South Korea took measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country on Tuesday with the country’s capital of Seoul and nearby areas instructing gyms on what kind of music they are allowed to play.
According to the BBC, “Gyms in South Korea’s capital Seoul and its surrounding region have been told not to play music with a tempo higher than 120 beats per minute (bpm), in order to limit the spread of Covid-19.”
Treadmills will also only be allowed to reach a maximum speed of 6km/h (or 3.7 mph). People are also not permitted to use the showers at the gyms and must limit their time at indoor sports complexes to two hours. Health authorities have said that the limitations will prohibit people from breathing too quickly or getting sweat on one another.
The move has been questioned by gym owners.
Kang Hyun-ku, who owns a gym in Seoul, asked whether there was any proof a choice between classical music and BTS had an impact on spreading the virus.
He also told Reuters many people used their own earphones, asking: “How do you control their playlists?”
But officials say the measures help prevent gyms from closing completely.
South Korea recently had a spike in COVID-19 cases with 1,193 new cases reported on Monday, per Worldometer. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on Friday that the nation had gotten to “maximum crisis level.” The last time that the country had a similar number of cases was in December when the numbers were recorded at 1,047 cases.
According to The Korea Herald, the public is criticizing the move, saying that the rules are “nonsensical” and “ridiculous.”
“Starting Monday, Korea started enforcing the most restrictive social distancing measures in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province for the next two weeks,” the outlet noted, adding that “[p]rivate gatherings of three or more are banned from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. in these areas, and private gatherings of five or more are banned throughout the rest of the day. Violators face fines of up to 100,000 won ($87).”
“I don’t know what’s more to worry about these droplets when everyone wears masks without exception,” said Jang, a 32-year-old office employee based in Seoul who frequents the gym nearly every day.
“They require us to wear face masks while working out, check temperature before entry and provide our phone numbers, and I have closely followed these rules every day, and now they want us to stop running and listen to ballads?”
“Hardcore cardio has marked the start and end of my daily exercise routines, and now they want me to run slower, but they ask us to leave in two hours,” Jang added. “What do they want from us? Does the government want me to get fat and give up our lifestyle for the sake of these dumb rules?”
Health officials appear to be standing by their decision, however, as Son Young-rae, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said in a radio interview Monday.
“When you run faster, you spit out more respiratory droplets, so that’s why we are trying to restrict heavy cardio exercises,” Son Young-rae said, adding, “We also agreed on this (120 bpm) standard (with related groups) to transition strenuous aerobic exercises at fitness clubs to less-intense ones.”
Additional elements of the rules also seem to include that three individuals cannot be in the same taxi after 6p.m. when the private gathering limitation goes into effect. Officials have said, however, that it depends on each circumstance. “If the three were going to the same private gathering together, it could be a violation, but if each were heading to different destinations, it could be allowed, they explained,” per The Herald.
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The Minneapolis police chief asserted over the weekend that the police are not the biggest threat to the safety of the city after a three-year-old was reportedly shot Friday.
“The biggest threat to public safety in our city, and particularly to our African-American community, is not the police,” Chief Medaria Arradondo said. “We have an epidemic right now of unequivocal gun violence particularly in our African-American communities. And that must stop.”
The chief’s remarks came during a press conference on Saturday afternoon regarding the shooting, which took place on Friday night on the 3300 block of Emerson Avenue North in Minneapolis.
Police were called to the address about 9:47 p.m. on a report of a child being shot. Initial police dispatches indicated the child was 10, but information was later updated stating the child was three years old.
The chief said when officers arrived at the location of the shooting, they observed that the child had suffered a critical gunshot wound. Officers made the decision to transport the child to the hospital in a squad car instead of waiting for the ambulance, which was reported to be three or four minutes away.
Chief Arradondo praised the officers for their quick action and said they “made the right choice.” He said had the officers not made the decision to transport, he could very well be reporting the death of another child in Minneapolis.
A group of police chiefs from the Minneapolis suburbs warned Monday that gun violence has recently surged to unprecedented levels. “I’ve never seen the gun violence like it is,” Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen told local Fox 9.
“Enevoldsen and police chiefs from Crystal, Maple Grove, Plymouth, and New Hope, spoke to FOX 9 about the gun violence they are seeing in their communities,” Fox 9 reported.
“Violent crime in Hennepin County increased 24 percent in 2020 compared to 2019 and was up 36 percent in the last three months of 2020,” the outlet continued. “When you exclude Minneapolis from the calculations, violent crime in the rest of Hennepin County increased by 19 percent over the previous year.”
