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Killexams : Microsoft Administrator exam Questions - BingNews Search results Killexams : Microsoft Administrator exam Questions - BingNews Killexams : Best Database Certifications for 2022
  • Database technology is crucial in multiple applications and computing tasks, and certifications help demonstrate job readiness and core competencies. 
  • Before pursuing a database platform certification, you should have a solid background in relational database management systems and the SQL language. 
  • Valuable certifications are typically tied to specific technology companies and their platforms, such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.
  • This article is for IT professionals considering database certifications to further their careers. 

While database platforms have come and gone through the decades, database technology is still critical for multiple applications and computing tasks. IT professionals often seek database certifications to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise as they navigate their career paths and pursue professional growth. 

While database certifications may not be as bleeding edge as Google cloud certifications, cybersecurity certifications, storage certifications or digital forensics certifications, database professionals at all levels possess in-demand career skills — and a plethora of database-related jobs are waiting to be filled.

We’ll look at some of the most in-demand certifications for database administrators, database developers and anyone else who works with databases.

What to know about database roles and certifications

To get a better grasp of available database certifications, it’s helpful to group these certs around job responsibilities. This reflects the maturity of database technology and its integration into most aspects of commercial, scientific and academic computing. As you read about the various database certification programs, keep these job roles in mind: 

  • Database administrator (DBA). A DBA is responsible for installing, configuring and maintaining a database management system (DBMS). The job is often tied to a specific platform, such as Oracle, MySQL, DB2 or SQL Server.
  • Database developer. A database developer works with generic and proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs) to build applications that interact with a DBMS. Like DBA roles, database developer positions are also often platform-specific.
  • Database designer or database architect. A database designer or architect researches data requirements for specific applications or users and designs database structures and application capabilities to match.
  • Data analyst or data scientist. A data analyst or scientist is responsible for analyzing data from multiple disparate sources to discover previously hidden insights, determine the meaning behind data, and make business-specific recommendations.
  • Data mining or business intelligence (BI) specialist. A data mining or BI specialist focuses on dissecting, analyzing and reporting important data streams, such as customer, supply chain and transaction data and histories.
  • Data warehousing specialist. A data warehousing specialist assembles and analyzes data from multiple operational systems (such as orders, transactions, supply chain information and customer data) to establish data history, analyze trends, generate reports and forecasts, and support general ad hoc queries. 

These database job roles highlight two critical issues to consider if you want to be a database professional:

  1. You need a solid general background. First, a background in relational database management systems, including an understanding of Structured Query Language (SQL), is a fundamental prerequisite for database professionals of all stripes. 
  2. There’s a focus on proprietary technologies. Second, although various efforts to standardize database technology exist, much of the whiz-bang capability that databases and database applications deliver comes from proprietary, vendor-specific technologies. Serious, heavy-duty database skills and knowledge are tied to specific platforms, including various Oracle products (such as the open-source MySQL environment and Oracle itself,) Microsoft SQL Server and IBM DB2. Most of these certifications relate directly to those enormously popular platforms. 

Did you know?Did you know? NoSQL databases — called “not only SQL” or “non-relational” databases — are increasingly used in big data applications associated with some of the best big data certifications for data scientists, data mining and warehousing, and business intelligence.

Best database certifications

Here are details on our five best database certification picks for 2022.

1. IBM Certified Database Administrator — DB2 12

IBM is one of the leaders in the worldwide database market by any objective measure. The company’s database portfolio includes industry-standard DB2, as well as the following:

  • IBM Compose
  • Information Management System (IMS)
  • Informix
  • Cloudant
  • IBM Open Platform with Apache Hadoop

IBM also has a long-standing and well-populated IT certification program that has been around for more than 30 years and encompasses hundreds of individual credentials. 

After redesigning its certification programs and categories, IBM now has a primary data-centric certification category called IBM Data and AI. It includes a range of database credentials: 

  • Database Associate
  • Database Administrator
  • System Administrator
  • Application Developer 

IBM’s is a big and complex certification space, but one where particular platform allegiances are likely to guide readers toward the handful of items most relevant to their interests and needs. 

Database professionals who support DB2 (or aspire to) on IBM’s z/OS should check out the IBM Associate Certified DBA — Db2 12 certification. It’s an entry-level exam that addresses routine planning, working with SQL and XML, security, operations, data concurrency, application design, and concepts around database objects.

This certification requires candidates to pass one exam. Pre-exam training and familiarity with concepts, or hands-on experience, are recommended but not required. 

IBM Certified Database Administrator — DB2 facts and figures

Certification name

IBM Certified Database Administrator — Db2 12 (z/OS)

Prerequisites and required courses

None required; recommended courses are available.

