CPSC Warns Consumers: Stop Using the Peloton Tread+ | CPSC.gov

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CPSC Warns Consumers: Stop Using the Peloton Tread+

93 Release date: April 17, 2021 Release number: 21-113

Release Details

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Peloton Interactive, Inc’s Tread+ Treadmill

Peloton Interactive, Inc’s Tread+ Treadmill

Urgent Warning Comes After Agency Finds One Death and Dozens of Incidents of Children Being Sucked Beneath the Tread+ (Formerly Known as the Tread)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers about the danger of popular Peloton Tread+ exercise machine after multiple incidents of small children and a pet being injured beneath the machines. The Commission has found that the public health and safety requires this notice to warn the public quickly of the hazard.

The urgent warning comes less than a month after Peloton itself released news of a child’s death by a Peloton Tread+ and CPSC’s announcement of an investigation into that incident.

The agency is continuing to investigate all known incidents of injury or death related to the Peloton Tread+.

To date, CPSC is aware of 39 incidents including one death. CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death. In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately. This video demonstrates the hazard to children posed by the Tread+. [Warning, video content may be disturbing to some viewers.]It is believed that at least one incident occurred while a parent was running on the treadmill, suggesting that the hazard cannot be avoided simply by locking the device when not in use. Reports of a pet and objects being sucked beneath the Tread+ also suggest possible harm to the user if the user loses balance as a result.

What should consumers do now?

  • Stop using the Peloton Tread+ if there are small children or pets at home. Incidents suggest that children may be seriously injured while the Tread+ is being used by an adult, not just when a child has unsupervised access to the machine.
  • If consumers must continue to use the product, CPSC urges consumers to use the product only in a locked room, to prevent access to children and pets while the treadmill is in use. Keep all objects, including exercise balls and other equipment, away from the treadmill.
  • When not in use, unplug the Tread+ and store the safety key away from the device and out of reach of children.
  • Report any Peloton Tread+ incidents to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov or to CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772.

Tread+ treadmills are sold directly to consumers via retail showrooms, and online at http://www.onepeloton.com.

Model No. TR-01 was called “Tread” from August 2018 to September 2020, when it was renamed “Tread+”.

Link to broadcast quality video for media: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/blKOH6LRIk

For media questions, please email: jmartyak@cpsc.govorpdavis@cpsc.gov.

Under section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, CPSC is required to include with this press release any comments or other information or a summary thereof. Accordingly, here is a summary of the company’s statement.

“The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s unilateral press release about the Peloton Tread+ treadmill is inaccurate and misleading. The Tread+ is safe for Members to use in their homes and comes with safety instructions and warnings to ensure its safe use. Like all motorized exercise equipment, the Tread+ can pose hazards if the warnings and safety instructions are not followed. The Tread+ is not for children under 16. Peloton warns Members not to let children use the Tread+ and to keep children, pets, and objects away from the Tread+ at all times. Any owner of a treadmill – whether made by Peloton or not – should follow these warnings, as they are included in the applicable safety standards, which the Peloton Tread+ meets.”About the U.S. CPSC

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

For lifesaving information:

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https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Releases/2021/CPSC-Warns-Consumers-Stop-Using-the-Peloton-Tread

Petition: Time to defund Wildlife Services

wg.convio.net

Dear Guardian,

As we endure a multitude of crises and injustices across the United States, the systemic failure of many of the country’s institutions has become glaringly apparent. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services is one of these failing institutions.

A misnomer, Wildlife Services is anything but helpful to wildlife. Instead, Wildlife Services is a federally-funded wildlife killing program that slaughters native wild animals, almost exclusively at the behest of the livestock industry.

During this time of mass extinction, the killing of over 1 million wild animals annually is not only unjustifiable, it is reckless, particularly when this slaughter involves species that are critical players in delicate ecosystems.

In 2019, alone, Wildlife Services killed approximately 62,000 coyotes, 25,000 beavers, 14,000 prairie dogs (plus 27,000 dens), as well as hundreds of wolves, cougars, bobcats, and many other keystone species that are essential for healthy ecosystems. You can see the astounding level of destruction across the American West by Wildlife Services on our new map.

There are numerous scientifically-proven, cost-effective, nonlethal options for wildlife coexistence. Moreover, nonlethal solutions like range riding and electric fencing have been proven more effective than pre-emptively gunning down thousands of coyotes from an airplane prior to grazing season. Incredibly, even though Wildlife Services has these non-lethal options available, only a small portion of its more than $100 million federal budget is restricted for non-lethal management.

We need your help to curb this rogue wildlife killing program. No congressionally-appropriated, taxpayer funds should continue to be used for Wildlife Services to wastefully kill native animals, especially in a time of mass extinction.

Join WildEarth Guardians in demanding that Congress restrict taxpayer dollars going to Wildlife Services to only be used for non-lethal management practices.

http://wg.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?current=true&em_id=27186.0

This Should Not Be Happening

Petition: These 4 million U.S. citizens pay taxes, serve in the military…and are barred from voting

Imagine this: you are eligible to serve in the military — in past wars, folks where you are from have even been drafted, made to serve in the armed forces for their country. You pay payroll, business, estate, and social security taxes. You contribute to Medicare and Medicaid. You may even pay federal income taxes if you work for the government. 

You fulfill all of the responsibilities of a citizen, contributing to every facet of your country’s infrastructure. But you are not allowed to vote in its most important elections.

Sign the petition if you want to see all United States territories given the right to vote on November 3rd!

Those territories are: Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. With the exception of the Northern Mariana Islands, these territories  have ‘belonged’ to the United States for over 100 years — remnants of past wars and purchases driven by aggressive colonialism, the practice of expansion with the goal of economic exploitation of other countries and military augmentation for itself.

These selfish, nationalist goals continue to be the driving force of how the U.S. treats its territories.

They contribute massively to the U.S. economy. In 2016, Puerto Rico’s federal tax contribution was just below 4 billion dollars. In the same year, Vermont and Wyoming’s federal tax came to just above 4 billion dollars. The next year, Hurricane Maria would devastate Puerto Rico. The U.S. would shockingly withhold aid, underreport death and injury on the island, and completely fail Puerto Rico as a part of the country.

These territories’ military offerings are also notable. American Samoa “has the highest rate of military participation of any U.S. state or territory.” They are also the only U.S. territory that the country has not extended citizenship to — people here are “nationals.” Sans citizenship, American Samoans still contribute to Medicaid and Medicare.

It is not hard to guess where these injustices are rooted. Colonialism laid strong seeds for racism, and they have flourished in the U.S. 98% of folks who live in these five U.S. territories are ethnic minorities. Many people in the 50 United States don’t even know that these are their fellow citizens and that these disparities exist in their rights as such.

And the U.S. government is obviously not going to jump at the chance to give people in these territories more power, as it has made it abundantly clear that racism is not an isolated problem, but rather woven into the fabric of every system in the country. Racist gerrymandering and voter suppression have been tools of the ‘democractic’ process in the U.S. since elections became something in which more people than just white men were allowed to vote. 

But these territories are extremely motivated and active voters! In 2014, 61% of eligible voters in American Samoa voted in their election to decide their delegate in the House — a delegate that, it’s notable to add, does not vote. None of the delegates from any of these territories are able to vote — they have only floor privileges, as well as the ability to serve on committees. This is cold comfort for the citizens they represent. The same year that 61% of American Samoa exercised their limited right to vote, only 36.7% of U.S. citizens in the continental states showed up to vote.

It’s obvious that people in these U.S. territories care about their country. It’s about time that their country returned the favor.

