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Daily Archives: May 28, 2020
Posted: May 28, 2020 at 7:56 am
Building sufficient financial resources to retire early may sound like a dream, but making that dream come true is not as hard as it may sound. The main thing is simply to save more money each month. No big deal, right? Well ...
Typically, advisors peg 15% to 20% of total income saved each month as a goal - but if you want to retire earlier, you probably have to ratchet that number up to 40% or 50% of your income. Not a feat easily accomplished when you review your take into account that a good portion of your paycheck goes to essential, non-negotiable lifestyle items. However, if you are willing to make some serious lifestyle changes and sacrifices, it's possible.
This concept of intensive saving for an early retirement has spawned a movement called FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Followers of FIRE strive to save up to three-quarters of their income, and make other adjustments too: live in small homes, walk to work each day, practice strict diet plans, and more. Even if this lifestyle may sound a bit unreasonable, the ideas behind it are worth considering.
The first point is to adhere to the key principles of long-term investing, including developing a diversified portfolio that includes stocks with various styles, sizes, sectors and regions.
To accelerate the retirement investment cycle, you can construct a portfolio designed with more risk - and the potential for higher returns - but it should still be appropriately diversified to protect against larger than average market drawdowns that can be difficult to recover from and ruin any chance to accomplish your early retirement goal. There are numerous ways to diversify a portfolio, and how you do so should depend on your age, your risk tolerance, your growth and income needs, and your long-term goals.
After accelerating your savings and setting up an ongoing plan, invest your savings into your portfolio at the earliest opportunity. Try not to attempt to time the market. Stay put, and let the compounding characteristics of the markets do its work to help grow your retirement wealth exponentially over time.
You may want to look at growth stocks with attributes acceptable for retirement investing like low beta, strong earnings estimates, positive sales growth, and expected future growth.
The Zacks Rank routinely recognizes lower risk growth retirement portfolio picks, and here are a few that may be worth considering: Global Medical REIT (GMRE), Clearway Energy (CWEN) and Farmers National Banc (FMNB). These growth stocks have strong Zacks Ranks and a beta of 1 or lower, with earnings and sales growth of at least 5% over the past 5 years.
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Financial Freedom Was "A Big Part" of Why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Stepped Back from their Royal Roles – TownandCountrymag.com
Posted: at 7:56 am
Samir HusseinGetty Images
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle negotiated their plan to step back from their senior royal roles with the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William, it was obvious that financial independence was essential in their chosen path forward. They sought, and won the ability to earn a private income, at the expense of other, perhaps more personal asks: Harry retaining his honorary military titles, being able to officially represent the monarchy moving forward, etc.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will become privately funded members of The Royal Family with permission to earn their own income and the ability to pursue their own private charitable interests," reads a page on the Sussex Royal website outlining their transition out of their working positions in the royal family.
Now, a friend of the Sussexes has confirmed to royal reporter Katie Nicholl, that Meghan "struggled" with not being able to earn her own income during her time as a working royal. Prior to meeting Prince Harry, Meghan had been a working actress on the popular US TV series Suits, and also an influencer, with her lifestyle blog The Tig, a career she gave up in marrying into the royal family.
One of the things she struggled with was not earning an income, a friend told Nicholl in her recent report for the Sunday Times. She has always worked and I think she felt unfulfilled. Having financial freedom was a big part of them wanting to leave.
Chris JacksonGetty Images
Being financially independent has also allowed the Sussexes completely change their relationship with the media. They are no longer receiving public funds, and have officially broken away from the royal rota. (More on that pool of British journalists, which helps to hold the monarchy accountable, while also receiving special access to the royals, here.)
But while Harry and Meghan have made it clear that they intend to seek out private income, they haven't laid out exactly what that means, yet. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic shifted any plans they had to launch their charity, Archewell, and likely put other, more lucrative initiatives on hold as well. So royal fans will simply have to wait and see what's next for the Sussexes.
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Pompeo declares Hong Kong no longer autonomous from China in a move that threatens to escalate US-China tensions – USA TODAY
Posted: at 7:56 am
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remains steadfast in blaming China for keeping the truth about the coronavirus origin hidden from the rest of the world. (May 6) AP Domestic
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Wednesday that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China a landmark decision that is likely to escalate already strained U.S.-Chinese relations and that could have serious economic consequences for the global financial hub.
"No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground," Pompeo said in a statement.
The White House will determine the next step, which could involve new sanctions on China, visa restrictions on government officials or nixing Hong Kong's special trade status.
"Well do our best to ensure the people of Hong Kong are not adversely affected," said David R. Stilwell, the Trump administration's assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
"Theres a very long list of things that the president could do in response," Stilwell said. He declined to offer more specifics, but said the White House's actions would be "as targeted as possible" to avoid hurting Hong Kong while sending a clear message to China's authoritarian leaders.
