Scammers seek trust of voters, not votes | Politics

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The email from a political action committee seemed harmless: If you support Joe Biden, it urged, click here to make sure you’re registered to vote.

But Harvard University graduate student Maya James did not click. Instead, she Googled the name of the soliciting PAC. It didn’t exist – a clue the email was a phishing scam from swindlers trying to exploit the presidential election as a way to steal peoples’ personal information.

“There was not a trace of them,” James, 22, said. “It was a very inconspicuous email, but I noticed it used very emotional language, and that set off alarm bells.” She deleted the message, but related her experience on social media to warn others.

American voters face an especially pivotal, polarized election this year, and scammers here and abroad are taking notice – posing as fundraisers and pollsters, impersonating candidates and campaigns, and launching fake

Read More

Fed up with Vouvray’s sweetish, blandish wines? Seek out its new-wave dry whites instead

Vouvray in the Loire is a wine region with a split personality. In France it is famous as a producer of sharply refreshing sparkling wine, and with good reason. About 60 per cent of the wine made in Vouvray is sparkling and most of that stays in France, although Yapp imports one if you are interested in trying it (Jean-Claude & Didier Aubert Vouvray Mousseux Brut, £16.50) and Les Caves de Pyrène has another (Domaine Champalou, Vouvray Brut, £19.60).

In Britain, by contrast, vouvray is known only as a still wine. Again, that’s not a surprise when you look at the region’s export figures: some 10 per cent of its sparkling wines make it out of France, while around two-thirds of its still ones do.

The image problem goes further; what sort of still wine do you think of when you think of vouvray? The one I encounter most often

Read More

Israeli Businesses Seek Workarounds as Covid-19 Lockdown Hits Their Bottom Lines

TEL AVIV—Israel’s second national lockdown is fraying as businesses buck operating restrictions and Israelis grow desperate to secure their livelihoods while the government assesses whether to extend an unpopular shutdown.

A shoe-store owner in Tel Aviv became a symbol of the growing frustration earlier this week when a video clip of him tossing his stock into the street for people to cart away went viral. “I thought that if I can’t make money, at least I can give to others,” Avi Samay, a father of three, told Israel’s Army Radio. “I’m ready to pass out newspapers or clean up trash, whatever it is, as long as I can make a living.”

Israel’s central bank estimates the country’s second lockdown—one of the few in the world so far—is costing the economy more than $2 billion a week. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government amassed a two-year 140 billion shekel, equivalent to $41

Read More

2 local students seek to make a difference by creating a free online tutoring site

Two Northeast high school students wanted to make a difference for other students struggling to learn in this new age of online classwork. Chantelle Faria and Molly McCaffrey joined their talents and created Youth Enlightened, a free tutoring website for students to get the help they need.

The two teens joined Alex Holley and Thomas Drayton on Good Day to chat about their website and the drive behind its formation.

“We chose to start this because we really just wanted to help. We thought that a virtual service would really help to provide an extra set of help for students who are also struggling, specifically younger students,” Molly said.

The two girls are running the service while also

Read More

More seniors to seek online help

A senior signing up for Medicare.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Open enrollment season for Medicare enrollees can sometimes be overwhelming because of the wide variety of choices.

The average senior will have 47 different health plans to choose from for 2021, according to the Trump administration, up 20% from last year. 

In most years, the majority of seniors turn to independent brokers and insurance agents for help trying to figure out which plan will work best for them. 

“In our focus groups, people said it’s kind of nice to have an agent who can walk you through the options and steer you toward a certain plan,” said Tricia Neuman, executive director of the Kaiser Family Foundation program on Medicare policy. But, she adds, “it’s much harder this year just because people are mostly home.”

With Covid-19 cases rising across the country, seniors are reluctant to seek help in person

Read More

If you can’t bill ’em – Mastercard and Visa seek to get the most out of the digital-payments boom | Finance & economics

THE GREATEST accolade a payment system can aspire to is to be forgotten about. “People don’t want to make payments,” says Diana Layfield, an executive on Google’s payments team. “They want to do what a payment facilitates.” The industry’s biggest battles therefore often happen in the shadows. The latest struggle, which sees card networks, tech firms and governments vie to control the virtual pipes along which digital money flows, is no exception. Recent manoeuvres by governments, card networks and even SWIFT, the main interbank messaging service for cross-border payments, show how the battle lines are shifting.

