Maryna Lialko had raised the girls alone after their father left the family, their grandmother, Nina Lialko, said.

“She was devoted to these two girls,” she said.

Kateryna was discharged this fall from Ohmadyt hospital, where she received psychiatric and physical therapy, and the girls are now in Kyiv living with their grandmother and aunt.

The aunt, Olha Lialko, said she has seen a shift in their personalities. Kateryna is increasingly turning inward; she speaks very little and struggles to maintain eye contact. Yuliia still can’t fully comprehend the loss.

“Katya is very closed; she keeps it all to herself,” Olha Lialko said. “Yuliia is missing mom a lot. She needs attention, she likes to cuddle.”

The family is trying to help the girls process their loss. And occasionally they see glimpses of the girls they knew before the war.

They dye their hair wild colors and play with makeup. They fight as only sisters can, and cling closely to each other for company.

But no one knows what will come next for them. Their life is on hold. They attend school online and have few friends in the new city. The family is unable to return home to Donetsk but unwilling to commit to staying in Kyiv.

“It will be very difficult for them to live without her,” their grandmother said. “This life has no sense at all.”

Oleksandra Mykolyshyn contributed reporting

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Global Fallout From Rate Moves Won’t Stop the Fed

The Federal Reserve has embarked on an aggressive campaign to raise interest rates as it tries to tame the most rapid inflation in decades, an effort the central bank sees as necessary to restore price stability in the United States.

But what the Fed does at home reverberates across the globe, and its actions are raising the risks of a global recession while causing economic and financial pain in many developing countries.

Other central banks in advanced economies, from Australia to the eurozone, are also lifting rates rapidly to fight their inflation. And as the Fed’s higher interest rates attract money to the United States — pumping up the value of the dollar — emerging-market economies are being forced to raise their own borrowing costs to try to stabilize their currencies to the extent possible.

Altogether, it is a worldwide push toward more expensive money unlike anything seen before in the 21st century, one that is likely to have serious ramifications.

warned the damage could be particularly acute in poorer nations. Developing economies had already been dealing with a cost-of-living crisis because of soaring food and fuel prices, and now their American imports are growing steadily more expensive as the dollar marches higher.

The Fed’s moves have spurred market volatility and worries about financial stability, as higher rates elevate the value of the U.S. dollar, making it harder for emerging-market borrowers to pay back their dollar-denominated debt.

It is a recipe for globe-spanning turmoil and even recession. Despite that, the Fed is poised to continue raising interest rates. That’s because the Fed, like central banks around the world, is in charge of domestic economy goals: It’s supposed to keep inflation slow and steady while fostering maximum employment. While occasionally called “central banker to the world” because of the dollar’s foremost position, the Fed goes about its day-to-day business with its eye squarely on America.

loss of purchasing power over time, meaning your dollar will not go as far tomorrow as it did today. It is typically expressed as the annual change in prices for everyday goods and services such as food, furniture, apparel, transportation and toys.

The threat facing the global economy — including the Fed’s role in it — is expected to dominate the conversation next week as economists and government officials convene in Washington for the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

In a speech at Georgetown University on Thursday, Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the I.M.F., offered a grim assessment of the world economy and the tightrope that central banks are walking.

“Not tightening enough would cause inflation to become de-anchored and entrenched — which would require future interest rates to be much higher and more sustained, causing massive harm on growth and massive harm on people,” Ms. Georgieva said. “On the other hand, tightening monetary policy too much and too fast — and doing so in a synchronized manner across countries — could push many economies into prolonged recession.”

Noting that inflation remains stubbornly high and broad-based, she added: “Central banks have to continue to respond.”

The World Bank warned last month that simultaneous interest-rate increases around the world could trigger a global recession next year, causing financial crises in developing economies. It urged central banks in advanced economies to be mindful of the cross-border “spillover effects.”

“To achieve low inflation rates, currency stability and faster growth, policymakers could shift their focus from reducing consumption to boosting production,” David Malpass, the World Bank president, said.

Trade and Development Report said.

So far, major central banks have shown little appetite for stopping their inflation-busting campaigns. The Fed, which has made five rate increases this year, has signaled that it plans to raise borrowing costs even higher. Most officials expect to increase rates by at least another 1.25 percentage points this year, taking the policy rate to a range of 4.25 to 4.5 percent from the current 3 to 3.25 percent.

Even economies that are facing a pronounced slowdown have been lifting borrowing costs. The European Central Bank raised rates three-quarters of a point last month, even though the continent is approaching a dark winter of slowing growth and crushing energy costs.

according to the World Bank. Food costs in particular have driven millions further into extreme poverty, exacerbating hunger and malnutrition. As the dollar surge makes a range of imports pricier for emerging markets, that situation could worsen, even as the possibility of financial upheaval increases.

“Low-income developing countries in particular face serious risks from food insecurity and debt distress,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization, said during a news conference this week.

