November 21, 2020
  • 5:34 am Biden Makes Gains in Key States as Anxious Nation Awaits Winner
  • 5:34 am Storm Eta: ‘We have nothing… I am in pain’
  • 5:29 am Rekucci Comfy Slip-On Pants Are the Next Best Thing to Sweats
  • 5:27 am Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price: Breaking down the ‘big three’ ahead of Grand Slam | Darts News
  • 5:26 am Biden Plans to Move Fast With a ‘Climate Administration.’ Here’s How.

first_imgFor all of his complaints, Mr. Trump has only himself and his own party to blame for the delayed vote count in a number of states.State and local Republican officials refused to let localities tally mail-in votes before Tuesday in some states. And because of Mr. Trump’s monthslong attacks on mail ballots, more Democrats than Republicans voted in that fashion, which has allowed Mr. Biden to pick up the bulk of the votes arriving in the mail. Hours later, in a stunning news conference, Mr. Trump lied about the vote-counting underway in several states, conjuring up a conspiracy of “legal” and “illegal” ballots being tabulated and claiming without evidence that states were trying to deny him re-election.“They’re trying to steal an election, they’re trying to rig an election,” the president said from the White House briefing room. He also baselessly suggested nefarious behavior in Philadelphia and Detroit, cities that he called “two of the most corrupt political places.”Mr. Trump’s remarks, mostly read off notes, were at times more valedictory than defiant. Far from insisting that he would stay in power, he used much of his appearance to complain about pre-election polls, demonize the news media and try to put the best face on Tuesday’s results, trumpeting his party’s congressional gains. He did not take questions from reporters.- Advertisement – He urged calm and emphasized that “each ballot must be counted.”- Advertisement – Mr. Biden’s advantage in Arizona, a state The Associated Press has already called for the former vice president, narrowed as thousands of votes were tabulated. But in Georgia and Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump saw his early advantage dwindle as mail-in ballots were counted.Until Mr. Trump’s remarks on Thursday night, he had not appeared in public since he used a middle-of-the-night appearance Wednesday to insist he had already won. But he has posted angry Twitter messages, and he continued to do so Thursday.“All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud,” he said in one message, without elaborating on what precisely that would involve. “STOP THE COUNT!” he exclaimed in another tweet.Rebuking the president, Twitter labeled some of the messages “disputed” and said they “might be misleading about an election or other civic process.”In any event, stopping the count now would only ensure that Mr. Biden wins the presidency, because he is leading in Arizona and Nevada — states that together would give him 270 electoral votes.The presidential contest was not the only tight race drawing attention. A key Georgia Senate race that could decide the majority in the chamber grew even closer as Senator David Perdue, a Republican, saw his vote share slip under 50 percent in his race against Jon Ossoff, a Democrat. If neither wins a majority, the race would head to a January runoff, setting up the prospect of a hotly contested battle for two Senate seats in Georgia. A runoff is already planned in the special election for the state’s other seat. Joseph R. Biden Jr. gained ground in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia on Thursday as the slow-moving vote count in those contested battleground states moved him closer to capturing an electoral majority and defeating President Trump.As an anxious country waited to learn the winner, the two candidates emerged toward day’s end to make remarks that were dramatically different in tone and content.- Advertisement – Georgia’s Republican Party has said it plans to bring up to a dozen lawsuits in the state.In Arizona, Mr. Biden’s lead was down to about 46,000 votes, significantly less than it was on election night. There are several hundred thousand ballots left to count, with many coming from Phoenix’s Maricopa County, which was expected to release an update on Thursday evening.Adrian Fontes, the Democrat who oversees elections in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, said that officials would continue to release updates daily at 7 p.m. Eastern, including over the weekend.“We’re plugging along and making it happen,” Mr. Fontes said. The vote count in Maricopa has grown tense, however, since several armed protesters showed up at the county office Wednesday night. On Thursday afternoon, about 200 supporters of Mr. Trump also gathered in front of the headquarters of the Arizona Republican Party after a protest earlier in the day involving about 50 Trump supporters dissipated in front of City Hall in Phoenix.Some in the crowd held signs reading “Don’t Steal Elections,” “Shame on Fox News” and “Recall Fontes.” (Fox News called Arizona for Mr. Biden on Tuesday night, inflaming Trump supporters.)Mr. Biden led by just over 11,000 votes in Nevada, but local officials in Las Vegas announced Thursday that 51,000 ballots from Clark County there were being tallied and would be announced Friday. Mr. Biden was winning the county by about eight percentage points. If he wins the bulk of the new votes, it would make it almost impossible for Mr. Trump to take the state, because about 70 percent of Nevada’s voters live in Clark County. In a brief appearance before reporters in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden said he remained confident that he would ultimately prevail but did not lay claim to the White House.“Democracy’s sometimes messy,” said Mr. Biden, who remained ahead in Arizona Thursday night but lost some ground there. “It sometimes requires a little patience as well. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that’s been the envy of the world.” For its part, publicly and privately, the Biden campaign spent much of Thursday trying to tamp down expectations about the certainty of results in individual states, even as his supporters were on edge when the margins turned out to be far closer than many had expected.In a briefing with reporters, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, acknowledged that his leads in Arizona and Nevada might tighten or otherwise fluctuate. It was a departure from her position the day earlier when she referred to a “historic victory in a place like Arizona,” though she still expressed optimism about victories in both states.