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Malaysia’s ex-finance minister, wife charged with graft

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PENANG, Malaysia — Malaysia’s former finance minister accused the government of taking political vengeance Tuesday after a third graft charge was filed against him and his wife was charged with money laundering.

Lim Guan Eng was part of a reformist government ousted in March and the new government under Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is supported by graft-tainted parties defeated in the 2018 general election.

At a news conference after his court hearing, Lim was visibly upset as he told reporters Muhyiddin’s government had targeted his family to break his spirit.

“They are caught in the crossfire. This is completely excessive, just too much. Go for me but leave my family alone,” Lim said. His wife, Betty Chew, was more emotional as she slammed as frivolous and baseless the charges against them, calling it “cruel and terrible.”

Lim, 59, pleaded not guilty to abusing his position as chief minister of Penang state to obtain gratification for his wife related to a workers’ dormitory project.

Chew pleaded not guilty to three charges of receiving 372,009 ringgit ($88,584) in unlawful proceeds linked to the same project. A business acquaintance of Chew was also charged with abetting Lim.

Chew is a lawyer, and Lim said the money was her legal fees.

He was earlier charged with soliciting bribe and abusing his power related to a $1.5 billion undersea tunnel project.

Both projects were approved during Lim’s tenure as Penang chief minister from 2008-2018, before he became Malaysia’s finance minister.

Muhyiddin’s Malay-centric government has only a thin two-seat majority in Parliament. Some political observers said Lim’s prosecution could indicate a possibility of early elections, which are not due until 2023.

Rights groups have voiced concerns over his government’s clampdown on dissent and media independence, with journalists and media groups being investigated.

The Associated Press



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Finance minister addresses COVID-19 economic recovery plan at virtual event

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Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland will provide an update on the Liberal government’s plan to recover from the pandemic-induced economic slowdown today.

Freeland is scheduled to speak at the Toronto Global Forum at 12:40 p.m. 

The finance minister is the keynote speaker for the final day of the three-day event, which brought together politicians, business leaders and academics from around the world to exchange views on global economic issues.

Her speech is happening on the same day the Bank of Canada released a new report predicting the country’s economy won’t fully recover what was lost to COVID-19 until 2022.

The bank’s monetary policy report estimates the economy will shrink by 5.7 per cent this year, but grow by 4.2 per cent next year and 3.7 per cent in 2022.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said this week that government officials are working on a “robust” budget update outlining the state of federal finances after months of spending on pandemic-related support programs.

The last detailed update came in the form of a fiscal snapshot tabled by then-Finance Minister Bill Morneau in July. It estimated the federal government’s budget deficit would hit $343.2 billion this year — but it was delivered before the Liberals made a series of costly changes to benefit programs that are sure to drive that number up.

In last month’s speech from the throne, the government promised to extend emergency supports for Canadians and struggling businesses hit by the COVID-19 crisis into next summer.

Trudeau said Monday the promised update won’t cite a specific fiscal anchor to keep spending from spiralling out of control.

In a recent report, the office of Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux estimated that the size of the debt compared to the size of the domestic economy — which had been the Liberals’ preferred fiscal anchor — could be around 48 per cent this year and next.

The debt this year is expected to push past $1.2 trillion.

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Marble Launches Maestro – Its Financial Literacy Educational Platform | 2020-10-28 | Press Releases

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(TheNewswire)

Launch of Maestro further expands the Marble platform with this educational component, as November marks the 10 th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month in Canada

Vancouver, B.C. – TheNewswire – October 28, 2020 – Marble Financial Inc. (CSE:MRBL ) (CNSX:MRBL.CN) ( OTC:MRBLF) (“Marble” or the “Company”) a financial technology company that empowers Canadians’ toward a positive financial future, is pleased to announce the launch of Maestro, Marble’s latest financial literacy educational platform, available to all MyMarble customers.

Maestro combines expert-curated educational content and skill testing quizzes to give Canadians the power to have both a foundation in crucial financial knowledge and the empowerment to effectively utilize Marble’s personal finance and credit rebuilding platform, MyMarble and its current products, Score-Up, and Fast-Track. Maestro users will benefit from over 30 different courses across three core financial foundations, credit, budget, and debt management.

Key findings from Statistics Canada’s 2019 Canadian Financial Capability Survey showed that 51% of 18 to 35 year-old Canadians surveyed seek financial literacy from online sources, displaying a preference for easy-to-use and digestible online content. In addition to this, 44% of Canadians surveyed said they engaged in financial education to strengthen their financial knowledge, proving a high demand and additional user acquisition stream with a product such as Maestro.

November marks the 10 th anniversary of Financial Literacy Month in Canada, and today, millions of Canadians are still seeking some form of online financial education. The launch of Maestro adds an additional dimension to Marble’s product line, allowing Marble to become its users’ primary personal finance solution through a more holistic, end-to-end financial experience.

