Posts tagged with "U.S."

Rita Azar illustrates fashion article for 360 MAGAZINE

Tips For Supporting Ethical Fashion 

There is no time like right now to make the switch to ethical fashion, with the report Future of Consumer Demand showing that the vast majority of Americans place a high importance on buying goods that are ethically produced. When it comes to fashion, the exact definition of ‘ethics’ is difficult to provide, since it extends to a wide array of issues – including fair working conditions, sustainability, support for upcoming creators, animal welfare, and fair trade. A recent Futerra survey showed that around 90% of consumers in the U.S. and the U.K. want to make a positive difference with each purchase they make. They feel that their actions can be part of a big wave that reduces pressing problems such as global warming. If you are ready to start supporting companies that are ‘giving back’, what qualities should you look for in your chosen brands?

Ethical Working Conditions

If you are drafting a list of fashion and accessory companies you would like to start supporting, spend time getting to know their policy on working conditions. For instance, if you are buying luxury gems such as diamonds, ensuring they are conflict-free and ethically sourced is key. More than 99% of accessible diamonds meet Kimberley certificate standards. However, this certificate is a logistic document that states a rough diamond was exported from a specific country under the stipulations of the Kimberley process. It does not tell you if the mine a specific diamond was obtained from provides local jobs or funds opportunities for diverse groups such as women. Therefore, inquiring about these matters can help you make a decision when considering various brands or jewelry houses.

A Passion For Sustainability
It is very easy to see which brands are 100% committed to lowering their carbon footprint. Truly green brands such as Stella McCartney have been raising the bar in terms of the use of organic, recycled and upcycled materials practically since their launch. Brands should do more than release the odd sustainable collection. They should have published policies regarding energy use, water saving, ethical sourcing of materials (i.e. materials should not hail from endangered forests), and the establishment of strict quality and sustainability standards. They should also commit to reducing oil-based synthetics during the manufacturing process.

Supporting Innovation

Check out the efforts made by each brand to support the Planet. Some have come up with innovative ways to put an end to problems such as plastics. Pangaia, famed for its über-chic tracksuits, use material obtained from recycled bottles. The fabric obtained is then colored with natural botanical dyes, and ‘freshened up’ with natural peppermint, which battles bacteria. Reformation (which manufactures swimwear) also creates items made with recycled plastic, while Isbjörn of Sweden uses fish trap to create resilient items that are also 100% PFC-free and bluesign certified.

Design For Life

Ethical fashion should also aim to be used by several owners so as to prolong the life cycle of every item and reduce the amount of waste that is overburdening landfills. Essén is one such label; it produces all collections in small batches, moving away from the idea of short-term trends and seasonality. The aim is for every single item to be used throughout the year, with minimalist looks holding sway in the summer and layering being embraced to stay warm and cosy during the winter. Another interesting minimalist brand is Working Title. In order to reduce its carbon footprint, this company only sells made-to-order items, meaning that every single outfit they make is fully desired and cherished. When purchasing items for a new season, go with items you think will stand the test of time. Ensure you have wardrobe essentials such as a ‘little black dress’, a white tailored top, black trousers, and a good coat you can dress up or down. You can still stay in trend, buying a couple of ‘in’ clothing items and accessories but mainly sticking to items you know will look good just as good next year as they do this year.

Choosing Durable Items

Genuinely sustainable items should be able to withstand plenty of wear and tear if it is to stand the test of time and be worn a lifetime or passed down to various users before being thrown away. Isbjörn, mentioned above owing to its innovative spirit, also has a big focus on durability. All items are made with materials built to last, and have sewn-in labels with space for three kids’ names (the aim being that every piece should be used by at least three people). The company goes a step further, offering to replace any items that are broken. Why buy a new coat when your favorite comfy coat can be repaired and look as good as new? Companies should ideally offer customers tips to increase the lifespan of clothing. These can include information on how to repair and wash items. They can also include suggestions on where to donate clothes once customers are done with them. The brand Vaude, for instance, has a free online platform called iFixit, which provides instructions on how to fix various products.

