Economic Insider

Walmart Employee Lodges a $50 Million Lawsuit Against Company After Virginia Shooting

A Walmart employee lodged a $50 million lawsuit against the business for its potential responsibility in the Virginia store shooting last week.

According to the employee, Walmart maintained the perpetrator despite his “propensities for violence, threats, and strange behavior.” The perpetrator, 31-year-old Andre Bing, opened fire inside the shop and shot six people. He then committed suicide. As a result, the tragedy instilled terror among Walmart customers and workers. The case, filed in Chesapeake Circuit Court, marked the first action taken against the firm after the event.

Donya Prioleau, who lodged the case, said that the incident caused her to incur from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as physical and mental suffering. The lawsuit further said that Prioleau observed the incident and was nearly wounded by the gunshot. More distressingly, she watched several colleagues collapse and eventually die after being struck by gunshots fired by Bing at 10 p.m. inside the Walmart shop.

“Ms. Prioleau looked at one of her coworkers in the eyes right after she had been shot in the neck. Ms. Prioleau saw the bullet wound in her coworker’s neck, the blood rushing out of it, and the shocked look on her coworker’s helpless face,” the lawsuit said.

“Bullets whizzed by Plaintiff Donya Prioleau’s face and left side, barely missing her. She witnessed several of her coworkers being brutally murdered on either side of her,” it added.

Read Also: Australian Environment Minister Disagrees with UNESCO

The Walmart shooter’s suicide note

Authorities discovered a cell phone after a comprehensive examination. The phone belonged to the assailant, and it contained a suicide note. The officers read the message and came up with various ideas about what caused his outburst. The complaint principally faulted Walmart for overlooking Bing’s poor mental health. Meanwhile, Bing attributed his confusion to pestering. His coworkers, he alleges, tormented him to the point of shattering his will.

“Sorry, everyone, but I did not plan this I promise things just fell in place like I was led by Satan. My only wish would have been to start over from scratch and that my parents would have paid closer attention to my social deficits,” Bing wrote.

“Idiots harassed me with low intelligence and a lack of wisdom. The associates gave me evil twisted grins, mocked me and celebrated my downfall the last day,” he added.

Read Also: Adidas Starts an Inquiry to Alleged Harassment by Ye

A mismanagement from the company

According to the lawsuit, Bing already had a list of people to pursue. His ‘kill list’ must include the persons he called ‘idiots’ in his suicide letter. In addition, many staff had previously observed Bing’s odd conduct before the incident. However, the complaint claims that Walmart ignored Bing’s health.

“Despite Mr. Bing’s long-standing pattern of disturbing and threatening behavior, Walmart knew or should have known about Mr. Bing’s disturbing and threatening behavior, but failed to terminate Mr. Bing, restrict his access to common areas, conduct a thorough background investigation, or subject him to a mental health examination,” the lawsuit said.

Meanwhile, the authorities and the firm admired those who acted bravely during the crisis.

“We are grateful to the first responders who mobilized to assist victims. I have directed federal officials to provide any support and assistance needed to the people of Chesapeake,” said president Biden.

“The devastating news of last night’s shooting at our Chesapeake, VA store at the hands of one of our associates has hit our Walmart family hard. My heart hurts for our associates and the Chesapeake community who have lost or injured loved ones. We are here for them today, and in the challenging days ahead, they will have our support,” announced Walmart CEO Doug McMillon in a LinkedIn post.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Kaster

Source: NPR

Australian Environment Minister Disagrees with UNESCO

The Australian environment minister said she would submit a request against UNESCO’s decision to put the Great Barrier Reef on the list of threatened World Heritage sites.

The official said that the Great Barrier Reef is being preserved and protected to the extent of Australia’s capacity. Additionally, UNESCO should rebut government accusations of environmental site neglect. The government must, however, take “ambitious, rapid, and sustained” climate action, according to representatives of the UN Cultural Agency and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Great Barrier Reef will collapse if this does not happen.

“We’ll very clearly make the point to UNESCO that there is no need to single the Great Barrier Reef out in this way,” said Tanya Plibersk, the environment minister.

“The reason that UNESCO in the past has singled out a place as at risk is that they wanted to see greater government investment or greater government action and, since the change of government, both of those things have happened,” she added.

Read Also: Adidas Starts an Inquiry to Alleged Harassment by Ye

The Australian government will safeguard the site

According to Plibersek, the Australian government has already started taking action to safeguard the reefs. The nation’s lawmakers enacted a measure that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 43%. Additionally, she stated that the Australian government would set aside $798 million, or 1.2 billion Australian dollars, to protect the reef. Plibersek worked to scrap the two dams the previous administration intended to build in Queensland. The development would have been harmful to marine ecology and corals.

“If the Great Barrier Reef is in danger, then every coral reef in the world is in danger. If this World Heritage site is in danger, then most World Heritage sites around the world are in danger from climate change,” Plibersek added.

According to the study, a better set of climate targets was stressed by the Australian federal government. The government must aggressively curtail Australian emissions to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, per the global norm. Jodie Rummer, a marine scientist at James Cook University, agreed that the government needed loftier objectives.

“We are taking action, but that action needs to be much more rapid and much more urgent,” she attested.

“We cannot claim to be doing all we can for the reef at this point. And we aren’t. So we need to be sending that message to the rest of the world that we are doing everything that we possibly can for the reef, and that means we need to take urgent action on emissions immediately,” she added.

Read Also: Wefox CEO Slams Tech Firms for Firing Staff

Making the decision

To make a decision, UNESCO will still convene. The previous Australian administration’s prevented UNESCO from labeling the reef as “in danger.” This is what Plibersek hopes to accomplish this time.  Scientists claim that coral bleaching afflicted over 90% of the Great Barrier Reef. In 2016, 2017, and 2020, the coral bleaching destroyed two-thirds of the site.

10% of the corals on the planet are present in the Great Barrier Reef. More than 2,500 reef habitats may be found there, spread across a region of about 348,000 square miles. But over time, the Pacific Ocean’s extreme warming harmed the reefs, causing widespread coral bleaching. The environment minister did, however, reaffirm that her administration will use all of its resources to restore the nation’s coral reefs.

Photo Credit: Lucas Jackson 

Source: NPR

Adidas Starts an Inquiry to Alleged Harassment by Ye

Adidas confirmed it is opening an inquiry in response to allegations of abuse he made to Yeezy staff members while working with the company.

Ye reportedly exposed his workers to pornographic and sexually explicit content. It continued for a while. Ye would show the material during staff meetings with Yeezy and target the female employees. Adidas promised to look into the issue.

The business, though, still needs to confirm its assertions. The anonymous group made the accusations against Ye in a published Rolling Stones piece. Adidas also committed to resolving the issue.

“It is currently unclear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true. However, we take these allegations very seriously and have decided to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations,” said the company.

The story also mentioned a group that wrote to Adidas with complaints about how senior executives disregarded their accusations. The Adidas employees accused the authorities of delaying in taking action and refusing to provide an apology to the harassed individuals.

Adidas is still waiting on a response from Ye’s side on the accusations made against the singer. The probe comes after Ye’s employment with the firm was terminated due to his anti-Semitic comments.

Read Also: Wefox CEO Slams Tech Firms for Firing Staff

Adidas terminating the contract with Ye

Many people urged to “cancel” Ye after he made antisemitic comments. Numerous businesses, including Adidas, dissolved their alliance with Ye due to the calls.

Companies like Gap and Foot Locker also opted to let Ye go, resulting in him suffering billions of losses. Adidas resigned in October, calling his behavior “unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous.”

“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous. And they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” said Adidas.

“After a thorough review, the company has decided to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect,” it added.

“This is expected to have a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million on the company’s net income in 2022. Given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter. In addition, Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products and previous and new colorways under the partnership. More information will be given as part of the company’s upcoming Q3 earnings announcement on November 9, 2022,” the statement explained.

Read Also: House Republicans Slam TikTok Over Security Concerns

Not tolerating violent behavior

Adidas further stated that the brand does not support violent conduct. However, the company intends to investigate the matter as Ye performed the activities while still partnering with the business.

“He (Ye) has, in years past, exploded at women in the room with offensive remarks. And would resort to sexually disturbing references when providing design feedback. So this type of response from a brand partner is one that Adidas employees should never be subjected to. Nor should Adidas leadership ever tolerate,” said the letter addressed to the company.

“No wonder he didn’t want senior business managers in the room. He wanted to continue to use his power to violate you quietly. And threaten your role and existence within the team,” it added.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Source: CNBC

Wefox CEO Slams Tech Firms for Firing Staff

Wefox CEO, a multibillion-dollar digital insurance firm located in Europe, attacks other tech companies for cutting off thousands of workers.

According to Julian Teicke, widespread layoffs of employees would not benefit those struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising prices. Due to financial difficulties, several businesses, including Meta, Twitter, and Amazon, announced the termination of a sizeable portion of their personnel. Layoffs, in the opinion of the businesses, will enable each to deal with the dreadful state of the world economy.

Wefox CEO Teicke expressed his disappointment with how his colleagues handled the issue. Many venture capitalists believe the best action is reducing expenses and laying off employees. Recruiting must be frozen, and companies must drastically reduce the workforce to balance the growing costs of resources.

“I’m a little disgusted by statements like, ‘never miss a good crisis’ [or] ‘we have to cut the fat,'” said Teicke in an interview.

According to Doug Leone of Sequoia Capital, investors need to create plans to cope with the economy’s issues in the most effective ways. Leone contends that in the upcoming years, people with the necessary crisis management skills will fare better than others.

“You have a great opportunity in front of you if you play your cards right. You have an opportunity to pass ten cars. So do not waste a good recession,” he said.

Read Also: House Republicans Slam TikTok Over Security Concerns

Wefox CEO unimpressed with others

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, the CEO of Klarna, claimed that he considers himself “lucky” even though his business cut thousands of employees earlier this year. Siemiatkowski said that 90% of those fired had, in fact, already secured new employment. So he views himself as fortunate for that reason. But because of their poor management, the Wefox CEO still needs to be more fond of others.

“If we would have done that today, that probably, unfortunately, would not have been the case,” said Siemiatkowski.

“These are people that have maybe quit other jobs to join your business. These are people that have maybe moved to other places because of you. And these are people that have maybe ended romantic relationships,” Teicke said.

Read Also: Colorado Gay Bar Shooter Kills Five, Families Mourn for Victims

A significant responsibility

Wefox CEO acknowledged that managers and CEOs have a powerful impact on their workers’ life, perhaps to raise his concerns. However, he added that CEOs have a responsibility to safeguard their workers. And today, with everyone experiencing economic troubles, it has become much more noticeable.

“I believe CEOs have to do everything in their power to protect their employees. I haven’t seen that in the tech industry, and I’m disgusted by that. These are humans. I don’t believe in mass layoffs. We’re going to focus on performance but not on mass layoffs,” he said.

Wefox won’t dismiss staff, claims Teicke. Furthermore, he adds that his business has become “crisis-resistant” by preparing for the most catastrophic case. Finally, Teicke added that Wefox must research the macroeconomic situation to maintain its viability despite challenges in the European economy.

Photo Credit:  Wefox

Source: CNBC

House Republicans Slam TikTok Over Security Concerns

Global content-sharing platform TikTok faces another round of criticism, this time under the lens of House Republicans.

According to them, TikTok deliberately misled congress about how the company handled the data of its US-based users. The complainants wrote to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew and amplified the issues raised earlier by US lawmakers.

In addition, the letter highlighted the national security concerns that TikTok poses to the US. Experts contend that Republican members of the House will echo the calls to put TikTok under fire, having gained the majority of the House of Representatives.

“Both claims appear to be misleading at best, and at worst, false,” said Comer and McMorris Rodgers.

“Americans deserve answers about how TikTok knowingly allows China to access their data, and E&C Republicans will continue to demand those answers,” said Sean Kelly, the spokesperson for Rodgers.

“One immediate next step is to pass the American Data Privacy and Protection Act this Congress. This would require companies like TikTok to alert users if their personal information is being stored or accessed in countries like China. And give people the option to stop that information from being shared,” Kelly added.

US officials grow concerned about how TikTok could use the US-based user data for their benefit. For example, Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner said that TikTok poses an “enormous threat” because it can obtain data. It also allegedly influences the content that US users see.

“That is a distribution model that would make RT, Sputnik. Or some of the Russian propaganda models pale in comparison,” Warner said.

Read Also: Colorado Gay Bar Shooter Kills Five, Families Mourn for Victims

TikTok repeatedly denies the allegations

TikTok management repeatedly dismissed the allegations thrown at them. It said that the company would “satisfy all national security concerns.” They further said that ByteDance, its Chinese-owned parent company, have no US data access since it remains stored in the US.

TikTok Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Pappas appeared in front of the Senate. She then answered the questions thrown to them by authorities.

“Will TikTok commit to cutting off all data and data flows to China, China-based TikTok employees, ByteDance employees? Or any other party in China that might have the capability to access information on US users?” asked Senator Rob Portman.

“Again, we take this incredibly seriously in terms of upholding trust with US citizens and ensuring the safety of US user data,” Pappas said.

“As it relates to access and controls, we are going to be going above and beyond in leading initiative efforts with our partner, Oracle, and also to the satisfaction of the US government through our work with [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States], which we do hope to share more information on,” she added.

Read Also: Taylor Swift Completes Historic AMA Run

Cutting data from China

Amid criticisms, Pappas promised TikTok would cut off “all data and metadata flows to China.” However, she ensured the Senate panel that Chinese authorities do not influence US users’ content algorithms.

Although Chinese employees have access to the data, Pappas said that she will not “give that data to China.” Moreover, she denied the existence of a ‘Master Admin’ who has access to all data of US users.

“Those allegations were not found. There was talk [in the article] of a master account, which does not exist at our company,” she said.

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon

Source: CNN

Colorado Gay Bar Shooter Kills Five, Families Mourn for Victims

An armed man entered an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado and started firing into the crowd, leading to the death of five people.

The gunman,  Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, faces several offenses, including five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of bias-motivated crime. Following an emergency call, the police managed to catch the culprit at midnight. The inquiry is still underway, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. Despite efforts at interrogation, the suspect declined to give a statement.

“I haven’t heard that he has not been cooperative, just simply that he has determined not to speak to investigators,” said Vazquez.

The police said the shooter was equipped with two weapons: a pistol and a long rifle. The man pulls out a long gun and starts shooting at the crowd. The location of the suspect’s gun purchase is still unknown to the authorities. Owner of the Colorado club Matthew Haynes claimed to have seen the gunman enter the building with “tremendous firepower.” Around 11:56 PM, onlookers contacted 911 to report the incident; a minute later, the police showed up, and they took the culprit under their custody.

Read Also: Taylor Swift Completes Historic AMA Run

The savior of the incident in Colorado

However, the army veteran who stood up for the tavern’s patrons was honored by the police. Rich Fierro was the first to react at the scene of the crime and put an end to the shooter’s rage. He said in an interview that he controlled the situation because of his quick reflexes. However, he claimed that the need to defend his family and others around him ultimately drove him to face the armed man.

“It’s the reflex. Go! Go to the fire. Stop the action. Stop the activity. Don’t let anyone get hurt. I tried to bring everybody back. There were five people that I could not help. And one of which was family to me. I’m going to see that guy in court. And that guy’s going to see who did him,” he said.

“At least two heroic people inside the club confronted and fought with the suspect and were able to stop the suspect. We owe them a great debt of thanks. I have never encountered a person who had engaged in such heroic actions and who was so humble about it. He said to me, ‘I was trying to protect my family,” said Vasquez.

“He saved dozens and dozens of lives. Stopped the man cold. Everyone else was running away, and he ran toward him,” recounted the shop owner.

Read Also: Pelosi Resigns, Vacates Democratic Party Leadership

The bar’s significance

The victims’ families, friends, and relatives gathered in the area shortly after the catastrophe. Given what occurred and the location of the incident, the resultant atmosphere was grim. The Colorado gay club gave the LGBTQ community a space to express themselves and a sense of freedom. It also allowed heterosexual people to witness the joy of socializing with the LGBTQ Community. Unfortunately, sorrow and anxiety now replaced freedom and enjoyment.

“In a world that can be so dark and so angry, it’s that one place that feels like home. We’re able to unwind and forget about our troubles with work, family, and society. Because of Club Q, we’re able to make friends that turn into family and be accepted for our true selves,” said Jewels Park.

“The LGBTQIA+ community has undergone so much bigotry and hatred already. To have our safe place ripped from us and to lose members of our community is a whole other type of hurt,” she added.

Photo Credit: Geneva Heffernan

Source: CNN

 

Taylor Swift Completes Historic AMA Run

At the 50th American Music Awards on Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Taylor Swift made another unprecedented career streak.

Producing the program was a joint effort between ABC and Dick Clark Productions. Wayne Brady presided over the show. The American Music Awards have recognized and honored the top musical and theatrical performances for the past 50 years. The night’s top nomination recipient was Puerto Rican musician Bad Bunny, who received eight nominations overall. His victories included Favorite Male Latin Artist and Favorite Latin Album.

Taylor, though, went down in history as the AMA’s most honored Artist. With 40 victories throughout her career, she is now the Artist with the most accolades from the organization. She won all her nominations during the 50th awards ceremony, including the Artist of the Year honor, which is the most coveted AMA award.

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Taylor thanking her fans

When the musician accepted her trophy on stage, she thanked her supporters. She claims that the support of her followers worldwide gives her the drive and inspiration to keep creating music that stirs emotions.

“In the past few years, I have released more music than I did in the decade preceding that. And I feel like that’s down to the fact that you, the fans, made it clear that you wanted to hear lots of music. I found that the more music I made [and] the more music I put out, the happier I was,” she said.

“I have the fans to thank, essentially, for my happiness. So I love you more than I can say. And I cannot express how unbelievable it is that I get to do this and that you still care. So, thank you, underlined with 13 exclamation points.”

Her legendary AMA run comes on the heels of the recent triumph of her Midnights album. Taylor’s album helped it become the Spotify song with the most streams. She also won every Top 10 position on the Billboard list, making her the only Artist to do it with tracks from a single album.

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Below are the other roll of winners at the AMA:

Artist of the year

Taylor Swift

New artist of the year

Dove Cameron

Collaboration of the year

Elton John & Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart – PNAU Remix”

Favorite male pop artist

Harry Styles

Favorite female pop artist

Taylor Swift

Favorite pop duo or group

BTS

Favorite pop album

Taylor Swift, “Red (Taylor’s Version)”

Favorite pop song

Harry Styles, “As It Was”

Favorite music video

Taylor Swift, “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)”

Favorite male country artist

Morgan Wallen

Favorite female country artist

Taylor Swift

Favorite country group or duo

Dan & Shay

Favorite male hip-hop artist

Kendrick Lamar

Favorite female hip-hop artist

Nicki Minaj

Favorite hip-hop song

Future ft. Drake & Tems, “Wait For U”

Favorite male R&B artist

Chris Brown

Favorite female R&B artist

Beyoncé

Favorite rock artist

Machine Gun Kelly

Favorite rock song

Måneskin, “Beggin’

Favorite male Latin artist

Bad Bunny

Favorite female Latin artist

Anitta

Favorite Afrobeats Artist

Wizkid

Favorite K-pop artist

BTS

Other non-televised Favorite winners:

Dance/electronic artist: Marshmello

Gospel artist: Tamela Mann

Inspirational artist: for KING & COUNTRY

Latin duo or group: Yahritza Y Su Esencia

Touring artist: Coldplay

Country album: Taylor Swift “Red (Taylor’s Version)”

Hip-hop album: Kendrick Lamar “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers”

Latin album: Bad Bunny “Un Verano Sin Ti”

R&B album: Beyoncé “Renaissance”

Rock album: Ghost “Impera”

Soundtrack: “ELVIS”

Country song: Morgan Wallen “Wasted On You”

Latin song: Sebastián Yatra “Dos Oruguitas”

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter

Source: CNN

Pelosi Resigns, Vacates Democratic Party Leadership

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her abdication as Democratic Party leader after nearly 20 years in the job.

She announced after Republicans narrowly won control of the Lower House. In the meantime, the Democratic Party seizes control of the Senate. As a result, different parties direct each house. Nancy functioned as a courageous symbol of female political leadership. Pelosi, on the other hand, confirmed her possible resignation in 2018. When she was elected speaker, she told the Democratic Party that she would step aside in 2022.

With Pelosi gone, many Democrats began a frenzy of suppositions about a potential successor. According to sources, party members are expected to vote for New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries. The Democrats, however, will cast ballots on it at the end of the month. Pelosi kept quiet when asked who she would vote for. On the other hand, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn endorsed Jeffries. Following Pelosi, the two leaders also confirmed their resignations.

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The Pelosi successor

“If she steps aside, I’m very clear that Hakeem Jeffries is the person I will be voting for and leading the Congressional Black Caucus to vote for. Of course, I don’t always speak for everybody. Still, I’m very comfortable saying I believe that every member of the Congressional Black Caucus would vote for Hakeem Jeffries,” said Ohio representative Joyce Beatty.

“Nonetheless, a great deal is at stake because we’ll be in a presidential election. So my decision will again be rooted in the wishes of my family and the wishes of my caucus. But none of it will be very much considered until we see the outcome of all of this. And there are all kinds of ways to exert influence,” she added.

On the other hand, Jeffries did not provide details about a possible Democratic leadership run. Instead, he stated that now was not the right time to respond. Instead, he argues that individuals should first honor Pelosi. Pelosi, as a leader, led and inspired many, including women striving to join the US political scene.

“Let’s spend the day at this moment continuing to process the historic nature of Speaker Pelosi and the opportunity that we’ve all had to serve with her. And it’s been an amazing experience,” Jeffries said.

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A strong force in US politics

Pelosi made a variety of changes in US politics. In 2007, she took the gavel while standing on the podium surrounded by children. During her tenure, Pelosi emphasized progressive legislation on child care, climate change, and health care. Pelosi vigorously championed these policies for a child to live in a better world.

“I’ve been elected for 26 years. I’ve been doing this for a while. I believe she has been the most effective speaker and leader the House of Representatives has ever had. To me, every moment has been a blessing and an honor to serve with her,” said Tony Cardenas.

“Because of Nancy Pelosi, the lives of millions and millions of Americans are better, even in districts represented by Republicans who voted against her bills and too often vilified her. That’s Nancy — always working for the dignity of all of the people,” wrote a White House statement.

Photo Credit: Anna Moneymaker

Source: CNN

New York Authorities on Alert as Thundersnow Looms Over the Region

As the holiday season draws near, New York weather bureaus monitor a rare thundersnow unfolding over Western New York.

Weather experts now refer to it as ‘thundersnow.’ It is fully liable for much of the heavy snowfall that has gone down in several parts of New York over the past few days. Experts estimate that the ‘snowy thunderstorm’ will bury several areas of the region in snow. They also included thunderstorms, which are prevalent in the spring and summer. However, they are rarely observed in the winter. However, New Yorkers can expect cooler weather and more snow than usual with its emergence.

“Two intense plumes of lake effect snow with snowfall rates of at least 3 inches per hour will continue northeast of [Lake Erie and Lake Ontario] through tonight. In addition, periodic thundersnow will remain possible near the lakes through tonight, as well as areas of blowing snow with winds gusting to 35 mph,” said the National Weather Service office in Buffalo after almost 3 feet of snow buried Orchard Park in New York.

“Wind direction is a key component in determining which areas will receive lake-effect snow. For example, heavy snow may be falling in one location, while the sun may be shining just a mile or two away in either direction,” the weather service added.

Read Also: Russia Will Continue Black Sea Wheat Export

New York will receive more snow

The National Weather Service has posted a list of overall snowfall in New York over the previous 48 hours:

  • Orchard Park, NY: 42.5″
  • Hamburg, NY: 37″
  • Blasdell: 31.0″
  • Wales: 26.3″
  • Angola: 22.0″
  • South Buffalo: 19.5″
  • Buffalo Airport, NY: 12.9″

As more snow falls, district officials urge citizens to remain calm. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said his government is prepared for the effects of heavy snowfall in the area. According to the mayor, Western Buffalo has already received nearly 20 inches of snow. So he advised residents to stay at home and avoid driving to avoid accidents.

“After consulting with @MayorByronBrown, a TRAVEL BAN is being reinstituted for the City of Buffalo from William Street downtown to the Town of Cheektowaga line and everything south. Please do not drive in or into this area. Conditions have deteriorated very quickly,” tweeted Erie Country Executive Mark Poloncarz.

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Postponement and cancellations

As more snow fell on Buffalo, many agencies and organizations confirmed cancelations or postponement of their scheduled events. Some examples are as follows:

  • Travel advisories announced a ban on commercial traffics on several roads across the region, with some bans replaced by authorities on Friday.
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport canceled many flights in and out of the state as inches of snow fell on the ports.
  • The Buffalo Bills will not meet the Cleveland Browns near the state. Instead, the NFL will move the Sunday match to Detroit.
  • Public schools in Buffalo announce the cancellation of classes across all grade levels. The administration also dismissed remote instruction to help families brace against the heavy snowfall.

Photo Credit: John Normile

Source: CNN

Russia Will Continue Black Sea Wheat Export

According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Russia chose to lengthen the Black Sea Grain Agreement.

Russian Foreign Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov earlier hinted that Russia would not extend the UN-brokered pact. Hence, several stakeholders became anxious about its likely termination. However, Ukraine and other partners must maintain the agreement’s provisions. Otherwise, Russia will stop collaborating with Ukraine on the grain agreement.

The combined wheat exports of Russia and Ukraine account for one-third of global supplies. If the nations vote to terminate the agreement, prices will skyrocket. Moreover, dependent countries will face supply shortages. Other countries fear the possibility because of high rates of inflation in their respective countries.

“I welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative. To facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine. The initiative demonstrates the importance of discreet diplomacy in finding multilateral solutions,” said Guterres.

Without the renewal, the transaction will expire on Saturday. However, under the revised terms, Ukraine and Russia will continue to fund export operations for an additional 120 days. Russia withdrew from the agreement a few weeks earlier in response to reported attacks on its Black Sea Fleet.

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Russia abandoned the agreement before

The Russian ministry issued a statement months ago. He said the act purportedly done by Ukraine is an act of terrorism. The minister further explained that Russia withdrew from the agreement because he learned that Ukraine participated on the attack of its Black Sea Fleet.

Russia insisted that Ukraine assaulted its Black Sea fleet. On the other hand, Ukraine dismissed the allegations thrown by Russia. Meanwhile, the UN reacted and responded quickly to the emergency. Other analysts forecast a significant surge in world wheat prices if Russia withdraws altogether from the agreement. As a result, the United Nations appealed to Russia.

“We’ve seen the reports from the Russian Federation regarding the suspension of their participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative following an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet. We are in touch with the Russian authorities on this matter,” said the UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

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Keeping the provisions

Lavrov expressed doubts about the deal’s continuation. In an interview, he claims Ukraine is using the export agreement to transfer guns and for military purposes. Furthermore, he does not want the UN to interfere with Russia’s exports. If the UN honors its pledge, Russia will be happy to work with the countries to complete the deal.

The minister said that Guterres assured him that the UN will cooperate. He added the UN must not sanction any grain or fertilizer supply coming out of the country. Also included in the terms is the entry of Russian ships to ports in Europe and vice versa.

Photo Credit: Mehmet Emin Calsikan

Source: CNN

Trump will Run for President in 2024

Donald Trump, a former president of the United States, declared he will run for president in 2024 and seek the Republican Party’s nomination.

This past Tuesday, Trump declared in the presence of his advisors, allies, and key figures. He gave a speech in which he established himself as one of the top candidates to be the Republican Party’s nominee for president. The former top official denied rumors that he will face other nomination rivals in the upcoming months. Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has been the subject of discussions about a potential nomination. Trump, though, remains optimistic that he will gain the appointment from the party.

“In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” Trump said.

He continued by saying that if the Republicans want to win the presidency in the upcoming presidential elections, they must nominate him. The revelation comes in the wake of the GOP’s disappointing election results, which saw the Democratic Party gain control of several key states. In addition, the Democrats took over the Senate after winning Nevada. However, as they go closer to a majority, the Republicans aim to take the House. However, this is hardly the kind of electoral triumph they envisioned.

“Anyone who truly seeks to take on this rigged and corrupt system will be faced with a storm of fire that only a few could understand. I have no doubt that by 2024, it will sadly be much worse, and they will see clearly what has happened and is happening to our country – and the voting will be much different,” he added.

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Trump making the first move

Trump announced his intention to run for president in 2024 before any other politician. Experts predict that Trump’s declaration will give him an edge over possible opponents who intend to run for president. Additionally, it will help Trump position himself in the eyes of wealthy contributors. While the DOJ is looking into the riots on January 6, Trump is still dealing with legal issues. As Trump pursues the party’s candidacy, this may become an issue.

Mike Pence is another opponent who may challenge Trump. Pence already has a solid reputation in politics due to his experience as the previous vice president of the United States. With Trump around, Pence could find it challenging to win over Trump’s supporters. Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, might challenge Trump for the nomination as well. Many Republicans gained confidence in DeSantis’ appeal and impact after the midterm elections, pleasing them by supporting them during the midterm elections.

Read Also: UK’s Inflation Rate Worsens, the Highest in 41 Years

Preparing for the 2024 elections

Trump made plans for a White House comeback after his crushing loss in 2021. He invested a lot of his resources in this situation. The former president formed alliances with other politicians and gained supporters, eventually leading to a presidential campaign.

The road to winning the presidency will be difficult, though. Trump has some campaign-related concerns to handle, including litigation and investigations. He also encounters opposition as he contends that the 2020 elections were fraudulent.

