UK Export Strategy Ignores Brexit “Hot Potato”, According to E-commerce Authority


According to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, who released the UK’s export strategy yesterday, exports in goods and services rose by 4.4% last year, and the value of exports has doubled since 1997.

Deborah Collier, digital business expert, and President at global e-commerce authority – The Certificate in Online Business, had described Brexit and the UK EU Trade Agreement as a “Hot Potato”. She adds “The UK Export Strategy has made no mention or provision for Brexit, except to focus on selling to countries outside the EU.”

Citing credible E-Commerce industry statistics – 62.7% of UK E-Commerce exports are sold to the EU – the largest economy in the world, she adds “If we leave the EU without an agreement, the products and services we sell will be liable for import tariffs. Even if UK businesses cover those costs through price reduction, which is highly unrealistic, EU Customers will still have the inconvenience of having to pay import costs on delivery. This inconvenience alone is enough to deter buyers. The UK cannot afford to lose this volume of trade.”

Collier explains “One of the key benefits of e-commerce is access to new markets globally.  Barriers to trade are customs, taxation, shipping and distribution costs, as well as legal regulations.” There are heightened costs and competitive challenges when trading internationally. Desirable and competitively priced products and services are paramount. “Uniqueness will be one area the UK needs to focus on, to stay ahead of other international competition”, adds Collier

International shipping costs and the ability for entrepreneurs and small businesses to implement a strategy to alleviate the additional costs of distribution to non-EU countries, is a major challenge. “I am particularly concerned about the livelihoods of small businesses and individual online traders”, says Collier, who is a champion for entrepreneurship. Deborah Collier urges the UK government to address the EU trade issue “head-on”, and to consider the realities and challenges of internal trade to businesses of all sizes, with countries outside the European Union.

Sodexo Named a Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses

Awards, Business, Society

Sodexo, a food and facilities management company committed to improving Quality of Life, announced today the company’s recognition as a 2018 Disability:IN Annual Inclusion Award Winner for the Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses for demonstrating outstanding inclusion of Disability:IN-certified, disability-owned businesses; including businesses owned by service disabled veterans; and demonstrated commitment to disability business inclusion in its supply chain processes and supplier diversity program.

“Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is reflected throughout our supply chain,” said Jim Pazzanese, VP Supply Management, Sodexo. “We are proud to lead a diverse supplier program with more than 2,400 vendors, including disabled-owned companies, that mirrors our company’s values and support of local communities. Thank you for recognizing our contributions and awarding Sodexo as a top corporation.”

In addition to the organization’s purchasing efforts and supply chain opportunities, Sodexo has taken an active role within Disability:IN as leaders, mentors and more. Additionally, for the past six years, Sodexo employees that participate in SOAR (the Sodexo Organization for disAbilities Resources) serve as site visitors as part of the certification process for Disability:IN throughout the country. The company’s combined efforts led to its top corporation distinction.

Beyond supplier diversity, Sodexo advocates for disability inclusion through goals, including the organization’s commitment to make 100 percent of their workforce accessible to people with disabilities by 2025.

Sodexo’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been consistently recognized by external organizations and notable diversity publications. Recently, Sodexo was recognized as One of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion, for the fourth consecutive year, by the Disability Equality Index (DEI) — a joint initiative between the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN. Sodexo was also named to Bloomberg’s 2018 Gender-Equality Index (GEI) – its first sector-neutral list of 104 global companies, and recognized on three of FORTUNE Magazine lists in 2017, including World’s Most Admired Companies, Change the World and the FORTUNE 500.

Smile Train India Awarded Oracle Grant for Providing New Smiles to Children Born With Clefts

Awards, Society

Smile Train India, a children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate, announced that they have received a grant from Oracle, a global leader in cloud applications and platform services. The grant will provide free cleft surgeries and comprehensive cleft care to 360 children born with cleft lips and cleft palates in FY 18-19. The cleft treatments will be provided at Hyderabad.

