WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. housing construction rebounded strongly in March with home builders recovering from an unusually frigid February.
Builders began construction on new homes and apartments at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.74 million units in March, the Commerce Department reported Friday, a 19.4% increase over February when housing construction fell by 11.3%.
Severe storms raked several regions of the country in February, setting construction back.
Friday's report showed that application for building permits, a good sign of future activity, increased by 2.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.77 million units.
CANBERRA, Australia — Australia reported its first death linked to the AstraZeneca shot on Friday.
The 48-year-old woman was injected with the vaccine on April 8. That was hours before Australian authorities recommended people under the age of 50 take the Pfizer shot instead because of the small risk of rare blood clots associated with AstraZeneca, Therapeutic Goods Administration, the vaccine regulator, said in a statement.
She was admitted with blood clots to a Newcastle hospital in New South Wales state four days later and died on Thursday, the statement said.
The woman is the third case of blood clots in Australia officially linked to the vaccine since the national rollout began in early March. About 885,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the nation.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— China’s success at controlling the coronavirus outbreak leaves its public reluctant to get vaccinated
— Shortage of intubation drugs is the latest problem the pandemic has brought in Brazil
— Louisiana is making a full-court press to get shots in arms, with creative outreach to make it easy to get vaccinated
— Tokyo Olympic organizers again say postponed games will open in just 100 days despite Japan's virus surge
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
MADRID — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says he is “very hopeful” the country can come up with its own COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year.
BEIJING (AP) — A top Chinese diplomat has called U.S. policy on China “too negative,” saying it highlights confrontation over cooperation.
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng said Friday that cooperation could be critically important as U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration focuses on COVID-19 and economic recovery.
Le told The Associated Press in an interview that the two countries could tide over many difficulties by working together. He said the emphasis on competition and confrontation lacks a forward-looking spirit.
But the vice minister added that cooperation needs to be on an equal basis and should not be “one side drawing up a laundry list or demands to the other side.”
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. The AP’s previous story is below:
A leading Chinese diplomat said Friday that his country, the world’s largest carbon emitter, plans to send a “positive message” at a climate change meeting called by U.S. President Joe Biden for next week.
But Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng also signaled that China is unlikely to make any new proposal beyond its current commitments on climate change.
“For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered," he said in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press. "Some countries are asking China to do more on climate change. I am afraid this is not very realistic.”
He spoke as Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, was discussing the issue on the second day of closed-door meetings with Chinese counterparts in Shanghai.
Le said he had no details on those meetings.
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced last year that China would be carbon-neutral by 2060 and aim to reach a peak in its emissions by 2030.
Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Xi,...
BEIJING (AP) — Top Chinese diplomat calls US policy on China 'too negative,' says it highlights confrontation over cooperation.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most crucial tools that you should be leveraging when it comes to boosting your website.
Any business looking to maximize exposure, boost lead generation, and enhance the perception surrounding their brand must integrate effective SEO strategies into their marketing mix. That being said, choosing the right SEO provider and the right SEO package can be difficult with so many to choose from. To help you figure out the right provider to pick, we’ve come up with guidelines that you should use to identify the right one.
HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong court on Friday sentenced five leading pro-democracy advocates, including media tycoon Jimmy Lai, to up to 18 months in prison for organizing and participating in a massive march during 2019 anti-government protests that triggered an overwhelming crackdown from Beijing.
A total of nine advocates were given jail terms, but four of them, including 82-year-old lawyer and former lawmaker Martin Lee, had their sentences suspended after their age and accomplishments were taken into consideration.
They were found guilty earlier this month of organizing and participating in a massive protest in August 2019, where an estimated 1.7 million people marched in opposition to a bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China. The march was not authorized by the police.
Their convictions and sentencing are another blow to the city’s flagging democracy movement, which is facing an unprecedented crackdown by Beijing and Hong Kong authorities. The sentences were swiftly met with international criticism.
