Eck Institute members host webinar to combat COVID-19 myths, misinformation

first_imgThe webinar series will be conversational in tone while also drawing upon the expertise of over 15 specialists in immunology, public health and public policy.“I think that we have a science literacy problem all over the world but [also] in the United States,” McDowell said. “And you know, I would say that’s really a fault of the scientists, in some ways, because we haven’t done a good job of communicating our work and making it accessible.”The two co-hosts want their series to be as accessible and conversational as possible to students and community members. They hope this approach can alleviate fears and increase cooperation with community guidelines set by teams of public health experts. McDowell also encouraged students to contact consider@nd.edu with any questions or myths they want the series to address.Monday night, Consider This! went live for the first time. The two co-hosts began by discussing the current virus statistics in St. Joseph County. They continued on to a segment titled “Rumor Has It,” in which they confronted “herd immunity parties” on college campuses and the dangers they pose to young adults.The episode concluded with a conversation with University Provost Marie Lynn Miranda. Miranda has a background in the field of children’s environmental health and, while provost, teaches in the applied and computational mathematics and statistics department at Notre Dame.The inaugural episode emphasized one thing: COVID-19 is still around and something that communities will have to learn to live with. Next week, Beidinger-Burnett and McDowell will talk with Brian Baker, department head in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, and Jeffery Schorey, a professor in the department of biological sciences.Registration for the webinars can be found under the Eck Institute for Global Health’s website.Tags: Consider This!, COVID-19, Eck Institute for Global Health, misinformation Heidi Beidinger-Burnett and Mary Ann McDowell, both of the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global health, are taking on misinformation and misunderstanding of the coronavirus pandemic with their new webinar series called “Consider This! Simplifying the COVID-19 Conversation.”Beidinger-Burnett serves as the director of the Eck Institute for Global Health and president of the St. Joseph County Board of Health. McDowell, an associate professor of biological sciences and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health, is an expert in infectious disease and immunology. Through their combined backgrounds, the two doctors said they hope to increase the scientific literacy of the Notre Dame community regarding the virus and public health policies.“We were finding misconceptions or myths about the science and public health of COVID-19,” Beidinger-Burnett said. “The idea for us is to simplify the conversation for people to be more comfortable with the terminology and to be more in control of the information.”Consider This! aims to cut through the growing distrust in the media and correct the common myths of the virus so that the Notre Dame and St. Joseph County communities can better protect themselves.McDowell said the myths that concern her the most are the beliefs that herd immunity should be embraced, that the coronavirus pandemic is over and that a widely available vaccine will arrive prior to election day or early next year.“We have a president who was saying, ‘We don’t need a mask, oh, it’s not masculine, I don’t need it.’ Remember, he made fun of Joe Biden,” Beidinger-Burnett said in an interview. “Well, Joe Biden was adhering to what CDC and all the others were telling us that we needed to be doing to safeguard ourselves. So that void in leadership has significantly contributed to the myths and the rumors that have been spread about this, and the distrust in the science.” The interview with Beidingerr-Burnett and McDowell was conducted after the news of U.S. President Donald Trump’s​ and ​University President John Jenkins’ diagnoses with COVID-19 had gone public.last_img read more

Crackdowns on Solar Net-Metering Are Building a Market for Home Batteries

first_imgCrackdowns on Solar Net-Metering Are Building a Market for Home Batteries FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dana Hull for Bloomberg News:Net-metering policies, which allow residential solar customers to sell their excess solar electricity back to utilities, have limited the appeal of home batteries in many states. But that’s shifting: Net metering is being phased out in some states, making storage more attractive. “The picture is rapidly changing across several markets,” said Yayoi Sekine, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Changes to net-metering policies and implementation of time-of-use rates will improve the case for residential energy storage systems going forward.”Net-metering policies, which allow residential solar customers to sell their excess solar electricity back to utilities, have limited the appeal of home batteries in many states. But that’s shifting: Net metering is being phased out in some states, making storage more attractive. “The picture is rapidly changing across several markets,” said Yayoi Sekine, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Changes to net-metering policies and implementation of time-of-use rates will improve the case for residential energy storage systems going forward.”Full article: Tesla Powerwalls for Home Energy Storage Are Hitting U.S. Marketlast_img read more

