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Politicians ‘underestimated’ virus threat: EU chief

first_imgPolitical leaders “underestimated” the magnitude of the danger posed by the coronavirus, the president of the European Commission admitted Wednesday, as the EU shut its borders.”I think that all of us who are not experts initially underestimated the coronavirus,” Ursula von der Leyen told Germany’s Bild newspaper in an interview published Wednesday.”But now it is clear that this is a virus that will keep us busy for a long time yet.” Topics : Germany’s economy minister Peter Altmaier said the United States under Donald Trump had taken the threat of the virus even more lightly. “The outbreak of the crisis was probably underestimated even more so in the US than in some countries in Europe,” Peter Altmaier told Germany’s regional press group Funke.  “That is the reason we very much hope that the US will manage to control the situation, also in our own interest,” he added.”No-one hopes that the US economy would fall into an uncontrolled recession.”center_img “We understand that measures that seemed drastic two or three weeks ago, need to be taken now,” she added.The coronavirus outbreak, which first emerged in China late last year, has quickly marched across the globe, infecting nearly 200,000 people and killing 7,900 as governments scramble to contain it.But von der Leyen rejected the language of French president Emmanuel Macron, who likened the outbreak to war this week, and ordered almost the entire population to stay at home for at least two weeks.”I will not personally use that term but I understand the motivation of the French president as the coronavirus is a worrying enemy.” last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Reminds Drivers To Be Safe This Holiday Weekend

first_img Press Release,  PSA,  Public Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvania drivers to avoid dangerous decisions over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, as Pennsylvania State Police will increase enforcement coverage for drivers under the influence.“This Memorial Day weekend should be about remembering those who sacrificed their lives for our country and enjoying a long, safe weekend with family, friends and neighbors,” Governor Wolf said. “There is no room this weekend for driving under the influence, not wearing a seatbelt or other reckless behavior that puts yourself and fellow Pennsylvanians in danger. If you’re going out and drinking, there’s no excuse: find a ride home or designate a sober driver.”“The Pennsylvania State Police will have extra troopers on the roads this weekend and, along with local law enforcement, will be checking to make sure drivers are sober and wearing a seatbelt.”State Police troopers will be focused on stopping impaired driving and ensuring proper seatbelt use. In conjunction with “Click it or Ticket”, law enforcement will be taking a zero tolerance approach when it comes to buckling up.Troopers will be on the lookout for speeding, tailgating, and other unsafe driving habits on interstates, highways, and local roads. State and local law enforcement will hold DUI checkpoints and patrols throughout the weekend.Drivers can take advantage of the SaferRide app to plan their ride home before they go out. The app, available for free download on Android and Apple devices, is a great option to facilitate a safe ride home after you’ve been drinking. Once the app is downloaded, you can use it to call a taxi or a friend by identifying your location so you can be picked up.The national “Click It or Ticket” campaign occurs May 23 – June 5, 2016. The Department will be conducting high visibility enforcement and, as part of this campaign, Department members certified as Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians will be conducting free car seat fitting stations.At these fitting stations, caregivers can have their car seats checked for suitability and can receive instruction in the proper installation of car seats and harnessing of children in those seats. A full list of these locations can be found here.# # #Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Governor Wolf Reminds Drivers To Be Safe This Holiday Weekend SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img May 27, 2016last_img read more

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Gov. Wolf Touts Efforts to Fight Opioid Epidemic, Expand Take-Back Boxes

