What a Biden White House could mean for Tesla

first_img– Advertisement – Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at an opening ceremony for Tesla China-made Model Y program in Shanghai on Jan. 7.Aly Song | Reuters Stronger unions and regulationThe new emphasis on electric vehicles is likely a net benefit to Tesla’s autos business, depending on how much of this agenda Biden can pass through a potentially divided Congress.However, Biden’s broader policy includes the goal of strengthening unions, which are currently absent from Tesla’s U.S. manufacturing plants.Musk and Tesla have clashed with the National Labor Relations board in recent years. In September 2019, a California administrative law judge found that the company had violated national labor laws after Musk suggested, in a tweet, that Tesla workers would have to give up their potentially lucrative stock options if they organized.Tesla was ordered to hold a meeting at its Fremont, California, car assembly plant with the CEO present to inform workers of their rights and say exactly how Tesla had previously broken the law. Musk was ordered to attend this meeting. However, the company is appealing the ruling.Additionally, a Biden White House could bring change to various regulatory agencies, potentially leading to more scrutiny of Tesla and its CEO.For example, financial regulators settled with Tesla and Musk for $20 million each after the CEO tweeted in 2018 that he was planning to take the company private at $420 per share, sending shares soaring before they were halted. The SEC did not respond when Musk provoked them with a tweet that said, “SEC, three letter acronym, middle word is Elon’s,” in July this year.In addition, Auto safety regulators NHTSA and the FTC consumer protection agency have generally not intervened in Tesla’s practices around automated driver assistance, and how the company markets these features.Tesla sells “Autopilot,” “Enhanced Autopilot,” and “Full Self-Driving” options that do not provide drivers with a completely hands-free self-driving experience, despite what the names imply.Tesla even rolled out a beta version of its “Full Self Driving” software in the U.S. last month, enlisting non-professional drivers — who are its customers — to test these safety critical systems on public roadways.Previously, the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates crashes and can influence NHTSA with its findings, determined that driver error and Autopilot design led to a crash involving a Tesla Model S and a parked fire truck. NTSB also found that Tesla’s inadequate driver engagement monitoring contributed to a fatal Model X crash that killed Apple engineer Walter Huang near Mountain View, California in 2018.NHTSA has heard those findings, and has the authority to issue recalls, but hasn’t where Tesla’s semi-autonomous systems are concerned. NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owen has previously explained: “We do not want regulations enacted long before the development of automated technologies to present an unintended and unnecessary barrier against innovation and improved highway safety.”A Biden White House could change all of that. President-elect Joe Biden presents a mixed bag for Tesla and other electric car-makers.On the pro side, Biden’s stated goals for clean energy and manufacturing could mean new government incentives for American manufacturers, especially electric vehicle makers. But stronger enforcement of labor, financial and other regulations could make it harder for Tesla and its mercurial CEO, Elon Musk, to push boundaries.Both Tesla bulls and bears have the ear of the president-elect — Kynikos Associates founder and famed Tesla shortseller Jim Chanos was an early proponent for Biden, and Steve Westly, a former Tesla board member, was a big fundraiser for Biden as well. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Luckily for Tesla and Musk, Biden’s “Build Back Better” policy goals for clean energy and manufacturing would give a shot in the arm to Tesla and other domestic electric vehicle makers including General Motors, Rivian and Lucid.His stated goals include:Building out electric vehicle charging infrastructure, adding at least 500,000 more charging stations, in the U.S.Creating 1 million new jobs in the U.S. auto industry aloneReplacing the federal government’s vehicle fleet, including cars used for postal service and other federal business, with electric vehiclesWorking with states to create stricter emissions guidelines for internal combustion engine vehiclesSurpassing China in the manufacturing of electric vehicles (including materials and parts)Giving rebates, reminiscent of the bygone Cash for Clunkers program, to consumers who trade in less-efficient vehicles for newer, greener cars made in the U.S.Increasing battery related research and development, domestically. Here’s a rundown of what investors could see during a Biden administration.Green energy initiativesIn its Q3 earnings report, Tesla reported $397 million in revenue from environmental regulatory credit sales. That marked its fifth consecutive quarter of reported profitability, each one enabled by credit sales.The importance of those credits suggests the company’s financial fate could swing widely with sweeping policy changes.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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The Masters: Dustin Johnson confident as Phil Mickelson aims to be in contention | Golf News

first_img“Obviously I’ve been in this situation enough times on Sundays in majors where I can feed off those experiences and kind of know what to expect. It was a lot of fun. I’ve had a couple of good finishes here the last couple of years.“As long as the game stays in good form, I think I’m hopefully going to be around here on Sunday and have a chance to win.” Dustin Johnson during his practice round ahead of The Masters at Augusta National on Tuesday Dustin Johnson during his practice round ahead of The Masters at Augusta National on Tuesday
Dustin Johnson during his practice round ahead of The Masters at Augusta National on Tuesday

