8 min read


It doesn’t take long to realize why Lily Brown and Tait Hansen clicked as friends and co-collaborators. The two 13-year-olds don’t finish each other’s thoughts so much as round them out. Neither jumps at talking just to be heard; they both take a beat and bat around a question in their head, searching for the truest and most thoughtful answer. They are, in essence, natural conversationalists, which perhaps demonstrates how they successfully completed a years-long — and, for a chunk of that time, long-distance — start-and-stop process of creating and designing their own board game. 

The result of their efforts, Betcha Can’t! (originally called Bet You Can’t in earlier iterations), did more than merely entertain friends and relatives. The game of wits invites players into a good-natured gauntlet of one-upmanship to see who can call to mind the most trivial on a subject (e.g. the various types of vegetables or modes of transport) in a finite amount of time. It won a share of the grand prize for “Most Marketable Concept” at 2018’s Young Inventor Challenge, part of the annual Chicago Toy and Game Week. 

Contest sponsor Pressman Toy Corporation quickly picked up

The Rolling Stones are threatening President Donald Trump with legal action for using their songs at his rallies despite cease-and-desist directives.

The Stones said in a statement Sunday that their legal team is working with music rights organization BMI to stop use of their material in Trump’s reelection campaign.

“The BMI have notified the Trump campaign on behalf of the Stones that the unauthorized use of their songs will constitute a breach of its licensing agreement,’’ the Stones said. “If Donald Trump disregards the exclusion and persists, then he would face a lawsuit for breaking the embargo and playing music that has not been licensed.’’

The Trump campaign team didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The Stones had complained during Trump’s 2016 campaign about the use of their music to fire up his conservative base at rallies.

The Rolling Stones’ 1969 classic “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” was a popular song for his events. It was played again at the close of Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma — an indoor event criticized for its potential to spread the coronavirus.

The music rights organization BMI provides licenses for venues to play a broad array of music …

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Get ready for a boom—in bankruptcies.

“We are seeing an acceleration in bankruptcies that is unprecedented,” said James Hammond, CEO of New Generation Research which runs BankruptcyData. For 2020, he says, “I’m pretty confident we will see more bankruptcies than in any business person’s lifetime.”

Ranked by assets alone, says Hammond, the magnitude of bankruptcies this year has already surpassed that of 2008. And that’s not including what could happen when the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which aims to keep small businesses up and running with loans that can be converted to grants if certain terms are met, runs out.

The largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy so far has been that of car-rental company, Hertz. Unable to hold on after the travel industry effectively hit the brakes, the company is now selling off much of its fleet in a bid to meet demands from creditors. Others in sectors ranging from oil and gas, to retail, to aviation have similarly suffered to navigate the pandemic.

bankruptcydata

Editor’s note: Chesapeake Energy, an oil and

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Good morning.

COVID-19 could bring a food crisis of “biblical proportions” to Africa, which is already suffering from changing weather patterns and a plague of locusts, World Food Program head David Beasley told the UN recently. Beasley’s warning has prompted action from at least one company—Yara, the global fertilizer giant based in Norway (and featured on Fortune’s Change the World list.)

Yara CEO Svein Tore Holsether told me Friday the company has committed $25 million to provide food to a million people in the region. Africa is a small part of Yara’s business—less than 5%. “From an economic and reputation standpoint, it is probably better not to be in Africa at all,” he said. “But our mission is to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet.” With that as the company’s purpose, how can starvation in Africa be ignored?

Some might ask whether Africa’s problem is better left to the WFP and other aid organizations. But Holsether believes public-private partnerships are essential. “The focus of foreign aid is to help the immediate problem. But unless we do something to address