Candid Communications Launches New Book ‘Your Santa Agent Invitation’ to Help Parents Navigate the ‘Santa’ Conversation

New children’s book reveals the origins of Santa in a gentle, positive, and enjoyable way, helping parents stay in control of the information and keep the magic of Christmas very much alive

Featured Image for Candid Communications

Featured Image for Candid Communications

SYDNEY, Nov. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — New children’s picture book “Your Santa Agent Invitation” is a parent’s guide to explaining Santa to children in a positive and enjoyable way, letting them know they have a special role to play in keeping the magic of Christmas alive.

Written in a gentle and easy rhyme, this book is a delightful way to navigate one of the most awkward parent/child conversations, enabling an honest discussion with warmth and cheer.

By covering the history of Saint Nick and inviting the child to become a “Santa Agent,” this book transforms a time of potential loss into an opportunity for gain. It shows children that knowing the true identity of Santa is, in fact, a cause for celebration.

Written by writer and journalist Alex Lalak, and marketing executive, author and mother Louise Cummins, this children’s book offers both children and grown-ups a new way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

“My passion for storytelling was sparked during my childhood by reading the fairy books of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and Cicely Mary Barker. As a great believer in the magic and joy of Christmas, I was thrilled to co-write this book,” Ms. Lalak said.

“As a mother, I am inspired to keep the magic of Christmas alive. I hope this book will delight children around the world, and help other parents navigate the conversation with love and care,” Ms. Cummins said.

Described by Reader’s Favourite as an “uplifting” and “positive” story, “Your Santa Agent Invitation” will be available to purchase online via Amazon and other leading online bookstores.

“This uplifting story presents a positive way for parents and families to be honest with their children while keeping the Christmas joy and spirit alive and well,” Melinda Facal from Reader’s Favourite said.


ISBN: 978-0648465539


Alex Lalak is an Australian writer and journalist currently based in the south of France. She writes for publications, including Escape and The Australian. Her passion for storytelling was sparked in childhood by reading the fairy books of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and Cicely Mary Barker. As a great believer in the magic and joy of Christmas, she was thrilled to co-write this book that offers both children and grown-ups a new way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Louise Cummins is an Australian marketing executive, author and mother. Her first children’s book “A Different Kind of Brilliant” was made into a short film that featured at film festivals in the U.S. and Australia. Her desire to help keep the magic of Christmas alive inspired her to co-write this book, which she hopes will delight children around the world.

Contact Information:
Rachel Horan
+61 431 798 825

Olivia Meena

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US Pharmacy Chains Reach Tentative Opioid Settlement

Two of the largest U.S. pharmacy chains — CVS and Walgreens — are reported to have tentatively agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle more than 3,000 state and local lawsuits involving the dispensing of opioid painkillers.
In a statement released Wednesday, CVS Health said it agreed it will pay approximately $5 billion — with $4.9 billion to states and political subdivisions and approximately $130 million to Native American tribes — over the next 10 years beginning in 2023.
In a similar statement, Walgreens said it would make $4.95 billion in remediation payments to be paid out over 15 years. The company said the settlement frameworks include no admission of wrongdoing or liability.
In the statement, CVS Health Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel Thomas Moriarty said, “We are committed to working with states, municipalities and tribes, and will continue our own important initiatives to help reduce the illegitimate use of prescription opioids.”
Both companies’ statements included a list of initiatives undertaken to fight opioid abuse.
An earlier report said Walmart had also reached a tentative settlement, but a lawyer involved in the negotiations said those discussions are continuing.
In the lawsuits, governments said pharmacies were filling prescriptions they should have flagged as inappropriate.
If the settlements are finalized, they would mark the first nationwide deals with retail pharmacy companies. They follow nationwide opioid settlements with drugmakers and distributors totaling more than $33 billion.
Opioids are natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic chemicals used to reduce the intensity of pain signals and feelings of pain. The class of drugs includes the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain medications available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 1999 to 2020, more than 564,000 people in the United States died from overdoses involving an opioid, including prescription and illicit ones. They report 187 people in the U.S. continue to die from an opioid overdose every day.