Photo Credit: Alon Skuy

Source: CNN

Thanksgiving Might be a Costly Celebration as Prices Hike

As each home prepares for an expensive holiday like Thanksgiving, inflation stresses many American households, especially this year.

In the US, Thanksgiving marks a historical remembrance celebrated by many households. Several meals, most notably turkey, are prepared in many homes that host the event. But compared to the previous year, the cost of wholesale turkey increased by 23%. So, purchasing a turkey necessitates allocating a considerable portion of the holiday spending budget. A price rise was also seen for potatoes and cranberries.

Many factors cause price increases for many marketable commodities, like climate change, declining labor, and rising energy prices. These, in turn, impact crop harvesting and animal health, and as a result, the cost of groceries has grown 12.4% since last year, according to the Labor Department.

As of right now, the US inflation rate is 7.7%. Given the pace of price rises, the head economist at Wells Fargo, Michael Swanson, forecasts that households will reduce their Thanksgiving spending. Swanson said that many customers would shop at supermarkets with lower costs for their groceries. Only a select handful, he claims, will make significant food purchases for the holidays.

Read Also: Jezz Bezos will Donate Most of His Wealth to Global Causes

Traveling for Thanksgiving

For family members who want to fly to visit their distant relatives for Thanksgiving, the process isn’t becoming any smoother. Over the past month, airline prices have increased dramatically. In October, airfares increased 43% over the previous year, according to data. Nevertheless, despite the rise, many people still opt to purchase holiday travel plans. For instance, three of the biggest airline firms in the US anticipate fully booked flights throughout the holiday season despite sharply increased ticket rates.

“We are seeing a lot of strength for the holidays or approaching the Thanksgiving period, and our bookings are incredibly strong. However, the bookings are a little bit different this year, and they’re more spread out across multiple days than they were on any single day,” said Andrew Nocella, the chief commercial officer of United Airlines.

“Travelers are resilient. Thanksgiving and Christmas travel to see the family is considered essential by many, and something they won’t compromise on, even when there are higher prices,” said Haley Berg, a lead economist from Hopper, a traveling app.

“Keep in mind that in November and December of last year, we had the delta and omicron waves of COVID, which caused mass cancellations and many travelers to change their plans at the last minute. There’s been a relief on the supply side. Car rental companies [have been] bulking up the number of cars they have available,” she added.

Read Also: Twitter Bankruptcy Might be a Better Choice

Post-holiday debt problems

Many people use various financial methods to cover their holiday costs. While others use credit cards, some people pay for their expenses out of savings. Ted Rossman, however, anticipates that after the holidays, consumers will accumulate unpaid debt, particularly in light of the Federal Reserve’s recent rate increases, which have been more rapid than in any year over the previous ten years.

“The most important point for consumers is: your [credit card interest] rate is way up. It’s probably going to go up more. So it’s more important than ever to pay down this debt. I think there’s going to be a lot of post-holiday debt hangovers. A lot of sticker shock in January, unfortunately,” added Rossman.

Photo Credit: LoveToKnow

Source: NPR

 

Jezz Bezos will Donate Most of His Wealth to Global Causes

Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s wealthiest people, plans to donate his fortune to charity during his lifetime. Lauren Sanchez, his partner, agrees and supports the choice.

According to the Amazon founder, Bezos plans to invest most of his $124 billion yearly net worth in worthwhile projects. He stated that he would use his fortune to combat climate change and assist those who serve the community politically and socially. The news comes after Bezos faced public outcry for declining to join Giving Pledge. The organization serves as a channel for the world’s wealthiest individuals to donate a portion of their money to philanthropic causes.

Bezos said in an interview that when he and his partner began dating three years ago, they already had efforts to construct the Bezos Courage and Civility Award. Dolly Parton got the honor this year, receiving $100 million. Parton is the third award recipient, following chef Jose Andres and CNN climate activist Van Jones.

“When you think of Dolly. Look, everyone smiles, right? She is just beaming with light. And all she wants to do is bring light into other people’s worlds. And so we couldn’t have thought of someone better than to give this award to Dolly, and we know she’s going to do amazing things with it,” Sanchez said.

Read Also: Twitter Bankruptcy Might be a Better Choice

Bezos acknowledging Parton

Bezos stated that the Courage and Civility Award serves as a reminder of those who go above and beyond to serve the community. Over a decade, Parton gave her money to several causes and charities. Parton, for example, donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to assist with vaccination research.

“I felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help heal this world. I’m a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic,” she said at the time.

Furthermore, in 1998, she established the Dollywood Foundation to assist children worldwide. She later introduced The Imagination Library to help youngsters have access to literature. She also handed $15,000 in scholarships to college students through the Dolly Parton Scholarship. Parton used the initiative to reach out to people who couldn’t afford a college education. Bezos and Sanchez saw Parton’s desire to serve others. As a result, they decided to honor the artist with the Courage and Civility Award.

“Jeff [Bezos] and I are so proud to share that we have a new Bezos Courage and Civility Award winner — a woman who gives with her heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work,” wrote Sanchez in an Instagram post.

“I try to put my money where my heart is. I will do my best to do good things with this money. Thank you @JeffBezos #LaurenSanchez,” answered Parton in a Tweet.

Read Also: Twitter Executives Abandons Posts Following Mass Terminations

Dividing the donation money

Bezos and Sanchez must still agree on how much money they will donate to charities.

“The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way. It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work and a bunch of very smart teammates, hard-working teammates, and I’m finding — and I think Lauren is finding the same thing — that charity and philanthropy are very similar. There are a bunch of ways that I think you could do ineffective things, too. So you have to think about it carefully, and you have to have brilliant people on the team,” he said.

Photo Credit: Gareth Cattermole

Source: CNN

Elon Musk Temporarily Rescinds from Launching Blue Check Plan

After the midterm elections, new Twitter CEO Elon Musk promised to reinstate the paid Twitter Blue subscription plan.

Twitter announced the delay a day after the company unveiled its iOS app, which enables users to get the blue checkmark on their profiles by subscribing to a monthly plan. According to Twitter’s new owner Elon, the system stops the spread of spam accounts on the website. Before Musk purchased the company, users had warned about the risks of spam and bot accounts.

“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” said the CEO.

“Previously, we issued a warning before the suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning. Any name change will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark,” Elon added.

Elon deferred it after the feature was supposed to go live because of this week’s midterm elections. Aside from the polls, a significant backlash from the general public forced the company to reschedule the rollout of the new feature.

The product team manager at Twitter wrote, “The new Blue isn’t live yet — the sprint to our launch continues, but some folks may see us making updates because we are testing and pushing changes in real time. The Twitter team is legendary. New Blue, coming soon!”

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Trolling Elon

Many criticized the idea of charging for a blue checkmark on Twitter and stated their opposition. Ironically, as Elon did, well-known people with large followings demonstrated this by altering their Twitter handle and profile picture. For instance, Sarah Silverman, a comedian, used Elon’s profile picture as her own on her verified Twitter account.

She tweeted, “I am a freedom of speech absolutist, and I eat doody for breakfast every day.”

Following the stunt, Twitter suspended Silverman’s account was briefly; as a result, she went back to using her original name and photo. In addition, actress Valerie Bertinelli morphed her account to look like Musk in a similar effort.

“The blue checkmark simply meant your identity was verified. So scammers would have a harder time impersonating you. That no longer applies. Good luck out there! [Y]ou can buy a blue check mark for $7.99 a month without verifying who you are,” she tweeted.

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Cutting Twitter’s workforce

Another conundrum Twitter faces cutting off nearly half of its workforce. As a result, Twitter plans to reduce costs, according to Elon, who claims that the company loses over $4 million every day needlessly. In addition, many believe Elon will be able to make more money for the business due to the monthly blue check subscription. However, the CEO claimed to have another reason for the verification feature.

“Far too many legacies ‘verified’ checkmarks were handed out, often arbitrarily, so in reality, they are not verified. With a Google search, you can buy as many as you want. Piggybacking off payment system plus Apple/Android is a much better way to ensure verification,” he said.

Photo Credit: Matt Rourke

Source: CNN

Twitter Executives Abandons Posts Following Mass Terminations

Only a few days after Elon Musk dismissed hundreds of employees from Twitter, the company’s senior executives announced their resignations.

The organization’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Lea Kissner, declared she would step down on Thursday. The role, which has since been filled, was one of the most critical parts of the business, especially now that Twitter is dealing with many security and privacy issues.

Elon Musk, Twitter’s newest CEO and owner, is also under public scrutiny for some hasty managerial choices. She remained silent about her decision to resign from her position as CISO.

“I’ve made the hard decision to leave Twitter. I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing people, and I’m proud of the privacy, security, and IT teams and our work. I’m looking forward to figuring out what’s next,” Kissner wrote.

Read Also: Democrat Maxwell Frost is the First GenZ Member to Win Congressional Seat

More Twitter resignation

Meanwhile, reports claim that Yoel Roth, the director of integrity and safety, also decided to leave his position. Regarding the adjustments Twitter had to make once Elon became the new owner, Roth has regularly communicated with investors and other stakeholders. He spoke about how Twitter manages damaging data posted to the site during an appearance alongside Musk at a Twitter Spaces conference on Wednesday.

“Verification! Impersonation! Twitter Blue! There’s a lot going on around identity on Twitter — let’s break down what our policies are, and some of the big questions we still need to answer,” he wrote.

“First, impersonation has always been banned on Twitter. Misleading profiles make Twitter worse for everyone. Last year, we banned more than half a million accounts for impersonating people and brands.”

“When Verified accounts use impersonation as a tactic — whether for parody or not — it creates an especially confusing experience. It’s been our long-standing practice to suspend Verified users when they do this.”

“The planned changes to Twitter Blue to make Verification more widely available raise the stakes for this impersonation. Here’s what we’re going to do about it:”

“In the short term, we’ll ramp up a proactive review of Blue Verified accounts that show signs of impersonating another user. When we find them, we’ll suspend them. See something that looks off? You can report it directly in the app.”

“Long-term, we need to invest more in identity verification to complement proof-of-humanness. Paid Verification is a strong (not perfect) signal of humanness, which helps fight bots and spam. But that’s not the same thing as identity verification.”

Read Also: Elon Musk Temporarily Rescinds from Launching Blue Check Plan

FTC making its move

The head of Musk’s legal team, Alex Spiro, stated that the FTC and his team are often in communication. He stressed that Twitter would try its utmost to adhere to legal standards. But a source overheard Spiro mentioning how Musk is unfazed by the FTC. On the other hand, an FTC spokesperson claimed that the agency follows any activity from Twitter “with deep concern.”

“No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees. Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we are prepared to use them,” the spokesperson added.

Photo Credit: Jakub Porzycki

Source: CNN

Democrat Maxwell Frost is the First GenZ Member to Win Congressional Seat

Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a Democratic candidate, became the first member of Generation Z to snatch a seat in Congress.

The 25-year-old Afro-American won a Congressional seat in Florida’s 10th Congressional District by besting Republican Calvin Wimbish, 72. Frost claims that when the news about his win spread, the US President Joe Biden called him to congratulate him. Furthermore, given Frost’s age, the two discussed how monumental the feat is. At 29, the US president entered politics and became a Senator.

“He asked me if it was the same situation. I said, ‘No, Mr. President, you had me beat on that. I’m already old enough to be sworn in on January 3.’ So, it was great to talk with him. You know, he was elected at a very young age, too, so he understands that experience,” Frost said.

The candidate for representative focused his campaign on combating gun violence. Following a spate of mass shootings across the country, this made waves among Floridians. Frost stated in an interview that he intends to pass the universal background check bill as a protective measure against irresponsible gun sales.

In a Tweet, he wrote, “WE WON! We made history for Floridians, for Gen Z, and for everyone who believes we deserve a better future. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to represent my home in the United States Congress.”

Read Also: Elon Musk Temporarily Rescinds from Launching Blue Check Plan

Frost taking a few steps forward

People in their 58s are the most likely to run for a significant public office. To run for the US House, one must be at least 25 years old, 30 for the US Senate, and 35 for the presidential race, according to federal laws. Frost manages to obtain a seat and make history for the GenZs while standing at the front of the line. The Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as people born between 1997 and 2012.

And, while the law allows 25-year-olds to run for the House of Representatives, only a few do. For many, running at a younger age proves a more complex situation. On the other hand, Frost withstood the odds and took a chance. Frost embodies the Afro-Cuban community more than his age, as he serves as the first member of the community elected to Congress.

Read Also: Republicans and Democrats in Tight Race to Gain Control

Serving the people

Frost, born on January 17, 1997, grew up experiencing abuse and violence. His mother is Puerto Rican, and his father is from Haiti.

He said, his community became “ravaged by gun violence. And I’ve experienced how working people and people of color are unjustly marginalized and left behind in our society.”

As he grew older, his background pushed him to fight against gun violence. Frost became a gun control activist following the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting. When Barack Obama ran for president in 2012, he campaigned for him He is the national organizing director for March for Our Lives.

Many politicians, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, and Rev. Jesse Jackson, have expressed their admiration and support for him. The Congressional Progressive Caucus also backed him.

Photo Credit: Stephen M. Dowell

Source: CNBC

Twitter Bankruptcy Might be a Better Choice

Elon Musk stated that Twitter might go bankrupt due to many changes within the firm, including the firing and departure of key people.

Before Musk’s takeover, social media competitors such as Facebook and TikTok overwhelmed Twitter’s advertising income. As a result, the company’s earnings are sluggish and irregular compared to other firms. However, the possibility of Twitter going bankrupt is only sometimes acknowledged by many, including business leaders. However, now that Musk owns Twitter, he expresses concern about the company’s decline.

Musk paid $44 billion for the firm. However, after obtaining Twitter, the new CEO faced various obstacles, including repaying a $13 million debt. Musk faces a substantial liability because the debt exceeds seven times the company’s income in 2022.

Read Also: Twitter Executives Abandons Posts Following Mass Terminations

Twitter ceasing its operations

According to Andy Wu of Harvard Business School, Musk may be compelled to declare bankruptcy for various reasons. Musk must first address Twitter’s debt and yearly payments. If Musk and other investors believe Twitter will not generate any money, declaring bankruptcy may be a more plausible option for them.

“It’s hypothetically possible that he could use more of his Tesla stock to bail out Twitter or turn to his cadre of co-investors, who would probably have no trouble finding the money. So the saying, ‘if you owe the bank $100, that’s your problem, but if you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem’ might apply here,” Wu explained.

“Bankruptcy would also allow Musk to refinance the debt, making the company more financially stable. But, in addition to potential financial returns, I sense that Musk and his co-investors are ideologically driven, that values really drive them,” he added.

Wedbush Securities, an investment group, believes Musk overpaid for Twitter. The company’s social networking platform is only worth $25 billion. As a result, Wedbush Securities described Musk’s acquisition of Twitter as “one of the most overpaid tech acquisitions in history.” Wedbush Securities also stated that filing for bankruptcy would allow Musk to restructure the company’s debt more advantageously.

Read Also: Democrat Maxwell Frost is the First GenZ Member to Win Congressional Seat

Losing more revenue

Many questioned Twitter’s long-term sustainability as a business. Musk claims that the corporation loses roughly $3 million every day. As a result, he chose to lay off around 11,000 staff. Furthermore, the bearish attitude of investors about investing in internet advertising led other businesses to slash costs. For example, Meta laid off 11,000 employees, while Snap cut off 20% of its workforce.

Musk recognized another method to create revenue: Twitter Blue. This function allows users to get a Blue Checkmark for $8 per month. However, celebrities and ordinary individuals received it with condemnation. Some even went so far as to duplicate Musk’s profile to convey their concern about anyone obtaining the blue mark for a fee.

“Eight dollars is not cost-prohibitive for scammers. So it is essential that Twitter figures out this whole official or not issue,” said Rache Tobac from Social Proof Security.

“Right now, we have people making jokes, impersonating the president, impersonating Nintendo, and Elon Musk is laughing at those jokes because he thinks they’re funny right now. What’s not going to be funny is someone impersonating an election official. And meddling and causing interference with the election results,” she added.

Photo Credit: Jeff Chiu

Source: NPR

Republicans and Democrats in Tight Race to Gain Control

As the nation readies for the midterm elections this Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans make their final-ditch efforts to influence voters.

US President Joe Biden struck Republicans in a speech last week. He also supports the Democratic party’s call for peaceful and “democratic” midterm elections. He accuses former President Donald Trump of endangering the nation’s democracy. Republicans, meanwhile, responded by rapping about how the other party was to blame for the nation’s rising crime and inflation.

Over the weekend, four US presidents visited various states to advocate for their respective political parties. Bill Clinton, president Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Barack Obama all participated in the campaign. They all want to advance the positions of the parties to which they belong. For instance, former president Trump traveled to Ohio and urged Republicans to support J.D. Vance for the Senate. Experts view Trump’s campaign trail as a prelude to his 2024 White House bid. Trump said voters should “elect an incredible slate of true MAGA warriors to Congress.”

In the meantime, Biden spent his weekend in Pennsylvania with Obama, underscoring the concerns of Trump and the Republicans. Biden talked about the Republican’s role in the upheaval at the US Capitol and the assault on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul.

“Democracy is literally on the ballot. So this is a defining moment for the nation. And we all must speak with one voice regardless of our party. There’s no place in America for political violence,” said President Biden.

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A last chance for the Democrats and Republicans

Democratic candidates intend to stand their ground in states like New York, Washington, and Oregon. Republicans make efforts to retake the Senate, and they only need to gain five seats. So the parties must influence voters in swing states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona. Winning these states could tip the election in that party’s favor. According to current polls, there is a 50/50 chance that the Republicans or the Democrats will win control of the Senate.

Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, predicted that her party would take control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. She emphasized what she perceived as Biden’s inaction on the nation’s economic problems.

“Here’s where the Democrats are: they’re inflation deniers, crime deniers, education deniers,” McDaniel said.

“Look, they’re all about the wealthier getting wealthy. And the wealthier stay wealthy. The middle class gets stiffed. The poor get poorer under their policy,” Biden warned in a speech.

Read Also: Black Voters are Pivotal in the Midterm Elections says Experts

To take the risk

Biden and Obama make one final effort to support Democratic candidate John Fetterman in the Pennsylvania Senate race as the campaign period ends. The state is where the Democrats have the best chance of capturing a seat currently held by the GOP. However, in Arizona and Nevada, where they still have a 50% chance of winning the seat, the Democrats are confronted with a different issue. Republicans will take control of the Senate with a majority if they win seats in both states.

“I know the average election rally is just ‘whoop dee doo do vote for me,’ but your life is on the line. For young people in the audience, your life is on the line,” said Bill Clinton.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Source: CNN

AirAsia Earns More than Expected Amid Economic Uncertainty

Despite the economic downturn, AirAsia X’s revenue has grown. According to aviation experts, “strong demand” influences a positive aviation outlook.

“We’re looking to add 20 more aircraft to the fleet for the first time in a long, long time, even before Covid,” said Tony Fernandes, the CEO of Capital A, the parent company of AirAsia.

“In AirAsia, we have 205 aircraft, and in AirAsia X, we have about 20 aircraft. So getting slots and getting them ready for service has been a big challenge.”

Fernandes stepped down as CEO of AirAsia this week. Despite the market’s bad reactions, the company pushed through and earned more than anticipated. AirAsia X is the airline’s low-cost service. Shares dropped at the end of October after the former CEO left the service. Nonetheless, the company outperformed expectations by 5%.

“Unfortunately, whatever I do gets blown out of proportion. I went in there [AirAsia X] for a short period … I just went in there to kickstart an airline that would have been heavily restructured and was in hibernation,” Fernandes added.

Read Also: Biden says He Wants a Peaceful Midterm Elections

AirAsia operating under Capital A

Bursa Malaysia regard AirAsia as PN17. This indicates that the firm is currently experiencing financial woes. However, with the recent report, company management is confident they will be able to exit PN17 soon.

“I think we’re coming out of PN17. While I was very against it, I thought it was harsh to put us into PN17. We’ve turned a negative into a positive. My job now is to ensure we deliver profitability, good cash flow growth, have the right funding on all of these, and from where we were. The sky looks really good,” the Capital A CEO added.

Fernandes, who left AirAsia to oversee Capital A, stated that he would concentrate on the overall business. He stated that he is trying to discover Capital A’s true value.

Read Also: Russia Resumes Participation in Grain Export Deal

Boosted by e-commerce

“I’ve been through many economic slowdowns, and people will go to the best-value operator,” said Fernandes.

The pandemic accelerated the growth of e-commerce. Fernandes is also responsible for the company’s e-commerce operations. He believes that e-commerce is here to stay.

Capital A intends to expand its offerings in the future. For example, plans have already been laid out for its engineering firm, Asia Digital Engineering, and its restaurant brand, Santan. Capital A also plans to expand its consulting division. Following the report, Fernandes became more confident that AirAsia X will continue to perform well, given its current services and cost structure.

Photo Credit: AirAsia

Source: CNBC

Biden says He Wants a Peaceful Midterm Elections

With the upcoming midterm elections just around the corner, United States President Joe Biden implored the populace.

In the opinion of the senior official, the outcome of the upcoming elections will influence the future of democracy. He issued a strong warning to the nation’s electorate six days before the election. The Democratic Party, which the incumbent president belongs to, was alarmed when many people declared their non-participation in the midterm elections. It would become a challenging issue for the president, and his party should the odds shift in favor of the Republicans.

“We can’t take democracy for granted any longer. Yet, as I stand here today, candidates are running for every level of office in America – for governor, for Congress, for attorney general, for secretary of state who won’t commit to accepting the results of the elections they’re in. That is the path to chaos in America. It’s unprecedented. And it’s unlawful. And it is un-American,” Biden said.

Read Also: Russia Resumes Participation in Grain Export Deal 

Biden blames Trump

Trump supporters raised numerous issues regarding the results of the presidential election, in which Biden defeated Trump. But according to Biden, the web of lies that Trump’s relentless advertising of the theory that the ruling party rigged the elections has sparked threats to democracy.

“This intimidation, this violence against Democrats, Republicans and non-partisan officials just doing their jobs, is the consequence of lies told for power and profit, lies of conspiracy and malice, lies repeated over and over to generate a cycle of anger, hate, vitriol and even violence,” Biden added.

“At this moment, we must confront those lies with the truth. The very future of our nation depends on it. American democracy is under attack because the defeated former president refuses to accept the will of the people,” he said.

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Ending violence

The focus of Biden’s speech was on his calls to put an end to violence. The Democratic National Committee sponsored the event, which also affirmed the president’s call for nonviolence. Furthermore, should the Democratic Party defeat the Republicans in the congressional elections, they pledged to the public that they would boost the nation’s financial climate.

Additionally, Biden based his speech on the recent altercation involving Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi. According to sources, the attacker allegedly committed the crime because he thought Biden sabotaged the most recent national elections. Biden emphasized the need to forgo violence and turn to a calm, orderly election.

“I believe the voices excusing or calling for violence and intimidation are a distinct minority in America. But they’re loud, and they are determined,” Biden said.

Supporters of Biden lauded the president for raising the issue. The president’s advisers contend that Biden’s public mention of the incident plays a crucial part in the Democratic Party’s push for dialogue on democracy. The nation’s security and democracy were critical points in Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. In light of this, Biden bringing it up before the midterm elections would encourage supporters.

“How can you say that you care about democracy when you deny the existence of a win? The only way you could win is either you win or the other guy cheated. This has not happened since the Civil War. It sounds like hyperbole, but it hadn’t happened since then, as bad as it is now,” Biden said at an event in Florida.

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon

Source: CNN

Russia Resumes Participation in Grain Export Deal

Russia declared that it would continue to participate in the Black Sea Grain export agreement, sending a positive message to nations.

The Russian government claims that Putin decided to reopen the negotiations because Ukraine pledged not to militarize the maritime agreement. The export of grains is essential for the global community. Numerous nations rely heavily on Russian and Ukrainian grain exports. A third of the world’s grain supply is made up of the exports of the two countries combined. Therefore, experts predicted prices would soar as soon as Russia announced it would no longer support the deal.

“Taking into account the act of terrorism committed by the Kyiv regime with the participation of British experts on October 29 this year against the ships of the Black Sea Fleet and civil vessels involved in the security of the ‘grain corridor,’ the Russian side suspends its participation in the implementation of the agreements on the export of agricultural products from the Ukrainian ports,” the Russian defense ministry said a while back.

Nevertheless, after being pressed for days by the international community, Russia bowed to continue to support the agreement. The nations initially drafted the agreement to address global food shortages and cap the price of wheat and rice.

“Thanks to the participation of an international organization, as well as the assistance of Turkey, it was possible to obtain the necessary written guarantees from Ukraine on the non-use of the humanitarian corridor and Ukrainian ports designated for the export of agricultural products for conducting military operations against the Russian Federation,” the Russian defense said in a statement.

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To pressure Russia

Following Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement, the United Nations directly appealed to Russia. But, unfortunately, the country’s decreased exports will cause yet another global catastrophe.

“We’ve seen the reports from the Russian Federation regarding the suspension of their participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative following an attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet. We are in touch with the Russian authorities on this matter,” announced UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

Meanwhile, Ukraine and Russia had discussions aimed at reviving the export agreement. Numerous nations hoped for a solution, and the efforts successfully produced outcomes.

“The Ukrainian side officially assured that the maritime humanitarian corridor will be used only in accordance with the provisions of the Black Sea Initiative,” the Russian Defense Ministry added.

“The Russian Federation considers that the guarantees received at the moment seem sufficient and resumes the implementation of the agreement – the Initiative for the safe transportation of grain and food from the ports of Ukraine (the “Black Sea Initiative”), suspended after the terrorist attack in Sevastopol.”

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‘Blackmailing’ the country

Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential adviser, addressed the concerns about Russia’s continued participation in the agreement. According to him, the country resumed the grain export agreement because they had another goal in mind. And not because the Russian government caved into the “blackmail” attempts against them.

“One way or another, Russia, embarrassed, returned to the grain initiative. Because it suddenly turned out that the grain corridor would work. And even without the Kremlin’s participation. This says only one thing: Russia is always inferior to those who are stronger, those who know how to take a blow, those who argue their position strongly,” he said.

Photo Credit: Gavriil Grigorov

Source: CNBC

BP Beats Analysts’ Expectations in Third Quarter

British Petroleum (BP), an oil and gas company, reported strong third-quarter earnings due to high market demand and prices.

In September and the three months prior, the oil company reported an $8.2 billion replacement cost profit. BP earned $8.5 billion during the previous quarter. However, BP management anticipated lower profits as a result of the crisis. However, they were able to outperform forecasts and increase their earnings. Only about $3.3 billion in profits were generated by the company during the same period the previous year. Refinitiv analysts estimate that the company’s net profit will only be $6 billion.

The company also stated that due to $2.5 billion in share repurchases, its debt decreased from $22.8 billion to $22 billion. Additionally, the company saw a $2.2 billion net loss for the quarter. In the morning markets, shares of BP increased by 1% due to its recent upswing.

Read Also: Da Silva Triumphs Over Bolsonaro in Nail-Biting Polls

Headwinds for BP

The increase in gas prices was very beneficial for international oil companies. Due to Russia’s reductions in oil exports, market demand and oil prices have increased. For instance, BP, Exxon, Chevron, and TotalEnergies reported combined earnings of almost $50 billion. The current profits faced by massive oil companies have prompted many to call for higher oil taxes for businesses making record profits.

Joe Biden, the president of the United States, threatened to raise taxes if oil companies refused to cap or lower oil prices. However, organizations that support the oil industry claim that higher taxes would only result in less investment and higher oil prices.

“This quarter’s results reflect us continuing to perform while transforming. We remain focused on helping to solve the energy trilemma – secure, affordable and lower carbon energy. We are providing the oil and gas the world needs today – while at the same time – investing to accelerate the energy transition,” said Bernard Looner, the CEO of BP.

Read Also: Pelosi ‘Traumatized’ by Attack on her Husband

A necessity

Environmental organizations stepped up their calls for a tax on oil companies. In light of the economic crisis British citizens are experiencing, they explained, businesses must lower oil prices. The third quarter’s results only highlight the need for price reductions.

“The case for a bigger, bolder windfall tax is now overwhelming. This must address the ridiculous loophole that undermines the levy by enabling companies to pay the bare minimum if they invest in more planet-warming gas and oil projects,” explained Friends of the Earth campaigner Sana Yusuf.

“Some of the billions of pounds raised should be used to pay for a street-by-street home insulation program to cut energy bills and reduce emissions,” Yusuf said.

“A proper windfall tax on the profits of big polluters is no longer a far cry; it is now a necessity. But the new U.K. Government must also urgently put us on track for a rapid transition away from dirty fossil fuels and onto renewables and decent home insulation, so we can fix this broken energy system once and for all,” added Jonathan Noronha-Gant, a campaigner from Global Witness.

The BP CEO, however, maintained his position and stated, “We are facing a very difficult winter ahead in the U.K., in Europe and across the world. Our job is to pay our taxes; our job is to invest. We just announced a $4 billion acquisition in the United States last week in renewable natural gas, so that’s what our job is to do. We will continue to do that and do the very best that we can.”

Photo Credit:  Whitney Curtis

Source: CNBC

 

Da Silva Triumphs Over Bolsonaro in Nail-Biting Polls

In the Sunday polls, Luiz Inacio da Silva, also known as Lula, won successfully. As a result, he will take office as Brazil’s new president.

Bolsonaro’s bid for a second term ended when da Silva overtook him after months of intense campaigning. As a result, the left-leaning challenger was imprisoned, causing him to leave the political arena years ago. Da Silva defeated his rivals in the first round of the elections a few months ago. However, when he fell short of the required 50% plus votes, it came down to a fight between him and Bolsonaro.

