Chinese armed drones now flying across Mideast battlefields

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — High above Yemen’s rebel-held city of Hodeida, a drone controlled by Emirati forces hovered as an SUV carrying a top Shiite Houthi rebel official turned onto a small street and stopped, waiting for another vehicle in its convoy to catch up.

Seconds later, the SUV exploded in flames, killing Saleh al-Samad, a top political figure.

The drone that fired that missile in April was not one of the many American aircraft that have been buzzing across the skies of Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. It was Chinese.

Across the Middle East, countries locked out of purchasing U.S.-made drones due to rules over excessive civilian casualties are being wooed by Chinese arms dealers, who are world’s main distributor of armed drones.

“The Chinese product now doesn’t lack technology, it only lacks market share,” said Song Zhongping, a Chinese military analyst and former lecturer at the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force University of Engineering. “And the United States restricting its arms exports is precisely what gives China a great opportunity.”

The sales are helping expand Chinese influence across a region vital to American security interests.

“It’s a hedging strategy and the Chinese will look to benefit from that,” said Douglas Barrie, an airpower specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “I think the Chinese are far less liable to be swayed by concerns over civilian casualties,” he said.

SOURCE: https://apnews.com/1da29d68e3cc47b58631768c1dcfa445

Continue reading “Chinese armed drones now flying across Mideast battlefields”

For the first time since 1994, there is a new No. 1: Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who broke Bill Gates’ 24 year run at the top

Forbes 400 2018

Buoyed in part by a strong stock market, the 400 wealthiest Americans delivered yet another record-breaking year. The minimum net worth needed to join this elite club climbed to $2.1 billion, $100 million more than last year and the highest to date. The group’s total net worth rose to $2.9 trillion, a record high and 7% more than in 2017. The average net worth of a list member: $7.2 billion, up from $6.7 billion last year. That average is boosted by those at the very top of the list: half of the total wealth is held by the 45 richest people in the country.

For the first time since 1994, there is a new No. 1: Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who broke Bill Gates’ 24 year run at the top. Bezos is also the first person to appear in the ranks with a fortune of more than $100 billion –he clocked in at $160 billion. Bezos was also the biggest gainer on this year’s list: his fortune rose $78.5 billion since last year, thanks to the more than 100% runup in the price of Amazon stock, the biggest one year gain since we’ve been tracking fortunes. Gates, now ranked No. 2, trails Bezos by a notable $63 billion. The top 10 richest on the list are together worth nearly $730 billion, up from $610 billion in 2017. At these lofty heights, more than a third of the nation’s billionaires, a record 204, weren’t wealthy enough to crack the club.

The biggest loser versus last year’s list was George Soros, whose net worth fell to $8.3 billion this year from $23 billion. The reason: in late 2017, Forbeslearned that Soros had shifted $18 billion of his fortune to his charitable Open Society Foundations. (Forbes does not count assets in charitable foundations as part of someone’s net worth.)

Donald Trump’s ranking dropped 11 spots to No. 259 on the list, down from No. 248 last year, even as his net worth remained the same from last year at $3.1 billion.

Continue reading “For the first time since 1994, there is a new No. 1: Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who broke Bill Gates’ 24 year run at the top”

Amazon eliminates monthly bonuses and stock grants after minimum wage increase

There is a new No. 1: Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who broke Bill Gates’ 24 year run at the top. Bezos is also the first person to appear in the ranks with a fortune of more than $100 billion –he clocked in at $160 billion!! 

Papa Mike

 

Some employees claim they will make less money after the wage increase

Amazon garnered praise for raising the minimum wage for its hourly workers to $15 yesterday, but the widely-publicized move also came at the expense of monthly bonuses and stock options. The company explained its decision to shift to a new stock purchase program in the announcement blog post yesterday, citing that hourly employees preferred the “predictability and immediacy of cash to RSUs,” or restricted stock units, but the post doesn’t mention the loss of monthly incentives, which Bloomberg reported earlier today.

Several Amazon warehouse employees have criticized the move, stating they would actually be losing thousands in incentive pay. Currently, warehouse workers get two shares of Amazon stock when they’re hired ($1,952.76 per share as of writing), and an additional stock option each year. After the changes take effect, the RSU program will be phased out for stocks that vest in 2020 and 2021, and it will be replaced with a direct stock purchase plan by the end of next year.

