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The Church of St. Mary of Shiraz is being restored


TEHRAN – The centuries-old Armenian Church of St. Mary in Shiraz in the southern province of Fars has undergone rehabilitation work, the provincial tourism chief said.

A budget of 1.4 billion rials ($ 34,500 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar) has been allocated for the project, which aims to prevent the destruction of the historic monument, the CHTN said on Sunday, citing Jamshid Moeini. .

The project involves reinforcing the roof as well as replacing worn materials and repairing the roof gutters, the official added.

The restoration project is expected to be completed by the end of the summer, he noted.

Located in the historic Sang-e Siah (Black Stone) district, the church was built in 1662. Built in 1816, the two-story building next to the church was added to this Armenian religious complex.

One of the most distinctive aspects of the architecture of this church is its non-ornamental quadrangular exterior, in which there is no indication that an actual church existed, however, its domed interior can be seen from the inside. of the room.

The ceiling paintings are drawn with a unique angle that makes visitors think they are standing under a dome, even if the ceiling is flat.

The church prayer hall is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in 17th century Shiraz, built by Christian and Muslim architects.

The plaster casts of the church can be considered a masterpiece of its time.

Armenians in Shiraz claim that the church has been damaged twice in the past century by earthquakes, which have been restored closest to its original state.

Celebrated as the heart of Persian culture for over 2,000 years, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales, poetry and craft skills passed down from generation to generation. It was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the capital of Iran during the Zand dynasty from 1751 to 1794.

Shiraz is home to some of the most magnificent buildings and sites in the country. More and more, it attracts more and more foreign and domestic tourists flocking to this provincial capital.

The Eram Garden, Afif-Abad Garden, Tomb of Hafez, Tomb of Sa’di, Jameh Mosque of Atigh and Persepolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are among the historical, cultural and ancient sites of Shiraz that are of interest to domestic and foreign tourists. .

Shiraz is also home to beautiful historic gardens such as Bagh-e Narenjestan and Eram Garden, which are top tourist destinations for domestic and international tourists.


10 lies about Indian culture of coexistence that the latest Pew investigation dismantled


The Pew survey is based on nearly 30,000 face-to-face interviews with adults conducted in 17 languages ​​between late 2019 and early 2020

A recent Pew Research Center study on “Religion in India: Tolerance and Segregation” fell like a 7-ton Daisy Cutter on the Western and domestic “secular, liberal” narrative. It challenges the very premise of the anti-India propaganda, especially the one that has raged since Narendra Modi took power seven years ago.

That Pew is the world‘s leading credible investigative organization makes harsh criticism of India even more uncomfortable. It also demolishes many aspects of the negative and confrontational narrative against the nation.

The findings report sets the context early on, talking about the staggering scale of the diversity and coexistence of religions in India.

“Not only do most of the world’s Hindus, Jains and Sikhs live in India, it is also home to one of the world’s largest Muslim populations and millions of Christians and Buddhists,” he says.

The Pew survey is based on nearly 30,000 face-to-face interviews with adults conducted in 17 languages ​​between late 2019 and early 2020.

First, it shatters the lie that groups with political interests like the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) have repeatedly said: that India has put serious restrictions on religious freedom. . The Pew Inquiry reveals that “Indians of all these religious backgrounds overwhelmingly declare that they are very free to practice their faith.”

Second, those who cry wolf about “intolerant India” would also be disappointed. The study says, “Indians view religious tolerance as central to who they are as a nation. In major religious groups, most people say that it is very important to respect all religions in order to be “truly Indian”. And tolerance is a religious as well as a civic value: Indians are united in the idea that respect for other religions is a very important part of what it means to be a member of their own religious community.

Third, many may have converted through the ages, but Hinduism has not entirely left them. Exactly the same percentage of Hindus and Muslims (77%) believe in karma. There is more surprise. “A third of Christians (32%) – as well as 81% of Hindus – say they believe in the purifying power of the Ganges, a central belief in Hinduism.

In addition, 27% of Muslims and 29% of Christians – almost three in 10 people – believe in reincarnation.

Fourth, there is also a strong reality check for the Hindu far right, and bad news for those who dream of making India a recruiting ground for Islamic State and Al Qaeda. “Indian Muslims say almost unanimously that they are very proud to be Indian (95%) and they express great enthusiasm for Indian culture: 85% agree with the statement that“ Indians are not perfect, but Indian culture is superior to others ”. says the study.

Fifth, it again confirms that Pakistan’s attempts to instigate anger and disenchantment with India among the Sikhs are a childish fantasy. “A near-universal share of Sikhs say they are very proud to be Indian (95%), and the vast majority (70%) say that a person who disrespects India cannot be Sikh,” he said. ‘study.

Sixth, the study also shatters the hypothesis that the Modi government banned instant triple talaq without community buy-in. Overall, 56% of Muslims, and 61% of women in particular, disapprove of triple talaq.

Seventh, Indian Muslims have more in common with Indian Hindus than with Pakistanis or Bangladeshis in some respects. While 98% of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims believe in Heaven, only 58% of Indian Muslims believe in it, which is similar to the beliefs of 56% of Hindus. Again, while 97 percent and 95 percent of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims respectively believe in angels, only 53 percent of Indian Muslims do, as do 49 percent of Indian Hindus.

Eighth, the Pew survey shows that it is not just Hindus who oppose interfaith marriages, especially with a Muslim man or woman. The feeling is not only mutual, Muslims seem to hate the idea even more widely.

“About two-thirds of Hindus in India want to prevent interfaith marriages of Hindu women (67%) or Hindu men (65%) outside their religion, and 76% say it is very important to prevent Muslim men do it.

It rips through the constant demonization of Hindus and efforts to portray Muslims as this open and liberal community willing to embrace everything.

The study captures Indian philosophy well. “The Indian concept of religious tolerance does not necessarily imply the mixing of religious communities. While people in some countries may aspire to create a “melting pot” of different religious identities, many Indians seem to prefer a country more like a patchwork fabric, with clear lines between groups, ”he says.

Ninth, casteism is not at all an exclusively Hindu problem. “Today Indians almost universally identify with a caste, whether they are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists or Jains,” the report said.

Among Muslims, 43% identify as other backward castes (OBC), 4% as scheduled castes (SC) and 3% as listed tribes (ST). An even higher number of Christians are still linked to a caste, with 78% identifying themselves as SC, ST or OBC. Among Sikhs, 47% identify themselves as SC.

Tenth, caste discrimination in the liberal south and north-east is higher than discrimination even in the much maligned Hindi heart.

“A higher proportion of Dalits in the South and North-East than elsewhere in the country report having been personally discriminated against in the past 12 months because of their caste: 30% of Southern Dalits say so, while like 38% in the Northeast, ”says the study. In northern and central India, it is 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

If a single survey with a large sample size carried out by a world-renowned organization demolishes so many myths, one wonders how loose the ground for anti-nationalist discourse against India must be. Critics of India should sometimes try the truth.

Pakistani policeman kills man with ax over grudge against prophet Muhammad’s blasphemy


Ahmed Nawaz, a police spokesperson, confirmed the incident, adding that the victim’s brother was also injured in the attack.

LAHORE – A Pakistani policeman killed a man with a blasphemy ax years after the victim was acquitted in court, police said on Saturday.

Waqas Ahmed was tried in 2016 for a Facebook post, but was acquitted.

The policeman, Abdul Qadir, did not appreciate the verdict and attacked him with a cleaver on Friday evening in the town of Rahim Yar Khan, in the province of Punjab.

“He (…) had been planning to kill him since 2016 for disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad,” police official Rana Muhammad Ashraf told AFP.

Ahmed Nawaz, a police spokesperson, confirmed the incident, adding that the victim’s brother was also injured in the attack.

“The gendarme voluntarily surrendered to the police,” Nawaz said.

The assailant and the victims were from the same tribe and village, police said, and were investigating whether they had any personal feuds.

Blasphemy is an extremely sensitive issue in conservative Pakistan where laws can carry the death penalty for anyone deemed to have insulted Islam or Islamic figures.

Such allegations are explosive and often lead to furious outcry across the ultra-conservative Islamic republic.

The country’s strict blasphemy laws are used disproportionately against religious minorities, including the Christian community, and critics say they are frequently abused to settle personal scores.

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Syrian Kurds transfer 20 children to Russia for repatriation from ISIS camps


The Syrian Kurdish administration handed over 20 other languishing children in ISIS camps to a Russian delegation for repatriation.

Children born to Russian parents linked to the extremist group were transferred to a Russian delegation on July 3, the de facto autonomous administration of northeastern Syria said.

The latest repatriations have so far brought 205 people returned to their homes in Russia.

“We will try to return all the children,” said Larisa Nikolaevna, deputy head of the Russian National Commission for the Rights of the Child, quoted by Kurdish media.

Kurdish authorities are holding some 10,000 suspected ISIS fighters in prisons, after waging a U.S.-backed campaign against ISIS that ended in the loss of most of its territory by the extremist group in 2019.

Tens of thousands of foreign women and children with links to the extremist group are being held in separate camps in northeastern Syria under dire conditions.

Kurdish authorities and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have called on the 60 countries from which Islamic State fighters and their relatives have come to repatriate foreign nationals.

Some countries like Germany and the Netherlands have repatriated some citizens who fought with the jihadists.

But many countries have only returned home women and children living in camps due to security concerns over the repatriation of radicalized ex-combatants.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised several Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and the Balkan countries for repatriating some of their citizens.

In many cases, children linked to foreign fighters and their wives are said to be “born into the caliphate,” never having lived in their home country and subjected to extremist indoctrination.

Earlier this week, the ICRC said that of the 60,000 people held in the vast desert camp of Al Hol, 40,000 are children growing up in squalid, unsanitary and dangerous conditions.

Many young boys were also separated from their mothers during transfer or detention.

The ICRC, which runs a field hospital and provides food and water to Al Hol camp, has expressed alarm that the Kurdish authorities are holding “hundreds of children” in adult prisons with hardened jihadists.

With reports from AFP and ANHA

Withdrawal from Afghanistan Changes the Way US Spies Fight Terrorism Pakistan Talivan Washington Islamic State Kabul


20 years of war Afghanistan He gave American spies a roost to watch for terrorist groups who could again use a poor country to plan an attack on the continental United States. But it’s over soon.

The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan remains a battle for intelligence agencies for other means to monitor and stop terrorists. They need to rely more on the technology of the Afghan government and its allies. Even in the face of an increasingly uncertain future after the departure of American and NATO troops.

“You may not be blind, but you will be legally blind,” said Florida Congressman Mike Waltz. Republican A green beret that served in Afghanistan. Waltz said in an interview that the US military still believes it can detect the threat, but needs to respond with less information from foreign bases and more complex operations.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan was ordered by President Joe Biden. He said it was time to end America’s longest war after a 20-year conflict that killed 2,200 American soldiers and 38,000 Afghan civilians at a cost of $ 1,000 billion.

However, withdrawal brings a lot of uncertainty as a resurrection. Taliban The fear is exacerbated by the realization that the country could soon slide into a civil war. The United States has deployed counterterrorism forces to the region and is still working on a deal to evacuate thousands of interpreters and other Afghans who have supported the American war effort.

CIA In April, coach William Burns said fighters from Al Qaeda and the Islamic State group were still active in Afghanistan and “continued to regain their ability to attack US targets.”

“When it is time for the US military to withdraw, the ability of the US government to collect and respond to threats diminishes. It’s just a fact, ”Burns said. He added that the CIA and other US agencies “have a set of features” to monitor and stop threats.

Burns paid a secret visit to Afghanistan in April, reassuring Afghan officials that the United States will continue to fight terrorism, according to two officials close to the visit.

The CIA and the state‘s director of national intelligence declined to comment on the story.

The CIA has played a role in Afghanistan for over 30 years, dating back to support for rebels fighting the Soviet Union from 1979 to 1989. During the war the United States allegedly struck against terrorist targets and trained Afghan fighters in groups. Known as the Counterterrorism Tracking Team. These teams are feared by many Afghans and are involved in extrajudicial killings of civilians.

The Associated Press reported in April that the CIA was preparing to take control of these teams in six states at an intelligence agency in Afghanistan known as the National Directorate of Security. According to experts, the closure of posts near the border between Afghanistan and Iran and Pakistan has made it difficult to monitor hostile groups operating in these areas, and the withdrawal of Americans from Afghan institutions. , May exacerbate the already troublesome corruption problem.

Washington It has long been difficult to gather information, even from Afghan allies. At the start of the conflict, the United States was involved in the competition, resulting in scoring goals between national factions.

Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, who led the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2017 to 2020, said U.S. officials have been intercepted in some of the lost fingerprints, especially with the growth of cellphones, and posted online. A network compared to the 1990s that said it could be replaced by information. Afghan troops are against the Taliban, but they can also provide valuable information, Ashley said.

“We should not underestimate their ability to understand their truth on the ground,” said Ashley, now associate senior researcher at the Center for New American Security. “It’s their nature, it’s their culture, it’s their language.

Former officials and intelligence experts said the CIA and other agencies must already operate without a military presence in other countries where militant groups threatened Americans.

Colorado Democrat and former Army Ranger Jason Crow, who worked in Afghanistan, said Afghanistan’s human resources are already limited and the United States has surveillance capabilities that were not available 20 years ago.

“It will still be very robust,” Crow said. “If you don’t have boots on the pitch it’s definitely more difficult, but we have the capacity and the things to handle that challenge. It’s a little harder.

Crow and Waltz are part of a bipartisan group of parliamentarians who have worked with the White House to expedite the processing of thousands of interpreters and other Afghan visas that have helped the US military. Over 18,000 requests are pending. U.S. officials said the government plans to evacuate later this summer, but has not decided on possible temporary relocations.

Failure to protect visa-awaiting Afghans “could have a significant deterrent effect on those who will work with us in the future,” Waltz said.

Analysts differ on what they expect from the Taliban if it comes to strengthening control of the country. The national intelligence director of intelligence said in May that the Taliban’s desire for foreign aid and legitimacy may dampen their actions slightly over time, in part due to international attention and an increase in phone calls. . No, ”he said.

However, Colin Clark, director of political research at the Sufan Group, was hopeful that the Taliban would continue to contain al-Qaeda, boldly daring the militants and facing a regional conflict similar to that which arose in Iraq following the withdrawal of the states. -United. He said he was worried about a possible rebellion.

“Theoretically, I want you to pull out of Afghanistan and be safe,” he said.


Kabul Associated Press editor Kathy Gannon contributed to this report.

Withdrawal from Afghanistan Changes the Way US Spies Fight Terrorism Pakistan Talivan Washington Islamic State Kabul

Withdrawal from Afghanistan Changes the Way US Spies Fight Terrorism Pakistan Talivan Washington Islamic State Kabul

In Kenya, faith groups work to resettle young people returning from al-Shabab


NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) – In Kenya’s coastal region, interfaith efforts to slow or end recruitment of young people into militant Islamist group al-Shabab advance, with some recruits abandoning extremist group’s training grounds in the south from Somalia to return home.

The group – al-Qaida’s affiliate in East Africa – had stepped up secret recruitments in coastal and northeastern regions since 2011, when the East African nation’s army entered southern Africa. Somalia. Radicalized youth, many under 30, have often been sent across the border for jihadist training.

But now activity has slowed down, in part because of the efforts of interfaith groups. More than 300 of these young people who had traveled to Somalia to undergo jihadist training had been rescued and brought back to the country.

RELATED: Across Africa, the hijab in schools is dividing Christians and Muslims

Reports attributed to security officials last week indicated that young people would be vetted and de-radicalized before being reintegrated into their communities.

Shamsa Abubakar Fadhili, president of the Mombasa Women of Faith Network, a branch of the Kenya Interfaith Council, led interfaith efforts to resettle returning former activists. The Kenya Interfaith Council brings together Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.

“We have to bring them back to the communities,” Fadhili said. “We use young people to find others who have been taken away and try to change them. Some have criminal records or pending court cases. “

“I applaud the efforts. Something is happening and I think there is hope that those who have been recruited into the activism can be saved, ”said retired Anglican Bishop Julius Kalu of Mombasa, who is involved in the efforts. peace in the coastal region.

Although recruitment has slowed, thousands of Kenyans are still fighting alongside Al-Shabab. In 2015, the government announced an amnesty for those who had joined the group. Some of the recruits have returned home, but human rights organizations have raised concerns about the disappearances and extrajudicial killings of the returnees.

Clerics familiar with the subject described the efforts as a balancing act, using faith to fight desperation, marginalization and unemployment while working with government authorities. “It’s a tricky question, but I think what we need now are closer collaborations, even with security agencies,” Kalu said.

According to Reverend Stephen Anyenda, a Baptist who is the executive director of the Coast Interfaith Council of Clerics, young people are recruited through a gradual process in which recruiters offer incentives and make promises until the target youth gains confidence. total.

“Many of them are unemployed, so they are vulnerable to recruitment. They see little meaning in life. They also feel intimidated by society and start engaging in unhealthy activities, sometimes due to peer pressure, ”Anyenda said. “Recruiters targeting young people can offer cash for a new lifestyle or even help families start small businesses.”

According to Fadhili, many young people do not have spiritual food and are therefore sensitive to radical political ideas.

However, said Fadhili, “A lot of them are eager to change, so we stick with them.” She said she recently rescued 12 young people who had already started their journey to Somalia to join al-Shabab.

Fadhili has helped young people start small businesses, giving them seed capital so that they can improve themselves and avoid the lure of crime.

RELATED: Islamist activists fuel persecution of Christians in Kenya, religious leaders say

According to Fadhili, the work has also reduced crime by 45% in the most dangerous areas of the city of Mombasa, in addition to helping to slow al-Shabab recruitments.

At the same time, she fears that limited resources will force her to stop, and she fears the worst when that happens. “I am afraid that the young people are backing down,” Fadhili said.

Majority of Indian Muslims Support Islamic Courts: Study | India News


NEW DELHI: A large majority of Muslims in India support access to their religious courts for the resolution of family disputes involving inheritance or divorce cases, a Pew Research study found.
The study by the American think tank reveals that Muslims and Hindus prefer to live a life of religious segregation when it comes to marriage, friendship and certain elements of public life.

“Three-quarters of Muslims in India (74%) support access to the existing system of Islamic courts, which deal with family disputes (such as inheritance or divorce cases), in addition to the secular court system,” said the ‘study.

He added that a majority of Muslims in favor of separate religious courts say religious diversity benefits India (59%), compared with slightly fewer of those who oppose religious courts for Muslims (50%). .
“Muslims’ desire for religious segregation does not exclude tolerance of other groups – again similar to the pattern seen among Hindus,” he said.

The study indicates that 30% of Hindus claim that Muslims have access to their religious court for the settlement of family disputes.
As of 2021, there were around 70 Islamic or dar-ul-qaza courts in India, the majority of which are in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
The report notes that some Indians fear that the rise of Islamic / Sharia courts may undermine the Indian justice system, as a subset of the population is not bound by the same laws as everyone else.
The BJP decision was a strong supporter of the Uniform Civil Code – a common law for all Indians. This is one of their main poll promises. Recently, Union Minister Rajnath Singh reiterated the government’s pledge to introduce a common civil code.
The findings are part of the Pew Research Center’s in-depth study of religion in India that was released on Tuesday.

Charter for Muslim Athletes launched in UK; football clubs sign up, county team in talks


When the Chennai Super Kings stepped out to play their debut 2021 Indian Premier League game, a sponsorship patch was visibly missing on Moeen Ali’s jersey. The decision to remove the name of the alcohol brand was taken to respect the faith of the English cricketer.

Today in the UK, a non-profit organization, Nujum Sports, hopes that more sports organizations will demonstrate such cultural and religious sensitivity. To help educate and encourage football clubs in the UK to achieve this goal, the group launched the “Muslim Athletes Charter” last Saturday.

“Moeen played in the IPL and we saw his franchise take away a sponsor he didn’t want. He didn’t ask for it, but they did anyway. This is the awareness we want, ”Nujum Sports Founder and CEO Ebadur Rahman told The Indian Express.

“The idea (for the charter) arose after talking to many (football) clubs over the past few months. We have been supporting athletes and clubs for about a year now. There was a need, we felt it. We wanted something to support our Muslim athletes in the UK.

So far, the charter has been warmly received by football clubs. No less than five Premier League teams, including newly promoted Brentford and Watford, and 15 teams from the English Second Division League have signed up.

The charter provides 10 points that clubs must integrate to make it more welcoming to Muslim athletes. This includes, but is not limited to, the non-consumption of alcohol (prohibited by Islamic law), the provision of a prayer space on the site or the training ground for the players, the placing provision of halal food, the provision of players being allowed to visit a mosque on Fridays when they are not competing, and players are allowed to fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

Muslims are the UK’s second largest and fastest growing religious community, with around 70 Muslim players in Premier League clubs,” newly promoted Premier League team spokesman Brentford said. , Kevin Coleman, quoted by the BBC.

“Helping clubs to help these players be themselves at home and at work is invaluable. This charter and the support that goes with it is something that is needed and will be welcomed by clubs. “

According to Business Insider, there are 250 Muslim players in the top for the rise of English football.

Meanwhile, from their official Twitter account, Watford posted: “We are proud to be among the first Premier League clubs to pledge our support for the Muslim Athletes Charter. “

In addition, a sixth division team in Sweden, FK Cosmos, has accepted the charter, and an English county cricket team is also in talks with Rahman’s organization.

“Once our charter is nationally accepted across all sports, you will see a big difference between clubs,” says Rahman, who previously worked with the English Football Association (FA).

“Some Premier League clubs have accepted it. We have a club in Sweden, and there is also a county cricket club that accepted it. We have started talking to the England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB) to sign the charter as well. “

Currently, Rahman says steps have been taken to make Muslim athletes more comfortable. So much so that alcohol-free champagne was presented to the winners after the FA Cup and the League Cup (Carabao Cup) after the final.

“The UK is very open to change. We found a lot of support rather than obstacles. And (non-Muslim players) have been very receptive. The clubs have been great too, ”said Rahman.

The charter also calls for arrangements to be made for fans, such as the availability of halal food, a prayer space and alcohol-free areas on the site.

So far, Rahman’s organization has received “no backlash”. One of the reasons is the winds of change blowing through the UK, he says.

Star Muslim Premier League players like Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah have had a big impact on the changing perception of faith in the country. In the latter’s case, there is a famous fan song with the lyrics like, “If he scores a few more then I’ll be a Muslim too… He’s good enough for me, so I want to sit down.” in a mosque. “

Pogba had recently removed a bottle of beer placed in front of him for a press conference after an ongoing European Championships match.

“There is no doubt that a role model like Mo Salah has played a role in understanding our religion,” Rahman adds.

“Having models like him and Pogba playing at the highest level helps. But in general in the UK we are slowly starting to see changes. Little by little, but we are starting to see it definitively. “

Milkha Singh passed away on June 18


BBEFORE HIS best race, at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Cardiff in 1958, Milkha Singh was far too stressed to sleep. That day he prayed, touched his forehead to the ground, and promised to do his best; but the honor of India, he told God, was in his hands. It was, after all, the new India, independent from Britain for only a decade, striving for gold in games where, as a part of the empire, it never had. done before.

