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1,800 companies left California in a year — with most bound for Texas

A record number of companies are leaving California for states with a better business climate, and a new report shows that Texas remains their No. 1 destination. The study estimates that 1,800 relocation or “disinvestment events” occurred in 2016, the most recent year available, setting a record yearly high going back to 2008. About 13,000 companies left the state during that nine-year period. Of the 1,800 events, 299 of those departures landed in Texas. What’s more, the study’s author – for the first time in his career – is openly urging California businesses to relocate out of state. Texas’ rank…

Researchers Warn shortage of essential minerals for laptops, cell phones, wiring

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Delaware’s Saleem Ali, says global resource governance and sharing of geoscience data is needed to address challenges facing future mineral supply. Specifically of concern are a range of technology minerals, which are an essential ingredient in everything from laptops and cell phones to hybrid or electric cars to solar panels and copper wiring for homes. However, base metals like copper are also a matter of immense concern. The research team, which included experts from academic, government and industrial institutions across five continents, the U.S., Europe, South Africa, Australia and South…

Billionaire Richard Branson warns: 3 and 4 day work weeks are coming

The 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday grind got you down? Take solace: That will one day be history, according to billionaire British serial entrepreneur Richard Branson. “The idea of working five days a week with two day weekends and a few weeks of holiday each year has become ingrained in society. But it wasn’t always the case, and it won’t be in the future,” Branson writes in a post on his blog Tuesday. That’s because technology will change jobs currently held by humans, Branson says. “As Google’s Larry Page and others have said, the amount of jobs available for people is going to…

“You’re Worth $1 Trillion. Why Do You Need Our $3 Billion?” Angry New Yorkers Confront Amazon Execs at City Council Meeting

After being kept in the dark about New York’s $3 billion deal with Amazon, allowing the trillion-dollar corporation to build its new headquarters—complete with helicopter landing pad for CEO Jeff Bezos—in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, concerned New York City Council members and scores of angry New Yorkers on Wednesday angrily confronted company representatives over the plan. At the first City Council meeting on Amazon’s so-called “HQ2,” about 150 protesters joined the mostly-Democratic lawmakers in slamming the closed-door process through which the city and state finalized the deal and the effect the corporation’s arrival will likely have on…

Boy Scouts of America Considers Bankruptcy Filing Amid Sex-Abuse Lawsuits

The Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy protection as it faces dwindling membership and escalating legal costs related to lawsuits over how it handled allegations of sex abuse. Leaders of the Boy Scouts, one of the country’s largest youth organizations, have hired law firm Sidley Austin LLP for assistance with a possible chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to people familiar with the matter. Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts group says that more than 110 million people have participated in its educational programs, which promote outdoors skills, character-building and leadership. The Boy Scouts have been at the…

Layoffs Loom At Verizon’s In The Wake Of $4.5 Billion Writedown

Verizon’s $9 billion bet on the digital media business may rank among the worst blunders in the history of corporate America. Unfortunately, extracting itself from the bad deals won’t be easy. Selling its Oath digital properties, including HuffPost, AOL and Yahoo, isn’t realistic in the wake of Verizon’s decision to take a $4.5 billion writedown on the business, effectively rendering it worthless. Spinning Oath off would also be difficult because few investors would be interested in buying shares in a company that accounts for roughly 3% of all online advertising sales. Moreover, Oath’s rivals, including BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Vice, are…

Your shuttered Sears store could soon be demolished. Here’s why

If a Sears store near you has already closed or is in the process of closing, it’s likely the owner of that property will opt to demolish it rather than find someone to fill the space. The bankrupt department store chain has already said it will shut 142 stores by year’s end. And its future while it’s in bankruptcy court proceedings is still uncertain, with a total liquidation being one potential outcome. That would mean more than 500 additional Sears and Kmart stores going dark. As mall owners look to find new tenants to replace Sears, the process likely won’t…

Rahm Emanuel wants to legalize marijuana, open casino to deal with Chicago’s pension crisis

The outgoing mayor of Chicago wants to legalize recreational marijuana and open a casino to help address a growing pension crisis in the nation’s third largest city, a source close to the mayor said Tuesday. Rahm Emanuel, who is set to leave office in May, will propose both measures in a major address on Wednesday, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly before the mayor’s address. Also Tuesday, aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told The New York Post that Cuomo was readying a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in that state. It’s already allowed in California,…

