many new quandaries for the women, clients and medical personnel. Viktoria and her family face one such dilemma: Her payment will help them survive, but it is far from clear where they should go after her recovery from a C-section. The family has remained in the apartment rented by the clinic in Kyiv; her hometown, Kharkiv, is still hit by regular shelling.

For many surrogate mothers, the question was about where to deliver. Threats included not just fighting, but how the authorities established by the Russian occupation government would handle a surrogate birth.

A surrogate named Nadia lived in a village in Russia-occupied territory that was not at risk of artillery shelling. But she decided to evacuate to Ukrainian-controlled territory to deliver the baby, lest the biological parents be deprived of custody, and she lose the fee.

She spent two days with her husband and 11-year-old daughter sleeping in a car on a roadside that is sometimes shelled, waiting to cross the front line.

Ms. Burkovska, the small-agency owner, went into the war with two stranded surrogate babies in her care. In contrast to most surrogacy agencies, she cares for newborns in her own home before biological parents pick them up. For a time, she had to shelter in a basement with the newborns, her partner and her own children.

As more babies arrived in the first months of war, she wound up with seven newborns whose biological parents could not immediately retrieve them, as travel to wartime Ukraine became difficult and as some remaining coronavirus restrictions, like China’s, caused delays.

Ms. Burkovska’s own children helped care for the infants until their parents could get them. By August, most of the parents had arrived to pick up their children.

A Chinese client with BioTexCom, Zhang Zong, was one of those who struggled to reach Kyiv through travel delays. He said the wait had been excruciating. “I was very worried because of the war,” he said.

Meeting his 6-month-old son, he said, was both thrilling and a little strange. “I was extremely excited when they let me hug him,” Mr. Zhang said. “He has been here for a long time and everyone hugs him, everyone likes him, and I am not so special.”

But he added that was only for now. “When he grows up,” Mr. Zhang said, “I can tell him this story.”

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Tricon Announces Normal Course Issuer Bid

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tricon Residential Inc. (“Tricon” or the “Company”) (NYSE: TCN, TSX: TCN), an owner and operator of single-family rental homes and multi-family rental apartments in the United States and Canada, announced today that the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) has approved its notice of intention to make a normal course issuer bid (the “Bid”) for a portion of its common shares (“Common Shares”) trading on the TSX, the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and/or alternative Canadian trading systems, as appropriate opportunities arise from time to time. The Bid will be made in accordance with the requirements of the TSX and applicable Canadian and U.S. securities laws. Tricon is adopting an automatic securities repurchase plan in connection with its Bid that contains strict parameters regarding how its Common Shares may be repurchased during times when it would ordinarily not be permitted to purchase Common Shares due to regulatory restrictions or self-imposed blackout periods. Tricon may begin to purchase Common Shares on October 18, 2022.

As of October 7, 2022, there were 273,760,820 Common Shares issued and outstanding, and Tricon’s public float was 265,591,538 Common Shares. Pursuant to the Bid, Tricon intends to acquire up to 2,500,000 Common Shares, being approximately 0.94% of the public float of Common Shares, in the 12-month period commencing October 18, 2022 and ending on October 17, 2023. Purchases under the Bid will be funded through available cash and made by Tricon through the facilities of the TSX, the NYSE and/or alternative Canadian trading systems, in accordance with the TSX’s applicable policies and applicable regulatory requirements, including Rule 10b-18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The price that Tricon will pay for any Common Shares will be the market price of such Common Shares at the time of acquisition. Under the Bid, Tricon may purchase up to 160,449 Common Shares on the TSX during any trading day, which is 25% of 641,796 (the average daily trading volume for Tricon’s Common Shares on the TSX for the six months ended September 30, 2022). This limitation does not apply to purchases made pursuant to block purchase exemptions. Rule 10b-18 contains similar volume-based restrictions on daily purchases on the NYSE, subject to certain exceptions for block repurchases. Common Shares that are purchased under the Bid will be cancelled upon their purchase by Tricon.

