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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 18:40:31 +0000

Miyoko Schinner is a perfect illustration of the American dream. To the U.S. dairy industry, however, she is something altogether different.

A Japanese immigrant, Schinner started a small company that blossomed into a wildly successful vegan cheese maker, one with the potential to do for dairy alternatives what Beyond Meat is doing for beef substitutes. Her business, Miyoko's Kitchen, began in 2014 as an e-commerce platform, trading on the popularity of her vegan cheese cookbook. After one weekend in which she received $50,000 worth of orders, Schinner knew her 40-pound batches wouldn't be enough to satisfy demand.

So she figured out how to make 1,500 pounds an hour, raised $25 million and built a 30,000 square-foot facility in Petaluma, California. "It was very difficult to scale," said Schinner, now 61. Making dairy alternatives out of ingredients like cashews and rice miso doesn't always work as planned.

Today, her products are sold in 12,000 stores across the U.S. Sales are booming, Schinner said, citing growth of 168% last year. Her company now makes a whole line of dairy-free products, including versions of ch?vre, cream cheese, mozzarella, roadhouse cheese--and Schinner's number one product: butter.

Drawing the line over butter

Until recently, the U.S. dairy industry had been relatively quiet about the proliferation of non-dairy products that use words like "milk" or "cheese." But lately it's been pushing back. Wisconsin, which calls itself America's Dairyland, is one of the biggest dairy producers in the country. It's also America's biggest maker of actual butter.

So when it came to the kind of "butter" Schinner makes, Wisconsin and its powerful dairy lobby decided to draw the line.

Entrepreneurs such as Schinner have been riding a wave of popularity for plant-based products, especially dairy alternatives. Plant-based milk retail sales totaled $1.8 billion for the year ending May 25, a 6.5% increase, according to data from Nielsen. Cheese substitute sales totaled $117 million, showing 17.4% growth. Cashew butters were up to $12.6 million, representing an uptick of 4.9%.

Milk sales, meanwhile, have been suffering a multi-decade decline. In Wisconsin, the pain has been particularly acute. The state's dairy farmers are exiting the industry at a rate of three a day as low milk prices persist and bankruptcies accumulate.

Adam Spierings is one of those former farmers. He asked 27 different banks to reconsolidate his debt, but none would consider it. He just took a job as a crop insurance adjuster while his wife teaches at a technical college. They recently sold their cows but are still trying to sell their other assets, including their farm and home in Weyauwega.

"It's sad to think about what we had and what we were building and what we lost," Spierings said. "But in the grand scheme, we're not living in poverty like we were the last few years."

Dairy vs. vegan semantics

Such dire circumstances have led some in the dairy industry, most notably lobbying groups like the National Milk Producers Federation, to campaign against alternative dairy products--specifically their use of dairy terms on labels. Changing consumer tastes are regularly cited as a chief cause of dairy's slow demise, but vegan products using labels such as "milk"--or in this case, "butter"--are seen by the milk lobby as misleading consumers to unfairly steal market share.

In September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it was "considering approaches to modernize standards of identity" of dairy foods and would be collecting comment from the public. (A review of the those comments, commissioned by the Plant Based Foods Association, contends that 76% were fine with the status quo.)

Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, a Democrat, and Jim Risch of Idaho, a Republican, are pushing the Dairy Pride Act, which would require the FDA to create a system of stricter nationwide enforcement for product labeling and the use of certain words. Under the proposal, labeling something "milk," for example, must mean the product comes from a "hooved mammal." A bipartisan House version has also been introduced by Representative Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, and has 33 cosponsors.

States have been considering legislation of their own. The PBFA counts 10 that have tried or are trying to limit sales of dairy alternative products. Wisconsin, however, has tried taking a slightly different tack--at least when it comes to butter imitators. It ordered supermarkets to take any non-dairy product labeled "butter" off of its shelves.

For 75 years, until the 1960s, margarine was banned in Wisconsin. Serving margarine instead of butter to students, patients or inmates at state-run institutions is still prohibited, unless requested by a doctor. Irish brand Kerrygold--one of the most popular butter brands in the U.S.--was also pulled from shelves in recent years due to a state regulation that requires all butter sold in Wisconsin to have a federal or state grade mark, effectively shutting out foreign butters. Ornua, which owns Kerrygold, made a deal with the state in 2017 to submit to its grading.