The presidential election in the nation came down to the wire, with Lula winning 50.9% of the vote to Bolsonaro’s 49.1%. Many polls predicted a large lead for Lula. But because he was ahead in every poll, he could gain support as the election came to a close. On January 1, the newly elected president will formally assume the position.

Read Also: Pelosi ‘Traumatized’ by Attack on her Husband

A celebration for da Silva supporters

A 33-year-old supporter of the left-leaning challenger, Victor Costelo, expressed his joy at the election’s outcome. After declaring the victor in the official election results, Da Silva’s supporters flooded the streets. Supporters went out, dressed in red, to signify the color of his Workers’ Party. Costelo claimed it gave him hope because he believed in da Silva, and winning the election against an authoritarian presented a better option for the nation.

“I’m really happy. The next four years will be more hopeful for us,” he said.

Photo Credit: Diego Vara

Many of da Silva’s supporters lost hope after the preliminary results were announced, and the government decided to hold a second round. They anticipated better outcomes. Da Silva, however, only received less than 50%, which was insufficient if he wanted to win the presidency.

“We came here expecting to have a party, to get very happy, to have some beers. But now we are going home just to sleep and wait for the next four weeks to see how they go,” said a supporter.

Now that da Silva is finally taking the job, they rejoice. But unfortunately, despite a peaceful election, murders happened during the campaign. Bolsonaro supporters, in one incident, killed four da Silva supporters.

Read Also: Miss Universe Organization Investigates Miss USA After Reports From Candidates

World leaders congratulate the new president

The political career of Da Silva has been unpredictable. From 2003 to 2010, he was Brazil’s president, serving two terms. But after that, he spent 580 days in prison for graft. The courts’ cases against him were thrown out in 2019, giving him another chance to be the nation’s leader. He eventually won the support of a large number of people, particularly in the left wing. Leaders from around the world quickly congratulated Brazil’s new president.

“I send my congratulations to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on his election to be the next president of Brazil following free, fair, and credible elections. I look forward to working together to continue the cooperation between our two countries in the months and years ahead,” said United States President Joe Biden.

“The people of Brazil have spoken,” said Trudeau.

Photo Credit: Rodrigo Paiva

Source: NPR

Pelosi ‘Traumatized’ by Attack on her Husband

The police in San Francisco captured a man after violently attacking United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi.

The police discovered David DePape, 42, inside the Pelosi home around 2:30 AM. As the suspect confronted Mr. Pelosi, who was seen brandishing a hammer, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said they discovered the suspect carrying a hammer. DePape was planning to attack Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, according to the police.

“Our officers observed Mr. Pelosi and the suspect both holding a hammer. The suspect pulled the hammer away from Mr. Pelosi and violently assaulted him with it. So our officers immediately tackled the suspect, disarmed him, took him into custody, requested emergency backup and rendered medical aid,” said police Chief Officer Scott.

DePape went to the Pelosi home, according to the police, in search of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House. But all he got was Paul. “Where is Nancy?” the assailant asked Paul. But Paul remained silent, and at that point, the quarrel got physical. Following a skull fracture and injuries to his hands and right arm, Paul underwent immediate close observation. The doctors in charge of Paul’s procedure gave the public the thumbs-up. Fortunately, they expect a full recovery.

Read Also: Elon Musk is the New Owner of Twitter

Identifying the motive

DePape’s accusations include burglary, attempted murder, elder abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and others. The criminal suspect awaits trial in San Francisco County Jail. According to reports, they established no connections yet between DePape and Pelosi. The attacker seems oblivious about the house speaker’s whereabouts.

Pelosi was in Washington when the crime took place. However, it made her husband more open to attack without Pelosi and her security detail in her San Francisco home. Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s speaker, thanked the authorities for their urgent action and wished for privacy from the media. Meanwhile, the FBI, San Francisco Police, and the United States Capitol Police teamed up to investigate the incident.

The attacker’s ploy is only one of the tens of thousands of threats US lawmakers receive yearly. The US Capitol flags up over 4,000 threats every year. Due to more than 10,000 threats against government officials last year, the Capitol police established two brand-new offices, one in Florida and one in California.

Read Also: Miss Universe Organization Investigates Miss USA After Reports From Candidates

‘Brokenhearted’ says Pelosi

Using social media, the senior US official expressed her sorrow over the situation. Her complete quote is as follows:

“Sadly, a violent man broke into our family home yesterday morning, demanded to confront me and brutally attacked my husband, Paul. Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatized by the life-threatening attack on our Pop. So we are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving.”

“Please know that your prayers and warm wishes are a comfort to our family and helping Paul make progress with his recovery. His condition continues to improve.”

“We are also comforted by these words from the Book of Isaiah: “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

“We thank you for your prayers and warm wishes as well as the work you do to strengthen our Democracy.”

Photo Credit: Jemal Countess

Source: NPR

Elon Musk is the New Owner of Twitter

Now, Twitter is owned by Elon Musk. After several months of trepidation, the CEO of Tesla purchases the social media site for $44 billion.

Musk removed Parag Agrawal, the CEO of Twitter, and other company executives after the purchase. After declaring his intent to buy it last April, Musk tried to back out of the agreement. On Twitter, there are a colossal amount of bots, according to a whistleblower. So, Musk decided against buying it at first after learning this. As a result, he now controls one of the world’s most powerful social media platforms, despite his original plan being unsuccessful.

“This is not a way to make money. My strong intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is extremely important to the future of civilization,” Musk said a few months ago.

A trial was nearly initiated had Musk not purchased the business. Thanks to the acquisition agreement, Musk and Twitter, fortunately, avoided going to court. However, experts are concerned about how the new CEO will approach the company’s operations in light of Musk’s firing of Twitter executives. However, Musk claims he already has plans for the business. Further discussion of free speech and fewer restrictions is also included.

Musk, for instance, wishes to get rid of Twitter’s rule and permanently ban accounts that repeatedly break it. Sadly, this results in previously banned accounts reappearing. Additionally, the Tesla CEO plans to crack down on bots by allowing a system of one account per person.

Read Also: Miss Universe Organization Investigates Miss USA After Reports From Candidates

Musk wants to make changes

Elon initially told the public he wanted to buy Twitter to stop bots. Customers loved the concept.

“Elon, the next step is the bots. Please. We are begging you,” a user said.

“All user accounts need a verified human behind it, can be anonymous to the public, but required and verified by twitter behind the curtain. Rid this world of Bots and trolls!” another user tweeted.

“I am looking forward to tweeting and not having 50 bot replies within the first 10 seconds,” added another.

Musk expresses additional worries about spam bots and fake accounts. He claims that the existence of these phony accounts prompted him to acquire Twitter.

Read Also: The World Sees the Tunnel After Covid-19 Affected Lives, But Omicron is Still Mutating

The primary reason

Musk sent out a tweet to sponsors that read:

“I wanted to reach out personally to share my motivation in acquiring Twitter. There has been much speculation about why I bought Twitter and what I think about advertising. Most of it has been wrong.”

“The reason I acquired Twitter is that it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner without resorting to violence. There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right wing and far left-wing echo chambers that generate more hat and divide our society.”

“In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered to those polarized extremes, as they believe that is what brings in the money, but, in doing so, the opportunity for dialogue is lost.”

“That is why I bought Twitter. I didn’t do it because it would be easy. And I didn’t do it to make more money. I did it to try to help humanity, whom I love. And I do so with humility, recognizing that failure in pursuing this goal, despite our best efforts, is a very real responsibility.”

Photo Credit: Patrick Pleul/Twitter

Source: CNN

Miss Universe Organization Investigates Miss USA After Reports From Candidates

Following claims of a rigged October competition, the Miss Universe Organization decided to probe into Miss USA President Crystle Stewart.

Stewart serves as Miss Brand Corporation’s CEO. In addition, she leads the organization of the yearly Miss Universe USA pageant with the organization’s help. Since the country’s admission, the United States has already won eight Miss Universe crowns. Along with Shawn Weatherly (1980), Chelsi Smith (1995), Brook Lee (1997), and Olivia Culpo, this group also includes Miriam Stevenson (1954), Carol Morris (1956), Linda Bement (1960), Sylvia Louise Hitchcock (1967), and Olivia Culpo (1980). (2012).

“After thorough deliberation, Miss Universe Organization has decided to suspend Miss Brand immediately. Miss Universe Organization will be taking over the Miss USA program while a comprehensive,” said the Miss Universe Organization.

Stewart informed the public that she would assist with the probe in the meantime. She stated that she wished for a proper inquiry. Further, she contradicted several pageant competitors’ claims.

“The current allegations that the 2022 Miss USA pageant favored one contestant over another are misleading and not factual. The last thing I would ever want to do is discredit or deny the contestants an equal opportunity to a fair competition. Furthermore, I would never jeopardize my dream of running an organization that empowers these young women,” she stated.

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Favoring a Miss Universe candidate

On October 3, Miss USA concluded, and R’Bonney Gabriel won. Thanks to her victory, she qualified to compete in this year’s Miss Universe pageant as the country’s representative. Nevertheless, several Miss USA contestants perforated their displeasure on social media over the results. They claim that the group staged the pageant, clearly indicating bias and resulting in Gabriel being crowned.

A Montana-based Miss USA candidate, Laa O’Keefe, shared a TikTok video in which she described how Gabriel attended a sponsor’s spa. In her response, Gabriel mentioned that the spa was one of the sponsors when she won Miss USA Texas, adding she paid for the services and just so happened to film a video when she was a guest at the spa.

“We can’t blame this girl, and it’s really sad because her performance was amazing, and she probably could have won fair and square. But, the issue is not with Miss Texas or R’Bonney winning. The issue is with the alleged corruption of the Miss USA organization,” said O’Keefe.

“I want to start by saying it was not rigged because I would never enter any pageant or any competition that I know I would win. I have a lot of integrity,” Gabriel answered.

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Clearing her name

During a previous interview, Gabriel stated that she was ready to respond to queries. She is also adamant that the company will resolve the problem. Gabriel added she will speak with all individuals concerned to clear her name and maintain her status.

“I think I’m open to talking to her about it. And I would love to communicate with her because I think there’s a lot of allegations coming up that aren’t true,” she said.

“I will talk to anybody because I want to be transparent, and I want everybody to know that there was no unfair advantage and nothing was rigged, and as a titleholder and as Miss USA, I don’t want girls to think that this is how pageantry works. This is to celebrate women. We work very hard, and I have respect for all the women that showed up on that stage.”

Photo Credit: Miss USA

Source: CNN

The World Sees the Tunnel After Covid-19 Affected Lives, But Omicron is Still Mutating

The Covid-19 epidemic is coming to an end, as per reports of the international community. The omicron variety, however, never stops evolving.

The World Health Organization named new Covid-19 variations based on the degree of harm an infection may bring to a person. However, until it significantly affects humans, the WHO has yet to give the newest omicron form of Covid-19 a name.

Many in the scientific community now dispute if the development of the Covid-19 variety begun to slow down. Others might respond in the affirmative. Biologists, virologists, and immunologists disagree, nevertheless.

“SARS-CoV-2 is continuing to evolve extremely rapidly. There’s no evidence that the evolution is slowing down,” said a biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Trevor Bedford.

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The omicron form of the virus

Since the virus first infected the world three years ago, scientists designated several varieties. This comprises, among others, alpha, beta, and gamma versions. The omicron variant, however, dwarfs the potential of the aforementioned Covid-19 forms to evolve. Therefore, scientists examined the virus’s more virulent variant and found that it doesn’t appear to be waning. In reality, the omicron split into several subvariants, albeit the effects for this are yet unknown.

“The children of omicron — so the many direct children and cousins within the diverse omicron family. Those that displaced each other. But that same family (dominates other variants),” explained Emma Hodcroft, an epidemiologist from the University of Bern.

“We seem to be seeing evidence of widescale convergent evolution for the first time. We have what people are calling a swarm of omicron viruses, which have different ancestries within omicron, but which have the same set of mutations,” added Manon Ragonnet-Cronin of the University of Chicago.

The ability of the variation to surpass the protection that people acquired from their vaccinations provides a worse situation for global communities.

“When you see convergence in evolution, that’s evolution’s way of saying, ‘this mutation is repeatedly getting selected over and over again because it’s really helpful,'” said Jesse Bloom, a biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.

Read Also: Jan 6 Committee Subpoenaed Former President Trump

A good outlook

Experts anticipate the omicron variant’s continuous evolution to have a better outcome. They hypothesize that omicron may develop into the typical flu over time. And its effects not making it any more deadly than it is now.

“The fact that we’ve perhaps stepped out of a phase [in the pandemic] where we’re getting completely new viruses from different parts of the tree sweeping in and dominating might be a sign that we’re moving towards a more kind of stable future for the virus,” Hodcroft added.

However, scientists keep a close eye on everything because viruses are unpredictable. For instance, specialists are still trying to predict if a brand-new, deadlier version would develop from the ones we now have.

“We are dealing with a completely novel virus here. And we don’t know how many other paths this particular virus might have. We don’t know at this stage,” said Kristian Andersen from Scripps Research.

“I guarantee you that there are people who have been persistently infected with delta and alpha who have some weird combinations of mutations. And I’m fully prepared for a delta-based or alpha-based omicron-like event where one of those zombie viruses that’s been cooking away within someone emerges,” concluded Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona.

Photo Credit: DW

Source: NPR

High Airfares to Continue Until Next Year says Analysts

This year, many passengers found it difficult to find affordable airfares. Unfortunately, analysts say this will extend until 2023.

Airlines place responsibility for several causes for the rise in ticket costs. High gas prices, inflation, and a shortage of seats for customers are a few of them. In addition, because of workforce shortages, constrained flight schedules, and delays, airline management is forced to increase costs dramatically. Yet, even with this, travelers continue to buy tickets without hesitation.

“Holiday flights are going to be expensive once again. This is because the pricing power has shifted back to the airlines for winter holiday travel,” said Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights.

Last May, Hopper, a fare-tracking company, observed a significant increase in domestic airfares. Costs increased more this year than the previous, though. Hopper stated that the average flight increased by 19% to $274 compared to costs from the previous year. Meanwhile, the cost of domestic roundtrips increased this year by 40% to $390.

Read Also: Jan 6 Committee Subpoenaed Former President Trump

A windfall caused an increase in airfares

The three largest US airlines—Delta, American, and United—remain profitable despite the nation’s rising inflation. In fact, during the third quarter of 2022, they all reported sales and profit highs. As the Christmas season approaches, market analysts anticipate that the airlines will maintain their streak. Additionally, this trend occurs without decreasing airfare pricing.

Due to the significant losses they suffered during the Covid pandemic, analysts claim that airlines are now optimizing their revenue streak. However, in light of the worldwide lockdowns, airline firms suffered an unprecedented loss, forcing several to declare bankruptcy or temporarily cease operations. In addition, many airline employees left their employment since the firms could no longer afford the expenses.

“With hybrid work, every weekend could be a holiday weekend. That’s why September, a normally off-peak month, was the third strongest month in our history,” added the CEO of Unites, Scott Kirby.

“If you go look at our Thanksgiving schedule right now, there’s less peak-to-trough variability there than certainly, I’ve seen in the schedule for a number of years,” said Vasu Raja, the chief commercial officer of American.

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Limited seats of airlines

One of the top US airline firms, Delta, stated that it still needs to return to its full capacity. American plans to restore between 95% and 100% of its seating capacity by the following year. The three major airlines said they would reduce their planes’ seating capacity by as much as 10% for the fourth quarter. And this is the main reason why airfares are rising.

“It shows you customers want to treat themselves. I think that’s a phenomenon that continues not just now. But also if there is any type of stagnation in the economy as well,” said Robert Isom, the CEO of American.

Booking ahead

To avoid exorbitant prices and completely booked flights during the busy season, Keyes, Scott’s creator of Cheap Flights, recommended customers make their reservations early.

“When you are opening your Christmas presents, ideally, that’s when you should be thinking about booking those summer flights,” he said.

“You can make your plans in pencil rather than in pen. Last-minute fares tend to move in one direction, and it’s not down,” Keyes added.

Photo Credit: Mario Tama

Source: CNBC

Jan 6 Committee Subpoenaed Former President Trump

The House Select Committee for the Jan 6 Capitol Riot Hearing served a subpoena for former United States president Donald Trump.

The Committee stated they requested Trump to testify under oath and that Trump must present documents related to the Jan 6 violence by November 4. Trump must come before the Court on or before November 14 to provide his testimony.

“As demonstrated in our hearings, we have assembled overwhelming evidence, including from dozens of your former appointees and staff, that you personally orchestrated and oversaw a multi-part effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and to obstruct the peaceful transition of power,” wrote the Committee to Trump.

As stated in the letter, the committee members feel that Trump sought to rig the election and played a significant role in the rioting on Jan 6.

“In short, you were at the center of the first and only effort by any US President to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power, ultimately culminating in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on the Congress itself,” the letter added.

Read Also: CDC Plans to Continue Giving Free Vaccinations to Uninsured Children

The answer to the subpoena

The statement met with a rapid response from Trump and his legal team. The judgment is unusual, added Trump’s legal advisor David Warrington. Meanwhile, the former president called the Committee’s statement “a total bust.” However, he did reassure the populace that they would respond to the subpoena following their inquiry.

“We understand that the Committee has publicly released a copy of its subpoena once again, flouting norms and appropriate and customary process. As with any similar matter, we will review and analyze it. And will respond as appropriate to this unprecedented action,” he said.

“Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago? Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their last meeting? Because the Committee is a total ‘BUST’ that has only served to divide further our Country, which, by the way, is doing very badly. A laughing stock all over the World?” Trump said.

Read Also: Time Out Publishes Top Neighborhoods to Visit

The basics of the Jan 6 riot subpoena

Ignoring the subpoena

To issue a subpoena means legally compelling someone to produce a document or give a courtroom testimony. However, Aziz Huq from the University of Chicago thinks that the Court must uphold the subpoena. In effect, this should force Trump to turn up the document. Trump and his team must thus appear in Court to answer questions.

Not cooperating

The Committee may pursue two significant legal options if Trump refuses to cooperate. One is to find Trump guilty in accordance with a statute from 1857 that allows prosecutors to charge someone with contempt of Congress. The second is to bring a civil action or criminal contempt. Trump may face a $1,000 fine or jail time as a result.

If Republicans win, what happens to Jan 6 hearing

Republicans would have enough power to get the subpoena against Trump withdrawn if they win the November elections. Additionally, they have the authority to invalidate the Jan 6 committee, relieving Trump of the legal issues it raised.

Photo Credit: Jason Andrew

Source: NPR

CDC Plans to Continue Giving Free Vaccinations to Uninsured Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guaranteed Covid vaccinations for uninsured children.

The CDC initiated the step when vaccine manufacturers intended to commercialize Covid vaccinations. According to the health department, they plan to administer vaccines to uninsured youngsters for free as a precaution so that Covid will no longer claim lives, as it has done in recent years.

The United States Federal Government created the Vaccines for Children initiative. And as part of the scheme, the CDC declared that children without insurance would receive the vaccination for free.

The CDC and the government’s initiative

The US government set up Vaccinations for Children to assist low-income families in obtaining Covid-19 vaccines. The CDC program hands out vaccines to children under the age of 19, with qualified beneficiaries including uninsured children, underinsured persons, Native Americans, and those on Medicaid.

During the pandemic, the Biden administration provided free Covid vaccinations. However, now that the conditions have improved, Biden seeks to commercialize the vaccinations. Unfortunately, this entails that individuals must pay for the vaccination starting in 2023.

The CDC, on the other hand, regards the change as regressive to low-income families. As a result, the CDC announced many healthcare grants to qualifying persons to provide free immunizations. Children as young as six months old receive immunizations from Moderna and Pfizer. Furthermore, the organization vows to give immunizations targeting the newer Omicron version to eligible children.

Read Also: Time Out Publishes Top Neighborhoods to Visit

Affecting many people

According to the CDC, the final removal of the Covid emergency programs resulted in vaccination inaccessibility for children. Many would suffer, for example, if Biden repeals the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is in operation during the pandemic. As a result, the CDC’s new initiative favors the poor by allowing the vulnerable and those without finances to continue receiving the vaccination.

“This is an access issue. This is an issue to allow children that don’t have insurance to gain access to this vaccine,” said Dr. Jose Romero, the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases director.

According to CDC data, nearly 162,000 children under 18 have already been hospitalized due to COVID-19 since August 2020. Even though the effects are less extreme than in adults, the CDC stated that increasing children’s access to vaccinations is crucial to help the nation reduce further fatalities.

Read Also: WHO Asks for Help From Other Countries Following Ebola Outbreak in Africa

Removing Covid emergency programs

The possibility of the health programs being repealed during the pandemic prompted alarm among health authorities. According to agencies, they expect the withdrawal to affect around 15 million people.

“We’re in the third year of the pandemic. We’ve gone through hell. And we’ve sacrificed. We’ve used all kinds of emergency powers. So if you’re going to end all that, you have to end it transparently, honestly, with the American public about what they gain and what they lose,” said Lawrence Gostin from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

“It could affect emergency use authorization, where you couldn’t give these EUAs, so the FDA would have to approve the drug fully. So it could have enormous knock-on effects that need to be carefully thought through,” he added.

Photo Credit: Gallup

Source: CNBC

Time Out Publishes Top Neighborhoods to Visit

Time Out enables you to finish your journey by learning about the hidden gems of a location. So, tourists often seek to learn more about the local way of life.

There is something about getting to know a town outside the popular attractions and eateries that captures a culture in its purest state.

Firstly, It may be a hidden pub only locals know about or a café serving a beverage you’ve never tried before. On the other side, it may be a restaurant serving regional dishes unavailable at the hotels you are presently staying at.

Time Out lists the places. Additionally, Time Out publishes an annual list of hidden treasures in various locations. The media company argues that since they better represent the local culture than the general tourist packages, tourists should pay greater attention to the local scene.

Read Also: WHO Asks for Help From Other Countries Following Ebola Outbreak in Africa

Time Out and its top spots

Colonia Americana heads the list of hippest neighborhoods. The crowded and bustling site is located in western Mexico’s Guadalajara City. However, the media brand said Colonia Americana won the prize because of its ideal fusion of its old houses, indigenous art, music, and scenery.

“Guadalajara is just emerging as a must-visit — and Colonia Americana is the place to be right now. It’s home to a boundary-pushing creative community, a growing number of amazing places to eat, and some of the best nightlife in the western hemisphere. And the street life is unbeatable,” said James Manning, the Travel Editor of Time Out.

The long list of spots

Time Out interviews people from around the world, including residents and visitors. The organization starts by asking the respondents about their preferred locations close to or inside their locale. Time Out tallies the top spot after compiling all replies, frequently producing a list of more than 50 sites. The number of slots is then reduced to 20, then to 10. The top 50 locations are all the greatest to visit, according to Time Out. The greatest of the best, nevertheless, may be found in the top ten slots.

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Here are the Top 25  coolest neighborhoods:

  1. Colonia Americana – Guadalajara, Mexico
  2. Cais do Sodré – Lisbon, Portugal
  3. Wat Bo Village – Siem Reap, Cambodia
  4. Ridgewood – New York City, USA
  5. Mile End – Montreal, Canada
  6. Barrio Logan – San Diego, USA
  7. Shimokitazawa – Tokyo, Japan
  8. Cliftonville – Margate, UK
  9. Barrio Yungay – Santiago, Chile
  10. Cours Julien – Marseille, France
  11. Shawlands – Glasglow, UK
  12. Dundas West – Toronto, Canada
  13. Vila Madalena – Sao Paulo, Brazil
  14. San Isidro – Havana, Cuba
  15. Neukolln – Berlin, Germany
  16. Avondale – Chicago, USA
  17. Walthamstow – London, UK
  18. Sants – Barcelona, Spain
  19. Little India – Singapore
  20. Rione Sanita – Naples, Italy
  21. Silver Lake – Los Angeles, USA
  22. Wan Chai – Hong Kong
  23. Barrio de las Letras – Madrid, Spain
  24. Vesterbro – Copenhagen, Denmark
  25. West End – Vancouver, Canada

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Source: CNN

WHO Asks for Help From Other Countries Following Ebola Outbreak in Africa

In the East African country, an Ebola epidemic is causing widespread panic. The World Health Organization is already monitoring the situation in order to prevent the deadly virus from spreading to other African countries.

However, the WHO is appealing to the international community for assistance as Ebola cases continue to be reported in the region.

In East Africa’s five districts, the health agency has now documented 74 confirmed cases of the Ebola virus. 39 of the 74 individuals died as a result of the illness, while 14 recovered. The WHO is confident that with adequate interventions and international support, they will be able to block Ebola before it spreads further throughout the country and beyond. Furthermore, the WHO is monitoring around 660 people who might have been infected with Ebola.

 “Our primary focus now is to support the government Uganda now to rapidly control and contain this outbreak, to stop it from spreading to neighboring districts and neighboring countries,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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Most cases recorded in Uganda

The Ebola virus was discovered in Uganda in late September when a villager began to develop various symptoms and was proven positive for the infection by health officials. The viral strain is known as Sudan ebolavirus, and there are currently no certified or licensed vaccines or therapies for it.

Ebola is not transmitted over the air, according to the WHO. People catch the illness instead when they come into touch with someone who has been infected with it or has died from it. In addition, Ebola spreads when a person comes into contact with infected items or materials.

Furthermore, health professionals warned that Ebola would not be able to spread until its symptoms appeared, which usually takes 2 to 21 days. Infected people in Uganda’s Ebola outbreak currently display symptoms of the virus for 8 to 10 days on average.

The US takes precautions

Meanwhile, the US government has instructed visitors and residents who have visited Uganda to contact the hospital promptly for testing and monitoring. Furthermore, several airports now demand medical exams before allowing a person to enter the nation. This covers New York, Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Washington Dulles, and Newark airports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also working with airlines to conduct the testing, and airlines are making trip information readily available to the health agency as a precaution. According to a federal health official, the database is also being used by state and local health authorities. The US wants to make certain that no stone is left unturned, as Ebola is infectious and might pose a new concern in a post-Covid economy.

Fortunately, there have been no verified Ebola cases in years. The latest Ebola case in the United States was discovered in 2014 following a trip to West Africa. The sickness killed the Dallas native, infecting two other healthcare personnel, both of whom have since recovered.

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Symptoms

According to the CDC website, symptoms of Ebola include:

  • Fever
  • Aches and pains, such as severe headache and muscle and joint pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Unexplained hemorrhaging, bleeding or bruising
  • Other symptoms may include red eyes, skin rash, and hiccups (late-stage)

Photo Credit: WHO

Source: CNBC

As Hurricane Ian Pummelled Through Florida, Thousands are at Risk of Losing their Jobs

Hurricane Ian caused enormous devastation, and numerous U.S. regions continued to experience its impacts for weeks and months. Florida will probably be impacted, given the state took the brunt of the hurricane’s destruction.

According to analysts, employees could be pushed to leave their positions, especially those who would apply for unemployment benefits. The local economy would suffer if this occurred and would only make a gradual recovery.

While estimations far exceed those of prior Florida records, the full amount of Ian’s devastation has not yet been determined. It will be the most expensive storm damage in Florida history, though, if the current forecasts are accurate and continue to rise.

Damage estimates from RMS, a company that models disasters, ranging from $53 billion to $74 billion.

According to Action Economics’ Minke Englund, who compared the situation in Florida to what occurred in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, when almost 50,000 Texans lost their jobs, joblessness is unavoidable.

“Certainly, there’s going to be some short-term displacement, but it’s hard to predict exactly what that will look like in the Florida context or in the Southeast more generally. Particularly in coastal communities and within tourism, how long those effects persist depends on the sector’s ability to rebuild,” said Lynn Karoly from the RAND Corporation.

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Low-income individuals suffer the most

Due to access to insurance, catastrophe funds, cash flows, and taking on debt to rebuild their buildings and resume operations, larger businesses will generally do better in terms of recovering from a disaster.

However, employees will face more difficulties, particularly low-wage ones.

“The resilience factor could be lower among the lower-wage workforce, and even their employers may also be rethinking about how they staff the positions that they need to fill,” Karoly added.

Before Ian struck, Florida already had a competitive market. However, workers will find it more challenging to adapt to the market under changing circumstances.

According to Dave Gilbertson, vice president of the technology firm UKG, parts of Florida that have been severely affected have already had a 50% reduction in workforce activity, which means a loss of economic activity and money for workers.

“It’s pretty uncommon to see a nearly 50% decline. This is a deeper disaster than we’ve seen over the past couple of years. They’re losing so much personally, but they’re also losing the ability to work and support their family. A lot of hourly workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck [and] dealing with rising inflation by pulling down their savings and utilizing more credit cards. The ability to withstand any kind of disruption is minimal,” Gilbertson said.

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A similarity with Hurricane Katrina

Economists are contrasting the current situation with what happened after Hurricane Katrina. However, they also concluded that there could be some similarities between the issues raised by Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath and those raised by Ian.

“There will be a significant slowdown in the job openings in the state, [but] it’s a very strong economy, and hurricanes are not new to them,” said an economist at ZipRecruiter.

“Hurricanes have differing economic effects, depending on whether the area is one that people are moving into or out of. Hurricane recoveries tend to accelerate whatever economic transitions might have been underway when the storm hit, leaving a building surge in growing areas but economic blight in contracting areas,” added Englund.

Photo Credit: Giorgio Viera

Source: CNN

Three Economists Awarded with the Nobel Prize in Economics

One of those honored with the Nobel Prize in economics is Ben Bernanke, the former head of the US Federal Reserve. Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig are also awarded together with Bernanke.

The three Nobel prize recipients were recognized for their contributions to economics, notably in managing financial crises.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences claims that economists were honored for their critical works from the 1980s.