Maestro is now available on the MyMarble Platform and offers the following:

  • – Available to all Marble customers at no cost, monthly fees or subscription

    – Over thirty expert-curated online courses in the credit, budget and debt management sectors

    – Desktop and mobile friendly

    – Video enabled and audio course content for all audiences

“Canadian’s are used to the traditional ways when it comes to improving their financial literacy – friends or family, financial advisors, or banks,” said Karim Nanji, CEO of Marble. “The description of a ‘Maestro’ is someone who conducts and is a master of their respective trade. The ability to master finances is something we believe all Canadians can achieve through financial literacy offered in an effective and easy online-learning environment. With Marble’s Maestro, we are very excited to fill the demand to further empower and educate Canadians. With the power of our online technology and our industry-leading MyMarble, Score-Up, and Fast-Track solutions, our customers have all the tools needed to take control of their personal finances.”

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS,

Karim Nanji, CEO

About Marble Financial Inc. (CSE: MRBL; OTC: MRBLF) Marble leverages its proven data driven strategies utilizing the power of machine learning, data science, and artificial intelligence, through its industry-leading proprietary technology solutions Fast-Track, Score-Up, and Credit-Meds to engage in and navigate a clear path for Canadians towards financial wellbeing and a meaningful credit score. Since 2016, Marble is proud to have empowered thousands of marginalized Canadians to a positive financial future, and we continue to establish ourselves as leaders in financial wellness through the licensing of our proprietary products on the Marble Platform.

For further information, please visit the company’s website at http://mymarble.ca

Mike Marrandino,

Executive Chairman

T:(855) 661-2390 ext. 104

Email: ir@marblefinancial.ca

NEITHER THE CANADIAN SECURITIES EXCHANGE NOR ITS REGULATIONS SERVICES PROVIDER HAVE REVIEWED OR ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This release contains “forward-looking information” as such term is used in applicable Canadian securities laws, including statements regarding the Private Placement and the use of proceeds therefrom. The use of any of the words “target”, “plans”, “anticipate”, “continue”, “estimate”, “expect”, “may”, “will”, “project”, “should”, “believe” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking information is based on management’s expectations and assumptions, including statements relating to the future plans and objectives of the Company, the Company’s expectations surrounding the market potential of Maestro, Score-Up, Fast Track and the benefits including potential credit score improvement, building and management results. In making the forward-looking statements included in this news release, the Company has applied several material assumptions, including but not limited to, that the Company’s financial condition and development plans do not change as a result of unforeseen events, and that the Company will and has received all required regulatory approvals in the jurisdictions across Canada that it will be offering this product. Forward-looking information is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause plans, estimates and actual results to vary materially from those projected in such forward-looking information. Factors that could cause the forward-looking information in this news release to change or to be inaccurate include, but are not limited to: general economic, market or business conditions; changes in the Company’s financial condition and development plans; and other risks and uncertainties as set forth in the Company’s most recent continuous disclosure filings filed under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com .

Although the Company has attempted to consider important factors that could cause actual costs or results to differ materially, there may be other factors that cause actual results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The forward-looking information included in this release is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as required by applicable law.

Copyright (c) 2020 TheNewswire – All rights reserved.



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Despite Financial Strain, Harvard Not Considering Varsity Athletic Team Cuts | News

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Harvard Athletics has spared its personnel and 42 NCAA Division I programs from cuts as it drastically reduces operations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Director of Athletics Erin McDermott said in a Tuesday interview.

McDermott, who began her tenure as Harvard’s first female Athletics Director this summer, said she spent her first four months at the helm finding ways to make the department “austere in our operation.”

Harvard’s fields, courts, and pools now sit largely empty as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The Ivy League canceled the fall sports season and Harvard limited on-campus living to freshmen and a small share of upperclassmen this semester to curtail virus’s spread.

McDermott said the global health crisis has naturally circumscribed the department’s operations.

“Operations are so drastically different without having competition, you know, we’re not traveling teams, we’re not hosting competition,” she said. “With the student athletes that we have on campus, and with our recreational operations that we have ongoing for students and staff on campus, we’re operating really on an as need — and what’s really essential — kind of way.”

“There wasn’t really definitive, necessarily ‘cuts’ that were made,” McDermott added. “We’re just not doing all the same things that we would typically do.”

Still, the department has not broken even.

McDermott said two major sources of revenue the Athletics Department lost include the Harvard-Yale football game — which Harvard was scheduled to host next month — as well as the Boston Calling Music Festival, which takes place at the athletics complex every spring. As a result, McDermott said, a large part of her day-to-day job over the past four months has consisted of schmoozing potential donors virtually and soliciting their contributions.

Though McDermott did not state the extent of the department’s financial losses, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences — which oversees Harvard Athletics — netted more than $30 million in “unforeseen expenses and lost revenue” associated with the coronavirus as of April.

Despite financial pressures, Harvard Athletics has not cut any of its teams or fired its employees, according to McDermott.

While universities across the country — including peer schools such as Dartmouth and Stanford — have recently axed a handful of athletics programs to improve their balance sheets, McDermott said Harvard has not considered eliminating any of its 42 varsity teams — the most of any university in the country.

“There haven’t been conversations about cutting teams,” she said.

McDermott also said the department has been “fortunate” not to have to reduce its payroll, though it has adhered to the University-wide hiring freeze.

—Staff writer Ema R. Schumer can be reached at ema.schumer@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @emaschumer.



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