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thisbody

thisbody Avatar

Location: Fólkvangr
Gender: Male


Posted: May 18, 2022 - 1:48pm

 Lazy8 wrote:

Yes. We should stop applying them to ourselves.


Lazy8

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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: May 18, 2022 - 1:29pm

 thisbody wrote:
Sanctions really work.

Yes. We should stop applying them to ourselves.
thisbody

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Location: Fólkvangr
Gender: Male


Posted: May 18, 2022 - 10:34am

Sanctions really work.


black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: May 18, 2022 - 10:15am

May 18 (Reuters) - The war in Ukraine and drought fuelled by climate change has sent global prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertilizer soaring.

Rising prices for basic food staples is fuelling protests from Indonesia to Iran.

European wheat prices have jumped 74% and benchmark palm oil futures went up 24% since January.

The trend is growing and is alarming policymakers, with United Nations agencies warning that the price hikes will worsen an existing food crisis in Africa and could cause "catastrophic" child malnutrition.

Following are protests in alphabetical order that have erupted over food prices over the past few months.

ARGENTINA: Thousands of farmers protested in Buenos Aires on April 23 against President Alberto Fernandez, whose policies to contain food prices to curb rampant inflation have been criticized by the agricultural sector. CHILE: Thousands of students marched through the Chilean capital Santiago on March 25 demanding higher food stipends.

CYPRUS: Cypriot farmers dumped tonnes of milk and lit bales of hay outside the presidential palace in the capital Nicosia on May 18, in protest at high prices and production issues.

GREECE: Thousands of Greek workers protested in Athens in May Day rallies against surge in energy and food prices. Greece's annual consumer inflation accelerated to 8.9% in March, hitting its highest level in 27 years.

INDONESIA: Indonesian farmers protested in Jakarta on May 17 against rising cost of palm oil export ban. Smallholder farmers' group APKASINDO estimates at least 25% of palm oil mills have stopped buying palm fruit from independent farmers since the ban started, sending the price of palm fruit 70% below a floor price set by regional authorities.

IRAN: Price protests turn political in Iran as rallies spread. The protests began in early May sparked by the government's subsidy cut decision that caused price hikes in Iran by as much as 300% for a variety of flour-based staples. The government also raised prices of some basic goods such as cooking oil and dairy products.

KENYA: Activists held a demonstration on May 17 in Nairobi, asking the government to lower costs of living, especially on food prices.

LEBANON: Lebanese truck and bus drivers and others blocked roads in January to protest against soaring prices. The protesters accuse politicians of failure to address an ongoing economic crisis since 2019.


PERU: Peru deployed army on highways in April in response to road blockades spurred by anger over rising food and fuel prices. Peru is facing its highest inflation rate in a quarter century.

SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of emergency earlier in May, following a day of anti-government strikes and protests over a worsening economic crisis. Sri Lanka's economic crisis, unparalleled since its independence in 1948, has come from the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising oil prices and populist tax cuts by the Rajapaksas.

SUDAN: In March, a protester was shot and killed in the Sudanese city of Madani, medics said, as demonstrators marched across the country to protest a military coup that has been followed by a steep economic downturn. Sudan's currency has lost more than a third of its value since the military coup in October last year, rapidly driving up prices for fuel, food and other goods.

TUNISIA: Tunisia said on May 11 it will raise the prices of some foods including milk, eggs and poultry, following protests by farmers against a jump in animal feed barley prices.




Animal-Farm

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Posted: Mar 27, 2022 - 10:36am

P&O and the Tory Road to Serfdom

March 21, 2022 in Uncategorized by  Murray

What has happened to P&O workers is exactly how deregulated Britain is meant to operate. With British regulations abolished or inoperative and EU regulations void, predatory international capitalists are free to treat workers like property, to be picked up or disposed of at whim, with no consideration at all other than the profit of the company.

Politicians have reacted to the public disgust at the summary sacking of 800 people (disguised as redundancy even though they are to be replaced by cheaper labour), by expressions of disgust, but with no proposals at all to do anything about the particular or the general situation. Nobody has contradicted the statement in the Commons by junior Tory transport minister Robert Courts that “P & O’s finances are a matter for them alone”.

