Clete Willems on U.S.-China relations under Biden

first_img– Advertisement – Bilateral relations between the world’s two largest countries have deteriorated significantly over the last few years due to a trade war, U.S. sanctions against Chinese companies, and increased American support for Taiwan as well as India.Trump and his administration have blamed China for its unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and more recently, the coronavirus pandemic.Willems pointed out that the “phase one” trade deal between the two countries addressed some of the concerns the U.S. has over China’s practices. To rein in an 18-month trade war, both countries signed a trade agreement this year that pushed China to strengthen its intellectual property protection plan and increase its purchase of American manufacturing, energy and agricultural goods and services over two years.“If you look at the agricultural market access, if you look for the IP changes, that was some real meaningful stuff and I think that will be a lasting legacy,” Willems said. He added that export controls imposed on Chinese tech giant Huawei, which was labeled a national security risk by Washington, sent the firm into survival mode.“There’s clearly been some successes to point to. I do think that in a lot of respects, there’s a long way to go,” he said, adding that he hopes that if Biden wins, the former vice president can “pick up the torch” from Trump and deal with some of the major issues concerning China that have yet to be addressed. When asked if there was a chance that the U.S., under a Biden administration, may rejoin the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, Willems pointed out the deal faced bipartisan opposition in Congress. While Biden may potentially look at the agreement again, there would need to be renegotiation of some of the provisions before the U.S. considers rejoining the pact, according to Willems.   Being tough on China is what unifies a polarized United States right now, according to former top White House trade negotiator Clete Willems.A day after Americans voted, the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still up in the air — with six states yet to be called by NBC News.Regardless of who takes the White House, the relationship with China will remain more or less status quo, said Willems, a partner at Akin Gump.- Advertisement – “The truth of the matter is that being tough on China is what unifies us in a polarized nation right now. We’re polarized in our politics but we are not polarized on China,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.Willems said that if Biden wins, he would be constrained by the political environment and will unlikely go back to some of the China positions he held in the past that were seen as relatively weak.Still, there would likely be more predictability in Biden’s policies. “You’re not going to have tweets announcing tariffs in the middle of the night kind of thing, but overall the trajectory is going to be more or less the same. I think China is going to have to deal with that reality moving forward,” Willems said.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Londonderry, New Hampshire on October 25, 2020. Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a voter mobilization event in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 12, 2020.Getty Imageslast_img read more

Biden declared victor in hard-fought race for Pennsylvania.

first_imgPHILADELPHIA — Joseph R. Biden Jr. defeated President Trump in Pennsylvania, winning its 20 electoral votes and presidency.Mr. Biden had steadily erased Mr. Trump’s early lead in the state — at one point, the president led by half a million votes — as ballots, mostly absentee and mail-in votes, were counted over the past few days. Most of the remaining uncounted votes in the state are in Democratic-leaning areas.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Separately, the Supreme Court did grant the Trump camp a minor victory in Pennsylvania on Friday evening, when Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. ordered election officials there to keep the late-arriving ballots separate from other ballots, and not to include them, for now, in announced vote totals. But the victory was essentially in name only: Pennsylvania’s secretary of state had already given that instruction.- Advertisement – The Biden campaign hoped further counting could push its lead above 0.5 percent, obviating the need for a recount there and setting the stage for victory. [After this post was published, Mr. Biden’s lead in Pennsylvania reached above 0.5 percent and news outlets declared him president-elect.]The biggest fight in the state has been over ballots that were postmarked by Election Day but arrive later. Nearly a dozen lawsuits filed by Mr. Trump and his allies are working their way through the courts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, trying — so far unsuccessfully — to stop ballot counting and invalidate enough votes to erase Mr. Biden’s leads there. In September, the state Supreme Court ruled, over Republican objections, that election officials could accept ballots arriving up to three days later. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to intercede, but left open the possibility that it could revisit the question.center_img Responding to baseless allegations by the Trump campaign of vote-counting secrecy, he said that observers and journalists had access to the vote-counting site and that there were as many surveillance cameras there as in a casino. In Allegheny County, a predominantly Democratic area that includes Pittsburgh, election workers were going through roughly 20,000 mail-in ballots and additional provisional ballots on Saturday, Rich Fitzgerald, the county executive, said in a televised interview.The county’s mail-in ballots have so far been won overwhelmingly by Mr. Biden, as have the provisional ballots. Mr. Fitzgerald cautioned that the last ballots to count would be the trickiest, requiring additional checks to ensure they were not duplicates, which could slow the process.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Chelsea are title contenders, but Frank Lampard must keep players happy, says Paul Merson | Football News