In India, over 35,000 children are born with clefts every year and hundreds of thousands of children with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking, as they cannot afford the life-transforming cleft reconstructive surgery. Smile Train India’s ‘teach a man to fish’ model focuses on training, funding, and supplying resources for local medical professionals to provide cleft treatment in their own communities. These medical professionals then go on to train other medical professionals, creating a long-term and sustainable system.

Through this sustainable model, Smile Train India has provided over 500,000 free cleft reconstructive surgeries and comprehensive cleft care across India, through a network of 160+ partner hospitals.

“A child born with a cleft needs timely and comprehensive cleft care and our aim is to facilitate the same, free of cost. With Oracle’s support, we will further strengthen our programs in Hyderabad and bring comprehensive cleft care to many more children. We thank Oracle for their generosity and look forward to creating an impact together,” said Mamta Carroll, Vice President and Regional Director-Asia, Smile Train.

“We are proud to support Smile Train India, which transforms children’s lives and life prospects daily, and builds capacity in the local medical community to do more of the same,” said Colleen Cassity, Executive Director, Oracle Corporate Citizenship.

PepsiCo Enters Into Agreement To Acquire SodaStream International Ltd.


PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP) (“PepsiCo”) and SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ / TLV: SODA) (“SodaStream”) today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which PepsiCo has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of SodaStream for $144.00 per share in cash, which represents a 32% premium to the 30-day volume weighted average price.

“PepsiCo and SodaStream are an inspired match,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. “Daniel and his leadership team have built an extraordinary company that is offering consumers the ability to make great-tasting beverages while reducing the amount of waste generated. That focus is well-aligned with Performance with Purpose, our philosophy of making more nutritious products while limiting our environmental footprint. Together, we can advance our shared vision of a healthier, more-sustainable planet.”

Daniel Birnbaum, SodaStream CEO and Director said, “Today marks an important milestone in the SodaStream journey. It is validation of our mission to bring healthy, convenient and environmentally friendly beverage solutions to consumers around the world. We are honored to be chosen as PepsiCo’s beachhead for at home preparation to empower consumers around the world with additional choices. I am excited our team will have access to PepsiCo’s vast capabilities and resources to take us to the next level. This is great news for our consumers, employees and retail partners worldwide.”

PepsiCo’s strong distribution capabilities, global reach, R&D, design and marketing expertise, combined with SodaStream’s differentiated and unique product range will position SodaStream for further expansion and breakthrough innovation.

The transaction is another step in PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose journey, promoting health and wellness through environmentally friendly, cost-effective and fun-to-use beverage solutions.

“SodaStream is highly complementary and incremental to our business, adding to our growing water portfolio, while catalyzing our ability to offer personalized in-home beverage solutions around the world,” said Ramon Laguarta, CEO-Elect and President, PepsiCo. “From breakthrough innovations like Drinkfinity to beverage dispensing technologies like Spire for foodservice and Aquafina water stations for workplaces and colleges, PepsiCo is finding new ways to reach consumers beyond the bottle, and today’s announcement is fully in line with that strategy.”

Under the terms of the agreement between PepsiCo and SodaStream, PepsiCo has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of SodaStream International Ltd. for $144.00 per share, in a transaction valued at $3.2 billion. The transaction will be funded with PepsiCo’s cash on hand.

The acquisition has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. The transaction is subject to a SodaStream shareholder vote, certain regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, and closing is expected by January 2019.

Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to PepsiCo in this transaction. Centerview also acted as financial advisor to PepsiCo in the transaction. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as lead counsel to PepsiCo, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as U.S. tax counsel, and Herzog, Fox & Ne’eman as Israeli legal counsel. Perella Weinberg Partners acted as financial advisor to SodaStream with White & Case LLP acting as SodaStream’s U.S. legal counsel and Meitar Liquornik Geva Lesham Tal as Israeli legal counsel.

