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Clyde K. Valle

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Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.

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Ben & Jerry’s has joined a growing list of companies pulling advertising from Facebook platforms throughout July.

The move is part of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, which calls on Facebook to have stricter measures against racist and hateful content.

Ben and Jerry’s tweeted: “We will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate. >>>https://benjerrys.co/2CtB2WE

Earlier this week outdoor brands The North Face, Patagonia and REI joined the campaign.

Ben & Jerry’s said it is standing with the campaign and “all those calling for Facebook to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy.”

Ben & Jerry’s is the first corporate that is backing the Occupy Wall Street movement
Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s, The First Corporate that Is Backing Occupy Wall Street Movement

George Floyd Memorial Held in Minneapolis

After the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody, Ben & Jerry’s chief executive Matthew McCarthy said “business should be held accountable” as he set out plans to increase diversity.

Earlier this week the freelance job listing platform Upwork and the open-source software developer Mozilla also joined the campaign.

Facebook has said it was committed to “advancing equity and racial justice”.

The social network said in a statement on June 21: “We’re taking steps to review our policies, ensure diversity and transparency when making decisions on how we apply our policies, and advance racial justice and voter engagement on our platform.”

Ben & Jerry’s statement also pointed to the company’s Community Standards, which include the recognition of the platform’s importance as a “place where people feel empowered to communicate, and we take seriously our role in keeping abuse off our service”.

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was launched last week by advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Color Of Change.

The movement has said it is a “response to Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform”.

Stop Hate for Profit has called on advertisers to pressure Facebook to adopt stricter measures against racist and hateful content on its platforms by stopping all spending on advertising with it throughout July.

In 2019, Facebook attracted advertising revenue of almost $70 billion.

The company and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have often been criticized for the handling of controversial subjects.

This month Facebook’s staff spoke out against the tech giant’s decision not to remove or flag a post by President Donald Trump.

The same message was shared on Twitter, where it was hidden behind a warning label on the grounds that it “glorified violence”.

Novak Djokovic has become the latest tennis player to test positive for the new coronavirus.

Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all revealed they have tested positive for Covid-19 after playing at Djokovic’s Adria Tour competition.

The 33-year-old world’s No 1 played fellow Serb Troicki in the first event in Belgrade.

In a post on Twitter, Novak Djokovic said it had been “too soon” to stage the tournament.

“I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm,” he said.

He said the tournament had been organized with “a pure heart”, “good intentions” and a belief that they had “met all health protocols”.

“We were wrong and it was too soon,” he said.

The remaining Adria Tour events in Banja Luka and Sarajevo have now been canceled Novak Djokovic’s brother Djordje, who is a director of the tournament, has confirmed.

“Unfortunately, due to all the events that happened in the last few days, we have decided that the most important thing right now is to stabilize the epidemiological situation, as well as for everyone to recover,” he said.

A statement on Novak Djokovic’s website said: “Immediately upon his arrival in Belgrade [after the second event] Novak was tested along with all members of the family and the team with whom he was in Belgrade and Zadar. He is not showing any symptoms.”

There have been no ATP Tour events since February because of the global pandemic and the Adria Tour, which is not an ATP Tour event, was one of the first competitions to be staged since then.

The first leg in Serbia attracted 4,000 fans, and players were later pictured dancing close together in a Belgrade nightclub.

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov played Croatia’s Borna Coric on June 20 in the second leg in Zadar, Croatia.

With Croatia easing lockdown measures, players were not obliged to observe social distancing rules and were seen embracing at the net at the end of their matches.

Photo Getty Images

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Pictures on the tournament’s social media site from June 19 showed Grigor Dimitrov playing basketball with Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic, while he also put his arm around Borna Coric before their match.

Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and Andrey Rublev, who also played in the Adria Tour, have tested negative, but suggested they will all now self-isolate for up to 14 days.

The ATP Tour season is set to restart on August 14 and the US Open will be held without fans from August 31 to September 13, despite some players voicing concerns about travelling to New York.

Quaker Oats has announced it will rename its brand Aunt Jemima (a line of syrups and foods), acknowledging it was based on a racial stereotype.

For over 130 years, Aunt Jemima’s logo has featured a black woman named after a character from minstrel shows in the 1800s that mocked African-Americans.

The company said past branding updates to address these issues were “not enough”.

Criticism against the brand has renewed amid the national debate over racism sparked by George Floyd’s death.

Image source: AuntJemima.com

Kristin Kroepfl, Quaker Foods North America’s chief marketing officer, said the company is working “to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives”.

She said: “We also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations.

“We are starting by removing the image and changing the name.”

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Quaker has not offered further details on the coming changes, which were first reported by NBC News.

In addition, Aunt Jemima is to donate at least $5 million over the next five years to support the African American community, according to parent company PepsiCo.

The branding on Aunt Jemima’s syrups, mixes and other food products features an image of a black woman that has often been linked to stereotypes around slavery.

In a 2015 opinion piece for the New York Times, Cornell University African-American literature professor Riché Richardson described Aunt Jemima as “an outgrowth of Old South plantation nostalgia and romance”.

He said the brand perpetuated the idea of a “mammy” character – a submissive black woman who nurtured her white master’s children.

Founded in 1889, the Aunt Jemima logo was based on storyteller, cook and missionary Nancy Green, Quaker’s site says.

According to the African American Registry non-profit database, Nancy Green was born into slavery in Kentucky in 1834.

Aunt Jemima joins a number of companies offering change in light of the global protests and renewed debate over racism in America, sparked by the recent police killings of George Floyd and other African Americans.

The US economy will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic for almost a decade, according to projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The CBO forecasts the outbreak will cut US economic output by 3% between this year and 2030, a loss of $7.9 trillion.

The warning comes as tens of millions of people are out of work due to lockdown measures.

The CBO is a federal agency within the US government that provides budget and economic information to Congress.

America’s historic downturn comes even after trillions of dollars have been pumped into the economy.

