Who is Andy Jassy, the new Amazon CEO taking over from Jeff Bezos?

Who is Andy Jassy, the new Amazon CEO taking over from Jeff Bezos?


Though not as public a figure as Bezos, Jassy is an accomplished executive in his own right — having grown Amazon’s cloud segment, Amazon Web Services, from its inception into a $45 billion business and the company’s biggest moneymaker. Now, he will take over leading the broader company as it builds on a year of massive growth caused by the pandemic.
“Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have,” Bezos wrote in a letter to employees Tuesday. “He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence.”

Here are three key things to know about the new leader of the e-commerce giant.

Jassy started at Amazon (AMZN) in 1997, just about three years after Bezos launched the company in his garage and three weeks before the company went public at a valuation of $300 million. It was his first job after graduating from Harvard Business School.
“I took my last final exam at (Harvard Business School) the first Friday in May in 1997, and I started at Amazon the next Monday,” Jassy said on “The Disruptive Voice” podcast last year. “I didn’t know what my job was going to be and what group I was going to work in and what my title was going to be.”

He first worked in a marketing role, and then was placed on a “SWAT team” project exploring other potential product categories for Amazon beyond books. Jassy pitched entering the music business as part of the project.

Jassy also spent time in the early 2000s in a position referred to at the time as Bezos’ “shadow,” a role similar to a corporate chief of staff, which was designed to train promising young execs, according to Ann Hiatt, a former executive business partner for Bezos during Amazon’s early days (where she sat at one of Bezos’ now-legendary “door desks.”) Now a tech-leadership consultant, Hiatt said she worked closely with Jassy during his time as Bezos’ “shadow.”

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO

“If you’d asked me yesterday what I thought the timeline would be of Jeff stepping down as CEO, I would not have guessed now. But if you’d said, ‘Okay, he’s stepping down, who will he choose?’ the first, instant name out of my mouth would be Andy Jassy,” Hiatt said.

“I watched him blossom into this beautiful complimentary executive to Jeff, where he learned to anticipate the questions Jeff would ask, the things he would hate, the things he would love, his leadership style,” Hiatt said. “While Andy, of course, has his own fantastic version of executive, he was trained with those instincts, to prioritize the things that Jeff would and make decisions the same way Jeff would when he’s not in the room. Obviously, he’s taken that on to great heights in his role as CEO of AWS.”

Jassy was there when Amazon decided to launch AWS and operate it as a separate company that served Amazon.com the same way it would any other customer.

“From the very start of AWS, we made a decision that if we wanted to be able to serve a lot of Amazon’s consumer competitors … that we had to make AWS its own separable business with a different leadership team and where Amazon’s consumer businesses were an important customer but just one of many important external customers,” Jassy told CNN of the decision in an interview for a 2019 CNN documentary on Amazon’s history. “We treat Amazon’s consumer business as an external customer.”

At the time, many were skeptical of the decision, given that the computing business was a far cry from Amazon’s core online retail activities. But Jassy has since overseen the growth of AWS into the backbone of much of the internet — something he managed despite not having much of a tech background.

“He brings quite a degree of humility; people didn’t quite realize who he was until recently,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale School of Management professor. “He’s definitely very humble, he’s not a self promoter, which is sort of unusual to be at this level in the tech space.”

How much does he earn?

Jassy’s base salary, like that of several other top execs, was $175,000 in 2019, according to Amazon’s most recent Proxy statement published in 2020.
Jeff Bezos has been halfway out the door at Amazon for a while

In 2019, his total compensation was $348,809. But a year earlier, his pay totaled more than $19.7 million, thanks to a nearly $19.5 million stock award that vested that year. By contrast, Jeff Bezos’ base salary was $81,840, and total compensation in 2019 was nearly $1.7 million, though Bezos owns a larger share of the company’s stock (nearly 15% of the total, as of the 2020 Proxy statement).

It is unclear whether Jassy’s compensation will change after becoming CEO.

The succession plan

CNN’s Poppy Harlow asked him about his CEO ambitions in an interview for a 2019 documentary about Amazon’s history.

At the time, Jassy said he didn’t expect Bezos to leave his position in the near future.

“I feel very fortunate that Jeff is not going anywhere anytime soon, and none of us want him to. He’s just such an unusual leader and so much part of the culture that I think he’s going to be here for a very long time.”

While he was coy about his plans — telling Harlow, “It’s kind of hard to imagine life without Jeff running the company” — analysts say Bezos has been planning for the transition for years.

Yale’s Sonnenfeld, who authored a book on CEO transitions called “The Hero’s Farewell,” recalled a conversation with Bezos at a tech conference about seven years ago during which the Amazon chief said he’d studied the Bill Gates-Steve Ballmer transition process.

“This has been his plan,” Sonnenfeld said of Bezos. “He wanted to pass this thing on as a healthy business, and this is the ideal time to do it.”

Study finds COVID-19 vaccine may reduce virus transmission

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine shows a hint that it may reduce transmission of the virus and offers strong protection for three months on just a single dose, researchers said Wednesday in an encouraging turn in the campaign to suppress the outbreak.

The preliminary findings from Oxford University, a co-developer of the vaccine, could vindicate the British government’s controversial strategy of delaying the second shot for up to 12 weeks so that more people can be quickly given a first dose. Up to now, the recommended time between doses has been four weeks.

The research could also bring scientists closer to an answer to one of the big questions about the vaccination drive: Will the vaccines actually curb the spread of the coronavirus?

It’s not clear what implications, if any, the findings might have for the two other major vaccines being used in the West, Pfizer’s and Moderna’s.

In the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, dismissed the idea of deliberately delaying second shots, saying the U.S. will “go by the science” and data from the clinical trials. The two doses of the Pifzer and Moderna vaccines are supposed to be given three and four weeks apart.

Still, the research appears to be good news in the desperate effort to arrest the spread of the virus and also suggests a way to ease vaccine shortages and get shots into more arms more quickly.

The makers of all three vaccines have said that their shots proved to be anywhere from 70% to 95% effective in clinical trials in protecting people from illness caused by the virus. But it was unclear whether the vaccines could also suppress transmission of the virus — that is, whether someone inoculated could still acquire the virus without getting sick and spread it to others.

As a result, experts have been saying that even people who have been vaccinated should continue to wear masks and keep their distance from others.

Volunteers in the British study underwent regular nasal swabs to check for the coronavirus, a proxy to try to answer the transmission question. The level of virus-positive swabs — combining volunteers who had asymptomatic infection with those who had symptoms — was 67% lower in the vaccinated group, the researchers reported.

While not a direct measure, “that’s got to have a really beneficial effect on transmission,” Oxford lead researcher Sarah Gilbert told a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences Wednesday.

The researchers also looked at how likely people who have been vaccinated are to get a symptom-free infection. In one subset of volunteers, there were 16 asymptomatic infections among the vaccinated and 31 in an unvaccinated comparison group.

Pfizer and Moderna also are studying the effect of their vaccines on asymptomatic infections.

Only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being used in the United States. Britain is using both AstraZeneca’s and Pfizer’s. AstraZeneca’s has also been authorized by the 27-nation European Union. Pfizer has not endorsed the British government’s decision to lengthen the time between doses.

Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals research and development at AstraZeneca, said that no patients experienced severe COVID-19 or required hospitalization three weeks after receiving a first dose, and that effectiveness appeared to increase up to 12 weeks after the initial shot.

“Our data suggest you want to be as close to the 12 weeks as you can” for the second dose, Pangalos said.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the study “backs the strategy that we’ve taken” to make sure more people have gotten at least one shot. Britain’s decision has been criticized as risky by other European countries.

Stephen Evans of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said the study’s suggestion that a single dose protected people for 12 weeks was “useful but not definitive.”

He said that the authors themselves acknowledged their research was not designed to investigate the vaccine’s dosing schedule and that their conclusions were based on statistical modeling, not actual patients tracked over time.

“It certainly isn’t very strong evidence, but there is also no indication this is the wrong thing to do,” Evans said of Britain’s strategy.

One of the Oxford researchers, Dr. Andrew Pollard, said scientists also believe the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue to offer protection against new variants of COVID-19, though they are still waiting for data on that. Fast-spreading mutant versions have caused alarm around the world.

“If we do need to update the vaccines, then it is actually a relatively straightforward process. It only takes a matter of months, rather than the huge efforts that everyone went through last year to get the very large-scale trials run,” Pollard told the BBC.

Meanwhile, a U.N.-backed program to supply COVID-19 vaccines to the neediest people worldwide is gearing up after a troubled start. The COVAX Facility announced plans Wednesday for an initial distribution of some 100 million doses by the end of March and more than 200 million more by the end of June to dozens of countries.

Nearly all of the doses expected for the first phase are due to come from AstraZeneca and its partner, the Serum Institute of India. The rollout will be contingent on the World Health Organization authorizing the AstraZeneca shot for emergency use, which is expected to happen this month.

Some 190 countries and territories are participating in COVAX, which has seen rich nations scoop up vaccine supplies, sometimes at premium prices.

The pandemic’s worldwide death toll has eclipsed 2.2 million, including about 447,000 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data.

New cases per day in the U.S. and the number of Americans in the hospital with COVID-19 have dropped sharply in the past few weeks, but deaths are still running at close to all-time highs at an average of around 3,100 a day. Deaths often lag behind the infection curve, because it can take weeks to sicken and die from COVID-19.

As the Super Bowl approaches, Fauci is warning people against inviting others over for Super Bowl parties, urging viewers to “just lay low and cool it” to avoid turning Sunday’s big game into a super spreader event.

“You don’t want parties with people that you haven’t had much contact with,” he told NBC’s “Today” show. “You just don’t know if they’re infected.”

__

Associated Press reporters Jill Lawless, Maria Cheng, Jamey Keaten and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and contributed to this report.

___

Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

15 SATISFYING CRAFTS AND DIY IDEAS

15 SATISFYING CRAFTS AND DIY IDEAS


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COOL HOBBY IDEAS

This time we prepared a collection of cool ideas and hobbies you totally should try. Everybody who work a lot and is stressed needs a way to relax. That’s why the hobby is a perfect way to reduce the level of stress, especially if you don’t have a chance to have holidays and spend time at the beach. You can choose a cheap hobby to make your life happier. For example, you will find a video about such activity as woodburning. It’s a great way to spend time and make useful and beautiful crafts for the home. You can use this technique to decorate various wooden surfaces at home like pendants, decorate jewelry boxes, trivets, clothespins, picture frames, key chains, and pencils. All you need to buy is a wood burning pen. Practice a bit and start creating!
The next activity will help you to express creativity and create something really cool. Pottery making is a very relaxing process that has a lot of health benefits. Pottery making has a ton of mental benefits as it helps to forget about worries and also helps you with self-expression and self-identification. You will be able to explore a whole new crafting world. Watch our video and find a satisfying video about pottery making.
Quilling is extremely popular kids of art today. A lot of people spend hours to create beautiful pictures using this technique. The main idea of quilling is to cut long and thin strips and roll them. You will be surprised but you can create various forms like flowers, leaves, teardrops. Quilling is a very meditative process and a cool way to decorate greeting cards, notebooks and make incredible wall decorations.

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 The pottery making process
01:11 Beautiful bowls
03:55 Woodburning ideas
04:30 Wood burned jewelry box
08:09 Knot bracelets
11:14 Quilling ideas

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Australian Open players and staff go into quarantine after a hotel worker tests positive for Covid-19

Australian Open players and staff go into quarantine after a hotel worker tests positive for Covid-19


Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said late on Wednesday evening that a 26-year-old volunteer firefighter who had been working as a resident support officer as part of the tournament tested positive for the virus. Until then, the state had not seen local transmission of the virus in 28 days.

New restrictions have now been placed on the state’s 6.7 million inhabitants. Masks are mandatory in indoor public places, and new limits are in place on the number of people who can gather in a household.

Andrews said the new rules were being put in place “through an abundance of caution” and because of the possibility that the case could have been caused by a new strain of the coronavirus — although he said the genomic sequencing needed to determine whether that was the case hasn’t finished yet.

The unnamed man last worked at the Grand Hyatt hotel on January 29 and tested negative for the virus at the end of his shift that day. However, he subsequently developed symptoms and tested positive on Wednesday.

As a result, Andrews said 500 to 600 people staying at the hotel have been deemed “close contacts” and would have to go into quarantine until they return a negative test.

He said that the situation should not impact the Australian Open itself, which is set to begin on Monday. Speaking on Thursday, Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said that out of the 507 people being tested, 160 of them were players.

Tiley said that the testing should be completed by 5 p.m., local time Thursday, saying that the players are “casual contacts” and there was a low probability of any of them testing positive.

The draw for the Australian Open has been postponed by a day to Friday while the testing takes place.

All play at Melbourne Park tennis center set for Thursday has been suspended to allow for the players and staff to be tested. The Tennis Australia boss said the affected warm up matches would be rescheduled, time permitting. “Everything remains as is, just with a day delay, until further notice,” Tiley said.

