MilitaryAlaska F-22s intercept Russian military bombersMay 15, 2018 by Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media Share:British forces escort a Russian Tu-95 Bomber in 2014. (Photo courtesy U.K. Ministry of Defence)The U.S. military intercepted two Russian long-range bombers Friday in the air space near Alaska.The Air Force Times reports that officials with the North American Aerospace Defense Command said the incident took place over international waters north of the Aleutian chain.F-22 Raptor fighter jets were dispatched from Alaska to intercept the Russian Tu-95 Bear Bombers, which never entered actual U.S. air space, and were escorted away without any problems.Such incidents are fairly routine in the airspace around Alaska.Multiple interceptions occurred last summer after a lull in 2016.Elsewhere around the globe this year, U.S. planes were escorted away by Russian aircraft in the Black Sea region.While there is nothing illegal about the probing flights, the tactic is seen as a mild provocation and way of testing an adversary’s air defense response capabilities.Share this story:
Ed Silverman Pharmalot @Pharmalot What’s included? To ensure a new drug works properly after marketing approval is granted, the Food and Drug Administration regularly requires a drug company to run a so-called post-marketing study. But a new analysis found a troubling lack of timely follow-through as well as basic information.Specifically, one in four studies was never publicly disseminated. Meanwhile, there was often little information about post-marketing requirements — the median description was just 44 words — and some were difficult to categorize. There was also a lack of up-to-date information on the progress of about one-third of these study requirements. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Andrew Harnik/AP What is it? STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Log In | Learn More GET STARTED Tags pharmaceuticalspolicyresearchSTAT+ [email protected] By Ed Silverman June 12, 2018 Reprints Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. About the Author Reprints The trouble with those post-marketing studies required by the FDA Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED
FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Banana farmers in Portland who suffered losses as a result of Hurricane Dennis in 2005, should begin receiving assistance under the Hurricane Dennis Rehabilitation Programme on Monday, April 16.At a meeting of banana farmers in the parish at the Boundbrook Wharf in Port Antonio on April 11, Clifton Wilson, Special Projects Co-ordinator for the Banana Export Company (BECO), said the assistance would be given based on the losses per hectare experienced by each farmer.Under the programme, a total of $122 million has been made available by the European Union (EU) to provide inputs to assist affected farmers across the country to resuscitate their farms in light of the fall out caused by the hurricane.A total of 303 farmers in the parish will benefit from the programme, all of whom were presented with letters detailing the type of inputs they will be receiving in their packages.Mr. Wilson told the farmers that they would be required to repay 20 per cent of the cost of the assistance, adding that 12 per cent of that amount would be deposited in a Catastrophe Fund to be used to assist with the rehabilitation of the banana industry in case of disaster.He explained that the distribution would be carried out on a district by district basis, and implored the farmers to make every effort to collect their supplies personally, failing which they should make arrangements with persons with proper identification to do so on their behalf.Mr. Wilson commended the farmers for the resilience they displayed after the hurricane, and urged them to use the assistance in the best way possible, in order to enable the banana industry to continue to play a pivotal role in the agricultural sector.Also addressing the meeting were: Vincent Thompson, Project Manager for the Banana Investment Fund, who exhorted the farmers to give full support to the Catastrophe Fund; and Janet Conie, Director of Research at BECO, who urged the farmers to conform to the standards required by the European market, to ensure the continued exportation of bananas to that market.Meanwhile, farmers attending the meeting told JIS News that they were appreciative of the assistance they would be receiving, adding that it would go a far way to enable them to improve and increase production. RelatedAssistance for Banana Farmers in Portland RelatedAssistance for Banana Farmers in Portland Assistance for Banana Farmers in Portland UncategorizedApril 12, 2007 RelatedAssistance for Banana Farmers in Portland Advertisements
