Protests continued Friday night after the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright. Minnesota State Troopers corralled media and photographed their faces and identification.
Protests continued Friday night after the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright. Minnesota State Troopers corralled media and photographed their faces and identification.
The "Global Psoriatic Arthritis Epidemiology and Patient Flow - 2021" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Amdocs Limited ("Amdocs" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: DOX), and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and docketed under 21-cv-03078, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities other than Defendants that purchased or otherwise acquired Amdocs ordinary shares between December 13, 2016 and March 30, 2021, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants' violations of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against the Company and certain of its top officials.
The "Global Ankylosing Spondylitis Epidemiology and Patient Flow - 2021" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
In 1999, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant attended the New York premiere of hit rom-com "Notting Hill." (May 13)
Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that it structured $55,680,000 in financing for three skilled nursing facilities in the Chicago, Illinois area: Chalet Living & Rehab Center, The Grove of Evanston, and The Grove of La Grange Park.
The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, will announce important measures of support to in-Canada families of victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 who were Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals who were found eligible on their permanent residence application at the time of the air disasters.
The "UK Family Law Market Report 2021" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
Retirees generally rely on Social Security to help them pay for necessities. Sadly, however, while retirees aren't supposed to lose buying power because of these COLAs, the reality is very different.
The market rally is at a critical juncture as inflation fears intensify the sell-off. Bitcoin extended losses late on a Tesla move. Apple and Microsoft broke support.
The "Global Alzheimer's Disease Epidemiology and Patient Flow - 2021" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.
Dublin, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Global Acai Berry Products Market 2021-2025" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The publisher has been monitoring the acai berry products market and it is poised to grow by $317.55 million during 2021-2025, progressing at a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period. The report on the acai berry products market provides a holistic analysis, market size and forecast, trends, growth drivers, and challenges, as well as vendor analysis covering around 25 vendors.The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current global market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment. The market is driven by the increasing popularity of acai berry as a superfood and the health benefits of acai berry.The acai berry products market analysis includes the application and geographic landscape. This study identifies the growing popularity of acai bowls as one of the prime reasons driving the acai berry products market growth during the next few years. The report on acai berry products market covers the following areas: Acai berry products market sizingAcai berry products market forecastAcai berry products market industry analysis The robust vendor analysis is designed to help clients improve their market position, and in line with this, this report provides a detailed analysis of several leading acai berry products market vendors that include Acai Roots Inc., AcaiExotic, Amazonic Ventures LLC, Energy Foods International LLC, Frooty Comercio e Industria de Alimentos SA, Nossa Fruits, Organique Inc., Sambazon Inc., Sunfood, and Tropical Acai LLC. Also, the acai berry products market analysis report includes information on upcoming trends and challenges that will influence market growth. This is to help companies strategize and leverage all forthcoming growth opportunities.The study was conducted using an objective combination of primary and secondary information including inputs from key participants in the industry. The report contains a comprehensive market and vendor landscape in addition to an analysis of the key vendors.The publisher presents a detailed picture of the market by the way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources by an analysis of key parameters such as profit, pricing, competition, and promotions. It presents various market facets by identifying the key industry influencers. The data presented is comprehensive, reliable, and a result of extensive research - both primary and secondary. The market research reports provide a complete competitive landscape and an in-depth vendor selection methodology and analysis using qualitative and quantitative research to forecast the accurate market growth.Key Topics Covered: 1. Executive Summary Market overview 2. Market Landscape Market ecosystemValue chain analysis 3. Market Sizing Market definitionMarket segment analysisMarket size 2020Market outlook: Forecast for 2020 - 2025 4. Five Forces Analysis Five forces summaryBargaining power of buyersBargaining power of suppliersThreat of new entrantsThreat of substitutesThreat of rivalryMarket condition 5. Market Segmentation by Application Market segmentsComparison by ApplicationFood and beverages - Market size and forecast 2020-2025Nutraceuticals - Market size and forecast 2020-2025Others - Market size and forecast 2020-2025Market opportunity by Application 6. Customer landscape7. Geographic Landscape Geographic segmentationGeographic comparisonSouth America - Market size and forecast 2020-2025North America - Market size and forecast 2020-2025Europe - Market size and forecast 2020-2025APAC - Market size and forecast 2020-2025MEA - Market size and forecast 2020-2025Key leading countriesMarket opportunity by geographyMarket driversMarket challengesMarket trends 8. Vendor Landscape OverviewLandscape disruption 9. Vendor Analysis Vendors coveredMarket positioning of vendorsAcai Roots Inc.AcaiExoticAmazonic Ventures LLCEnergy Foods International LLCFrooty Comercio e Industria de Alimentos SANossa FruitsOrganique Inc.Sambazon Inc.SunfoodTropical Acai LLC 10. Appendix Scope of the reportCurrency conversion rates for US$Research methodologyList of abbreviations For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/nvs3z4 CONTACT: CONTACT: ResearchAndMarkets.com Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager email@example.com For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900
