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Property taxation is one of the main obstacles to housing affordability


Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) urged the government to remove the tax, suggesting that removing the property tax would contribute to the housing affordability crisis.

REIA suggested that the National Housing, Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) Stamp Duty: Benefits and Challenges report provides evidence that property taxation is one of the biggest barriers to housing affordability and still markets. efficient.

REIA President Adrian Kelly said families in all states and territories (except ACT) pay more stamp duty today than 20 years ago and that now is the time to take stamp duty reform seriously.

“Politicians cannot on the one hand complain about the affordability of housing; and on the other hand, let’s say we need this income from buyers and homeowners to fund public sector operations, ”Kelly said.

“The calls from the NSW government as reported by the Australian today – with federal governments to set up a productivity fund to push for stamp duty reform – are a sensible approach to make our federation competitive and launch this important reform for good.

“REIA renews our call to the Federal Financial Relations Board to take this issue seriously and nationally rather than simply shifting this responsibility to the states and territories.”

Mr Kelly explained that he was concerned that the supposed alternative form of property taxation (the introduction of property tax) might not be the right solution either.

He warned state governments should reconsider their focus on taxing Australian homes and households.

The report found that a household who bought a median-priced home in Sydney four times in the past 20 years would have paid more than 10 times the amount of tariffs than a household making just one purchase at the start of this period.

Victoria has the highest effective transfer tax rate on a median property, at around 5.4%, up from 4.2% in 2002.

Mr Kelly added that while the report concludes that consumers on the whole are paid more from property tax than a transfer fee, it must be done correctly and considered the lessons learned from the indirect consequences.

“ACT’s experience shows that the property tax scared off market investors and drastically reduced the amount of private rentals available.

“So if you want rents to stabilize, a broad-based tax or even a revision of the GST then shared equally by all sectors of the economy would be the best replacement that does not unfairly tax homes and households.” said Kelly.

“Alternatively, an opt-in approach to stamp duty payment, where the user chooses what to pay and when is another pragmatic approach. We applaud the NHFIC for paving the way for this conversation with evidence-based research. “

List: the least educated and most educated cities in America


Peyton Grant of Lavallette, New Jersey (L) and Lizzy Anderson of White Pigeon Michigan pack their bags and leave their dorm at the University of Michigan on March 17, 2020 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) – If you’re looking for America’s most educated city, you’ll find it in the Midwest.

Ann Arbor, Michigan is the most educated city in the United States according to a recent survey, followed by San Jose, Washington DC and San Francisco.

The WalletHub survey measured the education levels of residents as well as the quality of school systems in this region and related metrics to deliver America’s best-educated cities.

It compared 150 of the most populous metropolitan statistical areas in the United States to score the most and least educated cities in the country.

The five most educated cities in the United States are

  1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  2. San José-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
  3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
  4. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, California
  5. Madison, WI

Ann Arbor has the largest number of residents with high school and higher education levels and the highest quality school system. The survey notes that Ann Arbor also has a significantly high racial education wealth gap outside of the cities surveyed.

The last five for education in the United States are

  1. Modesto, California
  2. Bakersfield, California
  3. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
  4. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas
  5. Visalia, California

Visalia ranked last for residents with a higher level of education, especially bachelor’s and graduate degrees.

In releasing the results, WalletHub notes that “Not all highly educated people will flock to the same fields, however. Some may prefer to have many people with similar education levels around them to socialize and have professional relationships. Others may want to be a big fish in a small pond. Not all cities will offer the same quality of life for higher education graduates. ”

The ranking of cities is also expected to change over the next few years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and the workforce.

To see where your city ranks, check out the full list on the WalletHub website.

Census Bureau workers protest cuts to hours and benefits


Raidizon Mercedes of Riverdale worked as a janitor for 14 years to help clean up the US Census Bureau offices in Suitland.
Mercedes, a father of three, said his daily eight-hour shift was cut in half more than a month ago after Alutiiq Logistics and Maintenance Services (ALMS) took over as a company from subcontractor cleaning for the office.
“I have a family that I have to take care of. I have bills to pay, “he told the Census Bureau on Thursday, July 15.” What is happening is not correct. “
He joined at least two dozen colleagues and members of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in protesting Alutiiq’s decision not to keep an ongoing contract so that workers keep their same working hours fulltime. In addition, the company cut health care, pensions and other benefits.
Mercedes and her colleagues are seen as essential workers who have continued to work during the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the DC area since March 2020.
Jaime Contreras, vice president of 32BJ SEIU, said the entrepreneur seeks to eliminate parts of the contract that harm immigrant workers.
An example, he said, would be the removal of temporary protected status.
The designation granted by the US Department of Homeland Security is intended for those fleeing other countries due to natural disasters, conflict and other extraordinary circumstances. On arrival, these people can receive a work permit and are safe from deportation.
Contreras said the current contract allows these workers up to 90 days to deal with issues such as immigration before losing their jobs. Some of the over 40 workers are GST holders.
“It’s union breakdown,” he said. “It’s shameful and its workers deserve better than that.
Will Powell, a public relations manager for the Central Atlantic region of the General Services Administration, said in an email that Alutiiq’s cleanup contract for the Census Bureau went into effect on June 1.
Malia Villegas, senior vice president of community investments at Afognak Native Corp., released an email statement and said Alutiiq received a contract from GSA in March. Alutiiq is a subsidiary of Afognak headquartered in Alaska.
“After contract award, ALMS worked with the existing workforce according to its plan to employ as many of these people as possible, and it did so with a 91% success rate,” Villegas said. “The ALMS adheres to all aspects of the Service Contracts Act and has effectively maintained the salaries and benefits of its employees to include the payment of dues previously paid into the various union funds of each bargaining member. “
Villegas said negotiations with the union were continuing.
Rosa Pereda de Forestville, who ran the day care service at the Census Bureau for 20 years, said her daily work hours were reduced from eight to six. Pereda, who spoke Spanish as Contreras translated into English, said Alutiiq wanted to reduce sick days from 18 to 12.
Pereda “was depressed” and became emotional as she spoke not only of supporting her family in Prince George County, but also in El Salvador.
If negotiations continue to fail, the next step will be to involve representatives of Congress. Representative Anthony Brown (D-Maryland) represents the 4th Congressional District which includes the location of the Census Bureau.
“It will intensify if [Alutiiq doesn’t] do the right thing, ”Contreras said.
Twitter: @jabariwill

Photo by William J. Ford - Washington Informer Editor

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Editor

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while studying at Bowie State University and thought writing for the school newspaper would help. I don’t know how much it helped me, but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to keep doing it, which I still really enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. In fact, I still play basketball, or at least try to play basketball, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – watching my son and my two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad decision by an official in a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite dishes include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24/7. The strangest thing that ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or the money to change the world, I would make sure everyone had three meals a day. And even though I don’t have a favorite motto or quote, I keep laughing, which keeps me from going crazy. You can reach me in several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or by email, [email protected]

The safety net in the event of a coronavirus pandemic is collapsing. Now what?


Distressed homeowners with loans held by private banks or investors should contact their mortgage agent to see what options they offer. Some of them have followed a framework similar to federally guaranteed loans, but the terms of others may be more obscure.

Regardless of what type of loan you have, the most important action you can take now is to contact your mortgage agent to find out when your payments will resume and how much they will be. If you cannot afford it, the repairer can outline your options. For more advice, you can also consult a housing advisor.

Changes to food stamps – now widely known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program – during the pandemic have been complicated.

But one important change, a 15% increase in benefits for all beneficiaries, only applies until September 30. So if you are currently receiving SNAP benefits, then they may go down. (Congress is considering an extension, SNAP policy experts said, and other changes unrelated to the pandemic – including a steady adjustment in inflation, as well as a potential change in the food basket upon which the benefits – could also help offset any potential reduction.)

A number of other temporary changes will remain in many states for several months.

These changes have increased the benefits for the program, which is funded by the federal government but managed by the states. Beneficiaries received urgently attributions, who increased their monthly benefits to the maximum allowable amounts or more. All told, the average daily benefit per person fell from $ 4 to $ 7 in April of this year, according to Ellen Vollinger, legal director of the Food Research & Action Center.

Access to the program has also become a little easier: Some college students became eligible, unemployed people under 50 without children were not subject to time limits and there were fewer administrative barriers to staying registered, experts said.

Additional allowances can continue to be paid as long as the federal government has declared a public health emergency, which is expected to last at least the rest of the year. But the state administering the benefits must also have a declaration of emergency in place, and at least six states – Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and South Carolina – have ended or will begin soon. withdraw this additional amount, depending on the Center on budgetary and political priorities.

Over 80 pc of Ahmedabad’s population have COVID-19 antibodies: Investigation


A serological survey of around 5,000 people from different parts of the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat found that 81.63% of the sampled population had developed antibodies to COVID-19, officials said on Monday.

People who took both doses of the coronavirus vaccine had high levels of HIV infection compared to those who had not yet been inoculated, they said, citing the results of the recent investigation.

The investigation to detect seropositivity of antibodies against SARS-CoV2, which causes COVID-19, was conducted by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) between May 28 and June 3, when the second wave of the pandemic calmed down.

Seropositivity essentially means the presence of antibodies in the blood serum.

” We perform serosurveillance studies at regular intervals to detect antibodies. Overall, 80% seropositivity was detected in the general population of Ahmedabad. Those who took both doses had high levels of seropositivity compared to those who took none, ”said AMC Medical Officer of Health Dr Bhavin Solanki.

A total of 5,001 samples were collected as part of the study, of which 32 samples were rejected for various reasons and results were available for 4,969 samples – 2,354 males and 2,615 females, he said. .

Of these, 4,056 samples tested positive for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, giving a positivity of 81.63 percent, according to a report from the CMA.

A total of 1,938 men demonstrated the presence of antibodies, giving a positivity of 82.33 percent, while 2,118 women, or 80.99 percent, had antibodies. Thus, seropositivity is higher in men than in women, ”the report states.

The report states that more than 80% of the population had antibodies to COVID-19 due to their past infection, vaccination, or both.

Of the total of 2,887 people in the sample size who had no history of coronavirus infection and were not yet vaccinated, antibodies were found in 2,216 people, representing 76 , 76%, the lowest of the entire sample.

On the flip side, out of 158 people who have both had COVID-19 in the past and took two doses of the vaccine, 154 people, or 97.47%, had antibodies, according to the report.

Additionally, antibodies were found in 164 people out of a total of 173 (94.80 pc), who had COVID-19 in the past but had only taken a single dose of the vaccine (when the investigation was in progress), he said.

Among the unvaccinated, those who were infected with COVID-19 had a higher seropositivity (81.93%) than those without any history of viral illness (76.76 pc), according to the report.

Among those vaccinated as well, those infected with COVID-19 had a higher seropositivity than those without a history of respiratory illness, he said.

Even for these two groups, individuals with two doses of the vaccine had a higher seropositivity than those with a single dose, he said.

A majority of the vaccinated population in our sample was vaccinated with the Covishield vaccine. Although there are very few who were vaccinated with Covaxin in our sample, people with Covaxin have a slightly higher seropositivity compared to Covishield, ” the survey said.

” Considering the dose of vaccine received, those who received no vaccine dose were 77.04 percent seropositive, those with one dose had 86.06 percent seropositivity, while those with 2 doses of vaccine are 94.22 percent seropositive. So, seropositivity increases as the dose of COVID-19 vaccine increases, ”the report said.

As of May 2021, the study estimated that SARS-CoV2 antibody seropositivity was 81.63% in the general population of Ahmedabad, she said.

There is insufficient data “to comment on the state of collective immunity for the whole city,” according to the report.

“Looking at higher seropositivity among vaccinated and higher seropositivity with the completion of both doses, large-scale COVID-19 vaccination for the remaining and incompletely vaccinated population is strongly recommended for complete control of the pandemic situation.” , indicates the report. PTI PJT PD RSY RSY

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Hard-line civil rights activist Gloria Richardson dies at 99


Ms Richardson was invited to speak at the March on Washington in August 1963, though organizers hesitated when she showed up in her signature jeans. She compromised on a denim skirt. Shortly before Dr King’s remarks, she rose to the microphone to speak, but was cut off after saying “hello”, apparently out of fear that she would say something off-message.

Protests in Cambridge continued into 1964, but out of deference to the Attorney General, whose brother, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, Ms. Richardson ended her street level activism. She became the co-founder of an organization, Act, which pushed for systemic change and economic justice in the North.

Ms. Richardson was encouraged by the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which not only enforced desegregation, but also fought discrimination in employment and education. At that point, she had decided to take a step back from the Cambridge movement, partly because of the stress but also because she feared becoming an icon – better, she said, than new ones. leaders take over.

And they did. His departure coincided with the arrival of a new generation of activists like Stokely Carmichael and the Black Panthers, who moved beyond the reformist efforts of Dr King and others to embrace the kind of change Ms Richardson had pointed out.

“They viewed Ms. Richardson as the kind of hard-line black radical leader they should emulate,” Joseph R. Fitzgerald, associate professor of history at Cabrini University in Radnor, Pa., And author of “The Struggle Is Eternal: Gloria Richardson and Black Liberation“Said in an interview.” She showed that you shouldn’t settle for half a loaf of bread. You should take it all.

Gloria St. Clair Hayes was born in Baltimore on May 6, 1922 and moved with her family to Cambridge when she was 6 years old. Her father, John Hayes, owned a pharmacy and her mother, Mabel St. Clair, was a housewife.

The St. Clairs were one of the richest and most influential black families in Maryland. Her grandfather, Herbert St. Clair, was the first black member of Cambridge City Council.

US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy – The New Indian Express


Through PTI

WASHINGTON: US Surgeon General Dr Vivek Murthy on Sunday expressed concern over the “significant increase” in COVID-19 cases in the United States, especially among the unvaccinated population, urging people to do so. vaccinate and assuring them that the current set of vaccines is highly effective against the coronavirus.

The Indian-American doctor said those vaccinated are “highly protected” and that 99.5% of recorded deaths from COVID-19 infection are among those who are not vaccinated. That’s a concern, especially given the Delta variant, Murthy told CNN in an interview.

“What we are seeing in LA County is concerning, this increase in the number of cases. Unfortunately, we are currently seeing an increase among the unvaccinated in many parts of the country and especially given the Delta variant,” he said. -he declares.

“What the CDC did in its guidelines – almost two months ago now, is based on the science that your risk of getting sick or transmitting the virus was low if you were fully immunized. They gave to communities. and individuals the flexibility to make decisions about what to do with the masks, ”he said.

“I am concerned about what we are seeing in the country right now. We are seeing an increase in cases, especially in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low,” he said. However, Murthy said the good news is that among those who are fully vaccinated, there is still a high degree of protection, especially against hospitalizations and death.

“In fact, 99.5% of the deaths we are currently seeing from COVID-19 are among those who are not vaccinated. So fear that we are, in fact, seeing significant increases among the unvaccinated. But the good news is the vaccinated are still highly protected, ”Murthy told Fox News in another interview.

In areas where the number of people vaccinated is low or cases are increasing, it is very reasonable for counties to take more mitigation measures, like the mask rules you see coming out in Los Angeles. he told CNN in response to a question. “And I expect that will happen in other parts of the country as well,” he said.

“Should also say that for individuals as well, depending on their situation, some people may choose to continue wearing masks such as those who may be immunocompromised or people who have family members at home who are not So people can make them Counties certainly have the right to reinstate mitigation measures, and that’s not at odds with CDC guidelines, ”said the Indo-American surgeon general.

Murthy said the current set of vaccines are very effective against COVID-19. In the case of mRNA vaccines, they are over 90% effective in preventing symptomatic infections, but they are not 100% perfect, he said.

“No vaccine is. That means you will see a number of people who have breakthrough cases. But there are two things to know about this. One is that these numbers will be low,” he said. -he declares.

So far, more than 160 million people in the United States have been fully immunized. “So you will see numbers, a minority, a small minority of people who have breakthrough infections. But here’s the other thing to know is that when you are fully vaccinated, even if you have a breakthrough infection. infection is much more likely to be asymptomatic or mild. And this is great news that continues to tell us that these vaccines are very effective, and this is one of the reasons we recommend them. for people across the country, ”he said.

Ryan McMahon, Brendan Rodgers and Yency Almonte in the Rockies’ hot seat in the second half


If we’re playing the “could, should, should have” fantasy baseball game, the Rockies are a playoff contender.

Consider: When they opened the so-called “second half” of the season Friday night against the Dodgers at Coors Field, the Rockies’ record was 40-51. They were 31-17 at Coors Field but 9-34 away.

Now consider: the Rockies had the same overall record as Detroit. If the Rockies had the same percentage of road wins as the Tigers (0.396), the Rockies would have a 17-26 road mark and an overall record of 48-43.

But as famed NFL philosopher Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are.”

And the Rockies’ record says they’re a long-term wildcard prospect – at best.

This means that the franchise faces a lot of critical questions during the second half.

Will they trade shortstop Trevor Story, right-hander Jon Gray, right-hander Mychal Givens or first baseman CJ Cron? Can they figure out how to play competitive baseball on the road? Who can we count on to get out of the bullpen regularly? Can the starting rotation maintain its excellence? Which players are really the building blocks of the future?

Rocky Mountain Business Opportunities

Story, the double all-star, and Gray, a warrior from Coors Field, are the most coveted trading tokens. The two are free agents at the end of the season and Story will say goodbye to Colorado. Gray is also likely to leave.

The Rockies need to rebuild their farming system, ideally with players who are about to be ready for the big league. However, interim general manager Bill Schmidt won’t pull the trigger on a deal unless Colorado gets reasonable value in return.

The story has been linked to the Oakland A’s and the Chicago White Sox, but Schmidt said no deal is imminent. Rumor has it that Gray is going to the Yankees or Dodgers, but those are just rumors at this point.

“Yes, we have decisions to make, but we don’t have to move players for financial reasons,” Schmidt told the Denver Post Thursday. “At the end of the day, it will be about what we can get back. We are not a farming system for others.

If the Rockies trade Story, Gray, or both, their record in August and September could turn ugly, but the long-term payoff will likely be worth it in the short term.

The misfortunes of the road

The numbers tell the story. Away from Coors Field, Colorado ranks last in the majors in wins (nine), batting average (.204), percentage on base (.279), OPS (.584) and shots. circuit (25). The meager total of home runs is alarming. Even the humble Pittsburgh Pirates have hit 41 home runs.

The best quote on Colorado’s helpless traffic violation came from manager Bud Black, who said, “We’re banging our heads against the wall trying to figure this out. We really do.

It would help the Rockies considerably if they could find – or develop – a slugger who can hit a game-changing homer on the road. At least every now and then. Of the Rockies’ 34 road losses this season, 16 have been by two points or less.

Veteran right fielder Charlie Blackmon said the Rockies face a distinct disadvantage because they have to adjust to a different pitch on the road than at Coors Field.

“The ball does things differently (on the road) once it leaves the pitcher’s hand, before reaching home plate,” said Blackmon, who hit a solid .286 on the road but failed. only four home runs this season – none outside of Coors Field.

“At the big league level, playing against the best in the world, having to make these adjustments in competition overnight when hardly anyone else in the game has to, that’s going to have an effect. , ”Added Blackmon.

That’s right, but in all of their history, the Rockies have never hit the road so badly.

Enclosure blues

The inconsistency has been the most consistent thing about the relievers. Closer Daniel Bard and editors Tyler Kinley and Carlos Estevez have been riding a roller coaster all season. Givens, who could be wanted by a number of other teams, was the exception, posting a 2.92 ERA.

The result is a bullpen ERA of 5.29 which is the second highest in the National League after 5.46 for the Diamondbacks. The Rockies relievers allowed 43% of legacy runners to score, the third-highest in the NL (Phillies and Giants, 44%).

Black has inserted young lifters such as right-hander Justin Lawrence (4.61) and southpaw Lucas Gilbreath (7.98) in some high-leverage situations, partly out of necessity and partly to test their moxie.

Right-hander Yency Almonte pitched well in last year’s cropped season when he led the Colorado relievers with 27 2/3 innings while posting a 2.93 ERA with just two home runs. But he stumbled badly in the first half this season (10.67 ERA, seven home runs in 27 innings). He’s out of options, but the Rockies still believe in his talent. That said, he needs a solid second half.

Flourishing rotation

The performance of the starters has been the best thing of the season. They have an ERA of 4.22 and tend towards the lowest ERA in franchise history (4.10 in 2009). The Rockies starters have a remarkable 3.32 ERA at Coors.

“I’m very proud of this rotation,” left-hander Kyle Freeland said. “I said in the spring that this team was going to win or lose on the backs of the starting pitchers, and that’s sort of true.”

The trick now is to maintain that excellence for a full season. Lefty Austin Gomber, the only league-ready piece commercially obtained with St. Louis for Nolan Arenado, was riding until oppression in the left forearm placed him on the casualty list on June 20. In 15 starts, Gomber was 6-5 with an ERA of 3.68. In his last eight starts, he was 4-1 with a 1.61 ERA. He is set to begin a rehab mission in the minor leagues soon, but it remains to be seen how much action he will see in the second half of the season.

“It’s probably a blessing here that he maybe had that little downtime window,” Black said when Gomber went on the IL. “We were probably going to do that at some point with him, just depending on where he was last year and the year before in innings and throws.”

If Gray is traded, it could open the door for 23-year-old southpaw Ryan Rolison to make his big-league debut. He’s had a tough summer. After removing his appendix and recovering from it, Rolison was hit in the hand by a flying ball while training at batting with Triple-A Albuquerque. The ball broke a joint in his left middle finger, so he’s a little late, but the Rockies could still call him in in September.

Building blocks

If Black said it once, he probably said it 91 times in the first half: “It’s a learning experience for these guys.”

Lessons will continue for the last 71 games and questions will be asked, especially for the following key players:

– Third baseman Ryan McMahon was on his way to the stars until he collapsed in late June. He leads the team in home runs (16), but is 0.221 on the road and just 0.227 with runners in scoring position. He has to prove he’s the middle hitter Colorado needs.

–Infielder Brendan Rodgers could be Story’s heir to shortstop. He’s shown flashes of his power with five homers in 41 games, and he’s hitting .261. He’ll be under the microscope in the second half.

– Left fielder Raimel Tapia is now a high class player and although he can be sequenced he is a dynamic player. In June, he reached .345 with 26 runs, 15 doubles and 12 RBIs. He’s not expected to become a free agent until the 2023 season, so he’s projecting himself as the first hitter Colorado needs, at least for now.

– For years, the Rockies desperately needed a solid defensive receiver with pop in his bat. For most of the first half, neither Dom Nunez nor Elias Diaz seemed to be the answer. But Diaz got hot right before the break. From June 28 to July 11, he slashed 0.400 / 0.477 / 0.886 with an OPS of 1.333, five homers, two doubles and nine RBIs in 10 games. Was this an aberration or a sign of things to come?

“We knew it was going to be a year for a lot of guys to hopefully improve in performance and solidify as big league players,” Black said. “We are always looking for this growth. Our expectations are to improve ourselves as a team and as individuals.

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Census of the arts aims to get more funding for Detroit


The Detroit Bureau of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship and the Marygrove Conservancy have joined forces to conduct a city-wide arts-focused census to find out how many Detroiters are making a part or their entire life in the arts.

The information will be used to seek further artistic funding for the city of Detroit and help artists from all fields find and maintain lasting work.

“The city was without an arts and culture bureau for over 20 years, so there has not been an accurate reflection of the scale of our creative workforce,” said Rochelle Riley, director of arts and culture of Detroit. “The best way to get support and give him the passion and attention he deserves is to prove how big he is. What we want to do with Marygrove Conservancy is take that information and fund the artistic workforce as nobody’s business. By the time this census is completed, I bet we’ll find that our creative workforce is as important as our automobile, if not more. “

The census is a revolutionary initiative for a major American city. Quantifying the number of artists living and working in a large city could lead to major changes in the way the country approaches artists and their needs.

“About a year ago, when the Marygrove Conservancy started reinventing its work and programming around arts and culture, people kept telling me, ‘You need to talk to Rochelle Riley! She thinks about things in a very similar way! ‘ “said Racheal Allen, chief operations organizer for Marygrove.” On our side, we were thinking of doing an artists ‘census, and they were like,’ She’s looking to do that too. ”

After: Knight Foundation donates millions for innovative artistic ideas in Detroit

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 873,000 U.S. citizens were employed in manufacturing roles by the automotive industry as of June 2021, while more than 2 million were in roles in the arts, entertainment, and recreation. . The month-over-month numbers are steadily rising as artistic opportunities return after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the country.

In 2019, arts and culture economic activity accounted for 4.3%, or $ 919.7 billion, of U.S. gross domestic product, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The American Automotive Policy Council says automakers and their suppliers account for 3% of GDP.

“When Rochelle and I finally got the chance to connect,” Allen said, “we saw that a lot of our projects were very synergistic, and it made a lot of sense to team up, especially to do this. census of artists.

“Work has been done by other organizations over the years to capture some of this information, so to complement that we have sought to approach this from the perspective of the Marygrove Conservancy and its neighborhood-based approach,” but also at city level. By having the two organizations approach this issue from two different perspectives, we’re optimistic that we can get the right kind of support to collect the data we need to make a difference.

Riley said, “We want to make sure that we support this industry. People support the industries they know, and since we are the Motor City, people think of the automobile first when they think of us. we’re also a creative city, and quite frankly we want to do whatever artists ask us to do: provide valuable workspace, resources, training, networking opportunities, funding. We want to create an environment where our artists can be nurtured and nurtured here instead of having to go elsewhere to create. We have a world-class artistic community, and it’s time we fully supported it. “

Allen agreed, noting that “the creative economy in Detroit is strong.”

“So we said to people, ‘We can’t support you if we don’t know you’re here and we don’t know what kind of work you’re doing,’ so hopefully that data will come up and really make a case for that. our artists are getting the level of support they need and deserve. When we look for new official funding we will be asked, “How did you reach out to the community? What’s the data telling you? ‘ We know anecdotally what artists in Detroit need, but thanks to the census, we will be able to use this data-driven approach to support and achieve that. “

The census requires the participation of everyone involved in the arts, Riley said.

“If you are a painter, gaffer, dancer, songwriter, someone who directs for plays … if you work in the administration of an arts organization, if you have something to do with arts and culture in Detroit, please go fill out the census, ”she said.

All members of the Detroit artist community are encouraged to complete the online census at http://bit.ly/ART4313 by August 2.

Burnaby real estate buyer ‘shocked’ by price demands


Home sales in Burnaby have slowed a bit after a hot spring, but prices continue to rise.

The month of June of the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board report shows that SEO activity and sales have slowed since record highs were seen in March and April of this year.

But the report shows that the price of media houses in Burnaby fell from 1,784,000 in May to 1,874,000 in June.

Matthew thinks he knows why.

Matthew and his wife read recent stories in NOW about frustrated buyers who are fed up with being caught up in multiple auction situations that drive prices up.

The couple, who rent in Vancouver, were looking for condos in the Lougheed, Edmonds, Brentwood and Metrotown areas in order to be near the SkyTrain as they both work in Vancouver.

They were using a real estate agent in Vancouver to help them negotiate the market.

It didn’t go well.

The couple were careful to only bid on a condo they really liked and not just enter the market. But things quickly got out of hand.

“Our agent and the salesperson have come together with us to go way beyond demand,” Matthew said. “I mean my realtor is supposed to protect us, but seemed to take inspiration from the seller. He kept telling us, “This won’t do it, you have to go higher”, even though we had made it clear what our budget was and which line we would not cross. We got really drawn into it all and found ourselves bidding beyond our means. I felt shocked by the shell. And we still lost it. Looking back, we feel lucky. We are definitely looking for a different agent who will listen to us next time.

Greater Vancouver recorded 3,762 sales last month, an increase of 54% from 2,443 sales in June 2020, but a decrease of 11.9% from the 4,268 listings sold in May of this year .

There were 5,849 single, townhouse and apartment properties for sale on MLS in June 2021, down 17.9 from May when there were 7,125 homes listed.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that the annual pace of housing starts slowed in June.

The National Housing Agency reports that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts fell 1.5% to 282,070 units in June, from 286,296 in May.

The annual pace of urban starts fell 1.8% in June to 251,190, as the pace of starts of apartments, condominiums and other types of multi-family dwellings increased. increased 0.6% to 191,085.

Urban single-detached housing starts fell 8.5% to 60,105.

The MHC estimated rural housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 30,880 units.

The six-month moving average of the seasonally adjusted monthly annual housing starts rate was 293,567 in June, compared with 284,837 in May.

  • With files from Jess Balzer and The Canadian Press

Nampa Police Call for More Officers as Population Grows | Local News


NAMPA – As crime in Nampa continues to decline, the police department estimates that there is a shortage of 42 officers.

The calculation is based on the desire to have 1.5 officers per 1,000 population, which, according to Nampa Police Chief Joe Huff, “was a quasi-national standard” with which the department stuck. Significant population growth in recent years has amplified the gap in the ratio. Now the police force, which has 134 officers and has 1.21 officers per capita, is trying to catch up.

