Codash Fri, 12 Aug 2022 17:13:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Codash 32 32 Why isn’t China boosting its economy and what does that mean? Fri, 12 Aug 2022 17:13:51 +0000


For much of the past 10-15 years, the Chinese economy has followed a familiar boom-and-bust pattern, although official GDP data has been suspiciously straight.

Central government agencies would flood the market with fiscal and monetary stimulus until activity got too hot, then cut money. Authorities who engage in this financial technique to propel economic growth to a higher target level while always trying to balance the risks in both directions. Why isn’t China stimulating even though the economy is hardly growing even with official data and the market is expecting an upswing?

Even relying solely on official data, the Chinese economy is facing perhaps its most difficult period of this century. Municipal revenues are collapsing, and state revenues are falling by more than 20 to 40 percent in some places. The banks were best off with protests holding back deposits and mortgage holders refusing to pay. As developers grab the headlines, companies across China are facing major debt repayment challenges due to over-indebted balance sheets and shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So why hasn’t China pumped money into the system to boost growth?

People hold banners and chant slogans during a protest at the entrance of a branch of the Chinese central bank in Zhengzhou, central China’s Henan province, on July 10, 2022. (Yang/AP Photo)

Unfortunately we just don’t know. Regulators are saying all the right things about not stimulating — but they’ve said the same thing before and still stimulated the economy by increasing debt to staggering levels over the years. It could be possible that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) policymakers made a change of heart, becoming fiscal conservatives and refusing to stoke the fires of moral hazard for fear of exerting undue pressure to bail out state-owned banks. From regulators to banks, however, these are largely the same people who have been in charge for the past decade. So unless Milton Friedman’s readings are secretly circulating, such a profound change in regulatory philosophy seems unlikely.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has prioritized greater adherence to the party’s central direction and socialist rejuvenation. Is it possible that his policies of capping bankers’ wages, fighting corruption and curbing debt growth are finally paying off? It is possible, but an unsatisfactory answer. We are in the final year of his second term, and these are all strategies Xi has been pushing for years. So why is politics only changing now?

Is it possible that politics are undermining the Chinese economy? With Xi expected to be re-elected to a third term, there have been credible reports of opposition to Xi’s agenda. Curbing the funding that has fueled China’s economic growth since 2008 would be one way to weaken Xi in an election year when the CCP usually floods the economy with stimulus. However, this seems problematic as it would require a high degree of cooperation from many institutions to stand up to Xi given the country-wide problems.

Epoch Times photo
China’s five largest state-owned banks are facing mounting bad debts. (Getty Images)

Neither of these options seems satisfactory. There is one final but very worrying possibility. What if China just ran out of money?

Banks are withholding deposits or capping withdrawals and capital levels, even using official data, scratching the lows of regulatory minimums of around 8 percent. That said, even if the government wanted to provide significant stimulus, there is little evidence that China’s financial sector has the capital to absorb a rapid rise in public debt. Also, given their high level of debt, Chinese households do not have the capacity that now exceeds most OECD countries.

That means the People’s Bank of China would be the only source able to buy government or corporate bonds on the scale needed to absorb a significant Chinese stimulus package. This would pose major problems and force the PBOC to fund the stimulus. There are also demand-side problems given the lack of broad-based demand for additional loans from companies or households. In other words, the banks lack the ready capital to absorb large loans and nobody but the central government seems interested in taking on new debt given the large overhang.

Given its debt-driven economic growth model, this poses problems for China. If growth falls significantly, this poses a large risk of repayment. However, if they do not take on new debt, growth will fall and a death spiral will begin.

When the Japanese economy went through a similar period in the late 1980s, asset prices remained effectively unchanged for 30 years, despite 30 years of stimulus and zero interest rates. China is now hoping for that outcome and not something worse.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Christopher Balding


Christopher Balding was a professor at Fulbright University Vietnam and HSBC Business School at Peking University Graduate School. He specializes in Chinese economy, financial markets and technology. A senior fellow of the Henry Jackson Society, he lived in China and Vietnam for more than a decade before relocating to the United States.