In Africa, officials have been urging the I.M.F. and Group of 20 nations to provide more emergency assistance and debt relief amid inflation and rising interest rates.

“This unprecedented shock further destabilizes the weakest economies and makes their need for liquidity even more pressing, to mitigate the effects of widespread inflation and to support the most vulnerable households and social strata, especially young people and women,” Macky Sall, chairman of the African Union, told leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

To be sure, central bankers in big developed economies like the United States are aware that they are barreling over other economies with their policies. And although they are focused on domestic goals, a severe weakening abroad could pave the way for less aggressive policy because of its implications for their own economic outlooks.

Waning demand from abroad could ease pressure on supply chains and reduce prices. If central bankers decide that such a chain reaction is likely to weigh on their own business activity and inflation, it may give them more room to slow their policy changes.

“The global tightening cycle is something that the Fed has to take into account,” said Megan Greene, global chief economist for the Kroll consulting firm. “They’re interested in what is going on in the rest of the world, inasmuch as it affects their ability to achieve their targets.”

his statement.

But many global economic officials — including those at the Fed — remain focused on very high inflation. Investors expect them to make another large rate increase when they meet on Nov. 1-2.

“We’re very attentive” to international spillovers to both emerging markets and advanced economies, Lisa D. Cook, a Fed governor, said during a question-and-answer session on Thursday. “But our mandate is domestic. So we’re very focused on inflation as it evolves in this country.”

Raghuram Rajan, a former head of India’s central bank and now an economist at the University of Chicago, has in the past pushed the Fed to take foreign conditions into account as it sets policy. He still thinks that measures like bond-buying should be pursued with an eye on global spillovers.

But amid high inflation, he said, central banks are required to pay attention to their own mandates to achieve price stability — even if that makes for a stronger dollar, weaker currencies and more pain abroad.

“The basic problem is that the world of monetary policy dances to the Fed’s tune,” Mr. Rajan said, later adding: “This is a problem with no easy solutions.”

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Bad News From the Fed? We’ve Been Here Before.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates again is hardly a positive development for anyone with a job, a business or an investment in the stock or bond market.

But it isn’t a great shock, either.

This is all about curbing inflation, which is running at 8.3 percent annually, near its highest rate in 40 years. On Wednesday, the Fed raised the short-term federal funds rate for a third consecutive time, to 3.25 percent, and said it would keep increasing it.

“We believe a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain later on,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said. He acknowledged that the Fed’s rate increases would raise unemployment and slow the economy.

last time severe inflation tested the mettle of the Federal Reserve was the era of Paul A. Volcker, who became Fed chair in August 1979, when inflation was already 11 percent and still rising. He managed to bring it below 4 percent by 1983, but at the cost of two recessions, sky-high unemployment and horrendous volatility in financial markets.

around 6 percent — and had set the country on a path toward price stability that lasted for decades.

The Great Moderation.” This halcyon period lasted long after he left the Fed, and ended only with the financial crisis of 2007-9. As the Fed now puts it on a website devoted to its history, “Inflation was low and relatively stable, while the period contained the longest economic expansion since World War II.”

mandates — “the economic goals of maximum employment and price stability”— as new information arrived.

Donald Kohn, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, was a Fed insider for 40 years, and retired as vice chair in 2010. With his inestimable guidance, I plunged into Fed history during the Volcker era.

I found an astonishing wealth of material, providing far more information than reporters had access to back then. In fact, while the current Fed provides vast reams of data, what goes on behind closed doors is better documented, in some respects, for the Volcker Fed.

That’s because transcripts of Fed meetings from that period were reconstructed from recordings that, Mr. Kohn said, “nobody was thinking about as they were talking because nobody knew about them or expected that this would ever be published, except, I guess Volcker.” By the 1990s, when the Fed began to produce transcripts available on a five-year time delay, Mr. Kohn said, participants in the meetings “were aware they were being recorded for history, so we became more restrained in what we said.”

So reading the Volcker transcripts is like being a fly on the wall. Some names of foreign officials have been scrubbed, but most of the material is there.

In a phone conversation, Mr. Kohn identified two critical “Volcker moments,” which he discussed at a Dallas Federal Reserve conference in June. “In both cases, the Fed moved in subtle ways and surprised people by changing its focus and its approach,” he said.

Congress, financial circles and academic institutions. Economics students may remember Milton Friedman saying: “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.”

For Fed watchers, the change in the central bank’s emphasis had practical implications. Richard Bernstein, a former chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch who now runs his own firm, said that back then: “You needed a calculator to figure out the numbers being released by the Fed. By comparison, now, there are practically no numbers. You just need to look at the words of Fed statements.”

The Fed’s methods of dealing with inflation are abstruse stuff. But its conversations about the problem in 1982 were pithy, and its decisions appeared to be based as much on psychology as on traditional macroeconomics.

