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World News

Lynas defends equity raising to fund expansion

Lynas chief executive Amanda Lacaze said the rare earth group's soaring share price is a vindication of the decision to fund its ambitious growth plans with a capital raising as it reported that demand for its ores recovers from the COVID slowdown.

Ms Lacaze told shareholders at the company's annual meeting that demand was strong in its key markets of Japan and China.

"Despite the uncertainty introduced by the global pandemic, underlying growth drivers remain unchanged and we are pleased that demand appears to be returning to pre-COVID levels," she said.

Lynas managing director Amanda Lacaze says demand for rare earths is returning in its key markets of Japan and China.Credit:Christopher Pearce

"In particular, the demand from our Japanese customers is strong and demand is strong inside China."

The news sent Lynas shares to its highest levels since 2013 with the stock topping $3.85, but it led to questions about Lynas raising $425 million at $2.30 a share in August to fund its new processing facilities in Kalgoorlie and US expansion rather than using debt.

"We felt that equity funding was the right path," she said.

"You don't want us to be in that sort of debt mess again, I got to tell you. I don't want to be in that debt mess again," said Ms Lacaze about the company's debt woes which would have led to its collapse if not for the support of Japanese government agencies.

"The fact that shares are trading more than 60 per cent above the raising price vindicates the board's decision as it demonstrates the company has not destroyed our equity foundation in this business."

Last year Lynas restructured $US147 million ($200 million) worth of debt with JARE – a special purpose vehicle set up by Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Sojitz – the Lynas distribution partner in Japan – to ensure supplies of these crucial metals to Japanese industry in return for priority supply of its rare earths.

These rare earth ores -17 elements crucial to the manufacture of many hi-tech products such as mobile phones, electric cars and wind turbines – have become a geopolitical issue with China controlling 90 per cent of supply.

The debt extension by JARE was designed to help fund Lynas's plans to spend $500 million by 2025 on value-added processing in the US and Malaysia as well as setting up a processing plant in Western Australia, near its Mt Weld mine, to extract radioactive waste from its rare earths before it is shipped to Malaysia.

Ms Lacaze said that Lynas is meeting the timeline for the US heavy rare earths tender but indicated that the pandemic is an issue.

"I would not send any of our people to Texas right now," she said. "So that is an issue for us."

This week UBS put a price target of $4.05 on Lynas shares due to rising demand for e-vehicles.

UBS said e-vehicle demand is expected to rise from 2 million now to 36 million cars by 2030 which should see demand for rare earth compound NdPr more than triple to 30,000 tonnes per annum.

UBS lifted its price expectations for NdPr on the basis that there is not sufficient investment to meet this demand which will be a boon for players like Lynas which mines and processes its own ore.

"Lynas assets are very strategic, having the best rare earth deposit globally, in our view, being exploited through the only active non-China processing facility," said UBS.

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World News

Tesla recalls 9,500 Model X and Model Y cars over roof, bolt issues

  • Tesla is recalling more than 9,500 of its Model X and Model Y electric vehicles over potentially faulty roof trim and bolts that could be inadequately tightened.
  • The company's stock traded slightly lower on Wednesday.
  • The larger recall covers 9,136 Model X cars produced between Sept. 17, 2015 and July 31, 2016. Tesla also recalled 401 2020 Model Y vehicles.

Tesla is recalling more than 9,500 of its Model X and Model Y electric vehicles over potentially faulty roof trim and bolts that could be inadequately tightened.

The company's stock traded about 0.5% lower on Wednesday.

The larger recall covers 9,136 Model X cars produced between Sept. 17, 2015 and July 31, 2016, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filing. The agency said the front and spine cosmetic roof trim may have been applied without the necessary primer and the pieces may separate over time.

Tesla also recalled 401 2020 Model Y vehicles over a potential issue with its bolts. In the U.S., Tesla has been producing Model Y vehicles in a tent at its Fremont facility in a mostly manual process.

The recall was first reported by Reuters.

The NHTSA said that the bolts connecting the front upper control arm and steering knuckle may not have been properly tightened, which could allow the upper control arm to detach from the steering knuckle.

