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White House Unveils $2.5B Emergency Coronavirus Plan

White House Unveils $2.5B Emergency Coronavirus Plan

first_img“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” he tweeted. In San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took a walking tour of Chinatown on Monday to let the public know the neighborhood is safe and open for business. FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2020 file photo, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats controlling the House wrote HHS Secretary Alex Azar earlier this month to request funds to help speed development of a coronavirus vaccine, expand laboratory capacity, and beef up screening efforts at U.S. entry points. Azar is slated to testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, and the U.S. response to the outbreak is sure to be a major topic. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) The United States, however, has had only 14 cases of the disease spread across seven states. Azar is slated to testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, and the U.S. response to the outbreak is sure to be a major topic. The request was released Monday evening and came as key government accounts were running low. The Department of Health and Human Services had already tapped into an emergency infectious disease rapid response fund and was seeking to transfer more than $130 million from other HHS accounts to combat the virus but is pressing for more. The quickly spreading virus has slammed the economy of China, where the virus originated, and caseloads are rapidly increasing in countries such as South Korea, Iran, and Italy. Almost 80,000 people have contracted the disease, with more than 2,500 deaths, mostly in China. Democrats controlling the House wrote HHS Secretary Alex Azar earlier this month to request funds to help speed development of a coronavirus vaccine, expand laboratory capacity, and beef up screening efforts at U.S. entry points. In a statement Monday night, Pelosi called the president’s request “long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency.” She said the House would advance “a strong, strategic funding package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis.” Trump took to Twitter Monday to defend his record. “Çome to Chinatown,” Pelosi said. “Precautions have been taken by our city, we know that there’s concern about tourism, traveling all throughout the world, but we think it’s very safe to be in Chinatown and hope that others will come.” The administration is requesting $1.25 billion in new funding and wants to transfer $535 million more in funding from an Ebola preparedness account that’s been a top priority of Democrats. It anticipates shifting money from other HHS accounts and other agencies to complete the $2.5 billion response plan. Democrats said the request was insufficient and that Trump’s attempt to go after existing Ebola prevention funding was dead on arrival. “All of the warning lights are flashing bright red. We are staring down a potential pandemic and the administration has no plan,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who blasted a shortage of kits to test for the virus and President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts to health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We have a crisis of coronavirus and President Trump has no plan, no urgency, no understanding of the facts or how to coordinate a response.” FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2020 file photo, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats controlling the House wrote HHS Secretary Alex Azar earlier this month to request funds to help speed development of a coronavirus vaccine, expand laboratory capacity, and beef up screening efforts at U.S. entry points. Azar is slated to testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, and the U.S. response to the outbreak is sure to be a major topic. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)center_img House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., called the plan “woefully insufficient.” Trump was a vocal critic of President Barack Obama’s response to the 2014 Ebola scare, which barely touched the U.S. but was seen as a factor in that year’s midterm elections, which restored control of the Senate to Republicans. The White House budget office said the funds are for vaccines, treatment and protective equipment. The request was immediately slammed by Democrats as insufficient and came as coronavirus fears were credited with Monday’s 1,000-plus point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and are increasingly seen as a potential political threat to President Donald Trump. Senators returning to Washington after a weeklong recess will receive a classified briefing Tuesday morning on the government’s coronavirus response, a Senate aide said. A spokeswoman for Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said the panel “will take their input into account as we continue to do our due diligence to determine what additional resources are necessary.” Related: What EMS Providers Need to Know about the Novel Coronavirus Pelosi, a Democrat who represents the heavily Chinese American city, visited the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, whose owner Kevin Chan, says his business and others are down 70% since the outbreak of the coronavirus. WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House on Monday sent lawmakers an urgent $2.5 billion plan to address the deadly coronavirus outbreak, whose rapid spread and threat to the global economy rocked financial markets. Related: San Antonio (Texas) Uses Special Ambulance to Transport Coronavirus Patient ___ “Despite urgent warnings from Congress and the public health community, the Trump administration took weeks to request these emergency funds,” Lowey said in a statement. “Their answer now is to raid money Congress has designated for other critical public health priorities.” “Today, the Administration is transmitting to Congress a $2.5 billion supplemental funding plan to accelerate vaccine development, support preparedness and response activities and to procure much needed equipment and supplies,” said White House budget office spokeswoman Rachel Semmel. “We are also freeing up existing resources and allowing for greater flexibilities for response activities.” Among the needs is funding to reimburse the Pentagon, which is housing evacuees from China – who are required to undergo 14-day quarantines – at several military bases in California. Associated Press writer Janie Har in San Francisco contributed to this report.last_img read more

