Jeff Bezos Responds After Biden Demands Gas Stations Lower Prices


Amazon founder and multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos criticized the Biden administration’s messaging around gas prices and rising inflation.

On Saturday, President Joe Biden suggested on Twitter that gas stations across the United States charge customers less for gasoline to offset historically high gas prices.

“Ouch,” Bezos wrote in response. “Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this. It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”

Earlier, Biden’s Twitter account wrote that he has a “message” to gas stations: “This is a time of war and global peril. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”

From the Twitter post, it’s not clear how gas stations might accomplish Biden’s Twitter demand, which was praised by a Chinese Communist Party media account. Others, however, criticized the president’s post.

“You know as well as everyone that the Federal Reserve actually sets the prices—through rampant inflation,” wrote the Libertarian Party’s account. “When 40 percent of the dollars in the world was printed in one year, inflation sets in and prices skyrocket. Just yesterday you were blaming [Russia]. We see through your scam.”

Added California gubernatorial candidate Michael Shellenberger, “At a time of war, Biden could have leveled with the American people and united the country through an ‘all-of-the-above’ clean energy strategy that included oil & gas. Instead, he has repeatedly lied about the causes of the energy crisis and divided the country.”

Data released by auto club AAA on Sunday shows that the national average price for a gallon of regular gas currently stands at $4.81, down about 10 cents from a week ago. In mid-June, the average price hit $5 per gallon for the first time.

Biden and fellow Democrats have shifted from blaming Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, for the spike in gas prices to blaming oil companies and gas stations in recent days. The president sent a letter to the top oil companies in the United States, demanding that they bring down prices while accusing them of price-gouging.

ExxonMobil, one of the firms, fired back by suggesting that federal policies have contributed to rising prices.

“In the short term, the U.S. government could enact measures often used in emergencies following hurricanes or other supply disruptions—such as waivers of Jones Act provisions and some fuel specifications to increase supplies,” the oil giant wrote in a news release.

The federal government, it added, “can promote investment through clear and consistent policy that supports U.S. resource development, such as regular and predictable lease sales, as well as streamlined regulatory approval and support for infrastructure such as pipelines.”

Republicans and some analysts have said the higher prices are caused by Biden having issued a series of executive orders last year suspending new drilling leases on federal lands, fossil fuel subsidies, and killing off the Keystone pipeline.

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Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.





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North Texas Shooter Kills 2, Wounds 3 Officers, Takes Own Life


HALTOM CITY, Texas—A gunman killed two people and wounded four others, including three police officers, before taking his own life in a home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police said Sunday.

Haltom City Police Det. Matt Spillane said none of those wounded in the shooting Saturday evening in a residential neighborhood have life-threatening injuries.

Spillane said the officers returned fire after being shot at while responding to a report of gunshots at the home around 6:45 p.m. One officer was hit in both legs, and the other two were shot in the arm. The suspect died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He said the Texas Rangers—the state’s elite police force—would take over the investigation. A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear. Authorities have not released the names of any of the people involved in the attack.

“The main focus is on how and why this happened,” Spillane told The Associated Press.

A woman was found dead inside a house and a man was found dead outside, Sgt. Rick Alexander said , speaking at a news conference late Saturday. A woman who called 911 was also wounded, he said.

The suspect was found with a “military-style rifle” and a handgun, Alexander said.

The incident is one of several in recent days in which law enforcement officers were fired upon while responding to calls.

Three officers were shot dead in eastern Kentucky while trying to serve a warrant. Police took a 49-year-old man into custody late Thursday night after an hours-long standoff at a home in Allen, a small town in the hills of Appalachia. He remains jailed on a $10 million bond charged with two counts of murder of a police officer.

In Chicago, a police officer was hospitalized in serious condition after being shot repeatedly in a Friday morning ambush while answering a domestic disturbance report, police Superintendent David Brown said. A suspect was hospitalized awaiting a psychiatric evaluation and is being held on a $2 million bond.

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Russia Says It Holds All of Ukraine’s Luhansk With Capture of Last City


Smoke rises over the remains of a building destroyed by a military strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine, on June 17, 2022. (Oleksandr Ratushniak/Reuters)

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Sunday that Moscow and its allies now controlled all of Ukraine’s Luhansk region after capturing the last major city, Lysychansk.

There was no immediate response from Ukraine on the Russian claim, which, if confirmed, would mark a significant milestone for Moscow on day 130 of the war.

After pulling back from northern Ukraine and the capital Kyiv in the spring, Russia has focused on driving Ukrainian forces out of the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since Russia’s first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014.

The Russian defense ministry said Shoigu had informed Putin of the “liberation” of the Luhansk region thanks to the capture of Lysychansk, once a major coal mining hub.

“As Army General Sergei Shoigu reported [to Putin], following successful military operations, the Russian armed forces, together with units from the people’s militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic, gained full control over the city of Lysychansk,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry had said earlier on Sunday that its troops had captured the villages surrounding Lysychansk, encircling the area, and were fighting inside the city.

Calls to the Ukrainian General Staff and Defence Ministry went unanswered. The ministry did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

The Russian defense ministry added that it had struck military infrastructure in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, as well as a base used by foreign fighters on the outskirts of Mykolaiv in the country’s south.

Russian forces seized Lysychansk’s sister city Sievierodonetsk last month, after some of the heaviest fighting seen since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Reuters

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China Tightens Rules for Online Platforms, Requiring Companies to Authenticate Users’ Identities


The Cyberspace Administration of China issued new regulations on June 27 requiring all online platform operators to authenticate users’ identities and verify the account information submitted by users during registration.

The new regulations require the network information service provider to display user IP addresses on their page of account information, which would facilitate Beijing’s monitoring of user locations.

The new rules will take effect on Aug. 1, when companies will need to validate every user’s online identity.

‘Illegal’ Posts Critical of Regime

Current affairs commentator Lu Bei told The Epoch Times that the new rules allow the regime to maintain its control over information as it faces growing criticism online.

Lu said that Beijing aims to extend its centralized control of information systems into citizens’ everyday lives, supervising their every move. The regime has been know to use network technology in a way that violates the rights and privacy of ordinary citizens, while at the same time failing to monitor the movement of criminals.

On June 28, China’s Ministry of Public Security said on its public WeChat account that its cybersecurity department had investigated more than 600 cases of “illegal” posts by the “internet water army” or “internet navy”—many fake accounts that get paid to post positive comments to inflate companies’ online image—and arrested more than 4,000 suspects, according to the state-run People’s Daily.

The report said that those commentators had spread unfavorable views of China’s economy, and that some had released “illegal and harmful information to manipulate or disrupt the order of online public opinion.”

Lu believes that Beijing’s crackdown on the so-called “illegal internet navy” is to keep people from talking about hot topics, such as the “Iron Chain Woman” human trafficking scandal, the “tnightmare” lockdowns in Shanghai, the Tangshan women-beating incident, and the Zhengzhou bank depositor incident.

“Any topic that concerns the ordinary citizen are suppressed, and inappropriate comments are filtered out, taken down, or attached with warning labels. People are deprived of freedom and labeled criminals for ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble,’” Lu added.

“Meanwhile, the ‘legal’ Internet navy is paid for by the Chinese Communist Party. They are reportedly paid ‘fifty cents’ for every pro-CCP remark or in exchange for a reduced jail sentence.”

Dorothy Li contributed to this report.

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Fight to Control COVID-19 Narrative Sees Intensified Persecution of Falun Gong in China: Nonprofit Director


One way the Chinese regime has maintained control over the COVID-19 narrative is by imprisoning more people who practice Falun Gong, a nonprofit director told a religious freedom summit on Thursday.

China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) declared war on China’s independent journalists, doctors, and citizen journalists during the pandemic, including Chinese who practice Falun Gong due to the increased risk they pose to the regime for whistleblowing.

Thousands more practitioners were harassed by Chinese officials and police, and hundreds more practitioners were sentenced in each of the past two years, compared to numbers in 2019, according to data presented during a panel at the International Religious Freedom Summit on June 30.

