Joy Reid reveals some plans for her new primetime MSNBC show, which includes finding younger activist voices to come on as guests.
Joy Reid reveals some plans for her new primetime MSNBC show, which includes finding younger activist voices to come on as guests.
The singer and her estranged husband Brandon Blackstock were each seeking primary custody.
We've been living in our dressing gowns this season.
Last of the big spenders? How Covid prompted a new frugality. For many, economising has been the painful result of job losses and furlough, while others are feeling guilty about splashing out in a pandemic. But will it last – and how will it affect the economy?
'Their tough-guy acts and f***-your-feelings s***-talk have become a furious whine of complaints’
(Bloomberg) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. is about to incur the biggest writedown in its modern history as what was once an exemplar of American capitalist might shudders under the weight of debilitated energy markets.Exxon -- already hobbled by cratering crude prices, a global supply glut and a pandemic-driven collapse in fuel sales -- on Monday disclosed it will write down the value of North and South American natural gas fields by $17 billion to $20 billion. At the top end of that range, it would represent the industry’s steepest impairment since BP Plc’s 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill that killed 11 workers and fouled the sea for months. Meanwhile, capital spending will be drastically reduced through 2025.The announcement comes in the waning days of a grueling year for Chief Executive Officer Darren Woods, who’s taken the heretofore anathema steps of firing employees, curtailing retirement benefits and canceling ambitious growth projects. The former refinery manager has been forced to recast his seven-year, $210 billion blueprint for rejuvenating Exxon’s aging portfolio of crude and gas holdings.In addition to dropping vast swaths of gas assets from the development queue, Woods is capping capital spending at $25 billion a year through 2025, a $10 billion reduction from his pre-pandemic target.This year has been particularly bruising for America’s most-iconic oil explorer. Exxon lost money for three consecutive losses, an unprecedented streak, the shares dipped to an 18-year low and the company was ejected from the bosom of blue-chip stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Woods also plans to cut 15% of the company’s workforce by the end of next year.From being the largest company in the S&P 500 Index as recently as 2012, Exxon now ranks just inside the top 50 as energy lost its luster and technology giants grew. Chevron Corp. now has a larger market valuation than Exxon.No PivotUnlike its European peers, Exxon has so far chosen to stick with its $15 billion-a-year dividend and has increased borrowing in recent months to fund it and its other capital priorities. On an annualized basis, the dividend has been increased each year for almost four decades.Optimism that vaccines will soon restore global economic growth buoyed crude prices in recent weeks but the impact of the contagion on Big Oil is likely to be longlasting. With European giants Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP accelerating the pivot to renewables and Exxon locking in drastic spending cuts, capital flows into big, traditional developments are expected to shrink in coming years.Cowen & Co. analyst Jason Gabelman detected a subtle shift in Exxon’s word choices that may herald a dramatic change in financial priorities. Whereas company executives touted Exxon’s “reliable and growing dividend” during the third-quarter earnings conference call, Monday’s statement only mentioned reliability, the analyst said in a note to clients.‘High-Grading’“Continued emphasis on high-grading the asset base -- through exploration, divestment and prioritization of advantaged development opportunities -- will improve earnings power and cash generation, and rebuild balance sheet capacity,” Woods said in the statement.Exxon has been warning shareholders since October that its gas assets were at risk of significant impairment. Previously, the energy titan’s largest writedown was for about $3.4 billion in 2016, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.Assets removed from Exxon’s development plans include so-called dry gas resources in Appalachia and the Rocky Mountains, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas, as well as western Canada and Argentina, the company said. It will attempt to sell “less strategic” assets.The writedown stems from former CEO Rex Tillerson’s decision a decade ago to buy XTO Energy for $35 billion rather than spend years building an in-house shale business. At the time, the outlook for North American gas prices was bright because demand was rising faster than supply.Supply GlutInstead, fracking was a victim of its own success, unleashing so much gas that it overwhelmed demand and the infrastructure needed to handle it, resulting in a prolonged stretch of depressed prices.U.S. rival Chevron recorded an impairment of more than $5 billion on Appalachian gas a year ago, and recently agreed to sell those fields to EQT Corp. for about $735 million.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Michael Gove has said a scotch egg is “probably a starter” in the midst of a debate over what constitutes a substantial meal. The new rule has prompted widespread debate over what constitutes a substantial meal. Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Monday that the snack would constitute a “substantial meal”, but Mr Gove told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday that as far as he’s concerned a scotch egg is “probably a starter”.
