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L.A. Area Emmy Awards: KCET Leads Networks With Six Wins

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L.a. Area Emmy Awards: Kcet Leads Networks With Six Wins

KCET won a leading six awards on Saturday night in a livestream ceremony to bestow the 2022 Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. ABC7 and NBC4 followed with five wins apiece at the show hosted by Spectrum News 1 journalist Giselle Fernández from the Television Academy Plaza in North Hollywood. The ceremony honored locally produced programs […]



Billionaire philanthropist MacKenize Scott benefits Junior Achievement, including $1.9M in Twin Cities

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Billionaire Philanthropist Mackenize Scott Benefits Junior Achievement, Including $1.9M In Twin Cities

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has showered another Twin Cities nonprofit with her largesse.

On Tuesday, Junior Achievement USA announced that Scott had donated $38.8 million to the job readiness organization and 26 of its 102 community chapters, including in the Twin Cities.

Junior Achievement North said that it would be receiving $1.9 million from the overall donation, the largest single gift in the organization’s 103-year history.

In a statement on its Facebook page, JA North said “we are grateful for philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s generosity … These funds will be used to equitably serve student and accelerate impact in our region.”

Junior Achievement says it is “the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.”

Visit for more information.

In May, Scott gave $6 million to Big Brother Big Sisters Twin Cities — the largest donation in the nonprofit organization’s 102-year history.

Scott contributed more than $48 million to six local nonprofits in March, including Planned Parenthood North Central States, which received an unexpected donation of $20 million, and St. Paul-based Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, which received $13.5 million.

Last year, St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre and Minneapolis’s Arts Midwest received major grants from Scott.

And a series of Twin Cities nonprofits such as the YWCA of St. Paul and Casa de Esperanza also received unsolicited grants in December 2020.

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Pomelo exits stealth mode with $20 million seed to rethink international money transfer – TechCrunch

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Pomelo Exits Stealth Mode With $20 Million Seed To Rethink International Money Transfer – Techcrunch

Eric Velasquez Frenkiel had a seemingly simple thought while visiting his family in the Philippines, impressed by the cashless economy that had formed. Instead of sending his family money once a year – an expensive and cumbersome affair – why can’t he just leave his credit card there?

As with many things in fintech, it wasn’t that simple. But the seed of the idea prompted the company’s former chief executive to turn his career into a bet on one of fintech’s most elusive problems.

Pomelo, Frenkiel’s new startup stealthily launching today, wants to make it easier to send remittances and international money transfers, with a touch of credit.

To realize this vision, Pomelo raised a $20 million funding round led by Keith Rabois at Founders Fund and Kevin Hartz at A*Capital, with participation from Afore Capital, Xfund, Josh Buckley and The Chainsmokers. The round also included a $50 million warehouse, which will allow Pomelo to give cash to people who want to make transfers.

Venture capitalists aren’t the only cohort taking an interest; more than 120,000 people joined Pomelo’s waiting list in six months, according to Frenkiel. (It’s important not to confuse this Pomelo with another Pomelo, a fintech-as-a-service platform for Latin America that raised $9 million in funding.) Oh, fintech.

Here’s how the startup works: If someone wants to send money abroad, they create a Pomelo account, which includes up to four credit cards. The account creator — let’s just assume they’re the one sending the money — can set limits, suspend cards, and see spending patterns.

Pomelo’s key setting is credit. Senders can give money, in the form of credit, to family members – which the startup says will facilitate instant access to funds, protection against fraud and chargebacks and, for potential immigrants who could use it to send money home, a way to boost their credit score with more transaction history.

Challenges still await any fintech, whether traditional or offbeat, that bets its business on supporting potentially at-risk individuals. For example, Pomelo doesn’t want to rely on credit scores to decide whether or not to trust a sender, as the metric historically excludes those without access to financial literacy or spending.

Picture credits: Pomelo

“If you have a credit score and you have enough credit history, you’ll get up to $1,000 a month,” Frenkiel said. “But if you don’t have credit or want to improve your credit, we give you a credit builder.” Customers are asked to provide a secure deposit, so there is a way to prove creditworthiness down the road, and Pomelo is able “to really balance the need to extend credit but also to ensure that we’re in business for the long term.”

International money transfer continues to be a costly affair for senders. Unsurprisingly, this pain point has led to a plethora of startups. Startups offer a sliding scale proposition, meaning it costs more to send more money, or a flat rate value proposition, with a $5 fee for all transfers, regardless of size . According to the World Bank, approximately 6% of a total check is removed via fees and exchange rate markups.

