Protests in Arizona and Other States Insist Votes Be Counted — or Not.

first_imgIn Minneapolis, hundreds of protesters blocked Interstate 94 and the police made arrests, with demonstrators taking to social media to say that the officers had “kettled,” or trapped them there, to prevent them from dispersing.Protests also cropped up in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and other cities. Some protesters called for all votes to be counted, but in other places their agenda was not entirely clear. Sometimes people on the same side of the election pursued opposing goals. In Detroit, a pro-Trump demonstration called for a halt to vote counting — echoing the president’s unfounded claim that illegally cast ballots were being tallied to flip the race to his opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr.- Advertisement – But in Maricopa County, Ariz., where Mr. Trump trails Mr. Biden, the president’s supporters took the opposite tack. They gathered outside the elections office and chanted, “Count those votes!” PORTLAND, Ore. — Protests arose around the country as the ballot tabulation in the final battleground states continued, with some demonstrators demanding that every vote be counted and others insisting that the counting be shut down.In Portland, where a “Count Every Vote” demonstration merged with another one focused on racial justice and police brutality, some people broke away from the group and smashed storefront windows in the downtown area. The police labeled the incidents a riot and swarmed in.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Investors bet healthcare stocks will be among the big election winners from a divided government

first_imgUnitedHealth Group signage is displayed on a monitor on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images – Advertisement – (This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only.)Healthcare stocks are emerging as some of the biggest market winners post-election as the possibility of a divided government transpires.The likelihood of a Democratic president and Republican Senate could keep the healthcare industry safe from shakeup that would otherwise happen with a progressive agenda.- Advertisement – “The Health Care sector is less threatened by major changes to current structure,” Citigroup chief U.S. equity strategist Tobias Levkovich told clients. “The lower possibility of rising regulatory zeal and unwelcome legislation plus pre-election positioning leaves Managed Care and Hospital stocks in better shape.”Shares of UnitedHealth Group are up more than 17% since Monday and Merck & Co. and Abbott Laboratories have rallied 9% and 8%, respectively, this week. Cigna, which reported better-than-expected earnings on Thursday, is up 30% since Monday, on pace for its best week since November 2008. – Advertisement –last_img read more

How Democrats Missed Trump’s Appeal to Latino Voters

first_imgFellow Democrats complained about the Biden campaign’s sluggish Latino outreach for months, though the campaign eventually spent a record $20 million on Spanish-language television and radio advertising, more than double the Trump campaign’s $9 million, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm. And both campaigns tried to target voters based on regional and national origin — there were advertisements featuring Cuban, Puerto Rican and Mexican accents.Indeed, the regional differences illustrate both political shifts and the way Latinos see themselves. In Arizona, for example, a historically Republican state shifted because of young Latinos who were politically activated by Senate Bill 1070, a 2010 state measure that was known as the “show me your papers” law and that critics called legalized racial profiling.- Advertisement – Yet one lesson of Arizona — that political identity is often built in the face of persecution — did not bear out in Texas, where over a year ago a gunman killed 22 people in El Paso, the largest anti-Latino attack in modern American history, after the authorities said he wrote a manifesto that echoed much of the president’s language.Texas didn’t even come close to flipping to the Democrats this year. Roughly 25 to 30 percent of Latino voters nationally have chosen Republican candidates for decades, but many Democrats said they were particularly alarmed by the loss of support in the Rio Grande Valley, where Mr. Biden won some border counties by significantly smaller margins than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. “People pretty much tend to attack us,” Alma Aguilar said at a small Black Lives Matter demonstration in the Phoenix suburbs this summer. “We are not treated the same way as white people.”Even as votes were still being counted, many Democrats credited young Latinas such as Ms. Aguilar for their success in the state. Local activists noted that while the Democrats celebrated, organizing voters began long before the national party invested in the state.“We did this,” said Alejandra Gomez, the co-executive director of Lucha, a voter engagement group that was established in response to anti-immigration state policies a decade ago. “We organized when nobody else was paying attention. It’s weird to say, but without that, I am not sure we would have flipped the state.”- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Eddie Jones: England coach says Ireland is their most important game of the year | Rugby Union News

