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Carbon Markets Biased, Distorted, Undermined

Opinion by Jomo Kwame Sundaram (kuala lumpur, malaysia)Tuesday, April 09, 2024Inter Press Service Market solutions better? Mainstream economists believe the best way to check global heating is to tax greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Equivalent ‘carbon prices’ have been set for the other significant GHGs. But many have been revised due to their moot, varied and unstable, arguably incomparable nature. Positive carbon prices tax fossil fuels, GHG emissions, and products according to their energy intensity. Hence, when carbon prices fall, they deter fossil fuel use less effectively. Developed countries have set up ‘carbon trading’ systems ostensibly to deter GHG emissions. Firms wanting to emit more than their assigned quotas must buy emission permits from others who commit to emit under quota. Getting prices right? Conventional economists believe carbon prices should cover the ‘social costs’ of GHG emissions, but disagree on how to estimate them. But policymakers believe it necessary to discount these prices to gain broad acceptance for carbon markets. A recent International Monetary Fund paper acknowledged, “Differences between efficient prices and retail fuel prices are large and pervasive”. But such distortions undermine the very purpose of carbon pricing. Gro Intelligence estimated the social cost of carbon emissions at $4.08 per metric tonne in 2022, which is used by the influential Gro-Kepos Carbon Barometer. But Resources for the Future estimated it at $185/tonne, over forty times higher! While carbon prices are meant to tax fossil fuels, low prices reduce their deterrent effect. Fossil fuel subsidies lower carbon prices, which can even become negative. Such price subsidies undermine carbon markets’ intended effects. Whenever carbon prices are discounted or deliberately kept low, they are much less effective in deterring GHG emissions. They also distort the price system with many other unintended, but perverse consequences. Writing in the New York Times, Peter Coy noted the carbon price rose from under $4 per metric tonne in 2012 to almost $20/tonne in 2020 before dropping sharply to around $4/tonne in 2022! Incredibly, he still concluded carbon prices were “headed in the right direction” since 2012. How low and volatile carbon prices are supposed to discourage fossil fuel use and accelerate renewable energy investments must be self-evident to him alone? Western fossil fuel subsidies Carbon prices shot up when fossil fuel energy prices spiked after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. But they soon collapsed as European governments intervened to subsidise energy prices. As the rich nations’ Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development noted, “government support for fossil fuels almost doubled in 2022” to over $1.4 trillion! State subsidies rise with prices when governments try to mitigate rising fossil fuel prices. Such subsidies negate the purpose of carbon pricing, and can lower them so much as to become negative! Such subsidies were deemed necessary to retain public support for NATO’s Ukraine war effort and to drive down Russian fossil fuel export prices. Thus, such ‘geopolitical’ interventions have undermined carbon taxes, prices and markets. Carbon prices dropped sharply worldwide, from $18.97/tonne in 2021 to $4.08 in 2022. In 2022, nine of the 26 countries in the Barometer had negative prices, with only six – not the US – above $25. Oil and natural gas prices have since fallen from their 2022 peaks, with consumer subsidies declining correspondingly. Hence, carbon prices for GHG emissions have recovered. Such price subsidies and volatility do not help enterprises plan and invest their energy use – crucial to accelerate needed ‘carbon transitions’. Unsurprisingly, after over a decade, there is little evidence that carbon markets have effectively cut GHG emissions to avert climate catastrophe. Clearly, they cannot be counted upon to cut them sufficiently. China, market conformist! Significantly, after China began its emissions trading system in 2021, its carbon price rose to a level higher than the US price in 2022. As its per capita income is much lower than in the West, its higher carbon price is probably a more significant deterrent to fossil fuel use. China is now the world’s largest carbon emitter, so its $19/tonne price in 2022 significantly raised the international weighted average. Nevertheless, thanks to the subsidies, the weighted average for all other countries was negative at -$4.50/tonne in 2022! Despite much rich nation rhetoric demanding carbon prices and markets for the whole world, their own commitment to this problematic approach to mitigating GHG emissions has been much more compromised than China’s! IPS UN Bureau Follow @IPSNewsUNBureauFollow IPS News UN Bureau on Instagram © Inter Press Service (2024) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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Yoan Moncada leaves White Sox game with adductor strain

