Progressives Press Biden to Limit Corporate Influence in Administration

first_imgThe Biden transition team did not respond to several requests to comment.The fight over these rules started quietly over the summer when Mr. Biden’s campaign invited dozens of ethics experts, professors and others, including advisers to Ms. Warren and other members of Congress, to make recommendations about an ethics policy to be issued on Day 1 of a possible administration.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – While some argued that the Obama-era lobbying restrictions could hurt a Biden administration’s ability to recruit people with useful expertise, others pushed for tougher restrictions that bar not only lobbyists from being hired, but also corporate executives and consultants who advise companies on getting their way in Washington but do not register as lobbyists.Progressives started growing concerned about Mr. Biden’s personnel moves even before the election, when he announced his first list of top transition advisers. It included Jessica Hertz, who helped oversee government relations efforts at Facebook, and Avril Haines, who worked at WestExec Advisors and also consulted for the data-mining company Palantir.Mr. Biden’s first big move — naming Ron Klain on Wednesday as his chief of staff — drew praise from Ms. Warren and some progressive activists. They had worried that Mr. Biden might pick Steve Ricchetti, a close adviser and former pharmaceutical industry lobbyist who served as his chief of staff while he was vice president.- Advertisement –center_img Mr. Klain has corporate ties, too. He has most recently worked with Steve Case, the founder of AOL, in a venture capital firm called Revolution, and he warned in 2015 about the impact that government regulation can have on technology start-ups.Debates over personnel are common in new administrations, as interest groups and factions of supporters of an incoming president jockey for influence.But they are likely to be particularly intense in the Biden administration after an election in which the liberal wing of the party suppressed its concerns about what they saw as Mr. Biden’s cautious centrism out of a desire to defeat President Trump. The stakes are heightened further by Mr. Biden’s pledge to differentiate his administration from Mr. Trump’s, in which representatives from corporate America and Wall Street held prominent posts, and conflicts of interest abounded.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Avian flu task force formed, disease returns to Indonesia

first_imgOct 9, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Southeast Asian nations have agreed to band together to coordinate response to the deadly avian influenza outbreak that has caused 31 human deaths and widespread poultry losses.Agriculture ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) concluded a 2-day meeting with a statement Friday that said the H5N1 avian flu is threatening “global public health, poultry production, trade and economic development,” according to a Reuters news service story. They plan to create a task force focused on the disease.ASEAN’s member countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Two of those countries have made independent announcements about bird flu this week.Avian influenza has returned to Indonesia, where hundreds of chickens were killed last week, according to Thursday’s Jakarta Post. But an Indonesian official announced that the flu strain responsible for poultry deaths there couldn’t be spread to humans, according to news reports.Agriculture Minister Tri Satya Putri Naipospos, director of animal health, said on Wednesday that tests conducted in Hong Kong found that the H5N1 flu strain in Indonesia differed from the flu that has killed people in Thailand and Vietnam this year. It was of a genotype that does not infect humans, Naipospos was reported as saying.The World Health Organization (WHO) countered the claim.”We know of no studies that would support that kind of contention,” WHO spokesman Dick Thompson told Reuters. “A closer reading of the study would indicate that H5N1 can infect humans no matter which strain we are talking about.”A WHO expert told Agence France-Presse the situation was a case of misinterpretation. That news agency quoted the WHO’s Steven Bjorge as saying that Indonesia’s virus differs somewhat from the virus in Vietnam and Thailand, but it is still part of the same Z genotype that has caused deaths in the latter countries.Also on Wednesday, Vietnam announced it had contained its latest avian flu outbreak, according Agence France-Presse.”Basically, Vietnam has successfully controlled bird flu. Over the past 20 days, no new cases of bird flu have been reported in Vietnam,” Bui Quang Anh, a spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, told Agence France-Presse.Anh also told the agency that the Vietnamese government was not covering up avian influenza despite its refusal to release test results conducted on a 14-month-old boy who died Sep 5. Avian influenza was suspected in his death, the story said.last_img read more