Pompeo's assessment wassparked by the Chinese government's move toassert sweeping authority over Hong Kongand comes as tensions between the Trump administration andBeijing have dramatically escalated over the coronavirus outbreak.
Hu Xijin, the editor of a Chinesestate-controlled media outlet, shot back at Pompeo over the Trump administration's assessment.
"Whether China's Hong Kong is autonomous, how could it possibly be up to the US to define?" Hu wrote on Twitter.He called Pompeo a "habitually lying Secretary of State."
Hong Kong was returned to China from British control as a semiautonomous territory in 1997 on the condition that China maintained a"one country, two systems" framework guaranteeing freedoms not found on the mainland.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping is poised to push a national security law through his rubber-stamp legislature that would ban treasonand other perceived offensesin Hong Kong a move critics say is designed to stifle pro-democracy protests and put the territory firmly under China's rule.
"Hong Kong and its dynamic, enterprising, and free people have flourished for decades as a bastion of liberty, and this decision gives me no pleasure," Pompeo said. "While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself."
Pompeo was required to make the determination under a U.S. law that grants Hong Kong special trading status including exemptions from certain tariffs and export controls that the United Statesimposes on China.
In a show of support for Hong Kong's autonomy and the democracy protesters,Congress passed bipartisan legislation last year requiring the State Department to annually reconsider the territory's special treatment, which has helped elevate the city to a global financial power.
Chinese officials were furious when President Donald Trump signed the bill into law last year.It's not clear whether the administration willmove to strip Hong Kong of those economic perks.
Foreign policy experts said the decision could have far-reaching consequences.
"This is potentially massive," Michael Fuchs, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs in the Obama administration, tweeted Wednesday.
Fuchs, who is with the liberal Center for American Progress think tank,said the question is whether the United States"will impose sanctions or rescind certain trade arrangements with Hong Kong, which could fundamentally change US-China relations, Hong Kong's future, and the global economic system."
Mark Galasiewski, an investment analyst at Elliott Wave International, a financial forecasting firm, said the U.S. action is not likely to have more than a temporary impact on Hong Kong stocks because markets there have already plummeted in 2020.
The "one country, two systems" framework was intended to make sure that capitalist Hong Kong retained a measure of legal, economic and financial independence from socialist mainland China, but that autonomy has come under increasing attack as Beijing pushes to increase its control over Hong Kong. Hong Kong was rocked by almost six months of violent anti-China, pro-democracyprotests last year after Beijing tried to imposean extradition law.
Although that law failed to pass, anti-China sentiment has increased,protests have proliferated and Beijing has continued to try to undermine Hong Kong's rights.
The new proposed Chinese national security law wouldban "treason, secession, sedition and subversion" in Hong Kong.
Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong democracy activist, said Chinas law would do severe damage to the territorys business sector leading to potential boycotts and other fallout.
In a thread posted on Twitter, Wong said Hong Kongs autonomy including its independent judiciary and relatively loose business regulations have drawn financial investment,but that is in jeopardy. He called on the Trump administration, as well as European and Asian leaders, to reconsider Hong Kongs special trade status.
Hong Kong will be assimilated into Chinas authoritarian regime, on both rule of law and human rights protections if Xis national security law is passed, he said. The proposed law is the stepping stone for (Chinas) future intervention.
The Trump administration's announcement comesafterU.S. lawmakersproposed a bill to sanction any person with a role in violating "Chinas obligations to Hong Kong under the (Sino-British)Joint Declaration and the Basic Law" the formal terms under which Hong Kong was granted partial legal, economic and financial independence.
Xi Jinping: China strengthening armed forces amid tensions with US over coronavirus
It's not clear what impact, if any, the action will have on a pending trade deal between the United Statesand China. "Phase 1" of the agreement was signed less than five months ago, and despite both sides adopting a harsher diplomatic tone, they have been coy about whether they intend to implement it.
Riot police detain a protester during a demonstration against Beijing's national security legislation in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong on May 24. Hong Kong police fired volleys of tear gas in a popular shopping district as hundreds took to the streets to march.(Photo: Vincent Yu, AP)
Pompeo and Trump have accusedChina of misleading the USA and other countries about the novel coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan before spreading across the globe. Beijing denied anysuggestions it has not been transparent about its coronavirus outbreak.
The Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think tank, warned in an analysis May 21 that "the risk of a military confrontation in the South China Sea involving the United States and China could rise significantly in the next eighteen months, particularly if their relationship continues to deteriorate as a result of ongoing trade frictions and recriminations over the novel coronavirus pandemic."