Tricon believes that the repurchase of a portion of outstanding Common Shares is an appropriate use of available resources and is in the Company’s best interests. “Our primary capital allocation priorities of debt repayment and positioning our balance sheet for future growth remain unchanged,” said Gary Berman, Tricon’s President and CEO, “but we believe that buying back some of our shares is a worthwhile use of cash in the current share price environment.”

About Tricon Residential Inc.

Tricon Residential Inc. is an owner and operator of a growing portfolio of approximately 41,000 single-family rental homes and multi-family rental apartments in the United States and Canada with a primary focus on the U.S. Sun Belt. Our commitment to enriching the lives of our residents and local communities underpins Tricon’s culture and business philosophy. We strive to continuously improve the resident experience through our technology-enabled operating platform and innovative approach to rental housing. At Tricon Residential, we imagine a world where housing unlocks life’s potential. For more information, visit www.triconresidential.com.

Forward-Looking Information

Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. In some cases, forward-looking information can be identified by such terms such as “may”, “might”, “will”, “could”, “should”, “would”, “occur”, “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “intend”, “estimate”, “predict”, “potential”, “continue”, “likely”, “schedule”, or the negative thereof or other similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. Some of the specific forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to, statements with respect to the number of Common Shares to be acquired under the Bid and other related matters. Tricon has based these forward-looking statements on factors and assumptions about future events and financial trends that it believes may affect its financial condition, financial performance, business strategy and financial needs. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon assumptions that management of Tricon believe are reasonable based on information currently available to management, there can be no assurance that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements necessarily involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Tricon’s control, including, among other things, the risks identified in materials filed under Tricon’s profile at www.sedar.com from time to time. The forward-looking statements made in this news release relate only to events or information as of the date hereof. Except as required by applicable Canadian law, Tricon undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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Less Turnover, Smaller Raises: Hot Job Market May Be Losing Its Sizzle

Last year, Klaussner Home Furnishings was so desperate for workers that it began renting billboards near its headquarters in Asheboro, N.C., to advertise job openings. The steep competition for labor drove wages for employees on the furniture maker’s production floor up 12 to 20 percent. The company began offering $1,000 signing bonuses to sweeten the deal.

“Consumer demand was through the roof,” said David Cybulski, Klaussner’s president and chief executive. “We just couldn’t get enough labor fast enough.”

But in recent months, Mr. Cybulski has noticed that frenzy die down.

Hiring for open positions has gotten easier, he said, and fewer Klaussner workers are leaving for other jobs. The company, which has about 1,100 employees, is testing performance rewards to keep workers happy rather than racing to increase wages. The $1,000 signing bonus ended in the spring.

“No one is really chasing employees to the dollar anymore,” he said.

By many measures, the labor market is still extraordinarily strong even as fears of a recession loom. The unemployment rate, which stood at 3.7 percent in August, remains near a five-decade low. There are twice as many job openings as unemployed workers available to fill them. Layoffs, despite some high-profile announcements in recent weeks, are close to a record low.

Walmart and Amazon have announced slowdowns in hiring; others, such as FedEx, have frozen hiring altogether. Americans in July quit their jobs at the lowest rate in more than a year, a sign that the period of rapid job switching, sometimes called the Great Resignation, may be nearing its end. Wage growth, which soared as companies competed for workers, has also slowed, particularly in industries like dining and travel where the job market was particularly hot last year.

More broadly, many companies around the country say they are finding it less arduous to attract and retain employees — partly because many are paring their hiring plans, and partly because the pool of available workers has grown as more people come off the economy’s sidelines. The labor force grew by more than three-quarters of a million people in August, the biggest gain since the early months of the pandemic. Some executives expect hiring to keep getting easier as the economy slows and layoffs pick up.