Rafael Nadal calls for 'wider perspective' from players in quarantine ahead of the Australian Open

The run up to the tournament has been shaped by coronavirus fears. On arrival in Victoria, 72 players were placed into a 14-day quarantine ahead of their Grand Slam matches after passengers on their flights tested positive for Covid-19.

To make up for the lost training time, tournament organizers scheduled a new warm-up event for players who have been unable to train during quarantine. However, the new case identified on Wednesday forced the organizers to cancel the matches scheduled for Thursday.

This story and its headline have been updated.

CNN’s Aleks Klosok and Hillary Whiteman contributed reporting.

House GOP keeps Cheney as No. 3 leader, stands by Greene

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans decided Wednesday to stand by two GOP lawmakers who have polarized the party, voting to retain Rep. Liz Cheney as their No. 3 leader and saying they’d fight a Democratic push to kick Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off her committees.

In a 145-61 secret-ballot vote, House Republicans overwhelmingly rebuffed a rebellion by hard-right conservatives to toss Cheney, R-Wyo., from leadership after she voted last month to impeach then-President Donald Trump.

Hours earlier, after Democrats slated a House vote for Thursday that would remove Greene from her committees, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ridiculed them for it. His comments signaled he was dismissing bipartisan demands that the hard-right Georgia Republican be punished for her online embrace of racist and violent views and bizarre conspiracy theories.

The decisions over Greene and Cheney have subjected the GOP to a politically agonizing test of its direction as it moves beyond the Trump presidency. Since Trump grudgingly vacated the White House last month, the party has been ideologically adrift as it’s struggled over whether to embrace his norm-busting divisiveness or the party’s more traditional, policy-oriented conservative values.

But as Wednesday’s internal showdowns concluded, McCarthy and the House GOP decided against punishing two of their most high-profile women, whose views enrage opposite ends of the party’s spectrum. The moves were typical of McCarthy’s preference to avoid ruffling feathers as he charts his path to someday becoming House speaker.

“You know what that’s going to mean?” he told reporters after the lengthy evening meeting. ”Two years from now, we’re going to win the majority. That’s because this conference is more united. We’ve got the right leadership team behind it.”

But each of the GOP’s wings remains concerned that the other is leading them down the wrong path, and to some, the day’s outcome seemed more an uneasy truce than a full-on peace treaty.

“This is about the direction of our party and whether or not we’re going to be a majority who’s dedicated to just one person or we’re going to be a united Republican majority,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler, R-Wash., who with Cheney was among just 10 House Republicans to back impeaching Trump.

Cheney is a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and a fixture of the party establishment, and she is viewed as eager to rise even higher in Washington’s GOP hierarchy.

Deposing her from the leadership would likely have dealt a devastating blow to her career. It also would have served as a warning shot to traditional conservative Republicans hoping to diminish Trump’s hold over the party.

“I won’t apologize for the vote,” Cheney told her colleagues in the closed-door session, according to a person familiar with the session who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

During a break in the session, McCarthy told reporters he’d defended Cheney inside.

“People can have differences of opinion. That’s what you can have a discussion about. Liz has a right to vote her conscience,” said McCarthy, who’d previously given no clear signal about whether he’d support his lieutenant.

Attendants said Greene and the conspiracy theories she’s embraced came up during the closed-door meeting, which participants said was spirited, with long lines of speakers at the microphones. Some said Greene apologized to her colleagues, though there were conflicting, vague versions of exactly what she’d said.

“She was contrite. And I think she brought a lot of people over to her side,” said conservative Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.

The day’s action began when the Democratic-led House Rules Committee cleared the way for Thursday’s vote punishing Greene. After that meeting, McCarthy released a statement saying Democrats were “choosing to raise the temperature” by attempting a “partisan power grab.”

He condemned Greene’s past endorsements of conspiracy theories — after weeks of saying little critical of her — and said the first-term congresswoman had recognized in a private conversation that she must meet “a higher standard” as a lawmaker.

“I hold her to her word, as well as her actions going forward,” McCarthy said.

Greene has shown support for calls to violence against Democrats, bizarre fictions about faked school shootings and unfounded QAnon theories about Democrats joining in child abuse rings.

Rules Committee Chair Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said lawmakers would send “an awful message” if they took no action on Greene. “If this is not the bottom, I don’t know what the hell is,” McGovern said.

Around two-thirds of House Republicans voted to back Trump’s effort to overturn his November election loss — just hours after his supporters’ deadly Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol that led to his impeachment for inciting insurrection.

Yet Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP senators have lambasted Greene, reflecting worries that her wing of the party cannot win statewide Senate races.

Despite McCarthy’s support, a House vote over Greene’s committee roles was expected to be a political ordeal for many Republicans. It would force them to go on record defending or punishing the unapologetic, social media-savvy Greene.

She burst onto the national political scene after just a month in office and with enthusiastic support from Trump. Even during the effort to punish her, she has lashed out at Democrats and raised money on the controversy.

Republicans appointed Greene to the Education and Labor Committee, a decision that drew especially harsh criticism because of her suggestions that mass school shootings in Connecticut and Florida could be hoaxes. Greene is also on the Budget Committee.

McCarthy said Democrats turned down his offer to move Greene onto the House Small Business Committee instead.

It’s unusual for party leaders to strip lawmakers of committee assignments, which can help them address their districts’ needs and raise campaign contributions.

In 2019, House GOP leaders removed Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who had a history of racist comments, from the Agriculture and Judiciary panels after wondering aloud in a New York Times story about when the term “white supremacist” became offensive. He lost the Republican primary for his seat in 2020 and is out of Congress after serving nine terms.

In online videos and through supportive “likes” on social media, Greene has voiced support for racist beliefs, calls for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama and other false theories.

The Senate plans to begin its impeachment trial of Trump next week. In a procedural vote, all but five GOP senators voted to scuttle the proceedings, indicating that his conviction is unlikely.

33 REAL STRUGGLES EVERY WOMAN CAN RELATE TO

33 REAL STRUGGLES EVERY WOMAN CAN RELATE TO


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

HOW YOUR LIFE CHANGES DURING PREGNANCY

A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during the nine months of pregnancy. The belly is growing so fast and the pregnancy is one of the most amazing moments ever. Somebody changes may be unexpected and catch women by surprise. Every pregnant women and mom will confirm that body does some unexpected things during pregnancy, for example, cravings for food. The taste may change completely and you will have strange food habits like unexpected food combos they have never had before. You can even want to eat non-food items. Be careful and remember that your diet should be well balanced! Moreover, women become more sensitive and the sense of smell becomes stronger.
During pregnancy, life brings you challenges every single day. Growing belly could bring some problems. For example, you can’t pick up keys from the floor because of the big belly. You need a special pillow for a comfortable sleep or even several pillows; it’s really hard to wear your favorite sneakers as extra fluid in the body cause swelling ankles and feet; people pay a lot of attention to your belly. And the worst moments are that you run to and from the toilet about hungered times a day. On the other hand, you have a lot of benefits everybody cares about you and make your life more comfortable. Moreover, your belly is growing and you can borrow t-shirts and hoodies from your husband.
As a bonus, you will find a lot of ideas on how to transform your ordinary clothes into pregnancy clothes. Nursing tops may cost a lot and we know how to make a nursing top out of a tank top.

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Funny pregnancy moments
01:07 Common pregnancy cravings
06:34 DIY nursing top
08:43 Maternity pants

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Mario Draghi Saved the Euro. Can He Now Save Italy?

Mario Draghi Saved the Euro. Can He Now Save Italy?


ROME — In the dark days of Europe’s financial crisis, Mario Draghi, then the head of the European Central Bank, famously said he would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro.

Now, nearly a decade later, Mr. Draghi’s native Italy, facing a catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic, looming economic disaster and a political crisis that has spotlighted the paralysis of its political class, has turned to Mr. Draghi, a titan of Europe who carries the sobriquet Super Mario, as the one who had what it took to save the country.

The pro-European forces in the country have all but described Mr. Draghi’s formal acceptance this week of a mandate from Italy’s president to form a new unity government as manna from heaven. But Italy first has to accept it.

Mr. Draghi, a quiet, polished and enigmatic 73-year-old economist, made important progress on Thursday toward winning support from a disparate array of Italian political parties, including the populists who for years railed against the European establishment that he embodies.

“To overcome the pandemic, to complete the vaccine campaign, to offer answers to the daily problems of the citizens, to relaunch the country are the challenges we face,” Mr. Draghi said in his remarks to the nation Wednesday.

Italy is in perhaps its most perilous time since World War II, as it faces a multifront battle on health, the economy and deep social paralysis and frustration. The country is set to receive more than 200 billion euros, or about $240 billion, in relief funds from Europe — a veritable Marshall Plan for its future — and doubts about the outgoing government’s ability to properly absorb and spend the money helped trigger its collapse.

Mr. Draghi is by contrast seen as uniquely capable of handling such sums. His stewardship, following years of tumultuous leadership by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, a previously unknown and ideologically incoherent lawyer who took direction from nationalists, populists and the center-left establishment, would immediately increase the country’s international stature, credibility and clout in Brussels.

Besides having worked closely with Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, and having a possibly more sophisticated understanding of economics than any other head of state on the planet, Mr. Draghi also has a strong line into the White House through Janet Yellen, the new U.S. Treasury secretary, whom he knows well from their years as central bankers. Even the prospect of his leading Italy gave confidence to financial markets, which is in itself crucial for Italy and its long-term growth, as it needs to be able to borrow money at low interest rates.

All of this exuberance surrounds a man who is, himself, famously cautious. He was born into a middle-class family: His father worked at the Bank of Italy and his mother was a chemist. Both died when he was a teenager.

He received a Jesuit education, which some friends consider the root of his studied inscrutability. He has never endorsed an Italian political party and friends say that while he is ambitious, he is not a fan of putting his name even to initiatives he supports. He graduated from Sapienza University in Rome and studied Keynesian economics at M.I.T., ultimately becoming the first Italian to receive a doctorate there.

Gianfranco Pasquino, a prominent Italian political scientist who in 1974 was lecturing at Harvard, played soccer with Mr. Draghi in Cambridge and recalled him as a “serious person” who was “more in listening and less in talking. He was not particularly interested in Italian politics.”

He was also frightfully slow on the field, and was usually one of the last choices as the Italians divided up teams. But it didn’t seem to bother him, Mr. Pasquino said, because he knew their bench wasn’t deep and so he was “an indispensable player.”

Mr. Draghi is being treated like a meteor landing in the middle of Rome. But he knows the city, and its politics, well.

He was the top civil servant at the Italian Treasury for a decade beginning in 1991, providing stability amid the perennial political turmoil.

Those years at the Treasury were good preparation, said Alessandro Merli, who followed Mr. Draghi’s career for years as a financial journalist and is now associate fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna.

“He’s a technocrat but he’s very attuned to political sensitivities,” Mr. Merli said. “He’s shown that he can be extremely efficient and cool under pressure.”

Mr. Draghi’s Rolodex and reputation attracted the U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs, which made him vice-chairman and managing director in 2002. The center-left prime minister at the time, Romano Prodi, courted him as a potential finance minister. But in 2006, he instead became governor of the Bank of Italy, where his father had worked, again righting the ship after another crisis, this one a conflict-of-interest scandal involving his predecessor.

He stayed there until being named president of the European Central Bank in 2011, in the midst of a sovereign debt crisis. Despite his reputation, his appointment prompted skepticism, largely based on Italian stereotypes.

“Mamma Mia!” read a headline in Germany’s Bild tabloid. “For Italians, inflation is a way of life, like tomato sauce with spaghetti.”

Mr. Draghi’s performance instead became a source of Italian national pride.

As Europe’s top central banker, he displayed a talent for politics by getting most European leaders to support, or at least tolerate, a money printing program that was in many ways more daring than anything undertaken by the Federal Reserve.

Even Ms. Merkel backed Mr. Draghi, despite howls from many in her party that the central bank’s policies would lead to inflation. They did not.

Mr. Draghi could also play hardball. At the European Central Bank, some members of the Governing Council, which includes the central-bank chiefs of the 19 countries in the eurozone, complained that he had a tendency to signal policy moves publicly before consulting with council members, essentially forcing them to go along or risk provoking turmoil in financial markets.

As central bank president, Mr. Draghi pushed for changes including the loosening up of labor market regulations and streamlining of bureaucracy that, especially in Italy, would have required less reliance on the bank. That largely didn’t come to pass.

Lorenzo Codogno, a former chief economist at the Italian Treasury, said that if Mr. Draghi succeeded in forming a government, he would not be likely to take on those issues immediately. His focus would be on the vaccine rollout and managing more than €200 billion, what Mr. Draghi called on Wednesday “the extraordinary resources of the European Union.”

Unlike Mario Monti, another economist brought in as a technocratic prime minister to bail out Italy’s politicians during the debt crisis, Mr. Draghi has the task of spending, rather than cutting, billions of euros.

