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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Federal officials this week warned police around the country that drones are posing an ever-growing threat to safety and security.Citing the Aug. 4 attack during an appearance of Venezuela’s president, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center issued an intelligence bulletin with the starkest of warnings: “An attack could be conducted by one person or several people using a commercially available, off-the-shelf (drone) to target venues which attract large crowds, such as sporting facilities, concerts, and transportation terminals, or public figures.”The bulletin, dated Aug. 13 and obtained by ABC News, went on to say “details on building or modifying (drones) by terrorists as a means to deliver a weapon, are available on the internet and online forums, making it feasible for a person with sufficient technical experience or motivation to conduct an attack.”Unmanned, high-tech flying machines have been proliferating throughout the United States in recent years. The feds noted that in 2017 there were 3,000 reports of drones flying over or near critical sites in the U.S. That number is expected to grow as technology improves while costs continue to come down.The bulletin says that ISIS has already started using drones in Iraq and Syria – both for surveillance and to commit attacks.“Commercially available (drones) may be used by threat actors to deliver hazardous payloads, including explosives, chemicals, or biological or radiological agents, to conduct an attack, and recent (drone) employment tactics could expand options for potential attackers to conduct precise,” according to the bulletin.The threat from drones was driven home on international TV early this month when low-flying devices exploded over a military ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, just as President Nicolas Maduro was speaking.Following the attack, U.S. officials went public with their own concerns about drones.“The danger from weaponized drones is real,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted the day after the Maduro attack. “It is time for Congress to give (DHS) the authority to counter this rapidly evolving threat.”Security expert Steve Gomez, the retired chief of counterterrorism at the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said American officials have been slow to recognize this new threat.“Even though we haven’t seen terrorists in the U.S. utilizing this method for attack, this has been seen outside the country,” said Gomez, an ABC News contributor. “Law enforcement has to be proactive. This is just one more example of terrorists identifying a new technology and this technology is going to be getting better.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
380 Southern Baptist church officials and volunteers faced abuse allegations, explosive report states
Darwin Brandis/iStock(HOUSTON) — An extensive newspaper investigation has revealed the seeming breadth and ubiquity of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist church community, and details allegations of how church officials failed to take action for years.The investigation spanned 20 states, and involves numerous churches, which in the Southern Baptist faith generally operate with autonomy.The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News published a six month investigation into allegations of widespread sex abuse, reporting that 380 church leaders and volunteers faced allegations of sexual misconduct.The investigation was a joint effort between the two newspapers — both of which published the same, explosive report in their respective publications on Sunday.Of the 380 individuals who have faced or are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, about 220 have either been convicted or accepted plea deals in connection to their misconduct, and dozens of pending cases remain unresolved, according to the investigation.An unspecified number of those individuals still work in Southern Baptist churches, the newspapers reported, while nearly 100 are in prison, and others faced no time in jail.The offenses include rape, sexual assault and pornography, the paper reports. Some of the abuse took place in pastors’ studies or in choral or Sunday school classrooms, the investigation found.The current president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), J.D. Greear, turned to Twitter to respond to the “pure evil” described in the investigation’s conclusions.The SBC is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., as well as the nation’s second largest Christian denomination, behind the Catholic Church. The SBC counts more than 50,000 churches and more than 15 million members among its congregation.“The voices in this article should be heard as a warning sent from God, calling the church to repent,” Greear wrote in a Twitter thread on Sunday after the investigative reports were published.“As Christians, we are called to expose everything sinful to the light. The survivors in this article have done that — at a personal cost few of us can fathom.”“We — leaders in the SBC — should have listened to the warnings of those who tried to call attention to this,” he continued in the Twitter thread. “I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure we never make these mistakes again.”Greear went on to note that “it’s time for pervasive change.”