California wants to tax text-messaging…State regulators say surcharge on text messaging would help fund programs that make phone service accessible to the poor

Texting your sweetheart that you’re on your way home? California may soon charge you for that. This is no LOL matter, critics say. State regulators have been ginning up a scheme to charge a fee for text messaging on mobile phones to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor. The wireless industry and business groups have been working to defeat the proposal, now scheduled for a vote next month by the California Public Utilities Commission. “It’s a dumb idea,” said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council business-sponsored advocacy group. “This is how conversations take place in…

GE Slumps To Ominous $6.66…

GE stocks plunged once again to its ominous closing low from March 2009 of $6.66… The GE share price is now unchanged since October 1992… The company announced Monday that it added Paula Rosput Reynolds, former restructuring chief of AIG, to its board of directors to bolster turnaround efforts. The change is the latest move by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp, who took the helm in October, to pull GE out of one of the worst crises in its 126-year history. And we note that the broad market bottomed to the tick when GE hit $6.66… This article…

Global Cleaning Giant to Get Rid of 100,000 Jobs

ISS A/S of Denmark, which is one of the world’s largest private employers, is planning to get rid of about 100,000 jobs as it exits 13 countries that were among its least profitable markets. The move represents about a fifth of the company’s global workforce. Shareholders will get at least a quarter of as much as 2.5 billion kroner ($383 million) in anticipated net proceeds, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gravenhorst said by phone on Monday. The countries ISS plans to leave are mostly in emerging markets, including Asia and Eastern Europe. At the same time, the company wants to do…

Another One: Performance Bicycle closing 102 stores, including Boulder location

Performance Bicycle retail stores nationwide are closing down, including the one in Boulder at 2450 Arapahoe Ave. A news release from Boston-based Gordon Brothers, a company hired to liquidate Performance Bicycle’s inventory, announced the closure of 102 stores. Colorado has seven locations. The store’s parent company, Advanced Sports Enterprises, Inc., filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November to reorganize for long-term profitability. Discounts are being offered on store inventories. Because of the pending closure, all sales are final and free in-store assembly is no longer being offered, according to a post on the company’s website. The layaway program also…

The Rise And Fall Of Netflix: Here Are 5 Reasons Why Netflix Stock Is Crashing As The Company Heads For Oblivion

Netflix originally had a truly disruptive business model and they fundamentally changed the way that Americans consume media, but now they are heading for the same fate as Blockbuster.  For years, Netflix was really the only game in town, but now content costs are spiraling out of control and new competitors with even deeper pockets threaten to become the dominant players in the industry.  Of course Netflix is not going to die overnight, but the writing is on the wall.  In fact, Netflix stock has already been crashing over the last several months as investors have begun to realize that…

Since nobody else wants them, Facebook is buying back its own shares by the billions

Facebook’s board of directors approved a plan this week to buy back an extra $9 billion of the company’s stock. This is on top of a $15 billion share repurchase program launched last year. This chart pretty much sums up the renewed push to prop up the company’s stock price: The social media giant’s shares have fallen nearly 40% since late July, hit by a steady stream of bad news that includes, but is not limited to, failing to act against Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 US presidential election; letting the site play a role in stoking ethnic and religious violence in several countries, including Myanmar;…

People Are Months Away from Living in 3D Printed Homes

Speed has never been a quality associated with building a home, but that may be changing. Eindhoven University of Technology plans to build five 3D-printed houses in the new residential district of Bosrijk. The endeavor, known as Project Milestone, was initially announced during Dutch Design Week in 2016 as a partnership between the University and Municipality of Eindhoven and is billed as the world’s first commercial housing project using 3D-concrete printing. Among the collaborators that have come on board since then is the local firm Houben / Van Mierlo Architects, which created the organic-inspired design. While concrete tends to be…

‘Nightmare’ conditions at Chinese factories where Hasbro and Disney toys are made …employees working up to 175 overtime hours per month

An investigation into Chinese toy factories has alleged that companies in major supply chains are mistreating their workers. Workers producing products for Hasbro, Mattel and Disney were being subjected to ‘serious violations,’ the report claimed. Violations included poor pay, forced overtime and unsafe workspaces. Chinese factory workers producing toys for Hasbro, Disney, Lego and Mattel and are being subjected to “nightmare” working conditions in the run-up to Christmas, an investigation has alleged. The report, titled “A Nightmare for Workers,” shows findings from campaign groups China Labor Watch, ActionAid, CiR, and Solidar Suisse, who sent undercover investigators to four factories that…