In a speech in Rimini last year, Mr. Draghi, whose name has been mentioned for years as a potential candidate to replace President Sergio Mattarella as head of state in 2022, said foreign investors would accept higher Italian debt if the country invested money in “human capital, in crucial infrastructure for production, in research.”

Supporters of Mr. Draghi are optimistic that he will get Italy’s paralyzed public works projects moving, that he will invest more in job-creation and education.

“Italy is a country that has a lot of money to spend. We could have thrown it all away, we would have risked spending it badly,” Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister, said in an interview. It was Mr. Renzi who triggered the collapse of the previous government by pulling his support, and exacting some revenge, on Mr. Conte and his supporters in Five Star.

Instead, he said, “Mario Draghi in Italy means trust, and this is the first rule of the economy.” He added, “Now with Draghi we are traveling with safety belts.”

But before Italy’s journey with Mr. Draghi can begin, he first has to get through the gantlet of Italian politics and convince the populist forces that disdain technocrats like him that a broad, unity government is in the interest of the nation.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which, despite hemorrhaging public support, is still the largest party in Parliament, came to power demonizing international bankers like Mr. Draghi. But it also fears the early elections that would result from his rejection, and which would decimate its ranks.

The gravity of Mr. Draghi’s pull, though, has already had an effect. On Thursday, Luigi Di Maio, a party leader, signaled Five Star’s willingness to at least listen to Mr. Draghi.

The League party of Matteo Salvini is split between the pro-business northerners who are excited about Mr. Draghi’s potential to improve the economy, and the members attracted by Mr. Salvini’s Brussels-bashing demagogy over recent years. Mr. Salvini has slipped lately in the polls, but he would still jump at the chance to go to elections. His support of Mr. Draghi would instead signal moderation and perhaps a new political identity.

But to survive a confidence vote in Parliament, Mr. Draghi will also have to endure, and manage, the knife fights among his supporters as they seek positions in what is likely to be a cabinet comprised at least in part of political forces. And Mr. Renzi has already shown that support in Italian politics can be fleeting.

“I hope Mario knows that there are too many sharks in Italian politics,” Mr. Pasquino, emeritus professor of political science at the University of Bologna, said. “Even the small sharks can produce a very deep bite.”

Jason Horowitz reported from Rome, and Jack Ewing from Frankfurt.

Farm Rents Their Goats For Zoom Conference Calls For $7/5 mins, Raises $68k

Farm Rents Their Goats For Zoom Conference Calls For $7/5 mins, Raises $68k


Everything’s better with goats. Don’t believe me? Consider this: they’re cute, some of them have a funny scream, they can jump around in contagious joy, and—ready for this?—you can now get one to join your online meeting for £5, or $6.8 for five whole minutes.

Oh, it may have started as a joke, but I assure you it is no joke. A farm in the UK has recently started offering a “Goat On Zoom” service where a goat from said farm joins in on your zoom call to do goat things.

Zoom meetings can sometimes be fun, but zoom meetings with goats are always fun

Image credits: palomitica29

Meet Dot McCarthy of the Cronkshaw Fold Farm in Rossendale, Lancashire, England. Her farm ran into a bit of a financial difficulty come the pandemic—sure, the farming part stayed the same, they continued their work with the farm animals, but things like educational visits and party hosting were out the window.

So, one day, she joked with one of her colleagues about how they should get the goats to join people’s Zoom meetings. It was a completely wacky idea that shouldn’t have been the focus of what they were doing, but they thought they’d put up a website and see what happened.

Turns out, there’s a farm that offers Goats On Zoom services to everyone for £5 ($6.8) for 5 minutes

Image credits: SocSciKatie

Dot McCarthy of the Cronkshaw Fold Farm joked about doing this because of the popularity of online calls

Image credits: Rebecca00631516

Well, the next day, they were bombarded with a myriad of offers as their email inbox was packed with letters and their phones wouldn’t stop ringing.

One thing led to another and since the launch of this little business venture, the farm managed to earn over £50,000 or over $68,000 just by having their goats join people’s online calls for 5+ minutes at a time.

And this was a godsend, as the farm had some employees that it was thinking of sending off due to the pandemic, but now these same people are too busy hosting online meetings with goats.

So, as a joke, she put up info about it on the website, and the next day it blew up

Image credits: theunsubscriber

Ever since its start, the farm has earned over £50,000 ($68,000) just by having goats join online calls

Image credits: DWBakes

Speaking of which, the farm offers a selection of 7 goats to meet: Lulu, Ozymandias, Lisa, Elizabeth, Lola, Margaret, and Sabastian. Through the farm’s website, people can book appointments with them for £5 or $6.8 for five minutes over Zoom, Microsoft teams, Skype, Google Hangouts, and other video services.

The website jokes that all of the proceeds go towards bulk-buying toilet paper roll, but in reality, it is actually reinvested back into the farm—purchasing installation of new renewable tech for the farm.

People can book 7 different goats to crash a meeting, like Margaret, Lola and others seen below

Image credits: Cronkshaw Fold Farm

Image credits: Cronkshaw Fold Farm

Thousands of people loved this idea, with one particular story rising in Dot’s interview with EuroNews where she says that there is one family that books Marge every week—it feels like it has become a part of their family by this point.

Others online called this initiative lovely, inventive, and resourceful, saying that it does definitely spread cheer in an otherwise sad global situation with the pandemic.

Dot even said that there’s a family that books one of the goats weekly—feels like it’s now part of the family

Image credits: Cronkshaw Fold Farm

Image credits: Cronkshaw Fold Farm

You can learn more and book a goat on the farm’s website. But before you go, tell us your thoughts on this. Will you book a goat for your next online meeting, and if so, which one are you thinking of booking? Let us know in the comment section below!

Here’s how people reacted to this story

Defend or rebuke? House GOP faces difficult vote over Greene

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans will be forced to go on the record, defending or rebuking Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has drawn bipartisan condemnation over her embrace of far-right conspiracy theories, racist comments, as well as her past endorsement of violence against Democrats.

Democrats are expected to move forward Thursday with a vote that is all-but-certain to strip the Georgia Republican of her committee assignments. For Republicans, it represents a politically agonizing dilemma that underscores tension that has riven the party over the path forward since Donald Trump lost the White House.

Do they support a newly elected colleague, whom Trump has praised as a “future Republican star”? Or do they side with Democrats and take action against Greene, who has suggested that school shootings were staged, voiced support for the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory and once said Black people “are held slaves to the Democratic Party.”

Democrats issued an ultimatum earlier in the week, telling House Republicans to strip Greene of her committee assignments — or they would. Bipartisan pressure built after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Greene’s “loony lies” a “cancer” for the party.

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But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday ruled out taking action. Instead, he accused Democrats of a “partisan power grab” for targeting Greene, who once suggested that a Jewish-owned financial firm may have been involved in a plot to spark California wildfires using a space laser.

“If this is not the bottom, I don’t know what the hell is,” House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said before a resolution was sent to the House floor to strip Greene of her posts.

McCarthy’s decision to back Greene comes at a time when the party has been ideologically adrift after Trump’s loss, struggling over whether to embrace his norm-busting divisiveness or the GOP’s more traditional, policy-oriented conservative values.

On Wednesday, House Republicans blocked an effort by conservative hardliners to oust the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her leadership role. Cheney, a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, had enraged Trump supporters by voting to impeach him over the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

In sticking by both women, McCarthy was attempting to placate both traditional conservatives and populists, like Greene, who emulate Trump. The moves were typical of McCarthy’s preference to avoid ruffling feathers as he charts his path to someday becoming House speaker.

“You know what that’s going to mean?” he told reporters Wednesday evening. “Two years from now, we’re going to win the majority. That’s because this conference is more united. We’ve got the right leadership team behind it.”

McConnell praised his House counterparts on Thursday, telling reporters, “I congratulate Liz Cheney on a landslide victory. It must be very satisfying to her, and it was a great win.”

But the GOP’s wings remain concerned that the other is leading them down the wrong path, and to some, Wednesday’s outcome seemed more an uneasy truce than a full-on peace treaty.

“This is about the direction of our party and whether or not we’re going to be a majority who’s dedicated to just one person or we’re going to be a united Republican majority,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler, R-Wash., who with Cheney was among just 10 House Republicans to back impeaching Trump.

Greene has shown support for calls to violence against Democrats, bizarre fictions about faked school shootings and unfounded QAnon theories about Democrats joining in child abuse rings.

The conspiracy theories she’s embraced came up during a closed-door Republican caucus meeting on Wednesday, which attendants described as spirited with long lines of speakers at the microphones. Some said Greene apologized to her colleagues, though there were conflicting, vague versions of exactly what she’d said.

“She was contrite. And I think she brought a lot of people over to her side,” said conservative Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.

That’s at odds with statements she’s made in recent weeks on Twitter, where she has vowed to never back down or apologize and labeled her critics traitors, while using the Democratic push to punish her to raise money for her campaign.

Democrats say it’s politically advantageous to tie some Republicans to the far-right Greene. This week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a $500,000 ad campaign that attempts to link eight Republicans to her and other adherents of QAnon, which focuses on the false belief that top Democrats are involved in child sex trafficking and cannibalism.

McCarthy condemned Greene’s past endorsements of conspiracy theories — after weeks of saying little critical of her — and said the first-term congresswoman had recognized in a private conversation that she must meet “a higher standard” as a lawmaker.

“I hold her to her word, as well as her actions going forward,” McCarthy said.

She burst onto the national political scene with enthusiastic support from Trump.

Republicans appointed Greene to the Education and Labor Committee, a decision that drew especially harsh criticism because of her suggestions that mass school shootings in Connecticut and Florida could be hoaxes. Greene is also on the Budget Committee.

McCarthy said Democrats turned down his offer to move Greene onto the House Small Business Committee instead.

It’s unusual for party leaders to strip lawmakers of committee assignments, which can help them address their districts’ needs and raise campaign contributions.

In 2019, House GOP leaders removed Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who had a history of racist comments, from the Agriculture and Judiciary panels after he wondered aloud in a New York Times story about when the term “white supremacist” became offensive. He lost the Republican primary for his seat in 2020 and is out of Congress after serving nine terms.

In online videos and through supportive “likes” on social media, Greene has voiced support for racist beliefs, calls for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama and various false theories.

18 CALLIGRAPHY AND DRAWING HACKS FOR BEGINNERS

18 CALLIGRAPHY AND DRAWING HACKS FOR BEGINNERS


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

EASY WAYS TO RELAX

Drawing has a lot of benefits as it could be a form of expression, in childhood, it was a form of communication to express some feelings. Nevertheless, art is a way to make us happier and more relaxed. That’s why drawing is one of the best hobbies. There are various types of drawing techniques you can choose from. Do you remember how many times you have spent in childhood drawing? Adults also love drawing as it’s a very meditative process that helps you to relax. One of the benefits that drawing has is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on supplies, especially if you are not going to learn of fundamental painting techniques. Besides, there are a lot of new techniques that are so easy and the result is so beautiful! We have chosen drawing techniques that are so good for beginners. Watch this video and you will be able to create something very beautiful. Moreover, you can decorate your home with your pictures. In this video, you will find tutorials that will teach you such drawing technique as Doodling and Zentangle art.
Doodling has a lot of advantages: it’s a very easy drawing technique for kids and adults; you can doodle literally everywhere – at home, at the airport, at school, in a park; it’s is a cheap way to entertain yourself and relax if you are exhausted. All the supplies you need is a pen and a small square of paper. Use your imagination and create a masterpiece! Besides, you can decorate greeting cards for your friends to amaze them!
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00:09 Zentangle art
01:12 Doodle circles
09:13 How to draw a cute fish
03:35 Zentangle heart

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In Myanmar, a Cult of Personality Meets Its Downfall

In Myanmar, a Cult of Personality Meets Its Downfall


BANGKOK — When an election landslide first ushered the National League for Democracy into a position of power in Myanmar, the party gained a robust popular mandate to extract the country from the army’s grip after decades of ruthless military rule.

The challenge was finding a way to pursue its agenda without prompting the military to retaliate. Under the country’s military-drafted Constitution, the party had to share power with the army, which had once imprisoned many of its leaders.

It pushed hard on its primary goal — bolstering the power of its singular leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. In other ways, it was in step with the military, leaving many of its repressive laws in place. But it also lived in fear, and the party tread gingerly after a key legal adviser was assassinated.

For the National League for Democracy, or N.L.D., there was no escaping one fundamental truth: The generals always had the upper hand. On Monday, they wielded it brazenly, retaking full power in a coup d’état.

“It was always contingent on the good will of a single person, the commander in chief, not to use force to achieve his goal,” said Richard Horsey, a political analyst in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. “The National League for Democracy always believed a coup was around the corner even when it was not. This time it was.”

Claiming that elections in November were tainted by fraud, the commander in chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, declared a state of emergency on Monday, asserted himself as the nation’s leader, and placed Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders in detention.

