Sunday, August 17, 2025

Cookies



Blogger said I need to post a notice about cookies if theirs doesn't show up, to satisfy European laws. I don't see theirs on my page, maybe because of something to do with my page setup.
So here it is.
Blogger keeps cookies.
I might have apps that keep cookies, I don't know.
I do not personally keep cookies.


Monday, November 04, 2024

The structure of this blog



I have several blog posts that are at the top of my blog for extended periods of time, because I believe they are of continuing usefulness. So when you look at my blog, the fact that the first few are the same doesn't mean I haven't updated the blog recently.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Reliable and unreliable media


Links to my posts with links to reliability of various "news" web sites

Media bias chart
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2018/01/media-bias-chart.html

10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts according to Forbes
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2017/03/10-journalism-brands-where-you-find.html

Snopes' Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2016/07/snopes-field-guide-to-fake-news-sites.html

Honest Reporting
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2017/03/honest-reporting.html

If You’re A Liberal, Stop Sharing Links From These Fake News Sites
http://patriciashannon.blogspot.com/2017/03/if-youre-liberal-stop-sharing-links.html

============================================

Fact-checking sites:

https://www.snopes.com/

http://www.politifact.com/

http://factcheck.org/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/

https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/category/fact-checking-project/

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tax info


I'm studying to for mu Tax-Aide certification and will share useful stuff.

ITNs : Individual Taxpayer Identification Number

ITINs not used in the last 3 consecutive tax years: If an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) was not included on a U.S. federal tax return at least once for tax years 2016, 2017, or 2018, the ITIN will expire on December 31, 2019. Affected taxpayers need to take action to renew if it will be included on a U.S. federal tax return.

ITINs with the middle digits “83,” “84,” “85,” “86,” and “87” will expire: ITINs with middle digits (the fourth and fifth positions) “83,” “84,” “85,” “86,” or “87” will remain in effect until December 31, 2019. Taxpayers with these ITINs need to take action to renew it if it will be included on a U.S. federal tax return filed in 2020.


Alimony

For any divorce or separate maintenance instrument executed after December 31, 2018, (or executed on or before December 31, 2018 and modified after that date if the modification expressly provides that the amendments made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Section 11051, apply to such modification), alimony and separate maintenance payments are no longer deductible by the payor spouse. Additionally, alimony and separate maintenance payments are no longer included in income by the recipient of the payments.


The medical expense deduction threshold is 10% of adjusted gross income (AGI). The lower 7.5% AGI threshold has expired.

The moving expense deduction is not allowed through 2025 and the exclusion from income of moving expense reimbursements from an employer is also suspended. The only exception is for active military service members who move pursuant to a military order to a new permanent duty station.


Affordable Care Act

Filing thresholds and federal poverty line tables have been adjusted for inflation.

For 2019, the shared responsibility payment (SRP) is zero. Taxpayers who do not have health insurance coverage during 2019 or later do not require an exemption to avoid the SRP.


Kiddie Tax

For 2019, Form 8615 must be filed for certain children who had more than $2,200 of unearned income.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Revealed: Monsanto predicted its crop system would damage US farms

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/30/monsanto-crop-system-damage-us-farms-documents

by Carey Gillam
Mon 30 Mar 2020 05.15 EDT

The US agriculture giant Monsanto and the German chemical giant BASF were aware for years that their plan to introduce a new agricultural seed and chemical system would probably lead to damage on many US farms, internal documents seen by the Guardian show.

Risks were downplayed even while they planned how to profit off farmers who would buy Monsanto’s new seeds just to avoid damage, according to documents unearthed during a recent successful $265m lawsuit brought against both firms by a Missouri farmer.

The documents, some of which date back more than a decade, also reveal how Monsanto opposed some third-party product testing in order to curtail the generation of data that might have worried regulators.

And in some of the internal emails, employees appear to joke about sharing “voodoo science” and hoping to stay “out of jail”.

•••••

Just as Monsanto has done in the Roundup litigation, Monsanto and BASF sought to keep most of the discovery documents they turned over in the dicamba litigation designated confidential. Roughly 180 have been unsealed and were cited at the Bader trial.
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“The documents are the worst that I’ve ever seen for any case that I’ve worked on,” said lawyer Angie Splittgerber, a former tobacco industry defense attorney who works with Randles in the firm Randles & Splittgerber. “So many of them put things in writing that were just horrifying.”

•••••

A series of emails show efforts by Monsanto to block some independent testing by academics of the company’s new dicamba herbicides, in part for fear outside tests would disrupt the company’s efforts to gain product approval from the EPA.

The agency was aware of the volatility concerns and Monsanto was seeking to convince the EPA that the concerns were unfounded.

