Money Management – Bridgeville Star Thu, 30 Sep 2021 03:40:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Money Management – Bridgeville Star 32 32 Press review: Ukraine draws NATO into Donbass and second Suez flop raises concerns on canal – Press review Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:32 +0000

Kommersant: Ukraine seeks NATO membership and tries to drag alliance into Donbass quagmire

The Donbass negotiations are stuck in the mud. Neither the Normandy format nor the contact group are able to agree on anything, writes Kommersant. In this context, Kiev is betting on aid from the West, trying to persuade NATO to accept Ukraine’s membership in the alliance. According to the newspaper, the events currently unfolding are starting to resemble the situation that developed in 2008 before the war in another hot spot – South Ossetia.

The latest report of the OSCE Special Observation Mission, dated April 3, shows a notable increase in ceasefire violations in the Donbass. There were 594 violations in the Donetsk region and 427 violations in Lugansk. Due to this exacerbation, on April 6, Kiev requested an emergency meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) to resolve the situation in eastern Ukraine. However, the chances that the negotiations initiated by Ukraine will take place are slim, according to Kommersant sources.

While negotiations have stalled, Ukraine has focused on dragging the West into the conflict, and NATO in particular, writes Kommersant. Special efforts are directed towards NATO. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky believes that NATO is the only way to end the war in Donbass. However, talks on Ukraine’s NATO membership, judging by Washington’s comments, have not produced the result Kiev wanted, according to the newspaper.

The latest events around Donbass look like 2008, when Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili also actively sought to join NATO. Instead of a membership action plan, at the time, Ukraine and Georgia received assurances from NATO that they would become members of the alliance. After that, the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia began to escalate rapidly, and it all ended with the August war and the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. , writes Kommersant.

Vedomosti: the second flop of the Suez Canal calls into question the reliability of the waterway

Just a week after the container ship Ever Given was bailed out after running aground in the Suez Canal, the tanker Minerva Nike found itself in a similar dilemma in the southern part of the waterway. The consequences of the second incident were resolved immediately, but the question of choosing alternative routes for international logistics is becoming increasingly acute, writes Vedomosti. That said, Russian railways could benefit from the situation.

The commercial turnover between China and the countries of the EU is constantly increasing. Last year, Beijing became Brussels’ main trading partner, beating the United States. Under the current conditions, it is essential to make these deliveries faster and more reliable, and in this sense, the overland routes through Russia have already demonstrated their high efficiency, according to the newspaper. “The speed of container delivery in the main directions is on average 1,100 to 1,200 km per day, taking into account the crossing of all borders. Concretely, from China to Europe, delivery takes 12 to 14 days. It is much faster than sea transport, road transport, and is comparable to aviation, ”Russian Railways told Vedomosti.

In the future, another international route could be launched: the North-South transport corridor connecting India, Iran and Russia, which can become an effective alternative to the Suez Canal. Experts interviewed by Vedomosti generally support the idea of ​​creating new transport corridors and strengthening existing ones. At the same time, the head of the Rail Freight division for EU and China of the AsstrA group of companies, Vladislav Martin, noted that the main difficulty of the North-South axis is that Iran will become one key links in the transport chain, which may trigger complications with Western partners in the future.

However, the question remains open whether Russia and its partners will have the time to implement their plans faster than their competitors. For example, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have launched a project to modernize the port of Eilat and connect Israel to the Middle East transport network.

Izvestia: JCPOA actors try to save Iran nuclear deal thanks to expert consultations

Participants in the Iran nuclear deal have started to resuscitate the deal. Two expert groups were formed in Vienna tasked with lifting Washington’s sanctions against Tehran and returning Iran to its obligations under the deal. In addition, in the near future, indirect negotiations between Iran and the United States will begin. The experts interviewed by Izvestia positively assessed the start of the consultations. Now the question is how fast and efficient the rehabilitation of the JCPOA will be.

The expert community views the results of the ongoing consultations with cautious optimism, Hamidreza Azizi, visiting scholar at the German Institute for International Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin, said in an interview with Izvestia. The decision of Iran and the United States to join this diplomatic process is a positive sign. So far there is no question of an immediate restoration of the JCPOA, so the only option now is a gradual return to it.

