Where To Find Unbiased News

When it comes to understanding what is happening in the world around us, whether it is global news stories, national politics, economics or other current affairs issues many people today suffer from one of two problems:

The first problem is information overload. There are so many different news sources out there, often portraying world events from a very different perspective as well as highlighting different issue and supporting (either explicitly or implicitly) a particular political stance that it is almost impossible to know where to look. Faced with this many people can become cynical, or simply close themselves off from all this information altogether.

The second problem is reinforcement due to social curation and niche media. Perhaps you have your favourite sites which see the world as you do, and perhaps you also read stories which are recommended to you by friends. In this case you may find yourself only reading stories which confirm your world view, and only coming into contact with facts and arguments which support your own political opinion.

Between these two things it can be very difficult to get a clear, reliable, concise and accurate picture of the big news stories of the day or the big issues which the world faces.

If you are concerned about this and would like to form an accurate and unbiased view of what is happening in the world and in the news then the most important thing to do is to recognise which of these problems you are most likely to suffer from, so that you can take steps to solve it. You should also remember that no single news source can be 100% unbiased. Some kind of bias will always creep in, even if it is not deliberate. This may be simply because of space – there is no way that an author can include every salient fact in an article and no way that an editor can publish every story, so the choice of facts and stories will always introduce some form of bias. Also many news stories will in some way contain the political opinion of its writer.

The next step is to steer clear of news sources which are explicitly biased or which are well known for supporting a certain political bias. If you can find a couple of news websites, television programs or newspapers which are at least trying to be unbiased then that will serve you well – and you do not need to read both every day, or read the same story in each. I think that just switching between news sources every now and then can really help you to gain an objective view of current affairs.

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Employed? Or Not Employed? That is the Question!

It might seem obvious that one of the primary criteria used to determine whether an individual is eligible for Unemployment Compensation is for that individual to have been actually employed by the perceived “employer” he was “working for” before his/her separation from said perceived employer. Although colloquial parlance equates “working for” someone/something with employment, Unemployment Compensation Law makes a distinction between those who “work for” someone/something under an employment relationship and those who have an independent contracting relationship. Consequently, when an individual applies for and is denied Unemployment Compensation, he may be shocked to learn that his denial is due to the fact that the person/entity he had been “working for,” for however long or short period of time, was never actually his “employer”. While some may say that this distinction appears to be mere hair splitting, its impact on whether an Unemployment Compensation claimant is granted or denied benefits is ultimately dispositive. That is, an individual who has an independent contractor relationship with an individual/entity is not eligible for Unemployment Compensation benefits if that relationship is terminated. It matters not whether the contracting relationship was terminated for “cause” or was “voluntary” – the mere existence of an independent contractor relationship renders the potential claimant ineligible for benefits. Therefore, it is crucial to know and understand the distinction between employment and independent contracting in the context of Unemployment Compensation and this article will lay out the criteria for the definition of independent contracting as it applies to the collection of Unemployment Compensation benefits.Under Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law, if one is an independent contractor, then one is considered to be self-employed. Although the statute defines neither independent contractor nor self-employment, the statute does define “employment” essentially as follows: ” [s]ervices performed by an individual for wages shall be deemed to be employment subject to this act”. 43 P.S. § 753 (l)(2)(B). The statute continues, establishing basic guidelines as to what employment is not: “[one is deemed employed] unless and until it is shown to the satisfaction of the department that–(a) such individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of such services both under the contract for service and in fact; and (b) as to such services such individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business. 43 P.S. § 753 (l)(2)(B).While describing what employment is not, the above quoted basic guidelines, conversely, establish the essential criteria for self-employment (i.e. independent contracting). Consequently, the Pennsylvania Courts use the following two-part test to determine whether an individual is self-employed (i.e.: independently contracting): (1) whether the claimant was free from control and direction in the performance of the work; and (2) the business is one that is customarily engaged in as an independent trade or business. (Venango Newspapers v. Com., Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 158 Pa. Cmwlth. 379, 631 A.2d 1384 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993), holding that where claimant did not receive on-the-job training, supplied his own tools and had no taxes deducted from the sums received, claimant was not an employee.) As the claim that an individual is not an employee but rather an independent contractor is essentially an affirmative defense made by the alleged employer against the claim for benefits, the alleged employer generally has the burden to prove that the claimant is not an employee.To determine whether an individual is free from the control and direction of an employer in the performance of work, the Pennsylvania Courts frequently look to eight factors. No one factor is determinative as to whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor, and the Court generally considers and weighs all eight factors in the employment relationship.The eight factors considered by the Court are as follows: first, the Court examines how the job was performed. Specifically, the Court is more likely to decide that an individual is an independent contractor if he sets his own hours, creates his own work/task agenda, and/or decides how many other workers are needed for a particular task. Second, the Court looks at whether there was a fixed rate of remuneration. Who decides the cost of the services being provided? Who decides when/if raises are granted? A worker who establishes his own pay rate and decides when his own pay rate increases or decreases is functioning more like an independent contractor than employee. Third, the Court notes whether taxes are deducted from the claimant’s remuneration. The Court is more likely to rule that a worker is an independent contractor if the worker receives a 1099 form and is able to deduct expenses and be responsible for paying his own taxes. Fourth, the Court also notes whether the alleged employer supplies the tools necessary to carry out the services being provided. If the worker must provide and use his own tools to carry out his tasks, the Court is more likely to rule that the worker is an independent contractor. Fifth, the Court ascertains whether the alleged employer offers on-the-job training. If an alleged employer provides on-the-job training, the Court is more likely to rule that there is an employment relationship. Sixth, the Court discerns whether there were regular meetings with the alleged employer. Regular meetings generally will signify an employment relationship. Seventh, the Court inquires into whether the claimant suffers risk of loss when claimant’s expenses exceed income. In other words, if the business fails, will the alleged employee merely lose his job, or will the alleged employee have the responsibility to satisfy the business “potential creditors If the alleged employee merely loses his job, and has no responsibility to address the business’ creditors, then the Court is likely to rule that he is an employee rather than an independent contractor. Eighth, the Court investigates into whether the claimant was compelled to look only to the employer for further employment. If a worker regularly sought and/or acquired the same or similar work from other sources, while already engaged with an alleged employer, then the Court is likely to rule that the worker had independent contracting relationships with his “employers. See, e.g., Venango, 157 Pa. Cmlwth. 379, 631 A.2d 1384 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993); Kelly v. Comm., Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 107 Pa. Cmwlth. 261, 528 A.2d 294 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987) (holding that claimant was self-employed where claimant was paid a lump sum for his performance, and he was not compelled to look only to general contractor for further employment); Pavalonis v. Comm., Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 57 Pa. Cmwlth. 289, 426 A.2d 215 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1981) (holding that claimant was self-employed when claimant supplied all of his tools and materials, did not receive any on-the job training, did not receive a fixed hourly wage and had no taxes deducted from the sums received from employers).To determine whether a business is one which is customarily engaged in as an independent trade or business, the Pennsylvania Courts consider two factors: (1) whether the claimant is capable of performing the activities in question for anyone who wish to avail themselves of the services; and (2) whether the nature of the business compel the individual to look only to a single employer for the continuation of such services. See, e.g., Venango Newspapers, 631 A.2d 1384 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993); Kelly, 528 A.2d 294 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987); Pavalonis, 57 Pa. Cmwlth. 289, 426 A.2d 215 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1981).The two above-mentioned factors essentially revolve around a worker’s loyalty to the individual/entity providing him with the work. Is the worker permitted to do the same work for two different (even competing) individuals/entities simultaneously? Does the worker recieve all of his work from a single individual/entity? May/must the worker seek work from more than one source? Perhaps most importantly, who decides where the worker can perform his services? If a worker is constrained to work for a single individual/entity and/or cannot select himself where he will perform his services, then the Court will weigh these factors in favor of the worker being in an employment relationship rather than an independent contracting relationship.Significantly, the amount of money a worker receives is not a determinative factor in these analyses, as even a small sum earned does not automatically remove the designation of “independent contractor”.Ultimately, all of the above factors can essentially be reduced to a single word: freedom. Does the worker have the freedom to set his own schedule? The freedom to establish his own pay rate? The freedom to work for competing businesses simultaneously? As a corollary, does the worker have to bear the responsibilities associated with this freedom, such as deducting his own taxes, using his own tools, and bearing the risk and burden of financial loss in the business? In the end, the more freedom a worker has the more likely the Court will find that he is an independent contractor (self-employed); the less freedom a worker has the more likely the Court will rule that the worker is an employee.

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Different Types of Health and Fitness Apps

Dieters and fitness buffs aren’t the only ones who’ll benefit from using mobile apps for losing or gaining weight, tracking their fitness routines, and making health-related decisions. Any person who is concerned with his or her health should get one or two of these apps. Some apps provide access to an online database of nutritional information of each food and beverage. Other apps calculate the amount of calories in every ingredient for a healthy recipe. Whatever uses the app provides, every mobile user enjoys a benefit from it.Calorie Counters and Nutrition Info DatabaseAs previously mentioned, some apps provide information about calories and the breakdown of nutrients in the food or drink. They have a database of food items and beverages as well as healthy recipes that are low in fats, sodium, and carbohydrates. These apps are most useful to people who watch their weight. It’s also useful to people with a lifelong medical condition, such as diabetes or hypertension. They must monitor the amount of carbohydrates and fats in their diet.Exercise Routines and Yoga PositionsA few top-draw apps have a library of photos and instructions on how to perform the Rriocard-intensive workouts or the specific positions in yoga. Each entry includes a recommended number of repetitions and reminders for warming up and cooling down. Other information about the position or exercise routine includes the muscle group targeted by the body movements.Maps and Distance AppsNearly every smartphone has GPS capability, which means it can locate itself on a virtual map. It can also measure the distance covered by the jogger or brisk walker. This app connects to the web via a mobile network and uses Google Map to locate and track the user’s progress. Of course, the usual stopwatch is also available for people who want to measure how fast they’ve run or how many sit-ups and push-ups they can do in twenty minutes.Sexual Health AppsFar from being classified as porn, these apps explore topics in sexual health, such as a woman’s menstrual cycle or a man’s problem with erectile dysfunction. Some of these apps provide advice on improving a couple’s sex life and tips to getting pregnant for women. A few apps function like the Kama Sutra, which has a library of sex positions and other information on sexual health. An example of this type of app is a pregnancy calendar or a period calculator.

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