The Wrap

Keira Knightley Drops Out of Apple Series ‘Essex Serpent’ Over COVID-Related Child-Care Concerns

Keira Knightley has pulled out of Apple TV+ series “The Essex Serpent” ahead of its production start in the U.K. due to coronavirus-related child-care concerns.A representative for Knightley, who was going to both star on and executive produce the adaptation of Sarah Perry’s novel, said in a statement to TheWrap on Monday, “Keira had to unfortunately pull out of the Essex Serpent due to family reasons. As the Covid cases increase in the UK and additional lockdown and restriction rules are potentially being imposed, with so many unknowns, there wasn’t a comfortable scenario for Keira that could be put in place for an extended period of child care required for the 4.5 month production.”The 35-year-old actress has two daughters with her husband, James Righton: 5-year-old Edie and 13-month-old Delilah.Apple TV+ ordered “The Essex Serpent” to series at the end of August with Knightley attached as star and EP. The streaming service has now delayed the start of production on the project in order to find a new leading lady, an individual with knowledge tells TheWrap.Also Read: ‘Dickinson’ Gets Season 2 Premiere Date, Season 3 Renewal at Apple TV+ (Video)Representatives for Apple TV+ and Knightley did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.“The Essex Serpent” follows newly widowed Cora (meant to be played by Knightley) who, having being released from an abusive marriage, relocates from Victorian London to the small village of Aldwinter in Essex, intrigued by a local superstition that a mythical creature known as the Essex Serpent has returned to the area.The series is set to be directed by Clio Barnard (“The Selfish Giant,” “The Arbor”). Anna Symon (“Deep Water,” “Mrs Wilson”) will serve as lead writer. Excluding Knightley, executive producers include  Jamie

Three years since the Tubbs fire, there have been some notable improvements for homeowners who are wrangling with their insurance carriers in the aftermath of a wildfire loss.

The state Legislature enacted some reforms, such as boosting rental living expenses from a maximum of two years to three years after a disaster while a homeowner waits for their home to be rebuilt. Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that required carriers to provide initial payments of at least 25% of their personal property that was destroyed without having the homeowner detail their entire inventory.

Yet there is still no solution for the most vexing problem of all: How to ensure that homeowners have sufficient coverage to rebuild their house and that they actually receive that amount?

In California, the onus is on the homeowner to ensure they have the right coverage amount to rebuild — a figure that only a local contractor would likely know. And most residents don’t reach out to a builder when pricing or updating their coverage.

That was proven after the 2017 wildfires when a survey by the consumer group United Policyholders found about two-thirds of those fire victims were underinsured — with some in pricey Fountaingrove facing a shortfall of more than $1 million. That number likely hasn’t changed much, said Amy Bach, executive director of the San Francisco-based consumer group. It is a cold reality that will soon be discovered by hundreds of homeowners in the wake of the Glass fire, which destroyed or damaged about 800 single-family homes.

“At this point, I’m convinced that insurers don’t want to solve the problem,” Bach said.

As the problem lingers, a Santa Rosa firm is attempting to help homeowners protect themselves. BW Builder Inc. assists homeowners in the aftermath of a fire by preparing detailed

From Men’s Health

When I put on a new smartwatch, one of the first things I do is try to figure out what exactly the device is built to do. Some have a narrow focus for one particular type of user, while others try to check every single box for the masses.

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men’s Health

The latest entry in Garmin’s Forerunner line, the 745, is squarely in the former category. The device has a basic design and features clearly tailored to serious athletes—or aspiringly serious athletes, at least—looking for a new tool to help fine-tune their training plan. Garmin is crystal clear about exactly what type of activity the device is made for too, marketing it explicitly as a triathlon companion. The company is mostly successful in its aims here, and the 745 quickly became a solid tracking partner for my workouts and beyond over the week-long test period.

The 745 serves well in its most basic function, as a watch. The casing is lighter than some other heavy-duty trackers, like the Suunto 9 or Garmin’s own Fenix 6. My test unit came in red, which makes it great for runners, but a bit bold if you want to dress it up for wear.

Garmin’s OS, which I’ve grown more accustomed to after testing the excellent Venu for three months and making the Fenix 6 my everyday wear for most of the summer, is one of the best. Rather than overwhelming the wearer with menu upon menu of smart features, the most essential functions are available with just a few presses of a button. Training data is clearly accessible right on your wrist, and broken down into easily understood categories.

The preset watch face provides uncluttered essential data at a glance. More faces are available from a separate Garmin

Orlando Sentinel readers called into the Ask an Expert hotline last week seeking free advice from certified financial planners about retirement, investing and other money matters.

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The event, held Oct. 4 this year, is sponsored annually by the Financial Planning Association of Central Florida and the Orlando Sentinel. Look for the Ask an Expert feature each Monday on the Sentinel’s Central Florida Business page.

Here is a sampling of questions and answers from the hotline.

Q: When COVID-19 hit, I quit my job working in the schools since I have pre-existing conditions. I only have $16,000 in savings and receive $1,200 a month in Social Security benefits. My expenses are between $3,300-$3,600 a month, including a mortgage payment of about $1,200. I also lease my car at $400 a month. What advice would you give me to help get closer to actually retiring? — N.W., Clermont

A: First, I would consider downsizing your home, so you have a lower monthly mortgage payment or pay even less by renting. Consider getting rid of the leased car and look for a lower-cost vehicle. Look for a job where you can work from home, so you don’t have to put yourself at risk and can earn some extra income. It will be tough, but go over every item in your budget and see what is essential, what can be cut, and where you can save. — Marisa Bradbury, Sigma Investment Counselors, (888) 718-1132

Q: I have two cemetery plots in another state purchased many years ago. I will not need them. Can I give these to the church and receive a charitable deduction? — J.M., Winter Garden

A: Yes, but the effort involved may be more than you’re expecting. If the plots are selling for more than $5,000 you will have

By Elisa Anzolin and Gavin Jones

ROME/MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s love affair with cash is fading. The coronavirus is turning Italians off notes and coins and the government is launching a raft of incentives to accelerate the trend, believing plastic payment can curb rampant tax evasion.

The Treasury estimates some 109 billion euros of tax is evaded annually, equal to about 21% of the revenue actually collected. The government believes the problem can be tackled by boosting digital payments which, unlike cash, leave a trace.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is offering refunds on some money spent electronically, tax breaks for outlets with card machines and a new 50-million euro ($58.93 million) state lottery for card users only.

The coronavirus, which forced the government to lock down the economy between March and May, is helping his efforts.

“We have seen a surge in digital payments since the lockdown, I think mainly because of people not wanting to touch notes and coins,” says Cinzia Di Siena, who has run a pharmacy in southern Rome for the last 13 years.

A study published last week by credit association Assofin, market research firm Nomisma and pollster Ipsos said the lockdown was a “major occasion for Italians to try out non-cash payments,” with almost eight out of 10 making purchases online.

It reported that 31% of Italians increased their use of e-commerce during the lockdown, versus 23% of respondents in the United States, 18% in Germany and 16% in Britain.

Despite the recent trend, Italy is nowhere near the level of cashless purchases seen in much of northern Europe. European Central Bank data shows card payments in Italy last year accounted for 12.3% of GDP, versus a euro zone average of 16.6%.

CASH PRICE OR CARD PRICE?

Many Italian market stalls and taxi drivers will