According to the academy, the three people were crucial in determining whether a bank is important, which also said that effective bank administration might lessen economic downturns and avert financial meltdowns.

The economists’ work

Bernanke conducted a study on the Depression. He was able to win the Nobel Prize as a result of this. In addition, using his knowledge, Bernanke was able to manage the 2008 global financial crisis.

“People had seen that banks fail, but it was more thought [of] as a consequence of the crisis rather than [a] cause of the crisis,” said the Nobel Committee, John Hassler.

“Now the views of Bernanke have become the conventional wisdom.”

Meanwhile, Diamond and Dyvbig received awards for strengthening the bond between the bank, the borrowers, and the savers. The two contend that these organizations’ objectives are linked together.

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For instance, savers want to keep a cash reserve in case of an emergency, whereas borrowers want to access funds but wish to pay the amount in installments.

Therefore, lenders should be in good standing, according to Diamond and Dyvbig, as this might damage their transactions.

In a news conference, Diamond underlined that the United Kingdom’s markets would be unstable due to the increase in interest rates.

However, he thinks that UK professionals and economists are sufficiently aware of the lessons learned from the 2008 market meltdown.

“Recent memories of that crisis and improvements in regulatory policies around the world have left the system much, much less vulnerable,” he said.

What Bernanke did

Looking more closely at Bernanke’s accomplishments, he previously chaired the Fed from 2006 to 2014. He successfully stopped the repercussions that hurt the US economy when he was in charge of the agency.

In his capacity as chair, Bernanke also started a program to buy assets that would support economic growth. He also improved communication between the public and the central bank.

Bernanke thought that disclosing the intentions and strategies of the central bank to the public may benefit both parties in managing their finances. These tactics are now the guidelines established by the Feds.

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“There’s a lot of question on … the legal ways the US regulators could have resolved Lehman, and some claim it was essentially impossible for them to do it. But had they found a way I think the world would have had less of a severe crisis than it did,” Diamond added.

The Nobel Prize, also known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, is given to those whose achievements in their particular professions have had a significant impact on society and the globe.

A monetary reward of 10 million Swedish kronor, or $885,370, is also included. The three will each receive an equal share of the prize.

Photo Credit: Nobel Foundation

Source: CNN

Peloton Decides to Cut Back on Costs Again, Slashing Jobs and Increasing Prices

To escape its present financial problems, Peloton will undertake another round of layoffs. The business is likewise raising the prices of its goods and services.

Barry McCarthy, the CEO of Peloton, stated that his new management’s cost-cutting plan would assist the business in making up for the losses it suffered in the previous fiscal year.

Peloton has reduced employment a few times recently; the most recent layoff occurred in August of this year. This time, the fitness center will let rid of 500 staff members.

“A key aspect of Peloton’s transformation journey is optimizing efficiencies and implementing cost savings to simplify our business and achieve break-even cash flow by the end of our fiscal year,” stated Peloton in a statement.

The corporation also stated that the layoffs are a part of the restructuring process, which started this year in February. In addition, McCarthy began serving as the company’s CEO during this time frame.

McCarthy backed Peloton’s choice and told the company’s staff that it was a price worth paying to prevent Peloton from falling, particularly in light of the fact that the US economy is now struggling due to inflation and other challenges, which is driving up the price of raw materials.

McCarthy stated that Peloton’s retail division had large losses in 2021, amounting to $100 million.

“Together, we have dramatically restructured Peloton’s business. You should be incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. This has not been easy,” said the CEO.

With the most recent round of dismissals, Peloton has already let go of more than 12% of its workforce. Less than half as many people work for the firm now as there were for Peloton a year ago, about 4,000.

The decision was the “heaviest in its marketing operation,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

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The decision made by the company in August

When the business announced a deficit of more than $1.2 billion in August, workforce reductions were implemented. Comparing the amount to what Peloton made last year, the overall revenue has decreased by 30%. In August, Peloton made the decision to let go of roughly 800 workers, claiming that this was done to make the business “more efficient, cost-effective, and agile.”

“We have to make our revenues stop shrinking and start growing again. Cash is oxygen. Oxygen is life,” said McCarthy.

Peloton also made the decision to scale back the number of its operating outlets in North America as part of its cost-cutting plan. Re-establishing the gym environment as the primary fitness setting is the company’s biggest issue. The outcome was stagnation in Peloton’s subscription and bike sales.

Peloton’s natural enemy

An expert noted that Peloton would face significant difficulties given its natural opponent. As more people attend gyms and other leisure activities in person, thanks to the ease of constraints, the corporation cannot compel individuals to stop attending gyms.

“(The changes are a) continuation of the company trying to right-size itself after grossly overestimating post-pandemic demand for its products,” said the economist.

“While Peloton has already taken some corrective action, its losses are spiraling out of control, and there is a desperate need to course correct to stabilize the balance sheet and restore investor confidence.”

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McCarthy, as the CEO

Tech executive McCarthy served as the CEO of Peloton. The firm is hopeful that he will be able to aid them in recovering from their situation. The price increases, layoffs, and shop closings were announced by Peloton when he took control in February. For instance, Peloton upped the cost of its Bike+, raising the price by $500 to $2,495 while increasing the cost of its treadmill by $800 to $3,495.

McCarthy decided to take out a $750 million loan from Wall Street in order to cover its operating costs after Peloton reported reduced sales and the firm only had $879 million in reserves.

Photo Credit: Ethan Miller

Source: CNN

Investigative Report Shows Persistence of Abuses in NWSL Even Amid Players’ Complaints

The National Women’s Soccer League is in a bind following an investigation that uncovered sexual coercion, verbal abuse, and sexual misbehavior by various league coaches.

The study also highlights the league’s officials’ apathy despite years of complaints from players.

The report was put together by former US Attorney General Sally Q. Yates. Following criticism from The Athletic and The Washington Post, the league decided to request that Yates undertake a more comprehensive inspection of soccer players’ charges.

We can formulate significant ideas from Yate’s report after rigorous inspection and analysis of the cases.

The issue is systemic

Yates was mainly influenced by the actions of the NWSL’s coaches, Rory Dames, Christy Holly, and Paul Riley. However, the US Soccer Federation, teams, and the league and their absence of responsibility also had a role in persisting abuses.

The study, however, did not simply tackle the individual crimes perpetrated by the parties; it also linked and addressed the matter to the more extensive systematic abuse against women.

“Our investigation has revealed a league in which abuse and misconduct—verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct—had become systemic, spanning multiple teams, coaches, and victims,” added the report.

“Abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women’s soccer, beginning in youth leagues, that normalizes verbally abusive coaching and blurs boundaries between coaches and players.”

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Still accepted despite being found guilty

While some teams terminated their coaches after being caught, others continued to welcome them. This simply indicates that the penalties for the atrocities they committed had no impact on their careers.

“[A]busive coaches moved from team to team, laundered by press releases thanking them for their service, and positive references from teams that minimized or even concealed misconduct.”

“Those at the NWSL and USSF in a position to correct the record stayed silent. And no one at the teams, the League, or the Federation demanded better of coaches.”

Stakeholders did not participate

Yates tried to connect with other coaches and teams involved in the claims but was unsuccessful. Furthermore, additional interviews that might have broadened the treatment of the matter were omitted from Yates’ 300-page report.

“Certain witnesses— including the former Commissioner of the NWSL, Jeff Plush—never responded to our outreach. Others refused to be interviewed, some because they feared retaliation. Still others—including former USSF Chief Executive Officer Dan Flynn—agreed only to respond to written questions rather than sit for an interview. Certain teams did not fully cooperate, notwithstanding public statements to the contrary.”

“The Portland Thorns interfered with our access to relevant witnesses and raised specious legal arguments in an attempt to impede our use of relevant documents. Racing Louisville FC refused to produce documents concerning Christy Holly and would not permit witnesses (even former employees) to answer relevant questions regarding Holly’s tenure, citing the non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements it signed with Holly. The Chicago Red Stars unnecessarily delayed the production of relevant documents over the course of nearly nine months.”

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In-charge’s inaction

Yates noted that the lack of progress is due not to a lack of substantive complaints by the players but to the unwillingness of those in control to act on the complaints hurled by the players to abusive coaches.

“(Players) repeatedly brought their concerns to the teams, to the league, and to the Federation, which founded and acted as manager of the league during much of the relevant time period.”

“But those who were in a position to make a difference didn’t. They not only failed to respond appropriately to evidence of abuse, they had also failed to institute the most basic measures to prevent and address these issues to begin with, even as some of them privately acknowledged the need for these things like an anti-harassment policy,” stated Yates.

“Without these protections in place and without the transparency necessary to ensure misconduct wasn’t swept under the rug, abusive coaches moved from team to team.”

Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer

Source: NPR

Authors to Receive Rewards for the 2022 National Books Awards

The finalists for this year’s National Book Awards have already been unveiled by the organization that endows the honors. The occasion should highlight this year’s up-and-coming authors while welcoming back many others.

To give one example, Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mistutani were shortlisted for Translated Literature after winning the National Book Award in the same category in 2018.

The lineup also includes nominees Sharon Olds, Scholastique Mukasonga, and Gayl Jones. For her work on “The Birdcatcher,” Jones received a nomination in the Fiction category. In addition, Mukasonga received a nomination for “Kibogo” in the Translated Literature category, while Olds received a nomination for “Balladz” in the Poetry Category.

Meanwhile, Alejandro Varela (The Town of Babylon), Sarah Thankam Mathews (All This Could Be Different), and Sarah Tess Gunty (The Rabbit Hutch) were all listed for their debut novels in the Fiction category.

The Young People’s Literature Category Finalists will also get acknowledgment from the National Books Awards, the first of its kind in the organization’s history.

Tommie Smith, a finalist who is well-known for speaking out against racial discrimination at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico, is among the top seeds. Smith is well-known in the United States as an athlete and for his bravery.

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The National Books Awards are ready to unveil the recipients on November 16 in New York City. The lifetime achievement awards will also go to Traci D. Hall and Art Spiegelman.

Hall is the first African American woman to hold the role of executive director of the American Library Association.

In addition, the winners of the categories will receive $10,000 in monetary rewards from the National Books Awards. The complete list of contestants, along with the books they submitted, is shown below.

Fiction

Tess Gunty, The Rabbit Hutch

Gayl Jones, The Birdcatcher

Jamil Jan Kochai, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories

Sarah Thankam Mathews, All This Could Be Different

Alejandro Varela, The Town of Babylon

Nonfiction

Meghan O’Rourke, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness

Imani Perry, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation

David Quammen, Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus

Ingrid Rojas Contreras, The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir

Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice

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Poetry

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Look at This Blue

John Keene, Punks: New & Selected Poems

Sharon Olds, Balladz

Roger Reeves, Best Barbarian

Jenny Xie, The Rupture Tense

Translated Literature

Jon Fosse, A New Name: Septology VI-VII. Translated by Damion Searls

Scholastique Mukasonga, Kibogo. Translated by Mark Polizzotti

Mónica Ojeda, Jawbone. Translated by Sarah Booker

Samanta Schweblin, Seven Empty Houses. Translated by Megan McDowell

Yoko Tawada, Scattered All Over the Earth. Translated by Margaret Mitsutani

Young People’s Literature

Kelly Barnhill, The Ogress and the Orphans

Sonora Reyes, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice

Sabaa Tahir, All My Rage

Lisa Yee, Maizy Chen’s Last Chance

Photo Credit: Meghan Collins Sullivan

Source: NPR

New Study Finds Coffee an Effective Beverage Against Cardiovascular Illnesses

According to a recent study, having two to three cups of coffee each day can help prevent cardiovascular diseases and early mortality.

“The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle,” the author of the study, Peter Kistler, said.

Kistler oversees the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute’s clinical electrophysiology research. In addition, he supervises electrophysiology at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital.

The team has discovered three varieties of coffee with a number of other experts that greatly lower the risk of stroke, congestive heart failure, and coronary heart disease, among other disorders.

Caffeine-containing instant and ground coffee lower the risk of arrhythmia.

Decaffeinated coffee did not, however, reduce the likelihood of persons suffering irregular heartbeats, according to research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

On the other hand, drinking 3 to 5 cups of black coffee can help with a variety of disorders, including heart conditions, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, prostate cancer, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease.

“This manuscript adds to the body of evidence from observational trials associating moderate coffee consumption with cardioprotection, which looks promising,” nutritional sciences lecturer Charlotte Mills stated.

However, Mills notes that because the researchers’ results are observational in nature, they cannot completely rule out a cause-and-effect connection between the disorders and coffee consumption.

“Does coffee make you healthy, or do inherently healthier people consume coffee? Randomized controlled trials are needed to prove the relationship between coffee and cardiovascular health,” added Mills.

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Caffeinated ground coffee works wonders

Data from UK Biobank were used in the study. Over 450,000 persons in the research database who were free of arrhythmia and other cardiovascular disorders were assessed.

Individuals who preferred caffeinated ground coffee, those who opted to drink decaffeinated coffee, those who preferred caffeinated instant coffee, and those who did not consume coffee were split into groups by the researchers.

The patients’ data were compared by the researchers over a period of 12 and a half years, considering information on cardiovascular illnesses, arrhythmia, stroke, and mortality.

Additionally, other elements were factored. These include smoking status, blood alcohol content, age, diabetes, ethnicity, sex, obesity, high blood pressure, and tea consumption.

All varieties of coffee were shown to be moderately associated with lowering illnesses among people after analysis by the researchers.

Dietitian and professor Duane Mellow from Aston University Medical School, admits the benefits of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee in lowering the incidence of cardiovascular illnesses.

Mellow argues that additional coffee compounds could contribute to the results, though.

“Caffeine is the most well-known constituent in coffee, but the beverage contains more than 100 biologically active components. It is likely that the non-caffeinated compounds were responsible for the positive relationships observed between coffee drinking, cardiovascular disease and survival,” contends Kistler.

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It needs more study

Even if the study provides excellent news for coffee lovers, experts are not quite confident in the study’s findings.

According to Annette Creedon of the British Nutrition Foundation, the study had a flaw since respondents to the survey self-reported how much coffee they drank.

“This study had a median follow-up period of 12.5 years during which many aspects of the participants’ diet and lifestyle may have changed,” she said.

Coffee advertises itself as a medicinal beverage, but certain people—such as those who have difficulties falling and staying asleep and those with uncontrolled diabetes—react adversely to it, according to Creedon.

So before making coffee a daily beverage, she thinks people should see their doctors.

“(These negative side effects” can be particularly relevant to individuals who are sensitive to the effects of caffeine. Hence, the findings of this study do not indicate that people should start drinking coffee if they do not already drink it or that they should increase their consumption,” Creedon said.

The findings are also significantly influenced by the coffee’s brewing technique. Mellor continues by advising people to think about the quantity of sugar, cream, milk, and other additives in the coffee they want to drink.

“A simple cup of coffee, perhaps with a little milk, is very different to a large latte flavored with a syrup and added cream,” stated Mellor.

Photo Credit: The Manual

Source: CNN

Maldivian Resorts Spearhead Fight Against Improper Waste Disposal

With the majority of its islands barely a few feet above sea level, the Maldives is the world’s lowest-lying country. Most of the nation’s population won’t be able to live there by 2050 because, according to NASA, 80% of the country’s 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean will be inundated in seawater.

But this is not the only issue the country is now dealing with. People worldwide visit the Maldives because of its beautiful beaches and locations.

Over 1.7 million visitors visited the Maldives annually before the outbreak. While the number decreased after the pandemic crippled the tourism industry, the movement is slowly gaining pace now that most countries have nearly thwarted the pandemic.

Due to a large number of visitors, the nation must deal with problems with inappropriate trash disposal. The Maldives tourist authority has repeatedly urged individuals to be responsible for the disposal of non-biodegradable waste.

However, it is insufficient to eliminate cases of inappropriate trash disposal.

The country’s abundant corals have suffered as a result. The treasure is particularly significant to the Maldives since it shapes their national identity.

But when scientists conducted a study of the region in 2016, they found that more than 60% of the Maldives’ pristine reefs were affected by coral bleaching caused by climate change.

“A large draw for tourism is the healthy ocean environment that visitors come to see. Clearly, this type of environment must be preserved in order to continue attracting high-spending tourism,” stated James Ellsmoor, the CEO of Island Innovation.

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Tourism, a paradox

The Maldives’ economy is mostly growing due to the tourist industry. Frequent tourist visits encourage local enterprises, which thrive primarily on delivering and selling products and services.

Simply put, the tourist industry is extremely important to the 540,000 residents of the Maldives.

However, the tourism industry is held accountable for environmental harm.

For example, resorts in the Maldives utilize a lot of energy annually to serve their millions of visitors. Therefore, an excessive amount of waste is being released into the environment.

Therefore, the 150+ resorts in the country are urged to “go green” in order to protect the environment.

“The high cost of importing fuel to power noisy, polluting generators simply does not make sense when compared to the much lower cost of solar, wind and battery storage,” Ellsmoor said.

In response to this situation, the Maldives government announced its efforts to save the environment, striving to become a carbon-neutral nation by 2030.

As a result, all single-use plastics should be prohibited in the Maldives starting next year.

Thankfully, Maldivian resorts have taken up the cause and are leading the charge to achieve sustainability, offering the same high level of luxury service while safeguarding the environment.

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Resorts are taking the helm

Up until now, little attention has been paid to waste in the Maldives. This is because the vast amounts of waste dumped into the environment over a long period were mostly caused by the tourism industry.

But a number of resorts and institutions have stepped up in response to recent appeals to protect the Maldives’ future.

Soneva Resorts, for instance, introduced its Eco Centro program. The project collects the resort’s trash and recycles about 90% of it.

Additionally, Soneva Resorts is the driving force behind Makers’ Place, which enables people to reinvent recycling and include art into it, producing marketable art and items like wall tiles and glassware.

This year saw the launch of Fairmont Maldives’ Sustainability Lab. The facility would collect plastics discovered on the resort property and those nearby, then modify the plastic for trade.

Maldivians who participate in the program develop their artistic talents, generate income, and preserve the environment.

The management of Fairmont Maldives says its goal is to become the “first zero-waste-generating resort in the country.”

“(We are) encouraging the next generation to care passionately about protecting the ecosystem and marine life that inhabits it,” said Sam Dixon, the company’s manager and resident marine biologist.

Photo Credit:  Parley Maldives

Source: CNN

Nobel Peace Prize to be Awarded Amid Increasing Tension in Europe

This Friday in Norway, the Nobel Peace Prize will once more be awarded. The award is given in the midst of the tensest standoff in Europe in more than 70 years.

The ongoing hostility between the two nations makes this year’s Nobel Peace Prize one of the most significant and challenging ever. Consequently, the Norwegian committee found it challenging to choose the winner of one of the most prized honors on the globe.

Being awarded the Nobel Prize carries a lot of responsibility since it represents courage and optimism in the face of uncertainty, especially during turbulent times. But, according to experts, a number of circumstances would make the Nobel Peace Prize announcement ambiguous.

Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said, “Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who might get the prize because there are so many possible candidates.”

“This year, it’s hard to figure out who might get the prize because there’s so little good that is happening in the world of peace and security.”

Of all, the Nobel Prize is incredibly unexpected, and anyone might win the distinction. Therefore, the screening committee that evaluates applicants for the honor has maintained a secret. Experts in peace and security undoubtedly have candidates in mind who may win the prize, but even they are dubious because the selection committee’s decision-making procedure is unknown.

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The war between Ukraine and Russia

The Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded to any contender during the First and Second World Wars. Additionally, the reward has occasionally not been awarded at all. However, traditionally, the Nobel Prize was awarded when there was little hope or when several nations were struggling due to war.

And those who choose the prize laureate would have to make a critical choice given the current geopolitical circumstances in Europe. The reward will represent fostering peace, and as such, it will significantly impact their thoughts.

Several analysts have Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on their radar (UNCHR). Both have made a significant contribution to helping those in need. While the commissioner has aided displaced individuals due to conflict, Volodymyr is a figurehead who protects his people from Russian attacks.

“Zelensky is a war leader, and what is happening at the moment is war. You can admire or not admire the action he’s undertaking, but it’s about war and the armed defense of his country. That’s a fact that should be respected in and of itself,” added Smith.

“Hopefully, the war will come to an end, and they will make peace. If Zelensky or somebody else can contribute to making that peace, then there will be time to acknowledge that enormous achievement.”

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Russian critics might be considered

Due to the harsh treatment of its smaller neighbor by Russia, critics of Putin’s government may be in line to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, according to analysts. Alexey Navalny is one example who has subsequently spoken out against Russia’s policy and its conflict with Ukraine. It led to the imprisonment of Navalny. In addition, he was poisoned in 2020, and Navalny publicly assigned responsibility to the Russian government.

“Navalny, I think, is heroic, (but) he’s a political leader. It’s a prize that is to be awarded not for how great you are but for how great the things you’ve done are,” said Smith.

Another person who might be nominated for the Nobel prize is Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, an opposition leader in Belarus who campaigned against Putin’s staunch friend.

“Both Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny are vocal critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A shared Nobel Peace Prize between them would be seen as a clear protest of the Russian aggression and the assistance by Belarus, and as support of democratic and non-violent alternatives to Lukashenko and Putin.”

Photo Credit: Geir Anders Rybakken Ørslien

Source: CNN

Hurricane Ian Almost Became a Category 5 Hurricane, a Rarity in the US

This week’s Hurricane Ian already made landfall in Florida, carrying winds of more than 155 mph. Hurricane Ian strengthened after it made landfall in Cuba, and weather forecasters anticipated that it was on track to become a Category 5 hurricane—a category that the United States had only rarely risen in its history.

Only four storms that were classified as Category 5 have been documented in US history. Category 5 hurricanes, according to meteorologists, are storms with maximum sustained winds of 157 miles per hour or higher. So, Hurricane Ian was on the verge of becoming one.

The US has been affected by four Category 5 hurricanes, three of which made landfall in Florida and one in Mississippi.

Categorization of hurricanes

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used in the US to classify hurricanes that are forming locally. The scale is also used to estimate the potential degree of harm that a storm may do to the areas it strikes.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Category 5 storms: “Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

Although Category 5 hurricanes are the fiercest, lesser category storms can occasionally cause more damage. Hurricanes like Category 3 Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Category 4 Hurricane Maria in 2017 have caused considerable damage.

Read Also: Cuba is Without Electricity After Hurricane Ian Hit, Florida Braces

Here are four Category 5 storms in the US:

Labor Day Hurricane in 1935

The Labor Day Hurricane, which had gusts of up to 185 mph, devastated the Florida Keys on September 2, 1935. It is regarded as the most powerful hurricane to ever make landfall in the US. Four hundred nine lives were lost, and countless houses were damaged by the Labor Day Hurricane.

“Practically all losses from the hurricane were suffered in Florida, with most occurring in the Florida Keys. A swath of destruction 40 [miles] wide occurred across the Keys, from just south of Key Largo to just north of Marathon,” said the Hurricanes: Science and Society.

“Most manmade structures were destroyed by the hurricane’s Category 5 winds, which gusted at times to over 200 mph, and the complete inundation of the islands by a 15-20 ft storm surge.”

Hurricane Camille (1969)

Hurricane Camille is regarded as the second-strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the US, with a maximum sustained wind of more than 170 miles per hour. On August 17, 1969, it struck Mississippi and left more than 250 people dead.

“The impacts of Hurricane Camille were felt across much of the southeast U.S., especially southeast Mississippi and southwest Alabama. Most of the inland damage was a result of fallen trees and power lines, while damage on the immediate coast was caused by both wind and storm surges. Communities saw homes and buildings damaged or destroyed, fallen trees, and flooded roads,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

Read Also: Pakistan Confronts Another Crisis Following Widespread Floods

Hurricane Andrew (1992)

The 165 mph winds of Hurricane Andrew caused devastation in South Miami-Dade County.

“Hurricane Andrew destroyed more than 50,000 homes and caused an estimated $26 billion in damage, making it at the time the most expensive natural disaster in the United States history, not to be surpassed until Hurricane Katrina 13 years later,” NOOA said.

Hurricane Michael (2018)

Hurricane Michael is the most recent addition to the rare group of Category 5 storms to make landfall in the United States, clocking in at over 161 miles per hour. On October 10, 2018, it struck the Florida Panhandle with maximum sustained winds of 161 miles per hour.

“Wind and storm surge caused catastrophic damage, particularly in the Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach areas. Eight direct fatalities were reported: seven in Florida and one in Georgia. In addition, 43 indirect deaths were attributed to the storm.” said the National Weather Service.

Photo Credit: Universal Images Group

Source: NPR

Cuba is Without Electricity After Hurricane Ian Hit, Florida Braces

This Wednesday, after Hurricane Ian’s powerful winds wreaked havoc on the country’s western area, energy company employees in Cuba strive to restore the electricity to thousands of homes in the nation. Following the hurricane’s impact, there is currently a widespread blackout across the country.

On Tuesday, the Pinar del Rio province was badly affected by the Category 3 hurricane, which made landfall near La Coloma’s southwest. Weather forecasters predicted that Hurricane Ian would bring around 16 inches of rain, resulting in risky storm surges, mudslides, and flash floods. Authorities’ warnings prompted residents to leave their homes and head to evacuation shelters.

Cubans saw the devastation left behind by the hurricane, including trees torn from the ground, places immersed in water, and a country without electricity. Within a week, according to officials, electrical systems will resume functioning and supply power to nearly 11 million people.

To protect people, the National Electric System cut off its power in the interim. An underwater community is vulnerable to electrocutions, fatalities, and other associated harm or fatalities. However, as the water recedes and the weather improves, the management of the state-run power company said they would probably resume the grid’s electricity.

In the nation, blackouts are already frequent. In addition, power networks were often vulnerable to blackouts due to supply interruptions and limitations in fuel and other resources.

Read Also: Hurricane Alert: Florida, Cuba, on the Lookout as Hurricane Ian Heads Toward Land

Cubans chose to evacuate

Authorities were warned of Hurricane Ian, and a major evacuation was ordered. More than 38,000 people were compelled to leave their homes, particularly those in the Pinar del Rio Province. In order to prepare for the hurricane, other nearby regions were encouraged to take refuge in evacuation centers. The Pinal del Rio province is where many folk’s families are staying, and many reported having trouble communicating after the disaster hit.

Adriana Rivera, a resident of Spain, mentioned that she was unable to contact her relatives. They were among the people of Pinar del Rio who Hurricane Ian impacted. Rivera claims that she last spoke to her family during Hurricane Ian’s assault when she learned that her mother, sister, cousin, and nephew needed to go up to the house’s second story due to the flooding.

“They didn’t expect the hurricane to be this strong. I hope they’re okay. The uncertainty is killing me,” Rivera said.

Mayelin Suarez, who was exposed to Hurricane Ian’s fury, found the situation to be terrifying.

“We almost lost the roof of our house. My daughter, my husband and I tied it down with a rope to keep it from flying away,” Suarez shares.

The legendary tobacco of Cuba is farmed in Pinar del Rio, an area with millions of inhabitants. Pictures of Hurricane Ian’s severe damage to the area’s tobacco plantations were sent to the Cuban state media after the storm.

Read Also: Pakistan Confronts Another Crisis Following Widespread Floods

The hurricane traveling to Florida

The storm is still not over. It is moving towards Florida after Cuba and has intensified into a Category 5 hurricane, alarming locals and government officials. Over 2.5 million people have been warned by weather officials to be prepared for the worst today.

Kevin Guthrie, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director, said, “I implore, I urge everyone that is in an evacuation zone that has been asked to evacuate – the time is now. You must evacuate now. There will be a time when it will not be safe to travel the roads.”

“There will come a point in time when local public safety officials will not be able to respond to your cry for help. You may be left to fend for yourself,” he added.

Meanwhile, Governor Ron DeSantis issued the same caution to millions of Floridians, saying, “This is going to be a lot of impacts that will be felt far and wide throughout the state of Florida. As the storm moves in, you’re going to potentially have (evacuation) directives issued from folks in the interior of our state or even the east coast of the state for low-lying areas that absolutely could end up flooding.”

Photo Credit: Ramon Espinose

Source: CNN

The Dollar is Strengthening, What Does this Entail to Market Players

Photo Credit:  Onur Coban

Right now, the U.S. dollar is strengthening and may soon reach its highest level in 20 years. As a result, many local, national, and international actors have experienced waves of excitement and anxiety as a result of the unexpected increase in the value of the American dollar.

The American economy is in a recession, which has led the Fed to raise interest rates. That, however, is not preventing the dollar from appreciating in value. Within economies all around the world, this process eventually produces winners and losers.

The British pound hit a record low on Monday as it lost ground against the U.S. dollar. To support economic development in the U.K., newly-installed Prime Minister Liz Truss proposed tax reductions and the suspension of increased business taxation. The energy crisis brought on by Russia’s supply restrictions is putting pressure on the U.K. to keep up with the mounting worries of Britons.

Read Also: EV Global Sales Surge, IEA says it’s Reaching Records High

The British pound has recently lost so much ground that its worth is approaching that of the U.S. dollar, alarming the Central Bank of the United Kingdom over the present dollar-to-pound exchange rate. Governor Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England stated that officials closely watch the issue.

A double-edged sword, the ascent of the dollar offers many people possibilities while also causing a catastrophe. Similar to the job market, where an increase in the unemployment rate creates work chances for certain people while creating a labor scarcity for others, the phenomenon is analogous to that.

Several political considerations, most notably the Ukraine and Russia conflict, helped propel the dollar’s rise. This is because businesses, investors, and nations convert their reserves into dollars whenever crises arise in specific parts of the world.

The Winners

Importers in the United States

Purchasing goods and raw materials overseas results in cheaper business costs since the dollar is worth more than other currencies.