first_imgHakim Ziyech has got a left foot that can open a can of wormsPaul Merson If we are going to talk about Tottenham winning the title, then Chelsea are right in the mix. If Spurs can win it, then for sure, Chelsea can win it.- Advertisement – This is where Mourinho is special. He sees things others don’t. He sees what he needs, and he doesn’t just go out and buy players for the sake of it.In Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, they needed that ball-winning midfielder to break things up and then there are the full-backs.I couldn’t believe Wolves let Matt Doherty go. For the price Wolves let him go for, I didn’t get that one at all.That’s where Mourinho is so good, and I as I said earlier, as long as he’s in charge, they’ve got a chance. It’s not impossible at all, but again, we are only seven games in, and you could not write the script of the league so far this season. 2:44 – Advertisement – – Advertisement – 0:44 Is the squad too big? It depends how far they go in certain competitions, but that is where Mourinho was great. If you look at his Chelsea team and the squad he had at Stamford Bridge, you never heard anybody moaning.From the outside, you always thought, ‘wow’! How do you keep all those players happy? There’s got to be an art to it because when you’ve got that quality of player, to keep them all happy when they are not playing is a major skill.It’s alright people saying they get £100,000-a-week, they get paid well or whatever, but they want to play football. As a player, you want to play football and that will be Lampard’s biggest challenge going forward.They also have to play a better quality of opponent in the games coming up, but everything at the moment looks good.Mourinho knows what it takes to get Spurs over the lineIt’s a hard question to answer (can Spurs win the league?). They are going to be very reliant on Harry Kane.But, to be fair, results like the win at West Brom, they win you league titles. You look back on results like that and come what may, you remember it as a difficult game against one of the teams down at the bottom, who couldn’t win a game but turned up on the day, and it turns out to be an important win.That’s what you are up against if you want to win the Premier League. You watched West Brom against Fulham and they were atrocious. You start to think Tottenham have only got to turn up on Sunday morning and as long as they don’t forget their boots, they’ll win the game and move on.But in the end, it was a very hard game and Mourinho is probably sitting there asking himself why they didn’t turn up and play like that against Fulham. That’s how hard the Premier League is.Can Spurs go on and win the title? It’s not impossible and that’s because they’ve got a serial winner as a manager. They’ve got a chance because Mourinho is in charge and has won it before. He knows what it takes to get over the line.Can the players keep producing week in, week out? Only time will tell, but having Mourinho at the club gives them an advantage.Mauricio Pochettino was a good manager, don’t get me wrong. However, they’ve now got more chance of winning the title because of Mourinho. He knows what you have to do week in, week out and then all over again. – Advertisement – It’s coming from everywhere too. Hakim Ziyech has got a left foot that can open a can of worms, Timo Werner scores plenty of goals, Tammy Abraham looks like he’s getting better and then there’s Mason Mount. They’ve just got so much attacking talent.The problem is going to be keeping everyone happy and that’s going to be the hardest job in the world. You are going to have top, top-draw players not playing, and that’s hard.Kai Havertz wasn’t even in the squad because he was unwell and Christian Pulisic is injured too. Mateo Kovacic played on Saturday, but he hasn’t been playing. That’s going to be the problem Chelsea have to contend with going forward. The Football Show’s Stephen Warnock and Sue Smith assess where Tottenham striker Harry Kane will finish in the all-time Premier League top scorers list It’s like having Alan Shearer, who played up front as a No 9 and then there’s Teddy Sheringham as a No 10, and Kane can play both of them. Shearer couldn’t drop off and play as a 10 and I don’t think Sheringham could play the Shearer role.For Kane to be able to do both, and they were special players, is remarkable.Summer signings show Mourinho at his best preview image Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho embraceImage:Spurs have more chance of winning the title under Jose Mourinho than previous boss Mauricio Pochettino (left), thinks Paul Merson Frank Lampard has now got who he wants in key positions and you can really see the difference.Thiago Silva is world-class. They’ve got two full-backs who are as good as any in the league and for me, they [Reece James and Ben Chilwell] are the two England full-backs, in my opinion. They are outstanding. Silva is also only going to make Kurt Zouma a better player and the goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is solid.I know Sheffield United are down at the bottom at the moment, but they are a hard team to play against. They are organised and when you go 1-0 down, you know it’s going to be a difficult evening.However, they literally dismantled Sheffield United. They made them look like a proper relegation team, which I don’t see that because I think Sheffield United will be okay this season. They made them look distinctly average and that’s a sign of a good team.Lampard does have one problem though…center_img Harry Kane and Jose MourinhoImage:Harry Kane has transformed his game, says Merson 2:51 Harry Kane Frank LampardImage:Frank Lampard will need to somehow keep all his players happy this season Kane is a special player. He’s changed his game a bit now as well. He starts drifting off into the No 10 position and he can spray the ball around the park. He’s showing he’s got vision and it is like he’s the all-round package.There are not many players about who can go up front and be a target man, be strong, put his body in the way, score goals and then in the game, he can drop off and hit a 30-yard ball through the eye of a needle and knit play together.There are not many of those players around, if any. I’m one of Mourinho’s biggest fans, but I have been critical of him.When I was critical, it wasn’t about him as a manager, because you cannot knock someone who has won all those trophies. It doesn’t matter when he won those trophies, he’s won them. They are on the CV.My only question mark was whether Kane would be able to get 30 goals in a season being in a Mourinho team.Mourinho is a winner. He doesn’t mind winning games 1-0. He’s not there to entertain people, he’s there to win football matches. If they entertain and end up winning 3-0, then fair enough, but he is one of those managers that wins a game 1-0, puts it into the back pocket and moves on to the next.Fans will moan that it was only 1-0, but Mourinho won’t care, and that comes with experience.But now, with Kane on fire and the other attacking players they’ve got at their disposal, they’ve got a chance. A real chance, but, for me, I just can’t see past Liverpool.Remarkable Kane has changed his game FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win over West Brom in the Premier League Chelsea vs Sheffield United highlights Paul Merson insists Chelsea are Premier League title contenders this season, but Frank Lampard has one big challenge: keep the players happy. Don’t rule out Chelsea for the league FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win over Sheffield United in the Premier League You have to be there or thereabouts all the time. You cannot be giving teams six, seven or eight-point head starts, and they are right in the mix at the moment.A word of caution, though. Everyone’s talking about the title and because it is November, people think we’re nearly halfway through the season. Usually we’d have played about 15 games by now and that’s a massive difference, but we’ve only played seven or eight games.But when Mourinho won the title at Chelsea, they always got off to a flyer. He’s the only manager I know who treats every game like it is the last of the season. Every point mounts up and Mourinho always flies out of the stalls in a title-winning year.Jose’s not here to entertain, but to win Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg during Spurs' friendly against IpswichImage:Paul Merson has hailed the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerglast_img read more