The court suspended the 11-month prison sentence of Lee, who is known for his advocacy for human rights and democracy, for two years because of his age.
Lai, the founder of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily tabloid, was sentenced to a total of 14 months in prison Friday for charges related to demonstration on Aug. 18, 2019, and a separate unauthorized march on Aug. 31, 2019.
Lai was also slapped with two additional charges Friday, one under the national security law accusing him of conspiring to collude with foreign powers and another accusing him of helping local activists to escape the city.
Prior to sentencing, Lai was already being held on other charges, including a previous charge of foreign collusion to intervene in the city’s...
As a small business owner, you have a million balls in the air at any given time, but there are some you definitely can’t drop — like making sure your business is fully insured, including protecting your business travel, company vehicles, and drivers.
If you’re about to open up a new business, or you are going to list a vehicle under your business or add commercial driving or drivers to your operations, you need commercial auto insurance.
And while it’s a requirement, it’s also just a good idea. If something happens to one of your work vehicles (or if the worst-case-scenario occurs and one of your employees is hurt in an auto accident on the clock), commercial auto insurance will protect you and your company from the fallout.…
The post Do You Need Commercial Auto Insurance For Your Small Business? appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ten liberal senators are urging President Joe Biden to back India and South Africa’s appeal to the World Trade Organization to temporarily relax intellectual property rules so coronavirus vaccines can be manufactured by nations that are struggling to inoculate their populations.
The lawmakers, in a letter delivered to the White House on Thursday evening, wrote that Biden should “prioritize people over pharmaceutical company profits” and support the temporary waiver of the rules. A waiver could pave the way for generic or other manufacturers to make more vaccines.
The letter was led by independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, along with Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Raphael Warnock of Georgia also signed the letter.
“Simply put, we must make vaccines, testing, and treatments accessible everywhere if we are going to crush the virus anywhere,” the lawmakers say in the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press.
More than 100 nations support a temporary waiver, which could help vaccine manufacturing ramp up in poorer countries that are struggling to acquire vaccine supplies. The Biden administration has said it is studying the issue.
Opponents, including pharmaceutical companies, worry that it would set dangerous precedent in allowing scientists around the globe to copy American and European companies’ research — some of which was funded by the U.S. government — long before patents expire. The Trump administration had opposed calls for the waiver.
The White House did not respond to a...
MUMBAI, India (AP) — Migrant workers are piling into rail stations in India's financial capital Mumbai to head back to their home villages now that virus-control measures have dried up work in the hard-hit region.
“What do I do now?" asked Ramzan Ali, who'd been earning up to 500 rupees ($7) per day as a laborer but has been out of work for two weeks.
He arrived at Kurla railroad station on Friday morning and joined a long line to buy a ticket to board a train for Balrampur, his village in northern Uttar Pradesh state. Ali, 47, hopes to find some work in the village to feed his wife and four children.
The government of Maharashtra state, home to Mumbai, imposed lockdown-like curbs on Wednesday for 15 days to check the spread of the virus. It closed most industries, businesses and public places and limited the movement of people, but didn’t stop bus, train and air services.
An exodus ensued, with panicked day laborers hauling backpacks onto overcrowded trains leaving Mumbai. The migration is raising fears of the virus spreading in rural areas.
Maharashtra has been the center of the nation's recent record surge in new infections. On Friday, India recorded another high of 217,353 new cases in the past 24 hours, pushing its total since the pandemic began past 14.2 million. The Health Ministry also reported 1,185 fatalities in the past 24 hours, raising deaths to 174,308.
The rush among migrant workers was not as desperate as last year when Indian Railways suspended all passenger train services during a strict and sudden nationwide lockdown. That forced tens of thousands of impoverished workers to walk or ride trucks and buses in soaring heat as they tried to return home.
Also, northern states like Punjab, Haryana and New Delhi and western Rajasthan state haven’t...
TOKYO (AP) — Global shares advanced Friday after China reported its economy expanded at an 18% annual pace in the first quarter of the year.
