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4th of July trip: AAA predicts record holiday traffic and gas prices

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – AAA is predicting a record-breaking holiday weekend for several reasons that will be frustrating for drivers.

Not only is traffic volume expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, but it could also be the most expensive 4th of July ever at the gas pump.

“I was so excited to have a Jeep and now I kinda regret it,” said Gianna Rio, who shells out nearly $80 every time she fills up.

The price makes long trips not worth it for her.

“It definitely makes me guess where I’m driving – if necessary, if not necessary. But I work a lot so I have no choice but to drive,” she said.

She will stay close to home over the Independence Day weekend while Qua Wimes looks for a new job. The delivery driver is bleeding money on the road.

“I pretty much have to fill my tank twice a day just to be able to make money. I put in about $60 a day to make $125,” Wimes said.

AAA says gas prices average $4.96 a gallon in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, $4.84 in South Jersey and $4.83 in Delaware.

“We’re experiencing the highest gas prices ever for Independence Day weekend. We’re only about $5 a gallon in the five-county area of ​​Philadelphia,” Jana said. Tidwell, spokesperson for the AAA.

Expect higher holds on your credit or debit cards. Holds are placed to ensure that a customer can afford full payment. Some went from $125 to $175.

“If you’re using your debit card and your checking account balance is really tight, it could trigger an overdraft if you’re not aware of it in advance. There’s also a practical side to this too – the higher the hold saves you from having to swipe your card multiple times,” said Greg McBride, senior vice president and chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com

Still, AAA predicts crowded roads for the holidays, with traffic near pre-pandemic levels. More than 566,000 people in the Philadelphia area are expected to travel, most by car.

“Despite high gas prices, they’ll adjust their summer travel spending — or even their day-to-day life — just to make sure they can take that summer road trip,” Tidwell said.

For those traveling to their vacation destination, Philadelphia International Airport suggests travelers sign up to receive updates from their airlines.

FlightAware says nearly 800 flights were canceled nationwide Monday with 19 cancellations in Philadelphia.

“Flights were delayed, lots of people and very, very little customer service help,” said Monique Dollone, who was flying out of PHL on Monday.

If you’re driving to your 4th of July destination, AAA suggests avoiding rush hour traffic on Thursday and Friday. This is when your trip could double in time and you’ll be burning gas while sitting in traffic.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved.


VANCOUVER, BC, June 27, 2022 /CNW/ – Kiaro Holdings Corp. (“Kiaro” or the “Company”) (TSXV: KO) (OTC: KIARF), is pleased to announce that it has filed its unaudited condensed interim financial statements (“financial statements”) and management’s discussion and analysis ( “MD&A”) for the three months ended April 30, 2022 (“Q1 2022”). The highlights of which are presented in this press release and available on SEDAR.com and on the Company’s website kiaro.com. All amounts, unless otherwise indicated, are expressed in Canadian dollars.

Q1 FY2023 Highlights

  • Revenue growth of 77% at $9.2 million of $5.2 million in the first quarter of the previous year;

  • Retail revenue growth of 41% at $5.4 million of $3.8 million in the first quarter of the previous year;

  • Wholesale revenue growth of 78% at $3.3 millionrepresenting 36% of total turnover, $1.9 million in the first quarter of the previous year;

  • Maintained strong retail margins at 37%, wholesale margins increased 7% to 10% compared to the first quarter of the previous year;

  • Integration of new talent into leadership positions to lead and grow the retail and e-commerce segments;

  • Total assets at April 30, 2022 of $19.9 millioncompared to total assets at April 30, 2021 of $11.4 million;

  • In the first quarter of 2023, adjusted EBITDA improved in the fourth quarter of 2022 by $258,000;

  • E-commerce revenue growth of 26% over the prior quarter.

“We are pleased to share with our shareholders our financial performance for the first quarter of FY23, which is our third consecutive quarter of record revenue growth. This is the second quarter that included the full financial performance of our most recent Hemisphere acquisition and the exceptionally strong financial performance of National Cannabis Distribution (“NCD”), the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary focused on the Saskatchewan wholesale market. The combined operations have proven to deliver record revenue growth, improve margins and bring us closer to our critical milestone of achieving positive EBITDA. ” said Eleanor Lynch, the company’s interim CEO. “NCD revenue growth of 78% at $3.3 million was an outstanding result and contributed more than 36% of the revenue volume. Kiaro’s ability to attract top talent to lead our business channels has proven fundamental in driving asset performance. The acquired e-commerce business is growing rapidly and has generated revenues of $752,853 in the quarter compared to $596,536 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022.”

“The first quarter showed excellent growth, with the company recording revenues of $9,157,643 compared to $5,167,064 in the first quarter of fiscal 2022. Revenue growth was supported by volume from the acquired Hemisphere retail stores and strong revenue results from NCD, our wholesale business,” said Eleanor Lynch, the company’s interim CEO. “NCD revenue growth of 78% at $3.3 million was an outstanding result and contributed more than 35% of the revenue volume. Kiaro’s ability to attract top talent to lead our business channels has proven fundamental in driving asset performance. »

“I would like to thank the Kiaro team who take on challenges with enthusiasm and creativity and who continue to deliver at the highest level. Retail gross margins are particularly well managed by the team, which remained stable at 37% while that the wholesale segment is at 10%.The successful management of gross margins reflects Kiaro’s strong core competence in buying strategies that encompass category management, consumer engagement, promotional cadence and research on market prices. Kiaro’s gross margins are among the healthiest of major publicly traded Canadian cannabis retailers (based on recent filings).”

For the quarter, total operating expenses as a percentage of revenues were 44% compared to 48% for the same period last year. Efficiency gains have been achieved by using existing overhead and fixed costs to support the growth of operations.

Adjusted EBITDA over the past four quarters has fluctuated. During the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2022, approximately $452,000 costs incurred by newly acquired companies for; additional human resources, support for the integration of more than 70 employees, one-time professional fees and technical integration. In Q1 2023, Adjusted EBITDA improved compared to Q4 2022 of $258,000 due to the easing of COVID-19 omicron restrictions in Ontario and strong revenue growth in the Wholesale segment.

Summary of first quarter financial results

Summary of first quarter financial results (CNW Group/Kiaro Holdings Corp.)



Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and is not a recognized, defined or standardized measure under IFRS. See “Caution Regarding Non-GAAP Measures”.

Continued growth and revenue from vendor data and education programs, which the company has agreed with major licensed producers, are expected for the remainder of the year.

Ms. Lynch said: “The company looks forward to strengthening its performance as diversification strategies continue to bear fruit, external challenges subside and newly recruited leaders focus on generating revenue in key segments”.


Kiaro Holdings Corp (TSXV: KO) (“Kiaro”) is a trusted, diversified, omnichannel public cannabis company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. Kiaro is an authorized cannabis retailer, wholesale distributor and online retailer of vaporizers and accessories. Kiaro is dedicated to introducing new and experienced consumers to a lifelong exploration of cannabis.

Closely connected to the communities in which it operates and markets under the Kiaro and Hemisphere brands, Kiaro has 17 professionally operated, best-in-class retail outlets at British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan. The wholesale business, National Cannabis Distribution (NCD) is growing rapidly as it expands its services within Saskatchewan. The eCommerce activity (acquired in July 2021) has 3 sites (Vaped.ca, Vaped.com & Vaporizersdirect.com.au) operating in Canadathe United States and Australia.

With over 80 years of collective experience in retail, wholesale and e-commerce, Kiaro’s leadership team has a proven track record of growing brands across North America and the completion of acquisitions and financings. The Company plans to continue its growth trajectory through consumer-centric retail, e-commerce and wholesale distribution segments.

For more information on the company, including the most recent analyst report, please visit investors.kiaro.com.

On behalf of Kiaro Holdings Corp.

Eleanor Lynch
Acting General Manager

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-looking information

This press release contains statements that may constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking information may include, among other things, statements regarding Kiaro’s future plans, costs, objectives or performance, or assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. In this press release, words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “likely”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend de”, “plans”, “estimates” and similar words and their negative form are used to identify forward-looking statements. In this press release, forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the overall growth of the Canadian cannabis market and the retail opportunities and the award of new operating permits and licenses in various jurisdictions. Forward-looking statements should not be construed as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times at or by which such future performance will be achieved. There can be no assurance that the events anticipated by the forward-looking information will occur or occur. The forward-looking information is based on information available at this time and/or management’s good faith belief regarding future events and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other unforeseeable factors, many of which are beyond the control of Kiaro. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company’s filing statement dated September 29, 2020a copy of which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. In addition, any forward-looking information regarding future expansion plans is subject to such qualification as Kiaro’s management may determine, and assumptions that any construction or conversion will not be costly, required permits will be obtained and labor Work, materials and equipment required to complete such construction or conversion will be available. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements and information contained in this press release. Kiaro does not intend, nor undertake any obligation, to update or revise the forward-looking information contained in this press release to reflect subsequent or other information, events or circumstances, except as required by applicable law. require.

Kiaro Holdings Corp.  (CNW Group/Kiaro Holdings Corp.)

Kiaro Holdings Corp. (CNW Group/Kiaro Holdings Corp.)

SOURCEKiaro Holdings Corp.



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Hepatocyte Growth Factor Consumption Market Size and Forecast to 2028 | ViroMed, AnGes MG, M3 Biotechnology, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Molecular Partners


The Global”Hepatocyte Growth Factor Consumption Market » The report provides an in-depth analysis of emerging trends, market drivers, development opportunities and market restraints that may impact the market dynamics of the industry. Each market sector is examined in-depth in Market Research Intellect, including products, applications, and competitive analysis.

The report was created using three different recognition systems. The first step requires conducting in-depth primary and secondary research on a wide range of topics. Approvals, ratings and findings based on accurate data obtained by industry specialists are the next steps. The research derives an overall estimate of the market size using top-down methodologies. Finally, the research assesses the market for a number of sections and sub-sections using information triangulation and market separation techniques.

The main purpose of the report is to educate business owners and help them make a wise investment in the market. The study highlights regional and sub-regional perspectives with corresponding factual and statistical analysis. The report includes the latest first-hand data, which is obtained from the company’s website, annual reports, industry-recommended journals, and paid resources. The Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption report will help business owners understand the current market trend and make profitable decisions.

Profiled Market Leaders:

  • ViroMed
  • AnGès MG
  • M3 Biotechnology
  • AVEO Pharmaceuticals
  • Molecular partners
  • Yoo Young Pharm
  • F-star
  • Galaxy Biotech
  • Kringle Pharma

Report Analysis and Segments:

Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption is segmented based on product type, application, and geography. All segments of the Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption are carefully analyzed with respect to their market share, CAGR, value and volume growth, and other significant factors. We have also provided Porter’s five forces and PESTLE analysis for further investigation of hepatocyte growth factor consumption. The report also outlines recent developments undertaken by key market players, including new product launches, partnerships, mergers, acquisitions, and other latest developments.

Based on Product Type, Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption is segmented into –

Based on Application, Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption is segmented into –

  • Oncology
  • Cardiovascular
  • Central nervous system
  • Hematological disorders
  • Others

The report provides information about the following pointers:

1️⃣ Market Penetration: Comprehensive information on the product portfolios of major players in the Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption.

2️⃣ Product Development/Innovation: Detailed information on upcoming technologies, R&D activities and product launches in the market.

3️⃣ Competitive Assessment: In-depth assessment of market strategies and geographic and business segments of major market players.

4️⃣ Market development: comprehensive information on emerging markets. This report analyzes the market for various segments across geographies.

5️⃣ Market Diversification: Comprehensive information about new products, untapped geographies, recent developments, and investments in Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption.

Schedule a consultation call with our analysts/industry experts to find a solution for your business @ https://www.marketresearchintellect.com/ask-for-discount/?rid=431975

Various analyzes covered:

The regional assessment of Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption was conducted in six key regions, namely North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East & South America. ‘Africa. Moreover, the report also provides in-depth information about ongoing research and development activities, revenue, innovative services, real demand and supply status, and pricing strategy. In addition to that, this report also provides details on consumption figures, export/import supply and gross margin by region. In short, this report provides a valuable source of advice and clear direction for the trader and the party interested in the market.

North America (US, Canada)
Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia, Others)
Europe (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Russia, Others)
Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Others)
The Middle East and Africa

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What are the key drivers of global Hepatocyte Growth Factor consumption?
  • What are the major issues in the global consumption of hepatocyte growth factor?
  • Who are the key market players?
  • What has been the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global consumption of hepatocyte growth factor?
  • What are the latest market trends?
  • What is the compound annual growth rate of the global consumption of hepatocyte growth factor?

About Us: Market Research Intellect

Market Research Intellect provides syndicated and customized research reports to clients across various industries and organizations with the aim of providing functional expertise. We provide reports for all industries including Energy, Technology, Manufacturing & Construction, Chemicals & Materials, Food & Beverage, and more. These reports provide an in-depth study of the market with industry analysis, market value of regions and countries, and industry-relevant trends.

Contact us:
Mr. Steven Fernandes
Market research intelligence
New Jersey (USA)
Tel: +1-650-781-4080

Email: [email protected]

Website: –https://www.marketresearchintellect.com/

Just keep your returns: stores pay you not to return unwanted items

In recent weeks, some of the biggest chain stores, including Target (TGT), walmart, (WMT) Difference (GPS), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and others reported in their latest earnings calls that they had too much inventory of things ranging from workout clothes, jackets and spring hoodies to lawn furniture and bulky children’s toys. It costs them tons of money to store it.

Now add to this glut another category of products that stores have to manage: returns.

So instead of piling returned goods onto this growing pile of inventory, stores are simply considering giving customers their money back and letting them hang on to what they don’t want.

“It would be a smart strategic move,” said Burt Flickinger, retail expert and managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group. “Retailers are stuck with excess inventory at unprecedented levels. They can’t afford to take back any more.”

Returned products are handled in different ways, he said. Retailers take back the customer’s merchandise, appraise it, and if it’s in good condition, re-shelve it at the same or lower price.

They can refurbish damaged returns and sell them for less or take them to liquidators to resell. They can also sell the returned products to foreign liquidators for sale in Europe, Canada or Mexico.

“Given the situation at ports and container shortages, sending products overseas is not really an option,” Flickinger said. Finally, retailers can hire third-party companies to handle all aspects of merchandise returns for them.

Each of these options, however, carries additional costs for retailers, he said.

“For every dollar in sales, a retailer’s net profit is between one cent and five cents. With returns, for every dollar of returned merchandise, it costs the retailer between 15 and 30 cents to manage,” said said Flickinger.

There’s another option for retailers to handle returns while avoiding more product bloat and that’s to consider a “returnless return,” said Steve Rop, chief operating officer at goTRG, a company that processes more than 100 million returned items per year for companies like Wal-Mart, Amazon and Lowe’s.

Just keep

Rop said his company’s customers are 100% considering offering the “Keep It” option for returns this year, though he wouldn’t disclose if any of his customers have yet implemented the option. “Keep it” return policy.

In some cases, when they determine it would be easier, some retailers advise customers to simply keep or give away their return after issuing a refund. Walmart said it had nothing to share at this time. Lowe’s did not provide commentary for the story.

“They already discount in stores to eliminate products, but when there are heavy discounts, buyer’s remorse increases. People are tempted to buy a lot only to return it later,” a- he declared.

Reimbursing customers while allowing them to keep their returns is not a new practice, Rop said. “It started with Amazon several years ago,” he said.

The offer makes sense for certain types of products – low cost bulky items like furniture, kitchen appliances, home decor, baby chairs, walkers, strollers where it is expensive for the retailer to cover the cost shipping for the return.

“Other products like children’s toys, shoes, towels and bedding raise health concerns with regards to returns. This could also apply to these categories,” he said.

Another concern with cheaper items: Stores typically offer discounts on returned goods, so the amount of money they can earn on an inexpensive return is minimal — and may not be worth the trade-off, says Keith Daniels, partner of Carl Marks Advisors.

Yet a “keep it” policy has its own drawbacks, namely: Companies will need to ensure that they do not become victims of fraud.

“One thing retailers need to monitor and ensure is that customers who become aware of the [Keep it] don’t start abusing it, looking for free merchandise on a series of orders getting a refund, but keeping the merchandise,” Daniels said.

Chico Friends of the Library really are friends – Chico Enterprise-Record


CHICO – Chico Friends of the Library is once again open for business.

The CFOL is a nonprofit group that receives book donations and sells them to benefit the Chico branch of the Butte County Public Library.

Nancy Leek, assistant director of book sales and board member of Chico Friends of the Library, says the weekly book sale is happening again, which restarted in July 2021. The next sale will be on July 9 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the meeting room adjoining the library. The sale takes place every Saturday unless it is a holiday weekend.

All profits from book sales are used to support various library programs, many of which receive little or no other county funding. Books sell for $0.25 to $2 each, far less than any other used bookstore in town, and CDs, DVDs, puzzles, current magazines, and VHS tapes can also be found at the sales table. During the COVID-19 pandemic, regular Saturday book sales were halted, depriving the library of much-needed funding. It wasn’t deemed safe enough to resume book sales until last July, and people have gotten out of the habit of coming to sales. According to a press release, book donations were also halted during this time.

Many of the people who volunteer at CFOL have done so for years.

Volunteer Helen Sutton, 87, is a book sales coordinator/manager and helps organize sales. She is at the library three to four hours a day, Monday to Friday. Sutton organizes everything and moves the books forward.

Leek said she wanted to make sure people know that not only is the library open, but book sales are also happening.

The Chico Friends of the Library program is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, take a request at the library reception and indicate the tasks that interest you. Volunteers can take on many different tasks, such as organizing books, pricing books, and lifting boxes. The staff likes volunteers to work at least one day a week or two hours a week.

Volunteers accept donations every day of the week. Bags or other containers of books to be donated can be placed on the Chico Friends of the Library cart, which is located in the library, or if there is a large donation, people can drop them off at the back door of the library .

The library is open Tuesday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on Monday.

Sales from the book sale help acquire library books and support library programs such as summer reading for children and arts and crafts events.

Volunteers ask the public not to donate outdated medical or financial books and any encyclopedias, and if the box or bag of books has been sitting in a garage for a long time, for example, be sure to clean it up and make make sure there are no insects inside and that the books are clean.

Leek said volunteers like to receive manuals. Books that haven’t been sold for three months end up in the library lobby. The library also offers curbside pickup, so if someone borrows a book and doesn’t want to come in, it can be brought to them in the parking lot.

Volunteers receive on-the-job training to prepare for volunteering. Sutton said having a love for books and a good knowledge of books is a plus.

Chico Friends of the Library also supports small free libraries. There are library volunteers who stock the small libraries.

“It’s a great place to go for cheap books,” Leek said.

Chico Friends of the Library offers a wide variety of books, such as cookbooks, children’s books, fiction and non-fiction. Famous authors like John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Steven King have their own category because people often ask for books by popular authors.

How Hot Air Balloons Coexist in Commercial Airspace


Vilnius, Lithuania, is apparently the only capital in Europe to allow hot air balloons to float in its airspace. I had the chance to speak with a local hot air balloon pilot about the ins and outs of the industry and, coming from a commercial aviation background, I had the chance to ask how balloons co-exist with airplanes commercial flying nearby.

Some of this information may be specific to Vilnius and Lithuania.

A highly regulated activity

Speaking with Tomas Olevsonas from Balloon.lt, I got a glimpse into the world of hot air balloon flights and how these airships co-exist with nearby Vilnius airport. Indeed, when it comes to the Lithuanian capital, hot air balloons take off just seven kilometers away. And being an industry that presumably attracts a lot of tourists (and tourism dollars), ensuring a smooth relationship with commercial aircraft flights is a necessity – especially for the safety of everyone in the air. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Vilnius (and Lithuania in general) regulates hot air balloon rides.


Weather is the ultimate factor

Although local authorities or civil aviation regulators may allow hot air balloon flights, the weather will also be an important factor in determining a flight. If the winds are too strong, flights may not take place. Other severe weather conditions may also be the reason for aborting the takeoff.

Surprisingly, however, the weather might be “too good” for takeoff – especially in the case of Vilnius and other cities. Indeed, hot air balloons are allowed to take off from populated urban areas, but are prohibited from landing there. Thus, if the wind is light or non-existent on a particular day, flights may be canceled due to an inability to “fly out” of the city.

Vilnius sees regular hot air balloon flights throughout the year, just a few kilometers from the international airport. Photo: Chris Loh | single flight

Hot air balloons obtain take-off clearance and altitude guidance from the airport

With more than 800 hours of flying experience, Olevsonas notes that takeoff clearance comes from nearby Vilnius Airport. While his company and other operators may ask holders of flight reservations to show up at the launch point at a certain time, it is ultimately up to the airport to give the green light. Thus, take-off delays can result from flight delays or changes in wind direction.

The winds will determine the flight path of the balloons. It can even bring them over the airport – during times when passenger planes are taking off and landing. Surprisingly, commercial operations and hot air balloon flights can take place at the same time – but with a minimum safe distance between aircraft. This is made possible by altitude adjustments, which are in the hands of the pilots. Because this factor is easily controllable, the airport is able to instruct balloons to increase their altitude to ensure safe separation from approaching aircraft. This can give fantastic air-to-air views of commercial aircraft taking off and landing.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly summaries of aviation news.

Hot air balloons have registration numbers like other aircraft

As well as the creative or potentially obnoxious branding printed on the balloons, those able to get close will also see a registration number – just like commercial transport aircraft. This allows dispatchers to track the maintenance and flight hours of each balloon, ensuring that equipment is regularly inspected and serviced at regular intervals.

Indeed, inspections take place every 100 hours of service and all operators must have an official license from the Lithuanian Civil Aviation Administration to perform commercial flights. Comprehensive aviation insurance for passengers and third parties is also required.

Have you ever taken a hot air balloon ride? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Airline Merger: Frontier Sweetens Offer for Spirit Airlines | Economic news


By DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Editor

Frontier Airlines on Friday added more money and higher breakage fees to its offer to buy Spirit Airlines, and Spirit’s board reiterated its preference for Frontier over a competing offer from JetBlue Airways.

Frontier added $2 per share to its previous offer, bringing it to $4.13 in cash plus 1.9126 Frontier shares for each Spirit share.

The Denver-based airline also increased the amount it would pay Spirit, based in Miramar, Fla., if antitrust regulators cut the deal — from $250 million to $350 million — as a breach fee. offered by JetBlue.

Spirit said that given the watered-down terms, its board reiterated its unanimous recommendation that shareholders approve Frontier’s offer at a special meeting next Thursday.

political cartoons

JetBlue said its proposition remains better than Frontier’s with higher value, more money, “more certainty and more regulatory protections.”

Frontier’s decision was the latest bet in a fight between Frontier and JetBlue to see who would get the nation’s biggest discount airline. On Monday, New York-based JetBlue raised its cash offer to $33.50 per share, or more than $3.6 billion.

At present value, JetBlue’s proposition is worth more. JetBlue is offering to buy all of Spirit’s stock and reconfigure the low-cost airline’s planes into JetBlue’s less cramped layout.

Frontier’s stock and cash offer would give Spirit shareholders 48.5% of the new combined airline – which has yet to be named. This means that investors willing to own the stock could gain if the stock price increases enough.

Spirit’s board cited another reason for favoring Frontier, which, like Spirit, is a very low-cost carrier that charges very low fares but also many additional fees. Spirit argued that antitrust regulators are very unlikely to let JetBlue buy Spirit and take its low fares out of the market.

JetBlue disputes Spirit’s finding. He bypassed Spirit’s board and appealed directly to Spirit shareholders to reject Frontier’s offer.

Frontier and JetBlue agree on one thing: Both say that buying Spirit would make it a stronger competitor to the country’s four major airlines, American, Delta, United and Southwest.

Copyright 2022 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

For the record – Alexandria Echo Press


Alexandria City Council
Ordinary meeting
Monday, June 27

Where: The mayor and the city council can participate in the city council meeting remotely by telephone or video. Members of the public may participate by telephone or other electronic means. Find more information about


and click on the date of the meeting to view the link. If you would like to provide feedback to city staff and/or elected officials on matters brought before city council, please email [email protected]

7 p.m. Oath of allegiance, moment of silence, approval of the agenda. Consent Agenda: Approve Minutes of June 13 Council Meeting, Approve Minutes of June 13 Special Council Meeting

7:05 p.m. Presentation of the 2021 accounts

7:20 p.m. Chief Constable Scott Kent
A. Presentation of the new policeman

7:25 p.m. Nicole Fernholz, Executive Director of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission
A. Resolution Requesting a Hearing to Create a TIF Constituency

7:30 p.m. Licence
A. Alcohol on temporary sale for one day – St. Mary’s Church

7:40 p.m. Special Event Permit
A. Faith Rose 5K

7:45 p.m. Park and Trails Master Plan Agreement

7:50 p.m. Resolutions and orders
A. Second Reading: Amendment to Alexandria City Code Section 3.17 Relating to Non-Sale Malt Liquor Licenses

7:55 p.m. Municipal engineer
A. Signature of Wetland Credit Purchase Agreement (34th Avenue to 44th Avenue sidewalk project)
B. Report of the Roads Committee

8 p.m. Director of Community Development Mike Weber
A. Elements of the planning commission
B. Request for Quotation for Assessment Services – Minnesota Army National Guard Readiness Center / Field Maintenance Shop

8:05 p.m. City Attorney’s Cases

8:10 p.m. City Administrator’s Affairs

8:15 p.m. Old and other business

8:20 p.m. Adjournment

To note: Alexandria City Council will convene a special meeting of City Council at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the following: Review of 2021 Financial Statements, Use of Social Media

Special note: Members of the public have the right to participate in the meeting by telephone or other electronic means. To participate remotely via video, please visit our website,


and click on the date of the meeting to view the link.

The above items are scheduled from June 22 and are subject to change.

The Indian economy has a double deficit problem. To counter it, the government must juggle between growth and stability

In his recent publication monthly economic reportthe Ministry of Finance expressed concern about the re-emergence of the twin deficit problem in the economy due to rising commodity prices and increased subsidy burden.

While tariff cuts and increased subsidies have raised the possibility of a deviation from the budgeted fiscal deficit, rising crude oil and commodity prices amid continued selling off by foreign investors may cause an increase in the current account deficit.

The government will have to strike a difficult balance between maintaining growth and macroeconomic stability by keeping fiscal and current account deficits within manageable limits.

Blow to the budget deficit

The budget projected a fiscal deficit of 6.4% to GDP for the current fiscal year. The resulting geopolitical conflict and supply disruptions posed an upside risk to the fiscal deficit. The reduction in excise duties on gasoline and diesel and the increase in fertilizer subsidies to cushion the impact of rising international prices pose a risk to the budgeted fiscal deficit.

A rise in the budget deficit (excess of expenditure over revenue) would require more government borrowing. Higher government borrowing would absorb more of the savings, which could have been used by the private sector for its own investments. Higher government borrowing will also drive up interest rates, which would negatively impact private sector investment.

At a time when the government is focusing on investment spending to stimulate growth, the only way to reduce the budget deficit is to limit non-capex spending.

Read also : Weaker Rupee, Higher Inflation – Why US Fed’s Rate Hike Is Bad News For Indian Economy

Sharp rise in the current account deficit

The ongoing war has led to a sharp rise in the prices of crude oil and other raw materials. India imports nearly 85% of its domestic crude oil needs. The sharp rise in import prices will widen India’s current account deficit. A wider current account deficit will put downward pressure on the rupee as demand for dollars increases. A weaker rupee will increase the risk of imported inflation.

As a net importer of oil and other commodities, while India has traditionally run a current account deficit, large capital inflows have enabled it to finance its current account deficit. But over the past six months, foreign portfolio investors have also withdrawn a large amount of money from the capital market, making India’s external sector more vulnerable.

Aggressive US Fed tightening drives US bond yields higher, leading to continued selling off of REITs. For FY22, India’s current account deficit was at a three-year high due to the rise in world commodity prices and the recovery in economic activity. It is expected to widen further to reach 3% of GDP.

2013 double deficit and tantrum episode

Twin deficits increase vulnerability to external shocks. India was among the hardest hit countries when the Federal Reserve slowed its bond purchases in 2013, known as the taper tantrum.

The indication by then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) could soon start to slow down its bond purchases sparked a wave of capital flight from emerging economies – particularly from South Africa, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey – dubbed the “fragile five” in because of their high current account deficits and their dependence on foreign capital inflows.

These capital outflows put pressure on the rupee. India was one of the hardest hit due to its underlying macro vulnerabilities.

Policies after the global financial crisis

During the global financial crisis of 2008, the Indian economy participated in the global downturn due to its trade and financial ties with the rest of the world. India’s policy response after the 2008 crisis focused on reviving growth, but at the expense of macroeconomic stability.

The government has announced a coordinated program monetary and fiscal policy package in 2008-09 to relaunch growth. For example, the government has introduced fiscal stimulus in the form of tax cuts and increased spending to stimulate consumer demand. The Fiscal Responsibility and Management (FRBM) Act 2003 (under which the government is required to exercise fiscal prudence to reduce its deficits to a target rate) was suspended in 2009 in order to adapt to the stimulus policies.

On the monetary side, the Reserve Bank of India has introduced measures, such as rate cuts, to boost liquidity and facilitate credit to stimulate investment. The rate-cutting cycle continued until March 2010. Fiscal spending alongside low interest rates led to higher inflation and higher imports. Rising imports led to a deterioration in the current account. The growth-enhancing policy has led to the neglect of macroeconomic stability.

Focus on macro-stabilization

As inflation takes hold, a calibrated normalization of monetary policy is needed to anchor inflation expectations. On the fiscal side, while some measures should be taken to mitigate the impact of rising prices, the government needs to find a glide path for fiscal consolidation.

While the government has set itself the target of achieving a budget deficit of 4.5% of GDP by 2025-26, a roadmap to achieve this target should also be specified. Sound macroeconomic stabilization requires setting debt and deficit reduction targets for the coming years. Adjustment of the rupiah market to control the current account deficit should be part of the macro-stabilization strategy.

Radhika Pandey is a consultant at National Institute of Finance and Public Policy.

Views are personal.

Read also : 5 factors will shape India’s economy in 2022, and you can be cautiously optimistic despite Covid

The Morritt Factor – Cayman Compass


It’s hard to imagine an East End without the charm of Morritt’s. Drive east and you can’t miss the resort’s colorful billboards, warmly announcing that you’re “home.” Indeed, this deep understanding of home and family is precisely what Morritt’s does best.

It’s not surprising. After all, Morritt’s story is one of a small family business with big ideas and a boundless spirit. Or, as some call it, the Morritt factor.

George Morritt and Florence Morritt, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

Keep Calm and carry on

Millionaire among men: empire builder with an enchanted life - press clipping
David Morritt appearing in a 1983 interview with the local newspaper in Harrow, England.

It was 1947. The Second World War was over and the UK was facing a severe housing crisis. Entire neighborhoods had been damaged by German bombing, so new homes were desperately needed. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the British government quickly adopted policies that would launch British construction into a post-war boom.

It was a time of innovation and ideas, both of which inspired a London plumber named George Morritt. Swept along by the nation’s quest to rebuild, George also decided he would help restore London, and so Morritt Properties was born.

A father and his son

By the early 1960s, George had developed a large portfolio of properties when his son David entered the scene. As a young man, David had an innate understanding of the real estate world, diving head first into the family business with ease.

It is at this time, however, that land is scarce in London, and yet David has an idea. Noticing that many older terraced houses had large gardens, he couldn’t help but wonder if he could buy them. This would give him the land he needed to build more houses, using the alley space as his entrance. It was such a crazy plan that it just might work.

And it worked. Morritt Properties found great success in these ‘garden houses’, and David continued to expand the company’s developments in the outskirts of London.

First London, then the world

David loved England, but he dreamed of distant, exotic paradises and sunny beaches. His knack for expansion took him to Florida in 1988, where he learned of a beautiful island called Grand Cayman. Intrigued, David decided to “go downstairs and have a look”. This would be the start of the Morritts we all know and love today.

Never one to sit idly by, it wasn’t long before David took the next step. In 2019, he landed in Mont-Tremblant, Canada, and soon after proudly announced the grand opening of Château Morritt.

It’s been 75 years since George Morritt took that bold first step in starting the family business. Of course, in true David fashion, he says the adventure has only just begun. Time will tell where David goes next, but one thing is for sure – the Morritt factor isn’t going anywhere.

Don’t blink and miss the trip! If you haven’t had an official Morritt’s tour, book one now and we’ll give you a 2 day stay! Call 640-5932 or email [email protected] to learn more. Terms and conditions of application.

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‘What is the maximum amount a landlord can increase the rent?’


My landlord informed me of a 13 percent annual rent increase 90 days before the expiration of the contract. However, the real estate regulatory agency rent calculator provides for a 5% rent increase upon renewal of the lease.

My landlord has asked me to vacate the property at the end of the lease if I am unwilling to pay the 13% rent increase. He plans to serve me with a eviction notice and move into the property with his family next year. What do you advise? TM, Dubai

There are two points to cover here. First, the increase in rents. Any changes to a rental agreement, including a rent increase, must be in writing (email is OK), giving 90 days notice from the expiration date of the agreement to all parties concerned.

The amount of allowable increase is not determined by the landlord or tenant, or even by the market price. Instead, it is determined by the Rera rent calculator. This can be found on the Dubai Land Department website.

Once all the required details are entered, it calculates what the rent will be on renewal. Therefore, it is against the law for the landlord to want a 13% raise, so you should deny their request at this point.

However, it is important to note that the calculator is only a guide. What you and your landlord agree to in terms of a rent increase is up to you both. When you disagree, the calculator can be used as a referee.

It is important for the tenant and the landlord to maintain a good business relationship for the basis of future transactions.

The second point to discuss is the owner’s willingness to use the property himself. It’s legal and it’s his right. It must serve you with the legal 12 months notice to quit, which states that reason, and it must be sent by registered mail or notary public.

After you leave, if you learn later that he has re-let the property to someone else, you will be entitled to compensation.

A landlord is not allowed to re-let the unit for two years after evicting a tenant. You can file a case with the Rental Dispute Resolution Committee (RDSC) for this reason.

I am renting a villa and renewed the lease in February this year. My landlord sold the property and the new buyer said he wanted to live in the villa.

I received formal 12 months notice to vacate on April 28, which was the date on the eviction letter signed by a notary public.

I want to challenge this on the grounds that the 12 month eviction notice must be served on the contract renewal date, not later.

Can I file a case in person at the RDSC or do I have to hire a lawyer? RJ, Dubai

When filing a case with the RDSC, it is not necessary to hire a lawyer and you can do it yourself.

While you are correct that the 12 month eviction notice must be served upon expiry of the existing tenancy agreement under Law 33 of 2008, some DRDC judges allow the vacation notice to be served at any time during the contract.

Therefore, although you have the right to file a complaint, be aware that a judge may uphold the notice sent to you on April 28.

I sent my tenant a 12 month eviction notice through Dubai Courts in December 2021. Although the eviction date mentioned in the notice is December 2022, the tenancy agreement is valid until in July 2023.

What is the legally enforceable eviction date – December 2022 or July 2023? If it is July 2023 do I have to file another eviction notice in July 2022? MH, Dubai

Law No. 33 of 2008 stipulates that the 12 months notice of eviction must be served upon expiry of the tenancy agreement.

That said, some landlords served the notice at any time during the contract. It has been observed in the past that some DRDC judges upheld this decision.

However, as the law in the UAE is not set on precedent, I cannot confirm if this will be the case for you if the tenant disputes the date later by filing a case with the RDSC.

It is up to the presiding judge at the time of the hearing to accept your 12 month eviction notice or ask you to serve it again in July 2022 for another 12 months.

Mario Volpi is Director of Sales and Rentals at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the real estate sector for over 35 years, in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for informational purposes only. Please send your questions to [email protected]

Real Estate Apartment Prices in Dubai — May 2022

Updated: June 23, 2022, 04:00

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Biden calls on Congress to suspend gas tax to help lower record pump prices


WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Congress to pass a three-month suspension of the federal gas tax to help tackle record high prices at the pump, but opposition from lawmakers within his own party suggest the request is unlikely to go through. to be met.

In announcing his support for the suspension, Biden also echoed some of the concerns about its effectiveness, but said American families who pay far more for gas, caused in part by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine , deserve financial assistance.

“I fully understand that a gas tax waiver alone will not solve the problem, but it will provide families with immediate relief, just a bit of respite, as we continue to work to bring prices down. long term,” Biden said. .

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The president also urged states to temporarily suspend state fuel taxes, which are often higher than federal rates. He is asking major oil companies to suggest ideas on how to bring back idle refining capacity when they meet with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Thursday. Read more

Biden and his advisers have been discussing the issue for months amid growing pressure to act as record gasoline prices weigh on the president’s opinion polls and cast doubt on the Democrats’ chances of retaining power. to Congress in the November elections.

A suspension of the federal gasoline tax of 18.4 cents per gallon and the diesel tax of 24.4 cents would require congressional approval, likely making Biden’s speech largely symbolic. Read more


Lawmakers from both parties have expressed resistance to the suspension of the tax, with some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, worrying the move will have a limited effect on prices if oil companies and retailers pocket a large part of the savings.

Peter DeFazio, a Democrat and chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Wednesday that a federal gas tax holiday would provide “minimal relief” while digging a fiscal hole in a tax fund. earmark for highways needed to repair crumbling bridges and build a modern infrastructure system.”

