Richest Americans Lose $93 Billion After Inflation-Fueled Stock Rout – Bloomberg

Insight and analysis of top stories from our award winning magazine “Bloomberg Businessweek”.
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Elon Musk Enters In-Flight Wi-Fi Market With Small Satellites
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The fortunes of America’s richest billionaires tumbled on Tuesday by $93 billion, the ninth-worst daily loss ever, as hotter-than-expected US inflation data roiled markets.
Jeff Bezos’s wealth plunged by $9.8 billion, the most among those tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Elon Musk’s net worth dropped by $8.4 billion. The fortunes of Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Steve Ballmer all declined by more than $4 billion, while Warren Buffett and Bill Gates lost $3.4 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively. 


CFPB Rule Targets Digital Marketing Providers – The National Law Review

On August 10, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a new interpretive rule clarifying when digital marketing providers must comply with federal consumer financial protection law. Under the new rule, Big Tech companies that use behavioral advertising techniques to market financial products will be subject to the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (“CFPA”).
A company is subject to the CFPA, and therefore prohibited from engaging in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices, if it offers or provides a financial product or service for personal, family or household use by consumers. Service providers to these companies that provide a “material service” in connection with the offering or provision of a consumer financial product or service also are subject to the CFPA. Service providers that merely provide “time or space for an advertisement for a consumer financial product or service through print, newspaper, or electronic media” are exempt.
The CFPB’s new interpretive rule clarifies that, when digital marketing providers are materially involved in the development of content strategy, they provide a material service and therefore would be considered service providers subject to the CFPA. Under the rule, digital marketing providers are “materially involved in the development of content strategy” when they identify or select prospective customers or select or place content to affect consumer engagement, including purchasing or adoption behavior.
As an example, the CFPB provides that digital marketing providers qualify as service providers when they target and deliver advertisements to users with certain characteristics, regardless of whether the characteristics are specified by the company using the digital marketing provider. Similarly, a digital marketing provider is considered a service provider when a company identifies particular users by name and the digital marketing provider targets and delivers the advertisements to those users at specific times to increase or maximize engagement. Digital marketing providers also are characterized as service providers when they determine or suggest which users are the appropriate audience for advertisements. In the announcement of the rule, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra warned that Big Tech firms using behavioral targeting techniques to market financial products will now be within the scope of the CFPA, and highlighted the need for law enforcement authorities to hold these companies accountable. Under the CFPA, both the CFPB and states can bring enforcement actions against regulated companies that engage in unfair, deceptive or abusive practices.
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In today’s digital economy, companies face unprecedented challenges in managing privacy and cybersecurity risks associated with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information about their customers and employees. The complex framework of global legal requirements impacting the collection, use and disclosure of personal information makes it imperative that modern businesses have a sophisticated understanding of the issues if they want to effectively compete in today’s economy.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s privacy and cybersecurity practice helps companies manage data and…
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Economic Development Administration Awards Georgia Tech $65 Million for AI Manufacturing Project | News Center – Georgia Tech News Center

