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Visit One News Page for Europe news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Europe news headlines.

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    U.S. dollar sales of fashion accessories grew 4 percent the first 10 months of 2018, according to The NPD Group, a significant market turnaround from the declines seen over the past two years. Much of this growth is attributed to growth in sales of untraditional silhouettes, signaling a shift in consumer preferences and priorities across wearers.

    PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (PRWEB) December 06, 2018

    U.S. dollar sales of fashion accessories grew 4 percent the first 10 months of 2018, according to The NPD Group, a significant market turnaround from the declines seen over the past two years. Much of this growth is attributed to growth in sales of untraditional silhouettes, signaling a shift in consumer preferences and priorities across wearers.

    Double-digit sales gains in backpacks, fanny/waist packs, and luggage, alongside sales declines in the historically key categories – like totes, shoppers, and messenger bags – reveals a significant shift in the way consumers are accessorizing. The most notable component of this shift is the fanny pack category – beyond the unique nature of these products, the category represents just one percent of fashion accessories sales and is generating nearly a quarter of the industry’s growth.

    “Changing consumer behaviors, such as travel and the pursuit of convenience, are changing the way consumers everywhere think about the accessories they need,” said Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories industry analyst, The NPD Group. “New lifestyle needs will make categories like luggage, backpacks and even fanny packs popular items on shopping and wish-lists during the 2018 holiday season.”

    Growth of these less traditional categories is not isolated. The New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco designated market areas (DMAs) are the top three growth regions for backpacks and fanny/waist packs, but these categories are also growing in many small and large markets across the U.S.

    Backpacks are no longer a back-to-school only purchase and continue to replace traditional work-like bags. While everyday backpacks grew across both male and female wearers, fashion backpacks drove the majority of the growth among females.

    While the premium channel drove much of the growth in fanny/waist packs, the mid-tier/value channel is also a source of growth across both men and women. Further demonstrating growth across price points, both moderate and designer brands contributed to growth in the fanny/waist pack category.

    “Fashion is still important to consumers, but consumers are also asking what the product can do for them – a question many upstart brands, like Lo & Sons and Dagne Dover, are doing a good job of answering,” said Goldstein. “Brands who guide the consumer, offering solutions to problems they didn’t know they had, will be the fashion accessories leaders.”

    Source: The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service

    About The NPD Group
    NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 27 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, travel retail, games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup. Reported by PRWeb 1 hour ago.

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    CALGARY, Alberta and ADELAIDE, Australia, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eguana Technologies (TSX.V: EGT) (OTCQB: EGTYF) is pleased to announce its Australian distribution partner AC Solar Warehouse has the Eguana Evolve available in South Australia and will distribute to qualified system providers under the Marshall Liberal Government’s Home Battery Scheme (“HBS”). The HBS plans to outfit 40,000 South Australian households with Virtual Power Plan (“VPP”) ready integrated battery systems by providing access to a $100 million in State Government subsidies to pay installations.“Strategically we are on track to become the dominant supplier of energy storage in South Australia (“SA”),” stated Brent Harris, Chief Technology Officer for Eguana Technologies. “Our SA order book has crossed the $1.5 million mark in less than two weeks and as we establish our System Provider partner network in the market, we recognize they require capable distribution partners to support their growth. It’s great to see our partner AC Solar Warehouse stepping in to ensure this success.”

    The South Australian government’s Home Battery Scheme is accelerating residential energy storage growth in the world’s highest penetration rooftop solar PV market. Coupled with the Government grant consumers that purchase registered systems will also have access to CECF’s 100 million for additional financing. Eguana’s Evolve residential energy storage system is ideally suited for the market with its VPP capable AC coupled format supporting backup operation with solar charging ensuring that both new and retrofit customers can get the maximum value out of their energy storage purchase.

    “Eguana has made a remarkable commitment in establishing its manufacturing capacity in South Australia,” said Grant Behrendorff, Managing Director at AC Solar Warehouse. “We are excited to support their Australian expansion. We have long history of supporting our customer base across Australia and look forward to further enhancing our presence in the SA market with local stock and just in time delivery of the full range of solar and storage equipment for eligible System Providers.”

    Eguana and AC Solar Warehouse will be hosting a product orientation and training event for local installers in Adelaide on December 13^th. Please contact Mark Colwell if you are interested in attending. See below for details.

    *Evolve – Home Energy Storage Systems
    *Evolve is a fully-integrated residential energy storage system that includes the company’s proprietary power electronics system, LG Chem low-voltage battery modules, and a comprehensive user interface. The system is rated at 5KW AC output with a modular battery design based on a 6.5 kWh battery, which is scalable from 13 to 39kWh in storage capacity. The wall-mounted package is suitable for indoor and outdoor installations. The package is backed by a 10-year standard warranty.

    The Evolve supports grid-connected solar self-consumption, time of use, and backup power with solar charging. It is registered under the Clean Energy Council’s Battery Assurance program and is available across Australia.

    Interested parties may contact:

    *Eguana Technologies **
    *Georgia Mayson
    Customer Solutions Specialist, Australia
    Georgia.Mayson@EguanaTech.com
    0473 522 532

    *AC Solar Warehouse*
    Mark Colwell
    Sales Manager - SA
    mark@acsolarwarehouse.com
    1300 55 44 67

    *About Eguana Technologies Inc.
    *Based in Calgary, Alberta Canada, Eguana Technologies (EGT: TSX.V) (OTCQB: EGTYF) designs and manufactures high performance residential and commercial energy storage systems. Eguana has two decades of experience delivering grid edge power electronics for fuel cell, photovoltaic and battery applications, and delivers proven, durable, high quality solutions from its high capacity manufacturing facilities in Europe and North America.

    With thousands of its proprietary energy storage inverters deployed in the European and North American markets, Eguana is one of the leading suppliers of power controls for solar self-consumption, grid services and demand charge applications at the grid edge.