Hong Kong braces for turmoil: Stocks slide on risk of 'strong' Trump reaction
Posted: at 7:56 am
Estimating the amount of money you need to retire is the first step in achieving financial independence. For many, a $1 million nest egg will be sufficient to live a comfortable retirement. If you are just starting out, achieving $1 million in investments can seem like a daunting task. However, by investing in the right companies, you can retire in 20 years with as little as $30,000 in capital.
To do so, investors will need to invest in companies that can achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of at least 19.16%. Although this may seem like a lot, many TSX-listed stocks have a history of either meeting or exceeding this rate.
To achieve such a high rate of return, investors will need to take on additional risk. However, the tech industry has proven to be one of the best places for investors to park their cash over the past decade. As we are witnessing an accelerated shift to conducting business online, they are likely to also outperform over the next decade.
Investing in high quality technology stocks at the moment is the best path to retire in 20 years. Among the best? Constellation Software (TSX:SU) and Descartes Systems (TSX:DSG)(NASDAQ:DSGX).
To limit risk, it is best to invest in a strong management team. There is arguably none better than Constellation Software. Since the company did away with conference calls, investors have to put their full faith in management to help them retire in 20 years.
This faith has been well rewarded. Over the past decade, Constellation shareholders are sitting on total gains of 3,620%. A $10,000 investment in the company 10 years ago would be worth $371,620 today. This is equal to a CAGR of 43.55% more than double the required rate of return we are looking for.
Management has an incredible track record of scooping up companies and integrating them into the fold. It is a serial acquirer, and there is perhaps no better industry consolidator.
Constellation has averaged 17% annual earnings growth over the past five years, and it is a rate that is accelerating. Analysts expect earnings to grow at an annual rate of 25% over the next few years. This should be more than enough for investors to achieve returns that will put them on the right path to retire in 20 years.
Another strong candidate to help investors to early retirement is Descartes Systems. This logistics company has a 10-year CAGR of 26.71%. A $10,000 investment in the company would be worth $106,690 today. Once again, this is more than enough to achieve the rate required to retire in 20 years.
The best news is that the company should exceed historical growth rates. Over the past five years, earnings have grown by approximately 14% annually. Over the next five, analysts expect earnings growth of 17% annually. Not surprisingly, Descartes performance places it among the best technology stocks on the TSX Index.
Given the current environment, the demand for Descartes services from the transportation and logistics, distribution, manufacturing, and retail industries is likely to remain strong. In fact, one could argue that the lasting effects of the pandemic will be a boon for the company for years to come. Its a good bet to help investors retire in 20 years.
Turning $30,000 into $1 million is a realistic goal. To do so, investors will need to identify companies with a proven history and strong outlook. Constellation Software and Descartes Systems are two of Canadas premier technology companies.
The post Retire in 20 Years With $30,000 Today appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.
Fool contributor Mat Litalien has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Constellation Software.
The Motley Fools purpose is to help the world invest, better.Click here nowfor your free subscription toTake Stock, The Motley Fool Canadas free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Motley Fool Canada 2020
Independence school board addresses financial outlook, comes to terms with adjusted commencement plans – cleveland.com
Posted: at 7:55 am
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Tuesday mornings (May 19) regular board meeting, again held online, focused on finances and commencement plans, while also addressing entrance fees for sporting events and the ongoing search for a high school principal.
Eric Koehler, chief financial officer for the district, first addressed current financial realities, relating the figures to the overall five-year forecast. Koehler cautioned that forecast models for future months and years could be dramatically reshaped by the coronavirus pandemic, continued school closures and an unpredictable economy.
There are a lot of what-ifs? he said.
Deficit spending could potentially be an issue in the next five years. The district will have just over $12 million in cash reserves at the end of June, which represents 232 days of operations. With expenses outpacing revenue, Koehler projects the district will have only $4 million as of June 30, 2024, representing 67 days of operating costs. District guidelines call for maintaining 90 days worth of cash reserves.
The district is also facing state funding cuts that have led to a spate of misinformation, particularly on social media.
Some of our residents are getting the impression that its 50 percent or 51 percent of what were receiving in our revenues, commented board president Lynne Laski.
Koehler said the district will lose slightly more than half of the $612,000 the state provides the district each year, but explained that state funding constitutes only about 4 percent of our total funding.
The affluent district primarily relies on property taxes to fund operations and, while Koehler does not expect a drop in such revenue, he anticipates the income will remain relatively flat.
Its tighten-up time, said Superintendent Ben Hegedish. We are looking at some smart cuts.
According to Hegedish, the district recently collaborated with coaches to negotiate reduced salaries for the shortened spring season. Although coaches logged hours in preseason and with remote workouts during the closure, most accepted a reduction in pay.