France's CAC 40 added 0.2% in early trading to 6,247.86 while Germany's DAX gained 0.6% to 15,352.50. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.4% to 7,013.48. U.S. shares were set for a slow start, with Dow futures inching up less than 0.1% at 33,925.0. S&P 500 futures fell 0.1% to 4,159.90.
Jubilance over positive Chinese and U.S. economic data and another record high on Wall Street was tempered by caution over coronavirus outbreaks in the region, where rollouts of the vaccine have lagged.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.1% to finish at 29,683.37. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 recouped earlier losses, rising 0.1% to 7,063.50. South Korea's Kospi added 0.1% to 3,198.62. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6% to 28,969.71, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.8% to 3,426.62.
The contrast between the speed of vaccine rollouts in the U.S. and Asia has been striking. Nearly half of American adults have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 30% of adults in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Japan, where inoculations for the public have barely started, has seen a resurgence of infections in recent weeks. The country’s western metropolis of Osaka reported more than 1,200 new infections Thursday, its highest since the pandemic began. A top ruling party official suggested the possibility of canceling the Tokyo Olympics, set to start in July, if infections continue to surge.
Japan decided on measures to stem the rise of infections for several additional areas, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures, near Tokyo, as well as Aichi in central Japan. Six areas, including major cities of Tokyo and Osaka, were already under...
BOSTON (AP) — A global epidemic of digital extortion known as ransomware is crippling local governments, hospitals, school districts and businesses by scrambling their data files until they pay up. Law enforcement has been largely powerless to stop it.
One big reason: Ransomware rackets are dominated by Russian-speaking cybercriminals who are shielded — and sometimes employed — by Russian intelligence agencies, according to security researchers, U.S. law enforcement, and now the Biden administration.
On Thursday, as the U.S. slapped sanctions on Russia for malign activities including state-backed hacking, the Treasury Department said Russian intelligence has enabled ransomware attacks by cultivating and co-opting criminal hackers and giving them safe harbor. With ransomware damages now well into the tens of billions of dollars, former British intelligence cyber chief Marcus Willett recently deemed the scourge “arguably more strategically damaging than state cyber-spying.”
The value of Kremlin protection isn’t lost on the cybercriminals themselves. Earlier this year, a Russian-language dark-web forum lit up with criticism of a ransomware purveyor known only as “Bugatti,” whose gang had been caught in a rare U.S.-Europol sting. The assembled posters accused him of inviting the crackdown with technical sloppiness and by recruiting non-Russian affiliates who might be snitches or undercover cops.
Worst of all, in the view of one long-active forum member, Bugatti had allowed Western authorities to seize ransomware servers that could have been sheltered in Russia instead. “Mother Russia will help,” that individual wrote. “Love your country and nothing will happen to you.” The conversation was captured by the security firm Advanced Intelligence, which shared it with the Associated Press.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Top European Union and British officials failed to get a breakthrough at talks on Northern Ireland trade rules and said Friday that contact would continue over the coming weeks.
The dinner meeting late Thursday between European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic and U.K. Brexit minister David Frost took place a month after the EU started legal action against its former member country, arguing that the U.K. had not respected the conditions of the Brexit agreement and violated international law.
A British statement said that “a number of difficult issues remained and it was important to continue to discuss them.”
Frost said that “there should be intensified contacts at all levels in the coming weeks.”
The two sides are trying to find common ground on trade rules in Northern Ireland, where Britain’s exit from the EU has unsettled a delicate political balance.
Northern Ireland is part of the U.K. but remained part of the EU’s single market for goods after Brexit to avoid checks at the territory’s border with EU member Ireland. An open Irish border helped underpin the peace process that ended decades of sectarian violence, allowing people in Northern Ireland to feel at home in both Ireland and the U.K.
Unionists say the arrangement the British government and the EU worked out has amounted to the creation of a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.
