On Philanthropy: U.N.’s development goals are a roadmap for powerful donor impact

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and established a set of 17 sustainable development goals. Let’s put these new goals into a good news/bad news context. Bruce DeBoskey Between 2000 and 2015, the world made enormous progress on some of its most pressing problems. For example: The global mortality rate for children under age five declined by more than half — from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births to 43 deaths. The number of people living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.90 per day) declined by more than half — from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 836 million in 2015. The number of… Read More

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Walmart’s big gamble on India

Walmart has opened a new front in the war for e-commerce supremacy. But the battle won’t happen here in the States. It will happen in India. On Wednesday, the retail giant inked a $16 billion deal to buy a 77 percent stake in Flipkart, India’s premiere online retail startup. And it’s a move directly aimed at Amazon. Walmart is still America’s dominant brick-and-mortar retailer (there’s a Walmart within 10 miles of 90 percent of the United States population). But most everyone agrees that internet sales are the future. And there, Amazon is still king, ruling over 40 percent of e-commerce market share. Walmart only has a bit over 3 percent… Read More

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AT&T apparently paid Michael Cohen $600,000 to help advise on its Time Warner merger, telecom policy

Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, was wrong: AT&T did not pay Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for President Trump, $200,000 last year, as Avenatti said on Tuesday; the company paid Cohen $600,000, or $50,000 a month, for, among other things, “specific long-term planning initiatives as well as the immediate issue of corporate tax reform and the acquisition of Time Warner,” according to a “scope of work” contract obtained by The Washington Post. AT&T is trying to complete an $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, and Trump had vowed to block the deal during the campaign; the Justice Department filed suit to thwart the merger in November. AT&T is one of… Read More

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Interest rates on federal student loans set to rise for the second year in a row

College students will pay more to borrow money from the federal government this fall as student loan interest rates are set to rise for the second year in a row. Interest rates on federal student loans will climb by more than half a percentage point as a result of the Treasury Department’s auction of 10-year notes Wednesday. The federal government resets rates on student loans every year based on the spring rate of the note, plus a fixed margin. New rates will take effect July 1. Undergraduate students can expect to pay 5.04 percent in interest on new Stafford loans instead of the current 4.45 percent. Graduate students will see… Read More

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What’s that smell? California flower town’s shift to pot creates stink

CARPINTERIA, Calif. — This picturesque coastal town cradled by mountains and sandy shores is a scene out of a Southern California postcard. Residents of Carpinteria say they feel lucky to live in what they consider a slice of paradise. But change is in the air. And sometimes, they say, it stinks. That’s because marijuana has become a new crop of choice in the farmlands surrounding this tight-knit community of 14,000, which has long helped fuel the U.S. cut flower industry. Residents say a thick, skunk-like odor from the marijuana plants settles over the valley in the evenings and before dawn. To keep out the stench, they have tried stuffing pillows… Read More

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Cancer docs feel unprepared, but recommend marijuana anyway

SEATTLE — Nearly half of U.S. cancer doctors who responded to a survey say they’ve recently recommended medical marijuana to patients, although most say they don’t know enough about medicinal use. The results reflect how marijuana policy in some states has outpaced research, the study authors said. All 29 states with medical marijuana programs allow doctors to recommend it to cancer patients. But no rigorous studies in cancer patients exist. That leaves doctors to make assumptions from other research on similar prescription drugs, or in other types of patients. “The big takeaway is we need more research, plain and simple,” said Dr. Ilana Braun of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston,… Read More

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