The Georgia Institute of Technology has been awarded a $65 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support a statewide initiative that combines artificial intelligence and manufacturing innovations with transformational workforce and outreach programs. The grant will increase job and wage opportunities in distressed and rural communities, as well as among historically underrepresented and underserved groups.
The Georgia Artificial Intelligence Manufacturing Technology Corridor (GA-AIM) effort is one of 21 winning projects the White House announced today under the Biden administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The award follows a $500,000 Phase 1 feasibility grant the project received in 2021.
“Georgia Tech is honored to lead this vision of collaborative innovation and economic development across all regions of our state,” said Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera. “This award underscores the Institute’s commitment to leverage our resources and expertise to address great challenges, serve our state and nation, and amplify our impact on the world.”
The selected awardees represent projects in 24 states with grant amounts ranging from $25 million to $65 million.
“As we invest and grow critical industries in the U.S., we want to create industry hubs in diverse communities across the country,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement. “These grants will provide critical and historic funding directly to community coalitions to invest in new infrastructure, research and development, and workforce development programs while creating good-paying jobs, supporting workers, and prioritizing equity.”
The GA-AIM project is led by Aaron Stebner, associate professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering; Donna Ennis, director of Diversity Engagement and Program Development in Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute and also director of its Georgia MBDA Business Center; and Thomas R. Kurfess, executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute.
“The ability to integrate our discoveries and innovations here at the AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility with novel workforce programs and transformative outreach experiences is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something greater in ways that increase opportunity and prosperity for all Georgians,” Stebner said. “Through an equitable AI manufacturing innovation focus, the assembled coalition of partners and stakeholders across the state will build a more prosperous and resilient Georgia and set a nation-leading example.”
The AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility, which will allow for government and industry pilot trials, cybersecurity games, and workforce training for AI manufacturing technologies, is just one component of Georgia Tech’s support for the project.
Two of Georgia Tech’s commercialization programs — VentureLab and I-Corps South — will create a center for the commercialization of AI manufacturing technologies into local and regional startups through training built on the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps curriculum.
The Enterprise Innovation Institute, Georgia Tech’s economic development arm, will engage in focused outreach and technical assistance to small- and mid-sized manufacturers and minority business enterprises through its Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) and Georgia MBDA Business Center programs. Other Enterprise Innovation Institute programs include the Economic Development Lab, the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, and ATDC, which will focus on outreach and engagement in distressed and underserved parts of the state, create workforce development programs, implementation strategies, and attract outside investment.
“The work that we will accomplish with our broad spectrum of partners in this new endeavor will leverage the latest technology in artificial intelligence to grow and strengthen our workforce ensuring that the growing manufacturing sector in Georgia has the skilled workforce that it requires for today’s as well as tomorrow’s needs,” Kurfess said. “At the same the high paying and secure jobs will be going to a very diverse population base from across the state, providing an equitable robust future for all citizens of Georgia.”
Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute will study the impact of automation technologies, build automation solutions tailored for rural manufacturers, and create programs that lower the barrier for rural manufacturers’ access to use the AI Manufacturing Pilot Facility.
In addition, Georgia Tech’s Ethics, Technology, and Human Interaction Center (ETHICx), led by faculty in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, will help integrate considerations of equity, fairness, accountability, and transparency into GA-AIM and promote the responsible and ethical use of AI-manufacturing technologies.
Finally, Georgia Tech’s K-12 InVenture Prize and Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing programs will expand their emphasis to rural and underserved areas of the state by piloting a rural regional event with a region-specific prize. They will also create supplemental lessons centered on AI and data science that will be part of a K-12 InVenture Prize curriculum website.
“We are excited to be a part of this collaborative effort to catalyze research and innovation in AI and manufacturing across the state of Georgia,” said Chaouki T. Abdallah, executive vice president for Research at Georgia Tech. “This project aligns with our goals to expand economic opportunity in our state’s underserved communities, and to serve as a collaborative hub for interdisciplinary research that advances technology and improves people’s lives.”
Georgia Tech is working with a coalition of statewide partners to create a foundation that supports existing business growth and new business ventures across the state especially in underserved communities and rural Georgia.
“All across the state of Georgia, our programs in the Enterprise Innovation Institute work hard to unlock potential and foster economic opportunity for all, particularly in underserved and marginalized communities,” said David Bridges, vice president of the Enterprise Innovation Institute, and co-author of the grant proposal with Stebner. “This project leverages what we and our partners each do best to help achieve our broader Georgia AIM goals.”
Tech’s partners include the:
·       Georgia Department of Community Affairs
·       Georgia Cyber Center
·       Houston County Development Authority
·       KITTLabs
·       Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs
·       Robins Air Force Base 21st Century Partnership
·       Spelman College
·       Southwest Georgia Regional Commission
·       Technologists of Color
·       Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative
·       Technical College System of Georgia
·       University of Georgia
“What’s really special about this effort is that it’s centered on a wholistic approach with innovation, not just one piece of AI or manufacturing,” Ennis said. “We’re working collectively statewide to transform and propel forward our industry, communities, and most importantly, our people.”
That collective approach is critical to GA-AIM’s success, said Houston County Development Authority Executive Director Angie Gheesling.
“The Development Authority and the 21st Century Partnership lead the Middle Georgia Innovation Project, which includes 11 counties in the Middle Georgia region, a diverse landscape of communities from rural to urban,” she said. “This award further facilitates the continuation of several years of collaboration between local leadership, our universities, private industry, and Robins Air Force Base to position ourselves as a Software Center of Excellence. We are grateful to Georgia Tech for the opportunity to partner and contribute to the overall future success of GA-AIM.”
Burunda Prince, chief operating officer of the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, echoed those sentiments, saying its reach is exponentially amplified through the GA-AIM partnership.
The Center will create a mobile, 5,000-square-foot LaunchPad AI Innovation Studio to provide prototyping and proof-of-concept development of physical products. Black entrepreneurs in rural and urban Georgia will have access to equipment, training, and mentoring, and LaunchPad AI will also be open to AI InVenture teams from Atlanta’s urban K-12 schools.
As part of the Build Back Better grant, the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs will help Black businesses leverage the benefits of artificial intelligence to provide better data and insights that will build stronger companies and drive greater wealth generation,” Prince said. “What makes this opportunity unique is the cross collaboration of partners which will engage and empower communities across Georgia through access to technologies that often are inaccessible.”
Equally as important is the education component and the ability for it to be a bridge to new skills and opportunities for Georgia workers, said Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Greg Dozier.
“The funding for the project will equip four TCSG colleges with state-of-the-art manufacturing studios that will showcase the clean, safe state of modern manufacturing,” Dozier said. “Automation in manufacturing creates a demand for more skilled jobs, giving TCSG the charge to strengthen the workforce pipeline by training Georgians in these exciting, new technologies. The Georgia AIM project provides the funding to meet these opportunities head on.”
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration 
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth. 
About the Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a top 10 public research university developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its nearly 44,000 students representing 50 states and 149 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.
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Current COVID Symptoms: Common Symptoms Now Compared to Earlier in Pandemic – NBC Chicago