As Mr. Volcker put it at a Federal Open Market Meeting on Oct. 6, 1979, “I have described the state of the markets as in some sense as nervous as I have ever seen them.” He added: “We are not dealing with a stable psychological or stable expectational situation by any means. And on the inflation front, we‘re probably losing ground.”

17 percent by March 1980. The Fed plunged the economy into one recession and then, when the first one failed to curb inflation sufficiently, into a second.

unemployment rate stood at 10.8 percent, a postwar high that was not exceeded until the coronavirus recession of 2020. But in 1982, even people at the Fed were wondering when the economy would begin to recover from the damage that had been done.

The fall of 1982 was the second “Volcker moment” discerned by Mr. Kohn, who was in the room during meetings. The Fed decided that inflation was coming down — although in September 1982, it was still in the 6 to 7 percent range. The economy was contracting sharply, and the extraordinarily high interest rates in the United States had ricocheted around the world, worsening a debt crisis in Mexico, Argentina and, soon, the rest of Latin America.

Fed meeting that October, when one official said, “There have certainly been some other problem situations” in Latin America, Mr. Volcker responded, “That’s the understatement of the day, if I must say so.”

Penn Square Bank in Oklahoma had collapsed, a precursor of other failures to come.

“We are in a worldwide recession,” Mr. Volcker said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.” He added: “I don’t know of any country of any consequence in the world that has an expansion going on. And I can think of lots of them that have a real downturn going on. Obviously, unemployment is at record levels. It is rising virtually everyplace. In fact, I can’t think of a major country that is an exception to that.”

It was time, he and others agreed, to provide relief.

The Fed needed to make sure that interest rates moved downward, but the method of targeting the monetary supply wasn’t working properly. It could not be calibrated precisely enough to guarantee that interest rates would fall. In fact, interest rates rose in September 1982, when the Fed had wanted them to drop. “I am totally dissatisfied,” Mr. Volcker said.

It was, therefore, time, to shift the Fed’s focus back to interest rates, and to resolutely lower them.

This wasn’t an easy move, Mr. Kohn said, but it was the right one. “It took confidence and some subtle judgment to know when it was time to loosen conditions,” he said. “We’re not there yet today — inflation is high and it’s time to tighten now — but at some point, the Fed will have to do that again.”

The Fed pivot in 1982 had a startling payoff in financial markets.

As early as August 1982, policymakers at the central bank were discussing whether it was time to loosen financial conditions. Word trickled to traders, interest rates fell and the previously lackluster S&P 500 started to rise. It gained nearly 15 percent for the year and kept going. That was the start of a bull market that continued for 40 years.

In 1982, the conditions that set off rampant optimism in the stock market didn’t happen overnight. The Volcker-led Fed had to correct itself repeatedly while responding to major crises at home and abroad. It took years of pain to reach the point at which it made sense to pivot, and for businesses to start rehiring workers and for traders to go all-in on risky assets.

Today, the Fed is again engaging in a grand experiment, even as Russia’s war in Ukraine, the lingering pandemic and political crises in the United States and around the globe are endangering millions of people.

When will the big pivot happen this time? I wish I knew.

The best I can say is that it would be wise to prepare for bad times but to plan and invest for prosperity over the long haul.

I’ll come back with more detail on how to do that.

But I would try to stay invested in both the stock and bond markets permanently. The Volcker era demonstrates that when the moment has at last come, sea changes in financial markets can occur in the blink of an eye.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

How Christians Are Coupling Biblical Concepts With Mental Wellness

Leaders in faith and science are trying to bridge the two in the mental health space by providing resources and support to congregations.

According to a study from Lifeway research, 54% of protestant pastors say they have had a member of their congregation diagnosed with a severe mental illness, and the pandemic is only exacerbating the challenges faith leaders are facing. 

But mental health experts say the bridge between the mental health community and faith leaders has narrowed, allowing for a partnership among believers and doctors.

Dr. Nii Addy — a podcaster, Yale professor, and neuroscientist — has made it his mission to show fellow Christians how science, mental health and faith go hand in hand.  

“A lot of what we do in our research is trying to understand what happens in the brain during states of anxiety, states of depression, if people are navigating through addiction,” Dr. Addy said. “As I talk about that science, I’ve heard people say, ‘Okay, that really gave me more of a sense for why my loved one is acting like this.'”

Christians across the country are finding ways to marry Biblical concepts with with treatment and therapy.

Peace Amadi, a pastor’s daughter, says she grew up knowing all the right verses until college.

“I had my own experiences with anxiety,” Amadi said. “I had my own experiences with mild depression… and, just to put it plainly, a lot of bullying.”

She turned that experience into a career as a psychology professor at a Christian university.

Psychologist Archandria Owens says she was once told her faith was a liability in psychology; now she uses Biblical concepts as a tool.  