In the end, the board voted unanimously to accept the five-year forecast and assumptions.
Sports and other activities were a topic during the board roundtable. Several board members argued for free admission for all students. Hegedish, though open to exploring the idea, explained that he has tasked Athletic Director Annie McGhee with examining the realities of such a proposal. Hegedish plans to reveal the results at a June 30 board meeting.
Class of 2020 commencement
Board members unanimously -- though somewhat reluctantly -- signed off on modified commencement plans for 2020. Graduating seniors and their immediate family members are being filmed. The results will hit the big screen at a June 5 drive-in movie event. The compilation will also be streamed online.
Hegedish remarked, Nobody wanted this, though he and various board members maintained that the format makes the best of a bad situation.
Laski agreed, though she added an emotional appeal: I just pray and hope that everything is back to normal at this time next year.
Hegedish revealed that the district is making progress in its online search for a high school principal. The districts choice to become the new head of the school will likely be made public at a June 4 special session of the board.
Bill McGuinness, the current principal, will retire at the end of July. He plans to return to the classroom to teach his beloved history courses.
Read more from the Parma Sun Post.
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Posted: at 7:55 am
Many cast members on TLCs 90 Day Fianc end up pursuing careers on social mediaoften through brand partnerships on Instagram, YouTube sponsorships, or other marketing deals. Over the years, as the franchise has grown, many 90 Day Fianc stars have amassed huge followings and grown their personal platforms.
More recently, some 90 Day Fianc cast members have taken their online careers to the next step with accounts on OnlyFans, a subscription service thats primarily (though not solely) used by creators of adult content. Here are the 90 Day Fianc stars who are producingor hoping to producesexy content for fans.
RELATED: 90 Day Fianc: Which Cast Members Have Had Plastic Surgery?
RELATED: 90 Day Fianc: Every 90 Day Fianc Cast Member Instagram Handle You Will Ever Need
Stephanie Matto, 29who is currently appearing on the fourth season of 90 Day Fianc: Before the 90 Days with her Australian girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend), 24-year-old photographer Erika Owenswas active on OnlyFans before she joined the 90 Day Fianc cast.
The 90 Day Fianc star produces burlesque videos, themed 18+ photo shoots, and other 18+ content on Patreon, OnlyFans, and other platforms. In one Instagram post, she opened up about how much she loves creating this kind of contentno matter what others may think of it.
Its amazing supplemental income and a fun side job for me, Stephanie wrote, adding: I sell naked photos of myself online. Some people think thats wrong, some say thats gross, some will call me a whore. Your opinion is exactly that: YOURS. And I respect you for having one and voicing it. I actually have pretty strong morals about my body.
Stephanie added that shes proud of the financial independence OnlyFans has allowed her to achieve, especially given her ongoing health issues due to her rare and potentially life-threatening condition, aplastic anemia.
90 Day Fianc: The Other Way stars Evelin Villegas and her American husband-to-be, Corey Rathgeber, both have OnlyFans accounts. But Corey wasnt happy about it at first.
Evelin, who hails from Ecuador, apparently started herswhich now boasts three videos and 16 photoswithout letting her fianc know. He initially said he didnt agree with it after getting hundreds of messages from concerned fans.
Recently, Evelin opened up about why she started an OnlyFans in a fan Q&A on her Instagram stories. I saw a video on YouTube, and I was like, Thats interesting, she explained. I didnt know what OnlyFans was. And then, I was like, you know, why not? I have so many friends who are posting pictures that are super sexy, and for free. And I was like, money out of this? Why not?
Coreys fiance added that she has been enjoying her time onthe platform. I dont consider this a degrading thing. Ive been having a lotof fun, Evelin said. Guys have been really respectfulHonestly, Im justhaving a lot of fun there. No judgments. They are, like I said, respectful. AndIve been making good money. Im pretty sure Im gonna end up making more thanI made in a whole season with 90 Day Fianc.
And Corey himself got in on the action soon. Corey started a Fanbound account in which he offered stripteases for sale, and he now has his own OnlyFans. Some of the adult pictures have cheeky captions like shower time, and he says he wants to get to know his fans more personallyso it looks like hes not too bothered by his fiances account anymore.
There are several other 90 Day Fianc fans who havetheir own money-making endeavors through OnlyFans or plan to start them.
Larissa Dos Santos Lima, Colt Johnsons ex, has been open in recent months about her desire to start an OnlyFans account. She has recently undergone a makeover, including hair extensions, plastic surgery, fillers, and significant weight loss. Larissa told her fans on Instagram that shes planning to open her account soon.
