Day: May 11, 2020

CityWatch: As parts of the state get ready to reopen, New York City is likely to stay paused until June

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After seven weeks of near-total shutdown in New York state, the nation’s epicenter for COVID-19 infections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday some regions will be allowed to begin reopening by the end of this week.

“It’s an exciting new phase,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing. “We’re all anxious to get back to work. We want to do it smartly.”

The reopening will begin on a region-by-region basis, starting in rural parts of Western and upstate New York — the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier — where the rate of infection can be managed, according to a checklist of metrics that the state has asked regions to monitor daily. 

By contrast, nonessential business in New York City, where some 940 people tested positive for the virus on Sunday alone, will likely stay closed through the end of the month, at least, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday. 

Businesses that will head back to work first include construction, manufacturing, all retail where curbside pickup is possible, as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing.

In one of the most promising changes for cooped-up New Yorkers, the governor is also allowing drive-in movie theaters to reopen in every part of the state. 

“Talk about back to the future,” he quipped on Monday. Landscaping and gardening services may also resume statewide, as well as outdoor, low-risk activities previously off limits, such as tennis—no word yet on golf, however. 

“We start with businesses that are more essential and pose a lower risk,” Cuomo said, adding that it will be up to businesses to reconfigure workspaces in order to abide by social-distancing rules. Workers have to be able to stay six feet apart and have access to personal protective equipment, such as face masks. Employers will also have to keep staff from gathering, potentially keeping workplace cafeterias closed, the governor said.

Also see: New York City’s essential workers could face cuts and furloughs, mayor says

The first steps toward reopening come as the number of daily deaths from the COVID-19 totaled 161 on Sunday, the lowest death count since March. New hospitalizations, at less than 500 on Sunday, were also down to levels last seen at the beginning of the crisis in mid-March.

“That is just about where we started this horrific situation,” Cuomo said. 

See: New York City to roll out largest test and trace operation in the U.S.

The next phase of infection mitigation will be left up to what the governor is calling “regional control rooms,” a collection of local leaders and lawmakers who will monitor data on a daily basis, “if not an hour-to-hour basis, how many people are walking into hospitals,” Cuomo said. Regions are now tracking seven major metrics, all related to hospitalizations, testing, tracing and hospital capacity, as a way to control the virus as parts of the economy reopen. 

Still, Cuomo advised New Yorkers to keep wearing their masks, adding that “people need to understand this is not the floodgates are open.”

The governor’s “New York on Pause” order will remain in place mostly as is for seven of the state’s 10 regions, though some are getting closer to reopening than others. 

For instance, the rural North Country region only has one hurdle—to increase testing slightly—before it can reopen. Central New York, which includes the cities of Syracuse and Utica, is also on the cusp of reopening; it also needs to increase daily testing by about 15%. 

Meanwhile, New York City is the furthest behind in reaching those reopening goals. Daily hospitalizations are still too high and hospitals remain overburdened. About 24% of the city’s intensive care beds are available, below the 30% threshold needed to begin phase 1 of the reopening.

Based on the state and local measures, New York likely has until June before some nonessential businesses can resume, de Blasio said at his briefing on Monday morning.

“Unless something miraculous happens, we’re going into June,” de Blasio said, though he was hopeful “real changes” could start next month.

Also see: A majority of Americans say reopening the country from coronavirus restrictions isn’t worth the risks

As of Sunday, around 180,000 New York City residents had tested positive for the coronavirus, more confirmed cases in a single city than most countries have recorded; 14,753 people have died in the city as of Sunday, nearly 20,000 if “probable” COVID deaths are included, according to the city health department.

Whether the city can reopen in several weeks will depend greatly on how well residents continue to adhere to social distancing, de Blasio said. 

“At any point, if the data started to change, that then delays the moment when you could do any kind of loosening of restrictions,” de Blasio said. “We have to earn it every day is the bottom line. And I think the right thing to think about is this conversation; end of May beginning of June is when we’ll be able to start filling in the blanks.”

Coronavirus can live on proteins in your eyes — will wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses protect you?

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Coronavirus is thought to mainly spread through “respiratory droplets” produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But proteins from your eyes and even tears can also transmit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, research from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found.

Medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic are supposed to wear eye protection such as goggles or face shields, according to the CDC — so could wearing eyeglasses offer some protection, too?

A study published last month by five ocular scientists published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, a peer-reviewed medical journal, says no.

There’s no scientific evidence that wearing standard prescription spectacles provides protection.

There’s “no scientific evidence that wearing standard prescription spectacles provides protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions,” and there is “currently no evidence to suggest an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 through contact lens wear compared to spectacle lens wear,” the study says.

