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5 myths about debt consolidation

5 myths about debt consolidation

If you are trying to get out of debt, a debt consolidation loan is a strategy to consider.

Debt consolidation involves combining several debts into one debt. In addition to a debt consolidation loan, here are other popular ways to consolidate debt: https://consolidationnow/payday-loan-consolidation/

There are a lot of pros and cons to debt consolidation as well as many myths surrounding the subject. Before we go ahead, let’s shatter a few of these myths that might affect your decision.

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Myth # 1: Debt Consolidation Repays Less Money

Debt consolidation is not debt settlement. In a debt settlement, the consumer negotiates an agreement to pay back less than what he owes. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it usually is. Debt settlement can take a long time. This can seriously damage your credit score and cost you extra money in taxes and fees. Also, there is no guarantee that you will ultimately pay less than what you would have paid without the settlement.

Debt consolidation does not change the amount of your balances. You simply take out a larger loan to pay off several smaller debts.

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Myth # 2: Debt Consolidation Hurts Your Credit Score

Every time you apply for credit, your credit rating may drop a few points. When you apply for a debt consolidation loan, there is no rate buying window. Each request will create a new inquiry on your credit report, and each has the potential to lower your score a bit.

Having said that, the debt consolidation loan by itself does not hurt your credit score. Here’s why.

Your credit score is based on:

  • Your payment history
  • Your credit utilization rate – how much you owe on your credit cards against limits
  • Your credit mix – the different types of credit you may have (credit cards, installment loans, mortgage, etc.)
  • The age of your credit accounts
  • The number of times you recently applied for new credit (requests)

In some cases, a debt consolidation loan can actually increase your credit score. This is a common finding for people who use this type of installment loan to pay off credit card debt. When you pay off your cards, your usage rate goes down because it’s calculated on your revolving debt, not your installment loan debt. Usage is a big factor in your credit score, so paying off your cards could boost your score significantly.

Also, if you didn’t have an installment loan on your credit report before, your credit score will improve when you get the debt consolidation loan. It could also increase your credit score.

Myth # 3: Debt Consolidation Takes Time

Debt consolidation is not a long process. If you qualify for a debt consolidation loan, you can consolidate your debt within days. Factors that affect the timeline include:

  • It’s time to research loan options
  • Whether you qualify now or need to improve your credit score first
  • How quickly the lender processes and approves your request
  • How long it takes to receive the funds (usually the same day or a few days after approval)

Myth # 4: Debt Consolidation Is Expensive

Debt consolidation is not free. Most lenders charge a setup fee or a lender fee. Those who don’t usually charge a higher interest rate.

The Ascent’s Choices For The Best Debt Consolidation Loans

Want to pay off your debts faster? Check out our list of the best personal loans for debt consolidation and lower your monthly payments with a lower rate.

Pay off debt faster

Even so, many people reduce their overall cost when consolidating their debts. Indeed, the interest rate of a personal loan can be lower than the average interest rate of the debts that you want to consolidate. This is especially common if you currently have credit card debt.

As long as you research consolidation loans and their fees carefully before choosing one, debt consolidation can be a smart solution to paying off your debt.

Myth # 5: Debt Consolidation Means More Debt

One of the most dangerous pitfalls of debt consolidation is increasing your overall debt. This can happen when you use a loan to pay off your credit cards and then top up the credit cards.

Only you can break this myth.

Yes, if you pay off your credit cards with a new loan, you will have the potential to take on even more debt. But if you have a solid financial plan, increasing your debt is far from inevitable.

A great solution is to close your credit card accounts as soon as you pay them off. Don’t worry about it hurting your credit score. For one thing, getting out of debt is more valuable than protecting your short term credit score. For another, the damage is probably minimal. You might lose some points if your account age decreases, but you will earn points when your usage rate decreases.

The advantages of deleveraging far outweigh the disadvantages of temporary fluctuations in your credit rating.