Government ministers, most notably Kwasi Kwarteng, have noted that P&O’s actions are probably illegal, but nobody in government seems to feel the slightest urge to intervene to stop a major company deliberately acting illegally and on a major scale. P&O appears to have calculated that the paltry fines and three month extra salary compensation payouts that may result from illegality are outweighed by the savings it will make. Government fury seems to be confined to the vicious way the redundancies were announced.

DP World treats its British workforce with no more consideration than it treats its Pakistani and Bengali labourers in Dubai, and that fact appears to have rattled Tory ministers. But Tory condemnation has been entirely for the way the redundancies were handled, not for the fact of fire and rehire. The leaked fact we now know, that the government was indeed aware of the redundancies before the P&O staff, rather puts the fake indignation in perspective. That makes it even more unlikely that Johnson did not discuss it in when in Dubai the day before.

But this is all precisely how the system is meant to work. DP World are a major player in the governments Freeports initiative. These are zones where companies, with a hub physically in the Freeport zone and satellites virtually “in” the zone, will be even more exempt from regulation than they will be in the rest of the UK. Plans are already in place to build hostels in the Freeports and bring in workers from Colombia and other sources at £1.40 an hour – exactly the kind of system that operates in the Gulf states.

Employment legislation of course is not the only regulation the Tories are seeking to obliterate. Employment, environmental, child safety, food safety, building standards, there are numerous standards the UK is now ready to revoke or water down as part of the “benefits of Brexit”. The Freeports will be the cutting edge, but across the UK the Tories are planning to allow capitalists to use their muscle with minimal protection for the employee, consumer or taxpayer.

P&O is a sign of the times. That we have no political party in Westminster calling for the nationalisation of P&O reflects the collapse of political diversity in the neo-con UK. The Labour Party has returned to Blair’s policy of acquiescing in all the Tory anti-trade union legislation from Thatcher on. Starmer has come up with an empty slogan about a “new deal for workers’ rights” in response to the P&O debacle. His great new idea appears to be a right to flexible working, which is a very good thing for middle-class mums and I am all for it, but not of much practical help to a ferry worker. To be fair there are some Corbyn remnants in Labour industrial policy, but give Starmer time and there will not be.

There is no salvation to be had from the elite and their stranglehold on the political system and the mainstream media. We have to go back to the basics and build again the notion of horizontal solidarity in society. Liberal philanthropy did once assist the development of a more equal society in the UK, which reached its zenith in the 1970’s, but working class self-organisation, particularly through the union movement, was always essential to societal advance.

We now live in a society where liberal philanthropy is reserved for emoting about distant conflicts or channeled into identity, rather than class, politics. We live in a society where inequality in wealth distribution is returning to nineteenth century levels, but many of those left behind consider themselves too genteel to identify with working people and do anything about it.

I do strongly urge everybody to find out today what union you are eligible to join, and to join it. The paradox is that the unions themselves are so desperate to fit in with the new normal that I myself am excluded from joining a union as a dangerous radical. I have yet again applied to join the NUJ. Their current excuse for keeping me out is that people subscribe to my site and I am therefore not paid per article. This seems to be a rule that Michelle Stanistreet has invented unique to me – John Sweeney, Jonathan Cook, Paul Mason and many others run a subscription model. I remain however determined to join and urge you to join a union too.

The government genuinely is angry about P&O, but not because of what it is doing. Simply the startlingly abrupt way that it has acted has brought a harsh spotlight on the deregulation of the UK and what it entails. British Gas did effectively the same thing more smoothly and with far less publicity.

Jacob Rees Mogg is now tasked with pursuing with gusto a bonfire of rights and protections across the whole sphere of government. If you are a billionaire, great times are coming. If you are anybody else at all, welcome to the world your ancestors struggled out of from the 1830’s on.


Animal-Farm

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Posted: Mar 23, 2022 - 2:25pm

MURKY WATERS

Why a British ferry company has hired Indians at “poverty wages”

By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published March 22, 2022

A 185-year-old British company is paying its new Indian crew peanuts.

After suspending services and firing 800 British workers on March 17, ferry company P&O has been replacing them with cheap labor. On March 20, the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport union (RMT) said two P&O ships on the Liverpool-Dublin route had been crewed with Filipinos being paid a meager $3.47 per hour. It warned that the company’s future replacement staff “will be paid poverty wages.”