“As a denomination, now is a time to mourn and repent,” Greear continued in the social media plea to his fellow Southern Baptists. “Changes are coming. They must. We cannot just promise to ‘do better’ and expect that to be enough. But today, change begins with feeling the full weight of the problem.”Reports of SBC leaders either downplaying or ignoring earlier reports of abuse in numerous cases were included in the newspaper report.The cases uncovered in the investigation span the past two decades, and one case from 2007 involved communication with SBC leaders and a set of proposed reforms that were rejected. The Houston Chronicle notes that the current interim president of the SBC’s executive committee August “Augie” Boto was involved in the creation of the rejection of the reforms in 2008, and they included quotes from an email he sent to a victim around that time.“There is no question that some Southern Baptist ministers have done criminal things, including sexual abuse of children,” Boto wrote in a 2007 email, the newspaper reports.“It is a sad and tragic truth. Hopefully, the harm emanating from such occurrences will cause the local churches to be more aggressively vigilant,” the 2007 email read, according to the investigation.The investigation comes amid numerous ongoing investigations into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in at least 16 states. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.,Darwin Brandis/iStock(HOUSTON) — An extensive newspaper investigation has revealed the seeming breadth and ubiquity of sexual abuse within the Southern Baptist church community, and details allegations of how church officials failed to take action for years.The investigation spanned 20 states, and involves numerous churches, which in the Southern Baptist faith generally operate with autonomy.The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News published a six month investigation into allegations of widespread sex abuse, reporting that 380 church leaders and volunteers faced allegations of sexual misconduct.The investigation was a joint effort between the two newspapers — both of which published the same, explosive report in their respective publications on Sunday.Of the 380 individuals who have faced or are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, about 220 have either been convicted or accepted plea deals in connection to their misconduct, and dozens of pending cases remain unresolved, according to the investigation.An unspecified number of those individuals still work in Southern Baptist churches, the newspapers reported, while nearly 100 are in prison, and others faced no time in jail.The offenses include rape, sexual assault and pornography, the paper reports. Some of the abuse took place in pastors’ studies or in choral or Sunday school classrooms, the investigation found.The current president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), J.D. Greear, turned to Twitter to respond to the “pure evil” described in the investigation’s conclusions.The SBC is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., as well as the nation’s second largest Christian denomination, behind the Catholic Church. The SBC counts more than 50,000 churches and more than 15 million members among its congregation.“The voices in this article should be heard as a warning sent from God, calling the church to repent,” Greear wrote in a Twitter thread on Sunday after the investigative reports were published.“As Christians, we are called to expose everything sinful to the light. The survivors in this article have done that — at a personal cost few of us can fathom.”“We — leaders in the SBC — should have listened to the warnings of those who tried to call attention to this,” he continued in the Twitter thread. “I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure we never make these mistakes again.”Greear went on to note that “it’s time for pervasive change.”“As a denomination, now is a time to mourn and repent,” Greear continued in the social media plea to his fellow Southern Baptists. “Changes are coming. They must. We cannot just promise to ‘do better’ and expect that to be enough. But today, change begins with feeling the full weight of the problem.”Reports of SBC leaders either downplaying or ignoring earlier reports of abuse in numerous cases were included in the newspaper report.The cases uncovered in the investigation span the past two decades, and one case from 2007 involved communication with SBC leaders and a set of proposed reforms that were rejected. The Houston Chronicle notes that the current interim president of the SBC’s executive committee August “Augie” Boto was involved in the creation of the rejection of the reforms in 2008, and they included quotes from an email he sent to a victim around that time.“There is no question that some Southern Baptist ministers have done criminal things, including sexual abuse of children,” Boto wrote in a 2007 email, the newspaper reports.“It is a sad and tragic truth. Hopefully, the harm emanating from such occurrences will cause the local churches to be more aggressively vigilant,” the 2007 email read, according to the investigation.The investigation comes amid numerous ongoing investigations into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in at least 16 states. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink (iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)New York City real estate avoided some of the deepest cuts seen during a year of record job losses across most industries.Despite challenges like a temporary ban on in-person property showings and the spring shutdown’s outsized damage to retail and hospitality, the city’s real estate job cuts were mild compared to its broader workforce.Across the five boroughs, jobs in the real estate sector fell 6.7 percent last year to 136,000 positions, according to state Department of Labor figures. That amounted to 9,100 fewer jobs industry-wide than in 2019.Though bruising, those job losses amounted to roughly half the 13.5 percent drop the city recorded across all sectors during that time.The number of licensed brokers at the city’s four largest commercial real estate service firms — CBRE, JLL, Newmark and Cushman & Wakefield — fell about 8 percent in 2020, a review of state licensing records shows.ADVERTISEMENT“The labor market for commercial real estate professionals has been very resilient,” said Sam Chandan, dean of New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. “There are some sectors that have been impacted more significantly than others. That being said, there’s an expectation of recovery and growth in some subsets.”On the residential side, close to 4,000 brokers across the five boroughs terminated their licenses between January and December 2020. That amounted to a 9 percent drop from the 63,800 over the previous year, according to recent figures from Corofy, a data firm that tracks broker activity.The Covid economy is going through what experts have deemed a K-shaped recovery, where workers in sectors hit hardest by shutdowns like retail and the service industry struggle the most, while white-collar jobs that can largely be performed while working from home are doing well.And while real estate overall largely sits in the upward arm of that K, some segments of the industry performed far better than others. Layoffs at firms last year aligned closely with areas that were slammed by shutdowns.‘Trimming of the fat’Jobs that focused on areas like leasing retail space or selling multifamily properties were squeezed in a year when transaction volumes were way off. But those in segments such as asset management that were focused on preserving value, or in areas that remained buoyant like the industrial sector, were safer.“I think what we experienced at the beginning of Covid were two things: You had a trimming of the fat and the ability for companies to take that time and be introspective,” said Lisa Flicker, a partner at the real estate-focused executive search firm Rhodes Associates. “Some companies cut excess weight, and some went deeper.”“There’s an expectation of recovery and growth in some subsets,”Sam Chandan, NYU Schack InstituteBig investment firms made cuts, such as Vornado Realty Trust, which laid off about 70 people. Some businesses like hotels were able to get by for a while on Paycheck Protection Program loans, though for many the money was a short-term fix that only delayed eventual layoffs.The city’s big commercial real estate service firms like CBRE and JLL went through several rounds of layoffs and cost-cutting last year. Those two companies, along with Newmark and Cushman had a combined 1,274 brokers licensed at the end of the year, down from 1,386 at the last day of 2019, according to TRD.Not all of the job losses, however, could be laid directly at the feet of the pandemic.Parts of the industry like retail leasing and multifamily sales had been struggling prior to 2020. Brokers in those fields struggled more than their counterparts who work in areas like office leasing — which had a record year for activity in 2019 — or debt brokers, whose business has been on rocket fuel over the last decade with interest rates at or near zero percent.In fact, brokers whose business normally focuses on selling properties transitioned to taking on more work selling debt in 2020, as selling loans proved to be resilient business. Some brokers also started doing deals outside New York where the pandemic’s impact was less severe.Newmark sales broker Brett Siegel and his partner Evan Layne have recently worked on a few recapitalization and debt deals with their firm’s debt team, which is led by Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub.As the market thaws,“the lines between debt and equity will become blurred” for their clients, Siegel said.Rhodes Associates partner Neda Levy said that since the beginning of 2021, she’s seen an uptick in hiring from companies that want to be able to act when deals bounce back.“What I keep hearing is, we want to be able to look at everything that hits the market in our asset classes,” she said.Contact Rich Bockmann Message* Tags Email Address* Full Name* Commercial Real EstateCoronavirus
