Northampton County’s cities, townships and boroughs combine the best of urban, suburban and rural living.

It’s why this region of Pennsylvania is growing, while others are shrinking. The county’s residents reflect a microcosm of America.

Meet some of the people who exemplify the Lehigh Valley’s diversity of thought and human experience. And, yes, they’re registered voters who plan to vote in the fraught upcoming election.

Who are these voters?

A police union leader who feels he’s got no political home. A third-generation farmer worried about foreign competition. Black small-business owners fighting for racial equality. A Democratic gay couple who built their dream home in a town that flipped to President Donald Trump. A car mechanic disillusioned by America’s two-party political system. A Hispanic Trump voter whose mother won’t speak to him over his support for the president. A teacher in remission from cancer who is navigating a pandemic at work.

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  • Rural communities are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, as limited access to high-speed internet makes it difficult for people to work from home, access healthcare, and homeschool their kids. 
  • Brian Whitacre and Roberto Gallardo, experts in economic development, examined initiatives and restrictions from rural state governments to determine which policies impacted the “digital divide.”
  • Many states, including Minnesota, Tennessee, and North Carolina, dedicated funding, resources, and policies that have, on average, increased broadband availability and helped get rural Americans connected.  
  • However, Whitacre and Gallardo say access solves only one part of the issue — factors like affordability can also hugely impact municipal policies. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The current public health emergency has shown just how critical adequate and affordable broadband infrastructure is for communities and individuals trying to work, access healthcare, and attempt to teach kids from home.

Yet millions of rural Americans lack access to

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(Bloomberg) — Emerging markets were given a fresh set of growth forecasts from Fitch Ratings this week, further underscoring how the coronavirus pandemic is splitting developing nations up between opportunities and risks.

Fitch raised its economic growth forecast for China, while cutting predictions for South Africa and India. Other examples of the divergence among developing nations can be seen across a wide spectrum of economic and market metrics including projections for government debt levels, returns for bond investors, and the proportion of the population infected by the virus.

The following four charts showcase a range of ways in which the fortunes of emerging economies are differing in the face of the crisis:

The impact of the virus on economic growth was highlighted by the latest GDP outlook revisions by Fitch. The company raised its forecast for China’s growth this year to 2.7% from the June prediction of 1.2%, citing the

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By Birgit Starmanns, Global Head of CEO and CFO Thought Leadership Strategy and Programs, SAP

When reflecting on the underlying financial risks of running a business, there’s little difference between small and midsize companies and their larger competitors. The stress of fluctuating demand, evolving customer expectations, and financial and operational compliance are ever-present for both. And so is the pressure to maintain fiscally responsible business continuity in times of economic uncertainty and disruption.

What truly differs among businesses is the availability of resources to monitor and mitigate risks swiftly, strategically, and efficiently. According to the Oxford Economics report, “The Great Connector,”37% of surveyed finance leaders from small and midsize businesses indicated that their teams expect to increase the time spent on such day-to-day tasks. Meanwhile, only 17% use finance and risk management software at scale, and even fewer leverage predictive analytics (9%) and automation technology (8%) such as artificial intelligence,

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Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes speaks during a news conference last week in Kenosha, Wis.

Morry Gash/AP


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Morry Gash/AP

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes speaks during a news conference last week in Kenosha, Wis.

Morry Gash/AP

President Trump visited Wisconsin on Tuesday despite calls from officials, including Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, to stay away.

The president’s trip comes after days of unrest following the police shooting in Kenosha, Wis., of a Black man, Jacob Blake, who remains hospitalized.

It also comes after a white 17-year-old from Illinois, Kyle Rittenhouse, was charged with six criminal counts, including first-degree intentional homicide, in connection with the fatal shooting of two people during protests in Kenosha.

Barnes, a Democrat, talked to NPR’s All Things Considered about why he did not want the president to visit, how he says Republicans are blocking reform efforts, and the use

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BONDY, France (AP) — Festering beneath France’s promise of guaranteed health care for all lie deep disparities across economic and racial lines — differences laid painfully bare by the COVID-19 crisis.



Dr. Idriss Abdallah of the health activism group called Banlieues Sante, left, nurse Caroline Andoum, center, talk inside a tent in Bondy, north of Paris, Thursday Aug. 6, 2020. Festering beneath France's promise of guaranteed health care for all lie deep disparities across economic and racial lines – differences laid painfully bare by the COVID-19 crisis. (AP Photo/Arno Pedram)


© Provided by Associated Press
Dr. Idriss Abdallah of the health activism group called Banlieues Sante, left, nurse Caroline Andoum, center, talk inside a tent in Bondy, north of Paris, Thursday Aug. 6, 2020. Festering beneath France’s promise of guaranteed health care for all lie deep disparities across economic and racial lines – differences laid painfully bare by the COVID-19 crisis. (AP Photo/Arno Pedram)

Two recent studies have documented these gaps, but government officials haven’t issued new proposals in response. However, as France records a new uptick in virus cases, a health advocacy group called Banlieues Santé — Suburbs Health — is trying to help, offering medical care and guidance in poor and migrant-heavy suburbs and neighborhoods.

After

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