Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett are wealthier than poorest half of US – Trending Stuff

Institute for Policy Studies warns of a moral crisis and says Trump tax change proposals will exacerbate disparities

The three richest people in the US Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett own as much wealth as the bottom half of the US population, or 160 million people.

Analysis of the wealth of Americas richest people found that Gates, Bezos and Buffett were sitting on a combined $248.5bn (190bn) fortune. The Institute for Policy Studies said the growing gap between rich and poor had created a moral crisis.

In a report, the Billionaire Bonanza, the thinktank said Donald Trumps tax change proposals would exacerbate existing wealth disparities as 80% of tax benefits would end up going to the wealthiest 1% of households.

Wealth inequality is on the rise, said Chuck Collins, an economist and co-author of the report. Now is the time for actions that reduce inequality, not tax cuts for the very wealthy.

The study found that the billionaires included in Forbes magazines list of the 400 richest people in the US were worth a combined $2.68tn more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of the UK.

Our wealthiest 400 now have more wealth combined than the bottom 64% of the US population, an estimated 80m households or 204 million people, the report says. Thats more people than the population of Canada and Mexico combined.

The report says the billionaire class continues to pull apart from the rest of us at the fastest rate ever recorded. We have not witnessed such extreme levels of concentrated wealth and power since the first gilded age a century ago.

Forbes celebrated 2017 as another record year for the wealthiest people in America, as the price of admission to the countrys most exclusive club jumped nearly 18% to $2bn. That was a tenfold increase on the amount of money needed to enter the list when it first started in 1982.

Josh Hoxie, another co-author of the thinktank report, said: So much money concentrating in so few hands while so many people struggle is not just bad economics, its a moral crisis.

The report says many Americans are joining an emerging anti-inequality movement. A century ago, a similar anti-inequality upsurge took on Americas vastly unequal distribution of income and wealth and, over the course of little more than a generation, fashioned a much more equal America, it says.

The rise at the wealthiest end of society comes as one in five US households live in what the reports authors call the underwater nation, with either zero or negative wealth. Inequality is even more stark among minorities. Three in 10 black households and 27% of Latino ones have zero or negative wealth, compared with 14% of white families.

Just two African Americans made the Forbes 400: Oprah Winfrey (number 264 with $3bn) and the tech investor Robert Smith (226 with $3.3bn). Five members of the Forbes 400 have Latino backgrounds, including the property magnate Jorge Prez, the LA Angels baseball team owner Arturo Moreno and three members of the family of late Colombian beer magnate Julio Mario Santo Domingo, a major shareholder of SABMiller.

The top 25 people in the survey are all white. The richest is Gates, the Microsoft founder, with $89bn, followed by Amazons Bezos with $81.5bn, then investor Warren Buffett with $78bn and Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg with $71bn.

Since the Forbes 400 was published last month, Amazons share price has increased by more than 10%, lifting Bezoss fortune to an estimated $95bn, putting him in the provisional number one spot.

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Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

online conspiracy theorists harass Vegas victims – Trending Stuff

Abusive comments have attacked Matejka on Facebook. Photograph: Facebook/Screengrab

There are all these families dealing with likely the most horrific thing theyll ever experience, and they are also met with hate and anger and are being attacked online about being a part of some conspiracy, said Taylor Matejka, Bradens brother, who shared with the Guardian dozens of screenshots of the abuse. Its madness. I cant imagine the thought process of these people. Do they know that we are actual people?

Conspiracy theorists some of whom claim that the government staged the shooting on 1 October or that the tragedy was a hoax have targeted survivors and victims loved ones, spamming every social media platform with misinformation and abuse. On Facebook and YouTube in particular, users have published viral posts and videos calling people like Braden crisis actors, alleging they were hired to pose as victims.

While fringe conspiracies have often emerged after national tragedies and major historical events, social media has dramatically expanded the scope and scale of the problem, making it easy for false claims to reach massive audiences and giving trolls easy access to targets online.

It makes you angry, said Rob McIntosh, 52, who was shot in the chest and arm in Las Vegas and has since been accused of being an actor who faked his injuries. Youve already been through something thats traumatic and terrible, and you have someone who is attacking your honesty. You dont even have the opportunity to respond.

I hope someone comes after you

Braden Matejka, from British Columbia, Canada, traveled to Las Vegas with his girlfriend, Amanda Homulos, to celebrate his 30th birthday at a country music festival. Police say the gunman, Stephen Paddock, whose motives remain unknown, fired into the crowd of people at the outdoor concert from a 32nd-floor room of the Mandalay Bay hotel.

As the couple was fleeing, Braden was knocked down by a bullet in the back of his head, landing on his face. He was covered in blood, but remained responsive, and he and his girlfriend, who was not hit, quickly made it inside the car of another concertgoer, who drove them to a hospital.

The wound to his skull was not life-threatening, and days later, the couple gave an emotional interview on camera to the Associated Press about their escape.

Im just so grateful that were still here, and I cant even express how sorry I am for people that didnt make it out, Homulos said through sobs. In another video interview, published by the Guardian and other news organizations, Braden explained that the bullet was very close to killing him: If it was an inch over it wouldve been in my brain, and I wouldve been gone.

‘If it was an inch over I would have been gone’: Las Vegas survivor recounts being shot video

His brother Taylor and others began promoting on Facebook a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money for Braden, who was suffering from bleeding and swelling in his brain and blurred vision. The heavy-duty mechanic and welder also had to take time off work.

Friends and relatives posted messages of love and support in response. But soon, the nasty messages began to arrive, with strangers sending comments at such a rapid rate that it was hard for the family to keep up.

Obviously a TERRIBLE CRISIS ACTOR, wrote a Facebook user named Samantha. HES SCAMMING THE PUBLIC This was a government set up.

YOUR A LIAR AND THEFT PIECE OF CRAP [sic], wrote Karen.

