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          World’s Most Indebted Oil Company Reports 20-Fold Increase in Profit      Cache   Translate Page      
Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) reported on Tuesday a net income for Q3 surging more than 20 times compared to the profit for the same quarter last year on the back of higher oil prices.  Petrobras reported a consolidated net income of US$1.77 billion (6.644 billion Brazilian reais) for Q3 2018, up from just US$70 million (266 million reais) for Q3 2017. Compared to the second quarter of 2018, Petrobras’s net income dropped by 34 percent, due to higher net financial expenses and increased income tax expenses, the company…
          Qatar’s Fund Pays $4.2B To Become Rosneft’s Third-Largest Shareholder      Cache   Translate Page      
Qatar Investment Authority will pay some US$4.2 billion (3.7 billion euro) for a 14.16-percent stake in Russia’s biggest oil producer Rosneft, thus becoming the third-largest single shareholder after the Kremlin and BP, the Russian company said on Tuesday. The deal with the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar is the final episode of a saga in which a little-known Chinese company until that point, CEFC China, said in September last year that it had agreed with a consortium of Glencore and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) the terms of sale of the…
          Vice President and Chief, Zone Operations      Cache   Translate Page      
Nova Scotia Health Authority

With a deep commitment to fostering healthy people and healthy communities for generations, the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) is made up of over 23,400 employees, 2,600 physicians, 5,500 learners, and 7,000 volunteers who provide health care and support services in hospitals, health centres, and community-based programs throughout Nova Scotia. The Authority’s services are divided across four management zones which are responsible for the operation of acute care health centres and the provision of a variety of inpatient and outpatient services, including continuing care, primary health care, public health, and mental health and addictions. NSHA has an annual operating budget of over $2 billion and a mission to provide people-centered, high-quality, safe, and sustainable health and wellness for Nova Scotians and to engage Nova Scotians to create a healthier future for all.

The NSHA Vice President and Chief, Zone Operations reports to the President and CEO of the Authority and provides strategic and operational leadership to site and zone operations. The Vice President and Chief is responsible for improving operational effectiveness and efficiency and enhancing integration of programs and services with sites and communities across the four management zones. Leading a team of four Zone Executive Directors, the Vice President and Chief oversees the development, implementation, evaluation, and monitoring of province-wide and local strategies that allow the organization to deliver safe, high-quality medical care while utilizing resources in an efficient, effective, and sustainable manner. The Vice President and Chief also establishes the policies and procedures necessary to improve operational effectiveness and enhance decision-making at the local level, empowering zone and site leadership to identify and manage emergent issues and risks while operating within the Authority’s overall strategic objectives and patient-centric mandate.

As the ideal candidate, you are an experienced senior executive with an extensive background of operational leadership in a complex, multi-site organization, and you bring a deep understanding of strategic health system transformation and administration. You possess strong project management and operational acumen, with demonstrated skills related to problem-solving, project execution, and achieving results. You have exceptional communication skills, the ability to build rapport and buy-in among a wide variety of stakeholders, and a keen understanding of the bigger picture that allows you to identify opportunities for efficiency and quality improvements that others overlook. You can quickly understand complex systems and identify creative solutions to multivariate problems. The ideal candidate has demonstrated experience and a record of success in leading and executing large scale operational initiatives and strategies.

Nova Scotia Health Authority is proud to provide a smoke free and scent free environment.

Nova Scotia Health Authority is committed to being a workforce that is free of discrimination, values diversity and is representative, at all job levels, of the people we serve. Our priority groups are: Aboriginal People, African Nova Scotians, Persons with Disabilities and Recent Immigrants. Members of these groups are welcome to apply and self-identify if they wish to be considered under our Employment Equity policy.

If you’re interested in this opportunity, contact Robert Fleming, Andrea Forbes-Hurley, or Jeff Forbes at 1-866-822-6022, or submit your application online at: www.kbrs.ca/Careers/12577


          What it's like living in the most expensive zip code in the Hamptons, where the average home price is $7.1 million      Cache   Translate Page      

sagaponack new york

  • The tiny village of Sagaponack is the most expensive zip code in the Hamptons.
  • A study by GoBankingRates found that you'd need to make at least $853,738 to live there comfortably.
  • The median price of a home in Sagaponack is $7.1 million.
  • Celebrities and businesspeople, including talk show host Jimmy Fallon and billionaire investor  Ira Rennert, own homes in the secluded village.

 

The Hamptons, a series of beach towns dotting eastern Long Island, is well-known as a summer retreat for the wealthy and famous of New York.

Within these affluent communities, a tiny village of 491 people stands out as the priciest zip code — and by some calculations, the most expensive in the entire country.

Sagaponack, a village in the town of Southampton in the 11962, has been called home by CEOs, musicians, famous authors, and celebrities. 

In Sagaponack, a typical home is listed for $7.1 million, according to a study by GoBankingRates. In order to live comfortably in the Hamptons village, you'll need to make at least  $853,738 a year, according to the analysis.

Here's a look inside the exclusive Hamptons community.

SEE ALSO: How much you need to earn to live in the most expensive zip code in every state

DON'T MISS: 10 cities where you can make 6 figures and still feel broke

Sagaponack sits in The Hamptons, a stretch of affluent seaside communities on New York's Long Island.

Source: Google Maps



It's about a 2.5 hour drive from New York City.

Source: Google Maps



The median listing price for a home in Sagaponack is $7.1 million.

Source: GoBankingRates



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
          PIA defends move to change aircraft emblem       Cache   Translate Page      

ISLAMABAD: Defending its decision of replacing the Pakistani flag on the tail of Pakistan International Airlines aircraft with the picture of markhor, the PIA management on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the rebranding initiative was intended to make a comeback to the global arena.

In a report furnished before the Supreme Court through senior counsel Naeem Bokhari, the PIA management explained that the airline embarked upon the renewed branding initiative in April 2016 and used the emblem of markhor, the national animal of Pakistan, to define PIA’s journey as a resilient national icon striving to make a comeback to the global arena.

The SC is seized with a case regarding reports that PIA accumulated losses of Rs360 billion till December 2017 and that the total liabilities amounted to Rs406 billion against assets of Rs111 billion and plans were afoot to sell off the national asset at a throwaway price.

Decision was part of rebranding initiative to show airlines’ comeback to global arena, SC told

Last month the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) in a report had blamed the absence of a professional and experienced leadership for the present state of affairs at PIA and regretted that the corporation was being run like a non-business entity.

PIA was also blamed for wasting money in changing the livery of the aircraft by replacing the Pakistani flag with the emblem of markhor.

PIA explained that the rebranding of the airline with the symbol of markhor was presented to the PIA board. The board approved that two aircraft namely A320 (AP BLU) and Boeing 777 (AP BMH), which were already in the hangers requiring paint, would be the candidates for the new livery.

The report furnished by the PIA management stated the markhor livery was selected to be applied by the modern method of decals for quicker turnaround and more vibrant look. Since the engineering department showed its inability to do so, it was decided that brand management section would spearhead the project and get it done through the scope of promotional material printing.

Subsequently, necessary approvals were obtained from the relevant authorities and a tender was floated with the involvement and full information of stakeholders. After completion of the process, the purchase order was issued to the qualified party, PIA management explained.

The task was completed and payments were processed, but to create pressure on the then PIA CEO, the provisional purchase order (PO) was released to the media and unions were incited, the report added.

With regard to the hiring of the brand consultant, the brand consultancy process was done in full compliance of the PPRA (Public Procurement Regulatory Authority) regulations through open tender and evaluations by multiple departments, the report contended.

Hiring, renewal of contracts

Referring to a ban placed by the SC on recruitment of employees in PIA, an application was filed to seek court permission to allow advertisement for the key vacant positions to hire employees having specific skills to efficiently deal with the consistently deteriorating situation.

The application explained that some key positions were lying vacant across the organisation as the specific skill required to fill those positions was not available within PIA.

In 2010, the PIA board of directors had decided to appoint skilled workers on a contractual basis so that they could assist PIA to reach its desired objectives.

The apex court was assured that the hiring would be carried out on a merit basis conforming to the approved human resource budget while the salaries to be paid would correspond to the existing market rates as the management had every intention to maximise PIA’s efficiency and profitability.

The PIA management also sought a direction of the apex court for renewal of contracts of the existing contractual employees.

It said this was required urgently as a number of contractual employees were already approaching the competent courts of law for renewal of their contracts.

Ex-CEO seeks permission to travel abroad

On Sept 3, the Supreme Court had set aside the appointment of Musharraf Rasool Cyan as PIA chief executive officer for being against the rules and procedure.

Mr Cyan later approached the apex court with a request to order removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

In the application, Mr Cyan gave an undertaking that he would return to Pakistan within three days of notice by the court or required by the auditors appointed on the orders of the apex court to conduct audit of the airline.

He contended that he needed to go to the US and his trip would not exceed more than 15 days. He added that his wife and two children were in Pakistan and wished to remain in the country.

The former CEO explained that he had to attend to his property matters in the US but the applicant’s name still figured on the ECL in pursuance of the SC observations.

He explained that he had already deposited Rs2.3 million with PIA being the cost of passengers who were taken by PIA on the inaugural air Safari trip of the PIA to promote the flight for additional revenues. The persons were selected by the commercial department of PIA and not by him, he contended.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


          The 33-year-old millionaire founder of $3.75 billion Box thinks everyone needs to read these 2 books (BOX)      Cache   Translate Page      

Aaron Levie

Box CEO Aaron Levie may have made his millions helping companies move their data to the cloud, but the 33-year-old founder still takes the time to sit down and read a book.

It's up to Levie, the leader of a 1,960-person workforce at a company that has $500 million in annual revenue and is valued at $3.75 billion, to set the tone at Box. So even though Levie is known widely as the funniest CEO in enterprise tech, it's no surprise that his books of choice are actually quite serious.

Speaking on stage at BoxWorks in August, Box's annual user conference, Levie shared two books he believes all the attendees should read and absorb.

Here's what he suggested:

Read more: 'Software will get into finer and finer niches': Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield says the future belongs to startups that specialize

SEE ALSO: Investors used to balk at startups for software developers — but after Microsoft bought GitHub for $7.5 billion, they’re all in

"Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility" by Patty McCord (2018)

Patty McCord, the former chief talent officer at Netflix, gives her take on recruiting, motivating, and building great teams in "Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility."

McCord, who worked at Netflix from 1998 to 2012, stands against the old style of corporate human resources, which she sees as a waste of time. Instead, according to the book's description on Amazon, she "advocates practicing radical honesty in the workplace, saying goodbye to employees who don't fit the company's emerging needs, and motivating with challenging work, not promises, perks, and bonus plans."

Levie isn't the only person in Silicon Valley to take notice. McCord has gotten a lot of buzz since the book came out in early 2018. Arianna Huffington and Laurene Powell Jobs both endorsed McCord's book, as did Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Read Business Insider's interview with Patty McCord here.



"The Great Game of Business" by Jack Stack (1992)

"The Great Game of Business" first came to Levie's attention because McCord referenced it in "Powerful." It may have come out in 1992, but it continues to be influential today.

In the book, the longtime entrepreneur Jack Stack touts the idea of "open-book management," a style of office culture that loops everyone into the finances of the company so they know how things are going every step of the way. Stack's model of transparency and engagement was inspired by workers on the factory floor at International Harvester, which was going "down the tubes," the book's summary says.

But the book has found its way into the heart of Silicon Valley leaders as well. Stack, the founder and CEO of SRC Holdings Corporation, even managed to create a whole franchise around it, including coaches, classes, and events designed to teach the model.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider
          The CEO and cofounder of a shaving company with 5 million customers explains how he and his co-CEO stay on the same page at all times      Cache   Translate Page      

Jeff Raider

  • Harry's, a razor company, was cofounded by co-CEOs Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield in 2013. They have known each other for 15 years. 
  • Today, Harry's has five million customers and has raised nearly half a billion dollars. Just this year, the company raised $112 million. 
  • If the co-CEOs disagree, they present the issue to their advisors in a unified front.

The cofounders and co-CEOs of Harry's have known each other for 15 years.

Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield began developing Harry's, a razor company, in 2011 and launched the company in 2013 as co-CEOs. Even today, they remain equal partners in the business.

"It's us, doing this together," Raider said on an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This Is Success," adding that "creating unnecessary hierarchy would just complicate that dynamic."

"And so we feel like it is a partnership, and that our titles just reflect that partnership," he continued. "We're also not precious about titles. I've never been like, you know, 'Oh I'm this title or that title.'"

Today the company has five million customers and has raised nearly half a billion dollars. Just this year, Harry's raised $112 million.

Back when Harry's was in the beginning phases, Raider and his co-CEO had to figure out the best way to ship their razors, find a distribution partner, negotiate rates, and figure out the right protocols and processes. It was, Raider said, "just way too much for any one person to do."

Notably, this is not Raider's only experience in co-leadership: prior to Harry's, he was one of the four cofounders of Warby Parker, a company that also uses a co-CEO model.

Working through disagreements as cofounders and co-CEOs

If Raider and Katz-Mayfield disagree and cannot come to a logical solution, the co-CEOs present the issue to their advisors.

"There are times when we disagree, but we have a tremendous amount of mutual respect for each other. And so our disagreements are never personal. It's always just sort of objective, like what is the right answer to this specific question," Raider said.

Raider noted that they shared a respect for each other's perspectives, as well as the ability to drive the business together. "When it came to strategy, where are we taking the company, what do we want to build in the long term, I think that's where we spent more time together," he said.

Read more: A startup CEO who's raised nearly $500 million says business strategy isn't what you do — it's what you don't

Raider joked that he and Katz-Mayfield finish each other's sentences and with all the time they spend together, their corporate email should have been Jeff and Andy at Harry's, instead of individual addresses. 

"I think having cofounders and co-CEOs in a company is great if you feel like you've got a great relationship with that other person and your skills complement each other well." Raider said. "And it was helpful for us to be able to kind of divide and conquer in that way; trust each other, in an implicit way, that we were going to execute well on our individual pieces, and then, obviously, align on the areas of intersection on sort of the general vision for the business."

SEE ALSO: The cofounder of a shaving company that's raised nearly half a billion dollars to take on Unilever and Procter & Gamble explains how he's building a brand to last 100 years

DON'T MISS: A startup CEO who's raised nearly $500 million says business strategy isn't what you do — it's what you don't

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Meet the founders of Warby Parker, the eyewear company disrupting the highly secretive Luxottica monopoly


          Oil industry wants forex exposure impact part of pricing       Cache   Translate Page      

ISLAMABAD: The oil industry is seeking to include the impact of its foreign exchange exposure in the pricing of petroleum products in view of rising consumption, increased reliance on imports and abrupt currency fluctuations.

This is part of the new downstream petroleum policy 2018 which is currently being firmed up. At a meeting last week, the industry had also reportedly made a case for continuation of 7.5 per cent deemed duty on diesel refining and in some cases an increase to 9pc as opposed to a call by the Senate standing committee on petroleum to abolish the deemed duty.

Sources said import of finished products had put an additional burden on oil companies owing to foreign exchange availability and fluctuation and, therefore, should be worked out by the ministries of energy and finance to make it part of the pricing of petroleum products.

Rising consumption, increased reliance on imports and abrupt currency fluctuations cited as reasons

The meeting presided over by Asad Hayaud Din, secretary in charge of the petroleum division, was warned of serious supply chain consequences in the absence of a clear policy on utilisation of high sulfur furnace oil (HSFO).

It was reported that there was a crisis relating to non-utilisation of HSFO in October last year that led to almost closure of local refineries which annually produce about three million tonnes of HSFO.

Although there had been a strict policy not to import HSFO, recent developments showed Pak-Arab Refinery had only two days’ ullage in its tanks which could lead to supply problems.

On the other hand, the government has not been able to streamline import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the power sector despite availability of two import terminals having capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day and yet significant gas shortages in the country. “There should be a forward looking predictability developed through close coordination of power and petroleum divisions about the demand and requirement of HSFO and LNG during the Nov-Jan period,” an official said.

Oil companies, including the Pakistan State Oil (PSO), said they would not be able to import HSFO on short notice if needed during winter months of low hydropower availability. A decision, it was put on record, had been taken in September last year to set up a committee comprising top officials of the petroleum and power divisions as well as the PSO and Oil Companies Advisory Committee on the subject, but the committee has yet to be operationalised.

The meeting also discussed the issue of increase in smuggling of petroleum products from Iran and the participants believed this would further go up in the coming days with re-imposition of US sanctions on Tehran as people across the border could resort to phenomenal dumping at low prices.

These policy adjustments should be made in the initial days of the new government for predictability over the next four years as the consumption of all petroleum products is set to go up. For example, the country’s petrol consumption is estimated to surge by 80pc to 14 million tonnes and the overall oil demand will increase by about 18pc despite a 65pc fall in furnace oil needs in five years. The demand for petrol currently stood at about 7.97m tonnes would jump to 14.17m tonnes in 2021-22, showing an increase of about 78pc.

On the other hand, the consumption of furnace oil is estimated to reduce by almost 65pc to 3.2m tonnes in five years from about 9m tonnes. In fact, the furnace oil consumption would drop to 3.2m tonnes next year and then remain flat at that level for five years due to diversion of power generation to imported LNG and coal. Fuel switch in the power sector is estimated to save about $2.5-3 billion per annum.

The demand for total petroleum products is estimated to increase from 27m tonnes this year to about 32m tonnes in five years, showing an increase of 17.5pc. High speed diesel will be another major driver for growth in consumption of petroleum products. Its consumption is estimated to increase by 46.4pc to 13.7m tonnes in five years from 9.3m tonnes.

The demand for kerosene and light diesel oil is also estimated to increase by 8.24pc each to 141,000 tonnes and 25,000 tonnes, respectively, in five years.

The deficit of petrol currently stood at 4.8m tonnes owing to insufficient refining capacity in the country will surge by 122pc by 2021-22. Likewise, the HSD deficit will increase from 3.9m tonnes to 6.3m tonnes, showing an increase of more than 62pc.

Published in Dawn, November 6th, 2018


          Saving ‘billions’, and the aged from pain: Why preventive care makes sense      Cache   Translate Page      
From paying for anti-frailty therapy for the aged, to rewarding people who exercise, Germany’s insurance providers are investing in preventive care to keep costs down in the long run, as CNA Insider finds out.
          The adhesive film market is projected to register a CAGR of 5.7%, in terms of value, between 2018 and 2023      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The adhesive film market is projected to register a CAGR of 5.7%, in terms of value, between 2018 and 2023. Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05608421 The adhesive film market size is projected to grow from USD 57.2 billion in 2018...


          The exhaust system market is estimated to be USD 84.8 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 128.2 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 6.08%      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The increasing vehicle production and stringency in emission norms will drive the exhaust system market. Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p04734940 The exhaust system market is estimated to be USD 84.8 billion in 2018 and is...


          MarketsandMarkets estimates the global education and learning analytics market to grow from USD 2.6 billion in 2018 to USD 7.1 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22.6%      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Rising need for data-driven decisions to improve quality of education is driving the growth of the market Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05608419 MarketsandMarkets estimates the global education and learning analytics market to...


          The control valve market is expected to grow from USD 7.48 billion in 2018 to USD 10.62 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 6.02% from 2018 to 2024      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Control valve market to grow at significant rate from 2018 to 2024 The control valve market is expected to grow from USD 7.48 billion in 2018 to USD 10.62 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 6.02% from 2018 to 2024. Key factors driving the growth of the...


          Growth Opportunities in the Global Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMUs) Market, Forecast to 2024      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- New EMU Deliveries to Create a Market of $7.59 Billion by 2024 With a strong resurgence in traffic volumes and shifting customer demands, rail is becoming the favoured choice as cities across the globe seek the most economical and fuel-efficient...


          The coated fabrics market is projected to grow from USD 23.93 billion in 2018 to USD 29.14 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 4.0%      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In terms of value, the coated fabrics market is projected to register a CAGR of 4.0% between 2018 and 2023 Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p04284036 The coated fabrics market is projected to grow from USD 23.93 billion in 2018 to...


          Prairie State did its part in the Great War      Cache   Translate Page      
Editor’s note: The Illinois Press Association and the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors present this Illinois Bicentennial feature in advance of the state’s 200th birthday on Dec. 3. Stories published up to this date can be found at 200illinois.com.

Artie Bennett, a Marine from Clinton, Ill., was cut down by a hail of bullets 100 years ago in a far-flung foreign field, giving his life for his country in America’s first global war.

A letter home from a fellow soldier said Bennett, 18, had been attacking a machine gun nest as the Marines fought, successfully, to stem a German advance threatening the French capital of Paris in June 1918, the last summer of World War I.

The fallen Marine had lingered for an hour before dying, one of the first casualties from Illinois. The letter honoring him, typed by fellow Marine Pvt. John W. Olsen, read: “He passed away quietly, without a complaint, and was laid to rest near where he fell.”

Immaculately tended American cemeteries in France, and faded memorials at home, are among the few tangible reminders of the “Great War” that began on July 28, 1914, and ended, after 18 million soldiers and civilians had died on all sides, with an armistice that went into effect at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.

Now, nearing the 100th anniversary of the war’s end, the push is on to recall and honor the men and women of Illinois, and all across America, who suffered and sacrificed for their nation.

Congress has created a United States World War I Centennial Commission, which is overseeing commemorations and fundraising for a World War I memorial in Washington, D.C.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a proclamation announcing the Illinois National Guard and Chicago’s Pritzker Military Museum & Library will lead the effort to ensure the Land of Lincoln remembers its role in the Great War.

A World War I Centennial Committee has been drafted to aid in that state mission, and it’s chaired by Jeanne Hamacher, who has taught high school history classes. She said the key lesson to learn is that Illinois went to extraordinary efforts to support a war that shaped the world we live in, right up through today.

“When I was teaching, I did a lesson where I could link basically every conflict the United States has had (since World War I) back to World War I in some shape or form,” Hamacher said. She said Illinois had helped win the war, and the war changed the world forever.

“Schools need to teach this, we need to remember,” she added.

The United States declared war on Germany and its Central Powers allies on April 6, 1917, and Illinois became part of the vast conflict that would mark America’s emergence as a global superpower.

The United States sent 4,734,991 soldiers and sailors to Europe and suffered 116,516 deaths, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Records from the Illinois Office of the Adjutant General list more than 351,000 Illinois men who served in the Army, Navy and Marines during World War I, and some 5,000 of them died.

One of every 12 enlistees in the Army hailed from Illinois, and each left a mark.

The American Legion Post in Clinton is Crang-Bennett Post 103, named for the fallen Marine and also Army Sgt. 1st Class Welby Crang, who lived about a block from Bennett and died in France in 1917 from pneumonia.

Ron Devore, 86, is a member of the Post 103 executive board and a former post commander who has fought to keep the memory of the World War I soldiers alive. He said the post was founded in 1919 not just to honor fallen veterans, but to help and lobby for those who returned home alive, if not always in one piece.

“Some of these guys had been gassed, their lungs were burned, they had missing limbs and disabilities; they were messed up for life, and they weren’t getting anything from the government,” Devore said. “Veterans knew that, if there was a bunch of them banded together, they could have a voice in Washington, D.C.”

Devore’s wife, Marjorie, whose father was a World War I veteran, vividly recalls the returned soldiers’ sense of pride despite all their trials and tribulations. She said that pride had been matched by the patriotic fervor of their communities at home. “My dad always said everybody had supported the war effort,” she said.

The civilian push to buoy the troops with maximum support on the home front was extraordinary. Illinois mobilized vast forces of industry, and especially industrialized agriculture, and turned them into an arsenal of democracy that flooded the American war effort with food, war materiel and cash.

Illinois created the State Council of Defense, the job of which was to persuade, corral and control civilian production, from engineering to seed corn, to fuel the war machine. When the council produced its wrap-up report in 1919, it was suffused with pride at the sheer wartime output from the people of Illinois.

It pointed out that the state’s agricultural production for 1918 had been geared to meet the needs of the wartime “national food authorities” and had been the third-largest crop harvest in state history, worth close to $880 million (about $15 billion in today’s dollars).

“Notwithstanding the drain upon manpower, the state in 1918 turned out manufactured products valued at $6 billion. ... Of these, $2 billion-worth were on direct war contracts, but virtually all were war contributions, for Illinois factories are not largely given to the production of luxuries or non-essentials,” the council reported.

It also lauded the generosity of Illinois citizens, who raised $45 million during the war to support everything from the Red Cross to the YMCA and the Salvation Army.

Timothy Kovalcik, associate professor of history at Millikin University, said it’s important to understand the wartime atmosphere gripping Illinois and the entire nation.

“Support for the war was at fever pitch, and the propaganda was incredibly successful,” Kovalcik said.

A state with a significant population of Germanic ancestry (Teutopolis in Effingham County, for example, means “City of the Teutons,” or Germans, and is typical of many towns founded by German settlers) had no trouble raising troops.

“The population of German ancestry volunteered at massive rates to show their patriotism,” Kovalcik said. “They wanted to prove they were true Americans.”

With troops rushing forward and humming factories full of nose-to-grindstone workers who had shunted aside labor grumbles for the greater patriotic good, the State Council of Defense believed it had glimpsed capitalism’s promised land.

“All war undertakings succeeded by virtue of the spirit of cooperation,” it concluded in its final 1919 report. “Since this unity of thought and purpose can be achieved under stress of war, why can it not be approximated, at least, in time of peace?”

But it was not to be. Kovalcik said a big influence that had pushed President Woodrow Wilson to steer America into the war is that much of it on the British side had been financed by American banks. They stood to lose their shirts big time if Britain and its Allies, fatigued with crippling losses by 1917, were defeated. And yet when the American intervention was over and the war won, the demand that had quadrupled the U.S. economy between 1914 and 1917 suddenly collapsed, taking jobs with it.

By the dawn of the Great Depression in the 1930s, jobless and hungry World War I veterans and their families, some 17,000 of them, had marched on Washington, D.C. They were demanding early payment of war service bonuses promised by Congress but not due to be distributed until 1945. On July 28, President Herbert Hoover ordered in the Army to help the police clear the protesters and, in street battles that followed, two veterans were killed.

Finally, in 1936, Congress overrode the veto of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the veterans were paid their bonuses nine years early.


          Receiving Specialist - Hometown - Shopko - Buffalo, WY      Cache   Translate Page      
Handling all Shopko vendor transactions originating in the inbound and outbound area. Shopko is a $3 Billion company with over 18,000 teammates....
From Shopko - Wed, 12 Sep 2018 06:58:52 GMT - View all Buffalo, WY jobs
          Project Marine Coordinator - KITIMAT LNG PROJECT - Fircroft - Kitimat, BC      Cache   Translate Page      
Our client, working to construct a multi-billion dollar LNG Plant in Kitimat, is seeking a Project Marine Coordinator in Kitimat, BC....
From Indeed - Tue, 06 Nov 2018 19:43:02 GMT - View all Kitimat, BC jobs
          Suitable Opportunity for the Position of QA / RA Manager - Chennai      Cache   Translate Page      
Chennai, Tamil Nadu - Indian & MNCs who are managing a business of over 1 Billion. We are currently looking out for QA/ RA Manager with Following details. Company... Details Pharma Company.Location : Chennai Job Details Designation - QA / RA Manager Location : Chennai Experience 8 to 10 years. Education B...
          Scientists pinpoint how the 'speed gene' works in thoroughbred racehorses      Cache   Translate Page      
Scientists have discovered the inner workings of a known 'speed gene', which directly affects skeletal muscle growth and, in turn, race distance aptitude in thoroughbred racehorses. Their findings have important implications for a multi-billion dollar industry.
          Why Verizon Might Be Conceding Defeat on Its AOL and Yahoo! Purchases      Cache   Translate Page      
During its third quarter 2018 earnings call Verizon Communications NYSE VZ informed shareholders that its Oath business made up of media assets including Yahoo AOL TechCrunch and HuffPost will not reach its goal of 10 billion in annual revenue by 2021 That s OK as
          Apple is no longer a $1 trillion company      Cache   Translate Page      
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Apple, the first ever U.S. company to be valued at $1 trillion, is no longer worth $1 trillion.

News of Apple’s demotion — now once again slumming it as one of the companies worth only hundreds of billions of dollars — came as the result of a domino effect of negative press for the company. Already feeling market pressure after announcing a change to how the company was going to report quarterly sales, a new report delivering bad news related to the latest iPhone has extended those woes.

SEE ALSO: Seriously, would you wear these nose warmers?

After a report in Nikkei Asian Review, a large financial publication out of Japan, claimed demand for the new iPhone XR was lower than expected, Apple’s suppliers in Asia have taken a hit in the stock market as well. The stock prices of Foxconn, Pegatron, Largan Precision, Flexium Interconnect, and AAC Technologies all declined in the wake of the news, which said Apple has supposedly halted additional production lines of its latest iPhone model. Read more...

More about Apple, Iphone, Stock Market, Iphone Xr, and Tech

          Court adjourns N2.2bn forfeiture suit against Amosu to Nov. 12       Cache   Translate Page      
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Tuesday adjourned till November 12, 2018 to decide the application filed before the court seeking final forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria the sum of N2.2 billion recovered from a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu.
          China's Central Bank Wants to Put the Damper on Airdrops: Report      Cache   Translate Page      
airdrop china

The People's Bank of China (PBoC), China's central bank, has its eyes on cryptocurrency companies that run airdrop campaigns in the country.

In its most recent financial stability report for 2018, which was published on Friday, November 3, 2018, the bank said there has been a surge in the number of "disguised" Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), including the free distribution of crypto tokens through airdrops, despite its effort to clamp down on their activities.

Based on the report, the bank states that the companies running token giveaways are evading China’s blanket ban on ICOs by issuing free tokens to the investor, while keeping a large chunk of the total supply for speculation on a crypto exchange, where speculation would drive the prices up so they can profit.

Last year, the central bank banned ICOs, calling them "illegal fundraising" that were targeting innocent investors. According to the PBoC report, before the ban took effect, 65 ICOs had been completed up until July 18, 2017, while only five were launched before 2017. This sudden jump also attracted over 105,000 investors who contributed a total of about 2.6 billion yuan ($377.3 million), a figure, the PBoC states, accounted for 20 percent of the total ICO funding raised globally by blockchain startups.

The central bank also made its concerns known about crypto firms who had moved their operations overseas but were using local agents to invest on behalf of domestic investors in China. The vice governor of the PBoC had warned foreign ICOs targeting Chinese investors at a separate event, earlier this year. He had stated at the time:

"Any new financial product or phenomenon that is not authorized under the existing legal framework, we will crush them as soon as they dare to surface."

Not one to rest on its laurels, the PBoC said it would continue to monitor the crypto industry, coordinating with other agencies to help safeguard and protect the interest of investors.

The bank's toughened stance with cryptocurrency began in 2013, where it published the “Notice on Precautions Against the Risks of Bitcoin,”where bitcoin was not deemed to be legal tender in China—to the most recent ban on ICOs in 2017.

Since then, there has been an onslaught of anti-crypto measures in the country. Earlier this year, commercial venues were banned from hosting crypto events, WeChat blocked some high profile blockchain related accounts, while Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba issued statements announcing restrictions put in place to limit crypto-related activities on their platforms.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.


          What is the state of women’s health?      Cache   Translate Page      

In the developed world, it’s mostly about innovation. In the developing world, it’s about necessity. The two needs have and need to intersect somewhere. By Marissa Fayer, HERHealthEQ Women’s health care is a constantly evolving space with new studies, new technology and new markets. Since about half of the world’s population is women—3.73 billion, to…

The post What is the state of women’s health? appeared first on Medical Design and Outsourcing.


          Transforming the Medical Device Industry      Cache   Translate Page      

Accelerate innovation with 3D printing for the medical device industry to saving cost and time to market. Medical devices are a billion-dollar industry that has seen unprecedented growth in the last decade. The industry is evolving at an incredible pace, driven by an increase in life expectancy and aging populations. To be successful, medical device…

The post Transforming the Medical Device Industry appeared first on Medical Design and Outsourcing.


          re: re: Some Breakfast Foods Contain More Glyphosate Than Vitamin D or B12      Cache   Translate Page      

A recently published paper describes the escalating use of glyphosate: 18.9 billion pounds have been used globally since its introduction in 1974, making it the most widely and heavily applied weed-killer in the history of chemical agriculture.  Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since so-called “Roundup Ready,” genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant crops were introduced in 1996. Two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years. Significantly, 74 percent of all glyphosate sprayed on crops since the mid-1970s was applied in just the last 10 years, as cultivation of GMO corn and soybeans expanded in the U.S. and globally. enveurope.springeropen.com/.../s12302-016-0070-0


          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          DWT California Voter Guide For Tuesday (Reprise)      Cache   Translate Page      

We published this a few weeks ago for early voters but I figured I'd run it again-- with a bonus video at the end-- for Californians going to the polls on Tuesday. First and foremost on our list is the U.S. Senate race, in which we strongly back Kevin de León against fossilized conservative incumbent Dianne Feinstein.

Goal ThermometerWe don't usually back better of two evil candidates-- which is what the Democratic Party usually encourages, particularly on the federal level. But, this year, because of the existential threat from Trump, we are doing just that. Vote for every Democrat and against every Republican-- even for candidates as lacking in anything to recommend them as Andrew Janz and Gil Cisneros. There I said it!. That said, we are genuinely excited about some Democrats, especially Katie Porter, the progressive running in Orange County (CA-45), Ammar Campa-Najjar, the progressive running for Congress in San Diego County (CA-50) and Jovanka Beckles, the progressive running for state Assembly in the East Bay. All of our California faves are on the Blue America thermometer on the right. Prediction: Gavin Newsom will win and any progressive who voted for him will be very, very sorry. For state Superintendent of Schools, there's a really good candidate: Tony Thurmond and a really bad canddiate, the charter school guy, Marshall Tuck. OK, that's the easy stuff. Now the statewide propositions:
Prop 1- YES-- authorizes $4 billion in bonds to fund affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, people with disabilities, farmworkers and veterans.
Prop 2- YES-- authorizes $2 billion in bonds to provide supportive housing (i.e. ,mental health and drug rehab) for homeless Californians with mental illness.
Prop 3- NO-- an $8 billion boondoggle for Big Agriculture, while causing environmental problems.
Prop 4- YES-- authorizes $1.5 billion in bonds to fund building, renovating and equipping children’s hospitals.
Prop 5- NO-- another boondoggle, this one for wealthy developers and older rich homeowners-- expands Prop 13.
Prop 6- NO-- overturns the increase in gas taxes and vehicle fees that fund transportation infrastructure. Bad for Climate Change and deincentivizes electric car development.
Prop 7- YES or NO-- empowers the legislature to adopt permanent daylight saving time, eliminating standard time in the future if it Congress gives the OK.
Prop 8- YES-- requires notoriously profiteering dialysis centers to stop cheating their patients and to accept Medicare and Medicaid without discrimination.
Prop 10- YES-- allows cities, towns and counties to pass and strengthen rent control laws by repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.
Prop 11- NO-- An anti-union proposal that allows private ambulance companies to require workers to remain on-call during meal and rest breaks.
Prop 12- YES-- an animal welfare measure set ting reasonable minimum floor space for pigs, calves and hens at one square foot.


L.A. County has Measure W, an excellent idea to fund rainwater capture, cleaning and storage projects in order to grow the county's local water supply. Vote YES.

And the city of L.A. has two measures, both worth supporting. Measure B amends the City’s charter to permit Los Angeles to establish a public bank. Vote YES.

Measure E sets the City’s primary election on the same date as the State’s primary election. Vote YES.




          Senior Universal Banker - California Bank & Trust - Lancaster, CA      Cache   Translate Page      
California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A., is a leader amongst banks in California with over $10 billion in assets and nearly 100 branch offices in the...
From Zions Bancorporation - Mon, 06 Aug 2018 21:15:35 GMT - View all Lancaster, CA jobs
          An Occupy Movement in Sweden: Interview with Bosse Kramsjo, a participant      Cache   Translate Page      

Sweden, an amazing economy to many utopians or to the naive about capitalism, is experiencing pains capitalist economies feel. The capitalist crisis has already torn down that façade of the utopia. Ordinary citizens in Sweden are seeing the dream demolished. It is being manifested into politics, into electoral processes in Sweden. At the same time, ordinary citizens are trying to stand against deceptions that all varieties of bourgeoisie politics practice. 

The Occupy Movement, in many forms, illuminates areas in regions far away from the heart it originated. The Occupy Movement also shows that people initiate actions in areas and at times, the mainstream abandons them. 

Farooque Showdhury: There is a movement going on. Please, tell us about it and its background.

Bosse Kramsjo: Sweden is organised in three levels: government with ministries taking care of national issues, regional level (20 landsting or regions) taking care of, among other issues, health, and municipality level (290 municipalities) responsible for compulsory education, care of the elderly and many local level issues. The three levels have democratic elections at the same time every fourth years. In the election held in September 2014, the Social Democratic Party, together with the minor Green Party, formed a majority leading the Region of Västernorrland (comprising the municipalities of Sundsvall, Ånge, Timrå, Härnösand, Kramfors, Sollefteå and Örnskoldsvik, about 500 km north of the capital). 

The Social Democratic Party was having a stronghold in this part of Sweden (around 40-50 percent in most of these municipalities). There are three hospitals within the region; distances from each other are quite vast. The regional main hospital is in Sundsvall while smaller units are in Örnsköldsvik and Sollefteå. Before the 2014 election, the Social Democrats promised to keep all the three hospitals with their full capacity. 

However, after the election, it was decided to shut down the maternity ward and the emergency surgery in Sollefteå. Without an emergency surgery facility, you cannot have a maternity ward. This was a betrayal to all the voters around the Sollefteå hospital, mainly voters from the municipalities of Sollefteå and Kramfors as they had cast their votes to safeguard the future of the nearby safe health care facility. Delivery cases were directed to the maternity ward in Sundsvall, 130-200 km away for the inhabitants of Sollefteå municipality. This deceit was the main cause of the process, leading to a movement by organising rallies, campaigning and a 24/7 occupation of the entrance of the hospital in Sollefteå since 30 January 2017.

The uninterrupted Occupation Movement plans to continue until the emergency and maternity wards are re-opened. There are four shifts of the Occupation Movement: 07.00-12.00, 12.00-16.00, 16.00-20.00 and the over-night shift 20.00-07.00. At least five participants join every shift at daytime; during the nightshifts, it is sometimes five participants, and sometimes it comes down to three to four participants. 

During daytime, participants talk over cups of coffee while some female members carry with needlework, crocheting or knitting. Quite often friends or workmates join, and sit together. Sometimes it is colleagues having a meeting while occupying. Sometimes, people from clubs or societies join the occupy protesters. At times, a family brings their children; and if it is during the nightshifts, it turns out like a camping experience for the children. 

During the nightshifts, it is some talks to start with, then, watching TV news, and then preparing the inflatable beds for the night. When a shift follows another, there is some talks/gossip among the participants of the two shifts.

According to Swedish law, every citizen irrespective of income level or place of residence has the right to equal health care. Those who defend the decision to close down the hospital in Sollefteå opine that the treatment in Sundsvall is superior and that distance is a minor problem. Those against the shutdown decision claim that three full-fledged hospitals were promised during the election campaign. Moreover, the long distance is a vital problem for childbirth; and it is against the law.

Another important part of the background is the on-going process of centralisation in the Swedish economy, which is going on for decades. Marginalised municipalities in the north are with meagre employment opportunities due to heavy mechanisation in forestry and mining. These municipalities have an ever-increasing elderly population pyramid, high costs for municipalities and low inflow of tax (around 27-34 percent of an ordinary employee’s income goes to municipality tax to cover the municipality service costs; the richer municipality has the lower tax, and the poorer municipality has the higher tax). 

Big companies within hydropower, forestry and mining sectors do not pay taxes in the municipality although these companies in the area exploit the rivers, timber or ore. These companies pay tax in Stockholm or overseas. Therefore, it is natural resources being exploited in the marginalised parts of the country, but very little return from these companies to the local societies. The same goes for big scale investment in wind-power over the last few years. All these are in the marginalised parts of the country while income generated from the marginalised parts goes to the centre.

The same is the government presence in the marginalised parts as well. The centralisation of government presence has been going on for long; some municipalities have no government presence at all. That has been cut off. No Employment Service Office, no Social Insurance Office, no Tax Office. The feeling of being left behind by the government policies is prevalent in the marginalised parts, no matter which political party you sympathise with.  

There is a government distribution system between rich municipalities and poor municipalities. A minor part of income of the rich municipalities is forwarded to marginalised ones. This had led to an urban view declaring the marginalised municipalities as dependent and draining, being looked down upon by the big city citizens. However, the marginalised parts would like to have their fair share of all that is produced in their localities, instead of small subsidies from the rich cousins. They ask the stiff-lipped urbanites: Where do you get electricity from (hydropower and wind power)? Your steel? Your paper and stationary? Your construction timber?

It is also very provoking, from a marginalised point of view, when the maternity ward in Sollefteå is closed due to budget cuts, some per mille of the total regional health budget (15.8 million SEK [US $ 1,7 million] a year as total cost for the Sollefteå maternity ward) although enormous investment are being made in the new Karolinska Institutet, a mega-hospital in Stockholm. There, through that hospital-investment, billions of SEK have been flowing into pockets of domestic and foreign construction firms; golden and extremely costly consultant contracts have been signed; and a flow of over-priced equipment have been supplied by entrepreneurs. All these were praised by new-liberal leaders in the Stockholm region, as they are serving their profit hunting supporters rather than the health needs of the citizens.

FS: How was the 24/7 Occupy Movement organised?

BK: It was organised not by any political party, but by concerned and deceived citizens. Leadership of the movement came often with vast professional experience from the health sector. Over time, national as well as regional level party leaders have visited the movement. The Leftist and feminist ones were promising to re-open the closed down parts of the hospital, and the neo-liberal ones were going for privatisation with the scope of the same kind of re-opening.

FS: Why this sort of movement?

BK: As the majority of the region, Social Democrats and Green Party, deceived their voters, ordinary people did this to safeguard their legal right to health care.

FS: What achievement has this movement made so far?

BK: As mentioned above, many party professionals have visited and made promises in favour of Sollefteå hospital. The Social Democratic Party in the nearby municipalities of Sollefeå and Kramfors is supporting the movement, against the will of the regional and national levels of the party. We had an election on 9 September 2018. In the regional election, the Social Democrats and the Green Party were heavily punished by the voters; decreasing their mandate a lot. The parties promising to re-open the Sollefteå hospital full-fledged increased their mandate. However, it will take time, before the new setting of the political leadership of the region is in action. It is visible that the movement definitely had an important influence.

FS: What is the strength of this movement?

BK: The engagement of ordinary people, which is not a traditional party-driven affair, is one of the strengths of the movement. The leadership of the movement is versed in health related economy and administration. The Occupy Movement is continuing; it will be two years by this January2019. This persistence is very important. There was lots of support from individuals, organisations, etc. from all over the country. The Occupy Movement, many identify it as sit-in, is well known. Television teams from a number of European countries including the British Broadcasting Corporation have visited the Occupy Movement. Their purpose was mainly to report about a Swedish welfare programme cracking as many praised the Swedish welfare system for decades. A Russian media team was there to report; their conclusion was that the welfare crumbled due to the immigration. Depending on ideology, you can find any kind of cause.

FS: And, weakness?

BK: Many of the occupants are senior (a majority of citizens in the northern inland municipalities). So far, some 2,800 different individuals have occupied the position. Many are doing it on regular basis (like Maria and myself, one night 20.00-07.00 every fortnight), some are occupying several times a week. Many supporting a full-fledged hospital do not take part in the Occupy Movement/sit-in. They might find it too “political”; they have never taken part in action-oriented stands. They probably feel shy and think that you have to be skilled at arguing, if you take active part. Thousands of cars in the region have stickers saying, “I support Sollefteå hospital”; in shops and in companies you see posters expressing the same support.

Another weakness is, of course, that none of the big political parties (neither at national nor at regional level) is supporting the re-opening of the full-fledged hospital. However, that itself is the main reason for the creation of the movement.

FS: How are you trying to overcome the weaknesses?

BK: Before the 9 September election this year, the movement had a number of seminars asking the political parties about their stands on this issue. Every party had to make their position on Sollefteå hospital clear. The outcome was up for those supporting the hospital issue, very much down for those sticking to the need of saving money and keep Sollefteå hospital capacity down.

FS: What is the movement’s implication in society, politics, culture and organisation?

BK: There is a lot of support at national level. The Occupy Movement/sit-in is known all over the country although many big city dwellers cannot put Sollefteå on a Sweden map. Local companies are supporting with fruit-baskets, coffee-machine, television-set, etc. An exhibition about giving birth in cars on way to far away maternity wards was held. Many radio and television programmes and debates about the issue have been broadcast/telecast.

I would like to present a perspective to the scene: 

A lot of regional, as well as national and local (municipality), level politics is how to restrict tax-financed activities, how to save money, and how to stick to budget. It is widely propagated. To be “responsible” is to be very strictly sticking to budget. A “successful” leadership is managing to use less money than budgeted, all this in tax-financed activities. Tax income for all three administration-levels has decreased heavily after the eight years of neo-liberal rule. They “reformed” the taxation system five times, “more money in your purse”, leading to vast holes in the tax-financed sector. This is the main reason behind the lack of resources for the public sector.

The new-liberal era has introduced private actors in the health, elderly care and education sectors. It is called “freedom of choice”. This means that the big city can offer dozens of alternatives within each of the sectors while the only health clinic in rural centres is wiped out. Market has taken over from need and legal right.

The Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left try to minimise the profit level of private education companies (called Free Schools in Sweden, another example of new-liberal word washing, as a more accurate term would be profit-seeking schools) in the parliament. A maximum of annual 7 percent profit was their proposal. This was called communism in one of the big dailies (perhaps we have to find out what communism is actually about). They were voted down in the parliament.

Nowadays, private companies are well established within the health sector. Modern capitalism has very successfully entered the scene of tax-financed sectors, a fresh area to make profits. Private recruiting companies are buying doctors and nurses. When regional hospitals cannot recruit (as the doctors and nurses have already listed themselves with the private recruiting companies), they are forced to turn to the recruiting companies. It becomes expensive. There are examples of doctors cutting gold as rented professionals, rented nurses earning two-three times more than the regular staff with long experience. The main reason for the region having enormous budget deficit is their bills for rented professionals. It is part of the new-liberal success-story. However, it is expensive for the taxpayers.

Thank you for the interview.

 

* Bosse Kramsjo was a faculty member in a development studies related institute run by the Swedish government. 

*Farooque Chowdhury is a freelancer from Dhaka, Bangladesh, who recently interviewed Bosse. 

Notes: 

1) The distance between Sollefteå and Stockholm is some 500 km, the distance between Sollefteå municipality and the regional main hospital in Sundsvall is about 150 km. Maria, and Bosse live 30 km east of Sollefteå town.

2) www.adalen2017.seand similar searches carry information and photos of the Occupy Movement.

