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A group of pastors protested in front of the Trump Doral hotel on the first day of a payday lending group’s annual conference. (Anjali Tsui/ProPublica)

In mid-March, the payday lending industry held its annual convention at the Trump National Doral hotel outside Miami. Payday lenders offer loans on the order of a few hundred dollars, typically to low-income borrowers, who have to pay them back in a matter of weeks. The industry has long been reviled by critics for charging stratospheric interest rates — typically 400 percent on an annual basis — that leave customers trapped in cycles of debt.

The industry had felt under siege during the Obama administration, as the federal government moved to clamp down. A government study found that a majority of payday loans are made to people who pay more in interest and fees than they initially borrow. Google and Facebook refuse to take the industry’s ads.

On the edge of the Doral’s grounds, as the payday convention began, a group of ministers held a protest “pray-in,” denouncing the lenders for having a “feast” while their borrowers “suffer and starve.”

But inside the hotel, in a wood-paneled bar under golden chandeliers, the mood was celebratory. Payday lenders, many dressed in golf shirts and khakis, enjoyed an open bar and mingled over bites of steak and coconut shrimp.

They had plenty to be elated about. A month earlier, Kathleen Kraninger, who had just finished her second month as director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, had delivered what the lenders consider an epochal victory: Kraninger announced a proposal to gut a crucial rule that had been passed under her Obama-era predecessor.

Payday lenders viewed that rule as a potential death sentence for many in their industry. It would require payday lenders and others to make sure borrowers could afford to pay back their loans while also covering basic living expenses. Banks and mortgage lenders view such a step as a basic prerequisite. But the notion struck terror in the payday lenders. Their business model relies on customers — 12 million Americans take out payday loans every year, according to Pew Charitable Trusts — getting stuck in a long-term cycle of debt, experts say. A CFPB study found that three out of four payday loans go to borrowers who take out 10 or more loans a year.

Now, the industry was taking credit for the CFPB’s retreat. As salespeople, executives and vendors picked up lanyards and programs at the registration desk by the Doral’s lobby, they saw a message on the first page of the program from Dennis Shaul, CEO of the industry’s trade group, the Community Financial Services Association of America, which was hosting the convention. “We should not forget that we have had some good fortune through recent regulatory and legal developments,” Shaul wrote. “These events did not occur by accident, but rather are due in large part to the unity and participation of CFSA members and a commitment to fight back against regulatory overreach by the CFPB.”

A sign welcoming attendees of the CFSA conference and expo at the Trump Doral. (Alice Wilder/WNYC)

This year was the second in a row that the CFSA held its convention at the Doral. In the eight years before 2018 (the extent for which records could be found), the organization never held an event at a Trump property.

Asked whether the choice of venue had anything to do with the fact that its owner is president of the United States and the man who appointed Kraninger as his organization’s chief regulator, Shaul assured ProPublica and WNYC that the answer was no. “We returned because the venue is popular with our members and meets our needs,” he said in a written statement. The statement noted that the CFSA held its first annual convention at the Doral hotel more than 16 years ago. Trump didn’t own the property at the time.

The CFSA and its members have poured a total of about $1 million into the Trump Organization’s coffers through the two annual conferences, according to detailed estimates prepared by a corporate event planner in Miami and an executive at a competing hotel that books similar events. Those estimates are consistent with the CFSA’s most recent available tax filing, which reveals that it spent $644,656 on its annual conference the year before the first gathering at the Trump property. (The Doral and the CFSA declined to comment.)

“It’s a way of keeping themselves on the list, reminding the president and the people close to him that they are among those who are generous to him with the profits that they earn from a business that’s in severe danger of regulation unless the Trump administration acts,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of consumer group Americans for Financial Reform.

The money the CFSA spent at the Doral is only part of the ante to lobby during the Trump administration. The payday lenders also did a bevy of things that interest groups have always done: They contributed to the president’s inauguration and earned face time with the president after donating to a Trump ally.

A legal work-around

But it’s the payment to the president’s business that is a stark reminder that the Trump administration is like none before it. If the industry had written a $1 million check directly to the president’s campaign, both the CFSA and campaign could have faced fines or even criminal charges — and Trump couldn’t have used the money to enrich himself. But paying $1 million directly to the president’s business? That’s perfectly legal.

The inauguration of Donald Trump was a watershed for the payday lending industry. It had been feeling beleaguered since the launch of the CFPB in 2011. For the first time, the industry had come under federal supervision. Payday lending companies were suddenly subject to exams conducted by the bureau’s supervision division, which could, and sometimes did, lead to enforcement cases.

Before the bureau was created, payday lenders had been overseen mostly by state authorities. That left a patchwork: 15 states in which payday loans were banned outright, a handful of states with strong enforcement — and large swaths of the country in which payday lending was mostly unregulated.

Then, almost as suddenly as an aggressive CFPB emerged, the Trump administration arrived with an agenda of undoing regulations. “There was a resurgence of hope in the industry, which seems to be justified, at this point,” said Jeremy Rosenblum, a partner at law firm Ballard Spahr, who represents payday lenders. Rosenblum spoke to ProPublica and WNYC in a conference room at the Doral — filled with notepads, pens and little bowls of candy marked with the Trump name and family crest — where he had just led a session on compliance with federal and state laws. “There was a profound sense of relief, or hope, for the first time.” (Ballard Spahr occasionally represents ProPublica in legal matters.)

In Mick Mulvaney, who Trump appointed as interim chief of the CFPB in 2017, the industry got exactly the kind of person it had hoped for. As a congressman, Mulvaney had famously derided the agency as a “sad, sick” joke.

If anything, that phrase undersold Mulvaney’s attempts to hamstring the agency as its chief. He froze new investigations, dropped enforcement actions en masse, requested a budget of $0 and seemed to mock the agency by attempting to officially re-order the words in the organization’s name.