“We’re behind where we want to be, but I can tell you that our city council and our mayor are definitely pushing us in the right direction,” Huff said. “We know where we need to go and it’s going to take time to get there. “

The department is stepping up efforts to source supplies, with a plan for eight new positions in Nampa’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022. The department also requested a federal grant that would pay for eight new positions for three years, allowing the department to develop in the short term and give city council time to plan for the long term.

Sixteen new posts in total would constitute progress towards eliminating the shortage of 42 officers. Even if city council approved all 42 positions, Huff said the department would not be able to fit that many at once.

With potentially 16 newcomers in a year, Huff said, “I just couldn’t ask for more than that.”

Former Nampa Mayor Bob Henry appointed Huff to his post in December 2015. That year, Nampa’s population was estimated at 89,210, according to the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS). This year, it is estimated at 110,980.

When Huff took over, the department was allowed to have 117 positions but only had 103. Huff recalled that Henry wanted to bolster the numbers. Since then, Nampa has added 39 officer positions and it is still difficult to meet her goals, Huff said.

In addition to officer positions, support staff has also increased. In the next budget cycle, it is also proposed to add four of these posts.

“The credit has to go to the mayor and the council because we seem to have it pretty well right now,” Huff said. “We ask and they don’t give us a hard time. They give us exactly what we need.

Nampa Police conduct training drills at the Nampa Firefighter Training Center in Nampa on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Although it falls short of its target of 1.5 agents per 1,000 population – which Huff says is a “well-thought-out” standard that the department has maintained based on the number of calls it receives – crime has declined in the community.

In 2019, Nampa launched a more proactive approach to policing that included analyzing data on when and where crimes were committed. The department immediately noticed a significant drop in crime. As of this week, Nampa PD had 201 fewer victims of Part 1 crimes like burglaries, rapes, robberies and assaults, compared to the same time last year. Huff called this “quite astonishing” given the city’s growing population.

“We’re definitely doing a good job,” Huff said, “but there’s so much more we could do if we ever hit that 1.5 number.”

At a June 7 city council meeting, while discussing a potential new real estate development, City Councilor Sandi Levi referred to police personnel as a factor in either approving or rejecting new developments.

“We’re so far behind, there’s no way we can catch up,” Levi said. “When I look at the reality of this, I look at law enforcement, when it is called to me or her, do they have adequate backup? And second, can they keep our community safe? We really have to take this into consideration. “

Based on the number of new homes already approved in the first half of 2021, assuming each home has 2.67 people, Huff said it would take 4.4 agents just to cover people who will be moving in a few years.

“It looks like we’re taking three steps forward and it’s not like we’re really winning anything,” Huff said. “We maintain but we do not win. We have put together a good strategic plan for the city on how we can get there.

Meridian Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea said her service was also short. The department has 129 staff, but only 113. He praised the city council for providing positions, but said there had been difficulties recruiting candidates.

Basterrechea said there were hundreds of applicants for one or two police stations. Now there could be around 50 or 60. After tests and background checks, the numbers are “generally pretty slim,” he said.

This is a concern for Basterrechea. He thinks the profession as a whole needs to better explain what it does.

With 113 agents, this equates to 0.88 per 1,000 population based on COMPASS’s population estimate of 127,890. Meridian staffing goals are based on a model of how often a person sees a patrol car in his neighborhood.

PD meridian walk

Constable Chris LaFave, of the Meridian Police Department, checks the VIN number on a suspicious car parked in a neighborhood in Meridian on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

Basterrechea pointed out that the combination of population growth, turnover in the field and a decreasing number of applicants combine to create a staff shortage.

“We have to do a little better job,” Basterrechea said, “trying to figure out with the next generation of leaders, it seems people are a little easier to move from job to job rather than stick with a job for a career. I think we have to sell the benefits of what a career in law enforcement looks like. “

Caldwell Police Captain Devin Riley said his department had 76 officers, but he could “absolutely” use more. There was a position created recently and the department is in the process of filling it. Riley has been a captain for six years and due to retirements, turnover and the training of new recruits, he said it was rare for the department to be fully staffed.

The 76 officers are equivalent to 1.19 officers per 1,000 inhabitants based on a population estimate of 63,760.

There were 21 candidates who attended Caldwell’s test day last week. Eighteen went to the interview part. Years ago, Caldwell drew between 75 and 100 applicants for positions. The low numbers are fine for one position, but Riley said he would be worried if he hired for a handful of positions at a time.

In the Boise Police Department, there are about 300 officers, which works out to about 1.26 officers per 1,000 people. The department wants to both increase that number and keep pace with population growth, spokeswoman Haley Williams said in an email.

In April, Boise Police Chief Ryan Lee told City Council the police department will potentially need to hire an additional 100 officers by 2031 to keep pace.

Finding the money to support these positions is up to municipal governments. In Nampa, Huff acknowledged elected leaders for trying to meet his demands.

Nampa officers underwent training on Thursday. It could take about eight months for new hires before they even hit the road. Once there is a hole in the staffing, it is difficult to eliminate it.

In Nampa, however, the staff situation has not prevented crime from decreasing.

“With crime continuing to drop, as the population grows,” Huff said, “this tells you the right formula is in place right now.”

Paul Schwedelson covers Growth, Nampa and Caldwell. Follow him on Twitter @pschweds.

New “amber plus” quarantine status for France – what does this mean?


French travelers fully vaccinated by the NHS expected the quarantine to end at 4 a.m. on July 19, in accordance with the relaxation of international travel rules that day.

Instead, self-isolation will continue to be mandatory for arrivals from France and increase costs with an additional PCR test required on the eighth day of quarantine.

These are the key questions and answers.

A reminder of the ‘traffic lights’ system?

Arrivals from high-risk countries on the “red list” must spend 11 nights in hotel quarantine at their own expense. Nations include India, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa, and all countries in South America.

From “Orange List” locations – which include the vast majority of popular vacation destinations, including France, Italy, Greece, Portugal, mainland Spain and the United States – the requirement is 10 days of self-isolation.

Entry into the UK without quarantine is only allowed in a handful of places on the ‘green list’, including Gibraltar, Iceland, Malta, Madeira and Spain’s Balearic Islands.

When Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps announced the system on May 12, he said: “Although the number of countries on the green list is initially low, I expect it will increase over time as the situation unfolds. will improve in the world.

Instead, a new category, “Green Watch List”, was introduced between green and amber. And now, “amber plus” has been created for one country: France.

The system is now going from best to worst: green, watchlist green, amber, amber plus, red.

What were travelers waiting for in France?

On July 8, the UK government announced that people who had been fully vaccinated by the NHS would no longer need to self-quarantine upon their return from “Orange List” countries. A large majority of popular nations fall into this category, including France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and the United States.

The idea was that starting on “Freedom Day” on July 19, anyone who had been immunized would be considered low risk and able to avoid quarantine – as well as those under the age of 18, who have generally not been vaccinated.

Such a policy is common in Europe and in the world. The arrivals from France, but also from Italy, Spain and Greece, should benefit from this. Bookings to many Orange List destinations have skyrocketed as the prospect of vacations without a quarantine loomed for tens of millions of fully stung travelers and their children.

What happened now?

Less than 60 hours before international travel became easier for vaccinated British travelers, the government announced that France would be excluded from the program.

Fears over the “beta variant” of the coronavirus have led ministers to create a new category for inbound travelers: indeed, “amber plus”.

Unlike the usual orange list, from 4 a.m. on Monday, arrivals from France must quarantine themselves in their own accommodation for 10 days and perform two PCR tests, regardless of their vaccination status.

France is just behind Spain in terms of British visits and is home to hundreds of thousands of British expats and homeowners. Hundreds of thousands of travelers who were counting on a return from France without quarantine have seen their hopes dashed.

Why was France not included on the red list?

It was an alternative being considered by ministers, requiring hotel quarantine of all arrivals. But it is believed that the “managed quarantine” system would not have been able to cope with the number of arriving travelers.

Will there be an almighty rush home?

No, because indeed for travelers from France, the rules simply remain as they are – there is no deadline to beat.

Anyone traveling on weekends from France to a neighboring country like Belgium, Italy or Spain will not benefit. The test is: have you been to France during the last 10 days? If so, you must self-isolate for 10 days – although travelers arriving in England can pay for an additional test on the fifth day and leave quarantine if it turns out negative.

Is there a way to avoid quarantine?

You can travel from France to a low risk country like Spain and spend 10 days there to “whitewash” your visit to France.

I have a vacation booked in France. What are my rights ?

Many people made late reservations for the summer holidays in France as it seemed like a safe, quarantine-free place for vaccinated British travelers.

Legally, travel agencies can say that they are still able to offer the vacation as booked; the fact that travelers have to isolate themselves is not their problem.

In practice, airlines, ferry companies and tour operators are likely to offer flexibility with the option to postpone the trip, but stop before refunding in full.

What about travel insurance?

The Foreign Office is not warning against travel to France, which means standard travel insurance policies will still be valid. But insurers are highly unlikely to pay for the additional costs involved – additional testing for lost wages.

Can I avoid quarantine if I cross France without stopping?

Motorists crossing France in transit to the UK from Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany or anywhere else will be considered arriving from France and will be subject to self-isolation when reaching Great Britain. Brittany.

Eurostar rail passengers from Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam to London St Pancras International will not be affected. The train crosses France without stopping.

Change plane in Paris?

Many travelers have booked travel on Air France through Paris CDG. But spending time at Charles de Gaulle Airport on the way home will put you in quarantine. It may be possible to reroute via Amsterdam to Air France’s sister company, KLM.

Will other countries join the amber-plus category?

Almost certainly. The government probably wishes they had thought of the “medium-high risk” classification earlier, because it allows for the continuation of mandatory self-isolation without forcing all arrivals to go into expensive and arduous hotel quarantine, but while limiting the risk. for public health in the United Kingdom.

Data analyst Tim White said it had been “a huge mistake not to have a category between amber and red, or to specify that ‘old amber’ would remain for some.”

He said: “Luxembourg sees that the ‘Brazilian’ variant (gamma) is becoming dominant. We are awaiting new data from neighbors of Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany. Both countries are now experiencing an increase in infections, somewhat later than most of their neighbors and from a low base.

“Sequencing data will not be available for at least a week from current infections. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the government advisory committee looked closely at the situation there.

“The Netherlands shares borders with Belgium and Germany. It has experienced one of the strongest growths in Covid-19 that we have ever seen. The Dutch infection rate is now more or less at the same level as that of the UK and continues to rise.

“I have not seen any evidence that Spain or Greece are affected by new or dangerous variants. But the sometimes haphazard way in which this government has acted with regard to travel does not inspire me with confidence.

It is also possible that some of the 60 countries on the red list will be moved to the more less expensive amber category.

What does the travel industry think?

There is a universal fury to the movement. “It’s going to ruin the summer for a lot of people,” said John Keefe of Eurotunnel, who runs the shuttle bus operation for cars between Folkestone and Calais.

“It is disappointing that the government has canceled the option of traveling without quarantine for doubly vaccinated parents and their families so close to school holidays and so soon after confirming that travel to France was safe.”

Willie Walsh, Managing Director of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), said: “The UK does not have a coherent policy on international travel. The government is turning around and making life impossible for those who desperately want to see their friends and family.

“They promised freedom through a successful vaccination program and now they are pulling the rug out from under people at the eleventh hour.

“The UK is asserting itself as an outlier in its muddled approach to travel. This, in turn, destroys its own travel industry and the thousands of jobs that depend on it. “

Uttar Pradesh population problem: myth and reality


The population of India in general and Uttar Pradesh in particular has been increasing for years. But awareness about it seems to have arisen quite suddenly in the state government led by saffron-clad Yogi Adityanath only in July 2021.

In the final round of his five-year term, Adityanath sought to draft a new population policy, seeking to limit family size in Uttar Pradesh to two children. In his attempt to justify the need for population growth control, Adityanath said, “Population growth is the root of the major problems, including inequalities, that prevail in society. The control of the population is the main condition for the establishment of an advanced society.

Indeed, the new law proposed to restrict the population just seven months before the next State Assembly elections in February-March 2022 will not fail to arouse the suspicion that the idea behind it was nothing. other than the ruling party’s proven formula for religious polarization. .

After all, it cannot be denied that the entire right, led by the RSS and its offshoots, has systematically tried to create a perception that only Muslims are responsible for bringing the Indian population to unmanageable levels. For his part, the Chief Minister has repeatedly stressed that the policy does not intend to discriminate against anyone on the basis of religion.

Read also | Does India Need Population Control? The UP policy project asks the question

“We don’t want to get the message across to UP that we are against any particular religion or anyone’s human rights. We just want to make sure that government resources and facilities are available to those who help and contribute to the control of the population “, underlined the president of the Commission of the Law of the UP, the judge AN Mittal. A retired High Court judge, Mittal was responsible for enacting laws such as the “jihad of love” and some recent laws in the name of protecting cows. Needless to say, how these laws were used systematically by Adityanath to advance his obvious agenda of religious polarization.

Besides RSS leaders, Union Minister Giriraj Singh has repeatedly blamed Muslims for India’s population explosion. Therefore, it may not be unfounded to assume that the new population policy, seen as a precursor to the proposed population control law, has a broader political purpose.

The bill came close on the heels of the state law commission’s recommendation for a new law to restrict population growth. Under the new policy, couples who have no more than two children will benefit from various government plans. The project suggested several disincentives for those who do not comply with the new population policy. Anyone with more than two children after the law came into force would be excluded from benefits such as government-funded social assistance schemes, and ration card units would be limited to four. A person with more than two children would be barred from standing for election to local authority or any member of local self-government, the project says.

Those who break the law would also become ineligible to apply for jobs in the state government and be denied promotions in government departments. They will not receive any grants either. These provisions would enter into force one year after the date of publication of the new law in the Official Journal.

But the question is, are Muslims really responsible for India’s population explosion? According to data from the Union government, Muslims contributed 14.6% during the period 1901-2011, 16.1% (1951-2011) and 16.7% (1971-2011) to India’s population growth. The contribution of Hindus in the corresponding periods was 79.4 percent, 78 percent and 77.4 percent. The remainder comprised 6 percent, 5.9 percent and 5.9 percent. In 1901, Hindus outnumber Muslims in India by 164 million, 268 million in 1951, 392 million in 1971 and 794 million in 2011. Thus, despite a lower growth rate but a much higher population, the Hindus’ numerical advantage has increased in the last hundred years.

At the same time, the growth rate of the Muslim population has been declining since 1971, from 30.9% in 1961-1971 to 24.6% in 2001-11, according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).

A more recent study by the Delhi-based think tank CSDS found that even the decline in the rate of the Muslim population between 2001 and 2011 was greater than that of the Hindu population. Against a 3.5 percent decline in the Hindu population, the decline in the Muslim population was 4.9 percent during the same period. And that was even if Muslim women had a higher fertility rate than Hindu women. With a fertility rate of 2.13, Hindu women were inferior to Muslim women with a fertility rate of 2.61. Thus, against 100 Hindu women giving birth to 213 children, 100 Muslim women giving birth to 261 children.

Yet even at this rate, it would take 1340 years for the Muslim population to grow to 40% of the Hindu population in India. The study says India’s Muslim population would reach 39 crore (double the Muslim population of today) by the year 2100, while the country’s Hindu population is estimated to be around 157 crore. .

The right-wing propaganda that Muslims will become 84% of India’s population is therefore a myth intended only to mislead people, so forging a communal division is helpful.

While the Yogi government has consistently maintained that population control would help balance the nation’s needs and resources, the fact remains that corrupt officials and politicians have devoured part of the country’s resources. . An effective and meaningful check on such pilferage could save valuable resources.

(The writer is a senior journalist based in Lucknow.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.

Original tenants excluded from city housing projects


A group advocating for humane housing conditions provided by the National Affordable Housing Project for Urban Renewal raised eyebrows at the deposit rate demanded by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

Jericho Lumumba is one of 10 areas that are targeted for upgrade by the NMS and residents have been promised first priority.

Jericho Lumumba Residents’ Association (JLRA) president Walter Ogoli said the initial deposit of 10-12% required by NMS is prohibitive for the majority of residents in the estate.

“The majority of tenants on the estate are at the bottom of the income scale. Requiring such rates means that many will be denied homes. President Ogoli said at an engagement forum at Charles New Methodist Church attended by the deputy director of NMS’s affordable housing program for urban renewal.

Affordable housing located along Park Road in Ngara, Nairobi County.


The NMS requires payment of Ksh 1 million for one bedroom accommodation, Ksh 2 million for two bedroom accommodation and Ksh 3 million for three bedroom accommodation respectively.

“Residents’ demands to hand over Ksh 300,000 or 10 percent of the amount signal an intention to deny cardholders the right to own the houses,” Ogola added.

The association also wants the NMS to add 3,000 additional units for the benefit of tenant siblings as part of the affordable housing policy in addition to the 1,388 units promised by NMS.

The president proposed the allocation of free 3 bedroom accommodation as a good gesture to tenants for having been the stewards of the land grabbers for over 60 years.

JLRA Vice President Jane Achieng also made a proposal for the allocation of 150 rental units to bring net income of Ksh 3 million per month.


Achieng also raised the possibility of the emergence of dishonest real estate brokers who could exploit tenants once the project is completed.

She said the association should be the official real estate agent for the project and will be mandated to take care of garbage collection, water, electricity and infrastructure maintenance.

The National Housing Corporation has already issued a warning to Kenyans against fraudsters posing as agents authorized to award and negotiate deals for the sale of new affordable homes under the same housing program in Park Road, Ngara.

Workers from the National Housing Corporation build an example of an EPS panel house in Nairobi.

Workers from the National Housing Corporation build an example of an EPS panel house in Nairobi.

Texans appointed to lead ICE, Census Bureau faces tough questions from senators


WASHINGTON – Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Thursday he would not end a controversial immigration and customs enforcement program in which local law enforcement agencies screen jailed suspects to identify those who are illegally in the country.

Gonzalez, President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the ICE, made the comment during his Senate confirmation hearing in an effort to defuse Republican criticism that immigration law enforcement is eluding him.

As Harris County Sheriff, Gonzalez ended the county’s partnership with ICE. He said Thursday that it would not be his “intention” to replicate the decision nationwide. He presented it as a purely local decision, consistent with a “strategic and thoughtful” approach to immigration law enforcement.

Gonzalez is one of two Texans appointed to key positions in the Biden administration who appeared before the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The other was Robert Santos, a San Antonio native appointed to head the Census Bureau. Both should get Senate confirmation without serious opposition.

Santos, who is of Mexican descent, is said to be the first person of color to lead the federal government’s largest statistical agency full-time. He stressed the importance of collecting accurate data on an increasingly diverse nation.

“Census Bureau data helps us come together to form a more perfect union,” Santos told Senators.

Robert Santos, named director of the Census Bureau, testifies before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Thursday, July 15, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Jacquelyn Martin, STF / Associated press

The two nominees offer a clear illustration of Biden’s abrupt departure from former President Donald Trump on immigration.

ICE was in many ways the face of Trump’s strict approach. Gonzalez is expected to take a whole different direction, working to build a more “human” executing agency.

Santos is reportedly running an agency that many say Trump politicized by attempting to add a citizenship question to the standard census form and considering the use of census data to illegally target immigrants to the country.

If confirmed, the two would face a difficult task of restoring confidence in the federal government from immigrant communities and boosting the morale of two agencies whose workforces are particularly disgruntled.

The vast majority of senators’ questions on Thursday were directed to Gonzalez, who, as sheriff, criticized the agency he is now appointed to head.

Republican senators toasted Gonzalez over his decision to end the county’s partnership with ICE. They also asked him about a sharp drop in ICE arrests under the Biden administration and its enforcement policies, which Texas and other states are challenging in court.

Gonzalez said the low number of ICE arrests was “concerning,” but added that ICE officers have the latitude to prosecute anyone dangerous, even though the administration has only explicitly targeted those who are dangerous. persons convicted of violent crimes or who are considered threats to national security.

“Public safety is always my pole star,” said Gonzalez, who was elected sheriff in 2016. “The American dream is built on the rule of law and a functioning legal immigration system.”

Gonzalez once called the ICE partnership with Harris County “illegal racial profiling,” and in 2019 he took to social media to criticize the ICE raids, which he said “threaten to ‘deport millions of undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom do not pose a threat. in the USA”

“I am concerned about our conversation about whether it would be appropriate for you to lead an agency that you have been so critical of,” said US Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, the top Republican on the Homeland Security committee. .

Gonzalez said he believed in the agency’s mission and would be “aggressive” in attacking people who posed a threat to public safety.

But he also made it clear that he would seek to implement the “humane” immigration system Biden promised to create. Gonzalez said he had partially ended the ICE partnership with Harris County so that sheriff’s deputies could continue to work cooperatively “with a diverse immigrant community.”

Asked by Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, if an “immigrant man of 15, 16 and 17 would certainly fit the profile of someone who could be part of a gang,” Gonzalez replied, “In the end of the day, they are still adolescents.

“I am always concerned not to profile and not to develop stereotypes,” he said.

It’s unclear if Gonzalez will be able to win Republicans over. Stephen Miller, a former Trump adviser who guided that administration’s immigration policy, called Gonzalez an “anti-ICE fanatic” and tweeted this week that “a vote for Gonzalez is a vote to protect illegal criminals and punish Americans.”

Presidential candidates only need 51 votes in the Senate to be confirmed. The two parties each control 50 votes in the Senate, but as Speaker of the House Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, can sever ties.

Santos seemed to face less skepticism from Republicans.

In a series of calm exchanges, senators asked how he would boost morale at the census office and if he would change the way the office searches for information on race and ethnicity.

Santos suggested opening up new areas of research and offering flexible remote working options as a way to keep office staff happy.

He admitted that the census director does not control the questions asked by the office. But he said he would use his “personal perspective as a Latino”, as well as his research background, to combine issues of race and ethnicity where possible.

The Census Bureau currently asks if respondents are of Hispanic descent, then asks them their race; the options are white, black, Native American, Asian and “another race”. There has been a movement to combine the questions because many Latinos find it difficult to answer the second race question.

Santos addressed the issue in 2019, telling a Texas TV station, “When I fill out the census form, I check the Latin-Hispanic-Mexican box … And when it comes to race, I check” other. ” and insert “mestizo”. because that’s how I feel about race and ethnicity.

Santos had a tense exchange on Thursday – over delays in releasing 2020 demographics due to the COVID-19 pandemic. States use decennial population figures to redraw congressional and legislative districts. Texas will win two seats in the United States House due to population growth, bringing the state’s total to 38.

Portman urged Santos to commit to releasing demographics by mid-August, as court ordered. Santos said he didn’t have enough information to commit, but was “confident” the office would meet the deadline.

The answer was not what Portman hoped for.

“I want you to just commit today to meet that deadline.” It’s the least you can do, ”Portman said.

Santos is president of the American Statistical Association and vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, a think tank that conducts research on economic and social policy.

In his opening statement to the committee, Santos spoke of his roots in the “barrios of my hometown of San Antonio”.

He grew up just south of Woodlawn Lake and attended Little Flower Catholic School and Holy Cross High School. Her parents both worked at Kelly AFB.

He attended San Antonio Community College before earning a BA in Mathematics from Trinity University in 1976. He then obtained a Masters in Statistics from the University of Michigan.

“The values ​​instilled in me in these schools are the basis of my leadership,” Santos said.

The committee adjourned Thursday without voting on either candidate.

[email protected]

Inside Housing – News – Three large modular companies named in framework of £ 600m from social landlords


An alliance of housing associations has selected three of the UK’s largest module manufacturers to deliver its first frame of houses off-site.

Social landlords plan to deliver 800 homes via the new modular framework (photo: TopHat)

Divide lines

An alliance of housing associations has selected three of the UK’s largest module manufacturers to deliver its first frame of offsite #UKhousing houses

Building Better, a group of 29 social landlords backed by the National Housing Federation (NHF), has listed Ilke Homes, Impact Modular and TopHat on the Volumetric Framework, worth £ 600million over five years.

Suppliers, who collectively plan to deliver at least 800 homes through the framework, will be able to use it to procure pre-fabricated 3D building systems for homes and apartments.

Procurement for Housing provided the framework, which is expected to save each provider around £ 15,000 in procurement costs.

All homes purchased through the framework will meet the government standard for future homes and take a “fabric first” approach, meaning insulation will be prioritized before additions such as solar panels.

The homes will be certified by the Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme and will be assessed and accepted by the construction warranty provider, the National House Building Council.

In addition to the 800 homes delivered through the framework, Building Better members plan to deliver an additional 4,500 homes using Modern Construction Methods (MMC) by 2026.

Trina Chakravarti, Project Director of Building Better, said: “In the past, housing associations, local authorities and manufacturers have often gone through the MMC process alone – there is no aggregation of knowledge or knowledge. resources, and errors are repeated.

“We want to change that through early and honest partnership between social housing providers, manufacturers and residents, sharing information and learning together to improve CME and overcome traditional barriers.”

Steve Malone, Managing Director of Procurement for Housing, said: “By assessing the MMC market, narrowing the scope and naming just three manufacturers, our goal was to reduce much of the due diligence and complexity of purchases that housing associations and local authorities often face. MMC.

“Ilke Homes, Impact Modular and TopHat have all impressed us with their commitment to the collaborative ethics of this setting.

“For them, involving residents and working closely with housing providers is essential to continually improve their MMC offering. “

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Coronavirus Covid 19: Chris Hipkins’ message to Melbourne Kiwis worries about travel bubble


The mass vaccination would target the students of the Manukau Institute of Technology and their families – and would be an opportunity for people in group 4 to get vaccinated before the scheduled date.

Melbourne Kiwis were worried whether the transtasman bubble for Victoria might end should return home as soon as possible, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.

Melbourne has recorded seven locally acquired cases today, raising concerns that the Delta variant may have traveled there from New South Wales and has yet to be contained.

In a statement, Hipkins said the bubble with Victoria remains open and is awaiting further information.

“There are also a growing number of places of concern, including a sports stadium on Saturdays and several pubs.

Public health officials are currently reviewing the situation in Victoria and will provide me with advice in due course. In the meantime, I would like to encourage anyone concerned about the potential for a break from travel without quarantine, to make arrangements to return home. home as soon as possible. “

Travelers from Victoria would still need to test negative before departure, he said, and complete a travel declaration form indicating whether they had visited a place of interest.

“I will provide an update once I receive more information from public health officials.”

Hipkins responds to MIQ’s anger

Earlier, Hipkins responded to the frustrations of the Kiwis stranded off due to the inability to secure MIQ spots.

The government has been faced in recent weeks with heightened anger from New Zealanders who have been unable to return home from countries such as Europe, Asia and America because they failed to return home. could not get reservations for isolation after arrival.

But speaking today, Hipkins said that whatever system the government puts in place to allocate MIQ places to returning New Zealanders, demand will continue to outstrip supply.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and MIQ Joint Chief Megan Main during the vaccine update today in Parliament.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and MIQ Joint Chief Megan Main during the vaccine update today in Parliament. Photo / Mark Mitchell

“There’s a reason I stood here several months ago and told the New Zealanders who had to go home ‘it’s okay now’ – it’s because we had ‘space and because we knew there was a probability at some point in the future that demand would once build again to exceed supply, ”he said.

“New Zealanders abroad who wish to return home were warned of this potential some time ago.”

The MIQ reservation system has also come under criticism after websites popped up that now offer up to $ 2,415 to use bots and scripts to quickly take an MIQ room, while a tech-savvy person now willingly helps them out. people to book MIQ rooms with the help script which partially automates the process.

Some people wishing to return from abroad were unable to reserve any of the 2000 MIQ places for November after being quickly taken. Managed Isolation Co-Head Megan Main said today that when it comes to robots helping with MIQ slot reservations, technology could help, but one person still had to make the actual reservation.

It wasn’t so much a system issue as it was a demand versus supply issue, Main said.
The aim was to make it as fair as possible. A US-style green card lottery voting system has been considered, along with the introduction of a waiting list, she said.

Main said the government should be careful to keep the system stable.

In April and May, rooms were available until September, when supply exceeded demand, when they had now declined in the other direction.

One of the challenges with a waitlist was that it pushed the problem further down the pipeline. They didn’t want people to stay on the waiting list when they no longer needed their reservation.

Demand was currently very high, Main said.

In terms of aligning flights with MIQ slots, as in the case of NSW, Main said they’ve put in place a whole new situation to handle returns. They could do this for a short time, but it was quite complicated and involved hourly conversations with the airlines. This was sustainable for a short burst but was not a long term situation.

In other developments today, amid criticism for allowing international sailors infected with Covid-19 to disembark ashore putting the country at risk, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand “has the obligation “to help people in distress.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins at the post-cabinet press conference in Parliament on Monday.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins at the post-cabinet press conference in Parliament on Monday. Photo / Mark Mitchell

However, she asked more questions about obligations to assist in crew renewal efforts for similar foreign-flagged vessels which had no economic interest and were “against our environmental interests”.

