Biden, Harris, AOC, Zuckerberg, and Freeman permanently banned from Russia, but Trump is not on the list

Russia's updated list of sanctions is a response to US support for Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia following Putin's invasion. Russia targeted American politicians, business leaders and actors in its updated sanctions list.Getty Images Russia issues new list of sanctions targeting US citizens including a ban on entering the country. President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris are among those on the list. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg are also targeted by the new sanctions. Russia has drawn a new list of sanctions permanently banning 963 Americans from entering the country, including President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris. On Saturday, the Russian foreign ministry released the updated list of sanctions targeting a number of individuals in response to US support for Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russia following Putin's invasion.Biden administration members, Republications, tech executives, journalists, regular US citizens, actor Morgan Freeman and even lawmakers who have died are among those named on the list.In a news release, the foreign ministry said: "Russia does not seek confrontation and is open to honest, mutually respectful dialogue, separating the American people, who are always respected by us, from the US authorities, who incite Russophobia, and those who serve them," adding "it is these people who are included in the Russian 'black list'."Insider contacted the White House for comment.While the list includes many members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate majority leader Charles Schumer, and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Donald Trump was not mentioned. However, the former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, was included. The updated list of sanctioned individuals from Russia comes at the time when the Senate passed a new aid package measure of $40 billion, providing Ukraine with new military and humanitarian assistance. Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is listed as a sanctioned individual, alongside Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley. Rep. Lori Trahan, who also appears on the list, tweeted on Saturday: "If Vladimir Putin thinks permanently banning me from Russia is going to change my support for Ukraine, I've got bad news for him. It's not. The United States stands with Ukraine."Meta's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft's president, Brad Smith, were also added to the list.Other individuals include journalists David Ignatius of The Washington Post, George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Susan Glasser of The New Yorker, Bret Stephens of The New York Times and Bianna Golodryga of CNN. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 22nd, 2022

Travel chaos, flight fees, and labor shortages could get even worse in October when airlines can start buying their own stocks again, according to the president of the flight attendants" union

In October, airlines can resume stock buybacks that were banned during the pandemic. It could mean more expensive flights and fewer staff. Flight delays and cancellations will likely continue throughout the summer, analysts told Insider.James D. Morgan/Getty Images Travel chaos has abounded this summer, as passengers deal with delays, cancellations, and lost luggage. Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, warns that could get even worse. In the fall, airlines can start buying their own stocks again — potentially leading to higher fees and fewer staff. If you've even thought about boarding a plane this summer, you've probably heard the tales of travel chaos.Passengers are getting hit with delays, cancellations, and rebookings — it's forced some people to spend the night at the airport, sleeping on chairs and boxes. Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, warns more chaos could be coming this fall when airlines are allowed to buy their own stocks again. That's because a ban on what's called stock or share buybacks expires for the industry in September. The ban was originally implemented as a condition of the federal stimulus package that helped save airlines during the onset of the pandemic. Nelson warns the end of the ban could mean increased fees, less service, less staff, and "more chaos" in the operation.In a stock buyback, "a company will choose to purchase its own shares from shareholders, and it will take these shares completely from the market," Petra Sinagl, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Iowa, told Insider. That gives money to shareholders, and lowers the number of shares outstanding. "This will at least temporarily increase, for example, the reported earnings per share, because you are basically dividing the same earnings number by a lower number of shares outstanding," Sinagl said.Stock buybacks have been particularly prevalent in the airline industry over the last ten years or so. As Insider previously reported, airlines like American and Delta poured billions into stock buybacks in the years before the pandemic. For instance, in 2019, American spent $12.6 billion paying its employees. But, from 2013 to 2019, they spent $12.9 billion on stock buybacks."There was so much pressure on the airlines to announce these huge stock buybacks as they were trying to encourage people to invest in airlines again," Nelson said. "But a huge portion of the profits went to stock buybacks that don't reinvest in the company, that don't contribute to the long term success of the airline, that don't invest in the workforce."Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President Sara Nelson testifies during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation oversight hearing on Capitol Hill on December 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.Tom Brenner-Pool/Getty ImagesSo, when the pandemic hit, there was outrage over an industry that had been pouring billions into itself asking for billions of dollars in bailout money. In March 2020, for instance, Bloomberg found that, over the previous decade, the largest airlines in the country had spent 96% of their cash flow on buybacks."Part of what we put into the COVID relief plan was a ban on stock buybacks," Nelson said. That measure attracted support from Democrats — and then-president Donald Trump."We had originally suggested seven years or permanently, and ultimately it got down to a year," Nelson said of the ban. "But it was during the COVID relief and a year after, so that will end on September 30th of this year."Economic research finds that buybacks can improve the liquidity of firms, and make prices more efficient, according to Sinagl. But it's also true that companies that missed their forecast earnings are more likely to participate in stock buybacks — and, when that happens, it's linked with "reductions in employment and investment."Airlines, especially Delta, were hinting in earnings calls that they were gearing up to restart buybacks right away, according to Nelson."We can't do anything at the moment with respect to CARES Act limitation," Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta, said in the company's earnings call. He added: "But we talk over the long term that we've got a responsibility to all constituencies, to our customers, to our employees, and importantly to our owners."Nelson said it's "incredibly irresponsible" for airlines to consider putting those first pandemic profits to stock buybacks. For consumers, she said it likely means higher fees, less service, and less staff."This matters for labor, but it matters for anyone who flies," Nelson said. At a minimum, according to Nelson, people should be demanding that the ban continue until the chaos gets under control, and union negotiations that have been pushed for years finally settle."Congress should be looking at what it looks like when you actually have a company focused on the business," she said, "and not constantly having pressure from investors to siphon off those profits for short-term gain for investors and long-time harm to the company — direct harm to the people on the front lines and the customers who are trying to get a service."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 1st, 2022

Escobar: How Comfortable Are You With The US Dollar?

Escobar: How Comfortable Are You With The US Dollar? Authored by Pepe Escobar, Going To Samarkand The SCO and other pan-Eurasian organizations play a completely different – respectful, consensual – ball game. And that’s why they are catching the full attention of most of the Global South. The meeting of the SCO Ministerial Council  in Tashkent this past Friday involved some very serious business. That was the key preparatory reunion previous to the SCO summit in mid-September in fabled Samarkand, where the SCO will release a much-awaited “Declaration of Samarkand”. What happened in Tashkent was predictably unreported across the collective West and still not digested across great swathes of the East. So once again it’s up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to cut to the chase. The world’s foremost diplomat – amidst the tragic drama of the American-concocted Era of Non-Diplomacy, Threats and Sanctions – has singled out the two overlapping main themes propelling the SCO as one of the key organizations on the path towards Eurasia integration. Interconnectivity and “the creation of efficient transport corridors”. The War of Economic Corridors is one of the key features of the 21st Drawing “the roadmap for the gradual increase in the share of national currencies in mutual settlements.” Yet it was in the Q@A session that Lavrov for all practical purposes detailed all the major trends in the current, incandescent state of international relations. These are the key takeaways. How comfortable are you with the US dollar? Africa: “We agreed that we will submit to the leaders for consideration proposals on specific actions to switch to settlements in national currencies. I think that everyone will now think about it. Africa already has a similar experience: common currencies in some sub-regional structures, which, nevertheless, by and large, are pegged to Western ones. From 2023, a continental free trade zone will start functioning on the African continent. A logical step would be to reinforce it with currency agreements.” Belarus – and many others – eager to join the SCO: “There is a broad consensus on the Belarusian candidacy (…) I felt it today. There are a number of contenders for the status of observer, dialogue partner. Some Arab countries show such interest, as do Armenia, Azerbaijan and a number of Asian states.” Grain diplomacy: “In regard to the issue of Russian grain, it was the American sanctions that did not allow the full implementation of the signed contracts due to the restrictions imposed: Russian ships are prohibited from entering a number of ports, there is a ban on foreign ships entering Russian ports to pick up export cargo, and insurance rates have gone up (…) Financial chains are also interrupted by illegitimate US and EU sanctions. In particular, Rosselkhozbank, through which all the main settlements for food exports pass, was one of the first to be included in the sanctions list. UN Secretary General A. Guterres has committed to removing these barriers to addressing the global food crisis. Let’s see.” Taiwan: “We do not discuss this with our Chinese colleague. Russia’s position on having only one China remains unchanged. The United States periodically confirms the same line in words, but in practice their ‘deeds’ do not always coincide with words. We have no problem upholding the principle of Chinese sovereignty.” Should the SCO abandon the US dollar? “Each SCO country must decide for itself how comfortable it feels to rely on the dollar, taking into account the absolute unreliability of this currency for possible abuses. The Americans have used this more than once in relation to a number of states.” Why the SCO matters: “There are no leaders and followers in the SCO. There are no situations in the organization like in NATO, when the US and its closest allies impose one line or another on all other members of the alliance. In the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the situation that we are currently seeing in the EU does not arise: sovereign countries are literally being ‘knocked out’, demanding that they either stop buying gas or reduce its consumption in violation of national plans and interests.” Lavrov was also keen to stress how “other structures in the Eurasian space, for example, the EAEU and BRICS, are based and operate on the same principles” of the SCO. And he referred to the crucial cooperation with the 10 member-nations of ASEAN. Thus he set the stage for the clincher: “All these processes, in interconnection, help to form the Greater Eurasian Partnership, which President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken about. We see in them a benefit for the entire population of the Eurasian continent.” Those Afghan and Arab lives The real big story of the Raging Twenties  is how the special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine de facto kick-started “all these processes”, as Lavrov mentioned, simultaneously leading towards inexorable Eurasia integration. Once again he had to recall two basic facts that continue to escape any serious analysis across the collective West: Fact 1: “All our proposals for their removal [referring to NATO-expansion assets] on the basis of the principle of mutual respect for security interests were ignored by the US, the EU, and NATO.” Fact 2: “When the Russian language was banned in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian government promoted neo-Nazi theories and practices, the West did not oppose, but, on the contrary, encouraged the actions of the Kyiv regime and admired Ukraine as a ‘stronghold of democracy.’ Western countries supplied the Kyiv regime with weapons and planned the construction of naval bases on Ukrainian territory. All these actions were openly aimed at containing the Russian Federation. We have been warning for 10 years that this is unacceptable.” It’s also fitting that Lavrov would once again put Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in context: “Let us recall the example of Afghanistan, when even wedding ceremonies were subjected to air strikes, or Iraq and Libya, where statehood was completely destroyed, and many human lives were sacrificed. When states that easily pursued such a policy are now making a fuss about Ukraine, I can conclude that the lives of Afghans and Arabs mean nothing to Western governments. It’s unfortunate. Double standards, these racist and colonial instincts must be eliminated.” Putin, Lavrov, Patrushev, Madvedev have all been stressing lately the racist, neocolonial character of the NATOstan matrix. The SCO and other pan-Eurasian organizations play a completely different – respectful, consensual – ball game. And that’s why they are catching the full attention of most of the Global South. Next stop: Samarkand. Tyler Durden Mon, 08/01/2022 - 00:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytAug 1st, 2022

Canada Unveils "Mandatory" AR-15 Buyback Program; US House Passes Assault Weapons Ban

Canada Unveils "Mandatory" AR-15 Buyback Program; US House Passes Assault Weapons Ban The Canadian government wants people's semi-automatic rifles. They unveiled a new gun buyback plan to purchase "assault-style" weapons that the federal government banned in early 2020.  Public Safety Canada released a statement last week indicating that the gun buyback program is "mandatory for individuals to participate," according to CTV News.  AR platform firearms will be bought under the mandatory buyback program for $1,337 per rifle. The price reflects what owners paid for them pre-2020. Here's a list of prohibited firearms and what the government is offering gun owners:  AR Platform firearms such as the M16, AR-10, and AR-15 rifles, and the M4 carbine: $1,337  Beretta Cx4 Storm: $1,317  CZ Scorpion EVO 3 carbine and CZ Scorpion EVO 3 pistol: $1,291  M14 Rifle: $2,612  Robinson Armament XCR rifle: $2,735  Ruger Mini-14 rifle: $1,407  SG-550 rifle and SG-551 carbine: $6,209  SIG Sauer MCX, MPX forearms such as the SIG Sauer SIG MPX carbine, and the SIG Sauer SIG MPX pistol: $2,369  Vz58 rifle: $1,139 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's aggressive campaign to disarm Canadians hasn't stopped with prohibiting the sale and use of AR platform firearms and other types of weapons. He has proposed a countrywide "freeze" on the sale, import, and transfer of all handguns.  Trudeau appears to be following the blueprints of authoritarians: confiscate guns.  In 1959, Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba and immediately removed all guns from citizens. His communist regime went door to door to force citizens into turning over their firearms.  Totalitarianism and gun confiscation are always intertwined. The most disturbing part is that it's already happening to our neighbors in the north and could soon be coming to the US.  On Friday, the US House of Representatives passed an assault weapons ban (217-213 vote included 215 Democrats and two Republicans, with five Democrats voting against the bill). However, the bill is all optics for Democrats ahead of midterm elections in November with low probabilities of passing the Senate. The bill bans importing, selling, manufacturing, or transferring semi-automatic assault weapons.  History provides alarming proof that when regimes disarm their citizens, a slippery slope of the loss of liberties soon follows. Just look how communist Cuba turned out...  George Mason of Virginia, the father of the Bill of Rights, famously warned Americans that disarming the people is "the best and most effective way to enslave them." Readers may recall we detailed the inevitable was about to happen in a note titled "Puzzle Pieces All Laid Out" - How ATF Has Plan To Classify Semi-Automatic Rifles As "Machine Guns" .  Tyler Durden Sat, 07/30/2022 - 12:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJul 30th, 2022

A Chicago doctor provided abortion care to people from 7 states in one day: "I"m angry that a person"s zip code now gets to determine what kind of healthcare they get"