Issue Number: 

          Financial Services Rep - California Bank & Trust - Lancaster, CA      Cache   Translate Page      
Makes telemarketing calls to potential customers. California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A., is a leader amongst banks in California with over $10 billion...
From Zions Bancorporation - Wed, 01 Aug 2018 21:35:32 GMT - View all Lancaster, CA jobs
          Trump and Scott Walker Championed an 'Absolute Fraud': The GOP's Foxconn Boondoggle Is Revealed as a Government-Funded Scam      Cache   Translate Page      
There's no end to the deception.

Wisconsin's Koch-funded Republican Gov. Scott Walker lavished the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn with over four billion in taxpayer subsidies last year in a deal that he claimed would create 13,000 jobs in the state, but that agreement is increasingly looking like a massive con-job amid new reports on Tuesday that Foxconn is planning to bring in Chinese workers to fill spots that the governor insisted would be filled by Wisconsinites.

"If Foxconn has to import Chinese engineers to Wisconsin, that would be yet another insult to Wisconsin taxpayers," Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, told Common Dreams. "This is already The Great Disappearing Jobs Deal of recent U.S. history. It's also the biggest mega-subsidy deal ever given to a foreign-based company. How tone-deaf would it be if the best-paid jobs don't even go to Wisconsin taxpayers?"

According to the Wall Street Journal, Foxconn "is considering bringing in personnel from China to help staff a large facility under construction in southern Wisconsin as it struggles to find engineers and other workers in one of the tightest labor markets in the U.S."

President Donald Trump and outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have both openly championed the Foxconn agreement as a boon for Wisconsin workers. Last year, Trump took credit for convincing Foxconn to build a factory in Wisconsin.

"The company, the Taiwanese supplier to Apple Inc., has been trying to tap Chinese engineers through internal transfers to supplement staffing for the Wisconsin plant," the Journal reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. "Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou is looking to company engineers in China to transfer."

While Foxconn issued a statement denying the Journal's reporting, critics of Walker—who is locked in an extremely close race with Democratic challenger Tony Evers—were quick to highlight the company's alleged plans as further evidence that the governor's "deal" with the Taiwanese multinational has been a massive fraud from the start:

With Walker ensnared in what CNN described this week as his "toughest race yet," the Foxconn deal is increasingly becoming a political liability that could cost him the governor's mansion in Tuesday's midterm elections.

As the New Yorker's Dan Kaufman noted in a detailed look at the Foxconn deal over the weekend, the agreement—which is rapidly declining in popularity among Wisconsin voters—includes "taxpayer subsidies to the company totaling more than $4.5 billion, the largest subsidy for a foreign corporation in American history."

"Since Wisconsin already exempts manufacturing companies from paying taxes, Foxconn, which generated a hundred and fifty-eight billion dollars in revenue last year, will receive much of this subsidy in direct cash payments from taxpayers," Kaufman observes. "Depending on how many jobs are actually created, taxpayers will be paying between two hundred and twenty thousand dollars and more than a million dollars per job."

In an op-ed for The Progressive last year, Wisconsin ironworker and Democratic House candidate Randy Bryce—AKA "The Iron Stache"—declared, "We deserve better than corporate boondoggles like Foxconn, and our government’s leadership needs to stand on the side of workers."

Echoing this sentiment in a tweet on Tuesday as voters headed to the polls, the advocacy group People for Bernie tweeted, "Don't let Scott Walker and his billionaire cronies steal an election."

    

Related Stories

 

          Under Assault by Trump's GOP and Supreme Court, Unions Lead Massive Get Out the Vote Effort for Midterms: 'We Vote, We Win'      Cache   Translate Page      
"We don't know any other way. For us, it's a very natural way to survive: organize, organize."

In the face of a coordinated, corporate-funded assault on their very existence by President Donald Trump, Republicans at the federal and state level, and the right-wing Supreme Court, labor unions nationwide have mobilized massive numbers of struggling workersto turn out for Tuesday's critical midterms with the goal of defeating anti-union candidates and electing politicians willing to fight for progressive policies that benefit the working class like Medicare for All, a higher minimum wage, and the fundamental right to organize.

"The Culinary Workers Union registered 10,300 voters for the midterms. This union really gets it done. Still impressed by what I saw reporting on them in Vegas."
—David Jamieson, Huffington Post

"We don't know any other way," said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, which has registered over 10,300 new voters ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections to defeat Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). "For us, it's a very natural way to survive here in Las Vegas: organize, organize."

With the rallying cry, "We vote, we win!" the union has provided resources for workers to learn about the candidates on the ballot, spread the word about the issues at stake in the midterms, and find the closest polling site.

The Culinary Union's get-out-the-vote efforts have been replicated throughout the nation, including in so-called "right-to-work states," where Republican legislatures have barred unions from collecting dues from all workers they represent in collective bargaining efforts to raise wages and improve working conditions.

"Things aren't changing for the better like they thought would happen. Real wages are not keeping pace with inflation. We haven't replaced the well-paying manufacturing jobs that we lost."
—Tim Burga, Ohio AFL-CIO

In Southern states like North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia, the Communications Workers of America (CWA)—which represents 700,000 workers nationwide—say it organized canvassing, mail, and phone bank operations that resulted in over four million door knocks."

In the Midwest, where workers have suffered from decades of deindustrialization, corporate outsourcing, and neglect from politicians who so often claim to care about their plight, the AFL-CIO says it has convinced thousands of union workers who backed Donald Trump in 2016 to turn out for progressive Democrats on Tuesday.

"About half of union households that voted for Trump said they are planning to vote for Democrats in two key statewide races," Vox reported on Monday, citing figures from the Ohio AFL-CIO. "That includes 51.4 percent of Trump voters who plan to cast a ballot for progressive Democrat Richard Cordray for governor and 49.9 percent of Trump voters who favor incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown—the only Democrat currently holding statewide office."

Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, said many union workers who initially backed Trump have realized after two years of plutocratic policies and stagnant wages that the president and his billionaire-filled cabinet are not on their side, and never were.

"Things aren't changing for the better like they thought would happen," Burga said. "Real wages are not keeping pace with inflation. We haven't replaced the well-paying manufacturing jobs that we lost."

With a historic number of House Democratic candidates backing Medicare for All, National Nurses United (NNU)—the largest organization of registered nurses in the U.S.—has also been tirelessly canvassing and phone banking in Maryland, Florida, and the many other states where candidates are standing up to America's disastrous for-profit healthcare industry.

See NNU's full list of all 225 House Democratic candidates running on Medicare for All here.

     

          Trump Economy: Wisconsin's Foxconn plant looking to bring in Chinese workers for US taxpayer-funded jobs      Cache   Translate Page      
The plant has been heavily subsidized with $3 billion in American tax dollars

A Wisconsin tech plant which has been hailed by President Donald Trump as a major step forward for American manufacturing is looking to bring in Chinese workers to staff the plant, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Foxconn Technology is a key supplier to Apple, and is opening a large new plant in the Midwest. The plant has been heavily subsidized with $3 billion in American tax dollars, potentially up to one million dollars per job.

But with a tight market for qualified American workers, Foxconn is "trying to tap Chinese engineers through internal transfers to supplement staffing."

“It’s very difficult to find skilled labor in our market,” said a staffing agency near the plant. “All the technical schools and local universities are gearing up their programs, but I still think Foxconn is going to fall short in terms of finding the people they need."

The company's plan is to bring in Chinese workers.

The big problem the company is facing? Chinese workers don't want to move to Wisconsin.

"One engineer who declined to give his name said he wouldn’t want to move to a place he worried could be as cold as Harbin, a northern Chinese city known as 'Ice City,'” reports the Wall Street Journal.

 

     

          Going async with Azure and the PHP SDK for a massive performance boost      Cache   Translate Page      

Regular readers will know that I make extensive use of Azure Table Storage in both Report URI and Security Headers. As Report URI has grown and we’re now processing billions of reports per month for our users we’re always interested in performance or efficiency savings wherever possible. We


          Henry Schein posts mixed bag Q3      Cache   Translate Page      

Shares in Henry Schein (NSDQ:HSIC) have dipped slightly after the medical device maker beat earnings per share expectations but missed sales consensus on Wall Street with its third quarter earnings. The Melville, N.Y.-based company posted profits of $121.5 million, or 79¢ per share, on sales of $3.28 billion for the three months ended September 29, seeing […]

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          Becton Dickinson’s Q4 meets earnings expectations, beats on revenue      Cache   Translate Page      

Becton Dickinson & Co. (NYSE:BDX) today met the consensus earnings forecasts and beat revenue expectations for both its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year results, despite a Q4 swing to red. The Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based healthcare giant posted losses of -$173 million, or -64¢ per share, on sales of $4.40 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30, […]

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          Trump and Scott Walker Championed an 'Absolute Fraud': The GOP's Foxconn Boondoggle Is Revealed as a Government-Funded Scam      Cache   Translate Page      
There's no end to the deception.

Wisconsin's Koch-funded Republican Gov. Scott Walker lavished the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn with over four billion in taxpayer subsidies last year in a deal that he claimed would create 13,000 jobs in the state, but that agreement is increasingly looking like a massive con-job amid new reports on Tuesday that Foxconn is planning to bring in Chinese workers to fill spots that the governor insisted would be filled by Wisconsinites.

"If Foxconn has to import Chinese engineers to Wisconsin, that would be yet another insult to Wisconsin taxpayers," Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, told Common Dreams. "This is already The Great Disappearing Jobs Deal of recent U.S. history. It's also the biggest mega-subsidy deal ever given to a foreign-based company. How tone-deaf would it be if the best-paid jobs don't even go to Wisconsin taxpayers?"

According to the Wall Street Journal, Foxconn "is considering bringing in personnel from China to help staff a large facility under construction in southern Wisconsin as it struggles to find engineers and other workers in one of the tightest labor markets in the U.S."

President Donald Trump and outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have both openly championed the Foxconn agreement as a boon for Wisconsin workers. Last year, Trump took credit for convincing Foxconn to build a factory in Wisconsin.

"The company, the Taiwanese supplier to Apple Inc., has been trying to tap Chinese engineers through internal transfers to supplement staffing for the Wisconsin plant," the Journal reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. "Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou is looking to company engineers in China to transfer."

While Foxconn issued a statement denying the Journal's reporting, critics of Walker—who is locked in an extremely close race with Democratic challenger Tony Evers—were quick to highlight the company's alleged plans as further evidence that the governor's "deal" with the Taiwanese multinational has been a massive fraud from the start:

With Walker ensnared in what CNN described this week as his "toughest race yet," the Foxconn deal is increasingly becoming a political liability that could cost him the governor's mansion in Tuesday's midterm elections.

As the New Yorker's Dan Kaufman noted in a detailed look at the Foxconn deal over the weekend, the agreement—which is rapidly declining in popularity among Wisconsin voters—includes "taxpayer subsidies to the company totaling more than $4.5 billion, the largest subsidy for a foreign corporation in American history."

"Since Wisconsin already exempts manufacturing companies from paying taxes, Foxconn, which generated a hundred and fifty-eight billion dollars in revenue last year, will receive much of this subsidy in direct cash payments from taxpayers," Kaufman observes. "Depending on how many jobs are actually created, taxpayers will be paying between two hundred and twenty thousand dollars and more than a million dollars per job."

In an op-ed for The Progressive last year, Wisconsin ironworker and Democratic House candidate Randy Bryce—AKA "The Iron Stache"—declared, "We deserve better than corporate boondoggles like Foxconn, and our government’s leadership needs to stand on the side of workers."

Echoing this sentiment in a tweet on Tuesday as voters headed to the polls, the advocacy group People for Bernie tweeted, "Don't let Scott Walker and his billionaire cronies steal an election."

 

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          GOP Candidates Face Outcry For Depicting Jewish Opponents Clutching Fistfuls of Cash      Cache   Translate Page      
The GOP isn't even trying to be subtle about it anymore.

The dust has barely settled from the horrific Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, committed by a neo-Nazi who believed Jewish groups are funding an influx of nonwhite migrants into the United States for nefarious purposes.

But Republicans apparently feel no responsibility to stand up to anti-Semitic sentiment. On the contrary, many GOP candidates are exploiting age-old stereotypes to attack Jewish opponents as avaricious and money-grubbing.

On Tuesday, with the polls opening nationwide, the Washington Post detailed multiple instances around the country of Republicans who have gone after Jewish Democrats by depicting them clutching fistfuls of cash.

One ad in Alaska depicted a Jewish state Senate candidate as a shadowy figure stuffing $100 bills into his suit, captioned "If you give Jesse Keihl your vote, you may as well give him your wallet." Republicans in Washington's 8th District illustrated the Democratic candidate, Dr. Kim Schrier, clutching a wad of $20 bills with the line "Dr. Tax will see you now!"

Another mailer in North Carolina showed Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer with a stack of bills, while a GOP state assembly candidate in California showed challenger Josh Lowenthal tinted green and clutching $100s, and the Connecticut Republican state Senate candidate put out an attack against opponent Matthew Lesser showing him grasping a wad of cash with a bug-eyed, demonic grin.

The anti-Semitic attacks are getting so grotesque that even some Republicans are sickened. "Jesse is proudly and prominently a member of Juneau's Jewish community," said Scott Kendall, a Jewish Republican who served as chief of staff to outgoing Gov. Bill Walker. "It is tough for me to process through that and not see an ill intent."

The stereotype of the Jewish people as money-grubbing and usurious dates back centuries, originating from Roman and medieval Church depictions of Judas' betrayal of Christ for thirty pieces of silver. It has been used to justify horrific persecution of Jews — a key fixture of Nazi propaganda was that the postwar German economy was suffering because Jews had bled the nation of all its money.

But Republicans have been increasingly willing to lean on this poisonous imagery for political ends. In 2016, the Trump campaign shared an image of Hillary Clinton depicting her on a pile of cash with a Star of David, an image first posted on an anti-Semitic message board (Clinton is a Methodist).

More recently, they have sought to tie the Honduran migrant caravan to George Soros, a Jewish Hungarian-born philanthropist billionaire and Holocaust survivor known for his contributions to liberal causes.

 

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          Here's How Progressives Can Win — No Matter What Happens on Election Day      Cache   Translate Page      
Race, class and justice: After the midterms, a new way forward for Democrats

This week's midterm elections are likely the most important in recent American history, a referendum on the present and future of the country’s multiracial democracy. On one side there is Donald Trump and a Republican Party which has fully embraced white backlash politics and the lie that white Americans are under siege in “their own country.” Trump and his movement represent an emerging American form of fascism and a full-on assault on democracy. On the other side is the Democratic Party and its multiracial coalition of mostly younger, more educated and cosmopolitan voters who correctly see in Donald Trump and his movement an existential threat to their human rights, safety, dignity and prosperity.

Running through both sides of this fractious political divide – what feels like a domestic cold war about to turn hot — are old and unresolved questions about the relationship between race and class in America.

Donald Trump bellows about the “forgotten” (white) American and taking the “country back” for the (white) “working class.” This is fake populism and classic Herrenvolk right-wing "producerism." Or to put things more simply, white identity politics repackaged as something else.

In response, the Democratic Party have struggled to create a unifying narrative. Too many of its most vocal spokespeople – especially on the left – have suggested that “identity” politics and too much focus on issues of race and gender allowed Donald Trump to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in 2016.

López’s new research project suggests that Democrats need to embrace a more sophisticated way of talking about race, class and human rights as being inseparable from one another. Ultimately, it is plutocrats like Donald Trump, Republican donors and funders, and other members of the 1 percent who are using racism -- as they have done throughout American history -- to divide and conquer, leaving the large majority of people less prosperous, less secure and less free.

How do racial “dog-whistle” politics play into this right-wing strategy? What does white racial identity mean for white Americans at present? In what ways has Trump-style white identity politics actually hurt white people? How can a smarter and more nuanced discussion of race and class unite voters in support of the Democratic Party specifically, and liberal and progressive policies more broadly? How have right-wing libertarians and other conservatives combined racism with a narrative about “big government” to destroy the social safety net, make the rich even richer and more powerful, and hurt the American people as a whole?

My conversation with Ian Haney López has been edited for clarity and length.

How was Donald Trump able to win the White House? What do we know about that now that we didn't know two years ago?

I would say that Trump’s path was eased by a half-century-long process in which the Republican Party purposefully remade itself as the white men’s party. They did this by harnessing racial demagoguery as a weapon. But the fact of the matter is that racial demagoguery is not a weapon which can be controlled. Every Republican politician who gets elected as a racial demagogue is vulnerable to being bested on the right by someone who’s even more extreme in terms of racial demagoguery.

The big advantage Donald Trump had was that he didn’t actually believe he was going to become president. Therefore he didn’t care about the fate of the Republican Party. This meant Trump had few if any constraints – beyond what worked strategically to his advantage – on his use of racial demagoguery. Because Trump was willing to go much further in terms of his racist innuendo, he ran the field on the Republicans. He took them all out.

You look at these folks: Mitt Romney had his own track record with racial demagoguery, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush started talking about deporting people. All of them were racial demagogues themselves, but they were constrained by the sense of what it might take to actually get elected, by the sense that Republicans needed a bigger base and a concern with their own integrity and public reputation. Trump was unburdened by any of that. Essentially what Donald Trump did was walk into a game that the Republicans had set up, one which had a few nominal constraints. He broke the rules and won the game.

There is a more or less straight line from John McCain and Sarah Palin to this moment with Donald Trump.

There is this deeper fear of actually naming what’s been happening in our country over the last 50 years. You have a lot of people who want to treat Trump like an anomaly and say, “Wow! That guy is out of control. If only we could back to 2016.” Here are the facts. In 2016 we were in a deep crisis as a country, a slow-moving crisis which has been on the march since the civil rights movement. Which direction are we going to go as a society? Will we proceed in the direction of multiracial democracy, or will we instead proceed away from democracy and towards rule by the rich? That question has been front and center in this country for the last 50 years. Trump didn’t raise that question. He only drew the dynamics into view.

Similarly, McCain brought Sarah Palin in and also engaged in significant racial demagoguery himself. He understood it was immoral. He understood it was racist. When McCain felt that his own election was jeopardized, he started talking about building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. McCain was more than happy to campaign with Donald Trump and with [former Phoenix sheriff] Joe Arpaio, and this is somebody that we know understood that those were racial demagogues. Shame on him! I think it’s a mistake to say, “Well, McCain was this wonderful centrist. If only we had more people like him.” No, McCain was very much a part of the problem.

Frankly, the people who refused to see McCain as part of the problem are part of the problem too, because they’re blinding themselves to the actual challenges we face as a country. Do we move self-confidently and purposefully towards multiracial democracy, or do we follow a set of leaders who are intentionally and strategically dividing us by race, moving us away from democracy and toward rule by the rich?

I have a standard warning I give when writing about Trump and this moment, or giving talks about it. I point out that America’s multiracial democracy is contingent and in many ways an outlier in the country’s history. White backlash under Trump and the Republican Party is a threat to post-civil rights America, a country too many people – especially younger Americans – have taken to be a norm and a given for all time. Are my worries and cautions misplaced? 

Not at all. If I were to push back at all, I’d say it’s not clear to me that we have yet achieved a multiracial democracy that we might be in the process of losing. We moved dramatically in that direction in the 1960s, but then, very quickly, progress was cut off. Definitions are important. When I use the term “multiracial democracy,” I mean a democracy in which all people are fully enfranchised and people are not disenfranchised in a way that significantly parallels the country’s racial hierarchy. When have we had that in the United States?

Since the mid-1970s, we’ve been moving back quite aggressively from that ideal. If you look at what’s been happening with the Republican Party, essentially from 1980 onward, they came to understand that their election depended upon disenfranchising people of color. They have been aggressively pursuing the disenfranchisement of people of color through such policies as felony disenfranchisement laws, gerrymandering and now this whole narrative about almost nonexistent “voter fraud.”

Meanwhile, of course, these are the same Republicans who will not lift a finger to ensure that our voting systems are protected against hacking by Russia. There is a profoundly antidemocratic impulse at work on the American right wing, and it’s embodied institutionally in the Republican Party. It has forestalled any actual move towards multiracial democracy.

This hostility towards multiracial democracy is part of a hostility by Republicans and conservatives to democracy more generally. For example, the rule of law, freedom of the press and what is happening with America’s courts from the appellate to the federal system also show how the conservative movement is hostile to democracy. Trump is just more obvious about it.

The right-wing assault on the judicial branch is also a clear example of how conservatism and racism are one and the same thing in America at present.

Yes, although I would not go that far. I would say that the Federalist Society for example takes a view of race relations which they claim is “anti-racist.” Yet it’s a view that tends to ensure the continuation of white dominance. But this is not just Trump. Conservatives have been engaged in a purposeful remaking of the courts that has two complementary parts. This is pure “dog-whistle” politics.

One part is to attack the courts for their recent role in promoting racial integration and gender equality and to say, “Well, the courts are full of activist judges.” In this logic, the courts do not deserve legitimacy because they are promoting this illegitimate liberal agenda of integration and gender equality: “We have to get rid of activist judges.” What that means in practice is that we have to install court justices who are hostile to the basic idea that human rights should exist for everybody in society.

The other half of this logic and strategy is that conservatives are going to take the opportunity to put on the court justices and judges who are friendly to the business community. This is part of one big strategy.

The more we shut down human rights as a society, the more we create space to open up for a pro-business orientation. What we have in the Supreme Court as it exists now – and where Brett Kavanaugh will only make this worse – is an institution that is historically one of the most hostile to civil rights and one of the friendliest to big business. That is a product of dog-whistle politics.

How does this work? Right-wing politicians say to voters, “Hey! People of color are a threat. You know who else is a threat? Government and in particular, the courts, because the courts keep forcing you to have to deal with these people. Let’s remake the courts so that you’re protected from these activist judges.”

In the process of remaking the courts, they install business-friendly judges who are busy making life difficult for unions, making life difficult for people who want to sue corporations, making life wonderful for big money in politics, making life wonderful for polluters.

These are the wages of dog-whistle politics: The promise that you’re going to be protected from people of color and activist judges and government that protects them, when in reality what you’re really going to get is a judicial system and a government that helps rig the rules for the new plutocrats.

Here is an obvious and common objection by conservatives – especially College Republican types who still have Ayn Rand in their back pocket – to your observation. “We have to free business and get rid of regulations because capitalism and the market are antithetical to racism. Those are market inefficiencies. If we just free business, then racism will go away.” 

Anybody who says that is not paying attention to what’s actually happening in the economy. The whole idea of unfettered competition, that’s just theoretical libertarian nonsense. One would have to be crazy to believe that stuff.

What you really have is not deregulation, but re-regulation on the part of the corporations and the family dynasties and the lobbyists themselves. This is the rich writing the rules for themselves, and they write the rules in ways that protect them from market competition and liability when in the course of making billions they do damage to regular people.

The whole sort of college libertarian thinking is so much self-induced blindness about what’s lurking behind these arguments. It wouldn’t take but 15 or 20 minutes of serious reading to discover that very few people are actually serious about a deregulated marketplace. It wouldn’t take that much more to discover that many of the big libertarians, including Rand Paul and his father, are people who came to libertarianism as a way of opposing civil rights.

It doesn’t take that much reflection to recognize that libertarianism as a political ideology is most attractive to young (white) men of great means who can, because of their age and gender, imagine themselves as dominant and heroic and self-sufficient. And also because of their privilege and means, these same libertarians don’t worry about how they are going to pay for education, how they are going to pay for health care, how they are going to pay for shelter, how they are going to pay for food. They have not experienced the hardships of life or its sudden reversals.

Ultimately, there is a type of political and psychological immaturity to libertarianism. There is also a disregard for human rights, through libertarianism, for many different people in our society.

What are some examples of how racism actually hurts white people? Of course, there is what the historian and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois famously described as the “psychological wages of whiteness.” But there is a huge material component to whiteness as well.

I think you’ve hit on a really critical point. What is the relationship between most white people today, in 2018, and whiteness as an identity? Being considered “white” is a type of social identity. But in this moment with Trump we have an opportunity to show white folks that seeking meaning in being white is actually very dangerous to their welfare and the welfare of their children. In a remarkable way, given the politics of this crisis, we’re in a different position in 2018 than we were in 1968 -- let alone than we were in the 1600s -- to make this point.

For centuries the radical idea has been cross-racial solidarity between working people. But the reality has also been that the psychological and material benefits of whiteness have been enormous and thus sufficient to win over the loyalty of many whites. Whiteness has granted certainty about one’s place in society, one’s own inherent goodness, one’s own rationality, one’s human capacity, one’s ability to engage in self-governance.

Whiteness also provided jobs, neighborhoods, houses, the clubs, the churches, etc. These are tremendous benefits. How do they compare to the one percent, or the one-tenth of one percent, in terms of class and money? Relatively speaking, they're crumbs. But these wages of whiteness are still significant.

What has happened in 2018, by comparison? Two different things. On the one hand, if we think about the psychological wages of whiteness, for many whites those wages have been going down because of the civil rights movement, and going down in a way that I think many whites would actually describe as positive. That is, many whites have internalized the idea that foregrounding your sense of self in race pride is racist, immoral and ugly.

That has diminished the value of thinking of yourself as white. I can’t really be proud of being white: That’s morally wrong. That reduces the psychological wages of whiteness. Now, to be absolutely clear, many whites are fighting to reaffirm the wages of whiteness. This is the real meaning of Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

On the other hand, what’s happened to the material wages of whiteness? Those have been going down as American society racially integrated. But even more profoundly, white racial fear has been weaponized by the rich over the last 50 years through dog-whistle politics. This is the basis upon which many whites have been convinced to support a siphoning of wealth from themselves and their families skywards, up into the economic stratosphere for the plutocrats.

With Donald Trump, progressives have a chance to make two critical points to whites. Critical point No. 1: Think about the psychological wages of whiteness in terms of Trump. Trump exemplifies what it means to build your identity around being proud of being white. It means to be a liar. It means to be cruel. It means to dehumanize others. It means to steal from others. It means to be a bully and a cheat. That’s what it means if you want to build your identity around white pride.

Second, look at Trump and ask yourself: Is whiteness helping regular white folks, or is whiteness just a weapon that billionaires can use against everybody? Trump gives us the opportunity to say to many whites that the biggest financial threat in your life comes from other whites voting their racial fears and handing the country over to greedy billionaires who only really care about themselves.

These two dynamics, I think, put us in a remarkable place in 2018 where we can say this old dream of cross-racial solidarity that has always foundered on the shoals of the value of whiteness to whites might finally be possible now -- if we can convince enough whites that seeking to be white as a source of identity is a moral disaster and a financial disaster as well.

How would you explain “dog-whistle” politics – the term is increasingly common in American political discourse but rarely properly defined? What examples would you offer of how dog-whistle politics hurt Americans on both sides of the color line?

Donald Trump went to the American people and said, “You need to worry about illegal aliens. You need to worry about Mexico sending rapists. You need to worry about Muslim terrorists.” He also said, “Crime in the black communities is awful. People can’t go outside without getting shot. We can fix that. We can ban Muslims. We can get tougher on crime in black neighborhoods. We can build a wall on the border.”

How are these examples of dog-whistle politics? On their surface, they do not mention race. They do not use a racial epithet. They do not come across as white supremacy, and yet just below the surface, that’s the narrative. It’s a narrative of racial fear.

Yes, Trump says “Muslims.” Yes, he says “Mexicans.” But his defense is that “Mexican” is a nationality or “Mexico” is a country. “Muslims” are a religion. That’s today’s dog-whistle. You have people engaging in a classic form of race-baiting that understands race as both ancestry and culture, but who then turn around and say, “These Mexicans are rapists.” That has nothing to do with race, right? That’s the dog-whistle: To use a racial provocation and to know that you’re doing such a thing. That’s the political speech.

What outcomes has this all enabled? The reality of what people are getting with Donald Trump and his Republican Party is a cabinet full of billionaires, rampant corruption, a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the very rich, a Department of Education that wants to make it easier for predatory companies to rip off people who are taking loans for a chance at a better life, an EPA that only cares about making sure polluters can make more money. This is all dog-whistle politics personified. One could not have a more powerful example of the way in which racially charged language is consistently used and where race is combined with rule by the rich.

What do we know empirically about white racial identity and public opinion in this moment of Trumpism?

The data is really compelling and very disturbing. We know that racial resentment, measured under what social scientists call the “modern racism” scale, is the No. 1 driver of support for Donald Trump. But there is an even better and more powerful means of measuring white antipathy towards people of color and government.

Since the early 1970s, what the American right-wing has been doing is conjoining race and government in the economy. Their basic message has been to fear and dislike people of color. There is another component to this as well:  Hate “big government” because it coddles “those people” with welfare and refuses to control them through criminal law. Turn away from government, trust the marketplace.

These three ideas, race, government and economy, are all linked. If you really want to understand how race is working in the United States, you really need to think about new racial frames that combine not only dislike for people of color, but also distrust in government and support for individual efforts in the marketplace.  When you look at that combination we see the correlation between those three values and support for Trump. The relationship is even more powerful than racial resentment.

There is a second component: What does race mean to whites? Race is a social construction. How is it evolving? How is it shifting? How is it responding to politics?

New research asked self-identified white people: "How important is being 'white' to you?" About 60 percent said anywhere from moderately to extremely important, and right around half said they felt that it was important for them to work together with other whites to protect the interests of whites as a group. Those are remarkable findings because what they’re telling us is there is a public etiquette of colorblindness. Whites routinely assert this set of rules when they’re trying to get people of color to stop talking about race.

Post-civil rights era racial colorblindness demands, “Hey, it’s wrong to foreground race. It’s wrong to notice it. It’s wrong to talk about it. It’s wrong to think about yourself and racial identity.” That might be the public rhetoric, but it’s not the reality, because at present somewhere upwards of half of whites are self-consciously thinking of themselves as white.

You are involved in an exciting new project which explores how we can think more strategically about the relationship between race and class in America.   

In this new research we asked a set of questions about race, class and government. We used the answers to sort the American public into three groups. We call them “base,” “persuadables” in the middle and “opposition.”

The “base” are people who basically said, “People of color are beset by structural problems. People are poor for structural reasons. Government has an important role to play.”

People who are the “opposition” took the opposite points of view. They said consistently that people of color are poor because there’s something wrong with them. Poor people are poor because there’s something wrong with them, and government is the problem. Base, we’re looking at about one-quarter of the population, 23 percent. Opposition, you’re looking at 18 percent. Let’s be crystal clear about that 18 percent. We will never get them. Their views are consistently hostile to progressive views on race, on what it means to be poor and the economy and the role of government.

But, that leaves about 60 percent of the people in the middle. This “persuadable” category constitutes three out of five Americans. With such a large group, it includes a lot of people of color. It includes a lot of Democrats. It includes a lot of union members. It also includes some Republicans, and maybe a few Trump voters, It’s a very broad group. When we look at this group, especially on race and the economy, what we found was that they held reactionary views. They would say things such as “Poverty among people of color is explained by a lack of effort.”

At the same time, they also held racially progressive views. They would toggle between the two perspectives. This was tremendously important because I think a lot of us have thought, “Wow! There’s a lot of racism out there, how are we going to overcome that?” Yes, there is a lot of racism out there, but it turns out there’s also a lot of racially progressive views. That creates the possibility of actually connecting with and activating those racially progressive views.

A common criticism of Hillary Clinton in the last campaign was that she talked too much about race and that this type of “identity politics" made her vulnerable to Trump’s right-wing “populist” message about class. How would you respond?

I think Hillary Clinton talked too much race in the wrong way. It was not the amount of time she dedicated to talking about race, but rather the way she talked about it. If we talk about race as white racism against people of color, that’s a frame which has negative effects both for whites and for people of color. What we found is that if we talk about racism that way, then white audiences feel implicated and they’re turned off. This is not at all surprising.

More surprising, we found that when we talked to communities of color and we offered a political analysis which said, “The main problem is politicians who are racists and racist voters who vote for them,” people of color were demobilized by that narrative. That story seemed to invoke 300 years of history. It made things seem insurmountable. People went very quickly from a sense of what’s politically possible to a narrative of what they could control as individuals. Whenever you see people shifting to stories of individual responsibility and what they can control, this reaffirms the right-wing framework that says, “You’re on your own. Take care of yourself. If you fail, it’s your own fault.”

Now let’s try a different frame: “Racism is a weapon of the rich that’s being used against all of us.” In our focus groups  we talked about racism as a weapon of the rich and explained that this is a "divide and distract" tactic that they are using against whites, against blacks, against brown folks, against Native Americans and Asian-Americans and immigrants. This is a weapon of the rich. This allowed whites to see how they are also targeted by the racial manipulation by the rich.

This narrative framework also allowed people of color to say, “We know that we need to fight racism, but now there’s a chance that white people might be in this fight with us too --maybe not with the same stakes, but still in this fight.”

There’s power to creating a sense of cross-racial solidarity, not alone on a moral ground because fighting racism is the right thing to do, but centered more firmly in the idea that fighting racism is the only way that white and black and brown folks are going to be able to thrive in this society. Cross-racial solidarity can defeat racism as a “divide and distract” weapon. It can get the government back on the side of people and have it create economic prosperity and racial justice for all people.

What are some narratives that you would suggest the Democrats use to defeat the Republican Party and Donald Trump?

Our research shows that there is a core narrative which progressives need to adopt.

Part one: Defeat, “divide and distract” as a tactic by insisting on cross-racial solidarity that includes whites and other communities of color.

Part two: Identify cross-racial solidarity as the way to take government back for working people and away from big business and the very rich.

Part three: Through government, build shared prosperity and promote racial justice.

Those are the three steps and it is applicable to many issues. Welfare reform, education, mass incarceration, mass deportation -- whatever policy you want to start with. The basic story is, “You know why we have mass deportation? Because politicians are running around trying to scare white people by saying that people of color are threatening. Well, they’re not. The real agenda is to distract us because we’re not paying attention to the way the rich and plutocrats are picking our collective pockets."

It doesn’t matter what issue you focus on. You can focus on the ones that are highly race-identified, like mass deportation or mass incarceration, public education and welfare. Or you can focus on issues like the environment, Wall Street regulation, and what’s happening in terms of higher education, free college, things that don’t seem directly connected to race. They’re all connected through the way in which government has been demonized.

Let’s reject distraction based on race or based on what we look like or where we come from or the gods we worship or the foods we eat, our gender, our sexual preference. Reject all of those distractions. Come together as working people to take this country back to elect the types of leaders we need -- and through these leaders demand human rights for all and a shared prosperity for all. That’s the basic narrative.

Good government, shared prosperity, human rights and shared prosperity creates a greater possibility of cross-racial solidarity. That is the message the Democrats really need to carry. If you think about 2016, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both eventually came to the position that we need to do economic justice and racial justice. Unfortunately, neither of them had a story about how they were connected.

We need to start focusing on the way in which the rich are ripping off all the rest of us while trying to distract us with fear-mongering about undocumented immigrants or Muslims. If we can recognize and defeat that ploy then we can come together across racial lines and take this country back.

 

 

I would say that Trump’s path was eased by a half-century-long process in which the Republican Party purposefully remade itself as the white men’s party. They did this by harnessing racial demagoguery as a weapon. But the fact of the matter is that racial demagoguery is not a weapon which can be controlled. Every Republican politician who gets elected as a racial demagogue is vulnerable to being bested on the right by someone who’s even more extreme in terms of racial demagoguery.

The big advantage Donald Trump had was that he didn’t actually believe he was going to become president. Therefore he didn’t care about the fate of the Republican Party. This meant Trump had few if any constraints – beyond what worked strategically to his advantage – on his use of racial demagoguery. Because Trump was willing to go much further in terms of his racist innuendo, he ran the field on the Republicans. He took them all out.

You look at these folks: Mitt Romney had his own track record with racial demagoguery, Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush started talking about deporting people. All of them were racial demagogues themselves, but they were constrained by the sense of what it might take to actually get elected, by the sense that Republicans needed a bigger base and a concern with their own integrity and public reputation. Trump was unburdened by any of that. Essentially what Donald Trump did was walk into a game that the Republicans had set up, one which had a few nominal constraints. He broke the rules and won the game.

There is a more or less straight line from John McCain and Sarah Palin to this moment with Donald Trump.

There is this deeper fear of actually naming what’s been happening in our country over the last 50 years. You have a lot of people who want to treat Trump like an anomaly and say, “Wow! That guy is out of control. If only we could back to 2016.” Here are the facts. In 2016 we were in a deep crisis as a country, a slow-moving crisis which has been on the march since the civil rights movement. Which direction are we going to go as a society? Will we proceed in the direction of multiracial democracy, or will we instead proceed away from democracy and towards rule by the rich? That question has been front and center in this country for the last 50 years. Trump didn’t raise that question. He only drew the dynamics into view.

Similarly, McCain brought Sarah Palin in and also engaged in significant racial demagoguery himself. He understood it was immoral. He understood it was racist. When McCain felt that his own election was jeopardized, he started talking about building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border. McCain was more than happy to campaign with Donald Trump and with [former Phoenix sheriff] Joe Arpaio, and this is somebody that we know understood that those were racial demagogues. Shame on him! I think it’s a mistake to say, “Well, McCain was this wonderful centrist. If only we had more people like him.” No, McCain was very much a part of the problem.

Frankly, the people who refused to see McCain as part of the problem are part of the problem too, because they’re blinding themselves to the actual challenges we face as a country. Do we move self-confidently and purposefully towards multiracial democracy, or do we follow a set of leaders who are intentionally and strategically dividing us by race, moving us away from democracy and toward rule by the rich?

I have a standard warning I give when writing about Trump and this moment, or giving talks about it. I point out that America’s multiracial democracy is contingent and in many ways an outlier in the country’s history. White backlash under Trump and the Republican Party is a threat to post-civil rights America, a country too many people – especially younger Americans – have taken to be a norm and a given for all time. Are my worries and cautions misplaced? 

Not at all. If I were to push back at all, I’d say it’s not clear to me that we have yet achieved a multiracial democracy that we might be in the process of losing. We moved dramatically in that direction in the 1960s, but then, very quickly, progress was cut off. Definitions are important. When I use the term “multiracial democracy,” I mean a democracy in which all people are fully enfranchised and people are not disenfranchised in a way that significantly parallels the country’s racial hierarchy. When have we had that in the United States?

Since the mid-1970s, we’ve been moving back quite aggressively from that ideal. If you look at what’s been happening with the Republican Party, essentially from 1980 onward, they came to understand that their election depended upon disenfranchising people of color. They have been aggressively pursuing the disenfranchisement of people of color through such policies as felony disenfranchisement laws, gerrymandering and now this whole narrative about almost nonexistent “voter fraud.”

Meanwhile, of course, these are the same Republicans who will not lift a finger to ensure that our voting systems are protected against hacking by Russia. There is a profoundly antidemocratic impulse at work on the American right wing, and it’s embodied institutionally in the Republican Party. It has forestalled any actual move towards multiracial democracy.

This hostility towards multiracial democracy is part of a hostility by Republicans and conservatives to democracy more generally. For example, the rule of law, freedom of the press and what is happening with America’s courts from the appellate to the federal system also show how the conservative movement is hostile to democracy. Trump is just more obvious about it.

The right-wing assault on the judicial branch is also a clear example of how conservatism and racism are one and the same thing in America at present.

Yes, although I would not go that far. I would say that the Federalist Society for example takes a view of race relations which they claim is “anti-racist.” Yet it’s a view that tends to ensure the continuation of white dominance. But this is not just Trump. Conservatives have been engaged in a purposeful remaking of the courts that has two complementary parts. This is pure “dog-whistle” politics.

One part is to attack the courts for their recent role in promoting racial integration and gender equality and to say, “Well, the courts are full of activist judges.” In this logic, the courts do not deserve legitimacy because they are promoting this illegitimate liberal agenda of integration and gender equality: “We have to get rid of activist judges.” What that means in practice is that we have to install court justices who are hostile to the basic idea that human rights should exist for everybody in society.

The other half of this logic and strategy is that conservatives are going to take the opportunity to put on the court justices and judges who are friendly to the business community. This is part of one big strategy.

The more we shut down human rights as a society, the more we create space to open up for a pro-business orientation. What we have in the Supreme Court as it exists now – and where Brett Kavanaugh will only make this worse – is an institution that is historically one of the most hostile to civil rights and one of the friendliest to big business. That is a product of dog-whistle politics.

How does this work? Right-wing politicians say to voters, “Hey! People of color are a threat. You know who else is a threat? Government and in particular, the courts, because the courts keep forcing you to have to deal with these people. Let’s remake the courts so that you’re protected from these activist judges.”

In the process of remaking the courts, they install business-friendly judges who are busy making life difficult for unions, making life difficult for people who want to sue corporations, making life wonderful for big money in politics, making life wonderful for polluters.

These are the wages of dog-whistle politics: The promise that you’re going to be protected from people of color and activist judges and government that protects them, when in reality what you’re really going to get is a judicial system and a government that helps rig the rules for the new plutocrats.

Here is an obvious and common objection by conservatives – especially College Republican types who still have Ayn Rand in their back pocket – to your observation. “We have to free business and get rid of regulations because capitalism and the market are antithetical to racism. Those are market inefficiencies. If we just free business, then racism will go away.” 

Anybody who says that is not paying attention to what’s actually happening in the economy. The whole idea of unfettered competition, that’s just theoretical libertarian nonsense. One would have to be crazy to believe that stuff.

What you really have is not deregulation, but re-regulation on the part of the corporations and the family dynasties and the lobbyists themselves. This is the rich writing the rules for themselves, and they write the rules in ways that protect them from market competition and liability when in the course of making billions they do damage to regular people.

The whole sort of college libertarian thinking is so much self-induced blindness about what’s lurking behind these arguments. It wouldn’t take but 15 or 20 minutes of serious reading to discover that very few people are actually serious about a deregulated marketplace. It wouldn’t take that much more to discover that many of the big libertarians, including Rand Paul and his father, are people who came to libertarianism as a way of opposing civil rights.

It doesn’t take that much reflection to recognize that libertarianism as a political ideology is most attractive to young (white) men of great means who can, because of their age and gender, imagine themselves as dominant and heroic and self-sufficient. And also because of their privilege and means, these same libertarians don’t worry about how they are going to pay for education, how they are going to pay for health care, how they are going to pay for shelter, how they are going to pay for food. They have not experienced the hardships of life or its sudden reversals.

Ultimately, there is a type of political and psychological immaturity to libertarianism. There is also a disregard for human rights, through libertarianism, for many different people in our society.

What are some examples of how racism actually hurts white people? Of course, there is what the historian and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois famously described as the “psychological wages of whiteness.” But there is a huge material component to whiteness as well.

I think you’ve hit on a really critical point. What is the relationship between most white people today, in 2018, and whiteness as an identity? Being considered “white” is a type of social identity. But in this moment with Trump we have an opportunity to show white folks that seeking meaning in being white is actually very dangerous to their welfare and the welfare of their children. In a remarkable way, given the politics of this crisis, we’re in a different position in 2018 than we were in 1968 -- let alone than we were in the 1600s -- to make this point.

For centuries the radical idea has been cross-racial solidarity between working people. But the reality has also been that the psychological and material benefits of whiteness have been enormous and thus sufficient to win over the loyalty of many whites. Whiteness has granted certainty about one’s place in society, one’s own inherent goodness, one’s own rationality, one’s human capacity, one’s ability to engage in self-governance.

Whiteness also provided jobs, neighborhoods, houses, the clubs, the churches, etc. These are tremendous benefits. How do they compare to the one percent, or the one-tenth of one percent, in terms of class and money? Relatively speaking, they're crumbs. But these wages of whiteness are still significant.

What has happened in 2018, by comparison? Two different things. On the one hand, if we think about the psychological wages of whiteness, for many whites those wages have been going down because of the civil rights movement, and going down in a way that I think many whites would actually describe as positive. That is, many whites have internalized the idea that foregrounding your sense of self in race pride is racist, immoral and ugly.

That has diminished the value of thinking of yourself as white. I can’t really be proud of being white: That’s morally wrong. That reduces the psychological wages of whiteness. Now, to be absolutely clear, many whites are fighting to reaffirm the wages of whiteness. This is the real meaning of Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

On the other hand, what’s happened to the material wages of whiteness? Those have been going down as American society racially integrated. But even more profoundly, white racial fear has been weaponized by the rich over the last 50 years through dog-whistle politics. This is the basis upon which many whites have been convinced to support a siphoning of wealth from themselves and their families skywards, up into the economic stratosphere for the plutocrats.

With Donald Trump, progressives have a chance to make two critical points to whites. Critical point No. 1: Think about the psychological wages of whiteness in terms of Trump. Trump exemplifies what it means to build your identity around being proud of being white. It means to be a liar. It means to be cruel. It means to dehumanize others. It means to steal from others. It means to be a bully and a cheat. That’s what it means if you want to build your identity around white pride.

Second, look at Trump and ask yourself: Is whiteness helping regular white folks, or is whiteness just a weapon that billionaires can use against everybody? Trump gives us the opportunity to say to many whites that the biggest financial threat in your life comes from other whites voting their racial fears and handing the country over to greedy billionaires who only really care about themselves.

These two dynamics, I think, put us in a remarkable place in 2018 where we can say this old dream of cross-racial solidarity that has always foundered on the shoals of the value of whiteness to whites might finally be possible now -- if we can convince enough whites that seeking to be white as a source of identity is a moral disaster and a financial disaster as well.

How would you explain “dog-whistle” politics – the term is increasingly common in American political discourse but rarely properly defined? What examples would you offer of how dog-whistle politics hurt Americans on both sides of the color line?

Donald Trump went to the American people and said, “You need to worry about illegal aliens. You need to worry about Mexico sending rapists. You need to worry about Muslim terrorists.” He also said, “Crime in the black communities is awful. People can’t go outside without getting shot. We can fix that. We can ban Muslims. We can get tougher on crime in black neighborhoods. We can build a wall on the border.”

How are these examples of dog-whistle politics? On their surface, they do not mention race. They do not use a racial epithet. They do not come across as white supremacy, and yet just below the surface, that’s the narrative. It’s a narrative of racial fear.

Yes, Trump says “Muslims.” Yes, he says “Mexicans.” But his defense is that “Mexican” is a nationality or “Mexico” is a country. “Muslims” are a religion. That’s today’s dog-whistle. You have people engaging in a classic form of race-baiting that understands race as both ancestry and culture, but who then turn around and say, “These Mexicans are rapists.” That has nothing to do with race, right? That’s the dog-whistle: To use a racial provocation and to know that you’re doing such a thing. That’s the political speech.

What outcomes has this all enabled? The reality of what people are getting with Donald Trump and his Republican Party is a cabinet full of billionaires, rampant corruption, a $1.5 trillion tax cut for the very rich, a Department of Education that wants to make it easier for predatory companies to rip off people who are taking loans for a chance at a better life, an EPA that only cares about making sure polluters can make more money. This is all dog-whistle politics personified. One could not have a more powerful example of the way in which racially charged language is consistently used and where race is combined with rule by the rich.

What do we know empirically about white racial identity and public opinion in this moment of Trumpism?

The data is really compelling and very disturbing. We know that racial resentment, measured under what social scientists call the “modern racism” scale, is the No. 1 driver of support for Donald Trump. But there is an even better and more powerful means of measuring white antipathy towards people of color and government.

Since the early 1970s, what the American right-wing has been doing is conjoining race and government in the economy. Their basic message has been to fear and dislike people of color. There is another component to this as well:  Hate “big government” because it coddles “those people” with welfare and refuses to control them through criminal law. Turn away from government, trust the marketplace.

These three ideas, race, government and economy, are all linked. If you really want to understand how race is working in the United States, you really need to think about new racial frames that combine not only dislike for people of color, but also distrust in government and support for individual efforts in the marketplace.  When you look at that combination we see the correlation between those three values and support for Trump. The relationship is even more powerful than racial resentment.

There is a second component: What does race mean to whites? Race is a social construction. How is it evolving? How is it shifting? How is it responding to politics?

New research asked self-identified white people: "How important is being 'white' to you?" About 60 percent said anywhere from moderately to extremely important, and right around half said they felt that it was important for them to work together with other whites to protect the interests of whites as a group. Those are remarkable findings because what they’re telling us is there is a public etiquette of colorblindness. Whites routinely assert this set of rules when they’re trying to get people of color to stop talking about race.

Post-civil rights era racial colorblindness demands, “Hey, it’s wrong to foreground race. It’s wrong to notice it. It’s wrong to talk about it. It’s wrong to think about yourself and racial identity.” That might be the public rhetoric, but it’s not the reality, because at present somewhere upwards of half of whites are self-consciously thinking of themselves as white.

You are involved in an exciting new project which explores how we can think more strategically about the relationship between race and class in America.   

In this new research we asked a set of questions about race, class and government. We used the answers to sort the American public into three groups. We call them “base,” “persuadables” in the middle and “opposition.”

The “base” are people who basically said, “People of color are beset by structural problems. People are poor for structural reasons. Government has an important role to play.”

People who are the “opposition” took the opposite points of view. They said consistently that people of color are poor because there’s something wrong with them. Poor people are poor because there’s something wrong with them, and government is the problem. Base, we’re looking at about one-quarter of the population, 23 percent. Opposition, you’re looking at 18 percent. Let’s be crystal clear about that 18 percent. We will never get them. Their views are consistently hostile to progressive views on race, on what it means to be poor and the economy and the role of government.

But, that leaves about 60 percent of the people in the middle. This “persuadable” category constitutes three out of five Americans. With such a large group, it includes a lot of people of color. It includes a lot of Democrats. It includes a lot of union members. It also includes some Republicans, and maybe a few Trump voters, It’s a very broad group. When we look at this group, especially on race and the economy, what we found was that they held reactionary views. They would say things such as “Poverty among people of color is explained by a lack of effort.”

At the same time, they also held racially progressive views. They would toggle between the two perspectives. This was tremendously important because I think a lot of us have thought, “Wow! There’s a lot of racism out there, how are we going to overcome that?” Yes, there is a lot of racism out there, but it turns out there’s also a lot of racially progressive views. That creates the possibility of actually connecting with and activating those racially progressive views.

A common criticism of Hillary Clinton in the last campaign was that she talked too much about race and that this type of “identity politics" made her vulnerable to Trump’s right-wing “populist” message about class. How would you respond?

I think Hillary Clinton talked too much race in the wrong way. It was not the amount of time she dedicated to talking about race, but rather the way she talked about it. If we talk about race as white racism against people of color, that’s a frame which has negative effects both for whites and for people of color. What we found is that if we talk about racism that way, then white audiences feel implicated and they’re turned off. This is not at all surprising.

More surprising, we found that when we talked to communities of color and we offered a political analysis which said, “The main problem is politicians who are racists and racist voters who vote for them,” people of color were demobilized by that narrative. That story seemed to invoke 300 years of history. It made things seem insurmountable. People went very quickly from a sense of what’s politically possible to a narrative of what they could control as individuals. Whenever you see people shifting to stories of individual responsibility and what they can control, this reaffirms the right-wing framework that says, “You’re on your own. Take care of yourself. If you fail, it’s your own fault.”

Now let’s try a different frame: “Racism is a weapon of the rich that’s being used against all of us.” In our focus groups  we talked about racism as a weapon of the rich and explained that this is a "divide and distract" tactic that they are using against whites, against blacks, against brown folks, against Native Americans and Asian-Americans and immigrants. This is a weapon of the rich. This allowed whites to see how they are also targeted by the racial manipulation by the rich.

This narrative framework also allowed people of color to say, “We know that we need to fight racism, but now there’s a chance that white people might be in this fight with us too --maybe not with the same stakes, but still in this fight.”

There’s power to creating a sense of cross-racial solidarity, not alone on a moral ground because fighting racism is the right thing to do, but centered more firmly in the idea that fighting racism is the only way that white and black and brown folks are going to be able to thrive in this society. Cross-racial solidarity can defeat racism as a “divide and distract” weapon. It can get the government back on the side of people and have it create economic prosperity and racial justice for all people.

What are some narratives that you would suggest the Democrats use to defeat the Republican Party and Donald Trump?

Our research shows that there is a core narrative which progressives need to adopt.

Part one: Defeat, “divide and distract” as a tactic by insisting on cross-racial solidarity that includes whites and other communities of color.

Part two: Identify cross-racial solidarity as the way to take government back for working people and away from big business and the very rich.

Part three: Through government, build shared prosperity and promote racial justice.

Those are the three steps and it is applicable to many issues. Welfare reform, education, mass incarceration, mass deportation -- whatever policy you want to start with. The basic story is, “You know why we have mass deportation? Because politicians are running around trying to scare white people by saying that people of color are threatening. Well, they’re not. The real agenda is to distract us because we’re not paying attention to the way the rich and plutocrats are picking our collective pockets."

It doesn’t matter what issue you focus on. You can focus on the ones that are highly race-identified, like mass deportation or mass incarceration, public education and welfare. Or you can focus on issues like the environment, Wall Street regulation, and what’s happening in terms of higher education, free college, things that don’t seem directly connected to race. They’re all connected through the way in which government has been demonized.

Let’s reject distraction based on race or based on what we look like or where we come from or the gods we worship or the foods we eat, our gender, our sexual preference. Reject all of those distractions. Come together as working people to take this country back to elect the types of leaders we need -- and through these leaders demand human rights for all and a shared prosperity for all. That’s the basic narrative.

Good government, shared prosperity, human rights and shared prosperity creates a greater possibility of cross-racial solidarity. That is the message the Democrats really need to carry. If you think about 2016, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton both eventually came to the position that we need to do economic justice and racial justice. Unfortunately, neither of them had a story about how they were connected.

We need to start focusing on the way in which the rich are ripping off all the rest of us while trying to distract us with fear-mongering about undocumented immigrants or Muslims. If we can recognize and defeat that ploy then we can come together across racial lines and take this country back.

 


          Trump Economy: Wisconsin's Foxconn plant looking to bring in Chinese workers for US taxpayer-funded jobs      Cache   Translate Page      
The plant has been heavily subsidized with $3 billion in American tax dollars

A Wisconsin tech plant which has been hailed by President Donald Trump as a major step forward for American manufacturing is looking to bring in Chinese workers to staff the plant, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Foxconn Technology is a key supplier to Apple, and is opening a large new plant in the Midwest. The plant has been heavily subsidized with $3 billion in American tax dollars, potentially up to one million dollars per job.

But with a tight market for qualified American workers, Foxconn is "trying to tap Chinese engineers through internal transfers to supplement staffing."

“It’s very difficult to find skilled labor in our market,” said a staffing agency near the plant. “All the technical schools and local universities are gearing up their programs, but I still think Foxconn is going to fall short in terms of finding the people they need."

The company's plan is to bring in Chinese workers.

The big problem the company is facing? Chinese workers don't want to move to Wisconsin.

"One engineer who declined to give his name said he wouldn’t want to move to a place he worried could be as cold as Harbin, a northern Chinese city known as 'Ice City,'” reports the Wall Street Journal.

 


          Under Assault by Trump's GOP and Supreme Court, Unions Lead Massive Get Out the Vote Effort for Midterms: 'We Vote, We Win'      Cache   Translate Page      
"We don't know any other way. For us, it's a very natural way to survive: organize, organize."

In the face of a coordinated, corporate-funded assault on their very existence by President Donald Trump, Republicans at the federal and state level, and the right-wing Supreme Court, labor unions nationwide have mobilized massive numbers of struggling workersto turn out for Tuesday's critical midterms with the goal of defeating anti-union candidates and electing politicians willing to fight for progressive policies that benefit the working class like Medicare for All, a higher minimum wage, and the fundamental right to organize.

"The Culinary Workers Union registered 10,300 voters for the midterms. This union really gets it done. Still impressed by what I saw reporting on them in Vegas."
—David Jamieson, Huffington Post

"We don't know any other way," said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, which has registered over 10,300 new voters ahead of Tuesday's midterm elections to defeat Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.). "For us, it's a very natural way to survive here in Las Vegas: organize, organize."

With the rallying cry, "We vote, we win!" the union has provided resources for workers to learn about the candidates on the ballot, spread the word about the issues at stake in the midterms, and find the closest polling site.

The Culinary Union's get-out-the-vote efforts have been replicated throughout the nation, including in so-called "right-to-work states," where Republican legislatures have barred unions from collecting dues from all workers they represent in collective bargaining efforts to raise wages and improve working conditions.

"Things aren't changing for the better like they thought would happen. Real wages are not keeping pace with inflation. We haven't replaced the well-paying manufacturing jobs that we lost."
—Tim Burga, Ohio AFL-CIO

In Southern states like North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia, the Communications Workers of America (CWA)—which represents 700,000 workers nationwide—say it organized canvassing, mail, and phone bank operations that resulted in over four million door knocks."

In the Midwest, where workers have suffered from decades of deindustrialization, corporate outsourcing, and neglect from politicians who so often claim to care about their plight, the AFL-CIO says it has convinced thousands of union workers who backed Donald Trump in 2016 to turn out for progressive Democrats on Tuesday.

"About half of union households that voted for Trump said they are planning to vote for Democrats in two key statewide races," Vox reported on Monday, citing figures from the Ohio AFL-CIO. "That includes 51.4 percent of Trump voters who plan to cast a ballot for progressive Democrat Richard Cordray for governor and 49.9 percent of Trump voters who favor incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown—the only Democrat currently holding statewide office."

Tim Burga, president of the Ohio AFL-CIO, said many union workers who initially backed Trump have realized after two years of plutocratic policies and stagnant wages that the president and his billionaire-filled cabinet are not on their side, and never were.

"Things aren't changing for the better like they thought would happen," Burga said. "Real wages are not keeping pace with inflation. We haven't replaced the well-paying manufacturing jobs that we lost."

With a historic number of House Democratic candidates backing Medicare for All, National Nurses United (NNU)—the largest organization of registered nurses in the U.S.—has also been tirelessly canvassing and phone banking in Maryland, Florida, and the many other states where candidates are standing up to America's disastrous for-profit healthcare industry.

See NNU's full list of all 225 House Democratic candidates running on Medicare for All here.


          Where the Trump Presidency Could Go in This Fever-Dream world of Ours in the Wake of Today’s Election      Cache   Translate Page      
A look at the age of Trump from November 2016 to November 2018 -- and beyond

Who could forget that moment?  The blue [red] wave -- long promised but also doubted -- had, however modestly [however massively], hit Washington and [the Democrats had just retaken Congress] [the Republicans had held Congress] [the Democrats had taken the House].  The media, Fox News and the usual right-wing websites aside, hailed the moment. [Fox News and the usual right-wing websites cheered the president on.] Donald Trump’s grip on America had finally been broken [reinforced].  Celebrations were widespread.  Congressional investigations, possibly even impeachment, were only months and a new Congress away [were now a faint memory], and it was then, of course, that the unexpected struck.  It was then that President Trump, citing national security concerns and a crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, began the process whose end point we, of course, already know...

Okay, consider that the dystopian me speaking.  We don’t, of course, really know how our story yet ends, not faintly.  While I was writing this piece, I didn’t even know how Tuesday’s vote would turn out, though by the time you read it, you may.  Given the experience of election 2016, it would take a brave [foolish] soul to make a prediction this time around.

I certainly learned a lesson that November.  During the previous months of campaigning that election season, I never wrote a piece at TomDispatch that didn’t leave open the possibility of Donald Trump winning the presidency.  In the couple of weeks before that fateful November day, however, I got hooked on the polling results and on Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website and became convinced that Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in.

Of course, I was in good company.  As Michael Wolff would later report in his bestselling book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, on election eve, few in the Trump campaign, including the candidate himself, expected to win.  Most of them, again including The Donald, were already trying to parlay what they assumed was an assured loss into their next jobs or activities, including in the candidate’s case a possible “Trump network.”

So when, sometime after midnight, reality finally began to sink in -- fittingly enough, I had a 103-degree fever and was considering heading for an emergency room -- I was as disbelieving as the president-to-be. (He had, Wolff tells us, “assured” his wife, Melania, who was reportedly in tears of anything but joy that night, that he would never win and that she would never find herself in the White House.)  By then, it was for me a fever dream to imagine that bizarre, belligerent, orange-haired salesman-cum-con-artist entering the Oval Office.

Honestly, I shouldn’t have been the least bit surprised.  During election campaign 2016, I grasped much of this.  I wrote of the future president, for instance, as a con artist (particularly in reference to those taxes of his that we couldn’t see) and how Hillary Clinton’s crew hadn’t grasped the obvious: that many Americans would admire him for gaming the system, even if they couldn’t do the same themselves.  As I wrote at the time: “It’s something Donald Trump knows in his bones, even if all those pundits and commentators and pollsters (and for that matter Hillary Clinton’s advisers) don’t: Americans love a con man.”

I also saw that he was daring in ways unimaginable to an American politician -- because, of course, he wasn’t one -- particularly in promoting his slogan, MAGA, whose key word few of the political cognoscenti paid the slightest attention to: “again.”  At that moment, for presidents or politicians who wanted to become just that, it was obligatory to claim that the United States wasn’t just great but the greatest, most exceptional, most indispensable land ever.  (As Hillary Clinton typically put it that election season: “America is indispensable -- and exceptional -- because of our values.”)  Trump’s “again” in Make America Great Again suggested something quite different and so rang a bell in the heartland.  In the process, he became America’s first declinist presidential candidate. Early that October, I wrote this:

“[A] significant part of the white working class, at least, feels as if, whether economically or psychologically, its back is up against the wall and there’s nowhere left to go.  Under such circumstances, many of these voters have evidently decided that they’re ready to send a literal loose cannon into the White House; they’re willing, that is, to take a chance on the roof collapsing, even if it collapses on them. That is the new and unrecognizable role that Donald Trump has filled.  It’s hard to conjure up another example of it in our recent past. The Donald represents, as a friend of mine likes to say, the suicide bomber in us all. And voting for him, among other things, will be an act of nihilism, a mood that fits well with imperial decline.

“Think of him as a message in a bottle washing up on our shore...”

And yet, on that day of decision, I evidently reverted to the boy I had once been, the boy who grew up with a vision of an idealized America that would always do the right thing.  So I was shocked to the core by Donald Trump’s victory.

In that fever dream of a night, when he washed up on all our shores, I had certainly been trumped, but then, so had he, so had we all.  Under the circumstances, I’m sure you’ll understand why I’ve remained hesitant about putting my faith in polls in this election season or giving special significance to reports that the White House staff was glum as hell about the coming midterms and expected the worst. (After all, mightn’t this be that Michael Wolff election night all over again?)

The American Shooting Gallery

Two years after that fateful November night in 2016, we’re still living in a fever dream of some sort, enveloped 24/7 by the universe of President Trump and the “fake news media,” that provides him and the rest of us with a strange, all-encompassing echo chamber.  America, you might say, now has a 103-degree temperature and there isn’t an emergency room in sight.

And it’s unlikely to get better, whatever happens in the midterm elections.  Those who expect that a Democratic victory or a devastating Mueller reportin the weeks to come will be the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency (or, for that matter, that the victory of an ever more extreme Republican Party will simply prove more of the grisly same) might want to reconsider. Perhaps it's worth weighing other grimmer possibilities in the as-yet-unending rise of what’s still called “right-wing populism,” not just locally but globally.  Here in the United States, with hate and venom surging (and, yes indeed, being encouraged by President Trump for his own purposes), a genuinely ugly strain central to this country’s history is being resurrected.  In the process, a burgeoning number of deeply disturbed (and deeply animated) figures from among the most over-armed civilian population on the planet -- Yemen, of all the grim places, comes in a distant second -- are turning this country into a shooting gallery.

Win or lose today, don’t think that the Donald Trump we have is the one we’re fated to have until the day he goes down in flames. He is distinctly a work in progress, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say: in regress.  In that context, let me mention an evolution of a grim sort in my own thinking over the last two years.

For some time now there have been both thinkers and activists who have been convinced that Donald Trump is an American Mussolini, an outright fascist.  (According to his ex-wife, in the early 1990s he kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside and, during the 2016 election campaign, he retweeted a Mussolini quote, defending himself for doing so.)  I’ve always disagreed, however.  To my mind, he’s clearly been a man who wants to be idolized and adulated (as happens at any of his rallies) -- wants, that is, to have fans, not (in the fascistic sense) followers; applause and the eternal spotlight, not a social movement.  That, it seems to me, has been an accurate description of the president who entered the Oval Office and occupied it in such a suggestive way these last nearly two years.  But I’ve recently started to wonder.  After all, once upon a time, Donald Trump wasn’t a Republican either.  Let’s face it, he’s a quick learner when it comes to whatever may benefit The Donald.

And keep in mind that he entered an unsettled world already well preparedfor such a presidency by his predecessors in Washington.  If the fascist or, if you prefer, autocratic tendency that lurks in him and in the situation that surrounds him does come out more fully, he will obviously be aided by the ever more imperial presidency that was created in the decades before he left Trump Tower for the White House.

When he entered the Oval Office, he found there a presidency in which -- particularly on the subject of war (the president was, for instance, already America’s global assassin-in-chief) -- his powers increasingly stood outside both Congress and the Constitution. The weapons he’s now bringing to bear, including executive orders and the U.S. military, were already well prepared for him.  The refugees he makes such effective use of, whether from Syria or Central America, came to him, at least in part, thanks to this country’s war and other policies that had already roiled significant parts of the planet.  Before entering the Oval Office, the only aspect of such preparations he had any role in was the increasingly staggering inequalitythat gave a “populist” billionaire president, always ready to put more money in the hands of his .01% pals, a pained but receptive audience in the heartland.

In other words, this world and the fever dream that goes with it were Donald Trump’s oyster before he ever lifted a finger in the White House.  As a result, no election results, no matter whether the Democrats or the Republicans “win,” are likely to bring that temperature down.  In fact, if the Democrats do take the House (or even Congress), Donald Trump is unlikely to become more pliable.  If the Mueller report results in impeachment proceedings in the House, he won’t be humbled.  In the face of any such development, my guess is that his impulse will be to become more autocratic, more imperial, and even possibly more fascistic.  And the same may hold if the Republicans hang onto both houses of Congress.

Waiting for the Red Hats

Even before the vote was in, the evidence was there.  In the lead-up to the election, 5,000-plus U.S. troops (or maybe 15,000?) are headed for the U.S.-Mexico border to deal with what the president has called both an “invasion” and a “national emergency.” ("Fake news!") There, those troops will essentially twiddle their thumbs (since they are legally allowed to do little) simply because the president wanted it so.  There may, in fact, be two soldiers for every desperate refugee, including children and babies, headed toward the U.S. border in that now notorious “caravan” from Honduras.  In other words, on a whim, Donald Trump is already capable of building a wall (of troops) at that border.  The question worth asking is this: In an embattled near-future moment in which a truly Trumpian military figure (think of “him” as the next John Bolton) is in place as secretary of defense and another “national emergency” is declared, where might those troops go next because the president wanted it so?

In the days before the election, the president also threatened to sign an executive order to nullify birthright citizenship -- in the process, threatening to functionally nullify the Constitution (see the 14th Amendment), while bringing back to life the ugliest strains of American racial history just because he wanted it so.  At the moment, he might not even sign that order or, if he does, it might go down big time in Congress and the courts.  But who knows what the future of an executive-order presidency holds, especially with another Supreme Court justice pick or two in place, no matter who controls Congress?

As for those rallies of his: tell me you can’t conceive of a future America in which his adulatory crowds have stopped simply cheering and shouting for him (“Build the wall!” “Lock her up!”) and are now marching for him as well.  Is it really so hard to imagine a future in which there would be a place for a Trump Corps or for “the Red Hats”; for, that is, the kind of social movement that would no longer be confined to the arenas and stadiums of red-state America or even the polling booths of Election Day, one that might indeed be in the streets of this country at the beck and call of a fierce and autocratic billionaire?

In an increasingly unsettled world, an Autocrats, Incorporated moment globally, with an ever more powerful chief executive, and a right wing still on the march, everything that Donald Trump inherited could certainly be intensified further.  And he might be just the man to do it.  In a world in which Congress is no longer fully in his camp, in which legal charges against him, his family, and his cronies only grow, to adapt a title from a Russian novel of the early twentieth century, unquiet could flow The Don -- and in that lies peril for us all.   

Now, excuse me, I’m heading out to vote. 

Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of theAmerican Empire Projectand the author of a history of the Cold War,The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of theNation Instituteand runsTomDispatch.com. His sixth and latest book isA Nation Unmade by War (Dispatch Books).

FollowTomDispatchon Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, Beverly Gologorsky's novelEvery Body Has a Storyand Tom Engelhardt'sA Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy'sIn the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power, John Dower'sThe Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, and John Feffer's dystopian novelSplinterlands.

 


          'One of the Biggest Fraud Cases Ever': Trump Biographer David Cay Johnston Uncovers Rudy Giuliani's Alleged Role In Massive $10 Billion Theft      Cache   Translate Page      
The complaint is aimed at uncovering the full details of Russian money flowing to various Trump projects using so-called anonymous wealth companies.

A human rights organization has asked Dutch prosecutors to open a criminal investigation into multi-billion dollar money laundering schemes that they say were aided by Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and his old law firm.

This story first appeared at DC Report.

The complaint is clearly aimed at examining how much money stolen from a former Soviet satellite ended up benefitting Trump. He is named 16 times in the complaint’s footnotes.

The complaint describes “one of the biggest fraud cases ever” in which “some of these money flows ultimately ended up in the Netherlands” because “Dutch service providers helped to cover up the money laundering acts.”

Watch David Cay Johnston’s Video Commentary Below:

“The money laundering network started in Kazakhstan, where a figure of up to USD 10 billion was purportedly embezzled,” the complaint asserts. “This money was subsequently circulated by two Kazakh oligarch families via a worldwide network of shell companies. A number of these companies were established in the Netherlands. The money was subsequently invested in real estate projects in the United States and Europe, after which it was paid out as ‘profits’ via – once again – a network of shell companies.”

Netherlands banks and other firms play a significant role in illicit flows of cash around the world through sophisticated techniques to hide income and corporate profits. Many of these techniques appear to push the envelope on legal tax avoidance. When money laundering is involved these aggressive techniques could cross a line into aiding and abetting criminal tax evasion.

The complaint asserts that a small slice of the missing billions was run through Dutch shell corporations with help from Rudy Giuliani’s old law firm, Bracewell & Giuliani. Until 2016, Giuliani was a partner in the 470-lawyer firm.

Neither Giuliani nor anyone at his firm Giuliani Security & Safety LLC responded to requests for his side of the story. Multiple requests for comment prompted no response from Greg M. Bopp, managing partner of what was then Bracewell & Giuliani but is now called only Bracewell.

The complaint was filed by Avaaz, a global human rights organization in Washington which claims 48 million members. It has issued an open call to prosecutors around the world to investigate “the giant web of corruption” that it says propelled Trump’s rise.

Avaaz says it has approximately 290,000 members in the Netherlands. The complaint was filed Oct. 22 with J.J.M. van Dis-Setz of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service by Barbara van Straaten, a lawyer in Amsterdam.

The complaint filed with the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service in Amsterdam relies on court records from several countries that were dug up by investigative journalists, including James S. Henry, the investigative economics editor of DCReport.

The Dutch television program Zembla aired an investigative piece on Trump and his Russian associates in 2017. It followed up with an expose of a Trump business partner’s role in a Dutch money laundering scheme.

The complaint is aimed at uncovering the full details of Russian money flowing to various Trump projects using so-called anonymous wealth companies. Those are shell companies created to hide the identities of the owners. Trump and his family are known to have received vast sums from shell companies and have bragged about how much of it came from people in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet empire. Trump contends the deals were all lawful and he has no knowledge of any money laundering.

A criminal investigation by Dutch prosecutors could help that country avoid banking sanctions and loss of reputation by showing that Amsterdam enforces its own laws and respects laws on transnational crimes.

Roughly $10 billion was stolen from Kazakhstan, a former Soviet satellite located in Central Asia. The current Kazakh government is in court in Switzerland and elsewhere trying to recover the money and prosecute members of two families it says stole the money and laundered it in the West. Other lawsuits connected to the stolen money are being litigated in London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.

The $10 billion theft was uncovered by PricewaterhouseCoopers during its 2009 audit of BTA Bank, the largest in Kazakhstan. In addition, there is about $300 million missing from Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan.

Court documents identify the suspected thieves as Viktor Khrapunov and Mukhtar Ablyazov, oligarchs whose families are bound not just by extensive business ties, but also by marriage. Khrapunov is the former mayor of Almaty. His son Illyas is married to Ablyazov’s daughter.

“There are strong indications that the revenues of these crimes were probably mixed via a complex money-laundering network, and there was a great deal of mutual overlap” between the companies and people suspected of the crimes, the complaint states.

Both Khrapunov and Ablyazov are fugitives.

Khrapunov, who was tried in absentia in Kazakhstan, has been convicted of corruption.

Ablyazov, who was president of the looted bank, had his worldwide assets with an estimated value of $4.9 billion frozen six years ago by a British High Court.

Trump has done business since 1983 with Russian oligarchs and wealthy former officials and business people in former Soviet satellites, including Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. A number of mobsters – American, Russian and others – live in Trump Tower apartments. The building has long been known to local, federal and international law enforcement as a nest of criminal residences.

In 1987 the Kremlin, then still a communist state, provided Trump and his first wife Ivana with a luxury trip to Russia.

While a number of journalistic investigations have looked into Trump’s dealings with oligarchs and their money using public records and sources they were limited to public records, which are often scant. Dutch prosecutors, however, have the power to subpoena banking and other records, forcing their disclosure to prosecutors and, potentially, the public.

Trump is known to have done deals with some of those mentioned in the complaint, including Felix Sater, a violent Long Island felon who was born in Russia. For years Sater traveled extensively with Trump working on deals named in the complaint and handing out his Trump Organization business card. Despite these long ties and both videos and still photos showing the men together, Trump claimed during the presidential campaign that he would not recognize Sater if they were in the same room.

Sater is believed to be cooperating with Robert Mueller, the American special prosecutor investigating Trump.

In one deal involving Sater, millions of dollars from the Trump SoHo hotel and apartment tower disappeared into an Icelandic bank that was under the control of a Russian oligarch. That bank was part of a multi-billion-dollar scheme to defraud Dutch and British pension funds. Trump has testified that he was due 18% of profits from the building.

The faux gold letters bearing the name, under an agreement reached a year ago, have been pried from the building façade.

Just three weeks before the 2016 election, a massive expose of Trump’s role in helping Kazakh oligarchs hide their illicit money appeared in The Financial Times, a British business newspaper.

“Dirty Money: Trump and the Kazakh Connection” described “evidence a Trump venture has links to alleged laundering network.”

The newspaper said its investigation found that Trump had “assembled an eclectic collection of backers and collaborators. Some had chequered pasts, with links to organized crime or fraud schemes. But perhaps the biggest risk for Mr. Trump’s complex, often opaque, business empire was that it might be used for a purpose US officials fear is rife in the country’s real estate sector: laundering dirty money.”

Trump’s SoHo project “has multiple ties to an alleged international money laundering network. Title deeds, bank records and correspondence show that a Kazakh family accused of laundering hundreds of millions of stolen dollars bought luxury apartments in a Manhattan tower part-owned by Mr. Trump and embarked on major business ventures with one of the tycoon’s partners,” the British newspaper The Financial Timesreported after an extensive investigation.

Trump and his partners, the FT asserted, engaged in condo sales that appear to have violated the Patriot Act, the post 9/11 law that requires banks, developers and others to know who their customers are and the sources of their money.

Investigations to identify anonymous buyers of luxury apartments in New York and Florida to determine the extent of any money laundering were announced in January 2016 by the federal government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Three months later the FinCEN director, Jennifer Shasky Calvery, spoke about her years of work on transnational Russian organized crime networks. Much of her work involved Russian crime families “laundering their funds through the U.S. financial system. Often, this involved the suspected purchase of personal residences with criminal proceeds.”

In July 2016, the month the GOP nominated Trump, FinCen announced it would be investigating sales of luxury apartments beyond New York and Florida because of its growing concern about flows of illicit cash disguised in real estate deals.

While Giuliani calls himself Trump’s personal lawyer, his role is primarily to spread Trumpian disinformation about Special Prosecutor Mueller’s investigations into Russian collusion and related matters concerning Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign. Because Giuliani appears on so many cable and other television shows, but not in court, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell calls the former New York City mayor “Trump’s TV lawyer.”


          Apple is no longer a trillion-dollar company      Cache   Translate Page      
Apple, the world’s most valuable public company, is back to slumming it as a multi-hundred-billion-dollar company. The company’s stock price closed at $201.59 today (Nov.…
          South African SOE execs are paid millions for losing billions      Cache   Translate Page      
South African state-owned enterprises are a mess, losing billions each year. However, their executives are laughing all the way to the bank.
          Are banks targeting RIAs once again for deals?      Cache   Translate Page      
A $6 billion RIA deal may signal a reversal of lackluster market activity.
          The Global Ceramic Fiber market was valued $ xx billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach $ xx billion by 2027, growing at an estimated CAGR of 9.65%, during the forecast period 2019-2027      Cache   Translate Page      

LONDON, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- KEY FINDINGS The Global Ceramic Fiber market was valued $ xx billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach $ xx billion by 2027, growing at an estimated CAGR of 9.65%, during the forecast period 2019-2027.The production of ceramic fiber was estimated to...


          Comment on Welcome to Mella Travers Photography by tairJek      Cache   Translate Page      
Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o.Rolands petersons minicrediT has released a new report on Cyprus who experienced an economic recession just recently, but indicated 5th most rapid growth in the European Union last year. In the last quarter of 2017 economic growth reached 3,9% - Cyprus achieved such a result for the first time in the last ten years, according to Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o.Rolands petersons minicrediT Member of the board CPM Trading LTD Rolands Peterson (PRNewsfoto/CPM Trading LTD) The amount of investment funds and the amount of assets being managed by them reflected growth in late 2017 and first half of 2018. In December 2017 there were 114 funds registered in Cyprus, but this year there are 130 already].Rolands petersons minicrediT The amount of assets managed by them experienced growth of 6%, reaching 4,718 billion euros in absolute terms (for comparison we could mention that in March this year the total amount of assets reached only 4,446 billion euros)].Rolands petersons minicrediT In August the Cyprus Department of Transportation initiated amendments in its transportation fiscal policy, influencing new and used transport facilities registered after the law will be adopted. Outlining the above amendments are providing bigger road taxes for drivers with older cars and more horsepower, but those green-thinking will pay less. Such amendments provide several advantages: save income from transport taxation, decrease environment pollution, contribute to assets flow, and new car purchased stimulates a more attractive environment for foreigners, according to Rolands Petersons, member of the board of Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o.Rolands petersons minicrediT who offers his thoughts on the Cyprus economy.Rolands petersons minicrediT Smart investment and fiscal policy, increasing the budget income, simultaneously stimulating the national economy and one of the most important areas - tourism, as well as caring about environment protection in total resulted in significant economic growth and we are sure that in total numbers of 2018 Cyprus will also provide a great example for many economies.Rolands petersons minicrediT About Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o.: Norman Logistics Sp.zo.o. is an international logistics company based in Poland since 2016.Rolands petersons minicrediT This company operates in Europe and also in many other major logistics centers in the world. The core business is a cargo brokerage, mainly marine cargo.Rolands petersons minicrediT Norman Logistics customers is significant EU companies which his production transport throughout marine cargo. And service providers is medium or large shipping companies. The mission of Norman Logistics is convenient logistics and one point service for the same price, individual and best quality approach.Rolands petersons minicrediT Author: Rolands Petersons, member of the board of "Norman Logistics spzoo" Rolands petersons minicrediT
          Custodian      Cache   Translate Page      
IN-Warsaw, About Us: EMCOR Facilities Services (EFS), an EMCOR core business, services over 1 billion square feet of space worldwide. From corporate campuses to single sites, EFS provides a range of services that support mission-critical areas of financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, transportation, and government sectors. Job Title: Custodian Job Summary: This position will require the employee
          Customer Service - Desk Attendant (2nd Shift)      Cache   Translate Page      
IN-Warsaw, About Us: EMCOR Facilities Services (EFS), an EMCOR core business, services over 1 billion square feet of space worldwide. From corporate campuses to single sites, EFS provides a range of services that support mission-critical areas of financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, transportation, and government sectors. Job Title: Customer Service - Desk Attendant (2nd Shift) Job Summary: Mai
          Michael Bloomberg to air $5 million in ads before midterm elections to tout Democrats      Cache   Translate Page      
Posted: 11.05.18 07:38 AM Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City who is considering a 2020 presidential campaign, took another step closer to that possibility Sunday with a $5 million national advertising effort that encourages voters to support Democrats in Tuesday’s midterm elections — and offers Bloomberg’s centrist politics as a counter to President Trump.* Source: https://www.nraila.org/articles/20181105/michael-bloomberg-to-air-5-million-in-ads-before-midterm-elections-to-tout-democrats-and-himself
          Instacart nabs Google execs as VPs of engineering and corp dev, acqui-hires MightySignal      Cache   Translate Page      
After raising $600 million at a $7.6 billion valuation a few weeks ago, Instacart is doubling down on expanding its talent pool to square up against Amazon and others with ambitions in online grocery ordering and delivery. The company has appointed Varouj Chitilian as it first VP of engineering and Dave Sobota as its first VP […]
          Lead Analyst, Advertiser Analytics - Cardlytics - Atlanta, GA      Cache   Translate Page      
The big picture 1,500 banks. 120 million customers. 20 billion transactions per year. If you're looking for big data, you found it. Cardlytics helps...
From Cardlytics - Sat, 27 Oct 2018 06:25:17 GMT - View all Atlanta, GA jobs
          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          Intensifying Future of the Japanese Defense Market Outlook: Ken Research      Cache   Translate Page      
Japanese Defense MarketAccording to the report analysis, ‘Future of the Japanese Defense Industry – Market Attractiveness, Competitive Landscape and Forecasts to 2023’ states that in the forecasted period, the Japanese defense budget is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 2.51% to value USD 53.7 billion by 2023. Whereas, in the historic period, the total defense budget [...]
          PA Headline      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          Head of Investor Relations - Brookfield Asset Management - Toronto, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Support new fundraising initiatives; Brookfield is a global alternative asset manager with approximately $285 billion in assets under management....
From Brookfield Asset Management - Mon, 24 Sep 2018 21:41:30 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Facial Injectables Market Is Projected to Be Worth US $5.8 Bn by 2024      Cache   Translate Page      

Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/06/2018 -- The North America facial injectables market features a largely monopolistic landscape with only one company holding dominating share. Transparency Market Research (TMR) notes that Allergan Plc. accounts for a lion's share of 62.0% in the market. The dominant stronghold the company has in the market derives its strength from its robust brand value of its facial injectable offering such as Juvederm and Botox (Botulinum toxin). The Botox is anticipated to witness leading demand presently and is likely to hold its sway in the regional market through 2024.

Other prominent players operating in this regional market include Bloomage BioTechnology Corporation Limited, Ipsen Group, Prollenium Medical Technologies Inc., and Merz Pharma & Co. KGaA, and Galderma S.A.

The North America facial injectables market stood at US$2.1 billion in 2015 and is anticipated to be worth US$5.8 billion by 2024 end. The regional market is projected to rise at a promising CAGR of 12.0% during the forecast years of 2016 and 2024.

Request A Sample Copy @ https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=S&rep_id=18515

The various products of facial injectables can be categorized into hyaluronic acid, particle and polymer fillers, botulinum toxin, and collagen. Of these, the botulinum toxin led the pack with the segment accounting for the major share in the market in 2015. The extensive demand is attributed to the marked efficacy of Botox mainly in skin rejuvenation and in reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The segment is prognosticated to rise at a promising CAGR of 12.7% from 2016 to 2024.

Based on country, the U.S. leads the regional market and is expected to continue to hold its sway through 2024. The extensive demand for botulinum toxins and dermal fillers, coupled with the rising uptake of minimally invasive surgeries, accounts for the dominance of the U.S. market.

north america facial injectables market Growth to ride on back of Burgeoning Demand for Minimally Invasive Surgeries for Skin Rejuvenation

The rising number of consumers focusing on cosmetics products for enhancing their appearance and reverse aging is a key underpinning for the growth of the North America facial injectables market. The vast rise in disposal incomes of population in the region is a key factor driving the market. The demand for facial injectable is getting robust fillip driven by the growing popularity of synthetic products made with polymers and particles used in cosmetology.

Request Brochure @ https://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=B&rep_id=18515

The market is expected to garner huge gains from the rising preference of minimally invasive surgeries for eliminating wrinkles and sagging in facial skins. Across the region, the prominent demand for skin rejuvenation treatments that retains effect for a prolonged period is also catalyzing the growth of the market. The surging popularity of long-lasting facial fillers together with their rising affordability will accentuate the regional market over the assessment period.

Risk of Complications might offset Gains derived from Facial Injectables in Cosmetology

Changing lifestyle and the efficacy of facial injectables in treating dermatological conditions are notable trend boosting the market. The regional market will earn revenues from the uptake of dermal fillers in creating smoother and fuller appearance of face. Expanding understanding of beauty and aesthetics will also fuel the demand for injectable filler.

However, despite the potential benefits of facial injectable in skin rejuvenation, this can be offset by a variety of common side-effects such as allergic reactions and hypersensitivities. In addition, the of various risk medical complications such as swelling and bruising, edema, and bleeding, is also likely to dampen the demand. Moreover, lack of standard reimbursement policies for treatments with facial injectables is also a crucial factor crippling the growth of the market.

Nevertheless, significant advancements in advances in cosmetic and medical dermatology bodes well for the regional market. Furthermore, putting strategies in place to reduce the risk of complications will also catalyze the growth of the North America facial injectables market.

About Transparency Market Research
Transparency Market Research (TMR) is a market intelligence company, providing global business information reports and services. Our exclusive blend of quantitative forecasting and trends analysis provides forward-looking insight for thousands of decision makers. TMR's experienced team of analysts, researchers, and consultants, use proprietary data sources and various tools and techniques to gather, and analyze information. Our business offerings represent the latest and the most reliable information indispensable for businesses to sustain a competitive edge.

Each TMR syndicated research report covers a different sector – such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, energy, food & beverages, semiconductors, med-devices, consumer goods and technology. These reports provide in-depth analysis and deep segmentation to possible micro levels. With wider scope and stratified research methodology, TMR's syndicated reports strive to provide clients to serve their overall research requirement.

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For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/facial-injectables-market/release-1078740.htm

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          Russian Billionaire Rybolovlev 'Detained In Monaco'      Cache   Translate Page      
Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire and owner of the Monaco soccer club, has been detained in Monaco for questioning in a corruption-related case, French newspaper Le Monde reports.
          Cyber Monday: Pricing Tips to Drive Sales in 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
Almost every e-commerce retailer has their eyes on Cyber Monday all year around and it’s finally arrived! By filling up their online stores with the best deals and huge discounts, online retailers aim to get a portion of the cake. Last year they spent $3.45 billion online on Cyber Monday and it became the biggest ...
          India voices concern to China over large trade deficit      Cache   Translate Page      
The bilateral trade between India and China rose by 18.63 per cent year-on-year last year. But the trade deficit still remains high at USD 51.75 billion in 2017.
          CADD Technician - Wood - Sheridan, WY      Cache   Translate Page      
We operate in more than 60 countries, employing around 60,000 people, with revenues of over $10 billion. Wood is a global leader in the delivery of project,...
From Wood - Mon, 01 Oct 2018 21:45:20 GMT - View all Sheridan, WY jobs
          Probiotics Market worth $64.02 billion by 2022      Cache   Translate Page      
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          HKS Releases Renderings of the New Texas Rangers Stadium      Cache   Translate Page      

HKS has designed the new $1.1 billion  Texas Rangers stadium, which is set to open by 2020 in…

The post HKS Releases Renderings of the New Texas Rangers Stadium appeared first on Arch2O.com.


          US$1 Billion To Transform Health And Nutrition Of World’s Poorest Women, Children And Adolescents      Cache   Translate Page      
Ten new investors mdash;Burkina Faso, C ocirc;te d 39;Ivoire, Denmark, the European Commission, Germany, Japan, Laerdal Global Health, the Netherlands, Qatar and an anonymous donor mdash;have joined since the launch of the Global Financing Facility replenishment. They join existing funders the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, Can ...
          Strategic Program Manager (m/f) (Freelancer/Consultant) // AppLift      Cache   Translate Page      

What we do We’re here to solve a problem faced by all mobile app marketers: how to find the best possible users for their apps at the best possible price. By connecting mobile app marketers with over a billion users worldwide through our performance-focused technology, we enable them to acquire just the ones that will...

Check out all open positions at http://BerlinStartupJobs.com


          Kiva.org: Senior Product Designer      Cache   Translate Page      

Full-time

(San Francisco, CA)

About us

Kiva (www.kiva.org) is an innovative non-profit focused on connecting people through lending to alleviate poverty and create opportunity. We run a global marketplace platform for crowdfunded microloans that serves the financially excluded. Our organization combines the culture and technological passion of an internet start-up with the compassion and empathy of a non-profit to address poverty at global scale. We aim to drive social impact and enable opportunity while providing a borrower-to-lender connection: “Loans that change lives.” In just 13 years, we have raised more than $1.1 billion in loan capital for 2.7 million borrowers in 83 countries. Our lenders fund over $10 million in loans every month. With offices in San Francisco, Portland, New York, Nairobi, and Bangkok, Kiva's team includes 100+ employees and 400+ volunteers worldwide.

About this role

At Kiva, we’re broadening our focus and building new products that will create economic opportunity and expand financial inclusion across the globe. We recognize the importance of strong design in driving the success of these new initiatives, and are investing in a skilled team that will have a high degree of ownership around Kiva’s future impact.

As a Senior Product Designer, you will be involved in all aspects of the product development process—from brainstorming the next big idea, to creating the vision for new features, to tweaking pixels right before launch. We’re looking for someone who can pitch in on a wide range of design issues—product, user experience, interaction, visual, copywriting, illustration, storytelling—whatever it takes to ship the ultimate user experience to the people we want to reach. You’ll thrive in this role if you are constantly curious, think deeply, speak clearly, and embrace collaboration and feedback.

This is a full-time position located in either San Francisco, CA or Portland, OR. At this time, we can only consider applicants with authorization to work in the United States on a permanent, full-time basis; unfortunately we cannot provide visa sponsorship.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Partner with product managers, engineers, and other stakeholders to design user experiences from conception to launch.
  • Participate in concept development and design ideation with product managers and designers to define product direction.
  • Lead and participate in cross-functional brainstorms, discussions, and design reviews.
  • Prototype and present ideas ranging from rough whiteboard sketches to wireframes to high-fidelity interactive prototypes.
  • Partner with engineering to ensure a high-quality implementation and user experience.
  • Lead broader design initiatives, such as improving or extending the design system or product development practices.

What we’re looking for:

  • 5+ years experience designing best-of-class digital products—consumer products, nonprofit, and/or financial services—ideally in-house.
  • Experience across the full product development spectrum: from ideation and strategy to implementation (with pixel level detail). You’ve gotta be able to fly high and fly low.
  • Demonstrated ability to build successful relationships across design, engineering, product, and marketing.
  • Strong customer focus: ability to conduct user research and translate insights from customer interviews, usability tests and site metrics into actionable design solutions.
  • Excellent verbal, written, and visual communication skills; willing to provide and receive constructive feedback as a part of the creative process.

What we offer:

  • An amazing mission: Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty across the globe
  • An opportunity to improve real lives, solve hard problems, and change the world
  • Friendly, supportive, and adventurous environment with a team of engaged colleagues
  • Casual, but high performing work environment
  • A comprehensive, industry-leading benefits package
  • Opportunities to connect with and learn from colleagues and partners around the world

A diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other is an integral part of Kiva's culture. We actively welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives. We are an equal opportunity employer and a great place to work. Join us and help us achieve our mission!

We will only accept applications directly from candidates. Kiva will not be responsible for any recruiting agency fees, absent a formal agreement.

Apply:


          MarketsandMarkets estimates the global TV analytics market to grow from USD 1.9 billion in 2018 to USD 4.2 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.4%      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Intensifying business competition among TV analytics solution providers is driving the growth of the market Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05609424 MarketsandMarkets estimates the global TV analytics market to grow from USD 1.9...


          The market size of MMA adhesives is estimated at USD 1.09 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 1.56 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 7.5%      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The market size of MMA adhesives is estimated at USD 1.09 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 1.56 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 7.5%. The increasing demand for MMA adhesives from the automotive & transportation industry is one of the major ...


          The military drones market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.00% from 2018 to 2025      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The military drones market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.00% from 2018 to 2025. Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05609423 The military drones market is projected to grow from USD 12.1 billion in 2018 to USD 26.8 billion by...


          The global hub motor market is estimated to grow from USD 7.92 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 5.03% to reach USD 11.17 billion by 2025      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Availability of government support such as purchase incentives for electric two wheelers, powerful acceleration, and better torque control have driven the demand for hub motor globally. Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05609422 The ...


          Aussie Retailers to Benefit from Alibaba’s $200 Billion Imports Pledge      Cache   Translate Page      
Alibaba

Alibaba has promised to focus on importing more goods from countries like Australia and the US, in a bid to supply Chinese consumers with a larger range of quality products.

The post Aussie Retailers to Benefit from Alibaba’s $200 Billion Imports Pledge appeared first on Power Retail.