ProVen Growth and Income VCT plc Total Voting Rights 1 December 2020 In conformity with the Disclosure and Transparency Rule 5.6.1, ProVen Growth and Income VCT plc (the “Company”) announces that the Company's capital and voting rights, as at 30 November 2020, are summarised as follows: Shares in issueVoting rights per ShareVoting rightsOrdinary shares of 1.6187p each223,313,7431223,313,743Total voting rights 223,313,743 The Company does not hold any shares in treasury. The above takes account of any shares that have been recently bought back for cancellation, even if such transactions have not yet settled. The above figure may be used by shareholders as the denominator for the calculations by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, ProVen Growth and Income VCT plc under the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rules. Beringea LLP Company Secretary Telephone 020 7845 7820 - End
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Names Tom Macfarlane to Lead Downstream Energy Property Business in Europe
The resurgence of COVID-19 is seen as the primary threat to growth and recovery by all businesses followed by reduced consumer demand.
Aerospike Inc., the global leader in next-generation, real-time NoSQL data solutions, today announced that it provides its Cloud Managed Service to Experian® CrossCore™ integrated digital identity and fraud risk platform.
MaaT Pharma announced today that the company secured an additional €7.35 million ($8.7 million) in an extension of its Series B financing round, bringing the total raised in this round to €25.35 million. The new capital from the PSIM Fund managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the French State, with participation from SkyViews Life Science and Celeste Management, underscores the potential of MaaT Pharma’s microbiome restoration biotherapeutics platform and the progress the company has made towards developing drugs that harness the rich diversity of the gut microbiome to improve overall survival in blood cancers and Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD). In February, the company announced the initial closing of an €18 Million Series B Financing Round, led by US investor SymBiosis, LLC, with support from Seventure Partners, Crédit Mutuel Innovation, and Biocodex.
CanadaHelps Urges Canadians to Give to Charity this GivingTuesday
How will you be impacted by the collapse of Arcadia Group?. We’d like to hear from people who will be impacted by news that Arcadia Group has called in administrators. High street names include Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and Evans
Dublin, Dec. 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The "Medical Pump Global Market Insights 2020, Analysis and Forecast to 2025, by Manufacturers, Regions, Technology, Application" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. This report describes the global market size of Medical Pump from 2015 to 2019 and its CAGR from 2015 to 2019, and also forecasts its market size to the end of 2025 and its CAGR from 2020 to 2025.For the geography segment, regional supply, demand, major players, price is presented from 2015 to 2025.This report covers the following regions: North AmericaSouth AmericaAsia & PacificEuropeMEA The key countries for each region are also included such as the United States, China, Japan, India, Korea, ASEAN, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, CIS, and Brazil etc.For the competitor segment, the report includes global key players of Medical Pump as well as some small players.The information for each competitor includes: Company ProfileMain Business InformationSWOT AnalysisSales, Revenue, Price and Gross MarginMarket Share Applications Segment: Air bedCentral vacuum systemChair liftDentistryRespiratory deviceSterilizingOthers Key Topics Covered: Chapter 1 Executive SummaryChapter 2 Abbreviation and AcronymsChapter 3 Preface3.1 Research Scope3.2 Research Sources3.2.1 Data Sources3.2.2 Assumptions3.3 Research MethodChapter 4 Market Landscape4.1 Market Overview4.2 Classification/Types4.3 Application/End-usersChapter 5 Market Trend Analysis5.1 Introduction5.2 Drivers5.3 Restraints5.4 Opportunities5.5 ThreatsChapter 6 Industry Chain Analysis6.1 Upstream/Suppliers Analysis6.2 Medical Pump Analysis6.2.1 Technology Analysis6.2.2 Cost Analysis6.2.3 Market Channel Analysis6.3 Downstream Buyers/End-usersChapter 7 Latest Market Dynamics7.1 Latest News7.2 Merger and Acquisition7.3 Planned/Future Project7.4 Policy DynamicsChapter 8 Trading Analysis8.1 Export of Medical Pump by Region8.2 Import of Medical Pump by Region8.3 Balance of TradeChapter 9 Historical and Forecast Medical Pump Market in North America (2015-2025)9.1 Medical Pump Market Size9.2 Medical Pump Demand by End Use9.3 Competition by Players/Suppliers9.4 Type Segmentation and Price9.5 Key Countries Analysis9.5.1 US9.5.2 Canada9.5.3 MexicoChapter 10 Historical and Forecast Medical Pump Market in South America (2015-2025)10.1 Medical Pump Market Size10.2 Medical Pump Demand by End Use10.3 Competition by Players/Suppliers10.4 Type Segmentation and Price10.5 Key Countries