Business & Politics News and Discussions

weatheriscool
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Supreme Court sides with high school cheerleader in free-speech dispute over profane Snapchat rant
Source: New York Times
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a Pennsylvania school district had violated the First Amendment by punishing a student for a vulgar social-media message sent away from school grounds. The vote was 8 to 1, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting. The case concerned Brandi Levy, a Pennsylvania high school student who had expressed her dismay over not making the varsity cheerleading squad by sending a colorful Snapchat message to about 250 people.

She sent the message on a Saturday from the Cocoa Hut, a convenience store popular with teenagers. It included an image of Ms. Levy and a friend with their middle fingers raised, along with a string of words expressing the same sentiment. Using a swear word four times, Ms. Levy objected to "school," "softball," "cheer" and "everything."

Though Snapchat messages are meant to vanish not long after they are sent, another student took a screenshot and showed it to her mother, a coach. The school suspended Ms. Levy from cheerleading for a year, saying the punishment was needed to "avoid chaos" and maintain a "teamlike environment."

Ms. Levy sued the school district, winning a sweeping victory from a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia. The court said the First Amendment did not allow public schools to punish students for speech outside school grounds, relying on a precedent from a different era.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/23/us/s ... &smtyp=cur

Nice to see that freedom of speech matters to this court. Freedom of speech forever!!! One of the few things that should be defended at all cost.
weatheriscool
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Supreme Court rules California farms can keep union organizers off private land
Source: LA Times
The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down part of a historic California law inspired by Cesar Chavez and the farmworkers union, ruling that agricultural landowners and food processors have a right to keep union organizers off their property.

The justices by a 6-3 vote said the state’s “right of access” rule violates property rights protected by the Constitution. It says private property shall not be “taken for public use without just compensation.”

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts said “the access regulation is not germane to any benefit provided to agricultural employers or any risk posed to the public.”

The three liberal justices dissented.
Read more: https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/ ... organizers
weatheriscool
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Supreme Court finds FHFA structure unconstitutional
Source: Housing Wire
A Supreme Court decision in Collins v. Yellen has found the structure of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) unconstitutional, allowing for the removal of its director.

The case questioned whether the Biden administration would have the power to fire the agency’s director, Mark Calabria, a Trump-appointee and vocal critic of the government-sponsored enterprises. The court found that restricting his removal was unconstitutional.

“The President must be able to remove not just officers who disobey his commands but also those he finds ‘negligent and inefficient,’… those who exercise their discretion in a way that is not ‘intelligen[t] or wis[e],’ … those who have ‘different views of policy,’” and “those who come ‘from a competing political party who is dead set against [the President’s] agenda,” the opinion reads.

“The President’s removal power serves important purposes regardless of whether the agency in question affects ordinary Americans by directly regulating them or by taking actions that have a profound but indirect effect on their lives,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote. “And there can be no question that the FHFA’s control over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can deeply impact the lives of millions of Americans by affecting their ability to buy and keep their homes.”
Read more: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/su ... itutional/
caltrek
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^^^Ironic that Trump appointees are now supporting Biden's authority to overturn Trump initiatives. In this case in regards to personnel decisions.
caltrek
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Supreme Court rules California farms can keep union organizers off private land
I still don't understand where in the U. S. Constitution it says that property rights should take precedent over workers' rights to organize. I suppose originalists presume this to be the case since slavery was also allowed under the document as originally adopted, ignoring that slavery was eventually abolished.

At any rate, there is also an article on this in Courthouse News for those who don't want to use up their quota of free LA Times articles:

https://www.courthousenews.com/californ ... izing-law/

Needless to say, I find the minority position of the court, as described in the article I cited, to be the more compelling of the arguments presented by the justices.
caltrek
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Online Learning Business Developments in India
by Manish Singh
June 25, 2021

https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/25/india ... e-rheo-tv/

Introduction:
(TechCrunch)Indian online learning platform Unacademy is in advanced talks to acquire Rheo TV, a less than two-year-old startup founded by two former Unacademy employees, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The current deal values Rheo TV, a startup that has built a platform to help professional game streamers live stream their gameplays and monetize those feeds, at around $10 million, one of the sources said. TechCrunch couldn’t independently verify the terms. The deal proposes Rheo TV’s team of fewer than a dozen people to join Unacademy.