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On the track for the 440-yard sprint, Malcolm Spence of South Africa, the world record holder, was the man he was watching. But if he ran as he planned, Spence wasn’t a danger. He shot from the start as fast as he could, led down the home stretch, thought Spence was nowhere near, but in a second he felt it over his shoulder. At the line, with six inches between them, Spence failed to pass him and he won gold. The stadium burst. As the Indian national anthem was played and the tricolor rose, it seemed 100,000 Englishmen stood up. Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister, the Prime Minister, then gave him a hug, telling him that he had made India the pride of the world.

The British who stood up to greet him, however, knew next to nothing about him. To them he was just an exotic person, a village boy with a Sikh bun who ran gracefully waving his arms and usually walked barefoot, although for international meetings he wore shoes. They didn’t know that for him running was not a sport. It was all, his religion, his beloved, life.

As a child, the son of a farmer, he ran to escape the poverty of Gobindpura, in the Punjab, and to study. The school was 10 km away, on sands so hot in summer that he and his friends had to jump between cooling cushions of grass. But at the age of 14 or 15 in the year of the score, 1947, he ran for his life. The state of Punjab was then divided between India and Pakistan, and crowds of foreign Muslims – not the gentle Muslims he knew as neighbors – suddenly arrived in the village. They began to kill, leaving the mutilated bodies for the dogs, and ordered his family to convert to Islam or to die. One night they came, with swords and axes, slit the throats of his parents and chop to death his siblings. Her dying father shouted, “Run, Milkha, run! Bhaag, Milkha, bhaag!He ran towards the forest crying.

There followed a period of scratches, when he jumped on trains as a refugee, without shoes and starving, and became a petty thief, fleeing from the police. Eventually, the military hired him. There he discovered a new kind of running, with training, fixed-length races and prizes. The first race he won rewarded him with food, a glass of milk a day. The first track he saw, adorned with flags, enchanted him. On his first cross-country (“What is cross-country?”) He had stomach cramps and sat up every time they grabbed him, but he’s it. likewise came sixth out of 400 runners.

Sixth was good; the first was better. So began the necessary hard work, six hours a day. He ran in fatigue, when others jaws did chores, and at night, when they played cards. He worked up steep hills and through loose sand to build muscle in his legs and slimmed down his upper body with weights. He ran until he filled a bucket with his sweat, until he urinated blood or collapsed from exhaustion and had to go to the hospital. He pushed his body to the limit out of pride and for India. His trainers and doctors would come up every time, but it wasn’t good. He imagined a crowded stadium, the crazy applause, its burst across the finish line, the Indian flag rising – and would run out again.

Iron discipline has paid off. He has won four gold medals at the Asian Games, in addition to gold in Cardiff, and has won more than 70 of his 80 international races. In 1956, during his first Olympic Games in Melbourne, he was eliminated in the heats but did not lose the trip. He asked American 400-meter gold medalist Charles Jenkins to share his training schedule, and for the next four years a piece of paper with Jenkins’ world record, 46.7 seconds, was set. next to his photo of Guru Nanak as the center of his prayers.

In 1960, at the Olympic Games in Rome, his time was 45.6. It was an Indian national record but not, alas, the world record, because he did not win that 400 meter sprint. Although he led for the first 200 yards or so, he then slowed down, glanced back and couldn’t regain his pace. Three runners passed him. It was Spence who, by 0.1 of a second, beat him for bronze. It was the worst day of her life, except for the day her parents were killed. Even the national record he set at the time was electrically reset to 45.73, and in 1998, a police officer broke it. By then he had long since retired from competition, unable to ever forgive himself for that mistake in Rome.

He did, however, manage to forgive others. In 1960, he was invited to Lahore for a meeting between him and Pakistani sprint champion Abdul Khaliq. At first he refused to go. How could he? His childhood home was there now, still drenched in blood. It was Nehru who convinced him that there had to be some friendship between the two crude new nations, so he went for it. The moment he crossed the border, to his surprise, he was greeted with flags and flowers. And when he won his race, the Pakistani Prime Minister whispered to him, in Punjabi, that he had not run that day; he had actually stolen. “Pakistan grants you,” he said, “the title of ‘The Flying Sikh’.

He happily picked it up, and so did his fans. It gave wings to her stardom, which culminated in 2013 with a highest-grossing Bollywood film of her life. In retrospect, “The Flying Sikh” was perhaps his favorite honor, although he also received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award. (He despised the more common rewards, like the Arjuna, which were given to almost anyone like prasad in a temple.) As an athlete, he had only run for his country and the applause of his countrymen. And, despite everything that had happened, he had two countries. Wherever he ran, he said, India and Pakistan ran with him. It was as if in Milkha Singh, for brief seconds, they had found unity. â– 

This article appeared in the Obituary section of the print edition under the title “Running as religion”

Indians are tolerant, enjoy religious freedom, Islam progresses fastest, Christians remain largest religious group: Pew study | India News


NEW DELHI: A recent report from the Pew Research Center, a Washington DC-based non-partisan news group, found that a majority of Indians enjoy religious freedom, value religious tolerance, and believe respect for all religions is essential. heart of the idea of ​​India.

the Bench study is based on a face-to-face survey of 29,999 Indian adults between late 2019 and early 2020, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world.

Pew Research Center study highlights new population projections that take into account the current size and geographic distribution of major world religions, age differences, fertility and death rates, international migration and conversion schemes.

The Pew study also took a closer look at religious identity, nationalism, and tolerance in Indian company. According to the Pew survey, people from the six major religious groups – Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists – overwhelmingly believe that they are very free to practice their religion.

However, in what appears to be a contradiction, the majority in almost all religious groups show a preference for segregating religious communities and “want to live apart”. The survey by the Pew Research Center in India was conducted in 17 languages ​​and covered almost all states and Union territories.

Important religion for Indians

-According to the Pew study, 97% of Indians believe in God and religion holds an important place for them.

-About 80% of people in most faith groups say they are absolutely certain that God exists.

-The cow is considered a sacred animal by the Hindus in India.

-72% of Hindus in India believing that a person is not Hindu if he eats beef. This percentage is higher than Hindus who say that a person cannot be a Hindu if they do not believe in God (49%) or never go to the temple (48%).

-One third of Buddhists say they do not believe in God because belief in God is not central to the teachings of the religion.

-The Pew survey reveals that about 74% of Muslims want access to their own religious courts to resolve family and inheritance issues.

-However, Indian Muslims have had the opportunity to resolve family and inheritance matters in officially recognized Islamic courts, known as dar-ul-qaza since 1937, but the rulings of these religious courts are not legally binding.

-The Pew study also took into account the opinion of the Indian people regarding interfaith marriage. According to this, 66% of Hindus are against marriage in another religion.

-Apart from that, 78 percent of Muslims, 36 percent of Christians, 47.5 percent of Sikhs, 45 percent of Buddhists and 62.5 percent of Jains are also against marriage in another religion.

-Diwali is the biggest festival of Hindus. According to the Pew study, apart from 95 percent Hindus in India, 20 percent Muslims, 31 percent Christians, 90 percent Sikhs, 79 percent Buddhists and 98 percent Jains celebrate the feast of Diwali, and from these numbers, one can understand that there is brotherhood among all religions in India.

-India will retain a Hindu majority but will also have the largest muslim population from any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia, according to the Pew study.

– Globally, the Hindu population is expected to increase by 34%, from just over 1 billion to almost 1.4 billion, roughly keeping pace with global population growth.

-More than 70 years after India freed itself from colonial rule, Indians feel their country has lived up to one of its post-independence ideals: a society where followers of many religions can live and practice freely, according to a study by Pew.

Main projections of the Pew study

The Pew study said the religious profile of the world is changing rapidly, mainly due to differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as a change in religion. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will develop faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 –

-Number of Muslims will almost match the number of Christians around the world.

-Atheists, agnostics and others who do not belong to any religion – although on the increase in countries like the United States and France – will represent a decreasing share of the total world population.

-The global Buddhist population will be roughly the same size as in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than today.

-In Europe, Muslims will represent 10% of the total population.

– In the United States, Christians will grow from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion.

-Muslims will outnumber people in the United States who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.

-Four out of ten Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Pew study further stated that if current demographic trends continue, Islam will almost catch up by the middle of the 21st century. Between 2010 and 2050, the total world population is expected to reach 9.3 billion, an increase of 35%.

According to the study, by 2050 there will be near parity between Muslims (2.8 billion, or 30% of the population) and Christians (2.9 billion, or 31%), perhaps for the first time in history.

The global Buddhist population is expected to be fairly stable due to low fertility rates and aging populations in countries like China, Thailand, and Japan.

(Facts, figures and projections based on the Pew study)


Muhammad Mokaev explains why he turned down the Contender series: “I deserve a direct path to the UFC.”


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Muhammad Mokaev is one of the most touted prospects and is already on the UFC radar. Mokaev (4-0), born in Dagestan and based in Great Britain, is two-time IMMAF junior world champion and two-time European champion, dominating the amateur scene with a perfect 23-0 record.

He continued that momentum in his professional career, where he already has a 4-0 mark, having competed four times in the span of three months in 2020. With his undeniable success, Mokaev has revealed that he is seen offered a spot in Dana White’s Contender series. before his victory over Abdul Hussein at BRAVE CF 49 in March, but refused.

Mokaev explains why

“There’s UFC London in August, but I was offered the Contender Series before the fight against Abdul Hussein, but I’m one of the fighters who want to go straight to the UFC. I don’t want suitors. I think I sell the most pay-per-view or maybe the most views, the most publicized fight for the UFC in the UK.

“I don’t know who will be on that bill, but I think I broke all records for it, and if the tickets go on sale I will sell all the tickets in the arena. I believe it one hundred percent. I don’t need to go through the Contender series for people to know me. I deserve a direct path to the UFC.

Given the hype surrounding him, Mokaev says an entry into the UFC via the Contender series would be quite disappointing.

“Contender Series is like any other series. It’s not even the UFC. It’s like I’m fighting in the UK to have a good performance and Dana White sees it and pulls me out of the organization. I don’t want to go through Contenders, it looks like I’m not a built fighter yet. Maybe I don’t have as much media exposed as the other guys. I know the guys who fight in the Contender Series, I don’t think they have a name as big as me.

Mokaev returns on June 4, when he faces Ibragim Navruzov (5-1-1) in a middleweight fight at BRAVE CF 51 in Belarus. Navruzov brings a solid background after competing in high level organizations and Mokaev knows exactly what kind of fight he is engaged in.

“He’s a good opponent. He had three fights in ACA, one draw in M1 and three fights in Fight Nights Global in Russia, so good organizations. I think he’s a typical Russian fighter training on this side, I mean. Just a box to grab your leg. He’s going to shoot me in the legs, that’s for sure. That was me four or five years ago, so I know what the game plan is. It’s me, so I know how to beat the old me.

When Mokaev turned pro, he struggled to find opponents. His dominance in the amateur scene meant that very few people agreed to fight him, but he is now ready to face stiffer competition.

Mokaev isn’t interested in improving his record and wants to make sure he gets the right kind of experience before making the jump to the UFC, where he aspires to become the youngest champion in history.

“To be honest I asked Brave to fight two guys from Kazakhstan. One of them fought at Fight Nights in Russia, not bad. One of them 12-1 and the other 13- 0 and neither of them were ready to fight on that date. I don’t know if they are not ready for the date or to fight me, but of course when you have a record as big as 13- 0 and 12-0, no one wants to fight at this point.

“They just want to jump into the UFC and then they’re exposed so I don’t want to be one of the guys like Ben Askren and that’s why I want challenges now. Of course, I’m at that point now where I can’t fight someone below me. It would be worse than not fighting. I’d rather not fight than fight someone below me.

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Firmly in charge, the Chinese Communist Party celebrates the centenary of the Muslim Congress of the University of Miami Beijing Xi Jinping


The ruling Communist Party in China marks the 100th anniversary of its founding with speeches and large displays intended to present economic progress and social stability to justify its iron grip on political power that it shows no intention of loosening .

President and party leader Xi Jinping is due to deliver a speech Thursday at a rally in Tiananmen Square in Beijing where an Air Force flyover is also expected.

Events are unfolding across the country, including in Hong Kong, which simultaneously commemorates its 1997 transfer from British control to Chinese control.

China has severely cracked down on free speech and political opposition in the territory, while rejecting all external criticism and sanctions imposed on its leaders.

Thursday’s events are the culmination of weeks of ceremonies and exhibitions praising the role of nearly 92 million party members in dramatically improving the quality of life in the country and restoring economic influence, China’s political and military overseas.

While the progress mostly dates from the economic reforms adopted by Deng Xiaoping four decades ago, the celebrations highlight the role of Xi, who has established himself as China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, who founded the People’s Republic in 1949 after taking power in the midst of civil war. .

Xi, 68, heads the government, party and armed forces and has removed the limits of his tenure. He is expected to begin a third five-year term as party leader next year.

While Mao and other former leaders are also featured, the centenary celebrations appear designed to reinforce Xi’s credentials as having made key strides in poverty reduction and economic progress while raising China’s global profile. and standing up to the West.

By seeking more gains for the party on the world stage, Xi is preparing China for a protracted struggle with the United States, said Robert Sutter of the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

“In foreign affairs, it involves growth in wealth and power, with China unencumbered as it pursues its very self-centered political goals at the expense of others and the dominant world order,” said Sutter.

Although the party faces no serious challenges to its government, its legitimacy to govern has been called into question by past catastrophes such as the mass starvation of the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and early 1980s. 1969, the violent class war and the xenophobia of 1966-1976. The Cultural Revolution and bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy movement focused on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

More recently, China has come under criticism and sanctions for detaining over a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities for political re-education in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, and for having imprisoned or silenced those she sees as potential opponents of Tibet in Hong Kong.

The party’s official narrative glosses over past mistakes or current controversies, emphasizing development, stability and efficiency – including its success in controlling COVID-19 at home – unlike what it says. he describes as political quarrels, a mess of pandemic control measures and social strife in multiparty democracies.

The party’s determination to remove mention of past shortcomings shows it may not be as confident in its legitimacy to rule as it anticipates, said June Teuful Dreyer, an expert at the University of Miami in China .

“What are they afraid of? Anyway, could that oversized self-orchestrated pat on the back be a sign of deeper insecurity?” Said Teuful Dreyer.

While Mao called for the abandonment or outright destruction of traditional culture, religion, class and social norms, the party now downplays its revolutionary history and “defines itself as representing all that is good in the world. Chinese tradition, ”said Anthony Saich of Harvard Kennedy University. School.

“The celebrations will attempt to legitimize Xi as the natural heir to Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, etc. and will pave the way for the party’s Congress next year, Saich said.

“It will promote the feeling of national pride in its achievements which constitute an important source of legitimacy in the present day. “

Islamic finance industry remains resilient amid pandemic


Despite initial concerns about the impact of the pandemic on Islamic capital markets, sukuk issuance in 2020 equaled levels seen in 2019.
Image Credit: Getty

Dubai: Islamic finance and wealth management industry remained resilient amid pandemic, according to study by Open Capital (ME) Limited and Alpen Asset Advisors Limited which analyzes the impact of the pandemic on the sector.

“The Islamic finance and wealth management industry has faced the double shock of adjusting to the pandemic and historically low oil prices in 2020. While the industry has slowed down during the year after experiencing record growth in 2019, it has shown resilience and total Islamic finance assets in 2020 are expected to match the figures of the previous year, ”said Sameena Ahmad, CEO of Alpen Capital ( ME) Ltd.

Factors such as the growth of the Muslim population seeking Sharia-compliant financial instruments, the increasing adoption of technology, and the industry’s ability to demonstrate a higher level of ethical credibility have spurred the growth.

Islamic banking accounts for the majority of the total global assets of the Islamic finance industry. The segment has grown at a steady pace and the share of Islamic banking assets as a percentage of total banking assets has continued to grow year on year.

In 2020, Islamic banking assets recorded a higher percentage of growth than conventional banking assets in some economies like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Malaysia. The global sukuk market has grown tremendously over the years and in 2019 it contributed to 19% of the global Islamic finance industry.

Despite initial concerns about the impact of the pandemic on Islamic capital markets, sukuk issuance in 2020 equaled levels seen in 2019.

“Sukuk is expected to maintain its position as a major growth engine for the Islamic finance industry. Sukuk has achieved record issuances over the past year, and this should continue, ”said Hameed Noor Mohamed, Executive Director of Alpen Capital (ME) Ltd.

In the fast-growing Islamic fund segment, investments in Sharia-compliant stocks provided better protection against downside risk during the pandemic – the two factors contributing to the outperformance of Sharia-compliant indices were the sector allocation (overweighting in the technology and healthcare sector) and the exclusion of highly leveraged companies.

Solid outlook

Alpen Capital and Alpen Asset Advisors expect the Islamic finance industry to continue to grow on strong drivers. Stimulus packages, fiscal and monetary easing and liquidity support by major Islamic governments and central banks; are likely to stimulate the post-pandemic recovery and demand for Islamic finance assets.

Sukuk, as the flagship instrument of the Islamic capital market, will continue to stimulate growth. The emergence of new avenues such as green sukuk and socially responsible investing (SRI) is likely to stimulate growth.

In the future, major markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Southeast Asia regions, as well as secondary markets such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan may see higher emissions,

While the global Muslim population remains one of the most important growth engines for the Islamic finance industry, the global trend towards ethical consumerism is leading to an increased appeal of Islamic products. This rise is likely to attract a new class of socially-motivated consumers, spilling over into higher demand for Islamic finance services and platforms.

Reforms to boost growth

The governments of major Islamic financial markets have spearheaded the recovery through initiatives to reform the sector. Although the industry lacks in terms of global standardization, governments are likely to focus more on infrastructure development in the short term. Amid these efforts, technological integration remains the key to fuel the recovery and growth of the Islamic finance industry. There remains growing room for further innovation and collaboration, paving the way for higher profitability for Islamic financial institutions

The sukuk market is expected to gain momentum, fueled by its applications as a financial tool to raise funds for governments as well as businesses. The increase in popularity of Islamic FinTech is leading to an increase in FinTech-focused investment funds, which are likely to accentuate the market and create opportunities for Islamic FinTechs to expand their services.

McLaughlin crosses 400 hurdles on historic day at practice


EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Sydney McLaughlin looked to his left and saw the numbers “51.90”. His first thought: “Oh my God!

Now, the world record for the 400-meter hurdles finally belongs to him.

On Sunday night at the Olympic Track Trials in the United States, McLaughlin finally edged Dalilah Muhammad to claim the victory and the record that Muhammad continued to grab whenever they met. McLaughlin’s 51.90 was good enough to beat Muhammad by 0.52 seconds. He broke Muhammad’s old world record of 0.26.

“It’s one of those moments that you think and dream and play in your head that you’re going to put together,” said McLaughlin, who recently aligned with coach Bobby Kersee.

His record was the culmination of a day that included other types of history.

Noah Lyles won the 200 meters to punch his Olympic ticket, then celebrated by kneeling on the track and clasping his hands: 19.74 which followed some lackluster races in the 100 and 200 laps.

He co-starred with 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton, whose third place made him the youngest male member of the U.S. Olympic track and field team since Jim Ryun in 1964.

JuVaughn Harrison, 22 from LSU, won not one, but two titles on the same day to become the first American to compete in the high jump and long jump since Jim Thorpe in 1912.

“It’s a lot of years for someone not to do it,” Harrison said. “It’s really good for me to have my name in the story like that.”

It’s a pretty incredible feat on a normal day. On this day – incredible.

Temperatures at Hayward Field reached 108 degrees and the runway surface exceeded 150.

This forced USA Track and Field to end the action around 3 p.m., shortly after heptathlete Taliyah Brooks was carried off the track in a wheelchair. Brooks was in fourth place when she fell during the javelin warm-ups. She did not return and when the competition resumed about five hours later, Annie Kunz took the victory.

Much earlier in the day, Paul Chelimo won by 0.19 seconds in a sprint to the finish of the men’s 5,000m, which had been moved to the morning to beat the heat. Much later on the track, Athing Mu won the women’s 800m and Cole Hocker edged out reigning Olympic champion Matt Centrowitz in the 1,500m.

McLaughlin’s race was delayed by about four hours. She said the wait “was a bit of a hit in our plan.”

“But we were prepared for it,” she said. “Bobby is always talking about Muhammad Ali and always needs to be ready for that left hook.”

In this case, it was another Muhammad – Dalilah Muhammad – who in his own way prepared McLaughlin for this day.

It was the third consecutive major race in which the two met and a world record was set. The last two times, it was Muhammad who won. It first happened two years ago on a rainy day in Des Moines, Iowa, during national championships. And then, a few months later, at the world championships in Qatar. McLaughlin ran a time of 52.23 at the world championships but lost 0.07 of a second. This mark would have been the world record if it had performed it before Muhammad started rewriting the book that season.

“Dalilah is a great competitor, and I was becoming my own person,” said McLaughlin when asked if she was chickened after having had such good times, to finish second.

She also credited a renewed sense of faith and, of course, Kersee, for this breakthrough.

Kersee is the legend who over the years has made the most of some of the greats in the sport including Allyson Felix, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Florence Griffith Joyner.

He put McLaughlin on a new plane – focusing her on improving her form by running shorter hurdles.

“It was trusting the process, and a lot of things that you can’t really see coming,” McLaughlin said. “But just having childlike faith in trusting everything is going to work. Bobby is really good at this.

Muhammad said getting to the starting line in this year that started with injuries and fear of COVID-19 has never been a sure thing. She said she couldn’t break 55 seconds to start the season.

“For almost a month in a row, I kept asking (my trainer) every day in training, ‘You sure. Are you sure? ‘ Said Muhammad. “I am extremely grateful to be here today, and so grateful that these setbacks are behind me.”

The next step is the Olympics. The 400 hurdles finals are scheduled for August 4th. The world record in this event is still in jeopardy.

“She’s definitely pushing me,” Muhammad said during his on-track interview. Then she turned to McLaughlin and said, “Congratulations, world record holder. It’s going to be a battle in Tokyo, that’s for sure.

Lapid meets with UAE foreign minister, says tensions in Jerusalem have not been discussed


Jordan to ‘modernize’ its (official) political system

Jordan plans to “modernize” its political system, says an official, months after an unprecedented crisis at the royal palace and against a background of social discontent.

The initiative aims to give Jordanians “a political life that suits them,” said Samir al-Rifai, a former prime minister appointed this month by King Abdullah II to oversee the changes.

Jordan was rocked by an alleged plot to “destabilize” the kingdom in April that involved Prince Hamzah, King Abdullah’s half-brother and former crown prince. The kingdom has seen episodes of turmoil in recent months, including dispersed protests against an enforced curfew and economic hardship triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of this initiative, Rifai will lead a committee reflecting the particular sensitivities of the country. It is made up of 91 members representing Islamists, secularists, nationalists, communists and independents from politics, academia and civil society.

The body will present “recommendations to the government before October,” which will then submit them to the lower and upper houses of parliament, Rifai said at a press conference in Amman.

“Our goal is to have more Jordanians represented (in parliament), to motivate them to participate in the elections and to make them feel that their voice has an impact,” he said.