The indirect talks between Tehran and Washington, which are expected to follow the current meeting, have raised high hopes, writes Izvestia. These contacts imply that the representatives of the two countries will communicate through intermediaries.

Experts noted that the current situation is fundamentally different from what developed in 2018 when Washington announced its withdrawal from the agreement. “Donald Trump’s administration has imposed many new sanctions on Iran, and not all of them have to do with the nuclear issue. Some have to do with human rights, others with support for terrorism. So the question is, how to handle these measures, “said Andrey Baklitsky. , senior researcher at MGIMO University, in an interview with the newspaper.

Izvestia: China becomes the second largest creditor of the former Soviet countries after Russia

China has become the largest sovereign creditor of post-Soviet countries after Russia, according to a World Bank report. In total, Beijing has financed the republics of the former USSR to the tune of 6.6 billion dollars. China has provided most of the loans to Belarus ($ 3.5 billion), Kyrgyzstan ($ 1.8 billion) and Tajikistan ($ 1.1 billion). According to experts interviewed by Izvestia, the myth of China’s imperial ambitions, including in the post-Soviet space, is exaggerated, so from a political point of view the risks for Russia are not very high. However, when it comes to business activity, it is likely that China will kick Russian companies out of these countries.

The dominant role of Russia and China as creditors of the region is expected. The two states are more economically linked to the post-Soviet space than the others and are largely at the top of the list of their trading partners. China’s interest in Central Asia is quite understandable and predictable. A branch of the New Silk Road is being laid across this region, and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will serve as a key link with Tibet, RANEPA’s Vladimir Klimanov told Izvestia.

For Russia, the strengthening of Beijing in the post-Soviet space creates commercial risks rather than political ones. Disputes between Russian and Chinese companies over the implementation of certain projects are inevitable, the newspaper writes.

China is gradually becoming the most important partner of Central Asian countries, said Alexander Gabuev, who chairs the Russia in Asia-Pacific program at the Carnegie Moscow Center. This is a completely natural trend that has gained momentum over the past few decades. From a geopolitical point of view, the strengthening of China in the post-Soviet space should not pose a serious threat to Russia, although Moscow’s cultural influence is decreasing, it is still quite large, moreover, states themselves are more suspicious of China than Russia.

Kommersant: Russian authorities warn of possible increase in incidence of COVID-19

Russian authorities are once again concerned about the country’s epidemiological situation due to the spread of the coronavirus. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustine on Tuesday said the virus had not receded and called for additional measures to protect Russians by Friday. Experts interviewed by Kommersant associate the possible third wave primarily with low vaccination rates and in part with the high infection rate of new mutations.

The chief physician of the Leader-Medicine medical center, infectious disease specialist Evgeny Timakov, calls the authorities’ fears “fair”. In an interview with Kommersant, he clarified that “in all scenarios of the epidemiological situation”, the virus needs about two months to start to actively multiply. Thus, according to the specialist, the number of detected cases of the British strain in Russia could increase in mid-April. In addition, he continued, it is to be expected that people who were sick a year ago and have lost their immunity will be infected again.

At the same time, the head of the laboratory of the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Konstantin Severinov, believes that there may be many more cases of new strains in Russia than official data shows. ‘indicate. According to him, in order to reliably detect these mutations, it is necessary to have a developed system for whole-genome sequencing of variants of the virus, which is “limited” in Russia.

The director of the Intelligent Logistics Center of St. Petersburg State University, Viktor Zakharov, one of the authors of the mathematical model of the spread of COVID-19 in Russia, has linked the possibility of a third wave to a “inactive” vaccination campaign.

The health ministry confirmed to the newspaper that the situation with the coronavirus “remains tense”, but the department is confident in the effectiveness of Russian vaccines.

TASS is not responsible for the material cited in these press reviews.

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Global review: Sanofi launches non-profit unit to deliver essential medicines Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:38:09 +0000

Concerned about increasing its social responsibility, France Sanofi created a non-profit unit that will increase access to essential medicines to some of the world’s poorest countries. In an open letter to the company, CEO Paul Hudson outlined several key projects the company will implement to increase the impact of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy.

