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Russia opposition activist transferred to maximum security prison


According to Prokhorov, Kara-Murza has been transferred to IK-6, a maximum-security penal colony in Omsk. Prokhorov said that Kara-Murza had been transferred to IK-6 in Omsk. This is a maximum-security penal settlement. Kaza-Murza said he was tired after the transfer but that he has now had time to reflect and rest in silence. Kara-Murza had been held in a Moscow pre-trial center before he was transferred. About a month after Kara-Murza’s arrest, the Supreme Court of Russia ordered the liquidation of PARNAS, in accordance with a request from the Russian justice ministry.

Following his arrest earlier this year, foreign governments and international human rights entities have been vocal and active supporters of Kara-Murza. In June 2023, for example, the Canadian Parliament granted honorary citizenship in order to increase Kara-Murza’s chances of safe release. In July 2023 an independent UN expert on human rights appealed to Russia to release Kara-Murza immediately. Both the European Union and the United States released statements condemning the sentence and labeling the conviction “politically-motivated”.

'We have dealt with recessions before': Jamie Dimon says geopolitics is the world's biggest risk


Jamie Dimon, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., gestures as he speaks during an interview with Reuters in Miami, Florida, U.S., February 8, 2023. 

Marco Bello | Reuters

JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon says geopolitics after Russia’s invasion in Ukraine is the biggest risk, larger than high inflation or a U.S. recession.

Global markets have taken a hit over the past week, as the U.S. Federal Reserve signaled that interest rates will likely remain higher for longer, in order to bring inflation sustainably back down to its 2% target.

Speaking to CNBC TV-18 in India on Tuesday, Dimon said people should “be prepared for higher oil and gas prices, higher rates, as a matter of just being prepared,” but that the U.S. economy will likely get through any turbulence. However, the war in Ukraine has polarized global powers and shows no sign of abating.

“I think the geopolitical situation is the thing that most concerns me, and we don’t know the effect of that in the economy,” he added.

“I think that the humanitarian part is far more important. I think it’s also very important for the future of the free democratic world. We may be at an inflection point for the free democratic world. That’s how seriously I take it.”

Further negative pressure on markets in recent months has come from a slowdown in the Chinese economy, driven in large part by weakness in its massive property market.

Asked about the potential impact of this slump on the long-term prospects for China and the global economy, Dimon again suggested that Eastern Europe was the actual epicentre of risk, with the war in Ukraine straining relationships between economic superpowers.

“Far more important to me is the Ukraine war, oil, gas, food migration — it’s affecting all global relationships — very importantly, the one between America and China,” Dimon said.

“I think America takes this very seriously, I’m not quite sure how the rest of the world does. You have a European democratic nation invaded under the threat of nuclear blackmail. I think it’s been a good response, but it’s going to it’s going to affect all of our relationships until somehow the war is resolved.”

China and India have attempted to maintain a neutral stance on the war and position themselves as potential peacemakers, utilizing the closer ties with Russia demonstrated by the BRICS alliance. Bejing has submitted a peace plan proposal to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, which has so far failed to gain traction.

This placed the world’s two most populous countries somewhat at odds with the U.S. and Europe, which have supplied Ukraine with weapons and financial support in the belief that only a Ukrainian victory will restore international order.

“India is going its own way. They’ve made their priorities quite clear about national security and what that means,” Dimon said.

“I’m an American patriot, so governments are going to set foreign policy, not JPMorgan, but I think Americans should stop thinking that China is a 10-foot giant. Our GDP per person is $80,000, we have all the food, water and energy we need, we’ve got the unbelievable benefits of free enterprise and freedom.”

Europe and US have number of geopolitical issues in common, says NEWEST CEO Fernando Napolitano

The Wall Street titan added that renewed U.S. engagement with China on issues such as trade and national security was positive, and that he would like to see more of it to rebalance the trade and investment relationship between Washington and Beijing, even if that caused a “little bit of unravelling.”

“But it’s not just America, every country is relooking at its net. What is national security? Do I have reliant energy lines? Do I need semiconductors from China? Where do I get my rare earths from? Ukraine woke everyone up to that and that’s a permanent state of affairs now,” Dimon said.

Asked if geopolitics was the number one risk facing the world today, Dimon responded “absolutely.”

“We have dealt with inflation before, we dealt with deficits before, we have dealt with recessions before, and we haven’t really seen something like this pretty much since World War II,” he added.

Dune's Denis Villeneuve Has Big Hopes for the Future of IMAX


Lea Seydoux as Lady Margot Fenring in Dune: Part Two.
Photo: Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

Barbie–a movie so big it had already won the U.S. box office in August–is also a movie so big that on Friday, it made the leap to IMAX for a one-week run. Denis Villeneuve , the director of Dune, is a big fan of IMAX. | io9 Interview“The future of cinema is IMAX and the large formats,” Villeneuve

(via IndieWire) in an interview published before Barbie‘s large-format bow, but with the towering success of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer in mind. They want to experience an event.” They want to experience an event.”Without insulting movies that are made specifically

for streaming (or that end up bypassing the theater and going straight to streaming), the director–whose Dune was released day-and-date in theaters and what was then called HBO Max, thanks to pandemic concerns–makes it clear where his favor lies. “There’s a notion that movies are viewed as a form of entertainment rather than an art. I hate that word, ‘content.’ That movies like Oppenheimer are released on the big screen and become an event brings back a spotlight on the idea that it’s a tremendous art form that needs to be experienced in theaters.”Dune: Part Two was originally slated to come out later this year, but saw its release date shifted (due to strike concerns this time) to March 15, 2024

.Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel,

Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

In some states, more than half of the local election officials have left since 2020


According to a recent report, nearly 60% of Nevada’s county election officials have been replaced since 2020.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

A Clark County Election Department employee sorts ballots in North Las Vegas on November 9, 2022. According to a recent report, nearly 60% of Nevada’s county voting officials have been new since 2020.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Josh Daniels became a clerk and grew to love the intricate minutiae of running an election, as well as finding creative ways to help vulnerable populations access the ballot. It was rewarding to improve some important functions of local government,” Daniels stated. The voting conspiracies were too much for Daniels to handle. It was like the Twilight Zone

in government service. Every day, you wake up to the same thing. No matter how much data and information you share or how many concerns that you address, the same thing will happen every day. “

Daniels is part of a large group of voting officials who have decided to leave the profession since 2020 and the tension and pressure that followed Donald Trump’s loss in that election. “

Daniels is part of a large group of voting officials who have decided to leave the profession since 2020 and the tension and pressure that followed Donald Trump’s loss in that election. In some battleground states, more than half of the local election administrators will be new since the last presidential race, according to a new report from the democracy-focused advocacy group Issue One shared exclusively with NPR before its release.

“Local county clerk is not a glamorous job,” Daniels said. “We don’t pay people enough in local election administration jobs to warrant public scrutiny. This is especially true when the scrutiny is misguided or misinformed. “

The Issue One report focused on 11 western states and found that the problem of voting official turnover is particularly acute in the region’s

swing states, where conspiracies have flourished.

In Nevada, 59% of the state’s county voting officials are new since 2020. In Arizona, 55%.

It’s not clear how these numbers compare to previous cycles — data on trends in election administration is notoriously hard to come by — but experts have been saying for years that they worried about a mass exodus driven by the polarized environment.In total, more than 160 chief local election officials nearly 40% of the region’s officials

have left their positions in the 11 states that Issue One tracked. Experts expect to see the same trend in other states, as NPR and recent polling indicate that many in these positions fear for their safety or their co-workers’. Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes told NPR, a Democrat from the state, that he is considering a “declaration on election administration emergency”. This would shed more light on this issue and underfunded elections departments. He added that threats are experienced by both Republican and Democratic jurisdictions.

“Many of those who have been harassed or threatened are Republicans.” Fontes stated that a former Republican county recorder in Arizona had her dog poisoned. This is not a political issue. It is about the survival of our constitution. “

Since 2020, some states have passed laws aimed at addressing threats to election officials, and the Department of Justice has set up a specific Election Threats Task Force, but intimidating and threatening language from voters often doesn’t rise to the level of criminal offense, so election officials note that law enforcement can’t solve the issue on its own.

Election brain drain Practically speaking, the turnover presents a troubling brain drain.

Experts say the job of an election official has grown in complexity in recent years, with county clerks now needing to be well-versed in cybersecurity, the foreign adversary threat landscape and communications, in addition to the normal tasks that go into putting on an election. In many counties, particularly smaller ones, the running of elections is not their full-time job. It sounds simple but months of planning are required to reach this goal. “

Issue One found that the officials who left brought with them more than 1,800 years of experience. “

Issue One found that the officials who left took with them more than 1,800 years of experience.Which experts say presents a conundrum: New voting officials make more mistakes than seasoned ones. So the exodus brought on by election conspiracies may beget more conspiracies, as first-time honest mistakes are treated like evidence of malfeasance.In 2022, a printer issue at some voting centers in Maricopa County, Ariz., became the center of false narratives. In 2020, it was user error by a clerk in Antrim County, Mich. (which was quickly corrected).“The 2024 election will be even more scrutinized, which means that these government election officials have to be on their game at every turn and with every detail, and there is no room for error,” former Utah clerk Daniels said. Former Utah clerk Daniels said that the lack of expertise will lead to some balls being dropped during the 2024 elections. “

Bahrains Political Prisoners: Resistance Against the Odds

  • Opinion by Ines M Pousadela (montevideo, uruguay)
  • Inter Press Service

Abdulhadi was sentenced to life in prison on bogus terrorism charges for his role in 2011 democracy protests, part of the ‘Arab Spring’ regional wave of mobilisations. His health, weakened due to denial of medical care, has further declined as he joined other political prisoners in a hunger strike demanding improvements in prison conditions.

Emerging from the unlikeliest place – a prison designed to break wills and destroy the desire for freedom – this hunger strike has become the biggest organised protest Bahrain has seen in years.

Maryam has four judicial cases pending in Bahrain but was ready to spend years in prison if this was what it took to save her father’s life. Abdul The The Many Bahrain Abdul They In Their families took to the streets to demand their release.

On 31 August, the political prisoners extended their protest after rejecting the government’s offer of only minor improvements.

On 11 September, a two-week suspension of the strike was announced to allow the government to fulfil promises to improve conditions, including ending isolation for some prisoners. It seemed clear the government had shifted position to avoid embarrassment as Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa prepared to meet US President Joe Biden.

Abdulhadi, however, soon resumed his hunger strike after being denied access to a scheduled medical appointment, only to

it a few days later when he was promised improvements in conditions, including a cardiologist appointment. The It felt, as Maryam

, ‘like psychological warfare and an attempt to kill solidarity’.

International solidarity urgently needed

In her attempt to return to Bahrain, Maryam received strong international support. A A similar letter was sent to the UK government.suspendIn late 2022, backlash from human rights organisations forced Bahrain to withdraw its candidacy for a UN Human Rights Council seat. put itBut while Bahrain’s political prisoners have many allies, some powerful voices aren’t among them.

Bahrain’s foreign allies include not only repressive autocracies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates but also democratic states, notably the UK and the USA, which clearly value stability and security far more highly than democracy and human rights.

Following Bahrain’s independence in 1971, the UK has continued to back the institutions it established – and has pretended to see progress towards democratic reform. Bahrain Sun Sun Bahrain The The 01 The It’s high time the USA, the UK and other democratic states use the many levers at their disposal to urge the Bahraini government to free its thousands of political prisoners and move towards real democratic reform.

Ines M. Pousadela

is CIVICUS Senior Research Specialist, co-director and writer for CIVICUS Lens and co-author of the State of Civil Society Report.

Follow IPS News UN Bureau on Instagram

(c) Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights Reserved

Original source: Inter Press Service

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I walked more than 100 miles in Kyoto. Here are 5 new places worth visiting


More artisanal shops are popping up, many of them not far from the city’s most famous sights.

Here are five of my favorites.

O’C More artisanal shops are popping up — many not far from the city’s most famous sights.

Here are five of my favorites.

O’Chill — for meditation and tea

Opened in June 2023

Closest to: Kyoto Imperial Palace (12 minutes)

The path to the front door of O’Chill.
Source: Morgan Awyong

Curiosity was my main motivation to visit O’Chill, which allows visitors the chance to drink — and smoke — tea. The path to the front door of O’Chill.

Source: Morgan Awyong

The path to the front door of O’Chill.010010 The hookahs are given to guests, but the tobacco is replaced with tea leaves. The experience is a form of “shiko-hin,”

or self-nurturing ritual, he said. The experience is a form of “shiko-hin,”

or self-nurturing ritual, he said. “We believe that any lifestyle is good if the person is happy,” Wataru said.

My eyes widened with the first puff.

Rokuhichido — for paper objects

Opened in April 2023

Close to: Hokan-ji Temple (1 minute)

Rokuhichido — for paper objects
Opened in April 2023

Close to: Hokan-ji Temple (1 minute)

Visitors shop the handmade paper products at Rokuhichido.

Source: Morgan Awyong

With all eyes on the famous five-story pagoda nearby, it is easy to miss Rokuhichido, a shop that makes Japanese paper products using methods like silk screen printing and paper cutting.

The brand first gained popularity with postcards, then expanded to produce playful paper balloons and miniature figurines, shaped like marine animals or places like Mount Fuji.

Designs are based on Japanese traditions and culture, the four seasons and landscapes, manager Shota Yamada said. Its ukiyo-e postcards, featuring classic motifs like geisha and shogun, are the most popular, he added.

“Depending on the product, a single craftsman can produce only a few dozen of our products per day,” said Yamada.

Gokago — for matcha drinks and food
Opened in June 2023

Close to: Kiyomizudera Temple (2 minutes)

The front door to Gokago.

Source: Morgan Awyong

There’s no shortage of matcha cafes in Kyoto, but no one does it quite like Gokago. The green tea is ground in the cafe and used in drinks, donuts, ice creams and more. “Since experiencing the traditional tea ceremony can be a hurdle, we thought it was important to offer it in a casual style to make it accessible to as many people as possible,” he said.

Admittedly, the experience here doesn’t replace the real thing, but it’s still a great stop for an authentic matcha brew en route to Kiyomizudera, one of Kyoto’s most famous temples. And visitors get to see the precise movements and formal presentation of the ingredients, which is part of the ritualistic grace of a formal ceremony.

Kaji Kyoto — for Peruvian and Japanese fine dining

Opened in May 2023
Closest to: Nishiki Market (11 minutes)

Food at the Peruvian Japanese restaurant, Kaji Kyoto.

Source: Morgan Awyong

Traditional restaurants are everywhere in Kyoto, but Kaji Kyoto isn’t one of them.

“I want guests to leave Kaji and see how Japanese people that left Japan had to adapt because the ingredients they had were different — and were just as delicious,” said head chef Keone Koki.

Koki brings his Peruvian heritage to Japanese cooking, in one example using passion fruit from Okinawa as a marinade for a tiradito, an onion-free ceviche. The sashimi is also different because most are eaten only with shoyu, he added. The effect is much like a performance, with Koki and his crew of five endearing themselves to guests with light banter.

Fuku Coffee Roastery — for specialty coffee

Opened in March 2023

Close to: Kennin-ji Temple (4 minutes)
Fuku Coffee Roastery is in a machiya, or traditional wooden townhouse, that Morio Ajiki inherited from his grandmother.

I initially thought this was a coffeehouse, but I found out from Morio Ajiki that his company provides high quality coffee beans to businesses.

Luckily, visitors can still drop by for a cup.

“There were customers stopping by my shop who wanted to try my coffee,” Ajiki said. “I decided to serve the customers who came into my shop and wanted to try my coffee,” Ajiki said. You can easily strike up a chat with Ajiki. He will probably pop through the sliding doors leading to his house. The store’s name is derived from his cat. The roastery features products created by local artists. Kyoto’s artisans are known for their mutual respect, making discoveries like these well worth the walk.

Befuddled Trump Can’t Figure Out Which Bush Did What In Bizarre Rant


Donald Trump, on Monday, confused the former Florida governor. Jeb Bush is either the brother of former President George W. Bush or his father, former president George H.W. Bush. Bush. Trump talked about his victory over Jeb Bush in 2016 during a South Carolina campaign stop. “They believed Bush because Bush was supposed to be a military man. Great. How did that work out, right?” How did that work out, right?”

Trump, who once boasted of having the “world’s greatest memory,” forgot that Jeb Bush never served as president, was not a “military person” and was not involved in conflicts in the Middle East.

Trump is correct in that Bush was considered the favorite for the Republican nomination in 2015, with an early lead in the polls and a $100 million war chest. He was out of contention in February 2016 after his campaign stalled. It’s not a mental acuity test but instead is used to check for signs of the cognitive impairments that could be an early sign of dementia.

Meanwhile, his own campaign events are increasingly loaded with gaffes, such as one earlier this month in which he claimed he beat Barack Obama in 2016, warned of a pending “World War II” and insisted that Americans need ID to buy a loaf of bread. Given this history, critics were quick on X (formerly Twitter) to respond back to Trump:

Given this history, critics quickly fired back at Trump:

Once more Trump is utterly confused- he claimed JEB Bush was president who got us in the Iraq War. C’mon, media! Do your job and report on Trump’s DANGEROUS decline in mental health!! https://t.co/MFf5tIhZ9u

— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah)

Here’s Trump, saying Jeb Bush got us into the Middle East (“…and how’d that work out?” he says).

Imagine if Biden said something like this: “I beat Trump, Eric Trump, remember him? How did that go? https://t.co/MQzqsDKx1c

— Cap’nJack Fights Fascism (@CapnJack_1270)

This big-ticket purchase may be a 'grenade in your otherwise well-planned retirement,' advisor warns


Courtneyk | E+ | Getty Images

Americans are at risk of falling short of what they may need to live on financially in retirement.

One potential reason is lifestyle creep, or the tendency to upgrade your lifestyle as you earn more.

An upgrade people are often tempted to make – the purchase of a second home – may be particularly risky for long-term planning, financial advisors say.

“Those bigger purchases, if not done really deliberately and diligently, can almost end up being almost like a grenade in your otherwise well-planned retirement,” said Patrick McGinn, president of Retirement Resources Investment Corp. in Peabody, Massachusetts. The 29 on the 2023 CNBC FA 100 list of top financial advisors in the U.S.

More from Personal Finance:
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The purchase of a second home takes away from money that could be invested elsewhere in an asset that’s more liquid than an extra property, according to Stephen Cohn, a certified financial planner and co-president of Sage Financial Group in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. This 22 on this year’s CNBC FA 100 list.

Importantly, the return on those liquid investments may far exceed what someone may earn on a second home.

“There are people who think they can afford it, but don’t realize it’s going to impact their ability to reach their other financial goals, one of which is retirement,” Cohn said.

However, many people tend to convince themselves the house will appreciate, which they then can monetize or liquidate when they need it for retirement, he said.

“Typically, what happens is most people don’t want to give that second home up after they’ve lived in it for a certain amount of time,” which adds to their cost of living, Cohn said.

Some retirement ‘wants’ just don’t hold water

The purchase of a boat is another example of a big-ticket transaction that can significantly reduce a retirement nest egg, according to McGinn.

A $50,000 boat may cost $15,000 to $25,000 per year to keep up between insurance, storage and maintenance, he said.

“In a sense, you’re pre-spending your retirement,” McGinn said, by putting your current consumption ahead of your future retirement needs.

To help clients evaluate the impact of a boat purchase, McGinn said he typically runs an analysis of the financial impact five to seven years out.

When evaluating a second home purchase, which typically costs more, McGinn said he does a deep dive analysis on the cash flow needs associated with the property and the investment growth that may be sacrificed as a result.

Likewise, Cohn said he also runs a financial analysis for prospective second home buyers that includes the impact it will have on them being able to retire at a certain age and to maintain a certain lifestyle.

If the purchase may derail clients’ financial goals, Cohn said he urges them to consider alternatives, particularly renting.

“Renting is by far, in our opinion, a much more efficient way of enjoying a destination,” Cohn said.

Russian-installed Donetsk leader issues civilian restrictions under martial law


In the decree, Pushilin said that the measures are necessary to “

strengthen the protection of public order and ensure public safety.” The five-page decree imposed numerous restrictions on residents of Donetsk. Most notable amongst the restrictions was a curfew that bars all persons from being in public spaces from 11pm – 4am, with special exceptions for military, emergency and repair personnel, and a ban on all public rallies, demonstrations, meetings and strikes without the special permission of a regional security agency.[s]Further restrictions allow the military to censor postal mail, telephone conversations and electronic communications. The military can also conduct a thorough search of an individual’s travel documents and identification. Detentions may last up to 48-hours. The increased measures were authorized by Presidential Executive Order No. 756 dated October 19, 2022. In 2022, the order signed by Putin instituted martial laws in Russian-annexed areas of Ukraine, which included Donetsk. The order stipulated a “maximum level of response” in accordance with Russian Federal Constitutional Law No.1 – FCZ. The law’s article 7 governs the implementation of martial law. The Russian government formally annexed Donetsk after a “sham vote” in 2022. Ukraine claims that the region is part of its territory.

Travis Kelce is running away with Sportsman of the Year


The Sportsman of the Year award is a nebulous one that honors a number of different people. It can be a good-hearted person, an activist, Tiger Woods or the fastest man on the planet, an American gymnast, a gold medalist at the Olympics, etc. Which NFL Bros are the best? Watt or Kelce?

I am more shallow than this. This year, Travis Kelce is making a big push both on and off the field.

Lionel Messi? Inter Miami could miss the MLS Cup Playoffs if he is away playing for his country. It’s commendable that he has put his head down, focused on family and football, but it’s still not enough to earn him Sportsman of the year. We’ve moved on. Deion Sanders

is the ideal recruiter in the NIL era.

But we’ll have to see if the Colorado Buffaloes are able to maintain the level of interest after the September football illusory effect wears off. Sanders was humbled by Oregon’s thrashing. I think Colorado is at least a year from being able to make a serious impact in the New Big 12 this season. Kelce will be a different player in 2023. You’ve crossed the rubicon when you get Belichick

to remove his stoic face in front of media. Then again, we know that his affection for TEs

is stronger than any coach in the league’s.Months after calling his shot on a podcast with his brother, Travis knocked it out the park like Babe Ruth in the ’32 World Series

. I mostly rolled my eyes at the Taylor Swift-Kelce rumor mill because he sounded like Kip Dynamite’s cousin constantly alluding to his girlfriend LaFawnduh

rather than a tangible possibility. She was also real. Kelce

deserves credit for bringing this vision to life. He did everything but borrow a page out of Deion’s playbook in his postgame presser, look the Chiefs beat writers squarely in the face and bellow, “!”

Kelce winning a second Super Bowl as Patrick Mahomes’ number one option after Tyreek Hill’s departure for Miami pushed him into the Gronkowski stratosphere of commercial popularity. Kelce is the only tight end who hasn’t taken a stand against his fellow tight ends, who are being used as pseudo-slot recipients and demanded more money. The Dolphins only scored 70 points against Denver but Kelce’s score was double that amount in just one afternoon. Either this was the greatest PR stunt of the season or Kelce’s mackin’ skills are generational.Whatever you think about Swift or Kelce, taking a heat-check shot at Swift and then draining it was inspirational for all the dream chasers and DM shooters out there. Swift riding off into the sunset was an amazing T.O. caliber touchdown dance.Do you believe now?https://x.com/PopBase/status/1706150864355037455?s=20

One of the underrated components of Sportsman of the Year is factoring in what each candidate has done for his brethren. Kelce’s 2023 year was a win for a group of athletes that is underrepresented. Brock Bowers will not be mentioned in the Heisman discussion, but Kelce has been drafted ahead of the NFL’s top wideouts in many fantasy leagues. In just a few years, the NFL has switched to more 12-formations in order to put more tight ends on field. Shannon Sharpe, despite winning three Super Bowls and achieving this level of celebrity only after retiring, was unable to reach it until he retired. Even then, Sharpe’s slobbering of Eddie Murphy’s ex-wife Nicole only became a

. Kelce has always been one the most ostentatious players in a league that is void of diva wide receivers. He’s also managed to keep his high-ranking status on the field. With increased visibility comes more polarization. It was bold to host SNL back in March, but courting Swift

can be dangerous. Swift’s songs are so seductive that they have bruised many egos, which is a testament to how treacherous the ground he walks on is. For now. For right now.Activist, retired NBA player, and might

have gone overboard by comparing Sportsman Nominee Deion Sanders with Muhammad Ali.who was stripped of both his title and life for refusing to be drafted for the

Vietnam War. But love is something Kelce won’t hesitate to fight for.(OK I’ll see me out).

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 580


Here is the situation on Tuesday, September 26, 2023


  • Ukraine claimed it killed the commander of Russia’s Black Sea fleet and dozens of officers in last week’s missile attack on Moscow’s naval headquarters in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. “There were 34 officers killed, including commander of the Black Sea Fleet,” Ukraine’s special forces said. Oleh Kiper, the Odesa region governor, said storage facilities were hit that contained almost 1,000 tonnes of grain. Oleh Kiper, the Odesa region governor, said storage facilities were hit, which contained almost 1,000 tonnes of grain.
  • Russia said it repelled more Ukrainian air attacks on Crimea and in the border regions of Belgorod and Kursk.
  • The Ukrainian military’s National Resistance Center said Russian-installed officials in the occupied parts of Kherson and Zaporizhia were preparing to carry out a military mobilisation in the regions.
  • Houses destroyed during the fighting between Russian and Ukrainian armed forces in recently liberated Klishchiivka in Ukraine’s Donetsk region
Diplomacy[Alex Babenko/AP Photo]

Russian occupiers tortured Ukrainians so brutally that some of their victims died and forced families to listen as they raped women next door, a United Nations-mandated investigative body said. Erik Mose, the chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that his team had collected further evidence that suggested Moscow’s use of torture was “widespread and systematic” and that its soldiers “raped and committed sexual violence against women of ages ranging from 19 to 83 years” in occupied parts of Kherson province.

  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told parliament Budapest would not support Ukraine on any issue in international affairs until Kyiv restored the “former rights for ethnic Hungarians on its territory”. There are about 150,000 ethnic Hungarians in the country.
  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was “deeply embarrassing” and “clearly unacceptable” that 98-year-old Ukrainian veteran Yaroslav Hunka had been hailed as an independence hero and given a standing ovation during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to parliament. Hunka was alleged to be a Nazi soldier during World War II. Anthony Rota, the speaker of Canada’s House of Commons, earlier apologised for the recognition given to Hunka.
  • Weapons

Zelenskyy said United States-made Abrams tanks had arrived in Ukraine and were “being prepared to reinforce our brigades”.

Fetterman plans to return donation tied to Menendez 'in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills,' spokesman says


Sen. Getty Images

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., will return $5,000 in contributions from a political action committee tied to Sen. Bob Menendez “in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills” because of the New Jersey Democrat’s indictment on bribery charges, Fetterman’s spokesman said.

Fetterman’s campaign received the donation from Menendez’s leadership PAC during the 2022 election cycle, according to the nonpartisan site OpenSecrets.

The Pennsylvania senator’s spokesman told NBC News, “We are in the process of returning the money in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills. “

The news was first reported by The Messenger.

Fetterman was the first

Democratic senator to call on Menendez to resign after he and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were charged with three bribery-related counts in federal court in New York. On Monday, two other Democrats, Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Peter Welch of Vermont, also called for Menendez to step down.

“Senator Menendez has broken the public trust and should resign from the U.S. Senate,” Brown said in a statement.

Brown leads the powerful Senate Banking Committee, which Menendez sits on.

Prosecutors said that during a raid last year on Menendez’s New Jersey home and a safe deposit box, federal agents found more than $480,000 in cash, scores of gold bars and a luxury vehicle that were the “fruits of

corrupt bribery agreement” with three New Jersey businessmen.Menendez has refused to resign.[the couple’s]During a statement to reporters Monday, Menendez suggested that the cash found by investigators “were monies drawn from my personal savings account based on the income that I have lawfully derived. “

Hurd: Trump only running ‘to stay out of prison’


Republican presidential candidate and former Rep. Will Hurd (Texas) said Monday that former President Trump is only running for president to avoid being incarcerated.

“The problem that I have with Donald Trump is, is Donald Trump’s not running for president to Make America great again. Hurd stated that Trump was running for President to avoid prison during an interview with NewsNation’s “NewsNation Now With Connell McShane”. Hurd said that Trump is using tax cuts, such as those passed by the GOP in 2017, to boost his image. Hurd responded that his campaign will support the nominee of his party in 2024. Hurd said to McShane: “I am clear, I have supported that philosophy. And recognize that if you want to ensure that we get a GOP candidate that can defeat Joe Biden, and address issues like the problems at border, then we may need to consolidate.” Hurd’s comments come one month after Trump and 18 of his supporters were indicted on charges related to attempts to overturn 2020 election by a Georgia Grand Jury.

Trump announced his third presidential bid in November last year. This year, he has faced three more indictments relating to his business dealings and handling of classified materials, as well as his behavior in the wake of the 2020 elections. The second Republican Presidential debate will take place on Tuesday. Trump will skip the debate to deliver a speech at the United Auto Workers (UAW), which is currently on strike.

Hurd said that working on qualifying to appear on the debate stage, noting that he’s 31 donors away from reaching the 50,000 donor threshold.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

China's outbound travel surges ahead of 'Golden Week' holidays


China’s homegrown C919 passenger jet departs Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport for Beijing Capital International Airport during its maiden commercial flight in Shanghai on May 28, 2023.

VCG | Getty Images

Outbound travel from China is surging ahead of the first “Golden Week” holiday period since the country has allowed international travel to resume and even as China’s economic growth has slowed.

Bookings for popular foreign destinations such as Singapore, Australia and Thailand have increased 20 times compared to the same holiday period last year, travel provider Trip.com said in a press release Monday. Golden Week begins on Oct. 1, this year. It is a weeklong celebration that includes Mid-Autumn Festival, National Day and other holidays in China. The travel provider reported that data shows an increase of bookings in less popular destinations such as Sri Lanka or Uzbekistan as well as private group tours. Travelers are looking for authentic experiences and not just popular destinations. The surge in bookings follows China’s lifting of Covid-19 travel restrictions, in December. It also lifted a ban on groups tours to more than 70 countries last August. The U.K. and South Korea, two countries that Trip.com said are seeing more travel from China, were included on the list.

Although more than six months have passed since China fully reopened its borders, experts have not observed a widely expected boom in travel out of the country. Instead, many residents chose to stay home because they preferred to or because they were confronted with difficult or costly options for traveling internationally.

At the same time, domestic travel has recovered. Trip.com reported that bookings within China were up four-fold compared to last year’s Golden Week. Residents are choosing to travel for longer periods between provinces. Trip.com reported that autumnal tours in Northwest China and the comfortable climate of South China have made these destinations especially popular. Even with pandemic restrictions in place, China logged 637 millions domestic travelers by 2020. Holidays are known to boost shopping and tourism for residents.

Video and audio calls on X, formerly Twitter, will be for paying subscribers only


One feature that will push the company in this direction is the ability to make audio and video phone calls. One upcoming feature to push the company in that direction is the ability to make audio and video phone calls.

However, according to new code found in the latest version of the X app, it appears that this major new feature isn’t going to be for everyone. It will only be available to those paying $8 per month to subscribe to X Premium. Just to clarify: I will call you, not me. ),” Messina posted, referring to a


promo video that X CEO Linda Yaccarino shared last week.

“Ah, and you’ll of course have to PAY for that feature, because Skype is dead,” Messina continued.TechCrunch provided a further breakdown of what was in the code, highlighting how the call feature is tied in with the current Direct Message options, and attempting to use the feature as a non-paying user will provide a prompt to subscribe to X Premium.

“Take messaging to the next level with audio and video calls,” reads the X code. Turn on the feature and select whom you want to use it with. “

Audio and Video calls are a Premium feature,” states the prompt when a user who is not paying tries to select this option. Subscribe to gain access. It is possible, of course, that X will change course and roll out audio and video calls to all users in the future. However, as of now, it looks to be a paid feature.Employees working on the upcoming audio and video call capabilities on X have previously

screenshots of their work. Musk himself has

about it as well, laying out the features.

“Works on iOS, Android, Mac & PC…No phone number needed…X is the effective global address book,” Musk posted. This set of factors are unique. But, no, this set of features are not unique. As Messina suggests, Skype is certainly a shadow version of what it used to be, but still very much alive. Discord is a popular and very modern chat platform that offers audio and video calling capabilities. Same for Facebook Messenger. All of these services are cross-platform, and they do not require you to have a phone number. All of them are free to use. There’s no reason to pay for X premium when there are other call options that offer the same features without charge.

It’s also unclear how this moves the needle for X Premium, the company’s sharedunderperformingtweeted paid subscription service. Mashable reported that the creator monetization was the most valuable feature for potential customers. However, one needed to subscribe in order to receive payment. Musk says that X has more than a half a million monthly users, but only around 1,000,000 have signed up for the service nearly a year after its launch.

Op-ed: Here are some ways to lower the tax burden in your retirement plan


Digitalvision Of course, making the most of tax-advantaged accounts is a key aspect of any retirement strategy.

Some employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s allow you to make contributions on either a pretax or a Roth basis. The money you contribute to a Roth account has already been taxed. There are therefore no immediate tax deductions. The upside is that qualified withdrawals from a Roth 401(k), including both contributions and earnings, are entirely tax-free in retirement if you meet certain criteria.

More from Your Money:

Here’s a look at more stories on how to manage, grow and protect your money for the years ahead.

Let’s cover the basics.

Like traditional 401(k) accounts, in 2023 you can contribute to a Roth 401(k) up to $22,500 if you’re under age 50, and up to $30,000 with catch-up contributions if you’re over 50.

Roth 401(k) contributions are not subject to income limitations that Roth individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, currently have. For people approaching retirement, this can be a really appealing strategy to max out their retirement savings.

Pre-retirees might experience some lower-income years between retirement and when required minimum distributions kick in at age 72, especially if you might be downshifting hours or working part-time.

It makes sense during those periods to make Roth contributions or convert funds from pretax to Roth while in a lower tax bracket. Roth 401 (k)s allow for a higher contribution limit than Roth IRAs. You can let your investments grow tax-free as long as you like, which gives you more flexibility when managing your retirement income. This can help you reduce your tax burden during retirement if you expect to be in a higher bracket. This can be a game changer when it comes to managing your cash flow in retirement.