Patients traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to access an out-of-state abortion has become the new normal since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. IStock; Vicky Leta/Insider After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Illinois became an abortion oasis. An OB-GYN in Chicago told Insider she is overwhelmed by the number of out-of-state patients she's seen.  "I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. I am worried that it is going to get worse," Dr. Amy Addante said. Reproductive health care providers in states where abortion has remained protected are seeing new trends when it comes to providing this care — patients are traveling hours or days for a procedure that in some instances only takes a few minutes. Dr. Amy Addante — an OB-GYN in Chicago — made it a point to look at where her patients were from on Friday. As she glanced at the list, she was struck by the distance people had traveled for a service she routinely provides. People came from Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana for an abortion. "Overwhelmingly, the response was the same. It was 'thank you for taking care of me,'" Addante told Insider. "They had navigated all these barriers and had traveled so far from their homes, yet they were the ones thanking me. It was very profound," she said.Traveling hundreds or thousands of miles for an abortion has become the new normal since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. Those living in the 13 states with "trigger laws" — where abortion was either immediately banned or severely restricted — have few options. Healthcare providers are at a crossroadsAbout one in four Americans will have an abortion by the time they turn 45, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization.Addante agreed with many others that abortion bans will make it increasingly difficult for the most vulnerable people in society to access potentially life-saving healthcare. She said while she welcomes those from out of state, a consequence of the SCOTUS decision will be longer wait times for appointments and an increase in pregnancy-related morbidity and pregnancy-related mortality.The US has the highest maternal mortality rate compared to 10 other developed nations. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the maternal mortality rate was almost 24 deaths per 100,000 live births."We know that by denying people reproductive healthcare, we are increasing their risk of having pregnancy complications," Addante told Insider.Another fallout from the ruling is the impact on healthcare providers."It's really mentally and emotionally draining, not being able to do the job that you were trained to do because a politician thinks they know better than you and your patient," she said. After the Supreme Court's decision on June 24, Illinois became an abortion oasis. In 2020, doctors in the state performed 9,686 out-of-state abortions, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Planned Parenthood Illinois told Insider that it expects that number to double or triple in light of the ruling. Addante said since June 24, the phones at these clinics have been ringing nonstop with healthcare providers not only booking appointments but also troubleshooting concerns about travel costs and childcare. "How do we help someone who lives three states away? How do we help someone that doesn't have the gas money or who doesn't have childcare for the children they already have?" Addante said: "I'm angry that a person's zip code now gets to determine what kind of healthcare they get."'I think this is just the tip of the iceberg'Addante knows what it's like to work in a state where abortion access is limited. Prior to working in Chicago, she spent six years in Missouri, a state that already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the US. She remembers having to turn patients away.  "It's one of the worst feelings in the world as a physician to have to tell someone that you can't take care of them. Not because you don't have the skill set, but because you legally aren't allowed to," she said. Addante says the ruling has galvanized her. She said she now feels even more committed to providing abortion care."I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. I am worried that it is going to get worse ... And as a mom myself and as a person — this is what I do for a living, it's just, it's heartbreaking," she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 30th, 2022

A ‘Weird’ Recession and a ‘Rental Society’: The Industry in Transition

Another year, another period of unprecedented transition in real estate. Although agents, brokers and everyone involved in the housing market have always been forward-looking as a rule, the last three years or so have required a unique understanding and focus on both the future and the big picture. Yesterday, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)… The post A ‘Weird’ Recession and a ‘Rental Society’: The Industry in Transition appeared first on RISMedia. Another year, another period of unprecedented transition in real estate. Although agents, brokers and everyone involved in the housing market have always been forward-looking as a rule, the last three years or so have required a unique understanding and focus on both the future and the big picture. Yesterday, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) held their annual Forecast Summit, attempting to alleviate at least a little of the anxiety around all the massive changes on the horizon for real estate—from cratering home sales to a recession to institutional investors “gobbling up” the single-family market.  “I think it’s really helpful to understand the market, how to understand consumer behavior and how that’s shifted a little during the pandemic,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, VP of demographics and consumer insights for NAR. “But a lot of that is an acceleration of past trends that we have been seeing.” Much of what Lautz and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun covered in their presentation are indeed issues that anyone paying attention to real estate will be at least somewhat familiar with. But breaking down exactly where the data is pointing—how fast things are moving, where trends are resilient versus transitory—was surprising. One notable trend is that homes are still disappearing quickly. Spending an average of 14 days on the market, according to Lautz, 88% of homes sell in under a month. This is despite a significant drop in the number of offers per home, plummeting from an average of 5.5 at the height of pandemic-bidding warfare to 3.4 in just the space of a couple months. “In some local markets, I know that’s laughable,” she said.  But Lautz said that more than three offers is a great overall indicator as far as demand, and these offers are likely good ones. “We’re not talking about the bottom of the barrel here. That’s still pretty good,” she asserted. “Those are probably qualified buyers who are probably able to ratify that contract—finally, for many of them.” Yun added that some people still have a locked-in mortgage rate from before rates rose precipitously early this year, and are jumping to snatch up homes as other buyers—who might not have locked in a low rate—are getting priced out. Another trend that was a little uncertain was vacation home purchases, which spiked at the height of the pandemic, with 22% of all home sales from small investors (used for Airbnb or seasonal rentals) or second-home purchases. That has dropped significantly to about 16%. Something that has also worried many onlookers is foreclosure sales. As a housing market pullback accelerates, there has so far been no real increase in short sales or foreclosure sales, still at 1% (these sales made up 49% of the market at the height of the 2008 crash). “We’re really just not seeing that today,” Lautz said. From the granular level of how people buy and sell homes in 2022, Lautz highlighted the fact that virtual home purchases—buying a home without ever physically visiting the property—has remained steady, with 12% of buyers making a home purchase sight unseen, even as pandemic restrictions have waned. “I think what’s happening here is there’s still low inventory, but we also know migration trends are playing a part of this. If people are moving a long distance away, and they see that perfect home jump onto their MLS, they’re going to say, ‘You know what, you’re my REALTOR®, show me that home virtually,’” she said. On the same note, 85% of buyers are still looking for homes outside of city centers, and 34% want work-from-home amenities in their home, proving that remote work is a persistent trend. Lautz suggested that highlighting any kind of feature related to work from home in a listing would remain a great practice for listing agents.  Yun, who focused on the big-picture economy, explained that the labor economy continues to behave in what he called a “bizarre” manner even as other major economic indicators have at least started to normalize post-pandemic.  “In an environment with rushing mortgage rates, what will drive home sales is jobs,” he explained. Specifically, he pointed out how the number of workers who have seemingly permanently abdicated the workforce has remained stubbornly high, with 2 million people still on the sidelines even after stimulus payments subsided and industries reopened. “Help wanted signs are pretty much everywhere,” Yun says. “Theoretically, it is still almost a two-to-one ratio in terms of job openings to people who are unemployed.” He qualified this, however, by noting that many people are not finding the right job to match their needs, demanding higher pay or seeking a match for their qualifications. Construction job openings specifically have reached a record high, with advocates pinpointing both long and short term underinvestment in this industry. But Yun affirmed that having so many open jobs was “unusual” in a recessionary environment. “It’s a very weird recessionary condition—I don’t know if I want to play with the word.” An unequal regional distribution of jobs was another notable oddity of the current economy, according to Yun. Comparing what the market looked like right before the pandemic, different areas have experienced wildly different recoveries. “There is some variation. Generally speaking, Rocky Mountain states along with southern states have turned positive, while the rest of the country is struggling or almost getting back to normal but not there yet,” Yun said. In terms of the well-documented dive in home sales, trends seem to be pointing toward a consistent downturn, with five months of lower sales bringing the country just below where it was before Covid, according to Yun. Leading indicators are also negative, he added. “Essentially, some people are very uncomfortable with higher monthly payments, and other people simply don’t have the money,” Yun said. Inventory indicators are on the way up, and in tandem with some buyers being pushed out of the market, Yun said it was likely that buyers could soon “be more relaxed, look at three, four, five homes…just like the olden days.” The incredibly persistent trend of prices, still spiraling up despite these other falling metrics, could partially be explained due to the fact that list prices are high even if contract prices are falling.  “That’s why you are getting this conflicting report where home sales are coming down but prices are hitting record highs,” he explained. “Sellers are looking at what their neighbor’s home sold for…and then they are essentially reducing.” Maybe the hottest topic that was not directly related to housing was the question of whether the country has entered, or is soon likely to enter, a recession, with several audience questions on that theme. Yun said it isn’t that simple, even though based purely on GDP, the economy is indeed in recession. “In 10 years, they will say whether we were in a recession or not,” he said. Besides a recession, something that was not covered by either Lautz or Yun, but was asked about by viewers is institutional buyers and investors. Yun waxed philosophical, wondering just how far big Wall Street-backed companies could transform housing in the United States as they “gobble up” single-family homes to rent them out. Investors make up 20% of all buyers, according to Yun, but that includes both big and small, mom-and-pop operations. “The numbers are a little hard to get as to true Wall Street-backed institutional investors, corporate landlords in a sense. But it is rising. It is a concern,” Yun said. At the very highest level, this trend—which has grown dramatically as big hedge funds and private equity firms see opportunities in real estate—could transform housing at a fundamental level, according to Yun.  “I think the bigger question for society is, do we want to see an ownership society, or do we want to see a renter society? I think many people will say an ownership society is preferable, a way to build wealth,” he said. “Corporate investors, in a sense, are hindering the country from becoming a more ownership society.” The post A ‘Weird’ Recession and a ‘Rental Society’: The Industry in Transition appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJul 28th, 2022

3 Construction Stocks Set to Carve a Beat This Earnings Season

KBR, LII and EXP from the Zacks Construction sector are set to beat analysts' Q2 expectations on the back of higher residential, non-residential and infrastructural demand amid rising costs. Persistent supply-chain bottlenecks, rising mortgage rates, higher home prices, labor market constraints and inflationary pressure are expected to have weighed on the Construction sector in the second quarter of 2022. Yet, improvement in manufacturing and infrastructural activities might have aided the sector’s performance.Per the latest Earnings Trends report, the Q2 earnings season has so far seen releases from approximately 7.3% of the construction sector’s market capitalization on the S&P 500 Index. Of them, 100% have been able to surpass earnings and revenue estimates.Notably, 10 of the 16 Zacks sectors are expected to register year-over-year gains. Construction is among those that might have witnessed the biggest growth rates in the quarter.Factors Influencing Q2 ResultsThe sector is expected to have benefited from modest gains in homebuilding investments. The desire to own a home has still been working in its favor. The sector has also been gaining from modest demand owing to higher repair and remodel activity. Although homeowner spending for home improvements and repairs is expected to soften given the slowdown in homebuilding, retail sales of building materials, and renovation permits, growth in spending for home improvements and repairs is expected to remain well above the market’s historical average.Moreover, solid demand from non-residential and infrastructural activities for both private and public project work is expected to have supported growth. Prudent cost-saving efforts, a disciplined approach in bidding, project management, strength in funding programs across the states, and higher demand for road repair and maintenance are likely to have acted as the tailwind for the companies’ quarterly performance. Also, bolt-on acquisitions are anticipated to have expanded their geographical reach and product portfolio.However, the Fed’s hawkish move to combat inflation along with rising home prices are expected to have conspired to limit buying and selling activities in the quarter. Challenges in the housing industry persist in the form of low supply levels, shortage of skilled labor and an upsurge in input prices.Again, higher raw material costs owing to supply-chain disruptions are likely to have affected the companies’ margins. Additionally, higher land, labor and transportation costs may have been dampeners. While inflation may have limited margin upside, companies have been taking pricing actions, which should have helped them offset such headwinds to some extent.Q2 ExpectationsThe overall estimate picture is not a bad one for the broader Zacks Construction sector amid challenges associated with supply-chain disruptions, inflation and transportation costs. Per the latest Earnings Trends, construction sector earnings are expected to increase 18.8% for the second quarter. The growth rate is expected to have slowed from 29% registered in first-quarter 2022. Revenues are projected to increase 16.1%, suggesting a decline from 17.9% growth registered in the prior quarter.Which Are the Right Picks?Given the headwinds, it is not easy to find stocks with the potential to trump earnings estimates. Here, the Zacks methodology comes in handy as it helps to identify stocks that not only boast solid fundamentals but are also poised to beat estimates this earnings season.One can narrow down the list with the combination of a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) and a positive Earnings ESP. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they report with our Earnings ESP Filter.Our research shows that for stocks with this combination, the chances of delivering an earnings beat are as high as 70%.Earnings ESP is our proprietary methodology for determining stocks that have the best chances of coming up with an earnings beat in their upcoming earnings announcement. It shows the percentage difference between the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate.Winning StocksFor investors willing to adopt this strategy, we have highlighted three construction stocks that may stand out this earnings season.Headquartered in Houston, TX, KBR, Inc. KBR — which provides scientific, technology and engineering solutions to governments and commercial customers — topped earnings estimates in all the trailing four quarters, with the average being 12%.KBR, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise KBR, Inc. price-eps-surprise | KBR, Inc. QuoteKBR is poised to beat expectations when it reports second-quarter 2022 results on Aug 2, before the opening bell. It carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has an Earnings ESP of +1.81%, at present.Its mission-critical government services, high-end and differentiated government business work, strong margin performance, and proprietary technology solutions, along with a significant increase in backlog (particularly in Government Solution) bode well for the company’s bottom line.Richardson, TX-based Lennox International Inc. LII — which provides energy-efficient climate-control solutions — topped earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed on one occasion, with the average surprise being 8.2%. Lennox International, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise Lennox International, Inc. price-eps-surprise | Lennox International, Inc. QuoteLennox is likely to beat expectations when it reports second-quarter 2022 results on Jul 28, 2022, before the market opens. This Zacks Rank #3 company has an Earnings ESP of +1.61%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.LII has been witnessing higher demand for its Residential and Refrigeration businesses given growth from both replacement and new construction businesses. This is helping it navigate the challenging backdrop associated with supply-induced constraints, labor constraints, factory inefficiencies, and higher material, freight, distribution, and warranty costs.Eagle Materials Inc. EXP — which produces and supplies heavy construction materials and light building materials based in Dallas, TX — beat earnings estimates in three of the last four quarters and missed on one occasion, with the average surprise being 4.8%.Eagle Materials is likely to beat expectations when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2023 results on Jul 28, 2022 before the market opens. Currently, the company carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has an Earnings ESP of +1.56%.Similar to other aggregates and cement producers, EXP is expected to have witnessed higher shipments. Expanded infrastructure investment and heavy industrial projects of scale are expected to have supported its quarterly shipments. However, higher fossil fuel costs are expected to have weighed on its margins.Eagle Materials Inc Price and EPS Surprise Eagle Materials Inc price-eps-surprise | Eagle Materials Inc Quote Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report KBR, Inc. (KBR): Free Stock Analysis Report Lennox International, Inc. (LII): Free Stock Analysis Report Eagle Materials Inc (EXP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 27th, 2022

How to recover your TikTok account if you deleted it

Your deleted TikTok account is recoverable, so long as it is within 30 days. Here's how to recover your TikTok account. It's possible to recover your TikTok account if it was deleted within the past 30 days.AP Photo/Jessica Hill It's possible to recover your TikTok account within 30 days of deleting your account. After 30 days, deleted TikTok accounts are permanently closed and cannot be recovered. To recover a deleted TikTok account, you need your original email address and password. If you've decided to delete your TikTok account, you can still recover your TikTok account under certain circumstances.Assuming you deleted your account less than 30 days ago, you can get it back again. Here's how to recover your TikTok account. How to recover your TikTok account1. Open the TikTok app on your mobile device's home screen.2. On the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, tap the profile icon.3. On the profile screen, tap Sign up.Tap "Sign up."Jennifer Still/Insider4. At the bottom of the sign-up screen, tap Log in next to Already have an account?Tap "Log in."Jennifer Still/Insider5. Log in using your username and password by clicking the Use phone/email/username option at the top of the list. If you don't remember your password, you can recover it later. You should still select this option.Tap the "Use phone / email / username" option.Jennifer Still/Insider6. After logging in with your info, you'll be taken to a screen telling you that your account is under deactivation. To confirm that you wish to recover your account, click Reactivate.Select "Reactivate."Jennifer Still/InsiderYour account will then be recovered and you can continue to use it as normal. Quick tip: If more than 30 days have passed, your account will have been permanently deleted and you will not be able to recover it or to activate a new account with the same username you had previously. How to recover a TikTok account with only a usernameIt is sometimes possible to recover your TikTok account with only a username. In order to do this, you must contact TikTok and wait for them to respond with further instructions. In your message, be sure to include your lost username and explain that you have lost access to your phone number and the email address linked to your account.Quick tip: If you are unable to recover your TikTok account, you will have to make a new one with a different username.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 26th, 2022

