Stocks post fourth straight monthly gain as tech shares surge

Laveta Brigham

Stocks closed out Friday’s trading session and July on a high note, with the Nasdaq outperforming after a slew of better than expected corporate earnings results from major tech firms like Facebook and Apple, which both posted record closing highs.

Friday’s session marked the last of July, with each of the three major indices closing out a fourth straight month of gains. The S&P 500 rose about 5%, the Dow increased 2% and the Nasdaq outperformed, rising more than 6.5% on the month.

Tech titans Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), and Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), each reported quarterly results that blew past estimates Thursday evening, affirming their pandemic-era dominance that’s helped feed a steep run-up in tech stocks over the past couple months.

Facebook grew its revenue 11% over last year as its advertising business remained resilient despite the pandemic-related slowdown across the broader ad industry. The platform’s daily active

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How to Find an Accredited College Online (and Avoid the Scams)

Laveta Brigham

There are many college options out there, and one of them includes online schooling. But if you’re looking to get a remote degree, it’s important to know how to find an accredited college online.

Many traditional universities offer online-only programs along with on-campus learning, and some colleges are mostly or even 100% online. And while lesser-known online college programs can get a bad rap, there are good programs out there that don’t have marquee names. However, it’s important to avoid the poor programs and scams that do exist.

Here are four things to know as search for the right accredited online college for you.

How accreditation works for online collegesHow to find an accredited college online9 red flags of a shady online schoolA final word of caution about online collegesHow does accreditation for online colleges work?

In order for an online college — or any college — to become accredited,

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What is ‘Blackfishing’? Here’s why a Black publication was criticized after employing a white dating columnist

Laveta Brigham

Some critics have accused a white writer of "blackfishing." Here's what that means. (Illustration: Getty Images)
Some critics have accused a white writer of “blackfishing.” Here’s what that means. (Illustration: Getty Images)

MadameNoire, a self-described “space for the unapologetic black woman,” is sticking with its mission in a new way this week — by refusing to apologize to angry readers who accuse the publication of “digital blackface” and “blackfishing,” after discovering that one of its top dating columnists is a white woman.

“She’s in digital blackface because she always uses stock photos featuring Black women/families/couples and uses ‘sis’ and the inclusive ‘we’ as if she’s a Black woman,” blasted one Facebook user about the writer, Julia Austin. “In addition, she’s been a content contributor mostly for ‘Black’ platforms including Black America Web, NewsOne and a plethora of Black radio stations.” Others echoed the criticism online: “This woman has literally hundreds of articles she wrote for MadameNoire and in a lot of them she speaks on

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Edited Transcript of TC.OQ earnings conference call or presentation 2-Jul-20 12:00pm GMT

Laveta Brigham

Jul 31, 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) — Edited Transcript of TuanChe Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 12:00:00pm GMT

Good morning, and good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by, and welcome to TuanChe Limited First Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions)

Today’s conference call is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference call over to your host today, Ms. Cynthia Tan, IR Director of the company. Please go ahead, ma’am.

Thank you, and hello, everyone. Welcome to TuanChe First Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call. We have released our earnings results earlier today, and it is now available on our IR website as well as on newswire services. Before we continue, please note that the discussion today will contain forward-looking statements made under the safe harbor provision of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve … Read More

Looking to travel outside the US? These places are open to Americans

Laveta Brigham

It can be difficult to imagine traveling during a global pandemic that has racked up more than 17 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, worldwide and has caused many countries and states to close their borders to international travel. But as of July 30, the Transportation Security Administration reported that 718,310 people took flights, a drastic increase from the March 30 travel number of 154,695.

Where once the United States passport granted citizens the ability to travel almost anywhere, now only some countries and territories are allowing Americans across their borders. The U.S. largely falls into a “hot spot” category and is barred for its inability to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Just yesterday, the European Union extended its travel ban on Americans. According to the Henley Passport Index, which ranks the world’s most powerful passports, the U.S., which used to fall in the

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As Maryland public schools go online this fall, private and parochial schools ready to welcome students on campus

Laveta Brigham

As Maryland’s public schools announced their decisions to keep their doors closed at least for the beginning of the school year, private schools have done just the reverse — arguing they have the ability to give families the in-person classes they want while keeping students safe.