Biden has asked Congress to suspend the fuel tax until September, a move that will cost the Highway Trust Fund about $10 billion in lost revenue, but could be offset by other areas of a budget that sees the incomes rise and deficits shrink as the United States emerges. of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some states, like New York and Connecticut, have already suspended fuel taxes, while others have floated ideas such as consumer rebates and direct relief.

Refiners are struggling to meet global demand for diesel and gasoline, exacerbating high prices and deepening shortages. Read more

“Suspending the federal gasoline tax will certainly provide short-term relief to American drivers, but it will not solve the root of the problem – the imbalance between supply and demand for petroleum products,” a spokesperson said. of the American fuel and petrochemical manufacturing industry. the group said.

Longer-term policies are still needed to boost energy production in the United States, he said.

U.S. pump prices are averaging close to $5 a gallon as rising demand for fuels coincides with the loss of about 1 million barrels per day of processing capacity. Over the past three years, many factories have been closed as demand for fuel skyrocketed at the height of the pandemic. Read more

Biden said he understands the politics around Republicans seizing on high gas prices ahead of the election, but he asked his rivals if they would have chosen not to support Ukraine instead.

“So to all those Republicans in Congress who are criticizing me today for high gas prices in the United States: are you saying we were wrong to support Ukraine? Are you saying we were wrong to stand up to Putin? Are you saying we’d rather have lower gas prices in America and Putin’s iron fist in Europe? I don’t believe it “, said Biden.

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Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw; additional reporting by Katharine Jackson; Editing by Susan Heavey, Nick Zieminski and Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

DuPage County Council primary races scheduled for Tuesday

In Tuesday’s contested DuPage County Council primaries, candidates cite public safety, the mental health crisis, financial stability and attracting new business to DuPage as top issues.

The board is made up of 18 elected members and a separate chair. Once a small minority on the county council, Democrats have grown in numbers over the past two election cycles and now hold an 11-7 majority. With the recent decennial census, all 18 county council seats are up for election in November. . Voters in each party’s primary can select up to three choices in their district, and three of the six districts have contested Republican primaries while two of the six districts have contested Democratic primaries.

A crowded Democratic primary is in District 2, which covers Oak Brook and Oakbrook Terrace and parts of Elmhurst, Downers Grove, Lisle, Woodridge, Westmont, Lombard and Villa Park. Downers Grove’s Liz Chaplin, who has long fought with incumbent county council chairman Dan Cronin, is seeking re-election. Chaplin faces in the primary Paula Deacon Garcia, outgoing board member, and newcomers Yeena Yoo and Maryann Vazquez.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we still have critical needs that have not been met, such as affordable housing and homelessness, as well as the opioid and mental health crisis,” Chaplin said. “For the past 20 years I have advocated on behalf of the citizens of DuPage for clean water, then worked and understood fiscal responsibility. I’ve been one of the only voices on County Council to challenge the status quo, ask questions, and make sure everything is in the interest of the ratepayer.

Vazquez cited the mental health crisis, residents’ difficulty paying for elderly care and transportation issues as key elements in motivating her to run. After a long career as a sales representative and chief marketing officer, she also said she believes she brings “business acumen” to the board, including a small business perspective and a large business perspective, as well as a social conscience.

“People have told me they can’t get home care because workers can’t get to work, and the reason they can’t get to work is that everything in DuPage County with transportation goes through the Metra,” she said. “So we have these transit deserts. We need to be more creative for the future.

Garcia, who was elected to the board in 2020, said her main focus is on environmental sustainability and the mental health crisis. Among the initiatives she is a part of are trying to transfer more county assets to electricity and serving on the board of directors of the DuPage health department.

“We’re trying to get a crisis living unit here in DuPage County,” she said. “It’s something I’d love to be re-elected for, so I can keep doing this job so we can help people with mental health issues instead of sending them to the (emergency room ) or the correctional center.”

Yoo, a lawyer who has a background in social work, said she would like to see more of the county’s budget devoted to social services. She noted that only 1% to 2% of the county’s general fund budget is spent on social services, while eight times that is spent on the sheriff’s office and 12 times on roads and bridges.

“I think the county should fund more seniors and people seeking mental health,” she said.

With a professional specialty in family law litigation and dealing with victims of domestic violence, Yoo pointed to her experience working with opposing attorneys in the judges’ chambers as evidence of her ability to reach consensus.

On the Republican side in District 2, six candidates – none of whom is incumbent – ​​are running for the three seats. An incumbent District 2 board member, Republican Pete DiCianni, is stepping down from his seat on the board to run for president. The six GOP candidates are former County Council member Sean T. Noonan, former York Township Clerk Daniel J. Kordik, Grant Dungan, Elmhurst Ald. Jennifer Veremis, Nicole Marie Giannini and John Simpson.

Veremis, a nail salon owner, became involved in government when she and her neighbors on the Elmhurst’s Pick subdivision successfully fought a proposal to place a gas station on the northwest corner of Illinois Highway 83 and St. Charles Road. Veremis was then appointed to the Elmhurst Town Council and later won the full election for the remaining term of her seat.

“I’m sensitive to inflation, public safety and mental health, and when I say that, it’s not just words. There are people in my community who have reached out to me for help, advice, and that’s where I can add a lot of value,” she said. “I also have unique experience as a hands-on business owner, and I have municipal experience as an elected official and community advocate.”

An accountant who is now an Oak Brook resident, Kordik was previously a member of a school board and the Villa Park zoning board. He said he was motivated to run after a shooting in December at the Oakbrook Center mall which was “literally in my own backyard because I live right across the creek from (the) mall.”

“I thought, you know what? My county of DuPage is changing, and that’s where I can best serve,” he said. “I am very supportive of law enforcement and public safety is my top priority. With all the upcoming changes involving the end of cash bail effective January 1, I want to make sure our courts and our sheriff’s office have the resources and tools they need to keep DuPage County safe.

Noonan, a Bloomingdale’s police officer for nearly two decades who was recently promoted to sergeant and previously served two terms on the county council from 2012 to 2020, said he was unhappy with the direction Democrats have taken. on the board since he took control. He said his greatest focus was on public safety and his support for it.

“My approach is the same in politics as in being a police officer – if I go into a situation, I don’t care what your religious background or political affiliation is, I’m here to serve you,” Noonan said. “At the end of the day, I’ve said it time and time again, once you’re elected, you have to work together.”

Another crowded primary is the Republican race for District 1, which covers all or most of Bensenville, Wood Dale, Itasca, Addison and Roselle and parts of Elmhurst, Bloomingdale’s, Lombard and Villa Park.

The candidates for this primary are incumbents Sam Tornatore and Donald Puchalski and newcomers Bob Dunn, Marya Reyes and Elmhurst accountant Cindy Cronin Cahill, who is Dan Cronin’s sister. Tornatore, of Roselle, who is also chairman of the county health department, said that in addition to public safety and public health, he sees as a major council priority the need to decide how to distribute 161 million dollars in federal money from the CARES Act and another $179 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Everyone needs our help and is looking for their piece of the pie,” Tornatore said. “We’re trying to spread the pie as best we can, understanding that a lot of that money has gone to public health.”

Cahill, who served on the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, cited her experience as a business owner and her financial acumen as attributes she would bring to the board. A prosecutor’s mother, Cahill, said she would fully fund the sheriff’s and state’s attorney’s offices, and she said she would prioritize bringing in more residents and businesses in DuPage.

“I think I bring an outside perspective and a new voice,” Cahill said. “I have the passion and the expertise, and we need new people. It’s time for new voices and new people. Asked about her brother, Cahill noted that “Dan and I have Republican values, absolutely, and I bring my Republican values ​​to the board, but I also bring my own perspective. I am a different person.

The GOP and Democratic primaries are contested in District 4, which covers all of Glen Ellyn, most of Wheaton and Glendale Heights, and parts of Lombard and Lisle. All three incumbents — Democrats Mary FitzGerald Ozog and Lynn LaPlante and Republican Grant Eckhoff — are up for re-election.

A former member of the Glenbard District 87 School Board, Ozog currently chairs the County Council’s Public Works Committee. She said dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and figuring out how to distribute federal pandemic relief funds are the biggest issues facing the council.

“I believe in fiscal responsibility and prudent spending, and I think we’re doing the best we can with what we have,” said Ozog, whose main opponents include LaPlante, Shawn Ryan and Glen Ellyn Trustee Gary Fasules.

Now in his third term as a trustee, Fasules cited his ability to work with other members of the nonpartisan Glen Ellyn Village council as a strength. He lamented the recent accusations and the split between the two sides on the county board over the county losing 18 months of recreational marijuana tax revenue.

“I really want to get away from that (finger pointing),” Fasules said. “I ran because we need to take our similarities and find them and unite on those and move forward for the benefit of the residents. And I have the experience — I know what a council should do as a surveillance capability and how we move certain critical elements.The issues we deal with have nothing to do with partisan politics.

Eckhoff, who had been on county council since 2002, is running against DuPage County Regional School Commissioner Paula McGowen, DuPage College Administrator Annette Corrigan and former Lombard Administrator Reid Foltyniewicz in the GOP primary in District 4. Eckhoff highlighted his many years of “keeping taxes low while providing essential government services for a long time.”

Eckhoff also cited public safety, the opioid crisis and mental health as high-profile issues. “I am in favor of more funds for mental health,” he said. “I would like to see more coordinated efforts rather than canton by canton.”

A family law attorney, Corrigan has focused on fighting crime and keeping the county economy going.

“It’s expensive to live here, and there are a lot of parts of DuPage where people are suffering,” Corrigan said. “I am very concerned about our residents and making sure people have the basic needs they need on a daily basis.”

Bob Goldsborough is a freelance journalist.

The global market for plate modification devices to see


New York, U.S., June 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Global Plaque Modification Devices Market to Witness Immense Growth with a CAGR of 8.09% by 2027 | DelveInsight

The global plaque modification devices market is expected to rise owing to the increase in sedentary lifestyles among the population across the globe, which is one of the major risk factors for the development of arterial plaque. Additionally, an increase in the approval and launch of plate-modifying devices is expected to further increase the adoption of these devices in the coming years.

by DelveInsight Plate Modification Devices Market Overview The report provides the current and forecast market, upcoming device innovations, individual market shares of major companies, challenges, plate modification device market drivers, barriers and trends, and leading plate modification device companies in the market.

Key Takeaways from the Plate Modification Devices Market

  • According to estimates from DelveInsight, North America is expected to dominate the global plate modification device market during the forecast period.
  • Major plate modification device companies such as Boston Scientific Corporation, Medtronic, Abbott, Shockwave Medical, Inc., Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., AngioDynamics, Inc., Avinger, REX MEDICAL, Ra Medical Systems, Koninklijke Philips NV, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Penumbra, Inc., Stryker , Microvention, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, ARGON MEDICAL., Inari Medical, Nitiloop, Soundbite Medical Solutions, Rontis Corporationand several others are currently working in the plate modification device market.
  • In September 2021, Abbott acquired Vascular Walk, LLC, a commercial-stage medical device company with a minimally invasive mechanical suction thrombectomy system designed to remove peripheral blood clots.
  • In February 2021, Shockwave Medical, Inc., a medical device company focused on the development of intravascular lithotripsy (IVL) to treat severely calcified cardiovascular disease, has received US FDA premarket approval for the company’s sonic pressure wave device to treat severely calcified coronary artery disease.
  • In January 2021, Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. has received CE Marking for the Diamondback 360® Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System.
  • Thus, due to these development activities in the market, rapid growth will be witnessed in the plate modification devices market over the forecast period.

To learn more about the latest highlights related to plate modification devices, get an overview of the major highlights involved in the Plate Modification Devices Market Report

Plate modification devices

Plaques are fatty, waxy substances such as cholesterol, cellular waste, calcium, and fibrin that deposit on the walls of the artery. These deposits can narrow the artery and reduce blood flow. Sometimes the plaques can also rupture and create a blood clot at the rupture site. Plaque-modifying devices are intended to remove plaque and other debris from the arteries, which carry blood to the heart and brain.

Plate Modification Devices Market Overview

Geographically, the global plate modification devices market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Rest of the World. In terms of revenue share, North America currently leads the global plate modification device market and is expected to maintain its market position over the study period. This dominance is due to the rise in cases of the target population in the region.

Moreover, increase in strategic business activities of major players having presence in the region and actively manufacturing plate modification devices to expand their market presence would also contribute to the growth of plate modification devices in the region over the past few years. coming years.

To learn more about why North America is leading the plate modification device market growth, get an overview of the Plaque Modification Devices Market Analysis

Plate Modification Devices Market Dynamics

The market for plate modification devices is now gaining momentum due to the iGrowing prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. In addition, age is an important factor in plaque growth. Moreover, the technology approval improved plaque removal devices in different parts of the world would help expand the plaque modification device market.

However, the stringent regulatory clearance process for plate modification devices and device complications and surgical procedures are expected to hamper the growth of the plaque modification devices market.

Moreover, with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for plate modification devices in the market has decreased. Indeed, many routine procedures and outpatient visits have been temporarily suspended, and global healthcare facilities have temporarily focused on managing the burden of COVID-19 patients during the initial lockdown period. However, with the approval and administration of numerous COVID-19 vaccines around the world, there has been a significant improvement in the resumption of activities in various fields, including health services, thus paving the way to a healthy payback period for plaque-modifying devices. market.

Get an Insight into Plate Modification Devices Market Dynamics @ Analysis of plaque modification devices market dynamics

Scope of the Plate Modification Devices Market Report

  • Cover: Global
  • Study period: 2019–2027
  • Market segmentation by product type: Atherectomy devices, thrombectomy devices, chronic total occlusion (CTO) devices, embolic protection devices, others
  • Market segmentation by application: Coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, neurovascular disease
  • Market segmentation by end user: Hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, others
  • Market segmentation by geography: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the world
  • Key plate modification devices Companies: Boston Scientific Corporation, Medtronic, Abbott, Shockwave Medical, Inc., Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., AngioDynamics, Inc., Avinger, REX MEDICAL, Ra Medical Systems, Koninklijke Philips NV, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Penumbra, Inc., Stryker , Microvention, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, ARGON MEDICAL., Inari Medical, Nitiloop, Soundbite Medical Solutions, Rontis Corporation, among others
  • Porter’s Five Forces Analysis, Product Profiles, Case Studies, KOL Viewpoints, Analyst Point of View

DelveInsight Analysis: The plate modification devices market size is expected to grow at a pace CAGR of 8.09% reach about $1.93 billion by 2027.

Which MedTech Key Players in Plate Modification Devices Market Expected to Emerge as Pioneer Explores @ Plate modification device companies


1 Presentation of the report
2 Summary
3 Regulatory analysis and patents
4 Analysis of key factors
5 Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
6 Impact Analysis of COVID-19 on the Plaque Modification Devices Market
seven Plate Modification Devices Market Layout
8 Global Business Share Analysis – 3 to 5 Key Companies
9 Plate Modification Devices Market Company and Product Profiles
ten Project approach
11. About DelveInsight

Want to know the Plate Modification Devices market by 2027? Click to preview Plaque Modification Devices Market Outlook

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Rolls Royce offers cash for workers facing high cost of living


British aero-engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings said it was offering a cash lump sum of 2,000 pounds ($2,458) to around 70% of its British workforce to help them cope at high living costs. The UK economy initially rebounded strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic but is now struggling with a high cost of living made worse by a combination of labor shortages, supply chain disruptions , post-Brexit trade issues and the war in Ukraine.

The British aero-engine group said it would pay the lump sum in cash to 11,000 workers as well as 3,000 junior managers. In an emailed statement to Reuters, a Rolls-Royce spokesman said the company was also offering a 4% pay rise as of March to 11,000 British workers.

The company added that this was the first time it had offered a “bonus” tied to economic sentiment and not performance. Household energy bills in Britain are set to rise another 40% in October, the sector regulator warned last month.

Rolls-Royce added that 3,000 workers would receive the money in August, while the remaining 11,000 would receive the amount when the deal is approved by the union. The move comes days after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that a sharp rise in wages could fuel further price hikes, adding that raising wages to match inflation risked spiraling wages-prices.

($1 = 0.8137 pounds)

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

JAT Holdings Posts “Best Fiscal Year Ever” and Delivers on IPO Promise


Sri Lankan multinational conglomerate and wood coatings market leader, JAT Holdings PLC recorded its best financial year ever, doubling its profit after tax (PAT) in the 2021/22 financial year. Demonstrating resilient performance amid Sri Lanka’s toughest economic environment ever, the company’s revenue grew by 66% to LKR 8.897 billion from LKR 5.36 billion the previous year.

Meanwhile, gross profit increased by 58% to LKR 2.603 billion from LKR 1.644 billion in the 2020/21 financial year, while operating profit increased by 73%. Most notably, JAT Holdings PLC saw its profit after tax increase by 102% to LKR 1.211 billion from LKR 600 million the previous year. The company also saw its export revenue increase during the year to account for 23% of group turnover, up from 12% the previous year, as the business pivots to a more export-oriented business. ‘export.

A press release from JAT Holdings said: “During the year, the company was able to maintain gross profit margins at 29%, while operating profit remained limited at 13% due to inflation. input costs and currency volatility during the period under review.However, the Company was able to pay two separate interim dividends to investors worth LKR 0.32 and LKR 0.25 per An analysis of key sector growth further showed that wood coatings increased by 61%, decorative products (which includes WHITE by JAT) increased by 77% and brushes increased by 43%, during the period considered, reflecting growth in both volume and value.

“Discussing the company’s financial performance, Founder and Managing Director, Aelian Gunawardene said, “We are very pleased to report that we have delivered on our promise and commitment to our stakeholders, which we made during our Initial Public Offering. We made, as promised, an after-tax profit of Rs 1.2 billion. Moreover, we have taken this step in the midst of the most severe economic crisis that Sri Lanka has experienced. Therefore, it should be testament to and reassure our investors and other stakeholders, that JAT Holdings PLC is capable of delivering exceptional value, even in the face of adversity, and is supported by a business strategy suited to the current environment, and will continue to remain resilient for the foreseeable future and beyond.

“JAT Holdings PLC will address current challenges and turn them, where possible, into opportunities, and implement a forward-looking business strategy to consolidate its position and remain resilient in the face of Sri Lanka’s many evolving crises.

“Commenting on the business strategy, CEO Nishal Ferdinando said, “A major part of our resilience-driven business strategy will be to move into export-oriented and international businesses with a view to growing revenue as much as possible. export in the short and medium term. . This will provide the Company with stability and the ability to outperform. In fact, in the 2021/22 financial year, export revenues increased to represent 23% of group revenues, which represents a significant increase compared to the previous year, when this figure was only by 12%.

“To support this strategy, JAT Holdings PLC has already implemented various initiatives in the Bangladesh market, such as establishing a new state-of-the-art R&D facility and commissioning a manufacturing plant. , as well as expansion into the retail market. Separately, the company is also working to expand its operations in Africa, with discussions underway to commission a factory in the country. Together, these new facilities will further solidify the company’s position in the regional market, while contributing to revenue and margin growth.

Dartmouth eliminates student loans for undergraduates

Donating financial aid through The Call to Lead campaign has reinforced Dartmouth’s commitment to making a college education accessible and affordable to the most promising and talented students around the world and from all economic backgrounds.

“Thanks to this extraordinary investment from our community, students can prepare for lives of impact with fewer constraints,” says President Hanlon. “Eliminating loans from financial aid programs will allow Dartmouth undergraduates to pursue their purpose and passion in the widest possible range of career opportunities.”

Two recent donations capped efforts to eliminate student debt through the campaign. In May, Anne Kubik ’87, a member of the President’s Commission on Financial Aid and an early supporter of the initiative, added $10 million to an earlier pledge to bring the effort closer to reality. An anonymous donor then committed $25 million to complete the campaign, establishing one of the largest scholarship endowments in Dartmouth history.

“Our gratitude for these extraordinary acts of generosity knows no bounds,” said President Hanlon.

“Both donors have told me of their enthusiasm for ensuring that more applicants can pursue an education at Dartmouth without worrying about their financial means.”

– President Philip J. Hanlon ’77

Currently, Dartmouth undergraduates from families with an annual income of $125,000 or less who have typical assets are offered need-based aid with no loan component required. Dartmouth now waives the loan requirement for undergraduate students from families with annual incomes over $125,000 who receive need-based financial aid. This will reduce the debt burden of hundreds of middle-income Dartmouth students and their families by an average of $22,000 over four years. This will in turn open up opportunities for recent graduates to consider career opportunities or higher degrees that they might not otherwise have been able to pursue.

More than 65 families have supported the campaign’s goal of eliminating loan requirements from Dartmouth’s undergraduate financial aid scholarships, committing more than $80 million in donations to the endowment.

“This gift honors Dartmouth’s tradition of service,” says Kubik.

“Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to serve alongside alumni who dedicate hundreds of hours to making Dartmouth stronger for future students. The presidential commission embodied the best of this altruism of the elders. Dartmouth is more welcoming than ever because of it.

-Anne Kubik ’87

Successful applicants to the Class of 2027 will be the first undergraduate students to enroll through this historic investment in Dartmouth’s endowment.

Over the past week, members of the Dartmouth community have rallied to pledge an additional $5 million to eliminate required loans in financial aid scholarships for all current AB students, many of whom have seen their university experience disrupted by the global pandemic. President Hanlon thanked several families for their commitment to extending the no-loan policy to current students: Dana Banga and Angad Banga ’06; Leslie Davis Dahl ’85 and Robert Dahl; Katherine Dunleavy and Keith Dunleavy ’91; Karen Frank and James Frank ’65 (in honor of Peggy Epstein Tanner ’79); Julie McColl-McKenna ’89 and David McKenna ’89; Hadley Mullin ’96 and Daniel Kalafatas ’96; Robin Bryson Reynolds ’91 and Jake Reynolds ’90; and Victoria Ershova and Mike Triplett ’96.

“Dartmouth’s commitment to meeting 100% of demonstrated need for all students is longstanding and a source of pride,” says Lee Coffin, Vice Provost, Admissions and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. “These new policies reinforce this deep and enduring commitment to full and equal access to an education in Dartmouth. Expanding scholarships by removing loans from all aid programs further levels the playing field as we invite students from all socio-economic backgrounds to join the Dartmouth community.

Inflationary pressures are pushing Gold Coast business owners to raise prices


From farm to fork coffee, inflation and the rising cost of living are causing chaos for business owners and consumers, with coffee and vegetables being the latest commodities affected.

Lettuce prices exploded earlier this month to $11 a pop, leading some large fast-food establishments to use cabbage as a replacement.

Trays of some berries now sell for up to $13.

But farmers and business owners say it’s not just lettuce and berries taking a hit, it’s everything on the menu and in the store.

Gold Coast cafe owner Tolua Scott said she is considering running one of her three outlets on solar power just to help her stay afloat.

“We’ve been through this for two and a half years already and have gone into significant debt to get through it, so we have to pass it on.”

A Gold Coast cafe owner says inflation is driving up the cost of doing business.(Provided)

From coffee to wombok

Ms Scott said she was told there was unlikely to be a price reprieve for several years and that her products, including coffee, would be affected.

“Everything has gone up in price,” she said.

Fruit and vegetable wholesaler Don Meers of Q Growers Market said his outlet wasn’t doing much better.

He started his career in the 1980s and said he had never seen such high prices.

“We’re going to be in this situation for at least the next six to eight weeks,” he said.

Punnet of strawberries for $12.99.
Strawberry punnets on sale for $12.99.(ABC News: Kimberly Bernard.)

Farmers injured

Meers said items that weren’t regular staples had risen in price, with six womboks costing wholesalers $90.

“Six months ago we were paying $2 for cabbage and selling it for $2.99, now it’s $11 and we have to sell it for $10.99,” he said.

“We have lost the seedlings of everything, so our main suppliers have no more products.

Homemade lettuce with a lettuce sign.
Lettuce in some stores now costs $11 each.(ABC Eyre Peninsula: Bernadette Clarke)

Mr Meers said while consumers would feel the shock of the bill, farmers were likely to be hit hardest.

He said he’s seen customers browsing through many grocery stores looking at prices before deciding where to shop.

“Customers used to come in and just pick up off the shelf and not look at the price,” he said.

“But now I see people going to Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, the fruit shop, watching the picking with the price more than anything.”

Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce chairman Martin Hall said businesses were hurting.

“We’ve been through a relatively stable period where confidence has improved a bit, but the knocks keep coming,” Mr Halls said.

“Anything that increases that cost of doing business is going to hurt.

punnets of blackberries for sale for $10.99
Blackberry punnets sell for up to $10.99.(ABC News: Kimberley Bernard)

Mr Hall said small businesses will reach a point where costs will start to impact the end user.

“We really need to make sure that we support our businesses and continue to trade with them,” he said.

Avantax releases R record – GuruFocus.com


DALLAS, May 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Avantax®, a leader in tax-focused financial planning, continued its strong recruiting results in the first quarter of 2022 as dozens of finance professionals transferred to Avantax, generating approximately $529 million in recruiting assets. Net new assets from new customers in the first quarter were the highest quarterly inflows since Avantax was created by combining the former company HD Vest and 1st Global Financial Services.

“Finance professionals come to Avantax because they want to be treated better by their financial services partner, and they want that sense of community that is so strong at Avantax,” said Todd Mackay, president of Avantax. “Since merging our legacy business with Avantax, we have made significant operational, technology and service improvements that are receiving rave reviews from our finance professionals; we make their lives easier and we give finance professionals time to serve clients.

During the first quarter, 85 independent financial professionals affiliated with Avantax, including those from Sullivan Financial Services, Inc., Fass Wealth Strategies Group and Perspective Wealth Planning:

  • “For me, it was time for a change – to be with a company where you don’t get lost, you’re not on hold forever, and you can get better customer service and a better overall experience. Other companies have reduced available offers, and I really like the Avantax line of products because things like 1031 exchanges are important to us. – Tom Sullivan, CFP®, who transferred to Avantax after 24 years at LPL Financial.
  • “I continue to be impressed with the service from head office and everyone’s advisor-centric attitude, as well as the ease of use of the systems and technology. In my 34 year career, I have never had a better back office experience. – Andy Fass, who transferred to Avantax from a regional company.
  • “We’ve only been affiliated with Avantax for a short time, but I’ve said this many times before – I can’t tell you how great all the Avantax teams in our region are. I almost can’t believe how It was a great experience as we have never experienced a service like this before.” – Matthew Fox, CRC® AIF®, CEO of Perspective Wealth Planning, who transferred to Avantax from Cetera Advisor Networks.

CPAs, tax practitioners, and finance professionals interested in learning more about joining the Avantax community can find more information at click here.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) is the owner of the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, the CFP® certification mark logo (with plaque) and the CFP® Certification (with flame) in the United States, which it authorizes for use by individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

About Avantax Wealth Management®
Avantax Wealth Management® offers a tax-efficient approach to comprehensive financial planning. Avantax’s Tax-Smart approach helps clients leverage taxes to create opportunities for financial growth. Most financial companies deal with taxes after the fact, if at all, even though taxes are one of life’s most complex and costly expenses. Avantax technology, tax and wealth management insights are used by Avantax financial professionals to uncover and personalize opportunities throughout their clients’ financial lifecycles to achieve better long-term results. . The wealth management segment of Blucora, Inc. (BCOR), which includes the Avantax Wealth Management® and Avantax Planning Partners℠ brands, had a collective
$86 billion in client assets as of March 31, 2022. For more information, visit us at www.avantax.com Or on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Media Contact:
Tony Katsulos
(972) 870-6654
[email protected]

Investor contacts:
Dee Littrell
Blucora, Inc.
(972) 870-6463
[email protected]


4 arrested in 3 days on controlled substance charges

Emory woman allegedly had teenager in her car when she was caught with meth

Four people have been arrested in the past three days on controlled substance charges. An Emory woman reportedly had a 13-year-old child in the car with her when she was caught with methamphetamine. The two Fort Worth women were allegedly caught with methamphetamine and cocaine during a traffic stop. A Sulfur Springs man was arrested at the courthouse on warrants.

Wildcat Way Traffic Stop

Hopkins County Sheriff’s Deputy Isaac Foley reported stopping a Cadillac CTS at 12:57 a.m. Friday, June 17, 2022, for failing to flag 100 feet before a turn off Majors Drive west onto Wildcat Way. The southbound car reportedly only signaled after coming to a complete stop on Majors Drive and then turning onto Wildcat Way near County Road 1103.

Jasmyn Starr Williams aka Jasmyn Starr Bissell and Jasmin Starr Williams

Upon contact, Foley observed a woman, identified as Jasmyn Starr Williams, and a 13-year-old boy in the vehicle. The 37-year-old Emory woman told the officer she had just left her boyfriend’s residence and was heading to Yantis. The deputy, noted in arrest reports that he found this strange since Yantis is located just off State Highway 154, which is southeast and had traveled southwest .

Foley noted that Williams failed to make eye contact with him. This, coupled with what appeared to be an illogical travel itinerary, led to the deputy obtaining the woman’s permission to search the car. Foley reported taking the woman into custody after finding a bag containing a crystalline substance he believed, based on his law enforcement training and experience, to be methamphetamine.

sergeant. Tanner Steward then arrived to assist Foley in his investigation. After the search of the vehicle was completed, Williams allegedly admitted to having more contraband in his pants. She was allowed to retrieve it, then handcuffed. Williams was transported to Hopkins County Jail at 1:28 a.m. on June 17, 2022. The alleged controlled substance was seized as evidence. They field tested a crystalline substance positive for methamphetamine and weighed just under 3 grams, including packaging, Foley alleged in arrest reports.

Williams, who is also known to Jasmyn Starr Bissell and Jasmin Starr Williams, was jailed at 2:53 a.m. Friday for possession of 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams of methamphetamine, a sanction group 1/1-B controlled substance. charge. A drug-free zone improvement was added to the charge because of the traffic stop’s proximity to a school, Foley reported.

The 27-year-old Emory woman was released from Hopkins County Jail later Friday, June 17, 2022, on $20,000 bond on the controlled substance charge, according to jail reports.

Arrest at the courthouse

David Ray Rholes Jr.

HCSO Deputy Alvin Jordan took David Ray Rholes Jr. into custody at 10:10 a.m. on June 15, 2022 at the District Courthouse, where he was scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. for preliminary hearings to to hire a lawyer to represent him on a controlled substance. possession charge, according to Wednesday’s case and arrest reports. The 53-year-old from Sulfur Springs also had four outstanding arrest warrants.

Rholes was escorted to Hopkins County Jail, where he was incarcerated for two expired registration warrants, failure to maintain a financial responsibility warrant, fictitious license plate or registration, driver’s warrant with an open container and its bail was revoked on Nov 15, 2021 possession of less than 1 gram of a Sanctions Group 1/1-B controlled substance load. Fees owed on outstanding misdemeanor warrants totaled $2,021, according to prison reports. He remained in the Hopkins County jail for the charges on Friday, June 17, 2022, according to jail reports.

Stopping traffic on Interstate 30

HCSO Deputy Josh Davis reported stopping a Jeep Liberty traveling in the left lane near mile marker 138 on Interstate 30 east without passing other vehicles at 2:02 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. In contact with the occupants, the deputy reported having smelled the smell of marijuana emitted by the vehicle. A search revealed several items of drug paraphernalia belonging to passenger Rachel Erin Denison, according to arrest reports.

Tonya LaShawn Gilstrap

Denison was taken into custody and, before being rushed to jail for drug paraphernalia, she admitted to concealing contraband on her person. A plastic container containing a crystalline substance that the deputy suspected was methamphetamine was removed from his body, Davis alleged in arrest reports. The 40-year-old Fort Worth woman was arrested and transported to jail, and the substance was taken in for further investigation.

The driver, identified in arrest reports as Tonya LaShawn Gilstrap, was arrested after the deputy also found an off-white rock-like substance he believed based on his training and experience in driving. law enforcement as crack cocaine, the deputy alleged in the arrest reports. The 51-year-old Fort Worth woman was arrested and transported to jail, along with the substance.

The substance Denison had on his field tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed 4.3 grams. As a result, Dennison was incarcerated in the Hopkins County Jail at 4:40 a.m. on June 15, 2022 for possession of a Sanction Group 1 controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, the deputy alleged in arrest reports.

Rachel Erin Denison

The substance Gilstrap was charged with field testing positive for cocaine and weighing 1.4 grams, leading to Gilstrap being charged with possession of a Sanctions Group 1/1-B controlled substance.

Denison and Gilstrap were released from Hopkins County Jail on Friday, June 17, 2022. Bail was set at $10,000 each on the controlled substance charge, according to jail reports.

HCSO Sgt. Scott Davis and Deputy Frank Tiemann are credited with assisting in traffic stopping and arrests.


Transforming Growth Factor Beta 1 Market Outlook 2022 and Forecast to 2029


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Cost of Living: Government ‘Can’t Solve All Problems or Save All Businesses,’ Says Business Minister Paul Scully | Political news


The government is trying to do all it can to fight the cost of living ‘storm’ but cannot solve all the problems or save all businesses, a business minister has told Sky News.

Paul Scully played down the immediate likelihood of tax cuts to help struggling households as he pointed to “tight” public finances and rising national debt after the pandemic.

After resignation of Boris Johnson’s ethics adviser Lord Geidt, Mr Scully also insisted the Prime Minister wanted to draw a line under the party scandal arguing that people were more worried about skyrocketing costs and pressure on their finances.

Mr Scully said: “We are trying to do everything we can to address the cost of living issue. This is a global situation.

“We have to do everything we can to weather this storm.”

Although he emphasized the support provided by the Chancellor, Mr Scully warned: “The Government cannot solve all the problems. It will not be able to rescue all businesses and work with everyone’s individual costs, but we will do all we can within the framework of the preservation of public finances.

“Because we are servicing our national debt. We are paying something like £85billion just to pay off our debt – not to go to schools, hospitals.”

He also insisted that discussions on tax cuts should wait for the fall budget.

Mr Scully claimed it was a low-tax government despite overseeing the highest tax burden in 70 years.

He said: “The general principle of the party is to have low taxes

“What I don’t want to do is budget months in advance.

“There will be no tax cuts now as this will be dealt with in a budget in the fall.”

Pressed by the departure of Lord Geidt, who said in his resignation letter that he had resigned after being left in a “impossible and odious position”Mr Scully said the Prime Minister was looking to move on.

The minister said: “He rightly wants to draw a line under the so-called partygate because people are more worried about the cost of living, what it’s going to mean for their mortgages and their bills in the days and the coming months.”

Rate hikes will hurt businesses and consumers, expert says


Consumer prices jumped 8.6% last month from 12 months earlier, prompting the Federal Reserve this week to raise the federal funds rate by 0.75%. This will affect consumers and businesses in various ways, experts say, but should eventually help bring inflation under control. (AP File Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Recent rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, including a hefty one this week of 0.75%, reflect a serious desire to lower the prices of everything from lettuce to laptops, but with inflation festering at 8 .6%, regulators still have a long way to go, according to Brian Henderson, chief investment officer at the Bank of Oklahoma.

In the weeks leading up to the Fed’s last meeting, many thought it would raise rates by 50 basis points – half a percent. But the outlook changed after consumer price index data released on June 10 showed inflation jumped 1% more than expected between April and May. The Fed’s more aggressive response indicates growing concern about inflation and could signal heightened potential for a deeper slowdown in the economy in the months ahead.

Although only certain aspects of a typical consumer’s finances, such as credit card interest, are directly affected by the Federal Reserve rate, people’s wallets and nest eggs are likely to be indirectly affected. For instance:

• Savings: The rate hike is good news for savers, as interest rates paid on bank deposits, including savings accounts, generally rise (or fall) with the federal funds rate, but not exactly the same way. Money market returns will also increase with the rate change. While interest rates on accounts and money market yields won’t rise by three-quarters of a percent, they could rise by half, Henderson said.

• Variable rate loans, including home equity lines of credit, adjustable rate mortgages and credit card debt. Consumers will pay higher interest on variable rate loans tied to the federal funds rate. Credit card interest rates, for example, rise and fall with the prime rate, which is based on the federal funds rate. Businesses with outstanding variable rate loans, such as those financing equipment on revolving lines of credit, will also feel rate hikes. One option for businesses is to refinance on longer-term, fixed-rate equipment financing options in anticipation of further rate hikes.

What could be indirectly affected?

• Jobs: inflation means more than high prices; it also means higher salaries. To reduce wage inflation, the Fed must reduce demand for workers, Henderson said. “Companies need to start raising the prices of services to compensate for the labor market wages they pay,” he said. “It can get out of control like what we had in the 1970s and 1980s.” The Fed’s series of rate hikes should help rein in wage inflation by encouraging companies to delay expansion plans, hiring and other spending. That means workers could see more hiring freezes and possible layoffs. However, by raising rates in increments rather than tightening the brakes on the economy, the Fed is trying to avoid massive layoffs, Henderson said.

• Investments – at least in the short term. “It’s a challenging environment right now for financial markets and the economy with Fed rate hikes, war in Ukraine, COVID-19 restrictions in China, and inflation in the United States,” he said. Henderson said. Markets don’t like uncertainty, so your investments may struggle in the short term, but it’s important to keep a longer-term view when looking at your retirement savings. “Investors saving for retirement should stick to their long-term plan. Pension contributions paid now are investing in the highest returns we’ve seen in nearly five years, and stock valuations based on current earnings estimates are very reasonable.