University of Auckland professor Des Gorman told Newstalk ZB he was “very worried” and said they should never have been allowed to land ashore in the first place.
The goal of the quarantine system was to keep the virus off the coast, with measures such as pre-departure testing, he said.

“Here we have shifted the risk from offshore to onshore. Now we have 15 highly contagious people sitting in a building in Wellington. That’s not how you do business.”
He said it was “very likely” that they have the highly infectious Delta variant and said they should be confined to their hotel rooms to avoid an outbreak.

Ardern said the crew aboard the fishing vessel Viking Bay should not have been kept at sea.
New Zealand has an obligation to those who “may be in distress or in need of medical assistance” within the geographic limits of the country, she said.

The sailors are at Wellington’s Grand Mercure, which has opened a second floor to isolate them. The 5-star hotel is a dual-use managed isolation center that houses both infected and uninfected returnees.

Ardern said the government has done everything possible to ensure there is no transfer of the virus.

Although the Grand Mercury is not a dedicated quarantine facility, Ardern said it meets the same standards.

“We are doing everything we can to control infections. We have had cases of Covid in Wellington facilities before, we maintain the same infection controls in all facilities where people might have Covid, no matter if someone has tested positive. “

The Spanish-flagged vessel did not fish in New Zealand waters and was not operating on behalf of a New Zealand fishing company, MPI said.

Sudden Interest in “Population Control” in Assam and UP Indicates Political Bad Faith


The past two weeks have seen a sudden surge in political interest in population control in two BJP-ruled states, Assam and the UP, which has sparked speculation on the motives. What differentiates the two chief ministers is that one has just started his mandate while the other is at the end of his mandate.

Population control is basically a good idea and has been so fair since independence. India was the first country in the world to have a national family planning program in 1952. We have had a national population policy for over half a century which has been updated from time to time. The latest policy, introduced in 2000, is rigorously followed. It has paid big dividends with 24 of the 29 states having achieved a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1 which is considered the replacement level (no new population growth). The remaining states, commonly referred to as Bimaru states, although lagging behind, are also on track.

In this context, the question arises: what is the provocation for the two CMs to suddenly announce their respective population policies? Either way, keeping the cauldron boiling for community polarization is the likely answer, and likely electoral gains for Yogi Adityanath in the impending election.

The proposed measures suffer from a few essential flaws. First, global experience shows that any constraint in population control is counterproductive. And how can we forget the forced sterilization program of the Emergency Age (1975-77), which provoked a backlash from which the country has still not recovered?

Second, the two-child standard has already shown dire consequences for women in other states, with many facing divorce to prevent disqualification of their husbands from running for office and couples opting for large-scale female feticide. , which further distorts the male-to-female ratio. The sex ratio of children in India is steadily declining, from 945 in 1991 to 918 in 2011.

The Assam CM has expressed concern over the “population explosion” within the state’s Muslim community. He further reiterated that strict population control is the only way forward to ensure community development.

While the statement quoted above may sound alarmist, the government can be credited with taking steps with positive implications. Dedicated sub-committees on a range of issues, from health and education to financial inclusion and women’s empowerment, are part of the plans, which are laudable initiatives. The government’s intention to focus on the education and empowerment of women is a sensible step forward.

However, to focus on a particular minority community to take sole responsibility for population control is an atrocious idea. Setting upper limits on the number of children and linking them to government aid and benefits is questionable, as China is now witnessing. The one-child policy adopted by this country in the 1990s proved disastrous, forcing the country to adopt the two-child standard, and very recently, the three-child standard. China is now responsible for nearly 70 percent of the elderly with less than 30 percent of young people to support them, a consequence that was not anticipated.

On the contrary, India’s voluntary demographic policy is doing very well, having reached the total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1, which translates into a couple “replaced” by two children. In Assam in particular, the TFR fell from 2.2 in 2015 to 1.9 in 2020-2021. So the demographic “explosion” is a scarecrow. The use of modern contraceptive methods by women is highest among Muslim women in Assam, at 49%. The unmet need for contraception is also the highest, at 12.2%. The problem, clearly, is not the uncontrolled increase in population within the community as the government foresees, but the poor delivery of services.

The Population Foundation of India has rightly pointed out that a strict limitation on the number of children, like the two-child norm, would lead to a rapid increase in gender-specific divorces and abortions, which would be very damaging to the future of the nation.

What can we do then? Three vital factors are responsible for high fertility: illiteracy (especially among girls), poverty, and the poor reach of health services. The emphasis CM Sarma places on treating these factors is most appropriate. CM Yogi must imitate this. An internationally recognized principle is that “development is the best contraceptive”. It must precede fertility control and not the other way around.

In relation to Assam, Yogi Adityanath’s 2021-2030 Uttar Pradesh Population Policy did not specifically mention Muslims, although no one doubts that the goal is to keep community hatred on the boil, a winning formula of elections tested and proven.

At first glance, the rationale given and most of the provisions of the bill appear reasonable. It’s the coercive elements, like denial of government jobs and the benefits of government programs, that make it undesirable and counterproductive.

It is noteworthy that despite the triple handicap of the lowest literacy level, extreme poverty and limited access to family planning services, Muslim adoption of family planning has been remarkably high in the country. over the past three decades – faster than Hindus. As a result, the fertility gap between Hindus and Muslims, which was more than one child (1.1 to be precise), fell to 0.48.

According to NFHS-4, in 22 states, the fertility rate of Muslims was lower than that of Hindus in Bihar. If religion was the determining factor, Muslims across the country would have higher fertility. This highlights the fact that socio-economic conditions, rather than religion, influence fertility behavior. The NFHS surveys clearly show that in the so-called BIMARU states, the socio-economic conditions of Hindus and Muslims are lower than in other states.

A relevant question is: don’t Hindus also have more than two children? A backlash cannot be ruled out. In fact, within 24 hours, VHP attacked the policy. Even an NRC-type reaction cannot be ruled out where more Hindus than Muslims have been affected, which has prompted the government to take cover.

Since it is not legally possible for both bills to target a specific religious community, namely Muslims, the wisest thing for Muslims would be not to fall into the trap and start attacking politicians. Rather, they should support three-pronged development plans to tackle their illiteracy, income and service delivery.

This column first appeared in the print edition on July 15, 2021 under the title “The Return of a Scarecrow”. The author is the former Chief Electoral Commissioner of India and author of The Population Myth: Islam, Family Planning and Politics in India

Federal panel of 3 judges to decide whether state redistribution plan is constitutional Capitolnewsillinois.com


The US federal courthouse in Chicago will be the site of a trial in September involving challenges to recently passed Illinois legislative redistribution maps. (Credit: US courts)

Measure passed with only Democrats’ backing ahead of release of full census data

Capitol News Illinois
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD – Plaintiffs and state attorneys told a panel of federal judges on Wednesday that issues in two lawsuits challenging the state’s legislative redistribution plan were “straightforward” and should be resolved as soon as possible .

But the three-judge panel hearing the case seemed uncertain how much time they actually had, given the deadlines set out in the Illinois Constitution and the fact that lawmakers this year pushed back the 2022 primary by three months. to June instead of March.

The two lawsuits – one brought by Republican legislative leaders and the other by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, or MALDEF – both claim that the state’s new House and Senate district maps violate the United States Constitution as they were drawn using survey data rather than official census data, which has been delayed this year due to the pandemic and other factors.

The two lawsuits name the Illinois State Council of Elections and its individual members as well as Illinois Speaker of the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Senate Speaker Don Harmon as defendants.

These two cases have since been consolidated and assigned to a panel of three judges, as required by federal law whenever a lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of a redistribution plan. These include Judge Robert Dow Jr., of the Northern District of Illinois; Judge Jon E. DeGuilio, Northern District of Indiana, and Judge Michael B. Brennan, 7e United States Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a remote status conference Wednesday, Charles Harris, an attorney representing Republican leaders, called it a “straightforward and straightforward case” that violates the “one person, one vote” principle under the protection clause equal to the US Constitution.

He said courts had previously ruled that legislative constituencies should be “substantially equal” in population and that data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which Democratic leaders used to draw the new maps, should not. be used for redistribution.

If the case goes to trial, which remains to be determined, Harris said his team plans to call expert witnesses, including a former Census Bureau official who would testify on why ACS data is inappropriate. , as well as a data expert who would demonstrate how using ACS data results in maps well outside the margins of what courts see as permissible population gaps.

MALDEF attorney Francisco Fernandez-del Castillo said his team planned to make substantially similar arguments. But he said they will also argue that the standard for determining whether maps meet constitutional requirements is to analyze them using data that the Census Bureau provides to states for redistribution.

These 2020 census data will not be available until mid-August. The only data currently available, he said, is from the 2010 census, and if it were used to analyze the new maps, it would not meet constitutional requirements.

But attorney Michael Kasper, who represents Welch and Harmon, said he didn’t think the case should go to trial because the plaintiffs lacked standing to prosecute and because the case was not yet “Ripe” for review.

He said under previous US Supreme Court rulings, plaintiffs can only sue if they can show they live in a district where their vote has been watered down. He also argued that the question of whether district populations vary too widely can only be resolved after the official census figures are released in August.

Under the Illinois Constitution, lawmakers have until June 30 of the year following a decennial census to approve new legislative maps. After that, the job is turned over to an eight-member legislative committee, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

If this panel cannot produce cards by August 10, a ninth member, who could be from either party, is drawn and added to the commission to give one party an edge. ‘one vote. This committee then has until October 5 to approve new cards.

The lawsuit of the Republican leaders asks the court to invoke this section of the constitution by ordering Welch and Harmon to appoint a bipartisan commission. In the alternative, they ask the court to appoint a special master to draw up valid cards.

Kasper, however, argued that such an ordinance would be an extreme remedy and that the question of whether to appoint a bipartisan commission is a matter of state law and the constitution of the state.

After the hearing, the panel issued an order directing all parties to begin lining up their expert witnesses and to set a schedule of deadlines for filing briefs. The case is tentatively set for trial September 27-29.

Capitol News Illinois is a non-profit, non-partisan news service covering state government and distributed to over 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Media education requirement, ban on animal products among last 53 bills signed by Pritzker

Amazon Donates $ 40 Million Property in Arlington for New Affordable Housing


The tech giant will donate $ 40 million worth of vacant land to Arlington County for the development of more than 550 affordable units.

Crystal House is a 16-acre apartment community located one block from Amazon’s new headquarters in Arlington. (Courtesy of Amazon)

Meeting the need for more affordable housing in Arlington is a major goal for officials in the city of Northern Virginia, and Amazon has announced a multi-million dollar investment to help make that vision a reality.

The tech giant will donate a vacant lot valued at $ 40 million in Arlington County for the development of more than 550 affordable units. The donation, located on Amazon’s 16-acre Crystal House property, is part of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund’s efforts to preserve moderate to low-income housing around its new headquarters.

A minimum of 148 of the units will be designated for households collectively earning 50% or less of the region’s median income, and at least 406 units will be reserved for households earning less than 80%, by January 2028. The agreement also includes the option of developing some of these units on other properties across the county.

“Amazon is showing dedication and commitment to the Arlington community with this revolutionary opportunity to increase the number of affordable housing in the county,” Anne Venezia, Housing Manager for Arlington County. said in a press release. “Future development at the Crystal House site will help strengthen critical housing supply goals in an area where affordable housing options are limited. “

Amazon bought the land option in a deal to help the Washington Housing Conservancy acquire the property last year. He will turn the site over to the county under a transfer and takeover agreement.

The county council will consider the proposed deal at its meeting later this month. If approved, the county will then begin a nationwide search for a developer and begin construction in 2025.

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Covid-19: Niue achieves collective immunity, with 97% of eligible population vaccinated


Niue has become one of the few countries in the world to achieve collective immunity against Covid-19 after vaccinating nearly 100% of its eligible population.

The Pacific island nation, with a population of nearly 2,000, achieved the milestone in two months.

A national celebration was held on Tuesday to mark the milestone of vaccination.

Niue has achieved collective immunity for Covid-19.  (File photo)


Niue has achieved collective immunity for Covid-19. (File photo)

With Pfizer vaccines provided by New Zealand, Niue began its vaccination program on June 1 and vaccinated 97% of the eligible population in the first round.

* Covid-19: Niue days from full vaccination, travel bubble in place by the end of the year
* Covid-19: New data suggests collective immunity is unachievable in New Zealand
* Covid-19: vaccination in Tokelau begins in July, travel bubble to Niue soon and devastating Fiji epidemic – Minister Sio

The second round went well and got the same results. The vaccination ended on July 9.

Niue Prime Minister Dalton Tagelagi.

Government of Niue / Fourni

Niue Prime Minister Dalton Tagelagi.

The Niue government is now seeking to vaccinate people between the ages of 12 and 15, pending MedSafe approval.

Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio said Niue’s achievement was important and its people should be proud of it.

“I’m excited for them, it’s a big deal,” Sio said.

Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio gets vaccinated in South Auckland


Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio gets vaccinated in South Auckland

“A lot of hard work has gone into this, with a lot of people working behind the scenes. It’s super fantastic.

He said the Niue example sends a strong message that Prime Minister Dalton Tagelagi, who has applied science to his decisions, is a good leader.

“You have to take the nation with you, and he did.”


There are 10 ingredients in the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. An electronic chip is not one of them.

Tagelagi, in a previous interview, said the support for immunization has been huge. Those who chose not to vaccinate did so for religious reasons.

“It’s entirely their choice.”

Niue is one of 14 countries in the world that has remained Covid-free. This appears to be New Zealand’s next quarantine-free travel bubble, with the Niue government considering allowing only vaccinated travelers into the country.

Sio said Niue is now in a position to make decisions about a travel bubble, but it is up to his government to make that decision.

“Niue has always been clear from the start that they will not discuss any travel bubbles until they have vaccinated its residents.

“Whatever action they take after this, we will support them.”

Acadiana’s real estate market remains ‘delusional’, but supply lags behind demand


Acadiana is benefiting from a “crazy” residential real estate market in the middle of the year, although the number of active listings relative to demand is at its lowest level since the 1990s, according to a presentation by the real estate expert Bill Bacque.

Bacque, who runs Market Scope Consulting, produces monthly reports analyzing the local market. Bacque’s reports include annual and cumulative figures for Lafayette, Saint-Landry, Saint-Martin, Acadia, Iberia, Vermilion and Évangéline parishes.

Acadiana – and most of its individual parishes – have experienced an unprecedented level of success with its residential real estate market in the first six months of 2021. Home sales in the area are up 35% from the previous year. first half of 2020, and dollar sales volume is up 55%.

Within Lafayette Parish, sales are up 40% and dollar volume is up 56% over the year. Outside of Lafayette Parish, sales are up 25% and dollar volume is up 50% from the first part of 2020.

Homes between $ 150,000 and $ 299,999 are the hottest in Lafayette Parish, according to Bacque. Sales of these homes are up 44% over the year, from 1,062 in 2020 to 1,529 in 2021. These sales represent nearly two-thirds of all home sales in the first half of 2021 in the parish. .

Homes sold over $ 300,000 are up 77% over the year, from 301 to 533. Sales of homes under $ 150,000 were broadly the same as in the first half of 2020 at around 363 sales this year.

In the southern part of Lafayette Parish – south of Verot School Road and Ambassador Caffery Parkway in Youngsville – sales increased 37.6% from 2020 and dollar volume increased 47%. The area represents 45.2% of the parish’s sales in 2021 and 51.2% of the dollar volume.

The central part of the parish, near the Vermilion River, Johnston Street and south of Highway 90, saw sales increase 55.5% and dollar volume increase 87%. The area accounts for 23.7% of parish sales and 23.7% of dollar volume.

North Lafayette – just north of Highway 90 – saw sales jump 28% and dollar volume increase 49%. The area accounts for 19.7% of parish sales and 15.3% of dollar volume.

In the western part of Lafayette Parish, west of LA 167 and Highway 93, sales increased 54.2% and dollar volume increased 63.3%. The area accounted for 9.1% of parish sales and 7.6% of dollar volume.

The eastern part of the parish, around Broussard, saw its sales increase by 19.1% and the dollar volume increased by 40.9%. Square footage represents 2.2% of all parish sales and 2.2% of dollar volume.

Across Acadiana, the average sale price of $ 226,120 in the first half of 2021 is the highest in at least four decades, due to low supply and high demand. According to Bacque, the ratio of new listings to mid-year sales is at its lowest since 1998.

New listings increased from 2020, the sale rate greatly exceeded the supply entering the market.

The National Association of Realtors has called the national housing shortage dire and called for solutions from local and federal policymakers. The association has also released reports on the housing shortage, detailing the need to increase supply.

“There is a strong desire for homeownership across the country, but the lack of supply is preventing too many Americans from achieving this dream,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a published article. on the association’s website. “It is clear from the findings of this report and the conditions we have seen in the market over the past few years that we will need to do something dramatic to close this gap. “

In his presentation, Bacque said that it is possible that the regional market can maintain its success without government intervention. Over the past 40 years, the region has experienced fairly drastic fluctuations in the ratio of new listings to sales.

From 1982 to 1989, the region had 2.9 new listings for every sale. But the ratio fell to its lowest point in the 90s, when it was 1: 1. This year the ratio is 1.2 new listings for every sale.

Concerns raised about the abandonment of the Carpinteria seal colony population


CARPINTERIA, Calif .– The harbor seal colony and colony of Carpinteria has seen a decline in population in recent years and the city may take steps to add new protections to the area.

It is located east of Carpinteria State Beach and below the Bailard Cliffs.

The area is clearly demarcated and the public is advised, by signage, not to cross when there are seals on the beach, especially puppies that bond with their mothers.

For comparison, in 2012 there were over 400 seals at the site.

This year, only around 200 people were seen.

The area is guarded by docents who educate the public from a clifftop location.

The Carpinteria City Council will discuss the matter this evening at its regular meeting at the request of a citizen who was concerned about the declining population.

The council is considering forming a committee to review the protections already in place and whether or not to strengthen them.

This could include more signage or planting vegetation on top of a cliff to protect the sight of seals from the looking down public.

The area is also called the “seal sanctuary”. A city report says we think we are
one of four locations where harbor seal colonies exist along southern California

Another place, in La Jolla, also enjoys similar protections from the local community.

Watch Tonight on KEYT NewsChannel 3-12, KKFX Fox 11

(More details, videos and photos will be added here later today.)

Animals / Education / Lifestyle / Local politics / Outdoors / Safety / Santa Barbara – South County

Guaranteeing reproductive health rights for all on World Population Day: UN Chief |


In his message for World Population Day, celebrated on Sunday, the UN chief called for closing the gaps in access to sexual and reproductive health services created by the crisis.

Grim milestones

The pandemic “continues to disrupt our world, reaching one dark stage after another,” Guterres said.

Last week, the global death toll from COVID-19 officially exceeded four million.

“In addition to the millions of tragically lost lives, there has been a less visible toll: a shocking increase in domestic violence as women have been forced to isolate themselves with their abusers; empty maternities while women postponed their maternity; and unintended pregnancies due to restricted access to contraceptive services, ”said the Secretary-General.

Reverse gains

The UN estimates that the pandemic will push some 47 million women and girls into extreme poverty. In addition, many girls who are now out of school may never return to school.

“In all corners of the world, we are witnessing a reversal of hard-earned gains and an erosion of women’s reproductive rights, choices and action. With the onset of the pandemic, resources for sexual and reproductive health services have been diverted, ”said the Secretary-General.

“These gaps in access to health rights are unacceptable. Women cannot be alone in this fight, ”he added.

“As we celebrate World Population Day, let us commit to ensuring reproductive health rights for everyone, everywhere. “

National homebuilders rally runs out of steam amid market pressures


The outlook for US homebuilder stocks is darkening as investors see slowing home sales and soaring prices as a sign that the housing boom may fade away.

An S&P index of 16 builders jumped nearly 250% between March 2020 and early May, with the housing market proving to be one of the few bright spots in an economy crippled by the pandemic.

But the index has fallen about 12% since then, with industry leaders DR Horton Inc. and PulteGroup Inc. among 11 companies that posted double-digit declines.

The pullback came as several measures showed the housing market was cooling.

New home sales and housing starts were lower than economists’ median estimates for April and May, while mortgage applications fell to their lowest level in over a year.

With home prices soaring at the fastest pace in more than three decades, more than half of consumers surveyed by the University of Michigan said in May that it was a bad time to buy a home, with the most share. highest since 1982.

This disappointing housing data prompted analysts to cut ratings and forecasts.

DR Horton and TRI Pointe Homes Inc. were downgraded by RBC on Thursday over concerns that order growth would slow as backlogs mount. PulteGroup was brought down to neutral last week by Goldman Sachs, which cited a lack of valuation potential for the company.

“As the data continues to weaken, I think there would be additional risk for stocks,” RBC analyst Mike Dahl said in an interview. The housing market is reaching price levels “which in the past corresponded to a slower demand environment”.

For now, home builders can still charge high prices due to low inventory and lower mortgage rates.

Prices for about 72% of basic floor plans were raised in June, according to RBC data, well above 47% last year. Companies like Lennar Corp. are even experimenting with auctions in certain regions where demand exceeds supply.

But BTIG analyst Carl Reichardt said he was telling home builders not to be too aggressive. It’s “nervous” that carmakers could find themselves in a negative feedback loop where carmakers have to cut prices to retain buyers discouraged by fierce bidding wars.

“We have to make sure the builders don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs,” Reichardt said in an interview.

Stephen Kim of Evercore ISI, who described himself as “extremely bullish” by his peers, does not agree that the deceleration in home sales indicates slowing demand.

Instead, he argued that builders are deliberately withholding inventory even though new homes are needed. The gap between supply and demand is still wide, he said.

Kim expects sales to accelerate by September and sees the recent drop in stock prices as a buying opportunity. As a result of the latest round of homebuilder share sales, “there is no name that I think is not worth holding,” he said.

In the long run, the economic recovery, low mortgage rates, and millennial buyers could benefit builders, although Reichardt said stock transactions would likely be “choppy” before home builders clear their arrears and settle their arrears. solve supply chain problems.

“The worries are going to stay with us for a little while,” Reichardt said. “You’re going to have this struggle between the long-term bullish and the short-term bearish throughout the summer and into the fall, which means stocks will be relatively limited in the range.”

Covid UK News Live: Delta Variant Cases Rise By One-Third


Covid-19 vaccinations in the UK: the latest figures

Confirmed and probable cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant have increased by 32% over the past week, according to the latest figures from Public Health England, to a total of 216,249.

A total of 161,981 cases had been identified up to the previous week.

Of the 216,249 cases, 180,643 occurred in England, 28,559 in Scotland, 3,666 in Wales and 3,381 in Northern Ireland.

The Delta variant currently accounts for around 99% of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak urged remote workers to return to the office. His call came as coronavirus cases surpassed 30,000 for the second day in a row Thursday. Mr Sunak said he wants as many people as possible to start working in person when the work from home orientation ends on July 19.


England’s infection rate at its highest since February

England’s community infection rate reached one in 160 people in the week to July 3 – up from one in 260 the week before, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

This is the highest level since the week of February 19, when the country descended from the peak of the second wave.

Liam jamesJuly 9, 2021 12:37


Do double-vaccinated people have to self-isolate if they are “nuts” by the NHS application?

The rules for self-isolation in England are expected to change in the coming weeks as the government moves forward with the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Millions of people downloaded the NHS Covid-19 app during the pandemic, making it easy for the health department to notify people when they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

Even people who have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine may be told to self-isolate under current rules, but the government has announced that will change soon.

The upcoming changes are explained here:

Liam jamesJuly 9, 2021 12:28


Hunger in the world deadlier than the Covid-19

Hunger is killing people at a faster rate than the coronavirus, according to a new report from Oxfam.

The association said 11 people die of hunger around the world every minute, more than the seven deaths per minute attributed to the virus.

The report found that the number of people suffering from the most severe level of hunger has increased by more than 500% since the start of the pandemic.

Oxfam said the three main drivers of the increase were the ‘deadly three Cs’: conflict, Covid-19 and the climate crisis.

Liam jamesJuly 9, 2021 12:10


Pfizer to seek authorization for the Covid jab booster

Pfizer plans to ask US and European regulators within weeks to authorize a booster of its coronavirus vaccine, based on evidence of an increased risk of infection six months after vaccination and the spread of the virus. highly contagious Delta variant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint statement yesterday that booster injections were not needed at this time.

“The Pfizer vaccine is very active against the Delta variant,” Dolsten said. But after six months, he said, “there is probably a risk of reinfection because the antibodies, as expected, go down.”

Liam jamesJuly 9, 2021 11:48 AM


New additions to the list of side effects of the Covid vaccine

New side effects have been added to the official Covid vaccine list – but medical experts warn they are “very rare” and people should be given their vaccine when asked to do so, unless otherwise specified by doctor.

The Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency has found a link between injections and myocarditis, which causes inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, which is inflammation of the outer wall of the heart.

Research has suggested that young men are affected the most, especially after a second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs.

More about it Matt Mathers here:

Liam jamesJuly 9, 2021 11:32


Scotland’s worst affected region in youth advocacy

Young adults at Tayside are urged to get the coronavirus vaccine as quickly as possible in an “unusually serious” message from health chiefs.

The region has the highest Covid infection rate in Scotland, with Dundee particularly affected.

NHS Director of Public Health Tayside posted a video begging 18-29 year olds to get vaccinated in order to relieve pressure on the local hospital, which has been forced to open an additional Covid ward.

Liam jamesJuly 9, 2021 11:10


£ 10,000 fine for partying English fans

Police have fined £ 10,000 after hundreds gathered in Bristol to celebrate England’s victory in the semi-final on Wednesday night.

More than 200 people had gathered on Gloucester Road in the north of the city as music blared from audio systems at two properties.

Avon and Somerset Police officers entered a property and confiscated sound equipment in addition to delivering the notice of a flat-rate fine. The force said investigations were underway regarding the second property.

Liam jamesJuly 9, 2021 10:52 AM


More than three-quarters of Delta’s hospitalizations under 50 were unvaccinated, according to PHE

More than three-quarters of those under 50 hospitalized in England with the Delta variant of Covid-19 as of June 21 were unvaccinated, Public Health England said.

A total of 1,904 people had been hospitalized in England so far, with 1,283 of 1,904 people under 50, while 615 were 50 or older.

Of the 1,283 under 50 years of age, 987 (77%) were not vaccinated, 106 (8%) were vaccinated within 21 days of their first dose of vaccine, 118 (9%) 21 or more days after their first dose of vaccine and 48 (4 percent) were fully immunized.

Of the 615 people aged 50 or older, 195 (32%) were unvaccinated, 11 (2%) less than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine, 140 (23%) 21 or more days after their first dose vaccine and 265 (43%) were fully vaccinated.

Cléa SkopelitiJuly 9, 2021 10:31 AM


Delta cases increased by a third from last week, PHE figures show

Confirmed and probable cases of the Covid-19 Delta variant have increased by 32% over the past week, according to the latest figures from Public Health England, to a total of 216,249.

A total of 161,981 cases had been identified up to the previous week.

Of the 216,249 cases, 180,643 occurred in England, 28,559 in Scotland, 3,666 in Wales and 3,381 in Northern Ireland.

The Delta variant currently accounts for around 99% of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK.

Cléa SkopelitiJuly 9, 2021 9:45 AM


Here’s a short Twitter thread from clinical epidemiologist Dr Deepti Gurdasani amid concerns about the impact of the July 19 unlock on unvaccinated children and youth:

Cléa SkopelitiJuly 9, 2021 09:31

Punjab National Bank disagrees with PNB Housing Finance over proposed deal with Carlyle


PNB Housing Finance and its parent company Punjab National Bank are on different pages regarding the preferential issue offered by the housing finance company valued at Rs 4,000 crore to entities run by The Carlyle Group Inc.

The Punjab National Bank, in a July 4 letter, said its board of directors believes that the board of directors of PNB Housing Finance should take notice of the SEBI order and reconsider the restructuring of the company. agreement in accordance with the directive of the regulator.

“Following the deliberations on the letter PNB, the board of directors of the company, by a majority resolution adopted on July 6, 2021, decided that the question in question being of interpretation of the law and falling under the securities (SAT), the board will await the order of the SAT on this issue, ”PNB Housing said Wednesday in a regulatory filing.

The board of directors of PNB Housing met on July 5 and 6 on the communication of the parent company.

The SAT will hear the next time on July 12.

PNB Housing Finance had filed an appeal with the appeal court against the directive of the capital market regulator SEBI to suspend the preferential issue proposed by the company.

In a letter dated June 18, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) ordered PNB Housing Finance to block the proposed preferential issue of shares to entities led by The Carlyle Group Inc. It had asked PNB Housing to undertake the evaluation of the actions of an independent appraiser before going ahead with the problem.

