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What is a 529 Education Savings Plan?

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How to choose a 529 plan?

Step 1: Assess your state tax benefit.

A majority of states offer a state tax benefit if you invest in your state-sponsored plan. Depending on the amount of your contributions, your income level, and the generosity of the state tax benefit (some states have relatively low limits on how much of your contribution you can deduct), you can choose the your state’s plan, even if it’s not highly rated or has slightly higher fees. Since each family’s situation is different, it may be useful to consult a tax professional to determine the value of this benefit.

Step 2: Use Morningstar to compare plans.

Morningstar rates approximately 60 plans, which represent more than 95% of all assets invested in 529 savings plans.

Of these plans, in 2021, 32 received a recommended rating in the form of a Gold, Silver or Bronze Morningstar Analyst Rating. These Morningstar Medalist plans offer investment options that we believe will outperform and have a combination of the following attractive features:

  • A well-documented asset allocation approach.
  • A robust process for selecting the underlying investments.
  • An appropriate menu of options to meet the needs of investors.
  • Strong state and investment manager oversight.
  • Minimal fees.

In our Morningstar 529 reports, we highlight the pros and cons of each plan’s investment options. This includes an assessment of the asset manager or investment advisor (such as Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, or Wilshire), the asset allocation process, and the quality of fund options.

Morningstar also provides additional information about each plan, such as details on different investment options, including asset allocation and performance, state tax benefits, and fees.

Commerce lacks intelligence resources to prevent US tech from fueling Chinese cyber threat, experts warn

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Written by Suzanne Smalley

The Commerce Department unit that approves exports of sensitive technology to the United States lacks the intelligence resources to fully realize the national security implications of selling advanced equipment and software to China, officials said. several experts and a former agency manager told CyberScoop.

These critics are particularly alarmed by the high percentage of technology approved for the Chinese market and question whether the Bureau of Industry and Security has the personnel and connections to the intelligence community to carry out its mission of safeguarding the national security of the United States and the protection of economic interests.

Last year, for example, BIS approved 86% of all technology export licenses, which a number of experts say is far too high given the national security issues at stake, as many technologies have potential military uses. And several experts have estimated that the unit has approved about 90% of all export licenses for technology sales to China over the past decade.

“They could use better intelligence, there’s no doubt about that,” Derek Scissors, senior research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told CyberScoop. “They didn’t make the transition to China being a national security issue.”

The Biden administration recently made a series of policy decisions aimed at protecting US national security in response to what it describes as the growing technological and cybersecurity threat posed by China. Last month, the administration signed legislation that earmarks $50 billion to support the expansion of U.S. semiconductor chip manufacturing to reduce U.S. reliance on Chinese-made chips. . Reuters reported last Thursday that the White House will expand bans on US exports of semiconductors used to advance artificial intelligence technology and chip-making equipment next month.

But critics say the BIS is a weak link in US efforts to compete with China on technologies such as artificial intelligence, chipmaking and other core technologies that also play a fundamental role in national security. . “The weaker our industries – semiconductors, telecommunications, critical minerals and rare earth elements, high capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment – the more our national security is threatened,” said Nazak Nikakhtar, former BRI chief, in June during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Nikakhtar, who now leads the national security practice at law firm Wiley Rein, told lawmakers that the trade has ignored the threat posed by China for too long, leading to “vulnerabilities in the supply chain on hundreds of critical products, ranging from the manufacture of semiconductors and electronics to the development of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

She testified that as the former head of the Commerce Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which screens foreign investment for national security reasons, her team was “completely in the dark, our community of Intelligence didn’t have adequate information, and I was frequently in the office until three in the morning using whatever open source information I could to get the ultimate beneficial owner.

The message from critics that the BRI needs to strengthen its intelligence capabilities has led to action in Congress. The The Intelligence Authorization Act 2023 includes a provision for the Director of National Intelligence to implement a pilot program to “assess the feasibility and desirability of providing the Department of Commerce with intelligence drawn from open source, publicly available and commercially available information to support export control and investment screening functions of the ministry”. “The layout should pass.

A spokesman for Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said the committee added the provision to enhance intelligence support for business activities “essential to the states’ economic and national security.” States, such as export controls and the Entity List”.

The BRI also recognized that it needed to increase its staff. Its leaders recently asked Congress for nearly $200 million in discretionary spending and 593 positions to achieve its goals, according to his budget request for fiscal year 2023. The office currently employs 448 people, with nearly all of them working on export administration and enforcement.

Still, BRI defended its current work and told CyberScoop that it already works closely with the intelligence community, including through “direct access” to its information.

“As the threat environment has evolved with respect to nation-state threats, new technologies, and a growing range of contested areas, we are constantly working to strengthen these relationships, bring in additional resources, and leverage all sources of information to meet our critical and expanding mission,” Commerce Undersecretary for Industry and Security Alan Estevez said in a statement to CyberScoop.

A Commerce Department spokesperson pointed to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s pilot project as an example of the agency’s work to bolster intelligence-gathering efforts. The ODNI declined to comment because legislation creating the pilot program with BRI has not yet been passed.

But critics say just looking at the number of BIS-approved technology exports is alarming. The United States exported $125 billion worth of goods to China in 2020 and BRI officials demanded a license for less than half a percent, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Commerce Department data. Of that fraction, the agency approved 94%, or 2,652, of the applications it received for technology exports to China that year, the Journal reported. (Some experts say that since companies typically don’t apply for licenses when they know they’re going to be rejected, the data shows an artificially high number of approvals).

Kevin Wolf, an attorney at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, led BIS for seven years under the Obama administration and said the agency needed to act more aggressively than in the past.

“Export controls need to be thought about and used more broadly than has traditionally been the case in response to China’s goals of acquiring and using technology,” Wolf told CyberScoop, arguing for substantial funding increases. “I don’t think it’s really a debate anymore.”

But Wolf said it would be important to manage that change in partnership with U.S. allies, a process he said will take time and a lot of effort. Even once there is more funding, it can be difficult to find subject matter and technology experts to do the necessary analysis, he said.

Other analysts have pointed out that the BIS needs more Chinese language experts. “For BIS, both in terms of enforcement and new registrations, a lack of Chinese language capabilities can really hamper investigations,” Emily Weinstein, a researcher at the Center for Security and Emerging Technologies, said via email. of Georgetown.

Overall, the Commerce Department’s role in the national security bureaucracy is “probably still opaque to much of the IC,” said Gavin Wilde, a former National Security Agency official. who is now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “As the administration increasingly relies on the BRI to counter and compete with its adversaries, it would make sense to deliberately enhance Commerce’s stature and presence as an IC partner and consumer, in addition to suspects usual.”

Jon Bateman, another senior fellow at Carnegie, said that today trade and the BRI are more central to US foreign policy than ever before.

“If we accept that China is a key competing great power and the main bilateral challenge, and a lot of that challenge is about this complicated economic relationship and this technological competition that cuts across the military dimension, the economic dimension and the informational dimension “, did he declare. , “one could argue that the BRI is at the center of US foreign policy, decision-making, and action.”

Thailand’s pet food producers are on a mission to please pet owners and “pet parents”

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BANGKOK, September 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, a growing global trend sees pet owners becoming “pet parents” and treating their dogs and cats as part of the family. Gone are the days of keeping a pet outdoors and feeding it scraps of food. For the pet food industry, the change has a major impact, and Thailandas the world’s cuisine, helps meet the needs of “pet parents”, according to an industry group.

As consumers become more aware of what they eat, the same awareness applies to their pets. Instead of staple foods, they now demand more nutritional value and compliance with safety standards for their pets. As “humanizing pets” becomes an emerging trend, it’s no surprise to see plant-based, organic, and even vegan pet food products on the market.

Thailand is the world’s third largest pet food exporter in 2021 with an export value of over 65 billion bahtan increase of 27% over the previous year, according to the Thai Pet Food Trade Association (TPFA). Thailand the top 5 pet food export markets are the United States, Japan, Italy, Malaysia and Australiawhile Asian neighbors such as India, Indonesia and Laos see growing demand. The steady growth of Thai pet food exports is accelerating in 2022 with a 43% increase in the first 7 months.

The abundance of agricultural products in Thailandmeans that 95% of the raw materials used in pet food are locally sourced, supporting the country’s status as a production hub, according to TPFA.

“Our strengths also stem from the long-standing experience and reputation in the production of canned tuna, which can be extended to the manufacture of wet pet food,” said Dr. Chanintr Chalisarapong, President of TPFA.

Thai manufacturers of pet food brands include Perfect Companion Group’s SmartHeart and Me-O brands, Asian Sea’s Monchou brand, Charoen Pokphand Foods’ JerHigh and Jinny brands, and Thai Union’s ChangeTer brand. Thailand competitiveness has also attracted many international pet food brands to establish production bases here, such as Mars Petcare, Nestle Purina, Pedigree and Tiki.

To meet the demand of pet owners, manufacturers are emphasizing the production of pet foods that, in terms of safety, variety and dietary values, are similar to human grade foods. . Demand is also growing for innovative products such as prescription foods and supplements for treating pet health issues, such as heart, lung and kidney disease, TPFA said.

“Customer confidence in the quality and safety standards of our manufacturers, combined with product diversification, innovation and continuous development contribute to Thailand competitive advantage in the global pet food market,” Chalisarapong said.

The global pet food market is expected to register a CAGR of 4.6% from 2022 to 2027, according to Mordor Intelligence. As the number of households with pets continues to rise globally, pet food manufacturers are sure to stay on top of helping pet parents take the best care of their babies at fur.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1895254/Thai_pet_food_offers_myriad_choices_filled_appetizing_nutritious_contents.jpg

SOURCE DITP

Emirates News Agency – ISO 2022 annual meeting in UAE focuses on boosting global trade, economies and climate action

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ABU DHABI, 19th September, 2022 (WAM) — The UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) is hosting the 2022 Annual Meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) this week, which kicked off Monday at ADNOC business center in Abu Dhabi, under the theme “Collaborating for Good”.

The event runs from September 19 to 23 and will see the participation of more than 5,000 delegates, including government officials and representatives of national standards bodies, as well as experts and technicians from more than 120 countries.

Through this event, the UAE seeks to increase exports and boost climate action by strengthening collaboration with standards bodies around the world as the country pursues its goal of becoming a global industrial hub.

Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, opened the ISO annual meeting. Ulrika Francke, ISO President, and Sergio Mujica, ISO Secretary-General, also delivered opening addresses.

In his keynote address, Al Suwaidi highlighted how supporting the global standardization agenda and aligning with international standards promotes business growth and boosts international trade.

“This week’s meeting is vital not only for the global industrial ecosystem, but for trade and economies more broadly. Standardization supports the global economy and builds confidence in international trade. But standards also support the goals sustainable development, and ISO and its members are committed to boosting climate action. Together, we aim to push economic and trade relations to new heights, positioning the United Arab Emirates as an international hub for climate change. industry, commerce and business.

He continued, “The ministry is mandated to empower the industrial sector and increase its contribution to the national GDP. This role includes boosting exports by taking advantage of the UAE’s strategic geographical location, world-class infrastructure and logistics capabilities.Last year, industrial exports amounted to approximately $31.6 billion, representing a significant share of the industrial sector’s contribution to GDP.Our robust exports reflect the quality infrastructure system of efficiency of the UAE, including our work to align with international standards and strengthen compliance.

He added: “This annual meeting will undoubtedly help shape the future direction of quality infrastructure systems – not just here in the UAE, but around the world. By collaborating and innovating, and being bold and creative in our thinking, we can leverage our combined abilities to enhance business growth, industrial development and global trade.Through insight-driven sessions, we can expect productive exchanges of knowledge and experience. between government agencies, advisory committees, international standards bodies and private sector partners.

Ms. Francke said: “The past year has shown that sustainable and green growth is high on the global agenda. The value and relevance of standards in this regard is increasingly recognized, but we still have work to do.

In conclusion, she said, “In the spirit of collaboration that underpins everything ISO does, we are meeting this week to find solutions. I have seen firsthand how standards shape our world. It takes collaborative leadership, consensus on standards and regulations, established policies, and great initiative to solve global problems.”

Throughout the event, delegates will participate in specialized sessions and workshops designed to facilitate the conversations that will shape the future of standardization. Monday’s first session was “Developing Standards for the ‘New Normal’ and the London Declaration”. The conversation built on the declaration made in 2021, which aims to support climate action through global standards.

One session, “Innovation for Transformative Climate Solutions,” brought together leading climate experts to share ideas and design climate solutions in a spirit of collaboration. Another session, “Coherence in the International Standardization System”, addressed global challenges facing the global standardization community.

Delegates will continue to engage in workshops and conversations this week around a wide range of standards-related topics, including everything from trade and digitalization to food security and water scarcity.

Several UAE government officials, private sector representatives and experts will participate in these sessions alongside MoIAT participants, including Al Suwaidi and Dr. Farah Ali Al-Zarouni, Deputy Undersecretary for Standards and regulations to the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology.

In addition to physically and virtually bringing together officials and international experts, the annual ISO meeting will see the signing of several MoUs between MoIAT and various other national standards bodies.

Major UAE companies and institutions are sponsoring the meeting, including Emirates Steel, Emirates Global Aluminium, Al-Futtaim Group, Etihad Aviation Group, Multinational Companies Business Group (MCBG) and Abu Dhabi Department of Energy.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, ISO has 167 member countries and more than 340 technical committees. It connects the public and private sectors to advance the quality infrastructure ecosystem, with representatives from 123 members and 31 observer countries attending its annual meetings.

The Greater Denfeld Foundation thrives after 50 years

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Peyton Bradbury, left, received a Marie V. Saltwick Fellowship and the Greater Denfeld Foundation Health Sciences Award at Denfeld Honors Night in May. He is in the nursing program at Umass Boston. Xander Schroeder, right, received an Armond Hauge Fellowship, a Greater Denfeld Foundation Award and the Matt Kero #4 Memorial Fellowship. He is studying computer science at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

West Duluth public school students pursuing post-secondary education have found a wealth of scholarships available over the past few decades. All of this is due to the groundwork laid 50 years ago and the generosity of generations of Denfeld High School graduates.

The Greater Denfeld Foundation has been reducing the financial burden on Denfeld students since 1972 and has become one of the nation’s largest public scholarship funds. It currently manages more than $8 million in assets according to board chairman Gary Eckenberg, a 1968 Denfeld graduate. More than $2 million in scholarships have been awarded to date.

How did the foundation of a small public high school in northern Minnesota rack up so much money? The answer is small contributions from many people and large contributions from two unlikely former millionaires.

The Greater Denfeld Foundation was formed in 1971 by a group of Denfeld employees and alumni. The school had previously established scholarship funds to honor two teachers – Leona Thomey, who died in a military plane crash in 1945, and Lenore Snodgrass, who died in 1953 – but the funds eventually ran out.

The Greater Denfeld Foundation was established to distribute a few one-time $150 scholarships beginning in 1972. Its original goal was to raise $250,000 in scholarship assets, and after 29 years of modest growth, the foundation had 175,000 $ in bank. In 2001, a pair of major gifts over a five-year period from two esteemed Denfeld alumni expanded the foundation’s financial assets, far exceeding its original fundraising goal and making it the scholarship powerhouse of studies that she is today.

Mary Saltwick

The first major gift came in 2001 after the death of Marie Saltwick, a 1925 Denfeld graduate and distinguished teacher who spent 40 years teaching biology in the school’s historic building, retiring in 1971 as the Greater Denfeld Foundation was forming. She served on the board for about a decade.

As a retired teacher who never married, Saltwick was not considered someone who could have hidden wealth. However, she was supposed to be a savvy investor and led a modest life. A particularly good stock tip from Denfeld Group professor Lloyd Swartley reportedly led Saltwick to invest in Polaroid Corp. at an opportune time, leading to his fortune.

She bequeathed the colossal sum of $2.7 million to the foundation. There was more to come.

Armond Hauge

Armond Hauge graduated from Denfeld in 1946. Like Saltwick, he was an unlikely millionaire. He worked as an auto mechanic at Sterling Motors, which later became Ryland Ford. But he also had a talent for real estate and stock market investments.

After his death in 2006, his estate of $3.2 million was bequeathed to the foundation to create a new scholarship fund. He valued hard work and maintained an unwavering work ethic even as a young child – he started working when he was 6 years old and his employer gave him a bike five years later to never miss a day of work. With that in mind, its scholarship fund is for students who demonstrate a commitment to hard work during their high school years.

A lasting legacy

The Greater Denfeld Foundation scholarship funds are managed by the US bank’s wealth management department, and members of the foundation’s board meet with the bank quarterly to discuss the financial health of scholarship recipients. funds. Jerry Zanko, a former chairman of the foundation who sits on the scholarship committee, said the foundation was instructed not to spend the principal of the funds, and because of that, donations from Saltwick and Hauge will help send students from Denfeld in college forever.

“[The funds] are in good hands,” Zanko said. “We would like to give away more money than we do, but it’s not sustainable.”

At Denfeld Honors Night in the spring of 2022, the foundation donated $151,158 to Denfeld seniors. Thirty-five students received the Armond Hauge Scholarship, worth $3,000 renewable for four years, and 15 received the Marie Saltwick Scholarship, also worth $3,000 renewable for four years.

Assuming all Hauge and Saltwick scholarships are renewed for all four years, the total amount awarded to the Class of 2022 will be $511,158. Eighteen other scholarships of varying amounts were awarded through 13 other scholarships administered by the foundation, all of which are one-time annual awards with their own criteria for things like academic performance, financial need, planned academic major and even extracurricular interest.

“Looking at the graduates and what they’ve been through, the economic challenges and two years of covid, it’s inspiring to see how many talented and dedicated students there are,” Zanko said. “The average scholarship candidate, whether wealthy or not, exhibits the same drive and determination, and that’s inspiring.”

A few million more

An additional scholarship fund of note for Denfeld students is the Jack Moon Scholarship, established in 2005 for Denfeld graduates interested in pursuing a career. It is named after John Wallace “Jack” Moon, a lawyer and prominent real estate investor in Duluth, who graduated from Denfeld in 1946. He died in a car accident in 2001 and left a sum of money in his will to create a scholarship fund. for Denfeld graduates.

Not affiliated with the Greater Denfeld Foundation, the Jack Moon Foundation began distributing scholarships in 2005 and today has assets worth $4.5 million. The foundation awards up to $4,000 annually to selected graduates who intend to study at a trade school or technical college in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Michigan.

Multi-generational connection

The number of individual awards and the amount of money available to Denfeld students are the work of generous contributions from Denfeld alumni, but the Greater Denfeld Foundation does not actively solicit donations. People came forward independently with a sincere desire to bequeath, Zanko said. To date, the scholarship committee is in talks with several individuals who wish to make a significant contribution to the foundation.

Denfeld alumni’s enthusiastic desire to give back to their alma mater lends credence to the positive effect the school has had on many students over several generations. Eckenberg attributes positive alumni engagement in part to respect for the teaching staff, many of whom, like Marie Saltwick, have been committed to the school and its students for 30 to 40 years.

Likewise, he believes that the multi-generational connection that many students and staff have with the school is one of the main reasons many choose to give back to it.

Denfeld – originally called Duluth Industrial High School – was founded in 1905. The current building was constructed in 1926, and it has been a West Duluth educational landmark ever since. Thousands of students have graduated from high school there, and many of them weren’t the first or last in their families to walk its halls and end up signing their names in the clock tower in as graduates.

“There is a commitment to the school not only from the children, but it has been passed on to them by generations of parents. My dad was a Denfeld graduate and I had teachers he had, and they were wonderful. Eckenberg said. His two daughters also attended Denfeld. “The continuity is intense, there’s just such a connection to this school.”


Jayden Erie is a graduate of Denfeld and the recipient of the Armond Hauge Scholarship for the Class of 2020. He is entering his freshman year at Illinois Wesleyan University.

InterCHARM Korea 2022 Unveils South Korea’s Largest Beauty Business Platform

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LOS ANGELES, CA, Sept. 18, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — InterCHARM Korea, South Korea’s largest beauty business platform, will be held for three days from September 21-23 at Coex, Seoul.

The 2021 edition was held during the COVID-19 pandemic and over 12,900 unique buyers from over 20 countries participated in-person and remotely.

InterCHARM Korea covers all sectors of the beauty industry, including cosmetics, perfumery, OEM/ODM, private label, hair care, packaging, professional beauty, salon equipment, medical beauty, semi-permanent products, eyelashes and nails.

The predominant part of the 2021 edition was that the show successfully ran as a hybrid show, meaning additional advanced online programs were launched at the same time.

In particular, online meetings have been organized in collaboration with the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) to help Korean SMEs maximize their exports despite the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Around 12,900 buyers from more than 30 countries participated both physically and remotely. A contract amount of $7.2 million was generated.

A live trading program has also been set up for exhibitors. Well-known Korean local influencers attended the show and streamed the channels live onsite to help exhibitors maximize their brands/products to promote to more customers who attended the show remotely.

In addition, the seminar programs provided the global beauty market trends and insights, entering global market strategy, global e-commerce trend live and guidance for practical use of big data in the industry beauty, etc

More than 30,000 beauty industry buyers and consumers visit the show every year, and InterCHARM Korea has become the largest and most important beauty business platform in Korea.

InterCHARM Korea is the best platform for foreign beauty brands to maximize their business in the Korean and Asian beauty market. In addition, it offers Korean beauty and cosmetic companies a chance to enter the global market by exploring overseas markets for them to experience the excellence of K-beauty.

InterCHARM Korea 2022 will be held with concurrent events including seminar programs, product demonstrations, pre-arranged online/on-site meetings from September 21 to 23, at Hall C, Coex Exhibition Center, Seoul.

There will be an updated “Remote Exhibitor Package” for those who still cannot or do not want to travel overseas but want to maximize their business. This new option allows you to contact exhibition visitors and organize business meetings remotely from your country.

Link to home page

InterCHARM Korea is a one-stop business platform for international brands to find their buyers, distributors and retailers to expand their business in the booming beauty market.

Discover new opportunities and expand your networking opportunities in Asia for all sectors of the global beauty industry. Join us and take the opportunity to meet your global partners!


Press release service and press release distribution provided by http://www.24-7pressrelease.com

Consumer survey results reinforce the value of eye care services

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September 18, 2022

3 minute read

Source:

Lee C, et al. The Contact Lens Institute and the Vision Council present their latest research results. Presented at: Vision Expo West; Vegas; September 14-17, 2020.

Disclosures:
Ito does not report any relevant financial information. Kulik is employed by Prodege. Lee is employed by Johnson & Johnson Vision. Schaeffer claims to be a consultant for Alcon, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Kala, SightScience and Tarsus; a researcher for Allergan and Bausch + Lomb; and on the Alcon Speakers Bureau. Jason Tu, OD, reports speaking and consulting for Bausch + Lomb and ZeaVision.


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LAS VEGAS — Consumers ranked contact lenses and eyeglasses as very important to them in a survey commissioned by the Contact Lens Institute that asked respondents to rate 26 products and services.

The survey results were presented during a panel discussion at Vision Expo West.

contact lenses
Source: Adobe Stock.

In August, 251 contact lens wearers were asked to rate 26 different products and services in the categories of personal health, entertainment, clothing, dining and other discretionary spending options, according to a press release from the Contact Lens Institute (CLI). They ranked their contact lenses (84%) and eyeglasses (75%) as extremely important or very important – more than any other category. Respondents also said they would drop all other categories before their contacts and glasses in the face of economic pressure.

“It’s job security”, practitioner To mark E. Schaeffer, OD, who practices with MyEyeDr, said during the panel. “It’s more of a validation of what we do on a day-to-day basis. You can’t do anything without a good, clear and consistent vision. This is why contact lenses and glasses are so important; they allow us to do what we need to do comfortably and clearly.

Marc Schaeffer 80x106

Mark E. Schaeffer

“When people are asked what they will cut in their spending, their actual spending shows how resilient our eye care industry is,” Charissa Lee, DO, MBA, FAAO, CLI Board Member, Head of Professional Affairs for North America for Johnson & Johnson Vision and panel moderator, said.

Charissa Lee 80x106

Charissa Lee

Clinician Klaus Ito, DO, who practices at Ocean Park Optometry, said, “When you look at contacts as something you can leverage more in your practice, you know that once you have your patient, it’s not going to be something they’re going to. to abandon.”

“The occasional patient will ask for something less expensive”, Jason You, DO, who practices at Invision Optometry, said. “As physicians, we need to review the medical benefits of why we prescribe what we prescribe.”

“You ultimately help them with their lifestyle needs,” Schaeffer said. “You’re trying to help them live their best life. It’s not a commodity, it’s a medical device.”

Klaus Itô 80x106

Klaus Itō

“We’re all human, and we have these limited resources,” he said. “We can say, ‘I understand that your lenses may look okay and your vision may still be good, but you know you’re putting yourself at risk by wearing your lenses too much or adding solution.'”

“If a patient tells you they’re wearing their lenses longer and completing solutions, it’s a bit late at this point,” Ito said. “Get in front. Make it part of your education.

Tu said every patient at his clinic gets a 60-second conversation, “whether they’ve been wearing contact lenses for 30 years or whether it’s their first time. We educate them on the contacts as a medical device and the wear and replacement schedule. We’re at almost 70% of the daily consumables, but they’re still getting the education.

Jason You 80x106

Jason You

“I want to see you every year for your check-up,” he added, “not every other day because you get infections.”

Luke Kulik of research firm Prodege also participated in the panel.

During an interview after the roundtable, Lee told Healio that the survey was conducted to raise awareness and find out what patients were thinking, “to validate what we’re seeing in practice and how CLI can help patients.” doctors depending on what is happening now”. against 2 years ago.

Schaeffer told Healio that the survey results provided “a broader angle of what consumers are doing as a whole.

“Having this data and resources helps us better serve our patients,” Schaeffer added. “And CLI is a unified voice that can help professionals.”

CLI members include Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision. The CLI said the full report will be available in October.

modi : Prime Minister Modi launches National Logistics Policy (NLP) and strengthens India’s supply chain

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To give a boost to the country’s logistics sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday unveiled the National Logistics Policy (NLP) in what is billed as the country’s first holistic approach for the $200 billion sector.

The new policy, first introduced in the 2020 budget speech by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is unveiled on Modi’s birthday. The new policy will bring an integrated and technological approach to logistics operations to close the efficiency gap.

“We are the 5th largest economy in the world. India is setting new export targets and we have been able to achieve these targets. India is emerging as a global manufacturing hub and the world has started to recognize this fact. NLP will give it a new impetus,” Modi said.

He added that the policy is that springboard performance is key. “Policy plus performance equals growth. Politics can be a driving and guiding force and NLP should not be seen as just a document. NLP is the culmination of 8 years of effort,” Modi said.

Modi added that container ship turnaround at ports has been reduced from 44 hours to 26 hours. New environmentally friendly waterways are being installed, 40 air cargo terminals have been installed to facilitate exports, 30 airports have cold storage facilities, and 35 multimodal logistics facilities are being installed.

He pointed out that the GST has reduced paperwork for the movement of goods between states. Drone transport, he said, is also likely to become an important logistics mode. “We already have a progressive drone policy,” Modi said.

According to the Prime Minister, India must reduce the logistics cost from 13 to 14% of GDP to single digits. “It’s a low-hanging fruit to compete on a global scale,” Modi said.

“NLP will work as a dual working engine with Prime Minister Gati Shakti. With its implementation, costs will go down, international trade will grow and startups will see new avenues,” Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said at the launch.

One of its main objectives would be to make Indian logistics competitive by world standards. Key areas include IDS – Digital System Integration, ULIP – Unified Logistics Interface Platform, ELOG – Logistics Facility and GIS – System Improvement Group. An electronic manual was also launched for the standardization of the warehousing sector. New management training courses around Logistics and the Supply Chain are also planned.

According to the (latest available) World Bank Logistics Index of 2018, India is ranked 44th in terms of logistics costs, lagging behind countries like China and Vietnam, which rank 26th and 39th respectively. Logistics cost in India is estimated at 13-14% of GDP compared to 7-8% in developed economies.

According to a report by Arthur D. Little-CII, higher logistics costs lead to a $180 billion competitiveness gap for India, and this gap is expected to reach $500 billion by 2030. Experts point out that high logistics costs can be attributed to an unfavorable political regime and an underutilized multimodal transport system heavily biased in favor of road transport.

ETRise MSME Day 2022 Mega Conclave with industry leaders. Look now.

Teaching the ropes of the circus trade at the fair

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Nine-year-old Rockii Tran, left, receives juggling tips from Alex Bistrevski of the Interactive Circus Station at the New Mexico State Fair on Sept. 14, 2022. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A line of eager children wait their turn to learn a few circus tricks that have just been performed to perfection by Alex Bistrevsky, a man in a spotted vest who spends half his performances teaching people how to do what a circus artist like him.

Today, you might catch Bistrevsky, who travels around the country with the Stilt Circus company, driving through the New Mexico State Fair with his cart, teaching circus skills such as stilt walking and juggling. as part of its interactive circus station.

Bistrevsky has been a circus performer for about 11 years now. He began performing alongside his brother Dmitrious Bistrevsky, and as they deepened their craft, they became regular performers with the Stilt Circus company.

When he was working as a stilt walker, the number one question people asked him was, “How do you learn that?”

So, about six years ago, he had an idea: to teach circus skills from a mobile cart.

Mastering that kind of stuff takes a lot of practice, says Bistrevsky. When he was first training to become a performer alongside his brother, they practiced six to nine hours a day for three years while trying not to burn themselves out. He was 21, had no circus experience and had to learn all the skills on his own.

“I used to cry. We were in Los Angeles, we were broke and my brother said, “If you don’t juggle, we don’t eat. said Bistrevsky. “So it was like, ‘Okay, it’s time

Interactive Circus Station’s Alex Bistrevski juggles his hat at the New Mexico State Fair on Sept. 14, 2022. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

juggle. ”

Bistrevsky said he learned to work with children by watching his older brother coach gymnastics. He also worked in an orphanage at the time. All of this has helped him become more patient, which he says is essential in his job.

“Patience is the first skill I had to learn because I fail 1,000 times before I get a round,” he said.

Bistrevsky moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting, so he studied writing and film in college. A lady once gave him and his brother a circus school card in a cafe, telling them they would be perfect for it. They initially fired her, but weeks later her brother received another card for the same circus school. He decided it was a sign that they should try it.

They were so broke at the time that they had to become school janitors to pay for the training.

“That’s how I paid my bills. I trained there three to four days a week, and I was a janitor there, so seven days a week at the circus, I cleaned the floors to pay for our training. said Bistrevsky.

The 32-year-old circus performer said that even at his age he still finds joy in performing and loves helping others find that too. He said he likes to give people the comfort of knowing they can still learn something – he once taught someone with no experience how to juggle in just seven minutes.

“It’s almost childish. It’s like you release the inner child and the wonder comes back,” Bistrevsky said. “And we all still have that.”

Bistrevsky said he and his brother Dmitrious used to perform together all the time, but had been doing separate things for four years. His brother recently worked as a Darth Vader lookalike in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. They still get to do a show together once a year, and when they do, it’s magical.

“What I love the most, what I hope people take away from the show, is knowing that you can take something ordinary and make it extraordinary,” Bistrevsky said. “The sticks are ordinary. Hats are ordinary. They’re not special, you know? Taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary is one of my tricks.

New York man pleads guilty to laundering funds related to proceeds of facilitating fraudulent robocalls | takeover bid

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A New York man has pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of New York to money laundering for his role as the owner and operator of a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) company that facilitated and profited from the introduction fraudulent robocall traffic in the United States.

Jon J. Kahen, 48, of Great Neck, New York, was owner and CEO of Global Voicecom Inc. (GVI), a U.S.-based VoIP provider, from 1999 to 2020. GVI provided voice telecommunications, such as domestic direct inward dialing (DID), toll-free, and call termination platforms and services, which brought foreign telephone traffic into the U.S. telephone system (thus serving as ” gateway carrier”).

As early as 2016 at least, GVI began serving as a gateway operator for an India-based VoIP provider that used GVI’s gateway operator services to route fraudulent robocalls – including but not limited to , US government agency impostor calls made by individuals located in India who fraudulently posed as agents of the IRS, Social Security Administration and Office of the Inspector General of India Social Security Administration (SSA-OIG) – in the US telephone system. This provider also used the DID and toll-free numbers re-leased and/or resold to it by GVI to facilitate various fraudulent robocall scams. American consumers, including the elderly, have been defrauded as a result of these scams.

In 2018, Kahen learned that this India-based VoIP provider was using GVI’s telecommunications services to engage in illegal activities (for example, wire fraud involving fraudulent robocalls), and in May 2019, Kahen knew that the funds paid to GVI by this customer for the continuation of gateway carrier services were the proceeds of illegal activities. Despite this knowledge, Kahen conducted illegal monetary transactions involving these criminal funds.

“American consumers, many of whom are elderly or otherwise vulnerable, are inundated with millions of illegal robocalls every day,” said Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. . “Anyone with a phone is a potential target. The Department is committed to ending robocall fraud and prosecuting those who knowingly facilitate robocall fraud schemes for financial gain. »

“This defendant opened the door to foreign fraudsters who exploited the good reputation of our government agencies to target Americans,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman of the Southern District of California. “Let this case be a message to actors in the United States who have facilitated foreign actors and profited from the fraud that they will be held accountable.”

“Mr. Kahen knowingly facilitated robocalls from government impostors who not only defrauded American consumers, but took advantage of their trust in government,” said Inspector General Gail S. Ennis of the Social Security Administration. “We will continue to prosecute those who perpetuate these robocall fraud schemes, and I am grateful to trial attorneys Yolanda McCray Jones and Wei Xiang of the Department of Justice Consumer Protection Branch and attorneys U.S. Special Assistants Jeffrey Hill and Lisa Sanniti of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California for prosecuting this case. I also want to thank all of our law enforcement partners for their contributions to the success of this investigation.

“When consumers — especially our vulnerable older Americans — are exploited by fraudsters posing as a government agency or official, the impact is detrimental and the repercussions are long-lasting,” said Inspector-in-Charge Eric Shen. of the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Postal Inspection Service. . “Anyone who engages in or facilitates deceptive practices like this should know that they will not go unnoticed. Postal inspectors will continue to work tirelessly to hold these criminals accountable and bring justice to the American public.”

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Kahen agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $216,700 to four robocall victims of the wire fraud scheme mentioned above and to further waive $176,000.

The United States previously filed a civil suit in January 2020, alleging Kahen and his companies were responsible for delivering millions of fraudulent robocalls to American consumers. That action also alleged that Kahen and his companies had been repeatedly warned that they were making fraudulent robocalls and continued to do so, facilitating foreign-based fraud schemes targeting individuals in the United States. The civil action sought to enjoin Kahen and his companies from engaging in the ongoing commission of criminal wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In March 2020, Kahen and his companies were permanently banned from operating as intermediary VoIP carriers routing telephone calls to the US telephone system.

Trial Attorneys Yolanda McCray Jones and Wei Xiang of the Justice Department’s Civil Division Consumer Protection Branch and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Hill and Lisa Sanniti of the Southern District of California prosecuted the case.

The case was investigated by agents from the SSA-OIG, US Postal Investigation Service, US Secret Service and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation – El Dorado Task Force. Resources from the Department’s Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force assisted in the investigation and prosecution.

The ministry’s wide-ranging and extensive efforts to combat senior fraud are aimed at halting the widespread losses that seniors suffer from fraud schemes. However, the best method of prevention is to share information about the different types of fraudulent schemes with relatives, friends, neighbors and other seniors who can use this information to protect themselves.

If you or someone you know is aged 60 or over and has been the victim of financial fraud, you can get help from the National Senior Fraud Hotline: 1- 833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This Department of Justice hotline, operated by the Office for Victims of Crime, is staffed by experienced professionals who provide personalized support to callers by assessing the victim’s needs and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to help them report, connect callers directly with appropriate agencies, and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who are committing fraud, and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering the losses. The hotline is open seven days a week from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET. English, Spanish and other languages ​​are available.

Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. Information about the Justice Department’s Elder Fraud Initiative is available at www.justice.gov/elderjustice.

Crypto skeptics push back against public industry lobbying

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Happy Friday! i’m just happy Rafael Nadal did not beat Roger Federer also retired. Send tips to: [email protected]

Below: The FTC said it would review the practices of gig companies and the Governor of California signed into law a bill to protect children online. First:

Crypto skeptics push back against public industry lobbying

Cryptocurrency skeptics in Congress are pushing back against a new public campaign by digital exchange platform Coinbase to pressure political leaders with industry-friendly backgrounds, casting it as the latest push by backers to ward off regulation.

Coinbase CEO Wednesday Brian Armstrong announced that the company would begin showing users of its app “crypto sentiment scores” for members of Congress, rating lawmakers on how “negative” or “positive” they were toward cryptocurrency.

amstrong said the ratings were partly based on a Scorecard created by the Coinbase-backed Crypto Action Network, an advocacy group that recently released notes for decision makers based on the positivity or negativity of their statements, policies and votes on the matter.

Two of Congress’s most vocal cryptocurrency skeptics, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have pushed back against the lobbying campaign.

“The only two Fs I’ve ever been proud to receive: one from [National Rifle Association] and now one from Coinbase,” Sherman, who has called to ban cryptocurrencytold The Technology 202. “Just another example of the crypto industry getting into politics to stay as lightly regulated as possible and protect their billions in profits.”

“Receiving an F rating from the crypto lobby group is a badge of honor,” said Warren, who called for tougher consumer protection regulations against cryptocurrency. Warren said that receiving a “positive” crypto score shouldn’t mean “wanting to protect a system in which people get their money cheated…or a system in which insiders reap all the profits and leave all the losses to people who don’t. don’t. I don’t have a lot of money to gamble.

The Crypto Action Network has awarded its highest A ratings to Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.), Cynthia M. Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), among others. Gillibrand and Lummis presented a proposal empowering the industry’s preferred regulator, and Wyden pushed back on calls for heavy regulation. Warren and Sherman received the only F grades.

According to Coinbase, “The Crypto Sentiment Score was compiled using publicly available data, including legislative documents, media statements, social media posts, caucus members, and public letters.” The company has not commented on the lawmakers’ remarks.

Coinbase’s move notably marks a much more direct approach to trying to influence voters and lawmakers than most tech sectors have taken in recent years.

Big tech companies have increasingly shunned overtly public lobbying campaigns, relying instead on networks of trade associations and armies of lobbyists to bombard Washington.

They rarely endorse specific legislative proposals, and their political campaign donations tend to be split evenly between moderates of both parties and mainstream PACs. Some prominent companies, including Apple and Twitter, have shut down their PACs, while others have occasionally halted donations due to political developments, including the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol.

While many advocacy groups rate lawmakers on their policy alignment, it’s extremely rare for a company to rate them publicly, including in the tech industry.

This move signals an aggressive lobbying posture by the crypto community. Armstrong said the company eventually plans to “help pro-crypto candidates solicit donations [in crypto] of the crypto community.

Although some of its lobbying tactics seem uncommon, the crypto industry has also increasingly invested in the same playbook as many of its Silicon Valley peers – launching trade associations to lobby for his favorite policies and hiring lobbyists to pitch on Capitol Hill.

Despite a slight increase in spending, crypto lobbying is still overshadowed by industry giants.

Like my colleague Curator Newmyer reported: “The industry spent $8.9 million on lobbying in the first half of this year, surpassing the $7.7 million spent throughout last year, according to new analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics”.

In comparison, Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook’s parent company Meta spent nearly $95 million in lobbying since 2021 as they face regulatory threats in Congress. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

White House announces tech companies’ efforts to counter violent extremism

Social media services including Facebook parent Meta, Microsoft, Twitch and YouTube have announced new initiatives to limit the spread of hateful rhetoric as the White House convenes a summit on hate-fueled violence, Cat Zakrzewski reports. This follows pressure on businesses following mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, where shooters posted violent rhetoric online.

“YouTube will update its policies to remove videos that glorify acts to inspire others or raise funds, even when the creators have no ties to terrorist groups,” Cat wrote. “Twitch, an Amazon-owned streaming service, will soon be rolling out new tools to help its creators improve security and limit harassment on their channels. And Microsoft will launch online safety education for students and families in its popular game Minecraft.

FTC says it will review practices of gig companies

In a policy statement, the Federal Trade Commission said gig companies must be honest with potential workers about costs and benefits, must keep their promises to gig workers, and cannot have illegal contracts with workers. The FTC also said it would investigate “evidence of agreements between gig companies to unlawfully set wages, benefits, or fees for gig workers who should be open to competition” and “business conduct.” exclusionary or predatory that could harm customers or reduce pay or poor working conditions for gig workers.

The statement passed 3-2 with the support of all three Democrats on the committee.

“No matter how gig businesses choose to classify them, gig workers are consumers entitled to protection under the laws we enforce,” said the director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau. Samuel Levine said in a statement. “We are fully committed to coordinating our consumer protection and competition enforcement efforts within the FTC, as well as working with other government agencies to ensure gig workers are treated fairly.”

California governor signs law to protect children online

The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act requires tech platforms to assess whether their new products could harm children before releasing them and offer default safeguards for their young users. Bill, as the Governor of California. Gavin Newsom (D) signed Thursday, passed overwhelmingly by the California State Senate and Assembly.

The law could increase pressure on Washington lawmakers to act on privacy and child-focused legislation.

It has been criticized by tech trade groups, who have lobbied against the bill and argued that it would stifle innovation and violate free speech protections while failing to adequately protect families. In a statement Thursday, Newsom’s office said the bill “strikes a balance that protects children and ensures that tech companies will have clear rules of conduct that will allow them to continue to innovate.”

TikTok has unveiled TikTok Now, a new feature that allows users to post daily photos or videos at spontaneous times, Sabiq Shahidullah of Bloomberg News reports. It’s similar to the BeReal social media app. Journalist herb engraving:

Editor and journalist Aife Barry:

Writer Amanda Silberling:

Customs officers copied Americans’ phone data on a massive scale (Drew Harwell)

Uber victim of a computer flaw, alerts the authorities (Faiz Siddiqui and Joseph Menn)

Adobe shares deal to acquire Figma design platform for $20 billion (CNBC)

Instagram tracks TikTok and YouTube on creator satisfaction, Mosseri tells staff (The Information)

Rumble is set for a $2 billion SPAC (The Verge)

Meta Oversight Board opposes removal of positive Taliban newspaper article (Reuters)

His father’s murder made headlines. Now she is creating content about it. (Mag entry)

  • Bruce Miller joined BSA | The Software Alliance as Senior Director of Legislative Strategy. Miller previously worked as director of federal legislative affairs at Kyndryl.
  • A panel of the House Oversight and Reform Committee holds a federal IT hearing today at 9 a.m.
  • representing Michael R. Turner (Ohio), the House Intelligence Committee’s top Republican, speak at a Heritage Foundation event on countering foreign misinformation and disinformation while protecting civil liberties Monday at 1 p.m.
  • Dragos Tudorachemember of the European Parliament and co-rapporteur of the EU IA act, speak at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
  • A panel of the Senate Judiciary Committee holds an antitrust enforcement hearing Tuesday at 3 p.m.

ThisThat’s all for today — thank you so much for joining us! Be sure to tell others to subscribe to The Technology 202 here. Get in touch with advice, comments or greetings on Twitter Where E-mail.

