Amazon says the Pentagon’s JEDI revision keeps Microsoft in the driver’s seat

WASHINGTON – Amazon.com Inc. accused the Pentagon of trying to manipulate its review of a huge cloud computing deal to drive the award to rival Microsoft Corp.

In a court made public on Tuesday, Amazon urged a federal judge to request the Department of Defense to conduct a larger review than it proposed.

Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith …

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“Everyone is responding to this crisis” – here you can donate and volunteer

The coronavirus novel is an unknown enemy that is rapidly reshaping daily routines as schools close, employees work from home (if they have that luxury) and shared pleasures like sports games and cinema are darkened.

The revolt has many people rushing to meet their needs by stocking up on supplies for potential quarantines. But some groups will experience this public health crisis more than others, including the elderly, workers who cannot call sick and people who cannot pay for quality health care or simply cannot access it.

“The most vulnerable of us will be the hardest hit and take the longest to recover,” said Regine A. Webster, vice president of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. “Remember that there will be physical health, mental health and the economic impacts of the pandemic long after the initial outbreak.”

The most important action that individuals can take is to stop the spread of the virus by washing their hands properly, practicing “social distancing” and quarantining themselves sick, public health officials say.

In addition to these measures, here are some other steps to target resources where they are most needed.

Get medical supplies where they are needed most

The Direct Relief Humanitarian Relief Group has provided personal protective equipment including masks, gloves and clothing in China since January. Last week, he shipped oxygen concentrators to China, said Direct Relief spokesman Tony Morain. They are devices that coronavirus patients can use to help them breathe at home, rather than being connected to a ventilator in a hospital. They are needed because hospital beds are scarce in China, said Morain.

China is about six weeks ahead of the United States, Morain said. While joint transmission has slowed, there are still patients on coronavirus therapy who need help breathing. Direct Relief recently purchased around 500 oxygen concentrators for US patients and pledged $ 2 million to help nonprofit community health centers in the United States prepare for the outbreak.

“Everyone responds to this crisis, one way or another, whether it’s about protecting their family or themselves,” said Morain. “In the worst case, we see the best of people.”

You can make a donation to the Direct Relief coronavirus response here.

Volunteering with meals on wheels

Meals on Wheels, which offers meals to older people who cannot leave the house, says it is anticipating an increase in demand during the epidemic. The elderly are particularly sensitive to the new coronavirus and health officials recommend people over the age of 60 to take additional precautions, which may include staying at home. However, such isolation can have long-term detrimental effects and Meals on Wheels provides fundamental social interaction for many of its customers.


‘In the worst case scenario, we see the best of people.’


– – Tony Morain, spokesperson for the Direct Relief Humanitarian Aid Group

Some Meals on Wheels chapters are looking for healthy volunteers who can be on call to make deliveries during the coronavirus epidemic. Many chapters also keep in touch with remote seniors through “phone reassurance” programs. To volunteer in your area, find your local wheeled meal supplier here.

Donate money to a reputable nonprofit

Philanthropists and corporations around the world have so far paid in around $ 1.3 billion to deal with the new coronavirus crisis, according to nonprofit research group Candid. The largest donors to the United States were the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which pledged up to $ 105 million from Microsoft
MSFT,
+ 14.21%

co-founder Bill Gates and his wife.

But you don’t have to be a billionaire to make a difference. Charity Navigator and CharityWatch charity rating sites have lists of controlled charities operating around the world to address the epidemic, including Lutheran World Relief, Heart to Heart International and Doctors Without Borders, which is working to evacuate the refugee camps in Greece at risk of becoming explosion zones. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy suggests donating to groups focused on “WASH” ​​- water, hygiene and hygiene.

Support your local food bank

Americans are emptying the shelves of non-perishable stores as they prepare for the possibility of self-isolation. Stocks have been so intense that some food banks have seen a significant drop in donations from retail grocery stores, said Kathryn Strickland, network manager of Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food handouts and food programs at national level. Feeding America has set up a COVID-19 response fund and is working to create an inventory of emergency food crates for distribution to food banks if needed.