    To learn more, visit www.EguanaTech.com or follow us on Twitter @EguanaTech

    *About AC Solar Warehouse
    *AC Solar Warehouse (www.acsolarwarehouse.com) is a 100% Australian owned and operated wholesaler of solar and energy storage products for residential and commercial applications. We are the largest specialist wholesaler of AC Solar equipment in Australia and have built our business through relationships based on honesty, transparency and integrity. We partner with our customers to develop and grow their solar business through optimum technology selection, smooth supply chain logistics and proven sales and marketing support.

    *Company Inquiries*
    Justin Holland
    CEO, Eguana Technologies Inc.
    +1.416.728.7635
    Justin.Holland@EguanaTech.com

    *For**w**a**rd Looking Information*

    The reader is advised that some of the information herein may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning assigned by National Instruments 51-102 and other relevant securities legislation. In particular, we include: statements pertaining to the value of our power controls to the energy storage market and statements concerning the use of proceeds and the Company's ability to obtain necessary approvals from the TSX Venture Exchange.

    Forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and involves a number of risks and uncertainties. Many factors could cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements, or future events or developments, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information, which speaks only as of the date hereof. Readers are also directed to the Risk Factors section of the Company’s most recent audited Financial Statements which may be found on its website or at sedar.com. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking information contained herein to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.

    Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Reported by GlobeNewswire 1 hour ago.

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    NEW YORK, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Levi & Korsinsky, LLP announces that class action lawsuits have commenced on behalf of shareholders of the following publicly-traded companies. Shareholders interested in serving as lead plaintiff have until the deadlines listed to petition the court and further details about the cases can be found at the links provided. There is no cost or obligation to you.*Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON)
    Class Period: *February 9, 2018 - October 19, 2018
    *Lead Plaintiff Deadline: *December 31, 2018
    Join the action: https://www.zlk.com/pslra-1/honeywell-international-inc-loss-form?wire=3

    About the lawsuit: Throughout the class period, Honeywell International Inc. allegedly made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Honeywell’s Bendix Friction Materials ("Bendix") asbestos-related liability was greater than initially reported; (2) the Company maintained improper accounting practices in connection with its Bendix asbestos-related liability; and (3) as a result, Honeywell’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times. 

    Honeywell previously owned Bendix, which used asbestos in its brake- and clutch-pad products until 2001; the Company sold Bendix in 2014. On August 23, 2018, Honeywell announced it had "revised its method for reasonably estimating its liability for unasserted Bendix asbestos-related claims by considering the epidemiological projections through 2059 of future incidence of Bendix asbestos-related disease. Using this method, the Company’s Bendix asbestos-related liability is estimated to be $1,693 million as of June 30, 2018. This is $1,083 million higher than the Company’s prior estimation which applied a five-year horizon when estimating the liability for unasserted Bendix asbestos-related claims. The Bendix asbestos-related insurance assets are estimated to be $187 million as of June 30, 2018, which is $65 million higher than the Company’s prior estimate."

    To learn more about the *Honeywell International Inc.* class action contact jlevi@levikorsinsky.com.*Edison International (NYSE: EIX)
    Class Period: *February 23, 2016 - November 12, 2018
    *Lead Plaintiff Deadline: *January 15, 2019
    Join the action: https://www.zlk.com/pslra-1/edison-international-loss-form?wire=3

    About the lawsuit: During the class period, Edison International allegedly made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the Company failed to maintain electricity transmission and distribution networks in compliance with safety requirements and regulations promulgated under state law; (ii) consequently, the Company was in violation of state law and regulations; (iii) the Company’s noncompliant electricity networks created a significantly heightened risk of wildfires in California; and (iv) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

    To learn more about the *Edison International* class action contact jlevi@levikorsinsky.com.*Altice USA, Inc. (NYSE: ATUS)
    Class Period: *Pursuant and/or traceable to the June 2017 Initial Public Offering
    *Lead Plaintiff Deadline: *January 18, 2019
    Join the action: https://www.zlk.com/pslra-1/altice-usa-inc-loss-form?wire=3

    The complaint alleges that the Offering Documents issued pursuant to the IPO failed to disclose and/or misstated material information, including that: (1) “The Altice Way” proprietary growth model previously developed in Europe and described in the Offering Documents as a means to achieve superior margin performance was falsely touting Altice’s capacity to face already existing highly competitive environments and ever-changing consumer behaviors; (2) Altice was suffering from aggressively growing competition both in Europe and the United States, directly causing negative and decelerating revenue and EBITDA growth and impacting Altice’s market share; (3) specifically, Altice was suffering from mismanaged rate events, regulatory compliance and poorly managed network and customer care both in its France and Portugal segments, thereby impacting its customer base and churn rate; (4) Altice USA could not simply replicate the “The Altice Way” in the U.S.; and (5) as a result, Altice USA’s Offering Documents were materially misleading at all relevant times. 

    To learn more about the *Altice USA, Inc.* class action contact jlevi@levikorsinsky.com.*Cheetah Mobile Inc. (NYSE: CMCM)
    Class Period: *April 26, 2017 - November 27, 2018
    *Lead Plaintiff Deadline: *January 29, 2019
    Join the action: https://www.zlk.com/pslra-1/cheetah-mobile-inc-loss-form?wire=3

    About the lawsuit: Cheetah Mobile Inc. allegedly made materially false and/or misleading statements during the class period and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Cheetah Mobile’s apps had undisclosed imbedded features which tracked when users downloaded new apps; (2) Cheetah Mobile used this data to inappropriately claim credit for having caused the downloads; (3) the foregoing features, when discovered, would foreseeably subject Cheetah Mobile’s apps to removal from the Google Play store; (4) accordingly, Cheetah Mobile’s revenues during the relevant period were in part the product of improper conduct and thus unsustainable; and (5) as a result, Cheetah Mobile’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

    To learn more about the *Cheetah Mobile Inc.* class action contact jlevi@levikorsinsky.com.You have until the lead plaintiff deadlines to request the court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn’t require that you serve as a lead plaintiff.

