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International Seaways completes its merger with Diamond S Shipping


The merged company will continue to operate under the name International Seaways and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol INSW.

The Company expects to achieve cost synergies greater than $ 23 million and revenue synergies of $ 9 million, which are expected to be fully achievable by 2022.

International Seaways is now the second largest listed oil company in the United States by number of vessels with more than 100 vessels and the third by deadweight, totaling approximately 11.3 million dwt.

The shareholders of INSW hold approximately 55.75% of the capital of the combined company and the former shareholders of Diamond S Shippingf hold approximately 44.25%.

“We are delighted to complete this transformational and highly accretive transaction, consolidating our position as a diversified indicator of the petroleum sector,” said Lois Zabrocky, President and CEO of INSW.

“With increased scale, financial strength and commercial expertise, we have significantly strengthened our position to capitalize on favorable long-term industry fundamentals in the crude and commodity markets. As we integrate the combined company, we will continue to focus on continuing to implement our balanced and accretive capital allocation strategy, while maintaining our best ESG track record and continuing to providing safe and efficient transportation of energy cargo for our world-class customers, ”Zabrocky added.

The merger comes at a time when tanker prices have been among the lowest in more than 20 years.


Experts explain the effect of the rapid reopening of the economy

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A few years ago, Yvonne Ferguson-Hardin had no difficulty finding a used car for her eldest daughter. This year, the car races for her youngest daughter were more difficult. And foreigner.

An online salesperson has never shown up to a meeting. Another was actually selling small cars instead of real ones. Then there are the prices: In 2018 Ferguson-Hardin said she paid $ 2,500 for a 2008 Honda Civic. Now she sees prices twice as high for similar cars.

“We look at the price in relation to the miles. It’s just really, really overpriced, ”said Ferguson-Hardin, 56, of Philadelphia.

Consumers these days pay higher prices for many things, from used cars and gasoline to groceries and airline tickets. The consumer price index jumped 5.4 percent in June from the same month last year, the biggest 12-month increase since 2008, according to the US Department of Labor.

Inflation is the result of the economy reopening quickly, experts say. In some cases, companies such as hotels, airlines and car rental companies are standardizing their prices after cutting them during the pandemic. In others, the supply side of the economy cannot keep up with rising consumer demand as the coronavirus has disrupted supply chains.

“It’s Econ 101. More demand than supply means higher prices,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful. But it is typical. The same thing happens after every recession.

The Consumer Price Index measures the average change over time in the prices consumers pay for a range of goods and services, including clothing, groceries, electronics, and restaurant meals. It rose 0.9% from May to June.

Prices for used cars and trucks rose 10.5% last month, representing a third of the overall index, the department said. June was the third month in a row that prices for used vehicles rose sharply.

Automakers cannot get enough semiconductor chips to produce cars, causing a shortage of vehicles. Because consumers cannot afford new cars, the demand for used vehicles has increased, said Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers. But for dealers, the biggest source of used vehicles is the new car trade-in, so the supply of used vehicles is also declining. “It’s kind of a perfect storm,” Appleton said.

The airline ticket price index continued to rise, rising 2.7% in June as more consumers traveled in the spring and early summer. Delta Air Lines chairman Glen Hauenstein said Wednesday demand for air travel returned to an “accelerated rate” from April to June.

Even as air fares are rising widely, there are some great deals to be found – especially on flights to urban destinations, rather than the outdoor spots that have been popular during the pandemic.

“The city is where it is this summer for deals,” said Mel Dohmen, senior brand manager at CheapTickets. “Cities in the United States have had different reopening times in the wake of the pandemic, which still means a lot of affordability for travelers and available inventory.”

CheapTickets compared the prices of 2021 summer travel with pre-pandemic summer travel in 2019, and found that it is now 30% cheaper to fly to destinations such as Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles. It’s 25% cheaper to fly to cities like Detroit, Minneapolis and Atlanta this summer than it was two years ago, and 20% cheaper to book a flight to Phoenix, New Orleans and Las Vegas, according to the brand. budget travel.

In the United States, gas prices are up 2.5% from last month, the department reported.

Zandi said the sharp rise in inflation is expected to be temporary, noting price increases that have occurred after previous recessions. “If history is a guide – I think it’s a good guide – I think we have nothing to fear here.”


“Cleveland’s Hidden Sports History” is worth researching

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Somewhere, writers read Marc Bona’s extraordinary “Cleveland Hidden Sports History” and think, “Why didn’t I find this? “

With the Cleveland Indians deciding to change their name, there is intense speculation about the team’s name afterwards. “Spiders” is heavily favored because of its history, or perhaps despite its heritage: the 1899 Cleveland Spiders maintain the worst single-season record in Major League Baseball history.

Who knew the Cleveland Infants, who competed in the Eight-Team Players League? Bona is coming out with his story, including the fact that it was their center fielder who came up with the idea of ​​getting the president (then William Howard Taft) to throw the first ball of the season.

After a chapter on former Akron football coach John Heisman and another on Chief Wahoo’s beloved but troublesome mascot, it’s back to the Spiders, followed by the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association and of the nearly failed Indian purchase by George Steinbrenner.

Bona has unearthed so many stories that it would be a mistake to try and absorb them in one sitting. Readers may want to take a break before the chapter on how Bruce Springsteen saxophonist Clarence Clemons almost played for the Browns. The life of former Negro Leaguer Luscious Easter, who played for Indians for six years, has come to a sad end, and there are other stories of tragedy and triumph.

It would also be a mistake to characterize this book as anecdotes; these stories are important and must be known.

“Hidden History of Cleveland Sports” (160 pages, softcover) costs $ 21.99 from The History Press. Marc Bona is a writer for Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer and lives in Akron.

‘The Chronicles of Muffin Man’

The Akron Marathon has been a local institution since 2003, but from the man who founded it? Steve Marks, the Akron native whose Main Street Muffins has grown from a downtown storefront to a national supplier of baked goods, shares his business strategies in “The Muffin Man Chronicles: Recipes for Entrepreneurial Success.”

After graduating with an accounting degree from Akron University, Marks found a job with a downtown company. One day in 1985, his father invited him to a lunchtime sheriff’s auction at the courthouse, where a building on South Main Street was being sold for non-payment of taxes. Marks found himself bidding for money he didn’t have on a property he had never seen and ended up owning a five-story near-disaster.

Marks recruited his best friend Harvey Nelson, whom he had met in preschool, and they figured out what to do with the building. During a visit to a mall in Los Angeles, they saw a muffin store doing huge business. Marks quit his job to seek investors and grants while Nelson worked on renovating the building, and in the summer of 1987 they opened their retail store.

Marks exposes the difficulties encountered by the young company, without forgetting the early tensions with his partner. A restaurant owner asked to buy muffin batter, which led to wholesale distribution and a deal with local McDonald’s franchises. The “Muffins for Mammograms” program began in 1992. A few years later, the partners began the process that occupies much of the rest of the book: the sale of the business. Soon after, the new owners asked Marks and Nelson to resume their management roles; they eventually bought the business, only to sell it again. The complicated process of enterprise resource planning is described as “a colossal puzzle”.

In this little book, Marks shows his dedication to his product, his people, his ethics and his community. Main Street Muffin is now Main Street Gourmet.

“The Muffin Man Chronicles” (164 pages, softcover) costs $ 15.99 from Parafine Press.

Events

Cuyahoga County Public Library: Authors Gervais Hagerty (“In Polite Company”), Victoria Benton Frank (“Teddy Spaghetti”), poet Marjory Wentworth, Cassandra King Conroy (“Tell Me a Story: My Life with Pat Conroy”), Mary Alice Monroe (“L ‘story of Lost and Found “), Adriana Trigani (” The Shoemaker’s Wife “) and Patti Callahan Henry (” Between the Tides “), all contributors to” Reunion Beach: A Tribute to Dorothea Benton Frank “, speak in a Zoom event 5 pm to 6 pm Monday 7 pm to 8 pm Thursday, two-time winner of the O. Henry Award Ron Rash is reading an excerpt from his collection of stories “In the Valley.” Register at cuyahogalibrary.org.

Literary Cleveland: The annual Inkubator, with free workshops, panel discussions and readings from notable authors, continues today with a 1 hour workshop “Witness: Recovering Our Stories to Connect” and will run through July 25 . Check out the program and register at litcleveland.org.

Medina County District Library: Children’s author and illustrator Peter Brown (his “Creepy Carrots!” Won a 2013 Caldecott Silver Medal and “The Curious Garden” won a 2010 EB White Read Aloud Award) takes a Zoom tour from 10:30 am to 11:30 am Tuesday . Register at medina.lib.oh.us.

Learned owl bookstore (204 N. Main St., Hudson): AD Adams signs his fantasy novel “Mark of the Dragon”, Saturdays from 1 pm to 3 pm.

Visible voice books (2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland): New Orleans-based poet Tarriona “Tank” Ball, whose group Tank and the Bangas was nominated for Best New Artist for the 2020 Grammy Awards, reads an excerpt from her first collection of poetry “Vulnerable AF,” 1pm to 2pm on Saturdays.

Akron-Summit County Public Library: Akron author Bobby Jackson presents “How to Publish, Promote and Sell Your Book” at a Zoom event from 2 pm to 3 pm Saturday. Register at akronlibrary.org.

Email local book information and event notices at least two weeks in advance to [email protected] and [email protected] She tweets to @BarbaraMcI.

An Ugly Truth by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang review – Facebook’s battle for dominance | Journalism books

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Hhow many books are there on facebook? I lost count. Many of them belong to the genre of “insider” story – by one of the company’s early investors, perhaps; or by a supposed relative of its founder and supreme guide; or by an ex-employee with a bad conscience for the societal damage for which he (and it is always him, by the way) was responsible; or (occasionally) by a vigorous social media critic like Siva Vaidhyanathan or Franklin Foer.

I read most of them and so I approached An ugly truth with some skepticism because of its subtitle: “Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination”. But this book is different. On the one hand, its co-authors are not “insiders”, but a pair of New York Times journalists who are members of a team nominated in 2019 for a Pulitzer Prize. More importantly, they claim to have conducted over 1,000 hours of interviews with approximately 400 people, including Facebook executives, former and current employees and their families, friends and classmates, as well as investors and Facebook advisers, as well as lawyers and activists who have long been fighting the company. So, if it is an “insider” account, it is better sourced than all of its predecessors in the genre.

We’ll see what this account reveals in a moment, but let’s clarify the title first. This comes from the header of an internal memo sent by Andrew Bosworth (AKA “Boz”), a senior Facebook executive and one of Mark Zuckerberg’s closest confidants. “So we are connecting more people,” he says. “It can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs someone’s life to expose someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a coordinated terrorist attack on our tools. . And we always connect people. The horrible truth is that we believe in the importance of connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good.”

In a way, it tells you everything you need to know about Facebook. The only thing Boz failed to mention is that the more people who “log into” Facebook, the more money he makes. And the point of view of its HQ is that it is only in its infancy in the history of growth. After all, Facebook currently has 2.8 billion monthly active users, and there are 7.8 billion people on the planet right now. Which means, from the megalomaniacal point of view of the supreme guide of the company, that there is still 5 billion to “connect”. Only then – when all sentient beings on the planet are on Facebook – will the world’s problems be solved. And if you think I’m making this up, then an inspection of some of Zuckerberg’s essays on his Facebook page may get you thinking.

While progress towards world domination has, to date, progressed as expected, there have been a few hiccups – or, at least, public relations issues – going on. Focusing their investigation, Frenkel and Kang largely focused on what happened inside Facebook in just four years – from the 2016 presidential election that brought Trump to power to Biden’s election in 2020.

Trump supporters storm the United States Capitol in January. Photograph: Joel Marklund / Bildbyran / Zuma Press / Rex / Shutterstock

They had a lot of material to go on. Among other things, this period includes: the Russian hack of the Clinton campaign; its consummate exploitation of Facebook’s advertising system to spread disinformation and introduce chaos into public discourse; the control by the Trump campaign of these same systems for the same ends; the Cambridge Analytica scandal; the smear campaign against George Soros; how the expansion of Facebook in Myanmar facilitated a genocidal campaign against the country’s Rohingya Muslims; the gunman’s live broadcast of the Christchurch Massacre in 2019; and the insurgents’ use of Facebook to plan (and live stream) the Jan.6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The co-authors’ exhumation of these hideous skeletons makes the reading as captivating as it is depressing. Two things in particular stand out. The first is that, in most cases, people inside Facebook were aware – and alarmed – about what was happening on the company’s systems, either because they had detected it or because they had detected it. they had been alerted by knowledgeable outsiders. And yet, when they brought their concerns to the people above them in the managerial hierarchy, not much happened – which may be why, in some cases, Zuckerberg seemed to ignore the impending crises until it was too late to pretend ignorance.

The most vivid example is what happened when internal investigators led by cybersecurity guru Alex Stamos discovered the extent of Russian interference in Facebook’s systems. Stamos’ attempts to alert his superiors to what was going on were rejected. All references to Russia in its draft white paper have been deleted by senior officials. But as the media began to suspect that something big was brewing, it was decided that the company’s board should be notified the day before its quarterly meeting on September 7, 2017. On September 6, Stamos therefore made a presentation to a delegated subcommittee. three members of the board of directors. They were stunned and furious in a suppressed way. “How do we only hear about this now?” said Erskine Bowles, who had been Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. Equally eventful was the board meeting. But nothing substantial happened.

Why? Because the members of the board of directors serve entirely for the pleasure of Zuckerberg. In its regular statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company sums it up well: “Mark Zuckerberg, our founder, president and CEO, is able to vote the majority of the voting rights of our outstanding share capital and therefore has the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted for shareholder approval, including the election of directors and any merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets. This concentrated control could… lead to the completion of such a transaction that our other shareholders do not support. Zuckerberg could fire the whole board and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

This extraordinary document is not cited anywhere in An ugly truth, and yet it underlies his whole story. One of the striking revelations from the book is that there is more anxiety in the business than we realize. Many Facebook employees have been anxious, frustrated, or angry about what their employer has done in its relentless pursuit of growth. Some have tried to alert their superiors to their concerns. But time and time again, the bad news has failed to convince these bosses because they failed to synchronize with the overarching imperative of endless business growth. And, as HL Mencken pointed out, it’s hard to explain something to someone whose salary depends on not understanding it.

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in 2017.
Facebook threw “a lit match against decades of latent racial tensions” in Myanmar … Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh in 2017. Photograph: Mohammad Ponir Hossain / Reuters

Zuckerberg’s obsession with growth is at the root of Myanmar’s catastrophe. Facebook has entered a country without democratic traditions, offering connectivity to people who had never used the Internet before. Company executives knew nothing about the country other than that it was promising territory for their CEO’s cherished “next billion” project. Upon entering Myanmar, Facebook had – as the book put it – “cast a match over decades of latent racial tensions and then turned around when activists pointed out the smoke slowly suffocating the country.” Ultimately, human rights officials estimated that 24,000 Rohingya were murdered and 700,000 Muslims fled to Bangladesh. And while that was happening, the inflammatory rhetoric of 18 million Facebook users who fueled the genocide was watched only by five native Burmese speakers, the book reports, none of whom were actually based in Myanmar.