Image source Wikimedia

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The CBO said the majority of the loss was caused by the sharp contraction in economic activity this year, which it had not predicted in its last 10-year report, published in January.

CBO director Phillip Swagel wrote in response to an inquiry from Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer: “Business closures and social distancing measures are expected to curtail consumer spending, while the recent drop in energy prices is projected to severely reduce US investment in the energy sector.”

“Recent legislation will, in CBO’s assessment, partially mitigate the deterioration in economic conditions,” he added.

Since the virus pandemic hit the US the government and the Fed have provided trillions of dollars of support for the world’s biggest economy.

Still, unemployment has soared to levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s as more than 40 million Americans have already been put out of work.

The US unemployment rate hit 14.7% in April and on June 5 the Labor Department is expected to confirm that it reached 20% in May. In March that figure stood at just 4.4% having risen from a 50-year low from the month before.

There is an ongoing debate in the Congress over a new $3 trillion a new stimulus plan as well as a proposal to renew several federal aid programs that would otherwise lapse, including a temporary increase to jobless benefits that is set to expire in July.

Volkswagen must pay compensation to a German plaintiff who had bought one of its diesel minivans fitted with emissions-cheating software, Germany’s highest civil court has ruled.

The ruling sets a benchmark for about 60,000 other cases in Germany.

Herbert Gilbert will be partially reimbursed for his vehicle, with depreciation taken into account.

The German auto maker said it would now offer affected car owners a one-off payment. The amount will depend on individual cases.

VW has already settled a separate €830 million class action suit involving 235,000 German car owners.

The company said in a statement on May 25: “For the majority of the 60,000 pending cases, this ruling provides clarity as to how the [Federal Court of Justice] assesses essential questions in German diesel proceedings.

“Volkswagen is now seeking to bring these proceedings to a prompt conclusion in agreement with the plaintiffs. We will therefore approach the plaintiffs with the adequate settlement proposals.”

VW has paid out more than €30 billion in fines, compensation and buyback schemes worldwide since the scandal first broke in 2015.

The company disclosed at the time that it had used illegal software to manipulate the results of diesel emissions tests.

Volkswagen said that about 11 million cars were fitted with the “defeat device”, which alerted diesel engines when they were being tested. The engine would then change its performance in order to improve the result of the test.

VW’s current and former senior employees are facing criminal charges in Germany.

Volkswagen must pay compensation to a German plaintiff who had bought one of its diesel minivans fitted with emissions-cheating software, Germany’s highest civil court has ruled.

The ruling sets a benchmark for about 60,000 other cases in Germany.

Herbert Gilbert will be partially reimbursed for his vehicle, with depreciation taken into account.

The German auto maker said it would now offer affected car owners a one-off payment. The amount will depend on individual cases.

VW has already settled a separate €830 million class action suit involving 235,000 German car owners.

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The company said in a statement on May 25: “For the majority of the 60,000 pending cases, this ruling provides clarity as to how the [Federal Court of Justice] assesses essential questions in German diesel proceedings.

“Volkswagen is now seeking to bring these proceedings to a prompt conclusion in agreement with the plaintiffs. We will therefore approach the plaintiffs with the adequate settlement proposals.”

VW has paid out more than €30 billion in fines, compensation and buyback schemes worldwide since the scandal first broke in 2015.

The company disclosed at the time that it had used illegal software to manipulate the results of diesel emissions tests.

Volkswagen said that about 11 million cars were fitted with the “defeat device”, which alerted diesel engines when they were being tested. The engine would then change its performance in order to improve the result of the test.

VW’s current and former senior employees are facing criminal charges in Germany.

The number of US unemployment claims has hit 33.3 million since mid-March amid coronavirus lockdown, about 20% of the US workforce.

A further 3.2 million Americans sought unemployment benefits last week as the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic continued to mount.

The number of new claims reported each week by the Department of Labor has subsided since hitting a peak of 6.9 million in March.

However, they remain extraordinarily high.

The number of Americans collecting benefits has continued to rise, despite recent moves to start re-opening in some parts of the country.

Photo Getty Images

Companies such as Lyft, Uber and Airbnb are amongst the companies that have announced cuts in recent weeks, as shutdowns halted significant amounts of travel.

The impact has been felt across the economy, affecting medical practices, restaurants and administrative workers among many others.

Economists say the monthly unemployment rate for April, which will be released on May 8, is likely to reach 15% or higher.

Just two months ago, the unemployment rate was at 3.5%, a 50-year low.

Since the coronavirus has taken hold in the US, the country has suffered its worst growth numbers in a decade, the worst retail sales report on record and declines in business activity not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.

Meanwhile, weeks of elevated unemployment claims have far surpassed the prior record of 700,000.

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Food pantries have seen spikes in demand, and homeowners and renters have delayed monthly payments.

The National Multifamily Housing Council – an industry group for apartment owners – reported last month that nearly a third of renters did not make their full payment by the first of the month.

Economists are hoping the pain will ease as businesses gradually restart.

Retailers such as Gap have already announced plans for re-opening some stores. Others, including J Crew and department store Neiman Marcus, have been pushed into bankruptcy.

Moody’s Investors Service has predicted that the US unemployment rate could fall back to 7% by the end of the year, but that forecast depends on the virus. The longer the shutdown persists, the harder it will be for the economy to rebound.

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Germany is to reopen all shops as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Meanwhile, Bundesliga soccer has been given the green light to resume and schools will gradually reopen in the summer term.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany’s goal of slowing the spread of coronavirus has been achieved.

Germany’s 16 federal states, under an agreement with the government, will take control of timing the reopening.

They will operate an “emergency brake” if there is a new surge in infections.

General contact rules involving will continue for another month. A limited resumption has already begun, but this easing of restrictions is far broader.

Two households will be able to meet and eat together, and elderly people in nursing homes and facilities for the disabled will be able to have visits from one specific person.

Chancellor Merkel said: “I think we can safely state that the very first phase of the pandemic is behind us. But we need to be very much aware we are still in the early phases and we’ll be in it for the long haul.”

