US coronavirus death toll reaches 61 as cities, states close bars and other venues

first_imgiStock(NEW YORK) — There are at least 3,244 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the United States and at least 61 coronavirus-related deaths in the country as of Sunday. COVID-19 has reached 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. More restaurants and schools are closing across the nation to try to stop the spread. Globally, there are more than 162,600 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 5,800 deaths, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and ABC News reporting.Here’s how the news unfolded Sunday. All times Eastern:12:21 a.m. Washington to shut down bars, eliminate in-person diningWashington state is following the national trend shuttering entertainment venues and recreational facilities, and limiting restaurants to delivery and take-out.Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement Sunday night local time announcing that he will sign the statewide proclamation on Monday.The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies, although other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy, the statement said.“These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease,” Inslee said.Washington’s King Country, which includes the county seat of Seattle, has been one of the centers of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.12:11 a.m. Los Angeles closing bars, clubs and gymsLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the city will be closing bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until at least March 31.Restaurants will remain open only for takeout and delivery.The order extends to libraries, recreation centers and zoos.Grocery stores, pharmacies and food banks will remain open, the mayor said. In addition, the announcement included a moratorium on evictions for renters.The executive order, which came an hour after New York City made a similar announcement, puts the United States’ two largest cities under unprecedented restrictions during a national health crisis.The Los Angeles closures go into effect Sunday at midnight local time.“This will be a tough time, but it is not forever. Angelenos have always risen to meet difficult moments, and we will get through this together,” Garcetti said in a statement.11:17 p.m. Peace Corps to suspend worldwide operationsThe Peace Corps is suspending all activities around the world in 60 countries, effectively shutting down the service for the time being.The move will evacuate thousands of volunteers from host countries.The 59-year-old organization, founded by President John F. Kennedy, had already recalled volunteers from China and Mongolia because of COVID-19.10:05 p.m. NYC to shutter bars, limit restaurants to takeout and deliveryNew York City becomes the latest city in the U.S. to order the mandatory closure of all bars, movie theaters and entertainment venues, per an announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio.In addition, restaurants and cafes will be limited to food take-out and delivery only.The closures will go into effect Tuesday at 9 a.m.“This is not a decision I make lightly,” De Blasio said in a statement. “These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.”The announcement came just hours after the mayor announced the cancelation of classes in the city’s public school system.Several other U.S. cities have announced similar restrictions.8:40 p.m. Red Cross in urgent need of bloodThe number of blood drive cancellations is “growing at an alarming rate,” according to the Red Cross. About 1,500 blood drives have been canceled so far, resulting in 46,000 fewer blood donations, according to the organization.In light of coronavirus concerns, the organization is taking additional precautions at blood-donation facilities, including monitoring the temperature of staff and donors, providing hand sanitizer, increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment, and spacing beds where possible.Red Cross officials are reminding people that donating blood is a safe process, and that they should not hesitate to donate if they are healthy and eligible to give blood.8 p.m. CDC recommends eliminating large gatheringsThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new recommendations that mass gatherings of 50 or more people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.The types of events include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other similar assemblies, according to a statement from the CDC.The recommendation does not apply to day-to-day operations such as schools or businesses.7:50 p.m. Wynn, MGM Resorts to close hotels on Las Vegas stripWynn Las Vegas and Encore on the Las Vegas strip will be temporarily closed.Wynn Resorts will continue to pay all of its full-time employees, according to a statement from the company.A limited number of employees and management will remain at the resorts to secure and maintain the facilities.The closure will take effect on Tuesday and will last for at least two weeks.All MGM resorts on the strip will close as well, MGM announced. Casino operations will close on Monday, and hotel operations will close on Tuesday.MGM will reopen its resorts “as soon as it safe to do so” and will provide support to employees, according to a statement. Reservations for arrivals prior to May 1 will not be taken.7:10 p.m. Another NBA player tests positiveA member of the Detroit Pistons has become at least the third NBA player to become infected with the coronavirus.The player, who was not identified, has been isolated since Wednesday and is under the care of medical staff, the Pistons said in a statement.Last week, Utah Jazz players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the virus. 5:52 p.m. New York City closes public schoolsNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that the city’s public school system is canceling classes as of Monday morning to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The mayor said that all New York City public schools will be closed through at least Monday, April 20, at a minimum, and at a maximum the entire remaining school year could be canceled. The unprecedented decision will shutter schools for the nation’s largest school system, leaving more than a million students at home. De Blasio said the Department of Education is working to roll out an ambitious remote learning program that is slated to begin next week. School officials said they had determined that approximately 300,000 of the system’s 1.1 million students do not have a connected device, and administrators were working with Apple to purchase 300,000 iPads to loan to those students so they could participate in the school system’s distance learning program. “I am distraught at having to take this action, but I became convinced over the last few days that we have no other choice,” de Blasio said about the decision to close the city’s schools. “We’ve seen the latest models [regarding the spread of the virus] … it’s a sacrifice that has to be done.” The mayor said that as of Sunday, New York City has 329 confirmed coronavirus cases, up from a few dozen last week. Five city residents have died from the coronavirus. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont also announced Sunday that schools would close from Tuesday through at least March 31. Students who receive meals through the school lunch and breakfast program will be able to continue receiving meals while classes are canceled — similar to the way summer meals are operate, Lamont said. 5:50 p.m. Starbucks to close some storesStarbucks is temporarily switching to a “to-go” model and will close some stores in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Seattle-based coffee company will pause all seating at restaurants, including inside the café and on outside patios, according to a letter sent to partners. Customers will still be able to order at the counter or via the mobile app. 5:40 p.m. All coronavirus testing will be freeVice President Mike Pence announced that coronavirus testing will now be free for all Americans. Nearly two million tests will be available by the end of the week, officials said during a press conference at the White House Sunday afternoon.5:25 p.m. Fed lowers interest rates to near zeroThe Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates to near zero amid the coronavirus outbreak. The new rate is to 0.25%, according to a press release from the Federal Reserve. “In light of these developments, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to 1/4 percent,” the release read. President Donald Trump praised the decision during a White House news conference on Sunday. “It’s really good news,” Trump said. “It’s something that’s really great for our country.”4:50 p.m. Germany closes borders to neighboring countriesGermany will close its borders with France, Luxembourg, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland starting Monday in an effort to stave off the COVID-19 pandemic. “The spread of the coronavirus is progressing rapidly and aggressively,” German Interior Minister Horst Seehoder said in a press conference Sunday. Seehoder said that one of the most important measures is to “cut off the source of infection,” by limiting social events and travel. 4:45 p.m. Illinois bans dining outIllinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that all bars and restaurants in the state will be closed from Monday to March 30. Restaurants will still be allowed drive-thru and delivery services. “This is not a joke. No on one is immune to this,” Pritzker said during a news conference Sunday. 4:06 p.m. Ohio shutters all restaurantsAll restaurants and bars in Ohio are ordered to close beginning at 9 p.m. Sunday, said Gov. Mike DeWine. The state has 36 COVID-19 cases including one person who started showing symptoms in early February, DeWine said. “Establishments can stay open for carry-out and delivery,” DeWine tweeted. “What we can’t have is people congregating and seated.” “Every day we delay, more people will die,” the governor tweeted. 2:53 p.m. Louis Vuitton to make free hand sanitizerFrench luxury goods company Louis Vuitton says it’s dedicating its perfume and cosmetics production facilities in France to make large quantities of hand sanitizer for hospitals free of charge.2:38 p.m. National Institutes of Health employee tests positive for COVID-19An employee with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has tested positive for COVID-19, NIH said Sunday.“The individual works for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases but is not involved in patient care,” the NIH said in a statement.The employee — who is quarantined at home and “doing well” — did not have symptoms while at work “which is believed to lower the risk of transmission,” the NIH said.The NIH added that it anticipates more cases among its staff.Tune into ABC News Live at noon ET every weekday for the latest news, context and analysis on the novel coronavirus, with resources from the full ABC News team.1:58 p.m. 368 people dead in 24 hours in ItalyItaly, hard-hit by the coronavirus, has seen nearly 3,600 new cases and 368 deaths in 24 hours.This brings the total number of fatalities in the country to 1,809, according to the Italy Civil Protection Agency.12:45 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day changes for Chicago and South Boston Two days before St. Patrick’s Day, one of Chicago’s most celebrated days of the year, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said businesses selling liquor must reduce their capacity, with no more than 100 people inside.Bars and restaurants also can’t allow revelers to line up outside, she said.Meanwhile, in South Boston, bars and restaurants are closing Sunday, according to a tweet from State Sen. Nick Collins.Some South Boston bars appeared packed with St. Patrick’s Day partygoers on Saturday.“We are in uncharted waters,” Collins tweeted. “We are in this together & it’s imperative now that we do all that we can to keep our communities safe.”12:00 p.m. Self quarantine recommended in New Jersey townThe northern New Jersey town of Teaneck is “ground zero” for infections in the state, Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin told ABC News.The town of 41,000 people had 18 cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday.Teaneck is in Bergen County, which has 31 reported cases. Among the confirmed cases in Bergen County is a hospital worker. Staff in contact with that worker are now in self-quarantine.Hameeduddin said county officials decided to close all schools, municipal buildings, parks and other places where people congregate.The mayor recommends Teaneck families stay home and only leave for food and medicine. Hameeduddin said residents should assume they’ll be infected if they go out.The self-quarantine is completely voluntary, Teaneck Township Manager Dean Kazinci said Sunday.11:36 a.m. New York governor wants federal troops to be mobilized to fight coronavirusIn an op-ed in The New York Times, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging President Donald Trump to let states take over coronavirus testing.Cuomo also asked the president to mobilize the Army Corps of Engineers to expand hospital capacity.