Governor Declares State Of Emergency As Cases Of Coronavirus Increase

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageALBANY – During a briefing on the novel coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo Saturday declared a state of emergency to help New York more quickly and effectively contain the spread of the virus.The Governor also confirmed 32 additional cases, bringing the statewide total to 76.Additionally, the Governor directed the New York State Department of State’s Consumer Protection Division to launch an investigation into reports of unfair price increases of consumer products such as household cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, and launched a toll-free hotline – 1-800-697-1220 – for New Yorkers to report suspected price gouging.“As we continue to provide essential updates and encourage people to act upon the facts on coronavirus instead of the hype, I have officially done a declaration of emergency which gives us certain powers to help local health departments that are very stressed,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the local health departments continue to monitor and quarantine people, we have a more expedited purchasing protocol to get them all the tools they need to contain the virus spread. In the meantime we are cracking down on price gouging which continues to be a problem, and I want businesses to be aware that you could lose your license because we are very serious about this.” This state of emergency declaration allows, among other things:• Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources• Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing• Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment• Expedited personnel onboarding• Expedited leasing of lab space• Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals• Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigationThe 32 new cases identified today are located in New York City and Westchester and Saratoga counties. Of the 76 total individuals in New York State who tested positive for the virus, the geographic breakdown is as follows:Westchester: 57New York City: 11Nassau: 4Rockland: 2Saratoga: 2In addition, the Division of Consumer Protection has also created an online consumer complaint form, where New Yorkers can report suspected price gouging or concerns about improper delivery of quantity. Consumers who wish to file a complaint can visit https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/.All credible complaints will be referred to the New York State Attorney General’s office.At a briefing yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced travel insurance companies and travel agents will offer New York residents and businesses the ability to purchase coverage when making travel plans that would allow them to cancel a trip for any reason, including for reasons related to COVID-19.The Department of Financial Services issued guidance allowing travel agents and travel insurers to offer this type of coverage after DFS received consumer complaints that such polices were not available in New York State. This new action is designed to provide reassurance to New York businesses and residents who are seeking to make plans that may involve travel to locations that are not currently under travel advisories due to COVID-19.Six global and national insurance companies have agreed to offer “cancel for any reason” coverage to travelers, including: Allianz, Nationwide, Starr Indemnity, Berkshire, Crum & Forster, and Zurich.DFS also directed New York State travel insurance issuers to proactively reach out to individuals and businesses who bought their policies to let them know what is covered.last_img read more

Cobie Smulders & More Set for Present Laughter, Starring Kevin Kline

first_img Present Laughter Stage and screen stars Cobie Smulders, Kate Burton and Kristine Nielsen will join Oscar and Tony winner Kevin Kline in the upcoming revival of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter. Performances will begin on March 10, 2017 at Broadway’s St. James Theatre; opening night is scheduled for April 5. Moritz von Stuelpnagel will direct.Smulders will take on the role of Joanna Lyppiatt. Best known for her work on screen in How I Met Your Mother and The Avengers, she appeared off-Broadway in Love, Loss and What I Wore. Burton will play Liz Essendine; she made her Broadway debut in a 1982 production of Present Laughter and picked up Tony nominations for The Constant Wife, Hedda Gabler and The Elephant Man. She received Emmy nods for Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. Nielsen is set to appear as Monica Reed. Tony nominated for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, she last appeared on Broadway in You Can’t Take It With You.Coward’s comedy, which first premiered on Broadway in 1946, follows Garry Essendine, a self-indulgent actor who receives a visit from a young admirer, initiating a parade of intruders and interruptions, including his ex-wife, his manager and an aspiring playwright. The play was last revived on Broadway in 2010 with Victor Garber in the role of Essendine.The St. James is currently home to Something Rotten!, which will close on January 1, 2017. Disney Theatrical has confirmed that the musical adaptation of Frozen will play the same space in spring 2018. Related Shows Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on July 2, 2017center_img Kristine Nielsen Cobie Smulders (Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images) View Commentslast_img read more

