How to Get Out of the Debt Trap When Banks Won’t Help

In many rural areas, a lack of banking options has led to an increase in predatory lending. In eastern Kentucky, a new nonprofit is fighting back. Erica Knight had been in charge of her own money since she was 16, when she had her first job. “I was always very independent and very good with trying to manage my own money and do it all on my own,” Knight said. But when she got married in 2017, she realized that she and her husband needed to get their finances in…

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WeWork considers slashing IPO valuation for stock market debut

Outlook for the shared workspace company is cooling, after disappointing offerings this year from Lyft and Uber. WeWork’s initial public offering won’t be quite the celebration the office-rental unicorn once foresaw. The New York-based startup is considering seeking a valuation of about $20 billion to $30 billion in the IPO, people with knowledge of the matter said. The range could end up closer to $20 billion, said one of the people, which would be less than half the valuation it secured from its biggest backer just a few months ago.…

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Hundreds of sexual assault claims filed in New York

Flurry of legal action comes on the day a new law that extends the statute of limitations for victims goes into effect. Hundreds of people who say they were victims of sexual assault have filed lawsuits against prominent institutions in the US state of New York – including the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America – as a new law that extends the statute of limitations on those cases went into effect. The state’s landmark Child Victims Act, which legislators passed earlier this year, lifts the statute of…

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More Americans are falling way behind on student loan payments

Mounting student debt and credit card delinquencies could sap consumer spending and undermine economic growth. More people in the United States appear to be struggling to keep up with their credit card and student loan debt payments. That could weigh on consumer spending and threaten one of the strongest drivers of economic growth. US credit card balances grew to $868bn in the second quarter, from $848bn in the previous three months, and the proportion of those balances seriously past due is on the rise, according to Federal Reserve Bank of…

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How to Travel at Home: Finding New Routes Through Our Daily Lives

Many of us don’t look up from our smartphones long enough to notice what’s around us. Grandpa Schiffman joshed that he was taking us grandkids on an ocean voyage to Europe. The round trip on the Staten Island Ferry to the city’s farthest-flung borough and back to lower Manhattan took a little over an hour and cost a nickel, a bargain even in the late 1950s. While Europe would have to wait, New York Harbor was unusual enough for kids brought up in the asphalt jungle. There was a limitless…

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Companies are warming up to climate activists

Corporate leadership is proving more receptive to climate activists at shareholder meetings. Climate activists found companies more receptive to steps like cutting emissions and buying clean power this year, a new tally of shareholder resolutions shows. Proponents say the trend undercuts the case for rule changes sought by business groups to make it more difficult to file proxy resolutions at annual shareholder meetings. Of the 145 climate-related proposals filed for this year’s springtime annual shareholder meeting season, 39 percent led to deals for greener policies being struck with corporate top…

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Louisiana braces for first hurricane of the season

Tropical Storm Barry could develop into a Category-1 hurricane as it makes landfall this week, bringing torrential rain. Thousands of residents of the US state of Louisiana broke out sandbags or fled to higher ground Thursday as Tropical Storm Barry threatened to turn into the first hurricane of the season and blow ashore with torrential rains that could pose a severe test of New Orleans’ improved post-Katrina flood defences. National Guard troops and rescue crews in high-water vehicles took up positions around the state as Louisiana braced for the arrival…

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President Trump’s personal tax records could soon be made public

New York state governor signs TRUST Act into law, allowing Congress access to President Trump’s state tax returns. New York state on Monday cleared the way for Democrats in the US Congress to obtain President Donald Trump‘s state tax returns, raising the possibility of fresh avenues of inquiry for legislators investigating his finances. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an amendment to a tax law that would require the commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance to share state income tax returns and reports when certain congressional committees request them. The…

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Judge blocks Ohio abortion law, clinics to remain open

Judge temporarily blocks state’s ‘heartbeat law’, which opponents argue would effectively ban abortions. A US federal judge temporarily blocked an Ohio law Wednesday that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, allowing clinics to continue to provide the procedure as a legal face-off continues. The ruling by US District Judge Michael Barrett halts enforcement of the so-called “heartbeat law” that opponents argued would effectively ban the procedure because a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant.…

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The World According to AI

How will Artificial Intelligence be used in the future? Who will it be used by and who will it be used against?   Episode 1: Targeted by Algorithm Artificial intelligence is already here. There’s a lot of debate and hype about AI, and it’s tended to focus on the extreme possibilities of a technology still in its infancy. From self-aware computers and killer robots taking over the world, to a fully-automated world where humans are made redundant by machines, the brave new world of Artificial Intelligence is prophesied by some to…

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How New Yorkers Stood Up to Amazon and Won

Queens activists, unions, and political leaders worried about gentrification and opposed the $1.2 billion in tax breaks offered to the retail giant. When Amazon announced in November it would establish another headquarters in Long Island City, in the Queens borough of New York, the reaction wasn’t all positive. A group of local activists, unions, and political leaders voiced their opposition to the $1.2 billion in tax breaks the city and state offered the retail giant. Many cities had actively courted the company in hopes of investment and jobs. But the…

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US charges WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with espionage

US unveils 17 new criminal charges against Assange, accusing him placing US at risk by publishing classified documents. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being taken from a UK court [File: Matt Dunham/AP Photo] The US Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information. The superseding indictment comes a little more than a month after the Justice Department unsealed a…

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While Paywalls Reign the Publishing Industry, Academic Papers Are Freely Accessible on the Dark Web

Modern digital piracy transcends almost all aspects of life. In this equation, the dark web and cryptocurrencies have fueled global piracy schemes. If you think that pirated material is only restricted to movies and music, you’ll be very mistaken. Today, piracy has become a solution to every item that is deemed expensive by the online world—even academic material. There exists a current war between academic factions and stakeholders about the need to tax academic research. While this battle rages on the surface, a host of academic materials have seeped deep…

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Fentanyl deaths continue in poorest parts of US

As China cracks down on the export of opioids, users and dealers find loopholes to obtain it in impoverished US neighbourhoods. The United States has been fighting an opioid epidemic that has killed thousands of people over the past few years. Many of those drugs originate in China, forcing Beijing to clamp down on its export of the painkiller fentanyl. However, cities such as Baltimore, Maryland are not seeing the results as yet. Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro reports from Baltimore.

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540 million private Facebook records found on public Internet

According to a report on Wednesday by UpGuard, a cybersecurity firm, two databases containing user data from Facebook were found on Amazon.com web servers accessible to the public on the internet. Information leaked included user ID’s, photos, Facebook friend and group lists, and interests. One of the databases is owned by the Mexican company Cultura Colectiva, which specializes in digital media, while the other is owned by a separate Facebook-integrated app, At the Pool. In these two instances, the records were publicly available because the “Amazon S3 Buckets” on which…

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