•••••

Because of farmer concerns that dicamba drift would contaminate fruits and vegetable plots, the internal documents show that Monsanto and BASF devised a plan to ask the EPA to allow certain amounts of dicamba residues to be considered legal in crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, grapes and other foods expected to be accidentally exposed to dicamba spray.

•••••

“It’s a huge problem,” said Kansas organic farmer Jack Geiger, who said his wheat, corn and soybean farm has been hit multiple times by dicamba drift. “Dicamba is going to make Roundup look like a tea party.”

•••••

Is coronavirus hitting young Americans harder than we thought?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/01/coronavirus-young-americans-covid-19

Danielle Renwick
Wed 1 Apr 2020 12.48 EDT
Last modified on Wed 1 Apr 2020 13.22 EDT

Early reports out of China showed that elderly people and the chronically ill were most vulnerable to Covid-19. Yet an alarming number of young people in the United States have been hospitalized with severe infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40% of American Covid-19 patients who were hospitalized were under 55 – and 20% were between ages 20 and 44. And in rare cases, even children have died after falling ill with Covid-19. Three experts interpret the data.

•••••

Dr Timothy Brewer: The data have actually been pretty consistent across lots of different countries. Initially, people were very focused on mortality rates, and death rates in young adults are low pretty much everywhere you look. And I think people interpreted that to mean that young adults were not getting infected, and were not getting severely ill. As more data came out about hospitalizations and infection rates, we learned that was not the case.

A recent study out of Shenzhen, China, showed that young people are just as likely to get infected as older individuals. Now that we’re seeing more data on hospitalization rates, we’re seeing that yes, young adults are experiencing severe illnesses. The big difference between them and older adults is [young adults’] mortality rates tend to be lower.

•••••

Brewer: It takes people a lot longer to recover from this than we thought. We’ll have to see long term, but one of the things we learned from tuberculosis – which is a totally different pathogen – is that even if you cure the tuberculosis, a lot of people are left with long-term lung damage. And that’s very much a concern with Covid-19, and it’s something we’ll learn about going forward.

•••••

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Six-week-old newborn dies of coronavirus in US

https://news.yahoo.com/six-week-old-newborn-dies-coronavirus-us-state-205950218.html

AFP•April 1, 2020


A six-week-old infant has died of complications relating to COVID-19, the governor of the US state of Connecticut said Wednesday, in one of the youngest recorded deaths from the virus.

Governor Ned Lamont tweeted that the newborn was "brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived."

"Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive," Lamont said.

•••••

Last week Illinois authorities said they were investigating the death of a child "younger than one year" who had tested positive for coronavirus.

According to local media that infant was nine months old.

•••••

Most cruise lines don't pay federal income tax — just one of the reasons they aren't getting a bailout


https://news.yahoo.com/most-cruise-lines-dont-pay-105751022.html

Leticia Miranda and Isabel Soisson
,NBC News•April 1, 2020

Cruise lines, which have been pummeled by the economic impact of the coronavirus, may not be eligible to receive relief through the bailout fund included in the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed on Friday.

While the stimulus bill allocates $500 billion for distressed businesses, in order to qualify, a company must be “created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States” and “have significant operations in and a majority of its employees based in the United States,” according to the new law.

Some of the country’s largest publicly traded cruise lines are incorporated offshore. Carnival Corporation, which owns the Princess cruise line, is incorporated in Panama. Royal Caribbean is incorporated in Liberia, and Norwegian Cruise Lines is incorporated in Bermuda.

•••••

The three biggest cruise lines are incorporated in what are called equivalent exemption countries where they are not required to pay the 21 percent corporate income tax that U.S. companies are obligated to pay, said Robert Willens, a tax and accounting analyst.

“Why don’t they just relocate and domesticate and change the place of incorporation from Panama to the U.S. and this way they’ll be eligible for loans and loan guarantees?” he said. “If they did that, they would win the battle but lose the war because they would be forced to give up their tax exemption. I assure you that is sacrosanct; they're not giving up their tax exemption.”

For instance, Carnival, the biggest U.S. cruise line company, would have had to pay around $600 million in corporate taxes on its reported $3 billion in income for 2019.

With a potential loss in profit to taxes at these amounts, “they’re not moving to the U.S.,” Willens said.

•••••

Senator says White House turned down emergency coronavirus funding in early February

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/senator-says-white-house-turned-down-emergency-coronavirus-funding-in-early-february/ar-BB11OvE1?ocid=sf2

Suzanne Smalley
Mar. 28, 2020

Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, says that Trump administration officials declined an offer of early congressional funding assistance that he and other senators made on Feb. 5 during a meeting to discuss the coronavirus.

•••••

On Feb. 5, Murphy tweeted: “Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus. Bottom line: they aren't taking this seriously enough. Notably, no request for ANY emergency funding, which is a big mistake. Local health systems need supplies, training, screening staff etc. And they need it now.”

Murphy told Yahoo News that the funding he and other congressional leaders wanted to allocate nearly two months ago would have paid for essential preventative measures, including hiring local screening and testing staff, researching a vaccine and treatments and the stockpiling of needed medical supplies.

•••••


After outcry, rules on payment eligibility changed
Gov. Cuomo opens up about brother Chris' coronavirus: 'I'm worried'

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, says that Trump administration officials declined an offer of early congressional funding assistance that he and other senators made on Feb. 5 during a meeting to discuss the coronavirus.
Chris Murphy wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on Capitol Hill. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP) © Provided by Yahoo! News Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on Capitol Hill. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, said they “didn’t need emergency funding, that they would be able to handle it within existing appropriations,” Murphy recalled in an interview with Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast.

“What an awful, horrible catastrophic mistake that was,” Murphy said.

On Feb. 5, Murphy tweeted: “Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus. Bottom line: they aren't taking this seriously enough. Notably, no request for ANY emergency funding, which is a big mistake. Local health systems need supplies, training, screening staff etc. And they need it now.”
News to stay informed. Advice to stay safe.
Click here for complete coronavirus coverage from Microsoft News

Murphy told Yahoo News that the funding he and other congressional leaders wanted to allocate nearly two months ago would have paid for essential preventative measures, including hiring local screening and testing staff, researching a vaccine and treatments and the stockpiling of needed medical supplies.

“The consequences of that in Connecticut is that we're going to test less people today than we tested yesterday,” Murphy told “Skullduggery” hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman. “And that means that there are lots of people who are positive who are not going to know it, who are then going to be in contact with other people, who are going to spread the disease.”

An HHS spokesperson said that a few days before the Feb. 5 meeting, Azar had let Congress know he might need to use his “transfer authority” to fund the response to the virus. The Department was already using an Infectious Disease and Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which the spokesperson said was used to pay for CDC technical assistance, medical screening, and more lab capacity, among other things.

Connecticut is so undersupplied that officials have had to cut back on tests administered even as suspected new infections are surging, Murphy said, calling the forced reduction in testing “an abomination.”

Murphy said Connecticut has been particularly challenged in trying to build up its supply of re-agents, the compounds needed to run coronavirus tests. Re-agents are mostly manufactured abroad, and Murphy said “the whole world is competing” for them now.

