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first_imgBy United States Southern Command May 08, 2019 The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) is scheduled to deploy in June from Naval Station Norfolk to the Caribbean, Central America, and South America to conduct humanitarian medical assistance missions in support of regional partners and in response to the regional impacts of the Venezuela political and economic crisis. During a five-month humanitarian mission, U.S. military medical personnel will work alongside partners to provide medical assistance to communities based on needs identified by host-nation health ministries, and help relieve pressure on host nation medical systems in countries hosting Venezuelans who have fled the country’s crisis. Countries hosting the USNS COMFORT during the mission will be announced at a later time. “The USNS COMFORT represents our enduring promise to our partners in the Western Hemisphere – our shared neighborhood,” said U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command, which will oversee the deployment. “U.S. Southern Command is committed to the region in support of our Caribbean and Latin American partners, as well as displaced Venezuelans who continue to flee the brutal oppression of the former Maduro regime and its interlocking, man-made political, economic and humanitarian crises.” This marks the hospital ship’s seventh deployment to the region since 2007, second deployment to the Western Hemisphere in the last six months, and reflects the United States’ enduring promise of friendship, partnership, and solidarity with the Americas and the people of Venezuela. The USNS COMFORT operation is part of the deepening of our engagement in the region under the health pillar of the U.S.-Caribbean 2020 Strategy. (www.state.gov/p/wha/rt/caribbeanstrategy/)last_img read more

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first_img 166SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr U.S. mobile payments at the point of sale (POS) are in position to see significant growth throughout 2016. In fact, new data from eMarketer forecasts mobile payments will exceed $27 billion this year.The number of mobile payment users in the U.S. is expected to double by the end of 2016, while the average amount each user spends via mobile at the POS is projected to triple. The combination of U.S. consumers spending more per year via mobile and continued growth in the total number of mobile payment users will lead to nearly 70 million consumers spending an estimated $210 billion in mobile payments by 2019. This indicates significant growth from 2015 when fewer than 25 million U.S. consumers spent less than $9 billion with mobile payment methods.While the number of U.S. consumers making mobile payments at the POS is increasing, it is still a relatively small portion of all mobile users. eMarketer estimates 10 percent of smartphone owners made a mobile POS purchase in 2014. This is expected to grow to 19 percent by the end of this year. By 2019, eMarketer forecasts nearly 33 percent of smartphone users and more than 25 percent of all mobile phone users will make at least one mobile POS purchase per year. continue reading »last_img read more