The next day, the RMT said P&O ferry crews at Dover had been replaced by Indian seafarers being paid even more dismal wages—$2.38 per hour. The union’s general secretary Mick Lynch called this a “shocking exploitation” of these workers, as well as “another gut-wrenching betrayal” of the sacked UK crew. P&O told BBC News the figure was inaccurate, but did not comment on how much agencies pay workers on ferries.

“These ships of shame must not be allowed to sail. The government has to step in now and take control before it’s too late,” Lynch said. There is fury in the UK over P&O’s substantial pandemic assistance: the company received £10 million in emergency aid, and the government and union supported the furloughing of some 2,500 employees. Now, it is relying on foreign workers at rock bottom wages.

How can P&O get away with paying low wages?

While ethically dubious, what P&O is doing is not entirely illegal. It’s just exploiting loopholes in global shipping.

For one, some of the ferries owned by the London-based company, which has been owned by Dubai royalty for more than 16 years now, are registered in Cyprus. They’re not bound by UK’s minimum wage laws, which stipulate hourly pay of at least £8.91 for workers aged over 23.

Secondly, ships in UK waters operate under treaties where UK law does not always apply. Specifically, ferry services operating between the UK and mainland Europe (including the Republic of Ireland) are considered “to be under innocent passage, and are not affected by UK minimum wage legislation,” the UK government notes.

Indian seafarers’ wages

Typically, an early-career seafarer in India earns about 300,000 rupees ($3,900) annually. Assuming an eight-hour day with one weekly holiday, that’s well under $2 an hour. Abroad, too, they are shortchanged. For instance, where an Asian deck cadet on an oil product tanker is paid around $400 per month, a US deck cadet is fetches $950 for the same job. That $400 also boils down to around $2 with normal working hours. And these figures are even lower when you consider that Asian crews tend to work longer hours.

Many Indian seafarers, grounded by the pandemic and subsequent vaccination asks, have been desperate to get back to work. At home, several of them have been tricked by fraudulent crewing agencies. P&O is a known name, and even helped repatriate Indian crew members when Covid-19 first hit.

That doesn’t absolve P&O of allegedly taking advantage of Indians’ desperation—but it’s not the first company to do so, and it likely won’t be the last.


Animal-Farm

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Posted: Mar 22, 2022 - 2:06pm

Replacements for P&O Ferries crew paid £1.80 an hour, unions say

RMT says agency rates for seafarers are ‘gut-wrenching betrayal’ of 800 sacked British staff

Transport correspondent@GwynTopham Mon 21 Mar 2022 15.05 EDT

    Seafarers from abroad brought in to replace the 800 sacked British P&O Ferries crew are being paid as little as £1.80 an hour, unions have claimed.

    The news emerged as Labour accused the government of doing “absolutely nothing”



    Animal-Farm

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    Posted: Mar 21, 2022 - 10:40pm

    P&O Ferries hire Dover fishing boat to get new agency workers to their ferries as union claim 800 sacked workers have been replaced by '£1.81-an-hour workers from India, Philippines and Ukraine'

    • P&O ferries appalled most of the UK after sacking 800 staff via a Zoom call
    • Claims the company has taken on cheap foreign staff to man the boats
    • Labour MP Karl Turner said they were expected to work mammoth 12-hour shifts
    • RMT union say they earn less than the £8.91 minimum wage, as little as £1.82

    By DAN SALES FOR MAILONLINE

    PUBLISHED: 05:33 EDT, 21 March 2022 | UPDATED: 21:16 EDT, 21 March 2022

    P&O Ferries £1.82-an-hour foreign agency workers from India, the Phillipines and war-hit Ukraine have been pictured being transported to the scandal-hit operators ships in Dover.

    The workers have been brought in to replace 800 sacked staff - with some of the temps living in tents to save cash.

    Labour MP Karl Turner said they were expected to work mammoth 12-hour shifts for eight weeks at a time.