“States cannot build more hospitals, acquire ventilators or modify facilities quickly enough. At this point, our best hope is to utilize the Army Corps of Engineers to leverage its expertise, equipment and people power to retrofit and equip existing facilities — like military bases or college dormitories — to serve as temporary medical centers,” Cuomo said.“We believe the use of active duty Army Corps personnel would not violate federal law because this is a national disaster,” Cuomo wrote. “Doing so still won’t provide enough intensive care beds, but it is our best hope.”There are 729 cases of COVID-19 in New York, the most of any state in the country. Of those 729 people, 137 are in hospitals.At a news conference Sunday, Cuomo urged private businesses to “aggressively consider” working from home and voluntary close. He did not rule out taking more action.  10:20 a.m. More universities stop classesYale is joining the growing list of universities to cancel in-person classes for the rest of semester.One Yale community member has tested positive for COVID-19 and two others who were in contact with that person are awaiting test results, university officials said Saturday. All three are at a New Haven, Connecticut, hospital, officials said.Students are to remain off-campus and learn online for the rest of the spring semester, including final exams, officials said.“It is too soon to say whether Commencement Weekend, scheduled for mid-May, will be carried out in the traditional way,” the officials said.Michigan State University officials also decided Saturday that classes will only be offered online for the rest of the semester.MSU said graduation is postponed.9:27 a.m. Holy Week celebrations closed to public, says VaticanVatican officials said Sunday that Holy Week celebrations — the week before Easter — will be closed to the public because of the coronavirus. Easter is on April 12.Why is Italy being hit so hard?Italy is on lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 which has killed over 1,400 people in the country.Two of the pope’s weekly gatherings, on Wednesdays and Sundays, will continue to be livestreamed until Easter Sunday, said Vatican officials.8:38 a.m. Nike closes storesNike is closing its stores in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, company officials said Sunday.The closures will last from March 16 through March 27.8:03 a.m. Hospital workers contract coronavirus in BostonA spokesperson for Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has confirmed that an undisclosed number of their health care workers have contracted coronavirus.“As the novel coronavirus spreads across the globe, it is inevitable that health care workers will be infected, as is now the case at the Brigham. We are in the process of contacting patients and staff who may have been exposed,” the spokesperson said. “We have been in close contact with the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health and the Boston Public Health Commission and we will continue to follow their and CDC’s guidance, as well as the advice of our own infectious diseases experts as the situation continues to evolve.”5:55 a.m. People over 70 to self-isolate in U.K.People over the age of 70 will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months as the United Kingdom escalates its fight against the coronavirus.Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that it is a “very big ask,” but it is for their own “self-protection.”The U.K.’s coronavirus death toll rose on Saturday from 11 to 21 and the total number of people testing positive passed 1,000.5:31 a.m. Muslim holy sites closeThe Islamic Waqaf, the highest Islamic authority in Jerusalem for Muslims, has decided to close down the third holiest place in Islam for prayer because of the coronavirus. The prayer will only be allowed at the plaza in the open air area but not inside the two buildings, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.3:57 a.m. Tom Hanks tweets Australian-themed update“Thanks to the Helpers. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other,” tweeted actor Tom Hanks, along with a photo of a kangaroo, koala and vegemite on toast.Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, are in Australia where they tested positive for COVID-19 last week.3:10 a.m. Israeli Prime Minister’s corruption trail postponedA Jerusalem district court announced it was postponing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal trial for two months because of restrictions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The hearing will now begin on May 24.2:50 a.m. Long lines at airports as travelers wait for screeningsAs President Trump’s European travel restrictions go into effect, thousands of airline passengers are facing hours-long waiting lines for enhanced coronavirus screenings by the CDC and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at airports across the country.Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tweeted, “The crowds & lines [Chicago’s] O’Hare [airport] are unacceptable & need to be addressed immediately.”Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, is calling wait times “unacceptable.”Morgan tweeted Sunday that “some of the resources of our partners are stretched thin” and that CBP is continuing to adjust its resources.The Department of Homeland Security said: “Upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to enhanced entry screening where the passenger will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will then be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to proceed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices.”Trump said in a tweet Sunday, “We are doing very precise Medical Screenings at our airports. Pardon the interruptions and delays, we are moving as quickly as possible, but it is very important that we be vigilant and careful. We must get it right. Safety first!”1:30 a.m.: Trump tests negative for COVID-19Trump has tested negative for COVID-19, a White House physician said Saturday.While hosting the Brazilian delegation at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last week, Trump came in close contact with at least two people who later tested positive for the virus. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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HE WANTS MORE: Michael Guigou to USAM Nimes