While volunteering in person at a food bank may not be recommended as people practice social removal, Strickland recommends calling one in your area to see what their needs are.

“There are still ways you can support the food bank while you’re not physically in the food bank – you can donate online, raise awareness by sharing food bank messages on social media and support support at the federal level,” said Strickland .

Donate blood

The American Red Cross is urging healthy people who feel good about donating blood or platelets.

“As coronavirus fears increase, the low participation of donors could damage the availability of blood in hospitals and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether life-saving blood will be on the shelves when he needs it most,” he said. said Chris Hrouda, president of Red Cross Blood Services. There is no evidence that this new coronavirus can be transmitted through blood transfusions, according to the Red Cross. Find a donation site or blood sample near you here.

Help people experience homelessness

Homeless people face significant risk from the coronavirus novel, said Rick Brown, a spokesman for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. They have poorer overall health, often suffer from sleep deprivation and often have pre-existing conditions that leave them with weakened immune systems, he said. In addition, they are less likely to be insured.

“For this reason, they are at significant risk – far more than they actually are for passing COVID-19 to people with healthy immune systems, like many people with housing,” said Brown.

He recommended contacting local homeless shelters and homeless services organizations to find out what they need most now. The National Coalition for the Homeless has asked cities to provide handwashing stations for people in homeless camps during the pandemic and recommended that all coronavirus tests and treatment be free for everyone.

“This is greater than any person or a person’s ability to help – it really is a failure of politics,” said Brown. “This crisis illustrates the weaknesses of our health and housing systems.”

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EU, Tech Firms renews the alert system to combat coronavirus disinformation

BRUSSELS – The European Union is re-launching an alliance formed last year with US technology companies to combat political disinformation online, now focused on false information about the coronavirus.

The European Commission, executive body of the blockade, has renewed a rapid alert system created with Facebook Inc., Google, Microsoft Corp., Twitter Inc. and Mozilla Corp. of Alphabet Inc. to ensure that measures against disinformation about the novel i coronaviruses are quickly shared with EU governments.

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I am a financially bullied husband. My wife earns $ 500,000 – 5 times my income – and tells me to live in a camper van. Would I be entitled to anything if we got divorced?

My 15 year old wife does about five times what I do – about $ 500,000 a year – and she always has. She and I had an agreement, which obviously has long been forgotten by her, that her money would pay for household expenses and mine would pay for our enjoyment.

We eat out once or twice a week, usually around $ 60 each time, with the occasional meal of $ 200 to $ 300 three or four times a year, which I pay. We also usually take a vacation from $ 3000 to $ 5,000 a year, which I pay too.

The Moneyist: ‘What did he do with all the money?’ My dying husband cashed in his $ 700K life insurance and cleared his bank accounts

I swallow it with expensive gifts two to three times a year. He loves quality jewelry, but I love it and I love to make it happy. We have substantial savings (half of the six digits). Almost everything that comes from his earnings from our marriage. He had nothing to mention when we got married for the first time.

The problem is that we bought a new home a few years ago, when it still remembered our deal. The house is out of my economic reach. He refers to it as “his home” and started haunting me for half the mortgage payment and saying he pays for everything, so it’s all his.

The Moneyist:My mom filed for divorce. My father made the pensioner his mother and then killed himself. Now my mom and grandmother are cheering. Who is right?

I travel a lot for work and I bought a camper a few years ago to stay while I’m away. I pay for it, but she is excited to use it for trips and calls it “ours”. Every month I also pay for my vehicle, insurance and business insurance together with credit card balances.

Sometimes he threatened, telling me that I can go and live in my camper and she will take everything else. I don’t like being threatened and I just wonder how much I would be entitled to in Texas if I ever get divorced. We also have over $ 100,000 in the house.