So the “ugly truth” about Facebook is that it is an immensely powerful company with a toxic business model, led by an autocratic founder who is determined to dominate the world. A prominent critic of the company once observed that “Facebook’s problem is Facebook”. Wrong. Facebook’s problem is Zuckerberg. And the question posed by this magnificent book is: what are we going to do with it?

  • An Ugly Truth: In the Battle for Facebook Dominance by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang is published by Bridge Street Press (£ 20). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply


Celebrate the past, marvel at the future


SHINE

Lujiazui, past and present

What if Wall Street was supplanted by Lujiazui, Silicon Valley by Zhangjiang and Hudson Yards by Qiantan in Pudong? It is not entirely fancy. China’s central government paved the way for the new region to come to power.

The State Council, the Chinese Cabinet, issued a directive on July 15 to support the high-level reform and opening up of Pudong, injecting new impetus into its development.

By 2035, Pudong’s level of development and its international competitiveness will make it one of the best in the world. By 2050, it will become a very attractive, creative, competitive and influential field in the world, according to the directive.

The news brought comfort to “veteran Pudong developer” Liu Hong.

Now president of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Group Co, he was at the origin of the rise of Waigaoqiao when there was only a vast expanse of reed beds. For 22 years, he oversaw the creation of the country’s first bonded zone and the start-up of the first free trade zone.

“I feel so uplifted,” he said, brimming with new enthusiasm he first exhibited two decades ago. “It reminded me of the early days when a bicycle, a lamp and a box of stationery were all I had for work. We often worked overtime and failed to catch the last ferry back home to Puxi. So some stayed in Puxi. a nurse.”

From farmland to a window to the world, the development of Waigaoqiao is quite the epitome of Pudong.

The decision to open Pudong in 1990 turned it from a poor cousin of Puxi to the driving force behind China’s reform – now contributing 1/80 of the country’s GDP with only 1/8000 of the country’s total land area. China. It is widely believed that the new published directive would mark another turning point in its growth.

Yang Chao, deputy director of Pudong, said the directive sends a signal to the world that China will open up more widely, in which Pudong is still a trailblazer.

In the eyes of Wang Zhan, president of the Shanghai Federation of Social Science Associations, Pudong is still playing the ace card to lead the country’s development. But there is a different social context. In 1990, Pudong was chosen as the place to bring Shanghai back to its former glory. Today there is a bigger picture.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the opening of Pudong last year, President Xi Jinping said the next 30 years will be the time for China to build a great modern socialist country.

He called on Pudong to take on new roles and accomplish new missions in the new march where China achieves the great rejuvenation of the nation and the world is undergoing profound changes unprecedented in a century.

Echoing his call, the directive highlights Pudong’s positioning as a central hub of national circulation and a strategic link in China’s new “dual circulation” development paradigm.

China will provide Pudong with an important channel for better use of resources in domestic and foreign markets, help Pudong to better fulfill its leadership role in the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta, and make it a window for China’s socialist modernization. , did he declare.

Celebrate the past, marvel at the future

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Shanghai synchrotron radiation facility in Zhangjiang

Each step of Pudong is made in accordance with the country’s strategic development, said He Jianhua, former vice president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Pudong flies the flag with distinction for China’s reform and opening up, the other being Shenzhen.

Thirty-one years later, it has achieved dozens of “firsts” on the Chinese mainland, from the first financial trading zone to the first export processing zone, from the first all-foreign bank to the first stock exchange.

However, as the reform deepens, underlying problems arise. Thus, the directive came at the right time for Pudong.

“It identifies pain points and topical issues in well-directed content,” Yang said. “Whether in finance, trade, maritime transport or innovation, we can find specific support measures.

The directive listed a series of measures aimed at making Pudong a pioneer area of ​​socialist modernization, highlighting in particular initiatives for an open economy compatible with international rules.

Not only Lingang and Waigaoqiao, but all of Pudong will become an economic zone for testing. This is an important step, said Zhang Hong, director of the Pudong Financial Work Bureau.

She added, “Pudong is responsible for more than 20 pioneering projects such as building investment platforms, optimizing financial systems, and improving financial risk prevention and control.

For example, it will develop offshore yuan trading, cross-border trade regulation and overseas financing services. To be explicit, it will set up an international financial asset trading platform and, on a pilot basis, allow qualified foreign institutional investors to use the yuan to participate in the trading of shares issued on the STAR market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

According to Zhang, Pudong will then focus on advancing the pioneering project of the Global Institutional Investor Cluster.

Institutional investors play an important role in the financial market, and it cannot build a plateau in the allocation of global resources without a good ecosystem and a community of institutional investors.

“Pudong has brought together 13 financial factor markets such as the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Futures Exchange. We hope to integrate them to launch more varieties for trading to attract more top institutional investors to exercise activities in Pudong and increase the scale of international investment, ”she said. mentionned.

“We will also strive to build a financial data port, improve the development of the Yangtze River Delta capital market service base and create a mountainous region for leasing,” she said. added.

Celebrate the past, marvel at the future

Ti Gong

As for the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and the Lingang Special Zone, they will carry out more intensive stress tests to take the initiative to achieve breakthroughs in a number of key areas. Relevant achievements will then be promoted throughout Pudong, according to the directive.

Special customs surveillance zones will be put in place and some policies for the Yangshan Special Global Bonded Zone will be extended for wider implementation in eligible special customs surveillance zones, he said.

“We have sorted 78 tasks, and 72 have been or are being tested. Now we are working with state level authorities to develop version 2.0 of Lingang development plan,” said Wu Xiaohua, secretary. Lingang Special Zone Labor Party deputy. Committee.

According to Liu, Waigaoqiao will explore to develop high-end R&D, improve the import and export trade of biomedicine, and support the development of high-quality manufacturing enterprises.

“We will be launching stress tests and hope to do more ‘firsts’,” he added.

Xin Yaqin, director of the Pudong Trade Commission, was blown away by the directive’s proposal to make Pudong a center of international consumption.

“We will seize the opportunity to improve consumption, introduce high-level shopping complexes and build world-class commercial monuments,” she said. “The construction to transform the luxury outlets of Qiantan and Florentia Village into new commercial landmarks is still underway. By the end of this year or next year, they will welcome visitors with a new look. . “

The guideline also emphasized scientific and technological development.

He guided Pudong to take advantage of China’s very large-scale market, find the innovation focal points in the industrial chain, guide the upgrading of the country’s industrial chain, and strengthen global influence.

As he said, Pudong will build world-class innovation industrial clusters like the Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center, and work with others in the Yangtze River Delta to make inroads in the invention of basic components. , the launch of high-end products and the formation of “Chinese standards”.

He focused on the development of Zhangjiang, the innovation high plateau of Pudong, said Peng Song, deputy director of the construction promotion office of the Shanghai Science Innovation Center.

He added, “By 2025, Zhangjiang Science City will become the origin of innovation, the home of great minds, a growth pole for high-end industries and a vibrant innovation community.

Xu Xin, director of the Pudong Scientific, Technological and Economic Commission, said Pudong will focus on key industries such as integrated circuits, artificial intelligence and life sciences. It will also explore more international cooperation, create an enabling environment for talent, and attract more leading innovation institutions.


Tattoo Archive takes visitors back in time through its tattoo museum, bookstore and temporary exhibitions | Arts & Theater

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“It was literally a miniature version of it,” Eldridge said of Tattoo Archive’s current location in Winston-Salem.

Cohen grew up in Montreal, Canada, and worked as a paralegal for 30 years. She moved to California in 1982.

“One day I went to get a tattoo when my dog ​​died, and I met Chuck,” Cohen said. “I like to say, ‘My four-legged companion introduced me to my two-legged companion. “

The couple then married and moved to North Carolina in 2007.

Three in one

Cohen said she always dreamed of bringing their tattoo shop, museum and bookstore under one roof.

She started the BookMistress, which sells tattoo books, years ago in her dining room. The BookMistress offers a wide selection of books on tattoo history, contemporary tattooing and children’s books, hard-to-find tattoo books, cards and postcards.

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BookMistress also sells Eldridge’s self-published books under Tattoo Archive Publications. Topics include Sailors Tattoo, Paul Rogers, San Francisco Tattoo History, and Historical Tattoos Business Cards.

“We have one of the largest collections of tattoo books under one roof in the United States,” Cohen said.

Tattoo Archive’s tattoo store offers custom tattoos. Johnny “Tugboat” Helms is the tattoo artist at the tattoo parlor.


5 Ways To Promote Your eBook Through Kindle Direct Publishing

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Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is one of Amazon’s many innovations that benefit writers. Its package includes several tools that can help you promote your eBook and get it on the map. They come with a few rules, however.

Here are five systems that KDP has put in place to accommodate a range of marketing strategies. Take note of the general pros and cons of joining this popular yet challenging self-publishing platform.

Is It Worth Using Kindle Direct Publishing?

In terms of marketing, KDP is a fast and reliable way to increase your book’s visibility. It’s designed to make the process as easy and efficient as possible, reaching thousands of readers all over the world even before your book launches.

Overall, the platform is worth it if you want decent royalties without having to spread your chores across too many services.

One downside to all of these opportunities, however, is KDP’s terms and conditions. Accepting them opens doors, while closing others better suited to authors wishing to reach a much larger audience.

Related: The Best eBook Cover Design Services For Self-Publishing

The KDP selection factor

An important part of Amazon’s publishing platform is KDP Select. Enrollment in the program is optional, but without it you cannot access most promotional tools.

At the same time, joining means selling your ebook exclusively on Amazon. It may be a famous platform, but it is not present in all countries. You would cut yourself off from areas that primarily use other services.

Ultimately, you have to decide whether you are willing to limit yourself to a single platform in exchange for the multifaceted support of a large company. Otherwise, keep looking for better self-publishing options.

1. Countdown offers

KDP Select information and promotion tools

The first tool to look forward to when promoting your ebook is the countdown timer. For up to seven days, you can offer the post at a discounted price, which may be the same throughout the sale or decrease as the end date approaches.

If you sell copies during the auction, you get royalties based on the original price, not the discounted price. Amazon shows customers all of its Kindle Countdown offerings on a dedicated page, and your dashboard shows your book’s performance in real time.

That said, the program is only available on the US and UK platforms. You can have one countdown per KDP Select registration period, which lasts 90 days each. The original price of the ebook should also be at least $ 2.99. Get to know Amazon’s requirements in full.

KDP Free Book Promotion Information

Another great way to get your book into the hands of readers is to give it away for free. It also appears on a dedicated page, while the promotion is only available in KDP Select. There are a few differences from a countdown timer.

Initially, the sales period can be up to five days, split or all at once. In terms of royalties, the free book promotion feature doesn’t get you any royalties while it is running. On the plus side, more people are likely to pick up the book this way than with a discount.

Keep in mind that, again, you can use this tool once per registration period and not if you’ve used a countdown timer before, so choose your promotion and timeline wisely to maximize its impact.

3. Advertising campaigns

Amazon also has a very efficient advertising platform, where you can set up your own campaigns. You have access to advertisements for different purposes, from sponsorship of individual products to entire brands to Kindle users.

You can take full control of each campaign, choosing budget, bidding strategy, target keywords, etc. It’s a pay-per-click system, so you only pay when people interact with your product correctly.

Related: Free Tools to Get the Best Keywords for Your Site

Your dashboard shows how your campaign is performing, including impressions, clicks, sales, and advertising share of your revenue. Reports are also available for a particular time frame and point of interest, such as targeting, location, or share of impressions of search terms.

While advertising does not depend on KDP Select, there are still rules and requirements to follow, if only to avoid issues down the line.

4. Kindle unlimited

A final benefit of KDP Select is Kindle Unlimited (KU). It’s basically an online lending library that you subscribe to for $ 9.99 / month. For authors, it offers another dedicated place to present their books.

The catch is that instead of royalties, you get a share of the monthly KDP Select Global Fund. Your income depends on the current fund and the number of pages people have read from your book.

In other words, it’s a popularity contest. The more readers consume your product, especially from start to finish, the more you earn. So your book should be as good as it can get.

5. Wider distribution

KDP Extended Distribution Pricing

Kindle Direct Publishing has another feature that you might be interested in your projects ie if you intend to print your book. You have the option of making your paperback available to major distributors, who can then give it to retailers and libraries.

However, all of these companies must want your book, so it’s doubly important that you design an attractive product. An additional factor to consider is that the minimum list price you can set with extended distribution is $ 15.03 to meet the demands of all parties.

It’s a move that will put off some readers, but it will expand the reach of your book. Then again, you can always use your countdown offers to make it more accessible. Take a look at more terms you should know before signing up Amazon’s extensive distribution.

Get your eBook marketing campaign in order

Kindle Direct Publishing can help you market your work in a number of ways, but it’s up to you to use these tools to your advantage.

Either way, a detailed plan is essential to achieving your goals as a freelance writer. Long before your book launches, it’s important to set a schedule for all of your tasks and monitor their performance.


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Kaepernick to Release ‘Deeply Personal’ Children’s Book Inspired by His Life | Colin Kaepernick

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Colin Kaepernick will release a children’s book in 2022 inspired by his own life.

Kaepernick’s book I Color Myself Different will be released on April 5 next year through his publishing house and Scholastic, under a multi-book deal, the athlete and the media company have announced. for children. The book will be illustrated by Eric Wilkerson.

“This story is deeply personal to me and inspired by real events in my life. I hope he will honor the courage and bravery of young people around the world by encouraging them to live with authenticity and determination, ”Kaepernick said in a press release. “I am delighted that Kaepernick Publishing is collaborating with Scholastic on books with black and brown voices in the foreground. I hope our books inspire readers to travel the world with confidence, strength, and truth in all they do.

Kaepernick’s artwork is a picture book “inspired by an important childhood memory of when Kaepernick first documented that he was different from his adopted white family,” Scholastic said in a statement from hurry. “In a kindergarten exercise on drawing families, Kaepernick remembers putting down the yellow pencil he used to draw his family and picking up the brown pencil for himself.

“That moment crystallized for him the differences marked by his adoption, and how recognizing those distinctions could encourage all of us to better accept ourselves and one another.”

Kaepernick became a national symbol of racial justice when he first knelt during the US national anthem – to call attention to police brutality and systemic racism – ahead of a 49ers preseason game from San Francisco in 2016. He hasn’t found a team since leaving the 49ers at the end of their 2016 season. NFL teams have been accused of blaming him because of his political stance .

Ellie Berger, President and Editor of Scholastic Trade Publishing, said, “Colin Kaepernick’s inspirational story, with themes of identity, race and self-esteem, will resonate deeply with all children.


After conquering Earth, Bezos envisions a new frontier in space

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Jeff Bezos is setting his sights on a new frontier in space in the coming days after building a gargantuan business empire that has conquered Earth in many ways. His trip to space aboard a reusable rocket built by his company Blue Origin comes just two weeks after he left the management of Amazon, which went from a garage startup to one of the companies. the most formidable in the world.