Before applying for a debt consolidation loan, take a step back and assess the reasons why you are in debt. For many people, debt is the result of a financial situation that was not under their control. But sometimes debt can be the result of overspending or not having the right budgeting method in place. No matter what category you find yourself in, you’ll get the most out of debt consolidation if you combine it with a plan for managing your personal finances.

Pioneering architect Joseph Middlebrooks and dynamic Anna Wyche lived well



The past few months have seen the deaths of prominent architect Joseph Middlebrooks and Anna Wyche, the wife of a pastor who has contributed so much to our community.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

One of the things I’ve always felt compelled to do as a journalist – a black journalist – is to tell the story of my people. Very often this involves writing an obituary, informing the community of the deceased’s contributions. It is not always an easy task. Not because their stories are unworthy, but rather because I feel so inadequate.

Today I want to share the stories of two lives well lived. They are Joseph Middlebrooks and Anna Augusta McCleskey Wyche.

First African-American chartered architect registered in Florida

Joseph Middlebrooks was born on December 31, 1941, a few weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which plunged America into World War II. It was also a time of heightened Jim Crow-ism and in Shellman, Georgia, the small rural town where Middlebrooks was born to Albert and Maurene Middlebrooks, the future offered little to intelligent young black people like Middlebrooks. Neither did the small rural town of Pahokee, Florida, where her family later moved.

Despite this, Middlebrooks, the second of seven siblings, excelled and graduated first in his class of 1959 from Lakeshore High School in Belle Glade. In 1960 he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served until 1964. He then enrolled at Howard University, enlisted in Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and graduated in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in architecture.

An undated photo, left to right, of Joseph Middlebrooks and Dr. Samuel H. McClendon of Florida Memorial College in Opa-locka. Miami Herald File | Martin Aronow

In 1970, he obtained a master’s degree in architecture and urban planning at Yale. His degrees earned him dual appointments at the University of Miami’s Center for Urban Studies and the Department of Architecture. Later, he was named Emeritus Professor of Architecture, an honor bestowed on esteemed professors who are leaders in their fields of study.

Middlebrooks continued his work quietly, never focusing on himself, and became the first registered African-American licensed architect in Florida. He then established his own company, Joseph Middlebrooks and Associates, Inc. For his dedication to his profession, Middlebrooks has received awards and accolades, including the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, the Miami Herald Pacesetters Award, and a commendation plaque from the town of Opa-locka for the outstanding design of a state-owned multi-service center in the town.

One of Middlebrooks’ many passions was to help the betterment of people, especially people of color. Thus, as an urban planner, he played a major role in creating a master plan for the upgrading of several long-neglected historic black neighborhoods in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. He participated in many public programs and retired in 2011 as a professor of architecture and urban planning.

Today, Middlebrooks’ life work resides in the University of Miami archives, which includes much of his research papers, administrative records, plaques, awards, drafts, development plans, architectural drawings, urban and development reports, to name a few. The collection is open for research at the University of Miami.

Middlebrooks died on November 25. He was the father of two sons, Edwin Jabari Middlebrooks and Jameel Brandon Middlebrooks, and the grandfather of two children, Jayden Jeanette and Jordyn Ann Middlebrooks.

Anna Augusta McCleskey Wyche.

The pastor’s wife is considered the “mother of our community”

As impressive as her name is, I’m sure not many people knew about Anna Wyche or what she did to improve the lives of others in our community.

First and foremost, Anna was a pastor’s wife. In all directions. She was truly a woman of faith, and in her spirit and actions her first duty was to help her husband, Reverend Dr. Freeman Wyche, Sr., now Pastor Emeritus of Liberty City Church of Christ, Minister People. and the community he was called to serve. And she was a mother – not just to her own children, but to any child who needed a comforting hug or a word of encouragement.

Dewey Knight III remembers Anna as a “mother of our community”.

“She lived in the parsonage of the church, directly across from the Liberty Square Housing Project. Many of the young girls living in the project looked up to her and were blessed to have her,” Knight said. “She was a lady of such quality, such dignity, whose home always had an open door for those in need. She treated the young people who came to her door with love and respect, and all young girls who knew her wanted to be like her.

