People – Slave To The System Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:31:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 People – Slave To The System 32 32 SpaceX Inspiration4 Launches Four People into Orbit on Company’s First-ever Tourism Mission Thu, 16 Sep 2021 02:43:00 +0000 The launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida was dramatically illuminated by floodlights against the night sky, and when the nine SpaceX rocket engines ignited just after 8 p.m. ET, they flooded the surrounding wetlands. of a flame of light as it soared into the upper atmosphere and made a dramatic and ghostly light show above. After reaching orbital speeds – over 17,000 miles per hour – the capsule carrying the four passengers detached from the rocket and began to maneuver into its intended orbit.

The team of amateurs – which includes a billionaire who self-funded the mission, a cancer survivor, a community college teacher and a Lockheed Martin employee – strapped into their 13-foot SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. wide Wednesday afternoon before their SpaceX rocket roared for life and detonated the capsule in orbit. The crew will remain aboard their capsule for three days as it flies over orbit before returning on Saturday for a landing off the coast of Florida.

For the next three days, passengers will float around the capsule as it circles the planet once every 90 minutes, traveling at over 17,500 miles per hour, while passengers float and admire panoramic views of the Earth. To top off the trip, their spaceship will dive back into the atmosphere for a fiery re-entry and splash off the coast of Florida.

Splashdown is currently scheduled for Saturday, but that could change if weather or other issues cause an earlier or later return. The capsule contains enough food and supplies to about a week.

This is only the third crewed launch from U.S. soil in the past decade.

The crew includes 38-year-old billionaire Jared Isaacman, who personally funded the trip; Hayley Arceneux, 29, childhood cancer survivor and current medical assistant at St. Jude; Sian Procotor, 51, geologist and community college teacher with a doctorate; and Chris Sembroski, a 42-year-old Lockheed Martin employee and longtime space fan who claimed his seat through an online raffle.

The four passengers will spend the entire mission aboard the SpaceX capsule, a 13-foot-wide gumball-shaped spacecraft that detaches from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket after reaching orbital speeds and was originally built for carry NASA astronauts.

And yes, during the three days in space, passengers will all have to share a special non-gravity toilet located near the top of the capsule. No showers will be available and the crew will all have to sleep in the same reclining seats they will use during launch.

SpaceX is hoping this will be the first of many similar tourist missions, paving the way for a future where it’s as common to take a space trip as it is to jump on a plane. And the Crew Dragon capsule is SpaceX’s first stop on the way. Although it was designed and built under a contract with NASA and intended to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station, SpaceX still owns and operates the vehicle and is licensed to sell seats or missions. whole to whom the companies wish it. And with that, SpaceX and its space tourism customers can design the entire mission – from selecting the flight path and training regiment to choosing which foods passengers will munch on in orbit.

At a press briefing on Tuesday night, Sembroski, the 42-year-old who obtained his ticket via a raffle, told reporters joining the Inspriation4 mission felt like “we write the rules, we break them. a few that NASA used to demand … We can sort of do it our way. “

This is far from the first time that civilians have traveled in space. Although NASA has been opposed to hiring non-astronauts on routine missions after the death of Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire teacher who was killed in the Challenger disaster in 1986, a cohort of wealthy amateurs thrill ride paid its own way to the International Space Station in the 2000s through a company called Space Adventures. American investment management billionaire Dennis Tito became the first to self-fund a trip in 2001 with his eight-day stay on the International Space Station, and six more have come after him. They all booked rides alongside professional astronauts aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

This mission, however, has been touted as the start of a new era of space travel in which average people, rather than government-selected astronauts and the occasional adventurer with deep pockets, wear the mantle of the space exploration.

But to be clear, we are still far from that reality, and this trip is still far from “average”. This is a one-time, personalized mission funded by a billionaire founder of a payment processing company, and while pricing details have not been made public, it likely cost over $ 200 million. . (According to a government report, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule costs around $ 55 million per seat.)
Jared Isaacman during deployment to Launch Complex 39A on September 11, 2021.
Isaacman – who will become the third billionaire to self-fund space travel in the past three months and the first to purchase orbit travel on a SpaceX capsule – presents the mission as one that he hopes will inspire future space adventurers. Hence the name of the mission, Inspiration4. He’s also using it as the centerpiece of a $ 200 million fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, of which $ 100 million he personally donated and the rest he hopes to raise through online donations and at an auction scheduled to start Thursday. Items will include a ukulele that Sembroski will play in space and 66 pounds of beer hops.