Diversification of tax liability:

Having both traditional 401(k) and Roth 401(k) accounts provides diversification in terms of your tax liability. This is especially valuable when tax laws are uncertain. You can choose the account you want to withdraw money from when you retire based on how your tax situation is at that time. Withdrawals from a Roth 401(k) for instance, would not increase your modified adjusted gross income, which would maintain eligibility for programs such as the Premium Tax Credit, if you retire before meeting age criteria for Medicare.

Flexibility in contributions:

Roth 401(k) accounts allow for more flexibility in contributions. As long as you don’t exceed the IRS contribution limit, you can contribute simultaneously to both traditional and Roth 401(k). The cons

No instant tax deduction

  1. Contributions to a Roth 401 (k) are made after-tax dollars. This means that you will not receive an immediate deduction. If you’re in a higher tax bracket now and expect to be in a lower one during retirement, this could be a disadvantage.Complex decision-making:
  2. Managing both traditional and Roth 401(k) accounts requires careful planning. It can be difficult to decide how much money to put into each account. This depends on many factors, including your tax situation, retirement goals and investment strategy. You must participate in the Roth 401(k) for at least five tax years to avoid any non-qualified distributions. The Roth IRA has a similar restriction, but you can’t withdraw your money tax-free at any time unless you meet the criteria for death or disability. The same restrictions that apply to pretax contributions also apply here, which can “lock up” your after-tax dollars and complicate your financial situation.Uncertainty in tax policy:
  3. The tax benefits of a Roth 401(k) are contingent on tax laws remaining unchanged. Tax laws can change over time and this could impact the future benefits you receive from your Roth account. Tax-free withdrawals may be attractive, but they’re not guaranteed to continue indefinitely. We saw this with the legislative discussions around eliminating the backdoor Roth IRA loophole in 2021.Ultimately, the decision may come down to your current and projected future tax situation. Financial advisors often recommend a balance approach that combines both traditional and Roth accounts to maximize flexibility when planning retirement income. There is no “one-size-fits all” solution when it comes down to retirement planning. Your choice should reflect the individual needs and goals you have. He is a member and senior financial planner of The Planning Center in New Orleans.

Peru dispatch: anti-crime state of emergency declared in three districts does not give the army and police unlimited powers


Peruvian students of law from the Facultad de derecho and Ciencias Politicas at Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco report for JURIST about law-related issues in Peru. They are all from CIED, the student research center at UNSAA’s Faculty of Law. It is dedicated to spreading information about law and improving the legal culture by studying and researching, promoting critical debate and contributing to the development in the country. Liliana Rivera Chillca, a UNSAAC law student and a CIED member, is a dispatcher from Cusco. She sends this dispatch from Cusco. The decision was taken due to the uncontrollable insecurity of citizens in these districts, and the increase in crime and organized criminality. This made it necessary to have greater state control over the country’s internal order. This decision was influenced by the September 15 grenade blast in San Juan de Lurigancho that injured 15 people, including minors. The mayors of districts in Peru demanded this measure to ensure citizen safety, but in recent years the Armed Forces of Peru and the National Police of Peru lost the trust of Peruvian citizens. Due to the alleged abuse of power during protests

which resulted in several tragic deaths. This measure could also lead to uncertainty regarding the actions of internal control institutions. This is because the Constitutional Court of Peru has determined that this extraordinary regime

requires the declaration of a state of emergencies. The State of Emergency is not a state where the Armed Forces of Peru and National Police have complete control over the internal order of Peru. It is better to understand it as a measure which, while giving greater powers to these institutions, limits their use of force in order to protect the constitutional order. It is important to ensure that the internal order of a country can be effectively maintained without abuse of power and excessive use of violence. The Executive Branch should also take care of this, as the Peruvian people no longer trust our internal control institutions during a state-of-emergency. It is important to remember that a state of emergencies does not give the Armed Forces and National Police of Peru absolute power or authority. It is important that the state intervenes in the supervision of these powers and avoids any abuse of power. In this way, it is also necessary for the State to intervene in the supervision of these powers and avoid any situation of abuse of power.Opinions expressed in JURIST Dispatches are solely those of our correspondents in the field and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST’s editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.

Some soft commodity prices are surging, adding to consumer woes


A farmer cutting a cocoa pod to collect the beans inside on a farm in Azaguie, Ivory Coast, on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Surging prices for soft commodities, from orange juice to live cattle, are complicating the inflation picture. 

A host of agricultural commodities have climbed in recent months, driven by weather-related damage and rising climate risks around the globe, resulting in tighter supplies. The higher prices add another layer of pain to consumers’ wallets at a time when stubborn core inflation, excluding food and energy, stood at 4.3% in August.

Futures contracts on orange juice, live cattle, raw sugar and cocoa each hit their highs for the year this month. All are in “supply-driven bull markets right now,” said Paul Caruso, director of commodity investments at Ancora.

The S&P GSCI Softs index, a sub-index of the S&P GSCI commodities index that measures only soft commodities, has jumped more than 18% so far this year.

Orange juice has shot up due to a short global citrus supply and hurricanes last fall that hit Florida, the primary producer of orange juice for the U.S. Major exporters, including Brazil and Mexico, also lowered their estimated orange crop yields for the year due to warmer temperatures making harvests more difficult.

The juice futures market reached a record $3.50 per pound this month. Live cattle futures similarly hit a record, reaching $1.9205 per pound. 

Meat prices have been driven by shrinking U.S. cattle herds, continued beef demand, plus higher input costs for labor and fuel. A prolonged drought in the Midwest earlier this year damaged grasslands and hay crops, forcing some farmers to cull their herds. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts declining supplies this year and next, and potentially through 2025 and 2026, before supplies are rebuilt.

It’s not just breakfast or lunch that has gotten more expensive — so has dessert.

Raw sugar and cocoa prices have soared in recent months. Sugar futures reached 27.62 cents per pound last week, the highest since 2012, while cocoa futures soared to $3,763 per metric ton this month, also the highest level in more than a decade.

Prices for sugar spiked earlier this year as rising demand combined with downward crop revisions from key producing countries, such as India and Thailand, resulting from extreme weather. India, for example, is the world’s second largest sugar producer after Brazil.

“Soft commodities in particular are very fragile and very sensitive to weather change,” which can disrupt production, said Darwei Kung, head of commodities and natural resources at DWS. “That’s why we’re seeing the price go up, and there’s no short term solution because there’s only so much people can produce. And that’s not sensitive to demand as much as it is to the production side.”

Given that food and energy are not included in calculations of core inflation, Kung added that consumers may experience higher daily prices than are taken into account by central bank policymakers. That could create a “bifurcation” of perspectives around inflation that’s tougher on consumers, at least in the short-term, he said.

Shoppers are bearing the brunt of the higher prices as the world’s largest food companies try and pass along their rising input costs.

“It’s certainly not the time to talk about deflation [or] price decreases because of the significant decrease that we have seen in gross margin…We still see a high level of input cost inflation,” Nestlé’s chief financial officer François-Xavier Roger said at Barclays Consumer Staples Conference earlier this month.

The Nestlé executive noted increased costs for sugar, cocoa and Robusta beans for coffee, adding that, “obviously, some other items have declined like energy, like transportation, but net-net, still a few billions up in terms of input cost inflation in 2023.”

Unilever’s chief financial officer Grame David Pitkethly similarly noted at the Barclays conference that the company — maker of Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Breyers ice cream — is still seeing inflation in its nutrition and ice cream categories. In late July, Unilever reported a 12.6% rise in “underlying prices” within nutrition and 11.5% within ice cream, the latter being Unilever’s most discretionary category where “private label is attractive to the consumer,” Pitkethly said. 

“We’ve got lots and lots of inflation and pricing…the consumer feels that pricing,” the CFO said.

To be sure, prices of other agricultural commodities, such as corn and wheat, have fallen from their highs earlier this year, brightening the outlook for consumers. 

Benchmark soybean futures fell to a one-month low last week after the USDA reported weaker-than-expected soy export sales. Corn and wheat hit their year-to-date highs in January and February, and have fallen since.

Some analysts are counting on higher interest rates and slower economic to curb consumer appetites.

“I think that volatility persists as we understand what the harvest is, but as important as the harvest is, it’s all about understanding the demand,” said Jeff Kilburg, founder and CEO of KKM Financial.

If demand suffers, it might even foreshadow a pullback in stocks, Kilburg said.

This Parody Twitter Account Perfectly Skewers A Key Player In The Writers Strike


The Writers Guild of America has finally reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents Hollywood studios and streaming executives. Hollywood studio and streaming executives, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, or AMPTP, have finally reached a

tentative deal with the WGA.“We can say, with great pride,” an email to members reads, “that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.” This result is a testament to the remarkable display of solidarity among entertainment workers, the power of labor unions and public pressure, as well as the dissemination of information via social media.

One social media account, specifically, has been a shining light throughout this ordeal: @ItsMeCarolAMPTP.

The spoof account on X, formerly known as Twitter, has been impersonating AMPTP President Carol Lombardini for the past five months. With over four decades of experience in Hollywood labor disputes,

Lombardini does not appear to have an online social media presence nor a public account on X.Per a

New York Times article profiling the veteran studio negotiator, the low-profile Lombardini has “not given an interview of more than a few words since 2009,” when she was appointed to the presidency. She reportedly declined comment. However, an associate of Lombardini’s told the Times that she has seen the parody account and “is not amused.”)HuffPost has reached out to the real Lombardini and the AMPTP for comment.

For many, the account’s tweets have not only brought laughter and reprieve during a period of strife, but they also exemplify the absurdity and inane rationales of those who prop up corporate greed.

The account — whose creator is unknown — seemingly joined the platform in October 2021. @ItsMeCarolAMPTP has been verified in August thanks to the changes made by X owner Elon Musk. The account’s

in May echoed the rhetoric from first tweetWarner Bros. CEO David Zaslav and said, “not seeing any picket signs that say ‘attitude of gratitude.'”not seeing any picket signs that say “attitude of gratitude”

criticized throughout the strike for biased reporting on negotiation updates. The aforementioned outlets were acquired by Penske Media Corp. in January, after it acquired Dick Clark Productions – a member AMPTP. )Just last week, the Carol Lombardini impersonator tweeted, “walking into work, reflecting on … how this mob of weird unruly nerds never bent or wavered no matter what we told Deadline to print.”

As the general public mourned over

Drew Barrymore’s fall from grace, it was none other than @ItsMeCarolAMPTP who applauded and stood by her. “Love and light for @DrewBarrymore!” There’s nothing you can do. Your hands are tied!” they wrote. The parody account @ItsCarolAMPTP, quoting an image of the WGA negotiating committee from writer-director Eric Haywood, wrote: “These people ruined my life.” The parody account

wrote that “these people ruined me life.” Using an image of the WGA negotiation committee by writer-director Eric Haywood. Now if you will excuse us, we have to go to work !!!!!! https://t.co/aIcLv9cutr— Carol Lombardini (@ItsMeCarolAMPTP)

After all is said and done, we might have to take you up on that, “Carol.”Extending an invitation

Nissan says all new models launched in Europe will be fully electric


Japanese carmarker Nissan announced Monday that all new models it launches in Europe will be fully electric, as it reaffirmed its aim for solely electric vehicle sales on the continent by 2030.

It said it was “pressing ahead” with the existing target just a week after the U.K. pushed back a ban on the sale of new gasoline and diesel car sales from 2030 to 2035.

“There is no turning back now,” Makoto Uchida, Nissan president and CEO, said in a statement. We believe that it’s the right thing to be doing for our company, our customers, and the planet. “

It says one-third of the more than 1 million EVs it has sold worldwide have been in Europe.

Globally, Nissan plans to launch 27 electric and hybrid vehicles, which includes 19 all-electric models, by 2030. The company was an early pioneer in the EV space but has struggled with competition from Tesla and China’s BYD.

It also plans to introduce cobalt-free technology to reduce the cost of EV batteries by 65% by fiscal 2028 and launch a vehicle with its own all-solid-state batteries (ASSB) by that year. It claims these will reduce current charging times by two thirds.

Nissan partner Renault, as well as rivals Ford and Stellantis, have all announced plans to make their European passenger ranges fully electric by 2030.

The U.K.’s pushback of the 2030 sales target was criticised by Ford UK Chair Lisa Brankin, who said it created uncertainty and risked taking focus away from the EV transition.

Nissan confirmed one of its upcoming EVs will be made in its plant in Sunderland in the U.K.

“Sunderland is one of our major plants where we have history, cost competitiveness … and we would like to further show our electrification strategy here in this country,” Uchida told CNBC’s Arjun Khapal at the Nissan Design Europe studio in London.

Uchida said the automotive industry was “evolving and challenging everywhere in the world. Nissan confirmed that one of its upcoming EVs will be made in Sunderland, the U.K.

“Sunderland is one of our major plants where we have history, cost competitiveness… and we would like to further show our electrification strategy here in this country,” Uchida told CNBC’s Arjun Khapal at the Nissan Design Europe studio in London.

Uchida said that automotive industry was “evolving and challenging everywhere around.

Front door décor transformations to boost your home’s kerb appeal


Your front door is the first thing people notice when they enter your home. It can also increase the value of your property and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Not to mention it can also increase the value of your property and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Below, we cover some of the most important aspects you should think about when renovating your front door, from colours and materials to how you can decorate it seasonally.

If you’re ready to transform your door, speak to a skilled tradesperson today.


Choose the right front door material Step one in revamping your front door is to replace your old door with a new one. You might be wondering what material to choose if you are considering this. To help you decide, we created a table highlighting the top features of the four most popular front door materials:


Hardwood Fiberglass Steel Glass Timeless Appearance
Customizable Finish
Low Maintenance
Good Insulation
Versatile Design
Whereas wood offers a versatile, elegant look, fiberglass would be a better option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance and highly durable material.

In other words, which you choose should depend on what you’re looking for and your priorities. The exterior of your house will look better if you get rid of the old door. Choose the right front-door colour

Next you will need to choose the correct colour for your door. To do this, there are a few things you need to consider.

Firstly, different colour options pair well with certain architectural styles. Traditional buildings look great with dark reds, deep greens, navy and black. They can create a welcoming and elegant first impression. On the other hand, bolder, contrasting colours work better for modern homes.

Consider colour psychology when picking the shade for your front door. Consider the mood you wish to convey with your front door. Below are three front door colours that are trending this year:

Picture of a dark green front door with plants on either side


– a great alternative to navy or black, aubergine purple is a timeless, classic shade that still offers a pop of colour.


Picture of a front door painted in a grey blue colour

– slightly more red than terracotta, paprika is a warm and inviting colour with earthy tones that evoke an autumnal sort of calm.

Grey blue – soft blues like grey blue (or cornflower blue) are really trending this year thanks to their tranquil quality that creates a welcoming atmosphere perfect for the entrance to your home.

We recommend you consider what colours are present around the outside of your home (and door styles), so that you can pair your front door with complimentary shades. Also consider what colours your neighbours have chosen, and whether you want to fit in with their aesthetic or stand out.Once you’ve decided, all you need to do is post a job to find a local painter and decorator.

FIND A PAINTER AND DECORATORSeasonal front door decor

Decorating your front door is a great way to get into the festive spirit, celebrate holidays and add a bit of colour and fun to your home.

In the spring, you can decorate using floral wreaths, potted plants and pastel colours like mint green and lavender.

In the summer, opt for bright colours and flowers, or pick a theme (e.g. Decorate your front door with shells and colorful glass. You can also add some spooky decorations when Halloween arrives. You’ll only need a few Christmas ornaments and fairy lights to finish your winter front door decor.

Picture of a front door entrance with black door and windows on sides

Speak to an electrician today to help you set up outdoor lighting.


There is so much you can do to turn your old, boring door into a colourful, eye-catching representation of your home and style. You don’t need to spend a fortune to make your home more welcoming.

Thousands of federal firefighters face a looming pay cut. How much is up to Congress


This file photo from Sept. 19, 2020 shows flames burning up a tree in the Trail of 100 Giants Grove in Sequoia Forest National Park, Calif.

Noah Berger/AP

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Noah Berger/AP

In this file photo taken on Sept. 19, 2021, flames are seen burning a tree in the Trail of 100 Giants Grove in Sequoia National Forest in California.

Noah Berger/AP

Federal wildland firefighter were at the forefront of some of America’s and Canada’s most intense wildfires this summer.

And whether or not the government makes a deal, rent is due Oct. 1.

I can’t afford to live on 40 hours a week”

Rachel Granberg, Wildland Firefighter

And whether or not the government makes a deal, rent is due Oct. 1.

That’s because last year, the bipartisan infrastructure law provided a temporary pay bump to these federal first responders of $20,000 or 50%, whichever was less. Officials estimate that the money will last for about two years, retroactively to October 2021. Even with the infrastructure money, many people still leave and it will only get worse when that money runs out. “

But federal officials expected the money to run out and relied on Congress for a permanent fix to increase the base salary of these firefighters. Republicans in the House are unable to come up with a solution, despite a bipartisan effort by the Senate.

“All the fixes proposed do not match the money we receive thanks to the Infrastructure Bill,” Granberg said. Even if the bill passes, we will still see a decrease in pay, which is frustrating. “

Wildland firefighter Rachel Granberg poses in her uniform

Rachel Granberg

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Rachel Granberg

Wildland Firefighter Rachel Granberg selfies in her uniform

Rachel Granberg

Granberg earns a base salary of $37,000. The Infrastructure Law gave her a pay bump that brought her to almost $50,000. She said, “I can’t live on forty hours a day.” The Interior Department is expected to run out of funds on September 30. The USDA warned its employees earlier this year that their pay could be cut in half. NPR obtained USDA materials warning that entry-level employees’ base pay could drop by nearly $20,000 from under $60,000 down to $40,000. If they don’t know what to do, they may accept job offers. Hall-Rivera stated that the pay supplement enabled workers to reduce their need to work extra hours.

“It was a major game changer for many people.” “We are approaching a point where this will disappear and firefighters won’t know what they can expect in its place,” she stated in an interview. Right now, there is nothing. “

Pay problems are nothing new for federal fire forces. They have been struggling with staffing shortages, and low morale for more than a decade. In 2021 President Biden raised federal wildland firefighters’ wages to $15 per hour minimum. Still, some state outfits like the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) and the Unified Fire Authority in Utah will pay upwards of $50,000 base salary to someone even without experience.

The threat of a pay cliff has many worried staffing shortages could worsen in the coming year. Many reported that they had difficulty finding staff this year, even with the additional wages. DOI has hired over 87% of its goal for firefighter. The Forest Service reported that it met 99% of their hiring goal in July. But the numbers do not always reflect the reality on the ground.
The prescribed fire was burned during a wildland firefighters training on June 9 in Hazel Green (Ala.).

George Walker IV/AP

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George Walker IV/AP

A prescribed burn during a wildland firefighters training on June 9 in Hazel Green (Ala.).

George Walker IV/AP

He noted that his current $70,000 salary will drop to $50,000 after the money runs out, while someone at CalFire with his experience could make $120,000. He noted his current $70,000 salary will drop to $50,000 after the money runs out while someone at CalFire with his experience could make $120,000.

“There are engines parked that we can’t take to wildfires because we don’t have the amount of people to even minimally staff what we have on paper,” he explained.

McLane, like others who spoke to NPR, reported fire truck engines and equipment not being used this year because the staff was not there to operate them. Others told NPR they have been moved around to account for shortages in other areas, and have also seen their own crews operate with limited personnel.

Hiring numbers reported by agencies will reflect hires made at a given time but not if crews are still minimally staffed and won’t account for employees who quit or never show up.

“We did well on our goal, but we’re going to have shortages everywhere because the fact of the matter is we don’t have the number of firefighters we need to deal with what we’re seeing in fire years,” Hall-Rivera said.The pressure mounts each year as workers fear worsening fire seasons across North America. In the past year, the United States sent over 2,200 federal firefighter to Canada, the biggest mobilization in 40 years of an agreement allowing for shared personnel.
A DOI spokesperson told NPR that before 2023, the most robust exchange of U.S.-Canada resources occurred in 2020 when nearly 600 firefighters and incident management personnel supported wildfire suppression operations in the Pacific Northwest and California.

Officials say firefighting isn’t as seasonal as it used to be, in part due to climate change, and that leaves the workforce behind without an updated pay or benefits structure to accommodate the new reality.

“We’re asking people to do a very different job in a very different way than when how we fight fire was conceptualized. And it truly was kind of the summertime for that and we’re just not in that place anymore,” Hall-Rivera explained.

Bipartisan support in the Senate, while the House is in limbo

The idea of increasing firefighter pay has generally broad bipartisan support. Members of both parties have introduced bills in the House and Senate. Yet, no agreement has been reached. Valentine noted that her husband receives $750 more per paycheck than they do, barely covering their mortgage. Valentine, who lives in rural New Mexico, an hour from childcare and with two children at home, has chosen to study online rather than seek a job. Valentine is not only taking out student loans to pay for college. We’ll have to use the money from the loans for housing payments, and then he will start looking for another job. “

That new job would likely not be in firefighting — New Mexico’s state agency doesn’t pay as high as others, either, Valentine said.

In the Senate, lawmakers have garnered around the Wildland Firefighter Paycheck Protection Act, which would permanently increase base pay for federal firefighters.

But in the House, Republicans and Democrats have separate efforts. Some acknowledge that DOI is going to run out by the end the month. Others take issue with the Forest Service’s calculation of when they will run out. “A permanent solution is not mutually exclusive from transparency questions.”

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., introduced his own measure, which would keep the base pay increases from the infrastructure law but only for two more years.

Meanwhile, firefighters on the ground are still working and a pay cliff, they said, will eventually affect them.

“There’s just the uncertainty of what my income is going to be,” said a wildland firefighter who asked to be kept anonymous because of a pending job offer could be withdrawn for publicly criticizes the legislation. The wildland firefighter who requested anonymity said, “There’s just the uncertainty of what my income is going to be.” This was because a pending job offer could be withdrawn if he publicly criticizes the legislation. Even with the Paycheck Protection Act. With that, we’re still going see a cut in pay. We don’t know even if it will be passed. It’s really coming down to the amount of cut we will see. “

Jefferies upgrades this pharma stock, citing overlooked 'blockbuster' drug opportunities


Jefferies says that AstraZeneca’s pipeline is robust and includes therapies other than oncology. Investors shouldn’t overlook this, they say. Analyst Peter Welford upgraded this stock from hold to buy. He also raised his price target for U.S. listed shares from $66.50 to $80, which would suggest a potential 18% increase from Friday’s $67.83 closing price. Welford wrote in a note on Monday that the consensus was overlooking potential opportunities from late-stage cardio & respiratory pipelines assets, including Airsupra tozorakimab and eplontersen. Analyst Welford said that these R & D products offer “significant downside optionality” which can boost earnings and sales by 8%. Airsupra, an asthma treatment, was cited as a “blockbuster inhaler”. According to a physician survey, it could generate approximately $1 billion in additional sales. He said the inhaler that will be launched in 2024 is a “derisked asset”. Jefferies believes that AstraZeneca’s tozorakimab for chronic obstructive lung disease is also underappreciated. It has the potential to reach peak sales of $4.5 billion, according to Jefferies. The firm also suggests up to $3.5 billion in sales for AstraZeneca’s eplontersen , a drug aimed at treating hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloid polyneuropathy. AstraZeneca is poised to become the leader in breast cancer treatment. Jefferies reports that AstraZeneca’s Enhertu treatment, which is being developed jointly with Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo is “rapidly” becoming the standard of care for breast cancer and is on track to achieve $14 billion in sales. AstraZeneca, which is also developing breast cancer treatments with Daiichi, announced positive news on Friday. In a late-stage study, its experimental precision drug datopotamab Deruxtecan showed an improvement in slowing down the progression of a type of breast cancer that is common. After the news, the pharma stock jumped. Welford did note that AstraZeneca faces uncertainty in the upcoming lung cancer results and Pascal Soriot’s departure plans. AstraZeneca shares have fallen 5.2% this quarter, and are down less than 0.1% on the year. Stocks rose by more than 1% before the market opened on Monday. Michael Bloom, a CNBC reporter, contributed to this article.

2023 MLB HR leaders


(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

: Getty Images (Getty Images)1. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)



Getty Images


Getty Images


1. Matt Olson (53) | Atlanta Braves IF

2. Kyle Schwarber (45) | Philadelphia Phillies OF

3. New York Mets INF

4. Los Angeles Angels P

5. Ronald Acuna Jr. (40) | Atlanta Braves OF

6. Mookie Betts (39), Los Angeles Dodgers, OF

7. Chicago White Sox OF

8. Atlanta Braves IF

9. Max Muncy (36) | Los Angeles Dodgers IF

10. Jorge Soler (36) | Miami Marlins DH

11. Marcell Ozuna (36) | Atlanta Braves DH

12. Texas Rangers

13. Aaron Judge (35) New York Yankees OF

14. Jake Burger (34) – Miami Marlins (IF

15). Rafael Devers (33) | Boston Red Sox IF

17. Juan Soto (33) San Diego Padres OF0100101018. Ozzie Albies (32) | Atlanta Braves IF0100101019. J.D. Martinez (31) | Los Angeles Dodgers DH0100101020. This article is based off data from Sportradar. The text was generated by an AI engine, which was then edited and reviewed by the editorial team. Are Texas or Florida State the better contenders for a national title?

‘It’s crunch time’ to reach the SDGs, Mohammed tells Global Citizen Festival


“Come rain or shine, we’re here because we are committed to our planet”, said Amina Mohammed, addressing the Global Citizen Festival, against the backdrop of the UN General Assembly High Level Week, taking place down the road.

All to play for at halftime

She highlighted the race to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), end the climate crisis, and push for real gender equality.

“What happens today is a reflection of leaders meeting all week, promises made seven years ago, and today we’re recommitting to what the great Al Pacino said, tell it like it is: it’s halftime, and we’re down…but we’re not out!”

She asked the crowd assembled in the green heart of Manhattan if they felt like they were changing the world: “Well at the United Nations, we’re joining you, we are mobilizing people around the world.”

Global Citizen’s main mission is to end extreme poverty, through goals that align fully with the UN and the SDGs.

At the Festival, global leaders pledged $240 million for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), promised to protect a further 900,000 hectares of land in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, and secured promises from nine members of the US Congress, and the leader of the Labour Party in the UK, Kier Starmer, to follow through on national climate commitments.

Struggling to keep promises

The Deputy Secretary-General acknowledged that many around the world are hurting both in “mind and body”, with wars raging, and the planet not just warming – but boiling.

“Leaders are really struggling to use their power to keep the promises of the Global Goals and they risk breaking that promise to billions of people”, she said.

The good news is with seven years remaining to 2030, the game can still be won in the second half, but “we can’t win unless we stop our world from heating up.

Bridge the divide

“We need leaders to bridge the digital divide – because we can’t win if billions of people especially girls are left offline and left behind.”

She said if women and girls are left on the sidelines of the collective effort, that means half the team isn’t even on the field.

“So New Yorkers, it’s crunch time. She

Facebook and Instagram's Canadian News Blackout Is Crushing Student Journalists


In early August, college radio stations and student newspapers across Canada started noticing something odd. Station managers and editors saw big dips in visits to their websites, particularly by way of Facebook and Instagram. Rowan Grice, a 28-year-old station manager at the University of Victoria’s CFUV station, says he received a handful of puzzling messages from listeners saying they couldn’t access the station’s Facebook and Instagram pages at all. That handful grew larger every few days, confounding both Grice and his listeners. In mid-August, he suddenly understood what had happened. CFUV, like many other student publications in Canada, had become collateral damage in Meta’s war against the Canadian government and the country’s news publishers.

“It’s like we suddenly don’t exist on Facebook or Instagram,” Grice said in an interview with Gizmodo. The station manager told Gizmodo he received an alert from Meta saying the station had been identified as a news provider according to the criteria of recently passed legislation. For the station’s six thousand Facebook followers, CFUV essentially ceased to exist.

Grice and other journalists at school or small community news outlets have found themselves thrust into limbo due to Meta’s opposition to a recently passed bill, C-18, also known as “The Online News Act.” The legislation forces Meta, Google, and other companies to pay news publishers when the tech giants’ sites access and reproduce news publishers’ content, as Facebook does when a user posts a link to a news story.

Meta has opposed the Online News Act from its inception, arguing it incorrectly characterizes social networks as taking advantage of publishers. The Canadian government and its supporters adamantly believe the legislation is essential to piece back together a decaying local news industry gutted by the transition from print to online distribution in the 2000s and 2010s. When the tech giant and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were unable to reach anything close to an agreement, Meta presented the government with an ultimatum: rein in the law or Facebook and Instagram would shut off all access to Canadian news.

Canada didn’t balk, so Meta made good on its threat and began rolling out a remarkable nationwide news blackout on August 1. The sweeping prohibition means any Canadian Facebook and Instagram users simply won’t see or be able to share news from publishers, be they Canadian or foreign. News stories won’t appear on their feeds, even when those articles contain critical information about local goings-on or, as was the case last month, up-to-the-minute updates on wildfires. An association of Canada’s largest news outlets is demanding an antitrust investigation into Meta. A Meta spokesperson told Gizmodo these restrictions do not apply to news links appearing on WhatsApp, Messenger, or its newly released Twitter alternative Threads.

Meta’s news blackout isn’t just affecting large, professionalized news organizations, though. It’s having an outsized effect on small publishers. Gizmodo spoke to half a dozen student journalists and station managers who say the ban on news links, intended to hurt big-name publishers, has instead hamstrung their vital ability to fundraise, recruit volunteers, or engage in community outreach. One dejected student journalist said Meta’s overpowering assault on the news has made her abandon her dreams of being a reporter entirely. And the Online News Act, intended to boost Canada’s local news, seems instead to have increased the hardships of the nation’s most local outlets.

Little stations, big war

Luke Smith, the station manager of the University of Toronto’s CIUT-FM, says the blocking of his station’s Facebook page has dealt a severe blow to its audience outreach, particularly among older listeners. Several of the more popular shows running on their stations date back to the 90s or early 2000s. Unlike younger listeners, those audience members are mostly active on Facebook.

CIUT has eight full-time employees and around 150 volunteers, around half of which are students. The state has five shows run by students and was planning to add eight more in the coming months. Smith said he was frustrated with Meta’s decision to include student-led stations like his in the blackout and said the company “fundamentally misunderstands our mission.”

“Our goal is to provide educational opportunity and share community information by attending community events,” Smith said. “Commercial radio talks to the public, the CBC talks for the public, but community radio talks from the public.”

Like Grice, Smith said he had noticed Facebook and Instagram pages for several other stations go dark in early August before waking up on day to find his station had been added to the digital blacklist. Student volunteers tried to sneak around the ban by promoting content for the station on their own personal accounts. That didn’t work either. The students say their posts were restricted merely by mentioning or tagging the station. With its ban, Meta has pinned a digital scarlet letter to college radio stations.

“It’s introduced a sense of secrecy,” Smith said. “I feel like we’ve become Voldemort. No one can say our name.” A Meta spokesperson said Facebook and Instagram do not restrict or block posts if they tag a news outlet.

University of Toronto

University of Toronto
Photo: Jon Bilous (Shutterstock)

Journalist dreams, dashed

More than 4,000 miles West at Camosun College, in Victoria, British Columbia, 29-year-old second-year student Jordyn Haukaas has been dealing with similar fallout. The communications student says she realized the news ban had come for her student paper, The Nexus, when she tried and failed to share one of her reported stories on the paper’s Facebook page. Haukaas told Gizmodo she was aware of the threats coming from Meta but was still surprised to find her small school paper caught in the crosshairs. Almost immediately, Haukaas noticed a dip in readership.

“We’re definitely noticing a spiral downward of students consuming our news,” she said.

Like many school publications, the Nexus publishes bi-monthly, with only one edition per month in the summer. That publication timeline means social media pages are crucial vehicles for the paper to stay in touch with students and members of the local community. Now, stripped of a crucial distribution method, Haukaas says she and other staff members are considering physically standing outside of school buildings with newspapers in hand to, in her words, “combat the losses.”

Meta’s strong-arm tactics and abrupt gutting of news in the country have taken a toll on Haukaas. The 29-year-old once dreamed of pursuing a career in journalism but says recent events have left her searching for a different career entirely.

“I’m just feeling very discouraged,” Haukaas said. “Obviously after school, you want a job where you’ll pay off your student loans and you want stability. The ban is erasing vital communication that we need as Canadian journalists.”

Stifled students

Grice, the station manager at the University of Victoria radio station, faces similar stresses. In an interview with Gizmodo, he said Meta’s restrictions have gutted his ability to recruit for new positions or get word about CFUV out to new students. Meta’s news blackout, he said, has essentially made his station invisible on social media. Users who follow these blacklisted pages never receive an alert that the publication they followed was blocked, so Grice says some students simply assumed he and other members of the station had stopped posting.

The true extent of the ripple effects of Meta’s news restrictions does not stop with the papers or radio stations. Grice says the blackout makes it more difficult to promote concerts he and other stations organize. That means local artists and musicians who rely on community stations are similarly seeing their fledgling audiences evaporate. No local music showcases, no big breaks for independent artists.

Community lifelines cut off

Neil Adams, 91.3 FM CJTR Station Manager.

Neil Adams, 91.3 FM CJTR Station Manager.
Photo: Neil Adams

College radio stations aren’t the only ones feeling the heat from Meta’s blackout. Community radio stations, which operate as non-profits but aren’t majority student-run, are arguably under more threat since they do not have intuitional names to support them. Neil Adams, the station manager of Regina Community Radio, expressed frustration that local stations like his, which fight tooth and nail to stay afloat financially even in the best of times, have found themselves caught in the middle of a drawn-out game of political chicken between Meta, the Canadian government, and big-name news publishers. Regardless of the eventual policy outcome, all three of those combatants will walk away with survivable scratches. For smaller nonprofits, the protracted contest could prove fatal. CJTR has just two full-time employees and reaches around 2,000 listeners per week in the Greater Regina Area.

“I didn’t ask for this,” Adams told Gizmodo. “I’ve got Godzilla and Mechagodzilla about to step on my house. One of them is saving the city from the other, but I’m just going to get stomped in the meantime.”

Adams, who recently turned 40, took the helm as station manager at 91.3FM CJTR in 2021 following several stints in non-profit organizations and campus media. CJTR airs in the Saskatchewan town of Regina and serves as the unofficial college radio station for the University of Regina. The passionate station manager has just two full-time employees and around 80 volunteer hosts, with an annual operating budget of $130,00 per year. Unlike large publications and radio stations, local community stations like CJTR receive little by way of funding from the Canadian government.