Jeff Bezos Earns More In 30 Seconds Than The Average Worker Makes In A Year

Have you ever wondered how long it takes for the world’s wealthiest captains of industry to earn what you make in a year? For many, the reality is too depressing to fathom. But for any curious parties eager to learn the painful truth, ABC Finance has created a series of infographics that break down how much the world’s wealthiest people earn – and how it compares to the average salary for regular non-billionaire workers. While millions of Americans no doubt enjoyed some degree of schadenfreude watching the correction in FAANG stocks wipe out nearly $1 trillion of value from the…

We’re No Longer in Smartphone Plateau. We’re in the Smartphone Decline.

From roughly 2007 until 2013, the smartphone market grew at an astonishing pace, posting double-digit growth year after year, even during a global recession. They were the good years, the type that would inspire a Scorsese montage: millions and then billions of smartphones going out; billions and then trillions of dollars in rising company valuations; every year new models of phones hitting the market, held up triumphantly at events that were part sales pitch, part tent revival. (To nail the Scorsese effect, imagine “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” playing while you think about it.) But just like every Scorsese movie, the party…

Pro-gun control Dick’s Sporting Goods sales down 4%; will close 35 stores

Actions have consequences, and Dick’s Sporting Goods is discovering what its gun-control virtue-signaling costs. But Dick’s billionaire chairman and CEO doesn’t give a hoot. Dick’s first modified its gun-sales policy in the wake of the Sandy Hook false-flag shooting, saying it would no longer sell AR-15s and certain other semiautomatic rifles. See “Wolfgang Halbig has stunning evidence that Sandy Hook Elementary School was closed months before ‘massacre’” But Dick’s quickly circumvented its pledge by opening its outdoor-focused Field & Stream chain. After the mass shooting last February at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Dick’s was one…

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma says the US wasted trillions on warfare instead of investing in infrastructure

Alibaba founder Jack Ma fired a shot at the United States in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Ma was asked by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin about the U.S. economy in relation to China, since President-elect Donald Trump has been talking about imposing new tariffs on Chinese imports. Ma says blaming China for any economic issues in the U.S. is misguided. If America is looking to blame anyone, Ma said, it should blame itself. “It’s not that other countries steal jobs from you guys,” Ma said. “It’s your strategy. Distribute the money and things in a…

Stunning census study finds 63% of non-citizens in USA are collecting welfare

A shocking new Census Bureau study has revealed that 63 percent of the non-citizens living in the U.S. are taking advantage of welfare programs that were designed to help Americans who are struggling financially or ill. The finding gives a lot of weight to arguments in favor of taking steps like building a wall to prevent illegals from entering. According to the analysis of the data by the Center for Immigration Studies, not only are 63 percent of non-citizens using such programs, but among those who have been in the country for a decade or longer, that figure rises to…

School District hires collection agency to recover unpaid student lunch balances

Rhode Island’s Cranston School District hired a collection agency to recover unpaid student lunch balances. In a letter to parents, Raymond Votto Jr., chief operating officer of Cranston Public Schools, said the district has previously tried to collect outstanding lunch bills “without much success.” “In an effort to reduce our unpaid balance, the District has retained the services of a collection agency. The company is Transworld Systems and they will begin their collection efforts effective January 2, 2019,” the letter said. Votto said between September 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018, the school district wrote off $95,508. He said the…

Stocks are heading for the worst year since before Obama

The S&P 500 stock index is now down about 1.5% for 2018. If it ends the year there—or lower—it will be the worst annual performance for the S&P since markets crashed in 2008. The stock market, of course, has been in a bull market since March of 2009, with only a few corrections along the way. We’re in a correction now, with stocks down about 10.2% from the high of Sept. 20. A correction is a drop of 10% or more, while a bear market is a 20% drop, or greater. The last bear market ended in 2009. Here’s the…

Amazon Go cashierless stores are coming to airports

Amazon.com is looking at bringing its futuristic checkout-free store format to airports in an effort to win business from hungry, time-pressed travelers, according to public records and a person familiar with the strategy. The move underscores how a company that started as an online bookseller is making forays into brick-and-mortar retail to capture a greater share of shoppers’ spending. For months, the world’s largest online retailer has been expanding Amazon Go, where customers scan their smartphones at a turnstile to enter, and then cameras identify what they take from the shelves. When shoppers are finished, they simply leave the store…

Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free

Luxembourg is set to become the first country in the world to make all its public transport free. Fares on trains, trams and buses will be lifted next summer under the plans of the re-elected coalition government led by Xavier Bettel, who was sworn in for a second term as prime minister on Wednesday. Bettel, whose Democratic party will form a government with the leftwing Socialist Workers’ party and the Greens, had vowed to prioritise the environment during the recent election campaign. On top of the transport pledge, the new government is also considering legalising cannabis, and introducing two new…

Sears chairman Eddie Lampert offers to buy Sears out of bankruptcy, including 500 stores

The chairman and largest investor in Sears Holdings is offering to buy the retailer out of bankruptcy — including 500 of its remaining stores — in what may amount to the chain’s last hope to survive its precipitous decline. Sears chairman and hedge fund investor Eddie Lampert, who was also CEO until the retailer’s October bankruptcy filing, disclosed the offer Thursday. “Sears is an iconic fixture in American retail and we continue to believe in the company’s immense potential to evolve and operate profitably as a going concern with a new capitalization and organizational structure,” Lampert said in a letter. “Our…

Ocasio-Cortez v Tesla: Taxpayers have yet to see ‘return on their investment’

Incoming New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking aim at that most sacred of American cows, the public-private partnership, criticizing Tesla for accepting government subsidies without giving back to the taxpayer. “When we as a public choose to invest in new technologies, we deserve a return on that investment,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a climate change town hall event on Monday. “It’s about time we get our due because it’s the public that funded and financed a lot of innovative technologies,” she added. While Tesla has certainly benefited from government subsidies, racking up $2.4 billion as of 2016, the company does…

The Myth Of American Capitalism Exposed: Competition Is Dying As The Biggest Corporations Gobble Up Everything

Vibrant competition is absolutely essential in order for a capitalist economic system to function effectively.  Unfortunately, in the United States today we are witnessing the death of competition in industry after industry as the biggest corporations increasingly gobble up all of their competitors.  John D. Rockefeller famously once said that “competition is a sin”, and he was one of America’s very first oligopolists.  According to Google, an oligopoly is “a state of limited competition, in which a market is shared by a small number of producers or sellers”, and that is a perfect description of the current state of affairs…

Chinese Dumped $1 Billion of U.S. Real Estate in Third Quarter, Extending Recent Retreat

Chinese investors unloaded more than $1 billion in U.S. real estate in the third quarter, extending their recent retreat from hotels, office buildings and other foreign property under pressure from Beijing to reduce debt and curb money sent abroad. Insurers, conglomerates and other big investors from China sold $1.05 billion worth of U.S. real estate in the third quarter, while purchasing $231 million of property, according to data firm Real Capital Analytics. That was the second straight quarter in which Chinese were net sellers of U.S. commercial real estate. The second quarter marked the first time these investors sold more…

Big Tech FAANG stocks shed $140 billion in 1 day…Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google see huge drop

Tech stocks are back in correction territory after a painful day for public exchanges. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index fell nearly 4 percent, with tech stocks like Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook weighing most heavily. In total, the so-called FAANG stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet-owned Google — shed more than $140 billion in market value by the end of the trading Tuesday. Here’s how it shook out: Facebook fell 2.2 percent, losing $7.6 billion in implied market value Amazon fell 5.9 percent, losing $50.8 billion in implied market value Apple fell 4.4 percent, losing $38.5 billion in…

Thomson Reuters announces 3,200 job cuts over two years

Financial data and news agency Thomson Reuters announced Tuesday cuts of 3,200 jobs and dozens of office closures worldwide over the next two years as part of a restructuring. Executives told an investor conference in Toronto that the staff reduction would impact 12 percent of its workforce, while the number of its offices would be reduced by 30 percent to 133 locations. “The majority of employees have already been notified,” spokesman David Crundwell told AFP. He said Thomson Reuters routinely looks to streamline its operations. “This disciplined approach sometimes includes the need to make personnel, or other, changes which allow…

Dow plunges nearly 800 points on rising fears of an economic slowdown

Stocks fell sharply on Tuesday in the biggest decline since the October rout as investors worried about a bond-market phenomenon signaling a possible economic slowdown. Lingering worries around U.S.-China trade also added to jitters down Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 799.36 points, or 3.1 percent, to close at 25,027.07 and posted its worst day since Oct. 10. At its low of the day, the Dow had fallen more than 800 points. The S&P 500 declined 3.2 percent to close at 2,700.06. The benchmark fell below its 200-day moving average, which triggered more selling from algorithmic funds. Financials…