first_imgEngland head coach Eddie Jones says Ireland will come to Twickenham with plenty of swagger after beating Wales Eddie Jones has described England’s Autumn Nations Cup game against Ireland as their most important game of the year.Both teams recorded big wins in their opening fixtures, Ireland beating Wales 32-9 in Dublin on Friday night before England whitewashed Georgia 40-0 at Twickenham.“We realise the Ireland game is going to be the most important game of the year,” said Jones, whose side have been comprehensive winners in their last three matches against Ireland, including a 24-12 victory at Twickenham during this year’s Six Nations.“We’ll go away and have a good preparation. Ireland will be cock‑a‑hoop after their big win against Wales so they’ll come with plenty of confidence and swagger.” – Advertisement – – Advertisement – England beat Georgia 40-0 in Autumn Nations Cup opener to register fifth successive win; Eddie Jones’ side face Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday; Jones: “Ireland will be cock‑a‑hoop after their big win against Wales so they’ll come with plenty of confidence and swagger” Last Updated: 15/11/20 11:28am England head coach Eddie Jones says Ireland will come to Twickenham with plenty of swagger after beating Wales 0:43 Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton will have a scan to discover the extent of his injury suffered against Wales, but is hopeful he will be fit to face England “We know already that that won’t be good enough at Twickenham but we’ve got to be realistic, we took a step forward,” said Murray.“There’s a good feeling in the dressing room, especially that we left a little bit out there and we can make that extra improvement that we will need to do to play at Twickenham and to get a result.“We know we’ve great potential in this team and I think everyone is searching to reach that, which is exciting.”center_img Jamie George bagged three tries against Georgia Jamie George bagged three tries against Georgia

Facebook Banned in Solomon Islands Following Government Criticism on Platform: Report

first_img– Advertisement – The Solomon Islands has banned the use of Facebook for a temporary period after inflammatory critique of the government was aired on the social media platform, the Solomon Times reported.The government, led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, earlier told Reuters it would issue a formal statement on its decision later on Tuesday. Solomon Times reported today morning that the Cabinet has agreed to ban Facebook.- Advertisement – Facebook is a hugely popular forum in the Solomons for discussion with the population of around 6,50,000 people spread out over a sprawling archipelago.Solomon’s Minister of Communication and Aviation, Peter Shanel Agovaka, is one of the chief supporters of the ban, according to the Solomon Times, and has blamed “abusive language” and “character assassination” of government ministers, including the prime minister, being carried on the platform for the decision.Opposition leader Matthew Wale told Reuters he would oppose the ban.- Advertisement – With the ban, the Solomons joined only a handful of countries around the world, including China, to actively restrict the world’s biggest social networking platform.Facebook did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Tuesday.The government has been heavily criticised over the distribution of economic stimulus funds amid the coronavirus pandemic and the impact of the Pacific nation’s decision to switch diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China.- Advertisement – “I absolutely do not see any justification whatsoever for such a ban,” Wale told Reuters on the phone.© Thomson Reuters 2020Will Apple Silicon Lead to Affordable MacBooks in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.last_img read more

SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule Resilience, Carrying Four Astronauts, Docks With International Space Station

first_imgSunday night’s launch marked SpaceX’s first operational mission for NASA under that program, after a test flight last summer with a crew of two US astronauts.© Thomson Reuters 2020Will Apple Silicon Lead to Affordable MacBooks in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. The space station, an orbital laboratory about 250 miles (400 km) above Earth, will be their home for the next six months. After that, another set of astronauts on a Crew Dragon capsule will replace them. That rotation will continue until Boeing joins the programme with its own spacecraft late next year.The Resilience crew includes Crew Dragon commander Mike Hopkins and two fellow NASA astronauts: mission pilot Victor Glover and physicist Shannon Walker. They are joined by Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, making his third trip to space after previously flying on the US shuttle in 2005 and Soyuz in 2009.crew members spacex falcon 9 reuters crew– Advertisement – Four astronauts riding a newly designed spacecraft from Elon Musk’s SpaceX docked with the International Space Station Monday night, in the first crewed mission on a privately built space capsule purchased by NASA.SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, dubbed Resilience by its crew of three Americans and one Japanese astronaut, docked at 11:01pm EST (9:31am Tuesday IST), 27 hours after launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla.- Advertisement – Another US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts are aboard the space station from a previous mission.“Welcome to the ISS. We can’t wait to have you onboard,” said Kate Rubins, a US astronaut already on the space station.Before receiving its flight certification from NASA last week, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon had been under development for roughly a decade under a public-private NASA program started in 2011 to revive the agency’s human spaceflight capability.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Avian flu crops up again in Thailand