Youll pay on the other side, said a user named Mach. Others called Braden a LYING BASTARD, scumbag govt actor and fuckin FRAUD, while one user named Josh wrote: I hope someone comes after you and literally beats the living fuck outa you.

Taylor, 28, recalled: I was just blown away by what these people were saying.

One woman posted 26 consecutive messages under Taylors request for donations for his brother, saying she had been a nurse for more than two decades and that she was certain Braden was a liar and con artist.

Chased off the internet

Brothers
Brothers Taylor (left) and Braden Matejka. Photograph: Courtesy of Taylor Matejka

Braden tried to defend himself, but eventually gave up and deleted his Facebook and Instagram accounts. Some said the decision was further evidence that he was part of a government-organized hoax a staged fake shooting meant to help push gun control policies.

Taylor said he tried to respond to the conspiracy theorists, but nothing seemed to work: Id be happy to talk to these people, but it seems theres no reasoning. A really sad part of this is that a lot of these people think theyre fighting the good fight and exposing truth.

By some measures, YouTube seems to be making the problem worse. This week, a search for Braden Matejka on the Google-owned video platform suggested a video titled How To Spot Crisis Actors & Fakest News Ever as one of the top results. Thats despite the fact that YouTube said it was immediately changing its algorithm to better promote legitimate sources after Las Vegas victims criticized the site for spreading conspiracies.

Mike Cronk, another Las Vegas survivor, was also widely targeted by conspiracy theorists after he did interviews with ABC and NBC news stations. So many users on YouTube have published videos calling him a fake that a search for his name autocompleted to Mike Cronk crisis actor and Mike Cronk fake. The top three search results for Mike Cronk Las Vegas were conspiracy videos, promoted higher than the ABC News segment.

youtube
YouTube search results for Mike Cronk primarily suggest conspiracy theories. Photograph: YouTube/Screengrab

McIntosh, Cronks friend who is slowly recovering from his bullet wounds, said the websites bore some responsibility. If theyre putting it online and promoting it, they should be accountable for that. They are providing a service they need to police it.

Taylor said he recognized that it was difficult for social media sites to monitor and censor content, but that at the least, they should should prioritize verified news sources above false content: People should be able to discover the truth first.

After the Guardian inquired about specific videos attacking survivors, YouTube took down one of them targeting Braden Matejka for violating its harassment and bullying policy, but did not remove the others.

We work to quickly remove videos violating our policies when they are flagged, a spokesperson said in an email.

Taylor Matejka said he tried to laugh off the conspiracy theorists targeting his family, but given the killings in Las Vegas, it was hard to ignore the death threats.

If you want to spend your whole life searching conspiracies on the internet, youre free to do that, he said, but it shouldnt come at a cost to the victims wellbeing.

Under Trump, Made in America Is Losing Out to Russian Steel – Trending Stuff

Four days after his inauguration, Donald Trump signed a handful of executive memos to advance the Keystone XL pipeline and revive the U.S. steel industry. He invited builder TransCanada Corp. to reapply for a permit denied by Barack Obama and ordered up fast-track rules forcing not only Keystone but also all new U.S. pipelines to be made from American steel. “From now on, we’re going to be making pipeline in the United States,” he said.

Made-in-America Keystone was a stunt. Most of its pipes had already been manufactured, a fact the White House grudgingly admitted when it exempted the project from any new Buy American rules a few months later. While some of Keystone’s pipes were made in the U.S., at least a quarter of them came from a Russian steel company whose biggest shareholder is an oligarch and Trump family friend. The company, Evraz North America, supplied Keystone from its steel plants in Canada and for years has lobbied in Washington against Trump-style protectionism.

Ten months after his Keystone event, Trump has yet to deliver on his pledge to boost the fortunes of American steel. Two self-imposed deadlines for trade action, one in June and one in July, have come and gone. Meanwhile, the prospect of tariffs has led to a surge of cheap foreign steel into the U.S., with imports rising 24 percent in 2017, the fastest increase in years.

As federal and congressional investigators probe Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Evraz North America shows that Russians are also involved in pressing against one of Trump’s main campaign promises. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Evraz Plc, Russia’s second-largest steelmaker. It has two factories in the U.S., in Colorado and Oregon, and four in western Canada, where it produces steel and large-diameter steel pipe. The company’s top shareholder is Roman Abramovich, a billionaire who owns 31 percent of Evraz’s stock. In 2005 he was the first oligarch allowed to sell his oil company to the state, taking in $13 billion in a deal approved by Vladimir Putin.

Abramovich’s ties to the Trumps stem from a decade-long friendship between Ivanka Trump and Abramovich’s wife, Dasha Zhukova, from whom he announced a separation in August. Jared Kushner and his brother, Joshua, invested in Zhukova’s art collection business. The Russian couple hosted Ivanka and Jared in Russia in 2014, when they shared a table at a fundraiser for Moscow’s Jewish museum. Zhukova went to the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament with Ivanka and attended Trump’s inauguration as Ivanka’s guest.

From left, Ivanka Trump and Dasha Zhukova attend the U.S. Open men’s singles final on Sept. 11, 2016, in Queens, N.Y.

Photographer: Elsa/Getty Images

Evraz won its share of the Keystone XL business in 2009 and hired a Washington lobbyist named John Stinson the next year, according to disclosures collected by Bloomberg Government and Open Secrets, a nonprofit that tracks money in politics. Over the next seven years, Stinson lobbied the House, Senate, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, earning $2.2 million for representing Evraz’s interests. He fought Buy American language in federal spending bills for transportation, water infrastructure, and defense, as well as in a bill specifically about Keystone in 2015—the same year Obama denied its cross-border permit.