CLEVELAND — Just when it seemed like things couldn’t get worse for the White Sox, third baseman Yoan Moncada went down in a heap running out a ground ball at Progressive Field Tuesday. Moncada has a left adductor strain, the team said shortly after he was assisted off the field, and appears headed to the injury list with All-Star center fielder Luis Robert Jr. and designated hitter Eloy Jimenez. Moncada will be further evaluated Wednesday. Moncada has been dealing with discomfort in the hip and adductor area in recent days, he and manager Pedro Grifol revealed before the game. He stole second base in Monday’s 5-3 loss to the Guardians that dropped the Sox’ record to 1-9. “He’s had a little nagging hip, adductor type but he’s doing a really good job maintaining, and he’s doing OK with it,” Grifol said. “He’s had it off and on a little bit. “Nothing that can keep him out of the lineup. He stole a bag the other day. But it’s something you have to maintain and be careful.” “I’m good to go,” Moncada said at his locker before the game. Remarkably, Moncada, Robert Jr. (Grade 2 hip flexor strain) and Jimenez (adductor strain) were all hurt running out ground balls. The Sox scored five runs in the first inning and led the Guardians 5-2 in the third.

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Masters debutants Clark and Aberg looking to pull major surprise

AUGUSTA, Georgia : It has been nearly a half-century since a Masters debutant slipped on the Green Jacket but American veteran Wyndham Clark and Swedish young gun Ludvig Aberg could deliver a major surprise at Augusta National this week. Not since Fuzzy Zoeller beat Ed Sneed and Tom Watson in a playoff to win the 1979 Masters has a rookie walked away with the coveted title. But Clark and Aberg are not your typical Masters newcomers. It may be Clark’s first Masters but the 30-year-old sits a threatening number four on the world rankings and has a resume that includes a U.S. Open title. World number nine Aberg, just 24, is already a winner on the PGA and DP Tours and was a member of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup squad last year. “It’s a tricky balance,” said Aberg, whose best result on the PGA Tour this season is a runner-up finish to Clark at Pebble Beach. “Obviously I’m feeling all the first-time feelings that everyone’s feeling, but I’m also trying to be OK with all those things coming at me at the same time. “All I’m trying to do is just embrace all the nerves and all the excitement that I feel and at the same time know my capabilities and know my qualities and know that’s probably going to be good enough to compete. “I’ll definitely make sure that, come Thursday, I’ll be as prepared as I can.” As the only major played on the same venue it is experience that counts at Augusta National says Tiger Woods, who will be seeking a 24th consecutive made cut at the Masters. “It’s an understanding of how to play this golf course,” said Woods, owner of five Green Jackets. “That’s one of the reasons why you see players in their 50s and 60s make cuts here or it’s players in their late 40s having runs at winning the event, just the understanding of how to play it. “Now you still have to go out and execute it but there’s a lot of knowledge that goes into understanding how to play it.” With his victory at last year’s U.S. Open, Clark is confident he can deal with the pressure but still expects to feel a few jitters when play gets underway on Thursday. “I know it’s a tall task,” he said. “It’s a challenging golf course. There’s a bunch of good golfers. That said, you still have to bring your game, it’s not like you can just flip a switch and win it. “But that would be an amazing accomplishment and I like my chances. I really like myself on this golf course.”

