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Image of article 'Is Africa a victim of bias by international investors?       |       DW       |       14.08.2020'

Is Africa a victim of bias by international investors? | DW | 14.08.2020

As the virus batters the continent's economy and throws government budgets into chaos, the spotlight has shifted onto the exorbitant amounts of money that African nations spend on debt repayments even as large creditors like China, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the G-20 nations offer debt relief to deal with the current predicament.

Amid the economic pain, African leaders and experts are flagging the "unfair" risk premium put on African countries — which results in them having to pay more for debt than other emerging nations — as an unnecessary burden.

Mma Amara, a research associate at the Center for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA), says this discrimination was one of the factors pushing African nations to borrow from China, which offers better rates than private creditors and lays down less stringent conditions than multilateral institutions like the IMF.

The IMF ranks African governments in terms of the risks of debt distress and that ranking because of the access they have to our books plays a very big role in the decisions of rating agencies," Moore said.

Moore says African nations need to work in unison to expose the bias and call on international institutions, rating agencies and bond contractors to explain the rationale behind high risk premium.

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15 Billion In Federal Funding Flows Into Just Five Major U.S. Cities Where Civil Unrest Looms & Police Stand Down

After the George Floyd protests broke out across major U.S. cities, some mayors and police chiefs were accused of issuing stand-down orders to their police officers.

Auditors at quantified $14.8 billion in federal contracts and grants flowing into five major cities where civil unrest looms and policing is restrained: Seattle, Portland, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

The City of Portland (Mayor Ted Wheeler) received $34 million with the police department only getting $37,000.

In Washington, D.C. (Mayor Muriel Bowser), we found 33 separate city agencies receiving federal funds: the district government ($2 billion), the Metropolitan Police Department ($3.8 million), the fire department ($5.7 million), emergency management ($18.5 million), the DC university ($76.4 million), housing authority ($125.6 million), and public schools ($996.4 million).

We found 52 units of government based in New York City (Mayor Bill de Blasio) receiving federal funds: the city government ($2.4 billion), housing authority ($2.3 billion), and the social services department ($875.3 million).

Sarah Cooper, the viral Trump impersonator, is getting a comedy special on Netflix

Sarah Cooper, the comedian who went viral this year on TikTok and Twitter for her political satire videos impersonating Donald Trump, is getting her own comedy special on Netflix.

While Sarah Cooper has been pursuing comedy full time since 2014 and has published several books, the comedian blew up on social media earlier this year when she began sharing political satire videos of her impersonating Donald Trump by lip-syncing to his speeches.

Cooper’s videos have racked in millions of views across various platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Her first viral video, “How to Medical,” has amassed over 22 million views on Twitter.

In recent years, it’s become common for content creators who go viral on platforms like TikTok and YouTube to go on to ink lucrative deals with big tech and entertainment companies or merch partners.

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Image of article 'Here’s why you can’t bet on the outcome of the November election in Nevada'

Here’s why you can’t bet on the outcome of the November election in Nevada

Kornegay said offshore operators have said the U.S. presidential election is “by far” their most popular bet, handling 10 times the amount of wagers as the Super Bowl, which earned Nevada’s 190 books $18.8 million in February.

Kornegay has seen Nevada sports betting regulations ease in recent years — allowing bets on MVP picks, for example — but believes certain rules can be further relaxed.

Sportsbook operators can get permission to offer wagers not laid out in the statutes, but they must be approved by the Nevada Control Board.

Spend from bettors in legal states on illegal bookies dropped 25 percent last year but grew 3 percent for illegal, offshore online sportsbooks, according to a July AGA report.

Kornegay expects to see restrictions loosen up down the road, but Alamo said some of the bets found offshore probably will never make it to legal sportsbooks in Nevada.

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Image of article 'The First Sister' Is Stylish, Substantial — And Very Cool — Space Opera'

The First Sister' Is Stylish, Substantial — And Very Cool — Space Opera

And speaking of future books, I hope we get a more nuanced look at First Sister's character.

I came out of reading The First Sister keen to spend more time in Linden A. Lewis' solar system.