Electric truck to supercharge storm recovery Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement The Honourable Mick de BrenniQueensland’s storm recovery and network maintenance has been supercharged with Energex taking delivery of the state’s first fully electric bucket truck.The 15.5 tonne Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) debuted at the Brisbane Truck Show this week and will be based at Energex’s Stafford depot.Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the MEWP will almost silently service 150,000 homes and businesses in Brisbane’s north.“Our Energex crews work around the clock to keep Queenslanders safe and connected and are some of the first on the frontline when storms strike,” Mr de Brenni said.“The arrival of the MEWP puts them on the forefront of technology in the heavy transport space, with this electric motor producing up to 2,500nm of torque.“A 138kWh battery pack sits where fuel and air tanks traditionally would, saving around 30 tonnes of diesel emissions each year.“With more Queenslanders getting behind the wheel of electric cars, heavy transport is the next logical step in our efforts to decarbonise.”Energex CEO Rod Duke said the new addition to the company’s fleet is an exciting insight into the future of EVs in Queensland.“While we’ve had electric and hybrid cars in the fleet for many years, this truck is the first of its kind for us and we’re looking forward to putting it through its paces,” Mr Duke said.“It’s a real game-changer for our emergency response in a number of ways and has a range of 200km once fully charged, which will obviously have benefits in terms of reduced carbon emissions.“Additionally, significantly reduced noise levels make the crew’s essential work activity less intrusive for the community, particularly in times of storm and emergency response, which often occur at night.”Footage of the EV MEWP can be found here. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, battery, Brisbane, carbon emissions, community, Electric, electric car, Emergency, energy, Government, hydrogen, Minister, mobile, QLD, Queensland, Renewables, strike, technology, Transport
International Education Week (IEW) is a joint initiative organized by the U.S. Departments of State and Education and serves as “an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide… [and promotes] programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.” Each year, CU Boulder organizes programming to showcase and celebrate the extensive international connections here on campus, spearheaded by the Offices of Education Abroad and International Student & Scholar Services. IEW takes place in November. Further information will be available on this webpage as we approach celebrations for November 2021. If you are have questions or are interested in organizing an event for IEW 2021, please reach out to Moriah Maron ([email protected], Education Abroad) or Hannah Juliff ([email protected], International Student and Scholar Services).
Neighbors of the family whose motor home burned down on Oct. 1 met with the Flathead County attorney and the Flathead County sheriff this week to discuss concerns with the ongoing investigation.Eight-year-old Autumn Hawk died in the fire, which occurred at 425 Daley Ln. near Foys Lake, west of Kalispell. Her parents were able to escape the fire.The fire investigation team looking into the incident reported on Oct. 8 that due to the hot, fast nature of the blaze, there wasn’t enough evidence to identify a cause. An autopsy determined that Hawk died of smoke inhalation and burns. Her body was found outside the motor home’s door.A group of neighbors, other residents, and activists approached the county attorney’s office and the sheriff about their concerns with previous observations of the property and its inhabitants.The meeting with the county attorney’s office took place on Oct. 13. Instead of a single discussion, each neighbor was interviewed by a local prosecutor, a representative from the state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), and an administrator from the Child and Family Services Division.Jon Ebelt, spokesperson for DPHHS, said the additional CFSD staff attended the meetings at the request of the county attorney’s office.On Oct. 16, neighbors again met with Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry about their concerns, which ranged from potentially illegal activity on the property prior to the fire to procedural questions regarding the investigation.After the Oct. 16 meeting, Curry said in an interview that the investigation into what happened at 425 Daley Ln. is still ongoing, and investigators are conducting “a lot” of interviews in reference to this case.“It warrants investigation; we had had numerous law enforcement responses to that location in the past,” Curry said. “When there is no physical evidence that is available to look at as to the cause of the fire, we have to go to interviews.”There have been some developments in the case, Curry said, and investigators are following up on information. He also said he understands that people want to know what is happening, but his office can’t reveal all the details of an investigation to the media without hampering said investigation.“We certainly attempted to reassure (the neighbors) that we do know what we’re doing, and they have to at least trust that we’re not incompetent and we take this very seriously,” Curry said. “Our goal was to address their concerns without making it harder to do our investigation.” Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Email