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Here’s what to do with your solar eclipse glasses, instead of throwing them out

Picture this: It’s Monday afternoon, and after a long drive into the path of totality or a well-timed lunch break in the midst of a busy shift, you’ve just watched the moon take the sun’s place in the sky. It was a near-indescribable display of cosmic wonder and majesty, lasting just a few precious minutes and viewed safely, for the most part, only by the grace of a wafer-thin pair of sun-proof glasses. But now, it’s over. So what do you do with the shades? As countless sun-gazers settle in for the long wait until their next solar eclipse, many may be asking themselves the same question. Eclipse glasses are typically mass-produced from cardboard frames and polymer filters, so some may be tempted to toss them out, but a number of organizations are hoping you’ll think twice before you do. Here are a few options to consider: For a sunny day Whether you plan on trekking down to Chile for the annular eclipse this fall, or Greenland or Morocco for 2026 and 2027’s total eclipses, there’s something to be said for being prepared well in advance. According to NASA, a typical pair of eclipse glasses (that are compliant with ISO 12312-2 safety standards) can be reused indefinitely if kept in good condition, meaning this past Monday may not have been the last chance to get your money’s worth. “I will definitely be hanging on to mine for Morocco,” CTV News science and technology specialist Dan Riskin said in an interview on CTV News Channel Tuesday. “They’re great souvenirs.” On a less once-in-a-lifetime note, an undamaged pair of eclipse glasses work just as well on the unobscured sun, which can be a spectacle of its own. Download the CTV News App for breaking news alerts and video on all the top stories “They will protect you,” Riskin said. “The sun is something that … we never look at, because it hurts … They’re best for eclipses, but those glasses, they still have a use.” The sun is expected to reach its peak activity for the current roughly 11-year solar cycle by 2025, meaning visible phenomena like sunspots will be more common. If the eclipse left you with the spark of a new interest in astronomy, there’s no need to wait to learn more. Donation drives For minimalists, the photos and memories are likely enough of a keepsake, but that doesn’t mean your eclipse glasses are doomed to head straight to a landfill. There’s no shortage of people just as excited for next time, with eyes they’re just as eager to protect. Astronomers Without Borders (AWB), an educational non-profit based in Calabasas, Calif., has spent more than a decade collecting and recycling eclipse glasses from around the world for future celestial events. This year’s eclipse marks the return of the group’s recycling and distribution drive, gathering used glasses from hundreds of local governments, libraries and retail stores across North America. Along the eclipse’s path here in Canada, the city of Cornwall, Ont., has opened a collection point at a local fire station, alongside the Montreal Planetarium and the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Kingsville, Ont. Eyewear retailer Warby Parker, with four stores across the GTA, will be accepting donations to pass along to AWB for the rest of April. Download the CTV News App for breaking news alerts and video on all the top stories Ottawa City Coun. David Hill has also offered his ward’s constituency office as a collection point for Eclipse Glasses USA, a manufacturer that recycles pairs. Riskin said Monday’s eclipse was special because it was an in-person, non-digital phenomenon, but also because of its power to bring people together. “It was a shared event,” he said. “All along the beach, there were people cheering together, erupting into applause, and that’s where the goosebumps happen.”

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‘Essentially a sunburn in the eye’: How to tell if you damaged your eyes from watching the eclipse