"A detached upper control arm can cause the wheels to lean in or out, decreasing the driver's ability to steer and increase the risk of a crash," the agency said in a filing.

Tesla said it was not aware of accidents or injuries associated with either recall and will inspect affected vehicles and adjust as needed.

It's the latest report of reliability issues with some Tesla vehicles.

In October, Tesla voluntarily recalled nearly 50,000 Model S and Model X cars in China over faulty suspension. Earlier this month, Tesla expanded its warranty to cover defective main computers in some Model S and Model X computers that led to touchscreen blackouts, among other problems.

Consumer Reports said on Nov. 19 in its annual Auto Reliability Survey that it's no longer recommending the Tesla Model S due to issues with its air suspension, main computer and touch controls. It also panned the Model Y's body hardware and paint problems and ultimately gave three of four Tesla vehicles sub-par reliability ratings, including the Model S, Model X and Model Y.

CNBC's Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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Business

Op-ed: Advisors can help clients manage their human capital

  • Advisors use their expertise to create a personalized financial plan.
  • That same advisor can leverage their skillset to work with a client to manage their human capital to earn income and build wealth.
  • This is a key role because human capital is essentially the future earning powera person has left in their career.

The role of a financial advisor can encompass areas that many people might not expect.

The truth is a financial advisor is not just someone who helps with investments. Quite often, the job is to assist with every aspect of a client's financial life.

Advisors use their expertise to create a personalized financial plan to help realize the client's goals. That same advisor also can leverage their skillset to work with a client to manage their human capital to earn income and build wealth.

This is a key because human capital is essentially the future earning power aperson has left in their career. I believe it is my responsibility to help clients maximize their human capital and plan for it so that its transition into financial capital is optimized.

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Of course, stable income is a necessary piece of building wealth. When a client experiences job loss, the impact on their financial life can be dramatic. The coronavirus pandemic has hit many of my clients especially hard. Because of our established trust, many clients have confided in me, hoping that my expertise can help them evaluate their job options and guide them to a solution.

While I'm not taking on a job as career coach, I am offering tips to clients to navigate the changing job market. My role is to help clients set up their finances to achieve their dreams, and — because of thepandemic —that includes answering questions surrounding job loss.

Before the pandemic, various studies concluded that 85% of jobs were filled through networking. Covid-19 has all but eliminated in-person networking opportunities, creating a significant roadblock to finding employment.

Clients are also struggling to crack the code of the hidden job market. It's no secret that many positions are filled without ever being advertised. With recruiters starting their candidate search within their existing network, the hidden job market proves that word of mouth can make or break your search.

My experience in the financial industry has taught me that successful networking isn't about meeting as many people as possible. Instead, you're actually better off targeting key contacts to meet well-connected people.

To that point, 47% of companies use social media to attract employees, according to a Jobvite Recruiter Nation survey. Even networking events have moved online.

Although in-person networking may be a thing of the past (at least for now), social media and virtual networking present substantial opportunities for job seekers — and I'm sharing tips with my clients on how to get comfortable with creating a virtual version of themselves.

I try to offertips to my clients who are looking for jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic. The use of social media and online events by potential employers means job seekers must clean up their online presence and practice their video skills to expand their virtual network. If they do, it could increase their chance of landing an open position.

I urge my clients to pay close attention to social media. Creating a strong social media presence is the first step. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are popular platforms that can help my clients connect with people they know. However, LinkedIn is where the magic happens. LinkedIn is my favorite recommendation when I hear of someone looking for a job.

Even former President Barack Obama once joked during a TV press conference that he would join LinkedIn to help him land a job after his term was up.

Hiring managers and employers use LinkedIn to source talent. To that point, 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their candidate search, according to a Jobvite Recruiter Nation survey.

It's best to start with people you know. If my clients contact me about losing their job, I encourage them not to be shy and to reach out to their friends and family to let them know you're looking for a job. Send a connection request on Facebook or LinkedIn, and be sure to add a personal note.