Rand Paul owns self once again over election security

first_imgIn June, 2019, they blocked legislation requiring presidential campaigns to report offers from foreign government for election assistance to the FBI. Nope. Trump might have needed Putin, so no go there. They did it again a few months later, blocking three different bills that would have helped states beef up their security and try to limit foreign interference.They even blocked a bill sponsored by one of their own members, Sen. Marco Rubio, to deter foreign interference with the promise of harsh sanctions, and two more to boot.So spare us the scaremongering now, Rand and every other Republican. We dodged a bullet this time. States were able to mostly scrabble together their elections, and the fact that it was so hugely mail-in, the possibilities for Russian hacking were minimal. That’s no thanks at all to any Republican.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – After the pandemic hit, Democrats in the House and Senate tried to pass legislation to help states deal with what Paul and Republicans are screaming fraud over now—a massive wave of mail-in ballots spurred by voter safety concerns over COVID-19. That included funding specifically for risk-limiting audits, $20 million for it, in fact. Mitch McConnell wouldn’t even think about bringing that to the floor. Republicans called it part of her “liberal wish list.” Securing elections from the supposed “fraud” they’re now trying to hype.Before the pandemic, the issue that was topmost in was foreign election meddling. Special counsel Robert Mueller warned about it in the summer of 2019. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned about it earlier this year. But for a solid who years, McConnell and team had been fighting even modest efforts to prevent it.- Advertisement –last_img read more