Because of their small size, some experts say private and Catholic schools, are better able to make quick adjustments to their curriculum and often have more physical space to spread students out. But financial forces and teachers unions are also shaping public and private school decisions.

“The driver has been meeting the needs of our students,” said Donna Hargens, the superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Baltimore Archdiocese. “The interpersonal interaction is essential to the learning process and we know that some of our students struggled with remote learning especially those with learning needs.”

Public schools, meanwhile, often have to cope with tightly-packed classrooms

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Online travel agents claim they can send holidaymakers to Spain against Foreign Office advice

Laveta Brigham

People enjoy Magaluf beach in Mallorca. Britons are surprised at the abrupt announcement to impose a two-week quarantine on people travelling to the UK from Spain: Reuters
People enjoy Magaluf beach in Mallorca. Britons are surprised at the abrupt announcement to impose a two-week quarantine on people travelling to the UK from Spain: Reuters

Go on holiday against Foreign Office advice or lose some of your cash: that is the response of a leading online travel agent to the sudden government warning against travel to Spain.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s mainstream travel industry shared a common convention: package holidaymakers should not be taken to a country against Foreign Office advice.

Standard travel insurance policies have a clause saying they do not apply if the holidaymaker goes to a country against official advice.

Once an FCO warning is issued, traditionally the only room for discussion is: should British holidaymakers be fly home immediately?

But since the unexpected warning on 25 July 2020 against travel to mainland Spain, followed two days later by the Spanish islands, with mandatory

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As extra benefits expire, some unemployed Americans are waiting for their first check

Laveta Brigham

The extra $600 a week that unemployed Americans have been receiving in benefits amid the coronavirus pandemic is ending as Congress struggles to find common ground on key issues.

And while Democrats, Republicans, and the White House negotiate, unemployed Americans will rely solely on state unemployment checks until any deal is reachedsand as they wait for the job market to recover.

But some Americans still haven’t received their first unemployment check since the pandemic began.

A man wears a protective face mask decorated with a question mark in lower Manhattan during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York, U.S., May 22, 2020. (Photo: Getty Images)

Leo Gertner, a lawyer who represents employees in the entertainment industry in New York City, filed for unemployment on March 2 and still hasn’t gotten a check.

“Twice I received letters asking for more information — the first one asked for

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What It’s Like Running Your Own Business

Laveta Brigham

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to own your own food business? Whether you see yourself working in a restaurant, serving up tasty street food from a food truck, or catering weddings as a side-hustle, all food businesses take an immense amount of time and dedication. Here’s some words of advice from three Vermont women making their culinary dreams a reality.

Meet Our Interviewees!

Chelle Hall is the owner of Buku VT, a pop-up company that prepares and sells bento boxes in the Stowe and Burlington areas. Her Japanese heritage and creativity inspired her to bring novel Japanese foods to Vermonters. Hall opened her business two months ago and plans to expand to more locations within the coming months.

Janina Kotulich is the owner of Red Poppy Cakery in Burlington, VT. She opened the bakery in April 2019 after moving to Vermont from Connecticut in 2017. She designs a

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Infection growth slows in California, but deaths surge

Laveta Brigham

California overall is not experiencing the same alarming surge in COVID-19 infections as it did in late June and early July, but record-breaking death tolls reported this week underscore the continued seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.

California set a new record Wednesday when it reported its highest COVID-19 death toll in a single day with 197 dead. On Thursday, the state reported another 194 deaths, the second highest single-day coronavirus death toll thus far.

Deaths have dramatically increased from the flat-line levels in May and June: As of Thursday, an average of 112 people died from the virus in California every day over the last two weeks. Two weeks ago, about 84 people died every day on average over a two-week period.

Some of those deaths, however, may have occurred several days or weeks ago because of the verification process used by local health officials.

In the last week, California

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