Younger population accounts for majority of Iowa’s COVID-19 hospitalizations this week


Doctors in Iowa say they are grateful to see fewer COVID-19-related hospitalizations, but worry about who they now see making up the majority of Iowans on hospital beds. Wednesday’s figures from the state’s database show 85 people have been hospitalized with the coronavirus. Of this total, 58% percent combined represent people aged 18 to 39. Doctors based at some Des Moines hospitals tell KCCI they aren’t surprised by the numbers because they reflect what the state sees when it comes to vaccinations. . Minus those under the age of 17, Iowans between the ages of 18 and 39 have one of the lowest vaccine numbers in the state. “Usually this is a healthy demographic so they end up not having to see the doctor as much,” said Dr. Nicole Gilg Gachiani, physician quality manager at Broadlawns Medical Center. “But we are seeing lower health care utilization rates in this demographic, not just with vaccines, but for all elements of health maintenance.” Unitypoint Clinic internal medicine doctor Dr Austin Baeth has weighed in on what he thinks is keeping young people from getting vaccinated. Baeth mentioned that disinformation from social media or from uncredible sources could play a key role. He said some people are also at an age where they don’t believe they will die from the coronavirus. Baeth said that while young people are at lower risk of dying from COVID-19, there are other issues they need to be concerned about if they contract it. “I have several patients who are still in pain six months after their previous infection,” Baeth said. “They are always short of breath or tired, so it is very important not to get sick in the first place.”

Doctors in Iowa say they are grateful to see fewer COVID-19-related hospitalizations, but worry about who they now see making up the majority of Iowans on hospital beds.

Wednesday’s figures from the state’s database show 85 people have been hospitalized with the coronavirus. Of this total, 58% combined represent people aged 18 to 39.

Doctors based at some Des Moines hospitals told KCCI they are not surprised by the numbers because they reflect what the state sees when it comes to vaccinations.

Minus those under the age of 17, Iowans between the ages of 18 and 39 have one of the lowest vaccine numbers in the state.

“Usually this is a healthy demographic so they end up not having to see the doctor as much,” said Dr. Nicole Gilg Gachiani, physician quality manager at Broadlawns Medical Center. “But we are seeing lower health care utilization rates in this demographic, not just with vaccines, but for all elements of health maintenance.”

Unitypoint Clinic internal medicine doctor Dr Austin Baeth has weighed in on what he says is preventing young people from getting vaccinated.

Baeth mentioned that disinformation from social media or from uncredible sources could play a key role. He said some people are also at an age where they don’t believe they will die from the coronavirus. Baeth said that while young people are at lower risk of dying from COVID-19, there are other issues they need to be concerned about if they contract it.

“I have several patients who are still in pain six months after their previous infection,” Baeth said. “They are always short of breath or tired, so it is very important not to get sick in the first place.”

Maine must decide if it can start redistribution without key census data


Hello from Augusta. We are hosting a listening session for political readers on July 15th. Register here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He was a wonderful man with an even keel”, guitarist Denny breau said of Frank coffin, a well-known bassist from Maine who died Friday after a recent cancer diagnosis. “He never got mad and we never had a single crossword all these years – and that’s unusual for musicians.” Here is your soundtrack.

What we watch today

The Maine redistribution panel will meet again on Wednesday, although the data needed to draw maps remains in over a month. The 15-member commission is awaiting a decision from the Maine Supreme Court on whether and how it can proceed with the congressional redistribution process and legislation when the US Census Bureau releases the necessary data in mid-August.

Maine faces a time crunch with its redistribution process, as census delays linked to the pandemic meant the data needed to draw new districts was not available in time for a constitutional deadline last month. Lawmakers have united so far to ask for more court time so that the blame remains with the Legislature and not returned to the courts.

Other states have taken different approaches to the same problem. The Illinois Democratic-led legislature last month approved legislative maps of the state that were drawn using population estimates from the American Community Survey. Illinois Republicans, however, filed a lawsuit arguing that the use of estimates was “discriminatory” and calling for more contributions to the redistribution process. (Unlike Maine, Illinois law does not require cards to be drawn on an independent or bipartisan basis.)

In Colorado, which faces a more complicated allocation process than Maine because it won a congressional district this cycle, members of the state’s independent commission sought public comment on the draft maps drafted at using population estimates. But commission members acknowledged that the maps are preliminary and should be adjusted when the final census data is released.

It is not yet clear what Maine could do, but committee members are expected to discuss today how well they can start working before the data is released next month. The meeting will be webcast live here on the committee’s YouTube channel from 9:30 a.m.

Maine’s top 3 politics

– “The High Court of Maine upholds the Portland risk premium law, but it will not come into force until 2022”, Michel berger, Bangor Daily News: “The Maine Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling on Tuesday, saying the ordinance was properly promulgated under the state’s constitution and city code. But the judges ruled that the date of entry into force of the law, January 1, 2022, was “unambiguous at first glance.”

The decision was a partial victory for supporters and detractors of the law. The ruling follows a challenge by the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce over the constitutionality of the law and whether it was properly enshrined in the city code. But two Whole Foods employees stepped in to try to push the effective date back to December 2020. Courts have rejected both arguments, paving the way for implementation in January.

– “Maine schools experienced the 4th biggest drop in enrollment in the country last year”, David Marino Jr., BDN: “Many of these students have switched to home schooling, which has seen an increase of 5,000 students from 2020 to 2021, according to data from the Department of Education. Some others went uneducated. Students in Maine are not required to attend school until their sixth birthday, and preschool and kindergarten were the grade levels with the largest percentage declines.

– “The Coalition of Native Tribes of Quebec is suing to stop the construction of the Hydro-Quebec power line”, Fred beverage, Maine Public: “[Lucien Wabanonik, a spokesperson for five tribes], said that although the Canadian transmission line would not cross tribal lands directly, more than a third of the dam system providing electricity for the project is on land that the tribes have never ceded to Province.

No independent candidate for governor at the moment

An anti-corridor activist who teased a race said he was still considering entering the governor’s race but would not decide until the end of the year. Former State Sen. Tom saviel was critical of both Gov. Janet Mills and his Republican challenger, the former governor. Paul LePage, in a video posted Wednesday morning. But despite a website indicating he could be a candidate, Saviello said he would not decide to run until after the November election, when an anti-Central Maine Power Co. voting issue is expected to be decided.

Today’s Daily Brief was written by Jessica Piper and edited by Michael Shepherd. If you are reading this on the BDN website or if you have uploaded it, you can sign up to receive it in your inbox every morning of the week here.

To reach us, do not respond directly to this newsletter, but contact the policy team at [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]

UK department store struggles to build houses | Daily Express Online


UK department store struggles to build houses

Posted on: Wednesday July 07, 2021


Text size:

The partnership announced this weekend that around 10,000 new apartments and houses will be built primarily on sites housing John Lewis department stores, Waitrose supermarkets and distribution centers, starting in the south-east of England. .

LONDON: John Lewis Partnership, whose UK department stores have been hit hard by the pandemic, will rent thousands of new homes to build on its plots. The partnership announced this weekend that around 10,000 new apartments and houses will be built primarily on sites housing John Lewis department stores, Waitrose supermarkets and distribution centers, starting in the south-east of England. . Nina Bhatia, executive director, strategy and business development, John Lewis Partnership, said the plan “will provide stable, long-term income for the partnership.”


She added that the group wanted to address a nationwide housing shortage in the UK. John Lewis, who had struggled before the coronavirus outbreak, saw his fortunes worsen as the pandemic pushed consumers to shop more and more online.


This led John Lewis to permanently shut down some of his department stores which had temporarily closed during UK closures. It was not immediately clear whether the new homes would be built next to or within existing properties stocked with clothing, household items and food. Despite its recent problems, the John Lewis Partnership has managed to outlive its British counterpart Debenhams which collapsed late last year, costing thousands of jobs.

Mysterious population of rogue planets spotted near the center of our galaxy


Artist’s impression of a free-floating planet.

Enticing evidence has been uncovered for a mysterious population of “rogue” (or “floating”) planets, planets that may be alone in deep space, unrelated to a host star. The results include four new findings consistent with planets of Earth-like masses, published today (July 6, 2021) in Monthly notices from the Royal Astronomical Society.

The study, led by Iain McDonald of the University of Manchester, UK (now based at Open University, UK) used data obtained in 2016 during the K2 mission phase of the telescope NASA’s Kepler Space Station. During this two-month campaign, Kepler monitored a crowded field of millions of stars near the center of our Galaxy every 30 minutes for rare gravitational microlens events.

The study team found 27 candidate short-lived microlens signals that varied over time scales ranging from one hour to 10 days. Many of them had already been observed in data obtained simultaneously from the ground. However, the four shortest events are new findings that correspond to planets of similar masses to Earth.

These new events do not show a longer accompanying signal than one would expect from a host star, suggesting that these new events may be floating planets. Such planets may have originally formed around a host star before being ejected by gravitational force from other heavier planets in the system.

Predicted by Albert Einstein 85 years ago as a result of his general theory of relativity, the microlens describes how the light from a background star can be temporarily amplified by the presence of other stars in the foreground. This produces a short burst of brightness that can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. About one in a million stars in our Galaxy is visibly affected by the microlens at any given time, but only a few percent of these are expected to be caused by planets.

Kepler was not designed to find planets using microlenses, nor to study the extremely dense star fields of the Inner Galaxy. This meant that new data reduction techniques had to be developed to find signals in the Kepler dataset.

Iain notes, “These signals are extremely difficult to find. Our observations pointed an elderly and diseased telescope with blurry vision at one of the most densely populated parts of the sky, where there are already thousands of bright stars of varying brightness and thousands of asteroids roaming our field. . From this cacophony, we try to extract tiny, characteristic illuminations caused by the planets, and we only have one chance to see a signal before it disappears. It’s about as easy as searching for a firefly’s single wink in the middle of a freeway, using just a cell phone.

University of Manchester co-author Eamonn Kerins also comments: “Kepler has achieved what it was never designed to do, providing new provisional evidence for the existence of a population of land mass floating planets. . Now he’s passing the baton to other missions that will be designed to find such signals, signals so elusive that Einstein himself believed they were unlikely to ever be observed. I am very happy that ESA’s upcoming Euclid mission can also join this effort as an additional scientific activity to its main mission. “

Confirming the existence and nature of the floating planets will be a major focus for future missions such as NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, and possibly ESA’s Euclid mission, both of which will be optimized for research. signals from microlenses.

Reference: “Kepler K2 Campaign 9 – I. Short-lived candidate events of the first space survey for planetary microlenses ”by I McDonald, E Kerins, R Poleski, MT Penny, D Specht, S Mao, P Fouqué, W Zhu and W Zang, July 6 2021, Monthly notices from the Royal Astronomical Society.
DOI: 10.1093 / mnras / stab1377

Albemarle County has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the state. Why?


Albemarle County now has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in Virginia.

As of Friday, just over 70% of all residents in the county had received at least one dose of the vaccine and nearly 60% were fully immunized.

The rates are just above other major municipalities, such as the city of Fairfax and County of Loudoun. Meanwhile, they are eclipsing the counties at the bottom of the immunization scale. Patrick County, for example, is among the lowest with just 30% of the population fully vaccinated and 32% with at least one dose.

It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly why Albemarle conducted vaccinations, but he has one thing in common with other highly vaccinated areas – it’s rich.

“In general, areas with low levels of socio-economic vulnerability have higher vaccination rates,” said Clare Brown, University of Arkansas assistant professor for medical sciences.

Brown recently conducted an analysis of thousands of counties to determine which factors contribute the most to vaccination rates. The study did not include Virginia.

To determine whether a region was socioeconomically vulnerable, the researchers looked at a county’s per capita income and the number of people who had less than a high school diploma, lived below the poverty line, and were unemployed and uninsured.

The study also found that type of housing, transportation and disabilities strongly influenced vaccination rates. This means, in general, that there are fewer people vaccinated in areas that are more densely populated with multi-dwelling structures, have more single-parent houses, have people without cars and have people with disabilities.

“So we don’t really identify a thing, that more people in a household mean it,” Brown said. “In a way, that complicates the analysis. This makes it more difficult to identify a single factor. But he doesn’t put too much emphasis on one thing either. There are all kinds of things that are related.

The general conclusion, she said, is that the richer an area, the more likely its residents are to get vaccinated.

Albemarle hits multiple markers from a rich area. Its median household income is around $ 80,000 and less than 7% of its residents live below the poverty line, according to census data.

Ninety-two percent of the population has a high school diploma and 52% has a bachelor’s degree or above. More than 63% of residents own their home.

“Albemarle County is one of the best educated and most progressive regions in the Commonwealth,” said Donna Price, member of the Albemarle board of directors.

The areas with the lowest vaccination rates in the state show markers of being less wealthy. In Patrick, the median income is $ 43,000. More than 15% of the inhabitants live there below the poverty line. And 20% did not graduate from high school.

Albemarle’s numbers are on par with those of other counties in Virginia with high vaccination rates. Many are clustered around Washington, DC

“A lot of counties in Northern Virginia have the same factors, and you can see it in the dark blue cluster of areas on the state’s immunization rates map,” said Glen Barbour, Loudoun County spokesperson. , which has the second highest vaccination rate in the state.

SriLankan Airlines officials ahead of COPE today


  • Meetings convened to review the current performance of the national carrier
  • Officials from the Insurance Corporation and the National Housing Development Authority in front of COPE on Wednesday and Thursday
  • A meeting of the Defense Ministry Advisory Committee is also scheduled today

SriLankan Airlines officials were called today before the Public Enterprise Committee (COPE).

The meeting was scheduled to review the current performance of the national carrier, Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said.

Meanwhile, officials from the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and the National Housing Development Authority were summoned to appear before COPE on July 7 and 8, respectively.

In addition to the COPE committee, several committees and ministerial advisory committees are due to meet during the next parliamentary week, added the secretary general.

The Ministerial Advisory Committee on Defense is scheduled to meet today, while the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Labor and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Industries are scheduled to meet in Parliament on July 7.

The Ethics and Privileges Committee is also due to meet today, while the Senior Positions Committee and the select parliamentary committee tasked with identifying shortcomings in the existing electoral structure and laws will also meet on July 7.

The Special Parliamentary Committee to Review and Report to Parliament on its Recommendations to Ensure Gender Equity and Equality and the Caucus of Women Parliamentarians are also due to meet on July 8.

Census data helps cultural groups preserve language and culture: Australia


As part of NAIDOC Week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will celebrate the culture, history and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.

It is also an opportunity to share how cultural groups can use census data to help keep language and culture alive.

Renowned Murray Island Torres Strait Islander cultural group Eip Karem Beizam used census data in grant applications to secure funding.

Vera Havilli is a proud Meriam from Murray Island in Torres Strait, and coordinator of Eip Karem Beizam. She shared her story of how census data helped support the pursuit of culture for the Meriam community living away from Murray Island.

The cultural group has more than 60 members, including professional dancers, weavers, linguists, singers and songwriters. They run cultural programs and language workshops for Meriam people living far from Murray Island.

“Our mission is to ensure that the Meriam people and culture survive for generations to come. We use census data to help us in this mission, ”said Vera.

“Other cultural groups can also use census data to identify opportunities to build a better future. “

Vera also works as the census engagement manager on Thursday Island. Much of his role is to ensure that the communities and islands across the Torres Strait are well informed and prepared to complete the census.

Vera says NAIDOC week is an important time to talk about census participation because it helps provide services and plan for community needs.

“Being counted in the census benefits your community – so it’s important to finish this year,” Vera said.

The next census is Tuesday August 10. Instructions on how to participate will be sent to households in early August. Census staff will be in remote communities in July and August to help people complete their census.

Swift Trial Times Restored in Illinois Courts | State and regional


SPRINGFIELD – Illinois state courthouses could end social distancing measures and from October 1, defendants could once again claim their right to a speedy trial under new Supreme Court rules of the ‘Illinois.

The court last week issued two orders that essentially overturn rules put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. These rules included suspending rapid trial deadlines, or the number of days after which defendants can demand that prosecutors bring them to justice or that the charges be dropped.

Those deadlines will come into effect again on October 1, when Chief Justice Anne Burke said she was chosen to give circuit court chief justices time to prepare. Decisions on whether or not to relax social distancing rules will be left to local courts, according to the order.

Governor JB Pritzker signs a measure in the law allowing varsity athletes to sign sponsorship agreements.

“It is important to note that our courts have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic and thousands of court proceedings have taken place via in-person and virtual hearings,” said Burke. “However, the conduct of criminal jury trials has been very difficult. These two orders will help our courts prepare for a return to a full list of jury trials.”

The Chicago Tribune reports that some defense attorneys at the Chicago Criminal Courthouse have attempted to formally request a trial on behalf of their clients during the pandemic. But judges ruled the claims lacked bite due to Illinois Supreme Court orders, which were put in place at the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

The race is on to secure rental aid to avoid evictions


BOSTON – More than $ 7,000 in arrears on rent, Tyesha Young had hoped that a program in Louisiana would bail her out and allow her family to avoid eviction in the weeks to come.

But the 29-year-old mother-of-two from Jefferson Parish is still waiting to see if any of the state’s $ 308 million available for rent assistance and utility payments will give her a lifeline. . She asked for money last year but never heard a thing. She is waiting for news on her latest app.

Federal money was divided between a statewide program in Louisiana and its larger parishes. Neither went well. The state paid out $ 10.5 million out of $ 147 million, while Jefferson Parish distributed only $ 1.4 million out of $ 12.9 million. The parish replaced the company overseeing the program after only $ 236,000 was distributed in May.

“Where are we going to go?” Asked Young, who lost his hospital job during the pandemic and now has to stay home to care for her 7-month-old baby.

A d

“It’s brand new, it’s not something I thought I would have to deal with in my life,” she said. “I have two kids to think about. That’s a lot.”

Louisiana’s struggles unfold across the country as states rush to distribute nearly $ 47 billion allocated by Congress for emergency rent assistance ahead of a federal moratorium on evictions ends on July 31, putting millions of people at risk of losing their homes.

The historic amount, higher than the annual budget of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, was allocated in December and March.

Housing advocates partly attribute the slow deployment to President Donald Trump’s Treasury Department who they say has been slow to explain how the money could be spent. The criteria, although clearer under the Biden administration, were still criticized for a cumbersome process that seemed more focused on preventing fraud than helping tenants.

A d

Advocates also said states made matters worse – some waited months for programs to be in place and others created bureaucratic hurdles.

As a result, little money came out. According to data released Friday by the Treasury Department, only $ 1.5 billion has been provided to about 350,000 households as of May 31. This is less than 4% of the allocated money.

Missouri Representative Cori Bush, a Democrat who has been deported herself, said her office has received calls from families “who don’t know how to apply for the funds or who say the request is confusing and stressful.” .

“It is unacceptable that millions of dollars are being deposited into the state bank account as families … across Missouri are struggling to stay at home,” she said.

“For many families, this help makes the difference between coming home with an eviction notice or coming home to a safe place to rest at night. “

Some 3.4 million people could be evicted over the next two months, according to the latest US Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey – a number some advocates say could be double.

A d

Many tenants will be forced out of a hot housing market where prices rise and vacancy rates fall. They will also be stuck with eviction and unpaid rent cases that make it nearly impossible to find new housing, forcing many to turn to homeless shelters or find housing in low-income neighborhoods. income without good schools or access to transport and jobs.

Among those at risk is Freddie Davis, a 51-year-old Miami truck driver who lost his job during the pandemic and saw his rent drop from $ 875 to $ 1,400 a month. He is $ 7,000 behind on rent and fears his monthly disability check of $ 1,038 after losing a leg to diabetes may not be enough to find another place. He applied for rental assistance, but his landlord refused to accept it.

“I’m worried like hell. I have nowhere else to go, ”said Davis, who has been working since the age of 15 and has never been kicked out. “In Miami, the rent is exorbitant. I’m going to sleep in my truck and put all my stuff away.

A d

The National Low Income Housing Coalition found that of the 51 programs it has followed so far, only 14% of funds allocated in December had been distributed. Most states are not distributing the March money yet.

The Associated Press found that states as diverse as North Dakota and California were having difficulty getting help. Georgia distributed only $ 11 million out of $ 552 million, North Dakota provided $ 3.4 million out of $ 200 million, North Carolina provided $ 73 million out of $ 546 million and California $ 73 million of $ 1.4 billion. New York launched $ 2 billion program last month but expect it to take four to six weeks before distributing anything.

Barriers vary, according to a Housing Coalition survey in April, including lack of capacity to administer the program, technical difficulties in getting it up and running, and lack of cooperation from tenants and their landlords.

A d

Some owners refused to participate. Sometimes tenants did not complete applications – often because they had to provide proof of lost jobs or other financial hardship during the pandemic.

Some same problems emerged last year when states set aside nearly $ 2.6 billion from the CARES law for rent assistance.

A common refrain was that the federal requirements were too onerous and the guidelines too strict.

Erica Boggess, executive director of the West Virginia Housing Fund, which manages the state’s rent assistance program, called it a “time consuming” to explain why it had only distributed $ 8.7 million in funding. $ 200 million in the first round of financing.

A d

“It’s a lot of work,” Boggess said of requirements that include verifying a COVID-19 proof and documenting an applicant’s income before going to a landlord for acceptance of funds.

“It’s frustrating for the tenant and probably for the owners as well,” she said. “We have to go through the process. It’s just not something that can happen overnight.”

California has made changes to its long request, which could take three hours. He reduced the number of documents required from nine to one; now it takes 30 minutes to complete. It also extended the languages ​​on the program’s website from two to six.

Russ Heimerich, spokesperson for California’s Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, said the state initially followed Treasury rules to prevent duplication of benefits and to ensure claimants were entitled to what they wanted. had obtained. “Now we’re just relying on a tenant’s attestation that they’ve had financial hardship with COVID-19,” he said.

A d

Since March, the Treasury Department has demanded that the money go directly to tenants, among other streamlining measures, and urged landlords not to evict tenants until 90 days after the assistance period.

“We need aid distributed now, before the moratorium on deportations expires at the end of July,” Susan Rice, director of the White House’s Home Policy Council, said this week. “Tenants facing eviction are in desperate need of this relief, and landlords need to cover their bills.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Union city leaders excited about 16.5% population growth report | Local News


While communities in the Franklin County area have seen modest growth over the past decade, Union’s population has grown by 16.5%, according to a population expert at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

City leaders see growth as the result of their efforts to attract businesses and families.

Deputy City Administrator James Schmieder, who also heads Union Economic Development, attributes the growth to the recent construction of several retiree communities and the city’s focus on “rooftops and jobs”.

“The rooftops are a new residential development, which means new residents with the new housing,” he said. “And then obviously new jobs, trying to create new opportunities for people to go out and build their lives.”

Overall, Franklin County has grown 3% over the past decade, the 19th fastest growing county in Missouri. Mark White, associate professor who works with MU Extension, said the Union’s population growth compares to 2% growth in Washington and 3% in the Pacific.

Schmieder said it was gratifying to see the city’s population increase.

“It means what we are doing is working,” he said. “We kind of knew, but that kind of validates going to work every day and really trying to create those opportunities. Residents are our first priority, and I think it shows.

White used reports from the US Census Bureau to analyze how Missouri’s population has changed over the past decade, according to previous Missourian report.

Union has also worked closely with Union R-XI School District and East Central College to make the city more attractive.

“If you have good schools, good jobs, they go hand in hand with people who want to live there,” Schmieder said.

New or growing businesses like Volpi Foods, Heat and Control, Buddeez Manufacturing and Silgan Plastic Food Containers have helped the city grow, Schmieder said. But it’s not just the big companies that are helping the city.

“I also think that we also have a lot of small businesses, which may only have 10 employees,” he said. “But these 10 live in the region and make the Union their home. Being business friendly for both small businesses and the big guys sets us up well.

Union Mayor Bob Schmuke also thanks the developers who build houses in Union.

“We have an area to expand, and I think that’s a lot – just to have an area where housing can be built,” he said.

Although the Union has carried out a voluntary annexation in recent years, Schmieder said nothing would help the kind of growth the city is experiencing.

But Union continues to see people moving to areas east of downtown that were annexed before Schmuke joined the council of aldermen 20 years ago.

“St. Andrews Place (subdivision) and places like this continue to grow,” Schmuke said. “Many housing estates that developed 20 years ago are still developing today. “

Schmieder said he couldn’t say what sets Union apart from other cities because he doesn’t dwell on what other cities are doing. “I try to create these neighborhoods, to create these communities and, at the same time, to create employment opportunities,” he said.

Schmuke hopes to see continued growth over the next decade. “It’s always our goal is to keep growing,” he said. “With our new figures, we hope to be able to attract good business developments.”

Compensation for COVID Deaths Will Make the Census Cleaner


The extent of the COVID infection and the death toll are widely understood as indicators of government effectiveness, at least on the public health front. Hence the tendency to suppress the count of COVID deaths

The claim that few people care about the cause of death is a bit too general. Representative photo

What’s in a name? Which we call Corona; Will, by any other name, kill like cold.

So far, only a small minority have cared whether the cause of death of their loved ones was recorded as COVID or not. The reality of their loss overwhelmed them, not so much its cause. That is about to change, with the Supreme Court asking the government to institute financial compensation for death from COVID.

On the bright side, the 2021 census will now take place without any attempt to tamper with the data. And the underreporting of deaths from COVID would cease, at least prospectively.

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The claim that few people care about the cause of death is a bit too general. Three sets of people care, a lot. Epidemiologists want precise numbers on the extent and pace of the pandemic’s spread. They care about the accuracy of the reports.

Another group of people are those who have an insurance connection. There are a number of insurance policies that are worded so carefully that they rule out a previously unknown illness such as COVID from causes that would trigger an insurance payment. The most glaring examples are health insurance and mortgage insurance. Several health insurance plans initially refused to cover the cost of COVID treatment, but the insurance regulator then put a foot down and said normal health insurance plans must also cover COVID.

Read also : All COVID deaths must be certified, cash relief unlikely: center to SC

Another type of reluctance on the part of insurers that has escaped the regulator’s attention is mortgage insurance. A person who takes out a mortgage loan is encouraged to take out an insurance policy on this mortgage, on the understanding that in the event of the borrower’s death, the family could keep the accommodation, as the remainder of the loan repayment would be covered. through insurance. payment.

But it turns out that the fine print does more than play the heck. In most of these insurance plans, payment is conditional upon death occurring from a specified list of contingencies. Naturally, no one had heard of COVID before December 2019 and therefore COVID is not among the deadly conditions that would justify the insurance claim.

The insurance regulator should ban such policies that arbitrarily restrict the eligibility conditions for insurance claims. After all, someone buys home loan insurance to boost the monthly payment they have to pay to protect the rest of the family from losing their home in case the borrower dies, not in case the borrower dies because of it. of a specified set of causes listed in small print.

Read also : Stalin Asks Rs 1 Crore Aid For Relatives Of COVID-19 Victims

A third group of people who care about how the precise cause of death is listed are analytical philosophers, those who study language and debate, inconclusive, the relationship between names and what they mean and why they mean what they mean.

What does the census have to do, in any case, with compensation for survivors of Covid victims, you may be wondering. The relationship is not that complex.

The actual toll of a pandemic can only be measured as the difference between the actual number of deaths, for whatever reason recorded, and the number of deaths that should have been recorded, depending on the past trend. The difference is called excess deaths.

We have had reports of virtually every state government trying to underestimate the number of human lives due to COVID. If someone has had heart disease, contracted COVID, and died, the temptation is to blame the death on heart disease. The extent of the COVID infection and the death toll are widely understood as indicators of government effectiveness, at least on the public health front. Hence the tendency to suppress the count of Covid deaths.

However, that would do nothing to change the number of excess deaths. This number can be known either from the death registration data in the Sample Registration System (SRS) or from the census. In advanced countries, data is available almost in real time. In India, SRS data is available with a lag. The census, which is due to take place this year, would produce, whenever it takes place, data comparable to that of the previous census in 2011.

The census is a highly decentralized data entry system. It would be difficult to manipulate the data. However, this being India, it is difficult to be sure that the urge to reduce the number of COVIDs would not seep into the data compilation process, if not into the actual count. After all, the compiled data can be revised to reflect the true picture after public anger over COVID has been replaced by something else.

With a policy of financial compensation for those who are victims of COVID in place, no one would allow underreporting of the number of COVID deaths. Anyone would try to get a death certificate stating COVID as the cause. If someone returning from a testing center for an RT-PCR test for the coronavirus falls under a stray bullet from a crowd of drunken revelers brandishing their guns and firing aimlessly in the air, and the test is positive, relatives would try their preferable level to obtain a COVID death certificate.

Read also : Rahul denounces the Center for refusing to compensate relatives of COVID victims

In other words, ending COVID deaths would be history. The fight would be to stop the hype. And it’s a political minefield. If, in trying to eliminate fraudulent claims, some genuine claimants are kicked out, or someone who does not deserve the compensation gets it, because some strategic palms have been greased, the public’s anger would rise. So, politically, it would be prudent to compensate the most, and set the amount of compensation at a low level.

