Afterpay to raise US stake, posts first-half loss

Afterpay is raising money to increase its stake in its US operations, on the same day it posted a first-half loss.

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Calling all renovators! Help raise this Charleston church from the dead

6 Mount View Road, Charleston. Supplied by Adcock Real Estate.

A Charleston property offers a great opportunity for keen buyers to start their own business in the Adelaide Hills by rolling up their sleeves and resurrecting a dilapidated church.

The former Charleston Uniting Church and Cemetary at 6 Mount View Rd, Charleston is currently on the market for just $220,000 through Adcock Real Estate and is being advertised as residential land, sitting on a spacious 1720sqm allotment.

The heritage-listed property is owned by the Uniting Church of South Australia and, according to the property’s listing, “the Charleston Uniting Church and Cemetery’s local heritage importance means whatever development aspiration you have – be it a gallery, community facility, or a residential/Airbnb remodel – it must meet the restoration guidelines of the Adelaide Hills Council.”

The listing goes on …

“While the church will stay put, it is unsafe to enter or inhabit at present and will require a restoration of the highest order; any intention to add another dwelling, extend, or improve the site must also meet the Council’s planning approvals, and will be subject to the effect on its local heritage and community value.”

6 Mount View Road, Charleston. Supplied by Adcock Real Estate.

The property borders the Charleston Cemetary and has some burial graves on site.

The new buyers will be required to allow public access to the cemetery, and a neighbour right-of-way access to a shed via the property’s driveway.

Selling agent Nikki Seppelt said the property offered loads of potential for those prepared to think creatively.

“The council has advised us that they wouldn’t be supportive of removing the church, that their top priority is for a potential purchaser to repair and maintain that building,” Ms Seppelt said.

“What they’d be looking at with any application would be how it would affect the local heritage and community before any further development.

“There’s the potential there to create a gallery, or a gallery with a cafe, a studio, or something like that, that community groups might potentially be able to hire out.

“The people I’ve had the best conversations with are those looking to run it as a gallery or cafe style business.”

Ms Seppelt said future renovation work would be extensive, with many of the building’s ceilings having collapsed.

6 Mount View Road, Charleston. Supplied by Adcock Real Estate.

“The church needs to be gutted and the new buyer starting again – at the moment I can’t take people past the front door from a safety perspective,” she said.

“Someone with know-how or a builder can go up there and see what needs to be done, and anything that’s done is subject to council consent.

“There are the facilities there to create something really exciting and the area is really very sought-after at the moment.

“There’s loads of potential there for someone who can think outside the box.”

6 Mount View Road, Charleston. Supplied by Adcock Real Estate.

Ms Seppelt said the Adelaide Hills, particularly the towns surrounding Charleston – which include Woodside, Lobethal and Lenswood – were all seeing a surge in interest in recent months.

“Interest rates are low so buyers are active in the area and people are increasingly looking at our regional areas,” she said.

The property sits among rolling hills, award-winning wineries, cafes, bikeways, scenic drives, parks and recreational facilities and is just 40 minutes from the city via the freeway.


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Edelweiss Wealth Management targets to raise Rs 1,000 crore for equity-focused AIF

MUMBAI: Edelweiss Wealth Management is targeting to raise Rs 1,000 crore from domestic investors for its maiden equity-focused alternate investment fund (AIF), according to persons in the know.

The fundraising, which comes amid a strong rally in the markets that has led to concerns overvaluation, will take about 6-9 months, and the company will target high-networth individuals (HNIs), family offices and institutional investors for investment commitments, the sources said.

When contacted, Edelweiss declined to comment.

The sources in the know said the company is targeting to raise over Rs 1,000 crore in the Edelweiss Dynamic Growth Equity (EDGE) Fund and raise more money based on the performance. Over the next few months, it plans to go overseas for widening its asset under management pool through the AIF.

It may go to foreign investors as well once it has raised up to Rs 3,000 crore. Currently, the company has Rs 1.70 lakh crore of assets under advice on an overall basis.

“This is the first time that we are entering the equity side with an offering focused on long-term gains and will ensure that investors do not get worried about volatilities,” said one of the sources.

The minimum amount to be invested will be Rs 1 crore, and the company desires an investor to stay invested for at least one year for the best returns, the official said hinting that there may be a minimum lock-in period.