The Psychological Bubble That Has Been Propping Up The U.S. Economy Is Starting To Implode

Optimism can be a very powerful thing.  For a long time Americans believed that things would get better, and that caused them to take action to make things better, and that actually resulted in things moving in a positive direction.  But now things have abruptly shifted.  In late 2018, an increasing number of Americans believe that an economic downturn is coming, and they are taking actions consistent with that belief.  As a result, they are actually helping to produce the result that they fear.  And without a doubt, any rational person should be able to see that signs that the…

Suing Gun Retailers Out Of Business…

Gun controllers have a new strategy: suing gun retailers out of business. Notably, Second Amendment foes are suing gun retailers over mass shootings. For example, Walmart is being sued over a 2014 killing spree in Overland Park, Kansas, NPR reports. Walmart is being sued because it sold a shotgun to John Reidle. Particularly, lawyers allege that Reidle bought the gun for his buddy Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. The shotgun is one of two weapons Cross used in a murder spree at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park. Unremarkably, Cross is on death row for killing three people. Additionally, Reidle…

Ford to Cut Another 25,000 Jobs?

Ford Motor Co.’s $11 billion restructuring could cost 25,000 employees their jobs, exceeding the cutbacks General Motors Co. announced last week, according to Morgan Stanley. Ford has yet to detail its job cuts, but Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas predicts they could be larger than GM’s in a note to investors. “We estimate a large portion of Ford’s restructuring actions will be focused on Ford Europe, a business we currently value at negative $7 billion,” Jonas wrote. “But we also expect a significant restructuring effort in North America, involving significant numbers of both salaried and hourly UAW and CAW workers.”…

Robot Janitors Are Coming to Walmart…

Robots are coming to a Walmart Inc. near you, and not just as a gimmick. The world’s largest retailer is rolling out 360 autonomous floor-scrubbing robots in some of its stores in the U.S. by the end of the January, it said in a joint statement with Brain Corp., which makes the machines. The autonomous janitors can clean floors on their own even when customers are around, according to the San Diego-based startup. Walmart has already been experimenting with automating the scanning of shelves for out-of-stock items and hauling products from storage for online orders. Advances in computer vision are…

Jobless Future: Amazon is reportedly testing its cashier-less technology in larger stores

Amazon might be aiming to scale up its cashier-less stores, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, which says that the company is testing the technology in larger stores. In January, Amazon opened its first cashier-less store in Seattle, which was followed by additional locations in Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco. Those stores use cameras and software to detect what items customers pick up and charges them accordingly, allowing them to forgo the entire check-out process. Amazon’s existing stores are the size of a small convenience store — and are thus much smaller than your typical grocery store,…

Millennials Are Just Like Their Parents. Only Poorer

Millennials, long presumed to have less interest in the nonstop consumption of goods that underpins the American economy, might not be that different after all, a new study from the Federal Reserve says. Their spending habits are a lot like the generations that came before them, they just have less money at this point in their lives, the Fed study found. The group born between 1981 and 1997 has fallen behind because many of them came of age during the financial crisis. “We find little evidence that millennial households have tastes and preference for consumption that are lower than those…

84% of stocks owned by richest 10% of Americans

Every time Trump reminds you that the stock market has experienced a feverish, tubercular bloom under his presidency, just recall that 84% of stocks are held by 10% of Americans. The wealth of middle class people is primarily in the form of their personal residences, whose value has driven to incredible peaks by rich people (often represented by hedge funds) diversifying their portfolios by speculating in the property markets. That is why any politician who proposes to do something about the housing crisis without addressing the underlying factors of inequality will end up infuriating the middle class, because that fix…

Global Debt Bubble: The 247 Trillion Overhang

The Institute of International Finance has made another unpleasant announcement. Or call it a warning. The global debt hit a record of $247 trillion during the first quarter of 2018. Global debt is up by $30 trillion since the fourth quarter of 2016 and $8 trillion since the fourth quarter of 2017. The zeros have taken on a life of their own as the world is facing records debts. The new and unprecedented record global debt equals 318 percent of global GDP. The U.S. now has a debt-to-GDP ratio of 101 percent, up one percent. Deficit spending under President Trump…

