Despite selling out Maine voters time and time again to enable her Republican Party’s descent into authoritarianism and corruption, the always-concerned Republican Sen. Susan Collins (R-Concerned) has managed to retain her Senate seat, beating Democratic challenger Sara Gideon. – Advertisement –
In Pennsylvania, they tried to stop the count by saying Republican observers weren’t allowed to see the count. That was demonstrably not true, as admitted by a Trump lawyer who reluctantly told a judge Thursday that there were “a nonzero number of people in the room.” U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond’s reply: “I’m sorry, then what’s your problem?” He denied their request. The Trump campaign did secure two “victories” in Pennsylvania, allowing observers to watch from 6 feet away instead of 10 feet in Philadelphia, and getting Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to tell election officials to keep all the ballots arriving Wednesday through Friday segregated from the rest of the ballots. Which the state was already doing. There are a few other nuisance complaints in the state, including whatever it is Giuliani is cooking up in the Four Seasons Total parking lot, but nothing real. Nothing that any judge other than Alito (and probably Thomas and Kavanaugh and maybe Barrett) would give the time of day. Even with Alito’s order for the state to do what it already was doing, he didn’t go so far as to tell the state to stop counting, which is what Trump wanted.The campaign is trying in Michigan, too. And failing. Monday morning, the campaign was notified that their submission for an appeal is “defective,” missing four key elements including a copy of the order that they were appealing in the first place. The campaign was challenging the ballot count in Michigan in two separate suits, both of which they are losing by being unable to prove their allegations of impropriety in the counts. “The City of Detroit should not be harmed when there is no evidence to support accusations of voter fraud,” Judge Timothy M. Kenny wrote in denying their request to delay certification of results in one case.- Advertisement – RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel had a news conference Friday alleging that election workers in Detroit were told to backdate ballots and said she’d informed the FBI, which has no comment on the whole thing. She also said that election workers in Rochester Hills, Michigan, had given 2,000 Republican votes to Democrats in a clerical error and got a blistering response from Tina Barton, the GOP city clerk of Rochester Hills. She said that the switch was an “isolated mistake that was quickly rectified” and called McDaniel’s allegation “categorically false.” She laid into McDaniel in a video she released on Twitter. “As a Republican, I am disturbed that this is intentionally being mischaracterized to undermine the election process,” and really lit into when the Post asked her for further comment. “I have spent 15 years building my reputation of being a good election official—not only a good one, but a great one—and to have someone make a statement that we committed fraud of some kind, that 2,000 ballots were found, I couldn’t stand by and not respond.”There’s the same story in Nevada and Arizona and Georgia. The Trump campaign cooks up some wild story with absolutely no evidence to back it up, or even worse, shows fraud on their side. In the case of Nevada, they tried to bring a voter forward who said she’d been denied the right to vote at the polls because someone else had stolen her mail-in ballot and filled it out. But as it turned out, the election officials had that completed ballot, with an exact signature match. They had also given her the chance to cancel that ballot and vote again by signing an affidavit swearing that her original ballot had been stolen. She refused to do that.The Trump campaign is trying to put together some semblance of a real legal team headed up by conservative activist David Bossie. Who is not a lawyer. In Georgia they’ve got Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who lost his bid for the Senate there. They’ve also got real lawyers now in Arizona and Pennsylvania, supposedly. And, of course, Rudy.- Advertisement – As of Monday, they have Missouri and Ohio filing amicus briefs with the Supreme Court to try to get it to rule that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court acted unconstitutionally in extending the mail-in ballot deadline by three days. The SCOTUS conservatives, before the election, flirted with the idea of saying that a state Supreme Court didn’t have jurisdiction over state election laws. Now that the election is resoundingly over, and those votes in Pennsylvania can’t possibly make the difference anyway, they might decide to save face and ignore all that. – Advertisement –
WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that the Trump administration’s refusal to authorize the start of the official transition process “does not in any way change the dynamic of what we’re able to do.”“We have already started the transition, we are well under way,” Biden said at a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware.Asked what he thought of President Donald Trump’s refusal so far to concede, Biden said “I think it’s an embarrassment.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Biden said he was not reliant on the federal government authorizing funding for the transition. He also said Republicans in Congress are “being mildly intimidated by the sitting president.”This is a developing story, please check back for updates. – Advertisement – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden talks about protecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as he speaks to reporters with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at this side about their “plan to expand affordable health care” during an appearance in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 10, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstJONATHAN ERNST | REUTERS
First of all, Revelton Suites is one of the brands that belongs to the international Revelton Hotels & Apartments chain. Revelton Suites are distinguished by spacious suites and classic pastel-colored design. These are usually small mansions with a limited number of apartments, which ensures the guests’ privacy.Revelton has been using a contactless check-in system for about 1 ½ years, with all guests registering online and entering their apartments using a PIN-code. Waiting in line at the reception is long gone, and all employees work remotely. Despite this system, the staff manages to cater to the guests’ needs with attention and care using popular instant messengers. At every point in the stay, the guest receives tips and advice from the locals. Revelton calls this great feature Online Reception.This operation model turned out to be very valuable, given the current situation in the world. With the advent of Covid-19, Revelton has added essential amenities such as antiseptic in the lobby, disposable masks and disinfectant wipes for each guest. When you arrive at this chain’s apart-hotels, you can be sure of your safety.- Advertisement – OlderBreaking Travel News investigates: Is the Covid-19 vaccine a silver bullet for travel? – Advertisement – Revelton Hotels & Apartments have an average 9.6 rating on Booking.com, and are at the top of the list on Tripadvisor. In addition, Revelton Suites Tallinn has received the Best of the Best award from Tripadvisor this year and has been recognized as one of the best in Europe. In addition, the apartments may even be slightly better equipped than home: projectors linked to Apple TV, free Netflix, fully equipped kitchens and a great selection of books: you simply won’t feel like leaving!Natalia Pugacheva, Managing Director of Revelton Suites Tallinn: “We receive a lot of grateful reviews, which praise our contactless check-in system. In addition, we have created a special site for our guests with city recommendations, as well as instructions for everything that our apartments offer: from the projector to the coffee maker. This way, our guests always feel our attention and remain delighted with their stay.”Revelton’s experience demonstrates that it’s possible to continue to evolve and become leaders in the hospitality industry – even during a pandemic.- Advertisement – Every year since 1993, the best hotels, tour operators, airlines and travel industry-related businesses take part in the World Travel Awards and compete for the right to receive the coveted prize.This year, Revelton Suites, located in Tallinn (Estonia) and Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic), once again won the Leading Serviced Apartments category in their respective countries. This is the third trophy for the apart-hotel in Tallinn, and the fourth for the one in Karlovy Vary. How do they do it?- Advertisement –
(This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only).The approval of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year should lead to much of the United States being vaccinated during the first half of 2021, according to Goldman Sachs.On Thursday, the firm’s economic research team laid out their timeline for mass immunization with a successful vaccine, which included many high risk individuals receiving their shots during the first quarter. The Charging Bull, sometimes referred to as the Wall Street Bull, a bronze sculpture in the Financial District of Manhattan with a facemask in New York May 19, 2020.Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images – Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Rory McIlroy: “Obviously I’ll get to watch my daughter grow up a little bit and have fun with that. I’ll try to get away from it, but there’s certainly some stuff in my golf game that I want to work on before next year” By Keith JacksonLast Updated: 15/11/20 9:42pm 0:22 Rory McIlroy caught a flyer out of the rough down the par-five 15th and carried his second shot over the green before his ball rolled into water – Advertisement – Rory McIlroy is looking forward to being “a man of leisure” for the next few weeks after ending his competitive year with a top-five finish at the Masters.McIlroy’s quest to complete a Grand Slam of major titles will resume in April after he was unable to match the sustained brilliance of runaway winner Dustin Johnson at Augusta National, although it could have been a different story had he not opened with a three-over 75.He was happy with his response as he followed rounds of 66 and 67 with a final-day 69, and he was within five of the leader when he birdied three of the first eight holes having been eight back overnight, but he picked up only one more shot – making a four at the 13th for the first time in the week.