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CDC report sheds light on pandemic H1N1 deaths in children

first_imgSep 3, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Though the pandemic H1N1 virus never faded from the scene during the summer, illnesses are starting to pick up again, particularly in the southeastern states where school has already started, Thomas Frieden, MD, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.Frieden’s comments came the same day the CDC released a report on pediatric deaths from novel H1N1 infections in children, which seem to be striking those with neurodevelopmental conditions the hardest and showing a bacterial pneumonia coinfection pattern, even in previously healthy children. The report appears in the Sep 4 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).Though there’s no sign that novel H1N1 is becoming more deadly, the CDC is vigorously monitoring the virus and is prepared to change its approach to fighting the virus if needed, Frieden said.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today also issued an update on the pandemic H1N1 virus activity in five southern hemisphere countries, available on the flu.gov Web site. Though patterns there resemble the experience the United States had in the spring, the assessment suggests that indigenous populations may be disproportionately affected, he said.”This information, plus the information on children, shows who is at highest risk and who we need to reach out the most,” Frieden added.The MMWR report includes 36 pediatric deaths that occurred from April through August 8. About two-thirds of the children had at least one underlying medical condition, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or chronic cardiac problems, which is higher than the percentage reported during recent flu seasons. CDC investigators found that, of 23 children who had lab results reported, 10 (43%) had bacterial coinfections. (Three involved methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.)Of 31 children for whom medication treatment is known, 19 received antivirals, but only 2 were treated within 2 days of illness onset when the drugs are known to be most effective.Frieden said though the pneumonia findings aren’t unexpected, it’s important for physicians to consider prescribing antibiotics for young patients who were ill and seemed to be recovering but then come back in with a high fever.”The take-home message is that kids with underlying conditions are first in line when the vaccine is available,” he said, adding that he will have his own kids receive the vaccine when campaigns begin. “I recommend all school kids get the vaccine.”In advance of the vaccine’s arrival, expected in mid October, the CDC will be making efforts to give the public more information to assess vaccine risks, Frieden said. For example, the baseline rate for miscarriages the week after women receive the seasonal flu vaccine is just over 1,000 in 500,000 who receive the shot, about the same as the rate in unvaccinated women.Until the vaccine arrives, the CDC is also asking Americans to take extra efforts to reduce the number of illnesses and the burden on the healthcare system, he said. Staying home when sick, hand washing, and proper cough and sneeze hygiene are vital, he said.Most people, except for those with underlying conditions, will typically recover without testing and treatment. However, those who have severe symptoms such as trouble breathing or a recurrence of fever should contact their doctors.CDC. Surveillance for pediatric deaths associated with 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infection, United States, April-August 2009. MMWR 2009 Sep 4;58(34):941-7 [Full text]See also:HHS report: “Pandemic H1N1 assessment from five southern hemisphere countries”last_img read more

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Poll: In which direction do you want Špancirfest to develop?

first_imgVaraždin’s Špancirfest, which began its story 20 years ago as the first street festival in Croatia and has grown into one of the most visited national festival events over the years, will experience its jubilee, 20th edition this year.The idea of ​​Špancirfest is to provide content that will arouse in each visitor during the ten days of the festival a sense of belonging to a community that nurtures creative thinking and freedom of expression.With this goal, the Tourist Board of Varaždin invites the citizens of Varaždin to fill out a survey with the aim of identifying the advantages and disadvantages and detecting the directions of future development of Špancirfest. ” The opinion of the citizens is very important to us, so we invite everyone to fill out the survey questionnaire and express their opinion, praise, criticism and suggestions related to the Varaždin festival”They point out from the Varaždin Tourist Board and add that citizens can send their loud thoughts until February 28, 2018.Two heads are always smarter than one, so here is an opportunity, except on Facebook, to get actively involved with argumentative praise, criticism and ideas for the future development of Špancirfest, all with the aim of constructive discussion and quality development. Certainly praise for the Varaždin Tourist Board for its open communication, because after all, if the local population does not identify and if it is not included directly or indirectly in the festival and the whole story, then everything makes no sense.It is precisely open communication and constructive discussions that are chronically lacking in our society as a whole, and thus in our tourism, because only in this way can we grow and develop as individuals and as a society.You can fill out the survey herelast_img read more