Singapore’s first clinical trial approval for T cell engineered (TCR) immunotherapy for treatment of Liver cancer


Lion TCR Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based Biotech company receives approval from Health Sciences Authority (HSA), Singapore, for its Phase I/II multicentre clinical study of its product candidate (LioCyx™) for treatment of relapsed liver cancer post-liver transplantation. The first such trial in Singapore and for the region that uses precision T cell receptor (TCR) immune cell therapy to target Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related liver cancer, which forms at least 80% of liver cancers in Asia. 80% of the 800,000 new liver cancer cases in the world yearly are diagnosed in Asia Pacific, including ChinaVietnamThailandIndonesiaSouth Korea and Singapore. Liver cancer is the world’s third most deadly cancer with very limited treatment options and poor treatment outcome. There is currently no effective treatment available for liver cancer relapsed patients post-liver transplantation.

LioCyx™ is developed by Lion TCR’s scientific founder, Prof. Antonio Bertoletti, a world-renowned HBV-liver cancer clinician scientist. Several Investigator-sponsored trials of LioCyx™ in Singapore and China have showed results of good safety profile and encouraging signs of efficacy. “We are very delighted with the approval of Phase I/II clinical trial of our LioCyx™, the first engineered TCR-T cell therapy for treatment of liver cancer in Singapore. It is an utmost encouragement on the recognition of innovative therapy for patients in need. Singapore HSA has been very efficient, transparent and professional in reviewing our application for the clinical trial of this innovative immunotherapy”, said Dr. Victor Li Lietao, founder and CEO of Lion TCR.

Patients recruitment for the Phase I/II clinical trial will begin with National UniversityHospital (NUH), Singapore. Lion TCR is in the midst of including more medical centres in Singapore and China into the trial.

comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of August 19, 2018


comScore today announced the official worldwide weekend box office estimates for the weekend of August 19, 2018, as compiled by the company’s theatrical measurement services.

As the trusted industry partner for real-time box office reporting, comScore is the only theater-level movie measurement and analytics company providing insights across the world’s largest markets, covering 95 percent of the global industry gross. Using comScore’s suite of movie products, customers are able to analyze admissions and gross results from around the world.

comScore’s Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian commented, “Warner Bros.’ ‘The Meg’ proves once again that sharks are a big draw around the world with a second weekend atop the global charts biting off another $88.15 million in 56 territories to bring its global cume to over $300 million.  Notably, ‘The Island’ starring and directed by Chinese comedy superstar Huang Bo added $38.7 million this weekend in just 3 territories bringing its worldwide total to $163.167 million.”

The top 12 worldwide weekend box office estimates, listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, August 19, are below.

Meg, The – Warner Bros. – $88.2M
Island, The (dir. Bo) – Multiple – $38.7M
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – Sony – $32.0M
Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Paramount Pictures – $31.0M
Crazy Rich Asians – Warner Bros. – $26.0M
Equalizer 2, The – Sony – $20.3M
Europe Raiders – Multiple – $19.5M
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Universal – $18.7M
Go Brother! – Wanda Media Co., LTD – $17.7M
Disney’s Christopher Robin – Disney – $16.8M
Oolong Courtyard:Kung Fu School – Multiple – $14.8M
Mile 22 – STX Entertainment – $14.2M
The top 12 domestic weekend box office estimates, listed in descending order, per data collected as of Sunday, August 19, are below.

1.    Crazy Rich Asians – Warner Bros. – $25.2M
2.    Meg, The – Warner Bros. – $21.1M
3.    Mile 22 – STX Entertainment – $13.6M
T4.    Alpha – Sony – $10.5M
T4.    Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Paramount – $10.5M
6.    Disney’s Christopher Robin – Disney – $8.9M
7.    BlacKkKlansman – Focus Features – $7.0M
8.    Slender Man – Sony – $5.0M
9.    Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – Sony – $3.7M
10.    Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Universal – $3.4M
11.    Equalizer 2, The – Sony – $2.8M
12.    Spy Who Dumped Me, The – Lionsgate – $2.6M

Astral Signs Varun Dhawan for Their Range of Instant Adhesive, ResiQuick


Astral has recently announced Varun Dhawan as a Brand Ambassador for their range of Cyanoacrylate-based instant adhesive, ResiQuick. The immensely talented Bollywood star will be seen promoting ResiQuick Instant Adhesive. The flagship pack of ResiQuick comes in 0.5 g user-friendly ampule which has easy and precise application with single drop accuracy. This advanced ampule pack can be reused up to three times and also has higher shelf life.

Commenting on the association, Varun Dhawan says, “Astral today has evolved as an aspirational brand with its culture of good business ethics and product innovations, and it’s always exciting to be part of such brand journeys.”

Astral’s Adhesive vertical manufactures a diversified range of adhesives, sealants, putties, self-adhesive tapes, construction chemicals and industrial maintenance products. Astral’s major strength is backward integration in almost all product categories which gives advantage to maintain quality and develop innovative products. The product portfolio consists of 42 brands, 151 sub-brands and more than 600 SKUs which gets marketed through a wide network of distributors all over the country. Mr. Sandeep Engineer, MD – Astral Poly Technik Ltd., states that the decision of entering 0.5 g Cyanoacrylate general purpose adhesive segment was part of a natural course of expansion for the Astral Group. With a robust presence in Construction and Maintenance products categories, the group was confident in entering this consumer-facing market segment.

On this occasion, Mr. Kairav Engineer, VP, Business Development says, “Our association with Varun Dhawan for instant adhesive range is in sync with our brand ethos and identity, which is to innovate and introduce newer products that surprise and delight both, our trade and consumer. It is for the first time in the segment that a brand ambassador is signed on for a Cyanoacrylate-based instant adhesive product, and we are confident that Varun is a perfect fit with his on-screen and off-screen persona.”

Astral looks forward to making rapid inroads in the segment with unique positioning and advanced ampule packing which helps end users to apply instant adhesive with ease and precision.

Dallas Morning News Story Hurts Families of Fallen Officers


Because of the personal attack on me, Sgt. Demetrick Pennie, and the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and Texas Fallen Officer Foundation, as written by Naomi Martin of The Dallas Morning News, which bares several racial undertones referencing to my upbringing in the ghettos of Houston, Texas and my political views as a Conservative Republican, I felt that it was to necessary to release the following statement:

“The Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and the Texas Fallen Officer Foundation are two independent 501 (c) 3 organizations – both designed with a central mission of supporting the families of fallen officers in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and throughout the State of Texas, respectively. Both foundations are controlled by their own independent governing Boards, which embrace the central focus of providing immediate support to the families of fallen officers in the initial aftermath of a tragedy and providing continued support in the form of: social gatherings, financial assistance, comfort and advocacy long after other forms of support have ended elsewhere.

“Over the years, I have garnered the trust of police families across the nation based on my supportive efforts. As a nationally-recognized law enforcement advocate, I have always represented the best interest of fallen officers and their families in every decision made. Unfortunately, The Dallas Morning News story has distorted my efforts, as well as the organizations’ mission, focus and objectives for the purposes of attacking my character, integrity and background. The Dallas Morning News story was saturated with half-truths and misrepresentations about the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and Texas Fallen Officer Foundations, which to this end will only serve to hinder and detract from the foundation’s abilities to acquire future donations in an effort to provide support and resources to police families and survivors.

“For the full story behind the motivation for the left leaning Dallas Morning News’ defamatory political hit piece to harm me and our foundation, go to

Gokulam Kerala FC Ties Up With Leading Sports Nutrition Brand Fast&Up


Fast&Up, a leading sports nutrition brand by Aerometric Sports Products Private Limited, has been announced as the official nutrition partner of professional football club Gokulam Kerala FC. The club began competing in the I-League, the first division of Indian football, in the 2017-18 season.