first_img March 22, 2019 Gov. Wolf Touts Efforts to Fight Opioid Epidemic, Expand Take-Back Boxes Press Release,  Public Health,  Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined representatives from Walgreens and its partners to outline his administration’s efforts in the fight against the opioid epidemic, including the success of drug take-back boxes.“While the take-back program has been, and will continue to be, incredibly successful, we all know that we must do more to rid our communities of the scourge of the opioid and heroin addiction crisis,” Gov. Wolf said. “That’s why, from the beginning, my administration has taken proactive action to get in front of this crisis, and to give our communities the tools they need to fight back.”Governor Wolf first signed a 90-day opioid epidemic disaster declaration in 2018, and the sixth renewal on March 20, so Pennsylvania could put the resources and expertise together to make a concerted effort to battle the epidemic. Today, there are 16 state agencies and many organizations partnering to fight the epidemic from all fronts.The opioid and heroin crisis has hit Pennsylvania hard. According to the CDC, in 2015, more than 3,300 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses. There were more than 4,600 overdose deaths in 2016, and more than 5,300 in 2017.“Preliminary data for 2018 indicates that we may have a decrease in deaths in some parts of the state and while that’s promising, there are still many more overdose deaths than there were just four years ago,” Gov. Wolf said. “We need to remain focused on expanding our efforts, many of which are working.”Efforts that include getting more people into treatment, providing the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone and funding 45 Centers of Excellence for substance use disorder treatment in communities across the state are all making a difference. The expansion of the drug take-back box program is also helping, Wolf said.“My administration has created 813 drug take-back locations in all 67 counties, and they are helping to take dangerous drugs off the street and out of the hands of those who might misuse them,” Gov. Wolf said. “Since 2014, we have helped communities properly dispose of, and have destroyed, over 250 tons of prescription drugs.”The governor was joined at Walgreens by representatives of AmerisourceBergen, Independence Blue Cross and Pfizer, partners with Walgreens in the drugstore chains’ safe medication disposal kiosks.Walgreens has the kiosks at 14 Pennsylvania locations, including its flagship store at 1 South Broad Street where the event was held. In total, Walgreens has nearly 1,000 disposal kiosks across the country and has collected and disposed of more than 275 tons of prescription medications since the program began in 2016. The chain plans to expand the kiosks with help from its partners.“Walgreens is pleased to work with leading healthcare organizations to expand the availability of year-round safe medication disposal options throughout Pennsylvania,” said Pat Carroll, M.D., Walgreens chief medical officer and group vice president. “Safe medication disposal kiosks are the best way to prevent unwanted medications from being accidentally or intentionally misused by someone else.”Find a take-back box location for the disposal of prescription drugs in Pennsylvania here.Learn more about how the Wolf Administration is battling the opioid epidemic here.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Mindfulness may not be doing you good

first_imgThe Conversation 5 June 2015Mindfulness as a psychological aid is very much in fashion. Recent reports on the latest finding suggested that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is as effective as anti-depressants in preventing the relapse of recurrent depression.While the authors of the paper interpreted their results in a slightly less positive light, stating that (contrary to their hypothesis) mindfulness was no more effective than medication, the meaning inferred by many in the media was that mindfulness was superior to medication.Mindfulness is a technique extracted from Buddhism where one tries to notice present thoughts, feeling and sensations without judgement. The aim is to create a state of “bare awareness”. What was once a tool for spiritual exploration has been turned into a panacea for the modern age — a cure-all for common human problems, from stress, to anxiety, to depression. By taking this “natural pill” every day, we open ourselves up to the potential for myriad benefits and no ill-effects, unlike synthetic pills, such as anti-depressants, whose potential for negative side-effects we are all aware of.Side effectsMindfulness is presented as a technique that will have lots of positive effects – and only positive effects. It is easy to see why this myth is so widespread. After all, sitting in silence, focusing on your breathing or being aware of the flow of thoughts and feelings would seem like a fairly innocuous activity with little potential for harm.But considering that many of us rarely sit alone with our thoughts, it isn’t hard to see how this might lead to difficult thoughts and emotions rising to the surface for some people – which we may, or may not, be equipped to deal with. Yet the potential for emotional and psychological disturbance is rarely talked about by mindfulness researchers, the media, or mentioned in training courses.And here we come to an important point. Buddhist meditation was designed not to make us happier, but to radically change our sense of self and perception of the world. Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that some will experience negative effects such as dissociation, anxiety and depression. However, like the small print on medication, these “side-effects” in some individuals are not what the creators of this pill are concerned with promoting.For some, penicillin is life saving; for others, it induces a harmful reaction. Just because your friend or family member responds to a pill a certain way, does not mean you will respond in the same way. The same is also true with mindfulness: for some, it may be very effective or it may not work at all, for others, there may be harmful effects.Mindfulness has been separated from its roots, stripped of its ethical and spiritual connotations, and sold to us as a therapeutic tool. While this may not deny its power as a technique to change our state of consciousness and with implications for mental health, it arguably limits its “naturalness”, as well as its potential – at least as originally intended.Many Buddhists are critical of the use of mindfulness for purposes which are very different from the radical shift in perception they aim for — the realisation of “emptiness” and liberation from all attachments. Instead, as Giles Coren recently claimed, this technique has been turned into a McMindfulness which only reinforces one’s egocentric drives.The idea that each of us is unique is a cornerstone of individual-based therapy. But with mindfulness-based approaches there is little space for one’s individuality, in part because it’s a group practice, but also because there has been no serious attempt to address how individuals react differently to this technique.So if you go into it – as with taking any other kind of pill – keep your eyes open. Don’t consume mindfulness blindly.http://theconversation.com/mindfulness-has-lost-its-buddhist-roots-and-it-may-not-be-doing-you-good-42526Panic, depression and stress: The case against meditationNewScientist 14 May 2015Twitching, trembling, panic, disorientation, hallucinations, terror, depression, mania and psychotic breakdown – these are some of the reported effects of meditation. Surprised? We were too.Techniques such as transcendental meditation and mindfulness are promoted as ways of quieting the mind, alleviating pain and anxiety, and even transforming you into a happier and more compassionate person: natural cure-alls without adverse effects. But happiness and de-stressing were not what meditation techniques, with their Buddhist and Hindu roots, were originally developed for. The purpose of meditation was much more radical: to challenge and rupture the idea of who you are, shaking one’s sense of self to the core so you realise there is “nothing there” (Buddhism) or no real differentiation between you and the rest of the universe (Hinduism). So perhaps it is not so surprising that these practices have downsides. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22630210.500-panic-depression-and-stress-the-case-against-meditation.htmllast_img read more