“How do we just manifest and do our best to look at spiritual wellness as a dimension that is crucial in wellness?” Dr. Owens asked. “Our brains are so in cue in to looking at what’s wrong in the world because we need to be able to predict how to protect ourselves, so this spiritual practice of gratitude, really looking for what’s good, changes the brain.”

Dr. Addy, Amadi and Dr. Owens all say they are encouraged to see a greater acceptance of mental health treatment in the religious realm, pointing to the pandemic as well as deaths by suicide among faith leaders as major turning points.

According to a Lifeway Research study, 26% percent of protestant pastors say they are dealing with their own mental health struggles.

“Even when you have faith, even when you lean into prayer, even when you’re a leader, even when you’re doing all the right things, there’s something that we’re still not exempt from,” Amadi said.

Dr. Addy says more pastors are opening up about their own challenges.

“This is someone I look up to as a leader who is saying that they’re working through that, that they are working through it with prayer, but they’re also working through it with counseling,” Dr. Addy said. 

The first line of defense in the mental health battle for many religious communities are the pastors.  

A Rice University survey of Black and Latino Christians found that most would pray or seek counsel from a pastor if they’re in the midst of a mental health crisis.

The Department of Health and Human Service has partnered with churches to make sure leaders have the tools they need, including serving as a branch to mental health professionals.   

“You don’t stop believing in God when you need your healing,” Amadi said. “You don’t stop believing in God because you’re seeking a specialist. It all can work together.”

Newsy’s mental health initiative “America’s Breakdown: Confronting Our Mental Health Crisis” brings you deeply personal and thoughtfully told stories on the state of mental health care in the U.S. Click here to learn more.

Source: newsy.com

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Psychologist Says There’s A Rise In The Number Of Lonely, Single Men

An article in Psychology Today sparked heated discussions online and on social media. Some agreed, while others were angry and offended.

Psychologist Greg Matos wrote an article for Psychology Today titled “The Rise of Lonely, Single Men” — about straight men being the loneliest they’ve been in generations.

Matos says dating opportunities are diminishing. Straight men represent 62% of dating app users, lowering chances of matches because it’s competitive.  

He goes on to say women’s standards are higher now than in the past. Women require emotionally available men who are great communicators, but Matos says a majority of men are not consistently taught those skills as boys.

That’s not true for David Warner, though. He’s in tune with his emotions, but says dating is a journey and he feels lonesome at times. 

“It’s never easy,” he said. “You know, of course, I think that most people that are single and looking can attest to that because it’s kind of like finding a needle in a haystack.”

Warner hails from Chicago. He’s separated from his wife and is currently dating using apps.

“‘Loneliness’ seems kind of sad,” he continued. “‘Lonesome’ just means that you’re, you know … there’s a moment of time, maybe, rather than loneliness, [which] is a condition. Lonesome might just be a few minutes in time.”

When the article was published, it sparked heated discussions online and on social media. Some agreed with Matos, while others were angry and offended. 

Tony Vear is a dating and relationship coach who says: “Men don’t want to admit that they’re failing around relationships, so they don’t let people know and they just end up being lonely.”

Vear has seen this play out in real life. The majority of his clients are women seeking advice and expertise to grow their dating skills. Not so much with men.  

“They don’t know who to talk to because talking to their friends is like letting their friends know that they’re failing,” Vear continued.

On the flip side, Match’s chief dating expert, Rachel DeAlto, disagrees that men are lonelier. She sees both genders are holding higher standards. 

“Singles are focusing on really looking for emotional maturity, honesty, good communication — all qualities that were seen above appearance. So I think we’re shifting,” she said. “And whether COVID did that, or just age and growth and evolution, I think it’s a good thing.”

For Warner, dating has bumps along the way. He’s met women who were scarred by other men. He shared how his recent dates went with three women he met on dating apps.

“Within the first five minutes of meeting, they said, ‘I just want you to know right now that we’re not going to have sex.’ And I was blown away because I don’t even know you. You think I’m here to have sex … I don’t even know your last name at this point. … They shared with me that it was something that men had done,” he said. “I think guys really have to know that that’s not an approach.”

The pandemic and dating apps most certainly changed how we date, but one thing remains the same: our human need for love, and connection. 

Source: newsy.com

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

The Supply Chain Broke. Robots Are Supposed to Help Fix It.

The people running companies that deliver all manner of products gathered in Philadelphia last week to sift through the lessons of the mayhem besieging the global supply chain. At the center of many proposed solutions: robots and other forms of automation.

On the showroom floor, robot manufacturers demonstrated their latest models, offering them as efficiency-enhancing augments to warehouse workers. Driverless trucks and drones commanded display space, advertising an unfolding era in which machinery will occupy a central place in bringing products to our homes.