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England vs Republic of Ireland: A winner after 32 years of draws? | Football News

first_imgEngland host the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Wembley on Thursday as both sides look to secure a victory for the first time in the fixture since the 1980s.After a build-up plagued by injuries and off-the-field headlines, the focus turns to matters on the pitch as Gareth Southgate’s side hope for a morale-boosting victory as they prepare for Sunday’s Nations League showdown with leaders Belgium.- Advertisement – Republic of Ireland have filled in for original opponents New Zealand, who were forced to withdraw from the fixture due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the amended friendly presents boss Stephen Kenny with the opportunity to claim his first victory since taking charge.It’s been more than three decades since Ireland last beat England. Only one member – goalkeeper Darren Randolph – of the current Republic of Ireland squad was alive when Ray Houghton headed Ireland to a famous victory over Sir Bobby Robson’s England in Stuttgart in the group stages of Euro 88.All five subsequent meetings have ended level, with England winless in the fixture since 1985. It’s a sign of the potential over-familiarity interwoven throughout English and Irish camps, with only two of Kenny’s 25-man squad not currently plying their trade in the English leagues.Familiar faces Opta statsEngland and the Republic of Ireland last faced in June 2015 in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium, drawing 0-0. At Wembley, their last meeting was in May 2013 in a friendly, sharing a 1-1 draw.Republic of Ireland have never beaten England at Wembley, playing there six times previously without success (D3 L3).England are winless in seven matches against the Republic of Ireland (D5 L2), their joint-worst current winless run against an opponent, with the Three Lions also seven without a win against Romania.Republic of Ireland’s only away victory against England came back in September 1949, winning 2-1 at Goodison Park in a friendly with goals from Con Martin and Peter Farrell.England are unbeaten in their last 12 home friendly matches (W8 D4) since losing 1-2 against the Netherlands at Wembley in March 2016 under Roy Hodgson.England are looking to avoid losing consecutive matches for only a second time under Gareth Southgate, losing three in a row in September 2018.Stephen Kenny is yet to win a match as Ireland manager in five attempts (D3 L2) – the only manager to fail to win any of his first six matches as Ireland boss was Mick McCarthy back in 1996 (first seven).This game will be Harry Kane’s 50th England cap – Kane will be the 62nd player to reach that tally, and his 32 goals are bettered only by Jimmy Greaves (43) in his first 50 England caps. He will be the first outfield player to win his first 50 caps all for the same club since John Terry won his first 50 with Chelsea, and the first player to win 50 England caps while at Tottenham, with his current 49 level with Jermain Defoe. 4:54 – Advertisement – Seventeen-year-old Jude Bellingham could become England’s third-youngest player if he features against the Republic of Ireland, with Three Lions boss Southgate refusing to rule him playing a part out.Liverpool defender Joe Gomez has returned to Liverpool to learn the extent of his potentially serious knee injury that forced him to withdraw from the England squad.Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is expected to start in place of England regular Jordan Pickford. As galling as it is for the match to be forced behind closed doors, it might be a relief for some of England’s players.Michael Keane played in the Irish youth set-up before switching over to his country of birth, while Jack Grealish created rancour in 2015 when turning down a call-up to the Republic senior side having represented the country up to U21 level.Both could feature for the Three Lions at an empty Wembley, where Declan Rice will face a country he represented at senior level on three occasions before announcing his intention to switch in February 2019.Team news England manager Gareth Southgate during the friendly win over WalesImage:England manager Gareth Southgate during the friendly win over Wales Should Jordan Pickford remain England's top cjhoice in goal? – Advertisement – GREALISHImage:GREALISH WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Jude Bellingham of England during the UEFA Euro Under 21 Qualifier match between England U21 and Turkey U21 at Molineux on October 13, 2020 in Wolverhampton, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Visionhaus) 0:57 Republic of Ireland will be without Aaron Connolly for Thursday friendly against England.The 20-year-old Brighton striker, who missed last month’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final because of a false positive Covid-19 test, has been ruled out of the game at Wembley and the Nations League fixtures against Wales and Bulgaria by an injury suffered in training on Tuesday.Ireland will also be without West Brom striker Callum Robinson after it was revealed he was the who returned a positive coronavirus test. Aaron Connolly did well for the Republic of Ireland but could not break their goal droughtImage:Aaron Connolly did well for the Republic of Ireland but could not break their goal drought England are the 1/3 favourites with Sky Bet to win at Wembley, while the Republic of Ireland are at 17/2 and the draw 15/4.Those prices look about right to me as I’d be in no rush to take on England, mostly due to Ireland’s lack of goal threat. They have scored just twice in their last eight competitive fixtures and the retirement of David McGoldrick doesn’t help in that regard.Meanwhile, England are unbeaten in their last nine friendly games (W6 D3) since a 3-2 defeat against France in June 2017, conceding just two goals in those nine games. An England win to nil looks the obvious but solid play.JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-0 (7/1 with Sky Bet) Pick your England XI vs Rep or IrelandBut would Bellingham make your line-up? Would Jack Grealish get another start? And who should be England’s No 1? Have your say in our team selector below…How to follow: England vs Rep of IrelandYou can follow England vs Republic of Ireland with on Sky Sports‘ digital platforms with our dedicated live blog and match commentary. Full-time highlights will be available 15 minutes after the full-time whistle.Jones Knows predictionMemories are very short when it comes to managers at the top level. There isn’t much wriggle room for Gareth Southgate over the next few fixtures after the Denmark defeat.Despite beating Belgium recently, is he really getting the best out of an outstanding crop of English talent? He could do with reminding a few naysayers that he is the man for the job over the next week. That’s why I’d be surprised if he experiments too much in key areas for this friendly. – Advertisement – Former Birmingham manager Pep Clotet says he never hesitated in making England new boy Jude Bellingham Birmingham’s youngest ever player, ahead of the 17-year-old’s possible Three Lions bow on Thursday night. England goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson takes an in-depth look at the techniques of Gareth Southgate’s shot-stoppers Jordan Pickford, Nick Pope and Dean Henderson Jude Bellingham in action for England's U21sImage:Jude Bellingham in action for England’s U21slast_img read more