Sources said they are confident of raising the targeted amount despite the expensive valuations in the markets, saying that ample opportunities exist in India for further growth of wealth given the economic growth potential.

One of the segments they are targeting money from has gone out of the mutual fund segment, the official said. Currently, the returns on fixed-income investments are low, while there are volatilities in the equity market that become into a concerning aspect despite the potential high returns, the official added.

The company will charge a fee of up to 1.75 per cent of the assets under management for their services, while there will be a dedicated team of five people managing the fund.

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Bernie Fraser hits back at Coalition MPs criticising RBA boss over call to raise JobSeeker

Mr Fraser previously said the JobSeeker rate should be increased by 50 per cent to 100 per cent above the current $565.70-a-fortnight base rate to ensure those who lose their jobs are able to get by adequately. The base rate was effectively doubled by the Morrison government with the $550 coronavirus supplement at the height of the pandemic.

This supplement, which is also paid to people on the Parenting Payment, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Austudy, has been tapered down as the economy recovered with the current $150-a-fortnight extra due to end on March 31.

But Liberal MP Jason Falinski said he “absolutely” agreed with Mr Wilson’s criticisms of Dr Lowe. “There’s no research to back [his view] up.”

“The RBA was the one institution we had left which stuck to its remit,” he said, adding he would “caution all” institutions to stick within their legislated limits and it was “unnecessary” for Dr Lowe to get involved in the JobSeeker debate.

“We always want Australia to be a fairer nation,” Mr Falinski said. “But we already have the most progressive tax system and re-distributive [wealth policies], should these really be the levers we keep pulling on to ensure a fairer society? The biggest thing is labour force participation.”


The backbencher comments have frustrated those who say a rise in the dole is needed to ensure people out of work can afford the basics. Lobbyists Anti-Poverty Week, whose sponsors include universities, social services groups and some unions, emailed all Coalition MPs this week with figures showing more than 2 million Australians are receiving the supplement. The briefing included how many voters in each of their electorates are relying on the payment.

In October 2020, 6192 people who received the coronavirus supplement lived in Mackellar, Mr Falinski’s electorate. This was up from 2162 who were on benefits such as JobSeeker and Parenting Payment in September 2019.

In Mr Wilson’s Melbourne electorate of Goldstein there were 7738 people relying on the supplement, up from 3211 on government support the year before.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s electorates Cook and Kooyong have 7299 people and 8333 respectively who get the supplement. The Morrison government has not made a decision about the future of the JobSeeker base rate, but previously raised concerns about disincentivising out-of-work Australians by providing too much financial support and this week pointed out the level of spending the government has already provided.

However, a significant group of Coalition MPs are supportive of changes to the base rate of the dole. Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce supports a hike in JobSeeker, but said it should be done “with one extra condition that we need to increase compliance”. In Mr Joyce’s electorate New England there are 15,938 people receiving the supplement, up from 11,800 in late-2019.

“There are quite a number of people who are not unemployed, they are lazy,” Mr Joyce said, adding he knew of situations where new staff arrived only to leave after a short period of time to fulfil the Centrelink requirements. “It’s completely unacceptable,” he said. However, he said those who were “genuinely unemployed … need to be properly supported”.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said on 2SM Labor would wait for the budget before making announcements on unemployment benefits but the government “can’t afford to drop it down” to the current $40-a-day base rate.

“That will produce real hardship if that occurs. And it’s also bad for the economy … because if you increase … the unemployment benefits, every single dollar is spent in a local shop, a local chemist, a local business, and it circulates around the economy.”

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Applied Graphene Materials set to raise more than £5.5m through share placing

Redcar’s Applied Graphene Materials is planning to raise more than £5.5m by issuing millions of new shares.

The company, which makes the incredibly strong material graphene, said it was attempting to raise £5.3m by placing 12.9 million ordinary shares on the market, at a price of 41p per share.

The 41p placing price is a 39% discount on the shares’ 67.4p closing price on January 25.

On top of this, the company has revealed that an existing shareholder plans to buy and additional 478,049 shares, allowing Applied Graphene Materials to raise a further £200,000.

Retail investors will also be given the opportunity to acquire shares in the company, with Applied Graphene Materials issuing a new ordinary shares, which will be made available to purchase through online share trading platform The PrimaryBid sale will be held on February 15.