Feeling financially bullied husband

Dear victim of financial bullying,

Your problems are about money and have nothing to do with money. There are so many other issues here: the way we speak, the spoken or unspoken alliance of mutual respect in this relationship has been broken, feelings of unwillingness in relation to perceived rights.

Sometimes, you have to risk getting away from something you appreciate to save it. You cannot allow this increasingly toxic “status quo” to continue because of your fear of being alone or your economic insecurity. You cannot save your marriage by ignoring the problems.

Your wife hasn’t forgotten your deal. He chose to forget it. You need a new financial and personal project to make this marriage work. If you both love each other and want to return to that place of respect, it’s worth a try.

The Moneyist: My stepfather and mother put together resources to buy a house. My mom died in 2003 and has just died. Her kids are selling their house – am I entitled to something?

I don’t know what he was thinking, but I will do my best. I guess she was full of resentment over the imbalance of income and the division of financial responsibilities agreed upon and decided that they no longer suited her. He has not just informed you of his change of heart.

You have a lot of discretionary expenses – jewelry gifts, expensive meals etc. – that you cannot afford. She has come to expect these gifts and, perhaps, she sees these gifts as a reward and / or a refund for what she sees as the shoulder of the lion’s share of the mortgage and other bills.

A better deal would be to live in a house that you can afford to split 50/50. This means dividing everything in the middle: the mortgage, public services and everything else. You can agree to deposit a certain amount into a joint bank account and keep the rest separate.

The Moneyist:My father-in-law’s business went south and my mother-in-law never worked a day in her life. How can I avoid supporting them?

Your traditional roles, some would say archaic, are typically rowdy. Your wife is the biggest gain. This is increasingly common, although men still tend to earn more than their spouses. But you’re trying to keep up with other older-style genre roles (expensive jewelry).

If your wife wants to live in a bigger house that you can’t afford, and you agree with that, you may agree to divide the mortgage and other bills as a percentage of your respective income. But he agrees to review this deal in a year. It may be that you move or agree to part.

You are eating and eating the cake. Your wife is enjoying the lifestyle she wants to get used to with her six-figure earnings, and you’re trying to keep up, enjoying the spoils of this relatively luxurious lifestyle. At least you’re sharing your 50/50 lifestyle.

The Moneyist: ‘He injected my father with ketamine, enough to kill him.’ My father died in hospital treatment and left almost everything to his nurse

But as your wife’s resentments have grown, your uneasy feelings have also increased. It’s time to see a financial therapist, a couple therapist, a financial adviser or all three. Put your cards on the table, talk about how you feel without judgment and allow your wife to do the same.

The worst that can happen is not you separate. At least, not if you’re both happier as a result. The worst that can happen is to live in this situation where your wife says cruel things and you either suck them and keep a frightening silence, or you say cruel things to your wife.

You live in a state of community ownership. Assuming that you have not signed a prenuptial agreement, all that you will both gain during your marriage will be divided into 50/50. This includes your joint savings accounts and your home. In conclusion: this has gone on long enough, my friend.

It’s time to bite the gold necklace and talk.

Do you have questions about inheritances, tips, marriages, family feuds, friends or any sensitive matters relating to manners and money? Send them to MarketWatch Moneyist and include the state in which you live (full names will not be used).

By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we can use your story, or versions of it, on all media and platforms, including through third parties.

Do you want to subscribe to an email alert when a new Moneyist column has been published? If so, click this link.

The Moneyist: My father left everything to my son. When I called the attorney for the will, my son got very angry. Now I need financial help. Do I have to ask him for money?

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Don’t expect 30-year mortgage interest rates to drop below 3%, says Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans

The past few years have been a roller coaster ride for the mortgage industry as interest rates have fluctuated up and down.

Mortgage rates hit an all-time low this week in the United States, with the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate dropping to an astounding 3.29% according to Freddie Mac, eclipsing the previous past low in 2012. Just a year ago, however, mortgage rates hovered around 4% after hitting nearly 5% at the end of 2018.

Refinancing activity booms with the ups and downs of mortgage rates. This week, Quicken Loans reported the largest volume of mortgage applications in a single day in the company’s history.

Quicken Loans is in an enviable position to profit from the latest boom in refinancing activity, this time caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus. Since launching its Rocket Mortgage technology in 2015, the company has focused much of its energy on digitizing the lending process, triggering a trend across the industry. Today, 98% of all Quicken-originated home loans use Rocket Mortgage technology at some point in the process, helping the company become the largest mortgage lender in the country in 2018.

Read more:Mortgage rates drop to all-time lows amid coronavirus concerns – that’s why Americans may not take advantage of them

MarketWatch spoke to Quicken Loans CEO Jay Farner to get an idea of ​​where interest rates are headed now that they have hit new lows and what the future holds for the mortgage industry. The following interview was edited for clarity and length.

MarketWatch: What is your opinion on the situation with mortgage rates right now? Where do you see them going?

Jay Farner: As you probably know, the 10 year old Treasury
TMUBMUSD10Y,
0.767%

, at least the last time I checked this morning, it has remained below 1%, which is an all-time low. This had the same effect on mortgage-backed securities. So 30-year mortgage rates have dropped somewhat to the lower-middle range of 3% on a 30-year fixed rate, and we are now below 3% on a 15-year fixed rate. So, I would say for the vast majority of Americans, they are now in a position where they can save money by refinancing. So they should do something.

Interestingly, one of the things we are talking about a lot is that people go from a period of 30 years to a shorter period, at 20 or 15 years, since rates are so low that they can get paid today at 15-year which is similar to a payment they would have made four or five years ago in thirty years when rates were five, but they could pay their home in 15 years for much less interest.

MW: How much do you think mortgage rates will drop?

Farner: There is a supply and demand problem here. We have been very lucky for years that we spend a lot of money investing in technology. We have hired over 1,000 people in the past 12 months due to the normal growth pattern we had set up, so we are taking on this volume. But the capacity of the sector is running out very, very quickly. So you will see a reduction in [interest] rates, but probably not at the same rate because lenders are taking on additional costs to be able to handle this additional demand. So they won’t be able to keep up with the 10-year Treasury.


“Bad or good news, certainty of what will happen, I believe will cause interest rates to rise.”

I don’t see a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than 3%. I think we were witnessing many uncertainties, which creates volatility in the market, which is causing Treasury rates and 10-year mortgages to drop. Bad or good news, certainty of what will happen, I think it will raise interest rates. Right now, we have a complete lack of certainty, which is why we are seeing this. Even if they come out and say that maybe the coronavirus will be a little worse than we thought it could bring certainty. If it makes sense, you can save money, you have to block interest rates. Take advantage of savings. And if I were a betting man, I would say there will be higher odds rates that will increase in the coming weeks.

Read more:What does the Fed’s surprise interest rate decrease mean for mortgage rates

MW: How do you compare the situation today with low mortgage rates compared to 2012 when rates hit an all-time low?

Farner: You have a particular accident that is creating uncertainty, but the basic fundamentals are very, very strong. And so when there is a certain level of certainty about the health of our country, all the other fundamentals will go back. And so you will see things go back to anything normal, while in 2012 there were many questions about the fundamental components of our economy. And that created a longer track with lower interest rates than we could experience here.

MW: After Quicken Loans introduced Rocket Mortgage in 2015, with a promise to speed up the two-week closing process, it prompted other lenders to step up efforts to digitize and accelerate the origins of mortgages. What do you see as the next big trend on the horizon when it comes to improving the user experience for borrowers?

Farner: Mortgage is an aspect of a wider experience; is part of owning a house. Whether you’re buying one or if you already own one, integrating the other things that matter – in properly maintaining your resource and being aware of what you should or shouldn’t be doing from a financial perspective around that resource – that’s important.

It shouldn’t be just “Hey, I heard rates have gone down, I’m refinancing my house, I’m done.” No, you should be aware of what’s going on in your neighborhood. You should be aware of the equity that you are building on your property. You need to be aware of interest rate trends and take advantage of all this data. We should be able to present it to you where you can always be truly informed about the ownership of your home.