A simple glasses frame “does not seal the air around the eyes and, therefore, cannot provide adequate protection,” said lead author Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

That finding is in line with CDC’s guidance for medical professionals. The agency advises them to wear “goggles or a disposable face shield that covers the front and sides of the face.” The CDC has also noted there’s no evidence suggesting contact-lens wearers are at greater risk for becoming infected with COVID-19 than eyeglass wearers.

Non-health-care workers are discouraged from using medical personal protective equipment, especially N95 respirators, which are in short supply. (The CDC, however, recently recommended that everyone wear a cloth face covering in public when “other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”)

See also: After watching surgeon general’s Twitter video on face masks, doctor sent him research on the best materials to use

The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggested in March that contact-lens wearers might want to switch to spectacles to prevent the spread of coronavirus, in part because people touch the mucous membranes in their eyes less when they wear glasses instead of contacts.

The professional association’s recommendation still holds, a spokesman told MarketWatch.

“The fact is, there’s not a lot known about COVID-19 and its behavior in the eye,” said Thomas Steinemann, a clinical spokesman for the organization. “As ophthalmologists, we look at what is known about other viruses and how they can be transmitted through tears asymptomatically.”

People tend to touch the mucous membranes in their eyes less when they wear glasses instead of contacts.

He added: “Most patients don’t follow proper contact lens hygiene” and “suggest patients consider taking a break from contact lenses for a while.”

But contacts and glasses offer comparable risks when it comes to coronavirus, the study found. One is not better than the other — unless a person is sick, in which case they should wear their glasses, Jones said. This applies to all illnesses, not just COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, he said.

“Taking this step limits the chances of developing any inflammatory response that can occur secondary to a viral infection,” he said, such as a sore or red eye.

Until the illness passes, you should continue to wear glasses, Jones said. Afterward, check with your eye-care practitioner to make sure it is safe to go back to contacts. Once you’re cleared, you should get fresh lenses and a fresh contact-lens case.

If you aren’t sick, you can wear either contact lenses or glasses. People should always wash their hands and dry them before touching any part of their face, “regardless of whether they are contact-lens wearers, glasses wearers or require no vision correction at all,” Jones said.

Similarly, the CDC advises that “contact lens wearers should continue to practice safe contact lens wear and care hygiene habits.” It’s important that people who wear glasses regularly dry and wash them, Jones added, “as the virus that causes COVID-19 can live on the plastic that makes up spectacles.”

As of Monday, nearly 337,055 of the 1,339,819 confirmed cases in the U.S. were in New York state, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. The U.S has the most confirmed cases of any country in the world and, at nearly 80,000, the most deaths, according to Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering’s Centers for Systems Science and Engineering.

Worldwide, there were over 4 million cases and 284,536 fatalities.

Centre for Ocular Research & Education

This story was updated on May 11, 2020.

Their Stories: Tundra Sartorel and Maurizio Ferrarese, loving wife and husband, who died within three days of each other in Lombardy, Italy

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When the condor came, I was seated in a plastic chair, soaking high-altitude sun rays after more than a week of rain and cold. 

The bird circled a few times far above my head, and then flew away toward the green and brown mountains that surround the village of Cabanaconde, Peru. The locals believe that when a condor flies overhead, somebody is about to die. But for me, the sight of the condor — regal, peaceful — suggested something different: A message, maybe, from my parents, both of whom I had just lost, half a world away, to COVID-19.

I’m a professional travel writer, and I was on assignment working on a guidebook in Peru when the coronavirus epidemic swept the globe. As I write, I remain stuck abroad — at a place called Mirko’s Home Backpacker, in Cabanaconde, at the mouth of the Colca Canyon, north of Arequipa — unable to travel back to Italy, where I’m from, or home to Malaysia, where I live. On March 16, Peru’s president, Martin Vizcarra, ordered a complete lockdown. When my parents became ill, there was no way to reach them. 

“I love you, baby. I can’t talk much anymore; this flu is really knocking me down,” my mom, Tundra Sartorel, told me over the phone from Italy, the last time we spoke. “Please… always stay safe, and don’t come back now.” 

My mom lived a fulfilling but ordinary life in Voghera, a small town in Lombardy. Originally from Milan, she had met my father, Maurizio Ferrarese, at her first office job. When they married a few years later, they decided to move to my father’s hometown — something she would always kind of regret later in life. Tundra was kind and cheerful to anybody, naturally curious, and a real fish out of water in Voghera’s very provincial aquarium. She took care of all the small details to make everyone who visited our home feel very much appreciated, cared for, and welcome.

I last saw her at the departure hall of Malpensa Airport in November 2019, a month before the novel coronavirus that took my parents first appeared in China. My parents were concerned about my trip. With Chile on fire with protests, Bolivia’s president ousted and exiled and Argentina about to have new elections that would have changed its political orientation, my father made some good points. “Latin America is very dangerous right now,” Maurizio said. 

