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Op-ed: Here comes more Covid stimulus, and the unemployment fraudsters who prey on it

People wait in line as the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank distributes food outside a church in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on November 19, 2020. As another round of Covid-19 stimulus comes, those who need it most might be casualties in a government battle against unemployment crooks.Mike Blake | ReutersHere comes another Covid stimulus unemployment boost. Expect the fraud headlines to follow. Because while $120 billion for displaced workers will offer sorely needed relief for Americans struggling to make ends meet, it is striking fear in the hearts of state leaders who were already struggling to keep pace with unemployment fraudsters that …

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The retail industry is leading the way as women take over CEO roles

When an announcement came in late November that Lauren Hobart would take the reins as chief executive at Dick’s Sporting Goods in early 2021, corporate America hit another major milestone for inclusivity that has been driven, in large part, by the retail industry.A record 41 female CEOs are soon going to be leading Fortune 500 companies, barring any additional appointments or departures, as Hobart takes over for current Dick’s CEO Ed Stack in February. Ten will be in charge of retailers.Recruiters and consultants say consumer-facing companies are coming to the realization that they need a leader at the top who understands …

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EU ambassadors formally approve Brexit trade deal ahead of deadline

Travel_Motion | E+ | Getty ImagesLONDON — The 27 ambassadors from EU member nations on Monday formally approved the Brexit trade deal it struck with the U.K. last week, the latest hurdle for an agreement that will be implemented on Jan 1. The ambassadors worked through the Christmas holidays and approved a provisional application on Monday morning. The EU Parliament, the only directly elected chamber of the EU, is not expected to vote on it until January and declined to ratify it during the tight time frame. Instead, the provisional application will allow it to come into force on New Year’s Day Friday. …

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Alibaba shares plunge about 8% for second straight session as China ramps up pressure

SINGAPORE — Shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba in Hong Kong were in the spotlight once again on Monday, after Chinese regulators ordered Alibaba-affiliate Ant Group to rectify its businesses.By the Hong Kong market close on Monday, shares of Alibaba listed in the city plunged 7.98%, adding to losses for the firm. The stock had also dived last Thursday following reports that Chinese regulators will probe the tech behemoth for suspected monopolistic behavior.Shares of other Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech firms also declined sizably: Tencent fell 6.65% while Meituan slipped 6.88%. China’s largest chipmaker SMIC also saw its stock in Hong Kong drop 4.2%. …

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Surge in online shopping is straining America’s busiest port, official says

The number of shipments coming through the nation’s busiest container port complex in Los Angeles is up substantially from the first half of the year, reflecting a rebound in business and shift in consumer habits.Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka in an appearance Monday on CNBC said cargo volume is up 50% in the second half of 2020 from what arrived at docks through the first six months of the year, and it’s common for loaded ships to anchor at sea waiting for a dock to open up.”It’s all the change in the American consumer,” Seroka said on ” …

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House passes bill for $2,000 stimulus checks – leaving it up to GOP-controlled Senate

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., September 28, 2020.Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty ImagesThe House voted Monday to increase the second round of federal direct payments to $2,000 as Democrats embrace President Donald Trump’s calls to put more money in Americans’ pockets.The measure would boost the stimulus checks in the year-end coronavirus relief and government funding package to $2,000 from $600. The vote came a day after Trump signed the more than $2 trillion pandemic aid and full-year government spending bill into law.The House passed the payments in a fast-track procedure that needed two-thirds support. The chamber approved the measure in …

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Sara Blakely’s mom on raising 2 successful CEOs: Let your kids be ‘bored’ and ‘figure it out’

Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx, turned just $5,000 into a billion-dollar business after hustling to bring her shapewear brand to market. And according to Blakely, much of her success is due to her upbringing and her mom, Ellen Blakely.In fact, Ellen raised two successful entrepreneurs: Sara, 49, and also Ford Blakely, Sara’s 45-year-old brother, who created messaging platform Zingle, which was acquired by Medallia for $42 million in 2019, according to a company press release.So how did Ellen do it?”It was important for me to give them freedom to explore what they wanted to do with their lives,” Ellen …

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Is a $300 unemployment boost a disincentive to work? Covid relief bill revives anxiety

Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images$600 a weekWhen Congress issued a $600-a-week boost to unemployment benefits in the spring, as part of the CARES Act, the backlash was swift and fierce.The goal of the infusion, coupled with typical state benefits, was to fully replace lost wages for the average worker — almost $1,000 a week. (Typical state benefits generally replace half of lost wages.)But many workers, mostly those with lower pay, earned more while unemployed than at work.Many conservative lawmakers lambasted the policy as a disincentive to return to work. Such a dynamic would hold back the economy …

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Michael Farr says Tesla is too risky a bet for most investors

Tesla’s stock is stupidly expensive. It may go higher and shareholders may be rewarded, or it may languish or fall.There is no law prohibiting stupidly expensive from becoming moronically expensive. Moreover, speculative companies that actually achieve explosive sales and profit growth for a number of years can actually make outlandish valuations seem justified for a time.The problem comes when fantastic expectations disappoint and worried shareholders look down to discover the thinnest of thin air beneath them.Shares of the electric automobile maker were added to the S&P 500 Index last week and struggled. But they are still up …

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ scores highest box office opening of the pandemic, Warner Bros. fast-tracks third film

Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in “Wonder Woman 1984.”Warner Bros.”Wonder Woman 1984” soared into theaters on Christmas day and secured the highest box office opening of any film released domestically since the coronavirus pandemic crippled the entertainment industry in mid-March.On Sunday, Warner Bros. revealed that the film tallied $16.7 million in the U.S. and Canada. “Wonder Woman 1984” was one of the first major Hollywood blockbusters to be released in theaters and on streaming on the same day.The simultaneous release was meant to accommodate for a limited number of open movie theaters, limited seating capacity and a general …

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