Levi Browde, executive director of New York-based nonprofit organization Falun Dafa Information Center, explained during the panel that the CCP chose to escalate its persecution against Falun Gong because of the sheer size of the spiritual group—tens of millions of practitioners in China—that is already subject to the Chinese regime’s methods of information control and disinformation.

“That is why during the pandemic, Falun Gong incarcerations actually went up, because Falun Gong is no longer just a persecuted minority. It’s also a whistleblower,” Browde said.

Levi Browde, executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, at a Falun Gong rally at City Hall in New York on May 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

He added: “And they [Beijing] know if they’re hiding something about the virus in Wuhan, or other places, Falun Gong is the first one they need to keep quiet, because they’re the ones who are going to expose the news about what the CCP is doing. And that’s exactly what happened.”

Persecution of Those Who Value Truth

There were 3,582 cases of harassment in 2019, but the number of cases jumped to 9,159 in 2020 before climbing to 9,332 in 2021, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center’s new biannual report released in May, titled: “Pandemic, Persecution and Pushback: Trends and Analysis from the Suppression of Falun Gong in China and Beyond.”

Last year, 1,372 practitioners were sentenced to prison, a jump from 775 in 2019.

The number of practitioners killed because of their faith also matches the alarming trend. According to the report, there were 180 reported deaths in 2021—almost double the 98 known deaths in 2019. For the first three months of this year, there are already 21 confirmed deaths.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that teaches its practitioners to live by the universal tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It was widely popular in China in the 1990s, with about 70 to 100 million practitioners, according to official estimates. In 1999, the CCP perceived the popular discipline as a threat to its rule and launched a nationwide persecution targeting the practice and its adherents.

Millions have been detained inside prisons, labor camps, and other facilities, with hundreds of thousands tortured while incarcerated, according to the information center. Additionally, there are over 4,700 documented deaths as a result of persecution, though experts say the true figure is likely much higher.

Falun Gong Whistleblowers

“Falun Gong practitioners run the largest underground media and information network inside China,” the report noted.

One of the whistleblowers identified is Fang Bin, a self-described citizen journalist, who exposed the severity of the outbreaks in Wuhan during the onset of the pandemic after he successfully filmed dead bodies at overcrowded hospitals in the city.

fang-bin-hong-kong-protest
A pro-democracy activist (C) from HK Alliance holds a placard of missing citizen journalist Fang Bin, as she protests outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong on Feb. 19, 2020. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images)

Days after his footage was made available online, Fang was detained by police. His current whereabouts are unknown, but he was reportedly being held at the Jiang’an Detention Center in Wuhan in November 2021.

Prior to the pandemic, Fang was once detained for over four years and “egregiously tortured” for practicing Falun Gong, according to the report.

The report also named whistleblower Xu Na, one of 11 Falun Gong practitioners indicted in April 2021 for providing information relating to the pandemic in China’s capital Beijing to the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times. Xu was sentenced to eight years in prison in January.

Murder for Organs

The panel also discussed China’s state-sanctioned practice of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners. The practice turned China into a top destination for transplant tourism because Chinese hospitals often offer short waiting times for matching organs for patients—much faster than developed countries with established organ donation systems.

Allegations of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience first emerged in 2006. Now, more than 15 years later, China is still murdering practitioners for their organs, according to Browde.

“It’s very much happening in China. it’s very much a money-making business. It’s a multi billion-dollar industry, the act of killing innocent people and selling organs,” Browde said.

One of the participants on the panel was Han Yu, a Falun Gong practitioner, who shared how she suspected her father, Han Junqing, was a victim of China’s criminal organ harvesting scheme, who passed away in 2004 while being held at a detention center in Beijing. At that time, Han was still in China but she eventually moved to the United States in 2018.

Yu said police told her that her father died of a heart attack. But she suspects that determination of the cause of death based on how healthy her father was prior to his detention. Moreover, Yu said the fact that it took more than a month for the police to allow the family to see her father’s body aroused her suspicion.