So far, the fundraiser has brought in $ 31 million of its goal of $ 100 million.

Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified Christa McAuliffe’s home state.

CDC study: Unvaccinated people 11 times more likely to die from Covid-19 Sat, 11 Sep 2021 22:26:50 +0000

As the Biden administration ramps up efforts to get the shots fired, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released a new study that highlights the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines against serious illness or death.

The study, which looked at hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19 over a period of more than three months, found that unvaccinated people are more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19 than those who have been vaccinated, and 11 times more likely to die from the virus, according to CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

The study – along with two others also released by the CDC on Friday – is still an early version, which means there could be changes in the final version. But the results nonetheless provide some clarity on the state of the pandemic as the delta variant leaves its mark on communities across the country.

As the delta variant spread in the United States over the summer, the study also found that protection against initial infections decreased slightly – but “the vaccine’s effectiveness against the hospitalization and death hardly declined during the entire period, “according to the Washington Post.

Another of the studies confirmed that the efficacy remains high overall. The three vaccines available in the United States – manufactured by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson – are 86% effective in preventing hospitalizations due to Covid-19 and 82% effective in preventing emergency room visits or healthcare. emergency due to the virus, according to the study’s findings. The researchers also found that Moderna is the most effective at preventing hospitalizations, at 95%, with the Johnson & Johnson injection providing about 60% protection against hospitalizations.

Despite the remarkable effectiveness of Covid vaccines, however, the virus continues to plague the United States as the country grapples with vaccine resistance.

Americans still lag behind other wealthy countries in immunization, and only 52.76% of eligible Americans are fully immunized, according to the New York Times. In the United States, only about 700,000 doses of the vaccine are given each day, about 300,000 fewer than the Japanese immunization program currently reports, despite Japan’s smaller population.

Currently, the United States averages nearly 146,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, compared to less than 12,000 new cases per day at certain times in June of this year. At the height of the pandemic this winter, the country was reporting on average more than 250,000 cases per day.

But a new move towards stricter vaccine requirements coincides with a seven percent decrease in daily reported Covid-19 cases over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times. Tests are also up 21% over the same period, with an average of over 1.6 million tests administered per day.

Deaths, however – which tend to lag behind in new cases – are currently on the rise in the United States. As of Friday, the country recorded an average of more than 1,600 deaths per day from the virus.

While this latest statistic is grim, however, there are signs that the delta-fueled outbreak of cases over the summer is leveling off at least as more people get vaccinated.

Cases in Mississippi, where the virus has pushed hospital capacity beyond its limits, have declined by a third in the past two weeks. In Tennessee, which currently has the highest number of cases per capita of any state, the vaccination rate increased 47% from July 12 to August 2, and the rate of increase in infections in the state began to rise. to slow down.

“Our patience is running out”

As the United States continues to fight Covid-19, President Joe Biden announced Thursday that all businesses with more than 100 employees must require either vaccination or weekly testing for Covid-19.

“Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who still go unvaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective and free,” Biden said at a press conference Thursday, denouncing this which he called “pandemic politics”. From Republican leaders who downplayed the importance of Covid-19, spread disinformation and fought against measures like vaccination and mask-wearing.

“We cannot allow these actions to stand in the way of protecting the vast majority of Americans who have done their part and want to get back to normal lives,” Biden said.

U.S. companies are also warming to vaccine mandates, with big companies like United Airlines and Tyson Foods implementing vaccine requirements for their workers. United has set a Sept. 27 deadline for vaccinations for all its U.S.-based employees, and it says more than half of its previously unvaccinated employees have now been vaccinated, according to NPR.

Pediatric cases of Covid-19 are on the rise

However, despite the important protection offered by vaccines, not everyone is yet eligible. The Food and Drug Administration has yet to clear a Covid-19 vaccine for children under 12, and pediatric cases of Covid-19 are increasing as children return to school in person – especially in schools. States that have pushed back mask warrants.

Public schools in New York City, the largest school system in the country, will test their own Covid-19 policies on Monday at the start of the school year. All employees of the New York City Department of Education must be fully immunized by September 27.

This is also the case in Los Angeles, which on Thursday became the first major public school district in the United States to mandate Covid-19 vaccines for all eligible students as well as teachers after a unanimous school board vote.

In Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis is currently fighting to prevent districts from demanding masks, pediatric deaths from Covid-19 have more than doubled since July. While the death toll is still extremely low compared to other age groups – only 17 children have died from Covid-19 in the state since the start of the pandemic – seven of those deaths have occurred between March 2020, when the epidemic began in the United States, and July 2021, a period of 15 months. The remaining 10 took place after July 30 of this year, Politico reported Thursday.

Additionally, according to Politico, the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office is investigating the anti-mask mandate policy of the Florida public education system. In a letter to Robert Corcoran, commissioner of the Florida Department of Education, Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Suzanne Goldberg warned that the policy could violate the civil rights of children with disabilities by preventing them from “safely returning to their homes. in-person education ”.

With the increase in pediatric cases – and the scrutiny of Covid-19 prevention policies at school – pressure is being placed on vaccine manufacturers to determine whether their inoculations are safe for children.

According to German newspaper Der Spiegel, BioNTech will share the results of its clinical trials in children aged 5 to 11 this month, seeking global approval for the vaccine for use in this age group.

This could mean that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could be authorized for children in this age group as early as the end of October, Reuters reported on Friday.

BioNTech, which has partnered with Pfizer to manufacture its vaccine, also intends to seek approval for use in children aged 6 months to 2 years by the end of the year, and Moderna has said it has completed its list of clinical trials of its vaccine in children aged 6 to 11 and is working to determine an appropriate dosage for children as young as 6 months old.

In the meantime, however, Biden officials have stressed that widespread adoption of the vaccine among those eligible for the vaccine is the best way to reduce pediatric cases of Covid-19.

“That’s why this collective responsibility we have as a society to make sure that we don’t just take care of our own health, but reduce the chances of us passing a virus on to someone who is more vulnerable – that’s is why this is so important, ”Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Friday. “And that’s what the efforts announced yesterday by the president will help us do: reduce transmission, protect lives and protect our children too.” “

DCH Health System CEO Describes Problems Facing Young People With COVID-19 Wed, 08 Sep 2021 23:37:00 +0000

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (WBRC) – It wasn’t the coronavirus that hit your grandparents the most last year.

DCH’s healthcare system is now seeing younger people between the ages of 25 and 49 become infected with the coronavirus. “This age group has generated the highest number of positive COVID test results,” DCH Health System CEO Paul Betz said in a coronavirus update with the Chamber of Commerce of western Alabama.

DCH had 147 hospitalized patients positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday morning. 39 of them were in intensive care and 26 of these patients were on ventilators.

The death rate is the highest among those 65 and over since the start of the pandemic, but Betz and others are troubled by what they are seeing now with the increase. “If you look at the blue bar in the 65 and over age group, deaths are decreasing in that age group. But deaths among 50 to 64 year olds are on the rise. So the point is that younger and younger people are dying from this recent wave of pandemic, ”he continued.

Betz says more people seem willing to get the DCH vaccine. About two months ago, only a hundred people were getting vaccinated when the drive-through clinic was open on Fridays. As of Friday, around 600 people were vaccinated. At the last checks, 300 more are scheduled for this next Friday.

Copyright 2021 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Experts: Vaccinated people protected even without a booster injection – WISH-TV | Indianapolis News | Indiana weather Sat, 04 Sep 2021 19:07:04 +0000

(CNN) – Health experts reinforce that full vaccination remains highly effective against serious illness and death caused by COVID-19 as federal regulators consider the possibility of allowing a third dose in the coming weeks .

“What is the purpose of this vaccine? The stated goal of (CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky) and others is to prevent serious infections, and all of today’s data, released by the CDC, presented by the CDC, is exactly what it does, ”Dr. Paul Offit, a senior vaccine expert and US Food and Drug Administration adviser, said Friday.

“There has been no evidence of a clear erosion of protection against critical illness,” he said.

The conversation around vaccines has fluctuated as health experts learn new information about the coronavirus and its variants.

But in the midst of the debate, experts are consistent in noting the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Remember that even the current doses of vaccines still protect you just as well from hospitalization and death. We’re not back in early 2020 or even early 2021 for those of us who haven’t received any boosters yet. We are still protected from the worst effects of this virus, ”Dr. Megan Ranney, professor of emergency medicine at Brown University, told CNN on Friday.

CNN analysis of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from August suggests more than 99.99% of fully vaccinated people have not had a breakthrough case of COVID-19 resulting in hospitalization or death .

And it is because of such a level of protection that Offit stressed that America can make significant progress against the pandemic by simply vaccinating the unvaccinated.