Dean’s Future Scholars Celebrates Directors’ Birthdays, Creates Program Endowment

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July 1, 2022 marked a symbolic anniversary for the Dean’s Future Scholars program as Executive Director Mariluz Garcia celebrated its tenth year, and Dean’s Future Scholars program alumnus Manuel Ortiz celebrated his first year as Deputy Principal. .

William Sparkman, who founded the Dean’s Future Scholars program in 2000 and Bob Edgington, who led the program from 2005 to 2012, both embodied Dean’s Future Scholars culture of giving back by creating endowments that generate annual funds for scholarships.

“To celebrate my tenth anniversary, I wanted to replicate the generosity of those who came before me by creating my own scholarship,” Garcia said.

Over the span of 22 years, the College of Education and Human Development’s Dean’s Future Scholars program has had a tremendous impact on low-income, first-generation students in Washoe County. To date, 1,552 students have participated in Dean’s Future Scholars, which offers free mentorship and summer programs for at least six years. For students continuing their college education, the Dean’s Future Scholars Program provides mentorship, scholarships, job opportunities, and support until they graduate from college and enter the workforce.

This grant-funded program has been successful in increasing the upward social mobility of families. For example, 49% of current Dean’s Future Scholars parents did not earn a high school diploma, but their children who participate in the Dean’s Future Scholars program have achieved an average high school graduation rate of 96% over the past five years, or 17%. points higher than their low-income peers in the school district. Over the past five years, 72% graduated with an advanced or honors degree, which better prepared students to enter 2-year, 4-year, or trade school programs of their choice.

“We know that together we have built something very special, and the program is having a positive impact, but we need sustainable sources of funding to continue this work.”

Garcia with students when he was hired as general manager in 2012

“Mariluz Garcia has played a major role in Dean’s Future Scholars efforts over the past ten years. Her gentle spirit and desire to see students reach higher than they imagined had a significant impact on communities in Reno and Nevada,” said Donald Easton-Brooks, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development. . “Manuel Ortiz, who started out as a reluctant DFSer, became a teacher, mentor, now the program director of Dean’s Future Scholars, earned his master’s degree, and is enrolled in a doctoral program here at the University. He is the right person to lead Dean’s Future Scholars as Dr. Garcia moves (Next Gen) programming across the state, and his lived experience will continue to shape the young minds of Reno and Nevada.

Garcia began working for the Dean’s Future Scholars program in 2004 when she began her Masters in School Counseling. As a graduate assistant, Garcia helped create the first official Dean’s Future Scholars Mentoring Program, which today serves 408 students in grades 7-12 located in 38 different schools during the school year. She also helped coordinate the large-scale summer program on the college campus, which served 280 students during the 2022 summer program.

Garcia with mentor
Garcia with mentors in 2004

“Although 18 years have passed, Garcia clearly remembers first meeting Ortiz as a tenth grader at Hug High School.

“Even at a young age, Manny had this larger-than-life personality that allowed him to instantly connect with others. He was a natural leader that all Dean’s Future Scholars looked up to,” Garcia said.

Ortiz mentoring a student
Ortiz as the Dean’s Future Scholar undergraduate student mentor

What sets Dean’s Future Scholars apart from other college programs is that every student recommended in their sixth year is welcomed with open arms, regardless of background, academic achievement, or family background. At no time are program participants selected based on their test scores or left the program based on their grades, attendance, or behavior.

Manuel Ortiz’s first introduction to the Dean’s Future Scholars program was when he attended Glenn Duncan Elementary School. He was approached with the opportunity to join, but the idea of ​​going to college did not take off unconvinced. Once Ortiz realized that this chance to improve his potential in education could not go unnoticed, he quickly accepted the step that would change his life for the better.

Similar to other first-generation college students from low-income backgrounds, Ortiz had to balance full-time work with college classes. He showed resilience and dedication during the ten years it took him to complete his bachelor’s degree and while completing his master’s degree during the pandemic.

“Having Manuel officially named Deputy Director of Dean’s Future Scholars last year was a dream come true for me,” said Mariluz Garcia. “For almost two decades, we have lived through life’s ups and downs together. It’s not just a job for us…it’s our family.

Ortiz with a graduation gown, holding a baby and a signing posterOrtiz when he earned his master’s degree in instructional leadership in fall 2020

Since 2004, the Dean’s Future Scholars program has actively developed its own mentoring staff and empowered them to give back to the community. Today, 50% of the leadership team and 86% of the mentoring team grew up in Dean’s Future Scholars program. This grassroots approach has created a path for advancement within the organization, giving program participants the opportunity to pay it forward and contribute in their own way.

Since sixth grade, Manuel Ortiz has seen a variety of mentors from Dean’s Future Scholars, College of Education and Human Development faculty, and community actors who have stepped up and invested in his education.

“Dr. Sparkman, Bob and Mariluz always believed in my potential…long before I could recognize it in myself,” Ortiz said. “Now it is my duty and my privilege to further their legacy by helping students at Dean’s Future Scholars achieve their educational goals and improve the quality of life for their families.”

Grassley Receives Growth Energy’s 2022 Fueling Growth Award

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WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), family farmer and President Pro Tempore Emeritus of the U.S. Senate, today received the “2022 Fueling Growth Award” for his continued support and work on behalf of U.S. biofuel producers. The award presented by Growth Energy, a national biofuels trade association, is exclusively for members of Congress who have consistently championed the benefits of biofuels. The award was presented to Grassley at Growth Energy’s annual Congress reception.

“As a row crop farmer in Iowa, I am touched and honored to receive this recognition. I have worked hard to open new markets for the growth of the biofuels industry, and I always stand up for the farmers of Iowa who feed and feed the world. I fight to raise the value of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and lead the way to a cleaner environment. I pushed administrations on both sides of the aisle to embrace renewable fuels to improve American energy independence and reduce climate change. I will continue to stand up for Iowa farmers and biofuel producers and ensure their voices are heard in Washington,” Grassley said.

“No one has fought harder or longer than Senator Chuck Grassley to cement America’s leadership as the world’s leading producer of low-carbon biofuels. We are deeply grateful for his tireless work on behalf of rural communities in Iowa and across the country, and are thrilled to recognize him once again as a true champion of biofuels. We know Senator Grassley, a farmer with first-hand knowledge of the biofuels industry, will continue to be a powerful voice for cleaner, more affordable fuel options,” Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, said.

Grassley accepts the 2022 Fueling Growth Award from Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. Click on HEREfor a downloadable version.

Aquarium of the Pacific African American Scholar Program 2022 ($10,000 prize)

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Deadline: November 25, 2022

Applications are open for the Aquarium of the Pacific African American Scholar Program 2022. The program provides financial support and community engagement to talented African American students pursuing areas of marine science study related to the work of the Aquarium.

Through the reward and engagement experience, the Aquarium hopes to reduce barriers by providing both financial support for academic endeavors and community support through networking opportunities. This program aims to provide continued involvement in Aquarium-related fields for deserving African-American students to bring diverse minds to solving the problems facing our planet and its people.

Since 2021, the Aquarium has named 21 recipients of this scholarship. They have participated in a variety of Aquarium programs, including writing for the members magazine, serving as judges at a high school film festival, creating films for early childhood education partners, and serving of “Ask a Scientist” at Aquarium events and via social media. Researchers also attend a fall symposium to strengthen their bond with the Aquarium and with each other. Symposium activities typically include opportunities to meet Aquarium staff, hear from a panel of STEM professionals, and connect with high school students from the Long Beach Unified School District.

Award

  • The $10,000 scholarships will be paid in two additional installments. Additional details will be communicated at the time of award notification.

Eligibility

  • Open to California residents of any age with African American heritage with proof of acceptance or enrollment in an accredited university, community college, or trade school with a field of study in aquarium-related fields .
  • Paid employees of Aquarium of the Pacific, members of the Board of Directors and their immediate families are not eligible. Volunteers and their immediate families can apply.

Application

The applicant must create an account through the application portal and submit the required documents before the deadline.

  • Proof of application, acceptance, or enrollment at an accredited university, community college, or trade school in an aquarium-related field of study, including ocean education, public communication, animal science , water quality and conservation.
    • For high school graduates, proof of acceptance or enrollment is required prior to the initial disbursement of funds.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Authorization of photos and completed W9 forms for the Aquarium.
  • African American Scholar Essay – 500-750 words

Click here to apply

For more information, visit African American University Program.

Consumer Alert: Student Loan Scams

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FROM THE WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COMMERCE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION

Following an August 24 announcement, the pause in federal student loan repayments has been extended until December 31, 2022. Several changes have also been made to Department of Education policy, including the cancellation debt, income-tested repayment plans and Ministry of Education policy. Service Loan Rebate Program.

In light of this announcement, student borrowers in Wisconsin and the United States are eager to get the best possible deal on their repayment plan. Scammers know this and target student borrowers with attractive but illegitimate offers. These “student debt relief companies” claim that they can help borrowers get debt forgiveness or forgiveness, lower monthly payments, consolidate loans, etc., for a certain price. Consumers are informed that the offers of these companies can generally be made free of charge by the borrowers themselves. Mistrust:

  • Initial fees or charges.
  • Promises that sound too good to be true.
  • High pressure sales tactics like “limited time offers”.
  • Claims of a special relationship with the federal government or the Ministry of Education.
  • Requests for identification from your Federal Student Aid (FSA) or signing a form granting authorization or power of attorney to a third party.

Granting a scammer your FSA ID, Third Party Authorization or Power of Attorney will allow them to access your account, take control of your personal information and change your contact and payment details without your knowledge. It can be difficult to recover your account after a scammer has taken over it, and the best way for borrowers to protect themselves against student loan fraud is to prevent it from happening. If you are the victim of a fraudulent student debt relief company:

  • File a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection‘s Office of Consumer Protection (DATCP).
  • Change your FSA ID and account passwords.
  • Contact your loan servicer to revoke any third party authorization or power of attorney on file and confirm that no adverse actions have been taken on your loans.
  • Contact your financial institutions to request that payments to the company be stopped.

Trusted resources for student loan information and questions include Look forward to your future by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, the Wisconsin Student Loan Debt Hotline at 833-589-0750, and StudentAid.gov.

For additional information and resources, or to file a complaint, visit the DATCP Consumer Protection webpage at ConsumerProtection.wi.gov. If you have questions or think you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it by calling DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-422-7128 or emailing [email protected].

IDnow joins [email protected] to shape the future of seamless air travel

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IDnow supports IATA to simplify the passenger journey with digital identity

MUNICH, September 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — IDnow, a leading European identity verification platform provider, is pleased to announce its participation in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) [email protected] 2022 Acceleration Program. IDnow works with IATA and its members, providing expertise and regulatory know-how in the field of proof of identity and digital identity. Together, IATA and IDnow are working towards the common goal of making flights smoother and contactless for passengers, while reducing the risk of fraud for airlines.

IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. As a leading industry association, IATA shapes industry standards and the future of aviation.

Through the [email protected] program, IDnow contributes to the IATA unique ID work group. The goal of IATA One ID is to set industry standards that further streamline passenger travel through the digitization of admissibility and a contactless process through secure biometric identification. As part of the One ID vision, after completing document checks remotely, passengers will be able to arrive at the airport ready to fly and pass through each airport touchpoint via simple biometric recognition. The goal is to achieve a truly interoperable global system between airports, airlines and governments.

IDnow is collaborating with airlines and other technology providers who are members of the IATA think tank on a white paper on the application of digital identity in the airline industry. In parallel, a proof of concept is being developed to show how digital identity can help people with reduced mobility in their journeys, and airlines and airports to prioritize the personnel required for the necessary support.

“We are very pleased to have IDnow at the heart of the industry’s innovation conversations. IDnow brings its expertise on secure decentralized digital identity to support the airline industry on its journey towards customer.” – Kat R. Morse, Senior Manager of Innovation, Partnerships and Events at IATA.

“We understand that in the modern airline industry, digital identities have enormous potential to shape a whole new travel experience. Whether it’s reducing the risk of fraud for airlines, creating a more transparent and less tactile for passengers and to offer GDPR compliance biometric image storage and sharing solution for airports and other stakeholders – Digital identity is key We are delighted and proud to have been selected by IATA to work together and partner with some of the world’s most prestigious airlines to shape the future of air travel,” says Michael A. BinnerDigital Identity Director at IDnow.

About IDnow

IDnow is a leading provider of identity verification platforms in Europe with a vision to make the connected world a safer place. The IDnow platform provides a broad portfolio of identity verification solutions, ranging from automation to human assistance, from purely online to point-of-sale, each of them optimized for user conversion rates and Security.

In 2021, IDnow acquired the French identity technology leader, ARIADNEXT, and the German company Identity Trust Management AG, allowing IDnow to offer its customers one of the broadest identification solutions via a single platform. and integrated.

The company has offices in Germany, UK, Franceand dubai and is backed by renowned institutional investors, including Corsair Capital and Seventure Partners. Its portfolio of over 900 international clients spans a wide range of industries and includes leading international players, such as Western Union, UBS, Sixt and Munich Re, as well as digital champions such as N26, Solarisbank, wefox and Tier Mobility .

British press contact at IDnow:
Sara Donnelly
[email protected]
07734 237840

James Bentley
[email protected]
07876 899102

Worldwide press contact:
Christina Schwinner
[email protected]
+49 89 41324 6054

Logo- https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1342896/IDnow_Logo.jpg

SOURCE IDnow GmbH

MUFG extends its funding platform to the hospitality industry

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Industry veterans Tracy Vasquez and Steven Getty lead the hotel franchise practice within
new restaurant and hospitality finance team

NEW YORK, September 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) today announced the expansion of its restaurant finance platform to cover hotel franchises with the hiring of two seasoned bankers to its restaurant finance team and Home, which is part of MUFG’s corporate and investment banking division.

Director Tracy Vasquez lead the loan underwriting and portfolio management of franchised hotel customers, and report to Quinn Room, responsible for loan underwriting and portfolio management of the team. Director Steven Getty will serve in a senior relationship management role, spearheading business development within the hospitality industry, and will report to Brian GeraghtyLending team leader.

“With the addition of Tracy and Steven, we are expanding our deep talent pool and expertise in franchise lending to pursue significant further platform expansion in the hospitality industry,” said Nick Cole, responsible for financing the catering and hotel industry. “Tracy and Steven are seasoned professionals who position us to provide strong financing and advisory capabilities to franchisees of mid-sized, limited-service hotel chains, which represent a market segment with attractive risk/return credit characteristics, as well as only growth opportunities for MUFG.”

Ms. Vasquez will be based in Scottsdale, AZ, and has two decades of industry experience. Previously, she was Director of Underwriting and Portfolio Management for Wells Fargo’s hotel loan portfolio. Previously, Vasquez held senior positions in the franchise finance unit of GE Capital and Western Alliance Bank, including management of hotel loan portfolios and underwriting responsibilities.

Mr. Getty will be based in Atlanta, Georgia. He was previously Director of Hotel Franchise Finance at Wells Fargo, where he helped develop relationships with hotel investors and spearheaded loan origination. Previously, Getty held a number of key positions with similar responsibilities within the franchise finance businesses of Western Alliance Bancorporation and GE Capital.

MUFG’s recently expanded restaurant and hospitality finance team includes investment banking professionals spread across several other locations, including San Diego, Chicagoand Boston.

Press contacts:
Oksana Poltavets
646-767-1326
[email protected]

About the U.S. operations of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., including MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation
The US operations of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG), one of the world’s leading financial groups, has total assets of $342.4 billion at June 30, 2022. Within this total, MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation (MUAH), a financial holding company, bank holding company and intermediate holding company, has total assets of $152.5 billion at June 30, 2022. MUAH’s principal subsidiaries are MUFG Union Bank, NA and MUFG Securities Americas Inc. MUFG Union Bank, NA provides a wide range of financial services to consumers, small businesses, middle market businesses and large corporations. From June 30, 2022, MUFG Union Bank, NA operated 297 branches, consisting primarily of retail banking branches in the West Coast states. MUFG Securities Americas Inc. is a registered securities dealer that engages in capital markets origination transactions, domestic and foreign debt and equity securities transactions, private placements, secured financings and securities borrowing and lending transactions. MUAH is owned by MUFG Bank, Ltd. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. MUFG Bank, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexicoand Canada. Visit www.unionbank.com or www.mufgamericas.com for more information.

About MUFG
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is one of the world’s leading financial groups. Based at Tokyo and with over 360 years of history, MUFG has a global network with approximately 2,400 locations in over 50 countries. The group has approximately 170,000 employees and offers services such as commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer credit, asset management and leasing. The Group aims to “be the most trusted financial group in the world” through close collaboration between our operating companies and to respond flexibly to all the financial needs of our customers, serving society and promoting shared growth and sustainability for a better world. Shares of MUFG trade on the Tokyo, Nagoyaand New York scholarships. For more information, visit https://www.mufg.jp/english

SOURCE MUFG

Alex Jones trial begins in Sandy Hook hoax case

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A month after losing a nearly $50 million verdict, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is set to stand trial for a second time for calling on Sandy Hook Elementary School to pull a prank and causing emotional and psychological damage to several families of the victims.

A six-member jury with several alternates in Connecticut will begin hearing evidence on Tuesday about how much Jones should pay the families, as he has already been found liable for the damages for them. The trial is expected to last about four weeks.

Last month, a Texas jury ordered Jones to pay $49.3 million to the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, one of the 26 students and teachers killed in the 2012 shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones’ attorney said an appeal is planned.

The Connecticut case has the potential for a bigger payoff as it involves three lawsuits – which have been consolidated – which were filed by 15 plaintiffs, including relatives of nine of the victims and a former FBI agent who responded to the school shooting.

Jones, who runs his web show and Infowars brand in Austin, Texas, also faces a third hoax conspiracy trial in another pending lawsuit brought by the parents of Sandy Hook in Texas.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming trial in Waterbury, Connecticut, about 18 miles northeast of Newtown. Infowars’ parent company, Free Speech Systems, which filed for bankruptcyis also a defendant.

WHY ARE THE SANDY HOOK FAMILIES SUING JONES?

The families and former FBI agent William Aldenberg say they were confronted and harassed in person by Jones supporters over the hoax plot. They also say they have suffered death threats and been the subject of abusive comments on social media.

Some of the plaintiffs say strangers filmed them and their surviving children. And some families left Newtown to avoid threats and harassment.

“I can’t even describe the last nine and a half years, the living hell that I and others have had to endure because of the recklessness and negligence of Alex Jones,” said Neil Heslin, father of Jesse Lewis, during the trial in Texas. .

The Connecticut lawsuit alleges defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of the state’s unfair trade practices law. The families claim that when Jones talked about Sandy Hook, he grew his audience and made more money selling supplements, clothing and other items.

The families did not seek any specific amount of damages, some of which may be limited by state law. There is, however, no limit of damages under the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

In all of the Connecticut and Texas cases, Jones and his attorneys repeatedly failed to turn over required records to the families’ attorneys. In response, the judges handed down one of the toughest penalties in the civil law world — they found Jones liable for default damages without a trial.

WHAT DOES ALEX JONES SAY?

Contrary to what he said on his show for years after the shooting, Jones now says he believes the massacre was real. But he continues to say his comments that the shooting was a hoax involving crisis actors to encourage gun control efforts were protected by the right to free speech.

During a deposition in the case in April, a defiant Jones insisted he was not responsible for the pain Sandy Hook’s parents say they endured because of his words.

He also said the judges’ default rulings against him – finding him liable without a trial – were unfair and suggested they were part of a plot to bankrupt and silence him.

“If questioning public events and free speech is prohibited because it might hurt someone’s feelings, we are no longer in America,” he said during the deposition. “They can change the channel. They can come out and say I’m wrong. They have freedom of expression.

At the trial in Texas, however, Jones testified that he now realizes what he said was irresponsible, hurt people’s feelings, and he apologized.

WHAT IS EXPECTED AT TRIAL?

Judge Barbara Bellis, who found Jones liable for damages, will oversee the trial. She’s the same judge who oversaw the Sandy Hook families’ lawsuit against gunmaker Remington, which made the Bushmaster rifle used in the school shooting. In February, Remington agreed to settle the lawsuit for $73 million.

The trial is expected to be similar to that in Texas, with the victims’ relatives testifying to the pain and anguish the conspiracy has caused them and medical professionals answering questions about the loved ones’ mental health and diagnoses.

Jones will also testify, his attorney, Norman Pattis, said.

“He is eager to put this trial behind him; it has been a long and costly distraction,” Pattis wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

Evidence about Jones’ finances is also expected to be presented to the jury.

Jones testified at the trial in Texas that any award over $2 million would ‘sink us’ and he urged viewers of his webcast to buy his merchandise to help him stay on the air and fight. against prosecution.

But an economist testified that Jones and his company were worth up to $270 million. Jones faces another trial in Texas on charges he hid millions of dollars in assets after the families of the Sandy Hook victims began bringing him to justice.

Comfort Research co-founder forms private equity firm to strike direct-to-consumer product deals

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A Q&A with Matt Jung, Founder of Orange Dot Ventures LLC

Aend of 2019, Search for Comfort LLC co-CEO Matt Jung has begun preparing to leave the company he ran for 26 years with business partner and co-founder Chip George.

A consummate entrepreneur, Jung acknowledged that hiring a new senior executive for Comfort Research, a Grand Rapids-based manufacturer and marketer of bean bag chairs and pool and patio furniture, would free up his time and energy to devote to other projects.

Jung used the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to figure out his next chapter. He “eventually got into” venture capital, private equity and participated as an investor in private companies for about 18 months.

“None of them were very fulfilling for me, so it wasn’t much fun,” Jung said. MiBiz. “I had this business coach I was talking to and he really pushed me to say, ‘Why don’t you start writing what you don’t want? “”

This process led Jung on a journey that helped him focus on what would become Orange Dot Ventures LLCa fundless private equity firm he founded to invest in scalable direct-to-consumer product companies.

After securing backing from 10 West Michigan investors and injecting some of his own capital, Jung closed deals Aug. 1 for Wilma Schurmann, a mid-to-high-end skincare line, and Simplesa Nutrition, a manufacturer of nutritional supplements for people with ALS. and Parkinson’s disease.

Terms of the deals, which involved a Miami-based vendor, were not disclosed. Grand Rapids-based law firm Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummisky PLC and accounting firm Echelbarger, Himebaugh, Tamm & Co. PC advised on the case.

Jung spoke to MiBiz about his entrepreneurial approach to private equity investing and his strategy to create a broader platform of consumer products companies.

After narrowing down your investment objective, how did you go about finding deals?

You’ll laugh at this: the way I started getting business flow was that I put together a brochure. I wrote down exactly what I was looking for and sent it to every broker I could find, brokers I spoke to years ago and new ones too. Once I started doing this, it created a flow of business for me.

I was able to look at many companies that met these criteria and ended up finding these two companies, which actually had the same owner. He had bought both companies over the years, one in 1997, the other in 2015, and ran them from Miami.

How many prospects did you consult before you took a serious interest in these companies?

I had four letters of intent that were accepted and I sent out a dozen, maybe 15 letters of intent. I looked at hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of companies to make it happen.

What common obstacles have arisen with some of these perspectives?

Certainly part of that is evaluation expectations. Some of them are when they would be consumer direct product companies, maybe they didn’t fit my model as well as I would like. Part of it was brand orientation. Part of it was product orientation. As you dig a little deeper into the product: is there a defensible gap? Do they really have something good? How old is the business? Many of these direct-to-consumer companies have only been around for two or three years, so it’s sometimes very difficult to judge. Did they just ride a wave of COVID as people moved more and more to the internet, or do they really have something unique and special that people are looking for?

Are you considering moving any of these operations to West Michigan?

I’m really looking to have virtual businesses. Wherever I am with a laptop, that’s where the business is. Everyone works from home or their home office, or some have their own small offices if it’s a third-party partner we work with. Over time, I want to build a small operations team that will handle operations, as I look to stack other direct-to-consumer companies in the future.

It doesn’t matter if it’s electronics, skincare, cosmetics, supplements or whatever: creating a product and selling a product are the same thing, especially when you work in this direct-to-consumer space. Your supply chain, your operations, your marketing teams, your customer service team, your accounting team: all of these resources can be shared, reducing costs for each of them.

Why did you choose to find investors for these specific transactions instead of raising funds to help create a platform of direct-to-consumer products?

I didn’t fundraise and that was my strategy with those first two. I wanted to get it right, get it going, and then over time I would look to fundraise. I have no idea if I would ever do that; it all depends on what makes sense. But to begin with, I didn’t want to be beholden or feel obligated to put that money to work. I’m trying to take it slow. I have no pressure on me other than my own to do extra business.

In the future, what kind of deal flow do you hope to achieve with Orange Dot?

Last spring, I set a goal of having three to five of these direct-to-consumer companies under management within the next 18 months. It gave me a good start in that direction. I’m very excited to get into it from a marketing and product development perspective. That’s what fills me so much and that’s what’s exciting about business: trying new ideas, coming up with new products that people love, people enjoy, people use.

Locals smash restaurant windows after owner celebrates Queen’s death

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A fish and chip shop in Scotland has had its windows smashed after its owner shared a controversial video of her celebrating the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

A photo of the damage to the Jaki Fish and Chip Shop in Muir of Ord in the Scottish Highlands was shared on Twitter on Saturday.

The image, taken at night, showed that the glass had been shattered and the glass surrounding the hold had cracked.

In a statement sent to Newsweek.

Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theater during a visit to West Sussex on November 30, 2017 in Chichester, UK. The fish and chips owner celebrated the Queen’s death.
Getty

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers have received a report of damage to property in the Seaforth Road area of ​​Muir of Ord which is believed to have occurred between 7.30pm on Friday 9th September and 10.30am on Saturday , September 10, 2022.”

The fish and chip shop was damaged after owner Jacki Pickett shared a now-deleted video online where she celebrated the Queen’s death.

In the clip, Pickett could be seen holding a board that read, “Lizard Liz is dead. London Bridge has fallen.” London Bridge refers to the Queen’s funeral plan.

Pickett also shared conspiracy allegations at his fish and chips store, including false claims regarding COVID-19.

As Pickett celebrated the Queen’s death, she proudly claimed on her website that she visited Prince Charles’ office in London to collect an award.

Following public outcry and fallout over Pickett’s comments, the National Fish Fryers Federation (NFFF) said it had revoked its membership.

The NFFF is a trade association which represents the fish and chip industry and shop owners across the UK.

He said: “The NFFF has been made aware of social media posts made by one of our members which are in very poor taste and completely contrary to all of the values ​​held dear to our organization and our industry.

“We have discussed this as a board and have made the decision to revoke this business owner’s membership and we will write to him and ask him to remove any association of the NFFF from his business, social media and of its websites.

Newsweek contacted Pickett for comment.

Queen Elizabeth II died, aged 96, at Balmoral Castle and ended a reign that lasted more than 70 years.

His reign saw the UK transform from an imperial power to a multicultural society in a matter of decades.

IPEF members agree to start talks, India stays out of trade talks

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Trade ministers from Japan, the United States and 12 other countries have agreed to formally begin negotiations on a new regional economic initiative for the Indo-Pacific.

In Los Angeles on Friday, they concluded their first in-person discussions on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, or IPEF.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo made the announcement during a press conference.

Tai said, “This meeting was an opportunity to deepen our partnerships and clarify how we will work collectively to address the challenges and seize the opportunities that will define the 21st century.

The 14 nations also include India and Australia.

Digitizing trade and strengthening supply chains for key items such as semiconductors are among the four pillars being negotiated.

Members can choose which parts of IPEF to join. India has opted to stay out of the trade talks, but the others are engaged in four-pillar talks.

The United States proposed the framework in light of China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific.

Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi told reporters he wanted to start negotiations as soon as possible.

He also said Japan would take the lead alongside the United States to push the framework forward.

Linda C. Luba | News, Sports, Jobs

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Linda C. Luba, 75, of Litchfield, New Hampshire, passed away Friday, September 2, 2022 at her home surrounded by her loving family.

She was born in Marlboro, Massachusetts on February 26, 1947, to the late John and Claire (Shaw) Boggs. She grew up in Marlboro, graduated from St. Anne’s Academy and earned her associate degree in nursing from David Hale Fanning Trade School.

Linda worked as an RPN for Greenbriar in Nashua for many years, before retiring in 2010.

Along with her parents, she was predeceased by her brother, Kenneth Boggs and two stepchildren, David Luba and Shannon Luba.

She will forever be loved and remembered by her husband, David S. Luba; two children, Mark Rebeiro and his wife Andi of California and Beth Carroll of Manchester; two grandchildren, Lauryn and Lindsey, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours were at the Rivet Funeral Home, 425 Daniel Webster Highway, Merrimack NH on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 from 5-7 p.m.

Please visit rivetfuneralhome.com to leave your condolences for the family.



China’s economy expected to receive major boost from 20th Party Congress, to anchor global economy for long term

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BEIJING, September 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As the global economy is mired in a confluence of crises ranging from energy shortages to skyrocketing inflation to recessionary pressure in major economies, global attention is focused on the Chinese economy, the main engine of global growth, before the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) scheduled for mid-October, which is expected to light the way for the world’s second-largest economy for years, if not decades, to come.

China’s economy is currently facing multiple downward pressures, including COVID-19 outbreaks and weakening external demand, as evidenced by a significant slowdown in exports in August.ust. However, China economic fundamentals remain strong, in stark contrast to dire situations in other major economies, and there are enough bright spots and policy measures that will ensure stable growth in such a crucial year, economists said.

Longer term, China will continue to be the main engine of growth in the world economy, as the 20th CPC National Congress will instill confidence and lead the nation to embark on the pursuit of the second centenary goal of building China into a modern socialist power, with all its institutional advantages that have ensured success over the past decades, the economists pointed out.

Resilience in the middle pressure

The moderation in trade growth could be attributed to the reduction in online ordering with a general decline in external economies, Huo Jianguovice president of the China Institute for World Trade Organization Studies, told the Global Times on Thursday.

A competitive devaluation in Japan, South Koreaamong other countries amid a strong US dollar, also exerted downward pressure on China exports, Huo said.

The Chinese yuan has weakened more than 9% against the US dollar so far this year, but it remains much stronger than the Japanese yen and South Korean won, he continued, adding that sporadic national outbreaks of Omicron had some impact on export-facilitated logistics capabilities.

The country’s dollar exports rose 7.1% in August from a year earlier, while its exports edged up 0.3% in August year-on-year, according to customs data released on Wednesday. That compares with an 18.0% gain in export growth and a 2.3% rise in imports in July.

A loss of confidence in the country’s export prowess should by no means be justified, Huo said, citing trade readings that point to the sustained competitive advantages of notably private companies, the mainstay of China export juggernaut.

China Dollar-denominated mobile phone exports rose 3.9% in the first eight months, following a 2.1% increase in the first seven months, according to customs statistics.

The rebound resisted a general slowdown in the country’s exports of mechanical and electrical products from July to August, which accounted for more than half of total exports.

In particular, the country’s dynamic exports of new energy products set it apart from other major economies..

In a new sign, Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai delivered 399,939 vehicles in the first eight months, just some 80,000 vehicles less than its full-year 2021 delivery, the US electric carmaker said in a statement. sent to the Global Times on Thursday.

In the first half, China exports of new energy vehicles jumped 1.3 times to 202,000 units, accounting for 16.6 percent of total vehicle exports, according to figures from China Automobile Manufacturing Associationrs.

Taken into account China the technological and manufacturing forces in the new energy industrial chains and the push from the EU for its new energy policy framework known as REPowerEU which aims to make the EU’s energy supply more secure, energy product exports will likely be a bright spot in the export landscape, Chang said in a research report sent to the Global Times.

The structural strength of the trade pillar which reflects the rebalancing of the economy as a whole puts the economy in a de facto advantageous position amid growing worries about global growth, experts pointed out, expecting the economy maintains power in the coming months.

With the export juggernaut still in work mode, albeit possible at a slower pace in the face of the overall global gloom, and still strong infrastructure project commitments, the Chinese economy as a whole should fare better. out than other major economies, although a full rebound in the country’s consumer market will still take time, Huo said.

source of optimism

In a new attempt to revitalize the economy, a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Wednesday to end the broadcast of 500 billion yuan ($71.92 billion) special bonds from previously unused local government quotas since 2019 by the end of October, the state broadcaster reported Thursday.

Issuing bonds would prioritize funding for projects under construction, according to the report. Wednesday’s meeting also called for stronger policy support for jobs and entrepreneurship to nurture new momentum for growth.

The new reading of the meeting, in addition to Monday’s announcement of a new 300 billion yuan in funds through a political bank financing agreement targeted at infrastructure, is supposed to reassure the markets on the ability of the Chinese economy to overcome transitional challenges.

“We expect that the measures taken by China and Chinese authorities will lead to renewed growth,” Xinhua said in an article published earlier this year, quoting the chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Borge-Brende.

Expressing his optimism about China medium and long-term economic development, Brende said that “China role in securing global growth has been incredible… What’s going on in China has a huge economic impact on the rest of the world, and it will continue because it’s the second largest economy.”

A bright future

With all eyes on the upcoming 20th CPC National Congress to be held in mid-October, a monumental gathering that will spearhead economic and societal trends, the economy is set to get a big boost, thereby anchoring the global economy to more secure growth. , Cao Hepingeconomist at Peking University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The country has achieved the first centenary goal – to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, Chinese leaders announced on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC on July 1, 2021.

The upcoming congress must be an important event to cement confidence in the country’s unwavering call for higher-level openness and its continued reform efforts in the area of ​​business climate, fair competition, among others, stressed Huo, expecting even bolder moves in flexing the country’s institutional strengths to paint China as a tireless engine of global growth.

Banking on the fact that the congress will be a cohesive, enlightening and triumphant gathering, Cao was confident that the meeting would set the tone to inspire confidence in the global business community, which depends on the growth of a more open and stronger Chinese economy. which will continue to chart the course of globalization regardless of various uncertainties.

SOURCE World Time

ACI exports up 52% ​​in 8 months…

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AMMAN – Exports from factories and enterprises registered with the Amman Chamber of Industry (ACI) jumped 52 percent to JD 4.81 billion in the first eight months of this year, from 3, 17 billion JD during the same period in 2021, according to the Jordanian news agency, Petra.اضافة اعلان

With the exception of the pharmaceutical and medical supplies industries, which recorded a 4% drop in exports to JD 356 million from JD 372 million during the same period in 2021, most industrial sectors recorded an increase in exports during the specified period.

India, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iraq accounted for more than half of ACI’s exports, valued at JD 2.5 billion, between January and August.

ACI said exports to India jumped 74% to JD981 million from JD562 million in the corresponding period of 2021. Exports to the United States also increased by 6% to JD657. million JD, against 617 million.

Exports to Saudi Arabia jumped 27% to around JD488 million from JD372 million during the same period in 2021.

Exports to Iraq also increased by 10% to JD383 million from JD349 million for the same period last year, while exports to Syria jumped by 47% to JD81 million. , against 55 million JD for the same period last year.

Exports to Palestine increased by 20% to reach JD 116 million this year, compared to JD 97 million in eight months last year.

Mining industries contributed JD 1.624 billion to total exports, followed by chemical and cosmetic industries with JD 1.042 million and engineering, electrical and information technology industries with JD 600 million.

The export value of catering, food, agriculture and animal husbandry industries reached JD 460 million, followed by therapeutic industries and medical supplies sector with JD 356 million, and leather industries and textiles with 300 million JD.

Exports from the packaging, paper, cardboard and office supplies industries totaled JD 195 million, while exports from the plastics and rubber industries reached JD 167 million.

The industrial sector is essential to the Kingdom’s trade balance, representing 93% of total national exports, with a value that generally exceeds JD 5 billion, while investments in the sector total JD 15 billion.

The ICA, created in 1962, has 8,600 industrial members employing 159,000 people. The combined capital of companies registered with the ACI is approximately JD 5 billion.

Learn more
Jordan News

The Great Plains Technology Center in Frederick is on a mission to address the skilled labor shortage.

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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) – The Great Plains Technology Center in Frederick is on a mission to address the skilled labor shortage.

According to the student loan hero, more than 1 in 5 American families have student loan debt.

The Great Plains Technology Center in Frederick offers free skilled trades training to high school students. The Frederick Centers location offers 6 programs.

“Multimedia, Combined Welding, Construction Technology, Diagnostic Aid and Nursing Assistant for High School Students, Cosmetology and we also offer a flexible LPN program,” Mandy Carter, the center’s career counselor.

Although it is free for high school students, it is not free for adults, but still gives them a business skill.

“It seems there is such a shortage of skilled workers in our area that our certified students can go straight to work, most of them have no debt and they can start building their lives right away” , Carter said.

Tanna Tanner is a junior at Synder High School and is in the welding program. She said that even though it’s a male-dominated industry, she likes to weld and prove how strong girls can be.

“From a young age like this. Even starting in high school you get so much experience. And then when you step out into the real world and that’s what you want to transform in your whole life, and that’s what you want, you can go far and go beyond,” Tanner said.

Seniors Allie Florens and Anna Bobb participate in the nursing program. When they graduate from Snyder High School this year, they will have their CNAs.

“All the stress is worth it, like in the end and you go to the clinic and you help people. It’s worth the stress,” Bobb said,

“I would 100% do the same thing, get that CNA in high school, so as soon as you get out, you already have a head start in any medical field,” Florens said.

USA Rx Further Expands Consumer Resources Through Acquisition and Partnership with Pharmacists.Org

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These days, health and well-being certainly take center stage in the minds of many. With much of the population working from home, there has even been a focus on our mental health and well-being. However, finding reliable information about our health online can be a bit tricky. USA Rx is already established as a trusted marketplace for consumers seeking information about their health and medications. As such, they are a great place consumers can turn to when looking for accurate, unbiased health, wellness, and drug information. They also take pride in helping consumers save a lot of money on otherwise hugely expensive medications.

Today, through the partnership and acquisition of Pharmacists.org by United States Rx, they continue to expand their verticality in the pharmaceutical space. Pharmacists.org will be a place where consumers can find information about their health, wellness, medications and prescriptions. In addition to this, Pharmacists.org plans to create a nearby pharmacy finder. This tool will help consumers locate in-person and online pharmacies that are right for them. This feature should also help improve price transparency in prescriptions.

With this partnership, USA Rx seeks to continue to establish its authority and trust among consumers as a transparent and informative hub for all things health, wellness and medication. Already serving more than 16 million people, USA Rx hopes the acquisition of Pharmacists.org will help them reach and help even more people nationwide.

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About USA Rx – USA Rx is a digital health marketplace providing prescription savings for the hundreds of millions of Americans who want to spend less on their medications. Simply search for a drug and find free coupons, digital pharmacy specials and more.

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Until we get a good deal, no trade pact with Israel: Goyal

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The proposed India-Israel trade pact is expected to be beneficial for both nations and until New Delhi gets a good deal, it will not strike a deal, Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.

India and Israel have been negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) since May 2010.

”With Israel, until we get a good agreement, we will not conclude an FTA. It must be mutually beneficial,’ the minister said here on Tuesday during an interaction with the Indian community.

In a free trade pact, two countries significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on a maximum number of goods traded between them. In addition, they are relaxing standards to boost trade in services and attract investment.

India’s top exports to Israel include precious stones and metals, chemicals, and textiles and textile articles, while imports include precious stones and metals, chemicals and minerals, base metals, and machinery and transportation equipment.

Bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries stood at around USD 8 billion in 2021-22. It was USD 4.7 billion in 2020-21.

India recently signed trade pacts with the United Arab Emirates and Australia.

”We are in active negotiations with the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union. Of these, the UK would likely arrive soon now that the new government is in place there,’ Goyal said.

Conservative Party leader Liz Truss was officially appointed as Britain’s prime minister on Tuesday. She is the country’s third female prime minister.

Goyal said active negotiations are underway with several countries on trade pacts.

With Canada, he said “maybe we could see rapid progress in the trade agreement or the interim trade agreement by the end of the year or the beginning of next year”.

With the EU, he said, as it is a 27-nation bloc, the proposed trade pact with it would likely take a year and a half or two.

”We have three other groups of countries – the Russian group of five countries, Switzerland and a group of 3-4 countries that are very very keen to enter into an FTA with India.

”I am trying to assess whether Switzerland and other countries are bringing something substantial to the table that is good for India. The minister (Swiss) is coming in a week or two to India, the agenda is FTA. Last time, I kind of said conclusively that we weren’t very excited about it. If he makes me an offer that I can’t refuse, maybe we will,” he said.

Talks with the GCC, he said, are at an advanced stage to prepare the scope of the trade pact and negotiations on it could be launched “very soon”.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a union of six countries in the Gulf region, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

During this time, the minister interacted with venture capitalists here.

He encouraged them to deepen their engagements and strengthen their partnerships with Indian startups.

Responding to a question on the semiconductor sector, Goyal said India offers incentives for companies to set up manufacturing units.

“We are in dialogue with many companies and several of them have shown strong interest in investing in India,” he said.

Speaking on Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), he said efforts were underway to roll out the initiative in one or more cities soon.

ONDC is a set of standards to be voluntarily adopted by sellers or logistics providers or payment gateways. The aim is to democratize the growing e-commerce sector in the country to help small retailers and reduce the dominance of online retail giants.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Gene V. Belenchia | Press Register

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Mr. Gene V. Belenchia, 95, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by loved ones on August 19, 2022. Visitation was held from 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at Milling Funeral Home. Services were held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at Our Lady of Victories Church in Cleveland, MS with interment at Shelby Cemetery.

Mr. Belenchia was born in Shelby, August 12, 1927 to Marshall Belenchia and Emelia Tarsi Belenchia. He attended Shelby School before volunteering to serve his country as a member of the United States Navy during World War II and after returning to Shelby he married Alyce Gilbert. He attended trade school in Birmingham, Alabama, was employed by Bolivar Hardware and later established Gene’s Electric in Shelby. He has served many residential and commercial clients, including Delta Health Center. He was a member of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Clarksdale. After retiring, he moved to Philadelphia, Miss.

He had a passion for hard work, especially when it came to furnishing his home. He spent countless hours in the yard and he always had a project to work on. Another interest few people know about was his love for poetry. His favorite poets were Joyce Kilmer and Rudyard Kipling.

He was predeceased by his wife, Alyce Gilbert Belenchia; parents, Marshall and Emelia Belenchia; brothers, Alex, Paul, Charlie, Albert and Marshall Jr..; a sister, Laura Radicioni and her stepdaughter, Martha Davis Belenchia.

Survivors include a sister, Elizabeth Pongetti (Oxford); Son, Dr. Russell Belenchia (Union, MS); daughter, Alicia Belenchia (Philadelphia, MS); grandchildren, Amelia Miller (Kevin) of Vidor, Texas, and Rusty Belenchia (Mackie) of Union; Great-grandchildren, Reice Belk, Harbor Wooten and Sutton Belenchia. Porters include Thomas Belenchia, Jackie Davis, Glen Radicioni, Mark Belenchia, Mike Belenchia, Rusty Belenchia and Reice Belk. The honorary bearer was Paul Belenchia, Jr.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Jude or Samaritans Purse.

Milling Funeral Home of Union was in charge of the arrangements.

Explaining relative prices – the key to inflation data

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Changes in relative prices benefit some and harm others for a given level of retail price inflation. Suppose that if relative food prices increase, this changes the distribution of expenditure, with the poor having to spend more of their income on food if income does not increase sufficiently. A rising relative price also sends a signal to suppliers to increase production to take advantage of higher prices. Changes in relative prices therefore tend to lead to changes in the allocation of resources in the economy.