According to federal disclosures, Evraz paid Stinson $100,000 in the first half of 2017 to persuade Congress and the Commerce Department to exclude its Canadian products from Trump’s steel import crackdown. Stinson declined to comment. Christian Messmacher, the company’s vice president for development, says its lobbying efforts are typical for the industry. “We, like all other North American companies, work to provide public officials with our insights on issues that affect us and our ability to provide good North American jobs,” he says.

In late May, Evraz won a contract with liquefied natural gas company Cheniere Energy Inc. to supply the steel pipe for a 200-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. The contract, worth an estimated $100 million, was expected to go to a Florida-based company, Berg Steel Pipe Corp., according to the American Line Pipe Producers Association. The association put out a press release in June arguing that Evraz was undercutting U.S. companies. It asked the Trump administration to act quickly on new rules and stop “Russian-owned Evraz” from “aggressively” seeking U.S. contracts ahead of any new tariffs or quotas on imports.

The Cheniere contract shows how hard it is to differentiate between foreign and U.S.-made steel. While losing out to Evraz cost Berg 216 jobs, or 42 percent of its workforce, company Vice President Jonathan Kirkland told the Mobile, Ala., in June, Berg makes pipelines using steel from Germany and France. U.S. steel supplies aren’t reliable enough, Chief Executive Ingo Riemer told the U.S. International Trade Commission last year.

In September, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the administration will defer a decision to impose tariffs on foreign steel so it can focus on tax reform. The industry is getting impatient. Steel executives have been meeting with administration officials. More than 60 steelworkers met with members of Congress on Sept. 21 to tell them of their growing frustration with the White House’s delays. “The president makes his policy decisions based on what is best for the American people,” says White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters. “Moreover, to place unrelated information about his daughter’s social engagement with the ex-wife of one of a company’s shareholders in a story about actual policy is incredibly irresponsible and misleading.”

Given the promises Trump made in the campaign, there may be political blowback if he doesn’t deliver. Although the United Steelworkers union endorsed Hillary Clinton, many of its members voted for Trump, helping him to narrow victories in states across the Midwest. “Those workers absolutely won’t forget if they are empty promises,” says Dan Simmons, president of Steelworkers Local 1899 in Granite City, Ill. “Like Elvis says, we want a little less talk and a little more action.”

BOTTOM LINE – Foreign steel imports into the U.S. are up 24 percent in 2017. As the industry grows angry at Trump’s lack of trade action, Russia’s Evraz continues winning pipeline contracts.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

Toys R Us Collapses Into Bankruptcy Thanks to Crushing Debt – Trending Stuff

Toys “R” Us Inc.. , the ultimate toyland for a generation of postwar baby boomers, filed for bankruptcy due to a crushing debt load by a buyout and constant competition from warehouse and online retailers.

The retailer, which has 1,600 stores in 38 states, said after an attempt sparked a press report about a bankruptcy, spooking critical vendors and credit insurers its hand was forced. However, revive its business in time for the holiday buying season and it plans to make the best of the situation.

“Chapter 11 was certainly not the organization’s preferred outcome,” Chief Executive David Brandon stated in a court filing. “The timing of all of this couldn’t have been worse. ” He cited the immediate need to build inventory for the holiday season, which accounts for 40 percent of annual earnings. Thanks to a new $3.1 billion operating loan, the business plans to stabilize operations and reopen supply channels while in bankruptcy, he said.

The filing is the latest blow to a brick-and-mortar retail sector, which has seen a series of bankruptcies from Payless Inc. and Gymboree Corp. to Perfumania Holdings Inc.. Chains are reeling from store closures, slow mall visitors and the gravitational pull of Amazon.com Inc.’s lower costs and worldwide home delivery. More than 10 percent of U.S. retail space, or almost 1 billion square feet, may want to close, convert to other uses or renegotiate rent, based on data from CoStar Group.

‘Unrelenting Race’

To compete with Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart, “Toys “R” Us would have had to slash prices to keep traffic into its stores, “decreasing its earnings and cash flows in an unrelenting race to the bottom,” Brandon stated in the filing.

The reorganization will focus on investment in marketing, technology, and an experience which will help it compete in the new environment, Brandon said. The bankruptcy filing in Richmond, Virginia, estimated the company has more than $5 billion in debt, which it pays approximately $400 million a year.  

Much of that is the heritage of a $7.5 billion leveraged buyout in 2005 where Bain Capital, KKR & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust loaded the company with debt to take it private. Since then, the Wayne, New Jersey-based series has struggled to dig itself out.

The $3 billion loan, from a JPMorgan Chase & Co.-led syndicate that includes some present lenders, will finance operations while it restructures the obligations, as reported by a company announcement. The funding is subject to court approval.

Staying Open

Operations will be continued by the company doesn & #x 2019; t plan and says its locations throughout the world.  It’s 1,600 stores, including Babies “R” Us, are complemented by sales through websites such as Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com.

Operations out of the U.S. and Canada, for example about 255 licensed stores, aren’t part of the Chapter 11 filing.  A Canadian unit plans to seek protection. In Australia, Toys “R” Us plans to add another five stores to its existing 39 by Christmas, said Jessica Donovan, a local advertising and marketing manager.

“Like any retailer, decisions about any future store closings – and openings – will continue to be made based on what makes the best sense for the business,” Michael Freitag, a spokesman for Toys “R” Us, stated in an email.

Mattel Inc.. , an integral supplier, said it stands by the business. “As one of our most important retail partners, we are committed to supporting Toys ‘R’ Us and its management staff as they work through this process, particularly as we approach the holiday season,” the toymaker said in an emailed statement.