This is the perfect time for full voting rights to be extended to these territories. The United States is on the precipice of possibly the most historic election in its history, and democracy is at stake. U.S. territories should have a say.

The Constitution clearly states: “The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.”

Sign the petition if you want to see the people of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa given the voting rights they deserve!EMBED

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https://www.thepetitionsite.com/111/481/249/?z00m=32573114&redirectID=3052571634

Taxpayers shell out huge subsidies to wolf-killer’s ranching enterprise

www.thewildlifenews.com

It’s been a while since there’s been news about public lands rancher/wolf killer Craig Thiessen from New Mexico. He’s the guy who pleaded guilty to killing a trapped Mexican gray wolf pup (named “Mia Tuk” by an Albuquerque schoolkid) with a shovel in 2015. He got off relatively easy for violating the Endangered Species Act and was mysteriously never prosecuted for animal cruelty by New Mexico, but the U.S. Forest Service took his violation of the grazing regulations very seriously and they yanked his grazing permit in November 2018.

Trespassing bull on the Canyon del Buey allotment, June 12, 2020. Photo: G. Anderson/WWP

Thiessen appealed the loss of his permit all the way up to the regional director, who affirmed the District Ranger’s decision and ordered the cows off Canyon del Buey allotment by the end of August 2019. As you can probably guess, Thiessen defied this direction and his cows are still in trespass on the Gila National Forest. There’s been some legal back and forth between Theissen and the feds and that process is ongoing (more on that here soon), but there’s something else for the taxpaying public to be enraged about:

Canyon del Buey LLC was the largest recipient of Farm Bill livestock subsidies in Catron County in 2019, raking in $135,683 dollars of federal funding. Of that, $119,029 came under the “Livestock Indemnity Program” which is designated for livestock losses in excess than usual due to extreme weather or due to animals reintroduced by the federal government, i.e. wolves. It’s impossible (so far) to determine whether the Thiessens got money for extreme weather or livestock depredations, but at about $1,000K per head (see page 6 at link), that’s a whole lot of dead cows we taxpayers are paying for. (And it’s not the first time: Craig Thiessen has also received almost $400,000 since he whacked Mia Tuk.)

This was in addition to the $9,550.50 Craig Thiessen got for claimed wolf depredations in 2019. Not clear which livestock were his, but as we’ve shown, many of the Catron County wolf depredation reports are a little more than fishy. At least that $9,550.50 came out of a privately-established compensation fund (the “Groves Estate”) and not taxpayer pockets, but it’s kind of offensive that someone who admitted to bludgeoning a wolf pup to death with a shovel can turn around and get money for his dead cows. It’s almost as if the game is rigged to benefit wolf-hating ranchers.

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2020/10/16/taxpayers-shell-out-huge-subsidies-to-wolf-killers-ranching-enterprise/

Cattlemen Tell EnviroNews Ranchers Want Mexican Wolves Killed, Despite Being Paid for Livestock Losses

www.environews.tv

Cattlemen Tell EnviroNews Ranchers Want Mexican Wolves Killed, Despite Being Paid for Livestock Losses

14 – 17 minutes


(EnviroNews Arizona) — Parts of eastern Arizona are a conflict zone, as a 100-year war between ranchers, conservation groups, government agencies, and the endangered Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) rages on. The rarest subspecies of gray wolf, also known as “el lobo,” is doing what wolves have always done in their native territories: they hunt and eat animals weakened by misfortune, time and nature itself. But ranchers who sell their cows, sometimes for $1200-$1500 per animal, aren’t happy when someone’s future hamburger becomes a wolf’s dinner.

Even though the government will compensate ranchers for cows killed by wolves, a new survey reveals most cattle farmers feel el lobo’s reintroduction into the area is a threat to ranching – and their livelihoods.

“[Ranchers] realize that [wolves are] there and they’re there to stay now,” Jerome Rosa, Executive Director of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, which funded the survey, told EnviroNews in a phone interview. “They just have to do the best they can to try and manage the situation and try to do what they can to be able to live, you know, cohesively. But if they had a preference, [absolutely they] would like to not have that apex predator out there.”

Back From the Brink of Extinction

When Rosa said, “out there,” he is referring to the southwestern United States – part of the Mexican wolf’s indigenous turf. Early in the 1900s when the livestock industry began booming, the federal government hired trappers to eradicate all wolves – and they were nearly successful in that task with el lobo.

“This genetically [and] morphologically unique animal came about as close to extinction as any creature can get without actually going over the brink,” Michael Robinson, a senior conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, told EnviroNews.

And how close is “close?” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) official Stephen Guertin told a congressional subcommittee “the Mexican wolf was all but eliminated from the wild by the 1970s due to extensive predator control initiatives.” According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s (AGFD) website, Mexican wolves had once disappeared completely from Arizona and New Mexico.

But when the Endangered Species Act (ESA/the Act) passed in 1973, these critters finally received some appreciation. USFWS hired trappers again — this time to capture live wolves that could still be found in Mexico, in an effort to save the species from total annihilation. The agency was only able to find and capture five wild wolves; four males and one female. With time running out, USFWS took those specimens and launched a captive breeding program.

In 1998 el lobo caught a break and received an invitation to return home to the Southwest and 11 were released into the Blue Range Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Area in Arizona.

“They’re part of the natural ecosystem,” Robinson said. “They’re a beautiful, intelligent social animal that helps maintain balance, and they deserve to be there.”

Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)

The USFWS’ website hails the breeding program as a victory: “Missing from the landscape for more than 30 years, the howl of the Mexican wolf can once again be heard in the mountains of the southwestern United States.” Despite the agency’s victory dance, ranchers certainly were not out holding “welcome home” signs. The conflict zone reemerged — as did the wolf killings.

Money Can’t Buy Wolves Love

To help ease concerns, ranchers have been compensated for depredations since the wolves were first reintroduced in 1998 and in 2015 the State of Arizona Livestock Loss Board was formed. Ranchers can submit claims to the board for depredations when they can prove Mexican wolves most likely killed their animals. According to the agency’s most recent annual report ranchers have been paid more than $143,000 over the last few years.

But Rosa told EnviroNews these reimbursements still can’t buy the wolves love. He said the number of cattle they kill exceeds what ranchers claim as a loss:

Some [ranchers] just don’t want to deal with the red tape. They don’t want to deal with the paperwork. Or, when they find these carcasses, they’re too far gone. And remember: these cattle are out there in these vast, vast landscapes in really, really rugged terrain, and so often, when they do find a depredation, there’s nothing there to investigate. You know, there’s not enough to be able to prove it was a depredation. So, [ranchers] just don’t say anything. It’s like, “Well, you know, we took a hit on that.”

Rosa added that there’s no way for cattlemen to calculate losses for livestock that die from exhaustion and dehydration after being chased by wolves, or cows that get stressed out, thin, and don’t reproduce.

David Parsons, the wildlife biologist who led USFWS’ effort to reintroduce the Mexican wolf into the Southwest, told EnviroNews he’s heard those claims, but not the veracity of them. “Open range cattle die for many reasons other than predation or harassment by predators, such as weather extremes, disease, toxic plants, and even lightning strikes,” he refuted.

Hawk’s Nest Pack Released into Pre-Release Pen in 1998 — Photo: Dave Parsons

Parsons is now a science advisor for the conservation group Project Coyote. He said figuring out an exact cause of a cow’s death is arduous. “It would be very difficult to tease out the significance of mortality caused by predator harassment compared to all other causes of mortality.”

Natural Born Killers?