If you watched Monday’s solar eclipse, you may be wondering whether you damaged your eyes. Eye-care and astronomy experts said it was safe to view the sun directly during the brief moment of totality when the moon fully covered it since there would be no ultraviolet rays. For the partial eclipse phase, however, people were urged to use eye protection such as eclipse glasses, specialized solar filters and handheld solar viewers. “You’re not getting those same UV rays and that is why it was safe to remove your eclipse glasses during totality,” Dr. Shaina Nensi, vice-president of the Ontario Association of Optometrists in Toronto, said in a video interview with CTVNews.ca on Tuesday. “Only in the moments leading up to totality and in the moments after totality, the eclipse glasses and eclipse shields did need to be put back on.” CTVNews.ca spoke with eye-care experts to find out what to do if you have concerns about your eyesight after observing the rare celestial event. Symptoms of eye problems Nensi says you could experience a few conditions if you observed the eclipse without eye protection. Solar retinopathy is a more common problem associated with watching the rare phenomenon and isn’t usually associated with eye pain. If you burned your retina, you could experience solar retinopathy symptoms as mild as watery eyes or light sensitivity or as severe as blurry or distorted vision and a scotoma, or blind spot, where you see a dark spot in your central vision. “It is essentially a sunburn in the eye and so the layers of the retina in the back of the eye can be damaged,” Nensi said, noting the main symptom is “vision disturbances.” “The reason you get solar keratitis or solar retinopathy is because of the UV rays from the sun. … We can get these burns in our eyes if we stare at the sun for too long without eye protection.” Dr. Martin Spiro, president of the Canadian Association of Optometrists, says those who are having visual problems, discomfort or pain in their eyes should see their optometrists. The effects of solar retinopathy can happen within hours or one to two days after viewing the eclipse, said Spiro, who is based in Montreal. The information you need to know, sent directly to you: Download the CTV News App Since the retina doesn’t have pain receptors, you won’t typically feel any eye pain if you have solar retinopathy, Nensi said. “So you could be experiencing these visual symptoms without actually being in any pain or discomfort.” Some people may experience solar keratitis, an ultraviolet burn on the front surface of the eye that can result in pain because of pain receptors in the cornea. Solar keratitis is not commonly associated with viewing the eclipse, but if the condition does occur symptoms will show up sooner, Nensi said. This condition, which tends to be temporary, causes irritation or grittiness in the eyes, Spiro said. Dr. Alexis Keeling, president of the New Brunswick Association of Optometrists, says it may be too soon to know if patients have developed solar retinopathy as it can take 24 to 48 hours for symptoms to appear. Keeling, who is based in Dieppe, N.B., says there are no reported cases yet in New Brunswick as of Tuesday. Those who damaged their eyes after looking at the eclipse should have noticed a problem when they woke up the next day, she explained. “Like a sunburn that shows up hours after, they would’ve called this morning upon waking up and would have noticed a big dark spot called a scotoma or a blind spot in their central vision,” she said in a phone interview with CTVNews.ca on Tuesday. For instance, people with solar retinopathy wouldn’t be able to see someone’s nose. Instead, they would only see objects in their peripheral vision, such as a person’s eyes or chin, she added. Top health headlines, all in one place What if you looked at the sun briefly? Those who viewed the sun directly without eye protection, but only briefly, could still experience eye damage. “If they think they just glanced up at it for a fraction of a second, the chances are less likely that they would experience any solar retinopathy,” Nensi said, though she added that it can take just a few seconds to cause solar damage to the eye. “The duration of time that you would have had exposure before causing solar retinopathy is actually variable in different individuals.” The risk of developing the condition includes other factors such as pupil size and eye colour, Spiro said. “So if the pupil is larger, more of the sun’s rays will get to the back of the eye,” he explained. He said paler eyes tend to be more transparent, increasing the risk of developing solar retinopathy. “So the higher pigmentations could be a little bit more protective of the structure of the back of the eye as well.” Top science and technology headlines, all in one place What happens if you’re diagnosed with solar retinopathy? No treatment exists for solar retinopathy, Spiro said. But an optometrist can help people manage the symptoms, Nensi says. “The optometrist can suggest certain supplements or certain vitamins to increase in their diet to help healing along.” For those experiencing solar retinopathy, it can take anywhere from one to six months to heal, Nensi said. “You’ll likely be monitored on a regular basis to make sure that your retina is improving as it should,” she said. “And your optometrist can help you manage those symptoms as you go through recovery.” If the damage is permanent, Spiro says, there are ways to improve vision, such as through high-powered glasses and magnifiers. What are the chances of going completely blind? More serious cases, usually involving prolonged exposure to the sun, can lead to permanent damage. “Those are the cases that often have irreversible solar retinopathy or irreversible blind spots in your vision,” Nensi said. “Often those symptoms do improve, they just might not go away entirely.” Despite some cases of irreversible eye damage, the chances of going completely blind from solar retinopathy is “very rare,” Nensi said. “So it is rare for you to lose your vision entirely and it is more common for you to lose portions of your vision or to have scotomas (or) missing portions of your vision because of solar retinopathy.” Follow the CTV News channel on WhatsApp More concerns a day after eclipse Keeling says she’s not anticipating a spike in the number of people seeking help for eye problems related to the eclipse. So far, she says patients in New Brunswick have only sought help or advice from optometrists for eye problems not related to the celestial phenomenon. “It’s just a regular day,” she said. Nensi, however, says she received many calls to her clinic Tuesday morning from parents who are concerned their children may have not used the eclipse glasses correctly. “So it is just Day 1, of course, after the solar eclipse, but I can tell from chatting with my colleagues and looking at my schedule this afternoon, there are certainly some people that are concerned that they either removed their safety glasses at the wrong time or did glance up at the eclipse without any eye protection.” She says some of her colleagues have patients who are already experiencing scotomas or blind spots in their vision. “There has certainly been an increase in the number of patients calling wanting to have their eyes assessed because of the eclipse,” she said.