More Wilderness Runs

first_imgOnly 2.7 percent of the contiguous U.S. is protected as wilderness. East of the Missisippi, less than 1 percent is protected. Most Eastern wilderness is found along the Appalachian spine, and it includes some of the most dramatic and difficult trail runs. Here are some excellent wilderness areas that may inspire you to build your own wilderness runs.Shining Rock Wilderness, N.C. The Shining Rock Wilderness is one of the country’s most popular wilderness areas—and for good reasons: panoramic vistas from 6,000-foot balds; pristine creeks; Cold Mountain, made famous by the blockbuster book and movie; and the Shining Rocks themselves—stunning quartz outcroppings near 6,000 feet.The best trail to run is the 31-mile Art Loeb Trail, which follows high-elevation ridgelines with jaw-dropping views and summits three peaks exceeding 6,000 feet. The Blue Ridge Parkway wraps around the southern and eastern borders of the wilderness, allowing easy access to many of the best areas.Cohutta Wilderness, Ga.The Cohutta Wilderness is home to the Cohutta Mountains, an extension of the Great Smoky Mountains. This is the second largest wilderness area in the region (only the Okefenokee Swamp is larger). Easy-access spots of the Cohutta can be crowded in the summer, like Jacks River Falls. But most of the area is rugged and remote, ideal for long trail runs. The Conasauga and Jacks River Trails offer an ideal summer trail run; both require dozens of wet-footed river crossings.The Cohutta offers a full spectrum of color: the flowers of the flame azaleas, lady’s slippers, the blue cohoshes, and more than 100 species of birds. It also contains some of the state’s best trout rivers tumbling through rocky gorges. Furthermore, if you steer clear of the Jacks River Trail, you’re likely to find peace and quiet with very few people on your wilderness runs.Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness, N.C.On the western edge of the Nantahala National Forest sits the 17,394-acre Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness. There are some great views of the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests from Hangover Bald  and Stratton Bald, but the Joyce Kilmer Forest itself is the true running highlight. One of the oldest tracts of virgin old-growth forest in the East, the Joyce Kilmer Forest is home to massive yellow poplars 20 feet in circumference and over 100 feet tall, towering over a quiet, mossy forest floor loaded with wildflowers and ferns. Many of the trees in this section (including poplars, hemlock, red and white oak), are over 400 years old and are living proof of a history nearly forgotten. Run the two-mile memorial trail as a warmup, then follow the Naked Ground Trail deeper into the wilderness.Ellicott Rock Wilderness, N.C. The Ellicott Rock Wilderness spans over 8,000 acres and straddles the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The landscape is wild and rugged, with tall peaks like Georgia’s 3,672-foot Glade Mountain or South Carolina’s 3,294-foot Fork Mountain. The best running trail is the  Wild and Scenic Chattooga River Trail, which runs right through the middle of Ellicott Rock Wilderness. The Chattooga River Trail is roughly 40 miles of river-hugging beauty that runs along ridge lines, rapids, and deep coves that occupy a river that has remained protected and virtually unharmed by man. The Chattooga River Trail connects with the Bartram Trail a few miles below the wilderness, enabling you to expand your adventure into a multi-day epic. The wilderness protects the headwaters of the Chattooga, made famous by the 1970s book and movie Deliverance. Today, Deliverance River’s biggest threat isn’t squeal-like-a-pig backwoodsmen, but encroaching second-home development and runoff. Thankfully, the river is federally protected as Wild and Scenic, which prohibits development within its corridor.Click here to see our feature “Run Wild” on the best trail runners in the Blue Ridge and where they run!last_img read more