To achieve this, he said, the commission will propose “a new electoral bill” and another proposal on “political parties for a transition to a modern Jordan”.

“We are moving towards a real political party life,” he said, insisting that the initiative is not subject to “any influence or interference” from the government.

Minorities in Bangladesh protest against Islam as state religion


Bangladesh (MNN) – Earlier this month, religious minorities in Bangladesh came together for the “Black Day” events. They want Islam to no longer receive the status of state religion, which it has held since 1988.

Vincent Michel from IMF says, “In 1971, when Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan, the government of the day really wanted Bangladesh to be a secular nation with a Muslim majority, but also friendly to the West. But in 1988 the leadership of the country changed and the opposition party took control. They passed an amendment to the Bangladeshi Constitution, which declared Islam the state religion. “

Christians, Hindus and Buddhists nationwide point out that the original constitution still calls Bangladesh a secular state, which contradicts the amendment. Ultimately, they want the amendment removed from the constitution. In the meantime, they want a minority commission established to help protect against injustice.

How to pray

Michael says, “Much of the justice or injustice that can be inflicted rests with individual bureaucrats or government officials. So just pray for them that there will be righteousness in their hearts and not unrighteousness. Pray that they do not take advantage of their position as the majority religion to discriminate against Christians. “

Ask God to give the Christians of Bangladesh grace and wisdom. Pray that they will know when to stand up for their rights and when to live quietly.

Photo credit: The header photo shows the largest Hindu temple in Bangladesh. (Photo courtesy of Kuruman, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

Saskatoon Islamic Group Says Recent Attack On Man “Not Surprising”


SASKATOON – Daniel Kuhlen says he’s not surprised by the recent attack on Muhammad Kashif.

“Sadly, as shocking as it may be, it’s not surprising, given what has happened in our community as well as across Canada and other parts of the world,” said Kuhlen, Co-Chair communications from the Saskatoon chapter of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan.

Kasheief was out for his daily walk around 5:30 a.m. Friday when he said he was attacked near his Preston Avenue home. He says he was stabbed in the right arm, back, had his beard cut off and then beaten with his own cane.

“For people who hate Muslims. Why don’t you get to know a Muslim,” Kuhlen told CTV News. “Why don’t you get to know another human being, and just see if, in fact, there might be some capacity that we can just coexist.”

The attack came two days after two sisters wearing hijabs were thrown to the ground and threatened with a knife while walking around Alberta.

Mayor Charlie Clark said he visited Kashif on Saturday.

“This is a very important time for all of us to come together and fight Islamophobia and all forms of racism and discrimination,” Clark said. “Right now people don’t feel safe, and that’s not good.”

The Saskatoon Police Department asks anyone who has witnessed assaults or has information to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

US warns Islamic State extremists remain a global threat


ROME (AP) – As the United States prepares for its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, members of the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group gathered on Monday to plan next steps against the extremist group.

The meeting took place just a day after the United States launched airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias near the Iraqi-Syrian border

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio co-chaired the gathering of senior officials from the seven-year bloc and 83 members. Participants took stock of ongoing efforts to ensure the complete defeat of ISIS, whose remnants still pose a threat in Iraq and Syria and have shown signs of resurgence in parts of Africa.

Amid other important international priorities, including containing the coronavirus pandemic and stepping up the fight against climate change, the coalition hopes to stabilize areas freed from ISIS, repatriate and hold foreign fighters accountable for their actions. actions and fight against extremist messages.

Blinken and Di Maio urged representatives of the other 77 countries and the five organizations that make up the coalition not to let their guard down.

“We need to step up the action led by the coalition, increasing the areas in which we can operate,” said Di Maio.

Outside of Iraq and Syria, he said there was an “alarming” increase in ISIS activity, particularly in the Sahel, Mozambique and the Horn of Africa. He called on the coalition to create a special mechanism to deal with the threat in Africa.

Blinken noted that despite their defeat, IS elements in Iraq and Syria “still aspire to carry out large-scale attacks.”

“Together, we must remain as committed to our stabilization goals as we did to our military campaign which resulted in victory on the battlefield,” he said.

Blinken announced a new US contribution of $ 436 million to help displaced people in Syria and neighboring countries and called for a new effort to repatriate – and rehabilitate or prosecute – some 10,000 IS fighters who remain in jail by the Syrian Defense Forces.

“This situation is simply untenable,” said Blinken. “It just can’t go on forever. However, no country present has made a commitment to repatriate its citizens and it is uncertain whether the number of detainees can be significantly reduced in the short term.

Blinken also announced sanctions against Ousmane Illiassou Djibo, originally from Niger, who is a key leader of the Islamic State branch in the greater Sahara. Djibo has been designated a global terrorist, which means that all of his United States is frozen and Americans are barred from any dealings with him.

In addition to the ISIS meeting, foreign ministers from countries concerned about the wider conflict in Syria gathered in Rome ahead of critical UN vote on whether to maintain humanitarian aid corridor from Turkey. Russia has resisted re-authorization of the channel amid stalled peace talks between the Syrian government and rebel groups.

Two senior US officials said Blinken told the conference on Syria that the US believes the corridor should be re-authorized and extended to prevent more deaths. The officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private diplomatic conversations publicly, said Blinken had made it clear that any US-Russian cooperation on Syria would depend on Moscow’s acceptance of the extension. Russia, however, was not present at the meeting.

Last week, UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pederson said there were worrying signs that Islamic State could gain strength in the country and called for increased cooperation to counter it. Pederson also joined calls for new international talks on ending the civil war in Syria.

Since the Syrian conflict erupted in March 2011, many high-level rallies aimed at ending the fighting and guiding the country towards a political transition have failed. The UN, the United States, Russia and many other countries back a 2015 Security Council resolution endorsing a roadmap for peace in Syria that calls for a new constitution followed by UN-supervised elections .

Blinken, who also met Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and President Sergio Mattarella on Monday, praised the state of US-European relations, noting that Italy, France and Germany – the three countries he has visited on his current European tour – are the only members of NATO, the Group of Seven and the European Union.

“We share a deep commitment to promote democracy and human rights,” he said. “We see the same big challenges on the horizon. And we recognize that we cannot face it alone.

Blinken and Di Maio played down the differences between the United States and Italy over China, saying there was a growing awareness of the complexities and dangers of dealing with Beijing.

Family ties bind bank behind $50M taxpayer-backed coronavirus loan to Poconos casino


The Scranton-area bank directed by landfill magnate Louis A. DeNaples has handed out the biggest loan yet — for $50 million — from a taxpayer-backed program to help mid-sized businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The recipient: the Mount Airy Casino Resort, owned by trusts for DeNaples’ children and grandchildren. DeNaples had to relinquish his own ownership to resolve charges that he’d concealed his ties to organized crime.

FNCB Bank’s loan to the casino could throw an unflattering light on the federal government’s strategy of deputizing banks to write loans under its $600 billion Main Street Lending Program, which was authorized this spring over fears that lenders might cease supporting even thriving businesses.

Small banks such as Dunmore-based FNCB don’t typically make such large loans and aren’t equipped to evaluate repayment risks and other potential perils that come with issuing the large amounts of debt permitted by the federal program, analysts said.

If borrowers default, it’s mostly the public’s money — not the bank’s — that runs the risk of not being repaid.

This particular case could draw special scrutiny because of the family ties between FNCB and the Mount Airy casino, where revenue from gambling had flattened even before the coronavirus stopped its roulette wheels and slots and now threatens to upend the entire gaming industry.

DeNaples, 79, is chairman of FNCB and its biggest shareholder, with a 9.2% stake in the bank as of April 3, according to regulatory filings. His son Louis A. DeNaples Jr. is also on the board as the bank’s vice chairman with a 1.3% stake, and is the beneficiary of one of the seven trusts that share ownership of the Mount Airy casino.

Another board member is DeNaples’ nephew, Joseph L. DeNaples, while his brother Dominick L. DeNaples is a former chairman who continues to advise the company as director emeritus.

The loan may not even have been possible but for a decision by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department to exempt the Main Street program from longstanding rules barring banks from making taxpayer-backed loans to businesses owned by their directors.

But it may still trigger the federal restrictions on insider lending that cover all activity by regulated banks, known as “Regulation O,” said Braden Perry, a lawyer who specializes in banking compliance.

“If you see a $50 million loan of your money going to an insider or a family member of an insider, it certainly raises some concerns,” said Perry, who formerly tried cases for a federal financial regulatory agency.

Some critics of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus, meanwhile, cast the loan as another case of rescue money being channeled away from those who need it most.

Less than a tenth of a percent of the cash available through the fund has been lent, while businesses throughout the country could not qualify under the program’s relative narrow guidelines or are too beaten down to consider taking on more debt.

“This money was meant to help Main Street businesses, not casinos owned by families with alleged mafia connections,” said Kyle Herrig, president of left-of-center watchdog group Accountable.US.

The Federal Reserve, which runs the program with cash from the U.S. Treasury Department, said in a statement that it is unable to comment on specific transactions.

“There are rules in place against making loans that favor businesses owned by bank officers or owners of a significant interest in the bank,” it said. “We expect banks making Main Street loans or any other loans to follow these rules.”

FNCB president Jerry A. Champi said that the bank handles all insider transactions “properly,” but declined to discuss specific steps taken to ensure the Mount Airy loan’s compliance.

He also said his bank was fully capable of evaluating any risks associated with the large loan.

“Not all of us have worked for community banks our whole careers, so we have a lot of exposure to the credit-underwriting process,” he said. “Credit is credit.”

Casino officials declined to be interviewed, but said in a statement that “the loan will be used to “improve the strength of our business, which was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“These funds will be used to secure the jobs of nearly 1,000 Pennsylvanians employed by Mount Airy,” it said.

A message left for DeNaples at his auto-parts business was not returned.

Mixing bank business with directors’ other ventures already led to trouble for the bank seven years ago, when it paid $5 million to shareholders and their lawyers to settle a lawsuit alleging that it tanked the company’s stock price by lending millions of dollars to insiders who then defaulted on the loans.

One such insider was a bank director, Michael Conahan, the onetime Luzerne County president judge convicted in the “Kids for Cash” scheme during the early 2000s, under which the judges sent children to for-profit jails and received payoffs. Federal prosecutors said Conahan used the FNCB loan to purchase a Florida condominium used to launder the kickbacks.

Shareholders also faulted the bank in their complaint for abruptly refocusing its lending on “land subdivisions and solid waste landfills — among the business of DeNaples and [brother] Dominick.”

DeNaples, whose sprawling Northeastern Pennsylvania commercial empire also includes auto salvage yards, heavy-equipment sales, and towing services, moved to get into the casino business in 2005 by applying for one of the slot licenses that were newly being awarded in the state. He aimed to redevelop the Poconos’ storied Mount Airy Lodge into a gaming resort.

As a generous political donor and philanthropist with strong ties to business and governmental leaders across the state, DeNaples was seen as a likely licensee. Common Cause Pennsylvania, a good-government advocacy group, tallied his contributions to Pennsylvania office seekers at $403,125 from 2002 to 2007.

DeNaples did have on his record a 1978 no-contest plea to charges that he and three others bilked the federal government out of recovery funds following Tropical Storm Agnes. But that did not disqualify him, thanks to a provision that had been written into Pennsylvania’s gaming regulations letting applicants off the hook for criminal convictions that occurred more than 15 years in the past

He was granted his casino license in late 2006 and opened his $412 million resort about a year later.

By early 2008, however, he had been indicted on perjury charges, in part for allegedly lying about his relationships to mobsters including William D’Elia, a former leader of the crime family of Northeastern Pennsylvania kingpin Russell Bufalino (played by Joe Pesci in the 2019 film The Irishman.)

Those charges were eventually dropped in a deal that required DeNaples to pass control of the casino to his adult daughter, Lisa DeNaples. But Louis DeNaples was allowed to continue advising the casino.

Ownership of the casino’s parent company, Mount Airy #1 LLC, was later divided equally among seven trusts in the names of DeNaples’ children and grandchildren, records show.

Still, Louis DeNaples appears to have remained in the casino’s orbit.

Last September, FNCB sold the casino 2.2 acres of land at the corner of state Route 611 and Woodland Road, about a mile southwest of the casino, for $375,000, county records show.

Over the years, DeNaples has also repeatedly petitioned state gaming regulators to allow businesses he owns to provide services such as waste disposal or vehicle repairs to the Mount Airy resort.

Those requests have been rejected under the argument that his deal to hand off the casino barred him from profiting in any way from the resort.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach declined to address whether granting the loan might have also violated those terms, and what sanctions would apply if it did.

DeNaples also joined a ceremony at the casino last year to mark the completion of a $40 million expansion project there. The businessman, standing between his daughter Lisa and State Sen. Mario Scavello, a Republican whose district includes the casino, cut the ribbon at the event, seen in an online video by the Pocono Record newspaper.

A spokesperson for Scavello did not return a phone message.

While it was completing the renovations, Mount Airy had also been mapping out a now-lapsed plan to build and operate a separate mini-casino about 300 miles to the west in Beaver County under the state’s 2017 gambling-expansion law that allows gaming businesses to apply to open smaller satellite casinos.

Late last year, however, the gaming board declined to award Mount Airy a permit for what was to have been called Mount Airy Pittsburgh, ruling that the operator had “utterly failed to produce any evidence that it can satisfy the financial fitness requirements for this project” because no bank would back the $50 million-plus project.

“As the gaming market in Pennsylvania matures, with revenues for Mount Airy and some other Pennsylvania casinos stabilizing, Mount Airy’s desire to establish a second casino in Western Pennsylvania is untenable in the eyes of financiers,” gaming board chairman David M. Barasch wrote in the agency’s denial notice.

The Main Street Lending Program was devised as part of financial rescue legislation in the spring to help businesses that are too big to qualify for the better known Paycheck Protection Program, but too small to benefit from the Fed’s big purchases of corporate debt.

Unlike the PPP program’s forgivable loans, funds from the Main Street program must be repaid. Loan standards are also more selective, requiring participants to have been in solid financial shape with a manageable existing debt load before the pandemic.

Banks write loans under the program, but are then able to hand 95% of that debt off to the Fed, so they have fewer of their own assets at risk. The idea was to make banks less nervous about lending during what was expected to be a long period of tight credit.

Despite that opportunity to offload risk, few banks have so far signed up to participate in the program.

Nationwide, only $497 million in Main Street loans had been made as of Aug, 19, although details of only the first $92.2 million of that cash — accounting for 13 transactions — have so far been disclosed.

The Mount Airy loan is one of only two in the country that are for more than $5.5 million.

It appears in county property records as a mortgage on the Poconos property, against which an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, the New York private equity firm owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group, already had a $170 million loan.

The Fortress loan was increased by $20 million on July 13, the same day the casino closed on the $50 million Main Street loan, giving the resort a total infusion of $70 million in new cash.

The Main Street loan is listed as a “second lien,” meaning that Fortress would have first dibs on casino assets should the resort be foreclosed on.

Chris Marinac, who analyzes banks as a research director with financial adviser Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, said it was “extreme” for a bank of FNCB’s size to be making a $50 million loan, even if only $2.5 million of that was staying on its books.

Banks tend to make loans of no more than around 1.5% of their asset value, so only a little of their capital is tied up in any one venture, Marinac said. For FNCB, with $1.4 billion in assets, that works out to $21 million.

Another potential issue for regulators may be the relationship between the bank’s board and the casino’s ownership, especially Louis DeNaples Jr.‘s overlapping ownership interests.

Small Business Administration regulations that have long governed loans made by banks using federal funds include a provision prohibiting banks from lending to other businesses owned by their directors, including ones such as DeNaples Jr. who are not also executives.

The government based its rules for disbursing coronavirus-relief funds on those SBA regulations, but the prohibition on bankers’ lending to their non-executive directors’ businesses was dropped for PPP. Since PPP loans are made under the same terms for all borrowers, there was no chance of favoring insiders, the agency reasoned.

When the Main Street loans started up, officials largely adopted the modified SBA rules for that program as well, including the relaxation of insider-lending rules designed around PPP.

The Mount Airy loan may, however, be covered by more general “Regulation O” banking rules regarding insiders, said Perry, the banking-compliance lawyer.

The rules set limits on how much a bank can lend to insiders including non-executive directors, or to their other businesses. The rules also require banks to document that loans to insiders don’t include preferential terms, or are especially risky.

Having Louis Denaples Jr. as both a board member and beneficiary of one of the seven trusts that own the casino appears to be the sort of connection the rules would cover, Perry said.

“It does not look good from an outsider’s point of view and is a disservice to the taxpayer if the proper underwriting and vetting procedures were not followed,” he said.

Hilltop Country School Principal Bans Minorities, Encourages Lies: Lawsuit


A former administrative assistant at the elite Hilltop Country Day School is suing the private Sparta school, claiming the top administrator has fostered an environment filled with lies and deception and banned the enrollment of children of color.

The day school, for children in Kindergarten to Grade 8, was a “deeply dysfunctional entity poised to explode because of the policies, practices and misconduct of its principal,” says Victoria Foley, a 40-year-old Sparta resident who filed a lawsuit against the Sussex County school earlier this month.

The costume centers on Laura McGee, the principal of the school who was fired in 2012 after several years before she was rehired in 2019, according to Foley. Federal records show McGee was principal of the school in 2019, shared the co-principal position in 2018, and was not in office in 2017, 2016 or 2015, the oldest files online.

As the only independent non-public school in Sussex County, Hilltop, located on nearly five acres on Lafayette Road, is tuition-based. Parents paid for the 2021-2022 school year more than nearly $ 20,000 to enroll their children in grades 5 through 8. For pre-K, five full days will cost a family about $ 12,500.

Hilltop Country Day School

The school is non-profit and is also funded by donations, gifts and fundraising.

The school received total income of $ 2.6 million for its 2018 tax year and $ 2.5 million in 2019, but fell to $ 1.5 million in 2020, according to records.

But despite collecting “millions in tuition,” Foley said teachers have become restless about having to buy their own supplies, including pens and markers. Teachers and staff had “no meaningful communication” with each other or with the administration, Foley said.

Even more “devastating,” Foley said, was the culture McGee promoted that made teachers fear retaliation if they made recommendations or expressed ideas about educational programs or improvements.

“[Foley] learned firsthand that although she was the work force of the administrative office, she was also the school principal’s scapegoat for every lie and false statement made by the school principal to teachers, parents and the advice. “

As a result, 15 of the 19 teachers resigned in the 2019-20 school year and one guard resigned after his first day, according to Foley.

Foley, who was in charge of managing the school’s finances, among other duties, said she questioned fundraising events where no one had ever won raffles or gift baskets – McGee instead took the gifts home to her kids, says Foley – and voiced concerns that the bills were continually delinquent.

“[Foley] He was told and ordered to lie or make up stories about why the bills were not paid on time in order to cover up the fact that the school principal was hoarding, hijacking or simply trying to defraud creditors payment, ”says Foley.

Student report cards have been changed to inflate grades and hide student delays, Foley said.

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But Foley said it was even worse.

In the summer of 2020, Foley claims the school’s enrollment practices violated state law, with McGee picking and choosing which students she wanted to enroll in the private school.

Foley claims she watched McGee house and even sue wealthy white families for enrollment, but discouraged and fired families of color, describing a case where a Muslim family had scheduled a tour with McGee last year.

The mother was excited about her children’s potential enrollment in school and visited her twice, but behind closed doors, Foley claims McGee told her she “didn’t want them because the ‘school didn’t need it, “a statement Foley gathered as McGee didn’t want Muslim children in school.

Another family, of Puerto Rican descent, was dissuaded from touring with McGee after she told them it was expensive school and “probably not for you,” Foley claims. McGee later revealed to Foley that she was put off by the father’s tattoos and the diagnosis of Childhood Attention Deficit Disorder, which several students have in school.

But what McGee didn’t realize, Foley said, was that the family had been referred by a parent with children enrolled in school. And that parent, Foley said, became enraged and made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the school board to voice concerns about McGee’s alleged statements to the family.

A director reached out to Foley to gather more details about what happened, and in turn, the director disclosed that information to the board of directors, including the chairman of the board, Foley claims. The chairman of the board, who was close to the school principal, according to Foley, shared the details with McGee, which ultimately led to his dismissal on Jan.20, 2021.

Foley said she was humiliated after being falsely accused of “outrageous conduct” and told police would be called if she returned to campus again, she said.

In an email to the Herald, McGee denied all of the allegations and said she “looks forward to vigorously defending the school’s excellent reputation in a courtroom, not in the press.”

“Sadly, a disgruntled former office worker filed a false and malicious complaint against our non-profit school,” she wrote.

The Hilltop School welcomes students from 23 cities, seven counties and two states, according to the website. The school employs around 50 people and welcomes between 100 and 200 students each year.

“Hilltop has a more than 50-year tradition of providing the highest level of private K-8 education in Sussex County,” McGee added. “Hilltop has always strived to provide a diverse student body. Hilltop has diversity within our student body and on our board of directors. This year Hilltop also has 100% faculty retention.”

Lori Comstock can also be reached on Twitter: @LoriComstockNJH, on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LoriComstockNJH or by phone: 973-383-1194.

CJN swears before 18 judges of the Court of Appeal on Monday


The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, will be sworn in on Monday by 18 judges of the Court of Appeal.

Muhammad’s spokesman Ahuraka Isah said in a statement that the inauguration would take place in the “main courtroom of the Supreme Court of Nigeria” in Abuja.

PREMIUM TIME indicated that the inauguration was to take place in April but was to be postponed due to the national strike by members of the Nigerian Judicial Staff Union (JUSUN).

The strike launched by justice workers to demand the financial autonomy of justice began on April 6 and continued for more than two months by Nigerian courts and relevant institutions.

President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of judges after their recommendation by the National Judicial Council (CNJ).

PREMIUM TIME reported how the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday struck out a trial demanding three slots for the Southeast region in the process of appointing the 18 judges.

Below are the names of the new appointees with their original states.

1. Mohammed Danjuma (State of Niger)

2. Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo (Plateau)

3. Abdul-Azeez Waziri (Adamawa)

4. Yusuf A. Bashir (Taraba)

5. Usman A. Musale (Yobe)

6. Ibrahim Wakili Jauro (Yobe)

7. Abba Bello Mohammed (Kano State)

8. Bature Isah Gafai (Katsina)

9. Danlami Zama Senchi (Kebbi)

10. Mohammed Lawal Abubakar (Sokoto)

11. Hassan Muslim Sule (Zamfara)

12. Kenneth Ikechukwu Amadi (Imo)

13. Peter Oyinkenimiemi Affen (Bayelsa)

14. Sybil Onyeji Gbagi (Delta)

15. Olasunbo Goodluck (Lagos)

16. Adebukola Banjoko (Ogun)

17. Olabode Adegbehingbe (Ondo)

18. Bola Samuel Ademola (Ondo)

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“When We Kiss Our Hijab, We Are Kissing Death:” Canadian-Muslim Muslims Balance Faith and Security


EDMONTON – Every time Sana Chaudhry’s daughter sees her father get up to pray, the two-year-old takes a scarf and waddles behind him to the prayer rug.

As she watches her baby daughter wrap the hijab around her head, Chaudhry says she prays that she can practice her faith in the same way when she is older.