But Mulvaney’s rhetoric sometimes exceeded his impact. His budget request was ignored, for example; the CFPB’s name change was only fleeting. And besides, Mulvaney was always a part-timer, fitting in a few days a week at the CFPB while also heading the Office of Management and Budget, and then moving to the White House as acting chief of staff.

It’s Mulvaney’s successor, Kraninger, whom the financial industry is now counting on — and the early signs suggest she’ll deliver. In addition to easing rules on payday lenders, she has continued Mulvaney’s policy of ending supervisory exams on outfits that specialize in lending to the members of the military, claiming that the CFPB can do so only if Congress passes a new law granting those powers (which isn’t likely to happen anytime soon). She has also proposed a new regulation that will allow debt collectors to text and email debtors an unlimited number of times as long as there’s an option to unsubscribe.

Enforcement activity at the bureau has plunged under Trump. The amount of monetary relief going to consumers has fallen from $43 million per week under Richard Cordray, the director appointed by Barack Obama, to $6.4 million per week under Mulvaney and is now $464,039, according to an updated analysis conducted by the Consumer Federation of America’s Christopher Peterson, a former special adviser to the bureau.

Kraninger’s disposition seems almost the inverse of Mulvaney’s. If he’s the self-styled “right wing nutjob” willing to blow up the institution and everything near it, Kraninger offers positive rhetoric — she says she wants to “empower” consumers — and comes across as an amiable technocrat. At 44, she’s a former political science major — with degrees from Marquette University and Georgetown Law School — and has spent her career in the federal bureaucracy, with a series of jobs in the Transportation and Homeland Security departments and finally in OMB, where she worked under Mulvaney. (In an interview with her college alumni association, she hailed her Jesuit education and cited Pope Francis as her “dream dinner guest.”) In her previous jobs, Kraninger had extensive budgeting experience, but none in consumer finance. The CFPB declined multiple requests to make Kraninger available for an interview and directed ProPublica and WNYC to her public comments and speeches.

Good at not answering

Kraninger is new to public testimony, but she already seems to have developed the politician’s skill of refusing to answer difficult questions. At a hearing in March just weeks before the Doral conference, Democratic Rep. Katie Porter repeatedly asked Kraninger to calculate the annual percentage rate on a hypothetical $200 two-week payday loan that costs $10 per $100 borrowed plus a $20 fee. The exchange went viral on Twitter. In a bit of congressional theater, Porter even had an aide deliver a calculator to Kraninger’s side to help her. But Kraninger would not engage. She emphasized that she wanted to conduct a policy discussion rather than a “math exercise.” The answer, by the way: That’s a 521% APR.

A while later, the session recessed and Kraninger and a handful of her aides repaired to the women’s room. A ProPublica reporter was there, too. The group lingered, seeming to relish what they considered a triumph in the hearing room. “I stole that calculator, Kathy,” one of the aides said. “It’s ours! It’s ours now!” Kraninger and her team laughed.

Triple-digit interest rates are no laughing matter for those who take out payday loans. A sum as little as $100, combined with such rates, can lead a borrower into long-term financial dependency.

That’s what happened to Maria Dichter. Now 73, retired from the insurance industry and living in Palm Beach County, Florida, Dichter first took out a payday loan in 2011. Both she and her husband had gotten knee replacements, and he was about to get a pacemaker. She needed $100 to cover the co-pay on their medication. As is required, Dichter brought identification and her Social Security number and gave the lender a postdated check to pay what she owed. (All of this is standard for payday loans; borrowers either postdate a check or grant the lender access to their bank account.) What nobody asked her to do was show that she had the means to repay the loan. Dichter got the $100 the same day.

The relief was only temporary. Dichter soon needed to pay for more doctors’ appointments and prescriptions. She went back and got a new loan for $300 to cover the first one and provide some more cash. A few months later, she paid that off with a new $500 loan.

Dichter collects a Social Security check each month, but she has never been able to catch up. For almost eight years now, she has renewed her $500 loan every month. Each time she is charged $54 in fees and interest. That means Dichter has paid about $5,000 in interest and fees since 2011 on what is effectively one loan for $500.

Today, Dichter said, she is “trapped.” She and her husband subsist on eggs and Special K cereal. “Now I’m worried,” Dichter said, “because if that pacemaker goes and he can’t replace the battery, he’s dead.”

Payday loans are marketed as a quick fix for people who are facing a financial emergency like a broken-down car or an unexpected medical bill. But studies show that most borrowers use the loans to cover everyday expenses. “We have a lot of clients who come regularly,” said Marco (he asked us to use only his first name), a clerk at one of Advance America’s 1,900 stores, this one in a suburban strip mall not far from the Doral hotel. “We have customers that come two times every month. We’ve had them consecutively for three years.”

These types of lenders rely on repeat borrowers. “The average store only has 500 unique customers a year, but they have the overhead of a conventional retail store,” said Alex Horowitz, a senior research officer at Pew Charitable Trusts, who has spent years studying payday lending. “If people just used one or two loans, then lenders wouldn’t be profitable.”

The ability to pay rule

It was years of stories like Dichter’s that led the CFPB to draft a rule that would require that lenders ascertain the borrower’s ability to repay their loans. “We determined that these loans were very problematic for a large number of consumers who got stuck in what was supposed to be a short-term loan,” said Cordray, the first director of the CFPB, in an interview with ProPublica and WNYC. Finishing the ability-to-pay rule was one of the reasons he stayed on even after the Trump administration began. (Cordray left in November 2017 for what became an unsuccessful run for governor of Ohio.)

The ability-to-pay rule was announced in October 2017. The industry erupted in outrage. Here’s how CFSA’s chief, Shaul, described it in his statement to us: “The CFPB’s original rule, as written by unelected Washington bureaucrats, was motivated by a deeply paternalistic view that small-dollar loan customers cannot be trusted with the freedom to make their own financial decisions. The original rule stood to remove access to legal, licensed small-dollar loans for millions of Americans.” The statement cited an analysis that “found that the rule would push a staggering 82 percent of small storefront lenders to close.” The CFPB estimated that payday and auto title lenders — the latter allow people to borrow for short periods at ultra-high annual rates using their cars as collateral — would lose around $7.5 billion as a result of the rule.

