Tag Archives: Deliver

Can Biden's foreign policy really deliver for the middle class?

White House and Biden administration officials say the president’s first foreign trip was about establishing credibility with partners: laying the groundwork for plans on everything from trade to tax rates that will eventually deliver for America’s middle class and its counterparts in other democracies.

It’s a set of hopes that rest on handshake diplomacy and international agreements with disparate foreign governments, which are supposed to eventually deliver gains to the middle class.

“The intentions are clearer at this moment than the outcome,” said Ashley Tellis, co-author of a 2020 paper with Jake Sullivan — now Biden’s national security advisor — on how to apply foreign and trade policy for the benefit of the U.S. middle class.

Sullivan, in a call with reporters Thursday, pushed back on that observation. “This was an unusually productive substantive set of summits with real, tangible outcomes,” Sullivan said. He pointed to the U.S. commitment of half a billion Pfizer vaccines to the 100 lowest-income countries, which he said helped to galvanize vaccine commitments from the other G-7 members. With Biden mandating American production of those doses, the plan also serves as a minor boost for domestic manufacturing.

But other middle-class benefits from the week of global summitry are less direct.

Perhaps the most tangible policy outcome from Biden’s first venture overseas as president was the G-7 agreement on a 15 percent global corporate minimum tax. The administration has been quick to trumpet the commitment from fellow nations, but it’s unclear just what benefit that will have for U.S. jobs or American wages — compared to, say, a $ 15 minimum wage — or if it will even come to pass.

Biden’s ancestral home, Ireland, is the most vocal opponent of the proposed 15 percent corporate minimum tax rate, and it may take the president’s personal intervention to shift their position. Even if Biden succeeds, the new tax will come into effect in 2023 at the earliest.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday that she is determined to hold the line as negotiations continue among more than 130 countries. “We would not agree to any type of carve-out that would meaningfully weaken a global minimum tax regime — not from China and not from other countries,” she said.

Even Biden’s domestic political allies aren’t convinced the agreement goes far enough. While labor unions welcomed the 15 percent tax rate announcement, Cathy Feingold, who runs the AFL-CIO’s international department, said it was too low to fund the programs needed to overcome Covid-induced inequalities. “A 15 percent rate could raise $ 150 billion globally each year. But with a 20 percent rate you raise $ 300 billion annually, and with a 25 percent rate it’s $ 580 billion,” she said.

Though American businesses might soon face stricter tax rules, the administration is keen to note that they will benefit from new market opportunities. The White House says there’s a $ 40 trillion market for new infrastructure in the developing world, one that China currently dominates. Bidens’ Build Back Better World plan, agreed to with G-7 leaders, is designed to complement domestic infrastructure ambitions by creating, as the plan notes, “new opportunities to demonstrate U.S. competitiveness abroad and create jobs at home.”

The administration wants to fund and build infrastructure to high, green standards around the world — betting rich democracies can do that better than Chinese competitors. But even if the administration meets their goal of mobilizing “hundreds of billions of dollars” for these projects, that’s only a fraction of expected domestic infrastructure spending, and not all of those jobs will go to Americans: the benefit for domestic workers will be marginal.

In some cases, the Biden approach abroad thus far has been simply to keep Trump policies in place, as with tariffs levied — under the guise of national security — on European steel and aluminium.

The steel tariffs are popular in swing states and among affected workers, though there’s scant evidence that they’ve majorly impacted domestic production and sales. The American steel industry has added several thousand jobs since the tariffs were put in place in 2018: a modest increase but a mere blip among the 160 million-strong national labor force.

One area where Biden’s foreign policy could have a more direct impact on the U.S. middle class is on trade. In a speech to labor unions on the eve of Biden’s overseas trip, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai evangelized about ending a global “race to the bottom” — which for 40 years led nations to compete to limit wages and regulations to attract corporate investment.

Sullivan said Friday that an agreement to end a 16-year dispute between Airbus and Boeing is a win for workers on both sides of the Atlantic, and a sign that the race is ending.