Waiving intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines won't do much to help with global access issues, and could actually cause setbacks to the world's vaccination effort, Pfizer wrote to a group of Democratic senators in a letter obtained by Axios. Why it matters: Pfizer — and the drug industry writ large — is on the defensive after the Biden administration announced it would support waiving vaccine patent rights. Pfizer alone likely has billions of dollars at stake.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeSome experts say the drug companies may have a point.What they're saying: "COVID-19 vaccines are complex biologic products, and their manufacturing requires specialized experience, expertise, and equipment. It is not as simple as sharing a 'recipe,'" writes Jennifer Walton, vice president of U.S. government relations.Only a handful of facilities worldwide can currently manufacture mRNA vaccines and their ingredients at a large scale, she added.Additionally, the waiver could create more competition for a finite supply of the hundreds of materials required to produce the vaccine.Instead, Pfizer has partnered with other experienced manufacturers to scale up output, and is projecting that it will produce 2.5 billion doses in 2021.Be smart: Advocates of the waiver will likely dismiss Pfizer's warning as fear-mongering for the sake of protecting its profits.Sen. Elizabeth Warren did just that at a Senate Finance hearing yesterday: "Drug companies are kicking and screaming about this waiver over the COVID vaccines because they are worried that the federal government may finally have the spine to lower drug prices," she said.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
The plan, part of a government-backed initiative, will factor in information from applicants' checking or savings accounts at other financial institutions to increase their chances of approval for getting credit cards, the report said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. The move is aimed at customers who do not have credit scores but are financially responsible, the report said, adding that the lenders would consider applicants' account balances over time and their overdraft histories. The banks are discussing using credit-reporting firms, such as Equifax, Experian PLC and TransUnion, as well as fintech company Early Warning Services LLC, for this data sharing, the WSJ report said.
Shares of XPeng Inc. rallied Thursday, after the China-based electric vehicle maker reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss and revenue that rose sevenfold to beat forecasts, with deliveries expected to rise to another record.
This stock has had 11 straight years of dividend increases and a 15% annualized return on its share price over the past 10 years.
Since last June, police in the U.S. have killed people at virtually the same rate that they have for the past five years
Tennessee Ernie Ford may have lamented owing his soul to the company store, but for many years life in a company town was a cherished situation for thousands of American workers, including my parents and grandparents, residents of Phillips, Texas, whose lives were a lot more “Blue Suede Shoes” than “Sixteen Tons.” Maybe the variable in play was the industry: Life in an oil town was different from life in a coal town. As Texas-based writer Virginia Pirtle Malicoat tells the story, Phillips was Mayberry without a sheriff — and, in its way, it was an egalitarian postwar paradise: “Part of it was the time we grew up — the 1950s,” she said in an interview with the Amarillo Globe News. “We didn’t have any worries. We had no idea who made what kind of money or who had what kind of job. We were all equal.” But, of course, they were the opposite of equal; they were in a paternalistic relationship with a multinational energy company. If that felt like family, it was like family: The organizing principle of a family is not the trivial equality among the children but the necessary inequality between children and parents. The people of Phillips found out exactly how unequal they were in the end, when Dad stopped their allowance and took away the car keys. Phillips had a good high school (with a very good football team, which mattered a great deal) but no school taxes to pay. The company paid for the schools, and, if the football team needed new equipment, the company paid for that, too. The company built the roads and kept them in good repair. The company painted your house if your house needed painting. There was no police department to pay for — and there were no utility bills to pay, either. The company covered all that. But it also owned the land beneath your house and the land your church stood on — and, when the town no longer made sense as a business proposition, Phillips, Texas, ceased to be. Residents who wanted to keep their houses put them up on trailers and hauled them away. They went from being neighbors to being trespassers. The company town as such is mostly a thing of the past. But the company-town conviction is stronger than ever. Curiously, there is an especial affection for the company-town model in two political camps that usually consider each other cultural enemies even though they share a surprising number of policy preferences: On the right, the so-called nationalists politically and spiritually aligned with the Trump movement, and, on the left, progressives inhabiting that daft slice of the political spectrum whose notable points include Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and whoever is in charge of the book-banning department at Amazon. Among conservatives, there are those who like to sneer at the Affordable Care Act provision allowing adults to stay on their parents’ health-insurance plans until they are pushing 30, but who also are eager to see corporations act — to see them forced to act — in loco parentis, providing employees not only with health insurance but also child care, paid parental leave, and other benefits. Apparently, being dependent on your family is evidence of a moral defect, while being dependent on an employer is the height of liberty. There are a lot of us living in company towns without being quite aware of the fact. Among progressives, the same people who bewail the influence of corporations on cultural and political life also propose to entrench the social role of big businesses by making individual Americans more dependent on them for everything from health care to retirement income. Senator Warren’s schemes aimed at punishing those who might seek to escape from her utopia (her proposed 40 percent wealth tax on certain emigrants) or resist it in their boardrooms (her proposal to dictate to corporations the composition of their boards and control their political activities) are what you get when the company-town model meets mid-20th-century authoritarianism: the company town you can’t leave. Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) argues for a company-town model of “common good” capitalism that understands employment and wages as part of a social-welfare scheme rather than as a market exchange, and he dreams consequently of a program of corporate subsidies that is practically Goldbergian (Rube, not Jonah) in its unwieldiness and implausibility. Senator Rubio proposes to guarantee both debt and equity investments in certain favored businesses in the hope that doing so will produce the employment results he desires — and here I would like to note how remarkable it is that a senator who complains about the prominent role played by financiers in our economy proposes to create a government program intended to make it impossible for politically favored investors to lose money. If Lloyd Blankfein had proposed something along those lines, Senator Rubio would have had him burned at the stake. Why not just go straight to the people? If you think that people making $25,000 a year should have $30,000 instead, why not just send them $5,000 checks instead of monkeying around with minimum wages and investment guarantees and the like? Why go through all that theater when there is a much more direct means to your end? Part of this is the politics of money-laundering. Mandatory corporate paternalism is a good way to provide welfare benefits without enduring the unpleasantness of taking responsibility for their cost. Senator Snout (R., Snoutopia) wants to confer certain benefits on the hardworking folks back in Snouttown, but he is a good fiscal conservative, meaning that he will avoid, if it is at all possible, honestly accounting for his spending by putting the appropriations into the budget or — angels and ministers of grace defend us! — passing a tax to pay for those benefits. Instead, he will pass a law mandating that these benefits be provided by someone else, typically an employer. That is a happy outcome for Senator Snout: He gets to take credit for the benefits, the outlay ends up on somebody else’s budget while he “holds the line” on spending, and the revenue is provided by corporations in their role as national collectors of taxes both direct and indirect. Instead of blaming Senator Snout for higher taxes, those negatively affected instead blame greedy capitalists for the higher prices that are eating into their stagnant wages. Big businesses that have a lot of negotiating power can pass along costs to smaller businesses with less negotiating power, to workers, and, in some cases, to consumers. And if a few smaller businesses get crushed in the stampede, well, here’s Senator Rubio with a bracing lecture on economic patriotism and a fresh dish of subsidies. The progressive version of this is much the same but with rhetorical jazz in a different key. Its adherents insist on the fiction that taxes on “the rich” are actually paid by Jeff Bezos and the people on his yacht (or on his yacht’s yacht) rather than distributed throughout society by the real-world workings of the economy. This is a story told by people who are professionally obliged to pretend that most of the federal budget is consumed by defense spending rather than by the programs that actually dominate it: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social-welfare schemes that are not exactly characteristic of a pitiless arch-capitalist dystopia. But, hey, a decade and a half ago Paul Ryan said he likes Atlas Shrugged, so, there’s that. * * * Foreseeing something like what we now call “cancel culture” (or what I describe as the disciplinary corporation), the great economist and social critic F. A. Hayek lamented the rise of salaried employment in corporations and other large organizations as a predominating social norm, believing that such institutional life inevitably breeds institutional men, characterized by conformism, risk-aversion, and a managerial mindset that is next door to collectivism. The mental qualities and habits that make for a successful executive vice president of human resources or a good chief marketing officer are different from the mental qualities and habits that make for a successful entrepreneur, small-business owner, or independent tradesman — and a society that is dominated by the management caste will, over time, take on the spiritual aspect of the human-resources and marketing departments. Hayek hoped that a remnant of independent thinkers would — necessarily among the independently wealthy — persist, immune to the homogenizing pressures of corporate life. But that is not how things have come to pass: The independently wealthy are in many respects the easiest people to push around — ask Mark Zuckerberg, Taylor Swift, or Jimmy Kimmel. An exception to that rule is Elon Musk, who seems to be having a hell of a good time and who is, in many quarters, hated for that. The challenge to corporate paternalism is not going to come from the billionaires and pop stars. And it probably isn’t going to come from the rest of us, either. The so-called gig economy and a few other commercial innovations related to the rise of the Internet over the past three decades have provided the most significant challenge to such institutional life in a generation, but Americans have mostly recoiled from that challenge in horror. Uber drivers are very low on the socio-economic totem pole, objects of both pity and scorn. But even highly paid independent workers often are looked at with a mix of sympathy and contempt. In my business, a writer who leaves a high-profile publication to work for himself is generally branded a failure, even if he makes three times as much money on his