“I get some municipal grants, I get some provincial grants, but we don’t get a dime from the feds,” Adams said.

That lack of government support makes volunteer donations essential for keeping the lights on, and that necessitates fundraising. In recent years, Facebook and Instagram eased the station’s financial struggle by serving as a critical platform to attract eyeballs for donation drives and fundraising concerts. But that saving grace disappeared last month when Meta began blocking CJTR’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Adams says he initially tried to maneuver around the ban with “sneaky links” and shortened URLs, but to no avail.

“They’re clearly one step ahead of us on tech.” Adams said of Meta. “Our Facebook page is completely useless now.”

Now, Adams says he’s scrambling to scrape together $40,000 to keep the station afloat. That was already a difficult task before Meta’s blackout but now borders on impossible. Adams said it’s possible the station could cease operating as it currently does or may go up for sale if he can’t come up with those funds in time.

“To do that without social media is going to be a serious challenge,” Adams said. “I doubt that we’re going to be able to do it.”

College journalists caught in the crossfire

Each of the station managers and student journalists Gizmodo spoke with questioned why their small, nonprofit operations were apparently being held to the same standard as some of Canada’s largest, national publishers like the CBC, which employs nearly 8,000 full-time staff.

Should college and small-town radio stations even be considered news outlets? On the broadcasting side, community radio stations, a category that includes college stations, are required by law to dedicate 15% of their airtime to spoken work content. If Meta were to comply with the Online News Act, those stations would be entitled to some form of compensation as news providers because of that spoken-word requirement, though the specific dollar amount remains unclear. Meta appears to be leaning on the carve-out to justify lumping small stations in with other heavyweights, but station managers like Adams say the reality isn’t so simple.

“I don’t have any actual news programming,” Adams said.

Instead, Adams says his mandated spoken word quota consists of fiction, radio drama, or cultural commentary, along with a small serving of international syndicated news. Grice said his station doesn’t cover breaking news. The news presented by CFUV focuses on local culture and events, much of which students and locals can’t get anywhere else, he said.

In some cases, Meta’s wide-reaching news ban doesn’t even appear to be catching all of its targets. One station manager speaking with Gizmodo said Meta blocked then station’s Facebook page but surprisingly left its Instagram page unscathed. The station manager asked Gizmodo not to reveal their identity over fears Meta would retaliate and shut the page down. Loss of access to that page, the manager said, would deal a “crippling blow” to their outreach to students who widely use the platform.

“We were certainly wounded by losing Facebook, but we didn’t get a critical hit from Instagram,” he said.

The station manager believes the Instagram page was able to fly under the radar because he created it separately from the Facebook account. Still, the added scrutiny has left him “gun shy” from posting spoken word content or anything that could come even remotely close to being considered news on their Instagram pages. Despite their cautious approach, the manager still believes it’s likely only a matter of time before Meta discovers the oversight and disables the account. Despite evading the ban, the station is still censoring itself.

“We’re just counting our lucky stars, and I’m not taking it for granted, but I suspect at any moment, as soon as we’ll probably lose it,” he said.

Image for article titled Facebook and Instagram's Canadian News Blackout Is Crushing Student Journalists

Photo: Paul Chiasson (AP)

Meta doesn’t seem willing to budge

Meta has framed its decision to end news visibility in Canada as a simple business move. Along with Google, which would also be required to make deals with new publishers under the Online News Act, Meta says it fears it would be burdened with endless negotiations and unpredictable financial costs if forced to sign contracts with news publishers. That, the company asserts, would put it in an “unworkable situation.” Last year, Canada’s Office of the Parliamentary estimated Google and Facebook combined would wind up paying around CA$329.2 million (roughly $242.99 million USD) to news publishers as a result of the legislation.

But it’s not just the tangible dollar amount Meta and Google object to. Throughout its months-long skirmish with Canadian officials, Meta has stuck firm to its opinion that the Online News Act and other similar bills popping up around the world are “fundamentally flawed” because they misinterpret the relationship between news publishers and social networks.

“Meta does not proactively collect links to news content to display on our platforms,” a Meta spokesperson told Gizmodo. “Instead, publishers actively choose to post on Facebook and Instagram because it benefits them to do so.”

Moreover, Meta doesn’t seem to buy the argument that it maintains some greater responsibility to the public as an important distributor of news. The Facebook and Instagram parent company claims its users “don’t come to us for news,” despite research showing more than half (53%) of Canadians saying they use social media to do just that. Recent reports show daily active users and time spent on Facebook and Instagram in Canada have roughly stayed the same before and after Meta started restricting news content.

In a statement, Canadian Pascale St-Onge criticized Meta for refusing to participate in the regulatory processes.

“They [Meta] would rather block their users from accessing good quality and local news instead of paying their fair share to news organizations.,” St-Onge told Gizmodo. “Google and Facebook earn 80% of all digital advertising revenue in Canada. Meanwhile, hundreds of newsrooms have closed. A free and independent press is fundamental to our democracy, and Canadians expect tech giants to follow the law in our country.”

That stalemate has forced Canadian officials and industry leaders to try and fight fire with fire. The country’s federal government announced it would no longer buy ads on Meta platforms, as have local governments in Quebec and Ottawa and an assortment of businesses. Major news publishers led by the Association of Broadcasters and NewsMedia Canada, meanwhile, have banded together to demand Canada’s Competition Bureau open an antitrust investigation into Meta for violating federal competition laws.

Brent Jolly, a former journalist who advocates in favor of reporters and news organizations in Canada, told Gizmodo Meta’s abrupt decision to starve out news organizations was “borderline autocratic.”

“This is something we’d expect to see in Putin’s Russia or in Belarus, not here in a western parliamentary-style democracy,” Jolly said. “They’re throwing a hissy fit because somebody’s coming down on them and they don’t like it.”

Meta’s hardball strategy has worked before. Canada modeled the legislation on a similar law passed by Australia in 2021. Meta briefly followed through with its threat to cut off news access Down Under but backed off after the government agreed to come back to the negotiating table with a watered-down version of the bill.

Still, despite the recent headaches, Grice, from the University of Victoria radio station, remains a vocal supporter of the Canadian government’s effort to force Big Tech to pay for news. Others, like Haukaas, are less convinced. When asked about the Online News Act, the student editor said she was shocked government officials couldn’t have seen this outcome coming. She’s not alone. Leading up to Meta’s restorations, numerous commentators pointed out the government’s apparent lack of leverage and accurately predicted Meta would cut off news and hold publishers hostage. College and community publications were then left bearing the burden of that face-off, with no real support from the government.

“While I would love to blame them [Meta], I also can see why they did what they did,” Haukaas said. “This was pennies to them.”

Canadians generally have mixed feelings about the legislation. Around half (41%) of Canadian adults surveyed by research and analytics company Lever said they support the Online News Act, compared to 31% who oppose it. 26% of those respondents said they didn’t know enough about the bill to offer an opinion. The respondents were less equivocal when asked about Meta’s action. Just 12% agreed that Meta should be able to protest the law, and 59% said the company should restore access to news immediately.

Several of the college station managers Gizmodo spoke with said Meta’s restrictions, though painful, had reinforced their desire to focus their outreach efforts on other platforms, namely, TikTok.

“I think that’s [shifting to TikTok] definitely an opportunity and it’s something that we haven’t maybe used enough. And I think we’re almost being forced use that, which I’m into,” Grice said.

Smith from the University of Toronto station agreed. Even if Meta does come back to the table and strikes a deal with the Canadian government, the reputational damage has already been dealt with small publishers. Smith, said he isn’t interested in throwing all his eggs back into Meta’s basket following their aggressive actions.

“Facebook has just ruled themselves out,” he said. “They’re not the only fish in the sea here so we’ll just move to TikTok, or platforms where we know the students are going to be and hope that our broader audience will consider moving with us.”

Meta’s collateral damage extends beyond news publishers

In some cases, Meta’s wide interpretation of what counts as a “news provider” has led to the blacklisting of pages that aren’t publishers at all. One of those pages belongs to the Indigenous Communication & Fine Arts department at First Nations University in Regina. Academics and staff in the department, like Professor Patricia Elliott, used the program’s Facebook page as an outlet to alert the largely indigenous student body to new job opportunities and scholarships. Elliott told Gizmodo professors would occasionally share a student’s writing after they won an award but described the page as clearly not a purveyor of news. That’s not the way Meta sees it.

Around August 10, Elliott recalled taking a moment to herself during a conference to check the department’s Facebook page. She was confused at first as to why it was inaccessible and thought maybe she had forgotten to update the app. When she finally realized her resource for students had been taken offline by Meta’s blackout, Elliott says she was “furious.”

She posted a screenshot of what she saw: a message from Facebook reading, “We reviewed your Page and determined it is a news outlet. In response to Canadian government legislation, content from news outlets can’t be shared in Canada… If you believe we got this wrong, you can request another review in 6 months.”

Elliott quickly tried to appeal Facebook’s designation but was met by a torrent of forms. The professor eventually received a response from Facebook saying moderators had reviewed the page and concluded it “appears to be a news outlet.” Appalled, Elliott tried to appeal the decision again only to be told she would have to wait six months. Until then, students will remain cut off from crucial resources. Elliott speculated that this appeals process appeared to be the result of unsophisticated automated systems. Meta did not respond to questions about Elliott’s experience.

“This made the argument clear in my mind why we need these platforms regulated,” Elliott said. “Somehow Meta and Google write their own rules and the time has come to say you cannot write your own rules.”

Image for article titled Facebook and Instagram's Canadian News Blackout Is Crushing Student Journalists

Screenshot: Indigenous Communication Arts -INCA

Parliament wants to bargain; Trudeau says he won’t give in to ‘bullying tactics’

Canadian lawmakers have shown some willingness to court Meta and Google in recent weeks as the stalemate drags on and publishers continue to feel the hurt. Lawmakers tried to bring Meta back to the negotiating table earlier this month by publishing draft regulations that specify Meta and Alphabet would be required to pay publishers a minimum of 4% of their annual revenues in Canada in order to carry Canadian news links. That was intended to clear up some of Meta’s concerns about the law imposing unknown financial burdens, but the company still didn’t take the bait.

“As the legislation is based on the incorrect assertion that Meta benefits unfairly from the news content shared on our platforms, today’s proposed regulations will not impact our business decision to end news availability in Canada,” Rachel Curran, head of public policy for Meta in Canada, said in a statement sent to Fortune.

What about Google? Like Meta, the Online News Act as currently written will require it to strike deals with publishers when it goes into effect. Google has threatened to remove Canadian news links from its search results and other major products if the law goes unchanged, which could turn a troubling situation for publishers into a nightmare. Unlike Meta, however, Google has shown more willingness to negotiate with Canadian lawmakers and reach a middle ground. Publishers and experts speaking with Gizmodo uniformly felt more optimistic Google would reach some policy agreement.

At the same time, though, other top Canadian officials haven’t shown much interest in de-escalating the confrontation with Meta. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has said Meta is engaging in “bullying tactics,” pressed the attack last month by accusing the company of putting “profits over people” when it limited access to news sites amid deadly Canadian wildfires.

Jolly, the president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, said it seemed unlikely the Canadian government would back down from key provisions of C-18 even in the face of continued pressure from Meta. The battle, in other words, could be a long one of attrition. Small publishers will likely be the first casualties.

“The train has left the station on the legislation,” Jolly said.

Recent estimates from Fortune suggest Meta would likely have to pay Canadian publishers $62 million per year to share links and remain in compliance with the Online News Act. That may seem like a rounding error for a company valued at more than $800 billion, but experts speaking with Gizmodo say Meta may actually be in a fight for its life, albeit the early stages.

Just as Canada drew on past legislation in Australia to inspire its current fight, other countries around the globe may feel empowered to propose copycat legislation if news in the Great White North manages to survive the conflict. Brazil and the state of California are already considering similar legislation. Ambitious US lawmakers like Democratic Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar have proposed pursuing similar legislation at the federal level. Eventually, a light Canadian snowflake could plausibly turn into a financially ruinous snowball.

Trudeau acknowledged Canada’s trend-setting role during a recent interview with the CBC. The prime minister, who had just returned home from a meeting with G20 countries in India, said leaders from other countries were cheering his fight with Meta and urging him to “stay strong. Some of them, he said, seemed interested in following suit.

They’re [saying], ‘You go Canada, you take this fight,'” Trudeau said. “So we’ll do it. We don’t mind doing it because it’s so important.

In the meantime, small publishers, college students and community radio hosts like Adams bear the brunt of the damage in the complicated game of four-dimensional tech policy chess. Speaking with Gizmodo, Adams said he was trying his best to bob and weave in the no man’s land between Meta and Canada but admitted he’s quickly running out of ammunition.

“To be frank, I make $17.50 an hour,” Adams said. “This shit is way above my pay grade to have to deal with.”

Norway arrests ex-Wagner commander under suspicion of illegally crossing Russia border


According to the Barents Observer, the Norwegian police arrested Andrey Medidev on Friday, under suspicion that he was attempting to cross illegally into Russia. Earlier this year, Medvedev sought asylum in Norway.

Norwegian police in Finnmark confirmed they had arrested a man attempting to cross the border at Grense Jakobselv, a small village in northeast Norway. The police refused to confirm his identity. Medvedev’s Norwegian lawyer

Brynjulf Rsnes spoke with Reuters on Sunday and confirmed Medvedev’s detention. He claimed that the misunderstanding was to blame. Risnes stated, “e-[H]was there to see if [he] could find the spot where he crossed into Norway (in January). He was stopped in a taxi. He was never near the border … It was never his intention to cross the border (into Russia).”In January, Medvedev entered Norway in

search of asylum after he fled Russia. He had previously signed a Wagner Group contract and served as a commander in Ukraine for four month. Medvedev was given an order to kill Ukrainian soldiers captured on behalf of Russia during his time as commander. During his time as commander, Medvedev received an order to kill prisoners of war–Ukrainian soldiers captured on behalf of Russia.In May, Medvedev made a

statement expressing his desire to return to Russia, notwithstanding the potential danger he could face if he went back representing himself as “some kind of a boy in a big game” that he no longer wanted to be part of.

China-EU relationship is at a crossroads, top official says in Beijing


It is a make-or-break moment for China’s relationship with the European Union, as the bloc’s trade chief asks for more openness and fairness from Beijing.

“We stand at a crossroads. We can choose a path towards mutually beneficial relations. One which is based on open, fair trade and investment, and working hand in hand on the great challenges of our time,” Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president of the European Commission, said at Tsinghua University in Beijing on Monday.

“Or we can choose a path that slowly moves us apart. Where the shared benefits we enjoyed in recent decades weaken, and fade. And, as a result, where our people and economies face reduced opportunities,” he added.

This is some of the sharpest wording to come from European officials and follows data that showed the EU logging a trade deficit of almost 400 billion euros with China in 2022.

“Last year, the EU registered record bilateral trade with China of 865 billion euros ($921 billion). But this is very unbalanced, because the EU has a trade deficit of almost 400 billion euros,” Dombrovskis said Saturday before an audience in Shanghai, where he began his four-day trip to China late last week.

The visit, which was a while in the making, coincidentally came less than two weeks after the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, opened an investigation into Chinese subsidies to electric car manufacturers.

While the EU argues that Chinese support to EVs is creating distortions in the European market, Beijing authorities criticize what they described as “protectionist” views from Brussels.

Dombrovskis is using the trip to explain to his Chinese counterparts that the probe aims to create fairer trading practices, and that the EU does not plan to cut ties with Beijing.

In recent months, the EU has put more and more emphasis on the idea of de-risking from China — a concept that tries to bridge the gap between a more aggressive U.S. decoupling and the EU’s awareness that China is a critical trading partner.

“De-risk. This means minimising our strategic dependencies for a select number of strategic products. Acting in a proportionate and targeted way to maintain our open strategic autonomy,” Dombrovskis clarified in a speech in Shanghai.

De-risking, not decoupling

European officials have stressed their plan is not to decouple from China and have looked to influence the United States to take the same approach.

In a joint statement of the Group of Seven, the world’s seven largest economies, the U.S. agreed there is a need to de-risk from Beijing.

“It looks more like it’s China decoupling from Europe, and Europe is becoming ever more dependent on China,” Jens Eskelund, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, told CNBC’s “Asia Squawk Box” on Monday.

“When you look at the facts, you look at the figures, it looks like the decoupling is going the other direction,” he said, noting that China has been “de-risking itself for decades.”

One of the areas where the EU is looking to de-risk is the electric vehicle sector, after the share of such China-made cars sold into Europe rose to 8% this year. European officials have said this slice could reach 15% by 2025.

EV market developments are particularly significant ahead of a European deadline to end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2035.

Eskelund also said that European automakers set up factories and have up to 95% of their whole production value chain in China.

“They create jobs, they pay taxes in China,” he said, adding, “What we’re looking at now is… 100% produced-in-China imports [coming] into Europe.”

When asked about potential retaliation from China over the investigation, Eskelund maintained that both Europe and Beijing have “very deep interests” to try to resolve the matter before it reaches a point of imposing punitive tariffs.

“The two sides need to sit down and have a grown up conversation about what some of the barriers are,” he said.

— CNBC’s Lee Ying Shan contributed to this report

IRS to target 'unscrupulous' tax preparers amid crackdown of small business tax credit


IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on April 19, 2023.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

IRS scrutiny of the employee retention credit

The plan is part of the agency’s elevated focus on employee retention credit claims, according to April Walker, lead manager for tax practice and ethics with the American Institute of CPAs.

A pandemic-era tax break, the employee retention credit, or ERC, was designed to support small businesses that kept employees on payroll during shutdowns or revenue declines in 2020 and 2021.

Worth thousands per employee, the program sparked a cottage industry of specialist firms pushing businesses to amend payroll returns to claim the complicated tax break.

Roughly one week ago, the IRS announced plans to halt processing for the popular credit amid a “surge of questionable claims,” a move that the AICPA applauded. The processing pause for new claims will last at least through the end of 2023.

IRS shifting enforcement to higher earners

Meanwhile, the agency has also announced plans to reduce the number of audits on lower-income filers, while targeting unpaid taxes from higher earners, partnerships and large corporations.

In the same letter, Werfel shared IRS plans to “substantially” decrease the volume of so-called correspondence audits, or exams conducted by mail, for certain credits. He included the earned income tax credit, a tax break claimed by low- to moderate-income filers, which has been prone to mistakes due to complex eligibility requirements.

It’s long been recognized that correspondence audits have a lot of problems.

Chuck Marr

Vice president for federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

“It’s long been recognized that correspondence audits have a lot of problems,” said Chuck Marr, vice president for federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noting that many filers don’t receive or understand the notices.

During fiscal year 2020, more than $16 billion of the credit was claimed improperly — over one-quarter of the total paid — according to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2022 report to Congress.

While IRS audit rates have dropped overall, the rates have declined more slowly for filers claiming the earned income tax credit than higher earners. The IRS audits more taxpayers who claim the earned income credit, than anyone else, with the exception of those with income He said this may contribute to higher audit rates for these filers.

The IRS in May said Black Americans are significantly more likely to face an audit, confirming findings published by economists from Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the University of Chicago.

“Over time, we believe stepped-up efforts to stop unscrupulous preparers that target this population, will lead to higher quality tax preparation and increased return accuracy, thereby reducing the number of individual taxpayers at risk of audit,” Werfel wrote.

Here’s how many times the federal government has shut down


There have been 21 shutdowns of the federal government in the past five decades. Congress has until 30 September to pass a series of spending bills, or to come up with a temporary plan to avoid a 22nd shutdown. A government shutdown could result in the suspension of non-essential functions, such as social insurance and SNAP benefits. It would also mean that millions of federal workers wouldn’t receive their pay during this period. The upcoming deadline has caused divisions among the House Republicans. The demands of the various GOP factions within the chamber are different. Some GOP House members have even threatened to vote to remove House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, California) from his position. Here are the 21 shutdowns that the federal government experienced. Year: 2019

President Donald Trump

The longest government shutdown in U.S. History lasted 35 days between December 2018 and January 2019. The shutdown was caused by the former president’s demand for funding a wall along the U.S. Mexico border. Democrat legislators strongly opposed this. The shutdown ended after Trump signed a short-term budget bill to reopen government. Year: 2018

President Donald Trump

One shutdown of three that occurred during Trump’s tenure lasted only several hours. The shutdown was caused by Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.). He repeatedly blocked the Senate from voting on an agreement for a budget of two years, which included extending federal funding. The Senate passed the bill on the following day. This government shutdown lasted only three days. This shutdown was caused by Democrats refusing to vote on spending measures until Congress reached an agreement regarding protections for children under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival), which is a program that prohibits deportation for unauthorized migrants who entered the U.S. when The only shutdown that occurred during the tenure of former President Obama at the White House lasted only 17 days. Bill Clinton was president of the United States during the almost three-week shutdown.

Year: 1996

President Bill Clinton

The second government shutdown to happen under the Clinton administration lasted for 21 days, the previous record holder for the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

The shutdown stemmed from differences between Clinton and House Republicans on whether to use data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or the Office of Management and Budget to figure out if the White House budget plan would balance, according to Vox.

Year: 1995

President: Bill Clinton

The first government shutdown to happen under the Clinton administration only lasted for five days, as Clinton vetoed a continuing resolution from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and late Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) which included increases to Medicare premiums, rollbacks of environmental regulations and a requirement to balance the budget within seven years. George H.W. Bush

The only shutdown that occurred under the Bush administration lasted for four days, as he vetoed a stopgap spending bill. Bush

The only shutdown to happen under the Bush administration only lasted for four days, as the then president vetoed a stopgap spending bill, according to the New York Times.

Year: 1987

President: Ronald Reagan

This government shutdown only lasted a day when Reagan and Democrats couldn’t see eye-to-eye on potential funding for the “Contra” militants in Nicaragua, as Democrats also pushed for reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, a Federal Communications Commission rule which requires broadcasters to give people equal time to share their perspectives on political issues.

Year: 1986

President: Ronald Reagan

This shutdown only lasted for a day as House Democrats tried to push for an expansion for the then Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which Reagan and a then Republican-controlled Senate disagreed on. This shutdown only lasted a day, as Reagan and Democrats were able to settle their differences over the Crime Bill, Civil Rights Bill and Water Projects proposal. Democrats also agreed to temporary funding to Nicaragua’s anti-communist Contra guerrillas.

Year: 1984 President: Ronald Reagan

This shutdown, which lasted for two days, coincided with the one that happened a few days later. House Democrats of the time were pushing for water projects, and legislation to reverse a Supreme Court decision that allowed colleges and universities who did not receive federal funding but had students that did. The spending extension of three days was passed in order to give both sides more time to negotiate.

Year: 1983

President: Ronald Reagan

This shutdown lasted for three days as Reagan and House Democrats butted heads over issues such as education funding, more aid to Israel and Egypt, less aid to Syria and El Salvador and less defense spending.

Both sides came to an agreement in the following days.

Year: 1982

President: Ronald Reagan

This shutdown lasted for three days as Reagan threatened to veto the House and Senate’s push for a public works jobs program, in an effort to create more jobs in the country. The House also opposed funding the MX missile program and the Pershing II missile program, both of which were Reagan’s top defense priorities. The first of eight shutdowns that occurred during the Reagan administration lasted only two days. Reagan vetoed the spending bill for not having enough cuts. This government shutdown lasted only 11 days. The House and Senate chambers discussed higher salaries for civil service and congressional staff, and funding for abortions in cases of rape or incest.

Year: 1978

President: Jimmy Carter

This shutdown lasted for 17 days, when Carter vetoed a defense spending bill because it funded a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which he thought was wasteful and other proposed projects he was opposed to. This shutdown lasted eight days while Democrats and Republicans debated abortion funding.

Year: 1977

President: Jimmy Carter

This shutdown lasted for eight days as Carter had to sign a short-term extension as Congress was still debating over abortion funding. The first of five shutdowns that occurred during the Carter administration lasted only 12 days. This was due to a disagreement between the Senate and House chambers over funding for abortions. The House, however, insisted that the ban remain strict.

This was the first of the three government shutdowns to occur during the Carter administration, which were referred to as the “abortion shutdowns.”

Year: 1976

President: Gerald Ford The first ever government shutdown, which lasted for 11 days, occurred after then President Ford vetoed a funding bill for the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare, later divided and known as the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan Spots Rupert Murdoch’s Most ‘Unremittingly Toxic’ Legacy


Hasan said that Fox was “the foundation” for Trump’s 2016 win and “basically became his propaganda arm” after he won the White House.

Hollywood writers reach tentative deal with studios to end strike


Hollywood’s writers union says it has reached a preliminary labour agreement with the industry’s major studios in a deal to end one of two strikes that have halted most film and television production for nearly five months.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced the deal on Sunday with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the group that represents studios, streaming services and producers in negotiations.

The three-year contract agreement – agreed to after five marathon days of renewed talks by negotiators WGA and the AMPTP – must still be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike can be declared officially over.

The WGA, which represents 11,500 film and television writers, described the deal as “exceptional” with “meaningful gains and protections for writers”.

“This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days,” the negotiating committee said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from the AMPTP.

The WGA settlement, while a milestone, will not return Hollywood to work as the SAG-AFTRA actors union remains on strike.

The WGA members walked off the job on May 2 after negotiations reached an impasse over compensation, minimum staffing of writers’ rooms, the use of artificial intelligence and residuals that reward writers for popular streaming shows, among other issues.

The writers strike immediately sent late-night talk shows and comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live into hiatus, and has left dozens of scripted shows and other productions in limbo, including the forthcoming seasons of Netflix’s Stranger Things, HBO’s The Last of Us and ABC’s Abbot Elementary, as well as films including Deadpool 3 and Superman: Legacy.

The Emmy Awards were also pushed from September to January.

Efforts to restart daytime talk shows without writers, such as The Drew Barrymore Show, collapsed this month in the face of criticism from striking writers and actors.

At picket lines, protests took on the rhetoric of class warfare.

Writers assailed media executives’ compensation and said working conditions had made it hard for them to earn a middle-class living.

Executives at times fanned tensions.

Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, fresh from a contract extension that gave him an annual bonus of five times his base salary, criticised striking writers and actors as “just not realistic” in their demands.

Iger subsequently struck a conciliatory note, citing his “deep respect” for creative professionals.

The work stoppages took a toll on camera operators, carpenters, production assistants and other crew members, as well as the caterers, florists, costume suppliers and other small businesses that support film and television production.

The economic cost is expected to total at least $5bn in California and the other US production hubs of New Mexico, Georgia and New York, according to an estimate from Milken Institute economist Kevin Klowden.

Four top industry executives – Iger, Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and NBCUniversal Studio Group Chair Donna Langley – joined negotiations this week, helping to break the months-long impasse.

As with past writers strikes, the action is partly a response to Hollywood capitalising on a new form of distribution – and writers seeking their share of the newfound revenue.

The 100-day strike in 2007-08 focused, in part, on extending guild protections to “new media,” including movies and TV downloads as well as content delivered via advertisement-supported internet services.

This time around, a central issue is residual payments for streaming services, which writers said represented a fraction of the compensation they would receive for a broadcast television show.

Writers also sought limits on AI’s role in the creative process. The Others expressed concerns about intellectual property theft if existing scripts were used to train artificial intelligence.

Even as studio executives celebrated the end of the longest-running writers strike since 1988, it is only half the labour battle. The studios must still find a way to get actors back to work.

SAG-AFTRA, representing 160,000 film and television actors, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals, walked off the job in July, the first time in 63 years that Hollywood faced a strike by two unions at the same time.

At issue are questions of minimum wages for performers, protections against the use of artificial intelligence replacing human performances and compensation that reflects the value actors bring to the streaming services.

Kosovo dispatch: terror attack on village near Serbian border leaves three gunmen and one policemen dead


Ernesa is a JURIST Kosovo staff correspondent and recent law graduate from the University of Pristina Faculty of Law. She sends this dispatch out of Pristina. The peaceful village of Banjska, near the Serbian border, was the target of a terrorist attack in the early morning hours of September 24, 2023. One Kosovo Police officer died, another suffered severe injuries, and a third sustained relatively minor injuries. The attacks were the first attacks in the area in several months.

Around 03:00, the police arrived in Banjska where a blockade of the road by two trucks had been reported. The police were attacked by a group of 30 terrorists who fled to the Banjska Monastery in Zvecan, where they sought refuge while continuing their attacks on the police. Albin Kurti, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, said in a media statement that this was a “professional terrorist formation” that planned the attack. The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti also said that this was a mercenary group that is funded by Belgrade. Meanwhile the police are investigating the escape of the rest of the terrorists in case they infiltrated the pilgrims in the monastery.

After the Kosovo police surrounded the monastery, Minister of Internal Affairs Xhelal Svecla said that the police had discovered an extraordinary amount of heavy explosive infantry weapons, logistics, food and equipment for barricades, enough for several hundred other attackers.

President Vjosa Osmani has declared Monday a day of state mourning in honor of policeman Afrim Bunjaku, who was killed in the attack today in the early hours of the morning.

Kosovo is left in shock by these terrifying events. Citizens, government officials and international actors are demanding justice and an investigation into this horrific act. As the nation grieves the loss of one of its protectors, Kosovo remains resolute in its commitment to maintaining peace and security within its borders.

Opinions expressed in JURIST Dispatches are solely those of our correspondents in the field and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST’s editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez hires Hunter Biden lawyer for bribery case


U.S. Reuters

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez has hired Abbe Lowell, the same attorney who defended Hunter Biden against his tax and firearm charges, to represent him in his federal bribery case. A spokesperson for the prosecutors confirmed this.

Jonathan Ernest The case was dropped after a deadlocked juror. Grimes, Barrack and others had been charged with secretly acting as foreign agents for the United Arab Emirates.

Lowell has also represented Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and former advisor. During Trump’s presidency, he helped Kushner get official approval for permanent White House security clearance.

Lowell’s hiring by Menendez was first reported by Law360.

Abbe Lowell arrives for the funeral of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at the Washington National Cathedral on September 1, 2018.

Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

Both Lowell and Sen. Menendez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Menendez is expected to hold a press conference on Monday in Hudson County, New Jersey, where he began his political career, a source directly involved with the planning told NBC News.

Menendez and his wife, Nadine, were indicted Friday in Manhattan federal court for allegedly using his political influence to aid the Egyptian government in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal gifts.

The senator and his wife are facing three counts: Conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. Three New Jersey businessmen who were allegedly involved with the bribery transaction have also been charged. Menendez has refused to budge, saying he will not resign. This comes after many government officials including Pennsylvania Democratic Senator John Fetterman publicly demanded that he step down. “

The Senator, his wife, and their co-defendants will appear before Manhattan federal court in the morning on Wednesday.

NASA just flew home its first asteroid chunks from outer space


The capsule’s recovery in the Utah desert ends a 7-year journey of 4 billion miles through space. This may help scientists unravel mysteries about the solar system or shed light on the origins of life on Earth. After its 8:52 am Mountain Time landing, NASA recovered the mushroom-shaped pod. To avoid putting human lives at risk, the U.S. Space Agency chose to drop the projectile on the massive military base. The charred capsule, which contained gravel and dirt taken from Bennu, was not allowed to remain in place for very long. The capsule was whisked away by helicopter to the Dugway Proving Ground in Colorado, the Army’s most remote and largest facility on the continent. Update: Sep. 24, 2030, 1:32 pm EDT.

Two hours after the capsule had landed in Mountain Time, OSIRIS Rex scientists rolled the charred container to the Dugway Proving Ground clean room for the initial processing. They used a nitrogen gas purge unwanted gases.

NASA hailed the OSIRIS Rex landing, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification and Security Regolith Explorer. It was a historic event. Officials have always been confident that the team will win, but the feat was compared to throwing a perfect touchdown pass across 10 football fields. “And touchdown of OSIRIS Rex sample return capsule,” commented James Tralie during NASA’s broadcast live of the landing. “A journey to the asteroid Bennu, and back again has ended. This marks America’s first ever sample return mission and opens a time capsule into our ancient solar system. “


NASA needed assistance with a particular mission. The Vatican stepped in to help.
About four hours before landing, the flight controllers ordered the spacecraft’s capsule to be dropped while the spacecraft was still 63,000 mile above Earth. They were shooting for an area of 250 square miles below the surface. At its highest speed, the capsule, protected by a heat shield, traveled 27,650 mph, engulfed in a fireball.

Over the past week, rain had sprinkled the region, making the desert floor a bit soft and muddy. The weather was perfect for the capsule scavenger-hunt. It was relatively easy to locate the capsule with low winds and clear skies Sunday morning. The Air Force helped with the recovery operation by using cameras and radar to pinpoint the exact location of the capsule. Airmen were able to spot it at 8:40 am local time, thanks to its glowing tail. Personnel met the package within 30 minutes after its landing, and swept the area for safety. The capsule was intact and its nose was firmly planted on the ground. Scientists wheel the OSIRIS-Rex capsule into a clean room at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah on Sunday morning.

Credit: NASA / Youtube screenshot

Now the hard part begins. Scientists believe it could take weeks or even days before they can determine what is in the sample container. According to estimates based on the speed of the spacecraft, it could hold half a pound or even a cup of rubble. However, no one is sure.

This is the most rare stuff that we have ever seen on Earth.
The significance of the OSIRIS Rex mission in history
NASA has not brought back such a large amount of space souvenirs since 1969-72 when it collected Apollo moon rocks. JAXA is the world leader in this field, having already recovered much smaller samples from the asteroids Itokawa, and Ryugu, twice.

NASA’s $800 million mission could usher in a new age of asteroid exploration, after years of Hayabusa missions. OSIRIS Rex’s return marks the beginning of “asteroid fall,” according to NASA program executive Melissa Morris. This is a series crewless space journeys to small planets that will take place in 2023. NASA’s Psyche mission will be launched in October to a metal-rich asteroid that has never been seen before. In November, Lucy will test its navigation system for asteroid tracking by flying past an asteroid within the inner main belt. JAXA shared a sample of Ryugu with NASA. Credit: NASA/ Robert Markowitz

The agency chose Bennu because it contains a lot of carbon and could be the source of life. The robotic spacecraft was launched in 2016, and reached the asteroid after two years. After collecting data for two years, the probe collected a sample. In 2021 it returned to Earth. Asteroids have a very remote chance of hitting Earth during the 22nd century. It could help future efforts to deflect the space rock, if that becomes necessary.

OSIRIS-Rex team members carried the “bagged” capsule to a helicopter about an hour after its landing to be flown to a clean room for processing Sunday.