On April 15, Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection instructed retail food establishments to remove products that aren't complying with the statutory definition for butter, which requires that it be made from milk or cream. "By definition, a 'vegan' product … cannot be legally labeled and sold as butter," the state said. Products can be labeled as imitation butter, imitation margarine, or vegetable oil spread--but not the real thing, according to the memo.

The memo, which cited other non-dairy products, including one from Upfield brands, came in response to industry complaints about Miyoko's Kitchen, according to copies of emails to state regulators.

Bob Bradley, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Department of Food Science and author of two books on the topic of butter, said in an interview that such products are mislabeled. "It is not butter," he said flatly.

Wisconsin’s butter directive

This is not the first time Miyoko's butter has been challenged. Her company faced a proposed class action lawsuit last October in New York, but it was settled. Steve Ingham, director of Wisconsins agriculture’s consumer bureau, said June 12 the directive banning products such as Miyoko's has since been suspended in favor of a public comment period.

"We make a significant proportion of the nation's butter, and that's a part of the dairy industry that has been doing well," he said in an interview. "So we take it seriously, and when I get complaints about this--these imitation butter products--we do follow up."

During the almost two months the removal order was in effect, Miyoko's Kitchen said its products were pulled from at least one Whole Foods store in Madison and from the retail chain Skogen's Festival Foods. Whole Foods declined to comment. While Festival Foods confirmed Schinner's products had been removed from its stores, no other products were singled out, said Kayla Paul, quality assurance and regulatory affairs specialist for the chain.

A health inspector arrived at one of Skogen's locations in mid-April, she explained. The auditor said the store couldn't have Miyoko's vegan butter on its shelves because of its use of the term "butter."

"There was a lot of back and forth--'Whose regulation is this?'" she said. "We thought, if it's a Wisconsin regulation, why aren't other stores doing it, too?"

Schinner said she offered the state a solution: Her company would have stores affix stickers that say "vegetable spread," if the state would approve it. But the state agriculture officials didn't respond for more than a month, her company said. Then, they approved the label on June 12.

Ingham, the Wisconsin official, said his agency isn't planning to enforce labeling laws on other dairy products, such as fluid "milk," but will follow the FDA's lead.

"It's always good to check on the legality of the label," Ingham said, adding that Wisconsin produces more than a third of the nation's butter. "It's been an important product."

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 18:35:00 +0000

In a video published on YouTube, Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington--in character as Jon Snow--apologized for several mistakes made during the controversial eighth season of the hit HBO show.

There’s just one problem: Harington never uttered the words that appear to come from his mouth. The now-viral video is a so-called deepfake, the term used for videos that have been digitally altered with the intent to deceive viewers.

As deepfake technology gets better, and is available to more people, the Internet could be inundated with believable fake videos that will make it harder for people to discern the truth, experts say.

“Let there be no question that this is a race. The better the manipulators get, the better the detectors need to be. And there are certainly orders of magnitude more manipulators in the race than detectors,” said David Doermann, director of the Artificial Intelligence Institute at the University of Buffalo, during a House Intelligence Committee hearing last Thursday.

While the Jon Snow video was intended as a parody, malicious examples of fake videos have been published online in recent weeks. Last month, a video of House speaker Nancy Pelosi, 79, was altered to make the highest-ranking woman in U.S. government sound as though she was slurring her words.

Attention to the video grew as it spread on social networks; it received an even larger audience after broadcast television networks showed the clip and President Donald Trump tweeted it. (Facebook declined to remove the video, stating that it did not violate the social network’s community guidelines.)

Facebook policy was once again put to the test last week when someone created a deepfake video of co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg declaring in a robotic sounding voice: “Whoever controls the data, controls the future.” The Menlo Park, Calif. company, which endured withering criticism this year over its data privacy practices, stuck to its policy and declined to remove the video. (A Facebook spokesperson told Fortune last week that steps would be taken to slow the spread of “inauthentic” content on the network if a third-party fact checker determined it to be false. The content itself wouldn’t be wired from the platform.)