The younger startup counts Lightspeed India Partners, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, as well as the founding team of Unacademy — Gaurav Munjal, Hemesh Singh, and Roman Saini — among its existing investors.
Conclusion:
India’s online education market is estimated to grow to $19.7 billion by 2030, up from $1 billion last year, analysts at Bernstein wrote in a recent report.
caltrek
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Speaking of India:

India Health Care Startup PharmEasy to Acquire Majority Stake in Thryocare
by Manish Singh
June 25, 2021

https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/25/india ... 0-million/

Introduction:
(TechCrunch) API Holdings, which operates the giant healthcare startup PharmEasy, said on Friday it has reached an agreement to acquire 66.1% stake in Thyrocare, which runs a diagnostic lab chain, for about $613 million in what is the first ever acquisition of a listed firm by an unicorn startup in the world’s second most populated nation.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and other applicable customary approvals. Docon Technologies Pvt Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of API, will be the acquirer and shall make an open offer for an additional 26% stake for over $241 million, the startup said in a statement.

PharmEasy is India’s largest online pharmacy and diagnostics brand. It operates a business-to-business pharma marketplace with over 6,000 consultation clinics with 90,000 partner retailers across the South Asian nation. The five-year-old startup, which has raised about $572 million to date and was last valued at $1.5 billion, counts Prosus, Temasek, Eight Roads Ventures, TPG, B Capital Group, and Bessemer Venture Partners among its investors.
caltrek
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Post by caltrek »

Meanwhile, over in Latin America:

Kaszek Ventures Leads a $15 Million Round in Chilean in Asset Management Startup Fintual
by Marcella McCarthy
June 25, 2021

Introduction:
(TechCrunch) Like other financial sectors in Latin America, the retail investing space is getting a facelift by local tech startups that are cashing in on the untapped potential for democratizing asset management in the region. One of those startups is Chilean-based Fintual, which today announced a $15 million round led by Kaszek Ventures, the largest fund in Latin America.

Fintual is an automated passive investment platform that allows the average person in Chile or Mexico to invest in mutual funds containing ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), investment vehicles that aren’t as well known, or as readily accessible in Latin America.

“The idea that got to me was that we were allowing people to invest in the long term, we enable them to invest in instruments they didn’t have access to before,” said Pedro Pineda, co-founder and CEO of Fintual.
caltrek's comment: I had never really thought about this difference in investment culture between North America and South America before. Usually, I thought in terms of foreign aid or seed money startups. To me, this is a really exciting idea. Of course, as always, the devil may be in the details. So, it will be interesting to see if this concept takes hold. It could very well be important in helping Latin America to establish a middle class. Of course, some radicals may object that this is only a way to co-opt a segment into the capitalist system. Not an entirely unreasonable argument. Still, the polarization within Latin American politics has not served that region well.
caltrek
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Re: Business & Politics News and Discussions

Post by caltrek »

Over the past few months starting before the introduction of the new forum format, a lot of complaints were being registered about the lack of conservative news sources appearing in the thread posts. So, why not an article from the Wall Street Journal

Toshiba Shareholders Oust Chairman in Landmark for Foreign Activists
June 25, 2021

https://www.wsj.com/articles/toshiba-sh ... 1624593172
(Wall Street Journal) TOKYO—A revolt by foreign shareholders at Toshiba Corp. TOSYY -0.63% has ousted the board’s chairman and audit committee, placed foreigners in three key board posts and set an example that will reverberate across Japan’s business world.

The upheaval at Friday’s shareholder meeting capped six years of turmoil that began with an accounting scandal and led to foreign shareholders owning a majority of the industrial conglomerate. After years of battling against Toshiba management and Japanese directors with roots in the country’s business culture, those foreign shareholders now have the upper hand.

“Because of today’s result, activists’ voices will likely get more attention from domestic investors in other cases,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

The shake-up Friday removed Toshiba’s board chairman, Osamu Nagayama, and put a former KPMG Hong Kong partner, Paul Brough, in charge of a powerful new strategic review committee on the board. Singapore-based financier G. Raymond Zage III will head the nomination committee while Jerry Black, an American retail veteran, will head the compensation committee.
Of course, before Americans get too smug about this development, consider:
The company has suffered from a long string of accounting scandals, management infighting and bad business decisions. One of those decisions ended with the 2017 bankruptcy of Toshiba’s U.S. nuclear unit, Westinghouse Electric Co.
weatheriscool
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Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects move to ban absentee ballot drop boxes
Source: WSAW
(AP) - In a 4 to 3 decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, it’s rejecting a move to ban absentee ballot drop boxes.

Conservative businessman Jere Fabick petitioned the Supreme Court in March to ban drop boxes.

He also petitioned to prohibit elections officials from filling in missing addresses of witnesses on absentee ballot envelopes.

Fabick sought to limit who can return absentee ballots while the supreme court says the lawsuit put forward important questions, the majority declined to take the case.

Read more: https://www.wsaw.com/2021/06/27/wiscons ... ntent=wsaw
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