As omicron subvariants continue to make up roughly all COVID cases in the U.S., and as new variants continue to emerge, are symptoms shifting?
According to the latest update from the CDC, the BA.5 lineage of the omicron variant is now the most prevalent strain of the virus in the U.S., accounting for more than 88% of recent cases.
The BA.4 subvariant, which began to circulate around the same time as BA.5, is still responsible for the second-most cases in the U.S. at 5.3%, but it could soon lose that spot to one of its other sublineages, with the BA.4.6 strain also responsible for just over 5% of cases, according to CDC estimates.
As more cases occur, many are curious about what symptoms typically appear with COVID and how quickly those symptoms can surface.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, early symptoms of COVID-19 typically include fatigue, headache, sore throat or a fever. Some patients also experience a loss of taste or smell as an early or their first symptom.
A study by researchers at the University of Southern California found fever may be first, as well as two other symptoms. It found the initial symptoms of COVID-19 are most likely a fever, followed by a cough and muscle pain. Then, those infected will likely experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Unlike other respiratory illnesses such as MERS and SARS, COVID-19 patients will likely develop nausea and vomiting before diarrhea, the researchers found.
Digestive symptoms, in some instances, may be the first sign someone has contracted COVID. They have been known to develop at the beginning of an infection, with respiratory symptoms possibly following a day later, according to an article from Emerson Health.

Still, some symptoms, such as shortness of breath, have become less prevalent as the virus continues to mutate.
“In terms of symptoms and what people have it’s been so incredibly heterogeneous,” said Dr. Sharon Welbel, the director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control for Cook County Health. “I find with omicron we do know that still the most common is fever, cough – not so much shortness of breath anymore like we had with the Wuhan virus, but fever, sore throat and, as I said, cough.”
While the BA.5 subvariant tends to cause similar symptoms to other COVID variants, Chicago’s top doctor says that there could be more of a concentration on upper respiratory issues, as the virus tends to linger in nasal passages and other parts of the respiratory system above the lungs.
Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, also says that patients are also tending to see longer-lasting, and more prevalent, symptoms because of how virulent the BA.5 subvariant is.
“Nothing really significantly different, I would say, but just more symptoms. It’s a more virulent infection,” she said during a recent Facebook Live.
Experts do caution patients that the severity, or even the type, of initial symptoms can vary widely from person to person.
“I think it’s really variable depending from person to person,” Welbel said. “It depends on age, it depends on comorbid illness, it depends on vaccine status, if one has been infected before potentially their you know, immune system is revved up more… So, I think that there’s no way to protect it to predict it.”
The CDC says that the median time for the appearance of symptoms in a patient with the different lineages of omicron could be just three days.
In general, symptoms will typically appear 2-to-14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. How long they last, however, can depend on the person, the severity of their infection and whether or not they end up with long COVID.
“Some people say they feel better in a day, some people say they still have lingering symptoms after three weeks,” Welbel said.
Symptoms of the virus include:
-Fever or chills
-Shortness of breath
-Muscle or body aches
-New loss of taste or smell
-Sore throat
-Congestion or runny nose
-Nausea or vomiting
Patients are urged to seek emergency medical attention if they experience:
-Trouble breathing
-Persistent chest pain or pressure
-New confusion
-Inability to wake or stay awake
-Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds


The Nigerians hoping to check out of their country – BBC

In our series of letters from African writers, Nigerian novelist Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani looks at the growing frustration among the middle class that is pushing people to leave her country.
A few years ago, my childhood friend moved back to Nigeria after being in the US for more than 20 years studying and working.
But, despite joining a successful corporation in Lagos, earning a decent salary, and living in the upmarket Lekki district, she was soon ready to pack up and return to America.
"People behave as if there's an award for being able to live in Nigeria," she told me. "Well, I'm not interested in receiving that award."
She was right that many of us who are able to thrive in Nigeria regard it as some sort of superpower.
When we travel abroad, fellow Nigerians who have fled home view us in awe as we lug our excess-baggage suitcases to the airport.
They marvel that we are actually cheerfully returning to a country infamous for systemic frustrations, general lawlessness, and the miscellaneous trials and tribulations that are all in a day's existence here.
"I can't imagine how you survive in that country," they often say. "You're really strong."
But, these days, many more Nigerians seem to be deciding that they also are not interested in receiving any "awards" for sticking it out.
Seven out of 10 Nigerians are willing to leave their country if given the opportunity, according to a report published in 2021 by the Africa Polling Institute.
Back in 2019, the same poll showed that only 32% of Nigerians wanted to leave.
Most countries require a medical examination for Nigerians applying for long-stay or immigration visas.
In January 2022, the average waiting time for a three-minute tuberculosis X-ray at the International Organization of Migration (IOM) centre in Lagos was 10 hours, while the waiting time at the testing centre in the capital, Abuja, was six hours.
"We haven't seen this kind of influx of people before as we've been seeing since last year," an IOM doctor told me unofficially, so she cannot be named. "If it continues like this, we may be forced to reassess and make additional arrangements."
Not even the alarming Covid-19 news and data from the West could deter Nigerians.
Visa-processing centres around the country remained flooded with applicants at the height of the pandemic, and continue to see queues that often stretch outside the buildings.
Unlike in times past, when most people desperate to abandon Nigeria were the suffering masses with no jobs and no hope, the majority of those taking off now appear to be from among the comfortable middle class.
To avoid alerting their current employers to their emigration plans or jeopardising the outcome of their visa applications, nobody I interviewed for this story was willing to be named.
"Those of us in the organised middle class are the ones who have the most right to complain about this country," a human resources executive told me. "We pay taxes regularly so we are the ones funding the corrupt people at the top."
Conditions in the country have steadily worsened in recent years, and people have different reasons why they are now keen to leave.
Some have simply lost faith in Nigeria. They cannot imagine the present government or any future one successfully navigating the country away from the quagmire of corruption and insecurity and regression.
Some are alarmed by the plummeting value of the naira currency.
One US dollar was equivalent to 198 naira when President Muhammadu Buhari came to power seven years ago. Today, you need 572 naira to buy a dollar on the black market.
"I could be there thinking that I'm earning a good salary," a bank manager told me. "But as long as it is in naira, whatever savings I accumulate, no matter how much, could mean nothing tomorrow."
Some feel that establishing roots in a Western country is psychologically calming, even if you decide to return to Nigeria in the future.
"Nigeria is easier to bear when you know that you can press the eject button and leave whenever you want," a lawyer told me. "The problem is when you feel that you are stuck here."
Some are simply in search of greener pastures, like the thousands of Nigerian doctors and nurses who are being lured abroad by the assurance of superior pay.
Some want their children to grow up in more stable societies.
Some dread falling severely ill in a country with such poor medical facilities.
Some are worried about the rising insecurity, kidnappings, assassinations, armed robberies and other violent attacks by unknown criminals who are rarely apprehended.
It doesn't matter that these dreams of a better life may not necessarily materialise in foreign countries that often offer up their own challenges. For many emigrants, no devil they don't know can ever be worse than the ones in Nigeria they know so well.
A popular means of escape is student visas for postgraduate degrees, which can open up the opportunity to work and stay in the foreign country at the conclusion of the course.
Back in the early 1980s when the Nigerian economy began to crumble, so severe was the surge of emigrants that the government of General Buhari, as he was known when he was the military ruler, invested in TV and radio adverts encouraging people to stay home and build their country.
In one immensely popular TV promotion, a man called Andrew was pushing his suitcase at the airport while reeling out his many frustrations with Nigeria.
"I'm checking out! I'm tired!" he declared.
Suddenly, a hand clamped on his shoulder from behind: "Andrew! Don't check out!"
The patriotic Nigerian who stopped him then went on to infuse Andrew with words of hope about Nigeria's future and he repented of his intention to desert.
This time around, a democratically elected President Buhari appears unbothered about the flood of emigrants from his country.
"Anybody who thought he has any other country than Nigeria: Goodbye," he said in a 2019 speech.
"You can go but we are here. We are determined to rehabilitate our country, especially for our children and grandchildren."
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Top Strategies for Affiliate Marketing – Martechcube

Affiliate marketing is having a third-party promote your business and sharing your profit with them. You get increased sales, and the affiliates get a commission on each sale they make for you. Already a multi-billion dollar market, some creators are making six figures in passive income every month.
Though it sounds pretty simple, affiliate marketing won’t be successful only by slamming a few affiliate links on your site. You need to build a robust strategy and an execution plan to make it a real success. This blog post will show you how!

How it works: The framework
A merchant partners with one or more affiliates and give them individual links to track sales. Once an affiliate makes a sale, they earn a percentage of that sale. The best part about affiliate marketing is scalability. The merchant can work with many affiliates. And an affiliate can sell products for different brands and make profits from them all.
This advertising model is sophisticated- helping the advertiser attribute a sale to the right person. If you have good, relevant traffic coming to your website, you can cash in on it and monetize the traffic.
The publisher promotes the advertiser’s products via different channels such as blogs, emails, and affiliate networks & platforms. The advertiser or the affiliate platform ensures they give customized links that track qualified purchases. So, as a publisher, you promote products to your audience, and if they buy them, you earn from that particular purchase!
The merchant only ends up spending if a purchase is made, unlike other advertising models where a business has to pay for the interaction even if it didn’t result in a sale.