Germany has seen fewer than 7,000 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic – a much lower figure than in other Western European countries including the UK, Italy, France and Spain.

Image source Wikimedia

On May 6, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), a federal public health body, reported 165 deaths in the past 24 hours and some 947 new infections.

The rate of infection has been consistently low for some time, and Angela Merkel said she was very pleased that the number of new, daily infections was into three digits. She praised the responsibility of German citizens in sticking to lockdown measures to protect the lives of others as well as themselves.

Shops of up to 800 square meters (8,600ft) in size have already been allowed to open. All restrictions on shops will now be lifted, although masks must be worn and social distancing maintained.

Schools have already begun opening for older children; all pupils will be allowed to return to class gradually during the summer term.

Germany, in common with other countries, is wary of a second surge in infections. If new infections rise to above 50 people in every 100,000 in a district over a seven-day period, then it will be up to the local authority in the affected area to re-impose restrictions.

A number of the 16 lands have been less affected by the crisis, so some are more eager to ease restrictions than others.

Bavaria in the south plans to reopen restaurants on May 18 while Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in the north plans to do that on May 9.

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Reopening restaurants and hotels is seen as a particular risk because it will heighten the number of people travelling across Germany and raising infection rates. Large public events will remain banned.

The German soccer league, the Bundesliga, has been given the green light to kick off for the first time since March.

So-called ghost games without spectators could start again as early as May 15 or 21 as long as a two-week quarantine is put in place for the players, in the form of a type of training camp. A decision on the date will be made by the football authorities on May 7.

The Bundesliga will be the first major football league in Europe to resume after the pandemic. However, it is not without risk. Ten positive cases were revealed this week by the German football league out of 1,724 tests across the top two divisions.

Meanwhile, tourism commissioner Thomas Bareiss has held out the hope that Germans will be able to go on holiday this summer.

If the outbreak remained under control, he suggested they could go away in Germany and in neighboring countries that had seen a similar drop in infections.

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Sometimes, you can come across barriers to change. Here, we look at how to overcome them.

There are many lessons that have been learned by project managers responsible for carrying out major transformation initiatives (many of them in hindsight!) but one alternative insight is that project management could be considered as 80% art and 20% science (Andrew Barnitz).

The art part of project management refers to that which forms the initiative to build a bridge between the solutions with the expected and measurable business outcomes. The art part could be considered creative and intangible and the science refers to the factors that can be measured through monitoring the project such as controlling budgets, communicating with team members i.e. the scope of the project.

In this way we can view the artistic element as understanding how the project is embraced and adopted by employees and other relevant parties such as stake holders and contractors (the change management) and the scientific element as how it is actually designed and developed (project management).

In the past, the focus of many companies has been on the scientific side when instigating change and yet to use the above analogy – only 20% of the power has lain in this realm. It makes sense therefore to focus the bulk of energy on ensuring the acceptance of the project instead because after all – it is this initiative that will lead to the ultimate success of any project undertaken.

We can now understand therefore that much lies in the ability to integrate the two processes; the management of change and the management of the project itself. However, even in 2020 this ideology is still in its infancy so how do companies get on board? The answer can be found by considering the series of steps below:

Role clarity

Companies may wish to consider appointing both a project manager AND a change manager. A project manager is accountable for the ultimate success or failure of a project; the stages of planning, executing and the projects conclusion. They are also responsible for managing teams so that the actual work is undertaken and that goals are met in accordance with key stakeholders etc.

A change manager will also play a key role in ensuring the project is adopted by employees so that objectives are met on time and budget. This manager needs to be people focused and concentrate on the personal and emotional side to help execute changes to processes, systems, job roles and the re-organisational structure of the company.

Perhaps a clearer cut way of describing the difference is that project managers are solution focused whereas change managers are outcome focused. Naturally there is a cross over between the two roles but determining the responsibilities of the manager/s leading the project can mean that time and money can be more effectively spent from the outset.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Being aware of barriers

The biggest barrier is convincing non-believers! Because the job scope of a project manager has – up until this stage – been somewhat clouded or open ended; many managers do not have the capability to learn change management and this is where change consultants can help.

Another barrier for logically minded managers is accepting the notion that change management cannot be easily measured so it can feel like you are talking another language to executives when trying to explain the need for money to be invested in the necessity for change management especially if they are the ones in charge of the project budget!

A third barrier is location. Change management may be accepted more easily by foreign companies who are focused on the psychology of their employees but in general it is still struggling to be accepted in a huge percentage of business boardrooms!

Dealing with these barriers

It is necessary to influence leadership on the benefits of integrating the two approaches and explain that the combined strengths can help to literally transform a business and deliver the desired outcome.

The benefits of combing the two approaches are as follows:

  • Enhanced employee engagement
  • Increased ROI
  • Avoidance of change saturation or conversely over emphasis on the logistics of a project
  • The ability to measure tolerance of a company’s tolerance to change and project management in general

Focus on the actual integration

a. It begins with education and informing all involved on the benefits of additional change management and how it is crucial to the overall success of the project.

b. Expectations then need to be set on how the actual change work will be carried out by using facts and insights that can be gained through change readiness surveys on employees and stake holders as well as carrying out impact assessments.

c. Use friendly terminology and no fluff language to explain the processes involved at all stages whilst continually assessing acceptance and supportiveness.

d. Present a united front to all involved.

e. Collaborate with the project manager, other executive members of staff and key stakeholders to form a master project plan that can then be delivered throughout all involved.

Effective integration is the key to successful results

When any organisation undertakes projects; whether that’s to improve performance, grab opportunities or resolve key issues, it is ultimately the employees themselves who will have to change and it is acceptance of a new way of working that will lead to successful results.

