Joe Biden and Kamala Harris address the nation after being declared winners of 2020 election

first_imgIt was a good, good day. And now it’s going to be a good night. Until now, half the nation is going to be watching not Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the candidates of the opposing party. But their president-elect and vice president-elect. It’s going to be fantastic. So come on in and continue the party in the comments. WILMINGTON, DE - NOVEMBER 04: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks one day after Americans voted in the presidential election, on November 04, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden spoke as votes are still being counted in his tight race against incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump which remains too close to call. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) – Advertisement –center_img After an exhausting week, in which half the nation seemed to be working out the muscles in their mouse-clicking finger in the endless quest for new numbers, Saturday was a glorious day.In just a few minutes, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are finally going to get to deliver the victory speeches they’ve been keeping on ice since Tuesday night. It’s hard to express how great this night feels. It’s unlike the satisfaction of just winning an election. This feels more like the energy of VE Day combined with dancing down the Berlin Wall. A confirmation of humanity. A promise that America not only can be better, it is better than what we’ve seen over the last four year.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Read More →

Ex-GM board member, union leader sentenced to 30 months in prison

first_img“I cannot tell you how ashamed and remorseful I am for what I’ve done,” Ashton said during the hearing. “I betrayed the trust that my union members had in for me for over 50 years, and for that I am genuinely sorry. I take full ownership of my actions and no apology will ever change the damage that I have done.”The charges centered on Ashton’s position overseeing a jointly operated training center with GM known as the Center for Human Resources, which the company dissolved as part of a new labor agreement with the union last year. Ashton oversaw the facility from 2010 to 2014 when he retired from the union.The UAW, in a statement Tuesday, said Ashton’s sentence was “appropriate.” It said his “crimes defy everything we stand for as a union and demonstrate his lack of respect for the oath of office he took and the rank-and-file members he represented.”GM previously called Ashton’s actions “outrageous.” It also reiterated that it “was not aware of his illegal activity until it was recently revealed by the government’s investigation.” Nor was the company aware that “he allegedly continued to benefit from this conduct” while he was a member of the board, it said. Ashton is one of 15 people charged and convicted as part of the federal corruption probe, including two recent UAW presidents and three Fiat Chrysler executives.- Advertisement – Former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton speaks during a GM announcement at a plant in Spring Hill, Tenn. in 2011.GM Former General Motors board member Joe Ashton, a retired United Auto Workers leader, was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison for fraud and money laundering as part of an ongoing federal probe into the union.Ashton, who resigned from the GM board in December 2017 after being linked to the corruption, pleaded guilty to the charges in December as part of a deal with U.S. prosecutors and agreed to forfeit $250,000 he admitted to illegally receiving in bribes and kickbacks.Money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, while the fraud charge could be up to 20 years. However, federal prosecutors suggested his sentence be between 30 and 37 months as part of the plea deal.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Ashton’s wife, one of his four adult sons and a family friend spoke on his behalf during the hearing, which was conducted via Zoom. Dozens of supporters wrote letters on Ashton’s behalf, including one unidentified member of Congress, according to The Detroit News.U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said he took the comments as well as the letters into consideration when determining the sentencing. Ashton will not have to report for incarceration until June 2021 due to the coronavirus. Ashton’s attorney had requested leniency from prison due to the coronavirus pandemic, while prosecutors argued for 37 months due to the financial severity of the crimes. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Read More →

Thailand says its avian flu battle is over

first_imgMay 5, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – After an arduous 10-month battle against the H5N1 avian influenza virus, Thailand has declared itself free of the disease, the Bangkok Post reported today.The country hasn’t identified a human case of H5N1 infection since the death last October of a 14-year-old girl in Sukhothai province, but poultry outbreaks had continued. Yesterday marked the end of a 3-week surveillance period at a farm in Lop Buri, the last place to have reported an H5N1 outbreak, the newspaper said.This is the first time Thailand has been free of avian flu since the disease re-emerged last July, officials told the Post. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives will continue to watch for any re-emergence of the virus, said ministry assistant Charal Trinvuthipong. Officials will continue to conduct bi-weekly checks for avian flu.In addition, the ministry has recruited more than 600 temporary workers to watch for avian flu. They will work in nine northern and central provinces where H5N1 kept reappearing: Ang Thong, Lop Buri, Kampheng Phet, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, and Uttaradit, the Post reported.Along with the surveillance, officials will seek closed-system poultry-raising methods for small-scale farms, said Sudarat Keyuraphan, agriculture and cooperatives minister.The end of the outbreaks is good news for Thailand’s poultry industry. Chicken exports are expected to reach a target of 300,000 tons this year, Anan Sirimongkolkasem, president of the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association, told the Post in a separate story today. That’s nearly a 40% increase over the previous year.Thailand is chiefly shipping cooked products because raw poultry remains banned in major export markets, he said.last_img read more