    R_P

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    Posted: Mar 11, 2022 - 10:35am

    Boycotts, Not Bombs: Sanctions Are a Go-To Tactic, With Uneven Results
    Constantinos Syropoulos and Yoto Yotov, trade economists and two of the researchers behind the database, suggested that one factor driving the popularity of sanctions could be a resistance to engaging in military conflict. The United States, for example, has long used sanctions as a foreign policy tool. But it has accelerated their use in the last 20 years, just as support waned for the costly and unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The United States is responsible for the most sanctions cases, accounting for 42 percent of those in place since 1950, according to Drexel’s data. Next is the European Union, with 12 percent, and the United Nations, 7 percent.

    kurtster

    kurtster Avatar

    Location: where fear is not a virtue
    Gender: Male


    Posted: Mar 10, 2022 - 3:44pm

     Steely_D wrote:
     black321 wrote:

    Axios has a story - pointing out that "the US now has more self-storage facilities than McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger Kings, Starbucks and Walmarts combined.

    But the article uses bad science to draw a righteous conclusion: how full are those units? 100%? 20%?
    Heck, one of my goals is to build and own a self storage complex. Easy money: a big piece of land in an unpopulated area, with minimal construction and infrastructure and maintenance.

    But will it fill?
     
    Location, location, location.

    Build it as close as possible to apartment buildings, trailer parks and freeway exits.  You will have customers.

    And figure out the minimum occupancy rate to take care of the monthly nut.
    black321

    black321 Avatar

    Location: An earth without maps
    Gender: Male


    Posted: Mar 10, 2022 - 10:45am

    re 
    No, not scientific, but another symptom of the overstuffing US consumer
    The story said over 50,000 storage facilities, with 11% of US renting a unit...no discussion of vacancy rate.
    Here some data if interested https://www.sparefoot.com/self...
    islander

    islander Avatar

    Location: Seattle
    Gender: Male


    Posted: Mar 10, 2022 - 10:17am

     black321 wrote:

    Axios has a story - pointing out that "the US now has more self-storage facilities than McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger Kings, Starbucks and Walmarts combined.

    The point of the story is that, to put it simply, people are buying too much stuff.

    "We're overstuffed," Axios writes. "And all that stuff often brings a lot more stress than joy … Never in history have so many things been affordable for so many. Never in history has it been easier to swipe a card or click a button, and wait for the Amazon truck to arrive. And never in history have Americans had bigger houses, or storage sheds, to keep it all."

    Anthony Graesch, an anthropologist at Connecticut College who studies why we have so much stuff, tells Axios: "I see the proliferation of self-storage in the United States as the materialization of excessive, unchecked and unsustainable levels of consumption." It is also, he says, a reflection of the fact that many people have "difficulty … easily severing relationships with many of our possessions."

    Of course with inflation at 8%, and the Ukraine war likely to keep it there for months...people will have to cut back on their trinkets. 






    I'm curious (and no, I didn't read the fine article), are they counting individual units that are rented to the end user? or are they counting a public storage location that has 500 individual storage cells?   Not that it matters much, we do have way too much stuff.  I'm trying hard to shift into the mode of  "use things, love people", and meter all my connections on that basis. It helps, but I still find myself keeping stuff because I might use it someday.
    black321

    black321 Avatar

    Location: An earth without maps
    Gender: Male


    Posted: Mar 10, 2022 - 9:37am


    Axios has a story - pointing out that "the US now has more self-storage facilities than McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger Kings, Starbucks and Walmarts combined.

    The point of the story is that, to put it simply, people are buying too much stuff.

    "We're overstuffed," Axios writes. "And all that stuff often brings a lot more stress than joy … Never in history have so many things been affordable for so many. Never in history has it been easier to swipe a card or click a button, and wait for the Amazon truck to arrive. And never in history have Americans had bigger houses, or storage sheds, to keep it all."

    Anthony Graesch, an anthropologist at Connecticut College who studies why we have so much stuff, tells Axios: "I see the proliferation of self-storage in the United States as the materialization of excessive, unchecked and unsustainable levels of consumption." It is also, he says, a reflection of the fact that many people have "difficulty … easily severing relationships with many of our possessions."

    Of course with inflation at 8%, and the Ukraine war likely to keep it there for months...people will have to cut back on their trinkets. 