Report: Southern California’s Signature River in danger Thu, 11 Aug 2022 20:58:49 +0000

LOS ANGELES — A new report released today urges decision makers in Ventura and Los Angeles counties to adopt sustainable water management practices for the Santa Clara River, known to the Chumash people as the Utom.

The 2022 State of Utom, issued by the Center for Biological Diversity, identifies the main threats and conservation goals for the 116-mile river, which stretches from the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County to the Pacific Ocean in Ventura County. It is the largest watershed in Southern California and home to more than 110 special status animals and plants. The river is threatened by development, water diversions, and other harmful practices that could decimate habitat for fish such as the unarmoured three-spined stickleback, California red-footed frog, and other sensitive species.

“Southern California is very fortunate to have a gem like Utom, and we have to be careful to preserve it,” said Ileene Anderson, a senior scientist at the center. “Watershed overpumping and invading development could quickly turn this biological hotspot into a faint memory. Luckily we have a roadmap to secure the future of this unique river.”

The report, which outlines key strategies for long-term watershed protection, comes five years after a landmark settlement was achieved at Newhall Ranch, a development along six miles from Utom. Conservation groups such as the Center, the Wishtoyo Foundation, and the California Native Plant Society, along with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, have challenged residential and commercial development for decades. In 2017, an agreement was struck that reduced the project’s footprint, secured infrastructure for solar and electric vehicles, and preserved thousands of acres of wildlife habitat.

Since then, conservation groups have also secured protection for the endangered steelhead at the Vern Freeman Dam, prevented a Los Angeles County construction project from crossing a creek that empties into Utom, and awarded $100,000 in scholarships to undergraduate students brought to life dedicated to protecting the watershed.

Utom or Phantom River was named by the Chumash because its flow of water can come and go like a phantom. To protect the ecological health of the watershed, the report calls for policies that ban development in sensitive areas along the river, reduce groundwater pumping, and encourage regional water recycling and other water conservation strategies.

Montana is seeking more religious exemptions from immunization requirements Thu, 11 Aug 2022 18:10:42 +0000

State health officials want to create a religious exemption from routine vaccinations for children and staff at childcare facilities and children in certain nursing homes.

Under the two proposed Administrative Rules changes, parents, guardians and child caregivers could provide a notarized affidavit stating that vaccination against diseases such as polio, measles and whooping cough violates their religious beliefs or practices. The childcare measure would also remove an existing requirement for unvaccinated children to stay away from a facility if someone there has contracted a disease against which they are not fully immunized.

State regulations for foster families currently state that all children in foster care other than the foster child must be vaccinated against 11 diseases unless a doctor’s exemption is granted. The proposed change would add a religious exemption to the medical exemption.

Officials with the Department of Public Health and Human Services wrote that the proposals are intended to conform to two state laws passed in 2021. Senate Bill 215, also known as the Montana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, prohibits the state from encumbering a person’s right to the exercise of religious freedom. House Bill 702 prohibits discrimination based on a person’s immunization status. Department officials said the childcare change will align with existing K-12 school rules, which already include a religious exception.

A 2013 study found that most religions, including many Christian denominations, have no theological objection to vaccination. Those doing so include Dutch Reformed congregations and a handful of faith healing denominations, while others have restrictions on certain vaccine ingredients.

The childcare proposal says smaller and home-based settings could decide whether to enroll unvaccinated children, but they must have written policies or procedures they can show parents. Centers enrolling 16 or more children would not have this option.

The department is accepting public comments on the measures through September 2 and will hold a public hearing on August 25 for the child care proposal and August 26 for the long-term care measure.

Paula Grassy, ​​whose Helena-based Grassroots Montessori enrolls six preschoolers, said she opposes allowing parents or guardians to refuse vaccination of children attending childcare based on religious beliefs. “Religion should not play a role in health and safety decisions like immunization against serious childhood diseases,” Grassy said.

Cindy Lehnhoff, director of the National Child Care Association, said immunization waivers that are “strongly requested and complied with” can lower a facility’s overall immunization rate and put infants and other under-vaccinated children at greater risk.

“Having worked in licensed childcare for over 40 years, I know that childcare providers will not accept exceptions of any kind that endanger the health and safety of young children,” Lehnhoff said.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom producing in-depth journalism on health issues. Along with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operational programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is a donated non-profit organization that provides information on health issues to the nation.