The EU and U.K. agreed on the post-Brexit trade deal on Christmas Eve but its application is still provisional until the EU's legislature approves it, theoretically by the end of the month.
Some EU legislators are threatening to hold back the parliamentary approval vote until they receive further assurances from London on the issues Frost and Sefcovic were discussing..
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s central bank is banning the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in payments for goods and services, according to a decision published in the country’s Official Gazette on Friday.
The decision comes as many in Turkey have turned to cryptocurrencies to shield their savings from rising inflation and the Turkish currency’s slump.
In a statement explaining its reasons, the bank said transactions carried out through the use of cryptocurrencies presented “irrevocable" risks.
Crypto assets are “neither subject to any regulation and supervision mechanisms nor a central regulatory authority. Their market values can be excessively volatile,” the bank stated.
It also cited their use in ”illegal actions due to their anonymous structures,” and their possible use “illegally without the authorization of their holders.”
The restriction would come into effect on April 30, the bank said.
MOSCOW (AP) — U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is asking the European Court of Human Rights to block Russia from enforcing penalties that could cost the broadcaster millions of dollars.
Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor last year ordered broadcasters designated as foreign agents to add a lengthy statement to news reports, social media posts and audiovisual materials specifying that the content was created by an outlet “performing the functions of a foreign agent.”
The law, which applies to non-governmental political organizations and media receiving foreign funding, has been widely criticized as aiming to discredit critical reporting and dissent. The term “foreign agent” carries strong pejorative connotations in Russia.
Since October, Roskomnadzor has filed 390 violation cases against RFE/RL and is expected to announce more Friday. The broadcaster says the fines could total the equivalent of $2.4 million.
RFE/RL said it is asking the human rights court to order Russia to refrain from enforcing the fines until the court can make a full ruling on Roskomnadzor's moves, which the broadcaster contends violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
“We are hopeful that the European Court of Human Rights will view these actions by the government of Russia for what they are: an attempt to suppress free speech and the human rights of the Russian people,” RFE/RL president Jamie Fly said in a statement Thursday.
Russia recently has stepped up actions that appear to be aimed at stifling dissent. Criminal charges were filed this week against four editors of an online student magazine that had posted a video connected to the nationwide protests in January calling for the release of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
A court last week...
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean steelmaker on Friday said it plans to end a joint venture with a military-controlled firm in Myanmar following criticism that its business has benefited military leaders who have violently suppressed pro-democracy protests there.
POSCO Coated & Color Steel said it has decided to discontinue its partnership with Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company Limited, which is about 40% owned by Myanmar’s Defense Ministry. However, the South Korean company said it would not pull out of Myanmar.
POSCO C&C owns 70% of its joint venture with MEHL, Myanmar POSCO C&C. Min Ji-hyun, an official from POSCO C&C, said the company has informed MEHL it wants to buy the Myanmar firm’s 30% stake so that it can continue operating the venture with full ownership. MEHL has yet to respond to POSCO C&C’s offer, Min said.
Min said he couldn’t provide detailed estimates on how much the deal would cost POSCO C&C, saying that would depend on when it goes through. He said the company will look for “other ways” to continue doing business in Myanmar if MEHL refuses to sell its stake, but did not elaborate on what those might be.
Human rights activists have been pressuring many companies around the globe to end any financial support for the military. The U.S. government has imposed sanctions on MEHL and a similar military-controlled conglomerate, Myanmar Economic Corp.
POSCO C&C is an affiliate of South Korean steel giant POSCO that manufactures steel sheets. The company issued a statement saying it hopes its steel business will “continue to contribute in improving living environments in Myanmar and facilitate the country’s economy.”
A military junta took over Myanmar from an elected civilian government in a Feb. 1 coup. Security forces have killed at least 700...
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Google broke Australian law by misleading users about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices, a judge found Friday.
The Federal Court decision was a partial win for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the nation’s fair trade watchdog, which has been prosecuting Google for broader alleged breaches of consumer law since October 2019.