Credit: NASA / Youtube screenshot
“This is the rarest stuff we’ve ever had on Earth,” said Jim Garvin, chief scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Asteroids are thought to be the leftover rubble from our solar system’s formation 4.6 billion years ago. These ancient space rocks, or “grandfather rock,” as one OSIRIS Rex team member called them, could give clues to how the solar system evolved. Want more science

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What scientists want to learn from Bennu

Scientists are poised to chip away at big questions with the new asteroid sample, like how do organic materials originate, and why did life emerge on Earth?

Japan sharing Ryugu sample with NASA

A helicopter carries the landed capsule with a long line to a clean room for initial processing.
Credit: NASA / Youtube screenshot

Through the spacecraft’s images, the team saw so-called “hydrothermal mineral deposits” on Bennu that they believe may have occurred early in solar system history, said Dante Lauretta, the team’s principal scientist, based at the University of Arizona. These long salty veins could be a hydrothermal system like the one at Earth’s mid ocean ridge. Geologists believe this is the environment in which life on Earth may have started. This material is not found in the Ryugu meteorite from Japan or any other on Earth.

Lauretta asked, “How do you get from a carbon molecule like methane (a natural gas) to amino acids that make up proteins or nucleic acids which are the genetic material?”

NASA carrying capsule to helicopter

The OSIRIS-Rex capsule will spend the night in Utah before being transported to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Credit: NASA / Youtube screenshot

His dream discovery would be evidence of amino acids starting to link together to form a chain, known as peptides, signaling protein evolution. “It would be a fantastic science result if that were to happen,” Lauretta stated. Bennu was nicknamed “the trickster asteroids” during OSIRIS Rex’s spaceflight. Scientists thought the spacecraft would have encountered pebbles when it touched down three years ago to collect a sample. Instead, closeup images showed boulders and a surface that acted like a plastic ball pit.

Scientists say it may take days — perhaps weeks — before they have a grasp on what’s in the sample canister.

NASA observing Bennu asteroid

Credit: Andrew Ryan / University of Arizona
Hundreds of scientists and 60 laboratories around the world will study bits of the sample. The first stop for the rocks will be NASA Johnson Space Center, in Houston. A specially designed glovebox and clean room are waiting to receive them. The sample will be transported on a C-17 Monday. About 20 minutes after dropping its capsule, the spacecraft fired thrusters in order to avoid Earth. It then officially started a new OSIRIS Apex mission to another asteroid. If everything goes according to plan, the spacecraft should reach Apophis by 2029. Scientists hope to have the lid opened on OSIRIS Rex’s canister by Monday or Tuesday.

Lauretta stated that “a big part of our job is to get this material to the scientific community to be studied.” This is a wonderful gift for the world. “

She's currently the only Black woman leading a state military. Here's how it happened


Maj. Gen. Janeen Birckhead is Maryland’s 31st Adjutant General — the only Black woman to lead a state-level military in the U.S. Birckhead is seated in the NPR studios, where she will be interviewed by Jonathan Franklin.

Ajani Daniel/NPR

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Maj. Gen. Janeen Birckhead is Maryland’s 31st Adjutant General — the only Black woman to lead a state-level military in the U.S. Birckhead is seated in the NPR studios, where she will be interviewed by Jonathan Franklin.

Ajani Daniel/NPR

When Maj. Gen. Janeen Burckhead applied to colleges with her mother, they explored every possible option to pay for her tuition. Birckhead never considered a military career. She had no idea that her application for a ROTC scholarship to Hampton University, Virginia, would lead her to become the leader she is now. After I had the interview, I followed the steps and was awarded the scholarship. How could you refuse it? That was the beginning of my journey. Birckhead said to NPR that this was how her journey began. Birckhead is the only Black woman to have led a state’s military in the United States. She is responsible for 4,600 soldiers and aircraft.

“The Adjutant-General is the leader of Maryland’s Military and I am confident in Janeen’s abilities to lead.” Moore, who announced Moore’s nomination for the position, said that her record “proves her readiness to be at the highest military rank in Maryland.”

From the ROTC to thirty years of service

Maj. Gen. Janeen Birckhead is Maryland’s 31st Adjutant General — the only Black woman to lead a state-level military in the U.S. Birckhead, pictured above, outlines plans for improving equity in the COVID-19 vaccination distribution during a press conference in Annapolis (Md.) in March 2021.

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Maj. Gen. Janeen Birckhead is Maryland’s 31st Adjutant General — the only Black woman to lead a state-level military in the U.S. Birckhead, above, outlines plans for improving equity in the COVID-19 vaccination distribution during a press conference in Annapolis (Md.) in March 2021.

Brian Witte/AP

When Birckhead began her military career, Hampton University’s ROTC (also known as the Pirate Battalion) program helped to instill discipline, hard work and dedication. The Pirate Battalion leaders took pride in graduating the most promising future officers to the military. Birckhead said that this mentality helped shape her into the leader and commander she is today. It also helped her to navigate the various command roles she has been assigned during her service. Birckhead worked on the staff Moore’s Republican predecessor and former governor, Larry Hogan, before becoming Adjutant-General. Larry Hogan. Birckhead, who was named by the National Guard Bureau in early 2021 as the task force leader for the over 14,000 guards guarding the U.S. Capitol following the attack on Jan. 6, was nominated to this position by the National Guard Bureau. She led the Maryland National Guard security mission at President Biden’s inauguration. Later that year, Governor Hogan asked her to lead what became the country’s first operational vaccine equity task force. Hogan asked her lead the first operational vaccine equity Task Force in the United States. She distributed vaccines and visited local communities to determine who most needed vaccinations based on their demographics.

The push to grow representation in the militaryBirckhead is not the first Black woman to lead a state’s military, but as she approaches her sixth month in office, she has drawn inspiration from her role model — the now-retired Maj. Gen. Linda Singh — who was the first woman and African American to command the Maryland National Guard.
She understands how rare it is for someone like her to rise in the ranks. In 2021, fewer than one fifth of active duty Army officers were women. In the Marine Corps, only 9% of the officers were female. “

I’ve served in the military for 30 years. We still have the first, like, “first woman” or something similar. It’s very telling. The first is great. We want to say a second, a third, and a forth. Then we won’t need to mention the first. That’s the culture of our organization. Birckhead stated that this is where they want to be. Birckhead has often felt left out as a Black female in a culture that is dominated by males. “It’s very interesting when I walk into a meeting with my uniform on. The person will either address me or my assistant, or the other person with me who is not Black. They assume that they are the leader. And that mental leap perception happens so many times,” Birckhead said.

Luckily, her team is adept at correcting those who make these mistakes. Her team is adept at correcting those who make these mistakes.

Maryland National Guard Maj. General Janeen Birckhead talks with a woman in Wheaton (Md.) in 2021, as she receives the Moderna coronavirus vaccination.

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Maryland Guard Maj. Gen. Janeen Bickhead meets with a woman in Wheaton, Md. in 2021 as she receives the Moderna coronavirus vaccination.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

One of the biggest challenges she’ll face is expanding recruitment, which will be a problem not only for her own force in Maryland but also for the military as a whole. She is also focused on the challenges of running a successful organisation. She is also focusing on the challenges associated with running a successful organization.

Women are likely to face financial curveballs in retirement — including one potentially life-destroying event


Halfpoint Images | Moment | Getty Images

Many women already feel they are behind when it comes to being financially prepared for retirement.

There’s another risk they have to watch for: disruptive curveballs life throws at them that may put them off track, according to recent research from financial services firm Edward Jones and aging research provider Age Wave. A majority of female retirees, 81%, have experienced at least one such unexpected financial event, versus 69% of men.

The most common curveball for both sexes is having a spouse or partner pass away, with 77%. Women are almost twice as likely to be widowed, according to the research.

More from Women and Wealth:

Here’s a look at more coverage in CNBC’s Women & Wealth special report, where we explore ways women can increase income, save and make the most of opportunities.

Retired women are also more likely to face other shocks, including the death of another family member or close friend, suffering a financial setback or becoming a caregiver.

Caregiving tends to be a significant setback for women. A majority of women said becoming a caregiver was a life-destroying event both from a financial and life standpoint, according to Lena Haas, head of wealth management advice and solutions at Edward Jones.

“Women are less prepared to begin with for retirement,” Haas said, adding they “are hit with curveballs more frequently and they’re less equipped to make adjustments. “

Women are more likely to be caregivers for family

Moreover, a majority of unpaid family caregivers are women. Family caregivers provided an estimated 36 billion hours in unpaid care in 2021, according to AARP, amounting to work worth $600 billion.

The caregiving dilemma does not only affect retired women.

“It’s hitting us during working years, too,” said Heather Ettinger, chairwoman of Fairport Wealth in Cleveland, Ohio.

As baby boomers age, with about 10,000 turning 65 every day, that often puts pressure on their children to take on caretaking roles, Ettinger noted. Women are more likely to take on those responsibilities when they may not have enough saved for their own retirement, she said.

Half of women said they are behind on retirement savings, versus just 35% of men, according to a 2022 Goldman Sachs report.

Caregiving can affect women’s ability to save if it takes them out of the workforce. Less work hours may also reduce the amount of Social Security benefits they qualify for in retirement.

How to mitigate the effect of financial curveballs

Women also contend with unique challenges when it comes to retirement planning, such as lower pay, longer life expectancies and more time out of the workforce compared to men.

Professional financial help can mitigate the effects of the potential surprises women face.

Sitting down with a financial advisor can help identify important questions that should be asked, Haas said.

Examples of such questions include: Do you and your family members have life insurance or long-term care insurance? If you become a caregiver, will you still be able to work? Do you have an emergency fund?

Moreover, women may be able to find information on what is available to them from their employer’s benefits department, Ettinger suggested.

“So many families don’t want to talk about money,” Ettinger said.

Addressing that will require both women and their families and the financial professionals with whom they work to address tough questions, including who will provide care and how when a loved one gets sick.

“A big retirement curveball is we’re not getting there early enough to help people prepare,” Ettinger said.

Saints defense collapses against Packers after three phenomenal quarters


Derek Carr is tended to after falling to a shoulder injury.
Photo: AP

The New Orleans Saints have been one of the surprise teams in the early stages of this 2023 campaign. They were well on their way to a 3-0 start to the season against the Green Bay Packers, holding a 17-point lead heading into the fourth quarter Sunday afternoon. If you turned away thinking it was over, you should know better. Then Derek Carr got sacked in the third quarter, left the game with a shoulder injury, and did not return. From there, with a 17-0 lead, New Orleans proceeded to close up shop and allow Green Bay to reel off 18 unanswered points for the come-from-behind victory.

New Orleans had a chance to regain the lead but missed a 46-yard field goal with just over a minute left in regulation. This was the Packers’ first comeback win from such a deficit since Week 1 of the 2018 season. The Saints were in full control of this game, then Carr went down, and all hope vanished.

Jameis Winston replaced Carr and played well. Winston was 10 of 16 passing for 101 yards. Not great, but near the same as Carr, who was 13 of 18 for 103, and a touchdown toss. The biggest surprise was how the Saints’ defense shrank in the fourth quarter. In the first two weeks of the season, teams hadn’t put up more than 17 points against New Orleans. Sunday against Green Bay, the Packers dropped 18 consecutive points on them in the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t a high-scoring thriller, but this was a collapse of epic proportions from a defense that’s been good thus far. You hold a team to zero points and barely allow them anything for three quarters, then suddenly can’t stop a cold the final 15 minutes. For those first three quarters, the

The Saints looked poised to stay among the unbeaten in the NFL. Then, in an instant, all the momentum swung in the favor of the Packers, and the home-field advantage came into play.

These Saints are about defense, no matter who leads the offense. The NFC South isn’t seen as one of the tougher divisions, but if New Orleans is going to fall asleep at the wheel like that defensively, it’ll be another long season filled with heartbreaking losses.

The Nagorno-Karabakh crisis raises serious questions for Russia — and the West


A protestor speaks with Armenian police officers as they guard the entrance to the Government House during a rally in Yerevan on September 21, 2023, following Azerbaijani military operations against Armenian separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Karen Minasyan | Afp | Getty Images

A short-lived military operation in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region appears to have paved the way for Azerbaijan to take full control of a breakaway enclave that has endured more than three decades of conflict.

The latest-flare-up in Azerbaijan-Armenia tensions thrusts an often-overlooked conflict back into the global spotlight and dramatically ratchets up fears of major unrest throughout the Caucasus.

The contested mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has been under de-facto Armenian control since the early 1990s.

The landlocked South Caucasus territory declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 and, with the support of Armenia, has fought two wars with Azerbaijan in the space of 30 years. The Nagorno-Karabakh region is currently home to an estimated 120,000 ethnic Armenians.

Talks on Thursday between ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan came to an end without a final agreement, Russia’s RIA news agency reported, citing the ethnic Armenian’s representative. More


Armenian authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh accused Azerbaijan of violating a cease-fire agreement, with Reuters reporting gunfire could be heard in the region’s capital on Thursday. Bak “

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has faced calls to resign over the surrender of Nagorno-Karabakh’s authorities, with thousands of people on Wednesday taking to the streets of the Armenian capital Yerevan to condemn the government’s perceived failure.

Yerevan’s decision to remain on the sidelines during the military operation came at a time when Armenian authorities lacked the backing to engage directly with Azerbaijan, which enjoys military superiority and has stronger backers.

Analysts told CNBC that Pashinyan’s grip on power was being “weakened by the minute” over the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis, particularly given that the prime minister does not appear to enjoy either internal or external support.

Armenians attend a rally in Yerevan on September 21, 2023, following Azerbaijani military operations against Armenian separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Karen Minasyan | Afp | Getty Images

“For a very long time, it was a war that was ignored by many,” Tinatin Japaridze, a Eurasian political risk analyst at political risk consultancy Eurasia Group, told CNBC via telephone.

“There were flare-ups here and there over the last couple of years, with the most recent flare up a couple of days ago being the most obvious signal that the chances of returning to a war are potentially going to be imminent if proper peace talks do not take place,” Japaridze said.

Russia’s role in the crisis

For decades, Armenia has relied on Russia as a security guarantor. However, authorities have grown increasingly frustrated with what it sees as a lack of willingness from the Kremlin to support the country.

Russia, alongside Armenia, is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The Like NATO, the CSTO is based on the principle of collective defense, meaning that an attack on one member is recognized as an attack on all members.

Armenia’s prime minister suggested earlier in the year that Yerevan was considering withdrawing from the CSTO due to a lack of support from Russia. More recently, Pashinyan admitted that it had been a strategic mistake to depend solely on the Kremlin to guarantee the country’s security.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev addresses to the nation after ‘anti-terror activities’ organized by the Azerbaijani army in Karabakh, which resulted in a ceasefire in Baku, Azerbaijan on September 20, 2023.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

“Russia is Azerbaijan’s partner in this situation. Their main interest is to gain access to regional logistics, which will be unblocked after Karabakh returns to Azerbaijan,” Iliya Kusa, an international relations analyst at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future think tank, told CNBC via email.

Kusa said he believes Moscow also expects that the loss of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan will trigger political turmoil in Armenia, potentially leading to Pashynian’s departure from office.

“Moscow is interested in replacing him with any other loyal figure from the opposition camp, which would further consolidate Russia’s control over Yerevan, which had been weakened in recent years by Pashynian’s attempts to reach out to the West and by the war in Ukraine,” they added.

The Russian Embassy in London did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Kremlin has rejected any suggestion that Moscow had not done enough to prevent fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and says it is in close contact with Azerbaijan, Armenia and ethnic Armenians in the disputed territory.

What next?

The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, said Russia’s role as a security guarantor for Armenia may be declining as the Kremlin continued to prioritize its full-scale invasion in Ukraine and as authorities in Yerevan increasingly expressed their dissatisfaction with Moscow.

The ISW said Wednesday that Russian military bloggers also appeared to lament Moscow’s waning influence in Armenia.

Eurasia Group’s Japaridze said the outcome of peace talks between Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities was likely to determine what happens next.

“It will be very interesting to see what happens internally in Armenia, politically speaking, with the Pashinyan leadership and whether or not he survives this. The ”

Massive Alligator Killed After Being Spotted With Human Remains In Its Mouth In Florida Canal


Authorities in Tampa Bay, Florida, euthanized a 13-foot, 8.5-inch, alligator after they found human remains inside its mouth. According to a press release, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office removed the large alligator after receiving a call about a body found in a canal near Largo. The alligator, which was found with human remains in its jaws by Jamarcus Bullard who contacted police after seeing the body, was “humanely” killed. This was done with the help of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Jamarcus Bullard, who contacted police after seeing the human remains in the alligator’s jaws, described spotting the alligator to

local station WFLA.“I threw a rock at the gator just to see if it was really a gator, and it pulled the body, like it was holding on to the lower part of the torso, and pulled it under the water,” Bullard said.

He went on to detail watching authorities corral the alligator after the shocking encounter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvdah6O-tRE“They spotted it over here on this side,” Bullard told the local outlet. They pulled out the head with a long stick and shot it. Once they had it retracted, they measured the length and shot it again. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reported that the Medical Examiners Office was investigating the manner and cause death of the victim. American alligators are typically found in freshwater lakes, slow-moving rivers and sometimes in brackish water habitats, but rarely in salt water, according to the FWC.

From 1948 to 2021, 26 people were fatally killed in alligator attacks in Florida,

according to the agency


Federal judge rules California ban on high-capacity gun magazines unconstitutional


In his decision, US District Judge Roger Benitez stated that the state’s prohibition of high-capacity magazines was a violation of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment and “clearly unconstitutional.” In the decision, US District Judge Roger Benitez stated that the state’s prohibition of high-capacity magazines was a violation of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment and “clearly unconstitutional.”

In defense of the ban, California offered two main positions. California argued, first, that magazines and ammunition are not considered “arms” by the Second Amendment. Benitez, however, rejected this argument and included “ancillary components” necessary to operate a gun under Second Amendment protection. He cited federal precedent in several cases and concluded that, “while the Second Amendment does not explicitly mention ammunition or magazines supplying ammunition, without bullets, the right to bear arms would be meaningless.”

The state additionally argued that, even if some magazines are part of an “arm,” magazines holding more than ten rounds should fall outside that definition. This argument was based upon the Second Amendment right of self-defense. California argued that self-defense rarely involves firing ten rounds or more. As a consequence, magazines with a capacity of over ten rounds are not commonly used in self-defense and should not be classified as an “arm.”

Benitez also disagreed with this position. He stated, “There is no American tradition of limiting ammunition capacity and the 10-round limit has no historical pedigree and it is arbitrary and capricious.” Underlying the decision was the lack of current federal regulation and a lack of consensus amongst the states on magazine capacity limits.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed an appeal the same day as the decision. In a statement, he said, “We will move quickly to correct this incredibly dangerous mistake.”

California’s ban was instituted in 2016 after a majority of the state’s residents voted in favor of Proposition 63. In addition to the high-capacity magazine ban, the proposition mandated more extensive background checks, licensing of firearm dealers and other restrictions.

The decision is the latest blow to California’s attempt to regulate firearms. A previous September ruling enjoined the law which prohibited marketing guns to minors.

Trump leads GOP primary field by 40 points in new poll


A new NBC News survey showed that he had 59 percent support from Republican primary voters. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) had 16 percent support. Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley had 7 percent, former Vice president Mike Pence with 6 percent, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie at 4 each. Chris Christie with 4 percent each.

Trump’s recent legal struggles do not seem to be hindering his lead in the GOP Primary field. The poll shows Trump has increased his lead since June. An NBC News poll showed Trump ahead of DeSanits, 51 percent to 22, percent after his indictment on mishandling classified papers after he left the office. Since the June poll, Trump was charged in two more cases, including Washington, D.C., regarding the former president’s attempt to remain in power after 2020 elections, and Fulton County, Ga., concerning an alleged conspiracy to overturn 2020 election results. NBC News reported that Trump’s gains were attributed to men, seniors, and moderate Republican votes.

Trump cited his high polling numbers as a reason for not attending the GOP primary debates. He skipped the debate last month. He will skip the debate this week in California to speak to a union worker group in Detroit, amid the ongoing Union Auto Workers strike at three carmakers. The NBC News survey was conducted between September 15-19, among 1,000 registered voters. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 3.1%.

Copyright – 2023 Nexstar Media Inc., All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Russian Foreign Minister hits out at West’s ‘empire of lies’


Sergey Lavrov said power was slipping through the hands of the old order, dominated by Washington, which has long rejected the principle of equality.

Americans and Europeans “make all sorts of promises…and then just don’t fulfil them”, he told delegates.

Quoting President Vladimir Putin, he said the West was “truly an empire of lies” which even during the battle against Nazism in World War Two, had plotted an offensive against their Soviet allies.

Soviet and then Russian leaders “were given concrete political assurances regarding the non-expansion of the NATO military alliance to the east”, which turned out to be pure deception.

Washington and Brussels have ceaselessly sought to expand their interests and alliances to subordinate the Global South and East, rejecting Russia’s desire for mutual security guarantees, he stated.

West’s ‘hybrid war against our country’

Turning to Ukraine, he said the West had “continued its ongoing militarisation of the Russophobic Kyiv regime”, brought to power via a “bloody coup” in 2014 and took that opportunity to “wage a hybrid war against our country.”

The aim since then, has been the strategic defeat of Russia he argued, with the US-led offensive now stretching into outer space and disinformation online.

Mr. Lavrov said it was “obvious” that its creation of subordinate alliances was “targeted against Russia and China” in a bid to sabotage more “inclusive” regional forums.

He said even in terms of culture, the anti-colonial “global majority” has had enough of the Western “yoke” and attacks on their religions, traditional values and sovereignty.

He saw Russia and China as defenders of a new multipolar architecture – the ascendent world order – and now the West is doing all it can to block it.

‘Coercive measures’

The Russian Foreign Minister decried US-led use of unilateral sanctions and “coercive measures”, defending Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and others, while Washington continues its effort to “Ukrainize” the international agenda.

He said it was time for full reform of “global governance architecture” including UN-led international financial mechanisms and the United Nations’ key bodies – together with what he said was a Secretariat biased in favour of capitals in NATO and the European Union.

Mr. Mr. Lavrov called for the Lavrov closed his case with an appeal for compromise, saying “humanity is at a crossroads…It is in our shared interest to prevent a downward spiral into large scale war.”

He invoked the Secretary-General’s call for world leaders to meet and negotiate in the spirit of compromise at this year’s UN General Assembly, “when designing our common future for our common good.”

“This is an excellent response to those who divide our world up into democracies and autocracies and dictate their neocolonial rules to others”, he concluded.

Full statement in Russian

available here

International and small cap stocks face a delayed recovery. Here are two cash cow ETFs to ride out the volatility


Watch Live as NASA's OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Returns Asteroid Samples to Earth


The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is on its way to Earth to drop off rocky samples from asteroid Bennu on Sunday, marking NASA’s first attempt to retrieve a piece of a pure space rock.

The highly-anticipated drop-off has been seven years in the making, but the wait is finally over. The highly-anticipated drop-off has been seven years in the making. ET. You can tune in to the historic moment live through NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website

, or by following the feed below. The coverage will start at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday.

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

The plan is for the spacecraft to drop off its precious cargo during a close flyby of Earth, after which the capsule containing the asteroid samples will perform a parachute-assisted landing at Department Of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range. NASA Live: Official Stream of NASATVThe capsule will land within a 37-mile by 9-mile ellipse (59 km by 15 km) about 13 minutes after it is released from the spacecraft. The capsule has to land within a 37-mile by 9-mile ellipse (59 km by 15 km) about 13 minutes after it is released by the spacecraft.OSIRIS-REx launched in September 2016, and reached asteroid Bennu in December 2018. In October 2020, the spacecraft landed on Bennu after nearly two years of observing it. OSIRIS REx said goodbye to Bennu on May 10, 2021 and started its journey back to Earth to deliver its valuable cargo. Bennu, a near-Earth small asteroid, makes a close approach to Earth about every six years. Scientists think Bennu may have been a fragment of a larger, carbon-rich asteroid 700 million to 2 trillion years ago. Since then, it has drifted closer to Earth. After delivering the sample to Earth OSIRIS REx will continue its journey towards its next mission to explore asteroid Apophis. Accordingly, the mission will be renamed to OSIRIS-APEX (OSIRIS-Apophis Explorer).

For more spaceflight in your life, follow us on


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Spaceflight page.

UAW strikes could make 2023 the biggest year for labor activity in nearly four decades


Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The “summer of strikes” needs a new name — there is no sign of a slowdown in workers walking off the job.

Some 362,000 workers have gone on strike so far in 2023, compared with 36,600 over the same period two years ago, according to data by Johnnie Kallas, a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and the project director of the ILR Labor Action Tracker.

“We have found that many workers are increasingly frustrated with decadeslong rising income inequality,” Kallas said.

If the United Auto Workers’ work stoppages expand to include most, or all, of the 150,000 workers who could strike, “then 2023 could end up being the highest since 1986,” Kallas said.

Employees who withhold their labor can face a number of consequences, including losing their job and health insurance, experts said. As a result, they should learn what protections may be available to them.

“Strikes are a powerful tool for exercising power, but because our labor law is so weak it comes with great risk for workers,” Sharon Block, a professor at Harvard Law School and the executive director of the Center for Labor and a Just Economy, said in a previous interview with CNBC.

Here’s what to know.

Many, but not all, workers have the right to strike

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 codified the right to strike into law. As a result, all workers covered by the NLRA can participate in lawful strikes, Block said.

What is a lawful strike?

The National Labor Relations Board defines two classes of lawful strikers: those protesting unfair labor practices at their workplace and those who are fighting its economic conditions.

“If workers are standing together in a strike for better wages and working conditions, they should feel confident that their strike is protected,” Block said.

That includes workers who are not in unions, she added, “as long as they act collectively. “

That last part is important.

“Strikes have to be ‘collective action’ to be protected,” Kenneth Dau-Schmidt, a law professor at Indiana University Bloomington, told CNBC earlier this year. “Generally speaking, this means that you must do it in a group. The Railway Labor Act allows workers to strike, but there are many more obstacles and procedures that they must go through before they can strike,” Dau-Schmidt said. “

Even then, there are exceptions.

Those in the private sector covered by the Railway Labor Act, which includes most railway and airline employees, are subject to that law rather than the NLRA.

“Workers covered by the Railway Labor Act are also allowed to strike, but there are many more obstacles and procedures for them to get through before they can strike,” Dau-Schmidt said.

“The RLA system is set up to facilitate mediation and presidential or congressional intervention before a strike, so big railway strikes are rare,” he added.

Most government employees are prohibited from striking in the U.S. Only a handful of states — about eight — have passed their own laws permitting certain public sector workers to strike.

Meanwhile, Dau-Schmidt said: “No state allows police or firefighters to strike. “

Job security at risk for strikers

Under the NLRA, workers can’t be fired or discriminated against for participating in a strike.

However, economic strikers can be permanently replaced if their employer hires someone else to do their job, Dau-Schmidt said. “Permanent replacement looks a lot like firing from the employees’ perspective,” he said.

If a striker’s replacement leaves the job for whatever reason, the worker who was on strike must be offered the position before anyone else is hired, though, Block said.

UPS reached a tentative agreement to renew a five-year labor contract with the Teamsters ahead of a July 31, 2023 deadline, averting a costly strike.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“Strikers just have to make an unconditional offer to return and wait for an opening,” she said.

If workers were on strike due to unfair labor practices, they may have a right to reinstatement, but that process, Dau-Schmidt said, “can often take a long time, and people often move on to other jobs. “

And employees “can never be sure their strike will be found to be an unfair labor practice strike,” he cautioned.

Pay and health insurance is ‘a real problem’

Workers who go on strike generally lose their wages, Dau-Schmidt said. “If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. “

Yet if the strike was over unfair labor practices, which was confirmed to be caused by violations of the law by their employer, they may qualify for back pay once the strike resolves, he added.

Strikes have to be ‘collective action’ to be protected. Generally, that means you have to do it as a group.

Kenneth Dau-Schmidt

law professor at Indiana University Bloomington

Economic strikers typically also get their other workplace benefits, including health insurance, nixed.

“Health insurance is a real problem,” Dau-Schmidt said. Employers can suspend or terminate coverage. He said that employers will not always terminate health insurance immediately because this escalates conflict and can lead to a bad outcome. “

Unemployment benefits for strikers

There is no federal law guaranteeing workers on strike jobless benefits. But two states — New York and New Jersey — provide some unemployment coverage to strikers.

There is also a bill working its way through the Massachusetts Legislature that would offer unemployment benefits to those who have been on strike over a labor dispute for 30 days or more.

Germany says 90 military-age Russian men granted asylum since Ukraine invasion


The news outlet obtained this information from the ministry’s answer to a question by lawyer and Bundesdag member Clara Bunger. The news outlet obtained this information from the ministry’s answer to a question from lawyer and Bundesdag member Clara Bunger.

According to RND, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has received about 3,500 asylum applications from Russian citizens, many attempting to flee conscription, reaching decisions on around 1500. Around 1000 of these applications were referred to another country under the EU Dublin Regulation, since Germany isn’t the first EU nation many Russian citizens arrive in. In September 2022 she spoke in the Bundestag to support granting humanitarian visas. She noted that protecting people who flee conscription would make it harder for Russia to continue its invasion.

Consequently, Bunger lamented the number of application approvals. In a statement to RND, she said that 90 approvals was “grotesquely low” and criticized the ruling coalition’s execution of its promises to protect Russian objectors.

Germany’s asylum process for Russian objectors has come under fire for a lack of clarity and consistency. In February, a German advocacy group criticized the German government for rejecting the asylum application of a Russian man aged 40, citing the age. This was despite the fact that a new Russian law allows men to be conscripted up to the age of 65. The Moscow


reported that one Russian asylum seeker had complained to them about not receiving deadlines despite going through a nine-month interview process. The Irish Times reported on the case of an objector who German authorities wanted sent to Poland but the man was afraid that Polish authorities would send him back to Russia.

2023 MLB RBI leaders


(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

: Getty Images (Getty Images)1. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)



Getty Images


Getty Images


1. Matt Olson (132) | Atlanta Braves IF

2. Pete Alonso (112) Kyle Tucker (108) | Houston Astros OF

4. Ozzie Albies (104) | Atlanta Braves IF

5. Los Angeles Dodgers OF

6. Nick Castellanos (103) | Philadelphia Phillies OF

8. Adolis Garcia (102) – Texas Rangers OF010010109. Ronald Acuna Jr. (101) | Atlanta Braves OF0100101010. This article is based off data from Sportradar. Juan Soto (101) San Diego Padres Of01001010This text was compiled by an AI engine and then reviewed and edited by the editorial staff. The text was generated by an AI engine, which was then edited and reviewed by the editorial team. Agree to Disagree01001010

Venezuela takes control of gang-run jail, ‘dismantles’ Tren de Aragua


Interior minister claims authorities have dismantled the feared criminal group that controlled the Tocoron prison, which had a pool, a zoo and restaurants.

Venezuela says it has dismantled the Tren de Aragua gang after retaking control of a prison controlled by the feared criminal group in the northern state of Aragua.

Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos made the claim on Saturday, days after the Venezuelan government sent in 11,000 soldiers and police into the Tocoron prison, which had restaurants, bars and even outdoor swimming pools, and functioned as the operating centre for Tren de Aragua.

“We have total control of this prison and we have completely dismantled the self-proclaimed former Tren de Aragua,” Ceballos told reporters.

He did not offer additional details, however.

The Tren de Aragua gang, which reportedly numbers some 5,000 criminals, emerged in 2014, specialising in kidnapping, robberies, drugs, prostitution and extortion, according to officials. It has extended its influence to other activities, some legal, but also to illegal gold mining.

Authorities claim the raid to retake the Tocoron prison on Wednesday has dealt a “devastating blow” to the gang, but civil society groups have questioned its success, noting that the leader of Tren de Aragua had escaped before the operation.

The Venezuelan Prison Observatory (OVV), a group that follows developments in the country’s notoriously dangerous detention centres, said the head of the gang, Hector Guerrero, and other leaders were tipped off before the raid and managed to flee the prison and the country a week beforehand.

The OVV did not specify which countries they went to, accusing authorities of “opacity”.

The authorities have denied those allegations.

Ceballos said on Saturday that some 88 members who escaped during the raid by security forces have been recaptured and that most of the prison’s 1,600 inmates have already been relocated to other jails across the country.

“This is a long-term operation,” he told journalists.

The minister added that authorities would continue to look for people suspected of belonging to the gang.

The government on Saturday took some 30 journalists on a limited tour of the prison, where excavators were seen taking down some of the infrastructure built by the prisoners.

The AFP news agency said the few streets that reporters were allowed to see were littered with beer bottles, clothing, TVs, appliances and stuffed animals.

It said there were abandoned food stands near the pool and a basketball court and that reporters did not get to see what was left of the zoo with its pink flamingos.

The government has previously said four prison officials had been arrested and charged with complicity with the criminals.

McCarthy Is Giving Hard-Right Republicans What They Want. But It Never Seems To Be Enough.


He has long criticized Washington for underestimating him. McCarthy has long criticised Washington for underestimating his abilities. McCarthy, the California Republican, said that when the crunch comes, people who have been blaming others for so long will finally move on. “Because shutting down — and having border agents not be paid, your Coast Guard not get paid — I don’t see how that’s good.”

Governing with a narrow House majority, the speaker is facing a more virulent strain of the hard-right tactics that chased the two most recent Republican speakers before him, Reps. John Boehner of Ohio and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, into early retirement. McCarthy, like them, has tried different tactics to restore order. But more than ever, McCarthy finds himself swept along as far-right lawmakers, determined to bend Washington to their will, take control in the House.

McCarthy tried to win conservatives’ support by agreeing to their demand for impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden and then by meeting their calls for spending cuts, only to be turned back whenever a few of them hold out for more concessions.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is surrounded by reporters looking for updates on plans to fund the government and avert a shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

All the while, McCarthy has retreated from his budget deal with Biden months ago that established the spending threshold for the year. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who is leading the fight, told reporters Thursday that “if you look at the events of the last two weeks, things seem to be coming my way.” Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who is leading the fight, crowed to reporters Thursday that, “if you look at the events of the last two weeks, things seem to be kind of coming my way.”

Gaetz said he was delivering a eulogy for short-term funding legislation known as a continuing resolution — a mechanism traditionally used to keep the government functioning during spending debates.

Democrats have been eager to lay blame for the impending shutdown on McCarthy and the dysfunction in the House. Biden has called on McCarthy to stick to the annual spending numbers they negotiated to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.