first_imgMay 27, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – An avian influenza outbreak was reported at a research farm in northern Thailand yesterday, less than 2 weeks after government officials expressed confidence that the country was free of the disease.A Thai agricultural official said the outbreak occurred on a Chiang Mai University research farm, according to a report today by the Bangkok Post. The official, Yukol Limlaemthong, said faculty members noticed unusual chicken deaths May 19.The carcasses tested positive for avian flu, the report said. It did not specify whether tests showed the H5N1 virus subtype, which was blamed for the widespread outbreaks in Thailand and seven other Asian countries earlier this year. The outbreaks led to 34 human illness cases with at least 23 deaths.More than 1,000 chickens were destroyed to contain the new outbreak, the Post reported. Yukol said authorities did not order the culling of chickens at neighboring farms because the boundary of the outbreak “could be clearly delineated,” according to the story. The farm is in an isolated area and all movements of poultry there are under the government’s tight control, Yukol said.The story also said a provincial livestock official speculated that the infection could have come from migrating birds. He said chickens within 5 kilometers of the research farm were being tested for the virus.The government had expressed near-certainty that the country was free of avian flu May 14, which marked the end of 21 days of monitoring at the site of the last previous outbreak, according to an Associated Press (AP) report yesterday.The AP report, contradicting the Post story, quoted Yukol as saying the new outbreak was believed to have started May 22.last_img read more

Report faults USDA surveillance for avian flu

first_imgJun 21, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not have adequate measures in place to test for and monitor avian influenza in commercial poultry, an audit by the department’s inspector general said yesterday, according to news services.In the 38-page audit, the inspector general said the USDA relies too much on voluntary testing and reporting from the states and the poultry industry, news agencies said. In addition, according to the audit, testing varies from state to state.The voluntary reporting makes it difficult for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to reach valid conclusions, know the level of surveillance in each state, or track the disease, according to a Reuters report published yesterday.The audit, however, preceded Congress’ approval in December of $91 million in supplemental funding to help the USDA battle avian flu, news services reported. The money was part of funds to prepare for the threat of a flu pandemic associated with the H5N1 avian flu virus now circulating widely in Asia.”Since that time,” APHIS spokeswoman Karen Eggert told Reuters, “we’ve been working to ensure that we’ve been using those funds for the most critical aspects of avian influenza surveillance and emergency preparedness and response.”We’ve reached consensus with [the inspector general] on the items we need to take action on,” she said.As an example of disparities in states’ testing, the inspector general detailed how one state fully tests chickens, turkeys, and eggs, while another tests only flocks covered by a federal-state-industry disease-control program, the Associated Press (AP) reported yesterday.The disparities worry foreign trading partners, according to the audit, as reported by AP. It said that other countries wonder why the United States—the world’s largest producer and exporter of poultry—can’t provide the number of tests by state, advise whether all types of commercial poultry are tested, or say whether backyard flocks are examined.One critic of the federal government’s handling of avian flu surveillance was Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the Senate Agriculture Committee’s senior Democrat, according to the AP story.”The federal government continues to push the responsibility of finding and responding to a possible outbreak of avian influenza on states,” Harkin said.”As a result, USDA does not have a comprehensive plan for surveillance and monitoring of poultry flocks, and states lack adequate federal resources to respond to potential avian influenza outbreaks.”USDA spokeswoman Hallie Pickhardt said the agency “agreed with everything in the report, and we’re either doing it or going to be doing it,” according to a New York Times story today.She added, however, that the USDA has no plans to make voluntary industry testing mandatory, according to the Times.Pickhardt said the USDA is confident in the testing program that poultry producers are implementing. “They’ve been working very closely with us. This is their livelihood, too, and they have no reason not to report the information.”Instead, the agency will augment voluntary testing with its own checks, Pickhardt told the Times.The audit, according to Reuters, said that the USDA created a committee to establish a comprehensive surveillance and tracking system, but the committee did not have a leader for most of 2005. A newly hired staff veterinarian has now been assigned as chair of the committee, Reuters reported.In addition, according to Eggert in the AP story, the inspector general agreed with the agency’s plans for fixing problems identified in the audit.See also:Mar 26, 2004, CIDRAP News story “US likely to increase testing for avian flu”last_img read more

