6 Tips For Working With Family And Friends

Working with family or friends could have a double upside.
Comedian George Burns once stated, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family… in another city.” True enough, but what are you supposed to do when that loving family moves into your city— or worse, the cubicle right next to yours? The potential for conflict to disrupt an otherwise good relationship, prevents many from considering making the step.
As a consultant who specializes in family business, I’ve seen relatives and friends get along very well in the workplace. I’ve also seen conflict within family relationships disrupt a business’ operations in such a major way that it brings a company to its knees.
For the latter, communication is usually to blame. Sometimes, it’s over-communication: familiarity can break down healthy boundaries and result in disagreements and tension. Other times, it’s under-communication: they love each other too much or just find it difficult to say what needs to be said.

The key to overcoming these communication woes isn’t just to talk more but to talk more intentionally about the right things. Intentional communication defines relationships, clarifies boundaries, and establishes expectations for how the work dynamic should look.
From my experience, I’ve found these 6 simple tips to be vital to opening those lines of communication and creating a place where friends and families can do their best work together: 
1. Get clear on your values.
Which of these is more important: making decisions that preserve the relationship; or accomplishing the organization’s objectives? The correct answer depends on what was agreed by the parties involved. Disagreements can occur when values between the relevant parties are not aligned. 

Values are the North Star and guiding light of most decisions. Once aligned, they ensure behavioral consistency from members of the group. Identify your values at the beginning of the work relationship and clearly communicate them to others in the business. 
As the business expands, assess the fit of potential hires or business partners with the business’ established values to minimize potential conflict. Some of the most powerful work that we do revolves around defining values and aligning future generations in a family business around the family’s values. However, values could also be shared in other ways. 
2. Anticipate and plan for conflict
Some organizations recommend that employers develop a specific Employment of Relatives policy. Why? Because when disagreements happen between friends and family, everyone involved needs a clear and transparent set of guidelines to follow. Without this type of governance, conflicts can devolve into a proverbial boxing match. 
Regardless of which side “wins,” the relationship, in most cases, loses. When it comes to clarifying the working relationship between those who also share a close personal bond, proactive steps should be taken to preserve the relationship. 
Written policies or procedures, particularly those that spell out how conflict should be managed and who decides in the case of a deadlock, can be discussed and documented when feelings are still positive. The key with any governance document is to ensure that it captures the essence of the family or those to whom it would apply in order to increase its likelihood of use.
3. Define the relationship
Speaking of relationships, people work best when they can relate to each other authentically. This could sometimes spell disaster for family members or friends who work together. If Cousin Bob only relates to Cousin Mary by way of their family relationship instead of the fact that she is his direct supervisor in the workplace, conflict can inevitably arise.
Don’t leave the relationship undefined. Particularly in the work context, roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined. There will be times when employees in a business need to ‘pitch in’ and ‘help out’ to ensure that the business’ objectives are met but this should be the exception instead of the rule. 
4. Hold each other accountable
With responsibility comes accountability. One of the hardest things for people who share a close personal relationship to do at work, is to hold each other accountable. For fear of ruining the relationship, some may avoid or delay having the conversations – particularly those about poor performance – that are important for the smooth running of the business.
Don’t be afraid to hold each other accountable. While avoiding the conversation may seem like the loving choice, it can ultimately result in a build up of feelings of resentment. If left unchecked, festering resentment could do more harm to the relationship than addressing the issue. 
5. Know your style and develop an approach
Disagreements at work are inevitable. However, tension in the workplace could be a good thing if it is managed well. Among other benefits, tension could lead to elevated levels of performance and creativity in the work environment. 
In workplaces where employees say that they agree on everything, there can be a high likelihood of unvoiced disagreement and discontent bubbling beneath the surface for many reasons. This kind of subterranean tension almost always leads to feelings of contempt and disengagement among employees.
The best thing you can do is to develop a personal approach for voicing disagreement and navigating conflict well. Guidance for overcoming communication barriers could come from seasoned coaches and advisors who are familiar with the work dynamic. 
6. Exit gracefully
Not every plan will go as intended. Things can get especially complicated when, despite genuine attempts at remedy, the working relationship with a friend or family member clearly isn’t working. For the sake of the parties involved and others who may be affected, it may seem as though the best course would be to end the working relationship. 
In many cases, however, there was a good personal relationship that existed before the work relationship. Despite the subsequent conflict, the parties may still want to preserve that relationship or reserve the possibility of reconciliation once emotions have settled.
If there is an agreement in place (see tip #1), then, the steps to execute a parting of ways may have already been defined. In other situations, however, the parties could often benefit from the independent, perspective of a professional like a family business advisor or consultant to manage the family dynamic with the goal of preserving the relationship before escalating to legal channels.
Just imagine extending the positive and fulfilling relationship that you already share with a family member or friend into the work domain. Working side my side, you could fulfill a common purpose and see a shared dream come to life.
But this expanded relationship may also come with a special set of challenges. Take these 6 tips to heart and work to establish healthy lines of communication and you might just experience more of the upside that comes from working with loved ones.