The company’s strategy is based on four pillars on which Sanofi believes it is positioned to make a difference. These pillars are access to medicines, support to vulnerable communities, preservation of the environment and the inclusion and diversity of its employees. Access to medicines is a cornerstone of the company’s strategy. The Sanofi association aims to increase access to medicines considered essential by the World Health Organization in 40 low-income countries. Among these drugs, 30 produced by Sanofi are used in many therapeutic fields, in particular cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, tuberculosis, malaria and cancer. Sanofi will also fund the training of healthcare professionals or the development of sustainable care systems for those suffering from chronic diseases and requiring complex care, the company said.

In addition, Sanofi said it is committed to helping 1,000 rare disease patients who do not have access to treatment. The company will donate 100,000 vials of drugs for their treatments each year.

“The pandemic has forced us to question almost every aspect of our life: how we live and work, and how we connect with our communities and the planet. Yet as difficult as 2020 is, it has also brought us – Sanofi and the pharmaceutical industry – closer to our goal than at any time in living memory, ”Hudson said in a statement. “This unique context has led us to elevate our ambition for our corporate social responsibility strategy and to integrate it even more into our mission to transform lives and our vision for a better future.

In December, Sanofi renewed its five-year partnership with the WHO to fight neglected tropical diseases that affect around one billion people.

Elsewhere in the world:

Métrion Biosciences: UK-based Metrion Biosciences has secured £ 2.7million in new equity funding, including £ 2.25million from lead investor Gresham House Ventures. The funds from the funding round will be used to expand Metrion’s laboratories, invest in specialized equipment, expand its cell line library and add BPL cardiac safety services. The funding will also allow Metrion to expand its business development activities.

Genomics plc – Also UK based, Genomics plc. announced that a study showing that its new integrated risk tool can more accurately predict CVD risk across multiple ancestries and ethnicities has been published in The American Journal of Cardiology. In the article titled “Validation of an Integrated Risk Tool, Including Polygenic Risk Score, for Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Diseases in Multiple Ethnicities and Ancestry”, researchers from Genomics plc and Stanford University authenticated the ‘clinical use of the company’s integrated risk tool, which also includes insight, showing that it outperforms existing standard care risk calculators currently in use in the US and UK

Avacta – Avacta Group plc and ABCAM plc have entered into a worldwide distribution agreement for the Company’s recently developed Affimer SARS-CoV-2 ELISA Research Reagents. Affirm from Avacta® The reagents can be used in a high performance ELISA laboratory assay to detect SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with high sensitivity and specificity for the spike protein of the original strain of the virus, as well as other dominant variants. Under the non-exclusive agreement, ABCAM will include Avacta’s SARS-CoV-2 spike protein Affimer research reagents in its online catalog.

Ecological – Another UK biopharmaceutical company, Mologic, has announced that its COVID-19 rapid antigen self-test has been selected by the US National Institutes of Health for RADx initiative funding. The Mologic Nasal Swab Test is designed for home use by non-healthcare professionals. The test indicates the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein in about 20 minutes. The self-test can be used by anyone without medical training at the point of need, including at home, at work, at school, and while traveling. Mologic’s test moves to phase II testing. Mologic also makes this unique autotest design available to its customers and partners in a wide range of autotest applications, through the company’s contract research and manufacturing program.

RDIF – The Russian direct investment fund has reached an agreement with the Indian Panacea Biotech to produce 100 million doses of Sputnik V per year. Sputnik V is Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine. The partnership will be used to support the manufacture of the drug for Russian customers. Sputnik V has been registered in over 59 countries to date. The efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6%, one of the three authorized vaccines which has an efficacy of over 90%. Sputnik V uses two different vectors as part of its two-dose regimen.

Delta 4 – Austrian firm Delta 4 closed a multi-million dollar Series A funding round. The company did not disclose the full increase, but said the funding would be used to accelerate its business development programs. Funding was provided by what has been described as “a large European Family Office investing in life sciences, technology and other industries”. In 2020, the company identified promising drug compounds for use in the treatment of rare kidney disease and COVID-19. Recently, these compounds have been prepared for phase II clinical studies. Delta 4 will now expand its clinical reach and launch discovery and development programs in other indications, the company said.

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AMA Supports House’s Plan to Relax Medicare Loan Repayment Terms Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:50 +0000

The American Medical Association (AMA) this week expressed support for the bill’s continuing resolution provisions in Congress that would provide relief to cash-strapped medical offices.