“It's a real problem,” says Falon Fatemi, CEO of Node, an AI-powered discovery engine. “This is not a case where we can put the genie back in the bottle.”

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'Imagine this…' (2019) Mark Zuckerberg reveals the truth about Facebook and who really owns the future… see more @sheffdocfest VDR technology by @cannyai #spectreknows #privacy #democracy #surveillancecapitalism #dataism #deepfake #deepfakes #contemporaryartwork #digitalart #generativeart #newmediaart #codeart #markzuckerberg #artivism #contemporaryart

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 18:23:35 +0000
Big Dairy Battling Vegan Industry in Butter-Labeling War

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday has ruled against the Virginia House of Delegates in a racial gerrymandering case, tossing out a case that gives the state’s Democrats a long-sought-after victory.
Gerrymandering occurs when voting districts are redrawn to benefit one party over another in elections, forcing the other side to "waste" votes. For example, someone drawing district lines might bunch opposition party voters together in one district in order to concentrate their votes so that they influence only a few seats.

The high court said in a 22-page opinion the G.O.P.-controlled house didn’t have a legal right to challenge a previous lower court opinion that struck down several district maps they had drawn as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. As a result of the ruling, court-ordered maps favoring Democrats will remain in use.

Or, it could mean grouping those opposition voters into districts where the other party gains a hold on power, making it very difficult for the opposing party to win elections.

The Supreme Court took the case after Virginia’s House of Delegates filed an appeal after the state’s attorney general, a Democrat, decided not to appeal the ruling striking down the voting maps.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the opinion for a 5-4 decision in the case, Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, getting both liberal and conservative backing from Justices Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch.
With the court dismissing the challenge on standing grounds, the justices didn’t rule if the maps constitute an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.
“The House observes that Virginia gives redistricting authority to the ‘General Assembly.’ True enough,” Ginsburg wrote. “(But) One House of its bicameral legislature cannot alone continue the litigation against the will of its partners in the legislative process.
“If the State had designated the House to represent its interests, and if the House had in fact carried out that mission, we would agree that the House could stand in for the State. Neither precondition, however, is met here,” Ginsburg continued.
In opposition, Justice Samuel Alito Jr. wrote that the Virginia House of Delegates suffered an injury and had every right to pursue a lawsuit, even using a sports analogy in his defense.
“It is precisely because of the connections between the way districts are drawn, the composition of a legislature and the things that a legislature does that so much effort is invested in drawing, contesting and defending districting plans,” Alito Jr. wrote. “Does a string quartet have an interest in the identity of its cellist?" he asked. "Does a basketball team have an interest in the identity of its point guard?”
Alito Jr. was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., and Justices Samuel Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh in dissent.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement that Monday’s Supreme Court ruling is a win for democracy.
“It’s unfortunate that House Republicans wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and months of litigation in a futile effort to protect racially gerrymandered districts, but the good news is that this fall’s elections will take place in constitutionally drawn districts,” Herring said.
Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general under former president Barack Obama, said in a tweet Monday that the ruling is significant for those Virginians forced since 2011 to vote in racially gerrymandered districts that unjustly undermined the privilege to vote.
“Today's ruling from the Supreme Court is an important victory for African Americans in Virginia who have been forced to vote in racially gerrymandered districts that kept rightful power away from them. Shameful. Fair elections will finally happen this fall for ALL Virginians,” Holder said.

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 17:28:06 +0000
Jon Snow’s Deepfake Apology Video Is a Parody. But the Problem Is No Laughing Matter

Art auction house Sotheby's will be taken private by billionaire Patrick Drahi-owned company BidFair USA at a high premium, the company announced Monday.

Drahi, a long-time media titan and avid art collector, will take Sotheby's private after 31 years on the market as a public company at a $3.7 billion price tag.

"Sotheby's is one of the most elegant and aspirational brands in the world," Drahi said in a statement. "As a longtime client and lifetime admirer of the company, I am acquiring Sotheby's together with my family."

According to a statement from the company, shareholders will receive $57 in cash per share of common stock from the deal--a 61% premium on Sotheby's close on Friday.

But for some analysts, that 61% premium is inexplicably high given the niche market Sotheby's operates in.

