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Florida State Board Sanctions Eight School Districts For Defying Ban On Mask Mandates

Florida State Board Sanctions Eight School Districts For Defying Ban On Mask Mandates

Authored by Jannis Falkenstern via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Students return to school at Seminole Heights Elementary School after the Florida Depart

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Florida State Board Sanctions Eight School Districts For Defying Ban On Mask Mandates

Authored by Jannis Falkenstern via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Students return to school at Seminole Heights Elementary School after the Florida Department of Education mandated that all schools must have in-class learning during the week in Tampa, Florida, on August 31, 2020. (Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

PUNTA GORDA, Fla.–The Florida Department of Education on Thursday sanctioned eight Florida school districts for defying the state’s ban on school mask mandates.

School districts in Brevard, Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Leon, Miami-Dade, Orange and Palm Beach counties now face financial penalties.

Commissioner Richard Corcoran reported to the board that none of the eight counties had provided any information proving that they were in compliance with state law before Thursday’s meeting.

“They can’t pick and choose which parts of the law they want to follow,” Corcoran said as he was handing out the penalties to the school districts.  He also gave the districts 48 hours to amend their policies before the penalties went into effect.

The state law the commissioner was referring to is an emergency rule adopted last month by the Florida Department of Health, that props up the Parent’s Bill of Rights. The rule requires that parents can opt-out their children from wearing mask mandates imposed by schools. The rule states that opting out of mask requirements is “at the parent or legal guardian’s sole discretion.”

The commissioner recommended that sanctions in the amount of one-twelfth of each school board member’s annual salary be withheld. In addition, the commissioner recommended withholding funding in the amount equal to any federal grant the districts receive, namely the Project Safe Grant.

The Biden administration has dedicated taxpayer money from the Project Safe Grant to repaying school districts the funding lost due to defying state bans on school mask mandates.

These grants according to Corcoran serve to “backfill” what was withheld from Broward and Alachua districts for not complying with state law regarding mask mandates. Last month the U.S. Department of Education chose to award COVID-19 aid funds to cover salaries of board members in Broward and Alachua Counties.  Corcoran said they were the only two districts in the country to apply for and receive this type of grant funding.

Corcoran reported during the meeting that Alachua had received a total of $147,710 in grants from Project Safe Grant and Broward has received approximately $420,000. The state began withholding Alachua’s funding on Aug. 28 which so far totals $13,429. The six remaining counties were also penalized but their funding totals were not readily available by press time.

The state commissioner said the federal grants served to “buy off school districts” and said the federal government was interfering with the state board’s responsibility to govern its educational system, which is in violation of the tenth amendment of the constitution.

“Every Floridian should be offended by the federal government’s interference in state education issue,” he said. “We will not be strong-armed by the federal government.”

Superintendents from each county were allowed five minutes to defend their policies.  All eight superintendents argued their policies were in compliance and should not have sanctions imposed as they were following the law and serving students in the name of safety.

Orange County Superintendent Barbara Jenkins read her defending statement to the state board during the meeting and said, “the action was legal” and “the action was necessary” given the “alarming rise” of school-related COVID-19 cases during the August surge fueled by the contagious delta variant.”

Public comments were taken before the meeting began.  A majority of the callers were from Brevard County saying the district was not in compliance and the parents complained they were removed from a board meeting earlier in the week, which they contend was a violation of Florida Sunshine Law and asked the board to investigate.  Most asked for salaries to be withheld while one parent wanted them to take the consequences a step further.

I would like to see the board remove the superintendent and the board members,” Catherine Delaney a parent of a Brevard County student said. “I want them held accountable; we don’t want lawbreakers on our school boards.”

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/08/2021 - 18:20

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Economics

DAX index forecast ahead of the ECB meeting

European stocks rose on Friday on a surge in technology stocks; still, rising inflation became a concern for investors. European inflation was confirmed at 3.4% YoY in September, and concerns grew that the European Central Bank could change its monetary..

