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I went to Burger King for the first time in 19 years — I can see why it"s losing out to McDonald"s

Burger King is rolling out plant-based and gourmet burgers to lure in more customers, but I didn't think it was enough to compete with its old rival. I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center, and it was very quiet for a Saturday night.Grace Dean/Insider I went to Burger King for the first time since 2002. The chain's been rolling out plant-based and gourmet burgers to lure in more customers. The restaurant I went to was pretty quiet but the McDonald's just around the corner was heaving. I last went to Burger King on the way back from a family holiday in 2002, when the chain was giving out "Jimmy Neutron" toys.A photo of a Burger King in Federal Heights, Colorado, in 2001.Michael Smith/Getty ImagesMy parents didn't take me to fast-food chains often as a child, and as I got older, my friends preferred to go to McDonald's when they fancied something quick to eat or after a night out. This was because it was cheaper and there are more McDonald's restaurants in the UK.A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, CaliforniaThomson ReutersBut I went to Burger King in November to try out its plant-based Whopper, breaking my 19-year spell by visiting the chain for only the second time. Burger King unveiled a new logo earlier this year, but the restaurant I went to in Newcastle, northern England, hadn't updated its yet.I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: InsiderWhat I did notice, though, was the stripes around the bottom of the store windows, designed to look like its flagship Whopper burger.I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city centre.Grace Dean/InsiderI went at around 7 p.m. on a Saturday night. The McDonald's right round the corner was rammed full. But Burger King — arguably tucked slightly further away from Newcastle's main shopping and drinking areas — was very quiet.I went to a Burger King in Newcastle city center, and it was very quiet for a Saturday night.Grace Dean/InsiderA few people were sat down eating, but most seemed to be standing around waiting to collect their orders.Grace Dean/InsiderI did, however, see a few delivery drivers come in to collect orders.Grace Dean/InsiderBurger King was heavily promoting its vegan burgers in store, as well as its halloumi fries. Fast-food chains have been competing for a bigger share of the plant-based market, and McDonald's recently launched its McPlant in the UK.I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: Insider, InsiderThere was also a sign advertising its two new "gourmet" burgers, which the company rolled out in October. Its focus on plant-based and gourmet food suggested that it was trying to move away from its image as just another cheap fast-food joint.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: InsiderThough the burgers were more expensive than at McDonald's, one advantage Burger King did have was a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine with unlimited soft drinks. But I got my food to-go, so it seemed like I was paying for something I couldn't use.Grace Dean/InsiderYou could order at a cashier but the restaurant had a lot of digital kiosks, too.Burger King's digital kiosks.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: InsiderThe prices were considerably higher than for comparable meals at McDonald's. Like at other fast-food chains, I noticed that Burger King was encouraging customers to order its burgers as part of a meal with fries and a drink ...Burger King's digital kiosks.Grace Dean/Insider... or add extra toppings. I was surprised that adding bacon was a suggested customization for the plant-based Whopper.Burger King's digital kiosks.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: InsiderAs you'd expect from a fast-food chain, the service was really quick ...Grace Dean/Insider... but I looked around the restaurant while I waited. Despite the retro orange and brown color palette, the interior seemed quite modern.Grace Dean/InsiderBurger King started revamping some of its stores in 2021, and the Newcastle restaurant looked nothing like the mock-ups for its new design.Burger King is revamping its restaurants.Burger KingSource: InsiderThe redesigned restaurants will have a designated section for "walk up" orders ...Burger King is revamping its restaurants.Burger KingSource: Insider... as well as designated food lockers for customers who order on Burger King's app. More advance orders could have helped reduce congestion at the Newcastle store I went to, where people were standing around waiting for their orders to be ready.Burger KingSources: Insider, InsiderI liked how my burger came wrapped in paper, making it easier to eat on-the-go, unlike other fast-food companies that serve their take-out burgers in boxes.I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.Grace Dean/InsiderI'd never had a Whopper before. When it arrived, my plant-based Whopper was much larger than expected.I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.Grace Dean/InsiderThe burger came with lettuce, onion, ketchup, tomato, vegan mayo, and pickles. Its patty tasted a little more meaty and barbecuey than McDonald's vegan McPlant burger. The fries, however, disappointed me. While they were chunkier than the ones at McDonald's, the portion was smaller and they weren't as salty.I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: InsiderInterestingly, Burger King classes its meat-free Whopper as plant-based but not vegan. This is because, while the patty is plant-based, it's cooked on the same broiler as its meat namesake.I tried Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper.Grace Dean/InsiderSource: InsiderMcDonald's has around 1,300 restaurants in the UK, while Burger King has just over 500. Globally, McDonald's has close to 40,000 restaurants and Burger King has nearly 19,000.There are 20 McDonald's restaurants within a two-mile radius of Westminster.Grace Dean/InsiderSources: McDonald's, BBC, McDonald's, Restaurant Brands InternationalAnd none of the Burger King restaurants in Newcastle city center appeared to be open 24 hours. A staff member told me that the one I went to closes at 10 p.m. each day.A Burger King worker in Putrajaya, Malaysia.Faris Hadziq/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesMcDonald's, in comparison, has a lot of 24-hour restaurants in Newcastle. And in a city famed for its nightlife, this seems to make sense.McDonald's locations in Newcastle.Grace Dean/InsiderAt McDonald's, comparable total global sales were up 12.7% in the third quarter compared with 7.9% at Burger King, including a drop in the chain's comparable US sales.A Burger King in London.Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesSources: McDonald's, Restaurant Brands InternationalI was impressed by my plant-based Whopper, but how deserted the Newcastle restaurant was on a Saturday night shows how people are shunning the chain in favor of cheaper deals at McDonald's.Grace Dean/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 4th, 2021

Can Holiday Season Help Airlines Bounce Back From Its Lows?

Airline companies like American Airlines (AAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV), United Airlines (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) had a good Thanksgiving week and are likely to put up a good show in the coming days. The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has raised fresh fears in people's minds, but that didn’t stop Americans from cutting down on flying during the Thanksgiving weekend. In fact, air traffic set a pandemic record in Thanksgiving week.This should bring a smile on the faces of airline companies that have been struggling to get back on their feet ever since the pandemic started. Almost all major American airlines like American Airlines (AAL), Southwest Airlines LUV, United Airlines UAL and Delta Air Lines DAL saw passengers soaring to pandemic-level highs in Thanksgiving week.Air Traffic Soars to Pandemic-Level HighAirlines have been banking on the holiday season for traffic to bounce back and as expected, it started well with Thanksgiving. According to the Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”), around 2.5 million people traveled on Nov 28, the highest since Feb 15, 2020, following which the pandemic struck.Although the figureis almost 15% lower than what the TSA screened two years back, it is a pandemic-level high. From Nov22 through Nov 28, around 14.4 million people were screened by the TSA. This is more than double the 6.4 million people screened during this period last year.As expected by most of the major American carriers,Thanksgiving travel soared. American Airlines flew 1,500 flights more than other airlines during the Thanksgiving week. Besides, flight attendants and staff of AAL also received extra pay or bonuses for working during the holiday period and meeting attendance goals.American Airlines didn’t face any major issue during this period except for 56 cancellations and some delays. AAL flew a total of 5.6 million people from Nov 19 through Nov 28.Southwest Airlines, too,expected a surge in air travel during the Thanksgiving week, although it hadn’t given any specific figures beforehand. Much like AAL, LUV also doled out bonuses and extra pay to its flight attendants and staff during this people. The Columbus Day weekend had cost Southwest Airlines $75 million in bottom line after it had to cancel as many as 2,000 flights. However, LUV avoided this with extra pay and bonus on Thanksgiving week.United Airlines had earlier said that it expected to fly 4.5 million passengers from Nov 19 through Nov 30. This was almost 88% higher than what UAL had flown last year during the same period. United Airlines also added 700 more flights to its daily schedule inThanksgiving week.Delta Airlines, which, too, has been struggling for a while, saw trafficrebounding duringThanksgiving week. DAL had earlier projected to fly 5.6 million customers during this period. Although Delta Airlines hasn’t given the exact number of passengers it flew, it is expected to outpace its 2020 numbers by a huge margin.Airlines Fighting BackThe pandemic had left the airline industry battered as traveling almost came to a standstill in March-April last year. Although travel resumed as the economy started reopening, airline companies continued to face challenges.However, things started changing after millions got the COVID-19 vaccine and the government lifted restrictions on travel. This saw people making holiday plans.However, news of thedeadly Omicron variant of coronavirus has already started raising fears in the minds of people, which might again be a cause of concern. Airline companies, however, are still hopeful.Delta Airlines and United Airlines are the two U.S. carriers that have non-stop service to South Africa, where the virus was detected. Neither Delta nor United Airlines is canceling their flights. Airlines for America, a lobbyist for major U.S. carriers like DAL, AAL, LUV and UAL, said it is in touch with the government about the situation. DAL, AAL, LUV and UAL each carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Moreover, the holiday season has just begun and that too on a high note. With Christmas and New Year still left, traveling is likely to soar in the coming days too. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 1st, 2021

Warmongers Would Let Ukraine Become World War III

Warmongers Would Let Ukraine Become World War III Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog, They just won't let it go. It seems many of the so-called "warmongers" are hellbent on turning Ukraine into a major war whether the countries involved want it or not. History shows what has become known as "proxy wars" create profits for companies manufacturing weapons. The cost, of course, is then pawned off on taxpayers and a public preoccupied with personal concerns. Such talk of war is probably viewed as a blessing by President Biden and a White House that has been battered with bad press. The proof that Ukraine is unlikely to go quietly into the night is reinforced by a slew of news stories over the last few days. It includes items such as the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine is warning of "unusual Russian military activity" near the nation's borders and in the annexed peninsula of Crimea or that Canada is now considering larger deployments to Ukraine. Nothing ramps up the hype like the headline, "Ukraine fears that Russia may be preparing to invade." Brig. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine's defense intelligence agency, said last weekend. He went on to say that Russia had more than 92,000 troops amassed at the border and could attack as early as the end of January. In reaction, not only is Canada looking at deploying hundreds of additional troops to support the Canadian soldiers already in Ukraine on a training mission, it is considering redeploying some of the CF-18 fighter jets currently based in Romania. NATO Has Slowly Expanded Towards Russia I stand with those arguing this has little to do with Russia taking over the world or Ukraine's national sovereignty. It is about money, energy, and power. Several years ago I wrote a piece that urged America to stay out of a war in Ukraine. It also warned of the major advantage Putin held by having a huge well-armed army just across the Ukrainian border and that any army cobbled together to face him would most likely be unenthusiastic and politically troubled. Another reason provoking Russia is a horrible idea is that it creates the potential the current "minor skirmish" could explode into World War III with nuclear bombs entering the mix. When President Obama was in office he pulled out all the stops to paint Putin with a brush dipped in all the bad colors. Every Sunday in interview after interview Washington experts were paraded across the screens of the talk shows denouncing Putin as a "thug and a bully." This description of the former KGB officer is so ingrained in their repertoire that they seldom describe him in any other terms unless it is to add the words "dangerous or menace" to highlight the fact we should all be afraid. Clearly, the U.S. establishment loathes Putin and constantly paints him as an aggressor, a tyrant, and a killer that invaded and occupied Crimea. The fact is, it is NATO that has slowly been expanding towards Russia since Putin took power in late 1999.  In 1999, Russia was defenseless, bankrupt, and being carved up by a group stealing its resources in collusion with America. Putin changed that and resurrected the crumbling empire once again into a nation-state with coherence and purpose. Putin is credited with halting the theft of his country’s wealth by the plutocracy and restoring Russia's military strength. Putin's biggest sin may be that with blunt rhetoric he refused to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world under a system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. The fact is many Russians credit him with saving Russia. Today, after two decades in power, Putin’s approval rating exceeds that of many Western leaders. Ukrainian Soldiers Killed In An Unwinnable War Reports from the front in Ukraine are often buried or hidden from public view but they appear to confirm that Ukrainian troops are being sent into a meat grinder.  Putting more weapons into the hands of those unmotivated to fight for their corrupt state is merely adding fuel to this fire and doing more harm than good. Again, remember Ukraine is a financially failed state and while we can point to its potential, its massive oil and gas reserves by all rights should belong to the Ukrainian people. The IMF, however, points out that Kiev needs billions in loans and grants just to stabilize its economy after more than twenty years of massive levels of corruption. This debt and the deep, deep hole Ukraine dug itself into after a series of bad governments ran the country after it became independent of the Soviet Union. The euro-zone currently faces a lot of problems without jumping into a proxy war against rebels in Ukraine. I use the term proxy because without the money and backing of outsiders things would most likely go quiet. The failed and bankrupt country of Ukraine would most likely break into two parts with the eastern half and its people who share strong ties with Russia aligning itself with that country and Kiev, and the western-oriented portion of the country drifting towards stronger ties to the euro-zone. What is the big problem with such a solution? A great deal if you ask those in Washington that are pushing for more intervention in Ukraine. As to what motivates their desire to turn the area into a giant killing field several possibilities exist but it is mostly money and profit. War In Ukraine Is About Money, Energy, And Power! Foreign policy has often been used as a tool to advance national interest which is often dictated by economics. When it comes to the economy, energy is often considered the blood from which all strength flows and in the case of Europe the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipeline designed to carry natural gas from Russia to Germany remains a bone of contention. Several European countries see the pipeline as being designed to increase their energy reliance on Moscow. Those opposed to the pipeline continue to argue that "Gazprom" is not only a gas company but a platform for Russian coercion and another tool for Russia to pressure European countries. Under a provision in the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the U.S. State Department has even threatened European corporations with ties to the pipeline on the grounds that "the project undermines energy security in Europe". To confuse the issue and muddy the waters great efforts have been made at high levels by those advocating military action to paint Russia as an aggressor. These forces aided by the media continue to link Russia's move into the majority ethnic-Russian Crimea region as a violation of Ukraine's sovereign border. The whole argument of sovereign borders is a little gem promoted by those in power, these borders are a creation of man and not visible to the birds flying above. This is an argument of convenience that masks deeper issues and the difference between "terrorist" and "freedom fighters" often depends on a person's point of view. In this case, it is clearly the new American-backed government in Kiev that is pushing to bring the eastern part of Ukraine back into the fold. Adding Ukraine to NATO and the EU is a long-held dream of neocons like Victoria Nuland and neoliberals like Biden. This is also important to those supporting the World Economic Forum’s desire to expand the EU and encircle Russia.  Putin has long been a thorn in the side of the NWO gang. After entering office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed Decree No. 117/2021 activating the Ukraine Army to recapture and re-unify with Ukraine, the autonomous region of Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol. This was in total conflict with his promise to end the now nearly seven-year-long war in eastern Ukraine that played a central role in his election in 2019. This indicates Zelensky has continued to subordinate his government’s policies to the US and NATO.   What this boils down to is that American companies want to sell and supply Europe with Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and they seem willing to start a war to make it happen. Whether it is for profit or to minimize the threat of natural gas shipments to Europe being cut off and used as a key weapon in Russia’s political arsenal we cannot ignore the idea more is at play here than just doing the "right thing".  Many people in the "Tin Foil Hat" community have gone so far as to indicate they feel that America and elements of the CIA were involved or had a part in the overthrow of the former corrupt Ukraine government and its replacement with another corrupt but more pro Europe regime. At the time even America's Vice President, Joe Biden, saw his son join the board of a private Ukrainian oil and natural gas company. We should assume not only those involved in selling energy to Europe will profit from stopping the flow of energy from Russia but also the military-industrial complex stands to gain.Without a war, the odds of U.S. LNG significantly displacing Russian natural gas shipped by pipeline are slim. Piped gas sells at a large discount to LNG, which must be cooled to liquid form, shipped overseas, and turned back into its gaseous form. Poland recently received its first shipment of U.S. LNG last month from what is currently the only export facility in the lower 48 states. While LNG trade between the United States and Europe would help reduce the U.S. trade deficit it also stands to improve energy security among the European countries by giving them an alternative to Russian gas.  Still, it is not a cure-all, Russia can easily cut prices and adjust terms to maintain its dominant position in the European gas market and European countries are likely to continue buying most of their gas from the lowest-cost supplier. Bottom-line, Russia has traditionally been the major supplier of European gas. But it charges high prices, often in the form of long-term contracts linked to the price of oil. The overwhelming dependence on Russian gas leaves European countries from a national security standpoint vulnerable to a cutoff of crucial natural gas supplies.  This would be devastating to their economies at any time but even more so in the depths of winter. For these reasons, it makes sense for Europe to consider alternative supplies and open its doors to U.S. LNG. Regardless of the politics at play, danger lurks from flooding Ukraine with weapons, and using the people of Ukraine as pawns in this high-stakes game violates all standards of human decency. Americans should also be aware that our current policy drives Russia towards the East and into the open arms of China. This creates even more problems long-term than it solves short-term and borders on the edge of insanity. Upping tensions in the area is the fact the Kerch Strait Bridge, also known as the Crimean Bridge, is now a target that Russia will make every effort to protect. Comprised of a pair of Russian-constructed parallel bridges it spans the Strait of Kerch between the Taman Peninsula and the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea. The bridge complex provides for both road and rail traffic and has a length of 19 km. This makes it the longest bridge Russia has ever built. The war in Ukraine has not developed organically but appears to be the product of meddling. It could be argued that Biden is pushing for more military action to cover up the corruption and sins of his family that occurred in Ukraine. Mercenaries and money from America appear to be backing and propping up Kiev with America acting as the "champion" for this failed bankrupt country.  The best way for the West and Kiev to prove they are on the right path is by letting the eastern part of the country secede and then making Kiev a center of economic and democratic success.  Since the latest ceasefire agreement in the war in Donbas was implemented in July 2020, it appears the situation has not grown worse. This indicates rocking the boat is a bad idea. We can only hope those monitoring the recent events in Ukraine saying this will someday be looked back upon as the beginning of World War III are wrong. Some war game players have indicated that China could use a larger war in Ukraine to rapidly move on Taiwan. After our experiences in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, I'm forced to wonder what these fools are getting us into? *  *  * Footnote; The following link takes you to a YouTube video of what is labeled "Insane Ukraine Fighting." It is roughly an hour of idiots firing in the air and wasting ammo, and that is the current war. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 05:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

A day in the life of the cofounder of Grab, the ride-hailing giant that beat Uber in Southeast Asia and is eyeing a $40 billion listing in the US

Anthony Tan is famous for optimizing his schedule, such as by taking calls on the treadmill. He's been quoted saying he doesn't have time to watch movies. Anthony Tan started Grab in Malaysia in 2012. It now operates across Southeast Asia and is headquartered in Singapore.Edgar Su/REUTERS Anthony Tan is the cofounder of Grab, a ride-hailing company with 25 million monthly transaction users. Grab is based in Singapore, and it now offers a variety of services beyond car rides. Tan, a father of four, starts his day a 6 a.m. and has an early, hour-long dinner with his family every night. Anthony Tan cofounded Grab as a ride-hailing company in 2012.Edgar Su/REUTERSA Harvard graduate and the son of a Malaysian auto-conglomerate owner, Tan started Grab as an alternative to Malaysia's infamous public taxis, which were once ranked the worst cab service in the world. The ride-hailing app grew to rival Uber in Southeast Asia and eventually pushed it out of the region in 2018.Now headquartered in Singapore, Grab aims to be a super app that offers anything from insurance to grocery deliveries to courier services. Grab has almost 25 million monthly transaction users, the company said, and around 7,000 employees, based on figures it released.With Tan, 39, at the helm, Grab is also looking to go public in the US at a $40 billion valuation.The tech CEO is famous for optimizing his schedule for maximum efficiency, such as by taking calls on the treadmill, and has been quoted saying he doesn't have time to watch movies.Here's a look at how Tan gets it all done in a day.6 to 8 a.m: Tan starts his day early with some quiet time. He plays with his kids before heading to the gym for an hour-long workout.Anthony TanTan sticks to an early morning routine of stretching, reading the Bible, praying, and checking his emails from the night before.Then he spends some time playing and cuddling with his four kids. "They're still in the phase where their parents are superheroes, which I savor all I can," said Tan.At 7 a.m., he goes to the gym, sometimes with his wife, Chloe.8 to 9 a.m: Tan starts work at home with an oat milk manuka latte made by his wife.Anthony Tan"In the pre-COVID days, which feels like a distant memory now, I would be traveling every other day to a Southeast Asian country like Indonesia or Thailand," Tan said.He lives in Singapore, where pandemic restrictions are still gradually being eased. Staying home because of COVID-19 has given Tan more time to spend with his family, he said, but it also means his schedule is more crammed with Zoom meetings.Tan works at home from a standing desk is right next to his kids' playroom. It also faces his living room, where there's a mini kids' gym. His workspace placement is intentional because he wants to be able to see his children while he works. And he's got no qualms about his kids making noise during his meetings. "My colleagues are used to this," he said.9 to 10 a.m: Tan attends an online training session for his leadership team about experimentation at work.Anthony TanEveryone working at Grab, including the leadership team, commits time on their schedules to participate in workshops, Tan said. 11 a.m. to noon: Tan calls Grab's country operations and public affairs teams to discuss pandemic-related changes.An oxygen concentrator donation to Indonesia from Grab.Anthony TanTan and his team talk over Grab's operational changes as different countries in the region alter their individual movement restrictions amid the pandemic."We usually do these calls during our monthly business review meetings, but with the Delta variant of Covid, we've had to hold more regular calls for now as we respond to the growing number of cases across the region," said Tan.Noon to 1:30 p.m: Tan has lunch with Teng Wen Wee, the founder of Lo and Behold Group, a collection of restaurants that uses his company's food services.Jordan Lye/Getty ImagesTan has nasi lemak — rice that's cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves and is typically served with peanuts, sliced cucumbers, sambal chili, and other ingredients.He uses the lunch meeting to get feedback from Wee on Grab's food delivery service as their companies work through Singapore's social distancing measures. Singapore, a country of around 5.45 million people, on Monday raised the number of people allowed at social gatherings from two to five but many restaurants are still struggling.Tan likes taking work lunches, he said, whether with business partners or during one-on-ones with his staff, because there's "nothing like bonding over food."1:30 to 2:30 p.m: Tan hops on a call with a fellow Harvard Business School graduate, who works in a different industry and asked him for some advice.Grab"My journey has been paved by many leaders who I look up to who have provided me with great guidance over the years, and in turn, I believe in sharing knowledge to help others grow and succeed," Tan said.2:30 to 3:30 p.m: Tan has a Zoom meeting with board members of a consortium between Grab and a local telecom.GrabGrab has partnered with Singaporean telecom Singtel to develop a digital bank, and the board discussed plans to keep the project in line with government regulations, said Tan.On the call with him is Hsieh Fu Hua, the board director of GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund."Board meetings are not stuffy events, unlike what one might see on TV. There's usually good energy, and we cover a lot of territory in each session, such as strategy, governance, budgeting, talent, and marketing," Tan said.3:30 to 3:45 p.m: Tan orders a teatime snack between meetings and has a chat with the deliveryman.GrabTan snaps up some coffee and pastries for his break. He also ordered some rice with dishes for his family — from Grab, of course.He said he comes from a traditional Chinese family and likes "hot and hearty soups," but is trying out different types of cuisines.4 to 6 p.m: Tan wraps up his meetings and visits one of Grab's cloud kitchens — commercial kitchens for takeout or delivery services only.GrabGrab's cloud kitchen at Aljunied in eastern-central Singapore offers foods like beef bowls, Japanese maki, and the nasi lemak that Tan had earlier for lunch.Tan discusses several business ventures with his team, like a Food Priority Delivery service where users can pay extra to get their meals faster. If their food arrives late, they get a voucher. Tan said it's like a service guarantee for Grab's food delivery.6 to 7 p.m: Tan has a hard stop for meetings and calls at 6. He and his family set aside an hour to eat dinner together.Grab"It's a habit to eat early now, and my wife and I are known to always host the earliest dinners," Tan said.Then, Tan and his wife Chloe go through some pointers he learned from the leadership seminar earlier. Today, the takeaway points focused on the six fundamental motivations for people's behavior.  7 to 8:30 p.m: Tan gets his kids ready for bed and reads them a bedtime story, which he says is "a rare treat."Grab"No matter how intense the day has been, how many difficult decisions and conversations I've had that day, I just need to sit with the children for five minutes and listen to their hilarious stories to reset myself," Tan said.Life as a CEO has meant that Tan gets to spend less time with his family than he would like. A silver lining of the travel restrictions during the last two years is that he's been at home more, he said.8:30 to 11:30 p.m: Tan calls a few business partners in the US and clears his emails from a second work-from-home desk in his bedroom.GrabAfter dinner, Tan gets back to work and takes some calls with people from different time zones. One of those calls is with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company who's a partner with Grab and an unofficial advisor to Tan and his company."I go through plans for the next couple of hours. The extra quiet allows me to focus and do some deep work," Tan said.11:30 p.m: Tan has an end-of-day stretch, reads a book, and then goes to bed.GrabHe's been reading "Principles" by Ray Dalio, which Tan said is one of his favorite recent reads."It's important to get culture right," Tan said. "Dalio talks about how we should create a culture where it's okay to make mistakes, but not okay not to learn from them."By now, the house is quiet. Tan spends a few minutes finishing up his book, and then retires for the night.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2021