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Local districts to decide if shopping on Easter Sunday is a good idea

first_imgOneNewsNow 22 October 2015A bill allowing local communities to decide whether retailers can open on Easter Sunday was introduced to Parliament today.“The Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill will enable communities, through councils, to choose whether or not to allow trading on Easter Sunday,”  Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse said.“The historical Easter Sunday shop trading exemptions are out of date and create an unfair advantage for certain businesses and regions that can continue trading while others stay shut.”However, Retail NZ said it was “deeply disappointed” in the bill.“Retailers want the choice to open their doors at times when their customers want to shop – but Michael Woodhouse’s bill does nothing other than pass the buck on trading rules to local councils, impose costs on communities and ratepayers, and still tries to ban shopping on Good Friday and Christmas Day, despite the fact that customers can and do shop 24/7 on these days,” Retail NZ general manager Greg Harford said.“We are particularly disappointed that Minister Woodhouse did not consult retailers about the bill, and has refused to meet us to discuss our concerns.”He said giving 67 local councils the power to make 67 bylaws about Easter Trading will result in significant cost for communities, industry, employee groups and councils, as they try to cope with a “tidal wave of lengthy consultation”.“We will likely see a patchwork of confusing and inconsistent rules being applied when a national approach would provide certainty for everyone.“Nobody should be forced to shop on Easter Sunday, or any other time, no employee should be forced to work, and no business should be forced to open. But in 2015, these choices should rest with individuals, employees and business owners, not the Government or council bureaucrats.”https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/business/local-districts-to-decide-if-shopping-on-easter-sunday-is-a-good-idea-q16898last_img read more

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Australia tightens restrictions as virus cases top 10,000

first_imgA sign hangs on the door of a closed restaurant after a lockdown restrictions were implemented in response to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Melbourne, Australia July 10, 2020. REUTERS/SANDRA SANDERS/FILE PHOTO SYDNEY – Australian states on Tuesday tightened restrictions on movement as authorities struggle to contain a fresh outbreak of COVID-19 in the country’s southeast that has pushed the national tally of cases beyond 10,000. With growing fears of a second coronavirus wave nationally, two states extended border restrictions and Australia’s most populous state imposed limits on the number of people allowed in large pubs.center_img The changes come as scores of new cases were uncovered in Victoria, the country’s COVID-19 hotspot, despite a return to lockdown last week for nearly 5 million people in state capital Melbourne. (Reuters)last_img read more

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Franklin County FFA soil judging results released

first_imgFront: Eric Schwab, Pete Volk, Nakai Chitwood, Kayla Galyen, Audrey HerrmannBack: Ben Ball, Nick Hesselbrock, Abrey Losekamp, Isaac Selm, Austin Volk, Emmy Dehner, Nate FrondorfAndersonville, In. — On October 5, 2017 the Franklin County FFA competed in the Area VII soils judging CDE held in Andersonville, Indiana. It was a very rainy and muddy day but the members still enjoyed competing in the contest. Eric Schwab placed 18th in the junior division. The members that competed in the senior division along with their individual placements are listed below:20th: Isaac Selm39th: Ben Ball40th: Austin Volk43rd: Abrey Losekamp60th: Nate Frondorf68th: Nakai Chitwood72nd: Emmy Dehner73rd: Audrey Herrmann74th: Nick Hesselbrock76th: Pete Volk85th: Kayla GalyenThe teams along with their placings are listed below:12th: Isaac SelmAbrey LosekampNick HesselbrockKayla Galyen15th: Ben BallAustin VolkNate FrondorfPete Volk21st: Emmy DehnerNakai ChitwoodAudrey Herrmannlast_img read more