“We do expect, similar to Nevada, that some of the margin will continue to close today,” she said of Arizona, a state she has focused on for months. “The story of Arizona is one where Joe Biden is going to win, but it’s going to take us time and patience as we go through the counting.”“The story of today,” she said at another point, “is going to be a very positive story for the vice president, but also one where folks are going to need to stay patient and stay calm.”Reporting was contributed by Catie Edmondson in Washington, Nick Corasaniti in Philadelphia, Richard Fausset in Atlanta, and Jennifer Medina and Simon Romero in Phoenix. In his speech, Mr. Trump expressed no concern about the protracted vote count in Arizona, a state where he has been cutting into Mr. Biden’s lead as more ballots are tabulated.Republican leaders offered no immediate response to Mr. Trump’s remarks, but a small group of maverick lawmakers in the party denounced his comments, seeking to reassure voters that there was no reason to believe the integrity of the election had been undermined.Representative Adam Kinzinger, Republican of Illinois and a frequent critic of Mr. Trump, offered the sharpest rebuke, saying “this is getting insane” and demanding that the president stop “spreading debunked misinformation.”Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, wrote, “There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process.”Yet there were also Republican lawmakers who rushed to Mr. Trump’s defense, siding with him in falsely asserting that the vote counting was illegal and Democrats were trying to cheat. “Radical Dems tried to do away with law and order and are now trying to do away with law and order at the ballot box,” wrote Representative Roger Williams of Texas.center_img Updated Nov. 5, 2020, 8:30 p.m. ET On Thursday, an array of Mr. Trump’s political surrogates fanned out to some of the contested states to rally his supporters. And the president’s lawyers filed lawsuits in several states questioning the integrity of the vote count in hopes of slowing down the process. With the counting proceeding slowly in the West, much of the focus on Thursday fell on Pennsylvania, where a victory would deliver Mr. Biden the presidency no matter the results in the other states, the top election official in the state said on Thursday evening that counties were “still counting” and did not offer any timetable for when the tally would be complete.Mr. Trump’s lead in the state was shrinking as mail-in ballots were counted in the heavily Democratic cities and suburbs.The two parties held dueling news conferences in Philadelphia early in the day, with Mr. Trump’s supporters insisting his lead would hold statewide and the city’s Democrats, led by former Representative Robert A. Brady, unveiling an analysis of the remaining vote count that concluded Mr. Biden would win Pennsylvania convincingly.In Georgia, the counting of ballots in numerous counties continued to erode Mr. Trump’s advantage in the traditionally Republican state: By Thursday night, he was leading by about 2,500 votes out of nearly five million cast.Tens of thousands of ballots remained to be counted in the state late in the day, including many in Chatham County, a Democratic-leaning county along the Georgia coast that is home to Savannah, and many thousands more from Atlanta-area counties that also lean Democratic. He suffered two legal setbacks on Thursday when judges in Georgia and Michigan ruled against his campaign. But Mr. Trump notched a minor victory in Pennsylvania when a state appellate court acceded to its request to force Philadelphia election officials to grant its election observers better access to areas where workers are counting ballots. With the world watching to see if one of the most unusual presidencies in the country’s history was coming to an end, America’s patchwork of electoral laws created a confusing and angst-inducing day for both parties, to say nothing of millions of Americans eager for the campaign’s conclusion. As part of the effort to sow doubt on the state’s election, Mr. Trump’s Nevada state director sent a letter to supporters on Thursday asking them “to go on camera/on the record with the issues they faced voting this election” to “expose issues we are seeing at polling locations/clerks offices.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

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first_imgStorm Eta kills at least 50 in Guatemala Dozens of people have lost their lives in landslides in Guatemala, following torrential rain and high winds caused by Storm Eta.It first hit Nicaragua as a Category Four hurricane with winds of 140mph (225km/h) before later being downgraded to a tropical storm.- Advertisement – Eta is believed to have killed more than 70 people across the Central American region, the Reuters news agency reports.Read more: – Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img

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first_imgUs Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services.When we make plans to see friends, we’re usually pretty pumped — especially these days. But then, right before we need to start getting dressed, the thought of our comfy couch and sweats suddenly seems far more appealing.- Advertisement – Listen, we’ve all bailed once or twice — but making a habit out of it likely isn’t the best idea. No one wants to be the friend with the reputation of bailing at the last minute! That’s why we found an amazing solution that can at least help out in the comfort department. Allow Us to explain…Rekucci Women's Ease into Comfort Boot Cut PantRekucci Women’s Ease into Comfort Boot Cut Pant (Navy Tartan) AmazonSee it!Get the Rekucci Women’s Ease into Comfort Boot Cut Pant for prices starting at $30, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 12, 2020, but are subject to change.