Since 2012, the base year of the consumer price index, the price of the meat and fish group has increased the fastest, an increase of more than 110% compared to other food products. There has been a rapid increase in the relative prices of vegetables, oils and fats, and spices.

There are interesting differences between rural and urban areas in terms of absolute price changes that influence relative prices. In the case of meat and fish, their prices increased by similar proportions in rural and urban India. In contrast, retail vegetable prices increased much more in urban areas, suggesting additional transport and storage costs and greater accessibility for urban consumers. As a result, the relative price of meat and fish, an essential source of protein for many, compared to vegetables, has risen more sharply in rural areas than in urban areas.

In contrast, the largest relative price decline was observed for sugar in both rural and urban India. In fact, the absolute price of sugar has only increased by 20% in a decade. Similarly, the relative price of cereals has fallen compared to fruits and vegetables. Among services, transportation, communications, and recreation and entertainment have seen their prices fall relative to health care and education.

A rise in relative food prices raises the cost of living for poor families more than inflation indicates. Additionally, with carbohydrates and sugar becoming more affordable than protein, there is an incentive to consume more of it. Similarly, a rise in the relative price of health care hurts the poor more, given the high out-of-pocket expenditure on health care in India. While the Center’s effort to provide free health insurance to the poor is noteworthy, increasing the supply of quality health services appears to be lagging.

The poor end up saving less or having to reduce their consumption of certain other items if the increase in their income is insufficient to compensate for the increase in prices. Since late 2014, rural real wage growth has virtually stagnated in India. Real wages are nominal wages adjusted for inflation. It also requires higher public transfers and subsidies to relatively poor people.

When consumer prices rise, the gains are shared between retailers and producers. It depends on the increase in wholesale prices of a product compared to an increase in retail prices. If the wholesale price increases faster than the retail price, producers tend to make higher gains relative to retailers and vice versa if input costs do not increase. This also matters for the reallocation of production resources.

In India, the wholesale price index includes the prices of food, fuel and manufactured goods, but not services. Among the product categories for which both price indices are readily available or can be calculated, retailers recorded higher price increases than producers in eight of the 14 product lines. This is particularly the case for meat and fish, which have seen the highest price increase. Indeed, despite the rise in the relative prices of meat and fish, the incentive for producers to increase supply seems limited. Similarly, in footwear and clothing, retail prices rose faster than wholesale prices.

On the other hand, the prices that producers receive for vegetables have increased much more than the increase in the retail price. To a lesser extent, the same is true for fruits and cereals. The prices that producers receive for cereals are, however, less volatile and only move upwards compared to fruits and vegetables since cereals benefit from support prices and do not require cold storage. This is also the case with sugar cane. Despite the fall in the relative price of sugar due to an oversupply, the price signal is not transmitted to sugar cane producers who benefit from a guaranteed minimum support price.

In services, the health and education sectors are more regulated than communication and entertainment. More extensive and unpredictable regulation makes it more difficult to reallocate resources in response to changes in relative prices. Furthermore, when production needs to be increased or moved, it requires investment, not just reorganization of existing resources. Moreover, in agriculture, the suitability of land for the type of crop determines whether and how quickly change can occur.

While the Reserve Bank of India can and should keep an eye on retail inflation, the reallocation of resources in response to relative prices depends more on government regulations and policies, the volume of investment required and the ease of change of production and sector. India needs to make faster progress in this regard.

Vidya Mahambare and Praveen Kumar are Professor of Economics and Director (Research) respectively and graduates of the Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.

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New PM – The Global Recruiter

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The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has highlighted the top priorities it believes Liz Truss must address as the nation’s new Prime Minister.

According to the trade association for the professional recruitment market, Truss needs to focus on three crucial policy areas to support the UK economy to balance the impact of the pandemic, Brexit and the rollout of Off-Payroll:

• Introduce the Jobs Bill: Alongside Truss’s plans to review wages legislation, the introduction of the Jobs Bill is urgently needed to help align labor market regulations recruitment and umbrella companies on the needs of the 21st century. This includes increased support for the self-employed and independent contractors as well as clear definitions of flexible workforce to avoid disguised remuneration.

• Creating a truly global Britain: As the government negotiates global trade deals, APSCo has recommended that these discussions focus on skills, labor and the mutual recognition of professional services and qualifications as well as only on prices and goods. Simplifying the process by which independent contractors obtain visas is also necessary in a skills-short economy.

• Tackling skills shortages: APSCo research shows that vacancy levels across all sectors are currently above 2019 levels, suggesting jobs remain unfilled. Flexible and pragmatic training accessible to the entire workforce and a reform of the apprenticeship tax are some of the measures identified by the APSCo as necessary. The trade association also called for the development of a national strategy, recognizing urban centers and regions with existing strengths in particular skills and industries.

“The country has seen large-scale change over the past few years as a combination of Brexit, IR35 and the pandemic has changed the world of work as we knew it, the impact of economic uncertainty persistent global and rising inflation adding to this difficult situation. change,” says Tania Bowers, Director of Global Public Policy at APSCo. “The Conservative leadership challenge has only exacerbated these problems and we hope today’s announcement will provide much needed stability.

“With the new Prime Minister now in place, we believe it is crucial that the jobs and skills agenda is put back at the top of the priority list. The UK economy faces a host of struggles ranging from the cost of living crisis to skills shortages and staff strikes in various sectors. Many of these challenges can be mitigated to some degree by a stronger and more vibrant labor market – an ideal that APSCo and its members are well placed to help achieve.

“We have welcomed reports that Ms Truss intends to review the IR35 legislation – a move we believe is necessary in light of the challenges in the temporary staffing market – but this needs to be complemented by more definitive action to create a dynamic and future-proof labor market.

“At APSCo Global, we want to work with policy makers to ensure we have a truly sustainable, global and flexible workforce fit for the future. We are calling on the government to bring forward a Jobs Bill that will better reflect modern post-pandemic work than current legislation, more appropriate high-skilled visas that can keep the UK labor market nimble and aware of job shortages sector-specific workforce. Flexible and pragmatic training initiatives designed to maximize companies’ access to talent across the workforce are also essential. By acting on these policy elements, the UK will continue to be a global leader in new and existing markets.

EU energy ministers to discuss gas price cap and emergency liquidity support – document

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European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 17, 2022. REUTERS/Yves Herman

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BRUSSELS, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Energy ministers from European Union countries will discuss options to curb soaring energy prices, including gas price caps and emergency credit lines for energy market players, according to a document seen by Reuters.

EU ministers will meet on September 9 to discuss urgent bloc-wide measures to respond to a spike in gas and electricity prices that is hammering European industry and driving up household bills, after that Russia has limited gas deliveries to the bloc.

A draft document, seen by Reuters, said ministers would consider options such as a price cap on imported gas, a price cap on gas used to generate electricity or the temporary removal of gas-fired power stations from the current EU electricity pricing system.

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Ministers will also consider urgently offering “pan-European credit line support” to energy market players facing very high margin calls, says the document drafted by the Czech Republic, which holds the presidency. rotating EU.

Finland and Sweden on Sunday announced plans to offer billions of dollars in liquidity guarantees to power companies in a bid to prevent increased collateral requirements from toppling companies. Read more

“Margin requirements for futures contracts have increased in proportion to the increase in daily price fluctuations. This is making it almost impossible for a growing number of companies to keep their hedge positions open, triggering their withdrawal from the futures markets” , says the EU document.

Utilities sell most of their electricity a few years in advance to secure a certain price, under an arrangement that requires them to deposit a “minimum margin” in an account as a safety net just in case. where they would fail before electricity is produced and actually enters the market.

A margin call occurs if funds in the account fall below the minimum margin requirement for a trade, forcing the company to back it up with more cash. Soaring electricity prices in Europe over the past few months have triggered margin calls, which have weighed on the liquidity of market participants.

European gas and power buyers are bracing for another drop in prices when markets open on Monday, after Russia said one of its main gas pipelines to Europe would remain closed indefinitely.

Falling gas flows from Russia before and after its invasion of Ukraine in February have driven European gas prices up nearly 400% over the past year. Moscow attributed the disruptions to technical problems.

Any EU emergency policy would likely have to come from the European Commission, which is currently drafting proposals.

The document echoes suggestions included in a draft Commission note last week, for EU-wide reductions in electricity consumption and an electricity price cap for generators that do not not run on gas. Read more

EU energy ministers will also discuss possible caps on the margin limits that energy exchanges can request, and a temporary suspension of European electricity derivatives markets, the document showed, which could still change before the meeting.

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Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Hendrick pays homage to long-standing automotive technology and sparks a new breed

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HANAHAN, SC — Kelly Brandt’s love affair with DIY began at a young age. It’s stuck with him ever since.

“I’ve always been intrigued by vehicles, by mechanical things. I took my toys apart when I was a kid,” says Brandt, a 43-year-old Wisconsin transplant who now lives in the Charleston area. “We had go-karts and dirt bikes when we were kids, so we liked to take them apart and put them back together, make them faster. Snowmobiles, you name it – if there was a motor, I was interested.

zack albert | NASCAR studios

Fits on toys, go-karts and off-road motorcycles have naturally evolved into wrenching on cars. “It continued from there,” says Brandt, who started working in a dealership service department while still in junior high school.

Some 25 years later, Brandt’s passion for all things automotive is also his career. Brandt is the technical crew chief and shop foreman at Rick Hendrick Chevrolet in Charleston, reaching the pinnacle of skill in his trade as a world-class General Motors technician.

Hendrick’s automotive group and motorsport activities will intersect this weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs begin at Darlington Raceway. But before Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET, USA Network, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM) goes green, the NASCAR industry plans to recognize outstanding employees within each team’s partnerships in the Workforce Appreciation Weekend, a closely related initiative. on Labor Day.

RELATED: Darlington Weekend Schedule | Meet the Playoff Field

Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 5 Chevrolet team and driver Kyle Larson will begin their Cup Series title defense by paying tribute to Brandt for his 16 years of dedicated service to the automotive side of Hendrick. Brandt will serve as an honorary pit crew member for the No. 5 team this weekend, and he has already made an impression on the motorsports side as the 2017 winner of the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown.

His role has meant overseeing technology operations, but it has also led to mentorship opportunities for the next generation of automotive technicians – another shared value that aligns with Hendrick’s focus on STEM initiatives. So it was only natural that Brandt would be on hand Friday when Larson and crew chief Cliff Daniels joined several Charleston-area dealerships to present a $25,000 grant to the automotive technology program at Hanahan High School, a nudge needed for the new breed to learn the trade.

It’s already a Labor Day with a special meaning.

***

Slogans painted in the hallways of Hanahan High read, “Through these gates the hawks soar.” When a deep blue #5 Camaro with genuine Cup Series rolled through the doors of the high school’s tidy automotive service bay, the spirits of eager students enrolled in automotive technology studies also soared.

Educator David Van Maanen talks to a local television station about the automotive technology department at Hanahan High School (SC)
zack albert | NASCAR studios

” It’s big. We’ve never had anything like this at our school,” says David Van Maanan, Hanahan’s automotive program director. “So it’s exciting. You should have seen the kids’ faces every time the car came out. They bombed the window, and I couldn’t have stopped them. It’s just fun. It’s good It’s all kinds of surreal.

Van Maanan — affectionately nicknamed Mr. V by his students — has some context for what happened in Hanahan’s auto shop. He graduated from school in 2011 and he turned his experience with the automotive technology program into a job at a Chevrolet dealership. When his former teacher retired a few years ago, he asked if his former student was interested in being his successor. Van Maanan jumped.

Now, Mr. V’s efforts are given a spark, through the “Hendrick, Get Set.” Go!” grant program. Van Maanan said the funds will be used to update the school’s equipment, helping its students keep pace in a field where technology is constantly changing.

“It’s so important, and it’s really great to be part of a company that is committed to trying to open the doors for these children and develop them in the future of our automotive industry,” says Brandt. . “When we bring these kids here, with the kind of experience they get here before they even go to technical schools, they get a really good foundation. But what I love about the kids here is that a lot of them are passionate about cars. And that’s the first step.

Passion mixed with intrigue soon after Daniels opened the hood to reveal the engine of the #5 Chevy. The students had already pored over the car’s exterior details, but here Daniels – as a mechanical maestro with a championship pedigree – was delivering a masterclass.

“All relevant questions – every one of them,” Daniels said of the hands-on interaction. “It was impressive to me. For example, my own experience with the kids I went to high school with, they would never have been able to ask some of these questions. So these kids already have a good knowledge base , it was cool to see them being so excited about it, because the only way to be passionate about something is to know a little bit more. They had relevant questions, which means they knew.

Kelly Brandt's name on the door of Chevrolet #5 at Darlington Raceway
zack albert | NASCAR studios

***

The groundwork for these more specific questions had been laid at an assembly of nearly 150 Hanahan students focusing on STEM studies – science, technology, engineering and math. At Hanahan, about half of them are concentrated in automotive technology studies.

The trappings of a high school auditorium were all present – balloons in school colors, a stage and a projection screen among them. What wasn’t there was the usual twiddling of thumbs and blank stares that school assemblies sometimes produce.

Kyle Larson alongside the No. 5 Chevy in the workshop of the Department of Automotive Technology at Hanahan High School (SC)
zack albert | NASCAR studios

“I didn’t feel that vibe at all, which also makes it more fun for us to see the energy they have and what they bring to the questions they ask,” Larson said. “We signed a lot of autographs, took a lot of pictures, so it was a good interaction for everyone, and I think it’s going to have a lasting effect on these kids. Who knows, you might reshape or shape their path. careers.

Signed hats went around and shared selfies were tossed around on social media as the tour drew to a close. In the case of a student, Daniels was called upon to autograph a shoe – an unusual request, but which the team leader complied with before the student put it back on his foot.

Their Labor Day ties will continue to grow on Sunday at Darlington, where Brandt, Van Maanan and a select group of Hanahan students will experience the racing side of the automotive spectrum as guests of the No. 5 team.

“So the connection of all of that to me is quite powerful,” says Daniels, “because yes, there is a parallel with running that is relevant if someone wants to go down the path of running but at the same time, you can have a fantastic career, make a lot of money at a great place that is a Hendrick dealership and have a huge impact on the bottom line of the dealership and set yourself up really well.

“For me that’s a very powerful formula to be able to teach students, hey, yes if you want to get into racing, great, but it doesn’t have to be racing. You can come and work for us “You’re going to be a huge part of our business and yes, our focus is on selling cars, but it’s so much more than that. And to have a family like Hendrick behind them like that is pretty cool.”

Group photo of Kyle Larson and automotive technology students in the automotive technology department workshop at Hanahan High School (SC)
zack albert | NASCAR studios

USM College Panhellenic Association Chapter Achieves National Recognition

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From the Department of Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – The University of Southern Mississippi The College Panhellenic Association Chapter has won National Awards for Innovation in Leadership, Programming and Marketing from the National Panhellenic Council for the 2021-22 academic year.

College Pan-Hellenic Associations are affiliates of the NPC created to enable cooperation among women-only sororities on campus.

Each University Pan-Hellenic Association is student-run and composed of all NPC member sorority chapters on the respective campus. They were eligible to receive recognition for their work in the areas of academic innovation, community impact, legal process, leadership, marketing, programming, and recruitment.

“These Pan-Hellenic College Associations have excelled in the areas of council success and community support,” said Linda Henderson, Chair of the 2020-22 Pan-Hellenic College Committee. “We are pleased to recognize these associations and their member chapters for excellence and innovation in Pan-Hellenic operations during the preceding academic year. The success of these Pan-Hellenic colleges demonstrates that there is a bright future ahead of them for their associations and the wider Pan-Hellenic community.

In addition, to receive an “Award of Excellence” or an “Award of Innovation”, the Panhellenic College must demonstrate a set of basic Panhellenic competencies, such as adherence to the unanimous agreements and policies of the NPC, adherence to contribution and reporting deadlines and retention of NPC information and contacts. up-to-date database.

“Watching these amazing students develop their leadership skills and work hard behind the scenes is one thing – seeing them get this level of recognition for their dedication is a whole new level of pride,” said Hannah Scott Back, Pan-Hellenic Coordinator and Council. the university. advisor to the USM Office of Brotherhood and Sisterhood. “They knew the challenges ahead and faced each one with confidence and an open mind. Our CPC Board, and the entire Pan-Hellenic community, have truly embraced our charge to ’embrace’. Equip. Empower.’ over the past year.

“As not only their advisor, but myself an alumnus of the Miss South sorority, I couldn’t be prouder.”

Laura Laughlin, director of the Office of Brotherhood and Sisterhood, agreed.

“Fraternity and Sorority Life is very proud of our hard-working students,” said Laughlin. “The executive members of our College Panhellenic Council (CPC) are innovative and proven to be dedicated to improving the sorority community. Our office appreciates their service and we congratulate them on their many accomplishments. I can’t wait to see what they do this semester.

NPC is the largest organization championing the women-only sorority experience and is the trade association of 26 national and international sororities. NPC sororities are located on nearly 670 campuses with more than 375,000 undergraduate members in more than 3,350 chapters. Alumni are represented in nearly 3,500 associations around the world.

For more information, including a full list of NPC sororities, visit npcwomen.org

For more information on fraternity and sorority life at USM, click HERE.

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Consumer Alert: Facebook Phishing Scams

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September 3, 2022 | 12:00 p.m.

State News

A large number of fraudulent messages claiming to be from Facebook customer service representatives or automated customer service systems have recently been reported to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection Bureau of Consumer Protection (DATCP). . These messages claim that a recipient’s Facebook account has been hacked, stolen, or disabled, and urge them to click on a link to recover their account. If the link is opened, users are prompted to “log in” to a website that looks very similar to Facebook but is actually a convincing fake set up by scammers to steal account information.

This practice is known as a phishing scam and can target specific individuals or thousands of people at once. Recent Facebook-related phishing attempts usually arrive via email, text or Facebook private messages. Similar phishing scams can occur through Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Groups, a friend’s hacked Facebook account, Instagram or WhatsApp. If you receive an unsolicited message that your Facebook or other social media account has been compromised:

  • Do not reply to the message, call or text a number provided in the message.
  • Do not provide any of your account information or passwords.
  • Do not click on any links or open any attachments in the message. These may contain viruses or malware that could be installed on your device without your permission or knowledge.
  • If you click on a link in a suspicious message, you may want to have your device scanned for viruses and malware at a reputable computer or cellphone repair facility. Change your passwords on a separate, secure device as soon as possible.

Users should not panic or feel intimidated if they receive these messages about compromised accounts, as Facebook will never contact users via SMS or private message. If users are unsure whether an email is legitimate, they should check the sender’s address to make sure it’s an official Facebook account. They can also hover over links in the email message without clicking or opening them to see the web address they lead to. Facebook users concerned that their account may be compromised can ask for help at facebook.com/hacked. Although Facebook is the most spoofed social media platform for phishing attempts due to the popularity of the social media platform, it is not the only one scammers use.

For more information and consumer protection resources or to file a complaint, visit the DATCP’s Consumer Protection webpage at ConsumerProtection.wi.gov. If you have questions or believe you have been the victim of a scam, report it by calling the DATCP Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-422-7128 or emailing [email protected] .

commodity market: what to watch as commodity markets brace for supply issues

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Supply issues in commodity markets will return to the fore in September, after prices fell slightly last month as central banks stepped up the fight against inflation.

For the energy sector, a crucial OPEC+ meeting earlier this week could decide the near-term fate of oil prices, as the global gas industry gathers in Milan to weigh the enormous pressures caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and soaring fuel prices.

The extreme weather watch for the agriculture and power markets is shifting to Atlantic hurricane season and California, where soaring temperatures threaten wildfires and a distorted grid. Australia, one of the world’s top grain exporters, will update its harvest forecast on Tuesday.

In China, which is just recovering from its own historic drought, Wednesday’s trade figures will provide a balance sheet of the health of its commodity imports. The data will be released against a grim backdrop of power shortages, a slumped property market and the government’s strict Covid Zero rulebook, which has now been launched in metropolitan Chengdu.

Raw cuts

Oil completed three straight monthly losses this week, its longest slide in more than two years, and fell below $100 a barrel on fears of slowing economic growth in China and a tightening monetary policy in the United States. The plunge prompted hedge fund star Pierre Andurand to call the crude futures market “broken”. To gauge whether the selloff should go further, traders will look to the latest monthly meeting of the OPEC+ alliance, which meets via videoconference on Monday.

Bloomberg

Coalition leader Saudi Arabia has signaled it is ready to cut output – which would reverse the recent upward trend – to bring markets back into balance. It received enthusiastic support from the rest of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. But with inflation still ravaging the global economy and EU sanctions on Russia set to inflict a winter energy crisis, Riyadh may be reluctant to risk souring relations with the White House and may choose instead to maintain stable production.

California heating

California remains in the grip of scorching heat. September started out warm in the western United States and chances are it will last at least two weeks. Most of the Golden State headed into the US holiday weekend in the face of excessive heat warnings, and temperatures could soar as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in some areas.

390975609Bloomberg

The heat wave is exacerbating drought conditions, taxing agriculture and increasing the risk of wildfires, while prompting Californians to increase air conditioning and stress the state’s power grid. The California grid operator expects power demand to top 47 gigawatts on Monday and hit 49 gigawatts on Tuesday, which would be the highest since 2017. The all-time high is nearly 50.3 GW hit in 2006 One gigawatt is enough to power 750,000 California homes.

Software supply

Coffee, sugar and cotton traders are closely monitoring weather forecasts in the Gulf of Mexico as the Atlantic hurricane season peaks. The first hurricane of the season, which formed west of the Azores, was named Danielle, but its winding mid-Atlantic track poses no threat to the region.

Severe storms can threaten sugar cane in Florida and Louisiana, America’s top producers, and citrus crops in Florida, the nation’s largest supplier of juice fruits.

390900038Bloomberg

Cotton crops in southern states are also vulnerable to extremes. The drought has already affected Texas, the largest U.S. producer, reducing global supply and contributing to a 17% rise in cotton futures in August, the biggest monthly jump since late 2010. The supply of US cotton is even bigger now after catastrophic flooding ruined much of the crop in Pakistan, the fifth-largest producer, last week.

Severe storms can also damage coffee crops and infrastructure in Central America, where some regions are still recovering from hurricane damage two years ago.

Wheat Optimism

Better news could be expected from Australia, where the government is set to release a quarterly update detailing what it thinks the size of the next wheat crop could look like. Wet conditions across the country this year have given many growers cause for optimism. After ramping up plantings, farmers are expected to achieve another bumper harvest, and the report should see an upward revision to an already fairly buoyant production forecast.

390911939Bloomberg

The prospect of more supplies should offer some relief to a world facing uncertain grain supplies. Extreme weather conditions have reduced production in parts of Europe, and there are crop concerns in Argentina, the other major wheat producer in the southern hemisphere. As La Nina saps soil moisture, farmers have abandoned seedlings due to drought. The drought is also reducing crops from the US agricultural belt to China. And even if shipments start again from Ukraine, there are fears for the next harvest, because part of the agricultural land was lost during the war.

Chinese metals

China’s import data for August should help form an opinion on the direction of metal prices. While the government’s intention to spend more on infrastructure will help revive the consumption of materials used in construction, there are doubts whether this will be enough to fully offset the impact of virus-related curbs on the economy. economic activity and a faltering real estate sector.

390871948Bloomberg

This week’s purchasing managers’ indices suggest grounds for optimism that conditions have at least bottomed out. Steel’s August reading showed the industry still contracting, but the pace of the decline has narrowed sharply and, lockdowns permitting, China is now heading into one of its periods of decline. peak for construction activity. Traders will be looking at trade data to see if this has translated into increased overseas demand for items like iron ore and copper.

S. Korea boosts cooperation with Mongolia on key minerals

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South Korea is seeking to strengthen cooperation with mineral-rich Mongolia to reduce its dependence on China.

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin visited Mongolia from August 28 to 30 and met with his Mongolian counterpart Batmunkh Battsetseg.

The South Korean visit comes amid rising international tensions, including US-China friction and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

During Park’s visit, the two nations agreed to actively enhance cooperation on global supply chain issues, especially regarding rare earth elements.

“(We) will actively push for cooperative measures to be taken to achieve synergies from the combination of South Korea’s infrastructure and those minerals and resources, abundant in Mongolia, such as rare earths for semiconductors and high-tech displays, and rare metals for batteries,” Park said at a joint press conference after his Aug. 29 meeting with Battsetseg.

Park also delivered a handwritten letter from South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to Mongolian President Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, in which he expressed hope that South Korea will strengthen cooperation with Mongolia.

In response, the Mongolian president said “cooperation with South Korea is a top priority for Mongolia.”

Mongolia, located between China and Russia, is one of the ten most resource-rich countries in the world. The country is important in the context of the restructuring of South Korea’s global supply chain.

Since Korea established diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1990, the two countries have steadily expanded their cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and culture.

The bilateral relationship was transformed into a “strategic partnership” in 2021.

China dependency

Currently, the main minerals used by South Korean companies, such as lithium, cobalt and graphite, come mainly from China.

South Korea’s move with Mongolia is also seen as a response to the US Inflation Reduction Act which stipulates that from 2023, when tax credits take effect, 40% of minerals reviews used in car batteries must come from the United States or from a country with which it has a free trade agreement. This percentage increases every year until 2027, when 80% of critical minerals must meet the requirement.

South Korea fears that it will not be able to benefit from credits from the United States if it fails to abandon its dependence on China. Moreover, South Koreans also fear that Communist China will militarize its resource supply, which poses a threat to Korea.

Bank of Korea monthly survey statistics released on June 30 show that South Korea’s average dependence on China for imports of key minerals such as copper, aluminum and zinc reaches 67%.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry also released a report in early August, noting that China’s import dependence for raw and intermediate materials has increased significantly in key industrial sectors such as batteries and semiconductors. drivers. Among them, imports of two key raw materials for battery manufacturing, lithium oxide and lithium hydroxide, reached $1.17 billion in the first half of this year, exceeding 2021’s total imports by $560 million.

According to statistics from the Korea Trade Association in late August, Korea’s dependence on imports of raw materials for car batteries has increased in recent years, with 64.9% of lithium hydroxide imported from China. in 2018, rising to 83.8% last year, and 84.4% from January to July this year. During the same period, the dependence of cobalt imports on China increased from 53.1% in 2018 to 64% in 2021, and then to 81% between January and July this year.

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Lisa Bian is a Korea-based writer for The Epoch Times who focuses on Korean society, culture, and international relations.

Free Skills Program Trains Veterans and Transitioning Soldiers for HVAC Careers

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Anyone who has had heating or air conditioning work done on their home in the last couple of years can tell you that finding a good HVAC technician is difficult. It’s not because they’re not there, it’s just because they’re fully booked – there just aren’t enough HVAC techs.

The shortage is a problem for large companies like Trane, the maker of commercial and residential HVAC products, which rely on their distributors for the labor needed to get their products into homes.

The HVAC industry itself, like many skilled trades, is experiencing a huge labor shortage to the tune of 122,000 skilled technicians. This shortage creates a job opportunity for transitioning military members, veterans and employers, a sentiment shared by RightTek HVAC training partners Bill Timberlake and Anthony Maynor of Raleigh, NC.

“It comes with a starting salary of around $45,000, with no college degree,” Timberlake told Military.com. “Then you realize in two years that most techs with overtime and bonuses can make $80-90,000. That’s good work for money.”

Timberlake has been in the HVAC business for nearly 30 years. He got his start after enlisting in the Navy. He attended the University of Maryland to study mechanical engineering before returning to the Navy as an officer in the Corps of Engineers. He even taught at the US Naval Academy before retiring in 2004.

Maynor did not serve in the military. He worked in HVAC for most of his adult life, running his own HVAC business for over two decades and becoming a household name in Raleigh. The couple both trained students at a local college before reuniting in 2018 and founding the RightTek training school.

RightTek training is unique in that it distills the local college’s one-year training program into a two-month course. In 2021, Maynor and Timberlake saw an opportunity to move the school to nearby Fort Bragg, which wanted an HVAC training program as part of the Army Vocational Skills Program.

“We talked to Trane about possibly getting the ball rolling,” says Maynor. “Trane is truly considered the premier distributor and manufacturer of heating and air conditioning systems in the world. They showed great interest and we teamed up to bring it all together.

Trane now provides student equipment as well as after-hours access to in-house learning management systems training programs and Trane e-learning modules.

“Trane wants our veterans to do the right thing,” says Dottie Goebel, Dealer Experience Manager at Trane Residential. “Nothing suited our dealerships who are desperate for technicians and installers. The shortage of technicians and installers in the industry increases every year as people retire and no group is more deserving than our veterans.”

Trane also ensures there is no out-of-pocket for soldiers who want to learn HVAC through the Trade Warriors program. The cost of participation is covered by HVAC dealers who hire graduates of the program, which has a placement rate of nearly 100%.

Prospective students do not need mechanical engineering or HVAC experience to apply. They need only bring the discipline the army has instilled in them to the intensive eight-hour-a-day, four-day-a-week training (Fridays are excluded so soldiers can take care of military duties). separation on the base).

In week two or three of the program, soldiers will begin interviewing, subject to program completion and separation from the military. Soldiers then become Trane Certified Technicians after passing the EPA (EPA608) and NATE Ready-to-Work exams at the end of the program.

Graduates of the third cohort of Trade Warriors receive their Trane Certified Technician status. (Courtesy of Trane)

Although they also receive 1,000 hours of experience out of the 4,000 hours required for North Carolina HVAC licenses, the program’s placement focus is not limited to North Carolina. Trane is looking to grow its dealership portfolio across the country to create more opportunities for veterans.

“Everyone who completes the program has been extremely excited about the doors it has opened for their potential future career paths,” Timberlake said. “To be able to work in the civilian sector, provide for their families and their future with job security. For a lot of these guys coming out of the service, where they’re doing something that maybe doesn’t translate into civilian life, it gives them a direct route from the military into the civilian world, and I think that’s part of why it’s been so popular.”

While the Trane Trade Warriors program is currently only at Fort Bragg, the program will soon expand to Fort Hood in 2023 with plans for a later expansion to Camp Lejeune.

For more information, search for the Trane Trade Warriors program on the DoD SkillBridge website, contact RightTek HVAC Training, or visit your local Career Skills Program office.

— Blake Stilwell can be reached at [email protected] It can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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CRTC to implement new 9-8-8 number for mental health crises and suicide prevention

OTTAWA (ON) and GATINEAUQC, August 31, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that it will adopt 9-8-8 as the call or text number for Canadians in need of assistance. immediate response to mental health crisis and suicide prevention. When implemented by telephone and wireless service providers,

calls and texts to 9-8-8 will be directed to a mental health crisis or suicide prevention service free of charge.

Implementing 9-8-8 as an easy-to-remember three-digit number will help reduce barriers to mental health and suicide prevention resources. The number will allow greater access regardless of geographic location or socio-economic status, as it will be available coast to coast, 24/7 and toll-free. Additionally, the ability to text 9-8-8 will ensure that people in crisis who cannot call safely, or who prefer to text, can get advice.

Transition to 10-digit local dialing

For 9-8-8 to work through Canada, 10-digit dialing must first be introduced in areas where 7-digit dialing is still the norm. This includes Newfoundland and Labradornorth Ontario and the Yellowknife Region. The CRTC is asking service providers to complete the transition to 10-digit local dialing in these areas by May 31stst2023.

Once the transition is complete, service providers will have six months to make the necessary changes to their networks to allow callers to dial or text 9-8-8.

This will ensure the 9-8-8 is thrown through Canada at the same time, on November 30e2023.

Help is always available in the meantime

Currently, people in Canada who are experiencing mental health issues can get help through Talk Suicide Canada by calling toll free 1-833-456-4566. Residents of Quebec are encouraged to call 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553).

Support is also available via SMS. Adults can text 741741 and young people 686868. Quebec residents can text 1-855-957-5353. The Talk Suicide Canada texting service is available on the evening of 4:00 p.m. to midnight EST by texting 45645.

Quotation

“We are taking an important step in making mental health and suicide prevention resources more accessible to everyone in Canada. A single, easy-to-remember point of contact will provide much-needed help to people in crisis and will be crucial in saving lives. While much work remains to be done to get help to those in need, we have established expedited timelines to ensure 9-8-8 is implemented as quickly and efficiently as possible. . »

Ian ScottPresident and CEO of the CRTC

Fast facts

  • The CRTC’s role in establishing three-digit numbers is to administer telephone numbers and require telecommunications service providers to implement 9-8-8 dialing in Canada.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will determine the following:
    • the entity that will handle calls made to 9-8-8,
    • the number that will be connected to 9-8-8, and
    • the scope of services offered through ongoing discussions with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners and suicide prevention stakeholders.
  • The CRTC held a public proceeding in which Canadians, Indigenous organizations, organizations providing mental health crisis and suicide prevention services, organizations representing consumer interests, and Deaf, Deaf-Blind Canadians hearing impaired, telecommunications service providers and various levels of government provided their views.
  • The CRTC has ordered Canadian wireless service providers to inform their customers who call or text 9-8-8 that it is not yet implemented in Canadaand provide them with information about suicide prevention services Canada. The CRTC has also encouraged all companies providing voice services to inform their customers. Additionally, vendors were asked to share this information on their websites.
  • Between 2017 and 2019, there were approximately 4,500 deaths by suicide in Canada each year, or about 12 deaths per day. Certain populations experience higher suicide rates and risk, including men, youth, people between the ages of 45 and 59, those who identify as part of the LGBTQ2 community, and some Indigenous communities.

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media Relations, 819 997-9403; General inquiries, 819-997-0313, toll free 1-877-249-CRTC (2782), TTY 819-994-0423

The Great Resignation forced American companies to order a record number of robots in 2022

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America’s robotics industry is booming, thanks in part to the country’s record labor shortage.

Despite recession warnings and fears of an inevitable economic collapse, America in 2022 is full of jobs, it’s just that no one wants to take them.

In 2021, the United States created 3.8 million jobs, an “unprecedented” number according to the American Chamber of Commerce.

But since then, labor market participation has fallen sharply, with about 3.4 million fewer workers participating in the labor market than immediately before the pandemic, according to the chamber.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes have struggled to cope with growing labor shortages and have seemingly tried everything to address it, from cutting hours of operation to offering employees never-before-seen perks .

Now, new data suggests that American companies are relying more on something else to combat the lack of human workers: robots.

For the third straight quarter, U.S. robotics sales numbers hit an all-time high, according to figures released this week by the Association for Advancing Automation, a trade group also known as A3.

The U.S. robotics industry sold 12,305 units last quarter, up 25% from the same period in 2021 and 6% more than the first quarter of this year.

The latest quarter was also the second-best on record for revenue, with U.S. robot makers raking in $585 million, down slightly from $646 million in Q1 2022 revenue, but still an increase. 29% compared to the same period last year. .

The automotive industry led in demand for new robots last quarter, which accounted for 59% of new orders according to A3, although other industries also saw growing demand as more sectors started to turn to automation to deal with personnel and logistical problems. .

“While this quarter shows a marked return to historic norms with more automotive robots than in any other industry, the continued growth of robotics in food and consumer goods companies in particular demonstrates the continued need for automate warehouse logistics to handle the explosive growth of e-commerce,” A3 President Jeff Burnstein said in a statement.

Companies have been acquiring a growing number of robots since last year to tackle labor shortages, with machines ideally equipped to do many of the manufacturing and fixed-function jobs that workers have had enough of.

Companies like restaurants and food delivery operators have turned to robotics en masse since the pandemic began, perhaps accelerating a trend that was already seeing companies moving towards automation.

Last year, a third of companies were “already implementing or exploring automation to replace workers,” a Duke University survey of chief financial officers found.

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Editorial — A learning experience: Some colleges use questionable practices to recruit students | Editorials

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Students are now heading to college. But before parents watch them take the plunge and take on a huge financial obligation, there are things to consider.

Is college the best option? Is your child ready for college? And more importantly, are you all ready for the bill that will be a burden for years to come?

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LaserShip and OnTrac Announce Texas Expansion, Starting Next Year

On the heels of the recent announcement to roll out a new transcontinental delivery service, following the announcement of their merger in October 2021, Vienna, Va.-based LaserShip, the largest regional parcel carrier in e-commerce and last-mile delivery service provider, and Chandler, Ariz. OnTrac, a regional shipping service provider based on .com, said earlier this month that it was expanding into Texas.

The companies said this expansion includes what they called the “fast-growing mega-region of Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, with deliveries beginning early next year, installation of Dallas-Fort Worth to operate as the primary Texas-based sorting hub, reaching 19 million new consumers with faster residential e-commerce delivery services.

LaserShip and OnTrac said this 300,000 square foot sorting center is equipped to facilitate millions of deliveries to more than 7.6 million residents of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and also offers easy access to I -35 and I-20. Additionally, they added that LaserShip and OnTrac are creating hundreds of full-time and part-time jobs to help meet local delivery demand, while driving economic growth in the regions.

“Our focus has always been our relationships with retailers. We are proud to expand into Texas and provide our retail partners with a proven carrier that can help them meet their customers’ expectations for faster delivery,” said Josh Dinneen, chief commercial officer at LaserShip and OnTrac, in a statement. “As national carriers prioritize profits over partnerships, we’re helping retailers win more customers and build brand loyalty across the Lone Star State. We also look forward to welcoming more employees to the LaserShip/OnTrac family and increasing our involvement in local communities.

With this expansion, the companies said their combined distribution network will reach 80% of the US population by next year.

As for its new transcontinental delivery service, it aims to help retailers reach consumers in the most populated parts of the country with faster, more reliable home delivery at a lower cost. And they added that this service will connect business delivery footprints on the East and West Coasts, moving packages back and forth in three days.

When the merger was initially announced, LaserShip and OnTrac said they would form the only national pure e-commerce solution in last mile parcel delivery and improve customers’ ability to meet growing demand in the delivery to consumers. And they added, at the time, that in order to ensure continued exceptional service during the holiday season with expectations of increased shipping volumes, LaserShip and OnTrac would not begin linking their networks until 2022 and would operate independently until then.

Dinneen recently said ML that this transcontinental service is a huge win for retailers, as it allows them to reach consumers in the most populated areas of the country with faster, reliable and cost-effective home delivery.

“As national carriers continue to implement surcharges and out-of-hours fare increases, our transcontinental service offers retailers a proven alternative that can help them diversify their carrier mix, increase flexibility and capacity, and scale their business by reaching 74% of the US population across 30 states and Washington, DC,” he noted.

Dinneen also explained that the launch of the transcontinental service was based on the overwhelming feedback LaserShip and OnTrac received from their customers about the need for a carrier with their speed, reliability, savings and service, but at scale. national.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics management, Modern material handlingand Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight forwarding and material handling industries on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Ad industry demands ‘tsunami of truth’ from Twitter following whistleblower complaint

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Twitter has been accused of covering up security flaws and prioritizing user growth over spam removal in a fiery whistleblower complaint from former security chief Peiter “Mudge” Zatko.

First reported by CNN and The Washington PostZatko alleges Twitter executives misled users, regulators and its board of directors about flaws in its security, privacy and spam detection systems.

It’s the latest in a series of crises for Twitter, which is embroiled in a lawsuit with billionaire Elon Musk, who is seeking to back out of his deal to buy the company after he stinks about the volume of spam on the platform.

Zatko claims Twitter lied to Musk about inducing him to delete spam. According to Zatko, executive bonuses are tied to their ability to increase the number of monetizable daily active users (mDAUs), but no incentive is offered to measure or clean up the “millions” of non-monetizable accounts on the platform. , which include spam. Twitter’s strategy, as described in the complaint, was to “deprioritize the health of the platform to focus on the growth of mDAU.”

Spam worsens the user experience on a platform – and not acting on it is “very short-term thinking” because it could have ripple effects on user growth, says partner Hilary Wolfe. and creative director of Hub SF.

Several advertising frames that United States campaign spoke had a similar concern: that Twitter’s audience would decline as a result of the whistleblower complaint.

Zatko’s Revelation also alleges serious privacy violations and potential foreign interference, including that Twitter employees installed spyware on their computers, and that executives knowingly risked exposing users’ identities in China to protect their earnings. Twitter is banned in China, but the company allows Chinese advertisers access to its global users.

Privacy researcher Zach Edwards described in a thread how Twitter’s Custom Audience product could, in theory, be used by Chinese authorities to identify users circumventing the country’s firewall.

Advertisers are worried

Advertisers don’t want to be associated with security risks or foreign interference and are asking their agencies if Twitter is brand safe. “If security is at risk, it looks like companies will want to cut their advertising budgets,” Wolfe said.

“Advertisers do not want to help lure potential customers into a scheme that could invade their privacy and lead them to become victims of crime. This is a moral, reputational and financial red line for marketers,” said Mark DiMassimo, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of DiMassimo Goldstein. “Twitter will have to explain why advertising on the platform is not a mortal danger for brands.”

Several high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked in July 2020, including that of former President Barack Obama. According to Zatko, the hack involved teenagers tricking Twitter employees into handing them their account passwords.

Sam Huston, chief strategy officer at 3Q/Dept, said Zatko’s allegations of how Twitter succumbed to grassroots hacks indicate a “very low level of security within Twitter, which could lead to reduced of mDAU and broader privacy concerns from advertisers and users”.

Concerns ≠ action

The platforms’ past crises, however, indicate that advertisers’ concerns rarely drive spending. Facebook ad spend grew steadily throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandalwhen a whistleblower revealed how data on millions of Facebook users had been improperly obtained for use in political campaigns.

This is partly due to the frequency of data breaches and system failures on major technology platforms. Currently, advertisers have become desensitized.

“It’s true that bot accounts, spam content and hacking issues are pervasive on Twitter, but these are similar issues that virtually every other social platform also faces,” said Mike Margolin, chief digital officer of Twitter. RPA. “It doesn’t appear that any of these companies are willing to hire the necessary manpower to complement their AI technology, which is the most cost-effective and investor-preferred method of combating spam and hacking. .”

Twitter also operates a much smaller advertising business than competitors like Google and Meta, so advertiser budgets are less impacted.

Kristie MacDonald, CEO of performance marketing company Huddled Masses, said Twitter “has always been a low priority for our midsize brand clients because the performance results just aren’t there.”

“This news gives us a clearer look at why deliverables weren’t strong enough to earn advertising money from clients,” she added.

Data Validation

Advertisers will take action, however, if they find their ad spend is wasted. Because the alert disclosure calls into question the reliability of Twitter’s systems, advertisers want to know that the data they’ve used to plan and buy campaigns is valid.

“In light of recent information, how could we validate and revalidate the base of current active users, their demographics, and the profiles we aligned with? How does this affect the metrics we measured and that we trusted from the start?” asked Doron Faktor, Director of Group Connections, Social at VMLY&R.

Twitter’s systems are under surveillance from the platform unveiled in April he had erroneous measurements for almost three years. Musk subpoenaed verification companies Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to find out if or how they audited Twitter’s user base.

But some are more concerned about Zatko’s motives than his allegations. RPA’s Margolin pointed out that “it is difficult to take accusations like this seriously, given the circumstances”. The complaint comes as Musk prepares a case to walk away from his $44 billion takeover deal, which goes to court in October. Zatko could also be a “disgruntled employee,” Margolin notes, after being fired in January.