first_imgLeave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Related Items:Michael Guigou, USAM Nimes No. 18! Michael Guigou to pay homage to Jackson Richardson! FUTURE IS COMING: Michael Guigou is no more Montpellier’s captain! PSG Handball beat USAM Nimes to stay on 100% Click to comment Recommended for you ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsMichael Guigou won’t finish his professional career at Montpellier handball, where he spent 20 years with tremendous successes.The 37-years old iconic French left wing will join USAM Nimes with two years contract in the pocket.The Olympic, World, European champion and EHF CL winner didn’t stay in his club which caused some tension between him and the coach Patrice Canayer explained in statements.Guigou will be replaced by Hugo Descat, who is coming from Romanian Bucharest. ShareTweetShareShareEmaillast_img read more

Questlove Mourns His Fallen Chicken Shop Hybird

first_imgIn another smooth move by the host with the most, Questlove has released a bold statement regarding the closing of his (primarily) fried chicken stand. Hybird was opened in May of 2013 with a pricey and varying menu, but to an excited and willing audience. Though the Chelsea Market was an ideal place to host the stand (which also had dumplings, cupcakes, and slushies), his restaurateur partner Stephen Starr agreed that maybe now was not the time for the bird to fly the cook.Somewhat complexly, and in 800 very Questlove-like words, he writes about his motivation and commitment to ever-developing ideas; his growing passion for food and how he came to idolize certain chefs. He compared their work to the work of jazz greats, and how he drew inspiration from them in the same way he was inspired by his hip-hop predecessors. He recognized the recognition, listing off the praise Hybird received during its short flight. It was in his final nod to his chicken stand that he might have let it go- Questlove admits to losing balance, to not being ready for the restaurant road.He begins and ends the eulogy with metaphorically challenging, but relevant questions, which all warrant responses:To Get To The Other Side“’tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.” —william shakespeare“I never half step cause I’m not a half stepper”—phife dawgthe bird has flown the coup—or did it jump the shark?what goes up must come downton (class issues aside)it wasn’t no thang but a chicken wang (actually it was a drumstick) ?how birdy can a high (concept) beez?speaking of beez, did we beez in a trap?fool disclosure (once more w/ feeling): most of you know that i stay on my culinary grind and a few months back i opened up my hybird stand in chelsea market w/ restaurateur steven starr. long story short, we closed hybird (but you sorta know that… don’t you?)now that I’ve cut to the chase bear w/ me while i chase my tale a lil more.I’m about nothing if I’m not about ideas (or if I’m getting my tautological on… if I ain’t about an idea, I’m about nothin’). sculpting ideas, smacking ‘em, flipping ‘em, rubbing ‘em down or waving them in the air like I just don’t care… these are “the things” of my life. a meme’s a terrible thing to waste (and I’ve wasted quite a few here), mine are like my children and I really, really care about them (yes, I care very deeply). I guess you can say I’m passionate, so much so, I almost literally wear my heart on my sleeve (well, it actually resides on my lapel, but I digress).I love music, I love art, I love literature, theatre, tv, film and smart, big-hearted women (tmi). over the last few years I’ve fallen in love with ideas about food (my new old gal). I can’t exactly remember when it happened but, at some point, I realized that my lego shield had been struck by cupid when I began to hold ferran adria and jiro in the same high regard previously only reserved for say… jay dilla.i too dreamed of sushi or techno emotional cuisine in the same vein as dreaming of new breakbeats or organizing harmony. so i dabble and ate and studied and ate and dreamed and ate becoming friends with some of the greatest chefs on the entire planet. the top ones cook like the best jazzmen, like gil or bill evans. they’re thoughtful, nerdy, sensitive types, dreamers that waltz for the debs or pull deliciousness out of their cool.so having come forward, now it’s time to stand down. the stand is down. my foodie partner (starr) and i have killed the lofty idealized hybird (after all, they shoot chickens don’t they?). kinda weird to pull the plug considering the bird’s critical swag: cover of new york magazine, mentions in the new york times, bon appetit, food & wine, elle, the new yorker, zagat, paper magazine, new york post, village voice, time out, the hollywood reporter, vogue, and a cameo on the view where sherri shepherd and jenny mccarthy came to hybird to meet me for lunch.but after a lifetime of balancing art and commerce i find myself once again at the fork knife and spoon in the road. and unlike my other jobs this venture isn’t survival based (as you know… “I be riding around and getting it”). if anything its from the heart (my real one) and it’s not satisfying that heart it’s not satisfying at all. and so bye bye birdie. chicken, scratched. the killing was kinda akin to throwing your pretty, witty, emo daughter under the bus….well….because she’s a pretty, witty, emo chick who’s become taken w/ dancing at the edge of a fiscal cliff. (say what say what say whuuuut?). thing is.. the gentle curves of daughter’s arabesque looked far more graceful portending ruin (well, as my biz manager would say “diminishing returns”) then they looked selling out (or outright selling. luck be a lady after all right?). at the end of the day, the “poor sales” were turning the corner, but the girl was getting left behind (so what ensued? think hilary swank in that million dollar baby joint… more on this miss later).so consider this to be part one of my grubby missive…or would that be a dis-missive (potato, frittata, let’s call the whole thing off)). I expect to be expecting follow-ups, as inquiring inquirers will certainly want to be knowing, but in the meantime, I’ll preemptively leave you with some questo questions.1) hybird may have become a chicken without a head, but could it have been a lame duck?2) the chicken or the egg?3) Invocation or lost in translation?4) flown coup or avian flew?5) seasoned ending or cliffhanger?stay tuned for part the deux, deux (I’ll be back but for now just seckle).r.i.p. hybird 2014-2013last_img read more

