes are NOT supposed to hit New York, people!).   Slash is still wearing his black top hat and rockin’ out, but don’t get me started on where Axl Rose has slid down to.The point is that we’re living it right now and those “future generations” that we’re supposed to ponder and pity and maybe save some scraps for might be our own kids or maybe even our own selves in a decade or two.Which brings me to being Resilient.  In this context, “Resilience” is a term that comes out of Ecology, and refers to the extent to which a system is able to withstand unexpected shocks or disturbances without being thrown off or losing its functionality.  A resilient business is one that is energy efficient, has diversified revenue streams, multiple suppliers, back-up systems, and disaster preparedness plans in case of catastrophes like natural disasters, computer hackers, or vicious competitors.  A resilient government is one that has evacuation plans, local food supplies, a vibrant local business and cultural scene, and engagement with people so that they can respond to whatever the world comes up with next.   A resilient person is one who rolls with the punches, or who can effectively adapt to a new situation, or even read a blog entry written by a so-called professional who likes to reference completely random things like hard rock bands without completely losing the thread of the points being made.Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not an alarmist.  I just want to make sure that we can collectively make it from Point A to Point B.  Sustainability is great.  By all means, let’s preserve resources for future generations.  And at the same time, let’s make sure that we can continue to function well and without interruption on our way to those future generations.last_img read more

First Place In The PFL On The Line Saturday In Drake Stadium

first_img Live Audio Buy Tickets Story Links Print Friendly Version DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University football team hosts a pivotal game against the Pioneer Football League’s leader, San Diego, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. Saturday’s contest features one of the best defenses in the nation playing host to one of the nation’s top offenses. San Diego’s offense is one of the best in FCS football, ranking second nationally in passing offense (343.5 yards per game), and third in passing efficiency (172.84).Meanwhile, Drake has one of the top ranked defenses nationally, including top-10 rankings in pass efficiency defense (6th) and rushing defense (9th). The team ranks 11th nationally in total defense and 15th in scoring defense this season.As a result, the Bulldogs lead the PFL in Defensive Players of the Week with Sean Lynch garnering the most recent honor this week after a nine-tackle performance with an interception return for a touchdown at Valparaiso.Offensively, Drake (5-2, 4-1 MVC) wrapped up their two-game road trip with a strong showing at Valparaiso. Quarterback Grant Kraemer had another four touchdown performance, and Drew Lauer posted his second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing.Steven Doran had another solid game with 68 yards on five receptions, adding a touchdown to bring his season total to nine, the sixth-highest total in the nation. Zach DeLeon had an efficient game, with two receiving touchdowns on just three receptions.San Diego (6-2, 5-0 PFL) heads to Des Moines riding a five-game winning streak. The Toreros boast a high-powered offense, which has scored 36 or more points in six of the season’s eight games, including all five conference contests. The last meeting between the two teams was a 45-15 San Diego home win. The Toreros held Drake to just 16 yards rushing, and used a 21-point fourth quarter to pull away from the Bulldogs.San Diego leads the all-time series, 14-11, including after winning each of the last six meetings. Drake’s last win against the Toreros was a 38-10 home victory in 2012.After this week’s game, Drake hosts Marist for the final home game of the 2018 regular season at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10.center_img Drake Game Notes Live Stats Live Video last_img read more

Eight features to know about on Geocaching.com

first_img6. Personal cache notes (Premium feature)Pssst… Need to write a personal note to yourself about a cache, such as solved puzzle coordinates, details about a hide, or steps for a Multi-Cache? You can add and edit Personal cache notes both in the Geocaching® app and on Geocaching.com. Personal cache notes in the app can be added while offline and are saved with geocache details in Offline lists. Note: Personal cache notes are only viewable by the author.7. Public Bookmark ListsBookmark Lists are about what you’d expect: caches that are worth bookmarking and keeping track of. If you find a cache that you like, chances are it’s on a List that includes similar caches such as, Favorite Caches in Paris, Creative Hides, or Tree-climbing Caches. Lists are a great way to keep track of geocaches and can be public, shared, or private. To see if one of your favorite caches is on a public list, scroll down the geocache details page until “Bookmark Lists” appears on the right hand side. This displays all the Public Bookmark Lists that this particular geocache in on.8. Nearby Events on your DashboardWe recently introduced a personalized events calendar on your Dashboard. With one glance you can see the next geocaching event near you. It’s easy to RSVP, view details about the event, or browse other upcoming events.We hope surfacing these features will help you make the most of your geocaching adventures. Have we missed any lesser known Geocaching.com features that you regularly use? Let us know in the comments below!Share with your Friends:More Geocaching.com has so much to offer, there are plenty of amazing and helpful features that you may have never known existed. Put these eight features on your radar to up your find count and enhance your geocaching out in the field!1. Solution CheckerSo you’ve worked for hours to solve a puzzle, but how can you be certain, once you tromp all the way out into the middle of the woods that you’ll be at the correct final location? Elementary, my dear cacher! Confirm your coordinates with the Mystery Cache solution checker. This simple tool ensures that geocachers have solved for the correct coordinates before searching for the final container. If a cache owner opts to use a solution checker, you will find it on the cache details page.2. View your DNFs on the mapWant to know where your “previously Did Not Find” caches are so you can avenge them? All your DNF’d caches will display on the website and app map with blue, “saddy face” icons. The DNF icon makes it easy to identify which caches are your nemesis  so you can get back out there and turn those frowns upside down.3. Geocaching FriendsEver meet a cool cacher at an event or out on the trails? Become friends on Geocaching.com and stay in touch. You can see what your geocaching friends are up to in the newsfeed of your Dashboard, message them via the Message Center, and add them to your Friend League!4. Friend LeagueNow that you have more geo-buddies, sign up for the Friend League! The Friend League is a leaderboard that shows you and your friends’ geocaching activity. Whenever you log a cache, attend an event, or engage in other geocaching activities, you collect points. Check your Friend League to see how you stack up against your friends!5. View LogbookThe logbook on a cache details page allows you to see if your geocaching friends have found that geocache. Click “View Logbook” just above the logs on cache details and easily view all logs, your logs, or your friends’ logs for that cache. Use the Logbook to get an idea of who you can call if you need to phone-a-friend on a tricky cache! SharePrint RelatedFour reasons to start using Project-GCMay 30, 2017In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”3 tips for finding Mystery CachesApril 10, 2018In “News”10 Useful Geocaching® app features you may not even know you haveMarch 23, 2017In “News”last_img read more

