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Centene CEO calls for better education for at-risk youth as one solution to racial disparities

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Centene CEO Michael Neidorff in a CNBC interview Friday suggested that providing better education to at-risk youth is one solution to address the racial disparities that underscore the ongoing protests in America.

When asked by Jim Cramer, the host of “Mad Money,” how corporations could offer money and jobs to address racial inequity in the country, Neidorff said that Centene has donated toward grade schools in efforts to boost learning opportunities in low-income areas.

“One of the things we have to do to correct this is improve the educational system in the inner city,” he said, adding that if “we can do that, you can start turning people’s lives around.”

The comments come two weeks after the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black father, in the custody of police on a Minneapolis street in late May. The incident, along with the recent shootings of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, has sparked ongoing protests both domestically and abroad against social injustices and economic oppression in Black communities.

The protests have also raised questions about economic access for Black people and minorities as a whole, including diversity in corporate America and leadership. Neidorff said the majority of the workforce at Centene, a provider of both public and private health insurance, is made up of people of color, a catch-all phrase for minority populations.

Centene employs 56,600 people, according to Factset.

“It’s something I feel good about,” he said. “I think it can be done.”

Neidorff touted how Centene responded to public outrage that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old Black man who was killed during an encounter with police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. The killing also sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the country, reintroducing the issue of police violence to mainstream dialogue.

Centene, which is headquartered in the neighboring city of St. Louis, decided to build a $25 million service center, creating 200 jobs, in Ferguson. It opened in 2016.

“Up until this last time, we saw property values starting to increase. If you drive through Ferguson now, people are showing pride and taking care of it,” Neidorff said to Cramer of the progress he has witnessed in the city.

“I feel successful only when I see other people being successful, and the people in Ferguson are becoming successful.”

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/12/centene-ceo-we-must-improve-the-educational-system-for-at-risk-youth.html

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Apple’s AirPods Max fall to a new all-time low of $489 at Amazon

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All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

With good looks, quality construction and great natural sound, Apple’s AirPods Max headphones tick all the right boxes, but they’re mighty expensive at $550. However, you can now pick up a pair from Amazon at $490, the lowest price we’ve seen yet. That’s still not inexpensive by any means, but it’s a substantial savings on high-end headphones that only came out seven months ago. 

Buy Apple AirPods Max (pink) at Amazon – $490 Buy Apple AirPods Max (sky blue) at Amazon – $489 Buy Apple AirPods Max (space gray) at Amazon – $489

With an Engadget review score of 84, the AirPods Max earned a spot in our list of the best headphones you can buy. They look and feel great thanks to the aluminum and metal design, breathable mesh fabric and large earcups. A rotating crown and dedicated button let you switch between ANC and and regular modes, and it’s easy to switch seamlessly between iPhones, Macs and iPads. They offer hands-free capability with Siri, and you can go for up to 20 hours between charges with both ANC and spatial sound enabled.  

AirPods Max offer a more natural sound experience than other headphones, with bass that’s not overcooked. Active noise cancellation quality is right up there, though not quite on par with Sony’s WH-1000XM4 ANC headphones. And they support Apple’s Dolby Atmos-powered spatial audio on iPhones, iPads and Macs right now, and will come to Apple TV this fall. The main drawback is that they won’t stream Apple’s new lossless audio. 

Still, they deliver in nearly every other area and are especially useful for folks with Apple devices. $60 is a substantial discount for an Apple product this new, so if you’re interested, it would be best to act soon. 

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/apple-airpods-max-good-deal-amazon-124026253.html?src=rss_b2c

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New York City will get its first curbside EV chargers in October

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Spurred by its environmental goals, New York City is reportedly looking to address its lack of EV charging infrastructure by launching its first curbside charging stations by October. According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the Department of Transportation (DOT) will install 100 level-2 charging ports for public use and 20 for the city’s fleet, which provide an 80 percent charge in four to eight hours. They’ll reportedly cost $2.50 per hour during the day and $1 per hour overnight 

The extra 120 ports mark an approximate 8 percent increase on top of the current number of chargers spread across the city. These include 1,400 level-2 charging plugs and 117 fast-charging plugs, which offer an 80 percent charge in 30 minutes to an hour. The problem is that most of the ports are located inside parking garages, according to the WSJ

More broadly, there are simply not enough chargers to meet growing demand. The DOT told the publication that 15,000 EVs are registered in the city, with an increase of 50 percent in the past year alone. NYC is aiming for 20 percent of new vehicle registrations to be EVs by 2025. Of course, the easier it is to find a charger, the more EV uptake will continue to rise. Which in turn should feed into the city’s goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. In keeping with its green targets, the DOT also launched its first electric scooter sharing pilot in the Bronx earlier this year.