“The timing is too suspicious to warrant significant new concern,” he said.

Twitter also dismissed the complaint in the press. The company did not return a request for comment.

The time for transparency

Although advertisers are not expected to remove Twitter from their media plans, continued instability could lead to reduced budgets. Twitter ad revenue growth slowed down in the second trimester to 2% from 23% in the first quarter, which it attributed in part to uncertainty surrounding its potential acquisition.

Twitter will need to regain the trust of advertisers in order to protect its revenue. Marla Kaplowitz, president and CEO of the trade association for agencies, the 4As, said Twitter’s “first and most important step” was to be transparent about its operations.

“Marketers and agencies need to understand the impact of these issues on brand safety and appropriateness, as well as consumer trust. The opportunity is to remind the industry of the protocols that have been put in place, as well as future efforts while sharing the benefits of new product offerings to support brand goals,” Kaplowitz added.

Specifically, 3Q’s Huston said Twitter will need to be more transparent about how it calculates its mDAU metric, which has been the focus of Musk’s probes.

DiMassimo suggested that Twitter should “be clear” and “end the trickle of revelations” with “a great tsunami of truth.”

“Show us what went wrong, then show us how it’s different and why it will stay different in the future,” he said.

The company will also need to outline exactly what security and safety measures it currently has, or is putting in place, to ensure accounts are safe from hacking or hijacking, Faktor said.

Wolfe suggested addressing specific concerns, such as modifying the bonus plan for executives and assigning payment penalties for security breaches.

Money talks too. Both DiMassimo and Wolfe suggested offering discounts to advertisers would help soften the blow.

Additional reporting by Alison Weissbrot and Brandon Doerrer.


This story originally appeared on United States campaign.

Rise in maritime trade and shipping industry is driving the global marine lubricants market, states Fact.MR

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The marine lubricants market is expected to generate an absolute $1.1 billion opportunity by 2032, driven by the booming marine industry

/EIN News/ — Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to recent analysis by Fact.MR, a market research firm, the global marine lubricants market is expected to exceed the valuation of USD 7.1 billion by the end of 2032, and to grow at a significant CAGR of 1.5% in value over the assessment period.

Growing international business activities and shipbuilding developments are booming navy growth lubricants market. International trade by sea contributes nearly 30% of global transport and continues to increase. As a result, the biodegradability of marine lubricants is highlighted due to its benefits including improved safety, consistent viscosity, and low emission rates.

For critical information on Marine Lubricants Market, demand a Sample report
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Additionally, the development of the lubricants industry and the shift from the use of additives that include heavy metals such as antimony and lead to environmentally friendly additives are driving the growth of bio-based marine lubricants. In addition, improved vessel sizes to boost ocean carriers and strong demand for ultra-large container ships with increasing trade volume are driving the demand for marine lubricants.

Marine lubricants protect and improve the efficiency of engines and equipment in the shipping industry. They protect components at high temperatures, allow optimum performance in operations, such as extending shelf life, improving protection against mechanical wear and reducing cold corrosion.

Additionally, stringent government regulations regarding the limited use of sulfur and nitrogen in automotive lubricants are drawing attention to bio-based lubricants, which is helping to accelerate the growth of oil-based marine lubricant engines. Additionally, the adoption of four-stroke engines in the marine industry, which require highly efficient lubricants, will drive the demand for marine lubricants.

How is the Asia-Pacific Navy Lubricants Is the market progressing?

“The East Asian market is lucrative, led by China and Japan”

The Asia-Pacific marine lubricants market holds 29.6% of the global market share in 2022. An in-depth analysis of the various economies reveals that East Asia occupies 67.1% of the Asia-Pacific market. Pacific, however, South Asia and Oceania offer a recessive market and occupy 32.9%. of Asia Pacific.

This difference is due to the increasing industrialization of Japan and China. Increasing trade value is another key driver of East Asia’s dominance in the Asia-Pacific regional market.

To learn more about Marine Lubricants Market, you can contact our analyst at https://www.factmr.com/connectus/sample?flag=AE&rep_id=7339

Key segments covered by the Marine Lubricants Industry survey

  • Marine Lubricants Market by type of oil:
    • Oil-Based Marine Lubricants
    • Synthetic Marine Lubricants
    • Biobased marine lubricants
  • Marine Lubricants Market by product type:
    • Engine oil
    • hydraulic fluid
    • compressor oil
    • Other types of products
  • Marine Lubricants Market by Region:
    • North America
    • Latin America
    • Europe
    • East Asia
    • South Asia and Oceania
    • AEM

Winning strategy

The marine lubricants market is a fragmented market governed by intense competition among major players. Each player aims to strengthen its position in the market by introducing quality and safe products through product innovation and improvement.

The major players in the global marine lubricants market prefer the adoption of inorganic and organic growth strategies such as collaborations, acquisitions, mergers, partnerships, etc. to improve their global footprint and profit margin.

They also try to gain a foothold in the market by maintaining an edge over other competitors in the market and try to stay relevant by continuously focusing on product research and development.

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The key players in the Marine Lubricants Market

  • ExxonMobil Corporation
  • Royal Dutch Shell Inc.
  • Chevron Company
  • BP plc
  • Croda International Plc
  • The company PJSC Lukoil
  • Repsol AG
  • Avinoil SA

Main takeaways from Marine Lubricants Market research

  • The global marine lubricants market is valued at USD 6.1 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.5% over the forecast years to reach USD 7.1 billion by the end of 2032.
  • The synthetic oil segment is expected to generate an absolute dollar opportunity of almost USD 576.9 million during the forecast period
  • Compressor oil under lubricants oil product type segment is expected to grow 1.2 times over the forecast period, while motor oil segment is expected to continue to dominate during the forecast period. forecast period
  • North America and Europe together hold 57.6% market share in 2022
  • North America and Europe are expected to register a CAGR of 1.6% and 1.5% over the forecast years

Explore Fact.MR’s Cover on the Chemistry and hardwares Domain-

Anticoagulant Rodenticide Market– The global Anticoagulant Rodenticides Market is estimated to be worth US$720.4 Million in 2022 and is projected to reach a valuation of US$1.4 Billion by 2032, expanding at a CAGR of 3.3% during the forecast period 2022-2032.

Aromatic Chemicals MarketThe aromatic chemicals market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% between 2022 and 2032, from 5,127 million US$ in 2022 to reach 8,115.52 million US$ in 2032.
Demulsifiers MarketThe market value of demulsifiers is expected to reach $3.25 billion by the end of 2032, growing at a CAGR of approximately 3.4% over the decade. Global demand for demulsifiers increased year-on-year (YoY) by 1.7% in 2021 to reach a market valuation of US$2.28 billion at the end of 2021.

Abrasives marketThe global abrasives market was valued at US$54.03 billion in 2020. The consumption of abrasives is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% to reach a market valuation of US$97.7 billion by the end of 2020. end of 2031.

Biodiesel marketThe global biodiesel market reached a valuation of US$90.4 billion in 2020. The demand for biodiesel is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% to reach US$187.6 billion by the end of 2031.

Flocked Adhesives MarketThe global flock adhesives market is expected to reach a valuation of US$4.6 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% over the forecast period 2022-2032.

bonded magnets marketThe Global Bonded Magnets Market is estimated to be valued at US$5.1 Billion in 2022 and is expected to reach a valuation of US$10.9 Billion by 2032, growing at an impressive CAGR of 7.8% by 2022 at 2032.

Super Absorbent Polymers MarketThe global Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP) market has been growing steadily at a CAGR of 3.5% over the past half-decade and is expected to be valued at over US$6 billion in 2022. A detailed analysis of the industry reveals that the global consumption of super absorbent polymers is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% to reach a valuation of US$9.7 billion by 2032.

Agricultural Fumigants MarketThe global Agricultural Fumigants Market is estimated to be valued at USD 1 Billion in 2022 and is projected to reach a valuation of USD 1.4 Billion by 2032, expanding at a CAGR of 2.8% during the forecast period. forecast 2022-2032.

Cryogenic Ethylene MarketThe global cryogenic ethylene consumption is estimated to reach US$4.78 billion in 2022. Detailed industry analysis has revealed that the global cryogenic ethylene market is estimated to reach a valuation of US$11.53 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 9.2% in 2022. -2032.

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The children go back to school. What do you think? | Local

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It’s that time again. The children have returned for another year of school. Whether it’s elementary, high school, trade school or college, it’s a brand new year for our children.

But what about us? Staying relevant and competitive in today’s job market requires ongoing education and training. Most of us have heard the term “lifelong learner”.

Maintaining your skills and learning new ones is an investment in your career, whether you want to change fields, advance in your current field, or simply gain new knowledge to help keep your mind engaged.

Let’s explore the two main types of skills – hard skills and soft skills. Some people may disagree with these labels and that’s OK. Soft is not meant to take a back seat to hard. In fact, specialized skills can often be obtained more easily.

People also read…

I use specialist skills to refer to specific educational functions, processes and achievements. Either you did them or you didn’t. Your level of expertise in these areas can determine whether you are a top candidate.

For example, a company may have an opening for an IT director. How likely are they to hire someone with absolutely no computer experience? Or could you be a doctor without the educational experiences and other training?

Another way to think about hard skills is to take a yes or no perspective. Have you already? Have you already? do you have

Soft skills are not as easily labeled as a yes or a no. Examples of soft skills may include listening, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, or reliability. Think of them as soft skills. Be prepared to cite examples of this on your CV and in your interviews.

It’s easier than ever to add to your current skills or learn new ones. There are many resources online – too many to list here – some of which are free or very inexpensive. Do a web search. Some places offer free sampling for a finite time. Maybe your employer will cover some or all of the cost if your classes relate to your current job.

Don’t forget about in-person classes, whether it’s vocational training classes offered by Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina or traditional classes at any community college or university.

You do not know where to start ? Speak with recruiters and hiring managers in areas you would like to pursue. They will let you know what is really needed to be competitive.

Today’s job market is different from the one I faced coming out of college years ago. Many jobs today either did not exist then or are certainly not done as they were then. Changes due to technology and innovation constantly remind us that staying stagnant means being left behind, whether you are a worker or an organization.

As always, if you wish to be accompanied in your job search, the services of our center are free. Good luck!

Randy Wooden is a longtime consultant for Triad and director of the Professional Center at Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina. Contact him at [email protected] or 336-407-7306. For more information, visit www.goodwillnwnc.org/procenter. Check out his weekly job search talk show on Wednesdays and his free LinkedIn webinar on Thursdays.

INVESTOR ALERT: Investors at Lottery.com, Inc. f/k/a Trident Acquisitions Corp. with substantial losses have the opportunity to pursue the Lottery.com class action

SAN DIEGO, August 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Robbins Geller Rudmann & Dowd LLP announces that purchasers or acquirers of Lottery.com, Inc. f/k/a Trident Acquisitions Corp. (NASDAQ:LTRY) (NASDAQ:LTRYW) securities between November 15, 2021and July 29, 2022the two dates included (the “Class Period”) have until October 18, 2022, to seek appointment as lead applicant. The lottery.com class action lawsuit – subtitled million v. Lottery.com, Inc. f/k/a Trident Acquisitions Corp.#22-cv-07111 (SDNY) – accuses Lottery.com and some of its top executives of violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you have suffered substantial losses and wish to act as the lead plaintiff of the lottery.com class action, please provide your information here:

https://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases-lottery-com-inc-fka-trident-acquisitions-corp.html

You can also contact a lawyer JC Sanchez of Robbins Geller by calling 800/449-4900 or emailing [email protected].

CASE ALLEGATIONS: Lottery.com is a technology company that operates a business-to-consumer platform allowing players to remotely purchase legally sanctioned lottery games in United States and internationally. On October 29, 2021, Trident Acquisitions Corp. – a special purpose acquisition vehicle, known as SPAC or blank check company – entered into a business combination with AutoLotto, Inc., which since its inception in 2015 has been doing business as from Lottery.com. Following the closing of the business combination, AutoLotto changed its name to Lottery.com.

The lottery.com The class action alleges that the defendants made materially false or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose, among other things, that: (i) Lottery.com did not have adequate internal accounting controls; (ii) Lottery.com did not have adequate internal controls over financial reporting, including but not limited to those relating to revenue recognition and cash reporting; and (iii) Lottery.com was not in compliance with state and federal laws governing the sale of lottery tickets.

On July 6, 2022, Lottery.com revealed that an internal investigation, conducted by independent counsel, uncovered “instances of non-compliance with state and federal laws regarding the state in which tickets are purchased as well as the fulfillment of orders” . The investigation also revealed “issues with the company’s internal accounting controls.” Lottery.com further revealed that, in light of the findings of the independent investigation, on June 30, 2022board of directors removed president, treasurer and chief financial officer of defendant Lottery.com Ryan Dickinson. At this news, Lottery.com’s share price fell more than 12%.

Then, on July 15, 2022Lottery.com announced that its defendant Chief Revenue Officer Matthew Clemenson had resigned. Lottery.com also revealed that it had “preliminarily concluded[d] that it overstated its unrestricted free cash balance by approximately $30 million and that, relatedly, in the prior year, it incorrectly recognized revenue of the same amount” and that Lottery.com “in consultation with its external advisors, is currently validating its preliminary conclusion, assessing any impact on reporting previously published financial statements, and has begun to put in place appropriate corrective measures. At this news, Lottery.com’s share price fell another 14.5%.

Subsequently, on July 22, 2022Lottery.com disclosed that it had been advised by its independent accountant that its audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2021and unaudited financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2022, should no longer be invoked. Additionally, Lottery.com reported that Defendant CEO and Co-Founder Anthony DiMatteo resigned with immediate effect. As a result of this news, Lottery.com’s stock price fell approximately 12% over the next two trading days.

Finally, on July 29, 2022Lottery.com has revealed that it does not have “sufficient financial resources to fund its operations or pay certain existing obligations” and therefore intends to lay off some employees effective July 29, 2022. Additionally, since Lottery.com’s resources were not sufficient to fund its operations for a 12-month period, it disclosed that “there is substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue in business.” and Lottery.com may be forced to withdraw. its operations or pursue the liquidation of its assets. At this news, Lottery.com’s share price fell about 64%, further hurting investors.

Robbins Geller launched a dedicated SPAC working group to protect investors in blank check companies and seek redress for corporate wrongdoing. Comprised of experienced litigators, investigators and forensic accountants, the SPAC Task Force is dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud on behalf of aggrieved SPAC investors. The rise of blank check funding presents unique risks for investors. Robbins Geller’s SPAC Task Force represents the forefront of ensuring integrity, honesty and fairness in this rapidly developing area of ​​investment.

THE PRINCIPAL APPLICANT PROCESS: The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits any investor who purchased or acquired Lottery.com securities during the Class Period to seek appointment as a lead plaintiff. A principal plaintiff is generally the plaintiff with the greatest financial interest in the relief sought by the putative class that is also typical and adequate of the putative class. A lead plaintiff acts on behalf of all other class members by directing the lottery.com class action. The main plaintiff can select a law firm of his choice to plead lottery.com class action. An investor’s ability to participate in any potential future takeover does not depend on its status as the lead claimant of the lottery.com class action.

ABOUT ROBBINS GELLER: Robbins Geller is one of the world’s leading complex class action firms representing plaintiffs in securities fraud cases. The firm is ranked #1 in the 2021 ISS Securities Class Action Services Top 50 report for recovering nearly $2 billion for investors last year alone – more than triple the amount recovered by any other company from the plaintiffs. With 200 attorneys in 9 offices, Robbins Geller is one of the largest plaintiffs firms in the world, and the firm’s attorneys have secured many of the largest securities class action recoveries in history, including the largest securities class action collection never realized – $7.2 billion – in In re Enron Corp. Dry. Litigation Please visit the following page for more information:

https://www.rgrdlaw.com/services-litige-securities-fraud.html

Lawyer advertisement.
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Contact:

Robbins Geller Rudmann & Dowd LLP
655 W. Broadway, Suite 1900, San DiegoCA 92101
JC Sanchez, 800-449-4900
[email protected]

SOURCE Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP

Why FedEx is suing the delivery contractor demanding a better deal

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  • FedEx and its biggest contractor are locked in a contentious battle over how to handle rising costs.
  • The acrimony deepened on Friday when FedEx filed a lawsuit against Spencer Patton’s company.
  • Hours later, FedEx Ground terminated all of Patton’s contracts. Here’s how we got to this moment.

Friday, FedEx filed a complaint against what is now once his biggest delivery contractor, Spencer Patton.

Hours after filing a lawsuit seeking “a permanent injunction and damages” related to “false and misleading statements” on FedEx Ground, the Memphis company terminated all contracts with Patton.

“I am forced to remove our small businesses from the communities we serve, but we are working hard to relocate our employees,” Patton said. The logistics portion of Patton’s business has 225 employees in 10 states. The lawsuit is against Patton’s consulting firm for delivery companies, Route Consultant Inc., which the case says is the true beneficiary of all of Patton’s efforts to date.

“We can confirm that FedEx Ground exercised its right to immediately cease contracting with a small number of single-person-owned service provider businesses,” a FedEx Ground spokesperson said in a statement. “While these companies operate in multiple locations, they represent less than 0.5% of the approximately 60,000 total routes on the FedEx Ground network. We have contingency plans in place and do not anticipate any impact to service based on of these contractual actions.”

Friday’s events are the most dramatic yet in a fight that turned serious in July when Patton warned that FedEx Ground’s unwillingness to address the concerns of the 6,000 independent contractors who deliver its packages was driving many to the bankrupt and put his network in “danger”.

Since then, Patton has decided to form a trade group to represent entrepreneurs and has talked about getting small business franchise status. He encouraged his fellow entrepreneurs be wary of FedEx salary offers for the upcoming holiday season and said that if FedEx did not make operational and contractual changes by Nov. 25, it would shut down its delivery service — a threat now nil.

FedEx said the Ground network was strong and would view any attempt at collective bargaining as a breach of contract.

Here’s how the litigious partners got there:

unhappy vacation

FedEx Ground contractors have various long-standing grievances. Top of the list is FedEx switching to seven-day service in May 2019 — many say there isn’t enough demand on Sundays to make it profitable.

But things got worse last winter when FedEx overestimated parcel volume for the 2021 holiday season. The mismatch between projections and reality made it difficult to earn enough to cover the cost of ramp-up of operationsand many entrepreneurs told Insider they still haven’t recovered.

In January, 800 contractors signed a letter to FedEx Ground detailing their issues with rising costs, especially fuel, and falling returns. “We need help fast!” the letter read. Contractors said that from 2020 to the 2021 holiday season, their payouts were down 20%, although package volume was about the same. Vehicle costs increased by $10,000 and wages were down 30% from a year ago, the letter said.

Fuel supplements on fire

In a March 18 letter to contractors, FedEx Ground CEO John Smith said the company has reviewed compensation for gasoline and diesel contractors and has decided no particular action was necessary. “Our data indicates that service providers operating on either type of fuel are seeing weekly increases in fuel-related payments that are commensurate with recent fuel price changes in the marketplace,” Smith wrote.

“What really lit this powder keg,” Patton told Insider last week, was “when FedEx released and highlighted in its earnings report that it had successfully passed fuel surcharges to the American consumer, then had not passed all of them to their subcontractors.

summer of discontent

Late July, Patton published its first plea video to FedEx, which is sounding the alarm on the financial health of subcontractors. He demanded a pay rise and promised his fellow entrepreneurs would elect a 10-member committee to represent their interests.

Entrepreneurs who take part in the September vote will join what Patton calls the Professional Association of Logistics Professionals. He later said that as a last resort, the agency could pursue the reclassification of FedEx contractors as franchisees.

In response to Patton’s machinations, Smith said any contractor who attempted to bargain collectively would be in breach of contract.

In mid-August memo of talking points for staffobtained by Insider, FedEx said it has “multiple emergency levers available” to maintain service consistency despite claims that contractors are failing.

As for the threat of franchising, the document states that each company “must determine whether joining a trade association is in the best interests of its organization.” He also indicates that the current service provider model “does not correspond to a franchisor/franchisee relationship”.

Patton threatens FedEx’s sacred cash cow

Last week, more than 4,000 FedEx contractors — representing about two-thirds of the FedEx Ground network — gathered in Las Vegas for the conference that Patton hosts each year. He used the venue to declare that he would close his delivery service if he did not see operational and contractual changes by Thanksgiving.

Patton also encouraged his fellow entrepreneurs to take a in-depth review of FedEx’s holiday contract offer, describing this agreement as a chance for the company to “restore the confidence of its subcontractors”. If a critical mass of contractors reject the deal, it could affect FedEx’s ability to capitalize on its busiest season. “This is one of the most powerful forms of leverage that I and my independent business can wield with FedEx Ground,” Patton said at a conference last week.

“My heart is out to see FedEx Ground make big money,” Patton said in one of two speeches he gave at the conference. “I just need to see entrepreneurs making money too.”

FedEx Strikes Back

In his trial, FedEx accuses Patton to create a “fictitious crisis” between FedEx Ground and its contractors “as an advertisement for Route Consultant’s alleged need for consulting and other services”.

In a statement released after the lawsuit was filed, Patton said, “I’m not afraid of legal action from FedEx.” He also has said Insider in July he knew that losing his contracts was a possibility.

“For years, FedEx Ground has used bullying tactics when interacting with its contractors to create an environment of intimidation,” he said Friday night. “This decision to cancel our contracts is a clear case of a $60 billion corporation silencing anyone with a voice.”

Listening to European electricity traders is very, very scary

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Comment

Every week electricity traders in the UK quiz national grid operators for an hour. The conference call, which anyone can follow, offers insight into the concerns of men and women on the front lines of the electricity market. Listening to them gets creepier week by week – and suggests that keeping the lights on this winter will be far more difficult than European governments are admitting.

The prices are quite worrying. UK households were told on Friday that their electricity and gas bills would rise by 80% from October 1. The so-called energy price cap has been set at £3,549 ($4,189) a year, down from £1,971 over the past six months and £1,277 last winter.

But the industry conference call suggests the problem is broader than just rising costs. Increasingly, the words “emergency” and “shortages” are being used, with participants focusing on when, rather than if, a crisis will arise. Imagine being able to hear conversations between Wall Street leaders and the Federal Reserve as the global financial crisis unfolded in 2008.

Here’s a question from last week’s session: “Are you playing war on possible options if/when cross-border trade collapses under security of supply pressures this winter?” And another: “Can we have a session where we talk about emergency arrangements?” Another participant said forecasts of the electricity demand-supply balance showed “how bad winter could be for anyone who knows how to do the math.” The same caller was candid about the Grid’s own predictions: “I don’t think you believe what you wrote, and no one else does.”

One intervention was particularly revealing. “Based on where Winter 22 commodities are trading, where does that position you in terms of securing supply through the winter?” asked one participant. The background? In the futures market, electricity in the UK for December 2022 is rapidly approaching £1,000 per megawatt hour, up 50% from current prices. The implication? Electricity shortages.

Compare the tone with the British government’s insistence that there is nothing to fear. “Households, businesses and industry can be sure they will get the electricity and gas they need through winter,” Downing Street said earlier this week. “It’s because we have one of the most reliable and diverse energy systems in the world.”

The weekly call is officially known as the “ESO Operational Transparency Forum” and allows market participants to interview officials at the so-called National Electricity Control Center, the hub that transports electricity to across the UK, from generators to traders to consumers. The forum generally discusses obscure power-swapping issues. But in recent weeks, attention has focused on crisis management. Another example from earlier this month: “If a system stress event is active in both gas and electricity, how do the electrical system operator and the gas control center communicate? Which stress event takes priority? What is particularly worrying is how few disaster scenarios seem to have been planned for.

A major concern is what will happen if European countries introduce beggar-thy-neighbour policies by cutting off cross-border electricity flows, as Norway has already said. “Please market better understand how interconnectors should be used in times of very high prices and potential generation shortfall,” one market participant said last week.

Another topic is the drop in consumption if households and businesses cannot afford high electricity and gas prices. “What level of demand reduction, demand destruction, do you expect for the coming winter from commercial industrial consumers as a price response?” was a recent example. Another repeated the request: “What, if any, demand destruction is included in your demand forecast for this winter for residential and industrial?” Network managers were unable to provide numbers to callers.

Of course, the call should focus on potential problems ahead – it exists to anticipate and solve problems. But after listening repeatedly over the past few months, I have three takeaways. First, the impending energy emergency is worse than many industry leaders publicly acknowledge, and far more dangerous than the government admits. Second, high prices are a big problem, but security of supply is also at risk. Third, time is running out to prepare before the temperatures start to drop.

Finland’s grid operator, in a rare example of the kind of transparency badly needed, told citizens earlier this week to prepare for shortages this winter. European governments have a duty to make clear to their constituents the magnitude of the coming crisis. Minimizing the magnitude of the problem or, worse, pretending there is no problem, will not keep things going this winter.

More from Bloomberg Opinion:

• Russian Oil Producers Feel the Heat: Elements of Julian Lee

• Can Japan learn to love nuclear power again? : Gearoid Reidy

• The Chinese energy crisis could reach the Himalayan scale: David Fickling

(Updates 2nd paragraph with energy cap details)

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Javier Blas is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy and commodities. A former Bloomberg News reporter and commodities editor at the Financial Times, he is co-author of “The World for Sale: Money, Power and the Traders Who Barter the Earth’s Resources.”

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion

Ed Vasicek: A little humor to lighten up as | Opinion

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Which weighs more: 8 ounces of water or 8 ounces of butane? Butane — it’s a lighter fluid!

We are bombarded with bad and dark news, both in the media and simply by living. We need humor curbs, like this one. There are many styles of humor, so if these jokes don’t resonate with you, you can laugh at my bad taste! Get ready for a rapid succession of attempts at humor without transitions!

Some people criticize my spelling. What if I can’t spell armageddon? This is not the end of the world!

A duck stood at the side of a busy road, waiting for a break in traffic as cars roared past. A chicken walks up and says, “Don’t do this, my friend. You’ll never hear the end of it.”

I’m trying to start a chewing gum recycling business. …I just need a little help to get it off the ground.

A merchant receives flowers at the opening of his new store. …And the card says “Rest in Peace”. So he calls the florist, angry, and she says, “Sir, at least you weren’t the one who got flowers at your wife’s funeral who said, ‘Congratulations on the new location!'”

I told my wife she had to start accepting her mistakes. So she gave me a big hug!

I just got kicked out of the Flat Earth Facebook group because I asked if the 6ft social distancing had pushed anyone over the edge.

I didn’t realize what a bad driver I was until the voice from Google Maps said, “Turn right; stop; Let me out.”

A weasel walks into a bar. The bartender says, “I’ve never served weasel before. What can I offer you? »

“Pop,” said the weasel.

I was accused of killing a man with sandpaper. To be honest, I only intended to bully him a little.

My doctor says I’m stressing him out with all my moaning. On his last visit, he took his own blood pressure instead of mine.

Some young men today are too busy starting a new career to go to college or trade school. The career is called unemployment.

A new strain of lice has been discovered: it is resistant to conventional treatments. This left scientists scratching their heads.

Have you heard of the paddy wagon that collided with a cement mixer? A dozen hardened criminals have escaped!

A truck loaded with Vick’s VapoRub overturned on the freeway and people were worried there was a traffic jam. Luckily there was no congestion all day.

The other day I bought a thesaurus, but when I got home and opened it, all the pages were blank. …I have no words to describe how angry I am!

My balloon has a phobia of music, but not of all music; just pop.

I accidentally made my coffee with Red Bull instead of water. I drove halfway to work before realizing I forgot my car.

My father argued with my mother. He accused her of glueing his firearms. She denied it. But he sticks to his guns.

Tried a new private grocery store called “The Mamas and the Papas”. I bought lettuce but I can’t eat it because all the leaves are brown.

My friend Ty came first in the Beijing Marathon 5 years ago, but still hasn’t received a gold medal. China refuses to acknowledge that Ty won.

Here’s an old bonus joke:

Mary received a parrot as a gift. The parrot was an adult with a very bad attitude and a worse vocabulary. Any other word was blasphemy. Mary tried to change the bird’s attitude, but nothing worked.

Finally, in a moment of desperation, Mary put the parrot in the freezer for a moment of peace.

For a few moments she heard the bird swear and squawk and howl. Then, suddenly, there was absolute silence. Marie opened the freezer door.

The parrot calmly came out and said, “I’m really sorry for offending you with my language and I beg your pardon. By the way, can I ask what the chicken did?”

Small brands’ path to consumer loyalty is through differentiation

Diving brief:

  • Small and medium brands are leading the pace of growth and influence across the CPG space in North America, according to an analysis of May survey data by NielsenIQ. However, in most food and beverage categories, consumers either say they prefer big brands or are brand indifferent.
  • U.S. consumer preference for buying smaller brands is highest for fresh produce, with 19% looking for these labels, meat (15%), and snacks and confectionery (13%), NielsenIQ found. It’s lowest in soft drinks, where only 8% of consumers typically buy smaller brands, compared to 36% who typically buy big brands.
  • Small and medium brands held a 26% share of U.S. in-store food sales in the 52 weeks ending April 30, according to NielsenIQ. For small players to stand out from their large competition and gain influence, the key is to shake up the expectations of consumer categories.

Overview of the dive:

Smaller brands may not have the resources of a major CPG brand, but they can inspire strong loyalty among some consumers.

In the United States, 44% of consumers prefer to buy smaller brands, according to NielsenIQ. Among consumers worldwide who buy exclusively from small brands, 47% consider them more authentic, trustworthy and likely to put their values ​​before profits than a big brand. And more than six in 10 consumers worldwide say they would feel less likely to continue buying a small brand after it was taken over by a multinational.

But smaller brands have to scramble to earn and retain that loyalty – and based on the data, there are signs that some may no longer surprise and delight consumers. The pace of innovation has slowed among small and midsize brands in the United States, according to NielsenIQ.

In soft drinks, the number of innovations among small players fell 19% in January 2022 compared to a year ago, while alcoholic innovations fell 16%. In confectionery and snacks – where small and medium brands also have an advantage – the number of innovations fell by 17%.

Meanwhile, big brands hold the most influence in the beverage category. Nearly a third of US consumers said they usually buy a major brand of alcohol, while 36% usually choose one for non-alcoholic beverages.

According to NielsenIQ, the key to building consumer loyalty is for smaller brands to challenge category expectations through meaningful differentiation. For example, the research company City Ice Gallivant Mawa, a brand launched in 2015 that makes its frozen dessert in a variety of exotic flavors such as spicy gochujang and citrus yuzu. This has a base of milk and mawa, or South Asian milk solids, for a creamier texture.

Another example cited by NielsenIQ involves smaller brands that use recycled ingredients or those grown through regenerative agriculture practices.

“There’s a world of unique nuance and opportunity in today’s small brand strategic playfield,” said Lauren Fernandes, global director of thought leadership at NielsenIQ. “Success requires a certain balance, focusing on the specific value that consumers expect and associate with the brands they have chosen to buy.”

American Historical Association falls prey to anti-‘presentism’ session

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American history since the 1960s has been plagued by the problem of “presentism,” the insistence that historians leave their ivory towers and use their knowledge of history to help us understand and solve social problems. of the present. Its provenance is Marxist, so it was only natural that the late historian Howard Zinn, in 1967, contributed an essay “History as Private Enterprise” to a collection honoring Herbert Marcuse, a Frankfurt School leader who created critical theory, which was later modified. in critical race theory.

Zinn encouraged historians to engage in “social action” much like a “group of American historians” who in 1965 “joined the marching Negroes from Selma to Montgomery.”

Moreover, historians writing and stock Exchange should aim for “humanitarian concerns”, inspiring readers and students to engage in “social action”, such as marches and demonstrations.

One of Zinn’s greatest critics, Harvard history professor Oscar Handlin, lamented the tendencies in the profession vividly illustrated by Zinn’s work. handlin wrote that historians, “by reducing truth to an instrument, even an instrument for doing good”, “necessarily blunt its edge. . . . For when truth ceases to be an end in itself and is only a means to an end, it also becomes malleable. . . .”

The crime

Indeed, the truth has become malleable. This is essentially what James H. Sweet, professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a scholar of African history and the Atlantic slave trade, wrote in his August 17 column:Is History History?on the website of the American Historical Association, of which he is also president.

The essay weighed in on the problem of “presentism,” which he describes as evidenced today by reading “the past through the prism of contemporary issues of social justice – race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, capitalism,” as well as historical emphasis on recent time periods.

Sweet used examples from the political right and the political left as illustrations. His characterization of conservatives wanting to outlaw teaching about slavery and portraying the Founders as unflinching “tribunes of freedom,” as well as the opinions of Supreme Court justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, while erroneous, do not produced little noise.

Not so with Sweet’s mild and sympathetic critique of The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which he initially viewed as “a synthesis of a tradition of black nationalist historiography dating back to the 19e century with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ recent appeal for redress. In effect, “The 1619 Project: A New American Origin StoryThe book version ends with Nikole Hannah-Jones’ essay explicitly asserting that the volume’s material supports “race-specific remedies” for “a grossly unequal society maintained by historical and systemic racism”—reparations.

Sweet hadn’t even thought of the project as a work of history – a view consistent with what Hannah-Jones herself has said in the past: that it was “not a story”, but “a work of journalism.” Yet it seemed to become one as historians took interest in it and the lessons of the 1619 Project were infused into thousands of schools, prompting school board protests against “the characterization of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison as unpatriotic owners of ‘forced labor camps'”.

Sweet falsely claimed that “conservative lawmakers decided that if this was the history of slavery taught in schools, the subject shouldn’t be taught at all.” (A major alternative, The Hillsdale 1776 programin fact, introduces Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass to kindergarteners and the issue of slavery to third graders.)

Yet Sweet was rightly concerned about the popularity of the 1619 Project and similarly misguided portrayals of the African slave trade.

He was right about how the 1619 Draft had misrepresented slavery in America by ignoring the fact that the “20. and strange” Africans who arrived in Jamestown in 1619, the defining moment for the Draft, represented only a small part of the whole cargo, most of which went to Mexico, Jamaica and Bermuda, and the great majority of which passed through the slave port of Elmina did not go to the American colonies but ” in Brazil and the Caribbean”.

He was absolutely correct in saying that he was concerned that the tour guide in Elmina (in Ghana, where Sweet was traveling) had incorrectly stated that the Ghanaians had “unknowingly” sent their “servants” into slavery. No, villages had been pillaged to sell slaves, a practice that had been going on for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. Sweet also rightly pointed out that the claim in the upcoming film “The Woman King” that “the women warriors of Dahomey and King Ghezo fought the European slave trade” is false. On the contrary, “they promoted he” (emphasis added).

These are long-established and accepted historical facts.

That Americans regard the 1619 Project as true history, as shown by the “dog-eared” copy of the 1619 Project of an extended African-American family visiting Africa, as Sweet described it, is cause for concern (as in the accompanying children’s picture book, used kindergarten to eighth grade, that “white people” came to Africa and kidnapped and “exchanged another’s child / another’s mom and dad” whom they “bought and sold. . . alongside the horses and the chairs”).

But Sweet’s accompanying acknowledgment of the “affirmation and connection” of African Americans through “the commemoration of ancestors lost to slavery” was not enough.

Nor was it enough that he was tied to an American historical association. video of historiansincluding himself, opposing attempts to keep the factually flawed 1619 draft out of classrooms.

The wrestling session

Sweet’s apology, released the next day, may have come from Soviet archives. He expressed regret that his “Perspectives on History column has aroused anger and consternation among many of our colleagues and members”. He only intended to “open up a conversation about how we ‘make’ history in our current politically charged environment.”

Additionally, he “sincerely” regretted “the way I alienated some of my black colleagues and friends.” His “clumsy efforts to draw attention to the methodological flaws of purposive presentism” had “left the impression that the questions posed by absence, grief, memory and resilience matter less than those posed by positions of power. . This is absolutely not true. I had no intention of leaving that impression, but my provocation completely missed the mark.

This is a new crime: provocation!

The Trotskyists, over there World Socialist Website, noted that Sweet’s “abject mea culpa maxima” includes in “a memo of only 260 words”, Sweet’s apology “three times for “causing harm” or “damage” to “his colleagues, the discipline and the Association.” The following sentences all appear: “I take full responsibility;’ ‘I am deeply sorry;’ ‘I sincerely regret;’ ‘It was not my intention;’ and especially the scratching, “I hope to redeem myself”. If one did not know the context, one might assume that it was a confession extracted after torture before the Inquisition” – or after a show trial in Moscow – as Trotskyists should know!

As Phil Magness recounts, “Within moments of his column appearing online, all hell broke loose on Twitter,” with retweet attacks from Hannah-Jones (none of which addressed the points raised by Sweet). There was requests that he resigns and claims that his apology was insinceredisplaying a “misogynoir, your condescending. Audience commenting was soon blocked by the American Historical Association.

Other deviationist professors be canceled, exiled from the classroom, denied publication in academic media, and in some cases even death threats.

The situation in 2022 has deteriorated since those heady days when Howard Zinn led student protests. An accomplished scholar has been reduced to the position of supplicant by someone whose misrepresentation of American and world history is embarrassing, page after page.

By 1971 Handlin was able to get his articles critical of Zinn and the decline of the history profession published in The New York Times. Today, even an accomplished historian endowed with a chair does not dare to make the slightest criticism of a “project” written by one of his non-historians. And the only ones who seem to defend him are the conservatives he has mocked and misrepresented.


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UK steelmakers forced to pay 25% duty on sales to Northern Ireland

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UK steel producers will have to pay a 25% tariff to sell certain construction products in Northern Ireland after EU quotas for global imports ran out earlier than expected.

Steel producers and shareholders were told of the new tariff on Wednesday in a notice from HM Revenue & Customs, prompting a fierce reaction from the industry.

“It is beyond farce that UK producers are now prevented by these tariffs from selling goods to customers in their own country,” said Gareth Stace, managing director of UK Steel, the trade association of the industry.

“To add insult to injury, EU steel producers can continue to export these goods duty free throughout the UK, but we can no longer do it in the opposite direction,” he added.

UK Steel has called on the government to suspend tariffs immediately.

The prospect of British companies paying tariffs to send steel into the UK’s internal market is extremely politically sensitive and risks further angering the unionist community in the region, which has rejected the protocol because that it divides the United Kingdom.

The two candidates to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister next month have pledged to pass legislation that will give UK ministers the power to unilaterally rewrite the protocol they have declared ‘unenforceable’.

Brussels has warned that if the UK goes ahead with the legislation, it will breach its commitments under the international treaty and risk the possible suspension of the entire EU-UK trade cooperation agreement.

Under the agreement governing post-Brexit trade deals for Northern Ireland, all goods from Britain must pay EU tariffs if they are likely to pass through the Republic of Ireland and the EU single market.

When the Northern Ireland Protocol came into force in early 2021, a temporary workaround was established which gave UK businesses a specific quota to export to the province duty-free.

This changed in July following a decision in Brussels to consolidate individual national quotas. This opened up Britain’s share to other countries that were quicker to use up the global quota, UK Steel said.

“Countries like Turkey are using up a lot of the quota and there’s none left for anyone else,” said Richard Warren, UK Steel’s head of policy.

The European Commission, in its decision on steel tariff quotas, said it had consciously rejected the idea of ​​creating special arrangements for the UK in light of the “historic trade” between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Sam Lowe, trade expert at consultancy Flint Global, wrote that the embittered political relationship between London and Brussels over the Northern Ireland protocol had exacerbated the commission’s refusal to make exceptions for the UK.

“It’s something that could be solved quite easily if the EU-UK relationship was in a better place. But it’s not,” he wrote on his blog of the most popular nation. favored on commercial business at the beginning of the month.

The overall quota is renewed quarterly, but the abolition of the UK’s specific allocation meant UK producers risked facing tariffs again in the fall, Warren said. UK steel companies fear this will encourage customers to switch to EU suppliers to avoid price uncertainty.

Neither the UK government nor the European Commission would comment.

Enrollment in Chico State Has Decreased – Chico Enterprise-Record

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CHICO — There are many reasons why enrollment at Chico State has declined over the past few years.

“Many factors are contributing to the decline in enrollment and there has been a decline since 2017 or 2018,” said Jerry Ross, associate vice president of enrollment management for Chico State. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people not to seek higher education, and the campfire has contributed to that.”

However, Ross said enrollment numbers actually started to drop before the pandemic hit.

“Our decline started before the pandemic,” Ross said. “There’s also a lot of competition for higher education in California, like the (University of California) system and it’s heavy in California. It’s changed a lot at Chico State; we are catching up and trying to recruit new students. We try to reach potential students and families. We want them to see the value of Chico State.

Ross said the numbers have improved slightly over the past two years.

“We’re starting to see results,” Ross said. “The incoming freshman class is at 2,000, up from last year,” he said. “It takes a long time to increase enrollment. It’s starting to spin around and should eventually be rebuilt where it should be.

Ross said that sometimes at the start of the semester, classes get canceled.

“We try to avoid that, but it happens. Students have time to plan their schedules this week and next week,” Ross said.

Ross said 80% of classes are now in-person this fall.

“We are happy to welcome students as close to a normal semester as possible,” he said.

Ross said another factor in declining enrollment is that students have taken different paths from college.

“Students may also have chosen to go to trade schools or find a job,” Ross said. “Higher education has a strong value; it is better to have a university degree than not to have one.

The incoming freshman class is up 4-5% from fall 2021.

“We’ve seen an increase,” Ross said. “It’s a good first step. Community colleges are facing decline, in schools across California. Butte College is our strongest partner, along with Yuba and Shasta Colleges. There is a challenge with fewer transfer students.

He said dorms on campus are at 86%.

“Every semester since fall 2021, things have been back to normal,” he said.

Ross began his work at the start of the pandemic.

“We’re starting to do some good things with the restoration of listings,” he said. “We do everything right in terms of marketing and recruiting. It takes time to rebuild the listings.

Chico State Public Information Officer Sean Murphy said enrollment numbers are not yet official.

“Enrollment figures are not final until the enrollment count is complete; usually it’s after the fifth week of school,” Murphy said.

“In May 2022, we graduated 3,500 students, a huge class for Chico State, which is a good thing. However, the fact that we are helping thousands of students progress more effectively in their college careers affects enrollment numbers,” Murphy said. “We are encouraged by the 3,800 students entering university for the first time this week. We are actually changing the language for the first time in students.

Although enrollment has declined, Chico State students said their classes have been doing fairly well so far.

Owen North is a senior from Chico State majoring in computer science. He said his classes have been pretty full so far and there are a few students on waiting lists.

“They’ve been pretty good at having different sections to sign up for,” North said.

Rachel Cunan is a second-year student majoring in child development. She also said that so far her classes have been pretty full.

“Last year, there were more courses taught online,” Cunan said. “It seems like there are more people in person now.”

BRP PROVIDES DATA LEAKAGE INFORMATION

VALCOURT, QC, August 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – BRP Inc. (TSX: DOO) (NASDAQ: DOOO) reports that following the recent cyberattackinformation about certain employees and suppliers that an unauthorized third party had access to was leaked on the dark web.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, the evidence gathered so far leads BRP to believe that the impact of this incident from a data privacy perspective should be limited, as mentioned in the press release published on August 15, 2022.

BRP confirms that it has already contacted the very few employees who may have been affected by the incident. Appropriate resources were made available to them, including credit monitoring services. Based on the current status of its investigation, BRP also believes that the compromised information relating to some of its suppliers is limited in quantity and sensitivity, and is in the process of contacting them.

