Home Authors Posts by Clyde K. Valle

Clyde K. Valle

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.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Despite the hyper-partisan political landscape in Washington, on January 16, 2020 the Senate approved the USMCA trade deal. Congress had previously passed the legislation on December 19, 2019 by a vote of 385-41, and Mexico’s Senate passed the legislation on June 19, 2019 by a vote of 114-4. That leaves only Canada’s Parliament left to ratify the successor to NAFTA — which may not be as straightforward as once expected.

That’s because the Canadian government is currently led by the Liberal Party, which has a minority of seats in the House of Commons (a.k.a. Parliament). For those unfamiliar with the Westminster system, this basically means that the Liberal Party — which was in power during the extensive and often thorny negotiations that brought about the USMCA — does not have enough votes to unilaterally ratify the new trade deal. As such, it must “reach across the aisle” and get support from at least 13 Parliamentarians from other parties; namely the Conservatives (right-leaning), the New Democrats (left-leaning), or the Bloc Quebecois (based in the Canadian province of Quebec, and mandated to exclusively focus on promoting legislation that benefits Quebec).

However, those who have been eagerly waiting for the trade uncertainty to end — everyone from cross-border shoppers buying organic kratom, to giant logistics and manufacturing companies — can probably afford some cautious optimism, given that there are likely enough votes among the pro-business Conservatives to push the USMCA through the Canadian parliament sometime during 2020.

While NAFTA was not wholly beloved in Canada — particularly across labor groups — the USMCA is even less popular. Among the most vocal opponents is the country’s small, yet politically powerful dairy producers who have historically benefited from strong protective quotas (which Canadians call “supply management”) to keep U.S. dairy producers from tapping into the lucrative Canadian market valued at $16 billion annually. While these protective quotas still exist in the USCMA, they have been significantly weakened — fulfilling a longstanding Trump campaign promise.  Another major change is the sunset clause, which calls for the USMCA to expire 16 years after trilateral ratification. However, to avoid trade chaos, the deal is subject to review every six years, at which time the three countries can mutually agree to extend it if they wish. Considering that it took more than two years to negotiate the USMCA, it’s hard to imagine that any potential extensions will be any less complicated, confrontational or controversial. Time will tell, and we’ll be watching closely.

In a televised address on September 11, 2019, President Donald Trump dropped a bombshell on the U.S. vaping industry by announcing his intention to ban e-liquid across the country in all flavors except tobacco. The stated reasons behind the ban were twofold. First, a terrible lung illness relating to vaping had just begun to sweep across the country, and health officials didn’t yet understand that the illness was caused by the use of illegal cannabis products rather than legal nicotine products. Second, it had become obvious by 2019 that underage use of vaping products had taken hold across the country and wasn’t going to resolve itself any time soon. Members of the federal government felt that, without direct action, the number of teen vapers would only continue to grow.

What happened next was a firestorm that no one in the Trump administration – not even Trump himself – could ever have predicted.

Trump Underestimates the Importance of Vaping Voters

The first sign that President Trump potentially made a grave mistake on September 11 came in the form of widespread reports suggesting that Trump’s allies in the Republican party were unhappy about the proposed e-liquid flavor ban. As it turned out, Trump had failed to consider the number of people he’d be offending – and more importantly, where those people lived – before proposing the ban. In the 2016 Presidential election, Trump won by extremely narrow margins in key battleground states such as Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia. The margins were smaller, in fact, than the populations of people who vape in those states.

Many of those who vape claim that they will vote based on that issue alone and will vote against anyone who limits their access to vaping products. If what those people say is true, banning all flavored e-liquids could easily lead to a loss of support in the battleground states in which Trump won in 2016 – and that could easily ruin Trump’s bid for reelection in 2020.

Trump largely went silent on the vaping issue after his September 11 announcement. News reports suggested that Trump hadn’t been aware before the announcement of the impact that a total e-liquid flavor ban would have on his support among voters or on small businesses across America. The loss of the country’s vape shops would also mean the loss of tens of thousands of jobs – not exactly the kind of event that Makes America Great Again.

Trump Administration Proposes a Compromise on the Vaping Issue

By the end of 2019, news reports suggested that the possibility of an all-out ban on all flavored e-liquids was no longer on the table. By that time, President Trump had met with representatives from the vaping and tobacco industries along with various public health advocates. The meetings gave Trump a better understanding of the impact that a flavor ban would have on the economy and on his support among adult vapers. In addition, it was very clear by then that the vaping-related lung illness had nothing to do with commercial nicotine e-liquid products.

In the end, the Trump administration did two things in an attempt to curb teen vaping.

  • The federal government raised the minimum age nationwide for buying tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21. That was done with the goal of preventing 18-year-old students from buying things like JUUL pods and giving them to younger students.
  • The FDA removed all pre-filled vape pods and cartridges in flavors other than tobacco and menthol from the market. Bottled e-liquid for refillable vaping devices remained legal in all flavors. Teen vapers overwhelmingly prefer the JUUL e-cigarette brand – which uses pre-filled pods – and in surveys, underage vapers have said that sweet flavors are a major part of what attracts them to vaping. In removing those products from the market, the government hopes that vaping will become less attractive to teens.

The government conducts a yearly survey of students to gauge the effectiveness of its tobacco control policies. The results of that survey are released around the end of the year. As of late 2019, more than 5 million teens – about 27.5 percent of high school students and 10.5 percent of middle school students – reported vaping regularly. We will find out in late 2020 whether the government’s new policies have done anything to reduce teen nicotine use.

How Will Vaping Influence the 2020 Presidential Election?

In a private Oval Office meeting in early 2020, President Trump reportedly expressed regret over his involvement in federal vaping policy. Supposedly, he said that he “never should have done that [expletive] vaping thing.”

The reason for Trump’s unhappiness, however, has nothing to do with the infringement on vapers’ rights or the impact that the government’s policies may have on small business. The problem is that Trump unwittingly made himself the face of those policies when he could have easily left the decisions to Congress and the FDA and let others handle the political fallout.

The government’s new vaping policies are a compromise, and a compromise means that none of the stakeholders are completely happy. On one side, Trump is dealing with angry adult vapers who are upset over the lack of respect for their rights and angry about the fact that the government opted to punish everyone instead of going after the individual companies that obviously stepped over the line and marketed their products inappropriately.

On the other side, Trump is dealing with angry tobacco control activists who believe that the government’s new policies haven’t gone far enough – and, in terms of combating teen vaping, they are probably correct. Teens might say that the flavors the flavors of the products have enticed them to vape, but that isn’t really true. Youth-oriented marketing enticed those teens to vape, and the extremely high nicotine strengths of products like JUUL kept them coming back. Banning flavored pods isn’t going to stop teens from vaping when they’re already addicted to nicotine.

Tobacco control has always been a contentious topic, and the teen vaping issue is not going away. If President Trump loses his bid for reelection in 2020, it’s entirely possible that it’ll be because he “did that vaping thing.”


When the Clampetts moved from Tennessee to Beverly Hills in the 1960’s, the fictitious TV family had $83 million in the bank as a result of their backyard oil strike. Jed and his kin had no money worries, but most people who move to the big city find it hard to adapt to the much higher price levels. In places like New York City, Chicago, London, Tokyo and Los Angeles, the cost of living is escalated than in medium sized towns. If you have recently found yourself dwelling in one of the larger urban areas, here are some reliable tips for how to handle money and, hopefully, end up with some left when the last day of the month rolls around.

Use Public Transit

The golden rule of city life is using public transportation. Even if you own a car, it’s best to use it judiciously and take the bus, train or rapid transit to your destination. In New York, for example, you can spend as much as $2,500 more each year using your car instead of taking public transit. It’s not always a glamorous or convenient way to get from point A to point B, but buses and trains are cheap, and if you reside in the Big Apple or the big anything else, saving cash on in-city travel is a bargain you shouldn’t pass up.