Holding that longer-term view should also help people keep current economic conditions in perspective, Henderson said.

“The economy will slow down, but it’s ultimately good for the United States and good for consumers as prices come down,” he said.

Mansfield District Court | Local

The following people are appearing or were scheduled to appear in Mansfield District Court, Presiding Judge Tiffany Cummings.

Robert AllenJones, 45, of Mansfield, has been charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and damage to personal property. On May 24, an officer was called to Butter’s Car Wash by state police in reference to a stolen vehicle report. The victim and witnesses said Jones stole a 2001 Ford Explorer from the Microtel parking lot. A witness said Jones told him he had permission to use the vehicle. what the witness verified. Jones was not allowed to use the vehicle. A damaged interior light was discovered. A preliminary hearing was held on June 8.

Russell D. Bowen, 65, of Covington, was charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance, six counts of use/possession of drug paraphernalia, driving a vehicle whose inspection has expired, driving with an expired registration, misuse of a license plate, driving a vehicle without liability money, driving a vehicle without a title and driving a vehicle without a registration document. On March 14, an officer was dispatched to a car accident on S. Main St. Upon investigation, several indicators of criminal activity were observed. A search revealed drug paraphernalia. On March 16, a search warrant resulted in the discovery of heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine and dextroamphetamine pills and paraphernalia. A preliminary hearing will take place on June 15.

Danielle M. Thomas, 30, of Lawrenceville, was charged with DUI/reckless driving, DUI/BAC .16 or higher, reckless driving, reckless driving, and disobeying the lane of traffic. On April 10, an officer responded to a vehicle accident on Lambs Creek Rd. A Chrysler PT Cruiser appears to have struck the embankment on the west side of the roadway. Thomas said she did not know where she was and was suspected of being intoxicated. A field test, blood test and breath test indicated the presence of alcohol. A preliminary hearing will take place on June 15.

Craig Kenneth Walburn, 35, of Columbia Cross Roads, was charged with two counts of possession of marijuana for personal use, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving a vehicle after license suspension. On May 15, an officer observed a silver Hyundai operating with suspended registration. During a traffic stop, the officer suspected marijuana use. Walburn admitted he smoked marijuana and gave the officer a pipe. Walburn consented to a search of the vehicle, after which the officer found suspected marijuana. A preliminary hearing will take place on June 15.

Daniel Joseph Fuller, 21, of Mansfield, has been charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. On May 12, an officer received a report of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle by the victim, who said he was taken from a residence in Mansfield. Fuller had had the vehicle for over a week and refused to return it. The vehicle was found at the address given by Fuller. Fuller said the victim didn’t have a license. Fuller was ordered not to use the vehicle again, and he turned over the keys to the police. A preliminary hearing will take place on June 29.

Global Natural Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites Market Innovative Trends, Driving Factors and Growth Analysis 2022-2028 – Instant Interview


The Global market for natural fiber reinforced polymer composites from 2022 to 2028 by MarketsandResearch.biz assesses the current market circumstances and forecasts the growth of the industry between 2022 and 2028. This study provides an in-depth overview of growth trends, current growth factors and future development projections.

Their organizational structure as well as their manufacturing technique are examined. This data is analyzed using situational analysis and other techniques in order to offer an informed opinion on the state of the market, to promote the adoption of an optimal development plan for any company or to give A snapshot of the future state of the Natural Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite industry.

Qualitative insights such as factors enabling growth, market restriction, challenges faced by players, and opportunities that can be exploited to increase market share or transform company revenue to increase profitability are covered by the report.

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The industry is divided into sections to accommodate the under age market person. Polymer composite reinforced with natural fibers

  • Automotive
  • Building construction
  • Sports and leisures
  • Others

It focuses on a wide variety of business segments. Polymer composite reinforced with natural fibers

  • Polymer composite reinforced with wood fibers
  • Polymer composite reinforced with bast fibers
  • Others

Every significant player in the company, including you, is investigated.

  • Trex Company, Inc.
  • The AZEK company
  • Fiberon LLC
  • Avient Corporation (PolyOne)
  • Architecture of Oldcastle (AERT)
  • Anhui Sentai WPC Group
  • UPM Biocomposites
  • Tecnaro GmbH
  • TTS inc.
  • FlexForm-Technologies
  • Procotex Corporation
  • Polyvlies Group
  • Bcomp Ltd.

The industry is divided into several segments. Polymer composite reinforced with natural fibers

  • North America (United States, Canada and Mexico)
  • Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia, Italy and Rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia and Australia)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and rest of South America)
  • Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, South Africa and Rest of Middle East and Africa)

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The research provides companies and other customers with the most up-to-date comparison data, as well as future guidance on how to enter the global or regional market. There are many sections to this. The market potential of each geographic location is assessed in terms of growth rate, macroeconomic factors, and consumer buying habits in this study. In the Natural Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites Industry Market Position, Company Profitability, Development Plans, Economic Considerations, Opportunities, Difficulties, Risks and Barriers to Entry are all taken into account.

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What is a Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA)?


Employer-provided benefits can help attract and retain employees, but group health insurance plans can be too expensive for some small businesses. The good news is that there are alternatives. A Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) is an option for some employers who want to provide health care benefits to employees without breaking their budget.

What is a Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA)?

A QSEHRA allows eligible small businesses that do not sponsor group health insurance or excluded benefits, such as dental or vision care, to reimburse their employees for qualified medical expenses. These reimbursements are tax-free as long as employees are enrolled in health plans that meet the Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The company should also not be considered an applicable large employer (ALE), for example, it has less than 50 full-time employees.

How do QSEHRAs work for a small employer?

Under the basic terms of a QSEHRA, employees with minimum essential medical coverage submit qualified medical expenses and supporting documentation to their employer, who then reimburses them with tax-free money up to a maximum amount. annual. However, to be fully compliant with federal guidelines, certain requirements must be met before costs are covered.

QSEHRA requirements

Because QSEHRA is not a group health plan, it is governed by a different set of rules. Some of the requirements for employers and employees are:

  • Reimbursement amounts are fixed
    Employers have some leeway in deciding how much they will contribute to a QSEHRA. There is no reimbursement minimum, but the IRS enforces annual maximums per employee – one for individual health insurance coverage and another for family coverage. If employees don’t use their entire QSEHRA balance, employers keep the remaining money and can roll it over to the next year.
  • Terms are applied uniformly to all eligible employees
    Uniformity does not mean that one employee cannot receive more reimbursements than another employee (up to the annual maximum). The IRS allows payment differences based on age and individual versus family coverage. What uniformity means is that employers cannot reimburse all eligible medical expenses for one category of employees and reimburse only a portion of eligible medical expenses for another category of employees.
  • Written opinions are provided
    Employers offering a QSEHRA must provide written notice to eligible employees at least 90 days before each new year. If employees are not eligible at that time, they must be notified in writing on the day they become eligible. Failure to provide written notices may result in monetary penalties.
  • Minimum essential coverage is checked
    Employees and anyone else covered by their plan can only be reimbursed through a QSEHRA after providing proof that their health insurance meets MEC standards. There are two acceptable forms of evidence:
    1. Official documents from an insurance company, such as an insurance card or explanation of benefits/proof of coverage
    2. Certificate from the employee confirming the existence of the MEC, as well as the start date of the coverage and the name of the insurer

    Each reimbursement request subsequent to the initial certification must include proof of MEC. If an employee is mistakenly reimbursed for medical expenses during a period when he did not have a CEM, the reimbursement amount is added to his gross income and, therefore, subject to tax.

  • Medical expenses are justified
    In addition to verifying MEC, employees are required to substantiate all medical expenses for which they are claiming reimbursement. Substantiation can be satisfied in the same way as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), which means that employees must provide their employer with written documentation from a third party that details the nature of the medical expenses and the total cost. They must also declare, in writing, that the expenses incurred have not already been paid by their insurance company. Any refund processed without justification may be taxed.
  • Refunds are reported
    The IRS requires employers to report QSEHRA on each eligible employee’s Form W-2, Wage and Tax Return. This disclosure pertains to the total reimbursement to which the employee is entitled throughout the year, not the amount actually received.

Who can participate in a QSEHRA?

The IRS defines QSEHRA eligibility differently for employers and employees.

Employer qualifications

A small business can generally offer a QSEHRA as long as it does not:

  • Have 50 or more full-time employees
  • Sponsor a group health plan, FSA, or any other benefit except
  • Approve a particular policy or health insurance company

Employee qualifications

Any employee of an eligible employer may be eligible to participate in a QSEHRA. However, the IRS allows businesses to exclude part-time and seasonal workers, employees under age 25, and those who have not been with the employer for at least 90 days. Additional exclusions may apply to non-resident aliens and employees covered by a collective agreement.

Frequently asked questions about QSEHRA

What is the difference between an HRA and a QSEHRA?

QSEHRAs are limited to small businesses that have fewer than 50 employees and do not offer group health coverage. Health Reimbursement Schemes (HRAs), on the other hand, are available to businesses of all sizes and must be accompanied by a group health plan in accordance with the ACA.

What can be reimbursed with QSEHRA?

The following types of medical expenses can generally be reimbursed through a QSEHRA:

  • Insurance premiums (health, dental, vision, etc.)
  • coinsurance
  • Franchises
  • Copays
  • Prescription drugs
  • Over-the-counter medications

Does QSEHRA use it or lose it?

Employees eligible for a QSEHRA cannot receive cash payments. If his medical expenses for the plan year do not reach the reimbursement limit, the employer keeps the remaining balance and can carry it forward to the following year.

This article is intended to be used as a starting point in analyzing QSEHRA and is not a comprehensive requirements resource. It offers practical information on the subject and is provided with the understanding that ADP does not provide legal or tax advice or other professional services.

The refining crunch is driving record diesel prices in Asia. Blame China: Russell


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LAUNCESTON — There is one country that could do a lot to relieve the current high retail prices of diesel and gasoline in Asia, but so far it shows no signs of doing so. China.

The world’s largest crude oil importer also houses much of the spare refining capacity in Asia, and it has the capacity to process additional crude and export refined products.

But China has largely moved away from exports of refined fuels such as diesel and gasoline this year, and shows little sign of recovering from its previous levels of shipments anytime soon.

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China only allows exports of refined products under official quotas, mostly granted to large state-owned refiners and not to smaller independent companies that hold much of China’s idle refining capacity .

A further 4.5 million tonnes of export quotas were issued last week, bringing the total for 2022 to 17.5 million tonnes.

However, this is 41% less than the 29.5 million tonnes emitted in the first tranche of last year, and this lack of export quotas shows up in China’s official data for fuel shipments. .

China exported 3.27 million tonnes of refined products in May, down 40% from the same month a year earlier. For the first five months of 2022, refined fuel exports are 38.5% lower than the same period in 2021.

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The breakdown by fuel type for May product exports will be released later in June, however, Refinitiv Oil Research said diesel exports were just 230,000 tonnes, or just 55,600 barrels per day (bpd). ) in May, down massively from the official figure of 406,000 bpd. in May last year.

Chinese gasoline exports were higher, with Refinitiv estimating around 268,700 bpd in May, but that was also down from around 425,000 bpd in May last year.

Issuance of some new quotas could lead to a slight increase in exports in June and July, but without small independent refiners being able to participate, shipments from China are unlikely to recover to near 2021 levels.

The lack of Chinese shipments has helped push diesel’s profit margin to record highs, with a typical Singapore refinery earning a margin of $60.57 a barrel on Tuesday producing 10ppm of gas oil, the cornerstone of diesel.

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The profit margin on diesel has doubled since the recent low of $31.79 a barrel on May 19, and is also 365% higher than it was at the end of last year.


The profit margin, or crack, on gasoline production in Singapore has also performed well this year, ending at $28.44 a barrel on Tuesday, around 155% higher than $11.14 at the end of 2021.

However, the gasoline crack has eased somewhat from a record high of $37.27 a barrel on May 20 as high retail prices across much of Asia dampened demand for fuel. mainly used for transporting light vehicles.

It should be noted that not all refined fuels have such strong margins. Crack to produce naphtha light distillate primarily used to make petrochemicals, is currently at a loss of $120.08 per ton, or a loss of about $13.49 per barrel.

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It is the largest loss for naphtha manufacturing since the 2008 global financial crisis and reflects weak demand for raw materials in major consumer China amid oversupply as refiners elsewhere try to maximize crude throughput to increase production of profitable fuels such as diesel and gasoline.

Overall, the data indicates that the problem in Asian fuels markets is not a lack of crude oil, but rather a lack of available refining capacity, continued strong demand for diesel and a sharp decline in refined products from China.

Given that China does not look likely to significantly increase its fuel exports in the coming months, high prices for refined fuels are likely to persist to the point of demand destruction.

(Edited by Richard Pullin)



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Progress of the share buyback program

ING is a global financial institution with a strong European base, offering banking services through its operating company ING Bank. ING Bank’s goal is to empower people to stay ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s more than 57,000 employees provide retail and wholesale banking services to customers in over 40 countries.
ING Group shares are listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (INGA NA, INGA.AS), Brussels Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (ADR: ING US, ING.N).
Sustainability is an integral part of ING’s strategy, as evidenced by ING’s leading position in sector benchmarks. ING’s ESG rating by MSCI was confirmed to be ‘AA’ in December 2021. ING Group shares are included in the main sustainability index and environmental, social and governance (ESG) index products of leading providers STOXX, Morningstar and FTSE Russell. In January 2021, ING received an ESG assessment score of 83 (“strong”) from S&P Global Ratings.

Elements of this press release contain or may contain information about ING Groep NV and/or ING Bank NV within the meaning of Article 7, paragraphs 1 to 4, of EU Regulation no. 596/2014.

Some of the statements contained herein are not historical facts, including, without limitation, certain statements made of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current beliefs and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such statements. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those referred to in these statements due to a number of factors, including, without limitation: (1) changes in general economic conditions and customer behavior , in particular economic conditions in ING’s principal markets, including changes affecting exchange rates and the regional and global economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and related international response measures (2) the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and related response measures, including lockdowns and travel restrictions, on the economic conditions of the countries in which ING operates, on ING’s business and operations and on employees , customers and counterparties of ING (3) changes affecting interest rate levels (4) any failure of a major market player and associated market disruptions (5) Changes in financial market performance, including in Europe and developing markets (6) Fiscal uncertainty in Europe and the United States (7) Stopping or variations in “benchmark” indices (8) inflation and deflation in our major markets (9) changes in conditions in credit and capital markets generally, including changes in the creditworthiness of borrowers and counterparties (10) failures of banks within the jurisdiction state compensation schemes (11) failure to comply with or change laws and regulations, including those relating to financial services, financial economic crimes and tax laws, and their interpretation and application (12) geopolitical risks , political and political instabilities and actions of governments and regulatory authorities, including in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and international response measures related (13) legal and regulatory risks in certain countries with less developed legal and regulatory frameworks (14) prudential supervision and regulation, including with respect to stress tests and regulatory restrictions on dividends and distributions (also among group members) (15) regulatory consequences of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, including authorizations and equivalence decisions (16) ING’s ability to meet minimum capital and other requirements prudential regulatory (17) changes in regulation of the US commodities and derivatives business of ING and its customers (18) application of bank recovery and resolution regimes, including related write-down and conversion powers to us (19) the outcome of current and future litigation, enforcement proceedings, investigations or other regulatory actions, including ris complaints from customers or stakeholders who feel misled or treated unfairly, and other conduct issues (20) changes in tax laws and regulations and risks of non-compliance or investigation in connection with tax laws, including FATCA (21) operational and IT risks, such as system disruptions or failures, security breaches, cyberattacks, human error, changes in operational practices or inadequate controls, including vis-à-vis -to third parties with whom we do business (22) cybercrime risks and challenges, including the effects of cyberattacks and changes in laws and regulations relating to cybersecurity and data privacy (23) changes general competitive factors, including the ability to increase or maintain our market share (24) inability to protect our intellectual property and third-party infringement claims (25) inability of counterparties to meet financial obligations or ability to enforce claims against such counterparties (26) changes in credit ratings (27) activities, operations, risks and regulatory, reputational, transition and other challenges related to climate change and ESG issues (28) inability to attract and retain key personnel (29) future defined benefit pension plan obligations (30) inability to manage business risks, including in relation to the use of models, the use of derivatives, or the maintenance of appropriate policies and guidelines (31) s in capital and credit markets, including interbank funding , as well as customer deposits, which provide liquidity and capital to fund our operations, and (32) other risks and uncertainties det See the latest annual report of ING Groep NV (including the risk factors contained therein) and the most recent information from ING, including press releases, which are available on www.ING.com.
This document may contain inactive text addresses to websites operated by us and third parties. Reference to such websites is made for informational purposes only and information found on such websites is not incorporated by reference herein. ING makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the information found on websites operated by third parties, and assumes no liability in respect thereof. ING expressly disclaims any responsibility for any information found on websites operated by third parties. ING cannot guarantee that websites operated by third parties will remain available after the publication of this document, or that any information found on these websites will not change after the filing of this document. Many of these factors are beyond ING’s control.

Any forward-looking statement made by or on behalf of ING speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and ING undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information or for any other reason.

This document does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in the United States or any other jurisdiction.

Social enterprise fund targets ‘purpose driven’ businesses hit by Covid and cost of living crisis


A second round of funding has been made available by Social Investment Scotland (SIS) through its Recovery and Resilience Fund, with loans of up to £1.6m.

The fund welcomes applications for flexible loan funding which is designed to support ‘purpose driven’ Scottish organizations which have been hardest hit over the past two years of lockdown and restrictions.

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The fund was established in October 2021 but has reopened to provide social enterprises and charities with a financial boost amid the ongoing economic recovery.

Organizations will be able to apply for funding from £200,000, with low interest rates, no application fees, no repayments for the first 12 months and further repayments scheduled over a five-year period.

SIS chief investment officer Chris Jamieson said: “The third sector and social enterprises have been a vital community lifeline during the pandemic, but the end of lockdown has not necessarily meant an instant return to life for them. normality, especially with regard to income. generation.

“We know that many of Scotland’s most influential organizations and purpose-driven organizations have struggled during the pandemic to access the support they need, and the demand for funding still exists, particularly with the cost of living crisis.

“As we continue to rebuild Scotland’s economy – build back better – it’s time to ramp up the volume and ensure that social enterprises and charities play a vital role in delivering goods and services that generate a impact as well as benefits.”

Dougie Baird, chief executive of the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, one of the organizations to have received the funding so far.

Three Scottish organizations that have so far received combined funding of £1.35million through the fund, supporting their return to normality post-pandemic are Glasgow community anchor organization The Mungo Foundation, the communications support charity Sense Scotland and the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland. Each received £350,000, £600,000 and £400,000 respectively.

Dougie Baird, chief executive of the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland, said: “The pandemic really couldn’t have come at a worse time for us as we were coming to the end of our biggest project to date, The Mountains and The People Project, and resulted in increased costs and reduced revenues.

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Social Investment Scotland to offer multi-million boost to ‘mission-driven’ university…

Soybeans hover near record high as U.S. cuts supply outlook


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SINGAPORE — Chicago soybean futures gained ground on Monday as the market rose for five out of six sessions and traded near last week’s record high, supported by a US forecast for lower stocks.

Wheat jumped 1.5% as concerns over supplies from the Black Sea region supported prices, while corn rose after closing largely unchanged on Friday.


* The most active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) added 0.1% to $17.47 a bushel by 0009 GMT, not far from Thursday’s high of $17.84 a bushel.

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* Wheat rose 1.5% to 10.86% a bushel and corn gained 0.7% to $7.78-1/2 a bushel.

* U.S. soybean stocks will be lower than expected as export demand for U.S. offers remains strong even with recently harvested supplies from Brazil and Argentina available for overseas buyers, the government said on Friday.

* The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered its outlook for 2021/22 soybean ending stocks to 205 million bushels from 235 million. For the 2022/23 marketing year, the soybean inventory estimate has been reduced from 310 million to 280 million.

*Maize ending stocks were set at 1.485 billion bushels for 2021/22 and 1.400 billion bushels for 2022/23, with the export outlook for the 2021/22 marketing year reduced by 50 million bushels at 2.450 billion bushels.

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* The agency forecast 2022/23 ending wheat stocks at 627 million bushels, up 6 million bushels from the previous month.

* Lack of grain supplies from war-torn Ukraine continued to support world wheat prices.

* The state of the soft wheat crop in France has deteriorated for a sixth consecutive week, according to data from the agricultural office FranceAgriMer, but a smaller drop in the last week suggested that rain and higher temperatures could curb the spring drought.

* An estimated 66% of the French soft wheat harvest was in good or excellent condition in the week to June 6, compared to 67% the previous week, FranceAgriMer said in a report on cereal harvests on Friday.

* Large speculators reduced their net long position in CBOT corn futures in the week to June 7, according to regulatory data released Friday.

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* The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Weekly Trader Commitments Report also showed that non-trading traders, a category that includes hedge funds, increased their net short position in CBOT wheat and reduced their net long position in wheat. soy.


* Global stock markets tumbled and the dollar strengthened on Friday after a bigger-than-expected spike in US inflation in May sparked fears the Federal Reserve could tighten policy for too long and cause a sharp slowdown .

DATA/EVENTS (GMT, April) 06:00 UK GDP East 3M/3M 06:00 UK GDP estimate MM, YY 06:00 UK manufacturing output MM (report by Naveen Thukral; editing by Rashmi Aich)



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. Visit our Community Rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

Qingdao Global Venture Capital Conference 2022 officially closes

QINGDAO, China, June 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — About June 11, 2022 Qingdao Global Venture Capital Conference officially concluded. The theme of the conference is “Creating an era through entrepreneurial investment and venture capital, and creating the future through innovation and entrepreneurship – Let’s build a new engine for innovative development and build new platforms for science and technology policies”. During the two days of the conference, at least a hundred renowned industry experts, academics, entrepreneurs and representatives of venture capital institutions from all over the world attended the meeting. It condensed development consensus and stimulated creativity. As an open city, dynamic city and capital, Qingdao is becoming a critical financial center in the north China with the spirit of acceleration.

During the opening ceremony, Chen ChunyanMember of the Party Committee and General Secretary of the Asset Management Association of Chinasaid that as an experimental area for comprehensive financial reform of wealth management, Qingdao held three sessions of the conference, which is committed to building a venture capital center and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship development to achieve new effects. The Asset Management Association of China will work hand in hand with all sectors of society, including Qingdaoto assume responsibilities and move forward, thus contributing positively to the quality development of venture capital funds.

Regarding the signing of projects, a total of 44 representative projects of the conference were signed together, with an amount of 61.765 billion yuan. The number of signed projects set a new record in all previous conferences. The proposed investment direction of the landing fund and the entities of the projects for the investment of the fund is mainly concentrated in emerging technology industries such as smart manufacturing, Internet of things, artificial intelligence, new materials , the new generation of information technology, medical devices and instruments, energy conservation and environmental protection. Capital is accelerating in the entity industry like living water, providing strong development momentum for the high quality of economic and social development.

Qingdao 2022 Global Venture Capital Conference is held through the combination of “online + offline”. As the premier international high-level financial industry conference held in Qingdao this year it has attracted a lot of attention from the industry. Representatives from Shenzhen Stock Exchange, Shanghai Stock Exchange and Beijing Stock Exchange attended the meeting. In addition, venture capital institutions included major venture capital and equity investment institutions such as SCGC, Yingke PE, Oriental Fortune Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Green Pine Capital Partners, CDH Investments, Costone Capital, China Fortune -Tech Capital and Hony Capital. Around 6 p.m. on November 11ththe number of views of the live broadcast of the conference had exceeded 18 million, setting a record for the highest live broadcast of the conferences.

In 2022, it is the fourth year that we have organized the Global Conference on Venture Capital. The Venture Capital Conference has taken a leap forward in growing from scratch over the past four years. As a result, it becomes a weathervane for the development of the venture capital industry and one of the shining calling cards of Qingdao. As the cloud begins to rise in the sky, the bright future is worth waiting for. The Global Venture Capital Conference will always promote and deepen global venture capital exchanges and cooperation, and take the strengthening of the brand influence of Qingdao, the financial city, as an important responsibility. Moreover, it will give “China voice” to the world, and try to become the information window of global venture capital.

Adhering to the goal of building an international metropolis with modern socialist characteristics in the new era, Qingdao will firmly promote the construction of the global venture capital center and forge ahead in realizing the new concept of development, promoting high-quality development and building a modern economic system, thus contributing to the wisdom and responsibility to build a modern industrial pioneer city and an international innovative city.

SOURCE Qingdao Global Venture Capital Conference

Centamin (LON:CEY) could risk shrinking as a business


What financial indicators can tell us that a company is maturing or even declining? When we see a decline come back on capital employed (ROCE) in connection with a decrease base capital employed, this is often how a mature company shows signs of aging. This indicates that the company is getting less profit from its investments and its total assets are decreasing. And from a first reading, things don’t look very good to centamine (LON:CEY), so let’s see why.

Return on capital employed (ROCE): what is it?

For those who don’t know what ROCE is, it measures the amount of pre-tax profits a company can generate from the capital used in its business. The formula for this calculation on Centamin is:

Return on Capital Employed = Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)

0.11 = $148 million ÷ ($1.4 billion – $81 million) (Based on the last twelve months to December 2021).

Therefore, Centamin has a ROCE of 11%. On its own, that’s a pretty standard return, but compared to the 15% metals and mining industry average, it’s not nearly as good.

See our latest review for Centamin


In the chart above, we measured Centamin’s past ROCE against its past performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you want, you can check out analyst forecasts covering Centamin here for free.

What is the return trend?

We are a bit worried about the trend of capital returns at Centamin. To be more precise, the ROCE was 19% five years ago, but since then it has fallen significantly. Meanwhile, the capital employed in the company remained roughly stable over the period. This combination may be a sign of a mature business that still has areas to deploy capital, but the returns received are not as high due potentially to new competition or lower margins. If these trends continue, we don’t expect Centamin to become a multi-bagger.

The essentials of Centamin’s ROCE

Overall, lower returns from the same amount of capital employed are not exactly signs of a compounding machine. Investors did not like these developments, as the stock fell 34% from five years ago. That being the case, unless the underlying trends return to a more positive trajectory, we would consider looking elsewhere.

One last note, you should inquire about the 2 warning signs we spotted with Centamin (including 1 that makes us a little uncomfortable).

Although Centamin does not generate the highest yield, check out this free list of companies that achieve high returns on equity with strong balance sheets.

Feedback on this article? Concerned about content? Get in touch with us directly. You can also email the editorial team (at) Simplywallst.com.

This Simply Wall St article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell stocks and does not take into account your objectives or financial situation. Our goal is to bring you targeted long-term analysis based on fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not take into account the latest announcements from price-sensitive companies or qualitative materials. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

Apple could gain ground against Microsoft Windows with M2 chips


Apple CEO Tim Cook (right) looks at a newly redesigned MacBook Air laptop during WWDC22 at Apple Park on June 06, 2022 in Cupertino, California. Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the annual WWDC22 developer conference.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Apple’s new laptops announced on Monday, featuring the iPhone maker’s next-generation internal chips, could pose new challenges to Microsoft’s lucrative Windows business.

Since Apple started selling Macs powered by its in-house M1 processors in late 2020, the company’s computing business has grown. Earlier this week, Apple introduced the M2, which will debut in the new 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

The new chip will feature 25% more transistors and 50% more bandwidth than the M1.

Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst with technology industry research firm Gartner, said Apple could continue to gain market share with the M2 architecture. In 2021, Apple held 7.9% of global PC shipments by operating system, while Windows controlled 81.8%, according to Gartner estimates. The company expects Apple’s share to increase to 10.7% in 2026 while Windows’ share will slip to 80.5%.

Kitagawa said an updated forecast that will likely make Apple’s performance stronger will arrive in the coming weeks.

Apple’s Mac business has been revived by new devices featuring the company’s own chips replacing Intel’s processors. The first was the MacBook Air released last year, followed by updated models of the iMac, Mac Mini and MacBook Pro laptops, and a new model for power users called the Mac Studio.

Apple’s newer devices have longer battery life than their older Intel-based counterparts and plenty of processing power.

Sales jumped. Apple’s Mac business grew 23% in fiscal year 2021 to more than $35 billion in sales. In the March quarter, Mac sales grew more than 14%, a faster increase than any other category of Apple hardware. Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts in April that “incredible customer response to our M1-powered Macs helped propel a 15% year-over-year increase in revenue despite supply constraints”.

This is not good news for Microsoft.

Most of Microsoft’s Windows revenue comes from licenses it sells to Dell, HP, Lenovo and other device manufacturers. That’s 7.5% of Microsoft’s total revenue and nearly 11% of gross profit, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Keith Weiss wrote in a note this week.

As Microsoft loses market share, “a lot of price control is lost in the marketplace,” said cybersecurity startup CEO Brad Brooks Censys and former corporate vice president for Microsoft’s Windows consumer business.

Most Windows licensing revenue to device manufacturers comes from commercial customers. Brooks said Apple is growing among consumers, and he’s learned in his nine years at Microsoft that there’s a positive correlation between consumer usage and what happens at work.

“Once they start using a different set of products in their home environment, they’re more likely to adopt that environment in their work environment,” Brooks said, speaking of business leaders who make business decisions. purchase of technology.

Brooks said he switched to a Mac as his primary computer in 2017 and would like an M2 machine in the future. All of his company’s roughly 150 employees use Macs as their primary computers, he said.

Businesses have been slow to adopt Apple’s M1 computers due to fears that key applications won’t be compatible. But Adobe, Microsoft and other developers have gradually released native versions of their software for devices, said Kitagawa, who now expects enterprise adoption to grow.

Patrick Moorhead, CEO of industry research firm Moor Insights and Strategy, said Windows PCs could eventually have battery life and performance to match Apple’s latest Macs. Of the chipmakers they use, “It’s currently closer between Apple and AMD than between Apple and Intel,” Moorhead said.

Apple has other levers to pull, however, as it could offer cheaper computers. Moorhead is considering a MacBook SE that could cost $800 or $900, compared to the $1,199 starting price for Apple’s upcoming MacBook Air M2. It would be similar to what Apple did with the iPhone SE, a budget iPhone that lacks some of the company’s latest smartphone enhancements.

“A MacBook SE at a much lower price would disrupt Windows quite significantly,” Moorhead said.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

— CNBC’s Kif Leswing contributed to this report.

LOOK: Apple’s M2 chip and subsequent payment service are Apple’s most important WWDC announcements, according to Goldman’s Hall

Faced with record inflation, Biden berates Exxon and oil companies for profits


Content of the article

LOS ANGELES — U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday accused the U.S. oil industry, and Exxon Mobil Corp in particular, of capitalizing on a supply crunch to fatten profits after a report showed inflation hit a low. new record of 40 years.

US consumer inflation accelerated in May https://www.Reuters.com/markets/us/soaring-gasoline-food-prices-boost-us-consumer-inflation-may-2022-06-10 as gasoline prices hit an all-time high and the cost of food soared, driving the largest annual increase in four decades. A gallon of regular gasoline costs an average of $4.99 nationwide on Friday, according to the AAA motoring group.

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Biden, who took office promising to reduce the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels, said on Friday he hoped to ramp up oil production, which is expected to reach record levels in the United States next year.

But he also issued a warning to the industry, whose profits have surged with oil and gas prices, pointing to the gains as evidence that consumers are paying more than labor and shipping costs. students.

“Exxon has made more money than God this year,” Biden told reporters after a speech to dockers’ union representatives at the Port of Los Angeles. US oil companies are not using their higher profits to drill more, but to buy back stock, he added.

Share buybacks improve earnings per share by reducing the number of shares outstanding, indirectly helping to drive up stock prices. Companies view buyouts as a way to reward investors.

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“Why don’t they drill? Because they make more money without producing more oil,” Biden said. “Exxon, start investing and start paying your taxes.”

Exxon pushed back on the comments, noting that it has continued to increase its U.S. production of oil, gasoline and diesel, and has borrowed heavily to boost production while suffering losses in 2020.

“We have been in regular contact with the administration, advising them of our planned investments to increase production and expand refining capacity in the United States,” spokesman Casey Norton said.

Exxon will increase spending by 50% in its West Texas shale holdings, it said, where it plans to add 25% more production this year after adding 190,000 barrels to oil production Last year. An ongoing expansion of the Texas refinery will add the equivalent of a “new mid-size refinery,” Norton said.

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Exxon, the largest US oil producer, lost some $20 billion in 2020 and had borrowed more than $30 billion to finance its operations. It paid $40.6 billion in taxes last year, $17.8 billion more than in 2020, he said.

The president spoke during a visit to the Port of Los Angeles, where he defended his economic and job creation record and deflected blame for inflation, which soared 8.6% in May according to a new report from the Department of Labor.

At a Democratic campaign fundraising event in Beverly Hills that evening, Biden sounded a cautious tone about the outlook for inflation going forward: “We’re going to live with that inflation for a while.” , did he declare. “It’s going to come down gradually, but we’re going to live with it for a while.”

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Biden had earlier chastised the US oil, gas and refining industries for using “the challenge created by the war in Ukraine as a reason to make things worse for families with excessive profit taking or price hikes. “.

Exxon posted its biggest quarterly profit in seven years when it reported fourth quarter results in February. After halting share buybacks several years ago, it resumed them this year and pledged to spend up to $30 billion through next year.

Many companies have said they are withholding spending that could depress oil production to lower oil prices more than $100 a barrel because that is what investors are demanding.

Soaring costs have become a political headache for the Biden administration, which has tried several measures to bring prices down. These include a record release of barrels from U.S. strategic reserves, waivers of rules related to summer gasoline production and relying on major OPEC countries to increase production.

Biden, in his remarks on Friday, urged Congress to pass legislation to reduce energy, prescription drugs and shipping costs.

Shipping companies made $190 billion in profits, a sevenfold increase in one year, Biden said at the port. The situation made him so “viscerally angry” that he wanted to “pop them”, he said. (Reporting by David Gaffen in New York, Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons, John Stonestreet, Richard Chang and Kim Coghill)



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Arrest Reports 6/5/22 to 6/8/22 | Arrest reports

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JCSO CJ-2022-0009



CAMPBELL, NUA KOSHA LATRICE 47 FB JASPER, TX 75951 06/06/2022 11:19 PM




BROWN, BOBBY GLENN 37 MB JASPER, TX 75951 06/07/2022 06:47


T16-099J5-1; TR17-1181J3-1;TR18-0749J3-1;TR18-0750J3-1;TR19-0388J3-1;TR19-0389J3-1;TR19-0390J3-1;M0051242; M0051242; M0051242












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RANGE, IVORY EUGENE 64 MB Kirbyville, TX 75956 08/06/2022 16:58



Growing share of the compounding pharmacy market and driving factor for the overall development [2022-2032]

Growing share of the compounding pharmacy market and driving factor for the overall development [2022-2032]

Global Compounding Pharmacy Market The report consists of substantial data which provides future forecast and detailed analysis at global and regional level. The report is very helpful in evaluating brand awareness, market landscape, possible future issues, industry trends and customer behavior with which superior business strategies can be defined. The Compounding Pharmacy market insights gathered in this global marketing report will help the insightSLICE industry to make competent business decisions. The large-scale Prep Pharmacy market research report presents a comprehensive overview of the market where it covers various aspects such as product definition, segmentation based on various parameters and dominant vendor landscape.

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The research report offers in-depth insights into the market share, market share, growth rate, future trends, market drivers, opportunities and challenges, risks and barriers to entry, sales channels and distributors and well analyzed with PESTLE analysis. This market report considers several industry research, customer insights, market size and forecast, competition analysis, market entry strategy, pricing trends , sustainability trends, innovation trends, technological development and assessment of distribution channels. An all-inclusive market document encompasses major players along with their volume share in key regions such as APAC, EMEA, and Americas and the challenges they are facing.

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The report profiles the following companies, which includes B. Braun Medical, Fagron, Dougherty’s Pharmacy, Fresenius Kabi, Clinigen Group PLC, Institutional Pharmacy Solutions, Lorraine’s Pharmacy, Cantrell Drug Company, PharMEDium, Premier Pharmacy Labs, McKesson Corporation, McGuff Compounding Pharmacy Services, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Pencol Compounding Pharmacy, Pentec Health, Rx3 Compounding Pharmacy, RXQ Compounding Pharmacy, Triangle Compounding Pharmacy, Wedgewood Village Pharmacy, Wells Pharmacy Network.

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> North America includes the United States, Canada and Mexico

> Europe  includes Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain

> South America includes Colombia, Argentina, Nigeria and Chile

› Middle East and Africa includes Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates

> Asia-Pacific includes Japan, China, Korea, India, Saudi Arabia and Southeast Asia

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McCarthy: Schultz Absence Strictly “Business”


“Dalton deserves this position he’s in. So hopefully we can sort it out.”

Schultz and the Cowboys have until July 15 to reach a multi-year deal or Schultz must play the 2022 season on the tag, worth just under $11 million. Schultz signed to the label in late March.

He set career highs in catches (78), receiving yards (808) and touchdowns (8) last year and is expected to play a bigger role this season as the Cowboys move forward without the four-time receiver. of Pro Bowl Amari Cooper, who was traded to Cleveland in March.