    Levi & Korsinsky is a national firm with offices in New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. The firm’s attorneys have extensive expertise and experience representing investors in securities litigation, and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for aggrieved shareholders. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.

    CONTACT:
    Levi & Korsinsky, LLP
    Joseph E. Levi, Esq.
    55 Broadway, 10th Floor
    New York, NY 10006
    jlevi@levikorsinsky.com
    Tel: (212) 363-7500
    Toll Free: (877) 363-5972
    Fax: (212) 363-7171
    www.zlk.com Reported by GlobeNewswire 1 hour ago.

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    MSF and SOS Méditerranée announced Thursday they will be ending the operations of the Aquarius migrant rescue ship, which has become a lightning rod for the controversy surrounding Europe's policies on accepting migrants. Reported by France 24 1 hour ago.

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    The U.S. women's soccer team has finalized plans for a 10-game "Countdown to the Cup" tour in advance of next year's World Cup. The team will visit Europe… Reported by Japan Today 1 hour ago.

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    Company continues to explore opportunities in the wireless market

    MONTREAL, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cogeco Communications Inc. (TSX: CCA) (“Cogeco Communications” or the “Company”) confirmed today that it has elected to not participate in the auction process for licenses in the 600 MHz spectrum band that will take place in 2019. The structure of the auction based on large geographic areas makes the acquisition of such spectrum uneconomical for the company. This decision is consistent with the company’s continued commitment to pursue opportunities to enter the wireless market in a disciplined and thoughtful manner.“We continue to actively and strategically pursue opportunities to enter the wireless market in order to offer a complementary service to our customers and expand our business,” stated Luc Noiseux, Senior Vice President Strategy and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Cogeco Communications. “Following the acquisition of spectrum licenses earlier this year, we are committed to continue exploring various business models in order to launch a profitable wireless service.”

    The company also believes that the regulatory environment should create conditions where new entrants such as Cogeco can compete successfully, and it supports the processes and consultations initiated by the federal government and regulatory agencies.

    *ABOUT COGECO COMMUNICATIONS INC.*

    Cogeco Communications Inc. is a communications corporation. It is the 8th largest cable operator in North America, operating in Canada under the Cogeco Connexion name in Québec and Ontario, and in the United States under the Atlantic Broadband name in 11 states along the East Coast, from Maine to Florida. Cogeco Communications Inc. provides its residential and business customers with Internet, video and telephony services through its two-way broadband fibre networks. Through its subsidiary Cogeco Peer 1, Cogeco Communications Inc. provides its business customers with a suite of information technology services (colocation, network connectivity, hosting, cloud and managed services), by way of its 16 data centres, extensive FastFiber Network® and more than 50 points of presence in North America and Europe. Cogeco Communications Inc.’s subordinate voting shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CCA).

    *INFORMATION:
    **Nancy Bouffard
    *Senior Director Corporate Communications
    Cogeco Communications Inc.
    (514) 764-4613
    Nancy.Bouffard@cogeco.com Reported by GlobeNewswire 48 minutes ago.

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    *NOT FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES OR THROUGH U.S. NEWSWIRES*

    TORONTO, Dec. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canopy Rivers Inc. (the “*Company*” or “*Canopy Rivers*”) (TSXV: RIV) is pleased to announce that it has increased its ownership stake in CanapaR Corp. (“*CanapaR Canada*”), the Canadian parent corporation of CanapaR SrL (“*CanapaR Italy*”), an Italy-based organic hemp production and processing platform. The investment, which increases the Company’s ownership position to 49.9%, builds upon Canopy Rivers’ international expansion strategy and positions the Company to capitalize on the expected growth in demand for cannabis and CBD derivative products in the rapidly growing European cannabis market.“We are thrilled with the progress that has been made to date at CanapaR and believe the team is ideally positioned with a European platform,” said Olivier Dufourmantelle, Chief Operating Officer of Canopy Rivers.  “With a population of more than 60 million people, Italy is one of the largest cannabis markets in Europe and we are confident that CanapaR will succeed within that market.” 

    The Company has committed, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, $17,400,000 to be invested in CanapaR Canada in two tranches as part of a planned $25,000,000 non-brokered private placement. The investment will result in the Company increasing its ownership position from approximately 35.0% to 49.9% of the issued and outstanding common shares of CanapaR Canada on a non-diluted basis.

    CanapaR Italy is a Sicily-based manufacturer and processor of CBD oil and isolates and is playing an important role in the development and  commercialization of Italy’s CBD and hemp industry through its partnership with the University of Catania’s Department of Agriculture. CanapaR Italy’s outsource farming model and academic partnership provide the Company with a low-cost source of organic CBD oil, which is increasingly used as an input into new commercial products in the health and wellness industries. The company is also focused on advancements in CBD extraction capabilities, which will assist in the production of these organic oils and isolates for practical implementation and use in consumer products. Leveraging the pedigree of its founder and leading executives, CanapaR Italy has also recently initiated the development of CBD-infused cosmetics, skincare, and beauty products for the Italian cosmetics market, which is the fourth largest such market in Europe, as well as the global market, which provides strong demand for Italian brands. Along with the ongoing development of the global cannabis market, demand for products that contain natural active ingredients derived from plant extracts have increased significantly. CanapaR Italy plans to seize this market opportunity with a line of “Made in Italy” CBD-infused products. 

    CanapaR Canada and CanapaR Italy are led by Chief Executive Officer Sergio Martines, who brings extensive international experience in the pharmaceutical, dermo-cosmetic and nutritional fields, with approximately 30 years of experience in the development and commercialization of consumer products. 

    “Along with the growing global demand for cannabis, we are seeing increased demand for innovative CBD and cannabinoid-infused natural health and skincare products,” said Martines. “CanapaR Italy will benefit from its collaboration with Canopy Rivers and we are very pleased with their follow-on investment. Access to the unique and synergistic benefits of Canopy Rivers’ platform allows CanapaR Italy to collaborate with experienced operators, optimize its extraction and wholesaling operations, accelerate its partnership with a local agronomy-focused academic institution, and advance the development of our brands and products in the emerging CBD categories,” continued Martines.