The First Sister is also an enjoyable action-adventure in space with likable characters, engagingly cinematic visuals, and high Cool Factor.

Meanwhile, the titular First Sister's role is to act as confessor and provide wordless "comfort" for any Gean soldier — unless the captain claims exclusive rights by naming her "First."

'The First Sister' Is Stylish, Substantial — And Very Cool — Space Opera Linden A. Lewis's debut novel The First Sister (book one in a trilogy of the same name) is a lot of fun, as stylish as it is substantial.

Image of article '22 Things For Anyone Cooking In A Hot Kitchen'

22 Things For Anyone Cooking In A Hot Kitchen

A faucet filtration system because easy access to clean and great-tasting water is essential in a hot kitchen.

Target Promising review: "This was my first time using a water filter in my home, and I am very pleased.

An air fryer with a digital display gets rid of any need for hot, bubbling oil to fry your food.

Amazon Promising review: "This air fryer is perfect for our family!

America's Test Kitchen Promising review: "You can never go wrong with any of America's Test Kitchen's cookbooks; they take the hit and miss out of a recipe.

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Daisy Johnson: 'It’s not an easy time to be looking at yourself or other people

Johnson likes that idea, and firmly says she’s not the kind of writer that turns away from reading fiction when she’s working on her own books, or steers clear of anything that feels too similar.

Her feeling as a writer is that once you send a book into the world, you relinquish it to its readers, and that many Harry Potter fans are demonstrating what it means to be attached to a work of fiction: “That doesn’t mean that we can’t be critical about it and certainly we should be critical about the things we love, and people we love, but we can still remember it fondly and it can still be a very important part of who we are and our culture.”

Of the recent manifestations of the Black Lives Matter movement, Johnson says: “I think we should feel both as writers and as readers and people that we have to do better”, and while “it’s not an easy time to be looking at yourself or looking at other people, I think that books seem to be at the front of that.”

“I’m obsessed with mothers,” says Johnson, with a slight laugh – she is also quick to point out that she has a very good relationship with her own mother, and with her sister, and that they are “bemused” to be asked about their relationship with Johnson by her readers.

She also didn’t anticipate reworking the Oedipus myth that had so enthralled her in her schooldays, but it formed the bedrock of her first novel, 2017’s Everything Under, which made her the youngest writer, at 27, to be shortlisted for the Booker prize.

Apple macOS Big Sur public beta is now available

The update is promised to be the biggest yet for Apple's desktop OS with a complete redesign and now anyone with a compatible Mac can download the public beta.

Apple unveiled the macOS "Big Sur" at its virtual WWDC keynote in late June.

Big Sur also lays the groundwork for the eventual transition from Intel to Apple's custom ARM silicon.

Why it matters: Apple has completely refreshed macOS Big Sur with new features and a new design language.

For now, Apple's Developer Transition Kit is the only official ARM hardware to run macOS though two ARM-based MacBooks are rumored to come out later this year.

published software technology

World Acceptance to pay $21.7M to settle SEC charges of bribery (NASDAQ:WRLD

World Acceptance (WRLD ) agrees to pay $21.7M to resolve charges that its former Mexican subsidiary paid more than $4M in bribes to Mexican and government officials and union officials.

According to the SEC order, WAC Mexico paid the bribes from at least December 2017 through June 2017 to secure the ability to make loans to government employees and ensure that those loans were repaid in a timely manner.

Without admitting or denying the SEC findings, World Acceptance agreed to pay $17.8M in disgorgement, $1.9M in prejudgment interest, and a $2M penalty.

The SEC alleges that the company inaccurately recorded the bribes in its books and records as legitimate business expenses and that the company lacked sufficient internal accounting controls to detect or prevent the payments.

It also agreed to stop violating anti-bribery, books and records, and internal control provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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Turn any text into an instant audiobook with this highly rated iOS app

In an age of podcasts, audiobooks and multitasking, many of us have adjusted to take in information through our ears while our eyes are busy doing other things.

Plus, some people simply retain information better through listening rather than reading.

Speechify is his text-to-speech app that turns reading material into interactive audiobooks, so you can listen anywhere.

It can read documents, articles, even entire books as you cook, work out, travel or do any other thing where your ears are available but your eyes are occupied.

You also can send text of any length straight to your mobile device for listening, which makes Speechify perfect for catching up on reading during your commute.

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Image of article 'New Books: August 2020'

New Books: August 2020

In her debut memoir, the former Memphis resident recounts the escape her family made from their native Liberia during a civil war.

Kenan returns this month with a new short story collection set in the fictional North Carolina town of Tims Creek.

When he finds himself on his deathbed, he sets out to create a collection of Black Bottom Saints, tributes to the people who defined the neighborhood and his life.

From the Great Depression through the early Motown years, Ziggy has been the heartbeat of the neighborhood, rubbing elbows with everyone from Count Basie and Sammy Davis Jr. to Joe Louis and Martin Luther King Jr.

With her new book set in Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, Randall, a Detroit native and revered Nashville-based novelist, introduces Ziggy, a popular gossip columnist and emcee at the best nightclub in town.

This Week In Virtual Book Events: August 3-9

Sarah Maslin Nir, author of Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love With an Animal, in conversation with Mary Roach — hosted by Books Are Magic, 7 p.m. ET, more info.

Raven Leilani, author of Luster, in conversation with Allison P. Davis — hosted by Politics and Prose, 6 p.m. ET, more info.

Edward Ball, author of Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy, in conversation with author Ibram X. Kendi — hosted by Politics and Prose, 6 p.m. ET, more info.

Tuesday, Aug. 4 Harper, Viking, Tor Books, FSG, Little, Brown, Random House, Penguin Press, Riverhead, Picador, G. P. Putnam Sons Morgan Jerkins, author of Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migrations Reclaims Her Roots, in conversation with Jason Reynolds — hosted by Books Are Magic, 7 p.m. ET, more info.

Friday, Aug. 7 Ecco, FSG, Pantheon, Akashic, One World, Lysley Tenorio, author of The Son of Good Fortune, and Quan Barry, author of We Ride Upon Sticks, in conversation with Anthony Doerr — hosted by Books Are Magic, 7 p.m. ET, more info.

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Kidds Korner in Kearney sells nostalgia in many forms

Kidd, a former Hastings College football player and self-proclaimed sports fanatic, said he most likes talking to customers, especially children about their favorite teams and players when they’re looking at cards.

Below the posters are where Kidd keeps his best sports cards on display in glass cases.

At the focal point of the store, posters of local sports teams - University of Nebraska at Kearney Lopers, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Tri-City Storm hockey - hang on the walls alongside a signed poster of former Minnesota Twins player Kirby Puckett and a character in Kidd’s favorite movie, “The Sandlot.”

Along with the sports cards and vintage die-cast cars, Kidd sells comic books, Husker memorabilia, gaming cards, vintage toys and other antiques.

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - Nick Kidd, a big kid at heart, has been buying and selling sports cards since he was 12 years old.

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Image of article '6 Incredible Bookcases That Will Actually Fit Your Massive Book Collection'

6 Incredible Bookcases That Will Actually Fit Your Massive Book Collection

If you’re looking for a bookshelf that can handle lots of big, heavy books (which can weigh up to 50 pounds per running foot), opt for a model with solid wood shelves.

Also consider that if you own a lot of books, your collection is probably quite heavy, which means a flimsier case won't do; make sure you choose a bookcase that is designed to carry at least 20 pounds per running foot — or even more if you own a lot of hefty textbooks or hardcovers.

With a capacity of 120 pounds per shelf, this HSH Bookcase is cut out for the heavy lifting that books require.

I researched many ladder bookshelves and was surprised that most of the ones I came across simply weren't cut out for the weight of books — but this 6-shelf bookcase is certainly an exception!

Positive Amazon review: “I needed a bookcase for my office/guest room that could hold a LOT of books without taking up a lot of space.

Students can grab these JBL earbuds for nearly half off at Best Buy

TL;DR: Enjoy powerful sound without the wires with the JBL FREE True Wireless in-ear headphones Gen 2 for $79.99, a $70 savings as of July 31.