“For importers, it’s a positive story. For anyone importing from the likes of China, importing raw metals and energy from abroad, that’s going to be positive for you — as long as it’s not priced in dollars, of course,” stated Jordan Rochester, a senior foreign strategist from Nomura Securities.

Travelers in the country

Since the value of the dollar and the euro are already equal, tourists from the U.S. would be able to get a better and more affordable hotel and lodging bargains. In addition, using the dollar might result in lower costs for them when they visit Europe and other adjacent regions.

Read Also: As Feds Hike Interest Rates, Senior Citizens Struggle to Keep Up with Prices

The Losers

Multinationals

American multinational corporations are suffering significantly due to the stronger currency. Multinational corporate leaders say that this has reduced their profitability in recent poll.

As an illustration, the San Francisco-based corporation Salesforce sells its software in several nations using multiple currencies. The company’s CEO, Marc Benioff, stated in the most recent financial report that the higher monetary worth would cost the business more than $800 million.

A decrease in value might occur, according to Michael Klein, a professor at Tufts University, particularly when businesses like Salesforce sell their products in a different currency before transferring them into American accounts.

“Repatriated profits from abroad, in euros or pounds or yen, are going to be worth less in dollars because a dollar is stronger,” he said.

U.S. Exporters

It is the opposite for exporters as the situation for importers improves. A greater dollar value will discourage foreign consumers from buying American products since they will be more costly on supermarket shelves.

Source: NPR

Pakistan Confronts Another Crisis Following Widespread Floods

Photo Credit: CNN

Following the torrential rains and flooding, Pakistan’s population is now faced with a new issue. Infants lie on hospital beds, some of whom are battling for their lives and others who have already succumbed to illnesses brought on by the accumulated floodwater that has killed people and afflicted millions.

Fatalities occur every hour, and the hospital’s hallways are filled with the wails of guardians who have done all their power to stop the worst from happening. In Pakistani hospitals, cholera is the leading cause of baby mortality. Bacteria that can be acquired from consuming contaminated drinking water are what causes the sickness.

Numerous areas of Pakistan now often experience other waterborne illnesses. For instance, the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital in Pakistan’s Sindh Province record roughly ten child fatalities per day. All of them are brought on by ailments from water-related illnesses, which were mostly brought on by the most recent floods.

Numerous young patients are crowded together inside wards and the emergency room of the same hospital. Children are seen crying out in agony while some are still unconscious in the heartbreaking sights. Patients who are obviously malnourished and seem pale and skinny are cared for by nurses.

In the hopes that their children may survive, the parents of the patients wait impatiently outside the emergency department.

“The floods came, and the rain fell. And then our patients came in like the floods,” said Dr. Nazia Urooj.

The problem is unprecedented, experts said, and Pakistan now more than ever needs assistance from outside agencies. However, many healthcare facilities have not yet offered assistance, and if this pattern continues, the situation might worsen and result in additional infant fatalities.

Read Also: Residents Depending on Lake Mead for Supply Fear of Water Shortage

Only the beginning

Pakistan’s floods have claimed the lives of almost 1,600 people, while the increasing water has reportedly impacted an additional 33 million people. The catastrophe was brought on by melting glaciers in Pakistan’s north and monsoon rainfall.

Citizens were left at community centers without access to food or clean water to drink due to the water forcing them from their houses. Moreover, there is no access to other areas of the nation. For instance, due to impassable roads, Sindh residents have a challenging time getting medical care.

“Many children are not even reaching hospitals because the medical facilities they could access are either underwater or just not accessible,” said Aardarsh Leghari, the Communications Officer of UNICEF based in Pakistan.

Pakistan is plagued with many diseases

A number of ailments have now taken center stage as the floods are almost over and the water is slowly receding. The illnesses that have arisen as a result of the floods include dysentery, diarrhea, dengue fever, malaria, and others.

In addition to spreading illnesses, the flood displaced individuals from their houses or possibly rendered them completely homeless. For instance, Rani takes her ailing three-year-old kid to the Mother and Child Healthcare Hospital to get him medical attention. Despite her son’s illness, she reveals that their present living situation—on the side of the road with only a plastic sheet covering their roof—means that her health does not get any better.

The morning and the night provide new challenges, Rani said. She and a few other relocated families struggle with the sweltering heat in the morning, and at night, insects bite them.

Read Also: Puerto Rico Sustains Damage from Floods, Power System Needs Improvement

“We burn waste so mosquitoes cannot bite (the children). We remain active at night so our children can sleep,” Rani said.

Leghari claimed that mosquito infestations cause Pakistan’s problems.

“There are no mosquito nets. It’s the mosquitoes that are bringing in malaria and disease. The other is cholera. It’s like a plethora of diseases coming out of these floodwater lakes. This is going to turn into a bigger health crisis,” he said.

Mai Sabagi cries after her granddaughter succumbs from cholera. Photo: Javed Iqbal

Grandmother Mai Sabagi sobs as she remembers her five-year-old granddaughter, who had recently passed away from cholera.

“All this has happened because of the rains. We lost our clothes – everything. Our house has been damaged. We have not been given any relief. Poor people cannot afford treatment,” Mai said.

Source: CNN

Residents Depending on Lake Mead for Supply Fear of Water Shortage

Photo Credit: Caitlin Ochs

The largest water reservoir in the nation, Lake Mead, is on the verge of becoming a “deadpool,” meaning that the turbines of the nearby hydroelectric facilities would not be able to operate effectively. The incident would be the first in 86 years.

The likelihood of the possibility is quite high considering the clear changes Lake Mead is undergoing. For instance, Arthur Murzeau, a local traveler who made the trip to Las Vegas to visit the famed lake, claimed that the water is much lower than in pictures.

“I think we need [politicians] to take action. We need people to react and to be really aware of what’s going on,” said Murzeau.

Are people aware of the problem? — this is the issue.

Authorities have frequently sounded the alarm, warning of the looming disaster the country may face if the pattern continues, as the drought is at its worst in 1,200 years. Nevertheless, nothing has changed in Colorado’s population’s everyday lifestyle or activities. Over 40 million people rely on the river for their needs, according to statistics.

The increased calls informed numerous concerned departments, and protective measures were put in place. However, because areas anticipate a scarcity in the near future, analysts believe that the attempts may not be sufficient.

Read Also: Puerto Rico Sustains Damage from Floods, Power System Needs Improvement

What is ‘Mas Vegas’

Houses keep popping up south of Highway 39 and Hoover Dam, where there aren’t many water resources. RVs frequently go through the region known as “Mas Vegas,” which is continually being developed with homes.

The situation is the same in Rio Verde, in Phoenix’s northern outskirts. Realtor Karen Nabity expressed disappointment that so many individuals continue to be permitted to purchase properties in the region and construct homes there despite the scarcity of water.

“They don’t have a disclosure to the owner of that property to say, ‘you’re building this house, but do you know on January first we don’t have a water source for you,” Nabity said.

In the Rio Verde Foothills neighborhood, 500 homes will be at risk of running out of water in January 2023. Unfortunately, the towns in Scottsdale are using up all the water supplied by the Colorado River, so there isn’t much left over to distribute.

“The Colorado River won’t be flowing, water won’t be flowing down the [Central Arizona Project] canals, that should be an ‘oh shit’ to this entire state. I’m an Arizona native, and for God’s sakes, wake up, Arizona, we need to do something, and we need to do it now,” added Nabity.

Read Also: Global Study Reveals Women Being More Susceptible to Health Complications after Pandemic

The solution to the problem

Nabity said that due to communication provided to them in 2016, they were not caught off guard by the water scarcity. Therefore, Nabity started to assemble her neighbors in order to propose to the government the creation of a water district made to acquire property and water rights in order to discover a new source for their water reservoir. The suggestion is a widely used method in the nation. The Maricopa Country, however, rejected their proposal.

“What is our state doing? People are still planting grass; people are still watering yards. We need to have our state step up more and start doing bigger cutbacks now,” she said.

The Tucson city councilman expressed the same worry as many locals and suggested that more interventions be made.

“Three years from now, five years from now, whenever it is, we can all be standing along the banks of Colorado looking at a dry riverbed, saying all I did was take what I was entitled to, and we sucked it dry.”

Source: NPR

Puerto Rico Sustains Damage from Floods, Power System Needs Improvement

Photo Credit: NBC

Due to Hurricane Fiona’s onslaught this week, most of Puerto Rico is currently without electricity. Winds from the hurricane toppled trees and damaged power lines, leaving homes and commercial buildings without electricity.

Puerto Rico’s present energy crisis is evidence of its inadequate energy infrastructure. If the nation wants to avoid what happened when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico five years ago, experts believe this needs to be handled as soon as possible.

The longest blackout in American history, lasting 11 months, occurred in numerous sections of Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria’s tremendous destruction of the island. Additionally, 3,000 people lost their lives as a result of the disaster.

Senator Chuck Schumer claims that Puerto Rico’s neglect of the issue has resulted in the island’s electrical infrastructure being “almost 50 years out of date,” even though international help was rushed in after Hurricane Maria, according to legislators. Schumer does, however, emphasize that the US government is making every effort to assist Puerto Rico.

“As our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico continue to feel the wrath of Hurricane Fiona, we continue to monitor the situation here in Congress. Over the weekend, President Biden issued an Emergency Disaster Declaration for Puerto Rico, where 75% of the costs of emergency medical care, disaster response, and food distribution will be covered by the Federal Government,” the senator said.

Read Also: Global Study Reveals Women Being More Susceptible to Health Complications after Pandemic

“The electric grid is almost 50 years out of date. It’s particularly susceptible to hurricanes. It hasn’t even been repaired since the damage Hurricane Maria five years ago put upon it. And yet we’ve given lots of federal money for the reestablishment, or the rebuilding of the grid and very little has happened. So we need to focus on that issue as well as others.”

“Five years to the day after the arrival of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico needs help to recover from Hurricane Fiona. We need to make sure this time, Puerto Rico has absolutely everything it needs, as soon as possible, for as long as they need it.”

The hope amid the disaster

In preparation for power disruptions, Puerto Rico began installing solar and improved power systems for homes five years ago. According to Chris Rauscher, a senior director at Sunrun, the biggest residential solar provider in the US, the system lights up homes when there are power outages.

Solar firms claim that they would invest in improved solar setups even if the climate problem has given rise to larger and wetter hurricanes. Puerto Rico will notably benefit since stronger hurricanes are more likely to damage electricity infrastructure more frequently.

“It’s showing that renewables paired with storage … are really the fundamental building blocks of a clean recovery that we need to really focus on on the island and elsewhere,” said Rauscher.

According to John Berger, a senior executive of Sunnova, a similarly large solar firm, Puerto Rico is one of the ideal locations for advancing and expanding the use of solar-powered houses. He also asserts that modern technology, including solar energy, is superior to conventional power sources.

Read Also: U.N. Secretary General Emphasizes Need to Halt Use of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuel should be outed

As the US commits to renewable energy sources in the near future, Puerto Rico’s reliance on fossil fuels to power its electric networks is set to alter. The need for an alternative energy source increased due to the Russian reduction, which increased costs.

An agreement was made between the US and Puerto Rico in February of last year to complete the island’s electricity grid.

The energy reform of the nation, bringing it to sustainability and efficiency, is a goal of his administration, according to the governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi.

“I will make sure that every federal fund appropriated to Puerto Rico and allocated for the reconstruction of the power grid is used efficiently and effectively,” Pierluisi said.

Source: NPR

U.N. Secretary General Emphasizes Need to Halt Use of Fossil Fuels

Photo Credit: United Nations

The United Nations secretary general urgently urges member countries to take a more aggressive position in the struggle against the use of fossil fuels. According to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, countries should impose higher taxes on these businesses to raise money for the mitigation of climate change’s consequences.

As the economy falters and commodity prices soar to record highs, Guterres stressed that nations would use the tax revenue to provide financial aid to households.

The top official of the UN highlighted to the General Assembly that the fossil fuel sector is “feasting on hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies and windfall profits while households’ budgets shrink and our planet burns.”

Guterres mentioned various players who keep the fossil fuel sector operating. However, he believes that they should all be held accountable for the global harm caused by the enterprise. “That includes the banks, private equity, asset managers and other financial institutions that continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution,” he said.

The secretary-general also emphasized the need for public relations firms to protect their industry from any backlash from the populace by using marketing, propaganda, and other information-dissemination tools to divert the populace’s attention away from the underlying issue.

Read Also: The World is at the End of the Tunnel says WHO in Fight Against Covid

Fossil fuel is still needed

Although Guterres forbids the use of fossil fuels and other associated items, he acknowledged that most nations still require them. Many businesses utilize gas, coal, and oil extensively in their operations. However, he thinks that nations must start preparing for their transition now to safeguard the environment.

“Of course, fossil fuels cannot be shut down overnight. A just transition means leaving no person or country behind. But it’s high time to put fossil fuel producers, investors and enablers on notice.”

“Polluters must pay. And today, I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies.”

Where would the tax go?

It is now crucial to understand where the tax income flows if nations implement the idea. Guterres contends that the funds ought to be distributed to “countries suffering loss and damage caused by the climate crisis; and to people struggling with rising food and energy prices.”

The secretary previously made a similar speech in August, during which he called the record profits made by businesses during the energy crisis “immoral.” According to him, it is incredibly unfair for businesses to make the most money at a time when many people are struggling, and communities are being negatively impacted by the climate crisis.

“The combined profits of the largest energy companies in the first quarter of this year are close to 100 billion U.S. dollars. I urge all governments to tax these excessive profits and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people through these difficult times.”

Read Also: Now that the Queen’s Funeral is Over, Young Brits Think the Country Should Solve Even Bigger Problems

Fuel companies should have higher taxes

Other leaders, notably British politician Rishi Sunak, have already expressed support for Guterres’ suggestion, together with Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.

“And don’t get me wrong: In our social market economy, profits are OK, they are good. But in these times, it is wrong to receive extraordinary, record revenues and profits benefitting from war and on the back of our consumers,” said von der Leyen.

“In these times, profits must be shared and channeled to those who need it most. And therefore, our proposal also includes the fossil fuel electricity producers, who have to give a crisis contribution.”

However, the CEO of Standard Chartered believes that it’s essential to provide a framework for businesses to “just transition” if nations want to stop using fossil fuels.

“Those are two really important words … just means fair, it also means implementable. And transition means transition — it means it takes some time,” said Winters.

“The idea that we can turn off the taps and end fossil fuels tomorrow, it’s obviously ridiculous and naive.”

Source: CNBC

Global Study Reveals Women Being More Susceptible to Health Complications after Pandemic

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Women all around the world have been reported to have medical issues years after the pandemic, but the dangers are greater in the second year than in the first.

Hologic, a medical technology business, worked alongside Gallup to launch a worldwide poll examining women’s health demands and how nations manage them. The questionnaire was divided into five sections: general health, mental health, safety, preventative care, and basic necessities.

The 2020 poll had a score of 54 out of 100. However, a year later, the score had slipped significantly to 53 out of 100. Furthermore, the Global Women’s Health Index has been substantially lower across all countries globally, with all assessed nations scoring no more than 70 points in 2021.

Four countries received the highest scores. Taiwan, Latvia, Austria, and Denmark are among them. Meanwhile, three countries received the lowest scores: Venezuela, Congo, and Afghanistan. The United States was placed 23rd, with a score of 61 out of 100.

“The economic and psychological burden of the pandemic will weigh down many households for a while, and we know that it particularly affected women,” stated Gertraud Stadler, the director of Berlin’s Institute of Gender in Medicine.

According to Gallup and Hologic statistics, women got more depressed, furious, anxious, and stressed in 2021 than they had in the previous decade.

“We understand you can only impact and improve what you measure. Overall, the data is sobering. And we understand that we need women to be healthy to fully engage and be empowered. It’s clear that the time has come to work together and begin to find solutions and improve women’s health care,” Dr. Susan Harvey said from the John Hopkins School of Medicine.

Read Also: U.N. Secretary General Emphasizes Need to Halt Use of Fossil Fuels

Women should be taken care of

Gallup and Hologic’s five primary measurement areas would highlight which areas need to be addressed. These factors may also influence how long women expect their lives to endure. For example, women who had access to medical care had a two-year longer life expectancy than those who did not.

In preventive care, the United States faired better in 2021 than it did in 2020. Overall, the country ranks second only to Latvia. Dr. Harvey stated that, while it is a minor improvement, the country should be impressed.

“Overall, though, the world is failing women in preventive care,” she added.

Over 1.5 billion women were unable to get preventative care in 2021. A report also showed that cancer is commonly discovered in women.

CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research, Katie Schubert, said, “This goes back to a lot of those different burdens that women are taking on, both from the perspective of being a caregiver but also being a part of their community.”

“In the US, for example, Schubert says, women are more likely to go to a well visit for their child than they are for themselves. And the share of women who don’t show up for a key doctor’s visit at six weeks postpartum is “pretty striking.”

Read Also: Hong Kong Residents Gather in Public to Commemorate the Queen, a Silent Protest

Women should be lifted for the benefit of all

Scientists agree that women must be cared for in order for society to reach its full potential.

“Women often have the role of health manager in their families and communities. And they are taking on a large share of care work, so children, partners, parents benefit as well from women’s health,” Stadler explained.

“Without this foundational health and well-being of women, we won’t be able to advance any of the goals related to economic stability or equity in socio-economic development. That really all stands on the shoulders of a healthy environment, a healthy person and healthy outcomes.”

The executive director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, said, “It is critical that we rally now to invest in women and girls to reclaim and accelerate progress. The data show undeniable regressions in their lives made worse by the global crises – in incomes, safety, education, and health. The longer we take to reverse this trend, the more it will cost us all.”

Source: CNN

Hong Kong Residents Gather in Public to Commemorate the Queen, a Silent Protest

Photo Credit: Reuters

Thousands of people have gathered in Hong Kong to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II, marking the largest crowd gathering in the nation since China outright banned public protests more than two years ago.

On Monday, about 2,500 people gathered in front of the British Consulate. To demonstrate their support for the UK, people from all walks of life and from different parts of Hong Kong braved the heat that reached 33 degrees Celsius or 91 degrees Fahrenheit. The deceased Queen received letters addressed to the “boss lady” or “lady in charge” and presented them with flowers, picture frames, and other gifts.

While many people view the occasion merely as a means to honor the British Queen, others see it as a form of protest against China, which has since banned large gatherings under a rule passed in June 2020.

Hong Kong residents were not allowed to demonstrate due to national security laws. Protests in favor of democracy have been successfully put to rest thanks to the act. Others assert that the law was implemented under the pretense of a covid limitation.

The occasion has also come to address the Chinese Communist Party’s goal of making the people of Hong Kong forget the time. It has also disputed the assertion made in several publications published there, according which Hong Kong was never a colony. Instead, the term “forcible occupation” is used by the government.

Read Also: Xi Jinping Travels to Central Asia, a Strategic Move says Experts

Residents are glad about the gathering

People were delighted that they had come to the event. After a long absence, a guy who went by the moniker Wing and declined to provide his full name said it felt good to be around so many people.

“I feel angry that the Hong Kong government is not showing any respect properly (to the Queen). They’re scared of the Chinese government telling them off, but we were part of the colony,” he said.

The passing of Queen Elizabeth, according to another resident named Sylvia Lee, was a sad day for the rest of the globe since she stood for female strength and stability.

“No one lives forever, and we knew this day would come someday. She was a respected figure, and the government during the colonial period made many contributions to Hong Kong’s development, especially in the 70s and 80s,” she said.

Read Also: Twitter Downplayed Threats to User Data Alleges Whistleblower in Senate Hearing

A subtle protest for the residents

At first look, the ceremony could appear to signify little more than that China and Hong Kong share the sadness of the Western nation over the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Xi Jinping, the president of China, and John Lee, the leader of Hong Kong, have both conveyed their best wishes to the United Kingdom; therefore, it is safe to assume that the event is only for solidarity.

More than that, though, is the overwhelming feeling that the populace experienced, which made them think of previous pro-democracy protests in the nation that condemned China.

More than a century has passed since Britain and the UK first encountered. In the 19th century, Hong Kong grew to become a hub for the opium trade between China and Britain. Over 156 years of Hong Kong’s history were spent under British control. However, they were regrettably given up to China when the colonizers left the nation.

“It was (the Queen’s) empire that, in 1997, handed us over to China against our wishes,” Jeffrey Ngo said.

“The feeling is understandable, given that the intuitive point of comparison is Hong Kong under Chinese rule. I respect their lived experience, albeit it’s not something I share. For me, the monarchy’s wealth and prestige are impossible to disentangle from the empire’s violence and expansionism,” he added.

Source: CNN

African-Americans who Engage in Religious Activities have Better Heart Health

Photo Credit: Church Source

It has been shown that African American individuals who regularly participate in religious activities benefit greatly. According to a new study, those who engage in regular spiritual activities scored better on tests, showing that their hearts are in excellent shape. The research further found a noticeable difference between individuals who do and those who do not.

According to research published in the American Heart Association’s journal, religious African Americans who participated in the study had superior results on tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, and other factors essential to the cardiovascular system’s overall wellness.

Engaging in religious events boosts the probability of good scores in eight measures, such as physical activity, nicotine exposure, food, and sleep, by 15%.

Dr. LaPrincess C. Brewer, the author of the research, said, “I was slightly surprised by the findings that multiple dimensions of religiosity and spirituality were associated with improved cardiovascular health across multiple health behaviors that are extremely challenging to change, such as diet, physical activity and smoking.”

“Our findings highlight the substantial role that culturally tailored health promotion initiatives and recommendations for lifestyle change may play in advancing health equity,” Dr. Brewer added. “The cultural relevance of interventions may increase their likelihood of influencing cardiovascular health and also the sustainability and maintenance of healthy lifestyle changes.”

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Cardiovascular health among African-Americans is relatively poorer

According to health specialists, the cardiovascular health of African Americans is worse than that of non-Hispanic White people. As a result, the death rate from cardiovascular illnesses is greater among African-American adults than it is among White individuals.

African-Americans made up 2,967 of the study’s participants. A sample of Jackson, Mississippi, residents aged 21 to 84 had health exams and questionnaires done on them. Strong religious observance among locals is well-known in the tri-county region. Anyone with cardiac disease was not included in the research.

After that, groups of sampled people were created based on their religious practices. Religiosity is associated with improved outcomes for cardiovascular health, claims epidemiologist Mercedes R. Carnethon of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

“One hypothesis that could explain these observations is that both the practice of religion and the behaviors that are associated with better cardiovascular health, such as adherence to physician recommendations for behavior change, not smoking, and not drinking excessively, share a common origin or personality characteristic,” she said.

“Observing a religion requires discipline, conscientiousness and a willingness to follow the guidance of a leader. These traits may also lead people to engage in better health practices under the guidance of their healthcare providers.”

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Fostering a faith-centered lifestyle is needed

It is beneficial for people to improve their lifestyle by adopting a more religious perspective, according to Jonathan Butler from the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

“A potential way to address health inequities in the African American community is to leverage faith-based organizations’ physical and social capital capacity to improve health outcomes,” he said.

Source: CNN

Winners Awarded in the 74th Annual Emmys

Photo Credit: Myung J. Chun | Los Angeles Times

The 74th Emmy Awards was just finished by Television Academy, and on Monday, the winners were revealed. Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson served as the event’s host, honoring the best of the best in television at the Emmy Awards.

The award-giving organization distributed a total of 24 prizes to be granted to individuals and productions for their outstanding work in the field. Sunday is normally when the ceremony airs. However, NBC decided to telecast the awards night on Monday due to a scheduling problem with the NFL.

With five wins, including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie, and Outstanding Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie, “The White Lotus,” an HBO production, took home the most honors. AppleTV+’s “Ted Lasso” also received four honors.

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The other winners and nominations across several categories are listed below:

Outstanding drama series

“Succession”

Other Nominees:

“Better Call Saul” (AMC)   
“Euphoria” (HBO)   
“Ozark” (Netflix)   
“Severance” (Apple TV+)   
“Squid Game” (Netflix)   
“Stranger Things” (Netflix)    
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)  

Outstanding comedy series

“Ted Lasso”

Other Nominees:

“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)   
“Barry” (HBO)
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)   
“Hacks” (HBO)   
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu)
“What We Do in the Shadows” (FX)   

Outstanding limited series

“The White Lotus”

Other Nominees:

“Dopesick” (Hulu)   
“The Dropout” (Hulu)   
“Inventing Anna” (Netflix)   
“Pam and Tommy” (Hulu)   

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series

Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game”

Other Nominees:

Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)  
Brian Cox (“Succession”)  
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)  
Adam Scott (“Severance”)  
Jeremy Strong (“Succession”) 

Outstanding lead actress in a drama series

Zendaya, “Euphoria”

Other Nominees:

Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”)   
Laura Linney (“Ozark”)  
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)  
Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)  
Reese Witherspoon (“The Morning Show”)   

Winners of other Categories include:

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series

Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series

Julia Garner, “Ozark”

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series

Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series

Jean Smart, “Hacks”

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Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series

Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series

Sheryl Lee Ralph, “Abbott Elementary”

Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie

Michael Keaton, “Dopesick”

Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie

Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout”

Outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie

Murray Bartlett, “The White Lotus”

Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie

Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus”

Outstanding reality/competition series

“Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls”

Outstanding variety talk series

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”

Outstanding variety sketch series

“Saturday Night Live”

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Lee Jung-jae (“Squid Game”)   

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Jesse Armstrong, “Succession”

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

MJ Delaney, “Ted Lasso”

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Hwang Dong-hyuk, “Squid Game”

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special

“Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel” (HBO Max)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series

Mike White, “The White Lotus”

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series

Mike White, “The White Lotus”

Source: CNN

Twitter Downplayed Threats to User Data Alleges Whistleblower in Senate Hearing

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Peiter “Mudge” Zatko testified before Congress, informing them that Twitter lacks the ability to eliminate the dangers to its users’ data. He continued by saying that there may be spies among the company’s employees.

The whistleblower recounted in his testimony a situation in which a Twitter employee ignored a problem with a spy concern. Even though it may have provided hazards to the company’s operations, the employee, according to him, downplayed the worry.

Zatko also disclosed that, before coming forward in January as a whistleblower, the FBI had warned Twitter that there were Chinese spies working for the company. However, it’s unclear at this time whether Twitter has already addressed the issue. Meanwhile, the FBI appears to be keeping quiet about the matter.

Twitter has recurring issues, according to Zatko. These can jeopardize the user data security of the firm. Furthermore, the company’s alleged incompetence in resolving the problems creates a threat to US national security.

To back up his accusations against Twitter, Zatko highlighted a number of problems. The issues raised by the whistleblower included Twitter’s improper treatment of user data, its breach of the consent agreement reached with the US Federal Trade Commission in 2011, and its decision to provide the majority of its workers access to private user data.

All of the flaws Zatko listed in front of Congress relate to Twitter’s difficulty in locating and getting rid of these threats.

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A mission for Zatko’s camp

According to Zatko’s legal aid, Alexis Ronickher, they are doing their share to keep people safe on the internet.

“Mr. Zatko is hopeful that the Committee’s work today has helped educate the public about just how dire the security and privacy situation is at Twitter and how impacted we all are by these failures. He continues to believe that through this public disclosure process, real-world harm for Twitter users may be avoided and our country’s national security better protected,” he said.

Legislators also emphasized the implications of Zatko’s charges during the session. To safeguard the people and the nation, they argued, any danger to Twitter should be taken seriously. The head of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Dick Durbin, stated that Twitter is a strong platform and should not allow its defense measures to be easily breached.

External threats to Twitter

Zatko expanded on his revelation by claiming that China and Russia may be able to eavesdrop on data stored in the US. Over 7,000 Twitter workers, according to Zatko’s testimony, have access to sensitive user information, making that information accessible if the company employed spies.

The whistleblower continued by saying that private information such as email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, locations, home addresses, languages, and other details might all be exploited by foreign governments for whatever reason.

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Additionally, Twitter lacks an internal system monitoring mechanism that can determine who has accessed sensitive data, which implies that any employee may do so anonymously, and the firm won’t know who it is. The perpetrator of the terrible deeds would then be difficult to identify.

“There were thousands of failed attempts to access internal systems that were happening per week, and nobody was noticing. This fundamental lack of logging inside Twitter is a remnant of being so far behind on their infrastructure and the engineering,” Zatko added.

“A Twitter engineer, understanding how the running systems and the data flows were operating, could then access and inject, or put forward, information as … any of the senators sitting here today.”

Source: CNN

Experts Share Tips on Saving on Grocery Amid Soaring Prices

Photo Credit: Unsplash

At the current time, where inflation is record-high, going into the grocery is expensive. And experts predict that it will not get any cheaper in the future if the current trend continues.

Gas prices have surprisingly dropped in the last month; however, the rising prices of goods in the market triggered inflation to spike even higher. For example, in recent consumer price index data, the food index has increased 11.4% since the beginning of the year, the highest jump in decades. Meanwhile, the food-at-home index is also hitting a 43-year high at 13.5%.

A senior economic analyst, Mark Hamrick, said that because of the higher prices of food or goods, consumers are cutting back on their expenditures. However, since food is a necessity, households have no choice but to buy the goods in the market, and that is what makes it problematic.

Households are already clamoring after the price tags of essential goods like eggs, milk, bread, butter, and cereal, among others, have all seen price hikes over the past months. Meanwhile, companies have also been affected by inflation, causing company giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to impose price hikes on their products like drinks and packaged goods.

As a result, many producers come up with other solutions, like using smaller packages and swapping for cheaper ingredients. These strategies are known as shrinkflation and skimpflation, respectively.