Pocket Tweet Roma Youth Initiative: Youth for Change → +1 Share 0 Deadline: 8 March 2013Open to: young people all over the world at least 18 years oldVenue: August 9-18, 2013 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut, USADescriptionIn appreciation of the dynamics of an interdependent world, the UNESCO Chair will host an annual intergenerational forum that brings together young leaders from all regions of the world in the field of human rights once annually. The forum will be held from August 9-18, 2013 at the University of Connecticut, USA, to coincide with the International Youth Day, taking place on August 12, commemorated at the United Nations Headquarters in the USA. This will provide opportunities for participants to participate in Youth Day activities and meet with UN leaders.TRAVEL AND HOUSING: The UNESCO Chair Office will provide all conference participants with dormitory housing, meals and ground transportation in Connecticut during the Forum. The applicant is responsible for securing their own visa, air travel to the United States and travel to Connecticut. Due to the volume of applications, only successful candidates will be notifiedThe main objectives of the Forum are to: involve young leaders in finding solutions to emerging human rights problems; nurture individuals to be effective leaders in the field of human rights; promote the sharing of experiences and understanding; provide an impetus for, and the empowerment of, youth leaders that will enable them to play a crucial and constructive role in the development of human rights in their communities; build a network of solidarity among future leaders in the field of human rights; hone the skills and expand the knowledge relevant to human rights practice; and provide tools and a platform for open debates about policies, programmes, activities and processes necessary for human rights leadership.Participants will receive training in areas such as grassroots organizing, building coalitions, effective communication, use of media for human rights education, and understanding of the processes and relevance of restorative justice. It is planned that discussions will be conducted under the rubric of four principal areas; namely poverty, education, health, conflict resolution and/or transformation. Specific areas of focus will include issues such as human trafficking, the plight of children, refugees and war, hunger, HIV/AIDS, religious intolerance, gender discrimination, racism and classism, peace education and environmental concerns.Selected young people will engage through dialogue with experienced and older human rights practitioners to gain management skills and techniques and a greater understanding of human rights issues on a global level. A principal objective is to nurture individuals to be effective leaders in the field of human rights. Forum presenters/speakers/facilitators have been asked to serve in an ongoing capacity as mentors to the young participants upon their return to their home communities and countries.EligibilityParticipants at the forum will be individuals (minimum age for participation is 18) from all over the world who have been involved in some capacity in human rights work in their communities.Fluency in English is required. forum will be held in English only.ApplicationIncomplete applications will not be accepted. Application deadline is March 8, 2013. In order to be considered for admission to the International Leadership Programme, please submit the following: A completed and signed application form Letter of intent (please attach as word, pdf, or text document) Curriculum Vita/Resume (please attach as word, pdf, or text document) Names and contact information for three professional referencesApplication Essay: Upon acceptance, you will be required to submit a final essay to complete the application process within three weeks of notification. Please click here for further details.APPLICATION FORM IS AVAILABLE HERE.Applicants who are not able to commit to the week-long conference in its entirety should not apply. If you have questions regarding the application/registration, program content, special needs requirements, or housing, please call the UNESCO Chair Office at 860-486-0647 or email [email protected] ALL applications must be submitted electronically or via facsimile no later than March 8, 2013 to [email protected] / fax: 860.486.2545.For more information, please see the official website HERE. UNESCO Leadership Programme, USA Reddit LinkedIn 0 March 1, 2013 Published by turpis Landscape/Garden Design in Connecticut, USA Similar Stories International Leadership Training Programme, USA ← FRIDA Call for Proposals Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.
About 6000 years ago, there was only one religion in the whole world, whose name was Sanatana Dharma and also called Vedic Religion. The simple meaning of Sanatan Vedic religion was to live life in the manner described in the Vedas. The Vedic route, which was the only means to take human life to its height in every way. Then there were only two castes in the whole world, one was the Aryans who were Vedamargi and the other non-Aryans who did not follow the Vedas.The question arises what are the Vedas? Who wrote these?The Vedas, which are the root of Sanatana Dharma, are self-manifested texts from Almighty God, whose author is none, but they are a manifestation of God from God. There is a misconception among people that Maharishi Veda Vyas Ji composed the Vedas. While the truth is that the Vedas are already available thousands of millions of years before the birth of Maharishi Veda Vyasa. In our tradition, Vedas were called Veda Bhagwan because of their origin from God. It is said that everything said in it is considered to be a matter of God.Since Vedamarga is difficult to follow, and the instinct of humanity is that people are attracted to the simple, so people abandon Vedmarga.Our Vedas are based on complete knowledge science. Many Upanishads have emerged from the Vedas. Eighteen Puranas have come out of the Vedas. Many other texts, which have been composed by our great scholar Maharishis, are written as proof of the Vedas. If we can find the knowledge science which was in the past, or is in the present or in the future, then it will be found in the Vedas.Since Vedas are in Sanskrit language and authentic scholars of Sanskrit language are lacking day by day, it is very difficult to understand