Friday, 16 Apr 2021

Given salary cap uncertainty, NFL and players union consider delay of Tuesday’s franchise tag deadline

A View from the Deep Blue Sea

Open since 2013 off the coast of Zanzibar, Manta Resort’s “Underwater Room” is a two-minute boat ride away from the beach—consider it more of a tiny private island than a hotel suite. The three-level accommodation offers coral reef views from its submerged bedroom, plus incredible stargazing views from its roof deck. The hotel also offers dive trips all along Pembra Island, when you’re ready to take down the wall between you and the nearby sea critters.

U.S. Trade Deficit Widens In January As Imports Rise More Than Exports

With imports increasing by slightly more than exports, a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed the U.S. trade deficit widened in the month of January.

The Commerce Department said the trade deficit widened to $68.2 billion in January from a revised $67.0 billion in December.

Economists had expected the trade deficit to widen to $67.5 billion from the $66.6 billion originally reported for the previous month.

The wider trade deficit came as the value of imports climbed by 1.2 percent to $260.2 billion, while the value of exports rose by 1.0 percent to $191.9 billion.

The increase in imports was led by a jump in imports of consumer goods, particularly pharmaceuticals, which helped offset a steep drop in imports of passenger cars.

Meanwhile, notable increases in exports of industrial supplies and materials and capital goods were partly offset by a decrease in exports of automotive vehicles, parts, and engines.

The report also showed the goods deficit widened to $85.4 billion in January from $84.1 billion in December, while the services surplus inched up to $17.2 billion from $17.1 billion.

“While the services surplus improved marginally, it was due to the weakness in imports, which remain near eight-year lows,” James Watson, Senior U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, “Fiscally-stimulated US demand may propel total import volumes to recovery this quarter, but still-struggling global demand and travel restrictions will keep export volumes much further behind.”

Naomi Scott, Olivia Cooke & Bel Powley Lead ‘Soft Voice’ Podcast From QCode

EXCLUSIVE: Naomi Scott (Aladdin), Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One), and Bel Powley (The Diary Of A Teenage Girl) are starring in and executive-producing dark-comedy thriller podcast series Soft Voice.

The story follows a young woman (Scott) with a voice in her head that tells her what to do, leading to her extraordinary success. One day, the voice disappears — and a new one takes over.

Heralding from LA-based audio studio QCode, the 10-episode series is created by James Bloor. The drama will launch from March 17 on most major pod platforms.

Also exec-producing are Jordan Spence, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Fred Berger, Rob Herting, and David Henning. Scott and Jordan Spence are producing the project under their New Name banner.

QCode was recently nominated for nine Ambie Awards including Podcast of the Year for drama Dirty Diana with Demi Moore. The company is also starting to turn a number of its audio series into TV and films.

Olivia Cooke is represented by CAA, Grandview, Artist Partnership and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman. Naomi Scott is represented by WME, M88, and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Bel Powley is represented by UTA, Curtis Brown Group, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.

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Vista Equity sweetens deal to acquire Pluralsight

(Reuters) – Pluralsight Inc said on Monday private equity firm Vista Equity Partners will buy the learning software company for $22.50 per share in cash through a tender offer.

The new offer is higher than the original $20.26 per share announced in December.

Teacher, 56, who was also a single mother is killed by Covid

Stock Alert: Zynex Shares Up 10%

Shares of Zynex Inc. (ZYXI) are currently trading at $16.24, up $1.49 or 10.10%, with trading volume rising over 270K versus an average volume of 653K shares. The stock has been trading in the range of $7.93 – $29.73 for the past one year.

Zynex, on Monday, said its board approved a program to buy back $10.0 million of the company’s common stock. The program will commence immediately and is scheduled to terminate on September 8, 2021 or when the $10.0 million buyback limit is reached.

Zynex President and CEO Thomas Sandgaard stated, “We are committed to delivering shareholder value, and this buyback program authorization reflects the board’s confidence in both our short-term prospects and our long term growth strategy…”

The company expects to finance the purchases with existing cash balances, which is not expected to have a material impact on capital levels. Zynex had about 36.1 million shares issued and 34.8 million shares outstanding as of March 5, 2021.

Given salary cap uncertainty, NFL and players union consider delay of Tuesday’s franchise tag deadline

NFL and NFL Players Association officials have had discussions about pushing back Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline for the designation of franchise and transition player tags because of lingering uncertainty over the determination of the salary cap figures for the coming year.

The league announced last month that the minimum for spending in 2021 will be $180 million, however the ceiling for the salary cap has yet to be determined.

The NFL and its broadcast partners remain in negotiations on lucrative new contracts, which will impact cap figures for future years. And according to people with knowledge of the situation, players union brass would prefer to wait to determine the 2021 cap until the broadcast contracts have been finalized.

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