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Weinstein stir crazy at New York hospital days after sex crimes conviction, spokesman says By Reuters

By Karen Freifeld
(Reuters) – Harvey Weinstein is sitting under guard in a cinderblock room at a New York City hospital days after his conviction for sexual assault and rape, and at times “can go stir crazy just staring at the emptiness,” according to a spokesman.
The former Hollywood producer was admitted late on Monday to a Bellevue Hospital unit for inmates, hours after a Manhattan jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping former aspiring actress Jessica Mann in 2013.
His conviction was a milestone for the #MeToo movement, which inspired women to accuse hundreds of powerful men of sexual misconduct. He is due to be sentenced on March 11.
Weinstein’s spokesman, Juda Engelmayer, said he spent about an hour and a half with him at the hospital on Friday reflecting on the case and what the future holds for Weinstein, who faces up to 29 years in prison. His lawyers plan to appeal the verdict. He is also charged with sexual assault in Los Angeles.
“It’s scaring him,” Engelmayer said in an interview. “I think he’s melancholy. He’s very, very low right now.”
He described a bare room with a bed, a stainless steel toilet with no seat and large windows. Guards are stationed outside the door.
Weinstein is allowed to make limited phone calls from a common area, the former producer’s spokesman said.
“He doesn’t like being left alone,” Engelmayer said. “When no one’s there, he said he’s just staring at the four walls. He can go stir crazy just staring at the emptiness.”
Engelmayer’s description contrasted with defense lawyer Arthur Aidala’s portrayal of his 67-year-old client after he visited him at the hospital on Tuesday.
Aidala said Weinstein appeared “upbeat” and “in pretty good spirits.”
Weinstein had been en route to New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex when he was diverted to Bellevue. Media reports said he suffered chest pain or heart palpitations.
Engelmayer said Weinstein suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure.
More than 80 women have accused the producer behind hit films including “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love” of sexual misconduct. He has denied the accusations, said any sexual encounters were consensual, and has said he will appeal his conviction.
Actress Ellen Barkin, a friend of one of Weinstein’s accusers, Annabella Sciorra, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: “He is in a private suite in Bellevue hospital. This is not what the jury had in mind.”
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents some of Weinstein’s accusers, questioned on Saturday whether Weinstein was receiving special treatment instead of being treated at the Rikers infirmary. She said she was not speaking for her clients, just giving her personal opinion as a victim’s rights lawyer.
Responding to questions about Weinstein, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Correction said only that he was in their custody and that “health care is provided as appropriate.”
Among those standing by the former producer as he faces prison is William Currao, a retired physician and Weinstein’s college roommate at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
During the trial, Currao often appeared alongside his friend, sometimes carrying books for Weinstein, who he described as a “voracious reader.”
Currao said he would sometimes sleep at Weinstein’s home before they were driven to court in the morning. He said he could not “even fathom” abandoning Weinstein, as others had.”He’s a friend,” Currao said. “I can’t just cut off a friend because of what they’ve done or not done.”

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The Trump Administration’s Contemptuous, Pro-Corporate Response to Coronavirus

