California Headline USA Los Angeles Politics

Who will receive an increase of $ 4 dollars per hour in their wages for being “heroes of the pandemic” | The State

The additional salary payment could be in effect for at least 120 days.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Long Beach, California grocery store workers will be able to receive Additional $ 4 per hour by concept of risk pay due to the pandemic of coronavirus.

The city council unanimously approved the salary increase on Tuesday, but the final vote is scheduled for February 2.

Mayor Robert Garcia wrote in a tweet that the extra money “is a testament to the hard work that supermarket workers have put into being heroes during the pandemic.

The pay increase will apply to businesses with 300 or more employees and more than 15 employees per store in Long Beach and will be in effect for at least 120 days.

Companies are not happy

However, the California Merchants Association (CGA) filed a legal appeal against the decree on Wednesday as it reported that “the city council rushed with the ordinance and it was not studied enough.”

The CGA lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles federal court and asks the court to declare the decree invalid and unconstitutional. The association also requested a preliminary court order to stop the ordinance enforcement until a judge can rule on the claim.

Related: What if the minimum wage is increased to $ 15 an hour as suggested by Joe Biden’s stimulus bill?

Ron Fong, president and CEO of the CGA, said that firefighters, police and health workers, as well as workers of transport, health and restaurants, are essential, “however, grocery stores are the only companies to which the extra payment mandates are directed ”, as reported by Fox 11.

The CGA alleges that the decree is illegal Because by distinguishing certain grocery stores and ignoring other groups that also employ essential frontline workers, it violates the constitutional requirement that like-minded people should be treated the same. According to the association, the ordinance is affected by the Federal Labor Relations Law, which protects the integrity of the collective bargaining process.

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Technology US

Spotify is paying podcasters tens of thousands of dollars to buoy its own sponsorship tool

John Newman is the type of person companies like Spotify want to get involved in podcasting. He has a niche interest — collecting sports playing cards — and is passionate and knowledgeable about the topic. When he went looking for a way to start his own show, Sports Card Nation, in 2018, Anchor stood out. The podcast creation app, now owned by Spotify, makes it easy to record an episode, and it offers a novel feature for new podcasters: sponsorship opportunities for everyone.

What Newman didn’t expect, however, was that the main advertiser using Anchor’s sponsorship feature would be Anchor itself. Newman says over the course of two and a half years on the platform, he’s had only three sponsors through Anchor: Anchor, Pocket Casts, and a company called The Black Tux. One of those companies, Pocket Casts, didn’t even pay for its sponsorship, a source close to the company confirms — instead, Anchor covered its costs to promote the feature. Newman says both the Pocket Casts and Black Tux sponsorships lasted less than a month and netted him no more than $50 total. Anchor, on the other hand, has paid him around $2,500 to advertise its own service.

“It’s just a blip compared to Anchor,” he says.

Nine podcasters tell The Verge the same story: Anchor’s sponsorship feature seems to be seriously lacking in sponsors, and they’ve received few, if any, opportunities beyond Anchor or Spotify itself. Three people say they’ve earned thousands from Anchor and Spotify alone. Three also say they have now left or are looking to leave Anchor’s platform because they’re not receiving new sponsors.

Anchor’s software is designed to let anyone start a podcast just by recording into their phone. It promised to help podcasters monetize those shows through a feature called Anchor Sponsorships, which launched in November 2018 in the US, just months before Spotify acquired the company for $140 million. The functionality is akin to something like YouTube ads — advertisers are automatically matched with podcasts that fit their target demographic, and the hosts can then do ad reads for the sponsors and make money.

It’s a radical idea, especially for smaller creators. Typically, advertisers only work with shows that reach tens of thousands of listeners. With Anchor’s approach, sponsors can distribute their ad impressions across many shows, rather than focusing on one or two in a specific network. The hosts can always pass on a sponsorship opportunity, too, if they’re not interested.

“We’re determined to level the playing field for podcast monetization by enabling new creators to get paid and new brand dollars to enter the market,” Anchor said when it announced the feature.

But it now seems that the grand vision isn’t panning out, and it may in fact be costing Anchor money to keep running. Sponsorships is becoming more of a marketing avenue for Spotify to entice new creators to join its platform and to keep them there.