No one disputes that wolves are natural born killers. But Rosa claimed there are far more wolves out there than official counts reflect. “As the wolf populations increase, the cattle populations will decrease. I think that’s tragic,” he said.

Rosa added the more the packs grow, the more food they will need. “And unfortunately, the realism of wolves is they don’t just kill when they’re hungry. They kill for sport,” he said. “That’s what they do. You know, they are… that’s what they do. I mean, they’re killers.” But many experts dispute that and say wolves do not kill for the fun of it.

Greta Anderson — Deputy Director, Western Watersheds Project

“They kill to eat,” Greta Anderson, Deputy Director of the Western Watersheds Project told EnviroNews. “When humans find animals that have been killed by wolves but are uneaten, they should assume the carcasses haven’t been consumed yet, as animals will routinely return to kill sites and continue to feed off a carcass as long as they can.”

Regarding the numbers of wolves, federal and state officials have boots on the ground, the AGFD even pays five full-time biologists to help manage and tabulate the numbers. Currently, there’s a minimum of 76 Mexican gray wolves in the state and about 163 total in the Southwest. So, even after over two decades of “recovery” in the wild, the current number of lobos is far from the estimated 3000-4000 that roamed the U.S. in the early 1900s.

Currently, wolf tracking is done in many ways: about half the estimated population wears radio collars, others are counted on the ground, in the air, and even by conducting howl surveys where biologists listen for wolves return howls.

“I don’t think the cattle growers have a basis for contending that the numbers are substantially higher than announced,” Robinson said. “If there were significantly more wolves on the landscape than the interagency field team now contends, wouldn’t those wolves be breeding with each other, and wouldn’t their numbers grow to the point that their presences couldn’t be denied by anyone?”

Wolf Depredation Prevention

What about just deploying measures to keep wolves away from cows, so fewer end up getting eaten? According to the cattle association’s survey, some feel “spending on preventative practices can be large relative to returns.” And ranchers’ willingness to pay to avoid depredations may be an area they’ll study in the future.

Jerome Rosa — Executive Director, Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association

Rosa said prevention can be challenging, expensive and more assistance is welcome, adding, “I think the ranchers would like to have all the available tools in their toolbox to be able to manage the situation.”

But in addition to reimbursements for depredations, there’s also money out there to help ranchers pay for prevention. One example: the State of Arizona Livestock Loss Board slated $110,000 to develop effective methods of preventing wolf and cattle interactions.

At present, preventative tools like tracking collars, that help to alert ranchers when wolves are in the area, are being used along with blinking lights, electric fences, and range riders. The downside, Rosa said, is that batteries burn out, and some prevention is burdensome.

All of these non-lethal measures just work for a short period of time,” he contended. “These wolves are extremely, extremely intelligent, and they get immune to those systems, and so then you constantly have to be changing.”

Mexican Wolf With Radio Collar — Photo: Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team

One solution Rosa offered is to limit the wolf population to a “manageable number” and kill problem wolves. “In areas where we’re having problems, then we need to go to lethal take on those packs,” Rosa told EnviroNews.

“You mean kill the wolves?” EnviroNews reiterated for clarity. “Yes. Yes,” Rosa asserted. And sometimes ranchers ask for just that and the federal government obliges.

Mexican Gray Wolf — Photo: KTAR Pheonix

Experts tallied reports for EnviroNews and found that since Mexican wolves were reintroduced to the Southwest the feds have killed about 21 lobos. The most common reason was for livestock depredations.

Dave Parsons Conducts Health Check on Captive-Born Mexican Wolf Pup

Conservationists insist killing this already beleaguered species is not the answer. Instead, they say regulators should require ranchers to use more preventative measures and remove the remains of dead cattle immediately, so the scent doesn’t attract predators. Furthermore, they insist there’s plenty of money out there to help ranchers outsmart even the craftiest of wolves.

“The government has asked nothing of the ranchers — at least required nothing,” Robinson continued. “They have asked nicely at times, you know, ‘Would you mind doing this?’ And sometimes the answer is ‘yes’ and sometimes the answer is ‘no.’”

Parsons claimed some wolves are being killed in “cryptic poaching” — meaning poaching that goes undetected. “Uncollared wolves killed in remote areas are rarely discovered by agency biologists, and the same is true for collared wolves when the poacher immediately disables the collar,” he added.

What’s at Stake?

Rosa told EnviroNews that if something isn’t done to curb Mexican wolf numbers, more ranchers will hang up their hats. Fewer cattle, he said, means less meat at the grocery store and more wildfires because ungrazed pastures provide fuel for flames to spread. “Killing wolves will allow [for] cattle, [and for] more people to be able to continue having cattle, out there to graze these spots,” he asserted.

Mexican Wolf — Photo: Columbus Zoo

But in addition to the many tangible issues, palpable on the ground between ranchers and conservationists, the more esoteric factor of global warming looms. Scientists say the rising trend of massive wildfires in the West is fueled in part by methane emissions from livestock and the agricultural sector at large.

Robinson told EnviroNews responsible, proactive ranchers should tap into the resources available to help keep afloat, but pulled no punches when emphasizing the free marketplace should determine the better mousetrap:

As for whether ranchers will go out of business due to depredations in the absence of wolf killing, that very much depends. Not all business ventures in the United States are destined to succeed, even when subsidized. The fact that some ranchers refuse to take measures to protect their stock would seem to make them less likely to stay in business.

Parsons agreed. “If a heavily subsidized livestock production business cannot afford to protect its primary asset (cows) by methods such as confining cows to pens for calving and hiring range riders to monitor and control their whereabouts on the landscape, then perhaps it is not a viable or appropriate business enterprise,” he said.

This Land is Not Your Land

Finally, EnviroNews asked Rosa, “Do you see the Mexican wolf as a vital part of the ecosystem? Should the species be there [at all]?” His answer: Nope. He concluded:

I don’t see it as a vital part. It wasn’t here for many, many years after they had been hunted down in the past. Now, some will say, “OK, they take care of, you know, sick animals, they’ll put them down.” They’re non-discriminatory. So, they’re not just taking [out] the weakness of a species. They take these animals down just for sport. I mean, it’s just what they do. And so, I understand, you know, the wolf advocates reasoning that they use — that they try to use. But, [it’s] not logical, and it’s not realistic. But, you know, I understand that that’s their position.

That’s something that enrages conservationists who say the wolves aren’t into sport killing and were there first. “The livestock industry has sought to transform the entire ecosystem of the Southwest… they see the wolves as the worst part of the ecosystem that they want to eliminate,” Robinson said.

Mexican Gray Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)

So, the 100-year war between ranchers, cattle, wolves, conservationists and government agencies continues. Many battles ensue, no side declares any winners, but all have the instinct to keep fighting.

OTHER GREAT REPORTS ABOUT MEXICAN WOLVES FROM ENVIRONEWS

RECENT AND RELATED

OTHER ENVIRONEWS REPORTS ON WOLVES

https://www.environews.tv/092520-cattle-assoc-tells-environews-ranchers-want-mexican-wolves-killed-despite-being-paid-for-livestock-losses/

D.C. Police disbanding Mounted Unit

Tuesday's Horse

Disbanding of horse mounted police units continues across the U.S. The horse mounted unit in the nation’s Capitol is the latest casualty.

WJLA reports:

The Horse Mounted Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department is being disbanded, D.C. police confirmed.

A spokesperson for the department said the changes are a result of recent budget cuts by D.C. City Council.

The D.C. Horse Mounted Unit had four horses and four officers

A petition on Change.org that aims to support the MPD Horse Unit is seeking 1,500 signatures.

