Only in America you can pay to make bribery charges go away
Oracle has paid $23 million to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to settle corruption charges that subsidiaries in Turkey, United Arab Emirates and India used "slush funds" to bribe foreign officials to win business.
The SEC said Oracle violated provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) during a three-year period between 2016 and 2019.
The cash that was apparently set aside was to paying foreign officials to attend technology conferences, which breaks Oracle's own internal policies and procedures.
SEC said that in some instances, it found Oracle staff at the Turkish subsidiary had spent the funds on taking officials' families with them on International conferences or side trips to California.
SEC investigator Charles Cain said: ""The creation of off-books slush funds inherently gives rise to the risk those funds will be used improperly, which is exactly what happened here at Oracle's Turkey, UAE, and India subsidiaries. This matter highlights the critical need for effective internal accounting controls throughout the entirety of a company's operations."
However, because Oracle wrote a cheque for its antics it does not have to admit or deny the findings of the SEC's investigation, it just has to promise not to do the thing it does not admit to, ever again.
The White House on Tuesday released a national plan to end hunger by 2030, an ambitious goal that would be accomplished largely by expanding monthly food benefits for poor Americans.
The plan would also aim to encourage healthy eating and physical activity so fewer people would be diagnosed with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and other diet-related diseases. Part of that strategy would include expanding Medicaid and Medicare access to obesity and nutrition counseling.
"The consequences of food insecurity and diet-related diseases are significant, far-reaching, and disproportionately impact historically underserved communities," Biden said in a statement outlining the new strategy. "Yet, food insecurity and diet-related diseases are largely preventable, if we prioritize the health of the nation."
The announcement came as Biden hosts a conference this week on hunger, nutrition and health, the first held by the White House since 1969, the Associated Press reported. That conference, under President Richard Nixon, prompted a greatly expanded food stamps program and gave rise to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which provides women with parenting advice, breastfeeding support and food assistance.
Still, cuts to federal programs and significant changes in how food and farming systems are run have prompted declines in access to food, the AP reported.
Ten percent of U.S. households suffered food insecurity in 2021, meaning they were uncertain they would have the resources to feed their family.
For the national plan to succeed, Biden needs the backing of both Congress and the business community. This week's conference will highlight the need for access to better, healthier food and exercise.
"We have learned so much more about nutrition and the role that healthy eating plays in how our kids perform in the classroom, and about nutrition and its linkages to disease prevention," Biden said.
Under the new White House plan, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility would be expanded, children would get better access to free meals, and summer benefits would apply to more schoolchildren. All of these changes would require the blessing of Congress.
The plan also calls for moving nutrition labeling to the front of food packaging to help Americans make better nutritional choices, expanding SNAP incentives to certain fruits and vegetables, providing more programs to encourage people to exercise, and providing more funding for nutrition research.
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EA-Infra/Oracle Database admin/Senior
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Date: Sep 9, 2022
Requisition ID: 961871
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The Biden administration is hosting a one-day conference on Wednesday on hunger, nutrition and health, bringing together advocates, researchers and activists and leaders in business and philanthropy, faith groups and communities around the US.
Just before the conference, the administration launched its strategy aimed at ending hunger in the US by 2030 with plans to expand benefits and access to healthy food. The conference will be streamed live from 9am ET on the White House Youtube channel, with Joe Biden expected to make remarks in the early afternoon. The strategy and conference are aimed at making “America truly a stronger, healthier nation”, he says.
But it all comes at a difficult time for many households as pandemic support measures fall away, record inflation and rising food prices (linked to climate breakdown, Russia’s war in Ukraine and Covid supply issues) squeeze budgets, and just before November’s midterm elections.
The last food conference, hosted by Richard Nixon in 1969, was a pivotal moment in American food policy that led to the expansion of food stamps and gave rise to the Women, Infants and Children program that today provides parenting advice, breastfeeding support and food assistance to the mothers of half the babies born each year.
One in 10 households struggled to feed their families in 2021 due to poverty – an extraordinary level of food insecurity in the richest country in the world. The rate has barely budged in the past two decades amid deepening economic inequalities and welfare cuts.
Food insecurity remains stubbornly high in the US, with only a slight downward trend from 2021 – but significantly lower than 2020 when the Covid shutdown and widespread layoffs led to record numbers of Americans relying on food banks and food stamps to get by.
The conference comes as the cost of food is soaring due to double-digit inflation, and amid fears of recession. The cost of groceries in July was up 13.1% compared with last year, with the price of cereal, bread and dairy products rising even higher, according to the Consumer Price Index.
Households are under more pressure as states roll back pandemic-linked financial support such as free school meals for every child and child tax credits. Many states are stopping expanded food stamp benefits.
Real-time data from the US Census survey “suggest that food hardship has been steadily rising in families with children this year”, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, recently told the Guardian.
It includes multiple ambitious goals but few concrete measures, as the plans depend on securing support from a polarised Congress, which so far this year has refused to extend the child tax credit and universal free school meals – both of which led to historic improvements in food security in the wake of the pandemic.
The plan states that the administration is committed to “pushing for Congress to permanently extend the expanded, fully refunded child tax credit and expanded Earned Income Tax Credit … to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; close the Medicaid coverage gap; invest in affordable, high-quality child care; and expand the Housing Choice Voucher”.
The strategy also aims to cut diet-related diseases by increasing access to healthy food and exercise as new data shows that more than 35% of people in 19 states and two territories are obese – more the double the number of states in 2018 – while one in 10 Americans have diabetes.
It includes proposals to reform food packaging, voluntary salt and sugar reduction targets for the food industry, and working to expand Medicaid and Medicare access to obesity counselling and nutrition.