Knight and Wyche’s son, Kermit, played football together at Northwestern High School. “She was like a mother to the students at the school. We loved her for her willingness to lead by example. Some of the young people at Northwestern came from some of the toughest situations and she was always there for them. She was truly a mother from our community,” he said.

Anna Wyche was born in Tyner, Tennessee, a small community just northeast of Chattanooga. She was the eldest of seven children born to William Miles and Mary Elizabeth Burnette McClesky. She attended local schools and graduated second in her class in 1955 from Booker T. Washington School in East Chattanooga. In September of that year, Anna and Freeman Wyche, then a dashing young airman in the United States Air Force, were married in her parents’ living room.

Anna adapted to life as a military wife and lived in England, where her husband was stationed, in the early years of their marriage. Their family grew (they had six children, three of whom died shortly after birth: twins JoAnn and ZoeAnn, and Augustus). Besides England, the Wyches lived in several states, including New York, California and Texas, before settling in South Florida after Freeman Wyche was discharged from the Air Force.

As well as being the wife of a military man and a minister, during her lifetime Anna had also been the wife of a firefighter and a pioneer of desegregation, holding many positions as “first blacks”. “. Still, it had always been Anna’s dream to finish her studies. She had suspended her goals when her husband was called to the ministry. But when she was in her mid-40s, Anna went back to school and earned an Associate of Arts degree from Miami Dade Community College. Later, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Barry University.

She was 50 at the time and she started running.

During her professional career, Anna served as an adjunct counselor at Miami Dade College. She retired in 2000 after a 17-year career as the High School Assistance Program (CAP) counselor for Miami-Dade County Public Schools at Miami Northwestern Senior High School. She was a member of the Alpha Delta chapter of the Phi Delta Kappa Sorority, Inc., where she served as a basileus for four years. She also served as a regional advisor for the Kappa Omicron Tau (KOT) College Guidance Group for young women wishing to become teachers.

Additionally, she has been a den mother for Cub Scouts, a mentor for Take Stock in Children, chair of the PTA/PTSA for elementary, middle, and high schools, and an Easter Seals volunteer.

She was also Southwestern Christian College’s (an HBCU school) coordinator for the National Dinner Day Banquet for South Florida for over 30 years. She served as national chair of the Bowser Women’s Scholarship at Southwestern Christian College and coordinated several fundraisers including Women in White – Men in Black, The Fall Festival, and the Penny King and Queen program which awarded a scholarship to Southwestern Christian College.

Anna loved the Lord and his church. For decades, she bought gifts for every member of the Liberty City Church of Christ and handed them out at holidays, birthdays and family gatherings.

Anna also loved people. His favorite greeting was, “Hi! I’m glad to be here!” She died peacefully at her home on January 6, with her family by her side. She was 84 years old.

In addition to Freeman, her husband of 66 years, Anna is survived by her sons Freeman II (Alicia) and Kermit (Bridgette), and daughter Zoe T. Madison (Davie); six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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Bea L. Hines can be contacted at bea.hines@gmail.com

CCG offers a minimum wage of $15/hr and bonuses


Effective January 17, 2022, the Certified Collectibles Group (CCG), one of the largest private employers in the Sarasota-Manatee area, is instituting a minimum wage of $15 per hour for all entry-level employees, including full-time, part-time employees. full-time employees and interns.

CCG’s new hourly minimum wage is more than double the federal minimum wage and 50% higher than Florida’s current minimum wage.

CCG is the world’s leading provider of authentication and grading services for collectibles such as coins, paper money, comic books, trading cards, sports cards, stamps and more . Since 1987, CCG has certified nearly 70 million collectibles (more than 9 million in 2021 alone) and continues to grow at a rapid pace due to growing demand for its services amid an item boom. of collection.