McCarthy said he and Schultz have yet to discuss Schultz’s intention to return for next week’s mandatory minicamp.

“My conversation with him was that he was going to miss this week and that was to focus on his business situation,” McCarthy said.

Schultz had been a regular participant in the offseason program up to that point.

“I’m not worried about his commitment or what he’s done,” McCarthy said. “He’s in great shape. If he stood here, he’d tell you he’s the strongest he’s ever been. He’s put in a tremendous amount of work in the offseason. I think that’s clearly why I separate him. It’s the business. It’s the business that he tends to do, and that’s understood.”

Schultz’s absence this week meant more reps in practice for Jeremy Sprinkle, Sean McKeon, Peyton Hendershot and Wisconsin’s fourth-round pick Jake Ferguson.

Mirza International hits record high; the stock soared 51% in four weeks


Shares of Mirza International hit a record high of Rs 259.45, up 10% on BSE during intraday trading on Thursday, in an otherwise tight market.

Over the past four weeks, shares of the leather and leather goods company have soared 51% after reporting a tripling of consolidated profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 30.24 crore in the March 2022 quarter ( Q4FY22). It had posted a PAT of Rs 8.89 crore in Q4FY21.

By comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex rose less than 1% over the period. The company’s revenue in the quarter jumped 42% year on year (YoY) to Rs 445 crore from Rs 313 crore in the prior year quarter.

For the financial year 2021-22 (FY22), the net profit of Mirza International increased almost 14 times to reach Rs 112.86 crore against Rs 8.33 crore for FY21. While operating revenue increased by 60% year-on-year to Rs 1,678 crore from Rs 1,049 crore in the prior fiscal year.

Mirza International is engaged in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, trade, export and retail of leather footwear, sports footwear, apparel and apparel, articles and accessories. ‘leather accessories, and other related business. The company also owns and operates a leather tannery for captive consumption.

In the meantime, the company’s board of directors, at its meeting on December 10, 2021, had approved the composite plan of arrangement for the merger of RTS Fashions Private Limited with and into Mirza international Limited, and the spin-off of the business branding/Redtape Business of Mirza International into Redtape Limited on a continuing operating basis from 1 January 2022, subject to required approvals.

Mirza International will issue 22 shares of Rs 2 each to shareholders of RTS Fashions for every 10 shares of Rs 10 each held in the company. Redtape will issue 1 share of capital to shareholders of Mirza International for each share of capital held in the company.

In order to streamline various activities of the Mirza Group, unlock the true value of its business, achieve management efficiency and accelerated growth, management proposed consolidating all overseas operations into Mirza International; and to separate the APE Business brand/REDT activities into a separate company.

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Bridging the Gap: Expanding the Reach of Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering Laws | Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

The Canadian federal government has delivered on its promise to extend Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime to cover crowdfunding platforms and certain payment service providers (PSPs) that previously operated outside the scope of application of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (RPCFAT).

Consistent with the government’s renewed focus on strengthening Canada’s anti-money laundering regime, the government has approved regulatory amendments (amending regulations) under the PCMLTFA that largely commemorate the temporary orders issued in virtue of emergency law (Emergency Orders) earlier this year. The Amending Regulations, which came into effect on April 5, 2022, made significant changes to the regulation of fintech companies operating in the Canadian payments industry.

Amending Regulation

The Amending Regulations expand the scope of the PCMLTFA to specifically include crowdfunding platform services, which are defined as “the provision and maintenance of a crowdfunding platform for use by other persons or entities to raise funds or virtual currency for themselves or for specified persons or entities”. by them.” These companies, which previously operated outside of the PCMLTFA, must now meet extensive reporting and compliance obligations and are subject to regulatory oversight by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of the Canada (FINTRAC).

In addition, the Amending Regulations repealed the portion of the definition of “electronic funds transfer”, which had excluded certain transactions “made using a credit or debit card or prepaid payment product if the recipient has entered into an agreement with the payment service”. supplier who allows payment by this means for the supply of goods and services”. An exclusion still applies to certain financial entities and casinos, but “money services businesses” (MSBs) will now have reporting and compliance obligations regarding such credit, debit or prepaid payment card transactions.

Retraction of previous referrals

Although the Emergency Orders expressly imposed anti-money laundering obligations on crowdfunding platforms and entities that perform “payment functions” (i.e. PSPs), the Regulation amendment only explicitly added crowdfunding platform services as a prescribed service which, if performed, would establish such entities as MSBs subject to the PCMLTFA.

However, on April 27, 2022, FINTRAC also withdrew its Policy Interpretation 7670, which contained the frequently cited PCMLTFA “corollary” exemption. Under this interpretation of the policy, entities involved in the remittance or transmission of funds simply as a corollary of their actual service (eg payment processing) were not considered MSBs for PCMLTFA purposes. These entities included PSPs whose business was to provide settlements directly to merchants on behalf of merchants’ customers. The removal of these guidelines means that PSPs that maintain a place of business in Canada or that offer their services to individuals or entities in Canada and that otherwise conduct ESM activities are subject to the set of requirements in anti-money laundering matters applicable to MSBs.

Impact on crowdfunding platforms and PSPs

As a result of these changes, crowdfunding platforms and PSPs carrying out MSB activities must now

  • register with FINTRAC;
  • develop and maintain a compliance program;
  • comply with KYC (know your customer) requirements, including verifying the identity of persons and entities for certain activities and transactions;
  • retain certain records, including records related to transactions and customer identification; and
  • report certain transactions to FINTRAC.

The amending regulation also imposed additional and more specific obligations on crowdfunding platforms. These obligations include record-keeping requirements regarding the persons or entities to whom they provide their services and the purpose for which the funds or virtual currency are collected; and verify the identity of anyone to whom the entity provides crowdfunding services or who donates $1,000 or more using the platform.

Uncertainty to come

While it is clear that crowdfunding platforms and PSPs that previously relied on the interpretation of Policy 7670 are now subject to the PCMLTFA, the Amending Regulations and corresponding FINTRAC policy updates have introduces uncertainty as to the scope of the PCMLTFA in the future.

Specifically, the PCMLTFA’s ESM sections specify its application to persons and entities “in the business” of providing certain specified ESM services.1 Policy Interpretation 7670 provided insight into FINTRAC’s view of when an entity providing services otherwise covered by the PCMLTFA was not truly “in the business” of providing services to MSBs and would not be subject to the requirements of the law. It remains to be seen whether, following the recent changes, payment facilitators and other service providers in the payment chain that are not directly involved in the processing of funds will be taken over by the wider network of MSBs. Careful analysis will now be required to determine the obligations of each of the participants in a payment chain. Although FINTRAC has indicated its intention to issue updated guidance in the near future, payment businesses currently in the interpretive gray area face the unfortunate choice of waiting for guidance – and potentially being outside of it. registration requirement – or to register now, perhaps unnecessarily.

The question also arises as to how the new regulations will coexist with the future Retail Payment Business Act (RPAA), which has been enacted but is not currently in force as it awaits the drafting of regulations. The RPAA aims to introduce a regulatory oversight framework to govern the retail payments ecosystem in Canada (read our newsletter on the RPAA). Once in force, the RPAA will be overseen and administered by the Bank of Canada (BoC) and should impose certain obligations on PSPs (including registration with the BoC and implementation of operational risk management frameworks), some of which appear to overlap requirements under the PCMLTFA. Therefore, there is some uncertainty as to the extent to which the Amending Regulations reflect the government’s decision to transfer some responsibility for regulation of the retail payments ecosystem from the Bank of Canada to FINTRAC, and whether this transfer is made on a temporary or permanent basis. base.

Legal counsel and payments industry participants should await further regulatory guidance for clarity on the full scope and impact of the amending regulations and how the new requirements will be harmonized with other legislation that the government federal is being developed.

1 Under the PCMLTFA, the definition of ESM includes, among others, any entity that engages in the “business” of (i) foreign exchange transactions, (ii) remittance or transmission of funds, (iii) issue or redemption of negotiable instruments, or (iv) trade in virtual currencies.

Highway 75 back in business but at great expense


Highway 75 is fully open to drivers for the first time in over a month, but the impact of its closure and local flooding is still being felt by residents of Morris.

The province first closed a length of the highway that crosses the U.S. border and is heavily used for trucking on May 2, after an overflow from the Red River forced the closure of a ring levee in the city at approximately 60 kilometers south of Winnipeg.

While the southern part was reopened on May 27, the northern part was blocked until Monday evening.

The four-week closure was the first of its kind in more than a decade, said Ralph Groening, reeve of the Rural Municipality of Morris.

“It still has a very serious impact on everyone in the region,” he told the Free press tuesday.

“Our life has just been different over the past 1.5 to 2 months. Traveling is hard, getting anywhere has gotten harder. So we’re slowly getting back to normal.”

Floodwater damaged shoulders and materials at some lane edges along the highway. Traffic control devices have been placed to signal hazards and the province plans to repair that damage once the flooding recedes, a spokesperson said in an email.

While Provincial Route 246 on the east side of the Red River was upgraded to act as a detour around Highway 75, the province planned to extend the dike south of Morris, but this was not completed in time. said Mayor Scott Crick.

“It’s just a shame that the sea wall wasn’t completed because if it had been, the disruption for us locally would have been nominal,” he said. “Unfortunately, that 200 meters of highway that was just under water was enough to prevent that trade corridor from being in effect.”

Expansion work on the Morris Dyke is scheduled for the summer, a provincial spokesperson said.

With both sides of the freeway closed, many people who frequent Morris businesses in the surrounding area have gone elsewhere. Over the past month, Crick said, many local business owners already suffering the fallout from losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic have seen a further drop of 50% or more in sales.

Morris businesses have fallen through the cracks of provincial and federal support, the mayor said: Because the town is open and operational, they can’t apply for business interruption insurance, and because they are protected by the dyke and not damaged by water, they are not eligible for disaster financial assistance.

Crick said he contacted the province twice to request that the disaster financial assistance program be expanded to include sunk costs in Morris, but received no response.

“The infrastructure, they’re still working on it, it will get fixed eventually. But what are we going to do when it’s not fixed? And how can we help these local businesses?” said the mayor.

“We’re not even talking millions of dollars here, we’re talking thousands of dollars so small family businesses can stay open and keep track of their expenses and keep people employed.”

The only full-service grocery store Morris saw a 25% drop in sales for the month of May.

“It affected us negatively. Not that it was impossible to reach us, but it becomes a long drive, so it doesn’t make sense for them to come,” Morris Bigway owner Pat Schmitke said.

The detours bypassed many local businesses on the north side that truckers would normally frequent, such as gas stations and restaurants, Schmitke said.

“I’ve heard positive things since the opening of Highway 75 yesterday,” he said. “You’re visible to people again, and that’s made a big difference.”

The impact of flooded roads goes beyond the city. The RM expects flood repairs to cost $10 million; about 150 people had to flee their homes, Groening said.

It remains a high stress situation, the prefect added, as many washed out and damaged roads prevent farmers from getting to their land, pushing back plantings already delayed by spring storms.

“There’s a lot of anxiety right now for our farming community to put that crop in the ground next week, really, that’s their deadline,” he said.

RM officials met on Tuesday to discuss how they can speed up road repairs, but some farmers may miss the deadlines to achieve ideal harvest results.

“The worst-case scenario would be farmers being unable to put the crop in the ground, unable to sow before the deadline, which basically means no pay, no productivity,” Groening said. “That’s the pressure the farming community lives with.”

[email protected]

Malak Abas

Job postings hit record high in Minnesota with 214,000 openings – Detroit Lakes Tribune


ST. PAUL – Job postings in Minnesota hit a record high in the fourth quarter of 2021, topping 214,000 total job postings even as Minnesota employers continue to add jobs, according to figures released by the Department of Employment. and Minnesota Economic Development.

The number of vacancies in the fourth quarter of 2021 increased by 68% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 and by 56% compared to the previous fourth quarter peak reached in 2018, before the pandemic.

While job vacancies continue to rise, the number of unemployed has continued to decline. Although Minnesota’s labor force participation rate remains below its pre-pandemic level (68.3% in April 2022 versus 70.8% in February 2020), it is well above the national average of 62.2% in April 2022.

Minnesota’s economy has shown steady growth and unemployment rates are now at historic lows.

With the release of job vacancy rates, Commissioner Grove will launch the Summer of Jobs campaign to highlight opportunities for employers and job seekers across Minnesota.

The campaign will include job shadowing some of the highest paying jobs available in the state, to highlight opportunities in manufacturing, healthcare, technology and beyond.

He will also share best practices and opportunities for employers to find talent in groups too often overlooked, such as immigrant communities, Minnesotans with disabilities, and people recently released from correctional facilities. The campaign will be statewide and begin next week with a focus on manufacturing.

“This record number of job openings is another sign that Minnesota’s economy is strong,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Our Summer of Jobs campaign will connect job seekers and employers, highlighting the tremendous opportunity that exists for those willing to try new approaches at a dynamic time in our economy.”

After employers reported 205,000 vacancies in the second quarter of 2021, demand for workers continued to rise as employers grapple with tight labor market conditions and a drop in the number of unemployed and workers available.

With less than 93,000 unemployed statewide in Q4 2021, there were only 0.4 unemployed for every job vacancy, which means there were more than twice as many vacancies as unemployed. in Minnesota. This is the lowest ratio on record and well below that of a year ago, when there were 1.1 unemployed for every vacancy.

The seven-county Twin Cities metro had nearly 127,000 vacancies (59% of the state total), while Greater Minnesota had just over 87,000 vacancies. Job vacancies grew slightly faster (+69%) in Greater Minnesota than in the Twin Cities (+67.6%) during the year, but as both saw fewer unemployed, the Twin Cities and the Greater Minnesota each had less than 0.5 job seekers. per vacancy.

Statewide, health care and social assistance accounted for 24% of all vacancies with 52,340 vacancies, an increase of nearly 20,500 vacancies during the year, and the sector saw wage vacancies increase by 7.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. The 52,340 vacancies mean that for every 100 jobs filled, there were 10.8 vacancies in the healthcare sector in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to 8.3 in the second quarter of 2021.

With 39,630 job vacancies, retail accounted for nearly 19% of total openings and saw median wage offers rise nearly 12% from the same quarter in 2020 as employers increased offers to attract applicants. . Accommodation & Food, which represents 15% of vacancies, recorded slightly fewer openings compared to the record levels of vacancy reached in the summer of 2021, but saw its salary offers increase by 22% over the year. After 12 industries set new vacancy rate records in the second quarter of 2021, five of the state’s 20 industries again set new vacancy records in the fourth quarter of 2021.

At the occupation level, demand was highest for food preparation and service workers, with nearly 33,000 vacancies, although down slightly from the second quarter of 2021. Sales occupations and related activities, on the other hand, hit another high at 26,800 vacancies, up just a few hundred. beginning in the second quarter of 2021. Together, these two occupational groups accounted for 28% of all openings in the state.

Health professions also hit new records. Demand for healthcare support workers – including home and personal care workers, orderlies and medical assistants – has hit a record high with more than 18,000 vacancies. Health professionals and technical occupations, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, also set another record with nearly 20,000 vacancies.

All occupational groups, with the exception of Protective Services, which declined 15%, recorded increases during the year. Other occupational groups that saw a notable increase in vacancies over the year included agriculture, fishing and forestry, personal care and services, and business and financial operations. , all of which grew by more than 225% during the year. Vacancies in food preparation and serving, architecture and engineering, life, physical and social sciences and legal professions all more than doubled.

The median wage offer easily hit a series high at $18.09, reflecting increases in low- and high-wage occupations and a premium for experienced workers. The median wage offer rose 9% against a 6.7% increase in the consumer price index, a measure of inflation.

Here are the additional results of the study:

Hours and permanent/temporary status: 30% of all vacancies are part-time, or less than 35 hours per week. The share of part-time vacancies, at a low level, continued to fall as employers seek to make better use of their workforce, falling from just over 40% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Temporary work or seasonal represents 6% of all vacancies. This figure is also historically low, as employers seek to offer more permanent positions to attract workers.

Education and experience requirements: 32% of job vacancies require some level of post-secondary education or training beyond a high school diploma. This means that the other two-thirds of vacancies require no education beyond a high school diploma or equivalent. The percentage of job postings requiring post-secondary education has declined due to the tight labor market as employers seek to broaden their pool of candidates by lowering education requirements.

Meanwhile, 50% of vacancies require one or more years of work experience, an increase from previous experience requirements. The percentage of vacancies requiring work experience has increased over time.

Visit DEED’s website for Q4 2021 details

Job vacancies survey


DEED conducts the Job Vacancy Survey in the second and fourth quarters of each year to gauge hiring demand and determine characteristics of job vacancies by industry, occupation, and company size in Minnesota.

DEED is the state’s premier economic development agency, promoting recruitment, business expansion and retention, workforce development, international business, and community development. For more details on the agency and its services, visit the

DEED website,



or follow the agency on


Aledade raises $123 million to advance Medicare Advantage partnerships and grow its subsidiary

The country’s current fee-based healthcare system prioritizes treating disease over preventing it, a reality which, according to Aledade CEO and co-founder Farzad Mostashari, “leads to unnecessary expense and unnecessary suffering. “. That’s why his company partners with independent practices, health centers and clinics to establish Accountable Care Organizations, which are networks of physicians and healthcare facilities that share clinical and financial responsibility for providing coordinated care. Metrics such as avoidable hospitalizations, avoidable emergency department visits, and post-acute care utilization demonstrate ACOs are more successful in reducing avoidable spend than providers who are not enrolled in an alternative payment model.

Monday, Aledade raised $123 million in a Series E funding round. The round, led by OMERS Growth Equity, brings the company’s total funding to more than $400 million since its inception in 2014. The Bethesda, Md.-based company partners with more than 1,000 independent primary care practices, including more than 140 federally licensed health centers, in 36 states and Washington, D.C.

Although other startups focused on innovative primary care, such as One Medical and Oak Street Health, have emerged over the past 15 years, Mostashari said Aledade’s model is uniquely scalable.

“A key differentiator for Aledade is that we partner with existing independent practices,” he said in an email forwarded by a rep. “We don’t buy practices, which requires a lot of capital, and we don’t create practices, which requires a lot of resources and time. This allows us to evolve faster.

Aledade partners with practices that are already well-known in their communities so the company can maintain trusting relationships between doctors and patients, according to Mostashari. He also said the startup’s platform is “uniquely scalable”, highlighting its ability to leverage data and technology, including remote and virtual care, to help practices improve health. of their patients and increase savings.

The company plans to put its new funding to work immediately, first by expanding its value-based model of care with health plans across the country. Specifically, Aledade is looking to expand its partnerships with Medicare Advantage plans, as this is an area of ​​great opportunity. Aledade works with a variety of payers, including Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and commercial insurance companies.

The company has approximately 800,000 patients enrolled in a traditional health insurance plan under global risk contracts. In those same practices, the company has approximately 200,000 Medicare Advantage patients. Knowing that Medicare Advantage is on the verge of reaching parity with traditional health insurance, In terms of future registrationthe startup is working to close that gap.

The company will also use the funds to expand its offerings through its new health services subsidiary, Aledade Care Solutions. SCA announcement its first launch in January with Aledade’s acquisition of Iris Healthcare, a company providing comprehensive virtual advance care planning services. ACS is preparing to add more services with the contribution of firms from the Aledade network.

The startup makes its money by taking a percentage of the shared savings made by the ACOs it operates. Mostashari noted that the company has had positive EBITDA since 2020, positive cash flow and continued strong revenue growth – successes he attributed to the company’s focus on rapid scalability.

“In this tougher market, we didn’t need to raise, but the best time to raise is when you don’t need to,” he said.

Photo: Feodora Chiosea, Getty Images

Cyberattacks on industrial assets cost companies millions


Trend Micro Study Reveals Impact of Threats to ICS/OT Environments

HONG KONG SAR – Media outreach – June 6, 2022 – Trend Micro Incorporated (TY: 4704; EAST: 4704), a global leader in cybersecurity, today announced new research* revealing that 89% of power, oil & gas, and manufacturing companies have experienced cyberattacks that have impacted production and energy supply over the past 12 months.

To read a full copy of the research, The state of industrial cybersecurityplease visit: https://resources.trendmicro.com/IoT-survey-report.html

“All over the world, industrial sites are going digital to drive sustainable growth. But it has invited a deluge of threats that they are ill-equipped to mitigate, causing major financial and reputational damage,” said William Malik, vice president of strategy infrastructure at Trend Micro. “Effectively managing these heavily networked IT and OT environments requires an experienced partner with the foresight and breadth of capabilities to deliver best-in-class protection in both environments. »

The findings come a year after the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, which forced the provider’s OT systems offline for several days, leading to major fuel shortages along the US East Coast. It is still the largest critical infrastructure attack (CNI) of its kind.

About half of industrial organizations impacted by CNI attacks have made efforts to improve cybersecurity infrastructures, but do not always have sufficient resources or knowledge to defend against future threats.

Of the responding organizations that experienced cyber disruption to their operational technology and industrial control systems (OT/ICS), the average financial damage was approximately $2.8 million, the oil and gas industry being the most affected.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents admitted to experiencing cyber disruption to their ICS/OT environments at least six times during the year.

The research also revealed that:

  • 40% of respondents were unable to block the initial attack
  • 48% of those who say there have been disruptions do not always make improvements to minimize future cyber risks.
  • Future investments in cloud systems (28%) and private 5G deployments (26%) were the top two drivers of cybersecurity among respondents.
  • The OT security function tends to be less mature than average IT in terms of risk-based security.

The addition of cloud, edge and 5G in mixed IT and OT environments has rapidly transformed industrial operations and systems. Organizations need to stay ahead of the curve and take security measures to protect corporate assets. Improving risk and threat visibility is a quick first step towards a secure industrial cloud and private network.

“From the start, Trend Micro exceeded our expectations, and we’ve never looked back since,” said David Levine, vice president of information security and CISO, Ricoh USA. “With Trend Micro, you get immediate response, escalation and communication. These are effective and innovative tools, associated with an excellent partnership.

Trend Micro’s unified cybersecurity platform provides streamlined detection and response, adaptable to ICS and 5G, to equip organizations in the complex industrial environment where different technologies and applications are integrated to support business operations . To learn more about Trend Micro ICS/OT security, please visit: http://www.trendmicro.com/en_hk/business/solutions/iot/ics-ot.html

*Trend Micro surveyed 900 ICS cybersecurity leaders in Germany, the United States, and Japan across the manufacturing, oil & gas, and power sectors to compile its new study.

About Trend Micro

Trend Micro, a global leader in cybersecurity, helps make the world safe for exchanging digital information. Fueled by decades of security expertise, global threat research, and continuous innovation, Trend Micro’s cybersecurity platform protects hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of individuals across clouds , networks, devices and terminals. As a leader in cloud and enterprise cybersecurity, the platform offers a powerful suite of advanced threat defense techniques optimized for environments such as AWS, Microsoft and Google, and central visibility for detection and response. better and faster. With 7,000 employees in 65 countries, Trend Micro enables businesses to simplify and secure their connected world. www.trendmicro.com.hk


Pandemic brings record profits to new car dealerships in Australia – report


Chronic motor vehicle shortages throughout the pandemic have generated record profits for new car dealerships in Australia as customers pay in full at retail and face long waiting times.

The return of new car discounts could be years away – industry analysts have predicted – after a new report revealed that stock-outs and high prices during the coronavirus pandemic provided the biggest never before recorded financial windfall to dealers across Australia.

Research firm Deloitte – which has forensically monitored the Australian car industry for 25 years – has revealed that new car dealers made more money last year than at any time in recorded history.

Dealer profits have more than tripled in the past two years amid continued inventory shortages, higher transaction prices and the sudden death of discounts and drive-away deals.

For the past two years, customers have been forced to pay full retail price and endure long wait times for a new motor vehicle.

Figures provided by Deloitte show that in the pre-pandemic period of 2019, new car dealerships made an average profit of $600,000 a year – but last year the average profit per dealership was $600,000. $3 million.

Deloitte said its latest earnings data came from monthly surveys of 1,650 dealers nationwide, more than half of Australia’s network of 3,000 showrooms.

With no end in sight to restrictions on the supply of new motor vehicles, industry analysts predict that high profits – and the absence of new car rebates – could continue for several years.

“Dealers made a dollar…we made a lot of money,” Lee Peters, one of Deloitte’s longtime auto industry experts, told the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA) conference. ) in Brisbane last week.

“Low supply levels (of vehicles) have meant that … discounts have been eliminated,” Mr Peters said.

“Make hay while the sun is shining,” Peters said at the auto dealer conference. “These unique conditions, the most unique conditions we’ve seen in at least 25 years, they’re probably going to be here for the next two years. Make as much money as you can right now. Make sure (you don’t ) miss a turn.

Mr Peters said new car dealerships should use current levels of prosperity and high profit margins to secure their businesses for the future.

Automotive specialist Deloitte advised dealers not to look back to that decade-long period of high profits and think, “Wow, that was a nice little injection.” What we need to consider is saying, “That was a nice reset,” rather than just an injection (of higher earnings).

“As a business model (the auto industry needs to focus on) cost and customer first,” said Peters, who urged dealers to “use this two-year period to… future-proof our activity.

“We all have money, we all make profits, our balance sheets are bigger than they have been in the last five years,” Mr Peters said. “Make sure (you) do something with it, so we’re ready.”

Mr Lee said a lack of competition in the new car market – due to chronic and ongoing inventory shortages for the past year or so – has contributed to the recent period of record dealer profits.

“There’s less competition,” Peters said. “In fact, most customers don’t shop anymore, so they don’t have to go to multiple dealerships because no one has stock.

“Instead, what we see (customers) doing is…visiting their local dealership, placing an order and trying to get into the queue as quickly as possible. It’s a nice and healthy way to sell in this environment.

A fellow automotive expert at Deloitte, Dale McCauley, told the conference: “When the pandemic hit, no one could have predicted this outcome. (The pandemic) has produced… the most interesting dataset we’ve seen in the past 45 years.

“For the first time I can remember in many years, demand (for new motor vehicles) has exceeded supply, with $60 billion in foreign trips and dinners with friends…being redirected to sales retail, cars, domestic travel and home renovations. ”

Deloitte experts said semiconductor shortages, production slowdowns and bottlenecks in shipments – and the federal government’s “Job Keeper” financial aid program – have helped push up prices. profit per car sold figures.

The data showed that the average profit on each new car sold last year was close to $5,000, about half of which came from the gross margin of the vehicle itself, while the other half came from “Job Keeper “.

For the past year or so, car dealerships haven’t needed rebates to win a sale – and automakers have saved money because they haven’t needed to offer generous bonuses. or to offer other financial incentives to move metal.

Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA) chief James Voortman told the conference: “While (stockouts) have ended the discount wars we saw before the pandemic – and that has greatly helped dealership profitability – this has created a very difficult operating environment for many of our members who have to deal with customers waiting for vehicles.

Deloitte experts said last year’s financial increase for new car dealerships came after a prolonged period of weak profits – and noted, just before the pandemic, that more than a third of dealerships were operating actually at a loss.

“We reached a point in 2019 where the average dealer was only making 0.6% (profit) and more than a third of all dealers were operating at a loss,” McCauley said.

“So out of the 3,000 (dealers) in this country…over 1,000 dealers lost money in 2019,” he said.

After a decade of averaging dealer profits at a rate of 1.5-2.5% of sales, the average profit earned by new-car dealers last year soared to 4% – and dealers in benchmark (the top 30 percent) made a profit that was equivalent to 6.4 percent of their revenue.

New South Wales new car dealerships were the most profitable nationally – with benchmark showrooms making a maximum average profit of 7.0% on their total turnover – ahead of the Western Australia (6.1%), Queensland (5.8%), Victoria and Tasmania (5.7%) and South Australia (5.6%).

“For the first time, we have 90% of dealers in this country making money and only a small percentage losing money month over month,” McCauley said, adding that it was important to note how dealers have struggled for the past 25 years “to be able to understand exactly how remarkable the past two years have been.”

Mr Peters said the average dealer profit of 4-5% over the past two years “is the boost (car dealers) needed”.

“As an industry, we have to do something with this kick…if we get to 2023, 2024, 2025 and we haven’t learned the lessons of this last 10-year journey, we will have missed the turn. .”

Mr McCauley said new car inventory was ‘at historic lows… and you can clearly see the impact that is having on (profits)’.

“What we’re seeing is that as new inventory comes in, most of it is already sold or pre-sold to a customer, so it moves through showrooms very quickly.”

Deloitte predicts the auto industry will become a “two-speed economy” over the next year, based on which brands can get cars and which can’t.

“We see two velocities happening, which will have inventory and which will not,” McCauley said.

“Those who have stock will gain momentum and market share (and) some customers will then be able to turn to other brands, or look elsewhere for a car that is available and in stock.

“So be sure to hold on to your customers, communicate with them, and…hold their hand through this journey to delivery.”

Despite the challenges facing the automotive industry, Deloitte predicts a new car market exceeding 1 million sales per year for the foreseeable future.

“Our latest forecast is, for the next three to five years, this market will be between 1 million and 1.1 million, and that will be pretty consistent,” McCauley said.

“With around 70 brands in this market competing for just over a million sales a year, it means that when supply comes back, competition picks up again.”

By comparison, the United States has about 40 auto brands competing for about 18 million new car sales annually.

“When will our supply chains normalize?” said Mr. Voortman. “Who knows? That’s the million dollar question, but unfortunately it’s out of our control.

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, spending most of his time working for the Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and an early member of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice/Drive in late 2018 and was a World Car of the Year judge for 10 years.

Learn more about Joshua Dowling IconLink

It’s tough, but the sandwich generation should stand firm

The average citizen of some Latin American countries will spend half their life in the sandwich generation.

THE sandwich generation is a term that refers to grown adults (usually in their 40s and 50s) who simultaneously provide financial support for their children and parents.

They are “sandwiched” or “caught in the middle” of two generations. With an aging population and more women having children at older ages, the sandwich generation phenomenon persists. Some adult children aged 18 and older who attend colleges and universities still depend on their parents for financial support. There are also other adult children who are unemployed and some who work but still depend on their parent(s) for financial support. At the same time, these parents face rising health care and other costs for the well-being of their own parents. This creates enormous pressure on the sandwich generation, who must also ensure that their own needs are met. Often people in this group sacrifice their needs in order to meet the needs of the living relative(s) and provide support for their young or adult children. Moreover, some members of the sandwich generation are also responsible for the care of their grandchildren. This can exacerbate an already stressful situation.

The average citizen of some Latin American countries will spend half their life in the sandwich generation. In developing countries, women are primarily the providers of aging parents, dependent children and even grandchildren. These added responsibilities have placed some adult women in a precarious position given that women have longer lifespans than men and tend to work in lower-paying jobs, with reduced savings and insufficient funds in retirement.

The impact on retirement planning

The sandwich generation faces many challenges, such as depression, guilt, debt, strained relationships, time management due to the psychological impact of being torn between different interests. This generation is struggling to plan for retirement. It is a balancing act in identifying priorities. Studies from the Pew Research Center show that the sandwich generation in America makes up 23% of the adult population. Each member of this group has at least one parent aged 65 or over who is financially responsible for at least one child under the age of 18 or contributing to the financial well-being of an adult child. The report suggests that more than half of Americans in their 40s belong to the sandwich generation. When it comes to retirement planning, adults in their 40s and 50s should be well into their retirement journey.

Globally, members of the sandwich generation are likely to live comfortably in retirement. This therefore requires public policies and private strategies to encourage saving for retirement and easy access to social programs that provide training, financial assistance and counseling to members of the sandwich generation, their parents and their children. adults. Financial literacy should be a key part of any social agenda or public policy, especially for the sandwich generation.

It is important to start investing early in life. A habit of saving each month, starting with the first paycheck, will ensure that adequate resources are in place to invest and spend in the future. Always have a well-endowed emergency fund, which should consist of three to 10 months of living expenses. This will ensure that saving and investing for retirement is not derailed by the responsibility of simultaneously caring for aging parents, young children or adult children.

Another good strategy is to contribute as much as possible to formal pension plans. Review pension plans regularly and seek the services of a qualified and experienced financial advisor. Create a spending budget. Know where your money is going. Siblings can also share financial responsibility with their parents. Health and life insurance needs should also be assessed and reviewed. Adult children should be encouraged to contribute financially to their household and to become independent. They should seek to access scholarships or work and study.

The sandwich generation should practice paying themselves first, like a bill, it’s the perfect way to take care of the future needs of loved ones.

Grace G McLean is a Financial Advisor at BPM Financial Limited. Contact her at [email protected] and visit the website: www.bpmfinancial.com. She is also a podcaster for Living Above Self. Email him at [email protected]

Climate change is a factor in extreme autumn weather


Climate change was a factor with fall being the second hottest on record, but last season also brought extreme flooding, high winds, tornadoes and drought – while a marine heat wave hurt the aquaculture industry.

Flood damage in Tairāwhiti in March.
Photo: Tairāwhiti Civil Defense

The season also saw a new hourly record for rainfall, despite being the third hottest month of May.

Niwa said temperatures were above average or well above average in every region and one of the factors behind this was global climate change.

In May, dozens of places set record or near-record temperatures.

It was particularly hot at Castlepoint in Wairarapa, where the average temperature of 16.2 degrees Celsius was 3.5 degrees above average.

This means that the average temperature there was closer to that expected in December (16.4°C) compared to May (12.7°C).

In Middlemarch, Otago, the average daily high temperature was 16.6°C, 4.3°C above normal.

Many locations in the interior of the South Island recorded average daily high temperatures at least 3°C ​​above normal for the time of year.

Parts of Southland, Otago, Inland Canterbury and the West Coast had average temperatures more than 2C above average.

The very warm air temperatures were the result of more frequent airflows from the north, consistently warmer than average sea surface temperatures across the country, and climate change.

New Zealand king King Salmon hoped that the extension of his Te Pangu Bay farm would prevent salmon from dying in hotter summers.

NZ King Salmon has been forced to close farms due to warming water temperatures.
Photo: Supplied / NZKS

Meanwhile, a prolonged ocean heat wave continues with record temperatures for April – some places up to 5 degrees warmer than normal.

NZ King Salmon has been forced to close farms and will lay off more than 100 staff due to warming water temperatures caused by climate change.

The company reported a net loss of $55.7 million in fiscal 2022.

For the first time, there has been a massive bleaching of native sea sponges in Aotearoa.

Sea temperatures are almost certainly to blame, with scientists fearing what it could mean for the whole Fiordland ecosystem.

Fall had it all – tornadoes, record rainfall, droughts and floods

This month of March was the eighth hottest on record, April the ninth hottest and May the third hottest.

Middlemarch has had its driest autumn – with records dating back to 1896.

Invercargill experienced a dry spell from March 14 to 31, contributing to a meteorological drought in Southland.

no caption

Flooding in central Hawke’s Bay in May.
Photo: RNZ / Jake McKee

But it was Wairoa’s second wettest fall on record, driven by two extreme rainfall events in March and April.

On March 21, rain fell at a rate leading to the second wettest hour on record in the Auckland region – North Shore recorded 76.8mm of rain in an hour between 8am and 9am.

At Maungatapere near Whangārei, 103 mm of rain was recorded from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m., making it the new national hourly rainfall record for a low-altitude station (less than 500 meters above sea level). ).

Whangārei also observed its wettest hour on record (64.4 mm) since at least January 1979.

On March 23, a state of emergency was declared in Tairāwhiti as the river level rose rapidly, prompting evacuations in a number of townships, destroying roads and bridges, and cutting off some communities.

There was another storm on April 13 which again caused flooding in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.

On May 20, a woman died after being struck by a windblown tree in Cambridge as a probable tornado struck Levin, damaging dozens of homes while a hailstorm in nearby Ōhau caused extensive damage to property and crops.

From May 8 to 9, heavy rains on the west coast caused several large landslides and surface flooding

There were at least two more likely tornadoes in Waikanae on the Kāpiti Coast earlier this week, with roofs ripped off at least four properties.

A tree affected by the probable tornado in Levin on May 20

Meanwhile, according to Niwa’s New Zealand Drought Monitor, dry weather conditions were present in the southern parts of Southland and Stewart Island throughout the second half of March.

Rainfall was below normal to well below normal in parts of Northland, Auckland, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Canterbury (south of Christchurch), Otago and South west of Southland.

Akaroa and Matamata were the driest places in New Zealand compared to normal, with just 24% of normal May rainfall recorded, respectively.

In Akaroa, it was the second driest May since records began in 1977.

Winter will be warmer and wetter than average

New Zealanders should expect this winter to be warmer and wetter than average.

Niwa’s seasonal climate forecast predicts above-average temperatures across the country this winter, alongside increased rainfall in many areas.

Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said warm seas and subtropical winds would keep the country warm for most of the winter.

Cold snaps may keep this winter from being the hottest on record, but temperatures still trend higher, he said.

Niwa also suggests that increased rainfall and humidity could indicate more flooding.

Austria releases part of oil reserves after refinery incident


Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer delivers a speech during the Austrian People’s Party (OeVP) conference in Graz, Austria May 14, 2022. REUTERS/Lisa Leutner

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ZURICH, June 4 (Reuters) – Austria is releasing some of its strategic oil reserves to avert fuel shortages after an incident at one of the country’s refineries, the government said on Saturday.