What to Do: The right strategies
Find your niche and make sure you operate in it. Don’t try to sell everything at the same time. For instance, if your specialty is books, you shouldn’t start promoting mobile phones on your website.
Partner with businesses that offer quality products in your niche and then educate, entertain & engage your audience.
Understand your niche thoroughly. Drill down into the industry trends and consumer behavior- what kind of products do customers buy, why, and how? What are their preferences? You need to know your customer to build strong relationships with them, and for them to buy from you, you need to get them to trust you first.
Once you’ve decided on a niche, it’s time to find the right affiliate network or platform. Do people trust this network? Is it well-known? What is the payout system? If you can’t come to a conclusion, you can directly get in touch with brands whose products you like and want to sell and gauge if they have any affiliate programs in place. In this way, you can get into multiple brand partnerships with the right businesses!
For a merchant, it’s as crucial to find the right affiliates. You don’t want to partner with someone who can put your brand reputation at stake. Find the affiliates who are admired and trusted in your product category.
The Editor’s Note
There are two reasons why most affiliates fail to make good money- either they don’t have enough traffic coming to their website, or it’s not quality traffic. In short, the website doesn’t have an audience willing to buy.
You may want to become an expert in your niche. If you don’t offer the kind of information your audience needs, they’ll do business with your competitors. An area of expertise is the key here!
Tune in to Martech Cube Podcast for visionary Martech Trends, Martech News, and quick updates by business experts and leaders!

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Apple's New iPhone 14 to Show India Closing Tech Gap With China – Bloomberg

Insight and analysis of top stories from our award winning magazine “Bloomberg Businessweek”.
Gina Champion-Cain was a pillar of the San Diego business community. She also happened to be running one of the largest Ponzi schemes of all time.
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Amway Fraud: What Is Pyramid Scheme And Multi-Level Marketing – Outlook India

The ED has said that an investigation has revealed that Amway is ‘running a pyramid fraud in the guise of direct selling multi-level marketing network’.
Amid positive changes in the legal landscape for the LGBTQIA+ community, a lesbian woman wonders why she still needs to travel abroad to get her same-sex marriage registered.
She chose acamedic pursuit to escape the crushing social stigma. Today, she helps others like her stand up on their feet
Recent remarks by Indian courts, albeit mere observations, could open the doors for queer families to challenge the laws that prevent the achievement of equal recognition.
Since a 2014 judgment by the Supreme Court, transpeople have been legally recognised. But discrimination and abuse persist.
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The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth over Rs 757 crore belonging to multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme promoting company, Amway India, in a money laundering case. The central agency has accused the company of perpetrating scam by running a pyramid fraud. The agency further stated that the multi-level marketing 'scam' allegedly involves prices of most of the products offered by the company are "exorbitant as compared to the alternative popular products of reputed manufacturers available in the open market." 
Out of the total Rs 757.77 crore of assets attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), immovable and movable properties are worth Rs 411.83 crore while the rest are bank balances of Rs 345.94 crore kept in 36 accounts belonging to Amway, it said.
The ED has said that an investigation has revealed that Amway is “running a pyramid fraud in the guise of direct selling multi-level marketing network”.
Founded in 1959 and based in Michigan, Amway, a US-based company, is one of the most famous multi-level marketing in India. It sells FMGC (Famst Moving Consumer Goods) products. The company uses a combination of direct selling and multi-level marketing.
However, Always has landed in similar controversies in the past for running a pyramid scheme. Although it has never been allegedly found guilty, but according to several reports, the company had to pay huge sum of money to settle suits globally.
“A pyramid scheme is a sketchy and unsustainable business model, where a few top-level members recruit newer members. Those members pay upfront costs up the chain to those who enrolled them. As newer members in turn recruit underlings of their own, a portion of the subsequent fees they receive is also kicked up the chain. Often called "pyramid scams," these operations are illegal in some countries,” according to the website Investopedia. 
In a pyramid scheme, the major profit comes from the recruitment fees rather than the sale of the actual products. Multi-Level Marketing operations (MLMs) are similar to pyramid schemes with one difference: they involve the sale of tangible goods.
The scheme often takes the shape of a pyramid, where there’s one person at the top and the number keeps increasing as more and more people are hired at the base level. 
The ED has claimed that the company collected an amount of Rs 27,562 crore between FY 2002-03 and FY 2020-21, out of which, the company paid a commission of Rs 7,588 crore to their affiliated members and distributors in the US and India.
The agency said that the general public is often induced to become members of the company and purchase products at exorbitant prices and are thus losing their hard-earned money. “Reality is that the commissions received by the upline members contribute enormously in the hike of prices of the products,” it added, reiterating that the modus operandi of the company is to make people grow richer by taking them as members and not treating them as consumers. 
ED alleged that the products are used to masquerade this MLM pyramid fraud as a direct-selling company.