Joining the big Brexit debate, estate agents across the UK are commenting that the EU Referendum is causing havoc in the property market.Paul Smith, CEO of haart (left), said, “The EU referendum is causing high levels of short-term uncertainty, making both buyers and sellers nervous, resulting in a fall in activity. New buyer demand for example, declined 5 per cent on the month in May across the UK and 6 per cent in London. This is in turn leading to a slowdown in house price growth.“Whether we remain in the EU or not, the UK, particularly London will not falter as a safe haven for investment. It is the uncertainty around our status in the EU that is causing the market to stagnate, once we know the outcome, regardless of what it is, the property market will become reinvigorated. In the long term, house prices will bounce back once more as the age-old problem of a disparity between the amount of stock available and the number of buyers competing, rears its head.”Meanwhile Richard Barber (right), Director at W.A.Ellis, said, “Transaction levels within Prime Central London, which have halved since March, according to LonRes; only 110 houses have sold within SW1, SW3, SW7, SW10, W8, and W14, which is indicative not just of the hesitancy surrounding the EU Referendum, but the huge increase in the cost of moving at the upper end of the market.“Various apocalyptic visions of what may or may not happen if we leave the EU on June 23rd have continued to confound the electorate over the last two months. As a result, it would appear that buying a new property has been put on hold by the majority of potential purchasers until the future of the UK is determined”Adrian Gill (left), director of Your Move and Reeds Rains added, “The housing market is holding its breath ahead of the EU referendum and after a rapid sprint at the start of the year. This 0.4 per cent dip in average house prices in England & Wales since April will be a welcome respite for those hoping to get their first foot on the ladder. The stamp duty surcharge and the Government’s anti-landlord policies are weighing down the market, but the main factor is short-term confidence ahead of the 23rd June referendum.”Stephen Matthews, Director, Greene & Co. said, “Buyers and sellers are choosing to wait for the result rather than acting now and as a result we’ve seen a slowdown in activity levels over the last few weeks. It’s important to note however that despite speculation, we see this merely as being a delay to the market; as with all elections and referendums, the property market experiences a slight dip and normally recovers relatively quickly once the results are known. It is important to remember that the property market is often driven by need – families need to move because of schools, jobs and changing circumstances and those factors will always override economic uncertainty. In the case of a Brexit, it may take a little longer for the uncertainty to die away as we wait for the renegotiations with Brussels to take place but in the long term the UK property will return to its position and a bastion of strength.”Paul Smith Adrian Gill property market Richard Barber Brexit Stephen Matthews EU Referendum 2016-06-16The Negotiator Related articles City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 First-time buyers, not Stamp Duty, now driving market says leading agency29th April 2021 Lettings market booms as millions seek new homes after lockdown29th April 2021What’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Home » News » Housing Market » Brexit jitters Brexit jitters16th June 20160645 Views
Nottingham estate agent FHP Living is marketing Riverside, a development of 81 exclusive waterfront apartments and penthouses, for the Yorkshire developer KMRE Group.The 1.5 acre site on the banks of the River Trent in Nottingham is part of KMRE’s ambitious plans to expand its portfolio across the Midlands. KMRE has appointed Hollycroft Construction to start building in the summer on the former Park Yacht Club site.Kam Mogul, Managing Director, KMRE, said, “As a Leeds based developer we have a strong desire to deliver renowned schemes into the city we know and love – and our expertise has brought success. We have many years’ experience of delivering great apartments and housing and we are keen to show the people of Nottingham the kind of homes of exceptional quality we have in store.”FHP Property Consultants acted on behalf of the vendor. Steve Parker of FHP’s residential arm FHP Living said, “We are delighted to welcome KMRE to Nottingham and the Midlands. The prestigious properties will be welcomed by local people looking to buy well-appointed homes close to the city and also the desirable area of West Bridgford and Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.”Nottingham riverside development FHP Living waterfront apartments 2018-06-06The Negotiator Related articles Calls for ‘green belt’ to be explained to public29th April 2021 Young entrepreneur launches UK’s first ‘modern’ land buying and selling portal15th April 2021 Retail and pub re-openings sparked newbuild sales homes surge yesterday13th April 2021What’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Home » News » Land & New Homes » Developer ‘sets sail’ with £25m site on the River Trent Developer ‘sets sail’ with £25m site on the River Trent6th June 20180480 Views