For the military, known as the Tatmadaw, the last straw appears to have been the lopsided result of that election, which sent the N.L.D. to an even bigger victory than the one that first thrust it into power in 2015. The military’s proxy party suffered a crushing defeat.

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under house arrest during the previous era of military rule, now faces a possible prison term over the charge of illegally importing walkie-talkies. The country has appeared largely peaceful in the days since the coup, though a government ministry ordered Facebook blocked through Sunday.

The N.L.D., which began as a broad-based anti-military movement, became a vehicle for the ambitions of one woman: Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.

The N.L.D. was co-founded by Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi during a wave of pro-democracy protests in 1988 that helped catapult her to global attention and, three years later, a Nobel Peace Prize. With her at the helm, the party united a broad coalition, from leftists to former military officers, that opposed the army’s dominance.

Still, while the word “democracy” remains part of its name and origins, the party for years has been something less than a beacon of democratic values.

In the November election, the election commission appointed by the party excluded millions of people of various ethnic backgrounds, including persecuted Rohingya Muslims, from the ballot box.

Over the years, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi built the N.L.D. in her image. Critics called it a cult of personality. Often criticized for her stubbornness and imperious style, she has kept the party firmly under her command and is known to demand loyalty and obedience from her followers.

Initially, the party’s top-down structure stemmed from its need to survive under military rule, as many of its leaders were picked off and sentenced to long prison terms. The charges were sometimes obscure — like instructing a body guard in martial arts — but the effect was no less serious.

“The rigid nature of the N.L.D. was forged through military persecution,” said David Scott Mathieson, a longtime Myanmar analyst. “They could only trust each other.”

That strict hierarchy also reflected the party’s military heritage.

The other four co-founders of the N.L.D. were retired high-ranking military officers, including U Tin Oo, a former Tatmadaw commander in chief. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, Gen. Aung San, was the Tatmadaw’s founder and leader of the nation’s independence movement until his assassination in 1947.

While the organization began as a grass-roots movement, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has always shown deference to the institution her father founded, even as its generals locked her up.

“She saw it as her destiny to finish her father’s business,” Mr. Horsey said. “The N.L.D. was more about Suu Kyi than it was about being a party.”

In the early days after the party’s election victory in 2015, its leaders were cautious in challenging the military. But others say they could have done more, such as repealing repressive laws and protecting the rights of activists and ethnic groups.

“They could have done many things while they had power,” said Nyo Nyo Thin, a former regional lawmaker. “They could have passed a law to limit the power of the commander in chief.”

But party leaders were concerned that any move to undermine the Tatmadaw’s authority could trigger a coup.

“The thinking was, if you do it too fast, the military has a pretext for coming in,” Mr. Mathieson, the Myanmar analyst, said. “They would say, ‘It took us years to get here, we are not going to blow it now.’”

As the party formed its first government in 2016, one of its initial challenges was how to circumvent a provision written into the Constitution by the military that expressly barred Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi from serving as president.

Acting on the advice of a prominent human rights lawyer, U Ko Ni, the party created the post of state counselor, which is not in the Constitution but is akin to head of state. Assuming the state counselor title, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi promptly declared herself to be above the president.

“She shared many political instincts with the military,” Mr. Horsey, the analyst in Yangon, said. “There were many things that they were in agreement on. What she challenged them on was her firm view that she should be president.”

Mr. Ko Ni also came up with a plan to replace the military-drafted Constitution with a new version that would strip the Tatmadaw of its extraordinary powers. But Mr. Ko Ni was gunned down in broad daylight in early 2017 at the Yangon airport as he was holding his infant grandson. The plan was shelved.

“This bullet was not only for Ko Ni,” a colleague, the human rights lawyer U Thein Than Oo, said at the time. “It was for the N.L.D.”

Four men were convicted of the killing, including two former military officers, but it was never proven that the Tatmadaw had ordered the killing. An ex-colonel was identified as the mastermind, but he has never been arrested.

The assassination — and the threat of further violent retaliation — hung like a cloud over relations between the party and the military. The party offered no new challenges to the military’s constitutional authority until last year, when it unsuccessfully proposed that the military’s share of seats in Parliament be reduced.

“The result was that the N.L.D. became much more cautious, and they became even more convinced that they were in an existential battle,” Mr. Horsey said.

Ultimately, Myanmar’s contentious civilian-military partnership unraveled because of the competing desire of two people to be president: the Lady and the general.

Gen. Min Aung Hlaing has pledged to hold new elections within a year. Many doubt that he will keep his promise. A free election with all parties participating would be unlikely to give him the result he wants.

“The military has two problems,” Mr. Horsey said. “Aung San Suu Kyi is incredibly popular, and they are incredibly unpopular.”

40 Women Share Stories About Men Who Confidently Mansplained Something Obvious To Them

40 Women Share Stories About Men Who Confidently Mansplained Something Obvious To Them


The term “mansplaining” is a relatively new one. After first being innovated by the author Rebecca Solnit in 2008, it allowed women to describe a common experience they share for which they never had the terminology. “Mansplaining” went beyond the generics like “patronizing” and “presumptuous” and shed light on a profoundly negative side that men explaining things to women has.

Unfortunately, unsolicited explanations from men who are neither your teacher nor your manager are all too common. But to see the level of absurdity and obviousness of the things women have mansplained to them, we have to look at the actual instances that happened to them in real life.

So when Twitter user Nicole Froio, who’s a PhD on sexual violence and masculinity, asked women to share “the most obvious thing a man has ever mansplained to you,” the answers started pouring in one after another. Both ludicrous and plain irritating, they speak thousands of words about power imbalance and gender bias, which shouldn’t be the case when we live in 2021.

Read more irritating mansplaining cases as shared by women in our previous article right here.

Image credits: NicoleFroio

Sitting on billions, Catholic dioceses amassed taxpayer aid

Sitting on billions, Catholic dioceses amassed taxpayer aid

By REESE DUNKLIN and MICHAEL REZENDES

February 4, 2021 GMT

When the coronavirus forced churches to close their doors and give up Sunday collections, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte turned to the federal government’s signature small business relief program for more than $8 million.

The diocese’s headquarters, churches and schools landed the help even though they had roughly $100 million of their own cash and short-term investments available last spring, financial records show. When the cash catastrophe church leaders feared didn’t materialize, those assets topped $110 million by the summer.

“I am gratified to report the overall good financial health of the diocese despite the many difficulties presented by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Bishop Peter Jugis wrote in the diocese’s audited financial report released last fall.

As the pandemic began to unfold, scores of Catholic dioceses across the U.S. received aid through the Paycheck Protection Program while sitting on well over $10 billion in cash, short-term investments or other available funds, an Associated Press investigation has found. And despite the broad economic downturn, these assets have grown in many dioceses.

Yet even with that financial safety net, the 112 dioceses that shared their financial statements, along with the churches and schools they oversee, collected at least $1.5 billion in taxpayer-backed aid. A majority of these dioceses reported enough money on hand to cover at least six months of operating expenses, even without any new income.

The financial resources of several dioceses rivaled or exceeded those available to publicly traded companies like Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, whose early participation in the program triggered outrage. Federal officials responded by emphasizing the money was intended for those who lacked the cushion that cash and other liquidity provide. Many corporations returned the funds.

Overall, the nation’s nearly 200 dioceses, where bishops and cardinals govern, and other Catholic institutions received at least $3 billion. That makes the Roman Catholic Church perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the paycheck program, according to AP’s analysis of data the U.S. Small Business Administration released following a public-records lawsuit by news organizations. The agency for months had shared only partial information, making a more precise analysis impossible.

Already one of the largest federal aid efforts ever, the SBA reopened the Paycheck Protection Program last month with a new infusion of nearly $300 billion. In making the announcement, the agency’s administrator at the time, Jovita Carranza, hailed the program for serving “as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses.”

Church officials have said their employees were as worthy of help as workers at Main Street businesses, and that without it they would have had to slash jobs and curtail their charitable mission as demand for food pantries and social services spiked. They point out the program’s rules didn’t require them to exhaust their stores of cash and other funds before applying.

But new financial statements several dozen dioceses have posted for 2020 show that their available resources remained robust or improved during the pandemic’s hard, early months. The pattern held whether a diocese was big or small, urban or rural, East or West, North or South.

In Kentucky, funds available to the Archdiocese of Louisville, its parishes and other organizations grew from at least $153 million to $157 million during the fiscal year that ended in June, AP found. Those same offices and organizations received at least $17 million in paycheck money. “The Archdiocese’s operations have not been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak,” according to its financial statement.

In Illinois, the Archdiocese of Chicago had more than $1 billion in cash and investments in its headquarters and cemetery division as of May, while the faithful continued to donate “more than expected,” according to a review by the independent ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. Chicago’s parishes, schools and ministries accumulated at least $77 million in paycheck protection funds.

Up the interstate from Charlotte in North Carolina, the Raleigh Diocese collected at least $11 million in aid. Yet during the fiscal year that ended in June, overall offerings were down just 5% and the assets available to the diocese, its parishes and schools increased by about $21 million to more than $170 million, AP found. In another measure of fiscal health, the diocese didn’t make an emergency draw on its $10 million line of credit.

Catholic leaders in dioceses including Charlotte, Chicago, Louisville and Raleigh said their parishes and schools, like many other businesses and nonprofits, suffered financially when they closed to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Some dioceses reported that their hardest-hit churches saw income drop by 40% or more before donations began to rebound months later, and schools took hits when fundraisers were canceled and families had trouble paying tuition. As revenues fell, dioceses said, wage cuts and a few dozen layoffs were necessary in some offices.

Catholic researchers at Georgetown University who surveyed the nation’s bishops last summer found such measures weren’t frequent. In comparison, a survey by the investment bank Goldman Sachs found 42% of small business owners had cut staff or salaries, and that 33% had spent their personal savings to stay open.

Church leaders have questioned why AP focused on their faith following a story last July, when New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote that reporters “invented a story when none existed and sought to bash the Church.”

By using a special exemption that the church lobbied to include in the paycheck program, Catholic entities amassed at least $3 billion — roughly the same as the combined total of recipients from the other faiths that rounded out the top five, AP found. Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Jewish faith-based recipients also totaled at least $3 billion. Catholics account for about a fifth of the U.S. religious population while members of Protestant and Jewish denominations are nearly half, according to the Pew Research Center.

Catholic institutions also received many times more than other major nonprofits with charitable missions and national reach, such as the United Way, Goodwill Industries and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Overall, Catholic recipients got roughly twice as much as 40 of the largest, most well-known charities in America combined, AP found.

The complete picture is certainly even more lopsided. So many Catholic entities received help that reporters could not identify them all, even after spending hundreds of hours hand-checking tens of thousands of records in federal data.

The Vatican referred questions about the paycheck program to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which said it does not speak on behalf of dioceses.

Presented with AP’s findings, bishops conference spokeswoman Chieko Noguchi responded with a broad statement that the Paycheck Protection Program was “designed to protect the jobs of Americans from all walks of life, regardless of whether they work for for-profit or nonprofit employers, faith-based or secular.”

___

INTERNAL SKEPTICISM

The AP’s assessment of church finances is among the most comprehensive to date. It draws largely from audited financial statements posted online by the central offices of 112 of the country’s nearly 200 dioceses.

The church isn’t required to share its financials. As a result, the analysis doesn’t include cash, short-term assets and lines of credit held by some of the largest dioceses, including those serving New York City and other major metropolitan areas.

The analysis focused on available assets because federal officials cited those metrics when clarifying eligibility for the paycheck program. Therefore, the $10 billion AP identified doesn’t count important financial pillars of the U.S. church. Among those are its thousands of real estate properties and most of the funds that parishes and schools hold. Also excluded is the money — estimated at $9.5 billion in a 2019 study by the Delaware-based wealth management firm Wilmington Trust — held by charitable foundations created to help dioceses oversee donations.

In addition, dioceses can rely on a well-funded support system that includes help from wealthier dioceses, the bishops conference and other Catholic organizations. Canon law, the legal code the Vatican uses to govern the global church, notes that richer dioceses may assist poorer ones, and the AP found instances where they did.

In their financial statements, the 112 dioceses acknowledged having at least $4.5 billion in liquid or otherwise available assets. To reach its $10 billion total, AP also included funding that dioceses had opted to designate for special projects instead of general expenses; excess cash that parishes and their affiliates deposit with their diocese’s savings and loan; and lines of credit dioceses typically have with outside banks.

Some church officials said AP was misreading their financial books and therefore overstating available assets. They insisted that money their bishop or his advisers had set aside for special projects couldn’t be repurposed during an emergency, although financial statements posted by multiple dioceses stated the opposite.

For its analysis, AP consulted experts in church finance and church law. One was the Rev. James Connell, an accountant for 15 years before joining the priesthood and becoming an administrator in the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Connell, also a canon lawyer who is now retired from his position with the archdiocese, said AP’s findings convinced him that Catholic entities did not need government aid — especially when thousands of small businesses were permanently closing.

