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Energy Transfer Desperately Plows Forward with Dakota Access

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

Fracking was never popular among environmentalists, but recent moves by Energy Transfer work hard at achieving record-setting antagonism. Even if the battle is won, the list of scorned will be impressive and the company will at the very least take a serious loss in optics, if not some real damage to its credibility. The Texas-based midstream oil and gas giant …

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Analysts Confident Ahead of Q3 Earnings Despite Energy Transfer Partners Stock Slide

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

Investors and analysts are at odds. Despite months of falling stock prices, analysts are posting bullish ratings ahead of midstream gas giant Energy Transfer Partners’ third quarter earnings scheduled for release after markets close tomorrow. The average EBITDA estimate from 14 analysts polled by Bloomberg is $1.44 billion for the quarter compared to $1.50 billion reported for the same quarter …

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What Happens If the AT&T deal goes through?

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

AT&T finalized the takeover of Time Warner in late October that will pair a telecommunications behemoth with an esteemed content creator. But the so-called “vertical merger” faces unique challenges and echos from the past. The AOL-Time Warner failed merger of 2000 is widely regarded as one of the biggest flops ever and this deal faces potentially similar challenges. With a …

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Your Bank Can Align With Your Values

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

What if your bank did good in the world? Answering in the affirmative could be as simple finding the closest ethical bank but you may be frustrated by limited locations or less cutting edge technology. Ethical banking, value-based banking or sustainable banking is a rapidly growing global movement of banks that are driven not solely by profit but also social …

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Delta CEO Turns the Page on Massive Outage, But Reveals Larger Challenges

In All, Business by Tola BrennanLeave a Comment

Two months after an IT failure brought Delta’s operations to a halt, CEO Ed Bastian explained what went wrong and how the airline plans to avoid another incident. But the August breakdown also reveals how a complicated hodgepodge of legacy systems running behinds the scenes poses a more enduring obstacle for the industry. On August 8th, a critical piece of …

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The Election Is Just Icing on the Cake for Rising Defense Stocks

In All, Business by Tola BrennanLeave a Comment

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will exert a more assertive foreign policy than President Obama. But before the new administration flexes its administrative muscles, the defense sector will already be in a growth phase and defense stocks are responding. Bolstered by renewed Congressional backing, increased threat levels worldwide and the US military’s need to upgrade its arsenal, the sector is …

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Strong Words From Energy Transfer CEO Fail to Ease Worries Over Pipeline Protests

In All, Business by Tola BrennanLeave a Comment

Energy Transfer Partners stock price has failed to recover after a September 9th announcement by three federal agencies halted construction of the company’s hotly contested Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Now one of the country’s largest pipeline operators, Energy Transfer Partners is viewed by many as the successor to Enron. In the wake of the energy giant’s fall in 2001, the …

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Four years of Quartz: Jay Lauf looks to the future of digital publishing

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

Not many media properties achieve such instant recognition as Quartz has in its short four-year tenure. It’s due in no small part to the clearly articulated vision of founder Jay Lauf. He stepped in to Digital Media Strategies USA 2016 for a chat about how he turned the brand into an institution and an adjective. Beginning with an audience in …

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NowThis isn’t planning on losing its edge as a pioneer of social video

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

Only four years old, the company has managed to profoundly alter the landscape of video distribution and style. They innovated the bold, blocky text on video that has proliferated since and have jumped entirely on the distributed content bandwagon. NowThis president Athan Stephanopoulos and Ashish Patel, publisher and manager of the Data Insights team shared their thinking and strategy at …

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How CNN Digital and The Odyssey approach audience data

In All by Tola Brennan

Under the direction of Aimee Schier, CNN has moved to embrace new platforms like Kik, Line and Snapchat while Evan Burns, CEO of The Odyssey, a curated digital publishing platform, emphasizes growing a loyal user base. They both sat down with Mike Rothman of Fatherly at Digital Media Strategies 2016 to discuss their experiences. CNN Digital was one of the first 12 media …

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Israel’s Bedouins Are Losing Their Battle to Preserve Culture