Home » News » Chancellor: Here’s how I will support business as Covid drags on previous nextRegulation & LawChancellor: Here’s how I will support business as Covid drags onEstate agencies and other industry businesses will have longer to repay CBILS loans and more financial help to retain staff.Nigel Lewis24th September 202003,971 Views Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new package of business support measures to boost the economy when the furlough scheme ends in October.His new job support scheme – launching on 1st November for six months – aims to keep employees in work on shorter hours rather than making them redundant; employees need to work at least one-third of their normal hours and for those hours not worked, the Government and their employer will each pay one-third of their wages, so that they’ll get at least 77% of their pay.The Treasury has said that the grant will be capped at £697.92 per month.All small and medium firms will be eligible, even if they haven’t used the furlough scheme, while larger ones can apply, but only if their turnover has fallen due to Covid.Launching his winter economy plan, Sunak said: “We’re now nurturing recovery of the economy – the rationale must be different to what has come before. It’s fundamentally wrong to hold people in jobs that exist just in furlough – people need to be in viable jobs.”CashflowIn his statement in the Commons, he also announced a boost for businesses struggling with cashflow to give them more time and flexibility with bounce back loans under a ‘pay as you grow’ scheme; loans can be extended from six to 10 years, nearly halving the average monthly repayments. Borrowers can make interest-free payments if needed or suspend payments for up to six months.It covers CBILS (bigger loans) as well as Bounceback (up to £50k) loans and also the deadline to apply on both schemes is extended to the end of the year.Sunak cut businesses some slack with their VAT tax bills too, allowing them to spread payments over 11 smaller payments with no interest to pay, while those filing self-employed income tax assessments can now extend their bill over 12 months from next January.He also cancelled the planned increase in VAT for the hospitality and tourism sector, extending the 5% rate until 31st March.Asked by Tory MP Peter Aldous if he had any plans for future housing initiatives after the success of the stamp duty cut, as a way to generate business activity, Sunak would not be drawn and also refused to give an assurance that the increase to universal credit announced at the start of the crisis would be made permanent.Read the full HM Treasury statement.Chancellor Rishi Sunak furlough and training September 24, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
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UK exports of cakes and biscuits increased significantly in 2008, according to the latest report by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF). The data, supplied by Leatherhead Food International, showed exports of UK biscuits shot up by 15% to £204 million and cakes weren’t far behind, up 12% to £156.5m. Canada, Australia and The Netherlands were some of the biggest importers of sweet biscuits, with the UK seeing export growth of 36%, 39% and 27% respectively. Exports to Ireland accounted for 57% of all UK cake exports, up 5.8%. However, exports to The Netherlands and France saw some of the strongest EU cake export growth, up by 26% and 35% respectively. Bulgaria and Poland have both significantly increased their imports of bakery, cakes and biscuits, by 302% and 226% (£3.6m) respectively.The FDF said that total exports of food and non-alcoholic drinks “hit record levels”, with an overall increase of 19.6% – to reach a value of £9.2 billion.The popularity of British products in central regions has underpinned the overall growth, with demand strong in the former Eastern Bloc countries, it added. For the full story, see next week’s issue of British Baker – out 19 June.
Trey Anastasio & Christian McBride Join Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino At 100-Cap NYC Club [Full Video/Photos]
Load remaining images On Wednesday night, Jennifer Hartswick and Nick Cassarino brought their duo tour to New York City’s Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2. The longtime collaborative pair never fails to put on memorable performances, but on this night, the duo had something extra special in store for the ~100 lucky people in attendance: a pair of VERY special guests in Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and multiple Grammy-winning bass virtuoso Christian McBride.Cassarino took the stage solo with his nylon-string electric guitar and set the tone for an unforgettable evening. “Ooohh, we got some surprises in store for you tonight! To say the least, which I will…” The Nth Power guitarist/vocalist proceeded to “get the stage warmed up for Jennifer” with a fantastic rendition of Sam Cooke‘s “A Change Is Gonna Come”. Next, he welcomed to the stage “the one, the only, Ms. Jennifer Hartswick”, who echoed Nick’s sentiments, noting that “the night is young” with a knowing smile.The pair got things moving with a rendition of Bobby “Blue” Bland classic “I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)” before moving into the first song Jen and Nick wrote together, “Drowning”, which appears on Hartswick’s recently released album, Nexus. A rendition of Jerry Ragovoy-penned classic “You Don’t Know” followed, Jen and Nick clearly feeding off the energy in the tiny room as they traded vocals and solos.A beautiful reading of John Prine‘s “Angel From Montgomery” was up next followed by a seamless medley of T-Bone Walker‘s “Stormy Monday” and B.B. King‘s “How Blue Can You Get” as Nick and Jen both shined on their respective verses, gleefully pushing each other to dig in further. From there, Hartswick’s jazz-inflected Nexus arrangement of Rihanna smash hit “Stay” kept the crowd hanging on her every word.After a pause to speak about the newly released Nexus, Hartswick welcomed one of her main