“Was it want or need?” Connell asked. “Need must be present, not simply the want. Justice and love of neighbor must include the common good.”

Connell was not alone among the faithful concerned by the church’s pursuit of taxpayer money. Parishioners in several cities have questioned church leaders who received government money for Catholic schools they then closed.

Elsewhere, a pastor in a Western state told AP that he refused to apply even after diocesan officials repeatedly pressed him. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of his diocese’s policy against talking to reporters and concerns about possible retaliation.

The pastor had been saving, much like leaders of other parishes. When the pandemic hit, he used that money, trimmed expenses and told his diocese’s central finance office that he had no plans to seek the aid. Administrators followed up several times, the pastor said, with one high-ranking official questioning why he was “leaving free money on the table.”

The pastor said he felt a “sound moral conviction” that the money was meant more for shops and restaurants that, without it, might close forever.

As the weeks passed last spring, the pastor said his church managed just fine. Parishioners were so happy with new online Masses and his other outreach initiatives, he said, they boosted their contributions beyond 2019 levels.

“We didn’t need it,” the pastor said, “and intentionally wanted to leave the money for those small business owners who did.”

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An AP investigation has found that scores of Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. had more than $10 billion in cash and other readily available funds when they received at least $1.5 billion from the federal government’s emergency relief program. (Feb. 4

___

WEATHERING A DOWNTURN

Months after the pandemic first walloped the economy, the 112 dioceses that release financial statements began sharing updates. Among the 47 dioceses that have thus far, the pandemic’s impact was far from crippling.

The 47 dioceses that have posted financials for the fiscal year that ended in June had a median 6% increase in the amount of cash, short-term investments and other funds that they and their affiliates could use for unanticipated or general expenses, AP found. In all, 38 dioceses grew those resources, while nine reported declines.

Finances in Raleigh and 10 other dioceses that took government assistance were stable enough that they did not have to dip into millions they had available through outside lines of credit.

“This crisis has tested us,” Russell Elmayan, Raleigh’s chief financial officer, told the diocese’s magazine website in July, “but we are hopeful that the business acumen of our staff and lay counselors, together with the strategic financial reserves built over time, will help our parishes and schools continue to weather this unprecedented event.” Raleigh officials did not answer direct questions from AP.

The 47 dioceses acknowledged a smaller amount of readily available assets than AP counted, though by their own accounting that grew as well.

The improving financial outlook is due primarily to parishioners who found ways to continue donating and U.S. stock markets that were rebounding to new highs. But when the markets were first plunging, officials in several dioceses said, they had to stretch available assets because few experts were forecasting a rapid recovery.

In Louisville, Charlotte and other dioceses, church leaders said they offered loans or grants to needy parishes and schools, or offset the monthly charges they assess their parishes. In Raleigh, for example, the headquarters used $3 million it had set aside for liability insurance and also tapped its internal deposit and loan fund.

Church officials added that the pandemic’s full toll will probably be seen in a year or two, because some key sources of revenue are calculated based on income that parishes and schools generate.

“We believe that we will not know all of the long-term negative impacts on parish, school and archdiocesan finances for some time,” Louisville Archdiocese spokeswoman Cecelia Price wrote in response to questions.

At the nine dioceses that recorded declines in liquid or other short-term assets, the drops typically were less than 10%, and not always clearly tied to the pandemic.

The financial wherewithal of some larger dioceses is underscored by the fact that, like publicly traded companies, they can raise capital by selling bonds to investors.

One was Chicago, where analysts with the Moody’s ratings agency calculated that the $1 billion in cash and investments held by the archdiocese headquarters and cemeteries division could cover about 631 days of operating expenses.

Church officials in Chicago asserted that those dollars were needed to cover substantial expenses while parishioner donations slumped. Without paycheck support, “parishes and schools would have been forced to cut many jobs, as the archdiocese, given its liabilities, could not have closed such a funding gap,” spokeswoman Paula Waters wrote.

Moody’s noted in its May report that while giving was down, federal aid had compensated for that and helped leave the archdiocese “well positioned to weather this revenue loss over the next several months.” Among the reasons for the optimism: “a unique credit strength” that under church law allows the archbishop to tax parish revenue virtually at will.

In a separate Moody’s report on New Orleans, which filed for bankruptcy in May while facing multiple clergy abuse lawsuits, the ratings agency wrote in July that the archdiocese did so while having “significant financial reserves, with spendable cash and investments of over $160 million.”

Moody’s said the archdiocese’s “very good” liquid assets would let it operate 336 days without additional income. Those assets prompted clergy abuse victims to ask a federal judge to dismiss the bankruptcy filing, arguing the archdiocese’s primary reason for seeking the legal protection was to minimize payouts to them.

The archdiocese, along with its parishes and schools, collected more than $26 million in paycheck money. New Orleans Archdiocesan officials didn’t respond to written questions.

___

PURSUING AID

Without special treatment, the Catholic Church would not have received nearly so much under the Paycheck Protection Program.

After Congress let nonprofits and religious organizations participate in the first place, Catholic officials lobbied the Trump Administration for a second break. Religious organizations were freed from the so-called affiliation rule that typically disqualifies applicants with more than 500 workers.

Without that break, many dioceses would have missed out because — between their head offices, parishes, schools and other affiliates — their employee count would exceed the limit.

Among those lobbying, federal records show, was the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Parishes, schools and ministries there collected at least $80 million in paycheck aid, at a time when the headquarters reported $658 million in available funds heading into the fiscal year when the coronavirus arrived.

Catholic officials in the U.S. needed the special exception for at least two reasons.

Church law says dioceses, parishes and schools are affiliated, something the Los Angeles Archdiocese acknowledged “proved to be an obstacle” to receiving funds because its parishes operate “under the authority of the diocesan bishop.” Dioceses, parishes, schools and other Catholic entities also routinely assert to the Internal Revenue Service that they are affiliated so they can maintain their federal income tax exemption.

While some Catholic officials insisted their affiliates are separate and financially independent, AP found many instances of borrowing and spending among them when dioceses were faced with prior cash crunches. In Philadelphia, for example, the archdiocese received at least $18 million from three affiliates, including a seminary, to fund a compensation program for clergy sex abuse survivors, according to 2019 financial statements.

Cardinals and bishops have broad authority over parishes and the pastors who run them. Church law requires parishes to submit annual financial reports and bishops may require parishes to deposit surplus money with internal banks administered by the diocese.

“The parishioners cannot hire or fire the pastor; that is for the bishop to do,” said Connell, the priest, former accountant and canon lawyer. “Each parish functions as a wholly owned subsidiary or division of a larger corporation, the diocese.”

Bishops acknowledged a concerted effort to tap paycheck funds in a survey by Catholic researchers at Georgetown University. When asked what they had done to address the pandemic’s financial fallout, 95% said their central offices helped parishes apply for paycheck and other aid — the leading response. That topped encouraging parishioners to donate electronically.

After Congress approved the paycheck program, three high-ranking officials in New Hampshire’s Manchester Diocese sent an urgent memo to parishes, schools and affiliated organizations urging them to refrain from layoffs or furloughs until completing their applications. “We are all in this together,” the memo read, adding that diocesan officials were working expeditiously to provide “step by step instructions.”

Paycheck Protection Program funds came through low-interest bank loans, worth up to $10 million each, that the federal government would forgive so long as recipients used the money to cover about two months of wages and operating expenses.

After an initial $659 billion last spring, Congress added another $284 billion in December. With the renewal came new requirements intended to ensure that funds go to businesses that lost money due to the pandemic. Lawmakers also downsized the headcount for applicants to 300 or fewer employees.

___

A QUESTION OF NEED

In other federal small business loan programs, government help is treated as a last resort.

Applicants must show they couldn’t get credit elsewhere. And those with enough available funds must pay more of their own way to reduce taxpayer subsidies.

Congress didn’t include these tests in the Paycheck Protection Program. To speed approvals, lenders weren’t required to do their usual screening and instead relied on applicants’ self-certifications of need.

The looser standards helped create a run on the first $349 billion in paycheck funding. Small business owners complained that they were shut out, yet dozens of companies healthy enough to be traded on stock exchanges scored quick approval.

As blowback built in April, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned at a news briefing that there would be “severe consequences” for applicants who improperly tapped the program.

“We want to make sure this money is available to small businesses that need it, people who have invested their entire life savings,” Mnuchin said. Program guidelines evolved to stress that participants with access to significant cash probably could not get the assistance “in good faith.”

Mnuchin’s Treasury Department said it would audit loans exceeding $2 million, although federal officials have not said whether they would hold religious organizations and other nonprofits to the same standard of need as businesses.

The headquarters and major departments for more than 40 dioceses received more than $2 million. Every diocese that responded to questions said it would seek to have the government cover the loans, rather than repay the funds.

One diocese receiving a loan over $2 million was Boston. According to the archdiocese’s website, its central ministries office received about $3 million, while its parishes and schools collected about $32 million more.

The archdiocese — along with its parishes, schools and cemeteries — had roughly $200 million in available funds in June 2019, according to its audited financial report. When that fiscal year ended several months into the pandemic, available funds had increased to roughly $233 million.

Nevertheless, spokesman Terrence Donilon cited “ongoing economic pressure” in saying the archdiocese will seek forgiveness for last year’s loans and will apply for additional, new funds during the current round.

Beyond its growing available funds, the archdiocese and its affiliates benefit from other sources of funding. The archdiocese’s “Inspiring Hope” campaign, announced in January, has raised at least $150 million.

And one of its supporting charities — the Catholic Schools Foundation, where Cardinal Sean O’Malley is board chairman — counted more than $33 million in cash and other funds that could be “used for general operations” as of the beginning of the 2020 fiscal year, according to its financial statement.

Despite these resources, the archdiocese closed a half-dozen schools in May and June, often citing revenue losses due to the pandemic. Paycheck protection data show four of those schools collectively were approved for more than $700,000.

The shuttered schools included St. Francis of Assisi in Braintree, a middle-class enclave 10 miles south of Boston, which received $210,000. Parents said they felt blindsided by the closure, announced in June as classes ended.

“It’s like a punch to the gut because that was such a home for so many people for so long,” said Kate Nedelman Herbst, the mother of two children who attended the elementary school.

Along with more than 2,000 other school supporters, Herbst signed a written protest to O’Malley that noted the archdiocese’s robust finances. After O’Malley didn’t reply, parents appealed to the Vatican, this time underscoring the collection of Paycheck Protection Program money.

“It is very hard to reconcile the large sums of money raised by the archdiocese in recent years with this wholesale destruction of the church’s educational infrastructure,” parents wrote.

In December, the Vatican turned down their request to overrule O’Malley. Spokesman Donilon said the decision to close the school “is not being reconsidered.”

Today, the three children of Michael Waterman and his wife, Jeanine, are learning at home. And they still can’t understand why the archdiocese didn’t shift money to help save a school beloved by the faithful.

“What angers us,” Michael Waterman said, “is that we feel like, given the amount of money that the Catholic Church has, they absolutely could have remained open.”

___

Contact AP’s global investigative team at Investigative@ap.org.

Contact the reporters at https://twitter.com/reesedunklin and https://twitter.com/mikerezendes.

___

Contributing to this report were Justin Myers, Randy Herschaft, Rodrique Ngowi, Holbrook Mohr, Jason Dearen and James LaPorta.

28 CRAZY YET USEFUL HACKS WITH PLASTIC BAGS

28 CRAZY YET USEFUL HACKS WITH PLASTIC BAGS


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

CLEVER WAYS TO REUSE PLASTIC ITEMS

Millions of tons of plastic items are thrown away every day and we need to reuse them in order to save the planet. If you care about the environment, you should have such an important habit as reusing plastic bags and items. We share a lot of ideas on how to make various crafts to reduce waste. Moreover, repurposing plastic containers saves nature from a non-biodegradable litter.
Check out clever ways to reuse plastic:
-Check out an idea of how to store towels and save a lot of space. You will need a plastic bag and vacuum cleaner
-You can make cups out of plastic bags. These cups are perfect to store stationery, makeup brushes and a lot more. Check out a tutorial
-If you need a case for your eyeglasses, you can make it out of a plastic bag and a piece of fabric
-You can even make a lampshade out of wooden sticks and plastic bags
-Check out how to make a cool artwork using Ziplock bag
-Reuse IKEA bag and make an apron
-Do not buy a kite, make it at home in 5 minutes
-Usually, we use shampoo bottles only once but we will show you how to reuse them and make helpful crafts. Make a useful holder for utensils from recycled shampoo plastic bottles
-Watch our video and make a storage idea for the bathroom. Use a shampoo bottle and a candle to make a DIY sink saddle caddy for kitchen sponges
-Upcycle a bottle for liquid soap and make a stand for jewelry
-If you need a clutch purse out of a milk carton
Reuse will help you to clean more space at home and save a ton of money!