Most of the podcasters The Verge spoke with signed up for Anchor’s sponsorships feature last year and received Anchor itself as their first sponsor. They received $15 for every 1,000 people they reached. These podcasters say their Anchor sponsorships ended in the second half of 2020, and they weren’t offered a possible renewal date or a new sponsor to replace it. Three hosts say they only made around $50. Newman said his sponsorship briefly ended around three months ago, but he emailed with the company, and Anchor switched it back on at a different CPM, or cost per 1,000 listeners. It’s unclear why.

Newman says he hasn’t had a sponsor other than Anchor for the past two years, even though his show has grown and now reaches anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 people per episode. He estimates Anchor has paid him around $2,500 over his nearly two and a half years on the platform. He currently still runs his Anchor sponsorship at a $17 CPM, along with other ads he obtained on his own outside of Anchor.

Blake Chastain, a podcaster who creates two shows including one called Exvangelical about “coming to terms with the messed up subculture of evangelicalism,” says both his shows lost their Anchor sponsorships last year. His spirituality podcast reliably reaches 2,000 or more people per episode, he says, while the other is nascent. He says he and five other podcaster friends haven’t been matched with a sponsor in months, since the Anchor sponsorship ended, and they’re now looking to move over to Megaphone, a hosting company recently acquired by Spotify.

Megaphone costs money to use as a hosting provider, but in exchange, it offers an advertiser marketplace, which allows companies to have their ads inserted into shows that fit their target demographic, similarly to Anchor’s offering. Hosts don’t read the ads, however. The main barrier to entry is that Megaphone only offers its services to shows or networks with 20,000-plus listeners per episode, which is why Chastain would have to coordinate with other podcasters.

“I feel like Spotify is well-positioned to offer things to indie podcasters, just as much as they are to develop their own in-house stuff by buying outlets like Gimlet, but it just hasn’t materialized yet,” he says. “So that’s sort of why when you’re smaller, you’re just doing stuff on your own, just sort of keep your options open. That’s why we’re exploring that [move to Megaphone].”

Two other podcasters mentioned receiving sponsorships, in addition to Anchor’s own, including one for a sleep podcast called Deep Sleep Sounds and one for Spotify itself. The podcaster who received the Spotify sponsorship, Dalton Trigg, says he and his co-host made $1,700 from Anchor and $900 from Spotify while on the platform for approximately a year and a half. They’ve since left Anchor and joined the Blue Wire podcast network with their basketball show, Mavs Step Back, and use Simplecast for hosting.

“We made the switch because after nearly two years of having somewhat consistent ad money, we went two to three straight months at the end of last year where we had no sponsors at all,” he texted The Verge. “And the NBA offseason is our busiest time of the year for the pod, so that was frustrating for us — that it just all of a sudden cut off. Anchor support kept preaching patience and saying that they’d keep trying to pair us with new sponsors, but it got to the point where we had to make the move so we could continue to grow.”

The fact that Anchor seems to be bankrolling its own sponsorship feature doesn’t bode well for Spotify, especially considering the critical role Anchor plays in the company’s growth strategy. Anchor offers its software and hosting service for free, which brings new podcasters into the field. It also beefs up Spotify’s own show catalog. The company told The Verge that Anchor launched 1 million new shows in 2020 alone and powers 70 percent of Spotify’s podcast catalog. Spotify has signed Anchor creators to exclusive deals, too, and a spokesperson said last month that 100,000 creators had generated revenue through Anchor’s sponsorships product to date.

Still, the situation all these podcasters depict suggests that while Anchor is attracting creators, it might not be making much money through selling advertisements. In fact, it’s seemingly just spending it. Plus, the success some of these podcasters have had in attracting outside advertisers demonstrates that once they reach a certain audience threshold, they’re sometimes willing to leave Spotify behind.

We reached out to Spotify for information about which other advertisers currently use Sponsorships, as well as how much money the company has spent on these ads, but it declined to comment on the record.

Spotify did put us in touch with the podcast How Long Gone, however, which launched in March 2020 and is distributed through Anchor with most ads coming from Anchor Sponsorships. The hosts, Jason Stewart and Chris Black, say the majority of their ads market Spotify, Anchor, and Anchor-made shows. Spotify and Anchor have paid them “tens of thousands” of dollars in ad revenue in less than a year, they say. (They also host a separate, Spotify-exclusive show that highlights Anchor’s newest feature — the ability to include music in shows — called How Long Gone Radio.)