Analysis10.5.1 Brazil10.5.2 Argentina10.5.3 Chile10.5.4 PeruChapter 11 Historical and Forecast Medical Pump Market in Asia & Pacific (2015-2025)11.1 Medical Pump Market Size11.2 Medical Pump Demand by End Use11.3 Competition by Players/Suppliers11.4 Type Segmentation and Price11.5 Key Countries Analysis11.5.1 China11.5.2 India11.5.3 Japan11.5.4 South Korea11.5.5 Asean11.5.6 AustraliaChapter 12 Historical and Forecast Medical Pump Market in Europe (2015-2025)12.1 Medical Pump Market Size12.2 Medical Pump Demand by End Use12.3 Competition by Players/Suppliers12.4 Type Segmentation and Price12.5 Key Countries Analysis12.5.1 Germany12.5.2 France12.5.3 UK12.5.4 Italy12.5.5 Spain12.5.6 Belgium12.5.7 Netherlands12.5.8 Austria12.5.9 Poland12.5.10 RussiaChapter 13 Historical and Forecast Medical Pump Market in MEA (2015-2025)13.1 Medical Pump Market Size13.2 Medical Pump Demand by End Use13.3 Competition by Players/Suppliers13.4 Type Segmentation and Price13.5 Key Countries Analysis13.5.1 Egypt13.5.2 Israel13.5.3 South Africa13.5.4 Gcc13.5.5 TurkeyChapter 14 Summary for Global Medical Pump Market (2015-2020)14.1 Medical Pump Market Size14.2 Medical Pump Demand by End Use14.3 Competition by Players/Suppliers14.4 Type Segmentation and PriceChapter 15 Global Medical Pump Market Forecast (2020-2025)15.1 Medical Pump Market Size Forecast15.2 Medical Pump Demand Forecast15.3 Competition by Players/Suppliers15.4 Type Segmentation and Price ForecastChapter 16 Analysis of Global Key Vendors16.1 Idex Corporation16.1.1 Company Profile16.1.2 Main Business and Medical Pump Information16.1.3 SWOT Analysis of Idex Corporation16.1.4 Idex Corporation medical Pump sales, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015-2020)16.2 Watson-Marlow Inc.16.2.1 Company Profile16.2.2 Main Business and Medical Pump Information16.2.3 SWOT Analysis of Watson-Marlow Inc.16.2.4 Watson-Marlow Inc.Medical Pump sales, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015-2020)16.3 Knf Neuberger Inc.16.3.1 Company Profile16.3.2 Main Business and Medical Pump Information16.3.3 SWOT Analysis of Knf Neuberger Inc.16.3.4 Knf Neuberger Inc.Medical Pump sales, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015-2020)16.4 Thermo Fisher Scientific 16.4.1 Company Profile16.4.2 Main Business and Medical Pump Information16.4.3 SWOT Analysis of Thermo Fisher Scientific16.4.4 Thermo Fisher Scientific medical Pump sales, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015-2020)16.5 Gardner Denver16.5.1 Company Profile16.5.2 Main Business and Medical Pump Information16.5.3 SWOT Analysis of Gardner Denver16.5.4 Gardner Denver medical Pump sales, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin (2015-2020)For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/9hdoq Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research. CONTACT: CONTACT: ResearchAndMarkets.com Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager firstname.lastname@example.org For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470 For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900
News comes shortly after the artist was notably snubbed from this year’s Grammy nominations
Follow here for the latest updates on UK politics
Deutsche Bank is planning to cut one in three jobs at its retail banking hubs in Frankfurt and Bonn as part of its efforts to cut costs and restore profitability, according to a letter to staff seen by Reuters. The 350 redundancies affecting mainly the Postbank retail banking arm will be made by the end of 2022 and will be carried out in the most socially acceptable way possible, the letter said. Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
Normally, this time of year I’d be offering suggestions for something with which to charge the flowing bowl, so that its bounty, ladled out with cheer and kindly hospitality, would make the intolerable among your family and acquaintances tolerable and the tolerable truly delightful.There would be soft-focus anecdotes about Charles Dickens or some old English earl, Dutch “Mynheer” or not-so-very-proper Bostonian. There would be rum and port and a thick dusting of freshly grated nutmeg. It would be jolly—damned jolly.The New Rules For Holiday Eating & Drinking in 2020But this holiday season, with the specter of COVID-19 hanging over us all, the idea of gathering in close and cozy quarters with a gang of people who aren’t in my immediate household sends a rivulet of cold sweat down my back. And if I’m not going to do it, I’m certainly not going to cheerfully suggest others do.At the same time, our seasonal social rituals are important. I can easily understand why some people are saying “to hell with the coronavirus pandemic, we’re doing Christmas anyway,” even if I think it’s naïve and dangerous to them and everyone they’re going to come in contact with. Life is difficult enough in normal times. In hard times like these, it can be bleak indeed. What we as humans have to brace ourselves against that bleakness is each other.As the old saw goes, soldiers don’t fight for their countries, they fight for their fellow squad members. We need our