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Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer publicly backed by Ed Woodward | Football News

first_imgThe results come at a time when manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future was again uncertain after the 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League last week, but those concerns were eased following the win at Everton.Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward publicly backed Solskjaer saying: “On the pitch, while there is still hard work ahead to achieve greater consistency, we remain absolutely committed to the positive path we are on under Ole as the team continues to develop. “We miss playing in front of our fans and we are working hard together with our governing bodies and relevant authorities to ensure that fans can safely return as soon as possible.”- Advertisement – LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Ed Woodward executive vice-chairman of Manchester United is seen the leaving the ground after the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 17, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)Image:Ed Woodward was speaking on Thursday as Manchester United announced a 20% fall in revenue “We will continue to push for this support, both through emergency assistance during the pandemic, and through longer-term reforms to ensure that the success of the Premier League is reinforced for the benefit of the national game as a whole.” The club said playing matches behind closed doors and cancellation of the pre-season tour hit revenue, which was partly offset by higher broadcasting revenue compared to the last quarter.Matchday revenue slumped 92.3 per cent to 1.7 million pounds ($2.23 million), while broadcasting revenue jumped 44.7 per cent to 47.6 million pounds.On the day EFL clubs were meeting to discuss the financial support package offered by the Premier League, Woodward reiterated Manchester United’s support: “We recognise that not all football clubs are in as robust of a financial position and that the Premier League has a responsibility to support the wider English football pyramid”, he said.- Advertisement – Manchester United have announced a 20 per cent fall in their first-quarter revenue due to losses incurred from ticket sales with fans still unable to attend matches due to the coronavirus crisis.The results were expected on Friday, but the company said the statement was released a day in advance due to an error by the publishers of its filings.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Police reform ballot measures did well. But activists say that’s just the start

first_imgx – Advertisement – BLAST FROM THE PASTAt Daily Kos on this date in 2018—North Korea continues to expand nuclear program while Trump … well, tweets, mostly:Just in case you were wondering about the progress of Donald Trump’s plan to denuclearize North Korea via an ambitious plan of lurching from incoherent mockery to lavish praise to ramshackle promises based on nothing at all, the answer is that North Korea is continuing to build up its nuclear arsenal and capabilities while ignoring his administration’s demands.A new study notes that known North Korean missile bases, identified via satellite images, continue to be active. North Korea denies the existence of these bases at all; experts remain concerned that Team Trump is so eager to ink a Trump-flattering deal that they will overlook it.“It’s not like these bases have been frozen,” Mr. [Victor] Cha, the leader of the team that studied the images, said in an interview. “Work is continuing. What everybody is worried about is that Trump is going to accept a bad deal — they give us a single test site and dismantle a few other things, and in return they get a peace agreement” that formally ends the Korean War.Cha was on Team Trump’s shortlist for the South Korea ambassadorship post, but was nixed after he criticized administration policies toward North Korea. It is perhaps notable that he’s using the “Everybody is worried” construct to publicly dump on Trump for being stupid enough to sign such a deal. THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READINGBiden Won. Will the Climate? By Claire Elise Thompson. Five leaders point the way forward for a divided nation. How the Left Beat Trump in Michigan. By Ben Burgis. According to centrists, the “blue wave” didn’t materialize because of the Left. That’s nonsense—and in at least one crucial swing state, Joe Biden rode to victory because of the organizing of progressives and leftists. Democrats’ 2024 Problem Is Already Clear, by Ronald Brownstein. Joe Biden succeeded in bridging his party’s past and future coalitions—but the challenges of future elections are daunting.TOP COMMENTS • RESCUED DIARIESQUOTATION“Let us try to see things from their better side:You complain about seeing thorny rose bushes;Me, I rejoice and give thanks to the godsThat thorns have roses.          ~~Alphonse Karr, “Letters written from my garden,” 1853TWEET OF THE DAY- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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What’s going on at Real Madrid? | Football News