USDA reports another possible BSE case

first_imgNov 18, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said today it is running confirmatory tests on a possible new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. The first BSE case spurred the USDA to expand its BSE surveillance program starting in June. The new possible case was one of the high-risk animals targeted in the surveillance program, said Andrea Morgan, associate deputy administrator for veterinary services in the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. She spoke at a morning news conference, a transcript of which was published online. In late June the USDA reported inconclusive results on single BSE screening tests on two different cows. Further testing ruled out the disease in both cases, but the initial test results shook the beef industry. As a result, in August the USDA set a policy whereby it will make no announcement until two BSE screening tests on the same animal are inconclusive. Two rapid screening tests on a cow were inconclusive, prompting the USDA to begin confirmatory tests, which will take 4 to 7 days, officials said in a statement. The carcass was kept out of the food and animal feed chains, the agency said. It did not reveal where the cow came from or where it was initially tested. USDA news briefing transcript Morgan said today that after one test was inconclusive, “We allowed the submitting laboratory to rerun the test, and they got yet another indication on the rerun of an inconclusive.” The result was reported early this morning, she said. Morgan said the USDA “remains confident in the safety of the US beef supply.” After the first BSE case was found, the agency banned nonambulatory (“downer”) cattle and high-risk cattle tissues, called specified-risk materials (SRMs), from the human food chain. SRMs include the skull, brain, spinal cord, vertebral column, and certain nerve bundles from cattle older than 30 months, plus the tonsils and small intestine of cattle of all ages. Morgan said the SRM ban would protect the public if another BSE case is confirmed. The USDA says it has tested more than 113,000 cattle since June 1 in its expanded BSE surveillance program. The program mainly targets animals considered to be at increased risk for BSE, including those that can’t walk, die on farms, are injured, or show signs of neurologic disease. Up to 12 labs around the country have been authorized to conduct the rapid BSE screening tests.center_img If the case is confirmed, it would be the nation’s second. The first case, detected last December in a cow in Washington state, prompted dozens of countries to stop importing US beef. The Bush administration recently announced a tentative agreement with Japan on conditions for reopening the Japanese market to American beef. “The inconclusive result does not mean we have found another case of BSE in this country,” Morgan stated. “Inconclusive results are a normal component of screening tests, which are designed to be extremely sensitive so that they will detect any samples that could possibly be positive.” Aug 9 CIDRAP News story on USDA policy on reporting BSE test resultshttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/other/bse/news/august0904bse.html USDA news release on inconclusive test Tissue samples from the cow have been sent to the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, for confirmatory tests, Morgan said. “If the test comes back positive for BSE we will then be providing additional information about the animal and its origin,” she stated. See also:last_img read more

West Nile cases dropped sharply in 2004

first_img 2003 WNV activity by state One reason to stay vigilant is that researchers are learning more about how serious West Nile is in people, O’Leary added. Ongoing studies of neuroinvasive cases show some patients suffer “lingering neurologic problems months or even years after the initial disease.” Although the epidemic’s severity dropped in 2004, O’Leary urged people to continue to use precautions against West Nile. Sep 8, 2004, CIDRAP News story on lingering effects of West Nile fever The hardest-hit states this year were in the West and Southwest, as measured by the numbers of neuroinvasive cases. California had 154 cases, Arizona 128, Texas 105, and Colorado 39. In contrast, last year California and Arizona had only 2 and 7 neuroinvasive cases respectively, while Colorado had 621. Texas was about the same last year, with 108 cases. Because West Nile fever is less severe, and because reporting of fever won’t be nationally mandated until 2005, experts focus on the neuroinvasive cases, explained Dan O’Leary, DVM, a medical epidemiologist in CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases in Fort Collins, Colo. Dec 29, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – West Nile virus continued its relentless blanketing of the United States in 2004, marching westward but leaving far fewer dead and ill people in its wake than it did last year. Once a state has the virus, it remains endemic from season to season, O’Leary said. Only Washington state has reported finding the virus in animals (a bird and a horse in 2002) without seeing any subsequent animal or human cases. Cooler weather appears to reduce the spread of the virus, which may contribute to Washington’s situation, he added. 2004 WNV activity by state Only about 20% of people infected with the virus get sick and only about 1 in 150 infected people has neurologic involvement, according to information on CDC’s Web site. A mosquito-borne pathogen, West Nile virus was discovered in New York City in 1999 and spread steadily westward in the ensuing years. Now some 55 species of mosquito carry the virus, although Culex mosquitoes are considered the primary vectors, O’Leary said. Although the epidemic had as broad a geographic reach this year as last year, the 2004 case total represented a sharp drop from last year’s 9,862 cases. The 2003 total included 6,830 fever cases, 2,866 cases of neuroinvasive disease, and 166 unspecified cases. There were 264 deaths. A total of 2,448 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta so far this year. That includes 87 deaths, 888 cases of neuroinvasive disease (West Nile meningitis and West Nile encephalitis), 1,011 West Nile fever cases, and 549 other clinical or unspecified cases. “States where the virus has occurred previously and continues to occur, there is ongoing human risk. People shouldn’t let down their guard because it wasn’t a big epidemic,” he said. He recommended checking local West Nile activity on state health department Web sites and remembering to use effective mosquito sprays for outdoor activities. As in past years, some severe localized outbreaks occurred this year, often on the leading edge of the West Nile wave or in places where the virus arrived within the past year, O’Leary said. Last year Colorado had a severe epidemic with 2,947 total cases, but this year the center of West Nile activity moved west, he said. Phoenix, Ariz., and Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties in California saw more than 100 cases each. However, Mesa County, Colo., had about 125 cases this year, he said. See also: Aside from the change in the number of people afflicted, other aspects of the disease this year were generally consistent with past years. The 87 deaths this year represent a case-fatality rate for neuroinvasive disease of about 9.8%, compared with a rate of about 9.2% in 2003. O’Leary said the neuroinvasive case-fatality rate has remained steady at about 9% to 10% since the virus landed on US soil.last_img read more