the reading of Vedas.Even after suffering many traumas, our culture has survived our tradition so far, the only reason for it is our very sacred Guru-Shishya tradition. In Guru Shishya tradition, the Guru gives to his deserving disciples ,all the knowledge received from his masters and all experiences realized by himself, according to the qualifications . And the disciple advances it in chronology. Macaulay conspired to end this tradition in a planned manner, under which today’s modern education system was developed.The place between Vindhyachal and Himalaya Mountains was called Aryavarta in ancient times, the north of Himalayas was called Sindh. When the British came, they called the area between the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean as Hind, and the people living here called Hindu, the word Hind gradually became Ind and the name of this region became India.Hindu which is basically a modern adaptation of Sanatan Dharma and Hindutva is the lifestyle of that great tradition. Every aspect of life has been explained in scientific, social, topical and logical way in our religious texts. Our texts tell us how to do everything from waking up in the morning to sleeping at night.How we should sleep, how to wake up, how to speak, how to listen, how to walk, how to stop, how to eat, what to eat, why to eat, who should stay away from, with whom, when Should do, when, what, what should not be done, etc. Many things are told on a very scientific basis. It is described in.Our forefathers were used to living life in the same tradition called Hindus and whose way of life is called Hindutva. Our Hindutva tradition is the oldest tradition in the world. All the civilizations of the world have learned something from us. Our civilization is the most victimize civilization in the world.How many civilizations formed and disappeared in the world is the only Hinduism civilization that has been able to save its pride from the times of eternity, which is superior.The proof of our strength is that we have survived by suffering endless blows.A civilization in the world lasts for a long time only when it assimilates scientific, logical, philosophical, geographical, economic, social and topical circumstances and proves its relevance and our Hindutva lives 100 percent on it.The proof of our prosperity is that all the civilizations of the world have learned something from us.The proof of our superiority is that everyone has tried to eradicate us, but we have survived.The proof of our tolerance is that we did not attack anyone.The proof of our generosity is that we accepted everyone.Where today the so-called modern western civilization considers the world as a market, our Hindutva considers the world as a family. Hindu is the only community in the world that visits all the religious places and gives equal respect to everyone. We have trees and plants here.We believe in the concept of universal brotherhood. We have believed God in every particle. Yes, there are many beliefs, Mayavadi, Tatwawadi , Dwait, Adwita etc. everyone gets equal respect.Many civilizations were built and destroyed since time immemorial, but the eternal Vedic civilization, which was later called Hindutva, was still today and will remain so in the future. We should be proud of our Hindus and our Hindutva.
1:50 p.m.: CDC predicts up to 175,000 deaths in US by Aug. 15 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the U.S. should anticipate between 160,000 and 175,000 total reported COVID-19 deaths by Aug. 15.National and state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new U.S. deaths over the next four weeks will likely exceed the number reported over the last four weeks.States with the greatest likelihood of a larger number of deaths include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.12:20 p.m.: WHO director-general urges ‘young people to start a global movement for health’ WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday urged “young people to start a global movement for health.”“In recent years we’ve seen young people leading grassroots movements for climate change and racial equality,” Tedros said at a media briefing. “Now we need young people to start a global movement for health — for a world in which health is a human right, not a privilege.”“We will not be going back to the ‘old normal.’ The pandemic has already changed the way we live our lives. Part of adjusting to the ‘new normal’ is finding ways to live our lives safely,” Tedros said. “We’re asking everyone to treat the decisions about where they go, what they do and who they meet with as life-and-death decisions — because they are. It may not be your life, but your choices could be the difference between life and death for someone you love, or for a complete stranger.”There have been recent outbreaks linked to nightclubs and other social gatherings, Tedros said, stressing, “We all have a part to play in protecting ourselves and one another.”Tedros urged people to follow these two guidelines.“First, know your situation. Do you know how many cases were reported where you live yesterday? Do you know where to find that information?” he said.