“It’s kind of like an interesting ecosystem,” Stewart says. “It’s like a garden that waters itself, as long as you have the good ol’ Spotify deep pockets.”

They’ve had three other sponsors over the show’s existence that came from Anchor Sponsorships, including Manscaped, Solaray, and Roman. All three, they say, ran for around a month each.

“It’s good to just be able to have that Spotify and that Anchor as your baseline to where even if you’re making a dollar a day off of it, or whatever, at the beginning, it’s nice to just see that,” says Stewart. “It’s kind of like gambling or something like that. You look into your wallet, and you get to see every day how much more money you’re making, and then it helps you kind of track your growth and your goals, and having Spotify and Anchor there throughout the entire time was an amazing foundation to build on top of.”

Analysts at Citi sent a note to clients last week advising them to sell their Spotify stock, particularly because its podcasting endeavors hadn’t yet resulted in a meaningful uptick in premium subscribers or app downloads. Anchor has, so far, been a creation success story for the company. Even these podcasters, when asked, all say they don’t regret using the app and found it made podcasting approachable. Receiving money from Anchor didn’t hurt, either, and was like a cherry on top.

But did Spotify enter the podcasting space to subsidize creators in making new shows, or to help itself make more money? Anchor’s sponsorship situation seems to be testing that choice.

Headline USA

Maria Sharapova showed her engagement ring and it costs $ 400,000 dollars | The State

Maria Sharapova got engaged last December.


Last december Maria Sharapova announced her engagement to the art dealer Alexander Gilkes Through a series of photographs shared on his Instagram account in which the ring that his now fiancé had given him could not be seen when he asked the big question

However, the jewel in question made its appearance on January 1 in the selfie with which Maria Sharapova wanted to congratulate all her followers on the New Year, in which she appears posing with her hand on her chin, and Thanks in large part to that image, all the details of this exclusive piece have quickly come to light, including its high price.

It is a ring made to measure by the designer Jessica McCormack with a single emerald-cut center diamond set in a rose gold band that has cost $ 400,000 dollars, as the Daily Mail newspaper has learned.

The future husband of the former tennis player He has been previously married to designer Misha Nonoo, a friend of the Duchess of Sussex, and studied at the same school as Princes William and Henry. It is believed that He met Maria just over two years ago, although both have managed to maintain their romantic relationship in the strictest privacy.


Technology US

Storytelling incubator Wattpad is getting bought for over half a billion dollars

Last week, we told you how Wattpad has become a place where budding authors can sometimes turn their work into Hollywood film and TV, with Hulu, Netflix and others adapting Wattpad writers’ labors into titles like The Kissing Booth and Light as a Feather. But it looks like Wattpad may no longer be trying to become an entertainment tastemaker all on its own — South Korean web company Naver is buying Wattpad for over $600 million, the company announced today.

While details are scarce, it seems like Naver already sees Wattpad as a natural pairing with one of its other brands — Webtoon, an online webtoon publishing portal that similarly allows artists to upload their own work and similarly spawns TV and anime adaptations.(Here’s a handy list of those adaptations from Wikipedia.)

Wattpad’s press release explicitly mentions Webtoon, and Webtoon was the one to issue a press release on behalf of its parent company Naver as well. Here’s how Webtoon describes the buyout:

With the backing of Korean technology giant, NAVER, WEBTOON and Wattpad will collaborate to create a stronger and connected ecosystem across visual and textual storytelling content, with a combined reader base of over 160 million monthly users globally. WEBTOON’s innovative monetization model and Wattpad’s massive library of diverse stories will provide each prospective affiliate with new levers for growth, creating a stronger foundation to fund an aspiring generation of young, creative talent.

Naver is a popular search engine in South Korea, and competes with the likes of Google and Facebook in other ways too. The most notable is probably Line, a messaging app whose associated services have helped make it the dominant social media company in Japan.

Headline USA

Kyrie Irving will lose nearly a million dollars for violating sanitation protocols | The State

Kyrie was sanctioned by the NBA with a fine of $ 50,000 dollars and 5 days of quarantine.