Yes & Toto Announce Co-Headlining Summer Tour

first_imgClassic rock bands YES and Toto have announced a co-headlining summer tour, playing at major arenas and venues nationwide. Kicking off in early August at the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Casino, the tour will bring both bands across the country for just over a month’s worth of performing.Yes will release a new live CD/DVD, Like It Is, on July 7th, and Toto just released their newest studio album, Toto XIV, their first in a decade.“We are so honored to be touring with our musical heroes, YES” remarked Toto founder/guitarist Steve Lukather. “Life changing music for me and the guys and we even have a song on our new record totally inspired by them so it is a lifelong love of their music that has kept us fans to this day. We all stood and waited in line for tickets to see Close to the Edge and Topographic.. many many shows as young upcoming musicians/fans in the 70’s and were blown away and inspired to be better musicians and composers by YES’s amazing music, musicianship and insanely cool live shows. This is a crazy dream come true for us and we can’t wait to do this tour and to make new friends and solidify old friendships.”More information can be found via the YES website.Yes & Toto Tour DatesAug 07 – Fox Theater, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket CT Aug 08 – New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark NJ Aug 09 – Event Center, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City NJ Aug 11 – Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY Aug 12 – Pier Six Pavilion, Baltimore MD Aug 14 – The Rose Music Center at The Heights, Huber Heights OH Aug 15 – Freedom Hill Ampitheatre, Detroit MI Aug 16 – First Merit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, Chicago IL Aug 18 – Iowa State Fair, Des Moines IA Aug 19 – The Family Arena, St. Charles MO Aug 21 – Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi MS Aug 22 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Atlanta GA Aug 23 – Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater FL Aug 25 – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston TX Aug 26 – Majestic Theatre, San Antonio TX Aug 27 – Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, Grand Prairie TX Aug 30 – Denver Botanic Gardens, Littleton CO Aug 31 – Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre, Salt Lake City UT Sep 02 – AVA Amphitheater at Casino del Sol Resort, Tucson AZ Sep 04 – The Pool at Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale AZ Sep 05 – Starlight Theater, Pala Casino Spa Resort, Pala CA Sep 06 – Greek Theatre, Los Angeles CA Sep 08 – The Mountain Winery, Saratoga CA Sep 10 – Little Creek Casino Resort, Shelton WA Sep 11 – Northern Quest Resort & Casino, Airway Hghts WA Sep 12 – Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, Coquitlam BClast_img read more

House approves equal pay act, 115-22

first_imgby Alicia Freese March 20, 2013 vtdigger.org Resistance from a handful of Republican lawmakers wasn’ t enough to prevent the House from passing a bill Wednesday that expands the state’ s equal pay act.H.99 requires employers to consider requests for flexible work schedules, and it prohibits them from retaliating against employees who request these arrangements or who inquire about co-workers’ wages.A small, vocal, and mostly Republican contingency voted against the bill. It passed, 115-22, during a roll call vote on Wednesday.The vote came one day after the state’ s original equal pay act, passed in 2002, made its debut in court.Prior to its arrival on the House floor, H.99 encountered pushback from several business trade groups that considered certain provisions ‘ too prescriptive.’House Minority Leader Don Turner was more blunt in his appraisal of the bill: ‘ It’ s anti-business.’Most of the objections coming from members of the Republican caucus are part of broader campaign to stem the tide of bills that unfairly target Vermont businesses, Turner said. ‘ They feel this bill sends the message that Vermont businesses are not treating their employees fairly.’Rep. Linda Waites-Simpson, D-Essex Junction, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said the bill was revised to address concerns raised by business representatives, and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce were content with the changes.While the Republican caucus didn’ t take a formal stance on the issue, a number of its members voiced concerns about the bill. Much of the dissent centered on the provisions that prohibit retaliation against wage inquiries and require consideration of flex time requests. Opponents to the bill argued that these stipulations would spawn unintended problems and besiege already overburdened small businesses.Rep. Michael Herbert, R-Vernon, said the bill could even discourage businesses from moving to the state.The bill requires employers to respond within 30 days of a request for flexible work schedules and to make a decision within two weeks of their response. It limits the number of requests an employee can make to two per year. Employers are free to reject these requests if they are ‘ inconsistent with its business operations or its legal or contractual obligations.’H.99 also prevents businesses from penalizing people from asking about other employees’ wages, though it does not require anyone to disclose this information.Other lawmakers took issue with the core concept of the bill ‘ that further steps should be taken to shrink the wage gap between genders in Vermont. The refrain ‘ this is a bill in search of a problem’ was repeated several times.Rep. Douglas Gage, R- Rutland City, said strengthening equal pay law doesn’ t make sense at a time when ‘ women are elevated to new levels all the time and men quite frankly on the decline.’(Rep. Richard Marek, D-Newfane, countered that if men face wage discrimination in the future, this bill would protect them as well.)Rep. Robert Bouchard, R-Colchester, said the bill tries to solve a problem that economic forces will eradicate anyway. ‘ I understand there may be a gender gap but I think the market is working and taking care of that on its own.’On Wednesday, Bouchard offered an amendment that would exempt small businesses ‘ those with 25 employees or fewer ‘ from the law.Waites-Simpson said Attorney General Bill Sorrell informed her committee that roughly 90 percent of Vermont businesses fall into that category. The amendment was rejected.Turner also made the case that the bill doesn’ t have the ‘ teeth’ necessary to make a difference. ‘ Why pass something that doesn’ t really do anything?’ he asked, pointing out that H.99 doesn’ t spell out specific ramifications for businesses if they don’ t comply with its provisions. Businesses could, however, face lawsuits for failing to comply.When the bill was first introduced in January, Sorrell described its primary purpose as ‘ giving teeth to what is our existing law.’last_img read more