The American Prospect, February 27, 2020
See article on original site
The COVID-19 coronavirus is nearly a global pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control’s latest statement warns Americans “to prepare, in the expectation that this could be bad.” Amid a global crisis like this, the public needs true leadership from the president and his top aides, and a highly competent government deserving of the people’s trust, with the capacity to effectively respond to incoming threats.
But this is the Trump administration. So instead, we are being asked to put our faith in inexperienced political cronies, servicing the needs of corporations rather than the public, and contemptuous of science, scientists, and the idea of expertise. Whether Democratic candidates or debate moderators recognize it yet, this election will be a referendum on coronavirus response, and by association, how the executive branch should be staffed.
The roots of this crisis go back years and reflect deep-seated enmity to government experts. Each subsequent presidential budget has included ever more draconian, inhumane, and downright offensive cuts to the most basic government services, including those that would leave us prepared to take on a global pandemic. In 2017, Trump tried to slash the Centers for Disease Control’s budget to levels which a former director called “unsafe at any level of enactment.” In 2018, onlookers warned that Trump was “setting up the US to botch a pandemic response.” And in 2019, he went ahead and fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command.
Even as the coronavirus spread, the administration was suggesting deeper cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. And from the outside, commentators at the Heritage Foundation were cheerleading the president’s suggested budget cuts, while encouraging the administration to go further.

Whether Democratic candidates or debate moderators recognize it yet, this election will be a referendum on coronavirus response, and by association, how the executive branch should be staffed.

While the budget proposals reveal administration priorities, so do the men and women Trump has empowered. Principal among them is a man whose primary qualification appears to be a lifelong devotion to enriching Big Pharma.
When President Trump announced former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar as his nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Azar’s colleagues in the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries felt relief that they had a friend in the Trump administration. Trump called Azar “a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices,” but the pharma and health insurance execs knew better: Azar’s expertise lies in jacking up medicine prices, not public health or research.
Azar parlayed political positions within George W. Bush’s notoriously corporate-friendly HHS into a lucrative Big Pharma gig. In 2007, Azar oversaw an HHS investigation into Eli Lilly for illegally marketing a psychiatric drug to nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Shortly thereafter he left for a job as … Eli Lilly’s top lobbyist and spokesperson. Azar became president of Eli Lilly’s U.S. affiliate in 2012, and under his watch the company proceeded to triple the price of insulin.
But while Azar has proven himself effective at cashing in government experience for a big paycheck, nothing in his résumé qualifies him to be the head of the president’s coronavirus task force. Azar’s role includes mobilizing HHS’s many divisions in a crisis, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Until very recently, he didn’t even seem to be trying. Even as the scale of the crisis became clear, Azar was faithfully defending the administration’s budget cuts of 10 percent for HHS and 16 percent for the CDC.
Azar’s first big task-force decision was to partner with the State Department to overrule the administration’s own public-health experts and fly a cruise ship full of patients home instead of treating them in Japan. Questions have been raised about the motivations for that decision. Meanwhile, under questioning from Congress, Azar even failed to guarantee that any vaccine for the coronavirus will be free or cheaply available to all who need it. “We can’t control that price, because we need the private sector to invest,” Azar told Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). “Price controls won’t get us there.” Even in crisis, Azar cannot shake the profit-above-all ideology that dominates his worldview.
Azar does not appear to have the respect of the fellow officials he is supposed to lead on the interagency task force. For example, Azar and Seema Verma, the current administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have fumed at each other for months in a public leak war, which one official said is turning federal health policy into “a fucking soap opera.”
Verma has devoted herself inside the Trump administration to depriving poor people of health care, as she did on the outside, hobbling Medicaid for Republican governors in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. But the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare has led to finger-pointing, and rumor has it that this has driven the spat.
Last fall, Azar tried to keep Verma from riding Air Force One to the signing ceremony for an executive order her office helped draft. Verma also blames him for several unflattering news stories, like how she spent millions of taxpayer dollars trying to get on the cover of Glamour, and how she requested almost $50,000 in reimbursements for stolen jewelry. It’s so bad that Vice President Mike Pence had to scold them in the Oval Office like children.
Now these two must work together to manage a health crisis on a scale the nation hasn’t seen in a decade. Yet their personal relationship is so bad, aides have been planning for one or both to be shown the door since last December.

Under questioning from Congress, Azar failed to guarantee that any vaccine for the coronavirus will be free or cheaply available to all who need it. Even in crisis, he cannot shake the profit-above-all ideology that dominates his worldview.