Study finds greater, later role for antivirals in flu patients

first_img Frederick Hayden, MD, an antiviral expert with the World Health Organization, told the CP that the study’s findings on the benefits of later antiviral treatment were compelling. “It’s clear from this experience now that there seems to be a benefit, even with later treatment,” he said. The Toronto-based researchers reviewed medical data from 327 adults who were hospitalized for laboratory-confirmed influenza between January 2005 and May 2006 to explore how antiviral medications influenced the patients’ treatment outcome. The study was funded by a grant from Hoffman-La Roche, the maker of the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), but the authors state the company had no role in designing, conducting, or reporting the study. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies people aged 65 and older among the groups vulnerable to serious complications of influenza. In the United States each year, seasonal influenza is linked to about 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths, according to a Nov 12 press release from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), which publishes CID. The researchers found that antiviral medications reduced the risk of death by 79% (odds ratio, 0.21; 95% confidence interval, 0.06 to 0.80). The treatment did not reduce the length of hospital stay, however. The standard advice about antiviral treatment for flu—based on previous studies involving relatively young, otherwise healthy adults—is that it must begin within 48 hours after onset of symptoms to be effective. But the new findings, published in the early online Dec 15 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID), suggest the virus may behave differently in an older, sicker population, giving antiviral medications a role later in the illness course. Thirty-two percent (106) of the patients were prescribed antiviral drugs; three received amantadine and 103 got oseltamivir. Of the 100 patients for whom more detailed oseltamivir treatment data was available, 71 were treated starting more than 48 hours after their flu symptoms began. The finding that antiviral treatment begun more than 48 hours after symptom onset was beneficial for older patients does not contradict other findings that for otherwise healthy adults the drugs are effective only when given sooner, the researchers write. A robust immune response in healthy patients quickly clears the virus from the body, and late antiviral treatment isn’t helpful. “However, patients with severe immunocompromise may not control viral replication for many days, and little is known about the time course of viral load in older patients at risk of influenza complications,” the authors report. CDC information on seasonal influenzahttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease.htm They conclude that their findings support the use of antiviral medications in hospitalized patients, but McGeer, in the IDSA press release, said the drugs should be prescribed only when patients really need them. “As with antibiotics, there is a risk for selection for antiviral resistance, and it is important to use the medications only where there is a clear benefit,” she said. Anne Moscona, MD, an antiviral expert at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said the CID study findings have the potential to change how physicians manage flu patients, according to a report today by the Canadian Press (CP). “I think this could be a real advance,” Moscona told the CP. CDC information on antiviral treatment for fluhttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/index.htm McGeer A, Green KA, Pleveshi A, et al. Antiviral therapy and outcomes of influenza requiring hospitalization in Ontario, Canada. Clin Infect Dis 2007;45(15 Dec) [Full text] The authors of the CID study say the rates of disease they found varied by medical facility and that the number of lab-confirmed flu cases was lower than what they had expected for the number of hospital admissions and population size. Nov 14, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Adults who are hospitalized with serious seasonal influenza infections are more likely to survive if they receive antiviral medications, and older patients may benefit even if treatment is delayed until more than 48 hours after their first symptoms, according to a new study by Canadian researchers. More physicians should be testing for influenza and prescribing antiviral treatment when they find it in hospital patients, she said in the CP report. McGeere said her team’s findings don’t diminish the importance of flu vaccination. “Considerable morbidity and mortality due to influenza remain. We need—and people are working on—better vaccines,” McGeer said. “Until we get them, we can help people by diagnosing and treating disease.” “Influenza causing hospital admission is more common than most people think,” said the study’s lead author, Allison McGeer, MD, in the IDSA press release. “We will save lives if we recognize and appropriately treat influenza in patients being admitted to the hospital.” Among the study group, 75% (245) of patients had an underlying chronic illness and 71% (216) had received their annual their annual flu vaccine. The median age of the patients was 77 years (range, 15 to 98). Moscona told the CP, “If we test more, we’ll identify more, and people will get more antivirals as opposed to antibiotics.” See also:last_img read more