A day in the life of the cofounder of Grab, the ride-hailing giant that beat Uber in Southeast Asia and is eyeing a $40 billion IPO in the US

Anthony Tan is famous for optimizing his schedule, such as by taking calls on the treadmill. He's been quoted saying he doesn't have time to watch movies. Anthony Tan started Grab in Malaysia in 2012. It now operates across Southeast Asia and is headquartered in Singapore.Edgar Su/REUTERS Anthony Tan is the cofounder of Grab, a ride-hailing company with 25 million monthly users. Grab is based in Singapore, and it now offers a variety of services beyond car rides. Tan, a father of four, starts his day a 6 a.m. and has an early, hour-long dinner with his family every night. Anthony Tan cofounded Grab as a ride-hailing company in 2012.Edgar Su/REUTERSA Harvard graduate and the son of a Malaysian auto-conglomerate owner, Tan started Grab as an alternative to Malaysia's infamous public taxis, which were once ranked the worst cab service in the world. The ride-hailing app grew to rival Uber in Southeast Asia and eventually pushed it out of the region in 2018.Now headquartered in Singapore, Grab aims to be a super app that offers anything from insurance to grocery deliveries to courier services. Grab has almost 25 million monthly users, the company said, and around 7,000 employees, based on figures it released.With Tan, 39, at the helm, Grab is also looking to go public in the US at a $40 billion valuation.The tech CEO is famous for optimizing his schedule for maximum efficiency, such as by taking calls on the treadmill, and has been quoted saying he doesn't have time to watch movies.Here's a look at how Tan gets it all done in a day.6 to 8 a.m: Tan starts his day early with some quiet time. He plays with his kids before heading to the gym for an hour-long workout.Anthony TanTan sticks to an early morning routine of stretching, reading the Bible, praying, and checking his emails from the night before.Then he spends some time playing and cuddling with his four kids. "They're still in the phase where their parents are superheroes, which I savor all I can," said Tan.At 7 a.m., he goes to the gym, sometimes with his wife, Chloe.8 to 9 a.m: Tan starts work at home with an oat milk manuka latte made by his wife.Anthony Tan"In the pre-COVID days, which feels like a distant memory now, I would be traveling every other day to a Southeast Asian country like Indonesia or Thailand," Tan said.He lives in Singapore, where pandemic restrictions are still gradually being eased. Staying home because of COVID-19 has given Tan more time to spend with his family, he said, but it also means his schedule is more crammed with Zoom meetings.Tan works at home from a standing desk is right next to his kids' playroom. It also faces his living room, where there's a mini kids' gym. His workspace placement is intentional because he wants to be able to see his children while he works. And he's got no qualms about his kids making noise during his meetings. "My colleagues are used to this," he said.9 to 10 a.m: Tan attends an online training session for his leadership team about experimentation at work.Anthony TanEveryone working at Grab, including the leadership team, commits time on their schedules to participate in workshops, Tan said. 11 a.m. to noon: Tan calls Grab's country operations and public affairs teams to discuss pandemic-related changes.An oxygen concentrator donation to Indonesia from Grab.Anthony TanTan and his team talk over Grab's operational changes as different countries in the region alter their individual movement restrictions amid the pandemic."We usually do these calls during our monthly business review meetings, but with the Delta variant of Covid, we've had to hold more regular calls for now as we respond to the growing number of cases across the region," said Tan.Noon to 1:30 p.m: Tan has lunch with Teng Wen Wee, the founder of Lo and Behold Group, a collection of restaurants that uses his company's food services.Jordan Lye/Getty ImagesTan has nasi lemak — rice that's cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves and is typically served with peanuts, sliced cucumbers, sambal chili, and other ingredients.He uses the lunch meeting to get feedback from Wee on Grab's food delivery service as their companies work through Singapore's social distancing measures. Singapore, a country of around 5.45 million people, on Monday raised the number of people allowed at social gatherings from two to five but many restaurants are still struggling.Tan likes taking work lunches, he said, whether with business partners or during one-on-ones with his staff, because there's "nothing like bonding over food."1:30 to 2:30 p.m: Tan hops on a call with a fellow Harvard Business School graduate, who works in a different industry and asked him for some advice.Grab"My journey has been paved by many leaders who I look up to who have provided me with great guidance over the years, and in turn, I believe in sharing knowledge to help others grow and succeed," Tan said.2:30 to 3:30 p.m: Tan has a Zoom meeting with board members of a consortium between Grab and a local telecom.GrabGrab has partnered with Singaporean telecom Singtel to develop a digital bank, and the board discussed plans to keep the project in line with government regulations, said Tan.On the call with him is Hsieh Fu Hua, the board director of GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund."Board meetings are not stuffy events, unlike what one might see on TV. There's usually good energy, and we cover a lot of territory in each session, such as strategy, governance, budgeting, talent, and marketing," Tan said.3:30 to 3:45 p.m: Tan orders a teatime snack between meetings and has a chat with the deliveryman.GrabTan snaps up some coffee and pastries for his break. He also ordered some rice with dishes for his family — from Grab, of course.He said he comes from a traditional Chinese family and likes "hot and hearty soups," but is trying out different types of cuisines.4 to 6 p.m: Tan wraps up his meetings and visits one of Grab's cloud kitchens — commercial kitchens for takeout or delivery services only.GrabGrab's cloud kitchen at Aljunied in eastern-central Singapore offers foods like beef bowls, Japanese maki, and the nasi lemak that Tan had earlier for lunch.Tan discusses several business ventures with his team, like a Food Priority Delivery service where users can pay extra to get their meals faster. If their food arrives late, they get a voucher. Tan said it's like a service guarantee for Grab's food delivery.6 to 7 p.m: Tan has a hard stop for meetings and calls at 6. He and his family set aside an hour to eat dinner together.Grab"It's a habit to eat early now, and my wife and I are known to always host the earliest dinners," Tan said.Then, Tan and his wife Chloe go through some pointers he learned from the leadership seminar earlier. Today, the takeaway points focused on the six fundamental motivations for people's behavior.  7 to 8:30 p.m: Tan gets his kids ready for bed and reads them a bedtime story, which he says is "a rare treat."Grab"No matter how intense the day has been, how many difficult decisions and conversations I've had that day, I just need to sit with the children for five minutes and listen to their hilarious stories to reset myself," Tan said.Life as a CEO has meant that Tan gets to spend less time with his family than he would like. A silver lining of the travel restrictions during the last two years is that he's been at home more, he said.8:30 to 11:30 p.m: Tan calls a few business partners in the US and clears his emails from a second work-from-home desk in his bedroom.GrabAfter dinner, Tan gets back to work and takes some calls with people from different time zones. One of those calls is with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company who's a partner with Grab and an unofficial advisor to Tan and his company."I go through plans for the next couple of hours. The extra quiet allows me to focus and do some deep work," Tan said.11:30 p.m: Tan has an end-of-day stretch, reads a book, and then goes to bed.GrabHe's been reading "Principles" by Ray Dalio, which Tan said is one of his favorite recent reads."It's important to get culture right," Tan said. "Dalio talks about how we should create a culture where it's okay to make mistakes, but not okay not to learn from them."By now, the house is quiet. Tan spends a few minutes finishing up his book, and then retires for the night.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 24th, 2021

Gas Stimmys...

Gas Stimmys... Submitted by Harris Kupperman of Adventures in Capitalism A few weeks back, I had dinner with a close friend. Naturally, our conversation turned to the markets. Friend: Kuppy, you need to be careful with those 2025 oil calls. If oil spikes to $200 in 2023, it’s going to take the global economy down with it. You could end up timing it wrong by going out that far in duration. Me: Haha. You’re kidding yourself. You don’t think they’ll use gas stimmys?? Friend: Gas stimmys?? Me: Of course. It’s inevitable. They’ll give out stimmys to anyone who consumes gasoline. Maybe they won’t give stimmys to hedgies like us, but they’ll make sure everyone else qualifies. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if oil demand actually increased as the price goes past $200?? Friend: Wait!! You think they’ll do that?? Me: Have you been paying attention lately?? They locked down the world over some germs. Two years later, they still mandate people wearing diapers on their faces. They wrecked small businesses by giving stimmys and effectively outbidding for labor, despite everyone complaining about lack of labor. These fukwits shut down pipelines and then cried to the Saudis when the price of oil went up. They literally do not comprehend cause and effect. Oil stimmys?? Literally paying people to consume more oil?? C’mon, this is the 2020’s and nothing about economic policy is supposed to make sense anymore. Of course, they’ll respond when the peasants complain about the price of oil. Friend: So, you’re saying that the higher oil goes, the higher demand goes? Me: Sure. Why not? They’ve literally re-written the laws of economics. While they’re restricting supply, they’ll also increase demand. Heck, they’ll probably tax the oil companies for “excess profits” along the way. These people are insane. Friend: So, you’re saying the government will subsidize those $100 strike calls once they get deep in the money?? Me: Haha. Of course. Those things are a gimme… Look, I don’t know what will happen. However, I cannot see how the ESG crowd can focus on creating an energy crisis, while not at least pretending to help the plebs. Investors are looking at a world based on prior constructs, mean-reverting cycles, where governments were constricted by spending limits, where there were unspoken rules and principles of economics. What if supply and demand no longer drive price discovery? When the government has a printing press, these ancient laws become obsolete. Do not trap yourself in prior precedents. Economic history is being re-written in real time. During “Project Zimbabwe” it’s important to assume that the impossible is now probable. Nothing will stop the money printing and asset inflation—once a country gets on the hamster wheel, the only option is to spin it faster. If anything, higher oil prices are yet another excuse to print faster. If it invalidates all recent history, so be it. Long-dated, OTM right-tail volatility remains the most mis-priced asset class on my screen. I’m using this pullback to add to my 2025 oil calls. Fortunately, I have large Event-Driven gains to re-allocate… Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 10:34.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

Impossible Foods secures about $500 million in latest funding round

Impossible Foods said Tuesday it has secured about $500 million in its latest funding round, which was led by existing investor Mirae Asset Global Investments with other investors also chipping in. The California-based maker of plant-based meat substitutes, and rival of public company Beyond Meat Inc. , said it has now raised almost $2 billion since it was founded in 2011, including a $500 million round back in March of 2020 which was also led by Mirae Asset Global Investments. Its Impossible sausage, chicken nuggets, pork and meatballs are now available in about 22,000 grocery stores and close to 40,000 restaurants globally. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchNov 23rd, 2021