“The U.S. and the EU will be working together to protect jobs and protect technology in Europe in the United States” by turning their collective political power “against China’s predatory practices,” instead of each other, Sullivan said. “In the end it will help secure and grow jobs in our own aviation industry by relaxing the tariffs and by protecting against predatory competition from China,” he said.

Boeing supports around 10,000 American businesses in its supply chain, and directly employs over 140,000 American workers. Unions have been pushing Boeing, Congress and the administration to limit job cuts planned by the company, and expressed support for USTR shifting attention to Chinese business practices.

But if the Airbus-Boeing dispute is anything to go by, it could be a decade or more before China amends what Tai labeled its “nonmarket practices.” And as airlines work to recoup pandemic losses, it’s unlikely that lower sticker prices for large aircraft will trickle down to the average American’s flight home for Thanksgiving.

More broadly, the administration’s confrontation of China economically remains a long-term project and not something that the president could tidy up in his first trip.

As that long-term project takes place, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is taking an expansive approach to the middle class challenge. Speaking in March, Blinken said he would use “every tool to stop countries from stealing our intellectual property or manipulating their currencies to get an unfair advantage. We will fight corruption, which stacks the deck against us.”

For the Biden administration, everything from anti-corruption networks to vaccine donations is branded as a boost to the middle class. And while international summits at 5-star resorts and 18th century European villas may seem far removed from the pocket book concerns of working families, the administration sees them as staging posts in a steady policy approach.

“Europe is the most promising place to test run a foreign policy for the middle class,” said former Ambassador Dan Baer, the Obama administration’s envoy to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Security in Europe.

“If you’re going to think about how to negotiate a next wave of globalization, it makes sense to start with negotiations with other democratic governments who have a commitment to the social welfare of their citizens. That means not just Youngstown or Bakersfield but also Stuttgart and Marseilles.” Baer said.

Author: Ryan Heath and Christopher Cadelago
This post originally appeared on Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

Prince Charles 'perfect royal' to deliver D-Day speech – 'Traditional' video analysed

Prince Charles, 72, spoke out on behalf of the Firm to thank D-Day Veterans in a touching new video. The future king’s traditional ways made him the perfect royal to deliver the poignant speech, a body language expert has claimed.

Clarence House shared the video on Twitter with the message: “As Patron of the Normandy Memorial Trust, His Royal Highness sent a message for the live broadcast opening of the @britishmemorial, which is located on a hillside in Ver-sur-Mer above Gold Beach in Normandy.”

In the video, Charles says: “I know just how much our incomparable veterans had hoped to be in Normandy today to see their memorial for themselves.

“Despite having to watch via satellite link, this in no way obscures the enormous regard and admiration in which we hold our veterans.

“Or diminishes our debt of gratitude to the more than 22,000 men and women whose names are now permanently inscribed in stone in this place of honour above Gold Beach.”

READ MORE: Prince William and Harry UK reunion ON after baby Sussex birth

Charles added: “As I said when I first became aware of the plans for this long overdue British memorial, it has for many years been a concern to me, that the memory of these remarkable individuals should be preserved for future generations as an example of personal courage and sacrifice for the benefit of the wider national, and indeed international community.

“I can only hope that this serves to commemorate all those whose lives were lost during the events of June 1944 and between D-Day and the liberation of Paris at the end of August 1944.”

“May God bless our veterans, the families and all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice as a result of the operations around D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy.”

Judi added:  “His very traditional styling, voice and delivery straddle the 77-year gap between what he refers to as ‘An example of personal courage and sacrifice’ and the present day.”

“He might have been too young to remember the war but he epitomizes the look of the time and the expectations people back then had of their royals in terms of body language and the famous stiff upper lip.

“He looks like a royal who understands the weight of history and the links to the chaos of current life in a pandemic.

“His eye expression projects genuine sadness with his steepled brows, and his reflective cut-offs as he looks down make the perfect contrast with his piercing eye-gaze when he looks up.”

The analyst added: “His head shakes gently from side to side in what looks like a gesture of disbelief at both the way the pandemic has led to a virtual ceremony rather than a live gathering, and at the way it has taken so long to happen at all.