The companies depicted their technology as a way to save money on workers and optimize scheduling, while breaking down resistance to a future centered on evolving forms of automation.

persistent economic shocks have intensified traditional conflicts between employers and employees around the globe. Higher prices for energy, food and other goods — in part the result of enduring supply chain tangles — have prompted workers to demand higher wages, along with the right to continue working from home. Employers cite elevated costs for parts, raw materials and transportation in holding the line on pay, yielding a wave of strikes in countries like Britain.

The stakes are especially high for companies engaged in transporting goods. Their executives contend that the Great Supply Chain Disruption is largely the result of labor shortages. Ports are overwhelmed and retail shelves are short of goods because the supply chain has run out of people willing to drive trucks and move goods through warehouses, the argument goes.

Some labor experts challenge such claims, while reframing worker shortages as an unwillingness by employers to pay enough to attract the needed numbers of people.

“This shortage narrative is industry-lobbying rhetoric,” said Steve Viscelli, an economic sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream.” “There is no shortage of truck drivers. These are just really bad jobs.”

A day spent wandering the Home Delivery World trade show inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center revealed how supply chain companies are pursuing automation and flexible staffing as antidotes to rising wages. They are eager to embrace robots as an alternative to human workers. Robots never get sick, not even in a pandemic. They never stay home to attend to their children.

A large truck painted purple and white occupied a prime position on the showroom floor. It was a driverless delivery vehicle produced by Gatik, a Silicon Valley company that is running 30 of them between distribution centers and Walmart stores in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Here was the fix to the difficulties of trucking firms in attracting and retaining drivers, said Richard Steiner, Gatik’s head of policy and communications.

“It’s not quite as appealing a profession as it once was,” he said. “We’re able to offer a solution to that trouble.”

Nearby, an Israeli start-up company, SafeMode, touted a means to limit the notoriously high turnover plaguing the trucking industry. The company has developed an app that monitors the actions of drivers — their speed, the abruptness of their braking, their fuel efficiency — while rewarding those who perform better than their peers.

The company’s founder and chief executive, Ido Levy, displayed data captured the previous day from a driver in Houston. The driver’s steady hand at the wheel had earned him an extra $8 — a cash bonus on top of the $250 he typically earns in a day.

“We really convey a success feeling every day,” Mr. Levy, 31, said. “That really encourages retention. We’re trying to make them feel that they are part of something.”

Mr. Levy conceived of the company with a professor at the M.I.T. Media Lab who tapped research on behavioral psychology and gamification (using elements of game playing to encourage participation).

So far, the SafeMode system has yielded savings of 4 percent on fuel while increasing retention by one-quarter, Mr. Levy said.

Another company, V-Track, based in Charlotte, N.C., employs a technology that is similar to SafeMode’s, also in an effort to dissuade truck drivers from switching jobs. The company places cameras in truck cabs to monitor drivers, alerting them when they are looking at their phones, driving too fast or not wearing their seatbelt.

Jim Becker, the company’s product manager, said many drivers hade come to value the cameras as a means of protecting themselves against unwarranted accusations of malfeasance.

But what is the impact on retention if drivers chafe at being surveilled?

“Frustrations about increased surveillance, especially around in-cab cameras,” are a significant source of driver lament, said Max Farrell, co-founder and chief executive of WorkHound, which gathers real-time feedback.

Several companies on the show floor catered to trucking companies facing difficulties in hiring people to staff their dispatch centers. Their solution was moving such functions to countries where wages are lower.

Lean Solutions, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., sets up call centers in Colombia and Guatemala — a response to “the labor challenge in the U.S.,” said Hunter Bell, a company sales agent.

A Kentucky start-up, NS Talent Solutions, establishes dispatch operations in Mexico, at a saving of up to 40 percent compared with the United States.

“The pandemic has helped,” said Michael Bartlett, director of sales. “The world is now comfortable with remote staffing.”

Scores of businesses promoted services that recruit and vet part-time and temporary workers, offering a way for companies to ramp up as needed without having to commit to full-time employees.

Pruuvn, a start-up in Atlanta, sells a service that allows companies to eliminate employees who recruit and conduct background checks.

“It allows you to get rid of or replace multiple individuals,” the company’s chief executive, Bryan Hobbs, said during a presentation.

Another staffing firm, Veryable of Dallas, offered a platform to pair workers such as retirees and students seeking part-time, temporary stints with supply chain companies.

Jonathan Katz, the company’s regional partnerships manager for the Southeast, described temporary staffing as the way for smaller warehouses and distribution operations that lack the money to install robots to enhance their ability to adjust to swings in demand.

A drone company, Zipline, showed video of its equipment taking off behind a Walmart in Pea Ridge, Ark., dropping items like mayonnaise and even a birthday cake into the backyards of customers’ homes. Another company, DroneUp, trumpeted plans to set up similar services at 30 Walmart stores in Arkansas, Texas and Florida by the end of the year.

But the largest companies are the most focused on deploying robots.

Locus, the manufacturer, has already outfitted 200 warehouses globally with its robots, recently expanding into Europe and Australia.