Rethinking remittances therefore sounds like common discourse. Frenkiel says Pomelo’s closest competitors are Xoom and Remitly, though he thinks they differ in two main ways: a focus on credit and a “fundamentally new revenue model.”

Pomelo does not make money from senders via transfer fees, but instead relies on interchange fees paid by merchants. “You shouldn’t have to pay to send money,” adds Frenkiel.

While interchange fees have their own set of problems as a business model, let’s end with some assurance: Visa and Mastercard were both interested in partnering with the startup, but the latter won the deal.

“Mastercard allows us to work in over 100 countries,” Frenkiel said. “Obviously we start with a few, but the idea is that there are far more end points to taking Mastercard or Visa than having a bank as a pre-requisite to send money…we hope that we will eventually be able to deliver a product wherever MasterCard is accepted around the world.”

The startup serves the Philippines, but soon plans to expand into Mexico and India as well as other geographies.


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Mets lose second straight to Braves and also lose another starting pitcher to injury

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Mets Lose Second Straight To Braves And Also Lose Another Starting Pitcher To Injury

ATLANTA — Charlie Morton is a very good pitcher, sometimes even a great one.

But when the 38-year-old Braves’ starter picked the Mets apart on Tuesday night, it seemed like there was something else plaguing the orange and blue besides Morton’s curveball.

As Atlanta sailed to a 5-0 win, the Mets lost another starting pitcher to injury. Taijuan Walker followed Carlos Carrasco’s two-inning exit on Monday with one of his own. It was a low-grade oblique strain for Carrasco, while the Mets are pinning Walker’s short night on back spasms.

“I tried to bend over, and when I tried to come back up, it just locked up on me,” Walker said of his back. “I’ve never had anything like this before. The training staff is not too concerned about it, so we’ll get an MRI and see how I feel in the morning.”

Showalter was asked if there’s any concern about Walker, whose injury doesn’t seem like something that will be debilitating.

“Sure there is,” he responded with a cocked eyebrow. “There always is when you have to take a pitcher out of the game. Of course there is. But he’s had similar things that resolved fairly quickly. I hope that’s the case.”

Tuesday night’s loss can also largely be pinned on those back spasms, which sent Buck Showalter scrambling to the anonymous part of his bullpen. R.J. Alvarez, called up from Triple-A a few hours before first pitch, had to take the first shift. The second batter he faced was Robbie Grossman, a deadline acquisition for Atlanta who, statistically speaking, is among the 20 worst hitters in the game this year (minimum 300 plate appearances).

Grossman’s 105 mile per hour, no-doubt dinger certainly didn’t look like it came from one of the worst hitters in the league.

That missile into right field put the Braves ahead by one, and some stellar defense from the Mets helped briefly limit the damage. Catcher Michael Perez fielded a wayward Alvarez pitch off the brick backstop and threw out Ronald Acuna Jr. trying to advance to second, and second baseman Jeff McNeil ended the inning with a super impressive running catch into shallow right.

Good defense can only take you so far, though, especially when Matt Olson connected for a two-run shot off Alvarez the next inning and the Mets’ hitters were zapped of their abilities. Morton looked like a much younger man on Tuesday. The right-hander who debuted before Obama was elected (the first time) struck out 12 Mets and only let four reach base.

Four of those K’s were courtesy of his sinister curveball, which he trusted on 48 of his 97 pitches. The ovation Morton received on his way out was well-deserved and his outing was reminiscent of the playoff performances that made him famous. Starling Marte, Pete Alonso, Daniel Vogelbach and Jeff McNeil each struck out twice against Morton.

“He just executed,” Francisco Lindor said about Morton. “He’s really good. When he executes, he’s even better. Hats off to him, and their whole pitching staff today, they did a good job.”

This Mets’ season full of peaks is currently stuck in one of its rare valleys. Injuries will do that to you, and two starting pitchers going down in less than 48 hours is definitely suboptimal, which may have taken a mental toll on the offense. Again, Morton was fantastic, but some of the swings from the Mets were uncharacteristic of the bunch that won 75 of its first 115 games.

“Nobody’s robotic,” Showalter said. “Sure, everything affects. Everybody is a human being, but we’ve also had things like that with injuries and different things all through the year. It’s part of the job description.”

“It’s part of adversity,” Lindor added.