Improving estimates of microplastic pollution in freshwater Thu, 11 Aug 2022 07:58:03 +0000

Microplastic (MP) pollution is a global problem. Despite this, there is no standard method for determining the MP concentration in rivers, which are the main points of entry of MP into the oceans. This leads to random sampling and inaccurate assessments. Now, researchers from Japan have proposed a method that determines the appropriate number of samples for accurate determination of MP concentration in freshwater. The method could significantly reduce the time and resources required for MP surveys.

The extent of plastic pollution in the form of microplastics (MP) remains largely hidden: plastic particles with a diameter of less than 5 mm. Because plastics are slow to degrade, they break down into tiny particles that eventually contaminate entire ecosystems. In the years since their discovery in the early 1970’s, MPs have become a ubiquitous and global problem. MPs are on land, in the air, in the water, and in the food we eat, especially seafood. This is because freshwater sources such as rivers often carry MPs into the oceans, where they accumulate.

However, despite its prevalence, there is currently no standard method for measuring and quantifying MP concentration in rivers. Plankton nets, originally designed to collect plankton samples, are often used to capture MPs in rivers. To prevent these nets from clogging and to ensure a large sample size, multiple samples are collected from fixed locations along the river and the MP concentration is calculated as the average of all sample results. However, most studies do not account for uncertainties and sampling errors, leading to erroneous assessments of MP concentrations, particularly in relation to the sample amounts required for accurate MP assessments.

Now in a recent study Published in environmental pollutionhave dr Mamoru Tanaka and Professor Yasuo Nihei from Tokyo University of Science together with Associate Professor Tomoya Kataoka from Ehime University in Japan improved the MP concentration estimate by accounting for the variability between estimates from different samples. The variance can help estimate the appropriate number of samples needed for an accurate representation of MP contamination. “For an on-site sampling of microplastics, we proposed a method to determine the appropriate number of iterations in each contamination situation.” says dr Tanaka.

In addition, the variance can provide information about how MPs are distributed in the body of water. For example, if they are evenly distributed in the flow, the between-sample variances would be small. On the other hand, a high variance would indicate an uneven clump distribution.

To assess the variances in MP concentration between samples, the scientists borrowed another method originally intended for zooplankton. “It turns out that the numerical concentration ranges of microplastics in rivers overlap with those of zooplankton,” explains Dr. Tanaka on the similarity in both sampling method and concentration estimates between MPs and zooplankton. According to this method, the between-sample variance is proportional to the average or mean of the concentration estimates.

For the MP concentrations, the team collected 10 samples in plankton nets at two locations along the Ohori River and the Tone-unga (Unga) Canal in Chiba, Japan — two bodies of water that flow through urban areas and contain high concentrations of plastic waste . They identified a total of 1333 MP particles at the sampling points. The average MP concentrations measured in the Ohori at 5.23 particles/m3 and the Unga at 15.22 particles/m3 were higher than the reported average of MPs in Japanese rivers (4.3 particles/m3). In addition, the calculated means and variances at both sites agreed using a simple linear regression. “The variance steadily increased with increasing mean numerical concentrations,” points to dr. to Tanaka. The regression analysis further suggested that the MPs in the rivers do not interact with each other, leading to random particle distributions.

Most importantly, the team found that when MP concentrations are high, two replicate samples are sufficient to accurately measure MP concentrations. “We found that the mean of two replicates retained a reasonable accuracy of less than 30% for conditions with high concentrations greater than 3 particles/m3,” says dr Tanaka.

The problem of MPs has been recognized in recent years and various countries, including Japan, have enacted legislation to ensure better surveillance and control of MPs in the environment. With this in mind, this study could help improve sampling methodology and reduce the time and resources required for MP assessment surveys.

Relation: Tanaka M, Kataoka T, Nihei Y. Variance and precision of microplastic sampling in urban rivers. Vicinity. pollution. 2022;310:119811. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119811

This article was republished from the following materials. Note: The material may have been edited for length and content. For more information, please refer to the given source.