- Advertisement – Get the Rekucci Women’s Ease into Comfort Boot Cut Pant for prices starting at $30, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 12, 2020, but are subject to change.The best part? Well, there are so many color options and prints available. There’s a pair of these pants to suit anyone’s personal tastes — from bright and bold hues, to sleek muted shades. Currently, there are over 7,000 shoppers who stand by these bad boys, so it’s safe to say they’re the real deal. Even on your laziest of days, these pants will get you out the door in style!See it: Get the Rekucci Women’s Ease into Comfort Boot Cut Pant for prices starting at $30, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, November 12, 2020, but are subject to change.Not what you’re looking for? Check out more styles from Rekucci and shop all of the clothing, shoes and jewelry available at Amazon! Don’t forget to check out all of Amazon’s Daily Deals here!Check out more of our picks and deals here!This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as face masks, self tanners, Lululemon-style leggings and all the best gifts for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping! These pants may appear to be legitimate slacks when you see them, but that’s all part of the illusion! They’re actually made from a stretchy knit material that looks deceivingly like a pair of professional pants. They have a slip-on style and fit mid-rise on the hips, and while they may be slightly tighter than traditional sweats, they essentially feel like leggings on top and flares on the bottom.To take it a step further, these pants even have stitching that mimic the appearance of pockets in the front. Then, there’s also stitching that’s designed to look like a zipper! These dainty details make a truly convincing case that the pants are dressy enough to wear out for a multitude of occasions.Rekucci Women's Ease into Comfort Boot Cut PantRekucci Women’s Ease into Comfort Boot Cut Pant (Burgundy) AmazonSee it!- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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first_img– Advertisement – Gerwyn Price has more PDC titles than anyone else this year – he heads to the Grand Slam of Darts having won it for the last two years – Advertisement – – Advertisement – The best of the action from the final at the World Grand Prix in Coventry “I’m not going to be ageist here, but he’s 15 years younger than Peter Wright,” said Mardle. “Most people may think it’s nonsense, it’s darts. I can tell you it matters. I don’t feel the same as when I was 35, 12 years down the line I’m not the same human being.“I’ve had chats with him before where we’ve spent time away doing exhibitions and corporate gigs, he’s like ‘Wayne I want to take this for all it’s got, I can’t believe I’m making a living playing darts, this is amazing’, and as a sport he said ‘I never thought that I’d play it professionally so I’m just going to keep turning up and keep trying to win and go home and repeat the process’, and I admire that.”Price initially appeared to struggle with the more sterile behind-closed-doors environment as he suffered an early exit in July’s World Matchplay, but he has adapted magnificently to rediscover the winning formula and Mardle has paid tribute to the consistent intensity of his performances.“The way he plays with that aggression and emotion is tiring, so for him to keep doing it takes some mental strength.“His game in general is very, very good, but it’s his will to win. He absolutely thrives on that thought of winning and if you listen to him like at the Grand Prix, he never once spoke of winning until he won. 2:45 Gerwyn Price has more PDC titles than anyone else this year – he heads to the Grand Slam of Darts having won it for the last two years 0:40 Simon Whitlock thrashed defending champion Michael van Gerwen to reach the World Grand Prix semi-finals As a shortened PDC season enter its conclusion, change could be in the offing among the top-three ranked-players with the Grand Slam of Darts and World Darts Championship on the horizon.An out-of-sorts Michael van Gerwen finds his once-unassailable dominance as world No 1 under threat from ever-present world champion Peter Wright and the man playing arguably the best darts on the planet right now in Gerwyn Price.Whether it be debutant winners at the Premier League and World Matchplay in Glen Durrant and Dimitri Van den Bergh, respectively, or an unlikely World Grand Prix finalist in Dirk van Duijvenbode, crowdless darts amid the coronavirus pandemic has continued to surprise. But Wayne Mardle believes the leading trio will again be the ones to beat come the Grand Slam. 6Peter Wright Peter Wright hit a nine-darter during his Premier League match against Daryl Gurney on Night 11 and it clearly meant a lot to the world champion ‘Snakebite’ also won two Players Championship events over the summer, as well as reaching the Premier League Play-Offs where he was beaten by Nathan Aspinall, and Mardle believes the Grand Slam format will play to the Scot’s strengths.“His leg-on-leg ability and concentration, his leg-on-leg pressure that he applies to an opponent will work over a longer distance rather than a short one, which is what we saw in the World Championship final against Michael van Gerwen,” said Mardle.“He was just constantly hitting big shots every leg, every set and it’s not surprising he beat Michael over the format and we’ve seen Peter Wright reach the final here twice over the last three years, lost to Michael van Gerwen and Gerwyn Price.“On that day last year Gerwyn Price reached 107 point something, he was unplayable. I remember Peter Wright said ‘I did well to win six’. It was an incredible performance.“But Peter Wright gets to the latter stages of these long-winded events a lot because he’s very good leg in, leg out. To beat him over a long format you’ve got to do a lot right very, very often.”The world champion has notoriously been an ever-present on the circuit throughout the last few years, but he opted to miss two European Tour events last month and also sat out last weekend’s World Cup in Salzburg, a decision which Mardle thinks could pay dividends.“If he can pick and choose between World Cups and Winter Series and get himself absolutely bang on for the Grand Slam then he’s doing the right thing by his mind and you have to be mentally fit to be able to compete.“If Peter Wright by missing some of the events thinks he has more of a chance to win the bigger ones then good on him. I think he’s doing it right, because I don’t think playing every event is the way forward.” 