Fuel reserves amounting to 112,000 tonnes of diesel and 56,000 tonnes of gasoline were made available to cover the loss of production at the OMV plant (OMVV.VI) in Schwechat, near Vienna, at the following a mechanical accident which occurred on Friday.

The release should be enough to cover the refinery’s loss of production for 14 days, the government said. The supplies will come from Austria’s oil reserve, sufficient to cover the country’s oil consumption for 90 days.

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“We are acting quickly and releasing part of the reserve so that no bottlenecks can occur,” Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said in a statement.

“Despite this incident, the security of fuel supply is assured, so no one has to worry. There are still sufficient reserves available should the need arise.”

Neighboring Hungary, where OMV has nearly 200 filling stations, said fuel supply was secure, with domestic production and sufficient reserves to meet retail demand, refuting a report in local media that said the incident could lead to shortages and the closure of gas stations.

“Hungary also has a large amount of strategic reserves, which can be exploited in an emergency,” said the country’s Ministry of Technology and Industry.

Asked about the Hungarian media report, OMV said the Hungarian market was “essential” and that it had no plans to close stations there.

“We have a supply problem because of the incident at the refinery and we need to resolve it now,” an OMV spokesperson said. “That’s where we are working on it with a lot of energy. For us, to abandon a market or to withdraw, no it is not the case.”

OMV said on Friday that a mechanical incident had occurred at the refinery, which has been under maintenance since April 19.

The incident damaged the main crude oil distillation unit and caused minor injuries to two people, the company said.

“For this reason, the start-up of the refinery will be partially delayed. A review of the extent of the damage and the duration of the shutdown is still ongoing,” OMV said.

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Illinois Adult Cannabis Retailers Save Nearly $2.7 Billion Since Legalization


Despite the heavy burden associated with losing major donors and challenging a constitutional status of signature collection, a group of medical cannabis legalization advocates reported major progress this week in Nebraska.

The supporters of Nebraskas for medical marijuana (NMM), a grassroots effort to put two medical cannabis legalization initiatives on the state’s November ballot, announced on June 2 that it had doubled its signature count — to about 40,000 for each measure — in the last two weeks alone.

RELATED: Nebraska Group Files Two Medical Cannabis Initiatives with Secretary of State

State Senator Anna Wishart, D-Lincoln, co-sponsor of the petitions, also announcement On Thursday, the group raised $50,000, recruited more than 100 paid volunteer circulators to help collect signatures and qualified 15 of Nebraska’s 93 counties as well in the past two weeks.

The group has until July 7 to collect about 87,000 valid signatures from registered voters for each measure to qualify for the ballot. Wishart told the Lincoln Journal Star the group is on track to meet this deadline.

“We are really organizing a campaign,” she said, “and we have a ton of people who have come out of the house to come and grab a petition and collect signatures.”

The progress follows NMM’s loss of two of its biggest donors during its 2020 election campaign, when the group collected the required signatures for that year’s ballot only for the Nebraska Supreme Court to rule that the petition violated the single subject rule in the state constitution.

Since then, a campaign donor has died in a plane crash and another has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, leaving the group well short of the million dollars supporters hoped they would have available to raise funds. signatures, Cannabis time reported last month.

Additionally, NMM filed a lawsuit last month challenging the state’s constitutional law that requires petitions to contain the signatures of 5% of registered voters in each of the state’s 38 least populated counties. The group’s supporters argue that the 5% rule establishes political power in rural areas of the state, The Associated Press reported.

Regrouping after the 2020 Supreme Court decision, one of the NMM Petitions 2022 seeks to add a line to the state Constitution that provides a “right to cannabis in all forms for medical purposes.” The 2020 initiative violated the single subject rule in that it sought to grant the right to possess, grow, sell and use medical cannabis, according to BallotPedia.org.

That of the group another petition aims to protect eligible patients and their caregivers from arrest for using medical cannabis as recommended by a physician.

Nebraska is one of 13 states where unrestricted low-THC medical cannabis remains illegal. In the current state laws and penaltiespossessing 1 ounce to 1 pound of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.

Nicole Hochstein, Regional Volunteer Coordinator for NMM, is the mother of a pre-teen with epilepsy.

“It is frustrating that politicians have ignored the will of the people and denied my son and thousands of other patients the compassion they deserve,” she said in a statement. statement end of 2021, when NMM announced the launch of its 2022 campaign.

RELATED: A Portrait of One of Medical Cannabis’ Last Recalcitrants

“But this election campaign gives hope to families like ours,” Hochstein said. “We see democracy in action today, and I look forward to speaking with hundreds of other Nebraskans…and asking them to sign off on these two very important initiatives.”

Can sales provide a feel-good factor


Sales across all automotive segments, including passenger vehicles, two-wheelers, utility vehicles and tractors, grew at a healthy pace year-over-year in May 2022.

However, these figures must be seen in the context of a drop in volumes over the previous month, following a devastating second wave of the pandemic which led to closures and job losses, the effects of which have observed for the rest of the year. the year. Thus, the figures published by the equipment manufacturers are not strictly comparable. However, with the exception of a few OEMs, shipments showed a slight increase even from April 2022 sales, indicating improved buying sentiments.

Maruti saw domestic shipments climb to 124,464 units from 32,903 units a year ago, excluding exports. Hyundai Motor India saw its sales increase by 70% to 42,993 units. The Korean company’s factory experienced six days without production, which also affected sales, the company said in a statement.

Shipments to Tata Motors also saw a significant increase during the month. Its passenger vehicle volumes (including electric vehicles) posted record monthly sales of 43,341 units. Electric vehicle sales crossed the 3,000 mark on a monthly basis in May 2022. The maker of Harrier and Safari models sold 15,181 units in May 2021.

UV sales in Mahindra and Mahindra increased to 26,904 units from 7,748 units in the corresponding month last year. Sales of most other passenger vehicle makers, including Kia Motors, Toyota Kirloskar Motor and MG Motor, posted strong gains from the year-ago period.

Commercial vehicles
The coming into effect of government infrastructure spending of Rs 110 lakh crore and strong replacement demand boosted commercial vehicle (CV) sales. “We expect a 2-3% increase in prices and a further reduction in overall rebates. However, such price increases would have been even stronger without the slowdown in steel prices, so we believe that the CV manufacturers will opt for a moderate price hike,” said a major CV dealer in North India.

Analysts believe that the CV industry which has borne the brunt of inflation has not been able to pass these costs on to its customers. A strong recovery in demand strengthens their confidence to consider a price increase. Generally, the steel which constitutes more than 80% of a heavy truck has almost doubled from ₹36,000-37,000 per ton to ₹70,000 per ton in the past year. Government spending and renewed demand in coal mines will further increase the demand for heavy trucks, according to brokerage firm Motilal Oswal.

Two wheels
On last year’s weak base, shipments from two-wheeler manufacturers were up year-over-year. Demand in the segment has seen some upswing in recent months and is expected to pick up further with the opening of schools and colleges. The segment, however, continues to face weak demand in the entry level of the market and supply issues for models in the 150cc and above segments. Semiconductor shortage has affected production of high-end models, two-wheeler makers say. Due to a shortage of chips, two-wheeler dealers across India have reported that high-end motorcycles have a waiting period of 15-20 days. However, stocks have been rationalized to 30 to 45 days from the previous 40 to 60 days, they said.

Chip shortages are affecting the availability of high-end bikes and scooters.

India’s largest two-wheeler maker, Hero Moto Corp’s domestic sales during the month rose to 4,66,466 units, a 16% increase from April 2022 sales of 418,622 units. The company sold 159,561 units in May 2021 as sales were impacted by the second wave of Covid and lockdowns.

With sales on the rise, there is a sense of optimism in the industry. “The market is strengthening as supply disruptions ease, coupled with increased physical presence in offices and educational institutions,” said Atsushi Ogata, Managing Director, President and Chief Executive Officer. of management, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) in a statement. The company announced a 10% growth in sales in May.

Expressing a similar sentiment of optimism, Executive Director, Vikram Kasbekar, Hero MotoCorp, said the government’s recent decision to reduce petrol and diesel duties has brought much-needed relief to motorcycle and scooter users. in the country. “We also welcome the steps taken to reduce duties on iron and steel inputs, which should help lower domestic steel prices,” he said.

The increase in liability insurance rates effective June 1 will have some impact on customer sentiments at a time when the industry is seeing signs of recovery. It is not common to have insurance paid for 3-5 years instead of annual renewals as is usually the case in many countries. “The industry is asking for government intervention and support in this regard. The two-wheeler industry provides jobs for millions of people, acting as a revenue catalyst in the country’s economic growth and we must continue to support its recovery and growth,” Kasbekar added. On last year’s weak base, Bajaj Auto saw its domestic sales for May 2022 increase by 85% to 112,308 units.

On the tractor front, sales benefited from an 11% jump in government rural spending. According to the MNREGA website, work rose from 23.26 million households in April to around 31 million in May, which bodes well for the rural economy and suggests an indicator of renewed economic activity.

Sony will build space lasers with a new satellite services unit


Sony Corp’s logo is seen during its news conference in Tokyo, Japan November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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WASHINGTON, June 2 (Reuters) – Sony (6758.T) said on Thursday it has formed a new company that will build and supply devices that allow small satellites in orbit to communicate with each other via laser beams, plunging into space in the midst of growth. sector.

Sony Space Communications Corp, registered Wednesday, is believed to take advantage of laser technology to avoid a radio frequency bottleneck. The devices will work between satellites in space and satellites communicating with stations on the ground.

The company hasn’t said when it expects its first commercial device to work in space, whether it has any existing customers lined up, or how much money it has invested in the technology to date.

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There are about 12,000 satellites in orbit, a number that is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years as rocket companies reduce the cost of launching things into space and companies like Amazon (AMZN.O) and SpaceX is building vast networks of low-Earth satellites to carry Internet communications around the world.

“The amount of data used in orbit is also increasing year by year, but the amount of radio waves available is limited,” the new company’s president, Kyohei Iwamoto, said in a statement.

SpaceX manufactures its own laser communication devices in-house and first launched them on its Starlink satellites late last year.

Sony said one of its first successful tests came in 2020 when it transmitted high-definition image data by laser from the International Space Station to a ground station in Japan.

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Reporting by Joey Roulette; edited by Peter Henderson and Sandra Maler

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Tennessee Supreme Court hears arguments over Kingston coal ash illnesses among workers – Tennessee Lookout

As workers twice rejected settlement offers and federal court judges denied multiple appeals, Jacobs Engineering Inc. turned to the Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday to try to escape financial liability of his role in the alleged poisoning of the Kingston coal ash disaster workforce.

Sick workers from the Kingston disaster and survivors of workers who died since a 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill filled the courtroom on Wednesday as Jacobs Engineering sought to convince judges to classify the ashes of coal – a stew of radioactive materials, heavy metals and poisonous poisons – as silica dust under Tennessee law.

The argument was apparently intended to force the dismissal of many, if not all, of the federal court cases the company faces in the Kingston disaster and is the first attempt in the state to include the ash of coal, the byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity, under Tennessee’s Silica Claims Priorities Act.

The Tennessee Silica Act was designed to cover cases in Tennessee involving specific illnesses associated with exposure to silica quartz dust by workers in mining, blasting, stone cutting and road construction. The law imposes various deadlines and requirements on workers seeking to recover from damage caused by silica exposure.

“Is it your position that (the Silica Claims Act) in this case encompasses coal ash in its entirety?” Judge Sarah Campbell asked Jacobs’ lawyer, Dwight Tarwater.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Holly Kirby questions attorneys during a June 1 hearing on whether coal ash is protected under Tennessee’s silica laws. (Screenshot from the audience.)

Turner replied, “Absolutely, Your Honor.”

“According to your interpretation, this expands the scope of the (silica claims law) exponentially,” Judge Holly Kirby said. “Breakfast cereals contain silica (as does)…Goody’s headache powder.”

Kirby questioned why Jacobs waited more than eight years after Kingston rescue workers filed a lawsuit to enforce his silica claim.

“What am I missing?” she asked.

Judge Sharon Lee echoed Kirby’s concern about Jacobs’ delay in lifting his silica defense.

“It’s almost a trap for these plaintiffs – ‘you didn’t file on time,'” Lee said.

“These are not silica claims”

Lee and Kirby weren’t the only ones to wonder why Jacobs only recently sought legal cover from a Tennessee law in an ongoing litigation since 2013 stemming from a spill at the TVA fossil plant in Kingston. .

Kingston disaster worker Mike McCarthy, who attended Wednesday’s hearing, said he was appalled and disheartened by the company’s repeated appeals since he and his colleagues convinced a federal jury in 2018 that Jacobs had failed in his duty to protect them.

That verdict set the stage for the workers to seek damages in separate lawsuits, but Jacobs’ appeals paralyzed the legal process. More than 50 workers who cleaned up the massive TVA spill have died since the 2018 verdict. At least half a dozen others are terminally ill, and more than 200 of the workers who helped with the cleanup are also sick.

“We can see two actors in court getting answers faster than the dying and the sick,” McCarthy said in reference to Wednesday’s return of a verdict in a defamation case involving actor Johnny Depp and his former girlfriend, Amber Heard.

Attorney Mark Silvey, who argued on behalf of the Kingston workers at Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing, said the workers never claimed they were sickened by silica dust.

“(Jacobs) is seeking this court to shield him from liability for turning an environmental disaster into a tragic and preventable occupational disease disaster,” Silvey told the judges. “None of the illnesses for which these workers are asking for relief is silicosis… It’s the radioactive particles, arsenic, lead, Radium 226 and Radium 228 (in the coal ash) that are to blame. These are not silica claims.

Attorney Mark Silver pleads on behalf of Kingston coal ash cleanup workers.  (Screenshot from the Tennessee Supreme Court hearing.)
Attorney Mark Silver pleads on behalf of Kingston coal ash cleanup workers. (Screenshot from the Tennessee Supreme Court hearing.)

Tarwater countered that coal ash also contains silica and therefore should fall under Tennessee law. He first said silica dust made up 40% of the ingredients in coal ash, but later said it was 60%.

“The (Tennessee silica law) is very clear,” he said. ” It’s very clear. This case is a matter of statutory interpretation… It’s a spectacularly broad definition… This is a case of exposure to a substance that is 60% silica.

It could be months before the state high court issues a ruling. Once the court rules, the case will return to U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan for further proceedings.

Testimony: Jacobs denied workers protective gear

Internal TVA documents from 1985 show that agency officials had known for decades that its coal ashes were radioactive and full of heavy metals and dangerous toxins, but publicly asserted that the toxic substances were no more dangerous than dirt as 7.3 million tons choked 300 acres of it and polluted the public. drinking water sources in Kingston after the spill.

After a forecaster in February 2009 alerted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the danger that radioactive waste posed to disaster personnel, TVA claimed – incorrectly – that the workers had received protection skin and respiratory tract immediately after the spill, but no longer needed the equipment.

OSHA never followed through and, as a Tennessee Lookout investigation found, destroyed the bogus VAT report and all other records related to the radiation complaint after workers sued Jacobs in 2013. .

Immediately after OSHA’s write-off lawsuit was filed, an indemnity agreement shows the utility entered into a secret deal with Jacobs to cover the contractor’s legal costs for ash-related illnesses and deaths of coal.

Federal court testimony showed that Jacobs told cleanup workers that coal ash was safe enough to consume daily, denied their requests for protective gear, and tampered with tests designed to monitor the threat posed by radioactive waste.

Believing that TVA was immune as a quasi-governmental agency, the workers sued Jacobs. The firm tried during the early years of the litigation to convince Varlan to also declare Jacobs immune. He refused.

When the U.S. Supreme Court in 2019 stripped TVA of its automatic immunity in an unrelated case, Jacobs again raised an immunity defense. Varlan shot him down again. Jacobs appealed to the 6e United States Court of Appeals Circuit.

6e Circuit at the beginning of last month ruled that TVA would not have been immune from workers’ claims and refused to grant Jacobs immunity.

Jacobs in 2020 offered the workers $10 million if they agreed to overturn the 2018 verdict, destroy all records of Jacobs’ conduct in the cleanup, and never speak about what happened to them again. The workers refused.

The Tennessee Lookout has learned that the company again presented a settlement offer to workers earlier this year. They also refused it.

Although McCarthy did not disclose any information about the settlement offers during an interview Wednesday with the Tennessee Lookout, he expressed doubts about the company’s willingness to admit guilt.

“Their talk about wanting to settle down is just that – talking, nothing more,” he said. If they were sincere about it, it would have happened by now. The only way to get justice is to press for a jury trial.

Staples: In a new era, coaching positions on NIL/portal reveal generational divide


MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. — The amount a college football coach complains about name, image and likeness rules and transfer rules appears to be inversely proportional to the length of that coach’s remaining working life. Florida freshman coach Billy Napier is 42 years old. Presumably, he would like to remain employed at his current income level for a long time. He certainly knows the recent history of the job he just took, which is probably why he offered a different kind of history lesson on Tuesday before meeting his fellow SEC head coaches at the spring meetings of the conference.

“I am convinced that this is a positive point. We live in a different time,” Napier said. “If you go back to 1990 — I did some research the other day — each SEC institution received about $1.3 million a year from the league. Just 13 years ago, I think it was around $6 or $7 million, and I think this deal (2024) is in the 60 or 70 a year range. One of the things about my career is that I’ve been in the profession and watched this explosion. It’s silly to say that the players don’t deserve a piece of the pie. If there are no players in those stadiums, no one shows up to watch, and they certainly aren’t sitting at home watching it on TV.

The 2024 deal Napier is referring to is the SEC’s new media rights deal with Disney/ESPN that kicks in two years from now. The SEC hasn’t publicly released the revenue projections for this deal, but it does appear someone told Napier that each school’s annual cut would be about $70 million, down from about $55 million. in the SEC’s latest disclosure in February. Meanwhile, the Big Ten are closing in on a new media rights deal (starting in 2023) that should see the conference split a pot totaling about $1 billion a year. And the historical figures of Napier are close. In 1990, the SEC divided a total of $16.3 million among 10 members (less the conference cut to fund the league office). So $1.3 million per school is dead. Thirteen years ago, each school received $11.1 million a year. The $6 million per school figure would have been more accurate around 2001, but Napier’s more important point stands. The amount of money schools make from televising football games has skyrocketed, and coaches need to understand that whether they like it or not, they are part of an industry whose core business is creating TV shows. They do not work in higher education, although their offices are on college campuses. They are in the entertainment business.

Nothing exposes the generational divide in coaching more than this awareness. Last year’s changes – a sweeping change in transfer rules by schools as well as the invalidation of NCAA rules against paying players through state NIL laws and the trade end of a 9 decision -0 from the United States Supreme Court – upset coaches who grew up in a time when college sports were not a multibillion-dollar business. For coaches who didn’t enter the business before the head coaches of major colleges were already millionaires, the changes are just another thing they will have to deal with by retirement around 2050.

Nick Saban of Alabama and Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M have amused us the past few weeks by throwing accusations at each other based on rules that no longer exist. But beyond our “OOOOOH, FIIIIIIIIIIIGHT” playground fascination, it doesn’t matter if Fisher bought a recruiting class (not really against any rules that might be enforced) or if Saban has recruiting irregularities in his past ( not really against the rules anymore, plus there’s a statute of limitations that doesn’t date back to the turn of the century). They can have their spit. The younger ones need to figure out how to keep working so they can lead teams to national titles and become curmudgeons in a future age.

Florida coach Billy Napier has seen TV revenue skyrocket over his career, and he’d probably like to stay in coaching for a long time and split the profits. (Matt Pendleton / USA Today)

Like his fellow coaches, Napier would like to have strict guidelines on what coaches and athletic departments are allowed to do when it comes to name, image and likeness agreements for players. But unless the federal government comes to the rescue of college athletic departments with a comprehensive set of rules — a possibility that seems more remote by the day — Napier doesn’t look like a man ready to quit the company. whether he has to deal with players allowed to be transferred in the blink of an eye or recruitments that revolve around how much a player could earn on a NIL deal.

Nor Eli Drinkwitz, the 39-year-old Missouri coach. Someone tried to ask Drinkwitz on Tuesday about the difficulty of recruiting a roster again because players can be transferred so easily. “We’re pretty lucky to have these jobs, man,” Drinkwitz said. “I coached football in high school. I painted lines. In the summer, I used to open weight rooms. I have to come here on a private jet. I sit at the beach. Is it hard? Absolutely. Do we have the best jobs in the world? Absolutely. There’s no way I’m turning this into a “poor me” deal.

After attending various conference meetings this offseason, it’s clear that the younger generation of coaches seem far less concerned about NIL’s “resolve.” It will simply be a job change to which they will have to adapt.

Saban, 70, has led his teams to seven national titles due to his willingness to adapt to scheme changes and rule changes. The bigger question now – and it could be a game changer depending on the answer – is whether his vocal calls for hard and fast NIL rules are the result of an unwillingness to adapt in this particular case or they are a feast for the eyes. distracting everyone while he works behind the scenes to adapt to the changes in a way that continues to give Alabama the greatest possible advantage.

Saban demands an impression that all politics is local. Like all coaches, he knows he can’t say the ability to pay players is a bad thing. This would immediately be used against him in recruitment by rival coaches. But the NIL model that has been sold to the world – players already on campus are allowed to enjoy their fame rather than being paid what they are worth as football players – is the one he wants. And that makes sense. Although in his comments Saban hides his desire in an argument of competitive fairness, the truth is that in practice such a system would allow schools that recruited the best players from the old system to guarantee recruits that they would draw the best of the old system. new system. It would be great for Alabama, Ohio State or Georgia. It wouldn’t be so good for Tennessee, Miami or Florida.

The way NIL has evolved in practice – because competitors tend to compete when not constrained by collusion – Is factor of how much a rookie could possibly be worth as a football player. And that will translate into financial bets aimed at convincing some recruits to turn down schools that recruit the best players in favor of schools that recruit a notch or two below.

It has also created an uncertain market where NIL collectives and the football programs that do not guide them struggle to separate fact from fiction as agents seek the biggest paydays for clients and for themselves. This bothers some coaches and administrators. “We need some kind of transparency in name, likeness and likeness agreements to verify that players are doing what they need to do to have the opportunity to earn money in name, likeness and likeness. “said Saban. “Believe me, I’m all for players winning as much as they can win. But I also think we need to have a consistent and transparent way of doing that.

What you are looking at is the pain of a lack of information in an emerging market. Almost every private industry in America has dealt with this at some point. The salaries of software engineers / podcasters / Instagram clothing brand spokespersons are not published anywhere. So how do companies know what to pay? Their executives have spoken to enough applicants to get a basic idea of ​​the market rate for someone doing a certain job with a certain degree of skill. But what about when those jobs were new? Paying companies had to understand that. “College football player” is not a new occupation, but “college football player authorized to be paid from outside sources” is less than a year old. This market will take several years to grow, regardless of the rules.

Maybe Saban will get his wish with an unofficial network similar to the one that lets us know contract details for every NFL player. The player’s agent discloses the total, if-everything-breaks-exactly-the-player’s-path. Next, the team discloses the guaranteed amount and the number of cancellable years at the end of the agreement. Do this enough times, and Spotrac can create a database.

But agreements between private companies and individuals are more likely to go undisclosed — even just among school compliance departments — in the way Saban hopes. Drinkwitz was asked about the idea of ​​this kind of disclosure. “I don’t know if all your income is made public. I know mine is, and it’s not always necessarily fun,” Drinkwitz said. “I don’t know if that’s fair or appropriate for the student-athlete – although it would make more sense for us from a modeling point of view in terms of everyone knowing what’s going on. But for purposes from the NCAA and the SEC, we really need to focus on what is our central theme? What are we trying to do here? If it’s for the health and well-being of student-athletes and to protect students -athletes, then we have to make decisions in their best interest and not necessarily in our best interest.

Spoken like a man who knows that if he works to make the stars of all those TV shows happy, he might just be able to keep taking a private jet to the beach for a long time.

(Photo by Eliah Drinkwitz: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Government bonds fall as eurozone inflation hits new high


Government bonds fell on Tuesday after euro zone inflation data came in stronger than expected and rising oil prices intensified questions over how much central banks will raise interest rates. interest in curbing price growth.

In Europe, the yield on the 10-year German Bund – a gauge of borrowing costs in the EU – added 0.09 percentage point to 1.14%, extending a sell-off from the previous session after German inflation data also came out worse than expected. Italy’s equivalent yield increased by 0.15 percentage points. Bond yields rise as their prices fall.

US bonds also fell, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rising 0.12 percentage points to 2.87%.

The moves came after new data showed on Tuesday that consumer price growth in the euro zone hit 8.1% in May, down from 7.4% in April and above economists’ expectations of 7, 7%. The rise in Treasury yields also followed the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, when U.S. stock and bond markets were closed.

For Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, the EU agreement to ban most Russian oil imports was the main driver of the bond sell-off on Tuesday.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, rose 1.5% to $123.47, stoking concerns about even higher inflation and further interest rate hikes in the United States and in Europe, Paulsen added.

“[Rising energy prices] will feed [the US] the consumer price index and raise fears that inflation may not moderate as quickly as we thought,” he said. “That’s a change from last week and that’s what’s really hitting stocks and bonds.”

In equity markets, Wall Street’s S&P 500 fell 0.8% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.7%. Europe’s regional Stoxx 600 stock index fell 0.6%, while Germany’s Dax fell 1.2%.

Inflation that remains stubbornly high will put additional pressure on the European Central Bank to raise interest rates, said Kasper Elmgreen, head of equities at Amundi, Europe’s largest asset manager. “The direction of travel from a number of data points shows that inflation in Europe is surprisingly on the upside. We have yet to see the top.

Ahead of Tuesday’s European inflation data, Philip Lane, the ECB’s chief economist, said interest rate hikes of a quarter of a percentage point in July and September would be his “benchmark pace”. . He noted in an interview with Spanish business newspaper Cinco Días that the process of withdrawing stimulus “should be gradual.”

The prospect of higher interest rates and slower growth creates an “anti-Goldilocks” scenario for markets where neither bonds nor equities are attractive, says Hani Redha, multi-asset strategist at PineBridge Investments.

Elsewhere in equities, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 1.4%, after data showed Chinese manufacturing activity in May contracted at a slower pace than the previous month. The official manufacturing PMI rose to 49.6 from 47.4 in April. Any reading below 50 signals a contraction.

Shanghai also announced a partial relaxation of some of its coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Monday evening.

Clear Blue Technologies announces its financial results for the first quarter of 2022

Q1 revenue of $1,225,106gross margin of 41%, adjusted EBITDA of ($851,890)

Second tranche of unit offering closed for gross proceeds of $653,443 and total gross proceeds of $1.64 million

TORONTO, May 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Clear Blue Technologies International Inc. (“Light blue” and the “Company”) (TSXV: CBLU) (FRA: 0YA) (OTCQB: CBUTF), the Smart Off-Grid™ Company, announces its financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2022 (“Q1 2022”). A complete set of financial statements and management report (“Management report”) has been filed on www.sedar.com. All dollar amounts are denominated in Canadian dollars.

Main financial results

On a four quarter end (“QTF“) base:

  • Revenue was $5,914,758, down 18% from the TFQ ending Q1 2021. Recall that Q1 2021 and Q4 2020 revenue benefited from significant initial deployments with a telecommunications infrastructure operator in Africa. Normalized for these deployments, TFQ revenue would have increased year over year;
  • Gross profit was $2,011,797 or 34%, a 4% increase from the previous TFQ’s $1,941,028 or 27%;
  • Non-IFRS Adjusted EBITDA was $(2,998,255) versus $(3,103,830) for the previous TFQ.

For Q1 2022:

  • Revenue was $1,225,106, down 65% from Q1 2021 due to Q1 2021 receiving a large one-time order that deviated from the Company’s typical seasonality. On a 5-year trend, the first quarter is typically the company’s least seasonal quarter, accounting for 6-9% of total annual revenue. The first quarter of 2022 was the second highest quarter in the Company’s history (after the first quarter of 2021) and, based on historical trends, management believes that revenues for the first quarter of 2022 are in line to reach revenue guidance for fiscal year 2022 of approximately $10 million;
  • Reservations were $2,015,147 up 31% from $1,536,118 as of December 31, 2021;
  • Gross profit was $507,500 or 41% compared to $751,163 or 22% for Q1 2021;
  • Quarterly non-IFRS adjusted EBITDA was $(851,890) compared to $(416,969) in Q1 2021, due to lower revenue and the resulting increase in travel and marketing expenses , with the Company’s sales activities resuming in-person meetings.

Management Commentary and Perspectives

In the first quarter of 2022, Clear Blue gained popularity among its customers. The company announced new partner and customer agreements with YahClick, GCES and Viasat. New product announcements for Illumient and the groundbreaking product Pico-Grid have also generated significant interest in the market.

“The first quarter was a busy quarter in terms of sales and marketing,” said Miriam Tuerk, co-founder and CEO of Clear Blue. “We announced several new customers, partnerships and launched two new products. At the same time, we have witnessed a higher level of global macroeconomic uncertainty, which is impacting supply chains and corporate purchasing behavior. Although we did not lose any major contracts, some major contracts that we expected to close in the first quarter of 2022 have transitioned to smaller, staggered deployments. We also undertook an expense reduction program and allowed management and certain employees to accept reduced cash compensation in exchange for equity. These activities will bring the business to positive EBITDA and cash flow sooner at a lower than expected revenue threshold. Given the current macroeconomic market pressures, we are comfortable with a revenue forecast of approximately $10 million for the next four quarters. Our sales funnel, customer and project activities indicate continued strong demand for Clear Blue’s products, and with the closing of the second tranche of our unit offering, we are well positioned to seize our opportunities.

Second tranche of unit offering completed for a total of $1.64 million raised

Today, May 30, the Company announces the closing of the second tranche of a non-brokeraged unit offering (the “Offer”) for gross proceeds of approximately $653,443.

This second closing of the placement resulted in the issuance of 3,843,782 shares of the Company (each, a “Unityand collectively the “Units”) at a price of C$0.17 per Unit. Each Unit consists of one ordinary share in the capital of the Company (each, a “Ordinary share» and collectively the «Ordinary actions”) and one common share purchase warrant (each whole warrant, a “To guarantee» and collectively the «Mandates”). Each warrant entitles its holder to purchase one common share at a price of C$0.22 per common share for a period of 24 months from the date of grant.

Proceeds from the offering are expected to be used for sales, marketing, research and development, and working capital requirements.

Tranche 1 of this unit placement was completed and announced on April 29, 2022 for $989,834. Together, the two installments totaled $1,643,277.

All securities issued under the two tranches of the Offering are subject to a statutory hold period ending four months and one day from the closing date of the first tranche. The placement remains subject to final approval by the TSX Venture Exchange.

Conference call

The Company will host a conference call to discuss its latest financial results at 11:00 a.m. EST (Canada/US) on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Interested persons can register at: https://us06web.zoom .us/webinar /register/WN_y6NeIbuNRvqRYBhvO-lLOQ

For more information contact:

Miriam Tuerk, co-founder and CEO
+1 416 433 3952
[email protected]

Nikhil Thadani, Sophic Capital
+1 437 836 9669
[email protected]

About Clear Blue Technologies International

Clear Blue Technologies International, the Smart Off-Grid™ company, was founded on a vision to provide clean, managed “wireless power” to meet the global need for reliable, low-cost, solar and hybrid power for the lighting, telecommunications, security, Internet of Things devices and other critical systems. Today, Clear Blue manages thousands of systems in 37 countries, including the United States and Canada. (TSXV: CBLU) (FRA: 0YA) (OTCQB: CBUTF)

Legal disclaimer

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-looking statement

This press release contains certain “forward-looking information” and/or “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or of the current state, but represent only Clear Blue’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside Clear Blue’s control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipates”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, ” budget”, “planned”, “estimates”, “plans”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of these words and expressions or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “could”, “could”, “will”, “could” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be realized”. The forward-looking information contained in herein may include, but is not limited to, information regarding financial results and future future contracts.

By identifying such information and statements in this manner, Clear Blue cautions the reader that such information and statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, level of activity, Clear Blue’s performance or accomplishments. be materially different from those expressed or implied by such information and statements.

An investment in securities of Clear Blue is speculative and subject to several risks, including, without limitation, the risks described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Clear Blue’s listing application dated July 12, 2018 Although Clear Blue has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking information and forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to are not those anticipated, estimated or intended.

In connection with the forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release, Clear Blue has made certain assumptions. Although Clear Blue believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing, and the expectations contained in, the forward-looking information and statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information and statements, and no assurances or warranties can be assured that such forward-looking information and statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information and statements. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking information and statements attributable to Clear Blue or persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. »

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the securities described in this press release. These securities have not been and will not be registered under United States securities law or any state securities law and, accordingly, may not be offered or sold in the United States, nor to or on behalf of or for the benefit of persons in the United States or “US Persons”, as that term is defined in Regulation S promulgated under the US Securities Act, unless registered under the US Securities Act and applicable state securities laws or under an exemption from these registration requirements.

Rethinking Supply Chains: A Look at the Challenges Businesses Face


By KT Arasu, CME Group


  • Plans to relocate manufacturing operations to a second or third country could prove costly and complex in the face of pandemic-era realities
  • Relocating operations must consider a variety of challenges ranging from infrastructure to the availability of skilled labor and rising wages in emerging markets

The nature of globalization is changing. Supply chains are challenged – by tariffs, the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The recommended strategy is resilience through diversification. The logistics are incredibly complex.

We will look at some of the main factors driving this change.

Tariffs, Russia and Ukraine

Let’s start with the tariffs introduced by the United States in 2018 that led businesses and consumers to pay more for products imported from countries where the tariffs were applied. What started as a trickle with tariffs on $8.5 billion on solar panel imports and $1.8 billion on washing machines from China snowballed into tariffs on $350 billion of Chinese imports. Customs duties were then imposed on steel and aluminum imports mainly from Canada, EU, Mexico and South Korea.

What we have learned from the tariffs imposed by the various countries – the United States, China, the European Union, Canada, Japan, Mexico and others – is that such measures, once introduced, can remain in place even when the changing political climate. For example, the Biden administration has yet to remove all tariffs that went into effect during the Trump years, although some of the tariffs are being removed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to help reduce inflationary pressures.

Russia is a major exporter of oil and food products like wheat. The US embargo on imports of Russian oil helped push futures prices above $100 a barrel and gasoline prices at the pump above $4 a gallon. The EU, which gets 26% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas from Russia, is considering banning imports of Russian oil. The war also increased shipping costs which were falling after the pandemic’s big peak when demand for manufactured goods increased.

Shipping costs are higher but are well below pandemic highs

The lessons of the pandemic

The pandemic has taught us that different approaches to managing COVID-19 have led to very different challenges for supply chains, depending on location. Specifically, there are big differences between China’s Zero-Covid policy and the less stringent approaches taken in the United States and Europe.

Millions of people in China are stuck or have their movements restricted while hundreds of businesses have halted operations as the government tries to contain a new wave of the pandemic. The restrictions come at a time when China’s economic growth has slowed since the last quarter of 2021. In contrast, in the United States, the mask mandate while traveling on public transport has been overturned by a US court and attendance at open events is increasing. as the spring weather encourages people to go out more – although attendance at public places is still far from pre-pandemic levels.

Strategy is easier than logistics

From a strategic perspective, companies around the world are rethinking their supply chains. Yet, from a logistics perspective, companies are quickly realizing that changing supply chains can be difficult. Two important things companies consider when offshoring are maintaining or improving market share and effectively managing operational costs while trying to improve supply chain resilience.

Some companies may be confident that they can pass the additional costs on to their customers, but others may be concerned that if a major competitor sticks with its old low-cost model, it could take market share at a lower cost. In other words, changing supply chains involves some game theory in terms of what competitors might be doing.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in a report that greenfield investment in emerging markets and developing economies in 2021 was 43% below 2019 levels. Greenfield is a form of investment foreign direct where a parent company builds its operations from scratch in another country. The decline in this type of investment reflects the difficulty of moving supply chains.

Challenges of relocation operations

Let’s look at some of the cost and complexity considerations involved in moving a production center from one country to another or setting up a parallel manufacturing center in a second or third country.

Input power: When moving to another country to manufacture a product, a company must ensure that the country to which it is relocating has the raw materials necessary to manufacture its product. For example, if you make furniture, you will need to choose a country that has the appropriate type of materials to build your furniture. The raw material usually needs to be close to your factory location and you need to ensure that there are suitable modes of transportation to get the raw materials to the factory. There must also be relatively inexpensive labor to ensure your competitiveness.

Output delivery: How do you deliver the finished product to your customers? The company needs access to suitable roads, railways and ports from the new manufacturing site to deliver products to customers in other countries. Shipping costs from the point of manufacture to destination markets could also play an important role in establishing new operations in a second or third country.

Reliance on highly specific, single-source inputs: Some key inputs for some manufactured goods are scarce or produced in only a few places. For example, the Republic of Congo is the world’s largest producer of cobalt. Manufacturing processes dependent on highly specific inputs from relatively few sources will struggle to protect themselves.

The cost of inputs increases: Input costs (output prices?) are currently rising faster than the rate of consumer price inflation. This higher cost factor comes at a time when one may wish to reduce manufacturing costs. The U.S. producer price index for all final goods and services is (April 2022) 11% higher than a year ago, while the goods component of the consumer price index production is at a higher level of 16%.