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European stocks rose on Friday on a surge in technology stocks; still, rising inflation became a concern for investors. European inflation was confirmed at 3.4% YoY in September, and concerns grew that the European Central Bank could change its monetary policy.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that ECB would maintain its accommodative policy for as long as necessary, but this could change soon. Germany’s DAX index has advanced again above 15,500 points, but it is still trading below its recent highs.

Germany’s recovery from the pandemic has been strong so far, and the country will release the preliminary estimates of its October Inflation data and its Q3 GDP next week.

Results from many big companies provided a strong start to third-quarter earnings, and investors’ focus will remain on the third-quarter earnings season because many companies have yet to publish their reports.

Next week, Deutsche Bank, Volkswagen,  Linde, MTU Aero Engines, and Daimler are among the companies scheduled to report quarterly results.

According to the German Economic Ministry, the outlook for the industry remains positive, but the world’s supply chains crisis represents a serious problem for Germany because of its dependence on exports.

The German economy is particularly vulnerable to shortages of key parts and raw materials, and more than 40% of companies reported they had lost sales because of supply problems.

Many big companies scaled back production of some of their most profitable models, while Opel announced last month that it would shut down a factory in Eisenach until the beginning of 2022.

It is important to say that nearly half of Germany’s economic output depends on exports of cars, machine tools, and other goods, while the semiconductor shortage throttling global car production suggests more pain for the automotive industry.

Despite this, the German Economic Ministry reported that it expected this effect to be temporary while the German central bank expects that the German economy could grow 3.7% this year. The German Economic Ministry added:

Healthy order books give us reason to expect strong recovery impulses from industry, and thanks to that strong overall economic growth

The European Central Bank recently reported that exports from Eurozone would have been at least 7% higher in the first half of the year if not for supply bottlenecks. The European Central Bank will announce its decision on monetary policy next Thursday, which could significantly influence on DAX index in the near term.

15,000 points represent support

Data source: tradingview.com

DAX index has advanced again above 15,500 points, and if the price jumps above 15,800 points, the next target could be at 16,000 points.

On the other side, if the price falls below strong support that stands at 15,000 points, it would be a strong “sell” signal, and the next target could be around 14,500 points.

Summary

The European Central Bank will announce its decision on monetary policy next Thursday, which could significantly influence on DAX index in the near term. DAX index has advanced again above 15,500 points, and if the price jumps above 15,800 points, the next target could be at 16,000 points.

The post DAX index forecast ahead of the ECB meeting appeared first on Invezz.

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Poland Will Not Be “Blackmailed” Into Accepting European Union Laws, PM Morawiecki Says

Poland Will Not Be "Blackmailed" Into Accepting European Union Laws, PM Morawiecki Says

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times,

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday that his country will not bow to the Europe

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Poland Will Not Be "Blackmailed" Into Accepting European Union Laws, PM Morawiecki Says

Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times,

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday that his country will not bow to the European Union’s “blackmail” on deciding legal frameworks of member states, but is open to constructive dialogue.

Arriving at a summit of the 27-member bloc, Morawiecki said that Poland “was as faithful to the rule of law as others and as the EU institutions are.” He added,

“Some EU institutions assume the right to decide on issues to which they have not been entitled to decide. They assume competencies which have not been handed over to them in the treaties.”

Morawiecki said that EU laws maintain supremacy over national laws on matters transferred to the EU. “We don’t agree to the constantly broadening range of competencies but we will, of course, talk about it.”

On Oct. 7, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that some elements of EU law were incompatible with the country’s constitution. This ruling, criticized by Brussels, essentially gave national law primacy over that of the EU.

“It has to be clear: You are a member of a club, you have to abide by the rules of the club. And the most important rule of the club is that the European law is over national law,” the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, told Reuters.

Since the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party took over power in 2015, the ideological conflicts have incrementally increased.

European Parliament President David Sassoli said the Polish tribunal’s ruling challenged “the legal bedrock of our Union,” and that, “never before has the Union been called into question so radically.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen laid out three options as a response.

The first option, “infringement,” is where the commission legally challenges the verdict of the Polish court.