Under the close watch of police officers, Yu and her family finally got to see the elder Han’s body. But they were in shock at what they saw.

“My father was laying there with green and the purple bruises all over [his body],” Han said. “What struck me the most were the thick stitches on his throat area.”

The stitches extended from the throat area to his abdomen, according to Han. She said her family then pressed his abdomen and found that it was filled with “hard ice.”

“My uncle was furious and confronted the police about what they had done to my father. The police just said that this was due to an autopsy. But no one in my family had consented to an autopsy, and the police also refused to release the autopsy report,” Han said.

She said it hurts every time she shares her father’s story but she must continue doing so.

“I don’t want my father’s death to be in vain when we can stop forced organ harvesting in China,” Han told the summit.

Crimes Against Humanity

In 2019, an independent panel, called the China Tribunal, found that such practice was happening “on a significant scale” in China. It concluded that such actions amounted to crimes against humanity, with Falun Gong practitioners being the main source of organs.

Larry Liu, deputy director of government and advocacy at the nonprofit organization, said the U.S. State Department could help end China’s persecution of Falun Gong.

“We encourage the State Department to consider to designate the persecution of Falun Gong as a crime against humanity and or a genocide,” Liu said.

Frank Fang

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Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers US, China, and Taiwan news. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.





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UK Cuts Security Check Time for New Airport Staff to Tackle Travel Disruption


The UK government claims to have significantly cut the time it takes for new airport staff to pass security checks in an effort to tackle staff shortages that have caused severe travel disruptions.

The travel chaos has lasted for months in the UK as the aviation industry suffers from severe staff shortages. Airlines and airports made thousands of employees redundant during the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, but are now struggling to recruit new workers and have their security checks processed.

Shortages of staff to handle baggage and carry out security checks such as X-rays are fuelling long queues and delays at UK airports.

British Airways aircraft are parked at the South Terminal at Gatwick Airport, in Crawley, United Kingdom, on Aug. 25, 2021. (Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

The government has ordered the vetting centre to prioritise checks for airports so new recruits can help plug the gaps quicker.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said on July 2 that counter-terrorist checks for aviation workers are now being processed on average in under 10 days, which is half of the time it took in March.

Accreditation checks are also being sped up to be completed within five days on average, according to the department.

Summer Concerns

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who is trying to alleviate flight disruption this summer to avert the mayhem seen over the Easter and Jubilee holidays, welcomed the latest statistics.

“People have made huge sacrifices during the pandemic and deserve their flights to run on time, without complications, and without being cancelled last minute,” he said. “While this is a challenging time for the sector, it is not acceptable for the current disruption to continue as we head into the summer peak.”

Epoch Times Photo
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps delivers a speech to set out the government’s vision to create a reformed and modernised railway, at Siemens Traincare Facility Mobility Division Rail Systems in north London on June 16, 2022. (A/PA Media)

Shapps said the public “deserves to know now whether or not their flight will run over the summer,” adding that the industry should either commit to deliver the flights they have scheduled, or cancel them well in advance so people can make other arrangements.

The transport secretary has previously blamed the chaos over the Platinum Jubilee weekend on travel firms, accusing them of having “seriously oversold flights and holidays relative to their capacity to deliver” despite government warnings.

But industry leaders claim that businesses have suffered from uncertainties over the government’s COVID-19 travel restrictions, which were completely lifted only on March 18.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Zhang

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Woman Who Thought She Would Never Be a Mother Is ‘Blessed’ With Ten Kids Under 14


A woman who once believed that her dream of motherhood was lost forever is now a proud mom to 10 children under the age of 14. Feeling “blessed,” she says her love-filled, plus-size family was well worth the wait.

Born and raised in Sweden, 38-year-old Satu Nordling Gonzalez is a stay-at-home mom to the six girls and four boys she shares with her husband, Andres, who works in construction.

Andres moved from Uruguay to Sweden as a child, where the couple later met and married in 2008. Together, they then welcomed 10 kids: Nicole, 14; Vanessa, 13; twins Danilo and Jonathan, 12; Olivia, 9; Kevin, 8; Celina, 7; Isabelle, 4; Melanie, 2; and Benjamin, 1.

