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The sequel to “The Boss Baby” has the merit of knowing its audience


“The Boss Baby: Family Business” doesn’t even pretend.

It’s a film for younger people that has the tone, but tries to appeal to an older audience with its message. The first will work spectacularly. The last? Adults who take their children to see this wonderful film will have to decide for themselves what they will get out of it. Me? I resisted the urge to turn on my phone.

However, it can be hard not to mentally check out before the movie is half-finished. Its predecessor, “The Boss Baby,” was a hit in North America, but with an international box office it grossed over $ 580 million, doing fans a favor and qualifying for a sequel.

This time around, however, the Boss Baby, Theodore (Alec Baldwin). is a business-obsessed adult, never having seen his brother Tim (James Marsden) who was once his best friend. From the first film to adulthood, the brothers have drifted apart.

Tim has a family, which includes his wife, Carol (Eva Longoria), precocious and extremely intelligent Tabitha (Ariana Greenblatt) and new Boss Baby, Tina (Amy Sedaris). Come on, you must have known that someone else would get the coat.

Now adults, the Templeton brothers take a magic formula that turns them into babies for 48 hours. "The Boss Baby: family business" opens Friday on the screens of the area.

Tabitha shows all the signs of being like her goal-oriented uncle as she prepares to attend an elite school run by Dr. Armstrong (a wonderfully delusional Jeff Goldblum), who is determined to unleash the potential of young people. . Yes, it has other nefarious motives, but it appeals to parents knowing that many cannot resist the urge to push their children to surpass themselves to the point of forgetting to feed them.

Tina is sent by a mysterious baby-run company to make sure Tabitha doesn’t get trapped in Dr. Armstrong’s plans, which of course include child domination of the world. To do this, she needs the help of Theodore and her father, Tim, who have their own issues to deal with. Which siblings don’t?

As stated, this one is for the little ones. As director Tom McGrath tries to get something out of Michael McCullers’ script, the outcome is not nearly satisfactory.

While there are a few good moments, the first laugh doesn’t happen until halfway through the film and it’s followed by a positively charming father-daughter bonding scene. Credit when credit is due in this regard.

Other than that, the only aspect of his film to recommend comes from Goldblum’s wacky, megalomaniacal portrayal of Dr. Armstrong. Just like he does in almost everything he appears, he hijacks ss with his low-key wit, rapier, and weird sense of timing.

This is not enough, however. Endure “The Boss Baby: Family Business” for the kids.

George M. Thomas dabbles in film and television for the Beacon Journal. Contact him at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ByGeorgeThomas


Movie: “The Boss Baby: family business”

Throw away: Alec Baldwin, James Marsden, Jeff Goldblum, Amy Sedaris

Directed by: Tom McGrath

Operating time: 1 hour 47 minutes

Rated: PG for coarse humor, soft language and a bit of action

To note: VS

Kishwer and I can feel that life won’t be the same as it used to be


Kishwer Merchant and Suyyash Rai are expecting their first child together. The baby is due in August. The future mother and the future father are very excited by this new phase of their life. An unforeseen surprise, Suyyash and Kishwer consider it a blessing of a lifetime. A few days ago, Suyyash threw the cutest baby shower for his dearest wife. The actor-singer recently confided in the paternity. Speaking to Spotboye, Rishta Likhenge actor Hum Naya said, “I’ve never felt this feeling before, so it’s a wonderful feeling. At first I was very nervous. am very excited and looking forward to the baby to join us in this world. It’s a great feeling… everything is good and happy around. This is one of the best times of my life. ” Read also – 14 Phere: Kriti Kharbanda, Vikrant Massey, Gauahar Khan promise to take us in a riot of laughter in their next film ZEE5 – watch the video

The actor was asked if this new phase had changed him in any way. Suyyash said, “Right now, the kind of time we live in, we may feel that life will not be the same as it used to be. However, Kishwer and I have accepted that this is probably how God wants it to be. we were raising our child at least for the first few years. We always accepted life as it came to us. So I was like “okay, this will be the best”. Also Read – TV Trending Today: Pearl V Puri Statement On Rape Charge, Devoleena Bhattacharjee Belly Dancing Video And More

Speaking about the baby shower he threw for Kishwer, Suyyash said he wanted to plan an elaborate one, but due to the pandemic he couldn’t do it. “I’ve never been to a baby shower before so I had no idea what was going on in the Baby Shower other than what I saw in the movies. At the time of the pandemic, we couldn’t nothing great. Frankly, I wanted to plan a great event by the beach… some real wild outfits… a real big outdoor event. But I tried to do whatever I could to make Kishwer happy. Also Read – Before Sudhanshu Pandey-Rupali Ganguly Anupamaa, Here Are 5 On-Screen TV Couples Who Made Headlines For Their Allegedly Flaws On The Sets – See Photos

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The 21 Best Water Toys For Kids (Because All That Energy Needs A Soak)


We can feel you, it’s a long summer. And besides cool new hobbies and educational toys, every kid needs an excuse to play in the pipe. Or games for the pool. Or both. So here are the funniest cooling sprayers, floats and groundwater on the market today. Because at the end of the day, don’t you want to be remembered as the cool mom with the dinosaur squirting seven feet across her lawn? Pro tip: Since many toys are inflatable, save your lungs and get an air pump.

RELATED: The 35 best subscription boxes for kids

There’s room for three people on this 13ft inflatable mega-yacht with bungee cords to secure your water toys.

$ 211 at Amazon

This 20 inch ball is filled with glitter because kids will appreciate something shiny in the sun.

Buy it ($ 30; $ 20)

We have a few sets of these to have on hand when the children’s friends come, so they can leave with a little keepsake … as long as they’re ready to dive for the gems.

Buy it ($ 30)

Playing hide and seek in the sand is fun with gems, coins, and something called a dinglehopper (aka pitchfork).

Buy it ($ 20)

You toss these weighted eggs into the pool and when the divers collect them, they open to reveal tiny turtles.

Buy it ($ 7)

Windy? Do not be afraid. This sprinkler has small pockets for sand to provide stability while spraying refreshing water on your kids.

Buy it ($ 68)

Be that neighborhood mom who sets up an inflatable dinosaur over six feet tall that spits water. It’s practically community service …

Buy it ($ 57)

This castle comes with its own blower, so it’s quick and easy to inflate, and it has a hose that creates a slide for splashing in a kiddie pool. (Bonus: It’s even a fun bounce and slide experience when you don’t have water flowing.)

$ 330 at Amazon

Three 30-inch foldable rings float underwater and turn your pool into a fun obstacle course.

Buy it ($ 24)

It holds a lot of water (900 cc) and has a powerful jet that shoots up to 35 feet. So by all means be careful when crossing the yard. (We’re buying a set for tweens to work out their disagreements with each other, i.e. a five-step water duel.)

$ 29 on Amazon

Little ones don’t need a pool to have fun in a boat: this inflatable ship is made for playing on dry land, with a built-in sprinkler up front.

Buy it ($ 103; $ 90)

The squirter has a line that directly feeds the pool so that it never runs out of water. (We are buying two to allow tweens to work out their disagreements with each other, i.e. a 5-step water duel.)

$ 24 on Amazon

They’re hoops with something extra: the hole your ball comes out of determines how many points you get for your shot. Since the water will swirl the hoop around, players will be surprised at how much luck kicks in.

$ 33 on Amazon

The rotating windmill feature really brings in the splash, which, let’s be honest, is what groundwater is all about.

Buy it ($ 158; $ 71)

Suitable for strong swimmers of grade school age and up, this four-piece set allows players to balance themselves on two inflatable logs, while toppling over with even more inflatable logs. So if you’ve always wanted to be a suburban lumberjack in a PVC jungle, you’re in luck.

Buy it ($ 58)

Place these two waterslides next to each other and with over 19 feet of trail you can really enjoy a heated water sport.

Buy it ($ 74)

With four miniature soccer balls and a small pump to keep them inflated, this game keeps kids moving to the other side of the pool. (As you get older, an added challenge will be treading water while passing the ball.)

Buy it ($ 40)

Those little tendrils on the flower? They twist wild and ticklishly as the jets of water come out, so expect a lot of screaming from the kids.

Buy it ($ 19)

We love that this low-profile inflatable volleyball setup is just the right height to challenge elementary school kids as well as adults.

Buy it ($ 60)

If a paddling pool and a water table had a baby, it would be this aquatic spectacle. It fills with water and has a splash slide, water sprayer, fishing bucket, ring float … and padded floor for added safety.

$ 40 on Amazon

This reusable film camera has a waterproof housing, so you can teach kids that photography existed before the iPhone.

Buy it ($ 24)

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PureWow may receive a portion of sales of products purchased from this article, which was created independently of PureWow’s editorial and commercial departments.

Rachel N. Quinn, 27, educator, pregnant woman and Winnie the Pooh fan, has died


Rachel N. Quinn lived her life guided by the virtue of kindness.

She pointed this out to her students at Bretton Woods Elementary School in Hauppauge, where her fifth-grade class webpage prominently displays an illustration that reads, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” The Patchogue resident wrote that she wanted two ideas to be constantly reflected on during the school year: “always do your best and have a growth mindset”; and “choose kindness”.

Like many children, Quinn had been bullied at school at times, her best friend, 21, Caitlyn Hansen of Hauppauge said.

“I think when Rachel decided to become a teacher, she wanted to instill this kindness in every one of her students, in every person she met,” said Hansen, 27. “I think it was something that she always wanted to embody and share with others.”

Quinn, 27, a pregnant woman, died suddenly of a heart defect on June 14 at the Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue. Her first child, Ellie Anne Quinn, who was due to arrive in a few weeks, also died.

Quinn, née Battaglia, was born in 1994 and raised in Smithtown, where she attended school in the Hauppauge neighborhood, participating in cheerleaders and choirs. She then obtained a BA in Pedagogy and an MA in Literacy and Cognition from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

Quinn always sought to become a teacher in the district she attended, her family said. She has spent the past three years at Bretton Woods teaching fifth and fourth graders in special education, her husband, Nate, 32, said.

“A good teacher can change a child’s life and give them the confidence to be a better person,” said Nate Quinn, air traffic controller. “She wanted to be that person for the children of Hauppauge and really make a difference in the lives of some children.”

Danielle Sukoff, Rachel Quinn’s co-teacher in the class, arranged for a tree to be planted in front of the school in her memory. The redbud tree, which has heart-shaped leaves, was donated by Olsen’s Nursery in Smithtown, and Quinn’s students and family held a small ceremony last week.

“It means all the love she had for her students and gave to our entire community,” said Bretton Woods Principal George Gagliardi. “He was a loving and kind person who had a great passion for teaching and always put his students first.”

Additionally, the school’s Special Education PTA has renamed its annual Kindness Award in honor of Quinn. The prize, which this year went to fifth-graders Sadie Fox and Sahmuel Babyak, comes with a $ 25 Amazon gift card, but Nate Quinn gave the kids each an additional $ 250 gift card.

When not in the classroom, Rachel Quinn could usually be found dancing or reading. She loved her cat Colt, whom she adopted despite a neurological disease that made it difficult for her to walk.

After the couple adopted their miniature poodle, named Winnie after Quinn’s favorite animated character Winnie the Pooh, she told her husband that she wanted to bring the dog to the libraries while she read to young people. children.

Quinn was also a talented singer who enjoyed singing songs such as “Shallow” from the 2018 movie “A Star is Born”. On a Bermuda cruise, the group were so impressed with what they heard from Quinn that they pulled her out of the crowd and on stage to sing, her husband recalls.

Quinn met her future husband in 2015 during a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Patchogue. Three years later, the couple got married. Nate Quinn said his then-fiancée chose Lombardi’s on the Bay in Patchogue as a venue because she wanted to be married somewhere the couple could return years later to have dinner with their children.

“She saw it and said, ‘This is it. We can take our kids here and show them where mom and dad got married, ”her husband said.

Quinn loved children.

“Whenever we saw a child, she always wanted to hold him if he needed comfort,” he said. “She was so excited to have a baby. She was ready to spoil our daughter so much.”

Quinn was known for her generosity and thoughtfulness, whether it was choosing the right gift or throwing a surprise party for her parents’ 60th birthday. A few weeks ago, Quinn sent out thank you cards after her baby shower and took the time to “write everyone a novel” in pink ink, Hansen said.

“Everything had good intention and was so thoughtful, positive and kind,” she said. “She has always gone one step further with everything she has done.”

Quinn’s favorite saying was a quote from the movie “Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin”:

“If ever there is a tomorrow when we are not together, there is something you have to remember … You are braver than you think and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think so. But the most important thing is even if we are apart, I will always be with you. “

Her brother, Rob Battaglia, 28, of Smithtown, said the quote reflected his sister’s attitude towards others.

“He was someone who was really trying to make the most of life and give back to society as much as possible, who was just trying to make the world a better place,” he said. “She had a big impact in a short period of time.”

Along with her husband and brother, Quinn is survived by her parents, Sandra and Robert Battaglia, and a younger sister, Reanna Battaglia, all of Smithtown.

Quinn and her daughter were buried in St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale.

Representative Devlin, host of Operation Hope Fairfield Diaper Drive


From the Connecticut House Republican office:

FAIRFIELD, CT – State Representative Laura Devlin, R-134, in cooperation with Operation Hope, organized a one-month City Diaper Drive to help Fairfield neighbors who need baby essentials.

On Saturday, Diaper Drive culminated with a deposit at Saugatuck Sweets with special guest First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, where residents had another chance to donate.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped and donated diapers for Fairfield families in need. Your donation of diapers for babies and their mothers is helping tremendously,” said Devlin. “Job losses have disproportionately affected women during the pandemic, especially mothers, and diaper banks across the country have said they are busier than ever, which is why this is so important.”

Diapers are an expensive but essential need for babies, yet they are not covered by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

“The cost of diapers has increased this year, making it even more difficult for families to get the supplies they need to keep their babies healthy and safe,” said First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick. “This annual diaper drive is a small step in an effort to support families in need. It is always heartwarming to see how our community always comes together to help each other.”

According to the National Diaper Bank Network, one in three families already needs diapers. For a single parent earning the federal minimum wage, the cost of diapers alone could amount to almost 7% of their monthly income (before tax).

“I am so grateful to our donor community for recognizing that struggling families need help dealing with the high cost of diapers,” said Operation Hope CEO Carla Miklos. “It’s a public health crisis, and we’re so fortunate that Representative Laura Devlin continues to organize this effort every year.”

This event has been an annual diaper drive for years and was postponed last year due to COVID, but that did not end the demand for diapers, which Operation Hope says has since increased.

While this fundraising effort has made a huge difference, diapers are still in need and donations are always welcome. Contact Miklos at Operation Hope at 203-254-2935 if you would like to donate.

Thyme to cook with your children Virtual cooking class


Success! A bread approved for 4 years. Photo: Laura Dornbush

What: Thyme to Cook, a live cooking class for the whole family on Zoom

who: A greedy mom and her messy but enthusiastic 4-year-old son

Or: Our condo kitchen

When: Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Finding new and engaging activities to entertain my 4 year old son, Duke, at home last year has been quite a challenge. And frankly, I’m just tired and out of ideas. Virtual classes have therefore been a lifeline for us during the pandemic. We log into Zoom, and I hand the reins over to someone else for a little while. You name it, we’ve tried it: Virtual MyGym, Sunday School, Story Time.

We also took care of supporting the pastry craze. We made Bavarian pretzels, cinnamon rolls, and pizza dough, to name a few. Yes, it can be scary having a preschooler in the kitchen. I don’t know which fear is greater: the sharp knives at hand or the inevitable mess that will have to be cleaned up afterwards. Despite all this, having Duke enthusiastic about cooking and baking (which I am passionate about), is worth it.

See also: 🧁 What it’s really like to be a baker (and parent of a baker) at the Kids Baking Championship

So, I signed up for a Thyme to Cook With Your Kids virtual cooking class. The business was started by Maui’s mother and former Me-Shell Mijangos Elementary School teacher during the pandemic to encourage families to enter the kitchen with their children. The recipes are healthy and kid-friendly, but elevated, like tasty jar stickers, pumpkin and sage ravioli, and rustic apple and caramel patties.

Although you can take only one course, Thyme to Cook With Your Kids is designed as a subscription program. A monthly subscription gives you access to two live courses each month as well as previously recorded courses. The bimonthly classes became a kind of community where the keiki of Hawaii and the mainland got to know each other. There’s even a private Facebook group where members cheer each other on, exchange recipes, and show off photos of their end products.

We received our recipe and instructions ahead of time, so I could prepare and measure all the ingredients before class started. This week’s recipe was Vegan Banana Bread with Guest Chef Tabay Atkins, a 15-year-old vegan chef and yoga teacher. I was both excited that Duke could get in touch with a teenage chef and relieved that this week’s recipe was actually something my picky eater would try.

Thyme To Cook Ask a question Photo Laura Dornbush

A live workshop means you can ask questions (or show off your skills). Photo: Laura Dornbush

Armed with my apron and Duke on a stepladder, we joined Zoom and were warmly greeted by host Me-Shell; Chief Tabay and his mother, Sahel; and four other classmates. After the greetings and a brief introduction, we followed Chef Tabay step by step in the preparation of the banana bread. No surprise, Duke’s favorite step was to mash the bananas. He even raised his hand to show off his superb brewing skills to the rest of the class. But Duke was impatient: rather than wait for instructions, he worked ahead of the group, pouring and mixing all the ingredients we had on our counter.

Tabay explained how flax seeds, a new ingredient for many families, can replace eggs in baked goods. In the Zoom gallery view, we could see a girl and her mom with panicked faces: they didn’t have flax seeds! Calmly, Tabay introduced them to the possible substitutes, and the whole class applauded when the mother found chia seeds at the back of her cupboard. The feeling of community and teamwork could be felt through the screen.

Laura Dornbush Thyme Cooking Plastic Wrap Computer Photo

Advice for parents: Protect your keyboard with plastic wrap. Photo: Laura Dornbush

The class was truly interactive, with each classmate being ‘spotlighted’ to show their progress or ask a question. When it was Duke’s turn he was a little shy but managed to show his hitter and ask, “Did I do it right?” Most of the other classmates were girls between the ages of 8 and 10; they seemed passionate about cooking and took the course very seriously.

Chef Tabay encouraged us to personalize our banana bread with additions like cinnamon or jam. Once everyone’s bread was in the oven, he shared how his mother’s cancer diagnosis inspired him to go vegan, how he developed his banana bread recipe while living in Maui. and his next cookbook. Duke logged out during the chat and went to play with his Paw Patrol toys.

Thyme To Cook Duke Waiting Photo Laura Dornbush

The hardest part is to wait. Photo: Laura Dornbush

Of course, the hardest part of the course was waiting for the banana bread to be ready! Our condo was filling with the most delicious aroma. Chef Tabay taught us the “toothpick test”: insert a toothpick into bread and if it comes out clean, you know it’s done. After two toothpick tests, ours was finally finished. But then we had to let it cool down, which is extremely difficult for a 4 year old to do. Ugh! Finally, the sweet reward for all our hard work was ready. Duke and I both quickly shoveled a slice of banana bread. He was so proud and couldn’t wait to share a share with his grandmother and father too!

Our 5 tips

  1. Prepare to succeed. Create inner calm in the kitchen by taking out all your supplies and tools before class begins. It is also beneficial to pre-measure the ingredients and have a hard copy of the recipe.
  2. Saran is a savior. Recalling the dentist’s office, I protected my computer keyboard and mouse with cling film because you never know where the mess may end up.
  3. P is for patience. There will be a learning curve, especially if you are new to cooking with your kids. Make it fun and not too serious. Remember, it’s about bonding with your child.
  4. Safety first. Teach children sharp things, hot things, and other potentially dangerous things in the kitchen. I felt so bad when Duke ended up with a little burn on his wrist while performing the toothpick test, but he’s fine!
  5. Teamwork is the source of dream work. Involve your keiki in the cleaning process, including doing the dishes, putting the tools back in their place, and putting the ingredients away in the cupboard. These are vital skills to learn!

Thyme to Cook With Your Kids offers single classes ($ 29), monthly subscriptions ($ 39 / month), and access to the video safe of pre-recorded lessons ($ 19 / month). Live classes via Zoom are held the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 2:30 p.m. HST and typically last an hour. thymetocookwithyourkids.com

No matter Wimbledon, Naomi Osaka’s brand value is strong


In a trader’s ideal world, tennis star Naomi Osaka would walk the green grass of Wimbledon in stylishly modern Nike tennis whites, Beats by Dre Flex Wireless headphones clearly visible in her ears, with the pop of the neon green band of the Tag Heuer smartwatch that she wore on the cover of Vogue Japan catches your eye on its wrist. Then she would sit down and maybe get a quick massage with her Hyperice Hypervolt before warming up for her game. It would be a perfect – and perfectly natural – product placement moment that the whole world could see at the most renowned tennis tournament on the planet.

But this script does not happen. Not this year.

On June 17, Osaka announced that it was dropping out of Wimbledon, which began on June 28. She had decided to extend her Grand Slam break beyond Roland Garros, from which she withdrew on May 31, citing the need for a break to attend to her own sanity.

The timing for this Roland Garros announcement, after a wave of outrage in the press over its previous decision to skip media availability, was apparently a bit awkward for Osaka’s brand partners, which include not only those whose names have been verified above, but also Levi’s and Sweetgreen. In decades past, this situation would have been a nightmare scenario for the brand’s sponsors. Marketers have reportedly invested millions of dollars in creating advertising campaigns, events and more around their sports sponsor participating in their sport’s biggest scene. The question brands would have been asking themselves right now is: When will she perform again in front of millions of people? explains Basia Wojcik, vice president of sports at Marketing Arm, an agency specializing in the association of brands and athletes.

For much of the last century, brands have recruited athletes to endorse their products. From milk chocolate chesterfields to fast food to shoes, most are based on the idea that if those more than humans, physical specimens, and sports champions are using a certain product, it must be good enough for you and me. The more an athlete won, the more famous they became and, therefore, the more valuable their support was to marketers. It was also largely a time when what we knew about professional athletes was what we saw on the pitch or on the pitch. Maybe a magazine profile here and there, but really, the image of the athlete has been forged above all in the sport itself.

The post-Kaepernick era of sports marketing

Times, however, have changed and as Osaka has become a cultural figure beyond the tennis court, the fact that it is speaking about an important and personal issue is not just a commercial calamity, but offers a unique opportunity for its brand sponsors. Now, as Wojcik says, the conversation is more about: How long does she need? How long should we just go back? Then it’s about working with your managers and agents to ask yourself what it is like to come out of this period of calm, and what is the best way to work together to achieve it.

From the moment Osaka announced his withdrawal from Roland Garros, his brand sponsors have all publicly supported.

“We don’t see this as a problem,” says Nathaniel Ru, co-founder and brand director of Sweetgreen. Just the week before Osaka’s exit from Roland Garros, the company caused a stir by announcing him as its very first national athlete ambassador and youngest investor. Osaka has its own signature bowl: hot quinoa, baby spinach, cilantro, tomato, tortilla chips, raw carrots, goat cheese, blackened chicken, lime-cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette, avocado and hot Sweetgreen sauce. And on May 26, 100% of sales from each Naomi Osaka Bowl went to supporting AAPI-led organizations dedicated to improving access to food in Asian American and island communities. of the Pacific.

“We think of mental health like health in general,” Ru says, “so we thought about how we could support it. To be honest, we just gave him some room.

Chris Thorne, chief marketing officer for Beats by Dre, said his brand’s approach to Osaka right now is one of support, but he also refers to LeBron James’ More Than an Athlete platform, placing her in a category similar to that of James or former professional quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick played his last game in the NFL in 2017, yet remains one of America’s most famous and popular athletes. Likewise, Osaka represents more than a potential Grand Slam victory.

“Kaepernick doesn’t play sports right now, but he’s very active in a number of things we’re working on,” Thorne said. “It’s not about being on the pitch. LeBron works a lot with Beats and you won’t see him in a basketball uniform. This is because they represent so much more. When we did the “You Love Me” campaign and the Beats Flex campaign, where Naomi braided “Silence is violence” through her hair, it wasn’t through her agent trying to convey a creative concept. We work directly with her, and it’s a collaboration of her ideas.


Create space and opportunities

Giving time and support to Osaka seems to be the consensus of all of its major sponsors. “Our hearts go out to Naomi,” Nike said in a statement. “We support her and recognize her courage in sharing her own mental health experience. Watchmaker Tag Heuer’s statement said, “Naomi is going through some tough times and we really hope to see her again soon.” She is a great champion and we are convinced that she will emerge from this period stronger, whether professionally or personally. Like Sweetgreen, Tag Heuer is a recent partner, signing Osaka in January.

But Osaka’s move gives brands a chance to create goodwill PR by supporting the athlete. “It gives brands the opportunity to pivot and tell a different story,” Wojcik explains. “You don’t talk about Wimbledon, but you still talk about Naomi and an important issue.”

The sport and performance of any athlete remains of course a vital aspect of their appeal to the public. But in the age of social media, athletes have become three-dimensional human beings with hobbies (what?!), passions (no!) and, yes, social and political opinions (shocking!) beyond their profession. Increasingly, these other aspects have become as important (or nearly so) to an athlete’s popularity and place in culture.

Training and recovery technology brand Hyperice has been working with Osaka since 2019, and CEO Jim Huether said the company originally partnered with it because of its presence and popularity with the public in the States. -United and in Japan, but also because of the authenticity of his voice in speaking to this audience. Her reasoning for skipping the events of the Grand Slam, and the way she articulated and handled that decision, only confirmed her commitment.

“His leadership and ability to speak with his own voice has really proven to be powerful,” Huether said. “The way she spoke about BLM is really inspiring. And I think we see the same with mental health. His voice resonates even beyond professional sport. It’s incredible.”

Property on approval

With a more direct connection with their audience and fans through their social media, athletes can turn each post into a moment of image building, their own story told by them. In other words, athletes, who no longer depend solely on the mainstream media and marketers to tell us who they are, have largely taken ownership of their personal brands. When it comes to partners, more and more, these athletes are also moving from endorsers holding the product and smiling to corporate investors.

Osaka is an investor in both Sweetgreen and Hyperice.

Huether believes her speaking out the way she did will be seen as a transformative moment that has helped a lot of people, and more corporate clients – such as Equinox, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and Orangetheory – have reached out to say they like it. Hyperice has Osaka as a partner and how brave she is. “We got a better response from our partners on this than after his victory at the US Open,” said Huether. “The selection of your ambassadors is very important because it is these people, and not just their performance, that will reflect on your brand. In fact, I think her decision to retire had more of an impact, both for her brand and ours, than if she had played and won.

Sweetgreen’s Ru says flexibility beyond the pro tennis schedule – and treating Naomi like a multidimensional human, not just a tennis player – has been built into their partnership from the start, making the past few weeks easy to navigate. “What we have tried to do with our marketing campaign is to overtake her as a tennis player that everyone knows and try to dig deeper into what she loves to do and what her passions are apart from. tennis, ”Ru said. “Naomi is very fond of food, she loves playing video games, she loves to meditate, she loves fashion. We just wanted to make it fun and show off the layers behind the tennis player, and it was really fun doing it.

Unlike any given sports season, pop culture never stops and marketers act on it. According to Beats by Dre’s Thorne, “The message of working with Naomi is going to be great in January or June, whatever.”

Molly Bernard on playing a messy character supported by the queer family


Shortly after proposing to be the surrogate mother of a single gay man in his 50s, the film’s protagonist Milk water makes so many squeaky decisions that viewers can consider looking through their fingers like they’re projecting a horror movie. Milk water touches on some creepy, but relatable behavior, but that’s part of the charm of this romantic comedy about platonic love and chosen family.

For Molly Bernard, best known for the eccentric, HIV-positive pansexual character of Lauren on Younger, there is some freedom to play Milk water‘s Milo, a messy 26-year-old straight woman who, despite some glaring missteps, is lovingly supported by the queer people in her life. These people include the father of the child she is carrying, Roger (Patrick Breen), her roommate George (Robin de Jesús) and her best friend Noor (Ava Eisenson). That Bernard is strange and knows well the impact of logical or chosen families adds an important layer to his portrait.

“Milo is trying to find a way out of his own isolation,” she says of her character, who lost both parents at a young age. “When you’re as traumatized and hurt as she is.” You are looking for those loopholes.

“I also like that the most stable people around her are her queer friends,” says Bernard. Avocado. “It just goes back to classic queer stories. “

From writer and director Morgan Ingari, Milk water starts with a baby shower for Noor, Milo and George’s queer best friend, and her partner. Unable to get into the spirit of diaper-sniffing shower games, Milo and George retreat to a gay bar where Milo sympathizes with Roger, a bar owner and drag artist who feels time is running out to have a child. . After a short friendship, Milo, a wayward musician who works in a guitar store, offers to carry Roger’s baby to the chagrin of his friends who find his sudden act of munificence out of character. Milo and Roger form a platonic love that runs for a while until he enters into a romantic relationship with someone from his group of gay fathers. He draws boundaries with Milo, who, feeling sidelined, quietly stalks him for company as he struggles to maintain a separation between them.

“Isn’t it funny that queers are like the Normans?” It’s one of my favorite little niceties of the movie, ”says Bernard.

A native of Brooklyn who cut his teeth by earning an MFA at the prestigious Yale School of Drama, Bernard was immediately drawn to Milo, who is in many ways the opposite of Youngerit’s Lauren. Where Lauren is confident and focused on her career, Milo is restless.

“She is messy and not immediately sympathetic, she fights, she is lost and she is in need. It’s all of those things, and I bonded with all of them, ”says Bernard. “I was a big mess for most of my 20s. And I sort of come out of this maelstrom.

Even for Bernard, who sat with Milk waterduring filming and since its release, the film stealthily escapes easy categorization. Milo meets a nice musician, Cameron (Ade Otukoya), and goes out with him. But the real love story is with her friends and Roger. In one of the first scenes, she and Roger open up to each other as he is half dressed and half undressed for his dragster alter ego, Angela Merkin. And it’s intimate in its own way. In another more overtly intimate scene, they together read Anne Sexton’s poem “The Mother Consecrator” (the inspiration for the film’s title) to the baby in the womb.

“There were times on set where I remember thinking, Oh this movie is a romantic comedy, but obviously not. But it’s kind of a romantic comedy between Milo and Roger. And then there’s the romance with Cameron, ”says Bernard. “Then it turns out it’s a coming-of-age story in a way, and it’s not. What it isn’t, is confusing. Like, the script does. isn’t confused as to the story it’s telling. It’s just saying it in an informal way. Not the traditional way we know.

There’s a reason why so many LGBTQ-themed movies and TV shows (It’s a sin, Pose, Tales of the city, and even Younger to name a few) tell of how gay people build family units outside of biological ties. But Milk water takes it one step further as Milo, who is not LGBTQ +, is greeted and cared for by her queer family, no matter how hard she gropes. In one scene, Noor, a lawyer, expresses his concern about the terms of the surrogate contract Roger drafted. At another point, although George suffered from Milo’s erratic behavior when she is reeling from Roger’s attempts to distance himself from her, it is clear that he will always come forward for her. The family dynamic created by Ingari is personal and resonates with Bernard.

“I myself come from a select queer family. I am separated from my biological mother. And I have these two moms in my life, and they are my universe, they are my people. And they are not biological parents. And yet, they are my parents, you know, ”Bernard shares. “This is something that is so important to me and most of my friends. They are my chosen family.

“This aspect of the script was obvious to me. We need more movies like this that portray family showing off for each other, ”she adds. “The word family has nothing to do with biology as far as I’m concerned. This part of the film is therefore very powerful. Hope this is one of the beautiful things people have left – this feeling of Wow, the family can be very different. “

Milk water is available on VOD now and will be available on Netflix from July 18th.

Ilana Glazer’s ‘False Positive’ Takes Pregnancy Fear Seriously


It’s funny to find reassuring horror. Yet, as a person who has given birth twice, this is my reaction to Ilana Glazer’s reaction. False positive. The movie is out today on Hulu, and let’s just say it’s a wild ride (I’ll try to minimize spoilers). Written by and performed by one of the creators of Big city to Ilana Glazer, False positive is a Rosemary baby-film type but from a feminist point of view, a look at all the ways in which society drives women, especially pregnant women, crazy. Clearly, this narrative, this look at the grotesque of motherhood needs a woman’s point of view.

The film follows Glazer as Lucy, a heroine who totally drank Kool-Aid around motherhood. She has been trying for two years to get pregnant with her husband Adrian (Justin Theroux), believing that childbirth will fill her up and turn her into “one of those women who have everything for everything”. But from the start, False positive is made up of weird camera angles and haunting music, letting us know that Lucy will find herself very far from the “fairy tale ending” that a character repeatedly mentions.

Things start to go wrong, with False positive finding its drama in the discourse around modern pregnancy. Take the idea of ​​“mom’s brain”, a phrase that is said so many times in this film that it loses all of its meaning. Scientifically studied, the idea that pregnant people are naturally confused, forgetful or incompetent makes our worries easy to dismiss. It’s supposed to be cute or silly, but when it’s a weapon, like it is against Lucy, it’s anything but, which helps make her lose control of so many aspects of her life. In one scene, Lucy and Adrian are partying and he pushes her to drink champagne, even though she doesn’t want to. Here, Adrian wields his power over her in a simple but damaging way, and her refusal to honor her wishes only gets worse as the film progresses. The men in her office don’t respect her privacy and want to use her pregnancy to attract a new client, whether or not she’s comfortable with it. When it works, they sideline her, citing her maternity leave as something that would ‘lose momentum’. It doesn’t matter if they use her ideas, her pregnancy, her performance. She just needs to order lunch.

And it’s vanity at the heart of False positive: The film takes seriously the real fear and loss that comes with being a pregnant person.

This impotence extends to the very body of the pregnant person. It’s literally not yours anymore – you officially share it. When I was pregnant, I oscillated between feeling like the tiny organism was a little bundle of joy or some alien creature feeding on my life force, just like Lucy. She is in love with the idea of ​​a girl but sometimes horrified by the fact. This lack of control over one’s own body can go beyond existential fear – whether it’s extreme and potentially dangerous discomfort like for women who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum or like the fictional Lucy and Too Much. others who survive rape. But no matter how it manifests, all too often the message to pregnant women is that this impotence is just something we are meant to swallow as part of becoming a mom.

But it shouldn’t be. It clearly shouldn’t be. And it’s vanity at the heart of False positive: The film takes seriously the real fear and loss that comes with being a pregnant person. To ignore valid concerns about the loss of your career, your identity and your autonomy to the cult of motherhood is a crazy fabrication.

And that’s part of the reason False positive works so well that sometimes being a mom feels like you’re always on. Take my own induction into motherhood. I knew I had to go to the hospital, but neither my husband nor my doula believed me. I had to convince them. My husband indeed missed the birth of our firstborn because the doctor (a woman) told him that it would take time and that we had to move the car. Everyone thought I was overreacting, hysterical, dramatic, or weak. No one considered the possibility that I would know better what my body was telling me. (I had a very short job, like my mom and as I told the doula and my OB-GYN beforehand.) Good. Mistrusting women and minimizing their worries seems to be the default in our culture right now. It’s horrible.

As a non-evil midwife tells Lucy halfway, there is power and strength in creating humans. We just have to see it that way.

I don’t want to end up on horror, however. False positive doesn’t – or at least that’s not how I read the end. Because there is also power, so much power in motherhood. When my husband tries to take credit for something like my daughter’s nose, I remind him that he hasn’t Make whatever. I built our beautiful babies from my own body, and all he did was give me half a plan. As a non-evil midwife tells Lucy halfway, there is power and strength in creating humans. We just have to see it that way (and somehow convince society as a whole to do it too). Ultimately, Lucy reclaims her power and her narrative, taking revenge on those who would take advantage of her and rewriting her narrative to be the one she consents to, even though it takes some magical realism to make that happen. .

It is this broader perspective that I would have liked to have had more, the one that portrays motherhood in all its contradictions. We need more movies that humanize the role – that dispel expectations and set us all free to name the issues we face. Movies like False positive help redefine the story of motherhood not around self-sacrifice but rather self-love. And if it’s not affirmative, I don’t know what it is.

False positive is available to stream on Hulu.

Fire leaves Topekan Juanita Cardenas and her 4 children homeless


Juanita Cardenas was 11 when she lost her younger brother to a house fire.

Now Cardenas finds herself helping her four children – ages 9, 6, 4 and 1 – cope with the trauma of being left homeless due to a fire.

The fire was reported at around 4:15 a.m. on June 17 at their home, 1105 SW Western Ave. No one was hurt.

Cardenas says the fire cost her and her family almost everything they owned because their belongings were not covered by insurance. The lost items included an autographed Patrick Mahomes jersey that Cardenas won at a charity auction, she said.

Investigators believe the fire was intentionally started, although this is still under investigation, Topeka Fire Marshal Todd Harrison said. No arrests were made.

‘It could have been worse’

Fortunately, Cardenas said, she and her children were elsewhere the night of the blaze.

Only the two family dogs were at home and they were rescued by Topeka firefighters.

“It could have been worse,” Cardenas said.

She knows it from experience.

Cardenas recalled watching from the back seat of a police car in the late morning of December 12, 1999, as a fire destroyed the house where his family lived at 118 Blaine Ave. in Galesburg, Illinois. Her brother, Joe, 3 years old Younge, died of smoke inhalation.

Greg A. Hillier, then 23, pleaded guilty to the fire and was sentenced to jail in December 2000 for crimes including manslaughter and aggravated arson.

Hillier admitted to setting the fire by throwing a lit cigarette over a pile of clothes because he was rejected by Younge’s mother and Juanita Cardenas, said Paul Mangieri, then state attorney for Knox County, in Illinois.

Mangieri told the Galesburg Register-Mail that he did not think Hillier intended to kill the boy.

After:It took more than a week for its owner to fix the air conditioning. The delay put her child in danger.

In May 2011, a pregnant Juanita Cardenas was woken up early one morning by her pit bull, King, who helped her escape as a fire damaged the house she then lived in Galesburg, the Register-Mail reported. Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire, the newspaper reported.

Cardenas said she moved about five and a half years ago to Topeka, where she works for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Since the fire on June 17, she said she has been trying to find permanent accommodation while she and her children stay in her boyfriend’s two-bedroom apartment in Carbondale. Their dogs are housed at the Helping Hands Humane Society in Topeka, Cardenas said.

“If they want to draw, let them draw”

Children of different ages tend to react differently to traumatic experiences such as being made homeless by a fire, said Abby Callis, director of quality outcomes and training for the service center and orientation for Topeka’s family.

Very young children may not say anything at all, instead drawing pictures or pretending their dollhouse is on fire, Callis said.

Regardless of their age, children should be encouraged to process their emotions about traumatic events in the ways they prefer, the two most popular being conversation and drawing, Callis said.

After:“My soul is crushed”: DaMya Shyann Hudnall, victim of the Topeka shooting, has withdrawn her life support.

“If they want to draw, let them draw,” she said. “If they want to talk, let them talk.”

Sharing factual information with children about traumatic events can also be helpful from a treatment perspective, Callis said.

“It’s good to tell the kids ‘We are not going to live there anymore,’” she said.

Callis suggests that trusted adults help children try to deal with their emotions during traumatic times by asking questions such as “How are you?” Or “How was that to you?”

Some kids won’t want to share their emotions, and that’s okay, Callis said.

Topeka Fire Department investigators believe the blaze that ravaged Juanita Cardenas' home may have been started on purpose, but investigations are ongoing.  The family was not at home the night of the fire.

“Rise from the ashes”

As Cardenas and her family face homelessness, her friend, Jenna Meyer, raises money to help them.

She started a GoFundMe page, titled “Juanita: Rising From the Ashes”, which aims to raise $ 5,000.

“Juanita and her 4 children now have nowhere to call home,” Meyer wrote on this page. “They have no clothes to wear. They have no beds to sleep on. These children now have no toys to play with. How humble of thought.”

Cardenas and his family have “a ton of reconstruction to do,” the page adds.

“So here we are, as a village, to take care of one of our own,” he says. “The funds raised will allow Juanita and her family to find a safe place to call home.”

# Hydration is trending on social networks – Glossy


Water – yes, water – is all the rage on social media. No matter who you are and what corner of the internet you frequent, there is a community of hydrators ready to increase their water intake with you, all with the help of a certain bottle of water. .

There have been “status” water bottles for ages – from basic Nalgenes (or Nalgenes for merch, allowing people to show their allegiance to a brand) to Bkr bottles to S’well. In 2019, there was the rise of the VSCO girl, whose puka necklaces and Birkenstocks would have been incomplete without a Hydro Flask water bottle. But in today’s age of working from home, especially as content opportunities have been limited, the humble water bottle has come to life. The hashtag #Hydration, which is often linked to content related to nutrition, fitness and beauty, has 165 million views on TikTok.

Christina Najjar, whose @itsmetinx account has 1.2 million followers on TIC Tac, introduced his fans to the Classic Tumbler by bottle company Simple Modern in October 2020. She said she was influenced to buy it by her friends (and former Victoria’s Secret Angels) Jasmine Tookes and Sara Sampaio. “It literally changed my life. I wear it like a baby, I’m a hydrated bitch, ”she said in an October 2020 post, which has 810,000 likes and 4.6 million views. She likened the tumbler to an “adult spout tumbler”, thanks to the straw.

About two hours after Tinx posted, we started getting text messages from friends and family saying, “Hey, there’s an article about you blowing up” which was really fun to see. Until then, we hadn’t really used TikTok much, ”said Chris Hoyle, CMO of Simple Modern. The company is privately held and does not discuss performance publicly. Hoyle, however, said Tinx’s backing was having a “favorable impact.”

Stanley, meanwhile, has been making water bottles since 1913, but his Adventure Quencher Travel Tumbler (known colloquially to its fans like “the Quencher” or “the Cup”) is experiencing a renaissance. The initial popularity increased thanks to The buying guide, a shopping blog that now has an entire web page dedicated to “the history of the cup”. Utah influencer and mom Rachel Parcell (185,000 followers on Instagram) is one of the fans. Terence Reilly, global president of Stanley, said the product’s initial popularity was mainly due to word of mouth. It got a waiting list of 33,000 people from November 2020 to June 7, 2021. On June 7, the Quencher was restocked and sold again within five hours. The waitlist is now back to 23,000. The brand has since embarked on paid influencer marketing, working with influencers like Peloton Instructor. Emma Lovewell and Courtney Quinn (@colormecourtney on Instagram; 752,000 subscribers). Reilly called Quinn an “important” influencer and noted that she has shared the product organically since the partnership. The hype continues. On June 23, The Buy Guide posted an Instagram Publish to its 120,000 subscribers, helping to facilitate sales of the cup for those who had failed to order prior to the sale.

Water drop, which sells water bottles and tiny flavored cubes, has also gained popularity with influencers and their audiences. Austrian The brand has forged paid partnerships with popular lifestyle influencers like Grace Atwood (169,000 Instagram followers) and Emily Schumann (548,000 Instagram followers). The brand has worked with “hundreds of millennial influencers – both macro and micro – in the lifestyle, health, wellness and home segments,” said the CEO and co- founder Martin Murray. He said the brand is “particularly popular with young moms and women aged 20-30 who are striving to make a name for themselves in the influencer space.” The strategy has increased the brand’s Instagram followers by 100% since its launch in April in the United States.

On Instagram, writer Danielle Prescod has an Instagram story highlight called “Water Cult,” chronicling those who tagged her in their half-gallon buys and gallon water bottles. Khloé and Kim Kardashian also released their water bottles, which feature motivational phrases to get the user to keep drinking, like “Remember your goal,” “Don’t give up,” and “Keep blowing.” The $ 18 Fidus Motivational Water Bottle, which Khloé Kardashian has, has nearly 18,000 ratings on Amazon, with many reviewers noting how comically great it is. Others swear it’s the only thing that really helped them stay hydrated. Interesting way, The coldest, another brand present on social networks, including 342,000 subscribers on TikTok, sponsored ads on the platform comparing its temperature-keeping technology to Amazon’s gallon bottles. Meghan Casey, a ventriloquist influencer with 1.8 million followers on TikTok, made a ad for The coldest in January, illustrating the comparison.

Khloé Kardashian’s Instagram Stories

According to Chelsea golub, MS, RDN, “AAn easy way to figure out how much water we should be getting is to take your body weight in pounds and halve it.

“Not drinking enough water will cause dehydration, which can lead to dizziness, headaches, fatigue, dry mouth and skin, and constipation,” she said. While overhydration is much less common, it should be noted that it also comes with risks. Symptoms can actually be similar to those of dehydration.

However, most people need an extra boost to stay hydrated. For those who really struggle, there is Cirkul. Cirkul sells water bottles, but its main product is a flavor cartridge, which allows users to customize the flavor level. Like reusable water bottles, this is an eco-friendly product, as the included aroma can last up to 10 refills. The cartridges use the same amount of plastic as a bottle of Gatorade, said Garrett Wagoner, co-founder of Cirkul.

Although the company was launched in 2018, it too has a time – itThe order volume increased by more than 300% from December 2020 to March 2021. #cirkulwaterbottle hashtag now has 38 million views on TikTok. In the videos, people to prove their impact on the functioning of the product, which dispenses flavor without impacting the color of the water. Many say the brand’s Brew Sips flavor makes water taste like latte.

“As it evolves, especially with TikTok and the increased awareness on this platform, new customers are entering the ecosystem,” Wagoner said. “Gen Z and Millennial men and women care about the environment. And it’s less plastic and health conscious. Most flavor cartridges are zero calorie and use sugar substitutes like Stevia.

“Usually they just want to drink more water,” he said. “And sometimes they struggle with it.”

Sukish’s lockdown baby shower is cuteness overload


Indian TV actors Suyyash Rai and Kishwer M Rai, who started their romance in 2011, are all set to become parents and welcome their first child in August.

Sukish, as the duo affectionately call themselves, recently celebrated their baby shower and posted numerous snaps and videos of the same on their Instagram pages. The theme for the baby shower was a mix of flowers and balloons. The decor was just aesthetic and the expectant parents looked stylish as always.

The expectant parents opted for a mix of pink and blue colored clothes. The couple started their baby shower with a mehndi ceremony in which Kishwer looked absolutely stunning in a custom pink sharara costume, adorned with handcrafted floral jewelry. Suyyash, on the other hand, looked dashing in his metallic baby blue kurta.

Kishwer also posted photos from her actual baby shower ceremony in which she wears a pastel silk dress with a floral crown and matching hand accessories. The glow of pregnancy and the happiness that emanated from her indeed made her look like a glorious princess.

Suyyash also posted heartwarming photos of their baby shower on her gram, where the couple looked delighted and were surrounded by a teddy bear train, filled with gifts and plenty of balloons. He captioned the post and wrote: “I have done everything to make this day special for you. I only wish you always smile like that, and I promise to take care of you both always and forever. love you “, with many red heart emojis.

The couple proudly posts the #Sukishkababy hashtag on social media and creates boomerangs and uploads YouTube videos of their baby shower gear.

This unexpected lockdown pregnancy from Bigg Boss 9’s most beloved couple brought them a tsunami of adoration not only from their fans, but also from fellow cast members and friends who posted positive comments and heart emojis to their photos.

1st Pocono children’s race | Eyewitness News


LONG POND, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE 28 / WYOU 22 EYEWITNESS NEWS) – With so many sporting events canceled during the pandemic, many NASCAR fans were looking forward to this year’s racing weekend.

But for some fans, it’s their first time there, which makes the race even more memorable. Many newbies are kids who say it’s exciting to see the cars in person and it’s an experience they’ll never forget.

“It’s a real NASCAR!” Chase Douglas of Washington, DC said.

“It’s a dream come true to see the smile on Chase’s face because it’s something he really, really wanted to do,” said Dawn Norman of Washington, DC.

“It’s really exciting. I love it,” said Maurice Douglas of Washington, DC.

Another kid is a super fan, he brought his collection of toy cars with him and couldn’t wait to see them in person.

“On the track, cars will zoom zoom zoom! Jordan Berger of Wyckoff, New Jersey said.

“My husband and I have been coming here for a while so this is our first time bringing Jordan and it’s so great to see him through his eyes,” said Heather, Jordan’s mom.

It wasn’t the first time everyone has participated in the race, but they say it’s different from previous visits.

“It’s nice to be back on the track and trying to see who wins and to love meeting the riders again,” said Madison Kipp of Athens.

“It’s really cool to see the cars of my favorite racing drivers come up in person and take pictures. And it’s probably an experience I’ll never forget, ”said Zachariah Zappulla-Roamer of High Bridge, New Jersey.

Now not all kids want the same pilots to win, but they are all happy to have the experience close to their lives.

Lala Kent just called Erika Jayne’s legal drama


Lala Kent has cast a shadow over Erika Jayne in a new interview. the Vanderpump Rules the co-star talked about joining The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The brutally honest reality TV star couldn’t help but cast a shadow over Erika Jayne’s ongoing legal drama. Ever since Erika filed for divorce from her ex-husband, Thomas Girardi, their financial and legal problems haunt them.

The couple are among allegations of fraud. Victims claim the devious duo used the settlement money to fund their lavish lifestyle. Before casting a shadow over Erika, Lala shared her thoughts on the casting of RHOBH. As she feels that they are keeping things real, she feels that the Pump rules the cast has no known crimes.

Lala Kent overshadows Erika Jayne

Lala Kent spoke with hosts Jackie and Claudia Oshry on the Tuesday, June 22 episode of The morning toast. They asked Give Them founder Lala if she would ever join The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Before casting shade on Erika, she shaded the rest of the Housewives. She admitted that she was too young for the Bravo series.

“I would definitely do [RHOBH]. Of course. Who wouldn’t want to become a housewife? I mean, it’s a whole different level, ”Lala said. “I’m still a little young for space. I have a brand new baby. Maybe down the line I’d beg him, but then I watch the show, and these bitches don’t perform. I’m tough in the space I’m in, but would I be that tough in this space? “

[Credit: Lala Kent/Instagram]

Lala feels that the RHOBH the cast keeps it real most of the time. While she doesn’t feel it Pump rules is a “watered down version” of the series, it claims that “nobody’s husband steals.” Lala was obviously casting a shadow over Erika and Tom’s ongoing legal drama. Lala is currently engaged to film producer Randall Emmett.

Erika Jayne claims she is involved in the court case

Of course, Lala Kent isn’t the only one feeling this. RHOBH fans shared similar feelings after watching The housewife and the con artist on Hulu. As for Erika Jayne, she claims to cooperate in the judicial file. However, she wants Ronald Richards removed from Tom’s bankruptcy case.

According to the attorney’s documents filed against her, she did not cooperate with the investigation into her financial situation. Now the RHOBH co-star fired back, saying she is cooperating with the case and wants him removed from legal proceedings. Friday June 25, Sixth page obtained the court documents which reveal that Erika “has been and remains ready to cooperate fully” with the pending case.

The reality TV star claims that Ronald makes “false and inflammatory social media posts and public statements” about him. Erika argues in court documents that she “is not media fiction. He is a real person with rights, including the right to be treated fairly in these proceedings based on real evidence and the law. Ronald released a statement, claiming that Erika and her legal team did not cooperate with the investigation into the alleged transfers she received from Thomas.

What do you think of what Lala said about Erika? Sound off below in the comments.

Chanel Adams
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Women’s Veteran Program hosts a drive-thru baby shower


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG / WECP) – Being pregnant or having a baby is not an easy task for most women, and a veterans organization wants women to know that there are resources available and available. people to talk to.

On Friday, the Gulf Coast VA Clinic hosted a drive-through baby shower to offer support to women who have served or are currently serving in our nation’s military.

“[I want] to help our female veterans and offer them help in any way we can and just show them that we are there for them and that we care about us, ”said nurse practitioner Mary Price.

Authorities say pregnancy can increase depression, anxiety and intimate partner violence. The organization therefore wanted to make sure that mothers know that they are never alone. Veteran Women Program Director Donna Maxwell invites all Veteran Maternity Moms to take advantage of their programs.

“We just wanted our moms to know, hey we’ve got you covered, we’ve got some nice gifts for you, come see us and we’ll let you know about the things we have available in the VA, resources in the VA, as well as resources in the community, ”said Donna Maxwell, Director of the Women Veterans Program.

All pregnant veterans can find the resources they may need at the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Panama City Beach.

Copyright 2021 WJHG. All rights reserved.

Two children hospitalized after swallowing popular ‘Water Bead’ toy – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth


Water-absorbent gel beads sold as children’s toys have recently posed a serious threat to young children when swallowed.

Cook Children’s Medical Center’s Emergency Department (ED) doctor Carey Cribbs, MD, says she recently saw two cases of children swallowing the trendy children’s toy.

“We had two small children who came to the emergency room with the beads lodged in their intestines,” said Dr. Cribbs. “Usually the beads pass without a problem, but these two patients required major surgery to remove the beads from their intestines.”

Pearls are popular in flower arrangements and spas, but with their spongy texture, they are also sold as a sensory toy for children.

“They start out as small and spongy, but when you put them in the water they expand up to 100 times their size,” Dr. Cribbs explained.

As a seasoned doctor who has worked at Cook Children’s since 1988, Dr Cribbs said that seeing a photo of the colored beads, she could understand why children would try to eat them.

“They’re very colorful and attractive, and the texture is something you might want to put in your mouth,” explained Dr. Cribbs. “It reminds me a lot of Boba.”

However, her message to parents is to watch the children while they are playing with the beads or not to let the children surround them at all.

“When they are first swallowed, they are not dangerous,” said Dr. Cribbs. “But when they sit in the intestine, they grow and can cause a blockage.”

Pearls are not poisonous, so if swallowed they are not poisonous. However, not all children are lucky enough to have beads pass through their system.

Dr Cribbs says to remember that the smaller the child, the larger the bead, the more likely the bead is to get stuck in the child.

“With all small toys there is a risk of suffocation and parents need to be vigilant,” said Dr Cribbs. “Unfortunately, probably half of all foreign object ingestions are not seen by anyone, and you don’t know it has happened until your child is choking, choking, vomiting, or having a hard time. ‘other symptoms. “

Mum-to-be Kishwer Merchantt looks radiant on her baby shower. See the pictures


Kishwer Merchantt recently took to social media to share several photos from her baby shower ceremony. The actress is ready to welcome her baby in August.

Kishwer Merchantt shared photos from her baby shower ceremony.

TV couple Kishwer Merchantt and Suyyash Rai are expecting their first child soon. Prior to that, the couple recently hosted Kishwer’s baby shower ceremony at their home. They had an intimate celebration with a few family and friends in attendance. Kishwer Merchantt shared several photos of the special occasion on his Instagram Stories. She was showing off her baby bump and gorgeous dresses in the photos.


A day before the ceremony, Kishwer Merchantt had shared photos of his unique mehendi design. She recently took to her Instagram Stories to share more photos of the occasion. She is seen wearing a beautiful pink anarkali and red bracelets. Her husband, Suyyash Rai, opted for pajamas for the event. For the second round of the ceremony, the actress is seen wearing a lavender dress with floral jewelry. Don’t miss her pregnancy glow. His house is also decorated with golden and white balloons as a backdrop. She also shared photos of the cake which had layers in pink and blue indicating a girl and a boy, respectively.

Check out some of the images below:


Kishwer Merchantt often posts her baby bump on social media and pen notes about her pregnancy. She took to her Instagram Stories yesterday, June 24, to give a preview of her mehendi design which featured a piece of art. It had the words “baby shower” written on it, as well as pictures of a crib, a bottle of milk, toys and several other objects.

Check it out:


Kishwer Merchantt and Suyyash Rai announced their pregnancy on Instagram on March 2. Kishwer shared a photo with Suyyash Rai where she was seen showing off her baby bump. The couple were seen standing on a beach with August 2021 written in the sand. Kishwer captioned his post: “You can now stop asking ‘when are you going to have a baby’ soon .. # august2021 #sukishkababy (sic).” Kishwer and Suyyash were seen together on the Pyaar Ki Ek Kahani in 2010. They started dating while filming the series. They got married in 2016.

Check it out:

Kishwer Merchantt rose to fame with Hip Hip Hurray and was subsequently seen on Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand, Kutumb, Kasautii Zindagii Kay and Parvarrish Kuchh Khattee Kuchh Meethi. She was last seen on Kahaan Hum Kahaan Tum, along with Karan V Grover and Dipika Kakar.

READ ALSO | Bigg Boss 13: Kishwer calls Sidharth Shukla victory unworthy, Asim Riaz is a winner for Gauahar

Click here for IndiaToday.in’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

JAKKS Pacific Announces Partnership With Heart Supply To Bring Skateboards To The Sporting Goods Aisle, While Providing Skateboards To Children In Need


SANTA MONICA, Calif .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – JAKKS Pacific, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAKK), a leading manufacturer of toys and consumer products, today announced the launch of skateboard’s ‘do-gooder brand’, the revolutionary signature collection of high-end skateboards. quality from The Heart Supply, by industry maverick Johnny Schillereff (founder of Element Skateboards). Heart Supply’s innovative new line of complete skateboards are tested and approved by their two Olympians and world-class team-riders.

Johnny’s latest daring brand creation, The Heart Supply, was crafted from the same methodology and love of skateboarding that he applied to Element’s fabric. The Heart Supply’s mission is to make quality skateboards more inclusive, affordable and accessible; with some of the product used to give skateboards to children.

The collection of integrals will begin with a limited edition available today, for presale, only online. Each skateboard comes in a personalized box with the official Heart of Gold Membership Certificate of Authenticity, autographed by Skateboard Olympians Jagger Eaton, Heimana Reynolds and Johnny Schillereff, Founder of The Heart Supply.

Having one of the most popular and diverse skate teams in the world, which includes Olympians Jagger Eaton, Heimana Reynolds and YouTube sensation Chris Chann. The Heart Supply will offer premium pro and team “Ready to Roll” skateboards at an advantageous price; who are proudly supported by their positive and like-minded team riders (Jagger Eaton, Heimana Reynolds, Chris Chann, Rio Batan, Camp Schill, Paige Heyn, Koston Eaton and Mia Lovell).

In just a year since Johnny and his wife Kori started The Heart Supply, it is already recognized as one of the most respected, charitable and successful skateboarding companies. In addition, The Heart Supply will open its first philanthropic skate park this summer in the city of Xala, on the central coast of Mexico. While providing more than a thousand new ‘Ready to Roll’ quality skateboards to children in need around the world.

“I feel incredibly blessed to remain immersed in my deepest passion at this point in my life, with my family by my side. My vocation has always been to guide, inspire and empower young people through skateboarding and art. We’re excited and proud to be expanding our reach to make skateboarding more inclusive, affordable and accessible – and getting as many quality complete skateboards under the feet of kids as possible. In doing so, we increase the ability to nurture our team, develop participation in skateboarding, and give skateboarding to children in need. More kids on skateboards undoubtedly spur prosperity for our industry as a whole and for all skateboarders. “Give Skateboarding” is more than our mantra, it’s our call to action, ”said Johnny Schillereff, Founder of The Heart Supply.

“We are proud to partner with Johnny and The Heart Supply® to deliver this superb collection of quality complete decks with Pro and Team graphics. Along with the Heart Supply® mission comes the incredible philanthropic mission of #giveskateboarding and the vision to make skateboarding more inclusive and accessible. JAKKS Pacific can’t wait to be part of the movement to put more skateboards under the feet of kids, ”said Craig Drobis, senior vice president of marketing at JAKKS Pacific, Inc.

The Heart Supply full line of skateboards will launch in July with full Pro graphics decks from Jagger Eaton and Heimana Reynolds as well as two other full teams. Plus, search for special edition cards exclusively online.

About the cardiac supply:

Heart Supply’s goal is to give kids the gift of riding their own skateboard and welcoming them into the skateboarding community. We believe that the freedom, cultural diversity and friendships developed from skateboarding are invaluable. Skateboarding is a creative physical activity that sees no color, inspires equality, and builds self-esteem and awareness. Putting skateboards under children’s feet allows them to look to positive opportunities and happier, healthier lives.

A portion of @theheartsupply’s proceeds are used to donate skateboards to children and to plant trees.

Visit us at www.theheartsupply.com and follow us on Instagram (@theheartsupply, @xalawithheart, @johnnyschillereff).

© 2021 The Heart Supply, All rights reserved.

About JAKKS Pacific, Inc .:

JAKKS Pacific, Inc. is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of toys and consumer products sold worldwide, headquartered in Santa Monica, California. JAKKS Pacific’s popular exclusive brands include; Fly Wheels â„¢, Kitten Catfe â„¢, Perfectly Cute â„¢, ReDo â„¢ Skateboard Co, X-Power â„¢, Disguise®, Moose Mountain®, Maui®, Kids Only! ®; a wide range of entertainment-inspired products featuring premier licensed properties; and C’est Moi â„¢, a new generation of clean beauty. Through JAKKS Cares, the company’s commitment to philanthropy, JAKKS helps make a positive impact on children’s lives.

Visit us at www.jakks.com and follow us on Instagram (@jakkstoys), Twitter (@jakkstoys) and Facebook (JAKKS Pacific).

© 2021 JAKKS Pacific, Inc. All rights reserved.

Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade Launch Melanin-Rich Baby Skin Care Brand


Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union have become parenting goals with their cute videos of Kaavia aka “Shady Baby” on Instagram and the admirable way they support their transgender child Zaya.

Today, the dynamic duo launched a baby care line called Proudly, a “first of its kind sustainable baby care brand” that focuses on melan skin tones.

“We are delighted to officially announce our new baby business, Proudly. As we continue to work together on new projects, our goal is to always focus our work on the change we want to see while standing up for diversity, equity and inclusion, ”the couple said in a statement.

“With Proudly, we pride ourselves on having a product line that meets the unique skin care needs of children of color that are so often overlooked in the mass market.”

Wade is a former basketball player. His wife, Union, is widely known as an actress and author.

“Today @dwyanewade and I announce our new baby: PROUD. @theproudlyco is a daily baby care line created specifically for melancholic skin. We are truly diverse and representative and couldn’t be more proud of it. # proudly, ”@gabunion posted on Instagram.

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@ProudlyCo’s Instagram account is parked on social media, in preparation for content additions. The brand is described as “an everyday baby care line created specifically for melan skin tones.”

Taking an internet trip to the website, pridelycompany.com, leads to a message informing visitors that a Proudly launch will take place in the future. The Wades are keeping many details under wraps, but teasers are circulating the internet here and there.

The couple’s journey to become parents together has not been easy. In 2017, Union-Wade’s book “We’re Going to Need More Wine” was released. The subject of infertility struggles was included in the brief.

Image – Facebook

“I had eight or nine miscarriages,” Union, 44, writes in the book, as reported Peoplee. “For three years my body was trapped in trying to get pregnant – I was either about to enter an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or just leaving a cycle. of IVF. “

The couple now share a child named Kaavia James. Wade is also the father of other children.

Food for chickens | The river reporter



Hey, chicken fillets! It’s Kristin from the Chicken Librarian here to tell you all about feeding these beautiful birds. If you surprised us in the last Our County Home, you learned all about how to start raising chickens. This time, let’s take a look at how to feed your birds. You would think it was pretty straightforward, and it is, but there are a few things you need to know.

First of all, you bring these babies home and ask yourself, “What are they eating? It’s quite simple. Start them on “starter feed for chicks”. They will be on this starter diet until they are about 6 weeks old. This food is high in protein (look for a food with at least 20 percent protein) which helps babies start life on the right foot.

Then you will feed these growing babies “growth foods”. This food will contain less calcium and protein, which they need. Too much protein and calcium can cause kidney and liver problems. But let’s not waste it here. If you have any leftover starter food, you can mix it with the growth food until it is gone. It is also a good idea not to make the change too quickly but rather gradually. Stir a little of the culture mix at a time until you’ve changed them completely. Give them growth food until they are about to lay, at around 20 weeks.

Now you are on “diaper feeding” and you know what that means, don’t you? You guessed it! These babies are about to be adults and lay eggs for you. Some hens may take longer to lay, but you should start to see signs by the age of 20 weeks. Of course, their nutritional needs are also different now. At this point, they need less protein and more calcium. Calcium is the key when it comes to layers. So, do the same as you did to go from starter to grower: phase out growth food until you are completely on a layer diet.

And once you get that first egg, start delivering some extra calcium. I hang a rabbit feeder on the wall of the chicken coop with crushed oyster shells (it’s a great source of calcium that you can buy at your local grocery store). However, there are many ways to provide calcium. A quick internet search will give you more ideas than you ever need.

Once you’ve switched the chickens to layer feed, that’s all they’ll need from there. And if you have roosters in your flock, they will eat exactly what the hens eat – no need to give them something different. Easy, right?

There are a few other things you should know about feeding chickens. First off, I would advise not giving them anything other than chick starter for the first two weeks of life.

But, wait a minute: if they are brooded by a hen and raised by Mama Hen, don’t they start eating “treats” right away? They do. But there are several reasons why it is different when you are raising them indoors. The first reason, and this is my theory, is that the birds (most likely) came from a hatchery where they don’t live a natural life. They are in production mode and are not grazing. Thus, chicks that hatch in the hatchery need more time to understand what food and treats are. Believe me, it takes them time. You have to teach them the things they need to know, like you are Mama Hen, well, because you are Mama Hen!

On a related note, if they are hatched in your chicken coop by Mama Hen, they will follow in her footsteps. So she will teach them where to eat, what to eat, how to eat and all that follows. So, I let them find out where the food and water are, and then after a week or two, I start adding some extra treats. And when you add treats, now is the time to start adding grain. They need gravel to crush their food. Chickens have no teeth; they have cultures where food and water are going to be crushed and passed through their system. And they need this grain to grind the food.

Where to find food

Where do you find food, gravel and calcium? You can find ready-made foods at your local food store, like Agway, Tractor Supply, or Cochecton Mills. They have a wide variety of foods, supplements, and additives, including organic products. You can also buy food online and have it shipped to you through companies like Chewy. It’s amazing what you can get shipped.

You can also make your own food. It takes a lot of research to make sure you are getting a correct formula, but in the end it will be money saving. Whichever route you take, make sure the chicken feed is kept in a clean, dry container with a tight-fitting lid.

But you might be wondering if it’s okay to give them kitchen scraps: yes! By all means, give them your trash and leftovers. I mean, that’s one of the main reasons we have chickens. They can eat just about anything, including meat. They love meat. But let’s leave the leftover chicken for other uses, okay?

Just like medical exams, home products also need exams


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WVLT) – The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has released a list of home products that it urges people to check every year.

Nursery products must be accompanied by a registration card, CPSC recommends that consumers fill it out or register the products on the company website, this allows a company to contact the consumer in case of recall.

Toys must have age labels if the toy poses a choking hazard to children under three years of age. The CPSC suggests that families with older and younger children keep older children’s toys away from younger ones.

Children’s art supplies must be labeled “ASTM D-4236 COMPLIANT” to prove that the product does not contain toxic ingredients.

When children are cycling outdoors, the CPSC has asked to look for the label that says the helmet meets CPSC federal safety standards to reduce the risk of brain damage in the event of a fall.

Children’s sleepwear should be flame retardant or properly fitted to protect children from burns. If not, it should have a label stating that it is not fire retardant. The CPSC reports that loose sleepwear is more likely to catch fire.

The CPSC said to look at the underside of rugs and rugs, if they do not meet the standards, they should have the flammability warning, “FLAMMABLE (FAILS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE STANDARD FF 2-70): SHOULD NOT BE USED NEAR IGNITION SOURCES.

Check hair dryers for an immersion protection device that is necessary to protect consumers from shock or electrocution. Extension cords should be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek (ETL) or CSA Group Testing and Certification Inc. According to the CPSC, unlisted or counterfeit extension cords can cause fire or electric shock.

Before July 4, people who buy fireworks should read warning labels to make sure they are using them correctly and consumers understand the risk.

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.

Zoom Therapy and Not Enough Beds: How the Pandemic Affected Children’s Access to Mental Health Care


This story is part of our “Pandemic Generation” series on the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health. You can find the full series here.

Mental health care for children in Massachusetts is a confusing web of services. They can be difficult to access, even in normal times.

There never seem to be enough psychiatric beds or outpatient therapists. A child may not even be able to have a therapist if the family does not have some insurance, and some providers do not take any insurance. There are mobile crisis teams, home psychologists, day programs, group homes and residential schools.

The pandemic has put them all to the test.

Virtual therapy

Outpatient care went virtual during the pandemic, but teletherapy was difficult for some children.

Terry Alves-Hunter of Falmouth recently asked his 9-year-old son what it was like having to see his therapist on a computer screen.

“The Zoom didn’t help me. The person in person helped me a lot, talking about my feelings and all that,” he said.

Alves-Hunter adopted his son from foster care when he was 3 years old. She was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attachment Disorder, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety and Depression.

Alves-Hunter says things got out of hand with Zoom therapy, until his son gave up.

“He was bouncing back and forth on the chair, he couldn’t concentrate, and he just started to get angrier and angrier, breaking things,” she recalls.

Virtual mental health care for children is a mixed bag, according to mental health clinicians. Jillian Erlich is a clinical social worker with Riverside Community Care, which provides mental health care throughout eastern and central Massachusetts. She oversees a team of child and adolescent mental health clinicians in Milford, and she counsels adolescents at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Upton.

“When kids were learning remotely in schools, I could still see them every week through telehealth. And they could fit me in between their lessons, and it was working well back then,” Erlich said. “There is a proportion of children who find it difficult. Usually you see those in the younger populations, those who are less verbal. Verbal children generally have had very few problems with telehealth and have it. even appreciated. “

The Erlich clinic has donated “therapy boxes”, and clients can take the boxes of items home.

“And they have a box that matches the one the clinician has in the center. [The therapist] can literally take out the same squishy toy, the shake toy, the card game, the mindfulness tools, and use them at the same time as the child, ”Erlich said.“ This mimics the in-person therapy session, where you ‘we both use the same kind of tools, in a similar environment. “

Erlich says confidentiality during telehealth therapy visits has been a big issue for many older children.

“Because for a child who may have a hard time at home, who may not get along with his parents, they want to make sure their parents don’t hear what they have to say.” , she explained. “The confidentiality of therapy is incredibly important, and this is something telehealth cannot always give us.”

“I’ve had kids who go down to their basements when this happens,” Erlich said. “I often suggest, ‘Is there a car you can sit in? Because, you know… I hope you still have WiFi access from your house. I talked to the kids for hours. in this way. “

Erlich says that Blackstone Valley Tech, the high school where she works, has allowed students to keep their school-provided laptops for the summer if they need them in order to access therapy virtually.

And then there’s the question of how virtual mental health is paid for. Insurers were required to cover it during the pandemic. This coverage is extended for 90 days beyond the lifting of the state’s public health emergency. This was lifted on June 15th.

MassHealth coverage is also extended for this same period. The state says it plans to continue covering telehealth for physical and behavioral health services, and it will issue a long-term policy on this soon.

Terry Alves-Hunter says his son was without in-person mental health services from March to January. He missed meeting his regular therapist, behavioral therapist and mentor. Alves-Hunter says the impact on his son has been profound.

“It has been closed for so long that it is just starting to restart these relationships, so all the progress we have made has been erased,” she said. “We didn’t pick up where we left off, we picked up where we started.”

And here’s something that really troubles Alves-Hunter. She says she cut off intensive home therapy for her son some time before the pandemic hit. She had decided he didn’t need it anymore because he had made good progress. But now, due to the setbacks he suffered during the pandemic, he needs these services again. And because of the pandemic and more children in need of help, he’s on a long waiting list.

Alves-Hunter, who works as an outreach and peer support specialist with several mental health related organizations, wants people to understand that there is a massive shortage of mental health care providers, in especially for children with very complex needs.

“Write to your legislators, write to everyone that we need psychologists and therapists who treat traumatized children,” she said. “Invisible injuries, invisible disabilities count as much as someone who breaks a leg.”

Mobile outreach and inpatient care services

When it comes to psychiatric care for inpatient children, the pressure on the system is immense. The state says there has been a sharp increase in the pandemic among children “interned” in hospital emergency departments – emergency departments – or other medical units while they wait for the opening of psychiatric beds.

Dr Nalan Ward is Psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer of Behavioral Health Services Beth Israel Lahey. The organization operates outpatient mental health care and mobile crisis teams for children. Team members visit families’ homes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assess children in mental health crisis and connect them with services.

Ward says the mobile crisis program has made further progress in the pandemic as they have been to see children in more places.

“We have been able to increase our types of community mobile crisis interventions for children up to 50-60% in some areas,” said Ward, “which means these children are being diverted from the emergency, and we can seeing them in schools, in pediatric practices, in different places in communities so that we prevent the kids from going to the emergency room in the first place. ”

Erlich and Ward say the state needs better investments and reimbursements in outpatient and mobile crisis services, in order to prevent more children from reaching the point of psychiatric crises that take them to ERs and emergency units. hospitalization.

But everyone seems to agree that more beds are needed. The state says MassHealth has offered additional funding and increased reimbursement to providers who add inpatient beds for children and adolescents. More than 130 new children’s beds have been authorized for this year, according to the State Department of Mental Health. They will be added to the 357 beds that already exist, but 21% of them are currently offline for COVID infection control and other reasons.

Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration also recently released a plan known as the “Behavioral Health Reform Roadmap”. He calls for the establishment of rapid-access community behavioral health centers statewide.

This project is funded in part by a grant from the NIHCM Foundation.

Greensill sent all loans under the government program to companies linked to Gupta


According to documents seen by the Financial Times, every taxpayer-guaranteed loan provided by Greensill Capital under a government program has gone to companies linked to metal tycoon Sanjeev Gupta.

Greensill, a once-popular financial start-up that collapsed in March, is at the center of a financial and political scandal, which involved former British Prime Minister David Cameron. As a paid advisor to the company, he lobbied for better access to government coronavirus loan programs.

The lender’s close ties to Gupta’s GFG Alliance metals conglomerate have also come under scrutiny. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office announced last month that it had launched an investigation into suspicions of fraud and money laundering at GFG, including its “funding deals” with Greensill. The companies have denied the wrongdoing.

Last year, Greensill was granted access to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), which the UK government put in place at the height of the pandemic to help businesses weather the crisis. Greensill has granted CLBILS loans through its banking subsidiary in Germany. The management of the subsidiary is now the subject of a criminal investigation following a complaint from the regulators.

A report by the administrator of the collapsed bank showed that it had made eight CLBILS loans, including seven to companies in Gupta’s GFG alliance, while an eighth was to a company that “could potentially be classified as linked to the Gupta group ”.

Although the borrowers are not named in the report, the FT has seen another document which names the beneficiaries of the CLBILS loan. The seven GFG Alliance companies are: Liberty Pipes (Hartlepool), Liberty Steel Newport, Simec International (UK), Liberty Commodities, Liberty Industries UK, Liberty Merchant Bar and Specialty Steel UK.

The eighth borrower is Aar Tee Commodities (UK), a metals trading company owned by Gupta partner Ravi Trehan. The 62-year-old businessman previously held a minority stake in Liberty Commodities and was previously a member of the board of directors of GFG’s charitable foundation.

GFG Alliance and Greensill Capital declined to comment. Aar Tee previously told the FT that it was an “independent business separate” from GFG.

Greensill Capital, which collapsed in March, is at the center of a financial and political scandal © Anthony Devlin / Bloomberg

Greensill was only allowed to provide just £ 50million to a single company under the emergency lending scheme, with 80% of each loan guaranteed by the UK government.

However, the finance company granted £ 400million to the eight Gupta-related companies on the grounds that they were not part of a consolidated legal entity but a set of separate companies owned by the metals mogul, to his father and a partner.

The FT previously revealed that Gupta formed new entities last year to further divide his empire, with the sole aim of securing more taxpayer-guaranteed loans through Greensill. GFG called the reorganization plan its “CLBIL Restructuring”.

The document from the German administration shows that the state guaranteed part of the eight loans amounts to 356 million euros and that 44 million euros of this amount are now “in arrears”.

GFG had previously told the FT that just one of its UK companies had received £ 45.6million in funding under the scheme. People familiar with the loans said some were used to replace Greensill’s existing debt rather than providing new funding.

The administrator’s report reveals that British Business Bank, the state-owned development bank that oversaw the CLBILS program, suspended loan guarantees in March as Greensill began to collapse, on the basis of “evidence that [Greensill Capital] had violated the terms of the guarantee agreement ”.

The British Business Bank has repeatedly refused to disclose information on the amount of funding Gupta and its associates have requested under the program. The lender launched an investigation in October after the FT first revealed that several companies linked to Gupta were obtaining CLBILS loans.

“It would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases given commercial sensitivities,” the British Business Bank said.

Greensill also provided loans under a separate government program for small businesses. The administrator’s report indicates that there is 16 million euros of guaranteed debt under this scheme on Greensill Bank’s balance sheet, on loan to borrowers “not affiliated with” Gupta.

A range of fictional toys created to highlight the online risks children face


A collection of fictional toys that mimic online abuse has been unveiled by a children’s rights group to highlight how certain permitted behaviors online would never be tolerated in the real world.

The 5Rights campaign group has launched ‘Twisted Toys’ including a shared bear that gathers and shares a child’s data and a pocket troll that scrutinizes a child’s every moment of day and bombards them with mean comments. .

The group says the campaign’s aim is to help parents understand the dangers children can be exposed to online, and was launched alongside new research from 5Rights that found 80% of parents don’t. trust tech companies to protect kids online, and 71% think the government should do more around online safety.

The toy line also includes a book of stories about terms and conditions that would take hundreds of hours to read and a “talkie talkie” that allows strangers to interact with children.

The government unveiled the Online Security Bill earlier this year, which will introduce a new due diligence requirement for online platforms and bring them within the scope of Ofcom in its new role as regulator in line.

But 5Rights president Baroness Beeban Kidron said parents always wanted to do more.

“Too often people forget that digital products and services are consumer goods – and as such, they need to be safe for those who use them – especially children,” she said.

“We don’t share personal information about children with random strangers, we don’t allow strangers to knock on the door and ask for a naked Polaroid, we don’t allow people to rate their emotional state for their sake. sell something. But all of this is happening online every day.

“Simply put, we don’t accept this in the real world and we must not allow it in the digital world.

“Twisted Toys shows how dangerous and inappropriate data monitoring is; that the terms and conditions are not suited to their purpose; and that the technology sector does not offer even the most basic security requirements. Parents want change.

According to 5Rights research, 90% of parents surveyed believe the Internet can be dangerous for children.

The campaign was supported by a number of online safety activists, including Ian Russell, whose daughter Molly committed suicide in 2017 after viewing self-harm and suicide content on social media.

Mr Russell, who has since established the Molly Rose Foundation in memory of her daughter, said that while the fictional toys “might seem like a disturbing vision of a warped future”, they “actually reveal the digital danger to which our children are faced with every day, right now ”.

He added: “Since the death of my youngest daughter in 2017, I have explored the depths of these perils and felt the disruptive effect they produce.

“Safely designed technology platforms can be of great benefit to our children, but as long as profit is a priority, distress will spread digitally and young lives will be ruined and lost.

“Twisted Toys sends a clear message and raises awareness of harms too easy to find online, harms that can affect our mental well-being.

“This 5Rights campaign will save lives, it stimulates reaction and clearly shows that effective regulation is long overdue to end the misery and anguish that technology platforms can cause.”

It also received support from Lord Vaizey, the former Minister of Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, who said he “really brings to life the way technology platforms follow and watch our children”.

“While the technology is different, we can’t just dismiss societal norms, and Twisted Toys cleverly points out the kinds of things that we now seem to accept as normal and which are in fact totally unacceptable,” he said.

The Emporia family’s educational community on SIDS after the death of her 3-month-old son


EMPORIA (KSNT) – At exactly three months old, an Emporia family learned that their baby had died while sleeping, a death many people don’t understand. However, they turn their tragedy into an education.

It’s an annual event, a community baby shower at Emporia. It’s a time that helps educate new moms and even those who are well experienced. This shower wouldn’t have happened without Gail Barrett and her husband, as well as their son Wade.

On March 24, 2010, Wade was introduced to the world, the Barrett’s second baby. But on the exact day he turned three months in June 2010, they experienced the unexpected.

“He was actually in daycare. So we … I got a phone call while I was at work, saying that he had been taken to the hospital. And uh… Sorry, ”Gail Barrett said, trying to hold back tears. “You know, it’s just… that no parent should have to go through this. We arrived with no idea what was going on. This is an important thing for me, is that we don’t want other parents to have to do this someday.

Wade died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

“They fall asleep and just don’t wake up,” she said. “So there is no suffocation, no suffocation. They cannot understand what happened. He just fell asleep and never woke up.

It’s a situation the Barrett’s never thought they would experience and a situation they weren’t really taught, but they quickly took control of it.

“I think the biggest thing people don’t know is education isn’t consistent there,” she said. “The doctor’s office has learned nothing. But then the hospital didn’t really learn anything. And that was really our goal was for us to have places here in Kansas that provide really good information. But it just wasn’t to be in good hands to get places.

In October 2010, they launched the Wade Barrett Memorial Fund, an organization that raises funds and educates families in Lyon County to be educated on how to prevent SIDS.

“Education is so important,” Barrett said. “Every time we hear the story of a parent who loses a child, my husband and I can remember all those feelings. That day is remembered. And even though, today we change it. parent’s opinion on how he is going to put his baby to sleep, or how he is going to be cared for, I think it is really worth it.

Wade’s life was unexpectedly taken at just three months because of SIDS. Now her mom and dad are working hard to educate the Lyon County community to make sure this doesn’t happen to another family by providing families with a free baby shower, safe nappies and cribs.

Barretts Regional Hospital and Newman in Emporia have teamed up to provide each baby with a free halo sleeping bag, or diaper, when they leave the hospital.

Barrett said that since starting the fund it sometimes takes its toll on it, so many things that you get excited about can do. But what keeps her going, besides the educational part, is seeing the babies grow up after the mothers come to the baby shower.

Remember, if you think we should know someone, use our Share feature or our mobile app.

Prime Day Diaper Deals & Baby Deals: 26 Must-Have For Parents


Along with changing diapers and setting up a crib, one thing expecting and new parents quickly learn is how much baby equipment is needed in the first year of life. And while not all are must-haves, these Prime Day baby deals certainly make life with a newborn baby easier (ask anyone who’s ever used a wipe dispenser). You can save huge amounts of money on the best baby products and parenting essentials that you might have added to your wishlist during MOTN Watery Eyes, including must-see diaper deals.

From playpens and portable changing tables to baby carriers and travel-ready strollers, these sales are some of the biggest in this category that you’ll see all year round. Make sure you have a Prime membership, then read on to start buying the best Prime Day baby deals running right now.

forbes.comAmazon promotional codes | 10% reduction in June 2021 | Forbes

Best Amazon Prime Day Diaper Deals: Diapers, Wipes, Buckets & More

Water wipes Hypoallergenic baby wipes

Perfect for sensitive small buttocks, the water wipes are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, paraben-free and sulfate-free. They are made with water and fruit extracts instead of the more typical cleaning ingredients.

The Honest Company Baby Wipes

The Honest Company, Baby Wipes, Honest Hypoallergenic Wipes, 576 units

Another popular hypoallergenic option, this value pack of Honest Company baby wipes is a Prime Day score.

Diapers from The Honest Company

Made with sustainably harvested plant-based materials, these diapers are as soft as they are durable. Plus, they come in adorable unisex prints.

Amazon Mama Bear Brand Soft Touch Diapers

Amazon Brand – Mama Bear Gentle Touch Diapers, Hypoallergenic

These diapers from Amazon’s Mama Bear range are made from hypoallergenic materials that don’t skimp on the absorption factor. They also go up to a rare size 7.

Skip Hop Pronto Changing Mat

A must-have for the baby registry, this portable changing station comes equipped with a wipeable changing mat, a refillable wipes case, and convenient pockets for extra diapers, cream, and other post-rash essentials.

Ubbi Lockable Steel Diaper Bucket

Available in pastel tones and rainbow prints to match any nursery, this diaper can trap odors, thanks to its steel construction and child safety. And it can hold up to 55 diapers, which is especially great for the first few days (and nights) of back-to-back diaper changes.

Best Amazon Prime Day Deals: Nursery Essentials

Owlet baby monitoring system

Owlet Duo Smart Baby Monitor with HD Video, Oxygen and Heart Rate

While still equipped with an HD video camera, Owlet complements the rest of the high-tech baby monitor line with a tiny baby “sock” that can measure heart rate as well as sleep patterns. The data is sent to a smartphone app that alerts you if something goes outside the safe zone.

Miku Pro smart baby monitor

Along with its crystal-clear video quality and sleek profile, one of the best features of this smart baby monitor is that it tracks your child’s breathing and sleeping patterns without any contact using the exclusive SensorFusion technology of the business.

Uanlauo Baby Play Mat (Bear)

Whether your baby is a tummy time champion or an early walker, this non-toxic play mat provides just the right amount of cushioning to cushion bumps and drops. In addition, the pattern of woodland animals is too cute.

Graco Pack ‘n Play Travel Dome LX Playard

Whether you keep it next to your bed or in baby’s room, this playpen includes all the accessories (dome-shaped bassinet and changing mat) to make it a must-have for sleeping, playing and traveling.

Rabbit night light

This soft silicone night light works with a simple tap to cycle through seven different colors. This is especially good for giving a subtle glow during feedings or changes in the middle of the night.

Skip Hop Retractable Baby Safety Gate

Skip Hop Retractable Mesh Baby Gate, Playview 52 Inch, Gray

This Skip Hop retractable baby gate is a smart solution for tight spaces where you don’t want (or can’t fit) a gate that swings out. The mesh design also means it’s see-through so you can keep an eye on your child on the other side when needed.

Best Amazon Prime Day Baby Deals: Strollers & Transportation

Bugaboo Ant baby stroller

Get 30% off the lightest and most compact model in the Bugaboo range. Weighing less than 16 pounds, it can accommodate babies and toddlers and folds up to fit in the overhead compartment of most airlines.

Lillebaby Complete All Seasons Six Position Baby Carrier

Lillebaby Complete All Seasons Six Position Baby Carrier

There is nothing like a well-designed baby carrier that allows you to cook dinner or go around the house with your baby comfortably strapped to your chest. This one has six different carrying positions and its neutral color makes it perfect for going from mom to dad.

Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 Stroller

One of the best mid-priced strollers, parents love the Baby Jogger City Mini for its easy maneuverability, smart features, and affordability, which of course is even more user-friendly when you buy one as a Prime Day deal.

Moby Wrap baby carrier

If you are intimidated by the look of this versatile sling, rest assured that it comes with a handy manual that will help you master different ways of using it, including newborn hug, kangaroo grip, pregnancy baby carriers and more.

Best Amazon Prime Day Baby Deals: Highchairs & Baby Feeding Products

Skip Hop convertible high chair

From Skip Hop, a brand known for its smart baby products, this eye-catching high chair can be pulled up to the table. When your little one doesn’t need it at mealtimes, the chair converts into a toddler stepladder, perfect for “helping” mom or dad in the kitchen.

Baby Brezza Small Baby Food Preparer Set

Starting the solids is an important milestone in your baby’s life, and this handy device makes homemade baby food that much easier to manage. It steams and mixes fruits and vegetables in one convenient step and also comes with three reusable food pouches and filling funnels.

Graco Blossom 6-in-1 Convertible High Chair

Graco Blossom 6-in-1 Convertible High Chair, Sapphire

This sturdy 6-in-1 convertible chair converts from a traditional high chair to a toddler booster seat to a children’s stool with a few simple adjustments. The wipeable seat pad is also machine washable, and the tray is dishwasher safe for cleaning.

Munchkin Cool Cat Stainless Steel Straw Mug

Parents love this splash-proof straw tumbler for its easy-to-use flip-top lid and insulation that keeps liquids cool for up to 3 pm, and kids love it for its adorable cat ears and fun colors.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Baby Bottles, 9 ounces, 3 units

Whether your baby is drinking breast milk or formula (or a mixture of the two), it is essential to stock up on the right bottles. These premium bottles from Tommee Tippee have soft, slow-flow silicone nipples and ventilation valves to reduce air entry during breastfeeding.

Loulou Lollipop silicone pacifier clip

Loulou Lollipop Silicone Soothie Pacifier Clip Binky Holder

Available in a range of modern colors, including neutral gray marble and the pastel rainbow shown here, Loulou Lollipop’s silicone pacifier clips keep baby close at hand while also doubling as a cute accessory. .

Burt’s Bees Baby Organic Cotton Wipes (Seaglass Green Prints)

Burt’s Bees Baby Burp Cloths, 5 Pack, 100% Organic Cotton

Made from super soft, 100% organic and breathable cotton, these burp cloths are extra long for extra protection over the shoulder.

Best Amazon Prime Day Baby Deals: Baby Play & Activity Products

Skip Hop Baby Activity Center

Created in collaboration with a pediatrician, this activity center is customizable (toys can be clicked on and off) and adjustable according to age and stage of development, ranging from infant seat to activity center for cruisers at the play table for toddlers.

Lupantte Lion Baby Gym

This colorful baby gym includes all the bells and whistles (and toys) to keep your little one entertained during all the early stages of development.

Alpine Muffy Baby Ear Muffs

Whether it’s baby’s first flight or a rowdy baseball game, these noise-canceling earmuffs limit overexposure to loud and potentially damaging sounds.

Strangers We Know helps young adults leaving the reception system | Local News


Jerrad Trotter, right with Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, has led several programs for children and young adults in transition through Strangers We Know, a nonprofit she founded in 2014. The non-profit organization is currently seeking donations of lightly used masks and fabric t-shirts. .

PHOTOS courtesy of strangers we know

Loni Nannini Special at the Arizona Daily Star

In 2014, Jerrad Trotter started a non-profit organization on the premise that she had never met a foreigner.

“The idea behind Strangers We Know is that we are all connected. We know each other on some level through our individual experiences. We’ve all cried, laughed, loved and hurt, and we want to build on those shared experiences, ”said Trotter, who at the time was a case assistant for Arizona Child Protective Services and recognized a lack of resources for young people as they aged out of the system.

The organization seeks to build on human connections and fill this gap, which Trotter has seen contribute to homelessness, poverty, incarceration, teenage pregnancy and other social issues. .

“Children are legally adults at 18, but to me they’re still babies. Many of them may become jaded and no longer want to be involved in the state system, but the caveat is that if there is help for them, they have to stay in the system to have resources available ” , said Trotter.

As an antidote, Strangers We Know offers a variety of programs, including BRIDGES (Building Resourceful Individuals Destined for Greatness by Establishing Support), which provides support to young adults as they transition out of the foster care system. BRIDGES offers real-time assistance in the form of in-home starter kits filled with towels, sheets, blankets, shower curtains, pots, pans and other household items.

Trudeau to recall Parliament to pass multi-billion dollar increase in COVID-19 aid


OTTAWA — Parliament is set to be called back for another emergency sitting to consider a multi-billion dollar expansion of COVID-19 financial relief measures, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterates the reality that Canada could be in a months-long fight against the virus.

Trudeau called the wage subsidy expansion unveiled Monday the biggest economic program in Canadian history, and that’s why he thinks Parliament should be reconvened to approve it, although the reminder is also necessary because it goes beyond what was included in the legislation adopted last time. the week.

On Monday, Trudeau announced that any Canadian business that has seen its revenue decline by 30% or more due to the pandemic will be eligible for a 75% wage subsidy, regardless of the number of employees it has. This announcement was a significant increase to the initial 10% wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses, announced the previous week.

On Wednesday afternoon, Finance Minister Bill Morneau gave more details about the plan and put an estimated price tag of $71 billion on it.

The combined direct economic measures and tax deferrals announced to date total $190 billion.

“These are very, very significant expenses,” Morneau said.

In an interview on CTV’s Power Play, Morneau was asked why the original legislation was not worded in a way to allow for flexibility in the scope of the subsidy, he said what was passed last week was intended to get plans off the ground quickly, but the “dynamic” situation and size of the grant program means it is appropriate for all parties to meet again to review the update.

Of the nearly $200 billion, $105 billion was earmarked for financial assistance programs such as the wage subsidy, the top-up Canada Child Benefit and lower-cost funds targeted at vulnerable populations, while $85 billion dollars will come from the tax deferral of Canadians and businesses. Payments.

According to a background paper released by Finance Canada, an additional $570.2 billion is being freed up through various loan and credit guarantees, the majority of which are made available by banks, not the federal government.

Speaking of the actions taken by the federal and provincial governments, Trudeau said, “Canada has not seen this type of civic mobilization since World War II. These are the greatest economic measures of our lifetime, to defeat a threat to our health. »

“These historic measures will help Canadians stay home to defeat COVID-19, but the government cannot win this fight alone.

Trudeau asked the government House leader and the deputy prime minister to contact the other parties to discuss a return date, to which the official opposition has already indicated its openness, rather than signing what it has called a months-long “blank cheque” for the Liberals.

Outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Wednesday the expanded scale of the program would require an amendment to the $107 billion tax relief package that was fast-tracked in emergency legislation passed by the House and Senate last week .

“Having a government come forward with a bill a few days later to make an announcement that is not in line with its own legislation, and now this possible scenario where Parliament would have to be called back to fix its own mistakes does not encourage much trusted by Canadians right now,” Scheer said.

Also on CTV’s Power Play, Scheer said his caucus would travel to Ottawa to be “extremely vigilant” about the government’s legislative changes after a later draft of the initial aid package bill proposed to sweep new powers without parliamentary oversight until the end of 2021.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was quizzed on what needed to be changed and, without giving details, said it was ‘appropriate’ for Parliament to play its part, given the ‘scale’ of the additional measures .

Aimed to help keep employees on staff, the emergency wage subsidy is backdated to March 15 and will be on the first $58,700 earned, or up to $847 per week per employee.

Trudeau stressed that companies will have to show that they are doing “everything they can” to pay the remaining 25% of their employees’ wages, or face stiff penalties.

Morneau said businesses will need to reapply each month, reaffirming that individuals, bars, restaurants and charities will also be eligible, unlike public bodies such as hospitals and public schools.

“Get ready to rehire people,” Morneau said, adding that the app will soon be available on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website, and the money should be available within three to six weeks. .

Despite the additional information about the massive program, questions remain about what will happen to start-ups and other businesses that cannot demonstrate a drop in revenue from 2019.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says there are design features and unanswered questions that could impact the program’s goal of reducing layoffs.

“The government has confirmed that companies will have to prove a 30% drop in their gross income on a monthly basis by comparing their income to the same period last year. For some companies with very tight profit margins, even a small drop in sales may necessitate a significant number of layoffs in order to reduce costs. New businesses, seasonal businesses and those that experienced a major event last year around this time would also find it difficult, if not impossible, to demonstrate the 30% downside figure,” said the President and CEO of CFIB, Dan Kelly, in a statement.

Other business groups have also expressed concern over the prospect that it will take up to six weeks for funds to become available.

“Many businesses that are not essential services have been operating with reduced staff or have been completely closed for almost three weeks. Now they are being asked to wait another six weeks before the funds become available. We know that many small businesses do not have enough cash reserves to wait,” Canadian Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Phil Taylor said in a statement.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said on CTV’s Power Play that he agreed government aid benefits should be paid out more quickly because he had asked for a much larger wage subsidy since the initial government announcement. He said he would have supported it the last time the House met and that he is prepared to expedite the passage of anything that comes before the next sitting of the House of Commons if it helps. .

It remains to be seen how quickly MPs could be back on Parliament Hill, but House of Commons rules require 48 hours notice.


Updating Canadians on the federal government’s pandemic response plan, Trudeau confirmed that starting April 6, Canadians can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and get their money within 10 days or faster if they ask for direct deposit. But if they are willing to receive the new 75% wage subsidy, they cannot receive both.

“It’s one or the other,” Trudeau said.

Morneau said that because the wage subsidy is expanded, the cost of the emergency benefit will be lower.

The benefit comes as more than 2.1 million Canadians have applied for EI in the past two weeks, with less than half of claims processed at this point and more arriving daily.

Steps are being taken to sort out this backlog, and the government says anyone who has been approved for EI will automatically be enrolled in the new emergency benefit.

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough called this an “unprecedented” volume of applications. In addition to reconfiguring the system to process and send benefits, retired civil servants have been called in to help.

“I want to thank all the public servants who have been working around the clock for weeks under strange and stressful circumstances to put these emergency programs in place,” Morneau said.

The government continues to indicate that more financial assistance will come to Canadians and affected sectors as the shutdown of many aspects of society continues, meaning the price will continue to rise.


In a new month, and after Toronto canceled all major events until the end of June, Trudeau indicated that the country would likely be asked to follow public health measures like physical distancing and subject to additional restrictions and to border closures for months, but it depends on how people act today.

Over the past few weeks, Trudeau has been faced with several questions about how long it will be before Canada emerges on the other side of the pandemic, and his response has always been some version of “weeks or months.” However, many of the financial relief measures being implemented are expected to be in effect until the summer.

“How we do it right now determines where our country will be in two weeks or two months,” Trudeau said, without giving details on what the internal projections are for the death rate from this disease in Canada.

The death toll is something other countries have discussed publicly, including the United States, where health officials believe the death toll could reach at least 100,000 people.

“We must all answer the call of duty. It is a service that most of us have never been called to do…. Listening to the rules of public health is your duty. Staying home is your way of serving, so be smart in what you do, in the choices you make, this is how you will serve your country and how we will all serve each other,” Trudeau said. .

Mumbai local train services open to all commuters after 10 months


After an interval of about 320 days, the

The railways allowed all members of the general public to travel on local trains in Mumbai from Monday morning, but for limited hours.

Local police assistance is being sought to manage the crowds and all authorized entry/exit points and ticket windows have been opened for the smooth running of services, Central Railway public relations manager Shivaji Sutar said.

The general public is permitted to travel on commuter trains from the start time of services for the day until 7 a.m., from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 9 p.m. until the closing of services for the daytime.

From 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., only essential service employees and categories of commuters specified by the Government of Maharashtra and Ministry of Railways are permitted to travel on local trains.

“Mask wearing is mandatory and coordination will be made with civic authorities to collect fines from those who violate COVID-19 prevention standards,” Sutar said.

Commuter rail services, considered Mumbai’s lifeline, were suspended at midnight on March 22 last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak and gradually resumed from June 15.

Sutar said that having resumed local train services for all members of the general public now, they have opened all permitted entry-exit doors, elevators, escalators and pedestrian bridges at suburban stations.

All commercial counters and ATMs were also opened.

“There is more deployment of security forces at crowd-sensitive stations,” the official said.

A random check of tickets will be carried out to see that people are traveling according to their allocated time slots, he said.

After local train services resumed in June last year, initially only essential and emergency service personnel were allowed to travel on commuter trains.

Later, various other categories of commuters, including women, were allowed during restricted hours.

Currently, a total of 2,985 local rail services are operated on the Mumbai suburban network.

These make up about 95% of the total 3,141 services, which were collectively operated by Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) before the coronavirus outbreak, railway officials said.

Of these, 204 special suburban services were added on Friday, they said.

In normal pre-lockdown times, the CR operated 1,774 services, while the WR operated 1,367 services on the commuter network.

(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.)

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SC seeks Center’s perspective on advocacy to declare emergency unconstitutional | Latest India News


The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Center’s views on whether the emergency, imposed 45 years ago, could be declared unconstitutional because of the passage of time.

A 94-year-old widow, Veera Sarin, addressed the highest court with a prayer to declare the 1975 emergency unconstitutional and demanded 25 crore rupees in compensation for the wrongs committed by the authorities who detained her husband and hurt his family. mental trauma for several years. Sarin’s husband took care of gems and artefacts and all her belongings were confiscated but never returned, she said.

The bench of judges SK Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy said: “We are not convinced that after 45 years we can go into something that happened in a particular period.”

Sarin was represented by lead attorney Harish Salve, who argued that the wrongs of history must be righted or else they could repeat themselves. He said war crimes during the Holocaust and World War II were still being considered by war crimes tribunals. He said that while the petitioner cannot insist on compensation, she is entitled to a declaration that the fundamental rights of citizens have been suspended for 19 months, which should not have happened in a democratically governed regime. by a constitution.

The bench, after holding lengthy discussions among themselves, struggled to agree with Salve. “…We would be reluctant to reopen on such aspects, as wrongs may have been done, but with the passage of 45 years, it may not be appropriate to reopen them.”

Salve agreed that he was ready to forfeit his prayer for compensation, but stood firm on the first prayer. “This is too serious a matter to be ignored. People of our generation couldn’t do anything then. This lady has no political agenda. She suffered and came to court to ask for a final closure on this issue. She would be happy to get a declaration that the declared state of emergency was false.

It was then that the court said: “We would not, however, be disinclined to consider whether such a declaration (by the court) is feasible or desirable after such a period of time.” The court allowed Salve to file an amended motion for writ, restructuring it keeping in mind what the court observed. The case will be heard on December 18.

A state of emergency was declared a few minutes before midnight on June 25, 1975 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The proclamation was revoked in March 1977.

Pipe Masters contestant Yago Dora has met exemption requirements, authorities say


On Friday, after the World Surf League announced the suspension of Pipe Masters World Championship surfing competition at Oahu’s Banzai Pipeline because WSL CEO Erik Logan and four other staff members tested positive for COVID-19, Coconut Wireless has erupted with speculation about the source of the outbreak.

Over the weekend, social media and surf blogs speculated that Brazilian professional surfer and Pipe Masters participant Yago Dora may have spread the virus, based on an Instagram post in which he reported, in his native Portuguese, that he had tested negative for COVID-19 prior to his Nov. 26 flight from Brazil to Dallas, Texas, but later tested positive at the Dallas airport and, rather than continuing his trip to Hawaii, isolated himself in a hotel room for 10 days.

Dora said he was released from solitary after 10 days, but his COVID test remained positive. He added that with the help of WSL, he received an exemption “from the Hawaiian government” allowing him to fly to Hawaii and bypass the state’s 14-day quarantine for arrivals who do not have proof. a negative COVID test taken at least 72 hours before their flight. .

According to the WSL and the state attorney general’s office, Dora was found to be non-contagious by a physician, as required by an exemption.

“Our office has granted Yago Dora an exemption for people who were COVID (positive) but are no longer at risk of infecting others,” Krishna Jayaram, public information officer for the attorney general’s office, said Monday in an email, referencing the guidelines on the Attorney General’s website.

According to the state’s online “frequently asked questions,” in order to qualify for a COVID-19 exemption from Hawaii’s 14-day quarantine, travelers who test positive must submit two pieces of information and receive approval before the arrival.

Travelers must provide a copy of a positive nucleic acid amplification test from a certified laboratory performed prior to departure date, along with a signed letter from a medical provider stating that they have no showed no symptoms and are fully recovered.

Ten days is considered sufficient time for a mild case of COVID-19 to become non-contagious, confirmed Dr. Pritish Tosh, professor of medicine and infectious disease physician and researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

The reason: “Long after a virus is non-viable, if it’s still hanging around, you can amplify (its) sequences and the test would be positive, (but) that doesn’t mean someone is still contagious,” said said Tosh.

Studies have shown that “people who test positive don’t infect contacts outside of that 10-day window, and we continue to see that again and again,” Tosh said, noting that the Centers for Disease Control of the United States advises people with moderate symptoms to seek treatment. – isolate for 10 days. Those in need of intensive care are advised to self-isolate for 20 days after the initial onset of symptoms.

On Wednesday, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Governor David Ige’s announcement that, based on recommendations from the CDC and the director of the state Department of Health, Hawaii will reduce its mandatory quarantine for travelers without negative pre-flight test at 10 of 14 days.

WSL has confirmed that Dora has met the exemption requirements.

“Yago Dora has been medically cleared to have recovered from COVID-19,” the organization said in an official email response.

“It was not a special exemption,” added WSL, noting its availability for other travelers to Hawaii.

On Wednesday, Dora won round 2 of the first round on the first day of the Pipe Masters, which celebrates its 50th anniversary; the competition was suspended on Wednesday and Thursday due to wave conditions before being suspended indefinitely on Friday due to COVID-19.

Dora’s social media post, which has since been deleted, could still be viewed at press time in an article by Brazilian sports publication Globoesporte.globo.com.

The holding period of the Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydroflask, which remained suspended from Monday afternoon, runs until Sunday.

Nathan Serota, public information officer for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, confirmed that due to restrictions on gatherings under the city’s COVID-19 emergency rules, this Pipe Masters is organized as a virtual event covered by a filming permit issued by the city’s Honolulu Film Office.

While Ehukai Beach Park and the beach adjacent to it will remain open to the public while the Pipe Masters are in progress, “certain beach areas will be restricted from public access due to strict COVID-19 protocols,” Serota said, adding that the public “could bypass these areas” using designated driveways.

The Pipe Masters’ Hawaiian companion event on the WSL World Championship Tour, the Maui Women’s Pro by Roxy at Maui’s Honolua Bay, has been suspended indefinitely due to a fatal shark attack Dec. 8 on a recreational surfer from Maui before the start of the second day of competition; WSL later announced that the event would not resume in Honolua Bay, but could be moved to another venue on the islands.

Economic recovery from COVID-19 must help struggling medical practices


What are the news: Congress must include specific provisions in the latest COVID-19 economic stimulus package to ensure doctors maintain their practices and can provide their patients with the best possible care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to congressional leaders, the AMA, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons and Medical Group Management Association stressed that economic stimulus legislation should “support and supporting physicians and their practices during this unprecedented national emergency.” through tax breaks, interest-free loans, direct payments, payment for virtual tours, including phone calls, and other measures.

The letter also urged Congress to “take all possible steps to ensure that every physician and healthcare worker has access to the PPE they critically need.” The scale of the risk facing doctors and patients is underscored by a March 19 MGMA survey showing that 89% of medical practices are experiencing shortages of essential PPE.

The AMA, in a March 19 letter, also outlined measures to help preserve the viability of medical practices impacted by the pandemic.

Why it matters: The COVID-19 emergency “is putting severe financial pressure on physicians and their practices, across all practice types and all specialties.” Practices are experiencing huge revenue cuts while having to pay rent, meet payroll and meet other expenses without patients coming into their practices.

The letter cites three key recommendations for the legislation:

  • Require all payers, including ERISA plans, to provide coverage and payment for audio-only telehealth visits with patients, at the same level as in-person visits.
  • Provide dedicated and direct financial support to physicians and their frontline practices to test, diagnose, and treat patients at risk for COVID-19, recognizing the increased costs they incur for the care of these patients.
  • Provide dedicated financial support to all physicians and their practices who experience a negative economic impact on their practices due to the suspension of elective visits and procedures.

Learn more: The AMA is teaming up with essential healthcare partners to reach the highest levels of government to fight for doctors and patients.

Visit the AMA COVID-19 Resource Center for a comprehensive place to find the latest resources and updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Coronavirus: CA small businesses could receive $48 billion in aid


More than 763,000 small businesses in California could be eligible for $48 billion in aid from the economic relief package that became law last week.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates reflect what state-owned enterprises could receive from the $350 billion national program to allow small businesses to retain employees. The federal government would provide forgivable loans to help them meet payroll and pay rent and utilities.

For help, the best bet for a business owner is probably to go to a local bank that has been involved in small business lending.

To answer questions, it may be helpful to contact your local member of Congress or consult the United States Chamber of Commerce guide on how to navigate the new law, or consult this Federation resource guide National Independent Business.

John Kabateck, California State Director of the Federation of Independent Business, saw great potential for the loan program.

“Normally, small business owners go out of their way to avoid taking out a loan, let alone a loan, from a state or federal government,” he said.

But now, “they have no choice but to take advantage of what the government is offering, which I think is especially pronounced in parts of California that are still rebuilding from Camp Fire a while ago. less than two years,” he said.

Using information from the Federation of Independent Business, the Chamber, and the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein, here are some basic questions and answers:

Who is eligible for assistance?

In most cases, a business with less than 500 employees, or someone who operates as a sole proprietor, independent contractor, or “regularly carries on any business,” according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Employees include anyone with full-time, part-time or other status.

Also eligible are certain food and lodging services with fewer than 500 employees per location and less than $500 million in gross annual revenue last year.

What can the loan be used for?

“Salary or wages, family and sick leave, termination or severance pay, health care benefits, retirement benefits, payment of state and local taxes assessed on an employee’s remuneration and the sum of payments to a contractor independent,” the independent business federation said.

It can also be used for mortgage payments, rent, lease payments, utilities and interest on debt incurred after February 15.

All expenses must be incurred between February 15 and June 30.

What will lenders ask me?

Were you operational before February 15? Does the current economic turmoil make this loan necessary to maintain your operations? Will you use the money to keep people working, make mortgage or lease payments, and pay for utilities?

Suppose I already have an emergency loan?

“It is possible to convert emergency loans made between January 31, 2020 and the date this loan program becomes available into a new loan,” advises the chamber. The Small Business Administration can buy loans made before the stimulus law took effect this month and cover up to six months of payments.

A necessary guarantee?

No. The Small Business Administration guarantees 100%.

How much loan can I get?

The maximum is $10 million. But to determine how much you can receive, the Federation of Independent Business advises multiplying the average total monthly payments for payroll expenses incurred during the one-year period before the date of loan issuance by 2.5. Your loan would be whichever is less, that number or the $10 million.

I am an independent contractor. What should I show the lender?

If you are an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or self-employed, lenders will likely ask for payroll tax returns, 1099-MISC forms, and sole proprietorship income and expenses.

The loan is supposed to be cancelled. What requirements must I meet?

The amount forgiven is the amount you spend during the eight weeks from the original date of the loan: staff costs, mortgage interest, lease rent, utility payments and “for borrowers with tipped employees, the additional salaries paid to those employees”.

If you reduce your number of employees or reduce salaries by more than 25%, the amount of the rebate decreases.

What cannot be included?

What doesn’t count in the calculation is the salary paid to someone over $100,000, pro-rated from February 15 to June 30. Also not included are payroll taxes, railroad retirement taxes, income taxes, and compensation for anyone living outside the United States. .

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David Lightman is McClatchy’s chief congressional correspondent. He has been writing, editing, and teaching for nearly 50 years, with stops in Hagerstown, Riverside, California, Annapolis, Baltimore, and since 1981, Washington.

The pandemic “is still very real” | Richmond Free Press


That’s the prognosis Richmond officials offered Monday at a news conference.

“The pandemic is still very real,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “And what we don’t want to happen is that COVID-19

catches us slipping.

On Wednesday, the city recorded 2,321 positive cases and 29 deaths from the coronavirus, as reported by the Virginia Department of Health.

Authorities also reported 67,375 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia, along with 1,905 deaths and 6,577 hospitalizations. African Americans account for 19.4% of cases and 23.7% of deaths, while Latinos account for 44.1% of cases and 11.3% of deaths.

Dr. Danny TK Avula, director of the Richmond and Henrico County Health Districts, said while there have been no confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the past two weeks, the steep decline in cases and hospitalizations due to the virus began to plateau.

The city is “not out of the woods yet,” he said, adding that state action and individual efforts could moderate any uptick.

Dr. Avula also said more attention is being paid to Richmond’s Latino population, which comprises half of the city’s confirmed COVID-19 cases. This includes adding more bilingual health workers, working to gain the trust of undocumented members of the community, and offering greater support for testing, isolation and quarantine.

Richmond residents who test positive for coronavirus will continue to receive primary care support, especially for those without health insurance or who are underinsured, as well as isolation options for those who cannot do it on their own, officials said.

The city is also working with community colleges to understand the needs of workers who have lost their jobs or been laid off due to the virus, health guidelines and decisions made by employers.

Richmond businesses that have received support through tax amnesty, PPE distribution and more will also be subject to a $3 million backed small business and restaurant grant program. dollars allocated from federal CARES Act funding received by the city, according to Mayor Stoney. About $6 million has been allocated to the new Emergency Rent Assistance Program, created at the request of housing justice advocates, to help residents facing eviction in the city.

“We have to be diligent, but we know we also have to be urgent,” Mayor Stoney said.

Amazon prepares an Alexa-enabled microwave plan


Diving brief:

  • Amazon has developed capabilities for its Alexa Smart Home Skill API that allow other developers to build skills to enable Alexa-powered devices in the United States to control cooking functions on microwave ovens, according to the Amazon Alexa Developer Blog.

  • Support for other cooking appliances, such as conventional ovens, is coming soon, and capabilities will eventually become available in other countries, according to the post.

  • Whirlpool has already created (but not yet launched) such a skill for its range of connected microwaves that allows customers to ask Alexa to set cooking times, modes and power levels.

Overview of the dive:

The microwave oven was once the pinnacle of technological development, almost on par with putting a person on the moon. Control pads on ovens were supposed to be one of the things that made them so cool, allowing users to defrost, cook, reheat for any length of time with the push of a few buttons.

Yet in the age of voice activation and instant gratification, keyboards have become cumbersome. Whirlpool isn’t the only appliance maker interested in Alexa-powered cooking capabilities. The blog post also said that GE Appliances, Kenmore, LG, and Samsung are also starting to work with the cooking capabilities of the Smart Home Skill API.

Amazon also announced that its Alexa fund has invested in June Life, seller of the “smart” June Oven, which already has an associated Alexa skill, and is likely to work with the Smart Home Skill API. “[The Alexa skill] makes it incredibly convenient for [users] doing things like preheating the oven while they mix ingredients, setting and checking timers, and stopping cooking without taking off their oven mitts,” June Life co-founder and CEO Matt Van Horn said in the post. from Amazon.

These new capabilities are part of Amazon’s ongoing efforts, through Alexa, to support many aspects of our daily lives. Taking control of our microwaves would be a surprise if Amazon hadn’t already moved into our kitchens through LG’s Alexa-enabled fridge or through partnerships with appliance makers around its Dash replenishment program. It’s only a matter of time before these abilities become new skills governing the control of all types of ovens, let alone any other device. Why should you walk around your kitchen – or your laundry room, or your whole house – pressing buttons when you could talk to inanimate objects instead?

SILVER CREEK Another to stay near you | News, Sports, Jobs


Residents who value boundary lines for their communities may not be happy with recent decisions by municipalities that offer ambulance services. The latest to call on this issue, which could hurt their neighbors, was Silver Creek.

Earlier this week the council voted unanimously to restrict service to the village unless calls require an additional ambulance in the towns of Sheridan and Dunkirk. “This extra call volume has put a strain on our volunteers,” said administrator Marv Cummings. “We must first provide this service to our residents and residents within our certificate of need. However, in cases where more than one ambulance is needed, our volunteers will be there to help. The Village of Silver Creek is fortunate to have a very dedicated group of first responders like ours and we certainly don’t want to burn them out and take them away from their families any longer than necessary.

In recent years, Chautauqua County has implemented a flycar system to handle emergency calls in rural areas. As more city departments stay close to home, county emergency personnel are likely to take on additional responsibilities.

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UPDATE 1-IMF Says Coronavirus Will Hit Sub-Saharan Africa’s Growth Hard


(Adds comments on virus disruptions, oil prices)

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) – The spread of the coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa will hit the region’s economic growth hard, with direct disruptions to people’s livelihoods, tighter financial conditions, reduced trade and investment and a sharp drop in commodity prices, the International Monetary Fund announced on Wednesday.

In a blog post on the IMF’s website, senior officials from the IMF’s African Department said they had received requests for emergency financing from more than 20 countries in the region and expected at least 10 more soon.

On Tuesday, the Fund announced that Ghana had applied for a fast-disbursing emergency loan to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Monday some 80 countries had applied for loans from the emergency facilities, under which some $50 billion is available, with at least 20 more applications expected.

“Across the region, growth will be hit hard. Precisely how much is still hard to say. But it is clear that our growth forecasts in the April regional outlook will be significantly lower,” Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the IMF’s African Department, and Karen Ongley, Mission Chief for Sierra Leone, wrote in the blog.

During the global financial crisis more than a decade ago, African countries were spared the economic impact, as many were less integrated into global financial markets and supply chains, Selassie and Ongley wrote. Debt levels were also lower and countries had more room to increase spending to boost growth.

In the coronavirus pandemic, a number of countries have closed borders and limited public gatherings, which will cut many paid jobs.

“For the most vulnerable people in society in the region, ‘social distancing’ is not realistic. The notion of working from home is only possible for the few,” Selassie and Ongley wrote.


Livelihood disruptions will mean less income, less spending and fewer jobs. Closing borders means travel and tourism will dry up, along with trade and shipping.

The partial shutdown of major economies means global demand will plummet, further disrupting supply chains and trade. And tighter global financial conditions will limit access to finance and delay investments and development projects, they wrote.

With oil prices down 50% since the start of 2020, the impact on oil exporters in Africa will be substantial.

“We estimate that each 10% decline in oil prices will, on average, reduce oil exporters’ growth by 0.6% and increase overall fiscal deficits by 0.8% of GDP,” they wrote.

Nevertheless, they recommended an increase in budgetary expenditure – first for public health, but also to provide broad economic support, including cash transfers to individuals and households in difficulty.

“Where possible, governments should consider targeted and temporary support for hard-hit sectors such as tourism. For example, temporary tax relief through targeted reductions or delays in paying taxes could help address cash shortfalls for affected businesses,” they wrote. (Reporting by David Lawder editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao)

Toyota is preparing to spend big, but does it make sense to invest billions in the future?


Big futuristic investment bets on the post-coronavirus period still seem too early. Yet Toyota Motor Corp. seems convinced that the money will count.

This stands out in a world where most rivals can barely think of cash flow for the next six months, let alone investments a year from now. While aiming for an 80% drop in operating profits for its fiscal year 2020, Toyota says it plans to cut capital expenditures by about 3% and hold those expenditures at $1.35 trillion. yen ($12.6 billion), while cutting research and development by just 1%. As a share of net revenue, R&D would rise to 4.6% to around 1.35 trillion yen from 3.7%, which has been the average since 2017.

Toyota is doing what it failed to do in previous crises that damaged supply chains and businesses around the world. In a speech during last week’s earnings call, President Akio Toyoda recalled the difficult four years following the financial crisis, aggravated in 2011 by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand. The company reduced costs and investments and leaned considerably, but “lost the necessary muscle”. Toyoda said that “because we stopped everything to stop the bleeding, including investing in the future, we ended up needing time to strengthen our company’s composition.”

Over the past two years, Toyota has spent billions on the future of cars. Investments range from $1 billion in Southeast Asia’s largest ride-sharing service – Grab Holdings Inc., the largest from an automaker – to $500 million in Uber Technologies Inc. It also has created a joint venture with Softbank Corp. The Research Institute and its advanced development subsidiary have tried to venture into areas like artificial intelligence.

So far, it’s hard to say what the exact returns have been, and it will stay that way as long as COVID-19 forces people to lock themselves in and drive less. As long as the pandemic and its economic devastation results in job losses and tighter purse strings, will consumers really be willing to spend on electric cars or fancy gadgets? It seems more likely that they will postpone upgrades for later. No one is in the mood to spend, except, well, Toyota.

Of course, spending now, in theory, has allowed the company to outpace the industry. But Toyota hasn’t necessarily shown technological prowess in the past, so it’s hard to say whether it will be able to move forward. The automaker could very well catch the future wave, or cheat it terribly. Corporate liquidity has become a global commodity. To bolster its already strong balance sheet, Toyota said it signed a 1.25 trillion yen loan, a prudent move. But how does this compare to planned spending, which is almost as much as previous years? Even before the pandemic, pressure to maintain greater connectivity and range weighed on automakers’ balance sheets. Moody’s Investors Service noted after Toyota’s demotion in April that welcoming new investment means companies “are being pressured to cut costs elsewhere.”

There seem to be two Toyotas, as I noted earlier. One is focused on cutting costs and operating within the confines of a struggling global market, and the other is trying to spend for the future. The first enables the second. Two years ago, Toyoda said the company would harness the power of cost reduction “to strengthen earning power and expand our investments in new technologies and new areas.”

Slimming down, especially now, is difficult. It’s unclear how Toyota classifies all of these investments and whether they fall under R&D spending, but costs as a share of net sales rose slightly on a quarterly basis, despite tight control. Meanwhile, the challenges of the COVID-19 production line – when to stop, when to open – remain and require spending. With sales and the core business in profound change, it’s hard to justify spending big on unknown returns. Investors may have the same problem.

Anjani Trivedi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies in Asia.

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Resumptions during the COVID-19 pandemic


In normal times, creditors face a number of requirements when seeking to exercise their rights of repossession in the event of a borrower default. Some of the factors a creditor should normally consider are: the notices required to the borrower before and after repossession, the borrower’s rights of redemption or reinstatement, and the length of time he must wait before sell the motor vehicle after repossession.

For creditors operating in multiple jurisdictions, this often means having to comply with sets of rules that can be very different. To make matters more confusing, some jurisdictions have imposed additional motor vehicle repossession requirements and limitations that creditors should be aware of, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jurisdictions have imposed various ways of regulating motor vehicle repossessions. A handful of them have enacted emergency legislation that imposes moratoriums on motor vehicle seizures, including in Alaska, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts. Others, like Illinois and Maryland, have executive orders that have imposed moratoriums on motor vehicle seizures. Some – like Arizona, Nevada and Texas – have taken a less restrictive approach and simply asked creditors to stop motor vehicle foreclosures, without going any further and banning them all together.

New Mexico even took the approach of reminding creditors that towing services for foreclosures were not considered an “essential business” during the public health emergency, and businesses that engage in this activity would be subject to penalties. Michigan issued similar guidance that said self-help repossessions did not meet the definition of “financial services” for the purposes of being considered a “critical infrastructure worker.”

An added wrinkle is that each warrant, or request in some cases, is applicable for a different time period. Some are for a set period of days, while others are tied to the duration of the state of emergency or public health emergency in that jurisdiction. Creditors should check the exact date each limitation expires before beginning to repossess in each jurisdiction.

Due to these additional requirements, we have also seen some issues related to “voluntary surrenders” of motor vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most typical question is: if moratoriums on repossessions are in place, what if the borrower voluntarily surrenders the motor vehicle? Are you OK ? To this I suggest that there is no single answer.

Creditors should examine the law in each jurisdiction to determine if what they consider a voluntary redemption is really that. If the creditor suggests that the borrower voluntarily surrender the vehicle because the borrower is having trouble making payments, is this really voluntary on the borrower’s part? If the creditor repossesses the vehicle from a car pound, has the borrower actually voluntarily surrendered this motor vehicle? The answer will probably not be the same in all jurisdictions.

The result of all of this is an inconsistent approach to how creditors should proceed with their self-help repossession rights in what is an already convoluted set of laws across the country. When this is all over, regulators will no doubt review how creditors have handled foreclosures during this time, and creditors will need to show what steps they have taken to ensure compliance.

Impossible Foods cuts the price of fake meat in grocery stores by 20%


Feb 2 (Reuters) – Impossible Foods said on Tuesday it would slash prices of its fake meat patties by 20% in U.S. grocery stores as the plant-based protein maker ramps up production with a broader plan to possibly cut prices of ground beef.

Impossible Foods, maker of the plant-based Impossible Burger, and rival Beyond Meat Inc have led plant-based alternatives over the past two years as consumers worried about their health, their impact on environment and animal welfare, seek to expand or switch from diets based on chicken, pork and beef.

Demand for plant-based meat has also increased during the pandemic after beef and pork producers shut down many meat plants to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak. California-based Impossible Foods, which has already cut prices for food distributors twice in a year, said it would continue to lower prices for their products.

Suggested retail prices for Impossible Burger would drop to $5.49 at about 17,000 U.S. grocery stores, the company said in a statement, adding that it would introduce similar price reductions at retail stores in Canada, Singapore and in Hong Kong.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

FHLBank San Francisco makes $10.7 billion available for


SAN FRANCISCO, May 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) is a cooperative-owned wholesale bank and a reliable source of liquidity for its member financial institutions through all economic cycles. . FHLBank members are commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, thrift institutions, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions based in Arizona, California, and Nevada.

In response to the unprecedented public health emergency of COVID-19 and its devastating economic impact, FHLBank San Francisco is offering a list of new or improved funding tools and grants that members can use to address urgent and longer term of their customers and communities. . These tools and resources have built-in flexibility so members can provide targeted funding to the ever-changing challenges created by the pandemic.

“Our members and their customers and communities are operating in a particularly difficult and uncertain economic environment due to this global pandemic,” said Stephen P. Traynor, interim president and CEO of FHLBank San Francisco. “The new funding tools and additional resources we are announcing today, totaling more than $10 billion, are designed to help our members help their communities meet immediate local needs, and also to support the longer road towards recovery from the financial aftershocks of the pandemic. ”

The following FHLBank San Francisco financial products and community support programs are available only to or through the Bank’s member financial institutions.

FHLBank San Francisco COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Loan Products
The new from the bank Recovery advance The loan is a zero-interest, six-month or one-year credit product that members can use to provide immediate relief to homeowners, businesses and other customers struggling with the financial impacts of the pandemic. Each member can borrow up to $10 million in stimulus advances, which will be available through May 29, 2020. If Bank members take full advantage of this special product offering, up to $3.36 billion dollars in stimulus advance loans will help accelerate pandemic relief and recovery efforts. in the communities that Bank members serve.

Members can also access the Bank’s existing discounted community and economic development credit programs, known as ACEs and CIPs, for relief and recovery purposes. The Bank added $5 billion in additional capacity for both programs and doubled per-member limits, which are based on each member’s asset size. For the remainder of the year, the total amount of funding available to members of these programs is $7.4 billion.

COVID-19 Member Matching Funds for Nonprofits and Small Businesses
The Bank has added $1.5 million to a program established in 2018 to match charitable donations Bank members make for relief and resilience following natural disasters. This brings the total amount of counterpart funding available for pandemic disaster relief and recovery activities to $1.8 million in 2020. , wage support or childcare, and the Bank will also match grants that members give to keep struggling small businesses going. To enable all Bank members to receive matching funds to support their communities, the Bank limits matching per member to $5,000, which is available for the remainder of the year.

Additional Funding for AHEAD Program Targeted Economic Development Grants
The Bank’s Board of Directors has allocated an additional $1 million to a planned 2020 allocation of $1.5 million for the Bank’s AHEAD grants. The application cycle will open soon for this flexible program, which offers grants typically between $20,000 and $50,000 for innovative projects and programs that benefit low-income individuals, neighborhoods, and communities. Members partner with nonprofit organizations to use AHEAD grants to advance variety or economic development, especially employment-related programs for underserved populations. With additional dollars and expanded eligible uses, this year’s $2.5 million AHEAD program will provide crucial funding to nonprofits in Arizona, California, and Nevada that are in recent need of funds. turnover, infrastructure or increased capacity to meet the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

These new and improved tools and resources are in addition to the support that FHLBank San Francisco provides for affordable housing and home ownership. The results of the Bank’s annual Affordable Housing Program (AHP) funding competition, which provides grants to build or preserve affordable housing for low-income families and individuals, will be announced in June. Through two matching grant programs, WISH and IDEA, the Bank provides financing that members use to provide down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. For 2020, the Bank will award nearly $38 million in AHP grants and an additional $9.5 million is available for members participating in the WISH and IDEA programs.

Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is a member-driven cooperative that helps local lenders in Arizona, California and Nevada build strong communities, create opportunity and change lives for the better. The resources and tools we provide to our member financial institutions (commercial banks, credit unions, industrial loan companies, savings banks, insurance companies and community development financial institutions) promote home ownership, expand access to quality housing, start or support small businesses, and revitalize entire neighborhoods. Together with our members and other partners, we make the communities we serve more vibrant and resilient.

Marie Long, 415-616-2556
[email protected]

UA Poetry Center Secures Emergency Funding; UA Cancer Center Receives Innovator Award | Economic news


The Literary Arts Emergency Fund: The University of Arizona Poetry Center and the University of Arizona Foundation are receiving emergency funding of $10,000 from the Literary Arts Emergency Fund. The fund, launched and administered by the Academy of American Poets, the Community of Literary Magazine & Presses and the National Book Foundation, distributes $3.5 million in emergency funding to 282 literary arts organizations, magazines and presses nonprofits across the country that have experienced severe financial losses due to COVID-19. Organizations and publishers receiving support have reported financial losses of $27,635,559 to date and project financial losses of $48,137,391 for the coming year.

University of Arizona Cancer Center: The Association of Community Cancer Centers honored the University of Arizona Cancer Center at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson with its 2020 Innovator Award. The award recognizes forward-thinking members of the Association of Community Cancer Centers program who have created innovative and repeatable solutions while demonstrating the real impact on the delivery of cost-effective, patient-centered care. To help ensure patient safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UA Cancer Center created a multidisciplinary team that identified inpatient chemotherapy regimens that could be safely administered on an outpatient basis. The transition plan has reduced inpatient medical resources and chemotherapy costs, reduced inpatient stays, reduced infection rates and improved quality of life. The effort reduced the overall cost of care, resulting in a conservative estimate of $6 million saved.

The factory rushing to make Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine


U.S. drugmaker Emergent BioSolutions began ramping up its acquisition of drug supplies early last year as the coronavirus outbreak erupted in China. In addition to producing drugs like Narcan’s anti-opioid overdose nasal spray, the company develops vaccines and therapeutic antibodies and has won lucrative contracts for key biodefense drugs over the decades.

Under the Obama administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the Maryland-based company a contract worth up to nearly $1 billion in anthrax vaccine doses in 2016.

In late January last year, company executives presented a white paper to federal health officials, which showed the Trump administration how it could enlist the President Obama-funded pandemic vaccine factory he almost ten years ago.

In the wake of the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic, the Obama administration invested millions in building and staffing a handful of Innovation Centers in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADMs) Across the country.

Emergent was shortlisted for one of those CIADM awards in 2012 and was soon tasked with building a facility in Maryland designed to quickly ramp up vaccine production in the event of another potentially deadlier pandemic.

“H1N1 has demonstrated that even some of the largest vaccine companies in the world lack the capacity to manufacture population-scale pandemic vaccines,” said Gary Disbrow, director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), to CBS News.

Federal officials say the nation’s vaccine manufacturing capacity has reached its limit to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, as companies have sought to ramp up production of the roughly 800 million vaccine doses ordered by the administration. Trump last year.

Pfizer relied on the expansion of several of its manufacturing sites in the United States and abroad to produce doses of its COVID-19 vaccine. Although much smaller than Pfizer, Moderna struck a deal last year with Swiss multinational Lonza to manufacture the key ingredient in its vaccine.

And now, with Americans clamoring for COVID-19 shots that can’t seem to be produced quickly enough, BARDA-approved Emergent will face its first test.

As it awaits the hoped-for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of the month, Johnson & Johnson says the first key stage in vaccine production will take place over three sites only: own facility in the Netherlands, contract manufacturing in India and Emergent’s factory in Baltimore.

How Emergent makes the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Production of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine begins in living tissue cultures grown by Emergent, a delicate process, in which cells are replicated after being infected with a carefully engineered adenovirus, a type of cold virus that carries the signature spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

The vaccine is then frozen and shipped to “fill-finish” facilities. There it is thawed, diluted and divided into vials ready for distribution.

Johnson & Johnson says it usually only takes 60-70 days to manufacture a batch of their COVID-19 vaccine, from first stage to packaging. By comparison, Pfizer recently said it was working to reduce its vaccine production time from 110 days to 60.

Besieged by overwhelming demand, public health officials earlier this month welcomed news of a possible vaccine infusion brought by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine.

Its doses have another advantage over those from Pfizer and Moderna – Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine can be stored at standard refrigerator temperatures for three months, solving logistical challenges that had forced some vaccination sites to throw away spoiled doses. from Pfizer and Moderna and complicated vaccination efforts in more rural communities. Their vaccines, which rely on mRNA technology, are much more fragile and require sub-zero temperatures for longer-term storage.

Results of clinical trials touted last week by Johnson & Johnson claim that the vaccine was 72% effective in preventing moderate and severe COVID-19 infections in US trial participants.

In addition to manufacturing doses for Johnson & Johnson, Emergent also produced the key ingredient for millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. And Novavax relied on Emergent’s production lines for doses used in early clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

But Biden administration officials acknowledged last week that they remain concerned about production delays at Johnson & Johnson, first raised in the final months of the Trump administration, who were initially told promised 10 million doses of vaccine by the end of February.

“You’re right, as is the case with other vaccines, we haven’t found that the level of manufacturing allows us to have as many vaccines as we need,” said Andy Slavitt, an adviser. principal of the White House, during a press briefing on February 5.

“Every option is on the table to determine how to expedite manufacturing in the event the FDA approves the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” Slavitt added.

Emergent admitted to encountering obstacles in ramping up production, but said they remained confident they would be able to fulfill Johnson & Johnson’s order.

“We’ve taken over two years, you know, a typical schedule and compressed into seven months, so of course we’re going to have challenges. But nothing that was or is insurmountable,” said Sean Kirk, vice- Executive President of Manufacturing and Technical Operations at Emergent Biosolutions. Kirk, however, did not specify what was causing the production delays.

“It’s not making corn flakes”

Administration and Emergent officials say the company has benefited from aggressive contract maneuvers like the Defense Production Act, which can speed up production by forcing suppliers to prioritize orders from vaccine makers.

The effort now dominates the work of many throughout the supply chain, down to companies like Michigan-based Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing, which will fill and finish Johnson & Johnson vaccine vials. The company’s capacity has been fully booked by BARDA and the Ministry of Defense until August.

However, some warn that the Biden administration may already be on the verge of maximizing what the Defense Production Act can accomplish, as it seeks to extract more doses from a complex and specialized production effort.

“Sometimes the prioritization of fill and finish lines for manufacturers, critical at this time, has clashed with products in those finish lines that were intended for other patients with very critical illnesses. So it’s just not a final solution,” the Biden elder said. Luciana Borio, COVID-19 Advisor says a House hearing Last week.

Disbrow said the agency was “closely monitoring the impact” on other critical drugs and working with pharmaceutical developers “to try to eliminate negative impacts.”

Emergent and Johnson & Johnson declined to provide specific figures on the number of doses produced so far. A Government Accountability Office report last month said Janssen, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that developed the vaccine, estimated that only 2 million doses would be delivered at the time of FDA emergency use authorization. .

Six days after receiving its emergency use authorization on Dec. 11, a Pfizer press release said the company had shipped “the 2.9 million doses it was requested to ship” and had unspecified “millions more” in its warehouse.

And in the same timeframe, Gen. Gustav Perna, chief operating officer of the Trump administration’s COVID vaccine effort, said Moderna had shipped “just under 6 million doses” over the course of his first week.

Kirk says the effort to increase Emergent’s vaccine production was “unprecedented.”

“It’s not making cornflakes,” he said. “This is an extremely difficult and extremely complicated process, and it has to be because it is a highly regulated manufacturing process, rightly so, requiring a high level of control.”

He added that while the manufacturing process can be compressed, “it is something that cannot be rushed to the extent that one would have to cut corners.”

Black Lives Matter: South African players take a knee in 3TCricket match


Players took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of the start of South Africa’s Solidarity Cup on Saturday at Centurion’s SuperSport Park. The match sees the debut of the unique 3TC format in which three teams play a single game instead of the usual two.

The match takes place on Nelson Mandela Day, which celebrates the birthday of revolutionary anti-apartheid leader and first South African President Nelson Mandela.

The 3TC match will be contested between three teams of eight players each. The match would be played over 36 overs in two halves of 18 overs with a half-time break. In the second half, the teams will bat in order of the highest scores in the first half. If the scores are tied, the order of the first half is reversed.


It marks the resumption of cricket in South Africa. The men’s national team had last played England at home before traveling to India for an ODI series that never took off.

The teams, Kites, Eagles and Kingfishers were to be captained by South African captain Quinton de Kock, former South African skipper AB de Villiers and Reeza Hendricks respectively. De Kock, however, withdrew on Saturday for personal reasons.

Earlier, Kagiso Rabada stepped down after a death in his family led to Heinrich Klaasen replacing him as Kingfishers captain. Eventually, Klaasen was replaced as captain by Hendricks.

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The EU welcomes the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel


The European Union on Saturday welcomed the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel under the aegis of the United States following a similar agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, stressing its continued commitment to promote the UN-sponsored two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Friday, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain formally agreed to recognize the State of Israel during a trilateral phone conversation with US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The EU welcomes the announced establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel,” said the statement issued by the European Council.

Brussels acknowledged the role of the United States in facilitating this agreement and a similar historic agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, describing it as a “positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East”.

“The EU recalls its statement of 15 August 2020 and its long-standing position that a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict requires an inclusive regional approach and engagement with both sides. In this regard, the EU remains firm in its commitment to a negotiated settlement and a viable two-state solution based on internationally agreed parameters,” the statement added.

The European Union reaffirmed its willingness to support Israel and Palestine in their efforts to resume “meaningful negotiations on all final status issues”.

Bahrain has become the fourth Arab country to recognize Israel. The first two were Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

On August 13, Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize their relations, which included that Israel abandon its plans for annexation in the West Bank. The two countries plan to sign various cooperation agreements in the areas of investment, tourism, security and others in the coming weeks. The United States expects other countries in the region to follow suit.

Palestine called on other Arab nations to reconsider recognizing Israel, which in turn has not recognized the Palestinian state.

The United Nations supports the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which means peaceful coexistence of two sovereign states within mutually acceptable borders.

(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.)

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Reducing Covid risk can help economy more than easing brakes: World Bank


Monthly nighttime light intensity data suggests that without effectively reducing the risk of Covid-19 infection, India’s economy is unlikely to return to full potential even when restrictions are eased, according to a recent report from the World Bank.

The World Bank has advocated using two proxies – daily electricity consumption and nighttime light intensity – to assess the economic impact of Covid 19 and containment measures.

According to the Bank, nighttime light intensity decreased by an average of 12% in April in more than two-thirds of the districts. Local infection rates impact nighttime light intensity, with more cases leading to greater declines. This has strong implications for the recovery of the economy, he said in his latest report on India Development Update.

ALSO READ: World Bank sees higher GDP decline in India than 3.2% it forecast for FY21

“Without effectively reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection, voluntary reductions in mobility make it unlikely that the economy will return to full potential even when restrictions are eased,” the Bank said.

Data for May and June also showed a drop in nighttime intensity compared to the corresponding month’s average of the previous three years, data provided by the World Bank later showed.

The presumption of use of this proxy is that most nocturnal social and economic activities require light; therefore, the intensity of night lights and the area they cover should correlate with socio-economic indicators and economic development.

Regarding daily electricity consumption, the Bank said it was almost 30% below normal levels at the end of March, a quarter below normal levels in April , that it was 14% below normal in May and that it was still 8% below normal in April. June. According to recent data, electricity consumption in July was on average 7.4% lower than normal levels. In August, it has so far (through August 19) averaged 8.8% below normal, indicating that the economy has yet to return to its baseline.

ALSO READ: Debt reduction will end poverty trap for poor countries: World Bank chief

The Bank said the first significant deviation in daily electricity consumption from normal levels occurred on March 22, when India observed a 2 p.m. curfew the government put in place in all major cities and 75 districts with Covid-19 caes. Electricity consumption fell further in the following days and especially after the implementation of national confinement on March 25.

Experts, however, cautioned against overinterpreting daily electricity consumption data for economic parameters.

Aditi Nayar, Senior Economist at CIFAR, said domestic electricity demand recovered in July 2020, benefiting from the recovery in economic activity in some sectors and increased demand from the household and of agriculture, driven by a lull in the rains in the second half of July 2020. Thereafter, electricity demand recorded growth in early August 2020, before returning to a slight contraction with the resumption of the rains.

“In our view, the contraction in electricity production between August and December 2019 would exaggerate the recovery of this sector in the coming months compared to the performance of the rest of the economy. Given the strong base effects, demand electricity may not turn out to be a good indicator of the performance of the rest of the economy in the second half of calendar year 2020,” she said.

In fact, the Bank also cautioned that daily electricity data and nighttime light intensity information are useful for monitoring the economic situation, but they may also be able to complement national accounts estimates in a more general.

He said that electricity consumption tends to be lower in winter than in summer and for nighttime light intensity it is the opposite, with winters being brighter than summers, he said. declared.

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Ottawa increases loans for hard-hit sectors – but major airlines not included at this time – Abbotsford News


Ottawa is rolling out a wave of new funding for industries hit by the pandemic, including tourism, the arts and regional aviation, with small businesses topping the list — and major airlines notably absent.

The Liberal government’s financial update outlines a program that will provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million to severely affected entrepreneurs.

The aid, dubbed the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), comes on top of a recently expanded emergency loan program already in place for small businesses and is technically not limited to certain industries.

Meanwhile, the devastated tourism sector will have access to a quarter of the more than $2 billion Ottawa is distributing to regional development agencies through June 2021, including a $500 million top-up announced Monday.

The move aims to bolster an industry made up largely of small and medium-sized businesses and which accounts for around 750,000 jobs and 2% of GDP, according to the government.

Another $181.5 million will be paid to entertainment businesses and performers through the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts, says the fall economic statement.

Rent relief and nearly $700 million in capital investments are on their way to airports over six years. About $206 million in additional support is for regional aviation, including smaller airlines, through a new “regional airlift initiative” overseen by development agencies.

But an aid package targeting big players such as Air Canada and WestJet Airlines remains in the works as talks with Ottawa drag on, with the lack of specifics in the budget update frustrating industry leaders.

“We were hoping to get a better idea of ​​where the government was heading. Instead, they repeated the line they’ve repeated many times over the past few months – that they’re ‘establishing a process with the major airlines regarding financial assistance,'” said Mike McNaney, head of the National Airlines Council of Canada.

Countries around the world have given carriers $173 billion in support, he said. Many have also demanded airlines offer refunds for canceled flights, which Ottawa says will be a condition of any bailout.

“We really are a global outlier and are ostensibly stuck at stage zero of the government’s planning process,” McNaney – whose industry group represents Air Canada, WestJet, Transat and Jazz Aviation – said in a phone interview. .

Regional aviation support is also accompanied by question marks.

“What is a regional initiative?” asked John McKenna, CEO of the Air Transport Association of Canada, which represents some 30 regional airlines.

“We have no idea. We were not consulted,” he said in a telephone interview. “No matter what new initiatives, try to support existing services to survive.”

In a speech to the House of Commons, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland highlighted the benefits of the broader government-backed loan scheme for small businesses.

“We know businesses in tourism, hospitality, travel, arts and culture have been particularly hard hit,” Freeland said.

“We are therefore creating a new stream of support for businesses that need it most – a credit availability program with 100% government backed loan support and favorable terms for businesses that have lost revenue so that people stay at home to fight the spread of the virus.”

The HASCAP credit program will offer interest rates below the market average, according to the tax update, with more details to come “soon”.

He also said the government was “exploring options to improve” a federal loan program for large businesses, which has been unpopular with industry since its inception in the spring.

The Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) provides loans of $60 million or more to large businesses facing cash flow challenges, but comes with an interest rate that drops from 5% to 8% after the first year, well above the typical private sector. loan rate.

According to the Canada Business Emergency Finance Corporation, only two companies have been approved for LEEFF loans since the Liberals announced the program on May 11: a casino company and a metallurgical coal producer.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has criticized the government for failing to offer industry aid that includes explicit job protections.

“They haven’t rolled out any sector-specific support, in any meaningful way, tied to jobs,” he said.

The Bloc Québécois Yves-François Blanchet castigated the lack of “precision” of the tax portrait.

“They’re basically saying there’s no limit to what they’re going to spend, not saying or admitting how much you spend it,” he said.

The $686 million airport aid includes $500 million over six years, starting this year, to support infrastructure spending at major airports that would include massive transit projects, like the new station light rail transit at Montreal airport.

The government is also proposing to provide $229 million in additional rent relief to the 21 airport authorities that pay rent in Ottawa, with ‘comparable treatment’ for Ports Toronto, which operates Billy Bishop Airport in downtown Toronto. .

The support measures unveiled Monday come on top of Ottawa’s industry-wide announcement to increase the wage subsidy to 75% of business payroll costs — it was reduced to a maximum of 65% in October — as well as a extension of the rental subsidy to mid-March from the end of 2020.

David Chartrand, Quebec coordinator of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, applauded the wage subsidy, but lamented the radio silence from major airlines.

“After almost 10 months of crisis, still nothing,” he said in a statement in French.

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press

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BoE makes emergency rate cut to cushion economy


The Bank of England has made an emergency interest rate cut and prompted banks to lend more as part of a wider package of measures designed to counter the shock of the coronavirus outbreak on the British economy.

Combined with a budget on Wednesday that will dramatically increase government borrowing, the move signals the intention of the BoE and the UK government to tackle the economic effects of the outbreak “in concert” with “timely and powerful” measures to have ” maximum impact”. said Mark Carney, the bank’s outgoing governor.

The monetary policy committee unanimously agreed to cut the main policy rate by half a percentage point to 0.25% at a special meeting ending on Tuesday, leaving virtually no room for further cuts. rates.

The BoE said potentially more important than the rate cut was its decision to offer banks four years of funding at the new rate plus a fee so they can continue lending during the coronavirus crisis and “fill in a potentially difficult “. It will be linked to the volume of new loans to small and medium enterprises.

Banks will also see their capital buffer requirements eased to allow them to take temporary losses without reducing lending.

The decision to let banks dip into the so-called counter-cyclical buffer would allow them to lend an additional £200bn of business credit, “exactly the kind of drawdowns that would be needed in this sort of situation”, Mr Carney said .

Asked whether the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak could prove as damaging as the 2008 global financial crisis, Mr Carney said: “There is no reason for this shock to turn into the equivalent of 2008. . . if we handle it well.

In addition, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the arm of the BoE which oversees lenders and insurers in the UK, said it expected banks not to increase dividends or bonuses in response to central bank policy actions.

“The reduction in the bank rate will help support business and consumer confidence in difficult times, strengthen business and household cash flow, reduce the cost and improve the availability of financing,” said the bank.

Britain’s central bank is following the US Federal Reserve in taking unforeseen action to tackle the expected economic disruption from the virus.

Andrew Bailey, the BoE’s new governor from next week, was present at all of the bank’s meetings and engaged in a joint press conference with Mr Carney on Friday morning.

The BoE estimated it had about 2.5 percentage points of firepower to boost the economy before it ran out of ammo. Mr Bailey said the BoE had used ‘about half’ of it in the package announced on Wednesday

Mr Carney said the measures were designed to ‘keep businesses going and people in employment’ for a period which Mr Bailey said would cause ‘temporary’ disruption. The new governor said the banks have enough funds and reserves to be able to lend during the crisis.

Mr Carney added that the situation was leading to “disruption and not destruction of supply, and it is part of our job to ensure that this is the case”, adding that the BoE saw “anecdotal evidence where we we have seen a sharp drop in trading conditions, especially in retail.”

The financial system was now in a position where it could lend to the hardest-hit businesses, if not all businesses, 13 times what it lent last year in good times, Mr Carney said.

Downing Street said Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the monetary and fiscal measures “will make the UK one of the economies best placed in the world to manage the potential impact of the virus”.

Speaking ahead of his 12.30pm budget statement, Mr Sunak said his first financial statement would “ensure businesses, the public and people working on the front lines against the virus the support they need”.

The budget is expected to include financial aid for businesses struggling with cash flow, people facing financial loss due to the need to self-isolate and public services including the NHS.

Mr Sunak is also expected to trigger the biggest increase in government borrowing in 30 years, signaling a decisive end to austerity as he pours money into long-term investments.

Rob James, fund manager at Merian Global Investors, said the term funding program was “very good news” for banks that already rely heavily on the BoE’s existing term funding program, such as OneSavings Bank, Virgin Money and other challenger banks.

However, Mr James warned the scheme would ‘prolong the pain’ for the big incumbent banks who stood to benefit when their smaller rivals were forced to refinance funding they were drawing from the existing BoE scheme at higher rates. .

Ian Gordon, banking analyst at Investec, said the term funding program would provide “some partial relief to large banks from the negative impact of lower rates” on their net interest margins.

Rain Newton Smith, chief economist at the CBI business lobby, described the BoE’s decision as a “timely and proportionate response to a serious situation, although its vital policy will be reviewed as things improve”.

“Measures to help the flow of credit and support companies potentially facing cash flow problems could make a real difference in the weeks to come,” she said.

“The ability to replace relatively expensive retail deposits with new four-year term funding at a cost of just 0.25% is a godsend.”

The pound fell slightly after the BoE’s decision, trading around 0.1% lower at $1.2892 after paring earlier losses of up to 0.5%. British stocks gained strongly on the decision, with the FTSE 100 index up 1.4% in early trading.

Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “The BoE is probably hoping this is a ‘shocking and awe-inspiring’ set of measures and they won’t have to ease any further, although developments future of the virus is unknowable.”

The BoE said it had seen a “marked deterioration” in risk appetite and growth prospects in the UK, and said indicators of financial market uncertainty had reached “extreme levels”.

He said that while “the magnitude of the economic shock” was still highly uncertain, “activity is likely to weaken significantly in the UK over the coming months”.

“Temporary, but significant, disruptions to supply chains and weaker activity could challenge cash flow and increase demand for short-term household credit and business working capital,” he said. he declares.

“These issues are likely to be more acute for smaller businesses. This economic shock will affect both demand and supply in the economy.

The chancellor’s proposed increases in day-to-day public spending and infrastructure projects over the next five years will be funded mainly by borrowing, undermining the government’s ability to meet the fiscal rules it set just four months ago .

After the rate cut, UK sovereign debt with shorter maturities rose in price while gilts at the longer end of the spectrum came under modest pressure.

The benchmark two-year yield, which is considered sensitive to monetary policy swings, fell 0.045 percentage points to 0.10%. Falling yields indicate a rise in the price of debt.

The yield on the 10-year gilt rose 0.03 percentage points to 0.274%. Debt set to mature further in the future is generally seen as more sensitive to medium-term expectations for the economy, with lower yields indicating more modest inflation and growth, and the reverse for higher yields.

Sovereign debt has risen sharply in particularly volatile action in recent weeks as investors rushed to shelter in perceived safe havens such as gilts, US Treasuries and German Bunds amid growing concerns over the coronavirus epidemic and the fall in oil prices.

Reporting by Philip Georgiadis, Chris Giles, Delphine Strauss, Adam Samson, David Crow and George Parker in London

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Canada in talks with Lebanon to provide emergency grain exports after Beirut explosion


People wait for a distribution of food and aid at Martyrs Square in Beirut on August 6, 2020, after an explosion two days earlier left many in need.DIEGO IBARRA SANCHEZ/The New York Times

Canada is in talks with Lebanon to send emergency grain exports to the country after its main silos were destroyed in the Beirut port explosion, raising food security concerns amid persistent economic crisis.

Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne made the offer during a telephone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart, Charbel Wehbe, on Wednesday. He spoke with Wehbe after speaking with Cereals Canada, a Winnipeg-based industry group, to see if Canadian grain producers and exporters could help fill the void caused by the disaster, which left Lebanon with less than a month of grain reserves.

“I try to connect buyers and sellers. In terms of urgency, we are prepared to facilitate this as a government,” Champagne said in an interview with The Globe and Mail on Thursday.

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Canada donates up to $5 million to help Beirut explosion response

“[Mr. Wehbe] spoke to his colleagues who are perhaps more directly responsible for this aspect of the crisis and promised to get back to me.

Champagne said the potential for emergency exports to Lebanon presents an “opportunity” for Canadian grain farmers. The Canadian agriculture sector has faced a number of challenges over the past two years, including rail strikes and protests that have caused delays in getting grain to market. However, Canadian grain exporters have seen increased sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, as commodities like Canadian oil weakened, more rail space was freed up.

Cereals Canada said it was unable to comment on negotiations over exports from Lebanon on Thursday.

Mr Champagne said he has also spoken with a number of large Canadian pharmaceutical and food companies – mainly in Quebec, where there is a large Lebanese diaspora – who want to help respond to the explosion.

He said the government is looking at ways for Canadian businesses and individuals to help, including a possible matching fund. Ottawa has organized matching funds in the wake of other disasters, such as the Haiti earthquake, pledging to match individual donations made to certain humanitarian groups.

At least 145 people were killed and thousands injured when an abandoned cache of ammonium nitrate burst into flames in Beirut on Tuesday, sending shock waves through the city. No Canadians were reported dead on Thursday, but a member of the Canadian Armed Forces who works at the embassy suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The Canadian government has pledged an initial $1.5 million to “trusted partners on the ground,” including the Lebanese Red Cross, to help provide emergency medical services, shelter and food. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, International Development Minister Karina Gould said the government will decide how it allocates an additional $3.5 million in humanitarian aid over the coming days and weeks.

Ms Gould said the government would support long-term reconstruction efforts in Lebanon as the country faces economic collapse. She said Canada is also working with the international community to determine how it can help Lebanon, which defaulted on its foreign currency debt in March.

“Canada is always ready to have conversations, whether with the G7, the G20 or the multilateral development banks, to see what we can do to help Lebanon. However, we are convinced that there must be significant political and economic reforms in the country to ensure that this aid would be most effective,” Ms Gould said.

For now, Champagne said the government was providing financial support to trusted humanitarian groups in Lebanon, given the “governance” issues in the country.

“We work with NGOs that have a direct impact on the ground, that can be accountable to the Government of Canada and to Canadian taxpayers,” he said. “We are very aware that this needs to be channeled to people who have a long reputation for integrity and efficiency.”

The government said it had received 64 requests for consular assistance.

The Canadian Embassy, ​​which temporarily closed after the explosion, will reopen for consular services on Monday. Ms Gould said the embassy emerged “relatively unscathed”.

Despite the explosion and continued instability in the country, Champagne said he saw no immediate need for a mass evacuation of Canadians from Lebanon. The Canadian government evacuated thousands of citizens from Lebanon during the 2006 war. There are currently over 11,000 Canadians registered with the federal government in Lebanon.

“People who are Canadian or permanent residents have the right to return to Canada whenever they wish,” Champagne said.

With reports from The Canadian Press and Reuters

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Emergency loan saves KPFA from foreclosure for now


The parent company of listener-funded radio station KPFA-FM is aiming to keep the station on the air with a $2 million emergency bridging loan to pay off a legal judgment for back rent on a transmission tower in New York.

A New York judge had ruled that the Empire State Realty Trust could begin seizing the assets of the Pacifica Foundation to cover a $1.8 million judgment against WBAI, KPFA’s New York sister station. Empire State Realty Trust had filed a petition in California to proceed with the foreclosure after a 30-day waiting period. The motion was to come into effect on Monday.

Empire State officials had promised to give at least one day’s notice before seizing the assets, and before that, a dozen Pacifica supporters showed up to help with the $2 million balance owed. The loan was verbally committed by supporters of another Pacifica station, KPFK in Los Angeles, said Bill Crosier, acting executive director of the Pacifica Foundation.

“It would be a short-term loan to pay off the judgment and then there are plans to pay it off with another longer-term loan,” Crosier explained.

With the addition of the bridge loan, Pacifica has $8 million in debt, and that debt is growing every day. Rent for WBAI’s transmission tower, which sits atop the Empire State Building, is $60,000 a month, and the $2 million only covers rent and interest through last May. Pacifica has since incurred an additional $400,000 in unpaid rent, on a tower lease that runs through 2020, with built-in annual increases of 9%.

“We seem to be stuck with the tower lease. That’s why I recommended filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy,” Crosier said. “But Pacifica’s board decided not to.”

Speaking from Houston, Crosier said a loan broker was seeking a new $3 million loan to repay the bridge loan, pay accrued transmission tower rent and cover some unmet pension obligations. Pacifica is not a good candidate for favorable loan terms because it already has high debt and poor cash flow, he said.

An obvious way to raise funds is to sell properties.

Pacifica owns four frankly clear buildings, although there are tax liens on its two Berkeley buildings. One has been listed for sale for $1.5 million with Norheim & Yost, national board member Grace Aaron said.

Still, a long-term financial solution will likely involve signal swaps in which one or more of Pacifica’s powerful transmitters are traded for another station for a signal with less range, with cash in exchange, Crosier said.

“We have offers,” he said, “and all involve some pain.”

A likely candidate would be Signal for WBAI, which reaches 15 million people in the New York metropolitan area. WBAI is the worst off financially of the five sister stations, Crosier said.

The signal for KPFA reaches most of the Bay Area. This signal is probably safe.

“KPFA is the most financially successful station,” Crosier said. “It would be irresponsible to play with that.”

Sam Whiting is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Instagram: @sfchronicle_art

Jack Hendry gives Celtic return verdict as Ostend loan star admits Neil Lennon


Jack Hendry has opened up on his Celtic future and insists the ball is in Neil Lennon’s court if he returns to Parkhead next summer.

The centre-half had an incredible impact on loan in Belgium with Oostende and appears to have revived his career after struggling to make a breakthrough at Glasgow.

The 25-year-old has three clean sheets and a 90th-minute winner in his first four games for his new club, leading Hendry manager Alexander Blessin to label him one of the best defenders of the Belgian elite.

Ostend have the option to make the move permanent for £1.75m this summer.

Celtic are currently in the midst of a defensive crisis, conceding 17 goals in their first five Europa League group stage matches.

And Hendry could still theoretically be a Celtic player next season with one year remaining on his current deal.

When asked if he had a future under Lennon, he said: “I don’t know, I’ve been here for a year so there’s still a bit of time before I come back, if I come back. C is something you should ask the gaffer.

“Those things are out of my control but all I have to do is keep playing well and at a good level and if I do that those things will take care of themselves. I have to play on the pitch for these things to be discussed anyway.”

Celtic find themselves 11 points behind title rivals Rangers, with critics questioning whether Lennon is the right fit for the job.

But Hendry has backed his parent club to turn things around this season.

He added: “It’s unfortunate that Celtic have suffered a few defeats recently, but I’m sure the boys of this setup will turn things around.

“I believe in them, they’re all good players and since I’ve been at the club I couldn’t say enough about them. They’re all the best players in Europe and they’re just going through a bad time at the moment.

“They won nine titles in a row, so they deserved it, and they broke incredible records that have never been achieved in world football before.

“They still have the main core of players there, so I think if there was anyone to knock him down it would be that group of boys, so I’m crossing my fingers they can do that.”

Hendry received his fair share of criticism from Celtic fans and pundits as he struggled to settle at the club.

The 25-year-old admits it’s been a shock to the system, but he’s been able to learn how to deal with it and feels no resentment towards people who voice their opinions.

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He said: “I guess criticism is a huge part of football and when you play for such a big club like Celtic you’re constantly under the microscope. It’s just about learning to deal with it and becoming a better person at the end.

“Obviously there is a global fan base at Celtic and they have such high expectations and sometimes if you drop below that bar you will come in the firing line.

“It’s just something you have to deal with when you play for a club like Celtic and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but from a personal point of view I don’t have any hard feelings towards nobody and they are allowed to give their opinion.”

CNY’s largest bank granted more loans to small businesses in a week than in 2019


Central New York’s largest bank said it issued more government-backed loans to small businesses in a week than it did in all of 2019, as companies rushed to demand a emergency federal coronavirus aid.

M&T Bank has helped 27,711 businesses get approved for $6.4 billion in forgivable loans through the US Small Business Administration, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Last year, M&T processed 1,449 SBA loans across its banking network, said Julia Berchou, vice president of the Buffalo-based bank.

From April 6 through Monday, M&T helped 1,660 small businesses receive loans totaling $371 million in the Syracuse/Utica area from the bank under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.

The Congress-approved emergency loan program reached its $349 billion loan limit on Thursday after the SBA approved nearly 1.7 million loans nationwide.

Congress is considering a request from President Donald Trump’s administration to approve an additional $250 billion for the program, an effort that would help small business owners whose loan applications have yet to be processed.

READ MORE: Small Businesses: 2 Things You Should Do If You Missed Federal PPP Loans

M&T Bank, which holds the largest share of bank deposits in central New York, accepted federal loan applications for eight days, from April 6 through Monday.

SBA loans are intended to help small employers stay open and keep workers on the payroll during the coronavirus pandemic. Low-interest loans will be forgiven, turning into grants, if small businesses can prove they have kept workers employed during the crisis.

M&T said the 27,711 loans it has made through its banking network will help small businesses which together employ more than 600,000 people.

The bank normally has a staff of 25 people who handle Small Business Administration loans. To cope with the flood of requests, M&T redeployed about 2,000 staff to work on the loan program.

“It was an incredible achievement and unlike any we had done before,” said Berchou.

AmeriCU, a credit union with 130,000 members in central and northern New York, said it also saw record demand for SBA loans.

John Arnold, AmeriCU’s assistant vice president of loan sales, said the number of applicants is unprecedented.

“It was excessive,” Arnold said. “The number of applications that have reached us is equal to what we typically see in a full year.”

The credit union has successfully processed about 300 small business loan applications, with an average loan of $65,000 to $75,000, Arnold said.

Key Bank, the second-largest bank by deposits in central New York, said Friday it successfully processed about 35,000 applications for $8.5 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans.

A spokesperson for Key Bank said the number of borrowers and loans approved for its central New York region was not available.

READ MORE: Paycheck Protection Program: Which industries have claimed the most coronavirus relief funds?

M&T Bank and Key Bank, which control 44% of the central New York banking market, only accepted SBA loan applications from their existing small business customers.

M&T Bank (23%) and Key Bank (21%) are the largest commercial banks by deposit share in Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Oswego counties, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

M&T Bank donated $150,000 to local coronavirus relief funds this week, including $50,000 to the Central New York COVID-19 Community Support Fund. The fund helps provide food, diapers, shelter and other emergency needs to residents of central New York struggling during the pandemic.


Coronavirus in NY: Cases, Maps, Charts and Resources

Coronavirus: 8,000 people in CNY probably had the virus and never knew it

Onondaga Co. coronavirus: 5 deaths in ‘deadliest day’ yet; 579 cases in total

Update: Check out our latest list of CNY restaurants offering takeout and/or delivery

Full coronavirus coverage at syracuse.com

Have a tip, comment or story idea? Contact Mark Weiner anytime by: E-mail | Twitter | Facebook | 571-970-3751

Water Conservation Board grants $3 million loan for dam upgrades | Western Colorado


Exeter City sign young Icelandic international goalkeeper on emergency loan


Young Icelandic international goalkeeper Jökull Andrésson has signed an emergency loan for Exeter City.

The 19-year-old 6’4″ goalkeeper joined the Greeks on a one-week loan deal from Reading following injuries to Lewis Ward and Jonny Maxted.

Ward suffered an ankle injury in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Scunthorpe United, while Maxted was already ruled out with a knee problem, leaving City with just 15-year-old Harry Lee.

Andreson’s transfer has been ratified by the EFL and he will go straight into the squad for tonight’s Sky Bet League Two match at Leyton Orient.

Jakull Andresson of Exeter City during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Leyton Orient and Exeter City at the Breyer Group Stadium, Leyton, London on 27th October 2020. Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK

He will initially join a one-week loan, which will then be assessed at the weekend.

The 6’4″ 19-year-old goalscorer, who was an Iceland Under-17 international, played above his age bracket to make six appearances between the Reading Under-18 posts in 2017- 18 and played on loan at Hungerford Town during the 2018/19 season.

Texas jail is too short-staffed to take inmate to hospital for infection with flesh-eating bacteria


An inmate is suing the Texas prison system after authorities allegedly failed to adequately treat his infection with flesh-eating bacteria for a week, leaving the wound to fester as they refused to take him to the hospital because the unit was understaffed.

In a lawsuit filed this month in federal court, Harold Millican accuses the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the warden of Gist State Prison of “ruthless indifference,” alleging they would not offer “proper care” or wouldn’t take him to hospital for his foul-smelling arm infection until he went into shock and fell unconscious.

Although the lawsuit — which also names the warden as a defendant — seeks at least $200,000, it also asks the Texas prison system to step up training so officers know how to ensure proper medical treatment in the future.

“They sat there and watched him suffer,” said Allie Booker, the Houston-based attorney who represents Millican. “How can you allow someone to experience this?”

For advocates and experts, the case underscores problems stemming from the chronic understaffing that has long plagued Texas prisons, but some say it also underscores the need for independent oversight of the ailing prison system. of State.

“What independent monitoring will do for these types of situations is it will provide a way to understand what is happening with the system so that it can be corrected so that these incidents do not happen again and again. “said Jennifer Erschabek of Texas. Association of Prisoners’ Families. “We need the ability of an independent person to look at and improve the system.”

Texas jail spokesman Jeremy Desel initially did not comment, but provided a response on Tuesday.

“We believe the allegations in this lawsuit are grossly inaccurate,” he said. “The offender received appropriate and timely medical care.”

The Montgomery County man at the center of the case was sentenced to six months in state prison for a drug conviction in 2016, the latest in a long string of charges dating back to at least 2001.

Shortly after being sent to Beaumont Institution, he fell and injured his arm while on a work assignment, Booker said. But the wound didn’t heal properly and instead he developed MRSA – a methicillin-resistant staph infection – according to his lawyer.

The 37-year-old inmate told prison staff – and his mother also made calls on his behalf. He was sent to the prison infirmary, but was never taken for outside treatment because there was “no one available to take him to the hospital”, according to the lawsuit.

In the meantime, the abscess turned yellow and green, giving off a foul smell as it gnawed at the skin.

About a week later, he was finally taken to hospital after passing out in his dorm, according to his attorney.

There he learned he had passed out because the infected abscess was “poisoning his system” as it gnawed at his arm, leaving him disfigured and “permanently disabled”.

Millican had to undergo multiple surgeries and other treatments because of “flesh-eating bacteria that may have grown because the TDCJ refused necessary treatment.”

And, he argues, they should have known better.

“TDCJ knew that allowing an abscess that was yellow and green in color, growing, painful, damaging to the skin, eating away at the plaintiff’s skin and muscles, and which had a foul odor was dangerous and or harmful to his health,” the suit alleges. . “TDCJ knew or should have known that denying treatment for an injury such as this was an act deliberately disregarding the plaintiff’s health and safety.”

This alleged lack of concern for the sick prisoner, according to court documents, stems from a unitary culture that tolerates an “atmosphere of anarchy” and provides training so inadequate that it amounts to willful indifference.

The claim follows reports of longstanding personnel issues in the Texas underworld. Last year, the department’s turnover rate soared to 28%, and statewide more than 14% of officer jobs went unfilled. In October 2017, the vacancy rate of the Gist unit hovered around 34%.

After stepping up recruiting efforts and offering more than $9 million in hiring bonuses, the Texas prison system has made subtle strides to tackle the problem, bringing the number of vacancies down to just under 27. % at Gist and 13.5% systemwide in July.

The lawsuit comes just as prison watchdogs and inmate advocates are voicing support for a freshly introduced state bill that would create outside oversight of the state’s 104 prisons.

“What independent monitoring does is catch problems before they turn into lawsuits, scandals, injuries or deaths,” said Michele Deitch, a criminal justice lawyer and consultant who teaches at the LBJ. UT-Austin School of Public Affairs. “It’s supposed to be preventative.

Doug Smith, senior policy analyst for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, agrees.

“They dropped the ball,” said Smith, who has no direct knowledge of the matter. “This is exactly the type of instance where you absolutely need independent oversight to look at how that ball was dropped to look at staffing patterns to be proactive to prevent it from happening again.”

Factbox: US prepares emergency oil reserves in wake of Saudi attacks


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration said on Saturday it was ready to tap U.S. emergency oil reserves if needed after attacks in Saudi Arabia shut down more than half of crude production of the world’s largest oil exporter.

FILE PHOTO – Oil pump jacks operate at sunset near Midland, Texas, U.S., August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jessica Lutz

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack that destroyed an estimated 5 million barrels, or 5% of global production, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed it squarely. Iran.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, managed by the Department of Energy, is held in heavily guarded underground caverns on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. The world’s largest oil reserve currently holds nearly 645 million barrels of oil, according to the department’s website, consisting of 395 million barrels of heavy sour crude and 250 million barrels of light sweet crude.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger pushed for the creation of the SPR in 1975, after the Arab oil embargo drove up gasoline prices and damaged the US economy.

Under US law, the president can call for an emergency sale of the SPR if the country faces a supply disruption that threatens the economy. The SPR has been used for this purpose on three occasions, most recently in 2011 after the violence in Libya.

In the past, Washington has participated in coordinated emergency oil drawdowns with the Paris-based International Energy Agency, which coordinates the energy policies of 30 industrialized nations, including the United States.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Saturday he had asked his department to work with the IEA on options for “collective global action” if needed to supply world oil markets.

After the decade-long US oil boom, many politicians say now is the time to drastically reduce the size of the SPR, calls that may fade after Saturday’s attacks.

Below are some of the biggest releases from the Emergency Reserve.



In June 2011, President Barack Obama ordered the sale of 30.6 million barrels in response to crude supply disruptions in Libya. This was coordinated with the IEA, which also released 30 million barrels.


In September 2005, after Hurricane Katrina hit oil production, distribution and refineries in Louisiana and Mississippi, President George W. Bush ordered the sale of 30 million barrels of oil, of which the SPR has ended up selling 11 million to energy companies. In a coordinated response, the IEA set a goal of making 60 million barrels of oil and petroleum products available, but ultimately less than that was sold.


In January 1991, after US and allied warplanes began attacking Baghdad and other military targets in Iraq, President George HW Bush ordered the sale of 34 million barrels of which 17.3 million barrels were sold.



In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey flooded Texas and shut down much of the region’s refining capacity, Perry ordered a swap of oil from the reserve. A total of 5.2 million barrels were delivered to Gulf Coast refiners, with some more oil being repaid to the reserve in early 2018.


In August 2012, the SPR provided an emergency loan of 1 million barrels to Marathon Petroleum Company for its refining operations after Isaac shut down oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.


In September 2008, 5.3 million barrels of oil were delivered to five companies whose supplies had been affected. The oil was repaid in mid-2009.



Under this 2016 law, the SPR was tasked with selling oil to raise funds for the government and drug programs. He led the sale of 25 million barrels over three fiscal years beginning in 2017.


Under the 2015 law, the SPR was tasked with selling up to $2 billion of SPR crude from 2017 to 2020 to modernize the SPR. The SPR’s pipelines and pumps suffered damage after decades of exposure to humid, salty air. The modernization also aims to improve the SPR’s ability to load oil onto tankers for export.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Marguerita Choy

Coronavirus briefing: what happened today?

  • The confirmed toll in Europe has exceeded one million infections and 100,000 deaths.

  • Germany has started to revive its economy, allowing small stores to open for the first time in nearly a month.

  • South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee have said they will begin allowing some businesses to reopen.

  • Get the latest updates heremore Maps and full coverage

When can stay-at-home orders be relaxed safely? Not until we have a lot more testing, say many state governors.

Can Congress pass a bill to replenish the small business emergency loan fund that dried up last week? Not without establishing a national screening strategy, say the Democrats.

The slow and problematic buildup and limited availability of coronavirus testing in the United States has drawn frequent criticism and opened a rift between the Trump administration and governors on both sides. Now, this flaw is hampering progress on several fronts.

“The No. 1 problem we face is the lack of testing,” said Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican. “We cannot open up our states without ramping up testing.” Eager to fix the problem, he arranged for Maryland to buy test kits from South Korea without waiting for federal approval.

Vice President Mike Pence claimed on Sunday that “there is enough testing capacity across the country today for any state in the United States” to begin opening up, but Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia, a Democrat, called the claim “outlandish.”

Negotiations on a $450 billion economic aid package are on hold due to congressional Democrats’ insistence that she mandate and fund a national testing strategy, which they say is crucial to containing the coronavirus. epidemic and allow the economy to reopen.

President Trump has signaled that he doesn’t like the idea. “States, not the federal government, should do the testing,” he said. wrote on Twitter.

Negotiators were also still haggling Monday over the terms of the $300 billion in new aid for small businesses promised in the bill.

The Times offers free access to much of our coronavirus coverage, and our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter – like all of our newsletters – is free. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.

A two-speed society is likely to develop in the immediate wake of the Covid-19 crisis, as people who have recovered from the virus and are presumed immune are allowed to return to work, gather and socialize, while everyone should stay home and keep your distance.

That’s one of the key takeaways from Donald McNeil Jr., our infectious disease reporter, on what to expect in the coming year in the United States.

‘It’s more like science fiction,’ Mr McNeil said on today’s episode of ‘The Daily’. “It’s a bit dystopian.”

Scientists still don’t have definitive answers to crucial questions, including how to determine if a recovered patient has developed immunity and how long the protection lasts. But some nations do not expect this.

Chile is set to become the first country to give ‘immunity cards’ to people who have produced antibodies against the virus. Germany and the United States have considered similar approaches. In China, recovered patients are given mobile phone QR codes linked to the owner’s personal information, so they cannot be used by anyone else.

Perverse incentives: Experts predict that when recovered patients have clear social and economic benefits, some people will try to join them by deliberately exposing themselves to the virus, despite the significant risks. “That temptation is going to be huge,” Mr. McNeil said.

The pandemic has hit America’s largest cities hard, with the coronavirus finding fertile ground in their density. Large urban centers were already losing their appeal for many Americans as skyrocketing rents and changes in the job market drove young adults to the suburbs and small towns. Will this stream now become a flood?

New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – the three largest metropolitan areas in the country – have all lost population in recent years, and overall growth in major metropolitan areas has fallen by nearly half over the past decade. Now, as local leaders grapple with how to reopen their economies, the future of life in ultra-dense cities is unclear.

In New York, jobless claims have increased more than 20-fold, subway ridership is down 90% due to stay-at-home restrictions, and the city is set to lose at least $7.4 billion in tax revenue. here the middle of next year.

The very things that have made the city a magnet for business, tourists and young professionals – its densely populated neighborhoods and vibrant street life, plentiful public transportation, Broadway, world-class restaurants, its premier cultural institutions – were among the most vulnerable when the virus hit and would take the longest to return.

“I don’t think the New York we left will be back for a few years,” Gregg Bishop, the commissioner of the city’s small business agency, told The Times. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get it back.”

Of course, people have already bet against New York – after the budget crisis of the 1970s; the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; the 2008 banking crisis — and the city bounced back each time. And some argue that while population density is a liability during an epidemic, it makes big cities more resilient to disasters.

“The way people behave in a pandemic is probably not a great guide to how they want to live their lives in normal times,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Indeed, a research site. ‘use. “We’re living in the middle of a big forced experiment, but we really don’t know how the experiment is going to play out.”

  • Hatching in Turkey has surpassed that of China, with more than 90,000 confirmed cases and at least 2,140 deaths. And it’s likely to be even bigger than the official statistics say.

  • Singapore believed to have the virus under control, but its number of cases has more than doubled in recent days to more than 8,000 – the highest toll in Southeast Asia – with outbreaks among migrant workers in cramped quarters.

  • China ordered its citizens in Russia to stay put and lock down the border town of Suifenhe, after a wave of new infections linked to Chinese returning from abroad.

  • President Jair Bolsonaro from Brazil joined protesters in Brasília to demand the reopening of businesses and the relaxation of measures imposed by state governors across the country. The country has 39,548 diagnosed coronavirus cases and 2,507 confirmed deaths.

  • In a prison of Marion, Ohioat least 1,828 inmates – almost three-quarters of its population – and 103 employees have tested positive, making it the largest group reported in the United States

Manage loneliness. You’re not the only one feeling lonely right now. Here are some ideas to help you.

Set up your home office, for free. Our author has some suggestions on creating a comfortable workspace using things you probably already own.

Neighbors not social distancing? Here are some tips for staying safe even when those around you put others at risk.

How to help if you have recovered. You can run errands for at-risk neighbors and you can donate convalescent blood or plasma. But first, make sure you’ve recovered well.

A virtual discussion on leadership through a crisis

Join David Gelles, our Corner Office columnist, on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. EST as he talks to two food and beverage industry chief executives about the challenges posed by the coronavirus. Register for the call here.

  • The coronavirus can indirectly kill people who never catch it, preventing them from receiving desperately needed treatments like organ transplants and chemotherapy.

  • The crude oil market is so glutted due to weak demand that a benchmark price has fallen below zero, suggesting people are willing to pay to have it taken away from them.

  • A social side effect of everyone wearing face masks: you can’t tell when someone is smiling, snickering or sticking their tongue out at you. The Associated Press considers the visual cues and facial expressions we miss.

  • Hundreds of Detroit police officers have been infected or quarantined, making the city’s police department one of the hardest-hit law enforcement agencies in the United States

  • Many cases of Covid pneumonia go undetected until it’s too late, but a small device available from pharmacies can provide valuable early warnings, emergency physician Dr Richard Levitan writes in a Times Op- Ed.

My daughter derives positive from not being (physically) at school and from coloring her hair pink! Self-expression and creativity as an antidote to confinement. (And it will wash off.)

— Susannah Rodgers, London

Let us know how you are coping with the outbreak. Send us an answer here, and maybe we’ll feature it in a future newsletter.

Lara Takenaga and Jonathan Wolfe helped write today’s newsletter.

Email your thoughts to [email protected] Did a friend forward you the briefing? Register here.

In a rural community in the drought-ridden Eastern Plains, the stigma won’t be easy to overcome


EADS– “The Splotch,” as some here call the brown mark on the map they check weekly, is the color of scorched earth.

Here in Kiowa County, farmers have always relied on moisture that falls from the sky rather than irrigation. In August, this community of 1,300 people bordering Kansas was the first part of Colorado where drought conditions exceeded “extreme” to a level meteorologists call “exceptional.”

This designation – which has since affected large swaths of the western slope – is distinguished on the drought map by a large brown pocket.

MORE: Despite recent snowstorms, Colorado’s drought conditions continue in ‘abnormal’ direction

Week after week of no rain throughout this year’s growing season, it has spread like a wound not only to local farmland, but to the emotional landscape as well.

“It’s awful, just awful, the way drought can affect the human spirit,” says Jimmy Brown, a third-generation farmer at Eads whose wheat and sorghum crops have wilted this year, as have those of its neighbours. “I doubt there’s anyone here whose mental health hasn’t been affected.”

The eastern plains have experienced periods of drought. Some elders remember Dust Bowl conditions in the 1930s. Their children withstood extreme drought in the mid-1950s, and their children’s children endured severe drought in 2002 and 2012. Every generation has learned how to next to take a long-term view, because they’ve learned that wishing – or praying – for rain doesn’t mean it happens.

Yet no one here remembers a year so arid that few things grew higher than their work boots. No one remembers soil so dry that even bindweed stopped growing. No one had seen so many rain clouds rolling in late afternoon during the monsoon season, only to see them keep rolling east without bursting.

Even before the smoke from the late summer mountain fires poured in, Brown said, “You couldn’t see the sun up here because of all the dirt blowing. On the way to his fields this fall, his pickup kicked up enough dirt to form devils of dust.

“You can smell the dirt. You can feel it in your nose and sinuses. You can see how everything is so brown, so dead all around you. You can feel how all of this is so depressing,” he says.

Colorado Crisis Line: A statewide hotline. 1-844-493-8255, or text TALK to 38255.

Brown, in addition to agriculture, is Kiowa County’s elected coroner and sole funeral director. He’s not a mental health expert, but he’s more in tune than most with what the locals are feeling. With drought, he says, comes uncertainty, even among the majority of growers who take out insurance to compensate them for losses. With uncertainty comes helplessness, irritability and fear.

Jimmy Brown, 52, is the Kiowa County coroner as well as a farmer and owner of funeral homes in Eads, Cheyenne Wells and Burlington. He was photographed at the funeral home he owns in Cheyenne Wells. (Marc Piscotty, COLab)

“People tend to be shorter with each other, to back off,” he says, noting that he is no exception.

He has struggled this year to muster the energy to feed and water his livestock, check his fences and take care of the endless chores of running a farm, even when the harvest fails. He followed the headlines about Kansas farming communities 200 miles to the east producing their best yields ever, questioning the fickleness of the drought.

The stain looks like a curse.

“You come to doubt that it will ever rain again. You know it, but you don’t know when. So you wonder what I’m doing here? Why are we doing this? And what exactly is the purpose of all this? said Brown.

Producers talk about the grounding — financial, family, and spiritual — needed to endure a year as dry as this, let alone many of them. They don’t talk about mental health factors, the complex mix of genetic vulnerabilities, traumas, addictions, brain chemicals, nerve circuits and other triggers that contribute to mental illness and make the playing field more fragile for some. than for others.

Especially in a county where data shows residents’ discomfort with talking about personal issues is 11% higher than the state average, they can’t tell what challenges faced the local dad whose 16-year-old son discovered his body after his recent suicide. Or by the four Kiowa County-bound men who took their own lives two years ago — three of them two weeks apart and two of them farmers.