According to a statement from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on a continuing resolution to maintain government funding until December 11.

“The continuing resolution presented today will avoid a catastrophic shutdown amid the ongoing pandemic, wildfires and hurricanes, and will keep government open until December 11, when we expect to have bipartisan legislation. to fund the government for this fiscal year, ”Pelosi said in a statement.

The continuing resolution includes provisions that would benefit medical offices struggling financially amid the pandemic.

According to a statement from the AMA, the revisions to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments (AAP) program included in the resolution will help keep the doors open during the pandemic and will continue to provide access to patients for now.

“When adopting the continued resolution, patients should know that their doctor is more likely to overcome the economic challenges of the pandemic,” WADA President Susan A. Bailey, MD said in a statement. . “Congress recognized the danger and rightly changed the program so that doctors can continue to see patients.”

According to the statement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services worked quickly in the spring to provide financial assistance to doctors, which has proven to be a lifeline for many practices.

WADA also noted in its statement that it also appreciated that the CARES law postpones the start of AAP reimbursement until 120 days after the initial payment and allows up to 210 days for reimbursement of physicians.

Doctors have expressed some concerns about their ability to repay the money during economic conditions amid the pandemic.

The AMA statement noted that earlier this year polls showed that from March to May, physician office revenues fell by at least 50%. When the practices began to reopen, some physicians were able to recover some of the loss, but not all of it due to reduced visits and procedures.

In addition, WADA noted in its press release that the repayment conditions are difficult to meet. Under these terms, doctors would have all of their health insurance claims withheld to repay the loans on short notice. After a few months, any outstanding balance a doctor might have would be subject to an interest rate of 10.25%.

According to the statement, the continued resolution would delay recovery of disbursed funds for up to 1 year after the advance payment was made to a medical office. The balance would be due by September 2022.

The resolution would also reduce the clawback amount per claim from 100% to 25% for the first 11 months and the 50% of claims withheld for an additional six months. If it is not repaid in full, the interest rate kicks in. This interest rate would also be lowered from 10.25% to 4%.

“Members of Congress and the Administration have opted for a bipartisan response to the economic sword hanging over medical offices. This relief will be felt across the county as doctors will be able to continue providing health care during the pandemic, ”Bailey said in the statement.

If approved in the House, the proposal will then go to the Senate for a vote.

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Russian entrepreneurs adapt to virus lockdown challenges Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:27 +0000

MOSCOW – Valentina Konstantinova remembers Russia shutdown for coronavirus well a year ago. His 18-room boutique hotel, called Skazka, or “fairy tale,” was full and within days there was only one guest left.

“I still don’t understand how people could have disappeared in a day, and where,” she recalls. The lockdown lasted for six weeks, but with the borders closed, its business prospects were bleak.

A year later, Skazka is still open – thanks to some creative thinking from its owners – but with fewer guests than before.

Russia was never completely locked down after last spring, and as a result its economy and some of its businesses did not suffer as much as some countries did during the pandemic. But he has also seen his death rates rise.

When infections spiked again in the fall, the government resisted the imposition of restrictions that would have shut down many businesses.

If there had been another lockdown, “we would already be closed,” Konstantinova said.

A six-week lockdown further damaged the weakening economy and deepened Russians’ frustrations with falling incomes and deteriorating living conditions. President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating fell from 69% in February 2020 to an all-time low of 59% two months later before rebounding, according to the Levada Center, Russia’s largest independent pollster.

For the remainder of 2020, industries and businesses have mostly remained open. During a resurgence of the virus in the fall, some areas imposed restrictions that limited the hours or capacity of bars, restaurants and other businesses, but they were rarely completely closed.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Russia’s gross domestic product fell only 3.6 percent, slightly more than the world average of 3.4 percent. By comparison, the UK’s GDP fell by 9.9%. France 8.2%, Germany 5.3% and Canada 5.4%.

Yet it was Russia’s steepest fall since 2009. In recent years, its GDP has grown by around 1-2% per year.

At the same time, Russia has seen a significant increase in mortality, said Sergei Guriev, professor of economics at Sciences Po’s Institute of Political Studies in Paris. The total number of deaths in 2020 increased by nearly 324,000 from the previous year, according to statistical agency Rosstat.

