Wall Street’s Humans Notch a Win Against the Computers – By  Telis Demos Updated Feb. 24, 2017 6:14 a.m. ET


Traders of corporate loans have shaved more than 20% off the average time it takes to settle trades

Trading in corporate loans involves millions of emails annually between buyers, sellers and borrowers.

Trading in corporate loans involves millions of emails annually between buyers, sellers and borrowers. Photo: bryan r. smith/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

As the bot armies gobble up jobs across Wall Street, humans occasionally fight the technological onslaught. Sometimes they even win.

Over the past six months, traders of corporate loans—one of Wall Street’s most manual businesses—have shaved more than 20% off the average time it takes to settle trades. This occurred without a major technological disruption to the business.

For the loan market and investors, though, the victory may be pyrrhic. The improvement hasn’t gotten settlement times as low as they theoretically could be. Instead, it was just enough of a gain to beat back the promise of an emerging technology.

Trading in corporate loans involves millions of emails annually between buyers, sellers and borrowers. It sometimes takes weeks for a loan to move from seller to buyer. Around 1,800 people work on the process industrywide, Goldman Sachs analysts estimate.

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White House Spokesman Predicts More Federal Action Against Marijuana – NATHAN ROTT February 23, 2017 10:29 PM ET


A demonstrator at a marijuana legalization rally in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day 2017. Theo Wargo/Getty Images

A demonstrator at a marijuana legalization rally in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day 2017.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

A demonstrator at a marijuana legalization rally in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day 2017.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The Justice Department may step up enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have voted to legalize its recreational use, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

“I do believe think you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Spicer said, during his daily press briefing. He added that the Department of Justice will be looking into the issue further.

Spicer’s comments offer an indication of how the Trump administration may approach the nation’s fast-growing cannabis industry. New Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been less direct when asked about marijuana, saying during his confirmation hearings that he would “review and evaluate” existing policies.

Roughly 1 in 5 Americans now live in a state where non-medical marijuana is legal for adults and that number may be growing. Lawmakers in Maryland have recently proposed bills allowing recreational use. Medical use of cannabis is allowed in 28 states and the District of Columbia.

Spicer differentiated between medical and recreational use of the plant, saying Trump “understands the pain and suffering that many people go through who are facing especially terminal diseases and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana can bring them.”

 

 

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Obama Private Prisons Order Rescinded By Attorney General Jeff Sessions : The Two-Way : NPR


An unmarked police truck patrols the outside of a detention center run by CoreCivic in Eloy, Ariz., on Jan. 20, 2016. Ricardo Arduengo/AP

An unmarked police truck patrols the outside of a detention center run by CoreCivic in Eloy, Ariz., on Jan. 20, 2016.
Ricardo Arduengo/AP

NPR delivers breaking national and world news. Also top stories from business, politics, health, science, technology, music, arts and culture. Subscribe to podcasts and RSS feeds.

Source: Obama Private Prisons Order Rescinded By Attorney General Jeff Sessions : The Two-Way : NPR

Welcome to the Jazzless Age: Change in New York Times coverage spells trouble for a scene – Max Cea THURSDAY, FEB 23, 2017 03:59 PM PST


What changes in music coverage at The New York Times mean for jazz

Welcome to the Jazzless Age: Change in New York Times coverage spells trouble for a scene

Given the typical adversarial rendering of critics by artists — pedantic, sadistic and envious of their victims — you might expect two New York Times music critics leaving the paper in the span of six months to be cause for celebration among the musicians they covered. But when Nate Chinen left his post as a New York Times contributing jazz and pop critic in January, just half a year after former fellow jazz and pop critic Ben Ratliff left the paper, the jazz community did not rejoice. It grew worried.

For two decades, some combination of Ratliff, who was hired in 1996, and Chinen, who began writing for the paper in 2005, had provided much of the paper’s jazz coverage. Starting last year the Times’ coverage began to look different. In June the paper began employing fewer reviews of shows and records. And by December, the number of once ample weekly New York jazz listings were condensed to the single digits and lumped in with the paper’s pop and rock listings. (The editorial changes were not the reason Ratliff and Chinen left, but they contributed to their respective decisions.)

The combination of the departures and the change in coverage signaled an emerging vacuum and raised a fundamental question: Had the Times relegated jazz coverage in the interest of reallocating resources to subjects that attract more web traffic?

Fearing as much, Fully Altered Media’s Matt Merewitz spearheaded a letter-writing campaign in December, aimed at salvaging the paper’s commitment to jazz coverage. There was a lot of initial enthusiasm for the cause. And a handful of people wrote letters, including SFJAZZ founder Randall Kline, trumpet player Amir ElSaffar and composers Darcy James Argue and Joel Harrison. But the campaign was ultimately not as successful as Merewitz would have liked; in his opinion, it fizzled due to the multitude of other letter-writing campaigns.

Though the letters were few in number, the sentiment they expressed was prevalent within the jazz world. In January my friend the trumpet player Steven Bernstein, who is the band leader for Sex Mob as well Butler, Bernstein & the Hot 9, called me and said this about the changes: “For someone like me who relied on this stuff, this is horrible because I used to get reviews and previews from the Times, which would lead people who weren’t just jazz fans to come to my gigs.”

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2020 race lures sprawling Democratic field – By Gabriel Debenedetti 02/24/17 05:11 AM EST


With repeated trips to Iowa, 2016 candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is another possibility for Democrats in 2020. | AP Photo

With repeated trips to Iowa, 2016 candidate and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is another possibility for Democrats in 2020. | AP Photo

An extraordinary alignment of ambition, opportunity and timing is raising the prospect that the Democratic Party in 2020 could have its biggest presidential field in a generation.

A sprawling roster of potential primary candidates is already surveying the political climate and reaching out to campaign consultants in stealthy meetings and calls, according to roughly a half-dozen party operatives familiar with the initial conversations.

At least a dozen senators are widely thought to be in the mix — including Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey’s Cory Booker, California’s Kamala Harris, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, Oregon’s Jeff Merkley, New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, Connecticut’s Chris Murphy, and both Minnesotans, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. But the depleted bench of Democratic governors is also stocked with possible White House hopefuls, expanding the list of credible presidential prospects to as many as two dozen.

“You say there are 7,000 Democrats who think they’re going to be president? Well 3,500 of them have a good shot at it,” said Democratic strategist Erik Smith, a veteran of multiple presidential campaigns, including Barack Obama’s. “There are so many candidates who have held back over the last 10 years. A lot of them didn’t get into the race because Hillary Clinton was running in 2007, and then a lot stayed out in 2016 because she ran again, so you have a whole generation that’s been waiting in the wings for years. Those calls are definitely happening.”

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South Side Triage Training: VICE News Tonight on HBO (Full Segment) – Published on Feb 21, 2017


In 2016, there were more than 760 homicides in Chicago, the highest figure the city had seen in 30 years. Chicago has four level one adult trauma centers, but not one of them is within 30 minutes of the city’s south side, where most of the murders occur. In an emergency, that distance could mean the difference between life and death.

After a decades-long battle, a trauma center is scheduled to open at the University of Chicago next year. Until then, some south side residents are trying to address the problem themselves.

Watch: “What went through the mind of a young black activist when the Chicago Police Department asked him to join the force” – http://bit.ly/2l4PWFb