Embracing Diversity

Sustainable companies that truly desire to make a difference should take other ethical considerations into account, one of which involves embracing diversity. The 21st century is arguably the first to embrace different races, body types, and ages in advertising and fashion. Brands should do more than simply market themselves as ethical; they should also put their money where their mouth is, releasing collections in sizes that reflect the diversity of their customer base. Just a few brands that have already done so include Adidas, Apiece Apart, and Diane von Furstenberg. The latter’s iconic wrap dresses are now available in sizes 14 to 24, thanks to its recent partnership with Honoré.

If you are ready to make more eco-conscious fashion choices, a good place to start is by checking out the sustainability policies of your favorite brands. Those that do value ethical working conditions, the environment, and other issues such as animal welfare, will usually share their values with you via their website and social media channels. Be vigilant about shopping for jewelry as well, since truly ethically sourced diamonds have more to them than simply complying with the Kimberley certificate standards. When choosing a brand to support, also think about the extent to which they are truly making an effort to effect change. Efforts can range from choosing innovative materials right through to improving durability and educating customers on how to increase a product’s lifespan. Finally, this millennium is one that is firmly focused on diversity. Ethical companies should support the idea that all human beings have a right to look and feel like their best selves through the clothes they wear. Companies can show their commitment to diversity by employing models with varying ages, races, and body types. They can also make collections in various sizes so that their garments can be worn by a truly representative group of people. One of the best ways to find out more about fashion brands is to check out their websites. If they are truly serious about sustainability and ethics, they will most likely have a sustainability section in which they list the many steps they are taking to change the superficial reputation that fashion can sometimes have.

Veterans illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Postal Inspection Service Lists Scams Targeting Veterans

As Veterans Day approaches this Wednesday, Operation Protect Veterans is alerting more than 17 million U.S. veterans to scams that are specifically targeting them. OPV is a joint crime prevention program created by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and AARP.

Some of these scams are listed as: 

  • Secret Veterans Benefits Scam: Veterans are told they qualify for “secret” government programs or benefits that offer thousands of dollars. But first, they attempt to collect personal information or a fee.
  • Pension Poaching Scam: Scammers often offer veterans lump sum payments up front, in exchange for signing over all their future monthly benefit checks.  
  • Bogus Employment Scam: Scammers post fake job descriptions to collect personal information from a veteran’s job application, or they charge an employment fee.
  • VA Loan Scams: Offers to refinance VA loans at extremely low rates. 
  • Update Your File Scam: An imposter, claiming to be from a government agency, attempts to get a veteran’s personal information to “update their file,” so they can maintain their benefits.
  • Aid and Attendance Scam: Veterans (or their family members) receive an offer to move their assets into a living trust so that they can qualify for financial assisted Iiving benefits.

According to research conducted by AARP, veterans are twice as likely as the general public to be victims of scams. What can veterans – and those who care about them – do to prevent being taken advantage of by scammers? 

The Postal Inspection Service advises every veteran do the following:

  • Visit the Postal Inspection Service’s website (www.uspis.gov) to learn about scams targeting veterans and what they can do to prevent becoming a victim.
  • Check out any offer with a trusted family member, friend or your local veteran’s affairs office before acting. 
  • Don’t be pressured into acting immediately. If you are dealing with a legitimate outfit, they won’t try to pressure you to act before having a chance to check it out and think about it. If they do, just say “no” and hang up.
  • Get an answering machine and caller ID display. Then, let the machine answer the phone for you. If you don’t recognize the person leaving a message, don’t pick up the phone! 
  • Contact your telephone service provider, and ask them what kind of services they offer to help you block unwanted calls.
  • Report if you believe you have been the victim of a scam. Contact your local police or AARP (protectveterans@aarp.org or 877-908-3360).
  • Get credible information on how to qualify for veterans’ benefits by contacting your state veterans’ affairs agency. Visit www.nasdva.us, and click on “Links.”