“There are subtle signals of what looks like personal frustration as Charles pauses before straightening his back and arching his shoulders with his mouth pulling out in a horizontal grimace as he says the delay has ‘…for many years been of concern to me….’ There is another pause and a sigh before Charles ends with: ‘May god bless our veterans…’ managing to make the grief look personally felt.”

The Royal Family celebrated happy news on Sunday as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced the safe arrival of their daughter Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor with the world.

Clarence House tweeted to congratulate the couple in a message that read: ” Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie on the arrival of baby Lilibet Diana.

Wishing them all well at this special time.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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AstraZeneca says on track to deliver on COVID shots as sales hit $275 million

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

AstraZeneca says on track to deliver on COVID shots as sales hit $  275 million© Reuters. Exterior photos of the North America headquarters of AstraZeneca

By Pushkala Aripaka and Ludwig Burger

(Reuters) -AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine sales were $ 275 million in the first-quarter and it is on track to deliver 200 million doses a month from April, as better-than-expected results and a second half growth forecast boosted its shares.

Chief Executive Pascal Soriot again defended the vaccine rollout on Friday, saying that Anglo-Swedish drugmaker had not overpromised on its ability to supply shots, as he defended big cuts in deliveries that prompted a European Union lawsuit.

AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:), which has said it will not make a profit from the shot during the pandemic, was reporting financial details of distribution and sales of the vaccine it developed with Oxford University for the first time.

It said the revenue included delivery of about 68 million doses, adding that European sales were $ 224 million, emerging markets $ 43 million and $ 8 million in the rest of the world.

Sales of $ 275 million for 68 million doses equates to a price tag of around $ 4 per shot.

AstraZeneca was one of the leaders in the global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Its cheap and easily transportable shot was hailed as a milestone in the fight against the crisis, but has since faced a series of setbacks.

“Shipments (of COVID-19 vaccines) are increasing as manufacturing improves,” Soriot said during a briefing, adding that it was on track to deliver 200 million doses a month.

“We never overpromised, we communicated what we thought we would achieve at the time,” he said.

AstraZeneca shares were up 3.5% at 7,654 pence at 0942 GMT, putting them on track for their best day since October. The stock, which hit record highs in July 2020 due to optimism around the vaccine, ended last year 4% lower.

The results come after a bruising start to the year as the drugmaker struggles with production of its vaccine and faces a legal battle after cutting deliveries to Europe, while regulators probe rare blood clots in people who got the shot.

“Despite the intense operational and political challenges created by AZN’s COVID-19 vaccine roll out, the core business continues to perform above market expectations in a most challenging quarter, demonstrating strength across therapeutic areas and geographies,” Citigroup (NYSE:) analysts said in a note.

VACCINE RACE

Pfizer (NYSE:), whose COVID-19 vaccine co-developed with German partner BioNTech is several times more costly than AstraZeneca’s, has forecast $ 15 billion for its share of sales, with analysts expecting as much as $ 18 billion on average.

BioNTech expects close to 10 billion euros ($ 12.1 billion) in revenues from committed vaccine deliveries this year but raised the prospect of more supply deals.

Moderna (NASDAQ:) in February said it was expecting sales of $ 18.4 billion from its own vaccine this year.

Before AstraZeneca’s earnings, market researcher GlobalData said it expected annual sales of $ 278 million this year and next for the drugmaker’s coronavirus vaccine, branded Vaxzevria.

AstraZeneca said it is working as fast as possible to compile data to apply for U.S. approval. Soriot said there was nothing wrong with the data, but the dataset was very large.

RESILIENT

AstraZeneca’s core business has proved resilient, with the drugmaker sticking to its forecast for 2021 on Friday and predicting better times ahead.

This guidance does not include any impact from sales of the vaccine and its $ 39 billion purchase of Alexion (NASDAQ:), which is expected to close in the third quarter.

Total revenue of $ 7.32 billion for the three months to March exceeded analysts’ expectations of $ 6.94 billion, while core earnings of $ 1.63 cents per share beat a consensus of $ 1.48.

