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      PayPal and Amazon in discussions over payment partnership

      The move would allow Amazon customers to use their PayPal accounts to buy products

      Back in 2015, PayPal split away from eBay in an effort to focus on its electronic transactions business. Since then, the company has vigorously pursued agreements with other companies and institutions to increase the number of people who use its service.

      In February of 2015, the U.S. Treasury said that it would start accepting payments via PayPal at its Pay.gov site, giving consumers more options on how they can pay fines, penalties, or loan repayments. Even more recently, the company teamed up with MasterCard to offer consumers more tap-and-pay options.

      Now, it looks like the online payment company is looking to strike a deal with Amazon. Bloomberg reports that the two companies are discussing the possibility of letting consumers pay for Amazon purchases by using their PayPal accounts. While a verified plan has not been announced, officials say the deal is very possible.

      “We’re closing in on 200 million users on our platform right now. At that scale, it’s hard for any retailer to think about not accepting PayPal,” said CEO Dan Schulman.

      Potential deal

      The potential deal could be pretty attractive to Amazon users who are leery of submitting their credit card information to buy products. In a best-case scenario, the move would allow for more sales on Amazon’s end and create more point-of-sale presence for PayPal.

      However, while consumers would enjoy more freedom, some may question whether the deal is actually necessary for Amazon. Back in April, the company announced its own PayPal-like program that would allow customers to use their Amazon accounts to pay for products sold by associated merchants.

      However, as Schulman pointed out, the 197 million active users on PayPal may be hard to ignore, despite Amazon’s desire to control payments on its own. Thus far, Amazon has declined to comment on the matter.

      Back in 2015, PayPal split away from eBay in an effort to focus on its electronic transactions business. Since then, the company has vigorously pursued agr...
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      Model year 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Vans recalled

      The passenger front airbag may not vent properly

      Daimler Vans USA (DVUSA) is recalling 22 model year 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Vans manufactured September 9, 2016, to September 28, 2016.

      The passenger airbag may have been manufactured with an incorrect Tether Activation Unit (TAU). As a result, in the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger front airbag, the air bag may not vent properly.

      An improperly vented airbag may not protect the front passenger as expected, increasing the risk of injury.

      What to do

      DVUSA will notify owners, and authorized Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dealers will replace the front passenger airbag, free of charge.

      The recall is expected to begin February 8, 2017. Owners may contact DVUSA customer service at 1-877-762-8267.

      Daimler Vans USA (DVUSA) is recalling 22 model year 2017 Mercedes-Benz Metris Vans manufactured September 9, 2016, to September 28, 2016.The passenger...
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      Mumps outbreak in Washington spreads to 278 people

      Residents are urged to immunize against the disease and be careful of close contact with others

      The Washington State Department of Health has issued a warning about a mumps outbreak in several counties. State health officials are urging Washington residents to immunize themselves and take other precautions against the disease to stop it from spreading further.

      Incidents of the disease began popping up in October, and there are currently 278 confirmed cases in five counties. They include King County (160), Spokane County (80), Pierce County (34), Snohomish (3), and Yakima County (1).

      What to do

      Mumps is a viral disease that can be passed from person to person. It usually starts with a fever that can last a few days, with symptoms including headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Swollen salivary glands are a trademark of the disease and can surface after the initial sickness period.

      Residents are being asked to be especially careful about close contact in order to reign in the disease. Officials say to avoid kissing, hugging, and other close contact with anyone who is suspected to have the mumps. If you suspect you have the mumps, you are urged to stay home and contact your healthcare provider, the local healthcare department, or the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

      Those who are healthy should consider receiving an MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. If you’re unsure if you've received the vaccine before, or know you haven’t, you can call your healthcare provider to schedule an immunization and blood test.

      To learn more about the mumps and receive more information, visit the Department of Health’s page here.

      The Washington State Department of Health has issued a warning about a mumps outbreak in several counties. State health officials are urging Washington res...
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      10 lessons for communities trying to control payday lending

      Researchers studied how communities have been successful and offer some advice

      Some states have tough usury laws that keep payday lenders from setting up shop. States that cap interest rates at 30% have found that payday lenders, who may charge 400% or more, will stay away.

      But in the absence of state regulations, local communities often find it is up to them to control these storefront operations that researchers at the University of Utah and University of New Mexico contend "often strip wealth from society’s most economically vulnerable individuals and communities.

      In fact, the researchers say these storefronts outnumber all McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks, and Walgreens stores combined. After studying how Silicon Valley in Northern California, Greater Metropolitan Dallas in Texas, and Greater Salt Lake City in Utah handled the issue, the researchers have issued a report with 10 lessons for other communities who want to reduce or control payday loan activity within their jurisdictions.

      10 Lessons

      Lesson 1: Form a strong, broad-based community organization and draw up operating rules.

      Lesson 2: Tell a story. Don't get caught up in abstractions like “500 percent interest” or “debt traps,” but let actual borrowers tell how payday loans affected their lives and present that message to the community.

      Lesson 3: Learn to operate on a shoestring budget. It can be done.

      Lesson 4: When enlisting allies, don't overlook faith leaders. They are usually motivated and can be very effective.

      Lesson 5: Develop a strong media strategy, both for local media and using social media and other web-based platforms.

      Lesson 6: Enlist someone in elected office to run interference for you in political and government affairs.

      Lesson 7: When local government bodies are considering proposals dealing with payday lending, meet with them well in advance of any vote and present your case. Arguments should be tailored to what matters most to the individual policymakers.

      • Lesson 8: Remember that the industry will oppose your efforts and is well-funded. Be prepared for the pushback.

      • Lesson 9: If you are successful in passing an ordinance, help other municipalities do the same.

      • Lesson 10: Try to translate your success on the local level to similar efforts on the state and national level.

      Some communities have learned these lessons well. The Lubbock, Texas City Council is reportedly close to passing a payday lending ordinance.

      There is very little federal regulation of payday lenders, though the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has moved in that direction in recent months, proposing new rules amid strong political and industry opposition.

      Some states have tough usury laws that keep payday lenders from setting up shop. States that cap interest rates at 30% have found that payday lenders, who...
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