The industry fought back. The charge was led by Advance America, the biggest brick-and-mortar payday lender in the United States. Its CEO until December, Patrick O’Shaughnessy, was the chairman of the CFSA’s board of directors and head of its federal affairs committee. The company had already been wooing the administration, starting with a $250,000 donation to the Trump inaugural committee. (Advance America contributes to both Democratic and Republican candidates, according to spokesperson Jamie Fulmer. He points out that, at the time of the $250,000 donation, the CFPB was still headed by Cordray, the Obama appointee.)

Payday and auto title lenders collectively donated $1.3 million to the inauguration. Rod and Leslie Aycox from Select Management Resources, a Georgia-based title lending company, attended the Chairman’s Global Dinner, an exclusive inauguration week event organized by Tom Barrack, the inaugural chairman, according to documents obtained by “Trump, Inc.” President-elect Trump spoke at the dinner.

In October 2017, Rod Aycox and O’Shaughnessy met with Trump when he traveled to Greenville, South Carolina, to speak at a fundraiser for the state’s governor, Henry McMaster. They were among 30 people who were invited to discuss economic development after donating to the campaign, according to the The Post and Courier. (“This event was only about 20 minutes long,” said the spokesperson for O’Shaughnessy’s company, and the group was large. “Any interaction with the President would have been brief.” The Aycoxes did not respond to requests for comment.)

In 2017, the CFSA spent $4.3 million advocating for its agenda at the federal and state level, according to its IRS filing. That included developing “strategies and policies,” providing a “link between the industry and regulatory decision makers” and efforts to “educate various state policy makers” and “support legislative efforts which are beneficial to the industry and the public.”

The ability-to-pay rule technically went into effect in January 2018, but the more meaningful date was August 2019. That’s when payday lenders could be penalized if they hadn’t implemented key parts of the rule.

Payday lenders looked to Mulvaney for help. He had historically been sympathetic to the industry and open to lobbyists who contribute money. (Jaws dropped in Washington, not about Mulvaney’s practices in this regard, but about his candor. “We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” he told bankers in 2018. “If you were a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”)

But Mulvaney couldn’t overturn the ability-to-pay rule. Since it had been finalized, he didn’t have the legal authority to reverse it on his own. Mulvaney announced that the bureau would begin reconsidering the rule, a complicated and potentially lengthy process. The CFPB, under Cordray, had spent five years researching and preparing it.

Bipartisan opposition

Meanwhile, the payday lenders turned to Congress. Under the Congressional Review Act, lawmakers can nix federal rules during their first 60 days in effect. In the House, a bipartisan group of representatives filed a joint resolution to abolish the ability-to-pay rule. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., led the charge in the Senate. But supporters couldn’t muster a decisive vote in time, in part because opposition to payday lenders crosses party lines.

By April 2018, the CFSA members were growing impatient. But the Trump administration was willing to listen. The CFSA’s Shaul was granted access to a top Mulvaney lieutenant, according to “Mick Mulvaney’s Master Class in Destroying a Bureaucracy From Within” in The New York Times Magazine, which offers a detailed description of the behind-the scenes maneuvering. Shaul told the lieutenant that the CFSA had been preparing to sue the CFPB to stop the ability-to-pay rule “but now believed that it would be better to work with the bureau to write a new one.” Cautious about appearing to coordinate with industry, according to the article, the CFPB was non-committal.

Days later, the CFSA sued the bureau. The organization’s lawyers argued in court filings that the bureau’s rules “defied common sense and basic economic analysis.” The suit claimed the bureau was unconstitutional and lacked the authority to impose rules.

A month later, Mulvaney took a rare step, at least, for most administrations: He sided with the plaintiffs suing his agency. Mulvaney filed a joint motion asking the judge to delay the ability-to-pay rule until the lawsuit is resolved.

By February of this year, Kraninger had taken charge of the CFPB and proposed to rescind the ability-to-pay rule. Her official announcement asserted that there was “insufficient evidence and legal support” for the rule and expressed concern that it “would reduce access to credit and competition.”

Kraninger’s announcement sparked euphoria in the industry. One industry blog proclaimed, “It’s party time, baby!” with a GIF of President Trump bobbing his head.

Kraninger’s decision made the lawsuit largely moot. But the suit, which has been stayed, has still served a purpose: This spring, a federal judge agreed to freeze another provision of the regulation, one that limits the number of times a lender can debit a borrower’s bank account, until the fate of the overall rule is determined.

As the wrangling over the federal regulation plays out, payday lenders have continued to lobby statehouses across the country. For example, a company called Amscot pushed for a new state law in Florida last year. Amscot courted African American pastors and leaders located in the districts of dozens of Democratic lawmakers and chartered private jets to fly them to Florida’s capital to testify, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The lawmakers subsequently passed legislation creating a new type of payday loan, one that can be paid in installments, that lets consumers borrow a maximum $1,000 loan versus the $500 maximum for regular payday loans. Amscot CEO Ian MacKechnie asserts that the new loans reduce fees (consumer advocates disagree). He added, in an email to ProPublica and WNYC: “We have always worked with leaders in the communities that we serve: both to understand the experiences of their constituents with regard to financial products; and to be a resource to make sure everyone understands the law and consumer protections. Educated consumers are in everyone’s interest.” For their part, the leaders denied that Amscot’s contributions affected their opinions. As one of them told the Tampa Bay Times, the company is a “great community partner.”

Kraninger spent her first three months in office embarking on a “listening tour.” She traveled the country and met with more than 400 consumer groups, government officials and financial institutions. Finally, in mid-April, she gave her first public speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The CFPB billed it as the moment she would lay out her vision for the agency.