Companies can employ change management training to assist with this process and deliver the two-pronged approach of change management and project management. As we have already explained; there is an interdependent connection between the art and science of project management, and it is important that both the roles of project and change management not only co-exist but use each other to complement and combine individual skill sets. As Leonardo Da’ Vinci said (and it is incredible to see that this expression can be applied to project management 5 centuries later):

“To develop a complete mind: study the science of art; study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else”.

Harvard University has pushed back against President Donald Trump after he demanded it pay back $8.6 million in coronavirus relief aid.

President Trump said he was unhappy that the ultra-wealthy Ivy League college had received stimulus money.

However, Harvard University said the funds would help students facing “urgent financial needs” because of the pandemic.

Harvard is rated the world’s wealthiest university with an endowment fund valued at $40 billion.

At April 21 coronavirus briefing, President Trump told a journalist: “I want Harvard to pay that money back, OK? If they won’t do that, we won’t do something else.

“They have to pay it back, I don’t like it. This is meant for workers, this isn’t meant for one of the richest institutions, not only, far beyond schools in the world. They got to pay it back.”

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In a statement that followed, Harvard acknowledged receiving its $8.6 million through the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that President Trump signed last month.

However, Harvard did not say it would pay the money back.

The university tweeted: “Harvard has committed that 100% of these emergency higher education funds will be used to provide direct assistance to students facing urgent financial needs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Harvard said it had already provided financial assistance to students with travel, living expenses and online education amid the pandemic.

However, it disputed President Trump’s suggestion that it had received aid through the Payment Protection Program (PPP), a fund intended as a lifeline for businesses struggling amid the pandemic.

The university said it had instead benefited from the stimulus bill’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which disburses money based on an institution’s overall number of students and how many lower-income students are enrolled.

The CARES Act reserved $12.5 billion in federal aid to about 5,000 colleges and universities.

Harvard was not the only elite university to receive a windfall under the stimulus. Princeton, which has a $26 billion endowment, is getting $2.4 million, while Yale – endowment $30 billion – is receiving $6.9 million.

On April 21, the US Senate approved another $330 billion of emergency relief funds to help small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic after the original aid package of $350 billion ran out of money last week.

The PPP was designed to help so-called mom-and-pop stores keep staff on the payroll during the coronavirus emergency that has left 22 million American workers claiming unemployment benefits.

However, instead of going towards such small businesses, nearly $250 billion of the initial stimulus went to publicly traded companies with market values topping $100 million, according to analysis from Morgan Stanley, an investment bank.

The price of US oil has dropped to a level not seen since 1999, as demand dries up and storage runs out.

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for US oil, dropped 14% to $15.65 in Asia trading on April 20.

The oil market has come under intense pressure during the coronavirus pandemic with a huge slump in demand.

US storage facilities are now struggling to cope with the glut of oil, weakening prices further.

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The oil industry has been struggling with both tumbling demand and in-fighting among producers about reducing output.

Earlier this month, OPEC members and its allies finally agreed a record deal to slash global output by about 10%. The deal was the largest cut in oil production ever to have been agreed.

However, analysts said the cuts were not big enough to make a difference.

Meanwhile, concern continues to mount that storage facilities in the US will run out of capacity, with stockpiles at Cushing, the main delivery point in the US for oil, rising almost 50% since the start of March, according to ANZ Bank.

“We hold some hope for a recovery later this year,” the bank said in its research note.

The drop was also driven by a technicality of the global oil market. Oil is traded on its future price and May futures contracts are due to expire on April 21. Traders will be keen to offload those holdings to avoid having to take delivery of the oil and incurring storage costs.

Brent oil, the benchmark used by Europe and the rest of the world, was slightly weaker, down 0.8% to $27.87 a barrel.

More than 20 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits over the last four weeks, according to Department of Labor filings.

Another 5.2 million Americans lost their jobs last week as businesses remain shut amid the coronavirus lockdown.

The economic crisis comes as the number of US virus cases exceeds 629,000.

The surging joblessness is a stark reversal for the world’s biggest economy where the unemployment rate had been hovering around 3.5%. Economists now expect that rate to have hit double digits.

While the 5.2 million new claims in the week ended April 11 were down from 6.6 million the previous week, the numbers still eclipse prior records.

Many economists warn that elevated numbers will linger, with Goldman Sachs researchers expecting some 37 million claims by the end of May.

Photo Getty Images

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Electronics chain Best Buy this week said it would furlough more than 50,000 employees, while Royal Caribbean Cruises announced it would cut or suspend about a quarter of its American workforce.

The moves come as retail sales plunged by a record 8.7%, while manufacturing output dropped by the most in more than 74 years.

The US has expanded its unemployment program, making disbursements bigger and more people – including the self-employed – eligible. Requests to participate have overwhelmed state offices, which process the applications.

On April 16, the Small Business Administration, which is in charge of administering that $349 billion program, announced it had run out of money.

President Donald Trump is expected to issue “new guidelines” for reopening the economy in parts of the country where experts believe the rate of infection is under control.

On April 15, the president said: “There has to be a balance. We have to get back to work.”

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Owning your very own racehorse sounds like a cool idea to many, and maybe a dream for some. But isn’t racehorse ownership only reserved for the wealthy and elite of society?

Maybe owning a racehorse that’s currently already a champion might be out of reach for most people, but there are ways to own a racehorse that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and drain all your financial resources.

For starters, you could buy a racehorse that’s still in training and not yet ready for racing, or purchase a younger horse from good breeding stock that hasn’t even commenced the pre-race training stage.

Image by Patrick Walrab von Buttlar from Pixabay

So what are the options for owning a racehorse if you’re not a millionaire, and what are some of the ownership benefits?

Let’s begin by checking out what opportunities are available to attain your slice of the horse racing dream.

The Different Options of Racehorse Ownership

When it comes to buying a racehorse, there’s no law that says you have to go it entirely alone. You can share the expenses and the responsibilities if you enter into a partnership.

Let’s look at the various options:

Outright/Sole Ownership – The biggest advantage to owning a racehorse entirely on your own is all the spoils are yours 100%. If your horse becomes a champion that wins many races, you’ll be pocketing cash left, right and centre. The downside is that you don’t really have anyone with a vested interest to share the victories, plus you incur all expenses regarding the training and upkeep of your horse.

Racehorse Partnership – This is one of the most common ways to buy a racehorse, by purchasing a percentage or a share in the horse. This is an option that makes racehorse ownership more affordable for everyone. You also have others to share the expenses and responsibilities.

Racehorse Syndicate – Also another extremely common option for ownership. Syndicates can comprise as many as 20 people, and this is often the way families/friends purchase shares in a racehorse. Basically your syndicate purchases a share in a horse, whether that be 10% or whatever. You never know, you and your friends just might end up with shares in one of the future Melbourne Cup horses.

Leasing a Racehorse – This is an interesting option, because it saves you having to buy a horse. Essentially you are renting the racehorse, where you agree to pay for costs and training fees, and in return you get to keep a percentage of any prize money won. The horse’s owner also receives an agreed percentage of any horse racing purses.

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President Donald Trump has announced the US will halt funding to the WHO because it has “failed in its basic duty” in its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The president accused the UN health agency of mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus after it emerged in China, and said it must be held accountable.

In response, the UN chief said it was “not the time” to cut funds to the WHO.

President Trump has been under fire for his own handling of the pandemic.

He has sought to deflect persistent criticism that he acted too slowly to stop the virus’s spread by pointing to his decision in late January to place restrictions on travel from China.

Image source: www.un.org

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Donald Trump has accused the WHO of having “criticized” that decision and of being biased towards China more generally.

On April 14, President Trump told a news conference at the White House: “I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

The WHO is yet to directly respond but UN Secretary General António Guterres said the international community should be uniting “in solidarity to stop this virus”.

He said: “It is my belief that the World Health Organization must be supported, as it is absolutely critical to the world’s efforts to win the war against Covid-19.”

The WHO was founded in 1948 and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the UN agency responsible for global public health, with 194 member states, and aims to “promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable”.

Its funding is made up of membership fees – which are known as “assessed contributions” and calculated based on wealth and population – and voluntary contributions.

The US is the WHO’s biggest single funder, providing $400 million in 2018-19 – just under 15% of its total budget.

According to the WHO website, China’s contribution in 2018-19 was almost $76 million in assessed contributions and about $10m in voluntary funding.

The second-largest WHO funder is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides 9.76% of the agency’s funds.

Bill Gates: “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds. Their work is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and if that work is stopped no other organization can replace them. The world needs @WHO now more than ever.”

The WHO launched an appeal in March for $675 million to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and is reported to be planning a fresh appeal for at least $1 billion.

Italy and Austria seek to ease restrictions brought in to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The European Commission has urged EU countries to co-ordinate with each other to relax measures gradually.

An internal document sent by the Commission to EU governments said that even phased measures would “unavoidably lead to a corresponding increase in new cases”.

Lifting restrictions had to wait for the spread of the virus to be reduced for a significant period, it said, with enough capacity in intensive care units to cope with a second surge in cases and increased testing, along with mass antibody tests.

Garden centers, DIY stores and small stores can open but with strict rules on social distancing.

Spain has allowed some businesses to return to work, and Denmark is reopening schools for younger children. Poland has said it will gradually lift restrictions on its economy from April 12, probably starting with general stores.

Spain reported its lowest increase in infections since March 20 on April 14. There has been a 1.8% increase from April 13 to 3,045. The number of deaths has gone up by 567 to 18,056.

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In France, President Emmanuel Macron extended France’s lockdown for another four weeks until May 11, as he said current restrictions had slowed the virus but not beaten it.

In Germany, the head of Robert Koch public health institute said that while there had been a slowdown it was too early to talk of a clear trend.

In Italy, where over 20,000 people have died in the pandemic, a limited number of shops and businesses have been allowed to reopen.

However, some of the worst-hit regions have decided to hold off.

Lombardy and other regions in the north will maintain their measures for longer.

After five weeks under lockdown, bookstores, stationery and clothes for babies and young children can reopen their doors but with strict rules on customer numbers and hygiene.

Businesses, stores and schools should lead the way, followed by limited reopening of restaurants, bars and cafes.

The reopening of bookshops and clothes stores for young children is a glimmer of hope, after Italy saw 20,465 fatalities, second only to the US in the number of deaths officially caused by Covid-19.

The daily toll of fatalities is now falling and the number of patients in intensive care has dropped for 10 days in a row to 3,260. However, Lombardy, where Italy’s outbreak began, still saw another 280 deaths declared on April 13, and officials have decided to allow children’s clothing shops to open, but not bookshops.

Also in the north, some of the worst-affected areas of Emilia-Romagna will stay locked down, while in Veneto officials are talking of a “soft lockdown”. Bookstores and clothing stores can open for two days a week, says Veneto governor Luca Zaia, and a ban on exercising more than 200m away from home has been lifted. But residents will still need to wear a mask and gloves if they go out.

Austria was one of the first European countries to follow neighboring Italy in imposing strict lockdown measures about a month ago, and the government says it has managed to flatten the curve of new infections. It has so far reported about 14,000 cases and 368 deaths.

Last week, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz unveiled plans to lift restrictions gradually.

In an open letter to the country on April 11, Sebastian Kurz said he wanted to “come out of this crisis as quickly as possible and fight for every job in Austria”.

From April 14, stores under 400 sq m (4,300 sq ft) in size are allowed to reopen, along with hardware stores and garden centers.

However, it is also compulsory for people to wear a mask in supermarkets and pharmacies.

Economy Minister Margarete Schramböck told Austrian TV: “Experience in countries that have handled it well has taught us that we have to move gradually.”

Larger stores, shopping centers and hairdressers are due to reopen from May 1, while restaurants and hotels could reopen from mid-May if health conditions allow, Austria’s chancellor has said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the slowing down of infections in some European countries but warned against lifting restrictions too early, so as not to prompt “a deadly resurgence”.