Dangerous Dominos

While Brandon made some progress in cutting the closely held series’s obligations, he finally was unable to resuscitate its fortunes. He shot over Toys “R” Us in 2015 and sought to make shopping there a more enjoyable experience with product presentations and the “Hot Toy Finder” to help customers locate items. This past year, he set out a vision of kids “dragging their parents to our stores because they want to see what’s going on. ” 

Beginning in late August, the business tried to handle its debt load through talks with term loan lenders. A Sept. 6 report that a bankruptcy was being contemplated “started a dangerous game of dominoes” where the company lost the confidence of almost 40 percent of its domestic and international sellers, who refused to send products without cash in advance, cash on delivery, or payment of all outstanding obligations, according to Brandon’s court filing. This supposed Toys ’R’ Us needed another $1 billion in liquidity.

The organization’s roots date to 1948, when Charles Lazarus opened Children’s Bargain Town, a baby-furniture store, according to the Toys “R” Us website. He added toys and opened the Toys “R” Us in 1957.

The case is In re TRU-SVC, 17-34659, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond).

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

You can now get a gender neutral driver’s license in D.C. – Trending Stuff

(CNN)Nic Sakurai was amongst the very first individuals outside the Benning Road Department of Motor Vehicle workplace in Washington on Tuesday early morning at 7:15.

Sakurai had actually developed a Facebook occasion and welcomed others to sign up with the historical day: They would end up being the very first individuals in the United States to pick X as their gender marker rather of male or woman on motorist’s licenses and recognition cards.

The X symbolizes gender neutral, the favored classification for individuals like Sakurai who do not recognize as female or male.

    They might utilize various words to explain how they determine, such as gender nonconforming, gender fluid, gender agender or nonbinary, as Sakurai chooses. Whatever the case, “male” and “female” and “he” and “she” do not fit how they see themselves.

    “I do not feel that sense of gender as something that becomes part of my core natural experience,” stated Sakurai, who utilizes the pronoun “they.”

    “I’m happy to lastly have an ID that in fact matches who I am.”

    LGBTQ supporters state letting individuals self-identify decreases the danger of harassment and discrimination they experience when their physical look does not match the gender on their ID.

    Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser revealed the modification recently, after a comparable policy from the state of Oregon. The modification had actually remained in the works for months as part of an effort to make the District of Columbia’s gender identity policies more inclusive, her workplace stated.

    “The security and wellness of all Washingtonians is my leading concern, and whenever we exist with a chance to enhance the lives of citizens and much better align our policies with D.C. worths, I will take it,” she stated.

    Any District of Columbia homeowner can select gender neutral. The D.C. DMV stated it anticipated the modification to have the most instant advantage for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.

    “The brand-new gender neutral identifier provides gender nonbinary District citizens a gender classification that verifies who they are,” stated Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs. “The application of a gender neutral identifier follows our D.C. worths of addition and regard.”

    The state of Oregon revealed previously this month, prior to D.C., that it would use a gender neutral marker on state-issued motorist’s licenses and recognition cards beginning July 1. Washington was the very first jurisdiction to make them offered.

    “We are enjoyed see D.C. and Oregon blazing a trail beforehand policies that permit transgender individuals, consisting of those who are nonbinary, to have precise recognition that assists them work in their daily lives,” stated Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

    “This is a remarkable primary step that acknowledges the experiences and mankind of our nonbinary neighborhood members. The District has actually set the brand-new gold requirement for access to precise gender markers on recognition files in the United States.”

    See the current news and share your remarks with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter .

    The transgender equality center and Washington-based university hospital Whitman-Walker Health helped the DMV in executing the modification.

    National Center for Transgender Equality media relations supervisor Jay Wu appeared early at the DMV, too, not just for work however likewise to obtain a brand-new ID.

    “Before today I was walking with an incorrect gender marker. This is more precise due to the fact that I recognize as nonbinary,” stated Wu, who utilizes the pronouns “they.”

    Similar policies exist in Canada, India, Bangladesh, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/27/health/washington-gender-neutral-drivers-license/index.html

Categories CNN

Wonder Woman Debut Delivers Box-Office Punch for Warner – Trending Stuff

&#x 201C; Wonder Woman &#x 201D; opened as the leading movie in North American theaters, quickly outdrawing a brand-new image from DreamWorks Animation and handing Time Warner Inc. &#x 2019; s motion picture department its very first win of the summertime season.

The Warner Bros. image based upon the DC Comics superhero generated weekend sales of $100.5 million in the United States and Canada, scientist ComScore Inc. approximated Sunday in an e-mail. The other brand-new release, &#x 201C; Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, &#x 201D; put 2nd with $23.5 million in sales for supplier 21st Century Fox Inc. and DreamWorks Animation owner Comcast Corp.

Warner Bros. requires a business and crucial success from &#x 201C; Wonder Woman. &#x 201D;&#xA 0; The DC characters are a core part of the studio &#x 2019; s film company, yet the previous 2 movies were panned by critics and cannot do along with superhero images from Walt Disney Co. &#x 2019; s Marvel department.

&#x 201C; Wonder Woman &#x 201D; functions Israeli starlet Gal Gadot in the title function. She was presented to film fans in 2015 &#x 2019; s &#x 201C; Batman v Superman &#x 201D; movie.

In the brand-new image, Gadot plays Diana, princess of the Amazons, in a story that backtracks her origins to the time of World War I. Chris Pine is included as an American pilot who crashes off the protected island where Diana lives and informs her of latest thing worldwide dispute, which she then feels obliged to sign up with.

&#x 201C; Wonder Woman &#x 201D; expense $149 million to make, not consisting of marketing expenses, while price quotes for weekend sales varied from $89 million at Box Office Mojo to $111 million at BoxOfficePro.com. The movie ranks amongst the most seriously well-known comic-book films, with 93 percent favorable evaluations, inning accordance with aggregator Rottentomatoes.com.

&#x 201C; Wonder Woman &#x 201D; is likewise the very first big-budget superhero film directed by a lady. Patty Jenkins &#x 2019; s just other big-screen credit is &#x 201C; Monster, &#x 201D; a 2003 police procedural that amassed an Academy Award for lead starlet Charlize Theron.