The country has recorded more than 97,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, although experts say the real number is likely higher and even Rosstat said more than 200,000 people with the virus are died between April 2020 and January 2021.

“These losses, which obviously could have been avoided, are the price to pay so that the Russian economy does not shut down and that Russian GDP only shrinks by 3%,” said Guriev.

Online sales had a good year. Ozon, a major Russian e-commerce platform similar to Amazon, saw sales increase nearly 2.5 times last year, said the company’s communications director, Maria Zaikina.

But even without a second foreclosure, some small and medium-sized businesses needed creative ways to stay afloat, with government support mostly limited to tax deferrals, cheap but hard-to-obtain loans, and direct grants. relatively weak. Many are not earning what they were doing before the pandemic.

A survey of 5,000 of these companies found that around a third still saw a drop in their income at the start of 2021. The survey, conducted by Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov and cited by the RBC newspaper on the month last, found that about 27% of revenues said at the same level as last year and nearly one in 10 was looking to close. Only about 19% said they were slowly starting to recover.

Almost 60% of companies surveyed said that continued depressed demand for products and services was one of the biggest challenges they faced.

Russians’ incomes fell 3.5% last year, Guriev said, noting that Moscow is spending much less to support businesses and consumers than other countries, where governments have taken “measures of a unprecedented generosity “.

This could be because the government, with its sovereign wealth fund valued at $ 165 billion in April 2020, was reluctant to open state coffers last spring, when oil prices plunged.

During the first lockdown, Konstantinova still wanted to use her hotel, which is located in a museum and entertainment complex built in a style mimicking 17th-century Russian architecture. In collaboration with NGOs and aid groups, she offered free rooms to victims of domestic violence, refugees, doctors and foreigners stranded in Russia.

With tourists unlikely to return anytime soon, Konstantinova was looking for ways to transform her hotel. Some of her non-paying guests were from India, and she decided to use their expertise to add a restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine. The project took off and his business is now in balance.

“Profit is out of the question at this point, of course, as is prepayment of loans,” she said. “But the fact that we are working at a level of balance is important. This means that when the market recovers, the business is likely to make a profit. “

Artyom Borovoy, co-founder of a company that builds stands for exhibitions, was in a similar situation.

When the business of the convention shut down, Borovoy’s company, Stend-Do, began making folding desks for those who work from home – an idea he says came from discussions about Zoom with his friends. out of desperation ”.

Simple, inexpensive plywood desks that fold like an easel and can be used sitting or standing have proven popular for those working remotely in small apartments. Borovoy sold around 2,100 of them last year, but admits the new project is only earning enough to cover the costs.

“In terms of profit, there isn’t one yet,” he said.

Borovoy and Konstantinova say they have not received any significant government support other than tax deferrals.

Amid the restrictions, some companies have turned to acts of defiance to preserve their revenues.

In St. Petersburg, where strict restrictions were imposed due to a wave of the virus during the New Year’s holidays in December and January, there was a backlash from restaurant and bar owners who received the order. to close between December 31 and January 3, and required to close at 7 p.m. for one week after that.

Dozens of owners have joined what has been called the “Map of Resistance” – a pop-up website listing bars and restaurants that have refused to obey the restrictions.

“How else were we supposed to survive? said Mikhail Kavin, manager of the Commode bar – just off the city’s famous Nevsky Prospekt – which offers rooms named after different cultural figures such as “Gershwin”, “Brando”, “Rockefeller” and “Lebowski” .

“People had to be able to eat and work. The authorities were unwilling to engage in dialogue. They did not provide any support, neither to the employees nor to the business owners, ”he said, noting that joining the Resistance Card“ was our only way to be heard ”.

Police raided Commode in early December for serving clients behind closed doors after 11 p.m.

Authorities eventually relaxed restrictions: cafes, restaurants and bars were still banned from operating between December 31 and January 3, unless they had “winter terraces” serving customers outside. , but they could open between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. the following week.

Commode worked over the holidays despite the restrictions, but even flouting the rules it did not bounce back to its pre-pandemic sales level, Kavin said.