Study finds live operators are key to disease hotline success

first_imgJan 8, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A RAND Corporation study of how well local health departments handle telephone reports of urgent disease cases found that the best performers had a live person answering calls at all hours.The goal of researchers, who published their findings in the early online February edition of the American Journal of Public Health, was to determine what factors help health departments meet the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) standard for responding to urgent case reports. At the time of the study, the CDC said callers with such reports should be linked to a trained public health professional within 30 minutes.Telephone-based disease surveillance systems (TBDS) at local health departments serve as the first line of defense for identifying public health threats such as foodborne illnesses, and they play a critical role in the event of a bioterrorist or chemical attack or an outbreak of pandemic influenza.The researchers randomly selected health departments to represent various regions of the country and population sizes, though they excluded very small health departments. Of 124 health departments contacted to participate in the study, 74 agreed.Before the researchers made several test calls to the local TBDS systems, they obtained consent from health department directors and asked them not to share details about the project with staff members. The investigators also recorded details about each department’s TBDS system and asked each director to predict how well his or her system would perform. Calls were made both during and after business hours.When making the calls, the researchers recorded information about who answered the call (a person or an automated system), whether the call was immediately transferred to a public health professional or if a callback number was requested, and how long it took to reach a public health professional such as a nurse, epidemiologist, or physician.Health departments were rated as excellent if all calls were connected to a public health professional in 30 minutes or less, the CDC guideline. The department was rated fair if the response time for one or more calls was more than 30 minutes but less than 240, and poor if the response time was longer than 240 minutes or there was no response.Researchers found that 31% of the health departments met the CDC guideline and that reaching a live person on the initial call was the strongest predictor of optimal performance, both for business-hours and after-hours calls. The use of automated systems after hours was linked to poor performance. The average time it took to connect with a public health professional was 63 minutes.David J. Dausey, lead author of the report and an associate policy researcher at RAND Corp., said in a Jan 2 RAND press release that the results shows that local health departments can achieve consistent and timely responses to urgent case reports. “The fact that many departments were unable to respond in a consistent and timely way also demonstrates that there is room for continued improvement,” he said.After wrapping up the sample calls, the investigators interviewed officials at five of the top-performing health departments to determine other factors that contribute to good TBDS system performance. Practice, performance measurement, department leadership, and clear performance expectations were all reported to play a role.When the investigators compared department performance predictions with the study results, they found that 47% of directors overestimated how well their TBDS system would perform, 24% predicted the results accurately, and 13% underestimated how well their system would do.”The poor correlation between health department director expectations of performance and actual performance highlights the need for objective measurement,” the authors concluded.Many health departments believe the CDC’s standard is unrealistic, the authors acknowledged. However, they wrote that even if the standard were raised to 60 minutes, a significant number of health departments in the study would have performed below expectations.Dausey said in the press release that the CDC has shortened its guideline for reaching a trained public health professional by phone to 15 minutes.”These are complex systems, and there are a number of places where the system can break down,” he said, adding that other factors likely to help departments meet federal guidelines include ensuring that telephone operators receive proper training and having formal protocols in place for responding to calls.Dausey DJ, Chandra A, Schaefer AG, et al. Measuring the performance of telephone-based disease surveillance systems in local health departments. Am J Pub Health 2008 Feb;98(2)(early online publication) [Abstract]See also:Jan 2 RAND Corporation press releaselast_img read more