Of course we hoped that Joe Biden would win in such a landslide that the evening would end with the outcome clear, even as counting continued. That is not the case. But as stressful as this is, continued vote counting is not a sign that anything is wrong. The waiting sucks, though. Election night is ending without a clear winner in the presidential race—an outcome we’d hoped to avoid, but knew was a strong possibility. The massive increase in mail ballots combined with laws in some states that prevented those mail ballots being processed ahead of time means that some key states are—as predicted—still counting, and may be counting for days.Arizona’s vote counting has slowed to a crawl. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan all have large numbers of mail ballots to count, a process that could take days in some cases. Atlanta and its suburbs have significant numbers of votes to be counted, again, not until later Wednesday morning at the earliest. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Image:Jrue Holiday is considered to be one of the NBA’s elite defensive players Under new coach Stan Van Gundy, the Pelicans are expected to build around the young core of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Trading Holiday could allow them to get another young player or two for the long term and also shed salary.Holiday, 30, has two years and about $52 million left on a five-year, $131.8 million deal he signed with the Pelicans in July 2017. In 61 games last season, he averaged 19.1 points, 6.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds a game – all above his career averages of 15.9 points, 6.4 assists and 3.9 rebounds. He has played 713 career games (640 starts) with the Philadelphia 76ers (2009-13) and Pelicans.- Advertisement – Want to watch even more of the NBA and WNBA but don’t have Sky Sports? Get the Sky Sports Action and Arena pack, click here. – Advertisement – Last month, he won the NBA’s 2019-20 Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.Presented annually since 2012-13 and voted on by the players, the award “recognises the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on-and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to (the) team,” according to a league press release.The Pelicans finished the season 30-42. Head coach Alvin Gentry was fired after the team failed to make the playoffs.- Advertisement – The New Orleans Pelicans are involved in talks to trade veteran guard Jrue Holiday, according to US reports.The Athletic said on Wednesday that “several contending teams are pursuing” Holiday in a trade.- Advertisement –
“It’s always nice to get Alan a winner, I get a few good rides from him throughout the year.” – Advertisement – On To Victory finished well in the Town Moor gloom to land the Betfair November Handicap for Alan King in the hands of James Doyle.The six-year-old was breaking his duck for his new trainer having moved from Eve Johnson Houghton at the end of last year and he had been knocking on the door.- Advertisement – Placed in his last three races, he managed to get his head in front this time after a well-timed challenged under Doyle who was delighted with the success.“It set up quite nicely for him,” he said on Sky Sports Racing.“I thought I was tracking the right type of horses so I was pretty happy when I turned into the straight. On this ground you just hope you can keep the momentum going to the line.- Advertisement –
The Masters: Rory McIlroy has no concerns over where golf is going and expects Augusta National to pass test | Golf News
“But I don’t mind this. This is nice. It feels like everything this year, it’s more subdued, it’s more relaxed. That’s the feel for me, anyway.“Obviously Bryson is going to be feeling a little different because the attention is on him and deservedly so coming off the back of a major win and basically disrupting the game of golf over the last few months. It’s a big story, and I’m just as intrigued as everyone else to see how that unfolds.” Rory McIlroy on Augusta National: “I still think this golf course provides enough of a challenge to challenge the best players in the world”; watch The Masters live on Sky Sports’ dedicated channel from Thursday to Sunday with Featured Group coverage from 12.30pm on Thursday Last Updated: 11/11/20 6:16am McIlroy, who is once again chasing a career Grand Slam this week, admits he has not been at his best playing with no crowds since the restart, but was encouraged by his performance last time when he tied for 17th place at the ZoZo Championship.“Look, the game feels pretty good,” added the Northern Irishman. “Before the world changed in March, I was playing pretty good. I got to No 1 in the world, was playing pretty consistent golf, and then after we came back out of the lockdown, there’s been really good stuff in there, but there’s been some lacklustre stuff, too, lapses of concentration. You know, sometimes feeling like you’re out there and it doesn’t really count.