Judge OKs optional anthrax shots for troops

first_img DoD subsequently asked Sullivan to modify his injunction to allow for anthrax vaccinations under the emergency authority. Sullivan granted that motion yesterday, stipulating that the shots have to be voluntary. Sullivan’s ruling came in a suit filed by six military members and DoD civilian contractor employees. In an initial ruling in December 2003, the judge ordered DoD to stop requiring the shots on the ground that the FDA had never specifically approved the vaccine for inhalational anthrax. (The vaccine was originally licensed in 1970.) The FDA responded a week later with a declaration that the vaccine was safe and effective for all forms of anthrax. Sullivan then lifted his injunction in January 2004, little more than 2 weeks after he had issued it. Feb 2 CIDRAP News story “FDA issues emergency order on military anthrax shots” Then-HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson granted the Department of Defense (DoD) request on Jan 14. But the “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) said DoD had to make the vaccinations optional. Sullivan had ruled last October that the mandatory vaccination program was illegal because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in his opinion, did not follow proper procedures in approving the vaccine for inhalational anthrax, as opposed to cutaneous anthrax. He said troops could not be required to take the vaccine, called Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed (AVA), without their informed consent or a special presidential waiver. Apr 7, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A federal judge who stopped the US military’s compulsory anthrax vaccination program last October has ruled that the Pentagon can resume giving anthrax shots, but only on a voluntary basis. In his ruling, Sullivan left the door open to challenges to the legality of the emergency authorization granted by HHS. He said his ruling signaled no “prejudice to a future challenge to the validity of any such EUA,” adding, “The court expressly makes no finding as to the lawfulness of any specific EUA that has been or may be approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.” The Department of Defense (DoD) said it was pleased with the ruling but did not predict when vaccinations will resume. In a brief statement provided by e-mail, DoD officials said, “No vaccinations will be offered until the Defense Department issues detailed implementing instructions in the near future.” District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in Washington, DC, said yesterday the Pentagon can administer the shots to volunteers under the terms of an emergency authorization granted in January by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Military officials had asked for the emergency authority on grounds that troops in some regions face a risk of anthrax attack. AVA requires six shots over a period of 18 months, followed by annual boosters. Last November HHS awarded an $877 million contract for a new anthrax vaccine that officials hope will require fewer doses and have fewer side effects. The contract went to VaxGen Inc., Brisbane, Calif., for 75 million doses, which are destined for the Strategic National Stockpile of drugs and medical supplies to protect the public. AVA is derived from whole anthrax microbes, whereas the new vaccine contains a purified form of just one anthrax component, called protective antigen. See also: More than 1.3 million people have received anthrax shots in the DoD program since 1998, according to the Pentagon. Hundreds of troops have refused the shots out of concern about side effects, and some have been punished or forced out of the military as a result. Last December, the FDA quietly published a Federal Register notice inviting the public to comment on a proposal to confirm the vaccine’s approval for all forms of anthrax. The deadline for comments was Mar 29. But in his subsequent ruling in October 2004, Sullivan said the FDA had failed to follow its own rules in declaring the vaccine safe for all forms of the disease. Those rules, set up after the FDA took over drug licensing from another federal agency in 1972, included gathering public comments. Sullivan said that the FDA’s declaration relied partly on evidence on which the public never had a chance to comment. In December, military officials responded to the ruling by asking the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for emergency authority to resume the vaccination program. Under the Project Bioshield Act of 2004, the FDA, in a declared emergency, can authorize the use of a medical product that has not gained ordinary FDA approval. Nov 4, 2004, CIDRAP News story “HHS to spend $877 million on new anthrax vaccine”last_img read more