          Funding model not sustainable, warns Road Accident Fund as deficit soars to R206bn      Cache   Translate Page      
The Road Accident Fund’s (RAF’s) net deficit has jumped from R179.9-billion in the 2017 financial year, to R206.3-billion in the 2018 financial year, with the bulk of this related to unpaid claims. Claims liability has soared from R188-billion in the 2017 financial year, to R215-billion in the 2018 financial year, said RAF Finance GM Victor Songelwa at a media briefing in Centurion on Tuesday.
          DXC Technology stock falls after revenue misses Street view      Cache   Translate Page      

DXC Technology shares dropped in the extended session Tuesday after the IT services company's revenue fell short of Wall Street estimates. DXC shares fell 7% after hours, following a 0.6% decline to close the regular session at $72.21. The company reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $262 million, or 92 cents a share, compared with $256 million, or 88 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue declined to $5.01 billion from $5.45 billion in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings were $2.02 a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings of $1.94 a share on revenue of $5.3 billion.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


          Arris shares surge on report of CommScope acquistion      Cache   Translate Page      

Arris International PLC shares rallied in the extended session Tuesday following a report that the set-top-box maker was going to be acquired by CommScope Holding Co. . Arris shares surged 16%, while CommScope shares fell 5% after hours. Late Tuesday, CNBC reported that CommScope was near a deal to acquire Arris for more than $5.6 billion.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


          Demand higher teacher salaries!      Cache   Translate Page      
Teachers are undervalued in our society. They do not make enough to raise a family with their current salaries. I propose to raise minimum teacher salaries to $60,000. How will we do this?My proposal is that the federal government make up the $21,000 difference between the current starting salary of $39,000 and the proposed salary of $60,000 by taking a small portion of military spending and relocating it to this cause. The state and local government will maintain current funding as well as annual raises of 2-3%. This will in turn only require a 6.7% military spending cut. We would still have $543 billion to spend on defense, which is still more than 2.5 times the amount of military spending as China, our closest competitor. Teachers are taking care of our future generations, so we need to take care of them.
          DEMAND, THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL, INVESTIGATE, PROSECUTE, THIS CORRUPT, CITY GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC OFFICIALS      Cache   Translate Page      

Ever since, 1865, when this American Civil War, abolished, Slavery in America, are all of this City, of Louisville, Kentucky, generations, of Black Americans, Peoples, and Families.

Who, being racially, discriminated, who are not being allowed, to become, productive, profitable, self-reliant, self-sufficient, financially, independent, to ensure, that they remain, living in poverty. 


Why in 1941, this racists, City Government, built, these 83 buildings, 803, two-story, apartments, for the specific, purpose, to segregate, these poor, Black American, Peoples, and Families, from this City, productive, profitable, self-reliant, self-sufficient, financially, independent, White Americans, and mockingly, named, Beecher Terrace Apartments. 1/

Caused, by all of these inherited, corrupt, racists, tyrants, oppressors, overlords, who are all of these City Government of Louisville, Kentucky, organized crime, public officials, for their purpose, to get rich.

Ever since, to get rich, embezzling, billions, of these Federal Governments, funds, and grants, intended, to provide this City, Black American, Peoples, and Families, with fit, decent, safe, sanitary, healthy, habitable, living, housing, conditions, to provide, for their educations, to provide, for their sick, and the homeless.

To get rich, why these racists, corrupt, City Government, purposely, never removed, eradicated, airborne, lead based paint dust particulates, neurotoxins, why they never maintained, to purposely, cause, black molds, T2, trichothecene, mycotoxins.

To get rich, by causing, all of these, unsuspecting, generations, of Black American, Peoples, and Families, to cause, permanent, bodily harms, to change unborn, DNA, brain damages, genetics, to cause, all of these unborn, generations, to inherit.

To get rich, by causing, all of these, inherited, unborn, generations, memory losses, vision losses, hearing losses, attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities, school dropouts, depressions, angers, anxieties, aggressions, criminalization's, incarcerations.

To get rich, by causing, as each year, passes, to worsen, intensify, to cause, all of these generations, not to be educable, productive, profitable, self-reliant, self-sufficient, financially, independent.

To get rich, by causing, all of these, generations, of survivors, forced, to vacate, break their leases, court evicted, homeless.

To get rich, by causing, all of these City, generations, of Black American, Peoples, and Families, to remain, living in poverty.

1/  WEBSITE, EVIDENCES


          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          11/6/2018: POLITICS: Liberals to release anti-poverty strategy      Cache   Translate Page      
OTTAWA • Cities looking for more federal cash and a more regular flow of money to tackle poverty are being told that they will be able to tap into $1.25 billion over the next nine years through the Liberal government’s cornerstone homelessness...
          Buffett’s Buyback and SeaWorld’s Surprise      Cache   Translate Page      
Warren Buffet buys back $12.6 billion in stock. Lowe’s closes 51 stores in the U.S. and Canada. And SeaWorld reports better-than-expected earnings and attendance. Motley Fool analysts Jason Moser and Emily Flippen discuss those stories.   Thanks to Molekule for supporting our channel.  Get $75 off your first order at http://www.molekule.com code fool75.
          Jewish groups call on UKIP to break ties with "vile anti-Semite Alex Jones"      Cache   Translate Page      
British Jewish groups have accused UKIP of indulging in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories through its links with Alex Jones’ right-wing website, Infowars, calling on the party to disassociate itself from the “vile” website. The calls come in the wake of pipe bomb plots that targeted 14 high profile figures in the US including billionaire investor George […]
          Soros Partners with Mastercard to Hand Out Money to Migrants      Cache   Translate Page      
Billionaire investor George Soros has repeatedly denied rumors that he is helping to finance the migrant caravans making their way up from Honduras and Guatemala through Mexico with the ultimate aim of reaching the US. But that’s about to change, as the “Open Society” founder – who famously financed much of the opposition to Trump […]
          Porter, Afternoon Shift (3pm-11pm) - TC Transcontinental Printing - Aurora, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
TC Transcontinental has more than 7,000 employees in Canada and the United States, and a revenue of C$2.0 billion in 2016. Porter (Afternoon Shift, 3pm-11pm)*....
From Indeed - Tue, 06 Nov 2018 22:17:39 GMT - View all Aurora, ON jobs
          Former Petroleum Minister, Diezani To Be Extradited From Britain To Face Trial In Nigeria      Cache   Translate Page      
Former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke is to be extradited from Britain to face trail in Nigeria, The Nation learnt yesterday. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is to approach Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami (SAN) this week with a request to file charges against Mrs Alison-Madueke based on its findings.


As part of its investigation, the EFCC has traced N47.2 billion and $487.5million to the ex-minister, it was gathered.

Besides, about N23,446,300,000 and $5milion (about N1.5billion) have been located in various Nigerian banks.


But only about $37.5million Banana Island property has been finally forfeited by the ex-minister.

Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, ordered the final forfeiture of the property.

According to a fact-sheet The Nation stumbled on, the EFCC has concluded the investigation of the allegations against Mrs Alison-Madueke.

More than 50 suspects in some of the cases linked with her have been arraigned in court, especially the alleged N23.29billion 2015 poll bribe.

The EFCC review team felt it will be “in the interest of justice to extradite the ex-minister to Nigeria for trial”. She is believed to be in Britain.

Some of the investigated allegations against the ex-Minister, with substantial evidence, include the following:

  • release of $1.3b NNPC cash to the Office of the national Security Adviser (ONSA) in 2014 to fight kidnapping in Niger Delta;
  • whereabouts of $18.5billion earnings by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC);
  • $15.8billion NLNG dividends  between 2000 and 2014( especially about $9b component between 2010 and 2015);
  • $1.7billion oil contracts involving Mrs Alison-Madueke and two business associates;
  • N23.29b 2015 poll bribery scam;
  • $37.5m property on Banana Island; and
  • acquisition of many properties at home, in Britain, and in the UAE
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The EFCC has reached a convenient bend to request for the extradition of Diezani from the UK. Most of the cases against her have reached maturity level for her trial at home.


“The commission will formally approach the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami( SAN) to assist it to invoke the extradition treaty between Nigeria and the UK against Diezani.

“Through the office of the AGF, appropriate charges will be filed in court to commence the process for the extradition of the ex-Minister.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “The extradition process is without prejudice to the ongoing investigation of Diezani in the UK.

“The US end of Diezani probe has been done. The EFCC has also hauled evidence to the UK to assist the authorities. Some detectives from the UK have visited this country too.

“For the Nigerian flank of the probe, it is necessary to extradite Diezani to answer allegations against her.”

The source, however, added that the AGF has the final say on whether or not to initiate the extradition process. He stressed that all the allegations against the former minister are within the extradition treaty between Nigeria and the UK.

          11/4/2018: Worldwide: Thai funeral starts for Leicester owner      Cache   Translate Page      
An elaborate funeral began yesterday for Thai billionaire and Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died last week when his helicopter crashed in a car park next to the English Premier League club’s stadium. The royally sponsored funeral...
          11/4/2018: Deaths And Obituaries: Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha      Cache   Translate Page      

VICHAI Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed last Saturday aged 60, was the billionaire owner of Leicester City and, though he kept a low profile, he was a key factor in the club’s recent success — most notably when, to widespread astonishment, the club...
          What Happened Before The Big Bang And Where The Universe Begins Again       Cache   Translate Page      
I'll explain this for the professor. LOL This is the 'No Boundary Hypothesis' where the universe would start at a single point, like the North Pole of the Earth and expand down and out into North America heading South and it reaches the Equator after about 15 billion years, keep in mind the sphere of Earth is available Space/Time, eventually, the period of inflation would have ended, and the universe would have settled down to a stage of more moderate growth or expansion, energy has been lost, it's getting much colder, gravity is much weaker. Eventually, the universe would stop expanding and would collapse in on itself at the South Pole where at some point another Big Bang would occur. Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. He is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford. Wikipedia
          11/4/2018: Living: Let’s call Lord Greedy Green what he really is      Cache   Translate Page      

THERE was a time, when if I said Philip Green to you, you’d probably simply think Topshop tycoon, that baldy billionaire, or maybe you’d picture a perma-tanned beer belly on the deck of a superyacht with Kate Moss flouncing around in a gold bikini in...
          Notes from the Dome: Emergency debate shut down and a service of remembrance      Cache   Translate Page      
Alberta Liberal Party MLA David Swann had his call for an emergency debate on unfunded oil patch liabilities shot down by the Speaker Tuesday afternoon. Swann wanted a debate on an estimated $260 billion in unfunded oil patch liabilities, claiming patch cleanups could become a financial, economic and environmental disaster. He juxtaposed two estimated price tags […]
          Associate Network Administration - Bell - Kitchener, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Follow up and review to ensure completion of work orders. Our Network team plans, designs, builds and operates Bell’s multi-billion dollar networks, including...
From Bell Canada - Tue, 06 Nov 2018 23:39:24 GMT - View all Kitchener, ON jobs
          Fin24.com | Jack Ma labels trade war 'most stupid thing' as tensions boil      Cache   Translate Page      
Billionaire Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has called fighting over trade senseless and decried once again a widening conflict between the US and China.
          Fear and loathing and more fear      Cache   Translate Page      

Elizabeth Schulte documents the new low points that Trump and the Republicans are reaching — and the dismal failure of Democrats to stand up for justice.

YOUR PRESIDENT wants you to hate and fear immigrants.

That was the message of a new attack ad that Donald Trump himself tweeted a little over a week before the midterm elections. The ad featured an undocumented immigrant jailed for killing two California sheriff’s deputies and then scenes of the refugee caravan currently making its way through Mexico to seek asylum from poverty and violence in Central America.

Lettering above the man on trial reads: “He killed our people.”

The last-minute campaign ad aimed to create an indelible image of immigrants as murderers who are “invading” the U.S. with the Democrats’ blessing — and an equally indelible conclusion that only Trump and the Republicans will protect you from violence.

Numerous Republicans running for office embraced and echoed Trump’s ramped-up campaign of racist scapegoating against immigrants.

Donald Trump

Rep. Duncan Hunter of California issued an ad claiming that his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Labor Department official, is trying to “infiltrate Congress” on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and is a “security risk.”

In upstate New York, the National Republican Congressional Committee aired several commercials attacking a Democratic candidate for Congress, Antonio Delgado, who is Black, for having been a rap musician. In one ad, several white upstate New Yorkers speak to the camera: “Antonio Delgado would be fine in Los Angeles, maybe New York City,” but “nobody talks like that around here.”

These vile ads leading up to the midterm elections have a history. Politicians of both main political parties have created similar ones using racism and xenophobia to whip up fear and reinforce the most backward and divisive ideas in U.S. society.

In 1988, the presidential campaign of George H.W. Bush ran a commercial featuring “Willie” Horton — his name was William Horton, but “Willie” fit the stereotype the ad makers were after — a Black man accused of a killing a white woman while free on a prison work-release program in Massachusetts under then-Gov. Michael Dukakis.

The ad aimed to whip up fear about crime — and the fear of Black people committing crimes in particular.

But Republicans aren’t the only ones to pander to racism during their campaigns.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Democratic candidate Bill Clinton thought he could score points by attacking anti-racist activist and recording artist Sister Souljah for her comments about the Los Angeles rebellion that year. For that matter, Clinton’s running mate Al Gore was the first candidate of either party to use Horton against Dukakis — during the 1988 Democratic primaries.

It says a lot about the cynicism of the politicians of the “world’s greatest democracy” that they’ve used coded and not-so-coded racism so freely during elections over the decades.


IN THAT sense, Trump’s ads are very much a part of the U.S. political system. But under the current circumstances, there’s a twist: Trump’s racist anti-immigrant ad is advising his supporters to do more than fear and hate immigrants. It encourages them to take action.

The message came through loud and clear to far-right militia groups, who stated that they are traveling south to “protect” the border for when the caravan arrives.

Militia units told the Associated Press that they were planning on gathering with guns and bulletproof vests. Immigrants are “just laughing in our face,” fumed Shannon McGauley, president of the Texas Minutemen. “It’s a free-for-all in America.”

The vigilantes won’t be alone, of course. Hundreds of U.S. troops have already arrived at the border near Hidalgo, Texas, with more to come. Their stated mission is to help U.S. Customs and the Border Patrol, and there were plenty of photo ops of soldiers setting up barbed-wire fence along the Rio Grande.

“I saw that beautiful barbed wire going up,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Montana. “Beautiful sight.”

All of this is part of Trump’s “Operation Faithful Patriot,” which grows larger by the day, depending on the whims of the president — from 5,000 active-duty troops last Wednesday to 15,000 a few days later. This is in addition to thousands of National Guard troops who are also gathering at the border.

Asked by reporters whether the troops planned to fire on immigrants trying to cross the border, Trump responded that if caravan members threw rocks, the military “would consider that a firearm because there’s not much difference.

The Trump administration is preparing for a confrontation — not just at the ballot box with the midterm elections, but literally a confrontation at the border, led by racists inspired by Trump’s America First rhetoric that demonizes immigrants seeking relief from poverty and violence.


THIS IS an important moment for those who oppose anti-immigrant racism to stand up and be counted. And yet at exactly that moment — as the elections have provided a spotlight for political leaders to step forward and oppose Trump’s anti-immigrant racism — the Democrats are...silent.

Instead of meeting Trump’s racist campaign message with the alarm it deserves, the Democrats are doing the opposite.

For example, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi responded to Trump’s threat to revoke birthright citizenship with the statement: “Clearly, Republicans will do absolutely anything to divert attention away from their votes to take away Americans’ health care.”

It isn’t just the party leadership, either. Down the line, that’s how Democrats are responding: stay on message, because the winning campaign message isn’t about protecting the caravan, it’s about health care.

Yes, health care is an important issue — and one that affects millions of Americans. But championing health doesn’t mean not challenging anti-immigrant racism.

Not that the Democrats are even addressing health care in any effective way. The most that the Democrats are putting forward on health care is a defense of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — which many people support against Republican efforts to dismantle it, but which is deeply flawed and ineffective at its supposed goal of universal coverage.

Democrats are drawing the line at stopping Republicans from letting insurers use pre-existing conditions as an excuse not to cover people. The GOP should be stopped, of course — but it’s not exactly a bold stand in defense of health care justice.

But this is the perennial logic of the Democratic Party under the constraints of the two-party system in the U.S.: Don’t make the message too radical, because the party’s base of support that would agree with a more radical message is going to vote for you anyway, since they have nowhere else to go.


IN MANY ways, immigration is the perfect message for Trump. Not just because racism plays to the Republicans’ right-wing base, but because the Democrats have so little to say in response.

The Democratic Party has no long-term solution to the suffering of refugees who are part of the caravan to the border.

Even the most liberal Democrats agree that while reforms are needed and programs like DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) should be protected, there’s also a need for strict immigration standards and heavily militarized border security enforcement.

This summer, U.S. immigration policies took center stage when it was revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was separating undocumented children from their families and detaining them in cages.

The inhumane conditions endured by undocumented children sparked protests around the country, many organized by liberal organization like MoveOn and Indivisible, which ordinarily don’t stray too far left of the Democratic Party line.

Outrage at what the U.S. government was doing led to calls to “Abolish ICE” — and in short order, some Democratic Party figures were adopting a slogan that weeks earlier would have only been heard from the left.

The demand to do away with a hated government enforcement agency that terrorizes millions of undocumented immigrants fit the moment like a glove. The unbelievable cruelty of the Trump administration had come together with the explosive nature of the struggles of ordinary people against him.

But that was then. For the past months leading up to the midterm elections, the Democrats have been running away from the issue of immigration in any form. The Center for American Progress, a well-known liberal think tank, advised Democratic candidates to avoid the discussion of immigration and pivot to...you guessed it: health care.

Even democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — whose primary victory last spring over a machine Democrat helped popularize the Abolish ICE slogan — had softened her message by late August, when she said in a tweet, “#AbolishICE means not having an agency that incarcerates children and sexually assaults women with impunity. It does not mean abolish deportation.”

Trump is sowing fear to whip up his conservative base. But the Democrats are sowing fear of a different kind among their base — fear of Trump and fear of talking too radical and “alienating” moderate voters.

The resistance to Trump’s atrocities on immigration will need to ignore the Democrats’ cynical political calculations and organize opposition that stands proudly under the banner of “Abolish ICE.”

We need a socialist alternative that understands that the real “immigration problem” in the U.S. is the billions wasted militarizing a border and persecuting the vulnerable that could be used to welcome people across it if they want to come.


          UFT leaders rushed ahead with a backward deal      Cache   Translate Page      

Educators Peter Lamphere, Bill Linville and Will Russell report from New York City on the ratification of a contract for teachers that contains unnecessary concessions.

EDUCATION WORKERS in the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) voted to approve the latest contract with the New York City Department of Education, with 80 to 85 percent of teachers supporting ratification and with slightly higher percentages among other titles.

But occupational and physical therapists rejected their contract out of anger at long-standing unmet demands for pay parity with pedagogues who have similar education levels. The maximum salary for speech therapists, for example, is over $27,000 more than for occupational and physical therapists.

Now it will be up to these members, along with their brothers and sisters in other titles, to press the union to mobilize as they go back to the table for a better deal.

However, for the rest of the membership, this contract — with below-inflation raises, massive givebacks in health care and an inadequate plan for rescuing struggling schools in the Bronx — falls far short of meeting the needs of the educators and students in New York City public schools.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew speaks to reporters
UFT President Michael Mulgrew speaks to reporters (flickr)

While the approval margin seems overwhelming at first glance, it was only achieved by the anti-democratic practices of the UFT leadership.

Led by the autocratic Unity Caucus, the union leadership negotiated the contract during the summer when teachers were away, with a negotiating committee forbidden to discuss the contract with the rank and file. Then the ratification was rammed through over two and a half weeks, months before the current contract expires in February 2019.

In taking this approach, UFT leaders deprived the membership of time to study the details of the contract — and time for a “vote no, stay union” opposition to form. They also deceptively insisted to members that the contract contained no givebacks, that raises kept pace with the rate of inflation, and that the contract was “member made” with input from rank-and-filers.

In reality, among other worrisome concessions, the contract contains over $1 billion in health care givebacks and the implementation of a two-tiered system of health care benefits for the first time. Furthermore, the agreement doesn’t meet the growing needs of students and vulnerable communities in a city with record levels of segregation and student homelessness.

There are a few standout gains in the contract: the reduction of the required minimum number of yearly observations for each teacher from four to two and increased job security for paraprofessionals, the least protected members of the union.

The UFT leadership has brought worse contracts to the membership to be voted on in the past. Nevertheless, this is a concessionary contract at a time when the city is sitting on a large budget surplus and when teachers are making significant gains both for themselves and their students across the country, through radical actions including strikes.

A major shift in strategy is needed in order to both ensure fair conditions for both public school educators and students — one that looks away from alliances with politicians and toward the radical tactics that were on display in the teacher strikes and rebellions this year in states like West Virginia, Arizona and Washington.

Such a strategy will also need to rely on a key lesson of the successful 2012 Chicago teachers’ strike — by creating an alliance between the teachers’ union movement and students and parents.


AT A moment when unions should be looking to involve more members, the leadership’s rush to vote sent the message to members that their voices aren’t important.

On October 11, a deal was announced in a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza and UFT President Michael Mulgrew — in which Carranza spoke of Mulgrew as his, “Brother from another mother.”

Many members wondered why the leadership called a special Delegate Assembly for the next day, given that the upcoming monthly DA was already scheduled to take place within the week, on October 17.

Delegates only received short statements from Mulgrew and the chancellor. They didn’t receive the entire 63-page Memorandum of Agreement until just over an hour before the meeting.

At the meeting, the vast majority of the time was spent by Mulgrew making a PowerPoint presentation selling the contract.

The limited period for discussion — in which no member of the UFT’s opposition caucuses were called on — nevertheless included several speakers who had contrary views on the contract. One member called for a delay in the vote so that chapter leaders and delegates could have time to read the proposal for themselves.

The meeting voted to send the contract to members for ratification, but DOE educators were only given until October 31 to complete the voting process.

The contract itself is the result of a long-standing negotiating process for New York City public-sector union contracts called “pattern bargaining” — in which the first city union that negotiates a contract sets the “pattern” on issues such as health care and wages for the rest of the unions on the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC). In this round, AFSCME Local DC 37 ratified its contract at the end of June, which set the pattern.

The UFT leadership argued that aspects of the contract that were part of the original pattern bargaining agreed to by AFSCME were therefore off the table during subsequent UFT negotiations and impossible to reopen.

However, there have been times when unions have attempted to buck this trend — or when the city has. For example, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg held out in granting the UFT the same pattern of raises that other city unions got for the entirety of his 12 years in office.

Astonishingly, in their attempts to sell the contract to the rank and file, UFT leaders even made the deceptive argument to members that the billion-plus dollars in health care givebacks weren’t contained in the contract because they were part of the original pattern bargaining.


IN TERMS of wages and health care, the contract represents a significant step back for New York City educators.

Kit Wainer, a social studies teacher and UFT chapter leader at Leon M. Goldstein High School in Brooklyn, says he voted “no” for two main reasons: “First, the fact that the raises don’t keep pace with inflation. Second, voting to force first-year teachers into an inferior health plan, even if for only a year, violates my sense of basic union solidarity.”

Annual raises for the 43-month life of the contract will be 2 percent, 2.5 percent and 3 percent — which, despite claims to the contrary by the UFT leadership, won’t meet projected rates of inflation.

We also aren’t keeping up with wage increases for workers throughout the New York City area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, wages had increased for New York City-area workers by 3.0 percent in the year preceding June 2018.

This contract marks the second agreement in a row with significant concessions on health care. In the last round, the MLC agreed to find a total of $3.4 billion in savings, which resulted in steep increases in co-pays — including $150 for ER visits and $50 for urgent care visits, among other cuts.

In this round, the MLC has agreed to $1.1 billion in cuts over the course of the contract, while also agreeing to a second tier in our health care for the first time. New hires will be required join a significantly more restricted HIP-HMO network for one year, after which they will be able to choose the health plan they prefer.

A new program for high-needs schools, especially in the Bronx, will have a pay differential for teachers in those schools. Unfortunately, the differential will be different for different license areas, creating divisions inside the workforce.

Plus, the additional support appears to be a school-based committee that will primarily look at school data to set goals for improvement, and would require the agreement of the school’s UFT chapter leader and principal, though the details are sketchy.

Mulgrew touted this plan as visionary in his DA presentation. But these are clearly retread market-based solutions. A visionary plan would have included drastically reduced class sizes, expansion of sometimes limited academic opportunities, and additional resources to provide extracurricular activities and further academic support.

There are several additional concessions that will leave most members unsatisfied about the key challenges that they face day to day in the schools:

The union agreed to allow a new “psychological evaluation” for incoming teachers — the details of which are completely unclear at this time.

The creation of additional out-of-classroom positions that come with higher pay will create more divisions between teachers and make it harder to lower class sizes.

Pay differentials for additional education will become more difficult to get, as newer teachers will be required to get new “A+” credits for the differentials. Ironically, the UFT itself will be one of the providers of these credits, and so will end up profiting from the change.

The union agreed to allow an additional dean in schools, weakening the power of school chapters that previously had to vote to create the position.


AMONG THE notable gains in the contract, unpaid suspensions of paraprofessionals will now be subject to review by an arbitrator review and will be limited in duration.

Observation minimums have been reduced, bringing New York City more in line with the rest of the state. However, educators with lower ratings still face more observations, so the change brings no relief to those targeted by abusive administrators.

Grievances for oversized classes will be subject to an expedited calendar for informal resolution at a district and citywide level.

But as Kit Wainer points out, in a mid-October settlement of a grievance regarding nine oversized classes, “an arbitrator issued an order requiring the principal to equalize all classes. Under the new procedure, we would not have been able to request an arbitration hearing until at least October 10, which means we would not have gotten a ruling until sometime in November.”

Similarly, safety and consultation issues will have an informal resolution process, which can be eventually taken to arbitration. There is also a strengthening of the anti-retaliation language in the contract to bring harassment under binding arbitration.

Overall, however, with the exception of the drastic concessions on health care, both the gains and givebacks in this contract are relatively minor compared to what is not included.

Class size limits remain at levels that are unacceptably high for education, unchanged for more than 50 years. Also unchanged is a funding system that penalizes more senior employees and has consigned many veteran members from closed schools to circulating without a permanent position.


THE MEAGER salary increases come at a time when educators elsewhere are demanding more — and winning.

For example, educators in Washington state were able to force the state to release funds to increase teacher salaries — and they followed up with a wave of strikes and actions that led to annual salary increases ranging from 10.5 percent in Seattle to 20 percent and more elsewhere in the state.

Meanwhile, New York City is projecting a budget surplus of $4.6 billion for fiscal year 2018, the largest in 10 years. If this is the best that we can do while the economy is doing relatively well and the city’s coffers are flush, what should we expect when the economy takes a downturn?

A “progressive” mayor who campaigned on the slogan of “a tale of two cities” should be forced to do better than making the working class pay for health care concessions.

A great place to start looking for an alternative vision would be the example of educators in the “red state rebellions” — who mobilized rank-and-file members in a series of escalating actions that culminated in walkouts and dragged union leaders behind them.

The entire political landscape around education has changed since last spring’s teachers strikes. Walkouts in red states have spilled over into liberal strongholds like Washington — with strikes in Los Angeles and Oakland possible in the coming months.

One result of the educator rebellion has been that public opinion about teachers and striking has shifted drastically. There is broad public support for these kind of actions: A recent poll found that “78 percent of public school parents (and 73 percent of the public) say they would support teachers in the own communities if they went on strike for higher pay.”

The UFT rank and file can be activated and organized in this way as well — as shown by the successful campaign for paid family leave last spring. It will be up to rank-and-file organizations like the Movement of Rank and File Educators and Teachers Unite to develop and continue this and other campaigns, such as the fight for lower class sizes, ending segregation and building the Black Live Matter in our schools movement.

The votes for ratification of this concessionary deal represent resignation, rather than enthusiasm. Rank-and-file groups can build off existing anger and frustration among the minority that voted “no” by organizing grassroots campaigns around the issues that matter to teachers and families — like lowering class size, opposition to school closings, and improving health care access for union members and all New Yorkers.

Tens of thousands of teachers, therapists and other education workers voted against this contract — and showed there is a base for future organizing.


          Vote no against ambulance company greed      Cache   Translate Page      

The largest for-profit ambulance company in the U.S., American Medical Response (AMR), is bankrolling a state ballot measure in California that will strip safety protections from its workers, endanger patients and enhance corporate profits for AMR. The measure would allow ambulance companies to require workers to stay on call during rest and meal breaks, allowing the companies to keep fewer ambulances in service.

Last year, AMR made enormous profits off transporting sick and injured patients. Profiting off the pain, suffering and distress caused by illness and accidents may seem macabre, but under capitalism, caring for patients can be highly profitable. AMR gets its profits from the dedication and hard work of its employees, the low wages paid to those workers, and understaffing, which causes delays in the time it takes an ambulance to reach a patient. Yet AMR wants more, and so it has shamelessly promoted Proposition 11, spending more than $21 million on passing the measure in November 2018.

An AMR paramedic spoke to fellow paramedics Lorrie Beth Slonsky and Larry Bradshaw about conditions at the ambulance company, the disturbing ballot measure and more.

LET’S START with what are working conditions like for paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) at AMR.

EMTs and paramedics face grueling 12-hour shifts, with the prospect of being held over for two additional hours every day, depending on how busy the EMS system is.

I wake up at 5 a.m. to be ready for my shift at 7 a.m. I get to headquarters early to make sure my ambulance has all the necessary supplies and that everything is in working condition. We aren’t expected to do this, but I’ve been unable to sleep at night because an essential piece of equipment malfunctioned during a critical call. That’s why I check every piece of equipment before logging in.

This has also happened to my co-workers. We log in, knowing that night crews have been waiting for us to go into service so that they can, in turn, go home. Usually, we get a call right out of the gate — and it turns out the call has been holding for a while because there wasn’t another available unit in the county who could run it.

EMTs and paramedics campaign against Proposition 11 in California
EMTs and paramedics campaign against Proposition 11 in California (International Association of EMTs and Paramedics)

After transporting our patient to the hospital, we need time to complete paperwork and return the ambulance into working condition. At that point, our field supervisors pressure us to get it done faster because there aren’t enough units available to run calls.

Our paperwork requires precision and has to capture every detail of our call, because these are legal documents that are part of the permanent medical record for our patients. They are an extension of patient care, and mistakes have dire consequences. Paramedics risk their licenses every time we document something. Private ambulance companies easily throw us, as well as our patients, under the bus rather than have our backs by giving us proper breaks.

After being confronted by our supervisors, we clear the hospital and catch another call before leaving the parking lot.

We’re always on call for the entire duration of the shift. Often, medics are rushing to and from places, with back-to-back calls. In metropolitan areas, this workload is the norm. When it gets really busy, patients experience long wait times for ambulances to arrive. We, as workers, can’t do anything about these response times. As soon as we get a call, we respond immediately and always have.

The common thread here is: not enough ambulances. Private corporations like AMR don’t staff enough units. They create brutal work conditions for us, and, more importantly, they make it harder for our patients to receive the best care.

WHAT IS the effect on the body to work long hours on an ambulance in a busy system with a high call volume, a high workload and too few ambulances?

WE HAVE a lot of pride around being our patients’ safety net. Because we want people to receive the best possible care, we must stay alert at all times. We have to stay ready to respond to a medical emergency at all times. There’s no way to know what the next emergency request or call will be.

There is such variance in our calls, from shootings, to stabbings, to motor vehicle accidents, to delivering a baby. And we must be prepared for all of them. We must be ready to treat our patients the minute we step out of the ambulance, and there’s no way to know exactly what condition they’ll be in.

Even small decisions in our field carry tremendous consequences. This creates a mode of hypervigilance. The sympathetic nervous system — the body’s fight-or-flight response — gets put on overdrive.

For the first year, maybe even the first few years, this is fine. But the longer you do this work, the more fatigued you become. It’s absolutely exhilarating to have an adrenaline rush and save someone’s life, but the reality is that this wears down our bodies. Even if we’re hungry or tired or sleep deprived or need to use the bathroom, we must learn to repress our needs. We have to do that so we can respond to calls with as much mindfulness as possible.

These are the conditions of capitalism crystallized. We’re taught as workers that our needs, even basic ones, aren’t important. And now, AMR is trying to take away our rest and meal breaks.

MEAL BREAKS are one of the issues in Proposition 11. Can you talk about the proposition — what’s in it and what it would do if it passes?

UNDER EXISTING California labor law, AMR employees are supposed to have guaranteed rest and meal breaks. The nature of our job makes it difficult if not downright impossible for us to get a break that isn’t interrupted. AMR is supposed to compensate us when our breaks are interrupted. AMR chose not to do that and instead pocketed the money.

A number of EMTs and paramedics have filed civil suits seeking back pay for their interrupted or missed breaks. Recent case law suggests AMR may lose these lawsuits. AMR’s solution has been to drop more than $21 million into sponsoring Prop 11.

WHAT’S MOTIVATING AMR to spend so much money fighting over whether and how you get meal and rest breaks?

THERE ARE two parts to that answer. First, the state’s independent Legislature Analyst’s Office estimates it would cost private ambulance companies in California more than $100 million a year to adequately staff up enough ambulances to give paramedics and EMTs their legally required breaks.

Second, AMR’s Prop 11 reaches back in time and retroactively defines AMR’s illegal past practice as legal, effectively exempting the corporation from any liability for past violations of existing labor laws. So placed in this larger framework, AMR’s investment of $21 million in its own private ballot measure and rewriting labor law is really a smart, but unethical investment.

WE’VE WORKED on both public and private ambulances, and we don’t ever recall getting a guaranteed meal or rest break while on duty.

THE REALITY is that medics and EMTs routinely already have our rest and meal breaks interrupted. Prop 11 wouldn’t change that. We all drop whatever we’re doing to respond to a call, mid-meal or otherwise. That’s part of our duty and has always been part of our practice.

What would change is AMR being able to walk away from paying workers what they deserve for having had their meals interrupted. Naturally, AMR’s campaign literature says nothing about the lawsuits, retroactive exemptions from breaking the law, and not staffing enough ambulances to give workers a break.

AMR is taking heat from the public for the long ambulance response times. Prop 11 functions as its attempt to appease the public and scapegoat the employees who actually do the work — suggesting the problem is paramedics and EMTs taking breaks, not that AMR is too tightfisted to put more ambulances in service.

And as I said, if Proposition 11 passes, AMR will be relieved of the millions of dollars of back pay to workers who have had their meal breaks interrupted. That’s more money for AMR’s coffers.

The root of the issue is that there are simply not enough ambulances being staffed. These glaring issues around public health and safety don’t stem from EMS crews being late to 911 calls because we’re on meal breaks, like AMR suggests. Corporations like AMR put profits ahead of community needs.

Understaffing ambulances and the high volume of 911 calls create impossible conditions, and EMS crews are unable to respond in the way EMS workers and the public want us to.

WHAT IMPACT do these long and busy shifts with minimal breaks have on the ability of you and your co-workers to perform and do a good job?

AS YOU can imagine, the health of an emergency medical worker can affect our ability to provide the kind of care we would like for our patients. Because we don’t have a guaranteed meal break without interruptions, let alone a meal break at all, many workers I know resort to fast food. It’s no surprise that EMS workers are increasingly overweight and at risk for cardiovascular disease.

We are our patients’ first point of contact with any type of medical help. As first responders, our split-second decision-making and our interventions play a huge role in patient outcomes. This can’t be overstated. If we don’t have real breaks to recharge, we won’t be mentally or physically as sharp.

THERE’S a lot of scientific research on the problems associated with sleep deprivation. In particular, multiple studies have shown that driving sleepy is very similar to driving drunk. Is this a problem you experience with long shifts, few breaks and back-to-back ambulance runs?

YES. FOR one thing, there is little turnover time between shifts.

Let’s say we get off shift on time — that gives us 12 hours until we have to be back at work. Subtract eight hours for sleep, minus another hour for commuting, and we’re are left with only three hours of downtime. During those three hours, we have to find the time to decompress, eat well, hopefully spend time with loved ones and exercise: all the things workers need to do to socially reproduce themselves for the next day.

Like all other workers, we make sacrifices. We have to choose what to sacrifice and what basic needs we can meet. Sleep often takes a hit. A caricature of EMS workers is probably one of us always drinking a caffeinated beverage. That’s because we’re perpetually sleep deprived.

It’s difficult to get off work on time, and even when we do, it requires a robotic type of discipline to get prepared for the next day. Like all workers, we want to be able to enjoy our off time. The small window of downtime between shifts allows for only meeting some of our most basic needs.

THERE’S A lot of stress associated with being a paramedic and an EMT. Does your present working conditions help or hinder your ability to deal that that chronic stress?

WITHOUT TRUE downtime during our 12-hour shifts, our work conditions create burnout. Many of my co-workers experience depression and anxiety. Often, we try to cope in secret and suffer in silence. In general, there is a stigmatization of mental health. Emergency medical service providers especially are expected to “solider on” despite immense challenges.

This has been built into our field since its conception. By the nature of the job, we’re continuously exposed to a multitude of critical events. We’re witness to traumatic events, serious injuries and death. The job carries high risk for post- and continuous traumatic stress disorders.

When we arrive at a hospital and transfer our patients to the ER staff, we are expected to brush off life-altering traumatic events, prepare ourselves and our ambulance for a quick turnaround, and get back in service to run another call.

The next call may be even worse than the previous one. One of the most stressful calls we can run involve cardiac arrests, because the patient appears to have died. It is our duty, of course, to resuscitate this person. The families of our patients go through intense emotions while we do our work.

With training, we learn to control our emotions so that we don’t freeze up on scene. But when patients can’t pull through, and we don’t revive them, it’s a heavy emotional load to carry. The details never leave you: the cries from the family, the smells, the ghastly pale skin, the sheer lifelessness and the internal pleading on our part to get a pulse back. In the little space and time at the hospital, we don’t have time to process these things.

One day, I remember running a call like I described, and the very next call was a pediatric cardiac arrest of a 3-month-old. No amount of training or practice can ever prepare you for something like that.

I’ll carry that with me, I’m sure, for the rest of my life. I’ll remember the gaunt look of desperation that the patient’s mother had and the eerie silence on scene. I’ll always carry with me the sensation of wrapping my hands around a limp infant as I gave compressions with my thumbs.

These are the things that keep us up at night as we obsessively go through the details. What could have been done differently? Could I have been faster here or there? Could I have been more prepared?

We develop a fortitude that allows us to stay healthy. But there are those of us who don’t. We’re at high risk for suicide. EMS workers are 10 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.

I hope you can understand why we need more breaks, not fewer.

PRO-PROP 11 mailers say that the ballot measure will mandate more training and better mental health benefits for workers. What do you say to those claims?

A CAREFUL reading of Proposition 11 shows it will not require AMR to provide any new or additional training or mental health benefits above and beyond what the corporation already provides.

When we first start out working in an EMS system, we undergo training academies that cover the medical protocols of the county and the nuts and bolts of ambulance operations. There is a small “self-health” component built into training. Out of the month-long training, I remember spending merely a couple hours on the importance of self-care.

Of course, private companies don’t support us in self-care. They tell us to take care of ourselves without providing material support to allow us to do that on shift. The burden falls upon us.

DOES THE ballot measure impact anyone outside of EMTs and paramedics who work on ambulances?

IF THIS proposition passes, it will usher in even more austere and challenging work conditions. Not just for us, but for all workers. This sets a dangerous precedent. Allowing private companies to circumvent existing labor laws in our industry sets a bad legal precedent and would allow the removal of legal and safety protections from other groups of workers and patients.

IT SEEMS like the labor movement dropped the ball on organizing opposition to Proposition 11.

UNIONS HAVE failed to submit opposition arguments to the California Official Voter Guide on time. So for many voters, there appears to be nothing negative about the proposition.

BUT THERE has been some opposition organized by workers at AMR. What have you and your co-workers done?

“NO ON Prop 11” has become a grassroots worker- and labor-led campaign against a major corporation, a corporation which itself is merely a division of the multibillion-dollar conglomerate KKR. Dozens of workers have demonstrated in Sacramento, including members from three unions. One of the slogans was “people over profits.”

There is also activity in other states, as AMR’s true colors are coming out. EMTs in Seattle have organized against AMR for higher wages because they start at close to minimum wage.

WHAT CAN readers do to help defeat this horrible piece of anti-worker and anti-patient legislation?

DEFINITELY VOTE no on Proposition 11 and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Also, organize and support workplace actions. If they’re coming for us, they’re coming for all of us. It’s clear that Prop 11 is not a solution for patients, It’s not a solution for EMS workers, and it won’t put extra ambulances on the streets to reduce ambulance response times.

WHAT CAN do those things?

MEDICARE FOR All! It’s comprehensive, universal and cost-effective health care. Medicare for All focuses on patients and prioritizes the health of working-class families over profits for corporations like AMR. We need a health care system that works for all us, not just the millionaires and billionaires.

AS FRONT-line emergency and health care providers, your working conditions are also the conditions in which your patients receive their care. If you had one wish, what one thing would you change immediately and why?

HUMANIZE THE field. We aren’t robots, and patients aren’t numbers that generate profit. We can’t function like mechanical beings for 12 straight hours. It’s simple: workers perform better when they’re supported.

Corporations like AMR absolutely have enough money to ensure there is ample coverage by ambulances, yet they strive to provide the bare minimum. This is nothing new and goes across the entire chain of providers.

The profit-driven corporations that provide care for human beings at their worst and most intimate moments have created an ugly behemoth of an industry. They don’t care whether their workers are well-fed or whether patients are getting the best possible treatment. They only care that we’re all making money for them.

When we get told by management to be better, to be faster, to be more efficient, while they consistently understaff ambulances, that isn’t support. Now they’re trying to take away guaranteed meal breaks and get out of paying us what they owe, and it’s a slap in the face.

We deserve better. Our patients deserve better. We have to fight for better work conditions moving forward so we can best serve our communities. In the meantime, we must stop this proposition from passing.

THANKS FOR talking with us, keep up the good work, and thanks for doing the job you and co-workers do every day.


          Cast your vote for safe staffing in Massachusetts      Cache   Translate Page      

David Wood and Ben Taylor assess the final stretch of the Massachusetts Nurses Association’s campaign to make hospitals stop putting patients’ lives at risk in order to cut costs.

AS THE 2018 midterms began heating up in Massachusetts, lawn signs for the three initiatives on the ballot popped up in front of houses and along roadways across the state. “Nurses say yes on 1” and “Nurses say no on 1” have been among the most common signs displayed this election season.

Question 1 would establish a safe-staffing ratio for nurses in all Massachusetts hospitals. This initiative is modeled on a similar safe staffing law passed in California in 1999.

The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), the union that organizes 23,000 bedside nurses across the state, spearheaded the effort to get the measure on the ballot. The MNA has been lobbying state legislators to implement safe-staffing legislation since at least 1995 — and even gone on strike over the issue.

Nurses have been pushing for safe staffing for one major reason: the systematic understaffing by hospital management in order to cut costs and increase profitability. As a result, nurses report working extended shifts, in some cases as long as 16 or 17 hours, and coming in on their days off to cover holes in the schedule.

Nurses rally in Boston for a safe-staffing ballot measure
Nurses rally in Boston for a safe-staffing ballot measure (Massachusetts Nurses Association | Facebook)

Nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield documented hundreds of text messages from hospital administrators asking nurses to come in on their day off to patch these holes in the schedule. After a multiyear struggle involving several strikes, the MNA won safe-staffing language in the contract at BFMC. Statewide, however, the struggle continues.

It should go without saying that asking someone responsible for keeping sick people alive should not be asked to work long past the point of exhaustion. It’s dangerous for nurses and patients — and it should be considered bad for business. Too few nurses means too many patients per nurse. According to the MNA:

For every patient added to a nurse’s workload, the likelihood of a patient surviving cardiac arrest decreases by 5 percent per patient.

For children recovering from basic surgeries, each additional patient assigned to a nurse increased the risk of readmission by a shocking 48 percent.

There is a 20 percent higher risk that a patient will die within 30 days of having general surgery at hospitals that don’t have patient limits.

Every additional patient assigned to an RN is associated with a 7 percent increase in the risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia, a 53 percent increase in respiratory failure, and a 17 percent increase in medical complications.

Short staffing is therefore quite dangerous. And a recent survey of Massachusetts nurses shows that it is getting worse:

Two-thirds, or 65 percent of nurses, said that not having enough time is a major challenge, which was up from 52 percent in last year’s study. Likewise, 61 percent of surveyed nurses said that having to care for too many patients at once is a major challenge, which was up from 54 percent in the previous year. Additionally, 77 percent of the surveyed nurses said Massachusetts RNs are assigned too many patients to care for at one time. Only 18 percent thought RNs are assigned the appropriate number of patients. Zero nurses said RNs could safely be assigned more patients, according to the survey.


THE SOLUTION is obviously to hire more nurses — a remedy that hospital executives strenuously oppose.

Polls show a substantial (and perhaps growing) layer of voters are undecided on Question 1. The apparent split between nurses and the resulting confusing advertisements is often cited as the reason for this dwindling support. This confusion is by design — and reflects the duplicity of the No on Question 1 forces.

The No on 1 campaign has deliberately mimicked the MNA’s Yes on 1 campaign — with similar signage, twitter handles and television ads, knowing full well that deception is their only hope. After all, nurses are the most trusted profession in the U.S. and hospital executives among the least.

Roughly 30 percent of Massachusetts hospitals are non-union. In those workplaces, management has intensified its disinformation campaign in mandatory meetings, in hospital newsletters, and with countless “No on 1” signs and banners adorning their parking lots and buildings.

Harassment by hospital management of vocal Yes on 1 health-care workers, in union and nonunion hospitals alike, has become so intense that the MNA has created an anti-intimidation hotline (413-475-0895) — which according to MNA state board member Donna Stern has been receiving hundreds of calls per week.

No on 1 is outspending Yes on 1 by roughly 80 percent — about $19 million compared to the nurses’ $10.5 million.

While the No team frequently describes itself as a coalition of nurses and community members, about 94 percent of the No team’s funds are coming from the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, the trade group representing the interests of the corporate hospital industry, which in Massachusetts generates $28 billion in revenue each year, according to the IRS.

Many of the nurses featured in the No on 1 ads are actually nurse managers — that is, they are not bedside nurses who actually perform the labor impacted by Question 1. Instead, they are administrators, bureaucrats and executives. Their material interests are directly tied to the hospital’s bottom line, and they are not directly subjected to the working conditions that bedside nurses must endure.


THE AMERICAN Nurses Association (ANA) is also part of the No on 1 coalition. They’ve staked out a truly bizarre position: “ANA Massachusetts believes that strict staffing ratios undermines a nurse’s critical thinking and involvement in patient care.”

This is, of course, astoundingly manipulative. It is precisely nurses’ “critical thinking and involvement in patient care” that has produced Question 1, because they know that otherwise, the hospitals will continue to try to save money through understaffing while telling nurses to “do the best you can.”

The MNA was at one time affiliated organizationally with the ANA, but voted to disaffiliate in 2001. Why? Here’s the MNA’s press release explaining its decision back in 2001:

While the MNA is pushing for legislation to regulate nurse-to-patient ratios, the ANA has proposed weak regulations that call upon the industry to develop a patient classification system, with no requirement that the industry adhere to that system. They have also promoted legislation granting the industry the ability to experiment with staffing models that replace nurses with unlicensed personnel, something the nursing community has opposed for years.

But the real kicker that precipitated the split was that the ANA had set up a boss’s union, the United American Nurses, where the “ANA Board of Directors, which is comprised of nurse managers, as well as the ANA executive director, have decision-making power related to the UAN [which] makes those who belong to the national union subject to legal changes by anti-union management attorneys.” The ANA had just enacted policy aimed at forcing affiliates like the MNA to join this union and abide by its decisions. The MNA membership wasn’t having any of it.

So don’t believe the hype: Actual nurses say “vote yes on 1,” and hospital administrators say “vote no on 1.”


IF WE are to believe the alarmist reports from the hospital industry, Question 1 will require hiring an additional 5,911 nurses statewide and cost more than $1 billion annually.

While this is a startling admission from the bosses about just how much they’ve been structurally understaffing our hospitals, it’s also an egregious distortion designed to frighten voters. A Boston College study pegged the cost of implementing Question 1 at $47 million, a mere fraction of what the Chicken Littles of the hospital board room would have us believe.

The reason hospital administrators are opposed to Question 1 is obvious, and it has absolutely nothing to do with “a nurse’s critical thinking and involvement in patient care” and everything to do with maximizing profits.

The MNA has been filing safe staffing bills with the Democratic Party-dominated state legislature since 1995, where the bill sat and died each year.

It’s no surprise why. The majority of hospitals in Massachusetts, which receive at least 60 percent of their funding from public sources, spend huge sums to defeat such bills. For example, Partners HealthCare, the largest employer in Massachusetts, last year became the state’s largest corporate spender on lobbying firms.

The dynamic of bipartisan opposition to safe staffing largely continues in the current fight around Question 1. While politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have endorsed Yes on 1, the industry-funded opposition campaign, rallying under the Orwellian slogan “The Coalition to Protect Patient Safety,” is being led by the Dewey Square Group, a powerhouse Democratic Party consulting firm.

So after years of coming up short at the state legislature, the MNA shifted its strategy to a ballot initiative, a stark admission of how effective corporations are at blocking progressive legislation.


TWENTY-FOUR STATES allow the direct participation of the electorate in the making of their own laws through ballot initiatives. Twenty-four states in the U.S. allow citizens this power, and an additional two permit citizens to veto existing laws through the ballot.

The experience in struggling directly for a reform is qualitatively different than passively hoping that elected officials will “do what’s right.” Ballot initiatives force people to think politically about what kind of world they want to live in — and force politicians to actually engage with the popular will.

And in the case of Question 1, despite the hospitals’ attempts to monopolize the debate (especially inside the workplace), nurses across the state have been able to engage in the process of deciding how their floors should be organized, a right normally reserved as the sacred realm of hospital management.

The recent history of marijuana legalization in Massachusetts demonstrates the potential of ballot measures. Despite decades of Democratic Party dominance on Beacon Hill, medical and recreational marijuana languished in the state house. It was only through ballot initiatives — decriminalization in 2008, legalization of medical marijuana in 2012, and legalization of recreational use in 2016 — that legalization was finally won.

Voters forced the hand of reluctant lawmakers and in the process transformed the political terrain. A key pillar of the racist “war on drugs” has been shattered in Massachusetts, laying the basis for struggles that push farther.

Approaching politicians to request reforms has historically proven to be an ineffective way to win change. However, by appealing to the broad public and involving nurses in a campaign to directly demand reforms, the MNA has shown how it’s possible to shift the terrain around reform struggles in our favor — and in the process advance the battle for democracy.

The nurses, understanding the power of solidarity and seeing the fight of the oppressed as a health care issue, have also endorsed Yes on Question 3, which asks voters whether they oppose repealing a law prohibiting discrimination of transgender people in public spaces.

Other labor leaders who support Yes on 1 — such as former Massachusetts Teachers Association President Barbara Madeloni and former national deputy director of SEIU’s health care division Jane McAlevey — have connected the fight for Yes on 1 to the women’s movement, writing:

In the past 12 months, a movement originally concerned with sexual abuse has become a broader movement for gender equity. The #MeToo movement calls for women to be heard and taken seriously not only when they speak out on sexual abuse but also when they speak out on other issues.

On Question 1, women who do the hands-on work in hospitals have amassed a formidable body of real-world experience, of longitudinal studies, of extensively researched data on the benefits of safe patent limits. The opinions of the organization representing 70 percent of all registered nurses in this state are strong, but the evidence that backs them is stronger still. The Massachusetts Nurses Association, like the Massachusetts Teachers Association, is one of the largest organizations of women in the state. They have spent years coming together in meetings all across Massachusetts to write this ballot question. They know what they are doing, day in and day out, in the hospitals, and they know what they are talking about in this crucial policy debate. Are we going to listen to them?”

Make no mistake: getting Question 1 passed is only the next of several steps in this struggle. Hospital administrators have threatened layoffs of auxiliary personnel and closures of community hospitals if this ballot initiative is approved, and they will blame their economic violence on the nurses. This will have to be fought with subsequent mobilizations.

Organizing solidarity with the nurses — at the polls, on picket lines and with co-workers and friends — will be essential, whatever the outcome of the November 6 vote.

Every time administrators complain about hiring enough nurses to safely staff their hospitals, we should counter with the idea that health care is a right and that the profit motive should not endanger patients’ lives. After all, we are all of us eventually patients, too.


          Wall Street billionaire says he's eyeing move to Puerto Rico to avoid taxes      Cache   Translate Page      
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          The Danger of Burning Plastic       Cache   Translate Page      

plastic pollution

The "convenience" of plastics in our fast paced lives is to the detriment of our health. The recent study published in the Guardian revealed billions of people globally are drinking tap water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83% of samples found to be polluted! This has me question; where is it from? The answer is, in part, it comes from burning it. The current disgraceful short-sighted move here in Ireland to weigh the rubbish is certainly not the answer. This only creates a burn it to save money mentality. Burning plastic releases carbon monoxide, dioxins and furans the most toxic chemicals known to science. Remove microplastics from your tap water and stop buying plastic bottles immediately Try a Carahealth Eco Water Filter. At only €2 a week for chemical free/ plastic free water, what are you waiting for? Ditch the plastic;Save the Planet


          Midterm election results: Polls close in races with early clues about a 'blue wave'      Cache   Translate Page      
After all the prognostication, hundreds of rallies and $5 billion, there's nothing left to do but wait to count the votes.
          Tech billionaires spar over San Francisco tax for homeless      Cache   Translate Page      
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have exchanged barbs over the tax, which could hit some smaller tech companies particularly hard.
          "Facing Climate Change, States and Cities Seek to Borrow Billions"      Cache   Translate Page      

"Dan Gelber, the mayor of Miami Beach, Florida, says climate change will be a homeowners’ worst nightmare. ... That’s why Miami Beach, where frequent flooding prompted by high tides have illustrated the risks of climate change, is asking residents for the power to pump more money into environmentally-friendly sidewalks, parks, and neighborhood improvements."

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          Now Amazon wants 2 homes for HQ2 — so where does Denver stand?      Cache   Translate Page      
After keeping us all waiting for the better part of a year to find out which city will land Amazon.com Inc.'s $5 billion second headquarters,
          Mobile Computer and Technology Firm- Full Services and Repairs- Indianapolis in Indianapolis ...      Cache   Translate Page      


This mobile computer and technology repair/service business has many different revenue streams including: sluggish Computers, Viruses, Child Protection, Wireless Networking, High Speed Internet Setup - DSL and Cable Modem Setup, Training – (Beginner, Intermediate and Expert), Data Back-Up & Recovery, Troubleshooting and Repairs, New Computer Setup and Installation - Printer, Software and Peripherals, Phone and Virtual Support, Smart Phone Service & Repair, Gaming Console Service & Repair……and so much more. This business targets the under-served markets of small businesses and residential clients, a 50-billion-dollar industry and growing with no slowdowns in sight. Think about this business like a Geek Squad on steroids, where the executive/owner does not need technology expertise, just good management skills. The parent company provides a national call center, help desk plus full training and ongoing support. The business operates out of branded vehicles and a small office space and needs few employees, keeping costs down and profit margins high (Gross Profit of $451,084 in 2016). Contact Chris for detailed information at 336-769-1558
          Office 365 Architect - nVent - Anoka, MN      Cache   Translate Page      
File sharing applications (OneDrive, Dropbox, Accellion, etc.). NVent is a $2.1 billion, high-performance electrical company with a dedicated team of 9,000...
From Nvent - Thu, 30 Aug 2018 05:32:37 GMT - View all Anoka, MN jobs
          Global Wind Turbine Market Value To Hit $48 Billion By 2022, Led By APAC      Cache   Translate Page      
The global wind turbine market is expected to continue to grow over the next few years, according to new figures published by analysts GlobalData, with market value estimated to be $47.83 billion in 2022, up from $44.75 billion in 2017, driven primarily by onshore development
          11/6/2018: CITY+REGION: Drug Companies Ready to Panic Over Pill That Eliminates Joint Pain      Cache   Translate Page      

It’s a battle of epic proportions a small Canadian supplement manufacturer (and a retiree from Ottawa), against the multi-billion dollar big pharma giants... and the fight is all about a new pill that has been proven to Eliminate All Joint Pain -...
          5 trends that will reshape media and advertising in 2019, including Facebook's next moves      Cache   Translate Page      

mark zuckerberg facebookChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • The advertising and media industries will continue to see seismic changes in 2019, according to a new report by market research firm Forrester.
  • AT&T will buy Roku and Google will acquire LiveRamp in 2019, Forrester predicts.
  • Additionally, blockchain will become increasingly mainstream, and hyper-targeting will give way to contextual creative, the report says.


From a bevy of M&A deals and consolidation on one end, to Facebook's Cambridge-Analytica scandal and GDPR on another, there were a lot of shake-ups in the advertising and media industries in 2018.

2019 will continue that trend, according to a new report by market research firm Forrester, which predicts not only more M&A action, but also trends like blockchain becoming more mainstream.

"We feel that there are specific events and trends that will take place in 2019 – specifically around further M&A, blockchain introducing itself into advertising, creative supporting personalization and Facebook having to rely more heavily on Instagram and WhatsApp for growth," Collin Colburn, B2C marketing analyst at Forrester, told Business Insider.

But on a macro level, the biggest battleground for media in 2019 will be control for digital advertising dollars, he said. Amazon, AT&T, Verizon, and Disney have all made moves to counter the Facebook-Google duopoly, and will vie for their position with their technology stacks, distribution, and content capabilities.

"Google and Facebook will start to feel this competition in 2019, and we will be watching to see if cracks begin forming in the foundation of the empires they have both built," Colburn said.

Here are the five events that will reshape media ad advertising in 2o19, according to Forrester:

AT&T will buy Roku to become a TV platform

By snapping up Time Warner, AppNexus, and DirectTV, AT&T pieced together the content, technology, and distribution pipes needed to challenge the duopoly as well as rival TV networks. But to truly become a viable threat, it needs to become a bigger part of consumers' daily lives. 

AT&T will do that by acquiring Roku, Forrester predicts, as the acquisition will not only give it tremendous scale but also help it complement its new targeted advertising division, Xandr.

"Buying Roku is a natural next step for AT&T after their acquisitions of Time Warner and AppNexus in 2018," Colburn said.

Instagram and WhatsApp will save Facebook 

From the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, to a cyber attack that impacted nearly 50 million user accounts, Facebook battled a spate of brand crises in 2018, severely impacting its brand reputation.

The platform isn't growing at the pace it once was either, with monthly active users (MAUs) being flat in the second quarter of 2018 in North America and falling in Europe, coupled with decelerated ad revenue growth. 

But the company can't be dismissed yet, according to Forrester, with Instagram quickly emerging as its shining star with more than 1 billion monthly active users and a user growth rate outpacing Facebook's.

"In 2019, we predict that Instagram will continue to pick up the slack while Facebook hones in on Messenger and WhatsApp to accelerate user and ad revenue growth for the parent company," the authors of the report write. "Messaging apps for one-on-one consumer interactions and advertising are still uncertain territory for brands but are increasing in interest — and Facebook will deliver."

Blockchain will become mainstream in advertising

From ads that get clicked on by bots, to hidden fees and an overall lack of transparency, the digital ad ecosystem has been under fire of late on a number of fronts. 

A number of big brands and marketers are attempting to fight that by betting on blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins the cryptocurrency bitcoin. 

By the end of 2019, advertisers will be able to follow every dollar that leaves their coffers, Forrester predicts, and be able to see exactly how much they are paying, and for what, at every step of the way.

Big brands like Kellogg's, Kimberly-Clark, Pfizer, and Unilever are already leading the way by participating in a blockchain pilot program powered by IBM and Media Ocean that aims to bring complete transparency to media-buying.

"Blockchain will make an important entrance in 2018, by exposing the value and costs of all the steps in the media supply chain," Colburn said. "But it will be a couple of years before blockchain is ready to make the impact that marketers are really looking for – impression-level reporting that will expose advertising fraud."

Hyper-targeting will give way to hyper-focus on creative

The rollout of GDPR sent many advertisers scrambling, casting a shadow on a future where they could hyper-target media, especially those brands lacking in first-party customer data.

But as the use of consumer data comes under increasing scrutiny, the focus, at least for advertisers, will turn back to powerful creative, according to Forrester.

In 2019, advertisers will start turning to creative adtech vendors like RevJet and Thunder to create contextually relevant ads cued by both first-party data, as well as data around the weather, time of day, and live events. 

Creative adtech will also improve ad quality and cross-channel storytelling. More brands will refrain from stalking consumers around the internet with cheap-looking, product-focused display ads, according to Forrester. 

"Despite what marketers and advertisers think, the media industry isn't nearly as customer-obsessed as it could be," Colburn said. "I am most bullish on advertisers trading in their hyper-targeting obsession for a hyper-focus on creative in advertising – it will improve both the customer experience and overall results."

A bidding war will break out for LiveRamp, and Google will take the cake

Several players – from Adobe and Salesforce to ad holding companies – have had their eyes on LiveRamp since Axciom's data marketing services were acquired by IPG. 

The competition is only going to heat up more, with a huge bidding war breaking out for LiveRamp, according to Forrester.

Forrester thinks the ultimate winner at the end though will be Google, which will outbid everyone with its trove of cash, making LiveRamp's data available for customers using its newly branded and consolidated adtech stack, Google Marketing Platform.

"With these acquisitions, the big keep getting bigger," Colburn said.

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          Media and advertising could be rocked by some crazy deals in 2019 — including AT&T buying Roku and Google buying LiveRamp      Cache   Translate Page      

att ceo randall stephensonAP

  • Advertising and media have witnessed a flurry of mergers-and-acquisitions activity in 2018 — a trend likely to gain steam in 2019, according to a new Forrester report.
  • The report says AT&T is expected to buy Roku and Google is likely to acquire LiveRamp in 2019, which could change the TV landscape and shock marketing-cloud stalwarts and agency holding companies.
  • While a Roku acquisition would help AT&T embed itself more deeply in the lives of consumers, acquiring LiveRamp would make Google more invincible than ever, according to Forrester.

2018 was a blockbuster year for mergers-and-acquisitions activity in media, with AT&T lapping up both Time Warner and AppNexus, and Comcast acquiring Sky.

And you shouldn't expect the flurry of activity to die down anytime soon.

The media industry is likely to continue to be disrupted in 2019, with several new deals shaking up the space, according to a new report by the market research firm Forrester.

"We feel that there are specific events that will take place in 2019 — specifically around further M&A," Collin Colburn, a B2C marketing analyst at Forrester, told Business Insider. "Our predictions are grounded in the trends and events from this year and the needs of technology companies, media conglomerates, and marketers."

Here are the deals that could shake up the media and advertising industries in 2019.

AT&T's next big move could be going after Roku

With Time Warner, AppNexus, and DirecTV under its belt, AT&T seems to have content, ad tech, and distribution figured out. But that still isn't enough to help it transform into a digital media and marketing powerhouse and take on the Facebook-Google duopoly, according to Forrester.

That's because AT&T is still not plugged into consumers' daily lives the way Facebook and Google are. One way around that could be to invest in a content platform, according to Forrester — such a move would enable AT&T to grab not only a more central role in consumers' lives but a bigger share of their 42-hour-a-week video-entertainment-viewing habit.

As AT&T looks to compete for more market share in advertising, Roku could be an attractive target.

The argument, according to Forrester, is simple: Roku has a massive (and rapidly growing) user base of 20 million, which, when added to DirecTV's 20 million households, would give AT&T greater scale than any other TV-centric media company.

Plus, Roku captures a lot of detailed data about over-the-top TV viewing and can dynamically insert targeted ads into its videos, which would complement AT&T's new targeted-advertising division, Xandr.

AT&T is ready and willing to wage war against the existing duopoly over advertising dollars, Colburn said.

"Buying Roku is a natural next step for AT&T after their acquisitions of Time Warner and AppNexus in 2018," he said. "The combination of the biggest audience with massive data and a tech stack that enables precision targeting anchored in quality video content is a highly appealing proposition to advertisers."

Google could snap up LiveRamp

Ever since the data-marketing giant Acxiom sold its marketing-solutions platform to the ad holding company IPG this summer, all eyes have turned to LiveRamp, Acxiom's other big business.

LiveRamp helps brands link their data with real people, and industry experts consider its data-onboarding practice second to none.

As the industry is increasingly plagued by regulatory concerns, LiveRamp is becoming a highly critical asset for any ad-tech or marketing-tech vendor.

That's expected to lead to a huge bidding war for LiveRamp, according to Forrester. The likes of Adobe and Salesforce could attempt to counter holding companies like Dentsu Aegis Network, which could seek to complement its Merkle M1 data platform with LiveRamp's data.

But Forrester thinks the ultimate winner will be Google, which could outbid everyone with its trove of cash and make LiveRamp's data available for customers using its newly branded and consolidated ad-tech stack, Google Marketing Platform.

LiveRamp offers Google enhanced connectivity to the digital world outside of itself, an expanded (and perhaps mutually beneficial) relationship with publishers, and a unique set of data and identity assets, Colburn said — which would make Google mightier than ever.

"If Google acquires LiveRamp, it will make its new Marketing Platform all the more powerful and enticing for marketers that have already been using some of Google's legacy tools," he said. "With these acquisitions, the big keep getting bigger."

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          'Venom' gives Sony an edge over Disney in its fight to keep 'Spider-Man,' according to industry experts      Cache   Translate Page      

venom movieSony

  • Despite abysmal reviews, "Venom" is a hit with audiences and has grossed over $500 million worldwide.
  • The movie is Sony's first jump back into the "Spider-Man" universe without Marvel Studios in its corner since "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" misfired in 2014.
  • Box-office experts agree that the movie's success is no fluke and that it's the rebound Sony needed.
  • "If they consistently make films audiences want to see, Disney will have to buy Sony to get 'Spider-Man' back," said Jeff Bock, a senior box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations.
  • Sony has multiple "Spider-Man" projects in development, and a "Venom" sequel is highly likely.

Before Sony's latest foray into the world of Spider-Man, "Venom," hit theaters a month ago, there were worries that the studio might have a flop on its hands.

Critics couldn't publish their takes on the movie until October 2, two days before "Venom" would be screened to audiences. Such a short span of time between a film's review embargo and its release is usually a sign of trouble, and this was: Critics tore into the movie, which ultimately scored a 27% critical rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Sony couldn't afford another misfire after "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" failed to generate excitement in 2014. If "Venom" bombed, it probably would have spelled defeat for its "Spider-Man" universe going forward. (It's still Sony's biggest cinematic property.)

"If it had failed, there is a chance Sony would have definitely returned to the bargaining table with Disney," Jeff Bock, a senior box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, told Business Insider. "Now, that's up in the air."

Fortunately for Sony, "Venom" is a hit.

The movie, which stars Tom Hardy, has brought in over $500 million worldwide with a $100 million production budget. It has an 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes from 32,000 ratings, and a B+ from Cinemascore. It broke the box-office record for an October opening weekend, with $80 million, after estimates put it in the range of $65 million to $75 million.

The success of "Venom" means Sony's "Spider-Man" cinematic universe, which once looked as if it were on life support, is here to stay.

amazing spiderman 2 Courtesy Columbia Pictures

Sony strikes a deal with Marvel Studios

In 2015, Sony made a deal with Marvel Studios in which Spider-Man could be introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe while Sony maintained distribution rights and creative control. It meant Sony could still make movies based on the 900 Marvel Spider-Man characters it owns the film rights to, while Marvel and its parent company, Disney, could use the character in its film universe.

The deal came after Sony's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," the sequel to its 2012 reboot, floundered at the box office. It raked in just over $200 million in the US, barely more than its production budget, after opening to a disappointing $91 million. Most of its money came from the international box office, which isn't new for a blockbuster, though it wasn't enough to fulfill Sony's grander "Spider-Man" vision to compete with Marvel after "The Avengers" made $1.5 billion worldwide two years before.

"Everyone had high hopes for this," a production assistant on "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," who wished to remain anonymous to protect future business relationships, told Business Insider. "They were projecting for it to at least make more money than the first one."

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" made less domestically and globally than its predecessor. Then came the Sony hack in November 2014, in which WikiLeaks released a massive trove of private Sony emails, data, and files. Internal communications about "reinvigorating" the "Spider-Man" franchise and potentially having Marvel Studios produce were revealed.

It all forced Sony to reevaluate its planned Spider-verse, which would have included a "Sinister Six" villain-centric spin-off that "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" attempted to set up. Instead, Sony worked with Marvel Studios to deliver MCU's "Spider-Man: Homecoming," starring Tom Holland, last year; it was a hit.

"Sony just wants to make a buck, and they don't mind throwing s--- at the wall to make a buck," the former production assistant said.

Venom 2 SonySony

'Venom' helps Sony rebound

If you asked critics, "Venom" was another case of "throwing s--- at the wall." But audiences have thought differently, and box-office experts agree that the movie's success is no accident.

Sony "took a calculated risk with 'Venom,' and it's now going to be a series," Bock said. "It seems Disney needs Sony's 'Spider-Man' more than Sony needs Disney ... If they consistently make films audiences want to see, Disney will have to buy Sony to get 'Spider-Man' back."

"A half-billion dollars in revenue for 'Venom' worldwide proves that this is no fluke, and despite a critical drubbing, the film has found great favor with audiences who are fully vested in the 'Spider-Man' brand as well as their embracing of Tom Hardy," the comScore senior analyst Paul Dergarabedian told Business Insider.

What's next for Sony's "Spider-Man" plans?

The animated "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" hits theaters this December. The "Homecoming" follow-up with Marvel Studios, "Spider-Man: Far From Home," comes to theaters in July.

Apart from the MCU, Sony is developing multiple spin-offs like "Venom," including one starring Jared Leto as the vampire Morbius, and one featuring Black Cat, a frequent Spider-Man love interest. There's even the possibility that Spider-Man himself could show up, though it remains to be seen whether it would be Tom Holland's MCU version or someone else.

Oh, and a "Venom" sequel is highly likely.

"There is strong interest in a sequel, which will no doubt happen given its success," Box Office Analyst's Doug Stone said.

Read more: What you need to know about the 'Spider-Man' villain who appears in the 'Venom' after-credits scene

Of course, there is the possibility that Sony doesn't ride this momentum and its "Amazing Spider-Man 2" problems happen all over again.

Ken Miyamoto, a former Sony story analyst and script reader in the 2000s who is now an industry blogger for ScreenCraft, told Business Insider that Sony would "clearly fast-track these titles in hopes of replicating the box-office success of 'Venom.'"

"And I just don't see it working with those characters," Miyamoto said. "Nobody cares."

He added: "If you push things too fast to try and emulate the MCU to create connected multi-franchises, you're going to suffer the same fate you did before."

But for now, the success of "Venom" and the likely success of "Into the Spider-Verse" next month have positioned Sony well and changed its balance of power with Disney. Beyond "Spider-Man," Sony is developing "Bloodshot," a film it hopes to turn into another comic-book-based cinematic universe, starring Vin Diesel and produced by the "Fast and Furious" franchise producer Neal Moritz.

"This is just the beginning of Sony's reemergence as a studio of box-office distinction," Bock said. "They're not giving it up without a fight."

If you have insight into the success of "Venom" and Sony's "Spider-Man" plans, email the author at tclark@businessinsider.com.

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          What you need to know in advertising today      Cache   Translate Page      

Ben Silbermann PinterestJohn Lamparski/Getty

Pinterest is bringing in a retail exec to handle its top marketing role as the company looks to beef up its advertising business ahead of a potential IPO.

The company has tapped Andréa Mallard, Gap's Athleta CMO, to be its first CMO. She will oversee Pinterest's marketing and creative teams and report to chief operating officer Francoise Brougher.

Mallard has held the CMO role at Athleta since March 2017, and was previously CMO at digital health startup Omada Health for four years. According to Pinterest, she will be responsible for explaining the company's platform to advertisers and partners.

Click here to read more about Pinterest’s new CMO.

In other news:

Elizabeth Olsen's 'Sorry for Your Loss' deserves better than becoming a high-profile Facebook flop. It got 4 million views for its first episode, but viewership plunged after that.

Amazon just ratcheted up the war for holiday shoppers with an unprecedented promotion. Amazon is offering free shipping for all customers for a limited time this holiday, starting November 5.

It's become increasingly clear that Alphabet, Google's parent company, needs new leadership. The recent scandals and controversies at the company, most notably over its handling of sexual harassment allegations, have highlighted the shortcomings of its top leaders.

Trump says his administration is 'looking at' whether Amazon, Facebook and Google are violating antitrust laws. In an interview with news site Axios that aired on HBO Sunday night, Trump said the $5 billion fine against Google from the European Union made him consider pursuing regulation.

Twitter has hired ad-agency executive God-is Rivera as global director of culture and community, reports the Wall Street Journal. The former VMLY&R exec will help advertisers connect with diverse communities on the platform.

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          China gave foreign countries and journalists seminars on how to restrict online speech and unflattering news reports      Cache   Translate Page      

xi jinpingReuters/Jason Lee

  • China has been hosting seminars for foreign countries and journalists on how to clamp down on online speech and writing positive news about China's economic policies, Freedom House reported.
  • They include courses on President Xi Jinping's views on patriotism and tours of companies that monitor negative public opinion in the country.
  • Many of them catered to countries that are part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, a massive infrastructure project that aims to link 70 countries around the world.
  • Those courses appeared to work on some of the countries, who issued laws clamping down on online speech after attending the seminars.
  • China has a long record of muzzling free speech in the country.
  • It wields a lot of soft power over its economic allies, largely because of its financial investments around the world.

China has been holding seminars for foreign countries and journalists on how to restrict online speech and write positive news about it, according to a Freedom House report published this week.

The programs — which appear tailored to specific countries and regions — included courses like "socialist journalism with Chinese characteristics" and a class on "the Chinese Dream," Freedom House said.

Those two slogans were popularized under President Xi Jinping, and lay out his view of patriotism and innovation as long as it does not defy the Chinese Communist Party.

The programs appeared to be marketed to countries involved in China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a massive infrastructure project launched in 2013 that aims to link China to more than 70 countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa.

It is one of President Xi Jinping's pet projects, and Beijing has invested between $1 trillion and $8 trillion in those projects since 2013, according to the Center for Strategic and International StudiesMultiple BRI partners have racked up billions of dollars in debt because they couldn't afford to repay China's loans on infrastructure projects.

Read more: Inside 'Belt and Road,' China's mega-project that is linking 70 countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa

Security China 2018Reuters/Thomas Peter

Here are some of the seminars China hosted over the past year, according to Freedom House.

  • November 2017: A two-week "Seminar on Cyberspace Management for Officials of Countries along the Belt and Road Initiative," where officials toured a company — unnamed in in the report — that monitored, using big data, negative public opinion, and created a "positive energy public-opinion guidance system."
  • May 2018: Prominent journalists and media officials from the Philippines visited China for two weeks to learn about "new media development." What this means exactly is not clear.
  • A similar conference for media staff in Thailand taught attendees about the "Chinese Dream" and how media outlets can report domestic and international affairs, including China's economic development. The date of this conference is not clear.
  • Representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates also attended a three-week "Seminar for Senior Media Staff in Arab Countries" at an unspecified date.

Details about what actually happens during those seminars are scant. But pictures published by the Chinese ministry of commerce of a seminar on the "promotion of international cooperation," held last August for 43 officials from BRI countries, showed delegates attending a lecture by Chinese officials and receiving a "graduation certificate" at the end.

one belt one road land sea routesReuters

China flexes its soft power

Those seminars appeared to work on the foreign countries.

After Vietnamese officials attended China's seminar on media management in April 2017, it introduced a cybersecurity law that ordered global tech companies — such as Google and Facebook — to store personal data of users in Vietnam in the country.

Uganda and Tanzania also introduced similar laws clamping down on online media dissemination after their officials attended China's seminars over the past year, Freedom House said.

It echoed existing cybersecurity laws in China, which order tech companies to store personal and financial data collected in the country within its borders.

Chinese authorities have previously demanded domestic tech companies to hand over user data and the contents of private conversations.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Public Security announced that law-enforcement officers could obtain and use private conversations on popular messaging app WeChat in legal proceedings.

Read more: Barging into your home, threatening your family, or making you disappear: Here's what China does to people who speak out against them

xi jinpingFred Dufour/Getty

Beijing has repeatedly proven the strength of its soft power, much of which stems from its immense economic power around the world.

Taiwan also claims that China uses economic partnerships to pressure countries to cut off diplomatic ties with it. Beijing insists that Taiwan is part of China, while Taipei recognizes itself as an independent nation.

Australia's former foreign minister, Julie Bishop, also revealed earlier this week that Australia did not strike a trade deal with Taiwan because her counterpart Wang Yi simply told her not to. China is Australia's largest trading partner, top export market, and biggest import source.

China also clamps down on online speech and thought within the country. Law-enforcement authorities have muzzled free speech in the past by censoring posts and forcefully disappearing people seen to speak out against the regime.

It also ranks citizens' behavior on a social credit system, which doles out punishments and rewards depending on the individual's score.

NOW WATCH: This top economist has a radical plan to change the way Americans vote

See Also:


          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          11/6/2018: News: Children of former billionaire in tax dispute      Cache   Translate Page      
THREE children of former billionaire Sean Quinn have become embroiled in a dispute with the taxman. High Court proceedings have been initiated by Sean Quinn Jr, Ciara Quinn and Colette Quinn against the Revenue Commissioners and the Tax Appeals...
          Comment on A Few Big Legislative Races, Scattered Through Florida by palmcoaster      Cache   Translate Page      
On election day I have a big question regarding Trump's and GOP tax breaks for who? In two years of this POTUS not only I didn't get any tax breaks but further more my taxes are higher. Also so many new jobs and busting bright economy...where? Not in this county and not at my groceries and other necessities bills that have been affected by a huge inflation with just a dozen eggs double or triple price as everything else. The GOP's are inflating this huge balloon called economy by giving tax breaks to themselves and the other Greedy Opulent People aka GOP and on our backs because the Trump-oso in 2 years raised our debt left by Obama at 586 billions to 786 billions now. But sure this GOP Congress and their minions are not crying out loud about the debt ceiling now like their chastised Obama! Man this FL Senate seat may mean lots of hundreds of millions as Ricky S candidate invested 12.5 millions of his own Medicare fraud acquired funds in his FL Senate campaign. https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/11/01/nine-days-11-million-rick-scott-pumps-more-of-his-wealth-into-florida-senate-race/
          Shrek, Puss in Boots getting rebooted by Despicable Me creator      Cache   Translate Page      
After launching DreamWorks into the animation game in a big way in 2001, the SHREK franchise has gone on to make billions around the world, remaining endlessly quotable and keeping Smash Mouth relevant for all these years. Now someBODY has gone and had a questionable idea to reboot the series, with DESPICABLE ME and THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS mastermind Chris Meledandri at the helm of the project.… Read More...
          Camila Cabello bags 4 awards at MTV EMAs      Cache   Translate Page      

With six nominations, US singer Camila Cabello, whose hit song “Havana” reached the top of the US charts in January, is in prime position for the MTV Europe Music Awards held Sunday in Spain. Best song, best video, best artist, the 21-year-old Cuba-born singer is riding high, fresh from winning prestigious prizes at the MTV Video Music Awards in August — artist of the year and video of the year. Her album “Camila” also topped the US charts in January, and the audio version of “Havana,” which features rapper Young Thug, has had more than 1.3 billion hits on YouTube. Last year the former member of the band Fifth Harmony was also named best pop artist at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Next up at the awards in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao are singer Ariana Grande and rapper Post Malone with five nominations, followed by Canadian artist Drake and Britain’s Dua Lipa with four. Shawn Mendes, a double award-winner last year, landed the Best Live award. Dua Lipa won Best Pop. Panic! At the Disco won Best Alternative, and performed “High Hopes.” Best Electronic winners Marshmello closed the show amid giant inflatable Marshmello heads. THE WINNERS BEST ARTIST Camila Cabello BEST VIDEO Camila Cabello – “Havana” ft. Young Thug BEST SONG Camila Cabello – “Havana” ft. Young Thug BEST POP Dua Lipa BEST NEW Cardi B BEST LOOK Nicki Minaj BEST HIP HOP Nicki Minaj BEST LIVE Shawn Mendes BEST ROCK 5 Seconds of Summer BEST ALTERNATIVE Panic! At the Disco BEST ELECTRONIC Marshmello BIGGEST FANS BTS BEST WORLD STAGE Alessia Cara, MTV Spotlight @ Hyperplay, Singapore 2018 BEST PUSH Grace VanderWaal (December 2017) BEST U.S./WORLDWIDE ACT Camila Cabello

The post Camila Cabello bags 4 awards at MTV EMAs appeared first on FHM Pakistan.


          The EPS market is expected to grow from USD 15.5 billion in 2018 to USD 20.1 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 5.3%      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Growing construction and packaging industries is expected to drive the overall growth of EPS market Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p04883665 The EPS market is expected to grow from USD 15.5 billion in 2018 to USD 20.1 billion by...


          The global managed service market is expected to grow from USD 180.5 billion in 2018 to USD 282.0 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.3%      Cache   Translate Page      

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Increasing dependence of enterprises on IT infrastructure to improve their business productivity is expected to drive the overall growth of the managed service market Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05091916 The global managed...


          Entergy Louisiana Provides Regional Economic Development Grant to NLEP      Cache   Translate Page      
<p><span style="color: #000000;">MONROE, La. – Entergy Louisiana provided a $25,000 cash grant to the</span> <a href="http://nlep.org/home.aspx">North Louisiana Economic Partnership</a> <span style="color: #000000;">in support of their efforts to develop the 14-parish region of North Louisiana into a thriving area and a destination for high quality talent, innovative companies and global investment.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Since 2011, Entergy Louisiana has provided over $200,000 in cash grants to support economic development programs by the NLEP. Additionally, Entergy Louisiana provides professional in-kind services to the NLEP valued at over $50,000 annually.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">“The generous financial and strong professional support of Entergy Louisiana is essential to the North Louisiana Economic Partnership carrying out its mission of attracting capital investment and quality employment opportunities to North Louisiana. The North Louisiana Economic Partnership is appreciative of Entergy Louisiana’s strong partnership that includes Entergy’s Amanda Edge serving on the North Louisiana Economic Partnership Board of Directors,” said Scott Martinez, president of the NLEP.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Through its Business and Economic Development team, Entergy Louisiana works with state and local government agencies, economic development organizations and community partners to attract new businesses that provide quality jobs and capital investment to Louisiana.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">“Economic development partners like NLEP and others across the state are helping us map out the blueprint for a bright future in Louisiana,” said Ed Jimenez, director of business and economic development for Entergy in Louisiana. “Together, we’re helping our friends and neighbors in the communities that we serve realize business opportunities and a desired quality of life right here at home.”</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">“The</span> <a href="https://louisianasiteselection.com/">Louisiana Site Selection Center</a> <span style="color: #000000;">and other initiatives of its kind have showcased what our region has to offer, including demographic and business data to parish and community profiles. This hub of information has helped businesses make important decisions, which in turn helps NLEP aggressively compete for new growth opportunities and realize first-hand the direct impact that economic development efforts have on the North Louisiana area,” said Edge, Entergy Louisiana economic development project manager for the North Louisiana region.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Since 2010, Entergy has actively participated in 140 announced economic development projects in Louisiana totaling more than $77 billion in capital investments and nearly 18,000 new direct jobs. For 11 years running, Site Selection magazine named Entergy Corporation as one of the nation's Top 10 Utilities in economic development.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Entergy Louisiana, LLC provides electric service to more than 1 million customers and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. The company has operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11 billion and more than 13,000 employees.  </span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #000000;">-30-</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.entergylouisiana.com/">entergylouisiana.com</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.facebook.com/EntergyLA">facebook.com/EntergyLA</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #000000;">Twitter:</span> <a href="https://twitter.com/EntergyLA">@EntergyLA</a></p> <p style="text-align: center;">###</p>
          UPDATE 1-U.S. regulator demands companies take action to halt 'robocalls'      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON, Nov 5- U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday wrote the chief executives of major telephone service providers and other companies, demanding they launch a system to combat billions of "robocalls" and other nuisance calls received monthly by American consumers. The letters went to 13 companies including AT&T Inc,...
          Comment on EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – October 2018 Edition with data for August by islandboy      Cache   Translate Page      
Here's something actually cheerful as the US goes to the polls for the mid-term elections: <a href="https://reneweconomy.com.au/german-renewables-share-jumps-to-38-for-2018-nearly-catches-coal-18432/" rel="nofollow">German renewables share jumps to 38% for 2018, nearly catches coal</a> <i>Germany is edging ever closer to its national target of 65 per cent renewable energy by 2030, with new data showing wind and solar produced 38 per cent of the electricity consumed in the country between January and September 2018. The figures mark an increase of three percentage points over a year earlier, according to utility association BDEW, and were boosted by the renewables’ share reaching 43 per cent in the months of January, April and May. “If we have an average amount of wind in the fourth quarter, renewables could also cover 38 percent over the entire year,” BDEW said in a statement. But for the first three quarters of the year, this means that renewables produced almost 170 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), while lignite and hard coal added up to about 172 billion kWh. “Clearly, renewables are in the fast lane, while the contribution of conventional energy sources to cover gross power consumption is falling continuously,” said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer. “But we still have a lot of work ahead of us to reach the target of a 65 per cent renewables share by 2030.”</i> <a href="https://www.pv-magazine.com/2018/11/06/renewables-overtake-fossil-fuels-in-uk-installed-capacity/" rel="nofollow">Renewables overtake fossil fuels in UK installed capacity</a> <i>According to a report published today by Drax, the combined capacity of renewables (wind, solar, biomass, hydro and ‘other’) in the UK reached 42 GW in the third quarter of 2018. Available capacity from fossil fuels, meanwhile, fell to 40.6 GW, with around one third being retired over the last five years. The report, Electric Insights Quarterly – Q3 2018, notes this is the first time that renewables have taken the largest share of Britain’s electricity infrastructure. The largest share of renewable capacity, around 20 GW, comes from wind, with solar in second place with 13 GW. It also calculates that so far in this decade, the UK has added approximately 3.8 GW of new renewable capacity per year on average, breaking down as follows: 1.0 GW of onshore wind, 0.8 GW of offshore wind, 1.4 GW of solar and 0.4 GW of biomass. Solar’s share in this growth has fallen in the past two years thanks to the withdrawal of incentives for further installation, though a few projects have managed to find business models that work ‘subsidy free’.</i>
          Telecom gear provider CommScope is near a deal to acquire Arris for about $5.6 billion      Cache   Translate Page      
A deal, which is not final and could still fall apart, would give Commscope more scale with a more diversified product base, while it would provide an exit for Arris as fewer customers watch traditional TV from set-top boxes.
          How Third party logistics Industry Becomes Billion Dollar Industry?      Cache   Translate Page      
(EMAILWIRE.COM, November 06, 2018 ) The major factors propelling the market growth for third party logistics are rise in focus of manufacturing companies on reducing assets and emphasize on core business, benefits in managing seasonal variations of products, and increase in demand for reducing overall operational cost and focus on managing timely delivery.

The report focuses on in-depth segmentation of third party logistics market by mode of transport, services, end-user, and regions. The geographic segmentation of this report covers five major regions including; North Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA) and South America (SA). The regional market has been further bifurcated by respective countries. By mode of transport, roadways mode of transport accounted for the largest share of the third party logistics market in 2017, whereas airways transport is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Get sample PDF copy @ http://bit.ly/2P9HGTA

List of Companies

1. Deutsche Post DHL Group
2. Kuehne + Nagel International AG
3. Nippon Express Co., Ltd.
4. DB Schenker
5. H. Robinson
6. DSV
7. XPO Logistics
8. Sinotrans
9. GEODIS
10. UPS Supply Chain Solutions

The report aims to provide an overview of global third party logistics market with detailed market segmentation. Also, it analyzes the current third party logistics market scenario and forecasts the market till 2025. The report further covers market dynamics effecting the market during the forecast period. Furthermore, the report analyzes the competitive scenario, geographic trends, and opportunities in the markets with respect to all geographic regions. The report also includes the detailed company profiles of the key players in the market along with their market strategies. The report also provides PEST along with the SWOT analysis for all company profiled in the report.

Do Purchase Inquiry @ http://bit.ly/2NgyNpv

Asia-Pacific is one of the prominent regions in third party logistics market which is contributing to the highest revenue globally due to robust economic growth along with growing demand for retail sector owing to the rising disposable income & growing population in this region. Further, fast growth in e-commerce sector and preferences of foreign companies for Asia-Pacific as their manufacturing location are boosting the market for third party logistics in this region. The factors such as continual urbanization, strong economic growth, rise in industrialization, and growth in middle-class population supported the growth in domestic consumption of fast-moving consumer goods for everyday consumption, personal automobiles, household items, and luxury items. This in turn increases the retail sales and makes Asia-Pacific the leading market for third party logistics service consumer.





Sameer Joshi
+1-646-491-9876
sam@theinsightpartners.com

Source: EmailWire.Com
          Blazing Fast Financial Backtesting For Tick Data Available Free Now      Cache   Translate Page      

AuriQ Systems announces release of Pivot Billions integrated time series database and advanced trading simulation module for financial back-testing on large volumes of financial tick data.

(PRWeb November 06, 2018)

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/blazing_fast_financial_backtesting_for_tick_data_available_free_now/prweb15891919.htm


          Cashew exporters earn N293.7bn in 3 years      Cache   Translate Page      

●Rely on CBN export stimulation fund for production     Nigeria exported cashew nut valued at N292.7 billion ($813.05 million) in the last three years to United States, Vietnam, India, Brazil and Europe. The nuts are being used as versatile industrial raw material for phenolic resins, friction powder for the automotive industry and wine. Also, […]

The post Cashew exporters earn N293.7bn in 3 years appeared first on Newtelegraph.


          Canadians ‘weary’ of arms trade with Saudi Arabia, survey says      Cache   Translate Page      

VANCOUVER—In the aftermath of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, a new survey has found Canadians to be “weary” of exporting military technology to Saudi Arabia.

In an online survey by the Angus Reid Institute, Canadians expressed “total unanimity” about prohibiting the sale of weapons and defence equipment to the Middle Eastern country. Nearly half of respondents agreed that the federal government should scrap a 15-year arms deals worth $15 billion and “be even more vocal in criticizing Saudi Arabia for its human-rights abuses.”

The number of Canadians who say their country should not sell military technology to Saudi Arabia has jumped by 14 per cent since last year to 76 per cent.

Shachi Kurl, executive director of the institute, said the findings reflect Canadians’ concerns about Saudi Arabi, especially with regard to human-rights abuses in the war in Yemen. She said Canadians are also concerned that Canadian-made vehicles may have been used to suppress dissent in Saudi Arabia.

“These are factors that certainly increase a growing sense of unease,” she added.

Kurl said the survey findings “embolden” and “validate” the Canadian government in its public criticism of the Saudi government.

“The murder of Mr. Khashoggi would have galvanized, reminded Canadians of their unease or discomfort with some of these issues,” Kurl said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to retrieve paperwork that he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée. Turkish officials say a “hit squad” of Saudi agents dispatched from the gulf killed Khashoggi in the consulate and dismembered his body before returning to Saudi soil, according to The Washington Post.

The incident has raised questions about whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a target of Khashoggi’s criticism, knew in advance about the alleged state-sanctioned killing.

In October, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at freezing arms export permits to Saudi Arabia and said his government was working with its G7 allies to co-ordinate an appropriate response to Khashoggi’s death.

“We condemn the horrible murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” Trudeau told the House of Commons, adding “we are deeply concerned about reports on the participation of Saudi forces.”

Trudeau’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Canada views the Saudi regime’s explanations about Khashoggi’s death as “not consistent,” “not coherent” and “not credible.”

The survey was conducted between Oct. 24 and Oct. 29 among a representative randomized sample of 1,500 Canadian adults who have signed up to receive surveys as part of the Angus Reid Forum. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

With files from Tonda MacCharles

Jenny Peng is a Vancouver-based reporter covering business. Follow her on Twitter: @JennyPengNow


          Corporate Accountant - Energy & Infrastructure - Dream Unlimited - Toronto, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Is a leading Canadian real estate company with approximately $14 billion of assets under management in Canada and Europe. Dream Asset Management Corporation....
From Dream Unlimited - Wed, 07 Nov 2018 00:32:12 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Assistant Property Manager - Dream Unlimited - Toronto, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Is a leading Canadian real estate company with approximately $14 billion of assets under management in Canada and Europe. Dream Office Management Corp....
From Dream Unlimited - Tue, 06 Nov 2018 18:33:10 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          College student accusing Chinese billionaire of rape: I told him ‘no’      Cache   Translate Page      
Fresh details have emerged on the horrific rape accusations against Chinese billionaire Richard Liu, who allegedly sexually assaulted a college student in Minneapolis in late August. The 47-year-old e-commerce tycoon — said to be worth $7.5 billion — took his 21-year-old victim to her apartment and “pulled off her sweater over her protests,” as he...
          Fund Your Org Aims To Raise One Billion Dollars For Charities In Need      Cache   Translate Page      
none
          Billionaires made more money in 2017 than any other year      Cache   Translate Page      

"While the Rest of the World Burned," Billionaires Made More Money in 2017 Than Any Other Year in History.

All at the expense of the rest of the world, both human and not.


          US government tax havens      Cache   Translate Page      

How tax havens corrupt the US government, the world economy, and economics.


          J.B. Pritzker ousts GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner in Illinois      Cache   Translate Page      

Billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker defeated Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday to become the next governor of Illinois.

Networks called the race for Mr. Pritzker, an heir to the Hyatt hotel chain, shortly after polls closed.

Mr. Rauner, 61, came into office four years ago promising to cut taxes and reduce ...

          Russian consulate in Marseille says no info about billionaire Rybolovlev’s detention      Cache   Translate Page      
France’s Le Monde said citing its sources that Russian billionaire and owner of the AS Monaco Football Club Dmitry Ryboloblev had been detained in Monaco to be questioned on a corruption-related case
          Russian billionaire Rybolovlev detained in Monaco on corruption suspicions - press      Cache   Translate Page      
According to media reports, he is to be questioned on a corruption-related case
          Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in four states — this map shows every US state that has legalized marijuana      Cache   Translate Page      

states where marijuana legal map

  • Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in four states in Tuesday's midterm elections.
  • Recreational marijuana is already legal in nine states and medical marijuana is legal in 31 states.
  • A 2017 Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans support legalization.

Four states are voting on marijuana legalization measures in Tuesday's midterm elections.

Michigan and North Dakota are weighing measures to legalize recreational marijuana for all adults, while bright-red Utah and Missouri residents are voting on medical marijuana measures.

Oklahoma voted to legalize medical marijuana earlier this year. Residents voted 56-43% in support of the ballot initiative, which is one of the most permissive medical marijuana laws in the US. 

Nine states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for recreational use — no doctor's letter required — for adults over the age of 21. 