At this time, the Company has no evidence that its customers’ personal information was affected by the attack. If the circumstances were to change, BRP would directly contact the persons or companies concerned.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information included in this release, including but not limited to statements that the impact of this cyberattack has been limited from a privacy and data privacy perspective and other statements that are not historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Canadian law and United States securities laws. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the use of words such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “should”, “could”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “anticipate”, ” intends”, “trends”, “indications”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, “prospects”, “predicts”, “projects”, “probable” or “potential” or the negative variants or other of these words or other comparable words or expressions. Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, involve inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on many assumptions, both general and specific. BRP cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render these assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause BRP’s actual results or performance to differ materially from the outlook or any results or performance future implied by these statements. Further details and descriptions of these and other factors are disclosed in BRP’s Annual Information Form dated March 24, 2022.

About BRP

We are a global leader in the world of powersports products, propulsion systems and boats built on 80 years of ingenuity and intensive consumer care. Our distinctive and industry-leading product portfolio includes Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and pontoons, Can-Am on- and off-road vehicles, Alumacraft and Quintrex boats, Manitou Rotax pontoons and marine propulsion systems as well as Rotax engines for karts and recreational aircraft. We complement our product lines with a dedicated portfolio of parts, accessories and apparel to fully enhance the riding experience. With annual sales of C$7.6 billion in more than 120 countries, our global workforce includes nearly 20,000 motivated and resourceful people.

www.brp.com
@BRPNews

Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Can-Am, Rotax, Alumacraft, Manitou, Quintrex and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE BRP Inc.

Former Apple employee Xiaolang Zhang pleads guilty

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An aerial view of Apple Park is seen in Cupertino, California, the United States, October 28, 2021.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Xiaolang Zhang, a former Apple employee accused of stealing computer files containing trade secrets about Apple’s secret automotive division, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in San Jose.

Zhang’s plea deal with the US government is under seal, according to court documents filed on Monday. Zhang faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to a felony charge of stealing trade secrets. Judgment is scheduled for November.

Zhang was accused of downloading internal Apple files on the company’s automotive project, specifically a 25-page document including technical schematics of a circuit board for an autonomous vehicle. Zhang was also accused of taking reference manuals and PDFs describing Apple’s prototypes and prototype requirements.

Zhang was arrested by federal agents in July 2018 at San Jose airport, where he planned to fly to China. He previously worked for Apple since 2015, most recently as a hardware engineer with Apple’s autonomous vehicles team, according to charging documents from the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The accusations gave a glimpse into a secret side of Apple that the company, even years later, still doesn’t acknowledge: its division developing self-driving electric vehicles.

In 2018 billing documents, an FBI agent said that company had about 5,000 “disclosed” employees, meaning they were aware of the project, and 2,700 “key employees” with access to the documents and to the project databases.

Apple uses internal software to track which employees are disclosed on which projects and are required to complete in-person secrecy training, according to the complaint. Zhang worked in the Self-Driving Car Project Computing Team, which designed and tested circuit boards for the sensors.

Circuit design schematics are considered among the electronics industry’s most valuable trade secrets.

Apple first suspected Zhang of stealing trade secrets after he took paternity leave and traveled to China. When he returned to the company, he tendered his resignation, saying he wanted to return to China and take care of his mother, according to the 2018 complaint.

He told Apple that he planned to work for Xmotors, one of China’s leading electric vehicle companies, and that his access to Apple’s network had been cut off.

An Apple investigation found that Zhang downloaded documents and information from the company’s databases, according to the complaint. Apple’s closed-circuit cameras even captured Zhang entering the labs and removing hardware, which was later identified as circuit boards and a Linux server, according to the complaint.

Another former Apple employee, Jizhong Chen, also faces charges related to the alleged theft of trade secrets from Apple’s electric car division in early 2019. In the case, Chen, a US citizen, also planned to go to China. Chen has not pleaded guilty and is represented by the same attorney as Zhang. A trial date has not been set.

A lawyer for Zhang did not respond to a request for comment. Apple representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

3 teams who should trade for Isaiah Wynn

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The New England Patriots are open to trade offers for offensive tackle Isaiah Wynnaccording to a report by Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. Selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Wynn is set to earn a fully guaranteed $10.413 million in 2022 via the fifth-year option, which New England exercised last season. The Patriots are tight against the ceiling and are looking for different ways to create much-needed breathing room. Trading Wynn is reportedly an avenue being considered by the Patriots.

Wynn has had a less than ideal offseason. The 26-year-old skipped the voluntary portion of the Patriots’ offseason program and underwent a positional change during the mandatory minicamp. Wynn was notably sidelined throughout the past week with an undisclosed injury.

Wynn played each of his 914 snaps at left tackle last season, via Pro Football Focus, but has been groomed to play at right tackle this season. Wynn hasn’t played the right tackle in the NFL and hasn’t made any starts at the post in Georgia.

Wynn is still considered a guard tackle/tweener according to Breer’s report. His supposed positional versatility could widen the field of teams that may have an interest in acquiring him. We’ve identified three teams that should consider trading for Wynn.

TAMPA BAY BUCANERS

The Buccaneers suffered a series of injuries on their offensive line throughout training camp and preseason. departure center ryan jensen suffered a season-ending knee injury while training in late July. Jensen is the glue holding Tampa’s O line together, but the Buccaneers have faith in his replacement Robert Hainseya sophomore pro from Notre Dame.

Things went from bad to worse on Saturday when we left custody Aaron Stinnie suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Tennessee Titans. Stinnie was in line to start while fighting for that job alongside Nick Levertet, a third-year undrafted free agent for Rice. Leverett played just 60 snaps at left guard in a reserve role last season and had an atrocious pass blocking rating of 18.1, via Pro Football Focus.

Second-round rookie selection Luc Goedeke may also find himself in the mix to start at left guard after Stinnie’s injury, but Goedeke is a small-school second-rounder undergoing a positional change after playing an offensive tackle at Central Michigan last season. Goedeke had some tough reps against the Titans on Saturday. The Buccaneers are in win-now mode with an aging Tom Brady under the center. Leaning on Leverett or Goedeke to contribute immediately might not be a wise move.

Suffering season-ending injuries to potentially two starting inside offensive linemen before September even marked his arrival isn’t how the Buccaneers envisioned progressing this summer. Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht already traded for a former Patriots lineman earlier this offseason when he acquired Shaq Mason. Could additional discussions be centered on Wynn?

LAS VEGAS ADVENTURERS

The links here are obvious. New Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels served as Wynn’s offensive coordinator for the duration of his four-year career up to that point. General manager Dave Ziegler worked as the Patriots’ professional personnel director when they drafted Wynn with a first-round pick in 2018. The Raiders’ new regime acquired and hired several former Patriots players and coaches this offseason. The ties between the two franchises are extensive. They certainly would have at least poked around Wynn’s availability.

Additionally, the Raiders should rightfully be looking for ways to improve their offensive line. Year two blocker Alex Leatherwood continues to have an inconsistent offseason after failing to make the desired impact as a first-round rookie last season. Leatherwood has played both tackle and guard, but has yet to find a forever home for himself. There are also questions all over the inside.

The Raiders have playoff aspirations in a loaded and revamped AFC West division. Disappointing offensive line play could prevent the Raiders from achieving their goals. Trading for Wynn would move the needle forward.

PITTSBURGH STEELS

The Steelers haven’t done enough to improve their offensive line this offseason. Head coach Mike Tomlin is trying to figure out who his starting quarterback is. Beginner Kenny Pickett showed up admirably in Saturday’s preseason win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Mitch Trubisky received the start under the center. Mason Rudolf widely played in this contest. The common denominator? All three quarterbacks were under constant duress while playing behind a questionable offensive line.

The Steelers signed the ever-reliable James Daniel with their aim to improve inside their attacking line, but it was surprising to see general manager Omar Khan neglect the attacking tackle position. The Steelers didn’t draft an offensive tackle, nor did they add a notable one via free agency. The Steelers seem content to start a second consecutive season with Dan Moore Jr.. and Chukwuma Okorafor as starting bookends despite their difficulties a year ago. Wynn could be a plug-and-play starter in Pittsburgh.

New York DCP Provides Targeted Back-to-School Guidance for Parents and Children

Mon 22 Aug 2022 07:00

Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez: ‘Children shouldn’t have to give up their right to privacy to do their homework’

√ Follow key tips to protect your child’s personal information and avoid back-to-school scams

Submitted by the New York State Division of Consumer Protection

As summer draws to a close and parents begin to prepare their students to return to school, the NYS Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) is providing targeted scam prevention and shopping tips to parents and children before the new school year.

“Back-to-school shopping is the second biggest spending event for parents, after the holidays, making it extremely important for parents to know how to guard against scams to protect their privacy and finances,” said said Secretary of State Robert J Rodriguez. . “And as more schools use technology as an educational tool, parents need to know what information is being obtained from their student and how to protect their children’s identity and privacy. Kids shouldn’t have to give up their right to privacy just to do their homework. I urge parents to use these tips to keep elementary through high school students safe this school year. »

Below are some tips for starting the new school year safely.

Think about children’s privacy

Under New York State Education Law, if you are a parent of a child in New York State schools, you have rights regarding the privacy and security of information and data. your child’s personal information. NYS law requires every educational agency to post its privacy and data security policy on its website. Technology has become a permanent part of the educational experience. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released a policy statement warning educational technology about children’s privacy. In other words, educational technology companies cannot require parents and schools to agree to full child supervision for children to use these learning tools. Thus, parents and guardians should pay close attention to the technology used by children, the information they collect and how they use it.

Some salient facts to know about this law:

√ Your child’s personal information may not be sold or distributed for commercial purposes.

√ If your child is under 18, you have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of your child’s education records.

√ If you have any questions about student data, please see information available to parents from the New York State Department of Education.

Other ways to pay close attention to your child’s personal information:

√ Protect documents containing a child’s personal information. Understand where your child’s information is stored. Ask how extracurricular organizations and sports clubs secure their records: Are the digital records connected to the internet and, if so, are they encrypted? Are physical files locked in filing cabinets? Who has access?

√ Be careful when providing credentials to extracurricular activities and sports clubs during registration. If you are asked for a Social Security Number (SSN), ask why it is needed and insist on using another ID. Often organizations include the SSN request as a formality, and it may not be required.

√ Only label books, backpacks, and lunches with the student’s full name and any other information inside! The use of initials on the outside is acceptable, but surnames, even just first names, on the outside can create a dangerous situation.

√ Discuss internet safety tips with children and remind them to be careful when opening suspicious emails and attachments. For advice on how to stay safe online, please see the information in this January 2020 Consumer Alert.

√ Parents and students should be careful on all social media platforms: do not share too much. Any information you post can be seen and used by identity thieves. Avoid sharing personal information, including full names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, or even where they go to school. Social media posts often inadvertently reveal sensitive information. Cybercriminals seek out content that can reveal answers to security questions used to reset passwords, making accounts vulnerable to identity theft.

Avoid back-to-school scams

Back-to-school shopping is the second biggest spending event for parents (behind holiday shopping). Often, a purchase scam starts with a fake website, mobile app or, increasingly, social media advertisement. This year, smartphone shopping is on the rise as people are on the move again. DCP urges consumers to take note of common scams when shopping. Scammers may attempt to exploit the back-to-school rush through fraudulent advertisements or other forms of solicitation.

√ Protect your identity while shopping online: Make sure transactions are made over a secure connection. Make sure the website is secure by identifying a padlock symbol by the URL or https and avoid using public Wi-Fi to log in to online accounts.

√ Download retail apps only from trusted sources: Cybercriminals are now creating apps that look and may even function like legitimate retail apps, but are actually malware designed to steal your personal and financial information, send unknowing text messages, or even track your location online. using your phone’s GPS capabilities.

√ Beware of fake ads and websites: As scammers continue to grow in sophistication, fake websites often look like legitimate sites with believable logos, images, and payment options. If the website advertises extremely low prices or discounts over 50%, consumers should beware and diligently verify the legitimacy of the seller.

√ Learn how to spot phishing emails: Scammers can send phishing emails to students and parents saying they missed a delivery of school supplies. These emails ask recipients to click a link to reschedule that delivery. This link floods victims’ computers with malware or sends them to fake websites that ask for their personal and payment information.

√ Make sure you know who the seller is: Some major retailers allow third-party sellers to list items on their site, and these items can be difficult to distinguish from others. Read all the fine print to make sure you’re comfortable with the seller.

√ Use a credit card for online purchases, if possible: Credit cards offer the best protection against fraud, including the right to dispute charges if there is a problem with your purchase.

√ Beware of fake coupons on social networks: If the coupon is not from a recognized coupon distributor, manufacturer, or a particular store, beware.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection provides consumer education resources and materials on product safety, as well as voluntary consumer-business mediation services. The Consumer Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays. Consumer complaints can be filed at any time on www.dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection.

For more consumer protection tips, follow DCP on social media on Twitter @NYSConsumer and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.

UK industry braces for gloomy winter as soaring energy costs threaten shutdowns

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For more than half a century, the furnaces at Steve Keeton’s factory in Wigan have been used to melt and stretch fiberglass used in wind turbines, electric car parts and construction. Now, the prospect of soaring electricity prices and supply disruptions could force it to close permanently.

The threat of closure at Electric Glass Fiber UK is real despite strong demand for its products. The cost of running its ovens is expected to rise by 300%, which is unaffordable next April, due to soaring energy bills. There is also a risk that electricity will be rationed this winter if the standoff with Russia worsens gas supply shortages across Europe.

A disconnection – even for just a few hours – would cause lasting damage and “cost tens of millions of pounds to repair”, said Keeton, managing director of the 57-year-old plant in north-west England. England, which belongs to the Japanese Nippon. Electric window since 2016.

“I can’t even believe I mean it,” he added, referring to the potential need to close unless the company receives government support or borrows more from banks or its owner.

UK businesses are prepared for unprecedented energy costs this winter. Many deals are due to be renegotiated next month, ahead of a tipping point in October when thousands of companies – big and small – have to move on to new contracts.

UK households are protected against sudden fluctuations in the wholesale price of gas by a price cap – although this is currently rising sharply – but there are no such protections for businesses.

Heavy industries have warned the UK government they risk permanent closure this winter if sudden emergency measures are introduced to limit use © Rebecca Lupton/FT

Companies tend to do one-, two-, or five-year contracts, many of which end next month. There is no obligation for energy suppliers to offer new contracts, and some companies are struggling to find replacements. This means that they could soon be dependent on short-term trading or the daily spot price, which is already around five times higher than a year ago.

“There is a huge cost shock for businesses, especially those on fixed-price contracts,” said Robert Buckley, relationship development manager at Cornwall Insight, an energy consultancy. “It’s frightening.”

Britain has ‘no plan’ for the crisis

Industrial and chemical companies are among the biggest consumers of energy and for many manufacturers – such as glass and ceramics – a continuous supply of gas and electricity is essential.

Soaring energy costs have already led to widespread cuts at fertilizer plants and the indefinite closure of two foundries in Europe.

Some fear the UK will be hit harder, with its response to the energy crisis stalled by paralysis in decision-making until a new Prime Minister takes office next month.

Line graph of (£/MWh)* showing UK electricity prices reaching unaffordable levels for manufacturers

Nishma Patel, policy director at the Chemicals Industry Association, a trade body, said the EU had published a framework to deal with severe gas shortages over the winter, which included government intervention in the event of a price spike. No such scheme exists in the UK.

“In the EU, we started to see their worst-case plans. We don’t have that clarity yet,” she said. “The big concern is ‘will we have these things ready by winter? “”

The government said: “While no national government can control the global factors driving up the cost of energy, we will continue to support UK industry.

“We have more than doubled support through our energy-intensive industries offset program and recently launched a consultation on proposals to fully exempt these businesses from paying certain environmental and political costs. This is in addition to our £289m Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to help heavy industry reduce bills and emissions.

Questions posed directly to energy-hungry companies by regulator Ofgem and network providers – including whether they could reduce or even cut gas with just six hours’ notice – have baffled manufacturers, who need time to shut down operations safely.

“There’s no constraint on that at the moment, but it’s concerning,” Keeton said.

Heavy industries have warned the UK government they risk permanent closure this winter if sudden emergency measures to limit use are introduced and there is no support when their supply contracts are renewed of energy.

Dave Dalton, chairman of the Energy-Intensive Users Group, said a “bigger concern, after playing this one on security of supply over the winter, is price.”

Gas prices in Europe jumped 10% to €251 per megawatt hour this week, one of the highest prices on record and 13 times the average of the previous decade.

Britain does not import much gas directly from Russia, but competes with other buyers on the international market and traditionally relies on pipeline imports from mainland Europe during the winter to meet the demand, especially during cold spells.

Jobs at risk

Some manufacturers may be able to limit hours and production to the extent that they can absorb the costs. “But it will also affect employment and people will go home and pay their own very high energy bills,” Buckley said.

Companies most affected by the price hike are expected to be companies with significantly lower two- and five-year fixed contracts. Some energy suppliers are asking customers to lock in high prices on contracts with much longer terms than usual, said Rob Flello, chief executive of the British Ceramics Federation.

Kevin Preston, managing director of Hinton Perry & Davenhill, which owns businesses that make 8.3 million roof tiles and 6 million bricks a year, said he faced “a cliff edge scenario” once its energy supply contract was to be renewed.

Machines producing fiberglass
Soaring energy costs have already led to widespread cuts at fertilizer plants and the indefinite closure of two foundries in Europe © Rebecca Lupton/FT

“The harsh reality will be to reduce or completely stop production and lay off skilled colleagues with significant damage to furnaces and factories that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “With no price relief on the horizon and a lack of government support, we all face a very bleak future.”

Keeton, like many others in the industry, felt his company’s needs had been ignored by Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak in their bid to become the UK’s next prime minister.

“We listen to our Prime Minister hopefuls on the news and they don’t even talk about business or industry at all. There is a cost of living crisis for people, but we have several thousand jobs that depend on our business,” Keeton said.

The UK car industry has also repeatedly raised concerns that rising electricity prices are making it harder to convince manufacturers to set up shop in Britain.

“The cost of energy in the UK is 59% higher than the EU average,” said Mike Hawes, boss of British car group SMMT. The current situation “exacerbates. . . the anti-competitive position of the UK,” he added.

For many businesses, the rising cost of gas and electricity is not the only challenge. Businesses across the UK are also grappling with a shortage of workers following Brexit and higher material prices due to supply chain disruptions.

“It’s important – it’s not just us,” Keeton said, referring to the glass industry. “There is a risk of closures.

Odessa College Sewell Auto Tech held a car show to raise scholarship funds

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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) — For more than 75 years, Odessa College has been helping the next generation of students achieve their career goals.

Odessa College held a car show this weekend to help raise funds for the Sewell Automotive Technology Scholarship to attract more students to the field of automotive technology.

Students entering the Automotive and Diesel Technology program will learn skills such as troubleshooting, critical thinking, machine and system repair, and vehicle maintenance.

This program is unlike any other, giving mechanics of all ages the opportunity for a successful and in-demand career with 90% of students finding employment after 8 weeks of graduation.

As soon as you step onto campus, you learn right away with hands-on experience.

And with the car show in place, the department is always looking for more people to join the school.

“So we are having a car show and the proceeds will go to a scholarship for an Odessa College automotive student,” said Zachary James Williams, deputy director of Odessa College Sewell Auto Tech.

Kristal Martinez, a student in the program, explains why she tries so hard to recruit people into this field.

“As a woman, I always try to get other women to join the program. You don’t see much in this industry. So if I see a woman or even a young girl interested, I might show them around and show them different parts of the car and see if they are also interested. said Kristal Martinez, a student at Odessa College

For student Kayden Hicks, the high demand for more automotive technicians in the field is at an all-time high. This program allows students from the Permian Basin to embark on a new career in a short time.

“Just to recruit more people. Everyone needs more techs just at my dealership we have 2 we need a lot more and it’s just a good way to get people in,” said student Kayden Hicks at Odessa College.

Other trade school programs like the Automotive Student Service Education Training allow students to earn money with their internship while learning with the Ford dealership at the same time.

Pennsylvania unemployment rate drops to 4.3% in July

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Jobs up 31,000 since June

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) today released its preliminary employment situation report for July 2022.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point during the month to 4.3% in July. The unemployment rate in the United States fell a tenth of a percentage point during the month to 3.5%. The Commonwealth unemployment rate was 2.1 percentage points lower than its July 2021 level and the national rate was down 1.9 percentage points on the year.

“The July jobs report is a testament to the ability of workers in Pennsylvania to recover from a crisis, support their families, and contribute to a strong economy that benefits us all,” the secretary said. by L&I, Jennifer Berrier. “While the unemployment rate continues to fall steadily, employment growth continues across all sectors, from professional and business services to trade and transportation. This month marks the first time since June 2019 that we have an unemployment rate of 4.3%.

Pennsylvania’s civilian labor force — the estimated number of residents working or seeking work — remained unchanged during the month. Employment increased by 12,000 (to 6,171,000) while resident unemployment fell by 12,000 (to 275,000).

Total non-farm payrolls in Pennsylvania rose by 31,000 during the month to 5,979,500 in July. Jobs rose from June in 9 of the industry’s 11 supersectors with the largest volume increase in professional and business services (+11,000). During the year, total non-farm payrolls increased by 203,800, with gains in 10 of 11 supersectors. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest 12-month gain, adding 60,500 jobs. Three supersectors – trade, transport and public services; information; and professional and business services – were above their pre-pandemic employment levels in July 2022.

From April 2020 to July 2022, Pennsylvania recovered about 90% of the jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic period.

Additional information is available on the L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov or by following us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Note: The above data is seasonally adjusted. Seasonally adjusted data provide the most valid monthly comparison. July data is preliminary and subject to revision.

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin James, [email protected]

# # #

Editor’s note: A breakdown of Pennsylvania employment statistics follows.


Current Labor Force Statistics

Seasonally adjusted

(in thousands)
Change Change
July June July June 2022 July 2021
2022 2022 2021 volume percent volume percent
Pennsylvania
Civilian workforce 6,446 6,446 6,411 0 0.0% 35 0.5%
Use 6,171 6,159 6,002 12 0.2% 169 2.8%
Unemployment 275 287 409 -12 -4.2% -134 -32.8%
Assess 4.3 4.5 6.4 -0.2 —- -2.1 —-
WE
Civilian workforce 163,960 164,023 161,375 -63 0.0% 2,585 1.6%
Use 158,290 158 111 152,704 179 0.1% 5,586 3.7%
Unemployment 5,670 5,912 8,671 -242 -4.1% -3,001 -34.6%
Assess 3.5 3.6 5.4 -0.1 —- -1.9 —-
Note: August 2022 labor force and non-farm employment statistics will be released on September 16, 2022.

Pennsylvania Wage and non-farm wage employment

Seasonally adjusted

(in thousands)

Change Change
July June July June 2022 July 2021
2022 2022 2021 volume percent volume percent
Total non-farm employment 5,979.5 5,948.5 5,775.7 31.0 0.5% 203.8 3.5%
Goods-producing industries 841.6 840.1 818.3 1.5 0.2% 23.3 2.8%
Mining and logging 23.3 23.2 21.7 0.1 0.4% 1.6 7.4%
Construction 256.7 255.6 254.2 1.1 0.4% 2.5 1.0%
Manufacturing 561.6 561.3 542.4 0.3 0.1% 19.2 3.5%
Service delivery industries 5,137.9 5,108.4 4,957.4 29.5 0.6% 180.5 3.6%
Commerce, transport and public services 1,164.4 1,157.6 1,103.9 6.8 0.6% 60.5 5.5%
Information 89.8 89.7 86.4 0.1 0.1% 3.4 3.9%
Financial activities 329.3 329.7 327.5 -0.4 -0.1% 1.8 0.5%
Professional and business services 830.9 819.9 801.0 11.0 1.3% 29.9 3.7%
Education and health services 1,267.5 1,258.2 1,232.2 9.3 0.7% 35.3 2.9%
Leisure & Hospitality 536.2 534.6 486.7 1.6 0.3% 49.5 10.2%
Other services 248.8 246.4 237.4 2.4 1.0% 11.4 4.8%
Government 671.0 672.3 682.3 -1.3 -0.2% -11.3 -1.7%
For a more detailed breakdown of seasonally adjusted industry-level employment data, please contact the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis at 1-877-4WF-DATA, or visit www.paworkstats.pa.gov
Note: August 2022 labor force and non-farm employment statistics will be released on September 16, 2022.

Candidates for superintendent of public schools lay out their visions for education

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ATLANTE –Both candidates for public school superintendent presented their respective visions for improving education Thursday at a forum sponsored by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.
Incumbent Republican Richard Woods, who is seeking a third term in November, described his accomplishments as state superintendent over the past eight years.
His administration has reduced the number of high-stakes tests students must take each year and the number of observations their teachers must undergo, Woods said.
Woods said his administration has increased support for teachers. He pointed to a recent salary increase for teachers and a new law that allows retired teachers to return to the classroom on full pay.
The state Department of Education (DOE) also recently released a report on teacher burnout in Georgia. The DOE will soon announce a program to provide free mental health support to teachers, Woods said.
“I think the best thing we can do to address mental health in the state is to give our teachers time to build relationships with their kids,” he said. “If you put in a great teacher who takes care of every child, that means they have hours of therapy every day.”
Under Woods’ watch, the DOE strengthened vocational and technical training in the state, he said. The department is also creating new standards in English and language arts, which will help address below-average literacy rates among Georgian students.
Woods said he views the DOE’s role as “service and support” and “compassion over compliance.”
Woods’ competitor, Democrat Alisha Thomas Searcy, said her past experiences as a school superintendent, a state legislator who served on the House Education Committee and a mother of three school-aged children qualify for the position.
Searcy ran for office in 2014 but lost in a runoff of the Democratic primaries. Prior to that, she served as a state representative for 12 years.
Searcy said she envisions a Georgia where every school has a mental health professional on staff.
“Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, that’s a great goal. But damn it, don’t our children, our teachers and our educators deserve it? ” she asked.
Searcy said the state’s education funding formula needs an overhaul. A Georgia Senate study committee will begin examining the issue on Friday.
“We still have districts in rural areas in particular that don’t have adequate funding to serve students in their schools,” Searcy said. “This should be unacceptable to educators in the state. This should be unacceptable to education officials.
Searcy said she thinks the DOE should serve as a clearinghouse for districts across the state to share lessons learned from new programs or approaches, especially as districts seek to spend millions of dollars. in federal pandemic relief funds.
“While districts across the state have certainly received these funds, there has been very little leadership to provide support and guidance to districts on innovative ways to use these funds,” she said.
Searcy said the state should also ensure schools have access to educational technology that can help assess where students need extra support, especially after the COVID pandemic has caused them to fall behind. to many students.

“I live with a sense of urgency,” she said. “I will do something.”

AMS Welcomes New Affiliate, Dr. Adam Alter, Consumer Behavior Expert and New York Times Bestselling Author

Applied Marketing Science, Inc. is pleased to welcome newly affiliated expert Dr. Adam Alter, an authority on consumer behavior and decision-making, and a New York Times bestselling author.

Applied Marketing Science, Inc. (AMS), a leading market research and consulting firm, is pleased to welcome a new Expert Affiliate Dr. Adam Alter, an authority on consumer behavior and decision-making, and a New York Times bestselling author. AMS will support Dr. Alter in complex litigation involving investigative evidence and expert testimony for matters of misleading advertising, class action lawsuits, etc.

Dr. Alter is Professor of Marketing and a member of the Robert Stansky Teaching Excellence Faculty at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is also an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Psychology at New York University and has won several teaching awards.

Dr. Alter is an expert in consumer behavior, decision making, branding and technology. Additionally, he is the New York Times bestselling author of three books – Drunk Tank Pink, Irresistible and the upcoming Break Free – which collectively focus on how consumers view and make consumer decisions, and how they choose to spend their time, money, and other resources. He has consulted and advised dozens of companies and governments around the world, focusing on the regulation of new technologies and new products. And he’s served as an expert witness in cases involving a wide variety of topics, including misleading advertising, class action lawsuits, predatory technology practices and product misrepresentation.

“We are delighted that Dr. Alter has joined AMS,” said jason och, principal at AMS and head of the firm’s litigation support practice. “It provides our clients with real-world expertise in understanding consumer behavior and decision-making, as well as practical insights into how consumers make decisions when faced with new products, services and technology.” Och added: “As a bestselling author and award-winning teacher, Dr. Alter is uniquely adept at conveying even the most complex topics in an easy-to-understand way. The combination of Dr. Alter’s expertise and AMS’ rigorous support is a win-win situation for our litigation clients.

Dr. Alter has published over forty academic articles on a variety of marketing and consumer behavior topics. He has served on the editorial boards and served as associate editor for many leading journals in the field, including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. He holds a B.Sc. in Psychology and Law from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social and Cognitive Psychology from Princeton University.

AMS collaborates with a network of survey research experts who have expertise in areas such as consumer behavior, social psychology, advertising, branding, marketing strategy, economics, content analysis, and other related fields. Experts design and conduct surveys to analyze consumer perceptions and behavior in litigation – including trademark and trade dress infringement, misleading advertising, class actions, patent infringement and damages calculations – and testify during depositions and at trial.

For more information about AMS Litigation Support services, please send inquiries to [email protected] or contact Jason Och at (781) 250-6317.

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Ralph R.Hauser | Oconomowoc Obituary

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CLINTONVILLE

Ralph R. Hauser

December 24, 1929 – August 12, 2022






Ralph R. Hauser, 92, died peacefully at his home in Clintonville on August 12, 2022, surrounded by his family.

He was born on December 24, 1929 in Wauwatosa. He was predeceased by his dear wife of 67 years, Joy M. Hauser.

He is survived by his three daughters, Teriann Hagen (LaVern), Lori Kowalske (Dan) and Patty Goto (Alan); nine grandchildren, Jenny Meiners (Jerry), Curt Hagen (Michelle), Brett Hagen (Lindsey), Daniel Kowalske Jr. (Sherri), Amy Ryan (Tim), Nicole Piskula (Randy), Christopher Kowalske (Jessica), Sara Olson (Eric) and Michael Goto; 24 great-grandchildren; and loving companion, Rosemarie Soumar.

During his lifetime, Ralph owned a successful Foran Spice Company (Asenzya) in the spice and seasoning industry. He grew the business into one of the leading companies in the industry. He cherished his employees, customers and suppliers over the years and always respected their value and ideas. He was previously a member of ASTA (American Spice Trade Association) and IFT (Institute of Food Technologists). He was a man of great integrity and perseverance, and he lived his life, both professionally and personally, with tremendous energy, enthusiasm and a positive attitude. He spent his retirement at his Long Lake home in Clintonville and at Island Dunes in Jensen Beach, Florida. Traveling became a passion in his retirement, traveling through Europe, the Panama Canal, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, St. Thomas, sailing on the Queen Mary and at across the United States, and more recently taken several cruises through the Caribbean islands. He was a longtime member of the Shawano Presbyterian Church and a member of the Wauwatosa and Clintonville Masonic Lodge for many years.

A private family memorial service will be held.

A special “thank you” to Unity Hospice Services for caring about Ralph and his family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) – SE Wisconsin Chapter would be appreciated.

The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home and Crematorium in Clintonville helps the Hauser family make arrangements. An online guestbook is available at eberhardtstevenson.com.

Australian lobby calls for more wine tariff cuts

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Ravi Dutta Mishra and Dilasha Seth

New Delhi

Australia’s wine industry is demanding further duty cuts ahead of India-Australia negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement next month.

Experts believe that alcohol negotiations with Australia could become the model for future deals with other developed countries like the UK.

An association representing 2,500 Australian wine growers said its members were seeking further cuts in import tariffs as part of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations.

The Australian wine industry has been under pressure since China raised its tariffs on Australian wines to more than 200% in 2020. import tariffs as part of the upcoming rounds of negotiations for the CECA,” the association said. National Australian Wine Grape and Wine Producer’s Association.

For the first time, India reduced tariffs on alcoholic beverages under an FTA and agreed to reduce tariffs on Australian wines with a minimum import price of US$5 per bottle from 150% to 100% when the agreement is implemented, then to 50% over 10 years. . For bottles over $15, the duty will be reduced from 150% to 75%, then to 25% over 10 years.

“Australia hopes to resume negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India as soon as possible. Within the CECA, we will seek to build on the results of the Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement by goods and services, and to include cross-cutting issues, such as digital trade, and new areas of cooperation,” the spokesperson for the Australian High Commission said.

Queries sent to the Department of Trade and Industry on Monday went unanswered at press time.

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The Stratford case ends dramatically | Local News

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Tears flowed again as family members from both sides stood in a Pauls Valley courtroom for this week’s final verdict for an Ada man who caused a 2018 traffic accident that radically changed the lives of a Stratford couple with debilitating injuries.

Among those attending Monday’s sentencing were the defendant, Austin Johnson, 26, as well as Chris and Regina Dilbeck.

The three first reunited with devastating results on July 2, 2018. Johnson admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs when his van failed to stop at a traffic sign. signaling that rammed a vehicle carrying the Dilbecks as they travelled. on US Highway 177 to their home in Stratford.

The accident left the two Dilbecks in hospital for nearly a month and have since needed help from others with simple day-to-day things.

Johnson reached a plea deal in March 2020 that got him a 20-year sentence with five of those years in prison.

Claiming to be confused about the court process, a few months later Johnson asked to withdraw his plea and have the case returned to the early stages.

His request was granted after the Dilbecks and their family members all expressed their forgiveness and agreed that Johnson should be given another chance with a punishment that included rehabilitation and not jail time.

During this week’s hearing, District Judge Leah Edwards reminded the defendant that the Dilbeck family gave him a most unusual gift in connection with criminal proceedings.

“I would like you to write them a letter,” Edwards told Johnson.

“I would like you to sit down and write a detailed letter of apology and send that letter (to the Dilbecks). They don’t have to open it, but I would like them to have this letter at their disposal.

“I want you to know the Dilbecks gave the breaks you don’t deserve. You should thank them for that. Don’t waste this opportunity.

The judge sentenced Johnson to a deferred sentence of seven years and waived court costs, instead ordering the money to go to the Dilbecks.

Johnson was also given an 18-month sentence supervised by state officials and drug and alcohol evaluation orders over time, while the judge told both sides to develop a restitution payment plan for the accused.

“We’re asking the court to be creative in positioning it to be able to try to make the Dilbecks more whole,” defense attorney Tracy Schumacher said.

The Norman lawyer was referring to Johnson’s desire to attend trade school for power linemen, which would equip him financially to pay off Dilbecks that could amount to more than $200,000.

Although the Dilbecks did not want Johnson to receive a prison term, Assistant Garvin County District Attorney Laura McClain argued that they wanted him to receive a felony conviction and a lengthy probation as way to pay for his mistake.

“It’s devastating what a bad decision has taken on this family,” McClain said.

The prosecutor asked Johnson to receive 15 years of probation and five more suspended, as well as the felony conviction and the restitution order.

•••

Ahead of the sentencing announcement, Johnson took the stage to offer a tearful message directly to the Dilbecks as they watched from the front row of a Garvin County District courtroom.

“I’m so sorry you went through all of this,” Johnson said. “I prayed that everything would work out for you. I hate how you have to think about it all the time and I can’t wrap it up with me.

“Regina, I’m so sorry for your injuries. You too Chris. I’m sorry for all of you. If there is anything I can do, I will. I hope this isn’t the last time I can talk to you.

Although the Dilbecks did not speak, they and other family members submitted written victim impact statements, which were read aloud by McClain.

“My limits are lifelong,” Regina said in her statement. “Every time we come to court for this, I’m forced to relive all the horrible things about the incident.”

“Even now, four years later, I still can’t work full time,” Chris said.

“My life has changed forever because of a bad decision made by Austin Johnson.

“We are a loving family, a forgiving family and we believe in second chances. But we also believe in empowering people.

“I don’t want him put in jail, but he needs to be held accountable.”

Clean Fuels celebrates its new name with a groundbreaking ceremony

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Earlier in the day, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin and other elected and civic leaders in Missouri joined Donnell Rehagen, CEO of Clean Fuels Alliance America, to a ribbon cutting at the trade association headquarters in Jefferson City. Clean Fuels, formerly known as the National Biodiesel Board, recently expanded its brand in recognition of the multiple, fast-growing clean fuels it represents, such as biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.

“Clean Fuels is an influential and important ally to farmers and entrepreneurs across Missouri and the Midwest,” Parson said. “We are proud to have this association right here in Jefferson City, which helps create jobs while ensuring our country benefits from local fuels that provide energy security and environmental benefits.”

Clean Fuels has been based in Jefferson City since its founding in 1992 and includes more than 120 member companies from across the country, including agricultural commodity groups, fuel producers and distributors, and equipment manufacturers.

“Today’s ribbon cutting represents a major milestone for our industry, which began 30 years ago with humble roots and is increasingly playing a vital role in efforts to decarbonize our country and the world. our world’s fuel supply,” Rehagen said. “Our industry has and will continue to experience significant growth as the world focuses on clean energy. Our members produce some of the cleanest fuels in the plant and are part of the solution for sustainable energy that is not only affordable, but also scalable and available now. Additionally, our new name and brand represent the connected energies of our members and position our industry for a clean fuels future.

“This year our industry celebrates its 30th anniversary, and this organizational name change capitalizes on the connected energies of everyone working together for a clean fuels future,” said Chad Stone of Chevron Renewable Energy Group, based in the USA. Iowa, and chair of the Clean Fuels Governance Board. “Our name reflects the evolution and growth in demand for all the products we create – biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. This new name will position us for growth in the clean energy ecosystem and continue to reinforce our longstanding role as the voice of this industry.

Made from renewable and recycled sources like soybean oil and used cooking oil, America’s biodiesel and renewable diesel industry supports 65,000 U.S. jobs and more than $17 billion in business economical every year. Biodiesel and renewable diesel are blended into diesel fuel in Missouri and across the country, which represents approximately 5% of the nation’s diesel supply, or approximately 3.2 billion gallons of sales in 2021. Not only fuel diversifies the country’s oil portfolio, but a recent World Agricultural, Economic and Environmental Services (WAEES) A study shows that the availability of biodiesel and renewable diesel lowers the price of diesel fuel by an average of 4%.

In addition to its headquarters in Jefferson City, Clean Fuels has offices in Sacramento, Boston, and Washington, D.C. The association educates policymakers, regulators, automakers, consumers, and others about its clean fuels, which are alternatives to petroleum-based fuels and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions – 74% on average for 100% biodiesel. These clean fuels are not only good for the environment, but also better for human health. According recent searchUsing biodiesel instead of petroleum diesel could also lead to significant reductions in the incidence of cancer and asthma while saving billions in healthcare costs and lost productivity.

FPCCI Sees $5 Billion Trade Pak-Turkiye

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KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh on Monday stressed boosting bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey, saying trade between the countries could reach $5 billion.

Pakistan and Turkey recently signed an agreement on trade in goods, which the FPCCI chief said would pave the way for realizing the potential. He also denied reports that the Pakistani private sector was not consulted before the signing of the agreement with Turkey. “As the supreme body, the FPCCI represented the entire business community of the country at the auspicious occasion,” he said.

Sheikh said that in FY22, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries passed the psychological barrier of $1 billion after a long hiatus of ten long years and soared to $1.1 billion. per year. He predicted that two-way trade would experience a major boom in the coming years and reach the $5 billion mark.

FPCCI chief urged local exporters to target value-added textiles; Sport stuff; surgical equipment; rice, fruits and vegetables and building materials. Mr. Amjad Rafi, Chairman of the FPCCI Pakistan-Turkey Joint Business Council, said that a consultation process has been going on in the Federal Ministry of Commerce for a year and a half, and stakeholders from business, industry and commerce were also consulted.

If we’re being honest, college isn’t the only path to success, especially at these prices.

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The US economy continues to evolve in often unpredictable and confusing ways. We have record unemployment, but record inflation. While we have strong consumer spending, the S&P 500 is down 16% in 2022 and the Dow Jones is down more than 11%. Understandably, many don’t know what to expect next.

But one important recent piece of data didn’t surprise me at all: the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reported that America now has 650,000 fewer students than a year ago: that’s a 5% drop.

Why wasn’t I surprised? Well, at the LIME Foundation and NextGen Trades Academy, I interact with young people every day, and it’s clear that many see the skilled trades as a great career opportunity that doesn’t require a lot of time and effort. money (usually in the form of debt) needed to earn a college degree.

Believe me, student debt can be crippling. It took me almost a quarter of a century to pay off mine. The NAACP recently explained how the $10,000 amount of college debt forgiveness proposed by the White House would not go far enough for black students. After all, they have an average student debt of over $50,000, even years after graduation. For many, there is a better solution.

According to Rock the Trades, a workforce development initiative that raises awareness of skilled trades as a rewarding career path, many people mistakenly believe that trades don’t pay well. In reality, however, it is common for skilled workers to earn an average of $53,500 per year. Many earn much more. For example, construction managers who oversee construction projects can earn up to $165,000 per year. No college degree or college debt required.

In my case, as a 20-year-old black woman attending college full-time, I started working in the roofing trade. Not only was it super fulfilling, but I could hardly believe how much money I was taking home. It was then that I decided to launch my career in building and roofing. I have now been with the company for 26 years, 18 of which as CEO of my own roofing company. It has been a fulfilling and lucrative journey for me.

After personally experiencing the potential to thrive through skilled trades, it became clear to me that the next challenge was to provide similar opportunities to others. So I brought my entrepreneurs together several years ago to think about our common business challenges. We agreed that they all boiled down to one huge problem: the workforce we needed just wasn’t there. We couldn’t find enough young people to enter the trades, and our current employees were rapidly leaving the workforce. It was a recipe for business disaster, and we knew we had to act fast.

Eventually, I promised to start the LIME Foundation and the NextGen Trades Academy if my entrepreneurs promised to mentor our young people and hire our graduates. Fortunately, they agreed to do both. Since then, we have demonstrated to many young people, many of whom have dropped out of high school or are in massive debt (but still unable to find rewarding work) that the skilled trades are the way for them.

Our registrants start with an intensive and in-depth three-week education and training program, including safety training, financial literacy and other workshops. Then we give them 18 months of support to find not just a job, but a career in the skilled trade of their choice. The LIME Foundation and NextGen Trades Academy are now helping to create an engaged, debt-free generation of skilled, employed Americans. And of course, we’re also creating a skilled workforce for the dozens of businesses that need those workers to survive, let alone thrive.

I can hardly express how happy it makes me, especially as a woman of color, to be offered these career opportunities in the construction trades. The LIME Foundation and NextGen Trades Academy are helping many young people of color, some entangled in the juvenile justice system, find a path in life and an honest, fulfilling way to support themselves and perhaps support a family one day. I can’t think of a better way to give back and pay it forward.

The LIME Foundation and NextGen Trades Academy are now looking beyond our home in Northern California. We would like to expand across the country, partnering with communities and organizations that understand what the skilled trades have to offer young people. So, do not hesitate to contact us and let us know of your interest. Because we are very excited about this next leg of the journey.

____

Letitia Hanke worked at a roofing company while in college and eventually started his own company, ARS Roofing & Gutters. Her vision of advocating for the underprivileged inspired her to create the LIME Foundation, which works with at-risk youth, seniors and veterans, providing critical skills not only in construction but also in technology, services health, music and the performing arts.