“I wish this girl could step out into the world and be so carefree about her religion and culture,” the 31-year-old psychotherapist said in an interview from her home in Oakville, Ont.

“And then I feel bad because I know it won’t.”

Discrimination against women who wear a hijab is not new, but Chaudhry and others say they are more afraid as Islamophobia and attacks on Muslim women increase across the country. They say they navigate between their security and their faith.

A spokesperson for an Edmonton mosque says he’s had more conversations with women trying to find ways to be more vigilant against attacks.

“There has been an increase (in conversations about)” how (I) continue to be who I am and what supports we can put in place to keep me going, “said Jamal Osman, vice -President of the Muslim community of the Edmonton mosque.

“I have also had a lot of conversations with other brothers. Their wives, daughters, mothers have been exposed to various expressions of hatred. But we are not going to stand idly by and continue to be victimized.”

For example, he said, more women are taking self-defense classes.

Chaudhry said that wearing the hijab is a form of worship in Islam. It means modesty and beauty.

She made the difficult decision to withdraw hers in 2016 after being assaulted twice. In the first case, a man ripped off her hijab while she was shopping. In the second, a man came in from behind and tried to shut a door on her hand as she unloaded groceries into her car.

Chaudhry has said she wanted to wear her hijab, but her experiences and reports of violent attacks on Muslim women – including at least 10 in Edmonton in the past six months – continue to deter her.

This fear was heightened when four members of a family in London, Ont., Were killed in a targeted attack. Two of the women were wearing hijabs when a 20-year-old man entered the family with his truck. Only a nine-year-old boy survived.

“It’s an underlying subconscious fear that permeates all aspects of your life and it’s really hard to feel safe,” Chaudhry said.

Her friends who wear the hijab feel the same, she said. “Some of them said to me, ‘When we kiss our hijab, we are kissing death.’ “

“We live in a society that doesn’t really accept Islam or this decision to wear a hijab,” added Nadia Mansour, 18, of Prince George, British Columbia.

While reports of attacks on Muslim women frightened some, Mansour said they did not distract her from her religious belief.

Mansour cites a Quebec court ruling in April that upheld the province’s decision to ban officials in positions of authority – including police officers and judges – from wearing religious symbols, including the hijab and the turban, at work.

“This is a huge indication for Muslim women who choose to wear a hijab that they are not accepted in our society and that they are different.

“People are looking at you. I was bullied in high school for wearing a hijab. I even took it off for a short while. But honestly, I’m sick of hearing bullshit. I am no longer afraid. my religion and I will defend it. “

Aruba Mahmud, an artist based in London, Ont., Said all women are feeling the effects of the recent attacks.

“I’m more vigilant. I’m afraid this won’t go away, but I don’t want this fear to start dictating an important decision,” she said. “I’m sick of just explaining my existence”

Osman said he was angry because it shouldn’t be Canadians’ responsibility to protect themselves.

“It is frustrating to have to take matters into their own hands and push our so-called representatives to live up to their commitment to the safety of Canadian citizens,” he said.

“It boils down to the law and, if the law is not able to defend its own citizens, then what kind of social contract is it? “

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 27, 2021.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The ceiling for two children and other disincentives should be eliminated. We need more babies, not less


The Lakshadweep Islands BJP administrator has caused a stir with proposals such as banning anyone with more than two children from running in local elections. Similar bans exist in Assam, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It’s silly. India and the world are faced with not too much births but not enough.

China once had a one-child policy, then allowed two children, and now encourages three. Its working-age population is shrinking, so it desperately needs more workers to increase its GDP. For a stable population, the total fertility rate – children born per woman – should be 2.1. This will not immediately stop population growth: future mothers have already been born. Thus, the population typically increases for two decades after reaching 2.1 and then flattens out.

India’s fertility is in free fall. It must let go of false fears of an excess population and prepare for a future with fewer and fewer people of working age (15 to 65) and increasingly older dependents. Improved medicine brings life expectancy to 90 years. New techniques extend service life, but at a high and increasing cost. Societies need a lot more workers to finance the care of the elderly. This is why many countries have introduced incentives for more children. Alas, none have worked well. The cost of educating children well has skyrocketed, so couples cannot afford even two children. Many countries offer free childcare, longer maternity and paternity leave, free health care for children and other such incentives. However, their fertility continues to decline.

The rate is lowest in Taiwan (1.07), South Korea 1.09) and Singapore (1.15). It is well below the replacement level in rich countries – Japan (1.38), Germany (1.48), United States (1.84) and United Kingdom (1.86). The rates are still above 3 in many African countries. But in Mexico, a traditional supplier of migrants, fertility has fallen to 2.14. America’s long tradition of immigration – despite Trump – has so far prevented the population from falling like in Germany, Russia or Japan. Yet the latest data shows that the U.S. population grew only 0.35% in 2019-2020, almost the slowest on record.

India’s fertility rate has fallen from 3.4 children in 1992-93 to 2.2 today, and is expected to drop to 1.93 by 2025. This is not because of sanctions like the ban from standing for election. This is because an ambitious middle class wants fewer children.

Far from having an excess of population, India is heading towards the global trap of an insufficient fertility rate, an insufficient number of people of working age and a huge excess of elderly people in need of medical care. expensive. Why then are so many leaders of the BJP and the RSS (notably Mohan Bhagwat) worried about overpopulation? Mainly because of their paranoid belief that Muslims avoid birth control, so the Muslim share of the population will increase and create majority Muslim regions, threatening Hindu supremacy. A BJP leader reportedly said that the Hindu policy of “hum do hamare do” (we are two and have two children) has been converted by Muslims into “hum panch hamare pachees” (we are five and will have 25). The BJP is fueling the fears of Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, whom Amit Shah called “termites.”

The growth of the Muslim population has long exceeded the Hindu growth, but religious conversion has been a negligible factor. One of the main reasons is the traditional Hindu ban on remarriage of widows. Second, many Hindus are migrant workers, spending months away from home. Third, Muslims are on average poorer than Hindus and the poor have more children. Fourth, some of their religious leaders oppose birth control, although most Muslim countries now encourage family planning. Selective abortion of female fetuses (detected by ultrasounds) is common among Hindus but prohibited by Islam.

The Muslim share of the Indian population increased from 10% in 1951 to 14.2% in 2011, a slow growth over 75 years. But Muslim fertility is falling rapidly with rising incomes. It was only 1.4 in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016. India’s Muslim population share will slowly increase for a few decades before stabilizing, probably well below 20%. This poses no threat to Hindu domination. Bangladesh’s fertility rate fell to 2, below replacement level. Its per capita income now rivals that of India. The economic rationale for migrating to India has disappeared.

What lessons are drawn from this for India? Abolish all disincentives for large families, including bans from standing in local elections and sanctions on entry and promotions into government services. Abolish rules reducing benefits for families with more than two children, including health care for mothers and children and nutritional supplements for pregnant women. Legislate male parental leave to facilitate the work of mothers. Improve anganwadis in appropriate preschools when possible. Increase women’s safety and remove other barriers to women’s participation in the workplace, which is among the lowest in the world. Raise more workers and secure work for them.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


Boxing highlights of Nico Ali Walsh, Muhammad Ali’s grandson


Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of “The Greatest” Muhammad Ali, has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Top Rank, a Las Vegas-based boxing promotion. The first fight promoted by the company was the fight of Muhammad Ali in 1966 against George Chuvalo.

Bob Arum, CEO and Founder of Top Rank, shared the tweet posted by the promotion and expressed interest in what the future holds for Nico Ali Walsh.

Bob Arum has promoted 27 of Muhammad Ali‘s fights, including the historic “Thrilla in Manila” fight against Joe Frazier.

Nico Ali Walsh is the youngest son of Rasheda Ali Walsh, daughter of Muhammad Ali, and her husband, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Robert Walsh. Nico will work with several other renowned entities in the boxing world. SugarHill Steward, known for coaching the WBC and linear heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, will be Walsh’s second chief corner. Matchmaker Bruce Trampler, who has worked with Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, is also on his team.

Nico Ali Walsh is scheduled to turn pro on August 14, 2021, on the Andrew Moloney vs. Joshua Franco fight card. His opponent has not yet been announced.

Beginning in the ring at an advantage for the St. Baldrick Foundation, Nico Ali Walsh has so far had around 30 amateur fights.

Here are the highlights from some of his amateur boxing fights:

Nico Ali Walsh: I do what I love

For Nico Ali Walsh, pursuing boxing professionally isn’t just about following in his grandfather’s footsteps and keeping his legacy alive, but also doing what he is passionate about.

In a statement released by Top Rank, Nico Ali Walsh said the contract with Top Rank was a dream come true and it is not a responsibility he takes lightly.

“I do what I love. Signing with Top Rank is a dream come true. I’m going to have fun on August 14th and next time I fight. Top Rank will give me the name, date and location, and I I’m going to have a good time. I’m honored to continue the fighting legacy my grandfather started. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly.

Nico Ali Walsh is aware of the weight on his shoulders and is ready to take on this responsibility.

Speaking about his earliest memories with Muhammad Ali, whom he calls “Poppy,” Nico Ali Walsh said he remembers hanging out with the legend in the gym.

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Teesside boxer Brian London who fought Muhammad Ali for the world title dies


Hartlepool-born boxer Brian London, who challenged Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title, has died aged 87.

London fought Ali just days after England won the FIFA World Cup in 1966, and despite the optimism in the air, he was beaten early in the third round.

Years later, at a charity dinner, asking if he would do something different, he replied, “Yes, I should have shot him. I got into a position to fight him, but I was nowhere near good enough to fight him. “

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After moving west from Hartlepool in his teens to Blackpool, London became known as ‘Blackpool Rock’.

He was encouraged to take up boxing while doing his national service in the RAF, after an officer discovered his father was former British heavyweight champion Jack London.

His brother, Jack Junior, also born and raised in Hartlepool, fought as a light heavyweight.

Aside from Earls Court’s famous fight against Ali, Brian also had another world title fight against Floyd Peterson.

He took the American to 11 rounds before losing by KO.

In an interview with the BBC in his later years, he admitted to fighting “for the money” rather than “for the love of it”.

After his retirement, London became a businessman in Blackpool, owner of several nightclubs.

Many boxing fans have taken to social media to reflect on London’s career after receiving the sad news.

A sports account wrote: “He didn’t dodge anybody. He had some excellent wins over some of the main heavyweights of the period and his win over Zora Folley was the best of them.

“Rest in peace, champion.”

Another said: “Rest in peace. One of the last heavyweights of a magical time that we will never see again.”

Gujarat Police Make First Arrest Under Anti “Love Jihad” Law


TGujarat’s Law on Freedom of Religion (amended), 2021, was implemented in the state on June 15 this year after the bill was passed in the budget session and approved by Governor Acharya Devvrat. A few days later, Gujarat police on June 19 registered the first case under the amended law and arrested six people, including five from a family in the Tarsali region in Vadodara.

The arrests took place following a complaint has been filed by a 24-year-old woman on the same day, stating that the accused tampered with her religious identity by pretending to be a Christian and lured her into a relationship by “promising her modern life after marriage”. The complaint further stated that she had met him via social media and that she was allegedly raped four times by the accused in a hotel and at the home of a co-accused. The 26-year-old defendant also shared intimate photos of the woman to blackmail her into marrying him in a nikah ceremony then convert to Islam, mentionned the complainant in her statement to the Vadodara police.

Vadodara police have arrested the man with his parents, his sister, and uncle as well as another man who facilitated the alleged sexual assault on the complainant.

“The man, who owns a sheep store, forced the woman to go to a religious place and marry him through a nikah ceremony. She was also forced to convert to Islam and change her name, ”Jayrajsinh Vala, Zone 2 Deputy Police Commissioner Vadodara, told media. the arrests

In particular, the amendment to the the existing law came after Nitin Patel, the redeputy VSthief MMinister of Gujarat, announced in February this year that the government would have bring legislation against “love jihad’ during the budget session of the Assembly.

Patel, while campaigning for local elections in the same month, said the law was “essential for the safety of Hindu girls and women.”

In a controversial speech, he said: “People of other faiths are cheating on our daughters by using luxury cars and bicycles. These are the people who have nothing to eat at home and someone else is paying for their gasoline. They even appear (look like) Hindus these days to impress and take away our daughters and change their religion. We can build schools, colleges, medical schools, and homes to educate our daughters and grant fee waivers, but if our daughters cannot be safe then there is no point in college or to a home. Security is paramount for our party. Safety was assured when the The BJP has come to power and we are strengthening it with each passing day. To put a stop to such people, our government is seriously considering passing a love law. jihad during the next session of the Assembly.


“We have noI couldn’t join the family in this case. However, a rape charge against a Muslim man is not uncommon in a case filed under this law.,” mentionned Mujaheed Nafees, chairman of the Minority Minorities Coordination Committee, a minority rights organization based in Gujarat. Usually a the missing person complaint is filed first. After what, the local police get involved and the man’s family and friends are arrested or detained for investigation. In most of the cases, the charges are not brought to court, but the family is going through a long and costly legal battle that many cannot afford ”, he mentionned.

Nafees criticized the amended law, saying: “This act was mainly used to harass Muslim men in protective gear. In effect, it takes away a woman’s basic right to choose her partner. Under this law, any person, regardless of their family relationship with the woman, can lodge a complaint raising doubts that the the woman was forcibly converted; tit is entirely up to man to prove the contrary.In multiple cases I have helped I have noticed that the self-proclaimed bangs are entitledwing organisApplications go to the marriage registry office and verify the names of couples registered under the Special Marriage Act. They are often the complainants or worse, they arrive at his home to harass the man and his family. In addition, the role of the police does not support the couple in such cases, ”said Nafees. Newsclick.

According to Danish Qureshi, a minority rights activist based in Ahmedabad, there are loopholes in the FIR against the accused in the current case. For example, mikah the ceremony is not allowed unless both people are Muslims. Thus, it is unlikely that a Muslim could not have revealed his religious identity before the mikah ceremony, as the FIR claims. In addition, it is mandatory to inform the Collector of a district before converting to another religion with mention of the reason for the conversion among other information. It is only after the authorization of the authority of the district that one can contact a religious leader for the conversion ”, he said to Newsclick.

Notably, the Gujarat Religious Freedom Law entered into force in 2008 do it mandatory for a person to obtain prior approval from the district authority for consensual conversion.

Lawyer Samshad Pathan says the law has come into force mainly like a countermeasure to stop conversions in the tribal belts of Gujarat. It was the time when the BJP and its sister organizedsations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) used terms like ghar wapsi at Stop tribes converted to Christianity. The law was applied retrospectively and was called Gujarat Freedom of religion 2003, so that any conversion dating back to 2003 iss null and void because the collector’s authorization has not been taken before the conversion, ”Pathan told the Newsclick.

“However, after 2014, the right-wing organizationsations began to use the word love jihad and the law began to be used to target Muslims. The current amendment is an extension of the same agenda. Acts classified as misdemeanors under the Gujarat Religious Freedom Act are already criminal acts under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. For example, if a man lies to a woman and hide his identity, he will be punishable under the IPC Section 406 or 420 punishable with seven to 10 years in prison, which is a quantum of punishment greater than what the Gujarat Freedom of religion Act guarantees. If a man rapes or assaults a woman, it is punishable under the IPC Section 376. There is no need for a new law unless the agenda is aimed at a particular community, ”Pathan added.

Under Gujarat’s 2003 law on religious freedom, a person could have been jailed for up to three years with a fine of up to Rs 50,000 if found guilty of forced conversion. In the recent modificationis lying in the draft law, the “offense” was made non-surety. He redefines the word seduction by adding better way of life, divine blessings or whatever deeming it necessary to slow down conversion through forced marriage. The amended law also states that anyone who assists with conversion in the name of love and marriage will also be considered guilty as well. Any marriage of this type considered as a forced conversion will be declared null and void by the concerned family court, specifies the amended law.

Notably, several organisNations and activists have protested Gujarat’s religious freedom law over time.

A day after the government of Gujarat passed the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the assembly banning “forced conversion by marriage,” the Minority Coordinating Committee (MCC) wrote to the governor to request the cancellation of the bill.

Calling it unconstitutional and a tool that can be misused against minorities, Mujaheed Nafees, president of the MCC wrote: “The fundamental spirit of this law is the violation of the religious freedom of the people. The political conspiracy of male political leaders to impose their ideas on women and their right to choose is visible.

In 2015, a petition was filed in the High Court by the Archbishop of Gandhinagar and others challenging the clause in the law requiring the person to state the reason for the conversion.

In 2009, a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the AThe complaint was brought to the High Court by the Gujarat United Christian Forum for Human Rights, retired IAS officer PK Velera, Hanif Lakdawala of the NGO Sanchetna and human rights activists Valjibhai Patel and Dwarikanath.

First published by Newsclick.

Brian London, boxer known as ‘Blackpool Rock’ who fought Muhammad Ali for the world heavyweight title – obituary


London’s famous weary observation of professional boxing, “I’m just a shrimp (sic) in the game”, is widely cited as a prime example of the old inarticulate, washed pug. In fact, London showed a keen business sense after his career ended. He wisely invested his ring earnings and then built an entertainment empire in Blackpool.

He was born Brian Harper on June 19, 1934 in Hartlepool, County Durham, although the family moved to Blackpool as a teenager. London followed his father’s lead and changed his name to London when he turned pro.

Jack London, who had changed his name due to his admiration for the American novelist, was a former British and Empire heavyweight champion, although it was always believed that his eldest son Jack would follow him into the ring.

Instead, it was Brian who set out to keep the family tradition alive by learning to box in the RAF. “Because I was Jack London’s son, I had to fight,” he recalls. “They thought I would be a good fighter, but I couldn’t fight at all, I was just a big and strong.” Despite this, London enjoyed a successful amateur career which culminated when he won a gold medal at the 1954 Empire Games in Vancouver.

Are the powers of the Middle East vying for Islamic leadership through education?


Education appears as a major flashpoint in competing visions of a future Muslim world. The rival concepts instilled in the next generation are likely to shape what amounts to a battle for the soul of Islam.

Reports released earlier this year by the Israel Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) illustrate the divergences in educational approaches.

On one end of the spectrum are Pakistan and Turkey, two of the most populous Muslim countries whose claim to rule the Muslim world is rooted in conservative, if not ultra-conservative, interpretations of Islam, which increasingly shape plus their education systems.

Read more: Can we decolonize education in Pakistan?

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reside on the other end with their reduced emphasis on religion in education and the emphasis on science as well as religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue.

Straddling the two approaches is Qatar, the only other Wahhabi state in the world alongside Saudi Arabia, although it embraced a more liberal interpretation long before the rise of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. .

The different educational approaches of Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Since coming to power, Prince Mohammed has dramatically reduced the role of ultra-conservative religious figures and institutions, reduced global funding for Wahhabi activities, strengthened women’s rights, and built a Western-style entertainment sector.

Sandwiched between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Qatar sees global support for political Islam, including the Muslim Brotherhood, as its best defense against Saudi and Iranian models of governance.

Read more: “Personality of Global Influence”: Pakistan Ulema Council awards special title to Saudi Crown Prince

Qatari textbooks reflect the tightrope on which the Gulf State walks between professing its adherence to the concepts of democratic freedoms, human rights, tolerance and pluralism, while refusing to break with anti-Semitic and anti-Christian notions as well. than the philosophies of jihad and martyrdom prevalent in political life. Islam.

What the different approaches have in common is what makes them both problematic: an endorsement of an autocratic regime or strongman by explicitly propagating absolute obedience to the ruler or the increasingly authoritarian environment. in which Islamized education systems are deployed.

Underlying the different approaches to education are divergent interpretations of what Islam stands for and what constitutes a moderate form of faith, as well as seemingly haphazard definitions advanced by various leaders.

Read more: Islam and science: the truth about this unexplored relationship

Prince Mohammed’s point of view on Islam

To be sure, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, contrary to the values ​​propagated in Turkish and Pakistani school curricula, are tackling issues that are widely seen as likely to foster the development of radicalism and extremism.

These include supremacist concepts, discriminatory representations of minorities, the emphasis on rote learning and attitudes towards violence.

In an interview in early May, Prince Mohammed expressed seemingly conflicting definitions of what his version of moderate Islam entailed. On the one hand, the crown prince suggested that it was a liberal application of Islamic law guided by the principles of tolerance and inclusiveness.

Read more: Does Saudi Crown Prince Still Encourage Moderate Islam?

Yet at the same time, when asked about the fight against extremism, Prince Mohammed cited a hadith or prophetic saying that urges worshipers to kill extremists. Saudi dissidents have accused the crown prince of justifying targeting those who criticize him, such as Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

“Today we cannot grow, attract capital, offer tourism, or move forward with the existence of extremist ideology in Saudi Arabia. If you want millions of jobs, lower unemployment, economic growth and better incomes, then you must uproot this project… Anyone who espouses an extremist ideology, even if they are not a terrorist, remains a criminal who should be detained. accountable to the law, ”said Prince Mohammed, arguing that the days when religious ultra-conservatism served a purpose are over.

Read more: Jamal Khashoggi is changing the Middle East at potentially horrific cost – James M. Dorsey

Saudi promotion of ultra-conservatism

The divergence in educational approaches takes on added significance because countries vying for leadership of the Muslim world such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey as well as Iran, export their visions of what faith stands for. in various ways. These include funding for religious, cultural and educational institutions in third countries and lobbying for policies that strengthen their approach and thwart that of their rivals.

While dramatically reducing its overseas funding and harnessing the Muslim World League (MWL), once a primary vehicle for Saudi promotion of ultra-conservatism, to spread the country’s most recent interfaith message of tolerance and outreach. Kingdom, Saudi Arabia has sometimes not hesitated to employ those it now denounces as extremists.

Indonesia is an example. The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), another government-sanctioned non-governmental organization once used to promote Saudi ultra-conservatism, is proud of funding mosques in Indonesia built by the prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera or PKS), a group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Read more: Sultan of Malaysia stands up against Saudi-inspired ultra-conservatism

When MWL General Secretary Mohammed al-Issa visited the Jakarta headquarters of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim movement, he chose to take Hidayat Nur Wahid, a leader of the PKS with him. and a staunch rival of the National Awakening Party (or PKB) associated with NU.

The Saudi display of his Indonesian Islamic political associate appears designed to counter Nahdlatul Ulama, the most serious challenger to the various concepts of Islam put forward by powers in the Middle East, including the kingdom.

Nahdlatul Ulama promotes a concept of humanitarian Islam that is rooted in a reinterpretation of religious texts, recognizes the need for reform to revise or remove what the group calls “obsolete” concepts such as that of the kafir or the infidel , and is supported by a large base of Islamic scholars.

Read more: Is Saudi-inspired ultra-conservatism leading to worsening Shia conditions in Malaysia?

Religious soft power

For its part, Turkey’s religious authority Diyanet, who resides in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office, has seen its budget increase 23 times over the past two decades, making it by far one of the government agencies. the best funded.

Diyanet financed the construction of mosques from the former Ottoman countries neighboring the Balkans to Africa and even Cuba. The Maarif Foundation, a vehicle used to gain global control of schools once operated by followers of Fethullah Gulen, uses school materials provided by Diyanet.