He added that the messages from the federal government on the booster injections have been confusing and frustrating.

“It’s confusing for people. I’ve had a number of calls and emails from people saying, “Wait, so I’m not fully protected anymore? »», Declared Offit.

“I think the message that should come out now is that if you’ve been given two doses of mRNA vaccines you have a very good chance of not having a serious infection, and this has lasted until now, that you should consider yourself protected against critical illness.

About 62.2% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while about 52.9% are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data. Of the 10 states with the worst rates of COVID-19 cases in the past week, seven of them also had among the top 10 vaccination rates, according to the agency.

Plan for booster shots ‘confusing people’, says senior FDA official

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to meet on September 17 to discuss COVID-19 booster injections. Last month, the White House said people who received the two mRNA vaccines – the two-shot vaccines made by Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna – could receive boosters starting September 20.

However, on Thursday, acting FDA commissioner Dr Janet Woodcock said the administration still did not have enough data on the safety of booster injections.

“Why announce this? Well, we have to have a plan and the plan would involve vaccinating huge numbers of people in the United States with a booster dose, ”Woodcock told WebMD’s Dr. John Whyte in a virtual interview posted in line Thursday.

“We have to make a plan before we have all the data and I think, John, that’s what confuses people,” Woodcock said.

“The trends that we are seeing in resistance to the virus in fully immune people lead us to believe that at some point we are going to cross that threshold and we are going to see more serious hospitalizations and illness and when that happens we want to be ready, ”Woodcock told Whyte.

True, White House officials have announced that the deployment of the recall will be subject to FDA green light and CDC approval. Woodcock said on Thursday the data already showed waning immunity in those vaccinated.

Officials told CNN on Friday that there had been conversations within the Biden administration about reducing the recall plan over fears the FDA was prepared to recommend recalls for people who received the. Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, the agency does not have enough data on Moderna to make this recommendation, an official told CNN.

Pfizer / BioNTech sought FDA approval for a booster injection last month, and Moderna said it applied on Wednesday.

Florida sees drop in COVID-19 cases

Meanwhile, there has been good news from Florida, which has broken its own record for new COVID-19 cases several times in the past month. Over the past week, there has been a drop in cases, according to data released Friday by the state’s health department.

The state averaged about 18,463 new cases daily last week, which equates to 588.1 new cases per 100,000 people every day between August 27 and September 2. This is a decrease from the previous week, when the average of new daily cases was 21,678.

Florida has fully immunized just over half of its population, according to CDC data.

Meanwhile, the mask tenure feud between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and public school districts continues. DeSantis has been fighting with school officials for weeks because he banned mask warrants in schools, but some have implemented them anyway.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has sent individual letters to nine districts demanding that districts “document how your district is complying with the Florida Department of Health emergency rule” as part of ” a non-compliance investigation. He also threatened to withhold state funds if districts did not fully comply with DeSantis’ order to include a parent opt-out option in school mask tenure policies.

CNN has confirmed that all nine districts have now responded to Corcoran’s August 27 letter.

They argued that they were complying with Florida law and viewed the warrant as a health and safety necessity. Some districts also mentioned last week’s decision by a Florida judge who said DeSantis did not have the power to ban mask warrants altogether. DeSantis filed a notice of appeal of the judge’s decision on Thursday.

Battle of disinformation and COVID: Doctors warn people not to take ivermectin to treat COVID Thu, 02 Sep 2021 02:36:11 +0000

HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (Central Valley) – The pest control drug Ivermectin is making headlines because people are using it to try and treat COVID-19.

The Texas Poison Control Network received more calls last month related to ivermectin exposure than they received for all of 2020.

The drug is safe to use under the right circumstances, but doctors have sounded the alarm bells that people are using the drug for something it is not supposed to do, and they blame the misinformation on the internet.

“It’s a daily battle, we are fighting misinformation and we are fighting COVID,” said Dr Federico Vallejo, intensive care physician at DHR Health.

Vallejo told ValleyCentral that he has been battling misinformation around ivermectin for months.

Vallejo said it’s used to treat parasites and intestinal worms – as well as topically spread to treat lice. “And it’s a great drug for this treatment.”

Ivermectin can be used by people but it does require a prescription, so anyone looking to get ivermectin should talk to a doctor, but many of them will not prescribe the drug to treat COVID-19 because it is not approved by the FDA for this use.