“Veterans have access to special benefits and share a special bond that scammers know and use to take advantage of them,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale. “The Postal Inspection Service works hard every day to stop scams targeting veterans, but we need everyone to become better informed, so they can help spread the knowledge to the veterans they know and love. 

“I encourage all Americans to make this Veteran’s Day not only a day of remembrance and thanks for our veterans,” Barksdale continued, “but also to make it the start of learning about, and helping to spread information on scams targeting veterans.”

For more information on scams targeting veterans and other scams, visit www.uspis.gov. To learn more about the U.S. Inspection Postal Service, visit www.uspis.gov. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Hiccup in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

By Althea Champion

In a statement from AstraZeneca, reported by STAT News, the biopharmaceutical company reported a halt in their global research trial. The company, which is working with the University of Oxford and is one of the few waist-deep in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccination, reported that the halt is a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials.”

The company is in Phase 3 of their clinical trial in the U.S., as well as Brazil and South Africa, according to the New York Times, and in Phase 2/3 in England and India. AstraZeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31.

Phase 3 efficacy trials involve thousands of volunteers, some of which are administered the vaccine in question, and others the placebo.

AstraZeneca and its most close competitors, Moderna and Pfizer, which have each been in phase 3 of their clinical trials since July 27, are backed by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a targeted allocation of resources meant to hasten the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The halt of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine—AZD1222—is the first made public by its drug maker, and will allow a safety review to take place. 

“A volunteer in the U.K. trial [of AZD1222] had been found to have transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections,” reported the New York Times. “However, the timing of this diagnosis, and whether it was directly linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, is unclear.”

The vaccine was first developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, according to nih.gov, and was then “licensed to AstraZeneca for further development.” Oxford-Astrazeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31

The company stressed in its statement that the safety of their participants is a priority.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” said the company in their statement. “We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

Top 5 European Countries That Offer Freelance Visas

An increasing number of Americans are seeking options for better living—long-term—beyond the U.S. borders, however to earn a living while away requires something beyond a tourist visa. A new report from International Living explores the top five European countries that offer the best freelance visas.

“If you’ve paid attention to headlines in recent weeks, you’ll have likely seen all the many stories about Americans wanting to escape the US Covid crisis,” says Jeff D. Opdyke, editor of The Savvy Retiree, a publication of International Living. “Stories on how to seek second passports. Stories on countries where Americans are increasingly seeking information on emigration. Stories on certain countries and Caribbean islands aiming to attract Americans for a year abroad.

“What’s often missing amid all these many words is the story of how to live abroad for longer than a year without having to spending $100,000 or more buying a passport. For the fact is, a number of countries, particularly in Europe, offer ‘freelance’ visas specifically aimed at those who want to live and work in a particular country for the long haul.

“This report addresses that. Because, frankly, that’s often the quickest and easiest way for the average American to gain permission to live and work legally in Europe.

“Only a limited handful of European countries offer freelance visas. In most countries, you’ll need a job offer from a local firm, or you’ll need to work for a multinational will local operations that transfers you into a particular country. For most of us, that’s not an option. Instead, we have to look to countries that specifically welcome the independent, freelance worker.”

The report explores the five best countries to consider in Europe:

Czech Republic

“I chose to pursue a freelance life two years ago in Prague, one of Europe’s most comfortable and picturesque cities, after careful consideration of other European destinations,” says Opdyke. “Primary among those reasons is the fact that the Czech Republic offers what’s known locally as a Zivno, widely regarded as one of the best freelance-worker options in Europe.

This isn’t a visa, and it not specifically targeted at foreigners. Instead, the Zivno is effectively a national registry of independent workers, whether they’re native-born Czechs or foreigners with long-term residence status. As such, applicants will need a long-residence visa to pair with the Zivno.