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Finance ministers from European Union have agreed a €500 billion ($540 billion) rescue package for the block’s countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mário Centeno, the chairman of the Eurogroup, announced the deal, reached after marathon discussions in Brussels.

It comes as Spain’s prime minister said his country was close to passing the worst of its coronavirus outbreak.

Spain has Europe’s highest number of confirmed cases, with 152,446. More than 15,000 people have died.

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has warned the world is facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

She said the coronavirus pandemic would turn economic growth “sharply negative” this year.

At their Brussels talks, EU finance ministers failed to accept a demand from France and Italy to share out the cost of the crisis by issuing so-called coronabonds.

The package finally agreed is smaller than the European Central Bank had urged.

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The ECB has said the bloc may need up to €1.5 trillion to tackle the crisis.

However, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire hailed the agreement as the most important economic plan in EU history.

He tweeted after the talks: “Europe has decided and is ready to meet the gravity of the crisis.”

The main component of the rescue plan involves the European Stability Mechanism, the EU’s bailout fund, which will make €240 billion available to guarantee spending by indebted countries under pressure.

The EU ministers also agreed other measures including €200 billion in guarantees from the European Investment Bank and a European Commission project for national short-time working schemes.

Ministers were close to a deal on April 8, but the talks broke down and had to be resumed a day later, amid a dispute between Italy and the Netherlands over how to apply the recovery fund.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed deep divisions in Europe, where Italy and Spain have accused northern nations like Germany and the Netherlands of not doing enough.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has warned the coronavirus pandemic will turn global economic growth “sharply negative” this year.

She said the world faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The head of the International Monetary Fund forecast that 2021 would only see a partial recovery.

Lockdowns imposed by governments have forced many companies to close and lay off staff.

Earlier this week, a UN study said 81% of the world’s workforce of 3.3 billion people had had their place of work fully or partly closed because of the outbreak.

Kristalina Georgieva made her bleak assessment in remarks ahead of next week’s IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings.

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Emerging markets and developing countries would be the hardest hit, the IMF chief said, requiring hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid.

She said: “Just three months ago, we expected positive per capita income growth in over 160 of our member countries in 2020.

“Today, that number has been turned on its head: we now project that over 170 countries will experience negative per capita income growth this year.”

Kristalina Georgieva added: “In fact, we anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression.”

She said that if the pandemic eased in the second half of 2020, the IMF expected to see a partial recovery next year. But she cautioned that the situation could also worsen.

Kristalina Georgieva’s comments came as the US reported that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits had surged for the third week by 6.6 million, bringing the total over that period to more than 16 million Americans.

On April 9, following marathon talks, EU leaders agreed a €500 billion ($546 billion) economic support package for members of the bloc hit hardest by the lockdown measures.

The European Commission earlier said it aimed to co-ordinate a possible “roadmap” to move away from the restrictive measures.

Earlier this week, the International Labor Organization (ILO), a UN agency, warned that the pandemic posed “the most severe crisis” since World War Two.

The ILO said the outbreak was expected to wipe out 6.7% of working hours across the world during the second quarter of 2020 – the equivalent of 195 million full-time workers losing their jobs.

Last month, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that the global economy would take years to recover.

OECD secretary general Angel Gurría said that economies were suffering a bigger shock than after the 9/11 terror attacks of 2001 or the 2008 financial crisis.

More than 6.6 million Americans filed jobless claims in the week ending April 4, the Department of Labor said.

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits has surged for a third week as the economic toll tied to the coronavirus pandemic intensifies.

To shore up the economy, the Fed said it would unleash an additional $2.3 trillion in lending.

The deepening economic crisis comes as the number of Covid-19 cases in the US soars to more than 430,000.

Over the last three weeks, more than 16 million people have made unemployment claims, as restrictions on activity to help contain the virus force most businesses to close and put about 95% of Americans on some form of lockdown.

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said: “Today’s report continues to reflect the personal sacrifice being made by America’s workers and their families to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

The surging unemployment rate is a stark reversal for the world’s biggest economy where the unemployment rate had been hovering around 3.5%. Economists now expect that rate has hit the double digits.

Photo Getty Images

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The crisis has prompted dramatic government relief efforts.

The Fed programs on April 9, which include loans to local governments, are the latest actions by the central bank, which has also slashed interest rates, eased banking regulations and announced other programs aimed at supporting home loans, currency markets and small businesses.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the bank is using its emergency powers to “unprecedented extent”.

He said: “We will continue to use these powers forcefully, proactively and aggressively until we’re solidly on the way to recovery.”

The Congress has also passed a roughly $2 trillion rescue bill, which funds direct payment for households, assistance for businesses and increased unemployment benefits. Lawmakers are now discussing further relief.

However, the number of people and companies seeking assistance has overwhelmed rescue efforts so far.

More than 6.6 million Americans filed jobless claims in the week ended on March 28, the Department of Labor said.

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits has hit a record high for the second week in a row as the economic toll tied to the coronavirus intensifies.

Last week’s number is nearly double the week earlier, which was also a new record.

The deepening economic crisis comes as the number of cases in the US soars to more than 216,000.

Image source Wikimedia

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With the death toll going above 5,000, the White House recently said it would retain restrictions on activity to try to curb the outbreak.

Analysts at Bank of America warned that the US could see “the deepest recession on record” amid forecasts that the unemployment rate could hit more than 15%.

The outlook is a stark reversal for the world’s biggest economy where the unemployment rate had been hovering around 3.5%.

However, more than 80% of Americans are now under some form of lockdown, which has forced the closure of most businesses.

More than 3.3 million people filed claims two weeks ago, eclipsing the previous record of 695,000, set in 1982 and bringing the two-week total to about 10 million.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Some workers at food delivery company Instacart and US and Italian workers at Amazon have walked out, complaining of inadequate protection.

Pressure is growing on Amazon and other delivery companies to improve protection for workers worried about getting infected with coronavirus.

US senators have also written to Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to express concerns.

Instacart and Amazon have said they are taking extra precautions, amid booming demand for delivery services due to the virus.

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An Amazon spokesman said in a statement: “We are going to great lengths to keep the buildings extremely clean and help employees practice important precautions such as social distancing and other measures.

“Those who don’t want to work are welcome to use paid and unpaid time off options and we support them in doing so.”

Amazon said it had adjusted its practices, including increased cleaning of its facilities and introducing staggered shift and break times.

In Italy, Amazon said it had reduced deliveries since March 22. However, union leaders say workers need access to better protection.

“Several employees working at the site use face masks for days instead of having new ones each day,” one union representative told Reuters.

A group of workers at Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, plan to walk out on March 31, citing similar problems.

Whole foods told NBC it has “taken extensive measures to keep people safe.”

In 2019, the company faced criticism for cutting healthcare benefits for 1,900 part-time employees.

Earlier this month, Jeff Bezos – who is one of the world’s richest people with an estimated $115.6 billion fortune – addressed the worries in an open letter to staff, thanking them for their work.

Amazon, which is looking to hire 100,000 more warehouse workers in the US to help address the surge in orders, has also said it would boost pay for warehouse staff around the world, including by $2 per hour in the US and by £2 per hour in the UK, where staff have been told to work overtime.

However, US lawmakers have questioned Amazon over reports of shortages of protective and cleaning supplies, as well as its sick leave policies.

Amazon earlier faced strikes by workers in France and Italy and has been hit by legal complaints over the issues in Spain, according to a global alliance of unions coordinated by UNI Global Union.

A strike on March 30 against Instacart was organized by the Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers collective, which had accused the company of profiting by putting people making its deliveries “directly in harm’s way”.

They said the company should provide protective gear, offer hazard pay and extend the pay for those unable to work because of the virus, whether due to a required quarantine or pre-existing condition.

On March 29, after the call about March 30 strike, Instacart said it was working with a manufacturer to produce its own hand sanitizer and changing its tip policy. It had earlier said it would pay bonuses and provide 14 days of sick leave for its shoppers or part-time employees diagnosed with the virus or placed under isolation orders.

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The IOC has decided that the Tokyo Olympic Games will start on July 23, 2021 and run to August 8 after being postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 30, the International Olympic Committee’s executive board met to make the decision.

The Olympics will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.

The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on August 24, 2020, will now take place between August 24 and September 5, 2021.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge.

“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”

The decision to postpone both events was taken to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the new coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Tokyo 2020 Olympics Postponed Until 2021

The new dates also took into consideration the rest of the global sports calendar after the men’s soccer European Championship was postponed to the summer of 2021.

The World Athletics Championships, originally set to take place in Oregon, USA, between August 6 and August 15, 2021, will now be postponed until 2022.

Olympic organizers hope the delay will allow sufficient time to finish the qualification process which will follow the same mitigation measures planned for 2020.

It has previously been confirmed that all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned will remain unchanged.

Purchased tickets would be valid for rescheduled events or a refund could be requested when the new dates were set, organizers previously confirmed.

On March 24, Japan’s PM Abe Shinzo said the Games would be held in their “complete form” and no later than summer 2021.

Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said he had proposed the July 23 to August 8 timeframe to the IOC, and that Thomas Bach had agreed, following consultations with the international sports federations.

It is the first time in the Olympic Games’ 124-year modern history that they have been delayed, though they were cancelled altogether in 1916 because of World War One and again in 1940 and 1944 for World War Two. Cold War boycotts affected the summer Games in Moscow and Los Angeles in 1980 and 1984 respectively.

President Trump has signed into law the largest-ever US financial stimulus package, worth $2 trillion, as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

The House of Representatives passed the cross-party bill two days after the Senate debated its provisions.

On March 25, the number of Americans filing for unemployment surged to a record high of 3.3 million people.

As of March 27, the US has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 100,000 positive tests.

No Democratic lawmakers were invited to the historic signing ceremony, which was held at the White House, though the president thanked both parties “for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first”.

President Trump said the package was “twice as large” as any prior relief bill.

He said: “This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation’s families, workers and businesses.”

Just before signing the act into law, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), which gives the president the power to force private industries to create items required for national defense.

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President Trump said the order will compel General Motors (GM) to manufacture much-needed medical ventilators for the federal government.

Earlier in the day, President Trump tweeted that GM had promised to “give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, very quickly “.

“Now they are saying it will only be 6,000, in late April, and they want top dollar,” he said, threatening to invoke the DPA.

During the bill signing, President Trump said that “tremendous [medical] supplies” would be coming soon, adding: “We’ve had great results on just about everything we’re talking about.”

On March 27, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced eight temporary hospitals to meet an expected surge in cases.

He said 519 people had died in the state – the worst-hit in the US – and there were 44,635 confirmed cases.

Democrats and Republicans in the Democratic-led House approved the stimulus package by voice vote on March 27 following a three-hour debate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “Our nation faces an economic and health emergency of historic proportions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the worst pandemic in over 100 years.”

Members of the House had been ready to conduct the vote at their homes but were forced to return to Washington at the last minute after a Republican representative from Kentucky demanded a quorum of half the chamber be present.

Thomas Massie – who objected to the stimulus package saying it contained too much spending – also sought to delay proceedings by demanding a formal recorded vote, as opposed to a voice vote, but was overruled.

President Trump vented his fury at Thomas Massie on Twitter, calling him a “third-rate grandstander” and demanding he be thrown out of the Republican party.

The new law enables direct payments to individuals and companies whose livelihoods and businesses have been affected by the pandemic.

It seeks to deliver $1,200 to every American earning less than $75,000 per year and $500 to the parents of every child.

The law also gives money directly to state governments, and bolsters the unemployment benefits program.

Under the law, jobless benefits will be extended to those not normally covered, such as freelancers and workers in the gig economy.

It also offers loans and tax breaks to companies that face going out of business, as one in every four Americans is ordered to remain at home and only go outside for essential needs.

Officials across the US have closed restaurants, bars, cinemas, hotels and gyms in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Auto companies have halted production and air travel has fallen dramatically. According to economists, a fifth of the US workforce is on some form of lockdown.

With almost 1,500 virus-related fatalities, the US death toll remains lower than those in Italy and China. But there are virus hotspots in New York, New Orleans and Detroit.

Senate leaders and the White House have agreed on a stimulus package worth more than $1.8 trillion to ease the impact of coronavirus.

The stimulus reportedly includes payments of $1,200 to most American adults and aid to help small businesses pay workers.

Full details of the deal, which Congress is expected to pass, are not known.

Financial markets around the world rose on news of the deal.

President Donald Trump has said he hopes the US will shake off coronavirus within less than three weeks.

However, the top US infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, warned that “you have to be very flexible” about a timeframe for ending the crisis.

Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned the illness was spreading faster than “a bullet train” in his state, which is at the centre of the pandemic in the US.

After 802 deaths and 55,225 confirmed infections, the US is more than midway through a 15-day attempt to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing.

Around 19,000 people have died with coronavirus across the planet since it emerged in China’s Wuhan province in January, and more than 425,000 infections have been confirmed.

Southern Europe is now at the centre of the pandemic, with Italy and Spain recording hundreds of new deaths every day.

Governments around the world have responded by locking down societies in the hope of slowing the spread of the virus.

The stimulus agreement announced by Democratic and Republican senator leaders at 01:30EDT on March 25 includes tax rebates, loans, money for hospitals and rescue packages.

According to media, individuals who earn $75,000 or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each, with married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400 and an additional $500 per each child.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the package as a “wartime level of investment” in the US nation.

If passed, it would be the largest government economic stimulus in US history.

The agreement must still be voted through the House of Representatives and the Senate before President Trump signs it off but it enjoys cross-party support.

One factor that may delay its passage is the question of how voting will be conducted, given that some members of Congress are off with coronavirus or are self-isolating having come into contact with infected people.

New York Governor Cuomo dismissed the plan as “terrible for the state” and called the proposed $3.8 billion “a drop in the bucket, as to need”.

He said New York was facing a $15 billion revenue shortfall, and estimated that $1 billion has already been spent on the coronavirus response.

The details of the stimulus bill have not yet gone to the House, making some lawmakers wary of signaling their early approval.

If any member objects to unanimous consent, lawmakers will be asked to return to Washington and vote over the course of an entire day, in order to limit how many people are present on the House floor at one time.

President Trump said he hoped America could get back to normal by Easter, which falls on April 12 this year.

He told Fox News: “We’re going to be opening relatively soon…

“I would love to have the country opened up and just rearing to go by Easter.”

However, the president later sounded more cautious, saying: “We’ll only do it if it’s good.”

President Trump added that re-opening could be limited to “sections” of the country such as “the farm belt”.

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed until 2021 because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympics, due to begin on July 24, will now take place “no later than summer 2021”.

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe: “I proposed to postpone for a year and [IOC] president Thomas Bach responded with 100% agreement.”

The event will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.

In a joint statement, the event’s organizers and the IOC said: “The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating.

“On Monday, the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the Covid-19 pandemic is ‘accelerating’.

“There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today [Tuesday], the IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”

The IOC had given itself a deadline of four weeks to consider delaying the Games but there had been mounting pressure from a host of Olympic committees and athletes demanding a quicker decision.

On March 22, Canada became the first major country to withdraw from both events, while USA Track and Field, athletics’ US governing body, had also called for a postponement.

International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons said the postponement was “the only logical option”.

Andrew Parsons added: “The health and wellbeing of human life must always be our number-one priority and staging a sporting event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible.

“Sport is not the most important thing right now, preserving human life is. It is essential, therefore, that all steps are taken to try to limit the spread of this disease.

“By taking this decision now, everyone involved in the Paralympic movement, including all Para-athletes, can fully focus on their own health and wellbeing and staying safe during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

The Olympics have never been delayed in their 124-year modern history, though they were canceled altogether in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during World War One and World War Two.

Major Cold War boycotts disrupted the Moscow and Los Angeles summer Games in 1980 and 1984.

The Tokyo 2020-IOC joint statement continued: “The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present.

“Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

Image source: The Blue Diamond Gallery

Equal Pay

Women make up almost half of the workforce. In many instances, they are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of the American families with children. They receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. Women, on average, earn less than men in nearly every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio.

Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. There are 21 states and many cities that have a minimum wage higher than the federal level. Washington state has the highest at $9.32 and Oregon trails second at $9.10. Economic research firms have long argued that higher minimum wages cause firms to reduce employment, especially of low-wage workers, and thus they inflict damage on the U.S. economy. But two new papers provide powerful evidence that higher minimum wages in fact boost the conditions of workers—especially the least skilled and lowest paid among them—without doing broad economic harm.

Welfare Drug Testing

The goal of governments who provide these resources is to remove as much fraud as possible from the system. Then there is the eventual goal to help everyone find a meaningful job so that eventually the individual or household can be self-supportive.

Paid Sick Leave

A paid time off (PTO) policy combines vacation, sick time and personal time into a single bank of days for employees to use when they take paid time off from work. A PTO policy creates a pool of days that an employee may use at his or her discretion. At the height of the summer season, companies’ vacation plans are often put to the test. If your company experiences frequent issues when trying to handle the mass influx of requests that come in over the summer months, it may be time to consider a paid time off the bank as an alternative to a traditional vacation plan.

Welfare

In essence, welfare programs are a government subsidy that is paid directly to people with a qualifying income. In the United States, qualification requires a household income falls below a specific percentage of the poverty level. For several generations, benefits have been given out to people so they can have basic services, such as food access, without charge. The pros and cons of welfare show that it can be useful to help those who are in need, but there must be controls in place to limit abuse. There will always be a debate about who deserves to receive welfare benefits.