Minneapolis has been hemorrhaging police since the unrest that has roiled the city since the death of George Floyd in May 2020. As The Daily Wire reported:
Police officers are leaving the Minneapolis Police Department in droves because they feel “helpless” amid the city’s skyrocketing crime, according to one who left the force last year.
“This goes back before George Floyd,” former Minneapolis police officer Steve Dykstra told Fox News on Tuesday. “Since around 2015, I know the city of Minneapolis has been backpedaling, taking tools away from police to enforce the law and keep the streets safe.”
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The photos, posted to social media by a Miami Herald reporter, show cracks and standing water in hallways of the building’s lower levels.
“There was standing water all over the parking garage,” the contractor reportedly told the Miami newspaper. “He noted cracking concrete and severely corroded rebar under the pool.”
“The contractor visited the condo building last week to put together a bid for a cosmetic restoration of the pool as well as to price out new pool equipment — a small piece of the multimillion-dollar restoration project that just was getting underway at the 40-year-old building,” the outlet noted.
“While he had worked in the industry for decades and had ‘gone in some scary places,” the Herald continued, “he said he was struck by the lack of maintenance in the lower level. The amount of water at Champlain Towers seemed so unusual that the contractor mentioned it to a building staff member, Jose, who was showing him around.”
Jose, the contractor said, thought the damage was from a waterproofing issue. The contractor, though, was concerned about what appeared to be more systemic issues, including pools of standing water and “exposed and corroding rebar,” as well as cracks in the concrete.
An expert noted to the Herald that the damage, shown in the contractor’s photos, was likely not enough to cause the collapse, but that it may represent just a fraction of the deterioration in the building: “If the condition of the beam in the pool guy’s photo is something that was also happening under the building, that is a really major concern.”
A 2018 report, now at the center of the investigation into how the Champlain South Towers collapsed so suddenly last Thursday, leaving at least 11 dead and 150 people missing, documented extensive damage, earlier reports noted, and in a letter to Champlain South Tower residents, the condominium board president specifically referenced corroding rebar and cracking concrete in her plea for a $15 million assessment to cover major repairs.
The board president, Fox News reported Tuesday, “noted that in fall 2018, engineering firm Morabito Consultants was hired to inspect the building, reports said. The engineering report pointed out flaws of the building ahead of work that would be needed for the building to meet 40-year recertification in 2021, documents showed.”
“The report found that the pool deck’s waterproofing had failed and was not sloped to drain water. It also pointed to ‘abundant cracking’ in concrete columns and beams,” Fox continued.
“It does appear to start either at or very near the bottom of the structure,” a consulting engineer who is not affiliated with the search and rescue operation told the New York Times. “It’s not like there’s a failure high and it pancaked down.”
A female resident of the building, who is now missing, reportedly called her husband just ahead of the collapse and reported that the pool had disappeared into a “sinkhole.”
Officials say they are still hopeful that they will find survivors in rubble and that the “search and rescue” operation has not yet turned into a “search and recovery” effort. They are also collecting and preserving items that could serve as evidence in ongoing investigations at both the state and federal levels.
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AUSTIN, TX – (ERCOT) – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking Texans to reduce electric use as much as possible today through Friday, June 18. A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions.
Generator owners have reported approximately 11,000 MW of generation is on forced outage for repairs; of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal and the rest is intermittent resources. According to the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.
“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”
According to generation owners, the number of outages should decrease throughout the week.
Wind output for today is expected to be 3,500 to 6,000 MW between 3 and 9 p.m. This is roughly 1,500 MW lower than what is typically available for peak conditions. Wind output is expected to increase as the week goes on.
Today’s peak load forecast may exceed 73,000 MW. The peak demand record for June is 69,123 MW set on June 27, 2018 between 4 and 5 p.m.
Please take these simple actions to help reduce electric use:
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent.
Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers.
If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.
She also claimed the crimes happened during two separate instances, once on Feb. 16 and one on March 1.
After police inspected the available evidence, they concluded that it appeared Martinez committed the crime herself and changed the narrative to stoke outrage and attention.
“There are absolutely no indicators of any racial intent,” police wrote in the report, adding that they believed the complainant likely made up the story to earn a better shot at gaining a leadership position in the Black Student Union.
The report was obtained by the College Fixunder the Freedom of Information Act and furthered that “the complainants motivation … and ambition to become an officer in the BSU although speculative isn’t easily dismissed and provide a great amount of motivation to make a false report.”