Bezos, 57, remains executive chairman of the tech and e-commerce colossus he founded 27 years ago. But he is clearly aiming for even higher ambitions. With a fortune of over $ 200 billion, Bezos has been on top or near the richest people in the world, even after his divorce settlement. It owns around 10% of Amazon, a giant with a presence in dozens of countries and some 1.3 million employees.

But Bezos often talks about his humble beginnings: born to a teenage mother in Albuquerque, New Mexico and adopted at age four by his Cuban immigrant stepfather. Bezos was drawn to computer science when the computer industry was in its infancy and studied engineering at Princeton University. After graduation, he put his skills to work for Wall Street, where in 1990 he became senior vice president of investment firm DE Shaw.

But about four years later, he surprised his peers by quitting his high-paying job to open an online bookstore called Amazon.com, supported by his parents’ money.

Keep inventing

In his farewell letter to staff, Bezos said the company had succeeded by following his mantra: “Keep inventing and don’t despair when the idea seems crazy at first.

“In public appearances, Bezos often recounts how Amazon started out, when he himself prepared orders and drove boxes to the post office. Today, Amazon has a market value of over $ 1.8 trillion. It has annual revenue of $ 386 billion in 2020 in e-commerce, cloud computing, grocery shopping, artificial intelligence, streaming media and more.

“Bezos has been a transformational leader … in the book sales, retail market, cloud computing and home delivery,” said Darrell West, senior researcher at the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution. “He was a pioneer who introduced a lot of amenities that people take for granted, like going to an online store, ordering something, and having it delivered to their doorstep the next day. The entire e-commerce industry owes a lot of money. his innovations “Bezos” had the instinct for the right thing “to find the next market, said Roger Kay, analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.

Kay said Bezos skillfully moved from books to other commodities to an online marketplace and successfully built the cloud infrastructure for the business that became the highly profitable Amazon web services. Amazon outlived its rivals by forgoing profits in its early years “and reinvesting everything back into the expansion,” Kay said.

“If you look at the trajectory now, it all made sense,” Kay added. “You can tell Bezos was one of the best business architects of his time.” Bezos has been fascinated by space ever since he watched the Apollo moon landing in 1969 as a child and considers space as important to the future of the planet.

He spoke about the possibility of humans living in space colonies, drawing ideas from science fiction writers as well as scientists. “We humans have to go to space if we are to continue to have a thriving civilization,” Bezos said in an interview with CBS News in 2019.

“We have grown big as a population, as a species, and this planet is relatively small. We see it in things like climate change, pollution and heavy industry. We are destroying this planet. … we must preserve this planet. “

Lasting legacy

Bezos is moving away from the day-to-day management of Amazon to spend more time on projects like Blue Origin. He owns the Washington Post newspaper and has dedicated time and funds to efforts to combat climate change.

While Amazon has bragged about its $ 15 minimum wage and other perks, critics say its relentless focus on efficiency and worker oversight has treated employees like machines. The Teamsters union recently launched a campaign to organize Amazon workers, claiming its workers “face dehumanizing, dangerous and low-paying jobs, with high turnover and no voice at work.”

Bezos appeared to address workers’ concerns earlier this year when he called for a “better vision” for employees after a deadly battle over a union vote in Alabama, which ultimately failed.

He set a new goal for the company to be “the best employer on Earth and the safest workplace on Earth,” in his latest letter as CEO.

Don’t be fooled when shopping at home


The huge increase in wood prices in the spring has caught the attention of homeowners, builders and contractors, and most equate these cost increases with the primary cost of shelter. While important, the price of lumber is not the primary driver of home prices. Don’t be fooled into assuming that new home prices will come down soon.

Since April 2005, RoMac Building Supply has made a Global Commodity Index available free of charge to builders and consumers that shows the delivered wholesale price of structural building materials to build a 2,000 square foot home in downtown Montreal. Florida.

More around the house:When home projects create more work

Check it out:Buy the right treated lumber for your next project

The index doesn’t include any decor, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, or labor, but it does factor in everything else inside and out to build this home . By doing wholesale prices, it gives the builder a real view of what the prices will be over the next 30-45 days.

The mid-May index was very surprising and revealing. Lumber prices from April to May fell an average of about 20 percent, but the index actually rose 1.4 percent to a new high. How could it be?

Increases in foundation mesh, drywall, roofing, doors, windows and siding such as OSB and CDX plywood offset increases in lumber prices. The building materials supply chain is in shambles as demand exceeds production, and anything made with metal is scarce and its price is rising every month.

Three years of trade wars and growing demand in huge, populous regions like China and India have created a situation where America is no longer the world’s largest trading partner. In addition, sea freight rates have doubled and tripled in price with significant delays.

To better assess the dramatic increase in the price of a home since the start of this pandemic last year, consider these two numbers – since June 2020, a year ago, this index has increased by 63.9% and since on January 1 of this year, the increase is 25.1 percent.

Now consider that land prices are skyrocketing every day as builders and consumers search for land to build on, and labor costs are rising dramatically as the country has an aging workforce and not enough immigration. There is a huge shortage of skilled labor. On top of that, there are shortages of electrical wires and plumbing parts with much higher prices crippling these scopes of work. In short, it’s a mess.

The other factor that needs to be taken into account is that the drop in lumber prices is mainly due to a slowdown in demand from Big Box retailers as much of the country goes on vacation after enduring 15 months of the pandemic. , but there is a tsunami of housing starts. scheduled for the third and fourth quarters of this year.

A recent Wall Street Journal article using data from the National Realtor Association suggests the country needs 5.5 million new homes, which would equate to 2.4 million housing starts over 5 years. Over the past decade, the country has not built enough homes compared to historical levels, and the housing market over the past decade has averaged less than 1.4 million homes per year.

This demand for housing, if true, will overwhelm the supply chain for some time, as companies have limited capacities to increase production and obtain raw materials. Expect lumber prices to be volatile and rebound, and don’t expect prices at pre-pandemic levels.

Don’t be fooled by falling lumber prices. All other costs, including government regulations and licensing costs, are skyrocketing. With most locations in Florida having less than a month of home inventory, expect availability to remain limited and prices to rise.

Here’s the caveat that could make matters worse – a bad hurricane season. In next week’s column, I will detail the huge problems associated with if the country is hit by a major hurricane.

Don Magruder is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc., and he is also the host of “Around the House” which can be seen on AroundtheHouse.TV.


The Ringling presents the complete Saito Kiyoshi collection

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Arts & Culture


One of the biggest challenges after the end of World War II was the formulation of new diplomatic and cultural ties between Japan and the United States. How were two hemispheres able to establish constructive relations after so much destruction? While Western diplomats and former military leaders held positions in Japan’s cultural hubs, many have found an answer in Japan’s new art scene, and with “Graphic Awakening,” The Ringling celebrates the most collected artist in Japan. this mid-century period, Saito Kiyoshi.

Born in Aizu, Fukushima prefecture in 1907, Saitohis career and his influences will lead him to become the leading figure of the sosaku hanga (Creative impressions) movement. The printmaking movement sought to honor Japan’s long history in the medium, but diverged in the process, with artists now opting for complete control over design, cutting and printing. It was a fine arts approach to printmaking largely influenced by greater travel and artistic cross-pollination of Japanese artists and Western artistic traditions. Sitting downo would even end up signing, naming and dating most of his pieces in English.

In terms of success, knowso was in the right artistic context for a captive audience in postwar Japan. The mid-century modern aesthetic combined with a renewed interest in Japanese art meant there was no shortage of foreign admirers and patrons. The understated sophistication of his prints seemed to complement the geometric forms of mid-century furniture and architecture. He won the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1951 and the Ljubljana Graphic Arts Biennial in 1957, putting him on the international map and helping to restore Japan’s printmaking prowess.

The “Graphic Awakening” exhibition began in many ways in 1953, when Karl and Madira Bickel organized a sosaku hanga exhibition at what is now Sarasota’s Art Center. They ended up donating some of these prints to The Ringling in 1961, including eight by Saitō (all eight are included in the exhibition). Then, in 2014, local collectors Robyn and Charles Citrin donated 100 works from the first half of the engraver’s career and were motivated to help The Ringling not only celebrate the artist’s prints but also contribute to the scientific objectives of the museum with the first full English -language monograph of his work.

Including the research and expertise of Dr. Rhiannon Paget of The Ringling as well as Japanese art scholars from around the world, the 200-page “Graphic Awakening” breaks down the aesthetic and historical facets of Saito’s work, retracing his evolution. since he started. Impressionist prints to his current Aizu landscapes, as well as Mondrian-esque prints depicting Japanese architecture.

As Dr Paget writes in his foreword, “the variety of his work, his sublime sensibility to design, the breathtaking effects he has skillfully achieved from wood, ink and paper. , and its negotiation of local and international elements continue to soothe and excite the eye. . “

“Graphic Awakening” runs until August 15th. The monograph is available for purchase from most bookstores.

Click here for more information.


Notable & Citable: Booksellers and forbidden books

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July 15, 2021 5:52 p.m. ET


Photo:


Getty Images / iStockphoto

From the Association of American Booksellers website, April 4:

This year’s Forbidden Book Week, the annual celebration of the right to read, will be held from September 26 to October 2, 2021.

Forbidden Book Week was founded in 1982 in response to a sudden increase in the number of challenges related to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Forbidden Book Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, students and readers of all types – in favor of the freedom to research and express ideas.

From July 14 declaration by the American Booksellers Association:

An anti-trans book was included in our July mailing to members. This is a serious and violent incident that goes against ABA termination policies [sic], values ​​and everything we believe and support. It is inexcusable.

We apologize to our trans members and the trans community for this terrible incident and the pain we have caused them. We also apologize to the LGBTQIA + community as a whole and to our community of booksellers.

Copyright © 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the print edition of July 16, 2021 under the title “Notable & Quotable: Books”.

The most telling fact about Trump’s new books

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Trump spent two and a half hours talking to Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post for their book “I Alone Can Fix It” next Tuesday. For his book “Frankly We Did Win This Election,” Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender sat down with Trump twice for a total of three hours. Trump even spoke to Michael Wolff, whom he threatened to sue to prevent the publication of a previous book by Wolff detailing the inner workings of his White House.

“Trump told his people this guy – me gets big marks, so let’s see him. For Trump, the focus is almost all media attention. Good, bad, indifferent, whatever. I’m not. the only author he’s seen, but I guess I’m the most hated author he’s seen. But that doesn’t play into his view of the world. “

“It’s not like or disliked. It’s not right or wrong. Is that what you can do for me? It’s just a matter of meeting her needs, her wants and her inclinations. moment. So here’s a guy, he sells a lot of books, why not? And it’s not like you’re going there and actually having a trade. “

What this passage is about – and Trump’s broader willingness to argue with these book writers – is: Trump’s pillory of media as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people” is, in fact, false. It’s an assignment. A bet. A way of signaling to a Republican base which is deeply suspicious of the media that it is one of them.

But deep down, Trump loves the media. Or, perhaps more precisely, understands that he Needs the media.

Remember this is about a man who invented a young employee named John Barron (that was Trump) who called gossip in New York in the 1980s to plant blind articles about women interested in Trump . (Barron was Trump. Trump was Barron.)
And the man who wrote this in “The Art of the Deal”:

“I’m not saying that [journalists] necessarily like me. Sometimes they write positively, and sometimes they write negatively. But from a purely business perspective, the advantages of being written far outweigh the disadvantages. It really is very simple. If I take a full page ad in the New York Times to publicize a project, it could cost $ 40,000, and people tend to be skeptical of the ad anyway. But if the New York Times even writes a moderately positive one-column story on one of my contracts, it doesn’t cost me anything, and it’s worth well over $ 40,000. “

Trump, as Wolff rightly notes, is a purely transactional being. It is only guided by one calculation: is it good or bad for me?

What’s good about Trump’s world is relevance, and what’s bad – a fate worse than death – is irrelevant. Talking about it badly is exponentially better in its calculation than not talking about it at all.

“Bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all,” he wrote in “The Art of the Deal”. “The controversy, in short, sells.”

Trump sat down with these book authors – and he would do it again – for a very simple reason: he wants to count.

It is a personality trait but also a commercial bet. Trump, as the New York Times so aptly demonstrated by getting years of tax backlogged, is at the mercy of hundreds of millions of dollars in personally guaranteed loans over the next several years. Its sources of income and its brand are considerably diminished.

Given all of this, an ability – as Trump will undoubtedly say – to sell millions of pounds is a much-needed achievement. And that, he knows, only these book authors can give him.


The future of work has arrived, and it’s messy.


“What we found is that the question is sort of, ‘Do you work from home or do you live at work? “” said the executive, requesting anonymity to speak freely. “People can get really depressed and isolated when working from home. And from a mentorship and diversity perspective, it’s much harder to train and connect with someone new or younger if you’ve never seen them in person.

The executive noted that the math on Wall Street, where profit margins are high, might be different than in media or other industries where it is much lower. “When real estate represents 1% of turnover, the calculation is different from that of 120% of turnover.”

For employers in other industries, the past two months have also been a scramble to develop plans to fire some or all workers into offices while looking at the latest data on Covid-19 vaccinations, the risks of new variants of viruses and keeping an eye on what the competition is doing.

Like many of them, Washington-based law firm BakerHostetler is starting with a hybrid model in which some employees can stay away, some will split their time between home and office, and others will have to return to the office on time. full. The full-time category will include receptionists, records clerks and mailroom employees. As for the lawyers themselves, they will be “totally flexible” and have the freedom to decide when they want to work from home, and when they want to work from their desks.

The arrival of employees on this spectrum is in part a matter of leverage. Receptionists and clerks don’t have much. Lawyers have a lot of them.

“What we tell people [is]: “Listen, your job requires you to be in the office because of the teamwork; because of the collaboration; because of coaching, mentoring, learning, the value of collegiality, ”Baker Hostetler president Paul Schmidt said in an interview. “But you might not need to be in the office every day of the week, every week of the year.”

And then there’s the fact that when everyone in an office had to work remotely, there was no loss of status for being out of the office. But once some employees have direct access to bosses and others do not, disparities can emerge.

“The pandemic has proven that lawyers can be very effective at doing their work remotely,” Schmidt said. “But that’s not a good sample of what a remote or hybrid working environment will look like in the future when some people are in the office. ”

After the advent of the Internet and email decades ago, and with the development of ever better communication tools like Zoom and Slack, employers have gained new powers to control employees’ time and attention, no matter where they are. physically.

With this in mind, the pandemic has restored a measure of autonomy to workers, whether it is to control their own hours or simply to do their work in sweatpants. So it’s no surprise that many want to keep it.

Many employers have recognized that in the future, their ability to fill white collar jobs may depend on the flexibility of working from home they are willing to offer. More than twice as many job postings mentioned remote working in June than before Covid, according to data provided to POLITICO by Indeed, the online job search firm. This is particularly surprising, said Indeed’s chief economist Jed Kolko, because “the rebound in job vacancies is greatest in sectors that cannot be done remotely,” such as manufacturing and warehouses. In other words, the ability to work remotely seems to be built into most job postings where it is possible.

The tech sector is most likely to mention remote working in job postings, but this is also increasingly true in other industries where “remote working was technically possible but it was not. not the norm, ”Kolko said. These included areas like education, finance, and law.