A Brief History Of West African Slavery

A Brief History Of West African Slavery Submitted by ICE-9 via The Burning Platform Slave [sleyv] from Middle English, from Old French sclave, from Medieval Latin sclāvus (“slave”), from Late Latin Sclāvus (“Slavic Person”), from Byzantine Greek Σκλάβος (Sklábos), from Proto-Slavic slověninъ … The seminal image many 50+ year old Americans have regarding the West African slave trade’s operating model can be traced back to the 1977 television miniseries Roots.  Some of you may recall sitting in front of your CRT television screen unknowingly watching the roots of a future social justice movement unfold before your eyes as a gang of European men magically appear deep within the Heart of Darkness wielding nets, superior numbers, and incredible brutality and snatch up a young and happy Kunta Kinte from his ancestral homeland. Like me, I bet the knot in your gut got tighter at each stage as Kunta Kinte was first shipped off in chains to a slave depot, sold at auctioned, and finally sent to America where his foot got cut off and he was renamed Toby.  The miniseries was a monumental success at implanting those first seeds of suburban white guilt into what had previously been infertile terrain.  Afterwards, many Americans could never innocently watch OJ Simpson run through airports in quite the same way. Roots was the initial vector that dug its pernicious roots into the formerly oblivious white collective consciousness.  It succeeded where back in the 1960s continuous years of three minute lead story action clips on the Six O’clock Evening News showing groups of helpless southern Negroes getting pummeled by police truncheons and slammed with water cannons had failed.  Thus those January nights back in 1977 unleashed the power of humanized myth that unequivocally proved superior to the old ways of cold impersonal facts.  It was through this new found power of myth and the visceral emotions it conjured that a primordial wokeness was spawned. Today, when discussing even the most oblique references to slavery in America, the emotions ignite, misguided passions reign supreme, facts equate to racism, and the phenomenology of history devolves into one where history becomes but a construct derived to aid and abet a white supremacist patriarchy.  Case in point – according to current woke orthodoxy, evil cis-male Europeans just up and sailed 3,500 miles south to forgotten lands like Zenaga, trekked hundreds of miles inland without roads, maps, or logistic support, and – according to some extraordinary unverified estimates – kidnapped up to six million innocent Africans. But was this the reality on the ground in West Africa circa 1619, or did Europeans instead rely on intermediaries to conduct their dangerous, high opex dirty work and if so, who were these intermediaries?  Do Americans have an accurate understanding of the West African slavery supply chain, or have they instead meekly decided to go along to get along and ingest without question a toxic narrative that is an antipathy encumbered product tainted by a combination of pop culture and political agenda?  And last, did slavery in West Africa materialize out of thin air with the first appearance of Europeans, or did it exist long before their arrival? The answer to this last question is both morally and legally significant, as it could nullify any and all claims to both tangible and ethical debts of reparation borne by ancestral liability.  For if Caucasian Americans are collectively guilty – including those who immigrated here after the Civil War – as a result of their ancestors’ theoretical participation in the West African slave trade, would not a basis be equally established to extend slavery’s collective culpability to African Americans if it were shown that their ancestors too participated to an equal degree in the West African slave trade?  Would not equal culpability on both ancestral sides of the Atlantic nullify any and all claims by one party against the other?  Further still, if slavery in West Africa was shown to be prevalent long before the arrival of Europeans, based on the premise of hereditary culpability, then slavery in America could no longer exist as some kind of alleged “Original Sin”. The forthwith exposition can be considered a template for countering the unreasonable and fanciful woke dogma surrounding the realities of West African slavery and specifically, the false claims regarding Europe’s and America’s sole complicity in this industry.  It is an attempt – described here in broken wokespeak – to deconstruct the prevailing narrative derived to aid and abet a People of Color aligned, non-binary, trans-supremacist heterarchy.  Let us begin our journey of enlightenment. The Songhai Empire as Gateway to Europe’s Appetite for African Slaves Between the 4th and early 16th centuries AD, through a succession of kingdoms that included Wagadou (Ghana), Mali, and Songhai, the West African Sahel was among the wealthiest regions on earth during a period when most of Europe wallowed in medieval feudalism.  Prior to the discovery of the Americas, West Africa was the world’s largest source of gold – so much gold in fact that when the Malian king Mansa Musa visited Mecca during his 14th century hajj, his 60,000 strong retinue (including 12,000 slaves) distributed so much gold that he crashed its value and created a decade of economic chaos on the Arabian peninsula. The Niger River during this time possessed six times more arable land than the Nile.  In the adjacent Sahara to the north, Africans operated extensive salt mining operations.  With the arrival of the Arabs in the 8th century AD, a prodigious iron smelting and blacksmithing industries occupied entire villages from one end of the Sahel to the other.  The West African political economy was such that no king ever enforced strict ownership over the entirety of his realm, so after the millet harvest an African peasant could earn good extra income panning for alluvial gold, mining iron ore, harvesting trees to make charcoal fuel for iron smelting, or travelling north to labor in the salt mines. The Sahel during this period was awash in food and gold and large prosperous cities like Gao grew into architectural wonders.  So what happened that would drain not only the wealth of an established long-standing power center yet leave nothing behind but piles of dirt from what were formerly majestic structures of timber and adobe brick?  The short answer is that it all fell to pieces due to horses. In the 9th and 10th centuries AD, trade caravans from what are today Morocco and Algeria began regularly making their way south through the Sahara desert during the winter months. These caravans initially brought with them manufactured goods and luxury items to exchange for gold, ivory, specialty woods, animal skins, and salt.  But during the 13th century these caravans started supplying a vital military component to the various competing rulers of the Sahel – Barb horses.  Ownership of horses gave each ruler a cavalry, and ownership of large herds could facilitate military superiority over rivals. The Malian, Hausa, Mossi, Bornu, Kanem and Songhai cavalries regularly battled each other for over three hundred years to what could be considered an equilibrium sometimes punctuated with transient victories and an occasional ebb or flow of juxtaposed borders.  Continuous combat was made possible only by a steady supply of Barb horses from the Maghreb, a market that traders were happy to oblige as the supply of gold from the Sahel appeared endless. But with its monsoonal climate and tropical diseases like trypanosomiasis, the Sahel Africans found it difficult to breed horses – the local Dongola sub-breed had a short life expectancy – and thus a steady flow of imported Barb horses were required to both replenish the high equine mortality rates and maintain at least military parity with the surrounding kingdoms. These imported horses were expensive and were initially paid for with alluvial gold, which was starting to go into productive decline during the 15th century at about the same time the Songhai king Sonni Ali Ber led a successful campaign to defeat his enemy Mali and consolidate rule over the Sahel from Lake Chad to the Cap-Vert peninsula.  So the height of Songhai power coincided with maximum operating costs to retain that power just as alluvial gold production from the Niger River went into decline. Saddled with the mounting expense of maintaining many cavalry regiments stretching across an 1,800 mile expanse, the Songhai lords began to launch slave raids upon the various Sahel peoples.  So as the 15th and 16th centuries progressed, slaves rather than gold became more and more the medium of exchange between the Songhai lords and the horse traders of the Maghreb.  As these traders brought more and more slaves to the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, most were purchased by Arabs but many were sold on to Europeans where they were employed as domestic servant in wealthy cities like London and Antwerp and were considered a high status symbol – the “negars and blackmoores” of 16th century Elizabethan England.  So it was not the Europeans that first procured slavery in West Africa, but the Songhai themselves that introduced Europe to African slaves via Arab and Berber intermediaries.  Europeans at this time were a minor end customer, where the primary slave demand was provided by Arabs. As the 16th century ground out successive years, the gold really began to play out.  Continuous and devastating slave raids depopulated the Niger River goldfield regions – crashing not only gold but also food production – and drove its inhabitants onto marginal lands that had been earlier deforested to manufacture charcoal for the formerly prodigious iron smelting industry.  Over a period of 200 years the once prosperous Sahel was transformed into a land inhabited by subsistence food scavengers and all powerful cavalry lords where the incessant demand for horses laid economic waste to this once prosperous region. With Songhai power in the late 16th century at its nadir as a result of internecine strife and succession wars among the dead king Askia Daoud’s many sons, the Sultan of Morocco, Ahmad al-Mansur, took advantage of the ensuing political instability and sent a military expedition across the Sahara and in 1591 these 4,000 Moroccans and their cannons defeated the Songhai at the battle of Tondibi. Thus with the defeat of the powerful Songhai Empire the coast of West Africa south of the Arab stronghold Nouakchott was left wide open to European maritime exploitation.  By 1625 the Dutch had established a permanent settlement at Gorée and the Portuguese likewise at Portudal, both located in modern day Senegal.  These initial European forays onto West African soil provided the vital resupply anchorage that enabled further permanent settlements along the entirety of the Gulf of Guinea and as far south as Namibia.  And it is at this point where the Kunta Kinte mythology begins with the permanent settlement of Europeans on African soil who allegedly trekked hundreds of miles inland into dangerous areas they did not control to randomly kidnap happy Africans into slavery.  Was this the reality on the ground in Africa back in 1619?  The Angolan experience provides the answers. The Angolan Model of Contracted Slave Procurement The gradual encroachment of European settlements down the Atlantic coast of West Africa did not lead to immediate mass colonization as malaria and tsetse flies kept out all but the hardiest and most rapacious adventurers.  But how did these Europeans procure so many slaves to service the burgeoning and incredibly profitable sugar and tobacco charters of the Caribbean?  The Kunta Kinte procurement model would have eventually led to depopulation of the local areas as the traditionally semi-mobile Africans would have just up and moved out of reach like they did to avoid the Songhai lords, and Africans were beginning to adopt European weapons in their defense.  So – how did so many Africans end up as slaves in the Americas despite their overwhelming numbers back in Africa? The answer lies in the Angolan model which was by no means confined to this region alone.  During the first half of the 16th century the Portuguese established a permanent trading station at the port of Soyo, a province within the Kingdom of Kongo on the south bank at the mouth of the Congo River.  The significance of Soyo was it established the first European occupation in West Africa outside the provenance of the tsetse fly, and with trypanosomiasis absent, colonists could settle and import European livestock for the first time on the African Atlantic coast.  Entire families of Portuguese colonists began to arrive and by 1575 the city of Luanda was founded, followed by Benguela in 1587.  With Angola’s drier, more temperate climate, these early European colonists got to the business of building homes, clearing land, farming, fishing, and raising their livestock.  But one thing they did not do was get to the business of travelling hundreds of miles inland to hunt down and capture slaves.  They left that to others – and these others weren’t Europeans. Soon after the Portuguese planted their flag at Soyo, they granted a trade monopoly to the Kingdom of Kongo which ruled over what is now northwestern Angola.  But as Portugal established colonies to the south of Soyo, these new colonies were located in lands claimed by Kongo but occupied by Ambundu peoples of the N’Dongo and Kisama states within the Kwanza River valley.  Because of the trade monopoly specifics granted to Kongo, the Bakongo could sweep through the Kwanza River valley and capture the local Ambundu and sell them into slavery to the Portuguese, but the Ambundu could not capture these Bakongo raiders and sell them into slavery to the same customer.  This egregious injustice incensed the N’Dongo king to the point of declaring war on – not the Portuguese – but the Bakongo in an attempt to break the discriminatory trade monopoly.  The Ambundu were successful and in 1556 they defeated the Bakongo in a war fought not to end the enslavement of their fellow Africans, but to extend to themselves the right to capture, enslave, and sell their Bakongo neighbors to the Portuguese. Despite the N’Dongo victory and elimination of Kongo influence in the Kwanza River valley, the Portuguese insisted on upholding their original trade agreement, so the Kongo trade monopoly remained in place with the Ambundu still cut out of all commercial activity with the Portuguese.  Realizing they had prosecuted a war for nothing, the N’Dongo spent the next several decades threatening colonists and harassing Portuguese interests up and down the Kwanza River valley without any penetration into the colonial economy.  In 1590 N’Dongo had had enough of the commercial status quo so it allied itself with its eastern Ambundu neighbor Matamba and together they declared war on all Portuguese interests across Angola. This war led the Portuguese to construct a network of fortalezas up and down the Angolan coastline and after years of protracted violence the Portugal finally defeated the N’Dongo in 1614.  Portugal’s first act after victory was to invite their old trading partner – the Bakongo – to commence mop-up operations across the Kwanza River valley in order to clear out the defeated Ambundu and bring them in chains to the new network of fortalezas, which not only served as troop garrisons and acropoli for the local inhabitants, but also as slave depots that accommodated the swelling numbers of captured Ambundu before being auctioned off and sent to Brazil. With the defeat of the Ambundu the N’Dongo matriarchal dynasty fled east to their ally Matamba.  There, a royal refugee named N’Zinga M’Bandi betrayed the hospitality shown her by Matamba and began secret negotiations with Luanda for a return of the Ambundu to the Kwanza River valley.  N’Zinga M’Bandi secured agreements that not only deposed the sitting Matamban queen – handing her the crown by subterfuge – but also convinced the Portuguese to nullify their long standing trade monopoly granted to the Kingdom of Kongo which, in effect, established the Ambundu peoples in the slave procurement business. The new Matamban queen made haste regarding her political and business affairs and quickly consolidated N’Dongo and the neighboring Kasanje states under her rule.  By 1619, Queen N’Zinga had grown her realm into the most powerful African state in the region using the wealth generated from her industrial scale slave procurement undertaking.  Within a few decade of Queen N’Zinga’s ascension, the regions surrounding central Angola were depopulated of not only the rival Bakongo peoples, but of its Ovimbundu, Ganguela, and Chokwe peoples too. The lucrative Angolan slave trade not only flourished under female African leadership, but grew scientific and efficient and continued unabated until the Portuguese crown outlawed the colonial slave trade in 1869.  However, avarice and ingenuity always prevail so after this slavery prohibition a vibrant slave black market continued unabated as abolition only served to drive up the price of slaves and therefore the incentive to procure them in the field.  These lucrative smuggling operations from Angola lasted up until the day its primary customer Brazil abolished slavery in 1888. Today the dominance of the Ambundu peoples in the business, political, and military affairs of modern day Angola is directly traced to the business acumen, organizational skills, and operational efficiency that the Ambundu peoples’ developed during their 269 year monopoly over slave procurement in Angola.  From the tens of thousands of their fellow African “brothers” and “sisters” that the Ambundu sold into slavery, they accumulated incredible wealth that enabled them to occupy a position of respect, influence, and near equality in colonial Angola unparalleled anywhere in colonial Africa.  They became, in a sense, the “Master Ethnicity” of the region. Twilight of the Woke Idols The irony behind the etymology for the word slave, lost upon the woke and the allies of Critical Race Insanity, is that slave derives from ancient words describing Caucasian Slavic peoples.  If slavery were at the core of the “American Experience”, America long ago would have adopted a word for slave that describe African peoples just as the Romans employed Sclāvus to describe a Slav.  But in the 402 years since 1619, Americans have not made this linguistic transition because there is an older and deeper collective history of slavery that can be traced back millennia to Eastern Europeans who constitute a large proportion of the American population. Yet somehow this deeper history has not affected Caucasians of eastern European descent – even the generational poor – in the same way it has tormented the collective psyche of African Americans.  Maybe these demons are not so much the product that African Americans were once slaves, but instead a manifestation of the incessant bombarded of acerbic messages from the Academia-Media-Technocracy Complex demanding that African Americans play the role of perpetual victims and that they deserve some abstract redress from those who themselves have never benefitted from systemic anything. Or is there a deeper pathological diagnosis, a sepsis of personal ontology whereby the current woke narrative is a desperate attempt at mass cognitive dissonance to blot out the humiliating reality that one’s ancestors were traded in bulk by one’s own kind for the likes of a horse? Africans were one of many peoples in a long line of slaves procured by Europeans but they are the last group before the prohibitions of the Utilitarian campaigns of universal human rights put an end to the practice. Thus it is this ‘Last In, First Out” queuing that gives African Americans claim to their title of “systemic victims” without regard to the broader history of European slavery during the preceding two millennia – including Medieval feudalism.  The reality on the ground for centuries in Europe was that slave relations were between Caucasian Master and Caucasian slave. And with the advent and maturing scientific efficiency of institutions such as central banking, nation states, denominational religions, non-governmental organizations, together with the application of mass psychology, one finds upon further scrutiny that this predominant relationship between Master and slave has changed little over the millennia.  We Americans are, in a sense, all slaves – caught in a systemic nexus of control with few options of escape.  Therefore, claims of “systemic injustice” and demands for redress are nothing more than demands to be promoted from field hand to domestic slave unless the true, invisible system of enslavement is abolished for all Americans. Slavery existed for millennia throughout the entirety of the Bantu populated African continent prior to the arrival of Europeans.  African slaves were captured, worked hard in the millet fields, scolded, beaten, sold multiple times, raped, and murdered well before the first European footprint was impressed on a West African beach.  Slavery was the natural African social condition, it continued as Europeans colonized the continent, and in some places it continues today after most Europeans have left.  Thus any conception of an “Original Sin” borne by Americans through ancestry lies not with Caucasians, but with those of African ancestry as Africans themselves were the origination point for the West African slavery supply chain where they occupied the roles of contractor, planner, procurer, and transporter to distribution hubs. The indigenous Africans were, in modern terms, the Chief Operating Officers of the West African slave trade.  Europeans played the roles of wholesale customer, clearing house, and retail distributor of a product offered to them by brazen and entrepreneurial local rulers who amassed great wealth from their endeavors and whose ancestors today are the beneficiaries of an “ethnic privilege” derived from this wealth and societal status as former Masters. The truth is that this seminal enduring image created with Kunta Kinte’s abduction is a fraud and was fabricated to not only impugn the Caucasian audience and henceforth brand them evil and complicit through ancestry, but was also consciously constructed to expiate the guilt surrounding the ugly and brutal truth that Africans themselves were the culpable party.  Had indigenous Africans not captured and sold so many of their brethren into slavery, there would likely be very few African Americans today. Epilogue The woke will never mention the 800 years of an East African slave trade conducted by Arab merchants up and down the Indian Ocean coast.  The woke won’t utter a word regarding present day slavery across the Sahel countries of Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, and Sudan.  One hears only silence from the woke when one mentions the “Systemic Ethniscism” that permeates every Bantu nation where wealth and power are concentrated into the hands of a dominant ethnic group. The woke ignore the 3,000+ freed African slaves who show up in the ante bellum US census who were granted manumission, inherited plantations from their former owners, and kept the slaves.  No woke person ever admits that American Indians owned African slaves nor will they / them accept that slavery permeated Nahuatl culture even as they / them espouse the virtues of Greater Aztlán.  And the woke will never accept that it was Europeans who eventually stamped out slavery within the Bantu cultural world despite it being the natural human condition there for centuries. And, most importantly, the woke will never acknowledge that all Americans are trapped in a nexus of corporate, bureaucratic, technological, and psychological control where the true “American Experience” has devolved into one where everyone is a slave serving invisible Masters. Until these Masters’ hands are removed from every lever of power and influence in our nation – by any means necessary – abstractions like “equality” and “equity” are nothing more than job promotions on the American plantation.  The woke will never become unwoke because they love their servitude, it has opened the door for them to serve an irresponsible existence free of rationality, logic, true meaning in their existence.  Through their wokeness, they have essentially been freed from Freedom – they can place no hope in death, and their blind lives are so abject that they are envious of every other fate.  The world should let no fame of theirs endure; both true Justice and Compassion must disdain them. One final comment about those 4,000 Moroccans at the Battle of Tondibi.  The invading Moroccan army was commanded by a one Judar Pasha, but he was not always known by this name.  Judar was born Diego de Guevara, an inhabitant of the Spanish region of Andalusia who as a boy was captured by Arab slave raiders, packed off in chains to Morocco, and sold into slavery to the Moroccan Sultan.  And just like Kunta Kinte, Diego’s name got changed, but where Kunta Kinte had his foot cut off, Judar was castrated and forced to serve this foreign Sultan as a eunuch.  But we will never see a TV miniseries where an Arab slave wrangler hangs one Diego de Guevara upside down by his ankles, thrashes him with a bull whip, and screams repeatedly, “Your name is not Diego, your name is Judar!” Tyler Durden Fri, 11/19/2021 - 23:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 20th, 2021

What is Vegan Wine? An Essential Guide for Plant-Based Wine Lists

Increasing interest from wine drinkers has inspired wineries to certify their wines as vegan. Here are some to savor Outspoken Italian winery owner Sebastiano Cassia Castiglioni is a wine pioneer in the plant-based food movement. He turned vegetarian at age 15, eventually went fully vegan, and more than a decade ago extended that commitment to Querciabella, his now-organic and biodynamic Chianti Classico family estate. “I didn’t want to be part of the way conventional agriculture devastates the environment and abuses animals,” he says. “We removed all animal products from every aspect of our winemaking process, including the vineyards. You don’t need them to make great wine.” The proof is in his reds and pricy white, which have steadily become livelier, more vibrant, and more intense. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] As everyone knows, the plant-based trend is booming. In the U.S., sales of vegan groceries, such as replacements for milk and meat, grew 27% from 2020 to 2021, according to data from Spins, a wellness-focused technology company, and the nonprofit Good Food Institute. U.K. supermarket chain Sainsbury’s recent Future of Food report predicted that fully 25% of the country’s population will be vegan or vegetarian by 2025. Health concerns are one reason, eco-consciousness is another. The U.K.’s Vegan Society says the diet will reduce your food carbon footprint by up to 50%. In May, one of New York’s top restaurants, Eleven Madison Park, announced that its food menu would go almost entirely vegan. You may be wondering how wines fit into a philosophy that opposes eating meat, dairy, and eggs and tries to avoid the exploitation of animals. It’s just fermented grape juice, right? Isn’t that automatically vegan? Well, not necessarily. Here’s what you need to know: Some winemakers still use traditional animal-derived “fining” agents such as egg whites, gelatin, or casein (derived from milk) to clarify the liquid, reduce bitterness, or bind and extract excess tannins in red wines, leaving behind softer ones. The agents are removed before bottling, but their use is still a vegan no-no. Today, animal-free alternatives, such as bentonite, a form of clay, are more commonly used. But it’s hard to identify which wines use what, since neither the EU nor the U.S. requires ingredients or winemaking processes to be listed on labels. Just because a wine is organic, biodynamic, natural, or kosher doesn’t mean it’s also vegan. One hint: If the front or back label says the wine is unfined, it’s vegan friendly—if you define vegan as simply not introducing animal products into the wine itself. Helpfully, major retailers in the U.K., like Bibendum, now publish the names of these vegan wines online. The Barnivore Vegan Alcohol Directory lists more than 5,000, but it isn’t always up to date. Increasing interest from wine drinkers has inspired wineries to certify their wines as vegan, entitling them to put an official trademark on their back labels. Larry Stone, co-founder of Lingua Franca, says the top Oregon winery did it “because it’s important to so many people to verify our wines have no animal by-products.” (All those in the list below are certified.) But there’s a big catch to all this. The definition of vegan wine is blurry, with certification covering only what happens to wines after the grapes have been harvested. The European Vegetarian Union doesn’t give its V-label to bottled wines sealed with beeswax. But it does certify producers that fertilize vines with animal manure, something that those embracing a wider vegan philosophy than just dietary choices object to. Such traditional biodynamic practices, such as burying a cow horn filled with manure, are considered non-vegan. Querciabella’s completely animal-free, vineyard-to-glass approach isn’t the norm for wineries with vegan certification. Still, the U.S.’s first all-vegan wine subscription club and online wine shop,, claims to ensure that its winemakers aren’t using any animal by-products, from soil to bottle. When in doubt, consult a winery’s website or call it for further information. A few restaurants are beginning to identify vegan-friendly wines on their lists with some sort of symbol (such as a green leaf, or sometimes just the letters V or Veg). Gautier Soho in London, which transitioned to an all-vegan menu in June, offers only vegan wines. New York’s Eleven Madison Park, which drew wide attention for the plant-based menu it debuted in June, doesn’t quite describe itself as “vegan.” The wine list, which features several Bordeaux châteaux that fine with egg whites, such as Château d’Armailhac, is decidedly not vegan. Wine director Watson Brown says his goal is not to adjust the wine program but to offer the highest quality wines possible; he says many are inherently vegan but not necessarily labeled so. When consumers request a vegan wine, sommeliers steer guests to regions and producers that don’t fine their wines. You don’t have to learn a new set of rules to match vegan wine and food. Mushroom risotto works just as well with a vegan pinot noir as with a conventional one. There are two main principles. Since vegan food doesn’t include butter or animal fat, wines with less oak, alcohol, and tannin tend to match best. Texture and cooking methods are all-important. Roasted beets or grilled cabbage both taste great with red wines. Nine Certified Vegan Wines to Savor Sparkling NV Champagne Leclerc-Briant Brut Reserve This revived Champagne house, noted for such quirky innovations as aging Champagnes 60 meters below sea level and maturing wine in a barrel lined with gold, has a long biodynamic history. This non-vintage cuvée is bold and intense, with aromas of golden delicious apples and fresh croissants. White 2019 Babich Headwaters Organic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Pure and vibrant, this white comes with orange blossom aromas and tangy citrus and herbal flavors. The winery claims its grapes aren’t touched by animal-based fertilizers or sprays. Serve with salads or asparagus. 2020 Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Chardonnay Grapes from northern Chile’s cool Limari Valley go into this fine-boned, spicy-smoky white from eco-conscious producer Torres. It’s crisp and savory, with a ripe, creamy texture that pairs well with vegetarian risotto. 2017 Domaine Wachau Riesling Terrassen Federspiel An entry-level white from one of Austria’s top large estates, this bright, fresh, dry Riesling exudes a zesty lime and peachy fruitiness. It makes a top partner to a cauliflower curry. Rosé 2020 Chateau Sainte Marguerite Love Provence Rose Salmon-colored and delicate, this refreshing, silky-textured organic cru classé rosé is a blend of mostly grenache and cinsault. Pair it with Vietnamese vegan spring rolls or a tofu tortilla. Red 2019 CVNE Organic Rioja This new wine from an historic Spanish producer has bold fruit flavors and a mineral finish, ideal with a bean or lentil chili. 2016 Querciabella Chianti Classico This super-classic, polished Chianti from an exceptional vintage has pure tart cherry flavors and rose petal aromas. Try this with grilled vegetables, and look also for the outstanding Chianti Riserva and expensive pricy white, Batar. 2018 Lingua Franca Avni Pinot Noir The winery’s pinots have been vegan since the second vintage, 2017. This one is fragrant and juicy—especially delicious with earthy mushroom dishes or roasted beets. 2019 Vietti Barbera d’Asti Loaded with fruit and energy, this bright, tangy red from a top producer has the kind of acidity that goes well with tomatoes. Try this one with vegan pizza. 2016 Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Savory, rich, and suave, with dark berry and tobacco aromas, this wine comes from a Tuscan estate that is also certified as biodynamic. It’s a good match for baked eggplant......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 19th, 2021

Colombia"s president says the latest kingpin to be captured is as big as Escobar. That may not be a good sign.

"What is worrisome after the arrest of Otoniel is not if he was bigger than Pablo Escobar," one expert said. "[It] is who is next." Dairo Antonio Usuga with Colombian military personnel after his capture. Reuters Colombia's president compared the recent capture of the kingpin known as Otoniel to that of Pablo Escobar. Escobar's death was a blow to his cartel, but many smuggling groups have emerged to replace him. That dynamic leads some to worry about more bloodshed after Otoniel's arrest. Mexico City - The same day Colombia's armed forces captured Dario Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel, Colombian President Ivan Duque said the arrest was "only comparable to the fall of Pablo Escobar."Otoniel's capture is a major blow to a powerful drug-trafficking group, but many feel it is not something to brag about and fear that, as after other major arrests, the country could plunge into something worse.Otoniel, first a member of the guerrilla organization Ejercito Popular de Liberación and later a prominent paramilitary leader, rose to be the most wanted cartel boss in Colombia, with the US offering a $5 million reward for him.Otoniel led Clan del Golfo, also called Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC), considered by Colombian authorities to be a "Class A Organized Armed Group."US authorities say the group is the main Colombian ally of Mexico's powerful Sinaloa Cartel, partnering with it to profit from drug-trafficking and human-smuggling rings worth millions of dollars.He now faces charges related to drug trafficking, the killing of police officers, recruitment of minors, and sexually abusing children, according to US and Colombian authorities.Who's next Colombian anti-drug police inspect packages of cocaine seized during an operation against Clan del Golfo near the Gulf of Uraba, September 12, 2011.. REUTERS/Fredy Builes The vast quantities of cocaine that Otoniel smuggled drew comparisons to Escobar and the infamous Medellin Cartel, but many Colombians saw Duque's pronouncement as a media stunt, as Escobar's involvement in terrorism and national politics sets him apart."It was a political stunt to get some press attention and legitimize [his] administration," Carlos Bohorquez, a Medellin resident, said of Duque."To me, having lived through the Escobar years, Otoniel has nothing to do [with it]. But it doesn't mean it was not a good thing that he was arrested and put behind bars," Bohorquez said.The operation that led to the arrest - which involved 500 Colombian special-forces personnel and 22 helicopters and in which one police officer died - received major attention from Colombian politicians and diplomats."Congratulations! To our Police and to our Military Force. Many years of persecution of this individual who has done so much damage to the country," Juan Carlos Pinzón, Colombia's ambassador to the US, wrote on Twitter. A solider and a policeman patrol near a wreckage of a passenger bus torched by Clan del Golfo members, in Medellin, April 1, 2016. REUTERS/Fredy Builes While many in Colombia celebrated Otoniel's arrest, others now expect rough times."The market has diversified immediately after Otoniel's arrest. His detention has thrown away a monopoly, opening the doors to new players," said Sergio Guzmán, director of Colombia Risk Analysis, a Colombia-based security and risk-analysis firm.Guzmán said this has happened in the past, first with former Medellin cartel boss Carlos Lehder and later with Pablo Escobar.Escobar's death and the collapse of the rival Cali Cartel allowed paramilitary groups to expand into drug trafficking while also conducting robberies, extortion, and kidnapping. Those groups were followed by "bandas criminales," which are generally more dispersed and compartmentalized - making them harder to root out and more resilient.The AGC was the most powerful of those latter groups, and Otoniel was a demonstration of their resilience. Pinzon noted that Otoniel took over when his brother was killed in 2012."What is worrisome after the arrest of Otoniel is not if he was bigger than Pablo Escobar or not. [It] is who is next," Guzmán said.'Progressive fragmentation' Dairo Antonio Usuga, drug lord who has been captured by Colombian military. Reuters Otoniel's arrest and the power vacuum it creates could lead to more violence as criminal groups fracture and compete, according to Colombian government officials. Such fragmentation is visible in Mexico, where a decade of targeting top kingpins has caused major cartels to fracture into hundreds of gangs.Currently there are about 10 major criminal organizations operating in Colombia, according to Indepaz, a nongovernmental group that promotes peace and justice."A progressive fragmentation of the criminal organization is expected, since Otoniel … was the only leader with total command and control," Gen. Fernando Murillo, who leads Colombia's judicial police, part of the National Police force, said in an interview with local media.Differences that "transcend" internal disputes could arise among AGC members seeking control, Murillo added, predicting the group's "atomization" into smaller, less capable factions. Colombian police guard an under-construction submersible seized from Clan del Golfo, in Puerto Escondido, October 18, 2011. REUTERS/John Vizcaino Murillo listed Wilmer "Siopas" Giraldo Quiroz; Jobanis de Jesus Avila, aka "Chiquito Malo"; Jose "Gonzalito" Sanchez; and Orozman Osten Blanco, aka "Rodrigo Flechas" as Otoniel's potential successors."Siopas" is considered AGC's second-in-command and is wanted for his involvement in organized crime. "Chiquito Malo" is in charge of production and shipment of AGC's tons of cocaine to the US. Colombian authorities have a bounty of $133,000 for his capture."Gonzalito" is considered "a brother" to Otoniel, according to media reports and a prominent member of the AGC. "Rodrigo Flechas" is one of the most violent criminals in Colombia, responsible for killings and kidnapping in the Cordoba municipality.The AGC's main business is cocaine - cocaine production in Colombia rose 8% between 2019 and 2020, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime - and its main blocs still control some of Colombia's most important cocaine-producing regions.But the group has found other lucrative enterprises. Stranded migrants from Haiti at a makeshift camp in Necocli, Colombia, September 24, 2021. RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images Before his arrest, Otoniel was making millions from smuggling US-bound migrants through Colombia. His smuggling ring out of Necoclí in northern Colombia transported migrants toward the border with Panama, demanding payment for all sorts of things along the way.An AGC operative said after Otoniel's arrest that his capture hadn't affected business, telling Insider that "the organization has continued working under a new administration."Colombian officials have said they're working on extraditing Otoniel to the US and made clear they will keep going after whoever replaces him."We will continue to combat the Clan del Golfo and will not rest until this organization is finished. We're going for Siopas, for Gonzalito, for Chiquito Malo," Murillo said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 12th, 2021