“Maybe a few months or weeks was an exception to the rule, but it’s a long, long way to go to make a full recovery,” he added.

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New York booming with fiscal ambitions Thu, 08 Apr 2021 02:37:03 +0000

Construction workers line up to take a temperature test to return to the job site after lunch, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Manhattan neighborhood of New York, New York , United States, November 10, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

New York is considering the possibility of creating thousands of jobs and generating millions of dollars in sales taxes after becoming the last US state to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.

The Empire State last week became the 15th state to fully legalize recreational drug use by adults.

The state expects legal sales of marijuana for people aged 21 and over to begin in about a year, as it issues commercial cannabis licenses while preparing to enforce a long list of new laws on it. marijuana. Smoking marijuana will be legal wherever smoking tobacco is permitted. Users will be allowed to possess up to 3 ounces (85 grams) of the drug.

Retail sales of marijuana would be subject to a 9% state tax and a 4% local tax.

Although estimates vary, all sales estimates point to huge tax revenues and thousands of new jobs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said marijuana sales are expected to generate $ 350 million in tax revenue per year and potentially create 30,000 to 60,000 jobs. Sales could reach $ 1.2 billion by 2023 and $ 4.2 billion by 2027, according to consulting firm MPG Consulting. The sales would generate an average of $ 573 million in tax revenue over the first five years. MPG expects the industry to employ approximately 21,000 people within two years and over 75,000 within six years.

Beyond the expected tax revenues and new jobs, supporters of legalization emphasize its impact on heavily populated minority communities. When Cuomo, a Democrat, signed legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled state legislature on Wednesday, he said it was also about “justice for long marginalized communities and ensuring that those who have been unfairly penalized in the past will now have a chance to benefit “.

The legislation will erase the records of thousands of people who have already been convicted of marijuana-related offenses. People of color accounted for 94% of marijuana-related arrests in 2020, according to data from the New York City Police Department.

To support communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs, 40% of most tax revenue would be reinvested in Latin and black communities. The deal also includes “equity programs” that would provide loans, grants and incubation programs for small farmers and people from disproportionately affected communities who wish to enter the industry.

Public education would receive 40 percent of tax revenue and the remaining 20 percent would go to drug addiction treatment, prevention and education.

Legalization of the drug was approved despite opposition from the State Parents Association, or PTA, and law enforcement agencies. He was also opposed by the New York State Medical Society, which represents physicians, and raised concerns about the need for more research into the effects of marijuana on physical and mental health.

“We don’t think this will solve much of the problem of society and social justice,” Kyle Belokopitsky, executive director of the New York State PTA said in a television interview. “In every other state that has passed, even though they’re 21 and over, kids have had better access, a huge increase in things like hospitalization and accidental ingestion.”

According to a study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, calls to poison control centers associated with unintentional children’s exposure to cannabis increased in the United States from 2017 to 2019, in large part due to accidental use of the products. edibles based on cannabis.

“We are seeing these edible displays more and more often in young children. They arrive completely sedated after eating brownies at a party or eating foods belonging to their teenage siblings,” said Payal Sud, medical toxicologist and associate chair of the emergency department at Glen Cove Hospital.

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Fresh basil recalled due to cyclospora issues, says FDA Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:44 +0000

Fresh cut and imported basil faces a recall No more worries, it is contaminated with cyclospora, a microscopic parasite that can cause an intestinal infection called cyclosporosis if ingested.

Virginia-based Shenandoah Growers, Inc. on Monday issued a voluntary recall of some 3,240 units of freshly cut and packaged organic basil shells that were packaged at the company’s site in Indianapolis, Indiana, according to a recall notice posted on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.

Imported fresh cut basil is being recalled due to contamination with cyclospora, a microscopic parasite that can cause an intestinal infection called cyclosporosis if ingested. (iStock)

The products, which were imported from Colombia, were distributed to retailers in various states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The products were distributed between February 3 and 4.

“This recall notification is issued due to a single instance in which a bulk product sample was taken at the Port of Entry in Miami and tested by the FDA as part of routine surveillance and indicated the presence potential of Cyclospora, ”according to the FDA recall notice.


“Affected Shenandoah Growers customers have been notified of the recall and have been ordered to immediately remove and dispose of the recalled products from all store shelves, distribution and other inventory to ensure that they do not are no longer available for sale or consumption, ”he added.