Mar 17, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The causes of this week’s anthrax alarms in the Washington, DC, area remained a mystery today as criticisms about communication and coordination by the Department of Defense (DoD) flew.It was still unclear why a military contractor laboratory detected anthrax on a sample from a mail facility next to the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., last week and why a sensor at a DoD office complex in Falls Church, Va., a few miles away, signaled a possible biological hazard on Mar 14.The initial positive test on the Pentagon sample occurred Friday, Mar 11, but Pentagon officials were not notified until the following Monday morning, Mar 14, according to a New York Times report today.The alarm at the DoD complex in Falls Church, called Baileys Crossroad Skyline, sounded at 2:30 Monday afternoon, when local officials still didn’t know about the alert at the Pentagon hours earlier, according to numerous reports.Testing of many environmental samples taken subsequently at both facilities detected no anthrax, officials said. But in the meantime, both buildings were closed, along with a Washington post office that feeds mail to the Pentagon and other agencies, and about 900 workers were advised to take antibiotics.Speculation about the cause of the anthrax finding on the sample from the Pentagon facility has centered on possible laboratory contamination. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used in the initial test in the contractor lab, according to a statement issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last night. A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lab at Fort Detrick, Md., ran a second PCR test on the same sample and confirmed the anthrax finding, the CDC said.The DHS lab next analyzed a second part of the original sample by PCR and culture and this time detected no anthrax, the CDC reported. Subsequent tests of environmental samples by PCR and culture have all been negative. PCR results on the actual filter from the collection device at the Pentagon facility were still pending at the time of the CDC statement. Results were not available from the CDC or DoD as of this writing.Officials have said they concluded that the initial test results were wrong. But an official at the contractor lab questioned that conclusion, according to the Times. Robert Harris, chief operating officer of Commonwealth Biotechnology in Richmond, Va., said he still believed that the original sample might have been a true positive.The reason for the hazard signal at the Skyline office complex also remained unclear. The CDC statement said the alarm “proved to be from a particle counter rather than from a biological sensor.” The statement didn’t explain the difference between the two devices, and further information was not immediately available.The anthrax scare triggered an outcry from state and local officials that DoD failed to adequately warn them about the situation. The episode also revealed differences between the way the Pentagon and other federal agencies deal with biological threats.DC Mayor Anthony A. Williams and other elected leaders said the lack of coordination that occurred could be devastating in a real biological attack, according to a Washington Post report today.”This may well be forgiven given the way the testing is coming out, but it certainly can’t be excused,” Williams said. “Not to have upfront contacts with the Department of Defense is really inexcusable.”Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va., called for a “regional response summit” to examine who was informed about the DoD investigation and when, the Post report said.Pentagon officials said they followed standard procedure by calling the Arlington fire department at 10:30 Monday morning after they learned of the anthrax finding, the story said. The officials said they notified other fire departments in the area at 12:10 p.m.In another Post report, health officials said DoD’s reliance on detection and response systems that are “isolated” from those at other federal agencies delayed actions by the Postal Service, the CDC, and Virginia to protect the public from possible hazards in the mail.”The Department of Defense appears to be developing their own detection systems,” Scott J. Becker, executive director of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told the newspaper. “The linkages to public health just didn’t seem to be there. Clearly, things broke down.”Virginia Health Commissioner Robert B. Stroube said local hazardous materials teams were confused by sensor equipment that differed from devices used by the Postal Service and DHS, according to the story.Also, the contractor lab, Commonwealth Biotechnology, is not part of the Laboratory Response Network, which includes 140 public health laboratories equipped to respond to possible bioterrorist attacks, reports said.In the Post report, George W. Foresman, homeland security adviser to the governor of Virginia, asked, “Why are they using a private facility to do the testing when we have invested billions of dollars to enhance public health and defense facilities to deal with 21st century public health threats?”Glenn Flood, a Pentagon spokesman, said the contractor lab has “worked well” but that he needed more information before he could comment further, according to the story.The report quoted a “senior federal health official” as saying DoD has not signed a federal memorandum of understanding that standardizes procedures to use when biohazard alarms go off at military sites in the United States.
