Year: 2020

Where can Americans vacation internationally right now?

Scott Keyes is used to fielding questions about the best cheap flights around the world, but the queries he’s getting from globetrotters as the coronavirus pandemic continues are more basic.

At the top of the list: Where can Americans travel internationally today?

“People are very curious to know the answer to that,” the founder of travel deals website Scott’s Cheap Fights said. “The answer to that is: not very many places. And the number seems to be going in the wrong direction.”

The good news: several spots in the Caribbean and Mexico are welcoming guests again and drawing U.S. tourists as airlines resume flights and add new ones. United Airlines on Friday said it is adding additional flights to St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Of the few Americans traveling internationally, travel app Hopper says bookings to Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic topped the list in the

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Will next Miami-Dade mayor ask voters to fund climate projects? One candidate says yes

Alex Penelas said Wednesday he would ask voters to approve major projects to protect Miami-Dade from the effects of climate change if he’s elected mayor in 2020, saying the county needs the kind of big spending provided by borrowing against property taxes.

“If we’re going to be bold on these issues, we’ve got to recognize that this is going to cost in the multiples of billions of dollars,” the former county mayor running for the office again said during a candidate forum produced by the Miami Climate Alliance. “We keep kicking these issues down the road.”

Known as bond programs, they can raise billions of dollars from Wall Street for large projects. The debt is paid off by a special property tax dedicated to bond projects.

Borrowing against property taxes must be approved by voters, as happened in 2013 to raise $830 million for the county-owned Jackson hospital system and

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Why We Buy In to the Big Business of Sleep

In a small room without windows, I am instructed to breathe in sync with a colorful bar on a screen in front of me. Six counts in. Six counts out. Electrodes tie me to a machine whirring on the table. My hands and feet are bare, wiped clean and placed atop silver boards. My finger is pinched by an oximeter, my left arm squeezed by a blood-pressure cuff. Across from me, a woman with a high ponytail, scrublike attire and soft eyes smiles encouragingly. She is not a doctor, and this is not a lab. The air smells like lavender and another fruity scent I later learn is cassis. My chair is made of woven reeds, topped with a thick cushion and a pillow for lumbar support. The windowless room feels more cozy than claustrophobic; this is not torture but a luxury. I am, in fact, in a five-star resort

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Russia’s Sberbank Launches Blockchain on Hyperledger, Mulls Stablecoin in 2021

Sberbank, Russia’s biggest consumer bank, is launching a blockchain platform built on Hyperledger Fabric, potentially with its own stablecoin. 

The blockchain system is designed for trade finance transactions, including exchanging letters of credit, the bank’s press representative told CoinDesk Thursday. 

Anatoly Popov, Sberbank’s deputy chair, told the Russian newspaper Vedomosti on Wednesday that the the bank is also planning to launch its own stablecoin pegged to the price of the ruble that could be used to buy digital assets.

Related: Russian Voters’ Data on Sale After Blockchain Poll to Keep Putin in Power: Report

However, Sberbank’s press office told CoinDesk there is no concrete plan for the stablecoin yet. The bank is waiting for a new digital assets law to come into force in January 2021, and after that, will talk to its partners and make the final decision. 

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed the first of two bills on

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What white women in Swing County, Swing State, USA, think of Trump

This story was published in partnership with The 19th, a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom reporting on gender, politics and policy. 

It is no secret to the campaigns of Joe Biden and Donald Trump that the road to the White House runs through places like Michigan’s Macomb County.

It is a swing county in one of a trio of recently reliably Democratic states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin – that shocked Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign by breaking for Trump after backing Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

The county, a suburban and exurban area north of Detroit, is the state’s third-most populous. Eighty percent of its residents are white. Roughly a quarter of adults have college degrees. The median household income in 2018 was about $60,000. Voters there cast ballots at higher rates than the country overall. It is a bellwether that backed the candidate elected president all but three times in the

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If Public Schools Are Closed, Should Private Schools Have to Follow?