Family Dollar recalls more than 400 personal products stored at the wrong temperature, just months after closing infested distribution center in Arkansas

The voluntary recall includes a wide variety of personal-care products like cough syrup, toothpaste, sunscreen, and hand soap, among others. A Family Dollar store is seen on 2014 in Hollywood, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Family Dollar is recalling more than 400 personal-care products at stores around the country. The items were "stored outside of labeled temperature requirements," according to the FDA.  The recall comes two months after Family Dollar closed an infested distribution center in Arkansas.  Family Dollar is recalling hundreds of personal-care products that were improperly stored, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The voluntary recall includes more than 400 products such as cough syrup, toothpaste, sunscreen, and hand soap, among others. The products were "stored outside of labeled temperature requirements" and accidentally shipped out to stores around the country between May 1, 2022 and June 10, 2022, according to the FDA. A spokesperson for Dollar Tree, the parent company of Family Dollar, did not immediately respond to Insider's request to comment, though the FDA noted that the company has not received any customer complaints or reports of illness.Family Dollar has reached out to affected stores "asking them to check their stock immediately and to quarantine and discontinue the sale of any affected product," according to the FDA.Customers who purchased a recalled product can return it to their Family Dollar store, with or without a receipt,  for a refund. The recall comes just two months after the company permanently closed its distribution center in Arkansas after federal investigators found live and dead rodents, dead birds, and animal droppings there. During the FDA's fumigation, inspectors found more than 1,100 rodents. In response to the findings, Family Dollar temporarily closed hundreds of stores and issued another recall on impacted products. You can view the full list of products from Family Dollar's most recent recall here. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 23rd, 2022

Digital Authoritarianism: AI Surveillance Signals The Death Of Privacy

Digital Authoritarianism: AI Surveillance Signals The Death Of Privacy Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “There are no private lives. This a most important aspect of modern life. One of the biggest transformations we have seen in our society is the diminution of the sphere of the private. We must reasonably now all regard the fact that there are no secrets and nothing is private. Everything is public.”  - Philip K. Dick Nothing is private. We teeter on the cusp of a cultural, technological and societal revolution the likes of which have never been seen before. While the political Left and Right continue to make abortion the face of the debate over the right to privacy in America, the government and its corporate partners, aided by rapidly advancing technology, are reshaping the world into one in which there is no privacy at all. Nothing that was once private is protected. We have not even begun to register the fallout from the tsunami bearing down upon us in the form of AI (artificial intelligence) surveillance, and yet it is already re-orienting our world into one in which freedom is almost unrecognizable. AI surveillance harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and widespread surveillance technology to do what the police state lacks the manpower and resources to do efficiently or effectively: be everywhere, watch everyone and everything, monitor, identify, catalogue, cross-check, cross-reference, and collude. Everything that was once private is now up for grabs to the right buyer. Governments and corporations alike have heedlessly adopted AI surveillance technologies without any care or concern for their long-term impact on the rights of the citizenry. As a special report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace warns, “A growing number of states are deploying advanced AI surveillance tools to monitor, track, and surveil citizens to accomplish a range of policy objectives—some lawful, others that violate human rights, and many of which fall into a murky middle ground.” Indeed, with every new AI surveillance technology that is adopted and deployed without any regard for privacy, Fourth Amendment rights and due process, the rights of the citizenry are being marginalized, undermined and eviscerated. Cue the rise of digital authoritarianism. Digital authoritarianism, as the Center for Strategic and International Studies cautions, involves the use of information technology to surveil, repress, and manipulate the populace, endangering human rights and civil liberties, and co-opting and corrupting the foundational principles of democratic and open societies, “including freedom of movement, the right to speak freely and express political dissent, and the right to personal privacy, online and off.” The seeds of digital authoritarianism were planted in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, with the passage of the USA Patriot Act. A massive 342-page wish list of expanded powers for the FBI and CIA, the Patriot Act justified broader domestic surveillance, the logic being that if government agents knew more about each American, they could distinguish the terrorists from law-abiding citizens. It sounded the death knell for the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, especially the Fourth Amendment, and normalized the government’s mass surveillance powers. Writing for the New York Times, Jeffrey Rosen observed that “before Sept. 11, the idea that Americans would voluntarily agree to live their lives under the gaze of a network of biometric surveillance cameras, peering at them in government buildings, shopping malls, subways and stadiums, would have seemed unthinkable, a dystopian fantasy of a society that had surrendered privacy and anonymity.” Who could have predicted that 50 years after George Orwell typed the final words to his dystopian novel 1984, “He loved Big Brother,” we would come to love Big Brother. Yet that is exactly what has come to pass. After 9/11, Rosen found that “people were happy to give up privacy without experiencing a corresponding increase in security. More concerned about feeling safe than actually being safe, they demanded the construction of vast technological architectures of surveillance even though the most empirical studies suggested that the proliferation of surveillance cameras had ‘no effect on violent crime’ or terrorism.” In the decades following 9/11, a massive security-industrial complex arose that was fixated on militarization, surveillance, and repression. Surveillance is the key. We’re being watched everywhere we go. Speed cameras. Red light cameras. Police body cameras. Cameras on public transportation. Cameras in stores. Cameras on public utility poles. Cameras in cars. Cameras in hospitals and schools. Cameras in airports. We’re being recorded at least 50 times a day. It’s estimated that there are upwards of 85 million surveillance cameras in the U.S. alone, second only to China. On any given day, the average American going about his daily business is monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears. Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it will all be recorded, stored and used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing. Yet it’s not just what we say, where we go and what we buy that is being tracked. We’re being surveilled right down to our genes, thanks to a potent combination of hardware, software and data collection that scans our biometrics—our faces, irises, voices, genetics, microbiomes, scent, gait, heartbeat, breathing, behaviors—runs them through computer programs that can break the data down into unique “identifiers,” and then offers them up to the government and its corporate allies for their respective uses. As one AI surveillance advocate proclaimed, “Surveillance is no longer only a watchful eye, but a predictive one as well.” For instance, Emotion AI, an emerging technology that is gaining in popularity, uses facial recognition technology “to analyze expressions based on a person’s faceprint to detect their internal emotions or feelings, motivations and attitudes.” China claims its AI surveillance can already read facial expressions and brain waves in order to determine the extent to which members of the public are grateful, obedient and willing to comply with the Communist Party. This is the slippery slope that leads to the thought police. The technology is already being used “by border guards to detect threats at border checkpoints, as an aid for detection and diagnosis of patients for mood disorders, to monitor classrooms for boredom or disruption, and to monitor human behavior during video calls.” For all intents and purposes, we now have a fourth branch of government: the surveillance state. This fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC. The government’s “technotyranny” surveillance apparatus has become so entrenched and entangled with its police state apparatus that it’s hard to know anymore where law enforcement ends and surveillance begins. The short answer: they have become one and the same entity. The police state has passed the baton to the surveillance state, which has shifted into high gear with the help of artificial intelligence technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic helped to further centralize digital power in the hands of the government at the expense of the citizenry’s privacy rights. “From cameras that identify the faces of passersby to algorithms that keep tabs on public sentiment online, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools are opening new frontiers in state surveillance around the world.” So begins the Carnegie Endowment’s report on AI surveillance note. “Law enforcement, national security, criminal justice, and border management organizations in every region are relying on these technologies—which use statistical pattern recognition, machine learning, and big data analytics—to monitor citizens.” In the hands of tyrants and benevolent dictators alike, AI surveillance is the ultimate means of repression and control, especially through the use of smart city/safe city platforms, facial recognition systems, and predictive policing. These technologies are also being used by violent extremist groups, as well as sex, child, drug, and arms traffickers for their own nefarious purposes. China, the role model for our dystopian future, has been a major force in deploying AI surveillance on its own citizens, especially by way of its social credit systems, which it employs to identify, track and segregate its “good” citizens from the “bad.” Social media credit scores assigned to Chinese individuals and businesses categorize them on whether or not they are worthy of being part of society. A real-name system—which requires people to use government-issued ID cards to buy mobile sims, obtain social media accounts, take a train, board a plane, or even buy groceries—coupled with social media credit scores ensures that those blacklisted as “unworthy” are banned from accessing financial markets, buying real estate or travelling by air or train. Among the activities that can get you labeled unworthy are taking reserved seats on trains or causing trouble in hospitals. In much the same way that Chinese products have infiltrated almost every market worldwide and altered consumer dynamics, China is now exporting its “authoritarian tech” to governments worldwide ostensibly in an effort to spread its brand of totalitarianism worldwide. In fact, both China and the United States have led the way in supplying the rest of the world with AI surveillance, sometimes at a subsidized rate. This is how totalitarianism conquers the world. While countries with authoritarian regimes have been eager to adopt AI surveillance, as the Carnegie Endowment’s research makes clear, liberal democracies are also “aggressively using AI tools to police borders, apprehend potential criminals, monitor citizens for bad behavior, and pull out suspected terrorists from crowds.” Moreover, it’s easy to see how the China model for internet control has been integrated into the American police state’s efforts to flush out so-called anti-government, domestic extremists. According to journalist Adrian Shahbaz’s in-depth report, there are nine elements to the Chinese model of digital authoritarianism when it comes to censoring speech and targeting activists: 1) dissidents suffer from persistent cyber attacks and phishing; 2) social media, websites, and messaging apps are blocked; 3) posts that criticize government officials are removed; 4) mobile and internet access are revoked as punishment for activism; 5) paid commentators drown out government criticism; 6) new laws tighten regulations on online media; 7) citizens’ behavior monitored via AI and surveillance tools; 9) individuals regularly arrested for posts critical of the government; and 9) online activists are made to disappear. You don’t even have to be a critic of the government to get snared in the web of digital censorship and AI surveillance. The danger posed by the surveillance state applies equally to all of us: lawbreaker and law-abider alike. When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies. As Orwell wrote in 1984, “You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” In an age of too many laws, too many prisons, too many government spies, and too many corporations eager to make a fast buck at the expense of the American taxpayer, we are all guilty of some transgression or other. No one is spared. As Elise Thomas writes for Wired: “New surveillance tech means you'll never be anonymous again.” It won’t be long before we find ourselves looking back on the past with longing, back to an age where we could speak to whomever we wanted, buy whatever we wanted, think whatever we wanted, go wherever we wanted, feel whatever we wanted without those thoughts, words and activities being tracked, processed and stored by corporate giants, sold to government agencies, and used against us by militarized police with their army of futuristic technologies. Tread cautiously: as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, 1984 has become an operation manual for the omnipresent, modern-day AI surveillance state. Without constitutional protections in place to guard against encroachments on our rights when power, AI technology and militaristic governance converge, it won’t be long before Philip K. Dick’s rules for survival become our governing reality: “If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.” Tyler Durden Fri, 07/22/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 23rd, 2022

Disaster on Denali: What happens when adventure-seekers are in over their heads?

