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Stearns Lending declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Stearns Lending declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Just nine months ago, Stearns Lending was very much in growth mode, acquiring an equity interest in Citywide Home Loans, rolling out new loan programs and acquiring other new lending channels. But the tide appears to have turned as Stearns is now facing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Stearns Holdings, the parent company of Stearns Lending, announced Tuesday that it is launching a “comprehensive financial restructuring plan” that will see the company reorganized through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the company, the plan is being conducted in agreement and coordination with Blackstone, the private equity giant that acquired a majority stake in Stearns Holdings back in 2015.
Apple tweaks laptop lineup with cheaper Air; MacBook disappears

Apple tweaks laptop lineup with cheaper Air; MacBook disappears

Time for a game of laptop musical chairs. Apple made some adjustments to its portable line-up this morning, with a cheaper price point for the MacBook Air and improvements to the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro. But the 12-inch MacBook? It’s gone, baby, gone. In addition to its new $1,099 ($999 for college students) price tag—which cuts $100 off the old price, and $150 off for college students—the MacBook Air now features True Tone capability on its display and the new keyboard materials introduced in other MacBook Pro models back in May. Other than that, the model is basically unchanged from the one we declared the best Mac to buy for a student.
Recreational marijuana legalization tied to decline in teens using pot, study says

Recreational marijuana legalization tied to decline in teens using pot, study says

(CNN)Marijuana use among young people in the United States overall has climbed in recent years, but a new paper suggests that in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized, marijuana use among youth may actually be falling. Laws that legalized recreational marijuana were associated with an 8% drop in the number of high schoolers who said they used marijuana in the last 30 days, and a 9% drop in the number who said they'd used at least 10 times in the last 30 days, according to the paper published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday. "Just to be clear we found no effect on teen use following legalization for medical purposes, but evidence of a possible reduction in use following legalization for recreational purposes," said Mark Anderson, an associate professor at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, who was first author of the paper. "Because our study is based on more policy variation than prior work, we view our estimates as the most credible to date in the literature," he said.
Kuo: Apple to include new scissor switch keyboard in 2019 MacBook Air and 2020 MacBook Pro

Kuo: Apple to include new scissor switch keyboard in 2019 MacBook Air and 2020 MacBook Pro

Apple is apparently set to ditch the butterfly mechanism used in MacBooks since 2015, which has been the root of reliability issues and its low-travel design has also not been popular with many Mac users. In a report published today, Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will roll out a new keyboard design based on scissor switches, offering durability and longer key travel, starting with the 2019 MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is also getting the new scissor switch keyboard, but not until 2020. The new scissor switch keyboard is a whole new design than anything previously seen in a MacBook, purportedly featuring glass fiber to reinforce the keys. Apple fans who have bemoaned the butterfly keyboard should be optimistic about a return to scissor switches.
Scientists Sue DEA Over Marijuana Cultivation Application Delay

Scientists Sue DEA Over Marijuana Cultivation Application Delay

A group of researchers recently filed a lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), asking a federal court to force the agency to respond to its application to manufacture marijuana for research purposes. The researchers argued that cannabis produced by the only federally authorized cultivation facility at the University of Mississippi is of poor quality and inadequate for their clinical trial on the use of marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans. It’s an argument that’s supported by a recent study, which found that cannabis from the sole approved source is genetically closer to hemp than it is to marijuana that’s available to consumers in state-legal markets—calling into question the applicability of much research to the reality of the cannabis market.
New ECB Boss Christine Lagarde Made A Serious Bitcoin Warning

New ECB Boss Christine Lagarde Made A Serious Bitcoin Warning

Bitcoin and other crypto-assets have long divided traditional economists and bankers with some warning over their instability and others praising their ingenuity. The bitcoin price rebound so far this year has caused some to change sides, though many continue to warn bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be a mere flash in the pan. Earlier this year, Christine Lagarde, who has just been nominated to replace Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank (ECB), warned that cryptocurrencies are "shaking the system"—something that could signal a change in the ECB's approach to bitcoin and crypto and potentially spur adoption.
Valve Index review: $999 buys you the best VR experience yet — when it works

Valve Index review: $999 buys you the best VR experience yet — when it works

The Valve Index, Valve’s latest virtual reality offering, is an uneasy mixture of all the good and bad aspects of modern VR. It can be a pain to set up; getting the whole thing calibrated perfectly can take hours. And then you might have to start over when someone else wants to use the headset. Not everything works perfectly all the time, although that aspect of the system is getting better. You still need to set up the external sensors somehow, and mounting them on your wall is likely the easiest solution, although you’ll also need to plug each one into an outlet. Those wires snaking down opposite walls in your VR space aren’t the most attractive decorations. Nothing about Index is easy.
Lawmakers File Three Congressional Bills To Help Small Marijuana Businesses

Lawmakers File Three Congressional Bills To Help Small Marijuana Businesses

Small marijuana businesses would be eligible for a wide range of federal economic services under three congressional bills that were filed on Thursday. Following a House Small Business Committee hearing on opportunities and challenges for small cannabis companies earlier this month, the chair and two other members of the panel filed legislation aimed at resolving some of the issues that were raised. One bill, from Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), would allow marijuana businesses to access resources from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA). Those resources include microloans, disaster assistance and the loan guaranty program. The congresswoman said her proposal, which is titled the Ensuring Safe Capital Access for All Small Businesses Act, is meant to support social equity in the cannabis industry.
BEAUTY ‘We are in a unique position because of our scale’: Whole Foods wants to be a clean beauty destination

BEAUTY ‘We are in a unique position because of our scale’: Whole Foods wants to be a clean beauty destination

Whole Foods Market has been selling beauty products since it was founded in 1980 in its 500 doors, but as clean beauty and wellness have become mainstream, the Amazon-owned grocery store and market wants to be known as a beauty destination. Tasked with this goal is Jen Coccaro, director of merchandising for Whole Body, the beauty and wellness sector of the company. Coccaro, who has been with the company since 2017, has been focused on not only educating current Whole Foods shoppers, who are health-conscious and between 22 and 40 years old, about its beauty offerings, but also recruiting new brands to prioritize Whole Foods as a distributor and partner. Still, Whole Foods’ in-store revenue has largely stayed flat since being fully integrated into the Amazon fold in 2018, according to the company’s most recent earnings in April.
Congress Schedules Hearing To Discuss Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Congress Schedules Hearing To Discuss Ending Marijuana Prohibition

A major congressional subcommittee will hold a hearing on marijuana policy next week, Marijuana Moment has learned. Though few details about the meeting are currently available, the House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee is expected to discuss various legislative proposals to allow states to set their own cannabis policies without fear of federal intervention. Several sources who did not wish to be be identified shared with Marijuana Moment the names of witnesses expected to soon receive formal invitations to testify before the panel on Wednesday, July 10. Given the backgrounds of these individuals, it seems apparent that committee members will be discussing not whether the U.S. should end federal cannabis prohibition, but will focus primarily on how to do it.
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