But to me, there was no place else I wanted to go. My father and I had completely different priorities in life, and it caused tension between us. While my mom and I could happily dress up the Christmas tree listening to Roky Erickson’s “Two Headed Dog” together, I couldn’t sit in a room with dad for 10 minutes without starting an argument.

And yet, beyond fighting, we were both enamored with each other. He would always be there, seated in an airport lounge chair, a tad older and wearier each and every time I came off a plane from Asia. 

Maurizio didn’t like to say it openly to me, but he was very proud of how I managed to build a life for myself in a faraway country. All his friends and colleagues knew about me. Meanwhile, I respected the way Dad had managed to carve his own life path, supporting a family doing what he loved — a very valuable life skill he passed onto myself and my brother, Diego.

Dad was 71 and was waiting for a hip replacement right before the COVID-19 distancing protocols started to be taken seriously in Italy. “We need to go see a doctor in Alessandria tomorrow… who knows if we’ll ever get over this,” Mom, who was 68, whispered in my phone’s earpiece as I glanced at the city of Cusco spreading quietly across a mountain valley in the pristine morning light. The surgery was scheduled for March 9, just when I would have returned from hiking to the ruins of Choquequirao, Machu Picchu’s lesser-known sister.

I called Mom for the last time on March 14 from the village of Yangde, where I was checking properties in the Colca Canyon region of Southern Peru. It was the day before the Peruvian president announced a full lockdown — and the same day my parents left our home to enter Voghera’s hospital ward. “We keep having a high fever, but the doctor came and said it’s just the seasonal flu,” my mom told me. They had, of course, been misdiagnosed. Dad was so wrecked in bed he didn’t even want to say hello on the phone. 

In our last days on earth as a family, we were all trapped — me, in the 3,300-meter-high mountain village I chose for isolation, and them in a provincial hospital ward near Lombardy’s hecatomb. “They are stable,” said Diego, a biologist bound by the interprovincial lockdown in Piacenza, 45 miles away from them — as powerless as me, thousands of miles away in Peru.

On March 20, I broke my confinement and ran down to the local police station to ask for help getting home. My mother was getting worse. The cops sent me back to my hostel; without an embassy letter and a confirmed flight, there was nothing I could do. 

Tundra died a few hours later. The umpteenth phone call over shaky internet connection ripped my soul apart. The blue check marks in our WhatsApp feed showed me that my mom had read my final words of love. 

More: Stories of the lives lost to COVID-19

Dad carried a phone with him — me and my brother were terrified that someone would tell him about our mother’s death. I spent three days advising people to refrain until he could get out of the ward. But on the morning of March 23, when I switched on my phone and saw that my brother had called 15 times since 2 a.m., I knew that Dad had already rejoined his beloved wife. 

“We are alone,” Diego said. 

I heard him cry for the first time in a dozen years, and I realized that I had just become a 39-year-old orphan.

Encore: Increase in unemployment hits older workers harder than prime-age workers

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With unemployment soaring to levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s (see figure 1), questions arise about how older workers are faring.

Historically, the very young (ages 16 to 24) have seen the greatest increase in unemployment when the economy turns down, then prime-age workers (25 to 54), and finally older workers (55 and over). One might have expected the same pattern this time around — that young people, who work in areas like services and hospitality (which have suffered the biggest losses), would be the most severely affected, and older workers with longer tenures would be the most protected. But, as shown in figure 2, the pattern has changed. Yes, young workers got slammed when the economy fell off the cliff, but the next most severely affected group is older workers — those 55+.

Read: Older workers have been clobbered by the coronavirus unemployment crisis

In some ways, it is surprising that older workers were more affected than their prime-age counterparts, since the two groups loo k increasingly alike (see figure 3). By 2018, 91% of workers ages 55 to 60 reported that their health was “good,” “very good” or “excellent,” only slightly below the 96% for workers ages 30-35. In terms of education, the gap between older and younger workers has narrowed dramatically, as gains in educational attainment have slowed.

Read: Why millions of older workers will pay a big price — forever — thanks to the coronavirus

And on the technology front, the share of workers using computers at home is nearly identical to that of younger workers. Thus, one might have thought that the employment of older workers would have held up better relative to the middle group than it had during past recessions.

On the other hand, older workers appear to have lost some of the protections they once had. For a long while, virtually every study looking at displacement rates concluded that the probability of being displaced declined with age. But with the decline in tenure, the Displaced Worker Survey shows that the difference in displacement rates between younger and older workers has completely disappeared (see figure 4). Without the traditional protections, expensive older workers are a likely target when the economy collapses.

Of course, the most likely explanation for the different pattern by age this time around is the cause of the economic collapse, namely COVID-19. The message is that older people are more vulnerable to the virus than the young. This pattern may have made employers more prone to lay off their older workers than they had been in the past. One can only hope that this perspective doesn’t linger after the virus is brought under control.