Read Also: European Companies Fear Worsening Gas Crisis as Russian Gas Supply Cuts Continue

“Grocery product manufacturers know that while most shoppers will immediately notice a price increase, they are less likely to catch a reduction in a product’s net weight or a switch to using cheaper ingredients,” said Edgar Dworsky, Consumer World founder.

To help the nation deal with worsening inflation, the Federal Reserve has taken steps, albeit aggressive ones, to combat issues that trouble companies and households.

“Consumers are prepared for high prices to persist in the foreseeable future, but there’s also a tendency for people to think that things might return to normal. [In the meantime], it’s prudent for individuals to continue to be cautious with their household budgets,” Hamrick said.

“It’s belt-tightening time and has been for a while,” Hamrick added.

Tips for saving on groceries

1. Scrutinize Sales. Paying attention to price changes and promos could benefit your pocket. For example, generic brands may charge lower than their premium counterparts. You also need to watch out for discounts that could help you save money.

2. Plan your meals. Lisa Thompson, a saving expert from Coupons.com said that having a meal plan helps you buy the necessary items at a given period. First, you need to have an idea of the possible meals you will be having for the week to identify the necessary goods to look for.

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3. Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk will help you save more money as they come in with discounts and extra items.

4. Use a cash-back app. Using cash-back applications has long-term benefits. For instance, the cash-back app Ibotta gives its users $10 to $20 per month.

5. Pay with the right card. Knowing what card gives you the highest percentage of cash-back will help you save and earn several dollars.

Source: CNBC

How to Counter the Heat and Sleep Soundly at Night

Photo Credit: Siesto

The blazing heat causes a slew of issues for countries all around the world. The United Kingdom, the United States, India, and China, among others, have previously experienced the economic damage that severe heat can inflict. Reports have emerged describing how the heat has harmed countries’ energy output as well as farmers’ ability to produce an abundance of items for export.

Individuals are the most harmed by the macro changes triggered by the heat; therefore, the problem is as personal as it gets. As a result, in addition to financial issues, they have another challenge: sleeping.

The harsh fact is that heat disrupts one’s sleep rhythm. Sometimes people wake up soaked in sweat or do not sleep at all.

In California, for example, temperatures reached all-time peaks of 110 degrees Fahrenheit, or 43 degrees Celsius. Power grids are stressed, causing blackouts. Furthermore, wildfires are becoming more common, contributing to the heat in the atmosphere. The most significant of them is the reduction in Russia’s gas supplies, which forces energy corporations to seek new energy sources. As a result, grids are now limited in the quantity of electricity they can offer to communities.

Read Also: UK and EU Pours in $500 Billion to Subsidize Energy Among Households, Businesses

As a result of the situation, many hotels and families do not have enough functional air conditioning equipment, leading to a large number of individuals demanding cooler AC outputs. Because of the cooler temperatures in the UK, a central air system was not previously required.

However, rising temperatures may change everything. According to new scientific research, extreme temperatures are forecast in the region and will worsen over time. According to experts’ projections, heat will become the norm by 2035.

Sleep patterns could be altered by intense heat

According to the Study of Sleep Research, sleep is “a vital function necessary for adaptive physical and mental wellbeing.” In a journal released last Thursday, the research body disclosed several ideas that might help people cope with the heat and sleep successfully in the hot temperatures.

According to the journal, the optimal room temperature for a person to sleep comfortably is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius).

However, when heat waves become more often, how can people sleep peacefully? According to research, hotter nights induce alertness and diminish REM (Rapid Eye Movement). These elements are essential for bodily repair and rejuvenation every night.

How to sleep soundly amid heat

1. Drink plenty of water. Water aids the body in temperature regulation. Staying hydrated may help to mitigate the heat in the surroundings. However, doctors advise against drinking water an hour or two before bedtime unless you want to spend the night in the bathroom.

Dr. Phyllis Zee, a neurology professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, believes that eating lighter meals throughout the day may also be beneficial.

2. Wear comfortably in cotton. These types of fabrics allow for the unobstructed passage of wind. Wearing synthetics that can trap heat is not a good idea.

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3. Opening windows and other forms of airflow should assist cool your room if it is chilly in the morning for whatever reason. When the temperature begins to rise, quickly close it.

4. If the heat does not subside, close the curtains and shades.

5. Avoid consuming alcohol at night since it dehydrates your body and causes night sweats.

6. Calming tasks such as reading or listening to music can help your body relax and prep for sleep.

7. Before going to bed, take a cold shower or soak your feet in a warm bath.

“Your body temperature lowers after you leave the shower or bath as your body adapts to the cooler environment. This drop in temperature prepares your body for sleep because our body temperature has a natural circadian rhythm – the body is primed to cool down when you lay down and warm up when you get up,” said Dr. Raj Dasputa, a sleep specialist.

8. Find techniques to keep your bedroom temp below 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius.

“There are also fairly inexpensive ice cooling fans that can be placed near the bed. If you’re unable to keep the bedroom cool, sleeping temporarily on lower floors like the basement (if there is one) will be cooler.”

Source: CNN

Scorching Heat, Severe Winds Affect Southern California

Photo Credit: Gregory Bull/AP

Damage to life and property is caused by a tropical storm in the southern region of California. In addition, there might be flooding and damage to power lines as a result of Friday’s strong winds and heavy rain. However, after a heat wave, the afflicted districts had relief from the extreme temperatures they had endured for more than 10 days.

According to the National Weather Service, the state of Baja California Sur was hit by Hurricane Kay last Thursday. Thankfully, the storm started to weaken as soon as it touched down on land. The storm’s winds were around 109 mph (175 kph).

Firefighters feared that the hurricane approaching Southern California could produce strong winds that might fan the Fairview fire, which is located 121 kilometers southeast of Los Angeles. However, the crew managed to keep the blaze under control, and they said that by Monday, they would have the situation totally under control. Nevertheless, the fire damaged more than 10,000 homes and other buildings, and hundreds of people are still in shelters.

Following a heat wave that caused temperatures to rise to above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in the region, the hurricane arrived at an opportune moment. Unfortunately, the oppressive heat also took a toll on San Diego. Thankfully, the cyclone arrived and temporarily soothed the locals’ heat-related discomfort.

“The heat was killer, so for now, this feels good. I just hope the water doesn’t get too high. But I will rough it. I’ve got pallets I can put underneath to keep out the rain.”

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Even while the rain was a respite, residents know the risks associated with prolonged, heavy rainfall. For example, a twin-engine aircraft landed and skidded off the runway at the Naval Air Station North Island in Colorado. The two pilots on board had to be brought to the hospital for observation due to the damage to the plane.

Moderate rainfall was experienced in a few locations in Southern California, but there was a risk of major downpours over the weekend. Officials say that if the rains continue, there is a very high likelihood of flooding. If the water level rises to the typical level, it has been recommended that low-lying homes and coastal towns be on the alert for possible evacuation procedures.

The heat affecting the state

September was the warmest it’s ever been in Western states, including California. In this region, the heat waves were the longest ever recorded. Energy grids were stressed as a result, which increased costs. This week, severe heat advisories and warnings were issued for multiple areas that are home to more than 54 million people.

The hottest temperature in nearly 79 years was recorded in Sacramento, the state capital of California, last Tuesday when it reached 116 degrees Fahrenheit or 46.7 degrees Celsius. As temperatures rose as high as 41.6 degrees Celsius, or 107 degrees Fahrenheit, in Salt Lake, it was confirmed that the city had also crossed the 40-degree Celsius barrier.

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Damage was inflicted to infrastructure

Multiple structures, notably electricity networks, have been harmed by the extreme heat and rain throughout many states. In order to combat the oppressive heat outside, businesses and families must upgrade their air conditioning systems. In addition, due to the increase in demand and electricity consumption, blackouts occurred stemming from the inability of the power systems to keep up.

Research shows that Western nations have grown warmer and drier due to climate change in the past thirty years. As a result, more severe and devastating wildfires increased in likelihood. In fact, California had the most disastrous wildfire ever recorded in only five years.

For example, the Mosquito Fire in eastern Sacramento doubled in size, spanning 46 square miles (119 square kilometers) of land and affecting over 3,600 dwellings in El Dorado and Placer counties.

Source: NPR

European Companies Fear Worsening Gas Crisis as Russian Gas Supply Cuts Continue

Photo Credit: Uniper

As long as Russia keeps pushing down on gas supplies coming into the nation, the gas issue in Europe will only get worse. Prices increased as a result, and they will do so for the remainder of the winter. According to German energy firm Uniper, the nation will suffer the most if the trend continues.

“I have said this a number of times now over this year, and I’m also educating policymakers. Look, the worst is still to come,” stated Uniper’s CEO, Klaus-Dieter Maubach.

“What we see on the wholesale market is 20 times the price that we have seen two years ago — 20 times. That is why I think we need to have really an open discussion with everyone taking responsibility on how to fix that,” the company executive said further.

A shortage of Uniper exists. The situation has put prices over the roof as the primary gas provider in Germany. The German government gave Uniper a subsidy of 15 billion euros, or around $14.9 billion, to aid the firm with its issue. The rescue agreement should help the corporation overcome its current difficulties and stabilize its system.

Another danger to the business is Russia’s decision to halt supply from entering Nord Stream 1. As a result, shares of Uniper fell by 3.5% on Tuesday.

The primary pipeline used to transport gas from Russia to Europe is already being blocked by the energy giant Gazprom, which the Russian government owns. Suppliers voiced concerns over the action, which would require several parts of Europe to store their stock until the winter.

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Involvement of G7 in the issue

The G7 decided to restrict Russian oil prices as a gesture of protest against Russia’s war on Ukraine, and soon after that, Gazprom severed ties with the nation.

“We aim to align implementation with the timeline of related measures within the EU’s sixth sanctions package. [The initial price cap would be set] at a level based on a range of technical inputs,” the seven-membered block stated.

The US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Japan are members of the G7. In a manifesto, the G7 stated:

“To deliver on this commitment, today we confirm our joint political intention to finalize and implement a comprehensive prohibition of services which enable maritime transportation of Russian-origin crude oil and petroleum products globally – the provision of such services would only be allowed if the oil and petroleum products are purchased at or below a price (“the price cap”) determined by the broad coalition of countries adhering to and implementing the price cap.

The price cap is specifically designed to reduce Russian revenues and Russia’s ability to fund its war of aggression while limiting the impact of Russia’s war on global energy prices, particularly for low and middle-income countries, by only permitting service providers to continue to do business related to Russian seaborne oil and petroleum products sold at or below the price cap. This measure would thus build on and amplify the reach of existing sanctions, notably the EU’s sixth package of sanctions, ensuring coherence through a strong global framework.”

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The connection between Gazprom and Uniper

It could be challenging for Uniper to resume its relationship with Gazprom in light of the statement of disapproval that Germany signed. Since 1970, a relationship between the two parties has existed. The cooperation, according to the CEO of Uniper, has already ended, and the business no longer intends to make amends with the Russian supplier, not in the next days, weeks, or months. Maubach added that it is urgent that Uniper replace its Russian partner and find a new gas supplier.

At the moment, Uniper is having trouble meeting the demand for energy. One of Gazprom’s largest pipelines was recently shut down because one of its compressors required maintenance. Consequently, the planned maintenance raised costs. Uniper is presently mustering the will to deal with its immediate problems and anticipates finding a new energy source now that they have severed connections with Gazprom.

Source: CNBC

Impact of China’s Energy Crisis Will be Felt by the World

Photo Credit: CNN

Record-breaking temperatures carried on by heat waves have hurt businesses and neighborhoods for several weeks in China, especially in the province of Sichuan. Over 80 million people reside in a province in China’s southwest that is suffering from the effects of extreme heat.

Because of this, the Chinese government has instructed the temporary closure of factories in Sichuan in order to conserve electricity. Other actions taken by authorities include shutting down power lines in subways and offices during designated times, blackouts, and a reduction in the use of air conditioning.

As an outcome, the approaches caused considerable damage to the production of high-tech industries as well as farms that rely on energy to keep their goods fresh. According to experts, this will have a significant effect on global trade. Furthermore, neighboring cities such as Chongqing and provinces along the Yangtze River have begun to recognize the effects of the changes implemented by the authorities in Sichuan.

China has always taken pride in its economic diversity and wealth. Recent events, however, have surprised residents who have grown accustomed to the luxurious lifestyle China has provided for many years. Power outages, for example, reminded people of a time when China was not yet the industrial superpower that it is today.

Climate change has exacerbated the problem for citizens and the country, as it threatens China’s planned economic growth.

A Greenpeace climate adviser, Li Shuo, said, “These so-called extreme weather events will have more impact on our lives and electricity supply. And perhaps we all need to reconsider whether these extreme events will become the new normal.”

Read Also: US Farmers Clamor as Heat Damage Crops, Deplete Water Supply

The power crunch in Sichuan Province

Sichuan is a massive power source in China due to its proximity to the Yangtze, China’s longest and largest river. With the active flow of the river’s waters comes energy produced by the province’s hydropower energy plants. For decades, power plants have provided ample energy to the country, powering cities, homes, and offices.

However, when the temperatures climbed, reservoirs along the river dried up. The power stations were affected, and thus the power outage began. As a result, Sichuan’s hydroelectric capacity fell by 50% this month. This is expected to continue as long as the heat waves last.

“China’s electricity demand has been incredibly flat in the past because so much of it has come from the industry, not from households or services. Now with air conditioning becoming more common, the demand is becoming higher,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, a Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air lead analyst.

“At the same time, rains are becoming more errant. Heavy rains and periods of drought make hydropower much less reliable as a source of available capacity during those peaks.”

Read Also: Factories in China Shut Operations Amid Worst Heat Wave in Decades

The world is impacted by the energy crisis management of China

China’s response to its current energy crisis will have an impact on the rest of the world. Because the country is a place of residence for over 1.4 billion people, carbon dioxide emissions from the country account for 27% of global emissions. If the country continues to burn coal to combat the crisis, climate conditions may worsen.

“There is a possibility that power shortages caused by future extreme weather events might become a new motivation for China to approve more (coal-fired power) projects,” added Li.

Meanwhile, Global Energy Monitor researcher Yu Aiqui said, “There is a possibility that power shortages caused by future extreme weather events might become a new motivation for China to approve more (coal-fired power) projects.”

Analysts, however, believe that China’s shift to coal will be only temporary because the country desperately needs it. According to an energy consultant, “Capacity doesn’t equal generation. The capacity being there creates a lot of optionality and flexibility for all these other (renewable energy sources) they’re building. For now, I see the coal capacity additions, as for the most part, targeted at being able to support wind and solar.”

Source: CNN

A Legacy has Ended, What Will Transpire in the Next Few Days Following Queen’s Death

Photo Credit: Hannah McKay | Reuters

For more than 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II has presided as the Queen of the UK. The Balmoral Castle, where the monarch’s remains are located, was thronged by constituents when word of the monarch’s passing spread like wildfire. It was a time of national sorrow for Englishmen who held Queen Elizabeth in high respect.

Prince Charles, the Queen’s eldest son, is now King Charles III.

Officials at Buckingham Palace refer to the events surrounding the Queen’s burial and King Charles III’s coronation under the codename London Bridge. It has been years in the planning, and now that the Queen is gone, officials are enforcing it.

Here’s what will commence within 10 days:

Day 1

British citizens will observe the official national mourning until Queen Elizabeth II’s burial.

The new King, Prince Charles, who will hereafter be referred to as King Charles III, will meet with other officials, including Prime Minister Liz Truss, to prepare a written declaration and a national speech that will be aired on Friday.

The Great Tom, the Sebastopol Bell, the state bell of St. Paul Cathedral, and the tenor bell of Westminster Abbey will all chime in praise of the Queen. Additionally, gun salutes are anticipated to start in London’s Hyde Park and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. Half-staff will be used for all flags.

Day 2

The corpse of Queen Elizabeth II will be moved from Balmoral Castle to Edinburgh, the monarch’s former home.

The new King will attend the Privy Council meeting and deliver his broadcast speech there. The Canterbury Archbishop will also be present. The national song, “God Save the King,” will be played in the backdrop as the prince is declared the new King while standing on a balcony of St. James’s Palace.

Flags will now be flown at full mast.

Day 3

The royal family will gather for a liturgy at St. Giles Cathedral. King Charles will meet with Scotland’s First Minister in the interim. There will be proclamations in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth II from other towns and cities as well.

Read Also: Queen Elizabeth II Passes Away at 96

Day 4

The Queen’s coffin will be transported slowly by rail from St. Giles Cathedral through most of London overnight. While the new King and his wife, Camilla, are in Westminster Hall, they will be speaking with those who are grieving the country’s loss and offering their sympathies.

Day 5

The Queen’s remains will arrive in London, where they will then be driven to Buckingham Palace. The King will continue his journey to consult with people while stopping at St. Anne’s Cathedral and Hillsborough Castle.

Millions of people are anticipated to pay their respects when the Queen’s corpse arrives at Westminster Hall for a brief halt.

Day 6

The Queen’s casket is carried in a ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster. The royal family will accompany the parade on foot, including Prince Harry, Prince William, and their kids.

Throughout the march, the enormous Big Ben will be rung, and Hyde Park fire cannon salutes in solidarity. After the coffin arrives at Westminster Hall, it will be left there for five days while vigils are likely to start soon after. The casket will be closely watched.

Read Also: Employers want to Require Workers to Spend More Time in the Office

Day 7

World leaders are anticipated to arrive nearby and pay their respects in Westminster Hall to the Queen’s corpse. At Buckingham Palace, the Royal Family will also be seated alongside King Charles III.

Day 8

The Prime Minister will meet with King Charles III to address issues pertaining to governing his new subjects.

Day 9

There will be a formal send-off for the Queen. People of distinction and government representatives from all around the world are anticipated. All members of the royal family, and world leaders, including presidents and prime ministers, will gather in Westminster Abbey to bid the Queen farewell.

The path of the coffin will pass by Big Ben and the Grave of the Unknown Warrior when a two-minute national moment of silence is held. The casket will next go to Buckingham Palace and Wellington Arch before ending up at Windsor, the Queen’s last stop,

Source: CNBC

ECB says Interests Rates will Go up so Country Could Counter Effects of Inflation

Photo Credit: ECB

The European Central Bank said that it would raise interest rates to their highest level in order to help countries deal with the growing energy crisis. On Thursday, the ECB hiked interest rates by three-quarters of a percent and stated that another increase was very expected in the coming days.

Following the blowback with Russia, which resulted in supply cuts of gas entering European countries via major pipelines, primarily the Nord Stream 1, Europe has been pushing to keep up with rising energy demand. The situation is aggravated by the extreme heat that is sweeping the country.

Years after the ECB set it to zero in 2011, the rate is currently above the zero thresholds. This is the first time the Central Bank has set interest rates over 0 percent and outside the negative area. The ECB stated in a statement that it expects future rate hikes to occur.

“The Governing Council took today’s decision and expects to raise interest rates further because inflation remains far too high and is likely to stay above target for an extended period,” said the Central Bank.

Inflation in the UK is presently 9.1% as a consequence of rising prices of commodities like food and energy.

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The energy crisis only worsened by Russia-Ukraine conflict

When Russia declared war on Ukraine, Europe attempted to extricate itself from its dependence on Russian petroleum exports. In reality, the G7 countries have already expressed their displeasure with Russia’s continuous aggressive behavior towards its neighbor.

In retaliation, Russia shut off the supply of natural gas to numerous European nations, including Germany. As a result of the supply reduction, energy costs skyrocketed, putting pressure on the government to bump up its subsidy on businesses and people in order to compensate for the abrupt consequences of the supply cuts.

Economists warn that a European recession is imminent as a result of these circumstances. Inflation is at a decades-high, firms are recording poor sales and activity, and Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is not growing as well as hoped. Furthermore, the region’s gross domestic product may fall in the coming quarter.

The ECB also rules that many people are already foreseeing high inflation rates in light of the present economic position. The following spending and investment patterns of corporate leaders and individuals may be affected, causing the ECB to be concerned about not meeting its objective for the year.

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“Price pressures have continued to strengthen and broaden across the economy, and inflation may rise further in the near term,” the Central Bank said.

The ECB is contemplating that inflation rates could hit 8.1% on average in 2022. However, the central bank also anticipates the rate to fall considerably to 5.5% next year. Economic growth, meanwhile, is estimated to fall from 3.1% this year to 0.9% in 2023.

“There seems universal agreement that higher rates are required to prevent higher inflation becoming embedded, though [Russian] President Putin is creating a lot of slack in the European economy already,” said Kit Juckes, Societe Generale strategist.

According to ECB President Christine Legarde, a negative scenario in which European nations plunge into recession is feasible. Rationing, supply cutbacks, and climatic issues all contribute to this.

Holger Schmieding, Berenber’s chief economist, stated, “It still seems likely that, once the ECB realizes the depth of the recession that we expect to unfold, the ECB will put rate hikes on hold at some time in early 2023.”

Source: CNN

Ayman al-Zawahiri | Biography | Personal Life | Organizations | Death

Ayman al-Zawahiri was an Egyptian-born physician and Islamic Jihadist leader. He was the second-in-command of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda, serving as deputy to Osama bin Laden. He was the top candidate to succeed bin Laden in 2010. Al-Zawahiri is considered one of al Qaeda’s most influential leaders after its founder Osama Bin Laden. He is also al-Qaeda‘s Chief Executive Officer. Al-Zawahiri joined the mujahideen in Afghanistan and worked at a relief center for refugees fleeing into Pakistan, run by the Services Bureau. After the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, al-Zawahiri returned to Egypt where he helped form Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), an organization intended to replace Egypt’s government with an Islamic state.

Al-Zawahiri was designated as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” by the U.S. State Department in December 2001. The United States government also accused him of being involved in the 1998 assassination of Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shuqair, but al-Zawahiri stated that he had only financed and recruited a member of the group who had later been arrested for the murder, and denied responsibility for it.

Al-Zawahiri has been on the United States’ most wanted list since its inception on 10 September 2001. In 2001, his name was placed on the Interpol Most Wanted list. In the video announcing bin Laden’s death, al-Zawahiri confirmed his loyalty to the new leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri.

On 5 May 2011, al-Zawahiri was appointed as the leader of al-Qaeda. He released a 24-minute video in early February 2012. This video is an audio message to the people of the Peninsula, which includes a warning that Islamists are on their way to “purify” their land; he also claims that they will soon be able to “avert our eyes away from you” as Egyptian leaders “tie your hands”.

Ayman Al-Zawahiri Biography

He was born in 1951 in Giza, Kingdom of Egypt. Born in a family of doctors, al-Zawahiri graduated from Cairo University’s School of Medicine in 1974. He initially joined the Muslim Brotherhood, but due to his beliefs, he was expelled in 1981. In 1984, he co-founded Egyptian Islamic Jihad and became its leader after the arrest of group founder Dr. Aboud al-Zumarai by Egyptian authorities. Due to his membership to this group, he served three continuous terms in prison between 1984 and 1995.

He lived in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh from 1995 to 1999. He also worked as a key member of al-Qaeda before he returned to Afghanistan in 1999 to take up his leadership role at the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. In 2002, he gave an interview with Al Jazeera Host Jamal Elshayyal. While in prison, he was permitted to read newspapers and magazines including Arab News, Al Ahram and The National. He is fluent in English and Arabic.

In August 2009, it was reported that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) once considered a plan to assassinate al-Zawahiri in Qatar, and planned to use an undercover agent posing as a defector from al-Qaeda as the hitman in the plot. On 5 August 2011, al-Arabiya reported that the U.S. State Department had approved the placing of a reward worth up to US$25 million for information leading to his arrest.

On 28 June 2011, al-Zawahiri was officially named as the new leader of al-Qaeda. He assumed the role after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden during a raid at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Since then, he has released a number of statements condemning the United States, Israel and Arab leaders. He also criticized the Arab Spring, which he claimed was supported by Western powers.

Marriages and children

Ayman al-Zawahiri has been married at least four times. Al-Zawahiri married his first wife, Azza Ahmed Nowari, a philosophy student at Cairo University, in 1978. They had six children together. After the September 11 attacks on the United States, Ayman al-Zawahiri’s first wife Azza and two of their six children, Mohammad and Aisha, were killed in an airstrike on Afghanistan by US forces in late December 2001.

In 2005, One of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s three surviving wife gave birth to a daughter named Nawwar. According to media reports, Al-Zawahiri’s third wife is a native of Saudi Arabia. She also gave birth to at least two children.

in June 2012 One of al-four Zawahiri’s wives, Umaima Hassan, posted a message on the internet praising the role Muslim women had in the Arab Spring. She is also believed to have penned a booklet outlining the contribution of women to jihad.

Militant activities

Ayman al-Zawahiri’s militant activities started in Egypt in the early 1980s. He was imprisoned from 1984 to 1995, and from 2001 to 2007. He left Egypt for Afghanistan after US forces invaded the country in 2001. There he became the top leader of al-Qaeda since Osama bin Laden’s death in May 2011. Many of al-Qaeda’s key figures, including Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, have been killed by U.S. forces or affiliates in recent years. Al-Zawahiri reportedly is al-Qaeda’s second-in-command after Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces. His knowledge of international events and his role as a voice for radical Islamic forces makes him a leader for the groups.

Al-Zawahiri has been known to be involved in many terrorist activities since 1990, including involvement in attacks and plots in Egypt, the United States, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. He was also a key figure in the 1998 United States embassy bombings and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. It is also suspected that he was involved in the 1981 Sadat assassination and a conspiracy to blow up multiple Saudi royal family members during Ramadan 2003.

Other activites

He is also suspected of being a key figure behind the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In these attacks, al-Zawahiri was reported to have been intimately involved in the planning, financing and training of the hijackers. It is also believed that he coordinated with Mohammed Atef who was killed three days before 9/11.

The U.S. State Department added al-Zawahiri to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists on 22 August 2006, and the U.S. Treasury Department also added him to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists on 13 November 2006. On 10 February 2008, al-Zawahiri was placed on the U.S.’s list of most wanted terrorists, which already includes Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri was later added to the list due to numerous alleged crimes by al-Qaeda and other groups. On 1 September 2007, al-Zawahiri was also on the 26 most wanted list of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Rewards for Justice Program. He is also believed to be on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List.

Organizations

Al-Zawahiri was a founder and leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), which was responsible for numerous militant attacks and operations, including the assassination of President Anwar Sadat, until the group was destroyed in a 2003 military operation. He is also known to be one of the founders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which was later merged with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization to create al-Qaeda.

Maktab al-Khadamat (KMD), an organization he founded in 1990, is suspected of being involved in terrorist activities, including suicide bombings and plots.

He became the top leader of al-Qaeda after Osama bin Laden was killed in May 2011. Since then, he has released numerous statements criticising the United States, Israel, and Arab leaders. He is also known to be a key figure in the violent opposition to the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

Death

Al-Zawahiri was reportedly killed in an airstrike on July 31, 2022, by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan. The U.S. government has declared that the al-Qaeda leader was killed in a drone strike. At the White House, President Joe Biden declared that in early 2022, when al-Zawahiri walked into the centre of Kabul, the U.S. Intelligence Community had tracked him down. A week earlier, President Biden had given the operation the go-ahead. Biden also stated that the operation did not harm any members of al-Zawahiri’s family or other civilians.

Thousands of Hectares of Forest Damaged by Wildfires, France Needs More Firefighters

Photo Credit: Reuters

Just two weeks after two major fires inflicted damage on more than 20,000 hectares of forest in the same area, the Gironde region in southwest France experienced another destructive fire on Wednesday. The French government was prompted by this to contact businesses and request that they dispatch volunteer firefighters to be on call during August.

Authorities have long warned people that these occurrences will become more prevalent as heat waves become more common throughout Europe. As experts anticipate more potential fires to be lit in August, businesses have requested volunteers to prepare. The issue, which has been getting worse since June, has been made worse by the drought conditions.

Gerald Darmanin, the French Interior Minister, visited one of the fire department’s offices in Aveyron, which is located in the South of France, and told the press, “We are getting to a point of exhaustion for the firefighters.”

Seventy-nine percent of the 250,000 firemen who have joined up with the French Fire Fighter Service are volunteers, according to the organization. Currently, more than 10,000 firemen have been sent to battle the wildfires that are raging around France. Companies have recently called for more people to help put out fires that have damaged France’s vegetation.

Read Also: Temperatures in Europe Reach Records High Prompting Authorities to Declare Heat Signals, Warnings

The Gironde fire damaged thousands of hectares

The Gironde fire broke out on Tuesday. When the fire was close to reaching communities, many people fled to the nearest safe refuge area. According to a recent count by authorities, over 10,000 residents have fled their homes to avoid the fires. Martin Guesperau, the deputy commissioner for defense and security for the Nouvelle-Aquitaine prefecture, said that the Gironde fire damaged over 6,000 hectares of forest.

The prefecture further announced that the key A63 roadway between Bordeaux and Bayonne would be closed because of the fire. It has now reached the Landes department and is a highly virulent fire, he continued.

According to a press release from those in charge of the situation, sixteen homes were affected by the fire. Thankfully, there have been no reported fatalities or injuries. However, the weather is currently highly unfavorable, and authorities warned the press that “We are entering a difficult day with very high risks.”

There are more wildfires occurring across the country

Besides the Gironde fire, three additional wildfires in the south of France are also being fought at the same time, according to French officials. In order to speak with the Gironde fire victims about potential relief and resolution, French Minister Elisabeth Borne visited the area.

The French government wants to make it apparent to its citizenry that they can count on them for support during emergencies and at all other times.

Temperatures could reach 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, in the southern part of France, according to weather agency predictions.

Over 63% of the UK and EU’s land is under extreme drought warnings and signals, as reported by the European Drought Observatory of the European Union. The continent could experience more wildfires and scorching conditions as the weeks go by.