Justice Thomas Thawley found that Google misled Android mobile device users about personal location data collected between January 2017 and December 2018.
“This is an important victory for consumers, especially anyone concerned about their privacy online, as the court’s decision sends a strong message to Google and others that big businesses must not mislead their customers,” Commission Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome in this world-first case,” he added.
Google is considering an appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court.
“The court rejected many of the ACCC’s broad claims,” a Google statement said.
“We disagree with the remaining findings and are currently reviewing our options, including a possible appeal,” Google added.
The judge ruled that when users created a new Google account during the initial set-up process of their Android device, Google misrepresented that the “Location History” setting was the only Google account setting that affected whether Google collected, kept or used personally identifiable data about their location.
But another Google account setting titled “Web & App Activity” also enabled Google to collect, store and use personally identifiable location data when it was turned on, and that setting was turned on by default.
The judge also found that when users later...
BEIJING (AP) — China’s economy grew by double digits in the latest quarter but an explosive rebound from the coronavirus pandemic is slowing abruptly as manufacturing and consumer spending return to normal.
The economy grew by 18.3% over a year ago, official data showed Friday, a figure that was magnified by comparison with early 2020, when factories and shops were closed and activity plunged. Growth compared with 2020’s final quarter, when a recovery was under way, slowed to 0.6%, among the weakest of the past decade.
The latest figures “mask a sharp slowdown” in the world's second-largest economy as stimulus spending and easy credit are wound down, Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital economics said in a report.
“China’s post-COVID rebound is leveling off,” Evans-Pritchard said.
Manufacturing, auto sales and consumer spending have recovered to above pre-pandemic levels since the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the coronavirus last March and allowed factories and stores to reopen. Restaurants and shopping malls are filling up, though visitors still are checked for the virus’s telltale fever.
The economy “delivered a stable performance with a consolidated foundation and good momentum of growth,” the National Bureau of Statistics said in a report.
Forecasters expect economic growth of at least 7% this year but say China's outlook is clouded by trade tension with Washington and disruptions in global supplies of processor chips needed by smartphone makers and other tech industries the ruling party is counting on to propel a self-sustaining economy and reduce reliance on trade.
The latest figures are in line with expectations due to the low basis for comparison in early 2020. The economy shrank by 6.8% in the first quarter, the worst...
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has announced the U.S. is expelling 10 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions against dozens of people and companies, holding the Kremlin accountable for interference in last year's presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies.
The sweeping measures announced Thursday are meant to punish Russia for actions that U.S. officials say cut to the core of American democracy and to deter future acts by imposing economic costs on Moscow, including by targeting its ability to borrow money. The sanctions are certain to exacerbate tensions with Russia, which promised a response, even as President Joe Biden said the administration could have taken even more punitive measures but chose not to in the interests of maintaining stability.
“We cannot allow a foreign power to interfere in our democratic process with impunity,” Biden said at the White House.
Sanctions against six Russian companies that support the country's cyber efforts represent the first retaliatory measures against the Kremlin for the hack familiarly known as the SolarWinds breach, with the U.S. explicitly linking the intrusion to the SVR, a Russian intelligence agency. Though such intelligence-gathering missions are not uncommon, officials said they were determined to respond because of the operation's broad scope and the high cost of the intrusion on private companies.
The U.S. also announced sanctions on 32 individuals and entities accused of attempting to interfere in last year’s presidential election, including by spreading disinformation. U.S. officials alleged in a declassified report last month that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in his unsuccessful bid for reelection as president, though there’s no evidence Russia or anyone else changed...
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China's success at controlling the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a population that has seemed almost reluctant to get vaccinated. So it is accelerating its inoculation campaign by offering incentives — free eggs, store coupons and discounts on groceries and merchandise — to those getting a shot.
After a slow start, China is now giving millions of shots a day. On March 26 alone, it administered 6.1 million shots. A top government doctor, Zhong Nanshan, has announced a June goal of vaccinating 560 million of the country’s 1.4 billion people.