&#x 201C; Captain Underpants &#x 201D; is based upon the series of kids books by Dav Pilkey. Including the voices of Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, the movie follows pranksters George and Harold, who hypnotize their school principal into believing he is a dim-witted superhero. The film was anticipated to position 2nd with $29.5 million in sales, inning accordance with BoxOfficePro.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-04/-wonder-woman-debut-delivers-box-office-punch-for-warner-bros

U.S. Colleges Have $500 Billion to Invest. Now Where Are All the Green Deals? – Trending Stuff

If you thought that the University of California system would #x &promote 201C; sustainable &#x 201D; investing, you &#x 2019;d be proper. The catch is, the racks in the sustainable investing aisle aren &#x 2019; t particularly well-stocked with chances.

U.S. college endowments completely hold more than $500 ­ billion in possessions, a growing part of which they &#x 2019; ve designated to sustainable or &#x 201C; effect &#x 201D; investing. They likewise deal with something of a paradox: Where, precisely, does one invest that loan? The simple response, and one popular amongst smaller sized endowments, is to purchase funds of stocks considered green.

Another choice is genuine properties, states Jagdeep Bachher, who manages the University of California &#x 2019; s $100 billion portfolio, that includes retirement funds for among the nation &#x 2019; s biggest public university systems in addition to the school &#x 2019; s $10 billion endowment, the 12th biggest in the United States &#x 201C; Institutions slouch at some level, &#x 201D; he states. &#x 201C; We await pitch books to appear. &#x 201D; But that isn &#x 2019; t acceptable for the Regents of the University of California . The factor: Staving off the worst results of worldwide warming will need a lot more financial investment than is being released &#x 2014; trillions of dollars more in coming years, inning accordance with quotes from the International Energy Agency. That &#x 2019; s why the system has actually ended up being popular in a group of institutional financiers releasing cash to green jobs.

The group has actually dedicated to putting more than $1 billion into tidy energy- and water-related jobs that the Obama White House promoted 2 years back. In addition, the financiers assisted develop an advisory group called Aligned Intermediary Inc. , which works like a co-op for them, sourcing financial investments.

The offers Aligned Intermediary determines huge: They vary from $50 million to $500 million, inning accordance with co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Davidson. Its members, which likewise consist of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Trust and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, look for genuine returns from direct financial investments in facilities &#x 2014; renewable resource, water, even trash &#x 2014; along with from loans to jobs that help in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. &#x 201C; The financial returns exist, &#x 201D; Davidson states. &#x 201C; The accountable investing concept exists. It &#x 2019; s a market flaw that we have to fix. &#x 201D; The University of California has actually dedicated $500 million to these kinds of tasks. While the group &#x 2019; s initially deal, a financial investment of about $50 million including water facilities in the Western U.S., is on the books, information sanctuary &#x 2019; t been revealed.

For endowments, these kinds of direct financial investments have benefits. They skirt personal equity and hedge funds &#x 2019; questionable 2-and-20 costs, and the jobs &#x 2019; schedules encounter the years, considerably longer than a normal fund life of approximately 10 years.

Endowments such as Yale &#x 2019; s assisted begin the pattern towards illiquid, alternative financial investments 3 years back, with a relocation into personal equity and hedge funds. Yale and Harvard &#x 2014; the most affluent college funds, with more than $60 billion jointly &#x 2014; were likewise leaders in purchasing genuine possessions, especially forest. Yale has actually even invested straight in a 22-turbine wind farm in Maine. The school &#x 2019; s endowment in a 2009 report proclaimed 4 green financial investments that have actually partially ended up being losers. One solar business, for instance, declared bankruptcy. Green funds that wager on tidy energy and innovation, released in the previous years, have actually underperformed.

While there &#x 2019; s need for financial investments that assist address international environment difficulties, chances #x &aren 2019; t specifically simple to #x &discover 2014; and most endowments, specifically independent schools, run in opacity, so it &#x 2019; s challenging to recognize case research studies. Williams &#x 2014; the wealthiest U.S. liberal arts college, with a $2.3 billion endowment &#x 2014; offers a fascinating glance into the troubles.

In September 2015 the Massachusetts school stated it wouldn &#x 2019; t divest from nonrenewable fuel source holdings, regardless of pressure from trainees. (Protests requiring endowments to divest from nonrenewable fuel sources have actually been a school consistent in the last few years.) Rather the college stated it would look for financial investments with the condition that they can be determined to reveal an effect in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. A year later on, Williams authorities advised an alternative energy fund to its financial investment committee, which authorized the proposition, inning accordance with the alumni publication. &#x 201C; We are striving to try to find these kinds of financial investments, however they are challenging to discover, &#x 201D; states Collette Chilton, the primary financial investment officer. &#x 201C; We &#x 2019; re not quiting, since this is necessary to the Williams neighborhood. &#x 201D;

It &#x 2019; s likewise been tiresome for the University of California to discover the ideal offer &#x 2014; even with the personnel of Aligned Intermediary on the case. Lined up was structured as an advantage corporation, and its functional financing was supplied by humanitarian groups, led by the Planet Heritage, William and Flora Hewlett, and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur structures. The company offers know-how to discover offers, carry out due diligence, and, if required, assist supervise the supervisors running jobs. The University of California sorted through 90 propositions prior to discovering the water offer that closed late in 2015. &#x 201C; You require versatility and you require persistence &#x 2014; and we have these things, &#x 201D; Bachher states. The university will act just when it sees a chance that fulfills all its requirements, he states.

In addition to the offer the University of California tattooed, others remain in the pipeline, Davidson states. They consist of a financial investment in a solar energy designer in North America, anticipated to close in June, and a mezzanine loan to a massive personal wind, solar, and biomass business that runs internationally.