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LIVE 6 PM ET: NTD Evening News Full Broadcast (April 9)

Views 440 • Apr-09-2024 The Arizona Supreme Court ruled to uphold a law from 1864, banning nearly all abortions from the moment of conception. The decision is on hold for 14 days while a lower court considers its constitutionality. The Arizona Attorney General said she wouldn’t enforce the law. The parents of Michigan high school shooter Ethan Crumbley…

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Trump Closes Gap on Biden Among Latino Voters, Now Leads on Key Issues: Poll

A new poll shows that Latino voters are increasingly turning their back on President Joe Biden and warming up to former President Donald Trump, who now leads this demographic on key issues of crime, immigration, and the economy. When Latinos who intend to vote in the November presidential election were asked who they plan to vote for, 31 percent said President Biden and 28 percent said President Trump, a difference of just 3 percentage points. However, given the poll’s 3.6 percent margin of error, this means that it’s technically possible that President Trump could actually be leading his main rival among Latino voters by up to 0.6 percentage points. Support for the former president on these issues tracks closely with the top issues that Latino voters find most concerning: inflation or cost of living (53 percent), crime or gun violence (34 percent), and immigration (28 percent). By contrast, President Biden leads on issues that don’t seem to be top of mind for this demographic, namely the “health of American democracy” (28 to 23 percent) and abortion (30 to 21 percent). In terms of the list of most worrying issues, concern about democracy isn’t on the list at all, with perhaps its closest proxy being “political extremism or polarization,” an issue just 16 percent find most concerning. Abortion or access to abortion is the top issue of concern for just 10 percent of Latino voters. Rep. Carlos Giménez (R-Fla.), a Cuban-American, told Fox News in a recent interview that it’s been evident to him for some time that Hispanics are turning away from the Democrat Party in general—and from President Biden in particular. “Look, the Democrat Party is … more and more just white liberals, ultra-liberals, socialists, and Hispanics are turning away from that because those aren’t our values,” Mr. Giménez told the outlet in an April 1 interview. The Florida lawmaker added that he believes President Trump is on track to get the highest number of Latino votes of any Republican presidential candidate in history. The latest polling numbers seem to back that view. In terms of overall favorability among Latinos, President Trump has been steadily gaining ground on the incumbent. In December 2021, President Biden enjoyed a 55 percent favorability rating among Latinos, compared to 25 percent for President Trump. But over time, President Biden’s lead has dwindled, to where he now has 41 percent favorability among Hispanics, compared to President Trump’s 32 percent. In the 2020 election cycle, spending on the presidential race exceeded $6 billion, according to OpenSecrets.org, a nonpartisan research group that tracks money in American politics. By contrast, the Trump campaign and its allies have spent $3.4 million since Super Tuesday, with $265,000 in currently booked ads. With money playing such a big role in U.S. politics, attention is also focused on campaign fundraising.