Private companies that have tried to fill the void, however, have been met with contention over some of their EV expansion plans. In February, electric scooter company Revel said that it would build the first in a network of EV fast chargers in Bedford–Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. But, it recently suffered a setback to its all-Tesla ride-hailing service after NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to halt new electric taxi licenses

The first of the city’s new charging stations has been installed in the Norwood section of the Bronx. The original plan was to launch the ports last year, but the pandemic held up the rollout. As the WSJ notes, the DOT has picked FLO — the charging network operator that’s also part of GM’s multi-charging system for customers, known as Ultium Charge 360 — to manage the network under contract with Consolidated Edison Inc. The latter told WSJ that it’s planning to invest in more than 21,000 level-2 chargers and more than 525 fast chargers, the majority of which will be located in NYC.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/new-york-city-curbside-ev-chargers-114526606.html?src=rss_b2c

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Norway’s Statkraft lined up to provide green hydrogen for 88-meter long, zero-emission ship

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Casper Hedberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Energy firm Statkraft and its subsidiary Skagerak Energi have been awarded a contract to supply so-called green hydrogen to an 88-meter long, zero-emission ship planned to run between locations in Norway.

In a statement Wednesday, Statkraft — which is owned by the Norwegian state — claimed the vessel was the “world’s first hydrogen-powered cargo ship.” 

The contract was awarded by cement giant HeidelbergCement and Felleskjøpet, an agricultural cooperative. The two organizations are working with one another to develop the project.

The idea is for the ship — which will also have two rotor sails — to take grain from the east of Norway to the west of the country, carrying gravel back on the return journey. According to Norwegian Ship Design, a firm involved in the concept’s development, it could commence operations in 2024.

Those behind the initiative planned for Norway may describe it as a world first, but the field they operate in is becoming an increasingly crowded one.

In April, Flagships, a project that’s received funding from Horizon 2020, a research and innovation program from the EU, said it would “deploy the world’s first commercial cargo transport vessel operating on hydrogen.”

The inland cargo vessel will travel on the River Seine, in France, and commercial operations are expected to start this year.

While the project involving Statkraft is still a few years off from being fully realized, hydrogen ships have already been developed and put into use. Back in 2008, for example, a fuel cell ship capable of carrying passengers entered into service on a lake in Hamburg, Germany.

More recently, a number of projects focused on the development of hydrogen-powered maritime transportation have taken shape. Earlier this month, plans to build a sea-going ferry powered using hydrogen-fuel cells advanced after it was announced that a commercial contract for the development of a concept design had been awarded.

In March of this year Linde, a firm specializing in engineering and industrial gases, said it had been chosen by Norwegian firm Norled to provide liquid hydrogen and associated infrastructure for a hydrogen-powered ferry. The MF Hydra, as it’s known, will be able to carry both passengers and cars.

Read more about clean energy from CNBC Pro

Described by the International Energy Agency as a “versatile energy carrier,” hydrogen has a diverse range of applications and can be deployed in sectors such as industry and transport.

It can be produced in a number of ways. One method includes using electrolysis, with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. If the electricity used in the process comes from a renewable source, such as wind or solar, then some call it green or renewable hydrogen.

Currently, the vast majority of hydrogen generation is based on fossil fuels, and green hydrogen is expensive to produce.

Efforts are being made to drive costs down, however. The U.S. Department of Energy recently launched its Energy Earthshots Initiative and said the first of these would focus on cutting the cost of “clean” hydrogen to $1 per kilogram (2.2 lbs) in a decade.

According to the DOE, hydrogen from renewables is priced at around $5 a kilogram today. “Clean hydrogen is a game-changer,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said at the time, adding that it would help to “decarbonize high-polluting heavy-duty and industrial sectors.”

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/24/statkraft-lined-up-to-provide-green-hydrogen-for-zero-emission-ship.html

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Google expands its News Showcase program to Canada

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Google has signed agreements with eight publishers in Canada for its News Showcase program, including major publishers like The Globe and Mail. The deal will allow Google to license content and pay news organizations for high-quality journalism and curation of stories, as it has done in France, the UK and other countries. Users in turn will be able to access certain paywalled stories for free. 

The publishers signing on to the agreement are Black Press Media, Glacier Media, The Globe and Mail, Métro Média, Narcity Media, SaltWire Network, Village Media and Winnipeg Free Press. All told, they represent over 70 national, regional and community news groups in both French and English. So far, Google has signed up nearly 800 news publications worldwide.  

Google also said that it would expand its investment in Canadian journalism via the Google News Initiative, offering digital programs for small and medium-sized news organizations. It aims to train 5,000 Canadian journalists and journalism students over the next three years, a five-fold increase over the current number. “I am pleased to see that Google will also be assisting the small, independent newspapers and websites adapt to an increasing digital world,” said Black Press Media CEO Rick O’Connor. 

Google’s News Showcase initiatives have come after numerous battles with news organizations in the UK, France and elsewhere over payments for the use of “snippets” and other types of news content. At one point, Google threatened to disable search in Australia if it was forced to pay for news. However, it later relented and agreed to pay Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for its content. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/google-expands-its-paid-news-showcase-program-to-canada-103941515.html?src=rss_b2c

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