2014 Blue Ridge Festival Guide

first_imgIt’s time to tap into the Blue Ridge festival circuit. From spring through fall, the scene is bustling, and although the focus of most fests is music, there’s also plenty to do in between sets. We’ve highlighted 10 regional bashes that deliver stellar sounds on stage along with additional offerings in art, adventure, craft beer, and local food. Grab your whole crew, because these festivals have something for everyone.RoosterWalk Music and Arts FestivalMartinsville, Va.   May 22-25roosterwalk.comOrganizers host this growing event at the idyllic Blue Mountain Festival Grounds to commemorate the lives of two lost friends. If you find huge crowds to be a drag, consider this low-key fest while it’s still a best-kept secret. As the event’s impressive line-up of roots music keeps getting better, the masses will soon be making the journey to the scenic foothills of Martinsville—a former furniture mecca making a comeback through arts and outdoor recreation.Music: Every year RoosterWalk’s line-up has gradually improved, and this year is no exception with the top billing going to quick-picking bluegrass innovators The Infamous Stringdusters and high-energy jam-funk crew Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Also catch New Orleans hero Anders Osborne, Yarn, The Lee Boys, and much more.More: No need to leave the festival grounds to stretch your legs. On Sunday, the fest hosts the Tuff Strutter 5K—billed as one of the toughest trail runs on the East Coast.French Broad River FestivalHot Springs, N.C.  May 2-4frenchbroadriverfestival.comThe top-notch line-up of live music is certainly a draw, but this hoedown in the tiny mountain town of Hot Springs also offers a chance to enjoy the beautiful riverside setting and many outdoor opportunities on and around the French Broad. This annual bash was started by a local paddling crew, so the good times at this fest have raised boatloads of cash for river access protector American Whitewater.Music: Acts on the bill this year include western Carolina favorite Toubab Krewe, Sol Driven Train, Dangermuffin, The Jeff Sipe Trio, Hillstomp, and Hot Buttered Rum with special guest Allie Krall on fiddle.More: Sure, you can work up a sweat dancing to the tunes, but don’t snooze on the fest’s organized outdoor events. The popular FBRF Raft Race features the biggest, mass-start whitewater raft race in the Southeast, as teams pounce through the water in Class I-IV rapids for nine miles from Barnard to Hot Springs. Additional events include a mountain bike race, Paddle with Pros clinic, and a river cleanup. Your little ones will also find plenty of fun in the Kid’s Village.LEAFBlack Mountain, N.C.   May 8-11theleaf.com Twice a year the idyllic Camp Rockmont hosts a huge celebration of world culture. Set in the shadow of the Black Mountains, the Lake Eden Arts Festival—better known locally as LEAF—brings together artists, musicians, and performers from the around the globe for a big party amid the beauty of the Appalachians. The best part—this fest returns in the fall (October 16-19).Music: Eclectic and varied, the LEAF line-up features a wide range of roots music. Acts this year include Bootsy Collins and the Funk Unity Band, Los Lobos, Beats Antique, Sierra Leone’s Refugee Allstars, Red Baraat, and Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott.More: LEAF features one of the most diverse arrays of artistic offerings of any festival in the region. Beyond the stellar tunes, check out the healing arts workshops, a folk art show, poetry slam, dancing, and culinary delights from around the world. This fest also provides a ton of fun for the youngsters, centered around the interactive Kids’ Village. Little ones will also enjoy the Roots Family Stage, Craft Tent, and Costume Tent.Dominion RiverrockRichmond, Va.   May 16-18dominionriverrock.com Downtown Richmond hosts this full-weekend adventure sports festival that takes place on the banks of the James River. From central grounds on Brown’s Island, you can run, ride, paddle, and climb in a variety of comps and races, while live tunes are blaring in the background and big crowds are browsing gear booths from the outdoor industry’s best.Music: Riverrock doesn’t skimp when it comes to providing a solid soundtrack to the long days of play. This year the event will feature two big headliners—bluegrass-rock expansionists The Infamous Stringdusters on Friday night and reggae-flavored MC Matisyahu on Saturday. Support bands include The London Souls, The Congress, Sunliner, and People’s Blues of Richmond.More: This fest is all about indulging in as much adventure as possible. Friday features a 5K mud run and the start of the two-day bouldering comp, while Saturday is stacked with the long-standing James River Scramble 10K Trail Run, the Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race, an adventure race, and kayak and stand-up paddleboard races. Sunday includes a climbing speed comp, more paddling races, and the end of the weekend-long freestyle bike comp. If you’d rather keep competition to a minimum, you can check out SUP demos, join a group hike, test your pedal power on the mountain bike skills course, or gawk at the brave and balanced on the Slackline Highline Exhibition.Trail DaysDamascus, Va.   May 16-18traildays.usDo hardcore hikers know how to party? You’ll believe it when you see it at this longstanding celebration of the Appalachian Trail. Thru-hikers reunite to trade trail stories, march in a parade, soak each other with water guns (water balloons are now prohibited), get goofy in a talent show, check out a variety of gear booths, and sip a little moonshine. It all goes down in Trail Town, U.S.A., where you can access the A.T., Iron Mountain Trail, and the family-friendly Virginia Creeper.Music: Not the main focus here. You’ll hear some local picking, which is just right as the backdrop for this down-home outdoor party.More: Beyond the obvious festival fun, you can also take the opportunity to learn about Trail history and lore at a range of talks and presentations. A.T. legend Warren Doyle will deliver his slide/music show “My Forty-year Love Affair with the Appalachian Trail,” and Gene Espy, the second Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, will also share stories about his 1951 end-to-end excursion.Bonnaroo Music and Arts FestivalJune 12-15   Manchester, Tenn.bonnaroo.com Still bringing the masses down to the farm after more than a decade in existence, Bonnaroo continues to be one of the country’s best music fests. Sure, it’s crowded and a little overwhelming with 80,000 people converging on a 700-acre plot in Central Tennessee. But since forming in 2002, the festival has become a well-run machine with a bevy of stages that offer a chance to cross numerous bands off your live show bucket list in one big weekend. Be sure to pace yourself and stay hydrated. It takes some planning and stamina to catch even a reasonable percentage on Bonnaroo’s huge line-up of diverse acts.Music: Headliners this year include Elton John, Kanye West, and Jack White. Looking deeper, lesser-known gems on the bill include The Wood Brothers, Phosphorescent, Shovels & Rope, Real Estate, Lake Street Dive, and White Denim. Don’t miss the special Bluegrass Situation Superjam led by funny man/banjo picker Ed Helms.More: Bonnaroo is best known for its musical overload, but make time for additional offerings like the comedy shows, cinema tent, garden workshops, Silent Disco, Food Truck Oasis, and even a new 5K Roo Run.Red Wing Roots Music FestivalMount Solon, Va.   