CCG now employs over 500 people at its Sarasota headquarters and over 600 people worldwide. With many new openings in early 2022, CCG is once again offering a signing bonus: $1,500 for all new hires starting by June 30, 2022.*

CCG is committed to attracting and retaining high caliber employees. Over the past month, CCG has awarded several million dollars in raises and discretionary bonuses to employees earning less than $100,000.

“We appreciate the exceptional efforts of our employees and believe that compensating them well not only enhances their lives, but also enhances the best-in-class services we provide to the collecting community,” said Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of CCG. . “We strive to be one of the best places to work in the Sarasota-Manatee area and beyond.”

CCG employees benefit from career advancement opportunities; comprehensive benefits including health, dental and vision insurance; a 401(k) with company correspondence; paid vacation; annual discretionary bonuses; and more. CCG also offers extensive on-the-job training, overtime incentives, and convenient work schedules.

As a large, multi-faceted, global company, CCG offers many opportunities for people of all experience levels and backgrounds, from expert collectibles classifiers to positions in shipping, receiving, customer service , human resources, marketing and more. This is a chance to join a well-established company in an exciting and growing industry.

Interested in growing with CCG? Learn more about the wide range of positions available at collectiblesgroup.com/careers. To speak directly with someone at CCG, call 800-587-1897 or email Service@CollectiblesGroup.com.

*Subject to terms and conditions. Ask for details.

About Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®)

CCG is the world’s leading provider of expert, unbiased, technology-based services that add value and liquidity to collectibles. CCG companies include Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®), Numismatic Conservation Services™ (NCS®), Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®), Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®), Classic Collectible Services® (CCS®), Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®), Authenticated Stamp Guaranty® (ASG®) and Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®). Since 1987, CCG companies have certified nearly 70 million coins, banknotes, comic books, trading cards, sports cards, stamps, real estate and related collectibles. Today, CCG serves the world of collectibles online and from offices in the US, UK, Germany and China. To learn more, visit collectiblesgroup.com.

This Republic Day 2022 Get a Fullerton India Personal Loan at 11.99%* per annum


January 20, 2022 1:16 p.m. STI

Bombay (Maharashtra) [India], Jan. 20 (ANI/BusinessWire India): As Republic Day 2022 dawns upon us, it’s time to manage finances wisely with Fullerton India Personal Loans.
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It’s also the perfect time to take advantage of personal loans at the best interest rates to finance your long-awaited home renovation, a luxury family trip or to solve long-standing financial problems like debt consolidation. If you’re thinking of buying this durable, high-consumption item for your home, now is the perfect time to indulge yourself. You can finance your needs easily with a personal loan from Fullerton India.
Fullerton India Personal Loans are hassle-free and digitized to suit everyone’s needs and convenience. Gone are the days of visits and queuing outside the lender’s office with a huge stack of documents to apply for a personal loan. With Fullerton India’s digitized personal loan application procedure, you can access instant funds for any purpose.
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Digitized loan application process – How about applying for a personal loan online without actually leaving your home? Yes, the Fullerton India personal loan application can be done completely online, and the application process is fully digitized for your convenience. With the push of a few buttons, you can apply for a loan and get approved in principle based on your eligibility.
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Fullerton India Insta Loan App – Available on Android and iOS, Fullerton India InstaLoan App is the solution to all your financial problems. It allows for a hassle-free application process, the ability to upload scanned documents online, and offers real-time tracking of the loan application. The app provides an easy to use interface that is intuitively designed for ease of use for customers. Both the website and the app offer personal loan eligibility calculators for a smooth experience.
This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI shall in no way be responsible for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