]]> Trident Mortgage ordered to pay more than $22 million for redlining Wed, 10 Aug 2022 17:07:25 +0000

A four-year investigation launched by the Pennsylvania State Attorney General has attracted the support and resources of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to bring places the first-ever redlining application involving a non-bank lender.

On July 27, Trident Mortgage Company was ordered to pay more than $22 million for discriminatory lending patterns in majority-minority neighborhoods in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, including Camden, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware. The application now goes to federal court for approval of the second-largest redlining settlement in Justice Department history.

“This settlement is a stark reminder that redlining is not a problem of a bygone era. Trident’s illegal redlining activity has deprived communities of color of equal access to residential mortgages, deprived them of opportunity to create wealth and devalued properties in their neighborhoods,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Together with our federal and state law enforcement partners laws, we send a powerful message to lenders that they will be held accountable if they violate our fair lending laws.”

Until it stopped accepting mortgage applications in 2021, Trident operated as a noncustodial mortgage company in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, marketing and selling both first mortgage loans and refinancing home loans. From 2015 to 2017, an estimated 80% of Trident’s mortgage applications came from the Philadelphia Metropolitan Statistical Area (known as the Philadelphia MSA) which includes the cities of Philadelphia, Camden and Wilmington, as well as Cecil County, Maryland.

According to the complaint, Trident’s application data revealed that only 12% of its mortgage applications came from majority-minority neighborhoods — even though more than a quarter of Philadelphia’s MSA neighborhoods are majority-minority. Of the mortgage applications Trident received from applicants in majority-minority neighborhoods, most of the applicants were white.

Citing breaches of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Act and the Fair Housing Act, the government investigation revealed a wide range of problematic behavior by the part of Trident. Here are representative examples of this behavior:

• Trident loan officers, assistants and other employees received and distributed emails containing racial slurs and racist content. In addition to using racist tropes and terms, communications sent over work emails included pejorative content specifically related to real estate locations and valuations. The racist content also targeted people living in majority minority neighborhoods.

Of Trident’s 53 different offices in MSA Philadelphia, 51 were in majority-white neighborhoods. The other two offices were in neighborhoods where minority groups made up about half of the population.

A series of Trident direct mail campaigns between 2015 and 2018 depicted only white models and employees and only in majority white neighborhoods.

“Companies [using] their power to discriminate against and deprive individuals of opportunity based on the racial makeup of their neighborhoods is not only unacceptable, it is illegal,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Through our investigation, we allege that hard-working Pennsylvanians have been denied the chance to realize the American Dream simply because of where they live, which, unfortunately, in America is inextricably linked to who they are. .”

To remedy these violations and other loan issues noted in the investigation, Trident, once approved by the Federal Court, would make available several financial resources to assist potential mortgage applicants: $18.4 $2 million loan grant program that would operate in four offices located in majority-minority neighborhoods, a $4 million fine payable to the CFPB victim relief fund, and a $2 million publicity fund for generate mortgage applications in the demarcated areas.

While significant punitive measures may deter some financial institutions from violating equity lending laws, an even greater concern underlies these recent developments. For several years, mortgage lending has been diverted from the big banks to non-bank mortgage companies like Trident.

According to the most recent analysis from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Annual Report and analyzed by, only three of the largest mortgage lenders of 2021 by volume were banks. Last year, the largest bank lender was Wells Fargo, whose 376,000 loans totaled $141 billion. The other two banks in the top 10 were JP Morgan Chase ($112 billion) and Bank of America ($84 billion).

In contrast, the top two mortgage lenders of 2021 by volume were Rocket Mortgage topped the list with $340 billion loaned to fund 1.2 million shows, and United Wholesale Mortgage’s $227 billion which funded 654,000 loans. In addition, these totals represent higher loan increases than the totals recorded the previous year.

“That’s been the general trend since the financial crisis,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate. “Banks have backed off – but not eliminated – originations. Non-banks have more than filled the void as the market has rallied, and larger banks are often buying the management rights, so they’re in the game with less risk and cyclicality on the origination side .

It would be naïve to move fair lending and housing law enforcement into a single financial category. Instead, it behooves consumers, regulators and advocates to all be aware of the many forms and sources of unlawful discrimination. Banks, non-banks and all lenders must be held accountable – whenever and wherever illegal lending occurs.