What really happened on Denali, North America's tallest peak, on the day a 31-year-old mountaineer from Canada fell 1,000 feet? Hokyoung Kim for InsiderNone of them noticed the fall. One moment, Adam Rawski was with them on the mountain. The next, he was gone.It was May 24, 2021, around Day 15 of their trek up Denali, North America's tallest peak. There was Grant Wilson and Sarah Maynard, Alaska natives and close friends since high school who were now in their early 20s; Rawski, a 31-year-old clean technology executive from Canada, who had befriended them on the mountain a week earlier; and Dr. Jason Lance, a 48-year-old radiologist from Utah who had paired up with Rawski at the last minute after both of their climbing partners turned back.The four had hoped to summit that day. But Rawski was exhausted and showing signs of altitude sickness. He couldn't go any further. Just over a thousand feet from the summit, they had no choice but to stop and turn back.Now on the descent, at around 18,200 feet, they had just crossed Denali Pass, a relatively flat, open snowfield with sweeping views of the Alaska Range and surrounding wilderness. In front of them lay the Autobahn, a notoriously dangerous icy slope that descends 1,000 feet. At least 13 deadly falls have been recorded here since 1980.The Autobahn's terrain can vary from rock solid ice to several feet of snow. If climbers lose their footing and fall, there's nothing to slow their momentum and prevent a fast and almost certainly fatal tumble down the slope. It's said some German climbers died at this spot years ago, which is how it became known as the Autobahn — as in, Germany's highway with no speed limit.Perhaps the most dangerous thing about the Autobahn is that it doesn't look very dangerous. It's steep enough to cause climbers to fall with great speed, but not so steep that all climbers exercise proper caution. The park service strongly encourages roping up with protection at this spot, but every year, teams ignore that advice. If the slope was just a bit steeper, it's likely fewer climbers would take the risk.Most falls on the Autobahn happen on the descent, when climbers are exhausted, having just pushed for the summit after two weeks on the unforgiving mountain, perhaps slightly impaired by the effects of altitude, and quite possibly a little cocky from having made it this far. Despite his condition, Rawski was not roped up. Standing at the top of the Autobahn, the others had scattered a bit. Wilson had stepped out of sight for a bathroom break. Maynard was slightly downhill from Lance. And then, Rawski was gone.As Maynard would tell me later, her mind raced through the possibilities: "Is he so hypoxic that he is taking his clothes off and wandering around? Is he so delusional that he's going for another summit attempt? Does his stomach hurt so bad that he's puking somewhere or just huddled up?"Then she heard Lance: "Oh, fuck." She followed his eyes down to the bottom of the Autobahn, 1000 feet below. There, Rawski's body in his bright blue puffer was lying, motionless.It was quiet, with no wind. But Maynard hadn't heard a thing. "That's what was so spooky and haunting," she said. "I didn't hear his ice axe hit the ground. I didn't hear his body tumble. I didn't hear a yelp from him."Maynard and Wilson huddled under a rock, all but certain their friend was dead. They held each other, and cried.Amazingly, Rawski didn't die that day. He's one of the only climbers known to have survived a fall down the Autobahn. But that's not where the story ends. What none of them knew then was that five months later, one of them would be criminally charged and brought before a judge — and they'd all have to relive the worst day of their lives.The Great OutdoorsWhen throngs of novice adventurers take on challenges without the proper training or expertise, disaster often follows — which is part of the story of what happened on Denali last May.Visits to America's national parks have exploded in recent years as more and more people seek out wild, majestic places to visit and color their Instagram feeds. More than 600,000 people came to Denali National Park in 2019, a 65% increase from 2000. Things were quiet in 2020 due to COVID-19, but by 2021 the mountain was nearly as busy as before the pandemic, with 1,007 climbers attempting to summit.Shortly after Rawski's fall, Denali's park rangers, all of them expert mountaineers, took the extraordinary step of publishing a finger-wagging report. "We have seen a disturbing amount of overconfidence paired with inexperience in the Alaska Range," they said, warning climbers that mountaineering in the Lower 48 doesn't necessarily prepare you for the high-altitude and extreme conditions of the Alaskan wilderness.A clear morning view of Denali from inside the national park.C. Fredrickson Photography/Getty ImagesDenali soars 20,310 feet above sea level and, for some mountaineers, is considered a stepping stone to Mount Everest (though without the help of Sherpas). Its official title was changed from Mt. McKinley in 2015, when Denali, the name given to the mountain by Alaskan Natives — meaning "the tall one" or "the great one" — was restored.The peak is located among 6 million acres of protected wilderness. To reach the mountain, climbers hop on a small plane in Talkeetna, a tiny town south of the park, and fly over 75 miles of terrain that changes from lush greenery to jagged granite and snow-covered slopes.They're dropped off at Denali's base camp, located on the Kahiltna Glacier, at 7,200 feet elevation — already 1,000 feet higher than Mount Washington, the tallest peak of New Hampshire's White Mountains. From there, the expedition to the summit and back usually takes 17 to 21 days.Typically only about half of the climbers attempting Denali every year will reach the summit. Determining whether or not a climber is prepared to take on Denali is difficult even for rangers and guides.Temperatures can dip below -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Climbers face snow storms, freezing rain, 100 mph winds, and blazing sunlight. The gear weighs over 100 pounds and includes clothes, tents, stoves, skis, or snowshoes, crampons, protective equipment, and a sled to haul it all. Climbers take on steep vertical grades and glacier travel, during which they can encounter crevasses that go hundreds of feet deep into the ice — and that's all on top of the sheer physical challenge of climbing a mountain at an altitude few humans ever experience.Base Camp on the Kahiltna Glacier in Denali National Park. Mountaineers climbing Denali, the highest mountain in North America, are dropped off here by ski planes, visible in photo.Getty ImagesThere are specific skill sets climbers should have, like snow and ice climbing, glacier travel, cold-weather camping, and exceptional cardiovascular fitness. But even then, it is hard to gauge if a person is ready.The most basic measure for whether or not a climber is prepared — physically, technically, psychologically — for a Denali expedition is straightforward: Would you attempt what you are doing if you were alone on this mountain?If the answer is no, you shouldn't be there.A shared passionMaynard and Wilson teamed up to tackle Denali in late 2020.The two were high school classmates in Fairbanks, the largest and coldest city in Alaska's Interior region and the closest city to Denali. It's known for being one of the best places to see the northern lights, and for long summer days when the sun never sets.They both ran cross country, traveling with the team to faraway meets on weekends, and were part of a large friend group of cross country skiers. But they bonded most over their shared passion for mountaineering.They stayed close even after Maynard moved to Montana to get a degree in exercise science and work as a ski instructor, keeping up with each other's adventures through texts and social media, and planned excursions whenever their schedules aligned. Whenever Maynard returned home to Alaska, she'd check in with Wilson. "I'm always trying to get invited on his adventures because he stays busy," she said. Wilson has lived in Alaska his whole life. When not climbing, skiing, surfing, or recreating outdoors in some capacity, he worked as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay."I grew up winter camping with my family and doing wintertime hunting and all these things that I feel like was preparation leading up to this Denali climb," Wilson told me. They had both skied pristine backcountry landscapes and conquered peaks in Alaska and elsewhere. They had lots of training with rope systems, including on past climbs and through courses. Neither had much experience above 14,000 feet.But having grown up in Alaska, Denali always loomed large. It's a famously challenging expedition for any mountaineer, but, more than that, it's their home mountain."My grandpa used to take me out of school on bluebird days" — clear, sunny days that follow a night of snowfall, Maynard told me. "He's a pilot and he would fly me around Denali.""One time he got close enough that you could see the climbers. And I remember that moment just being like, 'Wow.'"Base CampIn early May of 2021, Maynard and Wilson finally stepped out onto Kahiltna Glacier.The plan was to tackle the West Buttress, Denali's most popular, and least technical, route. It's a 15-mile journey to the summit, gaining more than 13,000 feet in elevation along the way. As with the other camps higher up the mountain, base camp has room for dozens of tents but no physical infrastructure.From camp to camp, climbers make their way up the mountain in strategic bursts. Moving too quickly can be dangerous. Climbers will take full days to wait out bad weather, rest, and acclimatize to the higher altitudes as the air gets thinner and thinner.There's also some essential backtracking. To lighten the load they're carrying, climbers will bury some of their gear in the snow, marking it with a flag, and then double back for it once they've set up camp higher up the mountain.  When the mountain is busy, especially in late spring when there's near round-the-clock sunlight, the camps come alive, forming makeshift towns. Killing time at the camps is part of the experience, and can involve kicking around a hacky sack, doing yoga, or getting to know other climbers.One morning, still early on the route, Maynard and Wilson were flying kites when they first met Adam Rawski. Rawski, tall with dark hair, was about a decade older and lived on Canada's west coast. He worked as the VP of finance at a clean technology company in Vancouver, and spent as much time as he could in the wilderness. "Backcountry skiing, downhill mountain biking, rock climbing, ice climbing," he would tell me later. "You name it, I would do it." After climbing most major peaks in the Pacific Northwest — including Mount Rainier, which at 14,417 feet, is considered a precursor to Denali — he decided to take on "the great one." He had come to Alaska with a fellow climber from back home. Rawski was a friendly presence at the camps, going out of his way to meet other climbers. "I would just walk around and say hi to people," he said.  He and his partner started out around the same time as Maynard and Wilson, so the teams were moving up the mountain at a similar pace. During rest periods, Rawski would join them for a game of cards. One day, when Maynard and Wilson needed butter, Rawski gave them some of his. "We made friends with him pretty quickly," Maynard told me.When they reached 14 Camp — one of two potential launching pads to take the summit — there was a problem: Rawski's partner had decided to pull out.A new partner for the upper mountainAt 14,200 feet — just shy of the height of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the Lower 48 — 14 Camp marks the start of what rangers call the upper mountain. From here, the weather gets even more unpredictable and climbers are more likely to face relentless whiteout conditions — as well as unbearable wind, altitude sickness, frostbite, or hypothermia.Many climbers reach 14 Camp and decide not to go any further. Others, eager to minimize the time spent lugging heavy equipment in this increasingly desolate and punishing environment, store their gear here and — skipping the final resting spot, High Camp, at 17,200 feet — make their final push to the summit. This goes against park rangers' recommendation. Climbers who do not have prior experience above 14,000 feet in arctic conditions have "no real conception of how their body will respond to such stresses," they explained in the report published days after Rawski's fall. "There are very few mountaineers capable of moving fast enough to accomplish this safely." Setting up camp at High Camp gives climbers more time to acclimate to the higher elevation and makes for a shorter trek to and from Denali's summit. Despite this, the report said, more climbers were choosing the more dangerous route of trying to summit from 14 Camp.Sarah Maynard making her way along the 16,000 ft ridge of Denali during an early morning attempt to reach the summit.Grant WilsonThe issue had been compounded, the rangers said, by the reshuffling that's all too common at 14 Camp. Climbers who want to continue even after their teammates bow out end up forming new teams. (The risk of a crevasse fall, sickness, or serious accident are too high to make solo climbing a safe option.)But team dynamics is one of the biggest factors impacting safety and success on a Denali expedition. Strangers won't know the skill level or risk tolerance of their teammates, or be able to spot when the other person is sick or exhausted. "In many cases, these determined climbers end up forming loose coalitions with other individuals who they have just met for the first time and who are equally summit-driven," the report said."Collectively, this is a recipe for disaster."This was the position that Rawski found himself in that day. He heard that Jason Lance, a military vet who had served in Afghanistan and a father of four from Mountain Green, Utah, was also looking for a partner. The two teamed up and decided to push for the summit the next day. (Lance declined multiple interview requests from Insider and did not respond to a detailed list of questions.)"It was a very last-minute, hasty decision," Rawski later said."In hindsight, probably not the best idea."Summit day: 'Push through it and get by'A few hours after midnight on May 24, Rawski and Lance left 14 Camp and set off for the summit. Aided by the almost constant daylight, they figured the early start would give them enough time to summit and capitalize on the clear weather.A couple hours later, Maynard and Wilson also set off from 14 Camp. At around 9 a.m., they stopped to rest at High Camp and ran into Rawski and Lance.Immediately it was clear to them that Rawski was not himself. He was quiet, dehydrated, and had diarrhea. Another team that was staying at High Camp was boiling snow into potable water for Rawski to drink.Rawski told me he remembers being dehydrated and exhausted, but at the time didn't think his condition was especially worrisome. "I've been tired in that sort of situation before in the past. So I was sort of like, 'Push through it and get by.'"Maynard and Wilson — who were meeting Lance for the first time — both said they wondered if Rawski was better off turning back, but decided it wasn't their place to push it."When somebody's that sick, you don't continue with the original plan." Wilson told me later. "Jason Lance, as his partner that day, should have made some serious adjustments to their plan knowing how dehydrated Adam was."After some time resting at High Camp, Lance and Rawski resumed the climb, as did Maynard and Wilson.Adam Rawski finishing a dangerously exposed portion of the climb known as the Autobahn.Grant WilsonAt 18,200 feet, Maynard and Wilson stopped at Denali Pass and took a minute to enjoy the breathtaking views. "We were kind of geeking out, looking around and going, 'Oh my gosh, there's the Hayes Range' and 'Oh, there's Hunter,'" Maynard said. "It was really cool, being from Alaska, to just kind of be on top and see all the ranges that we recreate in."A short while later, Maynard and Wilson caught up to Rawski and Lance. Lance motioned to them to huddle up. Turning to Maynard, he suggested that she and Rawski turn back together, and that Lance and Wilson continue up the mountain as a pair. As Maynard remembers it, Lance said, "Sarah, I see you've slowed down. Why don't you take Adam down? Why don't you guide him down and Grant and I can go for the summit."She and Wilson were incredulous. This was their mountain. Who was Lance, not even an Alaskan, to boss them around, Wilson told me later. "It was like, dude, look, we're young, but we're not idiots here."But even as they shut the idea down, they were getting increasingly concerned about Rawski. He was clearly out of it but still saying he wanted to keep going. "Was I experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness? Maybe, I just couldn't realize it myself," Rawski told me later.So, they kept going, letting Rawski set the pace. Wilson later described it as a "zombie march."Then, according to Maynard and Wilson, Lance started moving faster, slowly pushing ahead of the group. "We stayed on either side of Adam, and Jason just got farther and farther and farther ahead, until he disappeared over a little pass," Wilson said. "It wasn't verbalized. There was no discussion involved. It was quite obvious what was going on." Lance was ditching them with his partner and going for a solo summit attempt.Lance later disputed this account, saying he went up ahead in hopes of waving down another team, climbers Maynard knew from Montana. But Maynard said he didn't say that at the time and, in any event, she was in radio contact with her friends.I asked Rawski about whether or not he felt Lance had abandoned him. "I don't really feel like he abandoned me too much," Rawski said. Lance, he said, "just felt like more of that sort of lone wolf who wanted to make it to the summit, no matter how, whether it be solo or with the group." At 19,200 feet, .2 miles from the summit, Maynard and Wilson decided they had to turn back. Lance was out of sight, Rawski was in bad shape, and they too were starting to slow down.But first, the three of them paused to look around and take it all in, their high point on Denali. "For the first time in the day, Adam kind of seemed like himself for a little bit. He asked us to take some videos of him," Wilson said.Rawski wanted to take a video for his girlfriend. Maynard remembered him playfully shouting out his love from the highest point on the continent."I was able to look back and see my hometown, where I've seen Denali on the horizon for most of my life," Wilson said. "That was a really amazing feeling."The fallMaynard guided Rawski as the three climbers began their descent. Around every 100 feet, Rawski would have to sit down, and his stomach hurt so badly that he wasn't able to eat or drink anything, Maynard and Wilson said.By the time they reached Denali Pass, Lance — having apparently abandoned his own summit attempt — caught back up with them. Maynard and Wilson figured they would return to their original configuration: Maynard and Wilson, Rawski and Lance.Ahead of them lay the Autobahn.To catch themselves in the case of a fall, climbers jam long, T-shaped pieces of metal called pickets several feet into the ice or snow. They secure a carabiner to the picket, run a rope through it, and attach the rope to their harness. If they trip, the rope goes taught and breaks the fall.Once again, they were going against the advice of Denali's park rangers. Maynard and Wilson planned to ski down the Autobahn, during which they would not use ropes. But Lance and Rawski planned to down climb it, traversing at a downward angle. They were not roped into protection."We had the rope. We had the pickets. We had our carabiners. We had everything," Rawski said. "But from what I recall, Jason was in a bit more of a rush to get down there. So I think we decided to opt out of roping up." In hindsight, he said, this was clearly a mistake. At the time he weighed the benefits and risks and decided not to waste time arguing.Climbers taking on the exposed headwall above 14 Camp. Rangers and volunteers fix lines for climbers to offer protection. In the event that a climber stumbles, the lines will arrest the fall.Grant WilsonIronically, it's the less experienced climbers on Denali who are more likely to descend the Autobahn without the protection of ropes.Tucker Chenoweth, Denali's South District ranger who oversees rescues on Denali, told me he would never do that section of the climb without protection. In his experience, climbers who have mastered rope skills won't think twice about using them "because it's not a hindrance to them.""But if you're not good at it, then it's a pain," he said. Indeed, no one who has died on the Autobahn was roped up with protection.There was also the matter of altitude. "Altitude can give you a somewhat intoxicated feeling, where things don't seem as important as they are," Chenoweth told me. "Even if you're climatized, you're feeling the effects of altitude sickness that challenges not only your physical ability, but your decision-making ability." At this point, Maynard was positioned slightly lower on the pass than Lance. She clipped herself into a picket before grabbing her skis. Wilson was briefly out of sight after just stepping away from the group to go to the bathroom.Lance was standing a bit higher and around a slight ledge.Maynard was pulling on her skis when all of a sudden Lance shouted down to her: "Where's Adam?""I thought he was climbing up to you," Maynard said. At first they thought maybe he had also gone to the bathroom, but when Wilson returned a few minutes later he was alone."That's the hard part about splitting partners," Wilson would tell me. "It's like, 'Whose problem is this incapacitated climber? We're handing him back off now, who's taking care of him?'"They started calling out for Rawski: "Adam! Adam! Where'd you go?"Lance was the one who spotted him, lying at the bottom of the Autobahn some 1,000 feet below. It didn't seem possible that he could have survived. Wilson thought he was going to puke.Lance was carrying Rawski's Garmin inReach, a satellite communications device, and used it to request a rescue crew.From the top of the Autobahn, there was nothing more they could do for Rawski. And they still had to get themselves down safely.A risky rescueGuides at High Camp who saw the fall alerted the park service within seconds of Rawski landing at the bottom of the Autobahn. Helicopter pilot Andy Hermansky was sitting at Base Camp, twiddling his thumbs, when he got the call. He wouldn't normally be there. The helicopter would normally be parked in Talkeetna. But he had flown a team of scientists up to take some glacial samples and was just waiting for them.Hermansky made a quick stop at 14 Camp to pick up Chris Erickson, a Denali ranger and law enforcement officer who was on the mountain. In the more than ten years they worked together on Denali, the two teamed up on many rescues. They'd become close friends, hanging out even in the off-season and attending each other's birthday parties.The average response time for a rescue helicopter can be several hours. But between the good luck of Rawski falling in full view of High Camp, the helicopter being close by, and the skilled maneuvering of the rescue team, this rescue happened with extraordinary speed — which is very likely why Rawski is alive to talk about it. A ranger waiting to be picked up by a helicopter in Denali National Park. Rangers patrol the mountain between Base Camp and the summit. Helicopter rescues are called only if there's a direct threat to life, limb, or eyesight.Menno Boermans/Getty ImagesThe environment on the upper mountain is inherently dangerous for helicopters, and there wasn't a flat surface close to Rawski to allow for a regular landing. Instead, Hermansky decided to try a high-risk maneuver that's common in snowy mountain terrains.Hovering near Rawski, Hermansky carefully lowered the helicopter so only the front part of the skids were touching the ground, while the back parts remained in the air. The helicopter blades chopped through the air just a few feet from the ground. Hermansky gave Erickson a quick nod, signaling conditions were safe enough to go through with the rescue.With the helicopter in that position, Erickson slowly crawled out onto the skids, careful not to make a sudden weight transfer that would cause Hermansky to lose control, and then onto the ground.Within 30 minutes of Rawski's fall, Erickson was at his side — "frankly shocked," Erickson would tell me later, to find Rawski alive."I fully expected him to be dead," Erickson said. He motioned to a mountain guide — also a friend of his — who had seen the fall from High Camp and trekked over. Together, the two of them did an overhead body press and were able to load Rawski into the helicopter. Erickson carefully climbed back in, and they were off."I've dealt with colder rescues. I've dealt with windier rescues, I've dealt with rescues at a higher elevation," Erickson would say later.But the thing that made this rescue exceptional? Time.'Can't descend safely. Patients in shock.'Up at the top of the Autobahn, time was working against Rawski's climbing companions. Around 16 hours had now passed since Maynard and Wilson set off from 14 Camp, which was a long time to spend at such high altitude. They were exhausted. As Wilson, Maynard, and Lance watched the rescue from atop Denali Pass, they were also in a state of disbelief. Wilson remembers thinking that the helicopter, hovering so far below, almost looked like a toy. "We were just trying to comprehend that they were loading our friend's body onto a helicopter," he said.When Lance proposed calling in another rescue — this one for the three of them — Maynard and Wilson said they considered it. "Of course we were like, 'Yeah, I want a rescue. We just watched someone die. Maybe the slope is too unsafe to down climb,'" Maynard said.But they quickly snapped out of it. "No one's coming for us," she remembers Wilson saying, with so much emotion. "We have to get ourselves down."Lance was set on a rescue. "I paid the climbing fee. I paid for this rescue," he kept saying, according to Maynard and Wilson. (A permit to climb Denali costs $395. The fee goes towards training and maintaining ranger and volunteer patrols on the mountain, providing critical mountaineering information to climbers, and keeping the area clean.) Lance sent a message to a third-party emergency response service, saying that, while none of them were injured, they didn't have the necessary equipment to descend. Rawski had fallen with the pickets. (The park service unofficially maintains pickets on the Autobahn, but climbers are told not to rely on them and be prepared to place their own.)A reply came back, saying he should contact the park service directly. He did that next. "The helicopter cannot come to your location and is not flying any more tonight," the park service replied. "Do you have a rope with you? Your only option tonight is descent." Lance persisted. "Cant decend safely," he wrote. "Patients in shock. Early hypothermia. Cant you land east of pass?"This wasn't true. Neither Maynard and Wilson were in medical shock or hypothermic, and they said they never suggested to Lance that they were. They were getting colder, especially after standing around for so long, and wanted to start descending, but Lance refused. Maynard and Wilson have estimated that they spent a total of three hours in that spot, trying to convince Lance to down climb with them. When they finally said they were leaving, with or without Lance, he agreed to go.From High Camp, guides could see the trio descending and radioed Erickson.Lance's message had in fact gotten the rangers' attention. The park service is explicit that climbers must be self-sufficient and stresses that a rescue should only be requested in the case of a direct threat to life, limb, or eyesight. Even then, a rescue is not guaranteed, as rescuer safety is a top priority. It's not uncommon for the park service to turn down a rescue request.But Lance's message made their situation sound like a true emergency, since medical shock can be fatal. Lance, a radiologist, would likely know that.It was too dangerous to attempt a helicopter rescue at the top of the Autobahn, so Erickson had dispatched a helicopter to drop off supplies for them to set up camp where they were.Unbeknownst to Lance, Maynard, and Wilson, a helicopter was on its way when they finally budged from their location. But since rangers' protocol is that climbers are never told to expect a helicopter — doing so could make a dangerous situation worse, and climbers have died waiting around for a promised rescue — they assumed all they could do was start down climbing.Maynard and Wilson described the two hours the group spent descending the Autobahn essentially as a rescue of Lance. They both said he didn't appear to have a handle on rope skills, and that he kept leaving far too much slack in the lines in between them. Maynard, concerned for their safety, kept shouting at Lance to keep the rope tight.When they finally arrived at High Camp sometime after 10 p.m., Denali guides greeted them with food and camping gear. But the next chapter of their ordeal was just beginning.Maynard and Wilson said they listened, flabbergasted, as Lance told the guides how the two Alaskans had been in serious need of a rescue. But, between their exhaustion and the fact that they still had to share a tent with him that night, they didn't bother correcting him.Jason Lance in the tent with mountain guides who had provided him, Sarah Maynard, and Grant Wilson with food and shelter at High Camp after their ordeal.Grant WilsonThe next day, Erickson met them at 14 Camp and questioned them about what had happened. Maynard and Wilson said they were not in shock or hypothermic on Denali Pass. When Erickson asked Lance about this, Lance — according to Erickson — insisted that as a doctor he would recognize signs of hypothermia before the climbers and that he "did not need to be lectured on hypothermia."When Erickson asked Lance to hand over Rawski's personal items, including his inReach device, Lance retreated into his tent. It would later be alleged that Lance had used this time to delete the original message where he said the group required equipment, but not medical attention. After several requests from Erickson, Lance eventually handed over the device.The three were told they were free to return to the base of the mountain. Maynard and Wilson avoided Lance the rest of the descent.Lance's storyOn November 9 — six months after the climb — Lance was charged with three misdemeanor counts: violating a lawful order of a government employee, interfering with a rescue operation, and making a false report.The prosecutor said Lance's actions displayed a "selfishness and indifference to the scarcity of public safety and rescue resources that is unacceptable anywhere, let alone on the tallest peak in North America."In April, in exchange for pleading guilty to the first count, the other two charges were dropped. Lance was banned from Denali for five years and ordered to pay $10,000 — half to the government, half as a charitable donation to the nonprofit Denali Rescue Volunteers.Appearing in court on the day of Lance's sentencing, Wilson and Erickson both gave extensive testimony about everything that happened that day on Denali — how Lance had pushed ahead, how he'd behaved toward Rawski, despite his fragile state. Even though the charges related to Lance's actions after Rawski's fall, it was clear that Lance's behavior throughout the last leg of their climb was of interest to the court.Finally, it was Lance's turn to address the court. And, naturally, he painted a very different picture of himself than the one the others had presented. He opened by saying the day's events had been "life-changing" – "You know, life-changing for me and, you know, tragic in Adam's case."Lance insisted he always had the group's safety at top of mind. When he separated from the others on the ascent, he said he was just trying to get a good vantage point to wave down another team for help."I had no intention of summiting and ditching the party," he said.After Rawski's fall, and as they tried to collect themselves atop Denali Pass, he said that the three of them, himself included, were experiencing emotional trauma. It reminded him of being in Afghanistan during his 14 years in the military."We would see people come in being shot or witnessing bombings, IED explosions, and whatnot. And it was not uncommon to see people who had witnessed a traumatic event go into psychological shock. And that's clearly what was going on here," he said.His immediate concern was that Rawski had fallen with the pickets, and said that was why he had first radioed for help. He said communicating on the clunky satellite device was like typing into a cell phone from the 1990s. As the hours passed, he said, his concerns about shock and hypothermia were genuine."I had to make a choice, based on what information we had," Lance said, adding that Maynard and Wilson are the same age as his kids. "If my kids were up here with somebody else, what would I have them do? I was reluctant to make that descent until I had exhausted every other means of getting us safely off there."Ultimately, Lance realized the helicopter wasn't coming, and that they could either sit there and freeze to death or make a risky descent. "Make no mistake, that descent was unsafe," he said.When I asked Erickson what he made of Lance's defense, or the idea that his decision-making at that altitude could not be trusted, he didn't buy it. He said rangers work in those conditions everyday, often making high-stakes decisions."We're not superheroes," he said. "We don't acclimatize better or worse than anyone else."As for the charge he pleaded guilty to — violating Erickson's order to hand over the inReach device — Lance said it wasn't clear to him it was an official request and that, either way, he felt he needed it for the remainder of his descent, for safety reasons, even though the device was Rawski's.Lance claimed his interactions with Erickson amounted to a clash of personalities, and that Erickson simply wasn't interested in hearing his thoughts on how the park service could handle things better. "I was tired. I was stressed. And, frankly, I just — I didn't want to really talk to him," Lance said.While Lance stopped short of apologizing, he said he hopes in the future in situations like this he "would have kind of a cooler head."Early morning sunrise on the Alaska Range. Denali's "summit shadow" (left) casting over the Kahiltna and Mt. Foraker (right), North America's sixth tallest peak.Grant WilsonThe aftermathWhen they made it off Denali, Maynard and Wilson visited the hospital in Anchorage. Rawski was unconscious in the ICU and it fell on them to tell his loved ones what happened. Instead of flowers, they left a stick of butter at his bedside — a wink at how Rawski had helped them out early in the climb.Rawski was in a coma for two months. He had broken ribs, collapsed lungs, fractured spinal bones, a broken talus and humerus, and nerve damage in his arm. When he finally emerged from the coma and learned what happened — he says he can remember everything up to about five minutes before the fall — he felt like he was reading about another person. "You're like, 'Oh, what an amateur. They didn't know what they were doing,'" he told me. "'The Adam I know would never do that.'"After seven months in the hospital, he was released in December, but the road to recovery is long.In the months since, his walking has improved substantially, and he can even muster a "very awkward jog." He hopes to get back to being the active, outdoorsy person he was before the fall, but he's not sure what exactly that will look like."I think the most difficult thing was, in the past year, my whole identity was changed," he said, again switching into the third person narrator of his story: "The biggest thing was just sort of accepting that changed identity and trying to pretty much redefine who Adam should be."Maynard and Wilson have also spent the last 14 months working through what went wrong on the mountain that day."I was passionate about guiding before and now, more than ever," Wilson said. "I feel called to be on the mountain… making sure that the same things don't happen that happened to Adam."Maynard went through months of therapy to confront the guilt she felt over not hearing Rawski fall or making sure he was roped up. "Even now, every day I relive it," she said. "It's the exact same moment of clipping myself into the picket at the Autobahn, and then looking over and Adam's gone."Despite the many things she thinks Lance did wrong, she says she can't help but sympathize with him.She chalked up Lance's actions to an "ignorance of climber responsibility and his heightened sense of self importance.""I came across a photo of him in one of the reports that has come out recently and I honestly didn't recognize him without the look of desperation on his face," she said. "He was definitely just trying anything and everything to find the magic words to get off the mountain."Rawski's fall was just one of about 20 search and rescue efforts the park service completed on Denali in the 2021 season, mostly for frostbite or extreme altitude sickness. Two incidents were fatal. Chenoweth said the outdoor climbing boom has resulted in a noticeable shift in the types of people arriving at Denali — more summit chasers, fewer wilderness seekers. It's easy for climbers to forget that in remote corners of the earth like Denali, more often than not, you're on your own. Though Denali is an extreme example, it highlights a disconnect that often exists when humans flee from the comforts and safety of modern society and head outdoors. The places we visit are still wild. And while that doesn't mean we shouldn't go, we should treat them with the reverence they deserve when we do.Climbers typically fly to Alaska on a commercial airplane. They take a shuttle to a hotel and go grocery shopping for supplies. They hop on a smaller plane and get dropped off in the wilderness. Even when they arrive, there are other climbers on the glacier, fostering a deceiving sense of safety in numbers. Better and cheaper satellite communications devices have also helped create a "false sense of security."Most climbers taking on Denali wouldn't be able to get back to civilization if the plane never came back to pick them up, Chenoweth said."They lose this sense of scale and I think people don't quite recognize how deep in the wilderness they are."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 22nd, 2022