Find No Cost Entertainment Options

One of the many great things about live in highly populated areas is free entertainment. It seems like whenever large groups reside near each other, they somehow figure out that it makes perfect sense to put on free concerts, circuses and public performances of all kinds. There are also museums, vast parks and lots of historic sites to see in the metropolis. That means you can spend at least the first couple years acting like a tourist and seeing the sights of the place you now call home.

Refinance Student Loans

Moving from a smaller town to a larger one entails cost-cutting. One of the most efficient ways to reduce your monthly expenses is by refinancing student loans. Not only will you have more available cash due to the lower monthly payments, but you’ll likely have a lower interest rate and much more time to pay off the entire debt. A refi makes solid sense for anyone contemplating a move to a major metro area.

Track All Spending

When you first arrive in your new residence, sit down and make a simple spreadsheet to track spending. It’s easy to leak money from your budget when you arrive in a place like Dallas, Miami or San Francisco. It’s important to watch every penny for the first month or two so you know where all the cash is going and what tourist traps you need to avoid.

Plan Meals a Week or Two in Advance

One of the most efficient ways to conserve your funds is to only eat out one or two times per week. Plan all other meals as eating in, and shop accordingly. Remember, a written weekly meal plan can save you more than any other lifestyle change.

Photo Getty Images

Kobe Bryant was among five people killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California.

According to reports, the 41-year-old Lakers legend was traveling in a private helicopter when it crashed and burst into flames.

Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion, was widely considered one of the greatest players in basketball’s history.

Tributes from celebrities and fellow sports stars have been pouring in, many expressing shock at his sudden death.

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The identities of the other victims have not yet been released.

In a statement, the City of Calabasas said it was “with great sadness that we learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and four others in a helicopter crash”.

The statement added: “The aircraft went down in a remote field off Las Virgenes around 10:00 this morning. Nobody on the ground was hurt.”

Gavin Masak, who lives nearby, told CBS News of the moment the helicopter crashed.

He said: “It wasn’t exactly like an explosion sound but it was like a loud boom. It sounded like a helicopter, but it sounded like a jet, like it was loud, so I went inside and told my dad what was happening. So when I came out I saw smoke on the hill but it wasn’t like a big, black cloud of smoke, it was just grey.”

Other eyewitnesses told celebrity news site TMZ they heard the helicopter’s engine sputtering before it went down.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department shared pictures from the scene of the accident, showing a fire truck and smoke emerging from the hills.

The FAA identified the crashed helicopter as a Sikorsky S-76. It said it was investigating the accident alongside the NTSB.

Officials are set to give further details at a press conference at 2PM, local time.

Kobe Bryant played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He retired in April 2016.

His achievements include being the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP.

Kobe Bryant was also two-time NBA scoring champion and a two-time Olympic champion.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Boeing 777X, the world’s largest twin-engined plane, has successfully completed its first test flight.

It comes as Boeing attempts to boost its image after its 737 Max plane was grounded last year following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.

The flight took off near Seattle and lasted four hours. Two attempts were called off this week due to high winds.

Further tests are needed before the aircraft enters service with Emirates in 2021.

The 252-foot-long passenger plane had been due to launch this year but has been delayed by some technical difficulties.

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The 777X is a larger and more efficient version of Boeing’s successful 777 mini-jumbo. Standout features include folding wingtips and the world’s largest commercial engines.

777X marketing director Wendy Sowers said: “It represents the great things we can do as a company.”

Boeing says it has sold 309 of the plane – worth more than $442 million each at list prices.

777X will go head-to-head with the Airbus A350-1000 which seats about 360 passengers.

Boeing has been in crisis since the 737 Max crashes, which occurred within five months of each other – first in Indonesia in October 2018 and then in Ethiopia last March.

The company is facing multiple investigations amid accusations that it sacrificed safety as it rushed to get its jets to customers. Boeing is attempting to have the plane re-approved for flight.

The grounding of the 737 Max, which had been Boeing’s best-selling plane, is estimated to have already cost Boeing more than $9 billion.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Tesla has overtaken Volkswagen as the world’s second most valuable automaker, after a dramatic rise in share price pushed its market value to more than $100 billion.

The milestone sets the stage for Tesla’s chief Elon Musk to collect billions in pay tied to hitting that target.

The company’s share price has more than doubled since October, when it reported a rare quarterly profit.

Tesla shares rose 4% on January 22, making its valuation second only to Toyota.

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Although Tesla has some way to go to catch up with Toyota, the Japanese car making giant has a stock market valuation of more than $230 billion.

Some analysts say the rise in price reflects Tesla’s performance in recent months, during which it has opened a factory in Shanghai and met its production goals.

In January, Tesla said it had delivered more than 367,500 cars in 2019 – up 50% from 2018. Investors expect the new factory to act as a springboard that will allow it to capture more of the Chinese market.

Despite the increase, Tesla’s sales remain small compared to those of its competitors.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen delivered almost 11 million vehicles in 2019, while Toyota sold more than 9 million in the first 11 months of 2019.

Tesla has also never made an annual profit and it is facing investigations after complaints about battery fires and unexpected acceleration.

Elon Musk’s company is due to report its latest quarterly results to investors this month.

If Tesla sustains the $100 billion valuation, it could unlock the first piece of a $2.6 billion compensation package for Elon Musk.

The plans calls for Elon Musk to receive payouts in shares over 10 years, with the first award contingent on the company reaching $100 billion in market capitalization and sustaining that value over both a month, and six-month average.

Tesla also had to reach $20 billion in revenue and earn $1.5 billion, after adjusting for items like taxes – thresholds the carmaker reached in 2018.

Tesla was valued at about $55 billion when the pay deal was approved.

Image source Flickr

China and the US have announced a preliminary trade agreement.

The so-called phase one deal will see billions of dollars in tariffs removed or delayed.

US stocks hit a fresh record on hopes there will be a continued softening of trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

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A fresh wave of US tariffs on Chinese imports was due to take effect on December 15. However, this has been canceled for now.

President Donald Trump tweeted: “We will begin negotiations on the phase two deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election.

“This is an amazing deal for all.”

If the new, higher tariffs had gone ahead, Chinese-made goods such as clothing, smartphones, and toys would have become more expensive for Americans just ahead of Christmas.

US negotiators are reportedly offering to significantly reduce existing tariffs on about $360 billion worth of Chinese imports.

In return, China has promised to buy large quantities of US soybeans, poultry and other agricultural products.

The agreement is a deal in principle, which means if China breaks any part of the agreement, the Trump administration has the ability to re-implement tariffs.

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Many of us had never had the chance or opportunity to slam our fists down on a desk and cry out “I need my lawyer!” Not just because we’ve likely never been in a situation where we’d require one and having a lawyer on retainer is incredibly expensive.

Also, there are many different types of lawyers in various situations. You wouldn’t hire an environmental lawyer to handle a criminal case. Just like Baskin Robbins and their 31 flavors of ice cream, there is a lawyer for every occasion.

In some cases, you may need a personal injury lawyer. Deciding if you need a lawyer is one thing but how do you know if you’re going to need a personal injury lawyer?

Below, we run over a few situations and reasons where you might want to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you out.

You Have a Serious Injury

When it comes to personal injury, there has to be some form of negligence by another party. That means tearing your ACL in your men’s basketball league after trying a between the leg dribble move isn’t going to work.

Another party has to have failed in performing its basic duty. You will see this written as the party breaching their duty of care. That’s why many personal injury cases stem from workplace accidents, car crashes, medical accidents, or product liability instances.