squad members to get us through, whether that means Mom and Dad, aunts, cousins and such, or just—“just”—the usual crew of friends old and new that we’ve recruited over the years. We need to see them, touch them, talk to them. Relax with them. Put the load we’re carrying aside for a bit and share some laughs and reminiscences.In my household, anyway, we usually do that over a drink. Mixing someone a little glass of something delightful is a quick and very effective first manifestation of hospitality; a way of not just telling them, but showing them that they’re truly welcome and, at least for now, among their people.Fortunately, if we can’t physically be with our people, at least we can still mix them that drink; still show them at least that little bit of hospitality. Sure, we’ll have to do our toasting via Zoom, FaceTime, group texts, WhatsApp, etc. If the idea of that fills you with the same measure of joy it fills me with, which is less than a metric teaspoonful, at least know that with the help of a few empty bottles, some booze and a little planning in advance you can still extend that hospitality; still pour them that drink. It takes a little planning, but hey, you’ve got time these days. All you have to do is, at some point before you log on, drop off or send them a little bottled cocktail, one where everything is done and all your people have to do is pour.* * *Little Bottles of Delight* * *Bottled cocktails have a long and successful history that we absolutely don’t need to get into here. Suffice it to say that, just as modern bars have learned to make their drinks portable during the current pandemic, bars in the nineteenth century did the same as a matter of course for their customers who might want a cocktail at home—this was before the whole be-your-own-bartender idea took hold—or wherever else no bar was to be found. (Such places existed, although there weren’t many.) While these bottled cocktails couldn’t replicate the experience of standing at the carved mahogany bar while the bartender waltzes the ice around in his glass and then pours an amber stream from a great height into a tiny little cocktail glass with perfect accuracy, the cocktail itself didn’t know that: it was the same delicious potion, minus the show. And that’s what your people will be getting.* * *What You’ll Need* * *For bottled cocktails, you need bottles. I like to use 1-pint Mason jars, which hold enough for four standard drinks, fully diluted and with no need for stirring, shaking or any of that business. (When you mix drinks with ice, it’s the ice-melt that chills them and dilutes them enough to kill the burn. For these, you’re going to add the same amount of water and let your friends’ freezers do the chilling.)If you can’t get pint Mason jars, use what you can get—old wine bottles, cleaned and with the labels soaked off and glass 12-oz soda bottles are also good, although you’ll have to adjust your proportions. For those last, you’ll also need corks.You’ll also need labels. They don’t have to be fancy: you can hand-write them and tape them on with clear packing tape. But your people will need a little information on what they’re drinking, how many the bottle serves, and how to store the drink, prepare it and serve it. We’ll get into the details below.* * *The Drinks* * *There are two kinds of bottled cocktail: the kind that’s shelf-stable, and the kind that comes with the fuse lit; that has to stay refrigerated and even then will only keep for a couple of days. The options for each are endless, but since the sponsor for this particular post is Jefferson’s Bourbon, I’m going to stick to whiskey drinks, which is certainly no hardship.Let’s start with a shelf-stable one, the Manhattan Club’s version of the Manhattan. Seeing as the Manhattan was most likely invented at the Manhattan Club (a New York political and social club), sometime around 1880, this version carries a certain authority. With equal parts whiskey—we’ll go with the Jefferson’s Reserve, which is 45 percent alcohol, a good mixing strength—and vermouth, it’s also softer and a little less rambunctious than the standard version, and hence maybe a bit better adapted for the all (legal) ages crew you get at holiday time.This drink will keep indefinitely, which means that it can be sent or dropped off considerably in advance of consumption. You might want to add a lemon with each pint, for peels (they should be cut in vertical strips with a vegetable peeler, an excellent thing to demonstrate over Zoom).Here’s how you make one:* * *Manhattan Club Manhattan (1)* * * INGREDIENTS * 1.5 oz Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon * 1.5 oz Italian red vermouth * 3 dashes Orange bitters * Glass: Cocktail * Garnish: Lemon peel DIRECTIONSAdd all of the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with cracked ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a swatch of thin-cut lemon peel over the top.And here’s how you make a pint of them, which should be enough for four regular-sized cocktails.