Airbnb will up its maximum penalty for hosts who cancel last-minute from $100 to $1,000

Aribnb is changing its policy to further penalise hosts who cancel on guests for preventable reasons such as double-booking. Getty Airbnb is changing its cancellation fee policy for hosts from August 22. Hosts who cancel reservations last-minute could face a fee of up to $1,000. The current maximum fee is $100. Airbnb is changing its cancellation policy so hosts who suddenly cancel guests' reservations could pay a penalty ten times higher than what they pay now.Currently the maximum penalty for hosts that cancel reservations less than seven days before check-in is $100. From August 22, the maximum fee will be $1,000, Airbnb said in blog post Wednesday. Fees are deducted from hosts' future payouts.Airbnb said it is changing its policy to crack down on hosts cancelling on guests unfairly."When Hosts cancel on guests for preventable reasons — such as accidentally double-booking or wanting to host friends and family instead — guests lose the confidence to book on Airbnb, and this affects all Hosts and hurts our entire community," the company said."We found that this fee structure doesn't adequately reflect the costs of moving guests into a similar or better place, often at the last minute, after a Host cancels for an avoidable reason," it added.Airbnb did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider to ask why it is waiting until near the end of the summer holiday season to enact the new policy.Hosts will still be able to apply for exemptions to the fees if they have to cancel for a valid reason such as emergency repairs to the property or personal illness.Hosts are also allowed to cancel reservations if they can prove a guest intends to throw a party at their property.Airbnb permanently banned house parties in June, solidifying a temporary ban it introduced in August 2020 in response to the COVID pandemic."Over time, the party ban became much more than a public health measure," the company said in June."It developed into a bedrock community policy to support our Hosts and their neighbors," it added.This summer has seen a strong rebound in international travel, leading to widespread travel chaos as airlines struggle to cope with the renewed demand.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 22nd, 2022

Twitter censored a post by MTG that mocked a trans official but didn"t delete it because it "may be in the public"s interest"

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene insulted and appeared to deadname Dr. Rachel Levine, a top official at the Department of Health and Human Services. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images Twitter put a warning label on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's tweet about a transgender official. It was about Dr. Rachel Levine, Biden's assistant secretary for health. Twitter said the post violated hateful-conduct rules but should stay as it "may" be in the public interest. Twitter censored a post by GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene that mocked an openly transgender official, but said that it was not removing it as it could be "in the public's interest."Greene shared a short MSNBC clip on Monday that showed Dr. Rachel Levine, the assistant secretary for health for the Department of Health and Human Services, speaking about transgender youth.Levine is the first openly transgender official confirmed by the US Senate. She was formerly Pennsylvania's health secretary and physician general, and was sworn in as an admiral last year.In her tweet, Greene appeared to deadname Levine and made a crude reference to children's genitalia.Twitter placed a warning labels on the tweet, meaning users are shown a warning message from Twitter rather than the post. But users can still see the post by clicking "view."Twitter has the ability to remove users' tweets, but said in this case that it should remain accessible as it could be in the public interest."This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about hateful conduct. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible," the warning message said.Neither the Department of Health and Human Services nor Twitter immediately responded to Insider's request for comment.Greene reacted to the warning label in a later tweet, saying: "Twitter says this tweet violated rules about hateful conduct. I can't imagine anything more hateful than promoting 'gender reassignment' surgeries for children."Earlier this year Greene said she felt "threatened" by transgender women like Levine. Last year she also posted an anti-transgender sign outside her Capitol Hill office.Twitter permanently banned Greene's personal account in January for spreading COVID-19 misinformation.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 19th, 2022