Read More →

Limits on US distribution of Tamiflu lifted

first_img The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended on Jan 14 that clinicians not prescribe amantadine or rimantadine for the rest of this flu season because the dominant flu strains had become resistant to them. The restrictions were lifted in response to reports of increasing flu outbreaks around the country and the recent revelation of a high rate of resistance to two older antiviral drugs used to treat flu, the company said. Roche announced on Oct 26 the suspension of oseltamivir shipments to US pharmacies in order to prevent hoarding, which the company feared could lead to a shortage during the winter flu season. Officials said there had been a huge spike in demand. “We are prepared to meet seasonal demand for Tamiflu, including any increase stemming from CDC’s recent announcement,” George Abercrombie, president and CEO of Hoffman-La Roche Inc, said in a news release. The company is Roche’s US pharmaceuticals unit, based in Nutley, N.J. The CDC’s latest report said that as of Jan 14 eight states had widespread flu cases and 14 states had regional flu activity. Yesterday the company said that flu activity had reached high levels in about half the country, according to data from its own flu surveillance network, called Flu STAR. On Jan 4 the company said it was resuming distribution of the drug to wholesalers in US cities hit by flu outbreaks, mainly in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Oregon, Nevada, and Kansas. Jan 25, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Roche announced yesterday it was again shipping its antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to all US markets, lifting restrictions imposed last fall because of concern about people hoarding the drug out of fear of a potential influenza pandemic. Health officials believe that oseltamivir and zanamivir (Relenza) could be of some use if the H5N1 avian flu virus evolves into a pandemic virus. The United States and many other countries are stockpiling the two antivirals against the threat of a pandemic.last_img read more

Read More →

Global avian flu pledge money slow to arrive

first_imgJun 5, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Key global organizations that are fighting the battle against avian influenza may have to cut some programs, because only $286 million of the $1.9 billion pledged by 34 countries in January has been delivered, news services have reported.Only Japan ($158 million), Switzerland ($4.7 million), Finland ($3.4 million), and the Czech Republic ($200,000) have contributed all the funds that they had pledged during a 2-day donor conference in Beijing in January, according to an Associated Press story yesterday. The United States has delivered on $71 million of its $334 million pledge, according to reports.All the figures are from a World Bank donor survey and draft report that was written for the Influenza Partners’ Senior Officials Meeting, to be held in Vienna Jun 6 and 7. The report was obtained by news services yesterday.In the Beijing conference declaration in January (see link below), donor nations pledged: “We agree to take vigorous prevention, mitigation, emergency preparedness, and rapid response measures in the short term together with actions over the longer term to prevent and control the spread of HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] in the poultry and related industries and prevent human exposure to the infected birds.”But their slow response in fulfilling pledges to fight avian flu may mean that key organizations receiving the funding—such as the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Health Organization (WHO)—may need to cut back on their efforts, according to news services.”The present shortage of funds means the global response is bound to be patchy,” David Nabarro, UN senior coordinator for avian and pandemic influenza, said in a Bloomberg news report published today. “It means that national governments can’t rely on getting help when they need it from a strong and well-prepared UN system.”The WHO, and, to a lesser extent, the FAO, are so strapped for cash that it’s going to be very difficult for them to maintain the current level of response to urgent calls for help from countries trying to control H5N1,” Nabarro told Bloomberg.The WHO has received about $20 million of $77 million pledged, according to Bloomberg. Speaking of the WHO’s recent responses to human H5N1 outbreaks in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iraq, Djibouti, and Indonesia, WHO senior adviser Paul Gully told Bloomberg, “The ability to maintain that level of response with that sophistication with that number of experts is going to be a challenge.”And without adequate funding, the Paris-based OIE will be forced to pare back its activities, such as training government officials, according to OIE Director-General Bernard Vallat, as reported in today’s Bloomberg story.”We’d reduce our ambitions,” which may mean that the disease could become endemic in some countries, he told Bloomberg. This scenario, he said, would ultimately cost more money and require more veterinarians to address.At the Vienna meeting, the OIE, FAO, and a group representing African governments will seek $500 million to raise the continent’s veterinary and animal standards over the next 3 years, Vallat said in the Bloomberg report.The nations due to receive the largest amounts of promised funds, according to a Jun 4 Reuters story that quotes the World Bank report, are Vietnam ($66 million), Indonesia ($55 million), Nigeria ($51 million), Turkey ($46 million), and Cambodia ($23 million).last_img read more