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Study of acceptable tourism capacities of the City of Labin

first_imgThe question arises of the optimal development of the City of Labin, which its overall economic development is largely based on the development of tourism. With this in mind, it is about tourism as an economic branch that requires constant adaptation to market trends while respecting specific spatial values, and all in order to make tourism sustainable and competitive, this study of Acceptable Tourism Capacities of the City of Labin was made.According to the local portal in Labin, the study caused a lot of discontent in certain segments, so after the public debate, according to unofficial data from the study, it is time to finish it.Studija je dobar zbroj i sistematizacija infrastrukturnih problema koje smo više manje i do sada znali kao što su ceste, parkiranje, odvodnja, voda, radna snaga, izjavio je Silvano Vlačić, labinski poduzetnik i nezavisni vijećnik labinskog Gradskog vijeća za Glas Istre, te  dodao da su navedene neke tvrdnje koje su po njemu vrlo dvojbene u smislu benefita i pozitivnih efekata za grad i građane. “In just one sentence, without any explanation, they claim that it is better for the City to have hotel guests, even if they are on All inclusive and spend practically nothing outside, than guests in private accommodation. I am commenting on a media article in a professional newspaper that says that family accommodation is based on private property of individuals and families, and only through taxes and lump sums it gives the state 400 million kuna a year directly, without the state investing a single penny. So, despite the current capacity of more than half a million beds in that accommodation, there is still room for its growth, even up to twice the number now. And this is not a problem if the tourist destination is managed in the right way, the reasons for arrival, events, events that will bring guests all year round are devised” izjavio je Vlačić.Attachment: Study of acceptable tourism capacities of the City of LabinIn the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”The Tourist Board of the City of Labin realized 11 percent more arrivals and 7 percent more overnight stays in eight monthsNa području Turističke zajednice Grada Labina je u kolovozu 2018. godine ostvareno je  49.035 dolazaka ili 5 % više, te 371.845 noćenja ili 3% više od lanjskog kolovoza. U prvih osam mjeseci ove godine ostvareno je 188.992 dolazaka što je porast od 11% u odnosu na lani, te1.180.777 noćenja ili  7% više u odnosu na isto lanjsko razdoblje. Udio stranih gostiju je 97%  s time da broj njihovih dolazaka povećan za 10% a broj ostvarenih noćenja je 8% viši nego u 2017.Udio domaćih gostiju je 3%. Oni bilježe 31% više dolazaka nego lani dok su noćenja 1% niža od ostvarenih u 2017. Nijemci su i dalje naši najbrojniji gosti s udjelom od 33% u ukupno ostvarenim noćenjima. Oni su ostvarili 15% više dolazaka i 9% više noćenja nego lani.  Slijede ih Austrijanci koji kontinuirano bilježe rast u našoj destinaciji . Oni bilježe 13% više dolazaka i 11% više noćenja nego lani, a udio u ukupnim noćenjima je 14%. Gosti iz Velike Britanije su treći sa 7% udjela u ukupno ostvarenim noćenjima, slijede gosti iz Slovenije s udjelom od 6%, pa gosti iz Italije s udjelom od 5%. The study Acceptable Capacities of Tourism of the City of Labin is being prepared because in the last decade from year to year there has been an increase in tourist traffic on the territory of the City of Labin but also on the coast of the entire Croatian Adriatic. During the peak of the summer tourist season, crowds are becoming more frequent, primarily on roads, parking lots, beaches and the old town of Labin.In addition to technical infrastructure (water and electricity supply, traffic jams, wastewater disposal, municipal waste disposal) which is at the peak of the tourist season during the peak season, challenges have been identified from a social point of view (because there are more and more misunderstandings between people tourism and those who do not deal with it), and disproportionate accommodation capacities between private apartments and hotels were observed. The Institute of Tourism has prepared a Draft Proposal of the Study of Acceptance Capacities of Tourism of the City of Labin for the City of Labin, which was held at the Public Conference from August 1 to August 31, 2018.last_img read more

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Late 2020 without a visa and double taxation with the US?