Walgreens Launches Clinical Trials Business to Leverage Consumer Data, Technology and National Reach to Increase Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Drug Research

By partnering with drugmakers to connect customers to clinical trials, the retail pharmacy chain believes this new venture will be the company’s “next engine of growth.”

Walgreens is launching a business to connect customers to clinical drug trials, a venture that adds another offering to the growing menu of healthcare services from retail pharmacy giants. This new venture could also mean additional test orders for clinical laboratories and pathology groups in areas that serve Walgreens customers.

In “By 2027, Walgreens wants 1,000 primary care clinics“, Daily Dark sister edition, The dark reportreported on Walgreens’ goal to build 1,000 primary care clinics in its retail pharmacies by 2027, a move that mimics the rollout of CVS Pharmacy MinuteClinic and Walmart Health primary care clinics in their outlets.

Today, Walgreens is trying to further redefine the patient experience by partnering with pharmaceutical companies to find clinical trial participants, an activity that could bring more Americans from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations to enroll in drug development trials. With 9,021 retail pharmacies in all 50 states, it is well positioned to know which of its customers would be candidates for different clinical trials.

“Walgreens’ trusted community presence across the country, combined with our company-wide data and health capabilities, allows us to launch a comprehensive solution that makes health options, including clinical trials , more accessible, convenient and fair,” said Ramita Tandondirector of clinical trials at Walgreens, in a Press release.

Ramita Tandon (above), Walgreens Director of Clinical Trials believes Walgreens can play a role in addressing issues of diversity and declining enrollment in clinical trials. “With the launch of our clinical trial services, we can provide another offering for patients with complex or chronic conditions in their care journey, while helping sponsors advance treatment options for the diverse communities we serve. serve,” she said in a press release. “It’s yet another way we’re building our next consumer-centric healthcare solutions growth engine.” An increase in clinical trial participation may mean that clinical laboratories in communities where Walgreens has primary care clinics may experience an increase in test orders. (Photo copyright: Walgreens.)

Serving socially vulnerable people

In an interview with Fierce HealthTandon described the clinical trials business as Walgreens’ “next growth engine” for consumer-centric healthcare solutions.

According to the company’s press release, “Walgreens is addressing barriers to access with a compliant, validated, and secure decentralized clinical trial platform built on a rigorous compliance and regulatory framework to ensure privacy and patient safety. This approach leverages owned and partnered digital and physical assets, including some Health corner and Medical Village at Walgreens locations, to directly engage patients at home, virtually or in person.

Walgreens notes that more than half of its roughly 9,000 U.S.-based stores are in “socially vulnerable areas.”

According to Washington Examinera US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that 75% of patients participating in clinical trials are white, while only 11% are Hispanic and less than 10% are Asian or black. In addition, participation in clinical trials has declined, with 80% of trials failing to attract enough participants in time.

Tandon argues that easing the clinical trial participation process is another key to increasing diversity and participation in clinical trials.

“During the clinical trial journey, we know it’s a burden for patients to visit the sites. We also know that 78% of patient-consumers in the United States live within five miles of a Walgreens,” she said. PharmaVoice. “If a patient can complete many of the initial clinical trial requirements at a local Walgreens, or complete some of the visits digitally, that would make the whole clinical trial experience much more positive and, perhaps, would encourage the patient to participate in new clinical trials to come.

Walgreens also plans to use its treasure trove of customer data to find potential patients for its trials business.

“Understanding this detail of customer preference and segmentation can be very useful, especially in clinical trials, for example, to create better protocols,” Tandon said. PharmaVoice. “We’re sitting on so much information, but we can and should do a better job of using that information in real-world context, which can translate into pharmaceutical R/D or brand management. We are all focused on patient-centric drug development.

FDA Seeks Diversity in Clinical Trials

Walgreens is in talks with several drugmakers as part of launching this new venture.

“We work closely with them to understand their business needs and create the solution that will somehow fit their specific testing needs,” Tandon said. Fierce Health. “Our goal is to move that needle and start seeing more American patients participating and a wide variety of participants entering clinical trials.”

In April, a FDA press release announced new draft guidelines to “develop plans to enroll more participants from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations in the United States in clinical trials.”

“Despite a disproportionate burden for certain diseases, racial and ethnic minorities are often underrepresented in biomedical research,” the FDA said. “Clinical trials provide a crucial database to assess whether a medical product is safe and effective; therefore, recruitment into clinical trials should reflect the diversity of the population that will ultimately use the treatment.

Disintermediation of retail pharmacies

“Walgreens has a significant opportunity to create an interconnected healthcare ecosystem where we can use Walgreens physical assets and connect with patients and consumers locally to better support healthcare and healthcare equality. health,” Tandon said in PharmaVoice.

It’s the latest example of a billion-dollar retail pharmacy chain branching out from just filling prescriptions. Two types of competitors encourage the disintermediation of pharmacies because they end up driving patients away from the pharmacy:

  • Amazon.com acquired Pill and now sends prescriptions to patients’ homes by post.
  • Pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies with a business model that encourages patients to get 90 days of prescriptions at a time, mailed to their homes.

In both cases, retail pharmacies lose access to patients. This is what motivates several national pharmacy chains to offer primary care within their retail pharmacies (where following a visit to a general practitioner’s office, the patient simply walks through the store to go to the pharmacy to fill its prescription), as well as clinical care trial matching company.

As retail pharmacy chains become an increasingly disruptive force in healthcare, clinical laboratory managers and pathologists should prepare new strategies to meet the testing needs of a primary care delivery model. evolving, which will likely include lab tests offered in non-traditional medical settings.

Andrea DowningPeck

Related information:

Walgreens launches clinical trials business to address industry-wide access and diversity challenges and redefine patient experience

Pharmacy retail giant Walgreens seeks to disrupt clinical trial activities

By 2027, Walgreens wants 1,000 primary care clinics

FDA Takes Important Steps to Increase Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Clinical Trials

Walgreens opens first clinical trial company to get ‘fair’ health options

With its wealth of patient data, Walgreens seeks to disrupt the clinical trial space

Daily Market Wire August 15, 2022

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Corn gained 2% on Friday after the USDA released supply and demand estimates. Other markets wobbled in fractions.

  • Chicago wheat contract in December down 3.75 US cents per bushel to 822.5 cents/bushel;
  • Kansas wheat December contract up 0.5 c/bu to 892.5 c/bu;
  • Minneapolis wheat contract in December down 3c/bu to 932c/bu;
  • December wheat MATIF contract up €0.50/t to €328.50/t;
  • December Black Sea wheat contract unchanged at 346 $/t;
  • December corn contract up 14.5 c/bu to 642.25 c/bu;
  • November contract for soybeans up 5.75 c/bu to 1,454.25 c/bu;
  • Winnipeg Canola November 2022 contract down C$3.90/t to $863/t;
  • November 2022 MATIF rapeseed contract down €3.75/t to €656.25/t;
  • ASX January 2023 wheat contract down A$6/t at $410/t;
  • ASX January 2023 barley contract down A$14/t to $316/t;
  • Dollar AUD firmer at US$0.711.

International

The release of global agricultural supply and demand estimates for Friday evening in August was roughly in line with pre-report trade estimates.

Corn stocks are falling

The USDA lowered the corn yield estimate by 1.6 bushels per acre (bu/ac) to 175.4 bu/ac. The trade estimate was 175.8 bushels/acre. The USDA production forecast was 364.73 million tonnes (Mt) from 368.44 Mt in July.

The USDA lowered its EU maize export forecast by 2 Mt, raised its EU maize import forecast by 3 Mt and reduced its estimate of the EU maize crop. EU 8 Mt, to 60 Mt (still 4.5 Mt above European analyst Grains Strategy). Ukraine’s maize production was revised up by 5 Mt and exports to 3.5 Mt.

Global 2022-23 maize ending stocks were revised down to 306.7 Mt from 312.9 Mt, lower than trade had expected. The revision reflected the combined EU and US reductions.

Bigger Soybean Yield Surprises

The increases in soybean yield and production in the USDA estimates were unexpected. Traders were expecting a half bushel drop in yield and a drop in production, the USDA instead announced an increase in both. Soybean yield was pegged at 51.9 bushels/acre, production at a record 4.531 billion bushels, revised up 26 million bushels from the July forecast.

However, the global changes for soybeans have been minor. China’s soybean crop increased by less than 1 Mt, to 18.4 Mt and its soybean imports remained unchanged at 98 Mt, well above last year.

Wheat stock falls to lowest level in 6 years

With offsetting changes in world wheat production estimates, the USDA’s projection of world wheat ending stock fell from 267.5 Mt to 267.3 Mt, the lowest in six years.

Slightly higher US spring wheat yields offset lower US winter wheat production and yield. Total US wheat production was forecast at 48.52 Mt

Russia’s wheat crop was pegged at a record 88 Mt, up 6.5 Mt from July but still below other estimates. Wheat exports from Russia increased by 2Mt to 42Mt. Australia and China both increased their wheat harvests by 3 Mt to 33 Mt and 138 Mt respectively and the Canadian harvest increased by 1 Mt to 35 Mt. India’s wheat harvest fell by 3 Mt and that of the EU from 2Mt to 132.1Mt.

Australia

Local markets stabilized at the end of the week. Producers continued to sell wheat from the current crop into the market.

The Grain Industry Association of Western Australia, GIWA, released its August harvest report on Friday, saying timely rains improved the outlook for grain production. The August forecast for 2022 WA wheat production is 10.3 million tonnes (Mt), compared to a July forecast of 10.15 Mt (12.89 Mt in 2021). Canola production forecast for August is 3.16 Mt, based on higher seeded area and higher yield, compared to July forecast of 2.84 (3.13 Mt in 2021 ) and barley of 5.12 Mt compared to July 5.25 Mt (6.37 Mt in 2021).

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Chips Act debate shows how far Republicans have gone

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The writer is executive director of American Compass

At first glance, Republican opposition to the Chips and Science Act, through which Congress approved more than $70 billion to support the US semiconductor industry and about $200 billion for scientific research, appears to be a simple story – of course the GOP resisted “big government”. and “picking winners and losers”.

But the criticism actually came from the opposite direction. Republicans have shown an appetite for intervening in markets, confronting corporations and unraveling globalization.

To appreciate how far the American economic debate has gone off the rails, one has to delve into the legislative details – where platitudes about “building up America” and “helping working families” give way to compromises that force the application of abstract principles to decisions.

With Chips, the main argument was about “safeguards”. The bill would offer semiconductor makers billions of dollars in grants to build new manufacturing plants in the United States. But these grants came with strings attached. Any company accepting federal money for a US project had to agree not to make new investments in high-tech capabilities in China.

Despite their simplicity, such railings have various parameters. What counts as “high-tech”, and who decides? Should the definition be fixed or should it evolve? Intel and others, determined to both take federal money and invest aggressively in China, have pushed to weaken the guardrails — and here the deviation appears.

Historically, Intel might have expected a sympathetic audience from Republicans. It is a large company that seeks to maximize its profits and makes investments to achieve this goal. Isn’t that the GOP formula for a rising tide that will lift all ships? Not anymore. When the Democratic majority in the Senate was swayed by the chipmakers’ advocacy and amended the bill accordingly, Republicans were furious.

Their frustration is expressed in the memo quickly released by the Republican Review Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives. Entitled “Chips for China”, it warns that “it is particularly important to understand how [the bill] fails to stop U.S. taxpayer money meant to boost semiconductor production from flowing into China.”

Kevin Roberts, President of the Heritage Foundation, appeared on Fox Business to decry the fact of subsidizing “the construction of semiconductor factories in China”. But keep the money in America, he told an audience at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s American Economic Forum later that week, and he would be “all in.”

The question here is not whether federal spending should go to construction in China. The Chips Act makes it clear that a company can only receive a grant for a project in the United States. The Republican assertion is that a company benefiting from a federal program should not be able to invest in China at all. But if supporting an entity doing business there is “helping China,” then everything helps China. By this metric, a tax cut to encourage multinational investment is an impermissible pro-China subsidy.

What the Republicans are saying is not really specific to the Chips – rather it is indicative of a crossing of the Rubicon towards full decoupling from China. After all, it makes little sense that an American semiconductor company making new state-backed investments in the United States should not be allowed to invest in China, while a company refusing to invest in the country is free to associate with the Chinese government. The underlying logic of the GOP critique is that investing in China is not in the American interest and the implication is that federal policy should respond, hymns to “free trade” be damned.

Legislation already under consideration would restrict investment flows to and from China, for example by implementing stricter reviews, limiting Chinese access to U.S. capital markets and prohibiting the transfer of sensitive technology. But if Republicans don’t want Intel investing in China, they probably feel the same way about Apple, Tesla, Goldman Sachs and Pfizer — and Harvard. Recent GOP rhetoric suggests they are less interested in standards and subjective criticism than outright bans. If they make it through midterm in November, expect quick moves in that direction.

A more aggressive industrial policy could also follow. The chip law rationale will apply to other critical industries such as communications equipment, rare earth minerals and biopharmaceuticals. Conservative interest in rebuilding America’s industrial base may finally transcend the free-market fundamentalism that once dominated the center-right.

Photos: Northland’s top student businesses on display at the Kerikeri Trade Fair

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Kerikeri, 18, Sky Gundry has won the show for the second consecutive year with Sky’s Surf School, which aims to give young women confidence in the water. Photo / Peter de Graaf

For the second year in a row, a teenager from Kerikeri has won a Northland-wide competition for the best student company with a surf school aimed at giving young women confidence in the water.

Sky’s Surf School, founded by 18-year-old Sky Gundry, was judged the best entry for presentation and willingness to engage with the public at the Young Enterprise Scheme trade show held at the Old Packhouse Market in London on Saturday. Kerikeri.

Second place went to Moerewa Rosalyn Davis-Rawiri, 21, who attends the Hiwa-i-te-Rangi school for teenage parents, for a company called Kānara Aoroa producing decorative candles in female form; while third prize went to Ella Parker, 16, from Ōpua, and Thomas Fewtrell, 18, from Kerikeri, for a teenage sailing school called Sail Inc.

The Customer Choice Award was won by Jacob Fewtrell for Insight, a company that makes automated solar lights.

Coordinator Gary Larkan said 47 student businesses attended the trade show from all over Northland. The event drew a large crowd and more than half of the booths sold out.

The lucky customers who returned home with supermarket baskets were Hurimae Latimer from Panguru and Val Mack from Kerikeri.

Rosalyn Davis-Rawiri, 21, from Moerewa, Hiwa-i-te-Rangi school for teenage parents, came second for her company Kānara Aoroa, which produces decorative female-shaped candles.  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Rosalyn Davis-Rawiri, 21, from Moerewa, Hiwa-i-te-Rangi school for teenage parents, came second for her company Kānara Aoroa, which produces decorative female-shaped candles. Photo / Peter de Graaf

James Poon, 16, of Kerikeri High, Kerikeri, and Justin Choi, 17, of Paihia, made a quick trade of the dalgona candy made famous on the Korean TV series Squid Game.  Photo / Peter de Graaf
James Poon, 16, of Kerikeri High, Kerikeri, and Justin Choi, 17, of Paihia, made a quick trade of the dalgona candy made famous on the Korean TV series Squid Game. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Kerikeri High <a class=School students Ella Parker, 16, from Ōpua, and Thomas Fewtrell, 18, from Kerikeri, placed third for their sailing school Sail Inc. Photo/Peter de Graaf ” class=”article-media__image responsively-lazy” data-test-ui=”article-media__image”/>
Kerikeri High School students Ella Parker, 16, from Ōpua, and Thomas Fewtrell, 18, from Kerikeri, placed third for their sailing school Sail Inc. Photo/Peter de Graaf

Kerikeri, Te Ururoa Snowden, 16, created a book called Mapi Rongoā on the medicinal properties of native plants.  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kerikeri, Te Ururoa Snowden, 16, created a book called Mapi Rongoā on the medicinal properties of native plants. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Kaitaia College students, left to right, Trinity Day (17, Kaitaia), Aimee Brien (17, Pukenui) and Electra De Valli (17, Kaitaia) have created versatile tote bags from recycled fabric .  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaitaia College students, left to right, Trinity Day (17, Kaitaia), Aimee Brien (17, Pukenui) and Electra De Valli (17, Kaitaia) have created versatile tote bags from recycled fabric . Photo / Peter de Graaf

Norma Peita, 17, and Lilli Baxter, 17, students at the Panguru area school, make healing balms from traditional remedies and plants they pick themselves.  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Norma Peita, 17, and Lilli Baxter, 17, students at the Panguru area school, make healing balms from traditional remedies and plants they pick themselves. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Komene Te Tai, 15, from Te Kura Taumata o Panguru, makes a hand sanitizer made from mānuka and aloe vera called Maloiee.  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Komene Te Tai, 15, from Te Kura Taumata o Panguru, makes a hand sanitizer made from mānuka and aloe vera called Maloiee. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Jacob Fewtrell, 18, of Kerikeri Secondary School, won the Customer's Choice Award for this Insight solar-powered automated light for mailboxes, driveways, sheds and log boxes.  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Jacob Fewtrell, 18, of Kerikeri Secondary School, won the Customer’s Choice Award for this Insight solar-powered automated light for mailboxes, driveways, sheds and log boxes. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Kaitaia College's Coffee and Co makes scented candles using beeswax, coffee grounds and gasoline.  From left to right, Rose Kake (17, Kaitaia), Travis Horan (17, Kaitaia) and Bailey Nattrass (17, Houhora).  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Kaitaia College’s Coffee and Co makes scented candles using beeswax, coffee grounds and gasoline. From left to right, Rose Kake (17, Kaitaia), Travis Horan (17, Kaitaia) and Bailey Nattrass (17, Houhora). Photo / Peter de Graaf

Amelie Loots, 16, from the Tauraroa area school, runs Ball.drobe, a non-profit prom dress rental company.  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Amelie Loots, 16, from the Tauraroa area school, runs Ball.drobe, a non-profit prom dress rental company. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Laykeen Cherrington (Moerewa, 22) and Phoenix Nathan-Young (Kawakawa, 23), from school for teenage parents Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, produce custom masks under the Cover Up brand.  Photo / Peter de Graaf
Laykeen Cherrington (Moerewa, 22) and Phoenix Nathan-Young (Kawakawa, 23), from school for teenage parents Hiwa-i-te-Rangi, produce custom masks under the Cover Up brand. Photo / Peter de Graaf

Analysis: US decision to negotiate drug prices is a rare defeat for Big Pharma

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WASHINGTON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Big Pharma has spent more than any other industry lobbying Congress and federal agencies this year, according to a Reuters analysis, but still suffered a major defeat after failing to stop a bill allowing the government to negotiate prices on select drugs.

Despite the pharmaceutical industry spending at least $142 million on lobbying efforts, the $430 billion Inflation Cut Act to change climate, health and tax policies will become law. He cleared his biggest hurdle last week with his passage through the Senate, with no Republicans joining Democrats in voting for the bill, followed by a passage through the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday. Read more

President Joe Biden will sign it next week. Read more

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The bill’s impending enactment represents a rare legislative defeat for the pharmaceutical industry and sets a precedent for lower drug prices in the world’s most lucrative market for drugs, according to congressional and industry officials. .

“This is a major first step forward,” Democratic Senator Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Health Committee, told Reuters. “This is the first time we’ve been able to take this kind of step to lower pharmaceutical prices…which will prepare us to do more.”

Health policy experts say the bill reflects the pharmaceutical industry’s weakening influence over the Democratic Party and that its main argument against price negotiation — that it stifles innovation — is n is more convincing to the public.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in October found that 83% of Americans, including 95% of Democrats and 71% of Republicans, want federal health plan Medicare for seniors to negotiate prices, a provision of the bill. .

“The pharmaceutical guys have upped the ante by throwing everything but the kitchen sink against this,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat who chairs the Finance Committee.

The powerful industry trade association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), urged senators in a public letter to reject the bill. Its chairman, Stephen Ubl, told Politico that lawmakers who vote for him “won’t get a free pass.”

“Few associations have all the tools of modern political advocacy like the PhRMA does,” he said.

A PhRMA spokesperson said the group would continue to work with all lawmakers. He did not respond to Ubl’s comments about holding lawmakers accountable.

“We may not agree on all issues, but we believe that engagement and dialogue are important to promote a policy environment that supports innovation, a highly skilled workforce and the access to life-saving medicines for patients,” spokesman Brian Newell said in an email.

PHARMA PLAN

A Reuters analysis of OpenSecrets lobbying and campaign contribution data shows that the pharmaceutical industry spent at least $142.6 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies in the first half of 2022, more than any other industry, and at least $16.1 million in campaign contributions during the current midterm election cycle that began in January 2021.

Almost two-thirds of the money spent on lobbying, or about $93 million, came from PhRMA and its member companies.

The pharmaceutical campaign argued that prescription drugs do not contribute to inflation, citing an average 2.5% increase in drug prices over the past year compared to a 17% increase in drug prices. ‘Health Insurance.

Critics say the figures combine high-priced branded drugs with much cheaper generics, obscuring the impact on costs for patients. A KFF study estimated that prices rose faster than inflation for half of all Medicare-covered drugs in 2020.

The industry has long warned that price restrictions in the US market would hamper companies’ ability to invest in the development of new drugs.

With the help of industry-backed Democrats, the bill’s provision for drug price negotiations was scaled back in November, allowing Medicare to focus on an annual maximum of 20 of the country’s most expensive drugs. by 2029, instead of an initial proposal to reduce the prices of 250 drugs. treatments.

Opponents of the most dramatic restrictions included Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Representative Scott Peters, two of the industry’s largest donation recipients, at more than $201,000 and $320,000, respectively, according to OpenSecrets data.

“We have created a good space for investors to recoup their investment which has continually sought to develop new drugs,” Peters told Reuters.

“I still think they did well.”

AND NOW?

Democratic staffers, industry executives and policy experts said the bill’s wide popularity, combined with pressure on Democrats to pass meaningful legislation before the midterm elections in November, helped overcome the campaign of the pharmaceutical industry.

“With this vote, I imagine Pharma realizes that it doesn’t have many friends left among the Democrats,” said Larry Levitt, vice president of health policy at KFF. “Pharma sees this as the camel’s nose under the tent, and it probably is.”

The industry will likely try to mitigate the effects of the bill as much as possible, policy experts said.

“They will take this to court. And they will try, I guess, to change the legislation” in the future, said Mark Miller, a former government health policy official who is now executive vice president of care. health at Arnold Ventures.

The extent to which the bill could stoke investor fear remains to be seen, given that many see pharmaceutical stocks as among the safest bets in an economic downturn.

“Sentiment is at a multi-year high for US Pharma and we do not see the IRA’s drug reform as a significant change in investor positioning,” said a note from JPMorgan analysts.

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Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan in Washington and Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Editing by Michele Gershberg, Deepa Babington and Leslie Adler

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Ukraine and Russia take responsibility for bombing nuclear plant as fighting rages

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  • Experts fear attack could hit reactor and spent fuel pools
  • Towns on the opposite bank under Russian bombardment
  • Ukraine says hit ammunition depot and supply lines within range
  • Civilians killed and injured in shelling in the east – governor

KYIV, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Ukraine and Russia on Friday accused each other of risking catastrophe by bombing Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, occupied by Russian forces in a region that is set to become one of the next main front lines of the war.

Western countries have called on Moscow to withdraw its troops from the Zaporizhzhia plant, but so far there has been no indication that Russia will agree to move its troops out of the facility it seized in March.

The plant dominates the southern shore of a vast reservoir on the Dnipro River which runs through southern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces controlling towns and cities on the opposite bank came under intense Russian bombardment. Read more

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Three civilians, including a boy, were injured in the nighttime shelling of one such town, Marhanets, Dnipropetrovsk Region Governor Valentyn Reznichenko, said in the latest in a series of similar reports.

Kyiv has said for weeks that it is planning a counteroffensive to retake Zaporizhzhia and neighboring Kherson provinces, most of the territory seized by Russia after its Feb. 24 invasion still in Russian hands.

The Ukrainian army said on Friday that its artillery had destroyed a Russian ammunition depot near a bridge about 130 km from the factory over the Dnipro River, and said it could now hit almost any line of supply of Moscow in the occupied south. Read more

There was no immediate comment from Russian authorities on the report of the attack in Kherson province, or on the alleged reach of Ukraine’s firepower. Reuters could not independently confirm the information.

RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

Ukraine’s Energoatom, whose workers still operate the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia power plant, said the plant was struck five times on Thursday, including near where radioactive materials are stored.

Russia says Ukraine fires recklessly on plant. Kyiv says Russian troops hit it themselves and are also using the plant as a shield for cover while they bombard nearby Ukrainian-held towns. Reuters could not verify either account.

“Ukrainian Armed Forces do not damage the infrastructure (of the factory), do not strike where there may be a danger on a global scale. We understand that the invaders hide behind such a shield because it does not It’s not possible to strike there,” Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Southern Military Command, told Ukrainian state television.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called the accusations “100% absurd”.

Nuclear experts fear the fighting could damage the plant’s spent fuel pools or reactors.

There is no nuclear power plant in the world designed to operate in a war situation,” Mycle Schneider, coordinator of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, told Reuters.

Beyond a shell strike, a loss of electrical power needed to keep reactors cooled and the psychological state of Ukrainian workers at the plant were major concerns, he added.

“You have to imagine these people don’t even know if their families are still alive, if their home still exists with the war going on very close in the neighborhood.”

“EVERYTHING IS DESTROYED”

Ukraine’s main front lines have been relatively static in recent weeks, but fighting has intensified lately in anticipation of what Ukraine says is a planned counteroffensive in the south.

Ukraine’s General Staff on Friday reported widespread shelling and airstrikes by Russian forces on dozens of towns and military bases, particularly in the east where Russia is trying to expand territory held on behalf of proxies separatists.

A shell hit the road outside the house of Ityna, 74, in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk on Friday morning, less than 20 km from the frontline.

“Everything is destroyed. The windows are gone, the roof on one side is gone,” said the retiree, who only gave her first name. “When it rains, everything will be wet inside. What now? We don’t have the resources to leave. Where would we go?”

Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the eastern region of Donetsk, said on Telegram that seven civilians had been killed and 14 injured in the past 24 hours.

Kyiv hopes that by acquiring new missiles capable of hitting Russian logistics deep behind the front lines, it can turn the tide of the conflict in the coming weeks.

Satellite images released on Thursday showed the devastation at an airbase in the heart of Russia-annexed Crimea hit on Tuesday in what appeared to be some form of attack, though Kyiv did not claim responsibility or explain how it had been conducted.

The base, on the southwest coast of Crimea, is beyond the range of advanced US rockets that Ukraine has deployed since last month, but within the range of more powerful versions that Kyiv has requested from the ‘West.

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Additional reports by Reuters offices; written by Peter Graff and Andrew Heavens; edited by Philippa Fletcher and Alex Richardson

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Boley Elementary School is set to open a new campus ahead of Day One

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to play

Boley Elementary Principal Sandy Bates said community support and help from her faculty and staff after the fire helped bring the school to where it is today – ready to go. welcome the first students to a brand new campus.

The original facility burned down on April 13, 2019 after a lightning strike struck the roof and a fire spread to an attic above smoke detectors.

Groups worked to help teachers and students, offering cash donations and purchasing school supplies. A church rented the space for a temporary campus, and help kept coming.

Bates thanked those who have contributed over the past three years.

“Honestly, honestly, I started writing ‘thank you notes’ at first,” Bates said. “At around 300 I realized I had around 2,300 behind me that I could never do, so I want to take this opportunity to say thank you – to know the job that the childcare staff and teachers have done to get this building ready. My teachers, my students, my staff, I wouldn’t trade any of you for anything. You are the most amazing staff on the planet.

The school held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday that included Ouachita Parish Superintendent Don Coker and West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell, among other local and state public officials.

Several guest speakers recounted their memories of the night the old campus caught fire.

Original story: Firefighters at the scene of Boley Elementary School in West Monroe

After the fire: Lightning likely cause of Boley school fire

Mitchell said she, her husband and the West Monroe Fire Chief were surveying the damage following the flood when the call came in for the school fire.

“I don’t remember what the code was, but ‘alarm goes off at Boley,'” Mitchell said. “We were just around the corner and he said, ‘We’ll just drive over there and check while we’re here. We pull up here, we pull over and we look, we haven’t seen anything and finally one of us is like, ‘I think there’s smoke.'”

The students completed the 2018-19 school year split between Crosley and George Welch Elementary Schools, but started again together in the fall of 2019-20 in space rented from The Assembly at 1007 Glenwood Drive.

August 2019: Boley rises from the ashes in a temporary space

In 2020, the Ouachita Parish School Board approved a $9 million budget for the construction of the new school, with money raised from the insurance claim and a western sales tax of Ouachita Parish.

The school has had 200 to 230 students and has grown in recent years. In October 2021, Boley reported an enrollment total of 218 to the Louisiana Department of Education.

The new campus is expected to accommodate 300 students.

January: New Boley Elementary set to complete reconstruction just under 3 years after school fire

“I’ll be honest with you, in my mind there was never a question of not rebuilding,” Coker said. “That’s why we have insurance. There had never been the idea of ​​not rebuilding this school and so we started the process.

“We had FM Global as our insurance company. Insurance isn’t always a nice thing but I can’t tell you how they worked with the Ouachita Parish school system to be able to give us what we needed. needed to build this beautiful facility and what you see today.. We are blessed.

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Natura &Co sales stabilized in Q2 and profitability impacted by cost pressure

Strong growth of Natura and Aesop brands, further improvement of Have fundamentals

SAO PAULO, August 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The performance of Natura &Co (NYSE – NTCO; B3 – NTCO3) in the second quarter continued to reflect the challenging environment in which it operates, but the Group recorded positive signs, including strong growth of the Natura brand in Brazil and Latin Americaanother quarter of double-digit growth for Aesop at constant currency and further improvement in from Avon fundamentals.

Natura &Co achieved consolidated net sales of R$8.7 billion, up 0.4% at constant exchange rate (-8.6% in BRL) in the second quarter, thanks to a very solid comparison base, with the second quarter of last year recording sales growth of 31.7% at constant exchange rate (CC) and 36.2% in BRL. The adjusted EBITDA margin was 8.0% (-50 basis points). The net income was (766.0) million R$ and the Group ended the quarter with strong net cash of 4.3 billion reais.

Digital sales represented 49.5% of total sales and were above their pre-pandemic levels across all business units despite channel rebalancing as retail reopened, with continued growth at Natura and Have. Digital sales includes online sales (e-commerce + social selling) and relationship selling using digital apps. At Avon International, Avon On app penetration (active reps who have logged in at least once in the past three campaigns) reached 23% in Q2-22, compared to nearly 16% in Q2-21. At Natura Latam, the average number of Consultants sharing content increased to 28% this quarter, from 24% in Q2-21, while orders through the more than 1.5 million Consultant online stores increased by 29 % In the region.

Fabio Barbosa, Group CEO of Natura &Co, said: “During my first weeks as Group CEO, I have focused mainly on two priorities: the first is the overhaul of Natura &Co’s organization to make it leaner and lighter. At this stage, we have mapped important savings at the holding company level. If the Company had implemented these changes last year, the impact would have been an annualized reduction of at least 40% in the company’s recurring expenses. Further changes and estimated savings will be announced at a later date. The second is a review of the governance model and modes of operation within Natura &Co, with a holding company heavily focused on defining key performance indicators, monitoring and monitoring the performance of more autonomous brands, the steering the allocation of resources within the group and the continued promotion of our Commitment for Life 2030 We believe that a leaner and more agile structure, built on a solid foundation of accountability for results, will enable Business Units to respond with agility to their current strategic and market challenges. At the same time, we are strongly focused on improving the fundamentals of our underperforming businesses, which we see as our main challenge and main driver of growth.

Although we expect revenue from our businesses to improve in the second half of the year, we believe challenges in the macroeconomic environment will persist and our margins will remain under pressure in the near term. In this context, our clear and immediate priority is to focus on margins and operating cash flow, and the teams of all our brands and activities are mobilized and motivated to achieve these clear objectives.”

Performance by business unit:

Natura &Co Latam net sales were up 5.6% at CC (+0.4% in BRL) in Q2. The Natura brand posted strong growth of 14.8% in Latin America at constant exchange rate (+12.2% in BRL) during the quarter. In Brazil net revenue increased by +14.3% in Q2 22, supported by an acceleration in consultant productivity, up +17.5% in Q2. In Hispanic Latam, net sales increased by +15.5% (+8.8% in BRL). Growth was mainly driven by Argentina and Colombiacompensating for a drop in Chile. The Natura brand was once again ranked as the strongest cosmetics brand in the world in Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index. The Have the brand’s turnover is down -5.0% in CC (-12.8% in BRL). In Brazil, net sales improved sequentially since Q3-21 but still declined -10.7% in Q2-22. This is mainly due to a -31% drop in Fashion and Home sales, while Beauty sales increased by nearly +5% over the quarter. In Hispanic markets, net sales were down -2.8% at CC (-13.9% in BRL), also due to lower Fashion and Home sales and reflecting a very strong comparable base at T2-21 (+68.0% vs. T2-20 at CC). The new business model shows significant progress in Ecuador and Colombia, with sales growth and sequential improvement in rep count, activity and productivity. Natura &Co Latam’s adjusted EBITDA margin was 10.8%, stable compared to last year, supported by synergies, revenue management and strict financial discipline.

Avon International net sales were down 11.4% at CC (-25.4% in BRL) in the second quarter. Performance was mainly affected by the war in Ukraine (excluding Russia and Ukrainesales are down -5.8% at CC), low consumer confidence and the erosion of household purchasing power in Europe as well as fewer representatives in Europe. from Avon the company’s fundamentals continued to improve as the new business model, now implemented in 16 markets, has resulted in increased productivity and activity as well as a stabilization in the number of representatives at the outside Europe. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 3.3%, -100 basis points compared to Q2-21, due to significantly higher cost pressure, the impact of the Ukraine and lower volumes, mainly in European markets. These were partially offset by an effective revenue management strategy across all markets and cost reduction resulting from strict financial discipline and a lean operating model.

The Body Shop net sales decreased by 11.8% at CC (-25.3% in BRL) in the second quarter, mainly impacted by post-lockdown channel rebalancing, lower sales at TBS At Home (“TBSAH”) and e-commerce that outpaced the gradual recovery in retail. Store sales up year-on-year (excluding buybacks) and improving over Q1-22, with footfall up, albeit at a slower pace than expected, and still down from Q2-19. Sales to franchisees posted a decline in the second quarter, but show an increase in retail sales month over month, further reducing inventory as they recover from closings. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 3.3%, -970bps vs. Q2-21, driven by lower volumes and channel mix, due to lower TBSAH and e-commerce and lower sales to franchise partners. To address these challenges throughout H2, management focused on actions to improve margins, including leveraging recent investments to boost store productivity, particularly in the critical fourth quarter; the continued optimization of the store footprint; margin improvement with a focus on category mix (skincare) and revenue management, as well as a detailed review of SG&A costs.

Aesop once again had an excellent quarter with revenue up 24.5% at CC (+5.7% in BRL). All markets recorded double-digit growth, driven by North America and Asia Pacific. Aesop continues to show superior sales growth on a comparable basis, improving overall store productivity, while continuing to roll out new stores in new cities such as Madrid (Spain) and Cambridge (UK) as well as in existing markets such as Japan, South Korea, Canada and Australia. Q2 Adjusted EBITDA margin was 16.2%, -480 bps vs Q2-21, mainly due to expected higher investments in digital, categories, geographies (mainly China entry by the end of 2022) and human resources to continue driving future sustainable growth.

About Natura&Co
Natura &Co is a global, multi-channel, multi-brand, goal-driven cosmetics group that includes Have, Natura, The Body Shop and Aesop. Natura &Co achieved net sales of R$40.1 billion in 2021. The four companies that form the group are committed to generating a positive economic, social and environmental impact. For 130 years Have stands for women: providing innovative, quality beauty products that are primarily sold to women, through women. Founded in 1969, Natura is a Brazilian multinational in the cosmetics and personal care segment, leader in direct sales. Founded in 1976 in Brighton, Englandby Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand that seeks to make a positive difference in the world. Australian beauty brand Aesop was established in 1987 with the aim of creating a range of superlative products for skin, hair and body.

SOURCE Natura &Co

Teamsters meet with ITF and Argentinian union leaders to support UPS contract campaign

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Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien and General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman met with leaders of 10 Argentine unions and senior management of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) to discuss global strategies to upcoming contract negotiations with UPS.

Argentina’s union FNTCOTAC, the country’s National Federation of Road and Automobile Transport Workers, represents UPS employees among its more than 200,000 union members. Through its partnership with the ITF, the Teamsters coordinates with a network of members from 677 unions around the world.

“Companies conspire every day to drive down wages and living standards for workers, and unions around the world need to coordinate better to organize and fight back. Not just with words, but with real actions,” O’Brien said. “Our friends at the ITF and Argentina have pledged their support for the Teamsters’ fight for the strongest contract at UPS. We will continue to pressure this global company from every possible angle in the coming year.

FNTCOTAC is actively exploring solidarity actions in Argentina to show support for the UPS Teamsters. O’Brien and Zuckerman also met with the ITF’s Steve Cotton and Paddy Crumlin, who assigned staff to identify and coordinate with all ITF-affiliated unions that represent UPS workers.

ITF staff will meet with members of the Teamsters’ UPS Contract campaign team in the coming weeks to incorporate international actions.

Meetings with international trade union representatives took place at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences within the Vatican. Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, and Vice President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Richard Johnsen, also joined the meeting and pledged their support for the fight against UPS contracts.

On August 10, the Argentine delegation worked with Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Coronado to arrange an audience with Pope Francis. Pope Francis, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been a strong advocate for workers and their rights since his election in 2013.

“Teamsters are committed to exploring all available options and tactics to ensure our members get the best deal at UPS, and it’s good to know that the rest of the global labor movement has our backs,” Zuckerman said.

Live updates: China locks down manufacturing hub as Covid-19 cases rise nationwide

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Yiwu, in the eastern province of Zhejiang in China, is a major manufacturing center for consumer goods © AFP/Getty Images

Chinese authorities on Thursday locked down the eastern city of Yiwu, a major manufacturing and export hub, as several coronavirus outbreaks triggered tighter restrictions in places across the country.

China is one of the last countries in the world to pursue a strict zero-Covid policy and has continued to impose sporadic restrictions on cities and regions to eliminate outbreaks since the two-month closure of its most important shopping center. of Shanghai which ended in June. .

Regular testing and changing localized restrictions are also increasingly part of everyday life in areas outside of lockdowns.

Yiwu authorities on Thursday morning divided most of the city into medium-risk and high-risk areas, with residents of the former confined to their residential compounds and those of the latter not allowed to leave their homes for three days. .

They also banned travel to and from Yiwu except when absolutely necessary, suspended non-essential businesses that cannot operate a “closed-loop” work system, and ordered schools to only conduct online classes. line.

Yiwu, with a population of about 1.9 million, is an important manufacturing hub for consumer goods exported around the world.

China reported 1,993 new local cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, including 75 in Zhejiang province, where Yiwu is located. That compared to 1,030 new local cases on Wednesday.

The country is also battling outbreaks in Tibet, which discovered its first cases in more than 900 days last week, Hainan, where tens of thousands of holidaymakers have been trapped by lockdowns, and the western region of Xinjiang.

Additional reporting by Maiqi Ding in Beijing

Nets announced opening offer in Kevin Durant trade talks with Celtics revealed – NBC Boston

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The Nets’ reported opening offer to the Celtics in trade talks with KD was comedic and originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Brooklyn Nets, based on various reports from the past month, seem pretty determined to land a massive return for Kevin Durant, one that includes a young star, multiple first-round picks and other pieces.

It makes sense. Durant, who turns 34 on opening night in October, is arguably the best player in the NBA after averaging 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game last season.

The Nets and Celtics are reportedly talking about a potential Durant trade, with the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat among other interested teams.

How Nets’ Durant Reported New Trade Demand Affects Celtics

However, Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe reported Wednesday that, quoting a league source, “there has been no real traction on a deal that would send Kevin Durant from the Nets to the Celtics.”

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Himmelsbach’s report is what the Nets wanted to acquire from the Celtics in their opening bid. It was quite the request, to say the least.

“According to the source, Brooklyn initially tried to bring Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown from Boston,” Himmelsbach wrote. “That proposal went nowhere, of course. The source confirmed recent reports that Brooklyn then focused on a deal centered on Brown, Marcus Smart and a huge amount of future first-round picks. But the Celtics weren’t interested.”

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Both Tatum and Brown? Teams usually aim high with their first offers, knowing the other side will counter, but this Nets proposal is just ridiculous.

The Celtics don’t need to blow their roster for Durant. They actually had a terrific offseason, acquiring combo guard Malcolm Brogdon in a trade from the Indiana Pacers and signing forward Danilo Gallinari in free agency. Both additions add versatility and scoring to the Boston bench.

It’s no surprise that several betmakers named the Celtics as title favorites going into the 2022-23 season, while others predicted Boston would finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Durant is a great player, but giving up a bunch of quality business assets to acquire just doesn’t make much sense for a team like the Celtics.

CFPB Releases Report on Payments and Trade Convergence and Implications for Consumers – Dodd-Frank, Consumer Protection Act

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On August 4, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a report entitled “The convergence of payments and commerce: implications for consumers”, in which he examines the challenges and risks for consumers inherent in the rapidly evolving payments ecosystem and the emergence of product offerings that blur the traditional lines of banking and commerce.

The report

In the report, the CFPB identifies three new product categories that have the potential to increase consumer choices and streamline their experiences by integrating commerce and financial services:

  • great apps. Apps that provide access to a variety of products and services within a single app, minimizing or eliminating the friction created by having to work with multiple different vendors. The CFPB notes that in the United States, the super app concept follows the “bank in app” approach and identifies the PayPal wallet as an example of a US “bank in an app” super app.

  • Buy Now, Pay Later (“BNPL”). An instant loan available at the time of purchase that allows consumers to split their purchases into four equal interest-free installments, with the first installment due at checkout. The CFPB notes that BNPL has become a popular alternative to credit cards because the application process for interest-free loans is short and transparent with high approval rates.

  • Integrated commerce. The report describes in-app commerce as the incorporation of a checkout capability into any area of ​​a social media feed that allows consumers to purchase directly from a website or social media app instead of be directed to a retailer’s website. The CFPB notes that the “frictionless” transactions that integrated commerce promotes are prevalent on e-commerce websites (e.g., Amazon) and in social media feeds.

While these new capabilities have introduced innovation into the financial services and payments space and can be considered “value-added amenities” that benefit the consumers who use them, the CFPB is concerned that these new technologies will introduce new risks for consumers. The two risks highlighted in the report are:

  • Monetization of consumer financial data. The CFPB is concerned that as technology drives closer integration between financial service providers and non-financial businesses (e.g. social media and e-commerce businesses), companies will have more opportunities to aggregate, monetize and misuse consumer financial data. The CFPB is also concerned that the data handling practices of companies and service providers may be opaque to consumers and that their data may be used and shared for purposes they did not intend or understand. , which can lead to a “feeling of helplessness” and “digital resignation”. .”

  • Scale and market power. The CFPB suggests that as the payments ecosystem continues to evolve, it’s possible that the emerging business models described in the report (or others) will allow some businesses to quickly scale up through online payment. merchant and consumer engagement and aggregate large amounts of consumer data. , which will result in the creation of “a new generation of dominant incumbents”.