Bookstore group apologizes to LGBTQIA + community for ‘serious and violent’ recommendation of politically incorrect book

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The American Booksellers Association has issued a creepy apology to transgender people who were upset by their “serious” and “violent” recommendation of a book challenging the transgender agenda.

the declaration posted Monday said the recommendation was made to their members in their July mail.

“This is a serious and violent incident that goes against the policies, values ​​and everything we believe and support of the ABA. It is inexcusable,” the ABA statement said. .

“We apologize to our trans members and the trans community for this terrible incident and the pain we have caused them. We also apologize to the LGBTQIA + community at large and our bookstore community,” the statement continued. .

“Apologies are not enough,” the statement concluded. “We have started to tackle this issue today and we are committed to engaging in the critical dialogue necessary to inform concrete steps to address the damage we have caused. These steps will be shared over the next three weeks.”

Transgender people have taken to social media to criticize the ABA for the inclusion of the book titled “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze That Seduces Our Daughters” by Wall Street Journal columnist Abigail Shrier.

“I’m bubbling over,” said one member. “Do you know what that feels like, as a trans bookseller and book buyer? It’s not even a new title, so it really caught my stomach. Do better.”

“I need @ABAbook to explain how this happened, with an overview of how they will recite this and avoid promoting transphobic hate speech in the future. I am one of the many booksellers trans from my bookstore, and I plan to write a letter with our union demanding accountability ”, complained another review.

Shrier’s book publisher said Amazon suspended its advertising campaign in June 2020, and in November, Target was forced to relist the book on its website after scores of people complained.

Learn more about Abigail Shrier’s book:


Exposing the reality of the teenage transgender craze | Abigail Shrier | WOMEN | Rubin Report

www.youtube.com

Dungeons & Dragons new book release date revealed

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An Amazon listing for an unannounced upcoming Dungeons & Dragons book indicates that the book will be released on October 19, 2021. Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast revealed that it will announce a new Dungeons & Dragons produced this Friday at the start of D&D Live, a two-day gaming-focused streaming event and the largest Dungeons & Dragons Mark. While no further details on this product have been announced, Amazon and several other booksellers say the unnamed product will be released on October 19, 2021. This means D&D fans can look forward to three consecutive months with releases. of D&D products. The savage beyond the light of the witches, a full campaign adventure set in the Feywild, will be released in September, while the Magic: The Gathering cross book Strixhaven: A Chaos Program will be released in November.

The next D&D Live event will be broadcast on Peacock, Twitch and YouTube. Not only will it feature D&D releases for the rest of the year, but it will also feature five games featuring famous players. Players confirmed for this year include Kevin Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Deborah Ann Woll, streamer DrLupo, WWE Superstars Xavier Woods and Ember Moon, and Patton Oswalt. Many games will be inspired by The savage beyond the light of the witches, which takes place in the Feywild and involves a strange, fanciful carnival. The new incarnation of G4 will host this year’s D&D Live and also plans to produce several D&D-related projects when the channel officially launches later this year. You can check out the full two-day D&D Live schedule below:

Obviously, we’ll have more coverage of the new D&D product on Friday when the book is officially announced. Stay tuned to ComicBook.com for more details on future D&D projects and follow me on @CHofferCBus to discuss all things table games.



Hong Kong book fair sees self-censorship and fewer books

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HONG KONG (AP) – Booksellers at the annual Hong Kong Book Fair offer a narrow selection of books deemed politically sensitive, as they try to avoid violating a sweeping national security law imposed on the city year-round last.

The book fair was postponed twice last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. It typically attracts hundreds of thousands of people looking for everything from the latest bestsellers to the works of political figures.

This year, far fewer politically sensitive books are on display. Vendors carefully organize their books to avoid violating national security law.

Beijing imposed the law on Hong Kong in June 2020. Authorities used it to quell dissent, arresting more than 100 pro-democracy supporters in the city.

The law has drawn criticism from governments and other critics who say it restricts freedoms untraceable on the continent under communist rule that were promised to the former British colony for 50 years after it was handed over to Beijing in 1997.

Jimmy Pang, a local publisher who sold books on the 2014 pro-democracy protests known as the Umbrella Movement, said many books critical of the government were missing.

“Each vendor will read the books they bring to the book fair to see if there is any content that could cause problems,” said Pang, president of the Subculture Publishing House.

“We don’t want to have any issues that will affect how the book fair works, so we’re censoring ourselves a lot this time around. We read every book and every word before we bring it here, ”he said.

Some books published by Subculture were pulled from the shelves of Hong Kong public libraries earlier this year. These books are not available at the fair.

Now that authorities have used the National Security Law to quell dissent, publishers, distributors and even importers and exporters are wary of the risks of publishing or processing potentially sensitive books, said Hui Ching, research director. from the Zhi Ming Institute of Hong Kong, a private and independent think tank.

Political author Johnny Lau, author of a book on the Chinese Communist Party and Hong Kong in the last century, said his book was not allowed at the fair this year – not because of government interference but because of the political pressure exerted by the government.

“This is why we can only see publications which are (in) favor of the government in the book fair,” he said.

Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, which organizes the book fair. told reporters earlier this week that books written by pro-democracy authors can still be sold as long as they don’t break the law.

Some visitors, like Alex Chan, lamented the lack of such books at the fair this year.

“Is the book fair still a place where we can buy all kinds of books? Is Hong Kong still a place with free speech or the freedom to publish? he said.

Some publishers have gone ahead and put books on the 2014 protests and other politically sensitive topics for sale.

“When we publish a book, we put a lot of effort into making sure the content is legal, which is why we don’t think there is a big deal and we would bring them to the book fair anyway,” said Raymond Yeung, spokesperson for the publisher. Hillway Culture Co.

“We hope this will be an encouragement for our fellow publishers, to show that there are still people publishing books like this,” he said.

AP Business Writer Zen Soo contributed to this report.


£ 10million in investments made by trade finance broker


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Trade finance broker, Xander Wealth Trade finance has surpassed £ 10million in development and private investment loans raised, after a record month in June 2021.

The Leeds-based company recently finalized funding for three major projects despite the ongoing pandemic.

He has finalized £ 3,215,000 in funding between three projects across the north of England, including £ 720,000 for the construction of ten family homes in South Hiendly, near Barnsley.

The company has also spread its wings outside Yorkshire. A £ 1.045million deal in Manchester’s Chorlton Green district has funded the construction of four modern luxury homes.

Xander Wealth Commercial Finance intervened when development experienced delays due to the pandemic, with the establishment of a special CBILS loan that helped refinance and save the project.

In Crosby, near Liverpool, the company has structured a private financing worth £ 1.45million for the acquisition and conversion of a historic Victorian mansion and post house into 13 apartments luxurious.

Xander Wealth Commercial Finance Founder Kristian Alexander Wilkinson said: “For a relatively new financial firm, barely out of our second year, exceeding £ 10million despite the challenges of Covid is an incredible achievement and a testament to both the resilience of the economy and investor confidence in the north of England.

“This, along with our in-house bespoke software that matches our investors’ criteria for each application, has laid the foundation for our success. “

Last year, Xander Wealth Commercial Finance struck its first multi-million pound contract with the construction of 17 luxury apartments in Scarborough.

The company is currently working on other projects in Wales, Cornwall, Bristol and London, as well as deals in Yorkshire.

By the end of 2021, the company has announced its goal of structuring and organizing finance packages worth an additional £ 20million, bringing the total funds raised to date to £ 30million. in just three years of negotiation.


Selling books, a friendly business enterprise for Argentinian homeless people

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By Aitor Pereira

Buenos Aires, Jul 13 (EFE) .- Every day Carlos Sotelo wakes up in a porch on Florida Street in Buenos Aires and, in the morning, he organizes his collection of books for pedestrians who walk around, a number always growing catalog thanks to donations and the work of urban recyclers.

As Argentina’s economic crisis makes more and more people homeless – around 7.8% of its population currently live on the streets – selling street books has become more crucial than ever for some.

Sotelo has been selling literature on the same street corner in the capital for two decades.

“Some acquaintances have started to offer me books, every day they come by and see me. They started giving gifts and people started helping, ”he says.

“I also buy from recyclers. There are a lot of people who throw away books because their shelves are full, so they throw them away and I buy them on the cheap.

Its good location and prices, he says, allow it to sell around 40 books every day.

Pedestrians crowd Florida Street during the day, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, but the area becomes deserted at night, making Carlos more vulnerable to theft.

“I make a mound over there with the books, cover them with a blanket and wrap them tightly,” he told Efe. “I sleep there, and if I feel like someone wants to steal I tell the police, they always protect me, they’re nice around here.”

Colombian writer Gabriel García Marquez is “by far” the bestseller in his humble local bookstore, with national classics like Borges and Cortazar.

Homeless booksellers like him are dotted around the city of Buenos Aires, selling second-hand books in tourist or pedestrianized places, like the neighborhood of Palermo, where Martín Sánchez runs a bookstore around the corner.

At Martín, customers set the price of the books themselves.

“No one gives less than 100 pesos ($ 1), they always give,” he says.

His book catalog has been built exclusively on donations, which is why he feels he can’t put a price on it.

He has been sitting in this corner for 17 years and selling books, next to a church which allows him to store his collection at night.

“I am passionate about Socrates, Socrates’ death and the correspondence he left behind, I now know him by heart,” Martín says of his own favorite literature. “I am shocked that they killed a man who held the truth.” EFE

apr / lv / jt

SPAR Group Appoints Ron Lutz as Global Sales Director

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~ Allow a greater focus on global growth

~ Expand the management team

~ Added in-depth industry expertise

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – SPAR Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGRP), a leading global provider of merchandising and marketing services, today announced key executive appointments which further strengthen its leadership team and support the company’s global expansion. Ron Lutz has been appointed Chief Global Commercial Officer and William Linnane has been appointed Chief Strategy and Growth Officer. In addition, Kori Belzer has been appointed Global Chief Operating Officer with expanded responsibilities on global operations and results.

“I am delighted to welcome Ron and William to our management team and to congratulate Kori on her expanded global role. William and Ron are both proven retail and service leaders with many years of relevant experience and strong results, ”said Mike Matacunas, President and CEO. “Ron will lead global business development and be responsible for global branding and marketing, as well as our operations in Japan and Canada. William will be responsible for developing new markets, growing our Great Openings and Assembly businesses, as well as expanding global programs and technology. Kori’s responsibilities will be broadened to include the creation of global synergies and operational efficiency in all countries. Ultimately, I expect our new, expanded management team to deliver greater success in the markets we serve and accelerate our expansion into new markets. “

Ron Lutz has built a 35-year executive career guiding Fortune 100 companies and private organizations into the retail customer experience space. He has led retail organizations through transformational growth, change management and market expansions. Throughout his career, he has held responsibilities in the areas of sales, operations, strategy, marketing, omnichannel customer experience development, international expansion and acquisitions.

Most recently, Ron was a consultant as an international retail strategic advisor. Previously, he was Chief Client Officer at a privately held retail services and solutions company. With his extensive experience in the industry, Ron has held and / or held positions such as Director of Marketing, Director of Clientele, Vice President of Customer Experience Deployment, Vice President of New Store – Thank Merchandising, vice president of corporate printing / devices and vice president of store service. Solutions.

Earlier in his career, he served as Vice President at Lowe’s Companies, where he led the deployment of an omnichannel customer experience solution to more than 2,000 retail stores across North America. He was also responsible for new store development in emerging markets and store renovations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The SPAR Japan, Canada and US Business Development team will report to Mr. Lutz.

Mr. Lutz said: “When Mike shared his vision for the future of SPAR with me, I had an immediate desire to be part of the organization. I look forward to bringing my experience and passion to serving global customers in order to have an impact on them and ultimately the SPAR Group. “

William Linnane is an international leader in business, merchandising, retail and finance with over 20 years of relevant leadership experience. He has worked in the United States, Europe and Australia; leading multi-billion dollar companies generating exceptional operating results in different market conditions. He was most recently CEO of a successful advisory and investment firm focused on mergers and acquisitions and retail restructurings. Previously, Mr. Linnane was President of Kmart’s pharmacy, drugstore and grocery businesses in the United States and Puerto Rico, chief merchant at a major bookseller in Europe, and led the Beverages, Sweets & Snacks business. for Tesco in the UK, working with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Mars, Mondelez and others to generate brand growth opportunities through merchandising and other initiatives, including digital strategies. Mr. Linnane is a qualified accountant and began his career in finance in the UK and Ireland with Kingfisher PLC and Tesco PLC. He has extensive experience in the areas of strategy, finance, operations, merchandising, sourcing and leadership. Mr. Linnane holds an MA in Economics from Trinity College, University of Dublin.

The CIO, Divisional Vice President of Large Openings and Senior Vice President of Operations and Assembly of SPAR Group will report to Mr. Linnane.

Mr. Linnane said: “I am delighted to take on this role and excited about the global growth potential of the SPAR Group. I look forward to working within the leadership team to build on the solid foundations of the SPAR Group and create value for customers, employees and shareholders.

Kori Belzer joined the SPAR group in 1992 and has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2004. She has been instrumental in the growth and success of the company. Throughout his years at SPAR, Kori has been a leader in customer service, field operations, and sales and marketing. It has streamlined processes and developed efficiencies that allow the company to focus on the needs and success of its customers. She also led the successful integration of several acquisitions that provided SPAR customers with enhanced service.

In her expanded role as Global Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Belzer will take responsibility for working with leaders in all countries to develop global synergies and operational efficiencies that can improve individual country performance, as well as the overall results of each country. the company.

About the SPAR Group

SPAR Group is one of the world’s leading merchandising and marketing services companies, providing a wide range of services to retailers, manufacturers and distributors around the world. With over 40 years of experience, over 25,000 merchandising specialists worldwide, an average of over 200,000 store visits per week and long-term relationships with some of the world’s leading manufacturers and retailers. The SPAR group provides specialized capabilities in 9 countries and 4 continents.

For more information, please visit the SPAR Group website at http://www.sparinc.com.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” under the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 made by or relating to the Company, and this press release has been filed by SGRP with the SEC. “Forward-looking statements” are defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). ), And other applicable federal and state securities laws, rules and regulations, as amended (as well as the Securities Act and Exchange Act, “Securities Laws”).

All statements (other than those which are purely historical) are forward-looking statements. Words such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “intend”, “believe”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “continue”, “plan”, “plan” or the negative of these terms other similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements made by the Company in this current report may include (but are not limited to) statements regarding: risks, uncertainties, cautions, circumstances and other factors (“Risks”); and the persistent potential negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s business, the Company’s potential non-compliance with the independence of the directors of Nasdaq, the offer price or other applicable rules, the cash flow or financial condition of the Company, or the pursuit or achievement of the Company’s Corporate Objectives.

