Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.

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  • Kristi Noem on Retraction: Kim Jong Un ‘Should Not be in the Book’

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    By Elizabeth Vargas, NewsNation

    Produced by Neil A. Carousso

    • The South Dakota governor avoided directly admitting the claim was untrue
    • She accused tribes of allowing cartels on reservations
    • She defended her decision to shoot and kill her dog

    (NewsNation) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem acknowledged removing a reference to meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from her book, wavering when pressed on whether it was inaccurate during an interview on NewsNation’s “Elizabeth Vargas Reports.”

    Noem, a Republican considered a potential 2024 vice presidential pick, avoided directly admitting the claim was untrue when asked about the retraction. But after numerous follow-ups, the governor said, “This anecdote I should not have put in the book. And I asked (the publishers) to have it taken out, and it is.”

    Noem’s book has faced scrutiny for including the anecdote describing her meeting the North Korean leader while traveling during her days in Congress. After multiple reports raised questions about its accuracy, a spokesperson for her office said Kim “was included in a list of world leaders and shouldn’t have been.”

    The Associated Press noted Noem traveled to China, Japan and South Korea as part of a congressional delegation in 2014.

    Noem defended not initially copping to the inaccuracy, saying, “I don’t talk about personal meetings with world leaders.” She said she “took responsibility for it” and that “the buck stops with me.”

    Mike Pence and Donald Trump

    Vargas asked Noem if former President Mike Pence did the right thing by refusing former President Donald Trump‘s request to reject the 2020 election results. Noem avoided directly answering, saying, “I don’t answer hypothetical questions” because “the law has been changed” since then.

    She also criticized Pence for not endorsing Trump.

    “Mike Pence not endorsing President Trump right now, he’s basically endorsing Joe Biden. And that’s just hard for me to believe,” she said.

    When asked if she’s still in the running to be Trump’s 2024 vice presidential pick after attending a GOP event with potential VP candidates, Noem said, “I don’t know. I’ve told President Trump that he needs to make sure that he picks someone who helps him win.”

    She said she wants Trump “to be successful. I’ll do all I can to be helpful with that.”

    Border, tribal reservations and rural land

    Noem alleged Native American tribal leaders in her state are allowing drug cartels to operate on reservations with impunity, contributing to the national border crisis.

    She said three reservations in South Dakota have banned her from visiting after she said cartels are trafficking drugs and humans from the reservations.

    “We have the cartels set up in South Dakota,” Noem said, adding that a cartel member reportedly kidnapped an FBI agent in the state.

    She accused tribal presidents and councils of protecting the cartels because “I have no jurisdiction there” on reservations. Noem said she has offered to help enforce laws, but tribal leaders retaliated by “banning me” instead of the cartels.

    “Why don’t you ban the cartels, the ones who are trafficking the drugs, who are abusing your children and your women and trafficking them?” Noem challenged.

    Noem said the cartels’ presence shows the border crisis extends beyond southern states, alleging “dangerous criminals” and people on “terrorist watch lists” are entering the U.S. illegally.

    On immigration, Noem backed Trump’s proposal for “the largest deportation in American history” of those who entered illegally. She criticized the Biden administration for “violating federal law” on border security.

    Noem also accused the Chinese government of buying up rural land to control the U.S. food supply, calling it a grave national security threat that must be addressed.

    “Most of our packing plants are owned by Chinese entities or Chinese investors,” Noem stated. “And now they’re coming in and buying up our land as well.”

    She alleged that it is part of China’s long-running strategy to make the U.S. dependent on imported food as a means of control. Noem argued that past policies aimed to ensure America could feed itself for national security reasons.

    “If we think a pandemic was scary, I can’t imagine what it would be like if we let China control our food supply,” she warned. “We should own our land. It’s in our best interest to have small family farms out on the land growing our food for us.”

    Dog story fallout

    Noem stood by her controversial decision to include an anecdote about shooting and killing her family’s dog for poor behavior years ago in her book “No Going Back” despite criticism the story was a political misstep.

    The Republican governor said she wanted to be upfront about the “painful” choice rather than shying away from it like most politicians would.

    “This book is filled with vulnerable stories, painful decisions that I’ve had,” Noem said. “And at that point in time, I had a decision between the protection of my children and the people that were in our lives and a dangerous animal that was killing livestock and attacking people.”

    Noem pushed back on suggestions that rehashing the dog shooting was a political error given polls show 65 million U.S. households own pets. She said most elected officials would “run from the truth” and difficult decisions.

    “I don’t do either of those,” Noem asserted. “I wanted them to know the truth. I wanted them to hear it in my words.”

    NewsNation affiliate The Hill contributed to this report.