Additionally, police said an unidentified person with knowledge on the matter “refuses to provide information.”
Martinez is reportedly enrolled for classes in the fall semester.
The student has made several other accusations, including a claim that the university forcibly removed her from her dorm, which the school denied, according to College FFix
The power came back on for most Texans after a horrifying week brought to you by liberalism where millions of Lone Star state residents saw extended outages when the Texas power grid couldn’t hold up to harsh winter storms.
As if that wasn’t enough now a second crisis is hitting many Texans in the form of gigantic electric bills some say they can’t possibly in a million years be able to pay. So far, the highest noted bill for one resident came in at $17,000, for the month as of Thursday.
Jason Wheeler, a reporter for KHOU-TV has been covering the problems Texans are facing who are under variable or indexed (by market rate) payment plans for their power bills. Most electric customer’s bills are set at a fixed rate, but the variable-type plans fluctuate. Normally, customers would take advantage of rates going down with the risk that rates could slightly go up. Well, for them the costs went up and there was nothing slight about it.
Wheeler reported that just over the past few days, the wholesale cost of one megawatt of power went from around $50 to $9,000, and that caused residential customers with non-fixed plans to get skyrocketing bills far that go beyond anything they could ever afford.
After asking for Texans who received crazy bills to send them to him, Wheeler said they just poured in. One person showed they paid just $88 last month for their electric bill and just received a bill close to $2,550 for a 990 sq ft apartment. Someone else said his daughter’s electric bill was usually around $50 a month and her bill just shot up close to $1,900.
Ty Williams who pays for electricity for his home, a guest house, and an office normally totals at about $600. This time his bill went to a whopping $17,000.
“How in the world can anyone pay that?” Williams told KHOU. “I mean you go from a couple hundred dollars a month…there’s absolutely no way. It makes no sense.”
In the meantime, other power companies are refusing to take on new customers for people who want to switch as they are trying to work on servicing their current customers during the chaos going on in the state.
A lot of customers are angry that they are facing these sky-high electric bills when they haven’t had power on in their homes for the past week. Some folks are asking how the racked-up bills aren’t considered price gouging. I would say because they were on that variable or index rate plan and that’s what the cost went up to when the ice hit the windmill. See what I did there?
Without electricity, there was no heat for a lot of homes, and in the kind of frozen weather Texas received recently a lot of homes’ water pipes burst to cause all kinds of damage. Disaster recovery services are not cheap either.
One person responded to Wheeler’s tweet about the situation.
“Talk about kicking us when we’re down… I’m afraid to see what my bill is going to be. So freaking mad about this $*it. I’m already afraid to see what they’re gonna do with my water bill after having to keep our taps dripping for almost a week now.”
More had things to say about what they’re going through.
“When my power came back on Wed the heater was blowing cold air then the fire sprinkler pipe burst the next day. I have renters insurance but what are my options? My apt is not getting warmed and kitchen living room ruined. Also will my bill electric skyrocket?”
Yesterday, Cloris Leachman passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 94. Cloris was an Academy Award-winning actress and a comedic genius. I was friends with Cloris for many years, and there was a side to Cloris that not a lot of people knew – her great kindness and compassion towards animals. She was a fearless animal advocate and showed up on behalf of the animals and LCA on numerous occasions. In the 1980’s, Cloris was LCA’s first President.
She will be very sorely missed. She was a great friend to me, to the animals, and to LCA.
CORRECTED ARTICLE: The official cause of death for George Floyd is related to the pressure applied by Derek Chauvin, to his neck. This article is merely speculation based on possible findings in the official autopsy. We are in no way trying to say that drugs or other conditions during the apprehension was the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death.
Some people are saying George Floyd’s respiratory crisis was caused by the Fentanyl he had ingested before the police showed up on the scene. Is that true? We are not sure, but it brings up some very concerning scenarios.
The unnecessary and abusive conduct, I believe, of Derek Chauvin, who kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck when already subdued, is probably guilty of violating police force procedures, and perhaps not of causing the death of the at least 5 times incarcerated George Floyd. But we still do not really know. We should allow all the evidence to come out, for a fair trial to be conducted, and if found guilty, fair sentencing by the judge.