8Gerwyn Price 2Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen, Live Grand Slam of Darts November 16, 2020, 1:00pmLive on center_img PDC Titles 2021 Season Simon Whitlock thrashed defending champion Michael van Gerwen to reach the World Grand Prix semi-finals “The composure that you think is there on dart one disappears for dart two and returns for dart three. His emotions must be everywhere with that and that’s a horrible feeling. You think you’re in control, you’re not and then that wave passes and you feel good again. That is not pleasant.”Van Gerwen is no stranger to Grand Slam success, scooping the coveted title in three consecutive years between 2015 and 2017, and Mardle believes the elongated format could alleviate some of the pressure currently on the Dutchman’s shoulders.“This is a good event for him to see where his game is at because come quarter-finals, semi-finals the formats are long enough to build up a lead where you don’t actually get put under pressure.“You can win the Grand Slam without being under the cosh so this will be a real good yardstick of where his game is at and I’m intrigued to see what happens. Michael van Gerwen is a champion because when he is playing near his best his best is so far better than anybody else’s.”Follow the action from the Grand Slam with all nine days covered on Sky Sports Arena – and if you are out and about updates via our live blogs and @SkySportsDarts for regular updates Michael Smith The winning machineA rampant Price enters the tournament a newly-crowned World Cup champion, the reigning World Grand Prix champion and World Series champion, having also added an eighth PDC title of 2020 with victory on Day Three of the Winter Series. 0:56 The best of the action from the final at the World Grand Prix in Coventry Gerwyn Price is eyeing future titles after winning the World Grand Prix “It was ‘do you believe you can win?’ and it was like ‘well of course I do but there a lot of people doing that so I’ll just keep ploughing on’, and that’s where he doesn’t get ahead of himself. He knows he can win because he’s done it before and done it again and now he’s continuing to do it on a more-than-regular basis.“I just think you’re never over the line against him because he has got those battling qualities. He’s very, very good under pressure. He has little dips in games, of course he does, but I think when he’s on he’s more of an imposing character than absolutely anybody in the game.”The world No 1It seems almost unfathomable that Van Gerwen does not begin a major tournament as an overwhelming favourite, but that is reflective of his barren run which has seen him fail to reach a televised final in his last five major events.Van Gerwen’s last major triumph came at the UK Open prior to lockdown, but since the restart he has struggled to produce the goods. By his exceptional standards he endured a nightmare Premier League campaign, and now faces a fight to maintain his world No 1 status over the coming months.“Michael is probably in as worse shape mentally, and I’m going to say physically now as well with his back problem that hindered him at the World Cup, that he’s been in since 2012. If he plays well, I think he wins,” admitted Mardle.“The chances of him playing somewhere near his best are quite remote because when he’s looked good he’s looked a million dollars, but his ‘B’ game has just deserted him completely. He gets flustered that little bit easier. 4Michael van Gerwen 1:19 Peter Wright hit a nine-darter during his Premier League match against Daryl Gurney on Night 11 and it clearly meant a lot to the world champion “Michael van Gerwen is kind of a worry with his back but I think there’s a few in there that can live with them as well,” said Mardle.“Obviously you’re going to have Michael Smith, Nathan Aspinall, Gary Anderson. James Wade will come into that argument as well because we know what James is like, he’s a difficult customer to deal with.“If you are going to pick out three players that can be head and shoulders above the rest, it’s those three. They are one, two and three in the world for a reason. What order one, two and three are going to be after the Worlds we don’t know.“But going into the Grand Slam, Michael van Gerwen won’t be feeling good about his game or maybe his body, Gerwyn Price is a million dollars and to say he wouldn’t win it again, I’d say he probably fancies the task more than ever.”The world championWright recently added a European Championship title to his growing list of accolades as he beat James Wade 11-4 in the final, having averaged more than 102 in each of his five matches. 2:39 Gerwyn Price is eyeing future titles after winning the World Grand Prix – Advertisement –last_img read more

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first_img– Advertisement – The president-elect has raised climate change in all of the congratulatory calls he has taken with foreign leaders, as well as with Pope Francis. Advisers said he planned to make climate change an explicit focus of every regional bureau at the State Department. He also is considering Mr. Moniz; John Kerry, the former secretary of state; or Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate activist; for a new international climate envoy post.“It won’t happen in just one or two agencies,” said Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, who is on Mr. Biden’s list to head up the Interior Department. “It’s going to be a whole government approach.”Tim Profeta, a Duke University professor and former Senate climate policy aide, said in past transitions, such planning has been effective. George W. Bush’s transition created of a fossil fuel- focused Energy Task Force. The Obama transition’s focus on economic stimulus helped lead to passage of a $787 billion relief measure in the first month of the administration.“That’s the opportunity that’s here,” said Mr. Profeta, who was a co-author of a recent blueprint for how a Biden White House could beef up climate expertise across cabinet agencies.The Biden team is considering either the creation of a separate new White House office devoted to climate change or a coordinating council modeled after the national security and economic councils. Three people close to the incoming administration said the Biden team was expected to tap Ali Zaidi, a former climate adviser in the Obama White House who now serves as deputy secretary of energy in New York state, to a top position advising the president and coordinating work among agencies.A spokeswoman for the Mr. Biden’s transition declined to comment on personnel.