According to the petition, the MPD Horse Unit was established in 2002 and has been a huge success with the citizens of Washington, D.C. The horse unit reportedly costs $70,000 a year to run.


This amount is an immeasurable amount to pay compared to all of the good will that we’ve displayed as part of the community events, block parties, parades, crowd control, high-visibility…

View original post 129 more words

NASA Researcher Arrested for False Statements and Wire Fraud in Relation to China’s Talents Program

justice.gov

A criminal complaint has been unsealed today, charging Zhengdong Cheng, 53, of College Station, Texas, for conspiracy, making false statements and wire fraud. 

Texas A&M University (TAMU) Professor Zhengdong Cheng is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sam Sheldon today at 10 a.m. in Houston, Texas.  Authorities took him into custody Sunday, Aug. 23. 

Cheng allegedly led a team conducting research for NASA. According to the criminal complaint, for several years he willfully took steps to obscure his affiliations and collaboration with a Chinese University and at least one Chinese-owned company.  The terms of Cheng’s grant prohibited participation, collaboration or coordination with China, any Chinese-owned company or any Chinese University, according to the charges.

“Once again, we have witnessed the criminal consequences that can arise from undisclosed participation in the Chinese government’s talent program,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.  “Professor Cheng allegedly made false statements to his university and to NASA regarding his affiliations with the Chinese government.  The Department of Justice will continue seeking to bring participation in these talent programs to light and to expose the exploitation of our nation and our prized research institutions.”

“China is building an economy and academic institutions with bricks stolen from others all around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas. “While 1.4 million foreign researchers and academics are here in the U.S. for the right reasons, the Chinese Talents Program exploits our open and free universities. These conflicts must be disclosed, and we will hold those accountable when such conflict violates the law.”

“As alleged, Zhengdong Cheng knowingly deceived NASA officials about his association with Chinese owned companies and universities, willingly accepted U.S. government funding, and defrauded his university,” said Assistant Director Alan Kohler, Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.  “The FBI is committed to aggressively pursuing those individuals who try and undercut our U.S. research institutions and government agencies by concealing their participation in Chinese talent recruitment programs and to hold them accountable for their actions.” 

“NASA’s funding restrictions are in place to protect taxpayer-financed research dollars and intellectual property,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark Zielinski, NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) – Eastern Field Office.  “We will continue pursue anyone who attempts to circumvent these guidelines and conceal affiliations with Chinese institutions and companies in order to obtain NASA grant money.”

“Dr. Cheng is accused of hiding his affiliation with the Guangdong University of Technology, along with other foreign universities, while disregarding the rules established under his NASA contract during his employment at TAMU,” said FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner.  “These alleged actions came to light through the tireless work of the FBI-Bryan Resident Agency and NASA-OIG investigative teams.  We are grateful to TAMU, TAMU System and TAMU Engineering Experiment Station for providing significant assistance through their partnership with us throughout this case.”

The charges allege Cheng and TAMU received funds based on Cheng knowingly providing false information to TAMU and consequently to NASA.  In addition to the funds, Cheng personally benefited from his affiliation with TAMU and NASA with increased access to unique NASA resources, such as the International Space Station, according to the complaint.  This access allegedly allowed Cheng to further his standing in China at Guangdong University of Technology and other universities.  The charges further allege he held senior research positions there unknown to TAMU and NASA and was able to serve in the People’s Republic of China Talents program.  China’s Talents Plans are allegedly designed to attract, recruit and cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China’s scientific development, economic prosperity and national security.

The FBI-Bryan Resident Agency and NASA-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation with the assistance of TAMU.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Ferko and S. Mark McIntyre are prosecuting the case with the assistance of trial attorney Matthew McKenzie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/nasa-researcher-arrested-false-statements-and-wire-fraud-relation-china-s-talents-program

Dictator Kim Jong-un orders citizens to turn over their dogs to be used as meat • Pet Rescue Report

petrescuereport.com

Cheryl Hanna

In July, the dictator of North Korea,  Kim Jong-un, announced having a dog as a pet would be against the law. Stating that pets are a symbol of capitalist ‘decadence,’ dogs in Pyongyang are being confiscated and being sent to either restaurants or zoos for meat to solve the nation’s food shortages.

According to the Daily Mail, dog meat has continued to be a delicacy on the Korean Peninsula, and even though there has been a downturn with younger people, there are still one million dogs raised on farms for human consumption.

“Authorities have identified households with pet dogs and are forcing them to give them or forcefully confiscating them and putting them down,” a source from South Korea’s Chosun IIbo newspaper stated.

Pet owners have little choice even though there have been reports of “cursing Kim Jong-un behind his back.” Anyone refusing to give up their dog could be viewed as an act of defiance by Jong-un, who commonly refers to himself as the Supreme Dignity.

In 1989, pets were encouraged in North Korea and used as a symbol of economic development, sophistication and wealthy families could be seen walking their dogs on state run television programs. In 2018, Kim Jong-un gifted the South Korean president two home grown hunting dogs presenting them as “peace puppies.” Those obviously were the lucky pups.

North Korea now faces a widespread food shortage – 60% of the population of 25.5 million people are included.


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https://petrescuereport.com/2020/dictator-kim-jong-un-orders-citizens-to-turn-over-their-dogs-to-be-used-as-meat/

US agrees with Canada, Mexico to extend border restrictions into September amid coronavirus

foxnews.com

Adam Shaw

The U.S. has agreed with Canada and Mexico to extend land border restrictions on non-essential travel into September amid continued fears about the coronavirus pandemic.

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“We continue to work with our Canadian and Mexican partners to slow the spread of #COVID19,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Friday. “Accordingly, we have agreed to extend the limitation of non-essential travel at our shared land ports of entry through September 21.”

THOUSANDS CROSSING US-MEXICO BORDER DESPITE NONESSENTIAL TRAVEL BAN 

The U.S. announced in March that it had agreed with its two neighbors to close its land borders to the north and south to all but essential travel as part of a broad range of efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The agreement has been extended a number of times and was due to expire on Aug. 21.

“We already told the United States that we’re of the idea that it’s extended because of what we have along the strip on their side,” Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Thursday, referring to a rise in cases near the U.S. border.

Essential cross-border workers such as health care professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still allowed to cross along the border. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S.

Americans who are returning to the U.S. are exempted from the closure at the U.S.-Canada border.

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It is one of a number of travel-related restrictions that countries have taken in order to curb the spread of the virus. In the U.S., President Trump barred nationals from China, Iran, Brazil, the European Union and the U.K. from coming into the U.S.

The administration has also taken further action on illegal immigration and asylum-seekers, taking measures to quickly return them back to their home countries with minimal, if any, time in detention.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-agrees-canada-mexico-border-restrictions-september-coronavirus

Why Botswana’s elections matter to SCI and SCIF – Safari Club International Foundation

safariclubfoundation.org

By Chris Comer, Ph.D., SCIF Director of Conservation

Many readers may have seen in the news reports that the Botswana Democratic Party and President Mokgweetsi Masisi were declared the winners of general elections in Botswana recently.  Some may have even clicked through and read the story but most probably do not realize the significance of this event for sustainable use and community livelihoods in southern Africa.