"It's a big premium," Alex Maroccia, an equity research analyst at Berenberg Capital Markets, said. "This premium implies nearly all-time highs for the stock. It's a lot higher than where we had it valued because it’s not a very transparent business. The auction market itself is pretty risky because it's cyclical and there are these auction guarantees that Sotheby's gives out that, when investors hear about them, if they take a loss, it almost comes out of the blue. So the lack of transparency makes the stock trade at somewhat of a discount. It's a really tough business to value in that regard, plus, I don't know how they got $57 per share."

In fact, Maroccia, who has been following the company, claims Drahi may have seen the deal as an opportunity to get in on an industry he is well acquainted with from the customer side. And, according to Maroccia, Sotheby's recent attempts to make their operations leaner may have sweetened up the deal.

"Maybe [Drahi] thought that he would be able to get it at a discount, maybe [he] saw an upswing in the operations--because they have been taking a much leaner approach in recent years, trying to reduce the risk from the auction guarantees, making sure they're not giving out ridiculous loans on the financing side," Maroccia said.

Still, the deal, which was approved by Sotheby’s board of directors and shareholders, comes at a time when the company's stock was down 40% over the past 12 months. To boot, the company's earnings over the past year have been weaker, reporting a loss of $7.1 million in its 1st quarter earnings report this year--a 9% increase from the same period last year.

"On the operational side, they haven't really outlined a strategy now that could get them there in terms of where we see their growth," Maroccia said. "The business has been moving more online recently, so the margins have been benefiting from that. Honestly, after that, I don't really see what's going to bridge the gap here because they haven't done a transformative acquisition in recent years--they've kind of focused their acquisition efforts downmarket to increase their total addressable market, but that still doesn’t make up this [$22] difference [from Friday’s close]."

But according to the New York-based company's executives, Sotheby's is optimistic about being private once more.

"[Drahi] has a long-term view and shares our brand vision for great client service and employing innovation to enhance the value of the company for clients and employees," Sotheby's CEO Tad Smith said in a press release. "This acquisition will provide Sotheby’s with the opportunity to accelerate the successful program of growth initiatives of the past several years in a more flexible private environment. It positions us very well for our future and I strongly believe that the company will be in excellent hands for decades to come with Patrick as our owner.”

Sotheby's, which was founded in 1744, saw shares pop 58% in intraday trading on the news.

The deal represents somewhat of a departure from Drahi's expenditures in recent years. Drahi, who founded telecom company Altice in 2001, has since acquired cable and internet provider Cablevision in 2016 for some $17.7 billion.

And while Sotheby's is crossing back over to private territory, competitor Christie's (which is private) doesn't appear to be making any changes.

"It was ripe for Sotheby's to go private," Philip Hoffman, chief executive officer of the Fine Art Group and a former Christie's executive, told Bloomberg on Monday. "Christie's has more advantages being run privately and not having public quarterly reporting that puts pressure on their ability to do deals."

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 17:10:21 +0000
What Is Gerrymandering? Supreme Court Decision Favors Democrats

Iran is 10 days away from exceeding the uranium stockpile limit imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said Monday that the country has quadrupled production of uranium, such that it would surpass the 300-kilogram limit by June 27. He noted, however, that there was "still time" for European countries to step in and protect Iran from U.S sanctions.

The move comes as tensions between the U.S. and Iran are running high, after a number of unexplained bombings of oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, which the U.S. has blamed on Iran. Iran has denied involvement.

Here's some background on what is happening.

What is the Iran nuclear deal?

In 2015, Iran, the U.S., and a number of other global powers signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), informally known as the Iran nuclear deal. Under the JCPOA, Iran agreed to limit uranium production and allow international inspectors in the country in exchange for the lifting of preexisting sanctions that were crippling the nation's economy.

By May 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal. In the months since, the U.S. has reimposed all of its sanctions on Iran.

The other nations have not followed suit, but the deal was weakened. They have nevertheless warned Iran not to violate it, suggesting that they would be forced to reimpose their own sanctions. Iran, for its part, has continued to maintain that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

What is enriched uranium and why is it a big deal?

Enriched uranium can be used for two things: to make reactor fuel and nuclear weapons. The big distinguishing factor is how enriched the uranium is. "Low-enriched" uranium has a lower concentration of U-235 of 3-4% and is used for nuclear power plants. "Weapons-grade" uranium, on the other hand, is 90% enriched.