The Times the Pawn Stars Shouldn’t Have Called an Expert


In a 2020 episode of “Pawn Stars,” a man named Dennis was looking to sell a very old and very well-preserved long gun, one that took three different handlers to figure out its true value (which Dennis already seemed keenly aware). Corey Harrison identified the gun as being of French origin and something unique, so for a second opinion he called his father, Rick Harrison, a lover of historical relics, who immediately realized that they had a Boutet gun in their hands. “He was like a Rembrandt of guns,” the elder Harrison said of Nicolas-Noël Boutet, official gunsmith to King Louis XVI of France and post-revolutionary conqueror Napoleon, who “was like the first to truly combine” function and art. and catered to very wealthy customers in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Dennis wanted $10,000 for his treasure, but before offering any amount, the Harrisons brought in Alex Cranmer, CEO of International Military Antiques, to assess the value. A visibly excited Cranmer said “Holy moly!” when he first laid eyes on the coin, and after admiring its detailing and ornamentation (and trying it out on a shooting range), he estimated its potential auction price at 30,000 $. Dennis raised his asking price to $20,000 and Rick Harrison lowered it to $16,000, well above the ten thousand dollars the client originally offered.

House panel votes 6-4 to restrict racism lessons in Arizona schools | Local News


Representative Jennifer Pawlik, D-Chandler, who is an elementary school teacher, said she was worried about what would happen if a history lesson made a student feel uncomfortable.

“It was not my intention,” she said. “But if someone has the feeling, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know this was happening’, it makes a first grader sad, will the teacher lose their teaching? degrees, school Will she be fined?’

Udall, however, said it comes down to intent.

“If you read it carefully, it says that a teacher should not only teach an individual should feeling discomfort, experiencing anguish or some other form of psychological distress because of the individual’s race, ethnicity or gender,” she said.

Specifically, Udall said, teachers should teach that students are responsible for their own actions, “not what happened in history.”

Rep. Reginald Bolding, D-Laveen, said it wasn’t that simple.

For example, he said, there could be a discussion of the Fair Housing Act, the 1968 federal law designed to prevent discrimination in people’s ability to buy and rent houses and apartments, something which can be taught as a matter of history. But Bolding said the lessons go beyond those simple facts.

“A student might ask, ‘Why?’ or how?’ ” he said. ‘And that’s when you start having a deeper discussion about ‘why did you need the Fair Housing Act of 1968’.”

REVIEW: Wonderful Colorful Kitchen Walk Returns to EPCOT 2022 International Arts Festival


The Wonderful Colorful Kitchen Walk is back for another year of the EPCOT International Arts Festival. This scavenger hunt encourages guests to purchase specific menu items to win a prize.

A list of items that are part of the Wonderful Colorful Kitchen Walk can be found in a festival passport as well as on signs in World Showcase.


Here are the rules:

  • Buy five menu items from the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine locations
  • Be sure to collect a matching stamp in your festival passport for each menu item you purchase
  • After collecting five stamps, bring your passport to Deco Delights to claim your prize

Cast Members will stamp your passport when purchasing the corresponding treat.

Here are the foods featured on the Wonderful Colorful Kitchen Walk:

  • Red: Blood Orange Braised Beet Carpaccio with Mustard Vinaigrette, Pickled Mushrooms, Golden Beets and Crostini – located at Gourmet Landscapes
  • Green: Deconstructed Key Lime Pie with Flexible Lime Curd, “Key Lime” Mousse, Graham Cracker Cake and Meringues – located at The Deconstructed Dish
  • Yellow: Homemade Chorizo ​​and Potato Empanada with Turmeric Aioli and Annatto Aioli – located at Vibrante & Vívido: Encanto Cocina
  • Orange: Seared Scallops with Vanilla Butternut Squash Mash, Browned Butter Cauliflower Mash, and Lime Foam – located at The Artist’s Table
  • Pink: Vanilla Donut with Strawberry Sugar, Strawberry Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberries and Strawberry Jelly – located at The Donut Box
  • Reward: Artists Palette Cookie

Red: Carpaccio of braised beets with blood orange, mustard vinaigrette, marinated mushrooms, golden beets and crostini from gourmet landscapes

It’s a solid dish with plenty to do. Thin, crisp beets line the bottom, nicely paired with strong blue cheese, well-prepared mushrooms and more. The crostini (essentially tiny slices of toasted and buttered bread) are also a welcome touch. Read our full Foodscapes review here.