July 11-13redwingroots.comAfter a successful inaugural, accomplished Virginia-based string band the Steel Wheels are bringing back this new festival close to their Harrisonburg hometown at Natural Chimneys Park in the Shenandoah Valley. The hosts make this a family friendly fest with scenic camping and plenty to do for the little festivarians in the Kid’s Zone, which includes special band performances for younger audiences.Music: Stepping it up with a bold line-up for its second year, the event will include sets from Trampled by Turtles, The Devil Makes Three, Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott, Hayes Carll, Sarah Jarosz, Peter Rowan, Hackensaw Boys and many more.More: The Steel Wheels have occasionally ditched the touring van and done some regional stints on bikes. Since the band members are big two-wheel enthusiasts, the festival features organized road and mountain bike rides on Saturday. You can also take a hike in the nearby North River Ranger District of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests or bring your rod and cast for largemouth bass and bluegill in Elkhorn Lake.Forecastle FestivalLouisville, Ky.   July 18-20forecastlefest.comFrom the same folks that bring you Bonnaroo, Forecastle features a huge slate of bands at Louisville’s 85-acre Waterfront Park. What started as a local neighborhood event has grown into a highly anticipated national festival in one of the South’s best cities.Music: You’ll hear plenty of heavyweights on the banks of the Ohio River. Headliners this year include Outkast, Jack White, Beck, The Replacements, Band of Horses, Trampled by Turtles, and a recently reunited Nickel Creek. Also be sure to catch lesser-known acts like The Black Lips, Willie Watson, and Sharon Van Etten.More: In addition to the tunes, this fest honors its home state’s great trade with a Bourbon Lodge, where you can taste plenty of high-end brown water and pair it with delicious Southern cuisine. Also check out the booths in the new Kentucky Landing village that focuses on local craft beer, food, art, and crafts.FloydFestFloyd, Va.   July 23-27floydfest.com Since emerging back in 2002, FloydFest has grown from a special underground gathering to a festival in the national spotlight. Every year crowds migrate to a scenic 80-acre mountain plateau off the Blue Ridge Parkway for a now five-day blowout of musical cultures near and far. The festival bridges the gap between Appalachian traditions and the melting pot of independent roots music from around the rest of the world.Music: FloydFest has curated another eclectic line-up for its 10 stages of varying size. Top billing goes to Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Ray LaMontagne, Thievery Corporation, Ziggy Marley, and Michael Franti and Spearhead. Also, check out the fresh faces on the rise: Paper Bird, The London Souls, a new incarnation of The Duhks, and Tauk.More: Last year organizers finally started utilizing the festival site’s amazing piece of land and started incorporating an impressive outdoor adventure program to its lengthy list of activities. The recently developed Moonstomper Mountain Bike Trail offers on-site singletrack with designated hours for riding and hiking. There’s also an organized 16-mile ride, the Belcher Mountain Beat Down, that features 1,700 feet of climb and offers shuttle service back to the festival. More adventure: disc golf, a 5K on Sunday morning and organized paddling trips on the Little River. Additional offerings include music workshops, healing arts, and plenty of fun for kids in the Children’s Universe.Bristol Rhythm and Roots ReunionBristol, Tenn./Va.   September 19-21bristolrhythm.com In early fall this big bash on the border celebrates Bristol’s historic distinction as the Birthplace of Country Music through a gala that incorporates roots music from all generations. This annual fest features a range of artists from national headliners to regional upstarts to down home Appalachian pickers playing along the bustling main drag of State Street (which straddles the Virginia/Tennessee line) on 22 stages—outdoors, inside theaters and bars, and in the popular dance tent.Music: The best part about Bristol (besides the cheap ticket price) is the fest’s fearless ability to craft a line-up that bridges traditional artists with emerging acts in roots rock and indie folk. This year sets from Emmylou Harris, David Grisman, and Ray Wylie Hubbard will mingle with the up and coming sounds of St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Bombadil and The Whiskey Gentry.More: Take some time to soak in the history and visit the soon-to-be-opened Birthplace of Country Music Museum, which honors Bristol as the source of recordings by early genre pioneers including the Carter Family. You can also light up your taste buds with the festival’s Chili Cook-Off or burn off some energy in the 5K road race.The Festy ExperienceRoseland, Va.   October 10-12thefesty.com Tucked away in Nelson County at the base of Wintergreen Resort, this intimate fest sits on the scenic grounds of Devils Backbone Brewery. Through the long weekend an eclectic mix of music combines with mountain sports, workshops, and local beer and food—all amid breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding Blue Ridge.Music: Expansive string band heroes The Infamous Stringdusters curate the line-up of this annual festival. Expect a carefully crafted roster that includes some fellow bluegrass border crashers, as well as established greats and artists on the verge in the worlds of jam, Americana, and roots rock. Full roster to be announced on June 1.More: This is a music fest with built-in adventure. Run the Blue Ridge Burn 10K/5K trail race on Saturday morning (full disclosure, BRO organizes the race) or take a hike on the on-site trail network, much of which was built by Stringdusters’ bassist Travis Book. In between sets, you can duck into the brewery for expanded beer options and to catch up with your college football team.last_img read more