So if you’ve suffered a serious injury from negligence or a failure in duty of care, then you might have a strong case on your hands and reach out to personal injury lawyers.

Your Insurance Company Is Acting in Bad Faith

Many times, the first place people will turn to after suffering personal injury is their insurance. After all, that’s why we have insurance, to protect us from those ugly moments.

Insurance companies are rarely easy to deal with and anyone that has had a minor fender bender can attest to this fact. Even though the insurance company may be following their policy and acting within their rights, they still may not be helping you as much as they should.

That’s why having a personal injury lawyer can help navigate you through the difficult paperwork and confusing times to give you the best representation possible.

You’ve Been in an Accident

Once again, the above phrase doesn’t apply to all accidents and scenarios. You can’t hire a personal injury lawyer after you ran into a mailbox while texting and driving.

It has to happen because, once again, another party was negligent. Even if you don’t suffer a severe injury, any kind of injury can apply in this situation. It’s also important to note that the accident couldn’t have been your fault.

So if it was the fault of the machine equipment, hazardous working areas, or a coworker, you might have a strong case this time around.

Legal Experience

As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of different types of lawyers and as someone who may not have the legal wherewithal, trying to navigate your way through paperwork, the legal system, and other lawyers is going to be an impossible uphill climb.

With this legal experience, personal injury lawyers know how to deal with anything that may be thrown your way and can look for creative ways to reach a solution amongst all parties involved.

Plus, having a lawyer on your side can lead to the best outcome, like avoiding trial and being able to settle out of court. Even though roughly 90% of personal injury cases are settled out of court, you want to avoid falling into that 10% category.

It’s a Time Saver

Legal matters aren’t like they are in the movies. Jury decisions take days instead of minutes and settlements usually aren’t reached that quickly. Settling a personal injury case is no small thing and trying to do it alone is going to take a ton of your precious time.

Having a lawyer is likely to speed up the process, not because they’re superhumans, but because they know how to navigate the system and what processes to look out for.

So if you find yourself in an accident or injured because of negligence, make sure you do the right thing and hire a personal injury lawyer.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Although the DevOps concept is just a decade old, the philosophy has found its way into the offices of corporations around the world—and especially among newer businesses and startups. DevOps isn’t just a singular notion; it’s a philosophy and culture movement built upon the foundation that companies should have processes in place to integrate communication between development and operations team. 

The overarching goal is to deliver quicker, and in a more secure way. DevOps tools are designed to automate many of the processes involved in development work. Today, there are even platforms like JFrog that help businesses run a fully automated DevOps pipeline from code to production. Overall, you’ll benefit from better company culture, a higher level of transparency, and quicker deliverables. 

Since DevOps hit the scene, many companies have attempted to nix their traditional, siloed approach to development in favor of this trending, integrated approach. And while big businesses like Amazon and Netflix are succeeding with DevOps, other companies are still strongly to bring it into their organizations. Here’s why: 

Fear of Change

The development world is experiencing a major culture shift, but for many organizations and developers, this level of change is scary. This is especially true for software businesses that have been around for quite some time. They trust their processes, and are accustomed to running the business a certain way. However, it’s important to understand that businesses that don’t adopt and embrace new technology will quickly find themselves left behind in the dust of their tech-savvy competitors. 

Fear of change is normal, but it’s important to address those fears head on—particularly when the future of the company depends upon it. This might mean you have to do some restructuring and hire leaders who understand DevOps and can facilitate its integration. Businesses should be careful not to move too quickly, which can cause further unrest as employees across different departments struggle to learn and catch up. 

Not Focusing on Building DevOps Architecture 

One of the biggest reasons companies fail with DevOps is because they don’t set up the technology and processes that fuel it correctly. DevOps is about much more than a mindset centered around conjoining business operations. You’ll also need the tools in place to carry your goals through. Many companies believe that if they start investing in technology that aligns with DevOps, they can simply push code quicker right away. This isn’t the case. Like anything else, you have to build your foundation before it can hold anything at all. 

While the goal of DevOps is to shorten development lifecycles, spearheading DevOps for the first time requires you to take a step back and slow down. Analyze areas of your workflow and identify bottlenecks and communication gaps. From here, you can decide which tools contribute to solutions. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” The same concept can be applied to DevOps. Even the strongest man would have trouble chopping a tree with a dull ax. Similarly, put in the necessary steps to ensure you have the proper workflows in place to progress. 

Not Treating It Like a Product

As previously mentioned, a foundation is necessary to propel with DevOps successfully. It helps to treat DevOps implementation just as you would a product build. First thing’s first: you need a road map. A big bang approach can quickly spiral out of control. With a detailed pipeline and micro steps, you’re less likely to run into issues or overburden your team. 

For example, you might break down your DevOps goals by quarter. In one quarter, you might focus on shifting company culture and preparing the organization for what’s to come. In the next, you might integrate database administrators into the DevOps process. After that, you’ll focus on the technology necessary to automate your deployments. 

Failing to Measure

Any time you start a new project or goal, there needs to be a method in place for measuring progress. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you should measure your starting weight and come back to compare new results. But it’s not just about the starting and ending numbers: everything in between matters, too. Creating SMART goals is crucial here. Do you want to push applications to the frontline quicker? Improve code quality? Reduce the amount of bug fixes? These are all metrics you should be able to come back to later on to determine how DevOps played a role in those goals. Understanding where your successes are also motivates you to continue on. 


Because your home is a special place where you and your family can relax while feeling secure. We know that buying your first home comes with plenty of overwhelming responsibilities. So, if you’re planning a big investment, homeowner insurance is exactly what you need to maintain and protect what you already have and gain a sense of security. For those who want to avoid the risk of a huge financial loss in the event of a tragic event or even natural disasters, homeowner insurance is what they need. Protecting your home should be a vital aspect of your investment plans. When it comes to your family’s future and safety this should be necessary, but as other huge investments in your life, this requires planning and patience.

Dwelling Coverage

The best thing about homeowners insurance is that even though something happens to your home, you can avoid huge repair costs. It might take the burden off your shoulders knowing that your home insurance can cover the costs of repair or rebuilding after a natural disaster or a burglary. Sometimes such events are unavoidable therefore looking for signing with the right insurance company is the wisest decision you’ve made. 

It depends very much of the place you live, a reason why you should know what type of insurance you actually need. If you live in Florida, then you’ll be more likely to encounter hurricanes, sinkholes or flood damage. You should consider wind insurance in Florida if you want to assure your family’s safety and peace of mind when it comes to their future. Ensuring your home for such disasters is what you can do best if you want to avoid huge financial losses. 

Other Structures 

Another great aspect of home insurance is that not only your house is covered, but other structures on your propriety too. Because everything can be possible at some point signing homeowner insurance is a smart move. It doesn’t matter if you have a backyard fence, a tool shed, a swimming pool or a detached garage, signing other structures coverage, will cover a fragment of the insurance you have on your dwelling, which is usually 10% of your total coverage. It doesn’t matter where you live as long as your goods and structures are insured. Having your garage covered will make you feel much safer in the event of a natural disaster or robbery.  

It Covers Your Personal Belongings

Because we all valuable items in our home, being afraid of unexpected future events it’s not a solution. Homeowner insurance will protect your goods such as electronics, clothes, fine art pieces and jewellery you certainly don’t want to lose. Before anything, the smartest move would be to plan an inventory. Whenever you sign insurance you want to be sure they pay you fairly for whatever you’ve lost. After an unfortunate event, you should make a list of every valuable item and validate the value of that loss. Your insurance company wants to make sure you’re honest about you loses and their value therefore, the following steps might help you build an idea on what you can do. 

  • Collect all your available receipts or cancelled checks that prove the value of your items. 
  • Most important, create a list with every damaged item and the degree of damage of each possession. You can even photograph or videotape the damage.
  • If possible, collect every surviving photo or video taken with your valuable goods before the damage.