Number of exams

One: C1000-122: Db2 12 for z/OS DBA Fundamentals (63 questions, 90 minutes)

Cost per exam

$200 (or local currency equivalent) per exam. Sign up for exams at Pearson VUE.


Self-study materials

The certification page includes self-study materials, including a study guide and a learning path. 

Did you know? IBM’s certification offerings are among the best system administrator certifications IT professionals can achieve.

2. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure offers a broad range of tools and add-ons for business intelligence. Azure is a cloud computing platform for application management and Microsoft-managed data centers. Microsoft certifications include various Azure offerings based on job role and experience level.

Microsoft’s certification program is role-centric, centered on the skills you need to succeed in specific technology jobs. Because Azure has such a broad scope, Azure certifications span multiple job roles. However, specific certifications exist for the following positions:

  • Data Analysts
  • Data Engineers
  • Data Scientists
  • Database Administrators 

There are also certifications for learners at different experience levels. 

For those looking to take their Azure knowledge to the next level, the Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals certification is the perfect place to start. This certification is for beginner database administrators interested in using Azure and mastering data in the cloud. It offers foundational knowledge of core concepts while reinforcing concepts for later use in other Azure role-based certifications, such as those listed below: 

  • Azure Database Administrator Associate
  • Azure Data Engineer Associate
  • Data Analyst Associate 

Azure Data Fundamentals certification facts and figures

Certification name

Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals

Prerequisites and required courses 

This certification does not have any prerequisites. However, for absolute beginners, Microsoft offers an Azure Fundamentals certification. 

Number of exams

One exam, DP-900, which is administered via Pearson VUE or Certiport.

Cost per exam

The exam costs $99 in the United States, though the cost changes based on where it is proctored. 


Self-study materials

Microsoft offers one of the world’s largest and best-known IT certification programs, so the exam is well supported with books, study guides, study groups, practice tests and other materials. Microsoft also offers a free online learning path.

3. Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator 

Oracle runs its certifications under the auspices of Oracle University. The Oracle Database Certifications page lists separate tracks depending on job role and product. MySQL is perhaps the leading open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). Since acquiring Sun Microsystems in 2010 (which had previously acquired MySQL AB), Oracle has rolled out a paid version of MySQL and developed certifications to support the product. 

If you’re interested in pursuing an Oracle MySQL certification, you can choose between MySQL Database Administration and MySQL Developer. 

The Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator (OCP) credential recognizes professionals who can accomplish the following tasks:

  • Install, optimize and monitor MySQL Server.
  • Configure replication.
  • Apply security.
  • Schedule and validate database backups. 

The certification requires candidates to pass a single exam (the same exam can be taken to upgrade a prior certification). Oracle recommends training and on-the-job experience before taking the exam.

Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL 5.7 Database Administrator facts and figures

Did you know? According to Oracle, approximately 1.8 million Oracle Certified professionals globally hold certifications to advance their networking careers and professions to validate their IT expertise. 

4. Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Certification

For individuals interested in working in the Oracle environment who have the necessary experience to become a database administrator, Oracle’s Database SQL Certified Associate Certification is another top Oracle certification and an excellent starting point. This exam encompasses an understanding of fundamental SQL concepts that individuals must grasp for database projects. 

By earning the certification, individuals demonstrate that they have a range of knowledge in core SQL concepts:

  • Familiarity with queries, data modeling, and normalization
  • Strong base understanding of the underlying SQL language
  • An ability to create and manipulate Oracle Database tables 

This certification also requires candidates to pass a single exam. While Oracle does not specify any prerequisites, the company does state candidates should have familiarity working with the command line. 

Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Certification facts and figures

5. SAP HANA: SAP Certified Technology Associate — SAP HANA 2.0 SPS05

SAP SE has an extensive portfolio of business applications and analytics software, including cloud infrastructure, applications and storage. The SAP HANA platform’s foundation is an enterprise-grade relational database management system that can be run as an appliance on-premises or in the cloud. The cloud platform lets customers build and run applications and services based on SAP HANA. 

SAP offers a comprehensive certification program built to support its various platforms and products. We’re featuring the SAP Certified Technology Associate — SAP HANA cert because it aligns closely with other certifications we’ve highlighted and is in high demand among employers, according to job board surveys. 

This certification ensures database professionals can install, manage, monitor, migrate and troubleshoot SAP HANA systems. It covers the following skills:

  • Managing users and authorizations
  • Applying security
  • Ensuring high availability 
  • Effective disaster-recovery techniques 

SAP recommends that certification candidates get hands-on practice through formal training or on-the-job experience before attempting this exam. The SAP Learning Hub is a subscription service that gives certification candidates access to a library of learning materials, including e-learning courses and course handbooks. 