Alluvial Fund 2Q22 Commentary: Copper Property CTL Pass Through Trust

Alluvial Fund commentary for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021, discussing their new investment in Copper Property CTL Pass Through Trust (OTCMKTS:CPPTL). Dear Partners, Alluvial Fund declined 9.9% in the second quarter and is down 16.5% year-to-date. By contrast, the Russell Microcap Index lost 19.0% this quarter and has fallen 25.1% in 2022. It’s […] Alluvial Fund commentary for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021, discussing their new investment in Copper Property CTL Pass Through Trust (OTCMKTS:CPPTL). Dear Partners, Alluvial Fund declined 9.9% in the second quarter and is down 16.5% year-to-date. By contrast, the Russell Microcap Index lost 19.0% this quarter and has fallen 25.1% in 2022. It’s ugly out there. At the halfway point of the year, global stock markets have recorded one of their worst performances in modern market history. Fortunately for us and in keeping with the historical pattern, Alluvial Fund has managed to avoid a portion of the decline. Our holdings, with their robust balance sheets and durable cash flows, have fared far better than the hyper-growth (and hypo-profit) story stocks that investors bid to dizzying heights last year. Nevertheless, our holdings are public. They rise and fall on the whims of investors. And investors sure are a capricious bunch. When mounting stress and fear cause the stock market to tumble, our holdings are not wholly unaffected. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Charlie Munger in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more I don’t worry about falling stock prices. I don’t enjoy them by any means, but they don’t keep me up at night. What I do worry about is permanent loss of capital. There are a variety of ways to achieve a permanent loss, but at the heart of each is the same error: over-paying. There’s a school of thought, a very popular one at present, that says investors should spend all their time identifying the market’s highest quality companies and ignore all the rest. And that once these paragons of virtue are found, nearly any price can be paid for their shares and a good outcome assured. I am not a subscriber. I am willing to invest in average or even sub-par businesses, provided they are priced so modestly that a large margin of safety exists. A company does not have to dominate its industry, invent the next iPhone, or become a global household name for shareholders to earn an outstanding return. Indeed, a company can do all these things and still deliver only middling returns if the achievements were priced in from the beginning. I would rather spend time finding situations where the market’s expectations of a company are so low (or barely exist at all) that even modest success means a much higher stock price. It’s much tougher to over-pay for a company where the market expects little than to over-pay for one from which the market expects continuous and unbounded success. Now, investing in low expectations companies and securities is not for the impatient. But neither is Alluvial Fund. The Rundown Our portfolio’s holdings are relatively unchanged from last quarter, but multiple companies reported meaningful positive developments. The market doesn’t care, but that is the normal state of affairs during bear markets. When the fear subsides, fundamentals will matter once again. P10 Inc. In June, I attended the P10 Inc (NYSE:PX) shareholder meeting in Dallas. Co-CEO Robert Alpert presided and did a fine job providing an overview of the company’s initiatives and fielding questions from the handful of investors in attendance. I asked if P10 were considering how to add permanent capital vehicles to its assets under management, and the answer was an enthusiastic “Yes.” So I was pleased to see the company announce a large indirect investment in Crossroads Impact Corp. Crossroads will serve as a growing source of permanent capital for P10’s impact investing platform, Enhanced Capital. The upshot is additional high-margin, recurring revenue for P10. P10 has traded down this year in sympathy with other alternative asset managers. However, the firm continues to grow its base of contractually guaranteed fee revenue. A murkier economic outlook makes fund-raising more challenging, but it will not permanently dampen P10’s prospects. Shares are worth at least $18 (50% upside from here) and more if the company can execute on acquisition opportunities. Unidata S.p.A. If there is a bull market to be found, it may be in grim headlines from Europe. Energy woes. A looming recession. Resigning premieres. It comes as no surprise that investors have done an about face on several of our European holdings despite dirt cheap valuations and long-term industry tailwinds. But a continental recession, even a deep one, will not bring the expansion of broadband internet in Italy to a halt. Unidata SpA (BIT:UD) keeps on hustling to build out its network, and the customer list keeps growing. Most recently, Unidata announced a joint venture with an infrastructure fund to codevelop and manage one of Italy’s first energy efficient data centers. Creative moves like this will enable Unidata to roughly double its cash flow by 2025. I expect shares to reach €100 well before then. Garrett Motion Preferreds Garrett Motion Inc (NASDAQ:GTXAP) is an exercise in patience. Just as it seemed the global automotive market was about to recover to pre-COVID production, along came Russia, inflation, and the threat of recession. Still, the company is making great strides in improving and simplifying its balance sheet. In June, the company redeemed the rest of the Series B preferred shares it issued to Honeywell when it exited bankruptcy in 2021. With the Series Bs out of the way, Garrett Motion is free to dedicate its cash flow to continued deleveraging or share buybacks. At some point in the next year or two, the conditions will be met for Garrett Motion to convert these preferreds and simplify their capital structure. If the market stubbornly refuses to value Garrett Motion shares at a reasonable price, I believe the company will pursue a sale or merger. Until then, our preferred shares will continue to accrue dividends at an attractive yield. The preferreds are worth at least $15 today, and possibly $20 or more if the company can reduce leverage and/or buy back shares and the automotive market recovers. Pegroco Invest AB Preferreds As expected, Pegroco Invest AB (STO:PEGRO-PREF) has resumed paying quarterly dividends on its preferred shares. However, the company has yet to pay out the arrearage that built up while COVID ravaged the economy. This arrearage continues to build and now exceeds SEK 24 per share. At SEK 110, Pegroco preferreds offer a distribution yield of 8.6%, with investors to receive an additional dividend of 22% of the trading price at some point in the future. Pegroco’s asset value covers the preferred and dividends in arrears several times over, and Pegroco has recently taken steps to monetize a few investments and build liquidity. Pegroco is an example of a special situation that has worked very well for Alluvial Fund, but we’re not quite done here. TIM S.A. Poor TIM SA (WSE:TIM). Despite continued excellent results, shares have been trashed as the Polish construction market slows. The market now values TIM at just 4x my estimate of operating income as of June 30. Citing poor market conditions, the company announced it would delay the planned IPO of its e-commerce logistics company 3PL. TIM has gone from “very cheap” to “wildly cheap” this year. The market is too focused on near-term headwinds in TIM’s electronic components distribution business and is missing the continued growth and huge market opportunity at 3PL. Management apparently agrees and has announced a repurchase plan covering 14% of TIM’s shares outstanding. With Polish investors as morose as they have been in years, it could take time for TIM shares to rebound. But the market cannot ignore TIM’s profitability and growth forever. Introducing Copper Property CTL Pass Through Trust We have a new holding in Copper Property CTL Pass Through Trust (OTCMKTS:CPPTL). That’s a bit of a mouthful, so we’ll call it “CPT.” CPT is a highly attractive liquidation opportunity. CPT was created out of the JC Penney bankruptcy to own a variety of JC Penney’s store properties and distribution centers. CPT is a liquidating trust tasked with selling off all 146 remaining properties within three years and distributing monthly net rents received until then. These properties are on an 18-year triple net master lease to New JC Penney. The reorganized JC Penney is well-financed and profitable. CPT’s market capitalization is $956 million. The trust has a small cash balance and zero debt. Gross annual rents from JC Penney are $111 million. After the cost of management fees and sales effortrelated expenses, the trust distributes nearly $100 million to holders annually. This 10%+ yield is simply too high for a geographically diversified collection of commercial properties on long-term triple net lease to a good quality tenant. Today trust units are changing hands at around $12.75. Ultimately, I expect us to receive liquidation proceeds of $18 or more within three years, plus $1.30 per share in annualized distributions for an internal rate of return of at least 20%. The faster that CPT winds up, the better the outcome. Know anyone who wants to buy some real estate? Expert Market Fireworks Since last year’s SEC rule change that effectively eliminated public quotation of non-SEC reporting securities, we have continued to hold a select few of the affected stocks, viewing them as quasipermanent holdings. These are high-quality companies with competent, well-aligned management teams. The kind of holdings you can tuck away in a portfolio for a decade or longer with full confidence that the value of your investment is growing at an attractive rate. I know we won’t often hear from these companies, but they will occasionally surprise us with positive developments. It’s an exciting day when an annual report from one of them shows up in my mailbox. This month’s entertainment came in the form of an annual report from Boston Sand & Gravel. The company had an excellent year, earning $80 per share in operating profit. The balance sheet couldn’t be stronger with $250 per share in net cash and at least $100 per share in non-core real estate it is preparing for sale. Shares most recently changed hands at $610. Boston Sand & Gravel will have ups and downs, but its strategic location within the city limits of Boston ensures it will enjoy steady demand for its products for decades to come. If sold, Boston Sand & Gravel would fetch at least $1,800 per share. It won’t be sold any time soon. But even families adamantly against selling sometimes change course when a generational transition happens or a seller simply makes a generous offer. That’s what happened with Ash Grove Cement a few years back. Until then, we will enjoy a growing stream of dividends and a more and more profitable and valuable Boston Sand & Gravel under the experienced leadership of the Boylan family. Another Alluvial Fund expert market holding making waves is Cuisine Solutions, an innovator in food technology. Unlike a lot of “innovators,” Cuisine Solutions manages to be highly profitable while dedicating millions to research and development. The company has spent the last few years constructing new state of the art facilities to produce its sous vide items for sale at Costco and Starbucks, and for use by several airlines and restaurant chains. Turns out it wasn’t just a few eccentric investors who noticed. In June, Bain Capital stepped up to invest $250 million in convertible preferred stock, valuing Cuisine Solutions at over $1 billion. Bain’s investment provides ample capital for expansion and sets the company on a path to an IPO and exchange listing in a few years. To my amazement, we have been able to acquire quite a few additional Cuisine Solutions shares since the announcement at prices 60% below the conversion price of Bain’s investment. I expect to Cuisine Solutions to reward us richly in the coming years. Until then, if you see their products somewhere, give them a try! You won’t be disappointed. Concluding Thoughts and Updates As I stated at the beginning of this letter, it’s ugly out there. Given the prevailing uncertainty, investors are reluctant to commit new funds to any companies facing short-term headwinds. But that’s not all bad. The market is offering us a chance to invest in many different companies at shockingly low multiples of profits a few years out. That doesn’t mean these same shares won’t experience further declines, or that they will regain all their lost ground quickly once economic sentiment and conditions improve. Investor confidence, once it is gone, takes time to return. But I have little doubt that buying shares of high-quality enterprises at mid-single digit multiples of 2025 earnings or free cash flows will prove as rewarding as ever over a reasonable time frame. I have been very willing to “provide liquidity” to some panicky sellers in stocks I know well, and I expect these purchases will work out very well once some of the fear subsides. I thank you for your confidence in Alluvial Fund. This month we welcomed our largest investment by a new partner in multiple years, and several other new and existing partners stepped up with additional capital for investment in the quarter. I continue to hold my entire investable assets within Alluvial Fund. I welcome questions from partners about our portfolio and strategy. Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone or e-mail. Expect to receive details about an upcoming webinar in the next few weeks. Best Regards, Dave Waters, CFA Alluvial Capital Management, LLC Updated on Jul 18, 2022, 2:15 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJul 18th, 2022

Skittles Allegedly "Unfit For Human Consumption," Lawsuit Claims

Skittles Allegedly "Unfit For Human Consumption," Lawsuit Claims Bloomberg Law reports a new lawsuit filed in California claims that Skittles contain a dangerous toxin called "titanium dioxide," rendering the candy "unfit for human consumption."  On Thursday, plaintiff Jenile Thames filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of California against Skittles-maker Mars Inc., alleging consumers who "taste the rainbow" of sugar "are at heightened risk of a host of health effects for which they were unaware stemming from genotoxicity – the ability of a chemical substance to change DNA." Mars uses titanium dioxide as food coloring to make the candy more visually appealing. The toxin is also used in industrial applications such as plastics, adhesives, printer inks, and roofing materials.  The civil suit argues Mars understood the risks of using titanium dioxide in candy-making and, in 2016, even publicly announced that it would eliminate the toxin from food. In Europe, France banned the toxin from food in 2019, and in 2021, the European Food Safety Authority determined it couldn't be considered safe for consumption. "Incredibly, Defendant even claimed that '[a]rtificial colors pose no known risks to human health or safety,'" Thames's lawsuit alleges. "In doing so, Defendant concealed from consumers material information it knew." Thames said Skittles sold in the US still contain titanium dioxide and Mars is "failing to inform consumers of the implications of consuming the toxin." "Instead, Defendant relies on the ingredient list which is provided in minuscule print on the back of the Products, the reading of which is made even more challenging by the lack of contrast in color between the font and packaging, as set out below in a manner in which consumers would normally view the product in the store," court papers said.  Thames seeks class-action status for all US consumers and unspecified damages from Mars.  Tyler Durden Sat, 07/16/2022 - 19:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 16th, 2022

Twitter Suspends Pro-Abortion Group Publicizing Justices’ Home Addresses

Twitter Suspends Pro-Abortion Group Publicizing Justices’ Home Addresses Authored by Rita Li via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), After two months of protests outside the homes of conservative justices, Twitter suspended on Thursday the activist group that had leaked their residential addresses. Protesters march past Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's home in Chevy Chase, Maryland on June 8, 2022. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images) Ruth Sent Us, a pro-abortion group named after the late liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, publicized in May a map containing the locations of the six GOP-appointed Supreme Court justice’s residences on its website, before inciting far-left activists to protest there. It was in the wake of a leaked draft majority opinion from the high court to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision, which had granted a federal right to abortion nationwide since 1973. “Our 6-3 extremist Supreme Court routinely issues rulings that hurt women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ and immigrant rights,” the group claimed online at the time. “We must rise up to force accountability using a diversity of tactics.” Since then, leftist groups have targeted and walked by the homes of Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Although Ruth Sent Us said it was “committed to non-violence,” many protesters yelled obscenities at justices and their families. The online publicity has already led to a would-be attacker being arrested for attempted murder near Kavanaugh’s house, who had brought a firearm and ammunition after finding the justice’s address online. Ruth Sent Us then highlighted on Twitter the daily routine of justices on the morning of June 8, including Barrett’s church and the school her children attend. “If you’re in the DC metro area, join us. Our protests at Barrett’s home moved the needle to this coverage,” the group said in a June post, which has since been deleted. “Falls Church is a People of Praise stronghold. She sends her seven kids to a People of Praise school that she sat on the Board of Directors for. She attends church DAILY,” the post reads. The group had also pushed for protestors via Twitter to disrupt Catholic masses on Mother’s Day. Twitter did not specify which post was the last straw that touched its red line, but such moves appeared to breach the platform’s official policy that prohibits doxxing. “You may not publish or post other people’s private information without their express authorization and permission. We also prohibit threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so,” the rules state. Protesters march past Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland on June 8, 2022. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images) Conservative critics have questioned the fair enforcement of Twitter’s policy of banning those who purportedly incite violence. Former President Donald Trump was permanently banned from the platform two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol breach for arguing the 2020 election was not legitimate. When the Supreme Court handed down the reversal of Roe v. Wade at the end of June, Ruth Sent Us reposted a map on its website listing the justices’ home addresses, suggesting a new round of onsite demonstrations. Although Facebook banned the group from its platform soon after the reversal, their new account still functioned as recently as this week. “We’re starting fresh here, but we’re on week 10 of sustained protests at the Justices homes, and we’re growing and adapting. Please share widely!” the group stated via its new page on Monday. Tyler Durden Fri, 07/15/2022 - 17:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 15th, 2022