Read More →

Norovirus outbreak tied to Texas oysters

first_imgMar 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Following 25 cases of norovirus infection in people who ate raw oysters from San Antonio Bay in Texas, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against eating raw oysters taken from the bay after Feb 1.The patients ate raw oysters at a Maryland event the weekend of Feb 9 to 11, the FDA said in a Mar 2 news release. Patients tested by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene were found to have the virus.The implicated oyster beds were closed by the Texas Department of Health Services Feb 24 and remain closed, officials said.Two seafood distributors—Bayview Seafood, Seadrift, Tex., and Rose Bay Oyster Co., Swanquarter, N.C.—issued recalls in late February as a result of the outbreak, the FDA reported. Rose Bay mislabeled oysters from San Antonio Bay, indicating they were from Galveston Bay instead. Osyters with tags that read “Gal 1, 2/2/07″ are subject to recall.People who ate oyster products served in restaurants after Feb 1 and had symptoms suggesting norovirus are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider and local health department, the FDA said. Symptoms typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps; other possible symptoms are low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue.Norovirus contamination in oysters is not unusual, according to Craig Hedberg, PhD, a foodborne disease expert and associate professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.”Oysters are filter feeders and do concentrate things in water,” which can include noroviruses from sewage that has been discharged into the ocean, Hedberg told CIDRAP News.”There are a number of people who have tried to decontaminate oysters by flushing them with fresh water, but norovirus will bind to oyster tissues and won’t be flushed out,” he said.The FDA said people with weakened immune systems and those who have liver, stomach, or blood disorders; cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease; or a history of chronic alcohol abuse should never eat raw oysters, regardless of where they come from. Thorough cooking destroys noroviruses and other pathogens.See also:Mar 2 FDA news release with guidance on safe cooking of oystershttp://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01579.htmllast_img read more

Read More →

Mexico’s first swine flu case surfaced in mid-March

first_imgMay 1, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The first person in Mexico to have a confirmed case of swine influenza H1N1 fell ill on Mar 17, only 11 days before the first case on the American side of the border, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported yesterday in a profile of Mexico’s flu outbreak.The report also suggests that the relatively high proportion of severe cases reported in Mexico mainly reflects the reality that sicker patients are more likely to receive medical care and testing.In an MMWR Dispatch, the CDC said Mexico had a total of 1,918 suspected swine flu cases between Mar 1 and Apr 30, including 286 probable cases and 97 confirmed. A total of 84 deaths were reported in that period, the report said, but only 7 deaths were in confirmed cases.The latest World Health Organization update on the global swine flu situation, issued this afternoon, says Mexico has had 156 cases with 9 deaths.The first Mexican patient who had a confirmed case said symptoms began Mar 17. The first US case was in a 9-year-old girl in Imperial County, Calif., who got sick with a fever on Mar 28, the CDC reported earlier. The second US case involved a 10-year-old boy in neighboring San Diego County who fell ill on Mar 30.Mexico first notified international health officials of a potentially worrisome outbreak on Apr 12, when it told the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) about cases in a small community in Veracruz state, the CDC report says.”On Apr 17, a case of atypical pneumonia in Oaxaca state prompted enhanced surveillance throughout Mexico,” the CDC said. Six days after that, the government informed the PAHO that it had several severe respiratory illness cases known to involve the new virus.Detailed information was available on only 24 of the confirmed case-patients at the time of the CDC report. They ranged in age from less than 1 year to 59 years; 4 patients were between 5 and 19 years, 9 were between 19 and 39, and 6 were between 40 and 59.Suspected and probable cases were reported in all 31 Mexican states and the Federal District, the report says. “Several findings indicate that transmission in Mexico involved person-to-person spread with multiple generations of transmission.”Since most cases elsewhere have been mild, the severe cases in Mexico have caused intense speculation and concern. The CDC report does not explain the mystery, but it says it appears that the new virus is widespread and that less severe illness is common.”To date, case-finding in Mexico has focused on patients seeking care in hospitals, and the selection of cases for laboratory testing has focused on patients with severe disease,” the article states. “Therefore, a large number of undetected cases of illness might exist in persons seeking care in primary care settings or not seeking care at all.”At the same time, the CDC says the clinical spectrum of the new flu in Mexico “is not well characterized” and further investigation is urgently needed.CDC. Outbreak of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection—Mexico, March-April 2009. MMWR Dispatch 2009 Apr 30;58 [Full text]See also: Apr 21 CIDRAP News story “Human swine flu cases with unique strain raise concern”last_img read more