Only the batch codes listed below are affected:

  • PV40515 1034
  • PV40515 3034
  • PV40515 4034
  • PV40515 3035

Cyclospora is a microscopic parasite which can cause an intestinal infection called cyclosporosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms typically include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, bloating, fatigue, nausea, and stomach cramps.

In the United States, outbreaks of foodborne cyclosporiasis have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce, including raspberries, basil and cilantro, among other fresh produce, according to the CDC.

Cyclospora is usually transmitted when food or water becomes contaminated with the parasite. Cyclospora infections are generally more common in the tropics and subtropics of the world.


Foodborne illness can be prevented, in part, by washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly and storing them properly. You can learn more about other preventive measures here.

Consumers who have purchased a recalled item are urged to dispose of it, the company said, noting that those with questions about the recall can contact the Shenandoah Growers Consumer Response Center at 844-896-6939.

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Three essential drivers that give color to the farmers’ protest Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:42 +0000

Protesters want a complete repeal of all three laws as well as a guarantee that no crops inside or outside the mandis will be bought below the state-mandated MSP by anyone.

The subjects
farmers protest | farmers | APMC mandis

Hundreds of thousands of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and several other parts of the country have besieged the capital’s main entry points to protest against the three agricultural laws recently passed by parliament. Farmers are demanding the complete repeal of all three laws as well as a guarantee that no crops inside or outside the mandis will be purchased below the state-prescribed Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Behind the protests lie a host of economic and social factors that have given the unrest a unique character and color. Political forces: While the …


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First published: Thu 03 December 2020. 15:46 IST

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Tomori loan is another frustrating move for the youngsters at the club Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:41 +0000

Chelsea have always been a club known to use and some might claim to abuse—The loan system in international football. This habit of loaning young players to smaller teams to guarantee them regular football has divided fans and experts. Some argue that the constant sending of inexperienced squad members to different clubs actually hampers their development, while others see it as working under the rules of the system to improve the youngsters at Stamford Bridge.

The last blow of the Blues, send AC Milan center-back Fikayo Tomori for the remainder of the season, is another example of the club’s obsession with the loan that could be detrimental in the long run. Tomori is a very talented player with a bright future in West London, and he certainly should have had more playing time than he was. Frank Lampard’s mismanagement of his minutes obviously played a role in his decision to leave for Italy and, at this very difficult time of Chelsea’s season, snubbing gifted players who will fight for the badge is simply unacceptable. .

More Composition of Chelsea FC

From Tomori’s perspective, going out on loan is the right decision. He has only made four appearances in total this year, including just 44 ‘of Premier League playing time. Moreover, the reintroduction of Antonio Rudiger into the rotation effectively ended any hope of improving the situation. Moreover, Milan are currently one of the best teams in Europe, having lost just two matches in all competitions. The young Englishman will certainly benefit from playing alongside veteran defenders such as the always underrated Simon Kjaer and Alessio Romagnoli in a confident and well-organized Rossoneri squad.

From the club’s perspective, the consequences of this move may not be apparent for years to come. As I mentioned, Tomori was clearly not in Lampard’s plans and unless there were significant injuries, that was unlikely to change. However, what if the loan goes really well for Tomori and he wants to stay at the San Siro? What if it improves greatly and becomes the missing piece in Milan’s desperate effort to finally dethrone Juventus from the top of Serie A? Will the supporters look at Tomori the same way we look at Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku and Mohamed Salah? I think that’s a separate possibility, and one that will seriously hamper Chelsea’s future.

Another disturbing facet of Tomori’s situation is his potential to be the most recent player sucked into Chelsea’s inescapable loan vortex. Fans may have heard of Definitive departure of Lucas Piazon for Portuguese club Braga after nine years at Stamford Bridge which included seven separate loan spells and a single Premier League appearance. The Brazil international was once one of Cobham’s most vaunted prospects but ultimately never cemented his place at the club. Players like Ethan Ampadu and Ruben Loftus-Cheek seem to be heading down this path quickly, and Tomori could be close to joining them.