The firm announced its plans for the placing yesterday, January 26, but has already revealed that it expects to raise around £6m through the scheme after the shares were oversubscribed.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange the company said it would use the money raised to increase its working capital funding.

It said: “Applied Graphene Materials Plc announces its intention to carry out a proposed placing to issue 12,936,585 new ordinary shares at the issue price, raising £5.3m (before expenses).

“The net proceeds of the placing, the subscription and the PrimaryBid offer will be used by the company to provide ongoing working capital funding, including costs associated with continuing the company’s product and technology development roadmap; to service anticipated growth in customer and product demand; and for minor capital expenditure.”

A number of the company’s directors also used the placing to acquire more shares in the company.

In total five of the company’s directors purchased £71,000 worth of additional shares. Of the five directors involved, Applied Graphene Materials founder and director Karl Coleman continued to own the largest proportion of shares after the second placing, with 2.83% of the company’s share capital under his control.

Following the announcement Applied Graphene Materials’ share price fell from 67.98p per share yesterday to a low of 44.98p at the time of writing.

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Australia urged by 31 countries at UN meeting to raise age of criminal responsibility

More than two dozen countries have pressured Australia to raise the age of criminal responsibility at a United Nations meeting overnight.

Canada, France, Germany, Venezuela and Norway were among the 31 UN member states to call on Australia to raise the age, in what advocates said was an escalation in international pressure relating to this issue.

The minimum age of criminal responsibility in Australia is 10.

In 2019, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child recommended 14 years as the minimum age.

The latest push to implement change was heard as part of Australia’s UN Universal Periodic Review, a meeting that takes place once every five years to review the human rights records of all UN member states.

In response to the calls, Australian Government representatives said a Council of Attorneys-General (CAG) cross-jurisdictional working group had been set up to look into the issue, but needed more time before it could make a decision.

In July last year, Australia’s CAG postponed a decision on raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14.

It means children as young as 10 can still be prosecuted, convicted and sentenced across Australia.

Last August, the ACT became the first jurisdiction to break ranks and support raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 and called for national consensus on the issue.

‘We do have a problem’

Cheryl Axleby, the co-chair of the Aboriginal-led justice coalition Change The Record, said the Australian Government’s response to the international concern lacked urgency.

“Australia needs to accept that we do have a problem and an issue here in this country, with the incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly our young people,” she said.

Ms Axleby’s assertion that the criminalisation of young people disproportionately affected Indigenous Australians was acknowledged in last night’s UN meeting by Australian Government officials.

Ms Axelby says the country needs to address the disproportionate imprisonment of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.(Supplied)

In a public response to UN delegates, First Assistant Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, Andrew Walter, outlined the most recent data.

“While Indigenous Australians comprised only 6 per cent of young people aged between 10 and 17, they made up approximately 57 per cent of those in youth detention,” he said.

“This proportion rises to 78 per cent for young people between the ages of 10 and 13.”

The international pressure to raise the age comes just over a year since a high profile UN address by Arrernte and Garrwa boy Dujuan Hoosan.

Hoosan, who featured in the documentary In My Blood It Runs, was just 12 years old when he travelled to Geneva in 2019 to speak to the Human Rights Council.

As the youngest person to ever address the world’s peak human rights body, Mr Hoosan pleaded with delegates to take the plight of young Aboriginal children seriously.

“I want adults to stop cruelling 10-year-old kids in jail,” he told delegates.

Reforms moving slowly

There has been limited policy change in most Australian states and territories relating to the age of criminal responsibility.

Law reform advocates had hoped that a meeting of the Council of Attorneys-General last July would result in a joint statement of support to raise the criminal age to 14.

But that was not forthcoming, with representatives from the group saying more needed to be done to examine alternatives to imprisonment.

In November 2019, Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter said he was not “overly enthusiastic” about the reform but acknowledged the view of states and territories may differ.

A spokesperson for Mr Porter on Thursday said the Australian Government would consider the recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review and the ongoing work of the Council of Attorneys-General.

Royal commission advice yet to be implemented

One of the recommendations of the 2017 Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory was to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12.

Minister for Territory Families, Kate Worden, on Thursday told the ABC the NT Government could eventually adopt that recommendation.

“The Territory Labor Government has supported in principle the recommendation from the royal commission,” she said in a statement.

“The Territory is collaborating with other states and territories on a national approach to the age of criminal responsibility.”