Another piece of advice I offer my clients is to look up alumni networks you may have forgotten about and get in touch with former classmates and colleagues. It could help you tap into the hidden job market by getting a referral to a position that's opening up.

Professional associations are another excellent source for networking. Joining and connecting with people in a professional association allows you to attend (virtual) events and meet others within your field. You may also connect with members who know of companies that are hiring and may arrange a job interview for you.

Video skills are also very important these days. When it comes to honing those video skills, I tell clients to practice, practice, practice.

Why? Because so many business conversations and events are now taking place online.

Above all, I suggest to clients to get comfortable using video and test their technology. Proper attire is also important — dress as you would for an in-person interview. If you lack video experience, practice with a spouse or friend, so you're more relaxed during the virtual interview.

Just like financial investments require time to grow, job searching won't happen overnight, either.

So much has changed this year. Employers and their human resources departments are still adapting to the pandemic and economic slowdown. Also, many firms are dealing with changes to existing staff and that can lead to longer response times when applying for open positions.

That means the job search and the hiring process itself may take a little more time than usual. That's why I've encouraged my clients to be patient but persistent in their efforts.

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World News

Rep.-elect August Pfluger of Texas calls Biden oil plans 'extremely alarming'

McCarthy says 2020 election ‘was a mandate against socialism’

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy touted Republican victories during his weekly news conference.

An Air Force veteran newly elected to represent an oil-rich Texas district said President-elect Joe Biden's proposals on taxes, and the oil and gas industry are "extremely alarming."

August Pfluger, a former national security adviser to President Trump, said American energy independence is a key security priority, and he'll stand up for oil and gas jobs as a Republican member of Congress.

"We're going to do everything we can to continue to fight for things like energy independence," Pfluger, a former fighter pilot, told Fox News. "…It is job No. 1 for me that we fight against anything that we see from a Biden administration or executive order."

DR. RONNY JACKSON, NEW TEXAS CONGRESSMAN, SAYS JOE BIDEN SHOULD HAVE COGNITIVE TEST LIKE TRUMP DID

Pfluger, a first-time politician from San Angelo, was elected Nov. 3 to represent Texas's 11th District, following the retirement of GOP Rep. Mike Conaway. The 29-county district stretches throughout west-central Texas and includes the oil-producing Permian Basin. Pfluger dubs his district "an instrument of national security."

Republican August Pfluger is the newly elected congressman from Texas’s 11th congressional district. (Marisa Schultz/Fox News)

Traveling to Washington recently for congressional orientation, Pfluger, 42, said Biden's agenda could hurt his district and hamper affordable energy.

"When you look at the 2017 tax reform and [Biden] wanting to increase taxes on Day One," Pfluger said. "When you look at the statements that he's talked about … absolutely denying permitting for federal lands or federal waters for drilling. There's a number of things I think are extremely alarming that would affect our district and the ability to provide that affordable, reliable energy."

Biden raised eyebrows at the final presidential debate when he said he wanted to “transition” away from oil in favor of renewable energy. He later clarified that he didn't mean putting an end to the oil industry.

Biden wants America to evolve to a "100% clean energy economy" and become the world's clean energy superpower, creating millions of jobs in the process. 

MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE TAKES ON SHUTDOWNS, FAUCI DURING FIRST WEEK IN WASHINGTON

The Democrat said he'll ban "new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters" and rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, an international agreement backed by President Obama that established a worldwide commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Pfluger said the competitive market already has caused such a reduction in emissions that the Paris agreement is "inconsequential."

"The standards that we've already displayed we can match are well above what the Paris climate accords could ever outline," Pfluger said. "The last decade we've reduced carbon emissions and harmful gases by way more than what the Paris accords laid out. So, I don't think that the Paris accords have any effect on us because, quite frankly, the free market and industry have made engines more efficient [and] have reduced emissions to a degree that that's inconsequential."

Pfluger, a husband and father of three girls, said the Green New Deal, authored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., doesn't take into account that everyday lives are surrounded by things made from byproducts of fossil fuels, such as cell phones. 