The CFPB concludes the report by outlining the steps it intends to take as part of a “multifaceted effort to promote fair, transparent and competitive markets for consumer financial services”. Concretely, the CFPB plans to:

  • Propose rules pursuant to Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act with the goal of providing consumers with greater control over their financial data, including their payment and transaction data.

  • Evaluate new lending models integrated with payments and e-commerce, such as BNPL.

  • Seek to mitigate the potential consequences of large technology companies entering the U.S. real-time payments space by considering the experiences of other jurisdictions where the move to real-time payments has occurred and by assessing ways to protect consumers and reduce fraud losses suffered by consumers and market participants.

Putting the report in context

The report continues the work the CFPB began last year when it issued market surveillance orders pursuant to its statutory authority under the Dodd-Frank Six-Party Act. Big Tech Companies (ordering them to hand over information about their products, plans and payment practices) and five of the largest BNPL Providers (ordering them to hand over information on the risks and rewards of fast-growing BNPL loans).

Read in conjunction with these orders, the report suggests that changes in the payments ecosystem have caught the attention of the CFPB. They also report that under its new director, former FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, the CFPB will continue to expand oversight of tech companies as they enter the mainstream financial sector and intervene as needed to protect consumers and support its mandate.

Carry

Companies operating in the digital commerce ecosystem (and those considering entering it) should take steps to ensure, among other things, that their use, aggregation and monetization of consumer financial data is fair and transparent and that their products and services create value. for consumers, merchants and the financial system.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

POPULAR ARTICLES ON: US Consumer Protection

Taiwan’s Pavilion of Excellence presented for the first time at AACC Expo (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)

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CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Exam requests for independent testing institutes and labs have grown and increased due to the continued impact of the pandemic. Taiwan Excellence is leading a team of award-winning medical testing products to attend the world’s largest and most influential expo, AACC in Chicago, targeting post-pandemic business opportunities.

Many countries have reopened their doors to travelers around the world during this post-pandemic era. This time, Chicago welcomes all of the world’s leading experts in the field of examinations and testing to come together for this insightful event. Taiwan Excellence Pavilion is honored to have Chroma ATE Inc., Taiwan Advanced Nanotech, CYP (Cypress Technology), :dc (Dacian Technology) and IDRC (CHYNG HONG ELECTRONIC CO. LTD.) representing Taiwan to showcase their innovations phenomenal from the 26th of this month. It is estimated that it will attract over 20,000 visiting practitioners from affiliated fields to attend and continue business discussions during the 3-day exhibition.

Manager Cheng of TECO in Chicago said many physical events have gradually resumed after the pandemic. The AACC takes place every two years between the East and West coasts, and it has finally returned to Chicago after 4 long years. The first show of Taiwan Excellence Pavilion has undoubtedly caught the attention of the rest of the world.

Director Lin of the Taiwan Trade Center in Chicago specially introduced Taiwan Excellence to the event organizer and exclusive medical media. Among all, Taiwan Advanced Nanotech’s “TANBead Nucleic Acid Extractor (Non-sterile)” has reached more than 80 countries, and CE-IVD and FAD certified and approved “MagXtract® 3200- Automated Nucleic Acid Extractor with PCR Setup System” from Chroma ATE Inc. have both received many requests from visiting testing experts and practitioners.

Yiyong, the representative of a Canadian medical technology company, believes that the “Multi-viewer with Streaming Solution and Stand-alone PC-based System” can provide remote precision medical procedures and teaching programs with its integration streaming and imaging for medical facilities.

Jerry, a representative of a medical diagnostic equipment manufacturer in Florida, always cares about Taiwan and believes that Taiwanese products mean quality with the best services. He wishes to carry out collaborations with Taiwanese companies with the help of TAITRA.

Not only were the acknowledgments from the attendees and event organizers received, but the Taiwan Excellence Team members present also gave great recognition in return. Ray Chi, Director of Chroma ATE, complimented the brilliant design of the Taiwan Excellence Pavilion with its perfect location near the main hallway, as well as an explicit theme and large-sized display boards for promotion purposes. . All these efforts have achieved great success for the companies present in promoting their business.

As the world is still under the influence of the ongoing pandemic, all demands for medical tests and examinations will also continue to increase. Both Taiwan Advanced Nanotech and Chroma ATE have their eyes on the growing nucleic acid testing (NAT) market. AACC has always been the premier annual event for testing experts to attend in search of new products and innovations to capture the latest dynamic trends. As Taiwan Excellence Award-winning products are showcased at AACC, it shows that Taiwan’s testing industry is developing steadily and strongly. Further planning and deployments are currently planned for the fall and winter to generate more and more achievements.

Taiwan Pavilion of Excellence at AACC 2022:

https://sites.google.com/view/2022aacc/%E9%A6%96%E9%A0%81?authuser=3

Battle Of The Brands: 5 Tips To Fight Off Private Label As Buyers Dwindle

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By Sandy Skrovan, Content Marketing Manager at Profitero

Changes in consumer spending habits, including a shift to lower-priced private label products, are inevitable as shoppers become increasingly cash-strapped in a shrinking economy. This makes it all the more important for brands to monitor changing market dynamics and take action to protect their market share.

The tightening of the purse strings is inevitable

Consumers are feeling the heat of inflation on their wallets. Living expenses today are costing the average consumer $460 more per month than last year, reports NBC News.

  • Gasoline prices remain high: filling the tank these days costs double what it cost two summers ago.
  • Overall US consumer prices (both online and offline) jumped 9.1% in June as food price inflation hit a 40-year high. A similar impact is being felt in the UK as the inflation rate hit a new 40-year high of 9.1% in May.
  • According to monthly eCPI data from Profitero, online prices in the United States in June 2022 have increased by 12% since June 2020 (the reference month).
Profitero e-commerce price index shows dramatic increase in online prices

These economic pressures (among others, for example, rising rents, health care, etc.) are taking their toll and changing the way consumers buy and spend. A few things to watch out for:

  • Focusing more on needs (i.e. non-discretionary purchases like food, fuel, and housing) rather than wants (clothing, entertainment, travel, etc.)
  • Less dining out and more food preparation and consumption at home
  • Reduce spending and/or switch to cheaper alternatives, for example switching to discounters like Aldi and Save-A-Lot; buy more house brands than national brands
Assess the threat of private label

Despite food price inflation that has intensified over the past two years, national brands have held their own in terms of market share, maintaining and even slightly increasing their market share relative to house brands.

National brands have maintained their share of the food dollar* over the past 2 years,
but that could change given the high inflation

*Defined as IRI’s All Outlet Food Market
Source: IRI data cited in a June 2022 Food Marketing Institute (FMI) report, as reported by Ad Age

However, as inflationary pressures worsen and the economic outlook darkens, private label consumption can be expected to rise as shoppers look for other ways to stretch their dollars.

According to The Power of Private Brands report by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), more than 40% of consumers say they buy more private brands than before the pandemic. Additionally, three-quarters of shoppers plan to continue buying more house brands in the future.

This means that brands will face more threats from private labels in the coming months. This threat is amplified online as retailers typically hold a large share of page 1 in search results compared to national brands, and this share is likely to increase as retailers push their own private label agenda. . Our past research has taught us how extremely important being on Page 1 is for sales: you get a 50% increase in sales going from Page 2 to Page 1; Getting into the top 10 almost doubles your sales. So as private brands gain Page 1 share, national brands are sure to lose them and, in fact, lose sales as well.

Private label dominates search results for “ibuprofen” on Target.com
Profitero-private-label-2.
Private label has significant representation in top search results for grocery categories on major retailer sites – June 2022
Amazon.co.uk walmart.com Tesco.com
CATEGORY PRIVATE LABEL STARTS FROM PAGE 1 CATEGORY PRIVATE LABEL STARTS FROM PAGE 1 CATEGORY PRIVATE LABEL STARTS FROM PAGE 1
crackers 21% garbage bags 31% chicken 84%
cookies 15% Solar cream 28% nuts 82%
pasta sauce 14% bleach 22% soup 70%
garbage bags 12% dog food 21% cookies 67%
toilet paper 11% coffee 18% pizza 64%
soup 11% toilet paper 16% Milk 64%
coffee 11% fries 15% rice 56%
painkillers 11% body wash 14% Orange juice 53%
Peanut Butter 11% cookies 13% cheese 47%
fries 9% canned food 12% crackers 45%

Source: Profitero

Share of house brands on Page 1 is on the rise

Example: Chips – Walmart.com Page 1 Share Change

MARK SHARING OF
PAGE 1

JULY – SEPTEMBER 2021
PART OF PAGE 1
APR – JUNE 2022
PERCENTAGE POINT CHANGE (ppt)
Lay’s 23.5% 14.0% – 9.4 points
Frito Lay 17.8% 33.6% +15.8 points
Pringles 8.7% 4.9% – 3.8 dots
Doritos 8.5% 6.8% – 1.8 dots
Great Value (Walmart PL) 6.0% 22.8% +16.8 points

Source: Profitero

Example: Peanut Butter – Tesco.com Page 1 Share Change

MARK SHARING OF
PAGE 1

JULY – SEPTEMBER 2021
PART OF PAGE 1
APR – JUNE 2022
PERCENTAGE POINT CHANGE (ppt)
meridian foods 18.3% 17.1% – 1.2 point
whole earth 16.8% 25.6% +8.8 points
Sun-Pat 11.2% 7.7% – 3.5 dots
Tesco PL 10.8% 21.3% + 10.5 points
Cooking pot 6.4% 3.4% – 3.0 points

Source: Profitero

So what, now what? What can brands do?

National brands should be on high alert, using a “hands on keyboard” approach to mitigate the threat from the house brand. This means regularly monitoring the competitive dynamics on the digital shelf, daily if possible, so that you can take the necessary steps to minimize potential sales and share losses.

What brands can do to stay ahead:

    1. Make sure your product content is relevant and differentiated. How you communicate your price/value proposition is critical, especially when competing with lower-priced private label options. So be sure to review your promotional and social strategies to ensure the right message is being shared. And update your product content (images, descriptions, bullet points, etc.) to differentiate your brand from private labels. Think strong hero images, videos, romance copy, recipe links, personalized messages, and more.
      .
      Use every pixel at its best to communicate brand valuesprofitero-private-label-3
    2. Do what it takes to keep your share of Page 1. Keep an eye on your share of Page 1 versus that of the competition – including private labels – for your top general and branded keywords. Be sure to monitor changes over time and watch for any unusual trends. This way, you can take appropriate action, such as ramping up paid search or investing in organic search, if needed.
      .
    3. Analyze price elasticity and review the architecture of your tariff pack. Now is a good time to analyze your packaging size to play with value dynamics to entice value-conscious consumers to buy your brand. Brands can earn by identifying additional packs that the retailer does not carry in its private label offering. Or maybe it’s time to think about ways to bundle products together that will provide solutions and/or savings for consumers, or mimic the club mentality of stocking up to save. Or maybe it’s figuring out how to bundle your brand with a complementary private label product and then promote it through a banner ad on the retailer’s site.
      .
    4. Focus on retention-based tactics to try to limit brand switching. As buyer trading activity heats up, it’s more important than ever to stay in the consideration set and earn a buyout. Focus on more retention-based tactics, if you haven’t already. Invest in subscription programs, like Amazon’s Subscribe & Save, and other lock-in mechanisms (eg, “buy again” lists). Also leverage all acquired first-party data to retarget your current customers with reminders about items they’ve previously purchased, upsell or cart building.
      .
    5. Leverage ratings and reviews, online and offline. Consumers prefer brands they know and trust. This is why product reviews are among the main criteria used by consumers when buying items online. This is also why it’s important to leverage your reviews as much as possible – in your PDPs, in your content, even on the store shelf. This can help your products shine over private labels; it is also often a key criterion that guides retailers’ search algorithms. So be sure to monitor your ratings and reviews closely: research and address any new negative reviews; stay on top of the recency or currency of the review; and increase reviews through syndication to differentiate and optimize search.

The above list of measures relies, of course, on having the right resources in place, both in terms of people and data.

“The brands that win will be the ones that can track their leaky bucket and understand progress towards perfection. eComm data is an unmapped jungle. If you wait until you can map the whole jungle, you’ll never win. But if you have a good jungle guide (internal talents and external partners) who can read and react to different situations once you enter the jungle, you have a better chance of being effective and efficient with your resources.
– Todd Hassenfelt, director of e-commerce at Colgate-Palmolive

Contact Profitero to learn more about ways to defend your market share and fend off the threat of private label.

PCFLV will host a big group outing on August 13 at the fitness center | The Valley Register

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ALLENTOWN, PA, August 8, 2022 – The Lehigh Valley Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCFLV) and Fitness Central will host the 5th annual Great Big Group Ride on August 13th. The Metric Century and Metric Half Century Bike Rides begin and end at Fitness Central, 4337 PA-309, Schnecksville, PA.

Participants were able to select the ride they wanted to do. Both rides are challenging yet fun and take riders on beautiful country roads.

“Great Big Group Ride is a fantastic event for riders of all skill levels,” said Tracy Stauffer, Marketing, Community Relations and Development Coordinator for PCFLV. “All proceeds from Great Big Group Ride stay here in the Lehigh Valley to help local children with cancer.”

In addition to Fitness Central, sponsors include EF Laudenslager, Inc.; Solar Lumina; Aveanna Healthcare; Heavy and Road Construction Workers Union #158; Fedetz and Martin; Armetta Financial Services; Lehigh Valley Orthodontics; Labuda exteriors; Bradford Young, dentist; Drilling of the Duane Moyer well; Bear Creek Mountain Resort; Legacy jewelers; 3 men and a bagel; and solution consulting.

The Metric Century ride will take off from Fitness Central at 8 a.m., while the Metric Half Century ride will begin at 10 a.m. Runners should start returning to Fitness Central around noon.

For more information about this event, please contact Tracy Stauffer at [email protected] or 610-462-8331.

About PCFLV

The Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley (PCFLV) is a local non-profit organization that provides free programs and services to local children with cancer and their families. Whether it’s college or trade school scholarships, art therapy programs, family outings, or financial assistance through gift cards and a For help paying the bills, PCFLV is there for families at every stage of their cancer journey. For more information about what PCFLV provides to local childhood cancer families, visit pcflv.org.

Information provided to TVL by:
Tracy Stauffer
Marketing, Community Relations and Development Coordinator


We must regulate the exploitation of limited resources in space

The writer is founder, president and general manager of Viasat

The possibilities offered by space are almost endless. The navigation systems of our cars and telephones; weather observation satellites analyzing this summer’s heat wave in Europe; photos of troop movements from the war in Ukraine; safety communications on aircraft and ships; broadband services in hard-to-reach places — the space economy informs and benefits everyone.

Space is a shared resource that must remain available to all nations. No private company, no matter how well funded, should be allowed to dominate it for its own benefit or take risks that contribute to the current climate crisis.

Yet, I think that is the threat we face today. Mega-constellations incorporating thousands, and soon tens of thousands, of satellites are crowding into Low Earth Orbit, or LEO, and claiming the right to occupy it in ways that pose a great threat to security, competition , innovation and consumer choice.

As Founder, Chairman and CEO of Viasat, one of the largest satellite companies in the world, I believe we have the scale and the technology to compete. Many others, including many countries, do not.

Concerns about the overuse of limited space resources are growing rapidly among global space agencies, political and research institutions, and national governments.

The proliferation of mega-constellations in LEO risks a cascade of collisions, potentially preventing access to space for decades or even centuries. In June, Britain’s former science minister, George Freeman, warned that “a space race in the ‘Wild West’ without effective regulation risks a growing space debris crisis”.

The huge increase in the number of rocket launches will also cause damage to the environment, as will the small particles and chemical compounds released into the ozone layer when dozens of spacecraft disintegrate every day at the end of their short life. Additionally, light pollution from countless satellites may soon exceed the number of visible stars, interfering with optical and radio astronomy.

Although this damage has not yet been thoroughly examined, the size and total mass of the LEO mega-constellations have increased at an alarming rate. Just as we measure carbon footprints, we urgently need to determine the environmental footprint of each LEO constellation.

Fortunately, there is growing international recognition that LEO is a shared natural resource and the number of satellites that can operate on it is limited. This concept of “carrying capacity” can help us assess how best to use the resource for the benefit of all.

Countries that yearn for space will not be able to achieve them if they are denied the orbital resources to sustain their spacecraft. This is even true for advanced nations that can’t or won’t outspend mega-constellations in the race to grab orbital real estate.

We need to find a way to share these limited natural resources equitably and taking into account the consequences of their use. International treaties have long recognized that nations should have equitable access to orbits and frequencies around the Earth. We need to protect that just before it’s too late.

Ultimately, the power to curb anti-competitive behavior is distributed among all countries — it does not belong to a single licensing authority. The worst consequences could be avoided if an influential group of nations were able to impose reasonable multilateral constraints on the orbital and environmental footprints of the constellations they allow to serve their countries.

Some mega-constellations insist that only they can bridge the digital divide, and only if they decide the rules. But the “move fast and break things” approach to new markets hasn’t worked well on Earth for the past two decades – it’s hard to see why it should be allowed in space.

Carolinas AGC honors construction leaders

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, August 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Carolinas AGC proudly announces the 2022 CACG Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Legacy winners. These winners – two who have left an incredible legacy on our industry and seven who are still paving the way for future leaders to follow – epitomize the skill, integrity and accountability that Carolinas AGC and Associated General Contractors stand for. These prestigious awards honor individuals, including those who are successful, who make or have made extraordinary contributions during their careers to Carolinas AGC, the construction industry and the community they serve.

Winners and their families were honored at the 2022 AGC Carolinas Summit and Expo on July 23 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Visit the Awards of www.cagc.org to read extended biographies of the winners and view photos.

CACG Hall of Fame Legacy Winners

Joseph Bordeaux
Bordeaux construction

Richard Nickel
Carolina Bridge

CACG Hall of Fame Award Winners

Robert Barnhill
Barnhill Contract

Edison Kassel
Edison Foard

Bill Crowder
Crowder Builders

Otis crowd
Crowder Builders

Marc Hood
Hood Construction Company, Inc.

Marty McKee
King Asphalt, Inc.

Pat Rodgers
Rodgers

To learn more about each recipient, including photos and videos of the winners and the event, please visit the Awards of www.cagc.orgunder At your service.

MCO of the Carolinas (CAGC) is a construction trade association made up of contractors and construction-related businesses that carry out work in North Carolina and Caroline from the south. CAGC is a chapter of the AGC of America (AGC) and the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). Our members are both small and large general contractors, specialty contractors, material/equipment suppliers and service providers.

Media Contact: Lori McGovern at [email protected].

SOURCE Carolines AGC

China’s Export Sector Posts Higher Than Expected July Numbers | China

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China’s export industries performed well last month after spending the first half of the year hampered by raw material shortages and pandemic-related closures at major ports.

Providing an encouraging boost to the economy, outbound shipments rose 18% in July from a year earlier, the fastest pace this year, official Customs data showed on Sunday, beating analysts’ expectations. 15% gain, although imports remained sluggish.

Analysts had expected exports to decline amid growing signs that Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia were heading into recession, clouding the outlook for global consumption.

According to data released by the National Ports Association, foreign trade container shipments at eight major Chinese ports rose 14.5 percent in July, accelerating from the 8.4 percent gain in June.

Container throughput at the Port of Shanghai, one of the hardest hit by Covid-related lockdowns, hit a record high in July.

The export data should cheer Chinese leaders who have come under pressure from a general economic slowdown that many have blamed on a weakening real estate market.

A property development boom in recent years has resulted in a mountain of debt triggering a wave of bankruptcies in construction and related industries.

Ratings agency S&P Global said last month that property sales in China could fall by a third this year as people lose faith in the market and pressure mounts on struggling developers to complete contracts. pre-sold apartments.

China’s central bank has sought to ease borrowing rules to make sky-high real estate values ​​more affordable and prevent further corporate insolvencies. Local governments have also expanded new infrastructure projects to boost national business activity.

However, many analysts remain skeptical. Beijing can orchestrate a soft landing for the real estate sector that cushions the economy from the worst effects of lower prices, especially when exports are expected to slow towards the end of the year.

A global factory survey released last week showed demand weakened in July, with orders and production indices falling to their weakest levels since the pandemic began in early 2020.

Indicating an imminent and widespread slowdown in activity, the official survey of China’s manufacturing sector showed that activity contracted last month.

Soaring exports pushed China’s trade surplus to a record $101.3bn (£839m) last month.

However, while exports played a role in the improved numbers, weak imports were also a significant factor.

Imports rose 2.3% from a year earlier, compared to the even more modest gain of 1% recorded in June.

Analysts expect import momentum to pick up in the second half of the year, supported by construction-related equipment and raw materials in the wake of increased infrastructure spending.

According to a meeting last week of the country’s top economic planners, the economy is in the “critical window” for stabilization and recovery, and the third quarter is “vital”.

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In the first half of this year, retail sales fell 0.7% from a year earlier as many consumers were confined to their homes under strict anti-virus measures.

The National Development and Reform Commission said: “[We should] seize the peak season time window for construction in the third quarter, improve work efficiency [and] help create as many jobs as possible for local people nearby.

Beijing recently signaled it was poised to miss the government’s growth target of around 5.5% for 2022, which analysts said looked increasingly out of reach after the economy narrowly avoided a contraction in the second trimester.

In late July, the International Monetary Fund sharply cut its growth forecast for China in 2022 to 3.3% from 4.4% in April, citing Covid lockdowns and a worsening crisis in the country’s property sector. .

US Senate Democrats’ climate, health and tax bill clears first hurdle to passage

The U.S. Senate voted along party lines Saturday night to move on to debate on Democrats’ sweeping energy, health care and tax bill, removing a major roadblock to passage.

The 51-50 vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie, allowed the chamber to debate and vote on amendments to the measurement and indicated he had enough support from Democrats to defeat the unified Republican opposition.

“We will show the American people that, yes, we can pass a historic climate package, rein in the drug companies and make our tax code fairer,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said ahead of the vote. “We are capable of making big promises and working hard to keep them as well.

“This is one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching pieces of legislation that has come before Congress in decades,” the New York Democrat added. “It will help just about every citizen of this country and make America a much better place.”

As expected, all Republicans voted against the measure. Republicans inside and outside the Senate have criticized the measure for spending too much during a recession while doing little to tackle consumer inflation, which they say is the biggest problem facing the United States. United face.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell focused his remarks on the provisions of the measure allow Medicare to negotiate the prices of some prescription drugs, saying this would lead to a drastic reduction in research and development efforts in the private sector.

“The politics of the Democrats wouldn’t bring a paradise where we had all the amazing new innovations that we would have anyway, but at lower prices,” he said. “Their policy would result in a world where far fewer new drugs and treatments are invented in the first place, while corporations reduce R&D.”

The White House said Saturday that President Joe Biden’s administration “strongly supports” the bill.

“This legislation would reduce health care, prescription drug and energy costs, invest in energy security and make our tax code fairer, while fighting inflation and reducing the deficit,” says the administration’s policy statement.

Saturday session

The vote opened a rare weekend session in the Senate – when the chamber was scheduled to be on August recess – which is expected to include up to 20 hours of debate and the consideration of 40 to 50 amendments in a “vote- a-rama”.

Depending on the length of debate and amendment votes, a final vote is scheduled for Sunday or Monday.

The bill, negotiated primarily by Schumer and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III with additional changes made at the request of Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, would spend nearly $370 billion on clean energy programsallow Medicare to negotiate certain drug prices starting in 2026 and change the tax code and strengthen Internal Revenue Service enforcement to generate more than $400 billion in new revenue over 10 years.

July 29 analysis by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania found that the bill would have a negligible impact on inflation.

After negotiating with Sinema and presenting the bill to the Senate parliamentarian to ensure that all provisions are qualified for consideration as part of the budget reconciliation, Democrats released a longer updated invoice of 755 pages minutes before voting to open the debate on Saturday.

The reconciliation process allows Democrats to pass the bill by a simple majority, instead of the usual 60-vote threshold.

The CBO sent Schumer an incomplete score of the bill updated on Saturday. The estimate showed that seven of the eight spending sections would increase the deficit by $115 billion over 10 years. It did not include revenue projections.

Among the late changes to the bill was an addition of $4 billion to deal with western droughts.

Western Democratic Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Mark Kelly of Arizona and Michael Bennet of Colorado announced that they had secured funding from the Bureau of Reclamation to help with droughts in Nevada, Arizona and Colorado.

“The western United States is experiencing unprecedented drought, and it’s critical that we have the resources we need to support our states’ efforts to combat climate change, conserve water resources, and protect the basin. Colorado River,” they said in a joint statement. statement.

Democrats also added a provision for cap the copayment price of insulin for Americans at $35 starting in 2024. The language of insulin, however, may be disputed by Republicans on the ground.

Another provision, pushed by Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, and included in the original bill, would permanently expand the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which provides monthly payments and medical benefits to disabled coal miners who have developed black lung disease while working in coal. mines.

Lower prescription drug costs and changes to the tax code more than offset the bill’s spending, reducing the deficit by about $100 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The additional IRS enforcement would bring the total deficit reduction to about $300 billion.

Those projections haven’t stopped Republicans from criticizing the bill as a “tax and spend” measure.

Reducing the deficit would represent less than 1% of the nation’s gross domestic product over 10 years, Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, said Friday.

“It will be a total rounding error,” he said. “So that’s what they use to justify and that’s their strongest argument, it’s a pretty weak and strong argument.”

Force hard votes

Most of the Democrat-drafted amendments to the bill are expected to come from Republicans, some with the express purpose of forcing Democrats into tough policy positions ahead of the November election.

GOP Conference Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming said Republicans would propose amendments on immigration, crime, inflation and energy policy.

US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said votes on the amendments would be “like hell”.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, said the chamber would return from its August recess to vote on a bill passed by the Senate on Friday.

Biden and Pelosi give false ‘facts’ about ‘assault weapons’ ban

President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats are trying to reinstate the 10-year-old federal ban on assault weapons because they say it has reduced gun crime. The bill, which has just been passed in the House, will soon be voted on in the Senate.

In a bid to push it through, Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) made sweeping claims, which they called “facts,” about the previous gun ban leading to a decrease in crime. But these facts do not seem to be supported by evidence.

“Proponents of the bans are calling their claims ‘facts’, in an effort to mislead the public,” Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), told The Epoch Times. “Many Democratic members of Congress have deliberately misled their claims that the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban reduced crime. This level of willful ignorance would be comical if the effects of what they are trying to do were not so patently unconstitutional.

The ban was in effect from 1994 to 2004.

pelosi

Meanwhile, “we’ve seen a 40% drop in gun crime,” Pelosi told the House during the recent debate.

“The number of murders with guns actually increased slightly when the ban went into effect,” John R Lott Jr., the president of Crime Research, told The Epoch Times, referring to data from the annual publication by the FBI of law enforcement reports on homicides by weapon type. Lott also pointed out that no one collects data on all crimes committed with so-called assault weapons.

The term “assault weapon” is a political expression referring to semi-automatic rifles with various aesthetic characteristics. The House bill calls an “assault weapon” a rifle that has a feature such as a pistol grip, folding stock or grenade launcher.

Although Pelosi gives the impression that there is a serious risk of being killed by a gun, it is actually a rare crime. Lott reported that the percentage of gun homicides with any type of rifle was 4.8% before the ban from September 1994. During the 10-year ban, gun homicides accounted for 4, 9% of all murders. Then, rifle homicides dropped to 3.6% after prohibition expired in 2004.

The speaker did not cite the source of her statistics. She could be referring to how all violent crime has declined since the peak in the 1980s, which would include the small number of gun killings.

You can see it in this chart of FBI data. The decline has been dramatic.

There were 15,463 firearm homicides in 1994 when the ban came into effect, and 724 by rifle. When the ban expired in 2004, there were 9,385 homicides and 403 of them were by gun.

“The decline in crime rates is more likely due to many other factors than gun ownership, including a concerted effort and focus on prosecuting criminals,” Keane explained.

Pelosi’s press office did not respond to a request for information on the source of its data.

Studies

Additionally, no study has proven that gun control legislation has a direct effect on reducing crime. On the contrary, Rand’s “Study of Gun Policy” in 2018 (pdf) reviewed various studies on the impact of the Violent Crime Act and concluded that “the available evidence is inconclusive as to the effect of the assault weapons ban on the total number of homicides and gun homicides”.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also published a report in 2003 on evaluating the effectiveness of gun laws and studied the banning of assault weapons. He said the studies were “inconsistent” and therefore concluded that “there was insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness” of the law.

Ownership of these so-called assault weapons increased during prohibition. Kean, the mighty gun lobbyistpointed out that during the ban, what his organization calls Modern Sporting Rifles continued to be legally manufactured and sold if they lacked two of the cosmetic features necessary for the rifle to be banned.

Biden has consistently lobbied for his reinstatement since taking office on the grounds that he was reducing mass shootings. He said in july“Assault weapons should be banned. They were banned. I led the fight in 1994. And then, under pressure from the NRA and gun manufacturers and others, that ban was lifted in 2004.”

NRA stands for National Rifle Association.

Biden also says on June 2, “In the 10 years it was the law, mass shootings have declined. But after Republicans let the law expire in 2004 and those guns were allowed to be resold, mass shootings tripled. These are the facts.

But an Epoch Times investigation into mass shootings showed they are extremely rare and have had their ups and downs over the period in question. As you can see from this graph, there was no pattern of mass shootings during this 10 year period.

The White House press office did not respond to a request for the president’s data source.

Pelosi echoed Biden with his own statistic, saying in a speech that “since the ban expired, mass shooting deaths have increased by nearly 500 percent.”

It’s not true.

“Massive public shootings with assault weapons in the ten years since the end of the ban have risen to six from the four that occurred in the ten years before the ban,” said Lott. reported in his analysis. He also reports that the total number of public mass shootings increased between these two ten-year periods, nearly doubling, but the increase occurred with non-assault weapons.

“If Pelosi’s assertion is correct, we should see a drop in the percentage of attacks with assault weapons during the federal prohibition period and then an increase in the post-prohibition period, but that’s exactly the opposite is true,” said Lott, the author of the new book Gun control myths.

Additionally, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service studied the impact of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and concluded, “Significantly, though tragic and shocking, public mass shootings represent little of the non-negligent gun-related murders or homicides that occur each year in the States -United.”

Motivation?

Why are top Democrats calling public attention to legislation from so long ago that had no impact on violence?

“They’re living in a mindset of 1994 because we have an anti-gun political class that’s still using the same old arguments when it comes to assault weapons,” said an insider from a group that aims to protect Second Amendment rights. “They highlight the most emotionally compelling crimes [mass shootings] which are extremely rare – less than 1% of all gun deaths – to confuse and scare the public, but it doesn’t work anymore.

Keane echoed this, saying, “These are the same politicians who fabricate terms to scare the American public with the term ‘assault weapon’ to deliberately mislead the American public and confuse modern sporting rifles with automatic rifles. of the Army.”

While these types of “assault weapon” scare tactics worked during the era of the first ban, modern style rifles have become much more popular and are in common use. The CNSS, reported this month that there are now 24.4 million modern sporting rifles in circulation in America. The firearms manufacturers’ trade association noted that this means there are more AR-15 and AK style rifles” in circulation today than there are Ford F-Series trucks. on the road”.

That’s a big part of why the polls are now going against the old talking points that Pelosi and Biden use. Quinnipiac reported in June (pdf) that support for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons — 50% — was the lowest level of support among registered voters since the poll question was first asked in February 2013.

Now that so many Americans own or know friends and family who own AR-style guns, they don’t seem so scary. So when this bill is passed in the Senate, the public should be aware that banning these universally owned guns will do nothing about America’s serious crime problem.

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Emily Miller is an award-winning investigative journalist and author in Washington, D.C. Her newsletter”Emily posts newsoffers readers original, exclusive reporting and insider analysis.

Shells hit power lines at Ukrainian nuclear power plant, fight in the east

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  • Technicians shut down the reactor of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant
  • Three grain ships leave Ukrainian Black Sea ports
  • Turkey’s Erdogan meets Putin in Russia
  • The fighting in the east centers on the fortified village

KYIV, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Russia and Ukraine blamed each other on Friday for bombing Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant as fighting raged again in the crucial Donbass border region and three other ships were leaving ports carrying previously blocked Ukrainian grain.

Shells hit a high-voltage power line at the Zaporizhzhia plant, prompting operators to disconnect a reactor when no radioactive leak was detected. The factory was captured by Russian forces in early March at the start of the war, but it is still run by its Ukrainian technicians.

Earlier this week, the United Nations nuclear watchdog requested access to the plant, which Washington says Russia is using as a shield on the battlefield. Read more

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Ukrainian nuclear energy company Energoatom blamed Russia for damage to the plant.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Moscow was responsible and accused him of committing “an open and brazen crime, an act of terror”, calling for sanctions against the entire Russian nuclear industry. Read more

The Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukrainian forces of bombing the factory, saying a radiation leak was only avoided by luck.

He said that as a result, the production capacity of one unit was reduced and the power supply to another was cut off. In addition, the nearby town of Enerhodar is experiencing problems with electricity and water supply, according to a statement from the ministry.

Energoatom said the plant, about 200 km (160 miles) northwest of the Russian port of Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, was still operational and no radioactive discharge had been detected.

Further east, both sides claimed small advances as Russian artillery bombarded towns and villages over a wide area in a now familiar tactic.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, came under renewed shelling early on Friday, the mayor said. “All Kharkiv heard the sounds,” Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terehov said on Telegram. “Rescue teams are on site.

Details of casualties or damage were not immediately available.

The southern city of Mykolaiv was shelled on Friday evening and one person was killed, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said on Telegram. Twenty-two people were injured. Twenty-one private homes and five apartment buildings were damaged, the mayor said.

CEREAL SHIPMENTS

In other developments, three grain ships left Ukrainian ports on Friday and the first incoming cargo ship since the Russian invasion was to be loaded in Ukraine, marking new milestones in the Kyiv government’s efforts to revive its economy after five months of war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meanwhile met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who is cultivating a mediating role in the war, in the Russian city of Sochi.

Turkey helped broker the deal which on Monday saw the first grain ship leave a Ukrainian port for foreign markets since the invasion.

On Friday, two grain ships departed from Chornomorsk and one from Odessa carrying a total of around 58,000 tonnes of corn, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

The Turkish bulk carrier Osprey S, flying the flag of Liberia, was due to arrive in Chornomorsk on Friday to refuel with grain, the Odessa regional administration said.

Russia and Ukraine normally produce around a third of the world’s wheat, and the United Nations had warned that halting grain shipments through the Russian-dominated Black Sea could lead to famine in other countries, particularly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

BATTLE FOR FORTRESS

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in what Putin called a “special military operation”, the conflict has turned into a war of attrition fought largely in the east and south of Ukraine.

Moscow is trying to take control of the largely Russian-speaking Donbass, made up of the provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea from the south in 2014.

Russian news agency TASS quoted separatist forces on Friday as saying they and Russian troops had taken full control of Pisky in the Donetsk region, a fortified village held by Ukrainian troops and close to the city of Donetsk, which is in the hands of Russian-backed separatist forces.

Ukraine has turned the village into a stronghold, viewing it as a buffer against Russian-backed forces holding the city of Donetsk about 10 km to the southeast.

TASS also said fighting was taking place in the town of Bakhmut, north of Donetsk and Russia’s next main target.

But the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff on Friday contradicted TASS’s assertions in a statement.

“With its offensive position, the occupiers tried to take more advantageous positions and improve their tactical positions in the Bakhmut, Zaitsevo and Vershyny region. They failed and retreated,” he said.

The statement adds that Russia “has unsuccessfully attempted to advance to” other cities, including Pisky.

Reuters could not verify the claims of either party regarding the evolution of the battlefield.

The next arms package to Ukraine from the United States is expected to be $1 billion, one of the largest to date, three sources briefed on the matter told Reuters. Read more If signed in its current form, it will include ammunition for long-range weapons and armored medical transport vehicles, the sources said. The package is expected to be announced as early as Monday.

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Reports from Reuters offices; Written by Nick Macfie, Angus MacSwan and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Millennials should use these Roth IRAs to invest in college

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Comment

If there’s one thing the impending start of the new school year makes clear, it’s that the cost of higher education in the United States is scary. Average tuition and fees for the 2021-22 school year are $10,338 at an in-state public college, $22,698 at an out-of-state school, and $38,185 at an out-of-state school. private, according to US News data.

However, based on rising costs each year, millennials can expect to see much larger bills by the time their children enter college. How can you prepare a child for college while securing your own financial future?

The most common answer is to use a 529 college savings plan. But for some families, I’d say the Roth IRA — yes, the retirement account — offers a more flexible way to build a college fund. your child.

In a 529 plan, contributions grow tax-deferred and withdrawals are tax-free as long as they are used for eligible educational expenses (including K-12). While there are no income restrictions and no annual contribution limits, there are lifetime contribution limits. Family members can also contribute to a 529 plan you have in place for your child.

The problem with 529s is that they can be restrictive. And it is ultimately difficult to predict the future of your child.

If they are not attending a college or other qualified institution – such as a trade or technical school – and you withdraw the 529 funds for a non-school expense, they will be subject to taxes and a potential 10% penalty. While there are options in case the original beneficiary is not college related, you really need to be diligent about the eligibility rules when using the money. The plans may also come with higher fees and fewer investment choices compared to other investment strategies.

This is where the Roth IRA comes in. These are funded with after-tax dollars, so your future self, at age 59.5+, can withdraw both contributions and earnings tax-free. Depending on current and projected tax brackets, this can be a huge advantage, especially for young people investing for their retirement.

What many don’t consider is that these accounts can also be used to invest in non-retirement goals in a tax-efficient way.

If you’ve had your Roth IRA for at least five years, you can withdraw contributions at any time without paying a penalty — and you can use those funds however you want. (Note: This only applies to the after-tax contributions you made, not the earnings from those contributions. Withdrawing these early may result in a penalty tax.)

Millennials setting aside money for their children’s college fund should consider the Roth IRA as a way to do so — but if, and only if, it’s an additional retirement savings account. . This means you also have a 401(k) or other retirement fund to invest in for your own future. You don’t want to dip into your future nest egg to pay for your education (there are loans for that).

Roth IRAs are subject to income phase-outs, which may make them more accessible to younger Millennials and older Gen Zers who are not yet in their prime earning years. It also means paying income taxes while you’re in a lower tax bracket, which is likely lower than what you would pay in retirement.

Married parents with an adjusted gross income of $204,000 or less — and who file taxes jointly — can each contribute up to $6,000 a year to a Roth IRA. People 50 and over can contribute $7,000. Single parents with an AGI of $129,000 or less can contribute the same amounts. Those earning more than these thresholds can contribute a reduced amount, unless you earn more than $214,000 as married spouses or more than $144,000 as a single filer, in which case you are not eligible for a Roth IRA. (Many looking to circumvent these restrictions opt for a Roth IRA backdoor.)

Maximizing a single Roth IRA with $6,000 per year, starting in the year a child is born, would result in $108,000 in contributions by the time the child turns 18. Considering each parent can have an IRA, you could have double that. (And you can start contributing to the account even before a child is born.)

The Roth IRA loophole allows you to withdraw these contributions at any time, after five years, without tax penalty. The income from your contributions, meanwhile, can remain invested and grow for your use in retirement. If necessary, you may be able to withdraw income without penalty for education expenses, but you will still have to pay income tax if you are under 59 1/2. If you are over this age when your child enters university, you can withdraw both contributions and earnings without paying income tax or penalties.

Keep in mind that this does not also apply to a Roth 401(k). Despite similar tax treatment as a Roth IRA, you don’t have the same level of flexibility with contribution withdrawals.

There’s also a big catch: A Roth IRA withdrawal will impact your child’s financial aid options for school. The Free Federal Student Aid app will count withdrawals from a retirement account as income. Assets in retirement savings do not count against FAFSA, but withdrawals do. This means that your income for that year will appear higher on paper, even though all of those funds are paying for your child’s college education, and this could affect the amount of financial aid your child may receive.

If your child will rely heavily on federal student loans to pay the majority of tuition, then you should calculate the impact of a retirement withdrawal on their access to loans. Another option is to wait until their junior or senior years before taking withdrawals. FAFSA rulings are often made using tax income from the previous two years. Students applying for aid for the 2022-23 school year are encouraged to use their parent’s 2020 tax return.

Whether you choose a 529, a Roth IRA, or a blend to prepare for the cost of college, be sure not to deprioritize your future needs in the process. You don’t have to deprive yourself of a comfortable retirement in the name of sending your child to school.

More from Bloomberg Opinion:

• Women’s wealth increases. When will finance catch up? : Stuart Trow

• ‘Jobful Vibecession’ will keep workers on the payroll: Conor Sen

• Estée Lauder envies the perfume of Tom Ford. Does he fancy her fashion?: Andrea Felsted

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Erin Lowry is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering personal finance. She is the author of the three-part “Broke Millennial” series.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion

Loneliness can be a real heartbreaker, cardiology experts warn – Consumer Health News

FRIDAY, August 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Social isolation and loneliness put people at a 30% higher risk of heart attack, stroke or death, warns a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

The statement also highlights the lack of data on interventions that may improve heart health in people who are isolated or lonely. It was published on August 4 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“More than four decades of research have clearly demonstrated that both social isolation and loneliness are associated with adverse health effects,” said Dr. Crystal Wiley Cené, who led the team that authored the statement. “Given the prevalence of social disconnection in the United States, the public health impact is quite significant.”

Nearly a quarter of American adults age 65 and older are socially isolated and up to 47% may be lonely, according to the AHA. The risk increases with age due to factors such as retirement and widowhood.

But a Harvard University survey suggests the loneliest generation is Gen Z – 18 to 22 year olds – who may also be the most isolated. One possible reason: they spend more time on social media and less time engaging in meaningful in-person activities.

And the pandemic seems to have worsened the situation in young and old adults, as well as women and the poor.

“While social isolation and feelings of loneliness are related, they are not the same thing,” said Cene, chief administrator for health equity, diversity and inclusion at the University of California at San Diego Health. “Individuals may lead relatively isolated lives and not feel lonely, and conversely, people with many social contacts may still experience loneliness.”

Social isolation is having infrequent personal contact with people for social relationships, such as family, friends, or members of the same community or religious group. Loneliness is when you feel lonely or have less connection with others than you would like.

To investigate the relationship between social isolation and heart, blood vessel and brain health, the writing group reviewed research on social isolation published up to July 2021. The review found:

  • Social isolation and loneliness are common but underestimated factors that affect the heart, blood vessels and brain.
  • Lack of social connections is associated with a higher risk of premature death from any cause, particularly among men.
  • People who were less socially connected were more likely to have physical symptoms of chronic stress. Isolation and loneliness are linked to increased inflammation.
  • When assessing risk factors for social isolation, it is important to remember that depression can lead to isolation, and isolation can make depression more likely.
  • Social isolation during childhood is linked to increased risk factors for heart health, including obesity, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
  • Transportation, housing, family discontent, pandemic, and natural disasters are a few social and environmental factors that have affected social interactions.

“There is strong evidence linking social isolation and loneliness to an increased risk of deterioration in overall heart and brain health; however, data on the association with certain outcomes, such as heart failure, dementia, and cognitive impairment, are sparse,” Cené said.