own. (“Oh, he’s on Substack now,” his friends will whisper, with tones appropriate to a discussion of early-onset dementia.) A self-published book that makes a million dollars can be a financial milestone and a reputational millstone. Similar outlooks prevail in other occupations. Part of that is prestige-farming — our elite institutions increasingly define themselves by whom they exclude — but much of it is risk-aversion. We Americans talk a good game when it comes to rugged individualism, but few of us have an appetite for eating what we kill. We are both economically and emotionally bound to institutions — especially to our employers. This isn’t just about salaries and health insurance. Our employers provide many of us with social status, which is distinct from economic status — a Harvard professor or a Washington Post columnist has social and cultural opportunities far out of the reach of a beverages distributor in a midsized city who earns six times as much money. The same organizations also provide us with stability and community, or reasonably convincing facsimiles thereof. That may rest on a shaky foundation, but we generally prefer employment to the alternatives. Some research has found that a married man’s losing his job is more likely to lead to divorce than is infidelity on his part. Job loss is strongly correlated with suicide, while underemployment and job insecurity are linked to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and family problems. It is natural, in that respect, for people to look to employers and other institutions to act in loco parentis — not to simply make good on their side of whatever exchange is taking place but to nurture them, look after them, and (this part is insane but not uncommon) to love them. So it follows that politicians will exploit the employer–employee dynamic as a path of least political and financial resistance. And this is precisely the poisonous moment for making the most of that: On the right, there are angry and resentful nationalist-populists who are eager to break with, to denounce, and, if at all possible, to punish a business elite that no longer shares their values or tribal affiliations; meanwhile, the Left is dominated by media professionals, academics, and executives (both in business and in nonprofits) who are socially and culturally adjacent to the titans of Wall Street and Silicon Valley but economically nowhere near them, subsisting in many cases on only a few hundred-thousand dollars a year — and no one hates the billionaires as intensely as the single-digit millionaires do. The natural bipartisan attraction of corporate paternalism reacts with the eternal desire to loot and pillage one’s tribal enemies to create this very peculiar political moment, in which nationalism and socialism embrace each other in a way that is reminiscent of a Greco-Roman wrestling match: You know it’s a fight, but it looks a lot like foreplay. If we had a Tocqueville of our own, his book would be called National Socialism in America, and Chapter 1 would be titled “Economic Patriotism.” * * * There are many versions of the company town in our life right now, and most of them are considered highly desirable addresses: Google, college campuses, employers that offer spa treatments and on-site dentistry, etc. Workers at Patagonia apparently are encouraged to take a work break and go surfing when the waves look good outside their California offices. And that is all to the good: There is more to keeping employees happy than the number on the paycheck, and the line between compensation and paternalism is not always clear. But there are downsides to corporate paternalism, too. To take one obvious but head-clutchingly difficult example, think of all the economic distortions, family anxiety, and political mischief that have been wrought over the years by employer-based health insurance, which has made American businesses the mediators between patients and doctors for about half the country. It will not come as a surprise to any employed person that an employer has economic incentives that are not identical to those of its employees, and that these incentives sometimes are even rivalrous, meaning that some of your most critical personal decisions are conditioned by a third party that does not have your best interests at heart but upon which you are dependent, often in multiple complex ways. Rather than working to liberate ourselves from such enmeshments, we more often are compelled by our risk-aversion to seek deeper and broader entanglements, or at least to accept such entanglements as an inescapable fact of life as it is now lived. And, for many people, that life is lived in fear — of expulsion from the company town. Employment has long been weaponized against high-profile nonconformists and dissidents, but the threat of unemployment increasingly is being deployed as a tool of social and political coercion against ordinary people in obscure positions: provincial bank tellers, hotel clerks, Starbucks managers. Access to higher education is being weaponized in a similar way, and against children and teenagers at that. Surely it has not escaped the gentle souls in our political caste that widening and deepening dependency will make it easier for people with power to coerce those without it while denying that there is any coercion at all. Coercion with subtlety and good taste, implemented by people with the right kind of education, is still coercion. No, we won’t burn your controversial books — but we will make sure they can’t be sold on Amazon, which, in turn, accomplishes the more important task of ensuring that such books in the future are never published in the first place. Nobody is telling you that you can’t have an unpopular political view or practice a religion we don’t like — we’re just telling you that you can’t do that and keep your job. And we think your employer probably ought to intervene in your sex life. Of course, you can walk away — if you have somewhere to go. But it isn’t enough to have what Don Regan famously called f***-you money. Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest man on Earth but has been bullied into working part-time as a bloodless enforcer of petty orthodoxy. He has f***-you money but not f***-you character. Nobody put a gun to his head. But a gun to the head often is beside the point. Phillips, Texas, didn’t have a police department. It didn’t need one. Everyone was happy there, because the people who were not happy were not there.