"We have just ignored the market forces and what the energy has actually done for the world when we look at a Green New Deal," Pfluger said. "There is no doubt that we want our air to be clean, our water to be clean. Natural gas has done that around the world. We have done that. We have provided clean, inexpensive energy."

DARRELL ISSA DOUBTS KAMALA HARRIS' BIPARTISANSHIP CAPABILITY

Pfluger graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2000 and spent nearly two decades in the Air Force. He was a fighter pilot flying F-15s and F-22s, and deployed for combat missions in the Middle East. In 2019, he joined Trump's National Security Council for a few months before leaving to run for Congress.

Democrats invested a lot of time and money in trying to flip Texas blue this cycle, but came up short on the presidential side and in key swing congressional races.

"Texas voted its conscience," Pfluger said. "Rejected socialism. Stood up for oil and gas, and said that our values are not for sale."

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Economy

Missing your stimulus check? There's one last chance to claim an Economic Impact Payment from the IRS

Lockdown fears, stimulus uncertainty drag stocks

Fox News contributor John Layfield gives his take on the market, arguing ‘conflicting forces’ are causing stocks to drag.

There is still time to receive a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but the clock is ticking.

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Americans who have yet to receive a stimulus check and don't normally file a federal income tax return are required to submit their personal information by 3 p.m. ET on Saturday.

HUNDREDS OF COMPANIES THAT GOT STIMULUS AID HAVE FAILED

Each individual may also be eligible to receive a $1,200 payment for a spouse as well as $500 per child that meets the qualifications.

However, all is not lost if the deadline passes.

Payments will still be available in 2021, but claimants will have to list the stimulus as a recovery rebate credit on the upcoming 2020 federal income tax return.

In this March 27, 2020 file photo, President Trump signs the coronavirus stimulus relief package in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Associated Press)

“When people file their 2020 taxes next year and they weren’t eligible for an Economic Impact Payment this year, they may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit," the IRS explained in a release on its website. "The Recovery Rebate Credit is figured like the Economic Impact Payment, except the amounts are based on tax year 2020, instead of tax year 2019 or tax year 2018 information.”

To register to accept payments for this year, Americans can use the IRS’s Non-Filer tool or file a simplified paper return.

However, those who have already received the full Economic Impact Payment will not be able to obtain the credit.

Individuals must meet specific guidelines to get a direct payment, including having a valid Social Security number, not having been claimed as someone else’s dependent on a federal income tax return, and holding U.S. citizen or resident alien status.

Millions of Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was passed in March.

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"In partnership with the U.S. Treasury Department, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Social Security Administration and the Department of Veteran's Affairs and software industry partners, the IRS has issued about 160 million Economic Impact Payments totaling approximately $270 billion," the release noted.

Lawmakers have remained in a stalemate during months over further relief, and now have less than two weeks to work through their legislative agenda ahead of the Thanksgiving recess.

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World News

SL Green’s One Madison tower is a $2.3 billion bet against COVID-19

Bucking fears of a bleak future for office buildings, SL Green is taking the plunge on a $2.3 billion, speculative project that bets on a revived city three years from now.

On Monday, the publicly traded developer started work on One Madison — a 1.4 million square-foot tower that superimposes 21st century environmentally attuned construction onto the original 19th century structure at Madison Avenue and East 23d Street.

The job won’t be finished until the fall of 2023, which gives the developer plenty of time to find tenants. Even so, it’s an audacious stroke by SLG and its joint-venture partners, Texas-based Hines and National Pension Service of Korea.

One Madison launched even as Manhattan’s office towers remain 85 percent unoccupied despite being 88 percent leased.

SL Green Chairman and CEO Marc Holliday termed the situation “frustrating” in a third-quarter earnings call, but said, “I think [that work-from-home employees] will be back.” Whenever that may be “doesn’t, in our estimation, affect any of the long-term fundamentals of things we look at.”

“I think 2023 is the perfect time to bring One Madison onto the market,” SL Green executive vice president and leading director Steven Durels said this week. “I think we’ll be past COVID and the economy will be in growth mode.”

SL Green on Monday closed on a $1.25 billion construction loan for the project from a consortium of seven banks.