(Courtesy of Satu Nordling Gonzalez)

Satu’s journey into motherhood was hard, and she once believed it to be impossible.

“Unfortunately, when we decided to grow a family, we had a hard time getting pregnant,” Satu told The Epoch Times. “I got pregnant but miscarried … they had to operate. After that, I had complications, and it seemed like I wasn’t going to get pregnant at all.”

After this, Satu went to many appointments and treatments, but it all seemed to be “hopeless.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Satu Nordling Gonzalez)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Satu Nordling Gonzalez)

Surrounded by family and friends for whom it seemed like falling pregnant was easy, Satu felt “stuck” in her own private nightmare. She had always believed her purpose was to become a mother.

“That has been my highest and deepest meaning, and dream in life, to be mom to many kids,” she said.

After 2 1/2 years of trying, Satu finally became pregnant again. Happy yet terrified, she suffered from severe nausea and vomiting known as hyperemesis through her entire pregnancy, but never complained.

“I knew what I would get in the end,” she explained. “Then she came, my firstborn, and made my dreams come true and all the wait worthwhile.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Satu Nordling Gonzalez)

Satu spent the next 14 years of her life pregnant or nursing, claiming she recovered quickly from each pregnancy and now stays active with her kids. But as the love in the family home multiplied with welcoming every new baby, so did the many tasks of parenting.

The busy mom’s day begins around 6:30 a.m., The Sun reported, when Satu does diaper changes, makes breakfast, and helps her eldest get ready for school. Then begins a mammoth load of laundry and household chores while taking care of her younger children, followed by after-school snacks, homework and playtime supervision, dinner, and finally bed.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Satu Nordling Gonzalez)

Although Satu loves staying home with her children and manages the bulk of the chores, she has found ways for the kids to help around the house.

“I’m pedantic; I need to have [everything] organized around me, and the kids have chores by age so we all help out,” she told The Epoch Times. “Someone takes out the trash, somebody empties the dishwasher after dinner, another vacuums, and so on.”

Help and respect for others are at the core of Satu’s parenting philosophy. The loving mom believes in regular family meetings to share thoughts and talk about emotions and says “nothing is impossible” to her tight-knit brood.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Satu Nordling Gonzalez)

“I follow my heart, trying to raise them to be loving, kindhearted, nice people that care for one another and people around them,” she said, claiming that the best part of parenting so many children is “everything.”

Being a mother to 10 kids, Satu said: “I feel so blessed to have these amazing kids in my life, to see them develop and learn new skills, sitting in the front row to follow their lives, and everything they do and have in front of them … to have their unconditional love is worth everything.

“Motherhood is the biggest, sometimes hardest, and most important thing that has ever happened to me.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Satu Nordling Gonzalez)

Satu, who shares snippets of her family’s life on her Instagram page, @mybabydolls, is aware that not everybody feels the same way about big families as she and her husband do.

“When you go past the magic number of four kids to five kids, people start raising their eyebrows,” she said, praising her children for defending their atypical family size. “I believe our kids were truly the ones who were heartily glad and welcoming … I believe our bond is strong in our family, it has been since day one.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Satu Nordling Gonzalez)

Yet, the Gonzalez clan is by no means complete; Satu revealed that she is pregnant again, and will be welcoming baby number 11 in November.

Share your stories with us at emg.inspired@epochtimes.com, and continue to get your daily dose of inspiration by signing up for the Inspired newsletter at TheEpochTimes.com/newsletter





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Why Life Insurance Has to Be Part of Your Wealth-Building Plan


Find out why life insurance isn’t a waste of money—it’s the leverage you need to gain financial freedom


By Mark J. Kohler

Every day, life insurance companies pay death benefits to the beneficiaries of their policies, providing them with needed and certainly welcome funds. In essence, life insurance provides leverage: You pay a relatively small amount of money to the insurance company in the form of a “premium,” and the insurance company will provide a guaranteed payout of a relatively large amount of money upon the death of the insured.