Protects your Liability 

Having liability protection on your home insurance is considered by many a smart investment. Anything can happen on your propriety, maybe the neighbor slips on your icy stairs or maybe your dog bites the mailman. These small unexpected events may cost you more than you think, a reason why you should consider signing home insurance. This will help you cover your essential medical expenses, lost wages and legal fees. This will even allow you to preserve your house equity. Whenever you plan to make renovation and upgrade something in your house, the value of your home will increase. If you wish to protect your investment you should consider this liability protection as being a smart move. 

Additional Living Expenses 

Additional living expenses are an important part of your home insurance policy. It is perfectly developed to help you overcome financial loses and stay safe while your house is under repairs after a disaster. It covers restaurant and hotel bills and even the moving costs you encounter after an unexpected event. This additional living expenses will offer you great comfort in trying times. 

Your Lender May Require It

Even though you don’t have a proprietary yet, planning to invest in home insurance may offer you plenty of benefits. Given the unexpected events, more lenders require proof of your insurance. This should be a necessary move because it protects your home from damage caused by natural disasters, robbery or fire. In case you don’t have insurance, your lender can buy one on your name. But as you probably know, this will add the costs on your monthly expenses. Homeowner insurance will not cause a hole in your budget if you find the option that’s right for you. In most cases, its value adapts with the quality so this will offer you huge satisfaction. 

Because it doesn’t matter if you’ve just bought a house or you’ve just rented, insuring your home it’s a necessary investment. Just thinking about a catastrophic event like a tornado or a fire can be a nightmare. Those who already experienced such unfortunate events know very well what it takes to endure all those repair costs. Fortunately, these things can be avoided if you plan to invest in home insurance. This should be a wise decision if you wish to ensure your financial stability and your family’s safety. Having homeowner insurance will offer you’re a sense of comfort regarding your future and it will take a burden off your shoulders. 


Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

A mortgage note is a financial document detailing the payments for a loan used to buy a property. Those who hold one for a home, business, or other property can sell it and get a lump sum of cash. While that sounds enticing, before leaping in, you’ll want to know how to make money with mortgage notes and get the maximum amount you can.

The average mortgage loan as of January 2017 was $309,200, according to The Motley Fool’s Million Acres site. Still, no matter what the principal of your mortgage is, you won’t be getting that exact amount. The better news is that you can still receive a significant offer – and you can get the highest amount possible by following some industry tips.

Selling Your Mortgage Note

First, you’ll want to know how to sell your private mortgage note. While it might sound complicated and require quite a bit of time and effort, the process is relatively simple. There are plenty of companies out there willing to purchase your mortgage note, taking on the risk as the notes are backed with collateral. You’ll need your trust deed or mortgage, and to find the best company to work with. Typically, you’ll complete an online form or make a phone call to get an offer. The offer is based on the current market, the terms of the note, property appraisal, and the company’s rates. Most companies will provide an attorney, so you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for a real estate lawyer.

Getting the Best Value For Your Note

Insider industry experts say there are several ways to get the best possible value for your mortgage note.

Your buyer has decent credit. The higher the credit score of your borrower/property buyer, the more money you’ll be able to get for your mortgage note. Most notes that are owner financed are completed because the buyer has less than stellar credit, which is okay. Still, if it’s below 580, the note might be challenging to sell. Again, the higher the score, the higher your offer is likely to be for the note.

The note includes land and a home or building. Contracts that include both are generally more likely to be approved.

The down payment. The cash that you received from the buyer at the time of the sale, or down payment, determines if the note can be sold. The note will sell for more money, the higher the down payment is. If the buyer only put down 5%, for example, you’re unlikely to get much of an offer, and you may not get one at all. Typically, it should be at least 10%, but you’ll get a more significant offer if the down payment is between 20% and 30%.

Shorter terms. Mortgage notes with shorter terms will get you a larger offer.

Current interest rates. If the current interest rates are low, the value of your note will increase. If they’re higher, you may want to wait until they start to dip. If the interest rate attached to the note exceeds the maximum usury law amount where the property is located, the note will be worthless to note investors.

Image source Wikimedia

US insurance might be the most expensive thing in the market if you don’t have any knowledge about how this system actually works. If you don’t have any experience in this field then there is a higher probability that the companies will rip you off before giving you any advantage. In this article you will learn a few steps which you need to take before going for any insurance which will help you to get the lowest insurance quotes in US.

  1. Gather Information:

This is one of the major rules of life which you should apply on everything before taking any step. When it comes to insurance, there are multiple companies who are waiting for you to join their company so that they can ruin your life. You need to gather information first, get multiple quotes from different companies and when you have surveyed in the market then sit down and chose the best option. You cannot get the perfect choice in the first place; you need to work hard for it and once you have don’t it you will be able to see the result yourself.

2. Ask for Discounts:

There are multiple companies who have the discount options for new clients but they won’t bring it out until you ask them for it. Ask from people in your social circle who have got the insurance from the same company and get more discounts through referrals which is one of the most effective ways of getting bonuses. Always go for the bigger payments because the more you pay the more you will save. It is very obvious that the package which will you get annually will be much cheaper than the one which you will get on a monthly basis or quarterly.

3. Keep Your Record Clean:

In US people having the clear record get the most benefits. Many companies don’t even entertain their clients if they have any criminal background or have a criminal record. They consider it very risky and they take these matters very seriously. Even if they would agree to entertain you then the quotes or packages which you will get will be much higher than an average person.

4. Maintain Your Balance and Credit History:

This factor is considered as the backbone in this field. There are chances if you have a very good bank balance then the insurance company will be reaching you out with their latest exciting offers so that they can bring you in their company. The second part is your credit history which is also very important. If you are not paying your dues on time, then every company will be thinking twice before giving out any plan to you and it is expected that they would be coming up with high insurance quotes. On the contrary, a person having a good credit history who is paying his dues on time that person is known as a golden client for any company and they will go to their extreme so that you can join their company.


These are the few steps or measures which you need to keep in mind at all times when you would be going for any insurance in US.

Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

Are you always ready for the winter when the season begins to change? If not, you may want to pay close attention to this information, especially as it pertains to preparing your furnace properly in advance. A big part of this preparation is to anticipate what could go wrong with your furnace before you are stuck with a big emergency repair bill and a very cold frigid home.

That being said, you may want to start by reviewing some of the most common reasons why your furnace needs to be repaired. Once you know this information, you can be proactive by contacting your local HVAC technician to inspect your heating system to identify any potential problems that could surface during the coldest months of the year. So, let’s get started with this list.

1. Neglected Furnace – Homeowner Doesn’t Schedule Regular Maintenance

Sometimes the biggest problem that a homeowner may encounter with their furnace is often related to the lack of maintenance and furnace repair. Maintaining your furnace problem should be on the top of your priority list since experts in the HVAC industry are skilled in identifying issues with your furnace that can be prevented. For instance, if you do not call in an HVAC professional regularly, the filter inside of these units can easily become clogged. Once these filters get too dirty, it has to work harder to keep your home warm. Also, if the homeowner and the HVAC technician do not clean these filters as they should, a number of different Furnace repair problems can occur, including extensive damage to the furnace and constantly rising energy bills.

To prevent problems with regular maintenance schedules, you should make sure that you implement an annual practice of having your heater serviced. The recommended time frames for you and other homeowners are usually before the winter months arrive or right after the end of the winter season. These are considered to be the best times for an HVAC Technician to complete maintenance and any repairs that need to be done. By being faithful to these regular schedules,

2. The Heating System Begins to Make Odd Noises

Another common heating repair problem that many homeowners and their family experience involve the sound of odd noises radiating from their unit. Based on what is happening, these noises can differ in sound. For instance, the furnace may begin to squeal loudly or make a loud, humming noise. In either case, these sounds tend to indicate that a huge problem is occurring. If you do not recognize these sounds or what they mean, you need to hire an HVAC technician that knows what these noises mean. For instance, if you begin to hear loud humming or buzzing coming from your heating unit, you may find that the blower motor is giving out, and the failure is inevitable. These are common problems that can be prevented and repaired if you address them as early as possible.