    *About Canopy Rivers Inc. *

    Canopy Rivers is a unique investment and operating platform structured to pursue investment opportunities in the emerging global cannabis sector. Canopy Rivers works collaboratively with Canopy Growth (TSX: WEED, NYSE: CGC) to identify strategic counterparties seeking financial and/or operating support. Canopy Rivers has developed an investment ecosystem of complementary cannabis operating companies that represent various segments of the value chain across the emerging cannabis sector. As the portfolio continues to develop, constituents will be provided with opportunities to work with Canopy Growth and collaborate among themselves, which Canopy Rivers believes will maximize value for its shareholders and foster an environment of innovation, synergy and value creation for the entire ecosystem.

    *Forward-Looking Statements*

    This news release contains statements which constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including statements regarding the plans, intentions, beliefs and current expectations of the Company with respect to future business activities and operating performance. Forward-looking information is often identified by the words “may”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “will”, “intend”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect” or similar expressions and includes information regarding:the international growth strategy of Canopy Rivers; the expected growth in demand for cannabis derivative products; the rapid growth of the global cannabis market; expectations regarding the business of CanapaR Italy; the development and commercialization of hemp in Italy; the ability of CanapaR Italy to utilize extraction capabilities for the production of organic CBD oil; CanapaR Italy’s ability to generate low-cost, high yield sources of organic CBD oil; the use of CBD oil in new commercial products; the benefits to CanapaR Italy from its involvement with Canopy Rivers and its ecosystem of cannabis operating companies; the benefits derived from CanapaR Italy’s partnership with the Department of Agriculture at the University of Catania; the improved farming processes resulting from CanapaR Italy’s partnership with the Department of Agriculture at the University of Catania; the increasing demand for cannabis-derived products in Italy and the growing global demand for innovative and unique cannabis products; the benefits of the Italian regulatory landscape; CanapaR Italy’s ability to seize the CBD-infused product market opportunity; and Canopy Rivers’ ability to evaluate new global opportunities. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking information is not based on historical facts but instead reflects management’s expectations, estimates or projections concerning future results or events based on the opinions, assumptions and estimates of management considered reasonable at the date the statements are made. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking information are reasonable, such information involves risks and uncertainties, and undue reliance should not be placed on such information, as unknown or unpredictable factors could have material adverse effects on future results, performance or achievements of the Company. Among the key factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information are the following: regulatory and licensing risks; demand for cannabis derivative products in Italy; the Italian regulatory framework for the cultivation of hemp and production of CBD oil; demand for Italian derived brands; lack of control over operations; compliance with laws; changes in laws, regulations and guidelines; competition; CanapaR Italy’s need for additional financing; the difficulty to forecast accurately; cannabis prices; challenging global financial conditions; litigation; government regulation; operating risks involved in the cannabis industry; the ability to attract customers; constraints on marketing; risks inherent in agricultural businesses; product recalls; product liability; reliance on partners; reliance on key inputs; and dependence on suppliers and skilled labour; changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; potential conflicts of interest; the Canadian regulatory landscape and enforcement related to cannabis, including political risks and risks relating to regulatory change; compliance with extensive government regulation; public opinion and perception of the cannabis industry; and the risk factors set out in the joint management information circular of Canopy Rivers Corporation and the Company dated August 8, 2018, filed with Canadian securities regulators and available on the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

    Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking information prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Although the Company has attempted to identify important risks, uncertainties and factors which could cause actual results to differ materially, there may be others that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update this forward-looking information except as otherwise required by applicable law.

    Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

    *For further information, please contact:  *

    *Canopy Rivers Inc. *

    Karoline Hunter
    Sr. Director, Investor Relations & Communications
    E-mail: ir@canopyrivers.com

    Daniel Pearlstein
    Executive Vice President, Strategy
    E-mail: daniel@canopyrivers.com Reported by GlobeNewswire 48 minutes ago.

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    European Union countries agreed Thursday to intensify the fight against anti-Semitism and boost security for Jews throughout Europe. The 28-nation bloc's interior ministers adopted a declaration acknowledging hatred… Reported by Japan Today 42 minutes ago.

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    Aston Martin will make old cars electric so they don’t get banned from cities Add Aston Martin to the growing list of companies using nostalgia to sell customers on the idea of an electric vehicle future. The British automaker announced this week that it’s starting a “Heritage EV” program where owners of classic Aston Martins can have their cars converted to an all-electric powertrain.

    Wouldn’t this be sacrilege, you might ask? That’s an argument for another day. Aston Martin’s starting this program for a very specific reason. Cities around the world, but especially in Europe, have begun to shun internal combustion engines in favor of boosting air quality for residents. If this pattern continues, it raises the question: what good is a classic car if you can’t drive it anywhere?

    "Built with tech used in Aston’s..." Reported by The Verge 21 minutes ago.

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    David C. Fixler, of counsel in Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice in the Boston office, was named co-chair of the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association’s (NECA) Power Markets Committee.

    BOSTON (PRWEB) December 06, 2018

    David C. Fixler, of counsel in Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice in the Boston office, was named co-chair of the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association’s (NECA) Power Markets Committee.

    NECA is a non-profit trade association that serves as a clearinghouse of cutting-edge industry information for stakeholders having a full range of energy and environmental interests. NECA’s Power Markets Committee plays an active role in the rapidly evolving market for electric power. The objectives are to assure the development of a competitive electric generation sector of the electric power industry and a level playing field for all regional suppliers of power. As part of this principal activity, the committee examines policy developments in rapidly changing areas and will provide information and resources to regulatory bodies in the Northeast and other participants in the electric power industry.

    Fixler represents energy companies and corporate entities in administrative and regulatory proceedings, as well as litigation, and counsels on permitting, contracting, and financing issues related to the development, operation, sale, and purchase of energy services and projects. Fixler has wide-ranging experience representing developers of renewable, distributed generation, demand response, and traditional energy facilities in permitting and construction matters, including due diligence, plant and transmission line siting, local zoning, Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and environmental permitting, ISO New England interconnection, and permit compliance. He also advises boards of directors and management on corporate governance, management, contractual, litigation, real estate, and employment matters.