Skilled labor: Relocation operations depend to a large extent on the availability of skilled labor or a pool of workers who can be easily trained in skilled operations. The availability of labor in China has been one of its advantages, but this position is contested by emerging countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mexico and others.

Wages: Salaries are increasing in many countries, which also makes the process more expensive and difficult. Higher wages may also come with a higher likelihood of labor disputes, strikes and work stoppages. For example, port unions on the West Coast of the United States are currently negotiating a new labor contract.

Prices paid by wholesalers have increased

A tight labor market pushed wages up

Ability to pass on costs: Companies in different sectors will have different opportunities to pass costs on to their customers, and this will depend in part on their competitive environment. Companies with strong competition and tight margins are much less likely to change their supply chains unless absolutely essential.

Unrelated but simultaneous considerations: Central banks withdraw their accommodative measures, which has repercussions on currencies. The Japanese yen had crashed to a 20-year low against the US dollar amid diverging monetary policies between the two countries – the Federal Reserve has raised rates by 75 basis points in two moves since March, while the Bank of Japan eases its monetary policy. Politics. The People’s Bank of China is also easing, with the yuan falling to its lowest level in a year against the greenback.

Yuan weakness reflects Chinese growth concerns

At the end of the line

From a strategic perspective, it remains to be seen whether we are entering a period of de-globalization and economic fragmentation. From a logistical point of view, the process of relocating operations is difficult, complex, takes years and is expensive, with a relatively high risk for the capital investment.

Some companies may find it difficult to pass on costs in industries with high competition and tight margins, while managing the effects of inflation and changing central bank policies.

Read more articles like this on OpenMarkets

Future Independent Retail Administrators Call Amazon Fraudulent Scheme Claims ‘False’


The independent administrator of Future Retail Ltd (FRL) has dismissed Amazon’s allegations that Amazon facilitated a fraudulent scheme to transfer 835 stores to Reliance Retail, calling them “bogus” and said the retail major electronics was attempting to create a narrative by using the company “as a pawn” to wage its battle against billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

They said that due to the “cumulative effect” of Amazon’s misconduct, FRL’s lenders rejected the ₹24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail and the company’s account was declared NPA because it had failed to monetize the assets by selling the small-format stores to repay some of the monies owed to the banks.

Slamming Amazon for making “false statements” and submitting “false documents” before the fair-trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI), which had in December 2021 issued its order approving major e-commerce approval for the investment in the Future Group company on hold, the independent directors said preaching governance to them was akin to “a demon preaching vedas”.

“…it is not for a company like yours to preach governance to us.

The independent administrators also alleged that Amazon was trying to acquire key FRL assets on the cheap for ₹7,000 crore through Samara.

“When Reliance offered ₹25,000 crore for the scheme, Amazon spared no effort to escalate this deal, and eventually succeeded on the grounds that the financial institutions blatantly refused to sanction the scheme considering the uncertainty that weighed on him,” the independent directors said in a letter dated May 28.

After destroying FRL’s prospects, Amazon has now started making another round of false claims, they alleged.

The independent administrators alleged that Amazon “illegally” dragged FRL into its dispute with Future Coupons Private Limited (FCPL) and obtained an injunction in October 2020 from SIAC preventing FRL from implementing the agreement.

This made FRL’s store owners worried about the prospect of recovering their pending dues, as the company was facing financial difficulties as early as March 2020.

“Landlords are free to manage their properties as they see fit and they have leased these business premises to Reliance. FRL could not have prevented the leasing of business premises by these individual owners to Reliance,” he said. he declares.

As the plan of arrangement for the sale and transfer of the Future Group retail assets was pending implementation, Reliance permitted FRL to continue operations from these premises by entering into license agreements subject to the payment of license fees.

However, after the deal was canceled and the company faced insolvency due to Amazon’s action, Reliance in February and March 2022 issued termination letters and refused FRL’s access to the Store’s premises exercising its rights under the Contract.

“We reaffirm once again that no retail stores were divested by FRL to Reliance and that there was no scheme to divest stores to Reliance,” they said.

Earlier, Amazon in a letter to FRL’s independent trustees this month accused them of facilitating a ‘fraudulent scheme’ to transfer 835 stores to billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Group, claiming the story of the transfer was due to the non-payment of huge unpaid rent was a “sham” as the retailer had stated a month before such a move that the unpaid rent was only ₹250 crore.

The US retailer wrote on May 19 to FRL’s independent trustees that the company had in a meeting with major lending banks on January 1, 2022 “categorically admitted that the unpaid rental fee was only ₹250 crore FRL further stated that it voluntarily retained the amount”.

“Amazingly, FRL had managed to do this without halting any of its operations or divesting its stores,” he wrote.

“Therefore, any narrative that there has been an alleged transfer due to the non-payment of huge unpaid rent for no less than 835 retail stores, that too as of February 26, 2022, is nothing other than a sham and a false narrative to regulators, creditors, shareholders and the Courts.”

In response, FRL’s independent directors said that Amazon was neither a shareholder nor a creditor of FRL and that, on the contrary, it was responsible for FRL’s current situation.

“Having destroyed all prospects of reviving the FRL, it is remarkable that Amazon wrote a letter like this,” they said, adding that the letter is a regurgitation of baseless allegations made by Amazon before various authorities, including in ongoing proceedings before the Delhi High Court.

“It is regrettable that Amazon is trying to pursue the same frivolous and unsupportable allegations in different forums and issuing defamatory and slanderous public statements in this regard, even though these cases are currently pending in the Delhi High Court under a lawsuit brought by Amazon itself. This is yet another demonstration of Amazon’s disregard for Indian law and indifference to the rule of law in India,” they said.

Future and Amazon were locked in a bitter legal battle after the US e-commerce giant dragged Future Group to arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) in October 2020, arguing that FRL breached their contract by entering into a agreement to sell its assets to Reliance Retail on a sell-down basis for ₹24,713 crore.

Published on

May 30, 2022

Around Town: Palo Alto Community Fund Awards Record 96 Grants to Nonprofits | New


In the latest column, news from the Palo Alto Community Fund awarding nearly 100 grants to local nonprofits, the city council advancing a plan to upgrade Fire Station 4, and Stanford students hosting an event in support of Ukraine.

RECORD YEAR FOR DONATIONS… Dozens of local associations have received financial support from the Palo Alto Community Fundwhich awarded a record 96 grants totaling $1.7 million, the organization announced May 23. The funds support a variety of causes on the peninsula, including education, families, and improving community relations and vulnerable groups.

“We are buoyed by the bold generosity of our donors and the courageous commitment of our local nonprofit community ecosystem,” said the CEO. Lisa VanDussen said in a May 23 press release. “Through our trust-based approach, PACF provides all-too-scarce general operational support that gives our grantees the flexible resources they need to be nimble and responsive to the changing needs of those they serve.”

Most grantees received annual grants. For the first time, the Community Fund awarded 15 two-year grants.

This year’s cast includes five Dave Mitchell Impact Grants, which are dedicated to nonprofits working for housing security, mental health, food security, childcare, and education equity in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park. These grants were awarded to Bread and Fish Home Cooking, Palo Alto Community Child Care, University of Palo Altothe Ravenswood Educational Foundation (for Ravenswood Talent Initiative) and United builders of hope.

Three organizations were selected for Cammie Vail Executive Director Grantswhich bears the name of the former director of the fund who retired in June 2020: Center of Excellence in Nonprofit Organizations, Silicon Valley Nonprofit Council and Thrive, the San Mateo County Nonprofit Alliance. For a full list of recipients, visit paloaltocommfund.org/pacf-grantees.

READY FOR AN UPGRADE… Palo Alto has quietly advanced its plan to replace the aging and undersized fire station near Mitchell Parkone of the few remaining projects in the city council’s 2014 infrastructure plan.

Although construction won’t start for some time, the council on May 23 approved a $797,178 contract with the company. Brown Reynolds Watford Architects for design services associated with the $10.7 million project. Fire station 4which is located at 3600 Middlefield Road, was one of two fire stations identified as in need of replacement. The other, Fire station 3 near Rinconada Parkwas completed in March 2020.

A Department of Public Works report notes that the structure, which was built in 1954, “does not meet the current needs of the fire service and does not effectively utilize the current 0.6 acre portion of the property”.

Like Fire Station 3, the new Mitchell Park station will have drive-through bays for fire department vehicles and a firefighter training room.

Brown Reynolds Watford Architects was selected from eight proposals, according to staff.

According to Public Works staff, one of the company’s references praised the company for designing a fire station that “fits in well with the neighborhood by complementing the surrounding areas”, while another shared positive experiences in “value engineering” so that the project could fit within the agency’s budget. The board approved the design contract unanimously, without discussion.

If things go according to plan, Palo Alto plans to start construction in the spring of 2024.

UNITED FOR UKRAINE… It has been more than three months since Russia invaded Ukraine, and there seems to be no sign of an end to the conflict soon, but local support in the war-torn country has not wavered.

On May 8, the Association of Ukrainian Students at Stanford held a Lighthouse event, one of many held around the world. The local rally raised over $20,000 to support various missions in Ukraine. The event included food, art, music and speakers, including Michael McFaulformer United States Ambassador to Russia and head of the university Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (ISP).

“In my opinion, Putin has already lost this war. … He can win a few battles but the big war, the goals, he’s already lost,” McFaul said. He applauded the participants for their support for Ukraine and stressed that the fight was not over.

After his remarks, the organizers present McFaul with a trident statue, which is featured on the coat of arms of Ukraine. Other participants included Francois FukuyamaFSI Principal Investigator at Stanford, and Dmytro KushnerukConsul General of Ukraine in San Francisco.

Power Factor Correction Devices Market Size and Forecast


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NSW company Spewy sees mum use ‘gross’ idea to win $1m


New South Wales had a harrowing and “stinking” 10 hour road trip, but when she looked for a solution to the problem, there was none. But the messy experiment will now pay off.

When Jo Hardie went on a family vacation that involved a 10-hour drive, her eldest daughter started throwing up just hours into the car journey.

It was a messy experience that created mountains of washouts.

‘Before we left she was running around and was fine but had caught vomiting and was sick the whole way,’ she told news.com.au

“I ended up using clean towels and clothes to catch the spit. We arrived in Queensland and I went online to try and find a product that would help when the kids were sick in the car.

But the mum-of-three was left blank on her search while dealing with the fallout from the road trip.

“Cleaning a leaky car seat is no fun and it stinks if your child has been sick in the car,” she added.

“It’s not just trying to contain the spit, it’s the smell, even with the windows down it’s still there.”

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This led the NSW mum, who lives in a country town called Dungog, to borrow her friend’s sewing machine and research what was the most absorbent material.

She then went shopping at Spotlight and Clark Rubber to create a product that would be absorbent enough to catch vomit and wouldn’t leak either.

The 35-year-old spent six months finding a manufacturer before launching her business, called Spewy, in November 2018.

She initially sold around 200 products a month, but said that has grown tremendously over the past four years to around 1,500.

That means the stay-at-home mom is on track to earn $1 million in 2022, a huge jump from the $57,000 she earned in the first year.

“I started the business from my house when we lived in Maitland and it got to the point where my husband had to build me an office and storage space under the house as we had no room to move into the house because of inventory and orders,” she said.

“We moved and got our first warehouse in November last year and in December we took over the warehouse next door and are now having a warehouse built to move into in August.”

Its first product — vomit rags that sell for $36.95 — has now expanded to solving another messy problem, bed mats for potty-training kids.

“It means you can take the bed mat off when they have an accident and put a new one on and it makes getting back to bed easier and there’s less washing up,” she said.

Ms Hardie said it was ‘overwhelming’ to see the response to her four-year-old business as it is set to hit the six million mark this year, but said it felt good to help people with a “gross” problem.

There are also big plans for the company. She launches children’s training pants and wants her husband to be able to quit his full-time job and come to work for her.

She added that she often reacted strongly to the name of her company, but did not regret using it.

“I get a lot of comments ranging from ‘It’s really Australian and I love the name’ to ‘The name disgusts me, couldn’t you call it something else? ‘” she said.

“At the end of the day, if a child has gastro, you don’t have to think about what the product is – that’s where I went with the brand on it, just to make life easier for parents so that they didn’t remember anything else.

Millions traveling over Memorial Day holiday, despite record gas prices


BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) — As millions of Texans hit the highway for Memorial Day weekend, others are cutting back on spending due to sky-high gas prices.

“It’s affecting everyone and it’s a crisis for everyone,” said Bryan resident Walter Ward. “It’s incredible.”

With 2.8 million Texans hitting the road this weekend, many see high fuel prices as nothing more than cash in smoke.

“It’s about $150 to fill my truck right now, so that’s one of the reasons we’re not going anywhere,” Ward said.

It is worse for those who drive diesel-powered vehicles. A diesel driver we spoke to at a College Station gas station said he was spending up to $160 for a tank and was planning to drive to Dallas for Memorial weekend Day.

“That’s a 5% increase from last year and it’s also pretty close to the record that was set in 2019 which was 3.1 million Texans driving,” said Daniel Armbruster, with AAA Texas, “We will still see a lot of people on the roadways.”

AAA says prices won’t drop anytime soon.

“With demand on the rise and also more people traveling as well as financial market volatility, we may continue to see gasoline prices rise.”

It’s no wonder motorists like Ward are trying to cut back on their daily commutes, while planning their summer trips.

“I think some people will still travel. I think the people you know still want to do what they want to do and had plans to do even though gas prices are going up,” Ward said.

Of course, it could always be worse.

In California, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline is just under $6.08 according to AAA.

The average here in Texas is $4.25.

You can also find the cheapest gas in the B-CS area by visiting our KBTX Pump Patrol page.

Copyright 2022 KBTX. All rights reserved.

It’s party time as India solves its population problem

If you grew up in India in the 90s, you often heard the government slogan. “Hum Do Hamare Do”, meaning “We two, our two”, urging families to have no more than two children each.

A government study which has just been published indicates that India has achieved this goal. It’s a mystery why we don’t celebrate this historic moment.

The just-released National Family Health Survey-5, a government study conducted in 2019-2020, shows that India’s total fertility rate (or the average number of children produced by a woman) has fallen at 2.0.

The replacement rate is 2.1, when a population size is said to be stabilized. Below 2.1, the population size begins to decrease. In other words, India no longer has to worry about a population “explosion”. The size of the Indian population should now start to decrease.

This is a huge victory for population scholars, women’s rights activists and public health experts who have been successful in getting the Indian government to focus on maternal health, access to contraceptives and awareness in the 90s. Credit also goes to “ASHA” or the credentialed social health activists who brought the revolution to the doorstep of the village.

A victory for democracy

It was a policy of empowering women and allowing families to make their own decisions, rather than forcing family planning on people against their will.

To that extent, it is also a victory for India’s democratic ideals. In some years, the size of India’s population may exceed that of China, as China’s total fertility rate is still lower than India’s (1.7 in 2020). But in a few decades, India will face the same problem as China, an aging and shrinking population with an insufficient number of young people to add to the workforce.

Democratic India has always had the impulse to impose population control on the people. During Indira Gandhi’s emergency in 1975-77, her out-of-control son Sanjay Gandhi forced the government to forcibly sterilize some young men. This decision is attributed to the main reason why she lost the 1977 election.

Do not despair of Bihar

The statewide variations are fascinating. Only 5 states are above the replacement level of 2.1. These are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya and Manipur. Before we despair, it should be noted that even these states have seen a significant decline and are on track to reach 2.1 in a few years. At least UP, Bihar and Jharkhand here are proof that family planning is proportional to literacy and access to health services.

When a woman cannot have an abortion or easily access abortion pills or a poor worker does not receive free contraceptives in a public hospital, that is government failure. India’s population “explosion” has been overcome by these policy interventions.

It is revealing to look at the urban-rural difference. Urban India’s total fertility rate according to the survey is 1.6, while rural India is 2.1. So, while rural India has reached the replacement rate, urban India is well below. Today, people no longer need extra children to work as children. They increasingly view children as a financial responsibility that should not be taken lightly.

In Bihar, the worst performer with a TFR of 2.98, the rural TFR is 3.1 and the urban TFR 2.4. In highly populated Uttar Pradesh, the urban TFR is 1.9 and rural 2.5.

The Muslim Scarecrow

Population “control” has long been used as a bogeyman against Muslims. Majority extremists have often suggested that Indian Muslims deliberately produce more children to ensure that India becomes a Muslim majority country. Every 5 years the National Survey of Family Health has proven this myth wrong.

The TFR for Indian Muslim women as a whole fell from 3.6 in 1998-99 to 2.36 in the latest survey (2019-20). Indian Muslims have experienced the largest drop in fertility rate. If their ISF is still slightly higher than the national average, this is proof that they are socio-economically less well off.

Similar to the states of UP and Bihar, the TFR of Indian Muslims is directly proportional to literacy and access to maternal health and family planning services.

Lost demographic opportunity

This achievement should be cause for national celebration as people have worried about population size for decades. The concern was always a bit misplaced, because a young population also means cheap labour. India has failed to harness this “demographic dividend” by missing the manufacturing bus.

In a few decades – sooner than you think – we will have the opposite problem. We will be aging and poor, and politicians will face pressure for better services for the elderly.

But for now, we should celebrate. Anyone who has walked down an Indian street can say that there are too many of us. It is a relief to know that most Indians only want one or two children.

How should plans consider members’ ESG concerns? – DB & Derisking


Pension funds increasingly need to take account of their members’ concerns about ESG factors.

This is new ground for many plans and there should be a balance in doing so, says Jo Sharples, chief investment officer of defined contribution solutions at Aon.

She explained that when members’ opinions are asked, there is a risk that only the most committed or interested members will respond.

Pension funds must go beyond simply operating in “transmission” mode

Georgia Stewart, Tumelo

“As a result, these opinions may be those of a small minority rather than those of the membership as a whole,” she says.

Many members think their employers invest ethically

There is also a financial aspect to consider because directors have a fiduciary responsibility to members, Sharples notes.

Maria Nazarova-Doyle, head of pension investments and responsible investing at Scottish Widows, agrees, explaining that the main role of a pension provider is to ensure the financial security of retired members.

She emphasizes that this is all the more important since the majority of savers are in default strategies, which makes the pension fund more responsible.

Sharples and Nazarova-Doyle, however, argue that fiscal responsibility can go hand-in-hand with member concerns and ESG efforts.

“A responsible investment strategy can create long-term sustainable benefits for everyone,” says Nazarova-Doyle.

In terms of timing, there are arguments in favor of taking ESG considerations into account in good time.

Kirsty Moffat, DC Engagement Manager at Hymans Robertson, advocates raising this topic early on in anticipation of changing expectations.

“In member surveys we’ve conducted, a large proportion of members say they believe their employer will invest their retirement savings in ethical and ESG-friendly funds,” she says.

She warns that for pension funds where this is not the case, it can often lead to a “disconnect” between members and their scheme.

Stepping stones to understanding

Raising ESG issues may require training for members, says one expert.

Georgia Stewart, co-founder and chief executive of Tumelo, a tech company that facilitates member engagement on ESG issues through voting platforms, says pension funds must first make sure members understand where their money is invested and how it is managed

Moffat adds, “Previously, especially in a world of defined benefit pension plans, members didn’t know what they were invested in, and pensions were something you only thought about in retirement.

“Today, with everything digitized, members can see the size of their pension pots with the click of a button.”

She explains that this is also leading to an increase in ESG inquiries from members as they increasingly see the introduction of ESG investment options into DC default strategies and self-selected fund ranges. .

But data remains an issue when educating members because data from fund managers can often be inconsistent.

There are other reasons programs should be wary, Moffat warns. “Providing more information to members can invite deeper scrutiny from members and ultimately more work for the plan,” she says.

Here, Sharples suggests that if data isn’t available, pension plans can consider sharing case studies with members instead.

“These can tell a story for members and don’t necessarily require data, helping to address some of the data challenges we’re seeing while also sending a really positive message,” Sharples says.

A “two-way dialogue”

Once members understand their investments and how ESG considerations are integrated into them, the core of member engagement is communication, according to Stewart.

“Pension funds need to go beyond just operating in ‘transmission’ mode, where they send out an annual report on what they have done; they need to have a continuous, two-way dialogue with their members,” she says.

Stewart adds that pension plans as a whole find it “extremely difficult” to guess how members would like them to vote on different ESG issues.

This is made difficult by shifting views over time and the fact that members may vote very differently from resolution to resolution, “even on seemingly very similar issues,” she says.

Members’ opinions may be influenced by the world around them. Nazarova-Doyle explains that socio-economic shocks, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine, can change member mindsets and values. This makes ongoing dialogue crucial.

Occasional online polls and annual member forums have taken over from the former member-appointed administrator, and are even now being replaced by even more interactive technology.

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For example, Nazarova-Doyle explains that Scottish Widows has launched a tool in its app called “Find your impact”, through which it can ask members questions about their fund range, as well as management priorities and fundraising activities. engagement with portfolio companies.

Sharples says it’s often easier to consider members’ views on broader ESG issues, such as climate change, than on specific issues such as whether to invest in a certain company .

“Once you’ve decided which viewpoints/concerns to take into account, it’s then a matter of deciding where to incorporate them into the investment strategy,” adds Sharples.

“For more specific views, this can be done more easily through the range of self-selecting funds.”

Corruption Scandal Will Cost Glencore $1.1 Billion – Billionaire Executives Avoid Blame, For Now


Marc Rich, the legendary commodities trader, fled the United States for Europe in 1983 after being indicted for trading Iranian oil during the 1979 hostage crisis and evading $50 million in taxes . From Switzerland, Rich continued to operate Marc Rich & Co. until he sold the trading house to his proteges in 1994. By the time President Bill Clinton pardoned Rich by his last day in office in 2001, the company had been renamed Glencore International. Rich died in 2013, aged 79, a billionaire and a free man – an example Glencore’s next generation of big cats are now looking to follow.

Including Rich (and his longtime right-hand man Pincus Green, now retired with around $900 million), the company has spawned at least nine billion-dollar fortunes. The wealthiest of the Glencore gang is former CEO Ivan Glasenberg, at $8.9 billion, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaire ranking. Others include Daniel Mate, 58, a metals trader worth an estimated $3.6 billion, and oil trader Tor Peterson at $2.7 billion.

All three left the company within the past two years, but neither they nor other billionaire executives have yet been singled out in the Justice Department’s investigation into Glencore’s misdeeds. solved this week with the company’s admissions of guilt and $1.1 billion in fines.

According to a statement by US attorney Damian Williams, executives probably knew something: “With the approval and knowledge of key executives”, Glencore traders for over a decade until 2018 made sure that bribes seem common. Glencore now admits its traders have bribed foreign officials to secure contracts and shipments, bribed bureaucrats to avoid audits and bribed judges to snuff out lawsuits. His fine under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act will be $430 million, with forfeiture of $270 million in ill-gotten gains.

Two Glencore traders have so far pleaded guilty and will soon be sentenced. First, Emilio Jose Heredia Collado of California admitted conspiring to manipulate the price of marine fuel oil at the ports of Los Angeles and Houston. (These shenanigans will cost Glencore a $341 million fine and the confiscation of $144 million in profits.) The second is the government’s star witness, Anthony Stimler, a former senior oil trader overseeing West Africa. Last year, Stimler pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering. He owns would have shown remorseand helped elucidate for prosecutors the details of how Glencore, via “dozens of deals”, paid millions in bribes to Nigerian officials.

According to documents filed by the DOJ, Glencore traders referred to the bribes in the code as “logs”, “newspapers” and “pages”. For example, when a trader asked for $90,000 to grease the hands of Nigeria’s Pipelines Products Marketing Company (PPMC) officials, they said in an email that was the “amount they needed to cover PPMC in newspaper reading material”. An intermediary from Glencore West Africa sent an e-mail stating that “the logs will be delivered” by him in person.

In 2014, Stimler, according to DOJ documents, was ordered to make a $300,000 “advance” for the re-election campaign of a Nigerian official. Payment was made by wire transfer from a Glencore bank account in Switzerland via a New York bank to an account belonging to a Nigerian in Cyprus. In 2015, in order to be able to buy oil shipments from Nigeria, Glencore had to pay $50,000 per shipment as an “advance payment”. According to court documents, Glencore made illicit profits of $124 million from the scheme.

Other details include $147,000 in ‘Operation Carwash’ payments to three Brazilian officials at state-controlled oil giant Petrobras, which were disguised as a ‘service charge’ of 50 cents per barrel of Brazilian oil purchased by Glencore. In total, Glencore allegedly paid $40 million in illicit payments to Brazilian officials.

In Venezuela, Glencore paid $1.3 million to government-linked intermediaries to expedite $12 million in late payments that Petroleos de Venezuela owed the trading house under oil contracts.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, when a lawsuit alleged Glencore breached a contract and owed $16 million in damages, a company intermediary held a private meeting with the judge presiding over the case, paid a $500,000 bribe disguised as a bogus invoice for legal work, and the lawsuit is off. In the DRC, Glencore admits to having paid 27.5 million dollars in bribes.

DOJ documents do not mention any Glencore executives other than Stimler and Heredia Collado by name. But there are many unnamed parties. “Executive 1” is a British citizen who, until 2019, was responsible for trading oil around the world. “Executive 2” was an oil and gas trader who had worked for the company since 1987 and left in 2018 after approving a $325,000 payment through an intermediary to Nigerian officials. “Executive 3”, another British citizen, ran the copper and zinc trade.

Stimler’s cooperation will likely earn him leniency in sentencing. And he may not be the only one looking for a deal among Glencore’s 133,000 employees. The DOJ’s agreement with Glencore stated that it offered no protection against individual lawsuits.

Without assuming who might be in legal danger, it’s worth asking who has the most to lose. Besides the aforementioned Glasenbergs, Mates and Petersons, other Glencore billionaires include:

Aristotelis Mistakidis, 60, who quit in 2018 after being disciplined by Canadian authorities for accounting violations in a mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He had managed the copper business and its value is estimated at $3.5 billion.

Alex Beard, 55, Head of Global Oil Trading, retired in 2019; his net worth is estimated at $2.25 billion.

Gary Fegel, 48, who ran the aluminum business, left in 2013. He is worth at least $1.6 billion.

And then there’s Dan Gertler. The 48-year-old Israeli has a fortune estimated by Forbes at $1.2 billion, much of it stemming from his 2017 sale to Glencore of two mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Trump administration has sanctioned Gertler for making his fortune illegally acting as an agent for DRC President Joseph Kabila, to whom he is alleged having paid millions in bribes. Gertler has since been fight with Glencore on the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties from Congo’s cobalt mines. This year, Gertler has reportedly negotiated a plea deal with US officials in an effort to end criminal investigations against him.

Glencore investors seem unfazed by the bribery scandal. The company previously revealed that it expected a financial hit of around $1.5 billion. Its bonds trade around par; shares at $13 (down 1% on Thursday on the London Stock Exchange) are just off a 10-year high. Glencore’s market capitalization is $85 billion, or about 18 times earnings. Glencore is in the enviable position of being among the world’s biggest energy traders in a time of soaring prices and shortages, as well as one of the biggest miners of metals like copper, aluminum and cobalt. – all essential for the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles and other alternative energy sources.

The company insists it has already been cleaning house for years and that even before it knew about the DOJ investigation, it had taken steps to improve ethics and compliance and took corrective action, including punishing employees. CEO Glasenberg left last year to be replaced by Gary Nagle, 47, who joined Glencore in 2000. In a statement this week, chairman Kalidas Madhavpeddi insisted they had cleaned things up. “Glencore today is no longer the company it was when the unacceptable practices that gave rise to this misconduct occurred.”

The Lebanese pound is trading at a record high of 35,000 to the dollar


A currency exchange seller counts U.S. dollar banknotes next to Lebanese pounds at a currency exchange office in Beirut, Lebanon May 24, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

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BEIRUT, May 26 (Reuters) – The Lebanese pound traded at a record high of more than 35,000 to the dollar on Thursday, according to exchange platforms and traders, as divisions in a newly elected parliament are fueling fears that the political paralysis will deteriorate the country’s financial situation. crisis.

The legislature elected on May 15 has yet to hold its first session with major blocs divided over who to elect as speaker of parliament.

The country reached a provisional agreement with the International Monetary Fund in April, but several pre-measures for the release of funds, including amendments to bank secrecy regulations and a capital control bill, have yet to be passed by the government. the parliament. Read more

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The pound has lost more than 95% of its value since 2019, when it was valued at 1,500 just before the country plunged into economic collapse.

Lebanon’s three-year financial crisis has plunged three quarters of the population into poverty and food prices have soared more than 11 times, with further price increases seen in supermarkets this week.

After decades of pegging the currency, the central bank is now offering multiple rates, including a flexible exchange rate that was trading around 25,000 this week.

The spread between market exchange rates and the central bank rate has widened considerably since the May 15 election.

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Reporting by Maya Gebeily; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

DVIDS – News – California Ports, Waterways and Shipping Discussed at CMANC Conference

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Addressing the challenges facing coastal and inland waterways, senior leaders from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participated in the first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic with the California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference of the May 18 to 20 in San Pedro.

CMANC is a consortium of California ports, harbors, and maritime interest groups with the goal of maximizing California’s maritime benefits by advocating for the maintenance and improvement of ports, harbors, and navigation projects from California. To do this, he works with the California legislature and congressional delegation to ensure that California’s maritime interests are supported by the federal and state government to the fullest extent possible.

“For more than 60 years, CMANC, which is the local, non-federal sponsor in California for navigation projects – as well as the dredging contractors and engineering companies that support California’s navigation mission – have worked with the Corps in order to achieve this,” said James Haussner, executive director of CMANC. “We certainly appreciate the engineering expertise and federal funding that is flowing through the Corps, so that California can move 40% of containerized cargo currently to the United States, as well as strong recreational and commercial fisheries.”

The Corps was represented by Major General William “Butch” Graham, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations; Colonel Antionette Gant, commander of the South Pacific Division; Los Angeles District Commander Col. Julie Balten; and San Francisco District Commander Lt. Col. Kevin Arnett. In addition, Jim Fields and Al Paniccia, Navigation Program Managers for LA and San Francisco Districts, respectively, and Dr. Todd Bridges, Corps Principal Investigator, made presentations.

Balten outlined projects underway within California’s 840-mile coastline with updates from the LA District on dam safety; environmental projects, such as the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Project; and construction projects, adding that the LA district has the highest number of permit applications of any district in the country and has the ability to accept and spend funds from non-federal sponsors to expedite the review of applications. of permits.

“Section 214 (of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000) allows non-federal public entities to enter into funding agreements with the Corps that we can use to expedite their projects,” Balten explained, adding that the San Pedro Breakwater was the very first construction project built by the District of Los Angeles in 1902.

For Arnett and the District of San Francisco, CMANC is “a great voice and a collector-aggregator of some of the interests that are important for us to consider as we prepare to deliver our navigational missions – establishing a forum, helping to organize and collect voices and issues,” Arnett said. “It’s a great way to ensure we have an effective way to really understand what we’re doing from the perspective of other stakeholders, whether it’s contractors or the Corps. It’s a great place and a great group.

Regarding the Corps’ work on environmental issues, Bridges described CMANC as a forum for “unlimited potential for the shipping industry to support nature and for nature to support the shipping industry.” He asked questions at the conference about how to design with nature and what was needed for operations.

“What science do we need to support innovation in engineering and operations to bring navigational infrastructure closer to nature and nature-based solutions?” Bridges asked. “That’s why I’m here.

On May 20, Suzy Watkins, Harbor Manager for the Port of San Luis and current CMANC President, introduced Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, telling attendees how Connor took the time to join them despite his busy schedule and would be returning to Washington immediately after speaking.

“The most important thing we should know about him is that he’s a man who keeps his promises,” Watkins said.

Connor spoke about the mutual interests of the Corps and CMANC, such as climate resilience and smart infrastructure. In April, on his 10th port visit as Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), he met with President Joe Biden in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where the corps had completed an expansion project that included planned maintenance costs using appropriate dollars, as well as bipartisan money for infrastructure. As he spoke, he said his deputy and Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, were in Norfolk, Va., to celebrate a deepening/broadening partnership agreement. being developed between the Corps and the Port of Virginia.

“The Navigation Area and What We Do – inland waterways and coasts – is the first in the Army Corps of Engineers’ portfolio of civil engineering missions, beginning in 1824. It holds a special and important place for this what the Army Corps of Engineers does,” Connor said.

The second component of the portfolio, Connor said, is to build innovative climate-resilient infrastructure to protect communities and ecosystems, adding that the Corps integrates climate information and the need to design with this in mind at the future in its construction activities.

“I know you are all doing this in the investment in the ports themselves, even as we carry out the deepening and widening projects,” he said. “I also think the growth we’re seeing and the emphasis we continue to see in the beneficial use of dredged material has a role in this overall resilience strategy.”

The use of dredged material is not only good for the environment, Connor said, but it also makes sense when it takes the form of rebuilding barrier islands, coastal marshes and restoring wetlands. beaches.

“The level of resources is unprecedented and very exciting, and we’re looking to do good things with that,” he said, explaining that even in just the investment law navigation portfolio and the employment in infrastructure, the Corps has funding for coastal shipping projects and the inland waterways system. On the coast, 10 deepening and widening projects have already been financed to date.

Safe navigation is critical to the nation’s economy, and the partnership between the Corps and CMANC has led to safer California waterways, according to Fields, who is also a section chief at the LA District Navigation Branch.

“CMANC is a great collaborative team working together to acquire future funding for California projects,” he said.

Although he was not scheduled to speak at CMANC, Graham, the senior Corps of Engineers officer in attendance, provided his final comments to attendees.

Watkins also added that one of the strengths of CMANC is that it is a successful partnership between local and federal agencies, other organizations and private sector providers.

“We all work closely together and have identified our common goals – infrastructure, environmental and financial responsibility,” Watkins said. “We’re able to collaborate and champion all of these goals, and we have a great working relationship and enjoy each other’s company.”

Date taken: 25.05.2022
Date posted: 25.05.2022 12:01
Story ID: 421500
Location: SAN PEDRO, CA, USA

Web views: 3
Downloads: 0


Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) Market Size and Forecast (CAS 62253-63-8)


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Lawyer pays ex-casino magnate Steve Wynn for defamation


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn has agreed to an undisclosed financial settlement to end his federal libel lawsuit against a well-known attorney who represented a dancer who she says accused Wynn of sexual harassment and retaliation.

Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom recanted and withdrew allegations she made in a March 2018 press release announcing that she was representing a woman alleging inappropriate behavior against Wynn, according to a statement included. in a settlement document provided Tuesday to The Associated Press by Wynn’s attorneys.

The settlement amount was obscured in the document, which was signed by Wynn and Bloom and submitted to U.S. District Judge James Mahan in Las Vegas. The judge approved the deal and dismissed the case on Monday.

Bloom’s 2018 press release said she portrayed a dancer who accused Wynn of ogling female performers who were instructed to “stripping in bras and panties” when he attended and watched rehearsal segments. “physically revealing” for “Showstoppers” at the Wynn Las Resort in Las Vegas.

The settlement statement said Bloom wanted to “correct the record and state that there was no evidence obtained that Steve Wynn gave improper instructions to the dancers, nor that he was aware of any improper instructions.”

Bloom and the attorneys representing her in the Nevada federal case did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment. Bloom is the daughter of nationally recognized women’s rights and discrimination lawyer Gloria Allred.

Wynn, 80, issued a statement saying he was “pleased” with the deal and saying the matter was “fully resolved, including a retraction”.

Wynn’s attorney, Todd Bice in Las Vegas, told AP the settlement amount would be kept confidential. He declined further comment.

Wynn had sought a jury trial and damages of at least $75,000 less than two months after the Wall Street Journal reported he had harassed or assaulted multiple women.

Wynn has always denied the allegations of sexual misconduct.

He resigned as chairman and CEO of his namesake company, Wynn Resorts, in February 2018, and sold his company’s stock. He now lives in Florida.

Wynn’s lawsuit against Bloom was filed in April 2018. Mahan rejected Bloom’s offer to have the case dismissed and she appealed. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco returned her to Mahan in March 2021.

A reasonable jury could find that Bloom “acted with real malice in releasing the statement,” a three-judge appeals panel said.

Allegations of wrongdoing against Wynn have spawned further lawsuits and penalties. The Nevada Supreme Court ruled last month that casino regulators in the state could still impose a $500,000 fine and discipline Wynn for allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Wynn’s attorneys argue he no longer has ties to the casino industry and the state Gaming Commission has no power to punish him.

The commission separately fined Wynn Resorts $20 million in 2019 for failing to investigate sexual misconduct allegations made against Wynn prior to his resignation.

Massachusetts regulators fined the company an additional $35 million and the company’s top executive $500,000 for failing to disclose sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn when he applied for a license for a casino in the Boston area.

In November 2019, Wynn Resorts accepted $20 million in damages from Wynn and another $21 million from the insurance companies to settle shareholder lawsuits accusing the company’s directors of failing to disclose the allegations. ‘misconduct.

Steve Wynn also has a libel lawsuit pending against The Associated Press and an AP reporter based on a story of accounts to Las Vegas police by two women who alleged sexual misconduct by Wynn.

Record amount of money awarded by the Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship Committee


Eleanor Donato The 2022 Lieutenant Paul J. Sullivan Fellowship recipients. Back row – Claire Fabian, Eoin Morrissey, Aidan Flanigan, Catherine Fabian, Paul Leonelli, Martin Mont, Keefer Glenshaw. Front row – Maeve Walsh, Isabella Mecuri Hanna, Delanie Lombard, Kristen Coleman, Meredith Greene. Not Pictured – Elyanna Bell and Warren Stevens II

The following announcement was made by the Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship Committee:

Congratulations to the 54and Recipients of the Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship. A total of $34,500 was donated to these fifteen wonderful young men and women. The prizes were awarded on Sunday, May 22.

The Lt. Paul Sullivan Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the 54and Scholarships.

Paul was a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown and a 1961 graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Waltham. He was a 1965 graduate of Boston College. During these years, he participated in many sports teams in the region, especially in the fields of basketball and baseball. He worked for the Watertown Recreation Department as a park instructor. After graduating from college, Paul taught at West Jr. High School in Watertown and coached at Sacred Heart High School in Newton and St. Patrick’s High School in Watertown. He volunteered for the army, graduated from OCS and Ranger training. He was sent to Vietnam in early July 1968 and was killed in action on August 9, 1968. He leaves behind his wife, family and friends, all deeply touched by his life.

This scholarship was created in his memory by his family and friends to be awarded each year to the young person who best embodies the kind of person that Paul was. Over the years, 55 young men and women have been recognized as recipients of the Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship and another 250 young people have received recognition and financial assistance as finalists. Thousands of dollars have been spent on college scholarships, sponsorship of sports teams and support for youth programs.

2022 Scholarship Winners

Meredith Greene of Watertown, 2022 Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Fellowship WinnerWatertown High School, attending Boston College.

Christopher CJ Curtin of Waltham, Lt. Paul Sullivan Scholarship in Memory of Paul Cusick, Xaverian Brothers High School, attending Virginia Tech.

Maeve Walsh of Watertown, Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship in Memory of Sister Eileen Sullivan SBS, Mount Alvernia High School, attending Loyola of Baltimore.

Martin Mont de Waltham, Lt. Paul J Sullivan Scholarship in Memory of Father Robert Sullivan SSJ, Waltham High School, who attends Emmanuel College.

Catherine Fabian of Watertown, Lt. Paul Sullivan Scholarship in Memory of Alice Sullivan Anderson, Watertown High School, attending Grinnell College.

Claire Fabian of Watertown, Lieutenant Paul Sullivan Scholarship in memory of Rosemary “Rori” O’Grady, Watertown High School, attending Macalester College.

Aidan Flanagan of Watertown, Lt. Paul J. Sullivan Scholarship in Memory of Lt. Edward Walsh BFD., Catholic Memorial High School, attending WPI.

Keefer Glenshaw of Cambridge, Lt. Paul Sullivan Scholarship in Memory of Richard “Dick” Crowley, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, attending Berklee School of Music

Delanie Lombard of Watertown, finalist for the Lieutenant Paul Sullivan Scholarship, Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, attending the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Paul Leonelli of Waltham, Lt. Paul Sullivan Award runner-up, Waltham High School, attending Boston College.

Isabella Mercuri Hanna of Watertown, Lt. Paul Sullivan Scholarship finalist, Mount Alvernia High School, attending Sacred Heart University.

Kristen Coleman of Watertown, Lieutenant Paul Sullivan Scholarship Finalist, St. Joseph Preparatory High School, attending St. Anselm’s College.

Eoin Morrissey of Watertown, Lieutenant Paul Sullivan Scholarship Award runner-up, Catholic Memorial High School, attending Wheaton College.

Elyanna Bell of New Orleans, Lt. Paul Sullivan Fellowship in Memory of Sister Eileen Sullivan SBS, St. Katherine Drexel Preparatory School, attending Southeastern State University in Hammond, Louisiana

Warren Stevens from New Orleans, LA, Lt. Paul J Sullivan Scholarship in Memory of Father Robert Sullivan SSJ, St. Augustine High School, attending Morehouse College

A record total of $34,500 was donated this year.

Habitat for Humanity completes three new homes for families in the Quad Cities

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – Habitat for Humanity hosted a triple home dedication ceremony and a groundbreaking event for another new home within hours of each other on Saturday.

Three Quad City families have become homeowners and received the keys to their brand new homes.

The ceremony honored the hard work and dedication of families to build their new homes from scratch. Each family had to sweat 250 hours working on Habitat for Humanity restoration or volunteering on other home builds. In addition to hours of sweat, each family took lessons in financial responsibility and how to build generational wealth.

The new owners received welcome baskets and handmade quilts as housewarming gifts from Habitat for Humanity to wrap up each of their trips.

One of the new owners, Marcia Ellingsworth, spoke about her experience with Habitat for Humanity and how the opportunity changed her life.

“It has been an incredible adventure working with the volunteers and the sponsors,” said Ellingsworth. “Working together every Saturday and building from scratch was an amazing experience that I will never forget for the rest of my life.”

Habitat for Humanity’s impact on the community goes beyond the families receiving the homes. Longtime volunteer construction supervisor Wally Mook said after 30 years of volunteering, he still hears to this day from the homeowners he helped along the way.

“They’ll text me over Christmas and Thanksgiving,” Mook said. “Thank me for the fact that they have the opportunity to live in a house here in this part of the world.”

In addition to the Triple Home Dedication Ceremony, Habitat for Humanity unveiled its final home.

Armando Aguilar, the recipient of the most recent house, has given almost all of his sweaty 250 hours to Habitat for Humanity Restore and many other store volunteers have commented on how great it was to work with him and that he could work there. full time with them.

Aguilar was thrilled to finally take the first steps towards home ownership.

“I’m excited because I’ve waited so long for my house,” Aguilar said.

Copyright 2022 KWQC. All rights reserved.

JP Morgan criticizes industry’s approach to natural cat losses


JP Morgan speculated that the reinsurance and insurance industry should review the way it categorizes catastrophe losses.

As losses have increased in recent years, JP Morgan said it was proportionate not to look at the volume of losses but to compare losses with premiums.

He wrote: “Nominal insured losses are expected to rise naturally due to rising insured values ​​and rising global GDP. Comparing insured catastrophe losses to global insurance premiums, the trend shows that losses have increased in recent years. However, the 10-year average trend of insured natural catastrophe losses relative to premiums does not show a particularly concerning conclusion, in our view, at this nearly 3% of industry premiums.

Although JP Morgan said there were no industry-wide concerns regarding losses from natural disasters, it raised some concerns about the sector at the company level.

He said: “Over the past five years, global reinsurers have recorded natural catastrophe losses 3.5 points above their budgets on average, compared to 0.4 points above budgets on average over a period. 10 years.”

He added: “We believe that estimating a conservative nat cat budget is a key driver for the industry, especially for reinsurers. Reinsurance margins on a normalized basis are relatively slim (average margin of 5% based on a normalized combined ratio of 22nd). Therefore, if a catastrophe budget is even 1 ppt higher than forecast, it could potentially mean that assumed underwriting profits are overstated by 20%. »

However, the firm said there was no real upturn in claims from natural disasters relative to insurers’ expectations, saying reinsurers had increased their budgets in this area. Mitigating factors including pricing, which it says has been on a positive trend since 2017; adjusting terms and conditions to manage risk; and the opportunity for growth from a higher potential frequency of events.

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Shrinkage is happening on grocery store shelves. What is it and how to avoid


When Kathleen Cassidy goes shopping these days, she’s noticed that while many prices go up, others stay the same, but there’s less inside.

Take laundry detergent pods, for example.

“I used to be 40, now I’m down to 38. It’s kind of tough on the consumer…you don’t get as much bang for your buck as you used to,” a- she declared.

Cassidy’s hobby is couponing, so she pays more attention to price than the average shopper. The tactic she adopted is a real phenomenon known as shrinkage, where companies reduce the size or quantity of their products while charging the same price.

“I’ve seen it described as this sneaky cousin of inflation,” said Matthew Philp, professor of marketing at Metropolitan University of Toronto. He says companies can make containers smaller or have a different shape, or put less product inside.

“It’s just to hide the fact that their prices are going up.”

Changing product sizes are hard to keep up with

Instances of shrinkage are hard to spot because stores usually empty old products before replacing them. But Boston-based consumer watchdog Edgar Dworsky has spent years looking for examples of shrinking products.

Dworsky points to two bottles of Gatorade he found on sale in the United States. One contains 32 ounces (946 ml), the other 28 ounces (828 ml).

“Unless you saw them side by side at the same height, you’d think you’re buying the same product, but essentially paying more than a 10% price increase,” Dworsky said.

Consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky tracks falling product prices. Here he is holding two bottles of Gatorade from the United States – one contains 12% less drink. (Nisha Patel/CBC)

He publishes American examples on which he collected his website. According to Dworsky, Sun-Maid Raisins and Dove Body Wash have both shrunk in size this year. And General Mills has reduced its cereal boxes by one ounce (28 grams).

“An ounce is a bowl, and at about $5 a box, that costs you about $0.25. But think about it from a General Mills perspective, how many tens of millions of boxes of General Mills cereal sells- it per year and multiplied by $0.25? That’s a big saving for the manufacturer.”

CBC News asked Gatorade and General Mills about their packaging. General Mills did not respond and Gatorade was not immediately available for comment. However, others have been more public about the practice.

Oregon-based Tillamook Ice Cream wrote on its website that its ice cream “just got more expensive to make” and that changing the carton size would be “least disruptive to our fans.”

The contraction isn’t new, but experts say it happens more often in times of high inflation, like now, and affects nearly every type of packaged product. “Paper products, candies, chips, snacks, cookies…all of these things have been reduced multiple times over the years, and I don’t think it’s going to stop,” Dworsky said.

A Canadian shopper spotted this example of what appeared to be a contraction at a grocery store in Chilliwack, British Columbia, with a box 28 grams lighter and a taquito less. (Zach Byrne)

Buyer beware at the grocery store

Ultimately, it’s up to the consumer to try to counteract shrinkage. Philp says doing the math to determine the lowest price per milliliter or gram is the best defense, although it’s not always an easy task.

“It’s in a ridiculously small font on the price tag, but you’ll see…they have to provide the unit price, so you can compare more easily,” he said. Quebec is the only province that requires retailers to display the unit price; the other provinces are voluntary.

Experts recommend looking at the price per gram or milliliter to compare items. The information is usually in fine print — and not required outside of Quebec — but it can help you find the best deal. (Jeff Goldhar/CBC)

Philp also says to consider switching to cheaper generic brands that don’t change packaging as often. He says that because the contraction can be widespread, it can have a big impact on grocery bills.

“A dollar increase here or there, and then when you buy an average of 20-30 items each time you go to the grocery store, all of a sudden it adds up to another $30. That doesn’t seem like a big deal, but those little little things add up.”

Funds post record soybean meal sell-off, but corn views stand still – Braun


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NAPERVILLE — Speculators continued to sell Chicago-traded soybean meal at a frantic pace last week as prices fell near four-month lows, but they continue to hold a sizable long position in corn.

According to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, fund managers reduced their net long position in CBOT soybean meal futures and options to 35,923 contracts through May 17, from 52,314 a week. earlier.

This put the three- and four-week sales totals at record highs. In the four-week period ending May 17, the most active meal futures prices were down 10.4%, but down as much as 14%. The contract was actually up 2.6% in the most recent week.

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Fund managers sold 63,619 soybean meal futures and options in the four weeks ending May 17, equivalent to about 12% of forecast U.S. meal production in 2021-22.

CBOT oilshare, measuring the value share of soybean oil in soybean products, had reached record highs on May 12, and that has been declining over the past week. Soybean meal futures are up 4.4% over the past three sessions, but soybean oil is down 3%.

Fund managers had reduced their CBOT soybean oil net in the week ended May 17 by just over 2,000 contracts, resulting in 86,237 futures and options contracts.

The most active CBOT soybean oil mostly traded at an all-time low of 80 cents for a month now, settling at 80.93 cents a pound on Friday. The high prices were supported by the ban on palm oil exports imposed on April 28 by Indonesia’s main palm oil exporter.

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Indonesia said on Thursday the ban would end on Monday despite domestic cooking oil prices remaining well above suggested target levels. However, Jakarta said on Friday it would reimpose a domestic sales requirement, curbing some exports.

On Friday, benchmark Malaysian palm oil futures rose 3% on the news, although prices are down more than 12% since the day before the ban took effect. prohibition. But prices are still about 50% higher than a year ago, which had reached record highs for the date.


CBOT corn futures jumped more than 3% in the week ended May 17, but fund managers added just over 1,000 contracts to their corn long net, which reached 339,711 futures and options contracts. The long has exceeded 300,000 contracts since October.

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Fund managers ended a three-week selling streak in CBOT soybeans through May 17, taking their net long position to 147,335 futures and options contracts from 130,661 a week earlier. This was entirely based on new buying and was accompanied by a 5.4% increase in the most active futures.

Corn lost nearly 3% in the past three sessions as U.S. farmers continued to make progress in their historically slow planting efforts, but soybeans jumped 1.6%. Argentina, the top maize exporter, said on Thursday it could raise its maize export cap for 2021-22 to 35 million tonnes from the current 30 million.

Chicago wheat futures jumped nearly 17% in the week ended May 17 as India banned exports due to high domestic prices and a lower harvest. The contract was trading as high as $12.84 a bushel, a level reached only five other trading days in history.

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India was expected to ship a record volume of wheat in 2022-23, at least 8.5 million tonnes, or about 4% of global exports. On Thursday, the government was considering allowing the shipment of some of the wheat trapped in ports, up to 1.8 million tonnes.

In the week ended May 17, fund managers increased their net long position in CBOT wheat futures and options to 26,586 contracts, their most bullish since March 2021. That figure was up from compared to 15,547 the previous week and was only a fraction of the purchases that had been anticipated.

Open interest in Chicago wheat jumped 14% in the week ending May 17, the highest for any week since 2006, but remains the lightest for the date since 2009.

The most active CBOT wheat futures fell 8.5% over the past three sessions as investors took profits. Trade sources suggest that commodity funds may have sold 37,000 futures contracts during this period, resulting in a real-time net sell-off. Karen Braun is a market analyst for Reuters. The opinions expressed above are his own.

(Editing by Matthew Lewis)



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Vatican airs dirty laundry in trial at London property

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VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s sprawling financial trial may yet have produced no convictions or new firearms as prosecutors conduct a first round of questioning of the 10 suspects accused of stealing the Holy Seat of tens of millions of euros.

But the testimonies so far have provided plenty of insight into how the Vatican works, with a cast of characters worthy of a Dan Brown thriller or a Shakespearian tragicomedy. Recent hearings showed an ecclesiastical bureaucracy that used espionage, allowed outsiders with unverified credentials into the Apostolic Palace, and relied on a pervasive mantra to spare the pope accountability — until someone’s neck is at stake.

Here are some revelations so far in this unusual spread of the Vatican’s dirty laundry:


The probe focused on the Secretary of State’s 350 million euro ($370 million) investment in a London property, which was such a debacle that the Vatican sold the building this year at a cumulative loss over 200 million euros ($210 million). .

Prosecutors accused Italian brokers, the longtime Vatican fund manager and Vatican officials of defrauding the Holy See of tens of millions in fees and commissions and extorting 15 million euros (nearly of 16 million dollars) to finally take control of the London building.

Pope Francis wanted a trial to show his willingness to crack down on alleged financial irregularities. Three years later, however, the investigation has cast an unwanted spotlight on some of Francis’ own decisions and how Vatican monsignors handled a portfolio of assets worth 600 million euros (630 million euros). dollars) with little external oversight or expertise.

The initial investigation spawned tangents, including one in which a once-powerful cardinal, Angelo Becciu, is accused of embezzlement for donating 125,000 euros ($130,000) in Vatican money to a Sardinian-run charity. by his brother.

Linked to him is another co-defendant, Cecilia Marogna, a security analyst who is accused of embezzling 575,000 euros (more than $600,000) that Becciu intended to pay to free a Colombian nun held hostage by militants. of al-Qaeda. They both deny wrongdoing, as do the other defendants.

Marogna’s story, detailed for the first time last week, is a remarkable tale that, if corroborated, would be a chapter in its own right in the rich history of Vatican diplomacy.

She and Becciu say she entered the Apostolic Palace based on an email she wrote to Becciu in 2015 about security concerns. Based on her understanding of geopolitics and her apparent ties to Italian intelligence, she became an adviser to Becciu, then No. 2 in the Secretariat of State.

According to his statement, Marogna has become a conduit to Becciu for everything from Russian emissaries seeking the return of holy relics to efforts by Catalonia’s separatist leader to establish a channel of communication with the Vatican.

Becciu testified he turned to Marogna in 2017 after a Colombian nun was kidnapped in Mali, and Marogna suggested a British intelligence firm could help free her. Becciu testified that Francis had approved spending up to 1 million euros on the operation and insisted that it be kept secret even from the Vatican’s own intelligence chief.

History suggests that Becciu, with the Pope’s approval, created a parallel intelligence operation in the Vatican using an Italian freelancer.

This is not the only espionage case that raises questions about the Vatican’s status as a sovereign state: Becciu testified last week that Francis himself ordered the ousting of the Vatican’s first auditor general because that he had hired an outside firm to spy on the Vatican hierarchy, whom he suspected of wrongdoing.

In previous testimony, a Vatican official told prosecutors that Becciu’s replacement, Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, brought members of the Italian secret service to the Holy See to sweep his office for bugs, bypassing again the Vatican’s own gendarmes.


No figure in the trial is as intriguing as Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, who was the main internal fund manager of the Secretariat of State, responsible for the Vatican’s equivalent of a sovereign wealth fund with assets estimated at 600 million. euros (about 630 million dollars).

It was Perlasca who recommended or advised against certain investments, and it was he who signed the contracts at the end of 2018 giving the Italian broker Gianluigi Torzi operational control of the London property. The basis of the extortion charge against Torzi is prosecutors’ allegation that he fired a quick shot at the Vatican to gain that control and only relinquished it after being paid 15 million euros ( nearly $16 million).

Perlasca was initially a prime suspect in the case. But after his first round of questioning in April 2020, Perlasca fired his attorney, changed his story and began cooperating with prosecutors.

Despite his involvement in all of the transactions under investigation, Perlasca escaped prosecution. The court last week let him participate in the lawsuit as an injured party, potentially allowing him to recover civil damages.

A few hours after the president of the court, Giupseppe Pignatone, recognized him as a civil party, Perlasca showed up in court unannounced, sat in the front row of the public gallery and declared “I don’t do not move”.

Prosecutor Alessandro Diddi immediately objected and Pignatone ordered him to leave, which he did.


Many defendants testified that at key intersections, Francis was not only informed of the issues, but approved of them, including the crucial moment when the Vatican had to decide whether to try to sue Torzi for ownership of London or pay it. disabled.

Several witnesses and defendants said Francis wanted to “turn the page” and negotiate a settlement. Prosecutors say Francis was essentially duped by his own underlings, and they subsequently obtained from Francis four, secret executive orders giving them carte blanche to investigate in a way that the defense says violated the legal safeguards and the basic human rights of suspects.

But blaming the pope marks an unusual development, since Vatican culture generally seeks to spare the pope responsibility for anything that goes wrong.

Becciu explained this tradition during his testimony by invoking his Latin phrase “In odiosis non faceat nomen pontificis”, which basically means that the pope should not be dragged into unpleasant affairs.

Becciu responded to a question about why the pope only approves financial decisions orally, not in writing.

“I’m old school… where you try to protect the pope, protect his moral authority without involving him too much in earthly affairs. This does not mean not informing him, but not giving him responsibility for certain decisions,” he said.

Becciu stuck to that until Francis released him from papal secrecy so he could testify in his own defense. Becciu then revealed that Francis himself authorized the operation to free the Colombian nuns and ordered the resignation of the auditor general.

The week ended with the testimony of one of Perlasca’s assistants, Fabrizio Tirabassi, who explained how investment decisions were made and the origins of the London real estate operation. His lawyers said Tirabassi’s testimony proved there was no crime in the case.

“The only mystery in this story is why someone wanted to have a trial on a matter that the hierarchs of the Holy See wanted to bring to an agreement,” the lawyers said.

Increasing the “cool factor” in Greensboro through development projects – The North State Journal

Marty Kotis III bought street art artist from around the world in Greensboro to display his work in the city of Greensboro, North Carolina on May 3, 2022. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

GREENSBORO — Commercial real estate developer and restaurant owner Marty Kotis has big plans to attract businesses and young people to Greensboro by “upping the cool factor” through various development projects.

An art project in a Cone Blvd. restaurant owned by Greensboro developer Marty Kotis is shown. Courtesy picture

Kotis is the CEO of Kick Ass Concepts, formerly known as Kotis Holdings. Kick Ass Concepts markets itself as a “development, commercial real estate, restaurant and entertainment company”. He is also the man responsible for the explosion of vibrant street art in the neighborhood through his Kotis Street Art project.

Kotis’ company owns approximately 45 acres along part of the Battleground Avenue corridor in downtown Greensboro in which he intends to create a “living, working and playing neighborhood with amenities including rooftop terraces, shops and apartments along the greenway”.

Kick Ass Concepts’ sizable footprint of 1 million square feet of retail space and approximately 150 tenants has a portfolio of iconic companies like Painted Plate, Red Cinemas Luxury Theatre, Burger Warfare, Pig Pounder and Tracks Beer Garden Bazaar and Bandstand.

In an interview with North State Journal, Kotis said he thought the 11-acre project in downtown Greensboro was probably the most interesting. The site was once the old Brooks lumber yard with associated warehouses, but Kotis has begun to transform it into a hip multi-use venue.

“We have Dram & Draft Whiskey Bar in there. We are building an electric vehicle business there,” Kotis said. “We do trade shows, a food truck park, an outdoor concert hall, a farmer’s market, an indoor concert hall, an ax and skateboard throwing venue, an art gallery and an outdoor cafe.”

Additionally, new 10-acre mixed-use spaces in the downtown and highlands for entertainment, office and retail are also in the pipeline.

Bringing Greensboro into the same range of competition as Charlotte and Raleigh in terms of jobs, shopping, entertainment and overall city attractiveness are key to its development strategy.

“The first thing is you have to have jobs that people want,” Kotis said. “And the second part is you have to have the amenities that people want – the restaurants, the artwork in the bars, the performing arts.”

Along the Battleground Avenue corridor in downtown Greensboro is an area that Kotis has been working on redevelopment since 1991. He noted that a list of older, defunct businesses in this area had been replaced with new ones. new “cool stuff you normally see in a town” and the next step was to fix the area building height issue.

“I’m going back and looking to make them denser and go more vertical because that’s one of the issues in Greensboro,” Kotis explained. “As you walk through town, you don’t see a lot of buildings over one or two stories along most of our hallways and that’s really weird.

A sculpture inside one of the development projects owned by Marty Kotis. Courtesy picture

Kotis said he noticed the lack of vertical development as a problem, but said that when other people visit the city, “they can’t quite put their finger on it, but they’re like, ‘This just looks run down or older, you know, like an 80s mall.”

“I’m also developing more in the cell along the Battleground Avenue Corridor,” Kotis said. “And I go back and look at the malls, like along West Market Street, or in the northeast of the city where I rejuvenate the malls and redesign them, which I really like to do.”

Kotis went on to mention the need for more apartments that would be attractive to young people to compete with some of the existing housing options in the area.

But there have been roadblocks along the redevelopment route Kotis wants to take, and the Greensboro Planning Department has been a bit of an obstacle. Kotis described traveling to different parts of the state and getting some great ideas to bring back, but ending up getting frustrated with city planners.

“When I come back to Greensboro, I get frustrated because they don’t know how to handle creative projects,” Kotis said of the city’s planning department. “They used to endorse a Sheetz or a McDonald’s or something I’ve seen before. But when we think outside the box, they can’t think outside the box with us, and so their immediate reaction to all these projects is to turn them down.

Kotis also pointed to the city’s use of ordinances, giving an example of wanting to have ten food trucks on the tracks, the 8-acre development project near downtown.

“The city, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that no, you should really only be able to have one to three food trucks because we don’t want too many food trucks competing with restaurants in the area,” Kotis said. “Well, they’re not. There ain’t a fucking restaurant in this whole block I own, or this block I own, this block I found, or this block I own. And when I want to put food trucks on my own property, they say it’s too much and they have an order preventing it.

Kotis is also frustrated that the city requires him to build a permanent restroom to accommodate 100 people for a planned outdoor concert hall. He called it ‘stupid’ that the city also wanted gates on this outdoor site so that in the event of a fire people could ‘stand in the middle of the street or in the middle of the train tracks’ .

Crime and homelessness in parts of the city linked to a lack of policing and law enforcement are also issues, according to Kotis. In particular, crime has been a problem near Tracks.

“It’s a constant problem if we go down to Tracks and cross over there. I guarantee you we’ll see piles of trash that my guys cleaned up that week,” Kotis said. “You will see heaps of garbage. You will see homeless people around you; they urinate or defecate [and] they are going to break into businesses.

Kotis said the general rule was that homeless people could “just have carte blanche, do whatever they want to do” and “at the expense of all our freedoms”. He added that police were reluctant to make arrests for fear of being charged with harassing homeless people.

Additionally, Kotis said drug addicts and aggressive begging have also been deterrents to moving the redevelopment forward.

“We had a guy who came in twice now and stripped outside a mall outside a Pure Barre space and started going through trash cans and harassing people and yelling at them and stuff,” Gave Kotis as an example. .

“Imagine you’re a new business, wanting to come to the area and see this…you say, ‘I don’t want to go,'” Kotis added.

UD associate professor Ratan Lal granted bail by court in Shivling remarks case


A city court on Saturday granted bail to University of Delhi associate professor Ratan Lal, who was arrested for alleged social media misconduct related to allegations of a ‘Shivling’ at the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, saying his message, while objectionable, does not indicate an attempt to promote hatred between communities.

The court ordered Lal to strictly refrain from posting any social media posts or interviews regarding the controversy that resulted in this FIR, while allowing his release on the posting of a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and a bond of a similar amount.

Lal was arrested on Friday night by Delhi police under Section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. , and performing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony) and 295A (deliberate act of outraging the religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion).

Metropolitan Chief Magistrate Siddhartha Malik said that the sense of hurt experienced by an individual cannot represent the whole group or community and any such complaint about the sense of hurt must be seen in context, considering all the facts and circumstances.

The court said that Indian civilization is one of the oldest in the world and is known to be tolerant and accepting of all religions, adding that the presence or absence of intention to create animosity by words was subjective in nature, as is the perception of the recipient who reads or hears a statement.

India is a country of over 130 million people and any subject can have 130 million different opinions and perceptions, he said.

The court noted that the social media post of Lal, who teaches history at the Hindu College, may appear to be a failed attempt to satirize a controversial topic that has backfired, dragging down the FlR.

She further noted that the defendant, in his personal life, was a proud follower of the Hindu religion.

For another person, the same message may seem shameful but cannot incite feelings of hatred towards another community. Likewise, different people may view the message differently without being furious and may actually feel sorry that the accused made an unwanted comment regardless of the repercussions, the court said.

She noted that it was true that the defendant had committed an act that was avoidable given the sensitivity of those around him and the general public.

However, the message, while objectionable, does not indicate an attempt to promote hatred between communities, the court heard.

The judge, on the other hand, said that the anxiety of the police could be understood because the police are responsible for maintaining peace and order and that at the slightest sign of unrest they would spring into action to prevent the situation does not get out of control.

However, the court must apply higher standards while taking into account the need to send a person into custody, he said.

The current accused is a reputable person with no criminal history and there is no likelihood that the accused will flee the course of the law.

“In view of the above, the court sees no need to commit the defendant to custody,” the judge said.

During oral argument, the defense attorney told the court that the defendant had no intention of hurting the religious sentiment of any person or group and merely made a light-hearted comment about a case that was still pending in various courts around the country.

The prosecution objected to the bail plea and requested his custody, saying the Facebook post was clearly intended to incite hatred between religious groups.

He said the accused gave various interviews after the post where he again made the same derogatory remarks.

An FIR was filed against Lal on Tuesday evening based on a complaint filed by a Delhi-based lawyer.

In his complaint, attorney Vineet Jindal alleged that Lal had recently shared a “derogatory, inciting and provocative tweet about the Shivling”.

On Saturday, activists from the left-wing All India Students Association (AISA) staged a protest outside Delhi University’s Faculty of Arts against Lal’s arrest.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Cannes has a record number of female filmmakers, but there’s still a lot to do


Here is the good news.

Faced with public pressure and growing outrage at the lack of female representation among the filmmakers it chooses to celebrate, this year’s Cannes Film Festival is trying to branch out beyond the cavalcade of many by the same male authors. Instead, there will be a record number of female directors competing.

Now the bad news. This record is a paltry five filmmakers, out of 21 films in total, which represents less than a quarter of all the films in the running for Cannes’ top prize, the Palme d’Or. The shortage of women in programming puts pressure on the handful of female directors who have been asked to premiere their films in the south of France.

“Because there are so few women in competition, we feel a lot of pressure, as if we had to be symbols”, admits Léonor Serraille, the director of “Mère et Fils”. “We ask ourselves a lot of questions. But the problem is that I don’t want to be described only as a director.

Moreover, this type of reductive analysis tends to overshadow the diversity of projects proposed by the five women in competition – a group that also includes Kelly Reichardt (“Showing Up”), Claire Denis (“The Stars at Noon”), Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (“The Almond Tree”) and Charlotte Vandermeersch, co-director of “Le Otto Montagne”. And the universal themes they explore. Denis’ latest film, a thriller set during the Nicaraguan Revolution, seems radically removed from Bruni Tedeschi’s look at a group of young actors at the dawn of their careers. And Reichardt’s latest neorealist drama also functions as a meditation on the art of creation. It follows a sculptor in Portland, Oregon as she tries to balance financial and family pressures, while making time to prepare for an exhibition.

“The interest was in everyday life doing work and work that might not even be seen,” Reichardt said. Variety for a recent cover story on Williams. “Maybe you have this desire or this need or maybe this compulsion to do things, but how do you work all the things in your life around that? It’s never a level playing field. Some people have great advantages in organizing their lives to make art, others have less advantage in doing it, and there are many people who make art, who are often in their own way.

Reichardt was primarily talking about the personal and socio-economic lift some people enjoy in life, but there are structural challenges that are hard to overcome. Studies have shown that even women who are able to get their films into major festivals struggle to get the financial backing they need for their next films and therefore take longer for follow-up feature films from producers. And when they get the chance to pitch their films to financiers or studio heads, the faces looking at them are disproportionately male.

In the case of Cannes, female filmmakers are more widely represented beyond the privileged few eligible for the Palme. Non-competitive parallel selections from Cannes Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight or Un Certain Regard include Agnieszka Smoczyńska (“Silent Twins”), Charlotte Le Bon (“Falcon Lake”), Mia Hansen-Løve (“One Fine Morning”) and Alice Winocour (“Memories of Paris”). However, Cannes has long struggled to come close to gender parity in the films it screens and its track record pales in comparison to other major festivals such as Toronto and Sundance.

But Cannes does not seem to want to hear the critics. During the press conference with journalists on Monday, festival director Thierry Frémaux said it was incorrect to describe the presence of female directors as insufficient. Instead, he argued that since directing has always been male-dominated, it has been difficult to increase representation behind the camera. He noted that according to UNESCO, ten years ago only 7% of administrators worldwide were women. Although things are improving, he argued that it varies significantly from region to region. He said journalists should instead point out that the female directors represent two of the three French films in competition: “Les Amandiers” by Franco-Italian director Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi and “Stars at Noon” by Claire Denis.

“It’s because France is a country where there are a lot of female directors,” he said.

The gender of the person behind the camera can impact what happens onscreen. Le Bon, an actress born in Quebec, made her debut as a director with “Falcon Lake”. And she says she felt compelled to step behind the camera after becoming frustrated with the way female characters are portrayed in movies. “I just got fed up with the female roles I was seeing that seemed so cliched,” Le Bon said.

When she adapted “Falcon Lake” from the graphic novel by Bastien Vivès, she notably modified the character of Chloé, the tormented teenager. “I didn’t want her to be too flirtatious and girly, I wanted her to talk and walk a bit like a tomboy, but also more menacing, secretive.”

Some female directors had difficult experiences when their films premiered in competition, for example Valérie Donzelli and Eva Husson whose films sparked reviews that many felt were unfairly harsh. This could be due to the scrutiny female directors are subjected to at Cannes. Even Julia Ducournau, who won the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year with ‘Titane’, appears to have suffered a backlash afterwards when the film was not nominated for Best Picture at the Césars. It was the first time in the history of the Césars that a French film winner of the Palme d’Or did not win the nomination for best film at the awards.

Hansen-Løve, who was in Cannes last year in competition with “Bergman Island” and who returns this time to the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, has mixed feelings about how far the festival has come.

“Clearly the competition isn’t dazzling for its track record with female directors,” she says. “We would like to see more in 2022. Sometimes it seems from the outside that the competition is for male directors only, and Un Certain Regard is for women.”

2022 Red Sox show why tax flexibility isn’t a prize

In a season that begins full of unexpected events, the one that stands out the most for me is the Boston Red Sox’s moribund start. As of this writing, Boston sits 16-22, just ahead of the fourth-place Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. Their -8-point differential is mid-pack at best in the AL, dead even with the Texas Rangers who shouldn’t be competing. The Sox weren’t predicted by many, if anyone, to be at the top of the East this year, but they were certainly meant to be around the same level as the Yankees, at least fighting for a Wild Card a season. after doing the ALCS. Barring a huge turnaround at the 2019 Washington Nationals, that doesn’t seem likely.

The Sox hired Chaim Bloom from the Tampa Bay Rays to be their head of baseball after the 2019 season. Free Expenses by Dave Dombrowski. Boston isn’t the only franchise to insist that financial flexibility is the best way to manage their team.

There are ways it makes sense on paper – if the money saved is used to reinvest in a winning product. But despite coming close to winning the pennant last year, the Sox have very clearly taken a step back. Two years after trading Mookie Betts rather than trying to sign him to a mega-deal, Boston’s outfield is, frankly, bad. It might have worked in 2021, but those results weren’t repeated this time around.

Alex Verdugo, acquired for Betts, has a history of being between a two- and three-win player per rWAR, so he should rebound from the -0.4 mark he held coming into play on Thursday. Center fielder Kiké Hernández had a career season in 2021, but apparently returned to his mostly lackluster past results. And somehow Bloom got away going into the season giving a starting spot to Jackie Bradley Jr., who takes the “light hitting” to a new level, with a slugging percentage below 0.280 this season and last.

There are other places on the list with a brighter picture. Rafael Devers continues to torment New York relentlessly, Xander Bogaerts is more stable than ever and JD Martinez started strong. Except Bogaerts and Martinez are almost certainly free agents after this season – with Trevor Story’s signing and extensions pushed back, which potentially means the end is near for Bogaerts in Beantown, given his refusal – and any talk of extension with Devers was also unsuccessful. .

If in 2023 Bogaerts, Martinez and Devers (possibly traded as Betts in his last year under contract) are all gone, the Red Sox will get what, exactly? Story, who – despite the three-home run game – has yet to prove that the bulk of his offense hasn’t been provided by Coors Field? A 35-year-old Chris Sale, earning nearly $30 million? Garrett Whitlock, still torturing us? (That one is scary.) They will effectively be a blank slate, and that’s exactly Bloom’s mandate.

Theoretically, that all sounds good – their best prospects can play, supplanted by free agents that all this flexibility allows them to pay. In theory. In practice, prospects can explode and free agents can fail, as the team that signed Carl Crawford knows well. The likes of Devers and Bogaerts (and to be fair, in New York, Aaron Judge), are, on the other hand, household names.

The Red Sox of late have been boom or bust, a World Series contender or less than .500, in total malaise. Like the Yankees, they’re supposed to be a team that’s always in the playoffs. Still, their roster, at this point, is clearly inferior to New York’s — their bullpen is nowhere near close and the starting rotation lacks a true ace. And fans are supposed to accept that without flinching, knowing that it’s all about saving money, and without any guarantees.

Part of Bloom’s philosophy is that his current roster build will allow for lasting success, avoiding the highs and lows that have been Boston’s recent season records. That sounds good, but really the only teams that have consistently avoided the bad season rebuild cycle over the past decade are the Yankees and the Dodgers, and we all know it’s because of the way they combine spending player development. If the Sox can pull it off, good for them — but really, this hodgepodge list they’ve been rolling out so far is totally unnecessary. There’s no reason for a team like Boston to be bad.

As the judge flaunts MVP numbers and Brian Cashman tries to take his foot out of his mouth regarding his extension negotiations, today’s Sox serve as a model of what can happen when you insist on financial flexibility at the expense of common sense. Yes, Judge and Devers probably won’t “earn” their salaries in the last years of a long contract, but the future is far away. If you want someone like Judge, whose success can mask the underperformance of other players who might be cheaper due to a shorter success history, you just have to pay him what he’s worth. Cashman, like Bloom, wants fiscal responsibility, as defined by their bosses. Boston is showing what that can get you right now — needless rebuilding and even more out-of-reach success in a terribly competitive division.

How will Modi be approached? The most complicated factor during Biden’s trip to Asia amid war in Ukraine


President Joe Biden began his first diplomatic mission to Asia since taking office on Thursday, hoping to demonstrate that the United States remained focused on fighting China even as his administration staged a war against Russia. in Europe.