Jay Smith, Ashley Martsons on-again, off-again Jamaican husband, used to have an OnlyFans account as well. But since he got back together with Ashley most recently, hes taken down the page.
And Paul Staehle, soon to appear on 90 Day Fianc: Happily Ever After with his wife Karine Staehle, took to his Instagram stories recently to ask fans if theyd be interested in seeing Karines OnlyFans in the future.
90 Day Fianc blogger John Yates (at the Instagram handle @johnyates327tv) was able to snag a screenshot. Paul posted a revealing photo of Karines cleavage and wrote, Karine has asked me to help her set up an OnlyFans account. Should I help her?
Leida Margaretha, a 29-year-old from Indonesia who married 41-year-old Eric Rosenbrook on the sixth season of 90 Day Fianc, chimed in to open up about her own experience with OnlyFans. Leida, who goes by AyaCO on the platform, said she uses the service to produce 18+ cosplay content.
She can absolutely do it,Leida wrote in reference to Karines hopes for an account. Whatever contentyou have, you can absolutely do it on OnlyFans. I cant wait to share my wickedgore cosplay in June. Some people are really into it. And guys please, its notalways about porn or prostitution. Dont accuse all of us doing that whilethere some of us are doing it for something else, like cosplay, and otherartistic material.
Meanwhile, Corey jumped in to joke about how many of his 90Day Fianc castmates are heading to OnlyFans, commenting on the post: Weare all doing it!
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Posted: at 7:55 am
Ghoshs Change.org petition, published earlier this month, is titled PM Modi: Tell Indian Men to Do an Equal Share of Household Chores in Your Next Speech".
If Mr Modi can inspire us to light lamps and clap in solidarity, he can inspire us to correct an unfair norm that discriminates against women in every home," it says. Most of us require no further explanation.
When her husband shared it, one gent asked, What does your wife expect the PM to do about this?" Ghoshs husband had an answer: There are more Modi bhakts than there are biwi bhakts."
Some friends were reluctant to own up to the fact that ever since Narendra Modi announced a sudden, stringent lockdown on 24 March that devastated the workforce, leaving one in four employed people jobless (according to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy), women have overwhelmingly borne the burden of domestic and unpaid care responsibilities.
Ghosh experienced it first-hand when the weight of running the household settled firmly on her, giving her no time to work on the fledgling healthcare startup she had founded.
We thought we were different but now theres the realization that not much has changed between our lives and our mothers," she says.
Ghoshs goal is simple: Ask the PM to use the lockdown to amplify an important issue. Its not just about him asking men. For years we have struggled to make the state acknowledge that this is productive work."
This discussion is playing out across the world as feminists worry that the pandemic might push back womens struggle for independence by a few decades. In India, women already spend a disproportionate amount of their time on invisible work. Unpaid care work makes up 35% of GDP or 182% of the total tax revenue, non-profit ActionAid said in 2017.
Even in a booming economy, we struggled to deal with the problem of women dropping out of the workplace. Some 21.7 million women stopped working in the five years to 2009-10, according to government data. Post the economic burden that the lockdown placed on an already depressed economy, womens fight to stay in the workplacewhile managing children who are unlikely to go back to school soon and running the home with less help for a variety of reasonsjust got tougher.
Women are the worst receivers of a tanking economy. Anyway you are standing last in queue. And the problem of womens workforce numbers is nobodys job," says Sairee Chahal, pointing out that theres no secretary-level bureaucrat in any of three government ministrieswomen and child welfare, skills and commerceto track these numbers.
At SHEROES, the womens community platform that Chahal founded in 2014, the helpline queries have moved from general topics to calls from women who want to discuss anxiety and abuse. As families stay home more, domestic abuse has risen across the world.
In the short term its going to be very, very hard for women but it will give many the confidence to use new tools. Women will start helping themselves, we cant wait for other people to give us jobs," says Chahal.
Adds Neha Bagaria, founder of online job portal JobsForHer, Given that companies have figured out how to make Work From Home work, we are seeing many more opportunities opening up for women."
Chahal believes that in the long term, two things are likely to happen.
Remote work will grow and women will benefit the most from it; and women will embrace the internet faster. You have already seen this latter phenomenon unfold on your social networksevery girlfriend with a skill is attempting to monetize her ideas online.
When more women start adopting the internet, it will change a lot of things for them. Millions of women will become micro-entrepreneurs in the next couple of years," says Chahal.
Osama Manzar has helped create 10,000 digital entrepreneurs since 2007 (80% of them women) through the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) that believes digital literacy is the path to greater socioeconomic equality.