first_imgEven the European Commission threatened the USA that it would introduce visas for citizens of the USA and Canada, but the EC still gave up on that move. The Holy Grail and the only solution to this story is for the percentage of rejected visa applications to be less than three percent. And according to the information from the American Embassy, ​​Croatia is very close to fulfilling that. Ivan Barbarić, Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for International Affairs and the EU, pointed out: “The United States is the world’s leading economic power and the largest global importer. Their GDP in 2018 exceeded 21 trillion dollars. In comparison, the value of Croatian trade with the United States, which amounted to 620 million dollars last year, is literally a drop in the ocean. The good thing is that out of those 620 million, over 400 are Croatian exports to the United States. In the first half of this year, our exports to America increased by 25 percent compared to the same period last year. These are not big numbers in total, but the positive trend is certainly gratifying”. But he stressed that the biggest obstacles to the faster development of economic relations between the United States and Croatia – visa regime and double taxation. US Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst; Source: HGK They also discussed the US tax system, which was presented in more detail by Goran Križanac from KMPG. “You have corporate taxes at the federal level, but also at the level of each state. Dividends for non-tax residents are taxed at a rate of 30 percent, which creates problems for Croatian companies. This is a high rate, and if we had an agreement on avoiding double taxation, it would be between 10 and 15 percent. This certainly hinders Croatian investments in the United States”, Križanac emphasized, noting that contributions for pension and health insurance are significantly lower in the USA than in Croatia. He advised entrepreneurs to definitely turn to local tax experts to avoid additional costs in doing business.   Goran Križanac, KMPG: Dividends for tax non-residents are taxed at a rate of 30 percent and this creates problems for Croatian companies. The American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia, in cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Avitus Group, organized the “America Made Easy” event where Croatian companies could learn more about the ways in which they can enter the United States market. There is no better way to test your business idea than entering the US market, said Andrea Doko Jelusic, CEO of AmCham. “It is a large and potent market, but it is also specific, with numerous requirements. Several Croatian companies are already operating quite successfully in the USA, and today we will show what is important for others to successfully cross the Atlantic.”, Said Doko Jelusic. Two painful topics and the main brakes that have been discussed for years and a positive outcome is expected. But we can’t wait for that either. It is important to emphasize that Croatia with Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus are the only remaining EU members that do not enjoy the principle of reciprocity between the EU and the US, which certainly leads to unequal relations. IMPORTANT INFO FOR TOURIST EMPLOYEES TARGETING THE MARKET NOW.IN 1783, THE REPUBLIC OF DUBROVNIK WAS THE FIRST STATE IN THE WORLD TO RECOGNIZE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. US Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst also referred to these problems, saying that the US Government has a special team that is preparing agreements on the abolition of double taxation with countries around the world, including Croatia: “Our administration is primarily focused on large countries, but we are systematically trying to encourage our Ministry of Finance to move Croatia to the list of priorities. It is good that the agreement with Croatia does not require any special preparations, but can be based on agreements with other EU member states. As far as visas are concerned, Croatia should fall below 3 percent of rejected applications, and at the moment you are very close to that figure and I think it is only a matter of time before it is abolished, perhaps by the end of 2020”, Said the Cohort. Robert Kohorst, US Ambassador to Croatia: It is only a matter of time before visas are abolished, perhaps by the end of 2020 Frank Levene from Avitus presented the cultural differences that business people expect “across the pond”. “You need to look American, have an American cell phone number, a web address ending in .com, know the imperial system of measures. Don’t focus solely on big cities because they are expensive and the competition is relentless, the US is a huge country and offers many opportunities even in less famous places”, Explained Levene.last_img read more

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Cappelli: We are considering a deferral of payment according to the “3 + 3” model

first_imgYesterday, various meetings were held at the Banski dvori to agree on final measures to help the economy from the negative impact of the coronavirus on the entire market. More about all concrete measures will be found out today, when they will be presented at the Government session, which will then go to the Parliament for adoption, publication in the Official Gazette and are expected to be active from next week. Also, Cappelli pointed out that some measures are under the jurisdiction of local self-government units (JLS), such as a flat tax per bed in family accommodation, so that they are also discussed in which direction everything should go. Minister of Tourism Gari Cappelli in front of the Parliament, he stated that tomorrow the Government from the tourism sector will be subject to a measure of deferral of payments according to the “3 + 3” model. Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić za RTL Today He said a set of measures he would present today in the short term could have an effect. “Surgically precise measures in such a short time we can not do, but most importantly to put this tomorrow in the emergency procedure procedure. An integral part of these measures is liquidity. On the one hand, there are public benefits – income tax, profit tax and contributions. According to the working version, and we will agree on the details during the day and night until the session, we are talking about a three-month deferral of payment with a possible additional three months of extension. On the other hand, there are credit and lines in cooperation with HBOR, CNB and HUB, all of which are in some way aimed at focusing a similar principle on the credit arrangement. Said Maric. Source: Index.hr, RTL Danas / Photo: Index Video “It is important for us that there is a delay, such as a delay in the payment of tourist tax, tourist membership fees, hoteliers in the payment of concessions in camps on tourist land – that all delays go through the 3 + 3 model. We are going in that direction, that, depending on the events, it will be postponed for three months. In this way, personal income and everything we can solve immediately and urgently will probably be solved. So we’re sure we can cover that for the next six months. In the first place is the protection of the workforce and liquidity”Cappelli pointed out, Index.hr reports. last_img read more