“Not that I wish ill on any people out there from a layoff perspective or whatever else, but I think there could be an opportunity for us to ramp some of that hiring over the coming months,” Eric Hart, then the chief financial officer at Expedia, told investors on the company’s earnings call in August.

Taken together, those signals point to an economic environment in which employers may be regaining some of the leverage they ceded to workers during the pandemic months. That is bad news for workers, particularly those at the bottom of the pay ladder who have been able to take advantage of the hot labor market to demand higher pay, more flexible schedules and other benefits. With inflation still high, weaker wage growth will mean that more workers will find their standard of living slipping.

But for employers — and for policymakers at the Federal Reserve — the calculation looks different. A modest cooling would be welcome after months in which employers struggled to find enough staff to meet strong demand, and in which rapid wage growth contributed to the fastest inflation in decades. Too pronounced a slowdown, however, could lead to a sharp rise in unemployment, which would almost certainly lead to a drop in consumer demand and create a new set of problems for employers.

Recent research from economists at the Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas and St. Louis found that there had been a huge increase in poaching — companies hiring workers away from other jobs — during the recent hiring boom. If companies become less willing to recruit workers from competitors, and to pay the premium that doing so requires, or if workers become less likely to hop between jobs, that could lead wage growth to ease even if layoffs don’t pick up.

There are hints that could be happening. A recent survey from another career site, ZipRecruiter, found that workers have become less confident in their ability to find a job and are putting more emphasis on finding a job they consider secure.

“Workers and job seekers are feeling just a little bit less bold, a little bit more concerned about the future availability of jobs, a little bit more concerned about the stability of their own jobs,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

Some businesses, meanwhile, are becoming a bit less frantic to hire. A survey of small businesses from the National Federation of Independent Business found that while many employers still have open positions, fewer of them expect to fill those jobs in the next three months.

More clues about the strength of the labor market could come in the upcoming months, the time of year when companies, including retailers, traditionally ramp up hiring for the holiday season. Walmart said in September that this year it would hire a fraction of the workers it did during the last holiday season.

The signs of a cool-down extend even to leisure and hospitality, the sector where hiring challenges have been most acute. Openings in the sector have fallen sharply from the record levels of last year, and hourly earnings growth slowed to less than 9 percent in August from a rate of more than 16 percent last year.

Until recently, staffing shortages at Biggby Coffee were so severe that many of the chain’s 300-plus stores had to close early some days, or in some cases not open at all. But while hiring remains a challenge, the pressure has begun to ease, said Mike McFall, the company’s co-founder and co-chief executive. One franchisee recently told him that 22 of his 25 locations were fully staffed and that only one was experiencing a severe shortage.

“We are definitely feeling the burden is lifting in terms of getting people to take the job,” Mr. McFall said. “We’re getting more applications, we’re getting more people through training now.”

The shift is a welcome one for business owners like Mr. McFall. He said franchisees have had to raise wages 50 percent or more to attract and retain workers — a cost increase they have offset by raising prices.

“The expectation by the consumer is that you are raising prices, and so if you don’t take advantage of that moment, you are going to be in a pickle,” he said, referring to the pressure to increase wages. “So you manage it by raising prices.”

So far, Mr. McFall said, higher prices haven’t deterred customers. Still, he said, the period of severe staffing shortages is not without its costs. He has seen a loss in sales, as well as a loss of efficiency and experienced workers. That will take time to rebuild, he said.

“When we were in crisis, it was all we were focused on,” he said. “So now that it feels like the crisis is mitigating, that it’s getting a little better, we can now begin to focus on the culture in the stores and try to build that up again.”

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U.S. Department of Energy Extends Fluor-led Savannah River Site Management and Operating Contract through September 2027

IRVING, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has extended the Fluor-led Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS) management and operating contract at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina. The extension includes 4 years with an additional 1-year option. The total reimbursable contract value is $12 billion for 5 years, and Fluor will book its 4-year, $4.5 billion portion in the third quarter.

SRNS will continue uninterrupted management and operations activities at the site.