Locus says its machines are meant not to replace workers but to complement them — a way to squeeze more productivity out of the same warehouse by relieving the humans of the need to push the carts.

But the company also presents its robots as the solution to worker shortages. Unlike workers, robots can be easily scaled up and cut back, eliminating the need to hire and train temporary employees, Melissa Valentine, director of retail global accounts at Locus, said during a panel discussion.

Locus even rents out its robots, allowing customers to add them and eliminate them as needed. Locus handles the maintenance.

Robots can “solve labor issues,” said Nathan Ray, director of distribution center operations at Albertsons, the grocery chain, who previously held executive roles at Amazon and Target. “You can find a solution that’s right for your budget. There’s just so many options out there.”

As Mr. Ray acknowledged, a key impediment to the more rapid deployment of automation is fear among workers that robots are a threat to their jobs. Once they realize that the robots are there not to replace them but merely to relieve them of physically taxing jobs like pushing carts, “it gets really fun,” Mr. Ray said. “They realize it’s kind of cool.”

Workers even give robots cute nicknames, he added.

But another panelist, Bruce Dzinski, director of transportation at Party City, a chain of party supply stores, presented robots as an alternative to higher pay.

“You couldn’t get labor, so you raised your wages to try to get people,” he said. “And then everybody else raised wages.”

Robots never demand a raise.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Pres. Biden To Deliver Speech On ‘Battle For The Soul Of The Nation’

The president is aiming to inspire voters with rhetoric from his 2020 campaign.

It’s one of President Joe Biden’s most often repeated lines from his 2020 presidential campaign: “We’re in a battle for the soul of this nation.”

Now, he’s bringing that message back in a speech Thursday evening as he launches into a midterm season where Democrats possibly face losing control of their majority in Congress. 

Liz Suhay is an associate professor of government at American University, where she studies political psychology.

“I actually think that many Americans do believe that the soul of the nation is at stake, but they have very different ideas about what’s going wrong, who’s to blame and how you fix it,” she said. “I think what Biden is trying to do, electorally, is try to energize the coalition that led Democrats to victory in the 2018 and 2020 elections. And so that coalition is going to be made up, of course, of Democrats, of many independents who are not fans of Donald Trump, and a small slice of Republicans who are also anti-Trump.”

The Biden administration says the address will highlight what President Biden considers threats to America’s core values, with his spokeswoman telling reporters that “our rights and freedoms are under attack.”

Recently, President Biden has also begun referring to Trump-ism as “semi-facism,” a label that Darren Davis, a professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, says is also directly targeted to appeal to the coalition that got President Biden elected. 

“I think it really helps more than it hurts. People in the middle help understand what is at stake,” he said. “It helps articulate the consequences. It helps frame these issues. But also, you know, it allows Biden to talk tough at the same time.”

But despite recent Democratic wins in Washington — like passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, hailed as the largest investment ever to prevent climate change — President Biden still faces just 44% approval in August.  

And he also faces dismal rankings on the economy, with 60% disapproval on his handling of the economy and 65% percent disapproval on his handling of inflation, according to the latest CBS News poll.  

But will the president’s rhetoric inspire the voters who turned out for him in 2020?  

“When things aren’t particularly great or positive for the incumbent president in the midterms, he has to turn to something. And I think he’s turning to what actually worked in 2020,” Davis said.

Source: newsy.com

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Police: Suspect In 4 Muslim Men’s Killings Detained

The killings have sent ripples of fear through Islamic communities in New Mexico and beyond and fueled a race to find who was responsible.

Albuquerque police say they have detained the “primary suspect” in the killings of four Muslim men in New Mexico’s largest city.

Police Chief Harold Medina on Tuesday announced the update on Twitter. The killings have sent ripples of fear through Islamic communities in New Mexico and beyond and fueled a race to find who was responsible.

“We tracked down the vehicle believed to be involved in a recent murder of a Muslim man in Albuquerque. The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders,” the tweet said.

No other information was immediately available. Police say they will provide an update on Tuesday afternoon.

Naeem Hussain was killed Friday night, and the three other men died in ambush shootings.

Hussain, 25, was from Pakistan. His death came just days after those of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41, who were also from Pakistan and members of the same mosque.

The earliest case involves the November killing of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, from Afghanistan.

Authorities on Monday sought help searching for a vehicle that appeared to be the one discovered on Tuesday. The common elements in the deaths were the victims’ race and religion, officials said, and police in Albuquerque are trying to determine if the deaths are linked.

Debbie Almontaser, a Muslim community leader in New York, said that a female friend who lives in Michigan and wears the hijab head covering shared with her over the weekend just how rattled she was. “She’s like, ‘This is so terrifying. I’m so scared. I travel alone,'” Almontaser said.

Aneela Abad, general secretary at the Islamic Center of New Mexico, described a community reeling from the killings, its grief compounded by confusion and fear of what may follow.