Quarterly sales growth was driven by best-selling lung cancer drug Tagrisso, up 17% to $ 1.15 billion, while revenues from heart and diabetes drug Farxiga jumped to a better-than-expected $ 625 million, on new prescriptions for heart failure.

($ 1 = 0.8262 euros)

DMX’s Kids Deliver Heartbreaking Eulogies At Memorial: ‘He Was The Best Dad Ever’

Author: Emily Selleck
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

DMX’s children delivered emotional eulogies at their father’s memorial service, and even wrote an original song dedicated to their dad.

DMX has been remembered not only as an incredible talent in the music industry, but also a loving father to his children. His eldest son Xavier highlighted this during his eulogy at the April 24 memorial for the rapper, held in New York City. The touching service, which was also streamed live on YouTube, comes just a few weeks after the legendary rapper died at the age of 50 following a heart attack.

“Thank you to every single soul on this planet who has been with this family. You can never prepare for anything like this,” he began. “Our father is a king, our father is an icon. I am so honored to have a father like we have. This man deepened my ability to love.” Xavier also spoke about some of the “lessons” his dad taught him: “Always say thank you. No matter where you go a blessing is everywhere. Be kind to everyone.” He concluded his eulogy by saying, “We are his blessing right here,” referencing his other siblings standing beside him.

One of DMX’s younger sons also took the microphone, delivering a heartrending message while holding back tears. “He wasn’t just a rapper, he was the best dad ever.” One of his daughter’s also performed a rap dedicated to her dad. “I’m growing, I’m learning, to hold my head up. My daddy’s still holding my hand so i gotta get up,” she sang.

Prior to the service, DMX’s fiance Desiree Lindstrom paid tribute to her longtime partner after his sad passing. She took to Instagram on April 17, thanking God for blessing her with the musician, and father of her son, Exodus. “The first night we met and you held me close. I knew I would never let go. I was lost in you and nothing else mattered,” she wrote in her caption. “My best friend, my baby, my love…truly my everything. Thank you for us. Thank you for Exodus. Thank you God for Earl Simmons…forever X.”

His ex-wife, Tashera Simmons, also paid tribute to her “best friend” and “mentor”, with whom she shares four kids. “I also thank god for his life, and his peace, and his journey, and his life lessons that [were] passed on, and will live on for generations,” she said. In her caption, Tashera also wrote that she was “crying” and experiencing a “rollercoaster of emotions” as she celebrated her 50th birthday the day after he died. “I couldn’t bring myself to just celebrate and close the last 50yrs of my life with out celebrating the life of one of the most important person in the world to me, my ex-husband,” she wrote.

Ex-Facebook recruiter speaks out about 'a problematic system' that fails to deliver diverse talent

A former Facebook recruiter is speaking out against the tech giant’s hiring system and workplace culture, which he says fail to reach the company’s diversity goals and alienates people of color. 

Rhett Lindsey, who left Facebook in November after working there for just 11 months, told The Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday that the metrics the company has adopted in its hiring system fail to actually recruit diverse talent. [1]

Lindsey alleged that some potential candidates can be rejected over vague terms like “cultural fit,” noting that at least a dozen qualified applicants of color who he referred for interviews to Facebook were eventually rejected in part due to this reasoning. 

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“There is no culture fit check mark on an application form, but at Facebook it is like this invisible cloud that hangs over candidates of color,” he explained. 

Lindsey, as well as other current and former Black employees involved in Facebook hiring efforts, also told the Post about problematic workplace culture that they said can be harmful to workers of color. 

For example, Lindsey recounted one August 2020 incident in which he attended a virtual meeting to talk about Facebook’s efforts to hire more Black engineers. 

According to videos of the meeting reviewed by the Post, a white manager played a Drake song in the background whose chorus repeats the phrase “Where the [n-word]s be at?,” five times. 

Lindsey asked in the chat system during the meeting why they were playing the song, adding that he was “really disappointed,” which was followed by nine other employees also vocalizing their frustration. 