Barb wire fences stretch along the length of the Don Dale youth detention centre.
The royal commission examined the treatment of detainees at Darwin’s Don Dale youth detention centre.(AAP: Neda Vanovac)

Doctors push for law change

Paediatrician and senior fellow at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Dr Mick Creati, welcomed international condemnation of Australia’s age of criminal responsibility laws.

He said research showed locking up young children was inappropriate.

“There’s now clear medical advice that in Australia we’re locking up children for behaviours which are explained by their immaturity, disability, trauma and reduced capacity to anticipate the consequences of their actions.”

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It’s time to raise the cost of spreading conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories were a major driver behind the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building. They have also been a growing part of the political right’s internal struggles since at least 2008. But why do people believe in crackpot conspiracy theories like QAnon, Pizzagate, or the narrative that the 2020 election was stolen? Why do they act on them, sometimes violently? 

If you think of irrationality as a consumer good, much like a car or a television, you can better understand why people sometimes say and do crazy things. Think of it like this: People buy more cars and televisions when they are cheap, and fewer when they are expensive. 

This logic applies to conspiracy theories. 

Here, price is not necessarily measured in money. The “price” of armchair theorizing is low, usually. It costs almost nothing to post crazy things online, aside from mild social stigma. But this cost is more than offset by other benefits for many. For a lot of fringe figures like anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, and QAnon conspiracy theorists, espousing an extreme belief is not necessarily about the truth. It’s about asserting a unique, memorable identity and defending it against outside threats. 

Any sports fan or political partisan will be familiar with the emotional rush that conspiracy theorists feel when saying outlandish things. It feels good to cheer for your team and boo the other team. For some, these emotional benefits may even be worth the cost of losing friends or a job, so they keep at it.

But what happens when the price of irrationality suddenly spikes? Dominion Voting Systems, a company that sells electronic voting hardware and software like voting machines and tabulators, recently announced that it is suing “Kraken” lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation, seeking damages of $1.3 billion, because she repeatedly argued in public that Dominion software was created “at the direction of Hugo Chávez,” the Venezuelan dictator who died in 2013. She has also said that Dominion used a secret algorithm to rig the 2020 election. Her lawsuits regarding Dominion were dismissed because of lack of evidence.

Until now, Powell paid a low price for public conspiracy-mongering. In fact, it may have been financially profitable: Dominion argues in its lawsuit that Powell used her newfound fame to sell books and gain clients.

Dominion had previously threatened legal action against several media outlets that were peddling provably false claims, such as Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News. Once their price of being irrational went up, the outlets immediately started “consuming” less irrationality. Newsmax even aired a nearly two-minute “clarification” retracting nearly all of its stolen-election claims. It is worth watching.

Powell is currently weighing the likely monetary cost of a case she will likely lose against the nonmonetary costs of losing face, admitting error, and caving in to her opponents. But now that the price of her conspiracy theorizing has gone up, we can almost certainly expect her to consume less of it.

Public officials who played a role in inciting the coup attempt, such as President Trump, Sen. Josh Hawley, and Sen. Ted Cruz, are also seeing a price increase for their irrationality. All three are facing calls for their resignation, and their political prospects are suffering long-term damage. The price change they face will hopefully improve their behavior going forward. President Trump even grudgingly committed to a peaceful change of power for the first time. Even without further consequences, the three men’s diminished power should at least limit the amount of damage they can cause.

Many of the rioters will face legal consequences for their actions, raising the price of their irrationality. At the very least, the rioters and their sympathizers will likely tone down their violence and rhetoric in response to the price change. 

There are a lot of other factors involved in the ugly history we all witnessed on Jan. 6. Larger socioeconomic conditions, COVID-related cabin fever, personal grievances, and in some cases mental illness may also have been factors in the coup attempt. 

Thinking about conspiracy theories as a consumer good does not explain everything. But it can help us understand. Raising the “prices” conspiracy theorists pay for their fantasies, within the bounds of First Amendment protections and consistent with common decency, will help rein in the costs they impose on others. That can improve the national political conversation and help prevent more violence.

Ryan Young is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

More opinion from Fortune:

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  • Work has outgrown the office. What’s next?

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Tasmania could become the first state in Australia to raise smoking age to 21

Anti-smoking campaigners hope Tasmania could this year set off a chain of events that would see the legal smoking age increased to 21 across the country.

It’s been just over a year since Tobacco 21 (T21) laws were passed across the United States.

It all began in 2005 in Needham, a small town in Boston, Massachusetts.

“There was a 47 per cent reduction in high school use of tobacco,” Boston paediatrician, Lester Hartman, said.

The results both stunned and inspired health authorities, who took the data to legislators around the country.

The dominoes eventually fell.

New York became the first major city to enact T21 in 2013, followed by states like Hawaii and California.

In December 2019, the legal smoking age was raised across the country.

Anti-smoking campaigners hope Tasmania will lead the country to raise the legal age of buying cigarettes to 21.(Supplied: Pixabay)

This year, anti-tobacco campaigners hope Tasmania will stand as Australia’s first T21 “domino”.

Independent MLC Ivan Dean will bring on the second reading of the Public Health Amendment (Prevention of Sale of Smoking Products to Underage Persons) Bill 2018 in March.

While the Liberal Government in Tasmania once proposed lifting the smoking age, more recently it has rejected the idea, concerned about the potential for a black market in cigarettes.

A blonde woman smiles at the camera.
Tasmania is well placed to raise the legal smoking age says Shannon Quinby from Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation.(Supplied: Shannon Quinby)

But the US Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation said that didn’t happen in Needham.

“One would think the kids there would just get on their bicycles and go to a nearby town and buy their smokes but that’s not what happened,” said regional director Shannon Quinby.

Ms Quinby said Tasmania, being an island, was even better positioned for T21 than landlocked Needham.

But she said being the first was a double-edged sword.

What defines an ‘adult’?

One key difference between Australia and the US when considering T21 is that Americans had long been banned from buying alcohol before the age of 21.

Lester Hartman (on left) outside the House of Representatives
Lester Hartman (left) outside the Massachusetts State House just after it passed T21 legislation.(Supplied: Twitter)

Dr Hartman said many young Americans argued that if they were old enough to join the military, they should be allowed to buy cigarettes.

“There needs to be a change in understanding of the definition of what an adult is,” he said.

Dr Hartman lobbied more than 170 boards of health to tip his home state of Massachusetts in favour of T21.

While he hoped Tasmania would seriously consider the move, he agreed the rise of technology and vaping had made the black market arguments more compelling.

“We did not see the black market with tobacco cigarettes in Needham … but there was not the internet access that there is now, there was not the social media.”

A young woman with long dark brown hair sits in front of a promotional sign.
Seana Gal senior research fellow from the Menzies Research Institute examined studies on legal smoking ages.(ABC News: Mitch Woolnough)

The Menzies Research Institute in Tasmania examined eight scientific studies on T21 in the US. Five showed it reduced smoking rates.

“It’s quite varied because of the differences in study design,” said senior research fellow Seana Gall.

“The studies that found that it had a significant effect on smoking prevalence were those that were the most robust.”

The Institute found people aged 21 and over were less likely to supply cigarettes to minors than those aged 18 to 20.

“It’s creating a bigger gap between those people who are sort of experimenting with smoking and those people who can actually legally purchase the cigarettes,” said Dr Gall.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance wasn’t buying it.

Greg Barnes lawyer.
Greg Barnes is critical of the move to restrict access to cigarettes.(ABC Mid North Coast: Luisa Rubbo)

“We think the Menzies centre work was naive,” said criminal justice spokesman Greg Barns.

“You don’t cut supply chains, you simply make them different types of supply chains.

“All you’re going to do is get people who are 21, 22, or with fake ID, going into shops and buying cigarettes and distributing them.”

Tasmania is being mooted as the best first state for T21, partly because of its high smoking rates but also because of its strict vendors.

“We have 98 per cent compliance from retailers in Tasmania,” said Smoke Free Tasmania’s Kathryn Barnsley.

“They simply don’t sell cigarettes to young people already.”

She said studies showed most young people bought cigarettes from supermarkets, sparing Tasmania’s small businesses any costly consequences from T21.

Man vaping
The business council wants to see vaping regulated.(Supplied: Pixabay)

But the Small Business Council said it wasn’t the way forward.

“I know for a fact that everybody under the age of 18 gets [tobacco] from family and friends and that is not going to change,” said CEO Robert Mallett.

He said legalising vaping was the way to go.

“Australia is one of the few places in the world not to have regulated and legalised its use which is a crying shame because harm reduction experts throughout the world recognise that vaping a nicotine liquid is significantly less harmful than burning tobacco paper and smoking it through a filter.”

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Positive U.S. Pot News Spurs Rush to Raise Cash: Cannabis Weekly

Article content continued

Jordan, meanwhile, said he previously didn’t expect the MORE Act to be passed until the next administration, but he now thinks it could happen by the end of President-Elect Joe Biden’s four-year term.

Cannabis stocks have surged on the brighter prospects. An industry index rose 16% last week.

Green Thumb Industries Inc., one of the largest U.S. multi-state operators, also sees expansion accelerating as a result of the recent news, Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler said in a phone interview. With potential access to capital markets coming sooner than expected, Kovler said the company is thinking about refinancing its current $100 million in debt, which carries a 12% interest rate.

“We could create an extra $100 million out of thin air by refinancing at 6%,” he said. This could then be invested back into the business and potentially boost the share price. Staffing up is also on the agenda. “We hired over 1,300 people in 2020, and we’d expect that to be bigger in 2021,” Kovler said.

Green Thumb is also intensifying efforts to register on U.S. exchanges, Kovler said. Companies have largely tapped markets in Canada rather the U.S., where they have been shunned for concerns about legal risks due to federal prohibition. But Kovler said views are changing on this.

“I don’t believe there’s a legal issue that prevents this,” he said. “I think the NYSE and the Nasdaq should list cannabis companies. Otherwise it’s a massive wealth transfer to Canada.”

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Missing laptops raise cyber risks from U.S. Capitol mayhem

Federal authorities are assessing the cybersecurity risks created by rioters roaming freely through congressional offices during Wednesday’s rampage at the U.S. Capitol, including missing laptops and computers that were left unsecured.

While there is no indication that hacking into computer networks was a goal of the rioters, at least three computers were reported missing and the potential exists that the intruders gained access to sensitive systems when members of Congress and their staff hastily took cover, according to cybersecurity experts. As a result, the House and the Senate should devote resources to mitigating any potential vulnerabilities, they said.

A number of lawmakers have reported missing technology: Senator Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, posted a video to Twitter, showing his ransacked office and sharing that intruders “stole the laptop that was sitting on a table next to the telephone.” In a virtual press conference, Representative James Clyburn, Democrat from South Carolina, said that an iPad went missing from his office, while the device’s frame and keyboard were left behind. And a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Twitter Friday that “a laptop only used for presentations” was stolen from a conference room.

“The images and videos from yesterday clearly show crowds entering offices, interacting with devices and at least one unlocked computer,” said Camille Francois, the chief innovation officer at the firm Graphika Inc., which studies social media, in an interview on Thursday. “This raises cybersecurity concerns, and potential for compromises. Devices left behind should no longer be considered trusted.”

David Wolpoff, chief technology officer of the security firm Randori Inc., said that once physical boundaries are breached, everything digital in that space becomes “to some degree suspect.”

“One of the immutable laws of cybersecurity is if someone has physical access to your computer then it’s not your computer anymore,” Wolpoff said.

David O’Boyle, spokesperson for the administrative office of the House of Representatives, said in a statement that officials took steps to ensure that the House network and devices remained secure during the upheaval. “We remain vigilant in monitoring the security of the House network, systems, and information,” O’Boyle said.

The Capitol Police didn’t respond to a request for comment. The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency referred questions about the technical implications of the riot to the House and Senate sergeants-at-arms. The House Sergeant resigned Thursday and the Senate sergeant — who Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threatened to fire Thursday — couldn’t be reached for comment.

The rioters had the opportunity to take sensitive materials as they stormed the Capitol, including external hard drives and USB sticks — even if they hadn’t planned to do so, said Jerry Ray, chief operating officer of the security firm SecureAge Technology. That the intruders may have had access to logged in work stations — meaning their owners fled before logging out — means that congressional passwords, encryption standards and routing should be revised in the coming weeks.

“Overkill is essential right now,” he said.

More must-read tech coverage from Fortune:

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  • Vaccinating the world against COVID is off to a slow start. These firms think A.I. and blockchain could help
  • Attempted coup at Capitol presents key opportunity for cyberattack, experts warn
  • 5G will get better this year, promises Verizon exec

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