3. The Furnace Is Blowing Out Cold Air

When you turn on your furnace, you may hear the motor kick on strong, and it looks like everything is really alright. However, when you begin to observe the unit closer, the air that is blowing is no longer warm or hot, but cold instead. Unfortunately, this is a repair problem that may be related to a variety of issues. So, you or your HVAC technician may need to start troubleshooting to determine what is really going on. For instance, you may discover that there is an issue with the pilot light not coming on. Or, you may see an issue that involves unclogging the condensate line. In some cases, this line may not be properly insulated, which can lead to ice blocking the line.

Whatever the case or situation, the simplest test to solve is checking the thermostat to see if the temperature is set at a warm temperature.

4. The Blower is Constantly Running Non-Stop

You or someone in your family may notice that the furnace is constantly running. In fact, there are no signs that the unit is going to cut off. Normally, when this occurs, this problem can be traced to a bad limit switch. When you contact your HVAC technician to take care of this repair problem, one of the first things that they may do is to inspect and identify the problem and then replace the bad limit switch with a new one. This is a problem that needs to be repaired as quickly as possible to avoid other extensive damage from occurring.

5. Cracked Heat Exchanger

If you have a gas furnace in your home, there are some problems that you cannot ignore. One of the most notable is a cracked heat exchanger since this device can lead to toxic gases seeping out into your home. Sometimes it may be difficult to determine if the heat changer is actually damaged with the naked eye, so it is best to call a professional to inspect for hidden cracks.

In some cases, a damaged heat exchanger may be discovered from other signs and symptoms that your family may begin to notice. For instance, if someone in the family smells a strong odor that gives off hints of formaldehyde, it is important to call a technician right away. These smells can be so harsh that it can make your family’s head hurts.

6. Heating System Unit Turns On and Off Frequently

If you notice your unit turning on and off frequently, this is also a common sign that repairs need to be performed. Here are at least three causes that a technician will need to correct when they enter your home, according to Pure Air Solutions Furnace Repairs:

  • Bad thermostat setting
  • Airflow in the unit is improper
  • Clogged Filter that Needs to be Cleaned

7. Faulty Ignitor

When you have problems with the heating systems ignitor, it needs to be corrected as soon as possible. There are several different reasons for these types of problems to occur, and they need to be corrected once the issue has been identified. For instance, if there is a draft in the room where your furnace is located, it will make it very difficult for the pilot light to remain on. In some cases, to correct these issues, it may be just a matter of closing windows to prevent the drafts from flowing in.

Image source Commons Wikimedia

Saudi oil giant Aramco has confirmed it is planning to list on the Riyadh stock exchange, in what could be the world’s biggest IPO.

The state-owned company will determine the IPO launch price after registering interest from investors.

According to business sources, the Saudis are expected to make shares available for 1% or 2% of the firm, and the offer will be for existing company shares.

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company is thought to be worth about $1.2 trillion.

Saudi Aramco said it has no current plans for a foreign share listing, saying long-discussed plans for a two-stage IPO including an offering on a foreign exchange had been put aside for now.

Aramco chair Yasir al-Rumayyan told a media conference: “For the (international) listing part, we will let you know in due course. So far it’s only on Tadawul.”

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Potential risks were highlighted in September when drone attacks hit the Abqaiq oil facility and the Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia, both owned by Aramco.

However, Aramco boss Amin Nasser, who called the plans “historic”, told a media conference after the IPO statement was published that the firm was still the most reliable oil company globally.

In its launch announcement Aramco said: “The company does not expect the impact of these attacks to have a material impact on its business, financial condition or results of operations.”

Aramco traces its roots to 1933 when a deal was struck between Saudi Arabia and the Standard Oil Company of California, which later became Chevron, to survey and drill for oil, creating a new company to do so.

Between 1973 and 1980, Saudi Arabia bought the whole company.

Saudi Arabia has the second-biggest oil reserves after Venezuela. It is also second in production, after the US. But it gets its prominence because it has the monopoly on all that oil in the country, and because of how cheap it is to extract.

Saudi Aramco is worth $1.2 trillion, according to analysis from financial news service Bloomberg, although Riyadh would prefer a valuation of $2 trillion, which is one reason the company’s share sale has been delayed a number of times.

According to Labor Department data, US companies added 128,000 new jobs, ahead of a forecast 85,000 rise, during October, when thousands of workers walked out at General Motors.

Last month’s employment was more resilient than expected despite the impact of strike action at the auto maker.

The unemployment rate edged up slightly to 3.6% from 3.5% in September, which had been the lowest rate since 1969.

According to analysts, the data supported the Federal Reserve’s comments earlier this week that the economy is in good shape.

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President Donald Trump immediately praised “blowout” jobs data, stating that adjusted employment figures showed growth of 303,000 roles. However, this includes upgrades to figures from previous months and other adjustments.

He tweeted: “Wow, a blowout JOBS number just out, adjusted for revisions and the General Motors strike, 303,000. This is far greater than expectations. USA ROCKS!”

The jobs data for August and September was revised upwards. In August, 51,000 more roles than originally thought were added to the US economy and 44,000 more jobs were created in September.

The data from the Labor Department showed that the manufacturing sector shed 36,000 positions last month, the biggest fall for a decade.

However, within manufacturing, employment in the motor vehicles and parts sector declined by 42,000 because of the strike at GM. Striking employees are treated as unemployed in the US statistics.

The White House said that 60,000 jobs were affected by the GM strikes.

Public sector payrolls fell in October because 20,000 temporary workers who had been preparing for the 2020 Census completed their work.

On October 30, the Federal Reserve cut the key interest rate, but signaled that there would not be further reductions in the near term.

Image source: Wikipedia

When it comes to buying a car the most important decision to make is whether to buy a brand new car or a second hand car. The important factors to keep in mind are that once you drive the brand new car off of the car dealer’s porch, its price will immediately decrease by 25%. Another important point is that you get to drive a better model and a better car within the same budget if you go for a pre-loved car. Both these factors result in a lot of people opting for used cars. Now, buying a secondhand car is an art and not everyone is an expert in bagging a good deal. However, a few tips can help you make the right decision. Some of them are as follows:

1. Check the MOT detail and history of the car: It’s important to know how well the car has been maintained by the previous owner. The MOT detail will tell you just that. Also, knowing the following will help you in knowing about the health of your car:

  • Has the car has been in an accident before?
  • Has it ever been stolen?
  • Are all the parts of the car original?
  • Has the car ever been repainted?
  • How many previous owners has the car had? Etc.

2. Go to a reliable dealer: If you have sound knowledge about cars then you are good on your own. However, if not then there are two ways either to take a mechanic with you who knows about cars or go to a reliable dealer. Dealers like KAP Motors, have extremely strict criterion for getting a used car to qualify for being sold under KAP’s name. Only the best of the lot gets selected. So if you need help in buying used Fiat car in Brighton? Visit KAP Motors and they will be sure to help you find what you are looking for. You don’t have to worry about checking the history or condition of the car. KAP provides you with a detailed report of all this so that you know what you are getting. They have got your back on this.   

3. Go for a car that is a year Old: The price of a car that has been driven for about 10,000 miles falls off by 27% which reduces its upfront cost by a tonne. For an average car 10,000 miles is achieved in about a year’s time so hunting a car that is a year old can really get you a good bargain.

4. Always test-drive the car: If you are a driver you would know what a strong engine’s drive will feel like. Remember, never compromise on the smoothness of the ignition. The car’s ignition should not have a problem, that is, it starts immediately without making any funny noises and second; how does the drive feel. A strong engine will give you a smooth, controlled drive.

Keeping these tips on the top of your mind when you head out to scout for a second hand car will help you strike a good deal and you will end up buying a decent ride for yourself!


They say that a company is only as good as its employees. And that’s true. After all, employees are the ones who implement strategies, deal with customers, and deliver results on a daily basis. However, in 2019, not all employees work for a company in a full-time capacity. Indeed, many companies hire freelancers on a semi-regular basis, and some reports predict that freelance professionals will outnumber “traditional” employees by the end of the next decade. The good news for business owners is that hiring the right freelancers can give them a massive edge and set their company up for success. Here, we’ll list four kinds of freelancers who can help your business significantly. Check them out below:


In an era when “content is king” a good copywriter can provide a company with many tangible advantages. Copywriters are able to process new information quickly, compose engaging content efficiently, and can often offer support to social media channels through posts as well. Even if your business doesn’t create content regularly, it’s a good idea to have a trusted copywriter on your side.

Financial Advisor

Hiring a freelance financial advisor or analyzer to take a look at your books from time to time can help you avoid major financial mistakes and form a cogent investment plan for the future. A little advice is in this matter can go a long way toward ensuring the viability of your business.

SEO Expert

Many startups could benefit from the experience of a professional marketer like an SEO expert or a PPC consult. Freelance marketers can help small businesses maximize their visibility on search engines and garner more meaningful leads in the process. Investing in marketing support early on could set your company up for sustained success down the line.

Web Designer

A company’s website is one of –– if not its most –– important commodities. Websites allow businesses to promote themselves, engage with customers, and, crucially, make sales. As such, it’s imperative that new businesses hire a professional web designer to guarantee that their site is not only operational and functional, but that it’s appealing and modern as well. A poorly designed website can undermine even the most solid business models. 

The Bottom Line

As your company grows, it may make sense to hire one or more of these freelancers to a full-time position. But until that day comes, you should look for help from professionals in the freelance market. Just because you can’t afford to bring on an employee in a full-time capacity, doesn’t mean you should ignore marketing or web development issues. Instead, find capable freelancers and build relationships with them. Doing so is essential to your business’s future.


When you have bad credit, it might seem like getting a loan is simply impossible. You could really use that extra money in an unexpected financial pinch, but you don’t know if anyone is going to help you out with a loan because of your credit. All is lost, and there is no hope for bringing it back around, right? Wrong.

Even if you have bad credit, there are workarounds to find a good deal on a loan. By playing your cards right, you can leverage offers from other lenders to get your loan exactly how you want it. To help you find a good loan with bad credit, we put together four tips that will make your hunt easier.

Image source Max Pixel

1 – Shop Around to Compare Rates

No one said you could only ask one lender, so why would you? You can talk to as many different lenders as you want, and you should. As you start to shop around, you can get a better understanding of what different lenders are willing to offer you on your loan. 

Say you need to cover an emergency home expense. You can find lenders that specialize in helping people secure a line of credit loans for bad credit. These lenders will be able to give you different offers on what you want, so put them head to head. You can compare them on interest rates, payment periods, and the overall amount the lenders are willing to give you. That gives you a good idea of what you can get with your credit.

2 – Understand You Will Pay More with Bad Credit

Your credit score will affect how much you pay on your monthly loan premium. If you enter your loan agreement with a bad credit score, you should be prepared for two things. 

The first is that you might not get the amount of money you were looking for when you enter an agreement with bad credit. Since you don’t have a good standing with credit, you may need to work your way towards larger loans. If you opt for something like a line of credit, you can raise the lending bar by paying back what you take, especially when you pay more than the monthly minimum. If you pay it all off month over month, you can watch your credit score change over time.

The second thing you need to keep in mind is that bad credit means you will usually have higher interest rates and payments. Since the lenders see a low credit score, they may assume they might not see all of the money come back, at least not at the pace they like. To counteract this, lenders may charge you higher premiums on a loan, so they can make sure they are getting what they can each month. Just like your limit, a good payment history can help reduce these monthly payments on something like a line of credit. 

3 – Work With Lenders That Trust You

If you can’t really find a lender that meets your needs, you might want to go back to the places you are in good standing with. Say you have had a bank account for a long time with the same institution. It wasn’t this account that started your credit issues, and as a matter of fact, you only have a shiny record with that bank or lender. You might want to take your other offers and see if they can do anything better. Even the bigger banks and lenders can bend their rules based on their discretion, so you might get a better offer from that lender than you could get from anyone else. 

4 – Don’t Extend Your Loan Beyond Your Needs

Even if you get an offer back that accepts you for far more than you were hoping for, you should still just get what you need. If you are starting a line of credit, you will start to see the maximum allowance go up as you pay back what you borrowed. That doesn’t mean you should just start tapping into that bigger budget because it’s there. If you can’t fit those additional expenses into your current budget, you will dig yourself into a hole. That hole will start to hurt your credit, and that’s the exact opposite of what we are trying to do here.

The same rule applies for fixed installment loans. Just because you are approved for a certain amount doesn’t mean you have to use it all. Instead, try to have 20% of it for a budget for paying back your loan and getting the account in good standing. This will really help you out if you fall on hard months where you might not make the payments. When you get down to just that amount being owed, you can pay it all back at once.

Think About Your Budgeting

If you really go into this with a plan to pay it back on time, you will be able to make a loan work. If you take that plan and shop around, you can find the best deal on a loan, even if your credit is bad. Remember, you can talk to them about offers you already have to try and pull some leverage. Competition among lenders could turn into a better deal for you.


You might believe you got a good deal when you pay a meager price for a salvaged car. However, such cars have probably been rebuilt after being utterly destroyed in an accident. Car insurance companies usually quote higher premium rates to insure these rebuilt vehicles. Some automobile insurance agencies will not insure a salvaged car while others offer liability coverage. Very few insurance companies provide full coverage for such cars as it is difficult to assess all damages to the vehicle.

What Does It Mean When A Car Has A Salvage Title?

A salvage title, also popularly known as a branded title, is issued to a vehicle after it has been labeled as a total loss.  This is the opposite of a clean title which is what cars that have never suffered severe damage are issued. If a vehicle suffers extreme damage and the cost of repair is more than a certain percentage of the cars cash value, a total loss has happened. Different automobile car insurers in different states use varying levels as a benchmark for the total loss, but the value ranges between 90% and 60%.

Once a car insurance company makes a total loss declaration and issues a salvage certificate, the car can no longer be registered and can no longer be driven on public roads. Insurance companies typically go on to auction salvaged cars off to salvage yards or rebuilders. If a salvaged car is rebuilt correctly and passes the necessary tests, a rebuilt certificate can be issued for it. If the vehicle was restored but still declared unfit to drive, it is given a non-repairable title instead. Such a vehicle can never be driven again and is only used for parts or dumped altogether.

Does A Salvage Title Affect The Price Of Car Insurance Premiums?

There are varied reasons why the premium rate for car insurance will increase. Typically, the elements that cause premium rates to increase depending on how high risk the policyholder is. According to car insurance companies, driving a salvaged car makes you a very high-risk client. For this reason, premium rates for salvaged vehicles tend to be much higher than average.

A car can only be issued a salvage title if it passes inspection after rebuilding. But there could be many defects hiding in covered areas, waiting to manifest at the slightest encouragement. Such errors could even lead to unfortunate accidents, and that is the biggest concern of auto insurance companies.