“He handed over the gavel to the most extreme in his party,” said Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, a senior Democrat.

With the House at a standstill and lawmakers at home for the weekend, McCarthy has turned to the plan advanced by Gaetz to start processing some of the nearly dozen annual spending bills needed to fund the various government departments and shelving for now the idea of stopgap approach while the work continues.

It’s a nearly impossible task as Congress runs out of time to find a short-term spending plan.

“We can in no way pass 11 bills in eight days,” said Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the top Democrat appropriator, referring to the number of bills Congress would have to approve before Sept. 30.

DeLauro, a veteran lawmaker, estimated it would take at least six weeks to pass the bills in both chambers of Congress, then negotiate them between the House and Senate. She urged Republicans to embrace a continuing resolution to allow government agencies to stay open.

Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, one of McCarthy’s closest allies, has pointed out that the Senate has advanced legislation at spending levels above those in the deal reached with Biden. He argues that House Republicans need to pass their own bills at the lower numbers to to strengthen their hand in negotiations.

For Congress to solve the current impasse, many expect that it will take a bipartisan coalition that leaves McCarthy’s right flank behind. That would be certain to spark a challenge to his leadership.

In the Senate, Democratic and Republican leaders are working on a package that would fund the government at levels far higher than the House Republicans are demanding and include emergency disaster aid and money for Ukraine, which some of GOP House members oppose.

“Eventually, we’re going to get something back from the U.S. Senate and it’s not going to be to our liking,” said Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack, a leading Republican on the House Appropriations Committee. “Then the speaker will have a very difficult decision.”

Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

Democratic New Jersey senator indicted on corruption charges


Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., was indicted Friday on corruption charges in Manhattan, N.Y., following an investigation by federal prosecutors.


We turn now to news out of the Justice Department. U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, along with his wife, have been charged on federal charges of corruption. The New Jersey Democrat has been accused of accepting hundreds and thousands of dollars from three businessmen as bribes in exchange for his use of power as a Senator to help them. Ryan Lucas, NPR’s justice correspondent is here with us. Hey there.


KELLY: Tell us more about the charges.

LUCAS: Well, the – Menendez and his wife face three charges – conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion. Three New Jersey businessmen were also charged with bribing Menendez to get his help. The fact that one of them was born in Egypt ties some of the criminal activity here. According to the indictment Menendez is accused of giving sensitive U.S. information and taking concrete steps to secretly assist the Egyptian government. This includes non-public info about U.S. Military Aid to Egypt and information about U.S. Embassy staff in Cairo. Ryan, what else is the government saying he did for these bribes?

LUCAS: Well, prosecutors also say that Menendez pressured a U.S. Department of Agriculture official to try to protect a lucrative business monopoly that one of the businessmen had set up. Menendez allegedly also tried to interfere with a New Jersey state prosecution involving a co-defendant. And prosecutors say Menendez used his position as senator to try to influence a federal criminal prosecution, also in New Jersey, of yet another one of his co-defendants.

KELLY: OK – so a lot of details. What stands out for you as you read this, Ryan? In the indictment, it is stated that federal agents found $480,000 of cash in Menendez’s house in June 2022. Some of this money was stuffed in envelopes. Prosecutors claim that fingerprints from one of Menendez’s co-defendants were found on some of the envelopes. Some of the money was hidden in clothing. In the indictment, there’s actually a picture of two jackets that had Menendez’s monogrammed. There are also stacks of $100 notes that were allegedly concealed in these coats. Agents also discovered bars of gold. In the indictment there’s a photo of them. It also states that Menendez searched for “how much does one kilogram of gold cost? “

KELLY: OK. Senator Menendez is not facing federal charges of corruption for the first time. He has fought previous charges. He won. What’s he saying now?

LUCAS : You are right. In 2014, he was indicted on unrelated charges of bribery in New Jersey. Menendez tried the case and ended up with a hung juror. These charges were eventually dropped. He did fight those charges back then. This time he’s doing the same thing. In a statement he released today, he accused prosecutors of misrepresenting the work that Menendez describes as normal for a congressional office. He claimed that prosecutors had attacked his wife. He claims that these allegations are unfounded. The facts do not match what the prosecutors claim. He said it was the same thing as the last time he had been prosecuted. He said, “Look how it ended.” He was not convicted. Thank you. Thank you.

LUCAS: Thank you.

Copyright (c) 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text is not in its final version and could be revised or updated in the future. Accuracy and accessibility may vary. Audio recordings are the definitive record of NPR programming.

Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court invalidates indigenous land demarcation timeframe law


The judges rejected the argument that the territory of indigenous peoples can only be demarcated if there is evidence of the community’s existence as of the promulgation date of the Federal Constitution, i.e. October 5, 1988.

The judges ruled against the argument that the territory of indigenous peoples can only be demarcated if there is evidence of the requesting community’s existence as of the promulgation date of the Federal Constitution, i.e., October 5, 1988.Ministers Edson Fachin, Alexandre de Moraes, Cristiano Zanin, Roberto Barroso, Dias Toffoli, Luiz Fux, Carmen Lucia, Gilmar Mendes and Rosa Weber voted to invalidate the proposal. In contrast, ministers Nunes Marques and Andre Mendonca voted to allow the proposal.Among the ministers who opposed the notion of temporal limits were de Moraes, Toffoli, Fux, Mendes and Weber, who aligned with the rapporteur Fachin, voting against the time-based thesis.

Ministers Mendonca and Marques voted to introduce a cutoff point to determine the demarcation of indigenous territories.Marina Silva, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change,

declared that the Supreme Court’s annulment of the temporal framework thesis is an “act of justice.”

In an interview with journalists, the minister acknowledged that the court’s decision regarding timeframes represents a significant step in the process of restoring justice and compensating for the damage to Brazil’s indigenous communities. She emphasized that everyone, not just indigenous peoples, should celebrate it.She that the recent ruling in favor of indigenous peoples by the country’s highest judicial authority represents a victory for environmental conservation, as indigenous communities play a crucial role in protecting forests, biodiversity, water resources, and cultural diversity, with 80% of the world’s forested areas under their control.Earlier this week, in contrast to the court’s decision, the Senate voted to expedite the consideration of a legislative proposal that establishes temporal limits in Brazilian legislation regulating land demarcation. This proposal was already

approved by the Chamber of Deputiesalso mentioned. The bill’s text also stipulates that, in addition to being present on the required territory as of 1988, residents must prove that they are indeed indigenous.

The bill is currently under consideration by the Senate Committee on Constitution and Justice and must be approved by the committee before it is sent to the Chamber of Deputies. The vote will take place on September 27, 2023. If the proposal reaches plenary, it needs to be supported by at least 41 senators out of 81. The Supreme Court declared that part of the bill relating to temporal limitations was unconstitutional. However, this does not prevent the approval of the legislation and its submission to Luiz inacio Lula for final approval.

Wordle today: Here's the answer and hints for September 24


It’s Sunday and there’s a brand new Wordle! As always, we’re serving up our daily hints and tips to help you figure out the answer.

If you just want to be told today’s word, you can jump to the end of this article for September 24’s Wordle solution revealed. But if you’d rather solve it yourself, keep reading for some clues, tips, and strategies to assist you.

Where did Wordle come from?

Originally created by engineer Josh Wardle as a gift for his partner, Wordle rapidly spread to become an international phenomenon, with thousands of people around the globe playing every day. Alternate Wordle versions created by fans also sprang up, including battle royale Squabble, music identification game Heardle, and variations like Dordle and Quordle that make you guess multiple words at once.

Wordle eventually became so popular that it was purchased by the New York Times, and TikTok creators even livestream themselves playing.

Not the day you’re after? Here’s the Wordle answer for Sept. 23.

What’s the best Wordle starting word?

The best Wordle starting word is the one that speaks to you. If you want to go for a more strategic approach, here are some tips to help you choose a word. One tip is to select a word that includes at least two different vowels, plus some common consonants like S, T, R, or N.

What happened to the Wordle archive?

The entire archive of past Wordle puzzles used to be available for anyone to enjoy whenever they felt like it. Unfortunately, it has since been taken down, with the website’s creator stating it was done at the request of the New York Times.

Is Wordle getting harder?

It might feel like Wordle is getting harder, but it actually isn’t any more difficult than when it first began. You can turn on Wordle‘s Hard Mode if you’re after more of a challenge, though.

Why are there two different Wordle answers some days?

Though usually Wordle will only accept one correct solution per day, occasionally it has rebelled against the norm and deem two different answers acceptable. This is due to changes the New York Times made to Wordle after it acquired the puzzle game.

The Times has since added its own updated word list, so this should happen even less frequently than before. To avoid any confusion, it’s a good idea to refresh your browser before getting stuck into a new puzzle.

Here’s a subtle hint for today’s Wordle answer:

Two wrongs don’t make it

Does today’s Wordle answer have a double letter?

Not today!

Today’s Wordle is a 5-letter word that starts with…

Today’s Wordle starts with the letter R.


Wordle-obsessed? Here are some of the best games you can play in real life.

What’s the answer to Wordle today?

Get your last guesses in now, because it’s your final chance to solve today’s Wordle before we reveal the solution.

Drumroll please!

The solution to Wordle #827 is…


Don’t feel down if you didn’t manage to guess it this time. There will be a new Wordle for you to stretch your brain with tomorrow, and we’ll be back again to guide you with more helpful hints.

Reporting by Caitlin Welsh, Sam Haysom, Amanda Yeo, Shannon Connellan, Cecily Mauran, Mike Pearl, and Adam Rosenberg contributed to this article.

Going beyond Tesla: ETF bets solely on electric vehicle makers


A new exchange-traded fund is zeroing in on electric vehicle manufacturers.

Defiance ETFs runs the Solactive Pure U.S. Electric Vehicle ETF — which is also known as the Pure EV Index fund. The fund is designed to allow investors to place a concentrated bet in the electric vehicle space. But if you break down what is in those ETFs because of the diversification role, they hold stocks like

Apple,Microsoft , Nvidia,[and]” Defiance ETFs’ Sylvia Jablonski told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” on Monday. “You want to get a bit more exposure in the electric vehicle space, instead of just purchasing Tesla. “Tesla is the top holding for many electric vehicles ETFs after gaining more than 98% so far this year.

Other EV ETFs including

Global X autonomous & electric vehicles ETF and KraneShares Electric Vehicles & Future Mobility ETF have holdings in companies that produce EV components or are tech-related.However, the Pure EV Index fund is composed of only the five largest market-cap EV makers:

Tesla, Nio, Rivian,Li Auto and Xpeng.The companies in the fund must also “derive at least 50% of their annual revenue or operating activity from the development or manufacturing of electric vehicles” and have “high trading volume and liquidity,” according to the Defiance ETFs website.

The ETF also exposes investors to “the world’s largest economies” with three Chinese and two U.S. auto manufacturers, the firm’s CEO and chief investment officer said.

Jablonski thinks recent policy proposals like the federal infrastructure bill and EV tax credits will help grow the industry even more.

The Pure EV Index fund’s total net assets are currently $5.1 million. As of Friday’s close, the ETF is up more 18% since its June 12 launch.


Op-ed: Women, let's talk about money


E+ “I am not a number person.” I’m not good with money. This statement is often heard by women, regardless of their age. Women, no matter their age, often make statements like these. In fact, many of them unconsciously inherit the belief that men are in charge of managing or making money in a relationship. This can lead to a situation where women feel they do not need to be able to handle money. They may also experience confusion when trying to learn more about it. Seems hard to believe — and research shows it’s not true.

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One influential study led by psychologist Janet Hyde involved reviewing data from more than 100 other studies on math performance in children and adults. There is no difference between boys and girls in math ability in elementary, middle school or high-school. How can women develop the skills and confidence to manage their money effectively if it is not considered to be theirs? Think about this familiar example: In England, up until a few decades ago, women were considered property, belonging to their husbands (we see you, Jane Austen). Women are unable to develop the skills or confidence to manage money if they don’t own it. Think of Jane Austen. In England, until very recently, women were considered as property belonging to their men. The gender pay gap can affect women’s ability to manage money. Teachers and employers have been shown to be less interested in girls and women’s abilities in math and sciences, leading to lower performance. This can also lead to a lack in interest and motivation in these areas. This can affect women’s confidence in making financial decisions.

Ironically, women demonstrate every day that, as a whole, we are superb at resource management.

Women often manage the allocation of so many other resources aside from money that people consider valuable, including time, talent and relationships. We’ve also been taught to avoid discussing money. But it is imperative that we do. The Great Wealth Transfer is what we call it.

Women are expected to receive a significant portion as a result of several factors, including the increasing number of women who are earning high salaries, expanding roles in financial decision-making and the fact that women are generally outliving men.
According to some estimates, the transfer of wealth to women could reach as much as $30 trillion over the next few decades. It’s important to note that this wealth transfer is expected to take place in predominantly white families, which speaks to the important racial factors that intersect with gender factors to influence wealth distribution and education.
Shifting women’s beliefs about money will require filling in social and cultural gaps with education, access to resources, the instilment of a growth mindset and reinforcement that everyone is capable of learning. In recent years, there have been some promising steps. When we provide a space for women to discuss money, to understand their “money roots”, and to share inherited money stories with each other, we can create breakthroughs in our relationships to money that will benefit us and future generations. Conscious conversations about money help us to clarify our values, gain knowledge, and prepare us to use this money in a way that makes a difference in the lives of those we love. “
— By Anne B. Johnston, a certified financial planner and founder and managing director of boutique wealth advisory



Russia's indefinite ban on diesel exports threatens to aggravate a global shortage


From February 5, 2023, the European Union will no longer purchase petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline or lubricants from Russia.

Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Russia imposed an indefinite ban on the export of diesel and gasoline to most countries, a move that risks disrupting fuel supplies ahead of winter and threatens to exacerbate global shortages.

In a government decree signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, the Kremlin said Thursday that it would introduce “temporary” restrictions on diesel exports to stabilize fuel prices on the domestic market.

The ban, which came into immediate effect and applies to all countries apart from four former Soviet states, does not have an end date. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are exempted from the ban. They are all members of the Moscow led Eurasian Economic Union. Oil prices jumped as much as $1 a barrel on Thursday’s news, before settling lower for the session. Oil prices jumped as much as $1 a barrel on the news on Thursday, before settling lower for the session.

International benchmark Brent crude futures traded 0.9% higher at $94.13 a barrel on Friday afternoon in London, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 1.1% to trade at $90.62.

Energy analysts said the vague language used in Russia’s announcement made it difficult to assess exactly how long the ban would remain in place and warned that Moscow could once again be seeking to weaponize fuel supplies ahead of another winter heating season.

A spokesperson for the Kremlin said Friday that the fuel export ban would last for as long as necessary to ensure market stability, Reuters reported.

In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s intervention, analysts said Russian diesel exports had come under pressure due to the weakness of the ruble, domestic refinery maintenance and government-led efforts to increase domestic supply.

“All deals agreed before the regulation took effect are still on, meaning the likelihood of an immediate halt in diesel and gasoline exports is unlikely, most probably it would take 1-2 weeks for the impact to transpire,” Viktor Katona, lead analyst at Kpler, said in a research note published Friday.

“By that point, however, the government might already annul this specific piece of legislation, as abruptly as it was published,” he added.

What impact could the ban have?

Prior to the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year, Russian refineries exported an estimated 2.8 million barrels per day of oil products. That figure has since fallen to around 1 million barrels per day, according to ING, but Moscow still remains a major player in global energy markets.

Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING, said in a research note published Friday that Russia’s ban on fuel exports was a major development ahead of the Northern Hemisphere winter, a period which would typically see a seasonal pick-up in demand.

“The middle distillate market was already seeing significant strength ahead of this ban with inventories tight in the US, Europe and Asia as we head into the Northern Hemisphere winter,” Patterson said, citing factors such as OPEC+ production cuts, recovering air travel and Europe’s struggle to replace Russian middle distillates after a ban came into effect in February.

“The loss of around

of Russian diesel in the global market will be felt and only reinforces the supportive view we have held on middle distillate cracks and as a result on refinery margins,” he added. The duration of the ban will determine how much upside there is. “[1 million barrels per day]Oil storage tanks in Tuapse, Russia, March 22, 2020.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said on Sept. 5 that it would extend its 1 million barrel per day production cut through to year-end, with non-OPEC leader Russia pledging to reduce oil exports by 300,000 barrels per day until the end of the year. Both countries have said they will review their voluntary cuts on a monthly basis.

“The purpose of the ban is apparently to address tightness and high prices in domestic Russian markets, where high oil prices combined with a weakened rouble, must be painful for Russian consumers,” Callum Macpherson, head of commodities at Investec, said Friday.

“However, there are also echoes with disruptions to Russian gas supplies to Europe that started in 2021. The disruptions began in 2021 as temporary interruptions as gas was being held back for domestic storage. We all know the outcome. “

COVID conspiracies return in force, just in time for 2024


An increase in COVID-19 cases has spawned a corresponding flare-up of conspiracy theories around the virus, a phenomenon that experts warn will only get worse as the 2024 election approaches.

The White House and President Biden’s reelection campaign will now be tasked with promoting awareness and the latest vaccines while also countering misinformation spread by anti-vaxxers, some conservative pundits and even a small number of Republican officials.

Advocates told The Hill that even though the coronavirus public emergency is over, the pandemic’s influence on American society is here to stay.

“We’re only at the tip of the iceberg for how bad this is going to get,” said Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy theory researcher.

Fear that another COVID-19 lockdown is imminent have circulated online in recent weeks as cases spiked. Hospitalizations caused by the virus have been steadily rising each week since early July, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The claim originated on conspiracist Alex Jones’s InfoWars in an Aug. 18 “exclusive” claiming whistleblowers from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Border Patrol told them the strict precautions put in place at the start of the pandemic are making a return. The website then speculated without evidence that those purported lockdowns are perfectly timed to assist with “the greatest election meddling in history.”

Right-wing online spaces quickly glommed onto the narrative, which was then amplified by conservative publications and some GOP lawmakers, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie.

“If bureaucrats try to reinstate any COVID tyranny measures, resist them with a vengeance. Do not comply,” Massie said in an Aug. 25 post to X, formerly Twitter.

TSA press secretary R. Carter Langston told The Hill the “rumors” are “completely false,” adding that the agency doesn’t have any new requirements related to COVID-19 and has not held any meeting on the topic. Jackie Wasiluk, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said “claims that CBP has plans to independently reintroduce COVID-19 protocols are false.”

Though the claims are unfounded, they’re not new, Rothschild said.

“Misinformation about COVID is probably pretty constant,” he said. “There’s new variants of COVID that seem to ebb and flow…but the conspiracy theories about what they think is happening with COVID are very constant — and they’re constantly at a high fever pitch.”

There is always a “kernel of reality” in the conspiracy theories that stick, he added.

For a short time in August — around when the InfoWars story was published — the entertainment company Lionsgate brought back a mask mandate amid rising cases in Los Angeles. Also last month, a Georgia college reinstated its mask mandate and an Alabama junior high school did the same.

“Those are the most durable kinds of conspiracy theories, the ones where you can’t quite say all of it is false,” Rothschild said.

Misinformation that gains traction online is also typically rooted in deeper underlying issues, such as concerns over vaccine reliability or government overreach, said Tara Kirk Sell, a scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“These viral rumors really resonate within those concerns, those values, those beliefs,” Sell said. “When we talk about trying to deal with misinformation, it’s not just the one piece of misinformation that you have to fight against; it’s whatever is causing these viral rumors to really resonate with people, you know — the deep-seated concerns about government and all that.”

The Biden administration has taken steps to address communications issues about COVID-19, which have been accelerated by some presidential hopefuls. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is known for his anti-vaccine views, have hit this administration on their policies to fight the pandemic.

The administration has been responding to comments on social media to correct inaccuracies, monitoring social media for rumors or conspiracy theories and encouraging public health stakeholders to engage on combating inaccurate information, among other steps, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The Food and Drug Administration in particular has been monitoring online for unapproved and health fraud products that are being promoted.

“HHS works to ensure that public health guidance and messaging are based on facts and science and that we are transparent about what we do and don’t know because we know how important it is for people to have accurate, science-based information to protect themselves and their loved ones,” a spokesperson said.

And in an Associated Press interview published Friday, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said that “schools should be open, period,” even if COVID-19 surges again, adding that that in-person teaching “should not be sacrificed for ideology.” He acknowledged fears about “government overreach” that could impact students’ ability to learn.

The proactive work comes after public health officials such as former chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci were attacked for their work when COVID-19 initially surfaced in the U.S. during former President Trump’s administration. DeSantis and other Republicans have repeatedly vilified Fauci over policies including mask mandates and shutdowns.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration considers its roll out of the vaccines to be a major success at the start of the administration. The massive endeavor to get shots in arms as fast as possible was spearheaded by now-chief of staff Jeff Zients.

Biden will likely be on the defense throughout the 2024 campaign with COVID-19 creeping back into the lives of Americans. DeSantis, RFK Jr., and others are sure to keep up the drumbeat that Biden and his team’s responses were a hindrance to the U.S. and that Americans should question if booster shots are necessary.

DeSantis’s administration in Florida even advised people under 65 not to get the new COVID-19 booster shot earlier this month, opposing the CDC’s recommendations that everyone over 6 months get it. The state surgeon general said that the booster is “not a good decision” for younger people and those not at risk.

“I will not stand by and let the FDA and CDC use healthy Floridians as guinea pigs for new booster shots that have not been proven to be safe or effective,” DeSantis said. “Once again, Florida is the first state in the nation to stand up and provide guidance based on truth, not Washington edicts.”

To respond to disinformation throughout the campaign, the Biden campaign has shifted its strategy away from the one in deployed in 2020 in the new age of X, formerly Twitter, and alternative platforms such as Truth Social, where Trump posts. The changes in social media have made the likelihood of the campaign asking and expecting social media companies to take down content they consider misinformation slim.

The Biden campaign has launched a working group of communications and legal aides to push back on disinformation, largely around the COVID-19 push out of the White House.

It plans to use Biden campaign officials, allies, surrogates and influencers to publicly call out disinformation as opposed to relying on help from social media companies.

Experts agree that entities and individuals need to police themselves with the amount of content flowing online.

“It’s really going to be up to us — to the individual user — to police what they put out, to really scrutinize what they see, to stem the tide of some of these things before they spread,” Rothschild said.

“But you’re asking a lot of people to do a lot of work, and people are already busy and stressed out and stretched,” he continued. “A lot of people just aren’t going to do it, and that’s going to be a real problem.”

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Jan. 6 Capitol Attacker Who Punched Cop And Took Riot Shield Gets Nearly 3 Years In Prison


A New York man who punched a police officer and took a riot shield during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack was sentenced to nearly three years in prison Friday.

Jonathan Munafo, 36, is set to serve 33 months behind bars with 36 months of supervised release after pleading guilty in April to two felony charges of assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers and civil disorder.

The day of the attack, Munafo cheered along with other rioters as they attempted to breach the Capitol in Washington, according to the Department of Justice.

“He used two different poles to strike the window of a Capitol office approximately 13 times,” the DOJ said in a press release. “Munafo often looked back at the crowd, shouting, chanting, and attempting to rile up the other rioters.”

Later that afternoon, Munafo punched a member of the Metropolitan Police Department twice before grabbing with the officer’s shield.

“The second punch from Munafo appears to have caused the officer’s head to snap back,” the press release said. “Munafo then took the officer’s riot shield and slunk away into the crowd, leaving the officer without a shield and vulnerable to attacks from other rioters.”

Approximately 140 police officers were injured the day of the attack. Others later died by suicide.

Munafo is among more than 1,100 people who have been charged for their roles in the riot.

Several members of the violent neo-fascist gang the Proud Boys were recently sentenced to years in prison in connection with the attack. Henry “Enrique Tarrio”, the former leader of the group, received the longest sentence among the Jan. 6 cases, when a court handed him 22 years in prison earlier this month. Additionally, you can find local mental health and crisis resources at dontcallthepolice.com. Please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention if you are outside the U.S.

Size doesn't matter? Bryce Young, Anthony Richardson injuries proof that physical stature means nothing in the NFL


F*ck you.

The season might already be over for these two

NFL Draft process involved a couple of rookie quarterbacks who are now out a week (or two) with injuries. The season may be over for both of these rookie quarterbacks. Scouts were unsure if Bryce Young would be able to handle the demands of playing quarterback at the next-level. They also admired Anthony Richardson’s Adonis body. Well, the former Alabama QB and Heisman winner will miss a week or so with a sprained ankle, and the Colts’ first-year starter is sidelined under concussion protocol.Richardson actually left Indianapolis’ first game late in the final quarter due to knee and ankle soreness — and recklessness. Richardson’s fearlessness — or naivety? Richardson’s fearlessness (naivete?) If head trauma is the great equalizer then why do we obsess about stature and ability to take physical abuse when any quarterback could be gone at any time? If I had a second chance, I would pick Young first. And if he broke, there’s always another body that can take his place. Is this a bit nihilistic

? It’s the NFL business model. Tua Tagovailoa’s seven years are better than Ryan Tannehill’s 15 seasons. Bill Belichick is likely to trade Mac Jones tomorrow for Young. Guys such as Tom Brady, John Elway and Patrick Mahomes, are Jedis who walk among us, able to navigate tiny and shifting pockets, with human missiles bearing on them. The elite guys are limited in their tread and eventually get blindsided by trucks or dragged away on golf carts. How many NFL legends, at any position, were able go out on their terms? To be honest, I’m amazed Jerry Rice can stand up straight. (Gotta have that Copper Fit. If you don’t get married or have children by the age of 35, then you are technically dead. The only reason to exist is to reproduce, and the greater the number of humans, the more meat there will be for football. I don’t think you are aware that the Earth is facing a population problem. The more people who participate in combat sports the faster we can turn these two tops around — metaphorically. Wouldn’t it be easier to make reservations for death than try to stave off its arrival? You know that you have a limited time left, but you are the only one who knows your expiration date. If you were told that you have until 45 years old, I would be playing running back and eating hot wings as breakfast. Add some opioids to the mix for good measure. I’m leaving early? I’m cramming in as much self-fulfillment

as possible.

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack

And you may find yourself in another part of the world

And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobileAnd you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife

And you may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”

I have no clue, but give me some timing, a little moxie, a lot of arm strength, and I’ll give you a beautiful house and a beautiful wife.

Reality is Governments Not Truly Held Accountable to Implement SDGs


The SDG Summit begins in the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters, New York. September 2023. Credit: UN Photo/Cia Pak

  • by Simone Galimberti (kathmandu, nepal)Friday, September 22, 2023
  • KATHMANDU, Nepal, Sep 22 (IPS) – What does transformative and sweeping really mean in the overarching efforts to achieve the Agenda 2030? It is now time to take stock of what has been agreed on at the United Nations headquarters in New York during the second edition SDG Summit. At the core of the Summit were not the several Leaders’ Dialogues that, as important as it can be to have heads of state and government reflecting on the Agenda, are just talking shops without any practical implications.

In fact, references to the goal of providing 100 billion US Dollars by 2025 (annually, don’t forget this, even though it did not appear in any of the original drafts circulated) were not included in the final approved Declaration. It is the same for the $700 million biodiversity fund that was included in the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

It is a consolation to see that the UN Secretary General’s proposal for an SDG Stimulus was mentioned. This is one of the most important proposals. Sadly, in this case too, the $ 500 billion annual figure proposed by Guterres was not included.

With industrialized nations struggling with their climate promises, having even a short paragraph on the Stimulus can be seen as an achievement, especially for Mr. Guterres. The Secretary General might feel mixed emotions about the final Political Declaration.

It is true that his ambitious idea of the Summit of the Future, scheduled in 2024, got included even though apparently without much enthusiasm from the international community. On the other hand, Mr. Guterres’s concept of a New Social Contract was totally ignored. This is not surprising, given the political implications and consequences of what could be called a bold effort to review and renew the dynamics and relationships between the state and citizens. After all, anything that sounds “too political” (and really transformative) will be strongly resisted by member states at the United Nations, especially those who have their own unique understanding of democracy and rights.

The Declaration’s positive and perhaps unexpected attention to human rights was a welcome development. Human rights were cited in the Declaration not just once, but several times, and that is praiseworthy – even if only symbolically.

It is disappointing that civic engagement was not given any space in the document. It is an important element to advancing the idea of the New Social Contract. Yet, even if there were no links to this overtly forward-looking idea, civic involvement and, with it, its most prominent manifestation, volunteering, found no space in the document.

It appears that UNV did not play a major role in the SDG Summit side event jamboree or the draft process. This is alarming. The Declaration also does not make any promises or plans to empower youths. It is as though the Policy Brief, published by the Office for the Secretary-General in April on Meaningful Youth Participation in Policymaking and the Decision-Making process was not digested at all by the member countries involved in the drafting the final document. In this respect, the creation of a UN Youth Office is a key element of the reform agenda set by Mr. Guterres. However, it will not be transformative if the tools and mechanisms to allow youths to take part are not developed.

The localization of SDGs is probably the best way to engage and mobilize citizens in pursuit of Agenda 2030. This includes youths. The whole process of Voluntary Nation Reviews, or VNRs, was also not given the attention it deserved. It “We will continue to integrate the SDGs into our national policy frameworks and develop national plans for transformative and accelerated action” reads the Declaration.

“We will make implementing the 2030 Agenda and achieving the SDGs a central focus in national planning and oversight mechanisms”, the document further adds. This Local The In The There 01 According The In The

IPS UN Bureau

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(c) Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights Reserved

Original source: Inter Press Service

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Shun path of confrontation and work together for the SDGs, urges Bangladesh leader

Friday, September 22, 2023

World must pass ‘AI stress test’, UK Deputy PM says, announcing summit

Friday, September 22, 2023

Haitian Prime Minister calls for urgent deployment of multinational force to quash gang violence

Friday, September 22, 2023

We can’t keep putting the interest of the few before the lives of many, Mia Mottley says at UN

Friday, September 22, 2023

UN calls for ‘clear-eyed’ vision for peace and security, as peacebuilders meet in New York

Friday, September 22, 2023At critical moment for peacekeeping in Africa, Ghana steps up to host key summit

Tunisia police arrest political cartoonist on suspicion of insulting PM


On Friday, a prominent Tunisian political cartoonist announced his release from prison on Facebook. Tawfiq Omrane was arrested by Tunisian authorities on Thursday, suspected of insulting Prime minister Ahmed Al-Hasani with his cartoons. Omrane claimed that two policemen showed up at his home on Thursday. He was taken to the police headquarters in Muqreen where he was interrogated about his political and religious affiliations. He was interrogated on three counts of insulting Al-Hasani and on one count of insulting public utility companies.

While the Public Prosecutor did allow Omrane’s release, the case remains ongoing. The artist has been summoned to appear at the Court of First Instance of Tunisia on Monday.

Omrane’s arrest is the latest in a series of erosions of the civic freedoms hard-fought for and won in the 2011 Revolution. As soon as President Kais Saied took office in 2019, he started to crack down on political opponents and punish dissent. In 2021 he declared an emergency, taking over all executive powers and dismissing the then-Prime minister Hichem Mechichi. Saied pledged to take action against illegal content on social media last month, including “rumors” or “slander”. The development has raised concerns among human right organizations. In June, Amnesty International called upon the UN Human Rights Council to address the “rapidly growing rights crisis” in the country.

According to a statement from Al-Hasani, he was not aware of the arrest and interrogation of Omrane.

Phone as Webcam: Android 14 Has New Tricks Up Its Sleeve


Photo: Florence Ion / Gizmodo

As the Pixel 8/8 Pro nears its debut, so does the eventual launch of the next version of Android. Google usually plans software updates around the launch of new phones. This week, Google released the Android QPR1 Beta 10 which is essentially a dress rehearsal for the OS. The new build has been analyzed by code sleuths to find out what’s coming. The ability to use your phone as a webcam with a computer or laptop is one of the most exciting features. It’s similar to the way the new iPhone15 connects to a Mac. Apple’s iOS devices can do this wirelessly with Continuity camera on the Mac.Is Google’s New $1800 Pixel Phone Worth it? | Gizmodo Review

looked at the feature more closely yesterday, though you can try it out now by running the latest Android 14 beta on a compatible Pixel device. When you plug in a USB C Cable, the option will appear in the notification shade. Tap it to activate the camera tethering feature, which allows you to switch between the front- and rear facing cameras as well as between 1x or 2x digital zoom. 9to5Google reported that the Pixel 7 Pro does not have the option to use the built-in lens. This is disappointing. This is exactly the type of feature you would want to use, which is why it was such a big deal when Apple announced this for the iPhone 15 Series. Once this feature is available to everyone, you can use the Android webcam if you find yourself in a tight spot. 9to5Google tested the Pixel 7 Pro, Pixel 6 Pro, but not the Pixel Fold. I tried to make it work on a Pixel 5 using the latest beta version,

without success. Other minor features that are part of Android 14 will make Android users’ lives easier. Google Pixel fold

, for example, will feature some new software tweaks to make the experience more fluid when you move between the front screen and the inside screen. After closing the Pixel Fold, you can choose whether or not to keep an app open on the coverscreen rather than have it dormant and closed in the background. Samsung’s GalaxyZ Fold has a greater appeal because it does this with its Android version. Google has added a repairmode that will hide your most sensitive data from repair technicians. The new will also be similar to iOS 16 customization features. Google will even bring back the option to add widgets on the lock screen.

Delta's emergency savings initiative offers workers up to $1,000 each. Here's how it works


Between inflation and economic instability, Americans have depleted most of what they had in their savings accounts.

More than half of all Americans now live paycheck to paycheck and most adults — 57% — cannot afford a $1,000 emergency expense, a Bankrate survey from earlier this year found.

Meanwhile, experts say having a cash reserve is key and can prevent workers from turning to high-interest credit cards or taking hardship withdrawals from their retirement accounts.

To address the savings crisis, a growing number of employers are stepping in.

Already, Delta Air Lines, Starbucks, Best Buy and Levi’s, among others, have introduced some type of emergency-savings benefit, many as a result of the new retirement legislation in Secure 2.0 — a law enacted in December that focuses on improving retirement security by making it easier for workers to build and access emergency cash.

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“The legislation has definitely started more conversations,” said Katie Taylor, vice president of planning and engagement at Fidelity Investments.

“The ability for an employer to help their employees to feel they have solutions in place to manage their overall finances is really important,” Taylor said.