Prior to 2014, Botswana was among the premier destinations in Africa for both photographic and hunting safaris with healthy populations of elephants, lions, Cape buffalo, and many species of plains game.  In fact, Botswana currently hosts the largest elephant population in the world with over 130,000 elephants (about 30% of the continental elephant population) according to a 2016 IUCN report.  They also had a well-developed system of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) that allowed local communities and rural Batswana to benefit from their abundant wildlife resources.  However, in 2013 then-president Ian Khama placed a moratorium on all hunting on state land, including by Batswana.  Hunting on private game ranches continued because land tenure is privately owned.  Like any such policy, the reasons for and politics surrounding the ban were complex; however, the impacts of the ban on Botswana’s wildlife, habitats, and people are quite clear (Effects of the Safari Hunting Tourism Ban on Rural Livelihoods and Wildlife Conservation in Northern Botswana, Joseph E. Mbaiwa).  While the phototourism industry in the country has grown in key photographic areas (e.g., the Okavango Delta Ramsar Site), these benefits have not reached many rural communities, who live in marginal areas where photographic tourism is either very low, or not commercially viable.  Elevated conflicts with wildlife—especially elephants, lions, and leopards—have profoundly affected those people.  Damage to crops and property is widespread and recent years have seen increases in livestock and even human loss of life.  The recently completed documentary Voices from the Frontline details many of these issues.  Not surprisingly, with no income available from wildlife and few legal means to prevent damage to their livelihoods, illegal and retaliatory killing of wildlife is on the rise.  SCIF conservation staff were fortunate enough to attend a meeting of community leaders in Gaborone in August and hear these concerns first-hand.

President Masisi became president in April 2018 and in May 2019 announced the intention of his government to lift the moratorium on hunting on state land for elephant and buffalo in the country.  Predictably, this elicited condemnation from animal rights groups that urged the president to prioritize Western values over the needs of his country and his people.  These included calls for boycotts of the lucrative phototourism industry in Botswana, potentially putting further pressure on livelihoods in rural areas.  In addition to lifting the hunting ban, efforts are underway to reestablish the CBNRM system and allow rural communities to benefit from their natural resources.  So far, the president has resisted pressure to maintain the hunting ban but his presidency was not certain until the results of the October general election.  With the recently announced results, His Excellency President Masisi will be in office for at least five years, giving him the mandate to continue working to benefit Botswana and rural communities through sustainable use of their wildlife.  Safari Club International and SCI Foundation have met with President Masisi and the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife, and Tourism to express our support for Botswana in these efforts.  We will welcome a delegation from Botswana that includes Ministry representatives, the Botswana Wildlife Management Association, and CBRNM organizations to our upcoming African Wildlife Consultative Forum in November.  Of course, the hunter-conservationists of SCI benefit from increased international hunting opportunities that come with the lifting of the hunting moratorium.  More importantly, the people of Botswana will have a means to manage their wildlife and fully benefit from their abundant natural resources.  Finally, conservation will benefit from sustainable use in Botswana like it does in the other countries of southern and eastern Africa.

https://safariclubfoundation.org/why-botswanas-elections-matter-to-sci-and-scif/

Justice Department Seeks Forfeiture of Two Commercial Properties Purchased with Funds Misappropriated from PrivatBank in Ukraine

justice.gov

The United States filed two civil forfeiture complaints today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging that commercial real estate in Louisville, Kentucky, and Dallas, Texas, both acquired using funds misappropriated from PrivatBank in Ukraine, are subject to forfeiture based on violations of federal money laundering statutes.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman for the Northern District of Ohio, and Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith of the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office made the announcement.

The complaints allege that Ihor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Boholiubov, who owned PrivatBank, one of the largest banks in Ukraine, embezzled and defrauded the bank of billions of dollars.  The two obtained fraudulent loans and lines of credit from approximately 2008 through 2016, when the scheme was uncovered, and the bank was nationalized by the National Bank of Ukraine.  The complaints allege that they laundered a portion of the criminal proceeds using an array of shell companies’ bank accounts, primarily at PrivatBank’s Cyprus branch, before they transferred the funds to the United States.  As alleged in the complaint, the loans were rarely repaid except with more fraudulently obtained loan proceeds.

As alleged in the Complaints, in the United States, associates of Kolomoisky and Bogoliubov, Mordechai Korf and Uriel Laber, operating out of offices in Miami, created a web of entities, usually under some variation of the name “Optima,” to further launder the misappropriated funds and invest them.  They purchased hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate and businesses across the country, including the properties subject to forfeiture: the Louisville office tower known as PNC Plaza, and the Dallas office park known as the former CompuCom Headquarters.  The buildings have a combined value of approximately $70 million.

A complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

FBI’s Cleveland Division is investigating the case with support from FBI’s International Corruption Unit, IRS Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  International Unit Chief Mary K. Butler, Senior Trial Attorney Michael C. Olmsted, Trial Attorneys Shai D. Bronshtein and Peter Steciuk, and Law Clerk Robert Blaney of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adrienne Rosen of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the cases.  The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs has provided substantial assistance in the investigation.

The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is led by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies, and often with U.S. Attorney’s Offices, to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption and, where appropriate, to use those recovered assets to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office.  In 2015, the FBI formed International Corruption Squads across the country to address national and international implications of foreign corruption.  Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to kleptocracy@usdoj.gov (link sends e-mail) or https://tips.fbi.gov/.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-seeks-forfeiture-two-commercial-properties-purchased-funds-misappropriated

arlin report thought(s) of the day: statue removal

ARLIN REPORT...................walking this path together

While you are at it! Their legacies certainly offended many!

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This is History 101… You may need to take notes!

DA Declines to Prosecute Accomplice in New York St. Patrick’s Cathedral Vandalism – Gregg Jarrett

thegreggjarrett.com

The horrendous vandalism of New York City’s historical St. Patrick’s Cathedral will see no justice. Thank goodness, the perpetrator was caught and arrested. A 26-year-old man from Queens, Yadir Avila Rosas was taken into custody during the early hours of Saturday morning, the NYPD told The New York Post.

Police charged Rosas “with criminal mischief in the third degree and making graffiti, alleging that he was the ‘getaway driver’ for two women who tagged the famous house of worship with spray-painted slogans on May 30” reported The Post.

Unfortunately, the District Attorney decided an arraignment on Saturday was unnecessary. Despite the DA’s lack of action, cops are still looking for the two female suspects who used Rosas as their getaway. Photos have been released and the NYPD is asking the public for help. If anyone has knowledge about the two women, they are asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

The famous Cathedral was sprayed with the words “F*** F***” in red letters on one exterior wall and “BLM” for Black Lives Matter along with “NYPDK” for “No Justice No Peace.” The victim’s name, George Floyd, was also spray-painted in black letters on part of its stairs.

If the District Attorney declines to prosecute Rosas, will the same be done after the female suspects are found? Is the hard work of the police and helpful public simply going to be flushed down the toilet by the District Attorney? It’s just another example of the uphill battle police departments in liberal cities face; leaders who thwart them, not support them.

https://thegreggjarrett.com/da-declines-to-prosecute-accomplice-in-new-york-st-patricks-cathedral-vandalism/

Pennsylvania is SLOWLY Coming Back to Life

Resolutions would end the emergency disaster declaration, but would need democrat support to take effect | fox43.com

https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/521-5f5a7878-60c7-45ca-bd7c-de3890552466/amp#amp=1 local

Governor Wolf says, he will disapprove the resolution. The General Assembly would need a 2/3 majority to override the governor’s disapproval Author: Chelsea Koerbler (FOX43) Published: 5:15 PM EDT May 28, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa. — There are two resolutions moving through the state house in their respective senate and house chambers. Both resolutions would do the same thing, terminate the COVID-19 emergency disaster declaration issued by Governor Wolf on March 6th. 