Slide 1 of 50: The marquee for the Iowa Theater, closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak, is seen on John Wayne Drive, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Winterset, Iowa. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (
Slide 2 of 50: WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 01: People wait in a line to get into a Trader Joe's grocery store on April 1, 2020 in Washington, DC. As of April 1, the entire national capital region is under 'stay-at-home' orders, which ban residents from leaving their homes except to perform essential activities and visit essential businesses. (Photo by
Slide 3 of 50: Visitors waiting to collect free food outside the Bowery Mission are instructed to wash their hands at a kiosk due to coronavirus concerns, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (
Slide 4 of 50: WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 01: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is interviewed by CNN about the government response to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 01, 2020 in Washington, DC. Pelosi told host Anderson Cooper that the federal government needs to give more financial help to state and local governments dealing with COVID-19. "We had $150 billion in the bill that the President just signed. That is simply not enough, unfortunately," she said. (Photo by
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Slide 5 of 50: Civilian nurses contracted by the Florida Department of Health gather before the start of testing for Covid-19 at the Regional Temporary Drive-Through Testing Site at the Orange County Convention Center on April 1, 2020 in Orlando, Fla. Wednesday marked the first day of testing age restrictions being lifted at the OCCC site.
Slide 6 of 50: Cots are set up at a possible COVID-19 treatment site Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in San Mateo, Calif. The National Guard is currently setting up the federal cache, which includes cots and personal protective equipment needed to establish a federal medical station with capacity up to 250 beds. No patients will be immediately housed in the space but proactively standing it up now allows the County to be ready if and when hospitals need more medical spaces. (
Slide 7 of 50: WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 01: Basketball rims have been removed from the hoops at a Department of Parks and Recreation basketball court on April 1, 2020 in Washington, DC. As of April 1, the entire national capital region is under 'stay-at-home' orders, which ban residents from leaving their homes except to perform essential activities and visit essential businesses. (Photo by
Slide 8 of 50: Viv Brown, left, with the Women Supporting Women's support group, and Sandy Dorsainvil, right, with the City of Miami, package tomatoes during a food distribution event, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. The event was supported by the city, Ark of the City and Farm Share. (
Slide 9 of 50: WASHINGTON DC, USA - MARCH 31: Washington D.C. Street and Metro station is shown nearly empty due to the impacts of coronavirus on March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by
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Slide 10 of 50: President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Slide 11 of 50: The Sovran family stands outside their front door shining flashlights towards their nearest hospital during the first night of ?Home Beams for Health Care Teams? to show support for healthcare workers battling coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across Southeast Michigan, March 31, 2020 in Beverly Hills, Michigan, U.S. REUTERS/Emily Elconin
Slide 12 of 50: A pedestrian wearing a facemark walks past an H&R Block tax preparation office as efforts continue to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Redmond
Slide 13 of 50: New Orleans police officer Deserie Broussard ensures people maintain social distancing by remaining six feet apart, as meals are distributed at the Lantern Light Ministry at the Rebuild Center, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Kathleen Flynn
Slide 14 of 50: WASHINGTON DC, USA - MARCH 31: Washington D.C. Street and Metro station is shown nearly empty due to the impacts of coronavirus on March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Slide 15 of 50: Pastor Tony Spell speaks to media after holding an evening service at the Life Tabernacle Church in Central, La., Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Spell did so despite being charged with misdemeanors today, for holding services against Gov. John Bel Edwards shelter-in-place order due to the new coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Slide 16 of 50: A New York City Medical Examiner truck parks outside NYU Langone Hospital, where several trailer's are being used as a morgue, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in New York City, U.S., March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Slide 17 of 50: A closed tattoo shop is boarded up closed amid concerns of COVID-19 spreading in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas, Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (
Slide 18 of 50: A person crosses a bridge in front of the Mount Sinai logo at Mt. Sinai Hospital on March 31, 2020 in New York. - The number of deaths in the United States from coronavirus has surpassed those reported by China, where the pandemic began in December, according to a toll published on March 31, 2020 by Johns Hopkins University. There have been 3,415 deaths in the US from the virus, the Baltimore-based university said, more than the 3,309 reported officially in China. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by
Slide 19 of 50: WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: A woman jogs along a mostly empty National Mall on March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia have all announced stay-at-home orders this week, which strongly discourage residents from leaving home unless absolutely necessary or essential. (Photo by
Slide 20 of 50: A worker checks part of a delivery of 64 hospital beds from Hillrom to The Mount Sinai Hospital during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., March 31, 2020. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC23VF9CG1IO
Slide 21 of 50: Passersby stop to peer in to CenturyLink Field Event Center, which is being turned into a military field hospital for non coronavirus patients during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 30, 2020. - RC2RUF9JJHE1
Slide 22 of 50: Caution tape and zip ties are used to stop children from playing on swings during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at a park in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 30, 2020. - RC2SUF98GSGV
Slide 23 of 50: A healthcare worker sits on a bench near Central park in the Manhattan borough of New York City, Mar. 30.
Slide 24 of 50: U.S. President Donald Trump examines a coronavirus testing kit as he prepares to speak during the daily coronavirus response briefing in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Mar. 30.
Slide 25 of 50: A nurse takes part in a candlelight vigil outside UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to "show solidarity and support for nurses across the nation and to demand stronger leadership from the federal government in protecting the health and safety of all healthcare workers and their patients," according to event organizers, in Los Angeles, California, Mar. 30.
Slide 26 of 50: The One World Trade Center is illuminated in red, white and blue in recognition of the ongoing nationwide effort to combat coronavirus during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, as it is seen from Exchange Place, New Jersey, March 30, 2020.