The 3 best woks for stir frying at home

Woks are one of the most versatile pieces of cookware you can buy. We tested nine models to find the best woks for every use. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Woks come in a variety of price points, materials, capacities, and proportions that directly affect performance. We tested 9 woks using the same two recipes to determine which ones best replicate wok hei. The Zwilling Forte Wok is our top pick - even though it's made from a Western company, it performs really well and requires very little upkeep. It's easy to take things you grew up with for granted. Nuances you don't notice until they're missing, details you don't realize make a huge difference. For me, having grown up in a Chinese takeout, that's wok hei. Since my parents closed up shop years ago, I've been searching for a way to replicate the flame-kissed cooking of their restaurant. The kind where ribbons of fire infuse food with a hint of smoky depth, resulting in slightly charred edges around still moist meat and vegetables that stayed bold and bright. These are the signatures of wok hei, an elusive element from the molecular reaction between fat, water, heat, and fire as they burst together around your food. The moment this happens, moisture evaporates quickly, drying out the surface of your ingredients; a hint of singe is sealed into everything in the wok."It's this that makes wok cooking an art form," says MÓGŪ Modern Chinese Kitchen founder Mike Wang, developer of his restaurant's self-cooking robo-woks with his GenX Robotics division. "It's essentially a very inefficient exothermic reaction," he explains. "You throw a ton of heat and flames onto a surface that doesn't necessarily distribute it evenly since it's a curved and not flat surface." Simply put: woks don't heat evenly, but that's the point. The unique graduating heat zones along the bowl make them incredible at cooking mixed ingredients that require different heat levels and cooking times. This curvature facilitates two types of cooking: tumble and toss. Tumble cooking is when you use a wok spatula, or chuan, to move the food around even as you shake the wok. Toss cooking involves lifting the wok off the heat source for faster temperature changes and flipping the ingredients in the air to mix components.Different types of cooking and recipes require different types of woks, so we've outlined picks for each style. You can read more about how we tested in our methodology section, and learn about techniques in our FAQs.Here are the best woks of 2021Best wok overall: Zwilling Forte WokBest wok for tumble cooking: Staub Wok Perfect PanBest electric wok: Breville Hot Wok Pro Best wok overall Su-Jit Lin/Insider The best for flip-toss cooking and quick to heat up, this nonstick wok is a streamlined, modern take on an ancient tool.Material: Cold-forged aluminumSize: 12" x 3.75" Capacity: 5 quartsWeight: 3.5 lbsBest for: Stir-fries, deep frying, noodles, fried rice, pan-fryingDishwasher-safe: YesMetal utensil-safe: SomewhatPros: High wok walls, reinforced plated base, induction compatible, even heating, great charring, retains heat wellCons: Did not come with the turner as marketed, harder edge to the flat bottomThis wok is a symphony of proportions. The thicker curve of the handle felt made for my grip and — paired with high walls that inverted just enough to almost magnetically toss the food back into the pan — made flip-tossing a breeze. On the opposite side, the chunky, extended helper handle actually did stay pretty cool, even with extended use, and made pouring food out from its no-drip rolled edges neat and easy. A wide floor makes the walls of the wok feel even higher from the sharper slope angle, allowing the burner flames to visibly hug the pan. If it had one flaw, it's that its larger flat floor caused sauces and liquids to reduce a bit too quickly. But this remarkable evaporation rate also makes it quick to char and a literal hotbed of action, leading to crispy fried rice, tender-crisp vegetables, and juicy proteins. My chicken browned nicely with agitation, and beef seared gloriously. Through all of that, it actively held onto the burner heat instead of radiating it outwards or upwards, making it much more comfortable to work over than any other wok we tested.Most impressively, it was reluctant to burn, thanks to a five-layer ultra nonstick surface that claims to last 60% longer than traditional nonstick and is tested to be 20 times more durable. Although that makes capturing wok hei nigh impossible since you need some scorch action to get there, the weighted trade-offs make it — dare I say it — as close to worth it as you can get. For instance, you barely need any oil to get it going and things will still at least toast up. Plus, this surface cleans like an absolute dream. In general, this Italian-made wok is a winner. Zwilling J.A. Henckels may be a leader in cutlery, but they've nailed this piece of cookware. Best wok for tumble cooking Su-Jit Lin/Insider This wok hefty sears in that elemental way only iron can, and pleasantly surprised in a myriad of ways.Material: Enameled cast ironSize: 12" x 3.5" (6" with lid)Capacity: 4.5 quartsWeight: 8 lbs.Best for: Fried rice, seared meat, deep frying, pan fryingDishwasher-safe: NoMetal utensil-safe: YesPros: Ready-to-use and seasoned, vented lid and frying rack included, naturally nonstick, imparts subtle earthiness onto food, very durableCons: Walls are not very high, smaller capacity, heavy, loop handle and weight make it hard to greaseI'll admit that I was at first skeptical of this one. Brand-new cast iron can be difficult to work with, requiring lots of seasoning before you love it. Additionally, cast iron is heavy, which makes it a terrible candidate for toss-cooking, and the handles retain a lot of heat. This means shaking the pan while in use and adjusting its positioning on the stove isn't really an option. Then there was the fact that the brand stopped advertising it as a wok (Staub now calls it the "Perfect Pan,"). And upon receiving it, I was unimpressed by the low height of the walls. However, my preconceived notions were thrown out the window as its performance edged it out against other loop-handled woks. The enameled surface solved the problem of seasoning — it was ready to use right out of the box. The textured quartz-flecked interior seared like nobody's business, sealing velveted meats with instantaneous Maillard reactions as the center of each bite slowly cooked through during stir-frying. And this interior was much, much easier to clean than basic untreated cast iron cookware. Most importantly, the Perfect Pan was able to infuse a sense of elemental wok hei into the food without any flipping, fire bursts, or other feats of showmanship. Just this hint of the breath of the wok was enough to blow me away. A reinforced and well-defined flat exterior bottom helps drive heat through the metal evenly, while the interior floor, smoothly sloping and gracefully curved, showed no indication of the outside's hard edges. Meat chars, then sticks, but not to the point where it breaks apart dry and woody, as occurs in some woks. Brown sauce emerges highly concentrated in flavor from quick reduction, yielding a more deeply flavorful stir-fry than others.When making fried rice, the egg released surprisingly well, and as can be predicted of cast iron, this pan locked in a gorgeous sear on the beef. Onions popped and smoked as proper to fried rice instead of caramelizing, adding to the smokiness of the dish. Tomatoes blistered immediately, and the baby bok choy stayed crisp on the side walls. Plus, the slower heating of this material gave me more zones to work with. The height, although not ideal, was adequate for fried rice, grabbing onto it instead of popping the grains out, and gave it a lovely bibimbap-type crust after time pressed against the walls. In all, if flavor is more important to you than convenience and freedom of movement both of and within the wok, this is the one to beat. Best electric wok Su-Jit Lin/Insider Less costly than many of the high-end woks tested, this portable, high-capacity unit offers all-in-one convenience.Material: Brushed stainless steelSize: 15" x 11"Capacity: 8 quartsWeight: 16 lbsBest for: Stir-fries, steamingDishwasher-safe: Yes, with temperature plug detachedMetal utensil-safe: NoPros: Really stable, aesthetically pleasing, frees up stovetop, easy to clean, plentiful safety features, fully round bottom, portableCons: Does not get as hot as a stovetop wok, can't deep fry in it, too tall to be comfortable on a countertopWith their flared edges, woks have big stovetop footprints. Getting one that will feed the gang can take a neighboring burner or two out of commission. An electric wok solves that problem by getting you off the stove entirely. With a brushed metal exterior and proportionate lines, this one does it with style. On paper, there's a lot to love: it's 300 watts more powerful than the average electric wok; has a sear setting that claims to reach 425 degrees Fahrenheit; is a pleasure to handle, from chunky ergonomic stay-cool handles to contoured levers; has an extra deep, fully rounded basin; and comes with a domed glass lid. Most importantly, its heating element is a uniquely butterfly-shaped coil that wraps halfway up the wok to better emulate real-life flames.Performance-wise, though, it doesn't spark as much joy. It heats up reasonably fast, but is inexplicably unreasonably slow to cook. The sear function doesn't do its job well, leaving the chicken pale and tough as extruded liquid struggles to evaporate. The slick inner walls make it all too easy to crowd ingredients as they slip down into the well, making it difficult to utilize the heat zones of the wok wall. So if there's such a thing as too nonstick, this might be it. How does it redeem itself? Well, the convenience factor is tremendous. And really, it's a gorgeous piece of machinery. It gets the job done, albeit in a generic, Westernized kind of way. The flavor isn't as deep as with a stovetop wok, but it'll be comparable to cooking on an electric range, and is a great portable option for when you don't have access to a stove, like while camping or boating. It's also fun for dinner table show-cooking to entertain the kids, and its safety-focused engineering and dishwasher-safe cleanup shows that families are definitely a target audience for this small appliance. What else we tested Su-Jit Lin/Insider What else we recommend and why:Calphalon Elite Nonstick Wok 13": Overall, this is a serviceable, multi-use wok that satisfies across the board. Its larger, triple-riveted softly square handle boasts a higher arc for better balance and grip. I felt a sense of maneuverability and control as I rotated oil around the basin. The smaller flat bottom slopes gently into the curvature of the walls — a smooth transition that eliminates scraping around the hard edges some flat-bottomed woks have. However, the rounded floor meant I had to be more mindful of crowding to prevent steam from concentrating. This affected the chicken, which dried out in comparison to other tested woks.Hestan Nanobond Stainless-Steel Wok with Lid: This handsome, extra-large wok is a great size for serving a crowd. But because it's so flat and wide, burner flames are directed across it instead of up and around. Since the floor gets so hot, I ended up mostly using the wok walls, leaving an oversized well of dead space. My chicken caught and tore, and broccoli, while surface-scorching nicely, required more time to cook through. Stainless steel is not forgiving and even less so with an ingredient that's so notoriously sticky. However, if you're comfortable with cooking on stainless steel and looking to cook for a crowd, this could be a good option.What we don't recommend and why:Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized 14" Wok: The Anolon is thinner and more tensile, but ultimately couldn't compete against stick-handles for flexibility in cooking style. While I appreciated that this wok came with a hybrid domed lid — half metal, half glass for the best of both worlds — the edges were very sharp and can scratch kitchen surfaces. This is perhaps one of the hottest woks, though, and would have been the top pick for tumble-cooking had the Staub not been able to imbue the recipes with such earthiness.Joyce Chen Pro Chef Excalibur Nonstick: Coming from such a notable and well-recognized name in Chinese cuisine, I expected much better usability from this wok. I was disappointed to find that the angular, bulky handle is uncomfortable in small hands and made the pan very heavy in spite of the lightweight metal used. The sandpapery nonstick finish is also not so nonstick. Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 12" Flat-Bottom Wok: This model was grandfathered into this test — an oldie I've had for some time from a less premium line than Calphalon's Elite version, which took home the title of best overall. Having been in my rotation for several years already, it was a let-down that such premium piece of equipment did not age particularly well, losing its nonstick coating in patches. It was okay for the years I had it, but compared to the upgrade and its competitors, it's a weak contender.All-Clad 5-Ply Copper Core Open Stir-Fry Pan: When I told my retired Chinese chef dad that I was given stainless woks to try, an atypical material, his immediate reaction was, "Why?!" After testing, I felt much the same way. The sharp-edged channel handle dug into my hand, the basin is too shallow, the pan itself too heavy, and the heat distribution too even, eliminating the cook zones integral to proper woking. On the upside, this does create an environment conducive to charring, yielding a hibachi-like flavor but with a shallower, cleaner taste. Our wok testing methodology Su-Jit Lin/Insider We tested nine woks of various materials, looking at construction quality and scratch resistance; heat retention and distribution; ease of cleaning and handling; and overall performance. For all tests, we used the same high-powered burner of a gas stove. With each wok, I made two dishes chosen for the multiple Asian cooking techniques they required, and utilized high smoke-point, neutral avocado oil to provide a cleaner background for any sign of wok hei … should it be achieved.Chinese takeout-style chicken with broccoli in a brown sauce showed us:How effectively velveted chicken would achieve browningHow tender the chicken would remain If dry vegetables could achieve wok hei-like char in this panIf bulky vegetables could resist steaming in a crowded panAny hot spots or inconsistencies in heat dispersionHow fast and evenly sauces would reduce and thickenHow easy it was to coat ingredients in the sauceEase of handling and cleanupSteak summer fried rice, inspired by MÓGŪ's Bang Bang Rice, was a good demonstration of:How well velveted red meat would searHow tender the steak would remainNonstick abilities when used for semi-dry, cold-start egg fryingIf onions could char effectivelyIf juicy ingredients like tomatoes blistered on impactIf adding wet leafy greens like baby Shanghai bok choy would result in steamingEase of transferring small pieces of foodEase of handling and cleanupI tried to use the same heat setting for each wok, but differing heat retention levels forced adaptation to avoid ruining the dish. I also used more oil for stainless steel woks to avoid sticking, and added broth to the fried rice in some instances since some materials were more apt to burn than char and required more moisture. The science of wok cooking Su-Jit Lin/Insider Cooking in a wok is an art and a science. The speed of execution and drama of it speaks to artistry, but the results, as Wang puts it, "has everything to do with the mathematics of particle movement." "The science of woking is broken down to temperature control," he explains, "which is done by elevating the wok with the hand, controlling the gas lever with one's leg during cooking, and flipping the ingredients inside the wok. At GenX Robotics and MÓGŪ, we studied the science of woking by using computer vision to track the movements of individual particles and how they move with the different viscosities of sauce. We investigated how those ingredients interacted with the surface of the cooking pan, the sauce, and other food particles."What he and his team found was that the slightest variation could lead to notably different outcomes, which our own testing confirms on a broader scale. The takeaway: be patient as you learn the ins and outs of your wok. A learning curve is to be expected at first, but you'll soon be able to produce consistent results.Pro tip: temper your expectationsNo matter what wok you get, though, just know that results on an electric stove will be considerably less favorable than on a gas stove. And that same gas stove will fall well shy of what a commercial restaurant wok burner can produce. If you're looking to recreate a dish you had at a restaurant, be prepared for at least slightly different results, especially if you're working on an electric stove.No home stove will be as immediately responsive, either. The instantaneousness of being able to crank up the heat and adjust it fast is a huge part of wok cooking. While certain materials help with heat distribution, it's important to consider the thickness, flexibility, flat surface area, and curvature of the wok, too. All of these contribute to its quality and performance.No matter which wok you pick, you'll have to take time to get to know it. After that, it'll be a matter of time until you master it … and with that, fall in love with it.To get the most out of your wok:Start with a great wok (like one of our picks)Use a gas stoveUse the most powerful burnerTurn up the heat so the flames come up the side of the wok Control temperature by lifting the wok off the burner and moving items that are cooking too fast to the wallsExpect a learning curve as you figure out the intricacies of your wok Wok FAQs Su-Jit Lin/Insider What kind of material should I consider?Carbon steel is a traditional favorite for making woks, while cast iron and stainless steel are great for casual cooks. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of each material: Carbon steel is traditionally a favorite material for woks because it reacts quickly to heat adjustments and has a natural nonstick surface once seasoned. But be warned: it takes a lot of heavy, repeated usage to get to this level, which is why it's not recommended for the casual home cook, and why we did not include any carbon steel woks in this test. We are looking forward to testing some pre-seasoned carbon steel woks for the next updateCast iron is a bit more accessible as people are more accustomed to maintaining it, but it's important to bear in mind that it's a very heavy material and will limit your maneuverability. Stainless steel has been growing in Western popularity since it's durable and not prone to rust. Aluminum woks are lighter and hotter but prone to warp and ding. Hard anodized and nonstick pans provide greater ease of use in a familiar medium, but their performance will vary based on manufacturer-determined specs, like thickness and finish.What's the difference between a long- and loop-handled wok?A loop-handled, or Canton wok, is meant for tumble cooking, which means using a scoop and spatula to quickly agitate ingredients (like fried rice) and spark faster liquid evaporation and spot charring. Loop handled woks are also great for pan-frying, which requires constant contact with the heat source; steaming; and big batch cooking, as they traditionally tend to be wider than long-handled woks. Long-handled or stick-handled woks are meant for toss cooking, such as with saucy dishes and stir-fries that incorporate larger-cut ingredients. In this technique, you lift the wok off the burner and toss the ingredients into the air using a shake of your wrist. Traditional long-handled woks offer a deeper basin in the middle for thickening sauces and higher walls, and are lightweight for maneuverability in order to flip and toss off the burner.Should I choose a flat- or round-bottomed wok?Flat-bottomed woks are better suited for home use because round-bottomed woks require a wok ring. Round-bottomed woks require the use of a wok ring, which is a metal band that holds the cookware in place on a gas stove burner and directs the heat to and around the wok. This workaround is really only suited for gas stoves, as they can slide off electric and glass-top burners.Flat-bottomed woks are the most common consumer-available designs, but their dimensions vary tremendously, which is part of why product tests like this are necessary. Not only are results dependent on material, which affects weight and maneuverability, but also by wok floor dimensions, wall height, and curvature. The latter two are perhaps the most important things to consider when you're trying to recreate effective, authentic wok cooking at home. All the woks used for this test were flat-bottomed.Is it better to get a more or less curved wok?"A high curvature results in a broader base for maximum area of heat transfer," Wang says. That means one with a greater curve and higher walls means heat is less concentrated on the flat bottom and better distributed up the walls. However, an overly steep wok can trap steam and make your food get limp and soggy. But a flatter, lower wok has disadvantages of its own. You simply can't mix well with a broad wok floor, and you definitely can't toss. And while tumbling (as opposed to stirring) is the right way to work food in a wok, you don't want to throw ingredients out of it. Curved walls help cue flipping your ingredients back into the pan, and taller sides keep errant pieces from escaping.The bottom line is that proportion is critical to creating the varying heat zones needed, since stir-fry components usually cook and brown at different rates. Even layering your ingredients can't save you from over- or undercooking if the temperature is too uniform.What's the best way to season a wok?Unless you're getting a carbon steel wok (which we did not test), you would season a wok the way you would any pan of the same material. However, most nonstick woks are ready to go right out of the box.These detailed instructions on how to season cast iron woks will help you get that material prepped for duty.  If you do decide to go rogue off our recommendations and opt for traditional carbon steel, Wang emphasizes the importance of prepping it properly. "There's a systematic process where the wok adapts a nonstick nature that comes with repeated oil washing," developing a blackened patina from oil that's seared on in a hard coat, like with cast iron. However, this takes a lot of use and tremendous heat exposure to develop.What tools do I need to cook with a wok?A chuan is may look like a spatula at first glance, but there's a curvature that distinguishes it. Wok turners are angled differently, and where the head connects to the handle, you'll notice a slight rounding that's designed to seamlessly follow the soft angles of a wok. They also usually have raised side edges that center your scoop as you tumble-cook or serve. This supports the tossing and mixing motion required for stir-frying while a regular flat spatula is more for shifting ingredients. The best ones have a very thin front edge that gets under your food better that has a soft arc that lets it reach into a round bottom well.What's the difference between a wok and a frying pan?In terms of construction, woks and frying pans are like distant cookware cousins. A frying pan has short, slightly angled walls and a wide, flat bottom. While you can make a stir fry in a frying pan, you will not get the same results as you do in a wok because ythere isn't as much temperature variation.Cooking in a wok relies on regular movement of the ingredients, so it is not the best tool for tender foods that can tear or come apart if shifted. Additionally, woks are not ideal for searing a single large piece of meat. Getting an even crust on a steak or large vegetables requires keeping the food in one place on high heat, and a frying pan offers more flat space to do that. Check out other cookware guides Lily Alig The best cookware setsThe best cast iron skillets and pansThe best copper cookwareThe best fully clad stainless steel cookwareThe best hard-anodized cookware Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 8th, 2021