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Accused Former Goodwill Exec Faces Embezzlement Charges at 2 More Nonprofits

After being charged in November on suspicion of stealing $1.4 million from Goodwill Industries, its former leader and chief executive officer was charged with additional counts of embezzlement from two other nonprofits April 4, the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of California announced. In total, Richard Alan Abrusci, 45, of South Lake Tahoe now has been charged with 12 counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and three counts of monetary transactions with proceeds of specified unlawful activity, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert said in the statement. Mr. Abrusci allegedly embezzled $1.4 million from 2016 to 2022 from Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada while he served as its leader and chief executive officer, authorities said. On Thursday, a federal grand jury returned more charges, specifically from December 2022 to January 2023, that Mr. Abrusci also allegedly embezzled $100,000 from another nonprofit—that connects other nonprofits across California with community members and public services—while he was serving as chairman of its board of directors, and $50,000 from a third nonprofit, where he also had a leadership role, that pairs children with adult mentors. Authorities said Mr. Abrusci used the same method to embezzle the money in all three cases by making the organizations pay a fictitious business Mr. Abrusci created for services that were never performed. According to officials, the nonprofits each paid the business—called Resolution Arrangement Services—for a variety of services they believed had been performed, but never were. The Attorney’s Office said the payments went directly to Mr. Abrusci’s bank account. Authorities said Mr. Abrusci could spend up to 20 years in jail if convicted and be ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for each of the 12 wire fraud counts and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of his three monetary transactions with proceeds of specified unlawful activity counts.

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Tech CEO accused of keeping assistant as ‘sex slave’ claims celebrity lawyer attempted $10M shakedown