The annual subscription rate for individual users on the Professional certification track is $2,760. This online training program is designed for those who run, support, or implement SAP software solutions. Though this may seem like a steep price for online training, you will likely be able to pass any SAP certification exams you put your mind to by leveraging all the learning resources available to SAP Learning Hub Professional subscribers. 

Typically, SAP certifications achieved on one of the two most accurate SAP solutions are considered current and valid. SAP contacts professionals whose certifications are nearing end-of-life status and provides information on maintaining their credentials.

SAP Certified Technology Associate facts and figures

Certification name

SAP Certified Technology Associate — SAP HANA 2.0 SPS05

Prerequisites and required courses    

None required.

Recommended: Hands-on experience and the following courses: 

  • SAP HANA Installation & Operations SPS12 (HA200) 
  • High Availability and Disaster Tolerance Administration SPS05 (HA201)
  • Monitoring and Performance Tools SPS05 (HA215)
  • Database Migration using DMO SPS05 (HA250)

Number of exams

One exam: SAP Certified Technology Associate — SAP HANA 2.0 SPS05, exam code C_HANATEC_17 (80 questions, 180 minutes)

Cost per exam



Self-study materials

The certification web page includes a link to demo questions. SAP HANA trade books and certification guides are available on Amazon. The SAP Help Center offers product documentation and a training and certification FAQs page. The SAP Learning Hub (available on a subscription basis) provides access to online learning content.

Tip: To broaden your skill set, consider pursuing the best sales certifications to better sell and implement various IT solutions, including databases.

Beyond the top 5 database certifications

Additional database certification programs can further the careers of IT professionals who work with database management systems. 

While most colleges with computer science programs offer database tracks at the undergraduate, master and Ph.D. levels, well-known vendor-neutral database certifications exist, including the following: 

  • ICCP certifications. The Institute for the Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) offers its unique Certified Data Professional and Certified Data Scientist credentials. Learn more about ICCP certifications from the ICCP website.
  • Enterprise DB certifications. EnterpriseDB administers a small but effective certification program with two primary certs: the EDB Certified Associate and the EDB Certified Professional

These are some additional certifications: 

These credentials represent opportunities for database professionals to expand their skill sets — and salaries. However, such niches in the database certification arena are generally only worth pursuing if you already work with these platforms or plan to work for an organization that uses them.

Key takeaway: Pursuing additional database certifications can be helpful for professional development if you already work with these platforms or plan to work with them in the future. 

Job board search results

Before pursuing certifications, consider their popularity with employers to gain a helpful perspective on current database certification demand. Here’s a job board snapshot to provide you an idea of what’s trending.




 LinkedIn Jobs 



IBM Certified Database Administrator — DB2






Azure Data Fundamentals






Oracle Certified Professional, MySQL Database Administrator






Oracle Database SQL Certified Associate Certification












If the sheer number of available database-related positions isn’t enough motivation to pursue a certification, consider average salaries for database administrators. SimplyHired reports $91,949 as the national average in the U.S., ranging from $64,171 to over $131,753. Glassdoor’s reported average is somewhat lower at $84,161, with a top rung for experienced senior DBAs right around $134,000.

Choosing the right certification

Choosing the best IT certifications to enhance your skills and boost your career can be overwhelming, especially as many available certifications are for proprietary technologies. While picking a database certification can feel like locking yourself into a single technology family, it is worth remembering that many database skills are transferable. Additionally, pursuing any certification shows your willingness to learn and demonstrates competence to current and future employers. 

Ultimately, choosing which certification to pursue depends on the technologies you use at work or would like to use at a future employer.

Jeremy Bender contributed to the reporting and writing in this article. 

Mon, 05 Dec 2022 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

If you get Microsoft Store is blockedCheck with your IT or system administrator error while opening the Microsoft Store on Windows 11; follow these solutions to get rid of it. However, you must have the administrator rights to use all the suggestions.

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

At times, you might find the Microsoft Store is blocked error while opening it in Windows 11. Although it can happen in an organization to prevent regular users from installing unnecessary apps on the PC, it is pretty unusual on a home computer. However, if you have got this error on your home computer or on a computer where you are the only administrator, you can follow these solutions.

To Microsoft Store blocked by administrator error in Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Remove custom rule
  2. Disable Group Policy setting
  3. Unblock using Registry

To learn more about these steps, continue reading.