Green: Deconstructed Key Lime Pie with Flexible Lime Curd, “Key Lime” Mousse, Graham Cracker, and Meringues from the Deconstructed Dish


It was the top level. A perfect balance between acidity and sweetness, and the presentation allows you to distribute the ingredients as you wish. The cake is moist and tasty, a highlight for us. You get a nice portion size, and it also takes a nice shot. Read our full Deconstructed Dish review here.

Yellow: Homemade Chorizo ​​and Potato Empanada with Turmeric Aioli and Annatto Aioli from Vibrante & Vívido: Encanto Cocina


This is the best savory dish of the event. It’s a massive portion, stuffed with well-cooked potatoes and chorizo. The sauces add a spicy kick that isn’t too intense for all palates. An EPCOT snack that can be really filling. Highly recommended. Read our full Vibrante & Vívido: Encanto Cocina review here.

Orange: Seared Scallops with Vanilla Butternut Squash Mash, Browned Butter Cauliflower Mash, and Lime Foam from The Artist’s Table


The scallops were fishy, ​​chewy and stringy; overall just very poor quality. The mousse was interesting so it’s a shame the dish tasted so bad. Read our full The Artist’s Table review here.

Pink: Vanilla Donut with Strawberry Sugar, Strawberry Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberries and Strawberry Jelly from The Donut Box

This dish has lots of strawberry flavors, some real, some artificial. Ice cream has this strong artificial flavor. The donut has a hard, sweet glaze on a crumbly cake donut. It is very good. Read our full The Donut Box review here.

Reward: Artist Palette Cookie

Once you’ve collected all five stamps, head to Deco Delights on World Showcase Promenade near the Port of Entry to redeem your reward.

As in previous years, the prize is an adorable palette cookie. It’s a standard sugar cookie with a thick, sweet frosting.

This year, a second delicacy is offered in addition to the biscuit. It’s not advertised anywhere, but it comes in a keepsake mug.

It was some kind of frozen berry soft drink. The Cast Members weren’t sure what it was when we asked.

For more information on Disney Parks around the world, follow WDWNT on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

China floods French market with anti-Covid products after causing global shortage


Published on:

Anti-Covid masks are ubiquitous in French supermarkets. Like self-tests, thermometers and hand gels, they are mainly produced in China. RFI looks back at how Beijing turned the global pandemic to its advantage.

Almost all supermarkets in the Paris region carry shelves of Covid-19 related goods made in China.

“They sell out as soon as they arrive,” says one salesperson.

A box of black disposable surgical masks is on sale in a Parisian supermarket for less than 4 euros. The masks are made by Xiantao Zhuobo Industrial, based in Hubei province, the capital Wuhan, the city where the virus first surfaced.

According to the Chinese enterprise search site Kanzhun.com, Zhuobo Industrial was a company with only two employees, specializing in “decoration design, construction, building materials production, processing, sales, vegetables, fruits and crop planting”.

But after Covid swept the world, the business was quick to adapt. Today’s Chinese Enterprise Tracking Site Exporthub.cn said Zhuobo Industrial “mainly produces disposable products, including medical protective clothing, medical masks, medical isolation gowns, shoes and hats,” with ISO quality marks.

Booming market

Another box with 10 FFP2 folding protective masks is made by Zhejiang xieli Science and Technology Co. Ltd, which was originally a home decor and stationery company. His website shows stickers, notebooks, greeting cards and gift books.

“Certificate of Quality” for face masks, manufactured by Zhuobo Industrial in Xiantao City, Hubei Province, China. © RFI/Jan van der Made

Previously, most of China’s major face mask producers were foreign companies operating in joint ventures with local partners. The top five were 3M (US,) Cleancool (China,) Honeywell (WE,) Uvex (Germany) and Kowa (Japan.)

But when, after the Covid-19 outbreak, domestic demand for face masks soared, domestic producers quickly started making them.

Looting of masks abroad

During the first months of the pandemic, from January to March 2020, authorities in Beijing desperately sought to obtain as many masks from abroad as possible, contributing to severe shortages around the world.