Your biggest investment is your home, so why not have more visibility on how that resource is formed and more tips for improving it? You will see that people will value consumers in this way. This is what we focus on.

Yesterday, we wrote nearly 7,000 mortgage applications in one day. It’s fantastic that we’re helping all those people. I bet that if we had to peel the onion, there would be thousands of people in there who could have saved money two years ago that they didn’t. And they lost thousands of dollars in savings because they didn’t run that business on a frequent basis. And I think it needs to change.

See also:Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before refinancing your mortgage

MW: The Office for Consumer Financial Protection has suggested that a specific mortgage debt / income ratio may no longer be required to be purchased by Fannie Mae.
FNMA,
-4.72%

and Freddie Mac
FMCC,
-3.29%

as part of a policy review set up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Many lenders have said they will continue to use the report when taking out loans and Fitch Rating has raised concerns that the change could lead to riskier loans. What do you think about this?

Farner: I am not sure whether debt to income is the right thing to look at. I think it’s a good relationship, an important relationship, but what we need to start thinking is how we look at income.


‘I worry that there are fantastic people out there who should own houses that they won’t be able to do.’

Many of the guidelines still address revenue in the way it was generated 20, 30, 50 years ago. But the economy is changing. There are people who have real income, but they don’t exist in those forms. They can afford a house, but according to the guidelines, they are currently unable to do so.

We’ve partnered with Airbnb not too long. There are consumers who purchase a home with the full intention that a bedroom or cottage located on the property will be a full-time rental with Airbnb. Following standard guidelines will take years before you can possibly consider it, or in some cases you may never consider that income. So we worked with [Fannie Mae] create a program that would allow us to use that income because it was real income and we could say through historical data that the client would have had no problems renting that bedroom for years to come.

So I think that’s where we should focus. There are so many self-employed workers, there are so many people who are contractors. And if we’re not solving this, and allowing programs to use that income, I worry that there are fantastic people out there who should own houses that won’t be able to do it.

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Nestlé stops all business trips abroad while other companies slow Asia, Italy

As fears about the spread of Covid-19 increase, companies are canceling business trips and corporate events off-site all over the world and planning emergency plans to get more employees working remotely.

Nestlé SA told over 290,000 employees to stop all international business travel until March 15 and asked that all domestic travel be skipped as far as possible for now.

“We…

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Frances McDormand was right about the “knights of inclusion” – young women need more representation and role models

Frances McDormand won the Oscar for Best Actress in the 90th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday evening and used her moment to defend women. He also used a little-known legal term outside of Hollywood.

“If I could have all the women standing with me right now,” said McDormand, who won for his role in “Three billboards outside Missouri.” “Look around, look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and we all have projects that we must finance”. It was a moment that galvanized the crowd and spoke directly to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, which called for safer and more inclusive jobs.

And then he added: “I have two words to leave with you tonight: inclusion pilot”. Internet and Twitter
tWTR,
+ 1.83%

he was buzzing with the question, “What is an inclusion pilot?” Women in the film industry were fast tweet explanations. It’s a contract where usually a star or director of Serie A specifies a certain amount of gender and racial diversity between the cast and the crew. Only 11% of the highest grossing films were actually directed by women last year.

Greta Gerwig was the only woman nominated for best film and best direction at the Academy Awards. Presenting the nominations, actress Emma Stone said: “Here are the four men and Greta Gerwig nominated for best director”. (“Wonder Woman”, which was not nominated for an Oscar, set a box office box office hit for a film directed by a woman.) Films made by women with strong female roles, experts say, couldn’t come a moment too early.

Do women-led companies get better returns on Wall Street?