“We are just completely shocked and still trying to comprehend and understand what happened, how and why,” she said.

Some people have avoided going out unless “absolutely necessary,” and some Muslim university students have been wondering whether it is safe for them to stay in the city, she said. The center has also beefed up its security.

Police said the same vehicle is suspected of being used in all four homicides — a dark gray or silver four-door Volkswagen that appears to be a Jetta or Passat with dark tinted windows. Authorities released photos hoping people could help identify the car and offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Investigators did not say where the images were taken or what led them to suspect the car was involved in the slayings. Police spokesperson Gilbert Gallegos said in an email Monday that the agency has received tips regarding the car but did not elaborate.

“We have a very, very strong link,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said Sunday. “We have a vehicle of interest … We have got to find this vehicle.”

Gallegos said he could not comment on what kind of gun was used in the shootings, or whether police know how many suspects were involved in the violence.

President Joe Biden said he was “angered and saddened” by the killings and that his administration “stands strongly with the Muslim community.”

“These hateful attacks have no place in America,” Biden said Sunday in a tweet.

The conversation about safety has also dominated WhatsApp and email groups that Almontaser is on.

“What we’ve seen happen in New Mexico is very chilling for us as a Muslim minority community in the United States that has endured so much backlash and discrimination” since the 9/11 attacks, she said. “It’s frightening.”

Few anti-Muslim hate crimes have been recorded in Albuquerque over the last five years, according to FBI data cited by Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism and a professor of criminal justice at California State University at San Bernardino.

From 2017 through 2020, there was one anti-Muslim hate crime a year. The highest recent number was in 2016, when Albuquerque police recorded six out of a total of 25 hate crimes.

That largely tracks with national trends, which hit the lowest numbers in a decade in 2020, only to increase by 45% in 2021 in a dozen cities and states, Levin said.

Albuquerque authorities say they cannot determine if the slayings were hate crimes until they have identified a suspect and a motive.

Louis Schlesinger, a forensic psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said bias killings are often perpetrated by a small group of people, typically young white men. A lone perpetrator is rare.

“These are basically total losers by every dimension, whether it’s social, economic, psychological, what have you,” he said. “They’re filled with hatred for one reason or another and target a particular group that they see, in their mind, to blame for all their problems in life.”

It was not clear whether the victims knew their attacker or attackers.

The most recent victim was found dead after police received a call of a shooting. Authorities declined to say whether the killing was carried out in a way similar to the other deaths.

Muhammad Afzaal Hussain had worked as a field organizer for a local congresswoman’s campaign.

Democratic Rep. Melanie Stansbury issued a statement praising him as “one of the kindest and hardest working people” she has ever known. She said the urban planner was “committed to making our public spaces work for every person and cleaning up legacy pollution.”

As land-use director for the city of Española — more than 85 miles north of Albuquerque — Hussain worked to improve conditions and inclusivity for disadvantaged minorities, the mayor’s office said.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

How Astrology Turned Into A Billion-Dollar Business

The astrology industry business is booming with dedicated apps, social media accounts and business owners. But the industry isn’t new.

Astrology is more popular and more accessible than ever.  

Nowadays, people joke about Mercury being in retrograde, and it’s a somewhat common thing for a person to be asked at any given time what their rising and sun signs. There are zodiac memes all over Twitter and Instagram accounts that post about different signs’ different personality traits.

The bottom line is: Astrology is making a comeback, and it’s making a lot of money.

One report from market research firm IBISWorld showed that Americans spent $2.2 billion a year on “mystical services.” This includes all things astrology, like palm and tarot card readings, astrology apps and more. Revenue for astrology apps grew to nearly $40 million in 2019 — a 64% increase from the year before. 

The app CoStar raised $15 million from investors last April. The app provides personalized horoscopes and lets users connect with friends. It’s attracting millions of users without any real marketing.

Other apps seeing success are The Pattern, known for helping navigate relationships, and Sanctuary, where you can receive one-on-one monthly chats with an astrologer. These apps have been attracting more attention from investors, which wasn’t an area they’d typically put their money behind until recent years.

While the business of astrology is new, studying the stars to try to predict the future definitely isn’t.

The concept of astrology was born in second millennium BCE when Babylonians looked at the stars to predict things like weather — not quite the horoscopes we see today. Western astrology with the 12 zodiac signs emerged in the late second century BCE in the Mediterranean region. By the 18th century, the studies of astrology and astronomy were split, and astrology was put to the side. Then in the early 20th century, psychology astrology, which led to personality trait interpretations, was introduced.

So, astrology has always been around, but it’s experienced spikes in popularity. Last time this occurred was in the ’60s and ’70s during the New Age Movement. After that, horoscopes could be seen in the back of magazines, but astrology was somewhat in the background. With the popularity of the internet and social media, it’s really taken off and become even more accessible.