DEF has already moved some of its learning programmes with rural women and schoolgirls in Assam and Telangana online. Manzar believes the way we have defined our lives through work, earning, the economy will all have to be redefined. Localization instead of globalization is one solution in this reset," he says. I see a more modest supply chain but bigger localized dependency on each other which is trust-based. Even e-commerce will have to become more localized."
Some women have already switched track. In the pre-covid era, Gurugram resident Shweta Rai was a personal trainer who had a tie-up with a fitness chain. But gyms were the first to shut down and taking her skill online only allowed her to earn a fraction of what she made earlier. Now she is the co-founder of Krishak Agritech Pvt. Ltd, which sells seasonal fruits and vegetables sourced from nearby farmers in Haryana and Rajasthan and promises same day delivery to her 300 clients. Her goal? To go hyperlocal from as many Delhi neighbourhoods as she can.
Meanwhile, in Bengaluru, Mansi Charan, who went back to a full-time job in mid-March after a break of several years, is struggling to juggle her responsibilities. Overnight I became a full-time cook, maid, mother and employee," she says. I wanted to get out and meet people and get some financial independence but." Shes trying to figure out whether she should keep working or just quit.
Chahal knows the new and parallel track of micro-entrepreneurs and remote workers wont address any of the battles women have been fighting these past years, such as more of us in leadership positions and greater diversity in the corporate workplace. I guess we will have to go back to tackling these issues after the present crisis has been addressed.
The future of work for women might be a little less bleak if men agree to reskill too and take equal ownership of household responsibilities rather than magnanimously making the morning tea every once in a while.
At 10.30pm, after all the chores were done for the day, Ghosh would go up to the terrace to grab some time away from her family. I realized there were five, six other women in my building society who were also there. We were all talking about the same thingeveryone was struggling." So the next time Ghosh had a brainstorming session on Zoom with members of the online petition sites She Creates Change community, she interrupted people discussing important" ideas with, I am sick of bartan, jhadu pocha"
Priya Ramani shares whats making her feel angsty/agreeable.
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Posted: at 7:55 am
While sleep can elude you at any time, COVID-19 is causing more people than ever to miss out on their kip. Research from Public Health England (PHE) has found that four in 10 adults are having more trouble than usual with their sleep during the outbreak.
As a result, PHE has added advice on how to look after your sleep to its Every Mind Matters platform, which aims to support peoples mental health during the pandemic and beyond. You can find that advice about your sleep here.
We spoke to sleep expert Colin Espie, who has contributed to the campaign, about the importance of sleep for your mental health and how you can improve it.
Sleep is a fundamental deliverer of mental health and wellbeing. People who sleep well are protected to some degree from mental health problems, and people who have mental health problems have more difficulty with sleeping. It means if we can improve sleep theres the potential to do a lot of good for mental health.
Sleep is a primary driver of emotional health. During our sleep our memories are consolidated, our emotion is regulated, the important is filtered out from the trivial, and the urgent is prioritised. All that is going on during sleep, and I think people are a little more aware of that fact at the moment. They notice theyve been dreaming more, sleeping a bit different. They should see that as reassuring the brain is working in your sleep to help sort stuff out.
Sleep is not something we do to ourselves its not an action like walking. Its more like hearing or breathing. Its something thats largely involuntary. Good sleepers are not good at sleeping. Theyve not got a skillset. Its more something that requires us to corral it, to find a good space in our life for it.
One of the calls to action I put in the Every Mind Matters campaign is to encourage people to use the opportunity the situation has provided, when our schedules can be more flexible, to experiment and find the best time period start time, end time and total time to be in bed. Maybe youve not got it exactly the way it should be for you.
Theres no value thats right for all people its whatever fits best. Theres a range, most requirements are between X and Y, but you still have to find out whats best for you. If youre somebody who naturally sleeps seven hours, lets say, then if your seven-hour sleep is over a seven-hour period in bed, youre going to have a better experience than if you spend nine hours in bed, because youll have two hours not sleeping. You might still get the same amount of sleep but its more broken.
Its about quantity and quality of sleep. The quality is going to be at its best when youre able to judge, this is the amount of time I need in bed to get the sleep I need. You want to adjust the sleep window to the right duration, so you can fill that period mostly with sleep.
I think the problem arises where the environment that youre in is strongly associated with wakefulness. The prelude to most things is associated with the thing youre about to do. At night we get into our pyjamas, brush our teeth, turn the lights out. All of this triggers a natural progression into going to bed and sleeping. The problem arises if you have things in there that are more connected with other things. Replying to emails, uploading photos to Instagram these things are not obviously connected with the destination point, which is sleep. If sleep has become a problem for you, then they may not be helpful.
However, what Im trying to do is avoid being prescriptive, saying you need eight hours sleep, or shouldnt watch TV in bed. What Im saying is find out how much sleep you need, and Im encouraging people to stand back from their current pattern and try some experiments.