The Ontario pension, a partner, has experience with these sorts of financial investments. It &#x 2019; s put loan in Ararat , a 75-turbine wind farm that opened previously this year, turning into one of Australia &#x 2019; s biggest, and in Toronto-based Firelight Infrastructure Partners LP, which concentrates on wind, hydroelectric, and solar jobs. Both are anticipated to create double-digit returns, states Hugh O &#x 2019; Reilly, president and CEO of the Ontario-based pension fund, which has C$ 19 billion ($14&#xA 0; billion) under management. &#x 201C; We do this to make loan, &#x 201D; he states. &#x 201C; We have a competence in energy and renewable resource. &#x 201D;

Caisse de D&#xE 9;p &#xF 4; t et Placement du Qu&#xE 9; bec &#x 2014; which, with C$ 271 billion under management, is Canada &#x 2019; s second-largest public pension fund supervisor &#x 2014; discovered a triple whammy with its financial investment in an electrical train task in Montreal: a genuine possession that &#x 2019; s long term and will decrease emissions by taking automobiles off the roadway. &#x 201C; We &#x 2019; re a long-lasting financier, &#x 201D; Michael Sabia, president and CEO, stated at a Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in April. &#x 201C; It &#x 2019; s not the next quarter, it &#x 2019; s the next quarter century. &#x 201D;

Laurence Siegel, director of research study at the CFA Institute Research Foundation, is bullish on tidy water and air and alternative energy. The horizon for the return on financial investment is uncertain. &#x 201C; In the long run we &#x 2019; re not going to utilize that much oil, &#x 201D; states Siegel, who worked for 15 years at the Ford Foundation in a financial investment capability. &#x 201C; These other alternative sources of energy are going to have a bigger and bigger market share, so you wish to be invested. Is it 20 years? Is it 100 years? The rate of return isn &#x 2019; t competitive if it &#x 2019; s 100 years. It &#x 2019; s most likely incredible if it &#x 2019; s 20 years. &#x 2019; &#x 2019;

Endowments have actually traditionally bought energy through their outdoors supervisors, who purchase public and personal oil and gas business. &#x 201C; The endowments have actually done an incredibly excellent task in choosing supervisors, &#x 201D; states Ashby Monk, executive director of Stanford &#x 2019; s Global Projects Center and chairman and co-founder of Aligned Intermediary. &#x 201C; That will undoubtedly insert them into the kinds of methods where that gain access to point is the most effective. To buy these type of ingenious possessions, you need to be ingenious in your financial investment company. &#x 201D;

That seems the case for the University of California. Bachher states he feels like he &#x 2019; s in a &#x 201C; lonesome area &#x 201D; with his endowment coworkers. He &#x 2019; s positive. &#x 201C; With time, we will see more endowments included, &#x 201D; he states. &#x 201C; It requires time for individuals to see the risk-adjusted returns. &#x 201D;

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-31/u-s-colleges-have-500-billion-to-invest-now-where-are-all-the-green-deals

Trudeau asks Pope Francis to apologise to indigenous people for church’s abuses – Trending Stuff

President welcomes the pope to take a trip to Canada to state sorry to thousands positioned in property Catholic schools where they were mistreated

Justin Trudeau has actually prompted Pope Francis to go to Canada to apologise to native individuals for the Catholic churchs treatment of aboriginal kids in schools it ran there.

Starting in the late 19th century, about 30% of kids of Canadas native individuals, or about 150,000 kids, were put in exactly what were referred to as property schools in a federal government effort to remove them of their ancestral languages and standard cultures.

For over a century the schools were numerous however government-funded were administered by Christian churches, mainly Roman Catholic.

I informed him how essential it is for Canadians to progress on genuine reconciliation with the native individuals and I highlighted how he might assist by providing an apology, Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, informed press reporters after fulfilling the pope.

He stated he had actually welcomed the pontiff to make the apology in Canada .

Canadas Truth and Reconciliation Commission stated in a 2015 report that the practice, which kept kids from the First Nations, Inuit and Mtis individuals far from their moms and dads, totaled up to cultural genocide.

Many kids were physically and sexually mistreated.

The commission made 94 suggestions, consisting of that the pope problem an official apology in Canada to survivors and their descendents for the churchs function in the spiritual, cultural, psychological, sexual and physical abuse of the kids.

Trudeau stated that in their personal talks the pope advised me that his whole life has actually been committed to supporting marginalised individuals worldwide, defending them, which he anticipates dealing with me and with the Canadian bishops to determine a course forward together.

Canadian bishops have stated the pope may go to next year.

Trudeau stated he and the pope likewise talked about environment modification. Unlike the United States president, who satisfied the pope recently , Trudeau and Francis concur that environment modification is brought on by human activity.

We spoke about how crucial it is to highlight the clinical basis of securing our world and the ethical and ethical commitments to lead, to develop a much better future for all individuals on this earth, Trudeau stated.

At last weeks Group of Seven top in Sicily, the United States president chose not to back a landmark global arrangement reached in Paris in 2015 to minimize worldwide warming.

Trump stated he would choose today on whether to take out of the accord, which was backed by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Trudeau, who is Catholic, stated he had a comprehensive and deeply individual, thoughtful discussion with the leader of my own faith.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/30/trudeau-asks-pope-francis-to-apologise-to-indigenous-people-for-churchs-abuses

Celebration, Sorrow Mingle After Death of Fidel Castro

(Associated Press) — While the departure of Cuban leader Fidel Castro prompted cheers from your nation’s exiles in Miami, the 90-year old innovative leader’s passing created expressions of admiration in the rest of the planet and quantified responses from authorities that viewed the faithful socialist as a risk.

U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned that while “discord and profound political disagreements” indicated the connection between the United States and Cuba for almost six decades, Americans were offering “a hand of friendship to the Cuban people” throughout their time of despair.

“History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him,” Obama said.