“But assuming you have marketable skills in something that allows you to earn income online or even locally – as, say, a language teacher,” says Opdyke, “you will likely obtain your Zivno and with that it is easier to qualify for a one-year, long-term residence visa, a stamp in your passport. Then, assuming you play by Czech rules (pay your taxes and the mandatory health and social security insurance – combined, about $200 a month, minimum), you’ll apply for and receive a biometric, long-term residence card good for two years and renewable for another two. After five years, you can apply for permanent residence/citizenship, if that appeals to you. (Note: Because the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, its passport is one of the five best in the world.)”

Prague, the capital, is a wonderful city to call home—folks are close to so much in terms of weekend getaways or longer trips. The lifestyle is relaxing. The city is eye-candy pretty much everywhere you go. And the food is great. A couple can live the good life there on a budget of $1,900 a month.

Germany

“Here, you want the Freiberufler, Germany’s self-employment visa,” reports Opdyke. “It’s not terribly difficult to obtain, so long as you jump through various paperwork hoops that exist – and Germany has lots of paperwork hoops, including revenue plans, letters of intent or contracts from potential or existing clients, and various other documents.”

Folks will also need to prove income sufficiency, which generally means at least €5,000 (just over $5,900) in a (preferably) German bank account.

Freiberufler is good for six months to three years, depending on the application, and it’s renewable. The primary challenge is that an applicant will (probably) need to prove he or she has German freelance clients. Once armed with the Freiberufler, should a freelancer ultimately want permanent residence in Germany, it’s possible to apply after eight years.

Germany offers an excellent standard of living, with good infrastructure and quality healthcare. However, Germany’s cost of living tends to be higher than the European Union average. A monthly budget for a couple living in a suburban area, close to Munich, runs $3,610 to $4,160.

Spain

The autónomo is what freelancers pursue in the land of sangria.

“The process, while not especially difficult, can be lengthy – taking upwards of six months to complete, which means a 90-day tourist visa for the Schengen Zone (of which Spain is a member) will often expire before you receive your autónomo,” advises Opdyke. “So, you need to plan for that by completing as much of the process as you can outside of Spain. Conversely, as your 90-day limit approaches you can hop across to a non-Schengen country such as Ireland or the UK for a few weeks or months to stop your Schengen clock from winding down.”

The autónomo is identical to the Czech Zivno in that it’s good for one year. An applicant can apply for two, two-year extensions, and after five years of surviving on tapas, then, apply for permanent residency/citizenship if he or she wishes to remain in Spain as a naturalized citizen eligible for an EU passport.

Granada, overlooked by the snow-capped peaks of the majestic Sierra Nevada, is a timeless city of many layers, many people, and many stories. The city is quickly gaining ground as a top choice in Spain—the climate and weather of Granada justify why so many peoples have sought to be here. And the nearly 500-year-old University of Granada plays a major role in the city’s youthful vibe. Here a couple can live well on a monthly budget of $2,476.

Portugal

This is, perhaps, the easiest freelance/self-employed visa to pursue in the EU, which makes it quite popular for those seeking a visa that allows for both long-term residence and permission to earn a living in Europe.

There are two options:

1) residence visa for independent work (working locally for Portuguese clients as a contract employee);

2) residence visa for entrepreneur work (essentially the digital nomad stuff collecting clients from around the world).

“Under Portugal’s ‘non-habitual residency’ program,” says Opdyke, “income generated outside of Portugal for certain types of ‘high-value’ activities is eligible for a tax exemption, meaning you pay no local taxes (you will still owe self-employment taxes to the States, and, potentially, personal income taxes, depending on how much money you earn living abroad).

Permanent residency/citizenship rules in Portugal follow the Spanish and Czech model in that you can apply after five years.

Porto, the second-largest metropolitan area in Portugal after Lisbon, is an increasingly popular city amongst digital nomads. Porto is a living, breathing picture-postcard of European charm, with plenty to see and do. There’s a proverbial banquet of exciting activities, from historic city walks to wine tastings across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia’s wine caves. But best of all, it’s good value. A couple can live well here on a monthly budget of $1,550.

France

“France’s entrepreneur/profession libérale visa is similar to Portugal in terms of ease of attainment,” says Opdyke. “It’s an ideal way for Francophiles to gain legal permission to live and work in France.

