9 ways to make your own stimulus check (and forget Congress)

Laveta Brigham

For a while there, it was looking pretty certain that Americans were going to get another round of those $1,200 coronavirus “stimulus checks.”

Democrats, Republicans and the White House all said they wanted to give out more money to relieve financial pain and stimulate the economy, and the U.S. House voted in May to provide fresh payments. But stimulus money was missing from a COVID-19 relief bill that was just introduced in the Senate — and promptly died.

If you could use another $1,200 right now, why wait around while Washington plays the usual games? Here’s a better game: look around and find your own sources of cash, to give yourself a stimulus check. Check out these nine ways to create one on your own.

1. Curb your car insurance costs

ADragan / Shutterstock

If you’re like most people, your car insurance is due every six months. It’s very

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HSBC Life, AIA, BOC Life among Hong Kong insurers expanding online sales channels, medical products as pandemic causes worst slump on record

Laveta Brigham

Hong Kong insurance companies are developing more online sales channels and introducing more medical and retirement products to boost sales as the sector is poised for its worst slump on record, according to industry players.

Mainland Chinese, until now huge spenders on Hong Kong insurance policies, spent only HK$839 million (US$108 million) on them in the second quarter, down 85 per cent from the first three months. In the first half, their spending dropped 76 per cent year on year, according to Insurance Authority data.

Coronavirus travel restrictions have prevented mainlanders visiting Hong Kong to buy the policies.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

“The full-year sales are not looking good. Cross-border traffic has not picked up. The government has tightened social distancing since July due to the third wave of infection. This has stopped the 100,000 salespeople

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Interactive map offers initial look at damage; containment at 8%

Laveta Brigham

Firefighters tried to take advantage of Saturday’s cooler temperatures as the Creek Fire raged nearly out of control.

The blaze swelled overnight to 196,667 acres with at least 369 structures ruined, including dozens of homes and businesses in Sierra National Forest mountain communities in eastern Fresno and Madera counties. The acreage didn’t change when officials gave a briefing Saturday evening.

See dramatic photos, videos of the Creek Fire burning in California

The Creek Fire erupted Sept. 4 near Big Creek and Huntington Lake. The cause remained under investigation. Full containment isn’t expected until mid-October.

It is one of 28 major wildfires racing through California, including 13 new fires that broke out Friday, Cal Fire said Saturday. More than 16,000 firefighters are battling flames statewide.

7:30 p.m.: Containment climbs to 8%

Containment increased to 8% on the Creek Fire, already the 16th largest wildfire in California’s history.

The number of firefighters

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Interactive map offers initial look at damage; spot fires persist

Laveta Brigham

Firefighters tried to take advantage of Saturday’s cooler temperatures as the Creek Fire raged nearly out of control.

The blaze swelled overnight to 196,667 acres with at least 369 structures ruined, including dozens of homes and businesses in Sierra National Forest mountain communities in eastern Fresno and Madera counties.

Containment remained at just 6% midday Saturday as about 1,811 firefighters battled what already has become the 16th largest wildfire in California’s history.

See dramatic photos, videos of the Creek Fire burning in California

The Creek Fire erupted Sept. 4 near Big Creek and Huntington Lake. The cause remained under investigation. Full containment isn’t expected until mid-October.

The Creek Fire is one of 28 major wildfires racing through California, including 13 new fires that broke out Friday, Cal Fire said Saturday. More than 16,000 firefighters are battling flames statewide.

3:45 p.m.: Map gives initial look at property damage

Cal Fire, in

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British Airways backs airport testing, as four countries join quarantine list

Laveta Brigham

portugal - Getty
portugal – Getty

British Airways can only survive if Government works with it, including through support for airport Covid-19 testing, according to the carrier’s chief executive and chairman Alex Cruz. 

“These are the toughest times in the history of the aviation industry,” writes Mr Cruz for The Telegraph as four more countries are added to the UK’s travel ‘red list’. 

“Coronavirus has hit our business hard, and the sector is fighting for its very survival,” he adds. “What is hugely frustrating is that we know people want to travel, to fly, whether to see friends or family, to see business contacts face-to-face or to recharge on the beach, but without a rigorous, reliable Coronavirus testing programme – together with a sensible approach to quarantine – people’s plans are being unnecessarily grounded.”

Ongoing changes to the holiday quarantine-list have seen hundreds of thousands of Britons race back to the UK, or

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British Airways backs airport testing as four countries join quarantine list

Laveta Brigham

portugal - Getty
portugal – Getty

British Airways can only survive if the Government works with it, including through support for airport testing, according to the carrier’s chief executive and chairman Alex Cruz. 

“These are the toughest times in the history of the aviation industry,” writes Mr Cruz for The Telegraph as four more countries are added to the UK’s travel “red list”. 

“Coronavirus has hit our business hard, and the sector is fighting for its very survival,” he adds. “What is hugely frustrating is that we know people want to travel, to fly, whether to see friends or family, to see business contacts face-to-face or to recharge on the beach, but without a rigorous, reliable Coronavirus testing programme – together with a sensible approach to quarantine – people’s plans are being unnecessarily grounded.”

Ongoing changes to the holiday quarantine list have seen hundreds of thousands of Britons race back to the UK,

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, some are trying breathwork classes to relieve anxiety

Laveta Brigham

When Hermosa Beach, Calif., entrepreneur Amy Lloyd took her first breathwork class, she never expected it to make her emotional. After all, the yoga and meditation classes she regularly attends leave her feeling refreshed and rarely stir up her innermost feelings. Yet after her first class, she says, “it was like years of therapy in one session.”

If you’ve ever practiced yoga, meditation or tai chi, breathwork was almost certainly a large part of the activity. But in recent years, breathwork classes that aren’t tied to any other practice have surged in popularity, in part because they don’t require skills or experience, just the ability to do something we all do every day without much thought: breathe.

“I call it free medicine because the breath is like the Swiss Army knife of the body; there are so many different ways to use it to create a positive effect for yourself,”

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Woman who sawed off own hand found guilty of fraud

Laveta Brigham

Julija Adlesic appears in court in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Friday (AP)
Julija Adlesic appears in court in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Friday (AP)

A Slovenian woman has been found guilty of deliberately sawing off her own hand to make a fraudulent insurance claim.

A court in Ljubljana found Julija Adlesic, 22, had taken out five insurance policies before having her left hand severed above the wrist with a circular saw.

She stood to collect more than €1m (£926,000), about half paid immediately and the rest in monthly instalments.

She was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday.

The district court said Adlesic had agreed with her boyfriend to have her hand sawed off at their home in early 2019.

Her boyfriend and his father took her to hospital after the incident, saying she had injured herself while sawing branches.

Authorities said they left the severed hand behind rather than bringing it to the hospital to ensure the disability was permanent, but

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Want to buy shares online? Here’s how to get started

Laveta Brigham

<span>Photograph: Westend61/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Westend61/Getty Images

It has been a miserable time to be a saver – interest rates, which were already poor, have fallen further since the Bank of England cut its rate to a record low. At the same time, workers lucky enough to have kept their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic have saved thousands of pounds – and now they are looking at where to put it. Total retail bank deposits in the UK have jumped by £78bn since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

Perhaps it is no wonder that online trading in shares by small investors has taken off in recent weeks, with evidence of working-from-home employees dabbling in the markets on the side.

Hargreaves Lansdown, the biggest trading platform, reported a dramatic 221% rise in the number of trades placed between 24 March and 30 June compared with the same period last year. Interactive Investor, another of

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Coronavirus Causes Child Care Shortage In Prince George’s County

Laveta Brigham

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD — Prince George’s County is still climbing out of the economic hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic. While widespread unemployment garners the most attention, the fiscal downturn also spurred a shortage in child-care providers.

About 40 percent of Prince George’s day cares have not reopened since coronavirus shutdowns began in March. That puts increased stress on parents who are starting to head back to work.

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks is working to alleviate that stress. She recently dedicated $2 million in CARES Act money to keep these businesses open.

The CARES Act, otherwise known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, is federal legislation passed in March that allocated money to stimulate the aching economy. Some of that money took the form of small business loans. Other capital went to state and county governments.

Alsobrooks is sending $1.4 million to child-care centers and the

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