It would not be a terrible disaster for the government to shell out a large sum in compensation. Suppose you were to pay compensation for 15 lakh of people which is almost four times the official death toll, and pay each family ₹ 1 lakh as compensation, the bill would be only 15,000 crore of Rs. You could double that compensation amount and it would still cost you half of the allowance called the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Count it as part of the stimulus bill. If the poor were compensated for the loss of their breadwinner, they would spend the money over a period of time, rather than accumulating it. This would increase the demand in the system and encourage recovery.

And people who get compensation would be grateful. Those who see the deserving being compensated would feel that the system is working and would approve. And India would get a realistic census and reliable epidemiological data.

The government would do well not to try to evade compensation for the families of those who die from COVID.

(The federal government seeks to present views and opinions from all sides of the spectrum. The information, ideas or opinions contained in the articles are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the federal government)

Cat Care Group Targeting Populations in Trailer Parks and Apartment Complexes in Madison, Mentor | Lake County


Lake Community Cats is redoubling its efforts to control the area’s cat population.

This time around, it aims to tackle the abundance of animals living in trailer parks and apartment complexes.

“The situations are different but give the same result,” said Community Cat Companions president Cindy Valerio, who is also executive director of Community Cats of Lake and Ashtabula counties. “Owners do not sterilize or neuter their pets and do not allow them to roam or abandon them, resulting in generations of stray and feral cats. Other residents are responsible for feeding the cats. Neighbors complain and management responds by ordering to stop feeding. None of this stops the problem.

“We realize that the problem will not be resolved in either type of multi-use property unless it is stopped at the source – (making sure) that the cats owned are spayed.”

Operation Snip & Tip

One such initiative is Operation Snip & Tip in Madison. This is a free sterilization and neutering program for trailer park cats, whether owners or feral.

It was created by Community Cats of Lake County and Ashtabula with the goal of reducing the disproportionate number of kittens collected from Madison trailer parks by the group.

“We have sterilized 38 cats and removed 10 kittens from the first draft so far (mid-June),” said Valerio. “There are six to nine adults and another litter of kittens left that will be removed once they are old enough to be fostered. It’s just a trailer park.

The group received a few small grants from the Petco Foundation and Caroline’s Kids Pet Rescue for this purpose – enough to repair 100 cats – and requested additional funding to expand the program.

The animals are trapped, sterilized and vaccinated at no cost to the park management, and returned to their outside home or placed for adoption.

“We are targeting the area where we have the most problems,” said Valerio.

This kitten was trapped in Madison Township and cared for by volunteers from Community Cats of Lake County.

Apartment awareness

Mentor Community Cats tries a different approach with the apartments.

The group recently approached city code enforcement staff to ask property managers to require the sterilization of tenants’ pets.

Code enforcement supervisor Tom Vermylie said he recommended they write a letter introducing themselves to owners and explaining their mission and procedures for controlling the feral cat population.

“I informed MCC that instead of approaching the issue from an enforcement perspective, it would probably be more effective to be proactive and ask apartment owners to add a clause to their leases. regarding the sterilization of pets, ”he said. “Therefore, landlords can hold tenants responsible for their pets in the apartment building.”

His office receives a few complaints a month about feral cats.

Apartment complexes are often inundated with outdoor cats that have been abandoned by people who have moved, or cats that have been dumped on the property, according to the letter to apartment management.

“Surprisingly, an unsterilized cat and her offspring can, over a period of five years, produce over 10,000 cats! it reads.

The organization suggests that apartment seekers provide proof that the animal has been sterilized and, preferably, microchipped when signing the lease. This would also be the case when a current tenant wishes to obtain additional pets.

Cat control

Mentor Community Cats was founded in 2015 in response to a situation in an apartment complex, and the group continues to trap in several. Since 2017, it has been carrying out a trap, neutralization and release program on behalf of the city.

“We recently helped a resort that had asked residents to stop feeding a colony of mostly friendly cats on the property,” said Valerio. “Their plan was to trap and kill the cats. We were able to get management consent to allow feeding until we could trap and remove them. “

The withdrawal was possible because the cats were previously owned, she noted. Fifteen cats were removed and several of them were pregnant.

“These were abandoned cats that would not have been able to breed if management had demanded sterilization prior to rental,” she said.

Between 2015 and 2020, the Lake County organization trapped and treated nearly 4,000 cats, of which 1,300 were adopted.

For more information on Lake Community Cats services, visit lakecountycommunitycats.org.

Mentor-based Lake Humane Society also offers TNR services. To learn more about this program, visit lakehumane.org.

Somerset County exceeds COVID vaccination targets ahead of July 4 target


Residents of Somerset County are declaring their independence from the COVID-19 pandemic by exceeding the goal of reaching a 70% vaccination rate by July 4.

According to the state Department of Health, 201,783 county residents had received the full cycle of COVID-19 vaccination as of June 30. This represents 71% of all residents aged 12 and over and over 76% of all adult residents.

“It’s great news for everyone that we exceeded our initial immunization goals long before the Independence Day goal, and it’s a testament to the partnership between state, county, municipalities. and private vaccine providers that we have reached this milestone, ”Somerset County Director Commissioner Shanel Y. Robinson said in a statement. “We are on the right track to return to a more normal way of life, but there is still work to be done and many more people to be vaccinated in communities that have not yet reached the 70% target. “

The work is not done.

Somerset County will continue to offer the Pfizer vaccine to residents 12 years of age and older at Somerset County facilities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays other than public holidays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The county will also administer the J&J and Moderna vaccine at pop-up clinics in communities with low vaccination rates and other high traffic locations.

Residents can find all scheduled vaccination clinics in Somerset County on the county website.

COVID:This NJ County has the highest vaccination rate in the state

According to recent US Census figures, Somerset County has 282,443 residents aged 12 and over, all of whom are eligible to be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, while those 18 and over can be vaccinated with Moderna vaccines. or Johnson & Johnson.

“Somerset County has been working hard to vaccinate its residents, whether at one of our clinics, a pharmacy or other provider, and will continue to do so as the key to ending this pandemic is having a high percentage of residents vaccinated, “Dr Namitha Ready, director of the Somerset County Department of Health, said in a statement:” We are now focusing on communities with lower vaccination rates, students and adolescents, and high traffic areas to continue to increase our number of vaccinations. “

In January, the county began distributing the Moderna vaccine at a drive-thru clinic at Raritan Valley Community College in Branchburg.

In February, when it became apparent that older residents were having difficulty securing vaccine appointments, the county created a waiting list for seniors that residents could reach by phone call. This list was used to make appointments at senior center clinics, cohabitation communities and pop-up clinics throughout the county.

At the end of March, Somerset County was among New Jersey’s top three counties in percentage of residents vaccinated, but some communities were lagging behind.

The county then began targeting these communities with pop-up clinics in public spaces such as Bound Brook Station, North Plainfield Fire House, Manville VFW and Somerville’s Division Street.

The county has also partnered with school districts to offer vaccination clinics for students 12 and older and has vaccinated teens at the Bridgewater Wellness Center.

This partnership with school districts, the first in New Jersey, has increased the percentage of adolescents vaccinated for the start of the September school year.

Several districts have requested additional clinics in late summer and early in the school year to help prevent outbreaks when schools open in September.

According to state figures, the towns in Somerset County with the highest vaccination rates are Far Hills (81%) and Montgomery (73%). The cities with the lowest vaccination rates are Manville (48%) and Peapack-Gladstone (49%) where, ironically, Pfizer has a corporate campus on Route 206.

Email: [email protected]

Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. To get unlimited access to his Somerset and Hunterdon Counties articles, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

The Somali People of Columbus Celebrate Somali Independence Day


Several dozen members of the Somali community in Columbus sang the Somali national anthem as they hoisted the country’s flag outside the Ohio Statehouse on Thursday. They hoisted the blue banner marked with a white star to commemorate the independence of the African country from European rule.

It was the first such celebration in nearly a dozen years for one of Columbus’s most prolific immigrant populations, and it was a reminder that the city is home to a thriving community native to the nation’s size. average of the Horn of Africa.

The two-day celebration also included a lighting ceremony at Columbus City Hall on Wednesday evening that saw City Hall and several downtown bridges bathed in blue light.

Munir Issa, from left, Muad Issa, Farah Issa and Muna Issa, back right, with their mother Layla Ahmed, center, at a Somali Independence Day celebration in Ohio Statehouse.

The city’s Somali community has not celebrated Independence Day since 2009, and the lighting ceremony was the first of its kind. The organizers said they wanted to connect the younger members of their community, some of whom were born in the United States or left Somalia at such a young age that they don’t remember the country, with the history and the culture of the nation.

“We want to mentor them and let them know what our Independence Day is all about,” said Faud Ali, who helped organize Thursday’s flag raising.

Several students who attended Thursday’s festivities said they studied Somalia very little in their formal education.

“It shows that we are moving in the right direction, in raising awareness among our people,” said Fareowsa Hersi, a recent high school graduate who lives in Columbus and attended Thursday’s ceremony. She will be attending Ohio State University in the fall.

“We learn American history in school, and it’s fair to learn more about your own culture,” she added.

Sisters Faisa Hersi, left, and Fareowsa Hersi stand outside the Ohio Statehouse during a Somali Independence Day celebration on July 1.

Hersi attended the flag raising with his family.

They celebrated the 61st anniversary of the liberation of their home country from colonial powers. European nations controlled much of Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries after an era of colonial expansion on the continent.

In the 1950s, England and Italy ruled over much of the land that makes up Somalia today. After a brief civil war, the British and Italian territories merged and formed a united independent Somalia in 1960.

The relatively young nation has a checkered history, including a 15-year civil war and the resulting famine that drove Somalis to flee to other countries in the 1990s. eventually settled in and around Columbus. The city has an estimated Somali population of 60,000, making it the second largest Somali population in the United States behind the Minneapolis region.

“One of the reasons was the affordability of housing,” said Abukar Osman, Somali representative to the United Nations, who came from New York to join the festivities on Thursday. “And the people of Columbus were more welcoming than the other cities.”

Rumors spread among Somali refugee communities across the country that Columbus had reasonably priced housing, abundant jobs and a tolerant culture, which brought more Somalis here over time, he said. -he declares.

The city’s help for Wednesday’s lighting ceremony was crucial, said Burhan Ahmed, who worked with the Columbus-based Center for Somali Engagement to organize the event.

“It makes young Somalis feel like they are part of this city,” he said.

Several politicians have also partnered with the organization for Independence Day celebrations, including State Representative Dontavius ​​Jarrells, D-Columbus and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, who represents the Third District of the ‘Ohio, which includes Columbus.

The flag of Somalia hangs from a fence ahead of the Somali Independence Day celebration on July 1 at the Ohio Statehouse

[email protected]


What we know about the CDC’s extended moratorium on COVID-19 evictions – Marketplace


A federal order to extend the moratorium on deportations from the country will remain intact after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the ban on tenant evictions from July 1 to July 31. However, homeowners and real estate companies tried to block the order, which the court refused by 5-4.

In a statement about his order, the CDC explained that the pandemic poses “a historic threat to the nation’s public health.”

“Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or gathering places – like homeless shelters – by preventing evictions is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19,” the CDC said.

Over 6 million American homes were behind on their rent at the end of March, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Here is an overview of who is eligible and how much money has been allocated by Congress to address the eviction crisis in the country.

Does the moratorium apply to everyone?

While the CDC extended the moratorium for all U.S. households, some states have set their own deadlines.

Washington and California extended the deadline to September 30, and Oregon has a 60-day eviction period for tenants who seek help and notify their landlords.

The California policy goes further, freeing up $ 5.2 billion to cover all of the rent arrears that tenants owe.

Who is eligible for the CDC moratorium?

The CDC has defined several criteria, including who has made his “best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing.”

You must also have earned less than $ 99,000, or $ 198,000 if you are married and filing jointly in the 2020 calendar year. Or you expect to earn no more than $ 99,000 in 2021 (no more than $ 198,000 if you are filing jointly).

Flora Arabo, senior national director of national and local policy at nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners, said tenants must also assert their rights. by signing a CDC Declaration Form.

“So it’s not just an automatic or general moratorium,” Arabo noted.

How much money has Congress allocated to the problem?

Congress has approved a total of $ 46 billion in emergency rent assistance to help landlords and tenants during the crisis since December. However, much of that money did not reach them. The recent expansion will give state and local governments more time to distribute the funds.

Some states didn’t start accepting rental assistance applications until the end of May, and others until June 1. the order of the CDC.

Andrew Aurand, vice president of research at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told Marketplace that many programs once stipulated that they would not provide assistance to tenants if their landlords refused to participate. However, the Treasury Department changed its guidelines in May, requiring programs to help qualified tenants without the participation of their landlord.

Another problem with the distribution of the first round table, Arabo pointed out that it was based on population rather than need. She said parts of the country – like Los Angeles – had to shut down their application process because they were oversubscribed. On the other hand, she believes other parts of the country will end up giving back some of their money.

Are resources available for those threatened with eviction or struggling to pay their rent?

Arabo said housing assistance is administered by state and local housing departments, so you should check the website for the housing agency in your area. If you live in California, for example, you can apply for rent relief here.

The Treasury has compiled a list of websites that allow you to find rental assistance programs, which you can filter by city, county and state.

Are there permanent solutions to the deportation crisis in the country?

Paula Cino, vice president of the National Multifamily Housing Council, told Marketplace that the federal Section 8 housing program, which provides rental vouchers, should be expanded.

Alicia Mazzara, senior research analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted that there was already a long waiting list for Section 8 before the pandemic.

Arabo said the events triggered by the pandemic have shown the country it needs to be able to scale up programs such as emergency rental assistance quickly and effectively.

“I really hope that part of what we implemented during COVID will stay for the long haul,” she added.

Population Authority advises court it won’t register Utah marriages


The Home Department’s Population and Immigration Authority officially informed the Lod District Court on Tuesday that it will not be recording civil marriages performed in an online ceremony in Utah for Israeli couples.

The authority did not explain its position, however, and the court asked it to provide such an explanation by July 7, while apparently ignoring its request to dismiss the petition.

Weddings in Utah have become an explosive political issue since for all intents and purposes they make civil marriage available in Israel. This is something the religious parties have fiercely resisted. Secular and liberal parties, on the other hand, have advanced it, including those in the current coalition.
Home Secretary Ayelet Shaked, whose department is responsible for the Population and Immigration Authority, has yet to take a public position on Utah marriages. She expressed her political and personal opposition to civil marriage in Israel.

Asked about her position on the issue on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Shaked said the issue “had not yet reached her table.”

Some 500 Israeli couples have married so far through Utah’s online civil marriages, as civil marriage is not available in Israel and the COVID-19 pandemic has made overseas travel for many. such almost impossible ceremonies.

In a one-line response to the court’s request regarding the Authority’s legal rationale behind its decision not to register Utah marriages, he wrote that he had denied the request of a couple who s ‘was married in this way and had requested that the request be dismissed.

The Authority attached the couple in question to the letter as part of its response to court in which it said the couple did not have a representative in Utah when the marriage was performed.

He also said that “the majority of the elements of the marriage… relate to actions carried out in Israel” and that “most of the affiliations of this marriage ceremony do not relate to the state where the certificate was issued”.

The Authority stated that the marriage was performed primarily in Israel and that, since there is no provision for civil marriage in Israel, the marriage could not be registered with the Population Authority. immigration.

In response to the submission, lawyer Vlad Finkelshtein rejected the claim that the marriage was celebrated in Israel.

Speaking to the Jerusalem Post, he said every aspect of the marriage was performed in Utah, the registrar’s office was in Utah, and the computer and IP address at from which the ceremony was broadcast were in Utah.

He also noted that the issue raised by the Population and Immigration Authority that the requesting couple did not have a representative in Utah at the time of the marriage was relevant to proxy marriage cases, in which couples give to d ‘others a power of attorney to marry abroad. on their behalf, which he said was not fundamentally different from online weddings.

Finkelshtein further pointed out in court that last week a couple who got married through the Utah Marriage Service successfully registered their marriage with the Kfar Saba branch of the Population Authority and immigration.

And he noted that the Authority had not contacted relevant officials in Utah to ask for details and the nature of the service they provide.

THE LAWYER also described the Authority’s one-sentence response to the court and its repeated request to dismiss the petition as contempt of court.

“My only conclusion from the Authority’s failure to respond appropriately is that it wants to lose this case,” Finkelshtein said.

“They want a decision ordering the Population and Immigration Authority to register these marriages because the Authority does not want to be the one to authorize them and would open up serious political problems,” he continued. .

“The Ministry of the Interior does not want it, the minister does not want it, no [one] he wants it. And no interior minister in the history of the country has ever wanted to register civil marriages, same-sex marriages, or anything else.

The director of the organization for religious pluralism Hiddush, Rabbi Uri Regev, said the People’s Authority’s response to the petition represented “a capitulation” to the position of the former interior minister and leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Arye Deri, who ordered a freeze on marriage registration in Utah. in January.

Shaked did not reverse this freeze.

“The Population Authority and the State Prosecutor’s Office ignore over sixty years of consistent Supreme Court decisions, which have thrown them down every step of the way when they tried to thwart the registration of couples. who married civilly abroad, because Israel has entrusted the keys to the exercise of the civil right to marry to religious institutions, and thus denies the right to marry to hundreds of thousands of citizens, and many others who do not wish to marry in a religious marriage at the Chief Rabbinate, ”said Regev.

The Hiddush director also rejected the state’s attempt to compare proxy marriages and Utah’s online marriage service, adding that he hoped “the new minister and attorney general will think again about this.” they are ready to support such ridiculous claims, and [instead] avoid unnecessary litigation.

Hiddush himself has filed a petition with the Jerusalem District Court on behalf of several other couples who got married through the Utah online service, although the court has yet to issue a ruling requiring that the State responds to the request.

Utah’s online civil marriage controversy developed last year during the COVID-19 crisis, in which some of the thousands of couples who marry each year in civil marriage ceremonies at the foreigners have not been able to marry due to the global pandemic and the restrictions on international travel this has caused.

In 2020, the state of Utah began offering civil marriage online, and several Israeli couples decided to use this service to allow them to get married.

About 20 couples who got married in this way presented all of their documents to their local branch of the Population and Immigration Authority and had their marriages successfully registered by the authority.

When officials from other branches questioned the documents, an order finally fell from then Home Secretary and Shas leader Arye Deri – who opposes civil marriage – to freeze the treatment of registration of marriages.

Ransomware – Hostage of computer systems and data


How much would a government entity or business pay to restart operations after an attack on its critical computer systems? $ 4 million? $ 11 million? Those behind the recent ransomware attacks are trying to win big by holding our country’s underprotected computing hostage.

Today’s WatchBlog article explores some of the major ransomware attacks against federal, state and local governments and the private sector, as well as our recent work on cybersecurity and recommendations for improving protections against ransomware.

What is ransomware and why should we be concerned?

Ransomware is a type of malware used to deny access to computer systems or data, holding them hostage until a ransom is paid. After the initial infection, the ransomware attempts to spread to shared storage drives and other accessible systems. If the demands of the ransomware perpetrators are not met, the system or the encrypted data remains unavailable, the data may be deleted, or the data may be made public. If the ransom is paid, the perpetrators will usually provide the victim with the information needed to regain access to the system or decrypt the data.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), attacks using ransomware have at least doubled since 2017, and criminal groups are increasingly targeting critical U.S. infrastructure, which includes systems and assets supporting the services of emergency, telecommunications networks and energy production and transmission facilities. The risks of attacks on these key systems and assets include national security, economic stability, and public health and safety.

Ransomware attacks and charges

  • In June 2021, the White House and the US Department of Agriculture announced that a meat processing company had been targeted with ransomware that was affecting the company’s operations. The company reportedly paid $ 11 million in ransom.
  • In May 2021, Colonial Pipeline Company announced that it was the victim of a ransomware attack that resulted in a temporary disruption in the delivery of gasoline and other petroleum products to much of the Southeastern United States. , and paid over $ 4 million in ransom.
  • In February 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that 3 North Korean individuals had been charged with, among other things, the creation of the destructive WannaCry ransomware, as well as extortion and attempted extortion of companies. victims from 2017 to 2020. The WannaCry campaign, discovered in May 2017, has compromised encrypted systems and files remotely, affecting hospitals, schools, businesses and many organizations. It has resulted in tens of thousands of infections in more than 150 countries.
  • In December 2020, federal law enforcement received numerous reports of ransomware attacks on K-12 educational institutions. In these attacks, malicious cyber actors have targeted school computer systems, slowing access and in some cases rendering the systems inaccessible for basic functions, including distance learning.
  • In October 2020, the DOJ announced that 6 Russian individuals had been indicted for, among other things, the NotPetya ransomware which caused nearly $ 1 billion in losses to the 3 known victims identified in the indictment. NotPetya, which was discovered in June 2017, was a form of malware that exploited existing vulnerabilities in software or computer networks to encrypt files and allowed attackers to gain privileged rights and encrypt essential files making computers Windows infected unusable. It has infected organizations across multiple industries including finance, transportation, energy, business facilities, and healthcare.
  • In May 2019, the mayor of Baltimore reported that the city had been the victim of a ransomware attack. As a result, city workers were unable to access their emails, and the attack delayed property sales and water billing for months.

What has been done?

The federal government has spread the word about the threat of ransomware and provided practical advice to organizations and individuals to mitigate this threat. For example, in recent months, DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has unveiled the Reduce the Risk of Ransomware campaign and published guidance on the growing threat of ransomware in response to the increase in ransomware attacks targeting operational and technological assets. control systems. Earlier this month, the DOJ issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors with advice for investigations and cases related to ransomware and digital extortion.

What needs to be done?

Ensuring that our country’s cybersecurity has been on our high-risk list since 1997, and in September 2020, we underscored the need for the federal government to develop and execute a more comprehensive strategy for national cybersecurity and the global cyberspace. Since 2010, we have issued more than 3,300 recommendations that could improve the country’s cybersecurity. As of December 2020, over 750 of these recommendations have yet to be implemented. We are also leading ongoing work on ransomware, including examining how the federal government strategizes and builds allies to fight cybercrime, protect the cybersecurity of K-12 institutions, and provide assistance to state and local governments to promote their security efforts.

Want to know more about this problem and our recommendations to fix it? Check out our High Risk List page on Keeping the Nation Safe, which includes a list of recent reports and recent podcasts with cybersecurity experts from GAO.

The 10-year redistribution process will begin once census data arrives in August


The 10-year redistribution process will begin once census data arrives in August


The 10-year redistribution process will begin once census data arrives in August

Every 10 years, lawmakers use federal census data to redraw political maps for the coming decade. With Republicans in charge of State House, they will set the tone once the data arrives in August.

Every 10 years, lawmakers use federal census data to redraw political maps for the coming decade. With Republicans in charge of State House, they will set the tone once the data arrives in August.

SW MO hospitals at COVID ‘breaking point’: Cox and Mercy’s staff stretched


If you live in southwest Missouri, hospital officials say acquiring a severe case of COVID-19 could now mean a stay in St. Louis or Kansas City, as a global pandemic who has killed 3.9 million people continues to stretch Missouri hospital staff towards what a statewide association recently called a “tipping point” in its actual report 2021.

A handful of Springfield-area patients are already being treated hundreds of miles away in the state’s two largest cities, the CoxHealth chief confirmed Tuesday morning.

Springfield-area COVID cases increased 44% in two weeks

The news comes as Delta variant COVID-19 infections rise in southwest Missouri, even as large swathes of residents have chosen not to benefit from vaccines shown to prevent or reduce the impact of disease by ensuring immunity.

Data collected by The New York Times showed Tuesday that infections in the Springfield metro area have increased 44% in the past two weeks, a period in which the United States as a whole has seen a 15% drop.

The infection rate per 100,000 people for the Springfield area, 38 new cases per day, is nearly 10 times the national rate, the Times reported.

CoxHealth confirmed on June 29, 2021 that due to resource issues, a handful of Springfield-area COVID-19 patients were recently transferred to BJC HealthCare facilities in St. Louis, which include Barnes-Jewish Hospital. , linked to the University of Washington Faculty of Medicine.

Mercy Springfield announced that it hospitalized 104 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, said Mercy Springfield President Craig McCoy; Cox brought in around 100 for the day, said System Chairman Steve Edwards.

The numbers are just one part of a tapestry of facts that show how the pandemic has evolved since its winter peak, when the COVID-19 patient census figures sometimes reaches 170. On January 20, Edwards noted on Twitter that Cox had accepted a patient transfer from Louisiana. About a month later, he said Cox was able to leave his COVID-19 emergency intensive care unit.

“We will be the canary”:Unvaccinated Missourians fuel COVID-19 outbreak

For hospitals, what does “on COVID diversion” mean?

But now things have changed.

“For the first time, we’ve been on COVID hijacking,” Edwards said on Tuesday.

“Bypassed,” he explained, is a status that can quickly switch from on to off and back. This means that at some point a hospital “feels that its capacity to deal with a particular type of patient is limited in that it tells referral hospitals and ambulances not to send them patients of that type. “.

In recent times, four Cox patients have been transferred to the BJC HealthCare healthcare system in the St. Louis area with 14 hospitals, including Barnes-Jewish, a large teaching hospital linked to the University of Medicine School of Medicine. Washington. A spokesperson for the BJC confirmed the number of patients on Tuesday.

CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards answers questions at a press conference in Cox South on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

Four other Cox patients have been transferred to the St. Luke Health System in Kansas City, Edwards said. (After two attempts, the News-Leader was unable to reach St. Luke officials for comment before Tuesday’s deadline.)

Edwards cited internal data from Cox showing that 47 COVID patients were transferred to facilities in Cox from June 1 to 21, including many hospitals in small communities such as Lebanon and Mountain View, while 23 were transferred.

Transfers of patients from the Springfield area to other hospital systems in major cities appeared limited at the start of this week. A spokesperson for SSM Health in St. Louis, which operates Saint Louis University Hospital and seven other facilities, said Monday evening that it had recently accepted three patients from Ozark County for non-COVID care, but no other patient from southwestern Missouri.

Cox had recently warned that resource issues could force patients to be diverted outside of the Springfield area, Edwards added.

“It’s really just that rushing capacity every moment that Cox and Mercy have to manage,” said Edwards.

After:Mercy Springfield treats baby under one year old for COVID-19

Ethical dilemmas: whether or not to transfer COVID patients?

Hospitals face an ethical dilemma, Edwards said: Rising patient numbers are good for hospital outcomes, but New York City’s first experience with COVID-19 in 2020 showed that As the number of COVID-19 patients increases, the quality of care decreases.

Craig McCoy is President of Mercy Springfield.

“Do you take a patient to the ER for 24 hours, how long can it take to get into a bed in the tower?” Edwards asked, pointing to the choices hospitals need to make right now. “Or are you transferring this patient who requires hospitalization, who will become more seriously ill, but is in a better position to transfer him now, to another hospital that may have a COVID count of 10 (patients)?” “

Meanwhile, Edwards said hospital workers recognize the burden that remote treatment options place on the families of those who are ill.

Mercy Springfield chairman Craig McCoy said he hasn’t sent patients to major cities yet, even though the system is headquartered in suburban St. Louis. He moved patients within his four-state system and tried to keep them as close to home as possible, he said.

“We will do everything in our power to make sure we don’t have to transfer anyone else out of the community because we believe the best care is where you have your local support,” McCoy said. .

After:Jim Bakker Show settles COVID-19 ‘cure’ trial with Missouri

Hospital staff issues

Local hospitals are well equipped in some ways, and less so in others, the executives said.

“We literally have years of supplies,” Edwards said. “We have built up a large reserve, we have enough equipment, we have added more than 150 beds.”

The problem now is the staffing associated with high infection rates in southwest Missouri, Edwards added. Staffing for positions like nurses and respiratory therapists is a major challenge.

Many traveling nurses appear to be taking their summer leave after working hard and being paid high rates in previous COVID-19 outbreaks, he said.

Dave Dillon, spokesperson for the Missouri Hospital Association, said at the time that “hospitals are not as well staffed as they were during the outbreak” of COVID-19 infections last winter.

“Many have cut back on the expensive agency staff who then helped get through the months of high hospitalization,” Dillon told the News-Leader by email on Tuesday. Many pandemic contracts between hospitals and temporary workers such as mobile nurses have expired, including a big state contract between Missouri and Texas-based healthcare staffing company Vizient Inc.

“These staff members are probably gone for their next internships,” said Dillon.

Another issue cited by health officials is the return of patients who need hospital care for non-COVID treatments.

“It’s fair to say that hospitals are already overburdened to meet pent-up demand for health services that were cut back last year and into the spring,” Dillon said.

McCoy, along with Mercy, said: “Obviously we’re being pushed. We’ve got a high count in intensive care… COVID is doped (and) at the same time, we’ve got a lot of other non-COVID stuff going on.”

Mercy is able to draw “virtual resources” from its headquarters in Chesterfield to help share the load in Springfield, he said.