Persisting Problems: Will Blockchain Be Used in the Next US Election?

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blockchain election

Have you ever stepped inside a voting booth, submitted your choice electronically, and wondered, “Did the vote actually go through? What if a malicious party changes my vote?” Those kinds of doubts dominate discussions about election security. As voting increasingly happens via computerized equipment, cybersecurity experts often warn how it’s easier than someone may think to hack into a system and wreak havoc. 

Some people wonder then, might blockchain technology bring about a more secure way for people to vote? Let’s look at that possibility.

Politicians Bringing More Visibility to the Issue

Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang increased awareness of the idea that blockchain technology could solve some voting security and convenience issues. One of the central points of his campaign centered on modernizing voting by letting people cast ballots through mobile apps, then the blockchain verifying them. The idea on its face sounds great, especially since many individuals don’t like the prospect of waiting in long lines and taking time out of their already-busy schedules.

Also, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which is associated with the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, recently held a virtual roundtable to assess the feasibility of allowing Senate members to vote via online means due to the crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Among the topics brought up were end-to-end encryption, along with a blockchain-based voting tool. The memorandum about the meeting mentioned how the blockchain could reduce instances of incorrect vote tallies by providing a tamper-free record. It also brought up how Estonia is one of the countries already using the blockchain to run entirely-online elections. 

The information acknowledged, as well, that the blockchain is not a foolproof system. It discussed cryptographic errors, software bugs, and majority control of the blockchain falling into the wrong hands as possible risks. Everyone consulted during the discussion agreed with the necessity of a senator verifying their vote after casting it. The attendees discussed a variety of ways to make that happen.

We are not at the point where senators or anyone else in power is ready to approve any method of voting with help from blockchain. The fact that it’s in discussions as a viable option is a positive development, though.

Why Could the Blockchain Work Well?

Blockchain-supported voting could be a smart move because it may increase voter turnout. People often think of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain together. Younger and tech-savvier individuals often find cryptocurrency appealing due to how it keeps identities private. Plus, the idea of voting through an app attracts anyone who may experience difficulty getting to a polling station.

Plus, as the discussion above mentioned, the blockchain offers a transparent system that allows verifying a person’s votes and preventing tampering. The blockchain is not perfect, but it could give a voter more visibility to help them ensure they have their voice heard. 

Many people worry about the US voting system’s vulnerability. They assert something must happen soon, or we risk compromising our democracy. Moving ahead with the blockchain for voting would give the impression of progress made. 

Obstacles Associated With Voting Via the Blockchain

The blockchain is like most other technologies in that it has flaws. Some experts warn that it’s not ready for the kind of widespread usage a national election requires. Those are not unfounded concerns, either. 

Earlier in 2020, MIT researchers published a report about Voatz. It’s an app claiming to record votes on a permissioned blockchain. However, the group found no evidence that the app uses the blockchain to confirm genuine votes. Even more worrisome was that the investigation revealed how a party with remote access to the app could view a person’s vote and change it. 

Voatz is not the only app for voting with blockchain, but the MIT researchers showed hesitations that apply to them all. They mentioned how the people working on the apps might have good intentions but lack knowledge of election security. Also, another issue affecting the tech industry at large is that many new offerings reach the market before getting thoroughly reviewed. Companies race to be first, and security may get overlooked in that rush.

Another recent development concerns an open letter penned by experts in cybersecurity, science, and computing to address officials at all levels of government. They insist that no internet voting system has the required security, and relatedly, that blockchain cannot “mitigate the profound dangers inherent in internet voting.” The authors backed up their claims with two decades worth of science-based research. 

An initiative from the Kaspersky Innovation Hub uses blockchain differently. It resulted in a blockchain-secured voting machine that lets people submit ballots in person if desired. That setup still has an online component, so it does not eliminate the concerns expressed in the open letter. Kaspersky’s invention could ease the minds of people who balk at voting through a smartphone or computer, though.

Likely a Too-Short Timeframe

Voting with blockchain is undoubtedly on the table as an option for future consideration. Anyone excited about possibly sending their votes to the blockchain in the upcoming US presidential election likely has their hopes up far too high, however. That event is less than six months away, after all.

Something that seems more likely is that voting in many places around the country may happen differently than usual. The COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing already means candidates cannot hold in-person rallies, and it’s difficult to imagine the circumstances changing enough before election day happens. People already encounter extremely long lines at polling stations, and they especially would if required to stay six feet apart. 

Voting by mail seems a much more viable option to use around the nation in November, mainly since some states already use it, as do American citizens living abroad. Rolling that system out to everyone is still far-fetched due to the timing, but it’s arguably more feasible than blockchain voting as things stand now.