Kay Taylor, the president of the Organization of Professional Astrology, has been attending astrology conferences for years and says there was once a time when astrologists were worried about the future of their profession.

“The organizations began to teach and have conferences in the ’70s, but it was still kind of quiet,” Taylor said. “I would say that in the conferences in the early 2000, all of us who are more on the older side were looking around and saying, ‘Where are the young people? Like, who’s going to replace us? How can we find them?'” Now… the Northwest Conference, which is the Northwest Northwest Astrological Conference, is in Seattle every year. Last year sold out — 500 people registered, and over half of them were brand new to the Norwalk conference and had never been to a conference before. That’s very unusual.”

Recent years have also given rise to the celebrity astrologist — people like Chani Nicholas, who also has her own app and a popular book, and Aliza Kelly, who hosts a few different astrology shows and segments.

There’s also a smaller group of astrology entrepreneurs who started to see a huge boom in business during the pandemic. Astrologers are partnering with businesses and doing brand deals like working with lingerie companies to help customers find items based on their zodiac sign.

“In the past, there were certainly some astrologers who were financially successful,” Taylor said. “I mean, I have supported myself and my family as a single mother since the very beginning. So, it was possible to make a living, and many astrologers made a living, but most of us… we were operating out of the back bedroom of our house or doing readings at the kitchen table. Now if you study astrology enough that you are competent and you set up your website and your social media accounts — yeah, you can be very successful with astrology.”

A Pew poll shows that almost 30% of Americans believe in astrology. Just to note, this isn’t to say astrology is a science, and there’s no evidence that someone’s zodiac sign actually correlates to personality. But, it does inform real-life decisions.

A Lending Tree survey found that 1 in 5 adults have made financial decisions based on their horoscope, but astrology experts say it’s important to do your research on these different resources that can help guide you.  

“There are many different kinds of astrologers and many different calibers, and not just everybody is a good astrologer,” Taylor said. “If I have a certain fear about this direction of astrology and becoming so popular and widespread is that bad astrology can do a lot of harm.”

A study from 1982 conducted by psychologist Graham Tyson showed that people often turn to astrology when they’re stressed, and people are pretty stressed today. According to the American Psychological Association since 2014, millennials have been the most stressed generation.

Source: newsy.com

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Bitcoin Is Increasingly Acting Like Just Another Tech Stock

SAN FRANCISCO — Bitcoin was conceived more than a decade ago as “digital gold,” a long-term store of value that would resist broader economic trends and provide a hedge against inflation.

But Bitcoin’s crashing price over the last month shows that vision is a long way from reality. Instead, traders are increasingly treating the cryptocurrency like just another speculative tech investment.

Since the start of this year, Bitcoin’s price movement has closely mirrored that of the Nasdaq, a benchmark that’s heavily weighted toward technology stocks, according to an analysis by the data firm Arcane Research. That means that as Bitcoin’s price dropped more than 25 percent over the last month, to under $30,000 on Wednesday — less than half its November peak — the plunge came in near lock step with a broader collapse of tech stocks as investors grappled with higher interest rates and the war in Ukraine.

The growing correlation helps explain why those who bought the cryptocurrency last year, hoping it would grow more valuable, have seen their investment crater. And while Bitcoin has always been volatile, its increasing resemblance to risky tech stocks starkly shows that its promise as a transformative asset remains unfulfilled.

institutional investors like hedge funds, endowments and family offices that have poured money into the cryptocurrency market.

declining revenue and a loss of $430 million in the first quarter. The company’s stock has fallen more than 75 percent overall this year.

The Nasdaq is already in bear-market territory, having ended Wednesday down 29 percent from its mid-November record. November was also when Bitcoin’s price hit a peak of nearly $70,000. The crash has been a reality check for Bitcoin evangelists.

Ukrainian counteroffensive near Kharkiv appears to have contributed to sharply reduced Russian shelling in the eastern city. But Moscow’s forces are making advances along other parts of the front line.

Bitcoin has rebounded from major losses before, and its long-term growth remains impressive. Before the pandemic boom in crypto prices, its value hovered well below $10,000. True believers, who call themselves Bitcoin maximalists, remain adamant that the cryptocurrency will eventually break from its correlation with risk assets.

Michael Saylor, the chief executive of the business-intelligence company MicroStrategy, has spent billions of his firm’s money on Bitcoin, building up a stockpile of more than 125,000 coins. As the price of Bitcoin has cratered, the company’s stock has dropped roughly 75 percent since November.

In an email, Mr. Saylor blamed the crash on “traders and technocrats” who don’t appreciate Bitcoin’s long-term potential to transform the global financial system.

“In the near term, the market will be dominated by those with less appreciation of the virtues of Bitcoin,” he said. “Over the long term, the maximalists will be proven correct, because billions of people need this solution, and awareness is spreading to millions more each month.”

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<