Slide 27 of 50: A portrait of President George Washington hangs as people give blood at a donation center inside the White House East Room replica at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum to help with a shortage of blood donations due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Yorba Linda, California, Mar. 30.
Slide 28 of 50: People wait in line to be tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while wearing protective gear, outside Elmhurst Hospital Center in the Queens borough of New York City, Mar. 30.
Slide 29 of 50: A man walks with a face mask past a mural amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in San Francisco, California, Mar. 30.
Slide 30 of 50: People arrive at a temporary homeless shelter with painted social-distancing boxes in a parking lot at Cashman Center on Mar. 30, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada was closed last week after a homeless man who used their services tested positive for the coronavirus, leaving about 500 people with no overnight shelter. The city of Las Vegas, Clark County and local homeless providers plan to operate the shelter through April 3rd when it is anticipated that the Catholic Charities facility will be back open. The city is also reserving the building spaces at Cashman Center in case of an overflow of hospital patients.
Slide 31 of 50: A container ship is seen as hundreds of shipping containers are seen stacked at a pier at the Port of New York and New Jersey in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Mar. 30.
Slide 32 of 50: A sign about the coronavirus is displayed over Route 50 in Davidsonville, Md., Monday, March 30, 2020. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a "stay-at-home" directive in response to the coronavirus effect on Monday. "No Maryland resident should be leaving their home unless it is for an essential job or for an essential reason, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes," Hogan said at a news conference on the Maryland State House lawn. (
Slide 33 of 50: Beds are set out in rows at the Federal Medical Station for hospital surge capacity set up at Temple University's Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Monday, March 30, 2020. (
Slide 34 of 50: NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to members of the press after the arrival of the USNS Comfort hospital to Pier 90 on the Hudson RIver on March 30, 2020 in New York City. The Comfort, a floating hospital in the form of a Navy ship, is equipped to take in patients within 24 hours but will not be treating people with COVID-19. The ship's 1,000 beds and 12 operation rooms will help ease the pressure on New York hospitals, many of which are now overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. (Photo by
Slide 35 of 50: A Pittsburgh Public Works employee removes a basketball rim from a court on the Northside of Pittsburgh, Monday, March 30, 2020. The rims were removed because people were not following social distancing rules while using the courts over the weekend. (
Slide 36 of 50: DeliverLean employee Victoria Rua prepares meals to be distributed to senior citizens as part of an emergency meal program in Miami-Dade County during the new coronavirus pandemic, Monday, March 30, 2020, in Hollywood, Fla. DeliverLean has been contracted by the county to prepare and deliver meals to homebound seniors. (
Slide 37 of 50: Amazon workers at Amazon's Staten Island warehouse strike in demand that the facility be shut down and cleaned after one staffer tested positive for the coronavirus on March 30, 2020 in New York. - Amazon employees at a New York City warehouse walk off the job March 30, 2020, as a growing number of delivery and warehouse workers demand better pay and protections in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by
Slide 38 of 50: A huge thank you sign placed in front of Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York City to thank all hospital workers helping to fight coronavirus, in New York City, on March 30, 2020. US Navy Hospital Ship arrives at Pier 90, New York City. It has a 1000 bed capacity which will be augmenting New York hospitals, in New York City, on March 30, 2020. US Navy Hospital Ship arrives at Pier 90, New York City. It has a 1000 bed capacity which will be augmenting New York hospitals. (Photo by
Slide 39 of 50: LANDOVER, MARYLAND - MARCH 30: Healthcare professionals prepare to screen people for the coronavirus at a testing site erected by the Maryland National Guard in a parking lot at FedEx Field March 30, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. The guard, in cooperation with the state of Maryland and Prince Georges County, said the site will be able to test about 100 people a day for COVID-19 if they have been recommended by a doctor. There has been 1413 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland and 15 deaths since the start of the global pandemic. (Photo by
Slide 40 of 50: Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the US Army Corps of Engineers and the state are putting up a 250-bed field hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Sunday, March 29, 2020. The space can expand to nearly 1,400 beds. Joining him was former State Representative Dr. John Zerwas (left) and Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD. (
Slide 41 of 50: A grocery store worker is protected by a shield at a Vons store during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Solana Beach, California, U.S., March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Slide 42 of 50: A new makeshift morgue is set outside Lenox Health Medical Pavilion on March 29, 2020 in New York City. - A senior US scientist issued a cautious prediction March 29, 2020 that the novel coronavirus could claim 100,000 to 200,000 lives in the United States. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who leads research into infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told CNN that models predicting a million or more deaths were "almost certainly off the chart." (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)
Slide 43 of 50: An empty Lexington Avenue is seen during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, U.S., March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
Slide 44 of 50: People walk around an almost empty Grand Central Terminal as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in New York City, U.S., March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Slide 45 of 50: People walk on the beach next to State Route 1 amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), along the Pacific coastline outside of Big Sur, California, U.S., March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Slide 46 of 50: Empty shelving of toilet paper and paper towels is shown at a Target store during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Encinitas, California, U.S., March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Slide 47 of 50: A mural that reads "state of emergency" with a dollar-sign is pictured in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood as efforts continue to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Seattle, Washington, U.S. March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Redmond
Slide 48 of 50: A woman is seen during check-in at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, United States on March 29, 2020
Slide 49 of 50: NEW YORK, USA - MARCH 29: Javits Convention Center that has been converted to hospital due to Covid-19 pandemic is seen in New York City, United States on March 29, 2020. (Photo by Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Slide 50 of 50: President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sunday, March 29, 2020, in Washington.

Slide 1 of 50: The marquee for the Iowa Theater, closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak, is seen on John Wayne Drive, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Winterset, Iowa. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (
Full screen
1/50 SLIDES © Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

The world is battling the COVID-19 outbreak that the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, which has claimed more than 4,720 lives and infected more than 211,698 people in the U.S.

(Pictured) The marquee for the Iowa Theater, closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak, is seen on John Wayne Drive on April 1 in Winterset, Iowa.

Slideshow by photo services

The senator said he spent part of Thursday on the phone with a lab official in Connecticut who said he cannot administer enough tests due to the re-agent shortage.

“Had we appropriated money in February to start buying re-agent, we would be in a position to do many more tests today than we are,” Murphy said. ”It was just so clear to us that the administration didn't think this was going to be a problem. We begged them in that meeting to request emergency funding from the Congress and they told us ... that they had everything that they needed on hand, which was false.”

Murphy also criticized the White House’s decision not to take coronavirus test kits offered by the World Health Organization in January, which he said was an especially devastating mistake because that test was ready to go and easily replicable. Murphy said he believes that, as a result of the administration’s testing decisions, only about 20 percent to 30 percent of people who should be tested are able to do so.

•••••

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

'No One Mentions the People Who Clean It Up': What It's Like to Clean Professionally During the COVID-19 Outbreak

https://news.yahoo.com/no-one-mentions-people-clean-170732730.html

Jamie Ducharme
,Time•March 31, 2020

•••••

“It’s kind of terrifying,” says Vanessa, who TIME is identifying by first name only for professional protection. Her supervisors told her to clean the rooms just as she would for a flu patient, but she says she’s treating them like she would for more serious illnesses—throwing out nearly everything disposable, mopping the walls and scrubbing every inch—to be safe. “No one knows exactly how to clean it. We don’t know how contagious this is.”

•••••



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'No One Mentions the People Who Clean It Up': What It's Like to Clean Professionally During the COVID-19 Outbreak
[Time]
Jamie Ducharme
,Time•March 31, 2020
'No One Mentions the People Who Clean It Up': What It's Like to Clean Professionally During the COVID-19 Outbreak

When Vanessa is asked to clean up after patients who have the seasonal flu or measles or MRSA in the Pennsylvania hospital where she works in environmental services, she knows what to do. She knows how to disinfect surfaces, what needs to be thrown away and what she should wear to protect herself. But when she’s asked to clean rooms occupied by COVID-19 patients, she’s flying blind.

“It’s kind of terrifying,” says Vanessa, who TIME is identifying by first name only for professional protection. Her supervisors told her to clean the rooms just as she would for a flu patient, but she says she’s treating them like she would for more serious illnesses—throwing out nearly everything disposable, mopping the walls and scrubbing every inch—to be safe. “No one knows exactly how to clean it. We don’t know how contagious this is.”

At a time when cleaning supplies are invaluable and hand-washing is a national activity, people who clean professionally, like Vanessa, have watched their jobs take on new meaning—and considerable new risks. But what has remained the same, they say, is a lack of respect and, often, inadequate compensation.

Vanessa, for example, makes only about $11 an hour for the unenviable job of disinfecting hospital rooms, often without proper protective gear for herself. The fresh N-95 masks still available in her hospital, she says, are mostly going to doctors and nurses; she and her housekeeping colleagues often have to reuse the ones they have. She says she might have stopped showing up at work if she didn’t need the money, especially since she has underlying health conditions that put her at extra risk of getting COVID-19.
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“Because I’m working there,” Vanessa says, “I’m too afraid to go see my family right now.” She lives with her best friend, and is staying away from her parents’ home for now.

Workers across industries are struggling to get the protective equipment they need. Omar, who drives a garbage truck in California, says his company has not even provided hand sanitizer for its workers, even though “we’re dealing with everybody’s trash [and] we don’t know what’s in there.”

When Omar and his coworkers asked for sanitizer, they were given all-purpose cleaner and told to use it on their hands, he says. To stay safe, he’s resorted to asking friends who work in retail to help him find his own sanitizing supplies.

•••••

The risks cleaning professionals assume might be easier to stomach, Vanessa says, if they were recognized publicly.

“Us housekeepers, we have families, we have health issues, we have people and animals we go home to that we could be giving this to,” Vanessa says. “The doctors and nurses have that too, but they get recognized. No one ever mentions the people who clean it up after they’re gone.”

•••••

Researchers record 1st-ever heat wave in East Antarctica

https://news.yahoo.com/researchers-record-1st-ever-heat-200131134.html

Taylor Watson
,The Week•March 31, 2020


This January, East Antarctica — an area that previously seemed to be spared from climate warming — experienced its first recorded heat wave.