Turkey accuses Mr. Gulen, a preacher who lives in exile in the United States and a former ally of Mr. Erdogan, of organizing a failed military coup in Turkey in 2016. Turkey has since arrested thousands of alleged supporters of Gulen and expelled many of the suspected supporters of the government bureaucracy and the military.

Read more: Turkey celebrates first anniversary of failed military coup

Several countries donated local schools run by Gulen to the Maarif Foundation. At the last count, the foundation managed 323 schools, 42 dormitories and a university in 43 countries.

Likewise, the Saudi-backed UAE used its religious soft power and commercial and economic influence to push for a stricter French policy towards political Islam before the crackdown initiated by President Emmanuel Macron.

The lobbying focused on common interests in the fight against political Islam and Turkey, with which France disagrees in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as on the issue of political Islam. He gave the French leader cover to target political Islam and Turkey as he prepares for an election in 2022 in which Marie Le Pen, the leader of the far-right, nationalist and anti-immigration National Rally, occupies an important place.

Read more: Angry Twitter as France tries to ban hijab for women under 18

As part of the repression of political Islam, France has forced children to go to school from the age of three. It has also virtually eliminated options for home schooling or the operation of privately funded schools.

Mr Erdogan took the leap by declaring in 2018 that “the common goal of all education and our education system is to raise good people with respect for their history, culture and values “. Mr. Erdogan spoke of a “pious generation” which “will work for the construction of a new civilization”. It is this new civilization that is at stake in the battle for the soul of Islam.

A podcast version of this story is available on Soundcloud, Itunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spreaker, Pocket Casts, Tumblr, Podbean, Audecibel, Castbox, and Patreon.

Dr James M. Dorsey is an award-winning journalist and senior researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the Middle East Institute at National University of Singapore, as well as a Senior Non-Resident Honorary Member to Eye on ISIS. The article has been republished with permission of the author. The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

Cultural wars that agitate India and America


One of the challenges facing free and heterogeneous societies like India and the United States is the war of cultures. I was listening to a Chinese-American student at Stanford University on a radio program she was broadcasting. She used terms like “yellow fever” and “king of rice”.

She then explained. Yellow fever is the apparent attraction a white man feels for East Asian women. The same man is called the King of Rice apparently because he loves the exotic rice dishes served by the East Asian woman. Everywhere you go in America, it seems like yellow fever is raging.

I sometimes wonder about the families of East Asian women. Are they not worried that so many of their wives will mingle with people outside their culture? He does not seem. My best friend is a Chinese American. Her only sister fell in love, not with a white man, but with a black one. Hell broke loose in his family. Finally, the sister put her foot down and married her man and is very happy.

I was sitting next to a black Briton on the train. We are talking about yellow fever. He raised an eyebrow and asked me if the attraction the East Asian woman had was limited only to the white man. I understood his point of view.

Jungle fever was a term coined in America to describe the apparent attraction a white woman had for a black man, a supposed jungli, a jungle man who would be Africa. One of the central causes, no, the central cause of the Civil War, was the fear of white southerners that if their black slaves were freed, how these black slaves would then take away their white wives.

Postage stamps have also been issued for this purpose. Nowhere was it mentioned that in fact many white women would have liked to be carried off by black men.

The white man still reigns in America. There is no setback in American society against yellow fever. White men freely associate with East Asian women and procreate with them. There is apparently not a great deal of racial prejudice faced with the problems of such a mixture. A few white women have expressed their anger to me about what their men see in East Asian women, but overall this criticism is hushed up.

This is not the case with jungle fever. White women are still not allowed by white men to freely date black men. A tremendous racism is experienced by the children of this interracial mixture, who are automatically considered black. In many parts of the United States like Silicon Valley where there are large numbers of East Asian women, white men choose them and there aren’t enough eligible men for women white women marry because these men would necessarily be of “color”.

The East Asian population in the United States is expected to increase dramatically, as is the resulting yellow fever. How are white women going to handle this? Will they defy societal pressure and opt for “colors” or will they prefer to remain single?

India faces a similar cultural war in the so-called love jihad. I was talking to the former chief secretary of Gujarat who happens to be a Muslim man dating a Hindu woman. He told me that many Muslim women stay homebound, while many Hindu women are much more outgoing. It is this gregarious nature of Hindu women that Muslim men find so appealing.

But was there an attraction that a Hindu woman had for the Muslim man? I didn’t think so, until a Hindu woman got me wrong about this notion.

She claimed that Muslim men were so beautiful. I didn’t ask her why, although I suspect she was referring to the Muslim men who were handsome and well built. But was there a dearth of handsome and well-built Hindu men in the country?
Sex, that old dirty subject, of course plays a huge role but it is rarely talked about. The East Asian woman is supposed to be submissive, even in bed. The Muslim man in India is said to be more sensual, and even more manly, than the Hindu man. The black man’s sexual prowess is seen as almost legendary.

It must be said that many Hindu men are also attracted to Muslim women, and maybe even the other way around, but here religion is a barrier. Indian awakens insist that it is acceptable for Muslim men to interbreed with Hindu women, but see red whenever the subject of love-jihad is mentioned. Hindu men thus sometimes feel emasculated in their own country.

It is hypocrisies such as the fact that members of a community seek to marry apart from the faith, but prevent their own wives from doing so, that have led the majority community in India to feel discriminated against.

Unless the playing field is leveled, this grievance, which is not quite imagined, will not go away. Grievances such as the love jihad have led masses of moderate Hindus to subscribe to the Sangh Parivar ideology, even if they do not fully subscribe to it.

Unless the opposition like Congress does not come out to fully and squarely tackle the hypocrisies inherent in cultural wars like the jihad of love, the Hindu right will continue to rule India. The Constitution of India provides for equality for all religions in theory and in practice, not just in theory but not in practice.

The writer is an energy expert and regularly contributes to publications
in India and abroad.

Why did Robinhood shut down GameStop Trading?


Robinhood is an online brokerage firm that prides itself on making it easy to buy and sell stocks. But if you are a user of this popular trading platform, you would have found it impossible to buy a few specific stocks on Thursday.

Specifically, you could not have bought shares of GameStop (NYSE: GME), AMC (NYSE: AMC); BlackBerry (NYSE: BB); Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY) or Nokia (NYSE: NOK) on Robinhood starting January 28.

In a released statement, Robinhood provided strong rationale for closing transactions in GameStop shares, as well as transactions in the other mentioned shares. But many were not happy with the brokerage’s explanation for its actions, and Robinhood has now indicated that it will change course, allowing a limited purchase of GameStop shares starting Friday.

Here’s what you need to know.

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Here’s why Robinhood shut down GameStop trading

On January 28, Robinhood suspended the ability to buy GameStop stock. App users were allowed alone to sell their positions, not to open new ones or to add to their existing holdings in GME.

The brokerage house declaration explaining his actions as follows: “We constantly monitor the markets and make changes as necessary. In light of recent volatility, we limit trading for certain securities to closing positions only. The statement, which was posted on Robinhood’s website and emailed to its millions of users, also said: “In a context of high market volatility, it is more important than ever to help customers to stay informed “.

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Robinhood was not exaggerating on the volatility of GameStop stocks. Shares rose over 1,800% during the month of January and the price fluctuated several hundred dollars per share in a single trading day. What makes this even more remarkable is that the company is a retailer widely regarded as obsolete in the age of online sales, and prior to the past few weeks its stock price was below $ 20.

There is, of course, an explanation for the stock buying frenzy that led to Robinhood’s decision to close trading.

Users of a Reddit sub-forum called r / WallStreetBets decided to capitalize on the fact that GameStop is the preferred stock for short-term hedge funds. With hedge funds betting big on the decline in the value of the company’s shares, the Redditors chose to start buying, pushing the share price up.

This created a “short squeeze” as those who bet against GameStock had to buy stocks to cover their shorts. The feedback loop has led GameStop’s price to climb rapidly, especially as Redditors have encouraged buyers of GME shares to ban their shares from being loaned to short sellers.

Wall Street hedge funds began to waste a lot of time as some individual investors demanded staggering profits with GameStock’s stock price skyrocketing. But the fun ended when Robinhood closed deals, preventing more investors from buying, which caused stock prices on Earth to plummet.

While Robinhood may have indeed acted to protect its clients – buying into GameStop under these conditions is undoubtedly risky – many expressed concern that the broker was acting to protect Wall Street insiders from losses, rather. than its customers.

Lawmakers, including progressive icon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and conservative felt Ted Cruz, have called for hearings on Robinhood’s decision, and some app users are seeking class action lawsuits against Robinhood, with one user tweeting: “Robinhood canceled stock orders on #gme #amc # NOK etc … There should be a class action lawsuit. I thought we had a free market. So Wall Street is okay with me losing hundreds of dollars , so that wealthy investors cannot be called on their risks …. #wallstreetbets. ”

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Trade will resume on Robinhood on Friday

After a day of criticism on social media, Robinhood announced Thursday night that it would lift its restrictions on Friday and allow at least limited commerce from GameStop.

“Starting tomorrow, we plan to allow limited purchases of these securities,” the company said in a statement. He went on to say that “we will continue to monitor the situation and may make adjustments if necessary”.

The brokerage has justified its previous actions on the basis of SEC brokerage regulations, which they say “exist to protect investors and the markets and we take our responsibilities to comply with them, including through of the actions we have taken today “.

Finally, the company responded to the accusation that it acted to protect Wall Street, stating unequivocally that “this was a risk management decision and was not made based on of the direction of the market makers to whom we turn. We are starting to open the trade. for some of these titles responsibly.

Still, as trading resumes on Friday, trading on GameStock remains a high-risk proposition as the current share price is not justified by the company’s underlying business activity. If you are considering using Robinhood or another brokerage firm to buy GameStop shares, make sure you understand the dangers of this type of trading.

Christy bieber has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BlackBerry. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Former criminals discriminated against over loan under CARES law


At a time of coronavirus shutdowns, all businesses are in trouble. Those belonging to former prisoners may receive even less help.

to play

A few days ago, I got a call from Scott Jennings, another board member of Inmates to Entrepreneurs, who got excited after reading the recent Small Business Administration business loan application.

Scott, who served a prison sentence years ago, is now a very successful entrepreneur. Like many other entrepreneurs, he has worked very hard to start a new life, and his business has been heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus crisis. But the SBA’s loan application intended to keep small business owners afloat discriminates against former criminals.

Despite the progress made in criminal justice reform, finding a job remains one of the most difficult challenges for former prisoners.

The CARES law, which is supposed to give relief to all business owners, including former criminals, shouldn’t make it harder to stay alive during this time of foreclosure and potential layoffs – it’s tough enough.

POLICE IN THE UNITED STATES: A look at race, justice, the media

The law includes a provision to make $ 350 billion in loans available to small businesses through the SBA. The loans are intended to help businesses, like Scott’s, and their employees. In the loan application, two questions immediately caught his attention:

“Is the plaintiff (if it is an individual) or any person holding 20% ​​or more of the plaintiff’s equity the subject of an indictment, criminal investigation, an indictment or other means by which formal criminal charges are laid in a jurisdiction, or currently incarcerated, or on probation or parole? “

“In the past five years, for any crime, the plaintiff (if an individual) or any owner of the plaintiff 1) has been convicted; 2) pleaded guilty; 3) pleaded nolo pretendere; 4) was placed on pre-trial diversion; or 5) was placed on some form of parole or probation (including pretrial probation)? ”

The timing of such questions in a loan application is suspect at best.

COLUMN: I’m a nurse battling COVID-19, but the DACA fight could end with my deportation

While it is true that this is similar to the language that existed before the pandemic, it calls into question the fairness of the issues themselves and whether it is fair to exclude relief from people who were previously judicially involved.

In the worst case, these questions will lead to discrimination against those judicially involved. At best, which is more subtle and probably more important and widespread, the language here will discourage many people with criminal records from applying.

HELP LINE: Share your coronavirus story

In our discussion of the app, Scott noted, “I wasn’t exactly a model citizen. I have committed a crime. I went to prison for three years and now I have changed all aspects of my life and my role in society. I have owned a successful business for nine years. Like any other business owner, I have families who depend on me.

Although Scott’s business may be eligible for a stimulus loan since his charges are not recent, many people like him will not.

Most people agree that if people commit a crime, they should be required to give something back to society; they should be punished. But people shouldn’t be serving life sentences because of stigma or discrimination that basically relegates them to life imprisonment, even for minor offenses.

Brian Hamilton is the founder of Inmates to Entrepreneurs and the Brian Hamilton Foundation, two national organizations that help small businesses.

Illinois Legislature Adopts 36% Interest Rate Cap on Consumer Loans | Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, srl


The Illinois legislature passed new law setting a 36% interest rate cap on most consumer loans.

What happened

Under the new bill, “a lender shall not incur or receive any charges exceeding an annual percentage rate of 36% on the unpaid balance of the amount financed”. Article 15-5-5. The new law designates the use of the same APR calculation method that is used under federal law for military-related loans.

The law excludes commercial loans and grants an exemption for banks (national or non-state banks), credit unions, and insurance companies duly licensed under state or federal law.

The law designates any violation of the interest rate cap as also a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Marketing Practices Act. Illinois regulators also have the authority to take enforcement action and impose fines of up to $ 10,000 per violation. In addition, any loan granted in excess of the new limit, subject to applicable exceptions, is null and void.

Why is this important

Before the law was passed, Illinois generally allowed parties to contract for any desired rate of interest. As a result, some consumer credit products prior to the passage of the bill regularly exceeded the APR by 150% on an annualized basis.

The bill will come into force immediately if signed by the governor, or 60 days after its passage by the legislature on January 14, 2021, if the governor does not sign but does not exercise a veto.

Live Nation to Raise $ 800 Million in Debt Offer – Deadline


Live Nation Entertainment on Wednesday announced plans to offer bonds worth $ 800 million for sale and use the proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes.

The move comes as media and entertainment companies continue to raise cash cushions as their finances are shaken by COVID-19. The Beverly Hill-based producer, promoter and parent of Ticketmaster last month announced a $ 120 million revolving credit facility and expects $ 500 million in cost cuts this year, including cuts. salary for CEO Michael Rapino and other senior executives.

Deadline announced last week that Live Nation’s revenue for the March quarter fell 21% to $ 1.37 billion. Net losses widened to $ 185 million from $ 52 million. Virus-related closures took place across much of the world in March.

Rapino said the company will experiment over the summer in smaller venues in more open states and countries, hoping to return to something resembling a concert industry as we know it by 2021.

Some 65,000 Ticketmaster shows and 9,000 Live Nation shows have been affected by the spread of COVID-19. Most ticket holders have chosen to wait for postponed events instead of asking for refunds and, based on polls, seem willing to return to venues if they are sanitized and there is easy access to the venue. hand sanitizer.

The company is also considering masks, reduced capacity, “contactless concessions” and increased use of digital ticketing technology. He said he was working with medical experts and public health officials on the procedures, as well as with the US federal and state governments and authorities in other countries to develop reopening phases for each market.

Dwight Capital Funds $ 55 Million HUD Construction Loan on Arizona Rental Complex – Commercial Observer


New York based alternative lender Capital Dwight provided just over $ 55.1 million in HUD construction debt financing to a joint venture between Housing Trust Group (HTG) and Treger partners to build Aviva goodyear, a 288-unit apartment complex in Goodyear, Arizona.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development The HUD-backed construction loan goes to Miami-based HTG and the $ 71 million Treger project, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Which will be HTG’s second “Aviva” brand property – the first was built in Mesa, Arizona. HTG is one of the largest developers of affordable housing in the country.

It will be erected on a 16 acre site at 4175 Faucon Avenue North and will include a mix of 11 two- and three-story buildings as well as a clubhouse, according to Dwight. In total, the physical buildings themselves will span nearly 333,500 square feet, according to Treger’s website.

Construction of the gated community is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022, with the first wave of residences coming to market in September of next year, according to a recent AZ Big Media development report. The project will include a wide range of fitness and leisure equipment, including two swimming pools, a fitness center with a boxing hall and a yoga and spin studio, a dog park, a golf course. dog agility, a basketball court and a children’s play area, as well as by information from Dwight. There will also be several courtyards throughout the development, and it will offer self-storage compartments for its tenants as well as 43 parking garages and several carports and four charging stations for electric cars.

Aviva Goodyear – designed by Eric Miller Architects – will offer one, two and three bedroom residences, according to Treger’s website, which lists the site’s name of approximately 692,600 square feet as “Harmony at Goodyear.” The number of units will be 104 one-bedroom units, 168 two-bedroom units and 16 three-bedroom units, according to Treger, and the firm also says on its website that the property will have nearly 13,000 square feet of space. retail space.

The property is a few blocks from the local Millennium High School and Western Sky College as well as a large park, golf course, and a range of shopping and dining options, including a Walmart, a Safeway supermarket and a Walgreens.

What is the difference? – Councilor Forbes


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Principal and mortgage interest are the two key components of your monthly mortgage payment when you borrow money to buy a home. Your principal payment is what allows you to get out of debt. Your interest payment is what allows you to borrow money. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how mortgage interest and principal works and how it’s calculated.

What is mortgage capital?

Mortgage principal is the amount you borrow from a lender to buy a home. A portion of each monthly payment you send will go toward reducing your mortgage principal.

You may already be familiar with the concept of capital from another type of loan you have taken out. If you borrowed money to pay for your education, that amount was the principal of your student loan. If you took out a loan to buy your car, the price of the car minus your down payment is your car loan principal.

What is mortgage interest?

Mortgage interest is the price you pay a lender to borrow the capital to buy your home. Each month, a portion of your payment will be used to pay interest. Look at your mortgage statements to see how much of your most recent payment was for interest and how much for principal.

Most people claim the standard deduction on their tax return. However, a small percentage of homeowners save more money by itemizing their deductions and claiming the mortgage interest deduction.

Mortgage interest on mortgage debt of up to $ 750,000 is an expense that you can itemize as long as you have incurred the debt to build, buy, or significantly improve the home. Combining this expense with charitable donations and property taxes can cause you to exceed the standard deduction threshold, which is $ 12,200 for single tax filers and $ 24,400 for married tax filers in 2020.

Example of principal and interest

Suppose you buy a house that costs $ 250,000. You put in 20%, or $ 50,000. The principal amount of your mortgage is the price of the house less the down payment, or $ 200,000.

Say you want to pay off the $ 200,000 in principal over 30 years. To lend you this money, the lender needs an incentive: the ability to earn interest at a fixed rate of 3% per annum for 30 years.

Using an online mortgage principal and interest calculator (also known as just a mortgage calculator), you can see how much 3% interest on your loan balance over 30 years will cost: $ 843 per month in principal and interest. Check the calculator’s amortization schedule and scroll to the repayment date. It will show that you will pay $ 103,601.28 in interest over 30 years to borrow $ 200,000 in principal.

Understanding mortgage amortization

Amortization of the loan is the split of the principal and interest that you owe over a predetermined period. In the case of a 30-year mortgage, this period is 360 months. If you get a 15-year mortgage, that period is 180 months.

Auto loans and student loans are also amortized. Before taking out an amortized loan, you can use a calculator to find out its amortization schedule. This calendar shows you exactly how much of your fixed monthly payment will go to principal and interest each month.

How do you calculate the principal and the interest?

You can use a mortgage calculator to show you how much principal and interest you’ll pay over the life of your mortgage, and you can use an amortization calculator to see how much principal and interest you’ll pay each month. It can be helpful to know the math behind the calculator to understand where your money is going.

Your first mortgage payment

In the first month, you owe your lender $ 200,000, the total amount you borrowed. Your interest rate is 3% per annum, which means it’s 0.0025% per month (3% divided by 12). In one month, you accumulate $ 500 in interest.

Interest accrues during the month. So by the time you make your first mortgage payment, you will have been on your loan for at least a month. If you’ve had it longer, say you closed your loan on the 15th, you’ll have prepaid a few weeks of interest as part of your mortgage closing costs.

So you pay $ 500 interest in the first month. We determined earlier that your monthly payment will be $ 843. Why this amount? This is the amount that amortization calculations show you have to pay each month to pay off your loan after making 360 payments. This means that the remaining $ 343 of your first monthly payment will go towards paying off your mortgage principal.

Pay more principal, less interest over time

In the second month, you owe your lender $ 199,657 (that’s $ 200,000 minus $ 343). At 0.0025% monthly interest, $ 499.14 of your next mortgage payment will be interest and $ 343.86 will be principal.

And for each month to come until you pay off your loan, two things will happen:

  • The amount of your payment that goes towards the principal will increase slightly.
  • The amount of your payment that goes towards interest will decrease slightly.

As you pay off your mortgage principal, you have a smaller balance to earn interest on. Since your monthly payment stays the same every month, the lender allocates more of your principal payment because you don’t owe so much interest.

This way, you will be able to pay off your mortgage on a regular basis over 30 years. Your 359th payment will be split at $ 838.50 in principal and $ 4.50 in interest. Your 360th payment will be a little larger, at $ 964.28, to eliminate the remaining balance; $ 961.88 will go to principal and $ 2.40 to interest.

How Taxes and Insurance Factor in Your Mortgage Payment

Property taxes and home insurance may be included in your mortgage payment if your lender requires you to escrow these payments. Your lender may require a mortgage escrow account if you deposit less than 20%, and it is required if you get an FHA or USDA loan.

Let’s say your property taxes are $ 2,500 per year and your home insurance is $ 1,000 per year. Your lender will divide each amount by 12 so that you pay your taxes and insurance gradually over the year.

The lender holds this money in your escrow account and then sends the money to your local collector and insurer when payments are due. Your monthly mortgage payment would be $ 1,134.67 after adding the $ 291.67 per month for taxes and insurance to your principal and interest payment of $ 843.

If you have to pay for private mortgage insurance or flood insurance, your lender will also block these amounts.

How to pay off your mortgage faster

You can pay off your mortgage faster by making additional principal payments. The key for this strategy to work is that you must specify that the extra money you are sending is an additional principal payment. If you don’t, your mortgage agent might apply it to your next monthly payment, which won’t give you the result you’re looking for.

Do you receive an annual bonus, do you have irregular income or do you benefit from a large tax refund? One way to pay off your mortgage faster is to make an extra payment per year when that extra income arrives. On a 30-year mortgage where you make an additional principal payment per year, you will pay off your mortgage approximately 3.5 years sooner. In our example of a $ 200,000 mortgage at 3% interest, you would save just over $ 14,000 in interest by using this strategy to pay off your mortgage sooner.

Are your income stable throughout the year? In this case, you may want to pay additional principal with each monthly payment. You may be able to set up this arrangement through your provider’s website so that it happens automatically every month.

US Africa Command official hails ‘new start’ in Sudan


CAIRO – An American deputy commander for Africa on Wednesday welcomed a “new start” and a “renewed relationship” between the United States and Sudan following the withdrawal of the African country from the American list of States supporting terrorism.

The remarks by Andrew Young, deputy commander of US Africa Command, or AFRICOM, came on the third day of his visit to Sudan, the first of its kind since Washington’s delisting effectively ended the pariah’s status. Sudan.

Sudan is on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. The county is now ruled by a joint military and civilian government that seeks to improve its ties with Washington and the West.