    About Greenberg Traurig, LLP – Energy and Natural Resources Practice
    Greenberg Traurig’s Energy and Natural Resources Practice brings together attorneys from across the firm’s global offices to provide broad-ranging representation of upstream, midstream, downstream, traditional power generation and renewable energy companies on important aspects of their gas exploration, energy production, transportation and storage operations. Greenberg Traurig’s attorneys’ knowledge and experience, including in-house and government experience, within many segments of the energy and natural resources industry enables us to develop and implement legal strategies for clients in the United States and in international markets, including Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The firm's energy practice is further distinguished by lawyers with substantial FERC experience and broad energy finance representations. Several of the firm’s energy attorneys are former general counsel at energy industry companies, and provide a valuable business perspective for energy clients across the globe. Greenberg Traurig’s Energy and Natural Resources Practice has expanded significantly in Latin America and Europe with the establishment of its Mexico City and Warsaw offices.

    About Greenberg Traurig’s Boston Office
    Established in 1999, Greenberg Traurig’s Boston office is home to over 70 attorneys practicing in the areas of bankruptcy, corporate, emerging technology, energy, gaming, governmental affairs, intellectual property, labor and employment, life sciences and medical technology, litigation, public finance, and real estate. An important contributor to the firm's international platform, the Boston office includes a team of nationally recognized attorneys with both public and private sector experience. The team offers clients the value of decades of legal experience and hands-on knowledge of the local business community, supported by the firm's vast network of global resources.

    About Greenberg Traurig
    Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and is among the Top 20 on the 2018 Am Law Global 100. Web: http://www.gtlaw.com; Twitter: @GT_Law. Reported by PRWeb 7 minutes ago.

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    Paul M. Seby of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP has been recognized by the Denver Business Journal in its 2018 “Who’s Who in Energy” list.

    Denver, CO (PRWEB) December 06, 2018

    Paul M. Seby of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP has been recognized by the Denver Business Journal in its 2018 “Who’s Who in Energy” list. Seby and fellow honorees will be recognized at a reception in Denver, Dec. 6.

    “Who’s Who in Energy” recognizes business leaders who are helping guide and shape Colorado’s energy industry in fields such as exploration, production, engineering, renewable, law, well services, finance, manufacturing, education, training, public policy, and environment.

    Seby, a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Denver office and member of the firm’s Energy & Natural Resources Group, is a leading practitioner in the Rocky Mountain region, with nearly 25 years' experience analyzing a myriad of environmental issues. He counsels public and private clients in the energy, mining, manufacturing, and service industries on how to navigate and successfully operate within the complex framework of state and federal environmental regulations and policies. Seby has vast experience prosecuting cases to enforce and overturn administrative agency regulations and decisions, and has defended clients in federal and state enforcement proceedings, in appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court, several U.S. Courts of Appeal, and the Colorado Supreme Court, among others. Bearing in mind that a successful outcome is often a combination of traditional and non-traditional legal strategy, Seby leverages his experience to negotiate with government agencies and adversary groups.

    About Greenberg Traurig, LLP – Energy and Natural Resources Practice
    Greenberg Traurig’s Energy and Natural Resources Practice brings together attorneys from across the firm’s global offices to provide broad-ranging representation of upstream, midstream, downstream, traditional power generation, and renewable energy companies on important aspects of their gas exploration, energy production, transportation, and storage operations. Greenberg Traurig’s attorneys’ knowledge and experience, including in-house and government experience, within many segments of the energy and natural resources industry enables the group to develop and implement legal strategies for clients in the United States and in international markets, including Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The firm's energy practice is further distinguished by lawyers with substantial FERC experience and broad energy finance representations. Several of the firm’s energy attorneys are former general counsel at energy industry companies, and provide a valuable business perspective for energy clients across the globe. Greenberg Traurig’s Energy and Natural Resources Practice has expanded significantly in Latin America and Europe with the establishment of the firm’s Mexico City and Warsaw offices.

    About Greenberg Traurig
    Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has more than 2,000 attorneys in 38 offices in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, was named the largest firm in the U.S. by Law360 in 2017, and is among the Top 20 on the 2018 Am Law Global 100. Web: http://www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law. Reported by PRWeb 3 minutes ago.

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    Deal would be largest outbound deal into Europe by Chinese company in 2018 Reported by FT.com 15 hours ago.

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    Plague was NOT brought to Europe by foreign invaders Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague, has been found in the remains of a 20-year-old Stone Age woman who died 4,900 years ago in southern Sweden. Reported by MailOnline 14 hours ago.

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    Scientists think 'mega-settlements' provided perfect conditions for new disease to evolve Reported by Independent 13 hours ago.

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    Deal would be largest acquisition in Europe by a Chinese company in 2018 Reported by FT.com 13 hours ago.

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    As reported by Reuters, Germany's leading political party, Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat Party (CDU) will be voting for a new party leader as Merkel gets set to end an era of her leadership. Merkel will be maintaining her position for the time being, but will be stepping down as the leader of the CDU in an effort to give her party time to make a clean transition.

    *Key quotes*

    The frontrunners are Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a Merkel protege seen as the continuity candidate, and Friedrich Merz, a Merkel rival who has questioned the constitutional guarantee of asylum to all “politically persecuted” and believes Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, should contribute more to the European Union.

    The new CDU leader will be chosen by 1,001 delegates who vote at a party congress in Hamburg. The winner will likely lead the CDU in the next federal election due by October 2021.

    A survey by pollster Infratest dimap for broadcaster ARD on Thursday showed 47 percent of CDU members favored Kramp-Karrenbauer compared with 37 percent for Merz and 12 percent for Health Minister Jens Spahn.

    Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a Merkel ally, said: “I am convinced that with Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer we have the best chance of the CDU winning an election,” adding she would be the most dangerous candidate to face the center-left Social Democrats and the ecologist Greens.