Calling all students!

If you don't know about Best Buy's Student Deals, we're here to make sure you don't miss out any longer.

Besides books and writing tools, you'll most likely have your eye on a lot of tech like laptops and headphones.

Luckily, Best Buy is coming through with a ton of sales, including this one on a pair of second-generation JBL FREE True Wireless in-ear headphones.

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Image of article 'If You Are An Honest To Goodness 2000s Girl, You're Guaranteed To Pass These 13 Quizzes'

If You Are An Honest To Goodness 2000s Girl, You're Guaranteed To Pass These 13 Quizzes

Posted 3 hours ago Only A 2000s Girl Can, Like, Totally Pass These 13 Quizzes Many will enter, but only true 2000s girls will win.

This is a collection of trivia and personality quizzes specifically designed for 2000s girls — all in one place for your convenience.

Buena Vista Pictures You...a, a 2000s girl?

Poppy / Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers Sony Pictures / Paramount Pictures Paramount Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures/Warner Bros.

Paramount Pictures Sure, you know Regina George, but can remember the names of all the other teen girls you rooted against?

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Image of article 'Germany must toughen audit rules after Wirecard scandal: Weidmann'

Germany must toughen audit rules after Wirecard scandal: Weidmann

Opposition lawmakers are expected to grill Scholz and Economy Minister Peter Altmaier over the German establishment's failure for years to heed warnings from journalists and market sceptics that Wirecard was cooking the books.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Friday proposed to toughen financial oversight of companies, seeking to pre-empt an expected parliamentary backlash over the failure of regulators to spot the unprecedented fraud.

That money is now almost certainly lost, making the collapse of Wirecard Germany's biggest accounting scandal.

"Wirecard is a scandal, and we have to do more to prevent it in the future," Weidmann told Funke media group.

BERLIN: Germany must toughen its rules for auditing and accounting to prevent another billion-euro scam like the Wirecard scandal, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said in a newspaper interview published on Monday (Jul 26).

Image of article 'Cartoonist Adrian Tomine's Self-Deprecating, Self-Aware Humor Shines In Memoir'

Cartoonist Adrian Tomine's Self-Deprecating, Self-Aware Humor Shines In Memoir

It's rare that I begin reviews so self-consciously, but since The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine spends some time on the relationship between artist and critic and audience, I can't help but be especially aware of Tomine potentially reading these words.

Indeed, what Tomine has managed to do so well here is reveal something that few artists are able to discuss without sounding unaware or falsely humble: the incredibly hard, exhausting, and often kind of work involved in building a career in the arts, where there is too little funding, an overabundance of egos running rampant, and layers upon layers of gatekeeping.

The chapter ends with Tomine lying in bed, promising he'll never return to this awful place, Comic Con.

After a prologue, the book opens on Tomine sitting on a plane, heading to San Diego Comic Con in 1995, thinking, "Well, I showed them!"

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist is a graphic memoir that follows Tomine — whose name is mispronounced in one encounter after another — from his earliest days as a self-publishing cartoonist to his present-day career as a graphic novelist with several comics collections, books, and a plethora of New Yorker and Paris Review covers to his name.

Image of article 'Your iPhone is worth $108 less each year you own it'

Your iPhone is worth $108 less each year you own it

If this is you, move on your Nintendo DS Lite, and hang onto your Playstation Pro, which, according to the survey, will lose only 15% of its value over the next year.

MacBooks depreciate up to 41% and $140 of their value each year, while tablets will lose $85, and wearable watches will depreciate by $90.

The average US household has $199 worth of unwanted tech like cell phones, computers, tablets, gaming consoles, and wearables sitting around losing money every day.

Technology hardware such as smartphones, computers, tablets, games consoles, and wearables depreciate in value by an average of 26% over the course of a year.

Every year our hunger to buy the latest new gadget means that our older tech and cell phones lose value every year due to depreciation.

Image of article 'Silver prices poised to outshine gold'

Silver prices poised to outshine gold

Ciana also projects gold will reach a high of $2,296 an ounce, or 21 percent above its current level.

He sees silver targeting $26.22, $30.73 and possibly even $35.23 an ounce, or 53 percent above current prices.

“Silver is commonly looked at as the poor man's gold,” said Ed Moy, chief strategist at gold retailer Valaurum and head of the U.S. Mint from 2006 to 2011.

GOLD PRICES ZOOM INTO RECORD BOOKS, SET SIGHTS ON FURTHER GAINS He pointed to silver forming a “big base” while trading sideways over the past five years and thinks the metal is poised to “catch up” to the longer-term performance of gold and the SP 500, which have both booked record highs in 2020.

Silver prices just made their biggest weekly advance since the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, but the run-up has been largely eclipsed by smaller gains in gold prices.

Image of article 'More Secret Epstein Papers Could Be Unsealed As Early As Next Week'

More Secret Epstein Papers Could Be Unsealed As Early As Next Week

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said today that Trump was expressing, frankly, a desire for Maxwell’s case to be resolved in court rather than to end, as Epstein’s did, in suicide.

(Trump admitted he had met Maxwell “numerous times over the years,” as photos of the two together corroborate, and Trump famously called Epstein a “terrific guy” in the pages of New York back in 2002, noting their shared taste for beautiful women — in Epstein’s case “on the younger side.”)

This morning, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan, who is presiding over Maxwell’s criminal trial, also in the Southern District, denied her request for a gag order against the prosecutors for the government and the witnesses in the case, saying rules prohibiting public statements that could be prejudicial are already on the books.

As a result of her ruling, reams of documents concerning Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s 2015 defamation suit against Maxwell could be unsealed as early as next week, amounting to hundreds of pages of depositions (by Maxwell, Giuffre, and other still-anonymous accusers), correspondence, exhibits, and more, all of which Maxwell’s lawyers have argued should remain secret to avoid harm or embarrassment to their client.

Photo: Shutterstock A new cache of documents related to Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein may soon come to light, U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled today.

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Image of article 'Intel CPU Road Map: 2020, 2021, and Beyond'

Intel CPU Road Map: 2020, 2021, and Beyond

The design is not unlike what ARM’s big.LITTLE chip design, as Intel looks to combine Ice Lake’s Sunny Cove microarchitecture found on the powerful Core i3 and Core i5 processors with power-efficient, Atom-based Tremont cores.

While Intel will exclusively be using its Tiger Lake silicon on laptops and gaming notebooks, succeeding Comet Lake on the desktop will be the company’s Rocket Lake processor.

Rocket Lake is speculated to use Intel’s hybrid microarchitecture design, combining a 10nm processor with a 14nm integrated GPU architecture.

With Alder Lake, Intel is said to use a mixed chiplet strategy fusing the 10nm processor with an integrated 14nm Intel Xe-based graphics, according to Videocardz.

Meteor Lake S will be Intel’s first 7nm desktop processor, which means that Intel’s shift to 7nm trails rival AMD by several years.

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Image of article 'Are Whiteboard Coding Interviews Just Testing For Social Anxiety'

Are Whiteboard Coding Interviews Just Testing For Social Anxiety

An anonymous reader quotes The Register: People applying for software engineering positions at companies are often asked to solve problems on a whiteboard, under the watchful eye of an interviewer, as a way to assess technical problem solving skills.

But recent research suggests that whiteboard technical tests — so daunting to job seekers that there are books on how to deal with them — often fail to assess technical skill, according to new research.

In a paper to be presented later this year at the ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, researchers from North Carolina State University and Microsoft in the U.S. argue that whiteboard sessions test for stage fright rather than, y'know, coding competency... "A technical interview has an uncanny resemblance to the Trier Social Stress Test, a procedure used for decades by psychologists and is the best known 'gold standard' procedure for the sole purpose of reliably inducing stress."

As a consequence, whiteboard interviews may fail to assess coder competency.

Rather, the researchers argue, they measure how well job candidates handle anxiety.... In essence, social anxiety took otherwise qualified job candidates out of the running because of the circumstances of the interview.

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