The heat wave was recorded at the Casey Research Station between Jan. 23 and 26, marking the area's highest temperature ever at 48.6 degrees Fahrenheit, while minimum temperatures stayed above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, according to research in Global Change Biology.

A rarity in Antarctica, heat waves are known as "three consecutive days with both extreme maximum and minimum temperatures," according to the research.

•••••

Stabbing of Asian-American 2-Year-Old and Her Family Was a Virus-Fueled Hate Crime: Feds


The 1918 flu started in the U.S., in the state of Georgia. Does that mean we should call it the American flu, or Georgia flu?

https://news.yahoo.com/stabbing-asian-american-2-old-190324496.html

Pilar Melendez
,The Daily Beast•March 31, 2020

The vicious stabbing of an Asian-American family, including a 2-year-old girl, at a Sam’s Club in Texas earlier this month has been deemed a hate crime by the feds, as authorities continue to raise alarm bells about a potential surge in racially motivated crimes amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Jose L. Gomez, 19, confessed to authorities that he attempted to murder three Asian-American family members, including the toddler and a 6-year-old, on March 14 at the Midland, Texas store, according to the Midland Police Department. Gomez, who stabbed the individuals and a Sam’s Club employee, is now facing several charges, including three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault. He is being held on several bonds totaling $1 million.

“The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with coronavirus,” according to an FBI analysis report obtained by ABC News.

The Texas incident was used in the report as one example of a recent surge in hate crimes and racially fueled violence targeting Asian-Americans as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the United States.

•••••

the teenager was finally subdued by Border Patrol Agent Bernie Ramiez, who was off-duty and just leaving the store after shopping for groceries, the affidavit states.

•••••

several political and media commentators, including President Donald Trump, have adopted the practice of calling the pandemic the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus.”

“It did come from China,” Trump said at a March 19 White House briefing. “It is a very accurate term.”

Many experts and political figures believe that officials using racial terms for the virus has contributed to discrimination against members of the Asian-American community.

•••••

Since the surge, even Trump tried to backtrack on his language, tweeting on March 23, “It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!”

•••••

The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/business/coronavirus-us-ventilator-shortage.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Published March 29, 2020
Updated March 31, 2020, 6:29 a.m. ET

Thirteen years ago, a group of U.S. public health officials came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators.

The breathing-assistance machines tended to be bulky, expensive and limited in number. The plan was to build a large fleet of inexpensive portable devices to deploy in a flu pandemic or another crisis.

Money was budgeted. A federal contract was signed. Work got underway.

And then things suddenly veered off course. A multibillion-dollar maker of medical devices bought the small California company that had been hired to design the new machines. The project ultimately produced zero ventilators.

That failure delayed the development of an affordable ventilator by at least half a decade, depriving hospitals, states and the federal government of the ability to stock up. The federal government started over with another company in 2014, whose ventilator was approved only last year and whose products have not yet been delivered.

•••••

Companies submitted bids for the Project Aura job. The research agency opted not to go with a large, established device maker. Instead it chose Newport Medical Instruments, a small outfit in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Newport, which was owned by a Japanese medical device company, only made ventilators. Being a small, nimble company, Newport executives said, would help it efficiently fulfill the government’s needs.

Ventilators at the time typically went for about $10,000 each, and getting the price down to $3,000 would be tough. But Newport’s executives bet they would be able to make up for any losses by selling the ventilators around the world.

“It would be very prestigious to be recognized as a supplier to the federal government,” said Richard Crawford, who was Newport’s head of research and development at the time. “We thought the international market would be strong, and there is where Newport would have a good profit on the product.”

•••••

Every three months, officials with the biomedical research agency would visit Newport’s headquarters. Mr. Crawford submitted monthly reports detailing the company’s spending and progress.

The federal officials “would check everything,” he said. “If we said we were buying equipment, they would want to know what it was used for. There were scheduled visits, scheduled requirements and deliverables each month.”

In 2011, Newport shipped three working prototypes from the company’s California plant to Washington for federal officials to review.

Dr. Frieden, who ran the C.D.C. at the time, got a demonstration in a small conference room attached to his office. “I got all excited,” he said. “It was a multiyear effort that had resulted in something that was going to be really useful.”

•••••

In May 2012, Covidien, a large medical device manufacturer, agreed to buy Newport for just over $100 million.

Covidien — a publicly traded company with sales of $12 billion that year — already sold traditional ventilators, but that was only a small part of its multifaceted businesses. In 2012 alone, Covidien bought five other medical device companies, in addition to Newport.

Newport executives and government officials working on the ventilator contract said they immediately noticed a change when Covidien took over. Developing inexpensive portable ventilators no longer seemed like a top priority.