You should carefully review and consider the Company’s forward-looking statements (including all risk factors and other caveats and uncertainties) and other information made, contained or noted or incorporated by reference in this current report, but you should not do not place undue reliance on them. The results, actions, activity levels, performance, achievements or condition of the Company (including its affiliates, assets, business, customers, capital, cash flow, credit, expenses, financial position, income, liabilities, cash, locations, marketing, operations, performance, outlook, sales, strategies, taxation or other achievements, results, risks, trends or conditions) and other events and circumstances planned, foreseen, anticipated, estimated or otherwise expected by the Company (collectively, “Expectations”), and our forward-looking statements (including all risks) and other information reflect the Company’s current views on future events and circumstances. Although the Company believes these Expectations and opinions to be reasonable, the results, actions, levels of activity, performance, achievements or conditions of the Company or other events and circumstances may differ materially from our Expectations and opinions, and they do not may be insured or guaranteed by the Company, as they are subject to Risks and other assumptions, changes in circumstances and unforeseeable events (many of which are beyond the control of the Company). In addition, new risks arise from time to time and it is impossible for the Company to predict these problems or how they might arise or affect the Company. Consequently, the Company cannot guarantee that its Expectations will be fulfilled in whole or in part, that it has identified all the potential Risks, or that it can successfully avoid or mitigate these Risks in whole or in part, including One could be material and unfavorable to the Company and to the value of your investment in the Company’s common stock.

These forward-looking statements reflect the company’s expectations, views, risks and assumptions only as of the date of this current report, and the company does not intend, assume any obligation or promise to update or publicly revise forward-looking statements (including any risk or expectation) or other information (in whole or in part), whether as a result of new information, new or aggravated risks or uncertainties, changed circumstances, future events, recognition or otherwise.



M & M’s commercial vehicle sales in June increased 25% year-on-year to 12,694; Stocks are trading flat


Mahindra & Mahindra Limited’s utility vehicle production increased 85% year-on-year to 15,233 in June 2021, compared to 8,226 vehicles in June 2020.

Commercial vehicle sales during the month of June 2021 increased 22% year-on-year to 12,694 from 10,417 vehicles in June 2020. Commercial vehicle exports increased to 1,423 from 595 in June 2020.

The Bolero diesel vehicle remained the most demanded vehicle during the month with production of 8,037 in June 2021 compared to 347 vehicles in June 2020. Bolero sales in June 2021 increased to 5,744 from 3,292 in June 2020. Exports are increased from 38 vehicles to 3 vehicles in June 2020.

Scorpio was the second most requested with a production of 3,666 vehicles in June 2021 compared to 2,649 in June 2020. Scorpio sales increased to 4,160 in June 2021 compared to 2,574 in June 2020. Exports increased to 139 from 58 vehicles in June 2020 .

Demand for Mahindra Thar (diesel vehicle) increased from production of 10 vehicles in June 2020 to 1964 in June 2021. Sales increased from new in June 2020 to 761 in June 2021.

At around 10:14 am, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd was trading at Rs776.10 per coin, up Rs3.15 or 0.41% from its previous close of Rs772.95 per coin on BSE.


Business News | Stock market and stock market news

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Hero Electric MD Naveen Munjal says that while the family pact allows them to enter any business segment, there is a strong non-compete clause for the use of the brand.

The family of heroes spat on the ambitions of brands in terms of electric vehicles


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  • Ayodhya’s grand plan which was presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

  • Hiranandani Group deploys Rs 1,000 crore to develop 2.6 million square feet of retail space in Thane

  • Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: India Reports 31,443 New Cases of COVID-19, Active Count at 4.31 lakh

  • How Cryptocurrencies Can Unlock the Homeownership Economy

  • FDA Adds Warning About Risk Of Rare Reaction To Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

  • The government reorganizes cabinet committees; Smriti Irani, Bhupender Yadav, Sarbananda Sonowal are part of the political affairs panel

  • Congress leader Sonia Gandhi calls a meeting of the parliamentary strategic group on July 14

  • COVID-19 | “Freedom Day” arrives in England, ready or not

  • ‘He takes care of every bullet’

  • BrahMos cruise missile does not take off during test firing, DRDO performs analysis

  • Xiaomi Mi Notebook 14 Pro, Mi Notebook Ultra launch in India for July: check expected price, specs

  • NEET UG 2021 will take place on September 12, application process starts today

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Ntpc 120.45 2.60 2.21
Sbi 430.75 3.30 0.77
Indiabulls Hsg 270.50 -0.35 -0.13
Rec. 148.25 1.10 0.75

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Snapshot of the IPO

Equity Type Issue price Size of the problem Lot size Open problem Problem Close
Zomato See profile Initial Public Offering 72 9375 195 07-14 07-16
AA Plus View profile SME IPO 18 6.48 8000 08-07 07-13
Equity Filing date with Sebi

Utkarsh Small Finance Bank Limited – Addendum to D (Utkarsh.pdf)

08-Jul

Uma Converter Limited – DRHP (Uma.pdf)

07-Jul

Skanray Technologies Limited (Skanray.pdf)

28-June

Ruchi Soya Industries Limited (Ruchi.pdf)

14-June
Equity Issue price Registration date Open announcement Announcement Close % quotation gains CMP Current earnings%
Nazara 1101 30-03 1971.00 1576.80 43.22 1,813.95 64.75
Jeweler Kalyan 87 26-03 73.90 75.30 -13.45 76.85 -11.67
Suryoday Small 305 26-03 274.75 276.20 -9.44 214.90 -29.54
Artisan 1490 25-03 1440.00 1433.00 -3.83 2,102.00 41.07
Scheme Fund Category Info Purchase order Opening date Closing date
No NFO details available.
Equity Type Issue price Size of the problem Lot size Subscription Open problem Problem Close

Focus Business See profile

SME IPO 19 1.22 0 30-06 05-07

Walpar See profile

SME IPO 55 6.6 0 30-06 05-07

Clean science See profile

Initial Public Offering 880 1512.25 – 1546. 0 93.41 07-07 09-07

GR Infraprojec View profile

Initial Public Offering 828 952.92 – 963.28 0 43.48 07-07 09-07

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country = India page generated = 2021-07-13 12:14:19


Ludhiana: two days after a verbal argument, a 20-year-old girl stabbed to death

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A group of assailants killed a 20-year-old kabaddi player on Sunday with sharp weapons following a feud at a wedding party two days ago. Then they fled after throwing the body on the side of the road in Machhiwara.

The accused were identified as Kuldeep Singh alias Kenny from Rajgarh, Binda Nihang from Bhattian village, Laddi and Indra from Gehlewal village, Jaggi from Bhamma village, Sadiq from Samrala and their seven accomplices.

The victim has been identified as Amandeep Singh from Indira Colony, Machhiwara. He worked as a salesperson at a local bookstore. Relatives of the victim staged a demonstration in front of the Machhiwara police station on Monday, demanding the arrest of the accused.

Deputy Police Commissioner (DSP, Samrala) Jaswinder Singh Chahal told them that the defendants would be arrested within the next two days, after which they dropped the protest.

An FIR was filed based on the complaint of Manpreet Singh, the victim’s brother.

He said he received reports on Sunday that his brother had been in a traffic accident and was lying injured by the side of the road. He rushed his brother to the civilian hospital, from where he was referred to Ludhiana, but died on the way.

Manpreet added that the wounds on his brother’s body appeared to have been inflicted by sharp weapons.

He said his brother had a verbal argument with the accused at a wedding two days ago and they threatened to kill him.

Inspector Rajesh Thakur, a police officer at Machhiwara Police Station, said a murder case had been registered and special teams had been formed to arrest the accused.


Inspiration from the island’s smuggling story for a children’s book

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CHILDREN’S author-illustrator Elizabeth Morley drew on the Isle of Wight history of smuggling for her fourth book.

Suitable for readers aged seven to eleven, The Smugglers of Hog’s Head Bay is published by Feed A Read and is available for £ 8.49 from Amazon, Water stones and other online retailers.

Elizabeth researched and wrote much of her book while based in Brighstone, where she lives while on the island. The village appears in history as Bristlestone.

As with his previous books, the authors The latest adventure takes place in a parallel world populated by hedgehogs, but inspired by the world around us, and filled with its own charming color illustrations.

Once again, she deepened her research – weaving a compelling story of intrigue and danger inspired by true historical events of the 1770s and basing many of her illustrations on original 18th century prints and paintings. from the island.

The story takes the reader from Brambling Harbor (Brading Harbor) to Hog’s Head Bay (Freshwater Bay).

The action here centers on the Hog’s Head Inn, based on a real smugglers pub, the Mermaid, which once stood on the site of the Albion Hotel.

The climax of the story involves an exciting sea hunt off the Needles.

In addition to online retailers, The Smugglers of Hog’s Head Bay can be purchased by emailing the author at [email protected]

Elizabeth has already published three children’s books in the same series.


7 most beautiful places to visit from Los Angeles to Kings Canyon

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My family loves road trips, and more often than not we hit the road even after flying to a location, considering our flight destination as a base. On our last road trip, we noticed that our route to Yosemite and finally Sequoia and Kings Canyon from Los Angeles made a perfect circle while traveling through some of the most beautiful scenery in California. While our entire trip to California was longer, this was its most spectacular segment.

You’ll experience contrasts as you drive from the liveliest city to the country’s most desolate landscape, from the lowest point on the continent in Death Valley to the highest peak in the contiguous United States, sand dunes void of vegetation to dark forests featuring some of the tallest trees in the world. Here are the best stops on this road trip through the best of California.

1. Los Angeles

The variety of scenery and landscape of the city and its proximity to the ocean and the high desert environment, make Los Angeles a must-see city in California. And its location provides the best base for one of the most scenic road trips to take in the state.

But before you start the trip, visit a few places in the city. Start at the pier at famous Santa Monica Beach, then dip your toes into the ocean and walk in the sand along its sides. Or walk the paved path along the shore and enjoy the view. For an even better view and a pleasant walk, head to the cliffs of the Pacific Palisades and walk along the path bordering the cliffs.

For a taste of the Hollywood scene, head to the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, where you’ll see the stars featuring celebrities encrusted on the sidewalk.

If these are the museums your favorite, you’ll find some of the best at the Getty Center, featuring impressive galleries across several buildings. You can also read about our picks for the best art museums in Los Angeles and what to see there.

Pro tip: Traffic in Los Angeles is one of the worst in the world, and parking is scarce and expensive, so instead of driving, park your car and use Uber or Lyft to get around.

Photo credit: Radoslaw Lecyk / Shutterstock.com

2. Death Valley

As you move away from Los Angeles, you’ll move from the coast’s busiest city to one of the most desolate parts of the United States. The hottest and driest desert on the continent, Death Valley National Park also includes the area with the lowest elevation at 282 feet below sea level.

Aside from the oasis where the hotels are located, this is the most desolate area I have ever visited – and I live in the desert. But this lack of vegetation and water has resulted in a showcase of some of the most beautiful geological features. Colorful rock formations, salt marshes and golden sand dunes delight the senses here.

There isn’t much more you can do on a summer visit than walk across, but the scenery is always worth it. Stop at the sand dunes, ride the 15 km long Artist Drive, and before you leave, stop at Zabriskie Point to take in some of the best views in the park.

Pro tip: The best time to visit Death Valley is winter. Spring is still bearable and adds the spectacle of wild flowers in some areas. But, with temperatures consistently in triple digits, summer is the time to avoid this national park except to drive through it in an air-conditioned car.

Mount Whitney, California.
Mount Whitney (Photo credit: Emese Fromm)

3. Lone Pine and Mount Whitney

Gateway to both Death Valley and Mount Whitney, the town of Lone Pine sits between the lowest and highest elevation in the contiguous United States.

Known as the backdrop for Western films, over 400 of which have been filmed here, the city displays memorabilia of them at the Museum of Western Film History.

But Lone Pine is more popular for its proximity to Mount Whitney and its famous Summit Trail. The spectacular Whitney Portal Road begins in the center of town and leads there. At just 13 miles long, the road climbs to 8,374 feet via dramatic, steep switchbacks.

Whitney Portal, a wooded canyon surrounded by towering granite cliffs, marks the end of the route. This is where the Summit Trail begins, which leads to the top of the mountain on a strenuous 10.5 mile hike. However, you do need a permit, proper equipment, and mountaineering experience to climb to the top of the 14,494-foot mountain.

Instead, enjoy the portal and its surroundings. Take a shorter hike along Lone Pine Creek and have a picnic in the shade of tall pines.

Pro tips: Remember you are at high altitude; if you are prone to altitude sickness you may experience it, with headaches and dizziness being the most common symptoms. Make sure to drink plenty of water and slow down if you are hiking. Additionally, I visited Whitney Portal in early June 2021. As of June 29, 2021, the area is closed until November 2021 due to the Inyo Creek fire. When planning your visit, check the condition of the National Recreational Trail here.

Mammonth Village, California.
Mammoth Village (Photo credit: Emese Fromm)

4. Mammoth Lakes

The town of Mammoth Lakes sits at the foot of Mount Mammoth at an elevation of 7,880 feet. Gateway to the scenic Mountain and Devils Postpile National Monument, the town and its immediate surroundings offer year-round outdoor activities in an area of ​​incredible natural beauty.

On our road trip in early June, the Devils Postpile National Monument was still closed, so we couldn’t get there. If you want to visit it, check the condition before you go. But even without that, Mammoth Lakes was one of the highlights of the trip.

Heading towards Devils Postpile you will reach Mammoth Lakes Ski Resort. You can spend time here, enjoy the outdoors, shop, or take the ski lifts for the scenic ride to the top of Mammoth Mountain.

Take the scenic drive that circles the city, then head to the Mammoth Lakes Basin, where you’ll find several crystal-clear mountain lakes surrounded by deep pine forests. Here you will enjoy hiking possibilities on trails ranging from easy to difficult.

Don’t leave town before strolling through the quaint village of Mammoth in the town center for excellent dining and shopping opportunities.

5. Lee Vining and Mono Lake

A truly small town, Lee Vining is a gateway to the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park, when it is open. Located at the foot of the Tioga Pass, near Mono Lake, the town offers a perfect alternative to overnight stays in the park.

You can stay in a hotel here if you don’t have a reservation in the park or are looking for cheaper alternatives. Lakeview Lodge was our choice. For dinner, you might be surprised to hear the locals send you to the Whoa Nellie Deli, especially when you realize it’s at a gas station. But don’t let him put you off; we had one of the best meals on our entire trip there.

As well as using the small town as a gateway to Yosemite, you can spend time here exploring Mono Lake, a former salt lake. You’ll have the opportunity to take free walking tours led by naturalists through different habitats and experience California’s most unusual lake. You will walk among strange tuff (limestone) towers and bubbling springs, artemia habitats, wetlands, willows, sagebrush and poplars. It is also a great place for bird and wildlife viewing.

Yosemite National Park.
Emese Fromm

6. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park was the main destination for our road trip, and since we needed reservations to get in, we timed everything else around it. If you are visiting Yosemite, you will need to do the same, as visitors now need reservations to enter the park. Also, to enjoy this road trip, you need to make sure the Tioga Pass is open.

In the park, explore the higher elevations along Tioga Road. Take a hike to Tuolumne Meadows for great views of the waterways and often wildlife. Spend time on the shores of Lake Tenaya, where you can hike the rim trail, swim (though the water is still cold), fish, or kayak. Picnic by Yosemite Creek and stop for wonderful panoramic views at Olmsted Point.

