Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Biden Urges Action On Pandemic, Climate Change

President Biden urged strong global action on the pandemic, climate change and human rights abuses as he spoke before the world's leaders on the first day of the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York City yesterday. He made an impassioned call for nations to work together, saying that overcoming the crises that confront the world, quote, "will hinge on our ability to recognize our common humanity." Biden spoke about his administration ending the United States' two decades of war -- while not addressing the criticism over the handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal -- describing it as setting up a shift to intensive diplomacy.

The president also sought to tamp down concerns about rising tensions with China, saying, "We are not seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs."

There is now an average of 1,900 people dying in the U.S. each day of Covid-19, the highest it's been since early March, and up 40 percent over the past two weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Experts say it's largely unvaccinated Americans who are being hospitalized and dying from the virus. Back in December, it was some 3,000 people a day dying, but that was before the vaccines were available. The current high death rate is happening with nearly 64 percent of Americans having gotten at least one dose of a vaccine.

J&J: Booster Provides Strong Response: Johnson & Johnson released data yesterday showing that a booster dose for its one-shot vaccine provides a strong immune response. The company said it's in talks with regulators about booster doses of its vaccine.

TWO OFFICIALS CLAIM MANY HAITIANS BEING RELEASED IN U.S.: While the U.S. has been expelling many of the thousands of Haitians who'd been camped under a bridge in the Texas border town of Del Rio, many of the migrants are also being released in the U.S., AP cited two officials as saying Tuesday. One official, described as having direct knowledge of operations, said Haitians have been freed on a, quote, "very, very large scale" in recent days, many with notices to appear at an immigration office within 60 days. A second official also said many Haitians were being processed under immigration laws and not expelled. However, AP cited a third official as saying several daily flights of migrants to Haiti were planned to begin today. Meanwhile, Mexico has begun busing and flying Haitian migrants away from the U.S. border, according to authorities.

Daily Mail screenshot 9/22/21 
The FBI said yesterday that human remains found in a Wyoming national park on Sunday were confirmed to be those of 22-year-old Gabrielle Petito, and that the coroner also concluded that she'd been killed by another person. However, Teton County Coroner Brent Blue didn't disclose a cause of death pending final autopsy results. Meanwhile, police continued to search a nature preserve area near the North Port, Florida, home of Petito's fiance, 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, who hasn't been seen since last Tuesday. Laundrie, who returned alone on September 1st after having set out months earlier on a cross-country van trip with Petito, has been named a person of interest in the case. Before his disappearance, he'd refused to speak to police or Petito's family.

➤5.9-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE STRIKES NEAR MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: A magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck near Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday (September 22nd), a city that hasn't had a quake of a similar size in decades. There haven't yet been reports of injuries, while social media videos showed at least some minor damage. Australia very rarely has serious earthquakes, with its worst-ever only measuring a 6.6 magnitude in the Northern Territory in 1988.

🛫JUSTICE DEPT. SUES TO BLOCK AMERICAN AIRLINES-JETBLUE PARTNERSHIP: A partnership between American Airlines and JetBlue has brought a lawsuit from the Justice Department and officials in six states seeking to block it. The Justice Department said the deal will reduce competition in New York and Boston and reduce JetBlue's incentive to compete against American in other parts of the country, leading to higher fares. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement, "In an industry where just four airlines control more than 80 percent of domestic air travel, American Airlines' 'alliance' with JetBlue is, in fact, an unprecedented maneuver to further consolidate the industry. It would result in higher fares, fewer choices, and lower quality service if allowed to continue." The deal, which the two airlines call the Northeast Alliance, was announced last year. It lets them sell seats on each other's flights and give customers reciprocal benefits in their separate frequent flyer programs. They argue the arrangement is pro-consumer, and has already helped them start 58 new routes from four airports in New York and Boston, add flights on other routes, and plan new international destinations.

➤CENSUS REPORT: PANDEMIC-DRIVEN BIRTH DECLINE MAY BE TURNING AROUND: A new report out yesterday from the U.S. Census Bureau suggest that the drop in births in the U.S. seen during the pandemic may be turning around. The birth decline was most noticeable at the end of last year and beginning of this year, with births down 7.7 percent in December 2020 from the previous year and down 9.4 percent in January compared to the year before. But by March, births were only down 0.15 percent compared to March 2020, when the pandemic began in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in May that the U.S. birth rate fell four percent last year, the largest single-year decrease in nearly 50 years.