Newport applied in June 2012 for clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to market the device, but two former federal officials said Covidien had demanded additional funding and a higher sales price for the ventilators. The government gave the company an additional $1.4 million, a drop in the bucket for a company Covidien’s size.

Government officials and executives at rival ventilator companies said they suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business.

•••••

In 2015, Covidien was sold for $50 billion to another huge medical device company, Medtronic. Charles J. Dockendorff, Covidien’s former chief financial officer, said he did not know why the contract had fallen apart.
[Who was the CEO?]

•••••

How Non-English Speakers Learn This Crazy Grammar Rule You Know But Never Heard Of


One of the examples isn't actually right.
"As size comes before colour, green great dragons can't exist".

If there is a variety of dragon called "great dragons", which can come in different colours, you would say "green great dragons".




Quartz
Cassie Werber

•••••

That quote comes from a book called The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase. Adjectives, writes the author, professional stickler Mark Forsyth, “absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”

•••••

Philadelphia Hospital to Stay Closed After Owner Requests Nearly $1 Million a Month


https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/posts/3159636500715591


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/us/coronavirus-philadelphia-hahnemann-hospital.html?fbclid=IwAR2KiMuBAO8wgNKY9SBesFoEGmxxfukpmW_9-Lp_UY3kB_ESmoQnvOk25e4

By Maria Cramer
Published March 27, 2020
Updated March 29, 2020

A hospital with room for nearly 500 beds has been closed for months in the center of Philadelphia, a city bracing for the spread of the coronavirus and a crush of sick patients.

But the facility will remain empty, city officials said, because they cannot accept the owner’s offer: buy the hospital or lease it for almost $1 million a month, including utilities and other costs.

“We don’t have the need to own it nor the resources to buy it. So we are done and we are moving on,” Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters on Thursday during the city’s daily briefing.

The next day, he said that Temple University would let the city use a music and sports venue for free. The city would no longer pursue the closed facility, Hahnemann University Hospital.

•••••

The owner of the hospital, Joel Freedman of Broad Street Healthcare Properties, a real estate company, said he had offered to sell the facility to the city well below market price, or to lease it for $60 a bed a day, far less than what two other hospitals in California agreed to charge to lease their facilities.

•••••

Since last fall, the hospital has sat empty and fallen into disrepair, Mayor Kenney said on Thursday. “It has no beds and would require extensive work to make it usable again,” he said.

Mr. Kenney said the city had offered to lease the hospital for a “nominal” amount and pay for its maintenance and expenses, a deal that would have meant “hundreds of thousands of dollars a month” for Mr. Freedman and made the property more marketable in the future.

•••••

COVID-19 Consumer Warnings and Safety Tips

https://www.fcc.gov/covid-scams?fbclid=IwAR1b0OamCAdPwx3PYkFC2q_JXc1FC0rLb7xUhV2Pw4V4tLLnJ04ybAWzrrM

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to impact the United States, phone scammers have seized the opportunity to prey on consumers.

The FCC has received reports of scam and hoax text message campaigns and scam robocalls offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling health insurance, and preying on virus-related fears.

A text message scam may falsely advertise a cure or an offer to be tested for coronavirus. Do not click on links in texts related to the virus, and check cdc.gov/coronavirus for the most current information.

Text message hoaxes may claim that the government will order a mandatory national two-week quarantine, or instruct you to go out and stock up on supplies. The messages can appear to be from a "next door neighbor." The National Security Council tweeted that these are fake.

A text message scam impersonating the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services informs recipients that they must take a “mandatory online COVID-19 test” with a link, warns the BBB.

Scammers are also using robocalls to target consumers during this national emergency.

•••••

[See link above for more]

What Kind of Job Is Important



\


The relevance is really obvious in the wake of the several recent very destructive hurricanes, and now Covid-19. Obviously, not a comprehensive list of important jobs.

Lyrics

What Kind of Job Is Important
© copyright 2017 Patricia M. Shannon

What kind of jobs are important? What do we really need?
What is it we cannot live without, not just an expression of greed?
We need food and water, shelter from the cold.
The farmer, the plumber, the carpenter are far more important than gold.

(chorus)
Those who have been thru the tunnel/valley, seen the light then returned to our shores,
tell us helping each other, and always be learning, that is what we are here for.
And no one returns from the other side to say that our value is shown
by the size of our stock portfolio, or the number of cars that we own.

Some people think they're important, because they sit at their desks all day
making money by moving money around in a circular way.
But what use is money if there's no one who can buy,
and no one to fix the power lines, or the pipes when the water runs dry.

(chorus)