first_imgToni Kroos was omitted from the starting line-up against ValenciaImage:Toni Kroos was omitted from the starting line-up against Valencia Madrid’s defence was a shambles against a Valencia team stripped of their key assets as a result of no European football and Covid-19. Head coach Javi Gracia had even threatened to walk after a mass clear-out of his squad to reduce the club’s operating budget by 40 per cent.Ferran Torres, Dani Parejo, Ezequiel Garay, Francis Coquelin, Rodrigo Moreno and Cristiano Piccini all departed but Carlos Soler scored a hat-trick of penalties to turn up the heat on Zidane. Real's Champions League group stage campaign is in the balanceImage:Real’s Champions League group-stage campaign is in the balance Zinedine Zidane looks dejected during Wednesday night's shock defeat Toni Kroos has been vocal in the press this week, telling Spanish outlet Marca: “It’s true we’re missing something.“It’s not a secret. We need to be constant – if you look at our results, you see two good, one bad. We have to do better. We have to improve if we want to win something.”Zidane will be the first to acknowledge that at Real Madrid, where there are not results, there will be discussions. – Advertisement – Thibaut Courtois was left exposed by his Madrid defence against ValenciaImage:Thibaut Courtois was left exposed by his Madrid defence against Valencia It has been a strange start to the Spanish top-flight season. Real currently sit fourth in La Liga after eight games, despite victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp.Zinedine Zidane’s men are four points behind league leaders Real Sociedad and ten clear of bottom-placed Huesca. Complacency has been blamed for two league defeats, to newly-promoted Cadiz and at Valencia, where they were soundly beaten 4-1 in their last outing.- Advertisement – Eden Hazard and Casemiro were both absent at the Mestalla after positive coronavirus tests, but Zidane’s preference to start with Isco ahead of Kroos was still criticised by some sections of the Spanish media as well as supporters. Ferland Mendy was also rested at left-back with Marcelo being given the nod, but those decisions backfired badly.In the 27 league games the experienced Brazilian defender has played since Zidane returned as manager in March 2019, Madrid have lost nine of them compared to no defeats in the 29 fixtures he has been absent. It’s only one of the areas that must be addressed if Real are to get their season fully up and running.It is unlikely Zidane will field the same XI as he did at Valencia again this season, but he will be concerned with the lack of goals in his squad. Karim Benzema has scored five in his last four games, but the 32-year-old will be demanding more from his team-mates to help carry the load.Changes in personnel is understandable given the congested fixtures list and demands of playing every three days, but the buck will ultimately stop with Zidane. He has guided the club to three of their 13 Champions League titles – but failure to progress out of the group stages for the first time in their history would be unthinkable.Real Madrid’s upcoming fixtures Saturday November 21: Villarreal (A) – La LigaWednesday November 25: Inter Milan (A) – Champions LeagueSaturday November 28: Alaves (H) – La LigaTuesday December 1: Shakhtar Donetsk (A) – Champions LeagueSunday December 6: Sevilla (A) – La LigaWednesday December 9: Borussia Monchengladbach (H) – Champions LeagueSunday December 13: Atletico Madrid (H) – La Liga Just over 12 months ago, the Frenchman was under immense pressure when he took his side to face Galatasaray in Istanbul where failure to meet expectations might have ended his second spell as manager. Kroos’ strike was enough to secure a narrow 1-0 win that proved the turning point in Real’s season, and the start of a 21-game unbeaten run.The German midfielder added: “With Zidane, we’ve already lived through times like this and we usually come out of them. In the end, all we can do is improve and try to win games. The coach will find the solution.”Real’s currency has always been trophies, but the context of their recent struggles cannot be removed from the ongoing global pandemic that has placed greater emphasis on a transfer strategy focused on young players with potential as opposed to established names. – Advertisement – Of equal concern to the board will be Real’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages, with the side currently third in Group B at the midway point, ahead of Inter Milan but trailing Borussia Monchengladbach and Shakhtar Donetsk.- Advertisement – La Liga TV presenter Semra Hunter says Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane will have a lot to think about over the international break following their 4-1 defeat at Valencia Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp in October Image:Real Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Nou Camp in October 3:04 Spanish outlet Diario AS reported on Friday that Madrid are tracking Red Bull Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai following his impressive performances in the Austrian Bundesliga. The 20 year-old is expected to cost €25m with Arsenal, RB Leipzig and AC Milan also reportedly interested.Juni Calafat, the club scout behind the signings of Vinicius, Rodrygo and Eder Militao, is said to have been impressed after witnessing him score during his side’s recent 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.Szoboszlai’s dramatic last-minute winner to send Hungary to Euro 2020 with victory over Iceland will only add to his value, but with his current deal at Salzburg running out in 2022, they will most likely look to cash in next summer following the tournament. Toni Kroos told Marca things 'must improve' while AS claim Madrid have targeted Hungarian star Dominik SzoboszlaiImage:Toni Kroos told Marca things ‘must improve’ while AS claim Madrid have targeted Hungarian star Dominik Szoboszlai “To put that defeat into context, this was the first time in Madrid’s 118-year history that they’ve conceded three penalties in the same game. On top of that, in La Liga’s 90-year history as a competition… in 25,521 games, this has only happened three times – in 1958, 1996 and now.“Certainly, Madrid have come under a lot of pressure following that performance against a side that before the game were just one place outside of the relegation zone. Zidane has a lot of soul-searching to do.”Those unforgiving Spanish front pages didn’t hold back, claiming that Madrid are ‘in ruins’ while another referenced there being a ‘crisis in the White House’ but there were mitigating factors in their latest setback. Real Madrid's Karim Benzema has scored five goals in his last four gamesImage:Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema has scored five goals in his last four games But if Madrid’s results don’t improve, they may be forced to move during the January transfer window to inject energy into an ageing midfield.La Liga TV presenter Semra Hunter believes Zidane will have a lot to think about over the international break, telling Sky Sports: “The defence has been their Achilles’ heel pretty much all season long. They’ve been very poor at the back. Against Valencia, it was next level bad.“All four of Valencia’s goals were a direct consequence of errors made by each of the four defenders – Sergio Ramos, Lucas Vazquez, who was filling in as a right-back, as well as Marcelo all gave away penalties while Raphael Varane scored an own goal.last_img read more