Charlene Crowell is a senior researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending.

Editorial: Overly optimistic growth estimates will not help Japan’s fiscal health Wed, 10 Aug 2022 08:26:09 +0000

Japan is caught in a spiral of ever-increasing debt, and the Japanese government will not be able to break out of this spiral as long as it continues to rely on unrealistic economic growth forecasts.

The government has released its semi-annual “primary balance” financial estimate, which shows the balance of payments for items such as social security and public works in each fiscal year.

Japan is expected to post a deficit of 40 trillion yen (about US$296 billion) in fiscal 2022 due to measures such as economic support measures during the coronavirus crisis. However, according to the latest estimate of the primary balance, this deficit will shrink rapidly with a sharp increase in tax revenues. It stands by its earlier forecast that Japan’s finances will be back in the black by fiscal 2025.

The reason for the rosy sales growth prospects is the forecast that Japan will continue to record a rapid growth rate of 3% in nominal terms. She expects Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s flagship policy of “new capitalism” to prove fruitful.

However, Japan has not experienced this level of economic growth since the bubble economy of the late 1980s to early 1990s. In addition to accelerating the low birth rate due to the COVID-19 crisis, rising prices have hit the country hard. There are fears that the sluggish economy will continue, let alone growth.

A separate estimate has also been released that puts the growth rate at 0% – closer to reality. In this scenario, Japan will post an annual deficit of 6 trillion yen (about $44.5 billion) or more, far from a primary balance sheet surplus.

However, Prime Minister Kishida has abandoned this 0% growth forecast because he has adopted former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-growth economic policies. The Abe administration embarked on a years-long spending spree that resulted in the budget’s break-even date being pushed back five years. If Japan sticks to optimistic estimates, spending control can only continue to be neglected.

The budget for the next financial year will inevitably be even larger. Policies such as national security, decarbonization, and measures to address the low birth rate have been flagged as “exceptions” in the budget application guidelines, which limit the budget requirements of each department and agency. No overall spending limit has been set either.

In this year’s “Basic Policy on Economic and Tax Administration and Reform,” the government did not set a target date for when Japan should start reporting surpluses. She was unable to resist the demands of the aggressive tax spending camp within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

While spending on areas affecting livelihoods is necessary, it does not mean that financial discipline can be relaxed. The government must ensure that unnecessary, non-urgent public works are eliminated.

Japan’s national and local debt combined is about 1.2 trillion yen (about $8.9 trillion). Unless it runs a budget surplus every fiscal year, reducing the country’s massive debt will remain elusive.

By fiscal 2025, Japan’s baby boomers will all be 75, meaning spending on Social Security will skyrocket. If Japan continues to foot the bill for future generations, it will not be able to cope with its aging society. It is the prime minister’s responsibility to present a convincing path to sound public finances.

]]> Texas lawsuit targets coverage for preventive: gunshots Tue, 09 Aug 2022 09:00:19 +0000

Research shows that increased access to screening and health insurance has led to an increase in colorectal cancer screening, vaccination, use of contraception, and screening for chronic diseases.

Ngampol Thongsai/Getty Images/EyeEm

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Research shows that increased access to screening and health insurance has led to an increase in colorectal cancer screening, vaccination, use of contraception, and screening for chronic diseases.

Ngampol Thongsai/Getty Images/EyeEm

The Affordable Care Act has survived many court challenges, but the case is Kelley vs. Becerra — now before a federal judge in Texas — threatens to undermine one of the law’s most popular provisions, which requires most health plans to cover preventative care with no co-payments.

If the judge rules in the plaintiffs’ favor, access to free birth control, cancer screening, vaccines, PrEP (HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis), alcohol abuse counseling, nutritional counseling for people at increased risk of chronic diseases and many more preventive services would be at risk, according to leading medical groups of the country who sounded the alarm.

“The lawsuit could result in millions of Americans, likely more than 150 million, losing guaranteed access to preventative care,” said Dr. Jack Resneck, president of the American Medical Association, told NPR. “There’s really a lot at stake,” he said.

The physician group cites research showing that the expanded access to screening and coverage pioneered by the ACA has led to an increase in colorectal cancer screening, immunizations, use of contraception and screening for chronic diseases. There is also data showing that expanded coverage has reduced racial and ethnic disparities in screening.