From Gateway Pundit
It Now Looks Like George Floyd, Not Derek Chauvin, Killed George Floyd
The transcript from the body camera worn by J. Alexander Kueng shows evidence that George Floyd was suffering respiratory distress before the police laid hands on him. The Pundit claimed he died from a Fentanyl overdose, not from being choked out by Minneapolis police. This news will not bring joy to the crazed, leftist mob screaming to lop off the heads of the Minneapolis police officers who stand accused of “murdering” George Floyd.
Once you read the transcript you will understand why the Minnesota Attorney General seemed to withhold the video evidence from the public and why the defense attorneys are trying to get the information out–it exonerates the police.
The incident starts with a store manager reporting that George Floyd had just given him a counterfeit bill.
The transcript of Officer Kueng’s body cam gives us a better picture of what happened prior to the video, we all saw. In the end, we should want justice, if Mr. Floyd died from a drug-induced heart attack, or from suffocation from Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck, the punishment must fit the crime, not what people think it was.
East Lampeter Township Police are asking anyone who may have been traveling on the roads near where Linda Stoltzfoos was last seen on June 21 to call them. Author: Keith Schweigert (FOX43), Harri Leigh (FOX43) Published: 8:49 PM EDT June 29, 2020
BIRD IN HAND, Pa. — As they continue to search for an 18-year-old Amish woman who went missing on June 21, police in Lancaster County are seeking help from any bikers, drivers, or walkers who may have been in the area at the time she disappeared.
“The idea or the point behind people contacting the police is to allow us to speak to them in case there were any sort of suspicious activities or things that they may have observed that they may not have initially thought were important,” said Lt. Matthew Hess of the East Lampeter Township Police Department. null
Linda Stoltzfoos was last seen at church services at a farm on Stumptown Road near Bird-in-Hand on the morning of Sunday, June 21, according to East Lampeter Township Police. She never returned home.
The search for her has entered its second week.
Stoltzfus is described as a white woman, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 125 pounds. She was wearing a tan dress, white apron, and a white cape, police say.
Police are asking anyone who may have been traveling on the following roads between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on June 21 to contact them at (717) 291-4676:
Verizon is the latest corporate business to bow to the mob and boycott advertising on Facebook and Instagram—-an apparent attempt to be extra woke.
The wireless carrier joins Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, The North Face, REI and others in the “#StopHateForProfit” campaign, a movement aimed at pressuring social media companies to restrict certain speech.
“We have strict content policies in place and have zero tolerance when they are breached, we take action,” Verizon’s John Nitti said. “We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.”
The “#StopHateForProfit” campaign was started by far-left groups claiming Facebook “turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression on their platform.”
The group, led by the Anti-Defamation League, the Color of Change and the NAACP are outraged that, among other things, Facebook labeled Breitbart News a “trusted news source” and made The Daily Caller a “fact checker.”
The Color of Change website states: “From the monetization of hate speech to discrimination in their algorithms to the proliferation of voter suppression to the silencing of Black voices, Facebook has refused to take responsibility for hate, bias, and discrimination growing on their platforms. And what has allowed Facebook to continue racist practices is the $70B of revenue from corporations every year. Companies have a choice to make about whether they want their businesses featured on Facebook’s platforms side-by-side with racist attacks on Black people.”
An official website of the United States government
Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, June 25, 2020
A Houston pharmacist and his wife were sentenced today for their roles in an approximately $21.8 million Department of Labor (DOL) – Office of Workers Compensation Programs and Federal Employees Compensation Act fraud scheme.
George Philip Tompkins, 75, of Houston, Texas, the self-proclaimed “Compound King” and former owner of Piney Point Pharmacy, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Marene Kathryn Tompkins, 68, also of Houston, the former vice president of Piney Point Pharmacy, was sentenced to 30 days of home confinement and three years of supervised release. Both were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas, who presided over the trial of George Thompkins and the guilty plea of Marene Tompkins. Judge Lake also ordered George Tompkins to pay $12,300,381.36 in restitution (and forfeiture) and Marene Tompkins to pay $950,745.10 in restitution (and forfeiture).
On March 10, 2020, after a six-day trial, George Tompkins was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, 11 counts of health care fraud, and three counts of wire fraud. Kathryn Tompkins pleaded guilty on Jan. 3, 2020, to one count of conspiracy to pay kickbacks.