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US wants to end BSE-linked ban on older Canadian cattle

first_img USDA risk assessment concerning proposal to allow importation of older Canadian cattle Transcript of Jan 4 news conference Jan 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday proposed to reopen the US border to older Canadian cattle and beef for the first time since bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) cropped up in Canada in 2003. “For all commodities considered under the current proposal, the risk of BSE infectivity is negligible and the disease will not become established in the United States,” said Dr. John Clifford, the USDA’s chief veterinary officer, at a press conference. “This is true even if Canada identifies additional cases of BSE and even if an infected animal were to be imported into the United States.” In the USDA’s estimation, the March 1999 date marks the start of effective enforcement of Canada’s ban on putting cattle protein into cattle feed, a practice that is believed to spread the BSE agent, if present. Canada and the United States both imposed similar feed bans in August 1997. Clifford said the March 1999 date was picked to allow 6 months for implementation of the ban, plus another year for potentially contaminated feed to have passed through the system. Dec 30, 2004, CIDRAP News story “US to lift BSE-related ban on Canadian cattle” The USDA’s proposed rule will be published Jan 9 in the Federal Register, and the agency will then take comments on it until Mar 12. Clifford said he couldn’t predict how long it would take to digest the comments and implement the rule. See also: The USDA said it followed World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines in assessing the possible risks of lifting the ban on older Canadian cattle and meat. Clifford said officials estimated the prevalence of BSE in Canada to be 6.8 cases per 10 million adult cattle. The agency examined the risk in relation to all the BSE safeguards in place in Canada and the United States, including the ban on putting higher-risk cattle parts (specified risk materials, or SRM) into the food supply, he said. Besides ending the ban on older cattle and beef, the USDA is proposing to allow importation of Canadian cattle blood and blood products and part of the small intestine of cattle.center_img Clifford said the risk assessment recognized that 3 of the 8 BSE-infected cattle found in Canada so far were born after March 1999, when the feed ban is considered to have been fully enforced. “These cases are not unexpected,” and they don’t change the USDA’s conclusion about the enforcement date, he said. The USDA reopened the border to live Canadian cattle under 30 months of age in 2005, but the ban remained on older cattle and beef. BSE, or mad cow disease, is considered very unlikely to be found in cattle younger than 30 months because of its long incubation period. The USDA risk assessment focused mainly on animal health, but one model was used to consider possible effects on human health, Clifford reported. “The results of this model indicated that these potential impacts are extremely low,” he said. “Public health in the United States is protected through slaughter practices, including the removal of specified risk materials and the feed ban.” Agency officials said a formal risk assessment indicates that if the prevalence of BSE in Canada declines or—considered less likely—stays the same over the next 20 years, the risk that BSE would enter and spread within the United States is negligible. Canada has had 8 BSE cases since May 2003, including 5 in 2006. Jan 4 USDA news release Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns commented in a news release, “We previously recognized Canada’s comprehensive set of safeguards and we have now completed a risk assessment confirming that additional animals and products can be safely traded. Our approach is consistent with science-based international guidelines.” The rule would allow importation of live cattle born on or after Mar 1, 1999, effectively permitting cattle much older than 30 months. Meat from cattle of all ages would also be permitted, ending the current ban on meat from cattle older than 30 months, Clifford said. Feb 10, 2005, CIDRAP News story “US to keep ban on meat from older Canadian cattle”last_img read more