Lawns Gone Wild

first_imgOr let it go back to a meadowIf you don’t want to eat your yard, you can just let it return to native meadow.Middlebury College has reduced the area of its regularly mown lawns by 20 acres (26% of the total), letting those spaces become wildflower meadows instead. The plan has cut emissions and costs, including 670 gallons of gas and 1,000 hours of annual labor, and significantly expanded the natural habitat and beauty on the campus.Native meadows, which have deeper roots, also are more drought resistant and produce less pollen than turf grass lawns. Yet, many residential communities not only discourage wild yards through peer pressure — they actually ban them. In Oak Park, Michigan, for example, it’s a criminal misdemeanor not to cut your lawn regularly. They’ve outlawed the little house on the prairie.Rich with native grasses, herbs, and shrubs, prairies are amazingly fertile and resilient, surviving long droughts and torrential rains and protecting soils from erosion. Once they covered the entire Midwest, from Montana to Michigan, all the way down into Texas.Today, only 1 percent of tallgrass prairie remains. Imagine if all 50 thousand square miles of residential lawns were converted to native meadows and prairie land, springing to life with edible plants that thrive in the local climate with little need for care. In addition to saving an astounding amount of energy, water, labor, and money, we could help resurrect the native state of the continent — right in our front yards. Because environmental challenges are so complicated, potential solutions are rarely as simple as they seem.For example, the market for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing rapidly, outpacing hybrids, although the supply is nowhere near the million EVs that President Obama called for in his 2011 State of the Union address (which might be why he didn’t mention the topic this year).Fewer cars running on fossil fuels are a good thing, right? Actually, a new University of Minnesota report finds that EVs can be worse for the environment than gas cars, depending on where they get their electricity. If the utility grid that charges them is powered by coal, EVs can produce nearly four times more deaths from air pollution. Because coal is the single largest source of grid energy in the U.S. (nearly 40 percent), alternative cars could be exacerbating an already enormous problem.Similarly, conventional wisdom suggests that more plants are always beneficial to the environment, since they produce oxygen and store carbon. But a new study just published in the Journal of Environmental Management shows that closely cropped lawns — the mainstay of suburbia — actually can produce more greenhouse gases than they absorb.The mowers, fertilizers, water, and other resources required to maintain the clean look of a hectare of grass can result in the equivalent emissions of an airplane flying more than halfway around the world. This confirms earlier research estimating that the emissions from lawn maintenance can be four times greater than the amount of carbon stored. Lawns in the U.S. are a $40 billion frillThe total area of American lawns is approximately 50 thousand square miles, about the size of New York State. To keep it well watered takes about 200 gallons per person per day, and nearly a third of all residential water use goes toward landscaping, according to the EPA.All that watering, weeding, mowing, and fertilizing is enormously expensive: Americans reportedly spend $40 billion and 3 billion person-hours on lawn care every year. Why? The landscape equivalent of a crew cut, a grass lawn isn’t that attractive; in fact, “lawn” stems from an Old French word originally meaning “barren land.” So what accounts for our costly, wasteful obsession?Like the McMansion, which vaguely echoes European manors, the lawn is a status symbol, meant to evoke aristocratic precedent. Prior to mowing machines and mechanical watering, finely manicured lawns were expensive and labor-intensive, the trappings of wealth. They became popular in northern Europe after the Middle Ages, especially in France during the 18th century, and the gardens at Versailles introduced the thin swath of grass called tapis vert, “green carpet.” The effect was intended to be unnatural, an abstraction that seemed to float above the ground plane.Millions of Americans invest incredible amounts of time and money to conjure up the ghost of Louis XIV. Use the area to grow foodWhat are the alternatives?For one, we could replace ornamental grass with edible plants. In Cities and Natural Process (2004), Michael Hough calculates that a typical lawn needs three times more energy (and associated costs) than an alfalfa patch of the same size.In fact, the rate of energy to maintain a given area of residential lawn significantly exceeds the rate for commercial cornfields in the equivalent amount of soil. Garden lawns could become inevitable. Columbia University biologist Dickson Despommier estimates that to feed the expected population in 2050, we’ll need about 2.1 billion acres of additional land — roughly the size of Brazil.Yet, today, more than 80 percent of arable land is already in use. If current farming practices continue, in a few decades there simply won’t be enough land to feed everyone. We may be forced to begin growing corn in our front yards. For now, the benefits are clear: locally grown produce tastes fresher and saves huge amounts of energy, emissions, waste, transportation, and infrastructure maintenance.center_img RELATED ARTICLES In Defense of the LawnLawn Mowing SeasonIn the West, Drought Ends ‘Era of the Lawn’What Is ‘Xeriscape’ and Why Is It Important?Rating the Greenness of GardensGBA Encyclopedia: Green Landscapes Architect Lance Hosey is chief sustainability officer with the global design firm RTKL. His latest book, The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (2012), has been Amazon’s #1 bestseller for sustainable design. This blog was originally posted at Huffington Post and is reposted here with the author’s permission.last_img read more