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UWF Men’s Cross Country Team Finishes 3rd at the FSU Invitational 8k Run

first_imgUWF Men’s Cross Country Team Finishes 3rd at the FSU Invitational 8k Run Sept. 22, 2007TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The West Florida Cross Country teams participated in the Florida State University Invitational event, held on the Miccosukee Greenway in Tallahassee, Florida this past weekend. The Men’s team finished third behind North Florida and Tampa, while Nicholas Maedel (Fr. / Ridgeview, Fla.) finished 5th overall, covering the 8k (5 mile) run in 27:13. The Argos Women finished in 8th place, while Florida State University was the overall team champion in the 5k run. Margaret Harter (Jr. / Milton, Fla.) was the top Argo runner in 19:53 for the 5k race.Coach Matt Dobson was proud of both teams performances, “the girls had a good meet without Diana (Sitar) and Katherine (Ragia), and the guys did real well without Justin Gates. We are still where we want to be, and we are taking it one meet at a time. So far we are yet to run with 100% of our roster, and we are still scoring well. The kids are working real hard and every week someone is setting a PR.”In the Men’s event, Austin Richmond of Webber was the overall winner in 26:12, with North Florida taking the team championship in a score of 68, while the Argos scored 92.Rounding out the top five runners for UWF, was Junior Eric Mayes (Pensacola, Fla.) in 11th place (27:13), Freshmen Josh McEachin (Tallahassee, Fla.) in 21st place (28:07), Freshmen Jared Black (Tallahassee, Fla.) in 26th place (28:31), and Freshmen Reynolds Griner (Tallahassee, Fla.) in 29th place (28:54). McEachin, Black and Griner each had a little extra to prove as they were racing in their hometown. The finish place of the top five runners for each school adds up to their team score.”We have a lot of Freshmen that will be the future of UWF Cross Country. I knew that for this year, I had to have some Freshmen step up, and Nick (Maedel) is learning how to race and progressing very well for us,” explained Coach Dobson. Several other Freshmen are also running very well for the Argos so far this season.In the Women’s event, Pilar McShine of Florida State was the overall winner in 18:02 for the 5k run. Florida State won the event with a score of 31, while Tampa was second with 49. The Argos were running without Diana Sitar (Sr. / Las Vegas, Nev.) and Katherine Ragia (Jr. / Rounding out the top five finishers for UWF was Freshmen Kelli Midden (Boca Raton, Fla.) in 32nd place (20:21), Redshirt Senior Rebecca Thielemann (Dunnellon, Fla.) in 37th place (21:10), Freshmen Marisa DeFeo (Orange Park, Fla.) in 45th place (21:24), Freshmen Erika Anderson (Mobile, Ala.) in 47th place (21:28), and Senior Lindsey Failing (Pace, Fla.) in 53rd place (21:59).West Florida will be running next Saturday (September 29) at the Escambia County Equestrian Center, in the Gulf Coast Cross Country Stampede. The Event will feature some of the top teams in the Region, and will be a test for the young Argo runners. The Men’s 8k run begins at 7:30 AM, while the Women’s 5k run starts at 8:15.Other finishers for the men’s team at the FSU Invitational included; Freshmen Andrew Maedel in 35th place (29:10), Freshmen Scott Lydick in 36th place (29:12), Freshmen Sean Jansen in 44th place (29:31), Freshmen Tyler Stowell in 58th place (31:26), Freshmen Tyler Endicott in 59th place (31:25), and Junior Jordan Theuerkauf in 64th place (32:16). Print Friendly Version Sharelast_img read more

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Claudio Ranieri urges Leicester to continue to ‘run, run, run’ like Forrest Gump