The power of truth in credit union analytics

first_img 63SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Nate Wentzlaff Nate Wentzlaff joined OnApproach in 2013 as a Business Analyst and is now currently a Data Analytics Specialist. He builds data visualization apps that help to improve business processes throughout … Web: www.onapproach.com Details New technologies are enabling credit unions to collect a vast array of data only dreamed about in the past. However, this massive amount of data will only create more confusion if it is not organized into a single version of the truth (SVOT). Agreement on data definitions and how data is collected, integrated and acted upon is paramount. Analytics will only have power if all employees can agree and rely on a SVOT. If conflicting information and disagreements on what data to trust continue, analytics will only cause more confusion instead of uniting the credit union around the truth.Single Version of Truth (SVOT)The SVOT can be defined as:“A single set of reports and definitions for all business terms, a way, in short, to make sure every manager has a common understanding of accurate corporate information.” -Frank BuytendijkA SVOT brings unity to a credit union by granting employees access to accurate corporate information in business terms everyone can easily understand and agree on. For example, if the executive team wants to know how many members exist within the credit union, analysts can simply access the SVOT to determine exactly how many members there have. Unfortunately, if analysts within a credit union are asked this question today, they will have widely different answers (even in the same department)! The reason these answers are so different is the lack of a SVOT and the vision of management to grant credit union analysts access to its power.Data QualityThe foundation of the SVOT is quality data stored within databases. Before credit unions can build the SVOT, the data they are working with must be reliable from its source. Since the SVOT is downstream from its data sources, it is only able to reflect data from the source. Without high quality data feeding the SVOT, analysts will be agreeing on incorrect data. If the credit union develops a SVOT with unreliable data, they will have false confidence in data while making critical decisions. Once quality data is collected from its sources, a credit union can begin constructing the SVOT.Data Sources and Derived DataDetermining how to integrate the various business systems (along with data derived from 3rd party sources and analytic models) into a data warehouse is the next step in erecting the SVOT. Every business system houses data about members that is also stored simultaneously in other business systems. For example, the CRM and core system might have different email addresses for a member. Determining which data element (from what system) should be considered the system of record (or “Golden Record”) is the next perquisite in solidifying the SVOT.SVOT in Context: Business ProcessesAfter integrating data and establishing a SVOT, credit unions must build views of the truth for different business processes. These views will empower employees to make proactive decisions that will bring excellence into the credit union. The context of each business process must be taken into account before developing standard datasets for decision making. Utilizing the SVOT, employees will be united in the business process they are working to improve. Analytics derived from the SVOT will empower credit unions to revolutionize their business processes.Analytics: Truth in ActionEstablishing high quality data, a SVOT, and implementing different views of that truth (based on business processes) will give credit unions a clear understanding of their data. Establishing a SVOT will bring employees together to build the credit union of the future. With a SVOT as their foundation, credit unions will be able to excel in serving members and staving off competition. The power of truth within analytics will empower employees to make better decisions that will strengthen their credit union and enable more efficient collaboration within the industry.last_img read more