In All, International, Video by Tola BrennanLeave a Comment

Villagers of Al Araqeeb, an unrecognized Bedouin village from Israel’s Negev desert, claim that the mosques that stood by their village cemetery were razed to the ground by the government in 2010. Though government representatives deny that Al Araqeeb ever was an official village, residents refuse to move and now gather under the largest surviving tree for Friday prayers. So …

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Photo Essay: Cape Town is Pretty (Fucked Up)

In All, Photo by Tola Brennan

Over the summer of 2016, I lived in Cape Town, South Africa. These photos document some of the people I met and the places I saw. Many of the faces in this essay are residents of Khayalitsha, a township on the Cape Flats of almost 400,000 people. Parts of it are developed, but many areas are simple shacks with highly …

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Hitting the Target

In All, Video by Tola Brennan

Reporter Tola Brennan visits Westside Rifle & Pistol Range in midtown Manhattan to learn how to shoot a rifle. Watch him take his first shot and get introduced to gun culture. Produced as part of five video project called Point Blank: Close-up stories about guns in New York City. About the project: Gun fatalities in New York City have steadily …

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In the Bronx, A Different Kind of Doctor

In All, Video by Tola Brennan

A native of the Bronx, Dr. Carina Lopez first went to medical school to help undeserved parts of the borough. But at medical school she got sick, and the many medications being prescribed weren’t helping. Disenchanted with the allopathic model, she stepped into the world alternative medicine and completely shifted her life. Now, she has a small homeopathic practice near …

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Slowing Economic Recovery Turns Towards Inequality-Driven Normality

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

As the economic recovery settles and stabilizes into a new normal, underlying global troubles and labor polarization contribute to increasing inequality, essentially a crisis in slow motion for working class Americans. While there are signs that engender optimistic interpretations, small gains conceal a depressing economic reality with no end in sight. The economy added 160,000 jobs in April according to …

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Five Things to Look for in the International Trade Report

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

At 8:30 AM on May 4th, the Commerce Department will release its monthly trade report. It takes a little over a month for it to come together and this next release with detail imports and exports for March 2016. An advance report with a preliminary numbers is released a week early. Published on April 27th, it gives a few hints …

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The Gig Economy is Flexible and Dangerous

In All, Video by Tola Brennan

Over the last few years, the gig economy has boomed. Ride sharing apps like Uber paved the way for a whole slew of services from grocery shopping via Instacart to house cleaning via Handy. Workers, by and large, like their jobs. At least, they do now. These apps use independent contractors to undercut the competition. That’s because companies don’t have …

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Peru Aims to Ratify Trans-Pacific Partnership Amid Protests

In All, Business, International by Tola Brennan

Originally published in Truthout The formal signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand on February 4, 2016, inaugurated a two-year window of ratification for the largest trade deal in history. Encompassing 12 countries and 40 percent of the global economy, it has polarized the US presidential elections and kindled a vigorous debate on the merits of international trade …

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Jump in Consumer Goods Could Signal End of Trade Decline

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

Dramatic boost in consumer goods imports and exports and a higher trade deficit suggest that months of steadily falling international trade amounts are finally at an end. Consumer goods imports increased $3.6 billion in February to $51.5 billion, according the Commerce Department’s monthly international trade report. Exports of consumer goods increased by $1 billion in February to $17 billion. The …

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A Church Organist Awakens Early Christian History

In All, Video by Tola Brennan

Baxton Alexander played organ for Pastor Amy Kienzle at her first service in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Over the last few years, they’ve transformed a fading Lutheran church into a unique art space and experiment in contemporary religion. Last year, they re-imagined the congregation and called it the Park Church Co-op. Their banner says that in order to love thy neighbor “we …

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Obama’s Argentina Visit Provokes Human Rights and Trade Controversy

In All, International by Tola Brennan

President Obama’s Argentina visit on March 23-24 has been altered since March 24 falls on a national holiday commemorating the 40th anniversary of a US-backed military coup. He will instead go to Bariloche, an Argentine resort town 1000 miles away from Buenos Aires. But trade relations, the core mission of meeting with Argentina’s new right-wing president Mauricio Macri, will proceed …

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Sweeping Slump in Trade Hurts Everywhere But Auto Sales

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

International trade is down across categories and the deficit is up leading to skepticism of a rebound this year. With the global slowdown and a strong dollar recently playing a role, this slide continues a trend that started in late 2014. However, the Friday jobs report was substantially more positive than expected and automotive imports hit record highs as the …

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Business is Personal: Madiba in Transition

In All, Video by Tola Brennan

In 1999, Mark Henegan opened Madiba, New York City’s first South African restaurant. Over the years it’s become a community hub for not only expat South Africans, but Africans from many other countries as well. One regular described it as an “international house” in reference to the fixture on some college campuses. But after the failure of a second location …

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Animals Have A True Friend in Forest Hills

In All by Tola Brennan

Guy Grayson is a vegan activist living in Forest Hills. And he has a mission. He’s usually posted up at the corner of Austin Street and Continental Avenue in the heart of the Forest Hills business district, right at near the entrance to the LIRR stop. “I try to get out here almost every day and pamphlet this vegan literature,” …

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The Immigrant-Powered Battle For Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

In All by Tola Brennan

In response to development plans which bypassed the wishes of the many neighborhoods surrounding Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the largest in Queens, locals organized and after three years have scored a major victory, perhaps. Mayor De Blasio created Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (FMCP) Alliance on Nov. 14 with $20 million dollars towards park improvements over the next 20 years. Key in this …

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Federal Reserve Presidents Address Challenge of Negative Perception

In All, Business by Tola Brennan

At The Clearing House Annual Conference in New York, many of the panels and talks emphasize industry concerns such as faster payments, interest rates and cyber-security but a panel of Federal Reserve presidents tackled a more external issue: concern that the industry is seen as unethical and that the loss of public trust has a real cost. This panel signaled …

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Loyal Moviegoers Keep Local Independent Cinemart Cinemas Afloat

In All by Tola Brennan

Nestled in the southernmost patch of Forest Hills, independent theater Cinemart Cinemas on Metropolitan Avenue has been through some rough times. After eight years without getting the distribution rights to new movies, things were looking grim at the close of 2014 and owner Nicolas Nicolaou was facing shutting the doors on a local fixture determined to stay affordable. But in …

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Cinemart Has Free Popcorn

In All by Tola Brennan

The appeal of casually going to catch a flick has been decreasing as the whole outing clutches at the purse. A Manhattan movie ticket runs around $15 and WSJ reported the benchmark of $20 in 2010. Then add in popcorn for something like $8 and maybe a drink starting somewhere around $5. And have a look at these quaint prices …

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Why is the Law After Kim Dotcom & Megaupload?

In All by Tola Brennan

MegaUpload was born in 2005 when Kim Dotcom was frustrated by the file size limit on email attachments. The file-sharing grew enormously, but soon was accused of enabling the sharing of copyrighted content. Section 512 of the DMCA provides protection under the “safe-harbor” guidelines which give services a protocol to handle DMCA takedown notices. As long as the service is …

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City Council Urges Congress to Help Puerto Rico During Debt Crisis

In All by Tola Brennan

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Today at City Hall, the New York City Council passed resolutions asking Congress to help Puerto Rico survive the looming debt crisis. The commonwealth faces about $72 billion of outstanding payments and without bailout aid or restructuring will probably run out of money by November. A collapse of vital government services will mainly affect vulnerable elderly …

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Parents at Queens Elementary Worried About Competition

In All by Tola Brennan

QUEENS, N.Y., Sept. 9 — Parents dropping kids off for the first day of school at PS 101 in Forest Hills were worried about another year of obsessive focus on standardized testing. School starts 20 minutes earlier this year while long hours of homework and reduced recess keep rambunctious kids stuck sitting down all day, parents say. Nestled in the …

Homeless People Speak About Solving the Worsening Crisis in New York City

In All by Tola BrennanLeave a Comment

New York City has a homeless crisis and it’s getting worse. According to The Coalition for the Homeless, there were 58,761 in city shelters per night during June 2015, not to mention the many who sleep outside and who cannot be accurately counted. Indeed, many homeless people choose to avoid shelters due to persistent violence and theft. Better shelters were …