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  • Kevin O’Leary: AI bossware can ID protesters and bar them from jobs

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    Produced by Neil A. Carousso, NewsNation

    • Kevin O’Leary says his firms go ‘dark and deep’ on job applicants
    • Anyone ID’d at protests isn’t considered any further
    • Think about your future and your personal brand, he advises

    (NewsNation) — In an interview on NewsNation’s “Elizabeth Vargas Reports” Thursday, “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary said he’s using AI-powered bossware with the ability to weed out potential employees who have participated in pro-Palestinian protests.

    “It’s happening right now as we speak. I’m just one firm doing this,” said O’Leary, who in addition to his experience in business also once campaigned to head Canada’s Conservative Party.

    O’Leary said U.S. employers currently use technology, including high-resolution video scans, for these types of hiring needs. He pointed out that the technology used to identify people in crowds, like college protests, is getting better, which may mean those protesters’ future job prospects could get worse.

    “When we dig deep into the dark web for your background, I’ll see you,” O’Leary said.

    He told Vargas that it was easy for Vietnam War protesters to be anonymous in the age of grainy 16 mm news film. Now, in the world of HD video and identity technology, a job applicant whose image pops up in a protest video would be done.

    “We don’t even consider that person. Why would we when we have lots of other people that aren’t burning stuff?”

    O’Leary said if your passion for a cause is more important than your future career, “Go for it.”

    “I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that. I think you should think about your future. Think about your career. Think about your personal brand,” he said.

    And, he said, think about all the opportunities you’ll never know that you missed.

    “You’ll never know what you didn’t get that loan, or that mortgage, or that job, or get that board seat.”

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  • U.N. Security Council Convenes as Israel Declares War on Hamas

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    By Neil A. Carousso, WCBS New York

    WCBS 880’s Neil A. Carousso talks to CBS News Correspondent Pamela Falk who’s at the United Nations where members of the U.N. Security Council will discuss Hamas’ attacks on Israel and weigh an official condemnation.

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  • Top Business Leader Calls New York’s Post-Pandemic Economy an ‘Industrial Revolution’

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    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York City office occupancy recently surpassed 50 percent for the first time since COVID-19 hit in 2020. That’s positive news for corporate executives, but it does not tell the full story of what’s happening in the city’s economy.

    Kathryn Wylde leads the influential Partnership for New York City business group that represents corporations, including Goldman Sachs, Amazon and JP Morgan Chase & Co., and conducted that office survey. She told the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank, that 82 percent of office workers are now enjoying a hybrid schedule.

    “Prior to the pandemic, we’re talking about maybe 6 percent of the employers allowing people to work remotely,” said Wylde.

    That’s the new normal or what the Partnership for New York City president and CEO labels a new “industrial revolution.”

    “In the 70s, we had a dramatic experience of going from the old industrial economy to the service economy. Well, this is from the service economy to the digital economy. And instead of happening gradually over one or two decades, it happened instantaneously.”

    Wylde noted entire industries have changed to be centered around technology.

    “We have remote education, telemedicine, remote health, we’ve got remote work, remote entertainment, remote cultural experiences,” she said. “All of that has changed and I don’t think we know the implications yet.”

    Wylde, like many traditional business leaders, believes strongly in in-person work, but she acknowledges Zoom has its place.

    “We can fit more into our day when we can do Zoom instead of running to Midtown,” she said. “We just have to learn how to use that tool in a way that doesn’t interfere with building relationships and with the kind of mentoring and support and development that particularly young people need in their careers.”

    Remote work has held back Manhattan’s recovery. The Partnership for New York City sees small and mid-size businesses in the outer boroughs and the suburbs growing at a record clip, but shrinking in Manhattan as rents remain near record highs.

    “We have 32,000 new businesses formed in New York City in the last year. Manhattan’s the only one that didn’t have net growth in new businesses. Most of them are in Queens. Brooklyn is the number one. So, we’re seeing the city as a whole – its neighborhoods, its local business districts across the five boroughs and our surrounding suburbs – the economy’s pretty good,” said Wylde.

    The main reason business groups see growth in the outer boroughs and the suburbs is that remote work has enabled people to shop in their communities during the week. Wylde said she is confident in Manhattan’s resurgence but it may take some time.

    “The value of Midtown properties is going to spring back and it’s not going to be exactly the same as it was pre-pandemic. We’re going to see more residential, I think we know that, and that’s a good thing. It’ll make the streets safer on a 24/7 basis. It’ll bring back customers to local business.”

    Watch the full conversation with Kathryn Wylde on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.

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  • New Yorkers Cheer on Team USA as World Cup Takes Over the Big Apple

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    Executive Produced by Carousso Enterprises, LLC.

    New York, NY — Team USA’s World Cup run was met with great enthusiasm in New York City where soccer is not typically the big draw at the sports bars. But, the atmosphere was electric at Legends NYC Bar & Grill where New Yorkers cheered on the home team.

    Justin Joseph took the temperature of fans during a recent match for NY2C’s On The Call, executive produced by Carousso Enterprises.

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