Starbucks Union Vote Sets Up a Watershed Moment for U.S. Labor

Winning a unionization vote at one of the country’s signature non-union firms, Starbucks, would be an audacious coup. U.S. workers have authorized strikes in a wide swath of industries and quit jobs in record numbers but could soon pull off an even more audacious coup: Winning a unionization vote at one of the country’s signature non-union firms, Starbucks. On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board will mail ballots to employees at three Starbucks Corp. coffee shops in and around Buffalo, New York, who will vote over the next four weeks on whether to establish the first-ever unionized locations among the chain’s thousands of corporate-run U.S. stores. The elections involve only around 100 employees, but a vote to unionize would be among the embattled U.S. labor movement’s highest-profile organizing victories in years, creating a foothold at an iconic global brand. It would also extend U.S. workers’ recent momentum into a new arena — the company’s ubiquitous coffee shops, visited by millions of Americans each day, where past organizing efforts have repeatedly fizzled. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “It’s a much bigger deal than the number of people would suggest,” said former NLRB chair and union attorney Wilma Liebman, given how a union victory at Starbucks would create new inroads in the broader restaurant industry. “Winning is contagious, and it could spread like wildfire.” Read More: U.S. Workers Are Realizing It’s the Perfect Time to Go on Strike Baristas at several Buffalo-area Starbucks say they’ve been talking casually with a union organizer over the past couple years, but more-serious conversations began in earnest this summer, after workers were exposed to new pressures and risks by the pandemic and then emboldened by a tightening labor market. After a swift series of confidential conversations, including at rival coffee shops, employees in August publicly announced their campaign to join Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. Employees say they love the company but want to secure a say to address issues like schedules that sometimes provide inadequate hours and wages that don’t sufficiently reward longer-serving staff, as well as security to speak up when confronted with hazards like harassment from customers about masks. “You can’t tell us that we’re essential workers and then also tell us that we shouldn’t have a voice or equal say,” said Jaz Brisack, an activist barista who before getting hired last year at Starbucks was employed by Workers United as an organizer on a successful unionization campaign at another Buffalo-area coffee chain, Spot Coffee. Starbucks asking staff to vote against unionization More than its peers, Starbucks has cultivated a progressive brand, closing stores nationwide to hold trainings on racial bias, pledging to achieve “carbon neutral green coffee,” offering health benefits to part-timers and recently announcing it would implement a nationwide $15 wage floor. Some pro-union employees say they hope the Seattle-based company will eventually come to see how collective bargaining could advance the company’s mission too. Asked about the campaign, a Starbucks spokesperson provided an October open letter to employees from the coffee chain’s North America president, Rossann Williams, in which she said she recognized that workers in the Buffalo region “have not had the Starbucks experience that we work so hard to create for you,” and that she and other managers were “here to ensure that we can give them just that.” Starbucks is asking employees to vote against unionization, Williams wrote, “because we believe we will best enhance our partnership and advance the operational changes together in a direct relationship.” Read More: The GM Strike Is Also a Protest Against the Gig Economy On Saturday, Starbucks closed Buffalo-area stores early and paid employees to attend a gathering with its former CEO Howard Schultz, the billionaire who is its chairman emeritus and largest individual shareholder. Schultz told employees that Starbucks had already built “a different kind of company,” and that no outsiders had successfully “pressured us, maneuvered us, threatened us to do anything other than what we felt in our heart and our conscience we needed to do and should do for the people who wear the green apron.” In a letter to employees published on Starbucks’ website in conjunction with his visit, Schultz said he was “saddened and concerned” to hear that any employee would think they need to have “a representative seek to obtain things we all have as partners at Starbucks.” Stephen Brashear/Getty Images CEO Howard Schultz speaks during the Starbucks annual meeting of shareholders on March 22, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Employee concerns at Starbucks Still, Schultz was escorted away after the speech when Gianna Reeve, a pro-union employee at one of the stores slated to vote, asked him if he would support principles proposed by the union to restrict union-busting, she said. Starbucks has said that workers already have a say in scheduling, that more senior workers already get extra pay, and that it prioritizes workers’ and customers’ safety. The company also shared a September message to Buffalo-area employees from a regional vice president, Allyson Peck, saying that Starbucks was “bringing additional recruiters and managers to help with staffing, finalizing dedicated training plans for new baristas and repairing store issues quickly.” The steps, she said, are “actions only Starbucks can deliver on — versus an outside third party like the Workers United union.” Read More: Why the Biden Administration Could Be Good for Organized Labor On Aug. 30, after unsuccessfully petitioning Starbucks headquarters to make a deal restricting anti-union campaigning, employees moved ahead at the U.S. labor board, submitting signatures that organizers say represented at least four-fifths of the eligible staff at each of three Buffalo-area stores. The NLRB rejected Starbucks’ argument that the appropriate voter pool would instead consist of employees at all 20 of its stores in the region and granted the union’s request to hold store-by-store votes at the three sites, boosting the organizers’ chance of success. Since each store’s employees are voting separately, Starbucks will be legally required to negotiate if a majority of eligible staff at even one of them votes for the union. U.S. workers are having their moment Richard Bensinger, the former AFL-CIO organizing director spearheading the Buffalo Starbucks campaign for Workers United, said it was born out of a regional effort to organize restaurants, not a national strategy to target Starbucks. He’s found organizing Starbucks both easier and harder than he’d predicted: He thought he might find executives at the company, known for comparatively generous pay and benefits, eager to avoid a bitter struggle, along with workers who were tepid about organizing. Instead, he said, employees have proven highly motivated to seek changes but the company, as much as any other he’s gone up against, has been steadfast in seeking to defeat the drive. The Starbucks campaign is unfolding at a moment of unusual leverage for U.S. workers. They’ve been emboldened by a tight labor market and inspired to demand payback for the risks and sacrifices they shouldered during the pandemic, and to reverse concessions they acceded to in past years’ contract talks. Union members have recently authorized potential strikes involving over 100,000 workers in a slew of different industries, while workers in general have been quitting their jobs in record numbers. Read More: Workers Are Furious. Their Unions Are Scrambling to Catch Up Over the past week, striking workers at farm equipment maker Deere & Co. voted to continue a 10,000-strong work stoppage rather than accepting a tentative deal that included a 10% immediate wage hike, while unions representing over 30,000 health-care workers at Kaiser Permanente announced plans to strike starting Nov. 15. But Workers United’s NLRB election effort remains a gamble. While U.S. law promises employees the right to collectively bargain if a majority of their co-workers cast ballots in the affirmative, the law also gives companies wide latitude to campaign aggressively against unionization. Companies generally face only minimal penalties for engaging in illegal efforts to stymie the union or obstruct negotiations once a union is victorious. Toby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Starbucks’ corporate headquarters seen in Seattle on Apr. 27, 2021. Winning a union contract In recent years, NLRB election victories at the top U.S. companies in union-scarce industries have been almost unheard of, except for where organizers could cut a deal beforehand with management to limit anti-union tactics, as the Starbucks workers tried and failed to do. The “Fight For $15 and a Union” campaign, another SEIU project, has spent about a decade organizing and mobilizing fast-food workers without ever filing for NLRB elections in any restaurants. Instead, they’ve opted for pressure campaigns targeting companies like McDonald’s Corp. in hopes — so far unrealized — of securing a national agreement easing unionization. Under U.S. law, companies can require workers to attend numerous group or one-on-one meetings about why they shouldn’t unionize, and make dire predictions about what could happen if they do. If workers are proven to be illegally fired for their union activism, the worst penalty a company usually faces is eventually being required to reinstate them with back pay, without punitive damages or personal liability for executives. If a group of workers does vote to unionize, companies can delay the process with extensive legal challenges. If a union’s victory is upheld, management is required to hold contract talks “in good faith,” but has no obligation to concede much on the issues workers want addressed. The majority of the time, workers still haven’t reached a contract one year after voting to unionize, according to a 2009 study. Read More: Beyond Labor Day—Three Ways Unions Have Helped American Workers “Typically, all the board does when an employer fails to bargain in good faith is order the employer to bargain in good faith,” said Columbia University law professor Kate Andrias. “Employees’ ability to win a good first contract is usually not a result of the law, but rather of workers’ decision to stick together, to demand improvements in their workplace, to mobilize public and political pressure on employers, and to engage in collective action by protests and strikes.” Winning a union contract for a small number of employees at a mammoth, otherwise union-free company is particularly difficult, Andrias said, because those workers have less direct economic leverage over management. Executives also have ample incentive to take a tough stance, knowing that if workers who unionized in one place succeed in securing improvements, organizing would be more appealing to others elsewhere. Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images A person wearing a protective mask collects a pickup order from a Starbucks Corp. coffee shop in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Starbucks workers say they are pressured In New York, Starbucks workers say they’ve been pressured to attend frequent anti-union meetings in which the company issues warnings, such as that unionization could cause them to lose existing benefits. The employees also say their stores have been visited by out-of-town managers and higher-ups like Rossann Williams who show up to press the anti-union case. “We want you to vote no,” Peck, the Starbucks regional vice president, told staff in a Nov. 1 email viewed by Bloomberg. “Unless you are positive you want to pay a union to represent you to us, you must vote no.” Last week, the union and barista Michelle Eisen filed a complaint, now pending with the NLRB, accusing Starbucks of “engaging in a campaign of threats, intimidation, surveillance” and other illegal tactics such as store closings in its effort to defeat the Buffalo organizing campaign. Starbucks declined to comment specifically on the NLRB filing. The company has said that workers are expected to attend its meetings but aren’t punished if they refuse; that it’s not uncommon for higher-ups to visit its stores; that its temporary conversion of one store to a training site and closure of another for remodeling were unrelated to union organizing; and that it strictly adheres to U.S. labor law. Read More: Pandemic Fuels Union Interest Among Front Line Workers Tia Corthion, a shift supervisor at a Buffalo-area store, said in an interview arranged by a Starbucks spokesperson that she’s received necessary information in the company’s meetings about unionization. In union contract talks, “there are things that we have to give up to get the things that they’re negotiating,” said Corthion, whose pay and benefits at Starbucks exceed the ones she had in prior jobs. “I don’t know what the outcome could be. It doesn’t sound like any good outcomes.” Activist employees in New York say they’ve built organizing bonds among co-workers that can withstand an anti-union campaign, and that they’re already hearing from colleagues around the country who want to support them or start organizing themselves, despite management’s efforts to dissuade them. “They think three stores in Buffalo is bad — they’re going to love the next year,” said local shift supervisor Alexis Rizzo. “Because the interest that we’ve had is mind-blowing.” Bensinger, the Workers United Buffalo organizer, said he feels good about workers soon getting to vote. “We don’t have to win a hundred stores, we have to win one,” he said. “If you can win one store, then I think the whole world will rally behind bargaining for a contract like people have never seen.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 7th, 2021

The curious afterlife of the Lord of the Skies

Conspiracy theories about the death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, Lord of the Skies, have lingered for years, most recently among fans of Narcos: Mexico. The casket with Amado Carrillo Fuentes' remains at his mother's ranch in northwestern Mexico on July 11, 1997. Reuters When Mexico's most powerful drug lord died an unbelievable death, a team of federal agents raced against the clock to identify his body. Conspiracy theories about his demise have lingered for years, even getting a wink in Netflix's Narcos: Mexico. Speaking publicly for the first time, DEA agents who helped confirm his death give the full story behind one of the strangest chapters in the annals of Mexico's drug war. The departed smiled up at the ceiling, his lips pulled back to reveal a row of bright white teeth.The skin on the man's hideously distended hands shone a sickening gray-green color of rot, and his long, puffy face was heavily bruised, with deep, dark circles ringing his eyes and nostrils. Mottled patches of discoloration spread up his high forehead and across his cheeks.Under the harsh glare and buzz of fluorescent lights, the body of one of Mexico's most powerful men lay in state, nestled within the plush white confines of a metal casket. The body was clad in a dark suit and a blue-and-red polka dot tie, his deformed hands deliberately forced together at his waist to mimic a state of repose, a hideous parody of an open-casket funeral.In the place of mourners, photojournalists pressed up to the edge of the casket, inches away from a man who just days before could have, with a wave of his hand, ordered unspeakable violence against anyone insane enough to have treated him with such disrespect.Along one wall, a row of men, some in white lab coats, others in drab, police-issue suits, stood with grim discomfort written across their faces as shutters clicked.This ghastly wake in a government building in Mexico City on July 8, 1997 was the first glimpse of a man whose name much of the country knew but few dared to utter. Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the Lord of the Skies, the boss of Ciudad Juárez, and arguably the most powerful criminal kingpin in the nation's history was dead and his rotting corpse was displayed for all to see. Amado's body was displayed on July 8, 1997, at the Judicial Police morgue in Mexico City. A group of police pathologists look on. Reuters It was perhaps one of the most macabre press scrums in history, and a bitterly ironic fate for a man who had so carefully seen to it that so few photos of his likeness existed.News of Amado's death had begun to filter out days before. According to the Mexican Attorney General's office - known by its Spanish acronym as the PGR - Amado had died on the operating table while undergoing plastic surgery, to alter his appearance, and liposuction.Amado's family soon confirmed the story, lipo and all, telling reporters that he'd suffered a heart attack while under anesthesia. But for many Mexicans, the story was almost too bizarre to believe. The PGR had invited reporters to see the body in hopes of dispelling any rumors or suspicion about Amado's fate. It didn't work. The idea of Amado faking his death and vanishing into retirement flourished in Mexico's bustling rumor mills. One doubter, a barber cutting the hair of a Los Angeles Times reporter, insisted that the key to the coverup lay in the corpse's decaying limbs."Those aren't his hands," the barber said. "Those are the hands of a classical pianist.""Some poor unfortunate person"In the nearly quarter-century that has elapsed, a host of rumors and conspiracy theories have, unlike Amado, stubbornly refused to die - even in the archives of the wire service Agence Press Press, which listed a photo of Amado's "alleged" body.In 2015, the idea found new life thanks to an article published on the English-language site of the Venezuelan state-sponsored news network Telesur. According to the report, which relied mostly on the extremely dubious word of a supposed cousin of Amado, Sergio Carrillo, the drug lord was doing just fine."He is alive," Carrillo said, according to Telesur. "He had surgery and also had surgery practiced on some poor unfortunate person to make everybody believe it was him, including the authorities."This claim would be easily dismissed were it not for the larger constellation of conspiracies surrounding Amado's death. Instead, it's taken on a life of its own in a string of tabloid stories that have repeated Sergio Carrillo's claim.(Attempts by Insider to verify Carrillo's existence or reach him for comment were unsuccessful.)The persistence of such stories has also been helped along thanks to the popularity of the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico, which stars a heavily fictionalized - and rather sympathetic - version of Amado. In the third and final season, which became available on Friday, Amado takes center stage as the show follows a greatest-hits summary of his empire building and eventual fall from grace. Eduardo Gonzalez Matta, a general director of the Mexican Attorney General's office, points to evidence charts at a July 10, 1997 press conference aimed at convincing the public of Amado's death. OMAR TORRES/AFP via Getty Images In one of the final scenes, a moody Amado is shown prowling around the empty operating room prior to his surgery, and the narrator says outright that Amado has died. But then the show slyly drops an easter egg to superfans in the form of a final post-credits scene: As Amado's girlfriend wanders about in a seaside mansion, the camera cuts to a shot of a toy airplane that her lover had given her.The myth has resonated for a reason in Mexico, where a toxic mix of authoritarian governance, pervasive corruption, a powerful criminal underground protected by the state and shrouded in lies and half truths has fueled a highly justified skepticism of any official narrative.Here, for the first time, is the most complete account of one of the strangest chapters in the annals of Mexico's drug war. Speaking publicly about the episode in detail for the first time, agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration who helped identify the body and confirm his death have laid out the full story behind one of the strangest incidents in the annals of the war on drugs.Lord of the SkiesLike virtually every major drug trafficker of his generation - Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, Benjamín and Ramón Arellano-Félix, Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada García - Amado was a native of the northwestern state of Sinaloa, that long, thin state in Mexico's northwest whose western borders greet the waves of the Gulf of Cortez and whose eastern borders end in the highlands of the Sierra Madre Occidental.It's a rugged, hardscrabble region populated by ranchers with weather-beaten faces and farmers who for the better part of a century represented the bottom rung of the marijuana and opium trade in the Western Hemisphere. Amado and his 10 siblings grew up in a tiny settlement in the scrubland just north of Navalato, a tough little bread-basket town surrounded by fields of sugarcane, maize, and wheat.Also like many of his fellow future kingpins, Amado's family had been involved in the drug business in one way or another since who-knows-when. It was a more humble business back then, small-time farmers selling opium and weed to small-time traffickers who brought the stuff north to the border. But thanks to the booming demand for marijuana in the late 1960s, and the shutdown in 1972 of the main pipeline for Turkish heroin from Europe to New York, Sinaloa's illicit economy became turbocharged. An undated photo of Amado Carrillo Fuentes. Reuters So it helped that Amado's uncle was one of those traffickers. A murderous brute of a man, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, better known as Don Neto, was by the 1980s a key partner in the trafficking network often referred to as the Guadalajara Cartel.It was the advent of the cocaine boom, when Mexican traffickers began to branch out from weed and dope and made use of their existing smuggling routes to move Colombian cocaine, and the cash flowing back south twisted and perverted every facet of society.Amado was an innovator in his own right, and is often credited as a pioneer of moving drugs by airplane, overseeing ever larger fleets of ever larger planes groaning under the weight of ever larger shipments of Colombian coke. This vocation earned him the nickname "el señor de los cielos," or the Lord of the Skies, and made him fantastically wealthy, with money to buy as many cops, judges, generals, and politicians as he needed to stay on the right side of things.As the criminal landscape in Mexico shifted in the late 1980s following the breakup of the old guard in Guadalajara, Amado had relocated to Ciudad Juárez, a sprawling desert city just across the Río Grande from El Paso, Texas.With its bustling border crossing that sees billions of dollars in cargo cross each way every year - an economic engine that leapt into overdrive with the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement - Juárez was the crown jewel in the constellation of smuggling routes into the United States.The local capos who controlled the Juárez smuggling route, or "plaza," soon began to display a curious habit of dying, one after another. Amado, for his part, showed a talent for stepping out from the wings to claim their turf. Vehicles crossing from Ciudad Juarez towards El Paso, Texas. Ivan Pierre Aguirre/AP Photo Amado was a skilled smuggler. He was also a brilliant manager with a head for politics, and he built a vast network of street enforcers, informants in every agency of Mexican law enforcement and military, and connections to powerful friends capable of easily quashing the political will to arrest him.While other traffickers fought bloody turf battles and moved coke, weed, and heroin across remote border crossings in the desert, Amado was consolidating power and largely keeping the peace in Juárez, where he proved a reliable colleague to corrupt officials turned off by the ostentatious violence of his competitors. In a few short years, he had become the most influential drug trafficker in Mexico.But even for a guy with the political savvy that Amado had in spades, remaining atop the tangled web of shifting alliances and competing priorities that dictate the status quo in Mexico was a deadly game, and any number of brand-name narcos who came before him had enjoyed that sweet spot for a time before they attracted too much attention and with it their own expiration date.By the mid-1990s, Amado had become the most powerful drug lord in the country."A guy of absolute, unquestioned integrity"Early in 1997, the balance that Amado had so skillfully maintained was thrown into a tailspin with the arrest of General Jesús Héctor Gutierrez Rebollo, Mexico's top drug warrior. He had worked closely with agents of the DEA to pursue trafficking networks and had the endorsement of many in Washington.President Ernesto Zedillo had appointed the general to lead the fight against drugs as part of an effort to cut out the notoriously corrupt alphabet soup of police agencies in favor of the military, which despite its own legacy of corruption and human-rights abuses enjoyed a level of trust and respect that most other branches of the government had long ago squandered. Washington had enthusiastically supported the appointment, and General Barry McCaffrey, President Bill Clinton's drug czar, had praised the general as "a guy of absolute, unquestioned integrity" as recently as in December of 1996.So the DEA and their higher ups in D.C. were shocked when, on Feb. 17, 1997, the general was suddenly dismissed, and even more so a day later when Mexican officials announced that Gutierrez Rebollo had been arrested for receiving payoffs from one Amado Carrillo Fuentes. Amado (L) is seen at a party in an undated photo. Reuters As winter turned into spring, Guttierez Rebollo was sitting in irons, and Washington was sporting a deeply embarrassing black eye. At a hearing in March, DEA chief Thomas A. Constantine mused that major traffickers in Mexico "seem to be operating with impunity," and a congressional subcommittee convened soon thereafter to discuss slamming shut the faucet of foreign aid to Mexico.The Mexican government has never reacted well to its frenemies in the drug trade catching the undivided attention of the U.S. government, as a long line of Amado's former compatriots found out the hard way.And now the high-beams were focused on Amado. As one of the key public faces of drug trafficking in Mexico - and as the man whose bribes were the stated reason for the general's arrest - Amado found himself suddenly, dangerously exposed, and desperate to disappear, according to Ralph Villaruel, a retired DEA agent who was stationed in Guadalajara at the time."We were hearing he was in Russia, that he was in Chile," Villaruel told me in an interview. "We heard that he wanted to pay [the government] to be left alone, that he didn't want nothing to do with drug trafficking no more."Amado was a wreck. Overweight and reportedly strung out on his own personal stash carved off the tens of thousands of kilos his men continued to smuggle north, he seems to have opted for a radical solution: he would alter his appearance with plastic surgery.So on July 3, 1997, he used a false name to check into a hospital in a ritzy neighborhood of Mexico, and, in a heavily guarded operating room, the lord of the skies succumbed to a lethal dose of anesthesia and sedatives."We think Amado Carrillo Fuentes is dead"Mauricio Fernandez wasn't getting much sleep in those days.Fernandez, newly married, had been working at the Mexico City office of the DEA for about a year. He'd joined the agency in 1991 after serving in the Marines, and threw himself into his new vocation with a zeal inspired in part by the ravages of drug addiction he'd witnessed back home growing up in the Bronx.A dedicated posting to the resident office in Mexico City should have brought a bit of stability to his life after having spent the past few years working in an elite unit with special-forces training, bushwhacking coca fields in the high Andes of Bolivia, raiding drug labs in the lush mountain valleys of Peru, and chasing down a Colombian rival of Pablo Escobar whose brilliance earned him the nickname "the Chessmaster." A gun that once belonged to Amado Carrillo Fuentes is displayed in the Drugs Museum at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense in Mexico City. Henry Romero/Reuters But when he arrived in Mexico City, he was soon stunned by the level to which drug traffickers were entangled with the state at every level, from local cops on up to judges, military officers, and members of the political and business elite. It was hard to know who to trust. He was getting death threats."The deception was more sophisticated in Mexico," he told me in an interview. "The level of deception was so embedded that even for people you thought were vetted, even them you could not trust. There was no such thing as safe partnership."Cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico on anti-drug policy was then and is now deeply fraught, riven with well-earned mutual distrust. But Fernandez and his fellow DEA agents had worked hard to build relationships with a few key members of Mexican anti-drug units, and it was starting to pay dividends. Through a contact in the Attorney General's office, or PGR, Fernandez and his partner had extensive access to sensitive information, and did their best to share intel with their counterparts. Fernandez and his partner were the lead case agents on investigations into some of Mexico's most notorious drug traffickers, and they routinely pulled 80-hour weeks, living and breathing their work, sleeping at the office. They were investigating a handful of different drug-trafficking networks, but one man stood above the rest: Amado Carrillo Fuentes. A photograph that includes this caption: "Mexico City, Mexico. Hospital Santa Monica, where ''drug lord'' Amado Carrillo Fuentes died whilst having plastic surgery to change his identity to help him evade police." Getty Images Most roads led to Amado in some way or another, or they led as close as the DEA could get anyway. Any time they thought they might be getting close, witnesses had a way of turning up dead, warning had a way of finding itself to their query, and Amado cruised along as always.As he played the delicate game of political maneuvering necessary to survive in the underworld of Mexican organized crime, Amado was building a business empire of global proportions.Even now, decades later, Fernandez still speaks of Amado with the grudging respect of a guy who knows the folly of underestimating one's enemies."It was a slap in the face to say that Amado was simply a drug trafficker," Fernandez told me. "His span was incredible. He touched Asia, he touched Europe, all parts of the world, and that's when you start to understand the vastness of his enterprise."With a query like that, no, Fernandez wasn't sleeping much.So when July 4, 1997 rolled around, Fernandez was looking forward to a bit of R&R, a chance to spend some time with his wife and shoot the shit with his colleagues and their families at the annual Independence Day bash at the ambassador's residence in Lomas de Chapultepec, a lavish neighborhood of rolling hills and the gated mansions of the Mexican elite.But work found him anyway, as it often did, in the form of a call from a high-ranking Mexican law-enforcement official. It was one of the men with whom he'd spent the past year building up a cautious but increasingly strong rapport. The ramifications of the news that came through the phone are still playing out today."We think Amado Carrillo Fuentes is dead," the official told him."All kinds of rumors are going to spring up"The details were sketchy, no one knew for sure what to believe, but Fernandez' source told him what he could: the Lord of the Skies had the day before slunk into a private clinic in Mexico City for some kind of operation, maybe liposuction, maybe plastic surgery, and had died on the operating table. Whether it was negligence or homicidal intent was unclear. ut word was, Amado was dead.Those words hit Fernandez like a thunderclap. After hanging up, he sidled over to his boss and his boss's boss, who were standing about chatting and soaking up the unique glory of a Mexico City summer day. Fernandez pulled the two more senior agents aside and told him what he had just heard.Before long, the news rippled out through the crowd and the DEA agents in attendance huddled up to figure out what do do next.In the middle of that scrum was Larry Villalobos, a DEA intelligence analyst who'd arrived in Mexico the year prior after a stint in El Paso building dossiers on the major drug traffickers operating in Mexico. He knew everybody. To this day, Villalobos has the uncanny ability to summon up the names of men long dead and recall the bit-part roles they played in the larger action. Mexican special forces police guard the morgue in Mexico City where the remains of Amado Carrillo Fuentes were held after his death. Reuters At the ambassador's residence the party continued. But for Fernandez, Villalobos, and the rest of the DEA crew in attendance that day, there was work to do. They had a window in which they could confirm that Amado was dead and that window was already closing rapidly, Villalobos recalled."We knew from working in Mexico that if you wait any goddamn longer than that all kinds of rumors are going to spring up," Villalobos told me.A fingerprint matchAs they hustled away from the ambassador's residence, Fernandez, Villalobos, and the other DEA agents knew that the first thing they had to do was find the body.According to the law-enforcement source Fernandez, by the time the DEA agents hightailed it away from their aborted Fourth of July party, the body was already on a plane en route to Sinaloa. But by the time it landed, a team of agents with the Attorney General's office were waiting.They seized the casket and immediately put it on a plane back to Mexico City. According to an Associated Press report a few days later, the agents had to forcibly part Amado's mother from the casket that she clearly believed held the remains of her son. Amado's mother, Aurora Fuentes (L), arrived at the morgue to collect the body of her son on July 10, 1997. Reuters Some of the field agents began to press all their sources for information. But for Villalobos, who had worked as a fingerprint technician with the FBI before joining the DEA, it all came down to the body. And suddenly, he recalled an astonishing fact: the U.S. was in possession of Amado's fingerprints, taken by Border Patrol agents in Presidio, Texas way back in 1985 and later unearthed from the files of the Immigration and Naturalization service.He got on the phone with his old intelligence office in El Paso, and had them overnight a set of the prints to Mexico City while a Mexican technician did his best to harvest a set from the corpse, which had long since gone stiff with rigor mortis. As the body decomposes after death, the quality of the available prints start to degrade, but after comparing the prints on file with those taken from the corpse, Villalobos was certain.His boss wanted to know how certain he was that this was, in fact, Amado Carrillo Fuentes. Ever precise, Villalobos clarified the issue."I didn't say that it was Amado. What I said was that the fingerprints that were taken from a young man who resembles the Amado that we all know, and was fingerprinted as an illegal alien 20 years ago, is the same person as this corpse," Villalobos recalled telling the senior DEA attache in Mexico City. Amado's sister, Alicia Carrillo Fuentes (L), and other family members mourn Amado's death at the home of his mother. Huge wreaths were delivered, including some by other alleged drug barons. Reuters "Whether it's Amado or not, that's a different matter, but it would have had to been some type of conspiracy over 20 years that some guy was gonna die and they were gonna substitute the body of the guy who was in Presidio, Texas 20 years ago."In other words, it was Amado.The positive ID on the fingerprints that Villalobos made came no more than 72 hours after Amado died in surgery, but already speculation was buzzing about the possible death of the kingpin of Juárez.While Villalobos had been doing his thing, other agents like Mauricio Fernandez had been working their sources and keeping in constant contact with trusted Mexican officials doing the same, and they were starting to get indications from the underworld that the big guy really was gone.Meanwhile, in Mexico City, a forensics expert from Mexico's Attorney General's office held a press conference where he presented the fingerprint evidence."It would have made for a wonderful story"After the confirmation from DEA, after the confirmation from the Mexican government, after the body was returned to Amado's family and buried in his hometown of Guamuchilito, Sinaloa, the myth of Amado's survival began to grow, and it has never really gone away. Even now, Fernandez said he understands why the myth of Amado has clung on for so long."There was a lot of folklore around Amado and who he was, and I think for a lot of people, they wanted to keep that thought alive," Fernandez said. "It would have made for a wonderful story, but the fact is that that wasn't the case. It just was not the case." Chilean authorities identified this home as one of the eleven houses that Amado Carrillo Fuentes bought in Santiago several months before his death. Reuters Regardless of where one stands on the fact that Amado Carrillo Fuentes died in July 1997, no one disputes the fact that his death was a turning point, one of the periodic tectonic shifts throughout the history of the war on drugs in Mexico. Amado's younger brother Vicente took the reins, but he didn't have it in him, and people didn't respect him the way they had Amado. The alliances that Amado held together soon started to fray, and that breakdown helped contribute to the staggering wave of violence that washed over Mexico a decade later and has yet to truly recede.This dynamic within Amado's network may have played a part in the myths that sprung up so soon after his death. With a weak leader like Vicente running the ship and its increasingly mutinous crew aground, the idea of a vengeful Amado out there, maybe coming back some day, might have been useful for keeping people in line, according to Jesús Esquivel, a veteran Mexican journalist who was one of the first reporters to break the news of Amado's death. Amado Carrillo Fuentes's home in the Alvaro Obregon municipality of Mexico City. It was raffled off by Mexico's National Lottery in September 2021. XAVIER MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images "Vicente was weak, and the local criminals knew, and they said 'this is our time,'" Esquivel told me. "So they were playing with Amado's shadow."Larry Villalobos, for his part, still hears the old conspiracy theories from time to time, occasionally from unlikely sources."I had an FBI agent come up to me less than 10 years ago and he says to me 'what if I told you Amado was still alive?'" Villalobos told Insider. "I was like 'get the fuck outta here, I don't wanna hear that shit. I saw the fingerprints, I made the identification, what are you talking about?"According to Villalobos, the FBI agent was insistent, telling him that a trusted source had recently claimed to have spotted Amado in his old stomping grounds of Ojinga, just over the border from Texas. Even better, the source claimed to know where exactly they could find him.Villalobos was not moved."I hope the FBI didn't pay too much for that tip," Villalobos said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 6th, 2021