Limitations on the survey findings included the difference in response rates in 2001 and 2004, which limit comparability of results, and probable differences in respondents’ methods for estimating how many epidemiologists their departments need to handle essential services. The CSTE also assessed the training and credentials of epidemiologists. Of 1,897 who responded, 51.9% had a degree in epidemiology and 19.4% had other formal training or coursework in the discipline, while 28.5% had no formal training or coursework. The CSTE previously polled state health departments on their epidemiologic capacity in November 2001. That was before an influx of about $1 billion in federal funds for terrorism preparedness and emergency response in fiscal year 2002, provided in response to the terrorism attacks of 2001. Overall, the survey showed that to fully address public health services dependent on epidemiology would require a 47% increase in the total number of epidemiologists—from 2,580 to 3,790. That includes 325 more epidemiologists in the infectious disease area, a 35% addition to the existing corps of 926. CDC. Assessment of epidemiologic capacity in state and territorial health departments—United States, 2004. MMWR 2005 May 13;54(18):457-59 [Full text] The CSTE conducted the latest survey by making it available online to health departments in all 50 US states, eight territories, and Washington, DC, in the summer of 2004. The response rate was 91.5%, with all the recipients except five territorial health departments participating. Further, the number of states and territories reporting “full/almost full” or “substantial” epidemiologic capacity for terrorism and emergencies increased from 19 in 2001 to 43 in 2004. Eight health departments reported partial capacity for these areas in 2004, and three reported little or no capacity. The figures were somewhat better for epidemiologists working in terrorism preparedness: 64% had a degree in epidemiology and 16% had other formal training or study, while 20% had none. The reports say the CDC and CSTE are working on “defining core competencies for epidemiologists, which should facilitate staffing and development of training.” “Despite the increase in epidemiologists, state public health officials estimate that 192 additional epidemiologists, an increase of 45.3%, are needed nationwide to fully staff terrorism preparedness programs,” the CDC says. CDC. Brief report: Terrorism and emergency preparedness in state and territorial public health departments—United States, 2004. MMWR 2005 May 13;54(18):459-60 [Full text] The survey also showed that federal terrorism preparedness funds paid the salaries of 460 epidemiologists as of September 2004. Fifty-three percent of those worked in terrorism preparedness, while 33% worked in infectious disease, 5% in environmental health, and 9% in other areas. The proportion of all epidemiologists assigned to terrorism preparedness programs increased from 9% (123 of 1,366) in 2001 to 16.4% (424 of 2,580) in 2004, the CDC reports. A survey conducted in 2004 by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) shows that states have increased their overall number of epidemiologists by 27% and boosted the percentage of epidemiologists working on terrorism preparedness and emergency response since the federal government vastly increased spending in those areas after 2001. The results showed a total of 2,580 epidemiologists working in all the health departments, an increase of 343, or 26.9%, from the 2001 number. (The survey response rate was lower in 2001, so the comparison was based on only those health departments that responded to both surveys.) See also: But the epidemiology workforce has declined in six other areas, including infectious disease, chronic disease, environmental health, injury, occupational health, and oral health, according to the CSTE survey. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published two articles on the survey today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. May 12, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – State health departments have improved their terrorism preparedness capabilities since 2001, but some of the improvement might have come at the expense of other public health programs, says a report released today. However, respondents reported increased capacity only in the areas of (1) terrorism preparedness and emergency response and (2) maternal and child health. Capacity was down in the six other areas listed above. “The findings in this report suggest that the efforts of states to meet federal terrorism preparedness program requirements have redirected state resources from other program areas,” the CDC says in one article. Full CSTE reporthttp://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/6693/