Five for ’15: Regular Season Finale

first_imgFive for ’15: Regular Season Finale Ben GotzMarch 11, 2015Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintAs the regular season finale comes up on the horizon, the Gophers are still trying to chase consistency.Three straight weeks have brought three straight opening wins for the Gophers, but they’ve also lost the season finale the past three weeks as well.”I think we’ve proven if we play how we’re capable of I don’t think there’s anyone we can’t beat,” senior forward Travis Boyd said. “But you know, on the flip side, if we play how we’ve been playing on the last couple Saturdays there’s definitely no one who cannot beat us.”The Gophers have one last shot to iron things out before entering the postseason, and one last shot to claim a regular season championship for the fourth straight season. The Gophers senior class set a record last year as juniors by winning three regular season during their time at Minnesota, but just one win will almost certainly not be enough to claim a fourth and a new program record.”I think it’s pretty important for my class, the seniors, to go four-for-four in conference championships,” Boyd said. “That’d be something that I don’t think ever has been done here so that would be cool.”Here’s four other points and storylines emerging as the Gophers last series of the regular season comes up, starting with one piece of sad news:1. Connor Reilly undergoes surgeryRedshirt sophomore Connor Reilly underwent surgery on Tuesday according to head coach Don Lucia. The move officially ends Reilly’s season and rules out him returning for the postseason.”I feel bad for Connor, what he’s had to endure,” Lucia said. “One more injury and we just felt at this point it’d be better for him to go ahead and have the surgery so he’s healthy when next year rolls around.”Reilly was the Gophers leading goal scorer with 11 when he was injured on the road against Wisconsin Jan. 31. The redshirt sophomore had overcome two previous knee surgeries to become a key contributor on the team’s offense and power play.Lucia said Dr. Robert F. LaPrade performed Reilly’s surgery. Reilly had previously traveled to Vail, Colorado to see Dr. LaPrade for his previous two knee surgeries. 2. Six man senior classThe Gophers six man senior class of Kyle Rau, Travis Boyd, Sam Warning, Seth Amrboz, Christian Isackson and Ben Marshall have accomplished plenty in their time at Minnesota.Three straight regular season titles preceded three straight NCAA berths and two Frozen Four appearances.Combined, the six have 128 of the team’s 328 points and 58 of the team’s 118 goals. Seniors center three of the team’s four lines. When the Gophers were in a slump in the middle of the season, the all senior line of Boyd, Ambroz and Warning was a major factor in two straight sweeps of Ohio State and Michigan that put the Gophers back into contention.”They’re all program guys,” Lucia said. “[We] have some guys who could’ve left after last year who elected to come back because of what the program means. I’m just grateful for this group of seniors, how loyal they’ve been, how much they’ve meant to this program.”Boyd said it didn’t hit him that this week was his last week of practice at Mariucci Arena until Warning pointed it out to him. It still hasn’t hit Rau yet, though he said he won’t necessarily miss practices.”Probably won’t hit me until the end,” Rau said. “This is my last week of practice here, which is nice. Big rink to skate up and down for an hour.”3. Postseason mindsetEven though their NCAA future is not secure, the Gophers still think they have a chance to make noise in the postseason.”I think we’re doing good,” Rau said. “You look at it, Adam Wilcox. He’s someone that we’ve come to rely on and he’s playing his best hockey of the year. And whenever you can look back and say that about your goalie that makes everyone else feel good and lets your team feel more confident.”The Gophers mentioned this week that they know they have a chance if they just get in the dance. The trick will be punching their ticket.”Once you’re in the tournament, it’s head-to-head match-up, whoever’s better on that day moves on so just getting in there and giving ourselves a chance,” Boyd said. “I think we’ve got of experience and if we can get into the NCAA tournament, I don’t see a reason why we can’t make a deep run.”4. Defending the Nittany LionsThe Gophers know they’ll have to face a high volume of shots this weekend. In their first two contests against the Nittany Lions, Penn State recorded a total of 70 shots on goal.”Penn State, they’re a hardworking team and they’ll shoot the puck…from anywhere,” Marshall said. “Blocking shots is going to be critical, gaps [are] going to be critical, making sure we’re on their top guys, knowing who’s on the ice. All the little things that play a huge part in defense hockey.”The Gophers pieced together a solid defensive game their first match-up with the Nittany Lions, grinding out the clock in a 2-1 victory. But in the second game Penn State got more shots home in a 4-3 overtime win.If the Gophers want to come out of the weekend with a fourth straigiht regular season title, they’re going to need to focus on playing like they did the first game.”Towards the end of the year here, [defense is] something that needs to be almost perfect, if not perfect,” Marshall said. “Towards the playoff run and especially the push that we need to make this weekend defense needs to be critical.”last_img read more

COVID-19 Update Turks and Caicos

first_img Washing our hands for 20secs or more.Wearing of masks required in public.Practicing social distancing.Prepare your home, office and other surroundings by following the advice of the Ministry of Health and other credible health agencies.Cover your coughs and sneezes (use your elbow or a tissue which should be properly disposed of).Keep frequently touched surfaces clean e.g. tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.Protect those who are vulnerable in the community such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions.Do not discriminate against persons who have or are suspected of having COVID-19. Oct 16, 2020 Oct 15, 2020 The total number of confirmed positive cases identified in the TCI to date has increased to ninety-nine (99). No new recoveries have been recorded over the past 24hrs, the total number of recoveries stands at thirty-five (35). No new COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded and total COVID-19 related deaths remain at two (2). Let’s continue to reduce the risk by: CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak A suspected person is someone who meets the case definition as outlined by WHO and CARPHA – and is experiencing symptoms.A person in quarantine is an individual on island who may have come in proximity to suspected or confirmed cases – and have not exhibited symptoms. You may be interested in… Oct 16, 2020 Oct 15, 2020 For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health website, www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus; email: [email protected]; or call our hotline numbers, (649) 232-9444 and (649) 333-0911, if you or someone you know has symptoms or signs of COVID-19. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Share this on WhatsApp Eight (8) new test results have been recorded since the previous UPDATE. confirming two (2) individuals positive and six (6) others confirmed negative for covid-19. To date, the TCI has recorded a total of one thousand one hundred and twenty-one (1121) test results, with one thousand and twenty-two (1022) confirmed to be negative and ninety-nine (99) positive confirmations. All persons confirmed not to have COVID-19, and any contacts, (if quarantined, will be removed from quarantine/observation status) are asked to continue following proper guidelines from the Ministry of Health. The number of persons in quarantine/observation has decreased to 176. This includes: Confirmed cases (61), primary contacts of confirmed cases (80), secondary contacts of confirmed cases (29) returning TCI residents (6) – Nine (9) of these persons are currently being quarantined at a non-medical facility. Persons under observation/quarantine, that are not confirmed or suspected cases, are either not displaying symptoms or have not met the case definition. Please note the following definitions: Local testing is being conducted for persons in a range of categories, according to the national testing strategy. This includes frontline workers and those who may need to travel for treatment abroad. These persons would not be reflected in quarantine numbers. Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… The Turks and Caicos Islands continues to see changes in its COVID-19 position since the previous update. two (2) new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded. one (1) case is a contact of a known confirmed case, and the other case has no clear epidemiological link. These new cases have increased the number of active confirmed cases in the tci to sixty-one (61), with three (3) cases continuing to be under hospital care. The Public Health Team is continuing its implementation of aggressive contact tracing and control measures in relation to all active cases. The change in quarantine/observation numbers is as a result of the new confirmed cases and their contacts being added to Quarantine/observation status; and persons whose quarantine period has expired and been removed from quarantine/observation status. To date, a total of 1,200 individuals have been released from quarantine/observation status.  The Ministry of Health wishes to advise the public that as at 12am on 26th July 2020: St. Lucia records more cases of COVID The public is strongly urged to follow all health advice and guidelines from the Ministry, especially as we progress with the phased reopening.last_img read more