Injuries played a role in the poor offense too, as the eight and nine hitters in the order were both in the Mets’ starting lineup for the first time. Deven Marrero, batting eighth, and Michael Perez, hitting ninth, were not part of the plan as recently as three days ago.

Stephen Nogosek, known more for his beautiful mustache than his pitching, took the ball after Alvarez and chewed through two innings. A slight silver lining for the Mets is the fact that they got through these first two games in Atlanta, both uncompetitive losses, without completely overworking their bullpen.

“Nogo was really good tonight,” Showalter said. “That was a real shot in the arm for us.”

Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino and Trevor May are all fresh for the final two games, when the Mets will try to salvage a split in this series. They also do not have an off day until next Wednesday, with the Phillies and Yankees in their path, so keeping as many relievers as fresh as possible until then will be a priority.

The Mets have been punched in the mouth for the last two nights. There’s no way around it. All of the players are human, and therefore not immune to the bad feelings that come with watching their teammates hit the trainer’s table.

Fortunately for them, just like they dreamt of during the cold, disorienting days of the MLB lockout, those games will be pitched by Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.


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RBNZ Governor Orr says he sees below-par growth but doesn’t foresee a recession

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Rbnz Governor Orr Says He Sees Below-Par Growth But Doesn'T Foresee A Recession

Earlier from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand:

  • RBNZ raises policy rate by 50 basis points as expected
  • The New Zealand dollar appreciates after the RBNZ raises its projections for the exchange rate ahead

more soon


  • in a strong position to control inflation

This article was written by Eamonn Sheridan at


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How Chicago Cubs lefty Justin Steele has kept hitters guessing by altering the movement on his fastball

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How Chicago Cubs Lefty Justin Steele Has Kept Hitters Guessing By Altering The Movement On His Fastball

Three weeks later, Chicago Cubs left-hander Justin Steele laughs at how close he came to making history.

The notable statistic highlighted the effectiveness of Steele’s four-seam fastball and his ability to suppress hitters from slugging against the pitch. It has been his strength the entire season, limiting barreled balls and turning him into a more efficient pitcher.

Steele’s fastball certainly has been on opposing teams’ scouting reports, but one element had largely gone under the radar leading into his July 22 start in Philadelphia.

Steele was on the verge of setting a pitch-tracking record, needing only 21 four-seam fastballs to throw the most without allowing a home run on the pitch. He was looking to surpass former San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell’s 807 fastballs in 2010.

Steele saw a tweet with the record-setting information before his start.

“Why did I just read that? Because I was like, it’s totally going to happen tonight,” Steele recalled Monday to the Tribune.

Steele’s thought proved prescient. Former Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber jumped on the first pitch Steele threw that night at Citizens Bank Park — a 90.8 mph four-seam fastball that Schwarber hit over the right-field wall. Homerless streak over.

The next day, Steele spoke to Schwarber, who told him he also had seen the tweet pregame.

“It’s just how things work,” a smiling Steele said. “I know if I wouldn’t have read that that day and not known anything, it wouldn’t have happened probably.”

Steele entered Tuesday’s start against the Washington Nationals with his four-seam fastball accounting for 57.2% of his pitches thrown. He relied on fewer fastballs than average in the 7-5, 11-inning win at Nationals Park but still produced a quality start, his seventh of the season.

Steele allowed one unearned run on six hits over six innings with two walks and five strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 3.43, the best among Cubs starters.

Pitching coach Tommy Hottovy joked that Steele’s fastball is consistently inconsistent. When Steele throws his four-seam fastball at a slightly lower velocity, it creates more cut, while a velocity increase produces ride and carry on the ball.

At times, the data will make it appear that Steele is throwing two different fastballs because of the movement profile. His ability to change the action on his fastball prevents hitters from trying to cheat on the pitch when they hunt for a fastball.

On days Steele pounds the pitch inside, he produces more ground balls. His swing-and-miss-heavy starts feature a fastball that has more ride and movement.

“When it gets on you, even at like 90-91 mph, and it’s a short arm stroke and it’s got late movement, it cuts, it rides,” Hottovy told the Tribune. “So it’s one of those pitches that not a lot of hitters see.

“Location matters for him. When he focuses up in the zone, it’s going to have more carry, and when he focuses down, especially down and in to righties, it’s going to have more cut. That’s the way his body moves.”

Steele has relied predominantly on a two-pitch mix with his fastball and slider — combining to throw them for 87.4% of his pitches — and the lefty knows he needs a reliable third pitch.