The Post reported that a manager eventually apologized, though Lindsey said the incident, “shows you the insensitivity and the lack of awareness.” 

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The allegations from Lindsey, who has since launched his own start-up to promote diversity and inclusion in job recruiting, come as Facebook also faces an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claim filed by potential job recruits last summer. 

Facebook operations manager Oscar Veneszee Jr., who is Black and still works at the company, along with two applicants who were denied jobs brought the claim in July, and a third rejected applicant joined the case in December, Reuters reported last month. [2]

Veneszee told the Post Tuesday that more than half a dozen qualified candidates from minority groups who he submitted to Facebook were all rejected because they were not deemed a “cultural fit.” 

However, when reached for comment, Facebook told The Hill that the company does not measure candidates for cultural fit, but that potential employees are asked how they would respond to specific situations and if these line up with Facebook’s “five core values.” 

Facebook also told The Hill that it does not complete visual inspections of job candidates, and recruiters are instead asked to use objective criteria in measuring candidates, such as membership in a professional society. 

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, “We’re focused on diversity and inclusivity as well as advancing racial justice, both in our own workplace as well as in how we recruit candidates to work here,” and that it has “added diversity and inclusion goals to senior leaders’ performance reviews.” 

“We take seriously allegations of discrimination and have robust policies and processes in place for employees to report concerns, including concerns about micro aggressions and policy violations,” the spokesperson added.

References

  1. ^ The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Reuters reported (thehill.com)

[email protected] (Celine Castronuovo)

World of Tanks and World of Warships: Legends Deliver New March Updates

Summary

  • Marchin’ On, World of Warships: Legends brings new events, ships, and more in its latest update!
  • World of Tanks adds new tanks and continues its march through history with its latest season, Flashpoint!
  • Are you ready to march on toward greatness in battle? Then join us for all the new content in World of Warships: Legends and World of Tanks Flashpoint! Glory awaits!

March is coming in hot with new events, ships, and projects in World of Warships: Legends on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One! There’s a new campaign to earn a multi-role Russian cruiser, plus two new legendary ship projects, the full release of British heavy cruisers, and some events to dive into. World of Tanks is heating things up as well this month with the arrival of its latest season, Flashpoint! Let’s look at what’s waiting for you in the world of tactical warfare!

World of Warships: 3.1 Update

World of Warships: Legends – Taken by the Storm

The new campaign in World of Warships: Legends is called Taken By Storm, which refers to the namesake event that the featured ship Ochakov is named after. In the late 18th century, the city of Ochakov was taken by Russian forces in a smashing victory, aided in part by the Russian Navy in the area. We took inspiration from this event in naming the Ochakov, which is based on a post-war Russian design for a small light cruiser. This tier VII ship is setup for whatever you may encounter in battle, with eight excellent 6-inch (152 mm) guns, long-range torpedoes on each side, plus sonar and radar all make this little cruiser a valuable asset to your team. You can earn Ochakov along with a ton of loot and equipment by completing the 100 milestones of the campaign with Admiralty Backing. Admiralty Backing drastically increases the rewards you can get from the campaign and helps you get the most out of each update, it is available in the campaign overview for doubloons.

There are a couple of legendary-tier ship projects arriving in the Bureau as well: British battleship Conqueror and the American destroyer Gearing. With a ludicrous broadside of twelve 16.5-inch (419 mm) guns, Conqueror is more than capable of dishing out some serious damage in the legendary tier. The Gearing was a long-serving class of destroyers that initially carried a powerful set of torpedoes and 5-inch guns as her main armament. You can start on these legendary projects in the Bureau during this update to add these ships into your fleet permanently.

World of Warships: 3.1 Update

Last update brought the first British heavy cruisers into early access, and now they are being unleashed into the high seas! Every ship in the line can now be researched and unlocked, including Albemarle at tier VII. The British heavy cruisers carry low velocity, heavy hitting guns plus a powerful repair party and sonar. Albemarle tops it all off with the addition of a radar, giving her a powerful set of tools with the right captain at the helm.