While there are thousands of different life insurance plans available, they all fall into two categories: term and permanent insurance. Term, as the name implies, provides a benefit for a fixed period of time: 10 years, 20 years, and so on. Permanent insurance is in place for life.

Term Insurance

This is the most efficient way to purchase life insurance. The premiums paid are calculated to accurately represent the risk of your dying based on your age, your health, and other factors.

The primary issue with term insurance is that it rarely delivers on its promise. That is, the large majority of term insurance policies, north of 90 percent, will never pay a death benefit. Why is that? Most people will either outlive the term of the policies or just stop paying the premiums. These facts contribute to the profitability of these products to the insurance companies, which enables them to keep the premium costs lower.

Permanent Insurance

This type of insurance can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Traditionally, when people think of permanent insurance, they think of “whole life.” The benefit of whole life insurance is that everything’s fixed and guaranteed—the premiums are fixed, the death benefits, the cash values. The problem is that those guarantees are expensive because the insured is shifting all the risks. The investment risk, the risk of dying, inflation risks, every risk sits on the shoulders of the insurance company. While the insurance companies are used to this and they know how to live in that realm, they also know how to charge for it and they do.

Universal Life Insurance

There’s a third type of insurance, a hybrid model. Universal Life, or UL, is a term insurance plan that lives inside the shell of a permanent insurance policy. Designed correctly, a UL will provide the most efficient cost of benefits, which can also be guaranteed for your entire life. Designed improperly, the UL can become an even bigger waste of money than a term policy.

Living Benefits

When most people think of life insurance, they think of dying and leaving a financial legacy for their loved ones. Modern insurance policies, however, contain many benefits you can enjoy while you’re still alive. These “living benefits” range from the tax-free accumulation of investment earnings to zero-interest loans. They can provide cash should you become seriously ill or if you need cash for a down payment on your home.

With living benefits so prevalent, more and more ways to utilize them have become popular. Among these is a strategy called “Bank on Yourself.” The essence of this strategy is to take advantage of the tax-deferred growth on the earnings within life insurance policies by using tax-free loans to access the cash when needed. So you borrow the money from yourself instead of the bank, then pay yourself the interest and repay the loan you took from your policy.

Having your money grow tax-deferred and being able to access that tax-free is very powerful when you have a positive arbitrage—that is, when you can borrow money at a lower rate and invest it at a higher rate.

Let’s say you borrow $100,000 at an interest rate of two percent. Over the year, the $100,000 loan would cost you $2,000 in interest expense. Now, let’s say you invested that $100,000 in a home and you flipped that home, netting you $104,000 and, after all expenses, making you a $4,000 profit. You might be tempted to say you made a four percent return on that investment, right? That would be wrong because you didn’t invest $100,000. You borrowed it from someone else. You invested only $2,000 (what you paid out of your money in this deal). So in reality, you earned $4,000 on a $2,000 investment, or a 100 percent profit.

But, what if the rate you earn on your investment is lower than the cost of borrowing? This is called “negative arbitrage.” Using the same example, if you were to borrow $100,000 and net the same four percent, or $4,000 profit, but this time the cost to borrow the money was five percent or $5,000, now you have lost money on the deal.

Most modern life insurance contracts offer very favorable terms on their loans starting at two percent. Some insurance policies will allow you to borrow the money at zero-percent interest after you hold the contract for 10 or 20 years. Now you’re like the bank, borrowing money for free.

The two-percent or zero-percent-interest loans are written into the contract and guaranteed for life. They’re referred to as a “spread loan” and a “wash loan,” respectively. With these loans, you borrow your money out of the policy and can’t earn any interest on it.

But, what if you could continue to earn interest on your money inside the insurance policy even after you borrowed it? That’s how a participating loan works. The money you borrow is loaned to you at one rate, say five percent. However, the insurance company will continue to invest your money as though it was never taken.

In our opinion, life insurance policies designed properly with the right guarantees and terms can become a very valuable and beneficial financial planning tool.



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Man Dead After Explosion at Michigan Air Show


A 40-year-old man has died after an explosion at an air show in Michigan on Saturday, police said.