MORE: Surge of suicides in northwest Colorado part of ‘toxic stress’ from coronavirus, experts say

This string of suicides prompted the local mental health service provider to offer classes on recognizing the signs of mental health crisis. He organized special training for loan officers, machinery dealers, auctioneers and bankruptcy clerks to spot signs of suicidal potential in their clients and encourage them to seek professional help.

Dawn Beck is a physician assistant at Eads Rural Health Clinic and Kiowa County Hospital. His patients bristle at words like anxiety and depression. If the land is sick, the people who work it will be sick too, and there is nothing to do but wait, she says, for them to tell her.

“They say, ‘Well, we’ve been there before’, even though it’s by far the worst year you can remember. It’s a matter of pride. A cowboy thing. And that’s just devour people.

Brown, 52, has lived here all his life except for college. The stain, he estimates, “is the topic of 99 out of 100 conversations” here this year. These interactions are more like “Man, we need rain”, “Have you ever seen this dry weather?”, “When is this going to end?” like “I can’t sleep”, “I drink too much” or “I feel depressed”.

“Our people are tough. They just prefer to ride out the storm. I don’t think mental health is a topic of conversation here,” he says.

“We talk about the things we understand – interest rates, commodity prices, land values, weed control, farming techniques. That’s how we operate here. It is our culture. And whether it’s true, false or indifferent, it won’t change. »

To capture our state’s current psyche, the Colorado News Collaborative attempts to document how Coloradans are coping. Our hope is that in a state where the stigma surrounding mental health issues is high, these stories and the conversations that follow will shed light on largely misunderstood and hidden experiences.

We believe vital information should be seen by those affected, whether it is a public health crisis, investigative reporting or holding lawmakers accountable. This report depends on the support of readers like you.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine defended by global health authorities


World Health Organization officials said they are confident that AstraZeneca AZN -1.94%

PLC’s Covid-19 vaccine can prevent severe cases of the disease, as well as hospitalizations and deaths, despite questions about the protection it offers against a fast-spreading strain of the virus first detected in South Africa. South.

The remarks followed reports over the weekend of a small clinical trial of the vaccine in South Africa, which prompted the government to halt the planned rollout of the vaccine.

Preliminary data, which has not been published in detail, suggests the vaccine may not prevent mild and moderate cases of Covid-19 of a new variant that has become the dominant version of the virus in South Africa and the rest of the world. the wider southern African region.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said the trial’s findings were “clearly concerning” but stressed they came with “important caveats”.

Workers loading the first doses of Covid-19 vaccine from South Africa as they arrived in Johannesburg earlier this month.


elmond jiyane for gcis/Reuters

These included the small number of volunteers in the trial – around 2,000 – and their relatively young median age of just 31. WHO officials and outside researchers said the trial was too small and its volunteers too young to draw clear conclusions about the vaccine’s effectiveness against the variant, known as B.1.351, in particular. when it comes to preventing more severe cases of Covid-19. Young people tend to suffer from milder versions of Covid-19 and suffer from severe cases less often.

“Looking at the evidence on the AstraZeneca vaccine, through a number of trials, it’s very clear that [the AstraZeneca vaccine] is effective against serious illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths,” said Katherine O’Brien, director of the WHO immunization programme.

Dr O’Brien and other senior WHO officials have suggested the body list the AstraZeneca vaccine – seen as a cornerstone in the global fight against the pandemic thanks to its low cost, high volume target and its easy storage – for emergency use later this week.

“There was a very positive opinion about the continued use of the vaccine, including in settings where variants are circulating,” she said. The South African strain has been detected in at least 32 countries, including the United States

WHO’s emergency use list would serve as a recommendation for a range of countries, especially poorer ones, to move forward with adopting the vaccine, accelerating its path to widespread use in the world. whole world.

A funeral carrying the coffin of a Covid-19 victim in South Africa.


siphiwe sibeko/Reuters

It would also allow the first shipment of some 340 million vaccine doses from the WHO-supported Covax facility to poor countries, including several in southern Africa where the B.1.351 variant has caused powerful waves of infections in recent years. weeks.

“It is far too early to…reject this vaccine,” said Richard Hatchett, chief executive of the Norway-based Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which funds Covid-19 vaccines. “This is a very important part of the global response to the current pandemic.”

Recent trials of other Covid-19 vaccines in South Africa, including injections developed by Johnson & Johnson JNJ -0.46%

and Novavax Inc.,

NVAX 0.24%

also found lower effectiveness rates against the new variant, compared to previous versions of the virus. This prompted vaccine makers to start working on new vaccines to better target emerging strains of coronavirus.

As new coronavirus variants sweep the world, scientists are racing to figure out just how dangerous they could be. WSJ explains. Illustrator: Alex Kuzoian/WSJ

Large-scale human trials for Covid-19 vaccines already in use, such as those developed by Moderna Inc.

mRNA -1.18%

and Pfizer Inc.,

DFP -0.98%

were largely completed before new, more contagious versions of the virus came to cause infections in the UK, South Africa and Brazil. Drugmakers say new vaccines will be ready in the coming months and updated vaccines could serve as annual boosters, modified according to emerging characteristics of the virus.

The hopes of many countries rest on the AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford. AstraZeneca has promised to deliver more doses this year – around three billion – than any other vaccine maker. The partners said last week they hoped to have an updated version of the vaccine, targeted at new variants such as the South African one, ready by the fall.

South Africa has said it will accelerate the rollout of the J&J and Pfizer vaccines until it has more data on the effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine on serious illnesses. Other countries in the Southern Africa region, such as Zambia, Malawi or Mozambique, have fewer options. They depend almost entirely on free doses of AstraZeneca from the Covax facility.

Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at [email protected] and Jenny Strasburg at [email protected]

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Chandrababu Naidu unable to stomach defeat in Gram Panchayat polls: YSRCP


YSRCP General Secretary Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy on Thursday lambasted Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N Chandrababu Naidu saying he was unable to digest his defeat in the Gram Panchayat elections, especially in his own constituency of Kuppam Assembly.

He pointed out that YSRCP-backed candidates won more than 80 percent of panchayat seats.

Addressing a press conference, Reddy said the people of Andhra Pradesh were happy with the government of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and the implementation of his welfare programs.

This was reflected in the gram panchayat elections, with YSRCP-backed candidates winning over 80% of the seats, he claimed.

“But TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu is crying foul as he is unable to stomach defeat, especially in his own Kuppam Assembly constituency. the opposition. He deceived the public. … that is the reason why people did not vote for him and the candidates supported by Chandrababu Naidu’s party lost the panchayat elections in Kuppam,” said declared the general secretary of the YSRCP.

He further alleged that State Elections Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar supported the TDP and Naidu. “Until few days ago TDP was praising SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as if he is a demigod. But now Chandrababu is criticizing SEC, for YSRCP wins.”

“We criticized the SEC but we never abused it personally. We contradicted its partial attitude. But the electoral process is organized by the same SEC only. So where is the failure? he declared.

Gram panchayat elections are held in four phases across the state. The final phase of the elections will take place on February 21.

(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.)

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PH secures $23.5 billion Japanese loan for COVID-19 response


The Philippines can step up coronavirus testing and contract hunting, thanks to a new loan of 23.5 billion pesos from Japan to be spent on tackling the health and socio-economic crises caused by the pandemic.

On Wednesday July 1, Secretary of Finance Carlos G. Dominguez III and Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) in the Philippines Eigo Azukizawa signed the agreement for the loan, which can be disbursed more quickly. than other loans because it did not require political preconditions. .

“The loan proceeds will automatically be available for withdrawal once the loan is declared effective, which is expected in the last week of July,” the Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement.

Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda said the Philippines was the first recipient of the Japanese government’s new emergency aid in response to the COVID-19 crisis, a highly concessional loan aimed at helping countries struggling with the pandemic.

It was also the first COVID-19 related loan secured by the Philippines from a bilateral partner, as previous loans have come from multilateral lenders like the Asian Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Investment Bank in infrastructure (AIIB) and the World Bank.

This facility, co-financed with the Manila-based AfDB, bore a fixed interest rate of 0.01% per annum, with a maturity period of 15 years, including a grace period of four years.

“We cannot underestimate the importance of this particular emergency support loan,” said Dominguez.

He said the government’s deficit-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio would “more than double” in 2020 as tax revenues are down, but spending on the COVID-19 response continues to rise.

On top of that, he said “we also need to fund our economic stimulus package.”

“It will force us to close the wider fiscal gap with additional borrowing,” Dominguez said.

“This facility will help us cover our budgetary expenses during this very difficult period,” he added, referring to the Jica loan.

The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) had forecast that this year’s budget deficit would widen to at least 8.4 percent of GDP or 1.6 trillion pesos.

At the end of May, government tax and non-tax revenue collection fell 16.1% year-on-year to 1.1 trillion pesos, which Dominguez blamed on lack of consumption as well as lower imports in a context of global recession.

As a result, the government had to resort to more borrowing, 75% of which would come from domestic sources through treasury bills and bonds, Dominguez said.

Dominguez said Jica’s latest loan would support government operations, including hiring contact tracers, ramping up testing, among other anti-pandemic programs and projects to be rolled out as part of pending stimulus packages in the country. Congress.

Dominguez noted that the Philippines already had 72 COVID-19 testing centers compared to just one in March, adding that setting up these facilities was “not cheap”.

Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis YC Joven said the Philippines plans to borrow $8.6 billion in official development assistance (ODA) from bilateral and multilateral sources this year to fund the fight against COVID-19.

So far, a total of around $5 billion in loans have been secured for the COVID-19 response, Joven said.

Among ODA partners, Japan remained the Philippines’ main source of financial assistance, accounting for 46% of the total portfolio, Joven added.

The latest data from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) showed that as of June 30, at least 374.9 billion pesos had already been released for the COVID-19 response.

The bulk, 266.2 billion pesos, came from allocations for discontinued programs, events and projects in the 2019 and 2020 national budgets.

At least 98.4 billion pesos came from special purpose funds and 10.2 billion pesos came from regular allocations to departments.

Dominguez said with more than three months already spent in various forms of quarantine, now was the “time to open up” the economy so that more Filipinos could earn their daily living.

Dominguez, who leads President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team, said the Department of Health (DOH) has done its part in keeping the death rate from COVID-19 low while building the nation’s medical capacity. .

Many Filipinos, he said, were aware of the need to also take care of themselves amid the pandemic.

“So it’s important now also that people are allowed to slowly return to their normal lives,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said it was important to rekindle consumer confidence in the country, as consumption not only made up about three-quarters of the national economy, but also supported the collection of taxes, revenue that the government needed to to be able to spend more.


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Japan grants 50 billion yen emergency loan to India to fight Covid-19


Japan announced on Monday that it would provide an emergency loan of up to 50 billion yen for India’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes the implementation of health and medical policy.

Additional Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance, CS Mohapatra, and Japanese Ambassador Suzuki Satoshi exchanged notes on Monday regarding the provision of a yen loan to New Delhi to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.

According to an official statement from the Japanese Embassy, ​​this “COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan” is providing much-needed funds for India’s fight against the coronavirus.

This financial support will support the implementation of health and medical policy by the Government of India and lead to the development of hospitals equipped with intensive care units and infection prevention and management facilities.

It is expected that these measures, in addition to controlling the spread of infection in the country, will also contribute to the recovery and stability of the country’s society and economy, as well as to sustainable development.

The loan will bear an interest rate of 0.01 percent per annum with a repayment period of 15 years, including a grace period of four years.

In addition, the two countries also exchanged notes on a grant worth 1 billion yen to India under Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) program, namely the “Development Program”. economic and social development”.

It is expected that this grant will lead to strengthening the fight against infectious diseases, including COVID-19, in India, and contribute to further strengthen cooperation between Japan and India.

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Barcelona director: club ‘will see what we can do’ with emergency loan for striker | Launderer’s report


Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona Director Guillermo Amor has suggested the club consider bringing in an emergency striker following injuries to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.

Suarez required knee surgery in January and has been ruled out until May, while Dembele will undergo surgery on Tuesday after suffering a Tendon tear earlier in February.

According to Goal’s Chris Burton, Amor said of a possible emergency signing:

We cannot name names.

“Other players have left, and we have to wait to see what Dembele’s situation is before deciding.

“If there’s a good opportunity to sign someone, then we’ll see what we can do.

Suarez is Barca’s most reliable match winner after Lionel Messi. Before his injury, he had scored 14 goals and provided 11 assists in 23 appearances this season.

The club hoped Dembele’s return from a hamstring problem – which had kept him out since November – would make up for it their decision not to replace Suarez.

Barcelona’s injuries mean their only senior attacking options for the coming months are Antoine Griezmann and Messi. Ansu Fati broke into the first team this season but only turned 17 in October.

The Catalan giants will announce their estimate of Dembele’s expected return once he undergoes surgery. According to The Spanish Football Podcast, if his absence will be long enough, Barça may be able to dive back into the market despite the closing of the transfer window:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

@Its_SuNnYzzZ_77 Rules start only in exceptional circumstances and if certain conditions are met (eg doctors must agree Dembélé will be out for more than 5 months) a club can sign outside the transfer window. Only from Spain, however

According to Burton, it appears any emergency deal struck would be a loan rather than a permanent transfer.

Barcelona have, understandably, been linked with several different options:

Eurosport United Kingdom @Eurosport_EN

🚑 Luis Suarez is out for the rest of the season through injury Barcelona’s shortlist of four strikers has been revealed 👇 https://t.co/MCPCCBBtBl

The club was also related to moving for Valencia striker Rodrigo Moreno in January.

It’s no surprise that Barca are considering their options given how stretched they are likely to be during the break-in, and Messi’s goalscoring form could factor into their decision as well. He’s scored 19 goals in 26 games this season but he’s failed to find the net in four of the six games he’s played since Quique Setien took charge in January.

the Guardian‘s Sid Lowe pointed out the Argentine’s problems:

Sid Lowe @sidlowe

Bizarre phenomenon: Messi can no longer score. Very strange. Just replicated last year’s goal at Betis… only this one didn’t go in (just like his last 26 shots).

It will probably only be a minor blow for a player who has nearly 700 career goals for club and country, but without Suarez it will be a problem until he rediscovers his goalscoring touch.

Griezmann has scored 20 or more goals in each of the last six seasons but he’s still adapting at Camp Nou. He has 12 appearances in 32 for Barcelona, ​​with his last La Liga goal coming on December 21.

Understanding Emergency Financial Aid for Graduate Students


Even with the best laid plans and intentions, sometimes life happens. While you can’t prevent unexpected events like job loss or financial hardship, if you’re enrolled in a top school when a challenge arises, there may be options available that can help you stay on track. the right path to graduating.

Different forms of emergency financial aid are sometimes available for graduate students who have exhausted other funding options and are still in need. When a student is pushed to the point where they feel they may have to interrupt their studies and leave campus, even just for a semester, they should first seek out their college’s emergency aid offerings.

Eligibility for emergency financial assistance

Each university differs in the type of aid they offer and the qualifications to receive it. Some colleges have a specific loan or grant program for critical needs, while others have specific degree assistance. Additionally, many campuses offer tuition waivers or fee deferrals.

Mae Gill, Associate Director of Graduate and Professional Student Financial Services at Azusa Pacific University, explained that the APU Emergency Aid Grant is intended to help students whose circumstances require an emergency injection of ‘financial aid. “This grant is designed to assist in situations where emergency or financial hardship may impede academic progress, and for those who cannot reasonably resolve their financial hardship through loans or personal resources,” he said. she declared.

Typically, this type of emergency assistance is available to graduate students who find themselves in an unforeseen circumstance, such as a health or family emergency. Aid is generally available to students who meet certain qualification standards, as set by the college.

If you suddenly find yourself in need of financial assistance while working towards a graduate degree, the best thing to do is to speak with your financial aid counselor, even if you are not sure you are eligible. Your advisor can direct you to resources that will help you bridge the gap and allow you to focus on your classes again.

Types of emergency assistance offered at APU

Azusa Pacific University offers different emergency aid opportunities designed to help students in need. Some grants are ad hoc, while other opportunities may be program specific.

Circumstantial Emergency Assistance provides eligible students with immediate financial relief, so they can continue working on their degrees without interrupting their enrollment. To obtain assistance, students must complete an application for emergency assistance and may be required to provide supporting documents.

An example of program-specific assistance is the student tuition scholarship offered by the APU School of Education’s Teacher Education Division. Angela J. Guta, Ph.D., assistant dean for academic student services, explained that to fulfill their credentialing requirements, teacher candidates must complete sixteen weeks of clinical practice teaching under an in-house title or as as a student teacher. This program-specific assistance is available to those involved in unpaid student teaching because, while formative and valuable, it may place financial strain on some students. Sometimes students have to pause their progress until they have enough funds available. To help qualified students avoid this delay, the school has created this scholarship opportunity.

“The School of Education hopes to help address this critical need and reduce the number of students who walk away from their program due to financial hardship,” Guta said. “This scholarship is invitational for self-directed students currently enrolled in a combined degree and diploma program from the School of Education with a GPA of 3.7 or higher.” Other education-specific scholarships are also available, and students are encouraged to explore outside financial assistance to offset the cost of their programs, she said.

Get financial help when needed

In addition to the aid programs and scholarships available to graduate students studying at APU, Gill noted that the school has a team of Student Account Advisors ready to speak with students who are in a difficult situation and need additional resources. “We meet with students individually to discuss their financial situation and offer resources based on their needs,” she explained.

Along with this financial advice, graduate and vocational students can also get help determining if they are eligible for other types of aid, such as military and veterans education benefits or reductions in tuition fees. Additionally, financial literacy workshops are offered to prospective and current APU students throughout the year. These workshops cover many financial topics, such as building credit, financial planning, and balancing education costs.

Want to learn more about help available to Azusa Pacific University graduate students? Visit the school’s Graduate and Professional Student Financial Services to explore financial aid offers and opportunities.

And, if you need prayer, email Pastor Rick Givens at [email protected].

Rs 2,000 fine for spitting, chewing tobacco in public places in Delhi


Spitting and smoking in public places, violation of COVID-19 quarantine rules, failure to wear masks and failure to observe social distancing will now result in a fine of Rs 2,000 in the nation’s capital, according to a notification released by the Delhi government on Friday. .

The increase in the amount of the fine from Rs 500 earlier came at a time when the nation’s capital recorded a spike in coronavirus cases.

The notification was issued by the health department after approval by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced sweeping measures to tackle the pandemic, including a hefty 2,000 rupees fine for not wearing masks, reserving 80% of intensive care beds in private hospitals and doubling testing centers in each district.

The nation’s capital has seen an increase in coronavirus cases since October 28, when the daily rise first crossed the 5,000 mark, and it crossed the 8,000 mark on November 11.

(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.)

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Small business owners await much-needed relief – NBC Bay Area


Three weeks after the shelter-in-place order, small businesses are still waiting for much-needed federal funds to help them stay afloat. Congress has approved $356 billion in aid for small businesses, but even asking for the money hasn’t been easy.

“We’re still open, but we’ve lost 40-50% of our business and it’s tough,” said Erika Minkowsky of The Heirloom Chef.

She does her best to have the personal chef and the catering business she co-own serve the meals.

Minkowsky and his business partner are desperate to get a share of the billions of dollars Congress has approved for emergency loans and small business grants, but so far, no luck.

“I don’t know anyone who got a loan, we’re very frustrated,” she said.

Co-owner Maggie Lawson says she struggled to find a bank to accept their application for the much-vaunted Payroll Protection Program and heard nothing of her applying for an SBA disaster loan.

“Dealing with bureaucracy has become a full-time job for me,” Lawson said.

The owner of Wing Man, a small restaurant in Cotati, says he hasn’t received a response either. He says without relief that many small businesses just won’t make it.

“They say the money is coming, but so are the bills,” owner Joe Trez said.

Minkowsky says she’s determined to keep providing healthy meals for her customers, but Chef Heirloom needs all the support she can get.

“Where is the money?” she said. “We need help to stay open so we can endure what is happening. It was tough.

Bay Area officials say the backlog of federal funding for small businesses is a huge problem. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association says it polled its members and found only one restaurant that actually got a relief check.

Saints chairman hails government’s emergency loan to rugby league


SAINTS chairman Eamonn McManus has welcomed the government’s £16m emergency loan to rugby league.

The Rugby Football League emergency loan is meant to safeguard the sport’s immediate future for the communities it serves.

The influx of money will help the sport cope with the extreme financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak as the season remains suspended, due to social distancing measures.

It precedes England who will host the Rugby World Cup next year.

The Saints chairman says the loan allows the clubs to be able to ‘save themselves’.

He told BBC News: “Sport was in real and genuine danger of disappearing.

“What we have here is a bridging loan for the sport to put us in a position where we can really streamline, reorganize and save ourselves.”

The RFL will administer the funding, in partnership with Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

All RFL Super League, Championship and League 1 clubs based in England can apply. Further details on when the fund will open and how clubs can apply will be announced by the RFL in due course.

Ralph Rimmer, chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said: “The RFL is grateful to the government for understanding and acting on the file for the whole of sport.

“In these very difficult times for the country and huge demands from the government, it confirms why Rugby League matters – our USP – the significant social impact of the sport in northern communities in particular.

“Rugby League is not a rich sport, but it is rich in the things that matter most – exceptional sporting and life opportunities in often disadvantaged communities. The effects of lockdown at the start of our season have truly threatened the survival of our clubs at all levels and their ability to continue to produce these positive social and economic impacts.

“This support allows the sport to survive, reshape and be ready to restart in this 125th year. And look forward to a home World Cup next year and a legacy for our communities.

“Watching and playing sport together, including Rugby League, has a role to play in the nation’s recovery. We are part of this national sporting landscape. In the meantime, we continue to work at the heart of our communities, helping everywhere where we can.

Steve Barclay, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, concluded: “Rugby League is a sport which has a significant social impact in the communities it serves, which is even more important now that we are responding to the economic pressures resulting from Covid. -19.

“Next year’s Rugby World Cup schedule will also be a fantastic opportunity to build on the strong record of sport within these communities, and it is an opportunity that the support of this government will secure.”

Forbes India – Why and How Millennials Borrow


Image: Shutterstock

The lack of savings and health insurance habits forces 57% of millennials to borrow in case of emergency. A report from CASHe, a digital lending company for young professionals, raised a number of similar red flags in the borrowing pattern of millennials. Most inquiries on CASHe come from people who are heavily in debt, with loans of up to 100% of their salary. “About 90% of applications are rejected for this,” says Ketan Patel, Executive Director and CEO of CASHe. While only 6% of millennials belong to the prime category (likely to repay in full and on time), 55 and 19% belong to the quasi-prime and subprime categories.


“Millennials change phones every nine months. This gives the possibility of obtaining a loan at least three times every two years,” says Patel; the purchase of white goods is the second category of expenditure with 26%, after medical emergencies with 37%. While the holiday season still sees higher demand for loans, the months millennials travel and shop the most have changed from October and November in 2018 to December, August and September in 2019. While loans of one month or less accounted for 57% of the total in 2018, 2019 saw the largest change at 33% of loans with a term of six months. At 64%, 2018 saw the highest number of borrowers in the 21-30 age bracket; in 2019, this increased to the 31-38 age group at 52%.

Click here to see Forbes India’s full coverage of the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and economy

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(This story appears in the February 14, 2020 issue of Forbes India. To visit our archive, click here.)

Oregon to speed up vaccine rollout as teachers question governor’s reopening schedule | Oregon


(The Center Square) — A week into the new year, Oregon is renewing efforts to utilize thousands of unused COVID-19 vaccines after weeks of slowdowns, Governor Kate Brown announced Friday.

A few days before Christmas, state officials set a goal to vaccinate up to 100,000 Oregonians with their first dose before New Year’s Day.

On Friday, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) reported that 74,914 doses had been administered so far, or about 29% of the 252,350 doses received by the state. A total of 51,283 people were vaccinated, of whom 326 received their first dose.

Meanwhile, governors around the country, including Brown, have pointed the finger at federal authorities for short-circuit the share of vaccine promised by the State.

Like many states, Oregon has chosen to distribute vaccines in phases to priority groups starting with healthcare workers, those who work and live in long-term care facilities, first responders and health programs. tribal.

OHA officials estimate that this phase alone includes up to 400,000 people, or less than 1% of Oregon’s population of 4.2 million.

On Thursday, the Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center in Salem became one of six sites in the state dedicated to distributing doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Brown announced on Friday that the National Guard would be deployed to the site to begin assisting with the deployment of the vaccine beginning Tuesday.

According to Salem Health pharmacy chief Josh Free, the facility is set to dispense up to 250 doses per hour Thursday pending National Guard support.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the clinic saw such long queues around the building that health workers had to close for the day after reaching capacity.

Free said the clinic did not anticipate any problems keeping vaccines cool after they received a cold storage unit on loan from Willamette University and they ordered another.

“We carefully monitor the amount of vaccines we bring to the clinic,” Free said. “And so the stability of it and its shelf life when it’s left in the freezer or the fridge is long enough that we’re not concerned. The bottom line is that once you’ve actually started a bottle of vaccine, we have to administer this full vial in a short period of time.”

The CDC reports there is no maximum interval between the first and second dose. He does not recommend mixing the two vaccines. Common side effects include pain, fever, headache, and joint pain.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses and are said to provide around 95% protection. The first should be taken three weeks apart and the second four weeks apart. They are approved for older teens and adults.

Among those eager to receive their first shots on Thursday was Taylor, a nurse from Woodburn.

“I feel good,” Taylor said. “No pain at all.”

For Ralph Yates, Salem Health’s chief medical officer, the clinic is a lifeline he calls “Hope Central.”

“The people we’ve brought here, it’s kind of like Disneyland,” Yates said. “They are excited. Hope is not on the horizon. It is there.”

The state has not named which groups will be eligible for vaccination in Phase 2 despite Brown’s stated desire to put elementary school teachers in the lead.

Members of the OHA’s Vaccine Advisory Council plan to meet next week to discuss the matter further. The OHA website says vaccines for the general public may not be available until spring.

Less more than 4% of Oregon’s 587,000 K-12 students are receiving in-person instruction in January, according to data from the Oregon Department of Education.

Many parents and teachers are divided on when classrooms will reopen, but few see Brown’s suggested date February 15 so realistic.

In one joint letter Released on Thursday, the presidents of five Oregon teachers’ unions in western Oregon said the governor’s timeline was too early for reassurance.

“We are unwilling to reopen schools recklessly after working so hard to minimize the impact of the pandemic in our state,” the letter reads. “We desperately want to be back in physical classrooms with our students, as soon as it is safe to do so, without unnecessarily risking the lives and health of students, educators or members of our community.”

If classrooms do reopen in the near future, the authors added, districts would need access to rapid COVID-19 testing, on-site cleaning crews, and time to put a protocol in place. full security.

The state legislature has passed legal liability protections for all school districts that follow COVID-19 health protocols during a special session December 21.

Few Oregon school districts have made a firm commitment to reopening classrooms in the coming weeks since Brown made in-person instruction a local decision.

OHA Director Patrick Allen said the state may not achieve herd immunity to the disease at current vaccination rates until the fall at the earliest.

A new model published by the OHA showed that person-to-person transmission rates of COVID-19 increased from 0.8 at the end of November to 1.29 on December 23.

The agency reports that the state’s projected daily case rate could reach 1,780 between Jan. 13 and Jan. 26 with 85 daily hospitalizations from the virus if transmissions continue at Dec. 23 levels.

If transmission levels remain at November levels, the model predicts daily case rates would drop to 1,400. The state’s current daily case rate is 1,161.

On Friday, the OHA reports that the total number of COVID-19 cases in Oregon to date now stands at 122,847 while the death toll stands at 1,575.

From inside locker room: captain introduces Stoke City Cup final squad for Man City


Who are the Stoke City Under-18s who will face Manchester City in the PL Cup final tonight?

Captain Adam Porter told us who’s who in the locker room.


Broomy, of Warrington. Came from Man City at 16, played for England at 17 and 18. Very good technically with his feet but also a good stopper. Within our group, we do not think we have faced a goalkeeper better than him at our level. Brings a bit of a joke to the locker room and is good at rallying the rest of the guys around, making sure the standards are high.


Macca is one of the quietest members of the squad yet one of the most reliable on the pitch, one of our most trusted players. You might not always notice it, but everything is done pretty much perfectly. So consistent.


He started this season as a right winger but has turned into a right back. With his natural pace and physique he has been a really important member of our team this season. He’s a Stoke fan and in fact there’s a photo of our support for Wembley for the cup final in the tunnel at the bet365 stadium – and there it is!


Came from Bury last summer when they folded. For the rest of the group, he’s probably considered the most professional. Take everything really seriously, whether it’s training or recovery. Really reliable.


A fan of Stoke from Smallthorne. His natural physique he can be very aggressive on the pitch which is what you would expect from a defender.

Kieran Coates impressed as a right-back in the ranks of Stoke City.


The mountain of man as it is called. A beast. All the attributes of an upper half-center. Quiet and calm off the pitch but on it he’s at his best when he’s most aggressive.


He’s from Nantwich and technically one of the best at the Under-18 level. The team may have problems and he may make you dribble on the court. Spent 23s pretty well this season, played quite a few games. He also has a bit of himself in the locker room.


Like when Glenn Whelan was here, you enjoy when he plays. He will have you covered and has good football intelligence. He can control the games.

Me, Bugsy and Pat have been playing together since we were around 10 years old and have formed a good relationship in the central midfielder. It shows this season more than any other.


I have definitely developed the box-to-box part of the game since I was full time and have added a few more goals this season.

Being captain of the U18 has brought a new responsibility that I am really proud of. I think I led the group pretty well, but in the locker room there are a number of leaders who have helped me. The standards in the dressing room are very high and it has to come from the whole team, not just one of us.


A physical beast. No defender would like to play against him. His English is developing and he is always keen in the dressing room, always dancing, always at the speaker. Brought a lot of goals to the team and forged a good relationship with Mo. Statistics over the past few months have shown it.


Massive character. Although he is younger, he is one of the leaders in the field. Does not lack self-confidence but always ready to make a difference. His record speaks for itself.

Speaking for me as a midfielder you are judged on goals and assists and having these two guys up front racing all day is awesome. If we do the right things in our box, we know we have a guaranteed goal or two because they are so clinical.

Their work also allows us to approach them.

Mo Sankoh with his hat-trick in his sweater as the Stoke City Under-18s beat Norwich 8-0 in the Premier League Cup.

Ethon Varian scored against Everton in the FA Youth Cup last season.


Not necessarily the fastest but one of the best physically. Has gone on loan to Nantwich and can handle men’s football. The goalscoring record speaks for itself. He averaged one every 81 minutes for the Under-18s last season. Whether at the start or on the bench, our attackers are really strong. Good boy off the pitch, he demands good standards.


A real grafter in training. Even if we don’t have the best time with the ball, it will fly. Racing stats show he’s still up there, but he mixes that up with being technically very good. This was seen recently in his hat-trick against Sunderland.


Conner came in from outside the league at the start of the season, but no one ever wondered if he could raise. A different class on and off the pitch. His frame for the central midfielder is huge and he uses it to his advantage. If you have it, use it. Rarely loses a head but very good with his feet too.

A good character with Eddie to have added to the closet. They have adapted very well to a group that has been together for a long time.

I signed up for Stoke last summer. From left to right: Paul Cooper, Henry Nash, Ruben Gardner-McIntosh, Maksy Boruc, Tom Sparrow, Julius Ndene, Tom Nixon, Jai Verma, Jamie Melbourne, Kevin Fernandes.


The co-ops might not have the biggest frame, but his physique and jumping is ridiculous. The amount of spring at his disposal allows him to come and crosses without problem. Good with his feet and a great stopper. And he works hard all the time. Another who has been with England at the youth level.


He’s a bit tricky winger and he’s very difficult to stop. He’s so nimble and his change of direction is so quick. Very useful and although he does not have a lot of minutes he creates chances every time he is on the pitch.


The French boy can play in the midfield or outside. Pacy and a great dribbler. Has really had an impact this season, both at the start and on the bench.


Another with big feet, technically very good. Didn’t have a lot of playing time but always added to training. We try to make training more difficult than games and I think it shows when it counts, like the Norwich game.


A left-back from Birmingham. He has a lot of good attributes and he also has a lot of jokes in the dressing room.


Nashy is an excellent communicator in the field. I was recently loaned out to Market Drayton and an old school advocate who doesn’t mind putting his body on the line but can play too.


Niko was also loaned to Market Drayton. Play from the back and technically he’s very good. He has a good eye for a pass – and that’s not nonsense.


Tough season with injuries but a great physique for his age in the central midfield and another who has been a great training partner in training.

Oregon’s Behavioral Health Crisis – The Corvallis Advocate


The Interim House Committee on Behavioral Health Care heard testimony from providers and health officials on Tuesday, May 26, about the troubled state of behavioral health in Oregon. Increased challenges lie ahead as services will be reduced due to budget cuts related to COVID-19.

Oregon’s behavioral health system already faces high turnover and struggles to retain talented professionals – due to a lack of fair pay and, for many, crippling student debt.

On average, counselors earn around $ 53,600 per year, and student debt can reach $ 150,000 for new vendors.

A proposal from the Oregon Health Authority calls for cutting the agency’s budget by $ 3 billion, resulting in a loss of revenue of $ 370 million. Specifically, Oregon State Hospital would suffer a loss of $ 42 million and Medicaid, $ 233 million – a major financier of behavioral health care.

Overall, Oregon saw nearly $ 3 billion in lost revenue due to the pandemic.

“Our system will be decimated and we cannot do more with less,” commented Ebony Clarke, director of mental health and addiction services at the Multnomah County Health Department.

Clarke pointed to the increased anxiety and feelings of isolation in patients with behavioral health issues – especially those in crisis.

To meet the needs of these people, health care providers have used video conferencing and telehealth phone calls.

In Oregon, an emergency waiver was granted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which allows fiscal flexibility for providers prescribing telehealth.

Telehealth has had its ups and downs so far. For some, two 25-minute sessions by phone or video conference are easier to manage or less stressful than the standard 60-minute in-person meeting.

However, for those who have difficulty accessing these services – due to location, financial constraints, or technological incompetence – telehealth has proven inadequate.

The vendors presented short-term and long-term solutions to lawmakers at Tuesday’s meeting.

Representative Duane Stark (R-Grants Pass) suggested behavioral checkups for patients, similar to physical checkups. If done regularly, Stark said these could reduce stigma and prevent seizures, via early detection of distress in patients.

One long-term solution, presented by Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeffrey Eisen of Cascadia Behavioral Health in Portland, was state-provided payments reform to create more sustainable funding.

Others argued for the cancellation of student loans and better compensation for people on the ground.

By Stevie Beisswanger

City downgrades water emergency at council meeting – Fort Bragg Advocate-News


FORT BRAGG – Fort Bragg City Council met on Monday evening via Zoom, to discuss several items, including reducing the city’s water emergency to Stage 1 and increasing the cost of city ​​building permit by resolution.

At the start, City Manager Tabatha Miller gave a brief presentation on the census, which is approaching its final days. Locals can call (707) 336-2459 for assistance or with questions.

“This is essential to align our numbers, this is in addition to our public funding, if you haven’t responded please do so,” Miller said.

She also gave “a bit of background” on protection against evictions during COVID-19. The moratorium on evictions from the city ends on September 30, in accordance with the governor’s mandate.

Mayor Will Lee offered thoughts and prayers to victims of the rapid fire in Sonoma and Napa.

Name change meetings have been “loaded”

Councilor Jessica Morsell-Haye spoke about the Citizens Renaming Commission during the Councilors personal report. Morsell-Haye took over as head of the advisory committee that formed after the issue of the town’s name change was raised in July. She said the commissioners “are struggling to line up” but was not specific with examples.

She said she decided to add two more commissioners to the process – Andy Wellspring and Christy Olson Day – “to bring more balance to the dialogue.”

“At (the first) meeting it became very clear that we needed more balance in the philosophical part of it,” she said. “I thought it was important to have a certain representation of the people of our community who are essentially allies of BIPOC. She called Wellspring and Olson Day “diplomatic and open minds”, with “active approaches to the subject.”

Morsell-Haye said she consulted on the decision with Deputy Mayor Bernie Norvell, who was originally tasked with co-leading the committee with her. According to Morsell-Haye, Norvell disagreed with his decision to add more commissioners, but allowed him to take the lead and “fallout,” she said. Norvell said he had stepped down from the commission, saying he felt it was unfair to have such a strong council presence – two advisers – on a citizens’ commission.