In Yosemite Valley and throughout the park, enjoy a few hikes with wonderful views of the famous waterfalls, surrounded by lush green meadows and towering granite boulders. As the most well-known area of ​​the park, Yosemite Valley is extremely popular and can get crowded. However, if you arrive early or late in the day, you should be fine. You will also find the Visitor Center and the park shop there.

For the most spectacular (and famous) views of Yosemite Valley, drive to Glacier Point, where you can take several short hikes to different lookout points.

Giant sequoias.
Twin Sequoias, Kings Canyon National Park (Photo credit: Emese Fromm)

7. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

As spectacular as Yosemite is, the highlight of this trip for me has been Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The spectacular scenery of these parks includes towering mountains, deep canyons, and rugged foothills, but the most amazing thing about them is that they are home to the tallest trees in the world.

Sequoia National Park is home to the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest tree by volume, measuring 275 feet tall, with over 36 feet in circumference at the base. A paved but steep path leads there, not to be missed. The famous giant is part of the largest grove of redwoods, the Forest of the Giants, offering an extensive network of hiking trails, from 1 and 2 hour hikes to half-day hikes and more.

In Kings Canyon’s Grant Grove, you’ll find the magnificent General Grant Tree. Home to many of the largest redwoods in the park, the hike through Grant Grove was probably my favorite in the park. No wonder, because according to the National Park Service website, “a higher percentage of mature redwoods in this grove grow to sizes ten, fifteen and twenty feet in diameter than any other grove.” The trail also crosses a fallen redwood tree, providing an interior view of its hollow log.

Pro tip: Return to Los Angeles via Bakersfield

The easiest way to get back to Los Angeles from Kings Canyon is through the California Desert and the town of Bakersfield. The desolate area contrasts sharply with what you just experienced, providing a slow transition from farmland to the world of cities.


Drone Delivery Canada Corp (TAKOF) (CVE: FLT) Stock rockets after the news: how to trade now?


The drone technology company Drone Delivery Canada Corp (OTCMKTS: TAKOF) (CVE: FLT) has announced that the United States Patent Office has approved its Patent No. 11,053,021 entitled “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Method of indication of a landing zone ”. Intended for UAV and its landing at one location, the patent has a light source to generate a light beam to define a pattern. Shares of the company climbed around 27% on the CVE.

Michael Zahra, President and CEO of Drone Delivery Canada, said the innovation can facilitate a proper landing as well as a cargo drop zone on a number of fixed platforms and advance safety on the ground. . Zahra added that the company will continue to grow its intellectual property portfolio and also hopes to continue its business success.

DDC will perform appropriate route delivery of the EIA by operating the Sparrow drone as DroneSpot’s take-off and landing areas. Operations will be conducted in accordance with Canadian protocols and flights will be monitored from the company’s operations control center in Vaughan, Ontario.

The company hopes the first drone delivery project will advance the supply chain industry. The agreements allow it to bill customer payments in advance as well as a monthly fee for professional managed services for the following year. Beginning with B2B freight delivery to Edmonton International Airport, the company has commercial contracts in Alberta as well as with courier companies.

Market reaction:

On Friday, TAKOF stock climbed 27.50% to $ 1.11 with more than 1.01 million shares, compared to its average volume of 198,000 shares. The stock traded in a range of $ 0.9341 to 1.1100 after the trade opened at $ 0.985. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded in a range of $ 0.4520 to $ 2.0100.


Jamie Lynn Spears faces controversy over title of Britney-inspired book, more news | Gallery

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6:31 a.m. PDT, July 10, 2021


Data, Not Guns, Main Driver of Emerging US-China Cold War | Robert reich

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Tthis week, shares of China’s giant rideshare app Didi crashed by more than 20%. Days earlier, Didi had raised $ 4.4 billion in a massive New York IPO – the largest initial public offering by a Chinese company since Alibaba debuted in 2014.

The immediate cause of Didi’s crash was an announcement by the Chinese Cyberspace Administration that it suspected Didi of illegally collecting and using personal information. Pending an investigation, he ordered Didi to stop registering new users and remove Didi’s app from Chinese app stores.

Chinese state-owned Global Times noted in an editorial Monday that Didi has the “most detailed personal travel information” of users of any major tech company, and that the company poses a potential risk to individuals because it could perform big data analysis of users. habits and behaviors.

But since when has Beijing been concerned about the privacy of Chinese citizens? The Chinese government is doing everything in its power to spy on them.

More likely, the massive New York IPO sparked concern in Beijing that the United States could have access to huge amounts of personal information about where the Chinese live, work and travel – Data that could threaten China’s national security.

China’s competition regulator on Wednesday fined several internet companies, including Didi, for allegedly breaking the country’s antimonopoly law.

The emerging Cold War between Beijing and Washington is less about traditional weapons and more about data – the collection, aggregation, analysis, and maximum use of it to outsmart the other side. Cyber ​​security depends on which side has access to more information about the other and can use it best.

This week, China also announced that it will tighten the regulation of technology companies listed overseas, monitoring the type of information they send and receive across the country’s borders. The official rationale: to ensure that Chinese customers are safe from cybercrime and personal information leaks. The probable reason: national security.

Politicians in Washington are almost as nervous as politicians in Beijing about the flow of information to the other side.

Senator Marco Rubio told the Financial Times that it was “reckless and irresponsible” for the New York Stock Exchange to allow Didi to sell shares. His avowed concern? Protect American retirees.

“Even if the stock rebounds, US investors still have no idea of ​​the company’s financial strength because the Chinese Communist Party is preventing US regulators from reviewing the books,” Rubio huffed. “It endangers the investments of American retirees and sends desperately needed US dollars to Beijing.”

Please. If Rubio and other U.S. lawmakers were serious about protecting U.S. investors, Rubio and his colleagues would try to restrict the inflow of U.S. savings into China through U.S. pension funds, mutual funds, and funds. traded on the stock exchange.

Yet Chinese companies now form the largest share of the major emerging market indices guiding the movement of US savings around the world. And despite escalating geopolitical tensions, China’s allocation has increased dramatically in recent years. Global bond indices have even added Chinese government bonds to their portfolios.

U.S. portfolio investments in Chinese companies and government securities could total more than $ 1 billion by the end of 2021.

The real concern of US lawmakers about Didi and other large Chinese tech companies that are financially establishing themselves in the United States is that they could collect tons of data about the United States, and yet they are responsible. in front of the Chinese government – in other words, the mirror image of Beijing’s concern.

Beijing and Washington’s data security concerns are understandable. Yet, from a practical standpoint, the two economies are closely linked. Officially, the Chinese economy is still state and communist. Unofficially, its hi-tech leaders are as capitalist – and have become almost as rich – as their American counterparts.

Entrepreneurs and financial wizards in China and the United States understand that the two nations together constitute the world’s largest market. They will continue to do whatever they can to make money in this giant market, regardless of the growing techno-nationalism of their respective politicians.

This means that the most interesting conflict to come is not between China and the United States as such. It is between the business elites of the two countries who are looking for big profits and the political elites of the two countries who want to protect their country and, in doing so, their own centers of power.


NZR in talks with Amazon over $ 20million All Blacks jersey deal

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New Zealand Rugby [NZR] are said to be in talks with Amazon, the world’s richest company, over a sponsorship deal with the All Blacks worth $ 20 million a year.

According to a report by the New Zealand Herald, NZR has been negotiating for months with the US tech giant over the possibility of replacing AIG as the All Blacks forward shirt sponsor.

AIG, the U.S. insurance group, has been the All Blacks’ main jersey sponsor since 2012, but their current deal with NZR, estimated at $ 12 million a year, is set to expire this year.

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Vern Cotter on the massive obstacles the Flying Fijians overcame to play the All Blacks

the Herald reports that it is not known if Amazon is seen as AIG’s preferred successor as the All Blacks’ main jersey sponsor, but it is believed that such a deal would be the biggest jersey sponsorship in rugby history .

With an estimated value of $ 386 billion, Amazon began as an online book selling company in 1994 before moving into e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

However, despite being one of the most important and recognizable names in the corporate world, it is believed that Amazon would not have his company name on the front of the All Blacks game jersey. if an agreement was reached.

Instead, the Herald says Amazon will look to use the jersey to promote its The Climate Pledge initiative, a pact first announced by the company’s multibillion-dollar owner and founder Jeff Bezos in 2019.

The initiative aims to hold signatories – which include large companies such as Microsoft and Mercedez Benz – accountable for meeting the targets set by the Paris climate agreement a decade ahead of schedule.

News of Amazon’s interest in sponsoring the All Blacks comes after it was reported last month that UK petrochemical company Ineos would be sponsoring the back of the All Blacks playing shorts.

the New Zealand Herald reported in June that Ineos and NZR “have practically reached the terms” of a deal worth between $ 5 million and $ 8 million a year.

If the two deals with Amazon and Ineos come to fruition, NZR would generate a collective total of $ 25-28 million per year, if the reported numbers are correct.

According to Herald, the diversification of sponsorship on the All Blacks play and training kits is an important revenue generation goal for NZR after AIG purchased the sponsorship rights for the front of the jersey, back of the shorts and the back of the kit. training nine years ago.

Amazon has already taken to rugby, with the U.S. company purchasing the broadcast rights to last year’s Fall Nations Cup, while also producing the All or nothing documentary series with the All Blacks in 2017.

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Desires accumulate in the poet’s bookstore: Le DONG-A ILBO

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It has been five years since the author, a poet, opened a bookstore specializing in poetry collections opposite Sinchon Station in Seodaemun District, Seoul, in 2016. It was moved in 2018 to the top floor of famous old bookstore in Dongyang Seorim town in Jongno district. The place is full of not only poetry books but also stories shared by people the owner meets at the bookstore.

You experience a sense of excitement and hope that fills up every day with every page of books. A melody echoes through the bookstore without any fuss. The simple fact of going through every corner of this beautiful space allows the author to feel satisfied. Visitors are always welcome here.

These little pieces of thought are compiled into 40 proses. A wind chime, a gift the author received, hangs from an air conditioner with a tinkle being part of the space. A cup of coffee shares a daily dose of sweetness with those who stay for a while at the bookstore. The author describes lights, sounds of music and a spiral staircase to the bookstore with the feelings and emotions that the bookstore arouses in his daily life as if he were chatting with his close friends.

“People still love the spiral staircase. As you climb it, I watch your head crown, face, chest, and waist rise in order. Once you have all appeared in front of me to complete yourself as an avid poetry reader, I am incredibly captivated by such a wonderful spectacle. I feel the same as I watch you disappear in reverse order, ”says the author.

The author relates that he receives more than the money visitors pay for a book of poetry. Even in an age when a few clicks is all it takes to deliver books to your home and workplace, we miss someone else’s warmth – an interactive moment through books.

This is why the owner of the book says that it is not the books but the visitors’ requests that fill the space. One rainy day, a customer with puffy eyes from crying asks him what will help him. The owner’s recommendation is the poetry of Kim Yong-taek. He says with witty frankness that the most researched question is, “Where can I find your book?” “

Dusting the books with a soft touch, he begins to read the stories people leave in the bookstore after only books have filled the void in a time of silence.

Seong-Taek Jeong [email protected]


Lightning FaceTimes’ Nikita Kucherov ‘Idol’ After Stanley Cup Win

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TAMPA – Nikita Kucherov’s Stanley Cup celebration didn’t end with a merry-go-round on the ice or a locker room party with family and friends.

It spilled over into her hockey idol’s dinner.

Igor Larionov was having dinner with his son when Larionov received a FaceTime call from an unknown number. He answered it anyway, and Kucherov and the Stanley Cup filled his screen.

“You are my idol!” shouted the Lightning forward and playoff top scorer at Larionov in Russian. “Thank you!”

Larionov’s son Igor Larionov II shared the exchange on Twitter, calling it “the coolest thing ever.” Less than an hour later, he showed the tweet to his father, who shared other parts of their conversation.

“(Larionov) said ‘Kuch’ also told him that he always watches his highlights,” Larionov II tweeted. “Every athlete can relate to looking at their idol, but how amazing it is to win the biggest trophy in your sport and then face your idol. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

Larionov, 60, was one of the famous “five Russians” of the Detroit Red Wings in the 1990s. Alongside Sergei Fedorov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Slava Kozlov and Slava Fetisov, he helped the team win two championships consecutive Stanley Cup under Scotty Bowman in 1997-98.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the exchange:

Contact Mari Faiello at [email protected]. To pursue @faiello_mari.

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Future of WoolQ’s sale to be discussed with industry


AWI President Jock Laurie.

The future of Australian Wool Innovation’s WoolQ platform and its wool business arm will be discussed with the industry, according to new AWI President Jock Laurie.

After Mr Laurie’s recent appointment to the most senior position at AWI, Sheep Central asked him whether to continue funding WoolQ to duplicate the services provided by online sales platforms such as AuctionsPlus or through Zoom, and the systems established integrity, was effective use of producer samples.

Mr. Laurie replied that the decision to develop WoolQ was made seven years ago.

“There are quite a few traceability things that are going to be involved in the WoolQ program which is starting to align with all of the things that we are hearing demanded in some of these foreign markets.

“I think there are some really good things there.”

Mr Laurie said that WoolQ’s wool sales platform has organized several online sales.

The last of these was late last month, in the absence of a physical auction in Western Australia, when WoolQ Market was used by a broker in WA to offer 817 bales and got a 75% customs clearance.

“There will obviously be discussions about where we are taking WoolQ and where we are taking this component of the platform,” said Laurie.

At the end of March of this year, AWI told senators from the Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation that it had spent $ 6.3 million in levy funds for producers on the WoolQ platform. Market over the past five years, but it had not generated any income. AWI’s 2019-2020 annual operating plan had an operating target of 2% of all Australian wool to be traded by the WoolQ marketing tool, but sold less than 1 pc, or 939 bales out of 32,437 balls created on the platform.

When asked again if WoolQ represented an efficient use of producer levy funds when there was no market failure in the areas of online wool sales and traceability, Mr. Laurie said the board will “sit down and review.” He reiterated that WoolQ’s investment decision was made by AWI’s board of directors about seven years ago.

“A lot of the development of this stuff has already been done and the board is going to sit down and discuss WoolQ.

“He’s going to continue to have discussions around WoolQ and I think it’s also important that we sit down and talk with the whole industry about WoolQ and where it fits,” he said. -he declares.

“We need to have these discussions, I can’t tell you more about it right now until we sit down and do this work.”

Mr. Laurie and former managers use WoolQ

On May 27 of this year, AWI Chief Executive Officer Stuart McCullough told National Senator Bridget McKenzie to Senate Estimates that he knew some former and current board members were trading their wool on this platform. , but he didn’t know if they were among the best. 30pc of growers producing 80pc of Australian clip. Sheep Central knows that former AWI President Wal Merriman offered wool for sale on WoolQ.

Mr Laurie said there would be directors who would use it.

“There will be former directors who will use it, who will see its value.

“I’m going to sell my yarn on it, and I know other directors have done that as well.”