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Study says wild birds unlikely to bring H5N1 to Americas

first_imgNov 16, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – An analysis of influenza viruses collected from North American migratory birds over a 6-year period suggests that wild birds rarely carry avian flu viruses between Eurasia and North America, implying that the risk of the deadly H5N1 virus reaching the Americas by that route is probably low.A team of American and Canadian researchers based that conclusion on a study of 248 complete avian flu viruses and several thousand gene segments of flu viruses collected from birds in Alberta and on the New Jersey coast from 2001 through 2006. Their report, with Scott Krauss of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis as lead author, was published this week by PLoS Pathogens. The senior author is leading flu researcher Dr. Robert Webster, also of St. Jude.”Genomic analysis of influenza viruses from our repository failed to provide evidence of influenza viruses with their whole genome originating from Eurasia,” the report states. “However, we found occasional influenza viruses from North America with single or multiple genes that originated in Eurasia. Our interpretation is that while influenza viruses do exchange between the two hemispheres, this is a rare occurrence.”The researchers say the highly pathogenic (HP) H5N1 virus has a better chance of reaching the western hemisphere via birds moved by humans than via wild birds. Nevertheless, careful surveillance of wild birds in the Americas should continue, they add.The possible role of migratory birds in spreading the HP H5N1 has long been debated. Thousands of migratory birds died of H5N1 disease in 2005 at the Qinghai Lake wildlife sanctuary in China, a major gathering place for migratory birds, and that outbreak is suspected to have played a role in the subsequent spread of the virus to central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.Scientists at a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conference last year in Rome agreed that wild birds played some part in spreading the H5N1 virus for long distances. But the FAO said the experts couldn’t agree on exactly how the virus had reached more than 50 countries on three continents or whether wild birds provide a permanent reservoir for the virus.A US testing program for HP H5N1 in wild birds over the past 2 years has revealed no signs of the virus so far. About 109,000 birds were tested from April 2006 through March of this year, according to previous reports from the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior. A low-pathogenic North American strain of H5N1 virus has been found in a few birds in the United States. Canadian surveys in 2006 and 2007 have found no highly pathogenic viruses either.Two avian flu ‘superfamilies’The St. Jude research team sought to investigate why the HP H5N1 virus has not reached the Americas even though the migratory paths of wild birds from both hemispheres overlap in places like Alaska.The report says genetic studies of flu viruses from wild birds have shown they generally fall into two “superfamilies”—American and Eurasian—which implies that the transfer of whole viruses between the eastern and western hemispheres is infrequent.The study included collection of cloacal and blood samples from wild ducks in Alberta and of fecal samples from shorebirds (including gulls) on Delaware Bay in New Jersey. Surveillance of wild birds in the two areas had been ongoing since 1976 and 1985, respectively.The researchers found influenza A viruses in 98 (16.6%) of 590 cloacal samples from the ducks and in 114 (5.8%) of 1,970 samples from shorebirds. Fourteen of the 16 known hemagglutinin (H) subtypes were represented (H1-H13, H16), as were all nine of the neuraminidase (N) subtypes. The most common subtypes in ducks were H4N6, H1N4, and H10N7, while the most common in shorebirds were H10N7, H1N9, and H7N3. No H5N1 subtypes were found. In addition, serologic studies of blood samples gathered from about 700 Alberta ducks in 2004, 2005, and 2006 revealed no evidence of HP H5N1 infection.The findings also included 27 H7 viruses, 24 of which were H7N3, collected from the shorebirds in 2006. Testing in chickens showed the H7N3 viruses were nonpathogenic—unlike the H7N3 strain that caused a poultry outbreak in British Columbia in 2004—but the viruses replicated in the chickens and were lethal to chicken embryos.In their genetic analysis, the authors examined 6,767 gene segments (which had been described in an earlier study by