Kraninger said she hoped to use the CFPB’s enforcement powers “less often.” She alluded to a report by the Federal Reserve that 40% of Americans would not be able to cover an emergency expense of $400. Her suggestion for addressing that: educational videos and a booklet. “To promote effective approaches to savings and particularly emergency savings,” Kraninger explained, “the Bureau recently launched our Start Small, Save Up initiative. It offers tips, tools and information to help consumers build a basic savings cushion and develop a savings habit. Later this year, we will be launching a savings ‘boot camp,’ a series of videos, and a very readable, informative booklet that serves as a roadmap to a savings plan.”

Having laid out what sounded like a plan to hand out self-help brochures at an agency invented to pursue predatory financial institutions, she then said, “Let me be clear, however, the ultimate goal for the bureau is not to produce booklets and great content on our website. The ultimate goal is to move the needle on the number of Americans in this country who can cover a financial shock, like a $400 emergency.”

Back at the Doral the month before her speech, $400 might not have seemed like much of an emergency to the payday lenders. Some attendees seemed most upset by a torrential downpour on the second day that caused the cancellation of the conference’s golf tournament.

Inside the Donald J. Trump Ballroom, the conference buzzed with activity. The Bush-era political adviser Karl Rove was the celebrity speaker after the breakfast buffet. And the practical sessions continued apace. One was called “The Power of the Pen.” It was aimed at helping attendees submit comments on the ability-to-pay rule to the government. It was clearly a matter of importance to the CFSA. In his statement to ProPublica and WNYC, Shaul noted that “more than one million customers submitted comments opposing the CFPB’s original small-dollar loan rule — hundreds of thousands of whom sent handwritten letters telling personal stories of how small-dollar loans helped them and their families.”

‘Duplicative’ public comments

A couple of months after the Doral conference, Allied Progress, a consumer advocacy group, analyzed the new round of comments that were submitted to the CFPB in response to Kraninger’s plans. Because, the group said, the industry had been accused of submitting “duplicative comments” in the past, it searched for such repetitions in the latest round. In one sample of 26,000 comments, the group discovered that 27% of the statements submitted by purportedly independent individuals contained duplicative passages, all of which supported the industry’s position, and also included identical personal anecdotes. (Payday opponents have encouraged people to submit preprinted comments to the CFPB, but there’s no indication that they include matching personal details.) For example, Allied Progress reported that 221 of the comments stated that “I have a long commute to work and it’s better for me financially to borrow from Cash Connection so that I can still make it to work than to not take care of my car and lose my job because of absences.” There were 201 asserting that “I now take care of my parents and my children” and I “want to be able to enjoy life and not feel burdened by the additional expenses that are piling up.” Allied Progress said it doesn’t know “if these are fake people, fake stories, or form letters intentionally designed to read as personal anecdotes.” (Cash Connection couldn’t be reached for comment.)

Taking account of public comments is the final task before Kraninger officially determines whether to put the ability-to-pay rule to death. Whatever she decides, it’s a likely bet that decision will be challenged in court, the CFSA will weigh in and the payday lenders will still be talking about it at next year’s annual conference. A spokesperson for the CFSA declined to say whether the event will be held at a Trump hotel.

This story was first published June 5, 2019, by ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom.  

 





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The board of directors of the Little Tokyo Community Impact Fund (LTCIF) recently held its second annual investor meeting to hold board elections and provide an update on the current activities of the still rather new LTCIF program.

Various board members virtually attended the annual meeting and reiterated the fund’s goal of purchasing commercial buildings that can support small, legacy businesses.

According to LTCIF Board Chairman Bill Watanabe, “LTCIF has continued to increase the number of investors who want to help Little Tokyo keep its traditional small businesses and fight gentrification; the need is even greater due to the negative impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses in the community. We now have, as of the end of June 2021, 77 shareholders who have invested $ 741,000 in the fund, which is a significant amount to help us become commercial property owners who can help small businesses in Little Tokyo.

“However, we still need more investors who can see the vision of owning and being able to control land use to help preserve our historic ethnic and cultural neighborhood.”

Professor Dean Toji, who teaches Asian-American studies at CSU Long Beach and is a board member of LTCIF, added that LTCIF reached half of the goal of raising $ 1.5 million , which would allow the fund to buy a property with a smaller leverage margin.

The annual meeting reported that an offer to buy a property in Little Tokyo was made last spring, but the owner decided to cancel the sale.

Updates were also provided on the current state of businesses in Little Tokyo and how various segments of the community have rallied around assistance programs and food purchases to help keep many restaurants open, although unfortunately some companies had to close permanently.

LTCIF’s investment period ended on July 31, but interested potential investors are encouraged to visit the website as another investment period will be available in the near future. Midori Mizuhara, town planner and one of the younger board members, said she hoped more people would invest in the future of Little Tokyo, especially the younger generations, so that our heritage and our cultural community endure for generations. to come.

Those interested can visit the Little Tokyo Community Impact Fund website (http://www.littletokyocif.com/) for more information and can use the “Contact Us” link to contact LTCIF by email.

– Bill Watanabe


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Tokyo, September 5 (SocialNews.XYZ) Krishna Nagar won India’s second badminton court gold medal and fifth overall, beating Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai in three fierce matches in the SH6 men’s singles class final at the Games Tokyo Paralympics on Sunday.

After Suhas Yathiraj won silver in SL 4 in the morning, India’s hopes of winning another gold medal at the badminton courts at Yoyogi National Stadium depended on Nagar, the world No. 2 in his career. category, and the 22-year-old from Jaipur did it. not disappoint as he played a superb aggressive game to win over Chu 2-1 in 43 minutes.


After winning the first match, Nagar, who started badminton in 2014 and started playing in earnest three years later, defeated Chu Man Kai 21-17, 16-21, 21-17 to win the match and the medal. golden sunday.

It was India’s fourth badminton medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after Pramod Bhagat won SL3 gold on Saturday and Manoj Sarkar won bronze in the same category.

On Sunday, Suhas Yathiraj won a silver, India’s third in badminton before Nagar added a gold to the tally.