Mr McCullough said AWI’s consultation on WoolQ over the past 12 months has been largely with brokers, wool producers and exporters.

Mr McCullough said AWI aims to get WoolQ into the commercial arena as quickly as possible and test it in the commercial arena.

“There’s a good reason we haven’t moved this into the commercial arena.

“We sought advice from Port Jackson Partners on the way forward in terms of ownership and operation.

“We don’t think this is the right time to put it in the hands of a business partner.

Mr McCullough said one of the reasons was liquidity.

“One was that we were still building modules for this – the blockchain module and the supply chain integrity model.

“We think it’s best to finish them,” he said.

“There is no doubt that with the ownership of this going forward, the shareholders – because they paid for it – should own at least 51%, but the business world should own the rest, potentially, or l ‘to exploit.

“I think this is a very real proposition.”

Mr. Laurie agreed: “This is where it will go.”

When Senator McKenzie suggested that AWI did not believe WoolQ was operating as a commercial department at the moment, Mr McCullough said:

“No. A few weeks ago we had a wool auction that sold 342 bales or something like that.

“This was the first sale for which we charged the service,” he said.

Senator McKenzie asked AWI to provide annual figures on the number of WoolQ users, including producers, exporters, brokers and carriers.


Osinbajo exalts entrepreneurial virtues when visiting Rovingheights bookstore

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Yinka Olatunbosun

As part of the 2021 MSME Week commemoration activities, Rovingheights Bookstore, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing bookstore brands, hosted Federal Republic of Nigeria Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbanjo SAN, Tuesday, June 22. The Vice-President was accompanied by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.

His entourage was received by Adebola Eyinade, and respectively co-founder / general manager of Nike Timothy and store manager of Abuja. The vice president took the time to peruse the bookstore’s well-stocked shelves and hired staff on books by his favorite authors, including American political scientist Francis Fukuyama.

Besides an interest in non-fiction, the vice-president is also interested in literature and poetry of northern Nigeria. He is a big fan of the works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Chibundu Onuzo author of the critically acclaimed Welcome of Lagos. He is also a fan of Professor Wole Soyinka.

He was very keen to understand how the bookstore got started, the book sourcing process and the challenges associated with selling books in Nigeria. Professor Osinbajo remarked that he liked the fact that the Rovingheights Bookstore had a wide range of books and was particularly impressed with the range of native books that the bookstore offered.

He praised, among other things, the store’s vibe and recommended more seating for the elderly while browsing books, an arrangement reminiscent of his favorite Barnes and Nobles store where he enjoys buying and browsing books while breastfeeding. a cup of coffee. The Vice President bought a good supply of books, including Professor Wole Soyinka’s essay “Intervention X”.

According to Adebola Eyinade, “Rovingheights is extremely honored to have hosted the Vice President of Nigeria on this thoughtful visit. His visit is a validation of our conviction that MSMEs are at the heart of job creation and a great encouragement for a growing and ambitious bookstore chain ”. We are grateful to have a regular boss in the vice president of Nigeria and we hope more leaders will emulate his deep love for books, ”she added.

Rovingheight, a chain of online and physical stores with a wide range of books, has three outlets in Lagos and Abuja. A family business founded in 2016 by the trio Adedotun, Oluwatobi and Adebola Eyinade, its vision is to build the largest profitable bookstore chain in Nigeria, while delivering quality books at the best prices to readers.

Houston comic book store filed comic book complaint – Texas Monthly

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There isn’t a week that goes by when, in one corner of Texas, someone doesn’t prepare for something that can only be described as “antics.” These stories capture our attention and imagination, and we explore them in Meanwhile in Texas.

What is happening?

Third Planet Sci-Fi Superstore, a comic book store in Houston, has filed a lawsuit against the nearby Crowne Plaza River Oaks, claiming that hotel guests have continued to throw items such as fire extinguishers and dishes since. the balconies on the roof of the store, requiring expensive repairs. But the weird part is what the store’s pleading looks like.

Alright, I’ll bite. What does it look like?

See for yourself, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle, who first reported the story (scroll to page six):

They filed the lawsuit like… a comic strip?

Enough on. Bad Cog Studios artists Michael Charles, Maurice Terry Jr., Michael Brooks and Benjamin Carbonero illustrated the 24-page comic at the request of Third Planet owner TJ Johnson and his attorney, Cris Feldman. “I was really intrigued by this because, first of all, I had a lawyer called me to do a creative project,” Charles told the the Chronicle. The full-color comic shows store staff fending off an attack on ceramic plates, lit cigarette butts that they claim have caused fires on two occasions, and as many as fourteen fire extinguishers thrown from hotel balconies on the roof of the store. A sign shows store workers using buckets to collect water as rain seeps through the damaged roof onto the shelves.

It is indeed! This is unconventional, but the law does not require civil proceedings to be black and white typed documents formatted in a particular way. Yet there are good reasons why most trials are alike: one judge may be amused by unusual pleading, while another may consider it unworthy of the court; fanciful pleading could undermine the seriousness of the case; and, of course, not all costumes lend themselves to creative storytelling. Third Planet’s pleadings are unique. This is a third amended petition, which means the parties involved are already in the middle of the legal process. The store and its lawyers know who the judge is reviewing the claim and if he’s the type to blame them for this gimmick. Additionally, according to oral argument, counsel for the defendant claimed that they did not understand the previous petition, which meant that categorizing it as an easy-to-understand comic matched the age-old legal tradition of being devious to the petition. opposing lawyer.

Are there other examples of this kind of advocacy?

We couldn’t find any, and when we asked Daryl Moore, a former Harris County judge now in private practice, he said he had never seen anything so creative on his case. . Sometimes a complainant would include photos, especially in a personal injury lawsuit, but that was roughly the extent of the problem. Of course, he noted, Third Planet is a comic book store, so portraying its case in that format has a sort of intuitive feel.

Is it fair that the comic book store owners pose as heroes and the hotel as villains? Is a hotel responsible for what its guests may or may not throw on the roof of a neighboring business?

Excellent questions! It is not uncommon for hotels to be sued for the behavior of their customers. In January 2020, a San Antonio hotel was sued after a guest threw a bottle of ketchup on a balcony overlooking River Walk, where, according to the complainant, it struck and injured a two-year-old boy. In 2017, Harris County sued a hotel in the spring for failing to curb the criminal activity of its guests.

That said, all we have here is a party’s submission, which the lawyers (and writers and artists) have presented in the most convincing way possible. No response has yet been submitted by the hotel (and its management has not responded to Texas monthlyinterview request), so we only have one side of the story so far. We will refrain from commenting on the merits of the case, and simply note that this type of litigation is not unprecedented and that many complainants want to present themselves as little guys who oppose an unfair system. For the rest, it is up to the court to decide.


Can New Hartford’s Sangertown Square Overcome Its Financial Woes?


Sangertown Square in New Hartford is suffering financially and city officials have implemented plans to help the retail establishment.

City supervisor Paul Miscione said the mall had been in financial trouble before COVID-19, but the pandemic has exasperated the situation.

Sangertown has seen its estimated value drop, Miscione said. Sangertown’s bonds were also recently downgraded by the rating agency Fitch.

Last week, city officials provided Sangertown with a one-year stipulation that would see it at a lower assessed value to save money on taxes. The city would reconsider the stipulation after a year, Miscione said.

“We have to work with them, not against them,” Miscione said.

Sangertown is the city’s biggest taxpayer and the biggest contributor to the sales tax, Miscione said.

Mall officials did not return multiple messages seeking comment.

Sangertown history

Utica resident Vanessa Stacks sits by the fountain outside Macy's with her daughters Alyssa and Aubrey in August in Sangertown Square.  The store is expected to close in April.

Sangertown opened in July 1980 with Hess’s, Sears, and JC Penney as key tenants, which is normally a larger store in the mall, typically a department store or retail chain. Other stores included Klein’s All-Sport, Karaz Shoe Shop, Barbara Moss, Shed House, RadioShack, General Nutrition Center, Waldenbooks, Brooks Fashion Store, Endicott Johnson, Liberty Travel, Lennon’s Jewelers and McHarris Gift Center, according to archives at Observe-Dispatch.

None of those original stores remain, which have seen their mainstays change over time and a few have closed in recent years, leaving storefronts vacant.

Macy’s closed its store in Sangertown in April as part of a restructuring plan that saw the company close 45 stores across the country.

JC Penney announced it would close many stores – including the Sangertown store – last July as the company tried to stabilize its finances under Chapter 11 protection. The store is now closed.

Sangertown now only counts Target and Boscov’s as two of its four pillar stores.

Sangertown Square:Officials optimistic despite loss of flagship stores

In previous interviews, Sangertown’s marketing manager Victoria Orilio said the retail establishment was optimistic despite the loss of anchor stores.

“We are encouraged by the constant customer traffic and the growth in in-store and curbside collection offered by many Sangertown Square tenants,” Orilio said in late January. “Our mix of offerings will continue to evolve and grow as we continue to attract an assortment of exciting new tenants. ”

Some of the new tenants mentioned by Orilio were the bohemian retailer Earthbound Trading Co., which came to the mall last year, as well as the Utica Blue Sox Academy, which recently opened.

Financial problems

The Utica Blue Sox Training Academy features two 70-foot batting cages.  The facility is located in the Sangertown Square shopping center in New Hartford.

Sangertown’s estimated value was around $ 85 million in 2015, according to OD reports. The mall’s estimated value is now not even half of it, Miscione said.

Miscione said the city has settled a dispute with the mall over the property assessment. New Hartford will increase the property’s estimated value from $ 47 million to $ 35 million, Miscione said.

Sangertown officials had said the estimated value should be $ 15 million, Miscione said.

Miscione said the city decided to settle in order to help the mall and its stores. Things could go on for years if they went through the court system, Miscione said.

“This directly relieves tenants today,” Miscione said of the one-year agreement between New Hartford and Sangertown.

Fitch demoted two and confirmed five classes of JP Morgan Chase Commercial Mortgage Securities Corp. earlier this year, according to a May 5 statement on the decision. Simply put, this means that Fitch has downgraded or confirmed a commercial loan pool that includes the Sangertown loan.

Fitch said two regional malls – Sangertown and Holyoke Mall in Massachusetts, both owned by Pyramid – were included in the pool the credit reporting agency ruled on.

Destiny USA in Syracuse, also owned by Pyramid, is also facing financial difficulties according to several press reports.

Melissa Che, senior manager of Fitch, said the loans for Sangertown were made in 2011 and are due to expire this year. Che said Sangertown still had $ 52.5 million in arrears on loans.

Sangertown’s loan, as well as the loan for Holyoke Mall, was amended in October 2020, extending their loan term by 36 months until January / February 2024 and converting the remaining payments to interest only, according to the release from Fitch.

Pyramid is now asking for an additional modification and has indicated that it would not be able to repay it as it is currently structured for the Sangertown loan, according to the Fitch report. Negotiations for a possible second modification are currently underway.

What future for Sangertown?

Holiday shoppers stroll around Sangertown Square during Black Friday Friday November 27, 2020 in New Hartford.

Sangertown’s financial future is uncertain at this time.

Che said Fitch is watching to see if the mall receives the second change.

The May 5 Fitch report provides a negative outlook and suggests the possibility of further degradation over the next two years.

Fitch has been concerned about the mall sub-sector since 2015, Che said.

Shopping malls were affected by e-commerce and changing consumer behavior before the pandemic, which also had an effect, according to Che.

Stephanie Cegielski, vice president of research and public relations for the International Council of Shopping Centers, said most shopping centers are doing well, in general, although all shopping centers have struggled throughout. pandemic due to government-imposed closures.

“There are many reasons a mall can have a hard time, so the outlook for one of them usually doesn’t reflect all of them,” Cegielski said in an emailed statement. “When it comes to online shopping, we are seeing its use slowing down since the peak of the pandemic as people are returning to physical stores and, overall, not having a negative impact on the health of stores. retail or properties where they are tenants. Shopping centers continue to be relevant and see consumers returning as the country emerges from the pandemic. ”

Miscione hopes Sangertown can turn around her finance ship, with help from the city. However, he believes the city could survive the financial blow if the mall collapses, thanks to the city’s new development.

“It will hurt us, but it will not cripple us,” Miscione said.

Ed Harris is the Oneida County reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. For unlimited access to his stories, please register at the top of the uticaod.com home page or activate your digital account today. Email Ed Harris at [email protected]


WH Smith from UK expects slight performance improvement in 2021

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A company logo is pictured outside a branch of WH Smith in Manchester, northern England on March 17, 2016. REUTERS / Phil Noble / File Photo

  • Travel and high street business income show recovery
  • North American Travel Trade Exceeds Expectations
  • UK airport deal creates ‘significant’ new presence -JPMorgan
  • Equities up almost 1%

July 8 (Reuters) – UK retailer WH Smith (SMWH.L) expects a slight improvement in performance in the current fiscal year after stronger than expected business activity in North America, has t he said Thursday.

The FTSE-250-listed company said it has signed deals for 18 tech accessory stores at major UK airports, including Heathrow and Stansted, which are expected to generate around £ 60million ($ 82.65million) in sales annuals in a fully recovered travel environment. [PnNDL9DrQ9L]

The retailer of books, travel accessories and tech at stations, airports and workplace kiosks added it would spend around £ 15million on the new stores in fiscal year 2022 , which would be marketed under the InMotion brand that it uses in North America.

Analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove said the in-store wins create a significant new presence for WH Smith in the UK technology travel accessory market, which could provide the company with new opportunities to expand InMotion in the country and through Europe.

The brokerage also noted that all but one of the 18 stores were stores of Dixons Carphone Plc (DC.L), which in April decided to close its airport stores, after a program allowing purchases was removed. excluding VAT for foreign tourists.

WH Smith said Thursday he continued to be affected by the slowdown in his travel business, but was seeing an “encouraging recovery” in North America, where June sales picked up to about 88% of sales. 2019 levels.

Overall, revenue from its travel business, which includes shops and kiosks at airports and train stations, reached 48% of 2019 levels in the 18 weeks to July 3, up from 34% in the second trimester.

The two-century-old company also said high street income reached 86% of 2019 levels in the 18 weeks leading up to July 3, but attendance continued to be below pre-pandemic levels.

WH Smith, hit hard by the pandemic due to travel restrictions and work-from-home mandates, warned in April of the possible risk of violating his engagement tests in 2022 after recording a loss in the first half of the year.

He said on Thursday that his liquidity position was strong and that he would continue to focus on reducing cash consumption, which stood at around £ 2million per month over the March to June period.

WH Smith shares rose 0.8% to 16.62 pounds in morning trading.

($ 1 = 0.7260 lb)

Report by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


The path from Open Banking to Open Finance – interview with Andréa Toucinho, Partelya Consulting

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The European institutions have identified open finance as the next step in Open Banking. But how do European countries embark on this journey?

At the beginning of June 2021, Andréa Toucinho, Director of Partelya Consulting, published a white paper entitled “Open banking: how is the payments market structured? “. The white paper is a collection of studies and interviews with French and European professionals on the evolution of Open Banking, not only in Europe but across the world.