Delta is offering workers up to $1,000

Delta Air Lines planes at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Jeff Greenberg | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Under Delta’s emergency savings program, which is available to all employees below the director level, workers receive $750 directly deposited into a Fidelity account after completing one financial coaching session.

The airline will then match up to $250 of an employee’s contributions made with payroll deductions to that account for a total of $1,000.

“Financial literacy is the civil rights issue of this generation,” said John Hope Bryant, chairman and CEO of Operation Hope, a nonprofit that worked in partnership with Delta and Fidelity Investments.

“It’s as important as the right to vote,” he said. Money Bryan According It Day She ” “

“At the end of the day, we believe investing in our people is good for our customers and our shareholders,” said Kelley Elliott, vice president of Delta’s total rewards program.

Employees who are financially well are 10 times more likely to be focused at work than employees who are not, added Fidelity’s Taylor.

“There is a notable benefit to employers too,” she said.

‘Emergency savings is the new health insurance’

The ability to reduce financial stress and boost productivity will encourage many more companies to follow suit, according to Bryant.

“Financial literacy coaching and counseling tied to emergency savings is the new health insurance — this is what every company will be doing in the next decade,” he said.

With the additional support, workers “are going to come in earlier, stay longer and go the extra mile,” Bryant added. It “

If your employer is offering you something akin to free money, take it.

Douglas Boneparth

Why Americans can't stop living paycheck to paycheck

president and founder of Bone Fide Wealth

“If your employer is offering you something akin to free money, take it,” said Douglas Boneparth, a certified financial planner and president and founder of Bone Fide Wealth, a wealth management firm based in New York. ” “

“However, if it’s not being paired with an appropriate amount of discipline, it doesn’t matter,” added Boneparth, who is a member of CNBC’s FA Council.

Above all else, use this as an opportunity to make the most of the financial education being offered, he advised.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

House GOP rebels recall a distant era when dissidents rose up against 'Czar Cannon'


Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) speaks on the House Floor with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), about the 14th Round of Voting for Speaker on January 6, 2023 at the U.S. Capitol.

The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Rep. Matt Gaetz, R. Florida, speaks on the House Floor with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R. California) about the 14th voting round for speaker, which will take place on January 6, 2023 at the U.S. Capitol.

The Washington Post via Getty Images

For those who have been following the ongoing crisis on Capitol Hill, where the House Republican majority is threatening to force the government to shut down, “the motion to vacate the chair” will be familiar.

A simple standing up may be all it takes to vacate a chair. In the specialized language used in congressional procedure, standing up against the presiding official means that you are challenging the right of the officer to preside. You can do this by threatening the officer to be replaced. The phrase and procedure were used earlier this year during the January melee which led to the appointment of Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The rebels of the House Freedom Caucus refused to let the California Republican, who had been their nominal leader for the past four years, take “the big givel” until they were promised the chance to remove him. Many veterans of Capitol Hill called it “suicide.” No speaker would permit that. McCarthy assured his skeptics, before he won the job on the 15


vote, that they could use the tool as they wanted. Matt Gaetz, a Republican Representative from Florida, said to FOX News’ Chad Pergram that the motion to vacate “was not something we put on a bookcase to admire…we intend to use” it. Gaetz said he will use the motion until it is successful. Gaetz warned earlier that McCarthy’s attempt to introduce a temporary, stopgap measure to prevent a shutdown of the government at the end of this month would be met with a motion for immediate vacature. He said it was a “shot-and-chaser” situation. Such talk was heard all through the session. McCarthy, for example, was in negotiations with Senate leaders and Biden about an increase to the national debt limit. In recent years, lifting the lid was a routine task. However, it became a crisis when some members of the House were willing to hold it hostage as part of negotiations over spending.

McCarthy was able to outmaneuver this group on the debt limit, which had been raised in the spring for two years. The resistance promised to pay back in the fall. McCarthy’s current refusal to support McCarthy leaves him with two options: yield to the hard-core within his party or try to find a way to get at least some votes from Democrats. It was clear that the latter option risked a motion to vacate the chair.

McCarthy thought he had the votes for a stopgap spending measure to keep the government open past Sept. 30. It became clear this week that he didn’t. He met with Gaetz late on Thursday to discuss a possible solution. At the end of last week, online media asked bluntly who is in charge. Politico’s headline on Friday was “How Matt Gaetz Sewed the House.” Speakers have struggled for years to control their most aggressive ideologues, especially when the margin of their majority is narrow. McCarthy’s has a low single-digit margin. The speaker thought that he had rounded up the last strays on a procedural test vote he held this week. When it was time to vote, two previously committed members walked out.

The temptation of adding a few Democrats to reach a majority may seem irresistible, but if he succeeds, it could lead to “shot and chaser”. “Historical roots in party divides and divisive personalitiesA motion to vacate last darkened the horizon in 2015, when House hardliners used it against Speaker John Boehner in another budget stalemate. Boehner became speaker in 2010 with the surge of “Tea Party’ strength by the GOP that regained the majority. Boehner was able to reach this position after years of patience and persistence. But by the fall 2015, he had given up. Boehner resigned when intra-party rivals started talking about leaving the chair. He said he didn’t want to cause the House the same trauma as “a century ago.” “

This was a reference the pivotal House revolt against Speaker Joseph G. Cannon, also known as Joe Uncle Joe and Czar Cannon, in 1910. It is hard to imagine how powerful speakers were in 1910. By the late 1800s, it was so extreme that it could be compared with the absolute power exercised by Russian monarchs for centuries known as the czars. told CNN
After a revolt, in 1910, Republican Illinois Rep. Joseph Cannon lost most of his power as House Speaker.

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Library of Congress

The Maine Republican Thomas Brackett Reed was the first speaker to be attacked as a “czar”. He dominated the chamber like few others before him. Cannon was left a set of parliamentary devices, insider agreements and other tools that would allow him to influence and control the Rules Committee.

Cannon developed “Reed’s Rules”. He could become chairman of the Rules Committee and appoint other committee chairs. He could also decide who would sit on each committee, which bills would come to the floor, the amendments that would be acceptable, who was allowed to make them, or even make a speech. He determined the winner of voice votes, and dictated the schedule. One member was reported to have sent a photo of Joe Cannon in response to a request from the House for a copy.

Cannon wasn’t just using his power to keep the House in order. He used it to make a powerful impact that went beyond Congress, as a tool for defeating any reforms or policy changes he did not like. He often fought with Theodore Roosevelt, and any other member of either party that had progressive ideas. Cannon, despite being affable and popular throughout his career, resisted government regulations of business and supported high tariffs. He also disliked change in general. It was said that had he been present at the Creation he would have voted against it.

Aggressive progressives bring conflict to boiling point

All this reached a boiling point in 1910 when Cannon was in his fourth term as speaker. Roosevelt, who had been out of the White House for two years, was dissatisfied with his successor. He wanted to run again. The progressives were gaining ground in many states. Their presence in both the House and Senate created power bases for men like George W. Norris, of Nebraska, who later served five terms in Senate.

Norris became the Republican’s point of contact for opposing Cannon. Norris was watching as another member in March 1910 asked for permission to introduce a resolution on the 1910 census that wasn’t part of the normal order. He argued that as a Constitution-mandated function, the census was not subject to normal House rules. Cannon agreed.

Norris, spotting an opportunity, pounced. The next day, Norris rose and announced that he had a second resolution based on a constitutional right. Cannon, not knowing what the privilege was, allowed the motion. Norris then presented a new proposal for the Rules Committee. It would no longer be appointed by the Speaker, but instead elected by the entire House. The committee was to have a nearly equal representation of parties and the right to select its own chairperson. Norris’ vision for the new Rules Committee was to explicitly bar the speaker from being its chairman. This was the most direct act of defiance against Cannon. The hall suddenly shook with electricity, writes Alvin M. Josephy Jr. of Congress. “Through newspapers, the entire country witnessed the dramatic drama of the sudden revolt against Cannonism. “

All done but the screaming — and generations’ worth of fallout

One Cannon loyalist quickly brought a motion of order against Norris. Cannon realized that many of his usual supporters were absent because it was St. Patrick’s Day. Cannon delayed any decision on Norris’ resolution but kept the session open two days and two night while his minions attempted to marshal speaker’s forces. While Norris, and Champ Clark, the Democratic leader of Missouri, searched for missing members, they rallied to their cause. Cannon soon realized he was outmanoeuvred. Cannon tried to reach a compromise with Norris and then ruled Norris resolution out of order. Clark appealed Cannon’s ruling, noting that Cannon allowed the previous census resolution just days before on the same constitutional grounds. Norris’ dissidents, along with the Democrats, then approved a revised version of the original Resolution on a stronger vote of 191-156. The reformers overpowered the all-powerful Czar. Cannon was still the presiding officer, but his autocratic days were over. The power of the chamber shifted to the chairs of the different committees. These positions were not filled by the speaker, but rather by seniority. This reform had many unintended effects. It would take a half-century before speakers began to address imbalances in the system and assert their own central roles.
Cannon House Office Building in 2015. The former Speaker of the House, Cannon, was given this name in 1962.

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The Cannon House Office Building in 2015. The former Speaker was the name of this building in 1962.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Cannon was reelected himself in 1910 but his party lost majority in 1911 and Clark became the speaker. These were the peak years of the so-called Progressive Era, which produced the progressive income tax, voting rights for women and the popular election of senators — among other reforms.

Cannon lost his own seat in the election of 1912, even as Woodrow Wilson was becoming the first new Democrat in the White House since the 1880s. Cannon returned to Illinois in 1914 and was re-elected, serving from 1923. He had been in Washington longer than any other member of Congress at that time. His story was published in a magazine dedicated to national news. The black-and-white drawing of his bewhiskered, sadly wistful face was the first cover story in


. Cannon died in 1926 at the age 90. In 1962, the first building of House staff and members, which was completed in 1908, while Cannon was still Speaker, was named after him.

New Jersey Gov. Murphy, Assembly speaker call on Sen. Bob Menendez to resign


WASHINGTON – New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, the state’s General Assembly speaker and the Democratic State Committee chairman all called on U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez to resign Friday after their fellow Democrat was indicted on federal bribery charges.

“The allegations in the indictment against Senator Menendez and four other defendants are deeply disturbing,” Murphy said about Menendez, the state’s senior senator.

“These are serious charges that implicate national security and the integrity of our criminal justice system,” said Murphy.

“The alleged facts are so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state. “I am therefore calling for his immediate resign. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin stated, “The accusations laid out today against Senator Menendez go against everything that we should believe as public employees.

We have been given the trust of the public, and once this trust is broken, it’s impossible to continue,” Coughlin added, adding that Menendez has to resign in order to “allow New Jersey and America to move forward.” LeRoy Jr., chairman of the Democratic State Committee, said Menendez must resign “to ensure that New Jerseyans receive the federal representation they deserve.” “

Jones also noted the upcoming state legislative elections in November, and said Menendez’s resignation would allow the Democratic party “to keep its focus” on state level races.

Two New Jersey Democrats in Congress, U.S. Reps. Andy Kim and Mikie Sherrill, also called on Menendez to resign.

Menendez responded to his critics late Friday. Menendez responded to his critics late Friday. In a press release, he stated that he would continue to fight on behalf of the people in New Jersey using the same methods I have used for the last five decades.

This is the record of success that these leaders have always lauded. I am not surprised at how fast some people are to judge and remove a Latino from his seat. He added, “I am not leaving.”

The statement hinted at how bitter the debate over the senator’s political future is likely to become.

Menendez, 69, and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were indicted on three criminal counts, along with three New Jersey businessmen who were charged with two of the counts.

The couple is accused of having taken hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes over at least four years, while the senator performed, in return, political favors for the three businessmen.

Prosecutors allege the favors included providing sensitive national security information to Egyptian officials.

Menendez insisted he and his wife had nothing wrong, and accused prosecutors in a statement of having “misrepresented the normal work of a Congressional office. “

He did not address the specific charges other than to say the “facts are not as presented.”

U.S. Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer (a New York Democrat) said in a press release that “Bob Menendez is a dedicated public service and always fights hard for the citizens of New Jersey.” Democrats will have a difficult Senate map next year, when they are defending 23 of the 33 contested Senate seats. Democrats have a difficult Senate map next year, when they will be defending 23 of the 33 contested Senate seats.

In states that are dominated by just one political party, as New Jersey is by Democrats, Senate seats change hands far less than they do in swing states, where elections tend to be more competitive.

In New Jersey, for example, only four people have been elected to the U.S. Senate in the past 23 years, the last one being Sen. Cory Booker in 2013.

In the event that Menendez were to resign or to retire when his current term ends, the race to fill his Senate seat would likely draw a who’s who of the state’s elected Democrats. Kim and Sherrill were two of the names that had been floated on Friday. As the newly unsealed charges make clear, Menendez is accused of trying to pressurize a senior official in this Office during a previous administration, Platkin stated. My Office has fully cooperated with the Southern District of New York investigation. We will continue doing so. We have also launched our own independent investigation into the allegations contained in the indictment. “

The Nollywood pioneer seeking perfection in African storytelling


To an entire generation of Nigerian millennials, Ego Boyo was their first encounter with onscreen celebrity. Three decades after her first grand appearance on the scene, the Nigerian actress, filmmaker, activist and philanthropist has lived several lives in one, wearing each phase confidently.

As the star of the popular early ’90s television series, Checkmate, Boyo’s celebrity predated her success in the direct-to-video film industry that would come to be called Nollywood. In Checkmate, Boyo, who played an ambitious and resourceful young heiress, was on primetime national television every week, at a time when television was the central medium for distributing entertainment content.

“Her onscreen career predates Nollywood,” Rejoice Abutsa, a film and media studies scholar at Cornell University, tells Al Jazeera. “It is a career that has survived the gendered, industrial and technological shifts that have transformed Nollywood. In making the transition from acting to producing, Boyo went beyond performing in roles that were already determined for her, staking her capital in the field and ensuring that she too could determine the type of stories that were told and how they were told. “

Nollywood’s growth has favoured quantity and speed in filmmaking, but with her three-decade career, Boyo, now 55, has favoured slower production. As a producer, Boyo has assumed a leadership role that her peers have said often points new directions to where the industry should be headed. Her films, ranging from 1996’s family drama, Violated, to 2019’s, The Ghost and the House of Truth, have been industry leaders, winning multiple awards.

This commitment to artistic excellence has not always translated to popularity but as Boyo tells Al Jazeera, she wouldn’t have it any other way, “I normally start with the story. The script has to get me excited not because everyone else is doing it but because I am interested in it. I ensure that the script is where I need it to be and start to visualize who I want from crew to cast.”

This pre-production process can often last for years, during which Boyo’s peers might have churned out multiple titles in quick succession.

Boyo, 55, was for an entire generation of Nigerian millennials, their first encounter with onscreen celebrity [Courtesy of Ego Boyo/Twitter]

But Boyo remains committed to a detailed development process,

“The criticism I get is that we take too much time, but I like that process because then when I make the film, it is something I have thought through,” she tells Al Jazeera. “I would have assembled a team that is committed to the project, and we know exactly what we want to achieve. I know people have other processes, but this has worked for me. If I can get it to a place that is as close to perfect as I can then that is very satisfying for me.”

Her work has the accolades to back her up.

The Ghost and the House of Truth, a contemplative drama about forgiveness and redemption won awards for director Akin Omotoso and leading lady Kate Henshaw and was named best world film at the Urbanworld film festival in New York City where it premiered.

Even her her first outing as a solo producer – the little-seen, 30 Days, about a crew of skilled female assassins – punished boundaries. The film had an oral sex scene considered risque for its 2007 arrival time.

The 2002 romantic comedy Keeping Faith essentially changed the way Nollywood approached romance and helped launch an aspirational romantic comedy sub-industry. Boyo also championed innovative publicity campaigns for some of these films, hosting themed, glamorous big-screen premieres even when the industry had no theatres to support the films.

In 2017, after plans to adapt Sefi Atta’s radio play, The Engagement, fell through, Boyo refocused and made A Hotel Called Memory, an experimental film with zero dialogue and very few box office prospects.

Mildred Okwo, a childhood friend who directed, 30 Days, and has cast Boyo in two films considered Boyo’s legacy, “Ego has shaped Nollywood considerably even though the industry never really stops to figure out the people that have shaped it. Many years from now someone who is objective will do a survey and they will find Ego’s films will be among the very important ones. Each one of her films has moved the industry forward in significant ways. If you track the progression, you can see someone trying to get better.”

Shuaibu Husseini, an industry veteran and jury member of the Africa Film Academy Awards agrees.

“She is one person who invests in production values and ensures every aspect is taken care of,” he says. “She breaks out of the usual Nollywood model of quick, microwave filmmaking and takes her time to make films that are critically acclaimed. We still reference, Violated, and, A Hotel Called Memory, today for their quality and substance. “

US Senator Bob Menendez indicted on bribery charges


US prosecutors unveiled an indictment against Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), his wife and three businessmen on Friday, accusing the senator of using his position to aid three businessmen in financial and pending criminal matters, as well as assisting the government of Egypt, in exchange for bribes. Menendez denied the accusations soon after the indictment’s release.

The indictment alleges that the Menendezes received more than $500,000 in cash, $100,000 worth of gold bars, a Mercedes-Benz luxury car and a $23,000 mortgage payment as part of multiple bribery schemes lasting from 2018 through 2022. The bribery schemes allegedly involved co-defendants Wael Hana, Fred Daibes and Jose Uribe.

Prosecutors say Menendez’s wife, Nadine Menendez, was offered a “low-to-no-show job” by Egyptian-American businessman Hana while she was dating the senator. The indictment alleges Bob Menendez then met with multiple Egyptian government officials, obtained “non-public” information for the Egyptian government and used his position to facilitate military aid for Egypt.

The indictment also claims that Menendez intervened to protect an Egyptian Halal-certification monopoly owned by Hana, leading the company to make a $23,000 payment towards Nadine Menendez’ mortgage and a $10,000 payment to her limited liability company (LLC).

Prosecutors also accused Senator Menendez of intervening in pending criminal matters on multiple occasions. The indictment alleges Menendez attempted to intervene in the federal prosecution of Fred Daibes by pressuring the New Jersey branch of the US Attorney’s Office and interfering in the selection of New Jersey’s US attorney. The indictment states Daibes gave Menendez cash and gold bars in exchange.

Menendez also allegedly interfered in a state criminal case and an investigation against two of Uribe’s associates by contacting a New Jersey prosecutor, receiving a Mercedes-Benz for his efforts.

All defendants were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. Bob and Nadine Menendez were also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under official color of right.

US Attorney Damian Williams said after releasing the indictment, “My office remains firmly committed to rooting out public corruption, without fear or favor and without any regard to partisan politics, that’s in our DNA.” His office released the indictment two days after NBC News 4 reported that investigators were probing allegations that Menendez received gold bars from Daibes.

Menendez denied the charges, recalling a previous 2015 corruption case against him which resulted in a partial acquittal and dropped charges. Menendez said, “They wrote these charges as they wanted; the facts are not as presented. Prosecutors did that last time and look what a trial demonstrates. People should remember that before accepting the prosecutor’s version.”

Menendez was also charged with various corruption offenses in 2015 for allegedly accepting over $600,00 in bribes from a friend, ophthalmologist Salomon Milligan. However, a jury deadlocked on the charges in November 2017, resulting in a mistral. A federal judge then acquitted Menendez on 7 out of 18 charges facing him in January 2018, and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped the remaining charges days later.

White House To Federal Agencies: Get Ready For A Shutdown


McCarthy has launched a much more ambitious plan to try to pass multiple funding bills once the House returns Tuesday, with only five days to resolve the standoff. Instead, he’s launched a much more ambitious plan to try to start passing multiple funding bills once the House returns Tuesday, with just five days to resolve the standoff.

“We got members working, and hopefully we’ll be able to move forward on Tuesday to pass these bills,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters at the Capitol.

McCarthy signaled his preference for avoiding a closure, but a hard-right flank of his House majority has effectively seized control. “I still believe if you shut down you’re in a weaker position,” he said.

The standoff with House Republicans over government funding puts at risk a range of activities — including pay for the military and law enforcement personnel, food safety and food aid programs, air travel and passport processing — and could wreck havoc with the U.S. economy.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that if federal workers go unpaid it would be Republicans’ fault. She said, “Our message is that this doesn’t need to happen.” The Office of Management and Budget of the Biden Administration has begun to urge federal agencies to update their shutdown plans as the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. The start of this process suggests that federal employees could be informed next week if they’re to be furloughed.

President Joe Biden has been quick to blame the likely shutdown on House Republicans, who are intent on spending cuts beyond those laid out in a June deal that also suspended the legal cap on the government borrowing’s authority until early 2025.

“They’re back at it again, breaking their commitment, threatening more cuts and threatening to shut down government again,” Biden during a recent speech in suburban Maryland.

McCarthy faces immense pressure for severe spending cuts from a handful of hard-right conservatives in his caucus, essentially halting his ability to lead the chamber. The right-wing conservatives are aligned to Donald Trump, the Republican candidate who is expected to take on Biden in 2024. They oppose the budget agreement the speaker made with Biden this year and want to undo it. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Trump has urged the House Republicans on, pushing them to hold the line against federal spending.

Led by Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., the right flank has all but commandeered control of the House debate in a public rebuke to the speaker.

Late Thursday, the hard-right faction pushed McCarthy to consider their idea to shelve plans for a stopgap funding measure, called a continuing resolution, or CR, and instead start bringing up the 12 individual bills needed to fund the government.

The House GOP leadership then announced just that — it would begin processing a package of four bills to fund Defense, Homeland Security, State and Foreign Operations and Agricultural departments, setting up voting for Tuesday when lawmakers return. The conservatives who were holding up the work on certain bills posted on social media that the progress was not McCarthy’s fault. “Pathetic.”

Gaetz and his allies say they want to see the House engage in the hard work of legislating — even if it pushes the country into a shutdown — as they pursue sizable reductions and cuts.

The House Rules Committee was holding a Friday afternoon session to begin preparing those bills, which historically require weeks of floor debate, with hundreds of amendments, but now are slated to be rushed to the floor for next week’s votes. The panel was expected to wrap up its work Saturday.

It’s a capstone to a difficult week for McCarthy who tried, unsuccessfully, to advance a typically popular defense spending bill that was twice defeated in embarrassing floor votes. The speaker seemed to blame the defeat of the bill on fellow lawmakers “who just want to burn the whole place down.”

McCarthy’s top allies, including Rep. Garrett Graves, R-La., insisted Friday they were still working toward both ends — passing annual spending bills and pushing for the most conservative stopgap CR with border security provisions — in time to prevent a shutdown.

Shutdowns happen when Congress and the president fail to complete a set of 12 spending bills, or fail to approve a temporary measure to keep the government operating. Since 1976, there have been 22 funding gaps. Ten of them led to workers being furloughed. Since 1976, there have been 22 funding gaps, with 10 of them leading to workers being furloughed.

The last and longest shutdown on record was for 35 days during Trump’s administration, between 2018 and 2019, as he insisted on funding to build a wall along the U.S. southern border that Democrats and some Republicans refused.

Because some agencies already had approved funding, it was a partial closure. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it cost $3 billion for the U.S. Economy. While $3 billion is a lot of money, it was equal to just 0.02% of U.S. economic activity in 2019.

There could be costs to parts of the economy and difficulties for individuals.

Military and law enforcement officials would go unpaid during the shutdown. The disaster relief fund of the Federal Emergency Management Agency could be depleted, hurting the victims of wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.

Clinical trials on new prescription drugs could be delayed. Ten thousand children could lose access to care through Head Start, while environmental and food safety inspections would get backlogged.

Food aid for Americans through the Women, Infants and Children program could be cut off for nearly 7 million pregnant women, mothers, infants and children.

Brian Gardner, chief Washington strategist at the investment bank Stifel, said that air traffic controllers largely continued to work without pay during the previous shutdown. He said that passport and visa applications will not be processed when the government closes.

Turkey’s president unhappy with ‘LGBT colors’ at UN 


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan complained about the bright-colored decorations at the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York City, saying the “LGBT colors” upset him.

The multi-colored lights were installed to promote the U.N.’s sustainable development goals, which the session was intended to feature.

Erdogan told Turkish media that he wants to bring up the issue with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as Reuters reported. “How many LGBT people are there right now?” asked Erdogan. The Turkish islamist leader’s government recently stepped up its stance against LGBTQ rights. However much right they have on these steps, those against LGBT have as much right as well,” he said.

While the United Nations has made statements in support of the LGBTQ community, there are no explicit displays of pride flags or other displays specifically for the LGBTQ community at the U.N. building in New York.

The development goals are a list of 17 aspirational tasks for world leaders, with a deadline of 2030, including improving hunger, extreme poverty and climate change.

President Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, using the opportunity to focus on the war in Ukraine.

“Russia believes that the world will grow weary and allow it to brutalize Ukraine without consequence,” Biden said. “But I ask you this: If we abandon the core principles of the U.N. Charter to appease an aggressor, can any member state feel confident that they are protected?”

“If we allow Ukraine to be carved up, is the independence of any nation secure?” he said. I respectfully suggest that the answer is no. We must stand up to this naked aggression today to deter other would-be aggressors tomorrow.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also addressed the U.N. this week and called for reform in the body, citing Russia’s deadlock on the Security Council.

“We should recognize that the U.N. finds itself in a deadlock on the matters of aggression. Zelensky stated in a speech to the Security Council that “humanity no longer places its hope in the U.N.”

“Ukrainian soldiers now are doing at the expense of their blood what the U.N. Security Council should do by its voting; they’re stopping Russia and upholding the principles of the U.N.”

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

2023 MLB Hits leaders


(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

: Getty Images (Getty Images)1. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)



Getty Images


Getty Images


1. Ronald Acuna Jr. (207) | Atlanta Braves OF

2. Luis Arraez (201) | Miami Marlins IF

3. Freddie Freeman (199) | Los Angeles Dodgers IF

4. Julio Rodriguez (176) | Seattle Mariners OF

5. Marcus Semien (176) | Texas Rangers IF

7. Nico Hoerner (170) | Chicago Cubs IF010010108. Kansas City Royals IF010010109. Atlanta Braves IF0100101010. This article is based off data from Sportradar. The text was generated by an AI engine, which was then edited and reviewed by the editorial team.01001010Is Florida State or Texas a better national title contender? Are Texas or Florida State the better contenders for a national title?

Washington D.C. is the No. 1 place in the U.S. for taking climate change seriously


A recent J.D. CNBC Make It received an exclusive Power report that ranked 48 US states and DC on the severity of climate change on a scale of 0 to 4, with 0 being “climate changes are not occurring” and 4 being “climate changes are very serious.” This utility intelligence report was based on responses of 70,486 utility clients nationwide from June 2022 through May 2023. Utilities in Alaska and Rhode Island did not qualify for this study.

Washington D.C. ranked as the place in the U.S. that takes climate change most seriously.

David J Ocasio | Moment | Getty Images

Washington D.C. is the No. 1 place in the U.S. for taking climate change seriously

Utility customers in Washington D.C. have the greatest sense of urgency about climate change, with an average score of 3.11– the only region evaluated in the study to score higher than 3.

According to the Department of Energy and Environment, Washington D.C. is approaching climate change from two sides: adaptation and mitigation.

D.C. D.C. also has the Carbon-Free DC plan which is the District’s strategy to become carbon-neutral by 2045. D.C. also has the Carbon-Free DC plan, which is the District’s strategy to become carbon-neutral by 2045.

Top 10 places in the U.S. for taking climate change seriously

Washington, D.C. (score: 3.11)

Vermont (score: 2.91)

Washington (score: 2.80)

  1. Hawaii (score: 2.79)
  2. California (score: 2.77)
  3. Oregon (score: 2.76)
  4. Connecticut and Massachusetts (score: 2.71)
  5. (tie)
  6. Colorado (score: 2.70)
  7. Maine (score: 2.69)Delaware (score: 2.68)
  8. Vermont ranked as the second state that takes climate change the most seriously in the U.S., according to J.D. Power.
  9. Backyardproduction | Istock | Getty Images
  10. Vermont ranked second on the list with a score of 2.91.

The state had long been considered a climate haven. According to a ProPublica report in 2020, Lamoille County in Vermont was identified as the U.S. county that would be best protected against the combined effects climate change. Vermont must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26% lower than 2005 levels by 2025, according to the Global Warming Solutions Act. Emissions would need to be 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below by 2050.

Washington is the No. According to J.D. Power, Washington is the No. Power.

Feng Wei Photography | Moment | Getty Images

Washington state rounds out the top three of J.D. Power’s report.

The Northwest State is already experiencing rising temperatures, melting snow and ice, and rising sea level. According to the USDA, glaciers are expected to disappear from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington by 2070 completely.

In 2021, the state experienced major flooding. Seattle, a major city in the state, recorded its wettest autumn ever, with over 12 inches of rain.

Washington has implemented several response strategies to continue addressing the ongoing threat of climate change, including improving its water management by considering the future water supply and addressing competing water demands.

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Home security guide: what to do before you go on holiday


We’ve compiled a list of security measures you should take to protect your property from theft and break-ins while abroad. Check out our blog for more tips on home security. Or, if you’re ready to start burglar-proofing your home, speak to a skilled tradesperson in your local area today.

Install a security system

It goes without saying that installing alarms and a security system is the best way to be fully armed against potential intruders. Alarm boxes will deter burglars from breaking in while you are away and notify you and police if anyone does. Check out our burglar alarm blog for more information.

Don’t have a burglar alarm? Get one installed before you head on holiday, so you can have peace of mind that your belongings are safe.


Don’t advertise your holiday

Avoid posting on social media that you’re on holiday until you get back, as sharing that you’re away can tip off potential burglars that your home is empty. In particular, avoid sharing details about:

Travel plans

Where you’re going

The duration of your holiday

  • Criminals use social media to search for prime targets to burgle. If you do want to post online, do so privately with close friends and family, or after you get back.
  • Doing so will safeguard your home and ensure you spend your holiday worry-free.
  • Secure all entry points

Just before you leave for your holiday, make sure all of your doors and windows are locked. Consider upgrading your old doors to deadbolts. If you have sliding doors, add bars or dowels to strengthen them and stop them being forced open. Consider adding a padlock on a manual garage or a smart garage opener you can operate from your smartphone. Double checking all entry-points before you leave will give you peace of mind that your home is locked and protected against intruders.

Upgrade your locks today with the help of a local locksmith:


Let your neighbours know

Letting trusted neighbours know that you’re heading on holiday is a really good idea. That way, they can keep an eye on your property or raise the alarm if something doesn’t look right.

If you can, ask them to take any post or parcels that start to collect on your front door step as this can alert intruders that you aren’t home.

In case of an emergency, you should leave contact information with a few neighbours so they can reach you when you’re away.

Switch lights on remotely

Setting timers or controlling your lights remotely is a good way to create the illusion that you’re home even when you’re not. Even if you only switch on the lights twice a week, it will give the impression that your house is occupied. This can deter burglars.

Read more about

using smart technology to protect your home

, or speak to an electrician to set up smart lighting and controls in your home.

Picture of two women talking across a fence


Lock up your valuables

Invest in a safe where you can put your most valuable possessions and documents when you go on holiday. Secure the safe to a floor or wall so it can’t be stolen. This is important in the event that your valuables are stolen. Avoid any disasters from happening and give yourself some peace of mind when abroad by ensuring you prep properly for your departure.Our tradespeople are here to help. Simply request a quote to get started.FIND A LOCAL TRADESPERSON

Connections today: See hints and answers for September 23


Connections is the latest New York Times word game that’s captured the public’s attention. It’s all about finding “common threads” between words. And just like Wordle, Connections resets after midnight and each new set of words gets trickier and trickier–so we’ve served up some hints and tips to get you over the hurdle.

If you just want to be told today’s puzzle, you can jump to the end of this article for September 23’s Connections solution. But if you’d rather solve it yourself, keep reading for some clues, tips, and strategies to assist you.

What is Connections?

The NYT‘s latest daily word game has become a social media hit. The Times credits associate puzzle editor Wyna Liu with helping to create the new word game and bringing it to the publications’ Games section. Connections can be played on both web browsers and mobile devices and require players to group four words that share something in common.

Each puzzle features 16 words and each grouping of words is split into four categories. The sets can include anything, from software to country names, or even book titles. There is only one answer, even though it may seem that multiple words fit together. The words that a player has correctly guessed in a group are then removed from the board. Players can also rearrange the board and shuffle it to make spotting the connections easier. Each group is also color-coded, with yellow being the easiest followed by green and blue. Like

Wordle, you can share the results with your friends on social media.Here’s a hint for today’s

Connections categoriesWant a hit about the categories without being told the categories? Then give these a try:

Here are today’s

Connections categoriesNeed a little extra help? Today’s connections fall into the following categories:


  • RobustGreen:

  • DeclineBlue:

  • Water SourcesPurple:

  • Women SingersSEE ALSO:

Wordle today – Here are the answers and hints for 19 September
Ready for the answers to Connections

#104? This is your last chance to turn back and solve today’s puzzle before we reveal the solutions.

Drumroll, please!

The solution to Connections #104 is…

What is the answer to Connections today


  • Decline: DIP, DROP, FALL, SINK

  • Water Sources: FOUNTAIN, SPRING, TAP, WELL

  • Women Singers: KEYS, NICKS, SUMMER, SWIFT

Don’t feel down if you didn’t manage to guess it this time. There will be new Connections for you to stretch your brain with tomorrow, and we’ll be back again to guide you with more helpful hints.

The biggest downside to 529 plans is about to go away. Now they’re a ‘no-brainer,’ expert says


To be sure, 529 college savings plans already had a lot going for them.

Now, thanks to “Secure 2.0,” a slew of measures affecting retirement savers, they’re about to be even more attractive.

Starting in 2024, savers can roll unused money from 529 plans over to Roth individual retirement accounts free of income tax or tax penalties. Rollovers are subject to the annual Roth IRA contribution limit, and there is a $35,000 lifetime cap on 529-to-Roth transfers. Rollovers are subject to the annual Roth IRA contribution limit, and there’s a $35,000 lifetime cap on 529-to-Roth transfers.

“It becomes a no-brainer at this point,” said Marshall Nelson, wealth advisor at Crewe Advisors in Salt Lake City.

The benefits of a 529 plan

These plans have been steadily gaining steam for a number of reasons.

In some states, you can get a tax deduction or credit for contributions. Earnings grow on a tax-advantaged basis and, when you withdraw the money, it is tax-free if the funds are used for qualified education expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and room and board, or even apprenticeship programs.