collaborators on the album to join her and Nick, “one of my favorite musicians and human beings, Mr. Christian McBride.” She gestured to the string bass that had been sitting conspicuously to her right all evening and joked, “if you thought I played the upright bass, you’re wrong” as McBride made his way through the crowd to the stage. “Life is really good, you guys,” she gushed, smiling widely.McBride joined in on Nexus track “Numb”, adding his highly skilled low-end and beaming grin to the subtle, soulful performance. After the song ended and the cheers began to dissipate, Jen stepped to the mic to double down on the evening’s special guests. “As if it wasn’t enough to have one musical hero here,” she said, “I got another one that I’ve been working with for the last twenty years. Y’all, welcome to the stage Trey Anastasio!”With both Christian and Trey in the mix for the remainder of the show, Hartswick moved into the opening track off Nexus, “You Can’t Take It Back”, followed by her “favorite track” from the album, “Silent Waves” (featuring some notably “Stash”-like soloing from Trey), and a set-closing rendition of “Drown In My Own Tears”, popularized by Ray Charles. Each of the final three songs saw Anastasio, McBride, and Cassarino listening with intense focus and playing with subtle intent, meshing impressively in the low-volume cabaret-like setting. The looks of respect, enjoyment, and excitement on each of their faces were contagious, as the musicians onstage visibly took as much amazement from the collaboration as the crowd looking on.On a Wednesday night in October at one of the smallest venues in New York City, four of the most talented musicians in the business put on a performance for the ages. For those lucky enough to make it inside—whether on or off the stage—it was a night that they’ll surely never forget. For those not lucky enough to be there (a.k.a. just about everybody), you can watch a full-set video of the performance below, as well as a front row video of the show-closing “Drown In My Own Tears”.Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino Duo w/ Christian McBride, Trey Anastasio – Full Show VideoJennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino w/ Christian McBride, Trey Anastasio – “Drown In My Own Tears” [Video: marc millman]Setlist: Jennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino Duo | Rockwood Music Hall | New York, NY | 10/10/18Set: A Change Is Gonna Come*, I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me), Drowning, You Don’t Know Nothing, Angel From Montgomery, Stormy Monday > How Blue Can You Get, Stay, Numb^, You Can’t Take It Back^#, Silent Waves^#, Drown in My Tears^#*Nick Cassarino solo^w/ Christian McBride#w/ Trey AnastasioJennifer Hartswick & Nick Cassarino Duo w/ Trey Anastasio, Christian McBride | Rockwood Music Hall | New York, NY | 10/10/18 | Photos: Andrew O’Brien
BOSTON — A Massachusetts congressman who has received both doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has tested positive for the virus.,The office of U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch said Friday that the lawmaker had had a negative test result before attending President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The office says Lynch’s positive test result came after a staff member in his Boston office tested positive earlier this week.,A statement says Lynch isn’t displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. Lynch will self-quarantine and vote by proxy in Congress in the coming week.,Lynch is the second member of the state’s congressional delegation to test positive in as many days. On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan announced she had tested positive after repeatedly testing negative.,___,THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:,Dr. Fauci sees vaccination for kids by late spring or the summer. Johnson & Johnson 1-dose shot appears to prevents virus, but less than some others. WHO team visits Wuhan hospital that had early coronavirus patients. Dubai blamed by several countries for spreading the coronavirus abroad after the city welcomed New Year’s revelers. Philadelphia’s problematic vaccine rollout raises larger questions.,___,Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak,___,HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:,PHOENIX — Arizona has surpassed 13,000 deaths related to COVID-19, just a week after rising above the 12,000 mark.,The Department of Health Services on Friday reported 203 additional deaths. The state also reported 5,028 additional confirmed coronavirus cases, increasing the state’s totals to 748,260 cases and 13,022 deaths.,COVID-19 related hospitalizations and the state’s seven-day rolling averages of new known daily cases and daily deaths have slowed recently. But hospital officials this week urged Arizonans against becoming complacent about mask wearing and social distancing.,___,FORT LAUNDERDALE, Fla. — The predominantly Black farming communities on the shore of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee will get a coronavirus vaccine station.,That announcement Friday came after a public outcry over a decision to give the Publix supermarket chain sole local distribution rights, a move that left lower-income families isolated and facing drives of 25 miles to reach the nearest store.,State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz told The Associated