In January, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative, when the governor signed the bill into law.

Marijuana prohibition began 80 years ago when the federal government put a ban on the sale, cultivation, and use of the cannabis plant. It remains illegal on the federal level.

Despite the efforts of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been on a crusade to stamp out legal marijuana since his appointment, the industry is exploding.

Read more: The CEO of the largest cannabis company in the US says giant private equity firms could be his biggest competition — here's his playbook for defending against them

Legal marijuana sales exploded to $9.7 billion in North America in 2017, according to a report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. That represents a 33% increase over 2016, shattering previous expectations about how quickly the marijuana industry could grow in the face of federal prohibition.

The report also predicted the legal marijuana market will reach $24.5 billion in sales — a 28% annual compound growth rate — by 2021, as more state-legal markets come online.

Support for marijuana legalization reached new highs in 2017. A Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans favor legalization, and a majority of Republicans back it for the first time.

Read more of Business Insider's cannabis industry coverage:

SEE ALSO: We went inside the best marijuana shop in America — here's what it was like

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Legal marijuana may have several health benefits


          Marc Benioff invited Elon Musk to come dig tunnels in San Francisco for a new transportation system and the Tesla founder accepted: 'Sure, we can do it' (CRM)      Cache   Translate Page      

Marc Benioff Elon Musk

  • On Tuesday, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff took to Twitter to invoke the help of Elon Musk. 
  • Benioff asked Musk if his Boring Company could come to San Francisco and help improve the city's transportation system. 
  • The Boring Company (a subsidiary of SpaceX) has created its first "test tunnel" under the streets of Los Angeles to help prove out its tunnel system, meant to alleviate city traffic. 
  • Musk nonchalantly agreed to Benioff's request. 

Before votes could even be counted on Tuesday in San Francisco for the highly debated Proposition C — which would tax the city's largest corporations to provide more funding to homeless services the measure's number one backer, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, was already on to the next issue: transportation. 

This time, however, instead of personally spending over $2 million to support a ballot measure, he took to Twitter and invoked the help of none other than Elon Musk. 

The tweet was a reply to the video Musk posted last Saturday, showing off the tunnel that The Boring Company (a subsidiary of Musk's SpaceX) had created under the streets of Los Angeles. The project is the company's "test tunnel," used to demonstrate how its "pod" vehicles and "lifts" will work.

The Boring Company's overall purpose is to create alternative modes of transportation to help reduce city traffic. 

Read more: Elon Musk shares first look into The Boring Company's 'disturbingly long' tunnel

A little over an hour after Benioff's request to have the Boring Company build similar tunnels throughout the Bay Area — and even one that extended over 350 miles south to Los Angeles — Elon agreed, nonchalantly. 

The Boring Company did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment. 

In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 1A which earmarked $9 billion to initiate construction on a high-speed rail system that would connect San Francisco to Los Angeles. Construction for that project has already begun

SEE ALSO: San Francisco’s tech billionaires are fighting over how to deal with the city's homelessness crisis — Here’s what each tech bigwig says about Tuesday's vote on Prop C

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch Apple's October 2018 event in 8 minutes


          LSC offers new class to help small businesses with accounting theft and fraud      Cache   Translate Page      
Employee theft is big business. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, employee dishonesty costs American business in excess of $50 billion annually. The most…
          11/7/2018: NEWS: ‘ Green Prince’ briefed on battle to save the reef      Cache   Translate Page      

THE challenges faced in preserving the future of the Great Barrier Reef were in the limelight when Prince Albert of Monaco visited Townsville. The billionaire royal, better known as the “Green Prince”, made a lowkey visit to Townsville following a...
          11/7/2018: NEWS | BUSINESS: COAL SALES ON FIRE      Cache   Translate Page      

QUEENSLAND’S coal exports continue to surge, with the sector posting another month of strong gains as demand remains high. ABS figures from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office show coal exports were worth $ 34.3 billion annually to the...
          11/7/2018: SPORT: Cross Counter’s victory ends years of torment for Godolphin Cup curse ended at last      Cache   Translate Page      

FOR three decades, Godolphin’s billion- dollar Melbourne Cup obsession routinely withered at Flemington, sometimes in the cruellest fashion. Three runners- up finishes, coupled with other minor placing frustrations, and untimely injury was the...
          Former Deputy AG Joins Goldman Legal Team As 1MDB Criminal Charges Loom      Cache   Translate Page      

With federal prosecutors finally handing down indictments in the long-running 1MDB probe, the Vampire Squid is lawyering up. And in typical Goldman fashion, the investment bank is hiring only the best, most politically-connected defense attorneys to join its legal team. 

As the DOJ was preparing to file the first batch of federal charges against two former Goldman employees accused of conspiring to steal money and violate foreign anti-bribery laws, the investment bank retained Mark Filip, a prominent defense attorney and former deputy attorney general who was once the boss of the DOJ's head of criminal investigations. For those who are unfamiliar with the DOJ's depth chart, that's the division tasked with overseeing the case against the two former Goldman managing directors, a case that the bank warned could lead to criminal charges against senior employees, or maybe even the bank itself.

According to the Financial Times, the bank hired Filip in the months before the charges, which were filed last week, became public. By bringing on Filip, the bank has put Brian Benczkowski, the DOJ's criminal division chief, in a tough spot. Because back when Filip was a deputy AG, Benczkowski was his chief of staff. This obvious conflict of interest will likely force Benczkowski ro recuse himself from the case, creating disarray in the senior ranks of the DOJ.

Filip

Mark Filip

But as if this savvy maneuver didn't offer the bank enough of an advantage over the federal government, Goldman's new hire brings with him a particular set of skills that will definitely help the bank mitigate any blowback from the prosecution. Filip helped burnish his reputation as a prosecutor in the aftermath of the financial crisis by effectively writing the DOJ playbook for pursuing cases against major corporations - experience will no doubt come in handy when Filip joins the Goldman legal team for a sit-down with the DOJ later this month.

Goldman is scheduled to meet later this month in Washington with DOJ prosecutors to argue that it should not face criminal charges in connection to the 1MDB affair. Mr Filip will be part of the Goldman legal team making its presentation.

Such a presentation is known colloquially as a "Filip Factors" presentation because of a 2008 memo that Mr Filip wrote when he was deputy attorney-general. The memo outlined the factors prosecutors should weigh when deciding whether to charge a corporation.

The bank refused to elaborate on the reasons for Filip's hiring when approached by the FT. saying only that he had been brought in to "supplement our legal team."

"We’ve brought in Mark Filip to supplement our legal team," said a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs. The bank approached Mr Filip before last week’s charges against the former Goldman employees, said one person familiar with the situation.

That Benczkowski will recuse himself isn't just likely - it's a virtual certainty. That's because Trump Administration ethics guidelines bar DOJ officials from working on matters involving a former employer for at least two years after their confirmation. Benczkowski was nominated in June 2017, but his confirmation was held up for a year by Democrats concerned with his work for Russian bank Alfa Bank.

While there's a slight chance that the DOJ or the White House could authorize a waiver, few believe this is likely - and Goldman is probably banking on the likelihood that they won't.

During the confirmation process, he promised to recuse himself from any matters involving Alfa-Bank and said that, in any other cases where he felt he may have to recuse, he would consult with career ethics officials at the DOJ. He took up his post at the DOJ in July 2018 from Kirkland & Ellis, where he was a partner.

A Trump administration executive order bars executive branch officials from participating in matters for two years after their appointment if a party is represented by their former employer. Justice department ethics rules bar officials from such matters for one year.

The White House may issue a waiver to the order, while DOJ ethics officials can override the justice department’s bar "if the interest of the department outweighs the appearance of a conflict."

For Goldman, a lot is riding on this case. While the bank paid billions of dollars in fines to settle civil actions after the financial crisis, it avoided criminal charges. The 1MDB scandal could change that. And with prosecutors reportedly setting their sights on a "mystery" senior banker (believed to be one of the bank's former co-heads of investment banking), the pressure being brought to bear is intensifying. And the bank is clearly doing everything within its considerable means to fight back.


          Is This "The Most Important Election Of Our Lives" Or Just Another Distraction?      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

The problem isn't polarization; the problem is neither flavor of the status quo is actually solving any of the nation's most pressing system problems.

As I write this at 5 pm (Left Coast) November 6, the election results are unknown. While various media are trumpeting this as "the most important election of our lives," the less eyeball-catching, emotion-triggering reality is this election is nothing but another distraction. No matter who "wins," none of our systemic problems will be addressed, much less solved.

Does either party have the will or coherent grasp of what's broken to fix America's healthcare mess? No. The Democrats' "solution" is to take the bloated, ineffective Medicare system that incentivizes blatant fraud, overbilling and profiteering and increase the sickcare cartels' power and profits via "Medicare for All."

This is akin to giving defense contractors the power to set the Pentagon budget. Oh, wait, they already have that power.

In the exact same fashion, Medicare's soaring budget is set by profiteering' cartels. Nothing will change in "Medicare for All" except taxes will go up and the cartels will skim additional billions in rentier profits.

The Republican solution is to call quasi-monopolies and cartels "markets."Since turning everything into a market solves all problems, that's the "market-based "solution." But since healthcare is run by cartels, which fix the "market" to their own benefit, there really is no "market" in healthcare, and nobody's interested in establishing one because that would crater cartel profits.

As I've noted many times, our dysfunctional healthcare will bankrupt the nation all by itself. Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation--And Soon (2011)

U.S. Healthcare Isn't Broken--It's Fixed (May 16, 2018)

How about a systemic solution for opioid addiction? If you believe either party has a solution," you need to reduce your Ibogaine intake. Opioids and other addictions (like social media and mobile phones) are immensely profitable and so the cartels and monopolies profiting from addictions fund politicos in both parties to insure their profits aren't reduced.

How about a dysfunctional weapons procurement system? Both parties love trillion-dollar weapons programs as long as the money sluices into enough Congressional districts. So what if the weapon system is defective, already outdated, poorly designed, the wrong system for the challenges ahead or simply not cost-effective-- as long as the campaign contributions are gushing into D.C. and politicos can brag about "jobs" created by building failed weaponry, nothing will change. The Pentagon can beg Congress to stop building the darn thing and the Pentagon will be ignored: there's simply too much money at stake to care whether it actually serves military needs.

How about soaring debt loads on every sector of the economy? Money that goes to pay interest can't be invested or spent elsewhere, and that starves the economy of productive investment. The super-wealthy own much of the debt and receive much of the interest income. This is a systemic problem that isn't viewed as a problem because the super-wealthy own the political process.

The "solution" to crushing student loan debt ($1.4 trillion and counting) is to transfer the entire debt to the taxpayers, meaning the federal government issues another $1.4 trillion in debt to pay the super-wealthy who own all the student loans. Nice for the super-wealthy and politicos, not so nice for future taxpayers burdened with trillions more in debt.

Neither party can accept that higher education is a failed, dysfunctional system. And so the "solution" is borrow another couple trillion and pay interest to the super-wealthy who own the debt, all for an "education" that often has little value in either the economy or the debt-serf students' lives.

The problem isn't polarization; the problem is neither flavor of the status quo is actually solving any of the nation's most pressing system problems. This is why we're coming apart at the seams: problems are being left unaddressed and so they only become more entrenched and destructive.

*  *  *

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF) My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.


          China's Middle Class Is Again Desperate To Move Its Money Out Of The Country      Cache   Translate Page      

The Chinese middle class is again taking substantial risks to move their money out of China. As a result, Chinese investors are blowing up foreign real estate markets while risking getting ripped off at the same time. 

The South China Morning Post recently highlighted one such example, profiling several Chinese citizens who purchased property in Australia to safeguard their wealth, only to see the well-known Australia-based property agent suddenly shutter its doors in August, leaving behind about $50 million in missing deposits and failed settlements.

This kind of "unexpected" event is just one example of the risks that Chinese mainlanders face while trying to protect themselves by moving assets overseas, especially in light of Beijing's strict capital controls on outbound capital. Many Chinese citizens even seek out citizenship or visas in nearby friendly foreign countries to diversify away from investment options at home.

And in China, this isn't just some basic diversification strategy like it is elsewhere around the globe. Instead, it is a direct response to growing fear that the Chinese quality of life is deteriorating. It's also a result of growing frustration that there are so few opportunities to invest at home. And the government isn’t making it easy: China severely restricts capital flows out of its country, stating that it wants the cash to stay domestic for productivity and development purposes.

It also means that those who accrued their wealth through the country’s real estate "boom" really don’t have a way to feel financially secure, as their proceeds must stay within the country, subject to several additional growing bubbles inevitably waiting to pop in China. And it isn’t just for economic reasons - Chinese citizens are also starting to look abroad as a result of the country's authoritarian political climate, heavy pollution and national food safety and vaccine scandals.

Faced with increasingly draconian capital controls, China's citizens are growing desperate to move their money offshore and doing silly things to achieve it. Take Raymond Zhang who was in his early 40s when he paid to join a real estate investment tour of Australia. He was thinking he would diversify his finances to safeguard them.

“It had been arranged for us to visit a dozen property projects in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, including flats, villas and houses with land packages. I loved Australia as soon as I landed there. The [prices of the] properties and living costs were quite affordable for us, not to mention the good air, legal system and education system for my family,” he told the SCMP.

The company that took them overseas asked for a $29,000 deposit, to be returned to 35 days after the investors returned back to China. Zhang says the money was never returned.

Meanwhile, the door to get money out of the country is closing as Beijing has dramatically increased the way it polices efforts to skirt capital controls and even "names and shames" people involved in this effort in order to warn the country's middle class. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, told the SCMP that at the end of August, there were 23 such cases outstanding. Five of them involved Chinese individuals trying to buy property overseas, others were using "underground banks" to buy property and move large chunks of money out of the country.

To limit capital flight, Beijing grants every individual a mere $50,000 foreign exchange quota, and buying beyond that amount requires special approval from SAFE. In addition to an annual cap on foreign exchange purchases, Beijing also limits individuals’ overseas withdrawals using a Chinese bank card at 100,000 yuan (US$14,400) per year.

* * *

The effect of China's capital flight isn't confined just to the mainland. Those looking to buy real estate outside of the country have negatively impacted many local economies, sometimes causing housing markets to bubble.

In response, Australia has tried to tighten its foreign investment rules in response to Chinese capital inflows. In 2016, the land Down Under even made it illegal for the country's four major banks to lend to foreign property buyers without domestic incomes. New Zealand went so far as to simply prohibit foreigners from buying property altogether because the demand was driving property prices out of the reach of locals. Canada did something similar, canceling its Canadian Federal Immigrant Investor program because of the huge backlog and bubbly real estate markets in places like Vancouver and Toronto.

Hundreds of Chinese "investors" who had put down deposits or bought homes in Malaysia also found themselves scrambling after new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated his country would not allow foreigners to buy residential units in a forthcoming $100 billion real estate project, which is being developed by a Chinese firm.

Laura Zhang, who already bought a home in the project told SCMP: "What Mahathir said has definitely had a negative impact on the demand from and aspirations of middle-class investors from China. We feel we are not welcome here and there is growing uncertainty and risk for our long-stay visas and investments." 

In the United States, the EB-5 investor visa seems to finally have fallen out of favor given how immigration law under President Trump has tightened significantly. Approval for this visa can take up to 10 years and the huge backlog has deterred people from signing up.

None of these developments have quenched Chinese citizens' thirst to move their savings overseas. Raymond Zhang, who lost his nearly $30,000 deposit, concluded by telling the SCMP that even if he cannot get his money back, he still wants to buy property abroad: 

"I’m really worried about the worsening economic situation on the mainland, so that is really my main driver to have another go," he said.

In light of this pent up capital flight, one wonders how long before enterprising Chinese citizens rediscover cryptos and some novel way of bypassing China's firewall, and resume buying and sending cryptocurrencies outside the country. As a reminder, it was Chinese citizens that back in late 2015 first catalyzed the next massive move in bitcoin from $230 all the way up to $20,000 - a move which was subsequently joined by Japan and South Korea - before a global coordinated crackdown was required to halt interest in and purchases of cryptocurrencies.


          Pension Panic: STRIPs Soar By Most Ever In October      Cache   Translate Page      

While today's stellar 10Y auction coupled with the spike in 10Y yields to 3.23%, or just shy of fresh 7 year highs, dominated the attention of rates traders today, a potentially bigger development crossed largely under the radar late in the day when the US Treasury reported a whopping $12.227 billion increase in STRIPs outstanding in October, which was the largest monthly increase on record.

The level of outstanding STRIPs increased surged to $301.528 billion in October from $280.300 billion in September.

As Oxford Eco notes, the October net increase in STRIPS outstanding doesn't take into account the approximately $0.291 billion in STRIPS outstanding that matured during the month. As a result, the change in STRIPS outstanding is not solely indicative of net stripping and recon activity, and adjusted to account for the maturing issues the change in STRIPS outstanding net of maturing issues was an even greater increase of approximately $12.518 billion.

While net stripping activity in notes and TIPS is generally minor, the same can not be said for bonds. Indeed, net stripping activity in October was led by an enormous net stripping of $4.171 billion of the 3% of 2/15/47 off the run bond, but there was also more than $1 billion net stripped of seven other issues – the 2 7/8% of 11/15/46, the 3 1/8% of 5/15/48, the 3 3/8% of 5/15/44, the 3% of 5/15/47, the 3% of 2/15/48, the 3 3/4% of 11/15/43, and the 3% of 8/15/48. The combined net activity in bonds amounted to a $12.431 billion net increase of stripped issues to $292.034 billion, or 13.63% of the outstanding.

What prompted October's record stripping activity?

While it is difficult to discern the cause of the month-to-month changes in net stripping activity, it is notable that the the immense net stripping in October occurred as equity markets plunged. That most likely caused some investors with specific duration liabilities - such as pension funds or insurance companies who are the usual suspects behind Treasury stripping - to scramble out of falling riskier assets and into the security of STRIPS issues that match their liabilities.

In other words, rumors of pensions funds no longer buying Treasurys have been greatly exaggerated. So much so, in fact, that pension funds appears to have bought a record amount of Treasurys last month as risk assets plunged.


          Recasting Cuomo: Will the governor’s relationship with the industry be upended?      Cache   Translate Page      
Early last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo climbed into Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1932 Packard convertible and made the inaugural trip across the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The celebratory drive ended with a staged press event where he touted the nearly $4 billion project, now officially renamed the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in honor of his father. But the celebration was premature. The next day, when the soaring silver structure was scheduled to open to traffic, the […]
          CVS beats Street      Cache   Translate Page      
More prescriptions and lower taxes pushed CVS Health past third-quarter expectations as the pharmacy giant closed in on a deal it will use to change how millions of people manage their health.CVS Health said Tuesday that it expects to complete its $69 billion acquisition of the nation's third-largest health insurer, Aetna, before Thanksgiving.The companies announced their proposed combination late last year, with plans to dive deeper into providing care and to capitalize [...]
          Amazon HQ 2 cities: The company will split new headquarter locations, report says      Cache   Translate Page      
After months spent deliberating which of the 20 finalist cities will host its second headquarters, Amazon appears to have made a decision. And it’s a surprise. The e-commerce giant will split its planned $5 billion HQ2 between two cities, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The offices will be the same size and both will employ up to 25,000 people each, the Journal reported. The news comes just after reports that Amazon […]
          Solow boots last holdout in the way of his Billionaires’ Row tower      Cache   Translate Page      
Sheldon Solow finally ended his protracted battle with the Metropolitan Antiques store on West 57th Street, paving the way for the developer to build his mixed-use Billionaires’ Row tower. Metropolitan Antiques, which pleaded guilty to illegally selling $4.5 million in elephant ivory, suddenly vanished from its location at 10 West 57th Street, the New York Post reported. The store had been the last holdout standing in the way of Solow’s plans to build a 52-story […]
          The cure for New York’s ailing transit system      Cache   Translate Page      
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is increasingly a shambles. Delays are routine, the bus system — with the slowest service in the United States — has lost 100 million passenger trips since 2008, and vital infrastructure projects run billions of dollars over budget or stall for lack of funding. A recent state comptroller report forecasts that...
          Microsoft doesn't use customers' personal data for profit: Satya Nadella      Cache   Translate Page      
Microsoft bought for $26 billion, has over 560 million users and Bing is the number 3 search engine globally.
          NSW to spend an extra $6.4 billion over ten years on all schools      Cache   Translate Page      
After months of negotiation the NSW government has signed its funding agreement with the federal government.
          Bill Gates unveils toilet of the future and admits he really ‘loves’ lavatories      Cache   Translate Page      
Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates has unveiled a futuristic toilet that doesn’t need water or sewers and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizer. The mega-rich philanthropist is known for this potty-minded obsession with all things lavatorial, having famously swigged ‘poo ...
          Bill Gates lauds futuristic toilets in China      Cache   Translate Page      
U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has unveiled in Beijing a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water or sewers, and uses chemicals to turn human waste into fertilizer. Ed Giles reports.
          Trump Administration 'Looking At' Google, Amazon, and Facebook For Anti-Trust Violations      Cache   Translate Page      
President Donald Trump says his administration was 'looking at' antitrust proceedings against tech giants Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Trump made the disclosure during an interview with news site Axios that aired on HBO Sunday night. Trump said the $5 billion fine against Google from the ...
          Sales Support Coordinator - Purpose Investments - Toronto, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Purpose Investments is an IFM, PM and EMD and along with a number of affiliates manages $5.5 Billion in investment fund assets....
From Purpose Investments - Fri, 02 Nov 2018 03:14:16 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Compliance Officer - Purpose Investments - Toronto, ON      Cache   Translate Page      
Purpose Investments is an IFM, PM and EMD and along with a number of affiliates manages $5.5 Billion in investment fund assets....
From Purpose Investments - Fri, 02 Nov 2018 03:14:16 GMT - View all Toronto, ON jobs
          Donors pledge $1 billion for maternal and child health fund      Cache   Translate Page      
Governments of 10 countries joined philanthropists and the European Commission on Tuesday to pledge $1 billion to a World Bank-backed fund for improving health and nutrition among millions of women and children in poor countries.

          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          Dell Discusses Sweetening Tracking-Stock Offer With Large Shareholders...      Cache   Translate Page      
By Cara Lombardo and Dana Cimilluca 

Dell Technologies Inc. has been contacting large shareholders of an affiliate about sweetening a roughly $22 billion bid to buy them out before the unpopular deal goes to a vote next month.

In the past week, Dell representatives have approached...

          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          Dell Discusses Sweetening Tracking-Stock Offer With Large Shareholders...      Cache   Translate Page      
By Cara Lombardo and Dana Cimilluca 

Dell Technologies Inc. has been contacting large shareholders of an affiliate about sweetening a roughly $22 billion bid to buy them out before the unpopular deal goes to a vote next month.

In the past week, Dell representatives have reached...

          Devon Posts Stronger Profit, Revenue      Cache   Translate Page      
 By Bowdeya Tweh 

Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) posted higher revenue and profits in the latest period, becoming the latest domestic energy company to get an operational lift from stronger levels of production in the U.S.

Devon on Tuesday reported a profit of $2.53 billion, or $5.14...

          Video game addiction has sparked a culture war in China — and it’s having huge repercussions for the world's biggest video game maker      Cache   Translate Page      

Tencent mobile video games

  • Tencent, the world's largest video game publisher, will implement age restrictions for all of its titles in China in 2019.
  • Player identities will be verified using China's national citizen database and gamers under the age of 18 will have their playtime limited to one or two hours per day.
  • Tencent is also testing facial identification software in two cities to assist with player verification.
  • The mandatory verification and time limits arrive as Chinese officials consider new regulations to combat video game addiction.

Chinese video game publisher Tencent plans to implement age restrictions for all of its games in China in 2019 and will continue to use the country's national citizen database to verify player identities.

The new policy aims to limit playing time for children, as Chinese officials continue to express concerns about video game addiction. Tencent is the world's largest video game publisher and China is the world's largest video game market, generating more than $34 billion in annual revenue, according to NewZoo.

The rising popularity of video games has created a cultural clash in the country, with critics arguing that gaming is an unproductive and potentially addictive hobby for Chinese youth. Since last year, regulators have slowly restricted the approval of new games and prevented publishers from monetizing titles that are already popular.

Read more: China is cracking down on new video games entering the country and it's costing publishing giants billions in profit

In a response to criticism and government recommendations, Tencent began age-restricting playtime for its most popular game, "Honour of Kings," last year. Players under the age of 18 were limited to playing just two hours a day, while those under the age of 12 were limited to one hour a day. On Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, the company announced it will soon expand the policy to its top 10 most popular mobile games, and more PC and mobile titles will get the same treatment next year.

Tencent recently announced that all players will need to verify their identity using their Real Name Identity System (RNIS) to play "Honour of Kings." According to research firm Niko Partners, each player's name and age is checked against the national citizen database maintained by China's Ministry of Public Security. In September, Tencent also began testing facial recognition software with thousands of randomly selected users living in Beijing and Shenzhen.

While the verification system and age-limits are meant to address the potential negative impact of video games on children, it raises new questions about player privacy. "Honour of Kings" alone has more than 200 million players, and Tencent is documenting identifying information for every one of them to verify with the Chinese government.

As it stands, gamers playing Tencent games outside of China aren't subject to the same strict verification process.

SEE ALSO: China is cracking down on new video games entering the country and it's costing publishing giants billions in profit

SEE ALSO: China's Tencent to introduce real name registration for hit game

Join the conversation about this story »

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          Shop Local Saturday Guide      Cache   Translate Page      

In 2017, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion on Shop Local Saturday, and nearly half of these shoppers visited a small business that they had not been to previously. Don’t miss out on potential sales this year! Download our free Shop Local Saturday Guide to see how you can prep your store and your staff. […]

The post Shop Local Saturday Guide appeared first on Gift Shop Magazine.


          How to Make Money Stopping Illegal Alien Caravans      Cache   Translate Page      

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

There are over 12,000 American military personnel stationed in Italy. It’s a larger active-duty military presence than Afghanistan. We maintain seven bases in Italy at a cost of billions of dollars.

But as President Trump dispatched a mere 5,000 troops, the first wave of a reported 15,000, to secure the border against the migrant caravan invasion, the media threw a tantrum over the cost.

The Washington Post warned darkly that the deployment could cost as much as... $200 million. That would be more impressive if our annual defense budget weren’t hovering around $600 billion.

And those are only the parts that we know about.

To put that into perspective, President Trump has proposed that we spend 0.03% of our military budget on the core mission of the military, protecting our own borders from an invasion. It’s as if he had suggested that we spend at least 0.03% of NASA’s budget on space exploration, instead of global warming and Muslim self-esteem, or 0.03% of the Department of Education’s budget on education instead of on closely monitoring the sexual habits and Halloween costumes of college students.

Deploying soldiers abroad is far more expensive than deploying them at home. And it’s a lot cheaper to stop drug dealers, gang members and terrorists at the border than it is inside the country.

What does $200 million buy us when it comes to national defense?

$200 million is being spent on special glasses and goggles for pilots to protect their eyes from laser devices fired into cockpits. We spend around $260 million on military bands. The military ad budget is in the high hundreds of millions of dollars.

We’re spending $200 million on military aid to Ukraine. If we can spend that much money to help the Ukrainians keep the Russians away, perhaps we can spend some that money to keep gang members and drug dealers out of our own backyard. The Russians are a menace, but they won’t be chopping up our children with machetes tomorrow. The MS-13 thugs riding along in that caravan just might.

If the media really has a problem with that, let its talking heads pretend that the caravan is Russian.

Every dollar we spend on border security is a fortune we don’t have to spend on police officers, surveillance cameras, insurance, ER visits, prisons, funerals and the larger sense of insecurity.

Let’s put that $200 million into its proper perspective.

An audit this year found that the Defense Logistics Agency couldn't account for $800 million in construction projects.

The money that President Trump may end up spending to protect our border from an invasion could fit four times over into a government accounting error.

None of this is to suggest that the work the military does at home and abroad isn’t vitally important. We should be protecting our pilots; military bands serve a vital purpose and so does our presence in Italy.

But if we don’t have a country, then it doesn’t matter how good our military bands are.

If there’s no United States of America, then why bother having seven bases in Italy? Why does the political establishment expect taxpayers to spend a fortune on geopolitics, but not on the home-front?

The purpose of the United States military is not to protect Italy, it’s to protect America. We built bases and stationed forces across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America for our own needs.

If we can’t use our own soldiers to protect our own country, what is the whole thing for?

While the media is notoriously parsimonious with the military budget, Obama’s presidential center will cost taxpayers $199 million. Throw in another million and that’s the cost of keeping more gang members from reaching Chicago and boosting the summer weekend death toll from 39 to 43.

Will the youth of Chicago benefit more from another museum no one visits (the Windy City already has more museums that no one visits than any other city in the country) or staying alive not to visit them?

Obama’s Africa trip costs were estimated in the neighborhood of $100 million. His corrupt Solyndra deal cost taxpayers over $500 million. His illegal cash shipments to Iranian terrorists alone could have paid for the latest border deployment eight times over. The media would rather we send billions to the Islamic terrorists murdering American soldiers than spend a fraction of that to send soldiers to the border.

But forgot how much money we’re spending to stop the illegal caravan invasion. Let’s look at how much we’re saving.

A new Center for Immigration Studies report estimates that we're spending $4 billion a year on illegal alien births alone.

FAIR estimated that taxpayers are spending $134 billion a year on illegal aliens. That’s around $8,000 per illegal alien. The annual cost of the 7,000, mostly male, migrants would be $56 million in one year.

If the military deployment stops the caravan, then it will have paid for itself in 4 years. If we fail to stop the migrant caravan, we will lose more than double that $200 million by 2026.

And that 7,000 is just a drop in the bucket. There are 12,000 migrants in Mexico. And more are coming every day. If we can deter these invaders, we will have sent a message that will save lives and billions.

Detaining an illegal migrant invader costs between $100 to $200 a day. This is expensive, but far less than the cost of a single murder, drunk driving accident or assorted forms of illegal migrant crime.

If the illegal migrant invaders make it into this country, detaining them will cost us $700,000 a day. In a month, the average length of time an illegal alien is detained, that will balloon to $21 million.

In under a year, the cost would surpass that $200 million that the media is bellyaching about.

Of course they won’t be held that long.

Budget and capacity strains would force their release. That’s already happened again and again.

It’s how a key World Trade Center bomber ended up on the streets. It’s how countless MS-13 gang members and other criminals have flooded our cities.

That original World Trade Center bombing back in 1993 may have cost as much as $1.1 billion. (Not accounting for inflation.) If you think immigration enforcement is expensive, just wait until a skyscraper gets bombed.

Between 2011 and 2018, a quarter of a million aliens were booked into Texas jails. Think about the cost of every single one of those inmates. The cost of the 1,351 murders, 7,156 sexual assaults and 815 kidnappings they committed in just one state. Then think about the human cost of all those horrors.

We spend hundreds of billions of dollars protecting the rest of the world. The least we can do is spend $200 million, as a down payment on an $18 billion wall, to protect ourselves, our families and our future.

If the media thinks the cost of deploying the military to the border is expensive, imagine the cost of deploying it in our cities.

Many of the countries that the migrants are arriving from use the military for domestic law enforcement. They are forced to do it because their brand of organized crime is so lethal that they have no other choice. Now those same gangs and crime families are flooding across our border.

If Texas and California go the way of Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, we will have no other choice.

Opponents of border security have put their partisan political interests ahead of America’s national security, its stability and its survival. Americans are being murdered every day by the gang members they have allowed into this country in order to expand their districts and build up their political power.

Is $200 billion too much?

Chicago’s police budget is approaching $1.5 billion. So is the police budget in Los Angeles. New York passed $5 billion a while back.

That $200 million border deployment? It wouldn’t buy you the cost of a month of policing in New York.

If you think immigration enforcement is expensive, try not enforcing it. Chicago, Los Angeles and New York have.


          Is The Anti-Iran Front Still Viable?      Cache   Translate Page      

Israel’s current preoccupation with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and the Jamal Khashoggi murder in Istanbul, have diverted attention from the nefarious activities carried out by the Islamic Republic of Iran throughout the Middle East, and particularly in Syria.  For now, the above developments have put on hold the anti-Iran alliance the Trump administration has been pressing for last month, and has given the Iranian regime a respite.  The downing of the Russian spy plane over Syria by the Assad regime, which was initially blamed on Israel, has impacted somehow on the previous understanding between Israel and Putin’s Russia.  In the meantime, Russia has supplied the Assad regime with the S-300 Missile defense system. Israel has significantly reduced its operations in Syria, which enabled Iran to increase its activities inside Syria, and foment trouble in Gaza.

The recently imposed U.S. sanctions against Iran have had a deleterious impact on the Iranian economy.  It has placed the regime of the Ayatollahs in a defensive mode.  A second wave of U.S. sanctions commenced on November 5th, 2018, targeting Iran’s energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors, as well as transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.  The aim of this set of sanctions is to deprive the Iranian regime of funds to advance their nuclear program, and the development of ballistic missiles.  The Iranian people, in an unprecedented wave of protests that spread throughout Iran’s major cities, and in spite of severe consequences, demanded that the regime invest in Iran, and the Iranian people.  The protesters charged the regime with enabling the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) to waste the nation’s oil revenue and the $150 billion it received as a “bonus” from the Obama administration (for agreeing to sign the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) on imperial schemes.  They have argued that the money should be invested at home instead of spending it in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.

The Saudi-Qatari rift has also hampered the creation of a unified anti-Iranian bloc.  It has weakened the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).  The Qataris are now allied with Turkey.  Ankara has sent an expeditionary force of 3,000 strong to Doha and in return, received $15 billion from Qatar to cover its swollen debt.  The Saudis have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, and in fact the Doha regime has been a staunch supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, including Hamas in Gaza.  Turkey’s dictator, Erdogan, has been flirting with Russia and Iran, and has openly exhibited his anti-western sentiments.  He has purchased from Russia the S-400 surface-to-air missiles, and helped Iran launder its oil revenue.  In the initial Trump administration calculation, Turkey was meant to be a part of the anti-Iran coalition, along with Israel and the Gulf states.  Instead, Erdogan is currently busy with embarrassing the Saudis over the Khashoggi murder at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.

The Islamic Republic is worried that the U.S. might join Israel in its efforts to expel the Iranian extensive presence in Syria.  Iran however, is using this window of opportunity when Israel is limiting its attacks on Iranian targets in Syria, and the U.S. being preoccupied with the mid-term elections, to provide Hezbollah with sophisticated guidance systems that would improve the accuracy of the missiles aimed at Israel.  According to a western intelligence officer, “The Iranians are trying to come up with new ways and routes to smuggle weapons from Iran to its allies in the Middle East, testing and defying the West’s abilities to track them down.”

For too long, the U.S. refrained from confronting the Iranian regime, out of hope that inaction against the Iranian regime would empower the purported moderates in Tehran.  The previous U.S. administration also held an overriding desire to wash its hands of the Middle East.  This entrenchment however, has only encouraged the Ayatollahs regime inherently maligned behavior, including its periodic testing to the limits of the nuclear deal, continued progress on advanced centrifuges, ballistic missile testing, and regional expansion.  In addition, the Tehran regime supports terrorism and the propagation of virulent anti-American ideology.  Ironically, many of these actions make the regime increasingly unpopular at home, and overextended abroad.

According to the U.S. State Department Executive Summary report titled “An Outlaw Regime: A Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activities, “The regime’s primary tool to execute this mission since 1979 has been the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC is the most powerful conglomerate in Iran, spreading and consolidating its control over much of Iranian life. Its navy regularly threatens freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf while its Aerospace Force directs the country’s ballistic missile program in defiance of Security Council resolutions. Its Ground Forces are deployed abroad to bolster the Assad regime and its Basij paramilitary force is mobilized at home to surveil and harass ordinary Iranians. Finally, its extra-territorial IRGC Quds Force (IRGC-QF) leads the Islamic Republic’s destabilizing support for proxies and terrorist groups.”

The Islamic Republic’s illicit activities include undermining the integrity of the global financial system.  The Iranian regime relies on opaque and fraudulent financing activities to fund its proxies and support its proliferation of ballistic missiles and other weapons.  Last year, the IRGC-Quds Force was exposed for using front companies to move funds, procure restricted materials and technologies, exploit currency exchange networks in neighboring countries, and produce counterfeit currency.

Iran’s repeated and systemic abuse of human rights is in violation of international laws and norms.  It persecutes civil society activists and marginalizes ethnic and religious minorities.  The Ayatollah regime denies due process, and regularly falls short of its own legal standards. Its prisons are notorious for mistreatment and torture, and its use of capital punishment is excessive and extends to minors.  Outside its borders, Iran and its proxies have committed numerous human rights abuses, including targeting innocent civilians in Syria, and arbitrarily detaining Sunnis in Iraq.

Last September in New York, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, to advance what the administration coined as the “Arab NATO.”  Secretary Pompeo stressed the need to defeat the Islamic State, and other terrorist organizations, as well as ending the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and “stopping Iran’s malign activity in the region.”  Unfortunately, President Trump’s willingness to remain engaged in the Middle East following the defeat of the Islamic State is questionable.  The burden of compelling Iran to roll back its regional presence, especially in Syria, and interdicting Iran’s military supplies to Hezbollah in Lebanon, falls primarily on Israel’s shoulders.  Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are involved in confronting Iran’s weapons proliferation in Yemen.  U.S. involvement in the anti-Iran alliance is limited to partnering with the Kurds on the ground in Syria and Iraq.  The latter presents a significant obstacle to Iran’s ambitions to dominate both Syria and Iraq.

Without strong military backing from the U.S., Israel might be constrained by Russia from freely operating in Syria against Iran.  The Khashoggi murder, as contemptible as it was, must be put behind us, and allow the Saudis and the UAE to focus on Iran.  The rest of the Sunni Arab states are unlikely to contribute to the anti-Iran alliance, and Turkey’s support in such an alliance is certainly not forthcoming.  The U.S. envisioned anti-Iran coalition can only become a viable reality if the U.S. is ready to actively participate, and commit its military might only when it becomes necessary.


          Yes, Unvetted Illegal Caravans Threaten Public Health      Cache   Translate Page      

We live in bizarro times. Suddenly, it is controversial to state obvious, neon-bright truths. This week, it has become newsworthy to observe that illegal border-crossers who circumvent required medical screenings are a threat to America's public health and safety.

Just look at these hyperventilating headlines and tweets.

From Newsweek, which is supposed to, you know, report actual news of the week: "'We don't know what people have': Laura Ingraham calls migrant caravan a health issue."

And from The Daily Beast: "Fox & Friends Host Brian Kilmeade Fears 'Diseases' Brought By Migrant Caravan."

This is not "news." It's propaganda recycled and regurgitated by lazy political operatives masquerading as journalists. At least the Newsweek writer gave credit to his zealous hitmen sources: "Ingraham's comments," he dutifully wrote, "were first highlighted by Media Matters for America."

MMfA is a militant left-wing oppo research outfit funded by progressive billionaire George Soros. Somehow, not-really-Newsweek forgot to mention this fact. (Alas, mentioning Soros subsidies has also become a forbidden act this week, but that's another story.) The determined intent of these "news" pieces is not to inform readers but to inflame them with the dog-whistle assumption that conservatives, Fox personalities and ordinary Americans who worry about diseases from immigration are de facto racists.

On cue, tennis star and celebrity leftist Martina Navratilova barked at Fox News' Kilmeade on Twitter: "YOU ARE THE DISEASE! the migrants are not the problem, trump and his sycophants, like you, are the problem. Stop spewing fear and prejudice."

Comedian John Henson tweeted: "Brian Kilmeade is spreading the disease of intolerance every single day..."

And former Clinton press flack-turned CNN hack Joe Lockhart wrote: "This is the disease Fox News spreads every day. They are complicit with Trump in trying to change the character of our country."

Newsflash, fake newsers: It's neither racist nor xenophobic nor hateful to discuss the impact of unfettered mass immigration and unvetted caravans of illegal border-crossers on our public health.

My parents, legal immigrants from the Philippines, were screened for a panoply of communicable and infectious diseases.

My husband's great-great grandparents and their relatives from Ukraine underwent thorough medical and physical exams at Ellis Island immediately after disembarking from their arduous transatlantic journeys. A team of doctors checked for everything from eye disease and muscle weakness to heart conditions, ringworm and mental deficiencies. Those who failed were rejected and ejected. No appeals, no apologies, no amnesty.

I find it especially bizarre that some of the same outspoken, big government advocates for vaccinating every American citizen, young or old, against every possible condition, from the flu to chickenpox to HPV, are the same types now howling over the commonsense idea that we should protect ourselves from foreign diseases.

It wasn't Trump's idea to build a wall against microscopic invaders.

The Immigration and Nationality Act mandates medical screening exams for legal immigrants and refugees from around the world. The tests are performed by authorized physicians in either the applicants' countries of origin or in the United States. The process includes "a physical examination, mental health evaluation, syphilis serologic testing... and chest radiography followed by acid-fast bacillus smears and sputum cultures if the chest radiograph is consistent with tuberculosis (TB)."

Legal immigrants and refugees must provide mandatory proof of vaccination for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis A and B, rotavirus, meningococcus, chicken pox, pneumonia and seasonal flu.

Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control, not Fox News or the Trump White House or any other evil conservatives, reports that "most experts agree that testing for TB, hepatitis B, and HIV should be performed for most new arrivals to the United States. Clinicians should also make a habit of ensuring that this screening has been done for every new non-US-born patient they see, regardless of time since the person's arrival."

Actual public health experts across the Southwest have reported rises in drug-resistant TB and dengue fever. In June, Australian public health researchers reported that "scabies, long considered a disease of the past in the developed world, is making its way back." The scientists pointed to mass global migration as a leading factor, noting scabies outbreaks among refugees to the European Union and along America's southern border.

And in Germany, federal epidemiologists reported that since opening the floodgates to migrants in 2015, data show "increased incidences in Germany of adenoviral conjunctivitis, botulism, chicken pox, cholera, cryptosporidiosis, dengue fever, echinococcosis, enterohemorrhagic E. coli, giardiasis, haemophilus influenza, Hantavirus, hepatitis, hemorrhagic fever, HIV/AIDS, leprosy, louse-borne relapsing fever, malaria, measles, meningococcal disease, meningoencephalitis, mumps, paratyphoid, rubella, shigellosis, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, trichinellosis, tuberculosis, tularemia, typhus and whooping cough."

It's simply insane to argue we should turn a blind eye to the health status of law-breaking aliens. And it's treachery, yes, treachery, for so-called journalists to use their platforms to blithely smear those who dare to question open borders orthodoxy or report the highly inconvenient facts.


          This Year's Midterms Are The Most Expensive Ever      Cache   Translate Page      
Preliminary estimates show more than $5 billion was spent on political advertising this year.
          2018 Sees the Most Expensive Midterms in US History      Cache   Translate Page      
Preliminary estimates show more than $5 billion was spent on political advertising this year.
          Project Manager/Estimator – Heavy Industrial Construction - Casper, WY - Bodell Construction - Casper, WY      Cache   Translate Page      
Pipe and Structural Fabrication. With over $2 billion in successfully completed construction projects, Bodell Construction has a reputation for getting things...
From Bodell Construction - Wed, 08 Aug 2018 12:53:40 GMT - View all Casper, WY jobs
          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          Report: MACC questions ex-Bank Negara governor over RM2b land deal - Malaysiakini      Cache   Translate Page      

The Malaysian Insight

Report: MACC questions ex-Bank Negara governor over RM2b land deal
Malaysiakini
Former Bank Negara governor Muhammad Ibrahim has been questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). This on a 22.5-hectare plot of government land that the central bank had bought for RM2 billion in January this year, allegedly to ...
Ex-Malaysian central bank governor Muhammad Ibrahim quizzed over controversial $659m land purchaseThe Straits Times
MACC quizzes ex-Bank Negara governor over land purchaseThe Malaysian Insight

all 4 news articles »

          Multirole Frigate      Cache   Translate Page      
According to the post Kosuke Takahashi, correspondent of the magazine IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced on 1 November that it has been awarded a contract by the Japanese Ministry of Defense to build the first two of four ships of a new class of multirole frigate for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Although MHI did not disclose the value of the contract, the MoD had earmarked JPY92.2 billion (USD816 million) in its budget for fiscal year 2018 for the construction of the two 426-foot/130-meter-long, 42.6-foot/13-meter-wide frigates, which are expected to be handed over to the JMSDF in March 2022.
          An IoT initiative with a humanitarian purpose      Cache   Translate Page      
, an organization that aims to end malnutrition around the world, is equipping small flour mills across Africa with IoT services to provide nutritious fortified flour to millions of people. More than two billion people worldwide lack access to vital vitamins and minerals, which can lead to birth defects, child development issues, and blindness.
          Election Day 2018: Tracking Results For The House, Senate And Governor's Mansions - Forbes      Cache   Translate Page      

Forbes

Election Day 2018: Tracking Results For The House, Senate And Governor's Mansions
Forbes
Two years into the first billionaire President's term, voters will have their chance to give their evaluation of the direction the country is heading in on Election Day today. Though he's not on the ballot, a number of votes have been turned into a ...
Live Forecast: Who Will Win the Senate?New York Times

all 276 news articles »

          Transforming the Medical Device Industry      Cache   Translate Page      

Medical devices are a billion-dollar industry that has seen unprecedented growth in the last decade. The industry is evolving at an incredible pace, driven by an increase in life expectancy and aging populations. To be successful, medical device companies must deliver better solutions that are easier to use and improve patient results at a lower cost.

The key to this success is innovation. But creating state-of-the-art technologies faces steep competition, strict regulatory requirements and fast-moving trends: bringing new products into full-scale production in today’s environment has never been more demanding.



Request Free!

          The Web Developer Requests Authorities Not To Leave Half Of The World In Dark      Cache   Translate Page      

British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, appealed on Monday for companies and governments not to leave behind half of the world population yet to have internet access, which includes billions of women and girls. Berners-Lee told the opening of the Europe’s largest technology conference that everyone had assumed his breakthrough [...]

The post The Web Developer Requests Authorities Not To Leave Half Of The World In Dark appeared first on NewsGram.