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The region the EU claims to cover is bigger than the three largest US states combined—Alaska, Texas, and California—and is almost as vast as India. In addition, the EU’s climate monitoring agency, Copernicus, stated that the region would experience cloudless weather over the coming several days.

“This new heatwave is associated with a robust high-pressure figure causing cloudlessness over much of western Europe,” said Copernicus in a statement.

“According to the national weather services, air temperatures between 9 and 14 August could again exceed 44°C (111.2 Fahrenheit) in Spain, 40°C (104 Fahrenheit) in France, 35°C (95 Fahrenheit) in the south of the United Kingdom and 30°C (86 Fahrenheit) in the Netherlands.”

“Then you combine that with the lack of rainfall — and for some parts of Europe, there’s been below average rainfall now for 15 or 16 months — there’s been a very prolonged period of dry weather, and so rivers and reservoirs have got down to very, very low levels,” Liz Bentley, the chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, said.

Source: CNN

UK Energy Crisis Upsets Communities, Suppliers, Government Help Needed says Experts

Photo Credit: Rupert Hartley/Bloomberg

If the United Kingdom does not address its worsening energy shortage soon, it may face a humanitarian crisis. In addition, increased demand in the face of a supply shortage has resulted in higher bills, and if this trend continues, experts believe that many consumers will protest.

The country intends to freeze electricity and gas prices in order to calm consumers’ nerves; however, this could cost the government more than £100 billion, or more than $118 billion.

The UK government has implemented tax cuts, direct payments, and bill rebates to protect its citizens from a planned increase in energy prices of 90%. Gas and energy prices, however, have risen to record highs as predicted, and the government might not be able to keep up.

The Institute of Government estimates that to shield its citizens from a 90% increase in costs until April 2023, the government may need to set aside an additional £23 billion. Nevertheless, if it wants to extend that protection until April 2024, a larger sum—£90 billion—is required.

One of the biggest UK energy companies, Scottish Power, gave the government the same advice. According to the Financial Times, the company stated in one of its interviews that to serve the public, the government must freeze prices within two years. They would have to pay billions of euros, though.

Read Also: Impact of China’s Energy Crisis Will be Felt by the World

The bills paid by average households

A household spends more than £1,971 annually, up 50% from the previous year. However, energy providers assert that the average annual cost could top £3,500. According to research firm Auxilione, the government must take action because the current trend indicates that a household could pay as much as £6,433 yearly.

Scottish Power recommended capping energy bills at £2,000 while sending assistance to suppliers to keep up with the cost of gas and electricity in wholesale markets. The Financial Times reported that the anticipated allocation of £100 billion for subsidies to energy providers would come from government borrowing to be paid for by general taxes.

“It is going to be truly, truly horrific for a large number of people. This is bigger than the pandemic. It’s a big national crisis,” said the CEO of Scottish Power, Keith Anderson.

The government could help agencies

Government funding for the impacted parties is nothing new in the UK. Many organizations were able to recover from the losses they suffered when the pandemic hit, thanks to the government’s £70 billion subsidy. In order to avoid unemployment among the affected businesses, the government also agreed to pay the salaries of employees back in March 2020.

To date this year, the government has allocated a total of £33 billion to help households cope with the skyrocketing cost of energy and gas.

A Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy spokesperson said, “We know the pressures people are facing with rising costs, which is why we have continually taken action to help households by phasing in £37 billion worth of support.”

“We are giving a £400 discount on energy bills this winter, and eight million of the most vulnerable households will see £1,200 extra support. While no government can control global gas prices, over 22 million households are protected by the price cap, which continues to insulate households from even higher prices.”

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Households are alarmed

The UK industry continues to sound the alarms despite the government’s current interventions. In order to prevent fuel poverty in communities, the government should provide more assistance to suppliers and households, according to Philippe Commaret, an executive at EDF.

“[Many people could fall sick this winter as they] face the awful choice between skipping meals to heat their homes and having to live in cold, damp and very unpleasant conditions,” said the leaders from the UK National Health Service last week.

Russia’s reduction in supply to Europe has only made things worse. This is occurring as Western nations attempt to wean themselves from relying on Russian resources by forbidding the import of Russian coal and oil.

Source: CNN

NASA Will Shoot for the Moon Again with Artemis I, Decades After the Apollo Mission

Photo Credit: Kim Shiflett | NASA

Humanity is again getting ready for a manned mission to the moon after nearly 50 years. The renowned Apollo mission will soon be replaced by the Artemis I, an ambitious mission to the Earth’s natural satellite, with the assistance of a team of specialists and scientists at NASA.

The Apollo’s twin sister-inspired Artemis program will travel to the moon and touch down where Apollo last ventured. After that, the team will likely travel through uncharted areas of the moon. In the future, NASA anticipates that the Artemis missions will reach Mars’ surface.

The dark areas found south of the moon would be made known to humans for the first time. The Artemis mission’s goal is to locate a stable region where astronauts could spend a lot of time and use the information to aid in plans to travel to Mars.

A little more than a month ago, NASA’s rover found stable pits on the moon’s surface where the climate is stable and could support human life. Unfortunately, astronauts have had a hard time staying on the moon’s surface for an extended period of time because of how unstable its surface is. However, NASA is confident that the Artemis I can accomplish its mission now that it has made its discovery.

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The Artemis I mission

On August 29, the Artemis takes flight. The first flight would be unmanned but closely watched to ensure the security of any potential humans entering the intended region. NASA will oversee Artemis I operations and examine every aspect that might enable the organization to develop measures and countermeasures to ensure the safe flight of the manned missions of Artemis II and Artemis III.

According to NASA, Artemis II will be launched in 2024, followed by Artemis III the following year. The succeeding missions will be based on the data from Artemis I.

On August 29, the liftoff will start between 8:33 and 10:33 a.m. ET in Florida. As anticipated, Americans would travel to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the spectacle as the mission would launch.

Thanks to the Orion spacecraft, Artemis I will launch and set out on a 42-day journey that will take it 40,000 miles beyond the moon. The distance of the journey, if successful, will surpass what Apollo has accomplished. Given that the manned Artemis II will travel along the same path as Artemis I, it is crucial that NASA oversees the mission.

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NASA is proud of the Artemis I

“As we embark on the first Artemis test flight, we recall this agency’s storied past, but our eyes are focused not on the immediate future but out there,” stated NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

“It’s a future where NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon. And on these increasingly complex missions, astronauts will live and work in deep space, and we’ll develop the science and technology to send the first humans to Mars.”

Artemis I is being launched to the moon by the Space Launch Rocket System, which was designed using all the data and information from the Apollo mission. The spacecraft could be launched 1,000 times farther than the International Space Station, which is currently in low-Earth orbit. The rocket will also accelerate the Orion to a top speed of 22,600 miles per hour.

“It’s the only rocket that’s capable of sending Orion and a crew and supplies into deep space on a single launch,” said John Honeycutt, the program manager of the SLS.

“It’s the powerhouse side of the vehicle where it’s got the primary propulsion, power and life support resources we need for Artemis I. Re-entry will be great to demonstrate our heat shield capability, making sure that the spacecraft comes home safely and, of course for future missions, protecting the crew,” further stated Howard Hu, the Orion program manager at NASA.

“Artemis I shows that we can do big things, things that unite people, things that benefit humanity — things like Apollo that inspire the world,” Nelson added. “And to all of us that gaze up at the moon, dreaming of the day humankind returns to the lunar surface: Folks, we’re here, we are going back, and that journey, our journey, begins with Artemis I.”

Source: CNN

Worst Disaster for Pakistan as Floods Affect Over 33 Million People

Photo Credit: Akhtar Soomro | Reuters

Pakistan is currently feeling the effects of the climate crisis as a result of the widespread flooding in communities that have forced many people to flee their homes in search of safety. According to the Pakistani minister for climate change, the deadly floods have killed thousands of people and have had an impact on more than 33 million others.

According to the Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority, since mid-June, 937 people have died due to flooding and heavy rain in the nation. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s minister of climate change, claimed that the current situation is the country’s worst humanitarian catastrophe in a decade. The minister continued by saying that the nation’s shock at how frequently it rained was widespread.

“Pakistan is going through its eighth cycle of monsoon while normally the country has only three to four cycles of rain,” said Rehman. “The percentages of super flood torrents are shocking.”

These rains are causing the most damage to the south of the nation, but the minister added that assistance is on the way. Officers and personnel from the Pakistani Army, NDMA, and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority participate in the rescue and relief operations together. Rehman claimed that despite the efforts, more assistance is still required because more people seek shelter from the rain.

For instance, Sindh, a southern Pakistani province, needed 1 million tents to house millions of people who were severely impacted by the flood. The inhabitants of the neighboring province of Balochistan, whose access to gas, electricity, and the internet was disrupted by the rains, require an additional 100,000 tents.

Rehman wants to seek the help of the international community. “Pakistan’s priority, at the moment, is this climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions,” she said.

Read Also: NASA Will Shoot for the Moon Again with Artemis I, Decades After the Apollo Mission

The climate crisis is affecting Pakistan

The Pakistani Prime Minister informed the world community that, in the wake of recent events, the nation is concentrating on rebuilding itself so it can be resilient to climate change. According to the country’s minister of planning and development, the 30 million affected people make up 15% of Pakistan’s population.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that the monsoons have a significant negative impact on 3 million Pakistani citizens. Due to the harm the water caused to the homes, more than 184,000 of these people had to relocate to relief camps.

Unfortunately, the nation still needs to fulfill the requirements before it can receive the bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund it needs for reconstruction.

The NDMA reports that 82,000 homes have suffered partial or complete damage, and 150 kilometers of the nation’s roads have been damaged in just 24 hours. Since mid-June, Pakistan’s 3,000 kilometers of roads, 130 bridges, and 495,000 homes have all been affected by the monsoons.

Read Also: UK Energy Crisis Upsets Communities, Suppliers, Government Help Needed says Experts

The downpour continues

“Brother, the rain has not stopped for the past three months … We are living in a rickshaw with our children because the roof of our mud house is leaking,” said a woman from Sindh. The province is where the floods dealt the most damage.

“Where can we go? The gutters are overflowing, and our courtyard is filled up with sewage. Our houses and alleys have turned into a floating garbage bin,” she added.

OCHA has already sent warnings to Pakistan’s expanded areas. According to the agency, as of right now, residents should be on the lookout for potential floods, river overflows, and landslides. In addition, the majority of Pakistan’s regions would likely continue to experience rain in the days ahead, which worries many people.

The Sindh forecast exceeded the yearly average. The rainfall average increased seven times, or by 784%, in just this August alone. The excessive rains have prompted 23 districts to declare a weather emergency. Balochistan, which is a nearby province, has also been severely impacted by the rains, with 500% more rain falling there in August.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, electricity, gas, and phone service have all been turned off. Rescuers find it challenging to carry out search operations as a result.

Source: CNN

US Farmers Clamor as Heat Damage Crops, Deplete Water Supply

Photo Credits: Jerod Foster | The Texas Tribune

In a recent American Farm Bureau Federation survey, three-quarters of US farmers claimed that the drought’s escalating effects have irreparably harmed their crops, causing a significant decline in their harvest and income.

The farmers surveyed by the bureau claim that this year’s drought is worse than last year’s. Nearly 37% of the farmers reported that they are currently killing the crops that the heat prevented from maturing. According to the data, 24% more farmers are now engaging in this activity than in 2021.

The month of July was ranked as the third-hottest in US history due to its extreme heat. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, it has also broken records in every state and is among the top 10 in all Western states except for Montana. During the first week of August, the US Department of Agriculture reported that “rapidly intensifying drought gripped the central and southern Plains and mid-South, depleting topsoil moisture and significantly stressing rangeland, pastures, and various summer crops.”

According to the AFBF report, 60% of the West, South, and Central Plains are now experiencing severe droughts. If the current trend continues, the droughts may even get worse.

“The effects of this drought will be felt for years to come, not just by farmers and ranchers but also by consumers. Many farmers have had to make the devastating decision to sell off livestock they have spent years raising or destroy orchard trees that have grown for decades,” said Zippy Duvall, the president of AFBF.

Read Also: Factories in China Shut Operations Amid Worst Heat Wave in Decades

From June 8 to July 20, the bureau surveyed 15 states and the drought-affected regions of Texas, North Dakota, and California. Nearly half of the agricultural output in the US comes from these regions.

The drought, according to half of California’s farmers, forced them to remove many trees and a variety of other crops. This choice will ultimately have an effect on the region’s production, leading to a shortage of supplies and a decline in revenue. California is a state that significantly contributes to the US market’s supply of fruits and nut tree crops.

In the US, 33% of all farmers who were surveyed report doing the same; this percentage has nearly doubled since last year.

The drought also lessened the water supply

In some areas, water reserves were completely depleted as the drought persisted. Many Texan farmers were thus forced to sell their herds of cattle earlier. Farmers claim that the circumstances compelled them to act in this way because they could no longer effectively raise their herds due to a lack of water and reduced grass cultures, which have largely dried up due to the heat.

“We haven’t had this kind of movement of cows to market in a decade, since 2011, which was our last really big drought,” an Agricultural Economics professor at Texas A&M, told reporters.

Similar reports came from other states, with Lone Star state recording the largest herd size decline of 50%. It was followed by New Mexico (43%), then Oregon (41%). Local government water use restrictions have also made the situation worse; 57% of respondents now identify this as their top issue, an increase of 7% from the previous year.

According to the AFBF, the states of the West used to receive water from Lake Mead and Lake Powell for more than 5.5 million acres of land. Farmers have had difficulty locating alternative water sources due to the 30% decline in lake water levels.

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Expectations for consumers

Due to this, consumers should prepare for higher product prices in the upcoming months.

“For cattle and beef, once the market processes the excess animals sent to slaughter and has a smaller breeding herd to operate off of- [price increases] could be six months to well over a year. For specialty crops, it could be immediate upon harvest,” said an AFBF economist.

“[This] will likely result in American consumers paying more for these goods and either partially relying on foreign supplies or shrinking the diversity of items they buy at the store.”

Source: CNN

California Becomes Third State to Declare a State of Emergency

Photo Credit: NBC

At the moment, California is in a state of emergency. Gavin Newsom, the governor, made the announcement citing the unprecedented outbreak of the Monkeypox virus last week. Following Illinois and New York City, the epidemic’s epicenter, the state became the third to declare an emergency.

Newsom claims that by declaring a health emergency, authorities will be able to step up their immunization efforts and quickly stop the outbreak. The World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously warned that there is a shortage of Monkeypox vaccine due to the rising demand.

Due to an increase in the number of people visiting their facilities to request vaccine doses, several clinics and healthcare organizations are crying for help.

California’s Emergency Medical Services have been sent out to assist with vaccination efforts. The governor reassured the populace that increased testing, outreach efforts, and contact tracing are being made in an effort to stop, or at least slowdown, the spread of the virus.

California is the third state to declare

Following Illinois, which proclaimed a state of emergency last Monday, California became the third region to do so. A week before Illinois’ declaration, New York, the first to announce, made its announcement.

More than 6,000 cases of Monkeypox have already been confirmed by the CDC in 48 U.S. states, including Washington, D.C. likewise Puerto Rico. The first case was discovered in Boston around three months ago; the virus spread more quickly than health experts had anticipated.

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The nation’s three largest cities are located in California, Illinois, and New York, the regions that have just declared a state of emergency. Data show that the cases reported in these three regions make up 47% of all cases nationwide, with New York registering more than 1,400 cases as of last Monday, making it the center of the epidemic.

Monkeypox has no fatalities, yet patients nevertheless experience pain from the lesions the virus causes them to form. Health professionals also caution that if the virus is not quickly suppressed, it may remain in the nation for a very long time.

Monkeypox is now a global health emergency

In response to the outbreak of Monkeypox, the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency late last month. According to WHO data, there are more than 19,000 infected people in 78 different countries.

The agency’s experts and scientists remarked on the unusualness of the virus, given that it has spread widely in regions like Europe and North America, where it is not endemic. The virus barely propagated at all, even in regions of West and Central Africa where it is endemic.

According to the CDC, men who had intercourse with other men account for 98% of all transmissions that have been documented. This indicates that having sex is the main method of transmission for Monkeypox. According to public health professionals, gay and bisexual males are at a significant risk of contracting the virus.

However, the data does not imply that the virus is only found in one gender. The CDC has repeatedly corrected the error. According to them, other ways for the virus to spread include physical contact with someone who tested positive for the virus or contact with materials that a patient physically touched.

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The U.S. in deliberation for possible health emergency declaration

According to senior federal health authorities, the White House is still debating whether or not to declare a public health emergency. In the event of a declaration, immunization efforts would be accelerated.

It can be recalled that in 2020 when Covid-19 first reached the U.S., the country proclaimed a public health emergency.

The Health and Human Services Department has provided states with about 330,000 doses of the Monkeypox vaccine in addition to another 786,00 doses in an effort to support their vaccination campaigns.

The government has an agreement with Bavarian Nordic to import millions of vaccination shots, so there will be more to come.

Source: CNBC

Netflix to Sue Creators of ‘The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical’

Photo Credit: Netflix

Netflix released the “Bridgerton” series in December 2020, a romantic series set in an old-fashioned but regal setting. The show drew millions of viewers due to its visuals of women and men dressed in fabulous costumes, its representation of LGBTQ people and races, and its explicit, bold scenes that struck many viewers. According to Netflix, Bridgerton was watched by over 83 million households worldwide.

The show was so beloved by viewers that one of them even turned it into a musical dubbed “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical,” which had to be scrapped after the authors of the series accused the fan-made production of intellectual theft. The London Royal Albert Hall performance by the production was postponed as well. Meanwhile, its Kennedy Center show experienced a sellout when it played there. The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical was born on TikTok, but Netflix has long tolerated it and has now filed a lawsuit against the musical’s makers.

“There is so much joy in seeing audiences fall in love with Bridgerton. ‘But what started as a fun celebration by [fans] Barlow & Bear on social media has turned into the blatant taking of intellectual property,” explained Shondra Rhimes, the producer and creator of the series.

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The owners of their works clamor for protection

The Bridgerton case is just one of many involving creators and production creatives claiming intellectual ownership of works of art.

Social media has enabled content creators to be more creative with their content and draw inspiration from series or movies to capture the attention of their followers. For example, “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” was created by a fan on TikTok. It eventually gained traction, prompting the fan to write a musical and bring it to the studios.

An unauthorized version of “Hamilton,” which compared homosexuality to drug addiction, was presented earlier this year in the Door McAllen church in Texas. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical’s creator, responded by tweeting, “Grateful to all of you who reached out about this illegal, unauthorized production. Now lawyers do their work.”

Andy Warhol is also under fire for alleged misappropriation of a photographer’s works, and the United States Supreme Court will hear his case.

Recent waves of fan interpretation have muddied the lines between audiences, interpreters, and creators. The court cases will center on fair use, intellectual property ownership, and trademark infringement issues. Whatever the case outcome, creators and producers hope it will draw a line in fans’ interpretations of their works.

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The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical and its start

The “Bridgerton” series was popular on TikTok. Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear were two viewers who were moved to produce musical content about the show as a result. The two uploaded their clips to TikTok, where they eventually gained popularity and attracted the attention of millions of people.

The women received positive feedback and suggestions from their TikTok fans. The eventual rise of social media helped Barlow and Bear gain fans from all over the world. Netflix then expressed its delight in the ruse, claiming that it was beneficial to its public image. The streaming service was blown away by the women’s performance.

The songs written by Barlow and Bear from Bridgerton dialogues eventually became an album, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Netflix on the matter

The author of the book series “Bridgerton” is based on, Jane Quinn, stated, “I was flattered and delighted when they began. There is a difference, however, between composing on TikTok and recording and performing for commercial gain.”

Netflix then said in a statement, “Netflix offered Barlow & Bear a license that would allow them to proceed with their scheduled live performances at the Kennedy Center and Royal Albert Hall, continue distributing their album, and perform their Bridgerton-inspired songs live as part of larger programs going forward. Barlow & Bear refused.”

Source: CNN

Inflation Reduction Act Now a Law, Setting Minimum Corporate Tax at 15%

Photo Credit: Susan Walsh

US President Joe Biden has finally signed into law a bill that proposes raising corporate taxes to help with the country’s restoration and rehabilitation in a variety of ways. The process was lengthy, requiring over a year of deliberations and assessments on tax, regulations, credits, and costs. Nonetheless, the law is a condensed version of the President’s Build Back Better Plan, which he hoped to implement last year.

Senator Joe Manchin, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Representatives Jim Clyburn and Kathy Castor are the bill’s sponsors. The Inflation Reduction Act is the name given to the measure after it was signed into law.

“With this law, the American people won, and the special interests lost. For a while, people doubted whether any of that was going to happen, but we are in a season of substance,” Biden told the press.

He believes that the new law will enable the administration to address the nation’s urgent problems. The law allots $369 billion for investments in energy and climate policies, $64 billion for the Affordable Care Act’s cost-cutting measures, and the introduction of a 15% corporate minimum tax on businesses with annual revenue over $1 billion.

The law’s $437 billion expenditure plan might raise $737 billion over the following ten years. It would represent the largest contribution from company taxes and medicine price reductions if finished. The IRS will also be more equipped, which means wealthy citizens of the nation will need to meet with the organization more frequently than before for audit purposes. As a result, in just ten years, the law would bring in an estimated $300 billion.

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The recently enacted law is not exactly what Biden had pushed for before, despite being a significant triumph for Biden’s administration. For instance, the universal child care and middle-class tax cuts, two of the features of Biden’s Build Back Better package that he and a group of Democrats pitched to Congress last year, are not included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Another victory for Biden

The new law marks another legislative success for Biden this summer. Prior to that, he approved legislation that increased funding for domestic semiconductor manufacture and increased benefits for veterans exposed to hazardous burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, a multi-billion dollar agreement between the President and the SK Group of South Korea for investments in semiconductor production and other technological developments has also been signed.

 Biden has also announced other activities praised by many, like killing al Qaeda’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by a drone attack a few weeks ago. Other activities include supporting Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.

The President expects these successes to increase public trust in his administration and, as a result, in Democrats, who are looking for a successful conclusion in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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Biden talks to his constituents

“Today, too often do we confuse noise with substance. Too often we confuse setbacks with defeat. Too often we hand the biggest microphones to the critics and the cynics who delight in declaring failure while those committed to making real progress do the hard work of governing,” the President told the people.

“Making progress in this country, as big and complicated as ours, clearly, is not easy. It’s never been easy. But with unwavering conviction, commitment and patience, progress does come.”

Additionally, Biden was careful to use precise language and underline that the Republicans opposed the bill.

“Every single Republican in Congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices, against lowering health care costs, against the fair tax system. Every single Republican — every single one — voted against tackling the climate crisis, against lowering our energy costs, against creating good-paying jobs. My fellow Americans, that’s the choice we face — we can protect the already powerful or show the courage to build a future where everybody has an even shot,” Biden told the people during a press conference.

Source: CNBC

New York’s Polio Case Might Not be the Only One, More Suspected says Top Health Official

Photo Credit: Science Photo Library | Getty Images

A senior health official estimates that New York City may have hundreds more polio victims. After an adult tested positive and experienced paralysis, the city confirmed the virus’s resurgence last month.

The New York State Health Commissioner, Mary Bassett, concurred with the health official’s assessment and warned that a larger virus outbreak might be on the horizon for the nation. Bassett claims that this is due to the incidences of polio cases among those who have not received the vaccine, as well as evidence of the virus’s existence in sewage lines outside of the city.

“Based on earlier polio outbreaks, New Yorkers should know. That for every one case of paralytic polio observed, there may be hundreds of other people infected. Coupled with the latest wastewater findings, the department is treating the single case of polio. As just the tip of the iceberg of much greater potential spread,” Bassett said.

Since polio has not yet been reported, some people have neglected to get immunizations. However, Bassett recommends everyone receive the injections in light of the discovery. Especially children and adults; pregnant women can also get the shots. The immunization doses may also be administered to infants as young as two months.

“As we learn more, what we do know is clear. The danger of polio is present in New York today,” added Bassett.

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The first case in a long time

According to New York City health officials. The first confirmed polio from an unvaccinated person from Rockland County came to light last month. The patient was in the hospital and was paralyzed. Health experts then discovered that the polio virus had entered. The wastewater lines throughout Rockland County and the sewage area close to Orange County.

Scientists carefully examined the strain and discovered. It was genetically linked to the variant that was afflicting the unvaccinated adult in New York. The virus was discovered in sewage lines. Health experts made it clear that this does not necessarily imply that the person had spread the infection. This may indicate that local transmissions have already begun.

“These findings provide further evidence of local — not international. Transmission of a poliovirus that can cause paralysis and potential community spread. Underscoring the urgency of every New York adult and child getting immunized. Stated the Department of Health of the New York State.

79% of people in the state have received polio vaccinations. Locally, Orange County has a vaccination rate of 58%, whereas Rockland County has a rate of over 60%.

The fight against polio

The last that the US discovered polio within its boundaries was more than 40 years ago. In 1979, polio was declared eradicated in the nation. Despite this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. That there had been a few isolated occurrences of confirmed polio cases entering the nation. According to state health department statistics, polio was discovered in 1990 and 2013.

Typically, children receive four doses of the polio vaccine over the course of their development. The child should receive the first dose when they are just two months old. Followed by doses at four months, 18 months, and six years old, respectively. Adults who skipped the vaccinations would need to get them in three doses.

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What are the symptoms

As per the definition given by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Polio is “a disabling and life-threatening disease. The virus spreads from person to person and can infect a person’s spinal cord, causing paralysis.”

Out of every 100 infected individuals, 72 will not show any outward signs of the illness. Of the 100 people, 25 will be experiencing flu-like symptoms. The signs consist of:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain

More difficult situations could result in potentially fatal consequences like:

  • Paresthesia
  • Meningitis
  • Paralysis

The US CDC website provides more information on the poliovirus.

Source: CNBC

Poor, Rural Areas is Biden’s Priority, Allocates Billions for Wastewater System Repairs

Photo Credit: Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

Another project launched by the Biden administration aims to address the wastewater problems in underdeveloped rural areas. These communities now have health issues as a result of the dismal conditions of the wastewater system.

The Wastewater Access Gap Community Initiative by Closing America. Launched under the supervision of the US Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. It will be announced by several authorities, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Michael Reagan. EPA Administrator, and Mitch Landrieu, the White House Infrastructure Coordinator in Lowndes County, Alabama.

Poor wastewater conditions

The majority of Black Americans live in rural neighborhood. It has long been plagued by poor wastewater conditions and ineffective sewage disposal. Between Selma and Montgomery is where the area is located. The community’s wastewater systems are essential for the prevention of disease. Germs, parasites, and viruses, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“President Biden has been clear. We cannot leave any community behind as we rebuild America’s infrastructure with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” Landrieu said.

“This includes rural and Tribal communities who for too long have felt forgotten,” the coordinator further said.

In light of the fact that many “people have been suffering without the fundamentals. Vilsack continued, “access to modern, reliable wastewater infrastructure is a necessity.”

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The USDA said that the program will help “communities access financing. Technical assistance to improve wastewater infrastructure to ‘close the gap’ with wealthier communities.”

Collaboration between communities and the government

The project will give officials a way to interact with the local. Impart the knowledge required to maintain and improve the functionality of their wastewater systems. Authorities also stated that financing and plans for wastewater solution projects would be provided to the target villages and tribes.

The 11 target towns will collaborate closely with the organizations to utilize technical. Financial skills to make progress in enhancing wastewater conditions in their individual regions.

The target communities will include:

Target areas include:

  • Greene County, Alabama;
  • Harlan County, Kentucky;
  • Halifax and Duplin counties in North Carolina;
  • Raleigh and McDowell counties in West Virginia;
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe in Arizona;
  • Doña Ana County and Santo Domino Pueblo in New Mexico; and
  • Bolivar County in Mississippi.

The $55 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be used to upgrade community water infrastructure. One of the top priorities is to restore service lines. So that communities can receive stormwater and wastewater, as well as safe drinking water.

According to the law, $11 billion will also be allocated as grants. Loans through the Clear Water State Revolving Fund. So that local governments can use them to address the unique issues with their water systems.

Lowndes County

Numerous residents in Lowndes County are dealing with growing problems with their waste disposal and management. The neighborhood relies on individual septic tanks since inhabitants cannot afford a modern sewer infrastructure.

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Fortunately, programs like the Black Belt Unincorporated Wastewater Program aid low-income families with their disposal system. According to the organization’s website. They are able to assist local households with the installation of septic systems thanks to a USDA grant.

Other households that weren’t given aid found other solutions, such as just plumbing the toilet’s line to the ground.

Resources are limited for resolving the issues. Sherry Bradley of the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Environmental Services acknowledged. The community-generated mitigations only cure a problem momentarily.

“It must be the right person to install these systems that know what they’re doing. That’s one reason I decided to step out of my regulatory role and help install onsite systems,” Bradly added.

“I’ve seen a lot of onsite failures because someone’s brother or neighbor installed a system. Constant training of the homeowner is also needed.”

Source: CNN

Temperatures in Europe Reach Records High Prompting Authorities to Declare Heat Signals, Warnings

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The repercussions of the climate crisis are causing great suffering in European nations. According to the European Drought Observatory, extreme drought warnings or signals have now been issued across more than 60% of the land mass of the European Union and the United Kingdom. The combined area of Texas and Alaska pales in comparison to this region.

Near the end of July, the data was collected over a 10-day period. 45% of the region, according to the report, is comprised of warning-designated areas. This indicates that insufficient moisture is present in the soil to support stable vegetation growth and healthy crop production. 15% of the population, on the other hand, are listed as being in “alert” status, meaning that the vegetation and crops are seriously affected.