“You need to demonstrate that you can fend for yourself financially by proving you earn at least the French legal minimum wage (about €1,540 per month, or $1,800). Beyond that, there are typical documents and whatnot that are necessary for the application, but nothing particularly difficult.”

And despite widespread misconceptions about cost of living in France, outside of Paris the country is a pretty affordable place to call home.

Given its ideal placement along the French Riviera, the coastal city of Toulon in southeastern France provides an idyllic lifestyle for residents and short-term visitors. Away from the hustle-and-bustle of big “resort” towns like Nice, Cannes, and St. Tropez, unassuming Toulon lies a bit off the radar. A couple can live well here on a monthly budget of $1,986 to $2,228.

The full report, including information on a bonus country, The Netherlands, can be found, here: 5 Best Freelance Visas in Europe

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WikiLeaks Founder Arrested in U.K.

by Tara McDonough

Earlier today WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested inside the Ecuadorian embassy for breaching U.K. bail conditions. He has also been further arrested by U.S. authorities with an extradition warrant on a conspiracy charge for publishing classified information by former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

On Thursday the Justice Department prosecutors confirmed that Assange was charged with conspiracy to hack into a classified U.S. computer. Prosecutors said WikiLeaks founder aided Manning in cracking a password and therefore logging into SIPRNET, a classified U.S. government network.

While Manning’s sentence was commuted under President Obama just before his term ended in 2017 and released from prison that May, she was arrested in March 2019 for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

The process of extraditing Assange from the U.K. to the U.S. could take years and the outcome is not a foregone conclusion.

Alliance for Justice Telebriefing

Reminder: Briefing Call at 11 am ET TODAY:  Leading National Rights Organizations Assess Two Years of Trump’s Harm to Courts

TO CALL IN:  

Phone number: 888-224-1121

Confirmation code: 6759700

Please join the conference 5-10 minutes prior to the start time.

Today at 11 am ET, Alliance for Justice and People For the American Way will host a joint telebriefing to discuss their respective studies of the first two years of President Trump’s impact on federal courts and the federal judiciary.  The call follows the release earlier today, at 9:30 am ET, of new reports by the organizations: AFJ’s “Trump’s Attacks on Our Justice System: President Trump, the Federal Judiciary and the 115th Congress,” and PFAW’s “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears: The Continuing Harm Caused by Confirmed Trump Federal Judges.”  

The AFJ report is a comprehensive look at the disintegration of the judicial nominations process under Trump, which has led to the nomination and confirmation of numerous individuals with histories of opposition to key legal rights and protections for workers, women, people of color, LGBTQ Americans, immigrants, and more. You can read the report here.  

An audio recording of the call is available here.

The PFAW report builds on the organization’s ongoing research project, “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears,” and provides compilation and analysis of the rulings of Trump judges following their confirmation. It offers a stark illustration of the ways in which these judges have—as predicted—brought narrow-minded, elitist agendas and views to the federal bench and have harmed people’s rights. You can read the report here.

WHAT: Briefing call with Alliance for Justice and People For the American Way on two years of Trump’s harm to the courts

WHEN: Wednesday, April 3, 11 am ET

WHO: Daniel Goldberg, Legal Director, Alliance for Justice and Elliot Mincberg, Senior Fellow, People For the American Way

Questions?  

Please contact Laurie Kinney, Director of Communications, Alliance for Justice, at laurie@afj.org or 202-464-7367, or Derrick Crowe, Press Secretary, People For the American Way, at dcrowe@pfaw.org or 512-516-5067.

About Alliance for Justice

Alliance for Justice believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of 130 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society.

Energias de Portugal and Sepio Systems

EDP, One of Europe’s Major Electricity Operators, Completes a Strategic Investment in the Cybersecurity Company Sepio Systems

Energias de Portugal, which ranks among Europe’s major electricity operators, and is one of Portugal’s largest business groups has completed a strategic investment in the Israel- and US-based cybersecurity company Sepio Systems. EDP is a vertically integrated utility company that has electricity, gas and renewable energy operations in 16 countries and EDP Renewables is the fourth wind power operator worldwide.