A tech CEO who allegedly forced a former assistant to become his “sex slave” claims the accusations surfaced only after a powerful Hollywood lawyer attempted to shake him down for $10 million for a “quick payday,” The Post has learned. Christian Lanng — who left the helm of San Francisco-based tech unicorn Tradeshift in October over allegations of “serious assault and harassment” — claims in an explosive countersuit that a month earlier he was getting threatening text messages from Bryan Freedman, a Los Angeles attorney whose celebrity clients include ex-CNN host Don Lemon and reality-TV star Bethenny Frankel. “I have been asked by a major media outlet if you would appear to explain your side of the story this week in conjunction with the claims being filed,” Freedman told Lanng in a Sept. 4 text message, according to the countersuit filed in US district court in California. The media outlet was TMZ, where Freedman had appeared the previous month, holding up a copy of an alleged “slave contract” with the names blacked out, according to the Tuesday suit. TMZ is owned by Fox Corp., which shares a common owner with the New York Post. While Freedman purportedly appeared on TMZ for a separate case about his reality TV-star clientele, he held up a copy of the redacted “slave contract” while on camera — “a clear threat to counterclaimant,” per Lanng’s camp, who have maintained that Lanng and Doe were in a consensual relationship. The day after the initial Sept. 4 text, Freedman messaged Lanng again, writing, “Christian, I don’t control media as you know but once filed cases take on lives of their own,” according to court papers. “Obviously, payment avoids the filing. Is that happening today? Bruce offered 10m filed by 8/15. “Let me know if you want to avoid this being much more difficult as our papers are ready to go,” Freedman added, according to the screenshots. In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for Freedman provided a brief, written statement from the power lawyer. “It’s not a surprise that the enforcer of a slave contract would try to play the victim,” Freedman said. “It’s nothing but further abuse and a desperate attempt to deflect from his own illegal conduct.” The alleged shakedown took place just one month after banking giant HSBC announced that it made a $35 million investment into Tradeshift as part of $70 million in funding to form a joint venture. Lanng’s countersuit against the LA lawyer comes after he had already agreed to pay Doe $10 million “despite his innocence” as part of a May 2022 settlement agreement that was reached “for the sake of trying to salvage the potential sale of Tradeshift,” according to the court documents. Tradeshift told The Post on Monday that over a year later, “on Sept. 1, 2023, Mr. Lanng was dismissed for gross misconduct on multiple grounds. He has also resigned from the Tradeshift Board.” Lanng claims in his countersuit the shakedown began after he missed a deadline for an installment on the $10 million, out-of-court settlement with Doe. In response, he alleges that Freedman’s Los Angeles-based law firm Freedman Taitelman + Cooley LLP “hired third parties to develop fake websites and Twitter accounts to fabricate accounts of misconduct by Lanng in early 2023.” A spokesperson for Lanng claimed that one of those fake accounts operated on X with the handle @_ChristianLanng, tweeting cryptic posts such as, “To Christian and the entire Tradeshift board: I’m not going anywhere. None of us are. This is just the beginning.” The idea was “embarrassing and intimidating Lanng so that he would agree to pay even more money than the sum already paid,” per the countersuit. Doe’s shocking lawsuit filed in December claimed the depraved “slave contract” required her to “always be sexually available for her master when he needs sex and to never refuse him sex even when not wearing the [day] collar,” according to an alleged copy of the contract filed with her suit. “Whenever she sees her master in private for the first time, she is to kneel and ask if there is anything she can do for him,” the purported contract added of Doe, who was fired from Tradeshift in 2020 “during one of several rounds of layoffs Tradeshift has unfortunately had to undergo,” Lanng said late last year. Doe, who worked as Lanng’s former assistant at one point, was also supposed to keep a “diary” of his “subjugation and enslavement of her,” and had agreed to be beaten “with a cane if she did not write submissive entries,” according to her lawsuit. In his countersuit, however, Lanng included an alleged entry in which Doe gushed about her relationship with Lanng. “I am so obsessed and IN LOVE and in AWE and so bubbling wanting desiring aching for CHRISTIAN! … I am so much more confident I’m also very much his sex slave lol.” Attorneys for Lanng argued that “It is unreasonable to draw the conclusion that, ‘I’m very much his sex slave lol’ was written at the behest of her ‘master,’” adding that Doe’s allegations don’t have “any merit at all.” In his countersuit, Lanng claims that the “slave contract” was “merely a sexual prop downloaded from the internet” after Lanng and Doe’s relationship came to include “elements of BDSM,” and was “by no means intended to be enforcable,” especially in the workplace. Lanng added in a statement to The Post that he filed a counterclaim in California court on Tuesday against Freedman, Cooley and Jane Doe “for extortion, defamation, breach of contract, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” He requested “no less than $40 million” in damages. “As evidenced by the text messages in the filing, Mr. Freedman approached me while I was temporarily unrepresented by an attorney. His actions included ‘leveling threats,’ interfering with my ‘ability to obtain competent counsel by placing an arbitrary deadline on the extortionate demand,’ all while he ‘indicated that he was in communication with a major media outlet,’” Lanng added. He also noted that Doe “was convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.” Per California records, Doe was found guilty of a petty theft misdemeanor in 2005 — years before allegedly becoming romantically involved with Lanng in 2014. She was sentenced to three years of probation, which she potentially violated, public records show. Additional case files related to Doe’s misdemeanor have since been destroyed, Lanng’s rep told The Post. In another example of how Freedman allegedly botched Doe’s filing, Lanng noted in a statement to The Post that Freedman “failed to redact” the name of one of Lanng’s former girlfriends who was included in Doe’s lawsuit. In an affidavit obtained by The Post, Lanng’s ex-girlfriend stated that her “name was revealed in a complaint filed Dec. 7, 2023 without my consent or prior knowledge, through an unredacted termination letter that named me as an aggrieved party which I am not.” The two were in a relationship through the spring and summer of 2023, according to the affidavit. Freedman has faced similar legal pushback over alleged hardball tactics, including when MediaLink founder and chief Michael Kassan sued the Hollywood heavyweight lawyer for defamation in connection to his lawsuit against UTA, which Freedman was representing when he called Kassan a “pathological liar” in an interview with Deadline.

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City, Calgary Parking issue warning about text message scam

The City of Calgary and Calgary Parking are warning residents not to interact with scam text messages asking for parking ticket payments. In a social media post on Monday, Calgary Parking said it will never use text messages for ticket notifications or payment requests. The parking authority urges Calgarians to not respond to the texts. Calgarians are also asked to not click the links. Those who received a scam text are encouraged to report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. A Calgary Police Service spokesperson told Global News they have not received any reports about the scam texts as of 1:56 p.m. Tuesday.

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