The package would overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide extra funding to hire more doctors and nurses. Lawmakers unveiled the plan on Monday.
More on the news that Dollar Tree will purchase Family Dollar for $8.5 billion, and what it means for both businesses moving forward. Plus, Nissan is hoping to turn over a new Leaf; While the company most likely loses money on its electric car, it hopes that it will see profits in the longrun. Also, the Muslim American community adds billions to the U.S. economy, especially during Eid Al Fitr, which follows Ramadan. So why haven't marketers caught on?
Despite a demand from the United Nations Security Council for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, fighting continued in Gaza, where the death toll has surpassed 1,000.
Venmo is an app that allows users to exchange money easily with the click of a few buttons, which makes it particularly useful when it comes to everything from going to the movies to splitting the dinner check. The app is also a kind of social network, where both the parties involved in a transaction and the purpose of that transaction can be publicly available, sometimes in humorous ways. Freelance writer and author Chiara Atik recently published an article in Medium’s “Matter" on the topic.
One of the major issues with using more established platforms to see what people are doing is that users are pretty savvy at this point to social media — they know not to post about things they don’t want publicly consumed. However, Venmo currently exists outside of that frame of mind.
“Because Venmo has this utilitarian aspect to it, people are a little bit looser,” Chiara said.
Even so, money has the power to be a large window into how people interact.
Said Chiara, "It’s a snippet of people’s relationships with each other."
However, as with Facebook and other social networks, this period won’t last. Once enough people are using the app — especially parents — most users will likely make their transactions private.
Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid Al Fitr Monday -- It follows the month of Ramadan, a holy month in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. For the last week or so, Muslims have been shopping for presents and new outfits for Eid.
Rafi-uddin Shikoh, CEO and Managing Director of consulting firm DinarStandard and lead author of State of the Islamic Economy, puts Muslim spending in the U.S. as high as $124 billion.
But you probably haven’t seen ads calling on American Muslims to spend their holiday money. Shikoh says capitalizing on that spending has not been a priority for marketers, because the American Muslim demographic is not as big as Hispanic, Asian or African American spending blocs.
The lack of attention is suprising, given that when it does happen, it’s a party. A Macy’s in Orange County, for example, put up decorations including ornate towers that stand tall with a message: “Happy Ramadan.”https://twitter.com/amirlj_
“If you think about it, it's just these two bella tower displays in the women's store, and we had so many people coming in taking pictures with it like it's a tourist attraction,” says Jomana Siddiqui, the graphic designer hired by Macy’s to create the decorations.
Some people were so excited, they spontaneously started doing a dabke, an Arab line dance.
Siddiqui, who also founded online boutique ModernEid, says it’s not about having others validate your holiday. She says if retailers are smart, they'll pay more attention to the American Muslim demographic.
“Say you’re looking it from a retail perspective, making your customers happy and making them feel like, 'Hey, this is a store I want to stay loyal to.' -- That’s what retail is all about,” Siddiqui says. “You want customers to stay loyal to you.”
She says store managers quickly realized the opportunity they stumbled upon.
“I remember this comment stuck out in my head: ‘I'm kind of surprised nobody has done this before.’ It wasn't a question of ‘should we do this?’ It was a question of ‘why shouldn't we?’” Siddiqui says.
It’s estimated there are between 2 and 7 million Muslims in the United States. Mennah Ibrahim, with global marketing firm JWT, argues advertisers should spend more money to target Muslims, especially during Ramadan.
And many do -- just not here in the States.
“Brands like Chanel here in the Middle East provide longer variations of their outfits; brands like Hermès come in larger sizes so Muslims wear them as headscarves,” Ibrahim says.
Google launched the Ramadan hub and DKNY announced a Ramadan-inspired like called “Head Turners,” but the latter can only be found in the Middle East. The companies simply adjust their brand to the location.
Here in the U.S., though, Ibrahim says the same companies tread more cautiously because they're still getting to know the American-Muslim consumer.
We live in the future.
That's not my phrase; it is my daughter Madeleine's invention. True, the monorails remain few and far between, but every once in a while I get a reminder that some of what was once science fiction is no longer fiction.
Recently, I got to spend a bit of time with a physicist and physician who says she is trying to do for medicine what Google did for information technology. Her idea is democratize healthcare so that the big stuff doesn't always have to go through professional gatekeepers.
Anita Goel is the chairman and scientific director of Nanobiosym, and chairman and CEO of Nanobiosym Diagnostics. Dr. Goel and her team have come up with a device about the size of an iPad that will be able to tell people if they have malaria, TB, HIV, even cancer. Stick some blood in the thing, and it will look for the genetic markers of a variety of conditions and render a verdict on the spot. The company's Gene-RADAR system is a little medical lab on a microchip, made possible by advances in nanotechnology. Her work recently won the grand prize in the Nokia Sensing X-Challenge.
The technology may end up in homes or at a clinic near you. If this sounds farfetched, remember that once upon a time you had to visit a doctor's office to get your blood pressure checked. Now you can go down to a strip mall or pharmacy, put your arm into a cuff, press the green button and see how you are doing. Or, you might buy a small digital blood pressure reader from a drugstore and use it it at home.
Imagine if this Gene-RADAR technology deployed in the developing world, where doctors, health workers, and clinics are either overburdened or hard to reach. It is likely that the existing rules guiding medical diagnostics would have to change to accommodate this technology if gene-sensing diagnostics are to become widespread. Companies with stakes in the existing ways of doing things will either adapt, or could try to thwart the adoption of something that let's consumers check their own health conditions.
Dr. Goel and her team are among the contestants in a competition that will award $10 million to those who come up with a Tricorder, a hand-held device that'll identify a list of 15 diseases. It's the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. The award ceremony is set for a year from January.
Click on the media player above to hear Dr. Anita Goel in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio