Day: July 10, 2020

How bogus accounts boosted Roger Stone, the Proud Boys, Big Sugar

Days after Facebook removed personal accounts associated with Trump associate Roger Stone, the longtime political provocateur vowed Friday to take “appropriate legal action.”

Facebook announced in a technical blog on Wednesday it had removed 54 Facebook accounts, 50 pages and four Instagram accounts that were involved as a network in what’s called coordinated inauthentic behavior.

Several of these had links to Proud Boys, an alt-right organization banned by Facebook as a hate group in 2018. The account owners and page administrators posted about Florida politics and quite a bit about Stone and his websites, books and media appearances.

As a result, the social media company took down the accounts of Stone, a South Florida resident, and an associate Jacob Engels, who runs the online entity Central Florida Post.

The timing of Facebook’s monthly blog was coincidental, but Stone has been very much in the news of late. His supporters have

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Reparations for Black people in this North Carolina city could be coming. Here’s how

Six years ago, North Carolina set aside $10 million in reparations to compensate victims of a state eugenics program that forcibly sterilized more than 7,000 people well into the 1970s — many of whom were Black.

Now one city is weighing a different set of reparations.

Asheville City Council in western North Carolina is set to vote on a resolution next week that supports community reparations for Black residents, according to an agenda for the July 14 meeting published online.

“Black People have been unjustly enslaved,” the resolution states.

The city of Asheville “apologizes and makes amends for its participation in and sanctioning of the enslavement of Black people,” “for its enforcement of segregation and its accompanying discriminatory practices” and “for carrying out an urban renewal program that destroyed multiple, successful Black communities,” it continues.

The Memorial Day death of 46-year-old George Floyd, a Black man, while in police custody

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Pinellas Releases Draft Back-To-School Plan, Mandates Masks

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL — Along with #2 pencils and three-ring binders, Pinellas County public school students can add face masks to their lists of back-to-school supplies.

Pinellas County Schools has released a draft of its reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year in which it announced that masks will be a required accessory for all students, teachers and staff on school campus when the new school year begins Aug. 10.

The Pinellas County School Board will discuss the plan in greater detail at a virtual workshop July 14 with a special called meeting afterward the workshop.

According to the draft reopening plan, masks must be worn by all students from the time they step on the school bus each morning until they get off the school bus that afternoon.

To minimize contact between students, students will get on the school buses from the back emergency door and head to the

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‘Bank’ offering 6% called Loan Doctor sued for allegedly trading ‘insured’ deposits in stock market

Last November, a company called Loan Doctor Financial launched an online CD account called a “Healthcare Finance Savings CD Account” that claimed to pay interest rates of 6%. With the deposits, the company, which the CFPB says called itself a “commercial bank,” would purportedly make loans to medical professionals, which it said represented a low credit risk. The company denies that it called itself a “commercial bank.”

With the very best rates of the online banks (Marcus, Ally, Synchrony) paying around 2% APY, the numbers stuck out because they were pitched as an almost risk-free investment with returns rivaling the stock market’s.

But this week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed suit against the company and its CEO Dr. Edgar Radjabli for “deceptive acts and practices in marketing a savings CD account.”

Among the practices the CFPB alleges: taking money from people who thought it was going to insured cash-equivalent

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‘I left Smile Bank today due to the ongoing outage’

Smile Bank customers have been unable to access their online banking accounts for five days in a row.

The online-only bank, owned by Co-Operative Bank, said it was working urgently to resolve the problem.

But the latest service outage proved to be the “last straw” for longtime customer Emma Hopkinson-Spark.

After 16 years, she left Smile Bank on Friday after she was unable to view a crucial re-mortgage payment.

“I’m really disappointed in Smile Bank,” Ms Hopkinson-Spark, chief of staff at a tech consultancy business in Weston-super-Mare, told the BBC. “The outages this week were the tipping point.”

Ms Hopkinson-Spark said she had not been able to access her online banking account for several days. Although she can still withdraw money from cash machines and pay for items using her debit card, she cannot send payments or view her payments.