St. Andrews Episcopal School, attended by Baron Trump, President Donald Trump's son, in Potomac, Md., on April 29, 2020. (Samuel Corum/The New York Times)
St. Andrews Episcopal School, attended by Baron Trump, President Donald Trump’s son, in Potomac, Md., on April 29, 2020. (Samuel Corum/The New York Times)

Facing a resurgence of the coronavirus, public schools in the suburbs of the nation’s capital decided in recent weeks that more than 1 million children would start the school year from home. On Friday, officials in Maryland’s most populous county said that private schools, including some of the nation’s most elite, had to join them.

Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, abruptly overruled that directive this week, contending that Maryland’s private schools should be allowed to make their own reopening decisions. The governor staked out his position on the same day that a group of parents filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the county’s order, saying it discriminated against private and religious schools.

The wrangling threw into sharp relief the challenges facing local health officials as

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We heard from 600 California state workers in a coronavirus survey. Here are their concerns

Six hundred people responded to a survey The Sacramento Bee posted online two weeks ago asking California state workers how their departments and their unions are doing during the coronavirus.

The results show how deeply the virus is affecting employees tasked with carrying out much of the state’s response to a deadly pandemic. Some workers are stressed out and scared, frustrated and disappointed. Others are proud of department leaders who responded quickly and took their concerns seriously.

Whether they are processing unemployment insurance claims or working double shifts in state prisons and hospitals, workers want clear and regular communication, recognition and understanding from their bosses, and they want to be safe, according to the survey responses.

Workers who gave their departments a 10 out of 10 tended to say their departments were doing well in those areas, while those who rated their departments a 1 out of 10 often mentioned

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eHealth, Brown & Brown, Arthur J. Gallagher and Marsh & McLennan Companies

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 6, 2020 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses Insurance Brokerage, including eHealth, Inc. EHTH, Brown & Brown, Inc. BRO, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. AJG and Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. MMC.

Link: https://www.zacks.com/commentary/1036541/bright-near-term-prospects-for-insurance-brokerage-industry

The Zacks Insurance – Brokerage industry comprises companies that primarily offer insurance and reinsurance products and services. Insurance brokers act on behalf of their clients and offer advice keeping in mind clients’ interests against brokerage fees. Some of these companies are also involved in providing risk management, third-party administration, and managed health care services.

Technavio analysts forecast the global insurance brokerage market to grow by $13.84 billion or at a CAGR of more than 4% during 2020-2024, according to their latest market research report.

Here are the industry’s three major themes:

  • The operational results of the industry players are affected directly by clients’ level of business activity, which in
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How influencers are using Amazon to make money

Kim Pratt
Kim Pratt

Kim Pratt

Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Influencer Dashboard, our weekly rundown on the influencer and creator economy. Sign up for the newsletter here.

Amazon wants to be a major player in the influencer business.

This week, I spoke with a YouTube creator who explained what it’s like to work with the ecommerce giant’s various programs and how she makes money, from affiliate commissions to livestreaming. 

Kim Pratt, who is a skincare influencer and YouTuber, is a member of the Amazon Influencer Program, and for every purchase someone makes through one of her links, she earns a commission ranging from 4% to 10% through the program, she said.

But still, she often doesn’t make much money on that first purchase one of her followers makes, since the products she links to usually range in price from $5 to $20. Her secret weapon on Amazon

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Biden dominates the electoral map, but here’s how the race could tighten

WASHINGTON — When you’re leading a presidential race nationally by double digits, you’re set to exceed 300 electoral votes.

And that’s where we have Joe Biden in our first battleground map of 2020, where the Democrat is ahead in states like Arizona, Florida and Wisconsin, and where the race is essentially tied in Georgia, Iowa and Texas.

Our map— based on public and private polling, as well as conversations with Democratic and Republican strategists watching the race — shows Biden standing at 334 electoral votes, President Trump is at 125 electoral votes, and 79 electoral votes are in the Toss up category.

But an important caveat: This is where the Biden-versus Trump race stands right now, and if/when the contest begins to tighten, we’ll readjust our map. (And see below on exactly how the race can get closer.)

Solid D: California, Delaware, D.C., Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and

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