While spending the Thanksgiving weekend in Florida, where the declaration of Castro’s departure early Saturday introduced Cuban exiles to the streets to observe, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to discuss a notion that proved pithy even for the medium: “Fidel Castro is dead!”

Elsewhere in globe, Castro was mourned by several current and former leaders and honored.

In a telegram to Cuban President Raul Castro, Fidel’s 85 -year old brother, Pope Francis provided “my sense of grief to your excellency and family.”

Francis broke from the standard practice of obtaining official condolences are sent by the secretary of state of the Vatican. In a symbol of the regard a year ago, the pope held for Castro, whom he met during a trip to Cuba, Francis signed the telegram himself.

Twitter: Enrique Pea Nieto on Twitter

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose state was Cuba’s major ally and backer throughout the Soviet period, called Castro “a sincere and reliable friend of Russia” who’d constructed “an inspiring example for many countries and nations.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping stated Castro “made immortal historical contributions to the development of socialism around the world.”

“With his death, the Chinese people have lost a close comrade and a sincere friend,” Xi said in a telegram to Raul Castro, state broadcaster CCTV noted. “His glorious image and great achievements will be recorded in history forever.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he’d vivid recollections of assembly Castro in January 2014 and having “a lively discussion that covered developments around the world as well as sustainable development and climate change.”

“Under former President Castro, Cuba made advances in the fields of education, literacy and health,” Ban said. “I expect Cuba will continue to progress on a path of reform and better prosperity.

Castro’s passing was felt particularly keenly in Latin America, where leftist activists were inspired by his achievement in overthrowing a military program in other states.

Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the president of El Salvador, said he felt “deep sorrow … of my friend and eternal companion, Commander Fidel Castro Ruz.”

Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted that “Fidel Castro was a friend of Mexico, promoting bilateral relations based on respect, dialogue and solidarity.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro remembered Castro’s departure from several dozen supporters and Mexico about the yacht Granma with his brother Raul to begin their r-Evolution.

“Sixty years after the Granma sailed from Mexico, Fidel sails toward the immortality of all those who fight their whole lives,” Maduro tweeted. “Onward to victory, always!”

Rubn Berros Martnez, long-time leader of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, called Castro the “largest and most influential Latin American of the 20th century, whose verticality, vision and passion has always served as an inspiration for those who aspired to a more just, free and dignified Latin America.”

Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated on his Facebook page that Castro was his “friend and companion” and the “greatest of all Latin Americans.”

Silva mentioned Castro was like an “older brother-an irreplaceable company. Visions of independence supported. sovereignty and equality.”

A statement from the Spanish authorities hailed Castro as “a figure of enormous historical importance.”

“As a son of Spaniards, former president Castro always maintained close relations with Spain and showed great affection for his family and cultural ties,” the the federal government declaration stated.

Nevertheless, there were insults and cries in Madrid as a tiny bunch composed of equally professional- and anti-Castro supporters fulfilled facing the Cuban embassy.

Turkey’s international ministry commended the “legendary leader of the Cuban Revolution” for “instituting many deep reforms in his country from health care to education, art to science.”

“The struggle to which he dedicated his life echoed not just in Cuba but across the world, and has awakened respect even in other political camps,” the ministry mentioned. “His words ‘another world is possible’ reflect the shared longing of billions of people from Latin America to Asia, from the Middle East to Africa.”

“India mourns the loss of a great friend,” Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi mentioned on Twitter.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted: “Goodbye, commandante. Until the individuals’ endless success.”

“Fidel Castro in the 20th century did everything possible to destroy the colonial system, to establish cooperative relations,” former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was quoted as telling the Interfax information company.

Ammar al-Moussawi, who’s in cost of worldwide relations for Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah team, lauded Castro as “a historic symbol whose life was a lighthouse to all revolutionaries around the world.”

Guyanese Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo stated his island’s sources were shared by Castro who have any country that dared request for assistance.

The Castro government sent a large number of nurses and physicians where local as well as other foreign medical staff had refused to go to perform in distant Caribbean regions, Nagamootoo mentioned.

“His and Cuba’s contribution to mankind and the Caribbean is un-matched by another state when it comes to brotherly and sisterly relations. He was a worldwide present to mankind,” he said.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, created to carry-on the task of the late antiapartheid leader who does continue to become the president of South Africa, re-counted the shut relationship Mandela invented with all the Cuban leader.

He was criticized by some in the West for his ties to Castro when Mandela became president in 1994. Mandela responded that anybody who objected could “jump in the pool.”

“The primary state we approached (for help in fighting apartheid) was the United States of America. We couldn’t even triumph to come near the authorities, and they refused to help us,” Mandela stated in a 1990 documentary to spell out his devotion to Castro. “But Cuba, the moment we appealed for assistance they were ready to do so and they did so.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the chorus of admirers, contacting Castro “a legendary revolutionary and orator” and a “remarkable leader.”

“While a questionable figure, equally Mr. Castro’s backers and detractors acknowledged his great commitment and love for the Cuban individuals who had a deep and enduring fondness for ‘el Comandante,”’said Trudeau, whose late father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, had a warm camaraderie with Castro.

Trudeau’s re-Action prompted powerful criticism on Twitter from two Republican U.S. senators, Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, equally Cuban Americans.

“Is this an actual assertion or a parody? Because if this can be an actual statement in the PM of Canada it’s black (and) obstructing,” Rubio tweeted. Cruz wrote: “Disgraceful. Why are totalitarian tyrants idolized by socialists? Castro, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot — all evil, torturing murderers.”

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter mentioned he and his spouse Rosalynn “remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country.” The few visited with Cuba in 2002, long after Carter left workplace.

While the majority of the the state remembrances were a few highlighted less- views of the leader.

Trump elaborated on his first tweet after Saturday, calling Castro “a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.”