The development partners and architects KPF are the same team behind One Vanderbilt, the just-opened, 1,401-foot tall skyscraper that broke ground in 2016. Durels said his confidence in One Madison “comes from the leasing velocity at One Vanderbilt, which is the same today as it was pre-COVID. We signed three new leases since work resumed in June. And we have three new leases out that are close to being done.”

One Madison stands adjacent to the landmarked Clocktower, now an Edition by Marriott hotel, in the heart of Midtown South.

Nine floors on the avenue side will combine a mostly glass façade with part of the 1893-vintage limestone original. Four old floors on the 23rd Street side are to be demolished for 18 new ones with a glass curtain-wall facade rising to 27 floors. Some 1.2 acres of outdoor roof and terrace overlook Madison Square Park, notably on “garden floors” 10 and 11.

The tower incorporates 250,000 square feet of unused air rights that came with the property when SL Green bought it in 2005, when it was leased to Credit Suisse. It will have 90,000 square-foot floorplates on podium levels 2-9, and 36,000 square-foot floors 10-26.

Durels said, “our most likely market” is for tech, accounting, media, engineering and fintech firms. Office rents will mirror those in central Manhattan, “triple digits,” he said.

In addition to an expected LEED gold rating for environmental sustainability, the tower aims for a WELL Building Standard, a global rating system for workplace health. It will feature an air-conditioning system that circulates 100 percent outside air. Some 23,000 square feet of retail space will likely include a 15,000 square-foot “artisanal gourmet” food market, Durels said.

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World News

GOP Rep.-elect Ashley Hinson tests positive for coronavirus, will participate in freshman orientation remotely

Hinson: GOP women claiming House seats ‘ready to get to work’

Congresswoman-elect Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, discusses Republican women making gains in Congress and what’s first on the agenda.

Congresswoman-elect Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday night and will attend new member orientation remotely, her campaign said Thursday.

Hinson "feels great" and is quarantining at home in Marion, Iowa, under the advice of her physician, her campaign said. 

CONGRESSWOMAN-ELECT HINSON SAYS SHE WON HOUSE SEAT BY BEING 'EVERYDAY IOWAN' WITH MINIVAN, MORTGAGE

Orientation for newly elected members begins this week. 

Republican women have made major strides in Congress this election, adding more than a dozen women to the ranks of the House of Representatives.

In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, watches as House Speaker Pat Grassley takes the oath of office during the opening day of the Iowa Legislature, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Hinson told “Fox & Friends Weekend” that she credits her win to being an average Iowan who took on the campaign trail in her “mom van.” She defeated incumbent Democrat Rep. Abby Finkenauer.

“I think it just came down to driving all around the district,” she said. “I’m a mom who drives a mini-van. We have a mortgage. I’m an everyday Iowan and that’s really what it came down to … hard work and a lot of miles on the mom-van.”

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Fox News' Angelica Stabile contributed to this report.

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Markets

To hire great employees, use these 3 military special operations strategies

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The assessment and selection process for U.S. Military Special Operations is designed to pressure-test candidates because under pressure, an individual’s true character comes out.

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While the tactics for hiring in business won’t involve physical challenges to push candidates to the limit, the strategy is the same–turn up the pressure to reveal a candidate’s character traits, especially those like drive and resiliency.

All too often, people make the mistake of hiring someone who can interview well. Unfortunately, a good interview doesn’t always translate to someone who will be great on the job.

No matter the role, using the tactic of scenario-based and behavioral questions, practical challenges, and pushing candidates outside their comfort zone will help identify the best new hires.

US JOBS MARKET MAY NOT RECOVER FROM CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC UNTIL 2024

Scenario-Based and Behavioral Questions

One of the simplest ways to pressure-test candidates is to use scenario-based and behavioral questions—something you’re likely already doing.

Mike Sarraille, former Recon Marine and retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer with 20 years of experience in Special Operations, including the elite Joint Special Operations Command. Sarraille is CEO of EF Overwatch, an executive search and talent advisory

To turn these questions into a pressure-test, simply ask about high-pressure or stressful situations that are real-life scenarios from your company and have the candidate walk you through how they would handle it.