Another reason most insurance companies will not touch a salvaged car with a 6-foot pole is they are difficult to value. Comprehensive collision insurance might be a good deal for your salvaged car, but since your insurance provider finds it hard to value the vehicle, you should expect costly rates. Other insurance covers, including uninsured motorist and liability insurance, might not cost more than usual because the value of the car is not considered for determining premium rates.

Is It Worth It To Buy Full Coverage On A Salvage Car?

The search for an auto insurance company that will cover a salvaged car is only the beginning; getting a reasonably priced quote is another ball game. While some people prefer to have full coverage, even for salvage title cars, some wonder if it is worth it. Car insurance companies generally estimate standard cars value lower than expected. You can assume that this will be lower for salvaged vehicles. Only about 80% of the cars salvage value will get to you.

Another consideration when contemplating full coverage for salvaged cars is that your vehicle starts worthless. Insurance is usually paid out based on the value of the car involved, so get ready to be paid much less if your salvaged car is badly damaged in the future.


Cars with a salvage title are typically much cheaper than conventional vehicles. A lot of professionals advice car buyers to avoid buying salvaged cars or rebuilding total loss cars but these cars can still be driven and insured. Some car insurance companies will not provide coverage for salvaged cars, some only offer limited liability, but a few can offer full salvage title insurance coverage for vehicles with salvage titles. 

If you have done proper research and decided to buy and use a salvaged car long term, you can be covered by individual car insurance firms. You should ask your car insurance provider about their stance on insuring salvage cars. Also, inquire about additional coverage you may be able to get with their regular packages. If you can find a provider with a good deal, go ahead and make an offer. Make sure you have confirmed that there will be no severe limitations for filing a claim with a salvage title car before you go ahead. Your insurance provider might even negotiate the value of the vehicle with you to provide you with the best premium rates possible.

Nobody wants to be known for designing cars that people crash. But cars used to be designed to look beautiful, rather than promote the safety of their occupants. These days, manufacturers put their resources towards making a safe car, right at the start of the design process.

There is a huge difference in safety between the best and the worst cars. In fact, a driver in the least safe car is 10 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed than in the safest car. So what makes a car safe? There are three elements: good structure, passive safety and safety assist technologies.

Image by Saiful Anwar from Pixabay

Good Structure

The structure of a car is its shell, and this is the main protector. It has to withstand the force of a crash and channel those forces away from all occupants. A good structure will protect the driver and passengers and have effective crumple zones to absorb the energy of the crash.

During a crash, a safe car cabin can maintain its shape. The steering column, dashboard, roof pillars, pedals and floor panels do not push too much inwards. Doors remain closed, but can be opened afterwards for quick rescue. Side door strength, padding and seating all protect from common, side impact crashes.

Passive Safety Features

Well-designed cars now have built-in safety features, such as airbags, ABS brakes, electronic stability control, seat belts and seat belt pre-tensioners to manage the forces of impact. While airbags have been around a long time, they have become a lot more sophisticated.

Always look for front, side, curtain and knee pedestrian airbags for maximum safety. For example, head-protecting side airbags such as curtain airbags, work well in side impact crashes and rollovers.

Safety Assist Technologies

Advanced driver assist (ADAS) technologies actively help to prevent or reduce the severity of a crash. They may be semi-autonomous or fully autonomous. For example, intelligent speed adaptation (ISA), blind spot monitoring (BSM) autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and active lane keep assist (LKA). Note manufacturers currently use different terms for the same kinds of systems, which can be confusing.

Crash Testing

How do we know some cars are safer than others? From the results of crash testing. US Insurance Institute for Highway (IIHS) and Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) are two bodies that routinely conduct crash tests and award star ratings.

IIHS front-end crashed a 1997 Pontiac Trans Sport/Chevrolet Venture. The door frame buckled, the steering wheel pushed into the driver’s face and the cabin completely collapsed. After a redesign in 2005 using high-tensile strength materials and a more rigid structure, crash forces dissipated through the floor. The engine slid under the vehicle rather than into the driver.

ANCAP compared two models of Toyota Corolla 5-door hatchback, one built in 1998 and one in 2015. The latest model has six airbags, ABS, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist as standard. 1998 has none of these. The 1998 model crumpled heavily with extreme risk of serious head, chest and leg injury to driver and scored 0 stars. The 2015 model had minimal damage and scored 5 stars.

Design Saves Lives

Nobody wants to see a member of their family or a friend get hurt in a crash. We know the design of a car is crucial to keeping the driver and occupants safe. Moreover, most insurers reward people who drive safer cars with lower premiums. Safer cars help protect the vulnerable people around you, who are innocently going about their business.

It is worth buying a car that is not only designed to be beautiful, but keeps everyone safe.


NFL star Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by his former personal trainer, Britney Taylor.

Britney Taylor, who decided to forgo her right to anonymity, said Antonio Brown assaulted her on three occasions, according to a civil lawsuit she filed.

Antonio Brown has denied the allegations.

His new team, the New England Patriots, said that the NFL was also launching an investigation.

The complaint says that the two met at a bible study class in 2010.

Antonio Brown later hired Britney Taylor, who is a gymnast, in 2017, to improve his flexibility.

However, according to the lawsuit, the NFL player assaulted her twice in training sessions in June 2017, and she stopped working with him.

The lawsuit reads that Antonio Brown “reached out to Ms Taylor, expressing contrition, begging forgiveness and pleading with her to train him again”.

It says she reluctantly agreed but in May 2018 he raped her.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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Antonio Brown’s lawyer, Darren Heitner, said in a statement: “Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit.

“He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations.”

He added that “any interaction… was entirely consensual”.

Antonio Brown has been in the press this week after publicly demanding on Twitter that the Oakland Raiders release him and later receiving a reported $9 million signing bonus for the New England Patriots.

The Patriots are playing the Miami Dolphins on September 15 and it is not clear if he will be on the team.

Antonio Brown’s team said in a statement, in response to the lawsuit: “We take these allegations very seriously.

“Under no circumstances does this organization condone… violence or assault… We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place.”

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/23441549029

While Canada has traditionally ranked quite well in sustainable development areas like quality of urban life and education compared with other wealthy nations, some areas, like greenhouse gas emissions, have presented more of a challenge.

But from gold mining that actually helps to restore the environment, to private companies providing electric vehicle charging stations for their employees, and government funding to provide cleaner energy to remote communities, some truly inspirational work is taking place.  We take a look at just a few recent Canadian sustainable initiatives that are looking to move the needle further in the right direction! 

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tylerkellen/38893947234/sizes/l

Clean power infrastructure for remote communities

Many remote indigenous communities in Canada rely on diesel fuel as their main source of electricity.  Now, thanks to an $11 million grant from the government, Hydro-Quebec will be working with 13 communities in northern Quebec to change that. The funds will go towards a smart-grid project, the implementation of more sources of renewable energy, and new battery storage systems. By 2030, the project hopes to reduce the communities’ use of diesel by 800,000 liters per year, and lower carbon emissions by 7,500 tons.  

Apple and Tiffany & Co partner with RESOLVE to source sustainable Salmon Gold from Canada’s Yukon

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bcvacation/16574179222

While gold mining and environmental conservation have never quite gone hand in hand, a fascinating initiative by non-profit RESOLVE is giving companies the chance to obtain this precious metal while helping to restore the environment.

By combining sustainable re-mining with the restoration of salmon spawning runs in Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon, the idea is to allow nature to reintroduce itself and for indigenous fish species like salmon and grayling to return.

Jewelry giant Tiffany & Co, and Apple (which uses small amounts of gold in some of their electrical components) have already jumped onboard, and RESOLVE expects to source over 1,000 ounces of Salmon Gold this year. Apple will also be making use of blockchain technology to track the gold through their supply chain, all the way back to the source mine and refiner. 