The challenge lies partly in the sheer scale of the effort and the need to convince a population that currently feels safe from infections.
When patients first showed up at hospitals in Wuhan in late 2019 with fevers, coughs and breathing difficulties, the government locked down the city and others in Hubei province for more than two months starting in January 2020. Wuhan later became known as the epicenter of the outbreak.
Since then, China has controlled the virus through stringent border controls and quick lockdowns whenever new outbreaks crop up. People can dine out in restaurants and the risk of infection is low, so many don't seem to be in a hurry to get the vaccine.
“I think everyone has a sense of security and comfort, and there’s no big rush to get vaccinated unless you are asked to do so,” said Helen Chen, a health care specialist at a market research firm in Shanghai.
But China also wants to open up as the world seeks to return to pre-pandemic normalcy and Beijing readies to welcome tens of thousands of visitors as host of the Winter Olympics in February 2022. While successful with swift lockdowns and a robust contact tracing system via smartphones, the government is also weighing those measures in balance with an eventual...
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean steelmaker POSCO will end joint venture with firm controlled by Myanmar military amid its lethal crackdown.
PORT FOURCHON, La. (AP) — Families anxiously awaited news of the 12 people missing from a capsized oil industry vessel Thursday while divers searching for survivors knocked on the ship's hull without response.
Rescuers don’t know whether any of the missing might be caught inside the lift boat called the Seacor Power that flipped over Tuesday in hurricane-force winds and high seas about 8 miles (13 kilometers) off the coast of Louisiana, Coast Guard spokesmen said.
“There is the potential they are still there, but we don’t know,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally said Thursday. “We’re still searching for 12 people because there are 12 still missing.”
The Coast Guard said on Twitter that divers were able to conduct operations Thursday but didn't hear anything when they knocked on the ship's hull. The Guard said dive operations were over and would resume Friday. They will continue to search overnight by air and sea.
A handful of the missing workers' family gathered at a two-story fire station at Port Fourchon, a sprawling port where much of the industry that services the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico is based.
Workers from across Louisiana and other parts of the country arrive at the port to load up on the fleet of helicopters and ships that take them to the oil rigs miles out for long stretches of work. The flat landscape is punctuated by cranes where cargo can be loaded or unloaded and docks or hangers to make repairs.
In a nearby harbor, shrimping boats were docked, and fishing camps stood raised on stilts to protect them from incoming storms.
Marion Cuyler, who is engaged to crane operator Chaz Morales, spoke to reporters Thursday outside the fire station after briefings by executives with boat owner Seacor and the Coast Guard. She said she...
The Treasury Department on Thursday slapped six Russian technology companies with sanctions for supporting Kremlin intelligence agencies engaged in “dangerous and disruptive cyber attacks.”
But only one of them stands out for its international footprint and partnerships with such IT heavyweights as Microsoft and IBM.
That company, Positive Technologies, claims more than 2,000 customers in 30 countries, including major European banks Societe Generale and ING, as well as Samsung, SK Telecom of South Korea and BT, the British telecommunications giant.
Its clients also include the FSB, a successor to the KGB that “cultivates and co-opts criminal hackers” who carry out ransomware and phishing attacks, the Treasury Department said. The U.S. said big conventions hosted by Positive Technologies are “used as recruiting events” by the FSB and the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency.
GRU agents are the swashbucklers of Russian intelligence. The agency stands accused of spearheading the hack-and-leak operation that interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to favor Donald Trump. Its agents also conducted the most damaging cyberattack on record, the runaway 2017 NotPetya virus that did more than $10 billion in global damage, its victims including the shipping giant Maersk and pharmaceutical company Merck.
The CEO of the software industry-supported Internet Research Institute in Moscow, Karen Kazaryan, said he was not familiar with most of the Russian IT companies sanctioned on Thursday. But Positive Tech is well-known in the industry for its annual Hack Days conference, which is scheduled for May 20-21 at a Moscow hotel.