Press the state will set up a vaccine station in Belle Glade to serve it and its neighboring towns of Pahokee and South Bay. The station will get 5,000 doses, which is about how many people 65 and older live in the area.,___,RALEIGH, N.C. — Most North Carolina prisoners can get five days knocked off their sentences if they receive coronavirus vaccinations.,State prison officials said Friday that the package of incentives such as extra visitations and a free 10-minute phone call is aimed at motivating inmates to obtain the two necessary doses.,Commissioner of Prisons Todd Ishee says about 21,000 of the 29,000 offenders behind bars are eligible for sentence reductions. Those who aren’t would receive $5 prison canteen credits for undergoing vaccination.,Vaccinations are voluntary for prisoners and staff. Officials say 850 inmates have received their first dose so far and about 2,800 prison workers have done so.,About 530 prisoners have active COVID-19 cases, and eight are hospitalized. Forty-two prisoners have suffered COVID-related deaths.,___,SEATTLE – The schools chief in Washington state is pushing for teachers to get vaccinated for the coronavirus when it’s their turn but also insisting they get back to classrooms immediately, shot or not.,“The bottom line is a vaccine is a tremendous safety net but it is never the thing that is going to create the perfect scenario,” said Chris Reykdal, the state’s superintendent of public instruction.,Reykdal on Friday announced a partnership with Kaiser Permanente to offer vaccinations to the state’s 143,000 public school employees and 12,000 private school employees.,The health care company and medical provider is pledging to open its doors to all educators and school employees in the state when they become individually eligible under the state’s vaccine rollout.,Currently, that includes people who are at least 65 — or 50 and older in a multigenerational household.,The latest announcement is in line with Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision not to put teachers ahead of the general population as an entire workforce category.,___,DENVER — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis says the state will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people ages 65 to 69 and school personnel on Feb. 8.,The announcement came Friday as the state updated its distribution plan to include these groups in “Phase 1b 2.” In addition to preschool through 12th grade teachers, childcare providers, bus drivers, safety workers and paraprofessionals will be eligible to receive the vaccine.,State officials say there are 408,000 people in this group, and the goal is to vaccinate 55% of them by March 5.,Adults 65 to 69 can schedule appointments through providers, and educators will get vaccines through their employers.,___,PRAGUE — The Czech Republic is banning foreigners from entering the country for non-essential reasons in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic.,The Foreign Ministry says the ban, which becomes effective on Saturday, applies for all countries.,The exceptions to the ban includes those who work or study in the country. Trips to the country to visit relatives and nursing homes, receive medical care and attend weddings and funerals also are allowed.,The ban is part of a series of new restrictive measures that are tightening the country’s lockdown. They have been approved with a goal to further limit people’s contacts and movement.,Earlier in January, the day-to-day increase in coronavirus cases in the country was gradually declining since hitting a record high of nearly of nearly 18,000 on Jan 6. But the numbers didn’t drop enough and started to rise again this week.,The government is also worried about the potential impact of the more contagious British variant on the health system, which has been under serious pressure for months.,___,PARIS — France is closing its borders to people arriving from outside the European Union starting Sunday to try to stop the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.,French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced the measure Friday night after an emergency government health security meeting at the presidential palace, warning of a “great risk” from the new variants.,All those arriving from other EU countries will be required to produce a negative virus test, he says. France will close all large shopping centers starting Sunday and limit travel to and from its overseas territories.,Castex ordered stepped up police checks of those who violate France’s 12-hour-a-day curfew, hold secret parties or reopen restaurants in defiance of a closure order in place since October.,Virus infections, hospitalizations and deaths have been rising steadily but not sharply in recent weeks. Many doctors have been urging a new nationwide shutdown like those imposed in several other European countries.,Castex says the measures are an attempt to avoid the economic cost of a third lockdown. Currently, more than 60% of intensive care beds are occupied by coronavirus patients. France has reported more than 75,000 deaths, seventh highest in the world.,___,JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi residents scrambled to book appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations after Republican Gov. Tate Reeves announced Friday that 15,000 new openings were available for the first of two doses.,“I’m sure they will