The ‘Netflix’ model of car ownership is on the rise for drivers who need wheels–without the debt

After Tiffany Ford McLemore’s car was destroyed in an accident, the single mother of four needed a new one. Quickly. Yet she didn’t want to take out another auto loan and so she researched her options. That’s when she stumbled on flexdrive, which calls itself Netflix for cars, and is one of several new companies offering vehicles through a subscription. “I love the flexibility,” Ford McLemore said. She now drives her children to sports and band practice in a 2018 Volkswagen Jetta. Automakers, dealers and start-ups now offer car subscriptions as an alternative to the traditional financing model, which increasingly…

American debt is set to hit $4 trillion

It’s only been five years since Americans hit a grand total of $3 trillion in consumer debt and yet, by the end of 2018, that figure is expected to jump by another trillion. In the first nine months of 2018, Americans had a cumulative $3.93 trillion in debt, excluding mortgages, with $1 trillion of that from credit cards and $2.93 trillion from other sources such as student loans and auto loans. With holiday shopping underway, Americans’ credit card bills are set to increase by at least 5 percent, according to mortgage site LendingTree. That $600 million or so in extra…

Small independent neighborhood bookstores, pronounced dead a decade ago, are booming again

After nearly being wiped out by the ascendancy of Amazon and other online retailers, small bookstores – once thought doomed to extinction – are making a heady comeback. Investment Small independent neighborhood bookstores, pronounced dead a decade ago, are booming, according to industry watchers. “Bookstores are back and they’re back in a big way,” noted Shakespeare & Co. owner Dane Neller, of New York City — a local favorite that has struggled to stay afloat throughout the past fifteen years — cited by Cbsnews.com. “I’m not giving to to hyperbole, it was record-breaking for us,” added Neller, who recently announced the opening of a third small neighborhood bookstore on Manhattan’s West Side. A…

Microsoft surpasses Apple as most valuable public company

Microsoft’s big bet on cloud computing is paying off as the company has surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company. The software maker’s prospects looked bleak just a few years ago, as licenses for the company’s Windows system fell with a sharp drop in sales of personal computers. But under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has found stability by focusing on software and services over the internet, or the cloud, with long-term business contracts. That 1990s personal-computing powerhouse is now having a renaissance moment, as it eclipses Facebook, Google, Amazon and the other tech darlings of the late…

Growing hemp is about to be legal for the first time in nearly a century

Congress just reached an agreement on proposed legislation that could make hemp legal to grow in the United States for the first time in nearly a century. Hemp may be derived from the same plant as marijuana, but it doesn’t make anyone high and is commonly used in food, fuel, and bracelets. The new legislation officially acknowledges the difference between the two. Technically speaking, hemp is a variety of the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Though its derivatives have been used for everything from textiles to medicine, hemp is currently…

GM’s Job Cuts Are Another Sign of a Future With Fewer Cars

If America’s biggest automaker’s crystal ball is working, the future of cars has way fewer cars. That’s the thinking driving General Motors’ major internal restructuring announcement, which came Monday. The company plans to stop producing many compact or sedan models, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt, and Impala, the Buick LaCrosse, and the Cadillac CT6. It will close at least three assembly plants that build those cars, in Youngstown, Ohio; Oshawa, Ontario; and Detroit. And it will lay off as many as 14,000 men and women, including about 8,000 salaried workers, along the way. For industry observers, GM’s announcement wasn’t shocking.…

New Mexico archdiocese to file for bankruptcy over sex abuse

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced Thursday it will soon be filing for bankruptcy protection, as the Catholic church in New Mexico has settled numerous claims of sexual abuse by clergy over the years and is close to depleting its reserves. About 20 dioceses and other religious orders around the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of clergy sex abuse claims, according to lawyers representing the archdiocese. Archbishop John Wester said he had been contemplating the action for years but that the archdiocese had reached a tipping point and he wanted to ensure there would be resources…

These Countries Are Quickly and Quietly Dumping the Dollar

Over the past few months, there has been a steady uptick in the number of countries dumping significant portions of their dollar holdings. This is causing many people to worry whether or not the US economy is in for a massive shock sooner, later, or somewhere in between. While American corporate media outlets either ignore the developments entirely or claim that there is nothing to worry about, the reality is that the dumping of the dollar is a process that is clearly underway. More than that, it appears it is a process that is at least partially coordinated by a…