Under the JCPOA, Iran is required to cap its uranium enrichment at 3.67% until 2030, and the stockpile of this enriched uranium cannot exceed 300 kilograms. These and other limitations were put in place to dramatically decrease Iran's ability to build a nuclear bomb and increase its "break-out time," or time needed to rush to make a bomb, to more than one year.

Kamalvandi said that the increased uranium production is to meet the needs for a nuclear power plant in the south of the country, as well as a Tehran research center. However, he said that the enrichment levels needed are 5% and 20%, respectively, which could potentially make it easier and quicker to reach weapons-grade enrichment in the future.

What is really going on here?

After the U.S. withdrew from the JCPOA, it has become more difficult for the remaining countries to mitigate the effects of the reimposed sanctions on Iran's economy. Some see Iran's Monday announcement as a means to put pressure on Europe to come up with a solution, as it was timed just ahead of a scheduled meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels and the arrival of France's new ambassador to Iran.

The U.K., Germany, and France have plans to set up an alternative payment mechanism which is intended to help companies trade with Iran, while circumventing penalties from the U.S. But this has not proven sufficient for Iran, which suspended commitments under the agreement last month and gave the remaining signatories to the deal a 60-day deadline to protect it from U.S. sanctions.

In the weeks since, it has largely become a game of chicken: the European countries have threatened to reimpose their own sanctions if Iran resumes uranium enrichment, while Iran has said it would resume such production if the signatories don't protect it.

Kamalvandi told state TV Monday that "Iran's reserves are every day increasing at a more rapid rate," but added that "the move will be reversed once other parties fulfill their commitments." A U.S. National Security Council spokesperson reportedly called Iran's plans "nuclear blackmail."

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 17:07:00 +0000
Sold! Auction House Sotheby’s Sells for $3.7 Billion to Telecom Billionaire

For the first time, overseas companies are being allowed to list on a Chinese stock exchange--though none have as yet said they are ready to take the plunge.

Specifically, large companies that have already been listed in the U.K. for a few years will be allowed to issue a form of share in Shanghai, while some Chinese companies will be able to raise capital in London. It's all part of an unprecedented investment link between the two countries' stock exchanges: the London-Shanghai Stock Connect, which went live Monday.

The channel represents a step in China's tentative quest to open up its markets to the outside world. Foreign investors have difficulty playing directly in mainland China's stock markets because the country has traditionally barred investors from converting their currency into yuan--a fact that has helped China keep a handle on exchange rates. They are, however, already able to buy some Chinese companies' shares via Hong Kong, which has its own stock connects with the mainland.

Good timing

The London-Shanghai Stock Connect could prove handy for China at a time when its trade war with the U.S. is ramping up economic uncertainty. It means wealthier Chinese mainland investors can further diversify their risk, and some Chinese companies can--with state approval--look abroad for financing.

For the U.K., it's an opportunity to demonstrate significant global trading ties at a time when the ongoing Brexit shambles is also rattling markets.

"London is a global financial center like no other, and today's launch is a strong vote of confidence in the U.K. market," said British Chancellor Philip Hammond on Monday, as the link became active. "Stock Connect is a ground-breaking initiative, which will deepen our global connectivity as we look outwards to new opportunities in Asia."

The first company to take advantage of the stock connect is the Alibaba-backed Chinese securities broker Huatai, which is already listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong.

As will be the case with all companies using the link, London traders won't be able to buy and sell Huatai shares as such--instead, they will trade in Huatai depository receipts, which represent ownership of company shares that are held by a custodian bank. This alternative to direct share trading is necessary because of the time difference between the two countries.

In its Monday London listing, Huatai issued depository receipts representing a tenth of its total share capital--it raised $1.54 billion.

On the U.K. side, HSBC last year expressed an interest in using the stock connect for a Chinese listing. The banking giant said Monday that it could offer no updates on its plans.

Cautious move

An underlying question to the partnership is how much market liberalization it really represents for China. It certainly doesn't look like it will be a sudden sea change.

According to China Securities chief strategy analyst Zhang Yulong, quoted by the South China Morning Post, Chinese regulators will probably "take a go-slow approach" to approving the issuance of depository receipts in Shanghai, so as not to "dilute existing holdings on the mainland market." In other words, China doesn't want investors to turn away from companies already listed there.

Retail investors in China will also need at least 3 million yuan ($433,000) to play with if they want to buy the new depository receipts of London-listed firms. This will encourage smaller mainland players to invest closer to home--there are already two stock connects between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese markets, in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

The Shanghai-London Stock Connect was originally scheduled to launch last December, but it was delayed at the last minute. Factors behind the hitch included concerns over Brexit-related market turbulence in the U.K., and uncertainty over Chinese capital controls.

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:56:27 +0000
Iran Nuclear Deal, Enriched Uranium, and U.S. Sanctions: Everything You Need to Know

If a promotion you wanted went to a coworker instead, it’s probably not much consolation to know that you’re not alone. Far from it, in fact: On average, employees spend 50% longer at the same level in companies than before 2008, according to a report from Gartner, the corporate research giant .

In the dark days of the Great Recession, companies survived by hacking away at headcount and stripping away layers of management. So even now, there are simply fewer slots above you than there were before. To compensate for that, employers have upped the numbers of sideways moves available. But, Gartner vice president Brian Kopp says, the research shows that the majority of employees who make lateral jumps “end up feeling they’re worse off.”

No surprise there. If you were hoping for a bigger job with a better title and more money--not to mention an office with a door--the prospect of different work at the same level, with roughly the same pay (and a similar cubicle), just isn’t going to cut it. Of course, you could always quit in a huff, and many people do. Payroll provider ADP recently analyzed data from more than 13 million employees for a study that found that, when one member of a team gets promoted, turnover usually spikes among teammates who were passed over--especially in a great job market like this one, where other opportunities are thick on the ground.

That’s especially true for Millennials and Gen Z. “Baby Boomers were willing to spend more time paying their dues before getting promoted,” says Vicki Brackett, author of a book called The Leadership Toolbox: 14 Strategies That Build a Chain Reaction of Success. “Employees in their 20s and 30s won’t wait around.”

But let’s say you’re not quite ready to dust off your CV and hit the job boards. What can you do instead? First, try to figure out the reasons why someone else got the bigger job. It’s probably no use asking your boss. “You’re not likely to hear the real reasons,” Brackett says. “Companies are so risk-averse these days that managers who are confronted with this kind of question tend to give unhelpful answers that leave you even more in the dark than you were before.”

Instead, “take a hard look in the mirror, and then look closely at the person who got the promotion. What was it that convinced high-ups that person was ready for a bigger job? What has he or she been doing that you haven’t?”

By Brackett’s lights, the two most important steps to showing that you’re ready to move up are, first, replacing yourself and, second, acting like a leader.

On that first point, Brackett advises, “Go to someone who wants the job you have now, and help him or her get it.” Training someone else how to do what you do seems risky, so people usually don’t. That’s a mistake. In her consulting work inside companies, Brackett has noticed that “the most common, and least talked-about, reason why a great performer doesn’t get promoted is that his or her boss is worried about finding a replacement. So provide one. You want to create a situation where, if and when you do move up, someone is ready to step into your shoes. That way, your boss can still meet his or her goals without a hiccup.”

Teaching someone else your job may be mostly a matter of passing along “hard” technical skills, but showing your leadership potential is all about the “soft” kind. “Look around and see how you might be able to help others get what they want,” Brackett suggests. “At the same time, be curious. Ask for lots of coworkers’ insights and opinions--’I’d love to get your thoughts on X’, for instance, or ‘Just wondering what you think of Y.'” Why? “People will follow a leader who cares about their ideas, and who’s approachable,” Brackett says.

You might also be able to “increase your influence,” she adds, by “starting a project that plugs a hole in the company, without being asked to do it. Look for something that fills a need and volunteer to come up with a solution.” Besides fixing a particular problem (maybe even one that’s been bugging you for a while), doing this “builds your power base, because people will join in when they see your project taking off.” Keep everyone who’s involved, or who might be interested, informed on how it’s going--Brackett suggests weekly email updates--and don’t forget to give other people credit and praise their efforts where it’s due.