At the end of last year, the United States removed Sudan from its list of terrorist sponsoring states after nearly three decades on the list.

“This is a new beginning and the beginning of a renewed relationship between the United States and Sudan. This is a journey we want to take together, ”Young told Sudanese troops at a military academy in the capital, Khartoum. “We want to deepen and broaden our relationship and pursue common goals. “

Young and great-friend Heidi Berg, director of intelligence for AFRICOM, arrived in Sudan on Monday. They met General Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the ruling Sovereign Council, as well as Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

“This week is an important moment in the resumption of a relationship between our two countries, a relationship based on trust and mutual commitment to ensure peace and prosperity in East Africa,” said Berg.

Most rates go up while ARM goes down


Mortgage rates today are up for fixed rate loans, but the ARM 5/1 rate has gone down. Here’s what they look like now:

The data source: The Ascent National Mortgage Interest Rate Tracker.

6 simple tips to get a 1.75% mortgage rate

Secure access to The Ascent’s free guide that reveals how to get the lowest mortgage rate on your new home purchase or when refinancing. Rates are still at their lowest for decades, so act today to avoid missing out.

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30-year mortgage rates

The 30-year average mortgage rate today stands at 2.898%, up 0.031% from yesterday. At today’s rate, you will pay principal and interest of $ 416.44 for every $ 100,000 you borrow. This does not include additional expenses like property taxes and home insurance premiums.

20-year mortgage rates

The 20-year average mortgage rate today stands at 2.643%, up 0.027% from yesterday. At today’s rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $ 536.75 for every $ 100,000 you borrow. Although your monthly payment increases by $ 120.31 with a 20-year loan of $ 100,000 compared to a 30-year loan of the same amount, you will save $ 21,101.07 in interest over your repayment period for every $ 100,000 you borrow.

15-year mortgage rates

The 15-year average mortgage rate today stands at 2.280%, up 0.019% from yesterday. At today’s rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $ 656.48 for every $ 100,000 you borrow. Compared to the 30-year loan, your monthly payment will be $ 240.04 higher for every $ 100,000 of mortgage principal. However, your interest savings will amount to $ 31,753.85 over the duration of your repayment period per $ 100,000 of mortgage debt.

5/1 arm

The average 5/1 ARM rate is 2.779%, down 0.041% from yesterday. With an ARM 5/1, you lock in your starting interest rate for five years, after which it can adjust once a year. Now your rate could go down over time, but it could go up too, so when you get an adjustable rate mortgage, you take that risk.

For the first time in months, the ARM 5/1 has dropped to a level below that of the 30-year fixed mortgage. However, the rate difference is not that large and the discount you will get with an ARM 5/1 is minimal. You can also lock in a 20 or 15 year mortgage if you can swing the higher monthly payment, as these two products are still available at a lower rate than the 5/1 ARM.

Should I lock in my mortgage rate now?

A mortgage rate freeze guarantees you a specific interest rate for a certain period of time – typically 30 days, but you may be able to guarantee your rate for up to 60 days. You’ll usually pay a fee to lock in your mortgage rate, but that way you’re protected if rates go up by the time your mortgage closes.

If you plan to close your home in the next 30 days, it pays to lock in your mortgage rate based on today’s rates, especially since they are still very low. But if your close is more than 30 days away, you might want to choose an adjustable rate lock instead for what will usually be a higher fee, but could save you money in the long run. A variable rate lock allows you to get a lower rate on your loan if rates drop before your mortgage closes, and while rates today are quite competitive, we don’t know if rates will go up. or will decrease over the next few months. As such, it is beneficial to:

  • LOCK if closing 7 days
  • LOCK if the closure 15 days
  • LOCK if closing 30 days
  • FLOAT if closing 45 days
  • FLOAT if closing 60 days

If you’re ready to apply for a mortgage, collect offers from different lenders so you can compare your choices. Each lender sets their own rate and closing costs, so you might find that one charges a much higher fee than another to finalize a loan. Of course, you shouldn’t hesitate to negotiate your loan closing costs, as some of these fees can be flexible, but the main thing is to look at different offers before making a decision.

Exit the PPP Catch-22 loan: Travel Weekly


Marc Pestronk

Question: I know that until my agency Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is canceled, I am not supposed to sell my agency unless I place the equivalent of the full loan amount in an escrow account with the bank, as you explained in your October report. 12 column: “Narrow path to a sales agency with a PPP loan”. Of course, I don’t have a lot of money; if I had, I wouldn’t have needed the PPP loan in the first place. So it looks like I’m going to go bankrupt because I can’t sell or get forgiveness quickly even though I have a few interested buyers. Do you know of a way to get around the escrow rule?

A: There is no doubt that the Small Business Administration has created a Catch-22 for potential sellers because they can’t sell without escrow, and they can’t afford escrow unless they sell. However, in representing sellers or buyers over the past eight months, I have come across at least four ways to possibly avoid SBA roadblocks.

I say “maybe” because, except in one sense, there is no guarantee that your bank or the SBA would allow these transactions, even assuming it is necessary to notify them, so you should consult your own. avocado before trying them.

First, the safest method to resolve your issue is to ask the potential buyer to lend you the money for escrow. Once you have obtained the money and submitted your PPP forgiveness request, you are ready to proceed with the acquisition.

While this buyer loan method works, I imagine that not many buyers would be willing to lend you money, as they may run out of money themselves, and once they acquire you after the cancellation Of the PPP loan, there is really no assurance that they will be able to collect the loan after paying you the purchase price.

The other transactions are an interim management contract, a 19% buyout with an option to buy the remainder, and a lease or license contract. Under the management agreement, you appoint the potential buyer’s company as the “manager” of your agency, and the manager must inject the necessary working capital to keep you afloat until the cancellation of the PPP is obtained.

The manager’s compensation would consist of any profit your agency made, and the manager would have to absorb the losses in the future. Once the pardon has been obtained, you can close the transaction.

Under the 19% redemption method, you would only sell 19% of your shares or assets as this transaction would not trigger the escrow requirement as it applies to sales of at least 20% of the stock. society. The buyer would then have the option of purchasing the remainder after the discount is obtained, but in the meantime the buyer would pay the purchase price.

Under the lease or license method, you can lease your staff, or license an asset, to the buyer in exchange for what would have been part of the purchase price and close the deal once the discount is obtained. .

60,000 Paycheck Protection Program loans approved in first week


WASHINGTON, DC (WWTI) – As the Paycheck Protection Program just wrapped up its first week, the SBA has made an update.

The Small Business Administration of the United States announced Tuesday that it has approved about 60,000 PPP loan applications, submitted by nearly three thousand lenders. According to the SBA, these loans were approved for funding of more than $ 5 billion between the reopening of programs from Jan.11, 2021 to Jan. 17, 2021.

The first week of the program was only open to first-draw PPP loans the first few days and second-draw PPP loans in the middle of the week. Specifically, the First Draw PPP Loans were for borrowers who had not received a loan before August 8, 2020.

SBA administrator Jovita Carranza commented on the first week of the program.

“The data from our first week, which first allowed hundreds of community financial institutions to submit applications and then opened up more broadly to small banks, shows that we have helped tens of thousands of businesses.” , Carranza explained. “The PPP is on another good start to help our country’s economy. With PPP reopening today for all first and second draw loan applications, the SBA remains committed to keeping small business workers on the payroll and their doors open during this difficult time. “

Second Draw PPP Loans are for qualifying small businesses with 300 or fewer employees who have already received a First Draw PPP Loan.

According to the SBA, these borrowers will be required to use or had used the full amount of their First Draw loan only for the permitted uses and have demonstrated a 25% reduction in gross revenue between comparable quarters.

The maximum amount for a second draw PPP loan is $ 2 million.

The SBA also opened the Paycheck Protection Program to all participants on January 19, 2021.

The U.S. Paycheck Protection Program will remain open for first and second draw P3 loans until March 31, 2021.

La Jolla News Nuggets: Blood drive for the teacher; Barbara Bry podcast; La Jolla Innovation Center; After


La Jolla teacher still needs rare blood type

The San Diego Blood Bank was still looking for a game this week for Stacie Buechel, a La Jolla teacher and mother of three who needs a rare blood type to fight bone cancer. More than 600 people have donated blood on his behalf, according to the blood bank.

Buechel, 47, needs about a pint a week of rare blood for transfusions as part of his treatment. It needs type A +, O- or O + which does not have a protein called Kpb. Less than 1% of the American population has this type of blood, the blood bank said.

In an article published on February 2 on her family’s Meal Train webpage, Buechel – a Montessori teacher and founder of the Essbee Learning Center in La Jolla – wrote that “my photo is a little darker than we thought it was. ‘origin’. But she added that “we cannot give up hope. … There are not enough words to describe what so many of you have done for me and my family.

To donate blood on Buechel’s behalf, visit any San Diego Blood Bank or mobile blood donor point and include the code “ESSB” when registering. For more information and to make an appointment, visit sandiegobloodbank.org or dial (619) 400-8251.

Barbara Bry launches podcast after mayoral race

Following her tenure as District 1 representative (which includes La Jolla) on San Diego City Council and an unsuccessful run for mayor, La Jolla resident Barbara Bry started a podcast with her husband, San Diego Union-Tribune business columnist Neil Senturia.

The podcast, titled “I’m here for you baby! The Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Galaxy ”, broadcast on Spotify and on anchor.fm/itfyb.

Barbara Bry and her husband Neil Senturia prepare to cast their ballots at La Jolla / Riford Library on Election Day on November 3.

(Elisabeth Frausto)

“The theme of our show is that today everyone should think like an entrepreneur, whether in their own business, a large organization or a non-profit organization,” Bry wrote in a message to supporters. . “Among our guests was the head of the largest group of angel investors in the United States, an entrepreneur who started a natural fertilizer business combining [expletive] and Garbage, the head of the Hispanic Chamber of Electronic Commerce, a leader in the cannabis industry and the CEO of Goodwill of San Diego County.

A draft environmental impact report for the future La Jolla innovation center is available for public comment until March 22. The proposed 110,000 square foot, seven story building would be located on the southwest corner of Villa La Jolla Drive and La Jolla Village Drive, where Rock Bottom Brewery once operated.

The facility would house several programs at UC San Diego Health, UCSD School of Medicine, and UCSD Extension and would include office and educational space, a ground floor cafe accessible to the public, and approximately 275 parking spaces.

The entire property is currently a 7 acre commercial complex from which UCSD has leased approximately 90,000 square feet for decades. The university would acquire the land and seek to redevelop an acre. Following approval from University of California regents, which is expected in May, the project could begin construction and be open at the end of 2023.

An online public hearing on the environment will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 25. For more information and the REI project, visitblink.ucsd.edu/facilities/real-estate/ljic.html.

Church’s White Elephant Sale is a virtual fundraiser this year

The 89th Annual White Elephant Sale at St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla will be a virtual fundraiser this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event raises money to fund grants for people in need.

With no in-person sale this year, donors are asked to send a check payable to Women of St. James (with “WES” in the memo section) to St. James’s Episcopal Church by- the-Sea, 743 Prospect Street. , La Jolla, CA 92037, or pay on the St. James website, SJBTS.org. The goal is to raise $ 50,000. Donations are tax deductible.

A “Zoom to Remember” event is scheduled from 5 pm to 6 pm on Friday, February 19, via the church’s website, featuring past volunteers, buyers, photos and a toast to beneficiaries.

LaCava congratulates Bishop’s students who founded Operation Nourish

La Jolla resident and San Diego city councilor Joe LaCava bestowed his first commendation in office on the students of Bishop’s School and Operation Nourish, Bela and Mira Gowda founders, whom he called ” two brilliant young innovators ”. Their non-profit organization supports the community’s healthcare and foodservice sectors by purchasing meals in bulk at local restaurants and donating them to nearby medical facilities.

“Since its inception, Bela and Mira have provided more than 1,000 meals in heavily impacted restaurants to healthcare workers at six area hospitals,” LaCava wrote. “Thank you both for your commitment to the community and your creativity. Keep up the good work! “

La Jolla club helps students help Vietnamese village

The Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle contributed $ 500 to an initiative of UCHS Interact, a student-run organization at
University City High School, in partnership with the non-profit organization Gravity Water to build rainwater collection and filtration systems to provide safe drinking water in needy areas.

UCHS Interact has “adopted” the primary and secondary school of Ban Lien in the village of Bac Ha in Lao Cai, Vietnam. Students are working to raise a total of $ 2,500 by March 1 so they can complete the project in June.

For more information or to donate, visit Gravitywater.org/university-city-high-school.html.

MCASD Announces First Special Exhibition for Renovated La Jolla Campus

The Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego has announced that its first special exhibition on the La Jolla campus in spring 2022 will be “Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s”. The Prospect Street Museum is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion that will quadruple its gallery space. It should open later this year.

The exhibition will explore a period of transformation of 10 years in the work of Saint Phalle, when she embarked on two of her most important series, “Tirs”, or “drawing paintings”, and “Nanas”, according to a press release.

The French-born sculptor, painter and filmmaker moved to La Jolla in the 1990s. She died in 2002.

Scripps Oceanography Continues Collaboration With SDG & E To Study Effects Of Climate Change

Utility company San Diego Gas & Electric and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego in La Jolla have signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct research on the effects of climate risks on the San Diego area.

The collaboration will assess the risks posed by coastal flooding, extreme variability in precipitation, sea level rise and forest fires to SDG & E’s operations, infrastructure and clients, with a focus on creating of a coastal flood early warning model.

The MOU is the continuation of a collaboration between SIO and SDG & E. In 2018, the company and the Scripps’ Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation set up an ongoing project using an observational network of bay-wide pressure sensors and gauges to improve understanding of extremes in current and future water level, wave energy and potential flooding. In 2019, the contract was extended for three years and extended to include the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes and other Scripps researchers.

Cherry Sweig will be performing live demonstrations with other artists at the Perry Gallery in La Jolla Shores until February.

Cherry Sweig, whose work is on display at the Perry Gallery in La Jolla Shores, will be doing live demonstrations with other artists in the gallery throughout February.


The Perry Gallery at 2218 Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores offers live painting events through February on its front patio, with local artists demonstrating their techniques and explaining their inspirations.

Participating artists are Dana Levine on Friday, Cherry Sweig on Saturday, and Dottie Stanley and Mona Ray on Sunday. All demonstrations are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit theperrygallery.com.

Local author publishes latest children’s book in series

La Jolla Realtor Janet Lawless Christ has published her second book, “Bizzie: The Beat-Loving Bumbling Bee”, through the publishing arm of her company JoyWorks Networks Inc. “Bizzie” aims to promote the power of music to children and is the second in a series.

The book is based on a true story of bees displaced from the Rancho Santa Fe Inn. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Guitars in the Classroom, a national non-profit organization that trains and equips teachers. and school staff to integrate music into school education and socio-emotional development.

Lawless Christ’s first book, “Nugget the Nomad,” was published in October to teach children how to cope with difficult situations.

“Bizzie” is priced at $ 12.95 and is available at bit.ly/bizziebook.

La Jollan is Chairman of the Board of the New Hebrew Free Loan

Hebrew Free Loan of San Diego, whose chairman of the board is La Jolla resident Selwyn Isakow, has appointed Encinitas resident Mindi Frankel as the first executive director to help develop the new free lending institution. Interest Nonprofit, a member agency of the International Association of Jews Free Loan.

To learn more, visit hflsd.org.

– Compiled by the staff of La Jolla Light

Sligo’s Return Guardian Grateful After Brush with Death


The saying in football never to come back to your old club isn’t goalkeeper Richard Brush considering joining Sligo Rovers for the fourth time earlier this month.

The Birmingham-born goalkeeper joined Bit O ‘Red after first moving to the Showgrounds in 2006 from Nuneaton Borough.

“Football brought me, love kept me here,” he told Darren Frehill for RTÉ’s Sunday Sport after eight years of marriage to his wife Stacey.

After four years and successes in the FAI Cup and the Coupe de la Ligue, Brush leaves for Shamrock Rovers.

Commuting from his base in the North West, he clinched a league title and was part of Ireland’s first team to reach a group stage in European competition with two Europa League group stage appearances.

He also conceded Harry Kane’s first goal for Spurs when he found the net after coming off the bench in a 4-0 win for the Premier League side at Tallaght.

Harry Kane celebrates his Europa League goal against Shamrock Rovers

A first return to Sligo added another league title to the medal collection, but by the end of the year he was back with the Hoops. A third stint at the Showgrounds ended after two seasons in 2015, subsequently for Finn Harps, Ballinamallard United and Cliftonville for three years. With a brief retreat thrown into the mix.

Happy where he was, Brush was pleasantly surprised when Sligo probed him again. With two young goalies on their books – top pick Ed McGinty and Luke McNicholas on loan at Harps – experience was required and the call was answered. Not that he is resting on his laurels and that he is happy to accept a replacement role.

I don’t sign to sit on the bench and make up the numbers

“Ed has turned out to be one of the best goalies in the league. With his skills and attitude, he looks great at such a young age.

“It’s good for me to think I can push him. I was number one in Cliftonville, so I’m not signing to sit on the bench and catch up with the numbers.”

He considers himself lucky that working in a care facility has meant “business as usual” in terms of employment, although the day service in which he helped children with intellectual disabilities was closed during Covid.

Not that the lockdown isn’t wreaking havoc.

“I don’t mean to sound negative, but at the moment there doesn’t seem to be that kind of light we can look towards.”

After training for the week, a Sligo Rovers fan approached him and welcomed him back to the Showgrounds. Instinctively, Brush reached out in recognition.

Sligo Guardian saves Jason Byrne’s feet in 2010

“Then I thought: what are you doing?

Brush no longer takes anything for granted in life, remembering the “spooky” night of November 2018 that gave her and her family’s life a different perspective.

In front of Sky Sports cameras on a Monday night, Cliftonville recorded a 3-1 victory over Ards in the NIFL Premiership.

Brush, two weeks before his 34th birthday, was feeling good.

His mother texted after watching the game on TV and he sat in the car, calling Stacey to let her know he would be back sometime after midnight.

Shortly before arriving at the house in Sligo, as he turned to Manorhamilton, a “choking” swept over him. The gunman blamed it on fatigue, rolled down the window and went to drink from his water bottle. The liquid was running down his chin.

“It was very strange, so I decided to stop,” but was physically unable to push his left foot on the clutch as he went to change gears. Then he tried to put the car in neutral, but could not raise his left arm.

Distressed but not overwhelmed, he shuddered to stop and telephoned his wife. It was a little before midnight and he rang, so he tried his boss Paul, who lived in Manorhamilton. Surprised by the late call, he listened to Brush explain that he didn’t know what was wrong, but felt unwell, and pulled up on the road. Help would arrive in 15 minutes.

I was on the phone for 10 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime

In the meantime, he looked at himself in the mirror and saw that his face, on his left side, “had completely fallen”.

“I knew then that I had a stroke.”

He dialed 999, but at this point the speech was starting to blur and communication was difficult on both sides. “I don’t know how many they got. I was on them for 10 minutes, but it was like a lifetime.”

With the mobile in his right hand, he used his left to flash the lights to signal an oncoming car.

“I was thinking, please stop.

Now the footballer was slumped in his seat. The arrested driver made a quick assessment and grabbing the phone, updated paramedics on the other end of the phone. The ambulance and its boss quickly arrived at the scene.

In action for Finn Harps in 2016

Rushed to hospital, he remembers a light moment in the midst of panic when the paramedic answered his wife’s call.

“I remember his tone, who is it?”. At the time, he burst into tears, unaware of the gravity of his situation.

Tests were done at Sligo University Hospital, but there was no movement on his left side. It was determined that there were no burst blood vessels, but there was a clot on the brain, preventing blood flow.

Doctors explained that a course of action would be a drug that had to be taken within four hours to be effective. It was always a risk; there was a 3% probability of an “adverse effect”.

“My wife looked at it and wasn’t sure if she could take the risk. It was very well explained and we had time to talk about it. We did.”

Soon the doctors began to look for signs of movement. Nothing after 15 minutes, same scenario after half an hour.

It was scary, but luckily I made a full recovery

Then he felt something. It was not controlled, but it was nonetheless movement.

“When my wife came back into the room, I waved her like crazy.”

The next day he was on the move.

Brush spent five days in the hospital, and after two weeks grazing his leg off the floor, he made a full recovery. So much so that he returned to the field after six weeks. A 5-1 beating at the hands of the Crusaders on Boxing Day doing nothing to curb his party spirit.

Tests revealed two clots on the brain. “It was scary, but luckily I made a full recovery.”

He’s still thinking about how his story unfolded. The “what ifs” are endless, but the driver he pointed out was the difference he was feeling.

“Even though Paul arrived five minutes later, having someone there as soon as possible was huge for me.”

The driver phoned the hospital the next morning to find out what had happened, deflecting the praise, insisting it was Brush who had done most of the work.

Now he just hopes to get back to football, but in front of loyal Sligo supporters.

Last year they raised their eyebrows with a push that secured European football, but Brush would just love the opportunity to feel the Showgrounds roar again.

“It will be great to welcome the fans back when it is safe. It will be huge for the club.”

San Diego Breast Cancer Charity Announces New Gift Card Program


The Shades of Pink Foundation California (SOPFCA) recently announced the launch of the gift card program, adding a new element to its financial support for women undergoing active treatment for breast cancer.

The new program offers gift cards of up to $ 300 for single women and $ 500 for married women or women with dependent children. Gift cards apply to well-known grocery stores, gas stations or big box retailers. To qualify for a gift card, a woman must submit a shorter application than she would for the Basic Living Expenses for Support and Survival (BLESS) grant of up to $ 2,000.

“Breast cancer is not going away just because we face a pandemic and a slight increase in economic uncertainty,” said Vembra Holnagel, chair of the SOPFCA grants committee. “In fact, the need for financial assistance is greater than ever for women battling breast cancer. Our gift card program is a fast, easy and efficient way to get money back into the hands of the women who need it most.

For seven years, SOPFCA has awarded BLESS grants to women undergoing active treatment for breast cancer, but the nonprofit decided to expand the pilot gift card program after several referral partners, the Healthcare professionals who work with breast cancer patients, mentioned that not all women could qualify for a BLESS grant.

According to Holnagel, the initial pilot gift card program was a great success, with SOPFCA awarding 28 gift card grants and using all of the program’s designated funds. This result was enough for SOPFCA to adopt the program for good, which was officially launched in early September 2020. Holnagel said she would like to be able to expand the program to cover two consecutive months in order to provide even more support to women in communities. need financial assistance, but this future growth of the gift card program will depend on meeting fundraising goals and receiving donations.

The SOPFCA was forced to cancel its biggest fundraising event, Purse Bingo, in March over concerns about the pandemic.

The organization is actively seeking funds for gift cards so that it can help as many local breast cancer patients as possible.

To learn more about SOPFCA, read profiles of women who have received support from the organization, or to donate, visit www.shadesofpinkfoundationca.org

SBA and Treasury publish names of PPP loan recipients


After months of withholding information on exactly which companies received exactly how much from the Congressional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – and considerable dismay after several public companies were exposed for accepting large sums of money before finally returning them – the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Department of the Treasury today released detailed information out of nearly five million PPP beneficiaries.