When the suit was filed, the plaintiffs argued that there was evidence of enough illegal mail-in ballots counted in the three counties to invalidate the election results.The case was one of several filed by allies of President Donald Trump and Trump’s own campaign as part of an effort to reverse Biden’s projected win in the national race for the White House.Those efforts have largely failed to gain traction and it is not clear that Trump has any chance of overturning his loss through legal actions. But that has not stopped the president both from claiming otherwise and from falsely claiming that he won the election.- Advertisement – The Wisconsin suit was filed just last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Green Bay. The named defendants included the clerks of the three counties, Wisconsin’s elections director and Elections Commission chair, Gov. Tony Evers, and other officials.The plaintiffs had argued that votes in the counties of Milwaukee, Dane and Menominee should be tossed out because “the sudden flood” of mail-in ballots had left election workers unable to carefully review those ballots for fraudulent ones.James Bopp, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, when asked why the case was dismissed, told CNBC in an email, that because of attorney-client privilege “and because I do not telegraph my next moves, I cannot comment.”Lawyers for defendants in the case did not immediately respond to requests for comment.The law firm Law Forward, which was founded to challenge challenge conservative election and voting-related legal efforts, said the dismissal was “an exercise in efficiency.”“This case was entirely without merit and the plaintiffs saved the court the trouble of saying so,” said Jeff Mandell, president of Law Forward, in a statement.Biden, the Democratic former vice president, narrowly defeated the Republican Trump in Wisconsin, which has 10 Electoral College votes.Biden received 1.63 million votes to 1.61 million votes for Trump, a margin of 49.5% to 48.8%.Trump has said he wants a recount of the votes in Wisconsin.Milwaukee County went heavily for Biden, giving him more than 69% percent of the ballots cast. The actual vote margin in that county was more than 180,000 ballots for Biden.Biden also far exceeded Trump in Dane County, which Biden won by 75.5% of the ballotsIn Menominee County, which had relatively few voters, Biden crushed Trump with 1,303 votes to just 278 votes for the incumbent.Even if Trump could somehow reverse the official vote results in Wisconsin, it would not be enough, on its own, to undo Biden’s projected victory in the Electoral College.With all 50 states results projected as of last Friday, Biden has 306 Electoral College votes, compared to just 232 votes for Trump. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Three plaintiffs whose federal lawsuit sought to invalidate all of the ballots in three Wisconsin counties that gave President-elect Joe Biden well more than his approximately 20,000 vote margin of victory in that state told a judge Monday that they were dismissing their case.The court filing by lawyers for plaintiffs, Michael Langenhorst, Michael LeMay and Stephen Fifrick, did not say they were voluntarily dismissing their claim in the case, which was backed by the conservative election group True the Vote. The notice of dismissal filed Monday said the claim was being dropped “without prejudice against” the defendants, which means the plaintiffs reserved their right to make the claims again.- Advertisement – Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign speech at the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, U.S., September 21, 2020.Mark Makela | Reuters
Pixel 4a has got a new limited edition colour variant called ‘Barely Blue’ and is currently up for sale on the Google store in the US “while supplies last.” The new variant adds to the ‘Just Black’ colour variant that’s already on sale. As of now, the Barely Blue variant is not listed on Indian retailers and as per Google Pixel phone specifications page, is currently exclusive to the US market. The phone is priced the same as the Just Black variant and comes with the same specifications as well.Pixel 4a Barely Blue priceThe Google Pixel 4a is now available in Just Black and a limited edition Barely Blue colour option in a single configuration – 6GB + 128GB priced at $349 (roughly Rs. 26,000). The new colour variant is currently available in the US till stocks last and as per the official Google Pixel specifications page, there is no information on if and when it will be available in other regions.- Advertisement – Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details. The Google Pixel 4a has 128GB of onboard storage that is not expandable via microSD card. Connectivity options on the smartphone include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, barometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. There is also a fingerprint sensor at the back.The phone is backed by a 3,140mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. There are also stereo speakers and two microphones, along with noise suppression support. Lastly, the phone measures 144×69.4×8.2mm and weighs 143 grams.Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.- Advertisement – In India, the Pixel 4a comes in the single Just Black colour variant that is priced at MRP Rs. 31,999.Pixel 4a Barely Blue specificationsAs mentioned earlier, the new variant of the Pixel 4a comes with the same specifications. The Google Pixel 4a runs on Android 11 and features a 5.81-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,340 pixels) OLED display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 443ppi of pixel density. The phone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC, paired with 6GB LPDDR4x RAM.In terms of optics, the Pixel 4a has a 12-megapixel camera sensor at the back with an f/1.7 lens. There is also optical image stabilisation (OIS). For selfies, the phone has an 8-megapixel camera sensor at the front with an f/2.0 lens housed in a hole-punch cut out located at the top left corner of the screen.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