HHS announces preparedness grants for public health, hospitals

first_imgJun 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that it is allocating states and major metropolitan areas $1.1 billion to strengthen public health preparedness and help healthcare facilities respond to emergency events such as an influenza pandemic or terrorist attack.”States and local communities need to be supported because they are on the front lines of response in a health emergency,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in an HHS press release today. “These funds will continue to enhance community readiness by increasing the capabilities of health departments, hospitals, and healthcare delivery systems to respond to any public health emergency.”HHS earmarked $1.1 billion for two related cooperative agreement programs: Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP), administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), managed by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).Public health departments depend on cooperative health agreements to build capacity.Budget support for building capacityHHS said it allocated $704.8 million in PHEP funds to states, territories, and certain metropolitan areas, which is down from $896 million the agency granted in 2007. However, last year’s amount included $175 million for pandemic influenza preparedness.Focus areas for this year’s funds include:· Integrating public health, public, and private capabilities with other first responder systems· Addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in the event of a public health emergency· Ensuring that state, local, and tribal groups coordinate their planning on preparedness and response activities.The metropolitan areas that receive PHEP funding include New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles County, and Washington, DC. Grant amounts ranged from $330,743 for the territory of Palau to $50,161,370 for California.Renewed funding for surge capacityHHS started ramping up its funding for healthcare facility preparedness after the Sep 11 and anthrax attacks in 2001. The grant award, designed to boost surge capacity, this year is $398 million, down from $430 million in 2007.Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit public health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, has voiced concerns about the state of hospital preparedness over the past few years in its annual reports called “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism.”Most of the goals for the funds are the same as last year: development of or improvement in interoperable communication systems, bolstering hospital bed tracking systems, preregistration of healthcare volunteers, processes for hospital evacuations or sheltering-in-place, and fatality management. An added focus this year is strengthening community healthcare partnerships, HHS said.The same metropolitan areas that receive PHEP funding receive healthcare facility preparedness grants. Overall, grant awards ranged from $273,894 for Palau to $32,625,884 for California.A change this year for both programs is a new accountability program, which was stipulated in the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act. HHS said it could withhold funds from states, territories, or cities that don’t meet performance measures.Downward funding trendsIn February, TFAH issued an analysis of the Bush administration’s budget proposals for 2009 in which it raised concerns over shrinking funding levels for public health preparedness and hospital readiness programs. Over the past 5 years, the funding level has been reduced by one-third, according to a TFAH press release that accompanied the analysis.At about the same time, a report from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) said that the cuts have impaired local preparedness efforts.Cuts in federal preparedness funding threatens the gains that many states have made, TFAH director Jeff Levi said in December 2007 when the group released its fifth annual readiness report.Rich Hamburg, director of governmental relations for TFAH, told CIDRAP News today that the amounts of today’s grants were about what the group had expected.See also:Jun 3 HHS press releaseJul 11, 2007, CIDRAP news story “HHS to give states $430 million for hospital preparedness”Jul 18, 2007, CIDRAP news story “HHS, DHS fund public health preparedness and emergency response”Feb 4 TFAH press releaselast_img read more