“Wonder Woman” made $ 821.8 million worldwide with a budget of $ 149 million. The Warner Bros.
United States: TWX
the film also had the biggest opening weekend for a director (Patty Jenkins) and, after years of films with male superheroes, marked a cultural and commercial change. With Israeli actress Gal Godot, she was fourth in the DC Comics universe, and the top three performed badly compared to Walt Disney
DIS,
-1.55%

Marvel franchise.

As actress Gal Godot told Glamor: “He doesn’t rely on a man and he’s not there because of a love story. He’s not there to serve someone else.” Gerwig talked about the challenges of trying to make a film as a female director. “For women, there is a fear that someone will call you. It’s a double-edged sword,” he said last year. (On Sunday evening, Gerwig lost to Guillermo del Toro, who won both the best director and the best film for “The shape of the water”.)

Such representations send a positive message to the girls. More than a third of teenage girls suffer from depression, more than double the rate of males at that age, concluded a recent study that analyzed interviews with 100,000 children and published in the Translational Psychiatry journal. About 36% of girls are depressed or have had depression between 12 and 17 years of age, compared to only 13.6% of boys. These differences originate in childhood.

These films show girls that even female superheroes can save the world.

Photo illustration from MarketWatch / Everett Collection, HBO

Not to be missed:Teenage girls rule the (media) world


About 36% of girls are depressed or have suffered from depression between 12 and 17 years of age, compared to only 13.6% of boys, according to the study of over 100,000 children.

The Oscar nominated women films are the latest corporate push to reach young women, from the “The Hunger Games” series – which spurred young girls’ interest in archery in real life – and female heroines Rey and Jyn of the “Star” Wars “franchise with the unique and concise character of Saoirse Ronan in” Lady Bird, “says Sharalyn Hartwell, owner of Hartwell Communications, a marketing company in San Francisco.” women of all ages see narratives that are aspirational and recognizable, “she said.

It is possible to be kind, loving, strong and successful and to question orthodoxy, Hartwell said. “This is what girls really need to hear and will have a lasting resonance. They can embrace all aspects of themselves: a teenager who likes science, makeup, sports and boys, and it’s OK and wonderful.” The whole “third wave feminism” movement is really about women’s ability to embrace all sides of themselves, he added.

Some experts say that films and the huge media storm around certain successful hits can have an impact in raising awareness of issues related to minorities, women, the LGBT population, racism, sexual assault and even how mental health is talked about. Case in point: Jordan Peele, director and screenwriter of the horror film “Get Out” (2017), which won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, told The Verge that there was an Obama era. “post-racial lie“Perpetuated that his film was addressed by examining the kind of racism that hides right under the radar.


Approximately 31% of black, Latin, Asian / Pacific, Native American and LGBTQ girls between the ages of 14 and 18 survived some type of sexual assault or sexual assault.

In 2016, the World Economic Forum released a list of “world-changing” films and television dramas, including “A Girl in the River” (2015) directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on honor killings of girls, “Cathy Come Home” (1966) directed by Ken Loach, a TV series that led to a public debate in the United Kingdom about homelessness, “Philadelphia” (1993) directed by Jonathan Demme, who faced the fight of a lawyer (Tom Hanks) for justice after contracting HIV / AIDS and was fired.

See also:This is what American teenagers want to be when they grow up

In addition, TV shows and movies featuring stronger and more diverse female protagonists also help educate teens and teenagers, Hartwell said. Nearly a third (31%) of black, Latin, Asian / Pacific, Native American and LGBTQ girls between the ages of 14 and 18 survived some type of sexual assault or sexual assault of some kind, according to a survey by over 1,000 girls released in April by the National Women’s Law Center, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC

Whether it’s a growing story like “Lady Bird” or a superhero like “Wonder Woman”, Hartwell would like to see more female protagonists who don’t exist to provide support for the male protagonist. A more diverse representation of women in films both in front of and behind the camera, as Frances McDormand has noted, has an impact on a generation of guys who are more open to taking on traditional “female” roles within families, families and relations.

“Millennial dads are more active parents,” said Hartwell, “and you see millennial dads who are very passionate about shaping this prospect for their daughters.”

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