Chris Darnell, 40, was a driver of a jet-powered semitruck at the annual Battle Creek Field of Light Air Show and Balloon Festival.

According to a statement from the Battle Creek Police Department, Darnell was driving the SHOCKWAVE Jet Truck during the air show. The truck races over 300 mph down the runway at the Battle Creek Executive Airport.

“At about 1:10 p.m. today, during Darnell’s performance in the air show, an accident happened that resulted in his death,” the department said.

“The accident remains under investigation, with no new information available. Battle Creek Fire, Battle Creek Police, and Federal Aviation Administration Officials continue to investigate.”

The vehicle was headed down a runway at the Battle Creek Executive Airport when the explosion happened, according to air show spokeswoman Suze Gusching, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported.

“He was doing his show and going down the runway,” Gusching told the outlet. “He passed by the explosion, and his truck had exploded.”

Video of the scene showed prop planes performing aerial tricks and flying low above the Jet Truck at the time.

Air show performances were canceled for the rest of the day. The air show is expected to resume on Sunday. Other evening activities at the festival continued Saturday evening and have not changed for July 3 and 4.

The deceased man’s father, Neal Darnell, said in a statement posted on the Jet Truck Facebook page that the incident “occurred as a result of a mechanical failure on the Jet Truck.”

Neal Darnell said his youngest son “passed away from his injuries at approximately 1:01 pm” and that no one else was involved.

“We are so sad,” the father said. “Just one month ago Chris turned 40. He was so well loved by everyone who knew him. Chris so loved the Air Show business. He was ‘Living the Dream’ as he said.”

He added that funeral arrangements will be provided “sometime this week.”

According to the Michigan government’s website, the event is the largest combined air show and balloon festival in the United States and is “consistently voted as one of the best air shows in the country.”

“Featuring the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, US Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demo Team, US Navy F-35C Lightning II Demo Team, and US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet RHINO Demo Team plus some terrific civilian acts along with pyro and the WALL OF FIRE,” the website reads. “Fireworks, hot air balloons, night air show & more!”

The event is billed as a “terrific and affordable family fun aviation event.”

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Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter based in Australia. She covers world news with a focus on U.S. news. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com



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China Lashed by Year’s First Typhoon, Record Rains Forecast


SHANGHAI—China’s first typhoon of the year brought gales and rain to its southern shores on Saturday, as forecasters warned of record rainfall and high disaster risk in provinces including Guangdong, the country’s most populous.

Typhoon Chaba, the Thai name for the hibiscus flower, was moving northwest at 15 to 20 kilometers (10 to 15 miles) per hour after the eye of the storm made landfall in Guangdong’s Maoming city on Saturday afternoon, the National Meteorological Center said in a statement.

Chaba, though medium in intensity and expected to lose strength over time, is likely to bring extremely heavy rains and may break the record for cumulative rainfall as it pulls the monsoon rain belt in the region inland, said Gao Shuanzhu, the centre’s chief forecaster.

“The abundant monsoon water vapour will lead to intense downpours and huge cumulative rainfall of an extreme nature,” Gao said, predicting up to 600 mm (24 inches) of cumulative rainfall in some areas.

At risk are the west of Guangdong, where China’s typhoons usually linger, the east of Guangxi autonomous region, and the island province of Hainan, with rainstorms causing landslides, urban waterlogging, and floods, Gao said.

Hainan upgraded its emergency response to Level II, the second-highest, on Saturday. It suspended railway service across the island and cancelled more than 400 flights to and from the cities of Haikou and Sanya.

In Macau, one person was injured due to the wind and rain on Chaba’s approach, state televisions reported.

In waters off Hong Kong, which is 270 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of Maoming, more than two dozen crew on an engineering vessel with 30 people on board were missing after it snapped in two in waters as Chaba passed through, authorities said.

In recent weeks, historic rainfall and flooding in southern China have destroyed property, paralyzed traffic and disrupted the daily lives of millions in one of the country’s most populous and economically key regions.

Extreme weather including unusually heavy flooding is expected to continue in China through August, forecasters predicted this week.

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