Verma’s not even the only staffer in a grudge match with Azar. Former Gilead lobbyist and current director of the Domestic Policy Council Joe Grogan has made a habit of superseding the chain of command to kill Azar’s projects, including a “rebate rule” favored by the pharma lobby. But progressives shouldn’t count Grogan as an ally: He opposed several Azar plans to cut drug prices, pushed past Attorney General Bill Barr (!) and VP Mike Pence (!!) in his enthusiasm to kill the ACA, and is pushing a pricey reimbursement policy for the cancer drug CAR-T, which his former employer just happened to start selling right after Grogan joined the administration. His biggest asset in the White House is his longtime fealty to acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and willingness to boast about Trumpian accomplishments like how “No administration has come in and cut regulations the way we have.”
Grogan and Mulvaney have spent their time during this critical period trying to pin any negative consequences from the COVID-19 response on Azar, blaming him for failing to protect Trump and asking for too much money from Congress to contain the threat. The eventual request of $2.5 billion in emergency funds was seen inside Congress as pathetically low, especially as it sought to pilfer funds from a program that provides heating to poor families. The whole escapade reflects the Trump administration’s guiding principles in action: Take from the poor, give to the powerful, fight amongst yourselves, but never question the boss.
This has all gone so well that Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the coronavirus response, effectively demoting Azar while leaving the task force in place. While this was being announced and Trump was downplaying the threat, the first confirmed U.S. case in someone with no known contact with an infected person was announced.
The incompetence and greed of this administration could now literally cost many Americans their lives in a major public-health crisis. But it should also serve as a reminder to 2020 Democrats that they have both tremendous tools in their belt as president, and a tremendous job ahead of them making those tools effective again. Public-health agencies have the raw power needed to contain a threat like the coronavirus, but they can only do so if actual experts with strong civic values lead them—and if they aren’t being undermined by libertarian ideologues from within, nor submitting to attacks from without.
The stakes of rebuilding the executive branch are literally life or death, as the coronavirus demonstrates. Yet this task, the thing which the next president will spend most of their time actually doing, has received almost no attention in the Democratic debates (despite our best efforts to bring it to the forefront). Journalists, activists, and candidates need to talk more about rebuilding the White House’s effectiveness and regaining the public’s trust in the executive branch. If they do not, we can expect many more crises on the scale and tragedy of the coronavirus.

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First Death Reported in U.S.; More Masks From 3M: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — The U.S.’s first fatality from the coronavirus was a man in his 50s, Washington State health officials said. Vice President Mike Pence issued the strongest warnings possible against travel to parts of Italy and South Korea. He also said people didn’t need to buy surgical masks for protection.The FDA took steps to speed laboratory tests for the virus as unexplained infections in three states, including Washington, suggested the disease is spreading on the west coast. Italy became the first non-Asian nation to top 1,000 confirmed cases.More events were scrapped or delayed around the world, from a Paris race to a Riviera property conference to a Greek economic forum. The NCAA is being pressured to play March Madness without fans.Key DevelopmentsFirst U.S. death confirmed in Washington StateU.S. issues strong warnings on Italy, South Korea travelConfirmed cases worldwide pass 85,000; deaths top 2,900New York won U.S. approval to conduct its own testsChinese manufacturing fell to record in FebruaryClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.NCAA Pressured to Play Without Fans (3:25 p.m. NY)The head of the National College Players Association said March Madness may need to go on in empty stadiums to protect college athletes from the virus. The advocacy group’s executive director Ramogi Huma called for a serious discussion with the NCAA “about holding competitions without an audience present.”The Italian Football Federation is planning for some Serie A games to take place behind closed doors, starting as soon as Sunday.Turkey Cuts Flights to High-Risk Countries (2:45 p.m. NY)Turkey stopped all passenger flights to and from Italy, South Korea and Iraq as of midnight, Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.3M to Provide 35 Million Masks (2:30 p.m. NY)Vice President Pence, who has been put in charge of the U.S. effort against the virus, said most Americans don’t need to buy masks for protection.Story continuesBecause of a shortage of masks for health care professionals, 3M will provide 35 million more masks per month under a new contract with the U.S.Earlier in the day, the U.S. Surgeon General tweeted, “seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS!”Details From Trump, Pence Press Conference (1:10 p.m. NY)President Trump said additional cases are likely after the person died in Washington. Trump spoke Saturday at a White House press conference. The president for days has talked down the risk of the virus amid the market selloff and rapidly rising global cases.Pence issued the strongest possible warnings against travel to parts of Italy — the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe — and to South Korea. Italy said Saturday its cases raised to over 1,000. South Korea has reported more than 3,000 cases.In the U.S., 22 cases have been reported. He minimized the risk. If a person contracts the virus, he said, “you will probably go through a process and you will probably be fine.”Trump said he’d meet with pharmaceutical executives at the White House on Monday about progress toward a vaccine.First U.S. Virus Death in Washington State (1 p.m. NY)The first person has died from the coronavirus in the U.S., in Washington state, health officials reported on Saturday.Health authorities in Seattle planned to brief the media later Saturday on virus cases in King County, including new people identified with the infection, one of whom died, according to an advisory from the agencies. Seattle is in King County.Washington state health officials had earlier identified two new cases, including a school aged adolescent who had no known travel history or encountered anyone who had visited affected areas.President Donald Trump and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also planned news conferences about the virus on Saturday.Italy Tops 1,000 Cases (12:20 p.m. NY)Italy’s confirmed coronavirus infections surpassed 1,000, skyrocketing from nearly zero in just over a week, the nation’s emergency chief Angelo Borrelli said. The total number of infections is 1,128, with 29 possible virus-linked deaths, the Italian Civil Protection official said Saturday at a Rome news conference. The Lombardy region in Italy’s north has biggest pocket of cases, and a cluster of towns near Milan is under quarantine.N.Y. Approved to Conduct Own Tests: Cuomo (11:50 a.m. NY)New York state won U.S. approval to conduct its own tests on the coronavirus, speeding up the process of confirming cases, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.“This approval will expedite wait time and improve New York’s ability to more effectively manage the coronavirus situation as it unfolds,” the governor said.Surgeon General Says ‘Stop Buying Masks’ (11:40 a.m. NY)The U.S. Surgeon General urged people to “stop buying masks,” saying on Twitter that they’re not effective in preventing the general public from catching coronavirus.“The best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of respiratory illness,” Jerome M. Adams tweeted. He encouraged people to get flu shots, saying fewer flu patients means more resources for fighting the virus.FDA Backs Faster Lab Tests (11:15 a.m. NY)The FDA cleared the way Saturday for some laboratories to conduct diagnostic tests on the coronavirus before an emergency process is fully approved, a step to deal with test-kit shortages that have come under heavy criticism.The FDA issued guidance to help rapidly expand testing capacity using molecular coronavirus diagnostic examinations. For a period of time while labs submit formal applications, the FDA does not intend to object to the tests for specimen testing, according to a statement. The FDA’s action covers laboratories certified to perform high-complexity testing.Swiss Cuts Growth Forecast (11:15 a.m. NY)Switzerland plans to lower its economic growth forecast because of the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters said, citing an official from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. The new forecast will be issued March 17, Eric Scheidegger, head of SECO’s economic policy directorate, said during a government news conference, according to Reuters. SECO predicted GDP growth of 1.7% this year in its most recent forecast in December.Xi’s Japan Trip Set for Delay (10:30 a.m. NY)The governments of Japan and China are set to delay the state visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which was planned for early April, Sankei reports, citing multiple unidentified people. The governments have concluded that the spread of the virus means the environment is not suitable for a visit. The trip is likely to be rescheduled for the autumn or later.Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi agreed at a meeting on Friday that the visit to Tokyo would go ahead as planned.Biden Blasts Trump for ‘Hoax’ Comment (9:50 a.m. NY)Joe Biden criticized Donald Trump for describing the coronavirus as a “hoax” by Democats to derail his presidency.