Another idea: Sign up for whatever leadership training your employer offers, or take courses elsewhere and let your boss know. “This shows you’re someone who wants to grow,” says Brackett.

But let’s suppose you spend six months or a year doing all of these things and you still don’t get promoted. Then it’s probably the moment to think about whether “your values and your goals align with your company’s, or whether you really might be able to find a better fit somewhere else,” Brackett says. The beautiful part of putting in the time and effort to hone your leadership chops, she adds, is that “even if you end up leaving to go to a different company, you’ll have a stronger r?sum?, and better stories to tell in job interviews, than you have right now.”

In other words: You can’t lose.

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:45:25 +0000
Foreign Companies Can List on a Chinese Stock Exchange for the First Time

The Paris Air Show, which kicked off today, is an event to talk deals, crow about new orders and show off new aircraft designs, particularly as the buzz around electrification and hybrid-electric intensifies. But the focus on Day One was squarely on Boeing and the state of its downed 737 MAX airliners with a contrite CEO Dennis Muilenburg telling journalists there's still no timetable for the aircraft to take to the skies.

The company has the difficult task of pitching a 737 MAX future even as global regulators and air-safety inspectors keep the plane on the ground for the foreseeable future in the wake of a pair of deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the Federal Aviation Administration was nearing a decision to begin flight trials, but company officials declined to discuss whether that means the long wait could be coming to an end. Instead, there were more apologies than promises coming out of Boeing executives Monday morning at the world's largest air show.

"This is the most trying of times," Boeing commercial airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister told reporters, according to Reuters. "But without a doubt this is a pivotal moment for all of us. It's a time to capture learnings. It's a time to be introspective. And it's a time for us to make sure accidents like this never happen again."

Separately, Muilenburg told reporters, Boeing will get MAX "back up in the air when it’s safe. That’s the most important thing." With so many regulatory checks, there's growing talk that eventual return of the MAX will be a phased one, market by market, carrier by carrier.

Going into the biennial show, analysts were focusing on the news flow around the lucrative market for narrow-body, long-range aircrafts. Airbus stole the early thunder, announcing Monday morning its new A321XLR, which packs a range of 4,700 nautical miles - think Paris to Denver - and a 30% reduction in fuel burn, will debut in 2023. Air Lease Corp. announced it would buy 27 A321XLR's, part of a 100-aircraft deal.

Analysts were hoping to hear more about Boeing's answer to the A321XLR, but none were forthcoming on Day One. The pre-Paris buzz was that Boeing would have a narrowbody long-haul market entrant ready for 2025. But with the MAX fallout dominating executives and engineers, hopes are fading on that timeline.

In an interview with Aviation Week on the eve of the Paris Air Show, Muilenburg said the MAX remains at the core of the company's future, even if the near-term situation is very much up in the air.

"We're projecting demand for 44,000 new commercial airplanes over the next 20 years, and the majority of that is in the narrowbody space," he told the publication. "The MAX will be a very important part of that for decades to come --we've got about 4,400 MAXs in backlog. The MAX is our narrowbody product for the future."

Boeing has over 500 MAX aircraft grounded at airports and its own facilities. It also has over 4,400 orders in backlog to deliver new MAX aircraft, all of which are in limbo until the aircraft gets approved for takeoff.

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Don’t miss the daily Term Sheet, Fortune‘s newsletter on deals and dealmakers.

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:42:26 +0000
You’ve Been Passed Over for a Promotion. Now What?

Pfizer is delving deeper into cancer research with a roughly $11.4 billion deal for Array BioPharma, a drug developer that has seen its shares soar since announcing positive clinical trial results earlier this spring.

Pfizer said Monday it will pay $48 per share in cash for Array, whose product portfolio includes a treatment combination used for advanced skin cancer that is being tested in other cancers as well.

The company said last month that its combination of the drugs Braftovi and Mektovi along with another treatment led to a significant improvement in overall survival in late-stage testing for some patients with colorectal cancer. The company plans to submit results from that study to U.S. regulators for approval later this year.

Array’s share price has jumped 41 percent since late May and more than doubled so far this year. Pfizer’s offer of $48 per share represents a premium of 62 percent to the stock’s closing price of $29.59 on Friday.