World Tourism Day – New Millennium Tourism

first_imgIstria is a leader in tourismThanks to its geographical position, diverse natural beauties and rich tourist offer, the County of Istria has been the absolute ruler for many years in terms of the number of overnight stays. The most important tourist centers of the County of Istria, in which more than two million overnight stays were realized in 2016, are Rovinj (3,3 million), Poreč (2,9 million) and Medulin (2,4 million). The popularity of Istria is evidenced by the fact that the three cities with the highest number of overnight stays per capita are in that county, namely Funtana (1), Tar-Vabriga (667) and Vrsar (803). Dubrovnik with the most overnight staysDubrovnik, a city that was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its cultural heritage in 1979, with 3,4 million overnight stays in 2016, ranks first in the number of overnight stays in Croatia. According to the type of accommodation, out of the total number of realized overnight stays last year, most of them were realized in hotels (55,3%), followed by rooms, apartments and holiday homes (37,0%). The highest number of overnight stays in 2016 was recorded by tourists from the United Kingdom (21,7%), followed by tourists from France, the USA and Germany (6,8% each).Cruises in increasing numbersThe beauty and uniqueness of the Croatian coast is evidenced by the data relating to cruises of foreign ships, which come in increasing numbers. Namely, the number of days spent by foreign cruise ships in the territorial sea of ​​Croatia in 2016, with a total of 1 days of stay, more than doubled compared to 813. Also, in 2006, 2016 million passengers were recorded on foreign cruise ships, which is as much as 1,1% more than in 82,7.That Croatia is recognized as a top destination charted on the route of many foreign cruise ships is shown by an increase of 46,0% in 2016 compared to ten years earlier. Last year, the largest number of cruises was made by ships flying the flag of the Bahamas (26,3%) and Malta (21,5%), while the largest number of passengers arrived by ships flying the flag of Italy (32,5%) and the Bahamas (20,4%). ). Tourists come more individually Tourists, both foreign and domestic, mostly choose the individual way of arrival. In 2016, out of a total of 15,6 million tourist arrivals, 61,3% came individually and 38,7% organized, through travel agencies. The average number of overnight stays per arrival in 2016 for foreign tourists was 5,2, and for domestic still slightly less, 3,3. Rooms, apartments and holiday homes are most in demand In 2016, out of the total number of realized overnight stays of tourists in commercial accommodation, 45,5% of them were realized in rooms, apartments and holiday homes, in which domestic tourists realized 40,3% and foreign 46,0% overnight stays. This is followed by overnight stays in hotels (23,6%), followed by camps (22,4%). The number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays, observed since 2001, has been continuously increasing. During 2016, more than 15,6 million tourists came to Croatia, which is almost twice as many as in 2001, when 7,9 million came. The structure of tourist arrivals in commercial accommodation in 2016 was dominated by foreign tourists, with a share of 88,5%, which is approximately the same as when we also look at data from fifteen years ago, during which the share of foreign tourists ranged more than 80%.The situation is similar in the observed period in relation to tourist nights, of which an impressive 2016 million were recorded in 78,0, which is as much as 79,8% more than in 2001, when 43,4 million of them spent the night. The share of foreign tourists in the structure of overnight stays has hovered around 90% over the years. The Germans have been convincingly our most loyal guests for yearsIf we observe the arrivals and overnight stays of tourists to the country of residence, the Germans have been convincingly our most loyal guests for years. Since 2001, they have been absolute record holders, accounting for a fifth (17%) of the total number of overnight stays in 21,9 with more than 2016 million overnight stays. They are followed by Slovenes, with just over 7,1 million, and Austrians, with 6,5 million overnight stays. The Germans not only come to us at night in large numbers, but in 2016 they were also in first place in terms of the average number of nights per arrival, which was 7,5. What we can still conclude about unsere Gäste, is that of all parts of Lijepa Naša, they like to spend the night in places on the coast, where in 2016 they spent as much as 96,5% of the total number of overnight stays of tourists from Germany.center_img Arrivals and overnight stays in continuous growth If we move away from the economic aspect, what is it that makes tourism so attractive? Adventure, exploration of the unknown, escape from everyday life – all these are the drivers that have brought this economic activity the status it deserves. Croatia, the land of a thousand islands, a small country for a big vacation ie a country full of life, has been charting its tourist path since the 19th century. That it is one of the most popular European tourist destinations is evidenced by the indicator of tourism intensity, according to which in 2015 Croatia with 16,9 overnight stays per capita was in second place in the group of EU-28 countries, just below Malta, which has the highest number of overnight stays per capita – 20,8 of them. On the occasion of today’s World Tourism Day, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) published an overview of data in the field of tourism from 2001 until today.Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries, and its importance as a driver of many changes is unquestionable. Therefore, it is not surprising that this “pillar of the economy” of many countries around the world got its day, almost forty years ago. Its celebration was initiated by the World Tourism Organization back in 1979 to further strengthen awareness of its importance and the need for continuous investment in development activities in this segment, monitoring trends and adapting to them. September 27, the time of year when the main tourist season ends in the northern hemisphere and begins in the southern hemisphere, was symbolically chosen as the date of the celebration, and this year it will be celebrated worldwide under the motto “Sustainable tourism, an instrument of development” Source: CBSlast_img read more