That Steele has found consistent success without a third pitch indicates how effectively his fastball-slider combination and pitch movement work in the big leagues. He has worked to maintain consistent mechanics. Sometimes he develops a habit of his body getting in front of his legs, causing his arm to drag and try to catch up to the rest of his delivery, which can affect his command.

“I’ve had so much success with it this year because it has that cutting action and it’s not like a typical fastball,” Steele said. “Most guys when they throw a fastball, it’s going to go and it’s going to start running. I’m on the side of it and just continues to go inside to righties the entire time, which is why it’s not a fastball that you’re used to seeing.

“A big part this year is staying over my backside and having consistency in my delivery, and I would say the byproduct is I’ve been a lot more consistent around the zone.”

Steele sees his changeup, which he has used only 1.6% (29 pitches) this year, as a secondary pitch he can elevate into a usable third option, especially when he wants to throw something moving away from right-handed hitters. He wants to get the point where he is confident in all five of his pitches and comfortable using them in any count.

“The evolution of pitchers is you’re young, you’ve probably got a couple of pitches that play in the zone,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “As you become more established, more of a veteran, you continue to add pitches and sequencing and locations to your repertoire.

“I’m really happy where he’s at. He’s doing a really nice job. I love that he wants to get better. I love that mentality.”

It all comes back to his unique fastball, though. Generating two pitch movements off his fastball gives Steele multiple ways to use one pitch. The next step is learning how to fully harness the natural cut, which remains an ongoing process.

“Instead of just throwing it,” Steele said, “I’m starting to pitch with it.”


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”Chamar’ used as an insult for my father, a deputy prime minister”: ex-president Meira Kumar

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''Chamar' Used As An Insult For My Father, A Deputy Prime Minister'': Ex-President Meira Kumar

New Delhi:

Meira Kumar, former minister, Lok Sabha chairperson and presidential candidate, reacted with a visceral tweet on Tuesday to the death of a 9-year-old child in Rajasthan. The boy was badly beaten by his teacher for drinking water from a pot intended for the so-called upper castes. Her father, former Deputy Prime Minister and Dalit leader Babu Jagjivan Ram, Meira Kumar said, was beaten for a similar reason a hundred years ago. “Now, 75 years after independence, India has not changed. Nothing has changed,” she told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

“I asked my father. ‘Why did you fight for freedom? This country did nothing for you. It gave nothing to you or your ancestors.’ He said: ‘L “Free India will change. Glad he’s not here now,” Meira Kumar said.

Things haven’t changed for her either, the 77-year-old added. In her case, there were “sarcastic remarks, gestures, open statements made to me,” Meira Kumar said.

Telling an anecdote to show how the caste system has traveled beyond India’s borders, she said that when she was looking for a house to rent in London, the landlord, who was a Christian, asked questions on his caste.

“I liked the house and said I would change. When he was leaving, he threw out one last question. ‘Are you a Brahmin?’ I said “No, I am not a Brahmin. I am a scheduled caste. Do you have a problem?” He said “no”. But he didn’t give me the house,” she added.

“It is assumed that Dalits are stupid. But Dalits have feelings, intellect. We know when we are humiliated,” she said.

“My father achieved so much but even today he is called a Dalit leader. He achieved so much but was still defined by his caste… My father was Deputy Prime Minister and he was humiliated and we asked him to leave and many caste slurs were said,” she said.

From her father’s life, she shared another example. When Babu Jagjivan Ram, as Deputy Prime Minister in 1978, went to unveil the Sampurnanand statue, he was humbled.

“Jagjivan, chamar, go away,” they said. And they washed the statue with Ganga Jal. Because it was polluted. So you see, the caste system embraces everyone,” she said.

When asked why casteism was so entrenched and if it was possible to get out of it, she replied that there must be political and social will.

“I asked my father why the caste system is not changing. He said, if your basic needs are met, roti, kapda, makan (food, clothing and shelter), money for health care , then you need two things – love and respect. You can get love. It’s easy. But it’s hard to get respect. It’s hard work.

Today, there are so many examples of change in various fields. “But where is the human factor? There is so much poison, hatred, violence in people’s minds. Everyone pities the Dalits, I have an objection to that,” she said. .

The political class, she said, is responsible for voting by caste. “But putting the burden only on the political class and the political system would be to lose the problem. You are not addressing the main question of how to get rid of the caste system. That’s why I don’t want to discuss party governs what a state. These are just statistics,” she said.


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