(with agency inputs)
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China Tumor Ablation Market Landscape Report 2022: Procedure and Technology Trends, Brand Perception, Competitive Intelligence and Future Outlook – – Business Wire

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What could a new COVID-19 variant look like? Here's what experts have to say – CTV News

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting across the country, Canadians may be feeling as though aspects of their lives are starting to return to “normal.” But experts warn that ending long-standing practices such as physical distancing and masking will not only increase transmission, but raise the chances that a new COVID-19 variant will emerge.
“Every person that the virus infects, that’s a lottery ticket for that virus to up its chances of being able to generate a new variant that’s better [and] nastier than the previous variant,” infectious disease expert Matthew Miller told in a phone interview on Wednesday. “By virtue of the fact that we are not infected, we’re giving the virus less chance to mutate.”
As a virus replicates, it develops mutations in the hopes of becoming more infectious and increasing its spread, therefore improving its ability to survive, said Miller, an associate professor at McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research based in Hamilton. This is what leads to the emergence of new variants. By spreading to more people, this provides the virus with more opportunities to mutate, Miller said.
The concept of viruses replicating and modifying their genetic makeup based on selective pressures is a normal part of the virus lifecycle, said Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious diseases physician with Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ont.
“People have to understand that viruses have been varianting [sic] forever, and we don’t control that,” Chakrabarti told on Wednesday in a phone interview. “Variants will continue to come as a natural part of viral evolution.”
Still, as more people become infected with SARS-CoV-2, chances are COVID-19 variants will appear at a much faster pace, said Miller. The removal of COVID-19 restrictions will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the spread of the virus, Miller said, which will also increase the likelihood that new variants will soon emerge.
“There’s no question that lifting restrictions is going to lead to higher rates of transmission,” said Miller. “Anytime you get rid of a public health measure, you give the virus a better chance of transmitting.”
Dr. Lisa Salamon, an emergency room physician based in Toronto, said the decision to lift mask mandates in Ontario is “premature,” and based on politics rather than science. As of March 21, face masks are no longer required in schools, shopping malls and most other indoor public spaces across the province. While the number of COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospital appears to have plateaued in the province for now, it’s likely to increase as public health measures continue to lift, she said.
“Given the community prevalence [of COVID-19] and given that mask mandates are gone as of today, in most places, I think that we’re going to be in trouble in a few weeks from now,” Salamon told CTV News Channel on Monday. “Without wearing masks, there’s going to be a really large risk of spreading [COVID-19] even more than it’s already being spread.”
It’s also important to consider the role that vaccination plays in the surfacing of new COVID-19 variants, said Dr. Brian Conway, an infectious disease expert and medical director of the Vancouver Infectious Diseases Centre. The fewer people that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the greater the potential for a new variant to not only emerge, but to spread, said Conway. With about 43 per cent of the world not yet vaccinated with at least two doses, this leaves about three billion people highly susceptible to being infected with COVID-19, he said.
“Variants are dependent on the virus replicating in real life, so the more susceptible hosts you have, the more virus you will have [circulating],” he said. “Since it replicates so much, just by randomness, it will develop some new variants that will survive.”
But it’s also important to remember that vaccination is only somewhat efficient at protecting against infection, particularly when caused by the predominant Omicron variant. A recent study conducted in England between November 2021 and January 2022 revealed that the efficacy of two Pfizer vaccine doses against symptomatic disease brought about by Omicron was 65.5 per cent after two to four weeks, before falling to 8.8 per cent 25 or more weeks after vaccination.
With a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, protection increased to 67.2 per cent after two to four weeks, but also began to wane as more time went on. At 10 weeks post-vaccination, three doses of the vaccine were only 45.7 per cent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 illness.
Because of this, public health measures also play a critical role in protecting against infection, Miller said. This includes wearing a well-fitted mask in crowded settings and maintaining two metres’ distance from others when possible. He also recommends that people maintain diligent hand hygiene and keep a distance from those who are suspected of being sick. These measures will not only help to curb the transmission of COVID-19, but also decrease the speed at which new variants may appear, Miller said.
“Anything that is risk-reducing slows down this rate of variants emerging,” said Miller. “We have to layer other preventative measures on top of [vaccines].”
According to Conway, the emergence of new COVID-19 variants is inevitable so long as the virus is able to spread and survive. In terms of what future variants of COVID-19 could look like, it is possible that they will continue to be milder and highly transmissible among the general population, he said, similar to the Omicron variant that has displaced Delta in Canada.
With such a strong pressure to survive and transmit, Miller said, some of the characteristics associated with increased transmissibility are also tied to reduced severity of disease. With Omicron, for example, research shows that the virus mainly causes infection in the upper respiratory tract, such as the throat area, as it appears to replicate faster in airway passages as opposed to inside lung tissues.
“The throat is just physically closer to your mouth and nose, and if you’ve got more virus up there, it’s easier for that virus to get out and get to the next person,” said Miller. “If the virus is deep down in your lungs, it has to travel a lot further to get out and transmit.
“That kind of thing can help to reduce the severity [since] infections that are deep in your lungs also happen to have the consequence of making you much more sick.”
It is possible for future variants to follow a similar trend, said Chakrabarti.
“[Viruses] tend to push towards something that is transmitted very easily and oftentimes, killing the host is something that would hinder that,” he said. “Not every virus follows this route…but that tends to be the feeling.”
Miller also pointed out that historically, as pandemics have evolved, viruses would eventually cause milder disease due to widespread immunity that was developed over time, which would mitigate the severity of infection.
“Everyone having been vaccinated and many people having been some combination of vaccinated and infected…means that the level of immunity that we have against the virus is continuing to increase,” said Miller. “Those immune responses are going to protect us much better [from severe disease] than they did early in the pandemic when our immune system really didn’t know what COVID was at all.”
Still, the idea that future COVID-19 variants will continue to be mild and increasingly transmissible is not guaranteed, Miller said, and it’s important for the world to be prepared for a new variant that could instead be more dangerous than anything seen before.
“We have to be ready for the possibility that there could be a variant that arises and is worse than what we see with Omicron,” he said. “It’s certainly not impossible given the pressures that are driving the virus to mutate and for these new variants to emerge.”
Its ability to mutate so frequently is one of the main reasons why herd immunity remains difficult to achieve with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, said Chakrabarti. Herd immunity is when enough people become immune to a pathogen, either through vaccination, exposure to infection or both, and consequently protect a smaller number of those remaining people who are more vulnerable to getting infected, said Conway.
“If the virus were to be present in that community, there aren’t enough people around who are susceptible to infection to sustain the spread,” he said. “So the herd or the community would be immune to that particular virus.
While herd immunity has been successfully achieved with other diseases, it’s not as easy to attain with COVID-19, Miller said. Additionally, with the newest variant of concern capable of evading some of the immune responses developed by the body, this makes the chances of building a strong herd immunity response unlikely, he said.
“I don’t think that we will ever get to that extreme end of herd immunity with SARS-CoV-2 that we’ve seen for other pathogens like smallpox, polio and arguably in a lot of settings, measles,” said Miller. “We’re likely to see a situation where this virus becomes endemic and we’re unlikely to be able to eliminate it altogether.”
Conway also pointed to evidence of waning immunity from current COVID-19 vaccines. Studies have shown that vaccine protection appears to wane as early as a few months after they are administered.
“We’re realizing that the immunity from the vaccine wears off after several months, and it wears off at different rates in different people,” said Conway. “So the community can’t be protected at a high level for an extended period of time.”
It’s also important to consider the role of transmission, said Chakrabarti. For herd immunity to occur, there must be low levels of viral transmission, which have not yet been achieved, he said.
“We’re not quite there; you can see that we get these big waves [of cases] and they go down for a bit, then another wave,” said Chakrabarti. “Based on what we know of the virus and its immune evasion…[transmission] is not in that low-level, long-term equilibrium.”
Targeted vaccines developed specifically for COVID-19 variants as they emerge might make herd immunity a possibility in the future, provided they offer better overall protection than current vaccines, said Miller. Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Moderna have each announced plans to develop Omicron-specific vaccines. These plans, however, have since been delayed, with both companies still gathering data on the efficacy of these jabs.
“When we get vaccines that are a better match for the [variant] that’s currently circulating, the effectiveness of those vaccines will also increase,” said Miller. “Updating vaccines and having vaccines that are capable of conferring broader immunity against variants will increase the strength of this indirect protection.”
But it appears as though there may be some time until these vaccines are developed and rolled out, with Moderna now aiming for August, for example. This makes additional COVID-19 protective measures such as masking and physical distancing even more important in curbing the spread of the virus as well as preventing future variants that may emerge, Miller said.
“It’s like adding an extra layer of armour essentially,” said Miller. “When we start combining interventions, that makes it harder for the virus to transmit and essentially, anything that makes it harder for the virus to transmit helps us to reduce its circulation and provide that indirect protection to people who are susceptible to getting ill.”
The key lies in lifting public health restrictions gradually rather than all at once, said Dr. Peter Juni, head of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
“As long as dropping the mandate doesn’t mean dropping the masks [completely] we’re okay,” he told CTV News Channel on Monday. “We don’t need to see that as a black or white decision.”
With the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant of concern, labelled Omicron, wants to hear from Canadians with any questions.
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Inside Brahmastra Marketing Strategy – An 'astraverse' of tactics – Social Samosa

Brahmastra a movie that took more than 5 years to hit the theatres, finally arrived. Apart from the block buster’s anticipated release, fans looked ahead to Ranbir Kapoor’s comeback on the big screen along with the real-life couple Ranbir and Alia’s reel-life chemistry. The makers included all these factors and more to create an extensive marketing strategy.
With the movie being in the making for years prior to its release, the makers unveiled the movie’s name and characters’ names in a unique way. On the eve of Mahashivratri 2019, the star cast and the flick’s director, lit the sky of Pryagraj at the Kumb Mela event with drones to form the movie’s name. 

A post shared by Ayan Mukerji (@ayan_mukerji)

During the making of this film, the reel-to-real-life couple created a nationwide whirl and the anticipation to watch them on screen became more so relevant. Leveraging this fan-love for the couple, Ayan Mukherji – director of the film dropped a snippet of the love song ‘Kesariya’ which stared Ranbir & Alia as a gift for the couple’s nuptials. 

A post shared by Ayan Mukerji (@ayan_mukerji)

This short snippet didn’t only create a buzz within RAlia shippers, but the whole nation was hooked on it and soon it became ‘The’ song for Bollywood lovers. From reels to covers, this short teaser worked its charm and helped generate hype for the movie which in turn helped the creators draw attention. 
Not long after the teaser, the full-length song dropped and the fans weren’t the most delighted with the lyrics. As the internet started trolling the ill-fitted lyrics of the song, the movie generated much more traction towards it. 
From fans to brands, everyone on the internet joined the ‘Kesariya’ trend that made the song play from a different angle for the movie’s promotion. 

A post shared by Storia Foods & Beverages (@storiafoods)

From the very beginning, Brahmastra Marketing Strategy was received by a wider reach with the audience. This didn’t limit to Bollywood, as the makers announced that the movie would be released in 5 languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada and would be distributed by Telugu film director S. S. Rajamouli presenting the dubbed versions in the latter four South Indian languages. 
Apart from this, the makers roped in Telugu star Jr. NTR to a pre-release event in Hyderabad which ensured the movie reached the audience in the South as well.

Gear up for a MASS-Traverse!🔥🔥🔥

MAN OF MASSES of Indian Cinema, @tarak9999 will be gracing the Biggest Pre-Release Event of Brahmāstra as the Chief Guest on September 2nd in Hyderabad💥 #Brahmastra #NTRforBrahmastra

Connecting with the youth of Bombay, the makers joined hands with IIT Bombay’s ‘Mood Indigo’ festival. Where the stars and the director interacted with the audience. Apart from talking about the movie, the celebs also unveiled the festival’s 52nd edition for the people.

A post shared by Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay (@iitbombay.moodi)

The makers of the film heavily depended upon the film’s social media pages to reach the audience as well. Brahmastra’s official Instagram account initiated a #FanFocusedFriday event that included fan arts and recreations of the movie’s scenes and songs. This gave a shoutout to the creators and kept the audience engagement at its peak. 

A post shared by Brahmāstra (@brahmastrafilm)

A post shared by Brahmāstra (@brahmastrafilm)

The makers collaborated with Book My Show & PVR as their official online ticket booking platforms.

A post shared by P V R Cinemas (@pvrcinemas_official)

Other than this, the makers went together at Cinepolis Theaters as well to promote the in-theatre experience. 

A post shared by Cinépolis India (@cinepolisindia)

A collaboration with YouTube India led to the movie’s posters and hoardings to display in Times Square and in LA. Following this, a live event was held on Youtube with Ayan, Ranbir & Alia to celebrate the Musical journey of Brahmastra where they released the teaser for ‘Dance Ka Bhooth’.

A post shared by Ayan Mukerji (@ayan_mukerji)

From the get-go, Brahmastra had a very vast soundtrack and audience engagement had been great. Taking this into the account, the makers got together with Spotify to create a TVC starring Alia and Ranbir highlighting the movie’s songs and the perks of the app. 

A post shared by Spotify India (@spotifyindia)

A post shared by Spotify India (@spotifyindia)

Lastly, as the couple had just tied the knot before the movie’s release, to promote the film and their chemistry on screen as well as off-screen, they sat with IMDb for an exclusive segment Burning Questions’ answering about each other’s favourite performances and more.
Brahmastra has been one of the most anticipated films in Bollywood for nearly two years now. The Brahmastra Marketing Strategy for the film reflected this enthusiasm, as the makers left no stone turn unturned, to keep the buzz alive.