May 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The dispute over the sharing of H5N1 avian influenza samples was high on the agenda as the annual meeting of World Health Organization (WHO) member countries began today in Geneva.Indonesia has been withholding H5N1 virus samples since the start of this year out of fear that drug companies would use them to make vaccines priced beyond the country’s reach. WHO officials hope to solve the problem by the time the 60th World Health Assembly (WHA) ends on May 23.”We hope that it [the standoff] will be fully resolved during the assembly,” WHO spokesman Iain Simpson told Agence France-Presse (AFP), according to a story published yesterday.The 193 WHO members will also consider whether remaining smallpox virus stocks should be destroyed, launch a massive yellow fever vaccination campaign in Africa, bolster polio eradication efforts, and examine the effect of climate change on health, according to WHO documents and news agencies.The United States’ top health official weighed in on the virus-sharing dispute today, urging all countries to share samples without attaching strings, according to an AFP report today.”We continue to call on countries everywhere to share influenza samples openly and rapidly, without preconditions,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt was quoted as saying.The WHO has coordinated the international sharing of flu virus samples by national and WHO collaborating laboratories for more than 50 years. Samples of both seasonal flu viruses and novel strains like H5N1 are used to monitor viral evolution and drug resistance and to develop vaccines.After a meeting in late March, Indonesian officials said they would resume sharing the virus samples immediately, in return for a WHO promise to revamp its sample-sharing rules.But Indonesia has continued to withhold the samples, saying it wants a written guarantee that they won’t be shared with drug companies without the country’s consent.According to yesterday’s AFP report, a senior Indonesian health official said the country would urge WHO members at the meeting to scrap the existing policy on sharing of samples.A WHO staff (Secretariat) report prepared for the WHA outlines “best practices” for sharing of flu virus samples, as approved by the WHO’s Pandemic Influenza Task Force at a meeting last September. The report:Calls on member countries to continue sending flu virus specimens to the WHOSays WHO collaborating and reference labs should provide flu virus samples to vaccine producers for the “sole purpose” of developing safe and effective vaccinesEncourages vaccine producers “to expand production and/or transfer technology in order to increase the supply and availability of influenza vaccines globally”Says WHO collaborating labs should not use virus samples for purposes other than public health risk assessment and vaccine development without permission from the source countrySays neither WHO collaborating centers nor national labs should sell virus specimens or otherwise try to profit from participating in the WHO’s surveillance networkUrges WHO collaborating centers and national labs not to impose “agreements or administrative procedures” that would inhibit WHO flu surveillanceUrges member countries that have flu vaccine supplies and access to other flu protection technologies to make “specific efforts” to share these benefits with countries that lack themIn other business at the WHO meeting, Director-General Margaret Chan will ask members to approve a 15% increase in the agency’s budget for 2008-09, to $4.2 billion, according to AFP.The meeting is also scheduled to officially launch a 4-year campaign to vaccinate 48 million people in 12 African countries against yellow fever, the story said. The WHO estimates that yellow fever attacks 200,000 people in Africa and Latin America each year and kills 30,000, AFP reported.See also:WHA journal with schedulehttp://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA60/A60_J-en.pdfReport by the WHO Secretariat on “Avian and pandemic influenza: Best practice for sharing influenza viruses and sequence data”http://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA60/A60_ID1-en.pdfWHO staff report on destruction of smallpox virus stockshttp://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA60/A60_ID1-en.pdfReport of the eighth meeting of the WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Researchhttp://www.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA60/A60_40-en.pdf