This brought India’s total to 20 medals – 5 gold, eight silver and 6 bronze.

Source: IANS

Paralympic Games: Krishna Nagar wins India's fifth gold in Tokyo

About Gopi

Gopi Adusumilli is a programmer. He is editor-in-chief of SocialNews.XYZ and president of AGK Fire Inc.

He enjoys designing websites, developing mobile apps, and posting topical news articles from a variety of authenticated news sources.

When it comes to writing, he enjoys writing about current world politics and Indian films. Its future plans include the development of SocialNews.XYZ into a news website that is free from bias or judgment towards any.

He can be contacted at [email protected]


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By JENNA FRYER, AP Sports Writer

TOKYO (AP) – A condom fixed Jessica Fox’s canoe, and skateboarder Jagger Eaton celebrated her bronze medal by streaming live on Instagram. Margielyn Didal “let” Tony Hawk take a photo with her and post it on Facebook.

The stability of the cardboard framed beds in the Athletes’ Village have been tested by Olympians who have treated them like trampolines on almost every social media platform, and a Greek water polo player has created a dating app – which could have been useful for American rugby player Ilona. Maher, who rode with the “Thirsty Olympian” schtick.

The bespoke Tokyo Games, where pandemic precautions prevent allowing spectators, have become more of a digital affair than ever. From social media to streaming, athletes and their events are reaching audiences in record and innovative ways.

Over 100 million unique users visited Olympic digital platforms or used the Tokyo 2020 app during the games’ first week. U.S. rights holder NBC recorded 2.5 billion minutes of streaming Olympic content across all of its digital platforms, the network said, a 77% increase from the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games. The first week in Tokyo was the highest weekly usage on record for the Peacock streaming platform.

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But it’s the social media platforms that are causing the buzz. Social posts from Olympic accounts on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Weibo generated 3.7 billion engagements. The Olympics social media accounts have a combined total of 75 million subscribers.

Then there is the TikTok phenomenon. Launched in 2017, the abbreviated video sharing app has been one of the favorite social media platforms of these games. Athletes you’ve never heard of before Tokyo – especially those in niche sports – have used TikTok to capture moments that not only went viral, but became the way to introduce themselves to the world.

Karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing – all sports that resonate with a younger demographic – have certainly helped drive traffic to TikTok. The winners of the women’s street skateboarding podium were 13, 13 and 16 years old, and silver medalist Rayssa Leal of Brazil has 3.4 million followers on TikTok, half of her 6.5 million followers on Instagram.

Even the official Olympics page has skyrocketed with over three billion views of videos related to its #OlympicSpirit challenge.

“TikTok, as my son told me recently, is the digital venue of choice for young audiences,” said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams. “The Games have to go where the people are.”

The world knew gymnast SIMONE BILES before her second Olympics, and her teammate SUNISA LEE was also very popular. After Lee won the women’s all-around contest, she surpassed one million followers on her Instagram account. When settling for bronze on uneven bars, the 18-year-old admitted her growing fame had been a distraction.

But ILONA MAHER? Few people knew the 24-year-old rugby player from Vermont who could very well be the star of the TikTok Olympics. Posting while wearing a red, white and blue bucket hat, the self-deprecating 5-foot-10, 200-pound nursing school graduate read an article that called her “the thirsty Olympian” and ran with.

Maher is using a #beastbeautybrains campaign and hopes his videos will spread a positive body image, bring more attention to the sport of rugby, and most importantly, allow him to secure promotional deals.

“As a female athlete in an emerging sport, I don’t make a lot of money, so hopefully that opens the door to some branding deals,” Maher said. As for the message she tries to send to young girls: “It’s good to take up space. You can be so many things, a beast on the rugby field, a beauty anytime, and be as smart as the smartest person in the world. “

JAGGER EATON came to Tokyo with a community of skateboarders that started in 2012 when he set a record as the youngest competitor in the X Games at age 11. But it wasn’t until his sport was added to the Olympics that the rest of America became familiar with the 20-year-old Arizonan who won bronze with AirPods in his ears and his iPhone in his pocket.

When he missed a trick and was then shown to be looking for his fallen AirPod, Eaton went viral.

“I’m so glad skateboarding has so many eyes. I think it really advances the sport and legitimizes skateboarding, ”says Eaton, who says he has“ no idea ”why America fell in love with him. His social media presence is deliberate, with a defined aesthetic that he hopes legitimizes skateboarding.

“I feel like people really see how much I love skateboarding and how much I want to give back to the skate community, as well as to the younger generation that gave me so much motivation,” Eaton said.

Australian canoeist JESSICA FOX rose to prominence not by winning canoe slalom gold or kayak slalom bronze, but by posting a TikTok video of someone using a condom to fix the nose of their boat.

Filipino skateboarder MARGIELYN DIDAL posted a photo alongside Tony Hawk, considered the greatest skateboarder of all time, who jumped at Hawk’s joke that he is often misidentified in public. When his message was misinterpreted because Didal did not recognize Hawk, the GOAT had to explain himself.

ERIK SHOJI, an American volleyball player, grabbed attention with TikTok food reviews and tours of the Athlete’s Village, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at the athlete’s experience. He didn’t take social media seriously until he launched a YouTube channel last year while battling COVID.

Shoji reinforced his presence both as a way to preserve his memories and to shine the spotlight on the US men’s volleyball team off the court.

“People see us playing but don’t really know us off the pitch,” said the Hawaiian. “I hope that by showing myself and my teammates on TikTok, viewers got to know us in a different light and fall in love with our team.”

On the other side of the world in Slovakia, the 18-year-old synchronized swimmer SILVIA SOLYMOSYOVA has gained ground even though she is not yet an Olympian. Solymosyova studied TikTok trends to gain 1.2 million followers while reaching American audiences with her underwater videos.

“Many Slovaks think that anything that comes from abroad is better. My region is too small and my niche is too specific. That’s why I was trying to engage primarily with American TikTokers and target the English speaking audience, ”she said. “Because I am GenZ who sets the trends on TikTok, I have learned the skills and am a little ahead of the curve.”

Then there’s MARIOS KAPOTSIS, who tries to lead Greece to their first ever Olympic medal in men’s water polo. The 29-year-old has developed a dating app called “Vespr” which only works at night.

“So the app starts when the sun goes down, it’s open and when the sun rises, it’s closed,” says Kapotsis. “So it’s only overnight. Whatever you do overnight, the next night it’s all over. So every night is something new.”

AP Sports writer Jay Cohen and AP reporter Syd Fryer contributed to this report. More AP: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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The stability of the cardboard framed beds in the Athletes’ Village have been tested by Olympians who have treated them like trampolines on almost every social media platform, and a Greek water polo player has created a dating app – which could have been useful for American rugby player Ilona. Maher, who rode with the “Thirsty Olympian” schtick.

The bespoke Tokyo Games, where pandemic precautions prevent allowing spectators, have become more of a digital affair than ever. From social media to streaming, athletes and their events are reaching audiences in record and innovative ways.

Over 100 million unique users visited Olympic digital platforms or used the Tokyo 2020 app during the games’ first week. U.S. rights holder NBC recorded 2.5 billion minutes of streaming Olympic content across all of its digital platforms, the network said, a 77% increase from the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games. The first week in Tokyo was the highest weekly usage on record for the Peacock streaming platform.

But it’s the social media platforms that are causing the buzz. Social posts from Olympic accounts on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Weibo generated 3.7 billion engagements. The Olympics social media accounts have a combined total of 75 million subscribers.

Then there is the TikTok phenomenon. Launched in 2017, the abbreviated video sharing app has been one of the favorite social media platforms of these games. Athletes you’ve never heard of before Tokyo – especially those in niche sports – have used TikTok to capture moments that not only went viral, but became the way to introduce themselves to the world.

Karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing – all sports that resonate with a younger demographic – have certainly helped drive traffic to TikTok. The winners of the women’s street skateboarding podium were 13, 13 and 16 years old, and silver medalist Rayssa Leal of Brazil has 3.4 million followers on TikTok, half of her 6.5 million followers on Instagram.

Even the official Olympics page has skyrocketed with over three billion views of videos related to its #OlympicSpirit challenge.

“TikTok, as my son told me recently, is the digital venue of choice for young audiences,” said IOC spokesperson Mark Adams. “The Games have to go where the people are.”

WHO HELD

The world knew gymnast SIMONE BILES before her second Olympics, and her teammate SUNISA LEE was also very popular. After Lee won the women’s all-around contest, she surpassed one million followers on her Instagram account. When settling for bronze on uneven bars, the 18-year-old admitted her growing fame had been a distraction.

But ILONA MAHER? Few people knew the 24-year-old rugby player from Vermont who could very well be the star of the TikTok Olympics. Posting while wearing a red, white and blue bucket hat, the self-deprecating 5-foot-10, 200-pound nursing school graduate read an article that called her “the thirsty Olympian” and ran with.

Maher is using a #beastbeautybrains campaign and hopes his videos will spread a positive body image, bring more attention to the sport of rugby, and most importantly, allow him to secure promotional deals.

“As a female athlete in an emerging sport, I don’t make a lot of money, so hopefully that opens the door to some branding deals,” Maher said. As for the message she tries to send to young girls: “It’s good to take up space. You can be so many things, a beast on the rugby field, a beauty anytime, and be as smart as the smartest person in the world. “

JAGGER EATON came to Tokyo with a community of skateboarders that started in 2012 when he set a record as the youngest competitor in the X Games at age 11. But it wasn’t until his sport was added to the Olympics that the rest of America became familiar with the 20-year-old Arizonan who won bronze with AirPods in his ears and his iPhone in his pocket.

When he missed a trick and was then shown to be looking for his fallen AirPod, Eaton went viral.

“I’m so glad skateboarding has so many eyes. I think it really advances the sport and legitimizes skateboarding, ”says Eaton, who says he has“ no idea ”why America fell in love with him. His social media presence is deliberate, with a defined aesthetic that he hopes legitimizes skateboarding.

“I feel like people really see how much I love skateboarding and how much I want to give back to the skate community, as well as to the younger generation that gave me so much motivation,” Eaton said.

Australian canoeist JESSICA FOX rose to prominence not by winning canoe slalom gold or kayak slalom bronze, but by posting a TikTok video of someone using a condom to fix the nose of their boat.

Filipino skateboarder MARGIELYN DIDAL posted a photo alongside Tony Hawk, considered the greatest skateboarder of all time, who jumped at Hawk’s joke that he’s often misidentified in public. When his message was misinterpreted because Didal did not recognize Hawk, the GOAT had to explain himself.

ERIK SHOJI, an American volleyball player, grabbed attention with TikTok food reviews and tours of the Athlete’s Village, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at the athlete’s experience. He didn’t take social media seriously until he launched a YouTube channel last year while battling COVID.

Shoji reinforced his presence both as a way to preserve his memories and to shine the spotlight on the US men’s volleyball team off the court.

“People see us playing but don’t really know us off the pitch,” said the Hawaiian. “I hope that by showing myself and my teammates on TikTok, viewers got to know us in a different light and fall in love with our team.”

On the other side of the world in Slovakia, the 18-year-old synchronized swimmer SILVIA SOLYMOSYOVA has gained ground even though she is not yet an Olympian. Solymosyova studied TikTok trends to gain 1.2 million followers while reaching American audiences with her underwater videos.

“Many Slovaks think that anything that comes from abroad is better. My region is too small and my niche is too specific. That’s why I was trying to engage primarily with American TikTokers and target the English speaking audience, ”she said. “Because I am GenZ who sets the trends on TikTok, I have learned the skills and am a little ahead of the curve.”