“Second, do you know how to minimize your exposure? Are you being careful to keep at least 1 meter from others? Are you still cleaning your hands regularly? Are you following the advice of your local authorities?” Tedros said. “No matter where you live or how old you are, you can be a leader in your community, not just to defeat the pandemic, but to build back better.”10:55 a.m.: Florida reports new daily death toll recordFlorida’s Department of Health reported an increase of 173 coronavirus fatalities on Thursday — a new daily record.The previous record was 156 fatalities on July 16. At least 5,632 people in Florida have now died from COVID-19, according to the state’s Department of Health.As of Thursday morning, Florida’s hospitals had just 15.67% of adult ICU beds available, according to the state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration.Four counties — Hernando, Monroe, Okeechobee and Putnam — had no available ICU beds, the agency said.These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates.9:45 a.m.: Kids account for 1 in 10 cases in San Antonio, young adults causing spread in Washington state, FEMA says Nationally, deaths in the last week are up 12.3% over the previous week, according to an internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC News. In Texas, the positivity rate reached 19.2% — double the national average of 9%, the memo said. In Bexar County, Texas, which includes San Antonio, children under 18 now account for 1 in 10 new cases, according to the FEMA memo. Meanwhile, Washington state was in early stages of an exponential statewide outbreak as of July 17, according to the FEMA memo. Washington state recorded 5,986 new cases in the week ending July 20 — a 25.5% increase from the week prior, the memo said. Spread in Washington state is being driven by social gatherings and people in their 20s, the memo said.9 a.m.: FEMA administrator downplays persistent PPE shortagesIn an appearance on ABC News’ Good Morning America Thursday, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Peter Gaynor tried to downplay persistent personal protection equipment (PPE) shortages and stressed that the U.S. is on stronger footing now than in March or April. Gaynor admitted there “may be” some shortages and said gear may need to be moved around the country to surge resources to where they are needed most.“There may be places that have high cases, high hospitalizations, that do have some shortages,” he said. “We’re in a much better place and we can move PPE from around the country to where it’s needed the most.” When pressed about the doctors and nurses on the front lines without PPE, Gaynor responded, “If there is a hospital out there that does not have PPE, contact their state emergency manager, contact their state health director, and we will get PPE to you.”Gaynor also attributed PPE challenges to the fact that the gear is largely manufactured outside the U.S. With hurricane season approaching, Gaynor said FEMA is prepared to deal with the simultaneous threats of potential natural disasters on top of the pandemic. “We’ve been at COVID-19 for months now. The agency has been up and running dealing with COVID-19. But we also have been preparing for the hurricane season. We knew it was coming,” Gaynor said. He said guidance has been sent to hurricane-prone areas on how to adapt their response plans as they also deal with the virus. 8:20 a.m.: Over 10,000 health workers in Africa infected with COVID-19, WHO saysOver 10,000 health workers in Africa have been infected with COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Only 7.8% of Africa’s health care centers have isolation capacities and just a third have the capacity to triage patients. Africa has reported more than 750,000 cases of COVID-19. At least 15,000 people have died. South Africa is now among the worst-hit countries in the world. With 394,948 cases and 5,940 deaths, South Africa accounts for more than half of the continent’s diagnosed cases and ranks fifth behind the U.S., Brazil, India, and Russia.7:16 a.m.: Flight attendant linked to Hawaiian Airlines COVID-19 cluster diesA Hawaiian Airlines employee that recently contracted COVID-19 died this week, the company announced.“I am very sad to report that one of our senior Los Angeles-based Flight Attendants, Jeff Kurtzman, passed away last night,” Hawaiian Airlines President & CEO Peter Ingram said in a statement. “He had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in California earlier this month.”A few weeks ago, the airline reported that a number of employees tested positive for the virus after a training session.“We continue to follow up with members of our ‘ohana who are recovering from the coronavirus,” Ingram’s statement said. “We are reminded every day that this virus is serious and highly transmissible. We have strengthened the mandates and protocols governing how we interact with each other at our facilities, and I urge us all to continue to practice the utmost vigilance.”Kurtzman was a senior Los Angeles-based flight attendant, and worked for Hawaiian Airlines since 1986.04:49 a.m.: Trump says testing is ‘overrated’In a week where President Donald Trump has been more vocal about wearing masks and saying the coronavirus will “get worse before it gets better,” he also continued to say Wednesday that coronavirus testing is “overrated,” but “he’s willing to keep doing it.”Trump, in an interview with Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel that aired Wednesday night, implied that the increased testing makes the U.S. “look bad” and said, “I don’t mind looking bad if it’s a good thing.”This comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country nears four million.