“The single most important thing that they need to do is start making key appointments to all the relevant agencies,” said John Holdren, a former Obama science adviser who worked closely with the Biden campaign. Transition team members named to coordinate the handover of power from the Trump administration include dozens of climate change experts — including at agencies that are not at the forefront of environmental policy, such as the departments of Justice, Agriculture and Defense. “A Biden administration would come in and take a fresh look at all these environmental lawsuits,” Mr. Becerra said. “In some cases you could drop the lawsuit. In some cases you may not be able to do that — you have to understand the rules.”The Biden administration may also use financial regulations to impose climate-related rules on Wall Street. Ms. Brainard, the candidate for Treasury secretary, who is currently a member of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, has gained notice for her speeches and statements about climate risks to the financial system. This month, the Fed assessed climate change risks in detail in a financial stability report, a first for the twice-yearly document. “Climate change poses important risks to financial stability,” she wrote, and addressing such concerns “is vitally important.”Financial regulators in a Biden administration are likely to use a recent report commissioned by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission on the risks of climate change to the financial system as a road map. Among the report’s top recommendations would be a new rule requiring companies to disclose to shareholders their financial risks from climate change. After four years in which Mr. Trump rolled back every major climate change rule and weakened the E.P.A., the agency under Mr. Biden is expected to grow in size and authority, with its new administrator taking the lead in writing rules to rein in greenhouse gases.Mr. Biden’s top candidate to lead the agency is Mary D. Nichols, California’s climate and clean air regulator, according to at least four people familiar with the matter. She said in an interview that she would eagerly accept the job.Ms. Nichols has become a celebrity in global warming politics as architect of her state’s cap-and-trade climate change law and its tough regulations on climate-warming auto emissions. Those California rules served as a model for Mr. Obama’s federal climate policies, only to be rolled back by Mr. Trump.“It’s going to be important to quickly reverse and stop a very large number of actions that were done by the Trump administration, and then to restore the agency’s scientific basis for its work,” Ms. Nichols said. Interviews with more than two dozen advisers and members of Mr. Biden’s transition team reveal an incoming administration acutely aware of the challenges ahead, with a narrowly divided Congress and the outsized expectations that some voters have for action on climate change after four years of regulatory rollbacks and presidential hostility.- Advertisement – “There’s no doubt that Covid is the issue of the moment which has to be addressed right out of the box,” Mr. Moniz said. “But we’re going to see climate addressed right out of the box as well.”Republicans insist they want bipartisan climate legislation, not a return to executive action, but their visions of capturing carbon from coal-fired power plants and expanding nuclear energy do not align with Mr. Biden’s promise to phase out fossil fuel-powered electricity and move to solar, wind and other renewable fuel sources.“There are ways we can protect our environment without punishing our economy. Free market innovation, not government taxation or heavy-handed regulations, is the best way to deal with climate change,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, who is expected to take the helm of the Senate Energy Committee.- Advertisement – The Presidential TransitionUpdated Nov. 17, 2020, 10:14 a.m. ET The Pentagon is also likely to take on a much larger climate change portfolio.Ms. Flournoy, the top candidate for defense secretary, was an under secretary of defense in the Obama administration and has often spoken of climate change as a national security threat. In an opinion article for CNN last month, Ms. Flournoy wrote that the Pentagon should be a key player on climate change, both because of the role planetary warming plays in driving conflict around the world and because the Defense Department could help accelerate the research and development of cleaner technologies, as it has done for jet engines and telecommunications.Mr. Biden’s Pentagon transition team includes Sharon A. Burke, who as assistant secretary of defense for operational energy, pushed to reduce the military’s dependence on fossil fuels.“We’ve lost a generation of leadership in the career ranks, and we never had the political leadership. Both of those have to be rebuilt across all parts of the Department of Defense,” said Sherri Goodman, who served as the Pentagon’s first deputy under secretary of defense for environmental security under President Bill Clinton and has been a national security adviser on climate to the Biden campaign.As the Biden administration presses forward with regulations that will very likely end up before the Supreme Court, the Justice Department will have to defend and preserve the rules. To that end, the Justice Department transition team includes Richard J. Lazarus of Harvard Law School, a prominent expert in climate change litigation.Among the candidates for attorney general is Xavier Becerra, the attorney general of California, who has spearheaded more than 50 lawsuits against Mr. Trump’s environmental rollbacks. In an interview in September, Mr. Becerra predicted of Mr. Trump: “I don’t think much of what he’s done will stick, because much of what he’s done hasn’t taken hold legally. I believe his legacy will be very short and his tenure will be considered the nadir for environmental policy in the history of this country.”Already, legal experts on Mr. Biden’s transition team have begun preparing the legal dismemberment of Mr. Trump’s environmental policies and laying the groundwork for new rules. Transition team members have been instructed to identify policies that can improve pollution levels in Black and Latino communities. And one of Mr. Biden’s early executive orders is expected to require that every federal agency, department and program prepare to address climate change.