a St. Jude team) and 248 complete genomes. They found a low rate of “outsider events”—gene segments belonging to one superfamily (Eurasian or American) occurring in viruses from the other superfamily. Overall, 56 (0.83%) of the 6,767 gene segments analyzed were classified as “outsiders,” and none of the 248 complete genomes represented a transfer from one superfamily to the other.”Based on these studies, it is more likely that the Asian H5N1 viruses will be imported into the Americas with birds moved legally or illegally by humans,” the article states.Surveillance of migratory waterfowl has shown that many species can be infected with the deadly H5N1 virus, but there is no evidence that they become long-term carriers that “perpetuate” it, the researchers say. Instead, they write, evidence indicates that domestic ducks and geese often carry the virus despite apparent health, and in the cooler months the virus “spills over” into other poultry and migratory birds.The authors conclude that the results of their genetic studies and the lack of evidence for H5N1 perpetuation in wild birds “make the probability of introduction of HP H5N1 into the Americas by migratory birds an unlikely event.”Other experts’ viewsOther wildlife-disease experts who were not involved in the study voiced general agreement with the findings and conclusions.David E. Stallknecht, PhD, of the University of Georgia in Athens, said the findings agree with previous research on the risk of HP H5N1 reaching the Americas via wild birds. Stallknecht is an associate professor with the Department of Population Health and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine.”The results are not unexpected based on similar work that is already in the literature,” he told CIDRAP News. “These [previous] results probably provided the best evidence that the probability of HPAI (HP avian influenza) H5N1 moving to North American via wild birds was slim at best.”In view of the other research results, including the failure to find HP H5N1 in more than 400,000 healthy wild birds tested to date and field evidence from outbreaks in Europe, Stallknecht said, “I certainly agree with the conclusion presented in this manuscript.”Dr. Patrick Redig, associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, called the report by Krauss and colleagues “a very important paper.” Because it is based on surveillance that goes back a number of years, it “provides historical evidence about various influenza viruses that predates all the buzz about H5N1,” and it corroborates the recent large-scale testing of wild birds by the Canadian and US governments, he said.”It clearly establishes that the likelihood of the entire HP H5N1 virus being introduced into the Americas by wild waterfowl or shorebirds would be an extremely unlikely event, given the historical patterns of transfer,” Redig added. He said the study leaves open the possibility that pieces of H5N1 genetic material could turn up in viruses in the North American superfamily, “but again it would be a rare event.”On the other hand, Redig said, “I think the paper does underplay the survival of the HP H5N1 in wild birds, given the continuing movement and introduction of the virus into various areas in Europe, particularly the latest outbreak in Suffolk, UK, and another in Saudi Arabia. While it remains to be seen if either of these can be tracked back to wild birds, there is a suggestion that the probability is not zero.”David A. Halvorson, DVM, a veterinary pathologist and avian flu expert at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, agreed that the new study findings match up with previous findings. “This research reinforces what has been published before, that New World and Old World avian influenza viruses are distinct lineages with only occasional introduction of old world AI virus genes into new world AI viruses,” he said.Krauss S, Obert CA, Franks J, et al. Influenza in migratory birds and evidence of limited intercontinental virus exchange. PLoS Pathogens 2007 Nov;3(11) [Full text]See also: Aug 30, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Tests find no H5N1 avian flu in Alaskan birds”May 7 CIDRAP News story on US testing of wild birds in 2007Jun 2, 2006, CIDRAP News story “FAO: Wild birds play role in avian flu, but poultry key”Feb 10, 2006, CIDRAP News story on study suggesting that wild birds can carry H5N1 long distanceslast_img read more

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We bring you a list of which tourist boards in underdeveloped areas and DMK companies have received support from the CNTB for 2019.