Bergquist to take over from Russell as legislative counsel

first_imgVermont Legislative Council Announces New Director and Chief Council(April 17) The Vermont Legislative Council has announced that EmilyBergquist will become the new Director and Chief Counsel of theLegislative Council on July 1, 2008. Bergquist was selectedfollowing a national search to lead the Office of the LegislativeCouncil, which assists the legislature in drafting bills, providingresearch and analysis of legislative and policy issues, and supportinglegislative committee work.”The Vermont legislature sought a leader with a deep appreciation andknowledge of the institution, and the vision and readiness to meet thechallenges we face in a changing world,” said House Speaker GayeSymington. Ms. Berquist has all of these qualities and I lookforward to working with her as she assumes her new position.Bergquist has worked as an attorney with the Vermont LegislativeCouncil since 1994, with particular expertise in the areas of taxationand education finance. Previously, she served as Deputy TaxCommissioner and General Counsel for the Vermont Department of Taxes,managing the legal staff and handling major personnel matters for theentire department. Prior to joining the Vermont Department of Taxes,Emily was an associate in several law firms. She graduated fromWellesley College and has a Masters in Philosophy from RutgersUniversity. She received her JD from the University of Michigan.Bergquists hire follows the retirement of Bill Russell,Legislative Chief Counsel, who is stepping down at the conclusion ofthis years legislative session after 35 years of service to theVermont legislature. There will be a public reception in BillRussell’s honor Thursday, May 1 from 2-4 pm in the StatehouseCafeteria. All current and former legislators and staff, statehouseregulars, as well as members of the general public, are encouraged toattend to thank Bill for his many years of exceptional service, andwish him well in his retirement.last_img read more

Coca Harvests Are Down In The Andes

first_img Peru – From 2008 to 2009, the amount of land used for coca crops rose 6.8%. 2008 – 30.500 Hectares 2009 – 30.900 Hectares Colômbia – 43% Peru – 38% Bolívia – 19% 2008 – 842 Tons 2009 – 1.111 Tons Colômbia – 103,000 (39%) Peru – 119.000 (46%) By Dialogo July 01, 2010 I think the world’s authorities should unite behind one goal: STOP DRUGS, DESTROY PLANTATIONS. I TOLD YOU SO! 2008 – 81,000 Hectares 2009 – 68.000 Hectares Coca-leaf harvests in the Andes dropped 5.3% in 2009, thanks in large part to the 16% decline in Colombia. However, the U.N. warns of a growth trend of the crop in Peru. Crops in Colombia, Bolivia and Peru declined 5.3%. Colômbia – From 2008 to 2009, the coca harvest fell 16%. Although Colombia remains the country with the largest amount of land employed for coca crops, ahead of Peru, the latter is now the largest producer in the Andean region. Cocaine production in the Andean region in 2009 (in tons) Farmed area 2008 – 167.600 Hectares 2009 – 158.800 Hectares Bolívia – From 2008 to 2009, the coca harvest rose 1%. 2008 – 56.100 Hectares 2009 – 59.000 Hectares Production (in tons) last_img read more

20% reduction in ferry ticket prices introduced on weekends

first_imgGreat news for all islanders, comes to us from the Agency for Coastal Line Transport and the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure.Namely, in order to encourage an increase in passenger and certain categories of passenger vehicles to the islands in the off-season, the Coastal Transport Agency, in agreement with the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, prepared a pilot project tickets on weekends, ie from Friday to Sunday.The measure will be implemented in the period from January 19 to March 18, 2018, and the recommendation of the Management Board of the Agency was accepted by Rapska plovidba and Jadrolinija, so on the ferry lines maintained by these shipowners, they will pay 20 percent less:- persons- children from 3 to 12 years- passenger car (up to 9 seats) up to 5,00 m long and / or 2,00 m high- passenger car (up to 9 seats) over 5,00 m long and / or 2,00 m high- motorcycle, moped- motorcycle with trailer, tricycle, quadricycle- a bikeDepending on the effects of the implementation of this recommendation addressed to shipowners, upon its completion, the possibility of further application will be considered, especially taking into account the indicators of increasing the capacity utilization of ships and the financial effect of the application of the recommendation.Related news: Brac and Solta are connected by a boat line for the first timelast_img read more