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Clever ways to reuse plastic bags
01:12 DIY Eyeglasses case
10:42 Crafts from plastic bottles
12:50 DIY organizer

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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

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Raai Laxmi Photos [HD]: Latest Images, Pictures, Stills of Raai Laxmi

Raai Laxmi Photos [HD]: Latest Images, Pictures, Stills of Raai Laxmi

Raai Laxmi Photos

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Iranian Envoy Found Guilty in France Bomb Plot

Iranian Envoy Found Guilty in France Bomb Plot


The Belgian court also convicted three accomplices of Mr. Assadi, all dual citizens of Iran and Belgium, who were given jail terms of 15 to 18 years and stripped of their Belgian citizenship. All three are believed to be agents of the Iranian intelligence ministry, prosecutors said.

The head of Belgium’s State Security Service, Jaak Raes, said in a letter to the prosecutors that intelligence officials had determined the planned bombing was a state-sanctioned operation, approved by Tehran.

Mr. Assadi was attached to the Iranian mission in Austria when he supplied explosives for the planned attack. Prosecutors said that he brought about a pound of the explosive triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, and a detonator from Iran to Vienna in his luggage and then drove it to Luxembourg. There, he handed it over on June 30, 2018, to an Iranian-Belgian couple at a Pizza Hut. Mr. Assadi was arrested at a service station in Germany, where he did not have diplomatic immunity, as he drove back to Austria.

The couple, Amir Saadouni, 40, and his wife, Nassimeh Naami, 36, had been granted political asylum and later citizenship in Belgium. They were arrested as they drove to Paris from Antwerp on the day of the rally. The fourth defendant, Mehrdad Arefani, 57, was an associate of Mr. Assadi who was supposed to guide the couple at the rally.

Iran has been accused in the past of trying to eliminate opponents abroad. Denmark called for sanctions against Iran for planning another assassination there in 2018.

Mr. Assadi was in contact with Iranian agents all over Europe, according to documents provided to Belgian prosecutors by the police in Germany and the Netherlands, according to Belgium’s Flemish broadcaster, VRT. The documents include a notebook found in his car containing numerous receipts for payments to people identified only by aliases.

A note from Belgium’s intelligence and security agency identified Mr. Assadi as an officer of Iran’s intelligence and security ministry who operated undercover at the Iranian Embassy in Vienna, according to The Associated Press. Belgium’s state security officers said he worked for the ministry’s so-called Department 312, the directorate for internal security, which is on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations

Person Lists 18 Alarming Facts That Show How “Our World Was Not Built For Women”

Person Lists 18 Alarming Facts That Show How “Our World Was Not Built For Women”


If you ever feel like being a woman in this world is somehow hard, it may be because it is. What does it mean for a woman to live in a world that’s predominantly designed by men? Does it make women less visible and less heard? These are crucial questions that we don’t really have the answers to straight away.

But Karly Hou, a sophomore at Harvard in computer science, math, and economics, has recently posted an illuminating thread on Twitter that has shed some light on the current state of gender bias which, in many cases, is not so obvious. “Our world was not built for women,” Karly made a strong statement before proceeding to list all eighteen disturbing examples of how it’s hostile to female identities.

From simple things like smartphones and cars to military equipment and recommended drug dosages, these are the things most of us have been taking for granted. Maybe, until now?

And she listed these disturbing examples of how our world wasn’t built for women

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

The world population is projected to reach 9.9 billion by 2050, an increase of more than 25% from the current 2020 population of 7.8 billion. While more than half of this 7.8 billion are women, the heads of governments, corporations, and other influential voices are those of males.

Image credits: kbarley66

Many feminist researchers claim that this is the case because the “default male” is the figure our world is designed around. According to one such author, Caroline Criado Perez, the male that serves as a stand-in for “human” may have very real and often damaging consequences.

From longer wait times at the loos to phones that simply don’t fit female hands, these are some of the annoying things women have to find their ways around. Some though can be truly lethal, like protective clothing that wasn’t built according to female proportions, or misdiagnosing heart diseases in female patients.

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

But the default male problem is much greater than just manifesting in daily activities or objects. Turns out, it’s something that permeates the very language we use to talk about such things. According to feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon, the #MeToo campaign has achieved what the law couldn’t.

“Culturally, it is still said ‘women allege’ or ‘claim’ they were sexually assaulted. Those accused ‘deny what was alleged.’ What if we changed the emphasis and said that survivors ‘report’ and the accused ‘alleges’ or ‘claims’ it didn’t happen?” Prior to #MeToo, society has privileged the male accused while framing women’s reports as suspect.

Image credits: kbarley66

The problem takes us to the point that gender bias is an unconscious matter that we are all “infected by” from an early age. Feminism is part of the process to “unlearn it,” but it needs more radical shifts in thinking while we frame the default male concept as inherently problematic.

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

Image credits: kbarley66

More women shared their observations on things that were meant for men

Image credits: MadameGeology

Image credits: CreativeNotEvil

Image credits: your_friend_izz

Image credits: ComicsByVieN

Image credits: nirvana_kedi

Image credits: Diane05363872

Image credits: tacosyUnacoca

25 SIMPLE YET FUN DRAWING TECHNIQUES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

25 SIMPLE YET FUN DRAWING TECHNIQUES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

AWESOME WAYS TO ENTERTAIN YOURSELF

Every parent knows that it’s not easy to entertain kids. But we know cool drawing techniques your kids will love. Also, they are busy for hours:) You will find out how to draw using such ordinary things as forks, earbuds, drinking straws, empty toilet roll and more. Kids will learn how to create beautiful starry sky using a cookie cutter. Moreover, you can use the leaves to make a picture. Watch a full tutorial. There is no need to learn how to draw beautiful flowers. You can easily draw lavender using earbuds. You will be surprised to learn how to draw a cherry tree using drinking straws. Take a fork and draw tulips or even a super cute hedgehog.
The next drawing technique is so amazing! Bubble drawing is the best way to have a lot of fun! The supplies you will need dishwashing soap, water, paint, and straw. Mix all the ingredients in a glass and blow bubbles. Then cover paper with bubbles to make a cute greeting card for your mom.
Let’s create a whole new world by doodling your fingers. You can draw different characters on your fingers. Moreover, you can create different histories or even make a film. We share some ideas with you: you can draw a dangerous fish, a scene from a bank robbing movie, friends that return from a party with a drunk friend, a man jumping on a trampoline. You can create everything you like! All you need is a black marker. Be creative and start an adventure! You will have a lot of fun with your friends!

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Cool drawing techniques
00:38 How to draw lavender
02:18 Cute hedgehog
03:56 Bubble drawing
05:22 Doodle adventures

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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate.

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U.K. Regulator Revokes License for China-Backed Broadcaster

U.K. Regulator Revokes License for China-Backed Broadcaster


LONDON — Britain’s broadcasting regulator said on Thursday that it had withdrawn the license for China Global Television Network, an international news channel owned by a Chinese state broadcaster, to operate in the country in part because its political affiliation violates broadcasting laws.

License holders must have editorial oversight over their content and cannot be controlled by political bodies, and the regulator, Ofcom, said the outlet failed on both counts.

An investigation showed that the channel’s license holder, Star China Media Limited, did not have oversight of CGTN’s programming. The regulator also said that attempts to transfer the license to a corporation under the CGTN name had failed because it was “ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which is not permitted under U.K. broadcasting law.”

Ofcom said it had given CGTN, which is owned by a media group controlled by the Communist Party, “significant time” to comply with rules. “We now consider it appropriate to withdraw the license for CGTN to broadcast in the UK.”

Guy Explains How Intrinsically Bad It Is That Job Postings Don’t Always Mention The Pay, Goes Viral

Guy Explains How Intrinsically Bad It Is That Job Postings Don’t Always Mention The Pay, Goes Viral


You’re scrolling through Facebook and you stumble upon a job ad. The photo looks awesome, the description sounds inviting, the team looks friendly, and you even feel you’re qualified for the position. But you open the job posting and… you can’t find the salary. Where is it? Is it behind the couch again, next to the remote?

Unfortunately, no. You can’t find the salary because it’s not there. It’s not a test to check how perceptive you are. The company chose not to include it in the posting. And this lack of transparency is making a lot of people angry. One of them is award-winning writer Matt Wallace.

He took to Twitter to explain why companies might choose not to include the salary and what you can do during interviews when they ask you what salary you’re looking for. And you can practically feel Wallace’s righteous indignation. He’s right. There’s no reason not to mention the salary in the job posting. Pretty please, mega-corporations?

We went into detail about why some employers don’t post salaries in job ads with Eddy Ng, the James and Elizabeth Freeman Professor of Management at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He told Bored Panda that there are multiple reasons for this, but the main one is to avoid salary comparisons. Read on for his insights and advice on what to do when asked what salary you’re looking for during a job interview.

More info: Twitter | Instagram | Matt-Wallace.com

Writer Matt Wallace called out companies and clients that [ahem] ‘forget’ to put the salary in their job postings

Image credits: MattFnWallace

Image credits: MattFnWallace

Image credits: MattFnWallace

Image credits: MattFnWallace

“In certain labor markets or in a tight labor market situation, employers may have to pay higher salaries to attract new employees than existing ones (a situation known as salary inversion). This can cause resentment among existing employees,” Professor Ng told Bored Panda. “It is also possible that an employer may wish to pay below market, and therefore do not disclose salary ranges. Knowledge of pay can cause greater job satisfaction or dissatisfaction than the actual pay itself due to social comparisons.”

Once you’re actually at the job interview, Professor Ng says that you ought to expect a question about pay expectations. That means that you should do some research and get to know what competitive pay for the position in question is like in the job market. “There are various sources of pay information, including online self-reports by current employees such as Glassdoor, Indeed, and PayScale. You should research them in advance,” he said.

“It is not necessary to quote a salary expectation lower than the range reported online as employers don’t make hiring decisions based on (low) pay alone; at the same time, you don’t want to quote an expectation that is higher than market pay, as it may miscue prospective employers. Managers, professional and technical workers generally have the ability to negotiate starting pay when an offer is extended.”

In Wallace’s opinion, companies omit to mention salaries because they’re trying to save on paying employees what their jobs are actually worth in a competitive market. This makes potential recruits waste their time and energy not only trying to find out what their potential salaries might be but also haggling over them in interviews.

And we all know that the balance of power is usually in the employer’s corner during these negotiations. In short, not mentioning the salary in job postings (and even going as far as to ask someone what salary they’re looking for in an interview) can be considered to be a predatory practice and a red flag. These kinds of companies want someone desperate yet skilled to work for them while saving money at their expense.

Wallace also has a wonderful guide for any of you Pandas who might be freelancers. He lists all the ways that clients might try and get you to work for free and what you can say to shut down their arguments. Check it out here.

The LA-writer has penned over a hundred short stories, has also written for film and television, and is the Hugo-winning author of ‘Rencor: Life in Grudge City.’ When he was younger, he used to be a pro wrestler and unarmed combat instructor. This goes to show that only the coolest people become writers.

Twitter users shared their thoughts and feelings about poor salary transparency in the job market. Here’s what some of them said

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Stanley Tucci on grief, food and ‘Supernova’

NEW YORK (AP) — Stanley Tucci’s pandemic experiences have run the gamut.

He has home-schooled little kids with his wife, Felicity Blunt. He has shared cocktail recipes. He has had the virus. He has worked on film and TV sets with new safety protocols. He has written a food memoir — the first draft in London’s first lockdown, the second draft in its second.

And he is starring in a newly released film in which he gives one of the finest performances of his career. In “Supernova,” Tucci plays Tusker, a novelist on the edge of early on-set dementia. He’s still himself but it’s starting to slip away. He and his longtime partner, Sam (Colin Firth) take a road trip in an R.V. through England’s Lake District, maybe their last. The film, currently playing in theaters, will be available to rent digitally Feb. 16.

“It’s a real pick-me-up during the pandemic,” Tucci deadpanned in a recent interview.

But in “Supernova,” Tucci and Firth — real-life friends for 20 years — are such a convincing, tender couple that the intimacy and compassion of the film, written and directed by Harry Macqueen, is a kind of salve, even when it’s heartbreaking.

For the 60-year-old Tucci, who has long exuded wit and sophistication as both an actor (“Spotlight,” “The Hunger Games”) and filmmaker (“Big Night,” “Joe Gould’s Secret”), the role of Tusker is one to celebrate. Speaking by video conference from London, Tucci mused that he might celebrate the film’s premiere by a Zoom with Firth, over Negronis.

___

AP: As an author of numerous cookbooks, are your passions for acting and for food interwoven?

TUCCI: They’re only interwoven, I suppose, in “Big Night” or “Julie & Julia.” But other than that, no. I act to eat. The only way I can afford to eat is to act. (Laughs) If I’m offered a job, my first thought is: OK, where does it shoot? The second thought is: How much will they pay me? And if it is shooting someplace else, I instantly think of the food there. I know if it’s Toronto, that’s fine. I don’t want to be that far away, but I know there’s great food. Vancouver? Fine. If someone says Bulgaria, I’m probably going to go, “How long is that shoot?”