“We have to re-establish American leadership globally on climate change, and re-establishing global leadership is going to require getting our house in order domestically,” said Ernest Moniz, a former energy secretary and adviser to Mr. Biden’s campaign. Mr. Holdren said one of Mr. Biden’s earliest executive orders would revive an Obama-era mandate that every agency in the government incorporate climate change into its policies.The Environmental Protection Agency will still be the new president’s most powerful weapon in his push to reinstate and strengthen climate change regulations. Advisers to Mr. Biden’s transition also say they see a newly climate role for the Transportation Department, which would be expected to partner with the E.P.A. in drafting stringent new rules on auto pollution and fuel efficiency, while promoting electric and hybrid vehicles. Among the top candidates for the post is Los Angeles Mayor Eric M. Garcetti, who last year introduced a plan to transition his city to 100 percent electric vehicles by 2050. WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., eager to elevate climate change throughout his administration, is already drafting orders to reduce planet-warming pollution and seeking nominees who will embed climate policy not only in environmental agencies but in departments from Defense to Treasury to Transportation.Top candidates for senior cabinet posts, such as Michèle Flournoy for defense secretary and Lael Brainard for Treasury, have long supported aggressive policies to curb climate change. Mr. Biden’s inner circle routinely asks “is the person climate-ambitious?” of candidates even for lower profile positions like the White House budget and regulatory offices, according to a person advising the transition.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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first_img The animal was born before the 1997 imposition of a ban on inclusion of animal protein in feed for ruminants. BSE is transmitted when cattle eat feed containing protein from a BSE-infected animal. The disease’s human counterpart, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) can occur when a person eats meat from a BSE-infected animal. The carcass of the cow just cleared of BSE did not enter the food or animal feed system. See also: Initial tests Jul 27 on the 12-year-old cow, which had died during calving in April at an undisclosed location, had shown some abnormal staining that classified the results as nondefinitive and spurred the further testing. Samples from the cow had been preserved by a veterarian at the time of death but mistakenly were not sent to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for testing until recently. “Needless to say, we are very pleased with these results. I do want to emphasize that the most important protections for human and animal health are our interlocking food-safety protocols. Our enhanced surveillance program is designed to provide information about the level of prevalence of BSE in the United States, which by any measure is extremely low.” Aug 4, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – What looked like the possible third case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States has now been confirmed as a false alarm, leaving the number of domestic cattle infected with the disease at two, with one of those being Canadian-born. John Clifford, deputy adminstrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced yesterday that definitive testing of samples from the animal, performed at the Ames, Iowa, National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, England, showed it did not have BSE. Aug 3 APHIS press releasehttp://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/news/2005/08/negative_tt.html A statement from Clifford says, “The initial non-definitive result was caused by artifactual (artificial or untrue) staining and, while this staining did not resemble BSE, we felt the prudent course was to conduct the additional tests. Jul 28 CIDRAP News story on the earlier testinghttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/other/bse/news/july2805bse.htmllast_img read more

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first_imgMar 29, 2007 (CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – A severe influenza pandemic could cost the United States $683 billion and plunge the American economy into the second-deepest recession since World War II, a nonprofit health advocacy group warned on Mar 22.If rates of illness and death match those of the great pandemic of 1918—when one third of the population fell ill and 2.5% of those who were sickened died—US production of goods and services could shrink 5.5% in a year, according to an analysis released by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).States whose economies depend on tourism and entertainment would be hit hardest, with losses as large as 8% of their economic production, the group said. But areas that depend on sectors such as agriculture and finance might hold their losses to half that much, according to the report, “Pandemic Flu and Potential for US Economic Recession.” “Businesses, governments, schools, and other sectors could all face serious disruptions,” said Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of the TFAH, a Washington, DC–based nonpartisan group that has published several reports on pandemic preparedness.The report relies on the economic models and assumptions made by the Congressional Budget Office, the Australian National University, and BMO Nesbitt Burns Cooper, a Canadian investment firm. It combines predictions of death rates and loss of productivity with estimates of the impact on 20 different business sectors.Demand for arts, entertainment, and recreation is likely to drop by 80%, the report estimates, compared with 67% for transportation and warehousing and 10% for agriculture, mining, construction, manufacturing, finance, and education.It is the first pandemic economic forecast to break down potential impact by state, Levi said. The hardest-hit states are likely to be those whose economies rely on entertainment, tourism, and food service, the report says. Nevada would fare the worst, followed by Hawaii, Alaska, Wyoming, and Nebraska.The states at the lowest risk of major losses would be those with diverse economies, as well as those that depend on the services most likely to be in use during a pandemic, such as healthcare and government. Leading the list of least-affected places are Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts.The TFAH recommends a menu of actions to mitigate a pandemic’s economic impact, from improving state pandemic plans to encouraging continuity planning for business sectors as well as individual businesses. —Based on reporting by Maryn McKennaComments from