An Amazon warehouse worker told The Verge via email that the news was devastating to fulfillment employees, many of whom depend on their RSU and VCP (variable compensation pay, a performance-based monthly bonus program) incentives on top of their hourly wages. VCP incentives, which are dependent on good attendance and hitting productivity targets, could get Amazon workers an 8 percent monthly bonus, and a 16 percent bonus during the peak November and December seasons.

Amazon workers have been responding to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ tweet praising the minimum wage raise, citing that on November 1st, many workers will have their paychecks cut, not raised.

Many Amazon warehouse workers are criticizing the pay raise as a publicity move as well as a political play, and it’s to be seen if getting rid of incentive pay is actually in the interest of workers. However, the company insists that the changes are for the benefit of employees.

”The significant increase in hourly cash wages more than compensates for the phase out of incentive pay and RSUs,” Amazon’s spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNBC. “We can confirm that all hourly Operations and Customer Service employees will see an increase in their total compensation as a result of this announcement. In addition, because it’s no longer incentive-based, the compensation will be more immediate and predictable.”

SOURCE: The Verge

‘Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue’, immortalized by Buddy Holly, dies at 78

Peggy Sue Gerron was 17 years old, a senior at a Catholic girls’ school, when the world heard her name radiate through the airwaves over and over on its way to rock-and-roll immortality.

And she was in the crowd the night Buddy Holly and the Crickets played it for her for the first time at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, as she sunk down in her chair and blushed while dozens of people screamed her name.

“Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue,” Buddy Holly sang in the 1957 single, “Oh, how my heart yearns for you!”

The Peggy Sue of Buddy Holly and the Crickets fame would go on to become one of the most influential songs in rock history. But Peggy Sue herself — whose love interest was not Holly but Crickets drummer Jerry Allison — would drift out of the 1950s to trade poodle skirts for dental hygienist scrubs, going on to raise a family and start a business in California.

As she wrote on her own website: “Peggy Sue is much more than a song.”

On Monday, Peggy Sue Gerron died at University Medical Center hospital in Lubbock, Tex. — her hometown, a spokeswoman for the hospital confirmed to The Washington Post. She was 78.

Gerron was born in Olton, Tex., and grew up in Lubbock, where she would meet Holly and Allison, the man she would later marry. The three attended Lubbock High School. And once Allison and Gerron started going steady, they frequently joined Holly and his girlfriend for Cokes at the Hi-D-Ho Drive-In, as Gerron recounted in her 2008 memoir, “Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?

But just as Holly and the Crickets’ music started to take off, Gerron moved to Sacramento to finish at the Catholic high school. Their paths wouldn’t cross again until she got a call from her old boyfriend, Allison, inviting her to the show at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium where they were on tour.

Allison planned to woo her back with the “Peggy Sue” surprise.

The song was never supposed to be called “Peggy Sue,” as multiple Crickets, including Allison, have said in interviews over the years. Originally, the band planned to call it “Cindy Lou,” named for Holly’s niece. But producer Norman Petty had an issue with its cha-cha rhythm, as Allison told NPR in 2000. Allison said he would agree to change it to a paradiddle — a rapid drumbeat — if Holly would agree to change the name to “Peggy Sue,” he told NPR. He wanted to impress Gerron.

And it apparently worked.

“I think Buddy was playing a little bit of Cupid there,” Gerron told the Austin American-Statesman in 1999, referring to the Sacramento performance.

Wonderful Women, Malevolent Men (showing a wish to do evil to others.)

 

Ok, this is a bit over the top to make a point, but those self righteous liberal women are making me sick. Tell me what you think:

I’m so glad that there are no women who use their sexuality to get what they want. I’m so pleased there are no prostitutes or strippers, no adult film stars, no starlets seducing directors and no junior executives trying to sleep their way to the top. Thankfully there are no devious women trying to steal husbands away from their wives and kids, and zero women who would purposefully get pregnant in hopes of snaring a husband. And with everything happening on the Internet, I am so glad there are not tens of thousands of women taking off their clothes, having sex or hosting live porn sites simply to make money. Most of all, I am especially pleased that there are no women who wait decades to make unsubstantiated sexual harassment or assault claims to make money or advance political agendas, without giving a single thought of the lives they ruin. Yes, those terrible men are the only ones who use sex for nefarious purposes, and they are to be reviled. All women are wonderful. 

 

Author Unknown