Shares of Boulder, Colorado-based Array BioPharma Inc. surged 60 percent before Monday’s opening bell.

New York-based Pfizer Inc., which makes the breast cancer drug Ibrance and the blood thinner Eliquis, said the boards of both companies have approved the deal. It will finance the deal with debt and cash, and it expects the transaction to add to earnings per share starting in 2022.

Pfizer, the biggest U.S. drugmaker by revenue, has had several drug approvals in the U.S. or elsewhere so far this year. But it also saw a heavily touted pain drug flop in late-stage clinical testing, placing the drug’s future in doubt.

Pfizer shares edged down 5 cents to $42.70 in premarket trading.

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Catch up with Brainstorm Health, Fortune‘s daily digest on healthcare and biopharma.

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:27:14 +0000
Boeing CEO to Paris Air Show Crowd: There’s ‘Still No Timetable’ for 737 Max Return
The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that a state and the federal government can press separate prosecutions over the same conduct, ruling in a case that might have extended the impact of President Donald Trump's pardon power.

The justices, voting 7-2, left intact the "separate sovereigns" doctrine, a decades-old rule that limits the scope of the constitutional ban on double jeopardy. Elimination of the separate-sovereigns rule would have meant that a presidential pardon might block some state charges as well.

The case was being watched for any possible impact on Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman. Manafort has been sentenced to a total of 7 1/2 years in prison in two federal cases, and he is now facing New York state charges for residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records.

Trump hasn't ruled out a pardon of Manafort, though he said March 13 it's "not something on my mind."

The case before the court involved Terance Gamble, who said his constitutional rights were violated when he was charged under both Alabama and federal law for possessing a gun as a convicted felon. He pleaded guilty to the state charges, then sought to have his federal indictment dismissed.

'Not An Exception'

The Constitution's Fifth Amendment says that no one shall "be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." The separate-sovereigns doctrine is often considered an exception to the double-jeopardy clause.

Writing for the court Monday, Justice Samuel Alito said the separate-sovereigns rule "is not an exception at all" but instead "follows from the text that defines that right in the first place."

"An 'offence' is defined by a law, and each law is defined by a sovereign," Alito wrote. "So where there are two sovereigns, there are two laws, and two 'offences.'"

An unusual pairing of justices, liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg and conservative Neil Gorsuch, dissented. Justice Clarence Thomas, who in 2016 called for reexamination of the doctrine, said in a concurring opinion that his views had shifted.

"I agree that the historical record does not bear out my initial skepticism of the dual-sovereignty doctrine," Thomas wrote.

In recent decades, federal prosecutors have invoked the separate-sovereigns doctrine to press civil rights charges against people who have already faced state criminal charges. In 1993, a federal jury found two Los Angeles police officers guilty in the beating of Rodney King even though they had already been acquitted of state charges.

The case is Gamble v. United States, 17-646.

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Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune's CEO Daily newsletter.

[ + ]
Mon, 17 Jun 2019 16:13:54 +0000
Pfizer Betting Big on Cancer Research in $11.4 Billion Acquisition of Array BioPharma

Comcast is expanding options for customers with physical disabilities, launching a new feature Monday that will allow its Xfinity X1 customers to change channels using only their eyes.

The feature will be especially useful for customers with spinal cord injuries and ALS, who use eye tracking equipment to help navigate their lives in other ways. They'll also be able to set recordings and search for a show using the feature.

"Changing the channel on a TV is something most of us take for granted but until now, it was a near-impossible task for millions of viewers," said Tom Wlodkowski, Comcast's vice president of accessibility in a statement. "When you make a product more inclusive you create a better experience for everyone and we're hoping our new X1 feature makes a real difference in the lives of our customers."

It's a fairly unique move for the company. Competitors, such as Time Warner Cable, offer voice commands and large button remotes, but few (if any) offer eye searching.

48 million people in the U.S. currently live with physical or mobility disabilities. Comcast's eye-control technology will be compatible with existing eye gaze hardware and software, as well as "Sip-and-Puff switches and other assistive technologies."

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«ePayService» Платежные карты на все случаи жизни, денежные переводы, обналичить чек на инкассо
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