“This extension represents the DOE’s confidence in our performance to help safeguard our nation’s security and deliver on the important mission at the site,” said Tom D’Agostino, group president of Fluor’s Mission Solutions business. “We are continually improving efficiencies to accelerate program objectives and lower costs while also delivering capital projects of every scale. Our success is the result of a constant focus on the safety and security of our workers and protecting the surrounding communities and the environment.”

Work performed at the Savannah River Site includes environmental management and the cleanup of legacy materials, facilities and waste remaining from the Cold War. The site also supports and maintains the nuclear weapons stockpile as well as processing and storing nuclear materials in support of U.S. nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

About Fluor Corporation

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) is building a better future by applying world-class expertise to solve its clients’ greatest challenges. Fluor’s 41,000 employees provide professional and technical solutions that deliver safe, well-executed, capital-efficient projects to clients around the world. Fluor had revenue of $12.4 billion in 2021 and is ranked 259 among the Fortune 500 companies. With headquarters in Irving, Texas, Fluor has provided engineering, procurement and construction services for more than 110 years. For more information, please visit www.fluor.com or follow Fluor on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

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Some 230 Whales Beached In Tasmania; Rescue Efforts Underway

By Associated Press
September 21, 2022

The entrance to Macquarie Harbour is a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel known as Hell’s Gate.

About 230 whales have been stranded on Tasmania’s west coast, just days after 14 sperm whales were found beached on an island off the Australian state’s northwestern coast.

The pod stranded on Ocean Beach in Macquarie Harbour appears to be pilot whales and at least half are presumed to still be alive, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania said Wednesday.

A team from the Marine Conservation Program was assembling whale rescue gear and heading to the area, the department said.

The whales beached two years to the day after the largest mass-stranding in Australia’s history was discovered in the same harbor.

About 470 long-finned pilot whales were found on Sept. 21, 2020, stuck on sandbars. After a weeklong effort, 111 of those whales were rescued but the rest died.

The entrance to the harbor is a notoriously shallow and dangerous channel known as Hell’s Gate.

Local salmon farmer Linton Kringle helped in the 2020 rescue effort and said the latest challenge would be more difficult.

“Last time they were actually in the harbor and it’s quite calm and we could, sort of, deal with them in there and we could get the boats up to them,” Kringle told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“But just on the beach, you just can’t get a boat in there, it’s too shallow, way too rough. My thoughts would be try to get them onto a vehicle if we can’t swim them out,” Kringle added.

Vanessa Pirotta, a wildlife scientist specializing in marine mammals, said it was too early to explain why the stranding had occurred.

“The fact that we’ve seen similar species, the same time, in the same location, reoccurring in terms of stranding at that same spot might provide some sort of indication that there might be something environmental here,” Pirotta said.

David Midson, general manager of the West Coast Council municipality, urged people to stay clear.

“Whales are a protected species, even once deceased, and it is an offense to interfere with a carcass,” the environment department said.

Fourteen sperm whales were discovered Monday afternoon on King Island, part of the state of Tasmania in the Bass Strait between Melbourne and Tasmania’s northern coast.

Griffith University marine scientist Olaf Meynecke said it’s unusual for sperm whales to wash ashore. He said that warmer temperatures could also be changing the ocean currents and moving the whales’ traditional food.

“They will be going to different areas and searching for different food sources,” Meynecke said. “When they do this, they are not in the best physical condition because they might be starving so this can lead them to take more risks and maybe go closer to shore.”

The pilot whale is notorious for stranding in mass numbers, for reasons that are not entirely understood.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Carbon Farming Is A New Way For Farmers To Make Extra Money

By Alexa Liacko
September 19, 2022

Thousands of farms had to shut down last year due to low profits. Now there’s a new way for farmers to make money.

It’s getting tougher and tougher to survive as a family on a farm these days because the cost of doing business is just getting so high. But there’s a new, environmentally friendly way of farming that’s putting thousands of dollars back into farmers pockets. 