May 30, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed yesterday six new cases of H5N1 avian flu in geographically widespread areas of the country, but none associated with the Karo, North Sumatra, family cluster that killed at least six people earlier this month.Of the six new cases, three have been fatal, raising the number of cases in Indonesia to 48 and the number of deaths to 36, all in 2005 and 2006, according to WHO statistics.In its report yesterday, the WHO identified a 10-year-old girl and her 18-year-old brother from Bandung, West Java, as among the fatalities. Both siblings, according to the WHO, had close contact with sick and dying chickens at their home the week before symptom onset. They showed symptoms May 16, were hospitalized May 22, and died the next day.”The identical onset dates,” the report says, “strongly suggest that [the patients] acquired their infection following a shared exposure to poultry, and not from each other.”A 39-year-old man from West Jakarta also died, according to the WHO. He developed symptoms May 9, was hospitalized May 16, and died May 19. He had cleaned pigeon droppings from roof gutters shortly before developing symptoms. Pigeons are among the bird species known to transmit H5N1.Among the other cases was an 18-year-old East Java man whose symptoms developed May 6 and who was hospitalized May 17. He had been exposed to dead chickens in his home the week before symptom onset and is now recovering, according to the WHO report. In addition, according to Reuters, he sorted chicken feathers at his job in a factory that makes shuttlecocks.The final two cases involve a 43-year-old man from South Jakarta and a 15-year-old girl from West Sumatra. The man developed symptoms May 6 and is now recovered and no longer hospitalized. The girl developed symptoms May 17 and is still hospitalized. The source of their infections remains under investigation, the WHO reported.Indonesia, which has recorded 31 human cases of avian flu and 25 deaths in this year alone—far more than any other country in 2006—continues to worry scientists, according to the Reuters news story. “Of course I am worried,” the story quotes Leo Poon, a University of Hong Kong microbiologist and H5N1 expert, as saying. “The problem has not improved at all in Indonesia. It’s not a good situation.”Redefining pandemic alert phasesIn other news, the WHO said today that it is refining its guidelines for its six-phase global pandemic alerts to make them clearer and plans to issue them in a few weeks, according to a separate Reuters report.”It was highlighted last week that there is some confusion over these phases—what we mean when we go from phase 3 to phase 4,” said WHO spokesperson Maria Cheng, as quoted by Reuters.The pandemic alert is currently at phase 3 (human infection has occurred, but there is no or rare human-to-human spread). Phase 6 signals a full-blown pandemic.”What we are trying to do is explain [it] in better terminology so that people understand [that] what we are looking for is not necessarily a numerical standard for the number of cases,” said Cheng. “We’re looking to detect any change in how the virus is transmitted.”Avian flu endemic in Africa?Because of lack of funds to combat its spread in birds, avian flu may become endemic in Africa, a senior official with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told Reuters today.”Africa is the continent where we are really worried to see endemicity becoming established,” FAO’s chief of animal health services, Joseph Domenech, told Reuters. “If this is the case, it will be a new plague for African farmers and will be a permanent reservoir for reinfection to other regions through trade and wild birds.”Domenech, according to Reuters, said that other countries should help Africa eradicate avian influenza.See also:WHO May 29 Indonesia reporthttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_05_29/en/index.html
Jun 2, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The global novel H1N1 influenza situation is drawing closer to the status of a true pandemic but is not there yet, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) lead spokesman on the issue said today.”Globally we believe we’re in phase 5 but are getting closer to phase 6,” said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO assistant director-general for health security and the environment, referring to the WHO’s pandemic alert phases.By the WHO definition, phase 5 means a novel virus is causing sustained community outbreaks in more than one country within one WHO region, in this case the Americas. Phase 6 signals a full pandemic, defined as a novel virus spreading widely in more than one global region. The phases as currently defined do not say anything about the severity of the disease, only its geographic extent.Speaking at a news briefing, Fukuda also said the WHO will come up with ways to describe the severity of the epidemic and provide related guidance so that governments will have more information on how to respond to the situation.Last week, after a number of countries voiced concern that a pandemic declaration would cause undue alarm and disruption in the context of a generally mild disease, Fukuda