More durable roads through cellular confinement systems (geocells)

Image source: https://www.prs-med.com/en-ca/geocells/cellular-confinement-system/

Many regions in Canada have vast areas of soft peat soil, which makes the construction of roads -especially durable and long-lasting roads- difficult. In addition, traditional construction techniques call for large volumes of high-quality aggregate to be hauled in for use as infill when local soil is unsuitable. This increases both the cost and carbon footprint of the project.

Now, geocell road design in Canada is allowing the process of building new roads to become more sustainable both during and after construction. Through the use of these honeycomb-like geocell layers, lower quantities and qualities of infill (such as locally available sand, soil, or even recycled asphalt paving) can be used in the soil stabilization process – lowering cost, fuel use, pollution and the carbon footprint of the project while extending the road’s lifespan and reducing the need for future maintenance and repairs.     

Bell Canada adds over 40 electric vehicle charging stations for employees

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sanmateocountyphotos/26986071027

Sustainable initiatives aren’t just a way for large companies to play their part in the fight against climate change, they’re a good way to attract and retain top talent too. In an effort to support electric vehicle adoption and improve employee satisfaction, Bell Canada has installed 24 EV charging stations at their Nun’s Island, Montreal headquarters, as well as several others across their network of branches. And it’s worked – since installing the charging stations, the number of Bell employees driving electric vehicles has more than quadrupled.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup 

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In 1994, employees and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium embarked on a beach cleanup in Stanley Park. The word has spread in a big way – and since then, some 800,000 volunteers have collected a whopping 1.3 million kilograms of trash in 21,300 cleanups from coastal and freshwater shorelines across the country.

Now running in partnership with WWF Canada, tens of thousands of Canadians now participate, demonstrating the public’s eagerness to get on board with sustainability initiatives, get their hands dirty, and play their part in promoting awareness of the global plastic crisis. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is now recognized as one of the largest direct action conservation programs in Canada. 

Farm Fresh Food Hub (FFFH) aims to create a more sustainable food system in Manitoba

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The South Osborne Farmers’ Market, led by Farm Fresh Food Hub, returned for its fourth run earlier this year, providing a space for the community to engage with ecologically sustainable food producers and each other. Since 2016, the SOFM has grown from 8 vendors to over 40, offers several eco-friendly initiatives, and also hosts a bi-weekly speaker series, “Chew on this!” which explores important issues around food production, from better utilization of indigenous foods to food justice.


Whether you’re going into your freshman year of college and trying to decide on a major, or are mid-career and looking to make more money or qualify for a promotion, if you enjoy business, management, accounting, marketing or finance there are several degree options available that can put you in a position to embark on a business career that is both personally satisfying and rewarding financially.

While many people might think that all business degrees are basically the same, the truth is that there are several different types of business degrees that each have their own specialization. Whether you’re looking to gain skills before starting a small business, or are interested in a career change within the financial industry, read below to find out about the basic types of business degrees and which business degree’s career path might be right for you.

Once you know which type of business career you are interested in, make an appointment to talk to an advisor at your college or university, either online or in person, to find out what their specific program entails, how long the program will take, what its cost is, and whether you might have transferrable credits from a past degree program.

Business Administration Degrees

A business administration degree is perhaps the most popular and most diversified of all business degrees. These degrees are available at the associates, bachelors and masters degree levels from just about any college or university. Many schools offer concentrations in specific areas of business administration, including health care administration, human resources, accounting, finance and information systems. Through classes that concentrate in certain areas, these degree programs can help students build the skills and business background knowledge they need to qualify for a variety of careers.

Accounting Degrees

To begin a career as a certified public accountant, as an accountant for a large firm or even to be able to successfully keep track of your own accounting systems as a small business owner, a bachelors degree in accounting is what you will need at a minimum. Once they are established in their careers, many people who work as accountants choose to earn a masters in accounting degree. A masters degree in accounting will allow you to advance further in your career as an accountant and earn a higher salary.

Finance Degrees

A bachelors degree in finance will allow you to begin a career in banking, tax preparation, financial analysis, or even in a more specialized role. Interesting careers, like those of a commercial truck trader or college loan officer, are also possible with a finance degree. A masters of business administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance will help give you an edge over other job candidates, will make it possible for you to earn more money, and will help you qualify for high level management positions within the financial industry.

Like a business administration degree, a degree in finance will help you qualify for a wide variety of jobs in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. People with finance degrees are also in demand at colleges and universities, in the health care sector, in government, and in the field of professional sports.

Marketing Degrees

If you are a creative person who is interested in a career in the business world, a degree in marketing might be right for you. A bachelors degree in marketing will allow you to begin a career developing, promoting and selling products and services, either for a corporation or a nonprofit, or for yourself as a business owner.

With a marketing degree, a career in just about any type of industry will be open to you, as marketing is a vital aspect of any successful business or nonprofit. A marketing degree can also help you get into the fields of sales, merchandising and product placement, advertising or public relations, all of which are good career options for creative people.

Some marketing degree programs at the masters level concentrate on the psychological aspects of marketing, such as understanding the reasons for specific consumer behavior patterns, how and why people make buying decisions, and how people from different ethnic and cultural groups might make purchasing decisions differently from one another.

Specialized degrees are now available in the fields of social media marketing and international marketing. The rise of the global economy has made having international marketing skills essential. And in recent years, social media platforms have become one of the most important marketing and advertising tools available.

Seventeen former and current Goldman Sachs bankers have been charged in Malaysia over the corruption investigation at its state development fund 1MDB.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas said custodial sentences and criminal fines would be sought against those charged.

Goldman Sachs helped raise $6.5 billion through bond offerings for 1MDB.

The bank said it would “vigorously” defend the charges.

Tommy Thomas said in a statement: “Custodial sentences and criminal fines will be sought against the accused.”

According to the statement, this was because of the “severity of the scheme to defraud and fraudulent misappropriation of billions in bond proceeds, the lengthy period over which the offences were planned and executed, the number of Goldman Sachs subsidiaries, officers and employers involved and the relative value of the fees and commissions paid to Goldman Sachs for their multiple roles played in arranging, structuring, underwriting and selling the three bonds”.

If convicted, those charged could face prison sentences of up to 10 years and fines of at least one million ringgit ($238,000).

In December 2018, Malaysia filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former employees in connection with the corruption and money-laundering investigation at the fund, which is being investigated in at least six countries.

Among the other individuals named by Malaysia’s attorney general are Michael Sherwood, a former co-head of Goldman’s European operations, and Michael Evans, a former partner who is now president of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.

The charges related to what is being seen as one of the world’s biggest financial scandals.

1MDB Scandal: $4 Billion Stolen from Malaysian State-Owned Fund

Malaysia: Former PM Najib Razak Barred from Leaving the Country

US and Malaysian prosecutors have previously said that the money raised by the state fund went to line the pockets of a few powerful individuals and to buy luxury properties, a private jet, Van Gogh and Monet artworks – and to finance a Hollywood blockbuster, The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

These charges have been brought under the under a section of the Malaysian Capital Markets and Services Act that holds certain senior executives responsible for any offences that may have been committed.

In December 2018, Malaysia filed charges against Goldman Sachs and its former bankers, Tim Leissner and Roger Ng.

Tim Leissner was Goldman’s South East Asia chairman, and left the bank in 2016.

Roger Ng was a managing director at Goldman until his departure in May 2014.

At the time, charges were also filed against local financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low who maintains his innocence, and former 1MDB employee Jasmine Loo Ai Swan.

Tim Leissner has pleaded guilty in the US to conspiring to launder money and violating anti-bribery laws.

The 1MDB state fund was set up by former PM Najib Razak in 2009. He has been accusing of pocketing $681 million from the sovereign wealth fund and pleaded not guilty in April.