          Kimora Lee Simmons’ Current Husband Pleads Guilty      Cache   Translate Page      
The husband of model-turned-fashion-designer Kimora Lee Simmons has pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to a Malaysian money laundering scandal. According to a wwd.com report: “Tim Leissner was chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia business, but he resigned in 2016 and was subsequently subpoenaed by the U.S. Justice Department as part of a probe into the disappearance of billions of […]
          Commercial Maintenance Technician      Cache   Translate Page      
FL-Bradenton, About Us: EMCOR Facilities Services (EFS), an EMCOR core business, services over 1 billion square feet of space worldwide. From corporate campuses to single sites, EFS provides a range of services that support mission-critical areas of financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, transportation, and government sectors. Job Title: - Commercial Maintenance Technician Job Summary: - Reports to
          SearchCap: Go Vote, Bing crawler, Bing Ads targets & Google local reviews      Cache   Translate Page      

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:


          Lockheed Martin Implements A GPS For The U.S. Air Force      Cache   Translate Page      
Background Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a $28 billion, highly diversified global enterprise, principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's core businesses span space and telecommunications, electronics, information and services, aeronautics, energy and systems integration. The Lockheed Astro
          Her Billionaire Boss Fake Fiancé: Christmas Romance Series      Cache   Translate Page      
Her Billionaire Boss Fake Fiancé: Christmas Romance Series
author: Cami Checketts
name: Jessie
average rating: 4.50
book published:
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2018/11/06
shelves: currently-reading
review:


          Relief Pharmacist - Shopko - Worland, WY      Cache   Translate Page      
A creative, resourceful and synergistic atmosphere. Shopko is a $3 Billion company with over 18,000 teammates....
From Shopko - Tue, 23 Oct 2018 12:59:57 GMT - View all Worland, WY jobs
          6 Amazing Myths and Misconceptions About Africa      Cache   Translate Page      
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. There are many myths and misconceptions that remain about travel in Africa.Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. Among its one billion inhabitants, more than 1,000 languages are spoken, and there is a massive variety of ethnic religions. In most African cultures, history and beliefs have […]

          His Cocky Valet (Undue Arrogance #1)      Cache   Translate Page      
Title: His Cocky Valet (Undue Arrogance #1) Author: Cole McCade Publisher: Self Published Release Date: May 11th, 2018 Genre(s): Romance Page Count: 347 Reviewed by: Kirstin Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5 Rating: 4 stars out of 5 Blurb: Ash Harrington’s life is out of control. At twenty-three years old, he’s suddenly the head of a multibillion dollar global corporation he is in no way equipped to run. His father is dying. His mother’s run away. He’s spent his entire adult life playing fast and loose with his life and his loves, but when he’s dragged into a position
          'Absolute Fraud': After Billions in Taxpayer Subsidies Championed by Trump, Ryan, and Walker, Foxconn to Import Chinese Workers for Wisconsin Jobs      Cache   Translate Page      
Jake Johnson, staff writer
Wisconsin's Koch-funded Republican Gov. Scott Walker lavished the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn with over four billion in taxpayer subsidies last year in a deal that he claimed would create 13,000 jobs in the state, but that agreement is increasingly looking like a massive con-job amid new reports on Tuesday that Foxconn is planning to bring in Chinese workers to fill spots that the governor insisted would be filled by Wisconsinites.

          Why Vote? Bernie Sanders Offers Simple Last-Minute Reminder: The GOP Agenda Is Horrific      Cache   Translate Page      
Common Dreams staff
"Our plan: make health care a right to all. Stop giving tax breaks to billionaires. Protect and expand Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Transition to sustainable energy and leave behind a livable planet for our children."

          Software Development Engineer - Amazon.com - Seattle, WA      Cache   Translate Page      
Working with leaders in Amazon Fulfillment Operations and developing innovation solutions for a multi-billion dollar business....
From Amazon.com - Tue, 06 Nov 2018 01:22:17 GMT - View all Seattle, WA jobs
          Tasmanian Country Hour      Cache   Translate Page      
The gross value of agricultural production in Tasmania is approaching 2 and a half billion dollars according to the latest Agri-Food Scorecard released today, and Fruit Growers Tasmania has welcomed the visa changes which could attract more backpackers to the state as the fruit harvest season becomes a reality.
          Private Financing Trends      Cache   Translate Page      
The recently published PwC and CB Insights’ MoneyTree Report provides insights on financing trends through the third quarter of 2018. In Q3 2018, U.S. companies raised $28 billion in venture financing despite a drop in number of deals in the most...
By: Mayer Brown Free Writings + Perspectives
          Spotify to start USD 1 bln share buyback programme in Q4      Cache   Translate Page      
(Telecompaper) Spotify said it will be starting a share buyback programme in the fourth quarter for up to USD 1.0 billion worth of stock...
          Tele2 places EUR 1 billion, dual tranche bond      Cache   Translate Page      
(Telecompaper) Tele2 AB said it has successfully launched and priced a new EUR 1 billion dual tranche 5.5 year/9.5 year inaugural euro-denominated bond following a European road show...
          Re: ‘Trending’ goods for sale at Amazon’s newly opened Berkeley store      Cache   Translate Page      

So..... Dollar Store meets Sharper Image?

Still trying to resist the temptation to give the worlds richest man more money.


          Meat tax could save thousands of UK lives, say scientists      Cache   Translate Page      
Experts have called for a health tax on meat to prevent deaths from chronic disease and save the global economy billions of pound.
          Give A Mile 2018 Flight Hero Christmas Campaign - donate Aeroplan miles today to help reach 50 flights of compassion       Cache   Translate Page      
http://giveamile.org/flights/flight-hero-rewards-canada-2018/

FFB & Rewards Canada's charity partner Give A Mile has launched their annual Flight Hero Christmas Campaign. We have covered Give A Mile before on the blog but as a quick refresher here is what Give A Miles is all about:

Established in Calgary, Canada in February 2013, Give A Mile is dedicated to bringing together the terminally ill, or critically sick, with family members or close friends by crowdfunding airline flights through micro-donations of travel loyalty miles. We work across Canada. We are 100% donation model so all miles donated go to flights.  We are 100% volunteer team with a Big Hairy Audacious Goal of giving 1 billion miles to families that need these flights.  A federally registered not-for-profit agency in Canada, Give A Mile is recognized as a charity by Aeroplan’s Beyond Miles program, and offers tax receipts for money donations to donors through an agreement with the Place2Give Foundation.
For the 2018 Flight Hero Christmas Campaign Give A Mile's goals are to raise enough miles to provide 50 flights of compassion.

FFB via our Canadian site Rewards Canada has signed on to be a Flight Hero for the 2018 campaign and our Flight Hero goal is to raise 100,000 miles!

We are asking our readers to help us reach that goal! We've donated 50,000 Aeroplan Miles and would love to have our readers pitch in as well. Whether it's 50 of you at 1,000 miles each or any other combination it doesn't matter! Help us help Give A Mile and Canadians in dire circumstances the flights they need to visit their loved ones. What would be even better is if we can eclipse 100,000  miles!

Donate today via Rewards Canada's Flight Hero Page on Give A Mile

To donate simply click the link above and then click on Donate to this Story



You'll go through a couple of steps and be able to choose which program to donate from and once your donation is complete the total should be updated on the Give A Mile site within a few minutes.

Give A Mile and FFB/Rewards Canada appreciate and are very thankful for any and all donations!

Finally we ask that you comment below after you donate! Don't be shy, let us and our readers know how much you donated and feel free to pass along any comments or well wishes to Give A Mile!

          Billionaire's rugby competition to include teams from America and Hong Kong in 2019      Cache   Translate Page      
One year in and Andrew Forrest is already revamping the competition he launched to rival Super Rugby. 
          How Ryan Coogler Is Handling Black Panther 2 Pressure      Cache   Translate Page      
Ryan Coogler knows there's pressure to deliver a great <a href="https://screenrant.com/tag/black-panther-2/"><strong><em>Black Panther 2</em></strong></a>, but he isn't letting it faze him. Coogler was instrumental in creating the version of <a href="https://screenrant.com/tag/black-panther-2/"><em>Black Panther</em></a> that was a global hit earlier this year. After delivering a $1 billion blockbuster with a primarily black cast, he is finally <a href="https://screenrant.com/black-panther-2-ryan-coogler-director/">confirmed to return to write and direct its sequel</a>.
          Road to the Cup: Auckland's multi-billion dollar downtown waterfront makeover      Cache   Translate Page      
In 2021, the City of Sails will host its first America's Cup in nearly two decades. Todd Niall and Nick Truebridge map the road to the regatta and ask why New Zealanders should care about the Cup.
          Sears Creditors Accuse Lampert Of Stealing $2.6 Billion      Cache   Translate Page      
none
          [TobagoJack] Per imperatives => solutions Danger = opportunity The sort of equations some fi...      Cache   Translate Page      
Per imperatives => solutions
Danger = opportunity
The sort of equations some find challenging to take on board or even to understand, due to arms and legs mentality and beans counting

... let us see if brave-new-world protocol goes right, and if so, exports ala free-trades

Am wondering if Africans should say “no” to bot-doctors as part of turning head away from hospitals and railroads :0)

Am also wondering whether the bots would be practicing wholistic eastern medicine or specific-toxic western healing, and

What happens when bots prescribe in accordance w/ traditional Napalese healing but skip licensing fee.

Also, would such medicine improve UK healthcare system

brinknews.com

China’s Doctor Shortage Can Be Solved by AI
Andy HoNovember 6, 2018

A surgeon performs an operation at a clinic in the southwest Chinese city of Chongqing. AI might be able to solve China's doctor shortage problem.

Photo: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

If there is one country that has invested heavily in health care reform over the last few years, it is China. But as its population grows older, with already 300 million people suffering from chronic diseases, it seems almost impossible to keep up with the soaring demand for health care. According to the latest data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, China has 1.8 practicing doctors per 1,000 citizens, compared to 2.6 for the U.S. and 4.3 for Sweden. Can artificial intelligence relieve China’s overworked doctors of some of their burdens?

China’s Ailing Health Care SystemThe hard-working medical professionals who keep China’s ailing health care system running could certainly use a helping hand. Overcrowding is the order of the day in the country’s urban hospitals, with a typical outpatient department in Beijing seeing about 10,000 people every day. The problem is exacerbated by the scarcity of medical facilities in rural areas, which causes people to flock to hospitals in nearby cities.

As the Future Health Index 2018 by Philips shows, the relatively low number of skilled health care professionals in relation to the size of the population is one of the main reasons why access to care in China lags behind most of the other fifteen countries surveyed.

Demographic projections give further reason for concern. The demand for care will only continue to grow as China is aging more rapidly than almost any country in the world. The United Nations estimates that by 2040, the country’s population over 65 will reach about 303 million, which is almost equal to the current total population of the U.S.

However, there is also reason for optimism.

In its commitment to offer accessible and affordable care for all, the Chinese government is spearheading the development of health care technologies. And perhaps the most promising is AI.



The Rise of AIAI can help make sense of large amounts of data, fueled by computing power that has risen dramatically over the last few years. That’s why China offers particularly fertile ground for AI development: With its 1.4 billion population, the country sits on massive troves of data.

Recognizing the country’s AI potential, the government has set out an ambitious plan to turn China into the world’s leading AI innovation center. Health care is one of the industries that are set to benefit from multibillion-dollar investments in startups, academic research, and moonshot projects. This is not merely a vision, but a reality already in the making. According to Yiou Intelligence, a Beijing-based consultancy firm, some 131 Chinese companies are currently working on applying AI in health care.



A Smart Personal Assistant for PhysiciansSpeeding up the screening of medical images is just one of the ways in which AI could relieve China’s overburdened health care system.

As one Chinese radiologist said in an interview with The New York Times: “We have to deal with a vast amount of medical images every day. So we welcome technology if it can relieve the pressure while boosting efficiency and accuracy.”

We should take these needs to heart and focus on developing intelligent applications that ease the workload for physicians while improving outcomes for patients. Crucially, the goal should not be to replace physicians, but to augment their impact in their daily work, strengthening their role in the delivery of efficient and high-quality care.

For some, AI conjures up images of autonomous robots replacing human workers. But I believe that in health care, AI is best thought of as a smart personal assistant for physicians that adapts to their needs and ways of working—“adaptive intelligence,” as we call it at Philips. Viewed through that lens, AI will make health care more—not less—human.

Today, AI is already helping physicians with the analysis of medical images. As AI becomes increasingly sophisticated and is integrated with medical knowledge, it could support ever more precise diagnoses and personalized treatment plans. But in the short term, arguably the greatest gains are to be made in solving operational bottlenecks in hospitals—for example, by helping physicians get a quick overview of all clinically relevant information on a patient.

Patient data are usually stored in many disparate systems and formats. At Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai, it can take a physician up to 20 days to manually extract all relevant information from 200 unstructured medical reports into one structured format.

By combining AI methods like natural language processing and machine learning with clinical knowledge, it is possible to collate all clinically relevant information in one dashboard. Physicians could spend less time capturing information from unstructured reports and less time sitting in front of a screen to get a complete picture of the patient.

Improving Care Close to People’s HomesAI could also enable patients with chronic conditions to become more informed about their health and to stay connected with professional caregivers.

According to the Future Health Index 2018, adoption of telehealth in China is currently much lower than the 16-country average, but the Chinese population is open to the use of technologies that can supplement the care they currently receive.

For example, home health monitoring technology powered by AI could help the frail and elderly stay connected with professional caregivers to ensure they receive timely care when needed. People with diabetes or hypertension could benefit from similar technology that allows them to track their condition via clinically validated sensors and devices.

Such initiatives would fit perfectly with the Chinese government’s ambition to improve care at the grassroots level to counter congestion in city hospitals. More widespread adoption of AI technologies should go hand in hand with investments in primary care facilities and Internet connectivity in rural areas—making health care more equally accessible and affordable and allowing people to enjoy a better quality of life close to their communities.

Looking further ahead, AI could also become pivotal in addressing lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity—a major health concern that affects about one in eight people in China. Imagine people with high risk of obesity getting bespoke lifestyle tips via their smartphone. On a population level, data analyses could inform public interventions targeted at specific age groups or geographic areas. As the Chinese government has outlined in its plans for a “Healthy China 2030,” the focus of the health care system will increasingly shift from treatment to prevention.

A Call for CollaborationHow to accelerate this journey toward more efficient, accessible and preventative care?

First, building a more robust data ecosystem should be top priority. The quality of AI is only as good as the quality of the data fed into it. China’s health care system would benefit from shared data standards, interoperability of systems, and improved data exchange protected by top-notch security measures. The establishment of three national digital databases with health information by 2020 is an important step in this direction.

Second, data-driven approaches such as AI will only have the desired impact when combined with proven medical expertise. AI is only part of any solution; it is never a solution by itself. A deep understanding of the clinical context is indispensable. Any form of AI-assisted care must be centered on the physician and the patient, taking their needs as a starting point and building on the wealth of human knowledge that is already available.

Third, AI-enabled tools must be rigorously tested against the highest regulatory standards. In health care, where lives are at stake, we need to deploy new technologies wisely and carefully. Only with proper clinical validation can we ensure responsible, safe and effective use of AI. Physicians as well as patients also require education on a tool’s strengths and limitations.

Fourth, collaboration between academia, startups, and established companies is of paramount importance. The challenges in China’s health care system are simply too big for any player to address it alone. In this light, it is encouraging that the Chinese government has recently founded a collaborative platform to promote the exchange of ideas and kick-start new projects in intelligent medicine.

Finally, to ensure we are creating a future-ready health care system in China, we must address the shortage of talent at the intersection of medicine and data science. We should nurture and invest in developing people who combine medical know-how with a firm understanding of AI and other technologies. Ultimately, the sustainability of China’s health care system may lie in their hands.

This piece first appeared on the World Economic Forum Agenda.

          [TobagoJack] Execution to export energy seems to be tracking to plan ... shanghai.ist Work ...      Cache   Translate Page      
Execution to export energy seems to be tracking to plan ...

shanghai.ist

Work begins on China’s first floating nuclear power plantWhat could go wrong?It’s the dawn of a brave new world in China with construction work beginning on the country’s first floating nuclear power plant.

The 14 billion yuan ($2 billion) plant is being built in the coastal Shandong city of Yantai under the direction of the China National Nuclear Corporation, according to a report from the local Qilu Evening News.

While details about the project are few at the moment, an announcement last year about the plant said that it would boast a 400-megawatt reactor, capable of providing clean energy to 200,000 households.

The plant may be used to power coastal cities, islands, offshore platforms, or remote areas. It’s expected to be ready for operation in 2021.



As part of its 13th Five Year Plan, laying down the strategy for the country’s development from 2016 to 2020, China had said that its first floating power plant would be ready to go by 2020. A short time later, it announced plans to construct a fleet of 20 nuclear power plants to provide power to its artificial islands in the South China Sea, raising both environmental and global security concerns.

Since then, little had been said about China’s nuclear sea power ambitions.

In the meantime, in April of this year, Russia launched the world’s first floating nuclear plant, the 70-megawatt Akademik Lomonosov. The plant, which will be used to provide power for the Arctic town of Pevek, has been called “ Chernobyl on ice” and a “ nuclear Titanic” by Greenpeace.

          Losers in Amazon Sweepstakes Aren't Ready to Throw In the Towel - New York Times      Cache   Translate Page      

New York Times

Losers in Amazon Sweepstakes Aren't Ready to Throw In the Towel
New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — Chicago offered $2 billion in tax breaks. North Carolina wrapped buses in Seattle with a pitch for Raleigh. A Philadelphia coffee chain printed the Amazon logo into the foam of its lattes. Now it may be all for naught. While Amazon has ...
Sharing Amazon headquarters would be half disappointment, half relief for Crystal CityWashington Post
Amazon HQ2 Change Leaves Cities in a BindWall Street Journal
Amazon is reportedly moving into Long Island City, Queens: Here's what the neighborhood is likeCNBC
Business Insider -Bloomberg -The Boston Globe -Fast Company
all 347 news articles »

          [TobagoJack] q: are you on window PC as opposed to apple? nytimes.com Their Soybeans Piling...      Cache   Translate Page      
q: are you on window PC as opposed to apple?

nytimes.com

Their Soybeans Piling Up, Farmers Hope Trade War Ends Before Beans RotNorth Dakota’s soybean crops are flourishing. But China has stopped buying.
Nov. 5, 2018


Soybeans in temporary storage at the Maple River Grain & Agronomy terminal in Casselton, N.D.Dan Koeck for The New York Times

ARTHUR, N.D. — This is harvest season in the rich farmlands of the eastern Dakotas, the time of year Kevin Karel checks his computer first thing in the morning to see how many of his soybeans Chinese companies have purchased while he was sleeping.

Farmers here in Cass County have prospered over the last two decades by growing more soybeans than any other county in the United States, and by shipping most of those beans across the Pacific Ocean to feed Chinese pigs and chickens.

But this year, the Chinese have all but stopped buying. The largest market for one of America’s largest exports has shut its doors. The Chinese government imposed a tariff on American soybeans in response to the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods. The latest federal data, through mid-October, shows American soybean sales to China have declined by 94 percent from last year’s harvest.


Kevin Karel, the general manager of the Arthur Companies, which has long sold soybeans to China. With that market now largely shut off, Mr. Karel said his firm has started to stockpile soybeans.Dan Koeck for The New York TimesMr. Karel, the general manager of the Arthur Companies, which operates six grain elevators in eastern North Dakota, has started to pile one million bushels of soybeans on a clear patch of ground behind some of his grain silos. The big mound of yellowish-white beans, already one of the taller hills in this flat part of the world, will then be covered with tarps.

The hope is that prices will rise before the beans rot.

“We’re sitting on the edge of our seat,” Mr. Karel said.

President Trump sees tariffs as a tool to force changes in America’s economic relationships with China and other major trading partners. His tough approach, he says, will revive American industries like steel and auto manufacturing that have lost ground to foreign rivals. But that is coming at a steep cost for some industries, like farming, that have thrived in the era of globalization by exporting goods to foreign markets.

BUSINESS

Here’s why Iowa soybean farmers are worried about retaliatory tariffs against agriculture products.

China and other trading partners hit with the tariffs, including the European Union, have sought to maximize the political impact of their reprisals. The European Union imposed tariffs on bourbon, produced in Kentucky, the home state of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, from Wisconsin, the home state of House Speaker Paul Ryan. China's decision to impose tariffs on soybeans squeezes some of Mr. Trump's staunchest supporters across the Midwestern farm belt.


Harvesting soybeans south of Luverne, N.D. The 2018 harvest is unusually large — and unusually hard to sell.Dan Koeck for The New York Times

Both Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China have declared their desire to reduce trade barriers.

“Openness has become a trademark of China,” Mr. Xi said Monday at a trade fair in Shanghai that the Chinese government described as an opportunity for foreign companies to display their wares. Mr. Trump, for his part, said last week that “we’re much closer” to striking a deal with China, though administration officials have said the two sides remain far apart, and no deal is imminent.

Like most successful American exports, soybeans are produced at high efficiency by a small number of workers using cutting-edge technologies, like tractors connected to satellites so the optimal mix of fertilizers can be spread on each square foot of farmland. The United States exported $26 billion in soybeans last year, and more than half went to China.

Some farmers in North Dakota say they trust Mr. Trump to negotiate in the nation’s interest. Mr. Karel said many of his customers wear red “Make America Great Again” caps and insist that the pain of lost business and lower profits is worthwhile. They say they’ll suffer now so their children benefit later — echoing the argument Mr. Trump has made.

Others are less enthused. Greg Gebeke, who farms 5,000 acres outside Arthur with two of his brothers, said he struggled to understand the administration’s goals.

“I’m trying to follow and figure out who the winners are in this tariff war,” Mr. Gebeke said. “I know who one of the losers are and that’s us. And that’s painful.”

One of the Arthur Companies' grain elevators, in Arthur, N.D.Dan Koeck for The New York Times

North Dakota’s soybean industry was created by Chinese demand for the beans, which are crushed to make feed for animals and oil for human consumption.

China is by far the world’s largest importer of soybeans. The country consumed 110 million tons of soybeans in 2017, and 87 percent of those beans were imported — the vast majority from either Brazil or the United States. While soybeans are grown throughout the Midwest, the soybean fields of North Dakota are the part of soybean country that is closest to the Pacific Ocean, and so its beans are mostly sent to China.

In the mid-1990s, there were 450,000 acres of soybeans in the state. Last year, there were 6.4 million. As the state’s production of soybeans increased, companies spent millions of dollars on larger grain elevators, on the 110-car trains that carry the soybeans west to the Pacific Coast, on bigger terminals at the ports. A few years ago, Mr. Gebeke traded his grain drill, used to plant wheat, for a second machine to plant soybeans.

The Arthur Companies in 2016 opened a shiny drying, storage and loading facility that can hold 2.7 million bushels of beans waiting for the next train.

Soybeans being delivered to the Arthur Companies’ grain elevator.Dan Koeck for The New York TimesA sample of soybeans from the Arthur Companies’ elevator.Dan Koeck for The New York Times

Soybean farmers also spent millions of dollars cultivating the Chinese market. Farmers in North Dakota and other states contribute a fixed percentage of revenue to a federal fund called the “soybean checkoff” that pays for marketing programs like trade missions to China and research intended to convince Chinese farmers that pigs raised on American soybeans grow faster and fatter. In 2015, North Dakota soybean farmers footed the bill for an event in Shanghai honoring the 10 “most loyal” buyers of American soybeans.

The soybean industry’s sales pitch emphasized the reliability of American infrastructure and the political stability of the United States. The message was that the Chinese could be confident that American farmers would deliver high quality soybeans.

“I’ve been to China 25 times in the last decade talking about the dependability of U.S. soybeans,” said Kirk Leeds, the chief executive of the Iowa Soybean Association. By undermining that reputation, he said, “we have done long-term damage to the industry.”

Agriculture dominates the town of Arthur. Across the street from the house is the Arthur Companies headquarters, where a pile of corn is in temporary storage.Dan Koeck for The New York Times

The last two decades were a fat season in the soybean belt. The grain silos and pickup trucks in Cass County are shiny and new. Mr. Karel said a significant number of the farmers who sell crops to his company had done so well they purchased winter homes around Phoenix.

But the mood is souring quickly. Mr. Gebeke’s wife, Debra, a retired psychologist, has returned to work at North Dakota State University, to counsel distraught farmers. Public health officials in North Dakota, already confronting a recent rise in suicides, are concerned about the impact of falling prices, particularly on younger farmers with high levels of debt.

Cords that release grain from silos into trucks.Dan Koeck for The New York TimesThe drying tower at the Arthur Companies’ newest elevator, opened in 2016.Dan Koeck for The New York Times

Mr. Gebeke, 65, recalled President Jimmy Carter’s decision to suspend wheat sales to the Soviet Union in 1979. The embargo ended two years later but, by then, the Soviets were getting more of their grain from Ukraine. Speaking of the soybean standoff, he said, “They could get together tomorrow and iron this thing all out and I don’t think we’ll ever get all of our market back.”

As China swallows the world’s supply of non-American soybeans, other countries are buying more beans from the United States, especially European nations that usually import beans from Brazil.

Some nations that grow soybeans, like Canada, are shipping their own beans to China at high prices and then buying American beans at lower prices to meet domestic demand. Taiwan, seeking to curry favor, signed a deal to buy more American soybeans over the next two years.

None of this is nearly enough. During the first six weeks of the current export year, which began in September, American soybean exports to China are down by about six million tons from last year, while soybean exports to the rest of the world are up by only three million tons.

A board showing the status of each grain bin.Dan Koeck for The New York Times

Some analysts predict China will be forced to buy more American beans after it exhausts other sources. Others are hopeful that China and the United States will reach a deal to remove the tariffs.

But waiting carries risks. Soybeans can spoil, and Brazil harvests its crop in the spring, creating fresh competition for American beans. “Hope is unfortunately a terrible marketing plan,” said Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association.

The industry continues to seek new markets. Jim Sutter, chief executive of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, said he was focused on persuading Indians to eat more chicken. The council, which already provides funding to Indian trade groups, is planning to back an advertising campaign. “People in India will eat more protein as the economy grows, but our job is to speed that up,” Mr. Sutter said.

The Trump administration said in August that it would distribute $3.6 billion to soybean farmers to offset the decline in market prices. The subsidy rate of 82.5 cents per bushel, however, covers less than half of the losses facing North Dakota farmers at current market prices.

A small hopper grain bin.Dan Koeck for The New York TimesAfter the grain is weighed, trucks dump their load into this pit. The grain is then moved through tubes into storage bins based on the quality of the grain.Dan Koeck for The New York Times

Brandon Hokana, whose family farms 3,500 acres near Ellendale, N.D., estimates that they need a price of $8.75 per bushel of soybeans to break even. Last year at this time, soybeans could be sold for almost $10 per bushel. Now, local elevators are offering prices below $7.

Farmers typically begin to purchase seeds and fertilizer before the end of the year, so the low prices are shaping next year’s crop. The Hokanas divided their land evenly between soybeans and corn this year; next, they plan to plant half as many acres of soybeans. Instead they will devote more land to corn, and also to some wheat for the first time in two decades, and perhaps specialty crops like peas and black beans.

Mr. Hokana knows that other farmers are likely to make similar decisions, and that the corn market next fall may be glutted. Specialty crops like peas and edible beans command higher prices, but also require more work and specialized equipment. Also, unlike the big cash crops, specialty crops can’t be hedged. That means the farmer carries all the risk of a bad year.

“The goal for next year,” Mr. Hokana said, “is just to break even.”

Earlier versions of this article misidentified the family name of one group of farmers. They are named Hokana, not Hokama.

          [TobagoJack] admittedly from suspect bloomberg, but good enough for triangulation purpose, at...      Cache   Translate Page      
admittedly from suspect bloomberg, but good enough for triangulation purpose, at least a point to mull over

and if of veracity whether deliberate or accidental, then should be put on watch & brief

at some juncture there may be congressional hearings on "who lost [ ]?" w/ [ ] to be filled in with either russia and / or china.

it is like the folks in charge never played that which jack is good enough in, "risk"

bloomberg.com

Trump’s Trade War Is Making Russia and China Comrades Again

Facing U.S. sanctions and tariffs, Moscow and Beijing are finding lots of common ground.
More stories by Marc ChampionNovember 6, 2018, 5:00 AM GMT+8



Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin toast with vodka during a signing ceremony on May 21, 2014, in Shanghai. Russia and China signed a 30-year contract for supply of gas.
Photographer: Sasha Mordovets/Getty ImagesFu Ying recalls vividly how, as a young woman, she’d get woken by sirens in the middle of the night for drills to practice for a Soviet invasion. It was the time of China’s traumatic Cultural Revolution and, although the farm she’d been sent to was more than 200 miles from the border, the threat seemed imminent—strong enough, it turned out, to throw Maoist China into the arms of its capitalist nemesis, the U.S.

Today’s world could hardly look more different. The U.S.-China realignment that began with President Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to Beijing has been reversed in the most consequential geopolitical shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall. China and Russia are now as close as at any time in their 400 years of shared history. The U.S., meanwhile, has targeted both countries with sanctions and China with a trade war.

“There is no sense of threat from Russia. We feel comfortable back-to-back,” says Fu, now chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, over drinks in a hotel bar near the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where she’s attending a conference. The two countries have settled the border dispute that produced a brief war in 1969.

She’s less sure about the U.S. In a speech last month, Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. was responding to “Chinese aggression” with military spending and trade tariffs. Beijing, he said, was expanding at the expense of others and trying to drive the U.S. from the western Pacific. That kind of talk won’t be easy to forget, even if Trump and Xi agree to a trade truce at a scheduled meeting at the end of November. “I just hope that if some people in the U.S. insist on dragging us down the hill into Thucydides’ trap, China will be smart enough not to follow,” Fu says, referring to the ancient historian’s observation that rising and established powers tend to end up at war.

Even without bloodshed, this reconfiguration of the nuclear and economic superpowers is significant. Chinese investment and energy purchases make it easier for Russia to resist economic pressure over Ukraine; Russian sales of oil, missile defense systems, and jets are changing U.S. calculations in the Pacific by raising the potential cost of any future showdown with China.

Coordination in the United Nations Security Council allows the two Eurasian powers to frustrate U.S. goals and support each other’s. Nor is the U.S. the only one affected. India, which for decades relied on Russia to help balance China and Pakistan, is deeply concerned that Moscow is falling under Beijing’s sway. Russia already supplies the engines for Chinese-Pakistani fighter jets. “India needs a reconciliation between the West and Russia” to squeeze China’s strategic space, says C. Raja Mohan, director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.

Western analysts and leaders for a long time dismissed the Sino-Russian rapprochement and its trappings—such as the NATO-lite Shanghai Cooperation Organization—as a “marriage of convenience,” doomed to fail by geography, history, and a growing disparity in strength. And the economic relationship still lags far behind the political rhetoric.

But complacency has given way to alarm. A recent study by the National Bureau of Asian Research, a Seattle-based think tank, debated whether U.S. policy was at fault for driving Russia and China together and asked if the U.S. should correct course by accommodating one Eurasian giant to isolate the other. Some among the 100-plus participants called for Washington to prepare for the worst-case scenario the realignment implies: a two-front war.

Robert Sutter, the study’s principal investigator, said at an October panel to discuss the findings that he’s had a big change of heart since he wrote in a U.S. government National Intelligence Estimate that the Russia-China relationship was an axis of convenience. “The situation is pretty bleak for the United States,” Sutter said. “And there is no easy way to fix it.”

The bromance between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping is certainly hard to miss. They meet with each other more than with any other world leaders, have awarded each other medals, and even cooked blinis and noodles together for their respective state TV channels. Joint military exercises are routine. This year, China took delivery of Russia’s most advanced S-400 air-defense system and Sukhoi SU-35 fighter aircraft, a level of trust that’s likely to thwart U.S. national security adviser John Bolton’s recent attempt to convince Moscow it faces a security threat from the East.

China has become Russia’s biggest single trade partner, even if it remains far behind the European Union as a bloc. Russia displaced Saudi Arabia as China’s top supplier of crude oil in 2015. A new pipeline, Power of Siberia, is due to start delivering as much as 38 billion cubic meters (1.3 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per year to northern China in December 2019. Chinese entities own 30 percent of Russia’s new Yamal liquefied natural gas project in the Arctic. Russia and China have nonconflicting security concerns—in the Pacific for China and in the former Soviet bloc and Middle East for Russia. At the same time they perceive a common threat (the U.S.) and a shared goal of changing what both see as an American-dominated global order.

Their economies also are complementary: China is the world’s biggest manufacturer, and Russia is among the largest exporters of energy and raw materials. China has a shortage of arable land, and Russia a surfeit. Even their demography offers opportunities. China has a majority of men, whereas Russia has the opposite. “I could see that there are many more men in China, and people started to ask me if I could help them to find women,” says Pavel Stepanets, who started a Beijing-based matchmaking service, Meilishka, six months ago. The company website claims to have 244 “Slav girls looking for a Chinese husband.”

Russian analysts and officials say they aren’t pivoting east as much as they’re diversifying their economic and security relationships. Europe and China “are two independent destinations and two independent routes” for gas and oil, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an October interview. “We do not see any need to redirect volumes.”

What the new eastbound pipelines will do, according to Vasily Kashin, a senior research fellow at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, is to make Russia about 60 percent—down from 90 percent—dependent on European markets. They’ll also make China less vulnerable to a potential U.S. sea blockade should there be conflict over Taiwan. “Every pipeline project is negotiated for a decade and then built for a decade,” Kashin says. “But once it’s completed, you have an irreversible geopolitical change.”

The new geopolitical infrastructure is slowly falling into place. In January, Russia doubled its capacity to pipe crude oil to China, to about 600,000 barrels per day. In addition to the Power of Siberia project, negotiations to build two other natural gas pipelines connecting China to Siberian fields are advancing well, Novak says.

The reconciliation began with the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. Even so, U.S. and Western policies since 2014 have done a lot to accelerate the Russian-Chinese rapprochement, according to Angela Stent, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian & East European Studies. Take natural gas. South Stream, a pipeline project to carry 63 billion cubic meters per year from Russia to Austria, was under construction when the European Parliament voted to block it in April 2014, a month after Russia annexed Crimea. One month after that, Russia broke the deadlock in its decade-long negotiation with China to build Power of Siberia, part of a gas purchase deal valued at about $400 billion. “It would behoove the U.S. to consider how much further to go with sanctions on Russia and how far with a China trade war,” Stent says at the same conference near Sochi as Fu.

The courtship hasn’t been easy. There was deep disappointment within Russia when China didn’t immediately flood the country with investment after 2014. Instead, it appeared to take advantage of Moscow’s weak position to get cheaper gas. Nor have the reasons for skepticism about the strength and durability of the partnership disappeared. Chinese nationalists still talk about the 230,000 square miles Russia took in the 19th century under what Beijing considers unequal treaties. And Russia was at first wary of China’s “ Belt and Road” initiative, which seemed to compete with its plans for a Eurasian Economic Union. Putin and Xi have parked both issues (they agreed in 2015 to coordinate their Central Asian strategies), but competition could reemerge.

Even when the two countries were allies, in the 1950s, it was an unhappy—because unequal—partnership. When Mao Zedong came to Moscow in December 1949, Stalin kept the leader of newly communist China waiting 17 days for a second meeting, to make clear who was boss. “I came here to do more than eat and shit,” Mao complained bitterly.

Today the imbalance between the two powers has been reversed. China’s economy is six to eight times the size of Russia’s, depending on how it’s measured. “I don’t think a lot is happening” in terms of Chinese business investment, says Bruno Maçães, a senior fellow at Beijing’s Renmin University, who last year spent six months crisscrossing the region’s borders for a new book, The Dawn of Eurasia. In Southeast Asia, small Chinese businesses are highly visible as well as the big state companies, but not in Russia, Maçães says. More Chinese tourists are coming to Moscow, but it’s nothing like the throngs in Paris or New York. Visiting an island in the Amur River, which the governments have touted as a tourism zone, he found “a world from 40 years ago. To visit, I had to go through eight hours of security interviews.”

Russia’s Foreign Investment Advisory Council—chief executive officers from the 50 biggest foreign companies invested in Russia, who meet annually with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev—still has no member from China, says Alexander Ivlev, Ernst & Young LLP’s managing partner for Russia, who coordinates the event. Still, he rattles off a list of projects Putin and Xi have signed and sees his business’s future increasingly tied to China.

Measuring the true scope of Chinese investment in Russia isn’t easy. According to Russia’s central bank, the total as of December 2017 was only $4.5 billion, a misleading figure. (Cyprus, an offshore conduit for investment from around the world, had invested $175 billion.) In a February search of an Interfax database, Kashin found 5,868 companies with Chinese equity operating in Russia, registered everywhere from Moscow to Vladivostok. That’s a higher number than for German companies (although those tend to be bigger and better established).

It may be that the Chinese are coming but are held back by the same adverse conditions deterring other investors: a sluggish economy, a weak currency, sanctions risk, and tight monetary policies that have dried up credit. That was the experience of Yema Group Co., a trading company in Xinjiang province. It set up operations in Russia in 2012 to break into the market for heavy construction machinery, dominated by more expensive European suppliers. Initially, Yema sold about 500 excavators, trucks, and other pieces a year, says Du Xuemei, a spokeswoman. “We withdrew most of our operations team in 2016, because of an economic downturn and the depreciation of the ruble,” says Du, adding that the company wants to return.

Back in Sochi, Fu draws a series of triangles on a piece of paper to show how the relationship between Russia, China, and the U.S. has changed. “This one is going to be shorter and shorter,” she says, running her pen over the line connecting Russia to China. It’s a friendship that wasn’t caused by the U.S., isn’t aimed at it, and won’t end if the U.S. alters its policies, she says. Then the Chinese legislator marks the ever more distant locations for the triangle’s American apex. “The U.S. can be here, here, or here,” she says. “It’s your choice.”With Peter Martin, Dandan Li, and Annmarie Hordern

          PwC: $100B ILS Market Relevant & Reliable      Cache   Translate Page      
The $100 billion insurance linked securities market has proven to be both relevant and reliable after the spate of heavy catastrophe losses around the world in 2017 and 2018, PwC ILS leader David Gibbons stated at the PwC Insurance Summit. Mr Gibbons was part of a panel of ILS industry leaders including Jay Green, Managing Director, GC Securities, […]

(Click to read the full article)


          Hr Rep - Parker Hannifin Corporation - Grantsburg, WI      Cache   Translate Page      
Parker is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Founded in 1917, Parker Hannifin Corporation is a $12 billion, global company....
From Parker Hannifin Corporation - Mon, 29 Oct 2018 16:03:25 GMT - View all Grantsburg, WI jobs
          Hr Mgr - PARKER HANNIFIN CORP - Grantsburg, WI      Cache   Translate Page      
Founded in 1917, Parker Hannifin Corporation is a $12 billion, global company. By partnering with customers, Parker improves their productivity and...
From Parker Hannifin Corp - Sat, 06 Oct 2018 03:57:01 GMT - View all Grantsburg, WI jobs
          Och-Ziff reports AUM fell in quarter, but rose 1% for year      Cache   Translate Page      
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group assets under management were $33 billion as of Sept. 30, down 2.7% from the June 30 figure and up 1% from Sept. 30, 2017, according to the alternative investment firm's earnings report released Friday.
          NEST assets jump 20.6% in quarter, 95% for year      Cache   Translate Page      
National Employment Savings Trust boosted its assets 20.6% in three months to £4.1 billion as of Sept. 30.
          N.Y. State Teachers renews contracts with 14 managers      Cache   Translate Page      
The governing board of the $119.9 billion New York State Teachers' Retirement System, Albany, has renewed contracts with 14 investment managers.

          SEC secures $3.95 billion in penalties and disgorgements in fiscal year 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
The SEC logged a total of $3.95 billion in penalties and assets returned to investors through enforcement actions in its latest fiscal year.
          JB Pritzker elected Illinois governor over GOP incumbent Bruce Rauner      Cache   Translate Page      
CHICAGO – Democrat J.B. Pritzker, a billionaire who campaigned on making wealthy taxpayers pay more in income taxes as part of a plan to move Illinois past the political bitterness of the past four years, was elected governor Tuesday over Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, whose legacy will be his role in a record-long budget standoff with a Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Rauner conceded the race less than an hour after polls closed Tuesday night, sounding a clarion call of teamwork often missing from his heated tilts with Democrats in Springfield.

"Now we stand not as Republicans or Democrats, we stand as the people of Illinois," Rauner said. "Now we move forward together to come up with solutions to create a better future. I encourage all of us to put aside partisan politics, rancor and hard feelings. Now is the time to move forward."

Rauner said he had called Pritzker to concede.

Pritzker, the 53-year-old heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune who largely self-financed his campaign, will take his first elective office when he is inaugurated in January. He led Rauner in polls for months and capitalized not only on Rauner's lack of popularity but broader dissatisfaction with GOP President Donald Trump.

Rauner, a 61-year-old former private equity investor whose campaign bravado four years ago included the contention that a government shutdown might be in order to get Illinois back on track, was trying to avoid becoming only the fourth Illinois governor since 1900 to win and serve one four-year term before being ousted. Incumbents lost in 1912 and 1972, and a sitting governor was defeated in a 1976 primary.

Dan Bitner of Springfield cast his early ballot on Monday for Pritzker.

"After four years, Rauner hasn't gotten much of anything done," Bitner said. "We had a budget crisis and I think Pritzker can straighten it out."

It was a battle of wealthy titans spending their way through one of the costliest races for governor in U.S. history. In a 2010 race in California, $280 million was spent. Combined, the candidates had raised $259 million by late last week.

Pritzker raised $176 million. The $171 million he's chipped in from his own pocket is the most ever by a U.S. gubernatorial candidate. Rauner has raised $79 million and Republican state Sen. Sam McCann, the Conservative Party candidate who has billed himself as a conservative alternative to Rauner, has brought in $4.8 million.

A focal point of debate was taxes. Pritzker promises to overhaul the state's income-tax system to allow for a graduated tax rate that requires the wealthy to pay more. But he says that the specific rates would be a matter for negotiations with the Legislature.

Rauner, who promises to roll back the income tax increase that lawmakers adopted last year to fund the breakthrough budget, calls Pritzker's plan a tax increase and asserts that Pritzker plans $11 billion in new spending.

Both promise increased education spending and have proposed billions of dollars for infrastructure work.

Chris Hansen of Elburn, west of Chicago, said he voted for Rauner because he's worried Pritzker will raise taxes to fix Illinois' financial problems.

"I can't afford any more taxes," said Hansen, who is parts manager at Heritage Harley Davidson in Lisle. "I honestly believe Rauner is the one guy who wants to bring businesses and jobs to Illinois, and God knows we need it."

Scandal has chased both contenders. Rauner has been on the defensive for months over his handling of a 2015 outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at the state-run veterans' home in Quincy, which has led to the deaths of 14 residents, including a dozen that first summer. Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan opened a criminal probe into the Republican's management of the crisis .

Last month, the Cook County inspector general issued a report alleging that Pritzker and his family engaged in a "scheme to defraud" taxpayers by ripping toilets out of a Chicago mansion they were renovating to make it technically uninhabitable and save him $330,000 in property taxes. The report contends that those involved could have illegally misled authorities about the reason for removing the plumbing. Pritzker has paid the money back but denies wrongdoing.


          Automotive Collision Repair Market Report 2017, Trends, Analysis, Share, Estimates and Forecasts to 2022.      Cache   Translate Page      
According to Stratistics MRC, the Global Automotive Collision Repair Market is accounted for $171.82 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $242.79 billion by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 3.9% during the forecast period. Growing demand to improve

          Seed Treatment Market is projected to Reach $7.8 Billion, Globally, by 2021 with top key players Bayer CropScience, Syngenta AG, DuPont, Chemtura Corporation, Monsanto, Novozymes A/S, Nufarm Limited, Valent USA Corporation, and Sumitomo Chemical Company.      Cache   Translate Page      
Seed Treatment Market is projected to Reach $7.8 Billion, Globally, by 2021 with top key players Bayer CropScience, Syngenta AG, DuPont, Chemtura Corporation, Monsanto, Novozymes A/S, Nufarm Limited, Valent USA Corporation, and Sumitomo Chemical Company. Seed Treatment Market report, published by Allied Market Research, forecasts that the global market is expected to garner $7.8 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 8.3% during the period 2015 - 2021. The insecticide segment held a dominant

          Injection Molded Plastic Market is Expected to Reach $162 Billion : New Technology, Application, Type, Customer Segments, and Top Key Players BASF, Exxon Mobil, DuPont, Dow Chemical Company, LyondellBasell, Huntsman Corporation, Eastman, SABIC, INEOS, and      Cache   Translate Page      
Injection Molded Plastic Market is Expected to Reach $162 Billion : New Technology, Application, Type, Customer Segments, and Top Key Players BASF, Exxon Mobil, DuPont, Dow Chemical Company, LyondellBasell, Huntsman Corporation, Eastman, SABIC, INEOS, and According to a new report by Allied Market Research titled,"Injection Molded Plastic Market - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014 - 2020", the global market for injection molded plastics would be worth $162 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR

          Acrylic Acid Market is expected to garner $18.8 billion with top key players BASF SE, Dow Chemical Company, Arkema SA, LG Chem LTD., The Lubrozol Corporation, Evonik Industries Ag, Myriant Corporation, SIBUR, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, and SunVic Chem      Cache   Translate Page      
Acrylic Acid Market is expected to garner $18.8 billion with top key players BASF SE, Dow Chemical Company, Arkema SA, LG Chem LTD., The Lubrozol Corporation, Evonik Industries Ag, Myriant Corporation, SIBUR, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, and SunVic Chem Acrylic Acid Market Report, published by Allied Market Research, forecasts that the global market is expected togarner $18.8 billion by 2020, registering a CAGR of 7.6% during the period 2014-2020. The global consumption of acrylic acid would reach 8,169 kilo

          Soul Survivors      Cache   Translate Page      
How saving even unsung historic buildings keeps the city’s character intact.

Our town is nothing if not giddy these days with each announcement of a planning or development scheme. Vision statements and building starts percolate daily from many directions, or so it seems. A James River Park System plan, revising the downtown plan, a proposal to eliminate Monroe Ward's surface parking lots, the $1.4 billion dollar Coliseum-Navy Hill redevelopment, replacing the Diamond, establishing a historic district in Blackwell, and a sweeping, updated master plan for Virginia Commonwealth University are all in the works.

Then there are ideas to improve the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor, build new housing on the site of old Armstrong High School, develop a medical building at the former Westhampton School, and conducting an international design competition for re-imagining Confederate-infused Monument Avenue.

Scott's Addition and Manchester continue to blossom, while along Brookland Park Boulevard and its vicinity, developers are shifting pedestrian-scaled projects into gear. Meanwhile building cranes loom over downtown, Jackson Ward and the flood wall on both sides of the river. Newly topped-off buildings punctuate the Manchester and Financial District skylines as site plans are flying off drawing boards for taller residential buildings along the path of the Pulse.

And this just in: Public input from a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch public square meeting included one on the 75 item wish list: to ramp up the city's population to 500,000.

Whew.

But here's the thing, in our rush to be macro — that is, taller, faster, denser, more intensive and more inclusive — we need to keep a cautious and protective focus on the micro. That entails holding tightly to the things that make Richmond, well, Richmond.

Of course, a list of what those things entail varies depending on whom you ask, but many agree that Richmond is predisposed to conservatism, for better or worse. This go-slowly attitude means that the region is emerging from some relatively sleepy decades, compared to the go-go, boom-boom aggressiveness of such cities to the south as Charlotte, Atlanta and Miami. This also means that Richmond has maintained much of the architectural soul of what makes it special, even quirky. Many of our old and newer historic neighborhoods, from Church Hill and Woodland Heights to Barton Heights, Hermitage Road and Lakeside to Scott's Addition, have never looked better.

However, disturbing things can accompany so-called progress, even in a city that proceeds with caution.