Prairie Village council will hold final vote on beekeeping ordinance in February

Prairie Village council will hold final vote on beekeeping ordinance in February

first_imgPrairie Village residents will be limited to two hives per property under the new ordinance.Prairie Village residents are one step closer to being able to legally keep bees on their properties.The city council’s committee of the whole last week unanimously approved a set of proposed changes to the city’s animal control ordinance that would explicitly make beekeeping legal.The police department worked closely with area beekeeping advocates to craft an ordinance that attempted to strike a balance between concerns over safety and not over-regulating.The language approved by the council committee of the whole would allow beekeeping with the following stipulations:Beekeepers must maintain a local source of water on the premise to discourage bees from leaving the property to find water.Beekeepers are limited to two hives per property.Hives must be kept 10 feet from the property line.Hives must be kept within a yard with a fence that is at least 42 inches high and that has a “fly away structure” — a hedge or other high feature that encourage the bees to fly up and over surrounding properties instead of low in their yards — if the fence is less than six feet high.The changes will come before the city council for a final vote at its first meeting in February.last_img read more

In focus: Common values key to transatlantic mergers

In focus: Common values key to transatlantic mergers

first_imgMax WaltersSuch mergers bring an increased global footprint, more clients in different sectors and (all going well) more profit.But the stumbling blocks are not unnoticed, particularly when it comes to culture clashes. Such conflicts have already been blamed for the collapse of one major newly merged firm.This is one reason Womble Bond Dickinson is running a Transatlantic Lawyer Network (TLN), which it said will strengthen relationships and ‘promote wider integration’ between UK and US offices. UK solicitors have visited offices in Atlanta and Charlotte, while US lawyers are set to visit London in September.According to the firm, lawyers will build ‘business culture awareness’ and ‘bolster understanding of the different jurisdictions’. Jonathan Blair, the firm’s co-chair and UK managing partner, says that UK lawyers will be given a ‘better understanding of how the firm operates’ in the US.Another US firm, Jenner & Block, which entered the London market in 2015, found a similar approach to be useful. Charlie Lightfoot, managing partner, said several US partners became resident in London to help other partners understand the firm’s ethos and to integrate.After global firm King & Wood Mallesons collapsed in early 2017, one former partner told the Gazette the ‘Swiss verein’ model it operated under was partly to blame for its demise. The former partner said the three main arms of the firm, in China, Australia and Europe, ‘did nothing but co-exist alongside each other and shared no common values’. They added: ‘I think there was, and still is, a cultural divide between China and Europe.’William Cecil, partner at Haynes and Boone CDG, does not see this as a problem so far as the US and UK are concerned. The combined firm is a result of a 2016 merger between US-based Haynes and Boone and London firm Curtis Davis Garrard.Cecil says his experience showed there are ‘far greater cultural differences’ between some law firms in London than between some US and UK law firms. However, he warns that US firms should appreciate that the London office will be ‘subject to a considerable amount of additional regulation than they will be used to’. He adds: ‘That is not something that of course should dissuade a US law firm from opening in London, but they need to appreciate the time and resources required to ensure compliance.’US firm Locke Lord, which has an office in London, felt the sharp end of close regulation late last year after it was fined a record sum under an agreement with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.Haynes and Boone CDG encourages all of its UK lawyers to visit the US. Cecil says both firms were keen to ensure that there was a good cultural fit before going ahead with the merger. He adds: ‘Having a similar culture makes the merger and integration process much smoother and the importance of similar firm cultures should not be underestimated. If one of the merger parties needs to significantly change its working practices or culture, then it is probably not a good fit with the other firm in the first place.’Eversheds Sutherland also ran an exchange programme called ‘Pass the Baton’ shortly after its combination. It aimed to ‘break down geographical barriers and build a collective understanding’. Each exchange visit was for around two weeks and lawyers were asked to record and share their experiences.New York-based Sarah Chaudhry, who visited the London office, noticed a difference in communication styles.‘In the UK, attorneys and clients both provide, by US standards, a rather extensive overview of a matter or issue that they are, respectively, working on or for which they are seeking counsel,’ she told the Gazette. ‘Understanding this distinction allows us in the US to more effectively communicate with our UK colleagues and clients.’ Transatlantic unions are all the rage, and not just weddings. Over the past year a spate of law firms have exchanged vows.,Bond Dickinson’s merger with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice last year created Womble Bond Dickinson – a global top 100 firm. A few months earlier international firm Eversheds combined with US-based Sutherland Asbill & Brennan creating a 2,300-lawyer firm. Magic circle outfit Allen & Overy is meanwhile seeking a US partner, with O’Melveny & Myers believed to be a frontrunner.last_img read more