According to a Press release of the truck manufacturer Build Your Dream (BYD) in March 2020, the foreign branches of the company (which is represented in the United States, Europe and Africa) “coordinated foreign resources to purchase N95 masks and other epidemic prevention materials … and have successively donated to medical personnel who are fighting on the front line against the epidemic.”

“On February 13 (2020), BYD donated its first batch of overseas-purchased medical supplies to five major hospitals in Shenzhen.” The photo is a screenshot from truck maker BYD’s website, taken at the start of the pandemic, when China was importing face masks and other medical supplies from overseas, contributing to the scarcity of masks in the country where the Covid-19 virus was increasingly aggressive. © Screenshot from BYD website

And Bloomberg suggested that Chinese state-owned companies were systematically indulging in the massive purchase of masks from abroad, reports this oil explorer petrochina, one of China’s largest companies, “asked employees from 20 countries to buy face masks and send them home to help fight the virus.”

But then things changed. A study by the medical site VCbeat.top published in the early stages of the pandemic, shows that already in February 2020, non-specialist companies turned to the production of masks.

BYD announced that it was launching its own mass production effort, while SAIC-GM-Wuling, an automotive joint venture between General Motors and Chinese partners and iPhone producer foxcon has also embarked on the production of face masks on the sidelines.

turn the tide

On May 11, 2020, state television CGTN reported that oil producer Sinopec was building the “world’s largest mask material production base” while other companies like the cellphone maker Changing precision, diaper manufacturer baby daddy, Robot Tuoye jumped on the bandwagon and others started production overseas, such as the smartphone maker Oppo which had its Indian outlet producing masks for its local staff.

Eventually, China swept the initial shortages under the table and its mighty propaganda machine began to highlight examples of how planes full of face masks, respirators and other Covid-19 related gear have reached the countries where the pandemic was raging.

China’s propaganda machine showed the triumphant arrival of pallets full of face masks received by happy crowds in countries from Serbia to Rwanda.

But not everyone was enthusiastic.

The Dutch government had to recall 600,000 FFP2 masks after they were tested and appeared to fail to meet hygiene standards.

Australian Border Patrol confiscated 800,000 ‘counterfeit or otherwise faulty’ face masks according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Spain and Turkey also had to send back large shipments. China dismissed the complaints, saying they were “politically motivated.”

“Geopolitical component”

EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell commented on his blog saying there was a “geopolitical component” to the Covid-19 crisis, including a “struggle for influence through the ‘politics of generosity'”.

But where are the local manufacturers?

French companies have belatedly started to respond to the growing demand for face masks and other Covid-related medical equipment, and have tried to counter the flooding from China.

Manufacturer of diagnostic tools NG Biotech in Brittany finally ramped up its self-test production and massively increased its workforce when the Omicron variant hit France in December 2021. The French Mask, a company based in the Paris region, has stepped up production of face masks.

The problem is that the cheapest locally produced box of 50 masks is 19.90 euros. They can cost up to 29.90.

How long will people, who have to change face masks several times a day, be willing to pay for a local product when the alternative made in China sells for a quarter of the price?

Face masks in a French supermarket.  Will local manufacturers be able to compete?
Face masks in a French supermarket. Will local manufacturers be able to compete? © RFI/Jan van der Made

Surreal tower defense game The Battle Cats is hosting a massive month-long Lunar New Year event


Japanese indie developer PONOS Corporation is making the most of the Lunar New Year festivities in 2022 with a huge event in its biggest game.

Starting January 17 at 11 a.m., you can complete daily tasks, milestones, and more for rewards in The Battle Cats, the endearingly crazy tower defense game.

In case you missed The Battle Cats when it launched globally in 2014, it’s a casual mobile game about building, upgrading, evolving and equipping an army of cats to defend your base. . Your base is a Cat Cannon.

Cats are definitely the main theme.