Trump claims Castro left a heritage of “firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, the most effective Republican in the United States Congress, mentioned any remembrances needs to be allowed “for the memory and sacrifices of all those who have suffered under the Castros.”

“Now that Fidel Castro is dead, the cruelty and oppression of his regime should die with him,” Ryan mentioned in a declaration.

Ed Royce, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, supplied a comparable evaluation, declaring “no one should rule anywhere near as long as Fidel Castro did.”

“His heritage is among repression in the home, and support for terrorism overseas. Unfortunately, Raul Castro is no better for Cubans who yearn for liberty,” Royce mentioned.

Republican officers in the United States of America weren’t the only kinds with nasty words for the lifeless groundbreaking.

“After decades under Fidel’s doctrine of oppression and antagonism, there is hope that a new path for Cuba is opening,” Nancy Pelosi, who heads the Democrats in the House of Representatives, mentioned.

“I hope his death can start a freedom revolution in Cuba,” Denmark’s Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen stated. “Any death is depressed. In this situation I consider that it could bring something great.”

Peter Hain, a former member of the British Cabinet and anti-apartheid tempered praise for Castro with criticism of some facets of his lengthy rule, campaigner.

“Although responsible for indefensible human rights and free speech abuses, Castro created a society of unparalleled access to free health, education and equal opportunity despite an economically throttling USA siege,” Hain mentioned. “His troops inflicted the first defeat on South Africa’s troops in Angola in 1988, a vital turning point in the struggle against apartheid.”

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-26/celebration-sorrow-mingle-after-death-of-fidel-castro

Hoops, wheels and moose heads: playtime in the world’s most inhospitable places

How do children play in refugee camps, aboriginal reserves and places ravaged by war? Photographer Mark Neville found out

You seldom see a smile in Mark Nevilles photographs of children. Even in glorious circumstances, among the mud and smoke of a well-run adventure playground, children appear stern and serious: deeply focused on whatever business is afoot. In what Neville calls oppressed space at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya or in bomb-damaged east Ukraine they gaze into his camera quizzically, as if briefly awoken from a more absorbing inner world.

Childs Play, an exhibition opening this week at Londons Foundling Museum, brings together images from 15 years of Nevilles photography. From Afghanistan to Pittsburgh, London, Corby, Port Glasgow and the Isle of Bute, he noticed that his big, socially engaged series all featured strong images of children. These are now part of a wider campaign to raise awareness about the importance of play in childrens development.

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A boy in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya, 2016. Photograph: Mark Neville

Neville has previously tackled post-traumatic stress disorder, toxic waste and war, so this new topic play might seem a lighthearted departure. But he believes it is an essential survival strategy. Unstructured activity determined by the child, as opposed to educational games or sport, is about social interaction, testing boundaries and confidence. The only way we gain confidence is to test our fears. Some are social, some physical, some psychological. All get tested in the playground: its a microcosm of the real world.

New material for the show has been taken in Kenya and Ukraine, as well as in the London borough of Islington, which granted Neville access to the Toffee Park and Lumpy Hill adventure playgrounds. Neville is concerned by the lack of a national play strategy in the UK, which could lobby on behalf of such sites. If were looking at making cuts we look at Toffee Park and think, Well, surely kids can play at school, so we dont need that. It just gets crossed off. If we dont provide play, theres going to be a generation of unwell adults.

Christmas
Christmas Day in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, 2010. Photograph: Mark Neville

Across the thousands of miles of territory covered in the show, common threads emerge: kids trundling hoops and wheels in Kenya and Afghanistan; girls playing mother and child; the universal appeal of water, mud, rope and string. We see children performing for the camera: there is the occasional manic grin, a hardman snarl from a pre-schooler in Pittsburgh and unexpected vamping from a girl in southern Afghanistan. We drove for a couple of hours in a tank to get to Lashkar Gah, Neville recalls. There was an outdoor class going on. I was at the back and suddenly this girl stands up and starts posing to camera like a silent movie star.

Neville has seen first-hand how, in hostile environments, play becomes an outlet, a release, a kind of therapy. It allows children to make sense of the horrors going on in the adult world and deal with them. Whether theyre the horrors of life in Islington which there are or on an aboriginal reserve in Shamattawa, Manitoba.

That reserve in Canada has become totemic for Neville a place of extreme neglect. A community of about 1,600 people living in shacks, serviced by one grocery store (which burned down last September) and accessible only by plane, Shamattawa is home to a generation of aboriginal tribes Cree, Sioux who have been completely disinherited from everything to do with their identity and their religion. The adults live without hope, so they become hopeless parents too..

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The mooses head in Shamattawa, Manitoba, 2016. Photograph: Mark Neville

One image of Shamattawa shows half-dressed children in a dilapidated kitchen with a severed moose head on the floor in a puddle of congealed blood. What might be an axe handle, or the butt of a gun, lies beside it. Shamattawa has shocking numbers of child suicide. Kids see that if you kill yourself, theres a funeral and a public outpouring of attention and grief, says Neville. I was walking around and came to a little clearing in a wood. There was this graveyard of little crosses with teddy bears stuck on them, hundreds of them. I wept and wept.

In March, alongside Childs Play, the Foundling Museum will host a symposium on issues of public space and childrens rights. Neville and campaigner Adrian Voce have also put together a book outlining the mental and physical health issues associated with a lack of free play, and covering the threats currently facing spaces and facilities in the UK. It will not be commercially available, but will instead be sent out to bodies and individuals with a stake in the issue, or influence in the field.

This reflects Nevilles belief that simply taking photographs and exhibiting them is no longer enough: the images have to be disseminated in a way that might actually make a difference. Because its a fucking disaster, isnt it, the world at the moment? he says. None of us can afford to sit back and let it happen.

Childs Play is at the Foundling Museum, London, from 3 February until 30 April.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jan/31/childs-play-photography-mark-neville-interview