Italy injects record 400 bn euros into pandemic-hit economy

first_imgToll shoots back up Italy has seen its novel coronavirus infection rates subside over the past few weeks and its death toll slowly level off.But the number of fatalities shot back up on Monday from its lowest level in more than two weeks.The civil protection service said the daily number of official COVID-19 deaths rose to 636 on Monday from 525 the day before.Sunday’s toll was the lowest since March 19. It also represented a drop of 23 percent from the 681 deaths reported on Saturday.Italy’s leading health officials had called Sunday’s drop an important data point that could potentially lead to an easing of the country’s strict month-long lockdown.But civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli said Monday that the data were still being carefully assessed and that any definitive ruling was premature.”The technical-scientific committee is currently carrying out its evaluations. Then, it will be up to the political decision makers,” Borrelli told reporters.He said the scientists will draw their conclusions about how to proceed “in due time”.Italy’s current lockdown has been officially extended to April 13.Conte has repeatedly stressed that businesses will only be allowed to open up gradually and that many of the current social distancing measures will stay in place for some time.But he has refrained from saying when this might happen. Some officials have suggested that most of the current measures will be extended until at least the start of May.Yet some of the data released Monday looked encouraging.The daily rise in new infections dropped to a record low of just 2.8 percent.The number of people receiving intensive care treatment for COVID-19 fell for a third successive day. Italy on Monday unveiled a record 400 billion euro ($430 billion) stimulus to help businesses hurt by a month-long national lockdown that is like to run on for many more weeks.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the nation to be patient in the face of a pandemic that has now officially claimed 16,523 lives in the Mediterranean country and left millions at least temporarily unemployed”We will soon see a new spring for Italy but for the moment we must stay at home,” the Italian leader said in a television address. The government also announced that it will take steps to protect Italian companies weakened by the economic crisis from being taken over by foreign competitors.”This moment of difficult will not translate into an opportunity to prey on Italian companies,” cabinet undersecretary Riccardo Fraccaro said. The program will add to the 340 billion euros in government-backed loans announced last month.Conte said it represented “the most powerful intervention in the country’s history”.Half of the new package will be earmarked for export-oriented companies whose turnover has imploded over the past month.Italy’s health “emergency is also an economic and social one,” Conte said. Topics :last_img read more

Most customers yet to receive cash refunds for canceled flights

first_imgHowever, she added that travel agents have had difficulties in assisting customers’ cash refund requests as airlines has scrapped their auto-refund scheme, hence prolonging the process, as it requires the agents to manually follow-up the requests.With the auto-refund scheme, airlines usually automatically approved the refund request and transfer the money to travel agents within two to three weeks. However, airlines scrapped the system in March this year.The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has severely battered the travel industry, including airlines, as travel demand slowed and operational costs burden the companies. Airlines have also been forced to cancel flights due to travel restrictions to contain the virus.The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates a 49 percent drop in passenger numbers and an $8.2 billion drop in revenue for the Indonesian airline industry this year, compared to last year. Topics : Airlines have yet to approve most passengers’ requests for cash refunds of cancelled international flights following the massive number of cancellations amid the pandemic, the Indonesian Travel Agent Association (Astindo) has stated.From Rp 2.45 trillion (US$173.2 million) worth of cash refunds requested for cancelled international flights issued between January to February this year, only Rp 852 billion have been refunded so far, according to Astindo data collected from its members.“This is only for international flights, not to mention domestic flights,” Astindo secretary-general Pauline Soeharno told The Jakarta Post on Thursday, adding that customers still preferred cash refunds over travel vouchers.center_img Astindo travel agents have also reported a 90 percent drop in sales since the pandemic started.The refunding problem also plagues cancelled domestic flights, as travel agents are unable to help by refunding customers from their internal cash due to slumping sales.Airlines have only provided refunds in the form of credits and deposits for future booking to travel agents, which cannot be cashed out.Aviation observer Gerry Soejatman said on Thursday that both airlines and travel agents are in the middle of an unfortunate situation at the moment.“Through travel vouchers, airlines are trying to uphold consumer rights without making themselves bankrupt. If the airline goes bankrupt, the travel agent will also get affected and customers will be upset,” he said. He encouraged customers to use the travel vouchers option for the refunds, considering the current situation.“The best middle ground now is travel voucher as a form of refund,” Gerry said.IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement on April 3 that passengers had the right to get their money, as they had spent money on a service that could not be delivered.However, during this difficult time, airlines were facing an imminent depletion of cash. Providing vouchers as a refund that could be used for future travel would give the industry “vital time to breathe” and eventually survive the crisis, he said.last_img read more

