Insurance

5 Stocks in Focus as Digital Payments Become the New Normal

The coronavirus outbreak could be a game-changer for digital financial services. Low-income households and small firms can benefit at large from advances in mobile money, fintech services, and online banking. Inclusion of digital financial services is expected to boost economic growth.

Technology continues to be the single-most important factor revolutionizing the payments industry. Many countries such as Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, Kuwait, Myanmar, Paraguay and Portugal are supporting this shift with measures such as lowering fee and increasing limits on mobile money transactions.

Although data security and privacy concerns and additional charges on making digital payment have limited the demand for digital payment solutions, the pandemic has become a key catalyst.

Moreover, digital financial services are enabling governments to provide quick and secure financial support to remotely located people and businesses as demonstrated in Namibia, Peru, Zambia, and Uganda amid lockdown. This will help mitigate the economic fallout and potentially strengthen

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Trump Insists That Schools Open, But Teachers Aren’t So Sure

(Bloomberg) —

President Donald Trump has made his position clear: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” he tweeted Monday. As Covid-19 surges in parts of the U.S., many teachers aren’t convinced.

The pandemic’s ever-shifting nature has robbed school districts of the ability to plan with certainty — not only for instruction, but to provide protective equipment and intensive cleaning. Even if a sustained decline in infections allows them to open their doors, many are preparing a mix of in-person and remote education that is certain to fall short of the president’s expectations.

“The reality is that they have to map out several scenarios for the fall with the real possibility that they don’t know what the scenario will be on the first day of school,” said Betheny Gross, associate director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington at Bothell, which has been tracking districts’ responses

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Republicans Want To Make Sure You Can’t Sue Your Boss If You Get Sick

With millions of workers returning to their jobs amid a still-raging coronavirus pandemic, the top Republican priority for the next big coronavirus bill is preventing them from suing their employers if they get sick.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday that his “number one” policy for a bill sometime this month is to block “an epidemic of lawsuits” against businesses, schools and health care providers from employees, customers, students and patients.

“Unless you were grossly negligent or intentionally engaging in harmful conduct, you should be protected from liability during this process,” McConnell said at an event in Kentucky, claiming there has been a surge of lawsuits relating to the pandemic.  

“There’s an army of trial lawyers out there ready to take advantage of the situation,” McConnel said. “We cannot get back to normal if we have an epidemic of lawsuits.”

McConnell’s push to shield businesses from liability claims

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Essential Benefits You Can Receive on Unemployment

The COVID-19 epidemic has taken a booming U.S. economy and ground it to a halt. Within just two weeks, 10 million Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment, dwarfing prior records and pulling the U.S. toward recession. While hopes remain high that the virus can be slowed or stopped and the economy can get back on track, millions of workers need assistance now. If you find yourself in this position, the recent $2 trillion CARES Act may provide some relief. Here’s a list of already-existing benefits that may help you if you find yourself unemployed, in addition to more benefits brought about by the CARES Act.

Last updated: April 12, 2020

1. Unemployment Checks

Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides weekly checks to qualifying workers. You’ll be paid a percentage of your weekly income over the prior 52 weeks. Most states limit the duration of unemployment benefits to

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GOP Congressman’s Argument Against Mandated Masks, Vaccinations Goes Awry

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) got schooled on Twitter after he argued against mandated face masks and compulsory vaccinations aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus:

Many tweeters reminded Massie of President George Washington’s decision to inoculate the Continental Army against smallpox.

Others called out the GOP congressman for appearing to rail against wearing masks, which public health experts worldwide have said is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to curb COVID-19.

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Has a mini-break in Paris lost its allure? I took the Eurostar on Monday to find out

Paris has reopened to tourists, but the experience is rather different - getty
Paris has reopened to tourists, but the experience is rather different – getty

Checking into my hotel after arriving in Paris by Eurostar, I reacquaint myself with a passion shared with one of the City of Light’s most famous luminaries. ‘He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo. Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic. Nothing is more sublime,’ wrote Victor Hugo. 

It was fantastic to be in Paris even if nothing had felt more tragic than the endless shilly-shallying over air bridges and the compilation of quarantine-exempt countries which had more ins and outs than the hokey-cokey. 

As expected, the guillotine has fallen on travel restrictions. The Foreign Office dropped its warning for trips to France on July 4, and quarantine measures will not be enforced on either side of La Manche from July 10. 

In normal years I make several journeys to Paris by

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Trump Insists Schools Must Open, But Teachers Aren’t So Sure

(Bloomberg) —

President Donald Trump has made his position clear: “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” he tweeted Monday. As Covid-19 surges in parts of the U.S., many teachers aren’t convinced.

The pandemic’s ever-shifting nature has robbed school districts of the ability to plan with certainty — not only for instruction, but to provide protective equipment and intensive cleaning. Even if a sustained decline in infections allows them to open their doors, many are preparing a mix of in-person and remote education that is certain to fall short of the president’s expectations.

“The reality is that they have to map out several scenarios for the fall with the real possibility that they don’t know what the scenario will be on the first day of school,” said Bethany Gross, associate director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington at Bothell, which has been tracking districts’ responses

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I Got A Medical Tourist Visa To Give Birth In Another Country

The three of us at our temporary home in Bangkok just a few days after my daughter's birth. (Photo: Photo Courtesy of Elen Turner)
The three of us at our temporary home in Bangkok just a few days after my daughter’s birth. (Photo: Photo Courtesy of Elen Turner)

The phrase “medical tourism” might make you think of getting dental surgery in Mexico or plastic surgery in the Dominican Republic, where the procedures are cheaper than at home. Traveling abroad to give birth? Probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s exactly what I did.

Three years ago, armed with a medical tourist visa and a letter of clearance to fly from my doctor, I traveled from my home in Kathmandu, Nepal, to Bangkok at 36 weeks pregnant, to give birth.

Unlike some medical tourists, I wasn’t flying to another country to save money or to get an elective procedure unavailable at home. I chose to give birth in Thailand because, given my circumstances, it was the safest option.

I had been

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Novavax Vaccine Funding; Europe Sees Deeper Slump: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Novavax Inc. was awarded $1.6 billion in U.S. funding to support large-scale manufacturing of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. Any vaccine would likely be limited in how long it can shield against infection, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned.

European officials expect a deeper economic slump than previously estimated this year, underscoring the challenge faced by the continent after months-long shutdowns. The pace of new infections from Tokyo to Iran and Australia is raising concerns about another virus wave. U.S. cases are approaching 3 million.

Melbourne will be locked down for six weeks after new cases in the Australian state of Victoria jumped by 191, the biggest daily increase since the outbreak began. In contrast, Beijing reported no new infections for the first time in nearly a month.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 11.5 million; deaths exceed 537,000Beijing reported no cases. Here’s how the city turned

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GOP Congressman’s Argument Against Mandated Mask Wearing, Vaccinations Goes Awry

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) got schooled on Twitter over this tweet arguing against the mandated wearing of face masks and compulsory vaccinations aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus:

Many tweeters reminded Massie of George Washington’s decision to vaccinate the Continental Army against smallpox.

Others called out the GOP congressman for appearing to rail against wearing masks, which public health experts worldwide have said is a cheap and easy way to curb COVID-19.

Read More