Republicans, State Rep. Russ Diamond, and State Sen. Doug Mastriano, are sponsors of the resolutions. Pennsylvania’s Emergency Management Services Code defines the Governor’s authority to declare a disaster emergency but, the general assembly by concurrent resolution may terminate a state of disaster emergency at any time. Governor Wolf says, he has the power to disapprove the resolution and intends to exercise that power if it does pass with a majority vote.  null

“I don’t see by a constitutional democratic perspective why this would make any sense,” said Gov. Wolf. “I do have the power to disapprove and I intend to.”  

Sen. Mastriano says, the resolutions would need a two-thirds majority to override Governor Wolf’s disapproval and get the resolution to take effect. Assuming all republicans vote in favor of the resolution, 26 democrats in the house, and six democrats in the senate would need to support it.

“It takes the unilateral power out of the governor’s hand and places it back in the hands of the general assembly,” said Sen. Mastriano. By terminating the declaration, it would get rid of the red, yellow and green phases, and allow Pennsylvanians to make their own decisions on what they feel comfortable doing. “The goal is we take the power out of the governor’s hands and put it back in the people’s hand so they can decide if they want to open up and how to open up and if they do it safely or just go back to normal operations.”

Governor Wolf says, by ending the emergency disaster declaration, the state would lose $1.5 billion dollars in FEMA funding. However, Sen. Mastriano says, the Trump Administration has assured him, the state would not lose that money if these resolutions took effect.

The emergency disaster declaration is set to expire June 4th. Within his powers as Governor, Wolf can either let it expire or extend it. The governor does intend to renew the emergency disaster declaration. His office tells FOX43: null

“The governor’s COVID-19 proclamation not only allows the commonwealth to more quickly procure much-needed resources to assist county emergency management and support our medical professionals and first responders, it makes us eligible for federal reimbursement for associated costs under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. We are still very much in need of federal funding in order to respond to and recover from this pandemic.” https://d-979871345335546688.ampproject.net/2005151844001/frame.html

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/local/resolutions-would-end-governor-wolfs-emergency-disaster-declaration/521-7b38e426-1549-4066-b460-499e5383ddca?__twitter_impression=true

The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life | TheHill

By Scott W. Atlas, John R. Birge, Ralph L Keeney and Alexander Lipton, Opinion Contributors — 05/25/20 08:00 AM EDT 886 The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill 12,263

Our governmental COVID-19 mitigation policy of broad societal lockdown focuses on containing the spread of the disease at all costs, instead of “flattening the curve” and preventing hospital overcrowding. Although well-intentioned, the lockdown was imposed without consideration of its consequences beyond those directly from the pandemic. 

The policies have created the greatest global economic disruption in history, with trillions of dollars of lost economic output. These financial losses have been falsely portrayed as purely economic. To the contrary, using numerous National Institutes of Health Public Access publications, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and various actuarial tables, we calculate that these policies will cause devastating non-economic consequences that will total millions of accumulated years of life lost in the United States, far beyond what the virus itself has caused.

Pandemics have afflicted humankind throughout history. They devastated the Roman and Byzantine empires, Medieval Europe, China and India, and they continue to the present day despite medical progress. null

The past century has witnessed three pandemics with at least 100,000 U.S. fatalities: The “Spanish Flu,” 1918-1919, with between 20 million and 50 million fatalities worldwide, including 675,000 in the U.S.; the “Asian Flu,” 1957-1958, with about 1.1 million deaths worldwide, 116,000 of those in the U.S.; and the “Hong Kong Flu,” 1968-1972,  with about 1 million people worldwide, including 100,000 in the U.S. So far, the current pandemic has produced almost 100,000 U.S. deaths, but the reaction of a near-complete economic shutdown is unprecedented.

The lost economic output in the U.S. alone is estimated to be 5 percent of GDP, or $1.1 trillion for every month of the economic shutdown. This lost income results in lost lives as the stresses of unemployment and providing basic needs increase the incidence of suicide, alcohol or drug abuse, and stress-induced illnesses. These effects are particularly severe on the lower-income populace, as they are more likely to lose their jobs, and mortality rates are much higher for lower-income individuals.   

Statistically, every $10 million to $24 million lost in U.S. incomes results in one additional death. One portion of this effect is through unemployment, which leads to an average increase in mortality of at least 60 percent. That translates into 7,200 lives lost per month among the 36 million newly unemployed Americans, over 40 percent of whom are not expected to regain their jobs. In addition, many small business owners are near financial collapse, creating lost wealth that results in mortality increases of 50 percent. With an average estimate of one additional lost life per $17 million income loss, that would translate to 65,000 lives lost in the U.S. for each month because of the economic shutdown. 

In addition to lives lost because of lost income, lives also are lost due to delayed or foregone health care imposed by the shutdown and the fear it creates among patients. From personal communications with neurosurgery colleagues, about half of their patients have not appeared for treatment of disease which, left untreated, risks brain hemorrhage, paralysis or death.

Here are the examples of missed health care on which we base our calculations: Emergency stroke evaluations are down 40 percent. Of the 650,000 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy in the United States, an estimated half are missing their treatments. Of the 150,000 new cancer cases typically discovered each month in the U.S., most – as elsewhere in the world – are not being diagnosed, and two-thirds to three-fourths of routine cancer screenings are not happening because of shutdown policies and fear among the population. Nearly 85 percent fewer living-donor transplants are occurring now, compared to the same period last year. In addition, more than half of childhood vaccinations are not being performed, setting up the potential of a massive future health disaster.

The implications of treatment delays for situations other than COVID-19 result in 8,000 U.S. deaths per month of the shutdown, or about 120,000 years of remaining life. Missed strokes contribute an additional loss of 100,000 years of life for each month; late cancer diagnoses lose 250,000 years of remaining life for each month; missing living-donor transplants, another 5,000 years of life per month — and, if even 10 percent of vaccinations are not done, the result is an additional 24,000 years of life lost each month. 

These unintended consequences of missed health care amount to more than 500,000 lost years of life per month, not including all the other known skipped care.

If we only consider unemployment-related fatalities from the economic shutdown, that would total at least an additional 7,200 lives per month. Assuming these deaths occur proportionally across the ages of current U.S. mortality data, and equally among men and women, this amounts to more than 200,000 lost years of life for each month of the economic shutdown. 

In comparison, COVID-19 fatalities have fallen disproportionately on the elderly, particularly in nursing homes, and those with co-morbidities. Based on the expected remaining lifetimes of these COVID-19 patients, and given that 40 percent of deaths are in nursing homes, the disease has been responsible for 800,000 lost years of life so far. Considering only the losses of life from missed health care and unemployment due solely to the lockdown policy, we conservatively estimate that the national lockdown is responsible for at least 700,000 lost years of life every month, or about 1.5 million so far — already far surpassing the COVID-19 total.

Policymakers combatting the effects of COVID-19 must recognize and consider the full impact of their decisions. They need to be aware of the devastating effects in terms of lost life from shutting down significant parts of the economy. The belated acknowledgement by policy leaders of irreparable harms from the lockdown is not nearly enough. They need to emphatically and widely inform the public of these serious consequences and reassure them of their concern for all human life by strongly articulating the rationale for reopening society. https://ebd4fc279229bb5cc4164421271babeb.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

To end the loss of life from the economic lockdown, businesses as well as K-12 schools, public transportation, parks and beaches should smartly reopen with enhanced hygiene and science-based protection warnings for any in the high-risk population. For most of the country, that reopening should occur now, without any unnecessary fear-based restrictions, many of which repeat the error of disregarding the evidence. By following a thoughtful analysis that finally recognizes all available actions and their consequences, we can save millions of years of American life. 