After:Delta variant of COVID-19 is booming in Springfield, and national news is taking note

President of Mercy: “I don’t understand why people don’t get vaccinated”

The transfers of patients occur despite the fact that vaccines are available free of charge within a five-mile radius of their homes for more than 80% of Missourians, according to Governor Mike Parson. said on twitter Last week.

The News-Leader asked Acting Missouri Department of Health and Seniors’ Services Director Robert Knodell to comment on patient transfers from southwest Missouri to major cities. He responded with a prepared statement relayed by a spokesperson:

“The department continues to work with our CDC partners, local public health agencies and statewide health systems to provide all available resources and analysis. We continue to promote and encourage vaccination as the most effective mitigation measure the public can take to stop this virus in its tracks. “

Dillon, with the state hospital association, said Missouri is a “mixed bag” when it comes to vaccination rates: some communities are nearing 60%, others are below 20%.

He explained, “The virus does not respect the boundaries of political subdivisions like counties, states or regions, and with the greatest chance of transmission with the Delta variant, hot spots will be inundated with patients.”

Dillon added that as effective vaccines are now available, hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are “largely unnecessary.”

Hospital officials agreed.

“I don’t understand why people won’t get vaccinated,” said McCoy, president of Mercy Springfield. “I haven’t heard for a good reason yet.”

Mercy expects the pandemic to continue, although McCoy said “we certainly hope to get a respite.”

Cox’s Edwards called on a skeptical public to consider whether to vaccinate not in terms of political discourse, social media misinformation or judgmental attitudes, but in terms of personal trust between an individual and their attending physician.

He said he was in favor of “the idea of ​​trying to remove all those feelings of anger and rivalry and go to that person who really cares about your health care, who doesn’t judge you, is your doctor – not Dr Fauci, you know, but your doctor. I think that’s a message we’re learning in our community. “

Edwards pointed out that the rate of unvaccinated people in the region is much higher than the rate of people without health insurance who may not have easy access to a primary care doctor.

Missouri COVID Vaccine Tracking:How many people have received a dose or doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Contact News-Leader reporter Gregory Holman by sending an email to [email protected] Please consider subscribing to support vital local journalism.

Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters and Rashida Tlaib unveil bill to empower HUD tenants and improve housing conditions


U.S. Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Maxine Waters on Tuesday unveiled legislation that allows tenants to protect their housing rights and hold the federal government and building owners accountable for unsafe and unsanitary living conditions.

The Tenant Empowerment Act of 2021 would protect rent money and subsidy payments from tenants if they find themselves in unsanitary housing conditions on properties participating in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs. The bill would strengthen the rights of HUD tenants to organize and give them more power to negotiate or fight with negligent landlords and management companies in court.

The proposal comes as Progressive Democrats pressure the Biden administration and his congressional colleagues to put more emphasis on housing in infrastructure plans, especially as they seek to address inequalities long-standing aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A safe and stable home should be a basic right for all who call this country home, but too often our neighbors are forced to live in unsafe or unsanitary conditions,” Pressley said at a Zoom conference with advocates for housing and tenants Tuesday morning. .

Pressley added that the health risks associated with substandard housing – mold, allergens, lead and poor air quality – disproportionately impact tenants of color. She noted that housing is essential for public health and economic mobility, but argued that “decades of specific and intentional political violence” had led to “historic underinvestment, insufficient monitoring and enforcement of the part of HUD and negligent landlords get away with “non-compliance with federal housing requirements.”

“It is no coincidence that the activists joining us today are black women,” added Pressley, whose mother was a housing organizer.

The legislation strengthens transparency by allowing tenants to know more about where they live, requiring HUD to provide access to building information, property management, annual income statements, inspection reports and management reviews, as well as capital needs assessments. It would also ensure that rent assistance for tenants is not interrupted by foreclosure.

If passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden, tenants will earn “a seat at the table” by being allowed to participate in parts of the HUD physical inspection and management review process, lawmakers said.

“Who better to ask what’s going on in the properties than the tenants who live there?” Geraldine Collins, president of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants, said during the Zoom call. Collins said aging buildings have long exposed tenants to environmental health and safety risks and that HUD has given “landlords a pass time and time again.”

According to the bill, if HUD determines that a property violates basic housing standards, tenants could withhold their share of the rent in escrow and HUD could withhold its grant from landlords who fail “repeatedly. “Collins said.

“Tenants must live in their property in decent and sanitary conditions, free from mold and rat infestations,” she added. “We are not trying to fight the owners. We just want them to do the right thing by the tenants.

Housing, Tlaib argued, is “a human right”.

“It’s more than just a roof over our heads or a place to sleep,” she added. “It must be a decent, safe and hygienic place to live, with fair and equal treatment. Social housing in our country has long been a vital lifeline for our most vulnerable neighbors, ”including the elderly, children and people with disabilities.

Gerda Paulisant, of Georgetowne Tenants United in Hyde Park, said her group has been fighting “the culture of eviction and unsanitary housing conditions” for years. The Tenant Empowerment Act would give tenant unions like his “more leverage when it comes to negotiating with business owners” and also help tenants know “where the money is going that should instead be used for. improve our homes ”.

Pressley said the bill allows the HUD secretary to disperse grant funding for tenant engagement services, including education, technical assistance and tenant training on housing issues. This funding would follow the annual appropriation process, and Pressley said she would fight for tens of billions of dollars under infrastructure legislation in the annual budget reconciliation bill.

Biden and Republican lawmakers recently reached an agreement on nearly 1 trillion dollars in infrastructure package. Many progressives have argued that it still does not adequately address a host of vital issues, particularly climate change.

“Housing justice is an infrastructure,” Pressley said. “The care economy is an infrastructure. Climate justice is an infrastructure. Investments in public transit are infrastructure. Everything is important and all the pieces really work together. People urgently need these investments to ensure a fair and equitable economic recovery … and chart another course. “

Records show buildings housing tenants receiving federal assistance have accumulated an estimated $ 70 billion backlog in needed repairs, Pressley added.

“It costs us more when we do nothing,” Tlaib said.

Associated content:

Half of India’s labor force credits active: report


Half of the country’s workforce of 400 million are active in credit, having at least one loan or credit card, a credit information company (CIC) report said on Tuesday.

Credit institutions are rapidly approaching a level of saturation with new customers because more than half of borrowers come from existing customers of a bank, according to the report by Transunion CIBIL.

India’s overall labor force was estimated at 400.7 million in January 2021, while the retail credit market has 200 million unique people active in the credit arena, he said.

It can be noted that for a long time, it has been feared that borrowers may find themselves in the traps of unregulated loan sharks and that efforts have been made to deepen access to finance.

Over the past decade or so, setbacks on the corporate lending side have led banks to prefer retail credit, but concerns are expressed about the segment’s resilience after the pandemic.

CIC data indicates that there is an addressable market of 400 million people aged 18 to 33 in rural and semi-urban areas, and highlights that credit penetration in this segment is only 8%.

In the New Credit universe (NTC), there is a greater preference for products including personal loans and durable consumer loans in the under 30 segments and those residing outside the cities of level I, he said.

The composition of women, however, continues to be much lower in the NTC segment, he said, noting that the composition of female borrowers was only 15% in auto loans, 31% in loans. real estate, 22% in personal loans. and 25 percent in durable consumer loans.

CIC data also suggests that NTC consumers are showing greater loyalty to the lending institution that provided them with their first credit opportunity, according to the report.

Borrowers also tend to prioritize paying off the first credit facility over the second in times of financial crisis, he said.

“Identifying emerging consumers of NTC across all segments and enabling them to access financial opportunities is essential to boost economic recovery and sustainable financial inclusion in our country,” said Rajesh Kumar, Managing Director and Managing Director of CIC.

He also added that lenders can also assess the credit risk associated with NTC clients with a CIC product to improve turnaround times and reduce the cost of acquisition.

The “CreditVision NTC” scoring model is based on an algorithm that uses the borrower’s request and survey information to help better assess their eligibility.

Dangerous Drugs Early Warning System Reaches Online Audience Of Over One Million In One Year


A dangerous batch of synthetic cannabinoids resulted in one death earlier this year.  The High Alert website sent out a warning that the drug was circulating in the Lower North Island.

Chris Skelton / Stuff

A dangerous batch of synthetic cannabinoids resulted in one death earlier this year. The High Alert website sent out a warning that the drug was circulating in the Lower North Island.

An early warning system alerting people to dangerous drugs has reached an audience of over a million people via social media since its launch a year ago.

High Alert, managed by Drug Information and Alerts Aotearoa New Zealand (DIANZ) has issued ten public alerts on dangerous drugs, including synthetic cannabinoids, benzodiazepines and a toxic chemical sold as MDMA.

This included an alert in April regarding a batch of synthetic cannabinoids circulating in the Wellington, Palmerston North and Wairarapa area, which resulted in one death and hospitalization.

Last summer, DIANZ worked with drug testing organization KnowYourStuffNZ to alert festival-goers to the strong presence of a dangerous cathinone, eutylone, in what people believed to be MDMA. The drug was linked to a number of hospitalizations across the country.

* People warned of dangerous amounts of eutylon circulating in Wellington ahead of Homegrown music festival
* Warning issued after discovery of ‘dangerous’ MDMA substitute in Christchurch
* Synthetic drugs reappear in New Zealand after wave of deaths, prompting urgent warnings

Police said that in the past 12 months, High Alert social media pages have reached 1.1 million people, with the audience predominantly between 18 and 34 years old and living in urban centers.

Detective Inspector Blair Macdonald, chief of police at the National Drug Intelligence Bureau (NDIB), said one of DIANZ’s key goals is to create a mailing list, so it can reach people by mail electronic when issuing an alert.

Over 211,000 people visited the High Alert website in the past year, generating over 329,000 pageviews.

An example of an eutylone, sold as MDMA, found by the Know Your Stuff drug testing service last summer.

Know your stuff / Supplied

An example of an eutylone, sold as MDMA, found by the Know Your Stuff drug testing service last summer.

DIANZ’s network started with 53 professional contacts, including doctors, drug treatment providers and non-governmental organizations, which has now grown to 430. Almost 4,800 people have signed up to receive alerts.

Macdonald said that over the summer, DIANZ ran a digital marketing campaign encouraging festival goers to sign up for the mailing list.

“When KnowYourStuffNZ reported a strong presence of eutylonia in what people thought was MDMA, DIANZ was able to use their network to spread the word about the problem and ultimately reduce the damage.”

Macdonald said the value of his social media audience became particularly clear with the most recent High Alert notification reporting damage from synthetic cannabinoids in the lower North Island, with a Facebook post reaching 60,635 people.

Ontario Reports 210 New COVID Cases Monday


Today’s report includes 326 healings, 23 new hospitalizations and three deaths

Public Health Ontario reported 210 new cases of COVID-19 in its latest report (June 28).

Today’s update also includes 326 new healings and three deaths.

Reported deaths include one person between 40 and 59, one between 60 and 79, and one over 79.

Since yesterday’s update, there have been 23 new hospitalizations and 11 patients have been admitted to intensive care units.

The June 28 update provided by the provincial public health agency also reported the following data:

  • 2,506 active laboratory-confirmed cases, up from 2,625 yesterday.
  • 218 people living with COVID are currently hospitalized in Ontario, up from 203 yesterday. The number of hospitalizations is generally underreported on weekends, with 10% of hospitals not submitting bed census data on weekends.
  • There are 287 patients in intensive care units with COVID-related illness, but 63 of those patients are no longer positive for COVID-19.
  • 191 people are on ventilators due to COVID-related illness, but 33 of them no longer test positive for COVID-19.
  • The province reported that 13,071 tests were processed yesterday, resulting in a positivity rate of 1.8%.
  • There are 4,259 tests awaiting processing and provincial labs have processed 15.8 million tests to date.
  • Of the new cases reported today, 26 are from Waterloo, 37 from Toronto, 15 from Peel, seven from Simcoe-Muskoka and eight from York Region. Today’s cases include 25 from the Gray Bruce area, where there has been a significant increase in cases over the past few days.
  • Current cases include 57 people aged 19 and under, 69 people aged 20 to 39, 48 people aged 40 to 59, 27 people aged 60 to 79 and nine people aged 80 and older .


  • There were 180,369 vaccine doses against COVID-19 administered yesterday.
  • 14,207,510 doses of vaccine were administered.
  • A total of 4,324,770 people were fully vaccinated.

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 544,414 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and reported 532,779 recoveries and 9,129 deaths.

The cumulative average incidence rate in the province is 3,656.9 cases per 100,000 people in Ontario.

Ontario’s average weekly incidence rate is 13.2 cases per 100,000 population, down 23.3 percent from the previous seven-day period.

Northern Ontario

In Northern Ontario, the distribution of Public Health Ontario data is as follows:

  • Algoma Public Health: 400 cases, weekly rate of 1.7 cases per 100,000 population. There are two known active cases.
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit: 588 cases, weekly rate 43.9 cases per 100,000 population. The health unit reported 592 cases. There are 85 known active cases.
  • Porcupine Health Unit: 2,043 cases, weekly rate of 91.1 cases per 100,000 population. The health unit has reported 2,036 cases. There were 115 known active cases on Friday when the health unit last updated its numbers.
  • Sudbury and Districts Public Health: 2,144 cases, weekly rate of 15.6 cases per 100,000 population. The health unit has reported 2,165 cases. There are 37 known active cases.
  • Timiskaming Health Unit: 208 cases, weekly rate of 0 cases per 100,000 population. There are no known active cases.
  • Northwestern health unit: 1,088 cases, weekly rate of 8 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The health unit reported 1,085. There are 10 known active cases, including one active case outside the catchment area.
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit: 3,337 cases, weekly rate of 4.7 cases per 100,000 population. There are nine known active cases.

Northern Ontario health unit data is based on what was available as of 10:30 a.m. today.

Legal File – Protection of private property


MARY REICHARD, HTE: It’s Monday June 28th and it’s The world and everything in it. We are delighted that you are joining us today! Hello. I am Marie Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. The United States Supreme Court issued 10 opinions last week, so Mary and I will be exchanging them today.

REICHARD: Ok, well, let’s get started!

First of all, a unanimous decision that protects the sanctity of the house.

The police have the power to pursue a criminal in a house and they do not need a warrant in such a case. But if the person they’re chasing is just suspected of a crime, the police need a warrant to enter a house.

In this Supreme Court case, a man driving, honking and playing loud music caught the attention of an officer who followed him to his home and carried out a search.

You can hear the final decision in this comment from Judge Stephen Breyer during oral argument:

BREYER: Well, here, if we take your point of view, then it looks like the house isn’t the castle at all for the most trivial of things. I mean, it sounds silly when your house isn’t your castle for some terribly minor things.

As Judge Elena Kagan wrote in the notice, “We are not eager – rather the other way around – to print a new authorization slip to enter the house without a warrant. Police must determine if this is an emergency or if imminent danger to others is imminent before acting without a warrant.

EICHER: Then, a 6-3 victory for the right to property in the event of union recruitment on the farms.

California law directs farm businesses to allow union organizers to occupy their private property in an attempt to recruit workers into the union.

Two companies have challenged the settlement, claiming it violates Fifth Amendment property rights guarantees. It prohibits the government from taking property without “fair compensation” for the owners.

California has defended the law, saying it limits the time allowed for union organizers to three hours a day for 120 days a year and because of that it’s okay.

During oral argument, this did not seem to convince Chief Justice John Roberts, as you hear in this exchange with the lawyer defending the law:

ROBERTS: But what if there is more than one union that wants access? I mean, it’s not – it’s not at all unusual for unions to compete for representation. So, does each union have its own 120 days?

MONGAN: Yes, Your Honor.

These parameters are not enough to justify the state taking away what opinion has called “one of the most precious rights” of property: the right to exclude people.

REICHARD: The court won a narrow victory in a class action lawsuit against investment firm Goldman Sachs. The company’s shareholders alleged that it had committed securities fraud and cited general company statements such as “we have integrity” as a basis for prosecuting.

The high court reduced the number of people in the group who had not suffered any tangible harm, then referred to a lower court to determine whether stock prices were actually affected by general statements about the character of the company.

EICHER: The fourth opinion is another class action case that also cuts the number of people in the case.

Here, thousands of people have sought damages from a credit reporting company called Transunion. They sued after discovering that Transunion had reported that their names matched those on a government list of suspected terrorists.

But in a 5-4 decision, the majority said about 6,000 of those people in the class had not suffered any tangible injuries, so they had no standing to bring legal action. That left about 1,800 people certified as having suffered tangible harm and so they can proceed.

Chief Justice Roberts illustrated this point during oral argument. He envisioned a law that provides for damages for anyone driving less than a quarter of a mile from a drunk driver:

ROBERTS: What is the concrete injury in my hypothesis? You were at risk, but you didn’t know it, and by the time you found out, you weren’t.

In other words: no harm, no fault.

REICHARD: Fifth opinion: The court, in a 6-3 decision, gives more time for small refineries to be exempted from the requirements that more ethanol must be blended into their products.

The Clean Air Act required quotas for biofuels in gas products to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. The corn and petroleum industries have been stuck in a dispute over the disparate application of this law.

EICHER: Number six: A victory for Native Alaskan corporations that had asked for a portion of the CARES Act’s $ 8 billion in Covid relief. This is the initial stimulus package of 2020: the law on aid, relief and economic security against coronaviruses.

Indigenous tribes, mostly in the lower 48 states, argued that these for-profit corporations are not federally recognized as a tribe, so the money should not be distributed to them.

It boiled down to what the CARES Act means by the expression: “recognized governing bodies of Indian tribes”.

By a vote of 6 to 3 judges, the court ruled these for-profit organizations do are called tribes and are therefore entitled to a share of the money.

REICHARD: Opinion 7 out of 10 in total today: this one is a majority unanimous victory for the separation of powers. Lots of dissent and agreements.

The central question was whether the president was free to remove the director of the agency that oversees federal housing mortgage companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for reasons other than the “for cause” restriction.

This is a big problem, because the constitution gives great latitude to the executive to remove agency heads for any reason, not just for good reason.

The court struck down that wording “only for good cause”.

And on the same day that notice was issued, President Biden sacked the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

EICHER: I’ll ask David Bahnsen about the economic significance of this decision here in a few minutes.

Our next case, number eight, was an 8 to 1 free talk case.

Here, the court backed the teenager who posted a vulgar statement on social media directed at her school. She was angry that she wasn’t on the college cheerleading squad.

In response, the school suspended her from the junior varsity team for a year. Her family filed a complaint for violating their right to freedom of expression. The majority agreed, believing that off-campus speech is a matter of parental authority rather than the control of the school.

The decision is not, however, exhaustive. Bullying, harassment and threats are always subject to school authority for punishment.

REICHARD: Penultimate decision here, ninth, on whether the judges of the US Patent and Trademark Office are misnamed. The answer is yes in a 5-4 decision, because these judges are not appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate as required by the appointment clause of the Constitution.

This case is now referred on the question of how to fix the procedures of the patent and trademark office.

EICHER: OK, here’s the tenth. You may have heard of this. A unanimous decision that made the headlines: the nine judges claim that the NCAA – the National Collegiate Athletic Association – violated antitrust laws by banning certain compensation for student-athletes.

They will still not be paid directly in cash; this view only applies to a small subset of NCAA rules regarding education spending. Things like free lessons, musical instruments, and laptops.

The judges brushed aside the NCAA’s argument that paying for these particular expenses is changing the nature of sport from amateur to professional and that this should be enough to protect the association from antitrust violations. You might hear this in Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s comment during oral argument:

KAVANAUGH: I’m assuming that antitrust laws shouldn’t be a cover for the exploitation of student-athletes, so that’s a concern, a primary concern here.

REICHARD: I will add that he took up this idea in his concurring opinion. It invites virtually more litigation to further dismantle the NCAA’s grip on college sports.

I will quote some:

“The NCAA business model would be downright illegal in almost every other industry in America. Not all restaurants in a region can unite to reduce cook wages based on the theory that “customers prefer” to eat food from poorly paid cooks… Movie studios cannot stand. hear to reduce the benefits of film crews to ignite a “spirit of amateurism” in Hollywood. Pricing work is pricing work … under ordinary antitrust law principles, it is not clear why college sports should be any different. The NCAA is not above the law.

EICHER: And this is the first case in this term in which the Supreme Court upheld the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The 9th has gained a solid reputation: between 2007 and last year the Supreme Court overturned the 9th Circuit 78 percent of the time and so far this percentage is much higher.

And this is the Legal File for this week!

WORLD Radio transcriptions are created within an emergency time frame. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative recording of WORLD Radio’s programming is the audio recording.

Arkansans without broadband underestimated by FCC, researcher says


National broadband reports are a mess, and the cost of providing high-speed internet to underserved rural areas is even more complicated.

BroadbandNow, an independent research and advocacy group that monitors nationwide broadband deployment, reports that more than one million Arkansans do not have broadband service, contradicting Federal Communications Commission estimates according to which 574,000 households are not served.

The number is important because it will determine the final cost of providing broadband to these homes. Right now, there is wide disagreement in the state over how much money to spend on closing the broadband gap.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and his Commerce Department were pinned down in the wrestling match with legislative leaders recently over the amount of federal money needed to improve broadband service in the state.

The administration was seeking $ 150 million, which would only have allowed the deployment of 150,000 Arkansans, but surrendered after legislative resistance. The governor worked with the Arkansas Legislative Council on a compromise spending $ 30 million for deployment on about 17 projects.

It’s a start, but there is still a long way to go if the BroadbandNow analysis is correct.

To assess the deployment, the FCC sends a form to providers asking operators to certify the census blocks they cover with broadband service.

The problem, however, is that a provider will check a box indicating that it covers a census block, but that does not necessarily mean that every household in that census block is receiving broadband service. Still, the carrier gets credits for the entire block.

The average census block in the United States ranges from 600 to 3,000 people. So if a provider provides broadband to 60 households in a census block of 600, the FCC counts that as 600 households receiving broadband.

BroadbandNow entered specific home addresses to test the FCC data and discovered the discrepancies.

“The key thing we’re comparing is the accuracy of the census block data against the reality of the address-level data,” said Tyler Cooper, editor-in-chief of BroadbandNow. “The reality is that there are houses and addresses that slip through the cracks.”

There are consistent errors in the FCC’s approach, according to Cooper. “In the case of Arkansas, an error is made 22% of the time in the FCC’s estimate,” he said.

Ultimately, that means nearly 500,000 Arkansans are not receiving the service, but the FCC measurement indicates they are.

BroadbandNow conducted a manual survey of 1,000 Arkansas households to determine the error rate and get a more accurate reading of who is receiving broadband service and who is not.

The cost of providing services to the million Arkansans, many of whom are in hard-to-reach rural areas?

“It is very, very difficult to predict the costs of the proliferation of broadband with any statistical precision,” Cooper said. “We’re really talking about a mixed deployment. Arkansas doesn’t use any technology or infrastructure. And then the technologies haven’t stabilized in price at all.”

Conclusion: it is too difficult to assess because the costs vary depending on the technology used. Today there are many ways to provide broadband including fixed wireless, fiber to the home, satellites in orbit, traditional networks like cable and DSL or 5G, which is the latest cellular technology.

Nationally, the FCC estimates that approximately 14.5 million Americans do not have high-speed Internet access. BroadbandNow, however, puts that number at 43.6 million, about triple what the federal agency is predicting.

The full study is available on broadnow.com.


Arkansas Capital Corporation received a $ 1.2 million grant from the US Treasury Department to boost lending to small businesses crippled by the coronavirus.

The Little Rock Lender is one of 860 community development financial institutions selected to receive rapid response grants from the federal agency.

Arkansas Capital plans to use the funding to reach underserved entrepreneurial markets in Arkansas communities.

“Women, people of color and veterans all contribute significantly to our economy, and we will ensure that this continues,” Sam Walls, president and CEO of Arkansas Capital, said in a statement. .

“This award will allow us to be creative in how we connect small business owners with funding opportunities and match them with quality technical assistance providers to build sustainable businesses.”

Working in partnership with commercial banks, government agencies and other entities at the local, state, regional and national levels, Arkansas Capital has deployed more than $ 2 billion in capital financing.

Raise a glass

Tuesday afternoon, 10 local entrepreneurs will present their products and services to win $ 31,000 in prizes. The Shark Tank-like competition will virtually take place at 3 p.m., so you’ll have to raise your glass at home this year.

Businesses owned by women, veterans and people of color were preferred as candidates for this year’s competition. The group is focusing on Arkansas-based companies that have been financially affected by the pandemic and have annual sales of less than $ 100,000. The 10 candidates range from a Spanish tutoring company, to a computer coding company to a pizza restaurant company, among others.

Each entrepreneur will make a three-minute presentation in front of a panel of three judges and the virtual crowd. The judges will participate and vote for their favorites.

The winner walks away with $ 15,000 in cash. Second place earns $ 10,000 and third place earns $ 5,000. The online audience will vote for their favorite, which will take home $ 10,000 in cash.

The event is a collaboration between the Little Rock Venture Center, Venture Noire and the Arkansas Small Business Technology and Development Center.

More information is available at venturecenter.co.


Approximately 40 black-owned businesses and nonprofits in the state receive financial support from the Arkansas Community Foundation and the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collaborative.

The grants support programs and initiatives set up to help black people and communities in the Little Rock metropolitan area, including Pulaski, Saline, Perry, Grant, Faulkner and Lonoke counties.

Funding is provided by Facebook while the Community Foundation provides infrastructure support to provide the grants, and black leaders in central Arkansas have selected organizations to receive the money.

Grant recipients serve areas that include small business support and economic development, community improvement, human services, civil rights, leadership development, education, arts and culture, and health.

“This significant grant will allow Black-led organizations to amplify their voices in the giving space,” said Derek Lewis of Black Philanthropy Collaborative. “The 40 grant recipients were able to demonstrate established relationships and a good track record of working on activities that impact black communities.”

Ideas for columns or recommendations? Any thoughts or reflections to pursue? Contact me at [email protected] or at 501-378-3567.

Hong Kong’s aging population is main focus of decennial census, as city seeks to measure future needs for care services


Hong Kong’s annual population census began on Wednesday with a focus on measuring the growing proportion of older people in the city.

A data subject newly added to the 2021 census asks respondents about the number of elderly people in need of care in a household, in order to measure the demand for care services and personnel.

“This new data topic will help analyze the different demands for elderly care services in each district. It will also be useful for future government policy making and planning, ”said Marion Chan Shui-yu, Commissioner of Census and Statistics.

Do you have questions on the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new curated content platform with explanations, FAQs, analysis and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.

The survey as a whole would also provide insight into other population needs, such as education services and social housing, she said.

Begun in 1961, the census is taken every 10 years, with a partial census every five years.

The last partial census by the Census and Statistics Department in mid-2016 found that that year the number of Hong Kong people aged 80 and over had increased by 67% to more than 340,000 people, signaling a population aging.

About 3 million households are expected to participate in the survey, which will run from June 23 to August 4.

Chan said 90 percent would be required to complete an abbreviated questionnaire, which aimed to collect basic demographic information about household members, such as their age, occupation and level of education. The survey would take approximately 10 minutes to complete and could be submitted online, by phone or by mail.

The remaining 10 percent will respond to a comprehensive data survey, which collects information on the socio-economic characteristics of households.

Hong Kong population decline warning as deaths exceed births for the first time

The longer survey will take around 30 to 40 minutes, and households have the option of responding online, by phone, or by making an appointment with census officials to conduct an in-person interview at home.

The census will take place in two phases and respondents will be able to submit the survey from Wednesday to July 17.

For those who do not complete the questionnaires, some 7,000 temporary enumerators will be going door-to-door to collect information, starting July 18.

When asked if the ministry would face any problems with data collection given that trust in the government had waned, Chan stressed that the answer was a legal requirement.

If a household refuses or gives false information, it can be jailed for six months and fined up to HK $ 5,000.

The Census and Statistics Department has a budget of HK $ 950 million to conduct the 2021 census and is expected to employ 7,000 field officers, up from 16,000 in 2011.

Chan said the department has encouraged households to submit questionnaires online, by phone or by mail to reduce person-to-person contact due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the public can call the census hotline at 182021 for information.

For the latest news from the South China Morning Post, download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.

Top 5 Reasons Real Estate Prices Keep Rising


Obtaining a loan of the same size at a lower rate makes rental yields more attractive to investors, while lower rates increase the borrowing capacity of homeowners to buy a larger home or outbid competitors. for the house they want.

Time and time again, the Australian property market has proven that lower interest rates are fuel for property prices. The current boom of the past six months is a prime example. Population growth has stalled since the COVID-19 pandemic, wages are stagnating and yet house prices are breaking new records. The main explanation is the drop in the Reserve Bank’s cash rate to 0.1 percent last November.

There are good reasons to set interest rates that have nothing to do with the housing market. The Reserve Bank cuts interest rates to stimulate jobs and spending and increase inflation, not to raise house prices. This is also happening in a global context of ultra-low interest rates.