EDP is expanding partnerships in Cyber Security to further strengthen connectivity and resilience that are vital to the infrastructure, and advance new business opportunities. Over the last couple of years, attacks on critical infrastructure have surged, and the potential repercussions are significant. A loss of data is concerning, but a loss of electricity is catastrophic to both businesses and society.

“Sepio’s approach to protecting enterprises against attacks arising from rogue devices is very creative and a well-executed idea in the cybersecurity space, and we were even more impressed after experiencing it firsthand.” Said Luis Manuel, Board Member at EDP Ventures. “The software provides granular visibility into our assets and, best of all, allows us to define and enforce a security policy for hardware devices. We believe Sepio is well-positioned to protect assets in both the IT and OT domains and we look forward to supporting Sepio Systems to help them grow further.”

Also participating in the investment is Mindset Ventures, an international Venture Capital firm that supports the growth and development of innovative companies that provide solutions to the relevant markets in Latin America, and the existing investors – Pico Venture Partners and Founders Group.

The partnership with EDP will help Sepio Systems accelerate the development and deployment of Sepio’s Rogue Device Mitigation solution among utilities, financial institutes, and large enterprises in Europe.

Sepio Prime is the world’s first end-to-end solution that offers comprehensive mitigation of hardware-based attacks, including rogue peripherals, invisible network devices, and manipulated firmware. Sepio Prime has been successfully deployed in over 20 mid-sized to large banks, insurance, and telecom companies in the U.S., Singapore, Brazil, and Israel. The current install base secures over 600,000 workstations and network ports.

“The massive cyber-attacks and data breaches we see lately are due not just to the rise of cybercrime but also to the ease of getting hold of attack tools that were accessible to governments and intelligence organizations until only few years ago”, said Iftah Bratspiess, CEO of Sepio Systems. “We founded Sepio to help organizations address the rapidly growing threat of malicious hardware devices. By applying deep intelligence and hardware fingerprinting technology we can instantly and accurately detect and identify manipulated peripherals and network devices.”

Mr. Bratspiess added, “Having a top global vertically integrated utility such as EDP invest directly in Sepio is not only a vote of confidence in the company, but a testament to the significant risk organizations see in the uncontrolled use of hardware devices. In addition, the support and network of Mindset Ventures provides a huge leap forward in successfully engaging with top tier companies in Brazil. The new funding will fuel our technology roadmap as well as the expansion into new verticals and territories.”

About EDP Ventures

EDP Ventures is the corporate venture arm of EDP group, an early-stage venture capital mainly focused in Seed and Series A, aiming to support and stimulate the open innovation process in the energy sector. Currently managing +70M€, EDP Ventures looks for disruptive technologies and business models focusing in Renewable Power technology, Smart Grids, Energy Efficiency, Electric Mobility, Energy Storage, AI and ML, Cybersecurity, Digital and Predictive analytics. It is located in Lisbon and São Paulo. For more information visit www.edpventures.vc

About Mindset Ventures

Mindset Ventures is an international Venture Capital firm with investment focus primarily in the United States and Israel. We support the growth and development of groundbreaking companies by providing them with access to advisors and potential clients, especially in Latin America. For more information visit http://mindset.ventures/

About Sepio Systems

Sepio is disrupting the cyber-security industry by uncovering hidden hardware attacks.

Sepio Prime provides security teams with full visibility into their hardware assets and their behavior in real time. A comprehensive policy enforcement module allows administrators to easily define granular device usage rules and continuously monitor and protect their infrastructure. Leveraging a combination of physical fingerprinting technology together with device behavior analytics, Sepio’s software-only solution offers instant detection and response to any threat or breach attempt that coming from a manipulated or infected element.

