By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) - T-Mobile US Inc said on Thursday it was working with Apple Inc to offer a mobile phone plan that will include subsidized iPhones and a suite of paid services from Apple aimed at small-business owners.
The deal will help Apple with distribution of Business Essentials, a paid service it started last year for businesses with small or non-existent IT departments who still need to manage fleets of iPhones and other Apple devices for their workers. The Apple service, which ranges between $2.99 and $12.99 per month per employee, lets a businesses install and update apps and provide cloud storage to employees.
Under the new T-Mobile plan, which the carrier said is available immediately, T-Mobile will cover the cost of an iPhone 13 for each of a business's employees and will bundle Business Essentials together with T-Mobile's wireless service. The cost may be as low as $50 per month when a company has six lines or more on the plan.
T-Mobile said the plan also includes Wi-Fi coverage on flights from American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines, with United Airlines coming later this year.
"We built a plan around Apple Business Essentials that gives small businesses everything that they're going to need to keep their employees connected," Callie Field, president of T-Mobile's business group, said in an interview.
The T-Mobile plan also includes AppleCare+, Apple's insurance program that covers repairs or replacement for damaged devices.
T-Mobile is handling all customer billing under the new deal, and the two companies declined say how much of the $50 monthly fee T-Mobile will pass on to Apple.
Susan Prescott, Apple's vice president of enterprise product marketing, told Reuters the iPhone maker's goal was to offer a business plan that would streamline the process of buying and setting up devices.
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Richard Pullin)
Heinz says new stadium deal was "significantly more than we could justify"
After 21 years and more than $57 million dollars, the Pittsburgh Steelers will no longer be playing in Heinz Stadium.
Acrisure, a privately-held insurance company, signed a 15-year deal for the naming rights of the NFL team’s stadium in Pennsylvania. The firm declined to give financial terms, but a spokesman for Kraft Heinz Company said it was too rich for the ketchup-maker.
“For 2022, while we worked diligently with the Steelers for several months around a new naming rights deal, they found a new partner willing to pay significantly more than we could justify,” Alex Abraham, a Kraft Heinz representative, said in an email.
It’s the latest in a series of stadium renaming deals. Last year, Crypto.com took over the naming rights for the Los Angeles Lakers’ stadium in a deal reported to be worth more than $700 million over the span of 20 years, while cryptocurrency exchange FTX inked a 10-year, $17.5 million deal to rebrand the Cal Golden Bears football field. In 2019, Oracle bought the naming rights to the San Francisco Giants’ stadium for more than $200 million in a 20-year deal.
Kraft Heinz has deep roots in Pittsburgh — H.J. Heinz was born and launched his brand there, and it remains the co-headquarters of the modern company. Acrisure has no such connection. While co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Greg Williams is a “lifelong Steelers fan,” according to the press release, the insurance company is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For Acrisure, renaming the stadium is an opportunity to raise the company’s national profile.
“Through Acrisure Stadium, we will increase awareness of the extraordinary advantage Acrisure brings our clients while conveying our strong sense of community,” Williams said in the release.
Citi Global Chief Economist Nathan Sheets speaks with Yahoo Finance Live about inflation, global recession risks, central bank policies, and more.
- Interesting note from you and your team this morning-- the headline was "Global Recession, A Clear and Present Danger." So how much of a risk do you see that we do go into some form of synchronized global recession?
NATHAN SHEETS: Well, I would say that the accurate economic data have been central banks' worst nightmare. But, on the one hand, I'd say there's very clear evidence of a slowing in global demand. And, on the other hand, there's also clear evidence that inflation pressures are persisting.
And you kind of put that together, it's really hard for central banks to fight that. And I'm cautious to use the word. But it feels at the moment that we're going through a period. I expect it to be a transition, but transitionary stagflation.
Now, specifically in response to your question about a synchronized global downturn, right now, we have a recession penciled in for Europe at the end of this year and early next year and then a recession in the United States during the second half of 2023. Given the data we're seeing and the vigor with which central banks are attacking inflation, I think there is a reasonable chance-- and we apprise that it's roughly 50%-- that globally, we all go down together, and it's a synchronized downturn.
- Nathan, I said a moment ago there are some concerns that we continue to sort of talk ourselves into a recession, so to speak. Do you think that that is what's happening, or do you think that there is real resi-- you know, on the one hand, consumer spending, even if you-- I was surprised, for example, to see the numbers from June to show a tick up, even a very small one, in real consumer spending.
Consumer spending still seems to be OK, particularly on services. So is-- what-- I guess it's just difficult to get to the bottom of what is going on here.
NATHAN SHEETS: It is. There are a lot of competing dynamics at the moment. And as you say, I think that there is some substitution going on in the consumer sector. And over the last couple of years, we've spent a lot of money on goods, specifically discretionary goods. And I think we're at a place where people are now substituting back towards services.
And that, along with the ongoing strength of the labor market and wages, which we saw this morning as well, is supporting the consumer. But, at the same time, this high inflation of, particularly for essentials, is reducing real incomes and destroying demand. And I think that is the worrisome process and the pernicious process that's weighing on the economy.
Now, in addition, as you say, sentiment matters. And as we read the newspaper and the stories are emphasizing the weakness in the economy, rather than some of these ongoing persistent signs of strength, is that having an impact on the way consumers see things? I think the answer is yes. But there are also fundamental factors at work, and specifically, this high inflation that's cutting into real incomes and weighing on the consumer's outlook.
- OK. So, Nathan, you basically answered my question with regard to how necessities and how much more those costs right now, how much that's actually changing where consumers can spend on other products or even services. But then, I guess, the other question, as a follow-up to that, is, how long will there be a dampener on some of the margins that companies right now are reporting?
NATHAN SHEETS: Yeah. I mean, in my mind, very clearly, consumers have no choice. Given the surging prices, they've got to spend more on necessities. They have limited price elasticity there. So that's consuming a larger share of their budgets.
They want to spend more on services because many families haven't gone on vacations or spent on other kinds of services over the last couple of years. And that's the reality-- more on necessities, choosing to spend more on services. And it's this consumer discretionary sector that's really getting hit at the moment.
In terms of margins, I think that's a really interesting dynamic. Until recently, I think firms were generally able to pass through the costs to the consumer. But what we're starting to see is the consumer saying, whoa, there's a limit to how far we can go with this. And the consumer is starting to pull back, substitute into cheaper kinds of alternatives, and find other ways to limit expenditures given the reality of these rising prices.
- Nathan, Elizabeth Warren has been making the rounds this week, saying that the Fed risks putting the US economy-- or creating a devastating recession. Those are her words. Do you see that happening?
NATHAN SHEETS: I think the Fed is behind the eight ball on this one where, if they don't act aggressively, the economy is gonna be plagued by high inflation. And at the end of the day, if a central bank cannot deliver price stability, it's not gonna be able to deliver its other objectives. So the Fed's got to proceed and go after the high inflation that we're seeing.
And as it does so, are there recession risks? Absolutely. Jay Powell alludes to them in his press conference and in his communication. He doesn't want to be too graphic about it, but absolutely, there are recession risks.
There's a case that this recession will not be devastating or severe. And in fact, that would be my expectation, that many of the vulnerabilities that tend to amplify the severity of recessions are not in place.
But, nevertheless, we don't know how much contraction in activity, how much slowing in the economy ultimately may be necessary to get this inflation and this inflation pressure that we're feeling out of the system. And there is a risk that it could be a more severe downturn. But I really think that the Fed has no choice other than to continue to hike rates to fight inflation.
- Nathan, I want to just ask quickly about another area of inflation that has gotten less attention-- not the CPI stuff, but wages, right? Because this has been a period where we have seen power to employees like we have not seen in decades, in terms of not just rising wages but union efforts, for example, people sort of dictating whether they want to be in the office or not and how they're working. How quickly do you think we could see a deterioration in that wage growth and that power that we've seen in employee hands?
NATHAN SHEETS: Right now, the labor market remains very tight. And I think it reflects the fact that there are some workers that have left the labor force as a result of COVID and other factors. And it's not clear what it's gonna take to get them back.
And at the same time, I think firms have learned the labor is valuable. And they are demanding labor more vigorously than we might have thought, given where the economy is otherwise. And you kind of put that together, and that is a tight labor market with upward pressure on wages.
Now, when does that process start to soften? When does it start to diminish? I think, ultimately, it depends back on spending and the strength of the consumer.
If the consumer is willing to continue to draw down savings buffers and so forth, I think that supports the economy and gives firms scope to continue to keep hiring. But this relationship between the labor market and consumption-- and they kind of drive each other. Right now, that's the nexus is particularly services consumption that's critical that's driving the economy.
And if we're gonna somehow skate through this without a recession, we're gonna have to see a relatively robust labor market and the consumer continuing to spend, maybe drawing down, as I said, some of those savings buffers and other financial resources that were accumulated during the pandemic.
- Nathan Sheets, Citi global chief economist, always good to get some time with you. Have a great weekend.
SINGAPORE — Torches Finance, the decentralized lending protocol, announces the official launch of TOP (Torches Point token) Mining. By participating in the “Supply & Borrow”, users will be able to obtain the TOP rewards, which can be exchanged for TOR (Torches token) with a certain coefficient before the TOR launching.
Built on the KuCoin Community Chain (KCC), Torches grew to the top lending protocol with its total market size over $3 million. Starting from July 15 at 10:00 (UTC), Torches allows users to get TOP rewards for supplying or borrowing crypto assets available on the platform. In addition, Torches will open “Burning & Boosting Periods” from July 18 and users can boost the mining rate up to 900% by burning Torchlight (the Genesis NFT collection of Torches Finance) within the specified time. Different rarities Torchlight have different Torches Point (TOP) mining boosting buffs. Currently, Torchlight can be traded on the MojitoSwap NFT Marketplace.
With its rapid growth, Torches achieved one significant milestone after another. On July 8, Torches announced a strategic investment by KuCoin Ventures, the leading investment arm of global crypto exchange KuCoin. And then it developed a strategic partnership with KuCoin Wallet on July 9. Torches, the top lending protocol deeply incubated by KCC, will receive multiple resources from KCC, including products, market, liquidity support, etc,. As the infrastructure of KCC, Torches is expected to further cooperate with KCC in the future to Excellerate users’ asset utilization and enrich the on-chain DeFi ecosystem.
Eric Spark, CMO of Torches said, “We are honored to have received the support of KuCoin Ventures and KCC in the early stages. As the infrastructure of KCC, Torches is committed to being the most convenient and popular lending protocol on KCC and even in the whole decentralized world. In addition to exploring technology and products, we also hope to bring users a better on-chain experience through various activities. TOP Mining is not only an incentive for Torches’ liquidity providers in the early stages, and it also allows more users to enjoy the seamless crypto lending experience that Torches offers. By improving users’ asset utilization and enriching their crypto investment options, Torche will open the door of a decentralized world for more users and accelerate the development of the KCC ecosystem.”
Currently, the smart contract on Torches has been audited by PeckShield and both parties have made multiple optimisations on smart contract permissions, oracle mechanism, and operation logic. With the release of a series of operational activities such as TOP Mining, Torches will significantly increase its market exposure and share, expected to become the first phenomenal DeFi project on KCC.
About Torches Finance
Torches Finance is a decentralized lending protocol based on KCC, supporting mainstream crypto assets such as BTC, ETH, KCS, USDT, USDC, etc. Users can earn TOR tokens by both depositing and lending assets on Torches Finance.
Visit Torches Finance: https://www.torches.finance/en
KCC is a public chain project initiated and built by the developer community of KCS and KuCoin, aiming to solve the network latency and high gas fees of Ethereum. KCC is Ethereum-based and compatible with EVM and smart contracts to provide community users and developers with a higher-speed, more convenient, and lower-cost blockchain experience.
Visit https://www.kcc.io/ to learn more.
Q: How can I trim my Verawood? It’s about 2 years old and just started flowering, but the branches are too low.
– Bonny, Florida
A. As the rains and hurricane season begins, several tropical trees burst into bloom this time of year. Royal Poinciana, Jacaranda, Peltophorum, Verawood, and several others are putting on a flowering show. Planting trees is essential to our well-being. Establishing them in their new homes and performing training pruning to form good resilience for hurricane resistance is critical for a healthy, urban forest.
Native to Columbia and Venezuela, Verawood, Bulnesia arborea, is a large, tropical, evergreen tree. The trunk grows relatively straight, with branches high off the ground. The pretty, brilliant, yellow flowers are produced in late spring or summer through fall singly or in pairs. Few pests bother Verawood.
Mature trees have spreading, dense, and rounded canopies. Trees can be multi-trunked, but pruning of the young trees to form a single trunk produces a stronger, faster-growing tree. Bulnesia grows 40 to 100 feet tall; however, it is usually much shorter in Florida, 20 to 30 feet tall by 40 to 50 feet wide. Install Verawood only where there is enough room for growth, such as parks, large open lawns, broad swales, or as a specimen planting.
Recent reports from landscape professionals have said that this tree tends to have a hard time establishing a root system and may suddenly fail during the first year or two if not well cared for during the establishment time. This is new information, not backed by research. However, to err on the side of caution, it is a good idea to ensure adequate water during the first few years and keep an eye out to remove any circling roots at installation.
Prune Verawood to form a single trunk up to 6 to 10 feet before branching. The tree’s growth habit is wider than tall, so remove lower branches when the tree is young to force growth upward. The long drooping branches can be headed back several times during early growth to encourage the desirable upwards growth. Always look for and remove crossing and rubbing branches, diseased or dying wood, and dead branchlets. Also, remove any branches that form angles more than 30 degrees; such branch angles lead to the formation of included bark that splits during storms.
Do-it-yourself takes some studying and practice when it comes to pruning trees. It is an excellent idea to employ or consult a certified arborist to correctly prune trees. Those with certification are trained and tested on the proper techniques for good tree pruning. Find a certified arborist at the International Society of Arboriculture website.
Verawood should tolerate strong winds if pruned for a structurally sound form. There is little information about the wind tolerance of Verawood, but other species with hard, dense wood have proven to be very wind-resistant.
Carol Cloud Bailey is a landscape counselor and horticulturist. Send questions to email@example.com or visit www.yard-doc.com for more information.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Tips on how to trim Verawood as it blooms ahead of hurricane season