Some people argue that lower interest rates make housing more affordable because they reduce repayments. There are now many home loan rates that start with a 2 and even a 1. However, Brendan Coates, director of the economic policy program at the Grattan Institute think tank, says the people who benefit the most from the lower rates are existing owners. As interest rates fall, their repayments have gotten cheaper, while the value of their property skyrockets.

For potential buyers who are still saving for a deposit, interest rate cuts make homeownership even more inaccessible. “It widens the gap between the haves and have-nots,” Coates says.

Access to credit is also determined by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, which gives banks a set of rules to follow when granting a loan. APRA has the power to cushion the market in the short term, but Coates says the mechanism generally loses its effectiveness over time as banks find ways around it and non-bank lenders respond to unmet demand. .

2. Population growth

The main factor that increases demand in the long run is population growth, as this means more people need a place to live. Last year, the national population increased by 0.5 percent, mainly due to natural increase. From the turn of the millennium until the start of the pandemic in March 2020, it was increasing by 1.5-2% per year and Sydney and Melbourne took a big chunk of it. Usually, much of the population growth comes from immigration, which stopped last year.

National immigration policy is determined by many economic and social factors, not necessarily related to housing. Immigration has many benefits, from economic growth to greater cultural diversity. But there are also tradeoffs, such as increased demand for housing.

Peter Tulip, the chief economist of the Center for Independent Studies, studied the effect of immigration on house prices. He looked at the period from 2005 to 2018, during which immigration accelerated from an annual inflow of around 120,000 to almost 190,000 per year. He found that if this had not happened, the rents would be 9% lower and this would affect the purchase prices.

3. Planning controls

There is always a lag when supply catches up with demand and planning controls can make this worse by preventing supply from meeting that demand. In the context of Australian cities, this means restrictions on higher density.

Tulip believes the main cause of housing affordability is that developers are not allowed to build high-rise apartments in most areas. “The main reason we have these planning restrictions is that local neighbors insist on preserving the character of the neighborhood and these arguments ignore the interest of those not involved in the decision – potential buyers,” says Tulip. “But preserving the character of the neighborhood is actually worth very little to the amenities of the neighborhood. “

Tulip indicates apartment developments in areas of Sydney such as Forest Lodge near Glebe, Chatswood and Green Square. Despite community opposition, property prices have since risen in these areas, in line with neighboring suburbs where apartments have not been built. Tulip says this indicates the apartment buildings have not diminished amenities.

Some areas of Sydney have an aversion to high density life.Credit:Bloomberg

However, amenity concerns include the issue of green spaces, something that is even more valuable to apartment dwellers than backyard owners and has come to the fore since the pandemic. Previous analysis by The Sun-Herald revealed that the areas of Sydney City Center City Council bearing the brunt of the highest density are also those with the least open public space per existing resident. Many schools are also strained, with handheld devices taking up a lot of play space.

Hartigan agrees that more density is needed, but says mega-apartment developments could be counterproductive. “It might actually exacerbate the problem with NIMBYism because people walk past them and think ‘oh my god I don’t want my suburb to become like this’,” he says. “Do we want to live in a city where we have 20 Hong Kong-style concentrated areas within cities and then a whole bunch of local government areas with 1,000-meter blocks, or do we want something more balanced? Hartigan says it would be fairer if there was medium density across the city rather than high density pockets and low density pockets.

4. Tax policy

Australian tax policies favor real estate investment over investment in other assets. Negative debt means that an investor can deduct investment losses from his income, making it tax-efficient. Technically, you can leverage stocks negatively, but it’s much more difficult. The logic is that it’s the same as generating a business loss – you only pay income tax. The counter-argument is that the losses are deliberate.

Negative debt goes hand in hand with capital gains tax (CGT). Usually investors would avoid a loss, but they make an exception because they are speculating on a capital gain in a few years. When they obtain this surplus value, they must pay the CGT on the surplus value. But for individuals who hold the asset for 12 months, the tax is cut in half. The rate is the same as the individual’s marginal tax rate, which means they can also plan the sale for a year with lower income.

Self-directed super funds can also buy negative goods and equipment, although the capital gains tax cut is less.

Many economists believe that tax policy should be reformed to be more neutral, to encourage investment in a wider range of assets in addition to real estate. However, the impact on house prices would be small. Grattan’s research suggests that if negative debt were abolished and the capital gains tax cut was reduced from 50 to 25 percent, house prices would be 2 percent lower. “These tax breaks are only worth a few billion dollars a year against the backdrop of the $ 7 trillion housing market,” Coates said.

The problem with policies like first-time homebuyers subsidies is that they are likely to increase demand and therefore push prices up further.

5. Old age pension

While tax policy increases demand for housing as a financial asset, old age pension eligibility rules discourage homeowners from selling. The family home is not taken into account in the old age pension asset test, so a person in Dubbo with a $ 300,000 house is treated the same as a person in Balmain with a 3 million house. of dollars.

Renters also get the short straw as they are only entitled to $ 214,500 in additional assets to make up for not having a home, although they may receive rent assistance.


This encourages retirees to stay in their large homes and even expand or renovate if they need to cut down on their cash flow. “A huge motivation is to pass on heirlooms to their children,” says Coates.

This is perfectly rational and individuals are not to blame, but in an ideal world pension policy would be neutral and not penalize people for downsizing.

However, most experts believe that this would not have a huge effect on house prices, as retirees stay at home for other reasons as well, and not all retirees have access to the pension.

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A new book on the salmon population in Canada, a revealing read


I guess I’ve always been kind of a climate denier.

Yes, something was wrong; things got hotter and more volatile, but I couldn’t be sure that was something people did.

Nature has undergone massive changes in the past, but we have always come out of it. When I was a kid in the 1950s, scientists predicted that we were getting closer and closer to another Ice Age.

Now we have clearly put our lives on the line with the heat – sweltering and suffocating heat – and ocean storms, unstoppable forest fires and collapsing ecosystems. Our governor even had the nerve to blame the failure of our power grid during the massive February blizzard – unlike anything we’ve seen in Texas – on an addiction to wind turbines.

After:Leggett: Leave the fawns alone; moms have some “time for me”

This blackout had been predicted years ago, but no one did anything until it was too late. So we’re going to appoint another committee to study it and then do nothing until we have another crisis in our hands and then try to transfer the problem to someone else.

What I’m trying to say is that the fish populations, the wild fish populations like salmon, are in trouble as we try to get permission to dig and move millions of tonnes of the delta. the Alaska River in Bristol Bay in order to get a few ounces of gold that no one needs except the big interests who put the money in to fund the “Pebble Mine”.

It’s been on the table, then off the table, then on again and now again, as we have changed presidents and governments who have divergent views on the importance of saving and preserving stocks. salmon and fragile ecosystems or letting some people make big money by ignoring the impact on these same fish.

OK, this is the sermon. Now here is what squeezed me so tight that I practically vibrate. It’s a book, “Kings of the Yukon”, by Adam Weymouth. He’s a young British author who lives on a boat in London and hasn’t responded to emails, at least for a few months.

After:Leggett: Fish should be removed from private lakes annually to ensure larger bass can thrive

Weymouth was never an angler, but he wanted to write something about salmon and what is happening to him all over the world. He chose the king salmon, or Chinook if you prefer, and their decline in the waters of Canada and Alaska.

My wife bought me the book and I read it about 24 hours after an information marathon about the famous Yukon River salmon, which travels nearly 2,000 miles from Canada to the Pacific Ocean. . Weymouth decided he would like to paddle the river and talk to the various indigenous peoples he met, as well as the European descendants of the white settlers in the area.

It was an incredible and courageous epic adventure on a wild and beautiful river that has been the lifeblood of Alaska and the Yukon for longer than there has been anyone around to write and keep track. Weymouth did it with a brave heart and sturdy back, coupled with a keen eye for the social and historical aspects of life built around a single fish.

Kings are, or were, giant salmon who kept indigenous peoples alive through freezing winters and long arctic nights. The fish supported entire native populations, almost all of whom had their own “fish camps” to which they returned each spring when the salmon began their grueling return to the various waters where they were born.

After:Leggett: Induct the Ring-tailed Cat into the Cute Animal Hall of Fame

But, instead of clear, swift water, they encounter dams, nets, and modern fishing techniques that threaten their very existence, and with it the existence of the humans who colonized rivers and depend on salmon for their livelihood. life.

Their traditions, myths and legends about fish have been trampled and plundered along with salmon. Many of the fishing lodges are empty and rotting now, as it seems that every year for decades, fewer and fewer salmon are returning to the Yukon and other northern rivers.

The huge Alaskan canneries that grew after people in North America and around the world found salmon to be good food, easy to buy, and cheap to put on the table have for the most part closed, this which means that the inhabitants of the river are now out of a job, as well as a source of food.

Weymouth pulled his canoe out onto the shore, small town after small town, talking to the people and learning all he could about kings. He learned that there were other salmon as well – sockeye, sockeye, chum and more – all of which were part of the traditions and the lunchtime, inseparable from people’s lives but essential to their very survival.

In some years hardly any salmon returned to the river to spawn, and slowly the younger ones left the river and moved to the towns, where they could find work and perhaps a spouse and raise children. without the stories and adventures of the fishing camp. .

It is a very sad and predictable story of what happens when some people mistakenly believe that animals and fish are a bottomless resource that only exists for their profit and use.

We have an almost endless list of examples here in North America. Beavers have been trapped almost out of existence just to make fancy hats for guys. Whooping cranes are still on the brink of extinction, where they have been hunted for feathers to make women’s hats. Old growth forests were razed to make newsprint for papers and to provide lumber for homes, taking with them birds such as the red-horned woodpecker and others.

After:Leggett: Hummingbirds return, signaling a return to normal after February blizzard

Grizzly bears are almost extinct in the Lower 48, but in Alaska they are latching on, thanks to the salmon that still return each summer to spawn and keep their species alive.

We could go on and on with this, but the truth is there for us to see, if we’re brave enough to see and react to it. I don’t have the answers. I only know that we have to act now or suffer the collapse of the species and after the species that we cannot replace and that we have to keep ourselves alive.

Weymouth does not spare his own country in the writing, covering the decline of Atlantic salmon populations in England and Scotland, and I can attest to that. My family and I spent two weeks a few years ago renting a house on Loch Ness in Scotland.

The fishermen there are meticulous in keeping records and can tell you at any time how many salmon have been landed on their river in any given month. They put it on the Internet. I have seen numbers around 30-50 fish per month across Scotland. I tried to find a guide to take me to one of the rivers for a day of fishing, but couldn’t find one that even took my money. “No fish, no fishing,” I have been told over and over again.

It was brutal and disappointing, and I never forgot to walk past these surprisingly clear and beautiful rivers and hardly see anyone fishing there.

I knew then that we had to do something, but what? I do not know. I just hope I can catch some bass this summer.

If you can read “Kings of the Yukon” without reacting to the plight of the fish and the inhabitants of this mighty river, you are welcome to experience it. Weymouth gave us some food for thought, something I think about as I prepare to head back to Alaska this summer to fish for rainbow trout and salmon.

You can find it on your Kindle reader, and it’s worth buying it. “The kings of the Yukon. Buy it. Read it. And worry about me.

Here is a list of Xiaomi devices that will receive MIUI 13 in August – Mi MIX 4 to start the system


Xiaomi is currently focusing its efforts on the MIUI 13 project internally. According to speculation to date, the company will officially announce this system in August of this year. Moreover, the first device to launch this system could be the next Xiaomi Mi MIX 4. At the moment there are already a few unofficial lists of smartphones that will receive this update. Of course, we already know that all of the company’s latest flagships will receive the update.

According to reports, here are the Xiaomi and Redmi devices that will receive the update

  • Xiaomi mi 11
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 series
  • Xiaomi-Mi 9 Series
  • Redmi K40 Series
  • Redmi K30 Series
  • Redmi Note 10 series
  • Redmi Note 9 series
  • Redmi Note8 Series

In addition, it may be of interest to some users that the pretty old Xiaomi Mi 6 still benefits from the MIUI 13 update. The Xiaomi Mi 6 is now a “golden boy” for Xiaomi. According to Lei Jun, after four years, the Xiaomi Mi 6 still has over 2 million users. It’s pretty impressive from Xiaomi’s point of view.

MIUI 13 will improve over MIUI 12

Speculation so far shows that the MIUI 13 will focus on the “distributed menu”. It will come with more content options including photo and video, health, smart home, battery and power, car, office and productivity, travel, multi-device interconnect. , privacy protection, cloud services, basic tool services, etc. The system will support collaboration and cross-display operation with computers, tablets and televisions.

The new MIUI 13 system will achieve the unification of status bar and system police. This system update will also unify the style of the scroll bar. At the same time, it will also optimize the display of blank pages and loading pages. To achieve unification of status bar and system fonts, the update will also optimize icon loading. While optimizing blank pages and shedding, it will redesign the sliding style of the progress bar.

Xiaomi promises that dynamic effects and display effects are smoother and more vivid than MIUI 12. Well, we expect every upgrade to definitely have a better experience than the previous generation. In addition, MIUI 13 will also add a lot of streamlined design. After all, MIUI now appears to be too bloated. MIUI 13 will also provide working plugins that retain streamlined functions by default. Users can choose their own functional modules to install.

What do you think of the upcoming MIUI 13 system? Will this improve the overall performance of MIUI? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Biden nominates two for best HUD roles


It has been a busy week for the Biden administration as it focused on the housing industry, appointing and appointing new leaders for agencies governing the industry.

Following the appointment of Sandra L. Thompson, a veteran of housing and banking regulation, as Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), President Joe Biden announced the appointment of Julia Gordon as Deputy Housing Secretary, Federal Housing Commissioner, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and Dave uejio for the Deputy Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunities, HUD to further stabilize the nation’s housing market oversight.

Gordon is currently chairman of the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), a non-profit organization that supports neighborhood revitalization and affordable homeownership by facilitating the rehabilitation of residential properties in underserved markets. In addition to managing NCST’s programmatic work, Gordon specializes in federal policy related to homeownership, community development, and the national housing finance system.

“Julia Gordon is the right person at the right time to lead the Federal Housing Administration,” said National Housing Conference (CHN) President and CEO David M. Dworkin. “It is respected by the wide range of stakeholders in the public, private and non-private housing and housing finance sectors. Throughout her remarkable career, she has demonstrated the greatest commitment to housing and homeownership in America.

Previously, Gordon served as Senior Director of Housing and Consumer Finance at Center for American Progress, Director of the Unique Family Policy Team at FHFA and Senior Policy Advisor at Center for Responsible Lending. She has also worked in the civil legal aid sector and as a litigation partner and pro bono coordinator at the law firm. WilmerHale. Gordon received his Bachelor of Public Administration from Harvard College and his Doctor of Laws from Harvard Law School.

“The MBA applauds the appointment of Julia Gordon as the head of the Federal Housing Administration,” said Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) President and CEO Bob Broeksmit, CMB. “We look forward to continuing to work with her, Secretary Marcia Fudge, and others at HUD and administration to ensure a strong FHA program that provides affordable housing opportunities, both rental and owned, for all. Americans, while protecting taxpayers. We also look forward to working with the agency to complete essential work to improve efficiency, instill certainty, and bring more lenders back to the FHA program. “

Uejio, current interim director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), oversees a budget of $ 600 million and a staff of 1,600 dedicated to protecting consumers against unfair, deceptive and abusive practices in the financial market, through the enforcement of the Federal Consumer Law. Currently, the CFPB oversees more than 150 deposit-taking institutions with assets totaling over $ 10 billion.

Prior to becoming Interim Director, Uejio served CFPB as Interim Chief of Staff, Head of Talent Acquisition and most recently as Director of Office Strategy. As Chief Strategy Officer, Uejio led the development of an integrative approach to strategic planning, policy prioritization, enterprise risk management, organizational performance and program evaluation.

In addition to his experience at CFPB, Director Uejio has held human resources positions at the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Uejio began his career in the public service in 2006, when he joined the NIH as Presidential Management Fellow.

Uejio co-chairs the Federal Innovation Council, an interagency body of the federal government responsible for stimulating innovation in the public sector. He also co-founded an event to connect, develop and inspire emerging leaders in the public service, the Next Generation of Government Summit. He received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Pollinators find growth at DTE’s O’Shea Park as bee populations attempt to rebound


Kristen LeForce likes to think of her fellow pollinators as colleagues. And she has more than a few.

“In our hives here at O’Shae Park we have 160,000 bees! I like to say I have 160,000 colleagues working with me at the solar field,” said wildlife biologist DTE.

She’s also an expert in pollination and on a mission to help their vital populations bounce back.

It’s a mission that everyone would benefit from, she said.

“All the things that are really delicious to eat like chocolate, cherries and most fruits are all pollinated by bees or butterflies, so they are very important to us as well as the environment,” LeForce said.

Almonds, apples, bananas, blue berries, peaches, pears, and even coffee all need pollinators to help them thrive. Studies show that they are involved in one in three mouthfuls of the food we take. They are also known to be part of over a thousand different foods that we grow and consume.

But the world of bees and butterflies and the essential role they play in our ecosystems are in trouble.

Experts noted that since 2006, honey bee colonies have declined. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the abnormal state of colony collapse syndrome, where most worker bees disappear, leaving only a queen, abundant food, and a few nurse bees contributed to their downfall. number.

Studies show that it is a mixture of factors that cause CCD.

“It’s a mixture of pesticides, also of pests like mites that they can catch, and also of climate change. Not just honey bees, but also our native bees,” said Melissa Bobowski, a beekeeper with Bees in the D. “Without the bumblebees we would be wiping out – I think there are over a thousand different foods that we need pollination for.”

Bobowski says there are a few things people can do to prevent further calamity to the bugs.

“Reduce your use of pesticides in your gardens. Also for your climate change – anything you can do to combat climate change,” she said.

Companies like DTE have also invested heavily to see their populations rebound. At its Detroit solar farm, the utility is taking advantage of available land to help bees thrive.

“We have planted pollinator plants and seed mixes under our solar panels here at O’Shae Park and so something you can do is emulate that in your garden. You can plant native flowers and herbs that are good for the pollination they can eat, caterpillars can do a lot of things, so you can do it in your own backyard, ”LeForce said.

Providing nectar resources for bees and other pollinators is essential for them to thrive, she said.

And they’re not even that dangerous.

“Bees in particular aren’t really scary, they’re quite docile. They don’t want to bother you if you don’t bother them. So if you give them their space, make sure they don’t feel threatened, and you can coexist with them in your garden, ”said LeForce.

Beware of ticks this summer as experts say the population is on the rise


After a mild winter, experts warn of a particularly bad tick season in 2021.

East End Tick & Mosquito Control phones rang “off the hook,” owner Brian Kelly said. And even though he’s taking precautions himself, he found a Lone Star tick on his chest last week.

“They don’t just happen on beaches and parks, these tick encounters, but most of the calls I get are from people who find ticks in their own backyards all over the East End,” a- he declared.

Experts say the lack of deep frost on the ground this winter, combined with a large acorn harvest two years ago, has allowed tick populations to thrive.

“Mice like to feed on these nuts and if mice have a lot of food they are the reservoirs for tick-borne diseases,” said Dr Anna-Marie Wellins of Southampton Hospital. “So no more food, no more mice, no more ticks, no more infected ticks.”

This corresponds to the trends observed by some doctors. Dr Erin McGintee, who is on the medical advisory board of the Southampton Hospital Tick Resource Center, said the number of alpha-gal allergies she had diagnosed in 2020 was ‘significantly higher’ than in 2019. Alpha-gal, which is associated with Lone Star ticks, causes allergic reactions to red meat.

She doesn’t really focus on other tick-borne illnesses, but Suffolk County tracked higher Lyme disease infection rates among ticks in Southold in 2020 – at 58% in adult ticks. black-legged, it was 20% higher than the infection rate in 2019. The Lyme disease infection rate in nymphs of this species has remained relatively stable at 46% versus 44%.

“I have a few theories,” Dr. McGintee said, referring to the higher number of alpha-gal diagnoses. “I don’t know if my theories are correct. But… one thought was, it’s just because we have so many people here.

She pointed out that the population of the East End has increased during the pandemic. “Maybe the summer people went out in March and never left,” she said. She also suggested that the pandemic may have caused people to opt for more outdoor activities than usual, causing higher exposure.

“And then I think the third reason could be that the more years this allergy has been around, the more people become aware of it,” she said. “So people may be more likely to recognize their symptoms as an alpha-gal allergy and seek evaluation and testing for it.”

Dr Wellins, who has also seen more and more patients worrying about tick-borne illnesses, expressed a similar sentiment.

“I think… the public is more and more educated and they are pulling the strings earlier, they are more vigilant than they have been. So I think education works, ”she said.

Dr Wellins pointed out that deer, which often carry ticks, are also more displaced, forcing them to migrate to residential areas.

“I was in Southampton Village [and] there was a doe in the parking lot, ”she said. “It is not uncommon to see them walking in the street, on the sidewalk.

Craig Jobes, town of Southold environmental analyst and a member of the deer management task force, said the deer population was no longer “exploding” and the town “was at near record highs. every season now, as far as the harvests are concerned. ” “, But they” still have difficulty in bringing down the population “.

“I mean, do [deer] have an effect on the tick population? Yes. But there are other factors as well, ”he said.

Deer are not the only species that carry ticks. Dr Wellins said ticks will attach themselves to any animal, including dogs and humans, and feed for a few days before falling.

Mr Jobes also expressed his concern about the Lone Star tick. Of the three East End tick species, he said they were the “most aggressive”.

“Years ago we never really had them here and then all of a sudden, say six or seven years ago, they really blew up with them. And these are really prolific species of ticks, ”he said.

Dr Wellins said what people think are bites of chiggers, tiny arachnids, are actually bites from Lone Star larvae. There are no chiggers on Long Island, she said.

“[Female Lone Star ticks] lay… a nest of eggs, and you enter these areas with your bare feet or sandals. Now these larvae are much more aggressive than deer ticks, ”she explained.

Dr. McGintee called the Lone Star a “tick hunter”.

“It really actively searches for prey,” she said. “It detects carbon dioxide from people and animals, and it will actually chase you. Like if you are sitting on your lawn and a Lone Star tick senses your carbon dioxide, it’s not like it is tripping over you. He will actually follow you.

Jonathan Malewicz, a resident of Mattituck, said he had already encountered “too many” ticks this year.

“You kind of always have to check if you’re outside,” he said. The other day, he added, he checked his dog and “there must have been at least 15 ticks on him.”

“He’s an indoor dog,” Malewicz said. “I don’t know if he rolled into a nest. But it was in our backyard, [and] we don’t have deer coming into our yard, just squirrels and birds and things like that.

The Town of Southold publishes information on how to prevent tick bites and what to do if you find a tick on yourself, both online and at kiosks at the entrance to its networks of trails. Southampton Hospital’s Regional Tick-borne Disease Resource Center also has online information, as well as a tick removal helpline and doctor referrals at 631-726 -TICK. They also offer free personal tick removal kits, which can be requested on the helpline or by email. [email protected]

Dr. McGintee recommends that anyone with suspected alpha-gal allergy see an allergist. She advises, however, that people shouldn’t get tested for alpha-gal unless they show symptoms.

“I know it sounds a little scary to people, because they say oh, I had a Lone Star tick, so what am I supposed to do, wait to eat meat and have anaphylactic shock , then go see an allergist? And the truth is, it’s probably somewhere in between, ”she said.

As with other food allergies, it is possible to see a false positive test result.

“On the other hand, if you have a Lone Star tick bite, it might not be the smartest thing in the world to go out and eat a huge burger two weeks later,” he said. she adds. “Because we know that if you develop an alpha-gal allergy, you are at the greatest risk for a reaction within a few weeks of a Lone Star tick bite. And we also know that larger portions and fatter meats are more likely to cause bigger problems. ”

Dr. McGintee recommends that people watch their meat intake for the first month after a bite, to make sure they can tolerate leaner, smaller portions of meat without any symptoms. She pointed out that the alpha-gal allergy causes “acute allergic reactions occurring three to six hours after ingestion of mammalian meat, usually fatty mammalian meat.” The most common symptoms are itching and hives, followed by gastrointestinal symptoms.

In the meantime, Dr Wellins has said to “take the time to protect yourself”. She put together a list of tips:

• Wear long pants and long sleeves, which will also help protect you from the sun (but be careful to stay hydrated).

• Insect repellent or lemon eucalyptus oil on arms, legs, neck area – anywhere that is exposed.

• Wear light-colored clothing and avoid sandals.

• Wear tight socks over your pants. “Not very trendy, but it works.”

• Wear rubber boots or waders in the garden.

• If you are outdoors regularly, treat your clothes with permethrin (or buy pretreated clothes). You should do this outside so there is good ventilation. Very important: Do not apply permethrin to the skin. Effective for limited washes. Apply only to fabric (sneakers maybe, but not boots).

• Sometimes rolling a lint roller when you’re outside will catch ticks before they have time to get under your clothes.

• When entering from outside, put your clothes in the dryer – the high heat will kill ticks on the clothes. Do this before washing, what ticks can survive.

• Take a shower after going out, then check for ticks. “They like to attach themselves to warm, dark places, like behind the knee and the groin area, or the lower back, under the arms and sometimes the neck area.” Daily checks are important.

• Have your property treated against ticks by a professional. Dogs and other pets could be potential carriers.

• If you find any on your body, remove it immediately using tweezers or the like and get as close to your head as possible. Pull it up and use alcohol to disinfect the area afterwards. “There are a lot of old wives’ tales that we tell people to never use” – don’t use petrol or a lit match. Not only could you injure yourself, but the tick can regurgitate its stomach contents, potentially speeding up the transmission of pathogens. After removing it, put it in a sealed transparent bag and take a photo. Enlarge the photo to identify the tick.

Collier County Defines Criteria for Redistributing with Census Data En route


With the 2020 census county-level demographics expected soon, Collier County commissioners on Tuesday approved the criteria to redraw the commission’s district boundaries.

County commissioners are required to recut after each decennial census. Districts must be contiguous and contain populations as close to equality as possible, according to the Florida constitution.

In addition, one of the five county commissioners must reside in each of the newly drawn districts.

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Mike Bosi, the county’s planning and zoning director, said county staff will use the same criteria to redraw districts that were used in 2011 after the 2010 census.

The US Census Bureau estimates the population of Collier County in 2020 at 392,973 people, which is an increase of about 71,500 people from the 2010 population.

The county does not anticipate that the population increase has been evenly distributed among the five districts, which is why a redistribution is necessary.

“The redistribution process is undertaken so that each district has the most equal number of population, so that each vote has the same equal power,” Bosi said.

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Once the final data is released in August, county staff will use criteria approved by commissioners on Tuesday to identify the necessary population adjustments that need to be made to each district.

The county will use four primary criteria and four secondary criteria to draw new district boundaries, Bosi said.

The main criteria aim to have districts with similar population sizes and compact and regular shaped boundaries. The residence of a commissioner must remain in his current constituency. Racial and ethnic populations must be taken into account under the 1956 Voting Rights Act.

The Voting Rights Act prohibits the denial or restriction of the right to vote on the basis of race, color or minority language status. Article 2 of the Voting Rights Law prohibits the creation of electoral districts which unduly dilute the voting power of minorities.

The secondary criteria call for rejecting any plan that reduces the voting power of minorities.

When not in conflict with other criteria, they also call for using easily recognizable boundaries such as main roads, maintaining current boundaries as much as possible and not dividing neighborhoods.

The new limits are also expected to apply to the five Collier County School Board seats that span the county.

County staff will ask the school board at its July 27 meeting to agree that the county board and school board will use the same district boundaries.

The county will ask school district support staff to assist with the redistribution efforts.

The Collier County Election Supervisor’s Office has also made its staff available to provide technical support during the process, according to the county.

A private sector law firm will provide an independent review of the county redistribution process and proposed final district boundaries, depending on the county.

After the county receives the data from the US Census Bureau, staff will work with representatives from the school district, the election office supervisor and the independent law firm to begin drawing district map projects, said. Bosi.

Data from the US Census Bureau is expected to arrive in mid-August.

Once the district map projects are drawn, county staff will engage with the cities of Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City and the public for feedback, Bosi said.

Seven community meetings will be held in October. One in each of the five districts will be held in November so the public can review draft maps and provide comment, Bosi said.

“In Collier County, we take this and we go out and we talk to the community,” Bosi said. “Anyone who wants to comment, anyone who wants to get involved, there will be an avenue.”

At least three draft district maps will be presented to the commissioners at the December 14 council meeting. The board will receive feedback from the public meetings and then select a final version.

Bosi praised the 2011 redistribution efforts to keep Commissioners out of the process until presented with draft maps and public comment.

“One unique aspect that I remember from the 2011 redistribution effort was that the commissioners were separated from the process because it could be seen as a political process,” said Bosi. “We see this as a personal one, we have the criteria that are in the executive summary, but it’s a math problem for us. It’s a math problem we’re trying to solve based on the principles of math and on the basis of these criteria. ”

Mayo Clinic offers more public walk-in clinics for Covid vaccines


Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) – The Mayo Clinic continues to offer walk-in clinics for anyone wishing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Clinics are available in Rochester and its health system sites in Albert Lea, Austin, Owatonna and Red Wing.

the clinics will be available until July 8.