Vallejo said there is no study that shows ivermectin to work to treat COVID-19, but there is “a randomized, controlled, double-blind study – the way we’re supposed to do studies for drugs – which show no benefit for ivermectin. “

A version formulated to treat parasites in large farm animals can be found in farm supply stores and is used by people to try and treat COVID-19. Dr Ivan Melendez, the Hidalgo County health authority, said this is where people get sick.

“The preparation between the veterinary and human doses has to do with the purity, the dosage, the preparations. So even though it’s the same formula, it’s packaged and concentrated differently, ”Melendez said.

The FDA and CDC both say not to take ivermectin to treat COVID-19, but some people still have. The Texas DSHS issued a statement saying more people called the state’s poison control number because of ivermectin last month, 64, than for all of 2020, 48.

“Merck, the pharmaceutical company [company], whoever profits by selling it for COVID, they say don’t use it, ”Vallejo said.

Melendez and Vallejo both recommend that people get the COVID-19 vaccine instead of taking ivermectin.

Lightly worn work clothes are needed to help people return to work Wed, 25 Aug 2021 14:33:05 +0000

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – If you’ve been thinking about cleaning your wardrobe, here’s a great incentive. Many people in the Las Vegas Valley are returning to work and in need of appropriate clothing.

Lightly worn work clothes, which you might not wear anymore, could help someone look their best for an interview or even land a job after 18 months which are very difficult for many people.

HELP from the Workforce Services Department of Southern Nevada helps people re-enter the workforce and part of that involves a visit to their clothing store where donated clothing is given to customers.

Christina Sewell, manager of the Workforce Services program, says there are seminars and workshops to offer career advice and even help land interviews.

“Help me get the experience I need to talk to people. They work on communication; how you are supposed to act while working and how to be able to help yourself, ”said Sophia Bermudez, HELP of Southern Nevada client.

HELP is turning to the community this week as National Used Wardrobe Day is Wednesday, August 25.

Currently, HELP of Southern Nevada is in need of second-hand work clothing, such as women’s clothing for plus size and small, women’s flat dress shoes, men’s polo shirts, white shirts, and black pants. Accessories and men’s ties are also needed.

For those who wish to make donations, please contact

The psychology behind why some people still don’t want the COVID-19 vaccine Mon, 23 Aug 2021 18:44:25 +0000

As COVID-19 digits increase yet again here in Michigan, some striking truths emerge. The first is that the delta variant is very aggressive and is believed to be the source of the vast majority of new cases of COVID-19, the second is that these new cases aren’t just happening in unvaccinated people, and the third truth is that there are still so many currently unvaccinated people in Michigan and across the country. A psychology professor explains why, despite the threat posed by delta, so many people still refuse the vaccine, and what health experts and the vaccinated public can do to try to change that.

Listen: Psychology professor David Dunning explains why so many people refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine even with threat of delta variant.


David Dunning is professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. Dunning points out that the reasons someone might not want the vaccine are as diverse as the unvaccinated population itself. “They don’t know what that entails, they might be afraid of needles, they might worry about how fast it has developed… and ideology is sometimes involved as well,” says Dunning. Examining the implications of historical mistrust in the medical community, Dunning notes that it is important to remember this legacy for non-white communities. “If you are not white, you know a story that can make you tired of what the medical industry can tell you to do,” he says.

When it comes to convincing people to get vaccinated, Dunning suggests a variety of approaches and notes the importance of approaching the subject with authenticity and care. “It’s about whether or not that person trusts the person telling them about the vaccine. This is not the information… this is what is happening to that person in their life. Can you find out what interests them? Like their family, for example, ”says Dunning. He adds that sometimes helping someone think about the vaccination process can be very helpful. “Talk to someone who is reluctant to get the shot at the thought of making a plan to get the shot… if you want to be pushy, you can even ask them for a commitment… for example, asking someone: “?

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Flooding in Tennessee leaves 16 dead, 51 more missing Sun, 22 Aug 2021 19:55:00 +0000 Search and rescue efforts are underway in the county and town of Waverly, the county seat, the agency said in a statement on Sunday.

“We ask residents to stay away from neighborhoods and roads while rescue efforts are underway,” Waverly Public Safety Chief Grant Gillespie said in the statement.

An 8 p.m. curfew will remain in place tonight, the statement said.

Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis earlier told CNN affiliate WSMV that between five and seven of the missing are children. The missing people largely come from an area of ​​the county that has been hardest hit by the rising waters.