When the next pandemic inevitably arises, we need to remember these lessons and follow policies that consider the lives of all Americans from the outset.

TheHill.com

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The contents of this site are ©2020 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc. null https://s.ntv.io/safeiframe/trp.html

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/499394-the-covid-19-shutdown-will-cost-americans-millions-of-years-of-life

Department of Labor & Industry offers tips to help claimants get questions answered quickly | fox43.com

https://media.fox43.com/embeds/mobile/video/521-5a114dd1-03a3-46e9-bac1-0ed878e95898/amp#amp=1 local

Even as unemployment benefits paid since March 15th tops $10 billion, some folks haven’t been paid and have been waiting weeks for an answer as to why Author: Chelsea Koerbler (FOX43) Published: 5:40 PM EDT May 26, 2020

As Pennsylvania has paid more than $10 billion in unemployment since March 15th, it is still taking days, and sometimes weeks for people to get in contact with unemployment to iron out any issues with their claims. 

RELATED: Have questions about COVID-19? Check out our resource guide

Many claimants are faced with busy tones when calling the Dept. of L&I or a message saying their email may take 49 days to get answered. The Dept. of L&I has been working to ensure quicker response times. It has added hundred of employees since March15th, and yet, some people are still waiting days, if not weeks to get answers about their claims.  null

The department offers these tips if you have questions: 

  • Email first. That puts you in a line to get your question answered. 
  • Try the online chat function. The department has continued to add more staff to the online chat function. Many of the employees hired by L&I are working the chat. 
  • If you need to call, your best bet is to call later in the week.

“i would say keep trying,” said Susan Dickinson, Department of Labor and Industry Office of Unemployment Benefits Policy Director. “I know some claimants that have gotten through in the last two weeks and others say they haven’t gotten through at all.” 

An entire troubleshooting guide as to what is wrong with your unemployment claim can be found here.  https://d-421694995197302393.ampproject.net/2005151844001/frame.html

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/local/tips-to-get-unemployment-questions-answered-as-quick-as-possible/521-7dc5c232-10c2-4f31-a5cf-ac69753d3aae?__twitter_impression=true

DEFIANCE – There are More of Us Than Them…

Pennsylvania health official moved mother from nursing home

Dr. Rachel Levine

Dr. Rachel Levine AP Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic.

The health official responsible for overseeing nursing homes in Pennsylvania — where nearly 70 percent of the state’s coronavirus-related deaths have occurred — moved her elderly mother out of one of the facilities as deaths skyrocketed, a report said.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said Tuesday that her 95-year-old mother requested to be moved out of a personal care home, a local ABC affiliate reported.

“My mother requested, and my sister and I as her children complied to move her to another location during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Levine said, according to ABC27.

“My mother is 95 years old. She is very intelligent and more than competent to make her own decisions,” she added.

After criticism from some state lawmakers for the move, Levine argued she’s working to ensure the health and safety of all state residents, according to the report.

In March, Levine ordered long-term care facilities in the state to continue to accept coronavirus patients who had been discharged from hospitals but who were unable to return to their homes, the Bucks County Courier Times reported.

Of the state’s 3,806 coronavirus deaths, 2,611 had occurred in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to ABC27.

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Cumberland County Commissioners clarify position on moving into yellow phase ahead of Wolf administration’s approval | fox43.com

coronavirus

Cumberland County Commissioners clarify position on moving into yellow phase ahead of Wolf administration’s approval

In a letter to residents Monday, the commissioners said they “are not promoting or advocating any actions that are openly defiant of the state of emergency.” Author: Keith Schweigert (FOX43) Published: 12:22 PM EDT May 11, 2020

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — The Cumberland County Commissioners Office released an open letter to residents Monday clarifying its position on re-opening the county before it has reached “Yellow Phase” status as determined by the administration of Governor Tom Wolf.

Last week, it was reported that the commissioners planned to inform Wolf they were exploring options to move the county into the Yellow Phase. They reportedly directed the county solicitor to identify if the county has any legal basis to re-open the county by overriding the governor’s emergency declaration.  null

Monday’s letter from the Office of the Cumberland County Commissioners clarified their position.

The letter reads: 

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, we would like to clarify our position on the issue of COVID-19 and the current state of emergency for Cumberland County. At this time the county remains in the Red Phase.

Cumberland County is currently not moving toward a unilateral “re-opening,” in the manner that some other counties have announced. This move, we are advised, has no legal basis, and would not stand up, and could actually endanger the business licenses of those who defy the state of emergency declaration. 

We are committed to a reopening that can last, and have a sustained success for the community. We hope that is soon. Cumberland County needs to open at the right time, and in the right manner. We are however, researching the options available to us, as reported in the media, both from a legal and a practical standpoint, as a decision nears on how, and when, to move the county toward safe re-opening.

Several key steps remain to ensure that move; especially in terms of implementing safeguards for our vulnerable populations, who will continue to require protection, after the majority of us can return to a more “normal” amount of mobility and public activity. We will continue to closely evaluate the steps as needed over the next few days.

RELATED: Head of PA Insurance Department warns businesses of increased risks, liability with non-compliance of closure orders null

RELATED: Cumberland County commissioners working on plan to re-open county

Today, we will be submitting a letter to the Governor urging him to fully consider the economic vitality needs of our communities as a key piece of the decisions on restrictions. 

We are, however, not promoting or advocating any actions that are openly defiant of the state of emergency, nor are we encouraging individuals or businesses to break the law.

These actions will likely prove detrimental in reaching the safe solution that is needed as soon as it’s feasible. There is a huge difference between “taking action,” and taking effective action. We need to be smart, as well as persistent.

Throughout this crisis, Cumberland County has maintained close and productive relations with the Department of Health, PEMA, as well as ongoing communications with Governor Wolf’s Office.

While we do not agree with all the decisions made at the state level, and acknowledge the role of our legislature in maintaining appropriate checks and balances, our experience has been that the state’s support at many levels has been invaluable, and we hope it will continue as we move closer into crisis recovery mode.” https://d-11960456151909540436.ampproject.net/2004252135000/frame.html https://d-11960456151909540436.ampproject.net/2004252135000/frame.html

https://www.fox43.com/amp/article/news/health/coronavirus/cumberland-county-commissioners-clarify-position-on-moving-into-yellow-phase-ahead-of-wolf-administrations-approval/521-0bd54409-13f4-4367-83ce-0bb9fba7f8b2?__twitter_impression=true

This letter from Pennsylvania’s House speaker blows up the lockdown lie

Dan from Squirrel Hill's Blog

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/horowitz-letter-pennsylvanias-house-speaker-blows-lockdown-lie/

This letter from Pennsylvania’s House speaker blows up the lockdown lie

May 8, 2020

Today, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. It was the ultimate triumph of grit, determination, and a unified sense of purpose behind liberty that, despite its painful human and monetary cost, freed an entire world and spawned 75 years of America superpower status – not just as a leader globally, but as a nation of freedom and prosperity at home.