The total sum of loans stands at over $ 521 billion, and in a statement, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said, “The PPP brings much needed relief to millions of small American businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs and over 80 percent. of all the employees of small businesses, which are the engines of our country’s economic growth. “

He then added, “We are especially pleased that 27% of the program reach in low and moderate income communities, which is proportional to the percentage of the population in those areas. The average loan size is around $ 100,000, which shows that the program works for the smallest of businesses. “

Related: SBA issues new EZ PPP loan forgiveness request

Despite the sudden rush for transparency, there is bound to be scrutiny. Some family restaurant owners, for example, might wonder why between $ 2 million and $ 5 million – the information was released both by state and by assorted loan amount thresholds, ultimately ranging from less than $ 150,000 to $ 10 million – has been allocated. at the Diocese of Alabama in Birmingham.

And a quick review of the available documents (as unfriendly as the uploading and scanning process might be) indicates that a very small minority of owners voluntarily answered questions about their race, ethnicity or gender, and that ‘A minority of all respondents identified their businesses as black or female owned.

The language of the SBA regarding disclosures is also a bit convoluted, assuring at one point that “This disclosure covers each of the 4.9 million PPP loans that have been made”, but later adding that its various loan amounts. ” represent nearly $ 75 of approved loan.

Additionally, the single document that is supposed to contain information on all 50 states in alphabetical order currently ends after California.

Related: Which SOEs have repaid their PPP SBA loans? (Update)

The entrepreneur emailed the SBA earlier this month when the upcoming disclosure was first announced, asking if any loans exceeded $ 10 million – and if so, if their information would never be made public – but had no response. We have since followed up to further clarify whether the aforementioned 50-state document will be annexed. We’ll keep you posted when we have more to share.

SBA and Treasury publish names of PPP loan recipients
India extends free food grain program for the poor until end of November
How to navigate the volatile corporate finance environment

Copyright 2020 Entrepreneur.com Inc., All rights reserved

This article originally appeared on entrepreneur.com

The economic impact of the coronavirus and the companies helping out during containment


Aryzta provides update on impact of COVID-19

In March, Aryzta said it expected a “material impact” on its business with the closure of hotel industries amid government shutdowns to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Since then, the Swiss-Irish bakery company has said it has taken “Immediate and decisive action to maximize liquidity and reduce costs”by temporarily suspending investment spending. He added that he had accumulated “Savings against plan”of 50 M €.

About 30% of its workforce has been made redundant. The management committee has agreed to cut salaries by 30% over the next three months, while the entire management team will benefit from a 15% cut. The board of directors of the company also agreed to cut its fees by 30%.

The Swiss-Irish bakery business halted production at three of its factories in Europe and five in North America at the end of April, as well as the temporary closure of production lines in bakery factories to reduce capacity based on demand .

Aryzta is also postponing several of the planned project renewal programs – as part of the three-year cost reduction strategy launched by CEO Kevin Toland in 2017 – that require cash flow to implement.

In a statement, Aryzta said he had “Has received the required consent of the majority of its lenders for a modification of its financial covenants.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

“The amendment will apply to the next two tests of covenants relating to the annual accounts at the end of July 2020 and to the interim accounts at the end of January 2021.”In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

The company added that its net debt to EBITDA ratio “must be less than or equal to” six times, and the net interest coverage ratio “must be greater” than 1.5 times. On May 4, the company has cash in excess of 385 million euros, compared to 360 million euros on March 24.

Bakedin attests to British home baking frenzy during lockdown

UK baking kit company Bakedin saw demand for its product line increase as subscriptions to its popular monthly Baking Club increased by more than 1,200%.

“We are doing everything we can to meet demand at the moment”,said founder Joseph Munns.

“Honestly, you have to be in the right place at the right time, but we’ve worked incredibly hard to build this foundation so that we can meet the growing demand. In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

“This increase is directly due to having a product that customers really need in this coronavirus climate – delicious treats, simple and shared activities and something to make faces smile. Baking is also incredibly therapeutic.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

The Basingstoke-based brand said it saw the number of subscribers increase by 178% in the first week of lockdown in the UK, and the numbers continued to rise daily, peaking at nearly 1,000 in one day .

The brand is known for its signature subscription boxes, cinnamon bun kits, rainbow cakes and new “alcoholic baking” line. The kits contain all the ingredients in the right amounts so consumers can enjoy a cooking experience from scratch with little hassle and no waste. Available at Bakedin’s online bakery, Amazon, Wicked Uncle, as well as retailers like Costco, Hobbycraft, Lakeland, and Tesco.

Celiac UK supports the catering industry

Celiac UK is celebrating its Gluten Free Community Week – May 11-17 – by offering a 20% discount to caterers who take their online course during that week.

The online catering course is a great way to get staff to understand the needs of those in need of a gluten-free diet.”Said Jane Devonshire, Celiac Ambassador to the UK and MasterChef Champion.

It’s easy to make and highlights the principles everyone should legally have in place when offering a gluten-free option on the menu.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

“Research shows that people with celiac disease – as well as family and friends who they eat out with – are currently worth £ 100million a year in places that can accommodate them. So what a great time to do it now, so when it all opens up you can get started offering great food to all your customers. “

The course, lasting about an hour and a half, is aimed at all professionals in the agri-food industry and offers in-depth training on:

  • understanding celiac disease and the gluten-free diet
  • the gluten-free law
  • choosing the right ingredients and gluten-free storage
  • prepare and cook gluten-free foods
  • cleaning and personal hygiene
  • communicate with staff and customers
  • follow-up of gluten-free procedures.

If successful, a personalized Celiac UK certificate can be downloaded for viewing or added to training records.

Individual access to training costs £ 70 and can be purchased here.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it. To take advantage of the special discount, use the code: gfaware20.

Spread the word with Panera

The sandwich shop giant raises funds for Together without hungerIn addition to this, you will need to know more about it. – a campaign to help provide 500,000 freshly prepared meals to local Feeding America food banks.

The campaign is getting a boost from some of the proceeds from downloads and streams of Elektra Livingston’s new single, “Say The Word,” which was inspired by the unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

“I heard about the charity campaign with Panera to provide up to 500,000 meals to people in need due to the virus”, said Livingston.

It reminded me of words I had recently written about identifying with the pain of others and the value of asking for help, which resonated more than ever.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

“I was inspired to come back to those lyrics and the incorporation of a children’s choir helped bring out the meaning of ‘Say The Word’ and really spoke to the main idea of ​​Panera’s campaign – we’re all in the same boat. “In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Panera is also asking those who can afford to donate to the cause, where a simple donation of $ 3 will help put a freshly cooked meal on the table for someone in need. A “family meal” consists of four half-meat or cheese sandwiches made with whole grain bread, four bags of chips and four apples.

Americans are encouraged to spread the word by participating in the #SeeAPlateFillAPlate challenge by decorating an empty plate, sharing a selfie with their creation on Instagram, and tagging five friends to join the movement.

Red Star donates bread to local communities

Red Star is donating $ 50,000 food packages to food banks during the month of May.

Each week, the company – part of the global Lesaffre group – will donate $ 2,000 of bread and other items to local food banks in cities in which the company operates, including food banks. Linn Community in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wiregrass Area Food Bank in Dothan, Alabama, and Feed America Eastern Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

The yeast supplier is also supporting bakers struggling with the pandemic with this effort, as the 6,000 loaves of bread to be donated each week will be purchased from local bakers facing declining sales.

“When we learned that bread was needed, our teams came up with the idea of ​​buying bread from local bakers who are suffering from the closure of restaurants and small stores in response to COVID-19. “said Tom Benner, President and CEO of Red Star.

“With this program, our teams are proud to help people in need and businesses in our home towns.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

Great Harvest on a mission to make and give bread

The Great Harvest Bread Co. in Fairfax County, Virginia is asking Americans to donate cash, which can be converted into loaves of bread to distribute to local food banks.

For every $ 5 the business receives, it is able to make and donate a loaf of bread.

“A normal loaf of bread costs $ 8.25”,said director Jeffrey Connelly. “We brought it down to $ 5, which gives us enough money to cover the costs we have and get the bread out.”In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

If someone donates $ 100, the company adds five more loaves of bread.

To date, the company has raised approximately $ 3,000 in donations, resulting in nine deliveries of over 1,000 loaves of bread.

Mortgage companies want to participate in the IPO boom. Investors are not convinced.


The mortgage market has just had a record year. The mortgage IPO boom, however, is faltering.

Last year was a banner season for the IPO market in general and public offerings for mortgage companies in particular. Between July and December, eight of the 30 largest U.S. mortgage lenders announced his intention to go public.

It didn’t work out the way all companies hoped it would. Two lenders that went public this year, Home Point Capital Inc. and LoanDepot Inc., have significantly reduced their offers. Another lender, AmeriHome Mortgage, has abandoned its IPO plans and instead said it will sell to a bank. Shares of Caliber Home Loans Inc., which were due to be listed in October, have yet to go public.

“The average investor is not convinced that a mortgage company is a good bet as long as it owns stocks,” said Guy Cecala, managing director of Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research firm. “It’s a cyclical business, and they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

With house prices soaring, many families are excluded from buying a home – and some buyers who have rushed regret having done it. Some of the borrowers who were allowed to put their mortgage payments on hold during the pandemic will struggle to get back on track when their relief programs end. And slightly higher mortgage rates weighed on refinancing and purchasing activity these last weeks.

CMS Announces New Repayment Terms for Medicare Loans to Providers During COVID-19 Pandemic


The early repayment of the loan will now begin one year from the date of issue.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced amended payment terms issued under the Expedited and Advance Payment program, as required by recent actions by President Trump and Congress.

This Medicare loan program allows CMS to make advance payments to providers, which are typically used in emergency situations. Under the Continuing Credits Act 2021 and the Other Extensions Act, repayment will now begin one year from the date of issuance of the accelerated or early payment from each vendor or vendor.

CMS issued $ 106 billion in payments to healthcare providers and providers to ease the financial burden providers face while facing cash flow issues at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.


CMS expanded the AAP program on March 28 and extended these loans to providers and vendors to address the financial burden of the pandemic. CMS has successfully paid over 22,000 Part A vendors, totaling over $ 98 billion in expedited payments. This included payments to Part A suppliers for the Part B items and services they provided.

On top of that, more than 28,000 Part B suppliers, including physicians, non-physician practitioners and durable medical equipment suppliers, have received advance payments totaling more than $ 8.5 billion.

Suppliers were required to make payments from August of this year, but with the new action, repayment will be delayed for up to a year after the payment is issued. After this first year, Medicare will automatically recover 25% of Medicare payments otherwise owed to the provider or provider for 11 months.

At the end of the 11 month period, the payback will drop to 50% for another six months. If the provider or provider is unable to repay the full PAA amount during this period – a total of 29 months – CMS will issue letters demanding repayment of any outstanding balance, subject to an interest rate of 4 %.

The letter also provides advice on how to request an extended repayment schedule for providers and providers who are experiencing financial difficulties. An ERS is a debt installment plan that allows a vendor or vendor to pay debts over a period of three years, or up to five years in extreme hardship.

Providers and providers are encouraged to contact their Medicare administrative contractor for information on how to request an ERS.

To allow even more flexibility in loan repayments, the $ 175 billion issued in vendor relief funds can be used to repay these Medicare loans. CMS will be communicating with each vendor and vendor in the coming weeks regarding repayment terms and amounts due, if any, for any expedited or prepaid payments issued.


An expedited / advance payment is a payment intended to provide the necessary funds when there is an interruption in the submission and / or processing of claims. These expedited payments may also be offered in circumstances such as national emergencies or natural disasters to speed up cash flow to healthcare providers and providers.

An extension of the deadline for hospitals to repay AAP program loans has been included in a bipartite continuous resolution in September to extend federal government funding until December 11. In October, hospitals were granted an extension to reimburse accelerated and early Medicare payments.

Hospitals received an extension from 120 days of the loan to 29 months from the date of the first payment. During the first 11 months during which these payment clearings are made, 25% of the amount is due; during the following 6 months, 50% of the amount is due; and hospitals are given 29 months from the date of the first payment before requiring full payment of the outstanding balance.

In May, Presidents Neal and Pallone raised concerns about the CMS methodology for distributing COVID-19 loans from the AAP program and the Provider Relief Fund, and called on HHS and CMS to provide in Congress more transparency.

Congress has allocated $ 100 billion in the CARES Act and $ 75 billion under the Paycheck Protection Program and the Better Healthcare for Healthcare Providers Act. These payments do not need to be refunded.

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the author: [email protected]

Women mortgage borrowers offered better loan rates to SBI: know-how


Personal finance

oi-Roshni Agarwal


To further push its loan portfolio and give women another reason to buy their home, the country’s leading PSU bank, SBI, has offered a new discount to female mortgage borrowers on the International Day of the Family. wife.
“On Women’s Day, we make it special with an additional 5 basis points * concession to female borrowers and interest starting at 6.70% *,” the country’s top lender said in a tweet.

Women mortgage borrowers offered better loan rates to SBI: know-how

Women mortgage borrowers offered better loan rates to SBI: know-how

Earlier this month, SBI cut the interest rate on home loans. The bank now offers a concession of up to 70 basis points with an interest rate on mortgage loans from 6.7%. This is a limited time offer ending March 31st. The lender also grants a 100% waiver on the processing fee.

And depending on the borrower’s profile and the loan amount, an interest rate discount will be available.
For loans up to Rs. 75 lakh, the mortgage starts at 6.7% while for others it is at 6.75%. To obtain an additional tariff advantage, you can request a loan from the Yono application of SBI.


CFPB takes action against Connecticut mortgage lender | Alston & Bird


Our financial services litigation team is examining the latest efforts by the Office of Consumer Financial Protection to crack down on deceptive and unfair acts and practices – is this a harbinger of things to come under the Biden administration?

  • A panoply of allegedly violated acts
  • Accusation that the lender’s business model is misleading
  • How can this show what’s on the horizon?

The number of enforcement actions taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) more than doubled from 2019 to 2020. The CFPB has made it clear that the crackdown on deceptive and unfair acts and practices under the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA) remains a focus, with 11 out of 15 complaints filed last year alleging such violations.

Earlier this month, the CFPB filed yet another complaint alleging unfair and deceptive acts or practices in violation of the CFPA. As a new year and a new administration dawn, this litigation may be the proverbial canary in the coal mine for others in the financial services industry. As the case progresses and information is tabled, the tone and direction of the new administration can be brought to light.

CFPB c. 1st Alliance Lending LLC

On January 15, 2021, the CFPB filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against 1st Alliance Lending LLC and its executive members. CFPB alleged in its complaint that 1st Alliance and managing members violated CFPA, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Mortgage Laws and Practices – Disclosure Rule and the Law on Truth in Loans.

The complaint

According to the complaint, from 2015 to August 2019, 1st Alliance engaged in various illegal practices in connection with its mortgage lending business. Specifically, the CFPB alleges that unauthorized employees of the 1st Alliance engaged in mortgage origination activities and other interactions with consumers that required these employees to be licensed under Federal and Federal Laws on the secure and fair application of mortgage licenses (SAFE). These unlicensed employees reached out to potential clients via email, text, and phone and conducted intake calls with potential borrowers, during which they discussed interest rates and other loan terms, taken credit decisions and sometimes disqualified consumers. Company employees regularly asked consumers to submit verification documents before issuing a loan estimate, denied credit to consumers without written notice, and made false claims and misrepresentations to consumers. These statements included assuring consumers that they would be eligible for a mortgage when 1st Alliance had already received disqualifying consumer information. Employees also repeatedly made representations to consumers about the availability and terms of FHA Streamline refinance loans when they had no way of knowing the truth or falsity of their statements.

The CFPB further alleged that 1st Alliance’s business model was based on deceptive and unfair acts or practices. Its unlicensed employees have presented themselves to the public as approved loan initiators in consumer solicitations and on social media, all to the knowledge of the executive members. According to the CFPB, 1st Alliance’s use of unqualified and unlicensed employees deprived consumers of important, accurate and timely information on loan terms, resulting in wasted time and money.

The CFPB seeks an injunction, as well as damages, consumer redress, restitution, civil fines and costs.


The CFPB is expected to pursue an even more aggressive agenda under the leadership of President Biden Rohit Chopra’s candidate. This litigation should be seen as a potential barometer of the new administration’s approach to enforcement and the statutes involved in the litigation.

Download the PDF of the opinion

[View source.]

New $ 50,000 Student Loan Cancellation Plan Will Get 36 Million Debt Free


Top Democrats are urging President Biden to use his executive power to write off up to $ 50,000 in student loan debt for federal student loan borrowers.

On Thursday, a group of Democratic lawmakers led by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) Reintroduced a non-binding resolution calling on Biden to write off all the debt of 80% of loan borrowers federal students; approximately 36 million people in the United States The federal government holds $ 1.6 trillion in student loan debt that is owed by over 43 million people.

America is changing faster than ever! Add Change America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay current on the news.

“We’re not going to give up until we get it done, until $ 50,000 in debt is canceled for every student in the country,” Schumer said at a press conference Thursday.

In response to growing pressure from progressives and Congressional Democrats to cancel debt, the White House has indicated it would be willing to consider doing so unilaterally, although Biden maintained his preference for Congress to pass legislation.

“The president continues to support the cancellation of student debt to provide relief to students and families,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary. tweeted Thursday.

“Our team is examining if there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would be happy to be able to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.”

Those who will benefit the most from the Democrat’s proposal are blacks and Latin Americans who historically lack access to higher education, and are more likely to incur student loan debt and fight for repayment. According to at the Center for Responsible Lending, nearly 85% of black bachelor’s graduates have student debt, compared to 69% of white bachelor’s graduates.

Women would also benefit, as they two-thirds of the country’s current student debt. Black female borrowers also finish their undergraduate studies with more debt than other women.

Studies have shown that canceling student loan debt could dramatically increase the wealth of blacks and Latinos and help close the racial wealth gap.

“By writing off up to $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers, President Biden can take the most effective executive action available to provide massive stimuli to our economy, help narrow the racial wealth gap and lift this impossible burden of tens of millions of families, ”said Warren in a declaration.







How to get lenders to compete for your mortgage rate


Use this trick to get a lower mortgage rate

Mortgage borrowers often think of note purchases as extra work.

But if you could make mortgage lenders work hard for you?

By following the right steps, you can get lenders to compete for your mortgage and negotiate a lower interest rate.

It will always involve effort on your part. You’ll have to get mortgage rate quotes from different banks and lenders.

But with a little know-how, you can make sure you get the best possible deal on your home loan.

Find a low interest rate (June 27, 2021)

In this article (Skip to …)

Lenders will compete for your mortgage if you let them

You’ve probably heard it before: Shopping around and comparing rates is essential when shopping for a home loan.

“This is your best chance to get the best rate available,” says Brian Martucci, a mortgage expert at Money Crashers.

“It’s true whether you end up playing lenders against each other in negotiations or just pick the best deal you get. ”

Believe it or not, it is even possible to pit lenders against each other and get a lower rate.

“If you have two or more lenders fighting for your business, one will almost always be willing to make less money than the others. – Grant Moon, CEO, Home Captain

“Lenders compete with each other by offering different rates and fees,” says Grant the moon, CEO of Home Captain.

“If you have two or more lenders fighting for your business, one will almost always be willing to make less money than the others. “

Clifford Rossi, professor of finance at the School of Business at the University of Maryland, explains the importance of involving multiple lenders.

“Not only will you be able to get the best combination of rates and points,” he says, “but a good lender will also help you get into the best product – like a fixed or variable rate loan, a conventional loan. , or a loan guaranteed by the government.

Find the best mortgage for you (June 27, 2021)

How to make mortgage lenders competitive

Here are six steps you can take to get lenders to compete for your mortgage:

  1. Collect multiple rate quotes and written loan estimates
  2. Determine your best deal by comparing the rate, loan type, term, monthly payment, and closing costs shown on each loan estimate
  3. Present your best offer to your favorite lender and ask if they can match or beat it. You can do this by calling or just sending an email with your competing loan offer attached.
  4. If they don’t match or beat your best offer, ask them if they will change their mind, for example by lowering their fees.
  5. Report your new best offer to the first lender and see if they can match or beat that new offer
  6. If you fail, try to get written loan quotes and estimates from a new batch of lenders and start the process again.

It may sound tedious, but it pays off.

Lowering your rate by just 25 basis points (0.25%) could save you about $ 30 a month – or $ 360 a year – on a $ 200,000 mortgage.

Check your new rate (June 27, 2021)

Start by getting multiple quotes

The trick to getting lenders to fight for your money is to make them aware that you are a potential customer.

In other words, you have to shop around and contact several different mortgage lenders.

“One of the most effective mortgage negotiation strategies is also one of the easiest and least complex,” says Martucci.

“It requires getting several first offers – in the form of quotes – from a variety of lenders. Then you have to present your lowest offer to the competitors of that lender and see if they will budge.

“This is a version of the ‘best deal’ strategy used by many car buyers,” says Martucci. “They are buying the lowest bid offered to them by other dealers in the hopes of encouraging at least one to beat that bid.”

Make sure you get written loan estimates from each lender

“Writes[[[[Loan estimates]are a great tool that the lender is legally required to provide to you, so use it to put them in competition, ”Moon advises.

If a lender does not match or beat a competitor’s quoted rate, it may be willing to soften the deal in other ways.

“They can compete, for example, by offering to speed up the mortgage process, lower their fees or simplify the documentation requirements,” adds Rossi.

Check your credit score and finances first

Karen Condor, a finance and real estate expert at USInsuranceAgents.com, says it’s important to do your homework before you begin the rate buying process.

“It’s easier to compete with lenders and be flexible on rates if you have a good credit rating, a strong credit history, a higher down payment, and low monthly debt.

“Work to put these items in order ahead of time,” says Condor.

This will ensure that you are in the best position to negotiate a low rate and even low closing costs.

How hard is it to compete with mortgage lenders?

The truth is, it can be more difficult these days to get lenders to fight for your money.

It’s because mortgage rates remain at or near historic lows, and lenders have a lot of business as a result.

“The current low interest rate environment has many advantages for consumers and homebuyers,” says Martucci. “But it makes it harder for buyers to get lenders to compete for their business. ”

“Current interest rate spreads – that is, lenders’ profit margins – are narrow by historical standards.

“This means that lenders have less leeway to reduce rates without losing money on the transaction,” he explains.

Whether a particular lender is ready to compete for your sponsorship often depends on the volume of their loans at that time.

“If a lender is busy, they will naturally focus on the transactions that make them more money,” says Moon.

“But if a lender needs the business, they’ll focus on all the transactions. So the biggest challenge for a consumer is finding a competent lender who will still want your business even if you trade them down. “

What if I want to refinance with my current mortgage lender?

If you already own a home and are planning to refinance, you may want to start research with your current mortgage lender.

Some lenders offer loyalty discounts to refinance applicants.

“Make sure you find out about this before you take out your mortgage elsewhere,” says Martucci.

“These discounts can be especially common when you have large funds on deposit with the lender or the bank, even if you don’t currently have a mortgage with them.”