The second option, which is active currently, involves the withholding of funds. Warsaw will not be able to access the 36 billion euros ($42 billion) of COVID-19 pandemic recovery grants. This could lead to a further blockage of around 70 billion euros ($81 billion) set aside for development projects in the 2021-2027 budget.

The third option would be the implementation of Article 7 of the EU treaty which suspends member states of certain rights, including the right to vote on EU decisions.

Morawiecki, however, maintained his country’s stance under repeated criticism in the tense debate on Tuesday. This led to the idea of Poland exiting the bloc which the prime minister dismissed. He said that there were no plans for a “Polexit” as there is considerable support among the Polish for remaining within the EU.

A majority of European countries, including Ireland, France, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands were critical of Poland, barring staunch ally Hungary. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has not been a supporter of excessive European Union interference in the laws and decisions of member states.

“Poland is one of the best European countries. There is no need for any sanctions, it’s ridiculous,” Orban said.

Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Knapen implied the issue will soon need to be addressed.

“The time for talking is never over, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot take action in the meantime,”  Knapen said. “It’s going to come soon.”

Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for finding “ways of coming back together,” and warned against isolating Poland, the largest ex-communist EU country of 38 million people.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 09:20

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Economics

Should I invest in Coca-Cola shares after a positive view from Morgan Stanley?

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) shares have weakened from their recent highs above $57, registered in August 2021, and the current price stands at $54.45. Coca-Cola declared a $0.42 per share quarterly dividend last week, and Morgan Stanley continues…

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The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) shares have weakened from their recent highs above $57, registered in August 2021, and the current price stands at $54.45. Coca-Cola declared a $0.42 per share quarterly dividend last week, and Morgan Stanley continues to have a positive view on KO shares.

Morgan Stanley has a positive view

Coca-Cola continues to improve its position in the market, and the board of directors declared a $0.42/quarterly share dividend last week, which will be payable on December 15.

Coca-Cola reported better than expected second-quarter results in July; total revenue has increased by 42% Y/Y to $10.1 billion, which was more than expected, while the GAAP EPS was $0.61 (beats by $0.05).

Through the second quarter, volume trends steadily improved each month, driven by the recovery in markets from the pandemic, and the company’s management expects another EPS beat in Q3.

Coca-Cola expects to deliver organic revenue growth for the 2021 fiscal year of 12% to 14% and comparable EPS growth of 13% to 15% compared with the previous year.

According to the latest news, Molson Coors has signed an exclusive agreement with Coca-Cola to manufacture, market, and distribute Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in Canada. The product is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2022, less than two years after the successful launch in the United States.

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer has garnered a 2.4% share of the U.S. market, and this deal will certainly help Coca-Cola to expand its revenue base further.

Last month, Coca-Cola introduced a new global brand platform called Real Magic with a new campaign, “One Coke Away From Each Other.” This is the first new global platform since 2016, and the company’s stability in a variety of market conditions has revealed its true staying power.

Morgan Stanley has a positive view on KO shares with a price target of $65, representing 20% upside potential. Dara Mohsenian, an analyst from Morgan Stanley, added:

The outlook for Coca-Cola remains positive; we see some headwinds from the recent increase in global COVID cases and slightly lower our FY21 topline forecasts, but remain above consensus in 22/23. We expect a return to outsized sales growth vs. peers post COVID, with improved execution and higher margins.

Technically looking, Coca-Cola shares could advance above the current price levels, but this company is not undervalued with a market capitalization of $234 billion. The book value per share is around $5, and Coca-Cola trades at more than seventeen times TTM EBITDA.

$60 represents strong resistance

Data source: tradingview.com

Coca-Cola shares have weakened from their recent highs above $57, and if the price falls below $50 support, the next target could be at $45. On the other side, if the price jumps above the strong resistance that stands at $60, the next target could be at $65 or even above.

Summary

Coca-Cola shares have weakened from their recent highs above $57, but Morgan Stanley continues to have a positive view on KO shares with a price target of $65. Coca-Cola continues to improve its position in the market, but this company is not undervalued with a market capitalization of $234 billion.

The post Should I invest in Coca-Cola shares after a positive view from Morgan Stanley? appeared first on Invezz.

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