Sarah Stier / Getty Images

This Friday the sanction of the NBA to the player of the Brooklyn nets, Kyrie irving, who violated the protocols by attending a party last weekend, the Association published in a statement.

The base of the Nets He was fined $ 50,000 and forced to hold a 5-day quarantine, announced this morning the president of operations of the NBA league, Byron Spruell.

Beyond the fine, the strongest blow to the player’s pocket is that he will lose $ 816,898 in salary for the two games he was absent this week, against the Nuggets and the Knicks, due to his quarantine, as reported by ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Since the quarantine would have already been fulfilled, the player is expected to be able to return with his team for this Saturday’s match against Orlando Magic, although for that to happen, in the next few hours you must test negative for COVID-19.


Headline USA New York Politics

New York cancels Trump contracts with one of his companies that in 2020 earned him $ 17 million dollars | The State

New York cancels Trump’s contracts with one of his companies that in 2020 earned him $ 17 million

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

This Wednesday morning Bill de Blasio said in an interview for MSNBC that New York City is withdrawing all their contracts with the Trump Organization which is made up of hundreds of businesses owned by the president.

“New York City has cut all ties with the Trump Organization due to criminal activity,” de Blasio said.

The Trump Organization has contracts to run two ice skating rinks and the Central Park carousel and a golf course in the Bronx.

Those contracts could take a month or more to complete, they reported to the president’s company about $ 17 million in revenue last year, according to financial statements.

The cancellation of these contracts will affect some of the president’s oldest companies, created when Donald Trump had still been recognized as one of the top real estate developers in New York City.

“Inciting an insurrection against the United States government is clearly criminal activity,” De Blasio said. “New York City will no longer have anything to do with the Trump Organization.”

President Trump is facing the consequences for the violent attack on the Capitol last week although he denies any responsibility. Bloomberg reported that New York-based Signature Bank and Deutsche Bank, with whom Trump has done business at least since 2011, closed the president’s personal bank accounts and called for his resignation. The AP noted that the PGA canceled plans to hold the Championship in 2022 at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Related: One of the assailants he disrupted in Congress took a lectern and auctioned it on eBay for nearly $ 15,000.

Almost all social media platforms have suspended or banned the president’s accounts. Companies like Amazon, Best Buy and Disney have suspended political donations for Republicans who supported Trump’s proposal to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Congress.

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Headline USA

They won $ 1 million in the lottery; give $ 2,000 dollars to employees who sold them the ticket | The State

As for many people in the world, 2020 did not start in the best way for this couple from the state of Maine. During spring, Glenn Theriault and his wife Stephanie had to fire their dog Baxter, who was like his son.

But after that bitter drink, several events changed the life of this couple: first, their business began to work very well while others closed; Later, Stephanie found out that she was pregnant despite the medical prognoses and, moreover, they won $ 1 million in the lottery. They gave $ 2,000 to the employees who sold them the ticket in appreciation.

According to the Sun Journal, it all started on December 29, when went to a grocery store to buy 25 instant lottery tickets for $ 25 each. They usually do it regularly and give away the tickets to their employees, but this time they kept them for themselves.

When Glenn and Stephanie started scratching the bills, they made $ 50 in one and another $ 60 in two. But when Glenn scratched ticket number 11 he got a big surprise: they had won $ 1 million. They called the state lottery office, made an appointment to collect it, took a photo of the lucky ticket and deposited it in a bank safe.

They later sought out the cashier and the store manager who sold them the tickets to give each of them $ 1,000. “They were in shock and couldn’t believe it. The cashier started crying and couldn’t speak. It was a great feeling”Stephanie told the publication.

Now, the lucky couple are thinking about what to invest their remaining $ 710,000 after taxes. They are looking for properties for when it is time to retire and are investing in some improvements for their business. Undoubtedly, as the Mexicans say, her baby arrived “with a big cake under her arm.”


Headline USA

Happiness costs 5 dollars | The State

It is very common to see a beggar on the corner of a street with a sign that says: “I have no job, I have no money and I am hungry.” But, what would you think if one day you see a man with a sign that says: “I have a house, a car and a job, and I give money”

Incredible as it sounds, this happened to hundreds of drivers in Oklahoma City. The video was uploaded to Facebook and went viral. This video shows Doug Eaton, a 65-year-old man, who decided – on his birthday – to stand on a corner to give away $ 5 bills. You imagine? It is normal to find a beggar on the corner begging, but it is almost impossible to find someone giving money on a corner.

