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Tunisians protesting over jobs clash with police after arrest of activist

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BEIRUT: The Central Bank of Lebanon plan of pumping US dollars to authorized money-changers has failed to reduce the exchange rate of 3,200 Lebanese pounds to $1.
By the end of the week the reality was that these US dollars did not reach the citizens who needed it but that the money went into the pockets of a third party.
Scenes of people, especially unemployed youth belonging to the poorer classes, queuing on a daily basis in front of money-changer shops outside Beirut, provided the evidence that the process was not related to buying US dollars for business deals or paying dues.
Although money-changers stipulated that citizens who wanted to buy US dollars should show their identity cards and other required documents to buy US dollars, the exchange rate of the Lebanese pound on the black market skyrocketed, passing 5,200 Lebanese pounds for $1.
A number of people who tried to buy US dollars from money-changers talked about financial transactions occurring without an exchange of dollars.

BACKGROUND

  • Hundreds of people are bringing identity cards of their relatives to buy US dollars in their names and sell them later on the black market.

Samer Al-Husseini, a resident of Chtaura in the Bekaa valley, asked a money-changer for US dollars to pay for the tuition of his daughter who is studying abroad.
He told Arab News: “Some citizens were buying US dollars from the money-changers at the set exchange rate of 3,900 Lebanese pounds for $1 and selling it later on the black market. Other people who were piling the dollars at home started selling them in the black market and then buying dollars from licensed money-changers at a lower exchange rate.”
“Now hundreds of people are bringing the identity cards of their relatives and family members to buy US dollars in their names to sell them later in the black market to make a profit of 260,000 Lebanese pounds per $200, as they buy $200 at 780,000 Lebanese pounds and sell them in the black market for 1,040,000 Lebanese pounds at an exchange rate of Lebanese pounds for $1.”
Some licensed money-changers are asking the person who wants to buy US dollars if he would like to sell them back at the black market exchange rate and, on this person’s approval, the money-changer would give him the profit that he would get from selling the US dollars in the black market and keep the US dollars for himself. All that a person needs to do is to show his identity card, and the money-changer will keep the US currency that he received from the central bank reserves to use later.

HIGHLIGHT

Although money changers stipulated that citizens who wanted to buy US dollars should show their identity cards and other required documents to buy US dollars, the exchange rate of the Lebanese pound on the black market skyrocketed, passing 5,200 Lebanese pounds for $1.

This mechanism set by the central bank failed to decrease the exchange rate of the Lebanese pound and led to the spike of the US dollar on the black market.
Queues in front of money-changers offices were no longer seen on Saturday as the Syndicate of Money-Changers decided to stop selling US dollars based only on identity cards, and declared that it “will not support any violator for it is keen on making the process succeed.”
Head of the Syndicate of Money-Changers Mahmoud Mrad met Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri and proposed “ways to stop money speculations in the black market.” He stressed “the importance of the role of the security forces in suppressing the black market.”
“The violations that occurred are not that big. People who queued in front of money-changers had loans in US dollars that they wanted to pay off.”
Mrad, who has a money-changing shop in Ghobeiry in Beirut, said that most of his clients “are people who have to pay for their installments at the Qard Al-Hassan association.”
The association, which provides interest-free loans, asks borrowers to pay their dues in US dollars and does not accept payments in Lebanese pounds at the official exchange rate. It does not have contacts with banks due to US sanctions. Most of its branches are located in the southern suburb of Beirut and in southern Bekaa — known among Hezbollah supporters.
Secretary of the Syndicate of Money-Changers Mahmoud Halawi said that “all money-changers should be members of the syndicate, which has the right to monitor them.”

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Harley-Davidson cuts 700 jobs | Local News I Racine County Eye

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MILWAUKEE, WI — Harley-Davidson Inc. plans to cut about 700 global positions and announced the immediate departure of one of its top executives in a restructuring plan the company is calling a “rewire.”

This story also appeared in Patch

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission posted Thursday, Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson officials said they approved the plan June 28 and rolled it out this week.

Company executives said they will eliminate about 700 positions globally, impacting about 500 current employees.

>> Read The Entire Harley-Davidson SEC Filing Here

In the filing, company officials said John A. Olin is leaving his role as senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Olin served the company for the last 17 years.

“As Mr. Olin moves on to his next professional ventures, the company wishes him well with our gratitude and respect for his many contributions during his time with the company,” Harley-Davidson said in a statement.

Darrell Thomas, 60, vice president and treasurer, will become interim chief financial officer, effective immediately, in addition to maintaining his duties as treasurer.

Thomas has been in his current position since 2010.

As a result of the restructuring plan, Harley-Davidson officials said they expect the restructuring to cost about $50 million — mostly in cash charges.

“The company expects to incur restructuring charges for one-time termination benefits of about $30 million, accelerated depreciation of approximately $5 million and contract termination and other costs of approximately $15 million through 2020,” officials said in the filing.



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Reduced Relay moves back to City Park | News, Sports, Jobs

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PARKERSBURG – Relay for Life of Wood County will be a little different this year but the support of survivors, current fighters and those who lost their battle to cancer will remain the same.

Due to the recent increase in local COVID-19 cases, the event, which had been planned for the former Jungle Drive In Theatre will now take place at the Parkersburg City Park pond on July 17.

From 9:30 to 10:30 p.m., luminaries will be on display with each light honoring someone who’s fighting cancer, who survived cancer or who passed away due to cancer.

“We’re just trying to make every effort to do something for our community with our Relay but also to keep everybody safe,” Carmen Hathaway, senior community development manager with the American Cancer Society said. “We also would like to engage our cancer survivors to come if they can, remaining in the car so we can say hi to them as they come through.”

It is hoped to go back to the traditional Relay for Life event next year but Hathaway said in the meantime, folks can come and see the luminaries and visit relayforlife.orgwoodwv or the Relay for Life Wood County, Parkersburg Facebook page to donate.


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Statistics Canada to release June jobs report as pandemic restrictions ease

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is set this morning to give a snapshot of the job market as it was last month as pandemic-related restrictions eased and reopenings widened.

Economists expect the report will show a bump in employment as a result, further recouping some of the approximately three million jobs lost over March and April.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate for June is for employment to increase by 700,000 jobs and the unemployment rate to fall to 12.0 per cent.

The unemployment rate in May was a record-high 13.7 per cent, a far turn from the record low of 5.5 per cent recorded in January.

The Bank of Canada and federal government say the worst of the economic pain from the pandemic is behind the country, but Canada will face high unemployment and low growth until 2021.

The economic outlook released by the Liberal government Wednesday forecasted the unemployment rate to be 9.8 per cent for the calendar year, dropping to 7.8 per cent next year based on forecasts by 13 private sector economists.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press



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