All too often, people make the mistake of hiring someone who can interview well. Unfortunately, a good interview doesn’t always translate to someone who will be great on the job.

Character is revealed in the problem-solving process, so make sure to ask questions that don’t have a straightforward solution.

Instructors in Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection place students in complex, uncertain, challenging environments and present them with problems without clear solutions.

JOE BIDEN'S 2020 TAX PLAN: THE KEY POINTS

You can do the same in interviews. Even more important than the candidate’s solution is how they reached it. What was their decision-making process? How did they approach the problem, and what did they prioritize?

Practical Challenges

Scenario-based and behavioral questions reveal the ideal reaction of a candidate—what they believe they should do in a stressful situation. To see what the candidate would actually do, you need to provide a practical challenge that reflects the duties of the job they’re interviewing for.

Challenges are a particularly important strategy of pressure-testing because they give you a sneak peek at how the candidate would perform in the role.

Case studies are utilized by Special Operations and are one of the best practical challenges. Depending on how much time you want to give the candidate, they can range in complexity from a 15-minute exercise to a several page report and a prepared presentation.

George Randle, former U.S. Army officer, Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Forcepoint and co-author, “The Talent War.”

You may also want to ask a candidate to prepare a writing sample or to give a presentation on a topic they’re unfamiliar with. One of the most well-known challenges for salespeople is to hand them an object—like a pen—and ask them to sell it to you.

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No matter which practical challenge is utilized, focus on the candidate’s thought processes, the way they deal with time-constraint stress and their ability to clearly, concisely, and confidently communicate.

Don’t get hung up on minor technical or process errors, as these are things you can train the candidate in after hiring.

Pushing Candidates Outside their Comfort Zone

Most candidates will come to an interview prepared with answers for traditional interview questions. This is their comfort zone.

You can see how the candidate handles the unknown and uncomfortable by asking unexpected and nontraditional interview questions.

Just like in Special Operations, a candidate will likely need to operate outside their comfort zone in the course of the job, so you want to know ahead of time how they will handle it. Uncomfortable questions allow you to assess how a candidate operates under stress, as well as evaluate their authenticity and integrity.

Some examples of unexpected questions include, “Who would you hire for this role other than yourself, and why?” and “If you were to gather your best friends, what would they unanimously say is their pet peeve about you?”

Another strategy is to delve into any red flags the candidate has shown on their resume.

People typically don’t like talking about their weak areas but it’s a great way to gain insight into their character. There’s also a twofold benefit here: not only are you able to determine the strength and validity of any red flags, you also get see how the candidate acts under pressure in an uncomfortable situation.

By tailoring interviews to reflect the realities of the work environment, you can better assess how a candidate will perform in the job. But no matter the role from Special Operations to back office, to CEO, the key to revealing a candidate’s potential is pressure testing.

Mike Sarraille is the CEO of EF Overwatch, an executive search and talent advisory firm, and leadership consultant with Echelon Front. He is a former Recon Marine and retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer with twenty years of experience in Special Operations, including the elite Joint Special Operations Command.

George Randle is a Strategic Advisor to EF Overwatch, former U.S. Army officer, and Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition at Forcepoint, a human-centric cybersecurity company. George has more than two decades of experience in talent acquisition at Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 firms.

Sarraille and Randle are co-authors of the new bestselling book, "The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent."

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Industries

Exports fall again on global trade woes

Oct. shipments dip 5.4%, imports slide 11.5%; ‘data reflects weak demand overseas and in India’

India’s merchandise exports slid back into contraction mode in October as struggling global trade continued to face headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outbound shipments declined 5.4% from a year earlier to $24.82 billion, after a brief respite in September when exports had expanded 6% to snap a six-month-long contraction.

Imports shrink

Imports of goods also declined by 11.5% last month, as per preliminary trade data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on Tuesday, taking the overall imports between April to October to $182.29 billion, 36.3% lower than the same period in 2019.