According to the same report published by Copernicus, the European Union’s climate monitoring office, July has been “dryer than average” across most of Europe. According to the research, July’s temperatures shattered previous records, and several regions in Southwestern and Southeastern Europe saw frequent dry spells and drought.

According to the organization, wildfires started to spread because of how dry the climate was, destroying the flora and animal habitat along their path. The problem is also becoming worse because of the frequent heat waves. These events could foretell that this year has one of the hottest summers in recorded history for Europe.

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More problems to think about

The supply chain problems persist as the nation is torn apart by extreme heat. Blockades of shipments bringing essential goods like wheat, oil, and gas arose from the continued hostility between Russia and Ukraine. Until the latter half of 2022, according to experts, this arrangement may continue.

The harvest of various crops and goods in Europe would decline, according to the Joint Research Centre. All current information implies that a dip of 8 to 9 percent could occur for commodities, including grain, maize, soybeans, and sunflower.

A senior scientist working for Copernicus, Freja Vamborg, said, “dry conditions from previous months combined with high temperatures and low precipitation rates seen in many areas during July may have adverse effects on agricultural production and other industries such as river transport and energy production.”

Little to no rain in July

As the heat wave intensified, the water reservoir recorded historic lows. According to Copernicus, the problem was made worse by the minimal to no rain in July. Because of the low supply, the government won’t be able to meet customer demand.

Since 1836, the southern half of England has never experienced a long drought. For the area, July was the driest month. The driest July in 20 years has transpired in the United Kingdom as well. In addition, except for February, when there was a lot of rain, the UK only experienced an average of 46.3 mm of precipitation in the months from January to July.

France, on the other hand, only received 9.7mm of precipitation, the least since 1959. The statistic is also 85% below the average annual rate of precipitation between 1991 and 2020.

Lower precipitation amounts have been occurring since December 2021 in Italy as well. Due to the phenomena, the Po River and the northern half of Italy have totally dried up.

Read Also: New York’s Polio Case Might Not be the Only One, More Suspected says Top Health Official

The warmest month ever measured worldwide was July. It reached 0.4 degrees Celsius, higher than the average global temperature between 1991 and 2020.

Spain, the United Kingdom, and France were among the locales that recorded temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius. Several other UK locations also had temperatures in the 40-degree range. On July 19, the temperature in the UK exceeded the 40-degree threshold. Particularly in the village of Coningsby, the temperature reached 40.3 C.

“July 2022 has been extremely hot in Spain, the warmest since at least 1961, with an average temperature of 25.6 ºC [78.1 Fahrenheit], which is 2.7 ºC [4.9 Fahrenheit] higher than the normal average,” the country’s national weather agency AEMET said in a post on Twitter. July was “0.2 ºC [0.4 Fahrenheit] higher than that of July 2015, which until now was the warmest month of July,” added Copernicus.

Source: CNN

Moderna says it Will Develop New Vaccines, Establish Strong Presence Outside the US

Photo Credit: Dado Ruvic | Reuters

A comprehensive annual booster for humans is what biotech startup Moderna is working to create. Now, people need to receive booster vaccinations against the coronavirus, the flu, and other infections, as the pandemic has lately highlighted the need for. Moderna, however, believes that frequenting the clinic to get vaccinations in a year needs to change. In five years, patients will only require one shot annually, according to a statement from the business.

According to Moderna, Covid-19 is evolving with time. This pushes biotech firms and other health agencies to finance vaccine development. As a result, the company will make people’s lives easier, according to CEO Stephane Bancel, by creating an improved virus that only needs to be given once a year.

The product they plan on designing would have a lifespan of three to five years, according to Bancel. The CEO compares this product to a smartphone.

“You don’t get the amazing camera, amazing everything the first time you get an iPhone, but you get a lot of things. A lot of us buy a new iPhone every September, and you get new apps, and you get refreshed apps. And that’s exactly the same idea, which is you’ll get Covid and flu and RSV [respiratory syncytial virus] in your single dose,” the CEO said.

As several nations purchased their vaccinations in their individual fights against the virus, the Covid-19 pandemic allowed Moderna to reap tens of billions in profits. Bancel thinks that Moderna’s income figures would inevitably reduce due to the speed at which the global economy is now recovering. At the height of the pandemic, it had infiltrated 70 markets, but he continued that countries could all stop buying new vaccines.

Read Also: New Way to Administer Monkeypox Vaccine Lead to More Shots per Vial, Children Now Permitted as Risk Increases

“I think we are slowly moving — if not already in some countries — to a world where all the tools are available, and everybody can make their own decision based on their risk tolerance,” Bancel added.

According to Bancel, people will probably decide to put up with the virus, much as they did with the flu. “There’s always a 20% probability that we get a very nasty variant that drives very severe disease that has a lot of mutation,” he further stated. Therefore, how the virus behaves and the mitigation efforts performed by various governments may have an impact on the future of the vaccine industry.

The outlook is good for Moderna looking ahead

Fighting the Covid-19 virus is not the only area in which Moderna is developing. It is now developing more than 40 goods and further products that anticipate the future of health and wellness among citizens.

Moderna is developing a cancer vaccine as well, according to Bancel. In the latter half of this year, the public should be informed of the facts about the vaccine. In as little as two years from now, the vaccine should receive the necessary authorities’ permission if testing and evaluation proceed as scheduled.

The World Health Organization’s recent designation of the current monkeypox outbreak as a global health emergency has motivated Moderna to create its own monkeypox vaccine, which is still being developed within their laboratories, according to them.

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Moderna plans on expanding and reaching other countries

Targeting ten markets across the Asian and European continents, Moderna seeks to broaden its impact. Among the planned market areas include Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The corporation would spend millions of dollars on the proposal, which would also create tens of thousands of new jobs for the area.

Moderna has ambitious goals: Within three years, the company would have established a strong presence and penetration with 40 to 60 nations.

It recently inked manufacturing contracts in South Korea, Australia, and the UK. Additionally, Moderna aspires to establish a facility in Southeast and North Asia. According to Bancel, the buildings they plan to erect would be used to produce vaccines specific to the region in which they are located.

Source: CNN

Monkeypox is Now a Global Health Emergency Following Declaration from WHO

Photo Credits: Future Publishing via Getty Images

The World Health Organization is now classifying the Monkeypox virus. An international emergency – labeling it to be of the highest alert level. This means that countries around the world are required to take steps for its disposal and prevention. Including vaccination campaigns, in order to avoid any potential outbreaks from occurring or spreading further abroad.

The declaration considers Monkeypox an urgent threat to countries, and it aims to call leaders together for some serious discussion. How best to scale down its spread before things get worse.

The WHO is unable to force countries into compliance with their protocols. But the organization’s alerts have been known for attracting world leaders’ attention.

The World Health Organization has finally declared the Monkeypox outbreak. A global emergency after being hesitant to do so last month. The unprecedented rise in cases led Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to take the harsh decision. Which will help curb further transmission of infection and save lives worldwide.

Before the declaration of the highest alert, an emergency committee meets first and assesses the situation. The findings will then be forwarded to the director general. However, the emergency committee meeting was unable to reach a consensus. Whether or not the outbreak should be given its highest level, so chief WHO official Tedros. That he would make the decision himself.

Monkeypox outbreak represents

“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly. Through new modes of transmission, about which we understand too little,” director general Tedros stated. “For all of these reasons, I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents. A public health emergency of international concern.”

The WHO reported that over 16,000 cases of the virus are on record in 70 countries. This is a 77% increase from June to July. Many transmissions can be attributed to same-sex activities, according to the agency’s data.

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The virus has so far only claimed five lives from Africa. But the WHO feels that this should not be taken lightly. 

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that those infected usually recover after two to four weeks. Though some may require supportive care, especially for high-risk individuals like children, pregnant women, and old people.

Individuals infected with the virus experience symptoms like fever, fatigue and other general health issues. The most obvious sign of the virus is a rash that spreads across one’s body. These appear to look like red blisters or pimples on the skin, which can be very painful for patients.

The virus is unusual

Monkeypox is endemic in Central and West Africa. Surprisingly, and oddly enough, the rate of spread in the areas where the virus is endemic is lower. The rate of spread in the areas that it has newly breached.

The epicenter of the outbreak is Europe, with 80% of the total reported cases. In America, over 2,500 people have contracted Monkeypox in 44 states, including Washington and Puerto Rico.

It is not certain where the spread began, but experts say it might have started in the UK. A few days after a person traveled from Nigeria, the individual tested positive for Monkeypox. Although more cases were recorded locally, suggesting that the virus was passed on rather than caught abroad.

The United States, Canada and other nations in Europe then detected Monkeypox within their midst.

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The WHO last declared the highest alert level for a virus outbreak last January 2020. When Covid-19 hit countries around the world.

The lead expert on Monkeypox, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, says that while the number of cases has risen. Surprising levels, it is not considered a pandemic yet.

Experts have expressed concern over the rate of spread and the number of countries where Monkeypox has entered. The virus may latch on to these locations, permanently taking up residence in a human population. Potentially devastating effects on global health security.

“This transmission has been occurring in African countries in two particular zones over a large number of years. We don’t fully understand what’s driving transmission in those countries. Said the head of the WHO’s health emergencies program, Dr. Mike Ryan. “There’s a lot more investigation to do and a lot more investment to make in understanding that problem.”

Source: CNN

Boston Celtics defeats Warriors in Game 3, leads the series, 2-1

Image Source: NBAE via Getty Images

The Boston Celtics took a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals series after stunningly dominating the Golden State Warriors yet again. Game 3 ended with a huge lead by Boston in their homecourt.

The Celtics pulled off an impressive victory on Thursday night. Beating the Warriors by a score of 116-100.

Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum were critical for their team’s victory. Brown scored 27 points while grabbing nine rebounds to go along with his five assists. At the same time, Tatum’s helped him and notched up 26 points and nine assists.

Stephen Curry didn’t disappoint with 31 points. But the Celtics’ defense made it difficult for Golden State – managing to snatch 16 ball possessions from the Warriors.

Marcus Smart ended with 24 points. Al Horford contributed by scoring 11 more points for the Celtics.

The Warriors’ Klay Thompson gave 25 points to his team, while Andrew Wiggins finished the game with 18 and rebounded the ball seven times.

Celtics have taken the lead in the finals – inching closer to the championship with only two more wins. Game 4 will be on the Boston homecourt this Friday.

Game 2

“Game 2, they brought the heat to us. For us, that left a bad taste in our mouth because what we hang our hat on is an effort on the defensive end and being a physical team,” Marcus Smart told reporters after the game. “It definitely woke us up a little bit. We just wanted to come out, and if we were going to come out here and play, the last thing when we left that court, we didn’t want to say we weren’t physical enough.”

The Golden State Warriors are in a bit of rough shape as Curry was injured during Game 3.

“I know Steph is going to do everything he can in his power to play. I am really hoping he’s OK because he’s our identity, and without him, it will be very difficult,” Klay Thompson said in an interview.

The Golden State Warriors point guard says he will use his 48 hours to recover from injury but doesn’t believe that missing a game is likely.

“See how I feel tomorrow and get ready for Friday,” Curry said.

Source: CNN

Mortgage demand falls amid inflation, the lowest in 22 years

Image Source: Bloomberg

As inflation continues in the U.S. Mortgage rates have dramatically increased over the past months leading to a decline in house purchases.

The Mortgage Banker’s Association reported that applications fell 6.5% last week. It is the lowest on record in the span of 22 years.

Contract interest rates went up to 5.40% from 5.33%. These are for mortgages with a 30-year fixed rate and with loan balances. Meanwhile, the points shot up from 0.51 to 0.60 for loans that need a 20% down payment.

The economic conditions have caused a significant drop in refinancing demand. The number of people who sought to refinance their mortgages was 75% lower than last year’s figure.

An economist said, “While rates were still lower than they were four weeks ago, they remained high enough to still suppress refinance activity. Only government refinances saw a slight increase last week.”

The mortgage application process is far less competitive than it was last year, with applications going down 7% in current data – 21% lower than what it was last year during the same time.

“The purchase market has suffered from persistently low housing inventory and the jump in mortgage rates over the past two months. These worsening affordability challenges have been particularly hard on prospective first-time buyers,” the economist said further.

The Mortgage Daily News said that mortgage rates have been experiencing small to moderate changes. However, the constant upswing of mortgage rates imposed by the Feds has dramatically impacted consumers and providers.

Mortgage Daily News chief operating officer said, “There’s some chance that the upper boundaries of that range end up being a ceiling for rates, but that will depend on inflation and other incoming economic data.”

“With a key inflation report set to release on Friday morning, the potential for volatility remains high.”

Source: CNBC

Amazon Accused of Lying to Congress

Source: Getty Images. In a letter released Monday, The House Antitrust Subcommittee demanded Amazon to correct previous testimony. Lawmakers believe was misleading or else face a criminal investigation. This development followed Reuters’ evidence-backed report. The report showed how the industry powerhouse’s India branch had systematically manufactured knockoffs. The popular goods and rigged search results to boost its own products over the original items. 

Addressed to Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy, the letter highlighted the business practices that the e-commerce giant previously denied engaging in. The brainchild of Jeff Bezos, Amazon hosts a third-party marketplace where independent sellers list millions of products. A significant chunk of the goods sold on the website come from its about two million sellers—third-party merchants that the multinational tech company profits off from by charging them fees. 

Back in 2019

Back in 2019, The Wall Street Journal exposed Amazon’s strategic utilization of sensitive, confidential information for its benefit, using data about its sellers, their products, and transactions to launch competing products. However, an executive claimed that the allegations have no ground in statements at a hearing in July 2019, saying that the company adheres to a policy against such practice. 

This new correspondence by the panel, which was signed by Pramila Jayapal, David Cicilline, Ken Buck, Jerrold Nadler, and Matt Gaetz, is not the first of its kind then. The Subcommittee members stated, “At best, this reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled the Committee. At worst, it demonstrates that they may have lied to Congress in possible violation of federal criminal law.

In light of the serious nature of this matter, we are providing you with a final opportunity to provide exculpatory evidence to corroborate the prior testimony and statements on behalf of Amazon to the Committee. We strongly encourage you to make use of this opportunity to correct the record and provide the Committee with sworn, truthful, and accurate responses to this request as we consider whether a referral of this matter to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation is appropriate.”

In response, the internet-based enterprise asserted that it had been nothing but truthful. “Amazon and its executives did not mislead the committee, and we have denied and sought to correct the record on the inaccurate media articles in question,” a representative shared. “As we have previously stated, we have an internal policy, which goes beyond that of any other retailer’s policy that we’re aware of, that prohibits the use of individual seller data to develop Amazon private-label products.”

Amazon CEO

Amazon’s CEO has until the first of November to deliver a sworn response to clarify its use of private information to develop and m market its own line of products. In the meantime, the digital retailer is expected to continue receiving heat, especially from lawmakers and the public alike.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of its most high-profile critics, has called for breaking up the company. Targeting Amazon’s India branch, a group representing millions of retailers has clamored for the government to take serious action against the e-commerce titan.

Tour Dates for The Weeknd Pushed Back

Source: NME

When the pandemic spread across the globe last year, many industries had to adjust to protocols. Forcing some businesses to close shop while entertainers like musicians had to hold off on tours. After a year, the concert industry was finally revived, giving artists the chance to perform for their fans. The Weeknd, who was initially set to go on tour in the middle of last year, has had to reschedule. When news of his “After Hours” tour started to circulate.  The fans were once again ecstatic to experience the thrill of blinding lights again. However, the “Hills” artist has announced his decision to reschedule his tour to next year.

Although he had been making music in 2010, The Weeknd rose to prominence in the mid 2010s following a string of hits like. “The Hills,” “Often,” and “Earned It,” which was featured in the 50 Shades of Gray official soundtrack. Since then, he has won countless awards and become a leader in the contemporary music scene. Recognizable for his palm tree dreadlocks. The Weeknd would later abandon his trademark hair. Despite the change, the “Hills” artist remained consistent in his music development.

The Grammy-winning artist first returned to the grand stage earlier this year at the Super Bowl.  Started releasing new tracks in the following months after releasing his After Hours album in 2020. Although he initially had a tour coming up that would have taken him gracing the stage throughout the United States, The Weeknd bumped his tour to the summer of 2022. Expanding on a global tour to include Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. 

Although The Weeknd didn’t elaborate on his decision, the reschedule can be pinned down to the current situation.  The pandemic as safety precautions in the United States continue to be shaky. With inconsistency in the social-distancing protocol, it can be challenging to hold arena tours. Especially as music festivals and other events are getting organized.

The Weeknd Change

The Weeknd changing the tour dates is not only a show of concern for the safety of his audience. Also allows him to prepare a bigger presentation for them. With the tour set for next year, he hopes that the open air can alleviate concerns regarding mass gatherings. 

“The ‘After Hours’ tour dates are moving and will commence in the Summer of 2022 due to constraints of arenas. The desire to do something bigger and special for fans that will require stadiums. The artist stated on his social media pages. “New dates forthcoming. Current tickets will be refunded automatically and all ticketholders will be given priority to buy tickets for the stadium shows when they go on sale.”

Recently, The Weeknd officially changed his 2022 tour’s name to “After Hours ‘Til Dawn” on his Instagram page. Fans have speculated that the change is a reflection of the theme and teases his upcoming new album, something he has been hinting this year. They were treated to a new single titled “Take My Breath” in August, fueling fans’ excitement and anticipation. 

Squid Game Cryptocurrency Crashes to $0 as Creators Pull the Rug on the Apparent Scam

Source: Netflix. The hit South Korean Netflix series “Squid Game” has inspired many great things in the current space of pop culture. Recently, a new cryptocurrency token was created based on the hit show. With many investors hoping to cash in on the property’s rising popularity. However, the token suddenly plummeted in value, with the token itself trading at $0 after its creators cashed out. Effectively stealing an estimated $2.1 million from investors.

The token, called SQUID, surged as high as $2,861 before dropping to $0 as of Monday, according to CoinMarketCap. The scam, typically called a “rug pull” in the industry. Managed to dupe multiple investors in one of the biggest crypto scams in recent memory. The creators managed to cash out of their coins in exchange for real money, quickly devaluing the cryptocurrency’s value. 

Before the rug pull, the token’s market cap was a little more than $2 million.  It was billed as a token that could be used for a new online game inspired by the hit show “Squid Game.” The premise of the show centered around a deadly game. Where participants played a series of children’s games to earn a sizable amount of money. But losing meant forfeiting one’s life and adding more money to the prize pool.

Experts have continuously pointed out the numerous signs that it was a scam, including its website. It was riddled with spelling errors. Another red flag of the cryptocurrency was the fact that investors could only purchase SQUID tokens. CoinMarketCap warned potential investors that SQUID was probably a scam. Displaying a warning to “exercise extreme caution” if they bought the crypto.

Squid Game

“Squid Game” has become a massive global phenomenon earning the title of becoming Netflix’s top show globally. The show has been viewed by 111 million accounts since its debut in September. Making it the company’s biggest series launch. Netflix executives have pointed to the show as evidence. Its growing slate of international content can resonate with a variety of audiences.

Netflix has denied any claims of being part of the cryptocurrency scam. The unidentified creators of the token have yet to be discovered. SQUID marketed itself as a “play-to-earn cryptocurrency,”. They could be used for a future online game inspired by the hit series. The price soared in recent days by thousands of percent before its value plummeted by 99.99%, currently trading at $0.

Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad told the BBC that “It is one of many schemes by which naïve retail investors are drawn in. Exploited by malevolent crypto promoters,”.

Professor Prasad said buyers need to be aware when buying cryptocurrencies as there is almost no regulatory oversight.

he said “In fact, open pump and dump schemes are rampant in the crypto world. With investors often jumping in with eyes wide open, perhaps hoping that they can ride the wave. Dump their holdings for a quick profit before prices collapse,” 

The SQUID token was available for sale on decentralized crypto exchanges. Including PancakeSwap and DODO, which allows buyers to connect directly to sellers without a central authority. Jinnan Ouyang from Singapore-based crypto company Openmining said “Nowadays, new coins can be listed on decentralized exchanges on the first day. They are created, without any regulation or due diligence,”. So you could be buying coins from anyone with any agenda.”

Bill raising minimum age of rifle purchase passed the House, awaits verdict from Senate

Image Source: Daily Sabah

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday. Making it impossible for those under 21 years old to buy an assault rifle.

The bill, which has been called the “Protecting Our Kids Acts” by lawmakers in the Lower House, has been docketed. But analysts do not expect it to pass through the Senate.

The new bill will essentially disable individuals from buying large-capacity magazines. Puts strict rules in place for the storage of guns inside American homes.

Passing the Lower House by a 223-204 vote. The Protecting Our Kids Act was forwarded to Senate for another set of hearings.

Gun control has been a pressing topic in America after gunning incidents killed children and adults.

Read Also: Matthew McConaughey speaks at the White House, calls for stricter gun laws

The press secretary of the White House said that. President Biden is in full support of laws related to red-flag rules and background checks.

Red flag laws will allow individuals to take a case. Before a judge ordering the State to take away a gun from someone. If they have sufficient evidence to prove that the individual in question is a public threat.

“We understand not every component. What the president is calling for is going to stop every tragedy,” secretary Jean-Pierre told the media. “But we have to take the steps, and we have to move forward, and we have to do something.”

An advocate for stronger gun laws, Senator John Cornyn, said. “I’m glad to say on this topic, we are making steady progress. It is early in the process, but I’m optimistic about where things stand right now.”

“What am I optimistic about? I’m optimistic that we can pass a bill in the Senate. It can pass the House, and it will get a signature by President Biden. And it will become the law of the land,” the senator added.

Read Also: Mortgage demand falls amid inflation, the lowest in 22 years

Senator Cornyn also said that he would be fighting for better mental health services and stronger security in our schools.

The senator announced that he is also considering drafting a law. Will require states to forward all records on juvenile delinquency and crimes to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

“Because this young man in Uvalde turned 18. There was no lookback at his juvenile record, he passed a background check. It’s as if he were born on his 18th birthday. That nothing that had happened before was important,” Cornyn further said.

“That’s obviously a problem.”

Source: CNBC

Biden Gives the US’ Backing to Finland and Sweden NATO Enlistment

Photo: NPR. President Joe Biden announced that Finland and Sweden have full. Total and complete support from the United States for their appeal to join NATO. The Western bulwark was founded during the Cold War as a security foundation. 

Biden, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson held a meeting at the White House Rose Garden. Biden said he is dispatching paperwork to Congress on Thursday to aid the ratification of their applications.

“Finland and Sweden make NATO stronger,” said Biden. “And a strong, united NATO is the foundation of America’s security.” 

The move to approve both nations’ appeal for NATO enlistment will create a rare instance of bipartisanship. As Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell give their backing.

“I think the United States ought to be first in line to ratify. The treaty for both these countries to join”. Stated McConnell following speaking with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Saturday. 

The two countries applied for membership in NATO after Russia attacked Ukraine. Still, it is unlikely that they will be accepted due to Turkey’s stance on Kurdish groups. Saying it will dismiss any bid from the two countries because they backed. These organizations that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan considers a terrorist group. 

“We are following developments concerning Sweden and Finland, but we are not of a favorable opinion,” stated Erdogan last week. 

Biden Seemed to Agree

Biden seemed to agree to those worries when he queried the Senate to ratify the two nations. Application “once the perspectives of all allies are addressed, and NATO adopts the accession protocols.” 

Finish leader Niinisto addressed Turkey’s worries about his nation’s appeal to NATO. Stating that Helsinki was “open to discussing all the concerns Turkey. It may have concerning our membership in an open and constructive manner.” 

He also revealed that some talks had already started and would continue going.

Swedish Prime Minister Andersson described Russia’s attack on Ukraine as a “watershed moment for Sweden,” a country. That has kept a policy of military impartiality for hundreds of years, even amid the two world wars. 

Andersson stated that she highly regards the bipartisan backing in Washington for her nation’s NATO bid. Like Niinisto stated, her nation discussed with all NATO members, counting Turkey. “On different levels to sort out any issues at hand.”

Biden also tackled concerns that Finnish and Swedish enlistment in NATO might fan the already burning flames in neighboring Russia. Putin is against the expansion of NATO, viewing it as targeted to Russia and its borders. 

New member joining NATO

“New members joining NATO is not a threat to any nation,” Biden stated. “In the face of aggression, NATO has not grown weaker or more divided. It has grown stronger, more united.” 

Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s employee and now the Center for a New American Security senior. Andrea Kendall-Taylor, commented in an interview with NPR that the risks Finland. Sweden may experience from Russia are not as extreme.

“I think that Russia is too bogged down with its war in Ukraine. And I think that’s exactly that calculus that Finland and Sweden have. That they see that Russia is distracted, and it gives them this window to make a move,” said Kendall-Taylor.

Google Pledges $740 Million Investment in Australia

Source: Entrepreneur. Last Tuesday, Google, one of the biggest tech giants across the globe. It has announced that the company will be investing $740 million in Australia . Over the next five years, particularly promising to establish a research hub staffed by Australian researchers and engineers. Increase its cloud computing capacity, and team up with government scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific. Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) to address certain issues like expanding the use of renewable energy. Following previous threats to leave the country earlier this year due to tightened government regulations. the move marks the company’s commitment to reconciliation and growth.

Google Australia Managing Director Mel Silva. who previously threatened to block Google’s search engine in Australia in early 2021. He said the spending plan would bring significant technology resources and investment. Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, also expressed in an interview. the move could help lead the world’s next wave of innovation. Google’s plans include a partnership with the Sydney-based Macquarie University on quantum computing. Expanded collaboration with Australia’s main government science agency. On everything from natural hazard management to protection for the Great Barrier Reef. “We believe a strong digital future is one where everyone has access to technology. The skills to use it,” Mr. Pichai said. “Where the internet economy fulfills its immense potential,” he added.

Although the Australian government continues to show interest in imposing more regulations among tech companies. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has praised Google for making such a big bet on the country last Tuesday. He called the plan an “AU$1 billion vote of confidence” in Australia. it would “bring more STEM jobs to our shores.” 

Google currently employs in Australia

“The company’s new program, the Digital Future Initiative, would create more than 6,000 jobs. triple what Google currently employs in Australia,” shared the Prime Minister. “We have to embrace and encourage and enable those seeking these new digital opportunities,” he added.

It could be remembered that during a parliamentary hearing held earlier this year. the proposed block was intended to evade new laws that forced Google and social media company Meta. formerly known as Facebook Inc, to pay news outlets for content posted on their websites. Regardless of the move boldly made by the tech giant, the law was approved, and Google thereafter recanted the statement. It instead established licensing deals with most of Australia’s mainstream media companies. heeding to the provisions required by the newly signed law.

Amid the controversy, the Australian federal government will review the effectiveness of the law in March 2022. The government also announced plans in holding internet companies accountable. legally responsible for cases involving defamation and misinformation that was made on their various platforms. 

Although the AU$1 billion move sparks a go signal to countless projects in Australia. The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology commented that the spending commitment made a “great headline”. “simply paying tax on Australian earnings would deliver far more money to Australia.”

“When big tech offers to put money into a nation, there are always strings attached,” said Centre director Peter Lewis.

Google currently pays less than 1% tax on annual earnings of about AU$5 billion made in Australia.

Floki Pioneers New Advertising Strategy, Exchange Platform and Giving Back to Society

Floki has just announced that they will be running advertisements on Youtube starting next week. And as described by enthusiasts and commentators, this is a significant milestone in the cryptocurrency company’s emergence as a leader in the industry. 

Floki, the world’s most awarded digital and originating brand, has just announced its plan towards a new aggressive marketing campaign that will be running for months on Youtube. In this projected 50 million person outreach effort, they are looking to get as many people aware of their successes through Youtube. 

Floki is pioneering a new and improved advertising strategy in the crypto space, as it has plowed new ground for advertisements with its diverse ventures into many different markets. With billboards that can be seen from over a dozen countries and sponsorship deals across multiple industries, including soccer leagues, Floki is unmatched when it comes to promoting its brand. Furthermore, Floki has remained relatively unmatched in its advertising efforts as a brand known for innovation. 

In addition, Floki will soon be listed on a leading exchange-based trading platform, AscendEX. This listing was made possible with their partnership and marketing effort to bring Flokis services into the mainstream market as well provide easy access for beginners while still offering full suite financial products such as staking through this company’s service offerings across multiple industries, including gaming entertainment travel automotive medicine healthcare technology manufacturing food-beverage retail pharmaceuticals regenerative medicines 3D printing real estate. 

The partnership with AscendEX exchange makes Floki the third meme token listed on the platform, alongside Doge and Shib. These rankings make them some of the most popular coins in that category, with a market capitalization ranking one and two for both dogecoin and shibbin currency, respectively. It is also notable that Elon Musk is interested enough to invest in these projects, which makes this even more exciting than it already was beforehand.

Floki’s success is no mere coincidence. The company committed early on to give back and has since announced its intention of building schools in every underdeveloped nation, starting with Ghana. They’ve already built one school that will be open soon for students’ use. Floki is also building a state-of-the-art school in Nigeria. The Nigerian school will have six blocks, and it will be fully equipped with computer laboratories, libraries for all students’ use, including other facilities to make learning attractive. In addition, Floki is committing itself to replicate these laudable projects and initiatives worldwide, with Guatemala and Laos set to follow Nigeria and with more countries of the world waiting to benefit in the future. 

Sufficient classrooms in Nigeria are much needed, and Floki takes steps to address that. According to a 2018 research, there were about 81,000 public primary school classrooms across the country. Still, with an excess of 65 000 rooms required, it leaves many people without access to educational facilities, thus leaving them at risk of being disadvantaged, a problem Floki, in conjunction with Pencil of Promise, has committed to address.