This is a story about Rebekah Jones, a former dashboard manager at the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), who has single-handedly managed to convince millions of Americans that Governor Ron DeSantis has been fudging the state’s COVID-19 data. When I write “single-handedly,” I mean it, for Jones is not one of the people who have advanced this conspiracy theory but rather is the person who has advanced this conspiracy theory. It has been repeated by others, sure: by partisans across the Internet, by unscrupulous Florida Democrats such as Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist, and on television, by MSNBC in particular. But it flows from a single place: Rebekah Jones. To understand that is to understand the whole game. This is about Jones, and Jones alone. If she falls, it falls. And boy does it deserve to fall. Jones’s central claim is nothing less dramatic than that she has uncovered a massive conspiracy in the third most populous state in the nation, and that, having done so, she has been ruthlessly persecuted by the governor and his “Gestapo.” Specifically, Jones claims that, while she was working at the FDOH last year, she was instructed by her superiors to alter the “raw” data so that Florida’s COVID response would look better, and that, having refused, she was fired. Were this charge true, it would reflect one of the most breathtaking political scandals in all of American history. But it’s not true. Indeed, it’s nonsense from start to finish. Jones isn’t a martyr; she’s a myth-peddler. She isn’t a scientist; she’s a fabulist. She’s not a whistleblower; she’s a good old-fashioned confidence trickster. And, like any confidence trickster, she understands her marks better than they understand themselves. On Twitter, on cable news, in Cosmopolitan, and beyond, Jones knows exactly which buttons to push in order to rally the gullible and get out her message. Sober Democrats have tried to inform their party about her: “You may see a conspiracy theory and you want it to be true and you believe it to be true and you forward it to try to make it be true, but that doesn’t make it true,” warns Jared Moskowitz, the progressive Democrat who has led Florida’s fight against COVID. But his warnings have fallen on deaf ears. Since she first made her claims a little under a year ago, Jones has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through multiple GoFundMe accounts (and, once she realized that she was losing a percentage to credit-card fees, through paper checks); she has become a darling of the online Left; and, by pointing to her own, privately run dashboard, which shows numbers that make Florida’s COVID response look worse than it has been, she has caused millions of people to believe quite sincerely that the state’s many successes during the pandemic have been built atop fraud. Stephen Glass, the famous writer-turned-liar who spent years inventing stories but got caught when he pushed it too far, could only have dreamed of such a result. Jones’s journey began on May 18, 2020, on which day she was dismissed by the Florida Department of Health. Today, she claims that she was fired because she had refused to take part in a massive cover-up. But as her personnel file shows, not only was there no cover-up but the agency did everything it could to de-escalate the situation around this employee before it eventually became untenable. Indeed, as the records clearly show, indulging Jones had been its approach from the outset. At the time she was hired, the state government knew from its background check that Jones had completed a pre-trial intervention program in Louisiana in 2018, thereby securing a “no conviction” record for “battery of a police officer,” and it knew that she had entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement with the State of Florida in 2017 after being charged with “criminal mischief.” And yet it hired her anyway. Had she applied for a more important role, the forest of red flags that Jones leaves wherever she goes might well have prevented this mistake—especially given that she did not mention any of them in her application. But Jones wasn’t there to fill an important role. She was there to run a website. That matters, for, with the enthusiastic help of the press, Rebekah Jones has unremittingly inflated the prominence of the position she held. And yet when one reads through the FDOH documents that chronicle the affair, one is struck by how dull and unheroic the whole thing really was. There are no “whistleblowers” anywhere in this story. There is no scandal. There is no grand fight for truth or justice. There is just a replacement-level government employee who repeatedly breaks the rules, who is repeatedly mollycoddled while doing so, and who is fired only when she eventually renders herself unworthy of the department’s considerable grace. Jones’s bad behavior was first formally reported on May 6, 2020, when the IT director at the FDOH, Craig Curry, emailed the department’s labor-relations consultant, Tiffany Hicks, “looking for guidance” on “properly documenting actions of one of my employees and to get guidance on proper preparation in case action needs to be taken.” Among the “actions” that Curry sought to “document” were that the employee—Rebekah Jones—had written “posts on website [sic] and social media regarding data and web product owned by the Department that she works on without permission of management or communications”; that she had released infographics that “should have been identical to data published by our communication department” but were not; and, most seriously, that she had possibly exposed “personnel data” in the process. Asked to clarify the problem by Hicks, Curry confirmed that between April 9 and April 30, 2020, he had verbally told Jones to stop talking to the press without permission, and, more specifically, that he had told her to stop releasing health-department data or representing her employer without consent. In her response to Curry, sent later that day, Hicks proposed one of two actions: that Jones should either be “separated” (i.e., fired) or else be put through a “Management Counseling” procedure that would “address and document the recent incidents.” The latter process, Hicks explained, “would be informal and would not be placed in the employee’s personnel file.” But “if similar behavior continues,” she added, “it is a [sic] management’s decision to move forward with termination.” Apparently, the department chose the second action, because, by the end of the day, Jones was still working at the FDOH, albeit in a slightly altered role. In his notes, Curry records that, having been “instructed by management to replace Ms. Jones as primary on the COVID Dashboard,” he called her “to notify her that she was being removed from her duties as primary GIS [geographic information system] developer on the department’s COVID-19 dashboard.” Again: This was not a termination. As Curry explicitly noted, Jones “was informed that she was maintaining her role as GIS team manager and was to resume normal day to day responsibilities, but she was to cease any duties and administrative roles associated with the COVID-19 GIS dashboard.” Florida’s COVID-19 ‘Data and Surveillance Dashboard’ The next day, on May 7, 2020, Jones crashed the dashboard. Without telling a single person what she was doing, Jones created a new account within the GIS system and moved a tranche of data into it. This both broke the setup and sincerely confused the department’s IT staff. “Because the team was not informed,” Curry wrote, it “began troubleshooting the issue as if it were a system issue”—which, of course, it was not. In the process, the FDOH asked Chris Duclos, a GIS manager and the only other person besides Jones who had “full administrative right [sic] in our system[,] to help.” This Duclos did, primarily “by modifying ownership of objects to return the process to the previous state”—that is, to roll back the system to how it had been when it was working. At 1:00 p.m. that day, aware that Duclos was reversing her power grab, Jones locked Duclos out of his account. By 1:35 p.m. on the same day, Jones had been instructed to restore Duclos’s full administrative access. Six and a half hours later, at 8:08, she responded by saying that she would, and then, at 8:28, added that she intended to leave Florida to spend some time with her family in Mississippi. Except . . . she didn’t. Instead, as Curry recorded, Jones set Duclos’s permissions to a lower level than administrator, and left herself as the sole person within the FDOH who had administrator status. In response, Duclos emailed the state’s GIS vendor and requested that his full permissions be restored. This was done. Then came a lull. Having been asked what on earth she was doing, Jones claimed that she had set herself up as the sole administrator as the result of “security concerns,” and, under the impression that this excuse had been accepted by the department, she started playing nice. Two days later, Curry reported, “the entire team seemed to be getting along and moving forward.” At 9:30 a.m. on May 15, encouraged by the improvement in Jones’s behavior, and having got the dashboard back up and running, the FDOH decided that “Management Counseling was still the correct option for previous occurrences.” That decision would last for only a few hours: At 1:46 p.m., Jones sent a mass email to everyone who used the dashboard—many of whom were external to the department—explaining that she was no longer assigned to the dashboard and suggesting that she had been removed because she had refused to manipulate data. Within minutes, the press began crawling all over the story. Three days later, Jones was fired. From that moment on, Jones has sought relentlessly to portray herself as a martyr who was dismissed for telling “the truth.” Having waffled a little in the first few days, she quickly hit upon a specific claim to bolster this overall impression: that she was instructed by Dr. Shamarial Roberson—the well-respected chronic-disease epidemiologist who is currently serving as Florida’s deputy secretary of health, and is the first African American to hold that post—to “delete cases and deaths” in order to present a rosier version of what was happening in the state. Absurdly accusing this official of being a “liar, fraud, murderer,” Jones now says that Roberson “asked me to go into the raw data and manually alter figures.” This, of course, is preposterous—not least because it flies directly in the face of Jones’s initial story. Today, Jones insists that the members of an ever-growing cast within the government of Florida ordered her to “fudge” the numbers. Back in May 2020, however, the Associated Press reported that she had not alleged “any tampering with data on deaths, hospital symptom surveillance, hospitalizations for COVID-19, numbers of new confirmed cases, or overall testing rates,” and that she had acknowledged that “Florida has been relatively transparent.” Why did Jones initially decline to make such allegations? Because, as she knew full well, she had not been in a sufficiently senior position to have been able to do such a thing, even if she had been asked. In her role as the manager of the dashboard, Jones did not have the ability to edit the raw data. Only a handful of people in Florida are permitted to touch that information, and Jones was not among them. Instead, each day she was given a copy of the data and charged with uploading it into the system in a manner determined by the epidemiological team. Had she for some reason decided to alter that copy, it would have been obvious to everyone within seconds of its being compared with the original. There is an extremely good reason that nobody in the Florida Department of Health has sided with Jones. It’s the same reason that there has been no devastating New York Times exposé about Florida’s “real” numbers. That reason? There is simply no story here. By all accounts, Rebekah Jones is a talented developer of GIS dashboards. But that’s all she is. She’s not a data scientist. She’s not an epidemiologist. She’s not a doctor. She didn’t “build” the “data system,” as she now claims, nor is she a “data manager.” Her role at the FDOH was to serve as one of the people who export other people’s work—from sets over which she had no control—and to present it nicely on the state’s dashboard. To understand just how far removed Jones really is from the actual data, consider that even now—even as she rakes in cash from the gullible to support her own independent dashboard—she is using precisely the same FDOH data used by everyone else in the world. Yes, you read that right: Jones’s “rebel” dashboard is hooked up directly to the same FDOH that she pretends daily is engaged in a conspiracy. As Jones herself confirmed on Twitter: “I use DOH’s data. If you access the data from both sources, you’ll see that it is identical.” She just displays them differently. Or, to put it more bluntly, she displays them badly. When you get past all of the nonsense, what Jones is ultimately saying is that the State of Florida—and, by extension, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—has not processed its data in the same way that she would if she were in charge. But, frankly, why would it? Again, Jones isn’t an epidemiologist, and her objections, while compelling to the sort of low-information political obsessive she is so good at attracting, betray a considerable ignorance of the material issues. In order to increase the numbers in Florida’s case count, Jones counts positive antibody tests as cases. But that’s