Of course, it must be said that not all Chelsea loans end in disaster. Mason Mount’s spells at Vitesse Arnhem and Derby County were clearly positive experiences that turned him into the player he is today. This season, Conor Gallagher at West Brom and Marc Guehi at Swansea have made a splash. I really hope that Tomori’s loan to Milan can be a period of maturation that will set him up for the Blues’ first XI next year. However, given Chelsea’s track record with these kinds of deals, there is certainly reason to be skeptical.

What are your thoughts on the tomori movement? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

]]> 0 Chainsaws, pole saws sold at Lowe’s recalled because you may not be able to turn them off Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:39 +0000

Kobalt 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Chainsaws and Kobalt 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless 8-inch Electric Pole Saws sold exclusively at Lowe’s are being recalled due to a “risk of laceration,” according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The 150,000 chainsaws and 106,400 pole saws were distributed by Hongkong Sun Rise Trading. The chainsaws were sold from January 2014 to March 2020 for around $ 200. The pole saws were sold from March 2017 to October 2019 for around $ 180.

Regarding chainsaws, “Hongkong Sun Rise Trading has received 48 reports of soldering of the switch contacts causing the chainsaw to remain in the on position. No injuries were reported, ”according to the commission.

“The switch on the recalled pole saws may fail when subjected to a heavy load and cause the unit to continue to operate after the user releases the trigger, posing a risk of laceration for consumers. “

The company received 65 reports that the pole saws were still operating. No injuries were reported.

Details of the recalled products are:

  • Kobalt 12-inch 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Electric Chainsaw – Model Number KCS 120-07, UPC 84182102474-1 and Model Number KCS 120, UPC 84182101749-1
  • Pole saw Kobalt, 49V 2.5AH, item number 796791
  • Bare tool for Kobalt 40v handle saw, part number 1083769
  • 40 V pole saw combi set, article number 970801
  • Pole saw SOS Kobalt 40v, article number 812419
  • SOS Kobalt 40V Pole Saw Tool Only, Part Number 812424

“Chainsaws are blue and black. “Kobalt”, “40v max” and “12 in. 30 cm ”are printed on the chainsaw. The model number and date code are printed on the label located in the rear handle. The UPC is located on the box.

On pole saws, the part number and date code are printed on the side of the guide bar near the oil plug. Kobalt is printed on the side of the device. The date codes are from January 1, 2017 to February 28, 2019.

Hongkong Sun Rise Trading offers free repairs.

For more information, call the company at 855-378-8826, Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Friday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, or online at and click on “Important Safety Notice”.

Kobalt’s 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless 8-inch Electric Pole Saws have been recalled as they can continue to run even after the trigger is released.


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What is the future of online degrees? Wed, 07 Apr 2021 23:17:37 +0000

Will online degrees become more legitimate?

A article last week raised this question: With online programs becoming more and more popular, why are they still suffering from an image problem? Could the increase in programs due to the pandemic finally change that?

Online education has both advantages and disadvantages.


Accessibility. From a market efficiency perspective, a higher degree is accessible to everyone in the world, rather than to the limited number of individuals who can physically attend campus.

Cost. Online degrees are significantly cheaper than on campus, given the lower cost of living and the smaller administrative footprint of distance learning students.

User experience. As distance learning becomes the norm at most universities during the pandemic, institutions are applying the discipline of online user experience, rather than just pushing the classroom experience to a browser.


Rigor. In the brief history of online higher education, there was a perception, if not a reality, that degrees were less rigorous. It evolves rapidly and more complex degrees such as data science are awarded virtually.

Campus experience. The lack of a shared physical community dedicated to learning and growth is a factor. So are networking opportunities. Some people, as virtual work experiences have shown, simply do better or prefer the interactive human experience.

Perceived status. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if a degree is earned online or in person. More important will be the rigor of the field of study and the brand of the institution. A rigorous degree from a quality institution delivered online might in fact demonstrate a higher degree of autonomy and self-sufficiency.

Impact on the field of higher education. Higher education is already in crisis, for example questioning the ultimate earning power of degrees versus the amount of student loans needed.

What will higher education look like in 5 years? Probably a lot less loans and smaller private universities, more sabbaticals, more use of community colleges – and a lot more online learning.

Isaac Cheifetz, Executive Recruiter of Twin Cities, can be contacted via

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