A few states also offer additional benefits, such as scholarships or matching grants, to their residents if they invest in their home state’s 529 plan.

More from Life Changes:

Here’s a look at other stories offering a financial angle on important lifetime milestones.

Further, you can now put some of the funds toward your student loan tab: up to $10,000 for each plan beneficiary, as well as another $10,000 for each of the beneficiary’s siblings.

And yet, total investments in 529s fell to $411 billion in 2022, down nearly 15% from $480 billion the year before, according to data from College Savings Plans Network, a network of state-administered college savings programs.

“Last year, we saw a pretty noticeable reduction in contribution behavior,” said Chris Lynch, president of tuition financing at TIAA. Regular contributions to a 529 college savings plan took a back seat to paying more pressing bills or daily expenses.

We’re going to see a spike in 529 usage.

Marshall Nelson

wealth advisor at Crewe Advisors

Plus, there was a major sticking point: Many would-be college students are rethinking their plans altogether. Some students are choosing to opt out of college or consider a less expensive public school in their state or community colleges. “A potential participant’s main objection is that they are concerned about what will happen if their child gets a scholarship, or decides not to go to college. If your student wins a scholarship, you can typically withdraw up to the amount of the scholarship penalty-free. If your student wins a scholarship, you can typically withdraw up to the amount of the scholarship penalty-free.

The added benefit of being able convert any leftover funds into a Roth IRA tax-free after 15 years, up to a limit of $35,000, “helps to eliminate that point of resistance,” he said.

“We’re going to see a spike in 529 usage,” Nelson predicted.

Even if someone in their mid-20s put $35,000 in a Roth IRA and just left it alone, that could be close to $1 million 40 years down the road, he said.

“It’s something I see catching on,” Nelson added. Nelson predicted that 529 usage would increase. “

Sen. Menendez defiant after second corruption indictment: 'Prosecutors did that the last time'


Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., walks through the Senate subway on his way to a vote in the Capitol, in Washington, D.C., May 4, 2023.

Bill Clark | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Sen. Robert Menendez on Friday vowed to remain in the Senate while he fights federal charges of bribery and extortion announced earlier in the day. C But any committee chair “who is charged with a felony shall immediately step aside” under Democratic caucus rules.

Menendez planned to relinquish his committee chairmanship while he was being prosecuted, NBC News reported, but not his seat in Congress.

“I remain focused on continuing this important work and will not be distracted by baseless allegations,” Menendez said in a statement.

CNBC Politics

Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

The senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, were indicted Friday on three criminal counts each after a multiyear federal investigation.

The couple is accused of having “accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes in exchange for Senator Menendez using his power and influence to protect and to enrich” three New Jersey business associates, according to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams of the Southern District of New York, who brought the charges.

“Those bribes included cash, gold, payments toward a home mortgage, compensation for a low-or-no-show job

, a luxury vehicle, and other things of value,” the federal indictment alleges.[for Nadine]Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a press conference after announcing that U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was indicted on corruption charges charges at the SDNY office on September 22, 2023 in New York City. 01 The In that case, the argument worked to the senator’s benefit.

Menendez was charged with 14 counts alongside co-defendant Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist whom prosecutors accused of having bribed Menendez with lavish gifts in exchange for using his Senate powers to advance Melgen’s business interests.

But the jury in the case was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, and the judge declared a mistrial in 2017.

On Friday, Menendez said prosecutors were running the same failed play a second time.

“The facts are not as presented” in the indictment, he said. ” “

Yet in spite of damning photos released by prosecutors Friday of gold bars and stacks of $100 bills found in Menendez’s home, the convictions of New Jersey’s senior senator and his co-defendants are far from assured.

Over the past two decades, several high profile cases have raised the bar for evidence in political corruption cases against elected officials.

One of them was Former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R), who was charged with bribery in 2008 for accepting home renovations from an oil executive. After Stevens died in a 2010 plane crash, a formal report uncovered serious misconduct by prosecutors and investigators.

At the heart of these cases is a shift in how the law distinguishes between what is a corrupt favor by an elected official and what is a legitimate “official act. “

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was convicted of corruption in 2014, only to have his conviction overturned two years later by the Supreme Court.

In a unanimous ruling, the high court found that prosecutors had applied what justices called “a boundless” definition of what constitutes an official act.

“Setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an ‘official act,'” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts, the author of the 2016 opinion.

Following the McDonnell ruling, another former elected official found guilty of corruption, former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., appealed his conviction from behind bars.

At the time, Jefferson was six years into his 13-year sentence. After

ProPublica: Clarence Thomas secretly attended donor events for libertarian political organization


ProPublica published a report Friday that revealed details about US Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas’s attendance at the Koch Network annual winter donor summit held in California in 2018. The report says that Thomas was at an event attended by Koch donors who, “

typically, have to give at lease $100,000 per year.” The report states that those who donate millions of dollars receive special treatment including dinners with Charles Koch, and other high-profile guests. Thomas arrived in a private plane, which was not included in his annual financial statement. The report states that a Koch representative said the network didn’t pay for the flight. There are also civil and criminal sanctions for falsifying or not filing a report. Canon 4 of Code of Conduct for US judges advises federal judge not to engage in “extrajudicial activity that detracts from the dignity of a judge’s office or interferes with the performance of a judge’s duties, which may reflect negatively on the judge’s impartiality and lead to frequent disqualification.” However, the code isn’t mandatory for US Supreme Court Justices. That said, it is customary for them to adhere to it in practice.

Libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch founded the Koch network together. The report states that the network is a “overlapping set of nonprofits that have lobbied libertarian policy.” Libertarians generally believe “that most (if not all) of the claims to special authority made by the various governments around the world are unjustifiable.”

This is not the first controversy surrounding Thomas. In August, ProPublica

released another report revealing details about Thomas’ history of accepting lavish gifts while serving as a US Supreme Court justice. Congress, in response to the controversies surrounding Thomas’ past of accepting lavish gifts while serving as a US Supreme Court justice, has introduced a bill proposing ethics reforms for US Supreme Court.

Passport delays are still long: Apply at least 6 months ahead of travel, says State Department


Fatcamera | E+ | Getty Images

Passport applications are at an all-time high

More Americans planned trips abroad this year as their pandemic-era health fears waned and countries largely reopened their borders to visitors.

The State Department issued a record 22 million passports in fiscal 2022. It’s on track to break that record again in fiscal 2023, which ends Sept. 30, a spokesperson said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified to Congress in March that the volume of passport applications has been “unprecedented.” Applications typically ebb and flow with the seasons, peaking from March to late summer, but “basically it’s full time now,” Blinken said.

The State Department also had to restaff positions that were reassigned or eliminated when passport demand cratered in 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

How to get your passport faster

Thomas Barwick | Digitalvision | Getty Images

The State Department’s six-month recommendation takes into account longer processing times, as well as padding for things such as mailing on both ends of the process.

Americans should review current processing times before making any definite or nonrefundable travel plans, a State Department spokesperson said.

A routine passport application currently takes 10 to 13 weeks to process, according to the State Department. A passport book costs $130. First-time applicants must pay an additional $35 acceptance fee.

Travelers can pay more for faster service. Extra $60 is charged for expedited passport processing. The State Department stated that expedited passports took seven to nine week to process. Before the pandemic it was two to three weeks. Routine passport processing took six to eight weeks. It hopes to return to that cadence by year’s end.

The time estimates for expedited and routine passports haven’t changed since March 24.

Processing estimates don’t include mailing times. That may take an additional month — up to two weeks for applications to arrive at a passport agency or center, and another two weeks to receive a printed passport.

Travelers can buy expedited delivery of a new passport book by mail — for delivery in one to two days — for an extra $19.53.

They can also send an application more quickly by purchasing Priority Mail Express service from the United States Postal Service. The price varies depending on the area of the country, according to the State Department.

In some circumstances, travelers may be able to speed up the process further.

Life-or-Death Emergency Service is available for people with a qualified emergency who are traveling abroad in the next three business days. Urgent Travel Service is for those traveling abroad within 14 calendar days for those who haven’t yet applied for a passport, or five days for those who have already applied.

Whether you’ve opted for routine processing or some form of expedited help, you can check your application status online and sign up for email updates.

A soon-to-expire passport may still cost you

Jose A. Bernat Bacete | Moment | Getty Images

U.S. Passports in the U.S. are valid for a minimum of 10 years. Some countries will not allow entry if a passport expires just a few months after the end of a trip. Many countries in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa require a minimum of six months validity. Hong Kong and Macau require a month. You may also need to apply for a separate visa in order to enter certain nations, a process that requires additional time and planning.

UN Meets on Effective Responses to Loss and Damage Ahead of COP28


Credit Credit: UNHCR/Ahmed Al Houdiri T

by Joyce Chimbi (
  • nairobi)Friday, September 22, 2023
  • NAIROBI, Sep 22 (IPS) – African countries are increasingly in the eye of deadly climate-induced disasters. According The The We It It is an unjust and unsustainable predicament with those least responsible for climate change are shouldering the burdens and costs of loss and damage.”

Stressing that the global community must come together, redouble its efforts in rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement and significantly enhancing adaptation resilience in the face of these inevitable changes. The At No Keeping the promise of the 2030 agenda and also of the Paris Agreement,” Mohammed emphasised.

The special meeting on loss and damage supported efforts by the Transitional Committee in line with the mandate that was given to them by the parties of the Paris Agreement. The Mohammed S It means the hope of reparations for the billions of people whose livelihoods are lost and the responsibility of decision-makers to fix the pathway of a monetary and financial system that helps our world to expand its growth but fails to account for planetary boundaries on how we should direct growth.”

Gonzalez spoke of the need for transformative change – recognising the climate and ecological debt to the people and ecosystem. To rebuild and regenerate the lost livelihoods – international financial institutions have a moral imperative to be part of the transition and transformation of our global financial system.

“Central banks must include the risk of financial inaction in the risk assessments of its monetary policy, report accordingly, and the right incentives put in place. Climate They He About Human mortality from extreme events was 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regions.”

“Millions of people are grappling with acute food insecurity, concentrated in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, least developed countries and small islands. Near Related The scientific evidence is undeniable – urgent, comprehensive and transformative action is imperative to respond to the escalating levels of loss and damage.

IPS UN Bureau Report

Follow IPS News UN Bureau on Instagram

(c) Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights Reserved

Original source: Inter Press Service

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UN Meets on Effective Responses to Loss and Damage Ahead of COP28

Friday, September 22, 2023

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Friday, September 22, 2023World News in Brief: Healthcare crisis in DRC, Turk slams Iran hijab law, welcomes new India bill boosting women

Thomas attended fundraisers for conservative political group, ProPublica report says


Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, poses for a portrait in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building last year.

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Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, poses for a portrait in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court Building last year.

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New conflict of interest allegations have surfaced about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

In a lengthy article published on Friday, ProPublica reports that Thomas over the years has maintained a close relationship with the Koch network, one of the largest and most influential political organizations in the country, and that the justice, on at least two occasions, spoke at fundraising events for the conservative organization.

According to ProPublica, Thomas has at least twice been brought in to speak at private dinners for large donors to the Koch network. ProPublica described Thomas’s position as being “extraordinary” because he had served in a “fundraising draw” for the network, which has brought many cases to the Supreme Court. This year, the network has backed a challenge against a Supreme Court regulatory precedent that dates back to 1977.

Thomas has not recused himself from the case in 2021, and there is no indication that he will do so from the case this term, which is a challenge to the nearly 40-year old Supreme Court precedent

Chevron V. Natural Resources Defense Council


where the justices unanimously ruled that courts should give deference to the interpretation of ambiguous laws by federal agencies as long as the interpretation is “reasonable.” The latest report from ProPublica is part of a series on Thomas that highlights conflict-of interest allegations, including undisclosed gifts and luxury travel paid for by a GOP megadonor.

How Fox News Could Change Now That Rupert Murdoch Is Stepping Aside


He The Rupert, in the meantime, will continue to serve as chairman emeritus.

“Our companies are in robust health, as am I,” he wrote in an internal memo to employees. ” Fox Meanwhile, Fox itself has been the target of lawsuits over its coverage of the 2020 presidential election.

Murdoch said he expects to remain involved in the daily “contest of ideas,” and to continue to weigh in on what’s put out.

“I will be watching our broadcasts with a critical eye, reading our newspapers and websites and books with much interest, and reaching out to you with thoughts, ideas, and advice,” Murdoch told employees.

Why Now?

Murdoch’s decision to make a formal announcement about his transition to his new role as the 2024 election cycle kicks off has raised questions. La And even now, Rupert has taken pains to convey that he has no plans to fade into the background.

Politico senior media writer Jack Shafer, in a piece titled “The Rupert Murdoch Retirement Myth,” makes the case for why we should ignore Thursday’s announcement.

“The idea that Murdoch would give up power before he dies defies everything we’ve learned about him,” Shafer writes. “The idea that he would give up power even


he dies is equally preposterous.”

But it’s also true that Murdoch hasn’t appeared to be as actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the company for the past two or three years.

Gabriel Sherman, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, told Brian Stelter for the magazine’s “Inside the Hive” podcast that “Rupert has been effectively semi-retired for years,” and that he rarely sets foot in the office.

If anything, this week’s announcement solidifies Lachlan’s position at the top of the two companies.“My father firmly believed in freedom, and Lachlan is absolutely committed to the cause,” the elder Murdoch wrote in his note to staff.Shafer, too, sees this as the most plausible explanation for the move.

“The only way the announcement makes sense is if he’s designed it to boost the status of his chosen heir … so he can motor it further down the path Rupert charted,” Shafer wrote.

Who Is Lachlan?

Lachlan Murdoch, 52, is a London-born Princeton graduate now based in Sydney. He’s thought to be more right-wing than Rupert, which would dispel any wishful thinking that Rupert’s stepping aside will fundamentally change the character or trajectory of Fox.

Chris Mitchell, a former editor-in-chief of the newspaper The Australian, wrote in his autobiography “Making Headlines” that “Lachlan’s conservatism is more vigorous than that of any Australian politician” and is “usually to the right of his father’s views.”

At the same time, it’s quite possible that Lachlan won’t remain at the helm forever.

What If Rupert Murdoch Passes Away?

If Rupert dies, his voting shares at both Fox Corp. and News Corp. will be transferred to his four oldest children, who don’t all share their father’s conservative ideology.

James Murdoch, for instance, famously resigned from the board of Fox Corp. in July 2020, citing “disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.”

James and his wife, Kathryn, both supported Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election and donated $100 million to political groups, including some that champion Democratic-related causes, through their foundation during that election cycle.

Tech journalist Kara Swisher, who once worked for the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal, predicted that the companies will likely be sold once Rupert dies, and that the rest of his children will be unlikely to throw their support behind Lachlan.

Swisher also speculated that billionaire Elon Musk could emerge as a buyer.

Prediction: It will be a short reign of the crown prince — after the old man goes, the other siblings will have the con and it will all be sold off (Elon? Right https://t.co/Nkvlp2vvjS

— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher)

Fox’s Challenges Are Here To Stay

Fox’s decision to go along with former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election has already cost the network millions of dollars.

Earlier this year, the network struck a last-minute $787.5 settlement with Dominion Voting Systems, a voting technology company, on the day they were about to go to court. Dominion had sued Fox News for defamation over its spreading of baseless claims that the company helped Biden steal the presidency.

Some have speculated that Rupert may be stepping down in part to avoid testifying in that case.

The company also faces the risk of losing the broadcasting licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission for its local broadcast network affiliates, as HuffPost’s Paul Blumenthal has reported.

These challenges, coupled with the ongoing decline of the cable television model, point to a rocky future for the network.

Rupert’s Legacy At Fox

Rupert Murdoch’s decision to task Roger Ailes with creating a cable TV network, which launched in 1996 modeled after talk radio and hosts like Rush Limbaugh, changed America forever.

“While CNN brought its viewers international coverage and took the


part of its name very seriously, Fox News avidly pursued the culture wars and reshaped American political discourse in its own image,” Slate’s Justin Peters writes.

Peters argues that Lachlan’s ascent won’t change Fox, because “he is, after all, his father’s son.”

Sherman also reflected on what Rupert Murdoch’s reign at the top of his media empire has meant for him on a personal level.

“Everything he touched ended up being destroyed,” Sherman told “Inside the Hive.” “He got the power that he wanted, but at the cost of, you know, both his family and the world at large.”

Canada sanctions Haiti businessmen amid escalating humanitarian crisis


These measures are meant to send a message to those who have been accused of corruption and whose actions have further exacerbated the turmoil in Haiti. The measures are meant to send a message to those who have been accused of corruption and causing further turmoil in Haiti. Acra, a well-known entrepreneur who served as a former advisor to Laurent Lamothe, is the target of these latest sanctions. Braun is a vice president of the board of directors at Unibank, Haiti’s largest bank. Vorbe serves as the CEO of Sogener, a prominent company operating in the energy sector.

Canada alleges that the men are “

fuelling the violence and instability in Haiti through corruption and other criminal acts and by enabling the illegal activities of armed gangs .”

Under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, these individuals will be declared inadmissible to Canada, barring their entry into the country. They will also be banned from doing business or engaging in financial transactions with Canadian entities. The sanction was imposed in response to the worsening humanitarian situation in Haiti. This is marked by an increase in violent crimes, such as kidnappings, murders, and sexual assaults committed by criminal gangs in the capital Port-au-Prince. Human Rights Watch claimed that the Haitian government had failed to protect citizens from the violence. They also alleged collusion between these criminal groups and influential economic figures and members of police. According to UN quarterly report on human rights situation, armed gangs in Haiti have assumed control over critical resources such as water, food, healthcare and fuel, while kidnappings have become rampant.Research notes that while the crisis has inflicted severe hardships on the Haitian population, some segments, including the financial sector, the oil industry, and the energy and communication sector, appear to have profited substantially from the chaotic economic environment. According to the research, the financial sector manipulates the dollar exchange rate and prices of products on the Haitian market. According to the research, these business circles are interested in maintaining and creating a “mafia like environment” that is conducive to a corrupted economy.

Social Security benefits may be cut by at least 20% in the next decade. Here's how Congress may fix that


Ascentxmedia | Istock | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans look forward to claiming Social Security retirement benefits after years of paying into the program.

But Social Security beneficiaries face the possibility of an across-the board benefit cut of at least 20% in the next decade, due to a looming funding shortfall the program faces.

That can be changed if Congress decides to act before the projected 2034 depletion date for the program’s combined funds.

“You cut that 20%, that’s a crisis,” said Tony Vola, 76, a Social Security beneficiary and member of the AARP Iowa Executive Council. Vola spoke on Thursday during a Social Security forum in Washington, D.C., held by AARP, a nonprofit group representing people ages 50 and up.

“We’ve done our part; it’s time for Congress to do their part,” Vola said.

More from Personal Finance:
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Believing these 5 Social Security myths may reduce your benefits

Social Security faces a shortfall between the income it receives through payroll taxes and the benefits it pays through monthly checks. The program’s trust funds help make up the difference.

But in the next decade those trust funds will dry up, projections show. Without that buffer, benefits would be immediately reduced.

Reform is unlikely before the presidential election

The headlines about the program’s funding woes may prompt Americans to suspect Congress is doing nothing to change the program’s situation.

Two top lawmakers who are working on Social Security reform proposals who spoke at AARP’s forum — Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Democratic Rep. John Larson of Connecticut — attributed the lack of action in part to stumbling blocks their proposals have met.

“It will not happen before the next presidential election, because President Biden has made it clear that he’s not going to act,” said Cassidy, who spoke first at the forum.

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana speaks to the press on Capitol Hill on Feb. 10, 2021.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

During his State of the Union address in February, Biden called for unanimity from both sides of the aisle to protect Social Security and Medicare.

But while Biden called out a proposal from Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott that would sunset the program every five years, the president failed to mention a separate bipartisan plan he had been briefed on, said Cassidy, one of the lawmakers involved in that effort.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, Larson has put forward a bill, Social Security 2100, in four sessions of Congress to make benefits more generous. The increase in benefits would be funded by raising Social Security payroll taxes and adding an additional net income tax Yet is has yet to make it to the House floor for a vote.

Recent hopes to advance the bill failed after Democrats worried Republicans would say they’re behind a massive tax increase, Larson said Thursday.

“People got nervous,” Larson said. The bill was supposed to be voted on in the Ways and Means Committee, but it “

How Social Security reform proposals would work

The two lawmakers’ proposals take different approaches to achieving long-term solvency to the program.

Cassidy wants to create a new Social Security fund by raising $1.5 trillion that would be invested in the stock market. The new fund will help Social Security keep up with inflation. It may be 6% to 7% We invest in the economy instead of Treasuries that are losing value daily. Cassidy stated that the fund would eventually cover 70% of Social Security’s shortfall as it The remaining 30% would have to be resolved through bipartisan compromise.

Any changes to Social Security would require 60 votes in the Senate, and therefore would have to have agreement on from both parties.

Ultimately, that kind of compromise cannot happen without leadership from the top, according to Cassidy.

“We need a president to come up with the final language,” Cassidy said.

Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) speaks at an event to introduce the Social Security 2 which would increase increase benefits and strengthen the fund, on Capitol Hill on Jan. 30, 2019.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Larson, who recently reintroduced his Social Security 2100 proposal, criticized one idea that has been floated to create study commissions to evaluate the program’s issues.

“There’s only two ways to go with this, you are either going to cut benefits or increase revenues,” Larson said. You don’t have to study it. “

Larson’s bill would bring the minimum benefit up, which would lift 5 million people out of poverty, he said.

In addition, it would increase all benefits by 2% across the board, while also making benefits more generous for others including long-term beneficiaries, widows and widowers, and dependent children who are students.

The changes would be the first enhancements to Social Security in 52 years, according to Larson, who said he expects the next Democratic House speaker will make the proposal a priority.

In the meantime, it’s up to voters to put pressure on Congress to act, Larson said.

“Everybody wants to say how much they love Social Security,” Larson said. “You do? Where is your bill? Where’s the bill? “

Without action on Capitol Hill, Social Security beneficiaries are left wondering what could happen if benefits eventually do face a shortfall.

“If you take any cut away from any of us who are currently on Social Security, it will have a major effect on us, not just us, but our families,” said Alfred E. Mason, 83, who is the Louisiana state volunteer president at AARP. Mason started paying into the Social Security program in 1958, when he got his first job.

Credit card losses are rising at the fastest pace since the Great Financial Crisis


Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

Credit card companies are racking up losses at the fastest pace in almost 30 years, outside of the Great Financial Crisis, according to Goldman Sachs.

Credit card losses bottomed in September 2021, and while initial increases were likely reversals from stimulus, they have been rapidly rising since the first quarter of 2022. Since that time, it’s an increasing rate of losses only seen in recent history during the recession of 2008.

It is far from over, the firm predicts.

Losses currently stand at 3.63%, up 1.5 percentage points from the bottom, and Goldman sees them rising another 1.3 percentage points to 4.93%. This comes at a time when Americans owe more than $1 trillion on credit cards, a record high, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“We think delinquencies could continue to underperform seasonality through the middle of next year and don’t see losses peaking until late 2024 / early 2025 for most issuers,” analyst Ryan Nash wrote in a note Friday.

What is unusual is that the losses are accelerating outside of an economic downturn, he pointed out.

Of the past five credit card loss cycles, three were characterized by recessions, he said. The two that occurred when the economy was not in a recession were in the mid ’90s and 2015 to 2019, Nash said. He used history as a guide to determine further losses.

“In our view, this cycle resembles the characteristics of what was experienced in the late 1990s and somewhat similar to the ’15 to ’19 cycle where losses increase following a period of strong loan growth and has seen similar pace of normalization thus far this cycle,” Nash said.

History also shows that losses tend to peak six to eight quarters after loan growth peaks, he said. That implies the credit normalization cycle is only at its halfway point, hence the late 2024, early 2025 prediction, he said.

Nash sees the most downside risk for Capital One Financial, followed by Discover Financial Services.

— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.

The New Toxic Avenger Is Stupid In All the Best Ways


No matter how much you know about

The toxic Avenger or you will be able to predict what is going to happen. The phrase “The Toxic Avenger” says it all. Someone is avenging, and they are toxic. Is it literal? Figurative? What does it matter? This isn’t serious. It’s going to be very, extremely stupid. First FandomsBased on a beyond-offensive, beyond-disgusting, 1984 cult classic of the same name, The Toxic Avenger follows a janitor named Winston (Peter Dinklage) struggling to make ends meet after his wife dies, leaving him with a stepson named Wade (Jacob Tremblay). Winston, a janitor, is diagnosed with terminal illness and his evil employer (Kevin Bacon) refuses to pay for the treatment. Winston fights back, but is fatally injured. The body of Winston is thrown into a vat full of toxic waste. You know what follows. He emerges bigger, stronger but horribly deformed. Nevertheless, he’ll stop at nothing to make his stepson proud of him and maybe rid his town of the evil corporate assholes along the way.Dinklage pre ToxieImage: Legendary

t’s the perfect metaphor for the film: same as the original, but with more complexity.Once Winston becomes the Toxic Avenger, Blair doesn’t shy away from showing what he looks like as the creature (even if the early marketing is doing exactly that). The look is similar to the original–

eyes in different places, weird burns and marks on the skin, but now it’s much more vibrant, colorful, and tactile, y
ou can even see the puss bubbling on his face. This sets the mood for the upcoming action in which Winston uses a super-powered mop, to rip his victims apart like butter with a chainsaw. It’s gross, but also funny because of how unrealistic it gets. It’s very gross, but also very funny because of how unrealistic it gets.The look in Bacon’s eyes says everything.Image

: LegendaryPlus, the action is almost always in service of something. Winston wants Wade to accept Winston for who he really is. It’s over the top and raw. This adoration is a constant throughout the story, and it adds enough warmth to make the story interesting, no matter how ridiculous. Kevin Bacon plays the villainous corporate leader of his dreams with charisma and just a sprinkle of realism to balance things out. Dinklage also gives a memorable, dramatic performance. He transforms Winston from a nervous, afraid man to a confident hero. He comes alive when he’s Toxie but the human heart of him is always in there.

Image: Legendary

The look in Bacon’s eyes says everything.

All the while, T
he Toxic Avenger knows exactly what it is and what it’s doing. It is irreverent, gross and hilarious and uses all the tools it can to do so. The sound design is a good example, with a Greek chorus of jokes that runs throughout. Elijah Wood plays an Igoresque henchman for Bacon’s character. The writing is also very funny, and is not afraid to take a tangent that is completely unrelated, as long as it is humorous. The result is almost exactly what someone hoping to see a film called The toxic Avenger

hopes for, and maybe a little better. You can still enjoy the film for its gooey violence and gross humor if you don’t know its history. You can see how Blair has stripped out all the bad and problematic elements and retained its distinctive, memorable Troma-tone, as well as many callbacks and Easter eggs. If none of this sounds interesting, then you’ll almost certainly dislike everything that the film represents. It was designed that way. Even if that’s the case, the fact that this version features big-name actors who all seem to be having fun along the way might help. The Toxic Avenger was the world premiere of Fantastic Fest 2023. The release date is not known. Check out when to expect the latest Marvel

, Star Wars

Image for article titled The New Toxic Avenger Is Stupid In All the Best Ways

, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the

DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who


Buy your holiday airfare by mid October — it's 'the best time to book,' economist says


‘Prices will start to rise after about Oct.14th’

Travelers are seeing cheaper flights this year. Domestic round-trip tickets for Thanksgiving average $268, a 14% reduction from last year. According to Hopper, Christmas prices are $400 round-trip down 12% compared to last year. There may be deals through the end October but don’t wait if your travel dates are set between school and work. Book as soon as you can, because prices will increase each day as holidays near. “

Flight prices are likely to spike significantly each day in the last three weeks ahead of each holiday, Hopper anticipates.

Secure your flight and confirm your seating

Busakorn Pongparnit | Moment | Getty Images

Weather and air traffic disruptions caused a lot of turmoil for holiday travelers last year. It’s important to plan for the possibility of delays and cancellations, given the high demand for holiday flights.

“Those determined to avoid the summer crowds and heat may be planning to travel during the holidays, driving prices up,” said Ayoola.

Holiday travel numbers are expected to resemble or surpass results from 2019, wrote Phil Dengler, co-founder and head of editorial and marketing of travel site The Vacationer.

Take one of the first flights of the day if possible. You’re two times more likely to be affected by flight delays or cancellations after 8:00 a.m., Berg said.

While nonstop flights are often more expensive, they can help travelers bypass the risk of missing connections due to a flight disruption.

Travelers might also look into travel insurance, and brushing up on your rights if your travel plans are interrupted.

Moreover, if you are not flexible on the specific flight you need to take, “ensure you have a seat on your desired flight,” Berg added.

While picking your seat can come at an additional cost with most airlines, it may serve as a peace of mind for travelers.

We don’t want to know where Brock Purdy keeps that horseshoe hidden


Sell your Brock Purdy rookie card. Sell your Brock Purdy rookie cards

If the Niners were so convinced of Purdy’s impending greatness they would not have waited to pick him at the last round of the draft. It wasn’t a prank they played on the rest the league. This was not a trick. If it’s a rabbit.

The fans of the Niners will tell you they are the only ones who can endure giving up all that money for a QB, Trey Lance. This is because Purdy had foresight and Shanahan was their coach. It is almost certain that a team will be crippled for many years if not even a decade if they give up so many draft picks to a bust. Purdy’s luck on the field is similar to the luck that the Niners had. Do I know that he is doing what he says he will do? Sure don’t. I feel like every throw over five yards screams through the TV to be intercepted. It never happens. It could be because George Kittle, Deebo Sam and their crew are so good that they always get to the pass first and gain an additional seven yards since the first guy doesn’t bring them down. What, five throws of more than 10 yards? Two of those throws were touchdowns? He throws 300 yards, but rarely or never throws a pass further than the distance snot takes to travel on a sneeze.

This isn’t planned. This isn’t a design. It’s not just a design. It was almost the same last year.

Teams are in the wilderness for years trying to find a quarterback that will change their fortunes and their perception. The Niners have landed on him, or should I say had him land on them. The guard left their cell unlocked and they fell into a manhole. They will tell you that it was Escape From Alcatraz. No wonder people are snide about it.

Man of the match

Look at this hero:

He only spills a drop when reaching his friends, and he does that while no one in his row is making it any easier for him to get by. Look at this hero.

Man the match

He spills only a little bit of beer when he reaches his friends. And he does it while no one else in his row makes it easier for him to get through. It appears that he is carrying 12 beers only for two friends, and loading up on beer for the remainder of the match. We can all learn from this dedication.

This is it, right here

And people ask me why I watch wrestling:

Have a good weekend folks.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky @Felsgate.bsky.social

US launches new economic working groups with China in bid to quell tension


US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says working groups mark ‘important step forward’ in relationship with China.

The United States has launched new economic and financial working groups with China, as the two major powers seek to deepen communication amid intensifying competition.

The US Department of Treasury said on Friday that the working groups would come under the direction of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and China’s Vice Premier He Lifeng and would meet “at a regular cadence”.

The two Working Groups will provide ongoing structured channels for frank and substantive discussions on economic and financial policy matters, as well as an exchange of information on macroeconomic and financial developments,” the department said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Yellen visited China in July as part of a push by US President Joe Biden’s administration to stabilise relations with Beijing.

Ties between China and the US have soured in recent years over a range of issues, from trade and the status of Taiwan to China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea and an ongoing American push against growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific.

But senior members of the Biden administration have said they are seeking to manage those tensions and are not looking for confrontation with China.

In a social media post on Friday, Yellen said the new working groups marked “an important step forward in our bilateral relationship” and built on her four-day trip to China two months ago.

“My trip to China aimed to establish a durable channel of communication between the world’s two largest economies, consistent with President Biden’s guidance following his meeting with President Xi in Bali. She https://t.co/Bedf7TChlN

China rejected the accusation, saying the balloon was a civilian airship used for meteorological research that “deviated far from its planned course”.

The episode followed a visit to Taiwan last year by Nancy Pelosi, then the speaker of the US House of Representatives, which made her the most senior American politician to visit the island that Beijing claims as its own territory in more than two decades.

Since the balloon incident, the two sides have restarted high-level contacts, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting Beijing a few weeks before Yellen’s trip.

The Biden administration has, however, continued imposing restrictions on trade with China in areas it considers crucial to national security, including high-end semiconductors.

McDonald's to raise royalty fees for new franchised restaurants for first time in nearly 30 years


A McDonald’s golden arches logo is seen at a franchise restaurant owned by Rippon Family Restaurants.

Paul Weaver | Lightrocket | Getty Images

McDonald’s franchisees who add new restaurants will soon have to pay higher royalty fees.

The fast-food giant is raising those fees from 4% to 5%, starting Jan. 1. It’s the first time in nearly three decades that McDonald’s is hiking its royalty fees.

The change will not affect existing franchisees who are maintaining their current footprint or who buy a franchised location from another operator. It will also not apply to rebuilt existing locations or restaurants transferred between family members.

However, the higher rate will affect new franchisees, buyers of company-owned restaurants, relocated restaurants and other scenarios that involve the franchisor.

“While we created the industry we now lead, we must continue to redefine what success looks like and position ourselves for long-term success to ensure the value of our brand remains as strong as ever,” McDonald’s U.S. President Joe Erlinger said in a message to U.S. franchisees viewed by CNBC.

McDonald’s will also stop calling the payments “service fees,” and instead use the term “royalty fees,” which most franchisors favor.

“We’re not changing services, but we are trying to change the mindset by getting people to see and understand the power of what you buy into when you buy the McDonald’s brand, the McDonald’s system,” Erlinger told CNBC.

Franchisees run about 95% of McDonald’s roughly 13,400 U.S. restaurants. The franchisees pay monthly royalties, rent and other fees, including annual fees for the mobile app. However, backlash will likely come, due to the company’s rocky relationship with its U.S. operators.

McDonald’s and its franchisees have clashed over a number of issues in recent years, including a new assessment system for restaurants and a California bill that will hike wages for fast-food workers by 25% next year.

In the second quarter, McDonald’s franchisees rated their relationship with corporate management at a 1.71 out of 5, in a quarterly survey of several dozen of the chain’s operators conducted by Kalinowski Equity Research. This is the highest score in the survey since the fourth quarter 2021. However, it’s still far from the possible high score of 5.1001010Despite all the turmoil, McDonald’s U.S. businesses are booming. In the most recent quarter of its business, same-store sales in the United States grew by 10.3%. Promotions such as the Grimace Birthday Meal and strong demand for McDonald’s core menu items, such as Big Macs and McNuggets, fueled sales.