Then there’s MARIOS KAPOTSIS, who tries to lead Greece to their first ever Olympic medal in men’s water polo. The 29-year-old has developed a dating app called “Vespr” which only works at night.

“So the app starts when the sun goes down, it’s open and when the sun rises, it’s closed,” says Kapotsis. “So it’s only overnight. Whatever you do overnight, the next night it’s all over. So every night is something new.”

———

AP Sports writer Jay Cohen and AP reporter Syd Fryer contributed to this report. More AP: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports



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Tokyo, August 4 (SocialNews.XYZ) A week ago, the village of Baro Mukhia in the Golaghat district of Assam was connected to the world by a muddy road. Now the people of the state are working hard to turn the road into a concrete road.

Thanks to Lovlina’s bronze medal in the welterweight category at the Tokyo Olympics, the village is now getting those things they’ve been deprived of in the past.


Lovlina, 23, who started with Muay Thai, a form of martial arts, lost her semifinal fight to reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.

It was a fight where Busenaz beat Lovlina. But the Assamese boxer already had her name in India’s Olympic medalist list after beating Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-Chin in the quarterfinals.

“I don’t want to stop on the bronze. I want to go for the gold. The medal is only one. It’s the gold,” Lovlina said in the media interaction last Friday. . Although she failed to go for gold, Lovlina became the third Indian boxer to step onto the Olympic Games podium after Vijender Singh and MC Mary Kom at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, respectively.

Baro Mukhia’s Lovlina trip to Tokyo has been inspiring. She managed to fight her way through various obstacles to win a medal at the Olympics.

Growing up in the village, Lovlina first embarked on the practice of Muay Thai, following in the footsteps of her twin sisters Lima and Licha.

It was only the sight of boxing coach Padum Boro in 2012 that saw a huge change in Lovlina’s life. A few months later, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) held trials at Barpathar Girls High School, where Lovlina studied. She had the chance to show off her skills during the trials and was selected as an intern at Guwahati.

Boro noticed his exceptional talent and began to hone his skills. Boro, who worked in the Sports Authority of India’s Shillong and Dimapur centers, introduced Lovlina to boxing. From there, there was no turning back for Lovlina.

On her journey to stand on the podium at the Olympics, she has fought the patriarchal mentality of society, overcame the battle with COVID-19 and worries about her mother Mamoni’s kidney problems.

Lovlina’s first major breakthrough came with a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships in New Delhi and the 2019 World Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia.

Now with the bronze medal at the Olympics, Lovlina is licensed to climb high after a long run to the podium in Tokyo.

Source: IANS

Lovlina's journey to an Olympic medal: from Baro Mukhia to Tokyo

About Gopi

Gopi Adusumilli is a programmer. He is editor-in-chief of SocialNews.XYZ and president of AGK Fire Inc.

He enjoys designing websites, developing mobile apps, and posting topical news articles from a variety of authenticated news sources.

When it comes to writing, he enjoys writing about current world politics and Indian films. Its future plans include the development of SocialNews.XYZ into a news website that is free from bias or judgment towards any.

He can be contacted at [email protected]


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A sign with Covid-19 countermeasures ahead of Tokyo 2020

Matthias Hangst / Getty Images

It is the dream of a lifetime to attend the Olympics and when I was given the opportunity, I never hesitated.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, has made planning for this year’s Games difficult.

Before arriving in Japan, all media and participants had to undergo two Covid-19 PCR tests (96 hours and 72 hours before departure). We also had to complete an “Activity Plan” predicting the events we would attend in and around Tokyo.

The business plan was drawn up a month before the Games, which limits the media to only frequenting the venues for which they requested.

Three flights and nearly two full days of travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg to Doha and then to Narita International Airport in Tokyo later, I arrived at the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.

There were other documents on the flight to Tokyo and on arrival – at 6:55 pm – I had lost count of the documents and envelopes.

There were complications with some of my papers which meant it took me longer to get out of the airport, but the volunteers and airport staff were helpful, guiding me through of eight The Covid-19 protocol stops.

There was a language barrier, but things went pretty well.

There was a saliva antigen test, disgusting as it sounds, and a wait for the results before finally going through customs and passport control – well, leaving the airport at 11:30 p.m.

Even at this time of day, volunteers were waiting and guiding each participant to each checkpoint.

I had a brief conversation with a volunteer. Despite her work at midnight, she told me that she was grateful to meet new people.

All media and broadcasters took a bus to the MPC (Main Press Center) in Koto town, then took taxis to their hotels.

I finally checked in at 1:00 am. It took me almost five hours to get out of the airport, and at one point I passed the time with a nice 10 minute conversation on the Friends TV show with a member of staff.

jpn

Organizers are asking those who arrive to self-quarantine for three days.

At the airport, everyone – even the athletes – had to download a contact tracing app, which allows the government to track us via GPS. During our first 14 days after entering Japan, we are not allowed to be tourists: not to walk or eat in restaurants.

So although I am now in Tokyo, I have yet to visit any sites or even take any iconic photos of Olympic rings or banners in the city.

There are countless logins and websites that require signups and logins. There is the Covid-19 tests, which will be done every four days for the media, whether or not you are vaccinated.

Strict rules are in place for everyone involved, including the more than 15,000 athletes in the Olympic Village.

Athletes are tested daily and are not allowed to cheer on teammates in other events. They also have 48 hours to leave Tokyo after their event is over, or when they are eliminated.

Tokyo runs a tight ship, but no matter how successful the centerpiece is, it will forever be known as the Covid Games.

* Lynn Butler is in Tokyo to cover the Sport24 Olympic Games.


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U&U Graphics, a neighborhood business since 1994, receives a $ 2,000 grant from the Small Business Relief Fund. (Photo courtesy of Little Tokyo Community Council)

The Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) has awarded a total of $ 100,000 in grants to 50 small businesses in Little Tokyo that have suffered significant revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the first round of distributions in November 2020, grants of $ 2,000 were awarded to 25 of the small businesses in the community, the majority of which are legacy small businesses that have been in operation for over 20 years, and the second round will help support 25 more valuable ones. businesses that contribute to the neighborhood’s cultural identity.