The strongest evidence points to a link between social isolation, loneliness and death from heart disease and stroke, with a 32% higher risk of stroke and death from stroke and a risk of heart attack 29% higher.

“Social isolation and loneliness are also associated with a worse prognosis in people who already have coronary heart disease or stroke,” Cené said.

In addition to behaviors that have a detrimental effect on heart and brain health, isolation and loneliness are linked to lower self-reported levels of physical activity and lower consumption of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, numerous large-scale studies have found significant links between loneliness and a higher likelihood of smoking.

“There is an urgent need to develop, implement and evaluate programs and strategies to reduce the negative effects of social isolation and loneliness on cardiovascular and brain health, especially for at-risk populations,” Cené said. in an AHA press release.

She said clinicians should ask patients about their social activity and whether they are satisfied with their level of interaction with friends and family.

“They should then be prepared to refer socially isolated or lonely people — especially those with a history of heart disease or stroke — to community resources to help them connect with others,” he said. -she adds.

The authors said more research is needed to understand how isolation affects heart and brain health in children and young adults; people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups; LGBTQ people; people with physical or hearing disabilities; those in rural areas; and people with limited resources.

The statement notes that studies with older adults have found that interventions aimed at addressing negative thoughts and low self-esteem, as well as fitness programs and recreational activities in senior centers, have shown to be promising in reducing isolation and loneliness.

“We don’t know if being really isolated [social isolation] or feel isolated [loneliness] matters the most for cardiovascular and brain health because only a few studies have looked at both in the same sample,” Cené said, adding that more research is needed.

More information

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention know more about the health risks of loneliness.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, press release, August 3, 2022

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The Arms Industry’s Secret Spending Makes Us Less Safe

Two thousand four hundred. How much is it expensive and dysfunctional F-35 fighter jets American taxpayers are paying to have built, as part of a defense system that may never be fully combat ready.

Two hundred billion dollars. This is How many American taxpayers would save if Congress decided to end this program now. That’s $200 billion that could be spent on things that make us safer, like public health measures to prevent the next global pandemic or deal with the epidemic of gun violence.

Unfortunately, many members of Congress – on both sides of the aisle – are beholden to the military-industrial complex. The Pentagon’s budget keeps climbing, year after year, and Americans aren’t any safer. Why is that? And what can we do about it?

The three main drivers of overspending by the Department of Defense are strategic overreach, the pork-barrel policy, and corporate lobbying. A 2021 report from Open Secrets reveals that over the past 20 years, the defense industry has lost $285 million in political donations and $2.5 billion in lobbying to influence Congress and the federal government.

Lockheed Martin, the company that makes the F-35, spends about $7 million a year on campaign contributions and $13 million a year on lobbying. In the U.S. House of Representatives, there’s even an F-35 caucus that organized a letter — signed by 132 members, Democrats and Republicans — calling for more F-35s than the Department of Defense had. requested in its fiscal year 2022 budget proposal. And this year, key committees in both houses voted to add F-35s beyond what the Pentagon had even requested, pushing the annual cost for the system at nearly $12 billion – more than the entire discretionary budget from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So, for about $20 million in campaign money and lobbying expenses, Lockheed Martin convinced Congress to buy even more faulty and obsolete fighter jets than the notoriously wasteful Pentagon had claimed it needed.

But it’s not just campaign money or armies of lobbyists that help big business cash in. So are their exaggerated claims about jobs in key states and congressional districts. Lockheed Martin even has a interactive map on his website which shows his version of the number of jobs created by the F-35 in each state. But his claims that the F-35 creates jobs almost everywhere are simply not true. Many states listed on the map have only a handful of F-35 related jobs, and more than half jobs are found in just two states – Texas and California.

And another thing that Lockheed Martin doesn’t want you to think about is that virtually any other expenditure of the same funds would create more jobs — 40% more for infrastructure or green energy, one and a half times more for health care and nearly twice as much for education. Wasting money on dysfunctional planes instead of spending it on things we need actually costs jobs.

As for the millions the arms industry spends on campaign contributions and lobbying, that’s only political spending that we know about. Companies like Lockheed Martin also write big checks to trade associations under the guise of paying “dues” to these groups..

These organizations, such as the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the National Defense Industrial Association, operate effectively as money laundering machines to do the dirty political work that corporations don’t want their shareholders to do. or the public know. And prime contractors also fund Pentagon spending advocacy groups like the Air Force Association, the Navy League, and even the Submarine Industrial Base Council, not to mention state and local groups that lobby for the Pentagon to spend more on their communities.

President Biden has the power to stop the hidden payments and secret spending that fuels the Pentagon’s out-of-control budgets. With the stroke of a pen, Biden can issue a Executive Decree require all government contractors who receive more than $1 million for federal projects to disclose every last penny of their political spending, including six-figure checks to trade associations that lobby members of Congress and support their favorite candidates. Greater transparency would take power out of the hands of defense contractors and return it to the people.

We can all agree that secret money in politics has been the norm for far too long, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. It’s time for President Biden to use his executive power to pull back the curtain on the hidden political spending of those who benefit from government contracts.

Maybe then Congress will stop buying fighter jets, like the F-35 with its 800 unresolved defects and exploding costs.

Janiyah Williams is a member of Rethink Media’s Inclusive Democracy program. William D. Hartung is a senior researcher at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

Poor Zimbabweans turn to scrap metal trade as inflation bites

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HARARE, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Shepherd Chowe pushes a cart full of tin cans, iron rods and other metal objects down a dusty path in Hopley, a poor village about 15km west of the capital from Zimbabwe, Harare.

It’s 11 a.m. and Chowe, 46, has arrived at a scrap yard where dozens of scrap metal workers are waiting to sell their wares. For two bags, Chowe is paid $6.

“I start moving around the township at 8 a.m. … asking people for scrap metal or anything metallic that they no longer use,” Chowe said, adding that on good days he brought in $40. at home.

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Chowe is among Zimbabweans selling scrap metal to survive as the cost of living soars, putting pressure on a population already facing food shortages and high unemployment, a reminder of the economic chaos a while ago. years under the nearly four-decade reign of veteran leader Robert Mugabe.

Annual inflation, which hit 256.9% in July, cast a shadow over President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s attempt to revitalize the economy.

By selling scrap metal, Chowe can afford to pay rent, buy food and pay school fees for his two daughters.

“Scrap gave us hope,” Chowe said.

Zimbabwe’s steel industry has been struggling since the collapse of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Ziscosteel) more than a decade ago.

However, in recent years, small steel producers working with scrap metal dealers have been picking up the pieces.

“These scavengers help the steel industry that we supply. Sometimes they (steel workers) run out of money to pay us, but the metal is always available,” scrapyard owner Fungai Mataga said, as workers loaded the metal onto a lorry heading for Kwekwe in the Midlands, the home of steelworks.

Mataga buys cast iron at $0.15 per kg and mild steel at $0.22 per kg from scavengers.

“They all come here to sell (metal) to survive,” he said.

The scrap metal trade is not illegal in Zimbabwe, but has raised concerns about vandalism of infrastructure, including that of the Zimbabwe National Railway Company, which has called for the trade to be regulated.

As Chowe leaves the junkyard, 19-year-old Mike Mavhunga arrives laden with bags of cans.

Every day, he gets up at 5 a.m. to walk 10 km to Glen Norah, a township west of Harare, his metal hunting ground.

“My goal is to get at least two scrap bags, which gets me $6. But on tough days, I get $1 or $1.50,” Mavhunga said. “That’s how I survive.”

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Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Alison Williams

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Announcement of the perennial plant of the year 2023

Raleigh, North Carolina – The Perennial Plant Association is pleased to promote Rudbeckia “American Gold Rush” as the 2023 Perennial Plant of the Year®. ‘American Gold Rush’ is a stunning addition to any garden. At the height of summer, it ramps up for a long season of dazzling color until the fall frosts. Brilliant golden-yellow flowers feature arching rays and a reddish halo surrounding dark chocolate cones. Three-inch flowers cover the compact plant, which stands only 22 to 27 inches tall with a wider spread at 40 inches if given room to grow.

Photo courtesy of Richard Hawke of the Chicago Botanical Gardens.

The green leaves and stems are covered in hairs, giving them a silvery hue – on sunny days, peeking through the flowers to the leaves is a bright treat of silver and gold. In addition to boosting ornamental show, the hairy foliage is resistant to Septoria leaf spot, a debilitating fungal disease that causes unsightly black spots and premature seasonal decline on some black-eyed Susans. ‘American Gold Rush’ is a hardy, reliable perennial and an excellent substitute for the popular, more coppery ‘Goldsturm’, which is very susceptible to leaf spotting.

Brent Horvath, owner of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens bulk grow operation in Illinois, praises the “American Gold Rush” and says, “I’ve always liked my plant displays to be about themselves and this one says it all. From start to finish, this plant is generally trouble-free and easy to propagate, grow and finish in a container and a breeze to garden.

Richard Hawke, director of ornamental plant research at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, says, “’American Gold Rush’ is the black-eyed Susan that made me want to grow them again! It ticks all the boxes for a top garden plant – profuse golden flowers, long flowering, disease free and a sturdy habit. ‘American Gold Rush’ is a stunning focal point in borders and perennial meadows and is brilliant when massed in public or corporate landscapes. Butterflies frolic on the flowers and songbirds feast on the bountiful seeds long after the flowers have passed – the seed heads also provide winter interest. Garden companions are plentiful, including alliums, asters, sages, and native grasses such as bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparius) and grassland seed (Sporobolus heterolepis).

The Perennial Plant of the Year® began in 1990 to showcase a perennial plant that stands out among its competitors. Perennials chosen for this honor are suitable for a wide range of growing climates, low maintenance, multi-season interest, and relatively pest/disease free. The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Board of Directors reviews the nominated perennials and selects the finalists, upon which PPA members vote to select Perennial Plant of the Year®. Plus, APP members have access to a flyer, poster, bench map, and other resources to help promote Perennial Plant of the Year®.

Learn more about Perennial Plant of the Year® 2023 at https://perennialplant.org/page/2023PPOY.

The Perennial Plant Association is a trade association comprised of growers, retailers, landscapers and contractors, educators, and other professionals involved in the herbaceous perennial industry. With a mission to connect professionals, educate and promote perennials, the association has served the horticultural industry since 1984. For more information, visit www.perennialplant.org.

Denver-based company seeks to revolutionize the ticketing industry

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Organizers of this month’s Telluride Mushroom Festival had spent two years researching a new ticketing platform when, in 2021, they received a call from an Australian-born startup. The company was establishing its US headquarters in Denver and recruiting local events who might be interested in its unique selling points. Would – the mysterious lawyer wondered – lower booking fees, transparent shopping on one website and donations to charity be appealing to mushroom fans? The festival quickly signed. “Humanitix just ticked all the boxes,” says Matt Guertin, the festival’s cooperation manager.

Humanitix was founded in 2016 by Adam McCurdie, who graduated in mechanical engineering, and Joshua Ross, a former hedge fund analyst. The duo saw the astronomical profits raked in by tech companies – Google’s parent company Alphabet made $76 billion last year – and felt that these colossal profits should serve humanity. “We were both very inspired by social enterprise and the ways in which technology could produce better outcomes for the planet,” McCurdie says, “and whether or not tech charities could ever exist.”

The founders decided to test their idea in the ticketing platform space as it seemed ripe for disruption. In other words, everyone hates ticketing platforms: attendees hate the exorbitant booking fees they have to pay to get seats for their favorite events, while venues and promoters hate having to wait until after their event. to collect their admission income. Eventbrite, the mushroom festival’s former supplier, didn’t release ticket money from organizers until weeks after the celebration ended, making it difficult for vendors to pay. Humanitix, on the other hand, pays out ticket sales as they come in. And while Humanitix continues to apply booking fees to transactions, its fees are about 20% lower than Eventbrite, according to McCurdie. In addition, the company donates all of its profits. So far, Humanitix has given more than $1 million to children’s charities, including Room to Read, which boosts literacy and educational equality in low-income communities.

The Telluride Mushroom Festival isn’t the only entity excited about what Humanitix has to offer. The nonprofit’s roster now includes 36,000 customers worldwide, a growth trajectory that has led the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) to offer nearly $900,000 in incentives to lure Humanitix to Colorado, beating out Texas and Pennsylvania. In return, Humanitix, which officially opened its office by the end of 2021, has pledged to create up to 136 new jobs over the next five years, a number that could grow to more than 200 over the next eight years. “I think it was just nice to see a company come in and see that Colorado was aligned with these more value-driven opportunities,” said Michelle Hadwiger, director of global business development at OEDIT.

One of the existing charities-focused entities is the annual Centennial State Spore Celebration, hosted by the Telluride Institute, a nonprofit organization that has disbursed approximately $4.25 million in donations since its founding in 1984. Partnering with Humanitix for this year’s Mushroom Festival (August 17-21) will generate an additional $10,000 to $20,000 for Humanitix’s charitable partners, according to McCurdie. “As a small nonprofit ourselves,” says Telluride Institute Executive Director Tucker Szymkowicz, “we understand the importance and need for nonprofit financial support and appreciate that our sales of tickets will be used to support other good works.” As long as others share his point of view, Humanitix’s business should continue to proliferate.

Comparison of armed teacher and police training hours is misleading

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A recent New York Times story of armed teachers casts doubt on the adequacy of the training they receive with a misleading comparison to the hours needed to become a police officer. The real scandal here is not the lack of training required for teachers who want to carry handguns in school, but the lack of training that police officers receive for a job that goes far beyond the handling of weapons. fire.

Under a new program in Ohio, teachers who volunteer to carry firearms as protection against mass shooters must complete 24 hours of firearms training. “Ohio’s law has been particularly controversial because it requires no more than 24 hours of training, as well as eight hours of recertification per year,” said the Time said.

Although teacher training is more extensive than Ohio’s requirements for armed security officers, the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police believes it is simply insufficient. “To us, this is just outrageous,” said Michael Weinman, the union’s director of government affairs. Timewho adds, “By comparison, state troopers undergo over 700 hours of training.”

It’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison, because the Time more or less concedes in the next paragraph. Proponents of the new law, he notes, “say that 24 hours is enough because while police training includes everything from traffic tickets to legal issues, school employees focus narrowly on firearms proficiency. fire and active shooter response”. If anything is “outrageous” here, it’s how easily someone can be branded an armed agent of the state with the authority to detain, search, and arrest people as well as use deadly force against them.

Like the Cincinnati Applicant noted in 2020, Ohio requires significantly less training for police officers than for “the person who cuts your hair.” Basic cop training includes 737 hours of training, compared to “1,500 for licensed cosmetologists and 1,800 for barbers.”

Some cities in Ohio go beyond the state’s minimum requirements. “The Cincinnati Police Department is conducting a 28-week training program,” said the Applicant noted, while “Columbus and Cleveland Police both provide 1,100 hours of recruit training” – still less than you need to accept money for a haircut. The newspaper adds that “the level of training often depends on a department’s finances, which vary widely from state to state.”

Police training is actually more rigorous in Ohio than in most states. According to the Institute for Criminal Justice Training Reform (ICJTR), the national average for basic training is 652 hours. State minimums range from zero hours in Hawaii to 1,321 in Connecticut. In Hawaii, notes the ICJTR, “agencies such as the Honolulu Police Department may provide training to some [officers]but not all. And while Ohio doesn’t allow cops to start working until they’ve completed basic training, 37 states do.

Initiated notes that “the average American police department requires fewer hours of training than it takes to become a barber or a plumber.” According to a 2017 report by the Institute for Justice, the average training required for barbers was around 1,300 hours. To qualify as a master plumber, you must complete trade school and up to five years of apprenticeship.

The Institute for Justice reported that three states and the District of Columbia require licensing for interior designers. In those jurisdictions, he noted, “aspiring designers must pass a national exam, pay an average of $364 in fees, and spend an average of almost 2,200 days – six years – on a combination of education and training. learning before you can start working”. In Louisiana, which requires interior designers to have 2,190 days of education and experience, a high school graduate can work as a police officer for up to 12 months before even completing basic training , which includes a minimum of 450 hours.

In Texas, the report notes, “brow threaders with 20 years of experience are being told they must stop working and spend between $7,000 and $22,000 and 750 hours at a government-approved beauty school who does not even teach threading”. But if you want to be badged and carry a gun as a law enforcement officer in Texas, you only need 696 hours of training and can work up to a year before completing it. .

In addition to firearms training, future police officers are expected to learn “everything from tickets to legal issues,” such as Time the dish. These “legal issues” include compliance with constitutional constraints on the use of force. But as UCLA law professor Joanna Schwartz points out, this aspect of police training usually provides little more than a brief overview of major Supreme Court cases.

While “police departments regularly inform their officers of decisions made in watersheds,” notes Schwartz in a 2021 University of Chicago Law Journal article, “officers are not regularly or reliably informed of court rulings interpreting these rulings in different factual scenarios – the very kinds of rulings that are needed to clearly establish the law on the constitutionality of the use of force” . Yet the doctrine of qualified immunity, which protects officers from civil liability for alleged wrongdoing that did not violate “clearly established” law, rests on the premise that one can reasonably expect that officers know relevant cases, giving them fair warning when they overstep constitutional bounds. Schwartz calls this hypothesis “the boldest lie in qualified immunity”.

Even when officers need to understand that a particular use of force is unlawful, they don’t necessarily act on it, as the 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis dramatically illustrates. In federal court last week, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, two of three officers who failed to stop their colleague, Derek Chauvin, from killing Floyd, were sentenced to three and three and a half years, respectively, for violating Floyd’s Constitution. rights. The previous week, the third officer, Thomas Lane, had been sentenced to a federal sentence of two and a half years. Lane had previously pleaded guilty to a state charge of aiding and abetting manslaughter, for which he has not yet been convicted. Kueng and Thao are due to stand trial on similar charges in January.

Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE), a training program that was created in 2021, aims to prevent such situations by encouraging officers to intervene when a colleague is violating someone’s rights or appears to be about to do so. TO DO. ABLE, which was developed by the Center for Innovations in Community Safety at Georgetown University, grew out of a New Orleans program known as EPIC (Ethical Policing Is Courageous) that started in 2014 under the direction of Ervin Staub, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University. University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It is based on knowledge gained through research on why people intervene or fail to intervene in emergency situations.

ABLE involves eight hours of training delivered by agents who have completed a week-long certification program. But it is an addition to the standard training that has so far only been adopted by about 265 of the country’s 18,000 police departments. Is it a stretch to expect police departments to add an additional eight hours to basic training, which would drop the average from 652 hours to 660, so officers are less likely to look the other way when a colleague unnecessarily escalates an encounter or uses unlawful force?

Additional training is by no means a magic bullet for police abuse. It seems doubtful that any instruction would have changed Chauvin’s behavior. And when cops deliberately abuse their authority to punish people who annoy them, the problem isn’t that they never learned they shouldn’t.

Still, the “active participation” training may have affected how Kueng, Thao and Lane responded when Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine and a half minutes. It was clear that Lane, a rookie who twice suggested that Floyd be moved from his stomach to a position in which it would have been easier for him to breathe, remembered what he had been taught about the dangers of “positional asphyxia”. If his training had placed more emphasis on the duty to intervene and better equipped him to do so, he might have been more insistent and Floyd might still be alive.

Even basic information about techniques commonly used by police could help prevent Fourth Amendment violations. A few years ago, the Johnson County, Kansas, sheriff’s office reached a $150,000 settlement with a couple whose home was raided in 2012 based on a drug test that identified mistakenly tea in their garbage cans as marijuana. Neither the deputies nor their boss, then-Sheriff Frank Denning, seemed to be aware that such tests are notoriously unreliable, despite a warning label stating that their results “are only presumptive in nature” and should be confirmed by laboratory analysis. A little instruction on how often field testing can help reduce false arrests, not to mention the thousands of guilty pleas based on technology that isn’t accurate enough to use in court.

You can probably think of additional examples. The idea that a few months of training (if any) is enough to prepare people for a job that presents myriad opportunities to detain, interrogate, search, arrest, assault and kill people wrongly is laughable. Americans would be safer if states took these risks more seriously than the danger of a bad haircut.

O2 Telefónica builds a private 5G SA network for the Technical University of Munich

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is currently conducting research on real-world applications through a 5G campus network set up by O2 Telefónica. For example, scientists want to use 5G to improve the use of autonomous transport vehicles in intralogistics.

Until now, these vehicles have been limited in their range of applications due to limited data connections and response times. Thanks to the low latency of 5G networks, more flexible and at the same time safer routes are possible.

5G campus network for TUM Frank Schmidt-Künzel from O2 Telefónica and Leonhard Feiner, team leader at TUM Materials Handling Chair Material Flow Logistics, have commissioned the 5G campus network.

TUM’s 5G campus network provides a closed and secure research and development environment without connection to the public mobile network. It offers high-performance network coverage in the research and development laboratories of the chair. The objective of the Material Flow Logistics chair is to use the latest technologies to explore the various functions and possibilities of 5G in the field of technical logistics and to test them in feasibility studies. Particular emphasis is placed on the empowerment of robotic solutions in intralogistics and robot collaboration.


In addition to setting up and operating the 5G campus network, O2 Telefónica will also support the university with intensive engineering advice. This type of collaboration will allow the chair to become familiar with 5G technology as quickly as possible and thus to quickly pursue its research projects.

Professor Dr. Ing. Johannes Fottner, Chair of Material Handling Flow Logistics at the Technical University of Munich, explains the scientific use of the 5G campus network:

The material handling and intralogistics sector is the third-largest sub-sector of the engineering industry in Germany in terms of turnover. In 2021, this subsector will generate 22.6 billion euros. According to the trade association VDMA, growth of 8% is expected for 2022. The share of exports in this sector is over 50%. Germany is the world’s largest exporter of corresponding products.

5G Campus Networks Accelerate Industrial Digital Transformation O2 Telefónica Server Rack for TUM’s 5G Campus Network

More economical processes, faster workflows, more flexible mass production, better work safety: these are just some of the benefits that can be achieved by connecting the world of machines, which is still predominantly analogue, to the world of digital data. To ensure that data travels quickly and securely between machines via the network, enterprises are increasingly turning to campus network solutions based on 5G technology.

Karsten Pradel, B2B Director responsible for the business customer segment at O2 Telefónica
Innovative strength and efficient value chains based on advanced technologies are the strengths of German industry. The rapid deployment of the latest 5G mobile communication standard can further boost the performance of German companies.

Karsten Pradel of O2 Telefonica
We have set up a 5G campus network for TU Munich, where the university can seek out the practical benefits of technology for industry. Researchers at the University of Excellence will very quickly develop many new applications that will benefit industry and therefore our economy.

Tehran, Minsk stress developing roadmap for expanding ties

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TEHRAN – Iranian Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Reza Fatemi-Amin and Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko have emphasized drawing up a roadmap for the development of economic collaborations between the two country.

Fatemi-Amin, who headed a high-level delegation to Belarus to attend the 15th meeting of the Joint Economic Committee of the two countries, was received by Golovchenko, the news portal reported on Saturday. Ministry of Industry, Shata.

During the meeting, the two parties stressed the need to use their complementary economic capacities to develop mutual ties and boost trade exchanges.

Mentioning the potential of both sides to expand trade relations, Fatemi-Amin said that Iran’s annual foreign trade is about $120 billion and Belarus’ foreign trade is $80 billion annually. , but that the trade between the two countries is only 40 million dollars, which is very low considering the figures mentioned.

He further invited Golovchenko to visit Iran to visit international exhibitions and learn about the technological and industrial advancements of the Islamic Republic.

“Sanctions may have caused pressure in the short term, but in the long term they benefit countries,” he said.

Meanwhile, Golovchenko said good cooperation between Iran and Belarus has been established in all international arenas and the two countries should collaborate more to confront the unipolar world.

“In all international platforms, be it the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, we adhere to principles such as the multipolar world, the inviolability of sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and equal cooperation in the international arena,” the Prime Minister stressed.

“Your visit is important and timely. Now is the time to take a fresh look at our relationship and take steps to strengthen our trade and economic cooperation. We have already established very good and constructive contacts at political level. Our countries traditionally support each other on the international scene and regularly exchange official visits. The leaders of our states met almost a year ago,” Golovchenko said.

He also said he was ready to take advantage of Iran’s progress in various sectors and called for maintaining stable cooperation to deal with the pressure exerted on Iran, Russia and Belarus due to the sanctions.

Golovchenko also expressed his country’s willingness to import cars from Iran.

EF/MA

Pictured: Iranian Industry Minister Reza Fatemi-Amin (right) and Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko shake hands during an official meeting in Minsk.

Rock Falls OK High School Teachers and Staff Hiring – Shaw Local

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ROCK FALLS — The Rock Falls High School school board approved the hiring of two certified instructors as part of its regular July 20 meeting.

Candace Humphrey has been hired to fill a vacancy as a business professor.

Jodi Thompson was hired as a special education teacher.

The board also approved two resignations: Amy Sigel and Daniel Fiorini.

Other staff appointments were made as part of the consent agenda. They were Lisa Carlson as a teacher’s aide; Krista Denning for the restoration; Melinda Jones, Kevin Boyle, Ramiro Martinez and Erin Spooner as marching band assistants; Dan Gordon and Max Parker as volunteer football assistants; Jacob Barnes as a school supervisor and football assistant; and Renee Kahle as the freshman class sponsor.

Revised schedule

The board approved two changes to the August schedule that had been posted as part of the meeting agenda. Orientation for new teachers has been moved to August 4. Meet the Rockets has been announced for August 19.

The other elements of the calendar remained unchanged. Ninth grade parent orientation will be August 10, Teacher institute days will be August 15-17, Freshman orientation will be August 17, and the first full day of school will take place on August 18.

On Friday, members of the Rock Falls <a class=High School color guard participate in drills on the campus lawn. The first day of class is August 18.” src=”https://www.shawlocal.com/resizer/Pa50WH4AY5iaQZ_jF2cJhtE12JU=/1440×0/filters:format(jpg):quality(70)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/shawmedia/SQD4XSVA75C6LJR2OTNY6V6O44.jpeg” width=”1440″ height=”0″ loading=”lazy”/>

Bus contract filed

Superintendent Ron McCord said discussions are ongoing with the Division Manager of the First Student bus company about extending the transportation services agreement for the upcoming school year, so the item has been tabled.

McCord said it was the first time he remembered an extension hadn’t been finalized by the mid-summer board meeting, but he explained that discussions with the company covered increases due to inflation and rising gas prices as well as a recent personnel change. at the company’s location in Rock Falls.

McCord said he was confident he would have a deal to present at the Aug. 17 board meeting.

Superintendent’s report

Manual revisions for certified and non-certified personnel were presented and accepted. The changes included a modified bell schedule and updated language for class sponsorship and chaperone duties for dances that were considered obsolete, Principal Mike Berentes said.

The Consolidated District Plan, which is the means by which schools apply for federal grants through a unified process, was adopted.

The board also approved a school-wide plan for Title I status, which means public funds intended to promote equity for students in low-income or devalued land value areas can be applied to things for the entire student body.

Revisions to the crisis management plan were approved after local law enforcement reviewed them in mid-July. McCord said police will make a presentation to staff at a later date.

The board has approved Matt Zilm of Ogle County and Corena Steinmeyer of Lee County as special education nominees for the Northwest Illinois Board of Trustees.

Finally, the annual district financial audit is due in August.

June Minutes

The board approved Teachers’ Collective Agreement 2022-23 and the Uncertified Staff Agreement. The latter contained a 5% increase for employee salaries, except in the catering department, which received a 6% increase.

A survey of the Class of 2022 showed that 33% would attend Sauk Valley Community College and another 4% would attend another junior college. In addition, 27% would work full time; 17% would attend a four-year college; 10% would attend business, trade or technical school; 5% were in the military; and 4% were unaware of their future plans.

Despite political upheaval, Argentine farmers expect bountiful corn and wheat harvests — MercoPress

Despite political upheaval, Argentine farmers expect bountiful corn and wheat harvests

Saturday July 30, 2022 – 09:06 UTC


Argentina’s 2021/22 maize harvest reached 53 million tonnes, with exports totaling 28.5 million tonnes

Despite the political upheaval in Argentina, which seems to have temporarily calmed down, whether it is bracing for an even worse storm or heading down a reasonable path of rationality yet to be seen, the country, one of the breadbaskets most efficient in the world, again manages extraordinary harvests. corn and wheat.

In fact, according to the Strategic Guide for Agriculture of the Rosario Stock Exchange, foreign sales for the next 2022/23 maize season have already reached a record six million tons, the largest in history. recent cereals.

This even as the next season has been imposed a marketing limit of ten million tons to ensure the supply of domestic demand and prices.

Meanwhile, the 2021/22 maize crop totaled exports of 28.5 million tonnes, on production plus stocks estimated at 53 million tonnes. This volume exceeds the 53.7% of last year and the average of 43.2% of the last five seasons.

As for wheat, Argentina is expected to produce 18.5 million tons in the upcoming 2022/23 crop, according to estimates made public by the US Department of Agriculture. In the previous 2021/22 harvest, production reached 22.5 million tonnes.

With stocks in the country, under an agreement reached with the government to safeguard domestic demand and bread prices, total supply is expected to approach 20.5 million tonnes by the start of the month. next year. Wheat exports are expected to reach 12.85 million tonnes. Domestic demand is forecast at 6.4 million tonnes.

The political situation in Argentina with almost depleted international reserves and some fiscal time bombs and foreign debt, which has led to a drastic reduction in imports, has had an impact on the country’s main trading partner, Brazil. Indeed, with insufficient dollars to pay for winter energy heating and critical inputs for industry, Brazilian manufacturing and businesses believe they will face a daunting challenge trying to sell, or at least to maintain the current trend of an almost broke Argentina.

In the first half of the year, Brazil exported 7.5 billion US dollars to Argentina, a growth of 33.3% compared to the same period in 2021. According to experts, however, this scenario should change radically with the measures of the Argentine government to contain imports and promote exports.

“The country has nowhere to ask for money,” says Soledad Duhalde, director of the Buenos Aires-based consultancy Abeceb. As a result, according to José Augusto de Castro, executive president of the Brazilian Foreign Trade Association, shipments to Argentina are expected to fall by 20%.

Busting the Myths Around Customer Engagement for Modern Consumer Brands, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Representative image (iStock)

Significant customer engagement is to understand the changing needs of consumers and to respond to them in a relevant and personalized way. Although crafting a personalized and transparent customer engagement is a dynamic, modern process consumer brands have seems to have found the midas touch. Using a customer-centric, knowledge-driven approach, several brands have demystified the engagement process, busting some long-held myths that will be discussed below.

On the other hand, brands that interact with customers in silos, haven’t taken an omnichannel approach, and don’t deliver a personalized experience lose repeat use and customer loyalty. The modern customer really wants brands to proactively understand their behavior and preferences, predict and meet their needs, and deliver value from the start. This can only be achieved by having an insight-driven approach to engagement driven by an intelligent customer engagement platform.

Now that we’ve explained how an insight-driven approach can help brands drive meaningful engagement, let’s address some of the myths around customer engagement itself as a process:

  • Myth #1: Customer engagement is a complex process and only one good strategy

Reality: While customer engagement certainly has many aspects to consider, it is certainly a necessity for modern consumer brands, and far from just another attractive strategy. Businesses today have taken a head start on this journey by implementing an actionable, insight-driven engagement strategy. Brands can start by listening to customers communicating through online forums, posts, ratings, and reviews, and responding to their needs through product offerings accordingly.

With the advent of marketing technology, brands can now develop a deeper understanding of customers by analyzing their movement through the buying journey and engaging based on the stages they are in. Brands need to move away from their siled communication approach and adopt an omnichannel approach and be available across all customer touchpoints, regardless of channel.

An insight-driven customer engagement platform will help here, providing deeper understanding of customers and actionable insights to better engage. These platforms also help brands create customer-centric marketing strategies by segmenting customers into unique cohorts and personalizing their cross-channel experiences based on attributes.

  • Myth 2: Obtaining a single customer view is difficult because the data is scattered

Reality: An information-driven customer data platform can create a 360-degree customer profile, giving a complete picture of each customer and their likes, dislikes, preferences, choices, affinity, and taste. browse mode. The effort should then be to understand what, why and where of the customer’s buying journey and use this information to improve engagement. This level of customer centricity is possible through an insight-driven customer engagement strategy, where marketers take the guesswork out of the exercise.

  • Myth 3: Investing in an integrated system is an expensive proposition.

Reality: The question of building versus buying is a dilemma that arises whenever a company wants to add a new platform to its technology stack. While the cost factor of an intelligent customer engagement platform cannot be overlooked, neither can its necessity. Investing in an insight-driven engagement platform helps brands process data and turn it into actionable insights, build a 360-degree customer profile, while respecting data governance and privacy issues.

It’s also important to note that building such a platform from the ground up (and in-house) requires a lot of time, expert and dedicated resources, while incurring considerable risk should one fail. features. The development team’s lack of familiarity with the technology required to build the platform can often lead to increased expenses. It is also well documented that the total cost of ownership of building such a rig is considerably higher due to the maintenance work involved. Prices are also more predictable and fixed in integrated solutions.

  • Myth 4: There are other priorities to focus on rather than setting up elaborate customer engagement processes

Reality: In today’s world, there is no higher priority than building a robust and effective customer engagement framework, as most marketing objectives and KPIs revolve around a meaningful customer engagement process.

Here, the proof of the pudding lies in the effective adoption of an innovative, idea-driven engagement platform, examples of which can be seen across leading brands across the country. The results attest to the fact that there is nothing more important than providing a differentiated, relevant and personalized customer experience.

The bottom line is that customer engagement is more than just a minimal transactional relationship. It’s about creating a meaningful, value-added customer-brand relationship that helps the business drive sustainable growth, add loyal defenders and ultimately be reflected in the revenue stream. If that doesn’t excite modern business, then what does?

In a conversation with ETBrandEquity.com, the marketing director of mattress brand Duroflex shares some quick tips and results from deploying martech tools and how Duroflex improved its GMB listings using them.

Climate change bill ‘transformative’ for auto and energy industries

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“A lot of middle-class Americans will be able to get this credit that otherwise would have been blocked because of the credit limit,” said Joe Britton, executive director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association, whose members include Tesla. as well as manufacturers of charging equipment, suppliers of battery materials and other companies related to the electric vehicle sector. “It’s a big problem.”

For the first time, used battery-powered cars would receive a tax break of up to $4,000. This is important because most people buy used cars, not new ones. The average price of a new electric car has topped $60,000, out of reach for many buyers despite the fuel and maintenance savings these vehicles provide.

Individuals earning more than $150,000 a year or couples earning $300,000 or more would not qualify for new electric car incentives. Income limits for the used car incentive are $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples. The credits would not apply to sedans that sell for more than $55,000 and vans, pickups and sport utility vehicles listed for more than $80,000.

“They’re trying to drive adoption among middle-class and lower-class buyers, and that’s a good thing,” said Akshay Singh, a partner at accounting and advisory firm PwC, which specializes in lending. ‘automobile industry. “That’s where most of the market is.”

The bill, over 700 pages, never mentions China. But several provisions appear designed to undermine that country’s grip on the electric vehicle supply chain while making it harder for emerging Chinese automakers to export cars to the United States.

As it stands, the 200,000-vehicle cap on tax credits would provide a competitive advantage to new market entrants like China’s BYD that would need to use electric vehicles to enter the US market. They could have taken advantage of the credit while Tesla, the Texas-based company, could not.

‘People want to know where their clothes are made’: Aurora’s Factory Fashion brings home local styles

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Four designers are currently participating in the Factory Fashion Small Batch Manufacturing initiative. To produce the garments, sewing students receive training in areas ranging from basics to high fashion. Lisa Ramfjord Elstun, one of the factory’s trainers, says the program allows local designers to participate in the vital “made local” project.

“They want ‘made in Colorado,’ and it’s like the farm-to-table or craft beer industry,” Ramfjord Elstun said. “People want to know where their clothes are made. And so if we can say they’re made here in Denver and Colorado, it would be fun to see that happen.”

Hart Van Denbvurg/CPR News
Anthony Heiman works on a sewing machine at Factory Fashion at Stanley Marketplace in Aurora on Wednesday, July 7, 2022.
220707-FACTORY-FASHION-SMALL-LOTHart Van Denbvurg/CPR News
Handwritten notes above cutout designs hang at Factory Fashion at Stanley Marketplace in Aurora on Wednesday, July 7, 2022.

Ramfjord Elstun is an award-winning bridal and lingerie designer who has been working on this idea for the past eight years, so she was thrilled when Barker Maa asked her to join the program.

“I would like to have all levels of experience to work with,” said Ramfjord Elstun. “And because the faster we can achieve higher-level skills, the faster we can bring in more designers.”

And the clothes they make are as varied as the people of Colorado. All around the bright space, waiting for the next group of artists to get to work, are rows of sewing machines, work tables and sergers.

One of the designers working with Factory Fashion, Norberto Mojardin, said the program is more than an opportunity to develop his own business. The Mexican-born designer’s work draws inspiration from a wide range of Latino cultural elements, and he is co-owner of Beto’s Hair Studio.

“Not only thinking of me, but for my community, also opening doors for designers, for our young people, for our children – but also for the older ones – that they don’t think of themselves as designers,” said Mojardin . “They say, ‘Oh, I’m just a seamstress. And I always tell them, ‘No, you’re not just a seamstress. You’re a designer, and you can create, and you can do more than you think.'”

Barker Maa said the school not only helps people learn how to make clothes, but also shows their work to people who are likely to buy it – to start building an audience.

“I think part of the challenges young designers, especially local ones, face is that when they try to get their clothes to market, they’re usually routed to LA for sourcing,” Barker Maa said. . “And so you know they come across people, manufacturers who want incredibly high minimums. They might want to sell five to ten pieces or 50 pieces – or less – as a small designer.

220707-FACTORY-FASHION-SMALL-LOTHart Van Denbvurg/CPR News
Lisa Ramfjord Elstun is the founder of Fashion Design Center Denver, pictured at Factory Fashion at Stanley Marketplace in Aurora on Wednesday, July 7, 2022.
220707-FACTORY-FASHION-SMALL-LOTHart Van Denbvurg/CPR News
Tape Measures at Factory Fashion at Stanley Marketplace in Aurora on Wednesday, July 7, 2022.

And Ramfjord Elstun said just having the opportunity to learn from others and gain experience with machines can make a difference for new designers…just like what Factory Fashion offers.

“Designers, as they start their lines, really don’t have access to the type of equipment or skill levels that a facility like this will provide,” Ramfjord Elstun said. “And we have such a broad skill set of teachers and workers here, as well as designers, that we can call on a whole bunch of people to help us right here.

The program is also part of broader discussions about bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States and reassessing trade school education.

“What we were able to do and find out during the pandemic is that sewers were and are an essential person who needs to be employable in this country,” Ramfjord Elstun said. ” We did not have [home economics] in high school programs for nearly 30 years. The technology available to bring cutting-edge manufacturing back into the sewing industry requires much more than your grandmother’s sewing machine mentality on the kitchen table.

And the net that Factory Fashion is making to attract more people into the industry is even wider. It also focuses on the inclusion of refugee communities and those coming out of the prison population.

“You know, we have opportunities for these populations to start a career and a career that provides benefits and a career that provides financial stability,” Barker Maa said.

And Barker Maa is dreaming big: she said she even dreams that one day the program can offer her students help on the path to citizenship, if they need it and want it.

“You know, we try to train in a highly skilled environment,” Barker Maa said. “And so we’re also working really hard with local nonprofits to provide a path to citizenship and a home, if that’s something you need as well. So those are things that are important in addition to the love of fashion and the excitement of what we do. But, I think there’s just a lot of stuff here that we’re trying to explore.

Milford looking to connect, add cycle lanes

MILFORD – Officials are working to better connect bike paths throughout the city and make Milford even more bike-friendly.

“We try to be a bike-friendly community,” said Steven Johnson, assistant director of public works. “One of the things we put together was Bike Milford and Bike Month. We asked people to cycle to each of the locations to get their passport stamps and we encouraged people to use their bikes as transportation.

Johnson said they wanted to add more cycle lanes around town and have a connected trail through places in Milford.

“At Silver Sands and Walnut Beach, there’s a path that connects them,” Johnson said. “In June we asked police commissioners to approve a cycleway on Meadowside Road that will run the full lane of the strip.”

But Johnson’s goal is to connect all of the city’s bike lanes to give people more access to ride their bikes.

“It takes time,” Johnson said. “Resident feedback is wonderful, especially those who do a lot of cycling and ultimately it’s done with our traffic division, who will do the assessment and study to see if it’s safe and possible to add a route. Ultimately, approving it or not is the police commission.

PeopleForBikes, a national bicycle advocacy organization and trade association for the U.S. bicycle industry, is also pushing to make cycling easier across the country.

It provides an annual score to cities that examines cycling infrastructure and rates the cycling environment, said Ryan Birkicht, director of businesses and partnerships at PeopleforBikes.

New Haven had a city rating of 26which means it ranked 453 out of 1105 cities tracked by PeopleForBikes for its 2022 report. And in a mid-sized city, it ranks 202 out of 455. In Bridgeport, the city rating was nine, meaning it ranked 966 out of 1105 cities. In the ranking of medium-sized cities, it stands at 408 out of 455.

PeopleForBikes did not have a score for Milford.

“We have staff across the country focused on pro-bicycle legislation in Washington DC, both at the national and state level,” Birkicht said.

Recently, PeopleForBikes announced the release of a new program called Arrive Happy!

The program is built around the Ride Spot digital platform and encourages more people to cycle by helping them find cycling routes.

“We also have a department in our organization that helps cities develop cycling infrastructure to increase safety for cyclists everywhere,” Birkicht said.

Birkicht said there has been a surge in bike sales and usage since the pandemic began.

“Many cities have started to develop infrastructure to meet these needs,” he said. “There is also an e-bike trend in North America. E-bikes have been a big deal in Europe for many years, but they are also starting to arrive in North America and infrastructure is also being built to support them.

Manufacturers: Lawmakers who support manufacturing in America should oppose this reconciliation bill

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Washington, DC – Following the announcement of a potential reconciliation agreement between Senate Democrats, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“This proposal is nothing more than a repackaging of the same bad ideas with a new name. It is particularly harmful as it will undermine the competitiveness of manufacturers at a time when the industry is reeling from supply chain disruptions and record inflation. Manufacturers delivered on their promises after the 2017 tax reforms, hiring more workers, investing in our communities, and increasing wages and benefits. Raising taxes now will hurt manufacturers’ ability to continue delivering for our people and mean fewer opportunities for Americans already worried about their financial future.

“Government price controls on pharmaceutical manufacturers are no less destructive. They will weaken our ongoing work to develop life-saving cures for complex diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and undermine our responses to health crises. It’s bad for the health of Americans. It’s bad for our economy.

“While the language purportedly calls for the passage of comprehensive licensing reform by the end of the fiscal year, nothing prevents Congress from doing exactly that at this time. Any member of Congress who votes for the bill solely on the basis of that language should not do so and should instead push for a standalone bill to be considered.

“Legislators who support manufacturing in America should oppose this reconciliation bill. It will make manufacturing less competitive and America economically weaker.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in all industry sectors and in all 50 states. The manufacturing sector employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion annually to the US economy, and accounts for 58% of private sector research and development. NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the primary advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

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