the Editor-in-Chief:There are a number of ways to measure the impact of the next pandemic, such as the number of deaths, illnesses, and hospitalizations; worker absenteeism; and the number of flights cancelled at a given airport. Obviously, human illness and death are the most meaningful markers. But the direct and indirect economic costs of the next pandemic are also critical considerations in assessing its impact and for establishing some sense of priority for our preparedness efforts, both in the private and public sectors. The reality is that businesses today must weigh the costs of preventing and preparing for bad things to happen against both their economic impact and their potential to harm employees and their families. I will be the first to admit, though, that I often get lost in some of these complicated economic models detailing the costs of catastrophic events. I can’t tell if they make real sense or not. But the report from the TFAH was clear and compelling to even a noneconomist like me. The disease-occurrence assumptions made in the report seemed very reasonable from an epidemiologic and public health perspective. The analysis of sector-by-sector pandemic impact may not be quite right—like how many crops will we plant and harvest if petroleum is in short supply. But the general sense of what could happen is straightforward.Bottom line for business: If you are part of your company’s pandemic preparedness team (even if you are the only one), get very familiar with these data and use them to make your case as to why a substantial investment in preparedness is as smart as buying appropriate insurance for your company’s buildings. With fire insurance, you hope that you’ll never have to use it even if you pay 50 years’ worth of premiums. With pandemic preparedness, there’s a key difference: There will be another pandemic.Your investment in preparedness will never be wasted, even if the pandemic is not as severe as the one in 1918. Make sure your boss reads this report—or at least its summary. It’s a critical tool for your pandemic preparedness toolbox. —Michael Osterholmlast_img read more

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first_img The document says the most important precautions for preventing flu are to limit close contact with others and use good hygiene. The specific recommendations on masks and respirators are as follows: Providing PEP for low-risk healthcare and emergency workers, immunocompromised people, and those living in group settings such as nursing homes and prisons May 3, 2007, CIDRAP News story “CDC offers advice on citizen use of masks, respirators” Reducing introduction of infection into the United States as part of control efforts at the borders People sick with pandemic flu should wear a mask when they must be in contact with others. Those who must go into crowded settings during a pandemic should wear a face mask to protect themselves from others’ coughs and sneezes and to protect others from their own respiratory droplets. Even though most people out in public won’t be sick, those who are infected can shed virus before they have symptoms, the guidance notes. To provide early treatment for workers who fall ill The document recommends that government antiviral supplies “be prioritized for treatment of all persons who may benefit from therapy,” without attempting to put certain groups ahead of others. Further, it states, “Treatment is preferred to prophylaxis in settings of limited antiviral drug supply; targeting some antiviral drug supply for prophylaxis and prioritizing treatment for certain groups would raise significant ethical and logistical challenges.” Apr 25 CIDRAP News story “IOM: US likely to need bigger antiviral stockpile” The report notes that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared many face masks, though none specifically for use by children. Also, the FDA recently cleared the first respirators intended for use by the public during a public health emergency such as a pandemic, it says. However, there are no respirators designed for children. General guidance on antiviralsThe proposed recommendations on use of antiviral drugs replace advice that was developed in 2005 as part of the HHS pandemic preparedness and response plan. The recommendations were prepared by an interagency group that included state, local, and tribal public health agencies as well as HHS. The guidance from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also spells out a role for preventive use of antiviral drugs in a pandemic but says that antivirals used preventively will have to come mainly from private stockpiles, because government stockpiles will be used mostly for treating the sick. To provide prophylaxis for frontline healthcare and emergency workers To protect workers who are needed to maintain essential community services Those who must have close contact with someone who has pandemic flu should wear an N-95 respirator certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. N-95 respirators are devices that fit tightly to the face and are designed to stop 95 of small airborne particles. Prophylaxis for high-risk healthcare and emergency services workers Further, the report says businesses that provide essential goods and services—critical infrastructure businesses—”should strongly consider antiviral prophylaxis for critical workers.” Other employers may consider providing antivirals to protect their workers and maintain operations. Jun 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Proposed pandemic preparedness guidance released by the federal government today recommends that people wear face masks if they have to go into crowds during an influenza pandemic and says critical infrastructure businesses should consider stockpiling antiviral drugs, among various other suggestions. The document makes clear that employers generally won’t be able to obtain antivirals from government stockpiles: “Despite expanding recommendations for antiviral drug use, there are no current plans for a commensurate expansion of public sector stockpiles, and employers will have to take the lead role for protection of their workforce if these recommendations are to be implemented.” See also: Containing initial pandemic outbreaks overseas and in the United States with treatment and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for people exposed to the virus and those in areas where exposure may occur HHS released three draft guidance documents, covering the use of face