Read More →

Valamar Riviera has published the Integrated Annual Report and Corporate Social Responsibility for 2018

first_imgValamar Riviera yesterday published the Integrated Annual Report and Corporate Social Responsibility for 2018. For the fourth year in a row, Valamar integrated business reporting with sustainability reporting in an integrated report, following the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI standards) in order to better manage business activities in a sustainable way. Side dish: VALAMAR RIVIERA – INTEGRIRANO GODIŠNJE IZVJEŠĆE I DRUŠTVENO ODGOVORNO POSLOVANJE 2018 Valamar has developed nine umbrella programs for socially responsible business, for which it targets a minimum of 2,5% of revenues annually. In 2018, almost twice as much was invested in these umbrella programs, 4,9% of revenues or HRK 101 million. The integrated annual report can be downloaded in the attachment. Yesterday, Valamar Riviera published the Integrated Annual Report and Corporate Social Responsibility for 2018, and a decision was made at the General Assembly to pay dividends to shareholders.center_img Na jučeršnjoj održanoj Glavnoj Skupštini donesena je odluka da će se dioničarima Valamar Riviere isplatiti dividenda u iznosu od 1 kune po svakoj dionici. Dioničarima koji to žele, četvrtina pripadajuće dividende može biti isplaćena u pravima – dionicama Valamar Riviere.  Decision on dividend payment to shareholders last_img read more

Read More →

Air New Zealand has introduced edible coffee cups to reduce waste

first_imgThe transition to plant-based cups is expected to prevent about 15 million pieces of waste per year. The airline’s plan is to perfect edible cups and make them a sustainable long-term product that will serve its passengers. Source / photo: NZ Herald; Twiice Twiice co-founder Jamie Cashmore believes edible cups will play a big role in demonstrating the possibilities of new and innovative packaging methods. “It is amazing that Air New Zealand has partnered with us to prove to its customers and the world how a little ingenuity and innovation can have a very positive impact on the environment, while providing a great and delicious experience to the customer.He said. Air New Zealand has begun trying edible cups of vanilla-flavored coffee for travelers in an effort to reduce waste. Passengers will be served coffee in airtight cups in airtight cups, which can be eaten after consuming the drink, reports NZ Herald. The airline serves over eight million cups of coffee a year. Since they were introduced, “edible cups are a hit among travelersSaid Niki Chave, Air New Zealand’s customer experience manager. “We are partnering with the innovative New Zealand company Twiice to explore the future of edible coffee cups, which are waterproof and vanilla flavoredHe added. In addition to coffee consumption, cups can also be used as dessert bowls.last_img read more

Read More →

Founders backed freedom to worship

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOn Jan. 20, Paul Deierlein commented that separation between church and state were a good thing because it would keep “each institution functioning fully independently of one another. …”  He quoted John Adams saying that the government of the United States was not “in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” Where these statements are correct, it would be wise not to conflate a secular government with a secular society. Adams and the founders had experienced the abuses to society wrought by King George because religion and the state were entwined in England. Our First Amendment was intended to prevent such abuses, with a secular government ruling and guiding a religious people. Thomas Jefferson himself worshiped in the “Hall of Representatives” and in the Supreme Court building.Establishment of religion, often called “endorsement” today, was forbidden only to Congress through enacted laws. There was never any prohibition against a display of religion in a statesman.In fact, the same letter mentioning “a wall of separation” has Jefferson admit that he only occasionally presented “performances of devotion, presented indeed legally … but subject here, as religious exercise, only to the voluntary regulations and disciplines of each respective sect “ In other words, he was free to worship subject only to the “disciplines” of his own church.  Adams also said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, our second president, also served as chairman of the American Bible Society.Dave HartLathamMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesAlbany County warns of COVID increaseEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Read More →