Morsell-Haye said the two meetings so far had been “a bit busy” and at the last meeting the city agreed to hire a mediator to lead the meetings.

“It was an intense race. I really believe we needed those two extra voices to find the balance, ”she said. “I understand the concerns, this is a really passionate, passionate subject. People feel that their culture of origin is under threat.

Morsell-Haye told Mayor Lee she was “not confident, but I am hopeful.” The next committee meeting will take place in October.

City plans to change building permit fee process

The first on the regular agenda was the council consent calendar, where questions can be voted on as a single item. Agenda items for Monday’s meeting included approving the minutes from the last meeting; the adoption of a resolution establishing a master wage rate compensation plan for City employees, effective September 28; and the passing of a council resolution approving a loan agreement with Fort Bragg South Street LP, for which Danco Communities acts as a general co-administrative partner, to help the city develop The Plateau, a project of affordable housing located at 441 South Street. The consent agenda was approved unanimously.

Chantell O’Neal, deputy director of the city’s engineering division, then presented a report on behalf of the community development committee, to consider passing a city council resolution revising the city’s fee schedule for various building permit fees and services.

“Staff have encountered issues with the way building permit fees are handled,” O’Neal said, including an unexpected increase in administrative time to process the new fee schedule, adopted last year. “There was a really long time between when we got a permit and when we could come back with comments. “

City staff recommended that all projects that would currently qualify for hourly building permit fees collected through a developer deposit account – those valued at less than $ 75 – be converted to a fixed fee method that reflects the average hourly staff time required to review a building permit, from receipt to inspection, and is based on specific elements associated with the scope of the project.

The main recommended change would be that the city abandon the use of DDAs for fees associated with processing building permits and more properly align the cost of performing the tasks with the amount of fees collected.

Public comment was sparse, but generally asked the council to consider doing a more in-depth study on the matter and come back at a later date for a more noticeable public comment period. Council decided 4-1 to adopt the fee schedule as set out in the resolution, with Councilor Tess Albin-Smith against, and asked city staff to bring back a resolution imposing a moratorium on fees. The city will “spend some public money” on doing a study, Miller said, and will come back with a recommended fee and a decision at a later date.

Miller presented a brief report to council regarding the Mendocino County Homelessness Continuum of Care request for approval of a strategic plan to address homelessness. By turning it over at a later meeting, Councilor Peters had allowed public comment, but there was none. The Council unanimously adopted the resolution.

The CoC’s full strategic plan is available on the county’s website at mendocinocounty.org. The plan was officially adopted by the CoC in April, and board members visited various city councils in the region to present the plan, answer questions and gather approvals.

Decommissioned water emergency, emergency funds allocated for sewer

The council also considered a brief report by John Smith, director of public works, to downgrade the Stage 2 water conservation measures adopted late last month to the water conservation measures of the ‘Step 1.

During Stage 2 conservation methods, the city used 200,000 gallons for three days of use from an emergency back-up tank. There are over 14.5 million gallons left, Smith said, “that’s what he’s here for. He also predicted good prospects for the remainder of the season, although he said the city should prepare for a similar situation later in October.

“Part of this is because it’s a pretty short time between these changes,” Smith said. “There are a lot of other factors involved, tourism and the weather.”

It was moved by Norvell, and seconded by Morsell-Haye, that the resolution be adopted as indicated in the agenda. The water-related emergency has now been brought back to step 1. Water customers are reminded to continue to be mindful of water consumption and maintain the 10% reduction in accordance with the requirements of conservation step 1. Information on current and historical water levels is updated on the City’s website at least once a week at city.fortbragg.com/474/Water-Conservation#liveEditTab_widgets.

There was also talk of an emergency repair of a main sewer line under Main Street. During the recent CalTrans Freeway resurfacing project, the contractor discovered a large sinkhole on Main Street near Alder Street, which is also part of Highway 1.

After an initial assessment of the corroded sewer line that caused the sinkhole, city staff recommended an emergency repair and that the city also authorize the use of its Wastewater Enterprise funds to complete the repair of the sinkhole. faulty sewer line to avoid further damage and risk.

The scope of work should include the removal and replacement of a sewer pipe up to 80 feet wide by 21 inches, followed by a total of 600 feet of “hardened-in-place pipe” for reinforcement. the rest of the sewer line in the right of way. Bypass pumping will be required to route sewage around the excavation. The board approved the use of the funds unanimously.

City accepts hospital “deal”

Norvell and Lee recused themselves from Article 8C, citing personal disputes, which sought to approve and ratify “the execution by the city manager of a memorandum of understanding between the city and Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast, authorizing the application and enrollment of the hospital in section 340B of the program of the Public Health Services Act.

Section 340B of the Public Health Services Act requires manufacturers of pharmaceuticals to enter into an agreement, called a Pharmaceutical Price Agreement (or PPA), with the Secretary of the HHS in exchange for coverage of their drugs by Medicaid and Medicare Part B .

“This supports our community, another important thing to know is that the hospital has the ability to contract with other pharmacies to provide this care,” Miller said. The hospital has agreed to cover emergency services for indigent and uninsured patients up to $ 1 million.

The board, down two with Miller and Lee challenged, had to unanimously accept the approval motion, and without discussion, did so.

The next city council meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 13 via a virtual host. For more information, visit city.fortbragg.com.

Editor’s Note: An original version of this article showed an incorrect date for the next city council meeting. City Hall will be closed on Monday, October 12 to observe Indigenous Peoples Day. We regret the error.

Biden appoints new advisers to White House economics team | Business and Economy News


US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed three new economic advisers, two of whom have deep progressive ties.

Through Bloomberg

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday added three new economic advisers to his White House squad, two of whom have deep progressive ties.

Biden has said he will appoint David Kamin, a former economics official in the Obama administration, as deputy director of the NEC. Bharat Ramamurti, former assistant to Senator Elizabeth Warren, will be the NEC’s deputy director for financial reform and consumer protection. Biden has also appointed Joelle Gamble as the president’s special assistant for economic policy.

Ramamurti and Gamble both have ties to the Roosevelt Institute, a progressive economic think tank. Ramamurti, Warren’s financial regulatory contact, was considered a candidate for a position with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“Working families are living through the deepest and most inequitable economic and employment crisis in modern history. Now is not the time to rebuild like before – now is the time to build a new US economy that works for everyone, ”Biden said in a statement.

“With their solid experience and qualifications, they will provide the necessary voices to guide my administration to overcome the unprecedented economic challenges of our country,” he said.

Ramamurti is currently a commissioner on the Congressional Oversight Committee established to oversee the $ 500 billion economic stabilization fund created by the Cares Act, through which the Treasury Department has provided direct loans to businesses and launched several emergency loans with the Federal Reserve.

He criticized Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s direct loans and his work with the Federal Reserve, particularly the closure of the Fed facilities established by the Cares Act.

The new officials will join Brian Deese, Biden’s new NEC director, to work on implementing Biden’s economic agenda and efforts to rebuild the economy amid a worsening pandemic that has left millions of people unemployed.

Food regulator FSSAI notifies regulations to limit trans fats in food products


Food regulator FSSAI said on Tuesday that regulations to limit the content of trans fats in all food products had been notified.

“With the publication of recent regulations to limit the content of trans fats in all food products, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) joins the league of several other countries around the world with best practice policies to eliminating trans fats, ”the regulator said. in a report.

India joins the club of about 40 countries around the world that have already adopted best practices for eliminating trans fats and is said to be among the first countries in Asia after Thailand to have the best elimination policies in place. trans fats, he said.

Under the regulation notified on December 29 of last year, the FSSAI said it was limiting industrial TFAs (trans fatty acids) to no more than 3% in all fats and oils by January 2021 and not more than 2% by January 2022.

The second amendment to the Food Safety and Standards Regulation 2021 (ban and restrictions on sales) was notified earlier this month.

This regulation states that all food products in which edible oils and fats are used as an ingredient must not contain industrial trans fatty acids more than 2 percent by mass of the total oils / fats present in the product, as of January 1, 2022..

It also defines industrial trans fatty acids as: “All geometric isomers of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids having unconjugated carbon-carbon double bonds, interrupted by at least one methylene group, in trans configuration. It excludes trans fats. acids in dairy products, meat, fish and their products.

Industrial trans fats are produced by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid, increasing their stability at room temperature and extending their shelf life. Trans fats are widely present in partially hydrogenated vegetable fats / oils, vanaspati, margarine, and baked goods shortenings. They are found in baked and fried foods.

“Research has shown that higher intakes of industrially produced trans fatty acids (more than 1% of total energy intake) are associated with an increased risk of high cholesterol and heart disease,” said the FSSAI.

According to 2017 estimates, over 1.5 million deaths in India are attributed to coronary heart disease each year, of which nearly 5% (71,000) are due to trans fat intake.

The elimination of industrial TFAs has been recognized as one of the modifiable risk factors for preventing heart disease.

“This is especially important in the current scenario, when COVID -19 increases the risk for people with co-morbidities such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, etc. “, he added.

In 2018, the WHO called for the elimination of industrially produced trans fats from the food supply by 2023 and released a “REPLACE” action plan for the same.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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China approves clinical trials of 16 homemade coronavirus vaccines


China has approved 16 nationally-made Covid-19 vaccines for clinical trials, six of which have entered Phase 3, according to the latest data from the National Medical Products Administration.

Two inactivated Covid-19 vaccines from China have been placed on the conditional market: a vaccine from the China National Biotec Group affiliated with Sinopharm, and the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech. They received their respective approvals from the administration on December 30, 2020 and February 5 this year, Xinhua News Agency reported.

In addition to inactivated vaccines, China has adopted four technological approaches for Covid-19 vaccines: recombinant protein vaccines, adenovirus vector vaccines, nucleic acid vaccines, and vaccines using attenuated influenza viruses as vectors.

As of February 9, China had administered 40.52 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to key groups, National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said at a press conference.


int / pgh

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Dear reader,

Business Standard has always strived to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that matter to you and have broader political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even in these difficult times resulting from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and cutting-edge commentary on relevant current issues.
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Tyler’s $ 500 Million to Business Was ‘Critical’ as P3 Loans went to 600 Businesses and Nonprofits in the Tyler Area | Local News


The federal government has injected more than $ 220 million and up to $ 503 million into the local economy to help businesses save jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 600 Tyler-area businesses have received Payroll Protection Program loans of $ 150,000 or more, according to public documents obtained by Propublica. These organizations include schools, churches, small businesses and large factories in the region. Several of these companies spoke to the Tyler Morning Telegraph for this story.

“It was a lifeline. It was essential, ”said Tom Mullins, president of the Tyler Economic Development Council. “You had companies that weren’t going to be able to keep their employees and not survive if they hadn’t had this lifeline. “

Mullins said the amount was great, but it was only a solution.

“We initially knew it was a band-aid because unless the economy opens up and people generate income, it is a temporary fix,” he said. “This is why we are concerned about the resurgence of the virus and the potential restrictions. But we understand that public health and safety comes first.

Mullins said the country could see another round of loans.

“There is a lot more talk now than there was a few weeks ago,” he said. “I don’t know how it’s going to play out. “

Firms in the Tyler area that received at least $ 150,000 totaled a minimum of $ 220 million, and up to $ 503 million from the program. The Tyler lineup is between $ 146 million and $ 351 million, with surrounding cities such as Jacksonville, Whitehouse, Lindale, Mineola and others costing between $ 74 million and $ 151 million. These figures do not include companies that received less than $ 150,000.

About 50 were classified as having received $ 1 million or more. Topping the list with loans ranging from $ 5 million to $ 10 million to Tyler were Techserv Training and Consulting and John Soules Food, Jasper Ventures in Whitehouse and Southern Multifoods in Jacksonville, which operates more than 100 Taco Bell restaurants.

The loans, made by the U.S. Small Business Administration as part of coronavirus relief, were designed to help organizations keep their employees and pay rent and utilities during the initial shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jasper Ventures, Les Campbell’s vice president of shared services, said the downturn was one of the most severe in the region in the past 50 years. While P3 loans have certainly helped Jasper Ventures and others, he said the industry is resilient.

“The oil and gas industry has weathered many storms. To me to say that the oil and gas industry would have collapsed without the P3 program is probably an exaggeration, ”he said.

Campbell said the funds have helped retain employees longer than they otherwise could have, which will have the added effect of putting them in a position to bid more aggressively on upcoming projects.

“It has allowed us to keep people for much longer than we could have, especially with the cancellation of several large capital projects,” he said.

Campbell said the industry must now look to recovery and long-term adjustments.

“We don’t know if this slowdown will last for three months or three years,” he said.

The loan program has also helped many local nonprofits stay afloat. Those who have received federal funding include Andrews Center, East Texas Food Bank, Next Step Community Solutions, Mercy Ships, Green Acres Baptist Church, and dozens of other nonprofits in the Tyler area.

Next Step Community Solutions Program Director Brandon Davidson provided insight into how the nonprofit was able to continue operations that were traditionally offered on school campuses through their programs such as the East Texas Substance Abuse Coalition and Advisory Services. The non-profit organization is listed as having received between $ 150,000 and $ 350,000.

“We have 25 employees on staff who provide services in 26 counties in East Texas. By receiving the PPP funds, we were able to focus on delivering services quickly, instead of trying to figure out how to raise additional funds in the community, ”Davidson said. “If we hadn’t received these funds, we could have lost 25-30% of our workforce.

Davidson said programs would have had to be cut drastically without the intervention offered by P3 loans.

“COVID-19 has – and will continue to have – an unprecedented impact on the mental health of young people. Support systems that were already overburdened are being pushed beyond their limits. Young people have limited access to community supports, ”he said. “Some are stuck in unsafe homes, while others have no space to call home. Many face unemployment and the financial fallout from the pandemic. We wanted to make sure that young people have the services they need right now to take care of their own mental health and that of their peers. “

Davidson said the counseling sessions were quickly brought online and 58 of the 60 counseling sites were able to maintain the services. He said they were able to continue serving 60% of their students, even without in-person access. Counselors have adjusted their schedules to compensate for students getting up later in the day at home.

As of March 23, Next Steps programs have served 320 students, including 224 from schools, 77 from juvenile probation and 19 from office visits for a total of over 1,000 one-to-one counseling sessions during the crisis. They also organized 20 coalition meetings with community partners, added two permanent prescription drug drop boxes and distributed 5,500 prescription drug packs.

East Texas Food Bank CEO Dennis Cullinane said the program had helped him at a time when the nonprofit was experiencing a staggering increase in demand. The ETFB is listed as having received between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million.

“At the time of our PPP application, the ETFB was facing so many uncertainties over its funding as it was busy emptying its warehouse at a breakneck pace,” said Cullinane. The PPP loan was an important insurance for the East Texas Food Bank so that it could continue to support and employ its staff, who are on the front lines in responding to COVID-19 and feeding our neighbors in need. “

Cullinane said the food bank used the loan to help offset the cost of immediate additional labor costs for an additional driver and rented vehicle, additional warehouse staff and overtime required due to the extended hours.

These costs were due to increased demand for food aid due to the pandemic. From March to June, the ETFB provided nearly 9 million meals, a 33% increase from 2019, Cullinane said.

“In addition, the ETFB sent the majority of its administrative staff to work from home where possible and the loan helped avoid dismissal of employees whose work could not be done remotely,” he said. he declared. “Since the ETFB is a core organization with staff in a first responder role, the loan was also used to provide a risk premium to express appreciation and to encourage their participation in service events.”

While the information provided by Propublica relates to more than 600 local organizations, the true impact of PPP loans is still unknown as only organizations receiving $ 150,000 or more are included.

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Nearly 80 containers containing dangerous chemicals found in the port of Beirut


Lebanese military specialists and their French colleagues found 79 containers containing dangerous chemicals in the port of Beirut, where a deadly explosion occurred earlier this month, the Lebanese army reports.

“During the period from August 14 to 22, 25 containers containing hydrochloric acid were found, as well as 54 containers containing other chemicals, the leak of which could be catastrophic,” the Lebanese army said on Monday in a report. communicated.

On August 4, the Lebanese capital was rocked by an explosion of exceptional power that sent shock waves miles from its epicenter in the port of Beirut. Entire neighborhoods adjacent to the port area have been destroyed.

The massive explosion, caused by improper storage of explosive ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut, caused massive destruction and left more than 170 dead and more than 40,000 injured. The Lebanese government declared a state of emergency in the capital and resigned less than a week later, following public anger that prompted thousands of protesters to take to the streets of Beirut.

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China is back in emergency mode, fighting to contain COVID surge ahead of holiday


Beijing – China rushes to build massive quarantine camp with more than 4,000 isolation suites in Hebei province, an area just outside Beijing at the center of a resurgence coronavirus epidemic. Ahead of a vacation that normally triggers the largest mass movement of humans on the planet, authorities have put tens of millions of people under tight control in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19 a year after it first appeared .

The new isolation center spans more than 108 acres on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang City, the provincial capital of Hebei Province, which surrounds Beijing. It will temporarily house close contacts and secondary contacts of confirmed COVID-19 patients so that they can be kept under medical observation for any signs of infection.

A time lapse video Broadcast by the public broadcaster CCTV shows construction crews working around the clock to build the huge facility.

Aerial photo taken on January 19, 2021 shows a COVID-19 quarantine center under construction in Nangong City, China’s Hebei Province.

Xinhua / Getty

“More than 4,000 construction workers worked six days and nights non-stop” to complete the first batch of 606 rooms, and 1,173 more are expected to be completed on Wednesday, according to Shijiazhuang Deputy Mayor Meng Xianghong.

Each room in the quarantine center measures approximately 194 square feet and will have a private bathroom, 5G Wi-Fi and a TV, as well as desks, chairs and beds, according to official media. .

Scenes from the emergency construction project in Shijiazhuang reminded many Chinese of Beijing’s efforts a year ago to build makeshift hospitals in the central city of Wuhan, where the first cases of COVID-19 emerged. Two hospitals were built from the ground up in just 12 days.

A medical worker takes a swab sample from a child at a COVID-19 testing site in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China’s Hebei Province, Jan.20, 2021.

Xinhua / Zhu Xudong / Getty

But Hebei province is now the epicenter of the coronavirus resurgence in China. There have been more than 800 locally transmitted cases since COVID-19 infections started to rise again in the country in early January. More than 90% of these new cases were found in Shijiazhuang.

While the numbers are pale compared to epidemics hit the United States, Great Britain and other hard-hit countries, China had emerged almost completely pandemic just weeks ago, and it is taking an aggressive approach to curb new infections.

Shijiazhuang began a third round of mass testing on Wednesday, aimed at testing the 11 million residents for COVID-19 within three days. In the meantime, the city is on lockdown, with residents ordered to stay at home with a few exceptions.

Wuhan one year after the start of the pandemic …


Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan this week visited Hebei Province and visited Shijiazhuang, where she urged swift and resolute action to curb the spread of the disease. She called on Hebei regional authorities to learn lessons, and in particular to suspend religious gatherings that have been accused of fueling the current spread of the virus.

Health officials in Beijing have meanwhile confirmed that two cases of the highly transmissible disease COVID-19 variant first detected in UK were detected this week in the capital. And on Thursday, the first locally transmitted coronavirus case in two months was confirmed in the Shanghai financial center.

The outbreak in Hebei and cases elsewhere have put the Chinese government on the lookout ahead of the Lunar New Year, which typically sees hundreds of millions of people travel across the country to be with the family. The two-week vacation period begins the second week of February.

Tens of millions of people in Hebei, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces are under tight lockdown restrictions, including around 20,000 people displaced last week from villages outside Shijiangzhuang to centralized quarantine centers .

Grocery vendors sell vegetables outside a residential entrance in Shijiazhuang, Hebei
Grocery vendors sell vegetables outside a residential complex that was blocked off by authorities amid a COVID-19 outbreak in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, China on January 19, 2021.

STRINGER / Reuters

Authorities are urging people to avoid travel during this Lunar New Year holiday. Anyone wishing to return home to a rural area from a Chinese city will have to present a negative COVID-19 test result within seven days of their trip, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday. Most of China’s 280 million rural migrant workers would normally return home to their villages for the New Year holidays.

Beijing officials also said they would extend the mandatory observation period for international travelers entering the capital to 28 days, to help prevent the importation of new cases of COVID-19, especially the disturbing new variants. spreading elsewhere.

China has also stepped up its vaccination program, with more than 15 million doses distributed on Wednesday.

Solid realization of BJP hate nationalism: Rahul on IMF projection


Congress chief Rahul Gandhi slammed the government on Wednesday over IMF growth projections showing Bangladesh moving closer to India in terms of GDP per capita this year, describing it as a “solid achievement” of six. years of “hate-filled” BJP in power. cultural nationalism “.

He also shared a chart on Twitter, citing its source as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook Report, which showed Bangladesh was closing in on India and almost catching up in terms of GDP. per capita this year.

“Solid achievement of 6 years of BJP hate cultural nationalism: Bangladesh set to overtake India,” Gandhi said in a sarcastic tweet, accompanied by applauding emojis.

The IMF said on Tuesday that India’s economy, severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to contract massively by 10.3% this year.

However, the country is expected to rebound with an impressive growth rate of 8.8% in 2021, regaining the position of the fastest growing emerging economy, surpassing China’s projected growth rate of 8.2%, the IMF said in its latest report on the world economy. Outlook report.

Later, during a briefing, Congress spokesman Pawan Khera said, “With all due respect to our neighbors, but they (us) are overtaking and the government is not even realizing or wanting to achieve. He continues to indulge in the management of the headlines, creating new events, diverting our attention from the real problem, which is this.

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Business Standard has always strived to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that matter to you and have broader political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even in these difficult times resulting from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and cutting-edge commentary on relevant current issues.
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Fauci receives Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on HIV / AIDS by Elton John


Best expert in infectious diseases Antoine FauciAnthony Fauci’s White House admits July 4 vaccine marker will be missed. Overnight health care: White House admits it will not be able to meet July 4 vaccination target | Fauci warns of ‘localized outbreaks’ in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance Leader publishes principles to cut prescription drug prices Poll: 58% say Fauci should not quit MORE was recognized for his work in addressing the global HIV / AIDS crisis at a virtual ceremony hosted by the US Global Leadership Coalition on Tuesday.

Elton John, who has advocated for preventing HIV / AIDS infections and ending the stigma around them through his nonprofit, presented Fauci with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the World Day ceremony. of AIDS and praised him for helping others.

“There are very few people on this planet who have dedicated themselves to a lifetime of service to save millions of lives like Dr. Fauci,” the singer said, according to CNN. “His unwavering commitment to public health and innovation has transformed the approach to HIV. And it is his leadership and perseverance that will ultimately help us overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci served as the National Institutes of Health’s AIDS coordinator and later became the first director of the NIH’s AIDS research bureau, a position he held from 1988 to 1994, CNN noted.

In a video released during Tuesday’s event, Fauci recalled the early years of the outbreak. He said he remembered not being able to provide sufficient care to his patients and seeing them die because HIV / AIDS drugs were not yet available, according to the network.

“It’s something that stuck with me, of what it feels like when you have people you want to save and you can’t,” he said.

Fauci also helped create President George W. Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in 2003, which saved many lives of people living with HIV / AIDS, CNN reported.

“The impact is extraordinary and it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” Fauci said Tuesday, referring to the program. “It created a system that allows you to deliver the kind of care, prevention and treatment in an area and in a system that most people have called impossible.”

Fauci added that he remains optimistic about the potential of an AIDS-free generation, but urged people to work to make it a reality.

“When COVID essentially becomes the rearview mirror, HIV will still be there,” Fauci said. “And that’s the thing we have to do. We have to keep an eye on it and never let that – the end of the game to end this is, for me, we’re going to get there, and we’re going to get there. out there while I’m still here, I can tell you. “

DECD and CI plan to quickly launch $ 75,000 bridge loan program


State officials are finalizing the terms of a bridging loan program for Connecticut businesses facing a revenue shortage pending the release of federal emergency loans or other aid.

The quasi-public company and state loan arm, Connecticut Innovations (CI), will review and fund the loans, which will total $ 75,000, with an overall funding commitment of $ 20 million, have CI officials said at a board meeting on Tuesday. Interest and principal payments could also be deferred for a year, officials said.

Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman confirmed the terms to HBJ on Tuesday afternoon and said interest rates would be 0%. He said it is possible that the commitment is over $ 20 million. He said few states have yet implemented a bridging loan program of this size. Massachusetts, which has a larger population than Connecticut, has started a $ 20 million program, Lehman noted.

CI and DECD were finalizing a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday that would give the program the go-ahead, something officials hinted at in a conference call with companies last week.

DECD would have final approval on all loans, but the agency relies on CI to manage the program and help with underwriting because CI, as a quasi-public agency, does not have to go through some obstacles with the attorney general or the comptroller’s office that the DECD would have to do, meaning the state would be able to withdraw the money faster.

While $ 20 million would fund 275 loans at $ 75,000, Philip Siuta, CI’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, said he expects to receive nearly 1,000 applications for the program.

“We will all be very busy with this program,” Siuta told board members.

This story has been updated to include information provided by DECD.

Biggest Healthcare Achievements of 2020


In 2020, the world was rocked by a global pandemic on a scale not seen in a century. The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest public health crisis in recent memory, but there have also been great strides in health care this year. Here are a few of them.

Gene therapy for sickle cell anemia

Sickle cell disease is linked to a mutation in genes that affects the formation of red blood cells. People with the disease have red blood cells that are shaped like crescents or sickles rather than ovals or circles. Researchers have developed gene therapy who may be able to treat sickle cell patients using gene editing technology. The new treatment stops cells from expressing the mutated gene and causes cells in the body to make fetal hemoglobin. The first signs of this treatment are promising: one patient showed no signs of sickle-shaped blood cells. The researchers hope to test it in people between the ages of 3 and 40 as part of the clinical trial.

Tests for Alzheimer’s disease

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug which is used for imaging of a certain protein, called tau proteins, associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The drug is injected, and health experts get a picture of the pathology of the tau proteins. Experts can see the density and distribution of proteins in the brain. The previous imaging could show the pathology of a different type of protein called amyloid proteins. More, a blood test which can measure the amount of certain proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease became more widely available this year.






Antigen test for SARS-CoV-2

All diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, were developed from the start of the epidemic. The rapid antigen test which is also affordable is an extraordinary achievement in such a short time. Such a test from Abbott Laboratories, which costs around $ 5 and produces results in about 15 minutes, was approved for emergency use by the FDA in August. A version of this test which can be done at home with virtual counseling has now also been approved for emergency use.

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The other home

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was declared over by the World Health Organization (WHO) in June. This outbreak began in August 2018 and has continued even during the coronavirus pandemic. Public health officials were finally able to bring the outbreak under control, in part thanks to a new vaccine that has been in development for years and could be used to prevent the spread.

“The world is now better equipped to respond to Ebola. A vaccine has been licensed and effective treatments identified, ”said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, according to the WHO.

Two COVID-19 vaccine candidates approved for emergency use

The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine have been approved by the FDA for emergency use. Vaccines normally take a minimum of four years to go through all three phases of clinical trials. To be clear, vaccines do not yet have full official approval. It may take longer, but for now, during the pandemic, these vaccines have been approved for use in the general population. Because government funding has been mobilized to support the development and production of these vaccines, the general public will benefit from this vaccine while this pandemic is ongoing, which is also unprecedented.






Georgia Receives SBA Statewide Disaster Declaration, Small Business Emergency Loan Applications Now Open


Governor Brian Kemp announced Wednesday that Georgia has received an official statewide disaster declaration from the US Small Business Administration (SBA). This statement will provide assistance in the form of economic disaster loans from the SBA to affected small businesses in all 159 counties of Georgia.

“This is great news for small business owners in Georgia,” Governor Kemp said in a press release. “As we continue to manage the impact of COVID-19 on our economy, small business owners can apply for much-needed funding to keep their businesses going and pay their employees. My thanks to the Trump administration for its swift action to protect small business owners across the country. “

The application is now live, and small business owners in Georgia can approach the SBA directly for assistance. Small business owners should visit www.disasterloan.sba.gov for information and application.

Loans are available for small businesses and non-profit organizations. While the terms will be set on a case-by-case basis, many will have a repayment term of thirty years with first payments not due for twelve months. Businesses should expect to provide a tax transcript, financial statements, and an income statement. Interest rates will vary from 2.75% to 3.75%.


House to vote on $ 1.9 trillion Covid-19 bill; What Showbiz Can Expect – Deadline


UPDATE: the House of Representatives early Saturday surpassed $ 1.9 trillion American rescue plan, a Covid-19 relief and recovery bill that would be Joe Biden’s first legislative achievement if he reached his office.

The huge spending bill is now going to the Senate.

The bill was narrowly passed in the House, 219-212. Two Democrats, Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Jared Golden of Maine, joined with all Republicans in voting against.

PREVIOUSLY: The House of Representatives is expected to pass the US bailout tonight, a first step in giving Joe Biden his first major legislative achievement.

The $ 1.9 trillion bill is likely to attract few Republican votes, but Democrats have touted its popularity with the general public, especially those seeking additional relief from Covid-19.

Related story

DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE leaders urge Congress to adopt $ 1.9 trillion US bailout

This includes a large portion of the entertainment workforce, who throughout the pandemic had to depend on Washington to cope with the unique nature of employment in the industry: both independent contractors and freelancers, and they do not fall under the scope of regular benefits like unemployment.

The legislation spends huge amounts of money on vaccine testing and distribution, but, like other Covid-19 relief bills, also focuses on the workers and businesses that have been hit hardest.

Here is the content of the House bill:

Unemployment benefits. Increases the weekly benefit from $ 300 to an additional $ 400; extends benefits until August 29; Concert workers, freelancers and independent contractors would continue to be eligible.

Housing assistance. About $ 30 billion would be provided in rent assistance and $ 10 billion in mortgage relief.

Paid leave and employee retention. Companies would be entitled to tax credits if they offered paid time off to their employees. The law would also extend a tax credit for employee retention.

Direct payments. Financial assistance would be increased by $ 1,400, on top of the $ 600 that Congress passed in December.

State and local governments. The bill includes $ 350 billion to help states and local governments close budget deficits. One concern among studios has been that lawmakers seeking to cut budgets are targeting the state’s film and television production incentives.

Minimum wage. The House bill includes a provision to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour, the first boost since 2009, when it was set at $ 7.25. But the provision is unlikely to survive when the bill goes to the Senate. The parliamentarian ruled on Thursday that a minimum wage increase could not be included in the bill, as Democrats seek to pass the legislation by simple majority, in a process known as reconciliation. Otherwise, it would take 60 votes to overcome a threat of filibuster.

Arts. the National Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would each get $ 135 million in emergency relief for direct grants, and to state and regional organizations seeking to recover from the funding gap.

Small and medium enterprises. The Covid-19 bill that was passed in December singled out theaters and cinemas for $ 15 billion in relief; this legislation would target $ 25 billion for restaurants and bars that have seen their sales drop dramatically. The latest bill also expanded the eligibility of newspapers and television stations for the key small and medium-sized business loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program; this legislation extends this eligibility to PPP loans for digital media companies.

Earlier this week, the Biden administration also announced a separate effort that could boost relief for freelance entertainment and other industries. It is changing the way it calculates the amount that sole proprietors, independent contractors and workers in concert can receive in P3 loans. The formula was a multiple of the value of a self-employed person net profits, according to CNBC. From now on, the calculation will be done via gross income. This is a significant difference, given that so many self-employed people break even or report a loss on their taxes after calculating their expenses. The Small Business Administration also established an exclusive two-week period, until March 10, for smaller businesses (less than 20 employees) to apply for PPP loans.

NYDFS Passes Emergency Regulations Requiring Forbearance From COVID-19 Mortgage | Ballard Spahr srl


On March 24, 2020, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) urgently adopted regulations which requires New York State regulated banking organizations and NYDFS regulated mortgage services (regulated institutions) to provide mortgage forbearance relief.

Abstention. In addition to adhering to the NYDFS service requirements set out in Part 419 of its rules, emergency regulations require regulated institutions to:

  1. Make requests for forbearance from any payment due on a residential mortgage on a property located in New York, widely available to anyone who resides in New York and who demonstrates financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  2. Subject to the security and soundness requirements of the regulated institution, grant such forbearance for a period of ninety (90) days to such a person.

The requirement is linked to the duration specified in Executive Decree 202.9, i.e. until April 20, 2020, but this deadline may be extended. Regulated institutions do more than just offer this specific relief.

The forbearance requirements do not apply to and do not affect “mortgages made, insured, or securitized by any United States agency or instrument, any government sponsored or Federal mortgage lender company, or the rights and obligations of any lender, issuer, manager or trustee of such bonds, including the managers of the Government National Mortgage Association. The exclusion does not appear to expressly cover all of the mortgages held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Notify borrowers of the availability of forbearance. The emergency regulations require that, as soon as reasonably possible, and in no event later than 10 working days after the promulgation of the regulations on March 24, 2020, all regulated institutions must email, post on their website , by mass mail or otherwise, widely communicate to customers how to request COVID-19 relief and provide their contact details.

COVID-19 Rescue Qualifications. The emergency regulations provide that the criteria developed by regulated institutions for individuals to receive COVID-19 relief must be clear, easy to understand and reasonably suited to the requirements of the regulated institution to assess whether it will provide a COVID-19 relief, consistently. with the objectives of Executive Decree 202.9 and emergency regulations, applicable state and federal laws and principles of safe and sound business practices.

Additionally, if a regulated institution receives a request for COVID-19 relief that omits any information that the institution reasonably needs to process the request, the institution should promptly communicate to the requester the nature of the missing information and how it can be. provided to the institution.

Processing of applications and communications with applicants. The emergency regulations require regulated institutions to process and respond to requests for COVID-19 relief immediately, and in no event no later than 10 business days after the regulated institution has received all the information it reasonably needs to. process the request. The emergency regulation does not appear to recognize that regulated institutions may face staffing issues, as well as high levels of communication from borrowers, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Regulated institutions must develop and implement procedures for expedited processing of COVID-19 relief requests for anyone who reasonably establishes an emergency and requests expedited processing of the person’s request.

The emergency regulations require that all decisions regarding requests for COVID-19 relief be communicated in writing to the requester where reasonably possible and justified, and must indicate whether the regulated institution has granted the request. If the request has been accepted, the institution should indicate what, if any, the requester must do to obtain the relief. If the request was denied, the institution must provide the reason for the denial and include a statement that the requester can file a complaint with the New York State Department of Financial Services at 1-800- 342-3736 or http://www.dfs.ny.gov if the applicant believes that the application was wrongly rejected.

Dangerous and unhealthy business practice. The emergency regulations note that Executive Order 202.9 amended Section 39 of the New York State Banking Act to provide that it will be a dangerous and dangerous business practice if, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a regulated institution does not grant forbearance from any payment due on a residential mortgage for a period of 90 days to anyone who has requested such forbearance and has demonstrated financial hardship due to the pandemic of COVID-19, as described in the emergency regulations.

In assessing whether a regulated institution has engaged in an unsafe or unfair practice in denying a forbearance request, the NYDFS will review (1) the adequacy of the process established by the regulated institution to deal with such forbearance requests, ( 2) the completeness of the review given to the application, (3) the payment history, creditworthiness and financial resources of the borrower, and (4) the application of any state and federal laws or regulations which would prohibit the granting of a forbearance, as well as the security and soundness requirements of the regulated institution.

Record keeping. Regulated institutions must keep copies of all records relating to their implementation of the emergency regulation for a period of seven years from the date of establishment and make these files available for inspection at the next review of the institution. regulated by the NYDFS.

Cost reduction. Subject to safety and soundness requirements, for anyone who demonstrates financial hardship due to COVID-19, regulated banking organizations must (1) eliminate fees charged for using automated teller machines (ABMs) that are owned or operated by the regulated banking organization, (2) eliminate overdraft fees, and (3) eliminate late credit card payment charges. This relief also applies for the duration of Presidential Decree 202.9.

Government expands Canada Emergency Account loans to businesses


Small businesses continue to face challenges and uncertainties during the COVID-19 pandemic and the government is providing support to ensure they can stay in business.

Since the spring, the Canada Business Emergency Account has helped nearly 800,000 small businesses and not-for-profit organizations in Canada. Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Honorable Chrystia Freeland, announced the expansion of the Canada Business Emergency Account (CEBA).

Starting Friday, December 4, 2020, eligible businesses facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to access a second CEBA loan of up to $ 20,000, in addition to the initial $ 40,000 available for small businesses. .

Half of this additional funding, up to a maximum of $ 10,000, will be repayable if the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022.

This means that the additional loan effectively increases CEBA loans from $ 40,000 to $ 60,000 for qualifying businesses, of which a total of $ 20,000 will be forgiven if the loan balance is repaid on time and when it is a cash emergency.

As announced in the Fall Economic Statement, the application deadline for the CEBA has also been extended to March 31, 2021.

To apply, qualifying businesses and nonprofits should contact the financial institution that provided their initial CEBA loan and provide the appropriate information and documentation.

The agency that manages the paycheck protection program will not name borrowers


A small neglected federal agency is backing a massive relief effort for small businesses across the country and their struggling workers novel coronavirus. The US Small Business Administration has pledged to audit every major emergency loan it approves, yet nearly two months since the $ 660 billion paycheck protection program was launched, the agency has yet to make public the recipients of taxpayer assistance.

A hallmark of Congressional multibillion dollar pandemic rescue, the Paycheck Protection Program aims to help small employers stay afloat and preserve jobs in a cratered economy losing dozens of workers. millions.

“Our swift action has supported or saved at least 30 million American jobs,” President Donald Trump said at a White House small business event late last month with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA administrator Jovita Carranza.

The program was managed by the SBA, an agency with some 3,200 employees and an annual budget of $ 819 million – one tenth that of the Commerce Department. This is perhaps the best name for its former administrator, the professional wrestling entrepreneur. Linda mcmahon, who spent nearly 30 years building what is now WWE Inc., or World Wrestling Entertainment. She left the SBA just over a year ago to work for pro-Trump PAC America First.

Deploying PPP has not been easy. On at least two occasions in the past month, the SBA’s computer system has slowed down under the crush of loan applications, creating a bottleneck. The agency says that so far it has processed 4.4 million loans for some $ 512 billion in rewards as of Friday, May 22.

The need for detailed public accounting of the small business assistance program is magnified by the controversy over how it has unfolded since early April. Experts said it was a way for the public to find out if the program was working as Congress intended.

Small Businesses Worried About PPP Money


Several hundred listed companies received hundreds of millions of low interest and potentially repayable loans from the program. They appealed for federal help despite their potential ability to raise money from private financial sources and even public stock markets. Some had market values ​​well over $ 100 million. Many had executives earning millions each year. All of them have made their loan information part of the public record through mandatory corporate filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

On its website, the SBA says it is “becoming more transparent, participatory and collaborative through open government.” He cites, among other things, his Freedom of Information Act program and improvements to online services.

So far, the agency has only provided general information, such as the total amount of loans granted during a given period.

With huge sums of money flowing out of government doors in a crisis, full public disclosure can help prevent fraud and inappropriate spending, according to Kathleen Clark, professor of law at the University of Washington in St. Louis and expert in government ethics.

Otherwise, “the risks to taxpayers are greater,” Clark said. “I think the SBA would be proactive in making the information public.”

Asked by news outlets for information on companies receiving loans and when they might be granted, the SBA said in a statement it was now too engrossed in the urgent effort to help small businesses. businesses through the economic downturn. He said specific loan data could be released “in the near future”.

Banks collect PPP fees


“Right now, the agency is focused on helping small businesses during this unprecedented economic disruption,” the SBA statement said. “The agency recognizes the need to balance the interests of transparency with the privacy and confidentiality issues raised by the disclosure of loan information.”

Loans to large companies with deep pockets under the Paycheck Protection Program meant less money was available for the small businesses that dot America’s main streets. Publicly shameful, big business, including national restaurant chains Shake Shack, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Potbelly Sandwich Shop, said they would pay off their loans.

These were reports on large companies receiving loans which sparked public outcry. CBS News, The Associated Press and other news outlets combed through voluminous documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to unearth state-owned companies that had received PPP loans. The SBA did not make the information public.

This may be surprising because, so far, the SBA has regularly published information on companies that have borrowed under its main lending program, the 7 (a) program.

In fact, the loan application for the Paycheck Protection Program includes this notice to potential borrowers: Under the Freedom of Information Act and with certain exceptions, the SBA “must provide the information reflected in the records and agency records to a person who requests them ”.

Several news outlets, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, have sued the SBA in federal court for failing to release loan data despite multiple FOIA requests. They accuse the agency of violating FOIA law. The SBA declined to comment on the lawsuit.

PPP loans put some workers in a difficult position


Amid public outcry, Mnuchin recently threatened criminal prosecution and warned companies to return the money if they falsely certified they needed federal help to work and couldn’t get it elsewhere. But last week, the SBA issued revised guidelines saying no criminal action will be taken if companies that falsely certify their needs repay the money.

Elsewhere in government, the Treasury Department recently released an account of its emergency loan program for airlines and air cargo carriers under pandemic relief legislation. Under the program, companies are required to use the funds exclusively for employee salaries. The names of the companies and the amounts of loans or grants they will receive are provided.

So far, the Treasury has approved about $ 25 billion in aid to 352 applicants, including all major passenger airlines and some 260 small passenger carriers.

BCU establishes $ 500,000 emergency fund for small businesses


In this historic time of uncertainty, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) has established a Small Business Emergency Loan Fund for food and beverage businesses located in the town of Battle Creek that have been affected by Executive Order. n ° 2020-9.

BCU President and CEO Joe Sobieralski will talk more about this on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins on Friday, March 20 at 8:08 a.m.

The federal government is currently in the process of approving emergency funds for the US Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA will work directly with the governor to provide targeted low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). While we applaud the state and federal government for their swift action, we recognize that this process will take time, time that our local businesses and their staff cannot afford. Effective today, Battle Creek Unlimited will offer low interest emergency loans to small local food and beverage businesses that meet specific criteria. To see if your business qualifies, visit our resources page at battlecreekcovid-19.com, which will be online on Friday March 20e at 12h00

“Battle Creek is our community, our home. The people who work here are our neighbors and friends. Over the past couple of years, the transformation of Battle Creek, especially downtown, has been thrilling to watch. It is hard to see the hopes, dreams and hard work of so many suffering, business owners and employees alike, ”said Joe Sobieralski, President and CEO of Battle Creek Unlimited. “That’s why Battle Creek Unlimited wants to do its part to help our neighbors. This emergency loan fund will allow our most vulnerable businesses to remain viable during this worrying time. We understand there will be many needs beyond that, but this is a start. “

BCU would like to thank our Board of Directors, Direct Investment Committee and staff for coming together to quickly respond to this need in our community. By working together as a community, we will navigate this difficult global pandemic crisis. Our thoughts and thoughts are with those most directly affected.

‘We can do it’: Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on pandemic relief negotiations


The small group of senators working on a pandemic relief proposal are making significant progress on a bipartisan compromise, a key member Senator Joe. West Virginia manchin said Monday.

“We can do it,” Manchin told ABC hosts “The View” on Monday, calling the compromise proposal “fair.”

Manchin is one of eight senators pushing the effort forward in hopes of getting something through before Congress leaves town for the holidays.

Senators spent the weekend working on the language of the bipartisan cadre, which has yet to be presented and is expected this week.

Manchin stressed that the bill is designed as an emergency provision and is unlikely to meet what either side wants.

“This is an emergency bill. Please remember that,” Manchin said. “We are going to make sure that the basic needs of life, food, shelter, things that people have nothing to look forward to after December, when all of that is gone.”

In a letter to Congress on Monday, the Chamber of Commerce approved the “desperately needed” bipartisan package.

“Failure to put in place a meaningful pandemic plan along lines recently outlined by members of both sides risks a double-dip recession that will permanently shut down small businesses across the country and leave millions of Americans without the means to support themselves. to their needs and those of their families, ”said the executive. Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley wrote.

There is little time left before the end of the year to pass a measure. President-elect Joe Biden is pressuring Congress – including his fellow Democrats – to at least grant additional relief before he takes office.

It is possible that some COVID-19 relief provisions will be attached to a government funding bill due to pass on Friday to avoid a government shutdown, unless Congress approves an extension.

The bipartisan group, backed by members of the House in the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus, put forward a proposal early last week that would provide $ 908 billion in emergency aid.

The framework includes $ 160 billion in state and local aid, $ 180 billion for additional unemployment funds and $ 288 billion for the small business loan program. It also includes liability protections for hospitals, schools and other institutions, something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has insisted on from the start of negotiations.

“Whether it was food aid, shelter, health care, the necessities that people have, the child care services that we need to try to get our lives back, everything was going to be eliminated,” he said. Manchin said. told NBC’s “Meet the Press” show on Sunday. “And we said,” It can’t be done. We cannot allow that to happen. “

Last week House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced their support for the group’s proposal as a starting point for negotiations, but although McConnell spoke with Pelosi and the bipartisan group Thursday, he has not yet announced his position.

McConnell presented a separate $ 400 billion proposal last week.

Congress has been stuck in a deadlock on the way forward to tackle viruses for months, with Democrats arguing for a solid bill worth more than $ 2,000 billion while Republicans sought a more targeted solution and less expensive.

As the bipartisan proposal put forward by Manchin and others seeks to find common ground between the two parties, serious points of friction remain.

Manchin has found himself at the center of the simmering tension between the Progressive and Conservative wings of the Democratic Party, entering a feud in recent weeks with Progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter.

After the November election, Manchin expressed his disapproval of the progressive movement to fund police, prompting Ocasio-Cortez to tweet a photo in which she appears to be looking at the back of Manchin’s head.

Her tweet sparked a rebuke from Manchin who told the New York Times “I don’t know the young woman – really not. I’ve never met her. I understand that she is not very active with her plans for sex. law or committee. She’s more active on Twitter than anything else. “

Ocasio-Cortez hit back, “I find it funny when politicians try to downplay our political work, movement organization and grassroots fundraising for ‘she’s just tweeting’, like “serious” politics were only done by begging corporate CEOs for money through wax-sealed envelopes delivered by raven. “

Biden says he plans to travel to Texas and declare major disaster


President Joe Biden says he makes a declaration of major disaster for Texas this will pave the way for more federal resources and plans to visit the state at a time when it will not interfere with the disaster response.

The disaster declaration will unlock more Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) resources for Texas. The president said he would sign the declaration on Friday, after signing a state emergency declaration five days ago.

The president also said he was planning to visit Texas, but wanted to wait until his presence was not a burden or hampered disaster relief response.

“I plan to go,” Biden said of a possible trip to Texas, adding that he would wait for the timing and did not want to be a “burden” during the ongoing relief efforts.

Texas is in a state of emergency after a winter storm cut power and created water problems for millions of Texans. Conditions continue to be freezing and the number of storm-related deaths continues to climb. Hospitals have treated hundreds of cold exposures and carbon monoxide poisoning as Texans use generators and cars in desperate attempts to stay warm.

Some 12 million people have been ordered to boil their water, according to the state.

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas faces the consequences of leaving his state for Mexico in the midst of the crisis. Cruz returned from his very brief trip to Cancun on Thursday, cutting short a trip that CBS News said was booked until Saturday. He owns called the trip a “mistake”.

Moderna calls on FDA and European regulators to approve its COVID vaccine after trial “has already saved lives”


Moderna Inc. said it will ask US and EU regulators on Monday to allow the emergency use of his COVID-19 vaccine. The request comes as new study results confirm that the injections provide strong protection – speed up the race to start limited vaccinations as the coronavirus the outburst is getting worse.

Several vaccine candidates must be successful for the world to eradicate the pandemic, which is on the rise in the United States and Europe. American hospitals have been pushed to their limits as the country has recorded more than 160,000 new cases per day and more than 1,400 deaths per day. Since its first appearance almost a year ago in China, the virus has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide.

Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the United States in December. Across the Atlantic, British regulators are also evaluating the shot from Pfizer and another from AstraZeneca.

President Donald Trump responded to Moderna’s news on Twitter Monday morning, calling Operation Warp Speed – the accelerated program of the US government to vaccinate 300 million Americans against the coronavirus – a “miracle of modern times”.

Moderna created his snaps with the US National Institutes of Health and already had a clue that they were working, but said he got the necessary end results over the weekend that suggest the vaccine is working. more than 94%.

Of 196 cases of COVID-19 so far in its massive US study, 185 were trial participants who received the placebo and 11 who received the real vaccine. The only seriously ill people – 30 participants, including one who died – had received sham injections, said Dr Tal Zaks, chief medical officer of the Cambridge, Massachusetts company.

When he heard of the results, “I allowed myself to cry for the first time,” Zaks told The Associated Press. “We have already, just in the trial, already saved lives. Just imagine the impact then multiplied on the people who can get this vaccine.”

Moderna said the effectiveness of the injections and a good safety record so far – with only temporary flu-like side effects – mean they meet the requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration of United States for emergency use before the end of end-stage testing. The European Medicines Agency, the European version of the FDA, has said it is also open to faster emergency clearance.

What happens after

The FDA has pledged that before deciding to deploy COVID-19 vaccines, its scientific advisers will publicly debate whether there is enough evidence behind each candidate.

On December 10, Pfizer and BioNTech will first present data suggesting that their vaccine candidate is 95% effective. Moderna said her turn in this “science tribunal” was expected exactly one week later, on December 17.

Rationing of initial doses

If the FDA clears emergency use, Moderna expects 20 million doses to be ready for the United States by the end of the year. Recipients will need two doses, which is enough for 10 million people.

Pfizer expects to have 50 million doses worldwide by December. Half of them – enough for 12.5 million people – are destined for the United States

This week, another panel of U.S. experts, established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will meet to decide how the initial supplies will be distributed. They are expected to reserve rare first doses for healthcare workers and, if injections work well enough in frail elderly, for residents of long-term care facilities. As more vaccines become available in the coming months, other essential workers and those most at risk from the coronavirus are said to be lining up. But enough for the general population is not expected until at least spring.

Outside the United States, Zaks said significant supplies of Moderna would be available later, “in the first quarter” of next year.

“Obviously, we are doing everything in our power to increase capacity and speed up turnaround times,” he said.

Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines are both made with the same technology, using a piece of genetic code for the “spike” protein that nails the virus. This messenger RNA, or mRNA, instructs the body to make a harmless spike protein, causing immune cells to recognize it if the real virus ends up arriving.

AstraZeneca confusion

AstraZeneca announced the puzzling first results of its vaccine candidate from research in Britain and Brazil last week

This vaccine appears to be 62% effective when tested as originally intended, with recipients having received two full doses. But due to a manufacturing error, a small number of volunteers were given a lower first dose – and AstraZeneca said in that group the vaccine appeared to be 90% effective.

Experts say it’s unclear why the lower-dose approach would work better, and that may just be a statistical oddity.

A larger US study of the candidate AstraZeneca is still ongoing and should eventually give the FDA a better idea of ​​its effectiveness. The FDA has said any COVID-19 vaccine should be at least 50% effective.

Meanwhile, the UK government will have to decide whether its UK data is sufficient for rapid deployment there.

Still in the pipeline

Johnson & Johnson is also in the final stages of testing in the United States and several other countries to see if its vaccine candidate could work on a single dose.

The J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines both work by using harmless cold viruses to carry the spike protein gene around the body and prime the immune system.

Different technologies have ramifications for the ease with which different vaccines could be distributed around the world. AstraZeneca vaccines will not require freezer storage like Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Candidates developed with other technologies are also in the advanced testing phase. Another US company, Novavax Inc., announced Monday that it has completed enrolling 15,000 people in an advanced stage study in Britain and plans to start recruiting even more volunteers for final testing in the United States. United and Mexico “in the coming weeks”.

Vaccines made by three Chinese companies and a Russian candidate are also being tested on thousands of people in countries around the world.

McConnell congratulates Biden on his victory, acknowledging him as president-elect


Washington – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recognized Joe Biden as president-elect for the first time on Tuesday, more than a month after Mr. Biden won the presidential election. McConnell waited for the Electoral College formally voted to elect Mr. Biden on Monday, officially finalizing the election results.

“Our country officially has an elected president and an elected vice president,” McConnell said in a speech to the Senate. “I congratulate President-elect Joe Biden. The President-elect is no stranger to the Senate. He has been dedicated to public service for many years.”

The majority leader also congratulated Senator Kamala Harris on her victory as vice president-elect.

“Beyond our differences, all Americans can be proud that our nation has for the very first time an elected woman vice president,” said McConnell.

But Mr Trump took to Twitter in the wee hours of Wednesday to show his displeasure with McConnell:

Party for a campaign event in Georgia on Tuesday, Mr Biden revealed he had a “good conversation with Mitch McConnell today”, saying he called the Majority Leader to thank him for his remarks at the Senate.

In an interview with ABC News, Harris said that while she “applauded” McConnell for speaking to Mr. Biden on Tuesday, “it would have been better if it was earlier, but it happened, and that’s what which is the most important “. She called the conversation “of critical importance”.

President Trump has refused to concede, even as dozens of lawsuits by his campaign challenging the result have failed, and the Supreme Court has twice refused to hear cases aimed at overturning the election results. The president continues to falsely insist that the election was rigged, promoting unfounded allegations of electoral fraud. More than 100 Republican members of the House approved one of the lawsuits dismissed by the Supreme Court seeking to overturn election results in four states.

however, more congressional republicans began to recognize that Mr. Biden will be invested on January 20. Senate Majority Whip John Thune, the second-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, told reporters on Monday it was time to “move on”.

“I understand that there are people who are very attached to the outcome of this election. But in the end, at some point, you have to face the music. And I think that once the Electoral College has settled the matter today, it’s time for everyone to move on, ”Thune said. Mr. Biden won 306 electoral votes against 232 for Mr. Trump.

GOP Senator John Cornyn, a close ally of McConnell, told reporters on Monday that he thought it would be a “bad mistake” for Republican lawmakers to attempt to challenge the election result when Congress officially counts and certifies them. results next year.

“I think there comes a time when you have to realize that despite your best efforts you have failed, that is kind of the nature of these elections. You have to have a winner. You have to have a loser,” he said. Cornyn said. .

A wave of Republican lawmakers acknowledged Mr. Biden’s victory on Monday. Senator Mike Braun said in a statement that “the Electoral College voted and chose Joe Biden as president-elect.” Senator Rob Portman also said that “today’s Electoral College vote makes it clear that Joe Biden is now president-elect.” Senator Shelley Moore Capito told reporters it was “time to turn the page and start a new administration.”

McConnell said in his Senate speech that he looks forward to “ending our next 36 strong days with President Trump.” Congress must pass an omnibus spending measure before government funding runs out on Dec. 18, and lawmakers are also working on a coronavirus relief package, both of which would have to be signed by Mr. Trump to become law.

Tim Perry contributed to this report.

Senator Marco Rubio expects more relief bills


Senators recognize they will need to pass another emergency bill to limit the damage from the coronavirus pandemic, the senator said. Marco rubio said Monday.

The Florida Republican, chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, said Congress will likely need to expand elements of the $ 2,000 billion stimulus package passed last month. Rubio expects an additional recovery bill after lawmakers assess the wreckage left by the outbreak in its wake.

“The appetite is there,” he told a CNBC “Scream Box” interview. “I think everyone I’ve spoken to recognizes that we’re going to have to go back and do more, and probably more than once.”

The government has only begun the swift, sometimes difficult, implementation of the largest emergency spending program in U.S. history. Designed to bolster the resources of an overburdened healthcare system and reduce economic destruction as COVID-19 spreads, the law includes increased unemployment benefits, $ 350 billion in small business loans and $ 500 billion in loans and grants for businesses, states and municipalities, among other measures.

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Michael Brochstein | SOPA Pictures | LightRocket | Getty Images

The effects of the pandemic are only beginning to be felt. The United States has at least 337,600 cases of COVID-19 and at least 9,648 deaths have been linked to the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Already, around 10 million people have filed new unemployment claims as businesses shut down to avoid more infections.

As the coronavirus tears apart across the country, Rubio expects more action from Congress – including recharging the small business program he helped craft.

“I think Congress is going to have to go back one way or another and address additional things that have arisen since. [the first bill passed]”He said.” That includes, by the way, the replenishment of the small business loan program. Because I think these funds, given the demand, will not reach on June 30. “

Lenders have started to accept applications for small business loans on Friday, just a week after the emergency relief bill came into effect. Both loan seekers trying to cover rent and keep employees on the payroll, and the banks distributing the money, have expressed frustration with the rollout of the program.

Rubio acknowledged the problems but said: “It will get better. It has to get better.”

In recent days, congressional leaders have outlined what they want to see in a further relief bill. House tenant Nancy Pelosi pushes for another bipartisan bill that builds on the $ 2 trillion package, with more direct payments to individuals, additional funding for small businesses, improved unemployment insurance extension and more public subsidies for health care.

She hopes to push the legislation forward after the House returns on April 20, she told MPs on Saturday in a letter.

Majority leader in the Senate Mitch mcconnell said on Friday that the next bill is expected to fill gaps in the latest legislation, starting with the healthcare response. But the Kentucky Republican told The Associated Press he was “not in favor of rushing” into the next phase until he saw how effective the previous bill was.

Rubio said on Monday that the “biggest challenge” in passing a bill is “logistics.” Members of Congress are currently working from their states and districts fearing a return to Washington as the number of lawmakers suspected of having COVID-19 grows.

Congress can pass bills unanimously with a few people on Capitol Hill. But opposition from a single member can detonate those efforts – as seen when Rep. Thomas Massie’s objection to a unanimous vote forced House members to rush to Washington to pass $ 2 trillion relief plan last month.

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NACCA and Indigenous Financial Institutions Across Country Provide Emergency Loans to Indigenous Businesses


OTTAWA AT, June 30, 2020 / CNW / – The National Association of Indigenous Finance Corporations (ANCA) is very pleased to announce that Indigenous businesses have started receiving economic relief from NACCA and Indigenous Financial Institutions (IFA). The AFI Network provides financial and business services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities from coast to coast.

As the national leader in Indigenous economic development, NACCA began searching for a COVID-19 response tailored to the needs of Indigenous entrepreneurs when the crisis first hit in March. In collaboration with Indigenous Services Canada, the Association presented a plan to help Indigenous businesses survive and recover. In late April, the federal government confirmed that it would provide $ 307 million embossed, including $ 204 million for an Emergency Loan Program (ELP) to be implemented by NACCA and AFIs.

“This initiative is very useful and we are grateful to the federal government,” says Jean-Vincent, Chairman of the Board of Directors of NACCA and Chief Executive Officer of Société de Crédit Commercial Autochtone, an AFI located in Wendake, Quebec. Since receiving the emergency loan funds at the end of May, NACCA has allocated $ 123 million for delivery by more than 30 AFIs. The Tale’awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation, the first IFA to provide support under the program, has now made over 80 loans to Indigenous entrepreneurs in British Columbia.

“Indigenous-specific supports are so important to protect First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses affected by COVID-19,” said the CEO of NACCA, Shannin Metatawabin. A disproportionate number operate in sectors heavily affected by social distancing measures. Many Indigenous businesses face other barriers to accessing traditional loans and government support, including remoteness, barriers created by the Indian Act, and poor socio-economic conditions in their communities.

Many Aboriginal businesses across the country are sole proprietors and employ their families. “When events like COVID-19 occur, it has a dramatic effect on family income and on Indigenous communities in general,” says Matt Tapper from Ulnooweg Development Group, an AFI in the Maritimes. “The ELP is going to be another medium that Ulnooweg customers can rely on in these unprecedented times.”

Pam larson, CEO of the Clarence Campeau Development Fund in Saskatchewan suggests that ELP loans fill a gap, helping Métis business owners who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Business Account Program. “The ELP provides small businesses with the capital they need to cover operating costs while restructuring their business to align with COVID-19 security measures and, in many cases, take their business to the next level. e-commerce. ”

NACCA and the AFI Network are on the front lines, helping Indigenous businesses survive this crisis. We will continue to work hard to ensure that the whole $ 204 million emergency loan relief reaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit entrepreneurs across the country – and to advocate for Indigenous specific assistance to promote their long-term recovery.

Further information:

National Association of Indigenous Finance Societies (ANCA)

Founded in 1997, the National Association of Indigenous Financing Societies (ANCA) is a non-profit organization that defends the interests of a network of 59 Indigenous Financial Institutions (AFIs) providing financial and commercial services to First Nations businesses, Métis and Inuit through Canada. Beyond delivering the Emergency Loan Program and other COVID-19 economic assistance programs for Indigenous businesses, NACCA also administers the Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) and various other initiatives in partnership with the government of Canada.

Our work supports the economic inclusion of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Facts and figures

  • AFIs have granted more than 47,000 loans, totaling $ 2.7 billion, over the past three decades. NACCA and AFIs have a proven track record, with an extremely high repayment rate (97.5%) for economic development loans.
  • Each year, the AFIs renew $ 120 million in loans to 500 Aboriginal-owned start-ups and 750 existing businesses. Across the country, at any given time, companies with active loans with our AFIs employ more than 13,000 people.
  • As with loans to other Canadian SMEs, the ELP support offered to First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses is a $ 30,000 ready and $ 10,000 non-refundable contribution. The current relief program does not yet recognize the barriers that Indigenous entrepreneurs face compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. As such, NACCA is advocating for additional non-repayable capital for Indigenous entrepreneurs as they recover from this crisis.
  • NACCA has long advocated for increased federal investment in Aboriginal business development through the AFI network. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, our network was unable to meet the growing demand for debt capital from an ever-growing number of Indigenous entrepreneurs (the fastest growing population in Canada, according to Statistics Canada).

For more information on NACCA, the Indigenous Financial Institution Network and AFIs that are now providing COVID-19 related relief, please visit our website at NACCA.ca.

SOURCE National Association of Aboriginal Finance Corporations

For more information: Shannin Metatawabin, CEO, [email protected], 613-282-2431 (portable); Jean Vincent, president, [email protected], 418-569-7122 (cell); André Jetté, communication manager, [email protected], 613-688-0894, ext. 506

Related links


Only 27 of 249 congressional Republicans recognize Biden’s victory


Only 27 of 249 Republicans in the U.S. Congress recognize President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory over incumbent Donald Trump, a month after Biden was named the presidential winner by a convincing electoral margin.

According to a Washington Post poll, two of the Republicans in the U.S. Congress consider Trump the winner in the presidential election despite evidence to the contrary, while 220 Republican Party members declined to comment on who won the election.

The investigation began after Trump released a 46-minute video on Wednesday in which he claimed he had defeated Biden and made wild and unsubstantiated claims of “corrupt forces” that stole the result from him.

Only eight Republicans, or 3% of all GOP lawmakers, have expressed support for Trump’s current strategy of claiming victory and asking state legislatures to declare him the winner in the states where he has been defeated.

The Washington Post reported that Republicans’ complicit silence now comes as the president continues to mount a campaign against the Democratic election result.

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Tuesday that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had not seen evidence of widespread electoral fraud that would alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The Trump campaign suffered multiple losses in its post-election court challenges to overturn the results, including losses in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin.

Biden was screened as the winner of the presidential election by various media outlets in the United States after winning the state of Pennsylvania to allow him to exceed the 270 vote mark required by the Electoral College.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Property management company offers interest-free loan program for employees


Property management company offers interest-free loan program for employees

Scottish factoring company Newton Property Management launched a first staff loan program to help provide interest-free access to funds if they need it.

Derek macdonald

The company, which has offices in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, is committed to six figure employee charity fund to provide financial support. The fund aims in part to help staff members whose families are going through difficult times as a result of the pandemic.

Derek MacDonald, Co-Managing Director of Newton Property Management, said the goal of the program was to tell staff “we’re protecting you,” especially if their households are struggling with the adverse effects of the leave, as well as any loss of jobs and income elsewhere.

He added: “We know of workers whose families have been affected by the pandemic. This program aims to help them cope with unexpected or difficult situations, and is eligible for all Newton employees who have been employed by the company for at least one year.

Mr. MacDonald said the program capped loans at no more than twice the employee’s monthly salary. He added: “However, it is not just for the people who are suffering the financial effects of the pandemic. Whether it’s a deposit on an item, work on a house, or an unexpected bill that is urgent, we want our employees to know that we are there for them.

Lewis littlejohn

A colleague of Newton who accesses the program is Lewis littlejohn. Lewis said he had recently moved, is on the verge of getting married and starting a family, and wanted to set up a new kitchen.

He said, “For me, a hugely beneficial part of the program is that it can help fund a much needed home improvement. But I’m also very happy that Newton has made it available to those who may need to fight the financial effects of COVID, where household income may be declining due to job loss or loss of life. ‘leave. “

Derek added, “Some of our employees, like many people in our company, are not regular savers. This program will allow colleagues to access funds that they can repay over a specified period without interest.

“We want to recognize through this program that we really value our colleagues. We hope that through this they can see how much we appreciate the work they do and continue to do for us and our customers.

Lower gas prices for the benefit of urea producers, reduction in subsidy needs: Icra


Lower domestic gas prices are expected to benefit urea producers, as it will reduce the cost of production and the need for a subsidy, the Icra rating agency said.

However, the increase in phosphoric acid prices is expected to moderate the profitability of phosphate fertilizer producers, Icra said in a report.

The sector experienced robust growth in April-September 2020-21, driven by early and cautious farmer purchases in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, growth in planting levels, and support for agriculture of various government programs, according to the report.

On the raw materials side, urea players continue to benefit from moderate natural gas prices, he said.

On the domestic gas front, the government mandated price for October-March FY21 has dropped to $ 1.79 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) on a gross calorific value (GPC) basis, in line with prices global benchmarks to which the price of domestic gas is linked, according to the report.

“Almost 41% of the natural gas needs of the fertilizer sector are met by domestic gas, the remaining 59% being met by a mixture of forward LNG and spot LNG.

“With the domestic gas price for the second half of 2020-21 set at the lowest since the introduction of the Rangarajan formula, the common price of the fertilizer sector is expected to decline by USD 0.25 per mmbtu,” said the director of the Icra group and senior vice president K. dit Ravichandran.

Low gas prices will keep the cost of production and therefore the subsidy requirement low for urea players, he said.

With low gas prices, production compared to international price parity will also remain competitive with imports and its profitability is also expected to remain healthy, he added.

Thus, for local urea manufacturers, working capital borrowing for urea operations is expected to moderate considerably in FY21, which, together with lower interest rates, will significantly alleviate the burden. burden of interest charges.

However, part of the savings on the subsidy to local production will be offset by the increased subsidy requirements for imported urea.

The subsidy requirement for imported urea will increase, due to increased volumes of imported urea and increased subsidies for imported urea replacing imported urea from Oman India Fertilizer Company (OMIFCO) earlier at a preferential price, the report said.

In addition, Icra said the prices of phosphate fertilizers and the prices of key raw materials, especially phosphoric acid, remained weak for much of fiscal year 20.

However, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased interest of countries around the world in agriculture, phosphate fertilizers have also seen an increase in demand and prices, he added.

Demand for phosphate fertilizers from the United States, Brazil and India has been strong, given the strong agricultural season seen in the three major agricultural countries, according to the report.

“With the rise in prices of phosphoric acid, input costs for phosphate fertilizer manufacturers will increase, although the cost of other raw materials, namely ammonia and sulfur, continues to remain subdued. contribution on the sale of DAP / NPK fertilizers should moderate strongly to absorb the increase in the cost of raw materials, “said senior analyst at Icra, Varun Gogias.

For manufacturers who are integrated upstream in manufacturing phosphoric acid using rock phosphate, the impact would be much smaller, he said.

“While contribution margins would certainly moderate, they would return to normal levels as during the current Kharif season, contribution levels had increased significantly due to low commodity prices, firm retail prices and the minor reduction subsidy rates for fiscal year 21, “he added. .

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dr Reddy’s Launches Generic Famotidine In US To Treat Acidity


Dr Reddy’s labs announced on Tuesday it had launched tablets of Famotidine, an over-the-counter (OTC) drug, used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease on the US market.

The company launched the product, which is equivalent to Johnson & Johnson’s Pepcid AC, in the United States after obtaining approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), Dr. Reddy’s labs said in a report. communicated.

Famotidine tablets are used to prevent and relieve heartburn associated with acid indigestion and heartburn caused by eating or consuming certain foods and beverages.

This launch will help us fill a significant therapeutic gap created in the antacid market due to the withdrawal of ranitidine, ”said Marc Kikuchi, CEO of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories North America Generics.

The Pepcid AC brand and generic versions achieved US sales of approximately US $ 211 million for the 12 months ended August 2020.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear reader,

Business Standard has always strived to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that matter to you and have broader political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering has only strengthened our resolve and commitment to these ideals. Even in these difficult times resulting from Covid-19, we remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and cutting-edge commentary on relevant current issues.
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$ 1.7 billion to clean up orphaned and abandoned wells could create thousands of jobs


Federal government to spend $ 1.7 billion to help clean up orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia

The program aims to provide support to the energy sector and to maintain or increase jobs. The clean-up fund is expected to create 5,200 jobs in Alberta alone.

“Cleaning them up will get people back to work and help many landowners who have had these wells on their property for years but have not been able to maintain them and restore the land,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, announce plans Friday.

“Our goal is to create immediate jobs in these provinces, while helping businesses avoid bankruptcy and supporting our environmental goals.

Crude oil price crash

Alberta and the oil industry have been pushing for help since the double calamity of an international price war and the drop in demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic caused the value of crude to plummet.

The collapse in prices left a multibillion-dollar hole in the recently passed Alberta budget and unemployment is expected to hit record levels.

“The Government of Alberta is committed to strengthening regulations to see fewer orphaned and inactive wells in the future,” Trudeau said.

The United Conservative Government of Alberta has already provided a $ 100 million loan to the Orphan Wells Association to speed up remediation work, which is expected to create 500 jobs.

The magnitude of the problem

As of March 2020, Alberta had approximately 95,000 inactive wells and 69,000 abandoned wells, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator.

Two of these wells are on Tony Bruder’s property in the Pincher Creek area. Both were drilled in the 1950s. One has not seen any activity since the 1960s, while the other has been inactive since the early 1990s.

He says Friday’s announcement is good news and he’s glad more work is being done to clean up what he calls “horrors on the ground.”

“It’s really sad that they let the companies get away with scotchless who own the wells and did the drilling. But the fact that they are actually investing money to clean them is a good thing,” Bruder said. .

“It is definitely mismanagement on the part of the government for allowing this to happen. They are the regulators, they are the ones who make the policies, regulations and rules that companies must follow.”

Kenney reacts

Premier Jason Kenney said the federal program is an “important first step” but more needs to be done to support Alberta’s largest industry.

“This funding will immediately save or create thousands of jobs, allowing energy service companies to continue operating during this devastating time,” he said in an emailed statement.

“It will also help us return the sites to their original state, leaving a cleaner environment for future generations.”

In addition to this program, Ottawa will establish a fund of $ 750 million to reduce emissions, with a focus on methane.

Trudeau said it would provide “primarily repayable contributions to businesses to make them more competitive, reduce waste and pollution and, most importantly, protect jobs.”

Together, the two programs will maintain “about 10,000 jobs across the country,” Trudeau said.

Loans for midsize businesses

Ottawa will also continue to work with Canada Business Development and Export Development Canada to expand credit support for medium-sized energy companies at risk.

Providing financial support to these companies has been an almost constant request from the Government of Alberta as it attempts to support the industry.

The announcement comes after weeks of intense lobbying by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which called for relaxation of environmental regulations in the face of the crisis.

The organization said it was happy with Friday’s announcement, as did other industry groups, including the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, which lobbied for cleanup funds to maintain its members at work.

Climate crisis

But Trudeau said on Friday that the climate crisis cannot be ignored because of the pandemic crisis.

This view was echoed by the Pembina Institute, which applauded the government’s announcement.

“It is essential that when we approach one global crisis we do not exacerbate another,” read a press release.

“While these investments seem to point us in the right direction, we are examining the details to ensure the results will put oil and gas workers back to work while continuing our efforts to reduce climate pollution.

Meanwhile, back in Pincher Creek, Bruder has no hope that the federal and provincial cash injections will reach him.

“We’re a long way from Edmonton. So those who are closer to cities and things like that, the people with the bigger voice, are they going to be taken care of first and ours are going to sit here for 50 years older? ” he said.

“Who knows. We’ll see.”