“To me, every time you test a case it gets reported in the news, we found more cases. If instead of 50 we did 25, we have half the number of cases. So I personally think it’s overrated, but I am totally willing to keep doing it,” Trump said during the interview.In the U.S., deaths in the last week were up 12.3% over the previous week, according to an internal Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News.The memo also highlighted how some of the hardest-hit states, like Arizona, are facing tough choices to decide who gets care as hospitals run short on health care equipment and resources.The mixed messaging this week continues as the president urged Americans to wear masks only to show up hours later at his Washington hotel at a fundraiser speaking to supporters without one.During his interview with Siegel he said wearing masks “probably helps.”“I don’t think it’s something that you have to do or should do,” he told FOX News. “But everyone around me has tested, so I’m not the perfect person to talk about it. But I believe that you should wear it, even if there’s a 1% chance it helps.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Samara Heisz/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 631,000 people worldwide.Over 15.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than four million diagnosed cases and at least 144,167 deaths.Here is how the news developed Thursday. All times Eastern: 7:57 p.m.: Princess extends pause on cruisesDon’t expect to be taking a cruise on Princess Cruises anytime soon. The cruise line has extended its pause on global operations through Dec. 15.Cruises sailing out of Australia are the only ones not paused until December, though the Majestic Princess, Regal Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sea Princess and Sun Princess, all sailing out of Australia, will be on pause through Oct. 31.One of the first major breakouts of the novel coronavirus took place on the Diamond Princess, off the coast of Japan, in February.“We share in our guests’ disappointment in cancelling these cruises,” Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ president, said in a statement. “We look forward to the days when we can return to travel and the happiness it brings to all who cruise.”6:54 p.m.: Arizona emphasizes choice for parents on in-person schoolingArizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that every parent will have the choice the send their child to an in-person classroom or have their child receive teacher-led distance learning. While the start of school had already been delayed, Ducey guaranteed there would be a full 180 days of instruction this school year.“Maximum flexibility” will be given to local school leaders, he said. The Arizona Department of Health Services will develop and release health benchmarks for when and how in-person learning can begin.All adults in schools will have face coverings. Students will wear face coverings most of the day, but will be given multiple opportunities to take breaks, including outdoor playground settings, and other breaks throughout the day in a safe environment.The governor said many key indicator trends are pointing in the right direction in the state, including intensive care unit and hospital bed usage being down and a decrease in positive tests.In order to keep the state moving in the correct direction, Ducey announced that the closures would be extended for gyms, bars, nightclubs, waterparks and tubing.6:31 p.m.: CDC issues new guidance on schools, pushing for reopeningThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines Thursday evening for the return to in-person learning — heavily leaning toward reopening. The guidance does not offer specific guidance by state or location, but rather schools as a whole.“The best available evidence from countries that have opened schools indicates that COVID-19 poses low risks to school-aged children, at least in areas with low community transmission, and suggests that children are unlikely to be major drivers of the spread of the virus,” the conclusion of the guidance reads. “Reopening schools creates opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets — our children — while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families.”The guidance outlines five areas — educational instruction, social and emotional skill development, safety, nutrition and physical activity — where students can benefit from in-person learning. The CDC also recommends face coverings, temperature screenings and emphasizes sick children should not attend classes.President Donald Trump has repeatedly pushed for a return to in-person learning, saying on Wednesday he would be comfortable sending his son or grandchildren to classes.On Thursday, during his daily COVID briefing, he indicated governors should have more control after previously saying the federal government should set the tone.“In cities or states that are current hot spots, and you’ll see that in the map behind me, districts may need to delay reopening for a few weeks, and that’s possible,” Trump said. “That’ll be up to governors.The decision should be made based on the data and the facts on the grounds in each community, but every district should be actively making preparations to open.”5:51 p.m.: Disney delays slate of moviesWalt Disney Studios has delayed dozens of movies, some not even named, as movie theaters continue to deal with the ongoing pandemic and resulting closures.“The Personal History of David Copperfield,” starring Dev Patel and Tilda Swinton and directed by “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci, has been delayed two weeks to Aug. 28. The live-action “Mulan,” already repeatedly delayed, has been pushed off once more, this time to a date to be determined.