said the WHO would consider modifying its phase definitions. Today, in the wake of a teleconference with experts yesterday, he signaled that the WHO will stick with the current definitions, but promised the agency would supplement them by finding a way to describe the severity of the disease threat.Transitional countriesFukuda said several countries outside North America, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Chile, and Australia, seem to be moving from having limited H1N1 outbreaks related to travelers and institutions to having widespread community transmission.”However, we still are waiting for evidence of really widespread community activity in these countries, so I think it’s fair to say that they are in transition and are not quite there yet,” he said.He contrasted those countries with the United States, Mexico, and Canada, where the virus is widespread, and most other countries, where cases are limited and mostly linked to travel or to institutional outbreaks.As of today, the WHO has confirmations of 18,365 novel H1N1 cases in 64 countries, with 117 deaths, Fukuda reported. He said the WHO now plans to update its online H1N1 case count on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, instead of 5 days a week.Offering a kind of one-word descriptor that the WHO has generally avoided, he said, “It’s probably fair to call the situation moderate right now. We have some hesitation in calling it mild, for a couple of reasons.”One reason is that while the number of serious and fatal cases appears relatively low, the WHO doesn’t know the true proportion of severe cases, he said. Another reason is that the infection can be fatal in some people, including those with underlying medical problems, pregnant women, and even some who were previously healthy.Creating a severity scaleThe WHO’s decision to assess severity but not change the pandemic phase definitions comes out of a series of telephone consultations yesterday with about 30 experts from 23 countries, Fukuda reported.He said the discussions were fruitful and produced consensus in a number of areas: “The experts urged WHO to continue to use geographic spread as the basis for moving to phase 6, but also said WHO should modify this movement with an assessment of severity, and WHO should provide more tailored guidance to countries, responding to the severity.”Much of the discussion focused on how to assess severity, which has to do not only with the virulence of the virus but also with the vulnerability and resilience of populations, which are likely to vary from country to country, he said.The WHO may come up with something like a 3-point severity scale, Fukuda said. The agency hopes to develop a general severity assessment that will be useful to all countries but link it with detailed guidance to help local authorities assess their own situation and respond appropriately.”One of the things we hope to do is reduce some of the more drastic actions that may be uncalled for, but also provide guidance to countries regarding what steps they can take,” he added. He cited embargoes on pork and the slaughter of pigs, measures used by some countries in the early stages of the epidemic, as examples of uncalled-for actions.In other comments, Fukuda said the novel virus seems to be behaving pretty much the same in the southern hemisphere as it has in the northern hemisphere. In Chile and Australia, for example, most cases have been mild, but some severe cases with respiratory failure have occurred, just as in North America.”Overall, what we’re seeing in the first few countries in the southern hemisphere is similar to what we’re seeing in the northern hemisphere,” he said.He also reported that most of the flu viruses identified recently in Chile have been the novel H1N1 rather than the seasonal flu viruses that normally show up at this time of year.See also: May 26 CIDRAP News story “WHO may redefine pandemic alert phases”
Rural doctor and ‘genius grant’ winner nominated as surgeon generalPresident Barack Obama today nominated an Alabama family physician and MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” winner to be surgeon general. Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, founded a health clinic to serve tiny Bayou La Batre, Ala., home to poor, mostly uninsured African-American and immigrant Asian fishermen, and rebuilt it three times after two hurricanes and a fire. She is a faculty member at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.[Reuters story, Macarthur Foundation bio]Viruses of past flu pandemics circulated undetected for yearsThe influenza strains that caused the three pandemics of the 20th century did not emerge suddenly, but circulated for months or years, researchers from Tennessee and China say in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Applying a “molecular clock” calculation to viral isolates from the 1918, 1957, and 1968 pandemics, the researchers estimate that each strain evolved through a series of reassortments that included at least one flu virus contemporaneously circulating in swine or birds. Current surveillance programs will not detect such reassortments, they say.[PNAS abstract]