Source: Voice of America

As Ebola Spreads in Kampala, WHO Urges Uganda’s Neighbors to Prepare

The World Health Organization warned Wednesday that Ebola’s arrival in the Ugandan capital highlighted the high risk of further spread of the deadly virus, calling on neighboring countries to boost their preparedness.
Since Uganda’s health ministry first declared the outbreak on September 20, the country has registered more than 150 confirmed and probable cases, including 64 deaths, WHO said.
And since the deadly disease spread to Kampala last week, 17 cases have been confirmed there, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.
“Although these cases are linked to known clusters, the very fact that there are cases in a densely populated city underscores the very real risk of further transmission,” he said, speaking from WHO headquarters in Geneva.
There is a “very urgent need for increased readiness in districts and surrounding countries,” he warned.
Ebola is spread through bodily fluids, with common symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhea. It is fought through tracing, containing and quarantining.
Outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments.
“Ebola in a complex, urban city like Kampala is not easy, and we have to do everything possible to pull every chain of transmission,” WHO incident manager Abdi Mahamud told reporters.
Tedros said the U.N. health agency had on Tuesday released an additional $5.7 million from its contingency fund for emergencies, in addition to the $5 million previously released to address the Uganda crisis.
WHO, he said, was working closely with the Ugandan government and partners to respond to the outbreak and was calling for “a strengthened global response and increased donor investment.”
Uganda’s last recorded fatality from a previous Ebola outbreak was in 2019.
The strain now circulating in Uganda is known as the Sudan Ebola virus, for which there is currently no vaccine, although there are several candidate vaccines heading toward clinical trials.

Source: Voice of America

Eurozone inflation hits 10.7 pct in October as economies slow down

Inflation in the 19-member eurozone is expected to continue rising in October, hitting double digits, against the backdrop of slowing economic growth in the third quarter of 2022, Eurostat, the European Union’s (EU) statistical office, said in a flash estimate on Monday.
Driven mainly by increasing energy prices, October’s year-on-year inflation rate is expected to climb to 10.7 percent in the eurozone, from 9.9 percent in September, Xinhua reported on 1 Nov.
Energy is expected to have the highest annual rate, reaching 41.9 percent in October. The annual rate in September was 40.7 percent.
The prices of food, alcohol and tobacco should register a yearly increase of 13.1 percent in October, compared with 11.8 percent in the previous month.
Non-energy industrial goods should record a year-on-year increase in the price of 6 percent, compared to September’s 5.5 percent; while the price of services should stay stable, going from a yearly increase of 4.3 percent in September to 4.4 percent in October.
“Overall, there is still clear evidence that the second-round effects of the supply-side shocks to the economy keep pushing up inflation despite moderating demand,” Bert Colijn, ING senior economist for the eurozone, commented.
The Baltic countries are hit the hardest by inflation, with 22.4 percent for Estonia, 22 percent for Lithuania and 21.8 percent for Latvia.
While inflation rates are skyrocketing, the eurozone’s economic growth should continue to weaken in the third quarter of this year.
Compared with the previous quarter, Eurostat foresees a 0.2 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2022 in both the eurozone and the European Union (EU). In the previous quarter, the GDP growth figures were 0.8 percent for the eurozone and 0.7 percent for the EU.
Latvia, Austria and Belgium recorded negative growth of their GDP, -1.7 percent, -0.1 percent and -0.1 percent, respectively.
Though the recovery of tourism in Spain or a renewed interest in investing in France are seen, this shouldn’t be enough to counter very low consumer confidence — which greatly affects retail sales — higher interest rates and an uncertain economic outlook.
“Overall, the picture remains bleak … We therefore still expect the economy to contract over the coming quarters,” Colijn said.
Last week, the European Central Bank (ECB) increased interest rates by 75 basis points to 1.5 percent to keep inflation in check and to bring the inflation rate closer to its two-percent target.
“With economic conditions weakening and a recession in the making for the winter, we think the ECB is going make its next hike somewhat smaller at 50 basis points,” Colijn said.