The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the former Theranos CEO found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy, whose sentencing has now been delayed

Elizabeth Holmes' sentencing hearing was originally slated for September 26. On Monday it was delayed, without a reason provided, until October 17. Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court in San Jose, California, on July 17, 2019.Reuters/Stephen Lam Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to start Theranos and grew its value to $9 billion. Later, technology flaws were exposed, resulting in a months-long trial where Holmes was found guilty on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. Now, Holmes' sentencing hearing has been delayed. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In 2014, blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, were on top of the world.Back then, Theranos was a revolutionary idea thought up by a woman hailed as a genius who styled herself as a female Steve Jobs. Holmes was the world's youngest female self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley's unicorn startups, valued at an estimated $9 billion. But then it all came crashing down.The shortcomings and inaccuracies of Theranos's technology were exposed, along with the role Holmes played in covering it all up. Holmes was ousted as CEO and charged with "massive fraud," and the company was forced to close its labs and testing centers, ultimately shuttering operations altogether.As she awaited trial, Holmes reportedly found the time to get engaged — and married — to a hotel heir named Billy Evans.Holmes has since been convicted of fraud in federal court. In January, jurors found Holmes guilty on three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the remaining three counts against her.On Thursday, Holmes' former romantic and business partner Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, was also convicted of fraud. He was found guilty on all 12 fraud-related charges.Since her conviction, Holmes has become the subject of a Hulu limited series, "The Dropout," based on the ABC News podcast of the same name. The show stars Amanda Seyfried as Holmes as it chronicles the meteoric rise and fall of Theranos and Holmes herself.Holmes has asked the presiding judge in her case to overturn her conviction. In a filing on May 27, Holmes' attorneys argued evidence was "insufficient to sustain the convictions.""Because no rational juror could have found the elements of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt on this record, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes' motion for judgment of acquittal," they wrote. The judge has set a date to consider Holmes' appeal in July.In the meantime, Holmes' sentencing hearing has been delayed. On Monday, it was moved from its originally scheduled date, September 26, to October 17, though no reason was provided for the change.Here's how Holmes went from precocious child, to ambitious Stanford dropout, to an embattled startup founder convicted of fraud: Elizabeth Holmes was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington, D.C. Her mom, Noel, was a Congressional committee staffer, and her dad, Christian Holmes, worked for Enron before moving to government agencies like USAID.@eholmes2003/TwitterSource: Elizabeth Holmes/Twitter, CNN, Vanity FairHolmes' family moved when she was young, from Washington, D.C. to Houston.Washington, D.C.Getty ImagesSource: FortuneWhen she was 7, Holmes tried to invent her own time machine, filling up an entire notebook with detailed engineering drawings. At the age of 9, Holmes told relatives she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. Her relatives described her as saying it with the "utmost seriousness and determination."Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriSource: CBS News, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes had an "intense competitive streak" from a young age. She often played Monopoly with her younger brother and cousin, and she would insist on playing until the end, collecting the houses and hotels until she won. If Holmes was losing, she would often storm off. More than once, she ran directly through a screen on the door.Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, attends a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York, September 29, 2015.REUTERS/Brendan McDermidSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIt was during high school that Holmes developed her work ethic, often staying up late to study. She quickly became a straight-A student, and even started her own business: she sold C++ compilers, a type of software that translates computer code, to Chinese schools.Tyrone Siu/ReutersSource: Fortune, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes started taking Mandarin lessons, and part-way through high school, talked her way into being accepted by Stanford University’s summer program, which culminated in a trip to Beijing.Yepoka Yeebo / Business InsiderSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupInspired by her great-great-grandfather Christian Holmes, a surgeon, Holmes decided she wanted to go into medicine. But she discovered early on that she was terrified of needles. Later, she said this influenced her to start Theranos.Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderSource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes went to Stanford to study chemical engineering. When she was a freshman, she became a "president's scholar," an honor which came with a $3,000 stipend to go toward a research project.STANFORD, CA - MAY 22: People ride bikes past Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus on May 22, 2014 in Stanford, California. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Stanford University ranked second behind Harvard University as the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley ranked third. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Justin Sullivan/GettySource: FortuneHolmes spent the summer after her freshman year interning at the Genome Institute in Singapore. She got the job partly because she spoke Mandarin.An office worker walks along the Singapore River front during the lunch hour.Wong Maye-E/APSource: FortuneAs a sophomore, Holmes went to one of her professors, Channing Robertson, and said: "Let's start a company." With his blessing, she founded Real-Time Cures, later changing the company's name to Theranos. Thanks to a typo, early employees’ paychecks actually said "Real-Time Curses."Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes soon filed a patent application for a "medical device for analyte monitoring and drug delivery," a wearable device that would administer medication, monitor patients' blood, and adjust the dosage as needed.Reuters/Brian SnyderSource: Fortune, US Patent OfficeBy the next semester, Holmes had dropped out of Stanford altogether, and was working on Theranos in the basement of a college house.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Wall Street JournalTheranos's business model was based around the idea that it could run blood tests, using proprietary technology that required only a finger pinprick and a small amount of blood. Holmes said the tests would be able to detect medical conditions like cancer and high cholesterol.Theranos Chairman, CEO and Founder Elizabeth Holmes (L) and TechCrunch Writer and Moderator Jonathan Shieber speak onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, CaliforniaSteve Jennings/Getty ImagesSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes started raising money for Theranos from prominent investors like Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, the father of a childhood friend and the founder of prominent VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Theranos raised more than $700 million, and Draper has continued to defend Holmes.Investor Tim Draper (right).CNBCSource: SEC, CrunchbaseHolmes took investors' money on the condition that she wouldn't have to reveal how Theranos' technology worked. Plus, she would have final say over everything having to do with the company.JP Yim/GettySource: Vanity FairThat obsession with secrecy extended to every aspect of Theranos. For the first decade Holmes spent building her company, Theranos operated in stealth mode. She even took three former Theranos employees to court, claiming they had misused Theranos trade secrets.Kimberly White/GettySource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes' attitude toward secrecy and running a company was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Holmes started dressing in black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations.Steve Jobs.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairEven Holmes's uncharacteristically deep voice may have been part of a carefully crafted image intended to help her fit in in the male-dominated business world. In ABC's podcast on Holmes called "The Dropout," former Theranos employees said the CEO sometimes "fell out of character," particularly after drinking, and would speak in a higher voice.Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York.Lucas Jackson/ReutersSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, The CutHolmes was a demanding boss, and wanted her employees to work as hard as she did. She had her assistants track when employees arrived and left each day. To encourage people to work longer hours, she started having dinner catered to the office around 8 p.m. each night.TheranosSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupMore behind-the-scenes footage of what life was like at Theranos was revealed in leaked videos obtained by the team behind the HBO documentary "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley." The more than 100 hours of footage showed Holmes walking around the office, scenes from company parties, speeches from Holmes and Balwani, and Holmes dancing to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at the company's headquarters.Courtesy HBOSource: Business InsiderShortly after Holmes dropped out of Stanford at age 19, she began dating Theranos president and COO Sunny Balwani, who was 20 years her senior. The two met during Holmes' third year in Stanford’s summer Mandarin program, the summer before she went to college. She was bullied by some of the other students, and Balwani had come to her aid.Footage of Sunny Balwani presenting."60 Minutes"Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupBalwani became Holmes' No. 2 at Theranos despite having little experience. He was said to be a bully, and often tracked his employees' whereabouts. Holmes and Balwani eventually broke up in spring 2016 when Holmes pushed him out of the company.Sunny Balwani pictured in January 2019.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIn 2008, the Theranos board decided to remove Holmes as CEO in favor of someone more experienced. But over the course of a two-hour meeting, Holmes convinced them to let her stay in charge of her company.Jamie McCarthy / GettySource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAs Theranos started to rake in millions of funding, Holmes became the subject of media attention and acclaim in the tech world. She graced the covers of Fortune and Forbes, gave a TED Talk, and spoke on panels with Bill Clinton and Alibaba's Jack Ma.Elizabeth Holmes with former President Bill Clinton, left, and Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma.Andrew Burton/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairTheranos quickly began securing outside partnerships. Capital Blue Cross and Cleveland Clinic signed on to offer Theranos tests to their patients, and Walgreens made a deal to open Theranos testing centers in their stores. Theranos also formed a secret partnership with Safeway worth $350 million.A Theranos testing center inside a Walgreens.Melia Robinson/Business InsiderSource: Wired, Business InsiderIn 2011, Holmes hired her younger brother, Christian, to work at Theranos, although he didn’t have a medical or science background. Christian Holmes spent his early days at Theranos reading about sports online and recruiting his Duke University fraternity brothers to join the company. People dubbed Holmes and his crew the "Frat Pack" and "Therabros."Elizabeth Holmes and her brother, Christian.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAt one point, Holmes was the world's youngest self-made female billionaire with a net worth of around $4.5 billion.Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough PrizeSource: ForbesHolmes was obsessed with security at Theranos. She asked anyone who visited the company’s headquarters to sign non-disclosure agreements before being allowed in the building, and had security guards escort visitors everywhere — even to the bathroom.Michael Dalder/Reuters Holmes hired bodyguards to drive her around in a black Audi sedan. Her nickname was "Eagle One." The windows in her office had bulletproof glass.Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAround the same time, questions were being raised about Theranos' technology. Ian Gibbons — chief scientist at Theranos and one of the company's first hires — warned Holmes that the tests weren't ready for the public to take, and that there were inaccuracies in the technology. Outside scientists began voicing their concerns about Theranos, too.Melia Robinson/Tech InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, Business InsiderBy August 2015, the FDA began investigating Theranos, and regulators from the government body that oversees laboratories found "major inaccuracies" in the testing Theranos was doing on patients.Mike Segar/ReutersSource: Vanity FairBy October 2015, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou published his investigation into Theranos's struggles with its technology. Carreyrou's reporting sparked the beginning of the company's downward spiral.Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou.CBS "60 Minutes"Source: Wall Street JournalCarreyrou found that Theranos' blood-testing machine, named Edison, couldn't give accurate results, so Theranos was running its samples through the same machines used by traditional blood-testing companies.Carlos Osorio/APSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" shortly after the WSJ published its story to defend herself and Theranos. "This is what happens when you work to change things, and first they think you're crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world," Holmes said.CNBC/YouTubeSource: CNBCBy 2016, the FDA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and SEC were all looking into Theranos.GettySource: Wall Street Journal, WiredIn July 2016, Holmes was banned from the lab-testing industry for two years. By October, Theranos had shut down its lab operations and wellness centers.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani were charged with "massive fraud" by the SEC. Holmes agreed to give up financial and voting control of the company, pay a $500,000 fine, and return 18.9 million shares of Theranos stock. She also isn't allowed to be the director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Business InsiderDespite the charges, Holmes was allowed to stay on as CEO of Theranos, since it's a private company. The company had been hanging on by a thread, and Holmes wrote to investors asking for more money to save Theranos. "In light of where we are, this is no easy ask," Holmes wrote.Kimberly White/Getty Images for FortuneSource: Business InsiderIn Theranos' final days, Holmes reportedly got a Siberian husky puppy named Balto that she brought into the office. However, the dog wasn't potty trained, and would go to the bathroom inside the company's office and during meetings.A Siberian husky (not Holmes' dog).Kateryna Orlova/ShutterstockSource: Vanity FairIn June 2018, Theranos announced that Holmes was stepping down as CEO. On the same day, the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had charged Holmes, along with Balwani, with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live (WSJDLive) conference at the Montage hotel in Laguna Beach, California, October 21, 2015.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business Insider, CNBCTheranos sent an email to shareholders in September 2018 announcing that the company was shutting down. Theranos reportedly said it planned to spend the next few months repaying creditors with its remaining resources.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Wall Street JournalAround the time Theranos' time was coming to an end, Holmes made her first public appearance alongside William "Billy" Evans, a 27-year-old heir to a hospitality property management company in California. The two reportedly first met in 2017, and were seen together in 2018 at Burning Man, the art festival in the Nevada desert.Jim Rankin/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesSource: Daily MailHolmes is said to wear Evans' MIT "signet ring" on a chain around her neck, and the couple reportedly posts photos "professing their love for each other" on a private Instagram account. Evans' parents are reportedly "flabbergasted" at their son's decision to marry Holmes.—Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) February 21, 2019Source: Vanity Fair, New York PostIt's unclear where Holmes and Evans currently reside, but they were previously living in a $5,000-a-month apartment in San Francisco until April 2019. The apartment was located just a few blocks from one of the city's top tourist attractions, the famously crooked block of Lombard Street.Lombard Place Apartments, where Holmes used to live.Rent SF NowSource: Business InsiderIt was later reported that Holmes and Evans got engaged in early 2019, then married in June in a secretive wedding ceremony. Former Theranos employees were reportedly not invited to the wedding, according to Vanity Fair.Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, New York PostHolmes' and Balwani's cases have since been separated.Justin Silva/Getty, Stephen Lam/Reuters, Business InsiderSource: Department of Justice, Business InsiderBesides the criminal case, Holmes was also involved in a number of civil lawsuits, including one in Arizona brought by former Theranos patients over inaccurate blood tests. The lawyers representing her in the Arizona case said in late 2019 they hadn't been paid over a year and asked to be removed from Holmes' legal team.Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court.Reuters/Stephen LamSource: Business InsiderHolmes' lawyers in the federal case had tried to get the government's entire case thrown out. In February 2020, Holmes caught a break after some of the charges against her were dropped when a judge ruled that some patients didn't suffer financial loss.Brendan McDermid/ReutersSource: Business InsiderAmid the coronavirus outbreak, Holmes' lawyers asked the judge in April 2020 to deem the case "essential" so the defense team could defy lockdown orders and continue to travel and meet face-to-face. The judge said he was "taken aback" by the defense's pleas to violate lockdown.Reuters/Robert GalbraithSource: Business Insider It soon become clear that the pandemic — and the health risks associated with assembling a trial in one — would make the July trial date unrealistic. Through hearings held on Zoom, the presiding judge initially pushed the trial back to October 2020 and later postponed it further to March 2021.Passengers wear masks as they walk through LAX airport.Reuters/Lucy NicholsonSource: Business Insider In March 2021, Holmes requested another delay to the trial because she was pregnant. She asked to push back the trial to August 31, and her request was granted. Holmes reportedly gave birth to the child in July.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider, CNBCHeading into the trial, Holmes felt "wronged, like Salem-witch-trial wronged," says a person who used to work with her closely.Holmes, right, leaving the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California with her defense team on May 4, 2021.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe trial kicked off in September. In opening statements, prosecutors argued that, "Out of time and out of money, Elizabeth Holmes decided to lie." Meanwhile, the defense argued that although Theranos ultimately crumbled, "Failure is not a crime. Trying your hardest and coming up short is not a crime."Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building with her defense team on August 31, 2021 in San Jose, California.Ethan Swope/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider The list of possible witnesses for the trial named roughly 200 people, including the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, James Mattis, and Holmes herself.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse with her mother, Noel Holmes, during her trial.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn the end, the trial featured testimony from just over 30 witnesses.Vicki Behringer/ReutersSource: Business InsiderOver the course of 11 weeks, prosecutors called 29 witnesses to testify — including former Theranos employees, investors, patients, and doctors — before resting their case in November.Vicki BehringerSource: Business Insider The defense then began making its case, calling just three witnesses, including Holmes herself.Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderOn the stand, Holmes said Balwani emotionally and sexually abused her during their relationship.Former Theranos COO Ramesh "Sunny' Balwani leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on June 28, 2019 in San Jose, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also admitted that she added some pharmaceutical companies' logos to Theranos' reports without authorization. Investors previously said they took some reassurance in those reports because, based on the logos, they thought major pharmaceutical companies had validated Theranos' technology. Holmes said she added the logos to convey that work was done in partnership with those companies, but in hindsight she wishes she had "done it differently."Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also acknowledged on the stand that she hid Theranos' use of modified commercial devices from investors. She said she did this because company counsel told her that alterations the company made to the machines were trade secrets and needed to be protected as such.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHolmes spent seven days on the stand before the defense rested its case in early December.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives to attend her fraud trial at federal court in San Jose, California, U.S., December 16, 2021.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Holmes "chose fraud over business failure" while the defense argued she was "building a business, not a criminal enterprise."Elizabeth Holmes walks into federal court in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.Nic Coury/Associated PressSource: Business InsiderAfter 15 weeks of trial, Holmes' case headed to a jury of eight men and four women on December 17.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of blood testing and life sciences company Theranos, leaves the courthouse with her husband Billy Evans after the first day of her fraud trial in San Jose, California on September 8, 2021.Nick Otto/AFP/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderJurors deliberated for a total of seven days over the next few weeks before telling the court on January 3 that they were deadlocked on three of the 11 charges against Holmes. The judge read off some jury instructions to the group in court before instructing them to go back and deliberate further.Kate Munsch/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHours later, the jury returned a mixed verdict for Holmes, finding her guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud. They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a verdict on the remaining three counts.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe counts Holmes was found guilty of were all related to investments; she wasn't convicted on any of the charges involving patients who received inaccurate test results.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes now faces the possibility of decades in prison. Each count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, a $250,000 fine, and a requirement to pay victims restitution.AP Photo/Nic Coury, FileSource: Business Insider Legal experts told Insider it's unlikely Holmes will get 20 years at sentencing, but she probably won't get off without serving any time either.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes was not taken into custody following the verdict and will remain free until her sentencing on a $500,000 bond secured by property.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderSince the conviction, Holmes and Theranos have been the focus of a Hulu limited series, "The Dropout," based on the ABC News podcast of the same name.Amanda Seyfried in "The Dropout" (left); Elizabeth Holmes (right)Beth Dubber/Hulu; Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunchSource: Business InsiderHolmes is played by Amanda Seyfried in the dramatized series, which asks the question, "How did the world's youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye?"Amanda Seyfried in "The Dropout."HuluSource: HuluThe show premiered March 3 and also stars Naveen Andrews as Balwani, Holmes' right-hand man at Theranos. Balwani's fraud trial began in March.Beth Dubber/Hulu; Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider Now, Holmes is pleading with a judge to toss her conviction.APSource: Business Insider In a 24-page filing on May 27, Holmes' attorneys argued for her acquittal, saying the evidence was "insufficient to sustain the convictions."Nick Otto/AFP via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThey wrote, "Because no rational juror could have found the elements of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt on this record, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes' motion for judgment of acquittal."David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider"Even if Ms. Holmes committed wire fraud against an investor (she did not) and even if Mr. Balwani committed wire fraud against an investor, that does not prove a conspiratorial agreement between them, nor does it prove that Ms. Holmes willfully joined any agreement," the attorneys continued in the filing.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderSuch appeals are common in cases like these, and legal experts expected Holmes would try to get her conviction overturned.Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe judge in Holmes' case set a hearing for July to weigh her request.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider Meanwhile, Balwani was convicted on 12 fraud-related charges. The jury came back with a conviction after deliberating for five days.Former Theranos COO Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani goes through a security checkpoint as he arrives at the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on March 10, 2022 in San Jose, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderBoth of them now await sentencing. Balwani's sentencing hearing is set for November 15. Holmes' sentencing date was originally slated for September 26, but it has since been delayed to October 17. No reason was provided for the delay.Chris Ryan/GettySource: Law360Paige Leskin and Maya Kosoff contributed to earlier versions of this story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022