There are also some special additions coming into the game for the upcoming holidays. St. Patrick’s Day will be featured up front with some unique camouflages, literal pots of gold, and Belfast. Ranked battles are slated to make a return for a couple of weekends, giving you the best chance to earn a handful of steel badges. Plus, there’s a new commander coming for U.S. Destroyers, specializing in improving their torpedo armaments.

World of Warships: 3.1 Update

Not to mention, there’s something spacial on the event horizon soon for April Fool’s Day!


World of Tanks – Flashpoint

It’s going to be a busy update on the seas, no doubt… and it’s not going to be any quieter on the World of Tanks war front, thanks to the launch of Flashpoint!

World of Tanks – Flashpoint is the brand-new season of content designed to bring the battlefield forward into the next era of tank warfare. Just like our previous seasons, it challenges tankers to climb through 100 Levels by earning XP in multiplayer battles. As tankers rise through the levels, they’ll receive rich rewards including gold, key cards, silver, and exclusive visual upgrades… and they can earn even more season-exclusive rewards by acquiring a World of Tanks – Flashpoint Season Pass!

World of Tanks - Flashpoint

But what do players love most about World of Tanks? That’s right, the tanks! The ultimate rewards of World of Tanks – Flashpoint are four tanks that represent a new chapter in the game’s history as it progresses from its World War II-era theme toward the formidable Cold War years.

With the regular season progression, every tanker will have a chance to earn the hard-hitting 50TP Prototyp Heavy Tank from the Polish tank line. Players with a season pass will be able to earn two additional tanks: the console-exclusive Chinese Type 59-II tank and the brand-new American T77 tank with the historic Creighton Abrams Commander.

Players with a World of Tanks Ultimate Season Pass will get one more coveted item on top of the regular season rewards and the season pass content: the all-new Polish CS-52 LIS! Not only does the CS-52 LIS come with a tank commander straight from the pages of history (the astounding Edmund Orlik Commander); it also paves the way for a massive update to the Polish tech tree with the introduction of the Polish medium line of tanks, coming later this spring!


Are you ready to march on toward greatness in battle? Then join us for all the new content in World of Warships: Legends and World of Tanks Flashpoint! Glory awaits!

World of Warships: Legends
Xbox Live

World of Warships: Legends

Wargaming.net

265
Experience epic naval action in World of Warships: Legends, a global multiplayer free-to-play online game in which you can master the seas on the decks of history’s greatest warships! Recruit Legendary Commanders, upgrade your vessels, and stake your claim to naval domination alongside and against players from around the world. FREQUENT UPDATES New content in the form of ships, Campaigns, Bureau Projects, events, and more arrive regularly! Each update brings new features to shake things up in-game. FEATURE RICH Develop Legendary warships such as Yamato from the ground up in the Bureau, compete in Ranked Battles seasons for exclusive patches and extra rewards, and finish epic Campaigns to gain powerful new ships! CHOOSE YOUR COMBAT STYLE Take control of over 120 destroyers, cruisers, and battleships—a range that’s perfect for every playstyle, whether it be an all-guns-blazing approach, more careful and methodical attacks, or tactics that are unique to you. TURN THE TIDE IN EPIC 9V9 BATTLES Join forces with friends to challenge players around the world, and work together across consoles to devise strategies and plan attacks via voice chat. Cooperate to outgun your opponents and Turn the Tide of battle!
World of Tanks
Xbox Live

World of Tanks

Wargaming.net

836
Xbox One X Enhanced
World of Tanks is a global online multiplayer free-to-play game dedicated to tank warfare in the mid-20th century. Custom built for Xbox, World of Tanks features realistic vehicles and environments, enabling players to command history’s most powerful tanks and experience combat on Xbox like never before. Features: • Strategic, fast-paced 15 vs 15 online action. • Over 700 authentic tanks to choose from among 12 nations. • Battle across a variety of environments with varying terrain and weather effects • Built-in support for Xbox One X pushing the boundaries of graphic fidelity. • Regular updates offer new content and frequent special events.

Laine Whitaker, Community Manager, World of Warships: Legends and Sheila Johnson, Content Writer, World of Tanks