VINOcom as well as wine: The older it is, the better

first_imgThe International Wine and Culinary Festival VINOcom was held for the 13th time at the end of November and, as the organizer Professor Ivan Dropuljić proudly points out, gathered more than 300 exhibitors on 3.000 square meters in Zagreb’s Hotel Esplanade. In addition to winemakers, numerous family farms and producers of oils, meat delicacies and sweets also presented their products.In addition to tasting numerous wines and delicacies, the festival is a unique opportunity to exchange experiences among winemakers, both on techniques of growing and processing grapes in increasingly modern cellars, and on the adopted Draft Law on Wine and its impact on producers in the wine and viticulture sector. “The main goal of the event from the first day is to raise awareness about wine as an important part of the table culture, and judging by the growing number of exhibitors and visitors, especially younger ones – we have succeeded. said a well-known mathematics professor we know by the nickname Dropi. In addition to winemakers and visitors, they were able to participate in numerous, specialized workshops and get acquainted with lesser-known wines presented by winemakers from Russia, this year’s partner country. At the workshop with the intriguing title Let’s learn why Decanter published the title – Thank God for Croatian wines, those present enjoyed the vertical of Graševin Ivan Enjingi, a winemaker who almost has the status of a rock star. Through almost three decades of production of top wines (9 years, from 1990 to 2018), the participants were guided by the journalist and wine connoisseur Ivo Kozarčanin – Bach’s son and reminded us of an article published in 2008. Then, at a competition in London, Enjingi’s Venje in 1998 won a gold medal among wines priced below £ 10, and Decanter magazine paid tribute to a winemaker who has the patience to let the wine in the cellar do its thing and wait for the right moment to launch.Photo: Wine IllegalIn addition to the standard wine workshops, the 3 × 12 workshop, a large trinity of olives, wines and gastronomic icons led by Rene Bakalović and Zoran Šimunić, also attracted attention, and the basic guiding thread was top-quality (domestic) olive oils. In addition to the search for the perfect wine that matches the oil and the individual dish, gastronomic experts first carefully selected the appropriate food – a gastronomic icon such as white or black truffle or island honey prepared according to a specially designed recipe. In the end, the sommelier completes the story by choosing a wine whose grapes, terroir, winemaker and year perfectly match the selected oil and food. This exciting, stimulating and very demanding gourmet menu concept according to this year’s best young oils from olive groves from Istria to Dalmatia is offered to guests by the Gastronomad Club and the Apetit restaurant in Zagreb. Chef Marin Rendić and a team of experts have enriched the domestic tourist offer in the best way by presenting award-winning olive oils and wines, local ingredients and original recipes.It is the end of the year and of course it is time to recapitulate what has been done, so wine awards have been given. The day before Vinocom, for the 7th time, the White Cluster awards were given to wineries that successfully develop wine tourism and to individuals whose activities contribute to the development and promotion of wine culture not only in Croatia, but also in the region. The award was established in 2012 by the table culture association GET with the aim of promoting eno-gastronomy and eno-gastro tourism, and about 500 eno-gastro connoisseurs and another 1.200 people participate in the evaluation through an open survey. The best in Croatia in wine tourism this year is the Istrian winery Stancija Meneghetti, followed by the best winery Bregovita Hrvatske Vuglec breg and Orebic Korta Katarina. In addition to winemakers, awards called Wine Stars were given to the best wines that can be purchased in Croatian wine shops and stores. The award was founded in 2012 and represents the largest independent evaluation of wine in which, along with three permanent juries (Vito Andrić, Ivo Kozarčanin, Marija Vukelić), 20 evaluators participate, and this year, among 153 tasted wines, those recommended to wine lovers were singled out. The big gold medal went to 11 wines, 9 of which were domestic, and the Crystal Star for the best wine from the autochthonous Croatian variety was won by Dingač 2016 from the Pelješac family farm owned by Vedran Kiridžija.last_img read more