For more information visit http://sepio.systems

TOYOTA SUPRA

Sports car enthusiasts have been waiting more than 20 years for the return of Supra and will soon be able to purchase the 2020 Toyota GR Supra for a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $49,990.

For those fans and collectors anxious to be among the first owners of this iconic sports car, the initial 1,500 production Supras for the U.S. will be Launch Edition models starting at $55,250. Each will be uniquely numbered and have distinctive features signifying the exclusivity and excitement of Supra’s return. Toyota dealers will be handling all orders and the Launch Edition models go on sale in Summer 2019 starting at $55,250.

The Supra Launch Edition will be available in exterior colors of Absolute Zero White, Nocturnal Black or Renaissance Red 2.0, each featuring high-contrast red mirror caps and 19-inch forged matte black alloy wheels.

The Absolute Zero White and Nocturnal Black Supra Launch Editions will have a red interior. Each of the racing-inspired seats will be wrapped in red leather, with red leather steering wheel grips, and a red center console with carbon-fiber accents.

The Renaissance Red 2.0 Supra Launch Edition will feature a black leather-trimmed interior, with black seats, a black steering wheel, and black center console. The black interior will also feature carbon-fiber accents.

The first 1,500 Supras will feature an individually numbered carbon-fiber badge on the passenger-side dashboard complete with a graphic of Toyota Motor Corporation President and Master Driver Akio Toyoda’s signature.

Different Grades, Same Power

The 2020 Supra will be available in two grades: 3.0 and 3.0 Premium. Both will be powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that produces 335 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with racing-style paddle shifters. Both grades will also come standard with serious performance features including adaptive suspension, an active rear differential and launch control.

The 3.0 grade has a 6.5-inch display with Bluetooth and iPod capability, as well as Alcantara seats. Navigation and JBL Audio will be an available option for an additional $2,460.

The 3.0 Premium grade will feature an upgraded 8.8-inch wide-format touchscreen display with Navigation, Supra Connect telematics services, wireless Apple CarPlay, a premium 12-speaker JBL audio system, wireless phone charging and a color Head-Up Display. The 3.0 Premium grade will also feature heated, leather-trimmed seats.

The Supra Launch Edition will be based on the 3.0 Premium grade.

Standard safety features on both grades, as well as the Launch Edition, include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, road sign assist and automatic high beams.

The Driver Assist Package is an additional suite of safety features that will be optional on both grades for an additional $1,195. It includes full speed adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, parking sonar and rear collision warning.

The Very First One

The first production 2020 Toyota GR Supra to roll off the assembly line, “Global #1,” was auctioned for charity this evening for $2.1 million at the 48th Annual Barrett-Jackson Auction at WestWorld of Scottsdale. All proceeds of the fifth-generation GR Supra, which made its world debut on January 14, 2019 during the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, went to support the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF).

Check out this video on the new Toyota Supra.

Watch this video to see how Toyota is not screwing up the new Supra.

Chef Claudia at Vallarta Nayarit Gastronomica

Puerto Vallarta will continue celebrating its Centennial with another event of international importance when it hosts the 10th annual edition of the Vallarta-Nayarit Gastronomica scheduled to take place from October 14 -18. With over 48 of the most important international chefs, including 8 Michelin-awarded chefs, Puerto Vallarta is ready to reaffirm its position as Mexico’s Culinary Beach
Destination.

Under the slogan: Mexico, thanks for so much!, Vallarta Nayarit Gastronomica will be a combination of activities and events taking place all around food. Cooking demonstrations, classes and a trade exhibition will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta and private gala dinners including one celebrating the career of Mexican chef Susana Palazuelos. Puerto Vallarta’s iconic Malecon will set the stage for the event’s first event on the 14 with its Centennial Reception.

In addition to participating international chefs, Puerto Vallarta will be well represented by Chef Raúl Altamirano and Chef Santiago Pérez, Hotel Sheraton; Chef Memo Wulff, Rest. Barrio Bistro, Chef Alex Gómez, Jardín Nebulosa and Chef Joel Ornelas, Rest. Tintoque, all of whom will be taking part in special classes or hosting events for participants.