be booked quickly!” Reeves wrote on Twitter. “Stay safe and God bless!”,In just over two hours, all of the appointments were filled.,Laurie Bertram Roberts, who splits time between her home in Jackson and a job in Alabama, told The Associated Press she and one of her daughters went online Friday and booked vaccination appointments for themselves and six other family members.,Roberts said they managed to get appointments for five people in Jackson, where they live. But, they had to book one appointment in Vicksburg, which is about an hour’s drive one way, and two in Natchez, which is about a two-hour drive in one direction.,Coronavirus vaccinations in Mississippi are currently available for people 65 and older, health care workers and those who are at least 16 and have health conditions that might make them more vulnerable to the virus.,Inoculations are being done at hospitals, community health centers, private clinics and at 19 state-run drive-thru sites.,___,SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law that extends eviction protections through the end of June.,Newsom signed the law on Friday, one day after it was approved by the state Legislature.,Last year, Newsom signed a law that banned evictions for unpaid rent for tenants who paid at least 25% of their rent owed after Sept. 1. The law Newsom signed Friday extends those protections through June 30.,The law will also use federal stimulus dollars to pay off 80% of some tenants’ unpaid rent, but only if landlords agree to forgive the remaining 20%.,People who earn more than 80% of the area median income are not eligible for the money.,___,ALBANY, N.Y. — New York City restaurants can reopen for indoor dining at a quarter of capacity by Valentine’s Day, and big weddings can return statewide in March if infection rates continue to drop.,Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcements are part of a gradual loosening of economic restrictions in New York state as a post-holiday bump in infections slows down. Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped by 916 since Jan. 19 to 8,357.,Cuomo says the indoor dining ban at city restaurants that went into effect Dec. 14 is on track to be partly lifted on Feb. 14. The 50-person limit on wedding receptions may increase to 150 on March 15, as long as the venue remains at 50% capacity or under.,___,MADISON, Wis. — Democratic Gov. Tony Evers lashed out at rival Republicans who tried to repeal his statewide mask mandate.,Evers says Republicans were trying to throw out one of the only tools he has left to limit the spread of the coronavirus. GOP lawmakers and conservative groups last year convinced the state Supreme Court to kill Evers’ stay-at-home order and the limits he placed on the size of indoor gatherings.,“It is important for people to remember that masks save lives,” the governor said. “It is not about individual liberty, as others would say.” He added people aren’t at liberty to go 100 mph on highways.,Senate Republicans voted Tuesday to end the governor’s health emergency declaration, which would kill the mask mandate. Assembly Republicans were expected to follow suit Thursday but delayed a vote after learning that ending the emergency declaration would cost the state $49 million in federal food assistance.,___,ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey says it has detected the possibly more infectious coronavirus variant first found in southeast England.,Health Minister Fahrettin Koca says on Twitter that 128 people have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus variant in 17 cities across the country.,“We have to be vigilant about the threat of mutations,” tweeted Koca, adding that new mutations could pose a threat to the country’s vaccination drive.,The country has reported 2.4 million coronavirus cases and nearly 26,000 confirmed deaths.,___,ALGIERS, Algeria — Algeria received its first coronavirus vaccines Friday, a shipment of Russia’s Sputnik V, according to the health minister.,Minister Amar Belhimeur didn’t indicate how many arrived, although the government has said it had ordered a first batch of 500,000 doses. The government also is negotiating acquisition of the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the communications minister.,Algeria will start vaccinations Saturday at a hospital in the town of Blida, where the first cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in March.,The campaign will start with health care workers, the elderly and other vulnerable populations.,Algeria has registered more than 106,000 coronavirus cases and 2,881 confirmed deaths.,___,WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says the emergence and increasing spread of coronavirus mutations means vaccine makers must be ready to make new shots to stay ahead of the public health crisis.,The government’s top infectious disease expert spoke Friday during a White House coronavirus briefing.,“This is a wake-up call to all of us,” says Fauci, noting government scientists will be working to keep pace with virus mutations.,The nature of viruses is to change in ways that promote their spread, Fauci says. The evolution of mutant versions means scientists need to be “nimble” and ready to make tweaks to vaccines. So far, the mutants haven’t overwhelmed the protective power of vaccines.,Fauci says it is important to vaccinate people as quickly as possible to keep new mutations from developing.