Ireland: Groundbreaking Ceremony for Wave and Tidal Energy Research Centre

first_imgTaoiseach Enda Kenny is to attend a groundbreaking ceremony today in Cark harbour for the international centre for marine research, reports the Irish Times.Beaufort laboratory, which costs around €15 million, will house a national ocean energy test facility.Dr Tony Lewis of the University College Cork will manage this centre, which could have the greatest concentration of researchers of wave and tidal energy worldwide.The project will generate up to 200 jobs during the construction, with around 60 permanent jobs after it is completed next July.[mappress]Offshore WIND staff, July 11, 2013; Image: Enda Kennylast_img read more

Bar goes ahead with aptitude test for entrants

first_imgProspective barristers will have to take an aptitude test as part of their application to bar school, the Bar Standards Board confirmed. All students applying for a place on the bar professional training course (BPTC) will have to take the test, at a cost of £150 (£170 for overseas students) – over twice as much as the £67 proposed by the BSB in its consultation. Students hoping to start the BPTC in 2013 will have until the end of July to pass the test. They will be able to register for it from 1 March and take it from 3 April. Applicants will sit the tests in assessment centres across the UK and around the world. They will be able to take the BCAT as many times as they need to, subject to a fixed interval between retakes. The BCAT will test students’ critical thinking and reasoning, not knowledge of law or procedure. Practice tests will be available on the BSB website from April. The test was introduced in response to recommendations made by the Bar Vocational Course Review Group, chaired by Derek Wood QC. Its report found that nearly half of BPTC students considered that the presence of weak students had affected their learning experience on the course. BSB chair Lady Deech said: ‘Most students who fail the BPTC do so because they struggle with the critical thinking and reasoning required for practical elements of the course. Students role-play courtroom and client interactions and if someone on the course finds this difficult, it impacts on the learning of all students,’ she said. Deech added that the test would improve the quality of learning for all students on the BPTC. ‘It will also save prospective candidates the cost of sitting an expensive course they are unlikely to pass.’ The Law Society looked at the idea of introducing a similar test in 2010 for LPC students, but decided not to proceed with it for a variety of reasons. The Society concluded that an aptitude test would not solve the problem that it was designed to address – that of too many students graduating from law school. It said that a successful aptitude test would remove those who were likely to fail the course anyway, thereby improving the quality of candidates, which would have little effect on the number of students graduating and competing for training contracts.last_img read more

City legal giant’s cleaners to strike over living wage

first_img‘Addleshaw Goddard specialises in “employee incentives”, yet they are not demanding that its cleaners enjoy even basic rights,’ the union added.The London Living Wage, set by the independent Living Wage Foundation, is currently £10.55 an hour. This is unrelated to the government’s mandatory National Living Wage, which is £8.21 an hour and payable only to those aged 25 and over.The CAIWU represents over a thousand workers employed mainly in London’s cleaning industry.No one was immediately available for comment at Incentive FM.Addleshaw Goddard said tonight: ‘We are in regular dialogue with our 3rd party suppliers and Incentive FM will be bringing the night shift team in-line with the LLW when salaries are reviewed in the early autumn.’ Cleaning staff at Addleshaw Goddard are to strike next week over their employer’s failure to pay the London Living Wage. A ‘day of protest’ is planned for 9 August outside the international law firm’s offices in the City of London.The cleaners work for London-based facilities management specialist Incentive FM Group.In a statement, the Cleaners & Allied Independent Workers Union said: ‘Incentive FM Group’s failure to pay its night shift cleaning operatives at Addleshaw Goddard the London Living Wage, its failure to award them an equal number of annual leave days per year, and its failure to offer them a contractual sick pay agreement at Addleshaw Goddard is unacceptable.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more