Cost-of-Living Crisis to Hit Women Hardest, Report Says

GENEVA (AP) — A cost-of-living crisis sparked in part by higher fuel and food prices is expected to hit women the hardest, the World Economic Forum reported Wednesday, pointing to a widening gender gap in the global labor force. The Geneva-based think tank and event organizer, best known for hosting an annual gathering of elites… GENEVA (AP) — A cost-of-living crisis sparked in part by higher fuel and food prices is expected to hit women the hardest, the World Economic Forum reported Wednesday, pointing to a widening gender gap in the global labor force. The Geneva-based think tank and event organizer, best known for hosting an annual gathering of elites in the Swiss Alpine town of Davos, says a hoped-for recovery from a ballooning gender gap hasn’t materialized as expected as the COVID-19 crisis has eased. The forum estimates that it will now take 132 years—down from 136—for the world to reach gender parity, which the organization defines around four main factors: salaries and economic opportunity, education, health, and political empowerment. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Read more: The Great Tampon Shortage of 2022: The Supply Chain Problem No One’s Talking About A breakdown by country gave top marks to Iceland, followed by several Nordic countries and New Zealand, as well as Rwanda, Nicaragua and Namibia. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, came in 10th place in the report of 146 countries. Further down the list were the world’s biggest economies: the U.S. was at No. 27, China at No. 102 and Japan at No. 116. Saadia Zahidi, managing director at the forum, say women have been disproportionately affected by the cost-of-living crisis following labor market losses during the pandemic and insufficient “care infrastructure”—such as for the elderly or children. “In face of a weak recovery, government and business must make two sets of efforts: targeted policies to support women’s return to the workforce and women’s talent development in the industries of the future,” she said. “Otherwise, we risk eroding the gains of the last decades permanently and losing out on the future economic returns of diversity.” The report, now in its 16th year, aims to track shocks to the labor market that can impact the gender gap......»»

Category: topSource: timeJul 13th, 2022

Russia"s replacement for McDonald"s bans customers from taking photos after running out of fries and reportedly serving moldy burgers

One Vkusno & Tochka restaurant in Moscow has banned customers from taking photos, according to Russian media reports. One Vkusno & Tochka outlet has banned visitors from taking photos, Russian media reported.Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters One Vkusno & Tochka restaurant has banned customers from taking photos, Russian media reported. The move follows reports that the rebranded McDonald's sold moldy burgers and ran out of fries. The chain confirmed the rule to Podyom and said it was to stop other diners from being photographed. The rebranded McDonald's in Russia has banned customers from taking photos or filming without permission in one of its restaurants, according to a photo published by a Russian news outlet and reported by The Moscow Times.The photo appears to show a list of rules that diners must abide by at one restaurant in Moscow, including not charging their phones, using roller skates, and using obscene language.Russian outlet Podyom reported that the list was on display in the restaurant for customers to see.A spokesperson for Vkusno & Tochka, or "Tasty and that's it", told Podyom they were the company's internal rules and that the restrictions on photos related to safety and to prevent other diners from being photographed."Of course, we won't prohibit people to take photos or videos at the table, but if other visitors complain, we can take measures in accordance with the rules," the spokesperson told Podyom, per a translation by The Moscow Times.The chain didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on whether the rules were in place at every Vkusno & Tochka outlet.It's unclear when the list of rules was published, but Podyom's report comes just days after claims emerged that the chain served diners moldy burger buns and expired sauce. It has also stopped selling fries, which Vkusno & Tochka blamed on a potato shortage.Alexander Govor bought the majority of Russia's McDonald's outlets after the burger giant abandoned the country following its invasion of Ukraine, 32 years after it first came to Russia.The restaurants began reopening on June 12 with a new menu, logo, and name. Despite no longer selling iconic McDonald's menu items such as the Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, and McFlurry, its CEO has said that the chain sold a record 120,000 burgers on its opening day at the flagship Moscow store.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022

Starbucks is closing 16 stores across Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and other cities due to a high frequency of "challenging incidents" — see the list

Starbucks says the closures are in advance of moving the stores to new locations where conditions will be safer for customers and employees. A closed Starbucks location.Rebecca Harrington/Business Insider Starbucks is closing 16 stores in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. The closures are due to "challenging incidents" that make stores unsafe for workers and customers, Starbucks says. The stores will close by the end of July. Starbucks is permanently closing 16 locations around the US by the end of July, The Wall Street Journal first reported. "After careful consideration, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate, to open new locations with safer conditions," a Starbucks spokesperson told Insider. The incidents involve drug use in stores by customers and other members of the public reported by workers.The closures are a move to make Starbucks locations safer for customers and employees, the company said, echoing a letter from senior VPs of US operations Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson sent to employees on July 11. The company also gives local leaders the authority to close bathrooms, reduce seating, and take other measures to keep conditions safe for employees."We look forward to continuing to serve these local communities and encourage our customers to visit us at our other stores in these areas, which can be found on the Starbucks App or Starbucks Store Locator," the spokesperson said.See the full list of store closures here:Santa Monica & Westmount, West Hollywood, CaliforniaHollywood & Western, Los Angeles, California1st & Los Angeles (Doubletree), Los Angeles, CaliforniaHollywood & Vine, Hollywood, CaliforniaOcean Front Walk & Moss, Santa Monica, California2nd & San Pedro, Los Angeles, California10th & Chestnut, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania4th & Morrison, Portland, OregonGateway, Portland, Oregon23rd & Jackson, Seattle, WashingtonRoosevelt Square, Seattle, WashingtonE. Olive Way, Seattle, Washington505 Union Stn, Seattle, WashingtonWestlake Center, Seattle, WashingtonHwy 99 & Airport Rd, Everett, WashingtonUnion Station Train Concourse, Washington, DCDo you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJul 12th, 2022

EU Readying 7th Round Of Anti-Russia Sanctions, Even As Oil Price-Cap Likely Shelved

EU Readying 7th Round Of Anti-Russia Sanctions, Even As Oil Price-Cap Likely Shelved Weeks after the EU imposed its 6th round of sanctions on Russia, it is now readying a seventh new package, according to reporting by Bloomberg on Monday. This comes as Brussels is still said to be in intense discussions on imposing a price cap on Russian oil; however, Bloomberg also notes this controversial strategy remains "unlikely" for the near future. As for timeline, the EU plans to propose the new sanctions "in the coming weeks," Bloomberg writes, noting additionally that "Discussions on mechanisms to cap the price of oil are ongoing and unlikely to come in the near future, the people said." The report notes that "Some member states have been pushing to expand the bloc’s sanctions to hit gas, but there is little appetite among the vast majority of nations to go there." Via DW/dpa Washington has lately sought to convince European allies to force Russian oil to move to market at deeply discounted prices, at a proposed between $40 and $60 per barrel. The idea as pushed at last month's G-7 summit was met with widespread skepticism given the likelihood that it would backfire and push energy prices higher. As independent oil analyst Neil Atkinson recently told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe, "Something like this could only work if you get all of the key producers and crucially all of the key consumers working together and then finding some way of enforcing whatever plan you come up with." He pointed out "the reality is that the biggest consumers of Russian oil, or amongst the biggest consumers of Russian oil, are China and India." And he previewed what is now happening - or what is deeply feared as happening - with Nord Stream 1 to Germany: "In any event, the Russians won’t just sit there and do nothing. They can play games with supplies of oil and indeed gas … they can mess with the G-7′s head in some respect so I think this plan is really a non-starter," Atkinson explained in the interview. Some prominent European voices on the right have said that the West's sanctions are already backfiring on the domestic populace at home... "EU sanctions against Russia turned out to be completely ineffective, they harm the French more than the Russian Federation - Le Pen “They [the sanctions] have enriched Russia, they sanction the French more than Russia, The sanctions are the root causes of Inflation's" — cooper (@coope125) July 10, 2022 Currently, the EU's anti-Russia sanctions imposed in six rounds since February, on top of ones going back to 2014 and the Crimea crisis, include far-reaching punitive measures on 98 entities and 1158 individuals. Below is a partial summary of what they've included thus far, according to an official European Parliament explanatory page: * * * The list of sanctioned products includes among others: cutting-edge technology (e.g. quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, high-end electronics and software) certain types of machinery and transportation equipment specific goods and technology needed for oil refining energy industry equipment, technology and services aviation and space industry goods and technology (e.g. aircraft, spare parts or any kind of equipment for planes and helicopters, jet fuel) maritime navigation goods and radio communication technology a number of dual-use goods (goods that could be used for both civil and military purposes), such as drones and software for drones or encryption devices luxury goods (e.g. luxury cars, watches, jewellery) What goods cannot be imported from Russia to the EU? The list of sanctioned products includes among others: crude oil and refined petroleum products, with limited exceptions (with phase out of 6 to 8 months) coal and other solid fossil fuels (as there is a wind-down period for existing contracts, this sanction will apply as from August 2022) steel and iron wood, cement and certain fertilisers seafood and liquor (e.g. caviar, vodka) What are the sanctions on road transport? The EU has prohibited Russian and Belarusian road transport operators from entering the EU, including for goods in transit. This sanction aims to restrict Russian industry’s capacity to acquire key goods and to disrupt road trade both to and from Russia. However, EU countries can grant derogations for: the transport of energy the transport of pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products humanitarian aid purposes transport related to the functioning of diplomatic and consular representations of the EU and its countries in Russia, or of international organisations in Russia which enjoy immunities in accordance with international law the transfer or export to Russia of cultural goods on loan in the context of formal cultural cooperation with Russia ..."In February 2022, the EU refused access to EU airports for Russian carriers of all kinds and banned them from overflying EU airspace. This means that airplanes registered in Russia or elsewhere and leased or rented to a Russian citizen or entity cannot land at any EU airports and cannot fly over EU countries. Private aircraft, e.g. private business jets, are included in the ban." Read the full EU list here. Tyler Durden Mon, 07/11/2022 - 16:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 11th, 2022