Biden Leads, but No Call Yet Four Days After Election: This Week in the 2020 Race

first_imgThe tight map means that the Trump campaign will be forced to reckon with the realization that if they had done any number of small things differently, or if the candidate had not pursued unhelpful fights with political enemies (even beyond the grave), this thing could have gone the other way.Campaign officials and outside advisers acknowledged that Republicans were damaged in Arizona by Mr. Trump’s yearslong feud with Senator John McCain, a beloved figure in his home state, a personal disdain that continued even after he died in 2018. Fox News and The A.P. called Arizona for Mr. Biden on Tuesday night.In Georgia, Mr. Biden took a narrow lead on Friday thanks to votes from Clayton County, the district that was represented by former Representative John Lewis, the civil rights icon who died in July. Mr. Trump had berated Mr. Lewis for calling his presidency “illegitimate,” noting that he should spend more time fixing his “horrible” and “crime-infested” district. Apparently, those words were not easily forgotten by the voters who lived there.Some of his supporters were already playing the “what if” game, more broadly. “Where would Trump be if he never said what he said about Charlottesville, if he never said what he said about Khizr Khan, about Mika Brzezinski,” said Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary to President George W. Bush. In other words, where would he be if he wasn’t Donald Trump? Philippe Reines, a former top adviser to Mrs. Clinton both in the Senate and at the State Department, was even more blunt. “Hillary’s owed more than a few apologies for how her campaign was assessed,” Mr. Reines said. Jennifer Palmieri, who served as communications director for the 2016 Clinton campaign, said that the current election gives a new perspective to the race four years ago.“There’s only so much you can do to ameliorate larger forces,” Ms. Palmieri said. “When I see young Latino and African-American men siding with Trump in a way they didn’t in 2016, I don’t fault the Biden campaign’s African-American radio program. It is a symptom of a larger change that’s happening.”Trump’s unhelpful personal feuds There was one subset of the political world that felt vindicated by the nail-biter presidential race: Democrats who worked for Hillary Clinton. The closeness of the Biden-Trump race suggests that the 2016 election outcome may have been less about Mrs. Clinton’s political weaknesses than it was about Mr. Trump’s political strengths.In some of the states that Mr. Biden managed to flip, like Wisconsin, his victory was by a slim margin of about 20,000 votes. Four years ago, Mrs. Clinton lost the state by about 22,000. A potential victory with more than 300 electoral votes would look like a blowout for Mr. Biden, but it would also mask the fact that in some of the most critical states, the race was still only won by a hair.Mr. Biden has not received the wide margins nationwide that many liberals had been hoping for. The silver lining for some former members of Clintonworld, as one put it: The 2016 Democratic nominee might not go down in history as the political version of Bill Buckner, who blew the World Series for the Red Sox in 1986 by letting a ground ball go through his legs.- Advertisement – “His electoral strength in 2016 had less to do with any shortcomings of Hillary Clinton as a candidate or of her campaign than with Trump’s own appeal to a broad segment of the population,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and a member of the D.N.C.’s executive committee, said of Mr. Trump. “We need as Democrats to understand that and confront it more effectively going forward.” – Advertisement – As of late Friday, Mr. Biden was within striking distance of being the next president of the United States, powered by tight statewide victories in the Midwest states that went for President Trump in 2016: Michigan and Wisconsin. Mr. Biden was leading in Pennsylvania, another state that went for Mr. Trump in the last cycle. The former vice president was ahead in Arizona in the West, and Georgia in the South — giving Democrats hope for future victories in those states in spite of poor results down ballot elsewhere.It was a mixed bag of results that is not yet final, as some states may require a recount while others continue to count ballots. Here are four takeaways from the results we know so far:Despite several upsets, Democrats make some gains Welcome to our weekly analysis of the state of the 2020 campaign.Catch me upAs Election Day turned into Election Week, an anxious nation lost days of productivity, with Americans interested only in what map gurus like CNN’s John King and MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki had to say about the effect of every new tranche of votes on the outcome of the race. And, a bold race call awarding Arizona to Joseph R. Biden Jr. by Fox News on election night, followed by The Associated Press, shocked the Trump campaign.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Democrats spent election night in a state of panic, as it became clear that Republican turnout surged passed polling predictions and Mr. Trump had an enduring coalition. By Thursday, as Mr. Biden edged closer to 270 electoral votes, Democratic fears had subsided but not disappeared. The party lost key Congressional races, failed to flip several state legislatures, and continued to show weakness among voting populations in Florida, Texas and Iowa.last_img read more