An electronic-payment system used to resemble a postal service for money. Many countries have a low-cost, national payment network, mandated by the government, that transfers funds between banks. Like post, the money could take days to arrive; tracking it was tricky. So automated clearing-houses (ACH), as the

Read More

Polish retailers seek eastern promise closer to home as coronavirus bites

By Anna Koper and Michael Kahn

WARSAW/PRAGUE (Reuters) – Poland’s big clothing and footwear retailers LPP <LPPP.WA> and CCC <CCCP.WA> are switching focus back to eastern Europe, sizing opportunities to add brick-and-mortar stores as international rivals concentrate on online sales during the pandemic.

LPP – eastern Europe’s answer to H&M <HMb.ST> and Inditex’s <ITX.MC> Zara – has expressed ambitions to emulate its two rivals as a top five global fashion brand.

Those plans have stalled as the pandemic has hit consumer spending, but with eastern Europe weathering the crisis better than Western economies, the retailer sees better prospects in its home region.

“Our approach to expansion has changed due to the epidemic,” LPP’s Deputy Chief Executive Przemyslaw Lutkiewicz told Reuters. “We hope that from the next year we will return to the expansion of new stores, but mainly in the eastern markets.”

LPP’s push comes as some big Western brands

Read More

Public colleges hide donors who seek to influence students. Will COVID-19 make it worse?

Long before the coronavirus hit the United States, cash-strapped public higher education systems looked to private donors to offset the steady decline in public funding, sometimes with significant secrecy and strings attached.

Critics fear the economic downturn could give donors more leverage to quietly influence curriculum, hiring and scholarships. Open government laws in many states already allow donors to demand that the public – including students and faculty – be kept in the dark.

The pandemic has presented universities a triple whammy: Reduced tax revenues slashing government support, online-only courses gutting dormitory and cafeteria revenues, and – with more students and families out of work – less ability to offset that loss with tuition increases.

“They are going to be desperate for funding,” said Douglas Beets, who teaches accounting at Wake Forest University, and has studied nearly two decades of university donations and donor demands.

Linda Durant, vice president of

Read More

Argentina creditors seek global support for bond clause changes

By Rodrigo Campos and Tom Arnold

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – A group of Argentina’s creditors has contacted the Institute of International Finance and other global bodies for support to amend legal clauses in its sovereign bond restructuring, a spokesman for the organisation said.

Buenos Aires is trying to clinch a deal to restructure around $65 billion in foreign debt by Tuesday, though it is likely to push that deadline back after bondholders grouped behind a counter-proposal, causing an impasse in talks.

Specific details of what creditors are seeking the support of the organisations on was unclear.

But collective action clauses (CACs), which determine the requirements for any future changes made to the bond agreements, are a key issue in the negotiations.

The bondholders, including BlackRock, Ashmore and Fidelity Management and Research, also made informal contact with the International Monetary Fund, U.S. Treasury and the International Capital Market Association, a creditor

Read More

Argentina Creditors Seek Foreign Backing on Debt Clauses

(Bloomberg) — Argentina’s creditors have approached several international organizations to seek endorsement for a proposal to change the rules that govern some of the country’s overseas securities, according to people familiar with the matter.

The International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Treasury, the International Capital Market Association and the Institute of International Finance are among the organizations that have been informally approached by bondholders, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.

While the groups have no formal say over how bond contracts are worded, the idea is that their buy-in would give Economy Minister Martin Guzman political cover to accept the changes, which bolster creditors’ rights by closing legal loopholes for Argentine bonds issued in 2016 and later. The changes to the indentures is a key point of negotiation in the final stretch of talks between Argentina’s government and major creditors including Blackrock Inc., Ashmore

Read More