With his quirky strategy of pivoting foreign policy attention to Asia effectively inflated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden has now moved on to the argument that there can be no compromise. between Europe and Asia and that only the United States can bring together the democracies of East and West to oppose autocracy and aggression in both spheres.

For Biden, finding his balance between the two imperatives will require geopolitical maneuvering that would challenge any president. Competing demands on his time and attention were on display Thursday as he crowded into a last-minute White House meeting with the leaders of Sweden and Finland to hail their decisions to join NATO before heading to Joint Base Andrews to board Air Force One. for the long flight to South Korea. And days before that, Biden had hosted Southeast Asian nations at the White House to detail new investments in clean energy and maritime assets, part of an effort to prevent China from dominating. the Indo-Pacific.

“What the administration is trying to do is credibly add to their assertion that America is back as a world leader and the idea that the world is not two theatres” , said Evan S. Medeiros, a researcher at Georgetown University who served as an Asia adviser to President Barack Obama during the design of the first pivot to Asia. “It’s, ‘Hey, I’m not going to forget you; it is not a choice between Europe and Asia.

The war in Ukraine will no doubt follow Biden through stops in Seoul and Tokyo, hovering above his talks with the leaders of South Korea, Japan, Australia, India and India. others. At the same time, administration officials fear that North Korea could use the president’s trip to re-enter the global agenda with a face-to-face test of a nuclear weapon or an intercontinental ballistic missile, reminding all dangers beyond Ukraine.

“We are preparing for all eventualities, including the possibility of such a provocation occurring while we are in Korea or Japan,” Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, told reporters this week before Biden does not leave Washington. Sullivan has consulted with his counterpart in China in recent days to raise, among other things, the prospect of a North Korean provocation.

Biden’s trip is also meant to reassure allies in the region who have been rocked by President Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to Asia. Trump has withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional trade pact brokered by the United States intended to counter China’s growing economic influence. He has repeatedly questioned US troop commitments in South Korea and the mutual defense agreement with Japan, while engaging in what he called a ‘love affair’ with Kim Jong One from North Korea.

Bruce Klingner, a longtime CIA Asia analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said South Korea and Japan were increasingly worried about North Korea’s capabilities and Trump’s threats to pull out. of the region. “Biden should provide unequivocal assurances of America’s dedication to the defense of our allies and affirm America’s extensive deterrence guarantee of nuclear, conventional and missile defense forces,” he said.

A few recent studies have concluded that although US political influence in the region increased again with Trump’s departure, the US continued to lose economic influence due to the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“The biggest criticism of the administration in Asia right now is that it has no economic strategy and is ceding ground to China,” said Michael J. Green, the Center’s new CEO. US studies in Australia and former advisor for Asia. to President George W. Bush.

To address this, Biden plans to unveil a new Indo-Pacific economic framework, which is a pale shadow of a full-scale trade pact, but will set out various mutual priorities such as digital trade and supply chain security. . US officials hope it will be joined by many countries still members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Green called it an important first step, but one that behind the scenes the Japanese, Australians and others find insufficient at the moment – although they are unlikely to say so publicly. “A big part of their interest is to show that the United States is back and China is not going to write the economic rules,” Green said.

Matthew P. Goodman, senior vice president for economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that unless the Biden administration provides greater access to the U.S. market, nations in the region will seek direct funding to developing infrastructure and the digital economy. “I think a lot of partners will look at this list and say, this is a good list of issues. I’m happy to be involved,” said Goodman. “But, you know, are we going to see any tangible benefits from our participation in this framework?”

In crafting the economic framework, Biden administration officials focused in part on labor and environmental standards. But without the benefits of lower trade barriers, other countries may be reluctant to make costly commitments.

“The bottom line is that the United States doesn’t come to the table with market access,” said Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Asia-Pacific studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. “And that’s the trade piece. This is what the region is looking for.

During stops in Seoul and Tokyo, Biden will meet two new partners who are both seen as more aligned with U.S. priorities and likely to have good chemistry with the president, according to Green and other analysts and officials. The first, President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea, was sworn in on May 10 and has taken a tougher approach to China and North Korea than his predecessor, while the second, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, was elected in October and enjoys a level of popularity likely to keep him in office throughout Biden’s term, unlike the frequent revolving door governments in Tokyo.

“Inevitably, North Korea is going to come to the fore on the agenda of a Biden-Yoon summit,” said Scott A. Snyder, director of U.S.-Korea policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. “The mere fact that this speculation exists compels both leaders to talk about extended deterrence, how it works, and to try to deepen our shared security and defense commitment.”

While in Tokyo, Biden will also meet other leaders of the so-called Quad – the United States, Japan, Australia and India – his second time sitting with his counterparts in a bloc intended to resist the Chinese hegemony in the region.

With the Australian election scheduled for Saturday, it was still unclear who would attend the meeting on Tuesday.

But perhaps the most complicated factor is how Biden approaches Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been reluctant to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for fear of undermining security ties with Moscow. Additionally, Biden’s promise to fight autocracies around the world will be tested with Modi, who has marginalized and slandered Muslim minorities.

But the president’s aides said he could pressure the international campaign to thwart Russian aggression while navigating the diplomatic complexities of the Asia-Pacific region and reaffirming America’s role in that part of the world. .

“He remains focused on the success of our efforts in these missions,” Sullivan said, “but he also intends to seize this moment, this pivotal moment, to assert bold and confident American leadership in another vital region of the world. world.”

Peter Baker and Zolan [email protected] The New York Times Company

Read all the latest IPL 2022 news, breaking news and live updates here.

The proposed mine in Nebraska contains a significant deposit of rare elements


OMAHA, Neb. – The mining company that wants to extract a heat-resistant rare element from the ground beneath southeast Nebraska says a new report shows the deposit it plans to mine contains a significant amount of other rare elements.

NioCorp Developments said Thursday that the latest analysis shows the amount of rare earth elements present where it plans to build the mine about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of Omaha near the town of Elk Creek is the second largest deposit in the United States.

The Colorado-based company Centennial estimates there are 632.9 kilotons of rare earth elements there. These elements are needed to make the powerful magnets used in electric vehicles and other high-tech products.

But the company is still working on analyzing the latest project data to determine if it will be economically feasible to produce these rare earth elements along with the niobium, scandium and titanium it plans to produce at the mine. Analysts said economic analysis will be essential.

A d

And of course, before NioCorp can produce anything, the company still has to raise more than $1 billion to cover the cost of building the mine. Since 2015, NioCorp has raised over $60 million to pay for exploration and development of the site.

NioCorp CEO Mark Smith said the project has attracted strong interest from investors. The company is trying to come up with a financing plan with the right combination of debt and equity before it can move forward.

“The fundraising effort continues at full steam,” Smith said.

United States imports all of the niobium and scandium and most of the titanium and rare earths that NioCorp hopes to produce. There is only one US mine producing rare earths now at a site in California. NioCorp says its filing is right behind this one Mountain Pass mine that MP Materials turns in California.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Utah breaks financial transaction value record for second straight year


Salt Lake City – Transactions in Utah’s capital markets hit a record high for the second year in a row, according to MountainWest Capital Network’s (MWCN) annual deal flow report. Now in its 27th year, MWCN’s Deal Flow Report is Utah’s only in-depth analysis of equity-related financial transactions — including mergers and acquisitions, public deals and private placements — that have shaped the environment. state commercial in 2021.

Financial transactions in Utah showed a significant recovery from the impacts of the Covid pandemic in 2021, with MWCN tracking 435 transactions throughout the year – a sharp increase from 289 in 2020, and more in line to 474 in 2019. Total deal value in the state topped $30 billion for the first time, hitting $31.2 billion. This is a significant jump from the previous high of $26.4 billion in 2020 and $25.1 billion in 2019.

According to MWCN, Utah’s track record of GDP growth and high national rankings for favorable business climate continue to attract high-tech jobs as it shifts away from coastal cities to more inland cities. affordable. The Milken Institute’s 2022 Top Performing Cities Report named Provo-Orem as the top largest city in the United States and Logan as the top small city in the United States based on employment levels, wages and population. high tech GDP growth.

“Companies are looking for great places to do business and Utah has been at the top of everyone’s list for years,” says Kady Reese, president of MWCN’s Deal Flow. “This consistency as the ideal climate for running a business with an educated, high-tech workforce continues to benefit the state and helps our capital markets continue to grow.”

Technology and enterprise software/SaaS once again drove the most investment in Utah in 2021, accounting for 41% of deals. Consumer and retail/e-commerce have grown significantly in recent years and now account for 31% of total transactions in this year’s report. Healthcare was third with 14% of Utah’s investment interest.

Utah’s largest disclosed deal value for 2021 was the acquisition of Pluralsight for $3.5 billion, with Divvy and PCF Insurance Services also topping $2 billion. Public issuances in 2021 doubled year-on-year compared to 2020 and included a number of SPACs. The largest public issues included Black Rifle Coffee Company at $1.70 billion, Qualtrics at $1.55 billion and Owlet Baby Care at $1.40 billion.

The Deal Flow Report is a publication of MWCN, a non-profit organization, created to foster a dynamic flow of information on the formation and distribution of capital. It does not report on confidential or otherwise undisclosed transactions.

The full 2021 MWCN Deal Flow Report can be viewed at https://www.mwcn.org/deal-flow/.

About MountainWest Capital Network

MountainWest Capital Network is Utah’s first and largest business networking organization dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial success and dedicated to the flow of financial, entrepreneurial and intellectual capital. Learn more about www.mwcn.org.

Watchdog: US troop withdrawal was a key factor in Afghanistan’s collapse


A government watchdog says the decisions of Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan were key factors in the collapse of that country’s military.

New report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, mirrors claims made by senior Pentagon officials and military leaders following the U.S. troop withdrawal that ended last August by the chaotic evacuation of Americans and other civilians from the besieged country. Military leaders made it clear that their recommendation was to leave about 2,500 American troops in the country, but that plan was not approved.

In February 2020, the Trump administration signed an agreement with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, in which the United States promised to completely withdraw its troops by May 2021. The Taliban committed to several conditions, including the stopping attacks on US and coalition forces. The stated goal was to promote a peace negotiation between the Taliban and the Afghan government, but that diplomatic effort never gained momentum until Biden took office in January 2022.

A few months later, Biden announced that he would complete the US military withdrawal. The announcement fueled the Taliban’s campaign to take over the country, aided by widespread Afghan mistrust of their government and entrenched corruption that has led to low pay, lack of food and poor living conditions among Afghan troops.

“Many Afghans believed the US-Taliban deal was an act of bad faith and a signal that the United States was handing Afghanistan over to the enemy as it rushed to leave the country,” the interim report said. . “Its immediate effect was a dramatic loss of morale (of Afghan troops).”

US officials said they were taken aback by the rapid collapse of the military and government, prompting strong congressional criticism of the intelligence community for failing to foresee it.

At a congressional hearing last week, senators debated whether there was a need to reform the way intelligence agencies assess a foreign army’s readiness to fight. Lawmakers cited two key examples: US intelligence believed the government in Kabul would hold out for months against the Taliban, and more recently, they believed Ukrainian forces would quickly fall to invading Russia. Both were wrong.

Military and defense leaders said Afghanistan’s collapse was built on years of missteps as the United States struggled to find an effective way to train and equip Afghan forces.

In a stark assessment of the war, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress last fall that the outcome had taken years to prepare.

“The results of a war like this, a result that is a strategic failure – the enemy is in control in Kabul, there is no other way to describe it – it is a cumulative effect of 20 years,” Milley said, adding that lessons need to be learned, including whether the US military has made Afghans overly dependent on US technology in a misguided effort to make the Afghan military look like the US military.

Indeed, in the end, the new report indicates that Afghans still rely heavily on US air support for strikes and emergency evacuations, as well as US contractors to maintain and repair aircraft and other systems.

But all agree that the Doha agreement was the keystone of the collapse.

“Signing the Doha agreement had a really pernicious effect on the Afghan government and its military – psychological more than anything else, but we set a specific date for when we were going to leave and when they could leave. ‘expect all the help to come to an end,’ General Frank McKenzie told Congress last year.

McKenzie, who was then the top US general in the Middle East and has since retired, argued for keeping 2,500 US troops there, as did Milley.

The Doha agreement, according to the SIGAR report, has left the Afghan people and their military feeling abandoned. And the Trump administration’s decision to limit US airstrikes against the Taliban halted any progress the Afghans made and left them unable and ultimately unwilling to hold onto territory, he added.

According to the report, a former US commander in Afghanistan said the US built the Afghan army to rely on contractor support. “Without that, it cannot function. Game over,” the commander told SIGAR. “When the contractors pulled out, it was like we pulled all the sticks out of Jenga’s pile and expected it to stay put.”

More broadly, the SIGAR report says the US and Afghan governments “lacked the political will to devote the time and resources needed to rebuild an entire security sector in a war-torn and impoverished country.”

Neither side, he said, “seemed to have the political commitment to do what it would take to meet the challenges.” As a result, he said, the Afghan army could not operate independently and never really became a cohesive force.

Will a 5% wage increase for workers increase the cost of your coffee and gasoline by the same amount?


The headlines were scary.

They warn that consumers may have to pay $7 for a coffee and $3 for a liter of unleaded gasoline by the end of the year.

Although these forecasts are largely due to factors such as high shipping costs and international movements in the price of oil, the political debate in recent weeks has shifted to the impact that an increase in the wages of workers could have on the costs of daily goods and services. .

Business groups and some of our political leaders have suggested that if the minimum wage increased by around 5%, to keep pace with the skyrocketing cost of living, that would in turn lead to much higher prices for everyday goods and services.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese backed a 5.1 per cent pay rise to keep up with inflation, saying that without it it would mean an effective pay cut for those on minimum wage.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese backed a 5.1% pay rise to keep up with inflation.(ABC News: Nick Haggarty)

“What we are talking about here are the lowest paid workers in Australia… workers who are paid $20.33 an hour, only to be paid $1 more. That is what this debate is about “said Mr. Albanese.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison argued that it would hurt the economy, as an increase of this magnitude would send the economy into an inflationary spiral.

Scott Morrison gestures as he speaks to a camera while seated in an office
Prime Minister Scott Morrison fears that wage increases of around 5% could be inflationary.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

A new report from the Australia Institute released today aims to give a real figure on how these goods and services could increase with a 5% increase in wages.

He suggests that raising worker wages by 5 percent — for all workers, not just those on minimum wage — would raise prices across the economy by about 2 percent.

This would mean that a 5% pay rise could mean that a $4 cup of coffee should only go up about 9 cents.

“There is simply no way that a 5 percent increase in all wages, much less a 5 percent increase in the minimum wage alone, could result in price increases of the order of 5 percent,” says one of the report’s authors, The Richard Denniss, chief economist of the Australia Institute.

A man in a blue shirt stands in front of a building.
Richard Dennis says that companies exaggerate the impact of wage increases on their costs as an excuse to increase their profits.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

He argues that companies exaggerate the impact of wage increases on their costs as an excuse to increase their profits.

Wage hikes won’t lead to higher interest rates: report

The report suggests that wages make up around 25% of business costs in Australia, meaning that for an average business, a 5% increase in total payroll would only increase costs by 1.3%.

Even in labor-intensive industries like retail, wages represent only 38.8% of total costs, which means that a 5% increase in all retail wages would result in a cost increase of only 1.9%.

And since wages are only 35% of the restaurant industry, a $4 coffee would only need to increase by 9 cents to cover the wage increase.

He said the analysis likely overstates the impact of higher wages on costs for a number of reasons, including that “we ignore the benefits to employers of labor productivity growth, which reduces labor costs by more than 1% per year, and we assume that all of the price increases in the supply chain occur instantaneously rather than being spread out over the next few years.”

The Australia Institute says a 5% increase in workers’ wages will only lead to a 2% increase in most goods and services.(Provided.)

Salary growth forecasts

On Wednesday, the ABS will release its latest Wage Price Index data, and in June, the Fair Work Commission will release its ruling on the minimum wage.

Most economists expect the quarterly and annual numbers to rise, but don’t expect them to be so high that they will force the Reserve Bank to raise rates more aggressively than expected.

ANZ Chief Economist Catherine Birch says there are huge economic benefits to ensuring people on low wages don’t see their wages fall as much as they would without a solid wage increase. minimum wage.

“If there was the 5.1% increase in the minimum wage that Mr. Albanese talks about, there would be inflationary effects, but the increase in inflation would be less than the increase in nominal wages. [that is the increase without adjusting for inflation].

Catherine Birch, ANZ Chief Economist, types on her laptop at her dining table.
Catherine Birch says Wednesday’s payroll data is expected to show only a modest increase in wages.(ABC News: Peter Healy)

ANZ predicts that by the end of the year, wages will have reached 3.5% and next year, 4%, which will have an inflationary impact. They take into account that the Reserve Bank will raise rates to 2.25% by May next year.

But Ms Birch suggests Wednesday’s data should show only a modest increase in wages.

“We only have 2.5% [annual rate] taken into account. But we are forecasting a quarterly increase of 0.8% and if we get that, it would be the strongest result in nearly a decade.

She says the figure would have to be higher than the Reserve Bank’s to raise rates higher than expected.

Barrenjoey Capital Partners’ chief economist, Jo Masters, said they were also factoring in an annual rate of wage growth of 2.5%.

And that means they are sticking to their expectation that the Reserve Bank will raise rates by 25 basis points in June, which would push the cash rate up from 0.35% to 0.60%.

But if the payroll data beats market economists’ expectations of a 2.5% increase, it suggests rates could hit 0.75% in June.

Ms. Masters argues that the problem is whether real wages increase, but productivity does not.

Barrenjoey Capital Partners' chief economist, Jo Masters, sits next to a window.
Jo Masters says the inflationary problem occurs if real wages increase, but productivity does not.(ABC News: John Gunn)

“Wages contribute to inflation in two ways,” she says.

“The first is direct. We know that for merchant services – things like hairdressing, vets, dry cleaning and haircuts – those salaries are a big part of the cost. And so when you get growth wages, if it is not offset by productivity gains, these companies must increase their prices.

“Right now, supply is disrupted by global events, including a supply chain distortion. But low productivity growth means you’re not driving the supply side of the economy. Basically, for a business, if productivity is as fast as wage growth, it’s not as inflationary.”

“Productivity is notoriously difficult to measure, but over the past 5-10 years Australia has had very low productivity growth.”

A generic photo of a hotel employee
Salaries represent approximately 35% of the costs of the restaurant industry.(Photo: Unsplash.com)

Ms Masters says that during the pandemic Australian businesses have been unable to pass on price increases.

“An ABS survey released last week found that 50% of companies that [saw an] rising production costs had passed on some or all of that,” she says.

But she said Wednesday’s payroll data likely won’t show the full impact of wage increases in the economy, but data for the September quarter, which will take into account the minimum wage increase, will. .

CIO Net Falls 31.4% in Q4; record profit in FY22


Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) reported a 31.4% drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Tuesday due to squeezed petrochemical margins and losses in automotive fuel sales.

Standalone net profit of Rs 6,021.88 crore, or Rs 6.56 per share, in January-March, compared to Rs 8,781.30 crore, or Rs 9.56 per share, during the same period there is a year, the company said in a stock filing.

Sequentially, the profit was above Rs 5,860.80 crore in the prior quarter.
With the surge in oil prices, operating revenue reached Rs 2.06 lakh crore in the last quarter of this fiscal year ending March 31, from Rs 1.63 lakh crore a year ago.

IOC and other public sector oil companies held gasoline and diesel prices down for a record length of time despite soaring commodity prices (crude oil). They only started raising prices on March 22.

Pre-tax profit from the sale of petroleum products fell 8% to 8,251.29 crore rupees, while that of the petrochemical business fell 72% to 570.18 crore rupees.

The company’s board has recommended the issuance of free shares at a ratio of 1:2 – one new free share of Rs 10 each for two existing shares.

It also declared a final dividend of Rs 3.60 per share (before bonus), which translates to a final dividend of Rs 2.40 per share after bonus for the financial year 2021-22.

The final dividend is in addition to the interim dividend of Rs 9.00 per share (pre-bonus) paid earlier.
For the full financial year (April 2021 to March 2022), the company recorded a record net profit of Rs 30,443.93 crore, an increase of 15% from the previous financial year.

This surge was accompanied by an increase in refining margins. The company earned $11.22 from turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel during the year, compared to a refining gross margin of $5.64 the year before.

Baseline GRM or GRM at current price for the year 2021-22 after offsetting inventory gains was $7.61 per barrel, it said.

Jose Bustamante, Retired Fluor Corporation Executive, Appointed

TULSA, Oklahoma, May 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Matrix Services Company (Nasdaq: MTRX) today announced the addition of Jose Luis Martin de Bustamante to the Company’s Board of Directors.

“We are delighted to welcome Jose to the Board of Directors of Matrix Service Company. His extensive leadership experience at Fluor Corporation, along with his proven expertise in business development, contracting and managing large projects across a wide range of end markets, will be invaluable as Matrix responds to growing opportunities,” said Chairman of the Board Jim Mogg.

“Jose brings extensive international experience and has held long term assignments in Latin America, Spain, UK, USA and UAE with increasing operations and sales responsibilities. is well aligned with Matrix Service Company’s end markets and areas where we see significant opportunity.We look forward to his contributions.

Prior to retiring from Fluor Corporation in 2020, Bustamante served as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for sales, marketing and strategic planning, as well as communications, community and government relations. During his 30-year career with Fluor, he has also held various leadership positions within the organization, including Senior Vice President of Business Development, Marketing and Strategic Planning – Energy and Chemicals, Senior Vice President and General Manager (MENA Region) and Senior Vice President of Sales – Business Line Chemicals.

He is the former president of ICA Fluor, Mexico’s largest industrial contractor, and COOEC-Fluor Heavy Industries Co., Ltd, a global manufacturing joint venture in China’s Guangdong province. He has also served as a board member of numerous international joint ventures including Fluor Arabia Ltd. and Fluor Kuwait.

Bustamante is currently president of ESAsolar USA Inc., the American subsidiary of a Madrid-based renewable energy company with leading technology in solar trackers.

The addition of Bustamante to Matrix’s Board of Directors increases its membership from seven to eight members from diverse geographic, industry, technical and business backgrounds and supports the company’s focus on inclusion and diversity ; 37.5% of Matrix Board members are gender or ethnically diverse.

About Matrix Service Company

Matrix Service Company (Nasdaq: MTRX), through its subsidiaries, is one of North America’s leading industrial engineering, construction and maintenance contractors. South Korea.

The Company reports financial results in three key operating segments: Utilities and Power Infrastructure, Industrial Process and Facilities, and Storage and Terminal Solutions.

By focusing on sustainability, creating strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and living our core values, Matrix is ​​ranked among the top contractors by Engineering-News Record, has been recognized for the diversification of its Board of Directors, is an active CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion signatory, and is recognized as a Great Place to Work®. To learn more about Matrix Service Company, visit www.matrixservicecompany.com and read our first sustainability report.

For more information about Matrix, please contact:

This release contains forward-looking statements that are made in reliance on the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are generally accompanied by words such as “anticipate”, “continue”, “expect “, ” provide “. “, “outlook”, “believe”, “estimate”, “should” and “will” and words of similar effect which convey future meaning, relating to the operations of the Company, economic performance and the best judgment of the direction as to what might happen in the future. Future events involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those we currently anticipate. Actual results for current and future periods and other business developments will depend on a number of economic, competitive and other influences, including the factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” sections. and elsewhere in reports and filings made from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these risks and uncertainties are beyond the Company’s control, and any one of them, or any combination thereof, could have a material and adverse effect on the Company’s results of operations and financial condition. . We assume no obligation to update the information contained in this press release.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/12cdf591-3b65-40cd-993c-132a850db0cc

Cork-based Keelvar raises €23m in Series B funding round


Cork-based Keelvar has raised $24m (€23m) in a Series B funding round that will help the company simplify procurement and continue growing in the US.

The round, which was led by 83North, brings the total amount raised by the company to $43 million.

Investors from its Series A round, which took place in 2020 and raised $18 million, also backed the company again, with participation from Boston-based VC Elephant, London-based Mosaic and Berlin VC Paua. , and Celonis co-founder Bastian Nomichacher as a minority. investor.

Founded in 2012, Keelvar has developed automation and optimization software for use in enterprise purchasing, using AI-enabled procurement bots to automate purchasing processes and help customers take supply chain decisions quickly.

Keelvar’s technology could be a useful weapon for companies looking to counter disruptions to their supply chains, with Covid-19 being one of the factors that has made supply chains more complex in recent years.

Spinning out of University College Cork, the company has grown rapidly in recent months, with a 200% increase in its workforce since the start of 2021 and a 113% increase in annual recurring revenue last year.

Founder Alan Holland is a former lecturer in AI at UCC’s Department of Computer Science.

“The supply is broken. Costs are out of control, capacity is scarce, and disruption is everywhere. This dynamic makes it incredibly difficult for buyers and suppliers to stay nimble, manage risk and close deals,” said Mr. Holland, Managing Director of Keelvar.

“We see a huge opportunity to alleviate economic and supply chain bottlenecks by making the procurement process easier, faster and smarter. Our technology fundamentally changes what’s possible by delivering a new approach to intelligent automation and optimization.

The company plans to use this investment to drive its growth in the United States, with growing demand for smart procurement solutions in the market. It also plans new solutions for large and midsize enterprises, with the goal of making procurement automation frictionless, code-free, and accessible to everyone. Its customers include Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Samsung and Tesco.

“Companies were caught off guard when the pandemic crippled the global supply chain. While the problems persist and show no signs of letting up, C-suites are finally recognizing that intelligent automation is a must,” said Philip Chopin, Partner at 83North.

“Keelvar’s unique automation and optimization solutions empower procurement teams by helping them easily define their needs and react faster to market changes. The company’s top-notch customer list and incredible retention and satisfaction rates are a powerful testament to its technology, team and vision. »

BoE’s Bailey ready to toast hard on inflation record


Andrew Bailey will face the toughest parliamentary grilling by a Bank of England governor since the global financial crisis on Monday as MPs challenge him on whether the bank has lost control of inflation.

Senior Tories have accused the BoE of moving too slowly in raising interest rates to contain inflation, which the bank said could top 10% later this year.

Bailey will appear before MPs on the Commons Treasury Committee, the forum that held former Governor Lord Mervyn King to account during the 2008-09 financial crisis, ahead of the release of inflation data for April on Wednesday, which is expected to show a another sharp price increase.

The FT last week reported growing criticism among senior Tories of the BoE’s handling of the inflation crisis, while cabinet ministers also expressed concern.

The Sunday Telegraph quoted a cabinet minister as saying of the BoE: ‘It has a job to do – to keep inflation at around 2% – and it’s hard to remember the last time it hit that target .

In fact, the BoE only last hit its inflation target in July 2021, but Bailey’s insistence that the big price increases would be “temporary” left him open to speculation. critical.

“The BoE persisted beyond any rational interpretation of the data to tell us that inflation was transitory and then peaking at 5%,” Liam Fox, a former minister, told MPs last week.

As the Conservative government comes under increasing pressure to help ease the cost-of-living crisis, the central bank – operationally independent since 1997 – braces for a wave of political criticism over its recent inflation record .

But Boris Johnson’s allies said the prime minister had not criticized the BoE and there had been no discussion among senior ministers about ending his independence. “It’s sacrosanct,” said a senior government official. “Do you really think we would want to take responsibility for rising interest rates again?”

Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, told the BBC that the BoE was “a great institution” and had done “a good job”, arguing that it was easy to criticize the decisions of the monetary policy committee with the recoil. He added that Bailey was “a very capable central bank governor and is doing everything he can on this issue.”

April’s inflation figures are expected to show prices rising at their fastest pace in more than 40 years. As growth stalled, Britain’s economy has not seen such a period of stagflation since the late 1970s, a period Tories have long used to point out the dangers of letting Labor run the economy .

In the April figures, the first to include the 54% jump in the price cap on household energy bills, economists expect UK consumer price inflation to reach 9.1%, the highest level in the G7. The last time CPI inflation was 9% or more was in early 1982, at a time when the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher was deeply unpopular.

When Bailey testifies before MPs, he will appear with Deputy Governor Sir Dave Ramsden and two of the members of the External Monetary Policy Committee who voted for a bigger half-percentage-point raise earlier this month: Jonathan Haskel and Michael Saunders.

Bailey has declined to comment since the MPC meeting earlier this month, but the BoE believes the underlying inflationary problem in the UK is less acute than in the US and that the rise in prices will slow as the he economy will contract later this year.

Meanwhile, Labor will force a vote on imposing a windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas companies on Tuesday. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has left the door open for a windfall tax if oil and gas companies do not urgently announce new investments. But Kwarteng said on Sunday such a levy was “a bad idea” and would discourage investment in new energy programs.

Ron Koski carries the new blue flag in Algoma-Manitoulin

Ron Koski is the provincial candidate for the New Blue Party in the riding of Algoma-Manitoulin.

He is the Medical Shift Supervisor and Marine Facilities Safety Officer for the Port of Algoma. He has a family, enjoys coaching sports, earned an honors degree in kinesiology from Lakehead University, and is a certified firefighter and medical responder.

Koski was born and raised in Algoma-Manitoulin and made his foray into politics in the June 2 provincial election in a bid to unseat incumbent NDP AM MP Mike Mantha.

ElliotLakeToday asked him about party leadership which was a major factor in this year’s provincial campaign.

ElliotLakeToday – On leadership – who can best lead the province, and why?

Answer: Jim Karahalios is the first provincial chief to present a full list of 124 candidates. One for each constituency. It’s a solid vote of confidence for a platform built on accountability, fiscal responsibility, practical economic strategy, and Charter rights.

In the North, the NDP still benefits from the legacy of labor-based candidates of the past. Today, it is a party that has abandoned the Labor vote in favor of identity politics. This is a party that has no idea what it is or wants to be and is led by a man more concerned with dividing Canadians and securing his retirement in 2025 than the real issues we face.

Leading with accountability, fiscal responsibility, practical economy, and defending Charter rights can be boring; we get it, but that’s where we have to go as a province.

We have a $13 billion deficit that you and I have little chance of closing in the near future. Add to that an education system that needs to be reformed, the much-needed restoration of our healthcare system and an unprecedented encroachment on rights and freedoms.

Ontario’s New Blue Party led by Jim Karahalios is building a powerful new voice in provincial politics. Join us, seriously, and meet people from across Ontario who are coming together to make it happen. You can find us at newblueontario.com. Get a membership, volunteer and be part of the momentum.

ElliotLakeToday Health care – For all its economic wealth, Ontario spends less than the average provincial government per capita on health care. Why are we doing this at a time when we have a huge aging population?

Let’s be frank. Ontario has no wealth; it is in debt and continually borrows, at interest, to stay operational. As of this month, Ontario is on track to add more than $100 billion in debt over the next five years.

The Fraser Institute notes that “the government’s current fiscal plan (Ford-PC) provides no roadmap for improving this measure of fiscal health. In fact, he doesn’t even try. In recent financial documents, the Ford administration has spelled out weaknesses in the fiscal goal of simply preventing further growth in the debt-to-GDP ratio.

Getting ahead of the healthcare crisis is where we need to be. With all the money invested in COVID, how many new hospital expansions have you seen? How many new beds? Instead, Ford’s mishandling of COVID has resulted in the firing of thousands of nurses and the suspension and firing of countless doctors. As Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, said nurses felt “let down by this premier.”

The $500 million gaming license that Ford-PCs donated to the Toronto Star would go a long way to relieving the strain on our seniors and the doctors and nurses they depend on.

ElliotLakeToday – Regarding transportation, industry and infrastructure in Northern Ontario. Hundreds of millions of provincial government dollars have been distributed over the past month, primarily in Sudbury, North Bay and the Sault. But not in Elliot Lake. Do you have any theories?

It’s election season. That means it’s time for the NDP, Liberals and Conservatives to shop around and buy votes. The bigger your voting block, the bigger the purchase. Elliot Lake is home to over 10,700 and like many communities in Northern Ontario it doesn’t discriminate, but all of these communities, including mine in the Village of Laird, have common unmet needs. Needs that could be shared and resolved at scale with leadership focused on the well-being of all of Northern Ontario, not just vote-rich ridings.

ElliotLakeToday – What do you get out the door during your campaign?

The cost of living – housing, groceries, gas, electricity, a worn out healthcare system and “what are they teaching our kids in school!” Four bases and a corrosive leftist addition to our education system. Over the past two years, politicized mandates, unscientific shutdowns and the complete closure of small businesses, the largest employment sector in the economy, have been exhausting. People are fed up and looking for new solutions.

‘Youth transplants’ can really slow down the aging process


The Stanford team infused fluid from 10-week-old mice into the brains of 18-month-old mice for seven days and found that the older mice remembered better to associate a small electric shock with a noise and to a flashing light.

Closer examination showed that the liquid had “awakened” the processes that regenerate neurons and myelin – the fat that protects nerve cells in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre.

Basically, the scientists think they know which part of the fluid is causing the effect: a protein called serum response factor (SRF) that declines in older mice.

When they used a growth factor called Fgf17 to increase SRF levels, the older mice showed the same improvements seen with the youthful infusions, suggesting that Fgf17 could be used as a treatment to rejuvenate aging brains.

The aging process is “malleable”

Dr Tony Wyss-Coray, of Stanford Medical School in California, said research has shown the aging process is “malleable” and that improving the environment in which neurons live can be a better approach than targeting the cells themselves.

And it’s not just in the brain that the rejuvenating properties of youth show promise. The effect seems to work from head to tail.

Earlier this month, the Quadram Institute in Norwich showed that transplanting faecal microbes from young mice into old mice reversed signs of aging in the gut, eyes and brain.

In contrast, when microbes from old mice were transplanted into young mice, it induced inflammation in the brain, depleting a key protein needed for normal sight.

The team is now working to understand how long these positive effects last and how they may impact organs away from the gut.

Dr Aimee Parker, lead author of the study at the Quadram Institute, said: “We were thrilled to discover that by altering the gut microbiota of older adults, we could rescue indicators of age-associated decline commonly seen in degenerative diseases of the eye and brain. .”

Although the latest studies have been performed on mice, these advances mark a significant shift in the field of aging that could soon revolutionize therapies.

Experiments even show that young blood itself can reverse the aging process, possibly even curing Alzheimer’s disease.

Historically, cultures have revered the blood of youth. It was even rumored that Kim Jong-il, the former North Korean dictator, injected himself with the blood of healthy young virgins to slow down the aging process.

The first hint that young blood might rejuvenate came in 2005 when Stanford conducted a macabre experiment by stitching old and young mice together so they shared a circulatory system.

After a month, the scientists discovered that the older mouse’s liver and muscles had begun to regenerate.

In 2014, Harvard University found that young blood also “recharges” the brain, triggering the formation of new blood vessels and improving memory and learning in mice.

The team even identified a “youth protein” that is responsible for keeping the brain and muscles young and strong.

The protein, known as GDF11, is present in the blood in large quantities when we are young, but disappears with age.

Increasing levels of the GDF11 protein in mice has been shown to improve the function of all organs in the body, including the heart.

$8,000 for teenage blood plasma

However, the field is not without controversy. In 2019, an American start-up called Ambrosia that offered teenage blood plasma to Silicon Valley billionaires for $8,000 a liter was forced to close after the FDA warned against the procedure.

In 2017, Ambrosia began a clinical trial designed to find out what happens when adult veins are filled with blood from younger people, but never published the results.

It is still hoped that one day such procedures will be used in humans.

In 2019, Wyss-Coray’s biotech company Alkahest reported the results of a small six-month trial that saw 40 Alzheimer’s disease patients infused with a special blend of human plasma, containing more proteins that disappear with age.

This seemed to halt their expected mental decline. The company also has similar trials underway for Parkinson’s disease, age-related macular degeneration, inflammatory diseases and end-stage kidney disease.

Harvard spin-off company Elevian is also working to produce enough GDF11 to begin human trials exploring whether it can help people recover from strokes.

“Our research suggests that by targeting the fundamental and common underlying mechanisms of aging as opposed to a specific disease, it may be possible to treat and prevent several age-related diseases,” said Dr Mark Allen, CEO and co-founder of Elevian.

It may only be a few years before the “youth transplants” finally move from the pages of gothic horror novels to the clinic. It remains to be seen whether patients will feel disgusted by such vampire procedures.

Plant-based food stocks Beyond Meat, Oatly face reset


In this photo photo Oatly Oat Milk is shown on May 20, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Wall Street seems to be downgrading on herbal substitutes.

Shares of Beyond Meat and Oatly have lost more than half their value this year. Stocks are both high-profile and relatively recent entrants to public markets, prone to big jumps and steep declines in value, a volatility that has only been exacerbated by broader market swings and the pressure from short sellers.

Beyond Meat is trading 87% below its all-time high, and Oatly, which will celebrate its first anniversary as a public company on Friday, is trading more than 80% below its original price.

Industry experts say the declines could mark an inevitable upheaval as investor optimism meets reality.

After years of increasing sales, consumer interest in meat alternatives is waning. Retail sales of plant-based meat were roughly flat in the 52 weeks ended April 30 compared to the year-ago period, Nielsen data showed. The total volume of meat substitutes has fallen 5.8% over the past 52 weeks,