Javier Aranda Pedrero, General Director of the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, said he was pleased to receive this type of international event, which reflects the great culinary amalgam, excellent service, attention and hospitality of the people of Vallarta, who continue to position the port city as the best option for gastronomic events.

Vallarta Nayarit Gastronómica will have invited guests from Chihuahua and Guanajuato, who will participate with renowned chefs. In addition, thanks to the significant growth of Guadalajara in the gastronomic sphere due to the diversity of its cuisine and the traditional dishes it has, it has been chosen as the guest city of this edition.

Participating chefs include eight from Michelin -awarded restaurants in Spain: Chef Ángel León (3 MICHELIN Stars and 3 Repsol Suns) Aponiente Restaurant, Cádiz; Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz (2 MICHELIN Stars and 3 Repsol Suns), Mugaritz Restaurant, Gipuzkoa; Chef Kiko Moya (2 MICHELIN Stars and 3 Repsol Suns) L´Escaleta Restaurant; Chef Diego Guerrero (2 MICHELIN Stars and 3 Repsol Suns) Dstage Restaurant; Chef Kisco García (1 MICHELIN Star and 2 Repsol Suns) Choco Restaurant; Chef Diego Gallegos (1 MICHELIN Star and 1 Repsol Sun) Sollo Restaurant; Chef Roberto Ruiz (1 MICHELIN Star and 2 Repsol Suns) Punto Mx Restaurant and Chef Paco Méndez (1 MICHELIN Star and 1 Repsol Sun) Hoja Santa and Niño Viejo Restaurant.

From the United States, the conference will host Chef Carlos Gaytán, the first Mexican chef to achieve a MICHELIN Star for his work at Mexique Restaurant in Chicago and Chef Marc Pauvert, Hotel Four Seasons, Baltimore – USA. In addition, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board will be hosting MasterChef US Season 6 Winner and Master Chef Latino Judge Chef Claudia.

For more information on Vallarta-Nayarit Gastronomica, please visit: www.vallartanayaritgastronomica.com

About the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is responsible for promoting the destination in national and international markets. Nestled between the rugged, tropical Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay — Mexico’s largest natural bay and second largest on the American continent — on Mexico’s balmy Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is easily accessible from the U.S. and Canada. The city enjoys a warm tropical climate year-round, with average daytime temperatures of 80°F and cooler evening temperatures in winter months. Located 4 miles from downtown Puerto Vallarta, Gustavo Diaz International Airport receives more than 4 million visitors annually. The destination is home to 300,000 residents and offers an estimated 12,400 hotel rooms, with more than half in 4-star-plus properties.

Assembly Bill 3080 Is Bad for Jobs

Three years ago Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation on employment arbitration, saying he wanted to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the issue. Now the Supreme Court has spoken: Businesses can ask employees to sign arbitration agreements to settle employment disputes instead of going through costly and lengthy litigation. So it’s time for the governor to follow through with another veto.

Any attempt to contradict the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing arbitration in employment contracts, as proposed in Assembly Bill 3080 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, would, as you have warned in the past when you vetoed similar legislation, “result in years of costly litigation and legal uncertainty.” What we can guarantee is that signing this bad bill would certainly add to an already unstable and hostile environment for California employers and forcing a burden on them that does not exist in other states.

Under AB 3080, California businesses, especially in cases involving disputes over alleged sexual harassment or misconduct, would be victimized. Not only would businesses and employers face civil liabilities for any violations of AB 3080, but they could also face criminal charges as well.

Business owners must be able to operate in an environment that is fair and competitive, not one that is legally stacked against them.

It’s clear that as written, AB 3080 could be greatly misused and serve to help trial attorneys, not workers. It creates an environment where lawyers can troll for unsuspecting employees willing to sue their bosses, under the auspices of a large payday. The number of civil claims that could then result from this law would overwhelm the state’s judiciary system by, in effect, forcing all claims to be tried by a judge and jury.

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