AP: Do you sometimes cook for your co-stars?

TUCCI: Absolutely. I cooked for Colin when I did “Supernova.” We’ve been friends for a long time so we’re in each other’s kitchens. His wife is a wonderful cook. I love to do it. I like to eat what I like to eat. I don’t want to go and eat some hamburger some place in the middle of nowhere. I’d rather take the time and put in the effort to make myself something good.

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AP: You’re a very precise actor. I can see that being similar to cooking.

TUCCI: Not if you saw me cook. My wife goes, “How much of that did you put in?” I don’t know!

AP: If you’re choosing projects partly by circumstance, driving around the Lakes with a friend sounds like a good option.

TUCCI: It was really nice. It was hard to go out and find food, I’ll be honest. So the cooking was a necessity besides I like doing it. But it was a great experience. I had never been to the Lake District before. Everybody I knew had always talked about it. It was even more beautiful than they described. To work with one of your best friends and work with this incredibly talented director on a beautiful script on a story that’s meaningful, it just doesn’t happen. Nobody’s getting rich off it but that’s not the point of it.

AP: “Supernova” is about a couple together navigating a terminal condition. Your first wife, Kathryn Spath-Tucci, with whom you have several children, died in 2009 from breast cancer. Were you thinking much about the conversations you and she shared near the end while making the film?

TUCCI: Something like that just becomes a part of who you are. You don’t even have to think about it. It’s just there. And you don’t really want to think about it, but it’s there. It’s always there. It’s there in your dreams. Once you get older, even if you haven’t experienced what I experienced, you do have a knowledge of it. Because you’ve lost people. You’ve lost other people, whether it’s parents or grandparents or older friends. I’ve lost quite a few friends over the last few years. I’m hardly old. I’m older but I’m not old yet, I don’t think. But, yeah, with Kate, it’s always in you. It’s a very strange thing. It’s not that you dwell on it. It’s just a part of you. You just wish that you could have done something more to help. There’s a guilt. There’s no question about that. There’s a guilt that you’re moving on with your life. You’re watching your kids grow up. You’re going to see, hopefully, grandchildren. She won’t have that opportunity. Your brain starts to even get confused sometimes because you think, “Oh, she would love to see my little kids.” Which wouldn’t make any sense. Because you love them so much and I love her so much. It’s all just about love, really.

AP: You were originally to play Sam with Firth as Tusker. Why did you switch?

TUCCI: I was more comfortable playing Tusker. It just seemed more right to me, and to Colin and to Harry, obviously. Colin had brought it up. He said, “Suppose we switch roles?” I said I was thinking the same thing. I don’t know why. Every time I looked at it, I said something’s not right. It just made better sense, rhythmically.

AP: Had you ever done that before?

TUCCI: No, never. That’s part of working with friends. When you work with a friend, you have a shorthand and you trust each other. And you trust each other enough to say, “Let’s switch roles.” Nobody would ever do that. You don’t walk onto a set and go, “Hey, I have an idea.” Can you imagine the agents and producers and everybody freaking out?

AP: Do you feel you’ve gotten better as an actor as you’ve aged?

TUCCI: I feel like I’ve gotten better, yeah. That was the goal, just to keep getting better. I’m more relaxed now because I’ve just been doing it for so long. A lot of it is technique. And a lot of it is realizing the more often you do it, the less you really have to do — that economy is everything. You don’t need, a lot of times, to expend the energy that you thought you needed to when you were young. Also, you’re older now so you can’t. (Laughs) The only thing at this point: I hate waiting. Like I can’t bear it. I just hate it. Life’s too short. You spend so much time on a movie set just waiting. As a director, I try to move things along very, very swiftly. I don’t like long days. I don’t like lunch hours. Let’s go, do it, go home and have a martini and a nice dinner.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

New Job in Nelson, MN – Domino’s General Manager in Training -Earn up to $50K (wage, bonus & incentives) – Domino’s Pizza

New Job in Nelson, MN – Domino’s General Manager in Training -Earn up to $50K (wage, bonus & incentives) – Domino’s Pizza

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100 BEST MAKEUP HACKS TO SAVE YOUR MONEY

100 BEST MAKEUP HACKS TO SAVE YOUR MONEY


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Biden’s Early Strategy – The New York Times

Biden’s Early Strategy – The New York Times


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To understand the back and forth over President Biden’s coronavirus relief bill, it helps to look back at a little history.

In Bill Clinton’s first weeks as president, he pushed for legislation meant to reduce the deficit, bring down interest rates and spark the economy. It received no votes from Republicans in the House or the Senate and passed only when Vice President Al Gore broke a 50-50 Senate tie.

In Barack Obama’s first weeks as president, he pushed for legislation to halt the financial crisis and revive the economy. It received no votes from House Republicans and only three from Senate Republicans, one of whom (Arlen Specter) soon switched parties.

This week, when I first saw the Biden administration’s unenthusiastic reaction to a coronavirus proposal from Senate Republicans, I was confused. Biden views himself as a dealmaker, and a president typically benefits from forging a bipartisan compromise.

So why isn’t Biden pursuing a two-step strategy — first pouring himself into a bipartisan deal and then following up with a Democratic bill that fills in the pieces he thinks were missing? Why does he instead seem to be leaning toward a single bill that would need only Democratic support to pass?

The answer has a lot to do with history: For decades, congressional Republicans have opposed — almost unanimously — any top priority of an incoming Democratic president. Biden and his aides believe they will be playing Charlie Brown to a Republican Lucy if they imagine this time will be different.

Democrats, of course, also tend to oppose Republican presidents’ policies and often try to obstruct them. But on the question of legislative compromise, there really has been a recent difference between the parties. (Which can be a difficult thing for us journalists to acknowledge: We’re more comfortable portraying the parties as mirror images of each other.)

In 2001, George W. Bush’s tax cut was supported by 12 Democrats in the Senate and 28 in the House. His education bill also received significant Democratic support, as did multiple virus relief bills during Donald Trump’s presidency. Some Democrats saw these bills as opportunities to win policy concessions.

Republicans have a taken different tack. Perhaps the clearest example is Obamacare, the final version of which received no Republican votes even though it included conservative ideas and Obama was eager to include more in exchange for Republican support. But top Republicans, led by Senator Mitch McConnell, thought that any support of the bill would strengthen Obama and weaken them.

“It’s either bipartisan or it isn’t,” McConnell told The Times in 2010, explaining the strategy.

On the surface, this time seems different, given that 10 Republican senators went to the White House on Monday to talk with Biden about a compromise virus bill. But that meeting may have been as much about show, on both sides, as substance.

Of the 10 Republicans, a few — like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney — have occasionally sided with Democrats on a major issue. Others, however, have not — including Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Todd Young of Indiana. And Biden would need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome a filibuster. With any fewer, he would be back to pursuing the same 51-vote strategy (known as reconciliation) he now seems to be pursuing.

Democrats’ central fear is a repeat of Obamacare, in which months of negotiation in 2009 nonetheless ended without Republican support. Biden would have then wasted his first months in office — and the country would have gone without additional money for vaccination, virus testing, unemployment insurance and more.

As Carl Hulse, The Times’s chief Washington correspondent, told me: “Democrats, including many now in the White House, remember 2009 very clearly, and they fear being strung along for months only to come away empty-handed. That’s not to say Republicans aren’t bargaining in good faith, but holding that 10 together could be difficult.”

Biden himself has made the same point in private conversations. “He said, basically, ‘I don’t want to go down the path we went down in 2009, when we negotiated for eight months and still didn’t have a product,’” Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said on “Morning Joe” yesterday.

One more point: Neither side is committing itself to a strategy yet. If Democrats proceed with the reconciliation approach, they and Republicans can continue negotiating over the substance of the bill. Bush used reconciliation for his 2001 tax cut and still received 40 votes from congressional Democrats in the end.

The latest: Biden met with congressional Democrats at the White House yesterday. He said he was open to restricting eligibility for his proposed $1,400-per-person checks but not to reducing the maximum amount. “I’m not going to start my administration by breaking a promise to people,” Biden reportedly said.

  • The House will vote today on whether to strip Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of two committee seats. Before her election, Greene endorsed calls to execute Democratic politicians and spread conspiracy theories.

  • Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader, declined to revoke Greene’s assignments on his own.

  • House Republicans voted in a secret ballot to keep Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican, in her leadership position. Cheney voted to impeach President Donald Trump last month.

A Morning Read: Just because an apartment costs tens of millions of dollars, that doesn’t mean it’s free from leaking or creaking. Welcome to life in a supertall tower.

From Opinion: Europe’s vaccine rollout has been even slower than the U.S.’s. The French journalist Sylvie Kauffmann explains.

Lives Lived: Barry Lewis’s walking tours of New York City made him a local celebrity. He detested academic jargon: The Jefferson Market Library, he would explain, was a punk structure for its time; the Ford Foundation building was “so purely reductionist as to be practically Zen.” Lewis died at 75.

Britney Spears is in an unusual position, and not just because she’s a famous pop star. Since 2008 — when she was 26 and in the midst of a public breakdown that dominated the tabloids — she has been in a conservatorship, a complex legal arrangement usually reserved for people who are old or sick.

As a result, she cannot make many decisions — personal or financial, including mundane purchases, like a Starbucks coffee — without the oversight of guardians appointed by the court. One of them is her father, James Spears.

The singer’s fans have grown increasingly critical of the restrictions, using the hashtag #FreeBritney. They point out that Spears is behaving like a functioning adult: She has toured, released albums, appeared on television and performed a greatest hits show in Las Vegas. Some fans have taken to YouTube and Instagram, arguing that the pop star is exploited.

Spears, who’s 39, had rarely commented until last year, when she began seeking substantial changes in court. In November, a judge declined her request to remove her father as the head of her estate, although future hearings are likely.

For more: A New York Times documentary looks at the dispute and at Spears’s life. You can watch it tomorrow, at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX, or stream it on Hulu.

Jerk Customer Is Being Rude To The Staff So The Boss Scares Her Off By ‘Taking A Closer Look’

Jerk Customer Is Being Rude To The Staff So The Boss Scares Her Off By ‘Taking A Closer Look’


Sadly, “boss” has become a universal curse word. It probably wouldn’t come as a surprise if online dictionaries started listing it as a synonym for an angry stare, unachievable command, and inability to listen.

However, Reddit user Winiri just shared their personal story, showing that good bosses are still around even if they are an endangered species.

In a post titled “My Boss Scared Off Rude Customers by Literally Taking a Closer Look”, Winiri explained how the woman who ran the shop they were working at stood up for her staff, scaring away a couple of Karens for good. In just a few days, the post has received over 35,000 likes and 500 comments, many of which are praising the lady for her quick thinking. So you know it’s going to be good. Continue scrolling and check it out.

Image credits: KOMUnews (not the actual photo)

Interestingly, studies show that some people find their bosses so annoying, they leave well-rewarding employment just to get away from them.

One company that understands this really well and cares about its bosses is Google. For over a decade, researchers at the tech giant have been analyzing the behaviors of their highest-rated managers, as well as feedback from employee satisfaction surveys, to figure out what the best have in common.

Google then uses its research to train its managers and has reportedly seen improvements in employee retention and productivity because of that.

Here are the things they found good bosses do: they are good coaches, they empower the team instead of micromanaging, create an inclusive team environment, and show concern for success and wellbeing, they are productive and focused on results, they are good communicators, they support career development and discuss performance. They also have a clear strategy for the team, as well as the technical skills needed to advise the team, they collaborate across the organization and are strong decision makers.

Something tells me Irene might’ve made a good career there.

People were really impressed by the way Irene stood up for her staff

Massachusetts braces for snow’s arrival, wind

3:45 p.m.

BOSTON — In Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said the state could expect 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 centimeters) inches of heavy wet snow through the duration of the storm and he urged drivers to stay off the road as much as possible starting mid-afternoon Monday.

The storm could also bring with high winds with gusts of up to 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour) along the coast and the possibility of moderate coastal flooding, Baker said.

The state is preparing 3,900 pieces of snow clearing equipment including plows and will work to keep outdoor subway lines clear. Baker said the state invested a lot in recent years in upgrading the third rail on subways lines to guard against trains stalling out.

Baker also said that COVID-19 vaccine providers will contact those with appointments if they are forced to close early. He said individuals with appointments who can’t make it to their vaccine location can also reschedule.

3:35 p.m.

In Vermont, vaccination sites will be open on Tuesday as most of the state is expected to get a half foot to a foot (15 to 30 centimeters) of snow, but anyone concerned about traveling can reschedule their appointments, state officials said Monday.

People aged 75 and older are now eligible to be vaccinated in the state, but Vermonters are urged not to travel if driving conditions are difficult, the Vermont Joint Information Center said in a statement.