Mayo says anyone 12 and older can attend these clinics. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children should drink plenty of fluids and have a good meal or snack before getting the vaccine.

The types of COVID-19 vaccines differ depending on the location of the clinic and the patient. Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for adults 18 years of age and older. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for ages 12 and over.

While the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is given as a single dose, the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are given as a series of two doses. The second dose of Moderna is given 28 days after the first and the second dose of Pfizer is given 21 days after the first. If you receive any of these vaccines, you will need to schedule your second dose.

Here is the Rochester clinic schedule:

  • Wednesday June 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will take place at Phillips Hall, Siebens 1.
  • Thursday June 24, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will be held in the Professional Building at 41st Street, 4115 West Frontage Road NW, at street level.
  • Friday June 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will take place at Phillips Hall, Siebens 1.
  • Monday June 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will take place at Phillips Hall, Siebens 1.
  • June 29, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will be held in the Professional Building at 41st Street, 4115 West Frontage Road NW, at street level.
  • June 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will take place at Phillips Hall, Siebens 1.
  • July 1 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will be held in the Professional Building at 41st Street, 4115 West Frontage Road NW, at street level.
  • July 6, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will be held in the Professional Building at 41st Street, 4115 West Frontage Road NW, at street level.
  • July 8, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    This walk-in clinic will be held in the Professional Building at 41st Street, 4115 West Frontage Road NW, at street level.

Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines will be offered at these walk-in clinics. If you need to schedule a second dose, you will be given a card with instructions when you leave the walk-in clinic.

Update: The Rochester cyclist who was killed on Tuesday was an employee of the Mayo Clinic.

WATCH: This is the richest city in every state

Just saying the names of these towns immediately conjures up images of grand mansions, fancy cars, and fancy restaurants. Read on to see which city in your home state received the title of richest place and which place had the highest median income in the country. Who knows, your hometown might even be on this list.

The pandemic has proven that we are not financially prepared for times of crisis – Forbes Advisor


As the Covid-19 pandemic swept the country, the abrupt changes in our lifestyle also rocked our financial systems. Job losses, income cuts, health problems and economic restrictions have shaken our financial bases, especially for those of us who did not enter the pandemic with the strongest financial bases.

It appears that fewer of us are prepared for the monetary ramifications of the pandemic than we might have hoped. Without government intervention during the worst days of the Covid-19 crisis, many Americans would not have had the cash trail to cover their basic expenses for more than a few weeks.

Nearly 40% of people who had emergency savings before March 2020 drew on those funds during the pandemic, according to a survey conducted by YouGov for Forbes Advisor. Of those who used their emergency funds during the pandemic, 73.3% of those surveyed spent half or more of their savings.

The survey at the end of April 2021 asked nearly 3,700 adults about their emergency savings before and during the pandemic.

The survey illustrates the delicate house of cards on which many of us have built our financial lives. And with some pandemic assistance programs, like increased unemployment benefits and a nationwide moratorium on evictions, soon to expire, the rebuilding process can be long and difficult for some.

Old Emergency Fund tips don’t work for many Americans

Personal finance advice often marries having three to six months of expenses hidden in an emergency fund, never to be touched unless the worst case scenario occurs: job loss, illness, accident.

But just because this old maxim exists doesn’t make it easy to follow.

“You are saving for something that may or may not happen,” says Steve Pilloff, professor of finance in the School of Business at George Mason University. “And if [an emergency] happens, it’s a negative thing that you don’t actually want to happen.

With so many competing priorities for your money already – paying bills, saving for retirement, saving for school, or paying off loans – it can be difficult to set aside savings for unwanted strangers, says Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, one based in Michigan. financial therapist and author of “The Financial Anxiety Solution”.

It’s even harder if you only have $ 500 or $ 1,000 in the bank to start with, says Bryan-Podvin. Knowing that you should have 10 or 12 times the amount saved, earmarked for some unforeseen time in the future, “may seem too out of reach,” she says.

Before the pandemic, the most common amount Americans saved for emergencies was one to three months (31.6%) of spending, according to our survey. Twenty percent of respondents saved three to six months of spending.

Higher household incomes do not necessarily guarantee higher amounts saved for emergencies.

Thirty-five percent of people with household incomes of less than $ 40,000 a year said they saved one to three months of spending when the pandemic started. Thirty-seven percent of people with household incomes between $ 40,000 and $ 80,000 and 27% of those with more than $ 80,000 said the same thing.

Twenty-one percent of each income group said they started the pandemic with three to six months of spending.

This means that large amounts of people have finally been blinded by the long-term unemployment that the pandemic has imposed on many industries. Or they weren’t prepared for the loss of income they would suffer by leaving the workforce to care for family members.

The labor market collapsed so sharply that in the spring of 2020, only about half of Americans of working age had a job. This rate has yet to rebound to pre-pandemic levels.

People with higher household incomes were more likely to have a larger emergency fund with more than six months of expenses. Low-income respondents were more likely to have saved less than a month in emergency expenses. But beyond the outliers, most respondents fell into the same general distribution of savings: a majority had no more than six months of spending in reserve in the event of a financial emergency.

The pandemic has revealed how unprepared Americans must withstand financial hardship beyond short-term job loss. A overwhelming majority of households used the first stimulus check last spring to pay for rent, utilities, food or other essentials, according to a US Census Bureau survey.

Without three rounds of stimulus checks and welfare programs like increased unemployment and food stamps, many families would have had few options out of their way. And that help has still not been enough for some to close the financial gaps that have opened up during the pandemic. In May 2021, one in five tenants with children at home had yet to catch up on their rent payments, the Census Bureau found.

The pandemic has dealt a major blow to financial stability and savings

Americans don’t exactly have a glowing reputation for being able to plan for emergencies.

You’ve probably heard a version of the statistic that few Americans could cover a $ 400 emergency expense with cash.

But this investigation, the Federal Reserve Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making (SHED), does not measure how few people could cover an emergency with cash or its equivalent, such as savings or a credit card paid off immediately.

It measures how many people would choose to do this over other options like borrowing from a friend or paying credit card charges over time.

This hypothetical $ 400 gives us a rough estimate of how comfortable people are with their ability to have money when they need it.

By the end of 2020, 64% of American adults would cover an emergency expense in cash or its equivalent, according to SHED. This is a notable increase since 2013 – the end of the recovery from the Great Recession – when only half of adults would.

The comfort of Americans to cover an emergency expense has increased even in a period when nearly 25% of adults said they were worse off financially than the previous year, and more than a quarter of those surveyed said they had difficulty paying their bills.

But better covering emergency expenses doesn’t mean it’s easy to build that nest egg. And building or rebuilding a financial buffer will likely be more difficult in our post-pandemic economy, after more than a year of setbacks.

A Pew Research Center Report on finances a year after the start of the pandemic found that 31% of adults who were generally able to save money were saving less than usual during the pandemic.

Low-income working adults were more likely to say the pandemic would make it harder to meet their goals: 58% said it would be harder and 25% said it would be much harder.

“Before the pandemic, for many people [emergencies] could have been hypothetical, ”says Pilloff. “Now it has become a lot more tangible.”

As we emerge from the pandemic, many people want to be better prepared for the unknown. Forty-seven percent of people who had no emergency savings before the pandemic said they plan to build up their savings.

But even after the pandemic devastated the finances of so many Americans, there is still no clear consensus on how much we should have saved in an emergency.

About 21% of those surveyed in our survey said one to three months of spending is the most convenient, while about 30% said four to six months is the most convenient. Almost 14% said a year is the most practical amount.

The only point of agreement seems to be that something saved is better than nothing at all.

How to overcome the obstacles to building emergency economies

A few tips can help you focus on building your emergency savings, whether you’re starting from scratch or not.

Think about emergency scenarios

When trying to save money, it can be helpful to visualize what you are saving for; Naming a savings account “new car” or “summer vacation 2022” can motivate you to save.

But when you’re saving for unforeseen emergencies, it’s harder to actually think about what you’re saving for and how you’re going to do it.

Bryan-Podvin recommends taking into account any emergencies you might encounter and creating guidelines or rules for events that warrant tapping into your savings account. She says most people don’t think about how they’ll use their emergency savings until they’ve already started.

Focus on building a minimalist emergency budget

Bryan-Podvin also says to keep in mind that your emergency savings should factor in necessary living expenses, not how you normally spend. “In a real state of emergency, you automatically start cutting back on extra dinners and travel, and you’re limited to a survival budget. Don’t try to replace your income to begin with, ”she says.

Thinking about those potential scenarios that might require you to turn to your emergency funds can make the savings in that jar more tangible. Things like the size of your family, the stability of your career, or your lifestyle could influence the size of your emergency savings goal, rather than going by default to a certain number of months towards which ancient wisdom would tell you.

Beyond that, your savings plan largely depends on your financial stability and whether you are already saving.

If you don’t save for emergencies

Focus on developing a saving habit

When you start saving for emergencies, focus on creating a habit rather than how much you “should” be saving.

Building a habit can help jumpstart your savings spirit, no matter how much money you put aside. A study of users of the Acorns investment app found that people who choose to save a small amount each day saved more overall than people who saved a certain amount each week or month (say, $ 5 per day vs. $ 35 per week).

Start with your budget

“Set a real budget and make the savings part of the budget,” says Pilloff. “It might be small, but find a way, even if it’s just a few dollars, to develop this habit.”

By developing a saving habit now, it will be easier to increase your savings rate when your financial situation improves, he says.

Make the recording automatic

Your bank probably allows you to set up automatic transfers from check to savings. Once you’ve figured out your budget and what you can realistically save, set up transfers to make saving automatic and painless, even if it’s just a few dollars a week.

Globe Editorial: How Politics Worsens the Housing Crisis


Credit rating agency Equifax Canada says total consumer debt rose 2.8% to $ 1.99 trillion in the second quarter despite the economic impact of COVID-19 amid a strong recovery in the consumer market. housing.

The Canadian Press

Two years ago, the federal and British Columbia governments formed an expert panel to examine the overheated housing market in British Columbia. The aim was to find ideas to improve housing supply and affordability.

One might assume that political leaders would be avid readers of a solution report for a bad housing market. And that would especially be the case, given the tornado that has ravaged homes across Canada over the past year, as a buying craze hit a supply shortage and pulled the Canadian Real Estate Association national average selling price 38 percent more.

Instead, the political reaction to the report – an immediate rejection of the most controversial recommendations – shows how difficult it is to tackle the housing crisis.

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the six-member group: a senior business economist; the general manager of a private real estate developer; the CEO of the British Columbia Non-Profit Housing Association; a leader of the technology industry; a credit union economist; and a former NDP finance minister from British Columbia, who served as its chair. It was not a radical group, and the six were unanimous in their recommendations.

Some ideas were simple. The panel said the myriad of rules that restrict new housing – “regulating how much housing is built, where it is built and how fast” – need to be reconsidered. He also wants levels of government to work together and urged to redouble efforts to build affordable housing.

Two proposals, however, were too many. The panel cited significant tax breaks for homeowners like British Columbia homeowner subsidy, a partial property tax refund worth about $ 850 million per year, or the non-taxation of capital gains on the sale of primary residences, worth more than $ 6 billion per year. nationwide year. The panel proposed a review of the capital gains rule, which a Royal Bank of Canada economist also suggested in late March – and called for the homeowner’s subsidy to be phased out, with the money invested. in social housing.

British Columbia Finance Minister Selina Robinson and Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland rejected the panel speech tax breaks within hours of the report’s release last week. The panel had foreseen it. Of course, it is more and more difficult to rent in Canada. Yes, the hope of young people to own a home is fading day by day. But in a country where around two-thirds of households own their homes, elected officials look after these voters.

“Homeowners, who stand to benefit from both the rising value of homes and the tax benefits available to them, also have considerable political influence,” the panel wrote. “Politicians may be reluctant to take steps to dramatically increase housing supply and affordability or change tax policies that favor incumbent owners due to potential political backlash. This, in turn, exacerbates the housing shortage. “

The key here is not these big tax breaks. It is well known that such changes are a political virtual impossibility.

What is most important and disturbing is how this episode reveals the challenge of making a real difference in the future of housing in Canada.

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Political leaders talk about doing great things. British Columbia presented a 30 point plan three years ago. Ottawa’s national housing plan is supposed to build 16,000 new affordable units one year over a decade. Sounds good, but it’s well below a peak of about 25,000 per year that was built half a century ago.

Meanwhile, too many current owners do not want their neighborhood to change and city councils are too often beholden to their interests. And so, a chronic housing shortage – Scotiabank said in May Canada has the fewest homes, adjusted for population, of any Group of Seven country – just getting worse.

The panel clearly saw the political puzzle. One of the most interesting elements of the report was the call to reduce the negative influence of city councils on housing. The panel, examining British Columbia, said, “It is up to the provincial government, which is ultimately responsible for local governments, to implement many of our most powerful recommendations.”

Canada has a fundamental long-term challenge: the population is increasing; housing does not have. Our political systems prevent us from building more. These are fundamental problems to be solved. There are lots of good ideas, as the BC report clearly indicates. What is lacking is the political courage to implement them.

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The confirmed orange list countries and what it means for your vacation


What does “amber” mean?

All travelers arriving in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland from amber countries are required to self-isolate at home for 10 days (potentially reduced with a “Free Test” paid on the fifth day for those returning to England) and to have PCR tests on (or before) the second day and eighth day of isolation, as well as a test before returning (they will need to provide proof of a negative result, which may be a printed document or an email or text displayed on your phone) and filling out a passenger locator form.

The government currently requires every test done in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to be a PCR test, which can be costly. Prices are slowly falling and the government has launched an official comparison site.

The Foreign Ministry recently updated its guidelines for a number of countries. Travel insurance will be valid if you travel to a country for which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not advise against traveling.

When will these ratings be revised?

Lists must be reviewed every three weeks after the travel ban ends. The first review took place on June 3, with updates on announcements supposed to be made on June 24, July 15, and August 5.

Should I book a vacation to an “orange” destination?

It would not be wise to do so. The government has issued guidelines against travel to these destinations. During this time, you will be subject to a maximum of 10 days of self-isolation upon your return to the UK and additional PCR testing which you will need to pay for. If you are planning a trip to an Orange List destination, you should first consult the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against traveling to this country, your travel insurance may not be valid. During this time, if the Department of Foreign Affairs does NOT advise against traveling within the country, a tour operator would not be required to reimburse your trip if you no longer wish to travel due to self-isolation or testing requirements. In this case, it might be better to postpone.

Which countries are amber?

These countries are among those classified amber (see the full list below):


Cases per 100,000 in the previous seven days: 50.24 (all figures and information are correct as of June 23)

Adult population having received a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine: 35.89%

Spain started welcoming British holidaymakers again from May 24, with no need for a PCR test on arrival. Read the latest travel tips for Spain here.


Cases per 100,000: 76.31

Population with second dose: 32.9%

Portugal has reopened its borders to British holidaymakers. With the exception of children under 12, all arrivals must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test. The test can be a nucleic acid amplification (ANA) test, performed within 72 hours of travel, or an antigen test, performed within 48 hours of travel. You must present your test result certificate before boarding a flight to Portugal. Read the latest travel tips for Portugal here.


Cases per 100,000: 26.36

Population with second dose: 34.41%

UK travelers must provide proof of a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arriving in Greece or proof of two Covid-19 vaccinations taken at least 14 days before travel. Those who can provide proof of either will be exempt from the need to self-isolate. If you do not provide proof of either, your carrier will not allow you to travel and the Greek authorities will likely deny you permission to enter Greece. Visitors may also be required to take a Covid-19 rapid test on arrival, if they reach the country by plane. Travelers must also complete a passenger tracing form no later than 11:59 p.m. the day before arriving in Greece. The Foreign Ministry has updated its advice and no longer advises against traveling to certain Greek islands. Read the latest travel tips for Greece here.


Cases per 100,000: 23.81

Population with second dose: 30.53%

Fully vaccinated UK travelers can now travel to France without having to self-isolate or provide a “compelling reason” for their visit.

Those who have received the Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccines must wait two weeks between their last dose and their visit, while those with a single Johnson & Johnson dose must wait four weeks. They will also need to provide a negative PCR result or an antigen test result upon arrival.

Read the latest travel tips for France here.


Cases per 100,000: 12.01

Population with second dose: 30.68%

From June 21 to July 30, upon arrival in Italy, travelers who have been in the UK for the previous 14 days must self-isolate for 5 days, after which they must perform a rapid antigen swab test or molecular for Covid-19. and test negative for release. Children under the age of 6 do not need to be tested but must still isolate themselves. If you wish to fly, you must present the airline with a negative Covid-19 antigenic or molecular rapid swab test performed no more than 48 hours before travel.

32.7% of LaRue County population vaccinated


As the state continues to reopen after 18 months of pandemic mandates, questions about reopening businesses prompted the LaRue County Herald News to inquire about the latest visitation requirements at Signature HealthCARE Sunrise Manor in Hodgenville.

In a statement from Ann Bowdan Wilder, public relations and communications manager for Signature, she said: “With regard to matters relating to Sunrise Manor, due to the vulnerable nature of the nursing home population, combined with the risks inherent in living together in a healthcare facility, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), along with other government agencies, have demanded aggressive efforts and guidance to fight exposure to COVID-19 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, in accordance with these guidelines, visits always depend on several factors, including the structure of a facility and the needs of residents, including in residents’ rooms, visitation spaces and outdoors.

In LaRue County, only 4,631 of 14,156 county residents have chosen to be vaccinated. That’s a total percentage of 32.71. In surrounding Hardin County, the total vaccinated is 43.01% and stands at 46,488. Hart County’s percentage is lower than that of LaRue with 27.2% of the population vaccinated for COVID-19 and 5,067 having chosen the vaccine option.

“Given the continued risk of COVID-19 transmission, CMS continues to recommend that facilities, residents and families adhere to the basic principles of COVID-19 infection control, including maintaining physical distance and performing outside visits whenever possible. This continues to be the safest way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially if one party has not been fully vaccinated. Therefore, at this time, whether or not a visitor has been vaccinated, all visitors are required to wear a mask inside our facility for indoor visits until further notice. Unfortunately, we cannot easily verify the immunization status of visitors, as we can with our own residents and staff who have received the vaccine, and we want to ensure the safety of our residents and staff, ”said Wilder .

“With this understanding, Sunrise Manor requires that visitors wear masks throughout their visit, regardless of their immunization status. Currently, appointments must be made at least 24 hours prior to a visit, at specific appointment times, and our residents can have an appointment, with a maximum of 2 visitors, per day. Tours last 20 minutes and visitation areas are cleaned after each visit according to CDC guidelines. All visitors must be at least 18 years old and are kindly requested to arrive 15 minutes in advance to complete the selection process. If families and friends wish to make an appointment, the available times can be scheduled at https://shcatsunrisemanor.com/.

Finally, it is important to clarify, as our facilities continue to follow guidelines for limited visits, Signature HealthCare has the right / choice to decide what is best for our residents and staff and visiting guidelines may vary depending on the location. depending on various circumstances, ”according to Wilder.

As of Monday, 2,145,763 Kentuckians, or 48 percent of the state’s population, had been vaccinated.

A total of 4 active cases have been reported by the Lincoln Trail District Health Department as of Monday, June 21. The total number of cases to date is 1,343 for LaRue, with 26 deaths linked to the virus.

The report shows Hardin County with 39 active cases, with 9,709 total cases of which 167 have died from COVID-19. LaRue County’s total case count remains the lowest in the Lincoln Trail 6-county district, with Nelson County second in number of cases with 4,961.

Annual data estimates lead to gaps with census


Commuters on a subway in Beijing during the morning rush hour on November 24, 2020. [Photo/IC]

After the release of data from the Seventh National and Provincial Census, some people might have been surprised to find that many indices, including total population, population growth, age and sex structures, and the distribution of the population among between urban and rural areas and between ethnic groups, are not consistent, or even show relatively large differences, with the annual demographic data published previously.

For example, the population of 0-14 years old in the seventh national census is 253 million, or 14 million more than the 239 million new births of the previous 15 years, between 2006 and 2020. Logically, the population of 0-14 years should have been much less than 239 million considering the premature deaths of children in this age group. It may also be surprising to see the population of 15-59 year olds in 2020 “suddenly” drop by 20 million compared to 2019.

But it is normal that the census data and the annual demographic data previously published are different. Annual demographic data published between two censuses, such as birth rate, death rate, population growth rate, total population, and age and ethnic structures, are all based on a comprehensive and scientific analysis, the calculation and estimation of vital statistics, migration registration data and sample survey data.

This is also how demographic data are primarily produced in non-census years in most other countries. Strictly speaking, demographic data published in years without a census, such as total population, population structure and growth rate, ethnic structure, are not data from a direct census, but demographic data. estimated.

In the United States, the birth rate, population growth rate and total population released each year are also estimates based on a comprehensive analysis of births and deaths from Vital Statistics System, data registration of international migration and data on the age of the population of the previous year. census.

In China, annual demographic data for non-census years is often based on sample surveys, which conduct a population survey on a 1: 1,000 basis, calculate various population indicators based on the samples, and use these statistical indicators to calculate the general population. and estimate aggregate population indicators, such as growth rate, age structure and ethnic structure.

Since this is a sample survey, which will inevitably involve sampling errors, these estimates will be close to the census data, but not in perfect agreement with them. For some indicators that require a large sample to be calculated more accurately, such as birth rate, composition of ethnic minorities, and population indicators, the differences could be larger.

For example, according to the Seventh National Census, the population of Guangdong Province is 126.01 million, 12.55 million more than the 113.46 million reported in 2018, and northeast China has a population of 98.51 million, 9.85 million less than 108.36 million announced in 2018.

It is normal that the population counts for Guangdong, northeast China, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in this census do not match the previously announced annual demographics, as estimates based on sample surveys, which are generally close but not necessarily as accurate as authentic census data, may be greater or less than actual census data.

So what if the census data and the annual demographic data announced for non-census years do not match, and which should be considered accurate? Since annual data for non-census years are estimates and census data are the direct results of the survey and the universal survey, the latter are generally used by the international community as a standard, and “technology estimate of the intercensal population ”is used. verify and revise the main indicators of the annual demographic data between the two censuses, so as to make the specific data for each year consistent with the real evolution of the population.

For example, in Canada, the revision of previous data begins shortly after an agricultural census is taken. After the 2010 census, the United States also revised its demographics from 2000 to 2010 to more accurately reflect population growth and development. After the Sixth Population Census, China also used “intercensal population estimation technology” to revise the annual birth rate and population growth rate from 2000 to 2010, and released the revised results. And in statistical yearbooks published later, the revised data was used for population indices from 2000 to 2010.

The missing reporting rate from the Seventh National Census is only 0.05%, lower than in 1982 and a record for the missing reporting rate from previous censuses, making it the most accurate census since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This was made possible due to the high quality of the census survey which revealed inconsistencies between census data and some annual data from non-census years, some discrepancies being relatively large.

After the census, the National Bureau of Statistics, on the basis of the more accurate and authoritative census data, verified and revised the data on birth rates and growth rates at the national level, giving a truer picture and more details of the growth and development of the Chinese population. .

The author is director of the Center for Population Development Studies at Renmin University of China.

Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

Changes mean less funding for Northeastern schools


SCHOOLS in the North East are missing millions of pounds in funding due to changes in the way government money is allocated, new figures suggest.

The calculation of the school bonus has been changed so that it will now be based on the number of students in each school eligible for free school meals (FSM) in October, rather than January, as was the case before.

New figures published by the Ministry of Education confirm that there has been an increase of 5,700 students receiving the WSF in the North-East between the school census of October 2020 and that of January 2021.

This means schools in the area are facing a loss of up to £ 7.66million in bonus funding for pupils as a result of the change in government.

North East Commission on Child Poverty Director Amanda Bailey said: “Schools in our region have entered this pandemic already facing some of the highest disadvantage rates in the country and new numbers of Free school meals confirm how existing levels of hardship in the North East have been exacerbated by the Covid-19.

“If the government is serious about leveling areas like our region, it needs to place investment in children and young people at the heart of its stimulus packages – but it is now clear that the decision to change the way in which premiums are funded to students is allocated totally undermines this. commitment.”

The Northeastern Child Poverty Commission, Northeastern Schools and Northeastern Children jointly wrote to the Secretary of State for Education in March to highlight the potential impact of a change ” administrative ”on how the funding for student bonuses is allocated. would have for Northeastern schools.

They wrote to Gavin Williamson again and urged him to reconsider his decision.

Luke Bramhall, Children North-East, said: “The Pupil Bonus is used by schools to provide additional teaching staff, breakfast clubs, additional resources like laptops and tailor-made support for children. their most disadvantaged students.

“During the pandemic, it was used by schools in the North East to provide direct support to families in difficulty.

‘It is difficult to understand how the removal of almost £ 8million from this funding for schools in our region, which has seen some of the worst learning losses in the wake of Covid-19, matches the commitment of better rebuild after the pandemic. ”

The new data also highlights the significant economic impact of Covid-19 on families in the northeast, with nearly 16,000 more students in the region becoming eligible for the WSF between January 2020 and January 2021.

This means that nearly 109,000 children and youth in the North East are now eligible to receive this support, 27.5% of all students, up from 23.5% before the pandemic, the highest rate in the country, and the highest joint increase of anywhere in England.

North East Schools Director Chris Zarraga said: “The North East is seeing a significant increase in Covid-related poverty, including in schools not located in areas of high deprivation, underscored by the increase the number of students eligible for the school bonus.

“School budgets are already suffering due to the continued outbound costs of Covid security measures, and the decision to use October 2020 census data will have a serious negative impact on our students who have already experienced significant disruption during the course. of the last year.

“Any short-term savings from the October census will be more than offset by the longer-term economic losses to the region from not properly helping our students ‘recover’. ”

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said bonus funding for pupils is expected to increase to more than £ 2.5 billion this year and the per pupil rates remain unchanged.

The spokesperson said: “A typical school will see an increase in its student bonus allocations this year compared to last year. Any student who becomes eligible after the October census will receive funding the following year.

“We are delivering a £ 14bn increase in school funding over three years, the biggest increase in a decade, and school leaders can target our ambitious stimulus funding, totaling £ 3bn. pounds sterling, to further support disadvantaged students in their success. ”

Bronx murder rate highest in city, NYPD data shows


The Bronx has New York City’s highest homicide rate in 2021, with nearly the highest number of shootings of any borough, at a time when authorities struggle to cope with an alarming spike in violence, according to NYPD data analyzed by Newsday.

Although 2021 isn’t even half over, the Bronx, with a population of around 1.41 million, has a murder rate of 4.31 per 100,000, compared to a rate of 2.44 in city-wide, based on 2019 Census Bureau population estimates.

The lowest rate is found in Staten Island, where six homicides translate to a rate of 1.26 for its population of 476,000.

Meanwhile, through June 20, shootings in the Bronx totaled 222 or nearly 90 percent more than in 2020. Only Brooklyn, with an estimated population of 2.56 million, has more with it. 232 shootings, an increase of just over 32.5% from 2020, according to police data. .

“The violence of the crews is the source of the shooting in the city in terms of mobile,” Chief Michael LiPetri, head of NYPD crime control strategies, told Newsday on Tuesday. “You go to the Bronx, it’s even more concentrated than in other parts of the city.”

“We just saw some very stubborn areas in and around the southern Bronx that really got in because of crew violence,” LiPetri said. “Six of the best [10] City-wide shooting controls are in the Bronx. “

“One of the most alarming statistics that has happened in the Bronx this year: 82% of your murder victims were shot this year, 82%,” LiPetri pointed out. “Last year it was 44%. The city average is generally around 55%. Guns are so prevalent in the city right now, but especially in the Bronx, it’s so alarming. . ”

This sense of alarm was underscored last week with a frightening video posted by cops that showed a cheeky assailant shooting a man on a sidewalk on Sheridan Avenue as two children, aged 10 and five, rushed off and curled up. The children are unharmed but traumatized, police said. The shooting victim has been hospitalized and the cops are looking for someone of interest.

In the Bronx, defendants arrested with guns are not being held in jail, LiPetri said. He said the Bronx was well below the city average for bail bonds for firearm arrests, adding that the borough was also above the city average for gun suspects. to fire released on their own commitment.

“So there is no liability,” LiPetri said for carrying guns in the Bronx. Gang members see it and are emboldened, he added.

Patrice O’Shaughnessy, spokesperson for Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, said the office is seeking bail in almost all gun cases. But often the defendants post the amount set by the court and a number are released without bail, she said.

NYPD tactics in dealing with shootings in the city include putting police on patrol as well as moving other officers from administrative offices and other constituencies to troubled areas. The strategy appears to reduce shootings in parts of Brooklyn like East New York, but not in the Bronx, where LiPetri said a backlog of gun cases opened in court was “of great concern.”