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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_imgWhen Valerie Lopez started looking into ways to tackle sexual assault at USC, she stumbled upon a question that would try to answer for months: Why doesn’t USC offer forensic exams for victims? In the class ITP-499: “Innovation: From Idea to Impact,” Lopez — a sophomore majoring in law, history and culture — and her group decided they’d try to bring rape kits to campus, an idea that led them to conduct legal research and interview staff members at USC and across the country.Currently, victims of sexual assault who come to the Engemann Student Health Center are referred to the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center, approximately 45 minutes away from campus. The RTC boasts of the country’s leading experts in trauma care, but the lack of on-campus forensic exams spurred Lopez and two other students to investigate the feasibility of bringing rape kits to USC. Though Lopez and University administrators share a goal, their views on treating victims differ in a major way. USC believes that the best option for rape treatment is at a full-service facility filled with specialized professionals, even if it is a long drive away. To Lopez, though, that distance could make all the difference.Katlyn Lee | Daily TrojanProfessional assistanceEngemann clinicians are trained to take vaginal and rectal swabs, but the health center staff feels that the RTC is better equipped to treat victims. The Los Angeles County Hospital has a rape treatment center as well, but Engemann has a close relationship with the RTC and values its educational options and support services.“That is the best place for them,” said Mildred Wenger, interim co-medical director at Engemann. “If it was my mother, my child, my friend, I would want them to get the best care. We can give them the best care that we can, but we’re not full-service.”Wenger stressed that the options its staff provides, in addition to its demeanor and tact, make the RTC a necessary resource. Another key reason Wenger would refer a patient to the RTC is Engemann’s inability to collect data, like hair samples or DNA. She explained that there is no chain of custody, or paper trail of physical evidence. Her staff cannot collect this data, but  Wenger explained that the RTC can — which ensures that if a patient decides to press charges or file a restraining order despite any initial reluctance, the option is still available.“We don’t destroy the evidence ever,” said Gail Abarbanel, founder and director of the RTC.The center provides free care for children and adults who seek help after a sexual assault. It’s open 24 hours a day, and since its inception in 1974, it has served more than 50,000 victims. Over the years, it’s seen advancements in DNA technology and improved access to the criminal justice system.“The RTC has very comprehensive services, and victims have lots of choices and options, so they don’t have to go to many different agencies,” Abarbanel said. “The most important thing is to help them have access [to] 24-hour emergency care and forensics and counseling.”According to Abarbanel, the center sees about three to four new victims a day —  some, but not all, of whom are college students. Other victims come every day for ongoing services. When a victims come in, the staff members give them options so they can make informed choices. The process includes medical care, even if victims aren’t aware of any physical injuries.Though the RTC is not funded or managed by USC, the treatment center has a close relationship with Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services on campus. According to Wenger, the RTC seeks to fill in the gaps of what the Engemann staff cannot accomplish. Wenger and her team frequently meet with RSVP and have full clinical staff meetings to emphasize sensitivity training and patient comfort. But despite these efforts, Wenger would rather send a victim to Santa Monica, because there, she’s confident that they will take care of every aspect of a patient’s journey.“I don’t like to do anything here if we can’t do it right,” Wenger said.Struggling for supportDespite the quality of care at the RTC, students have expressed concerns about the accessibility of the center. Lopez feels that 45 minutes is too far, especially immediately after an assault.“Honestly, from personal experience and the experience of others I’m very close to, the first few hours are critical in terms of who you tell, who you trust,” Lopez said. “If USC was my immediate resource, if I needed to be physically taken care of both medically and with a forensic exam, I probably would come back to RSVP to get therapy or file a Title IX case. I would feel more trusted at the school.”A potential solution the group proposed is to train current Engemann employees to conduct forensic exams so students could have immediate help in a community they are already familiar with. They researched the cost and time commitment of training and verified the information by looking at schools with trained nurses, including Oregon State University and Indiana University. A sexual assault nurse at Indiana University told the group that the cost of training was between $400 and $500 per nurse, including 40 hours of training, and that the state typically pays for rape kits.“I’m sure it’s more complicated than we know,” Lopez said, “but if other schools do it, and they’re much bigger schools like Indiana, I feel like we’re definitely capable.”USC is far from the only elite university without on-site rape kits. In Lopez’s research, she found that only about four schools in the U.S. News top 100 and only about 10 out of all schools in the United States have forensic exams for sexual assault.Determining feasibilityLopez and her group have already met with multiple administrators and have plans to present to Provost Michael Quick on May 2. Lopez explained that they can’t market their proposal as a gain for the University, because although relatively cheap, implementation of the plan will cost money, and she believes with more accessible treatment, that reports of rape will go up — which might end up looking negative for the University.“We’re having trouble finding a reason that would benefit [USC],” Lopez said. “That’s where we’re at now. There’s not much more we can do.”This isn’t the first group of students trying to bring rape kits to campus, and it may not be the last. In 2014, students created an online petition to bring sexual assault nurse examiners to campus, which garnered nearly 700 signatures, and University officials responded by emphasizing the high quality of the RTC.“I think the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center is wonderful,” Lopez said, “and it’s beautiful that we even have that resource. They have so many different [services] — I just think that it’s nothing our health center isn’t capable of.”Erika Lee contributed to this report.last_img read more