The Big Breakaway shines at Cheltenham | Racing News

first_imgRacing in the front pair throughout the extended three-mile prize, the 4-9 favourite always looked in control before taking lengths out of his rivals at the third last.With The Butcher Said making a costly error when mounting a challenge at the penultimate fence, it left The Big Breakaway only needing to be pushed out from the back of the last to defeat fellow chasing debutant Doc Penfro by 10 lengths.Joe Tizzard, son and assistant trainer, said: “I’m chuffed to bits with him. He travelled and jumped really well. He was foot perfect, but he has been since day one and, if anything, he jumped too well today. You can’t fault him though, as he did everything we asked him.- Advertisement – He added: “That would seem the obvious target in my mind (Kauto Star). We will have a look at the calendar and think about it. It’s five or six weeks away and it seems to tie in perfectly. He probably wants a couple of runs between now and the Festival to make sure it doesn’t happen too easily.” “He found it a little bit too easy over that trip. He had a little bit of a think going away from the stands and Robbie (Power, jockey) said he wouldn’t mind dropping him back to two and a half (miles) to sharpen everything up. That’s food for thought.“It was a lovely performance to come here and jump like that first time out. He only had three runs last year and won a point-to-point, so it was greenness more than anything (needing to pushed momentarily).”Assessing future targets, Tizzard earmarked an outing in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton as a possible target for The Big Breakaway, who was cut from 20-1 into 12-1 for the three-mile novices’ chase at the Festival by both Coral and Paddy Power.- Advertisement – The Big Breakaway put in an almost perfect round of jumping to make a winning debut over fences in the mallardjewellers.com Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.Last seen when finishing fourth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Festival in March, the Colin Tizzard-trained five-year-old returned to winning ways with an exemplary performance.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

COVID-19: PSBB unlikely to be reinstated as Surabaya mayor claims infections on ‘downward trend’

first_imgBut while the number of new daily cases has not reached such highs since, Surabaya has still recorded an average of around 100 new cases per day over the past two weeks.Read also: As COVID-19 transmission rate soars, Surabaya urged to restore restrictionsEpidemiologist Windhu Purnomo from Airlangga University’s School of Public Health conveyed his skepticism over Risma’s claims, saying the mayor had only accounted for the number of confirmed cases recorded among registered Surabaya residents.“I think [Risma’s statement] is incorrect, because the trend has shown no signs of declining anytime soon,” Windhu told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.He explained that other indicators of the outbreak – such as the fatality rate, reproduction rate (Rt) and attack rate – all showed the city was a high-risk zone, and that Surabaya residents remained highly vulnerable to infection, contrary to the mayor’s claim.According to Windhu, Surabaya’s fatality rate currently stood at 7.8 percent, far higher than the national average of 5.6 percent, while the attack rate of COVID-19 in the region is 160, meaning that 160 in every 100,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19.He said the city’s Rt had fallen to 0.8 on June 17, which meant that one person infected with COVID-19 would spread the disease to less than one other person. If this Rt had been maintained, the outbreak in the city would have petered out, but it has since risen to above 1 again.“It seemed to be the light at the end of the tunnel – if only we could have been more patient,” Windhu said.He urged the Surabaya administration to issue and enforce stringent regulations to control people’s movements in a bid to break the chain of infection, saying it had been far too early to lift the PSBB measures.Read also: Surabaya mayor feuds with East Java governor over mobile PCR labsRisma, however, seemed to indicate that she would not reimpose citywide restrictions, saying only that she would shut down individual traditional markets, shopping malls, or restaurants if visitors or vendors tested positive for COVID-19.She added that instead of locking down entire villages to conduct tests on the population, the administration would now carry out tests on certain communities that were deemed most vulnerable to COVID-19 transmission, she said.“For instance, we have conducted mass testing on vendors and at restaurants around hospitals,” Risma added.She said the administration had also reopened a number of public spaces considered crucial to the local economy, with new health protocols in place to minimize the risk of virus transmission.As of Tuesday, Surabaya had recorded 4,771 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 359 deaths, while East Java has reported 10,115 cases and 741 deaths.Topics : Surabaya, the capital of East Java, continues to defy calls to reinstate large-scale restrictions (PSBB), which were officially lifted earlier this month, despite the continued increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city.Home to some 2.8 million people, Indonesia’s second largest city accounts for nearly half of East Java’s more than 10,000 confirmed cases, emerging as a new epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak following a surge of new cases starting from the end of last month.Despite the steady rise in cases, Surabaya and its satellites cities of Sidoarjo and Gresik, decided to lift their PSBB measures on June 8. Instead, the local administration has shifted its focus to reopening a number of sectors to keep the economy afloat, insisting that the latest numbers reflected a “downward trend” in the number of coronavirus cases recorded in the region.“If we examine [the numbers], there has been a downward trend. Before, we used to [record] 200, 300 [new cases per day], but now it has gone down,” Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini said during an online discussion held by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) on Tuesday.The city recorded its highest one-day spike in new confirmed cases on May 21, when it recorded 311 new cases, followed by a similar surge on May 23, with 310 new cases. last_img read more