Now, in a matter of just two months, we’ve flushed trillions of dollars in a greater investment than World War II, and we have nothing to show for it but a destroyed economy, a destroyed deterrent against a generation of dangerous criminals, a physical and mental health crisis, lost education of a generation of schoolchildren, lifelong dreams of small business owners down the toilet, and the end of freedom itself – all for…

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Tell Congress the American People need The Emergency Money for the People Act to pass. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

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Created by M.J. on April 15, 2020

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Needs 0 signatures by May 15, 2020 to get a response from the White House 128,736 signed 100,000 goal

The Emergency Money for the People Act expands relief to more Americans and includes a $2,000 monthly payment to every qualifying American over the age of 16 until employment returns to pre-COVID-19 levels. It also fixes a bug in the CARES Act to ensure college students and adults with disabilities can still receive the payments even if claimed as a dependent.
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“Fauci: There will be a surprise outbreak” ( This is from 2017)

Problems with stimulus check tracking or setting up direct deposit? 9 reasons why – CNET

https://www-cnet-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/problems-with-stimulus-check-tracking-or-setting-up-direct-deposit-9-reasons-why/?usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D&amp_js_v=0.1

Tulane receives $10 million grant to fight COVID-19

Tulane receives $10 million grant to fight COVID-19
Chad Roy, director of infectious disease aerobiology at Tulane National Primate Research Center, will lead the project to evaluate the nation’s most promising vaccines and treatments against COVID-19. Photo by Sally Asher. (Source: Tulane University)

By Chris Finch | April 7, 2020 at 12:59 PM CDT – Updated April 8 at 10:12 AM

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington has been awarded $10.3 million to evaluate the nation’s most promising vaccines and treatments to combat COVID-19.

The National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases granted the award Tuesday.

COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, is an emerging infectious disease that has infected over 1.17 million people and claimed more than 64,000 lives in a global pandemic. No vaccines or treatments currently exist to treat the highly contagious disease.

The three-year NIH/NIAID award will initially study three species of nonhuman primates to determine which most closely mimics COVID-19 infection and transmission as experienced by humans. A nonhuman primate model will provide key information about the characteristics of the disease and will help researchers determine which candidate COVID-19 vaccines and treatments are safe and effective.

A nonhuman primate model also helps researchers understand which underlying health conditions, or comorbidities, can make some people more susceptible to complications from the disease.

“The range of biological responses to COVID-19 is incredibly wide,” said lead investigator Chad Roy, professor of microbiology and immunology in the Tulane University School of Medicine and director of infectious disease aerobiology at the Tulane National Primate Research Center. “We know relatively little about the intricacies of the disease — like why some infections result in mild disease, while others experience severe complications or death.”

SEE MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE HERE

Once a reliable nonhuman primate model of disease has been established, Tulane researchers will then test promising vaccines and therapeutics for safety and effectiveness before promoting them for use in human clinical trials.

“We will be a primary site for evaluating the nation’s leading medical countermeasures against COVID-19,” Roy said. “Receiving this award is a testament to the unique capabilities of the Tulane National Primate Research Center and the international reputation of Tulane University as a leader in infectious disease research.”

Copyright 2020 WVUE. All rights reserved.

Chris Finch

Published 1h at 2:10 PM

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Harvard Nets Nearly $9 Million in Coronavirus Aid from Federal CARES Act | News | The Harvard Crimson

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https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/4/15/harvard-coronavirus-cares-act/

Harvard will receive millions in funding via a national coronavirus stimulus package. By Camille G. CalderaBy Ellen M. Burstein and Camille G. Caldera, Crimson Staff WritersApril 15, 2020

Harvard University will receive nearly $9 million in aid from the federal government through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Department of Education announced last week.

The CARES Act — the largest economic stimulus package in American history — was signed into law on March 27. It allocates nearly $14 billion to support higher education institutions during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Of the $8,655,748 Harvard is slated to receive, the government has mandated that at least half — $4,327,874 — be reserved for emergency financial aid grants to students.

The Department of Education will distribute the first $6.28 billion to colleges and universities to cover expenses such as course materials, technology, food, and housing students have incurred “related to disruptions in their education due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” according to a April 9 press release.

The Department of Education is requiring universities to sign a certification agreeing to the conditions of use before they can access the funding, but each school may allocate the financial aid funds at their own discretion.

The Department of Education allocated most of the $14 billion in funds based on two factors: the share of recipients of federal Pell Grants, and overall undergraduate and graduate enrollment numbers. It weighted the proportion of Pell Grant recipients as a factor at 75 percent, while enrollment was weighted at 25 percent.

As a result, the top 20 colleges which received the most funding are all public colleges and universities with enrollments in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Arizona State University received the largest relief package of any institution in the nation, netting more than $63 million.

Harvard’s aid package is the third-largest of the Ivy League universities’. Columbia University and Cornell University will receive the largest awards, at $12.8 million each. Yale University will receive nearly $7 million, and Princeton University will net around $2.5 million.

In an April 9 letter to college and university presidents, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos encouraged administrators to set a maximum amount for individual student aid grants.Advertisement

“I would like to encourage the leadership of each institution to prioritize your students with the greatest need, but at the same time consider establishing a maximum funding threshold for each student to ensure that these funds are distributed as widely as possible,” DeVos wrote.

DaVos also wrote that the Department of Education is “working expeditiously to allocate the remaining funding that is reserved for institutional use.”

In addition to aid to colleges and universities, the CARES Act included student loan relief and other provisions aimed at alleviating students’ financial hardship.

Experts say that Harvard will likely continue to face “grave” financial consequences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

University administrators announced salary and hiring freezes, discretionary spending reductions, leadership salary cuts, and the potential deferral of capital projects in an email to Harvard affiliates Monday.

The University will also sell $1.1 billion in bonds, according to a report last week from Moody’s Investors Service.

Its flagship faculty, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, has already netted $30 million in expenses and lost revenue due to the pandemic, leaving it unable to cover its yearly budget, FAS Dean Claudine Gay announced last week.

—Staff writer Ellen M. Burstein can be reached at ellen.burstein@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @ellenburstein.

—Staff writer Camille G. Caldera can be reached at camille.caldera@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @camille_caldera.

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Second Petition:Demand the Trump administration supply the USPS with the funding it needs!

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Demand the Trump administration supply the USPS with the funding it needs! 2 minutes As USPS struggles due to the coronavirus, Trump is refusing all funding for this essential service. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is suffering. Due to coronavirus, mail volume has dropped significantly and, as essential workers, postal workers are still risking their lives on the front lines of the pandemic. The USPS needs relief from our government. But Trump is refusing to give aid to this essential service, even going so far as to threaten to veto any legislation that includes grants or funding to support USPS. The USPS is an American institution that has been with us since our nation’s founding. It connects us to distant family and friends, delivers medication, paychecks, and online packages, and even brings us communications from the government. And now, as voting by mail is quickly becoming a crucial part of our elections due to coronavirus, millions of voters will rely on the USPS to get voters their ballots in time. That’s why we’re calling on Trump to stop tearing down the USPS and get them the funding they need to weather this economic crisis. Sign on now! Paid for by: Gerry Connolly for Congress, Democratic Association of Secretaries of State, Kathleen Rice for Congress, Blueprint Interactive, Integrity First PAC, Royce West For U.S. Senate, Clarke for Congress, Lucy McBath for Congress, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

United States coronavirus crisis for Navajo Nation

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 15 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

How Navajo Nation’s water and health crisis is amplified by COVID-19

For the Navajo Nation, the COVID-19 crisis is compounding systemic issues on the reservation like lack of water and healthcare access that existed long before the outbreak.

“The Navajo Nation experiences some of the highest rates of water poverty in the United States,” which makes it difficult to take basic precautionary measures like washing your hands, says Navajo artist and activist Emma Robbins. Robbins is also director of the Navajo Water Project, a community-managed utility alternative that brings running water to homes without access to water or sewer lines. She says mutual aid efforts like these are crucial for community survival during this crisis, but adds that the government needs to step up.

“I’ve seen many Navajo women step up and fight for communities. … We are…

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