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Don’t be fooled by North Korean charm

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI’m appalled at recent articles from the New York Times printed in The Gazette, and similar stories from CNN and NBC, which treat North Korea as a normal nation and Kim Yo Jong as charming. North Korea may be the worst place on Earth, thanks to Kim Yo Jong and her brother. I lived in Seoul for a year and recently traveled back there, and I follow Korean politics. It’s difficult to summarize how the tragic history tears at the hearts of the Korean people. Koreans are one people, yet a significant fraction of them live in an Orwellian dictatorship in North Korea, where people suffer with diseases that would be easily treatable in South Korea, where hospitals often have no running water, where people even starve to death — except for the few who live like Kim Yo Jong. Even friends of the dictator sometimes fall out of favor and are brutally murdered (his own aunt and uncle). You may read the shocking tales of defectors, if you have a strong stomach. Those suffering are the close relatives of the free people of the democratic South.As for South Korea, current president Moon Jae-In (whose name, appropriately, is a homonym of problem person) won the recall election with 41 percent of the vote because the opposition split votes amongst several candidates. He has always been a strong proponent of closer ties to the brutal dictatorship. This “reunification at any cost” cry may resonate with college students and some others, but not with those who remember the horrible invasion of South Korea by Kim Jong-Eun’s (and Kim Yo Jong’s) grandfather and its aftermath. The entire nation suffered under Japanese occupation, and suffering was prolonged for all by the actions of the North. Sadly, for those in the North, it continues to this day, despite the ludicrous charm offensive.As terrible as the news coverage of Kim Yo Jong has been, it’s matched by the outrageous comment of NBC’s “Asia expert” Joshua Cooper Ramo about “every” Korean respecting Japan. But that’s another story.James T. OrrNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Monday, June 24

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAOC, climate change case deserve respectIn response to Ray Weidman’s June 12 letter, “Don’t believe Dems’ climate change scam,” climate change has been occurring for “thousands” of years. However, to call it a “scam” by Democrats is an ignorant conspiracy theory not backed by fact.Climate change is substantiated by scientific data, although its impact is debatable amongst the experts in the field.Mr. Weidman’s insult of “AOC” is unfounded, also. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a remarkable individual who has numerous accomplishments. She should not be identified as just “a bartender.”According to her biography, in high school, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez came in second in the microbiology research project at MIT. In honor of her efforts, MIT named a small asteroid after her.In both high school and college, she received honors, fellowships and positions of distinction.During college, she was also an intern for Sen.  Kennedy working with immigration/foreign affairs issues.She graduated cum laude from Boston University majoring in international relations and economics.After college, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez held many professional positions. She started a publishing company. In addition, she worked 18-hour shifts as a bartender/waitress to save the family home from foreclosure after her father died.There are more reasons why Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was elected to the position she now holds. She, along with the topic of climate change, deserve respect.We should not “catch the Trump plague” of name calling, degradation and conspiracies before the facts.Karen A. ZimmersNiskayunaNisky must address political attacksI moved to Niskayuna with my family in 2001 and have fallen in love with our beloved community. Unfortunately, the political attacks during the last two local school board elections have made me sick.In 2015, some bad actors launched a vicious attack on three school board candidates, through an anonymous website and mailer. In 2019, a very similar anonymous mailer attacked another school board candidate. And most recently, we learned about fraudulent, political Facebook advertisements.I’m not disputing the outcomes of any election. But I’m very concerned about these events.Anonymous political attacks are dishonest and wrong. They undermine healthy political discourse and violate the intent of the New York State Fair Campaign Law. They are toxic to our community and our faith in fair and transparent elections.Our town is under attack by what is probably a very small group of dishonest and cowardly bad actors. I ask our elected local officials to consider the following:1. Revise the Town of Niskayuna Code of Ethics to make it clear that these types of anonymous and vile political attacks are not acceptable. And empower the Niskayuna Ethics Panel to investigate and enforced this rule;2. Pass a new town law to make anonymous political attacks in all local elections (including school board elections) illegal and punishable by the criminal code;3. File a claim with local law enforcement to investigate the fraudulent, political Facebook advertisements.Jon LemelinNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18last_img read more

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Option to tax to be reviewed

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