masks and respirators by individuals and families, antiviral use during a pandemic, and considerations on antiviral drug stockpiling by employers. The agency is inviting public comments on all of them and says none as yet represents established policy. Employer stockpiling of antiviralsThe guidance on antiviral stockpiling by employers underlines the recommendation that critical infrastructure employers should consider stockpiling, but it “does not establish the requirement or expectation that all employers stockpile antiviral drugs.” The working group recommends that antivirals be used for: Treating people with pandemic flu who seek care early in their illness and would benefit from treatment Masks and respiratorsThe guidance on use of masks and respirators generally echoes advice issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May 2007 but uses firmer language, changing “may” to “should” in several instances. Today’s document comes a few weeks after the Institute of Medicine (IOM) said it was unclear whether the government’s policy was to use antivirals only for treatment or for both treatment and prophylaxis. The IOM said the federal stockpile would have to be expanded if goals included providing preventive treatment for some people at risk in a pandemic. The report says businesses may want to buy antivirals for the following purposes: To protect overseas employees and operations in areas where federal pandemic response activities will not reach The proposed guidance recommends prophylactic antivirals for several groups, but it says the supplies used for that purpose “will depend largely on private sector organizations and businesses purchasing and stockpiling antiviral drugs for their employees.” The guidance suggests that it would be reasonable for each household to stockpile 20 respirators. In addition, people who have to commute on public transit might want to buy 100 face masks, plus some more for use in other crowded settings and at home. HHS estimates the cost of stockpiling the recommended number of respirators and masks at $35 to $70 per household.last_img read more

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first_imgSep 25, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today hosted a live webcast to teach laypeople and community groups how to prepare their homes and families for a pandemic, and they fielded a range of questions, from the size of food stockpiles to elbow bumps versus high fives in sports settings.The HHS program was the sixth in a series that began in March with sessions aimed at state pandemic planners. Other webcasts have addressed topics such as school closures and implications for home healthcare organizations.Admiral Joxel Garcia, assistant secretary of health for HHS, and Richard Benjamin, MD, chief medical officer for the American Red Cross, warned that a pandemic is unlike any other disaster, because the disease strikes many locations simultaneously. “It’s like 50 hurricane Katrinas happening at the same time,” Benjamin said.Benjamin urged those who haven’t begun their personal pandemic preparations to start by thinking through four scenarios: if schools closed, if a family member was ill, if wage earners couldn’t work, or if people were urged to stay in their homes. He said government and nonprofit groups have useful resources that cover personal pandemic preparation; for example, the Red Cross has a guide for caring for sick family members.The Red Cross’s role now is to build awareness, but during a pandemic the organization plans to help distribute food and supplies to the homebound and ensure an adequate blood supply, Benjamin said. A pandemic will diminish the blood supply, and he said the Red Cross will continue to rely on donors. “You can help by getting used to giving blood now,” he added.Two members of PandemicPrep.org, a nonprofit group based in St Louis, told viewers that grassroots pandemic preparedness organizing doesn’t need to take a lot of time or expense, but it can yield benefits beyond just pandemic preparedness.Tim Woerther, the group’s co-chair and mayor of Wildwood, Mo., said, “This brings together people who don’t normally talk,” such as people from faith-based organizations, education, government, and business.Near the end of the webcast, the speakers fielded questions submitted by online viewers. One viewer asked why different groups recommend different stockpiling amounts; some recommend 2 weeks’ worth of food, water, and supplies, while some advise up to 6 months.Benjamin said the Red Cross advises at least 2 weeks, “but if you could do more, that would be a wonderful thing,” he said. Coming up with a stockpiling recommendation is difficult, he said; a pandemic wave lasts up to 3 months and stores would be severely affected, but probably not as long as the entire 3 months.”Six to 12 months would be wonderful, but that’s probably not practical for most people,” Benjamin said.Another viewer asked if the new ritual of athletes trading elbow bumps rather than high fives might reduce the spread of flu and cold viruses. Garcia said, “That’s a good question. Just make sure you wash your hands after sports.”last_img read more

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first_imgThe World Tourism Organization has opened a competition for travelers on the eve of World Tourism Day in connection with the campaign “Travel. Enjoy. Respect”, which was launched as part of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.Information on the possibility of participation is published at this link: http://www.travelenjoyrespect.org/travellerscompetition/ , and invites anyone over the age of 18 who are traveling and would like to share their experiences at www.travelenjoyrespect.org. The purpose of this competition is to raise awareness of the value and contribution of sustainable tourism to development and the desire for travelers and tourists to be catalysts for positive change.The jury will evaluate the submitted contributions, and the criteria are to be creative and original, to stick to the topics, to show content related to sustainable behavior and digital sharing (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) or social engagement of participants. The winners will receive prizes in the form of world travel that will be supported by Explore WorldWide and some destinations such as Colombia, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico and others.last_img read more

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