Fast&Up is dedicated to offering athletes and fitness enthusiasts quality nutrition to boost energy during training, speed up recovery and improve overall performance. Each product is easy-to-use and practical, therefore it does not hamper one’s routine. They are available as effervescent tablets that can be consumed as a flavoured drink to ensure faster absorption and better bio-availability.

“To facilitate rigorous training and performance, nutrition is a critical factor in an intense sport like football,” says Vijayaraghavan Venugopal, CEO, Aeronutrix Sports Products Private Limited. Commenting on the tie-up, he said, “We hope to have a long association with Gokulam Kerala FC and look forward to creating more awareness around nutrition to empower India in its march towards becoming a successful football nation.”

Speaking about the brand association, Adith, physiotherapist for Gokulam Kerala FC, said, “To keep our players at peak performing conditions through practice and match sessions, we need to have nutritional supplements as a key component of the team’s fitness regime. I am very confident about choosing Fast&Up for the players at GKFC and strongly recommend that they use the products to improve their performance.”

VICE Media and STACK partner to deliver new content ecosystem around youth and finances


STACK and VICE Media partner to launch FREE, the next evolution of the successful VICE Money platform

STACK will also become title sponsor of Daily VICE, VICE Canada’s most watched Mobile News And Culture Show


Today, VICE Media, Canada’s leading youth media company and digital studio, announced a partnership with STACK, a smarter way to manage your money, to deliver multi-platform content that bridges the gap between lifestyle and finances. The partnership marks the launch of a new platform, FREE, and will see STACK take on the title sponsorship of Daily VICE.

“VICE and STACK are both dedicated to disruption in their respective fields” says Dominique Delport, VICE Media’s President of International and Chief Revenue Officer. “Our mutual goal is to reinvent the relationship that youth have with money and we are excited to be providing content dedicated to that.”

Built on the idea that money is about much more than dollars and cents, FREE—MONEY BY VICE is a new platform that presents stories about spending, saving, young entrepreneurship and more to a youth audience who are ready to have life-changing conversations about money.

FREE is the evolution of VICE’s award-winning MONEY section, which was launched in 2016 to make the financial landscape more approachable for Canadian millennials. It has since grown to be a leading, youth-focused destination for trusted news and analysis of the world of money, both online and mobile.

STACK will also be the title sponsor for Daily VICE, one of Canada’s most watched digital media franchises. Daily VICE will now expand its editorial mandate to include a weekly money show and deliver content on a wider range of topics that focus on the passion points that money allows you to buy: music experiences, fashion, food, art and travel.

“We’re excited to find such an amazing partner for two of our most successful sponsored editorial programs,” says Shawn Phelan, VP Business Development, VICE Media. “Daily VICE launched in 2015 and has grown organically from a few hundred thousand video views a month, to achieving as high as 12 million views a month. Meanwhile, the overwhelming success of our VICE Money section on VICE News, which included 3 MIA Awards capped by a gold for Best in Finance, led us to create FREE, a standalone site for all things money.”

STACK is a smarter way to spend, save or share your money, fee-free and straight from your mobile or with your STACK Prepaid Mastercard®. Young Canadians have been underserved by their banks for too long and STACK is here to change that. Designed to reimagine the way Canadians feel about their finances, STACK delivers consumer-centric rewards through an intuitive experience, empowering the user and helping them to reach their goals, no matter what they are.

We know that young people have huge goals that they want to achieve, but right now there’s a gap between their financial know-how and their potential. We need to have conversations that demystify money to tackle stigma head on, and that’s exactly what STACK is here to do,” says Miro Pavletic, co-founder and CEO of STACK. “STACK is the future of money and we’re going to help people create their own futures with honest, hard facts about finance and stories told by people who care about the same things they do.”