According to the evidence at trial, George Tompkins and others billed the DOL approximately $21.8 million for medically unnecessary compound gels and creams that were predicated on illegal kickback payments. George Tompkins and Anoop Chaturvedi, 48, a legal permanent resident from India who remains a fugitive on related charges, created the scheme to generate compounded pain cream prescriptions and bill health care programs for injured state and federal employees. George Tompkins and Chaturvedi used separate entities—including George Tompkins’s company, Wellington Advisors—to receive and launder the proceeds of their crimes. Further evidence presented at trial showed that George Tompkins sought to disguise illicit kickback payments as legitimate “marketing” expenses and continued to ship patients compound gels and creams even after patients repeatedly complained they did not want them.
Marene Tompkins pleaded guilty before trial. As part of her guilty plea, she admitted that she conspired with her husband and others to pay illegal kickbacks as part of the scheme.
George and Marene Tompkins were charged in a superseding indictment in November 2018 along with Chaturvedi. Chaturvedi is considered a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest in connection with the charges. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Postal Service – Office of Inspector General (USPS-OIG) at 1-888-877-7644.
A federal criminal indictment is merely an accusation. Chaturvedi is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
USPS-OIG, DOL-OIG, IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security-OIG, and Department of Veterans Affairs-OIG, conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Redlinger charged the case and, with Trial Attorneys Leslie Garthwaite and Devon Helfmeyer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, provided substantial assistance in its prosecution. Trial Attorneys Drew Pennebaker and Sara Clingan of the Fraud Section tried the case and continue to prosecute it.
The Fraud Section leads the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 districts, has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion. In addition, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
Sightings of the Asian giant hornet have prompted fears that the vicious insect could establish itself in the United States and devastate bee populations.
May 2, 2020Updated 8:05 p.m. ET
BLAINE, Wash. — In his decades of beekeeping, Ted McFall had never seen anything like it.
As he pulled his truck up to check on a group of hives near Custer, Wash., in November, he could spot from the window a mess of bee carcasses on the ground. As he looked closer, he saw a pile of dead members of the colony in front of a hive and more carnage inside — thousands and thousands of bees with their heads torn from their bodies and no sign of a culprit.
“I couldn’t wrap my head around what could have done that,” Mr. McFall said.
Only later did he come to suspect that the killer was what some researchers simply call the “murder hornet.”
With queens that can grow to two inches long, Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin.
In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year. Now, for the first time, they have arrived in the United States.
Mr. McFall still is not certain that Asian giant hornets were responsible for the plunder of his hive. But two of the predatory insects were discovered last fall in the northwest corner of Washington State, a few miles north of his property — the first sightings in the United States.
Scientists have since embarked on a full-scale hunt for the hornets, worried that the invaders could decimate bee populations in the United States and establish such a deep presence that all hope for eradication could be lost.
“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” said Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”
On a cold morning in early December, two and a half miles to the north of Mr. McFall’s property, Jeff Kornelis stepped on his front porch with his terrier-mix dog. He looked down to a jarring sight: “It was the biggest hornet I’d ever seen.”
The insect was dead, and after inspecting it, Mr. Kornelis had a hunch that it might be an Asian giant hornet. It did not make much sense, given his location in the world, but he had seen an episode of the YouTube personality Coyote Peterson getting a brutal sting from one of the hornets.
Beyond its size, the hornet has a distinctive look, with a cartoonishly fierce face featuring teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger, and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly.
Mr. Kornelis contacted the state, which came out to confirm that it was indeed an Asian giant hornet. Soon after, they learned that a local beekeeper in the area had also found one of the hornets.
Dr. Looney said it was immediately clear that the state faced a serious problem, but with only two insects in hand and winter coming on, it was nearly impossible to determine how much the hornet had already made itself at home.
Over the winter, state agriculture biologists and local beekeepers got to work, preparing for the coming season. Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper who has helped organize her peers to combat the hornet, unfurled a map across the hood of her vehicle, noting the places across Whatcom County where beekeepers have placed traps.
“Most people are scared to get stung by them,” Ms. Danielsen said. “We’re scared that they are going to totally destroy our hives.”
Adding to the uncertainty — and mystery — were some other discoveries of the Asian giant hornet across the border in Canada.
In November, a single hornet was seen in White Rock, British Columbia, perhaps 10 miles away from the discoveries in Washington State — likely too far for the hornets to be part of the same colony. Even earlier, there had been a hive discovered on Vancouver Island, across a strait that probably was too wide for a hornet to have crossed from the mainland.
Crews were able to track down the hive on Vancouver Island. Conrad Bérubé, a beekeeper and entomologist in the town of Nanaimo, was assigned to exterminate it.
He set out at night, when the hornets would be in their nest. He put on shorts and thick sweatpants, then his bee suit. He donned Kevlar braces on his ankles and wrists.