In other words, you might be able to get an ideal rate if you already have a high yield account with a bank that offers loyalty discounts.

Learn about simplified refinancing

Homeowners with government guaranteed loans (including FHA, VA, and USDA mortgages) have another good option for refinancing.

“Call your current lender when rates have come down and ask them to make a streamline refinancing. They are likely to meet your demand if you are a low risk borrower, because losing you as a customer can be costly, ”says Rossi.

Streamlining refinancing is a great way to lower your interest rate, as these loans require little documentation and can progress faster than traditional refinancing.

Don’t limit yourself to your current lender

But even if you like your current lender, “you should still be looking for the best rate,” Moon adds.

In many cases, your the current bank may not be the best option for a new home purchase or refinance because they don’t specialize in the type of loan you need. Or, their rates may be less competitive.

“Remember, your current lender is taking advantage of you, so don’t be afraid to ask other lenders for quotes,” Moon adds.

Shop around for a low mortgage rate. Start here (June 27, 2021)

How to find the best mortgage for you

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a current homeowner looking to refinance, don’t just focus on the offered rate.

“Look closely at the APR – annual percentage rate – in your written loan estimate. This shows the total cost of the loan with the added fees, ”recommends Moon.

“Factor in all closing costs, down payment required, points of call, prepayment penalties and whether private mortgage insurance is also required,” suggests Condor.

Also find out how long it will take for the lender to close your loan.

Make sure the rate foreclosure offered – typically 30 to 45 days – will be long enough to allow you to reach the closing day and secure a low fixed rate.

More tips for finding the lowest mortgage or refinance rate

The bottom line is that you will need to do some homework if you want to find the lowest refi or mortgage rate.

Starts with check current mortgage rates so you have a precise reference for comparison.

“The more lenders you consult when shopping for mortgage rates, the more likely you are to get a lower interest rate,” says Condor.

Also, research loan products from various types of institutions to find out what special programs they offer, she continues.

Expand your search to include credit unions, regional or community banks, direct lenders, and national banks.

You won’t know which one is best for you until you explore all of your options.

Check your new rate (June 27, 2021)

CommBank Green Loan: Get $ 20,000 at just 0.99% for 10 years to finance solar power, batteries and electric vehicle chargers


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has announced that it will offer a “CommBank Green Loan” product. This loan will give families the option of taking out a 10-year fixed loan of up to $ 20,000 for only 0.99% interest per year.

This rate is much lower than that of any personal loan and even much lower than the record home charge rates which are usually the cheapest form of financing.

If you are a CommBank home loan customer like having a mortgage with them (or moving to their place) then you can get up to A $ 20,000 to spend on qualifying small scale renewables such as solar panels, batteries and charging stations for electric vehicles.

It should be noted that the property is used as collateral for the loan, but given the limit on the loan amount and the very low interest rate, I doubt that many will default on this loan.

It seems there is no limit on the number of combinations you can configure up to the limit of $ 20,000. That means you could spend $ 13,000 on home battery storage, an additional $ 6,000 on solar panels (and presumably the inverter), and up to $ 1,000 on an electric vehicle charger.

Probably the biggest omission from this program is the ability to use the green loan to buy a green car. As we know, electric cars are currently very expensive which makes affordability more difficult. If a family decided to spend the AU $ 20,000 to lower the purchase price of the car and were happy to pay 1% of that money for the next 10 years, it could make an electric vehicle affordable today.

Overall this looks like a great new product, something that I hope more banks will offer to customers.

CommBank indicates that this product is currently in pilot stage and should be launched in the coming months. If you want to access it, you can register your interest in the Green loan here.

Your Daily 6: Biden Rejects Higher Student Loan Discount; The mayor of Texas has declared that “only the strong will survive”; a crowded gym | Nation


On this Monday, April 25, 2016, a file photo, the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers are displayed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. (AP Photo / Kiichiro Sato, file)

The Associated Press

Tribune Publishing Co. announced on Tuesday that its largest shareholder, Alden Global Capital, will buy shares it does not already own in the company at $ 17.25 each in cash and turn the owner of the Chicago Tribune into a private company.

Alden’s offer represents a 45% premium over the closing price of the Tribune common stock on Dec. 11, the publisher said in a statement.

The hedge fund, known for its hostile takeover bids on publishing companies, held a 32% stake in Tribune before the deal.

Tribune Publishing, which also owns the New York Daily News, the Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the Hartford Courant, saw revenue decline this year as the COVID pandemic -19 hits the publishing industry.

The company’s board of directors approved the takeover on Tuesday following a recommendation from a special committee it formed in December to act on its behalf with respect to Alden’s offer.

Along with the buyout, Alden also signed a non-binding condition sheet to sell The Baltimore Sun to Sunlight for All Institute, a public charity formed by Stewart Bainum Jr., the Baltimore Sun reported.

The transaction is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2021, the publisher said.

Launched in 2007, Alden owns approximately 200 publications through an operating company known as MediaNews Group. Its major newspapers include the Denver Post, the San Jose Mercury News, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The hedge fund has been criticized for massive layoffs in its newspapers. The flashpoint was news from March 2018 that the Denver Post, which Alden has controlled since 2010, was going to lay off 30 employees in a newsroom that had already fallen from 250 to less than 100 employees.

Alden acquired its stake in Tribune Publishing in November 2019, primarily by buying out the stakes of former non-executive chairman Michael Ferro. In total, Alden bought 11.5 million shares of Tribune Publishing for $ 145.4 million.

Jon Schleuss, president of NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America, whose locals represent newsroom workers in Chicago, Baltimore, Hartford, Orlando and other cities, raised concerns about the deal and said the union would review the details of the deal once it is finalized. published.

“Alden has a habit of sinking newspapers into the ground,” Schleuss said. “It’s not good for the workers, the company, the shareholders or the communities.”

At the same time, Schleuss praised Bainum’s efforts to return the Baltimore Sun to local ownership. “We need more people to step in and really invest in truly local news that is accountable to our communities,” Schleuss said.

Reporting from Reuters, The Chicago Tribune via TNS and Post-Dispatch.

Originally posted Tuesday at 6.30 p.m., updated Wednesday at 5 a.m.

—From wire and staff reports

Banks Prepare for Loan Losses Amid Pandemic


Your balanced briefing on how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting markets, global businesses, our workplaces and our daily lives, with expert input from our journalists and specialists around the world.

For updates, visit our live blog. Please send your feedback and suggestions to [email protected]m. We would love to hear from you.

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Latest news

  • US Republicans and Democrats warn they are “far apart” on stimulus plans, with unemployment benefits which expire soon

  • Germany has tightened its slaughterhouse laws following virus outbreaks

  • British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline warned its annual profits would be hit unless more patients restarted vaccination against standard diseases, a process that was severely disrupted by the blockages

Banks Expect Big Losses on Pandemic Lending

A common theme of the second quarter reporting season has been the growing acceptance by banks that many of their emergency pandemic loans will go wrong.

Barclays said this morning he was adding £ 1.6bn to his reserves for bad debts, although the blow was mitigated by an increase in income from its investment banking business. German Bank, Germany’s largest lender, also reported a quarterly loss mitigated by a windfall on bond swaps. Virgin money – the UK’s sixth largest bank – braces for an increase in mortgage defaults as the government holiday program ends and many people lose their jobs.

European banks could suffer up to € 800 billion in loan losses over the next three years in the worst-case scenario which includes a second wave of coronavirus infections, according to consultants Oliver Wyman. UBS, the first of the big names to report last week, announced an additional $ 272 million in loan loss charges, although it was also bolstered by profits from its investment banking arm.

American institutions could be hit even harder, according to a study reported by US banking editor Laura Noonan. Consultancy Accenture projects loan loss charges of more than $ 880 billion in 100 US and European banks from 2020 to 2022. Losses for US institutions represent 10.2% of their loan portfolio in 2020, up from 4.6 % for those in Europe.

Governments and regulators have recognized the need to make loans available. The Fed yesterday extended its emergency loan three months, while the FT revealed this week that the UK Treasury was in talks with the nation’s largest banks to tackle bad debts expected from the government’s coronavirus “rebound” loan program.

“The first quarter was about whether you are resilient and, for some, able to survive,” UBS chief Sergio Ermotti told the FT this week. “The second trimester will be about whether you can adapt. We have already entered the “lessons learned” phase of the coronavirus. “


Global corporate bond emissions halved in July after induced pandemic borrowing frenzy of previous months has slowed down. Businesses have rushed to issue debt to replace lost gains since March, when the Fed announced measures to support the US economy and markets.

Chief International Finance Correspondent Henny Sender says managers of sovereign funds and public pension funds fear being politicized if they are enrolled in the fight against Covid-19. They fear that politicians will put pressure on them to provide direct financial support to their economies by supporting weak companies.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of the $ 20 billion market to US government debt, or the alarm sparked by its crisis period in March, write US markets reporter Colby Smith and global finance correspondent Robin Wigglesworth in our Great read. The authorities are considering how to prevent similar problems in the future.

Signs of tension emerge in the world's largest government bond market


The second quarter earnings season clearly highlights the winners and losers. General Motors reported a loss for the second quarter thanks to the drop car request, in particular in its US domestic market, while Boeing said it would increase production and job cuts thanks to the pandemic-induced collapse in flight. On the other hand, the income of Shopify, the largest e-commerce platform in the United States after Amazon, soared 97%, causing a surge in its shares.

Nursing homes in England and their residents were ‘thrown to the wolves’ during the pandemic, according to a report by a parliamentary committee. The lack of central control was a key issue, with a response hampered by a patchwork of responsibilities involving central and local government and private and nonprofit providers.

Amazon said he would offer for free grocery deliveries to its UK Prime members by the end of the year, posing a serious challenge to the established services of Tesco, J Sainsbury and Ocado. An analyst said the company was “pushing the nuclear button.” “This is one of the boldest actions they’ve ever taken. . . the Covid pandemic has given them the opportunity to tighten their grip on e-commerce. They use the frequency aspect of food to draw people into their ecosystem. “

Mondial economy

American Republicans yesterday unveiled their $ 1 billion in stimulus proposals, which included the cut unemployment benefits two-thirds, but all eyes are now on the future US Federal Reserve policy announcement at 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 7:00 p.m. UK time, which you can follow on our live blog. Here is five things to watch out for.

Unemployment in the UK could reach 10% by the end of the year because the work stoppage regime ends too early, according to the National Institute for Economic and Social Research. The think tank predicts a 10% drop in UK output for 2020 with continued ‘scaring effects’ for the labor market. Extending the employment program until the middle of next year – at an estimated cost of £ 10 billion – would have been relatively inexpensive and limited the rise in unemployment, he said.

Consumer confidence in France fell on fears of job losses and the spread of the coronavirus as new data from Spain shown retail sales recovering slowly overall, but tourist destinations such as the Balearic Islands and the Canaries have been hit hard.

Line graph of the monthly French consumer confidence index (100 = long-term average) showing the decline in French consumer confidence

Readers respond

Jaga the Wise comments Coronavirus turns city into ghost town

Telecommuting can work for established employees like me, but what about new hires? Imagine joining a new workplace or a new team during this crisis? How do you get to know your coworkers?

We are social animals. We thrive in groups. This is where we find our best ideas. It is in this environment that we are most productive. Chat over coffee, jokes in the office, lunch with coworkers can seem like a waste of time, they aren’t. They are sources of ideas, a place to reduce stress, a social outlet.

Get in touch

How is your workplace dealing with the pandemic? And what do you think businesses and markets – and our daily lives – will look like after the lockdown? Please tell us by e-mail [email protected]. We can publish your contribution in a future newsletter. Thank you

The essentials

Experts have been baffled by how quickly the coronavirus has reappeared on the other side Europe now the closures have been relaxed and international travel has resumed. Spain is experiencing a new surge as Eastern Europe and the Balkans experience large numbers of cases for the first time. “We have let our guard down,” said the head of the German public health authority. the FT Editorial Board said the illusion of a return to “normalcy” had been shattered.

The resurgence of Covid-19 varies across Europe.  Seven-day moving average of new cases (per million population)

Heathrow Airport in London mentionned passenger test was urgently needed to help airlines recover from the damage caused by the pandemic. The current policy has let the UK “play a quarantine roulette game” that benefits its European rivals, he said. The travel industry calls for a rethink. Read our explanatory on the United Kingdom-Spain travel restrictions.

the video testimony wills will become legal in England and Wales in September to overcome registration difficulties last wishes while respecting the rules of social distancing.

Final thought

“Gatherings during a pandemic, especially when filled with hot and sweaty people on mind-blowing drugs, are obviously a bad idea. So why, despite 30 years of efforts by the authorities to eradicate them, have illegal open-air dance parties once again erupted? House and House Editor Helen Barrett reports on the return of the rave.

© Dave Swindells

Auto loan between individuals: definition, uses, how to find one


What is a car loan between individuals?

An auto loan between individuals allows you to finance a vehicle that you buy from an individual.

“Millions of vehicle sales to individuals occur each year, typically at lower transaction prices than what would normally occur at a dealership,” said Strati Papageorge, senior vice president of automotive product management for PNC Bank.

“These vehicles are generally older and have higher mileage, and offering financing to consumers looking to purchase such vehicles gives them flexibility and options that they might not otherwise have. “

However, auto loans for individuals have certain drawbacks. For example, they are not as widely available as loans for the purchase of new vehicles. And often they charge higher rates.

“Due to the nature of private sales, prices tend to be higher than what you would see if you went to a dealership,” says Papageorge. “But the tradeoff for customers is usually a lower vehicle price, so they can still have an affordable payment.”

There are ways to alleviate the drawbacks associated with personal auto loans and find a lender who will offer a loan. auto loan you can afford.

How does a car loan between individuals work?

Here are some simple steps you need to follow to get the best private party auto loan:

  • Check your credit: Knowing your credit rating and credit history before finding a lender will give you a better idea of ​​what interest rate and the loan amounts you may be entitled to.
  • Budget accordingly: Once you know your credit status, it will be easier to budget and decide how much you can pay out of pocket and how much you need to finance.
  • Choose a vehicle: Before going to a private auto lender, make sure you know the type, age, and mileage of the car you want. This will take into account the type of loan you are eligible for.
  • Get loan quotes: In order to get the best loan, you will need to get quotes from a few potential lenders. Compare the prices to find the loan products that best suit your needs. Compare interest rates, loan terms, monthly payments, fees and penalties.
  • Finalization of the loan: Once you find the best personal auto loan, the lender will send you a check, either to you or directly to the seller of the vehicle. The lender can even directly deposit the funds into your account. It may take a few days, so be sure to communicate this to the private seller.
  • Transfer of vehicle ownership: This step depends largely on the state in which you are dealing with a private seller. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to find out what you need to do to transfer ownership to yourself.
  • Payment schedule: Many private auto lenders offer the option of setting up automatic payment or making payments through an online portal. Discuss your options with your lender to avoid missing payments.

Why consider a loan between individuals

Although private auto loans may charge higher rates than standard auto loans, there are some advantages:

  • There are better vehicle deals: The selling prices of private lien holders tend to be lower than those of car dealerships. With a personal auto loan, you get financing just like you would at a dealership, plus savings that a private seller is likely to offer.
  • It may be cheaper than a personal loan: A personal loan is likely to be more expensive because it is unsecured. A lender assumes more risk when there is no collateral to secure the loan in the event the borrower defaults.
  • They offer flexibility: Rather than being limited to what a dealership offers, you can get the vehicle you want affordably from a private owner.
  • There are loan options for bad credit: Even those with poor credit might be eligible for private auto loans. However, as with all loans offered to borrowers with bad credit, they come with higher interest rates and hence have higher monthly payments.

Where to find auto loans for individuals

Loan products vary from financial institution to financial institution, so not all lenders offer private auto loans. But you can get a personal car loan from most major financial institutions, community banks, local credit unions, and online lenders.

Some lenders may require the vehicle to meet certain criteria. For example, they may require the car to be less than 10 years old with less than 120,000 miles in order to consider the buyer for a loan.

Other lenders may have a minimum loan amount. If the vehicle you want costs $ 6,000, but the lender doesn’t offer such small loans, you’ll need to find another lender.

Be sure to carefully consider the lender’s criteria before applying for a car loan for an individual.

How to apply for a car loan between individuals

Once you’ve found the vehicle you want to purchase from a private owner, be prepared to provide the lender with some basic personal information, including:

  • Your full name, date of birth, address, social security number and contact details
  • Information on employment and income.
  • Current debt securities, such as a mortgage.

You should also have certain documents and details available regarding the vehicle you wish to purchase, including:

  • Make and model, model year and mileage.
  • The vehicle identification number, or VIN.
  • Bill of sale which details the purchase contract.
  • Copy of vehicle registration.
  • Copy of vehicle title.
  • A written repayment quote from the seller’s lender, if applicable.

Lenders have different requirements for the borrower and the automobile that will secure the loan. You should be able to find out what these requirements are before you apply.

If your credit is not that good, consider postponing the purchase until you improve your credit score. Waiting a few months won’t turn your credit from poor to perfect, but it can make a difference enough to save you on interest rate and monthly payments.

Alternatives to auto loans between individuals

If your credit is not good enough or if the vehicle you have selected does not meet the lender’s criteria, there are alternatives that you can look for to purchase through a private seller.

The best alternative to a private car loan would be a Personal loan. With unsecured personal loans, the lender takes your income and credit rating into account when determining loan eligibility.

This can be a good option if:

  • The vehicle you want to buy is too old or has too many kilometers.
  • The vehicle is purchased with a salvage title. A salvage title is issued when a vehicle has already been declared “total loss” due to major damage.
  • The minimum loan amount is more than what you want to borrow.

While a personal loan can give you the option of purchasing the vehicle of your choice, it will likely carry a higher interest rate than a personal car loan and could end up costing you more overall.

Learn more:

Amigo Holdings’ share price is on the rise. Should I buy the stock for my portfolio?


One UK stock that has seen a huge rebound recently is Amigo Holdings (LSE: AMGO). In the past month, its share price has more than doubled to 13.75 pence. However, over 12 months, it is still down about 45%.

Is this a stock I should consider for my own portfolio? Consider the case of investment.

Amigo Holdings: company description

Amigo Holdings is a UK company guarantor loan company which allows people to borrow between £ 2,000 and £ 10,000 with a guarantor (someone, usually a friend or family member, who agrees to support the borrower and step in to make repayments if they does not). Amigo’s goal is to give people the ability to borrow even if they don’t have a good credit rating.

Amigo inscribed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018 at an initial public offering (IPO) of 275p. Since then, the stock has underperformed sharply, falling to almost 5p in June of last year. At its current share price, its market capitalization is around £ 62million.

Recently, the company appointed a new management team with the aim of recovering. “We are a new management team committed to correcting the mistakes of the past in a way that is fair and equitable for all of our clients, including our 700,000 former borrowers and guarantors.“Amigo said in a statement.

It should be noted that a few directors have recently purchased a small amount of shares, which could indicate that they expect the Amigo share price to rise.

Amigo’s third quarter results

Looking at Amigo’s recent third quarter results for the period ending Dec.31, the company appears to be in trouble.

For the nine-month period, revenue was also £ 137.5million, up from £ 218million in the same period in 2019. This drop in revenue is due to a pause in all news loans and loss related to Covid-19. payment holidays (62,000 customers benefited from payment holidays as of December 31). Meanwhile, the company generated a pre-tax loss of £ 71.6million, compared to a pre-tax profit of £ 55.3million the year before.

What strikes me here are the “claims costs”. This amounted to £ 116.2million for the period, up from £ 26.6million the previous year.

Source: Amigo Holdings

Looking ahead, analysts expect annual revenue (end March 31) of £ 176million. For the following year, the consensus revenue forecast is £ 128million.

On the balance sheet, the company declared non-current liabilities of £ 344.1million as of December 31. Equity on the balance sheet was £ 153million resulting in a long-term debt ratio of 2.2.

Risk of claims

Getting back to the complaints issue, this seems like a big deal for Amigo. According to the Financial Ombudsman Service, complaints about loans from guarantors skyrocketed last year. Between October and December, there were over 10,000 related complaints, up from just over 300 in the same period a year earlier.

Most of the complaints – which ranged from borrowers saying their lender shouldn’t have given them a loan because they couldn’t afford it, to family members saying they didn’t. to be a surety – concerned Amigo. This question adds risk to the investment case.

My opinion on Amigo shares

Putting it all together, Amigo is not a stock that I want to buy right now. It sounds too risky. There are a lot of other stocks that I prefer to buy that are better suited to my portfolio.

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Fox News guest Dave Ramsey calls student loan forgiveness “economic hogwash”


It’s not exactly a household name, but within the cottage industry famous financial advisers (your Suze Ormans, Jim Cramers, etc.) Dave ramsey is a big deal, thanks to an eponymous radio show, bestselling books, and a three-year stint hosting his own TV show on Fox Business, all of which helped him gain net worth. estimated at nearly half a billion dollars.

So when Ramsey talks about money, people – well, some people – tend to listen. Which is a shame, because as he demonstrated in a Thursday morning appearance on Fox News, he’s also pretty awful.

The conversation ostensibly began with Ramsey, whose ensemble thing does not rack up debts, raging against reports that the Biden administration is considering cancellation until $ 50,000 in individual student loan debt – a decision that could benefit more than 40 million Americans whose total student debt is in the order of $ 1.5 trillion. Ramsey insisted that the idea that canceling student debt would help ease the pandemic-induced financial crisis in the United States is “economic hogwash.”

Again: Ramsey has a net worth approaching $ 500 million.

But the really bad things came next, when Ramsey began to denounce the idea of ​​pandemic stimulus controls. Because, he explained, “if $ 600 or $ 1,400 changes your life, you were pretty much screwed already.”

Ramsey went on to list the “other issues” that he thinks are likely at stake if you’re in a situation where a check worth 0.0029% of his estimated net worth could change your life: “You’ve got a problem. career, you have a debt problem, you have a relationship problem, you have a mental health problem or whatever happens if $ 600 changes your life, ”he said, insisting on one way or another that “that doesn’t denigrate people.”

To put it in terms, Marie-Antoinette would understand: “Let them eat cake. Or, better yet, don’t let them eat cake. Or anything else really. They have other issues to deal with, which is a shame. Oh good!”

The problem here seems to be twofold. First, Ramsey apparently can’t imagine a world in which money he sees as massive change could actually change his life. And to some extent he’s right, in that a single check for $ 600 or even a check for $ 1,400 is just one drop in the ocean for many financially suffering.

Second, suppose all of these “problems” he listed were indeed at play here… so what? Does someone’s relationship or work situation (or lack thereof) or mental health mean they are somehow unworthy of the incredibly small financial boost the government has discussed in response to the worst economic and health crises of the last century? Of course not. And despite Ramsey’s insistence that he doesn’t “talk” to people, simply inserting these (unwarranted) taboo states into the conversation is a way for him to position himself as the arbiter of this. who is “good” poverty and what is “bad”. “poverty. And what he decided is that people living in” bad “poverty are unfit to receive help.

Are stimulus checks a universal panacea for the economic instability and inequalities that the pandemic has exacerbated over the past year? Of course not. But to regard them as unnecessary from the outset is either snobbery or cruelty – or more likely, a bit of both.