Franchisee cash flows rose year over year as a result, McDonald’s CFO Ian Borden said in late July. According to the company, average cash flow for U.S. operators has risen 35% in the past five years.

Six women who could disrupt the 2024 presidential race 


In 2024, six women — two Democrats and four Republicans — will be in a unique position to influence the outcome of the election campaign. Yet the 2024 election campaign cycle also sees six women — two Democrats and four Republicans — uniquely positioned to affect the outcome.

Since fighting for and earning the right to vote in 1920, American women have made tremendous strides in winning state and federal offices. Suffrage movement leaders could never have imagined the power and influence these six women could have on a presidential election just 100 years later.


Vice President Kamala Harris:

Age 59Given President Joe Biden’s advanced age, Harris is widely perceived as a drag on his reelection prospects. She is burdened with an average favorable/unfavorable rating of 37 percent to 55 percent, slightly worse than or tied with the president’s underwater favorable rating, which averages out at 40 percent to 56 percent.

Therefore, as 2024 unfolds, expect the Republican rallying cry of “Vote for Biden, elect Harris” to reach a crescendo. If powerful Democratic forces are able to get rid of the underperforming Biden/Harris ticket there is a high chance that Harris would launch her own presidential campaign. In a crowded and wild primary, vice president Harris has an advantage because she is the incumbent. She would also have the support of the majority female and non-white Democratic base. In the end, expect Harris to remain on the 2024 ticket, either in first or second place.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer :

Age 521Whitmer was re-elected as governor of Michigan in 2022. She is now a major-state governor with a limited term who has emerged as a top presidential candidate for 2028. In 2024, Whitmer will be the media surrogate of the Biden-Harris team, charged with delivering Michigan’s 15 electoral votes. Whitmer will be “the woman to look out for” if the ticket is shaken up. She could become a possible presidential or vice-presidential candidate. Yet even assuming the Biden-Harris ticket is secure, Whitmer is all systems go as a Democratic Party power player and fundraising force for the future.


Rep. Elise Stefanik, 39, is a Trump-loyalist who is known for her no-nonsense, uber-ambitious style. She has said that she speaks to Trump frequently and is positioning herself to be Trump’s vice-presidential nominee.

On Nov. 9, 2022, in what could be considered shameless self-promotion bordering on Trump idolatry — Stefanik preemptively endorsed Trump for president ahead of his official Nov. 15 announcement.Making herself indispensable to the former president, on or off the House floor, Stefanik is often first to the microphones defending, justifying or rationalizing Trump’s behavior, no matter how egregious.

As a Harvard graduate (which Trump loves), Stefanik’s accession to the ticket depends on Trump remaining a force and winning the presidential nomination. The intelligent and politically savvy Congresswoman is not one to be overshadowed by Trump. This fact favors her choice as his running mate. Kristi Noem:

Age 51

Is Noem trying too hard to be Trump’s vice president?

When then-President Trump visited Mount Rushmore on July 3, 2020, Gov. Noem gave him a model of the iconic presidential monument, adding Trump’s face alongside those of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

While elevating Trump’s ego, Noem is not shy about using attention-getting tactics to boost her chances of potentially being named his running mate. Not only did the twice-elected governor endorse Trump with much fanfare during his recent South Dakota visit, but The Hill reported that Noem had she would serve as his running mate “in a heartbeat.”

Recently, Noem raised her national profile by starring in ads promoting job opportunities in South Dakota. Was she auditioning to a single audience for vice president while dressed up as a welder, plumber and electrician? Noem is a risky, untested choice. She has a tendency to draw drama and she could even outshine former President Obama. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene :

Age 491001010Known as MTG in the media, she is the “face” of the House GOP. She is a prominent Trump promoter, defender, and apologist. She keeps Trump’s number in her phone. Depending on one’s perspective, Greene is either a headline-changing MAGA star who raises millions for the party, or an embarrassing national punchline.

MTG might run for higher office or House leadership, as she is seemingly gaining political momentum and power. Trump might choose her to be his running mate. She will compete for his attention, and she may cause trouble by ranting on the campaign trail. If chosen, Democrats will point to MTG as another reason the 77-year-old former president must be defeated.

Former South Carolina Gov. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley

Age 51

Haley, the only candidate for president on this list, is the former South Carolina governor. Three national polls have shown that she has defeated President Biden. Haley’s newfound momentum stems from her outstanding performance in the debate on August 28, which moved her up to third place. Trump still leads his former UN Ambassador with an astonishing poll average of 55% to 59. Haley’s future is uncertain and filled with questions, as it is unlikely that she will be Trump’s running mate. Will Haley continue her truth-to-power about Trump’s failures in the next round GOP debates? Haley could become a Trump-bashing media pundit. Will she support Trump, if he wins the GOP nomination? Haley is currently a wildcard for 2024, but her complex, long-lasting relationship with Trump will be one to watch. They only have one thing in common: a “relationship with Donald Trump”, who either loves them or hates them. Among other things, this keeps them all relevant and influential.

served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008.Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

UN: States should make monetary and other reparations to descendants of enslaved and colonized peoples


The UN report floats a “multipronged approach” to address the legacies of slavery and colonialism, which includes the possibility of providing monetary reparations for descendants of enslaved and colonized peoples. The UN report proposes a “multipronged” approach to address the legacy of slavery and colonialism. This includes the possibility of providing financial reparations to the descendants of those who were enslaved or colonized. The report highlights that despite the fact that slavery is now illegal under international human right law, Africans and those of African descent still face systemic racism. The UN stresses that although there is a trend in states willing to apologize and address the tragedies of the colonial era, “no states had comprehensively accounted for the past and addressed its contemporary legacies and ongoing manifestations.”

The report provides three recommendations that states should adopt to ensure that reparatory justice is embedded in the construction of truly inclusive, equal societies that are free from racism and discrimination.

The first recommendation is to ensure that people of African descent can effectively participate in guiding the design and implementation of reparatory justice measures. The UN believes that effective participation by affected groups can ensure adequate consideration of their needs and lived experiences.

The second is to adopt an intersectional, gender-sensitive and inclusive approach. The report emphasizes the need to address the gender-related aspects of racial injustice, as acknowledged in the Durban Declaration. The intersectionality theory states that social categorizations such as race and gender create their own unique experiences of oppression and discrimination. Thus, the UN recommends that reparation initiatives account not only for different types of discrimination, but also for how those forms of discrimination interact with each other.

Lastly, reparation measures must also comprise different forms, including “compensation, restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.” The report suggests several measures, such as promoting academic research in the truth-seeking and truth-telling process, making public apologies and acknowledgement of the nature, scale, duration and impact of the harm inflicted, commemorating victims, and compensating economically assessable damages proportional to the gravity of harms suffered.

The idea of reparations has often been subject to debates on whether and how governments should make reparations for slavery. Pew Research Centre’s survey reveals that reparations are a hotly debated topic in the US. The responses were polarized by race. The UN praised the proposal in its report, pointing out that it includes a variety of methods to address the history of enslavement and colonialism, including “memorialization” and “structural measures.” The UN favorably cited the proposal in its report, pointing out that it includes varied methods to address the history of enslavement and colonialism that go beyond financial compensation, including “memorialization” and “structural measures.”

Following the release of this report, the UN human rights chief Volker Turk said,

“It is high time reparatory justice is made a priority, to address one of the biggest injustices in human history, and one that continues to negatively impact the daily lives of people of African descent across the globe.

Critics Spot Most ‘Gaslighting’ Line In Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Dishonest’ Letter


Billionaire media baron Rupert Murdoch angered critics with one particular part of his announcement that he was stepping down as Fox Corp and News Corp chair.

In a memo to colleagues on Thursday, Murdoch railed against so-called “elites” who he claimed “have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class.”

“Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth,” he added.

Critics on X, formerly Twitter, accused Murdoch of gaslighting, self-delusion, dishonesty and obliviousness — given his vast wealth and decades-long influence over global politics via his media empire that counts America’s top-rated cable news channel, Fox News.

Germany needs structural change to prevent a shift to the right, Commerzbank CEO says


The sun sets behind the lignite-fired power plant of Boxberg on August 18, 2023 in Neuliebel, Germany.

Florian Gaertner | Photothek | Getty Images

Germany needs to implement structural changes if it wants to prevent a political shift to the right, Commerzbank CEO Manfred Knof told CNBC at the Handelsblatt Banking Summit 2023.

When asked if he was concerned that the rise of right-wing parties in Germany was a potential threat to the German economy, Knof said the population is unhappy and could see that structural problems aren’t being solved.

“For a long time we were pretty much in good shape and maybe asleep and not ready to modernize and tackle the structural necessary changes and modernizations,” Knof said.

“I think … an agenda could also help and that will then be bringing the population back and of course democracy is not self-evident and we need to fight for it and we need to defend it. “

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The right-leaning Alternative for Germany party won a district council election for the first time in June, and many are looking to see how the group performs in upcoming local elections in the state of Bavaria.

Knof also said Germany’s small-to-medium-sized companies, known as the Mittelstand, were reluctant to invest in their own country because of the structural issues in Europe’s largest economy.

“The situation is challenging ahead and that’s what we see also in the German SMEs, they are resilient but we see a lack of willingness to invest and that should concern us going forward,” Knof said.

“We need more activities and … [a] better framework for the German SMEs to invest in this country,” he added.

The comments reflect those made in June by Siegfried Russwurm, head of the German Industry Federation, who suggested that energy prices were driving companies to move elsewhere.

High energy prices could drive German companies to relocate, industry body says

In June CNBC’s Annette Weisbach asked Russwurm whether the ongoing energy situation was “bad enough” for companies to relocate, to which he responded: “It is indeed. “

“A lot of family-owned companies … have very operational plans to relocate,” Russwurm said, adding that the current business conditions in Germany had created a “cocktail” of obstacles for companies.

Germany is the sick man of Europe, Ifo institute says

Hans-Werner Sinn, president emeritus at the Ifo institute, made similar comments about the German population leaning to the right politically, particularly in terms of the government’s approach to sustainability, on Sept. 4, speaking to CNBC from the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy.

“There is a backlash clearly … The population is now moving to the right,” Sinn said.

Germany is attempting to implement its Energy Efficiency Strategy 2050, which includes cutting its primary energy use by 2030, but the move has garnered criticism as Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine drove energy prices up across Europe.

Op-ed: Think you know gray divorce? You have no idea


Getty Images

It was once that when you spoke of marriage and “golden years,” a picture would come to mind. Get married, work hard, buy a house, have children and retire surrounded by family and some grandchildren.

Divorce was a hush-hush topic and a rare occurrence. However, as the world has changed, the definition of marriage, family, and divorce have all morphed.

Millennials and Gen Xers view the experience differently than earlier generations, and divorce is no longer as taboo.

More from Life Changes:

Here’s a look at other stories offering a financial angle on important lifetime milestones.

While every divorcing couple has legal and logistical issues to weigh, for those facing a divorce later in life, commonly referred to as a “gray” divorce, there are even more questions, such as supporting older children, addressing retirement and reestablishing a plan for the future.

With divorce rates among those age 65 and above reaching record highs, here are some questions to ask yourself should you find yourself among their ranks.

What if I’m navigating college expenses?

Gray divorce is often associated with retirees or empty nesters, but with the shift in the definition of family, and the fact that couples are increasingly marrying later in life, many people are building families well into their 40s and 50s.

As a result, older divorcing couples today may have more complex family and financial responsibilities and, as a result, different concerns than their counterparts who married earlier in life.

Hill Street Studios | Blend Images | Getty Images

College education creates different challenges for later-in-life family builders. The cost of college education may be a major factor in determining your divorce settlement. To negotiate these terms, be sure you’re on the same page about what secondary education may include, timelines and expenses.

While lots of parents consider the distance from home, the program of study and how the school will help develop their child, divorcing parents must dive deeper. Can they study abroad? Can they study abroad?

For parents who thought they would retire in their late 50s or early 60s, thoughts about funding education — especially if there are multiple children in the home when divorce occurs — drift to cost, making the target age for retirement later and later.

How can gray divorce affect my retirement?

Divorcing later in life can create financial aftershocks for couples. You may be navigating the complexity of dividing retirement plans, pensions, and other benefits. Pair that with the shift in potential retirement age if you’re funding college education, and your eyes may cross with all you’re processing.

Will I have enough to retire if I stayed home or worked part-time? If you were a stay-at-home parent (or worked non-traditional jobs such as freelancing, consulting or multiple part-time positions), your nest egg might be a concern.

While you are likely to get a portion of your spouse’s retirement account, your own retirement account may be less robust than you planned. If you have been out of full-time employment for some time, you may find that your starting salary is lower than you expected. This, combined with increased budget costs, might limit your ability to grow a retirement account.

Could the economy affect my divorce and retirement?

No matter your marital status, the economy can affect your retirement — but it’s especially a concern for divorcing couples. Inflation and other economic factors can affect the value of your retirement savings as well as the cost of living. In many divorces, the main issue is how to divide assets. Retirement accounts and homes are often amongst the largest assets of a couple. This can be a good thing in booming economies. However, it can also lead to difficult negotiation when economies are unstable. With rising inflation, mortgage rates skyrocketing, and roller-coaster retirement accounts, it can make those divorcing later in life stressed about how they might afford retirement.

What if I started taking early retirement benefits?

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc | Digitalvision | Getty Images

While the government mandate for retirement is age 67, you can start taking early retirement withdrawals at 62. The court may not consider you to be retired if you are 62. You have an even wider gap to overcome. — you have an even wider gap to overcome.

If you or your spouse is enrolled in a pension plan, this can have significant impact when divorcing.

Some plans are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, known as ERISA, and can be protected, while others are not. Also, depending on the type of pension, if it’s in pay status, it can be considered income to you instead of an asset to divide, which can affect claims of alimony or child support.

Receipt of government benefits can be helpful, though. Many spouses are unaware that they can receive Social Security benefits based on their spouse’s employment history and not only their own. Are you part of a blended family or a mixed-race family? Have you got children at home that are of a very different age? These questions may not have been asked in gray divorces from the past, but are common today. If you are the less-monied spouse then accessing immediate cash is a top priority. If you are the wealthy spouse, you may be wondering what percentage of your income you will share with the other spouse and how soon you can recover it. Focusing on the future will help you make good choices. Are you close to retiring? Do you expect to receive an inheritance from family members? What assets can be acquired now to ensure your future security? How does my divorce process look?

In every divorce, time and cost of a trial are major concerns. If you and your soon-to-be ex have an amicable relationship, mediation may be a good option.

Mediation allows parties to talk through issues and create an agreement that meets everyone’s needs. You can also control the costs and timelines of your divorce. They can help you understand the details of your case, plan ahead and avoid any hidden costs.

Twitter/X is killing its Circles feature


All future Twitter/X posts will instead be delivered to your followers and the wider public, whether they are professional announcements about your career achievements or carnal fantasies about your favourite celebrity. Instead, all future Twitter/X posts will be delivered to your followers and the wider public, whether they’re professional announcements about your career achievements or carnal fantasies about your favourite celebrity.

Twitter/X is disabling CirclesYou can still

set your whole Twitter/X profile to private

if you don’t want random people reading and interacting with your posts. There will be no way to filter which followers see which posts.

Cowards, stop using Twitter Circles. Private your account.
It’s not clear what will become of previous Circle posts. The ideal scenario is that they remain private and only accessible to those users who originally shared them. The nightmare scenario is that they suddenly become public, revealing all your thirsty daydreams and snarky asides for the world and your employer to see.Mashable has reached out to Twitter/X for clarification.But if you do have any Twitter/X posts that you don’t want to be public, perhaps consider just deleting them now. Even if Twitter/X promises to keep your posts private, there have been glitches in the past. You might not want your professional and social reputation to be put at risk by this company.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy courts Washington for aid amid some GOP Resistance


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Zelenskyy told senators the stakes couldn’t be higher. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says Zelenskyy told senators the stakes couldn’t be higher.


CHUCK SCHUMER: Mr. Zelenskyy said, if we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war.

SUMMERS: For more on Zelenskyy’s visit, we’re joined now from the White House by NPR senior White House correspondent Tamara Keith. Hey, Tam.


SUMMERS: So Tam, Zelenskyy put the request for support in some very stark terms there. This war has now been dragging on for over 18 months. Is he getting the same kind of reception that he did the last time that he visited Washington?

KEITH: Last time was in December. Zelenskyy was in Washington on a surprise visit, which caused a lot of excitement. He gave an address at a joint meeting of Congress. The two men held a press conference together at the White House. There was still some formality, but this time the Ukrainian president didn’t get the same welcome. Zelenskyy also met with members of the House and senators. He was not invited to speak to the entire House of Representatives where Speaker Kevin McCarthy struggles to control the far-right faction of his Republicans. This time, there was also no White House Press Conference. Supporting Ukraine was easy for Democrats in the beginning, and still is. There’s a small, but vocal group of Republicans who are opposed to sending more money to Ukraine. The polls show that Republican voters are becoming more skeptical of U.S. spending in Ukraine. And that does reflect what polls show about Republican voters and their increasing skepticism of U.S. spending in Ukraine.

SUMMERS: OK. And Tam, what about Zelenskyy’s ask – what does he want, and how likely is he to get it?

KEITH: So Zelenskyy had some specific requests for weapons systems and military equipment. He is also urging Congress to approve $24 billion of emergency assistance requested by the White House in August. This supplemental funding request gets wrapped up in the much larger drama of funding the federal governments for next year. House Republicans are unable to pass any legislation, let alone a Ukraine funding measure, because of internal disagreements. But Republican Michael McCaul, who’s chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed confidence after meeting with Zelenskyy that, once they work through the current political machinations, something will pass.


MICHAEL MCCAUL: They need it, and they’re going to get it. As I mentioned, this is supported by the majority. Putin wants to break the will of Americans and Europeans. That’s what Putin wants ’cause he wants to break the will of the American people and the Europeans.

KEITH: He says Republicans want to see more accountability about how the money is being spent, and they want a plan for victory from the White House – though, I have to say, such a plan is unlikely to come because the president has said many times, this is Ukraine’s war to fight, and they are the ones that have to set the terms for how the war ends.

SUMMERS: As you mentioned, Tam, all of this is wrapped up with the government funding fight going on here in Washington. As for timing, when will Ukraine require the money and weapons Zelenskyy has requested from Washington?

KEITH Today, a new delivery was announced. This money was approved long ago by Congress, before Republicans were in control of the House. This money will run out by the end of the month, at the same time that the government may shut down, if Congress does not act. Let’s assume that Congress approves the $24 billion requested by the White House. That will only last Ukraine through the end of this calendar year, so we could be back around Christmas because Ukraine is going to need more money.

SUMMERS: NPR senior White House correspondent Tamara Keith. Thank you.

KEITH: You’re welcome.

Copyright (c) 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text is not in its final version and could be revised or updated in the future. Accuracy and accessibility may vary. Audio recordings are the definitive record of NPR programming.

Former Bridgewater CEO Dave McCormick could get big money backing for Pennsylvania U.S. Senate run


A month before Dave McCormick’s announcement Thursday for his second run for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania, he was the guest of honor at a party hosted by fashion designer Tory Burch at her massive Hamptons estate, according to several attendees.

McCormick, the former CEO of hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates, was surrounded by a Who’s Who of Wall Street as they celebrated his new book, “Superpower in Peril. “

The more than 100 attendees included former Goldman Sachs executives Lloyd Blankfein, Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, according to people who were there.

Other guests were current Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, and Bob Steel, the vice chairman of investment banking giant Perella Weinberg.

Mnuchin served as Treasury Secretary under former President Donald Trump, while Cohn was one of Trump’s lead economic advisors.

Many of those who attended the party have signaled privately they will likely back McCormick for bid to unseat Sen. Bob Casey, the Democratic incumbent, with campaign donations or fundraising efforts, according to people familiar with their plans.

Other likely backers include Paul Singer, the president of investment giant Elliot Investment Management, and Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman.

A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman declined to comment. Representatives for McCormick, Burch, Mnuchin Cohn, Singer and Schwarzman did not immediately return requests for comment to CNBC.

Steel told CNBC that he plans to support McCormick, as the two have been close for years.

Steel said the event at Burch’s home was a “book party” where no politics was discussed.

But, Steel said, “There certainly is a Venn diagram of people who attended the book party and people who want to help Dave or help Dave again. “

McCormick, who has split his time between Connecticut and Pennsylvania, announced his campaign against Casey on Thursday, according to NBC News.

McCormick plans to make his announcement in Pittsburgh, The Associated Press reported.

Singer and other wealthy donors are planning to huddle for a strategy briefing on Friday backed by the pro-McCormick super PAC, Keystone Renewal, according to an invitee.

McCormick and his wife Dina Powell McCormick, who previously worked at Goldman Sachs, are expected to be on the call, this person explained.

Dave McCormick worked in the Bush administration’s Treasury Department. Dina had stints in the Bush and Trump administrations.

Those who declined to be named in this story did so under the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely about private matters.

If these executives end up pouring money into the race, it would signal how expensive the overall campaign for Casey’s seat will be.

It would also mark the latest election that McCormick is seeing a wave of wealthy donors get in his corner, as many of these business leaders has backed his failed 2022 primary run for the Pennsylvania Senate seat currently held by the Democrat John Fetterman.

The last time McCormick ran for Senate, his chief rival in the Republican primary was TV host Dr. Mehment Oz.

The two ended up spending more than a combined $40 million of their own money on the campaigns, with millions more being raised from other contributors, according to data from OpenSecrets.

Oz ended up beating McCormick in that primary after the veteran TV host received an endorsement from then-President Donald Trump. Oz later lost to Fetterman.

The Oz and Fetterman campaigns raised more than a combined $120 million during the 2022 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.

The spending during the general election fight, after including investments by supportive political action committees, ended up being over $350 million, according to the data.

It was one of the most expensive Senate races during the 2022 cycle.

Political strategists say that a 2024 battle between Casey and McCormick could exceed that tally.

“Casey and McCormick can both bring more resources to the fight than first-time candidates Oz and Fetterman,” Alex Conant, a former political aide to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and a partner at Firehouse Strategies, told CNBC.

“It’s a presidential year, so media will be even more expensive. ” The “

“And given the competitive nature of the 2022 race and importance of this seat to both sides in a presidential year, I would be not at all surprised to see the total matched and exceeded,” Ferry said.

The race already has outside groups positioning themselves to spend big in the McCormick versus Casey race.

The Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC that backs Democrats running for Senate seats, blasted out an email on Thursday before McCormick’s announcement, taking aim at the former Bridgewater CEO’s business record and how he has lived in Connecticut.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party published an online video ripping McCormick with a similar message.

McCormick has reportedly been promised the support of the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC that’s been funded, in part, by Koch Industries, has already endorsed McCormick, a sign that they’re prepared to spend big money to back him over Casey.

McCormick, meanwhile, was spending time at Burch’s historic estate with some of these same wealthy corporate leaders who are likely to help finance a costly campaign.

Burch owns the extravagant Westerly estate in Southampton, on Long Island, New York.

Her residence spans 15,000 square feet and is known to be one of the “biggest houses” in the wealthy Hamptons enclave, according to Architectural Design magazine.

The estate is considered one of the “most important estates on eastern Long Island” and features 25 rooms, including an “enormous ballroom and grand terrace that have set the stage for legendary social events of elite members of Southampton and Palm Beach society,” according to another magazine, leading Estates of the World.

The home also features a “brick carriage house, tennis court, swimming pool, pavilion, and sunken garden adorn the melodious grounds,” the magazine says.

Burch paid approximately $16 million for the estate, according to Newsday.

Buddy Hield is the type of player who could tilt the odds in a contender’s favor


If any NBA trade block resident deserves to be a contender in this season, then it is not James Harden nor Damian Lillard but the newcomer Buddy Hield. At least Dame Time is on the verge of a Conference Finals. Hield’s 548 games without a postseason appearance is the longest drought for any active player by a margin of 200 games. His 548 games played without a postseason appearance is the longest drought for any active player by a margin of 200 games.

However, Shams Charania’s reporting that the Indiana Pacers and Hield have agreed to find him a new home for the upcoming season after contract negotiations stalled should make ears perk up around NBA front offices. Hield is the third wheel on the NBA trade block, behind Harden and Lillard. Hield’s contract is easy to trade because he doesn’t have star power to demand a new team. However, his $19 million salary at the end of a 4-year deal in the final year makes it affordable.

Hield is a swing player with a unique skill set. He’s one of the most accurate long distance archers in the league. This is theoretical, because Hield has never played in the playoffs. Hield was a dominant player in the postseason the last time we saw him. He led Oklahoma to the Final Four. It took him

fewer matches to reach 1,000 3 pointers, than any other player. In December, he drained the quickest triple after tipoff in 40 years of the NBA 3-point line’s existence.Since 2018, no player has made more three-pointers than

Hield’s 1,381 triples. Hield’s 3-pointers tend to be catch-and shoot, but they are more consistent than Klay Thompson. They don’t just call Thompson Game 6 Klay. He, Steph Curry, and Draymond Green have produced championships, and Finals appearances on an assembly line.However, Hield’s eternal playoff virginity has overshadowed his career narrative. He’s stuck with teams that are stuck in quicksand despite having one of the most crucial skills for an NBA offense. Hield reached the pinnacle of his career when he scored 42 points the night after Kobe Bryant had passed, and defeated Devin Booker at the 2020 3-Point Contest.

Interestingly, the closest proximity Playoff A.C. Green has had to postseason play was a trade to the Lakers that fell through because Lakers general manager Rob Pelinkas was under the impression that Russell Westbrook was exactly what the doctor ordered for the NBA’s most near-sighted shooting team needed over one of its purest shooters. If they decide to try again with Hield, the Lakers can make up for their mistake. Hield’s lack of exposure to postseason play is one reason he’s underrated as he enters his pre-agency year. But his addition to an established contender would be enough to slightly tip the balance slightly.

Hield was part of the Kings trade that sent Tyrese Haliburton and Tristan Thomspon to Indiana for Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis’ acquisition, which was widely discredited, turned the Kings into a

revelation for the 2022-23 Season

whereas the Pacers sputtered out at midseason. Malik Monk, a former Kings teammate of De’Aaron Fox, and the Pacers had the second and third longest droughts up until last spring. Indiana’s timing was antithetical to their actions this summer, acquiring Bruce Brown and Obi toppin, as well as extending Myles. In the end, Indiana’s developmental track is not in line with Hield’s 30-year-old timeline. Hield would be a great addition to Harden. Tyrese Maxey could play more on the ball and Hield wouldn’t shoot as many games or series out of hand like Harden did when he activated hero-ball. Seth Curry was just purchased and they need to bulk up their defense. But you can’t have too many off ball shooters when two heliocentric players are on the court. Giannis’ subliminal hint that the Bucks are looking to build a champion has come true. But the addition of Hield will do two things at once: he will spread the floor and make them more dangerous at 2-guard. And he is still young enough to continue doing this at an elite level for the next half-decade. There’s still the remote possibility that a rebuilding franchise pony or a fringe playoff team could use him as a veteran, but Indiana would be cruel to trade Hield away to another team who might be on the bubble for next season. It would also be a bad gamble for any team that acquires Hield. Whatever the winds of trade bring him, the end of his postseason drought will soon be upon us. Follow DJ Dunson on Twitter: @

Protests, counter-protests held across Canada over sexual orientation and gender identity in school curriculums


Arrests were made in Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver and Victoria. Three arrests occurred in

for “public incitement of hatred.” Arrests were made in Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver and Victoria, including three in held for “public incitement of hatred.”Rallies organized by the “1 Million March 4 Children” group took aim at SOGIOttawa-inclusive education policies, which they

the sexualization and indoctrination of our children in schools.” The governments of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have recently implemented policies that require parental permission for students’ formal names to be changed, echoing similar views found in the United States.termedThe Wednesday protests have been roundly criticized as being discriminatory towards LGBTQIA+ people, and for advancing a view of parental rights that prioritizes parents opposed to SOGI-inclusive education policies. Large crowds of counter-protesters formed to meet the “1 Million March” rallies, including a march

by NDP Party leader Jagmeet Singh.Politicians, public figures, and education boards across the country released statements condemning the protests as being hateful and permissive of violence against LGBTQIA+ people. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led on X (formerly Twitter) “

We strongly condemn this hate and its manifestations, and we stand united in support of 2SLGBTQI+ Canadians across the country – you are valid and you are valued.” wroteOttawa mayor Mark Sutcliffe, whose city saw the largest clash of protests in Canada, that “the protests taking place today will only cause harm to youth who are looking for our support and acceptance.”statedMore broadly, the rise in movements opposing SOGI curriculums mirrors a worldwide rise in laws targeting LGBTQIA+ people, notably including “Don’t Say Gay” laws in US states such as Florida and bans on transgender youths in sports. Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBTQIA+ rights group,

declared a state of emergency for LGBTQIA+ people in the US earlier this year, and reported that 32 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals were killed in the US in 2022.While Canada has traditionally been considered one of the safest countries in the world for LGBTQIA+ people, it has not been immune to the growth of anti-LGBTQIA+ policies and sentiments seen south of the border and elsewhere. Statistics Canada reported recently that the anti-LGBTQIA+ crime rate has increased as well, despite Canada’s growing LGBTQIA+ community.

Bolivian Women Fight Prejudice to Be Accepted as Mechanics

Miriam poma is in her electromechanical workshop She had worked in the informal economy and had to overcome many obstacles to become an automotive mechanic CREDIT: Franz Chavez / IPS
  • by Franz Chavez (la paz)
  • Inter Press Service

Automotive mechanics is traditionally associated with masculine men wearing oil-stained coveralls. In La Paz and other Bolivian cities over the years many auto repair shops have upgraded from precarious workshops on the street to modern facilities with high-tech equipment.

Vehicles have also transitioned from human-operated nut-and-gear systems to cars governed by electronics.

But openness to women has not evolved in the same way in the profession, as it is unusual to find female mechanics.

And auto repair shops do not appear in studies on informal employment in Latin America by the International Labor Organization (ILO), although mechanic shops are very much present in the informal sector.

“At the age of five I learned about fractions through tears. Miriam Poma Cabezas is a senior electromechanical techn She is 56 years old and an expert in her field. Castillo says she would go insane if she sat still. She has She is also an expert in rebuilding vintage cars, a specialty for which she has Castillo is an expert in automotive mechanics and has also rebuilt antique cars. CREDIT: Franz Chavez / IPS

With a great deal of effort, Poma managed to set up her own high-level electromechanical repair shop, but before that she had spent years working as an informal self-employed worker, not only in automotive mechanics.

For her part, Castillo complained about the municipal seizure of a piece of land where she wanted to build the mechanic shop of her dreams, together with her husband Mario Cardona. A court ruling granted them the right to use the land and a city council resolution upheld it, but they still have not been given back the land.

A case like so many others

The automotive mechanics sector is just one example of those in which the participation of Bolivian women is particularly difficult, because they are seen as traditionally male professions and there is strong resistance to women breaking into the field, whether out of necessity or a sense of vocation.

The 2018 Annual Report of the UN Women agency, based on figures from the National Institute of Statistics, states that seven out of 10 women in Bolivia are economically active, work in informal conditions and lack labor rights, which makes it difficult to specifically identify how many work as mechanics.

But this high female presence in politics in this South American country of 12.3 million inhabitants does not translate into a boost for women in other areas, particularly business and formal employment.

The president of the Chamber of Businesswomen of Bolivia (Camebol), Silvia Quevedo, told IPS that there is no “state incentive (for women’s participation) in any particular job” and encourages “women themselves to forge their own way, based on the quality of their work. The Chamber of Businesswomen of Bolivia (Camebol) was founded in In La Paz 75 percent of women who are self-employed work in commerce. 15 In the other two largest cities in the country, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, the proportions are similar, according to the report.

Electromechanics specialist Miriam Poma checks on a screen the problems of a high-end vehicle in her specialized workshop in the Bolivian city of El Alto, adjacent to La Paz. CREDIT: Franz Chavez / IPS

Experienced hands

Miriam Poma told IPS that she began to create her own source of employment at the age of 16, on the bustling commercial Huyustus Street in La Paz, where thousands of vendors sell all kinds of merchandise. She sold shoes and handbags.

But soon after, she decided to devote herself full time to repairing Volkswagen vehicles, and ended up as head mechanical assistant to her father, Marcelino Poma, who competed in rally races until he was 70 years old.

Creativity to adapt at a young age to the opportunities of street commerce led Ana Castillo to sell pork sandwiches. She was 14 years old at the time, forced by the responsibility of caring for her two younger brothers after they had all been abandoned by their mother.

“I know how to make everything: sausages, pickles, sauces; I’m not afraid to start from scratch,” Castillo, who helped her two younger brothers earn degrees in business administration and social communication, told IPS enthusiastically.

In the formal economy, “foreign trade has a woman’s face,” said Quevedo, the president of Camebol, based on surveys of the participation of its members in export companies.

Quevedo is an economist with extensive knowledge in agriculture who specializes in exports.

In 2022, international sales of non-traditional products amounted to 9.7 billion dollars, according to the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), in a country with a GDP of 41 billion dollars.

Poma said the customers in her father’s repair shop initially did not trust her to tune their engines, and tried to keep her from working on their vehicles.

Her brother, Julio Poma, would say he had done the work, and only after the client expressed complete satisfaction would he reveal that the work was actually done by his sister.

Recently, Poma tried to pass on her knowledge to men in the field of motor electronics, but no one was interested in a female instructor who was also a racing driver in 2006. In order to attract students, she had to hire a foreign expert.

A study carried out by the Women’s Institute of La Paz, belonging to the city government, indicated the level of interest in learning gastronomy, computer technology, cell phone use and education in small business finances.

Among the non-conventional trades, the respondents called for training in masonry, plumbing and electricity, a spokesperson for the Institute told IPS. The Institute conducts training workshops for 1,450 low-income women heads of households between the ages of 25 and 70.

(c) Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights Reserved

Original source: Inter Press Service

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Right-Wing Outlet Project Veritas Suspends Operations: Report


Project Veritas, the right-wing video operation known for its heavily edited clips of politicians, media figures and tech middlemen during hidden camera stings, has suspended operations and laid off its remaining “journalists,” Mediaite reported Wednesday night.

The pause resulted from financial difficulties and was done “in the interest of preserving the possible future existence of Project Veritas,” the group’s human resources director Jennifer Kiyak said in a letter obtained by Mediaite.

Bobby Harr, who said he was among the laid-off employees, first