Novo Nordisk"s (NVO) Q3 Earnings and Sales Beat Estimates

Novo Nordisk (NVO) reports better-than-expected results for Q3. Sales are aided by growth in Diabetes and Obesity Care owing to higher GLP-1 revenues. Novo Nordisk A/S NVO reported third-quarter 2021 earnings of 84 cents per American Depositary Receipt (ADR), beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 80 cents. The company reported earnings of 69 cents in the year-ago quarter.Revenues of $5.7 billion increased 15% in terms of Danish kroner and at constant exchange rate (CER). The same also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.6 billion. Year over year, sales were driven by higher Diabetes and Obesity care sales.Shares of Novo Nordisk have rallied 57.5% so far this year compared with the industry’s rise of 14.3%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchAll growth rates mentioned below are on a year-over-year basis.Quarter in DetailNovo Nordisk operates under two segments, namely Diabetes and Obesity Care, and Biopharmaceuticals.The Diabetes and Obesity Care segment sales grew 18% at CER. In Diabetes Care, fast-acting insulin, Fiasp revenues rose 21% at CER. While NovoRapid revenues declined 7% at CER, Human insulin revenues were up 8% at CER. Premix insulin (Ryzodeg and NovoMix) revenues rose 9% at CER. Sales of long-acting insulins (Tresiba, Xultophy and Levemir) increased 8% at CER. Ozempic had a strong launch and recorded sales of DKK 8.89 billion for the quarter, up 66% at CER.Obesity Care (Saxenda and Wegovy) sales were up 82% at CER year over year.In June 2021, the FDA approved semaglutide as a weekly 2.4 mg injection for weight management in people living with obesity. The GLP-1 product is marketed under the brand name Wegovy for chronic weight management in adults with obesity (initial BMI≥30 kg/m2) or overweight (initial BMI≥27 kg/m2) with at least one weight-related comorbidity, such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes or high cholesterol.Sales in the Biopharm segment were down 2% at CER year over year to DKK 4.51 billion. Sales of rare blood disorder products were DKK 2,326 million, flat at CER. Sales of hemophilia A products decreased 9% at CER. However, Hemophilia B products’ sales rose 20% at CER. Sales of NovoSeven were flat at DKK 1,676 million.Sales and distribution costs climbed 12% in both Danish kroner as well as at CER year over year. This increase was due to International Operations and North America Operations reflecting the launch of Rybelsus and promotional activities related to Ozempic.Research and development costs were up 9% in both Danish kroner and at CER from the respective year-ago quarter’s levels. Higher cost is driven by a rapid pipeline expansion during this time.Administrative costs increased 2% in both Danish kroner and at CER from the respective levels registered in the same period of 2020.2021 OutlookNovo Nordisk raised its outlook for sales and operating profit last month.The company now expects 12-15% sales growth at CER, higher than 10-13% expected previously. The guidance indicates steadysales growth in North America Operations and International Operations. The same also suggests a robust sales performance of GLP-1 diabetes care products, namely Ozempic and Rybelsus as well as growth within the Obesity Care unit. This apart, the outlook implies intensifying competition in both Diabetes care and Biopharm units.Novo Nordisk faces stiff competition from Eli Lilly LLY and Sanofi SNY in the global insulin market. Lilly and AstraZeneca AZN are its rivals in the global GLP-1 market.Persistent pricing pressure within Diabetes Care, especially in the United States, might also negatively impact sales.Our TakeNovo Nordisk beat on both revenues and earnings in the third quarter of 2021. Ozempic is off to a solid start and the launch of Rybelsus looks encouraging. Also, initial demand for Wegovy exceeded management’s expectations following its launch in June 2021. Saxenda too has witnessed a strong uptake so far.Novo Nordisk AS Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise Novo Nordisk AS price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Novo Nordisk AS QuoteZacks RankNovo Nordisk currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Sanofi (SNY): Free Stock Analysis Report AstraZeneca PLC (AZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Novo Nordisk AS (NVO): Free Stock Analysis Report Eli Lilly and Company (LLY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 3rd, 2021

Earnings Preview: Beyond Meat (BYND) Q3 Earnings Expected to Decline

Beyond Meat (BYND) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations. The market expects Beyond Meat (BYND) to deliver a year-over-year decline in earnings on higher revenues when it reports results for the quarter ended September 2021. This widely-known consensus outlook is important in assessing the company's earnings picture, but a powerful factor that might influence its near-term stock price is how the actual results compare to these estimates.The stock might move higher if these key numbers top expectations in the upcoming earnings report, which is expected to be released on November 10. On the other hand, if they miss, the stock may move lower.While management's discussion of business conditions on the earnings call will mostly determine the sustainability of the immediate price change and future earnings expectations, it's worth having a handicapping insight into the odds of a positive EPS surprise.Zacks Consensus EstimateThis plant-based meat company is expected to post quarterly loss of $0.40 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of -42.9%.Revenues are expected to be $106.09 million, up 12.3% from the year-ago quarter.Estimate Revisions TrendThe consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has been revised 40.48% lower over the last 30 days to the current level. This is essentially a reflection of how the covering analysts have collectively reassessed their initial estimates over this period.Investors should keep in mind that an aggregate change may not always reflect the direction of estimate revisions by each of the covering analysts.Price, Consensus and EPS SurpriseEarnings WhisperEstimate revisions ahead of a company's earnings release offer clues to the business conditions for the period whose results are coming out. Our proprietary surprise prediction model -- the Zacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction) -- has this insight at its core.The Zacks Earnings ESP compares the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter; the Most Accurate Estimate is a more recent version of the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate. The idea here is that analysts revising their estimates right before an earnings release have the latest information, which could potentially be more accurate than what they and others contributing to the consensus had predicted earlier.Thus, a positive or negative Earnings ESP reading theoretically indicates the likely deviation of the actual earnings from the consensus estimate. However, the model's predictive power is significant for positive ESP readings only.A positive Earnings ESP is a strong predictor of an earnings beat, particularly when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold). Our research shows that stocks with this combination produce a positive surprise nearly 70% of the time, and a solid Zacks Rank actually increases the predictive power of Earnings ESP.Please note that a negative Earnings ESP reading is not indicative of an earnings miss. Our research shows that it is difficult to predict an earnings beat with any degree of confidence for stocks with negative Earnings ESP readings and/or Zacks Rank of 4 (Sell) or 5 (Strong Sell).How Have the Numbers Shaped Up for Beyond Meat?For Beyond Meat, the Most Accurate Estimate is lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate, suggesting that analysts have recently become bearish on the company's earnings prospects. This has resulted in an Earnings ESP of -12.50%.On the other hand, the stock currently carries a Zacks Rank of #4.So, this combination makes it difficult to conclusively predict that Beyond Meat will beat the consensus EPS estimate.Does Earnings Surprise History Hold Any Clue?While calculating estimates for a company's future earnings, analysts often consider to what extent it has been able to match past consensus estimates. So, it's worth taking a look at the surprise history for gauging its influence on the upcoming number.For the last reported quarter, it was expected that Beyond Meat would post a loss of $0.27 per share when it actually produced a loss of $0.31, delivering a surprise of -14.81%.The company has not been able to beat consensus EPS estimates in any of the last four quarters.Bottom LineAn earnings beat or miss may not be the sole basis for a stock moving higher or lower. Many stocks end up losing ground despite an earnings beat due to other factors that disappoint investors. Similarly, unforeseen catalysts help a number of stocks gain despite an earnings miss.That said, betting on stocks that are expected to beat earnings expectations does increase the odds of success. This is why it's worth checking a company's Earnings ESP and Zacks Rank ahead of its quarterly release. Make sure to utilize our Earnings ESP Filter to uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they've reported.Beyond Meat doesn't appear a compelling earnings-beat candidate. However, investors should pay attention to other factors too for betting on this stock or staying away from it ahead of its earnings release. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksNov 3rd, 2021

27 of the best gifts for vegans in 2021, from cookbooks to cruelty-free skincare sets

Cookbooks, dairy-free chocolates, and humane beauty products always make for good vegan gifts. Here are 27 items any plant-based person will love. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Uladzislau Salikhau/Getty Images Most vegans love to cook, so food, cookbooks, and kitchen accessories make for great gifts. Veganism is a lifestyle, so sustainable and animal-free products also make for great gifts. Still looking for a gift? Check out our list of the All-Time Best products we've ever tested. Whether for environmental, ethical, health, or animal rights reasons, more and more people are going vegan than ever before. If you're not vegan, it may be intimidating to know what to gift someone living a plant-based lifestyle, but we've got you covered. I would know - not only did I used to be vegan myself, but my dad has been vegan for nearly 10 years, so I comb through the available options every year for birthdays and Christmas. I've picked 27 vegan gifts across food, home, and beauty. You may have a vegan friend or know someone flirting with plant-based eating - or you may even be thinking about it yourself. Either way, each gift idea is extremely useful or nutritious, and we made sure to include items across various price points.The 27 best gifts for vegans: A cookbook for their favorite Impossible Burger Amazon "Impossible: The Cookbook: How to Save Our Planet, One Delicious Meal at a Time," $14.99, available at AmazonImpossible Foods is a godsend to those who gave up meat but not their taste for the stuff. The brand's cookbook, released in 2020, lays out tons of different recipes on how to use its ridiculously good vegan meat imitations for dishes beyond just burgers so you can swap beef, pork or chicken out for the Impossible variety and have a more sustainable meal, any night of the week. A great vegan shower set Lush Lush All the Best Gift Set, $38, available at LushWe love vegan beauty brand Lush for its high-quality ingredients and its gift sets even come in eco-friendly and recycled packaging. Its All the Best gift set includes top-selling citrusy Olive Branch shower gel, soothing Dream Cream body lotion, gently exfoliating Rub Rub Rub shower scrub, and calming Honey I Washed the Kids soap. Delicious vegan "chicken" nuggets NUGGS Simulate NUGGS Vegan Chicken Nuggets, $35 for 2 lbs or $45 for 4 lbsEach serving of NUGGS vegan "chicken" nuggets packs a powerful 13 grams of protein. Their crunch is unreal, and they go best with a good dipping sauce. Who said vegan food doesn't have flavor or protein? A cruelty-free nail polish primers set Pear Nova Pear Nova Classic Essentials Nail Set, $50, available at Pear NovaThis nail polish brand is  high-quality, vegan, cruelty-free, and 10-free, which means created without the 10 most common chemicals found in nail polish. The Classic Essentials set makes for a great gift with an all-vegan base coat, top coat, green tea cutical oil, and one long-lasting color of your choice. Artisan vegan ice cream Van Leeuwen Van Leeuwen Vegan Best Sellers, $55, available at Van LeeuwenWhat started as a small artisan ice cream shop out of a Brooklyn food truck, Van Leeuwen's vegan ice cream is worlds ahead of the mass-produced pints you can pick up at the grocery store. The Vegan Best Seller variety pack comes with five mouth-watering flavors, including Oat Milk Brown Sugar Chunk and Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam, all packed in dry ice for safe transport. A gadget for preparing tofu faster and better Amazon EZ Tofu Press, $22.50, available at AmazonA tofu press helps remove excess water from tofu, giving it a meatier texture and letting it absorb more of what you're cooking. This dishwasher-safe tofu press works quickly to reduce waiting time between prep and cooking. A fun poster of every fruit and vegetable Popchart The Taxonomy of Fruits & Vegetables, $40, available at PopchartThis poster is for the serious produce nerd, who wants to know which root vegetables helm from the East and which from the West —  or who might just like plant-based art on the wall. From tomatoes to nuts to bulbs, this poster classifies nearly every fruit and vegetable both botanically and geographically. Ridiculously delicious vegan chocolate Honey Mama's Honey Mama's Mini 10 Pack, $30, available at Honey Mama'sThese melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bars from Honey Mama make for great stocking stuffers, but they're so ridiculously delicious they can definitely stand on their own as an entire gift. This gift set includes two of each of the brand's five best-selling bars including tahini tangerine and coffee nib crunch. Note that they will melt above 72 degrees, so keep them refrigerated until shortly before gifting. A vegan grooming set for men Scotch Porter Scotch Porter Face Care Collection, $35, available at Scotch PorterThis USA-based, black-owned, male-focused grooming company was started by a former barber and steers clear of chemicals, animal ingredients, and animal testing. We love its hair products and beard care kits, but the vegan face care collection — featuring face wash, scrub, and lotion derived from powerful ingredients like pomegranate enzymes and turmeric root — makes for a great gift any guy can use.Read our full review of Scotch Porter products. Protein-packed chocolate chip cookies Lenny & Larry Four-pack of Lenny & Larry's Protein Cookies, from $21.87These cookies are the perfect stocking stuffer for a vegan with a sweet tooth, and they're packed with good stuff too; each cookie has 10 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. If the chocolate chip isn't the right flavor, there are 10 others to try, like birthday cake or snickerdoodle. Read more about Lenny & Larry's cookies. An award-winning makeup brush Yubi Yubi Miracle Brush, $24Plenty of makeup brushes are made with animal hair, and oftentimes, they're not cruelty-free. Yubi's ergonomic, vegan makeup brush helps get full coverage when applying any liquid, cream, or powder makeup or skincare. This brush is so innovative that it was on Time Magazine's list of Best Inventions in 2018. A charitable candle that smells like apple pie Lulus Candles Lulu "Furr a Cause" Candles, $15, available at AmazonThis apple cinnamon-scented, hand-poured candle includes a $3 donation to groups that rescue abandoned animals. Some candles are made with stearic acid, or animal fat, to maximize thickness and opacity. This one uses vegan soy wax instead. A vegan soul food cookbook with more than 100 recipes Harmony Publishing "Sweet Potato Soul" by Jenné Claiborne, $13.50Jenné Claiborne grew up eating soul food in Georgia, went vegan, and then became a chef and blogger. Her cookbook includes more than 100 soul food recipes all the way from her "Sweet Jesus! Mac & Cheese" to her "Jackfruit Jambalaya." A sparkly lip duo from an Indigenous-owned brand Cheekbone Beauty Cheekbone Beauty Sustain Lip Kit, $47.58, available at Cheekbone BeautyThis kit contains a highly pigmented matte lip pencil, creamy satin lipstick, and finisher lipgloss in five shades to choose from. Each is poured by hand, paraben-free, and packaged in biodegradable materials. Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-founded and owned beauty brand out of Canada with a mission of sustainable beauty and giving back to Indigenous youth. Artisan Asian seasoning for meat substitutes Omsom Omsom The Vegan Set, $45, available at OmsomWomen-founded Omsom brings authentic, hard-to-source Asian flavorings to your table, and its vegan set comes with 12 seasoning pack starters ideal for ramping up the flavor on everything from eggplant to tofu. It's one of our top recommendations for vegans who love to grill, as well as gifts for home chefs, by professional chefs. Reusable cotton produce bags for stocking up on essentials Grove Co. Grove Co. Reusable Organic Cotton Mesh Produce bags, $12.95, available at Grove Co.Plant-based diets are often rich with fruits and vegetables. This set of six reusable bags are great for produce, grains, and other bulk items. Especially good for the environmentalist, they help cut plastic consumption. A do-it-all nonstick pan with a non-toxic coating Our Place Our Place Always Pan, $145This genius pan brings ease to the kitchen. The Always Pan has a non-toxic and nonstick ceramic coating, and it includes a lid, spatula, and steamer basket all perfectly sized to fit the pan. It's designed to replace eight traditional pieces of cookware and can be used to make everything from steamed vegan dumplings to tofu scrambles to Impossible burgers and more.Read our full review of the Our Place Always Pan. Nourishing and trendy lip balms Sephora GOOPGENES Clean Nourishing Lip Balm Trio, $42, available at SephoraThis clean beauty set from goop beauty took three years to formulate. The result: silky, nourishing lip balms free of parabens, dyes, fragrances, and animal testing. The trio features one clear, one translucent garnet, and a sheer rose balm. A tropical-smelling vegan lotion Love Beauty & Planet Love Beauty and Planet Shea Velvet Body Lotion, $9, available at TargetWinter and the pandemic's frequent handwashing take a serious toll on the skin. Most folks will appreciate having one of these paraben-free and vegan lotions on deck.Read our review of Love Beauty and Planet here.  Cookie dough that you can eat raw DŌ DŌ Build-Your-Own 4-Pack, $50This NYC-based kitchen makes safe-to-eat cookie dough (and dreams come true) with shipping directly to your door. DŌ carries two vegan flavors: chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter snickerdoodle, which is also gluten-free. An infused sea salt gift set for fancier dish finishes Jacobsen Salt Co. Jacobsen Salt Co. Six Vial Infused Salt Set, $35, available at Jacobsen Salt Co.Finishing salt can transform any dish, especially vegetables which brighten upon contact with the mineral. Add a flavor infusion like pinot noir, garlic, or rosemary to the salt and you score another layer of flavoring, too. We love the high-quality tasting salts that come out of Portland-based Jacobsen Salt Co. and this set with six vials and a wood stand makes for a lovely gift for any cook. A versatile pellet smoker for tastier vegetables Camp Chef Camp Chef Woodwind Wifi 24, $900, available at Camp ChefIf you're looking for a big-ticket gift for the vegan who loves to cook, a wood-pellet smoker will add depth and flavor, and open a whole new world of fun, to cooking vegetables, tofu, and plant-based burgers. The Woodwind Wifi 24 is the most versatile smoker among those we've tested as it lets you smoke, grill, braise, bake, and boil, all extremely well, as well as being easy to operate with its digital, wifi-enabled display. An all-in-one wallet Pixie Mood Pixie Mood Quinn Card Holder, $30, available at AmazonThis simple wallet, made from vegan leather, is sleek, slim enough to fit in a back pocket, and very affordable. It has room for 5 cards outside and a zippered compartment for cash, and the vegan leather softens over time just like the animal variety.Read our full review of the Pixie Mood Quinn Card Holder. A brew-your-own-Kombucha kit Amazon The Kombucha Shop Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit, $80, available At AmazonSave money and score a new hobby by brewing your own kombucha at home. We like this kit because it supplies everything you need for the process other than tea, sugar, and water, including the SCOBY starter, stainless steel strainer, pH test strips, and six 16 oz. bottles once its ready, among many other items. Read our full review of The Kombucha Shop Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit. A trendy, vegan magic shirt Etsy Magical GadAbout Vegan Magic Shirt, $25, available at EtsyThis cute tee is perfect for the Millennial or Gen Z vegan in your life. All the t-shirts from this Nashville-based Etsy shop are 100% cotton, comfortable, and pre-shrunk. A soothing jade eye mask for meditating Uncommon Goods Jade Gemstone Relaxation Mask, $48, available at Uncommon GoodsSlightly weighted and cool (especially if you store it in the freezer), this jade mask will help you find tranquility, soothe tired, puffy eyes, and help relax your facial muscles. It's a great chic addition to a regular meditation practice, too. Greeting cards that can be planted to become flowers Etsy Marissa Kay Apothecary Plantable Seed Cards, $20 for six, available at EtsyThese cards are crafted from handmade lokta paper by locals in rural Nepal and feature wildflower seeds within the construction. Not only are they a beautiful card to write a thank you or a hello inside of, but the receiver can then plant the card and watch wildflowers grow. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 3rd, 2021