unsound, given that (a) those positives include people who have already had COVID-19 or who have had the vaccine, and (b) Jones is unable to avoid double-counting people who have taken both an antibody test and a COVID test that came back positive, because the state correctly refuses to publish the names of the people who have taken those tests. Likewise, Jones claims that Florida is hiding deaths because it does not include nonresidents in its headline numbers. But Florida does report nonresident deaths; it just reports them separately, as every state does, and as the CDC’s guidelines demand. Jones’s most recent claim is that Florida’s “excess death” number is suspicious. But that, too, has been rigorously debunked by pretty much everyone who understands what “excess deaths” means in an epidemiological context—including by the CDC; by Daniel Weinberger, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health; by Lauren Rossen, a statistician at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics; and, most notably, by Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida, who, having gone to the trouble of making a video explaining calmly why the talking point was false, was then bullied off Twitter by Jones and her followers. For a year now, pretty much everyone who has criticized Jones has met the same fate as did Salemi. It doesn’t matter who they are, or what they have been arguing, the play is always the same. First, they are called a sexist or a racist or a member of the “alt-right.” Next, it is implied that they are working with Ron DeSantis or with Vladimir Putin—or, sometimes, with both. Then they are told that they hate “science”—or, if they disagree with her or expose a given lie or confirm that she does not have the qualifications or experience she claims, that they have sold out. And, finally, they are added to Jones’s “enemies” list (she really has one, and used to publish it online), and an attempt begins to get them kicked off Twitter or Substack or whatever portion of the Internet they are using to explain the ruse. Because a good number of the people Jones has targeted are not journalists or public figures, but scientists and public servants, such attacks work pretty well. If your career is in epidemiology, and your employer is a public university, there is little to be gained by attracting scandal. One is almost left impressed by the strange alchemy with which Jones manages to transmute her own bad behavior into lucrative victimhood. A 342-page “manifesto” that Jones penned in 2019 gives example after example of this tendency. She manages to cast herself as the injured party in the passages in which she describes violating a no-contact order to engage with an ex-boyfriend, damaging his car, and harassing his mother. She also manages to cast herself as the victim in the parts in which she records being fired from Florida State University for having sex with a student in her office and for lying to her employer about her criminal record. She even presents herself in defensive terms in a now-removed part of the document that contains explicit text messages between her and her ex-boyfriend, as well as close-up photographs of the man’s genitals. (A misdemeanor stalking case against Jones, filed by Florida in 2019, is ongoing, although the cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking charges have been dropped or narrowed, as were earlier charges, relating to the same individual, of trespass, felony robbery, and contempt of court.) Everywhere Jones goes—whether it’s Louisiana State University (where she got her master’s), Florida State, or the Florida Department of Health—she seems always to leave a trail of wreckage. And somehow, it’s always someone else’s fault. A warrant for Rebekah Jones’s arrest, on felony charges. This tendency continues today. Much of the national attention that Jones has received is the result of her insisting that, having learned about her “whistleblowing,” Governor DeSantis used his “Gestapo” and “raided” her house, putting her children in danger. But this, too, is a ridiculous lie. Late last year, the police did indeed execute a search warrant on Jones. But they did so because a data breach at the FDOH—in which the personal information of 19,000 employees was stolen—was traced back to the IPv6 address that Comcast had assigned to Jones’s house. Governor DeSantis had nothing to do with it. The search warrant—which alleges that Jones committed a felony by not only temporarily accessing personnel data she had no right to access but permanently stealing it—was initially signed by Judge Joshua Hawkes, a Republican appointee, but subsequently upheld by Judge John Cooper, an elected judge in heavily Democratic Leon County. (Florida does not have explicitly partisan judicial elections.) Jones now claims that she was “terrified” by the police’s visit. But even this seems to be highly questionable. Not only did she prepare for the visit by creating a made-for-the-cameras sign that read “Biden hire me!”—hardly the instantaneous work of someone who is surprised that the cops are at the door—but she subsequently spread a host of extraordinary claims about the conduct of the police that, after festering online for a while and spawning a swiftly dropped lawsuit from Jones, were flatly disproven by the release of the body-camera footage. As the Tampa Bay Times recently noted, despite Jones’s having “claimed on Twitter that the agents ‘pointed a gun in my face. They pointed guns at my kids,’” the bodycam video “does not appear to show police pointing their guns at anyone in the house.” On the contrary: It shows the police waiting outside patiently for 22 minutes; it shows them trying to minimize the disruption to her children by encouraging her to come and talk to them at the door; and it shows them repeatedly calling Jones to find out why she wasn’t cooperating. After the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) had released the footage, a spokesman confirmed what anyone who watches it can see: that at no point during the search did the agents point their guns at anyone in the house. They did, however, find enough of what they were looking for in Jones’s home for another Leon County judge, Nina Ashenafi Richardson, to sign a warrant for her arrest. In January, Jones turned herself in. She is currently awaiting trial. Thus did her stint at the FDOH end as her stints elsewhere seem to have ended: in disgrace, in termination, with the cops showing up at the door, and, eventually, in the filing of charges. Until now, Jones has got away with it every single time. Eventually, though, her luck is going to run out. And when it does, no amount of flailing or distraction is going to prevent the bills from coming due. — This article appears in the June 1, 2021, issue of National Review.
Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet gained notoriety last April when her law-review article calling for a “presumptive ban” of homeschooling went viral. That was, of course, right around when another notorious viral event began to unfold, causing worldwide school closures. In 2020, homeschooling became an educational safe harbor for millions of children and parents who suddenly found themselves home together. Indeed, this past pandemic year may have permanently changed the educational landscape in America, as many of those who sought the refuge of homeschooling during a distressing time discovered the joys of seeing their child’s “eureka” learning moments as they happened. Unfortunately for Professor Bartholet, her timing was quite bad. Well, now she’s b-a-a-a-ck — this time with a new recommendation that is as bad now as her timing was last year. As part of a recent interview grading the first 100 days of the Biden administration vis-à-vis children and families, Harvard Law Today asked her what President Biden should do “going forward.” Staying true to pre-pandemic form, Bartholet said, “I would like to see the Biden administration’s educational agenda expand to include reform of the current homeschooling regime.” To be clear, by “reform,” she means that the federal government should crack down on homeschooling. “There is now no meaningful regulation of homeschooling in the United States, by contrast to the rest of the world,” she said. If by “the rest of the world” she means countries such as Germany, then she’s clearly advocating the presumptive ban that she first proposed last year: Germany, like many other nations, “regulates” homeschooling by banning it. Professor Bartholet would ban homeschooling because she does not trust parents. “They are free to subject [their children] to the most vicious forms of abuse, away from the eyes of teachers who are required to report suspected abuse to child protective services.” As one group of scholars who study education and homeschooling wrote about her law-review article last year: We expected it to be rigorous and fact-based but were sadly disappointed. . . . Upon reviewing Professor Bartholet’s article, we conclude that it suffers from contradictions, factual errors, statements of stereotyping, and a failure seriously to consider that the alternative to homeschooling — public schooling — shares the problems that she attributes to home education. There simply is no evidence to support Professor Bartholet’s stereotype that homeschooled children fare worse than their public-school counterparts. And as the United States Supreme Court has written, “the statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” Professor Bartholet’s cynical view of homeschoolers is only exceeded by her incorrect view of the federal government’s power to supersede the states’ role in education. Every state requires homeschooling parents to educate their children; some do so by statute, while others do so via administrative regulation. States as culturally diverse as California and Texas treat homeschools as small private schools and regulate them accordingly. Calling on the federal government to step in to change this 50-state approach to private educational policy is wrongheaded, dangerous, and unconstitutional. President Biden and the Department of Education would do well to steer clear of Professor Bartholet’s advice. If they were to pursue it, congresspeople would doubtless hear from homeschoolers from all sides of the partisan divide, much as they did in 1994 when Congressman George Miller’s H.R. 6 attempted to require all teachers — including homeschooling parents — to be certified teachers. That bill was defeated after it had galvanized homeschoolers into a lobbying force that punched well above its weight. Contrary to Professor Bartholet’s assertion, today’s parents generally think of homeschooling as just one more choice on the educational menu, which includes charter schools, private schools, pods, and the like. But that has not always been the case. Homeschooling as an educational option and as a cultural movement was practically unknown in the 1970s. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it was not uncommon for homeschooling parents in many states to be prosecuted if they did not possess a state-issued teaching credential. Through litigation, legislation, and the unstoppable growth of the movement, homeschooling became legalized, state by state. And as more and more families discovered that homeschooling works, it became what it is today: a mainstream option, chosen for a variety of reasons by diverse families from all racial, religious, and political backgrounds. Since the 1970s, the number of children being homeschooled grew from practically nonexistent to around 3 million by the start of the 2020 school year, before the pandemic-induced public-school disruptions. By January of 2021, that number had more than doubled — perhaps even tripled. As COVID-19 hit the U.S., the Census Bureau began surveying households to see what people were doing in response to widespread public-school closures. The bureau collected the data based on the number of parents who were homeschooling, rather than on how many children were being homeschooled — those data should be forthcoming as the bureau continues to refine its reports. But extrapolating from the number of parents who are homeschooling now based on this survey, as many as 10 million children may be homeschooling today. And that is just in the United States. It took nearly 50 years for the embryonic homeschooling movement to grow to almost 3 million children. Then in a single year, that number potentially tripled. It remains to be seen how many parents will stick with private homeschooling once the pandemic is in the rearview mirror. But here is what we do know: The maturity of the homeschooling movement — its legality, vitality, and accessibility because of modern technology that was scarcely dreamed of in the 1970s — served our nation in a constructive and positive way during a black-swan event unlike anything most living adults have ever experienced. Another academic, Boston College psychology professor Peter Gray, conducted a large-scale, demographically representative survey after schools closed last year, to see how children were faring. He recently reported some of his findings on his Psychology Today blog: “But then parents began to see their kids through new eyes, and, for the most part they liked what they saw; and children began to see that their parents really cared for them — as people, not as grades on a report card.” Many millions of children and parents have discovered that the homeschooling alternative to the public-school norm can not only provide for a child’s education during a crisis but strengthen families, too. Perhaps it’s time for Professor Bartholet to set aside her negative stereotype of homeschoolers and embrace the diversity, complexity, and liberating qualities of the movement as it actually is today.
Deliveroo's float famously flopped in London this year, but fellow tech firm, cyber security giant Darktrace, saw shares jumped as much as 44% on its cautiously-priced IPO last month. The reception for Alphawave also comes as US investors exit tech stocks, amid concerns inflation and potential higher interest rates will hit returns. Executive chairman John Lofton Holt said this morning that "London was the obvious venue for the listing of our silicon IP business because both the industry and the business model were born in the UK".