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A large nor’easter developing off the mid-Atlantic coast is bringing snow and heavy winds to states in the Northeast, moving slowly and dumping snow across the region into Tuesday. The winter weather prompted school districts to cancel in-person learning on Monday, and many COVID-19 vaccination sites were closed and rescheduling appointments. Train, bus and ferry service was suspended in many areas, including New Jersey and New York. As much as 2 feet (61 centimeters) of snow was predicted to fall in areas throughout the day Monday and overnight.

___

2 p.m.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Three people died in a shooting in northeastern Pennsylvania stemming from an apparent argument over snow removal, and a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who reportedly wandered away from her home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was found dead during Monday’s snowstorm, authorities said.

Officials in Luzerne County said gunfire occurred just before 9 a.m. Monday in Plains Township. Neighbors told WHTM-TV that they heard about a dozen shots.

District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said a husband and wife were found shot to death outside in the street, and the body of the suspected shooter was later found inside a nearby residence, with his wound believed to have been self-inflicted. The county coroner pronounced all three dead just before 11:30 a.m. Monday.

Salavantis said the preliminary investigation indicates that there was a long-running dispute among the parties involved, but “this morning, the dispute was exacerbated by a disagreement over snow disposal.”

The shooter “exited his residence and fired upon the couple, killing both husband and wife,” she said.

The names of the three people weren’t immediately released.

In Allentown, Pennsylvania, authorities say a woman with Alzheimer’s disease who reportedly wandered away from her home was found dead during Monday’s snowstorm.

The Lehigh County coroner’s office said 67-year-old Patricia Becker was pronounced dead on a street shortly after 9:30 a.m. Monday. The cause of death was determined to be hypothermia and the death was ruled accidental. The coroner’s office said she had reportedly wandered away from her residence, which is four blocks away on the same street. Police and the coroner’s office are investigating.

12:30 p.m.

Officials from New Jersey, New York and elsewhere urged people to stay off the roads and announced public transit closings as snow from a slow moving winter storm piled up around the Northeast.

New Jersey transportation Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti called conditions on the roads “dangerous,” and Gov. Phil Murphy warned high winds are likely to knock out electricity to people across the state heading into Tuesday.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said a state of emergency is in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday and urged everyone to stay off the roads.

Regional train service will shut down later today, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said. The last Metro-North trains to and from Grand Central Terminal will leave at 3 p.m. and the last LIRR trains to and from Penn Station will leave between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

Above-ground subway service will be shut down as of 2 p.m., NYC Transit head Sarah Feinberg said.

De Blasio said the city may get 16 to 22 inches (40 to 55 centimeters) of snow before the storm is over.

“And that kind of estimate can often be low,” he said at a briefing Monday. “We might even see more. So this is the real thing.”

Hours ahead of the first snowflakes, the city of Nashua, New Hampshire, declared a snow emergency for Monday night, banning on-street parking. The city expected 11 inches (28 centimeters) of snow through Tuesday.

11:30 a.m.

BOSTON — The second phase of Massachusetts’ coronavirus vaccine rollout is being disrupted by a winter storm that’s causing schedule changes and at least one vaccination location to shutdown.

The Reggie Lewis Center in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, which was supposed to open Monday as a mass vaccination site for residents age 75 and over, will not open because of the storm.

Boston’s Public Health Commission tweets that appointments that were scheduled for Monday will automatically be rescheduled for Feb. 8.

Mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park are open, but with some changes, according to CIC Health, which is operating both sites.

The Fenway Park site opened an hour early, and people with morning appointments were asked to show up an hour early. People with afternoon appointments were asked show up in the morning.

11:15 a.m.

TRENTON, N.J. — Road crews on Monday were busy around New Jersey as a winter storm packing strong winds dumps heavy snow around much of the state.

Trained spotters reported an inch of snow fell in Cape May County by late Monday morning, and there were 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) in areas of Hunterdon, Morris and Sussex counties, the National Weather Service said.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Sunday declared a state of emergency in order to deploy resources as needed. Murphy also closed all state government offices for nonessential personnel and the state’s six mega sites that distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

All New Jersey Transit trains and buses were suspended, except for the Atlantic City Rail Line. New York Waterway ferries also were suspended. Speed limits were also reduced on many major highways, and numerous spinouts and accidents were being reported.

A winter storm warning remained in effect until Tuesday for much of the state. Forecasters were predicting Sussex, Warren and Morris counties in the north could see additional snow accumulations of 16 to 22 inches (41 to 56 centimeters).

The central part of the state could get an additional 10 to 15 inches (20 to 38 centimeters).

10:50 a.m.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the storm is not impacting the delivery of vaccines to Connecticut. During a morning news conference, he said most vaccinations scheduled for Monday are being postponed, but he’s not concerned that any vaccine will go to waste.

“The vaccines, kept refrigerated, are good for eight to 10 days, so that’s not a problem,” he said. “And if this is three or four weeks since your first vaccination, if it gets put off a few days, don’t worry. It will still stay very effective.”

Lamont noted that while many schools closed on Monday, he expects them to be back in session soon because all of them are now set up for remote learning as a result of the pandemic.

“I’m probably not going to be a hero to the kids,” he said. “This is a snow day. Tomorrow could be a snow day. I’d like to think there is still some virtual learning going on, with a little bit of time for sledding along the way.”

10:45 a.m.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A winter storm that could drop more than a foot of snow on some areas of Rhode Island is forcing changes to the state’s coronavirus testing and vaccination efforts.

All state-operated COVID-19 testing sites will be closed on Monday, the state Department of Health said.

Also, regional vaccination clinics in Bristol, Providence and East Greenwich will not open as scheduled.

People who had appointments for Monday at any one of these three locations will be contacted directly about rescheduling. Most of the appointments were for first responders and health care providers, with some limited vaccinations for people 75 years of age and older at Bristol and East Greenwich.

Regional vaccination clinics in Smithfield and Narragansett were not scheduled to operate on Monday.

10:30 a.m.

RICHMOND, Va. — Four firefighters in central Virginia were taken to hospitals after a firetruck overturned on snow-covered roads.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the accident occurred early Sunday in Henrico County.

The firetruck was responding to an emergency call. The crash was among more than 360 accidents reported across Virginia during the weekend snowstorm.

Henry Rosenbaum, the county’s assistant fire chief and fire marshal, said the firefighters were able to exit the overturned truck and suffered injuries that were not life threatening.

The firetruck was responding to a call about an unconscious person. No other vehicles were involved.

7:30 a.m.

PITTSBURGH — Road crews were busy across most of Pennsylvania as a winter storm packing strong winds continued to dump heavy snow around much of the state on Monday.

With conditions expected to worsen as the day progressed, Gov. Tom Wolf was urging residents to avoid travel if possible. Most of the state remained under winter storm warnings or winter weather advisories that were expected to remain in effect through Tuesday morning.

About 5 inches (13 centimeters) of snow had fallen in the Pittsburgh area by early Monday, while roughly 3 to 4 inches (7 to 10 centimeters) were reported in northeastern areas. Philadelphia had about 2 inches (5 centimeters) of sleet and snow.

A few more inches were expected to fall across most of the state throughout the day, and strong, gusty winds were also expected in most areas.

Chhor Denge: Parampara Tandon | Sachet-Parampara | Nora Fatehi, Ehan Bhat | Arvindr K, Bhushan Kumar

Download Free Chhor Denge: Parampara Tandon | Sachet-Parampara | Nora Fatehi, Ehan Bhat | Arvindr K, Bhushan Kumar Download

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23 SIMPLE NAIL ART IDEAS

23 SIMPLE NAIL ART IDEAS


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

BEAUTIFUL NAIL ART IDEAS

Check out cool manicure ideas certainly should try this summer:
– The best way to remove glitter nail polish from your nails is to use PVA glue as a base coat. And after that cover nails with glitter nail polish
– Flower nail design is the best choice for summer. We know how to make floral manicure in minutes that looks awesome. Follow the next steps: use white nail polish to cover your nails and take a marker of different colors to draw simple flowers. When flowers are ready, add few drops of alcohol over your print
– You can easily create stripped nail art using such an ordinary item as dental floss. Wrap the finger with dental floss and cover with nail polish. Remove dental floss
– We nail the best treatment for your nails that will make them stronger and healthier. Melt some wax in a bowl using a microwave. Be careful as the wax might be too hot. Let the wax cool a bit and place your fingers inside for few seconds and after that place fingers in a bowl with cold water. Repeat during the week and enjoy the result
– Check out how to make nail polish remover marker. Remove the core piece of an old marker and place into a bowl with water. Wait until the color is gone. Next, soak the core in nail polish remover
– This idea sounds crazy but you can easily fix your nail using a tea bag. Don’t you believe us? Try this lifehack and share the results in comments below!
– Marble manicure is a trending summer nail art. Watch the video and find an easy tutorial!

TIMESTAMPS:
00:15 Use PVA glue as a base coat
00:42 Summer floral manicure design
03:29 Colorful French manicure
04:17 Spider gel nail arts
05:38 Easy DIY nail extension

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FTSE 100: No Black execs at the top of Britain’s biggest companies

FTSE 100: No Black execs at the top of Britain’s biggest companies


There are no Black CEOs, CFOs or chairs in the FTSE 100 (UKX) index for the first time in six years, according to a study published on Wednesday by Green Park, an executive recruitment and diversity consultancy agency.

No progress has been made on diversity since Green Park began researching the issue. Only 10 of 297 people in the three top leadership positions do not identify as White, the same proportion as in 2014, the research found.

“The snowy peaks of British business remain stubbornly white,” Trevor Phillips, the chair of Green Park, said in a statement. “We know there is no shortage of qualified candidates to fill these roles if companies are willing to look,” he added.

UK companies have faced growing pressure to tackle racial injustice in their own ranks in the wake of the killing of George Floyd last June, which sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the United States, Britain and elsewhere. It also saw a string of organizations, including the Bank of England, apologize for historic ties to slavery.

Phillips, who used to lead Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality, said that shareholders, consumers and employees needed to “start questioning whether Black Lives Matter is just rhetoric rather than reality.”

According to Green Park’s research, the percentage of Black executive directors and non-executive directors in the FTSE 100 has slipped to 1.1% from 1.3% in 2014. This compares with increased percentages for Asians and other groups who do not identify as White.

The number of Black people in the leadership pipeline has also fallen over the past year, dimming the prospects for future increases in Black representation at the highest levels of British business. “Corporate leaders need to stop telling us how much they care and do something to show us that black lives really do matter,” Phillips added.

The FTSE 100 is made up of the 100 most valuable companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The index is dominated by UK firms, but it also includes a handful of companies based outside the country. US cruise ship operator Carnival (CUK), which is led by Arnold Donald, exited the FTSE 100 in June following a reweighting of the index, which meant it lost its only Black CEO.
In the United States, there are now just three Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies after Tapestry’s Jide Zeitlin resigned in July.

Ethnicity pay gaps

Low numbers of Black people in senior leadership positions at UK companies is an important factor behind pay disparity.

Black employees earn 20% less at Britain's biggest bank. It's trying to fix that
For example, Lloyds Bank (LLDTF) revealed in December that the median pay gap between Black employees and their peers is 19.7%, while the median bonus gap is 37.6%. The company said that this was driven by lower representation of Black people at senior grades.
Lloyds, Britain’s biggest retail banking group, is the only UK lender to break out pay gap data for Black employees. Barclays (BCS) and NatWest have previously published combined data for Asian, Black and other workers who do not identify as White.
While many UK banks have signed Business In The Community’s Race at Work Charter, which obliges companies to collect and publish data on staff diversity and pay, a Reuters review published on Wednesday found that eight of the 14 top banks had not yet published any ethnic diversity data as of December 2020.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Bank of America, which have signed the charter, all said they collected diversity data, but declined to disclose it, according to Reuters.

Artist Creates Cute Comics With Not-So-Cute Endings (50 New Pics)

Artist Creates Cute Comics With Not-So-Cute Endings (50 New Pics)


The comics you’ll see here are utterly adorable, but wait for it… They might seem cute at first until you reach the twisted ending you didn’t see coming.

The creative mind behind these comics, Chicago-based Ryan Pagelow, has been drawing comics for most of his life and has built quite a fandom over the years. The contrasting combination of cute and dark might be a goldmine as he has 653k followers on Instagram and over 89k followers on Facebook who always come back for a dose of darker humor to brighten their days. Ironic, isn’t it?

What started as a journey of an optimistic Buni with terrible luck who is tested by the cruel world every step he takes has now evolved into a surreal world of many unexpected characters such as animals, ghosts, everyday objects, and foods that come to life in ridiculous, funny, and sometimes sad situations.

You never know if the comic will break your heart, fill it with warmth, or simply make you laugh, so take a chance! And don’t miss an opportunity to get to know the artist better by reading an interview below! When you are done, check out the previous post on Bored Panda.

More info: bunicomic.com | Instagram | Facebook | Patreon | webtoons.com | twitter.com