Resneck warns that if the precautionary mandate is reversed in court, that advance could be reversed. Some plans may choose to limit or deny coverage for certain services. Others would require co-payments.

“Reimbursing co-payments and deductibles for these services would actually put many patients off getting them,” says Resnick. He says for people on a tight budget, co-paying for a mammogram or colonoscopy could be a disincentive to skip screening.

Americans have saved billions of dollars in domestic contraceptive spending since the ACA’s preventive services and birth control went into effect. And since the tipping over Roe v. calf, the Biden administration has taken steps to clarify the benefits. “Under the ACA, most private health plans are required to offer birth control and family planning counseling at no additional cost,” according to an HHS press release. (A small percentage of American workers are covered by stock insurance plans that are not required to follow the ACA’s pension rules.)

Plaintiffs in the Texas case argue that the preventive care regulations violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Some refuse to pay for health insurance plans that cover birth control, PrEP medication, or other preventive care services that could violate their religious beliefs. For economic reasons, the plaintiffs object to the fact that the order to cover pension benefits makes insurance cover more expensive.

Plaintiff John Kelley, an orthodontist living in Tarrant County, Texas, “is unwilling to purchase health insurance that includes birth control because his wife is past childbearing age,” the complaint reads. “He does not want or need health insurance that covers Truvada or PrEP medication because neither he nor his family members exhibit HIV-transmitting behaviors,” the complaint continued. “Mr. Kelley is also a Christian” and is unwilling to buy health insurance plans that subsidize certain types of contraceptives or PrEP drugs “that promote homosexual behavior and injecting drug use.”

The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Jonathan Mitchell, known as the key strategist behind the 2021 Texas abortion law, which bans abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy. The America First Legal Foundation, created by former Trump administration official Stephen Miller, is also offering advice.

“The plaintiffs appear to be possibly additionally motivated by the requirement to use contraception and the coverage of services such as PrEP,” said Katie Keith, director of the Health Policy and the Law Initiative at Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute. But she says the lawsuit is far-reaching: “Clearly, this threatens the entire preventive care requirement under the Affordable Care Act.”

One of the plaintiffs’ legal arguments rests on the doctrine of non-delegation, the principle that Congress cannot delegate its legislative powers to other bodies, explains Andrew Twinamatsiko of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health at Georgetown University.

When the ACA was written, Congress authorized several groups to use their expertise to identify evidence-based prevention services. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices helped identify appropriate vaccines, the Prevention Services Task Force reviewed evidence to recommend which procedures and services might be covered, and the Health Resources and Services Administration specified maternal and child health care services and screening .

“Plaintiffs argue that this structure delegates too much decision-making power to the groups without providing sufficient guidance – or what they call ‘understandable principle’ – to exercise their discretion,” explains Twinamatsiko.

Some legal scholars say the argument that Congress did not provide enough specific guidance on what constitutes precaution may stand in court.

“I’ve argued for years that the concept of precaution is very open-ended,” says Josh Blackman, a professor of constitutional law at South Texas College and a research fellow at the Cato Institute. “Courts could respond to that position by saying, ‘Congress: If you’re going to cover something like birth control, you need to be more specific,'” Blackman says.

The case was heard in late July before Judge Reed O’Connor of the US District Court in the Northern District of Texas – the same judge who ruled in 2018 that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional. A decision is expected in the coming weeks.

“I anticipate a fairly sweeping decision that will likely override any preventive care requirements,” says Keith. Legal experts believe the case will be appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and eventually to the US Supreme Court.

Although the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act in previous cases, there is now a new composition of judges. Scholars point to the most recent EPA v West Virginia decision, in which judges questioned the EPA’s authority to act without specific direction from Congress. Georgetown’s Twinamatsuko points to another case, Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Pennsylvania, which also focused on the Affordable Care Act’s preventive services provisions, which required employers to include free birth control in their healthcare plans under Health Resources and Services Administration guidelines. In that case, “Judge Clarence Thomas specifically said that the ACA’s preventive service requirement appears to give HRSA virtually unlimited powers to determine what qualifies as preventive care,” and provided his opinion on what ifs Kelley vs. Becerra comes before the Supreme Court.