1] Remove custom rule

It is the first thing you need to do in order to fix this above-mentioned error. In Windows 11, it is possible to create a custom rule to allow or deny a specific app from running on your computer. If you have done it mistakenly in the past, you may get issues while accessing the Microsoft Store app. Therefore, you need to verify if there is any such rule or not. If it is for blocking the Microsoft Store app, you need to remove it accordingly.

First, press Win+R to open the Run prompt, type secpol.msc, and press the Enter button to open the Local Security policy panel.

Then, navigate to Application Control Policies > AppLocker > Packaged app Rules. Here you can find all the custom rules you created earlier. Find out a rule that has Microsoft.WindowsStore in the name.

Double-click on it and see if the Action is set as Allow or Deny.

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

If it is set to Deny, go back to the previous screen, right-click on the rule and select the Delete option.

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

Then, you need to confirm the change. Once done, close all the windows and try to open the Microsoft Store. Hopefully, you will be able to open it without any problem.

2] Disable Group Policy setting

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

There is a Group Policy setting, which might be responsible for this error. You need to check if it is turned on or not. If turned on, you must disable it.

  • Press Win+R to open the Run prompt.
  • Type gpedit.msc and press the Enter button.
  • Navigate to this path: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Store.
  • Double-click on the Turn off the Store application setting.
  • Choose the Not Configured option.
  • Click the OK button.

Then, close all windows and try opening the Microsoft Store app.

Read: Security software blocks UWP app from opening

3] Unblock using Registry

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11

The same Group Policy setting can be enabled through the Registry Editor as well. Therefore, follow these steps to delete the corresponding Registry key:

Press Win+R > type regedit > hit the Enter button.

Click the Yes option.

Navigate to this path:


Right-click on the RemoveWindowsStore REG_DWORD value.

Select the Delete option.

Click the Yes button.

Then, restart your computer and open the Microsoft Store in Windows 11.

ReadThis app has been blocked due to Company Policy.

How do I fix Microsoft Store is blocked by administrator?

To fix the Microsoft Store is blocked by administrator error, you must delete the custom rule made in the Local Security Policy panel. For that, you can follow the very first solution mentioned in this article. That said, you can go to Application Control Policies > AppLocker > Packaged app Rules, right-click on the custom rule and select the Delete option.

How do I turn off Microsoft Store restrictions?

Depending upon the restrictions, you can try using the Local Security Policy, Local Group Policy Editor, and the Registry Editor to turn that off. You need to follow the aforementioned guides one after one if you cannot determine the exact error message. However, in most cases, you can resolve the error with the help of the Local Security Policy.

That’s all! Hope this guide helped.

Read: This app has been blocked for your protection by your system administrator.

Microsoft Store blocked by administrator in Windows 11
Wed, 30 Mar 2022 04:29:00 -0500 en-us text/html
Killexams : Video Game Workers at Microsoft and Activision Take Steps to Unionize

Amanda Laven, a Q.A. employee involved in the union campaign at the studio, said workers were frustrated that the company had tried to stop their union election on the grounds that it involved only Q.A. workers rather than the whole studio. The National Labor Relations Board had rejected Activision’s attempts to stop the union election at its Wisconsin studio on similar grounds, but the company appealed to the labor board in this case as well.

“It’s just a stall tactic,” Ms. Laven said in an interview before the vote count.

An Activision spokesman said that the company’s operations in New York and Wisconsin were “very different” in their setup and that it believed the entire Albany studio should be eligible to vote. The spokesman said the company was “considering various legal options,” including seeking to overturn the election.

Activision workers seeking to unionize could find the company more receptive in the future.

In June, Microsoft announced an agreement with the Communications Workers of America in which it pledged to stay neutral if any of Activision’s U.S. employees sought to unionize after it completed its acquisition. Activision has about 7,000 employees in the country, most of whom are eligible to unionize.

Microsoft had a motive for seeking the neutrality agreement: The politically powerful communications workers union had raised questions about the acquisition, which regulators were vetting. The union said its concerns about the acquisition had been resolved after it reached the neutrality agreement.

The company hinted at the time that it would extend the neutrality agreement to current Microsoft employees, saying it was prepared to “build on” the deal. The union essentially tested that proposition when it sought to organize Q.A. workers at ZeniMax, and Microsoft followed through.

Microsoft may have had an additional reason to take a neutral stance. Showing that it has a healthy relationship with organized labor could help the company navigate the acquisition under the union-friendly Biden administration as scrutiny of the deal intensifies.

As if to underscore the point, the union’s president, Chris Shelton, met with the chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission in October and urged regulators not to block the deal.

Karen Weise contributed reporting.