The point of an experiment is to evaluate the results, so you need to have data. That could be from a diary, or simply from your own conclusions. Theres a balancing point between doing all these things. You should do them from the mental perspective that you dont want to overthink sleep. You dont want to try to engineer it. Remember, good sleepers are not good at sleeping were doing these things to set up patterns, working out what the patterns might be, then we let sleep do its stuff. That happens naturally and spontaneously.
This is a time of uncertainty. Of course you could shy away from thinking things through, but maybe sometimes we need to think about them. The point is that when youre tired and lying in bed its not the best time to figure stuff out.
Even if you have things you want to think through, dont do that in your sleep period. Make a point of doing that during your waking day, rather than when youre going to sleep. I call that putting the day to rest. Then if something crops up in the middle of the night, its likely to be something youve already thought about. You can say, Ive already thought about that.
Helping a child settle can break our sleep pattern they're back to sleep and were not. We can get a bit frustrated and before we know it weve got ourselves hyped up and we cant sleep.
If you really struggle to get back to sleep, I usually encourage people to follow what I call the quarter of an hour rule. Give yourself a quarter of an hour or so to fall back to sleep (dont clock-watch, though), but if youre not managing to fall asleep then its all right. Get up, have a drink, potter around, read a book, and soon enough youll feel sleepy. Go back to bed then. Dont overthink it if you cant accept lying awake and trusting that sleep will come, and you need to break a building sense of frustration, then get up and break it.
Sleep is a free gift. Its a biological inevitability. Your dog, the birds, the insects, if theyre good sleepers its not because they avoid caffeine or dont use devices. Theyre sleeping well because this is the rhythm of life. What we need to understand is that were not in control of our sleep, and thats a good thing. The people who sleep well dont try to control it. They have no idea how they do it they just go to bed and fall asleep.
So by trusting sleep I mean that we want to get into the position where sleep can work for us like that. What we do is manoeuvre it into that position. So we go to bed at a regular time, get up at a regular time, and the interval between these things is the right interval for us. People who struggle with their sleep often want to control it, which is admirable, but its a subtle thing you do want to take action, but you want to take the position where the action leads you to trust that sleep is there for you.
Posted: at 7:55 am
Roberto Helou is a new Lebanese YouTuber/vlogger. He started uploading videos on Youtube around a year ago, but his channel is going up fast and his content is original, entertaining, and informative.
With nearly a thousand subscribers so far, Roberto describes his vlogging journey as trying to find my way in the YouTube game. With his most recent vlog, however, it seems to us that he didnt only find his way, but he also reached his destination.
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Join me on #disconnectdecember My relationship with technology started pretty recently. I had my first phone ever at 18 years old. Since then, I never really took a break from social media. But now I decided to take a month completely off the phone to try to requestion my use and truly realize how much it changed our lives, to reflect on how I could optimize the way I use technology in the future and to focus on more authentic relationships. No WhatsApp, no Instagram, no calls, no alarms (that's gonna kill me), no Google Maps, no Strava, no camera, no Spotify, no YouTube. I'm also in need of this zoning out of "distractions" to think about some big life decisions I need to make. If you need to contact me, you can email me at [emailprotected] . Let's see where all this goes Cheers !
A post shared by Roberto Helou (@explorob) on Nov 30, 2019 at 12:31am PST
The Ultimate LEBANON vlog is easily the best vlog about Lebanon weve ever seen. Its description is just as good as the video itself:
We Lebanese people are the source of some of the problems in Lebanon but also the key to change. We have so much potential to make our country thrive.
In one of the darkest times of the Lebanese history, heres a more positive video that focuses on the amazing but overshadowed side of Lebanon, Thats how Roberto introduced the video without even knowing that his vlog will turn out the way it did.
It was only after he watched the footage that he realized the importance of the story that he was about to share.
The YouTuber started off by correcting some of the wrong assumptions about Lebanon, its culture, and its people. The most important one being: No, Lebanon is not a desert.
Believe it or not, we move around using vehicles (sometimes even ones we cant actually afford), but not camels. Most importantly, Lebanon is home to people of all sects and religions and the Lebanese people are peaceful, ambitious, educated, and just love life and having fun.
In Robertos own words: Lebanon defies all expectations. It will surprise you, it will make you wonder, and we will blow your mind.
The vlogger then announces that he will be showing his foreign friends, Adam and Flo, around Lebanon. Both of his friends are visiting Lebanon for the first time ever, and have no idea what to expect.
Not to anybodys surprise, Roberto first took his friends to see Beirut, the city of contrasts, as Roberto calls it in the vlog.