China’s capital Beijing to lower COVID-19 response

first_imgBeijing will lower the emergency response level of the coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese capital to Level III from level II starting on July 20, a municipal government official said on Sunday.The city issued the second level response on June 16 after a cluster of new coronavirus cases was found to be linked to Xinfadi, a major wholesale food market in a southwestern district of Beijing.Since June 11, Beijing has recorded a total of 335 cases linked to Xinfadi, but no new cases have been reported in the past two weeks. “Overall, the risks of getting coronavirus infection in Beijing…and exporting to other regions are low, and the general situation of tackling the pandemic is under control,” said Liu Bei, vice secretary of the Beijing Municipal government, told a news conference.After lowering the coronavirus response, Beijing will reopen parks, tourism sites, gyms, libraries and museums, but will cap the number of visitors at 50 percent of capacity.Conferences with no more than 500 participants will be allowed, while exhibitions, sports matches and cinemas are also expected to reopen gradually, Liu said.Meanwhile, underground spaces with poor ventilation will be banned from being used for business while wholesale markets, restaurants, construction sites and factories will continue to be strictly monitored for the coronavirus. Topics :last_img read more

Policyholders demand court unfreeze WanaArtha Life’s securities account

first_imgOne of the policyholder’s heirs, A Sen, said he was deeply disappointed as he was unable to claim his mother’s insurance money following her death in January 2020 after being a customer since 2018.“This really hurts me as I can’t claim my mother’s insurance money because the AGO has blocked it. My family have accused me of embezzling the money,” he said.WanaArtha Life senior sales director Hendro Yuwono Salim admitted that the insurer was unable to disburse the claims demanded by the policyholders until the court’s ruling on the Jiwasraya case was announced. The freezing of the account by the AGO has also disrupted the insurer’s operations and affected its employees.“We hope the ruling will unfreeze our account so we can operate normally and pay the policyholders’ claims,” Hendro told the Post. (ris)Topics : Around Rp 1 trillion in the insurer’s blocked securities account belongs to policyholders from North Sumatra, he added.The AGO blocked in February WanaArtha Life’s securities account, along with hundreds of investment managers and individuals’ accounts, in connection to the alleged corruption and investment mismanagement at Jiwasraya, which is currently on trial at the Central Jakarta District Court.The allegation came after Jiwasraya was unable to pay its policyholders’ claims worth Rp 18 trillion as it invested most of its premium revenue from its product JS Saving Plan into so-called pump-and-dump stocks.Armin said the AGO’s action prevented policyholders and their heirs from claiming their mature policies and receiving cash benefits for daily necessities. Policyholders of the ailing privately-owned life insurer PT Asuransi Jiwa Adisarana Wanaartha (WanaArtha Life) have demanded the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Central Jakarta District Court unfreeze the insurer’s securities account to let the company pay the customers’ mature policies.About 80 policyholders from North Sumatra and Riau Islands held a peaceful protest in front of the Maimon Palace in Medan, North Sumatra, on Friday to demand the unfreezing of the account, which is worth around Rp 4 trillion (US$270.89 million). The account was frozen amid a corruption investigation into state-owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwasraya.“Our funds have no relation whatsoever to Jiwasraya. We are pleading to the judges to tell the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to unfreeze our funds in the ruling in October,” Armin, WanaArtha Life policyholder and insurance agent, told The Jakarta Post. last_img read more