global

North Carolina State University reports first cluster of cases; Hawaii delays tourism reopening; global cases top 22M

First, the University of North Carolina. Now, North Carolina State University.

A day after university officials in Chapel Hill decided to pivot to online classes after at least four clusters of outbreaks of COVID-19 in student living spaces, the Raleigh university reported its first cluster of positive cases that included some of its own students.

Also Tuesday, the University of Notre Dame said it was moving to online classes for two weeks in hopes that infections won’t surge.

Meanwhile, a new survey shows that parents with children who have switched to online learning say they have gone into debt paying for all of the at-home school expenses, including breakfast and lunch, during the pandemic.

Some significant developments:

  • The U.S. stock market closed at an all-time high Tuesday, staging a stunning turnaround from the darkest early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is writing a

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McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC — Moody’s downgrades McGraw Hill CFR to Caa2; outlook negative

New York, August 17, 2020 — Moody’s Investors Service, (“Moody’s”) downgraded McGraw Hill LLC’s (“McGraw”) ratings, including its Corporate Family Rating (CFR) to Caa2 from B3 and changed the outlook to negative from stable.

The downgrades and the change in outlook to negative reflect Moody’s view that the company’s operating challenges stemming from the continued secular pressure in the higher education market will be further exacerbated by the significant uncertainty around enrollment levels amid the coronavirus pandemic. Moody’s believes that the earnings deterioration will make it difficult for the company to materially reduce its high leverage and address its significant $2.1 billion of 2021/2022 maturities (including revolver), thereby elevating default risk. Given near-term maturities, the expectation of high leverage, and negative pressure on earnings, sustainability of the capital structure has become a greater concern, including the likelihood of a distressed debt exchange.

The company’s $350 million revolver (undrawn as of … Read More

As the Pandemic Rattles the Global Economy, This Beauty Company’s Sales Are Booming

Madison Reed CEO and Founder Amy Errett on running a business that’s thriving, despite (and because of) the pandemic.

The global economy — and retail, in particular — is struggling. With the pandemic bringing uncertainty to virtually every industry, this is a period in which many entrepreneurs are overhauling their businesses, reassessing their priorities and figuring out how to survive. 

For direct-to-consumer, at-home hair color company Madison Reed, though, business is positively booming.

Like Clorox wipes and Purell, it turns out that Covid-19 has created massive demand for DIY hair color options that allow consumers to skip the salon. That’s putting it mildly, if you consider Madison Reed’s recent sales figures: According to a representative, over the past several months, the company experienced 12 times the number of new customers it normally would. In February, Madison Reed sold a Radiant Color Kit every 24 seconds; by May, that stat had

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Venice Unveils Rich Global Lineup, U.S. Repped by Frederick Wiseman, Mona Fastvold, Alex Gibney, Gia Coppola

The Venice Film Festival on Tuesday unveiled a rich roster of films by prominent auteurs spanning the globe, such as Mexico’s Michel Franco, France’s Nicole Garcia, Japan’s Kurosawa Kiyoshi, and from the U.S., Oscar-winning veteran Fredrick Wiseman, all set to grace the lineup of the Lido’s watershed 77th edition. 

The fest is on track with plans to hold a physical event in September, the first major international fest to do so after the coronavirus crisis.

The much smaller — and way more indie — American presence this year will also include the world premiere of a buzzy new film by Brooklyn-based Mona Fastvold (“The Sleepwalker”) who will launch her second feature, “The World To Come,” a period drama with two women at its center and a starry cast comprising Katherine Waterston (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,”) Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”) and Casey Affleck, who is also one of … Read More

Venice Unveils Rich Global Lineup, U.S. Repped by Frederick Wiseman, Mona Fastvold, Alex Gibney, Jia Coppola

The Venice Film Festival on Tuesday unveiled a rich roster of films by prominent auteurs spanning the globe, such as Mexico’s Michel Franco, France’s Nicole Garcia, Japan’s Kurosawa Kiyoshi, and from the U.S., Oscar-winning veteran Fredrick Wiseman, all set to grace the lineup of the Lido’s watershed 77th edition. 

The fest is on track with plans to hold a physical event in September, the first major international fest to do so after the coronavirus crisis.

The much smaller — and way more indie — American presence this year will also include the world premiere of a buzzy new film by Brooklyn-based Mona Fastvold (“The Sleepwalker”) who will launch her second feature, “The World To Come,” a period drama with two women at its center and a starry cast comprising Katherine Waterston (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,”) Vanessa Kirby (“The Crown”) and Casey Affleck, who is also the pic’s … Read More

A Global Health Guru Sets His Sights on Cannabis and More

Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc. CEO Michael Cammarata

By John Jannarone

Before becoming CEO of integrate health product company Neptune Wellness Solutions Inc., Michael Cammarata had overcome a few challenges. First, launched a web hosting company before he was even a teenager while suffering from dyslexia. He went on to become a major provider to online advertisers and later launched a successful deodorant company called Schmidt’s Naturals which he sold to Unilever PLC in just two years. He joined Unilever as a senior executive but last year left to lead Neptune Wellness, where he is focused on meeting demand for natural, plant-based, sustainable and purpose-driven lifestyle brands.

In an interview with CorpGov, Mr. Cammarata explained that cannabis is an important are of focus at Neptune Wellness, which aims to move the legal cannabis and hemp marketplace away from vices and into wellness. The company focuses on extraction rather than cultivation

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The age of blunt diplomacy? Twitter can be used to escalate global conflict, study says

Just because Twitter is predominantly filled with quips and kvetching doesn’t mean what’s said on the platform can’t have far-reaching consequences, according to a new study from the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College London on how government officials and agencies use Twitter during global crises.

In Escalation by Tweet: Managing the New Nuclear Diplomacy, authors Dr Heather Williams and Dr Alexi Drew report that while “tweets from government officials may help shape the American public narrative and provide greater insights into US decision-making”, they can also create confusion, upend diplomatic communications and escalate global tensions.

For example, Trump notoriously goaded Kim Jong-un on Twitter in 2018, writing “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button,

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China firm uses workers to ‘pre-test’ vaccine in global race

BEIJING (AP) — In the global race to make a coronavirus vaccine, a state-owned Chinese company is boasting that its employees, including top executives, received experimental shots even before the government approved testing in people.

“Giving a helping hand in forging the sword of victory,” reads an online post from SinoPharm with pictures of workers it says helped “pre-test” its vaccine.

Whether it’s viewed as heroic sacrifice or a violation of international ethical norms, the claim underscores the enormous stakes as China competes with U.S. and British companies to be the first with a vaccine to help end the pandemic — a feat that would be both a scientific and political triumph.

“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the new Holy Grail,” said Lawrence Gostin, a global public health law expert at Georgetown University. “The political competition to be the first is no less consequential than the race for the moon

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