The Beirut Adam and Flo saw for the first time, though, is quite different from the Beirut weve always known. The tourists saw a post-apocalyptic Beirut.
They saw an empty downtown, full of broken glass, anti-governmental graffiti, and barriers. It was empty during the day, and full of protesters in the evenings. The three friends witnessed the good and the bad days of the Lebanese revolution.
Shifting the mood and the scenery, Roberto then took his friends to Our Lady Of Lebanon, known as one of the most peaceful places in Lebanon, with an incredible view of the city and the ocean.
They then made their way to one of the oldest cities in the country: Tyre, south of Lebanon. They visited the famous sea castle where Robertos friends got to discover Lebanons history.
Next, they went to Souk Saida (Sidon) before checking out the recently discovered ruins. They sought to learn more about the city and the unique sights and knowledge it has to offer.
Going back to Beirut was quite the journey, so the friends grabbed a flag and went down to the street where they got a taste of the craziness. They actually climbed a billboard and witnessed a bank being set on fire.
To cool off from the burning tires and banks, they went skiing the next day (pun intended). Later, they explored old mansions and ruins around Beirut city.
Finally, they made their way to Anjar in the Bekaa Valley. There, they met some locals and ate some authentic Lebanese bites.
The day after their trip to the Bekaa, they were met by two other foreign friends. Together, they went hiking in the snow-covered Lebanese mountains, and they brought their Lebanese flag with them.
The next morning, they made their way to Byblos. They checked out the fossil exposition and watched the sunset by the sea.
Being by the sea less than 24 hours ago, Robertos foreign friends were playing with snow and thus witnessing Lebanons most epic miracle.
The vlogger then took his friends to see the Afqa cave and Balou Balaa. And on their last day in Lebanon, the whole group had a classic Lebanese evening, chilling out at Robertos aunts and eating home-made Manakich.
Roberto, as he mentions in the vlog, got to see Lebanon through his foreign friends eyes, and got to love his country all over again. He was just as mesmerized by Lebanons beauty.
In the last part of his vlog, Roberto got real about the situation in Lebanon. He left a heartwarming message for his fellow Lebanese, urging them to see that they all deserve better than what they currently have. His vlog is the perfect proof of that.
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For those who didn't know, some protests started in Lebanon October 17th after the government announced an implementation of taxes. But soon those protests grew into something much biggerThe tax raise was the straw that broke the camel's back: A couple of days before, fires burned 3700 acres of forest. A couple of months ago, the country was slowly falling into an economical crisis. And it's been years the country is drowning in corruption, environmental problems, the lack of a basic system like 24/7 electricity for example and all that with the same people in power taking advantage of the situation for individual interests. In a sectarian country that was for years heavily divided by religion, corruption, political parties and ethnicities, it's really incredible to see what's happening in Lebanon right now. The majority of people are putting aside their hatred, personal interests and prejudices in order to fight peacefully for their rights. The HOPE for a better common future united almost everyone within and out of the country with a massive reaction from the diaspora all around the world. This revolution is an incredible first step for change. Honestly, I have no idea of the consequences and if the transitional fase will be tough or not for the country, but it is a necessary step. Some politicians are resigning slowly but surely. Perseverance from us Lebanese will be the game changer. And recently participating in a protest in London made me realize that. All this enlightened me since I noticed the whole world actually is on a massive strike but on micro-levels: Protests in Hong Kong, Catalua, Bolivia, Iraq, Ecuador, Chile, Indonesia, Sudan, Venezuela etc and socio-political movements like Friday for Future and Extinction Rebellion are happening all around the world at the same time!! EVERYONE is fighting for political, environmental, economical, social SUSTAINABILITY. The need for change is clear, the first steps are finally being applied. What a time to be alive. Amazing shot captured by @louaykabalan, check him out!!
A post shared by Roberto Helou (@explorob) on Oct 30, 2019 at 10:28pm PDT
Unity and change are what we need, according to this Lebanese. What struck Robertos friends the most while visiting Lebanon is the outstanding kindness.
They were met by kindness, selflessness, and generosity every step of their journey. Lebanon is full of amazing places and sceneries, but what remains the most beautiful thing about Lebanon is its people.
This is not one of those movies that end with a cheesy message about hope. Its a reminder that we are the best people in the world.
This vlog is a must-see. We can see Roberto Helous bright future as a content creator right in front of our eyes. It is heartwarming that he chose to do so by embracing his homeland!
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Introducing The Zorts Player Card! The First Fully Integrated Age/Grade Digital Player Card in a Sports Management App – WFMZ Allentown
Posted: at 7:55 am
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All documents verified by our Zorts Team with our National database of youth & HS athletes
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