Will Ukraine Run Out Of Energy Soon?

Will Ukraine Run Out Of Energy Soon? Via, Over the past months, Ukrainian politicians have been persistently throwing red meat to Moscow through the acts of aggression against the Nord Stream-2 pipeline, the recent escalation of the conflict in Donbass with the use of UAVs and the pressure on Ukrainian politician Medvedchuk, who is considered pro-Russian. All these actions had a shared ultimate objective and were aimed at forcing concessions from Moscow on issues of the Minsk agreements, Crimea’s status and natural gas transit, especially considering Nord Stream 2. Some Ukrainian experts warned about the danger of this plan, because in fact, there were many risks for Ukraine, and there were almost no counterarguments in case of offensive reaction from the Kremlin. For now, we can observe that the situation in the energy sector is following the worst-case scenario for Kiev. On November 1, Russia suspended coal exports to Ukraine that can be regarded as more than depressing news for the country in the context of the energy crisis in Europe. According to the statistics from the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy, up to October 10, the coal stocks in warehouses of thermal power plants were estimated at 623.7 thousand tons that meet the needs for just 7-10 days of work. The demand for electricity is connected to of temperature and it will continue to grow because of the upcoming winter Electricity consumption has already increased by 2.8% to 408 million kilowatt-hours, as the Ministry of Energy stated. At the same time, the world community is facing huge problems related to the depletion of coal reserves. Due to the global shortage of this type of fuel, the price is breaking records in the foreign markets, reaching $250 per ton. In addition to the price issue, it is extremely difficult to find out coal available for distribution in the market. As for the imports to Ukraine, on average, 670,000 tons of Russian coal are shipped per month, while consumption at Ukrainian power plants amounts 1.8 million tons per month. Thus, Ukrainian thermal power plants will be deprived of a third of their needs in coal amid acute shortage of this resource. The second point stands for usage of this coal at many Ukrainian power plants, such as Luhanska, Slavyanska, Kryvorizka, Darnitska, Sumska and Chernihivska. Thus, for now it’s apparent that these plants risk being completely stopped, as the overall level of generation in the country falls to critical levels. Click to see full-size image Ukraine also faces challenges with an acute shortage of gas. The price per 1,000 cubic meters for public institutions has already reached $1,700, and the start of the heating season remains questionable. Gas prices for households have have undergone manifold increases, and this happens against the backdrop of increased re-exports to European countries, i.e. the Ukrainian company “Naftogaz” signed a framework agreement with the Moldovan company “Energocom” on supply of 700 million cubic meters of gas. This decision from the Ukrainian side arises several arguable questions:  does Ukraine have so much gas to re-sell and does the Republic of Moldova have enough money, approximately $ 1 billion, to pay for energy supplies. Ukraine’s rhetoric about its energy independence from Russia sound less and less convincing at the time of fuel starvation in the country, while the objective reality dictates its own terms. As a result of the auction, which was held according to the Ukrainian legislative reserved procedure on October 27, 8 Ukrainian energy supply companies have fully purchased access to the interstate cross-section at the border with Russia for November 2021. This means that several companies controlled by oligarchs will organize the purchase of electricity from Russia and deliver it to Ukraine at resale prices, proving that there is no “energy sovereignty” or any other sovereignty of Ukraine. Illustrative Image Russian motives for not completely cutting Kiev off from energy supplies are clear. Moscow is not interested in completely disintegrating Ukraine as a state, as it could only worsen the unstable situation near its western borders. At the same time, actions of the Ukrainian side can be regarded as irrational due to the external management of the Kiev regime by Euro-Atlantic elites, and the Ukrainian authorities choose to take risks even if their country is close to be considered as a failed-state. For the European community, this means a risk of further deterioration of the already unstable political situation with such consequences as increasing refugee flows, disrupted supply chains, worsening criminality in the region, and the cost of peacekeeping process. Tyler Durden Wed, 11/03/2021 - 03:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 3rd, 2021

China Junk Bond Yields Hit All Time High As Property Default Contagion Spreads, Home Sales Plunge 32%

China Junk Bond Yields Hit All Time High As Property Default Contagion Spreads, Home Sales Plunge 32% It may seem like ancient history now, with the S&P obliviously plowing ever higher, but just over a month ago stocks briefly panicked over fears that China's property market, the largest single asset-class in the world according to Goldman... ... was about to implode as a result of a domino effect of Evergrande's upcoming bankruptcy. And while US equities have clearly moved on since then, the contagion within China's property sector has spread widely, and in the first two days of November, the selloff in Chinese developers’ debt has deepened with one of the 20 biggest developers joining a host of firms looking to dodge defaults as debt crises effectively shut them out of the overseas financing market. Yango Group became the latest developer trying to improve its liquidity and avoid default by delaying near-term bond payments, Bloomberg reported. The Shanghai-based builder, which ranked as the 18th biggest in the nation by contracted sales, is seeking to extend three of its dollar notes as “existing internal resources may be insufficient,” according to a stock exchange filing. The company’s warning of a possible default is intensifying investor concerns that developers are caught in a negative credit loop as refinancing risks prompting firms to curb spending and reduce sales. Yango shares fell as much as 9% Monday in Shenzhen, hitting a seven-year low. Several of its onshore bonds plunged to record lows, prompting trading halts. The 5.3% bonds due Jan 2022 , which were trading above 90 just one month ago (during the peak of the Evergrande crisis) closed at an all time low of 22 cents on the dollar. Not surprisingly, Chinese rating agency Golden Credit Rating cut Yango Group’s credit rating to AA+ from AAA, citing mounting pressure on debt repayment, according to a statement to Shenzhen stock exchange. Yango’s outlook was cut to negative from stable by Golden Credit and Dagong Global Credit: statement. This is after the bonds lost 80% of their value in just over a month. The relentless contagion inside China's property sector pushed the country's dollar high-yield bonds to fall for a ninth straight day Tuesday after tumbling nearly 9 cents on the dollar in October, closing out the worst two-month slide in a decade. The average yield in the dollar junk bond index touched a record 21.5% on Tuesday, surpassing even the Sept 2011 repo crisis highs. Yuzhou Group Holdings Co.’s bond due 2025 tumbled 11.6 cents to 38 cents, on pace for its biggest drop in since March, while Sunac China Holdings Ltd.’s note due 2026 fell 5.3 cents to 65.5 cents. Amid the carnage, more property firms have been scrambling to avoid missing debt deadlines recently, as the government clampdown on the real estate sector and a liquidity crisis at Evergrande make it tougher for firms to roll over their dollar debt. Other recent examples include Xinyuan Real Estate which last month secured approval on an exchange offer for a bond. “We will see more of such offers or even defaults in coming weeks and months,” according to Eddie Chia, portfolio manager at China Life Franklin. “Yango is a top developer that had normal operations, albeit slightly more leverage, but clearly it is threatened by a confidence crisis,” he said. “The other developers in the dollar bond market are much smaller than Yango, and most issuers cannot survive if the market is closed.” Of course, extending payment deadlines is just a temporary solution; without the underlying cash flow the inevitable default becomes just a question of timing. Still, some investors are betting that granting reprieves now will allow firms to improve their liquidity when the primary market re-opens for China’s riskier borrowers, though it’s unclear when that may happen.Fitch Ratings highlighted that Xinyuan’s default risks remain high, for instance, even after it raised its issuer default rating on the firm to CC from restricted default. Unfortunately, it's not looking good for the core business: in fact it's looking downright terrible - China’s top 100 developers saw new-home sales fall 32% from a year earlier in October, according to China Real Estate Information Corp. after a similar slump in September. More than 80% of the developers saw property sales decline year over year last month, with 44 developers recording drops of more than 30% and 37 developers saw home sales decline on both month-on-month and year-on-year basis, the latest data showed prompting analysts to say it’s almost certain that the housing market will cool further and the outlook for developers’ sales in the fourth quarter is not optimistic. Among the 29 major cities monitored by CRIC, residential property sales by floor space fell by 3% in October from a month earlier, sliding 22% from the same period last year and down 12% from the same period in 2019. In particular, home sales in the 25 tier-2 and tier-3 cities declined 4% month over month in October and dropped 23% from a year earlier, showed the data. Despite the chill, 32 developers managed to achieve sales of more than 100 billion yuan in the first ten months of the year, six more than the same period last year, and 148 developers’ revenue for the 10-month period exceeded 10 billion yuan, according to data from China Index Academy, one of the largest independent real estate research firms in China. As Yuan Talk notes, Country Garden ranked the top with 676.1 billion yuan home sales in the first ten months of the year, followed by Vanke, Sunac and Poly, according to China Index Academy. The top four developers’ total home sales during the period reached 2.17 trillion yuan. The top 32 developers’ home sales growing by an average of 10.6 per cent year over year, while the average growth for 23 developers with 50 – 100 billion yuan sales in January – October was at 17.5 per cent, 28 developers with 30 – 50 billion sales at 21.3 per cent and 34 developers with sales at 20 – 30 billion yuan at 24.3 per cent and developers with sales at 10 – 20 billion yuan at 21.3 per cent, according to data from China Index Academy. Separate data from China Index Academy showed that property developers’ bond issuance reached 13 billion yuan in October, only about 40 per cent of the 32.8 billion yuan in September. Their offshore bond issuance fell significantly to only 8.427 billion yuan. If local companies are locked out of the bond market their defaults are virtually assured: with cash from operations collapsing, if they are unable to roll over upcoming maturities into new debt, a default tsunami is virtually assured. Meanwhile, amid rising scrutiny over China’s weakest players, not all firms will be able to secure bond extensions. Modern Land China failed to repay either the principal or interest on a $250 million bond late last month after it earlier terminated a proposal to extend the bond’s maturity by three months. The lack of government assistance means much more pain is in store: after at least four builders defaulted last month, limited access to refinancing channels has threatened a wave of delinquencies: some of China’s worst-performing dollar junk bond borrowers have some $2 billion in onshore and offshore bond payments due November. And as investors focus on who files next, here are the developers with payments due this week: Scenery Journey Ltd. $41.9 million coupon on note due 2022: Nov. 6 Scenery Journey $40.6 million coupon on note due 2023: Nov. 6 Zhenro Properties Group Ltd. $13.7 million coupon on note due 2023: Nov. 6 Central China Real Estate Ltd. $7.79 million coupon on note due 2023: Nov. 7 Amid a growing panic that not a single developer will be able to meat their obligations, some firms are loudly telegraphing their ability to meet debt obligations writes Bloomberg's Sofia Horta e Costa. On Monday, Zhenro Properties Group said it informed a bond trustee it will redeem its 5.95% dollar notes early in full on Nov. 16. Central China Real Estate on Tuesday said it has remitted funds to a trustee for payment of its 6.75% dollar bonds, which are due Nov. 8. And while creditors of these companies can breathe a sigh of relief that their next coupon payments are incoming, we doubt they will hang around for the next one with the situation across China's property sector as dire as it was during the depths of the global financial crisis and getting worse with every month. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/02/2021 - 19:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

The 9 most anticipated movies premiering in November, from Marvel"s "Eternals" to Netflix"s "Red Notice"

Marvel's "Eternals" is this month's most anticipated movie among TV Time users despite poor reviews. Angelina Jolie as Thena in "Eternals." Marvel Studios Every month, the app TV Time provides Insider a list of the most anticipated new movies being released, based on the movies its US users have indicated they intend to watch. "Eternals" topped the list this month, despite receiving the worst reviews of any Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. Netflix's "Red Notice" and Disney's "Encanto" also made the list. 9. "King Richard" - in theaters and on HBO Max, November 19 Will Smith in "King Richard." Warner Bros. Description: "Based on the true story that will inspire the world, Warner Bros. Pictures' 'King Richard' follows the journey of Richard Williams, an undeterred father instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time, who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%What critics said: "As stirring and heart-warming as you'd like, this is a hugely touching family opus. It's nothing revolutionary, but it's straight from the heart and gets you in the gut." — Empire 8. "Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City" - in theaters, November 24 Sony Description: "In RESIDENT EVIL: WELCOME TO RACCOON CITY, once the booming home of pharmaceutical giant Umbrella Corporation, Raccoon City is now a dying Midwestern town. The company's exodus left the city a wasteland…with great evil brewing below the surface. When that evil is unleashed, a group of survivors must work together to uncover the truth behind Umbrella and make it through the night." 7. "The Harder They Fall" - on Netflix, November 3 Jonathan Majors costars in Netflix's "The Harder They Fall." David Lee/Netflix Description: "Gunning for revenge, outlaw Nat Love saddles up with his gang to take down enemy Rufus Buck, a ruthless crime boss who just got sprung from prison."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 87%What critics said: "Bursting with dazzling Black stars, the Netflix-made Western introduces some of the fascinating Black cowpokes who made their mark on the Wild West." — Mashable 6. "Finch" - on Apple TV+, November 5 Tom Hanks in "Finch." Apple Description: "Tom Hanks is Finch, a man who embarks on a moving and powerful journey to find a new home for his unlikely family — his beloved dog and a newly created robot — in a dangerous and ravaged world. "  5. "House of Gucci" - in theaters, November 24 Adam Driver and Lady Gaga in "House of Gucci." MGM Description: "House of Gucci is inspired by the shocking true story of the family empire behind the Italian fashion house of Gucci. Spanning three decades of love, betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately murder, we see what a name means, what it's worth, and how far a family will go for control." 4. "Encanto" - in theaters, November 24 Disney Description: "Walt Disney Animation Studios' upcoming feature film 'Encanto' tells the tale of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family who live in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. Each child has been blessed with a magic gift unique to them — each child except Mirabel. But when the family's home is threatened, Mirabel may be their only hope." 3. "Red Notice" - on Netflix, November 12 Dwayne Johnson in "Red Notice." Netflix Description: "An Interpol-issued Red Notice is a global alert to hunt and capture the world's most wanted. But when a daring heist brings together the FBI's top profiler (Johnson) and two rival criminals (Gadot, Reynolds), there's no telling what will happen." 2. "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" - in theaters, November 19 Mckenna Grace in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife." Sony Description: "From director Jason Reitman and producer Ivan Reitman, comes the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife, when a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 77%What critics said: "An homage to and continuation of the 1984 Ghostbusters that painstakingly mines that movie for props, lines, and characters while giving no indication of being aware of what it was like to actually watch." — Vulture 1. "Eternals" - in theaters, November 5 Richard Madden in "Eternals." Marvel Studios Description: "Marvel Studios' Eternals features an exciting new team of Super Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ancient aliens who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind's most ancient enemy, the Deviants."Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 59%What critics said: "Eternals is so busy showing off what it can do, where it can go, that it bypasses and overlooks what it really has to offer. There are real dilemmas, real battles of interest buried beneath the soft-pedaled, naturally-lit, cozy surfaces of this movie." — Rolling Stone Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 1st, 2021