Jul 24, 2008 (CIDRAP News) The president of the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) complained to Congress last week that the federal program that monitors the air for dangerous pathogens in major cities is a heavy burden on state and local laboratories. “I’m disappointed that I wasn’t aware of the level of concern in the lab community since I’ve taken over the program. I’m committed to resolving that,” said Robert Hooks, deputy assistant secretary for weapons of mass destruction and biodefense in the DHS Office of Health Affairs. In addition, state and local public health labs absorb costs associated with administration, training, and safety for BioWatch contractor personnel, Downes said. Labs have to provide such things as utilities, disposal of infectious waste, support services, computers, telephones, vaccinations, and scientific direction on questionable results. On the science and technology side, Downes complained that DHS has not given lab directors the performance data, including test sensitivity, specificity, and limits of detection, that they need to best interpret test results. Dr. Frances Pouch Downes said the federal BioWatch program, run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), refuses to pay state public health labs for space dedicated to the program or for administration and training services the states provide for it, among other problems. Downes testified at a Jul 16 hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology. “To be blunt, this amounts to nothing less than the federal government demanding a match from state and local governments to defray the expenses of a federal program with no limits, no control on the direction of the program, but almost total responsibility for response,” she stated. Since BioWatch was launched, DHS has paid for the personnel, reagents, and test equipment involved, Hooks said, adding, “We understand there are indirect costs such as space.” He also said the number of sample collectors used in Michigan has increased since 2003, resulting in more samples being analyzed. The BioWatch program was launched in 2003, in the wake of the anthrax letter attacks of the fall of 2001. Michigan’s lab became a host facility for the program in March 2003, Downes said. DHS responseIn response to Downes’s testimony, DHS officials at the hearing expressed some surprise and pledged to respond to the concerns of state and local lab officials. (A video recording of the hearing is available on the subcommittee Web site.) Federal demands ‘limitless’In prepared testimony, she said she accepted the program with the understanding that it would not divert her lab from other testing priorities and that she would control the program’s quality and safety. “Unfortunately, we have never hit this mark and are moving further away from it,” she said. BioWatch’s space demands on Michigan’s lab have grown “at an unrestricted pace” and “are limitless,” Downes complained. Because of limited funds and legal restrictions, “DHS has said they will not reimburse for the use of laboratory and storage spacean issue they say is nonnegotiable,” she added. She said some scientists are concerned that certain pathogens may occur naturally in certain areas, such as the tularemia agent in the Houston area, triggering positive tests results that are not due to terrorism. But other than some descriptive data from Houston and Virginia, labs have not received “data depicting the background levels and types of organisms in the environment.” Hooks said he had offered to meet with Downes and others to improve DHS’s partnership with the states. “We want to provide an early detection capability for the nation that benefits the nation,” he added. “This isn’t an issue of the BioWatch Program Office against the state and local community.” Downes made several recommendations for correcting the problems she described. For example, she suggested that DHS could use a cooperative agreement mechanism to pay state and local labs to manage the BioWatch program. BioWatch contractor employees could then be integrated into the lab staff, which would help labs fulfill their required missions. State and local labs provide testing services for the BioWatch program, which samples the air in 30 major cities for pathogens such as anthrax, smallpox virus, plague, and other agents that bioterrorists might try to use. Downes said DHS and its BioWatch contractor have no contractual relationships or written agreements with state and local labs. Consequently, the labs cannot require the contractor to follow site-specific quality assurance practices and standard operating procedures, including those related to safety. DHS has drafted a memorandum of agreement regarding its relationship with state and local labs, but its terms make it unlikely that state and local governments will accept it anytime soon, she said. “The BioWatch program has been variously described by my fellow state and local laboratory directors as a parasite to the public health laboratory and squatters in valuable public health laboratory space. I am hard-pressed to disagree,” said Downes, who, besides leading the APHL, is director of the Bureau of Laboratories in the Michigan Department of Community Health. BioWatch Director Dr. Jeffrey Stiefel said he knew state lab officials had concerns about BioWatch but wasn’t aware they were as great as described by Downes. “We’ve just changed contractors, and there’s always turbulence when that occurs,” he commented.