    By contrast, Merz takes clear positions that appeal to rank-and-file party members hungry for a more clearly defined party after 13 years under Merkel as chancellor. He wants tax cuts, a stronger EU and a more robust approach to challenging the far-right. Reported by FXstreet.com 4 hours ago.

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    Cyber-criminal gangs are believed to have stolen tens of hundreds of thousands of greenbacks from a minimum of 8 banks in Japanese Europe the use of ways normally noticed simplest in Hollywood films. Those “hacks” consisted of cyber-criminals coming into financial institution workplaces to check up on after which depart malicious units attached to the … Reported by The News Articles 4 hours ago.

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    Figure 1: A diagram simulating human behavior and predicting congestion in an airportFigure 2: Discovering comprehensive congestion causes based on attributes, cognition, and actionsFigure 3: Cause discovery and countermeasure examples gained from this technologyNewly developed predictive simulation technology discovers the causes of congestion throughout an airport in a matter of minutes, providing effective suggestions for alleviation

    TOKYO, Dec 7, 2018 - (JCN Newswire) - Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and Professor Shingo Takahashi of the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at Waseda University today announced the development of a new technology that automatically analyzes the factors leading to congestion based on the results of human behavior simulations. Human behavior simulations, which model the behavior of people as "agents" based on their various attributes and goals, are currently used to predict how people behave when evacuating during emergencies or to review the flow of people in urban planning. As a subset of these simulations, experts use the results of large numbers of congestion prediction simulations to analyze the root causes of congestion, but there have been issues with this process because the simulations must be evaluated one by one, which not only takes a great deal of time, but may also lead researchers to overlook some potential causes. Now, Fujitsu Laboratories and Professor Takahashi have developed a technology to discover the causes of congestion. The new technology groups categories that have a certain degree of commonality, and expresses the characteristics of respective agents in a small number of combination categories, without listing the results of movements and routes of tens or hundreds of thousands of agents individually through simulation-based modeling. This approach makes it easier to extract characteristics of agents linked to the causes of congestion, while enabling the creation of measures appropriate to their particular attributes and movement patterns. This technology enables a quick evaluation of measures to ameliorate congestion in commercial facilities, event venues and other locations that deal with congestion due to high attendance or urban centralization, and ultimately contributes to achieving of the goal of improving safety and comfort in society. Aspects of this technology will be detailed at the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) 2018, an international conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden, beginning December 9.

    http://www.acnnewswire.com/topimg/Low_FujitsuWasedaFig1.jpg
    Figure 1: A diagram simulating human behavior and predicting congestion in an airport

    Development Background

    Event spaces, airports, and shopping malls where crowds gather often deal with problems of congestion, which can lead to lower customer satisfaction and sales. Currently, beyond increasing the number of staff assigned to and supporting at places such as entrances, exits, and points of sale, a number of additional methods exist to alleviate congestion. These include installing signs and maps, and diverting people to less crowded spaces or times with incentives such as coupons. In order to implement more effective congestion alleviation measures, however, it is important to understand what types of people will take what types of actions in response to what types of information. To gain such an understanding, "human behavior simulations" are now garnering attention. Such simulations model the attributes, cognition and actions of diverse groups of people as "agents," and with computer-based virtual modeling of congested situations it is possible to analyze causes and evaluate solutions to congestion. Fujitsu Laboratories and Fujitsu Limited have been conducting research for some time on the modeling of agents, which enables highly refined simulation, and they have applied for 16 patents both inside and outside Japan stemming from this research. Additionally, Takahashi Laboratory, Waseda University, has also developed an agent-based simulation for solving various issues involving social systems such as organization systems, consumer behavior, and corporate strategy.

    Issues

    In human behavior simulation, the agents may number over several thousand, and each have attributes such as age, gender, and a purpose in visiting a location. The agents refer to information on routes and congestion from sources such as signs, and choose a route to their destination. The action of following that route results in varied levels of congestion in different locations throughout the simulated venue. Conventionally, experts repeat a process of trial and error, analyzing large volumes of data from simulations, proposing hypotheses for the reasons behind congestion and possible countermeasures based on their insight and expertise, and then repeating the simulation to evaluate those hypotheses. Consequently, it might take several months to analyze proposed causes and determine appropriate countermeasures, and in some instances when analysts overlook certain causes there may also be problems finding effective measures to reduce it.

    About the Newly Developed Technology

    Now, Professor Takahashi and Fujitsu Laboratories have developed a new congestion cause discovery technology that can comprehensively extract the characteristics of agents as they relate to congestion. Previously, because data relating to an agent's attributes, cognition, and actions (e.g. the agent's goal being "eating lunch" or the agent having seen a sign at location A), which get expressed in the form of dozens of database entries, would all be combined to form the agent's characteristics, this process would generate a massive number of combinatorial patterns. With this new technology, which creates logical groups that include similarities in traits and generates clusters of agent characteristics for each group, it becomes possible to reduce the number of combinatorial patterns (Figure 2). This enables the discovery of causes that are directly connected to countermeasures, and answers the question of what sort of measures would be effective in changing the cognition or actions of people with specific sets of attributes.

    http://www.acnnewswire.com/topimg/Low_FujitsuWasedaFig2.jpg
    Figure 2: Discovering comprehensive congestion causes based on attributes, cognition, and actions

    For example, with regard to congestion occurring at store A and store B in a shopping complex, by taking note of "cognition" it could be determined that the congestion in store A was caused by people who had seen signage, and looking at "actions," the congestion in store B was caused by people that finished eating at a restaurant and all came to the store together (Figure 3). This means that the congestion at store A can be effectively dealt with by setting new signage to guide users for other goals, such as use of ATMs, and the congestion at store B could be handled by increasing staff or transaction speed.

    http://www.acnnewswire.com/topimg/Low_FujitsuWasedaFig3.jpg
    Figure 3: Cause discovery and countermeasure examples gained from this technology

    Effects

    In 2015, Fujitsu and Professor Takahashi applied this technology to a human behavior simulation developed for analyzing congestion amelioration measures at an airport(1) and evaluated its effectiveness. As a result, they were able to discover about four times as many causes of congestion as analysis by experts. For example, in an analysis of congestion at security screening, the system was able to newly discover that passengers piling up at a specific check-in counter caused sudden congestion at the security screening area. It was confirmed in simulation that implementing measures based on the cause of congestion discovered with this technology would have the effect of reducing the number of people waiting at security by one sixth more than with the measures suggested as a result of expert analysis. On the other hand, the number of staff required for measures would be limited to one third that of the expert's measures. In addition, the time required for this analysis was massively reduced, from several months to a few minutes.