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Breakout Chrt


The CBD market is, by any reasonable measure, on an explosively upward trajectory.

The next CBD Wellness Stock Poised to Explode Skyward!

World High Life (AQSE: LIFE | OTC: WRHLF)
is positioned to capitalize on Europe’s fast-growing CBD market and plans to grow into an international leader in the legal CBD Wellness and medicinal cannabis space!

CBD Wellness and Medical cannabis investment company World High Life has purchased Great Britain's Love Hemp in the UK’s #1 CBD supplier. World High Life is set to expand Love Hemp's already significant business throughout the UK and more extensively into Europe.

The European CBD Wellness and Medicinal Cannabis Industry is being called the Next Emerging Market to Experience the GREEN RUSH”

The CBD Wellness & Medicinal Cannabis Industry in the UK is where Canada was 5 years ago and is providing a new frontier investment opportunity!

“We’re always looking for new markets and the UK is poised for growth.” David Stadynk CEO

Stadnyk is one of the first movers from the legal Canadian Cannabis Sector and set up World High Life with the aim of finding opportunities in Europe’s legal CBD Wellness and Medicinal cCannabis space.

Market research commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) estimates that the CBD market is currently one of the fastest growing wellbeing product categories in the UK.

The Big Oppportunity

It is estimated that Europe is home to a population of 742 million and an annual combined GDP of over €15 trillion.

This combination of a large combined population as well as the combination of the globally significant economies provides an incredibly large market where annual governmental health care expenditure alone is over €1,08 trillion and total annual healthcare spend is estimated at €2.3 trillion.

Over the next five years, the global CBD market is expected to accelerate to $23.6bn, according to Grand View Research and Europe’s CBD market alone is set to grow by 400%.

Europe is seen as a potential hotbed for new market development as at least six European countries currently preparing new legislative bills on Medicinal Cannabis for local parliaments and most countries in the EU currently allow some form of Medicinal Cannabis.

Cannabis Trades Association UK has reported that the number of people using CBD oil has quadrupled in past two years.

Prohibition Partners reports that the European Medicinal Cannabis market could be valued at almost €55 billion once all markets have implemented legislation and market infrastructure!

In respect of the European CBD Market, Brightfield Group have estimated significant growth over the next four years, estimating the market at $318 million in 2018 and expecting that it will grow over 400 percent through 2023!

Brightfield Group expects the European CBD market to be worth $1.7 billion by 2023!

Love Hemp Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of World High Life (AQSE: LIFE | OTC: WRHLF)

The company is targeting international growth with the aim to become a world CBD Wellness leader in 4 phases, immediate UK & Europe, Short term USA, Medium term Canada, with a continuing push into niche markets in Asia and beyond!

Love Hemp is the UK's #1 CBD and Hemp product supplier!

Love Hemp is proud to operate in a regulated way in an unregulated market.

New product development is at their heart and Love Hemp was the first functional spring water in the UK to be infused with CBD. Oils, sprays, vapes, chocolate, jelly domes and beauty products including the first CBD infused face mask and body salves have all followed.

The Company has a THREE-prong strategic model, delivering diversification and growth on multiple fronts:


Love Hemp has secured a number of notable listings with leading retailers and was flagged as an on-trend wellbeing brand to watch by national media including The Times, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times and The Independent.

UFC World Champion, Georges St-Pierre is the Love Hemp, World High Life Brand Ambassador – delivering a vast promotional platform with one of the most recognized sport and health personalities on the planet!

Love Hemp Immune products support wellness and immune system.

Natural defenses are crucial, especially during times like we are experiencing now.

When the world changed the company also changed its plans and worked around the clock to bring Love Hemp Immune early!

CBD is short for cannabidiol and is one of 113 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.  It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis.

Derived from the hemp plant, CBD is legal in the UK CBD oil is legal in the UK if it has a THC content of below 0.02%.

THC – or tetrahydrocannabinol – is derived from THC rich cannabis and is a psychoactive substance. As such, it is not legal to buy in the UK.


CBD is thought to influence opioid receptors that regulate pain and glycine receptors involved in the regulation of the "feel-good" hormone serotonin.



World High Life was launched by first movers from the legal Canadian Cannabis Sector; the founders of Supreme Cannabis and 1933 Industries, delivering vast experience and expertise to identify, invest in and rapidly grow businesses in the legalized CBD Wellness and legal Medicinal Cannabis industry!

The Directors believe that there are numerous investment opportunities within both private and public companies as they relate to Medicinal Cannabis, CBD and Hemp and may make investments in early-stage businesses and/or more mature operating companies. The company is likely to be an active investor and acquire control in certain situations, although it may also consider acquiring non-controlling positions.

Love Hemp Acquisition

World High Life is positioned to secure "best in class" future acquisitions, which can benefit greatly through the expertise and capital needed to generate exponential growth.