Those who have died range from “children to the elderly,” Davis said. He previously told the station that two toddlers were among the dead.

“They went to get one of my best friends and got him back. He drowned in it,” the sheriff said, more and more moved. “It’s tough, but we’ll move on.”

Tennessee Emergency Management teams are on site helping to set up shelters for affected residents. Davis said a curfew will remain in place. He asked people not to come to Waverly unless absolutely necessary.

“We’d rather just ask you not to enter Waverly if you don’t have to,” Davis told WSMV. “It helps us control this and minimize the dangers we have.”

According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, affected counties include Humphreys, Hickman, Houston and Dickson, and drivers have been advised not to attempt to cross the flooded roads.

A reunification center has been opened at McEwen High School, the sheriff’s office said. Shelters have been opened in Waverly, Dickson and Centerville, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said in a statement on Saturday evening.

According to the National Weather Service in Nashville, more than 17 inches of rain was measured at McEwen on Saturday, possibly setting a new state record for 24-hour precipitation, although the data has yet to be verified before the new record is official. The previous record was set in September 1982 with 13.6 inches of rain in Milan, Tennessee.
“It looked more like a hurricane or a tornado that had passed through the area”, Steve Smith, Program Director and Storm Watcher in Huntsville, the Alabama WZYP informed CNN of the damage it saw in Waverly.

Many public agencies have responded, TEMA said, including the Tennessee National Guard, the state Department of Transportation, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Department of Health.

The Tennessee National Guard said on Saturday night it was deploying nearly 50 troops to respond to severe flooding and had sent a Blackhawk helicopter to the scene to assist with water rescues. Tactical vehicles and Humvees are also used in rescue operations.

“Our first priority is to help responders access the area and conduct rescue operations,” Major General Jeff Holmes said in a tweet. “We will continue to increase the number of forces depending on the situation and we will position additional specialized units to meet the need.”

The deadly flash flood event – along with the extreme precipitation seen in New York City thanks to Hurricane Henri – is increasingly common due to man-made global warming, scientists say. A recent UN climate report stated that “the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events have increased since the 1950s over most of the land area”.

CNN’s Andy Rose and Alaa Elassar contributed to this report.

The movement seeks to make the outdoors safe for people of color Sun, 22 Aug 2021 11:00:31 +0000

Outdoor enthusiasts want people of color to embrace activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, and bird watching – and to feel safe and secure while enjoying it all.

Why is this important: A national report has drawn attention to the discrimination some people of color face when running in the mountains or walking on a trail. The outdoors can be deadly due to bigotry, not just the wildlife, lurking in the woods.

Details: Since, Outdoor groups and businesses across the United States have launched campaigns and initiatives to transform the way black Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans engage with the outdoors.

  • Kampgrounds of America has banned the Confederate flag from campgrounds, put people of color in marketing materials and started diversity training for staff, President and CEO Toby O’Rourke told Axios.
  • Retail company REI said in April it had launched a six-month retail pilot to increase black representation in its workforce and has developed a long-term work plan on racial equity.
  • The American Ornithological Society announced in May its commitment to change “exclusive or pest bird names” to make birding more welcoming to people of color.

The plot: About 32% of campers are now people of color, an increase of 17 points over the past five years, according to Kampgrounds of America, which is owned by Asian Americans.

Shamay Thomas, 49, nurse practitioner and member of Outdoor Afro, hikes at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, Wash. Photo: Jovelle Tamayo for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Yes, but: Some mountain peaks and rivers still bear racist names, and some popular outdoor spaces and national parks are linked to horrific lynchings or the expulsion of indigenous peoples.

  • “As much as I love the outdoors, the history of national parks is rooted in a lot of ugliness,” Christian La Mont, program director for Latino Outdoors, told Axios.
  • Katina Grays, the New York executive of the national group Outdoor Afro, said people of color reclaim these spaces and reframe the story when they visit and go out. “I always come with the black story to share.”

Go back: Putnam County, New York, faced calls to create a human rights commission last year after a resident called out sheriff’s deputies on a group of teenagers black people from a foster home seeking to hike.

Iris Zacarías, Michelle Piñon and Alfonso Orozco, volunteers for Latino Outdoors, in Seattle, Washington. Photo: Jovelle Tamayo for The Washington Post via Getty Images

What they say : “Going out jogging, sleeping in our own beds or going fishing on a lake… it’s all our right and in some ways our obligation,” Baratunde Thurston, host of the upcoming PBS Six-Part Series, America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston and author of How to be black, said Axios.

  • “I think for me it’s very restorative. The outdoors has always been for us. Look, historically we’ve always been able to find our way outside, from south to north,” Grays said.

A funny thing: Outdoor Afro and Backroads have teamed up to create a biking, biking and kayaking experience in October from Savannah, Ga., To Charleston, SC, while visiting sites connected to the Underground Railroad.

Do not forget : President Biden announced Thursday that he would appoint Charles F. Sams III as the next director of the National Park Service – an agency that has struggled with diversity for decades.

  • Sams is a member of the Cayuse, Walla Walla, Cocopah and Yankton Sioux tribal nations.
San Diego begins temporary closure of Point La Jolla to separate people and sea lions Wed, 11 Aug 2021 18:45:43 +0000

At dawn on August 11, City of San Diego workers were in Point La Jolla installing “Closed Zone” signs, a plastic barrier filled with water, and a chain through the stairs. access to the cliff to begin a temporary closure of the area. The closure, intended to keep people away from sea lions that rest at Point La Jolla, will be in effect until September 15.

Point La Jolla is a rocky area between La Jolla Cove Beach and Boomer Beach where sea lions often go ashore to rest. It is also a sea lion calving area where the calving season is recognized from June 1 to October 31.

City spokesman Tim Graham said the city was granted a temporary emergency closure permit on August 10 and crews were on site before dawn the next morning.

The permit application was filed by the San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation with the city’s Department of Developmental Services – which oversees coastal development permits such as the one needed to temporarily close the area – on August 3 after months of disturbing, and in a few hurtful cases, beach attendants’ reports of sea lions and puppies. Graham said Development Services examined the potential environmental effects of a K-weighted rail on the cliff face and determined that there would be no significant impact.

“The closed area is made up of both sand and cliffs and is bordered by the beach access stairs to the north, the concrete wall along the promenade to the east and a plastic barrier to the south. located about 25 feet from the end of the metal. railing along Boomer Beach, ”Graham said. On the south side of the plastic barrier is a small path that leads to Boomer Beach.

A plastic barrier filled with water marks the edge of the Point La Jolla closure at the southernmost point.

(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

“The idea is to keep the bodysurf area open,” he said. If there were to be interactions between humans and sea lions, “we will have two rangers [stationed there] who might get involved.

“The closure is intended to protect both the public and the sea lions during calving season, a sensitive time during which sea lions are born and learn to swim,” he said. “Sea lions, especially mothers who breastfeed and feed their young, can become aggressive and cause bodily harm when they feel threatened by visitors who come too close. “

The stairs from which the cliffs were previously accessible are closed with a sign and a chain.

The stairs from which the cliffs were previously accessible are closed with a sign and a chain.

(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

In June, the Sierra Club Seal Society and Sierra Club San Diego called on Mayor Todd Gloria to declare an emergency and temporarily close Point La Jolla to the public during sea lion calving season while keeping the area safe. observation of an adjacent open wall.

Rather than pursue a closure, the city posted signage at the entrance to Point La Jolla and Boomer Beach in early July. Some signs say “Stay back: sea lion calving area”. Others warn that sea lions can bite and harassing them is against the law. Stencils placed on the garbage cans, the sidewalk and the small wall bordering Point La Jolla read “Keep away from mothers or puppies” and “Keep away from sea lions”.

At the August 5 meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Association, Councilor Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, said that a public education campaign on “responsible tourism” and the signaling program were “not particularly effective” and that the city had decided to take “more assertive measures”.

“The action that has been taken… is the evolution of several attempts to control activities there at Point La Jolla in relation to sea lions,” said LaCava. “Yet people still go to the sea lions, put their children next to them, take selfies with them. “

Beach access advocates have called the idea of ​​the closure a “city mistake” and said Point La Jolla is an important area for divers.

Representatives from animal rights groups said they supported the closure and believed it could be a model for any future closure.

After September 15, when the shutdown is to be lifted, the city “will follow a more methodical open process to discuss with the community what kind of long-term program we might consider,” said LaCava.

In 2014, the city decided to close the nearby children’s pool beach during the annual harbor seal whelping season from mid-December to mid-May by means of a chain barrier across the stairs. intermediate level. The rest of the year, a rope barrier is in place as a visual deterrent to keep people away from harbor seals. ??