“Death on the Nile,” directed by Kennth Branagh and starring Gal Gadot, will now be released Oct. 23, two weeks later than originally planned. The latest Wes Anderson film, “The French Dispatch,” with Bill Murray, Timothee Chalamet and Benicio del Toro, is now also entirely removed from the schedule — it was originally to be released in October — and will premiere at a date to be determined.“The Last Duel,” written by and starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and directed by Ridley Scott — and sure to rack up plenty of award nominations — was supposed to be released on Christmas. It has now been bumped all the way to Oct. 15, 2021.And finally, the “Avatar” sequels — still set to be released eventually — have been bumped from release in 2021, 2023 and 2025 to 2022, 2024 and 2026.The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABC News.3:30 p.m.: California reports record number of daily fatalitiesCalifornia on Thursday reported 157 new deaths — a record number of daily fatalities, according to the California Department of Public Health.The state’s death toll has now climbed to 8,027.In the last two weeks, California’s ICU cases have jumped by 15.6%, the department of public health said.California has now surpassed New York to have the nation’s highest number of COVID-19 cases.As of Thursday, California had over 421,000 cases while New York had over 409,000.California becomes the second state on Thursday to report a new daily fatality record — Florida also recorded a new daily record with 173 coronavirus fatalities.3 p.m.: University of Arizona offering in-person classes in AugustThe University of Arizona said Thursday it plans to reopen on Aug. 24 and offer in-person classes, despite the state’s surge in coronavirus cases.Classes will also be offered as flex in-person, as live online and as iCourses. Students can choose the option that “best meet their needs,” university President Robert Robbins said Thursday.“Currently, more than 50% of all classes have some in-person component,” he said.Students living in dorms will get an antigen test — a newer COVID-19 test which detects certain proteins in the virus — before moving in, Robbins said. Anyone who tests positive will isolate for 10 days.COVID-19 testing will be available for all staff, faculty and off-campus students, he added.Meal services will also be adjusted to encourage distancing, Robbins said.When it comes to all plans for this school year, Robbins added, “if we need to adjust, we will.” Arizona has over 152,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19. The state’s positivity rate stands at 12.5%, according to state data.2:25 p.m.: Positivity rate up to 13.2% among young New YorkersNew York is monitoring a rise in coronavirus cases among those ages 21 to 31 — the only age bracket in the state to see an increase.New Yorkers in their 20s or early 30s now have a 13.2% positivity rate — up from 9.9% one week earlier, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.Cuomo cautioned that the Albany area saw nearly 30 new positive cases linked to one 4th of July party.Those traveling to New York from states with a positivity rate higher than 10% over a one-week average are required to self-quarantine when arriving in the Empire State.2:25 p.m.: Positivity rate up to 13.2% among young New YorkersNew York is monitoring a rise in coronavirus cases among those ages 21 to 31 — the only age bracket in the state to see an increase.New Yorkers in their 20s or early 30s now have a 13.2% positivity rate — up from 9.9% one week earlier, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.Cuomo cautioned that the Albany area saw nearly 30 new positive cases linked to one 4th of July party.Those traveling to New York from states with a positivity rate higher than 10% over a one-week average are required to self-quarantine when arriving in the Empire State.
iRACING PAINT SCHEMES OF THE WEEKBrantley Roden re-created Kyle Busch’s new M&M’s Crunchy Mint Toyota Camry for iRacing. There’s no guarantee it’ll make you drive through the field for a third-place finish at Watkins Glen like Busch did, but it looks good on the track.LeafFilter sponsored Ryan Truex’s No. 11 Kaulig Racing car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen Saturday, and painter Justin M. Williams brought it to life on iRacing.VIDEO OF THE WEEKTake a look at this side-by-side, bumping-and-banging photo finish in iRacing’s Camping World Truck Series-style trucks at Michigan, which featured a 0.003-second margin of victory. After The Glen, Alex Bowman spent his time on iRacing a little differently. iRacing, always working to improve the realism in its software, released a video explaining the process behind the development of the sim’s new damage model.NASCAR PEAK ANTIFREEZE iRACING SERIES UPDATEThe stars of iRacing stock cars head to Pocono Raceway on Tuesday for Race 12.Jimmy Mullis, coming off his first career victory two weeks ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, looks to follow up with another win — but there’s been a change atop our Power Rankings.Some drivers are just looking for a solid finish. When NASCAR races at a road course — something typically foreign to young drivers who grew up racing local oval tracks — it’s iRacing’s time to shine. Christopher Bell, Parker Kligerman, and Garrett Smithley were among those pro NASCAR drivers who prepared for their respective races at Watkins Glen this past weekend by turning virtual laps on the iRacing sim. All three drivers finished their races cleanly — including, for Xfinity Series drivers, a portion of the race run in wet track conditions.Even though Chase Briscoe didn’t race at The Glen this weekend, that didn’t stop him from hitting the track.