When asked what motivated him to give away money on the street, he assured that it has been one of the most pleasant experiences of his life. “It gave me immense satisfaction to see the faces of wonder and joy when they received my gift,” Doug found once again that it is more pleasant to give than to receive.

However, the vast majority think that happiness is found in receiving and not in giving. But, reflect for a few minutes on those occasions where you have felt the most satisfied. I have no doubt that at that moment you were giving something. Perhaps, you gave your time, you gave your love, you shared your knowledge and talents, you gave birth to a child, or you simply gave a gift. You realize? Your proudest and happiest moments happened when you gave something to the world.

So do you want to feel happiness? I motivate you to make an effort to give in 2021. Give encouragement to whoever needs it, give a handout to a beggar, or give a “like” to whoever made you laugh on Facebook. The greatest satisfaction there is is in giving and when you do, you automatically feel happy.

For more motivation follow me on:
Instagram: @mariamarinmotivation


Headline USA

In an English garden they find a rock that turns out to be a Roman relic valued at $ 20,000 dollars | The State

The minimum price they intend to have for the rock is $ 13,600. (Image for illustrative purposes only).

Rob Sheahan / Unsplash

A woman in England was very pleasantly surprised to discover that she was using a Roman relic as a step to mount her horse.

A bungalow owner in southern England stumbled upon a marble slab in her rock garden 20 years ago, which she used in her stable to lean on and ride her horses for nearly 10 years.

At first, the slab had layers of soil and moss, which were removed over time to finally reveal laurel wreaths and an inscription carved into its surface, according to the British auction house. Woolley and Wallis, which plans to auction the slab for an estimate of £ 10,000 to £ 15,000 pounds (roughly $ 13,600 to $ 20,400).

Realizing that the garden rock was anything but ordinary, the woman consulted a local archaeologist who identified the marble slab as being from the 2nd century, probably originating from Greece or Asia Minor, the peninsula that today constitutes the Asian portion of Turkey.

The slab is 63 centimeters high, and has an inscription in Greek that reads: “The people (and) the youths (honor) Demetrios (son) of Metrodoros, (the son) of Leukios,” as reported in CNet.

“Artifacts of this type came to England as a result of the Great Tours in the late 18th and 19th centuries, when wealthy aristocrats roamed Europe learning about classical art and culture. We assume this is how it entered the UK, but what is a complete mystery is how it ended up in a home garden, and that is where we would like the help of the public, ”said Will Hobbs, Wooley and Wallis Antique Specialist.

The bungalow where the valuable slab was found is in the village of Whiteparish, about 100 miles west of London, and was built in the mid-1960s. The auction house hopes that someone who has lived in the area at the time or who has helped build the place will be able to provide information that will shed some light on the valuable stone that was placed in the garden.

–You may also be interested in: What to do if your stimulus check is deposited in the wrong bank account


Headline USA

Start the year with luck: $ 432 million dollars accumulates the Mega Millions jackpot for this Tuesday | The State

Three years ago was the last time a Mega Millions jackpot ticket was sold.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The jackpot of the Mega millions accumulate for Tuesday a bag of $ 432 million after this Friday the winning tickets with the six lottery numbers were not sold.

Just a ticket with five numbers was sold in texas and has a prize of $ 1 million dollars, as announced by the Multistate Lottery Association that organizes the draw.

The odds of matching all five numbers and the Mega number are 1 in 302,575,350, however the probability of winning a prize is 1 in 24.

The jackpot this Friday was $ 401 million. The results of the draw were 8, 24, 53, 68, 69 and the Mega number was 7.

Three years ago was the last time a jackpot ticket was sold when a lucky winner took home $ 451 million on January 5, 2018. Mega Millions is played in 45 states in addition to the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

Related: What to do if you win the lottery

Do you know what to do if you win the lottery? It is time to prepare. Experts recommend that Before going to claim your prize you should form a team made up of at least one counter, a Financial Advisor and a attorney.

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