* * *Manhattan Club Manhattan (4)* * * INGREDIENTS * 6 oz Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon * 6 oz Italian red vermouth * 12 dashes Orange bitters * 4 oz Bottled water DIRECTIONSAdd all of the ingredients to a 1-pint Mason jar. Seal the jar and label it.Here’s how I’d label this:The Manhattan Club’s ManhattanAs served at the place that invented it, New York, 1882.Bourbon, Italian vermouth and orange bitters.Contains four drinks.To serve: Put this bottle in the freezer for 45 minutes and then pour into four chilled cocktail glasses. If possible, twist a strip of lemon peel over the top.This bottle can be stored at room temperature.With big hugs from [your name here].(If your people are a little more adventurous and boozy—we don’t judge here at the Daily Beast—and you have access to an exceptionally well-stocked liquor store, a great, unusual variation is the Racquet Club Special, as served by Harry, head bartender of the Detroit Racquet Club, in 1934: for one, it’s 2 oz Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon to .5 oz each Italian vermouth and Kronan Swedish Punsch, a cane spirit-based liqueur that brings a little complexity to the proceedings, and a couple of dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters. For four, that’s 8 oz Jeffferson’s to 2 oz each vermouth and Swedish Punsch, 8 dashes Peychaud’s and 4 oz water. Assemble the same way.)Now, some people will find an all-booze drink like the Manhattan to be a bit much, even if you’ve mixed it up in one of its mellowest incarnations. For them, there’s the Ward Eight, a lovely turn-of-the-20th-century twist on the Whiskey Sour out of Boston, named after the political ward that coincided with the city’s North End. There are as many recipes for this drink as there were old-time bartenders in Boston. My favorite, though, is the one (contributed by one of those old-timers) that slips a little amontillado sherry into the mix, which makes it taste richer and far more intriguing.Unfortunately, sours like this have a short shelf-life before the citrus juice starts to mutate in strange and un-tasty ways. Ideally, this should be made the morning of the day it’s going to be consumed. The day before is acceptable. Beyond that there’s a good chance the lemon juice will go off (it won’t hurt anyone, but it will taste nasty). In either case, it has to be kept refrigerated, so plan accordingly.* * *Ward Eight (1)* * * INGREDIENTS * 2 oz Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon * .5 oz Amontillado sherry * .5 oz Fresh lemon juice * .25 oz Fresh orange juice * Scant .5 oz Grenadine (the regular commercial stuff is fine here) * Club soda * Glass: 8-oz Goblet DIRECTIONSAdd all of the ingredients, except the club soda, to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a stemmed goblet. Add 1 ice cube and a splash of sparkling water.And for four:* * *Ward Eight (4)* * * INGREDIENTS * 7 oz Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon * 1.75 oz Amontillado sherry * 1.75 oz Fresh lemon juice * 1 oz Fresh orange juice * 1.5 oz Grenadine * 3 oz Bottled water DIRECTIONSAdd all of the ingredients to a 1-pint Mason jar. Seal the jar, label it and refrigerate it.When delivering this, add a small bottle of club soda per pint bottle of Ward Eight. That, too, should be refrigerated, of course.And the label (adjust to suit, naturally):The Ward EightThe Boston classic, created to celebrate a local election win in that city’s eighth ward, ca. 1900.Bourbon, sherry, lemon and orange juices and a touch of grenadine.Contains four drinks.To serve: Put this bottle in a freezer for 45 minutes and then pour into four white wine glasses, each with an ice cube in it. Add a splash of chilled soda water to each.This bottle must be kept refrigerated and used within 24 hours.With big hugs from [your name here].Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
A perfect way to give back this festive season
What a year to be making a film about the United States Postal Service.I’d like to say I planned this whole thing—directing a movie about a little ~~~~ known USPS program called Operation Santa in a year when they became the center of a political maelstrom. But I had no idea what 2020 would bring when we shot the film in the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year.Dear Santa centers on the USPS, an institution that seemed at points this year to hold our democracy in the balance. As 2020 got underway and we were in full throttle with post-production, we would read the headlines about the political machinations driving events at the USPS, with President Trump confessing to withholding federal aid for the USPS in order to sabotage mail-in voting, but our focus was on something more durable and timeless: the hundreds of thousands of letters that get sent directly to Santa each year and what the postal service does with them.