The grants were made possible through donations from the Little Tokyo Small Business Fund, a program created in partnership between LTCC and the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) to provide financial support to local businesses during the pandemic.

“We are very grateful to all of the donors who made this second round of grant distributions possible,” said Kristin Fukushima, CEO of LTCC. “Individual grants signify our commitment to supporting our cherished businesses now and in better times to come. Little Tokyo is resilient and we want to make sure our community knows we’re all in the same boat. “

The recipients of the second round of grants include 15 traditional small businesses with an average of over 42 years in Little Tokyo, including Akimoto Chiropractic Office, Far Bar, Kurata Eyecare Center, Las Galas, Los Angeles EyeCare Optometry Group, Nobuyuki Watanabe Jewelry, Sanwa Enterprises / Olympic Shop, Sushi & Teri, The Hob Nob Shop, Tokyo Bridal & Tuxedo, Torigoya, U&U Graphics, Utsuwa-No-Yakata, Uyehara Travel and Video Paradise.

Ten other neighborhood businesses were also chosen to receive the second round of funding: ACE One Stop Mail Plus, California Floral Company, EZ Shiatsu LA, Ginza, Little Tokyo Pharmacy, Muttropolitan LA, PANAWEST, Popkiller, Sharp Tea and Wonder Nails.

Micro-grant recipient Dr Gregory Kame, OD, FAAO, of the Los Angeles EyeCare Optometry Group, operating in Little Tokyo since 1921, is already thinking about how he can pass it on and his role in supporting d ‘other small shops and the neighborhood.

“I plan to donate the micro-grant funds to some of the struggling businesses in Little Tokyo who could use the aid but probably didn’t apply for the grant, thinking they would take money away from those who did. desperately need it, “said Dr. Kame. “So I want to give all the money to the companies that I think deserve it.

“My business was closed for a few months last year. We are slowly recovering and at least going in the right direction. We are celebrating our 100th anniversary this year. There have been a lot of ups and downs throughout our history, but we’ve made it through every storm. I have no doubts that we can survive this storm.

LTCC has a fundraising goal of $ 500,000 to be able to provide grants of $ 2,000 to as many eligible local businesses that successfully apply and qualify for the program. Eligibility is determined through the application process available at littletokyola.org/gofundme. Another round of grants will be awarded when the fund reaches $ 150,000.

In addition to the Little Tokyo Small Business Relief Fund, the LTCC Community food community (CFC) is finished after 23 weeks. The program has supported 84 local businesses by raising more than $ 195,000 and purchasing and distributing more than 10,000 meals to people in need within the community of Little Tokyo.

LTCC continues to accept donations and requests for the Small Business Relief Fund. LTSC Small Business Assistance Program staff are available to help you complete applications. For assistance in English, contact Megan Teramoto at [email protected] and for assistance in Japanese, contact Mariko Lochridge at [email protected]. Interpretation into Korean, Chinese and Spanish is available on request and can be provided in the language at Mariko Lochridge at [email protected]

For more information and to donate to the Little Tokyo Small Business Relief Fund, visit littletokyola.org/gofundme.


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Following the shooting deaths of eight people in Atlanta, including six Asian women, and the numerous unprovoked verbal and physical attacks on Asian Americans over the past year across the country, the council of The administration of the Little Tokyo Community Council strongly condemns the assaults on our communities and the historic racism that continues to undermine the lives of Asian Americans / Pacific Islanders and people of color.

Our generation of Issei immigrants faced anti-Asian discrimination upon arriving in America in the 1880s and formed Little Tokyo and other Japantowns in response. They came together, started small businesses, opened temples and churches, and created communities where they and their Nisei children could live free from the restrictions and prejudices of American society. But racism overwhelmed Japanese Americans during World War II when the US government forcibly evicted them and jailed them in concentration camps without charge and without due process.

Today, the Little Tokyo Community Council represents the interests of local residents, businesses, religious institutions, arts and cultural organizations, and non-profit organizations with the goal of protecting the legacy of our historic district, which has was rebuilt after the war. But with the weekly reports of attacks on the elderly in their own communities and the recent vandalism against a Buddhist temple in Little Tokyo and local housing complexes, heightened anxiety has arisen from the feeling of violation of what was considered to be. shelter.

The Little Tokyo Community Council joins with other AAPI organizations to encourage anyone who has been abused to speak up. We call on our communities to be more vigilant towards those who are most vulnerable. But we also agree with the Stop AAPI Hate alliance that the scourge of racism is the pandemic against which every new generation must seek inoculation and herd immunity.

Anti-Asian hatred is a variant of this scourge that has crippled generations of people of color and destabilized American society. The only real cure is to put an end to structural and social racism against all.

As a coalition of different organizations and entities, the Little Tokyo Community Council values ​​the strength and resilience of working together for a common cause. We call on all of our communities to work together to fight racism and prejudice in all their forms.

Tagged: Little Tokyo


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1. They are extremely expensive

If you don’t have good credit, you will unfortunately have to pay more for any loan than someone with better credit, unfortunately. If you compare loans without a credit check with regular loans for bad credit, however, it is a difference between whether you want a high rate or an exorbitant rate.

Numerous bad credit loans charge about 30% APR. With payday loans, for example, you will often be charged around 400% APR, or more than 10 times that. These numbers may seem abstract, so it’s helpful to see what that actually means for your wallet at the end of the day. Here’s what three different $ 500 loans will cost if you pay them off over a six-month period:

The difference between having good credit and relying on payday loans in this case is $ 706.25 more in interest, more than what you even borrowed in the first place. It’s high costs like these that a lot of people see as criminal which is why some states ban payday loans.

Since payday loans only last until your next payday, the term length is usually around two weeks, not six months. However, there are cases where you can end up paying that high APR for even longer (even six months or more like in the example above), which brings us to our next point.



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