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first_imgLuka Doncic may have enhanced his NBA MVP credentials with another brilliant display Saturday night in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors, but the Dallas Mavericks star does not believe he is at Warriors star Stephen Curry’s level yet.The 20-year-old had his ninth triple-double of the season in the Mavs’ 141-121 victory over the Curry-less Warriors. Doncic scored 31 points while claiming 12 rebounds and 15 assists. Dallas broke a franchise record by making 24 3-pointers, with Doncic sinking five of his eight attempts — a stat that surely would have impressed two-time MVP Curry, who remains sidelined with a hand injury.MORE: Carlisle shuts down silly debate about Porzingis post-upsShould Doncic’s form continue, he may be named MVP himself, though the Slovenian feels comparisons with Curry are unfair at this stage.”He’s shooting way better than me,” Doncic said, as quoted by ESPN.”He’s a better player. He’s been in the league a long time, he’s somebody that everybody looks up [to], everybody wants to play like him.”I remember last year after the draft, I practiced once with him and it was crazy. He couldn’t miss. He can’t miss. And that was like something I’ll always remember, practice with him.”Another dazzling performance, another triple-double. Luka stuffed the stat sheet once again in tonight’s [email protected] | #MFFL pic.twitter.com/f8ISYMYBGx— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) December 29, 2019Dallas coach Rick Carlisle has no doubts about Doncic’s importance, though, pointing out how he led the way on a night when the Mavericks improved to 21-10. “Doncic was amazing tonight, absolutely amazing,” Carlisle said.”[He had] a 30-point triple-double in three quarters, and really made it look easy.”That’s a phenomenal performance and he set the table for everybody that was out there.”last_img read more

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first_img Eden Hazard 1 Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is ready to risk Eden Hazard against Stoke this weekend, even though he admits the midfield maestro is struggling.Belgian ace Hazard has been Chelsea’s star player this season, playing in almost every game for club and country.But despite returning from international duty a weary man, Mourinho wants him to play again this weekend.“Hazard is tired because he played two matches in three days,” the Portuguese coach pointed out.“But that’s the season – that’s the season for a player that is important for the team. I want to play him every time and the international coach wants to play him every time.“It’s not a surprise that he can be a bit tired but I believe in him, in his desire to play and reach the season objective, so I will start with him.”Mourinho, who reckons Chelsea need to win six more matches to be crowned champions, also revealed there is no place for Jon Obi Mikel, but he expects striker Diego Costa to start.last_img read more

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first_imgSometimes it takes a village – at least that’s the approach Van Nuys residents are taking to deal with the long-standing issue of prostitution in their neighborhood. Joining forces with the City Council and the Los Angeles Police Department, residents are picking up signs, flashlights and cameras to participate in monthly marches through the streets of their neighborhood. They begin after dark and walk the streets until midnight. The idea is to send a message to streetwalkers and their johns. “Families in this neighborhood are fed up with this issue,” said Ron Hay, a Van Nuys resident for 10 years. Usually the women work a circuit, and the Sepulveda Boulevard corridor ranks among the top three locations in Southern California, police said. “Unfortunately, this has been going on for decades,” C rdenas said. “As a community, we feel compelled and obligated to do whatever we can to reduce this problem. Children in these neighborhoods should not have to look at the evidence of this problem on their walk to school every morning. They shouldn’t have to deal with that.” Residents are encouraged to bring still and video cameras to the marches, too. “This is the safest way let them know we are looking at them, we are watching them and we are recording them,” C rdenas said. “We can let them know they are not supposed to be doing that in our neighborhood.” The walks seem to be leading to results. Although authorities couldn’t provide specific numbers, Sgt. McNeill Gardner said he has seen a “significant drop in street prostitution.” “The women have seen the community’s involvement and they have started to shy away from the area,” said Gardner, who patrols the Van Nuys-North Hills area. With officers already stretched thin, he said it is a community program like this that can make a difference. “Law enforcement is 50percent police and 50percent community,” he said. “There is only so much we can do.” Hay said the organized effort has also created some side effects that have led to his neighborhood’s improvement. Extra lighting has been added to some streets, and extra officers have been assigned to key hot spots along the boulevard. For Hay, who is captain of his street’s Neighborhood Watch program and has several officers’ numbers on speed dial, community members need to realize that apathy is not an option. “So many people would rather stay home and ignore what’s going on,” he said. “But people need to become a part of the solution, not part of the problem. If you don’t, your neighborhood goes down the tubes.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Hay said it is not uncommon for hookers to walk by as close as his driveway. “I have heard people screaming in a car having sex in front of my house. I have found condoms in the gutter,” he said. “It is just unpleasant.” Officer Ron Carter, who initiated the monthly marches, said the idea is to get those most affected involved in getting rid of the problem. “Community policing – that is where it all begins,” Carter said, adding that his vice officers regularly organize stings and undercover operations. Councilman Tony C rdenas, who helped put together the task force that launched the monthly marches, said as soon as he was elected, he heard from the community about the prostitution. last_img read more

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