first_imgClaudio Ranieri has told Leicester to keep their title charge running – as he compared them to Forrest Gump. The boss wants the Foxes to maintain the pace at the top and likened their stamina to Tom Hanks’ film character who ran across America. The Foxes will be top on Christmas Day just 12 months after being bottom of the Barclays Premier League. Leicester will beat Ranieri’s pre-season points target of 40 with a win at Anfield and the boss has already said he will sit down with his squad to re-evaluate their goals. He added: “I am very proud for my players and for my fans. It is fantastic b ut we have to work some more. “Now they are dreaming and I don’t want to wake them up.” They go to Liverpool on Boxing Day and then host title rivals Manchester City on Tuesday having lost just once this season. Ranieri replaced Nigel Pearson in the summer and feels the Foxes can last the marathon season. He said: ” I am very confident because Leicester, last season, saved themselves in the last two months and that means the stamina is fantastic. Why can’t we continue to run, run, run? We are like Forrest Gump. “The players know we are doing well but we haven’t achieved anything. “If I understand correctly, Leicester were never top of the league at this time so we are very happy. When the manager and the players make the fans happy then this is fantastic. “I looked at the start of the season and thought these games were unbelievable – that over Christmas we had a very big rock. “But now we are only concentrating on Liverpool, then when we’ve finished that match we will concentrate on the next. “Liverpool have started very well with (Jurgen) Klopp, so whether they win, lose or draw they are a very hungry team and they fight.” Press Associationlast_img read more

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Hundreds protest for environmental action in USC, U.S.

first_imgMore than 200 USC students attended the rally in front of Tommy Trojan, carrying signs that read, “Don’t Be A Fossil Fool,” “We Took Hot Girl Summer Too Far” and “Did You Buy The Planet Dinner Before You Fucked It?”  At the rally, Folt spoke briefly about the importance of environmental action before the crowd erupted into a rhythmic chant of “Ca-rol, Ca-rol, Ca-rol” as she made her way back into the audience.   Folt announced Tuesday that USC will reintroduce and improve upon a previously discontinued public transit subsidy program, something multiple attendees cited as a step toward building a more sustainable campus.  “I think the youth have a moral authority that is persuasive to a broader audience,” Moser said. “This very conscious embrace of hope and joy and music is … welcoming in a way that environmental activism wasn’t for a long time.” SCA professor Margaret Moser, who described herself as an environmental activist of 20 years, said she wished the protesters had made more specific requests, like turning off the fountains on campus and adding additional bike racks. Nevertheless, she said, the event made her excited for the future of environmental activism on campus. In a speech at the beginning of the rally, ESA Co-President Nathaniel Hyman spoke about the steps individuals can take to change a political system he said does not accurately represent its constituents’ needs. While voting and striking is important, he said, that it is not enough to enact change.   Standing on the base of a lamppost a few feet from Tommy Trojan, speakers discussed the importance of political involvement and individual action in the face of climate change. Although the speakers’ megaphone didn’t carry sound much farther than the first few rows of people, audience members cheered enthusiastically under the hot afternoon sun.  Some came dressed in their best tailgating attire, others had their children with them, and a few even brought chairs to sit on. As ’70s classics like Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” and the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” blasted through a small set of speakers and groups of protesters began to form, organizers realized that this rally — held in solidarity with the millions of young people striking for the climate worldwide — was going to be big. “The tables are stacked against us at the institutional level,” Hyman told the crowd. “Find a campaign that supports our message and join them … We have to be forcing ourselves into every room where decisions are made.” center_img Historically, USC has lagged behind other institutions in terms of its sustainability efforts. In its 2030 Sustainability Strategy, prepared in 2016, the Academic Senate found that USC’s last recorded sustainability score of 36% was 24% lower than the median of its peer institutions. After USC released the August update to its 2020 Sustainability Plan, student leaders cited unclear messaging and lack of initiative as roadblocks to the plan’s success. Shaw-Wakeman said she hopes the strike signaled the need for a new era in sustainability on USC’s campus. Friday morning’s inauguration was “zero waste,” and Folt has listed sustainability as one of her priorities as president.  “I feel in a way I’ve spent my entire professional life just dreaming that I’d ever see crowds of people like this,” Folt told the protesters. “I wish we hadn’t failed to get it done well before this, but if everybody starts working, the time is right now.” “Last year, when we had a similar kind of event, there were about 30 people here,” said School of Cinematic Arts professor Jeremy Kagan, who spoke at the rally. “Obviously our student body is taking it seriously, and we all have to take it seriously because it’s the world we live in.” Organized by the Environmental Student Assembly, Undergraduate Student Government and Environmental Core, the event was not the first environmental action to take place on USC’s campus. But it was, by far, the most attended. Student leaders Isabella Caltabiano, Andrew Binder, Nathaniel Hyman and Tianna Shaw-Wakerman held a climate strike on campus Friday, inviting guest speakers and audience members to voice their concerns and hopes. (Andrea Diaz | Daily Trojan) Senior Tianna Shaw-Wakeman, the event’s lead organizer, said in an interview that the protest’s main focus was to push for global action from local and federal governments. She said the strike’s two primary goals are reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and ensuring equity and justice for marginalized communities as the transition to clean energy takes place. last_img read more

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