Tesla’s “Rounding Error” Of Sales Improvement

Stanphyl Capital’s commentary for the month ended October 31, 2021, discussing their short position in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Biggest Bubble In Modern Stock Market History We remain short the biggest bubble in modern stock market history, Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which now has a completely absurd diluted […] Stanphyl Capital’s commentary for the month ended October 31, 2021, discussing their short position in Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The Biggest Bubble In Modern Stock Market History We remain short the biggest bubble in modern stock market history, Tesla Inc. (TSLA), which now has a completely absurd diluted market cap of $1.25 trillion. Perhaps this ridiculousness is best shown graphically, courtesy of @MichalStupavsky and @AlbertBridgeCap; note that both these graphics were created hundreds of billions of dollars ago in Tesla market cap, and when viewing them please keep in mind that Tesla’s share of the world auto market is only around 1.1% (yes, one POINT one percent): And yet at some point when momentum-riding Tesla bulls (or, for that matter, bears) least expect it, TSLA will recouple with “reality,” and that’s why I continue to maintain a core short position. So here’s “reality”… Tesla has no “moat” of any kind; i.e., nothing meaningfully proprietary in terms of electric car technology, while existing automakers—unlike Tesla­—have a decades-long “experience moat” of knowing how to mass-produce, distribute and service high-quality cars consistently and profitably. Excluding sunsetting emission credit sales Tesla is barely profitable. Growth in sequential unit demand for Tesla’s cars is at a crawl relative to expectations. Elon Musk is a pathological liar who under the terms of his SEC settlement cannot deny having committed securities fraud. Tesla's Q3 Deliveries In October Tesla reported Q3 deliveries of 241,000 cars, 18,000 more than Wall Street’s “official” consensus and around 11,000 more than the 230,000-delivery “whisper number.” These (and even the entire 40,000-unit gain over Q2) are rounding errors for an auto company trading at even one-tenth of Tesla’s valuation. If in any quarter GM or VW or Toyota sold 2.04 million vehicles instead of 2 million or 1.96 million, no one would pay the slightest bit of attention to the difference. Seeing as Tesla is now being valued at nearly sixteen GMs, it’s time to start looking at its relatively tiny numerical sequential sales growth, rather than Wall Street’s sell-side hype of “percentage off a small base.” In other words, if you want to be valued at a giant multiple of “the big boys,” you should be treated as a big boy. In fact, a favorite hype story from Tesla fans has been “the China market” and its “record” number of 73,659 Q3 deliveries there. Let’s put this in perspective: this was only around 4000 more cars than in Q1 and only around 11,000 more than in Q2—these are “growth” rounding errors. And that “record” Q3 China quarter gave it just 1.5% of the overall passenger vehicle market and just 11% of the BEV market, and it had so much excess capacity that it exported tens of thousands of cars to Europe. And now in October, Tesla sales in China reportedly fell back to just 12,000 units. Remember when Musk claimed that Tesla’s Chinese domestic demand alone would need multiple factories to satisfy? Ah, the good old days! One likely way Tesla was able to post an upside surprise in Q3 deliveries was because competitors’ production (and thus inventories) were at the lowest level in decades due to the massive chip shortage, thereby eliminating a number of “Tesla alternatives.” Meanwhile, Tesla had record production because Musk (a notorious “corner-cutter”) was apparently willing to substitute untested, non-auto-grade chips for the more durable chips he couldn’t get; please see my Twitter post about this. Rounding Error As for the demand implications of the new U.S. EV tax credit (assuming it passes in its current form—which, by the way, benefits GM & Ford’s union-made cars with a $12,500 per-car credit vs. just $8000 for each Tesla), please see my Twitter thread as to why—relative to Tesla’s insane valuation and its fans’ expectations—it will likely result in just another “rounding error” of sales improvement. In its Q3 earnings report (released in October), Tesla claimed it made around $1.3 billion in free cash flow (defined as operating cash flow less capex). However, this number appears to be entirely due to working capital adjustments and not from the business itself. Let me explain: Tesla claimed operating cash flow of around $3.2 billion for the quarter, but this came with the benefit of accounts payable increasing by $702 million, receivables declining by $167 million and accrued liabilities up by $665 million while (detrimentally) prepaid expenses increased by $144 million. Adjusting for that massive net working capital benefit, operating cash flow was only a bit over $1.8 billion and with capex at $1.8 billion it means Tesla’s Q3 free cash flow was essentially zero; i.e., it’s a horrible business. Also in its Q3 report Tesla claimed it made around $1.45 billion in net income after excluding $279 million of pure-profit emission credit sales (excluded because they’ll almost entirely disappear some time next year when other automakers will have enough EVs of their own), and after adding back a $50 million Bitcoin write-down. However, that earnings number also includes what I estimate to be Tesla’s usual $300 million or so in unsustainably low warranty provisioning, and after adjusting for that and assuming no other fraudulent accounting, Tesla only earned around $1.06/share, which annualizes to $4.24. An auto industry PE multiple of 10x would thus make TSLA worth around $42/share (admittedly, more than the “$0” I once expected), while a “growth multiple” of 20x would value it at $84, which is almost a 93% discount to October’s closing price of $1114. And before you tell me that a 100% premium to the industry’s PE ratio isn’t enough, keep in mind that—as noted earlier—Tesla’s sequential unit growth is an auto industry rounding error. In fact, one could argue that Tesla’s multiple should carry a discount, considering the massive legal and financial liabilities continually generated by its pathologically lying CEO. Meanwhile Tesla continues to sell (and book cash flow, if not accounting revenue from) its fraudulent & dangerous so-called “Full Self Driving.” In a sane regulatory environment Tesla having done this for five years now would be considered “consumer fraud,” and indeed the regulatory tide may finally be turning, as in August two U.S. Senators demanded an FTC investigation and in October the NHTSA appointed a harsh critic of this deadly product to advise on its regulation. (For all known Tesla deaths see Are major write-downs and refunds on the way, killing the company’s slight “claimed profitability”? Stay tuned! And remember, the 2021 overview from Guidehouse Insights rates Tesla dead last among autonomous competitors: Proprietary Battery Technology Another favorite Tesla hype story has been built around so-called “proprietary battery technology.” In fact though, Tesla has nothing proprietary there—it doesn’t make them, it buys them from Panasonic, CATL and LG, and it’s the biggest liar in the industry regarding the real-world range of its cars. And if new-format 4680 cells enter the market some time in 2022 (as is now expected), their manufacturers will gladly sell them to anyone. Meanwhile, the quality of the Model Y—is awful, and that car faces current (or imminent) competition from the much better built electric Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, Mercedes EQA, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach E, Nissan Ariya, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. And Tesla’s Model 3 now has terrific direct “sedan competition” from Volvo’s beautiful Polestar 2 and the premium version of Volkswagen’s ID.3 (in Europe), and later this year from the BMW i4, plus multiple local competitors in China. And in the high-end electric car segment worldwide the Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan outsell the Models S & X (and the newly updated Tesla models with their dated exteriors and idiotic shifters & steering wheels won’t change this), while the spectacular new Mercedes EQS, Audi e-Tron GT and Lucid Air make the Tesla Model S look like a fast Yugo, while the extremely well reviewed new BMW iX does the same to the Model X. And oh, the joke of a “pickup truck” Tesla previewed in 2019 (and still hasn’t shown in production-ready form) won’t be much of “growth engine” either, as it will enter a dogfight of a market; in fact, in May Ford formally introduced its terrific new all-electric F-150 Lightning which now has over 150,000 reservations, Rivian’s pick-up has gotten fantastic early reviews, and in January at CES GM will introduce its electric Silverado. Meanwhile, Tesla quality ranks 30th among 33 brands in the latest J.D. Power dependability survey… …and second-to-last in the latest Consumer Reports reliability survey: …while the most recent What Car? survey shows similar results with Tesla finishing #29 out of 31, and now quality is slipping in China. Regarding safety, as noted earlier in this letter, Tesla continues to deceptively sell its hugely dangerous so-called “Autopilot” system, which Consumer Reports has completely eviscerated; God only knows how many more people this monstrosity unleashed on public roads will kill, despite the NTSB condemning it. Elsewhere in safety, in 2020 the Chinese government forced the recall of tens of thousands of Teslas for a dangerous suspension defect the company spent years trying to cover up, and now Tesla has been hit by a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. for the same defect. Tesla also knowingly sold cars that it knew were a fire hazard and did the same with solar systems, and after initially refusing to do so voluntarily, it was forced to recall a dangerously defective touchscreen. In other words, when it comes to the safety of customers and innocent bystanders, Tesla is truly one of the most vile companies on Earth. Meanwhile the massive number of lawsuits of all types against the company continues to escalate. So Here Is Tesla’s Competition In Cars (Note: These Links Are Regularly Updated)... Porsche Taycan Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Porsche Macan Electric SUV Officially Coming in 2023 Volkswagen ID.3 Headlines VW's Electrified Future Volkswagen ID.4 Electric SUV Volkswagen ID 6 to arrive with 435-mile range in 2023 Volkswagen Aero B: new electric Passat equivalent spied VW’s Cupra brand counts on performance for Born EV Cupra, VW brand to get entry-level battery-powered cars Audi e-tron Audi e-tron Sportback Audi E-tron GT Audi Q4 e-tron Audi Q6 e-tron confirmed for 2022 launch Audi previews long-range A6 e-tron EV Audi TT set to morph into all-electric crossover Hyundai Ioniq 5 Hyundai Ioniq 6 spotted ahead of 2022 launch Hyundai Kona Electric Genesis reveals their first EV on the E-GMP platform, the electric GV60 crossover Genesis aims to go all-electric from 2025 Kia Niro Electric: 239-mile range & $39,000 before subsidies Kia EV6: Charging towards the future Kia EV4 on course to grow electric SUV range Jaguar’s All-Electric i-Pace Jaguar to become all-electric brand; Land Rover to Get 6 electric models Daimler will invest more than $47B in EVs and be all-electric ready by 2030 Mercedes EQS: the first electric vehicle in the luxury class Mercedes EQS SUV takes shape Mercedes-Benz unveils EQE electric sedan with impressive 400-mile range Mercedes EQE SUV to rival BMW iX and Tesla Model X Mercedes EQC electric SUV available now in Europe & China Mercedes-Benz Launches the EQV, its First Fully-Electric Passenger Van Mercedes-Benz EQB Makes Its European Debut, US Sales Confirmed Mercedes-Benz unveils EQA electric SUV with 265 miles of range and ~$46,000 price Ford Mustang Mach-E Available Now Ford F-150 Lightning electric pick-up available 2022 Ford set to launch ‘mini Mustang Mach-E’ electric SUV in 2023 Ford to offer EV versions of Explorer, Aviator, ‘rugged SUVs' Volvo Polestar 2 Volvo XC40 Recharge Volvo C40 electric sedan to challenge Tesla Model 3, VW ID3 Polestar 3 will be an electric SUV that shares its all-new platform with next Volvo XC90 Chevy updates, expands Bolt EV family as price drops Cadillac All-Electric Lyriq Available Spring 2022 GMC ALL-ELECTRIC SUPERTRUCK HUMMER EV GM to build electric Silverado in Detroit with estimated range of more than 400 miles GMC to launch electric Hummer SUV in 2023 GM will offer 30 all-electric models globally by 2025 GM Launches BrightDrop to Electrify the Delivery of Goods and Services Nissan vows to hop back on EV podium with Ariya Nissan LEAF e+ with 226-mile range is available now BMW leads off EV offensive with iX3 BMW expands EV offerings with iX tech flagship and i4 sedan 2022 BMW iX1 electric SUV spied BMW 3-series EV coming Rivian R1T Is the Most Remarkable Pickup We’ve Ever Driven Renault upgrades Zoe electric car as competition intensifies Renault Dacia Spring Electric SUV Renault to boost low-volume Alpine brand with 3 EVs Renault's electric Megane will debut new digital cockpit Stellantis promises 'heart-of-the-market SUV' from new, 8-vehicle EV platform Alfa Romeo is latest Stellantis brand to get all-electric future Peugeot e-208 PEUGEOT E-2008: THE ELECTRIC AND VERSATILE SUV Peugeot 308 will get full-electric version Citroen compact EV challenges VW ID3 on price Maserati to launch electric sports car Mini Cooper SE Electric Toyota's bZ4X EV gets 300-mile range, steer by wire; first of 7 BEVs by 2025 Opel sees electric Corsa as key EV entry 2021 Vauxhall Mokka revealed as EV with sharp looks, massive changes Skoda Enyaq iV electric SUV offers range of power, battery sizes Electric Skoda Enyaq coupe to muscle-in on Tesla Model 3 Skoda plans small EV, cheaper variants to take on French, Korean rivals Nio to launch in five more European countries after Norway BYD will launch electric SUV in Europe The Lucid Air Achieves an Estimated EPA Range of 517 Miles on a Single Charge Bentley converting to electric-only brand All-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre to launch in 2023 – firm to be EV-only by 2030 Aston Martin will build electric vehicles in UK from 2025 Meet the Canoo, a Subscription-Only EV Pod Coming in 2021 Two new electric cars from Mahindra in India; Global Tesla rival e-car soon Former Saab factory gets new life building solar-powered Sono Sion electric cars Foxconn aims for 10% of electric car platform market by 2025 And In China... How VW Group plans to dominate China's EV market VW Goes Head-to-Head With Tesla in China With New ID.4 Crozz Electric SUV Volkswagen’s ID.3 EV to be produced by JVs with SAIC, FAW in 2021 2022 VW ID.6 Revealed With Room For Seven And Two Electric Motors China-built Audi e-tron rolls off production line in Changchun Audi Q2L e-tron debuts at Auto Shanghai Audi will build Q4 e-tron in China Audi Q5 e-tron Confirmed For China Audi in cooperation company for local electric car production with FAW FAW Hongqi starts selling electric SUV with 400km range for $32,000 FAW (Hongqi) to roll out 15 electric models by 2025 BYD goes after market left open by Tesla with four cheaper models for budget-conscious buyers BYD said to launch premium NEV brand ‘Dolphin’ in 2022 Top of Form Bottom of Form Daimler & BYD launch DENZA electric vehicle for the Chinese market Geely announces premium EV brand Zeekr Geely, Mercedes-Benz launch $780 million JV to make electric smart-branded cars Mercedes styled Denza X 7-seat electric SUV to hit market Mercedes ‘makes mark’ with China-built EQC BMW, Great Wall to build new China plant for electric cars BAIC Goes Electric, & Establishes Itself as a Force in China’s New Energy Vehicle Future BAIC BJEV, Magna ready to pour RMB2 bln in all-electric PV manufacturing JV Toyota, BYD will jointly develop electric vehicles for China Lexus to launch EV in China taking on VW and Tesla GAC Aion about to start volume production of 1,000-km range AION LX GAC Toyota to ramp up annual capacity by 400,000 NEVs GAC kicks off delivery of HYCAN 007 all-electric SUV Nio – Ready For Tomorrow Nio steps up plans for mass-market brand to compete with VW, Toyota Xpeng Motors sells multiple EV models SAIC-GM to build Ultium EV platform in Wuhan Chevrolet Menlo Electric Vehicle Launched in China Buick Launches VELITE 6 PLUS MAV Electric Vehicle in China Buick Velite 7 EV And Velite 6 PHEV Launch In China Dongfeng launches the all-electric Voyah  PSA to accelerate rollout of electrified vehicles in China SAIC, Alibaba-backed EV brand IM begins presale of first model L7 Hyundai Motor Transforming Chongqing Factory into Electric Vehicle Plant Polestar said to plan China showroom expansion to compete with Tesla Jaguar Land Rover's Chinese arm invests £800m in EV production Renault reveals series urban e-SUV K-ZE for China Renault & Brilliance detail electric van lineup for China Renault forms China electric vehicle venture with JMCG Honda to start sales of new EV-branded vehicles in China in 2022 Geely launches new electric car brand 'Geometry' – will launch 10 EVs by 2025 Geely, Foxconn form partnership to build cars for other automakers Fiat Chrysler, Foxconn Team Up for Electric Vehicles Baidu to create an intelligent EV company with automaker Geely Leapmotor starts presale of C11 electric SUV on Jan. 1 2021 Changan forms subsidiary Avatar Technology to develop smart EVs with Huawei, CATL WM Motors/Weltmeister Chery Seres Enovate China's cute Ora R1 electric hatch offers a huge range for less than US$9,000 Singulato JAC Motors releases new product planning, including many NEVs Seat to make purely electric cars with JAC VW in China Iconiq Motors Hozon Aiways Skyworth Auto Youxia CHJ Automotive begins to accept orders of Leading Ideal ONE Infiniti to launch Chinese-built EV in 2022 Human Horizons Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi to launch electric car business with $10 billion investment Lifan Technology to roll out three EV models with swappable batteries in 2021 Here’s Tesla’s Competition In Autonomous Driving... Waymo ranked top & Tesla last in Guidehouse leaderboard on automated driving systems Tesla has a self-driving strategy other companies abandoned years ago Fiat Chrysler, Waymo expand self-driving partnership for passenger, delivery vehicles Waymo and Lyft partner to scale self-driving robotaxi service in Phoenix Volvo, Waymo partner to build self-driving vehicles Jaguar and Waymo announce an electric, fully autonomous car Renault, Nissan partner with Waymo for self-driving vehicles Cruise and GM Team Up with Microsoft to Commercialize Self-Driving Vehicles Cadillac Super Cruise Sets the Standard for Hands-Free Highway Driving Honda Joins with Cruise and General Motors to Build New Autonomous Vehicle Honda launching Level 3 autonomous cars Volkswagen moves ahead with Autonomous Driving R&D for Mobility as a Service Volkswagen teams up with Microsoft to accelerate the development of automated driving VW taps Baidu's Apollo platform to develop self-driving cars in China Ford's electric Mustang will offer hands-free driving technology in 2021 ARGO AI AND FORD TO LAUNCH SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES ON LYFT NETWORK BY END OF 2021 Hyundai and Kia Invest in Aurora Toyota, Denso form robotaxi partnership with Aurora Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group complete formation of autonomous driving joint venture Amazon’s Zoox unveils electric robotaxi that can travel up to 75 mph Nvidia and Mercedes Team Up to Make Next-Gen Vehicles Daimler's heavy trucks start self-driving some of the way SoftBank, Toyota's self-driving car venture adds Mazda, Suzuki, Subaru Corp, Isuzu Daihatsu  Continental & NVIDIA Partner to Enable Production of Artificial Intelligence Self-Driving Cars Mobileye and Geely to Offer Most Robust Driver Assistance Features Mobileye Starts Testing Self-Driving Vehicles in Germany Mobileye and NIO Partner to Bring Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles to Consumers Lucid Chooses Mobileye as Partner for Autonomous Vehicle Technology AutoX, backed by Alibaba Nissan gives Japan version of Infiniti Q50 hands-free highway driving Hyundai to start autonomous ride-sharing service in Calif. raises $462 million in Toyota-led funding Baidu kicks off trial operation of Apollo robotaxi in Changsha Toyota to join Baidu's open-source self-driving platform Baidu, WM Motor announce strategic partnership for L3, L4 autonomous driving solutions Volvo will provide cars for Didi's self-driving test fleet BMW and Tencent to develop self-driving car technology together BMW, NavInfo bolster partnership in HD map service for autonomous cars in China GM Invests $300 M in Momenta to deliver self-driving technologies in China FAW Hongqi readies electric SUV offering Level 4 autonomous driving Tencent, Changan Auto Announce Autonomous-Vehicle Joint Venture Huawei teams up with BAIC BJEV, Changan, GAC to co-launch self-driving car brands GAC Aion, DiDi Autonomous Driving to co-develop driverless NEV model BYD partners with Huawei for autonomous driving Lyft, Magna in Deal to Develop Hardware, Software for Self-Driving Cars Xpeng releases autonomous features for highway driving Nuro Becomes First Driverless Car Delivery Service in California Deutsche Post to Deploy Test Fleet Of Fully Autonomous Delivery Trucks ZF autonomous EV venture names first customer Magna’s new MAX4 self-driving platform offers autonomy up to Level 4 Groupe PSA’s safe and intuitive autonomous car tested by the general public Mitsubishi Electric to Exhibit Autonomous-driving Technologies in New xAUTO Test Vehicle Apple acquires self-driving startup Motional to begin robotaxi testing with Hyundai Ioniq 5 in Los Angeles Delivers on Self-Driving Electric Trucks NAVYA Unveils First Fully Autonomous Taxi Fujitsu and HERE to partner on advanced mobility services and autonomous driving Here’s Where Tesla’s Competition Will Get Its Battery Cells... Panasonic (making deals with multiple automakers) LG Samsung SK Innovation Toshiba CATL BYD Volkswagen to Build Six Electric-Vehicle Battery Factories in Europe How GM's Ultium Battery Will Help It Commit to an Electric Future Ultium (General Motors & LG joint venture) GM to develop lithium-metal batteries with SolidEnergy Systems Ford, SK Innovation announce EV battery joint venture BMW & Ford Invest in Solid Power to Secure All Solid-State Batteries for Future Electric Vehicles Stellantis, LG Energy Solution to form battery JV for N. American market Toyota to build U.S. battery plant Daimler joins Stellantis as partner in European battery cell venture ACC Renault signs EV battery deals with Envision, Verkor for French plants Nissan to build $1.4bn EV battery plant in UK with Chinese partner UK companies AMTE Power and Britishvolt plan $4.9 billion investment in battery plants Freyr Verkor Farasis Microvast Akasol Cenat Wanxiang Eve Energy Svolt Romeo Power ProLogium Hyundai Motor developing solid-state EV batteries Daimler Morrow Here’s Tesla’s Competition In Charging Networks... Electrify America is spending $2 billion building a high-speed U.S. charging network GM to distribute up to 10 chargers to each of its dealerships starting early 2022 GM, EVgo partner to expand U.S. charging network Circle K Owner Plans Electric-Car Charging Push in U.S., Canada 191 U.S. Porsche dealers are installing 350kw chargers ChargePoint to equip Daimler dealers with electric car chargers GM and Bechtel plan to build thousands of electric car charging stations across the US Ford introduces 12,000 station charging network, teams with Amazon on home installation Shell Plans To Deploy Around 500,000 Charging Points Globally By 2025 Petro-Canada Introduces Coast-to-Coast Canadian Charging Network Volta is rolling out a free charging network Ionity Europe E.ON and Virta launch one of the largest intelligent EV charging networks in Europe Volkswagen plans 36,000 charging points for electric cars throughout Europe Smatric has over 400 charging points in Austria Allego has hundreds of chargers in Europe PodPoint UK charging stations BP Chargemaster/Polar is building stations across the UK Instavolt is rolling out a UK charging network Fastned building 150kw-350kw chargers in Europe Aral To Install Over 100 Ultra-Fast Chargers In Germany Deutsche Telekom launches installation of charging network for e-cars Total to build 1,000 high-powered charging points at 300 European service-stations NIO teams up with China’s State Grid to build battery charging, swapping stations Volkswagen-based CAMS launches supercharging stations in China Volkswagen, FAW Group, JAC Motors, Star Charge formally announce new EV charging JV BMW to Build 360,000 Charging Points in China to Juice Electric Car Sales BP, Didi Jump on Electric-Vehicle Charging Bandwagon Evie rolls out ultrafast charging network in Australia Evie Networks To Install 42 Ultra-Fast Charging Sites In Australia And Here’s Tesla’s Competition In Storage Batteries... Panasonic Samsung LG BYD AES + Siemens (Fluence) GE Bosch Hitachi ABB Toshiba Saft Johnson Contols EnerSys SOLARWATT Schneider Electric Sonnen Kyocera Generac Kokam NantEnergy Eaton Nissan Tesvolt Kreisel Leclanche Lockheed Martin EOS Energy Storage ESS UET electrIQ Power Belectric Stem ENGIE Redflow Renault Primus Power Simpliphi Power redT Energy Storage Murata Bluestorage Adara Blue Planet Tabuchi Electric Aggreko Orison Moixa Powin Energy Nidec Powervault Kore Power Shanghai Electric Schmid 24M Ecoult Innolith LithiumWerks Natron Energy Energy Vault Ambri Voltstorage Cadenza Innovation Morrow Gridtential Villara Elestor   Thanks and stay healthy, Mark Spiegel Updated on Nov 1, 2021, 11:19 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 1st, 2021