But as he approached the hive, he said, the rustling of the brush and the shine of his flashlight awakened the colony. Before he had a chance to douse the nest with carbon dioxide, he felt the first searing stabs in his leg — through the bee suit and underlying sweatpants.
“It was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh,” he said. He ended up getting stung at least seven times, some of the stings drawing blood.
Jun-ichi Takahashi, a researcher at Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan, said the species had earned the “murder hornet” nickname there because its aggressive group attacks can expose victims to doses of toxic venom equivalent to that of a venomous snake; a series of stings can be fatal.
The night he got stung, Mr. Bérubé still managed to eliminate the nest and collect samples, but the next day, his legs were aching, as if he had the flu. Of the thousands of times he has been stung in his lifetime of work, he said, the Asian giant hornet stings were the most painful.
After collecting the hornet in the Blaine area, state officials took off part of a leg and shipped it to an expert in Japan. A sample from the Nanaimo nest was sent as well.
A genetic examination, concluded over the past few weeks, determined that the nest in Nanaimo and the hornet near Blaine were not connected, said Telissa Wilson, a state pest biologist, meaning there had probably been at least two different introductions in the region.
Dr. Looney went out on a recent day in Blaine, carrying clear jugs that had been made into makeshift traps; typical wasp and bee traps available for purchase have holes too small for the Asian giant hornet. He filled some with orange juice mixed with rice wine, others had kefir mixed with water, and a third batch was filled with some experimental lures — all with the hope of catching a queen emerging to look for a place to build a nest.
He hung them from trees, geo-tagging each location with his phone.
In a region with extensive wooded habitats for hornets to establish homes, the task of finding and eliminating them is daunting. How to find dens that may be hidden underground? And where to look, given that one of the queens can fly many miles a day, at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour?
The miles of wooded landscapes and mild, wet climate of western Washington State makes for an ideal location for the hornets to spread.
In the coming months, Mr. Looney said, he and others plan to place hundreds more traps. State officials have mapped out the plan in a grid, starting in Blaine and moving outward.
The buzz of activity inside a nest of Asian giant hornets can keep the inside temperature up to 86 degrees, so the trackers are also exploring using thermal imaging to examine the forest floors. Later, they may also try other advanced tools that could track the signature hum the hornets make in flight.
If a hornet does get caught in a trap, Dr. Looney said, there are plans to possibly use radio-frequency identification tags to monitor where it goes — or simply attach a small streamer and then follow the hornet as it returns to its nest.
While most bees would be unable to fly with a disruptive marker attached, that is not the case with the Asian giant hornet. It is big enough to handle the extra load.
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.”
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.”
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.
All three were journalists and were allegedly determined to expose anything they could about the origins and handling of the pandemic in China. “Their popular accounts on YouTube – which is banned in mainland China” have “all gone quiet.” There has been no comment from Chinese authorities, but it does not take much to speculate the journalists’ fates.
Fang Bin, also a businessman in Wuhan “disappeared after releasing a video claiming to show a pile of bodies in a minibus outside a hospital” and “medics in hazmat suits attempting to treat patients as others wait moaning in pain” reported Metro. In the footage, Fang also asks the medics, “so many people just died? When did this happen? Yesterday? There are so many bodies.” After the video was shared on twitter, Fang said officers “barged into his home and took him away after he posted the video on February 1.” He was released but has not been heard from after a February 9 post which read, “all people revolt – hand the power of the government back to the people.”
Chen Qiushi, a 34-year-old human rights lawyer “turned video journalist who arrived in Wuhan before the city went into lockdown” has also disappeared. Chen, who has not been heard from since February 6thand also covered the Hong Kong protests, released a video on his YouTube channel in which he said, “I will use my camera to document what is really happening. I promise I won’t cover up the truth.”
25-year-old journalist Li Zehua once worked for CCTV, the state broadcaster, but was reporting from Wuhan “independently.” Just last week a new theory unearthed that the pandemic began because the virus was built in a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Radio Free Asia (RFA) claims Li Zehua was “targeted” after visiting the Institute.New 750mg CBD Gummy Erases Pain & Anxiety 5xs Better Than HempHealth Repair
United States Congressman Jim Banks has called for an investigation into the disappearance of the three Chinese citizens. “All three of these men understood the personal risk associated with independently reporting on coronavirus in China, but they did it anyway,” wrote Banks, concerned that China has “imprisoned them – or worse.”
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard