Share: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.
Starting July 10, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) graduate students will hit the road to explore career opportunities available in the crop protection industry and the Cooperative Extension System.This is the third year that students from the college’s plant pathology and entomology departments; the CAES plant protection and pest management master’s program; and the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics have organized the annual Crop Protection Career Tour, during which they visit agricultural firms and research centers around the U.S. The student-led, administration-backed initiative was created to provide CAES students with a path for interacting with industry research professionals at some of the largest and farthest-reaching agricultural companies in the nation.“We have many world-class agricultural research professionals and top-tier farm and laboratory facilities, and we’re in a state that is becoming one of the most important centers of agricultural production in the country,” said Russell Ingram, the trip’s coordinator and a doctoral candidate in plant pathology at UGA. “Unfortunately, we’re geographically isolated from the headquarters and research stations of the vast majority of the research-driven agricultural companies in the United States.”Because of this geographic isolation, it’s difficult for many students to meet industry professionals and build the professional networks they need to find jobs after graduation. Building those networks and learning more about industry leaders was the original goal of the tour, Ingram said.“We want students to better understand how they can use the education that they acquire at UGA, but we also want to help them apply it through successful employment after they leave,” he said.This year, the tour will begin with a focus on Extension careers. At the University of Kentucky, students will have the chance to hear from Paul Vincelli, Extension professor of plant pathology, about the career diversity and impact of Extension through a workshop titled “Science and Public Responsibility.”Then the students will travel to the Indianapolis research station for Corteva Agriscience (the agriculture division of DowDuPont). There, students will spend two days with commercial professionals and research-and-development personnel to learn about the structure and function of the research pipeline as well as the many career paths available to recent graduates in the agricultural sciences.“The primary goal of the trip is to increase student knowledge of the skills that are needed in the wide array of specific positions and career paths that are available,” Ingram said. “At the end of the day, the biggest hope of both myself and my partners at Corteva is to have our student attendees return to UGA with a better understanding of how to make themselves competitive candidates for high-paying, high-impact industry positions and ready to create a program of study and experiential learning to make that happen.”The year’s tour has been made possible by external grants from Corteva Agriscience and the American Phytopathological Society’s Plant Pathology Experiential Award as well as internal funding from the entomology and plant pathology departments and the UGA Society of Aspiring Plant Pathologists. Thanks to funding from these external partners and UGA, this four-day road trip will be offered to attendees for a $50 registration fee, which includes all lodging, transportation, the workshop and most meals, making this experience accessible to all interested CAES graduate students.If you would like to follow the students on their tour, which begins July 10, check out the Careers in Crop Protection Tour blog at bit.ly/cropprotectiontourblog or follow Ingram on Twitter: @Bluesberry111.
Belgium’s Port of Antwerp has contracted Antwerp-based Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) for the construction of the world’s first tug powered by hydrogen.Dubbed Hydrotug, the vessel will be driven by combustion engines that burn hydrogen in combination with diesel.Construction is due to begin shortly and the Hydrotug is expected to be operational within two years, the port said.“We are working towards becoming a CO2-neutral port,” Jacques Vandermeiren, Port of Antwerp CEO, commented.“With this world-first we aim to further prepare the way for alternative fuels such as hydrogen, in order to realize the transition to alternative, renewable sources of energy.”The hybrid tug contract for CMB follows the construction of the “Hydroville” shuttle, a dual-fuel passenger ferry with limited capacity and power that is now being used for sustainable commuter transport within the port area.CMB is also working with Japanese shipbuilder Tsuneishi Facilities & Craft (TFC) on the construction a hydrogen-powered ferry. The ship will be built at TFC’s facilities in Onomichi, Japan, and is expected to be delivered in 2021.The company earlier teamed up with the Ghent-based engine builder ABC to set up the BeHydro joint venture with the aim of further developing the technology for medium-speed engines with higher power output.“We are convinced of the potential of hydrogen as the key to sustainable shipping and making the energy transition of a reality,” Alexander Saverys, CEO of Compagnie Maritime Belge, said. “The expertise that we acquire with the Hydrotug will enable us to further develop the use of hydrogen as a ship’s fuel.”Compagnie Maritime Belge & Port of Antwerp bouwen #hydrotug, eerste op #waterstof aangedreven sleepboot ter wereld. Belangrijke stap in de transitie naar een duurzame en CO2-neutrale haven. https://t.co/59sMdmElqE#energietransitie #duurzaamheid #innovatie #wereldprimeur pic.twitter.com/TbYXSQmlbx— Port of Antwerp (@PortofAntwerp) September 20, 2019