According to Andy Fisher, researcher and author of Big Hunger, the strategy includes lots of great ideas but lets the food industry off the hook and fails to adequately address the impact of racism, misogyny or the climate crisis on food inequality.
“What they don’t realize or say is that hunger and health disparities are baked into our political and economic system, and require much more than these technocratic policy reforms.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is laying out its plan to meet an ambitious goal of ending hunger in the U.S. by 2030, including expanding monthly benefits that help low-income Americans buy food.
The administration, in a plan released Tuesday, is also seeking to increase healthy eating and physical activity so that fewer people are afflicted with diabetes, obesity, hypertension and other diet-related diseases. It said it would work to expand Medicaid and Medicare access to obesity counseling and nutrition.
“The consequences of food insecurity and diet-related diseases are significant, far reaching, and disproportionately impact historically underserved communities,” Biden wrote in a memo outlining the White House strategy. “Yet, food insecurity and diet-related diseases are largely preventable, if we prioritize the health of the nation.”
Biden is hosting a conference this week on hunger, nutrition and health, the first by the White House since 1969. That conference, under President Richard Nixon, was a pivotal moment that influenced the U.S. food policy agenda for 50 years. It led to a greatly expanded food stamps program and gave rise to the Women, Infants and Children program, which serves half the babies born in the U.S. by providing women with parenting advice, breastfeeding support and food assistance.
WATCH: Biden announces lower premium cost for Medicare
Noreen Springstead, executive director of the anti-hunger organization WhyHunger, said the whole-of-government nature of the summit will hopefully produce greater alignment across the multiple federal agencies that deal with hunger issues — from the USDA and Health and Human Services to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That, ideally, would help Biden “set the North Star that nutritious food is a human right for all people.”
Springstead noted that a truly comprehensive approach to hunger and nutrition would have to include a major commitment from charities and philanthropic foundations. It would also likely include raising baseline salaries and employers paying their workers “wages that are livable so that they’re not standing in a food line.”
Over the years, cuts to federal programs coupled with stigmas over welfare and big changes to how food and farming systems are run have prompted declines in access to food.
Biden, a Democrat, is hoping this week’s conference is similarly transformative. But the goal of Nixon, a Republican, also was “to put an end to hunger in America for all time.”
And yet 10% of U.S. households in 2021 suffered food insecurity, meaning they were uncertain they could get enough food to feed themselves or their families because they lacked money or resources for food, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
To succeed, Biden needs buy-in from the private sector and an increasingly partisan Congress. Some of the goals sound reminiscent of former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to tackle childhood obesity and promote healthy eating. The conference also will highlight the need for access to better, healthier food and exercise.
READ MORE: 1 in 10 Americans don’t have enough food. The pandemic is making things worse
In response to the Biden plan’s release, Partnership for a Healthy America hailed the emphasis on nutrition and health, saying that simply providing more food without prioritizing nutritional value would simply create different problems.
“We applaud the administration’s stated desire to shift from a mindset of treating diet-related diseases to preventing them from occurring in the first place,” the organization said in a statement.
Biden said in his memo that over the past 50 years, “we have learned so much more about nutrition and the role that healthy eating plays in how our kids perform in the classroom and about nutrition and its linkages to disease prevention.”
Under the White House plan, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility would be expanded, children would get better access to free meals, and summer benefits would be extended to more schoolkids. Such changes would require congressional approval.
The other tenets of the strategy include the development of new food packaging to truth-check the “healthy” claims for some products, expanding SNAP incentives to select fruits and vegetables, providing more programs to encourage people to get outside and move, and boosting funding for research.
Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville contributed to this report.
WASHINGTON (KDKA) - Today at the White House, the Biden Administration is holding the first conference on Hunger, Nutrition, And Health since 1969.
The summit is part of a strategy to end hunger and diet-related diseases in America in eight years.
Ahead of the summit, the Biden Administration has outlined its strategy to make that happen.
It includes expanding nutritional assistance programs and launching more programs to cover medically-tailored meals.
RELATED: Pa. raising income threshold for food stamps
Also included is expanding school meals to all students and making it easier for students to get food over the summer. Expanding the SNAP program is also part of the plan by removing eligibility bans on people with convictions for drugs and other felonies.
Despite the excitement, advocates say ending hunger will take more than just federal policy.
"It's going to take the private sector, it's going to take ordinary citizens and yes, Feeding America, food banks, all collaborating on a unified strategy to solve this problem together," said Vince Hall, the Feeding America Chief Government Relations Officer.
The ideas presented in the president's plan would have to go through Congress.
You can see President Biden's plan at this link.
The Biden administration has unveiled their national strategy on hunger, nutrition and health that includes proposals to move nutrition labels to the front of food packaging, expanded access to free school meals and food security research. NBC's Monica Alba reports.
ENSURE the optimal provisioning of ICS services while providing functional & process leadership and expert technical expertise as the next Senior Principal Consultant: Database Administration (Oracle) sought by a dynamic Tertiary Institution. You will provide critical input relating to your stream of expertise, identify existing and potential system performance issues and conduct the necessary system configuration to optimize system performance. The role will also entail the assessment and analysis of future system requirements and forecasting system capacity needs to then recommend solutions that would best meet those needs. The ideal candidate must have Matric / Grade 12 National Senior Certificate, a 3-year ICT-related tertiary qualification OR Information Management OR Information Systems qualification at least NQF Level 7 with 8 years relevant and proven work experience in systems, server, and application provisioning in large and complex ICT environment of which 5 years must be in Oracle DBA.
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