Source: Lao News Agency

Laos prepares to produce bio-oil for domestic use and reduce imports

The Lao State Fuel Company signed an agreement here on 1 Nov, with GAIA Petro Co., Ltd of the Republic of Korea to launch a biofuel production project in Laos worth US$20 million.
The biofuel production project aims to produce 500,000 litres of biogasoline daily.
It is expected that the first year will be able to supply about 10 million liters of oil per month. The volume of biofuel will increase by 20% per year from the second year.
Signatories to the contract were the General Managing Director of the Lao State Fuel Company, Mr Sysangkhom Khotnhotha, who is also Asean Council on Petroleum, and the CEO of GAIA Petro Co., Ltd., Mr Kikung Jung.
The agreement was also signed by the Director of the Department of State-Owned Enterprises Reform and Insurance, Ministry of Finance, Dr Sonephet Inthavong.
The project would be located in Dongphosy village, Hadxayfong district, Vientiane.
GAIA Petro Co., Ltd. holds a 55 percent of share, 22.5 percent is owned by the Lao State Fuel Company, and 22.5 percent by local investors.
The international oil prices have constantly risen.
GAIA Petro Co., Ltd want to collaborate with those countries to become an energy independent country and to contribute to the country’s national economy and join forces with its people and welfare.

Source: Lao News Agency

As COP27 approaches, Schneider Electric urges collective, systemic action for a fair energy transition

  • Schneider executives invited to advise on ways to solve energy and climate crises
  • Schneider Electric Foundation on the ground to support initiatives to get young people more involved in climate action

Rueil-Malmaison (France), November 1, 2022Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, today called for accelerated action for an equitable transition to net-zero, driven by collaborative action across the private and public sectors.

The company’s call to action comes in the run-up to the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt on 6-18 November, which Gwenaelle Avice-Huet, Schneider Electric’s Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, and other senior Schneider Electric executives will attend.

Described by UN Secretary-General António Guterres as a “litmus test” of how serious governments are about the growing toll that climate change is taking on the most vulnerable countries, the event takes place against a backdrop of mounting climate-linked disasters and a painfully disruptive global energy crisis.

During COP27, Schneider Electric executives will participate in a series of panels and meet decisionmakers across business, government and civil society, to help advise on of the sometimes still-underappreciated solutions and approaches that can help deliver urgently needed carbon-reduction action. In-depth analysis from the Schneider Electric Sustainability Research Institute, for example, is helping to underline the big role that the demand-side of the energy equation, and the combination of electrification and digitization can play in accelerating the energy transition.

Also at COP27, the Schneider Electric Foundation is partnering with various NGOs – including Art of Change 21 – to get young people actively involved in combating the climate crisis. In this spirit, Schneider Electric will also be announcing its partnership with RISE – Our World Heritage, a documentary and educational project to promote the impactful combination of technology and local action for sustainability.

A widely-recognized champion of decarbonization and sustainability, Schneider Electric is a big believer in the need for companies to go beyond just “doing business”, and to work with multiple stakeholders and partner to generate a positive long-term impact on the planet and society.

Schneider’s Access to Energy program, for example, is particularly relevant at the COP27 setting, as it brings affordable renewable power solutions and education to rural and remote communities in emerging countries in Africa and elsewhere.

“The climate and energy crises, and the often-unequal economic pain they’re inflicting around the globe, are far too big for any of us to tackle alone,said Gwenaelle Avice-Huet, Schneider Electric’s Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer. “What we need is faster action, across all fronts, and across all facets and layers of business, government and society – a systemic and collaborative approach that spans both big-picture global initiatives and on-the-ground local action.”

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