“The president of the United States said it’s a hoax?” Biden said Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina, as Democrats voted in a primary. “For him to start talking about it being a hoax is absolutely dangerous. It’s just not a decent way to act.”Trump, at a South Carolina rally Friday, said Democrats were “politicizing the coronavirus” after he overcame the “impeachment hoax” and allegations about his campaign’s ties with Russia. “This is their new hoax,” Trump said.Biden told reporters: “When you say things like that it just so diminishes the faith that people around the world have in the United States.”France Cancels Large Gatherings (8:53 a.m. NY)France has banned indoor gatherings of more than 5,000 people and canceled the Paris half-marathon that was expected to attract 40,000 runners on Sunday, Health Minister Olivier Veran said. The country reported 16 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 73.Schools in two clusters stricken by the coronavirus, in the Alps and north of Paris, won’t reopen Monday. The government asked people to restrict journeys as much as they can, and to work from home when possible.The new measures aim to prevent or delay a wider spread of the virus “to win as much time as possible” and avoid an overlap with the flu epidemic, which has started to recede, Veran said.Greek Economic Forum Delayed (8:30 a.m. NY)Greece’s Delphi Economic Forum is being postponed until late May or early June from March 5 to 8, following recent developments with coronavirus. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Eurogroup President Mario Centeno, ESM’s head Klaus Regling and many other international speakers had been scheduled to speak.Property Summit Postponed (8:14 a.m. NY)The world’s biggest property event held annually on the French Riviera has been pushed back to June over concerns about the epidemic, the summit organizers said. The four day-event, known as MIPIM, will now take place June 2 to 5 in Cannes instead of its usual March slot. The conference, which usually attracts 10s of thousands of bankers, brokers and developers, to the luxury hotels and super yachts of the French Riviera.Chevron Employee in London Negative (7:46 a.m. NY)A Chevron Corp. employee in London has tested negative for the coronavirus, the company said in a statement. It asked traders and other staff at its Canary Wharf office to work from home this week as a precaution after an employee had flu-like symptoms.Iraq Oil Conference Postponed (7:36 a.m. NY)Organizers postponed an oil conference that was scheduled to take place March 2 and 3 in Baghdad, Frontier Exchange Co.’s Baghdad branch manager, Ahmed Al Jadr, said in phone interview. The move is based on a recommendation from Iraq’s health ministry to avoid public gatherings after the country reported eight coronavirus cases. Organizers plan to reschedule the event in early April.Azerbaijan Closes Iran Border (7:15 a.m. NY)Azerbaijan closed its border with Iran for two weeks and said two more Azeri nationals have coronavirus after visiting the country’s southern neighbor, bringing the nation’s total cases to three. Azeris currently in Iran and Iranians visiting Azerbaijan will be allowed to return home, it said. The restrictions also apply to flights between the Azeri and Iranian capitals, state-owned Azerbaijan Airlines said in a Facebook statement.Iran Implements Travel Measures (7 a.m. NY)Iran Air says it’s restricting flights for Iranians to Germany, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands and U.K. Only Iranian nationals with residency or citizenship of these countries and health certificates will be allowed to fly, the semi-official Iranians Students’ News Agency reported, citing an interview with Masoumeh Asgharzadeh, Iran Air’s director of public affairs. People suspected of coronavirus in Qom, the epicenter of the outbreak there, will be prevented from leaving, according to ILNA.The semi-official Tasnim news agency reported the death of MP Mohammad Ali Ramezani Dastak by influenza, though denying that he had contracted the coronavirus.Inter Milan, Juventus Game Postponed (6:52 a.m. NY)In Italy, the soccer game between Juventus and Inter Milan has been postponed until May 13 in compliance with urgent measures to contain Covid-19, the Turin-based team said on Twitter. Five Serie A games in Italy’s top league have been postponed.Spain’s El Clasico match between Barcelona and Real Madrid is still set to go ahead tomorrow. The country has 46 infections, including two serious cases, Fernando Simon, the head of the the country’s health emergency center, said in a news conference.Case Identified Near Rome (6:50 a.m. NY)Cases have popped up elsewhere in Italy, including on the fringes of the capital. A woman from Fiumicino, the town that borders Rome’s main airport, tested positive after traveling to the Bergamo area in Lombardy, regional health authorities said in a statement. Her husband and one of her two children were also positive in preliminary tests conducted Saturday.Iran Cases Jump More Than 50% (6 p.m. HK)The total number of cases in the country rose by more than 50% to 593 with 43 deaths, the highest number of deaths from the disease outside of China. Five members of Iran’s parliament have tested positive out of 100 who were tested, spokesman Asadollah Abbasi said. Iran has 290 MPs. Parliament on Friday suspended all sessions indefinitely in response to the outbreak.Japan Plans More Measures (5:55 p.m. HK)Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was planning a second round of measures to tackle the new coronavirus outbreak, using 270 billion yen ($2.5 billion) in remaining reserves from this year’s budget.Subsidies will be introduced for those who lose income due to measures like school closures and the package is to be drawn up within about the next 10 days, Abe said at a press conference in Tokyo.Panic Buying in the U.K. (5 p.m. HK)U.K. retailers are already reporting panic buying as consumers fear a mass outbreak of coronavirus in the country, the Daily Telegraph reports. Online grocer Ocado said it has seen a spike in “particularly large orders” as customers stockpile food and health products. Boots, the pharmacy, has had to resort to rationing hand sanitizer, the newspaper said. There have been 20 confirmed cases of the virus and no fatalities in the U.K.China Could Have Vaccine by April (4:45 p.m. HK)China’s vaccine research experts told premier Li Keqiang that a vaccine for coronavirus could be introduced for emergency use as early as April.Researchers said some coronavirus vaccines could be used under certain conditions, according to a statement posted on government website Saturday, citing a trip Li made to the coronavirus national medical equipment emergency platform on Friday. The statement didn’t give details on the vaccine or the conditions.–With assistance from Kanga Kong, Adam Haigh, Isabel Reynolds, Yasna Haghdoost, Vernon Silver, Charles Penty, Zulfugar Agayev, Khalid Al-Ansary, Francois de Beaupuy and Jennifer Epstein.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Michelle Fay Cortez in Minneapolis at mcortez@bloomberg.net;David R. Baker in San Francisco at dbaker116@bloomberg.net;Sophie Alexander in San Francisco at salexander82@bloomberg.net;John Harney in Washington at jharney2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Ian FisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Why you should tumble round the idea of a circular economy