LinkedIn cuts 960 jobs as pandemic puts the brakes on corporate hiring

first_img“I want you to know these are the only layoffs we are planning,” Roslansky said in his message. Affected staff, who have not yet been told, would be able to keep company-issued cell phones, laptops, and recently purchased equipment to help them work from home while making career transitions, he said.As lockdowns to contain the coronavirus have hit businesses around the world, LinkedIn’s business has been hit as companies lay off staff or sharply curtail hiring.LinkedIn said employees affected by its job cuts will be informed this week and they will start receiving invitations in the next few hours to meetings to learn more about next steps.”If you don’t receive a meeting invite, you are not directly impacted by this change,” Roslansky said. Microsoft Corp’s professional networking site LinkedIn said on Tuesday it would cut about 960 jobs, or 6% of its global workforce, as the coronavirus pandemic is having a sustained impact on demand for its recruitment products.California-based LinkedIn helps employers assess a candidate’s suitability for a role and employees use the platform to find new job.Jobs will be cut across sales and hiring divisions of the group globally. Announcing the plan in a message posted on LinkedIn’s website, Chief Executive Ryan Roslansky said the company would provide at least 10 weeks of severance pay as well as health insurance for a year for US employees, and will hire for newly-created roles from laid-off staff. Topics :last_img read more

Swiss first pillar fund halts asset sales on funding reprieve

first_imgSwiss social security buffer fund Compenswiss has halted its asset sale programme and reviewed its investment strategy after Swiss voters last year gave the green light for an additional annual CHF2bn (€1.88bn) in financing for the state pension system.Announcing its investment results for 2019, the fund said the extra money, which is dispensed from this year, will plug the gap between benefit payments and income for around four years.As a result, it has been able to put a halt to its divestment programme, which had been running for about two years, initially at a monthly rate of CHF100m and then CHF125m.It also reviewed its investment strategy in light of the financing reprieve. A spokesperson for Compenswiss told IPE it had only adopted limited shifts for 2020, “reflecting a cautious approach in our overall risk assessment”, although the strategy asset allocation could still be amended in the future given the longer time horizon.For 2020 the fund had decided to switch 1% of its foreign fixed income allocation to real estate, “a market traditionally associated with higher returns but lesser liquidity than fixed income,” the spokesperson said.The allocation to real estate has risen to 10% as a result of the shift.Demographics are weighing on the Swiss state pension system. According to a study carried out in 2019 by UBS in conjunction with researchers at the University of Freiburg in Breisgau, pension promises from the state pension – AHV in short in German – exceed the system’s future income by about 170% of GDP (base year of 2016).The extra yearly cash injection of CHF2bn stems from a tax and AHV financing reform that was approved in a referendum in May last year, and according to the study it cuts the pension funding shortfall by about 20%.Solutions aimed at the long-term funding equilibrium are being discussed in parliament. The government’s reform proposal, known as AHV21/AVS21, aims to secure the financing of the state pension until 2030, which it has calculated as requiring an additional CHF26bn.10.22% gainCompenswiss’s investments gained a net 10.22% in 2019, with total assets going from CHF34.2bn to CHF36.4bn as at the end of the year. The return is the second highest since the first pillar pension system and the buffer fund were established in 1948.Operating and asset management costs amounted to 0.19% of total assets, in line with the previous year.last_img read more

TWD Unveils Monopile Sling Connector

first_imgThe monopile sling connector is diameter adjustable and speeds up the rigging operation, TWD said, adding that it allows for safe rigging attachment on jack-up vessels and floating installation vessels. Source: TWD During lifting, the load is transferred directly from the sling, through link plates, to the rigging. In between lifts or during transport, the monopile sling connector can be sea fastened on either deck or the monopile itself. Temporary Works Design (TWD) has revealed the monopile sling connector, a remote-controlled solution for applying the rigging of monopiles.center_img Once positioned on the monopile, the monopile sling connector will guide the sling around the monopile without the need for human interference, TWD said. According to the Dutch company, as monopiles are getting bigger and slings will need to be attached in more difficult to access locations, the work can become both a challenging and time-demanding job. last_img read more