“Yesterday my husband rang me in a flap saying he

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Coronavirus puppy scams come with ‘red flags,’ expert says: Illegal Tender podcast

This is the third and final part of Yahoo Finance’s Illegal Tender podcast about the puppy crimes of quarantine and online puppy scams. Listen to the series here.

Many dog owners will look back at the coronavirus lockdown and self-quarantine as the start of their puppy journey.

This season of “Illegal Tender” explores the world of online puppy scams through conversations with two victims and one industry watchdog.

This episode, concluding the season, is a conversation with Josh Kreinberg, chief administrative officer and general counsel at PuppySpot. Kreinberg is a dog owner and dog lover who’s dedicated his professional life to working for a company that places dogs with forever homes. 

Through his work at PuppySpot, Kreinberg is an expert when it comes to identifying online puppy scams and how would-be dog owners can protect themselves from becoming victims.  

The desire to welcome a new dog into your world might … Read More

Christian groups oppose ICE rule on international students

Leaders of 12 Christian organizations on Friday urged the Trump administration to rescind a policy requiring international students to leave the U.S. or transfer if their colleges hold classes entirely online this fall, saying it “falls short of American ideals.”

In a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, shared with The Associated Press, the leaders wrote that the policy “robs our country of the significant contribution” international students make to their colleges on both a personal and economic level. It “lacks compassion” and “violates tenets of our faith,” the letter continued, citing specific Biblical passages.

“International students who have already arrived in the United States and who are enrolled in degree programs should be allowed to complete their courses of study in this country without further disruption,” the leaders said. “This is reasonable, compassionate, and consistent with our national interests.”

Among the signatories are National Association of

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Bear of the Day: Square (SQ)

Square (SQ) is a mad genius-level disruptive technology platform that just launched over 100% in Q2 because so many valuation-focused sell-side analysts and short-sighted hedge funds kept it below $75 for so long.

 

And as of July 9, the stock just tagged the moon above $133, for over 25% gains this month alone. Apparently (some of) the blind have begun to see.

 

Meanwhile, UBS and BofA offered downgrades to “Sell” and “Underperform” in May after the company’s latest quarterly report when shares had just gotten back above $70.

 

And I think yesterday, a Cowen analyst made a much more timely downgrade after SQ’s “200% rally” from the Coronavirus Crash lows. Lowering their rating to Market Perform from Outperform, they also thought they should raise their price target from $79 to something a little more respectable like $119.

 

Obviously I have a personal story here.

 

In the first quarter of 2018,

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During Coronavirus, Investment Money Floods Into Wellness

Click here to read the full article.

The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on a lot of things, but wellness M&A is not one of them.

Consumer interest in being healthy has never been higher, experts agree, and during the COVID-19 pandemic that has translated into higher sales in categories like supplements, at-home fitness and self-care. Deals have followed, with Lululemon paying $500 million for Mirror, an interactive at-home fitness service, Grove Collaborative acquiring Sundaily, a gummy supplement brand centered around skin health, and Nestlé Health Science agreeing to buy a majority stake in Vital Proteins, which makes collagen supplements, beverages and food products.

“Wellness has become the number-one priority for consumers through COVID-19, and likely to remain the top priority for consumers after COVID-19,” said William S. Hood, founder and chief executive officer of William Hood & Co., an investment bank that specializes in the supplements space.

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After an online offseason, Bears face a new batch of complications as they prepare for training camp

CHICAGO — When Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano packed up his office at Halas Hall in March, he had no idea he would spend the next four months figuring out how to run a defense from his computer at home.

Like most of the rest of the world, the coronavirus pandemic forced Bears coaches to adapt to an online environment, connecting with and teaching their players from afar. Pagano will return to team facilities in late July with a new set of digital capabilities.

“From a tech standpoint, I’m off the charts for a guy that’s going to be 60 in October,” Pagano said. “I feel like I’m way more tech savvy than I’ve ever been.”

Now, as Matt Nagy, Pagano and the rest of the Bears coaches prepare for a training camp unlike any they’ve held before, adaptability still will be key.

A whole new batch of complications

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