(CIDRAP Business Source Osterholm Briefing) – It’s a race right now! And it’s between the H1N1 virus and our long-awaited vaccine. Unfortunately, as I write this column, the virus is winning. So will your employees’ best defense against the fast-moving virus ultimately win out? Possibly. But don’t count on it.What does that mean for your organization? In short, plan on functioning without the benefit of much vaccine—and brace for more illness and rising absenteeism. And as I have discussed before, if the virus undergoes any substantial genetic change, the situation could change at any moment. Remember to keep your response proportional to the severity of disease; it’s your best strategy.The current lay of the landI’ll save a thorough analysis of the H1N1 vaccine production and distribution dilemma for another column. For now, suffice it to say the vaccine supply has been overpromised and underdelivered. But we’ve always known that a plentiful supply of effective vaccine was a big variable. No surprise there. And with the severe cutbacks in public health, school systems, and the healthcare system over the past decade, the gaps in our ability to effectively distribute the vaccine should have been apparent as well.Meanwhile, we’re seeing evidence of illness on the rise throughout most parts of the country and the Northern Hemisphere. Will the trend continue? Is this a pandemic wave about to crest? Or is this pandemic like the one in 1957 which had both fall and winter peaks? I wish I could give you an answer. I can’t, and neither can anyone else. But I can suggest that you take steps now to protect your employees to the best of your ability and with the understanding that, outside the workplace, much is outside your control.I realize that some of these steps may seem like no-brainers, others may challenge very fundamental policies, practices, and customs in your organization, and some may seem out of the realm of financial possibility. But I urge you to give each of them serious consideration if you truly want to protect your most precious asset—your employees. And I’ll offer some ideas gleaned from some savvy business leaders who attended the 2009 CIDRAP Summit.1. Insist that sick employees stay home until they are not infectiousI’m sure we’ve all been guilty at one time or another of showing up at work a little sick. Few of us would be where we are if we hadn’t pushed past a little nasal congestion or an annoying cough to meet important deadlines. But this is different.True, thus far the H1N1 pandemic for most people causes illness that is like seasonal influenza. But for some people, including some of your workforce and even essential employees, H1N1 illness can be extremely dangerous. We don’t fully understand why yet. But anyone with an influenza-like illness should not be exposing colleagues to what may be an unpredictable pandemic influenza virus, no matter how mild the symptoms may be.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (100º Fahrenheit or 38º Celsius) or signs of a fever (chills, feeling very warm, a flushed appearance, or sweating) without the use of fever-reducing medicines.You’re going to have to model this behavior yourself if you don’t want to give the impression that employees should do what they see rather than what you say.If you decide not to take this step, be sure to let everyone know that your company will not be following CDC guidance so there is no confusion, prepare for employee-relations issues, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.2. Ensure sick workers can stay home without fear of being penalizedThis is probably the hardest of the recommendations. But trust me, organizations who have adopted step 1 are figuring out how to make step 2 possible. As one human resources (HR) executive said during the summit, policies are designed to be big and broad and hard to change; however, protocols based on those policies can be flexible.Here are some of the ways organizations are tackling this step:Allowing employees to exhaust paid time off (PTO) hours and go into negative balancesAdvancing sick time up to a year of accrual (if, for example, the employee normally accrues 5 days of sick time per year and has used all 5 days, then you may want to consider advancing another 5 days)Suspending point attendance policies during the H1N1 influenza pandemicProviding a special time-off allotment for H1N1 Allowing employees to donate leave to othersFor more information on this step, please check out the 2009 CIDRAP Summit page, especially the human resources breakout presentations.If you decide not to take this step, be prepared for a form of “presenteeism” that will surely affect productivity and morale, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.3. Send sick employees home—consistentlyThe symptoms of influenza hit fast. So an employee can leave home feeling fine and arrive at work in terrible shape. And they’ll be extremely contagious at that point. I doubt they’ll be able to hide how sick they are or even want to hide it (unless they are worried about financial security). But they may not be able to get home easily. So they need to be separated from healthy employees immediately. All your supervisors need to know they are legally within their rights to send workers home and should apply the protocol consistently.By the way, this step also applies to you. Don’t try to gut it out. As someone with pandemic planning and response knowledge, you are vital to your organization, especially now. So don’t risk your own health, or anyone else’s.If you decide not to take this step, prepare for lower productivity and disruption from disgruntled employees, and know that a consequence may well be greater absenteeism than you expected.Bottom line for organizationsNo one knows if your employees will be able to get vaccinated in time to prevent becoming sick from the H1N1. No one knows if the current rise in illness is peaking or will continue to climb. So look closely at how best to protect your employees, even if the steps I’ve outlined push your organization past its comfort zone. Run a cost-benefit analysis if you need an objective measure. I think you’ll find the benefits are likely to far outweigh the risks.