Merchandise exports in the first seven months of the current financial year amounted to $150.07 billion, a 19.1% contraction from the year-earlier period.

“The trade data shows the recovery is uneven and fragile as exports declined both sequentially and year-on-year, pointing to a sluggish global recovery,” said Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist at India Ratings and Research. “The continuous decline in non-oil, non-gold imports are pointing towards very weak domestic demand,” he added.

Gems sector flounders

Exports of rice (112%), chemicals (73.9%) and drugs and pharmaceuticals (21.8%) recorded the highest growth in October, while transport equipment and petroleum products saw the sharpest declines of (–56.3%) and (-53.3%), respectively.

Among employment-intensive sectors, gems and jewellery and leather also reported contractions of (-21.3%) and (-3.8%), respectively, while export of carpets jumped almost 38% and handicrafts grew by more than 11.3%.

Calling for a deeper analysis of the reasons behind the decline in exports of major export commodities over recent months, the Federation of Indian Exporters’ Organisations (FIEO) called for “urgent and immediate” action to resolve key issues that led to October’s ‘nominal’ dip. FIEO listed a shortage of containers and an increase in sea freight charges as issues needing attention.

FIEO president Sharad Kumar Saraf also attributed part of the decline to farmers’ agitations in some States.

Urging the government to release merchandise export incentives due to businesses, Mr. Saraf said exporters were seeing a rise in orders and a further fillip was expected once the U.S. election process concludes.

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World News

When is the best time to see the Blue Moon in the UK tonight?

A RARE Blue Moon is about to take to the sky tonight just in time for Halloween.

It's the first time a full Moon will be visible on Halloween eve across the whole world since 1944, weather depending.

Why is it called a Blue Moon?

Unfortunately, its name has nothing to do with its colour and the Moon should just look pearly grey.

A Blue Moon refers to the very rare occasion when a full Moon appears for the second time in the same month.

This year we had a full Moon on October 1 called the Harvest Moon.

Nasa previously explained: "According to modern folklore, a Blue Moon is the second full Moon in a calendar month.

When is the best time to see the Blue Moon?

"Usually months have only one full Moon, but occasionally a second one sneaks in.

"Full Moons are separated by 29 days, while most months are 30 or 31 days long; so it is possible to fit two full moons in a single month.

"This happens every two and a half years, on average."

Weather permitting you should be able to see it in all its bright glory after nightfall but try to avoid light polluted areas.

It's also being referred to by some as the 'Hunter's Blue Moon' because it appears around the time that Native American tribes would gather meat for the winter ahead.

And, as if this Moon didn't have enough names already, it will also be a technically be a Micromoon.

A Micromoon is the opposite of a Supermoon and means that the Moon will look a bit smaller than the average full Moon.

In fact, the Moon will be around 31,000 miles further away tomorrow than it would be during a Supermoon.

The different types of moons

Here are some of the most interesting moon phases and when to see them…

A Blue Moon refers to the occasion when a full Moon appears for the second time in the same month, this is very rare and the next Blue Moon should occur on Halloween in 2020.

The Harvest Moon appears around the time of the autumnal equinox when farmers tend to do their main crop harvesting.

A Supermoon appears when it is at its closest point to Earth and therefore at its brightest, the next one will appear in September.

A Blood Moon occurs during a total lunar eclipse, the next one should happen in May 2020.

Each month of the year actually has its own special full moon phenomenon, they are as follows:

 

  • January: Wolf Moon
  • February: Snow Moon
  • March: Worm Moon
  • April: Pink Moon
  • May: Flower Moon
  • June: Strawberry Moon
  • July: Buck Moon
  • August: Sturgeon Moon
  • September: Full Corn Moon
  • October: Hunter's Moon
  • November: Beaver Moon
  • December: Cold Moon.

What other space news is there?

In other space news, SpaceX wants to take its Starlink satellite broadband service to Mars.

Nasa released new footage of its daring mission to land a probe on 'doomsday asteroid' Bennu and collect an alien sample.

Nasa and Nokia are building a 4G network on the Moon.

Will you be stargazing on Halloween? Let us know in the comments…

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