Crocs To Give Free Shoes To Healthcare Workers

Crocs, Inc. has launched a new program that offers free shoes to healthcare workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. The company will give up to 10,000 pairs of shoes a day under ‘a Free Pair for Healthcare’ program.

The casual footwear maker said that healthcare workers across the U.S. will have the opportunity to get a free pair of shoes while supplies last. They can choose from select Crocs Classic Clogs and Crocs At Work styles, with free shipping.

“Over the past week, we have spoken to healthcare workers, their facilities and even their family and friends, and they have specifically asked for our shoes in an effort to provide ease on their feet, as well as ease of mind as they need the ability to easily clean up before they go home to their families,” said Crocs President and CEO Andrew Rees.

Rees added that Crocs is immediately prepared to fulfill and ship up to 10,000 pairs per day to the healthcare workers. The duration of the giveaway will depend on the company’s level of inventory and the amount of requests it receives.

In addition to the free online requests for individual healthcare workers, Crocs said it will donate up to 100,000 pairs of shoes that will be distributed across several select healthcare facilities and organizations.

Currently, the program includes Jobs Ohio and the Dayton Area Hospital Association to distribute a large donation through the local Ohio health systems.

Crocs is also distributing the shoes to St. Anthony North Health Campus in Denver, Colorado; Atlantic Health System which will distribute across multiple facilities within its network, including Morristown Medical Center; and the SONSIEL organization in partnership with its SHARE initiative.

Crocs said it has not confirmed a total donation amount, but will work hard to serve as many as possible every day during the crisis. The website will open for requests at approximately 12 p.m. ET daily, and will remain open until that day’s free pair allotment has been fulfilled.

In mid-March, Crocs said it will temporarily close all of its company-operated retail stores in North America in response to the escalating global coronavirus pandemic. The store closures are effective March 17 through March 27.

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10,000 academics sign Unisuper divestment petition

More than 10,000 Australian academics and university employees have signed a petition asking $85 billion superannuation fund Unisuper to divest from companies they say are incompatible with the Paris climate agreement.

Unisuper has 450,000 members, largely working in the tertiary education sector, and is the default fund for all major metropolitan universities including the University of Melbourne, RMIT, the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Queensland.

More than 10,000 university professionals have signed a petition asking Unisuper to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Credit:Louise Kennerley

It is also the fund of choice for most major regional universities, including the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Wollongong.

The industry fund was one of five revealed to have billions invested in the global fossil fuel industry, alongside HESTA, Cbus, AustralianSuper and Hostplus. Unisuper's records show it has almost $8 billion invested in 14 thermal coal mines and 13 oil and gas companies. The fund previously stated it had no plans to divest from these assets.

Signatures on the online petition, started by activist group Market Forces, include executive director of ANU's Climate Change Institute Will Steffen, CSIRO scientist Professor David Karoly and the director of research training at ANU, Professor Inger Mewburn, alongside academics from universities in every state of the country.

Macquarie University's biology professor Lesley Hughes said climate change was a "very complex and wicked problem" that needed multiple strategies, including divestment.

"Clearly we must transition out of coal, oil and gas as quickly as possible to have any chance at all to stable the climate to a safe level," Professor Hughes said. "Universities are thought leaders in the community and should be at the forefront of strategies and thinking to promote climate change action."

Bioethics and Melbourne Laureate Professor Peter Singer also signed the petition, saying he was not confident the strategy of engagement was effective and criticised the argument that the sector has solely a fiduciary responsibility.

"Superannuation is by its nature a long-term project," Professor Singer said. "I would have thought the industry has a particular responsibility to look at that future and say are we contributing to making life better for the members at the time where they will be drawing on the fund?"

ANU research fellow Dr John Cox said there had been a "groundswell" of support among academics across the country, with some demanding meetings within the upper ranks of institutions to put forward their case. "There is certainly a lot of anger about the greenwash coming from Unisuper," Dr Cox said.

On Wednesday, scores of ANU lecturers and students will protest at the Universities Australia conference in Canberra. Market Forces is bankrolling a full-page ad in The Australian Financial Review to draw attention to its campaign.

In a statement, Universities Australia chief executive¬†Catriona Jackson said the union had no control over Unisuper's investment decisions. "It is bound by legal requirements and other considerations such as the views of all of its members … A number of Australian universities have decided to disinvest from fossil fuels in respect of their own investments."

Unisuper declined to comment on the petition or its investment strategy.

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Gold spikes to 7-year high, 10-year yield nears record low as coronavirus spreads

‘Dr. Doom’ economist: Coronavirus will have significant impact on Chinese economy

NYU economics professor Nouriel Roubini, who has earned the nickname Dr. Doom, shares his insights on coronavirus, U.S.-China trade and more.

Investors plowed into safe-haven assets Monday morning as the spreading coronavirus caused investors to dump stocks and move into the safety of gold and U.S. Treasurys.

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The buying ran gold to a seven-year high and dropped the 10-year yield within a few basis points of its record low as global equity markets were roiled after South Korea, Italy and Iran all reported a surge in the number of new coronavirus cases.

"The expectation had been this would be a relatively short-lived and it would be a V-shaped recovery off whatever happened first quarter, second quarter, but second half we kind of claw it all back and it would all be good. The view was also that we'd see things relatively contained within China," Keith Banks, head of investment solutions at Bank of America, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Monday.

"Obviously not the case. As a result I think now investors are starting to think it won't be a V-shaped recovery, but maybe more of a U-shaped recovery, and that has implications for growth, that has implications for inflation, that has implications for rates, and it has implications for earnings."

Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Monday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korea reported 161 new cases and two deaths Monday, raising its respective totals to 763 and seven. Elsewhere, Italy and Iran said the number of new cases jumped to 152 and 43, respectively.

DR. DOOM WARNS CORONAVIRUS WILL SHOCK CHINESE ECONOMY

Meanwhile, China's National Health Commission reported 409 new cases and 150 deaths on Monday, raising the totals on the mainland to 77,150 and 2,592, respectively.

The spreading virus caused panic among investors, running front-month gold futures up for an eighth straight day Monday. The precious metal gained more than 2 percent early Monday, hitting a seven-year high of $1,691.70 an ounce. Futures with an April expiration have gained 8.4 percent since the coronavirus was first to have reported spreading outside of China on Jan. 20.

Workers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus at a department store in Daegu, South Korea, Monday. (Kim Hyun-tae/Yonhap via AP)

As traders bought gold, they also piled into U.S. Treasurys. Heavy buying pushed the yield on the 10-year note down 7.88 basis points to 1.392 percent. The yield was within a handful of basis points of its all-time closing low of 1.376 percent, set in July 2016. The 30-year yield was already at a record low down 6.6 basis points at 1.851 percent.

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The virus, which has caused the lockdown of more than 60 million in China, has paralyzed supply chains and caused companies to temporarily shut down or reduce operations on the mainland. A number of companies, including Apple, have warned disruptions caused by the virus will impact their financial results.

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