Attorneys general in 20 states filed a friend of the court to defend access to free screening. And public health experts have weighed in, too. “It’s really difficult to take away from people what they already have,” says A. Mark Fendrick, a physician who directs the University of Michigan’s Center for Value-Based Insurance Design. “If the preventive mandate were to be abolished, I think a lot of people will not get the preventive care they need.”

Marine Protected Area Ambassador studies impact of microplastics on coral health Mon, 08 Aug 2022 23:26:52 +0000
Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument coral and fish. (Image credit: Greg McFall/NOAA)

In support of dissertation research on the impact of microplastics on coral reef health and resilience, a PhD student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Graduate Program in Marine Biology was awarded a very competitive price NOAA Nancy Foster Fellowship.

Keiko Wilkins‘ Work will help establish a baseline of current conditions of coral microplastic uptake within the three NOAA National Marine Protected Areas in the Pacific Island Region: Papahāumokuākea Marine National Monument, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and the National Marine Sanctuary of American Sāmoa. Her work will also help better understand how different coral species retain plastics and determine potential ecological threats from microplastic-associated chemical contaminants.

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Keiko Wilkins

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a nursing fellow and NOAA Ambassador of the National Marine Sanctuary,” said Wilkins, who has joined the Richmond Lab Kewalo marine laboratory in which School of Marine and Earth Sciences and Technology (SOEST) in the fall of 2020. “Microplastic pollution is not a new concept to most people, but they are often surprised to learn that corals also eat microplastics. As plastic pollution continues to increase in our oceans, we need to better understand how corals are being affected. I look forward to sharing my findings and drawing more attention to microplastic pollution as it affects coral reefs and those who depend on them.”

As part of the grant program, Wilkins will also conduct an outreach project to support the local communities bordering the protected areas. Through a Richmond Lab grant from the Advanced Technological Education Program of the National Science Foundation Partnership for Advanced Marine and Environmental Science Training for Pacific Islanders, she will share her research and analytical methods with faculty and students at five regional community colleges in the Pacific Islands.

“Keiko is an outstanding PhD student who not only conducts extremely important and timely research of value Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and coral reefs worldwide, but as a member of a vastly underrepresented minority in the marine and environmental sciences, it makes an excellent example for others who are interested STEM Careers,” said her supervisor Bob Richmond, Research Professor and Director of the Kewalo Marine Laboratory. “Indeed, she has been active in supporting diversity and inclusivity at the national level STEM areas and has proven to be an excellent mentor and inspiration for other students.”

For more information, see SOEST‘s site.

– By Marcie Grabowski

X-Caliber Capital named one of Fortune’s Best Small Workplaces of 2022 Mon, 08 Aug 2022 17:10:00 +0000

IRVINGTON, NY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–X-Caliber Capital, a national direct commercial real estate lender focused on impact lending, today announced that Fortune has honored the company as one of 2022 Best Small Workplaces in America. This is the first time that X-Caliber Capital has been nominated for this prestigious national award. listing of 100 companies coming to number 48. Winning a place means that X Caliber Capital is one of the best small companies to work for in the country.

The Fortune National Best Workplaces list is highly competitive. Fortune and his partner, Great place to work, publish the list annually. Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, selected the list using rigorous analysis and confidential employee feedback.

What an incredible honor to be recognized nationally,” said Chris Callahan, President and CEO of X-Caliber Capital. “Our team is beyond thrilled to be the recipient of this recognition, and we are more determined than ever to continue to focus on developing our corporate culture as we realize its importance in propelling our corporate success to new heights. new levels. The entire X-Caliber Capital team has worked very hard to ensure that we carefully create the most positive workplace possible, and we are extremely proud of this achievement.

The Best Small Workplaces List and Great Place to Work analyzed survey responses from more than 30,000 employees of Great Place to Work-Certified™ companies with 10 to 99 employees in the United States. In this survey, 100% of X-Caliber Capital employees said the company was a great place to work.