    Animal-Farm

    Animal-Farm Avatar



    Posted: Mar 9, 2022 - 7:03pm

     geoff_morphini wrote:


    Just a general couple of questions, 1) do you work?  2) are you physically attached to your computer?


    I'm in the laptop class, people work from home nowadays. 

    Mostly I just read a couple blogs like Naked Capitalism, and Zerohedge, and Drudgereport, there is a lot there.
    geoff_morphini

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    Gender: Male


    Posted: Mar 9, 2022 - 6:47pm

     Animal-Farm wrote:

    Barry Diller denies insider trading on Microsoft, Activision deal amid DOJ and SEC investigations

    PUBLISHED WED, MAR 9 202211:41 AM ESTUPDATED 3 HOURS AGODan Mangan@_DANMANGANJulia Boorstin@JBOORSTINWATCH LIVEKEY POINTS
    • Barry Diller strongly denied allegations on Wednesday that he, his stepson and longtime pal and fellow mogul David Geffen engaged in insider trading in their purchases of Activision Blizzard call options.
    • The trades are under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a report.
    • Diller, Geffen and Diller’s stepson, Alex von Furstenberg, together made large bets on Activision stock just days before the video game maker said it had agreed to be bought by Microsoft in a $68.7 billion deal, The Wall Street Journal reported.



    Just a general couple of questions, 1) do you work?  2) are you physically attached to your computer?
    Animal-Farm

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    Posted: Mar 9, 2022 - 5:25pm

    Barry Diller denies insider trading on Microsoft, Activision deal amid DOJ and SEC investigations

    PUBLISHED WED, MAR 9 202211:41 AM ESTUPDATED 3 HOURS AGODan Mangan@_DANMANGANJulia Boorstin@JBOORSTINWATCH LIVEKEY POINTS
    • Barry Diller strongly denied allegations on Wednesday that he, his stepson and longtime pal and fellow mogul David Geffen engaged in insider trading in their purchases of Activision Blizzard call options.
    • The trades are under investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a report.
    • Diller, Geffen and Diller’s stepson, Alex von Furstenberg, together made large bets on Activision stock just days before the video game maker said it had agreed to be bought by Microsoft in a $68.7 billion deal, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    kurtster

    kurtster Avatar

    Location: where fear is not a virtue
    Gender: Male


    Posted: Mar 9, 2022 - 4:33pm

     steeler wrote:
     kurtster wrote:

    What “strength” was projected when Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian subject and Washington Post journalist, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul ? 
    .
    FYT.  Kinda changes the meaning and inference of your question.

    He was residing legally in the US on a O Visa and reportedly had applied for PR.
     
    The O Visa is an employer dependent visa and applies to the fields mentioned below.  I do not see how Khashoggi fits into any of those categories.

    O-1A: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics (not including the arts, motion pictures or television industry)
    O-1B: individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.

    You seem to be trying to go down a rabbit hole with your mention of Khashoggi.  What exactly is your point and how is it relevant ?

     



    R_P

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    Posted: Mar 9, 2022 - 2:52pm

    The ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States, Yousef
    al-Otaiba, said Wednesday that his country would increase oil
    production. The announcement came one day after President Biden said the
    U.S. would no longer buy Russian oil, a move that could lead to higher
    global oil prices because of ongoing market instability during Russia’s
    war in Ukraine. “We favor production increases and will be encouraging
    OPEC to consider higher production levels,” Mr. al-Otaiba said
    Wednesday, referring to a consortium of oil-producing nations. “The UAE
    has been a reliable and responsible supplier of energy to global markets
    for more than 50 years and believes that stability in energy markets is
    critical to the global economy.”


    R_P

    R_P Avatar



    Posted: Mar 9, 2022 - 12:10pm

    Now, both sides face a test of their ability to maintain domestic support for a standoff whose costs will be borne by regular citizens.
    steeler

    steeler Avatar

    Location: Perched on the precipice of the cauldron of truth


    Posted: Mar 9, 2022 - 6:33am

     kurtster wrote:

    What “strength” was projected when Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian subject and Washington Post journalist, was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul ? 
    .
    FYT.  Kinda changes the meaning and inference of your question.

    He was residing legally in the US on a O Visa and reportedly had applied for PR.



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