Government pledges to cut wedding red tape – as wait for divorce gets longer

Government pledges to cut wedding red tape – as wait for divorce gets longer

first_imgThe government has announced that it will make life easier for couples wanting to get married by freeing up more ‘dream venues’ – as separated couples face record waits to get divorced.Prime minister Theresa May and lord chancellor David Gauke have asked the Law Commission to review the laws on how and where wedding ceremonies can take place. The two-year project will explore how red tape can be removed to increase choice and lower costs. The government says the review, announced on Saturday, could open up opportunities for civil ceremonies at sea, in private homes or on military sites for service personnel.Plans to allow civil weddings and partnerships out of doors will be accelerated.May said: ‘As both home secretary and prime minister I have been proud to sponsor the legislation that created equal marriage, and to extend civil partnerships to ensure all couples are given the same choices in life.’The vital institution of marriage is a strong symbol of wider society’s desire to celebrate commitment between partners. But we can do more to bring the laws on marriage ceremonies up to date and to support couples in celebrating their commitment. This review will look at how we can ensure marriage keeps pace with modern Britain.’Gauke said ‘people from all walks of life should be able to express their vows in a way that is meaningful to them’.But while the government seeks to open up more wedding venues, waiting times at the 11 venues that process divorce applications have leaped up.Quarterly statistics published by the Ministry of Justice, covering January to March this year, show that the average time from petition to decree absolute is 59 weeks. The average time from petition to decree nisi is 33 weeks.The government’s response to a parliamentary written question from shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon MP about the average wait time at each divorce centre in 2015 and 2019 suggests that the increase is not a blip. Waiting times have risen across the country since the divorce centres were set up in 2015. The least affected region is the Midlands, where couples have to wait 3.6 weeks longer (24 weeks in 2015, 27.6 weeks now). The south-east is the worst hit, with couples waiting four months longer (24.7 weeks in 2015, 41 weeks now).Justice minister Paul Maynard said staff shortages at Bury St Edmunds had led to some delays in the south east, but the centre is now fully staffed and performance is improving. More judges have been recruited and sitting days have been increased.A question mark remains over the future of the centres.Maynard said: ‘Divorce can be a deeply distressing time which is why an online divorce application was introduced as part of the £1bn reform programme. Separating couples can fill in simplified forms, submit documents and pay online – leading to significantly fewer errors and an easier, cheaper application process.’last_img read more

All eyes on Griffith; Griffith eyes successful title defence

All eyes on Griffith; Griffith eyes successful title defence

first_imgThe crème de la crème of Guyana’s cyclists will take to the Essequibo Coast for the third annual Urban Benjamin Memorial with riders battling in a grueling 72-mile road race today. The Evolution cycling club-organised race, which begins from 09.00 hours will see the riders taking to the starting line in front of the Charity Primary School before heading east to the Supenaam Stelling where they will complete 37 miles and turn around to head back to the starting line in pursuit of the checkered flag.All eyes will be on Team Evolution’s Christopher “Chicken Legs” Griffith who will be looking to defend his title which he secured seven seconds short of three hours while his teammate and former winner, Paul De Nobrega will want to add the accolade to his long list of titles.While both riders have not had the best of runs so far this year, the likes of Alonzo Ambrose, Jamaul John, Briton John, Andrew Hicks, Deeraj Garbaran, Romello Crawford, Para-Olympic cyclist, Walter Grant-Stuart, Marcus Keilier, Curtis Dey, Andre Greene, Akeem Wilkinson, Jornel Yearwood and company will also be vying for supremacy. Also, experience will play a factor in the race as the veterans could upset the seniors especially with Horace Burrowes, defending champion, Warren “40” McKay, Junior Niles, Andrew Spencer, Ian Jackson and Jaikaran Sukhai all geared up and ready.Fresh off the Junior Caribbean Championships, Ajay Gopilall, David Hicks, Ralph Seenarine, Mario Washington and Jonathan Ramsuchit will be pulling out all the stops to take the crown in the younger age group category. Entrance fee is set at $2000 per rider.last_img read more