The Company will undertake due diligence on investment opportunities encompassing the breadth of the Medicinal Cannabis, Hemp and CBD Wellness Sectors including their ancillary industries and services including, but not limited to:


David has been at the forefront of the cannabis sector in Canada since 2012 and was a key contributor to the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations which were in place between 2013 and 2016. He had been involved with a number of companies in the space including The Supreme Cannabis Company, 1933 Industries (formerly Friday Night Inc., Weekend Unlimited and FSD Pharma).

Robert is a Chartered Professional Accountant with 12 years’ experience in finance, reporting, regulatory requirements, public company administration, equity markets, and financing of publicly traded companies. He commenced his career in private practice and since 2014 he has served as a consultant for a number of TSX Venture Exchange and Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) listed companies. Robert has extensive experience in the cannabis, manufacturing, natural resource, and retail industries. He received a BBA from Simon Fraser University and is a member in good standing of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.

Andrew has over 25 years’ experience in sourcing, developing and financing companies across Canada, the US and UK. Andrew is a seasoned Director, holding senior positions at international public and private investment and operational companies. He also works closely with several Family Offices that seek access to an array of transformational opportunities and is a former Founder and CEO of a TSX Venture Exchange Top 50 Company.

Kevin has over 30 years’ experience in the investment banking industry having started his career in wealth management with Merrill Lynch and then UBS before spending nine years at the New York Stock Exchange with responsibility for over 150 listings of North American and Asia-Pacific companies. Kevin is currently a partner in a Toronto based private equity group that specializes in strategic advisory and investments into private technology and healthcare companies. Kevin holds both an Economics degree and an MBA from Rutgers University as well as NASD securities licenses.

Charlie has over 10 years of experience working as a Canadian corporate and securities lawyer at a large international law firm in New York. With extensive cross-border corporate and securities law experience, Charlie has worked on numerous corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, public and private offerings of securities for investment funds, private equity funds and other alternative investment vehicles in the Canadian markets. He also has significant experience advising broker dealers, advisers and investment fund managers on Canadian compliance issues. Charlie graduated from University of Victoria, British Columbia and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, The Canadian Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He has resided in New York since 2009.

Geographically, World High Life believe that significant opportunities exist:

The bottom line

Add World High Life (AQSE: LIFE | OTC: WRHLF to your watchlist right away, 2020 Could Be the Year the Company Catapults into the Spotlight!

Start your research on WRHLF right away and as always, trade safe.


Adam Cohen


We have received three thirteen thousand dollars via a bank wire for the awareness of WRHLF

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Brett Arends's ROI: AT&T boss retires with $274,000 a month for life

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Not everyone gets personally insulted by the president of the United States when they announce their retirement.

But when you’re walking away with a pension plan big enough to buy a typical U.S. house every single month — yes, really — do you really care?

AT&T T, -0.85% honcho Randall Stephenson landed a complimentary insult from the chief executive of the United States two weeks ago when he announced he was standing down at 59.

“Great News! Randall Stephenson, the CEO of heavily indebted AT&T, which owns and presides over Fake News @CNN, is leaving, or was forced out,” tweeted the commander in chief of the armed forces. “Anyone who lets a garbage ‘network’ do and say the things that CNN does, should leave ASAP. Hopefully replacement will be much better!”

Will this become the new standard for high-profile retirements, like a glorified gold watch?

Don’t tell the president, but Stephenson will not be crying into his face mask after he leaves.

Company filings show that the departing chairman and CEO is retiring with a staggering pension account worth $64 million — enough, according to industry data, to provide the 59-year old with a guaranteed income of $274,000 a month for the rest of his days.

A month.

How’s your 401(k) doing?

Stephenson even got a $1.2 million company matching contribution to his “deferral plans” last year. He also holds at least $20 million in stock and options in the company. His total compensation for the last three years averaged $30 million a year.

AT&T declined to comment beyond confirming the numbers.

Awkwardly, Stephenson recently warned that AT&T’s 250,000 world-wide employees could face layoffs due to the coronavirus crisis. Details haven’t been announced. Nor have any severance terms.

Trump’s rage at Stephenson stems from his role as the ultimate boss of the news channel CNN, which AT&T bought in 2016 as part of a $110 billion takeover of the Time Warner media empire. The U.S. Department of Justice under Trump sought to block the deal.

The president has repeatedly denounced CNN as “fake news,” but the pair are actually great for each other. Trump has benefited from the network’s wall-to-wall coverage and liberal attacks. And so has the network.

Cynics might wonder if the entire public “spat” is a ruse to fool the suckers in the cheap seats.

Stephenson had previously expanded AT&T’s reach through the acquisition of DirecTV, turning the former telecom giant into a broader media conglomerate.

