Australian’s hand over 6,000 guns in one month as country is quietly being disarmed

Australia has a problem. And it’s not terrorism. The country is quietly being disarmed at an alarming rate. According to this Japan Times report, more than 6,000 guns were voluntarily surrendered to the Australian Government in a one-month time period.

More than 6,000 guns have been surrendered in Australia’s most populous state in just one month, police said Tuesday, after fears of terrorism and an influx of illegal firearms sparked a national amnesty.

The government said in June it believed there were as many as 260,000 illicit weapons on the streets, and with the threat of extremist attacks and a spate of gangland shootings, it wanted to minimize the danger.

Among the weapons handed over in New South Wales were four SKS assault rifles, a 9 mm homemade submachine-gun, a Colt AR-15 rifle, M1 carbine and a .44 calibre magnum revolver, state police said.

In total, some 1,700 rifles, 460 shotguns and nearly 200 handguns were surrendered to police and dealers, while thousands of others were handed in for registration.

“We’ve also received more than 110 prohibited weapons including samurai swords, knives, and other edged weapons,” Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Hoffman said.

No official figures have been announced yet for other states and territories.

The amnesty runs from July 1 until Sept. 30, allowing people to hand in unregistered or unwanted firearms with no questions asked. Outside that period people face fines of up to 280,000 Australian dollars ($222,000) or up to 14 years in prison.

The death of OVERPRICED supermarkets like Safeway, Kroger and Giant is quickly approaching

Supermarkets

Supermarkets beware. Safeway, Kroger, Albertsons, Giant, and many more who have ignored customers for decades will soon fall….and it will be epic. Operating on already razor thin margins (only a few pennies per item) traditional grocers like the ones mentioned above will have no choice but to close their doors and board up windows leaving a slew of food deserts across the U.S.

According to this Business Insider report, the situation is beyond bad as retail space dedicated to food sales is at a record high even though new store growth is outweighing demand making grocers cut prices to compete.

Department stores and many mall-based retailers are closing thousands of stores after years of over-expansion. Now the grocery industry appears to be heading toward a similar fate.

Like mall-based retailers did in the 1990s, supermarkets have been expanding rapidly across the US in recent years.

“Over the past 10 years, we saw high growth from some of the more traditional players, which has resulted in saturation in the US, and forced mainstream supermarkets to slow openings,” Danielle Dolinsky, an analyst at retail consulting firm Planet Retail RNG, told Business Insider.

For some companies, however, the pace of growth is only accelerating.

Discount grocers including Aldi, Lidl, and Dollar General are collectively planning to open thousands of new stores over the next couple years.

At the same time, tech companies like Amazon — with its recent acquisition of Whole Foods — are also entering the food wars.

Competition is ramping up at a time when the amount of retail space devoted to food sales in the US has already hit a record high.

The US has 4.15 square feet of retail food space per person, which is nearly 30 times higher than in 1950, according to CoStar Group data cited by the Wall Street Journal.

But demand hasn’t kept up with unit growth.

Total US grocery sales fell nearly 2% in the 12-week period ending July 15, compared to last year, according to Nielsen data.

Grocery stores have been slashing prices to drive sales and better compete, which is driving profits lower in a business that’s already pressured by razor-thin margins.

Whole Foods’ same-store sales have been falling for the last two years. Even long-dominant companies like Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the US, are taking a hit.

Kroger’s impressive 13-year streak of quarterly same-store sales increases ended earlier this year. That metric has now dropped for the last two consecutive quarters.

Kroger blamed the declines on food price deflation.

It’s also facing growing price competition from Aldi, Dollar General, Lidl, Walmart, and others.

A 2014 price study found that Aldi’s prices were about 22% cheaper than Kroger’s. Aldi has more than 1,600 stores in the US with plans to open another 600 within the next couple of years.

Lowe’s to OUTSOURCE delivery service, layoff HUNDREDS across the country?

Lowe's

Lowe’s is at it again. According to this ABC news report, the home improvement giant is ready to outsource their delivery service to a third party operator. Lowe’s has declined to release how many jobs will be affected by the move but my guess is hundreds.

The North Carolina-based Lowe’s has announced a further reduction in jobs.

The Charlotte Observer reports the home-improvement retailer confirmed Thursday that it will lay off an undisclosed number of delivery workers across the country, as the company shifts to third-party delivery.

Lowe’s Cos. said in an email that it had been using a combination of delivery services at the affected stores, which are in markets where increased delivery demand exceeds current capacity. Those markets have not been identified.

P/C MIKE MOZART

Drones are quietly taking the jobs of Insurance Inspectors

Insurance Inspectors

Insurance Inspectors are the latest casualty of the much-anticipated tech takeover. According to this WSJ, report drones are becoming the norm as 40% of car insurers no longer use employees to physically inspect damage in some cases.

When Melinda Roberts found shingles in her front yard after a storm, her insurer didn’t dispatch a claims adjuster to investigate. It sent a drone.

The unmanned aircraft hovered above Ms. Roberts’ three-bedroom Birmingham, Ala., home and snapped photos of her roof. About a week later a check from Liberty Mutual Insurance arrived to cover repairs.

“It took a lot less time than I was expecting,” Ms. Roberts said.

Drones, photo-taking apps and artificial intelligence are accelerating what has long been a clunky, time-consuming experience: the auto or home-insurance claim.

Traditionally, an insurance claim associated with minor home damage or fender-bender auto accidents started with a phone call from a customer and ended days or weeks later with a mailed check. In between the insurer often would send an inspector to investigate the situation in person.

But about four in 10 car insurers no longer use employees to physically inspect damage in some cases, according to a LexisNexis Risk Solutions survey of insurance executives. Claims that rely on greater automation can be handled in two to three days compared with 10 to 15 days for a more traditional approach that involves an in-person visit, according to the survey.

Pharmaceutical GIANT Teva to cut 7,000 Jobs, close or sell 15 factories

teva

I hate to see people lose their jobs, but on the other hand I love to see Big Pharma get crushed. According to this Philly.com report Pharmaceutical giant, Teva has announced they will be laying off 7,000 workers and possibly closing 15 factories.

The world’s biggest maker of generic drugs said Thursday that it will cut 7,000 jobs by year’s end, close or sell 15 factories over the next two years, and quit operations in 45 countries by the end of 2017.

None of the Teva Pharmaceutical Industries plants scheduled to be shut or sold is in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, and it appears the bulk of the jobs are not in the area, either.

After disappointing second-quarter earnings, Teva announced a dramatic streamlining plan. Shares closed down 24 percent, or $7.50, to $23.75.

The Israel-based company, with North American headquarters in North Wales, Montgomery County, has been looking for a new CEO since February, when Erez Vigodman stepped down as chief executive. His successor will face challenges.

Since the closing of the $41 billion Actavis generic acquisition, Teva has trimmed costs and by the end of 2017 will have reduced its head count by about 7,000. “Our team is committed to take decisive action quickly. We recognize that the results we are reporting today are disappointing,” Peterburg said.

The U.S. generic business was hurt by “accelerated price erosion and decreased volume, mainly due to customer consolidation,” he said.  In addition, the Food and Drug Administration approved more generic drugs, resulting in increased competition, and some of Teva’s new product launches “were either delayed this quarter or subjected to more competition.”