Mon, 05 Dec 2022 07:07:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Will video game workers at Microsoft unionize? Some at Activision have No result found, try new keyword!A few months after Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard, the tech giant said it would remain neutral if Activision workers sought to unionize once the deal went through. Tue, 06 Dec 2022 10:07:00 -0600 text/html Killexams : 6 questions about flying with marijuana, answered


This story has been updated to reflect regulations as of October 2022.

America’s relationship with pot is changing. While the substance is illegal to use or possess on a national level under the Controlled Substances Act, some of the country’s states, territories and the District of Columbia have been passing laws to the contrary, and in very different ways, since 1996.

On Oct. 6, President Biden announced mass pardons for anyone convicted of a federal crime for simple possession and directed his administration to review whether marijuana should still be a Schedule I substance.

As of the 2022 midterm elections, 21 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have legalized recreational pot, and 37 states, the District of Columbia and four permanently inhabited U.S. territories have legalized pot’s medical use. Other states have moved to decriminalize pot, but not legalize it altogether.

Illinois is a more accurate state to legalize recreational use. As a result, its most prominent airports, O’Hare International and Midway, are now equipped with so-called pot amnesty boxes at the end of every security checkpoint. The boxes are in place for travelers who may arrive with cannabis products and don’t want to break the law by flying with them.

“The amnesty boxes are owned by the Department of Aviation here in Chicago and serviced by us at the police department,” says Maggie Huynh, public relations coordinator at the Chicago Police Department. “The boxes are where travelers can safely dispose of cannabis and cannabis products before travel.”

The placement may seem counterintuitive to those who want to avoid running into legal trouble, so we spoke with experts to find out exactly what you need to know about flying domestically with pot.

So, to be clear, can I fly with pot?

According to Larry Mishkin, a Northbrook, Ill., lawyer at the Hoban Law Group, which provides legal services for the clients in the marijuana industry in the United States and internationally, carrying pot onto a plane is a federal crime.

“Marijuana is illegal under federal law, and federal law governs airplane travel in this country,” he says.

The airspace you’ll be traveling through is considered federal territory; hence, why it can’t come on your flight. That includes flying within states where pot use is legal, or flying between states — even if both allow it for recreation. If you leave a state with marijuana, “you’ve broken the law of the state that you purchased it in, you’ve broken the law of the state that you’re going into, and you’ve broken federal law,” Mishkin says.

What should I do if I get to the airport and still have pot?

That depends on a few factors, like where you’re flying out of and how much pot you have in your possession, says Mishkin.

Despite pot being illegal on the federal level, “certain airports, like LAX and O’Hare, have publicly announced that they will not stop any outbound passenger in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana,” Mishkin says. “If, however, you arrive at the airport and realize you have marijuana in your possession and do not want to travel with it, you can deposit it in the amnesty boxes if there are any present, or you can throw it in the trash.”

Todd Maybrown, a partner at Allen, Hansen, Maybrown and Offenbecher in Seattle, has similar suggestions for passengers who show up to the airport with pot in tow.

“In a perfect world, I would recommend that people return to their vehicle and place any marijuana in a secure compartment, such as the trunk or a locked glove box,” Maybrown says. “In an imperfect world, where the passenger does not have a vehicle at the airport, a trip to the bathroom may be the best solution. There are no cameras in the bathroom, and toilet bowls can be flushed.”

Where is marijuana legal?

You can check where marijuana is legal on websites such as the National Conference of State Legislatures and Leafly. The laws governing it in the United States are ever-changing and confusing to follow. What applies one day might not the next.

“We try to provide people advice, and then sometimes the laws change on us literally overnight,” Mishkin says. “This is not an industry to take chances.”

States have different rules around usage. In California, for example, a person 21 and older can carry up to an ounce of marijuana, or eight grams of it (a third of the weight) in concentrated form. In Illinois, your limit is also about an ounce, but with a smaller amount of concentrated marijuana — a maximum of five grams — and no more than 500 mg of THC in the form of edibles. Users need to familiarize themselves with the existing laws in the places they intend on consuming marijuana.

What happens if TSA finds marijuana in someone’s luggage?

TSA’s primary concern is passenger safety and detecting potential threats to aviation. In fact, the TSA website states: “TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs.”

“The TSA has gone out of its way to say that its focus is not on marijuana,” Mishkin says.

Because TSA is a federal agency, its officers must enforce federal laws. If an illegal substance is found in a traveler’s luggage, the passenger will not be allowed to bring it beyond the checkpoint.

With states passing new legislation on the issue or changing existing laws, a pot-carrier’s fate is hard to predict.