While the dizzying growth of VCU is, on balance, positive, the population and physical expansion have presented some cautionary situations. In Oregon Hill, after years of attempting to balance town vs. gown dynamics while repenting for the sins of demolishing hundreds of houses for the Downtown Expressway, for instance, something unfortunate occurred recently. This past spring, a solidly built row of modest but dignified and handsome antebellum buildings in the 800 block of West Cary Street was demolished. It is being replaced with a 100-unit apartment building — providing needed housing, of course — but offering zilch in architectural interest in exchange for the loss. With a modicum of imagination, and another pass or two at tweaking the design, the irreplaceable historic structures could have been woven into the plan, maintaining a link to the neighborhood's past and applying historic preservation tax credits to financing the project. It would have been the right thing to do.

While the Pulse bus system has added new visual energy to a 7-mile urban and suburban corridor from Willow Lawn to Rocketts Landing, planners are seeking to intensify housing along the route with taller buildings within a zone that planners are calling a "transit-oriented nodal district."

It didn't take long for one developer to announce his concept for building a 12-story chain hotel a block north of the 17th Street Farmers' Market at 127 N. 17th Street. Sadly, this would inject the first high-rise building into the tissue of Shockoe Bottom, a district of old, low-lying buildings, mostly fewer than five stories. It is one of our city's most evocative places, and probably sacred as well, with the still-untapped reservoir of painful stories to be researched and told regarding decades of slave trading that occurred here.

The developer of the proposed hotel did offer an extenuating olive branch: His intent is to weave the century-old Weiman's Bakery building that occupies the site into the plan — and gain historic tax credits for the gesture. Would that other developers showed the same, well, if in not quite sensitivity, at least savvy.

Three projects now in the works provide similar cases.

Arguments are back and forth on the fate of the Intermediate Terminal No. 3 near Rocketts Landing. Stone Brewing Co. had promised to convert the concrete warehouse, built in 1939, into a destination pub and restaurant at the hulking remnant from Richmond's time as a transfer point for sugar from the Caribbean. But it reneged, citing the structure's instability. Meanwhile opposing lines have been drawn to whether the building is even historic or not.

Since officials at the state's Department of Historic Resources withheld its approval of a historic designation, corporate and city officials consider this a pass.

"The complex has lost integrity of setting, design, materials, workmanship, feeling and appreciation," weighed in another local historian, "Interpreting and advancing the story of the commercial shipping history in Richmond does not hinge on salvaging a structure that rests in a flood plain and is beset by numerous structural issues. The history of Rockets Landing and its environs can be told eloquently and artfully absent this decaying building."

But in determining what is historic we might apply United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's 1964 definition of pornography to what is old and historic: "I know it when I see it." If the Intermediate Terminal is the last survivor of what were once scores of riverfront buildings serving Richmond's maritime glory days, come on folks, it's historic.

And why would we even consider tearing down this 79-year-old commercial building? Restored, or left as a glorious empty vessel, it can be the building block, if not centerpiece, of whatever Stone Brewing might build nearby. Rather than either or, let's have old and new.

Consider. One reason our community has been slow to appropriately develop a visual narrative of the slave trade in Shockoe Bottom is that only one building still stands related to the heinous business. Old and historic buildings, architecturally distinguished or not, can be critical starting points when seeking to link the present and past. Lose the buildings and we lose that connection.

The same holds true of a threatened, 168-year-old building on West Cary Street near Nansemond Street that most recently housed a popular restaurant, Carytown Burger & Fries. The general consensus has long been that this worthy and solid, if battered, brick structure was a toll house during much of the 19th century when Cary was named the Westham Plank Road. The rustic highway, laid in dirt and wooden boards, connected Richmond with points west to the mountains along the James River.

Whether or not the toll taker actually lived here, is no big deal here in the 21st century. Today, it is the oldest house in the Museum District and more solid than most of the mid-20th centuries buildings that surround it. The historic resources department has decreed that it's not distinguished enough to receive historic designation. Maybe not, but it's at least 178 years old, for crying out loud. We're not going to have any more like it. Come on, save the darn building. The developer's description of the architectural plan for the proposed complex — a grocery store, parking deck and strip of shops— waxes poetic about how it will fit in with the historic aspects of Carytown. Such banter is cringe-worthy in the face of the loss of this tiny survivor of an important chapter in the neighborhood's history.

Similar goofiness is afoot in Scott's Addition.

It's shocking that a new apartment complex planned for Scott's Addition at West Broad and Summit calls for demolishing an architecturally elegant former SunTrust branch bank now on the site. The one-story, 10,000-square-foot building, built in 1948, is a top-notch colonial revival building that was built on the eve of modernism in Richmond. Its doorways and windows are handsome and its red bricks are laid in the Flemish bond pattern. If one squinted, it wouldn't be hard to imagine this as a house in Windsor Farms or Westmoreland Place where it would fetch $2 million and upwards. In fact, it was probably designed to catch the eye and serve folks who lived in those and less grand West End neighborhoods.

But despite it being a contributing historic structure to the official Scott's Addition Historic District, it is considered expendable to make way for a 166-unit apartment complex. The Summit, from what one can tell from a published rendering, has all the heft and charm of an Ocean City, Maryland, motel, complete with the name of the complex displayed in stacked letters on a prominent exterior wall.

Along with the glorious Handcraft Cleaners Building, a moderne masterwork, and the Blue Bee Cidery, with its rusticated cobblestone walls, this former bank is among the handsomest buildings in Scott's Addition. So why is it being demolished?

Probably for lack of effort or thought. Like the doomed, so-called toll house in Carytown, this classical gem, for some the gold standard in what Richmond domestic-scaled architecture is all about, could easily have been woven into the fabric of the larger development — and add grace notes to an otherwise ordinary design.

I know. We can't save everything. But that's the point: In the case of the Intermediate Terminal and the toll keeper's house everything else is gone. They are sole survivors. The former branch bank, that channels the spirit of Sir Christopher Wren, a late Renaissance English architect, is a standout because it is 180 degrees different from the stash of undistinguished midcentury modern warehouses that populate most of Scott's Addition. Ironically, it is the rare architectural outlier in a neighborhood that prides itself on being über cool.

These and other survivors and outliers are at risk. We shouldn't sacrifice what's left of our distinctive architectural patrimony for a transit-oriented nodal district. S


          Machine vision at record level says VDMA report      Cache   Translate Page      
The German machine vision industry grew by 17.5 percent in 2017 according to VDMA with record sales of 2.6 billion euros maintained in 2018
          Education News from Washington Post: From South Carolina to California, charter school-loving billionaires are plowing money into midterm local and education races      Cache   Translate Page      
In Charleston, S.C., advocates for the public school district are worried. They have watched some of the state’s wealthiest people — including billionaire financier Ben Navarro — form a coalition this...
          Movie Reviews: Avengers: Infinity War      Cache   Translate Page      
Avengers: Infinity War
directed by Joe and Anthony Russo
I didn't see this film in the theater. I don't remember why. I do remember that after its debut two different people told me their concerns about what they considered the film's unfortunate implications. Their issues, which I will mostly avoid mentioning here, put me off from seeing the film for a while. This Marvel film is designed to appeal to the largest possible audience. This movie was the fourth highest grossing film of all time. It's entertaining and long. This movie successfully combines action, humor and some bleakness. It raises some serious questions about morality and overpopulation. Most people won't get upset when it becomes apparent that deer numbers have grown to the point where deer are harming the environment and/or other animals and must be culled. Heck, even I wouldn't mind eliminating the invasive Canadian Geese who often stay in Michigan year round and make an absolute mess. Rational humans, even sentimental ones, can recognize when a particular species has become overly destructive. 

But humans resist recognizing this about themselves.  There are 7.6 billion people on this planet. As recently as 1974 there were just 4 billion people. Humans have been very busy making other humans. A little over half of the world's population is Chinese, Indian, or African. As those three populations increase what will be the impact on carbon emissions, political power, food prices, climate change, wildlife, military conflict, ocean pollution, migration, etc? It may not be "good" from a First World standpoint or from the standpoint of the world in general. Some argue that free market capitalism can continue to produce enough for everyone. Others argue that socialism is the best bet for dealing with questions of scarcity and equity as we near a population of 10 billion.


Others don't believe there is a problem. They say that people raising alarms are mistaken or regurgitating barely veiled racist eugenics. Some insist that it's unfair that some people are reproducing so much. Obviously birth control is warranted. Many feminists point out that women in most societies rarely want to have as many children as men do so improving women's education, health, legal protection, and financial and sexual independence slows birth rates.


Finally some people believe that there are already just too many people. We must reduce our numbers for our own good. The titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) is such an individual. Thanos has reasons both moral and practical for his stance. Thanos is a utilitarian. 

Thanos is not concerned solely with the earth. He intends to reduce sentient life by at least half on a universal scale. Thanos is not strictly speaking completely an omnicidal maniac as he doesn't want to kill everyone, but few people see the distinction, something which frustrates Thanos. Thanos is firmly convinced that he's the good guy doing the right thing.  Avengers: Infinity War is about the titular team along with some other superheroes trying to stop Thanos.

The film is unusual in that, apparently purposely, it centers Thanos as the hero. It's Thanos who is misunderstood. It's Thanos who has to sacrifice and struggle to reach his goal. It's Thanos who is betrayed, outnumbered and must stand alone against his enemies. YMMV on this but with the possible exception of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) I didn't get a heroic vibe from any of the "good" guys.  Hemsworth is just that cool.


It's Thanos who was behind many of the events in the prior Avengers or other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Thanos has been searching for the six Infinity Stones. If he gets them all he will have the power to manipulate time, space and reality. Instantaneously, he will be able to eliminate half of the universe's population. He won't have to do it the long way by hand with his armies. 

Having grown tired of working thru agents and dupes, Thanos reveals himself (well at least reveals himself to Earth) and starts to gather the Infinity Stones he doesn't yet have. Even without all of the Infinity Stones, Thanos is a formidable adversary, ready, willing and able to go toe to toe with heavyweights like Thor or the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and more than hold his own.


During Thanos' quest to take all of the Infinity Stones for himself he runs into many people attempting to stop him, including but not limited to the aforementioned Thor and Hulk, Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman),  Groot (Vin Diesel) Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Drax (Dave Bautista), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Vision (Paul Bettany), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Heimdall (Idris Elba), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), and The Falcon (Anthony Mackie). A fan favorite from HBO's Game of Thrones also makes an extended cameo.

There are fights, fights, and more fights, and lots of snarky superhero one-liners. These are punctuated by misunderstandings, doomed love stories, humor and ruminations on why the struggle is necessary. The special effects are outstanding. There are plenty of references to past and future Marvel films crammed into this movie. Blink and you'll miss them. However they are not necessary to enjoy the film. There is obviously violence but it's generally not explicit. The actress Elizabeth Olsen expressed some displeasure about the revealing costume she wore in this film and previous Avengers' installments. I think the directors/producers heard her. The directors reduced but did not eliminate the number of downblouse fanservice camera shots. Again the film seamlessly integrated humor with the unusual for Marvel films feeling that anyone can die. There is loss here. The film missed some opportunities in having Wakanda as backdrop.
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          INTERVIEW: PyroGenesis $PYR.ca Discusses MOU For DROSRITE™ Tolling with one of the Largest Japanese Trading Houses      Cache   Translate Page      
Sometimes the headline in a press release speaks for itself … and this press release isn’t speaking, it is shouting. Specifically, these excerpts: 1. MOU with one of the largest Japanese Trading Houses; 2. Annual Revenues of $5.4 Billion, Assets: > Can$25 Billion; 400 Subsidiaries and Affiliates Around The World. 3. Advanced Discussions With 4 […]
          PyroGenesis $PYR.ca Announces Signing with Japanese Multi-Billion Dollar Corporation to Jointly Toll with DROSRITE™      Cache   Translate Page      
Company has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding  with one of the largest Japanese trading houses which outlines the understanding of how the Parties will move forward towards a potential joint venture partnership  for the purpose of developing DROSRITE™ tolling services globally Tolling service arrangement is one in which a smelter provides dross to a […]
          With Its Chairman Scooping up Falling DISH Stock, Maybe It’s Time to Buy      Cache   Translate Page      

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips

DISH chairman Charles Ergen is sitting on $30 billion of unused spectrum, while the company is worth less than $15 billion

The post With Its Chairman Scooping up Falling DISH Stock, Maybe It’s Time to Buy appeared first on InvestorPlace.


          FINANCE: States, cities seek to borrow billions to confront warming      Cache   Translate Page      
Dan Gelber, the mayor of Miami Beach, Fla., says climate change will be a homeowner's worst nightmare.
          Chet Raymo, “Red Fish, Blue Fish...”      Cache   Translate Page      
“Red Fish, Blue Fish...”
by Chet Raymo

“In his autobiography, the brilliant physicist John Archibald Wheeler makes this confession of faith: "Whatever can be, is." He goes further: "Whatever can be, must be." Anything not prohibited by the laws of nature, exists, he says.  Well, that's an extravagent claim, but it passed my mind the other day when my colleague Maura T. invited me up to the Science Building to see a strange creature she had just added to the aquarium.
Here's a pic, Chaetopterus, the parchment tube worm. In nature, it makes its own U-shaped "parchment" tube, which, except for the open ends, is buried in mud on the seafloor. And there it lives, sifting nourishment from the water it pumps through the tube. What a goofy critter! It looks like something snapped together from a K'Nex kit.

Some years ago, in a Globe column, I mentioned Dr. Seuss's Grickily Gractus, a bird "that lays eggs on a cactus," as an example of a wildly improbable creature. A reader then sent me a photograph of a bird on the island of Bonaire perched - where else? - in a nest on a cactus. Apparently not even Dr. Seuss can think up a creature too odd to exist.

A biologist friend who had returned from a field trip to the upper Rio Negro in Brazil told me about a school of Curimata fish, in their tens of thousands, that passed under his boat, filling the water and air with a "metallic buzz saw sound" (caused, my friend discovered, by the stridulation of the fish's air-filled swim bladder by a bone). Singing fish! Not even Seuss could think of that.

Cactus-laying birds and singing fish are fine lessons in the diversity of life on Earth. Every niche in every habitat is filled. And for every creature alive today, a thousand others, even more improbable because they are less familiar, have lived before and become extinct. All life on Earth is related by common descent, and there has not been enough time to exhaust the possibilities. Nor are terrestrial habitats infinite in number. Still, the astonishing diversity of life bears witness to the truth of Wheeler's conjecture, at least in broad outline.

The chemistry of carbon-based life presumably applies throughout the universe, and the universe presents us with the prospect of hundreds of billions of galaxies, chockablock with stars and planets. The number of worlds, and therefore habitats, is unimaginably large, perhaps infinite. Who is willing to bet against any possibility in all that vastness?"
- http://blog.sciencemusings.com/

          "Let’s Have a War with Russia!: I’d Rather Be Ruled by Autistic Hamsters"      Cache   Translate Page      
The current state of the American Army. 
Troops learn the hardships of pregnancy.

"Let’s Have a War with Russia!: 
I’d Rather Be Ruled by Autistic Hamsters"
 by Fred Reed

"The United States seems to be contemplating war with Russia, Iran, China, or all three Washington pushes NATO ever closer to Russia, leaves the nuclear-missile treaty and tries to destroy both countries and China economically. Why the push for war?

Simple. Asia is awakening. China (from which I have just returned) grows economically at a scorching pace–and all power rests on economic power. China is a large country, America a medium-sized one. America’s roughly two hundred million whites do virtually all of the scientific work on which national power depends. China has a billion increasingly educated Han Chinese, a five-to-one advantage. China’s stated aim is to united Eurasia among other places in one vast commercial union. Washington’s pugnacity has pushed China, Ira, and Russia together. The chain of nations, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey all totter between looking east and looking west. If Washington doesn’t stop this growth, the American Empire will be marginalized within decades. This doesn’t threaten the American public. It threatens the Empire and Israel.

What would a war with Russia look like, even assuming that it didn’t go nuclear? A great military thinker–me, actually–once said that military stupidity comes in three levels: normally stupid; really really stupid; and invading Russia. From Chuck XII to Adolf I it has proved a poor career move.

The US military has not won a war since 1945, with the exception of the First Gulf War, which the LAPD could have won. It lost decisively in Vietnam. It got run out of Lebanon with 241 dead Marines as its only accomplishment. After seventeen years it shows no signs of defeating barely armed Afghan peasants. Iraq has been a complete botch, achieving none of its goals, control of the oil, permanent bases, and a puppet government. Just now the military is losing in Syria.

Nothing short of genius can account for losing so consistently given the enormous resources available to American forces. In light of this very low level of military competence, maybe wars are not our best choice of hobby.

What sort of war is envisaged? The United States cannot fight a sizable land war. Iran can. Russia can. The American military means air power and little else.  The Army hasn’t fought a serious war since 1973, the fleet since 1945. In long periods of inaction, things deteriorate because they do not seem important. Crucial supplies cease to exist, spare parts aren’t there, the logistics train quietly becomes inoperable.  Money goes instead to pricey weapons of little practical use.

The Army recruits from a soft millennial population. America is no longer a country of tough rural kids. Social engineering has rotted the ranks. The military has suffered years of feminization, SJW appeasement, affirmative action, lowered physical standards, and LGBTQ insertion. Conscription is politically impossible. The Army cannot defeat Afghans even with the advantages of unlimited air power, artillery, gun ships, medevac, helicopters, and drones, It would last a very short time if it had to fight the Afghans or Iranians, on even terms. Muslims are more virile than today’s Americans and have proven tenacious.

A military that never fights a war that it has to win, that never encounters an enemy that can dangerously hit back, inevitably deteriorates. Militaries come to believe their own propaganda. So, apparently, do  the feral mollycoddles in the White House and New York. The American military’s normal procedure is to overestimate American power, underestimate the enemy, and misunderstand the kind of war it is getting into. Should Washington decide on war with Iran, or Russia (unless by a surprise nuclear strike) there will be the  usual talk of the most powerful, best trained, best equipped etc., and how the Ivans and towelheads will melt away in days, a cakewalk. Bet me.

Militaries have a very poor record of predicting outcomes of wars. This might provoke thought. The American Civil War was expected to be over in an afternoon; this was wrong by 650,000 dead and four years. When Napoleon invaded Russia, he did not expect Russians to occupy Paris. Germany thought that WWI would be a war of movement over in weeks; in fact a ghastly war of attrition lasting four years. When Japan attacked Pearl, it was not intentionally inviting GIs to the geisha houses of Tokyo. When Germany invaded Poland, occupation of Germany by Russia and America was low on its list of expectations. When France re-invaded Vietnam, it did not foresee Dien Bien Phu and utter defeat by les jaunes. When America invaded Vietnam, it did not expect a decade-long losing war. When Russia invaded Afghanistan it did not expect to lose to Afghans in sandals. When America invaded Afghanistan, having seen what had happened to Russia, it did not expect the same result.

We do not know what a war with Iran, or Russia, or China  would look like or what the Iranians might do. An overconfident military and an inexperienced government in Washington will predictably predict a short war and speak of precision weapons and surgical strikes. The Navy will guarantee that it can keep the Straits open, and speak of its advanced technology. The expectation will be that there will be nothing unexpected. The White House will believe that  Iran will lie there and be bombed without response. Russia? The nukes will fall on the European countries from which the attack came. Germany might ponder this carefully.

America could of course destroy much of Iran and kill millions of the defenseless. This is what America now calls “war.” It would be amusing to see what would happen if the Air Force had to fight an enemy that could fight back, but this would mean only Russia or, perhaps, just possibly, barely, to some extent, China. It is a coward’s way of war and, to judge by South Vietnam and Afghanistan, not very effective. Killing lots of people and winning a war are not the same thing.

What if Iran did stop petroleum traffic in the Persian Gulf with, say, missiles mounted on pickup trucks. Is this possible? I don’t know. Neither, I suspect, does the Navy–which will insist that it can handle mere pickup trucks with its superb this and that, its best trained, best equipped, the only hyper-power, and so on. But tankers are not going to run even a small risk of going up in flames. How long would the Straits have to be closed with the world screaming for oil before Washington, desperate, its vanity bruised,  full of huge egos, would have to do something stupid to save face?

Further, American leadership is of dangerously low quality. An essentially absentee Congress, the sordidness and criminality of the Clintons, Trump’s utter crassness and shady past, the submission to Israel, the widespread and never punished corruption. In this sorry brew no one seems interested in the well being of the county, only unseemly grasping at benefits for the arms industry, big oil, Wall Street, Tel Aviv, and the Empire. Note that wars generate huge profits for the arms makers and the longer the war can be kept going, neither winning nor losing, the greater the profits. War against Iran would be a magnificent profit center. Since American casualties are extremely low, permanent war has few downsides.

At the top of government we have an unprepossessing bunch that would make Kaiser Wilhelm’s court seem wholesome. Their chief characteristics are pathological aggressiveness and a severe case of Beltway Bubble Syndrome. There is Trump with his weird eruptions. The ever-combative Nikki Haley. Steve Bannon, prophesying and hoping for war with China. Mike Pompeo, threatening Iran, threatening, Venezuela, threatening North Korea. John  Bolton of the codiece mustaches, always counseling a war he won’t fight in, like Trump a drat dodger with something to prove. The life of millions depends on this freak show? I need a drink.”
https://www.theburningplatform.com/

          Conversion Boosting Strategies for BFCM      Cache   Translate Page      
In the retail sphere, no two days are as relentlessly hyped as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Everyone knows that these days are important days for sales, but some may wonder “Why all the fuss?” Let’s examine some of the data. In 2017, ecommerce shoppers spent $7.9 billion on Black Friday weekend, including a robust $2+ billion dollars via mobile ... Read More
          FDA grants priority review for Regeneron dermatitis drug for adolescents      Cache   Translate Page      

The announcement this morning came at the same time that Regeneron announced third-quarter net sales for EYLEA (aflibercept) increased 7 percent to $1.02 billion versus third quarter 2017.

The post FDA grants priority review for Regeneron dermatitis drug for adolescents appeared first on Westfair Communications.


          In the wake of the bank conduct & culture review, Gareth Vaughan argues more sunlight is needed on the RBNZ's DIY regulatory regime      Cache   Translate Page      

By Gareth Vaughan

Fresh from demanding greater accountability from bank boards in a report on bank conduct and culture, the Reserve Bank must deliver greater accountability itself and publicly release the review of its director attestation regime done by Deloitte last year.

The Deloitte review was ordered after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged the Reserve Bank to more rigorously test director attestations in last year's Financial Sector Assessment Program report on New Zealand. In a March speech Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand said Deloitte concluded the attestation regime was "largely effective," but pointed to a number of general issues potentially limiting the effectiveness of the regime.

My request for a copy of the report was rejected by the Reserve Bank, with a second request, under the Official Information Act (OIA), also rejected in March. 

The OIA request was rejected because "making the information available would be contrary to the provisions of section 105 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, which specifies that information obtained for the purposes of part 5 of the RBNZ Act must be kept confidential by the Reserve Bank."

The RBNZ approach to bank supervision relies on three pillars being self discipline, market discipline, and regulatory discipline. Significant weight is put on the self discipline pillar. The IMF last year pointed out this self-discipline relies on directors’ attestations to the fact that a bank has adequate risk management systems in place. There is a requirement for bank directors to attest to, or sign-off on, the accuracy of information contained in disclosure statements. Thanks to the introduction of the Reserve Bank's Bank Financial Strength Dashboard, our banks now only have to issue disclosure statements twice a year instead of quarterly. Banks' dashboard disclosures don't require director attestations.

Nonetheless the Reserve Bank views the attestation regime as a crucial aspect of its regulatory oversight of banks.

As Bascand put it in his speech; "Directors are responsible and accountable for the integrity of bank reporting. Due diligence helps support the internal governance processes of the bank, driving responsibilities, systems and processes to generate and scrutinise management information."

There are no specific rules around how a bank must meet the attestation requirements, and the Reserve Bank accepts these attestations without auditing the process.

As I argued in March the fact that the attestation regime is such a key plank of the Reserve Bank's overall regulatory regime and there's scant public detail available on it, means it remains opaque to the public, including household depositors who have loaned $174.2 billion to banks.

But in light of the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank report on banks' conduct and culture, and demand for greater board ownership and accountability, this simply isn't good enough. The Reserve Bank is telling bank directors, whose attestations it trusts, that much deeper accountability from them is required to improve how the banks they oversee treat customers.

The regulators are telling bank boards to properly measure and report on conduct and culture risks and issues, and point out the banking industry doesn't even have a common definition of what constitutes a complaint.

Meanwhile the attestation regime arguably outsources regulation to the regulated. And this is against a backdrop of New Zealand being an OECD outlier in not having explicit deposit insurance, and with local depositors potentially facing haircuts should a bank fail and the Open Bank Resolution policy be applied. 

Thus my message for the Reserve Bank is find a way to issue the Deloitte report. The public needs sunlight on your DIY regulatory regime.

In a media conference on Monday Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said banks must go above and beyond their minimum regulatory requirements to meet their social licence expectations. The Reserve Bank also now needs to go above and beyond the minimum requirements placed upon it so the public can understand how New Zealand banks are regulated, and why the Reserve Bank trusts bank directors to effectively regulate their own banks.

Because as things stand the Reserve Bank is saying bank directors are trustworthy in one area, being attesting to their financial disclosures, but not in another, being how their banks treat customers.

*This article was first published in our email for paying subscribers early on Tuesday morning. See here for more details and how to subscribe.


          The potential future of Donald Trump's presidency could be decided this week; NZD held its ground late Friday reaching a high of 0.6685 against the USD after Non Farm Payroll numbers printed; NZDAUD pair continues to be range bound      Cache   Translate Page      

By Neven Fisher*:

Melbourne Cup runs today at 5.05pm NZT.
The potential future of Donald Trump's presidency could be decided this week with US Midterm elections taking place. The Democrats need only 23 further seats to make a total of 218 to take control of the House, polling starts Wednesday NZ time. The world's economies have enjoyed a buoyant year with the international Monetary Fund in April saying the planet was enjoying the most united upswing since 2010. The mood however has changed in October when they cut its global outlook saying global growth has plateaued. The change is being led by China with the weakest current stretch of performance since 2009 is expected to get worse unless a favorable deal can be negotiated in the trade war with the US. The Eurozone is also losing pace expanding in the third quarter less than the previous quarter as Germany and Italy staled. The big question now is if recent US growth can continue providing good results on the back of protectionism and higher interest rates heading into 2019 and provide a counterweight for the rest of the world.  Reports have indicated that a potential trade deal could be close between China and the US. Trump's lead adviser Kudlow has played this down when he said "no massive movement to deal with China" and "we're not on the cusp of a deal". Chinese manufacturers who have the misfortune of being on the list of affected companies who will have tariffs raised from 10% to 25% on a 1 January 2019 are flat out producing products for export into the US markets to make shipping deadlines before the due date. US Non-Farm Payroll employment increased by a healthy 250,000 jobs Friday for the month of October well up on the forecasted 190,000. Wage growth has risen by 3.1% year on year, this is the fastest increase since 2009. The greenback rallied along with the US 10 year treasury bond jumping 8 points to 3.21%. US equity markets turned negative - the Nasdaq falling 1.20%. Three central banks will release cash rate announcements this week starting with the RBA Tuesday with no change from the 1.5% expected. RBNZ Thursday with no change from 1.75% expected and Federal Reserve also who will keep their benchmark rate at 2.25%

Major Announcements last week:

  • ANZ NZ Business Confidence prints down
  • Bank of Japan leave rates at -0.10%
  • Canadian monthly GDP releaes at 0.1% from 0.0% expected
  • Australian Trade Balance prints at a whopping 3.02B compared to 1.71B markets expected
  • Bank of England cash rate remains unchanged at 0.75% in a 0-9 vote
  • Aussie Retail Sales publishes at 0.2% down on the 0.3% expected
  • US Non-Farm Payroll prints higher at 250,000 new jobs compared to 194,000
  • US Manufacturing prints higher at 60.3 over 59.3 predicted

NZD/USD

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) held its ground late Friday reaching a high of 0.6685 against the US Dollar (USD) after Non Farm Payroll numbers printed. The US Labour dept showed employment increased by a massive 250,000 jobs in October well in front of the 194,000 expected. Chinese data Monday helped the kiwi push higher back through 0.6660 but any upside from here looks to be capped below 0.6700. Tomorrow’s employment figures could pressure the kiwi if we fail to see a drop in the unemployment rate of 4.5%. Thursday’s RBNZ cash rate and monetary statement shouldn’t offer up any surprises with markets keen to see the overall tone of future policy.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD/USD 0.6660 0.6600 0.6700 0.6515- 0.6689

NZD/AUD (AUD/NZD)

The New Zealand Dollar, Australian Dollar (NZD/AUD) pair continues to be range bound. Trading over the past two weeks between 0.9190 (1.0880) and 0.9295 (1.0760) the pair remains in its happy place. We don’t expect a bounce from this range over the week even though we have a bunch of tier one data to publish. We see no surprises from today’s RBA announcement with the benchmark rate to remain at 1.50%. Thursday NZ Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr is expected to leave rates unchanged at 1.75%. Even though statistics show the economy has grown over the past few months economists are still questioning this suggesting a slow down is on the horizon with business confidence remaining at low levels. Currently trading at 0.9230 (1.0835) Tuesday lunch.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / AUD 0.9233 0.9300 0.9260 0.9493- 0.9263
AUD / NZD 1.0820 1.0800 1.0750 1.0796- 1.0878

NZD/GBP (GBP/NZD)

Brexit headlines boosted the British Pound (GBP) higher off the open Monday to 0.5100 (1.9610) against the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) but has edged higher during the London trading session. UK Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) printed down on expectations at 52.2 based on 53.4 markets were expecting showing a seven month low as firms brace for a slow 2019, the result the poorest since the 2016 Brexit referendum. Interest this week will be with Thursday’s RBNZ announcement and Fridays monthly UK GDP figures. Price action over the week could be anywhere if we throw Brexit into the mix.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / GBP 0.5100 0.5090 0.5170 0.5082- 0.5169
GBP / NZD 1.9610 1.9350 1.9650 1.9345- 1.9678

 NZD/CAD

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) started the week where it left off against the Canadian Dollar (CAD) pushing up from the open of 0.8680 to 0.8740 in thin Monday markets. Canada’s Poloz spoke overnight saying the neutral rate estimated at 2.5-3.5% is not a precise destination. It’s more like a neighbourhood - future rate hikes could be faster or slower. Two statements of complete meaningless garble. Early impressions are suggesting the Kiwi wants to go higher in the short term, a possible retest of 0.8820 is in sight with NZ employment data to print tomorrow with the official cash rate Thursday.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / CAD 0.8736 0.8650 0.8820 0.8561- 0.8748

NZD/EURO (EURO/NZD)

The Euro (EUR) continued its decline last week against the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) dropping to 0.5840 (1.7130). We see further declines in the Euro likely through to Thursday’s RBNZ announcement where the cash rate is expected to remain unchanged at 1.75%. A retest of 0.5880 (1.7000) is the next target with a with a lack of Eurozone data to publish. The bullish channel from 0.5585 (1.7910) is still in play, we don’t see this being broken in the medium term.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD/EUR 0.5837 0.5765 0.5865 0.5736- 0.5861
EUR/NZD 1.7130 1.7050 1.7350 1.7063- 1.7435

NZD/YEN

Japan’s Kuroda spoke early Monday putting the Japanese Yen (JPY) on notice versus the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) the pair pushing higher off the open of 75.00 to 75.50 the 1 October high. It’s mostly NZ data to print over the week starting with employment data Wednesday. Risk factors could play a part with direction. RBNZ cash rate Thursday. With a head a shoulder pattern emerging on the chart we think the kiwi could retest 76.50 this week.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
NZD / YEN 75.46 75.00 76.20 73.32- 75.62

AUD/USD

The Australian Dollar (AUD) looks to be in the mood to continue last week’s bull rally and extend gains made mid to late week against the US Dollar. Last week’s Non-Farm Payroll release took the pair off the high of 0.7250 back to 0.7180 on USD strength after figures surprised to the upside. Ending the week Australian Retail Sales printed slightly down on expectations creating a short sell off in the Aussie. Price this week looks retest last week’s high, this will be largely based on today’s RBA Cash Rate announcement. If the Central Bank are dovish with future monetary policy as we expect due to recent data the Aussie will be pressured. Later in the week we also have the federal Reserve cash rate and statement with no change this time around from the 2.25%

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / USD 0.7216 0.7180 0.7250 0.7063- 0.7259

AUD/GBP (GBP/AUD) 

The British Pound (GBP) gaped higher to 0.5525 (1.8090) on the weekly open against the Australian Dollar (AUD) after positive Brexit news bought back buyers into the Pound. Trading Tuesday at 0.5530 (1.8080) we have seen a slide below 0.5550 (1.8020) confirming a break of the bullish channel from 0.5350 (1.8700) of early October. Market interest will be on today’s RBA statement and cash rate with no change expected. A hawkish statement by governor Philip Lowe will certainly put further pressure on the Aussie heading into UK’s GDP Friday.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / GBP 0.5523 0.5485 0.5600 0.5505- 0.5597
GBP / AUD 1.8106 1.7850 1.8230 1.7866- 1.8166

AUD/EURO (EURO/AUD)

This week’s price action in the Australian Dollar, Euro (AUD/EUR) pair should be no different to the last. Trading around 0.6320 (1.5820) Tuesday we expect upside momentum to drive the cross higher.  The Eurogroup met last night and discussed Italy’s budget woes with EU finance ministers calling for the Italian government to redraft the budget. The Eurogroup president Mario Centeno remains confident that Italy will agree to changing its spending plans despite Rome’s populist government insisting that it won’t do so. The Reserve Bank of Australian (RBA) will announce their cash rate today widely expected to be remain unchanged at 1.50%. Markets are predicting a hawkish tone with recent weak CPI data.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD/EUR 0.6322 0.6250 0.6355 0.6208- 0.6351
EUR/AUD 1.5820 1.5740 1.6000 1.5746- 1.6108

AUD/YEN

The Australian Dollar (AUD) has pushed higher off the weekly open to 81.70 against the Japanese Yen (JPY) after BoJ’s Kuroda put the Yen under pressure yesterday. A continuation of last weeks rally in price after Aussie Trade Balance figures surprised to the upside looks on the cards with 82.50 the next target, the three month high. Retails Sales took the Aussie briefly off its high last week when it printed at 0.2% based on 0.3% predictions. Focus now lies with today’s RBA 4.30 NZT - no surprises are expected.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD/YEN 81.74 80.40 82.50 79.36- 81.94

AUD/CAD

Poloz put the Canadian Dollar (CAD) on the backfoot against the Australian Dollar (AUD) Monday, the pair pushing up from 0.9410 area early Monday to 0.9450. All interest will be on the RBA cash rate announcement today 4.30 NZT and should reflect recent economic data with no change expected. A retest of last weeks high of 0.9480 should come into the picture as long as the RBA is not to dovish in their monetary statement.

DIRECT FX Current level Support Resistance Last wk range
AUD / CAD 0.9460 0.9360 0.9560 0.9269- 0.9478

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Market commentary:

Melbourne Cup runs today at 5.05pm NZT.
The potential future of Donald Trump's presidency could be decided this week with US Midterm elections taking place. The Democrats need only 23 further seats to make a total of 218 to take control of the House, polling starts Wednesday NZ time. The world's economies have enjoyed a buoyant year with the international Monetary Fund in April saying the planet was enjoying the most united upswing since 2010. The mood however has changed in October when they cut its global outlook saying global growth has plateaued. The change is being led by China with the weakest current stretch of performance since 2009 is expected to get worse unless a favorable deal can be negotiated in the trade war with the US. The Eurozone is also losing pace expanding in the third quarter less than the previous quarter as Germany and Italy staled. The big question now is if recent US growth can continue providing good results on the back of protectionism and higher interest rates heading into 2019 and provide a counterweight for the rest of the world.  Reports have indicated that a potential trade deal could be close between China and the US. Trump's lead adviser Kudlow has played this down when he said "no massive movement to deal with China" and "we're not on the cusp of a deal". Chinese manufacturers who have the misfortune of being on the list of affected companies who will have tariffs raised from 10% to 25% on a 1 January 2019 are flat out producing products for export into the US markets to make shipping deadlines before the due date. US Non-Farm Payroll employment increased by a healthy 250,000 jobs Friday for the month of October well up on the forecasted 190,000. Wage growth has risen by 3.1% year on year, this is the fastest increase since 2009. The greenback rallied along with the US 10 year treasury bond jumping 8 points to 3.21%. US equity markets turned negative - the Nasdaq falling 1.20%. Three central banks will release cash rate announcements this week starting with the RBA Tuesday with no change from the 1.5% expected. RBNZ Thursday with no change from 1.75% expected and Federal Reserve also who will keep their benchmark rate at 2.25%

Australia

The Australian Dollar eased back off its highs Friday after a disappointing close to equity markets dragged risk associated currencies lower. At one point trading back over the 0.7200 area against the big Dollar after Trade Balance figures buoyed Aussie sentiment posting a hefty 3.02 Billion trade Balance based on market expectations of 1.71 Billion. This week’s main economic news of interest is the RBA cash rate and statement due today at 4.30 NZT. Last week’s weaker than predicted CPI inflation data could impact the tone with the overall inflation number well below the 2-3% target for the 11th quarter in a row. Even with the economy in its 27th year without no recession the economy has dangerously high household debt and stagnant wage growth which is putting as squeeze on household spending. Even though net exports and capital expenditure are stimulating the economy these offer no real impetus for the RBA to increase its benchmark rate. No further economic data of note is due to be published over the week. Good luck in the Melbourne Cup.

New Zealand

The New Zealand Dollar held onto gains last week in the wake of a stronger US dollar. The kiwi was the strongest performer surprisingly out muscling its main rivals. Tagging along with the Aussie Dollar trading higher in the wake of surprising Aussie Trade and Chinese data, risk currencies did well. Its widely expected the RBNZ will keep rates on hold this week- Thursday, but a no hike wasn't always a dead cert with some market participants suggesting the cash rate would drop. With recent economic data suggesting rates will stay the same looking ahead to 2019 may not be the case. With US company earnings over, stock market moves will resume normal price action this week. With all three US indices falling into the weekly close momentum could resume to the downside dragging the kiwi lower. Certainly if the NZ unemployment rate drops to 4.4% from 4.5% Wednesday the opposite could be said.

United States

The US Midterm elections kick off this Tuesday with polling starting at 6.00am Tuesday (NY time). The battle for congress is heating up with the fate of Donald Trump's presidency on the line. As it stands the democrats need an additional 23 seats to make up 218 required to take back control of the senate and drive a stake through the hopes of Donald Trump's future plans at the helm of USA. Traditionally the voting turnout with midterm elections is low but with 33 million votes already on the table the turnout of voters is set to be the biggest turnout in over 50 years. The anti-immigration moves recently deployed by the president with the clampdown on asylum seekers this falls at the heart of the midterms with intensity building over race related rhetoric. If the Republicans are ousted from the house and hand over congress to the Democrats President Trump's agenda and campaign promises are sure to be revised. Most importantly if the Democrats were to take control of the House it would allow the Democrats to start impeachment proceedings against the President, obviously something Donald Trump is clearly hoping to avoid. The Federal Reserve will keep their cash rate on hold until the December meeting at 2.25%

Europe

The Euro reached a high last week of 1.1455 but was quick to give back gains closing around the 1.1380 area versus the greenback. Risk aversion overshadowed US Non- Farm Payroll announcements with the better than predicted number of 250,000 failing to really give the US Dollar a decent push. Profit taking allowed the EUR to drift lower amid reports circulating that the ECB will consider TLTRO (Targeted long term refinancing options) in the December ECB meeting with the central bank requiring more funds. The Euro was the third worst performing currency outside the Swiss Franc and the Japanese Yen for the second straight week with risk associated currencies getting the nod, along with new Brexit related risks dropping the Pound sparking a EUR based sell off late in the week. A very quiet economic Eurozone calendar this week will offer no real support for Euro with it lacking any concrete drivers. Last week’s second tier data was mainly disappointing suggesting the EURO could drift lower this week.

United Kingdom

Brexit headlines continue to occupy British media. UK's Prime Minister Theresa may looks to have secured concessions from the EU to keep Britain in a customs union. This includes Ireland which effectively solves recent issues of a hard Irish border thus pioneering the way for a negotiated Brexit deal. May is also in the throes of securing an "economic partnership" of sorts with the EU. The deal would give UK financial services companies access to European markets post Brexit. UK's Cabinet will catch up today with a further meeting on Friday in the hopes of gaining enough support for the EU to announce a special summit. May still has many cabinet folk who would love her job so she will be vigilant to dot the I's and cross the T's this week. The British Pound rallied off the low of 1.2700 against the US Dollar to climb back above the 1.3000 physiological level before easing back to 1.2980. UK Manufacturing data and quarterly GDP print Friday.

Japan

The Japanese Yen struggled to conger up any decent momentum over the week - the worst performing currency battled against every main player falling 1.17% against the US Dollar. Recovering equity markets and increased risk sentiment left investors leaving the Yen. Bank of Japan's Governor Kuroda said in a statement it was necessary to continue to ease monetary policy with slow inflation - but not the same as we have done in the past 5 years. The governor introduced a large scale asset program in 2013 and it was the best thing to do but now as the economy improves with solid corporate earnings and tight labour markets the bank recognises that continuing the monetary easing could affect financial stability, he said. At last week’s Bank of Japan (BoJ) meeting the BoJ kept policy the same including setting short term interest rates at -.1% and keep low interest rates for an extended period of time. Average Cash Earnings (value in the employment income collected by workers) releases Wednesday

Canada

The Canadian Dollar has lost value five straight weeks and continues to struggle shifting off the bottom of the table against the major currencies. Crude Oil a big contributing factor coming from a high around the first of October at 77.00 to trade 62.72 now. Soft Canadian job numbers Friday with the number of new employed people releasing at 11,200 based on market predictions of 12,700 dented any upside momentum - the CAD losing half a cent against the Dollar. However, the employment rate ticked lower to 5.8% below the estimate of 5.9%. Interestingly while the CAD has underperformed the economy grew 0.1% in August, the economy has been mostly performing well and remains on track for annualised growth of 2% for 2018. This week sees governor Poloz speak later today about financial markets, with no other tier one significant data to publish.

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          Westpac NZ's David McLean is seeing increased competition between the banks as the spring housing market springs to life      Cache   Translate Page      
David McLean

By David Hargreaves

Westpac NZ Chief Executive David McLean is seeing definite signs that mortgage competition is "hotting up" between the banks as the housing market shows signs of a Spring upturn.

In New Zealand Westpac reported on Monday a cash profit of over $1 billion for the year to September (up 5%) and a statutory profit of $936 million, up 3%.

“We’ve had a strong result this year and that’s on the back of what we think has continued to be a strong economy and in what is quite a competitive market among the banks, " he said.

On the competition aspect, he said because of the commentary that has been around to the effect that there might be a little less activity in the housing market "there’s some positioning by banks now".

"...Spring tends to be a much heightened area of activity compared to winter and therefore banks gear themselves up to compete quite vigorously in that period.

“If people think that the volume might be down a little bit some lenders might be trying to keep their existing dollar value of volume the same – in other words supplying an increased share – so we see early signs of a bit more increased competition around mortgage lending, which as I say, would be quite normal for this time of the year. It is definitely hotting up."

Asked about the state of the housing market, and the Barfoot & Thompson sales figures released on Monday, Mclean said: "We have seen a bit of flattening or softening in Auckland and Canterbury. The rest of the country holding up. There’s a range of offsetting factors but overall I think one of the big ones that’s still playing up is the imbalance of supply and demand.

"The housing supply/demand factor has not changed'

“The Barfoot numbers were quite interesting, but it’s relatively early in the spring housing season when a lot of houses come on the market and there is more turnover, so, I think in another month or so we will have a much better feel on how things are going.

“I think those underlying supply/demand factors haven’t changed enormously. There’s been a bit of change around offshore buyers and so forth and perhaps a little bit more emigration to Australia but the underlying supply/demand imbalance hasn’t changed enormously and that would be the biggest driver of it in my view."

McLean confirmed that Westpac was reasonably keen to get a share of business stemming from the Government's flagship KiwiBuild policy, which aims to build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years.

“We are quite keen on that. First home buyers, people getting into homes, is an attractive customer base for us. We’ve been involved in things like that for some time. We’ve been one of the few banks I think who has been involved in Welcome Home loans, which is a joint initiative with the Government, so KiwiBuild itself we think is a good initiative from our point of view and we’d be keen on those type of people.”           

The Reserve Bank releases its latest six-monthly Financial Stability Report at the end of this month. If it is going to loosen its limits on high loan to value ratio (LVR) lending again it will likely do it then. For example last November's FSR contained details of a loosening of the policy, which was applied from January this year.

No loosening of LVRs

While many people in the market think the RBNZ will loosen the LVR limits again, McLean doubts it.

"All other things being equal, no.

"I think if there was signs of a more serious slow down I think there would be a good case for it.

“I think the Reserve Bank might be thinking that they wouldn’t do that if there was a risk of the housing market continuing to get a second wind and take off again, so I think their main philosophy at this stage would be trying to keep their powder dry.”

As well as the release of Westpac's annual results, Monday saw a big day for the banking sector generally with the release of the joint Financial Markets Authority-Reserve Bank report on conduct and culture of the banks in New Zealand.

Asked about this and whether there was anything he could say about any issues that might have been raised about Westpac, McLean said: “The report does not name any bank and it does not give any details on any bank so it is an aggregate view across the industry.

“All the banks will get, we understand, a report on ourselves in a few weeks and that will then tell us our own issues.

“So, I haven’t really got a view as Westpac.

“On behalf of the industry as chair of the Bankers’ Association we are grateful for the work the regulators have done. We are pleased they didn’t find any systemic widespread issues and we fully accept the call they’ve made that we’ve got to get on, improve our processes and governance and standards and put in place the sort of rigour around the thing to make sure we don’t have those kinds of issues in the future."

'Heavy focus' on customers

In terms of Westpac's focus in the past year, McLean says they've  focused "very heavily" on trying to improve the experience for their customers.

"It’s still a pretty good time to be a bank customer. Interest rates are low – as I said there’s strong competition and it’s hotting up again in the mortgage market and fees are dropping.

“We’ve reduced 24 fees and charges over the last two years – taking out about $36 million out of our P&L [profit and loss account] because we are anxious to make sure that the customers are getting value for what they are paying for."

Asked if he saw more scope for further reduction in fees, McLean said: “Yeah I think so.

"We’ve done that pro-actively and we are continuing to look at things and the [conduct and culture] report out today will focus us even harder on that. So, I think there is still scope for looking at what value the customer’s getting

“…And the other thing is that as we deliver more services to customers in a more efficient way through doing it online or instantly on the mobile phone or whatever that also forces us to look at what we are charging for that."

Asked whether he sees scope for further trimming of interest rates, McLean said it was very hard to pick.

"We are sort of bouncing around at the bottom of that cycle. There are some inflationary signs but a lot of that is imported oil prices, which I think the Reserve Bank will look through.

“…But a lot of it does depend on how if the economy is softening, how fast is it softening. Our economists are telling us they still think there’s a chance of a cut [to the Official Cash Rate] – but I would say my personal view is we will stay at these rates for quite a long time."

'Business has to cope...'

Since the Coalition Government came to power late last year, business confidence