    Future Plans

    Fujitsu and Waseda University will move forward to conduct field trials using this technology, applying it to congestion at locations like event spaces, airports, and shopping malls, and evaluate its effectiveness, including with such measures as digital signage and the placement of commercial tenants. Fujitsu will also leverage its Human Centric AI Zinrai artificial intelligence and supercomputer technologies, and together with its Fujitsu Technical Computing Solution GREENAGES Citywide Surveillance software, which enables a real-time understanding of urban conditions, will aim to quickly realize a future predictive solution for congestion. Waseda University aims to establish simulation technologies to solve problems, not limited to congestion, by modeling and analyzing complex phenomena in society, markets and organizations, with human behavior included as an essential component.

    (1) Using simulations created in a field trial at Fukuoka Airport

    About Fujitsu Laboratories

    Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see: http://www.fujitsu.com/jp/group/labs/en/.

    About Fujitsu Ltd

    Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.1 trillion yen (US $39 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

    For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.
    This release at www.fujitsu.com/global/about/resources/news/press-releases/.
    Contact:
    Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
    Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
    E-mail: abss@ml.labs.fujitsu.com

    Fujitsu Limited
    Public and Investor Relations
    Tel: +81-3-3215-5259
    URL: www.fujitsu.com/global/news/contacts/Copyright 2018 JCN Newswire. All rights reserved. www.jcnnewswire.com Reported by ACN Newswire 3 hours ago.

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    Social Security, the retirement program established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Democrats in Congress in 1936 as a cornerstone of the New Deal programs that were put in place to help Americans struggling with the Great Depression, has been under attack by Republicans ever since it began.

    In the early 1980s, they finally got their first chance to really take a whack at it. It was the first term of the administration of Ronald Reagan and thanks to medical advances that were allowing people to live much longer and to the Medicare and Medicaid programs or the mid 1960s that made those advances available to most Americans for the first time — the elderly, the disabled and the poor — the retirement program was under stress and heading towards being unable to meet its benefit payment obligations with just the payroll taxes being paid into the system by current workers and their employers.

    If that sounds familiar, it should. Once again, this time because of even further improvements in longevity, combined with a declining US birthrate and the fact that since 2007 Baby Boomers, that wave of new Americans born after the end of WWII and through 1964, have been reaching retirement age and have begun receiving their Social Security benefits, the Social Security system is heading towards a financial crisis. It’s not bankruptcy as Republican scaremongers claim, but if nothing is done to bolster funding for the system, as of 2034 surplus funds deliberately built up in advance to finance Baby Boomer benefits will be exhausted, and the payroll taxes paid into the system by then-current workers and their employers will only be enough to fund 78% of promised benefits to those eligible for benefits at that time.

    That would, or course, be a disaster for the nearly 80 million older and disabled Americans who will have reached retirement age by that time, but it’s a disaster that a mobilized public can avert by simply demanding that Congress take action and raise the necessary funds promptly to cover the difference. (More on that later in this piece, but suffice to say that our politicians have been dawdling on dealing with this for two decades.)

    But first I want to address a more urgent problem: the theft of retiree benefits.

    This theft began in 1983 when a compromise between President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill, the leader of the Democratic-led House of Representatives fixed that earlier Social Security funding crisis. As part of that fix, which included raising the age of so-called “full” retirement gradually from a current 65 to 66 and eventually 67, the elderly and disabled have been screwed out of their benefits, and the pain and suffering caused by that blow has only worsened over the years as cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security benefits have been consistently and deliberately been kept lower than the actual inflation in costs, especially for the elderly.

    The dirty trick pulled on the nation’s retirees and disabled was that as part of the deal struck between Reagan and O’Neill, Social Security benefits, which were not taxed in the original program set up by FDR, suddenly became subject to tax.

    Under the “reform” plan of 1983, suddenly any retirees who earned more than $25,000 a year (or $32,000 for a couple), found themselves having to pay income tax on 50% of their Social Security benefit income. In other words, more “well-off” retirees living grandly on more than $25,000 or retiree couples living the good life on more than $32,000 suddenly began having to pay taxes on 50% of their own benefits to help fund the system paying them those benefits!

    Once that bridge of ripping off of the elderly and infirm had been crossed, along came President Bill Clinton, a wolf in sheep’s clothing who upped the ante. In 1993 he and a craven Democratic Congress pushed up the amount that “upper income” Social Security beneficiaries — those single retirees earning more than $34,000 a year and couples earning more than the princely sum of $44,000 — would have to pay taxes on to 85% of their benefits. That is, 15% of the benefit check would be tax-free but the other 85% would be taxed at whatever the person’s tax rate was.

    The impact of this second pocket-picking maneuver by Clinton was profound. In 1983, the initial tax on Social Security benefits only impacted 10% of the elderly and disabled. Under Clinton’s second purloining of retiree income, it has come to impact the income of 56% of retirees and the disabled — in other words the majority of beneficiaries in the Social Security program.

    At this point, the easiest way for the government to improve the lives of America’s elderly and disabled would be to end this shameful taking of taxes away from their benefits. (Those beneficiaries earning lower incomes who are not subject to having their benefits taxed get subsidies in the form of the Earned Income Tax credit, and if their incomes are low enough, also get Supplemental Security Income assistance.)