And the main currency is cat food, which is what you use to summon new cats, gacha-style, and buy battle items to arm them with.

Throughout the Lunar New Year event, which ends February 14 at 10:59 a.m., you can absolutely rake in cat food in a number of ways.

For starters, you’ll earn cat food just by logging in every day and collecting a stamp. Then you’ll earn a bit more for completing stages on the Lunar New Year map. For each stage you complete, you will get a good 20.

You will also get a free daily spin on Wildcat slots. The jackpot is a guaranteed 777, which is enough to keep you going for a week (depending on your cat food consumption rate).

And if you fancy taking a break from all the moggy warfare, you can still win cat food by entering the contest on The Battle Cats official Facebook page.

As an added bonus, PONOS Corporation has also reduced the price of your first run of 11 Capsules at the Rare Cat Capsule Machine by 50%, giving you a welcome head start when building your unstoppable Cat Battalion.

To take advantage of this bonus, all you have to do is download The Battle Cats for free from Google Play or the App Store.

Free Student Debt Relief Workshop to be held January 20-21


For the Hub City Times

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Commerce, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) are hosting free online student debt relief workshops on 20 and January 21. These workshops will help student borrowers prepare for the end of the federal student loan payment break on May 1.

“With the resumption of student loan repayments in May, it is more important than ever for borrowers to explore their student loan repayment options and develop a repayment plan today,” the DFI Secretary said. , Kathy Blumenfeld. “Borrowers should take the time now while payments are still on hold to review repayment options such as income-driven repayment plans, which can lower monthly payments, and verify their eligibility for student loan forgiveness. .”

The workshops will also show how to avoid scams.

“As student loan repayments resume, borrowers should watch for dishonest offers of loan forgiveness or consolidation savings from debt relief scammers,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romansky. “Borrowers with questions should attend these informational workshops to learn about the many resources consumers can access without paying a fee.”

To attend the “Student Debt Relief Workshop: How to Avoid Scams, Use Free Repayment Tools, and Save Money” on January 20 from 6-7:30 p.m. and January 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., visit datcp.wi .gov on the homepage and look under “Press Releases.”

Student borrowers can find additional free repayment resources at LookForwardWI.gov. Student borrowers who have been the victim of a scam should report it by filing a complaint online, emailing datcphotline@wisconsin.gov, or calling the DATCP Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7128 .

Negative Narrative NOT SUITABLE for all residents of Littlemoor


I AM a lifelong resident of Littlemoor. I was born here, went to school here, grew up here, went to church here, and still live here.

My family have lived in Littlemoor for three generations.

I have the honor of being one of two Dorset Councilors for Littlemoor & Preston.

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READ MORE: Attempt to unite and eradicate the anti-social behavior that plagues Littlemoor

Lately, it seems that an old dominant Littlemoor narrative of pretty much rat infestations, drugs, crime and violence is resurfacing.

This narrative does not agree with the overwhelming majority of Littlemoor residents.

I brag to my fellow councilors in the community in which I live and represent.

I walked the streets with advisers from all parties, including the leader of Dorset and Weymouth Council. Everyone praised him.

The Littlemoor I know and love is the one who, during the first lockdown, stepped up to support everyone through the food bank, collecting prescriptions and doing groceries.

The Littlemoor I know is the one who started the memorial garden project to honor those who have served this country.

The Littlemoor I know reopened their shuttered youth club, rescued their community center, supported each other in times of grief and came together in times of celebration.

2022 will be Littlemoor’s year to shine and break that narrative.

Events to celebrate the jubilee will surpass anything that has come before, the youth club will be back and better than ever, the annual summer fun day will be outstanding as always, the new Nest project will be up and running, bingo, discos and quizzes will be regular events to help raise much needed funds and bring us together as a community.

The issues we face now have been encountered before and we have dealt with them – and we will deal with them again as a community.

The vast majority of the people of Littlemoor are good, decent, law-abiding, honest and hard-working people who will show that this year through the good works we do.

Louie O’Leary

Littlemoor, Weymouth

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