Take, make, use, dispose. For decades, this has been the standard approach to production and consumption. Companies take raw materials and transform them into products, which are purchased by consumers, who ultimately toss them out, creating waste. But as warnings about climate change and environmental degradation grow ever louder, people are starting to challenge the sustainability of this model. Many business leaders and governments — including China, Japan, and the U.K.—argue that we should ditch this linear system in favor of a so-called circular economy of take, make, use, reuse, and reuse again and again.

What’s wrong with the linear economy?

It often leads to a system that is inefficient, costly, and depletes natural resources. The mining of commodities from gold to coal can spoil ecosystems and disrupt nearby communities. Making steel from ore requires a large amount of energy, which produces Earth-warming carbon dioxide. A byproduct of the linear model is material waste, which takes up space and may include contaminants. Trash ends up in undesirable places. The so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch is only the most well-known example of global-scale plastic pollution. Yet products like steel and plastic can be reused, refurbished and recycled to capture untapped value. A totally circular economy—with no waste and no new materials at all—is likely impossible to achieve, but squeezing the maximum waste out of the system could curtail use of new resources.

Sounds like recycling. How’s it different?

The two ideas are connected, but they’re not the same. The phrase “circular economy” pops up in the work of a few resource economists dating back at least to the 1980s. Its use in recent years has come to connote an approach that’s more systemic and ambitious than recycling. For example, to maintain quality, plastic bottle makers need to blend recycled plastic with virgin material. Instead, a truly circular economy would involve no new material inputs at all, reducing emissions, waste, and eventually costs. Some industries are already coming close to this—almost all of a car can be reclaimed, for example. But some have far to go—97% of the materials used to make clothing are brand new, and 73% of these products are incinerated or put into a landfill. This isn’t a totally new idea—the slogan “make do and mend” was popularized during World War II to encourage as little waste as possible.

Is anyone skeptical?

Yes. Making a production cycle fully self-sufficient is virtually impossible. Some new input will always be necessary, and some waste will always be created. Recycling paper over and over, for example, produces paper of increasingly low quality. Also, building a circular economy can entail high upfront costs, requiring investment to redesign products and switch to recycled materials. The U.K. estimates the cost of shifting to a circular economy to be about 3% of gross domestic product. The expense can feed concerns that companies will go for quick fixes rather longer-term sustainable practices.

What is feasible?

A more circular supply chain. This can mean changing to recycled materials, extending the life-cycle of a product and improving recovery at the end of its life. New Jersey-based TerraCycle has launched the “Loop” initiative, a collaboration with household names such as Nestle to provide common products—ice-cream for example—in packaging that can be returned and refilled. There is a multinational push by General Motors, BMW, and Toyota to create an aftermarket for used electric car batteries, which can be used for chilling beer at 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan or banking solar energy in Cameroon. And New York startup Rent the Runway offers designer dress hire for events like weddings and galas, allowing clients to dodge one-wear purchases, while earning the company a $1 billion valuation.

What are governments doing?

They’re trying to push consumers and producers toward a more circular economy. The German government offers grants to design products that have a lower environmental impact or are cheap to repair. In Chile, the government said it will aim to make all plastic reusable. The Netherlands is investing $40 million in a special fund that will start financing deforestation-free agriculture, to be matched by a donation from Rabobank Group. The European Commission has a circular economy action plan, which includes transforming the way plastic products are produced and recycled. It’s also part of China’s five-year plan.

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