Alas, the stock price today — $30 — is actually lower than the $39 it was when Stephenson took over as chairman and CEO in 2007. But generous dividends have more than made up the difference, according to FactSet. Total shareholder returns, including reinvested dividends, have added up to 55% over Stephenson’s 13 years at the helm.

That works out at an average of 3.5% a year.

Returns from Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund VBTLX, -0.34% over the same period: 4.5% a year.

Looking for that stimulus money in your bank account? Check your mailbox

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Some Americans are still waiting for their stimulus checks, but they might be looking in the wrong place.

Social Security beneficiaries as well as taxpayers with direct deposit information linked to their bank accounts may expect to get their stimulus money in those accounts, but some individuals are receiving their checks by mail instead. The Internal Revenue Service said people with direct deposit set up may still receive a check in the mail if the bank account information is incorrect, or if the individual’s financial institution on file rejected the direct deposit. “In either case, your payment will be mailed to the address we have on file for you,” the agency said on its FAQ page.

See: These Americans were left out of the stimulus package and still need help to weather the coronavirus pandemic

The problem? Not everyone may have the most up-to-date mailing address on file, especially if they have not yet filed their taxes (or are not required to do so) or if they have moved since filing their taxes or updating their Social Security information. The IRS tells individuals the change of address must be processed before the payment is scheduled.

“There’s no way to fix the problem right now,” said Chris Cooper, an enrolled agent in San Diego. “We have nobody in the government to talk to — that’s the real problem.” Those still looking for their stimulus money don’t have many choices right now aside from trying the IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool, designed for Americans to input their banking account information or to check the status of their stimulus checks.

The tool has not worked for everyone. Some people are seeing an error message when they input their personal information, and are told their credentials do not match what is already on file. (Individuals are asked to input their Social Security number, birth date and physical address.) The LA Times has reported inputting addresses in all caps could help, or removing punctuation from street addresses.

Cooper was able to update his banking information with the IRS tool and it worked, he said, but he also heard scenarios where an update was made and the recipient still saw a check come in the mail. “It doesn’t seem like we have clear answers as to why,” he said.

The IRS has a reduced staff at the moment, and advises Americans to check for updated information on its site rather than call the agency.

More than 90 million people have already received their stimulus money, and the IRS expects to place five million checks in the mail each week for up to 20 more weeks, according to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Also see: The best way to spend your $1,200 stimulus check, according to financial advisers

There are other reasons someone may not have gotten the money yet, including if the individual is claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, debt collectors siphoning the assets or ineligibility because of income limits. Some taxpayers may also be the victims of glitches, because of prepaid debit cards from tax refunds.

Waiting for those checks can be stress-inducing, especially for the people suffering from the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Record levels of Americans have lost their jobs — the unemployment rate jumped to 14.7% in April, up from 3.5% two months prior — and others are unprepared for retirement, even if they are chronologically close to retirement age.

People who are eligible for a stimulus check and don’t receive it this year will be able to claim it as a credit during tax time next year, in which case they wouldn’t actually get the money until then, Cooper said. “The problem is, they won’t get it now,” he said.

Market Brief: Steering Cruise Lines Through Rocky Waters

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From cat tents to garden gnomes — the dismal economic outlook hasn’t stopped people from making impulse purchases in quarantine

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Carrie Harris, 31, never thought she would buy a $60 cat tent.

“I was zooming ZM, -1.52% with my friends from college and I admired one of their cat beds in the background that sort of resembled a tent,” Harris, a Fairfield, Conn.-based polar scientist, said. “A different friend then told us about this Australian company that made tiny realistic tents for cats that her co-worker had bought.”

“We all looked at the website and jokingly picked out a tent for my cat. They all know I’m very into camping and very into my cat, but I’m not sure they believed that I actually purchased it until it showed up a few weeks later.”

The site she bought it from,, has seen “an uptake in sales over the past couple of weeks, which has been great for our small business,” Cat Camp co-founder Jaclyn Benstead told MarketWatch.

“With everything that is going on in the world right now, people are wanting to spend money on the little things that can bring some joy or happiness during quarantine, even if it’s a present for their cats,” Benstead said.

Over the past two weeks, the company has seen a 110% increase in sales compared to early April, Benstead said, adding that “April sales were up 50% higher than March, so we are pretty happy.”

Carrie Harris, pictured, said made an impulse of $60 for a cat tent.

Carrie Harris

Although Harris’ cat, Milo, seems to enjoy napping in her new tent alongside Harris while she is working, she says she wouldn’t have bought the feline-oriented outdoor gear if she wasn’t “on lockdown” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a really cute and creative cat bed, but I also can’t think of a practical reason for a cat to need a functional tent,” she said.

Harris is hardly alone.