It’s not the size of an organization that makes it great, but how the organization treats its employees,” says Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “The leaders of these companies put their employees first and, in turn, achieve better business results than the average workplace. »

Great Place to Work is the only workplace culture award in America that selects winners based on the fairness with which employees are treated. Companies are evaluated on how well they create a great employee experience that transcends race, gender, age, disability status, or any aspect of employee identity or role.

This is X-Caliber’s second national recognition this year. In January, X-Caliber Capital was nationally certified as a Great Place to Work. In June, the company was named one of Fortune’s Best Places to Work in New York. To learn more about what makes X-Caliber Capital a great culture, check out our Great Place to Work profile here.

About X-Caliber

X-Caliber Capital is a nationally recognized direct commercial mortgage lender and loan servicer. We are an FHA-approved Multi-Family Accelerated Processing (MAP) lender and GNMA-approved MBS issuer, and with our affiliates, we provide bridge, USDA, and C-PACE financing solutions.

We strive to provide our clients and the communities in which we lend with the best financing solutions available to support their business goals, while focusing on some of the nation’s greatest challenges – affordable housing, the environment, care for our elders and rural businesses. By leveraging the country’s most effective private and government programs, we can harness the power of our expertise and practice the values ​​we stand for, to make the world a better place for everyone.

Learn more about X-Caliber at www.x-calibercap.comon LinkedIn and instagram.

About Great Place to Work®

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Sustainability and Circularity Matters – Contact Center Growth Opportunities under the ESG Umbrella – Mon, 08 Aug 2022 10:06:00 +0000

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Added the report “Sustainability and Circularity Matters – Contact Center Growth Opportunities under the ESG Umbrella”. Offer.

This growth opportunity study examines the efforts and actions that solution providers in the contact center industry are taking as part of broader ESG plans. It describes existing ESG efforts and highlights a few vendors that excel in impacting the SDGs.

Sustainability has become a key corporate mission and competitive attribute, driven by demand from customers, investors and employees.

Increasingly, contact center (CC) suppliers are publishing environmental, social and governance (ESG) reports detailing internal progress towards the United Nations Sustainability Design Goals (SDGs) and promoting them to customers and supply chain partners .

This is particularly timely as the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opening to more sustainability goals by accelerating the move to the cloud, remote working and digital transformation.

As an industry, CC solution providers share 4 core SDGs:

  • SDG 3: Good health and well-being

  • SDG 9: Industrial innovation and infrastructure

  • SDG 13: Climate protection

  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

In addition, other SDGs are continuously supported, e.g. B. working on gender equality in a provider’s customers and supply chains (SDG 5) or improving the accessibility of equipment (e.g. agent screens) (SDG 8). Others are being developed by companies in the CC space but include capabilities beyond CC, such as: B. Security practices/portfolios (SDG 16).

Examples include:

  • SDG 5: Gender Equality

  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

  • SDG 10: Reduced inequalities

  • SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities (green buildings)

  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Main topics covered:

1 Strategic imperatives

  • Why is it getting harder and harder to grow?

  • The strategic imperative

  • The Impact of the Top 3 Strategic Imperatives on Sustainability and Circularity in the Contact Center Industry

  • Growth opportunities fuel the growth pipeline engine

2 Background on sustainability and circularity

  • Sustainability and circular economy is a key component of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • The impact of the top 4 SDGs on the contact center industry

3 Growth Opportunity Analysis

  • 2022 CX growth opportunities

  • Great snack

  • Growth Environment for Sustainability and Circularity in Contact Centers

  • Contact Center Sustainability and Circularity – Action Examples

  • Sustainability and CSR

  • growth accelerator

  • growth restrictions

  • Core SDGs for CC providers

  • SDG 3: Health and well-being – software applications

  • SDG 3: Health and Wellbeing – Physical Environment

  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

  • SDG 13: Climate protection

4 companies with SDG impact

  • Vendor Profile – Cisco

  • Vendor Profile – Genesys

  • Vendor Profile – Lumens

  • Vendor Profile – NICE

  • Vendor Profile – NTT Ltd.

5 growth opportunities universe

  • Growth Opportunity 1 – WAH drives innovative technology solutions

  • Growth Opportunity 2 – Circular Economy Business Models

  • Growth Opportunity 3 – New work environment and employee retention tools

6 Appendix

For more information about this report, visit