If marijuana is legal in the state, TSA spokeswoman Alexa Lopez said a passenger found with a small amount will typically be allowed to dispose of it. The discovery of larger amounts or if a small amount is found in a state where it is illegal might result in local law enforcement being called.

“You really run the risk of becoming a guinea pig if you decide to go on a plane with marijuana, even if it’s legal in the place where you started, or in a place where you get to finish the trip,” says Maybrown. “There’s so much confusion and uncertainty about what new rules could, or would, apply.”

Lawyers say it is unclear what exactly TSA would do if you had weed in your bag. If you’re caught with pot at an airport in Chicago, or another place in America where pot use is allowed, you may be waived on or simply asked to get rid of it before you board. “It’s up to the officers to make those sorts of decisions,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said.

“TSA will encourage [amnesty boxes] to travelers if they have cannabis on them,” adds Huynh, of the Chicago Police Department. “They don’t call us unless it appears to be clearly illegal amounts, like a suitcase-full.”

What if I have a medical marijuana ID card?

Mishkin says that there’s a distinction for medical use of marijuana in the eyes of the law.

“People who have their state medical card that shows they are patients are typically treated a little more leniently than somebody else,” he says.

But having a medical marijuana card may only help you sometimes. At the airport, TSA doesn’t have the jurisdiction or ability to check the validity of those cards. The agent could still pass you off to the local police, who will assess the situation. The state you’re in is also important. If there’s no medical-marijuana program there, a card will mean “absolutely nothing,” Mishkin says.

Can I fly with CBD?

As long as your CBD product contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, or is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, you can bring it on a flight. If the product is a liquid or food, it must comply with the usual TSA carry-on policy (3.4 ounces or less per liquid item, for example).

Carry-on checklist: Here's what you can pack (Video: Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)

Ian Duncan contributed to this report.


Wed, 10 Mar 2021 03:29:00 -0600 Natalie B. Compton en text/html
Killexams : Microsoft Is Ready to Fight For Its $69 Billion Activision Deal Activision at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. © Photographer: Troy Harvey/Bloomberg Activision at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. is ready to fight for its $69 billion acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard Inc. if the US Federal Trade Commission files a lawsuit seeking to block the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The Xbox maker hasn’t had conversations with the FTC about remedies or concessions aimed at getting the deal approved, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing a confidential matter. FTC staff is wrapping up its investigation and is expected to make a recommendation soon, the person added. The FTC commissioners would then vote on whether to file a case.

In the event the FTC tries to block the case, Microsoft is gearing up to contest that decision in court, said the person, who asked not to be identified speaking about internal strategy. Bloomberg Intelligence antitrust analyst Jennifer Rie said it wouldn’t surprise her if the FTC files a lawsuit seeking to block the deal, but noted that a court fight would be hard for enforcers to win and Microsoft could prevail -- though a legal battle could stretch beyond the deal’s end date. Microsoft has said it expects to close the transaction by June 30.

Microsoft’s other option would be to abandon the deal in the face of an FTC challenge. That’s what the company did in 1995 when the US government sued to block its acquisition of accounting software maker Intuit Inc., with Microsoft saying it didn’t want to contend with a long legal battle.

Microsoft’s best chance to win approval to buy Activision is to persuade the Biden administration to accept a settlement in which it pledges it won’t withhold its popular titles from rivals. 

But Biden’s antitrust enforcers aren’t fond of such agreements -- especially after this month’s Ticketmaster blowup put the spotlight back on a failed 2010 Justice Department settlement with Live Nation Entertainment Inc. 

The FTC is taking an aggressive approach to mergers, especially when it comes to technology and digital markets, but hasn’t indicated whether it plans to sue to block the deal. 

In July, the agency sued to block Meta Platforms Inc. from buying virtual reality fitness app Within, claiming that the transaction could eliminate competition in a few market, referred to as “nascent competition.” 

Microsoft and the FTC declined to comment. Politico reported last week that the FTC is likely to challenge the deal.

For more: Microsoft’s Activision Deal Hangs on Long-Shot FTC Accord

The US is one of at least three jurisdictions where regulators are raising questions about the blockbuster transaction, which would dramatically alter the video game landscape and vault Microsoft to the No. 3 spot in the global games market behind Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Sony Group Corp. 

European and UK antitrust bodies have raised questions about whether the popular Call of Duty game franchise will remain available to gamers on Sony’s PlayStation console and whether the merger would allow Microsoft to take a dominant role in the burgeoning yet still tiny market for cloud-gaming services. 

Microsoft has offered Sony a deal in which it would make Call of Duty games available on the PlayStation for a decade, although the companies would need to work out financial terms for that agreement, the person said. 