To pique the interest of readers and share some highlights of the book, Andréa shared with us which countries are most open to the concept of open finance, which are the most reluctant, what is happening overseas and what role plays the European Payment Initiative (EPI), central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and EC’s reliable and secure digital identity project to play.

What does Open Banking look like in Europe? Which countries are proactively adopting this concept and which are the most reluctant?

In Europe, Open Banking is above all seen as a regulatory development linked to PSD2. As a result, many European countries have started to work on this topic as a compliance evolution. Nevertheless, we can now observe a more “opportunistic” approach, since many countries are now aiming to work on the benefits of Open Banking for the evolution of services, models, and the relationship between banks and other market players, especially the consumer. It is important to remember that certain European professionals see in Open Banking an asset which favors the place of European players in the context of competition from international companies, especially Internet giants. It is a key trend in Europe.

But there is another key issue linked to our region: despite the objective of harmonization, reflected by PSD2, for example, Open Banking has been seen in different ways in Europe and today we observe a real diversity in the area of ​​strategies. Thus, some countries have been very proactive in Open Banking. This is for example the case of the United Kingdom which, according to certain professionals of this country, has a lead of 5 years in the field of Open Banking, compared to continental Europe. This is linked to the UK’s work in fintech and the opening up of the market. Other proactive countries can be found in the Nordic zone, such as Sweden, which is closely linked to digital, or even Spain, with large banks (Santander, La Caixa, BBVA, etc.) which adopted Open Banking very early on, by launching their APIs, but also Luxembourg, with the Luxhub initiative. Regarding the countries which have adopted Open Banking with a little more reluctance, we can cite France, which is concerned about security issues and systemic questions linked to this development, and the countries of Eastern Europe which do not have the same maturity on these subjects despite a real ambition to embrace the new payments framework: the case of Poland, which recently joined the ENP project, testifies to this reality.

Limiting the discussion to France, could you please briefly present what are both the motivations and the obstacles to Open Banking in France? In terms of use cases, where has Open Banking been most successful, in the B2B or B2C sector?

In France, the challenges of Open Banking are above all linked to security. It is important to remember that this country has a strong culture of security in the field of payments with an effective framework based above all on cards, and an image of trust for banking players. Hence a certain reluctance to modify this model, which has shown its strength. French banks aimed to work on Open Banking first of all to ensure the security of the process (API definition, etc.). Another strong issue linked to Open Banking was the systemic angle of security: as a new means of strengthening the opening of the market, Open Banking was perceived as a means of modifying existing models and bringing new risks in the market. Despite this situation, the French banking sector has evolved and is now working on the opportunities of Open Banking, both for the B2C and B2B sectors. Thus, it is important to remember that if Open Banking has been treated above all as an evolution for end users, it is now also perceived as a strong opportunity for companies, for example, to boost the digitization of transactions. and equipping businesses with electronic tools. And this situation is very clear in France where companies and traders show great interest in this new paradigm. This situation allows me to predict that we are about to see very interesting developments in the field of Open Banking in this country.

Account-to-Account / Open Banking payments is an important use case of open banking, which offers a similar level of fraud protection to that SCA is aiming for. Have French brands exploited this potential? What is their take on SCA?

Although according to PSD2 regulations, SCA is above all an evolution managed by the banking sector, French merchants have been very proactive in France in this area. The cause of this engagement of demand actors is the need to develop frictionless experiences in this new security context. The French brands wanted to be included in the working group and sit down to discuss with regulators and banking players about this move towards SCA. This approach has met with great success and shows the need to evolve, today, towards genuine collaboration between all market players in order to manage the major changes in the payments market.

Now crossing the ocean, what can you tell us about Open Banking in the United States and Brazil? What are the main forces that favor Open Banking in these regions?

If in Europe, Open Banking is seen as an evolution linked to regulation, in other parts of the world, this transformation is already a reality linked to new ways of doing finance. This is the case in the United States, where changes in Open Banking are linked to operational strategies stimulated by the market. Brazil is also an interesting country in this area: Open Banking, which was launched very recently (in 2020), is seen as a way to modernize the finance sector and facilitate the entry of new players. It is important to mention that in Brazil, the launch of Open Banking will be finalized through several stages and is managed by the national regulator Banco Central do Brasil, demonstrating a real objective of promoting new financing in the country.

Overall, even if it will be difficult to see harmonization in the field of Open Banking at the international level and to observe a true global approach on this subject, all these initiatives participate in the evolution of finance, towards a model more decentralized and open. , in the world.

One of the main objectives of Open Banking is to go beyond the concept / regulation phase and move towards an open financing framework. How can initiatives such as EPI, CBDCs and EC’s digital identity project fit into this framework?

As a regulatory development, in Europe, Open Banking is seen as a specific subject, different from PPE or even CBDCs which are more operational projects. Nevertheless, European professionals agree on the fact that the combination of all this work will help strengthen the Europe of Payments. One more condition remains: the creation of a real European vision and strategy in the field of Open Banking, which is also a condition for the success of the next step identified by the European Commission: open finance.

Thank you Andréa for this informative and informative discussion. Could you please share with our readers where they can learn more about the white paper?

This white paper aims to share some key points and recommendations that ensure the effectiveness of the next steps in Open Banking. For example, it is necessary to work on the quality and standardization of APIs, at European level, and to address the end user, consumer or business, with specific communication and information tools. This is a strong condition for enabling the adoption of Open Banking by end users, especially in certain countries where consumers are more linked to traditional networks.

The aim of this book is also to analyze the next step: Open Finance which, even if it is already identified by the European institutions as a great evolution (Open Finance 2024 Plan by EC), is not a clear subject. for all stakeholders. Hence the need to promote information and communication in the field of payments, to raise awareness that the evolution towards Open Finance will involve a great deal of work in the field of technology and regulation to ensure that the evolution towards this new paradigm will be efficient and fair for all market players.

About Andréa Toucinho

An expert in payments and financial services, Andréa Toucinho worked for ten years as Journalist – Editor-in-chief of Point Banque magazine and in charge of “PayForum” and “Banking and Innovation” events. Since 2018, she has been working in the field of consulting, with activities in Paris as Director of Studies, Foresight and Training of Partelya Consulting, and French Ambassador for the European Women’s Payment Network (EWPN). She has also developed activities in Portugal and Spain as France Representative of the Fintech Associations Aefi and Afip.

About Partelya Consulting

Created in 2008, Partelya Consulting is a French consulting company specializing in payment methods. She works with all market players, from banks to cash registers and merchants, on technological and strategic issues. The company works internationally (France, Europe, Morocco, etc.) and is a member of the Association Française du Paiement.


LUO Studio creates the Mumokuteki concept bookstore in Beijing

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What can you do when asked to work in a narrow space below a shopping mall in Beijing? LUO Studio responded to this difficult challenge with great elegance, because this is exactly the type of request that appeals to the founder of the studio Luo Yujie. The award-winning designer has always focused on sustainable construction and the use of minimal materials to create more “universal” spaces.
And that’s exactly what he did at the Mumokuteki concept bookstore in Beijing. Considering that the limited space available was dominated by utility ducts serving the mall, a conventional false ceiling would have been too low. Luo Yujie started with the idea of ​​presenting the authenticity of the space: instead of hiding the cumbersome pipes on the ceiling or re-finishing the columns or walls, he left the original state of the structure. in view, restoring the columns and walls to their original state. condition in order to reveal their pure and authentic spatial qualities.
The white siding has been removed from the walls and columns, and the jagged edges and angles have been completely smoothed out, revealing the unique textures of the aggregate in the concrete columns. The original ceiling structures have been retained, painted in a shade of gray slightly darker than the walls so that they blend well into the space as a whole. Through this modus operandi, LUO Studio not only remodeled the basic structural components, but revealed the authenticity of the space.
The customer wanted to place the shelves against the walls without compromising the flexibility of the space, which measures more than 400 m². In response to this demand, and because the walls were made of hollow, non-loadbearing concrete blocks, the exact width and height of the shelves had to be carefully planned to ensure that the stress from the shelves was concentrated on the floor, along with the walls. offering additional support. Hence the idea of ​​using metal shelves, structural furniture that also serve as partitions, increasing the variability and flexibility of the space. Each metal shelf becomes a true structural installation with a bold visual impact.
The solution incorporates the very idea of ​​”Mumokuteki Conceptual Library», A new concept proposed by the client, Juran Bookstore. After years in the business, the company wants to convey a future free way of life to city dwellers, offering the possibility of creating a new flexible and variable bookstore space that can be integrated with various other functions such as exhibitions and events. .
The solution offered by LUO Studio consists of rotating screen walls, positioned vertically and perpendicular to the input interface. The structure of the revolving wall consists of angular steel profiles with screens in transparent or translucent material. The transparent revolving walls are located at the entrance and in the transition area leading to the back of the store, while the translucent walls are placed elsewhere to enrich the layout of the bookstore with more variety.
The interior design of Beijing’s Mumokuteki Concept Bookstore is truly unconventional, as all of the strategies Luo Yujie adopts make the most of the existing complex technical functions of the space to provide users with a stimulating and unexpected experience.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: LUO studio (www.luostudio.cn)
Design Team: Luo Yujie, Wang Beilei, Wang Zhen, Lu Zhuojian, Huang Shangwan
Construction company: Shinewood Building Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
Location: Beijing, China
Year: 2021
Images: Jin Weiqi


Dr William Clark expresses his appreciation and passion for the arts by sharing his drawings, paintings, prose and poetry

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This was based on four volumes mainly devoted to the representation of the visible world or “the imitation of nature”. The intention was to deal with drawing and coloring together, as the two skills are inseparable.

“I rediscovered my previous work at the age of 83 and was inspired to revisit my artistic experience. I also found poetry and prose that I wrote when I was young. Looking back has proven to be a rewarding experience, ”says Dr William Clark.

“New Horizons In Life, Art & Poetry: Imagination and Innovation A Personal Perspective” (published by AuthorHouse UK) is an expression of Clark’s appreciation and passion for the arts, including his personal experience in drawing, painting, poetry and prose with observations on the human condition in contemporary society, presented with humor and artisan philosophy.

“I am not an artist and I have no formal art training. My experience in art dates back to the 1980s when I took the first part of a correspondence course in drawing and painting at the ABC art school in Paris. This was based on four volumes mainly devoted to the representation of the visible world or “the imitation of nature”. The intention was to deal with drawing and coloring together, as the two skills are inseparable, ”says Clark.

When asked what he wants readers to take away from this book, Clark replies, “I hope they enjoy this trip down memory lane and my combination of art and poetry. For more details on this book, please visit https://www.authorhouse.com/en-gb/bookstore/bookdetails/815291-new-horizons-in-life-art-poetry

“New horizons in life, art and poetry: imagination and innovation, a personal perspective”

Through Dr William Clark

Soft cover | 8.5 x 8.5 in | 196 pages | ISBN 9781728355269

Electronic book | 196 pages | ISBN 9781728355252

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Dr. William Clark is recognized around the world as an educator and innovator in orthodontics. He founded the first full-time orthodontic practice in Scotland in 1965 and developed major innovations in orthodontics and functional therapy to improve the appearance and outlook for patients.

AuthorHouse, a self-publishing brand of Author Solutions, Inc., is a leading provider of book publishing, marketing and sales services for authors worldwide and offers the only suite of services Hollywood book to film industry. Committed to providing the highest level of customer service, AuthorHouse assigns each author personal publishing and marketing consultants to provide guidance throughout the process. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, AuthorHouse celebrates over 23 years of service to authors. For more information or to publish a book, visit authorhouse.co.uk or call 0-800-014-8641.

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Barry Lewis: All-World Awards Book, ‘Football, Fast Friends, and Small Towns’ Has Wide Appeal | OK Additional preparations

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Brown to Ostroski: “Tell us what it feels like to be a college kid?

Ostroski: “It’s pretty fun, it’s a lot more fun than I expected. It’s been about a month since I moved in and started soccer and school at TU. It was awesome, surrounded by a lot of cool guys and awesome coaches. It’s so much more than I could have imagined.

Brown to Malham: “You really have a football history in your family and a basketball history too. Is there one sport that makes you better than another or is everything working out well?

Malham: “I think it all works together. I think playing multiple sports helps you not to exhaust yourself in one sport, so I can just spend my time doing both.

Lewis to Cloud: “What does the future look like for you? “

Cloud: “I had a handicap of 9 when I took on this job and haven’t played for a year and a half – back at golf course # 1 and decided to write a book. JV Haney has told me every Monday for the past six years, we have lunch every Monday, that I need to write a book. I think the title of the book is, “You Can’t Make This Up.” And that will be the nine years I spent at TPS.

Memoir talks about ‘Friday Night Lights’

Former Tulsa Tribune writer Steve Love’s book “Football, Fast Friends, and Small Towns: A Memoir Straight from a Broken Oklahoma Heart”, is more than football in the same vein as “Friday Night Lights”, especially the classic TV series.

Moray man sells books to raise money for local charities

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A man from MORAY wants to raise funds for two local charities by selling a children’s book.

Frankie Barton, who lives near Craigellachie, has written a storybook titled Amberleena and the Prince to give to her grandchildren this past Christmas.

Frankie Barton has written a book in which he sells to raise funds for Moray Reach Out and sportMoray … Photo: Daniel Forsyth ..

While at the printer’s, he discovered that it was almost as cheap to print 200 copies as it was to print two.

It was at this point that Mr Barton decided to go with the 200 and sell the books for £ 10 each to raise money for Moray Reach Out and Sports Fund Moray.

He said: “100 of the books are already gone so I have about half left.

“The buy-in from friends and family has been very good, as well as with local running clubs – because I am an avid runner.

“I’m asking people to donate £ 10 per pound. I’ll give one last push and then hand over the money.”

Frankie Barton has written a book in which he sells to raise funds for Moray Reach Out and sportMoray ... Photo: Daniel Forsyth ..
Frankie Barton has written a book in which he sells to raise funds for Moray Reach Out and sportMoray … Photo: Daniel Forsyth ..

At more usual times, Frankie helps organize the Pinto Run, which took place at Cooper Park in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before being canceled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Held in memory of famous local runner Alistair ‘Pinto’ Sim, who died in 2011 after a battle with cancer, the 3km run raises around £ 500 a year for Sport Moray.

The book sale fundraiser seeks to fill the void left by the race over the past two years in terms of donations to local charities.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Frankie’s book, there are several places you can do so.

Moray Reach Out, on Elgin High Street, Buckie Furniture Store, JMK Children’s Wear Boutique in Buckie and Outrun Speyside in Fochabers all have copies.

Frankie Barton with Yvonne Beattie of Moray Reach Out ... Frankie Barton has written a book in which he sells to raise funds for Moray Reach Out and sportMoray ... Photo: Daniel Forsyth ..
Frankie Barton with Yvonne Beattie of Moray Reach Out … Frankie Barton has written a book in which he sells to raise funds for Moray Reach Out and sportMoray … Photo: Daniel Forsyth ..

Mr. Barton will also be at the Elgin Farmers Market on July 17 to provide signed copies.

If someone cannot get out, the books can be ordered for delivery by calling Frankie on 07387 430 605.


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