    If the purpose of Social Security benefits is to reduce poverty among the nation’s elderly — and in an age when private pensions are almost non-existent, with 90 percent of the elderly relying on Social Security for at least half their income and 50% relying on the program’s benefits for 90% or more of their income — it makes no sense whatever to take some of that meager amount back in the form of income taxes. In fact, it’s downright heartless.

    All Americans should demand an end to that taxation on the elderly and infirm.

    We should also demand an end to FICA taxes for Social Security being deducted from the paychecks of retirees on Social Security who keep working to make ends meet, which is currently the case. Okay, I understand if some wealthy executive or even some moderately well-paid university professor or physician, wants to keep working full-time after becoming eligible for Social Security benefits, and if that person’s earnings could count towards that “highest 35 earning years” in calculating their monthly benefit amount, it could make sense for them to continue paying the FICA tax on those earnings. But most of the elderly who work are just doing part-time work that will never contribute towards their receiving a higher benefit calculation — they’re just trying to make ends meet, and perhaps trying to stay busy and engaged in society. They should not be taxed for that as a way of helping to fund the very program that they are receiving benefits from. It shouldn’t be hard to set some high earnings level — perhaps $50,000 a year beyond one’s Social Security income — below which no FICA tax would be assessed on working Social Security beneficiaries.

    Likewise, some may argue that wealthy people, for whom Social Security benefit checks are just playing money, should be taxed on their benefits to help pay for the program. I don’t have a problem with that notion either. Again, it would be easy to set some level — perhaps $80,000 for an individual or $120,000 for a retired couple — after which Social Security income would be taxed. But it clearly should be set at a level that only affects well-off retirees, not people who are struggling to get by as is the case today.

    These are demands that everyone in America should support. Retirees clearly want it. So do people nearing retirement. And younger people, who want the best for their parents and grandparents, and who certainly don’t want to have to support their elders while they are also saddled with the cost of raising kids of their own or paying off their college debts, should support them too.

    Once we’ve won this battle over the taxing of Social Security benefits, which is premised upon a return to the basic concept behind Social Security, which was to alleviate poverty among the elderly and disabled, we can turn to the necessary bolstering of the Social Security system for everyone. We need to ensure that those working and paying into the system now can rest assured that it will be there in full for them when they reach old age. Currently over a third of millennials, thanks to scare stories from conservative politicians, shameless ad campaigns by financial advisory firms and mass media propaganda, say they don’t believe Social Security will be there for them when they get old.

    The first step in easing those fears and fixing the system is to act now, and to get rid of the politicians in Congress — mostly Republicans — who have been stalling and delaying, causing the price of fixing the system before 2034 to rise by the year in hopes that it will eventually be so high that the system will collapse, leaving us all to the tender mercies of the Darwinian capitalist system as it was before 1936.

    Nobody, Republican or Democrat, who doesn’t agree to a fix of Social Security’s future funding in the next Congress that gets seated January 3, should be returned to office. Period.

    And no fix they come up with should come out of the pockets of workers or retirees.

    So where do we get the money? Actually it’s still not that hard to find. The first thing is to eliminate entirely the cap in income — currently $128,400 per year — after which no FICA tax is owed. Let the rich pay the full 6.2% on all income they earn into the system. While we’re at it, let’s also put a FICA tax on so-called “unearned income” from non-retirement investments (not IRAa and 401(k) funds — and also a small tax — say 0.5% — on high-speed computerized and day-traded stocks and bonds. These measures alone would probably solve the problem with Social Security’s long-term funding, but we could also raise benefits to allow our elderly and disabled to live better.

    How? Well, if you think about it, there is absolutely no reason why the employer share of the FICA tax has to be equal to the share paid by their workers. In Europe, where government social security pensions are generally much more generous, often intentionally designed to allow retirees to maintain their standard of living after retiring from their jobs, it is common for employers to pay substantially more in payroll taxes into the system than do their employees. Just adding another 2% to the payroll tax paid by employers in the US for each worker’s salary would most of the way towards keeping Social Security adequately funded until the last Baby Boomer has departed this world (about 2064 when the last Boomers born in 1964 will be turning 100). The allowance could be made for the self-employed and for small businesses with only a few employees so they wouldn’t get hit with those increases. (Years ago, self-employed people didn’t pay the employer share, or didn’t pay it in full. That approach should be re-adopted, especially given the trend among large employers to turn their employees into “independent contractors” without benefits.)

    We need to do all this so that our kids and grandkids can have confidence that when they reach retirement the Social Security program that they are currently paying taxes for will be there for them, and that it will be adequate for them to survive on.

    Social Security is not the “ponzi scheme” that conservatives love to call it, nor is it an annuity where you pay in money and then get it back with interest. Rather it is and has been from day one a contract between generations in which the current working population pays for the benefits of current retirees, expecting future worker to pay for their own retirement benefits. The only problem, totally unintended but unavoidable and to some extent unanticipated, is that we’re all living longer as time goes by, partly thanks to improving medical science and increased access to medical care, and in part because we, as a people, are living better than we lived in the past. And we’re having fewer children. But we still have that contract and need to stand by it. That requires the young to keep supporting a program that is paying benefits to their parents and grandparents, and for the elderly to keep supporting a program that will be taking care of their offspring when they reach retirement age.

    It’s that simple.

    The only problem is a political class that cares more about the welfare of Wall Street and the rich who pay for their political campaigns and election or re-election than they do for the people they ostensibly represent: the people of the United States.

    That needs to change.

    Full disclosure: The author is 69 and will begin collecting his full Social Security benefit in April of next year. He has two children who are currently paying plenty in taxes for their own retirement. While he has no intention of retiring at 70, he wants to insure that his and his wife’s and his friends’ and relatives’ Social Security benefits are secure and that all our kids will also have full Social Security benefits available to them decades from now when they become eligible for them. Reported by Eurasia Review 3 hours ago.

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    Aid groups say Europe has actively sabotaged attempts to save the lives of drowning migrants in the Mediterranean. Reported by SBS 3 hours ago.

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