‘The Postman’ Kevin Costner Thinks Trump’s Post Office Meddling Is ‘Criminal’Yes, there are all the trappings of your favorite family Christmas film in Dear Santa… cute kids, the emotional wants and needs of people, and lots of magic and whimsy to go around. But at the heart of this film are the dozens of USPS workers who spend their busiest time of the year not only doing their jobs, but also helping families in need. This program has lived under the radar for 108 years. Focusing on it this year seems extra poignant, as many of the USPS employees have gone the extra mile for us in the pandemic while the organization is being used as a political football.USPS employees have been on the frontlines of the pandemic since its onset, resulting in more than 10,000 coronavirus cases and 80 deaths within the organization. It was not lost on me and my crew that while we were editing our film in the safety of our homes, the USPS employees that so graciously let us into their world over the holidays were both risking their health and fighting just to do their jobs. They were politicized at every turn and suffering because of it. Still, every day they worked to get us our mail, our prescriptions, and our endless Amazon packages as we quietly worked on Dear Santa.Throughout the last hundred years that Operation Santa has been active our nation has seen many dark times. I would say 2020 rivals any of these dark periods. One in eight families don’t have enough to eat. We have more than 3.5 million people out of work. We have more than 260,000 people dead from COVID-19. That’s 260,000 families in mourning right now. We have millions of people struggling to celebrate this holiday season. Compared to last year, more letters are coming into Santa this time around.As part of making this film, USPS gave me unfettered access to Operation Santa. We were given access to read the thousands of letters that came into the USPS and then were able to follow the most compelling ones.As far as how the program works, once the letters addressed to Santa come in to the USPS they are funneled to a special team that handles them. Santa “approved” this program back in 1912, telling Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock that he was authorized to allow postal employees and citizens to help him respond to letters. This meeting more than 100 years ago became what is known today as Operation Santa.Today many cities have lead elves (who are of course approved by Santa). These lead elves help all those who want to take part and adopt letters. In our film, you will meet the lead elves in New York City, Chicago, Chico, California, and Pearce, Arizona.Several years ago Santa decided to go digital due to the volume of letters. The mailroom elves, who you meet in the film, digitize the letters so that anyone anywhere can adopt a letter. This modernization of the program will help out greatly this year while we are all at home because of COVID-19. Once the letters go live, anyone can read and adopt the Operation Santa letters right from their couch.Reading the letters that come in to Santa was a profound experience for me. It is a very personal look into the psyche of our country, with many letters from young people, but also older people too. We can read about their hopes and dreams as well as their wants and needs. It really hammers home how many people are in need in America.The mission of the program has always been to provide the public with the chance to be an elf and help children and families to have a magical holiday when otherwise they might not. Helping Santa answer all of his letters might seem like a small gesture, but this is a pay-it-forward program that is propelled by many postal employees—in their off-hours—who earn modest salaries and still give back. As one of the elves in our film says, “It’s not what you have that matters but what you do with what you have.” USPS workers are and have been making little gestures in the name of Christmas cheer over the years that add up to a humongous operation and show of goodwill that is showcased in our life-affirming film.Some might say that Dear Santa is a puff piece for the USPS that is conveniently timed when they needed it most. But I say this little-known story has been right under our noses for decades and no one had asked for permission to document it until 2018, when I sent an email to their press office for access.To kick off the production of our film I was invited to USPS headquarters in Washington, D.C., last fall. I received a download of all things Operation Santa and USPS history. It was there that our hosts told us about the simple mission of their organization, “To bind the nation.” I have to admit I thought it was a little hokey at the time. A year later and after all that we have been through as a country, I one hundred percent feel their mission and have watched firsthand, as we all have, that in good times and hard times USPS delivers. In a year that has broken so much of our country in half, everyday when I walk around my neighborhood and see their trucks still chugging along, I know it hasn’t broken one of our country’s most important institutions—the USPS.Dear Santa will be released Dec. 4 nationwide anywhere that you rent or buy movies. Watch the film and then become an elf. We promise this is a restorative and empowering way to end a year that has been so difficult for so many of us.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.