The software giant has advised regulators of those discussions, but hasn’t formally made a remedy proposal because the review process hasn’t advanced to that stage, the person said. 

It doesn’t make financial or strategic sense for Microsoft to keep the bestselling game franchise from PlayStation because more copies of the games are sold on PlayStation than Xbox and because such a move would anger gamers in a way that could have negative impacts for Microsoft. In fact, the acquisition wouldn’t be financially viable for Microsoft if it cut off Call of Duty on PlayStation, the person said. 

Because of the different stages of the various probes around the world, Microsoft is likely to discuss this step first with the European Commission, which has set a March 23 deadline to complete its in-depth review of the deal. 

Microsoft is hoping the remedies it offers the EU will suffice globally, the person said. It’s possible that UK regulators could want additional steps from the company, however. 

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is currently in the midst of an in-depth probe of the deal after an initial investigation found concerns in the gaming consoles, multi-game subscription services and cloud gaming markets.

The watchdog said in an October document setting out the scope of its inquiry that it’s concerned the transaction could allow Microsoft to gain outsized market power that would allow it to cut off competitors like Sony. Although Microsoft has promised it wouldn’t do this due to reputational damage to Xbox or Call of Duty, the watchdog said it hadn’t identified “persuasive evidence” to believe those statements.

Scrutiny of big tech companies’ dominance has been ramped up by the UK agency since it gained new powers post-Brexit.

Microsoft and the CMA will both appear at a main party hearing in mid-December, a part of the UK merger process that will allow them to hash out and test the parties arguments. An interim decision by the agency is expected by January and the deadline for the full decision is March.

--With assistance from Emily Birnbaum and Stephanie Bodoni.

(Updates to add previous acquisition challenge in fourth paragraph.)

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Fri, 02 Dec 2022 09:16:56 -0600 en-US text/html
Killexams : Live news updates from December 12: Von der Leyen to push for EU ethics body, Microsoft to take 4% LSE stake

Britain’s industrial unrest has been branded the second winter of discontent (although not a patch on the mass walkouts that hit the UK in 1978-79) and is set to peak in the coming days, with rail and postal workers, NHS staff and driving instructors (yes, that one surprised me too) all walking out over pay and conditions.

A ballot among RMT members for the latest pay offer to rail workers closes on Monday with the rail union recommending that members reject the proposed deal. The offer could have been significantly higher but a 10 per cent pay rise over two years was blocked by government ministers, the Financial Times revealed last week. The latest in several 48-hour RMT walkouts planned over the Christmas period will begin on Tuesday.

More than 1mn working days are expected to be lost to strikes in the UK in December, the worst disruption of any month since the tail-end of Margaret Thatcher’s time in office.

Pressure is growing on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s administration to enact anti-strike legislation, and we might hear more about that this week, but successive Tory prime ministers have made similar pledges that have come to nothing. And whatever Sunak does now will be too late for the escalation in industrial action over the Christmas holidays.

Commuters at a station in London await news of stoppages © Andy Rain/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Want some better news? On Tuesday, the first of a new generation of European weather satellites will be launched into space from Kourou in French Guiana. Despite what Billy Bragg sang about wishing on space hardware, the €4.3bn Meteosat Third Generation system provides a real leap forward for meteorologists, providing more accurate forecasts, including better warnings of imminent storms.

Three satellites will hover in geostationary orbit 36,000km above the equator over Africa. From there they will provide images of Europe every two and a half minutes, including the first comprehensive observations of lightning from space. In so doing, the system is forecast to save lives that could have been lost in extreme weather.

And then there is the football.

If you hate the Fifa World Cup, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s the last week of the tournament. If you love it, you can relish the crescendo of an extraordinary month for the beautiful game with the remaining four teams playing in the semis on Wednesday ahead of Sunday’s final — read the FT’s coverage for full details.

Economic data

It is not just strikes that are clustering this week. The markets are focused on a trio of interest rate announcements from the acronym economies: the US, EU and UK. All three are expected to ease off somewhat on the levels of planned rises.

There is also a wealth of data from the US and UK that influences rate-setting committees. The gulf between short and long-term borrowing costs — at its widest level since 1981 — has strengthened expectations among investors that the Fed will stay the course on its monetary policy tightening to tame inflation, despite increased worries about recession.

The last time the UK’s Monetary Policy Committee met, in early November, attention was focused on restoring confidence in the country’s economic management. The Bank of England continues to talk tough, but this time the MPC’s response is expected to be more measured. Expectations are for a 0.5 percentage point rise in the base rate on Thursday, rather than repeating the 0.75 percentage point rise of last month.