Some 35% of Americans say they have made impulse purchases to cope with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent survey conducted by Credit Karma, a personal-finance website where consumers can check their credit score.

Despite the fact that consumer sentiment has taken a huge dive and more than 33 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past month and a half, nearly one in five people say they are spending more money now than before the coronavirus outbreak hit, Credit Karma found. Among the people who said they’re spending more, 1 in 10 said they have gone more than $1,000 over their budgets since sheltering in place.

Impulse purchases and a hoarding mentality make “complete sense” to Kelly Goldsmith, an expert on consumer behavior in the face of scarcity, and a former contestant on the TV show “Survivor”.

‘When people started seeing pictures of empty shelves at stores, many for better or worse stocked up on necessities because they feared they wouldn’t have access to them in the near future’

When shelter-at-home orders began in several states in early March, consumers flocked to supermarkets and stores like Walmart WMT, +0.86%, Costco COST, +0.30%, BJ’s BJ, +1.11% and placed orders on sites like Amazon AMZN, +0.50% and eBay EBAY, +1.88%.

Goldsmith, who teaches marketing at Vanderbilt University, refers to this as the “secure the basics phase”.

When people started seeing pictures of empty shelves at stores, many for better or worse stocked up on necessities because they feared they wouldn’t have access to them in the near future, she said.

After panic buying and hoarding mentality began to wane, and foot traffic slowed at brick-and-mortar stores, phase two began: comfort buying.

Making impulses purchases is one way consumers feel they regain their sense of control in the face of unprecedented uncertainty stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. “Since most of us aren’t leaving our homes, it’s not even about looking good at this point, it’s about feeling good,” Goldsmith said.

This was certainly the case for Heidi Hudson, 42, a scheduling coordinator and adjunct American history professor at Hawkeye College, a community college based in Waterloo, Iowa.

On Saturday she went to Menards, a chain home improvement store, intending to purchase a hammock and wooden base. Instead, she came home with two garden gnomes which cost $99 each.

“I could not decide between the two so I bought them both,” Hudson said. “Three years ago when I bought my house [Menards] had a giant gnome and I wanted it, but just couldn’t do it at the time. So when I saw these I literally jumped at them.”

Heidi Hudson of Waterloo, Iowa, purchased these two garden gnomes for $99 each.

Heidi Hudson

‘It is part of self-care in a weird way. It makes me smile to see [the gnomes] in my yard…This will be over someday, but until then I am doing what I can to make myself feel happy.’

The next day she went back to buy the hammock and stand for another $99. Hudson has been working from home since early March and said she wanted the hammock so she would have an excuse to go outside more, especially during the summer.

Like Harris, she said if she wasn’t social distancing, she wouldn’t have purchased the hammock and the gnomes, but she doesn’t regret her decision.

“It is part of self-care in a weird way,” Harris said. “It makes me smile to see [the gnomes] in my yard and the sun warms my soul in my hammock. This will be over someday, but until then I am doing what I can to make myself feel happy.”

Heidi Hudson intended to buy a hammock, but instead spent $200 on garden gnomes.

Heidi Hudson

‘It’s like gaining a pound here or there and saying ‘when life gets back to normal I’ll look fine.’ But if you have to lose 20 pounds that’s going to be really hard.’

— Kelly Goldsmith, marketing professor at Vanderbilt University

Spending a couple of hundred dollars here and there “feels inconsequential at a time and place when so many scary things are looming in future,” Goldsmith added. But if people continue to spend impulsively it could become problematic.

“It’s like gaining a pound here or there and saying ‘When life gets back to normal I’ll look fine.’ But if you have to lose 20 pounds that’s going to be really hard.”

The same goes for debt.

Already millions of Americans are skipping their credit-card and mortgage payments as the coronavirus pandemic puts them out of work.

Also see:Your bank could lower your credit-card limit — what to do if that happens

“When this pandemic ends and you’re $10,000 in debt, it’s going to be a real wake up call,” Goldsmith said. But people won’t likely realize the damage they’ve done until their application for a credit card or a loan is declined because of a lower credit score.

How you can stop yourself from making impulse purchase

One way to stop yourself from purchasing something impulsively is to wait 24 hours to see if you still want to make the purchase, said Credit Karma CEO and founder, Ken Lin.

Another good rule of thumb is to consider whether you have enough cash on hand to make the purchase in the first place. “If you have to borrow or are thinking about a buy now, pay later option to make it work, you should probably sit on the purchase and save up for it instead,” Lin said.

Finally, don’t be tempted to buy things based on what your friends are posting on Instagram or Facebook FB, +0.51% FB, +0.51% or other forms of social media.

“Don’t buy something just to keep up with friends or influencers on social media, it isn’t worth it,” Lin said. “Ask yourself if you’d want to make the purchase if you hadn’t seen it on social media.”

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