Since 1926, Todd Olander’s family has worked this land to make a living. 

“We grow corn, alfalfa, barley, wheat, rye. I am the last remaining farmer that’s left out of everyone,” said Olander. 

He’s trying to keep his family’s legacy alive, but, to do that, he’s had to embrace change. 

“I’m always open to trying different things,” he said. 

The corn fields that once provided a stable paycheck weren’t making as much of a profit, so he started a malting operation that works with Colorado breweries and distilleries. It’s called root shoot malting.

Mike Myers helps him run it. 

“We wanted to focus on quality more than anything. So that also kind of is why we’ve changed some of our farming practices is to make sure that our barley is the highest quality possible,” said Myers.  

The biggest change to their farming practices: becoming a carbon farming operation. 

What does that mean? When plants grow, they remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it. Now, there are companies making natural compounds to help crops do that better. The goal is to slow or reverse the impacts of climate change and grow crops better and faster. 

Todd is getting paid to try this carbon farming assistant on his crops. 

“It’s not going to replace actually growing the crops. It’s going to be just extra money to kind of offset maybe some of the extra fertilizer costs or fuel costs that we’re seeing,” said Olander. 

It’s earned him several thousand dollars, at a time when every penny counts. The company that he’s working with has paid family-owned farms across the country more than $1.5 million for carbon farming. 

“That’d be my hope is that farmers are going to see the incentive to actually earn a little bit of extra money and they’re going to take some of these steps towards regenerative farming,” he said. 

And Todd is taking his carbon farming one step further — he’s growing radishes as ground cover to keep the soil cool, moist and full of nutrients. 

TODD OLANDER: Once you get the cycle working together, you should be able to eliminate fertilizer. 

SCRIPPS’ ALEXA LIACKO: And that’s better for the planet, too.

OLANDER: It is. Exactly. 

These two know, every farmer that takes on these changes can help better feed our nation and better protect our environment. 

“I think we can reverse global warming. I mean, that’s that’s my hope,” said Olander.  

Source: newsy.com

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Treasury Recommends Exploring Creation Of A Digital Dollar

By Associated Press
September 16, 2022

The Atlantic Council nonpartisan think tank says many other countries already are exploring or have created a central bank digital currency.

The Biden administration is moving one step closer to developing a central bank digital currency, known as the digital dollar, saying it would help reinforce the U.S. role as a leader in the world financial system.

The White House said on Friday that after President Joe Biden issued an executive order in March calling on a variety of agencies to look at ways to regulate digital assets, the agencies came up with nine reports, covering cryptocurrency impacts on financial markets, the environment, innovation and other elements of the economic system.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said one Treasury recommendation is that the U.S. “advance policy and technical work on a potential central bank digital currency, or CBDC, so that the United States is prepared if CBDC is determined to be in the national interest.”

“Right now, some aspects of our current payment system are too slow or too expensive,” Yellen said on a Thursday call with reporters laying out some of the findings of the reports.

Central bank digital currencies differ from existing digital money available to the general public, such as the balance in a bank account, because they would be a direct liability of the Federal Reserve, not a commercial bank.

According to the Atlantic Council nonpartisan think tank, 105 countries representing more than 95% of global gross domestic product already are exploring or have created a central bank digital currency. The council found that the U.S. and the U.K. are far behind in creating a digital dollar or its equivalent.

Treasury, the Justice Department, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies were tasked with contributing to reports that would address various concerns about the risks, development and usage of digital assets. Several reports will come out in the next weeks and months.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers have submitted various pieces of legislation to regulate cryptocurrency and other digital assets.

The director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, told reporters that “we’ve seen in recent months substantial turmoil in cryptocurrency markets and these events really highlight how, without proper oversight, cryptocurrencies risk harming everyday Americans’ financial stability and our national security.”

“It is why this administration believes that now more than ever,” he said, “prudent regulation of cryptocurrencies is needed.”

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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