Former CIA analyst Michael van Landingham applauded the naming and sanctioning of Russian IT companies known to have aided and abetted...
The Port of Kennewick has spent nearly $450,000 to address an “anonymous” complaint against two commissioners over a land sale dispute. The costs include $400,000 to investigate and adjudicate the complaint that Commission Chairman Don Barnes and Commissioner Tom Moak violated port policies and $49,000 to reimburse Barnes’ related legal fees. An investigator concluded both…
The post Port of Kennewick bill for complaint tops $450,000 appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
A Mesa man faces a lengthy prison sentence after pleading guilty to defrauding Tyson Foods Inc. and CME Group Inc. of more than $244 million through a stunning “ghost-cattle” scheme to cover his massive trading losses. Cody Easterday, 49, former president of Easterday Ranches in Franklin County, pleaded guilty to a single count of wire…
The post Easterday pleads guilty in $244M cattle fraud, faces 20 years appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Kennewick police Chief Ken Hohenberg is running for the Kennewick Port Commission seat held by Don Barnes in the 2021 election. Hohenberg registered his campaign with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission on Feb. 27. He announced his retirement from the city, effective February 2022, at the March 2 city council meeting. Financial documents show Hohenberg had raised more than $18,600 as of…
The post Police chief kicks off campaign season with run for port seat appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Sexton is starting with the marketplace and will add the other features in coming years. The marketplace is being built first for the simplest of reasons: Osprey Pointe already has the commercial zoning to accommodate it. It will take several more months for the city of Pasco and Franklin County to complete the zoning work…
A Texas-based company led by the former head of Allegiant Air is launching a new carrier April 28 with a map that includes three weekly flights between the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco and Burbank, California. Houston Air Holdings Inc., formerly charter carrier Xtra Airways, announced the launch of Avelo Airlines to fly nonstop flights from…
The post Airline veteran brings new carrier to Pasco, right on schedule appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Gesa makes $11M naming rights deal with WSU The playing surface at Washington State University’s Martin Stadium is now called Gesa Field under a 10-year naming rights deal valued at $11 million. Richland-based Gesa Credit Union and WSU announced the deal in March. The value could go higher if consumer incentives are reached. Don Miller,…
The Hanford nuclear site cleanup work happening in our backyard costs billions of dollars and relies on a complicated network of companies, favorable-to-Hanford political winds and the talents and time of its many workers. This complex cleanup project has long been a driver of the Tri-City economy, involving many contracts, businesses, state and federal oversight…
The post Hanford’s progress heartening in era of Covid-19 challenges appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
As state lawmakers enter the final weeks of the 2021 legislative session – and the start of the second year of the pandemic – the condition of the state budget is nothing short of amazing. At this time last year, the economy was in lockdown and unemployment was surging. Almost overnight, thousands of businesses were…
The post Surging state revenue should quell talk of raising taxes amid ongoing pandemic appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
The Ever Given’s six-day grounding in one of the narrowest parts of the Suez Canal underscores the vulnerability of the world’s supply chain and the choke points that can disrupt the global economy. The reverberations will be felt for months as consumer demand, suppressed by the Covid-19 pandemic, ramps up. The canal, which first opened…
The post Crisis in the Suez Canal highlights global supply chain weakness appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
History tells us that what we call the Tri-Cities started out as one railroad town and a handful of tiny farm-to-market burgs spread out along the Columbia River. Today, it is a proper metropolitan area with more than 300,000 people. On May 6, the Columbia Basin Badgers Club will tackle the thorny question of growth.…
The post Is the Tri-Cities growing as if the future matters? appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Consistent improvements to make your business function better are crucial for its sustainability and success. Unfortunately, no matter what adjustments you’ve done for your business, you can’t always ensure that your business will run efficiently.
Keep in mind that efficiency is what makes your business profitable. If there are instances that your business doesn’t make money and costs you more instead, it’s wise to fine-tune everything to make your business function better.
If you don’t know where to get started, consider the following:
Without transparent and effective communication, conflicts among your staff, misunderstandings, and other miscommunication between you and your clients may happen.…
If you are thinking of investing in a business venture, one of the things you could look into is that of a Lash Franchise. The market for this type of business is actually increasing as more people are becoming interested in enhancing their eyelashes to become more lush and dramatic.
photo credit: Shiny Diamond / Pexels
Eyelashes seem to be a not so common beauty enhancement but the difference in how your face would look with thick and lush eyelashes is huge. It can dramatically transform the way you look, and everyone deserves to look at their best even without an occasion or a reason to.…
As a small business owner, online marketing can be the greatest growth tool at your disposal. Younger generations don’t respond well to traditional marketing. And running a traditional marketing campaign is often significantly more expensive than running an online campaign. Moreover, in the digital world, creativity is just as useful as capital, which is an important aspect for small businesses.
However, with the rise of social media, online marketing has become more fragmented. Today video production attracts most of the attention.
In this article, you’ll discover four reasons why you should focus on video when it comes to your online marketing strategy.…
The post Online Marketing Tips: Four Reasons to Focus on Video appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Businesses continuously need to look for ways to enhance their productivity. Today, the customer has become aware and needs everything as per his demands. However, the good thing is that with the advancement in technology many apps have come in the market that can make things easier for the businesses.
Below is a list of top business applications.
Connecteam is the application that brings together all business requirements from field to office, across the board. You can interface your staff, oversee everyday tasks, improve worker experience and commitment, and drive your business forward. The best thing about it is that you can really have an across the board answer for dealing with your workers, rather than coordinating various arrangements which will be undeniably more convoluted, tedious, and expensive.…
Bitcoin is the currency that is most talked about in the world, but there are still some people who don’t know much about it. In this article, you are going to learn everything which you need to know about bitcoin. It is a new age currency that is virtual, and it allows people to make highly anonymous transactions.
The best thing is that this currency is a decentralized currency which means that no government can have control over it. Bitcoin is an entirely online currency that is tracked by the blockchain network. One of the biggest reasons behind the vast popularity of bitcoin is that no middleman is involved, so you don’t need to pay a high transaction fee.…
The post Want to Invest in Bitcoin? Some Essentials Things That You Need to Know Before You Buy appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Working for yourself is rarely easy. However, according to this Ted Talk by Joshua Lisec, 50% of millennials want to be their own boss. With the number of college graduates doing jobs that don’t require a college degree – going up every year to 41% in 2020, investing in your own business may seem like a legitimate alternative to investing in a business degree, for example.
As a graduate, starting your own business can be an attractive proposition too. If you don’t want to be another young graduate with a Master’s degree that costs tens of thousands, going to work every day to a job that pays $10 per hour, then starting a business can help you control your career.…
The post The Remote Solopreneur – Tips for Productivity & Success appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
How to boom your business in a jewelry shop? You’ve loaded your retail location with extraordinary and chic adornments you realize your clients will cherish. However, loading your store is just essential for the condition. To move property, you’ll need to show your adornments that will grab your client’s attention and show your gems in the best state – both in a real sense and metaphorically. Here are how to make a retail rocks show that won’t just draw in clients but will keep them returning.
All through the top half of the twentieth century, acclaimed artisans looked for some employment making retail window shows.…
The post Top 10 Ideas on Merchandising Your Jewelry Retail Shop Display appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Maybe you’ve heard that somehow a variety of practices associated with the implementation of updated or upgraded software might be considered for the R&D Tax Credits. Needless to say, the benefit is aimed at promoting the advancement of novel and advanced processes and technologies. The credit will help to reduce the uncertainties associated with creativity and recognize foresight.
When analyzing the seven major stages of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), it’s the fourth stage which development and coding entail operations that qualify for special tax credits.
Thus, while the new rules favored commercial software providers, you do not preclude your business solely just because you do not sell software to external parties.…
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