first_imgIn addition, higher scores were given to programs that will be implemented in the pre- and post-season and those lasting more than seven days, all with the aim of strengthening tourist traffic outside the peak months of the tourist season and extending the stay of tourists which are one of the key goals. development of Croatia as a year-round tourist destination and increase in tourist consumption.  A total of HRK 1.970.000 in support was awarded by the Decision on the award of grants for 36 programs of destination management companies / / / RELATED NEWS:  For programs and projects in underdeveloped tourist areas, the Tourist Board approved support for a total of 135 programs and projects, of which 108 programs / projects of local tourist boards and 27 programs / projects of county tourist boards in the total amount of HRK 3.951.083.  Criteria for selecting projects nominated by destination management companies included innovative package deals, inclusion of unused tourist resources, importance of the candidate program in strengthening Croatia’s image as a destination of special interest tourism, harmonization of programs with the Tourism Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia and inclusion of underdeveloped areas.  Attachment: DECISION on granting aid to tourist boards in underdeveloped tourist areas Attachment: DECISION on granting grants to programs of destination management companies SELECTED DIRECTORS OF THE CNTB REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE IN SEUL AND LOS ANGELES At the recent 51st session of the Tourist Council, decisions on the award of grants were made tourist communities in underdeveloped areas and support programs of destination management companies, and now the results of both tenders have been announced. last_img read more

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Girls don’t need Boy Scouts’ approval for validation

first_imgBut the solution to that imbalance shouldn’t be telling girls to abandon their Girl Scout troops to go after the boys’ honor.It should be giving the girls’ achievement — which requires working hard to build the same skills we celebrate so publicly in Eagle Scouts — the respect it deserves.By telling young women that they need to earn Eagle Scout rank to get the recognition and benefits it conveys, we are sending a crystal-clear message:To get the respect you deserve for your achievements, you have to join a historically male-oriented organization and meet that group’s definition of success.Putting in the hard work to make a difference in your community as part of a girl-centered organization just isn’t enough.I recognize that there are girls and families for whom the Girl Scouting programs in their communities don’t meet their needs.For older girls, existing coed Boy Scout programs can and do help address those shortfalls. Even for girls who aren’t currently participating in Girl Scouts, the move sends a troubling message: You can do more as a girl in a boys’ organization than you can as a girl in a girls’ organization.We already use what boys achieve in Boy Scouts as our point of reference for what girls accomplish in Girl Scouts because the former is more familiar to the broader public than the latter. Nowhere is this clearer than in the case of the Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the Gold Award.Proponents of the Boy Scouts’ policy change have emphasized girls’ newfound ability to earn Eagle Scout rank as one of the most exciting things about opening up aspects of Boy Scouting to girls.Colleges and prospective employers, they argue, understand the work it takes to become an Eagle Scout and see young men who have earned the Eagle Scout rank as attractive candidates. They’re not wrong.Achieving Eagle Scout status is a significant accomplishment, and the young men who earn it deserve the respect they get.And yes, the Eagle Scout rank is far more familiar to many Americans than the Gold Award.Indeed, I’ve spent the last 15 years explaining my Girl Scout Gold Award to friends, colleagues and prospective employers as the “Girl Scout version” of the Eagle Scout rank. Categories: Editorial, OpinionIn the latest of high-profile moves to open up its membership, the Boy Scouts of America announced last week that it would allow girls and young women to participate in more of its programming.Many see this as a big step forward for girls; another wall keeping young women from certain opportunities has fallen.And for some young women, the chance to participate in Boy Scouting programs will give them a chance to pursue their goals in exciting ways. But the new policy isn’t a straightforward win for girls.Initial reports on the Boy Scouts’ policy indicate that small groups for young members (known in the Boy Scouts as Cub Scout dens) will continue to be single gender, so girls will still have access to leadership opportunities in a single-gender environment.But there’s a difference between being in a girl-led group within a larger entity whose entire history and mission has been about serving boys and being part of an organization like the Girl Scouts whose central focus has always been on building “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”Even with careful research and preparation, Boy Scouts’ efforts to serve girls in single-gender groups will still be built on a long legacy of focusing on boys’ needs.Everything meant to serve girls specifically will be an adjustment, not the default, central focus.Will a Boy Scouts’ program meant to introduce girls to public service, for example, take the same careful steps to make sure young women meet female elected officials, like one in which I participated as a Girl Scout in high school?It’s not just that opening up the Boy Scouts to girls has the potential to move girls out of a girl-led, girl-centered organization. I know, because I also participated in one of those programs, Venturing, as a high school student in part to pursue activities beyond what my Girl Scout troop was offering.I applaud the activism of the young women who have been pushing for the policy change.Even if they find that Girl Scouts don’t meet their needs, identifying what you see as a problem in the world and working to change it is exactly what Girl Scouting teaches, and I hope they find fulfilling experiences in the new Boy Scouting programs.But the Boy Scouts’ policy change isn’t just about the opportunities it creates for individual girls.It’s about what we convey to young women about their achievements and the context in which they pursue them — that they are less valuable, simply because they weren’t designed by men.Molly E. Reynolds is a fellow in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution. She is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the USA and a recipient of the Girl Scout Gold Award.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

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