The weekends with G7 flash purchasing managers’ index figures. There is also an EU leaders’ summit and Opec publishes its monthly outlook report.


A shopper carries a Zara bag in New York
Expectations are high for Spain’s Inditex, home to the Zara brand, among others © Demetrius Freeman/Bloomberg

It’s a quiet week for earnings announcements, but one with some notable companies reporting from specific sectors. In retail fashion, there is H&M, which has been talking up its recovery in the Chinese market after a long-running consumer boycott. Expectations are also high for Spain’s Inditex, home to the Zara brand among others. For tech, there is the acquisitive Oracle. And in the outsourcing arena, Capita and Serco are representing.

Read the full week ahead calendar here.

Mon, 12 Dec 2022 08:06:00 -0600 en-GB text/html
Killexams : Biden administration faces tough questions as student loan plan held up in court

The Biden administration is facing questions and backlash after its $500 billion student debt transfer was blocked in court two days following the midterm elections.

President Joe Biden announced the program on Aug. 24, and it was always seen as a way to drive turnout among younger, educated voters, but with the program on ice, perhaps permanently, some cynicism has developed among those who stood to benefit.


“They used the promise of student debt cancellation to induce young voter turn out — knowing it wasn’t going anywhere bc they relied on faulty legal authority,” former Bernie Sanders spokeswoman Briahna Joy Gray wrote in a tweet . “Hard to convince me the Biden admin didn’t do this intentionally.”

Biden spoke about student loan "forgiveness" during his 2020 presidential campaign but insisted for his first 18 months in office that Congress needed to act first. That began to change in mid-2022, and by the fall, the White House had announced $10,000 of student debt per borrower would be transferred to taxpayers for anyone earning less than $125,000, and $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants.

The total cost of the program was estimated to run between $400 billion and $1 trillion , depending on a range of variables. Because the Constitution says that only Congress has power of the purse, a flurry of lawsuits soon materialized.

The Education Department made changes to the program on the fly in an attempt to prevent plaintiffs from having standing and continued accepting millions of applications even after the program was paused.

It was finally blocked last Thursday by a Texas judge in response to a lawsuit from the conservative advocacy group Job Creators Network. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also blocked the program on Monday in response to a different lawsuit led by six GOP-led states.

The White House has appealed the Texas ruling and released the following statement in response to the second.

“We are confident in our legal authority for the student debt relief program and believe it is necessary to help borrowers most in need as they recover from the pandemic," read the statement from press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. "The administration will continue to fight these baseless lawsuits by Republican officials and special interests and will never stop fighting to support working and middle class Americans.”

But the move follows a pattern that has become familiar in the Biden White House — implementing progressive policies via executive order only to see them struck down in court.

The first time this occurred was with Biden's extending the eviction moratorium, which the president openly admitted was probably illegal. The same thing happened with the employer vaccine mandate, federal mask mandate, Title 42 southern border expulsion policy, and now Biden's student loan policy.

"At some point, he needs to stay in his lane," said Karen Harned, chief legal officer of the Job Creators Network Foundation Legal Action Fund. "Biden took an oath to uphold the Constitution, so trying to find creative ways to shoehorn his policies by going around Congress is not the answer. The Supreme Court has been very clear on that, and I feel that they'll continue to reject these attempts. I just wish he'd stop trying to do it."

Some legal observers have raised questions about Biden's strategy with student loan forgiveness. Specifically, the president could have used the Higher Education Act of 1965, which empowers the secretary of education to "enforce, pay, compromise, waive, or release any right, title, claim, lien, or demand, however acquired, including any equity or any right of redemption."

Instead, the White House used the HEROES Act of 2003, a 9/11-era bill designed to prevent military service members from suffering financial hardship if they went to war.

Fordham University law professor Jed Shugerman made this argument recently, predicting the Biden administration could lose 9-0 if the HEROES Act-based program reaches the Supreme Court.

Biden aggressively promoted student loan forgiveness in the final weeks of the midterm elections, releasing a " by the numbers " sheet lashing out at the GOP and delivering a speech on the Topic in New Mexico.

"It's temporarily on hold — why?" Biden said at the time. "Because Republican members of the Congress and Republican governors are doing everything they can, including taking us to court, to deny relief even to their own constituents."


As some voters worry that they've been betrayed by the White House with faulty promises, Shugerman argues it's not too late to try a different tactic.

"How about trying one more time while there is still a Dem Congress to fix this legal mess with a Student Debt Relief Act," he tweeted , "instead of executive orders that will lose?

Tue, 15 Nov 2022 06:06:00 -0600 en text/html
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