Apple is hoping we’ll one day turn to our iPhones to keep tabs on our mental health. Previously, Apple teamed up with UCLA on mental health research, and with pharmaceuticals company Biogen on studying cognitive decline. Now, the brand is planning to incorporate the knowledge it gleans from this work into the iPhone. The goal is to alert users that they may be suffering from conditions such as depression, anxiety, or cognitive decline. The technology would rely on an algorithm built off of data clues such as physical activity, sleep habits, and even how one types on a keyboard. All of this information together could offer insights into how consumers are feeling, their energy, and their concentration levels. This research is still in the very early stages, and it’s not yet clear if Apple will actually be able to create an effective algorithm to do what it wants to. In addition, there are potential privacy issues related to the data that would be gathered that Apple would have to figure out.

🎄ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREES ARE GOING TO BE MORE EXPENSIVE THIS YEAR DUE TO HIGH SHIPPING COSTS:  You might want to start saving your pennies if you’re planning to purchase a new artificial Christmas tree this year. The cost of the fake trees is set to jump up to 66 percent thanks to ongoing global supply issues and a shipping container shortage. Balsam Hill, an artificial tree company based in California, is selling its four-and-a-half-foot tall Grand Canyon Cedar Tree for $499 this year, which is $199 more than it cost in 2020. Meanwhile, Treetime, an Illinois-based company, says the cost of shipping has jumped by 500 percent, and it’s aiming to raise the prices of its trees by no more than 20 percent. Balsam Hill says due to issues with the global supply chain, tree inventory is down by 22 percent, with stock of other decorations down by 42 percent.

➤STUDY..WHAT INFLUENCES FUSSY EATERS:  It’s normal for toddlers to be fussy eaters, but when the behavior extends into school years it can be very hard for both parents and kids. Australian researchers reviewed a number of studies about kids under age 10 and found a range of things that can contribute to a child’s chances of being a fussy eater. Specifically, they found that pressuring a child to eat, offering rewards for eating, and very strict parenting all negatively influence fussy eaters. On the other hand, a more relaxed parenting style, eating together as a family, and involving a child in the preparation of food all reduced the likelihood of fussy eating. Lead researcher Laine Chilman adds, “Some of [the] preferences [of a picky eater] related to a child’s characteristics or personality, which are difficult to change, if at all. But others are external factors that could help reduce fussy eating in kids. Eating together as a family, with siblings, and having a single meal at a regular time all helped reduce food fussiness.”

🏈ADD TOM BRADY TO THOSE NOT HAPPY WITH NFL'S TAUNTING CRACKDOWN:  The NFL's new taunting crackdown has already come under a lot of criticism after just two weeks, and you can add Tom Brady to the list of those who don't like it. New York Giants owner John Mara had at one point explained the point of the crackdown, saying during a news conference, "We get kind of sick and tired of the taunting that does go on from time to time on the field. . . . It’s just a question of whether you can have rules that can be enforced and without taking the fun out of the game too, but nobody wants to see a player taunting another player." There were lots of taunting calls in Week 2 this past weekend, leading some players to speak out, and Brady is one of them, although with a short and sweet comment, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback commenting, "AGREE!" on an Instagram post critical of the new rules, that said, "There's virtually nothing we can all agree on on this app except that the NFL's new taunting rule STINKS."

🏀REPORTS..SIMMONS WON'T REPORT TO 76ERS' TRAINING CAMP: The Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons won't report to training camp next week, according to media reports yesterday, with ESPN citing sources as saying the 25-year-old forward intends to never play a game for the 76ers again. Simmons, who wants to be traded, reportedly told the team's management where he stands in late August, and the 76ers have discussed trades with other teams. But, according to ESPN, they were disappointed in the offers they got and decided to keep him for now, hoping he'd start the season and improve his trade value. Simmons faces fines and potential withholding of his salary if he fails to play.

🏈TEXANS' ROOKIE QB MILLS TO START THURSDAY FOR INJURED TAYLOR: Houston Texans rookie Davis Mills will start at quarterback against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night, filling in for Tyrod Taylor, who's out with a hamstring injury. Head coach David Culley announced the decision yesterday (September 21st), after which Taylor was put on injured reserve, meaning he must miss at least three games. Taylor was hurt during Houston's 31-21 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

🏈RATINGS SURGE FOR MANNINGS' 'MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' ALTERNATE TELECAST: Ratings surged in Week 2 for Peyton and Eli Manning's alternate telecast of Monday Night Football on ESPN2. The retired NFL quarterback brothers' telecast of the Green Bay Packers 35-17 win over the Detroit Lions increased its viewership on Monday by 138 percent over their debut a week earlier. The Mannings are scheduled to do eight more Monday night games this season, including next week’s between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

⚾MMA'S MCGREGOR THROWS REALLY BAD FIRST PITCH: Former MMA champion Conor McGregor threw a really bad ceremonial first pitch at Chicago's Wrigley Field yesterday (September 21st) before the game between the Cubs and the Minnesota Twins. The pitch from the lefty McGregor went way off to the right and hit the brick wall behind the home plate area.

No comments:

Post a Comment