Voters fill out their ballots as they vote at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center polling station on October 21, 2020 in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle | Getty Images – Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Since 1964, Florida has backed every winning presidential candidate except once in 1992. The state took center stage in the 2000 election after an intense ballot recount dispute made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Republican George W. Bush ultimately claimed victory in Florida over Democrat Al Gore by a margin of just 0.009% — the closest in any presidential election in U.S. history.This is breaking news. Check back for updates. President Donald Trump is leading in Florida voting returns, but his contest in the Sunshine State against Democratic nominee Joe Biden is still too close to call, NBC News reported.Florida has 29 Electoral College votes. Polling averages had indicated a tight presidential race. Trump won Florida by 1.2% in 2016.As of 9:10 p.m. ET, Trump was leading with 51% of the votes tallied so far, compared to 48% for Biden, the former vice president.- Advertisement –
– Advertisement – At the time, many health economists believed the law’s success would depend on its “three-legged stool” approach: preventing insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, requiring everyone to buy insurance and providing subsidies to make it affordable. If there were no penalty prodding everyone to obtain insurance, the thinking went, many younger and healthier people would forgo it, leaving only older and sicker people in the insurance pool. That, in turn, would force insurers to raise rates, leading more people to drop their coverage in a self-reinforcing cycle.But in fact, after Congress zeroed out the law’s financial penalty for going without health insurance in 2017, it turned out that removing one of the legs had little effect on how many people signed up for coverage through the law’s marketplaces. Enrollment in the marketplaces has decreased slightly since 2017, but it has not shown any signs of a “death spiral,” when only sick people buy coverage and the cost skyrockets as a result.- Advertisement – In a friend-of-the-court brief defending the law, scores of economists concluded that “economic data demonstrate that the A.C.A. remains fully effective and operational even in the absence of the individual mandate.”In addition to the arguments on the constitutionality of the mandate and whether it can be severed from the rest of the law, the challengers must also show that they have suffered the sort of injury that gives them standing to sue. It is not clear that the states and the two individuals who brought the suit can satisfy that burden.A mandate without a penalty, supporters of the law say, does not affect state budgets or harm individuals, who now face no financial consequence for going uninsured.- Advertisement – Lower courts have so far sided with challengers. A federal judge in Texas ruled that the entire law was invalid, but he postponed the effects of his ruling until the case could be appealed. In December, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, agreed that the mandate was unconstitutional but declined to rule on the fate of the remainder of the health law, asking the lower court to reconsider the question in more detail.If the Supreme Court strikes down the entire law, political responses remain possible. If Democrats manage to take control of the Senate along with the House, they could enact a simple legislative fix that would make the case moot. They could bring back a nominal penalty, even of $1. Or they could repeal the individual mandate entirely, deflating the plaintiffs’ argument.
Dec 21, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services is seeking help from the public in figuring out how to allocate scarce supplies of influenza vaccine in the event of a flu pandemic.In a Dec 14 Federal Register notice, HHS invited the public to submit comments on which groups should have priority for receiving pre-pandemic and pandemic vaccines and on related issues. The deadline for commenting is Jan 18, 2007.A federal interagency task force will use the comments in developing guidance to help state and local governments, cities, tribes, territories, and the private sector decide how to allocate vaccine doses, the notice says.Besides seeking public comments, the task force is currently holding meetings to gather information from individual stakeholders, and it will also hold a series of “public engagement” meetings across the country to get more input, according to the notice. No dates or locations for those meetings were listed.The government will publish a draft document for public comment before issuing the final guidance, the notice said.Pre-pandemic and pandemic vaccines are expected to be in short supply at least in the early stages of a pandemic, necessitating a plan for allocating the available doses, HHS noted. Pre-pandemic vaccine is a vaccine against a virus that is believed to have pandemic potential.”Depending on what influenza strain actually causes the pandemic, stockpiled pre-pandemic vaccine may provide some protection,” the notice said. Last month HHS reported having enough pre-pandemic vaccine stockpiled to vaccinate about 3 million people with 2 doses each, with more on order.Besides seeking input on which groups should be near the front of the vaccination line, HHS is seeking responses to related questions, such as:What objectives, principles, criteria, assumptions, and rationales should be considered in allocating supplies?How can fairness, equity, efficiency, and related principles be reflected in the determinations?Who (federal, state, or local authorities) should determine when and how the vaccine is distributed and administered?The agency asks that responses be limited to 25 pages, not counting appendices and supplements. Any information submitted will be published on the PandemicFlu.gov Web site.HHS. Request for information (RFI): guidance for prioritization of pre-pandemic and pandemic influenza vaccine. Fed Reg 2006 Dec 14;71(240):75252-3 [Access via Federal Register main page]See also:Nov 20 CIDRAP News story “HHS awards 3 contracts for more H5N1 vaccine”
May 9, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Authorities in India’s West Bengal state today confirmed a new H5N1 virus outbreak in the Darjeeling district, as agriculture officials in South Korea reported that the virus had struck birds in the eastern part of the country, pushing the number of recent outbreaks to 35.Rajesh Pande, a senior government official in Darjeeling, one of India’s primary tea-growing regions, said about 300 backyard poultry died last week near the town of Siliguri in the foothills of the Himalayas, according to a report from Reuters today.”Tests in a central laboratory confirmed the recent poultry deaths from the H5N1 strain of the virus,” he told Reuters.The outbreak in Darjeeling district brings the number of West Bengal districts that have been hit by the virus this year to 15. An extensive round of outbreaks in the state began in early January, prompting culling operations that destroyed about 4 million birds. Though officials announced in late February that the virus was under control, reports of sporadic outbreaks have continued.In early April veterinary officials announced that the H5N1 virus had spread to birds in Tripura state in far eastern India. West Bengal and Tripura both share borders with Bangladesh, which also reported several outbreaks earlier this year.Elsewhere, agriculture ministry officials in South Korea today confirmed that bird deaths in Chuncheon in the eastern part of the country were caused by the H5N1 virus, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today. The report did not say how many birds were affected or if the outbreak struck a farm or backyard poultry.Officials said the latest confirmation raises the number of recent outbreaks in South Korea to 35, AFP reported.On May 7, the ministry confirmed that birds at an aviary in Seoul were infected with the H5N1 virus, according to another AFP report. The outbreak, in Gwangjin district in eastern Seoul, marked the first detection of H5N1 in the city.To prevent the spread of the virus, authorities culled 53 chickens, turkeys, and pheasants in the aviary, poultry at a nearby park, and birds at an amusement park in the southern part of the city, according to the AFP report.In early April the H5N1 virus reappeared in South after about a year’s hiatus. The outbreaks occurred first at farms in the southwest and then quickly spread to southern and eastern provinces.In other developments, animal health officials in Vietnam said H5N1 outbreaks have recently been confirmed near the southern city of Can Tho, according to a report yesterday from Xinhua, China’s state news agency.The virus struck 1,131 poultry, mainly chickens, in a backyard poultry flock in a rural district, the Xinhua report said. Veterinary workers culled the remaining 829 birds at the site.Agriculture officials said the latest confirmation brings the number of areas currently experiencing outbreaks to three, Xinhua reported. The others are Son La province in northern Vietnam and Vinh Long province in the south.
May 8 CIDRAP News story “Smallpox drug does well in first human safety test” The contract was awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, both part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the company said. The drug was used, along with other treatments, on an emergency basis last year in a 2-year-old boy who was critically ill with eczema vaccinatum, a form of vaccinia virus infection. The boy, who survived, was infected through exposure to his father, a soldier who had received a smallpox shot. Smallpox vaccine contains vaccinia virus as its active ingredient. SIGA Chief Executive Officer Eric Rose added that the contract “paves the way for ST-246 to provide protection to a much larger portion of the population in the event of a smallpox attack.” The company, based in New York City, said it had previously received a $16.5 million contract to develop the drug, described as “a potent, non-toxic inhibitor of orthopoxviruses.” See also: Sep 5, 2008 (CIDRAP News) SIGA Technologies Inc. announced this week that it has been awarded a $55 million federal contract to develop a new formulation of its experimental smallpox drug, called ST-246, and carry out related efforts. Mar 19, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Son of vaccinated soldier has severe vaccinia infection” Dr. Dennis E. Hruby, SIGA’s chief scientific officer, said in the news release, “These funds will support all the studies needed to gain regulatory approval for these new indications. Formulation development, animal efficacy, human safety evaluations, and manufacturing are among the activities needed.” The drug has been tested in an oral formulation so far. The new contract “enables the formulation and advanced development of a new ST-246 parenteral drug product as well as new ways to use the existing oral formulation . . . to combat smallpox,” the company reported in a Sep 3 news release. Sep 3 SIGA news releasehttp://www.siga.com/?ID=81 In a journal article published in May, SIGA scientists reported that ST-246 performed well in the first test of its safety and activity in humans.
Oct 16, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Production delays are cutting into federal pandemic vaccine–supply projections at a time when virus activity is widespread in 41 states and children’s deaths are spiraling, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.Since August, federal officials have predicted that 45 million pandemic vaccine doses would be available by mid October, but today the CDC said the total so far is 11.4 million.The slow start is complicating the launch of pandemic flu vaccine campaigns for state and local public health departments as well as school districts. Some have postponed or cancelled events because they don’t know when they will receive their vaccine supplies. For example, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, based in Lawrence, Kansas, recently cancelled Oct 30 clinics at the fairgrounds and the University of Kansas because it wasn’t sure when the vaccine would arrive.Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said some manufacturers are reporting delays because antigen yields are lower than expected. She also said it takes time to conduct potency and purity tests on each lot of the vaccine.”We are not cutting any corners. It’s very important that this process be done safely and carefully,” she stated.Schuchat acknowledged the effect that the slower-than-expected trickle of pandemic vaccine is having on state health departments, and she warned that the next 2 weeks will be challenging. “We’re all going to have to bear with the situation,” she said, adding that supplies will likely become more plentiful by the end of October and into November.States have ordered 8 million of the currently available doses, and half of it is injectable vaccine, Schuchat said, which is good news because it gives authorities more flexibility in delivering doses to some high-priority groups. Certain groups couldn’t receive the very first doses, which were the live attenuated intranasal form of the vaccine, made by MedImmune, which is recommended only for healthy people aged 2 through 49 years.Federal officials are also anxious about the slow start to pandemic vaccine distribution. “It’s hard to see the illnesses rise,” Schuchat said.She acknowledged that the situation puts public health officials in a difficult position when communicating the vaccination message to members of the public, who are being urged to obtain the vaccine at a time when delays are hampering the launch of immunization campaigns.The number of states reporting widespread activity is unprecedented for this time of year, she said. The percentage of doctor visits for influenza-like illnesses continues to rise and is well above the national baseline; for the first time this flu season the mortality rate from pneumonia and influenza has risen above the epidemic threshold.”This is a very busy and difficult flu season,” Schuchat said.Ten more pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC over the past week, raising the number of fatal pandemic H1N1 cases in children to 86, she said. The number of deaths in September alone is more than the total for some entire flu seasons, Schuchat added. Since Aug 30, the CDC has received reports of 43 pediatric deaths; 38 have been confirmed as pandemic H1N1, and five are still undergoing subtyping.About half (19) of those deaths occurred in teens, which appears to be a shift from earlier in the outbreak when most pediatric fatalities were in the youngest age-groups.”These are very sobering statistics, and they’re likely to increase,” said Schuchat. Some of the young people had underlying conditions, but others did not.Meanwhile, some sites are reporting shortages of seasonal flu vaccine, Schuchat noted. So far, 82 million doses have been distributed, which is 5 million more than the previous week. Federal officials have said they expect producers to make 114 million seasonal flu vaccine doses.See also:Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Web site
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest tourist portal for travel planning and accommodation booking, once again awarded recognition to the hotels of the hotel brand Lošinj Hotels & Villas of the Jadranka Group. Vitality Hotel Punta and Family Hotel Vespera can boast a certificate of excellence since 2013. TripAdvisor’s certificate was again awarded this year to Wellness Hotel Aurora, after holding the certificate for four years in a row from 2012 to 2015, while Bellevue Hotel, Boutique, was among the winners of the 2017 Certificate of Excellence due to high-quality guest reviews. Hotel Alhambra and Restaurant Lanterna Grill.By the way, TripAdvisor rewards excellence in tourism with its certificate of excellence, awarding it exclusively to tourist facilities whose quality of service provides a quality user experience and continuously, and for a period of at least a year, achieve excellent reviews of travelers. “The awards that arrive day by day for the members of the hotel brand Lošinj Hotels & Villas are the best confirmation of the systematic investment of the Jadranka Group. The work, constant effort and commitment of all our employees stand out the most, so we consider this new recognition very valuable. We are especially pleased with the daily satisfaction of our guests, because of which we try to be as good as possible and make great efforts every day to make their stay on Lošinj as pleasant as possible.. “, Said Goran Filipović, Member of the Management Board of the Jadranka Group.Lošinj Hotels & Villas (LH&V) is a hotel brand of the Jadranka Group, which operates six hotels and restaurants, as well as villas and apartments located in the most attractive locations on the island of Lošinj, with a capacity of more than 3.500 guests.
In November 2017, 307,8 thousand tourist arrivals and 662,8 thousand tourist overnight stays were recorded, which is an increase of 9,1%, ie 9% compared to the same month in 2016. In 2017, the highest levels of overnight stays in the last twenty years were achieved in a few months, and such a case was also recorded in the observed month, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce points out.In the last year, there has been a continuous upward annual trend of tourist arrivals, and in overnight stays there has been a mostly upward trend, ie only in March and May this year an annual decline in this indicator was recorded.Source: HGKDespite record levels of tourism indicators, seasonality and spatial constraints are still pronounced in Croatian tourism. Namely, only in two months of the year (in July and August) about 60% of overnight stays are realized throughout the year and only in three counties, Istria, Split-Dalmatia and Primorje-Gorski Kotar counties, approximately two thirds of total overnight stays in Croatia are recorded on year-round level. The pronounced seasonality of Croatian tourism is even more noticeable if we compare this indicator (the share of July and August in tourist overnight stays throughout the year) with other European Mediterranean countries, where Croatia has by far the largest share, and is most exposed to seasonality risks.In the first eleven months of 2017, 17,1 million tourist arrivals and 85,5 million tourist overnight stays were recorded, which is 12,7%, ie 10,6% more compared to the same period in 2016. The observed cumulative level of tourist overnight stays is record-breaking, and such movements were largely influenced by the increase in foreign tourists and to a lesser extent by domestic tourists.Given that December has a low share of overnight stays at the level of the whole year, it is already evident that this year will be another in a series of upward trend of tourist overnight stays and that the current growth dynamics of tourist overnight stays will be the same for 2017.Povoljnija turistička kretanja u Hrvatskoj dio su trenda koji se bilježi i na globalnoj razini. Tako je, prema preliminarnim podacima organizacije World Tourism Organization, u prvih deset mjeseci 2017. godine u svijetu zabilježeno 6,6% više međunarodnih turističkih dolazaka u odnosu na isto razdoblje prethodne godine.Source: HGK
The rich maritime heritage of Lošinj, with an emphasis on the recent Mercedes-Benz Mountain Bike World Cup Lošinj, was presented in Ljubljana on March 15, 2018 with the presentation “Spring in the sign of cycling on Lošinj”.In the vicinity of Makalonca, located in the very center of Ljubljana, on the river Ljubljanica, a presentation was held on the destination offer of the island of vitality and the upcoming world cycling competition. As they point out from the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board, thanks to the excellent cooperation of the Slovenian MTB Trbovlje and local Lošinj stakeholders, including the City and the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board, a unique extreme bicycle race Mercedes – Benz Mountain Bike World will be held on Lošinj from 19 to 22 April 2018. Cup Lošinj. Thus, three hundred competitors from countries around the world will compete in an extreme unique cycling race – this is the first case of competition in the World Cup through the urban area of Veli Lošinj, with the goal on the coast.By the way, we know very well that Slovenians are among the most numerous guests in Croatia, and the reason why this promotion took place in Slovenia is the fact that Lošinj is the island with the most Slovenian guests, who achieved a record number of overnight stays and arrivals last year. The director of the Mercedes-Benz Mountain Bike World Cup Lošinj and a member of MTB Trbovlje, Sebastjan Zmrzljak, praised the cooperation between the Slovenian MTB Trbovlje and the Croatian club AK Lošinj. “We expected a lot of organizational work, but the World Cup will certainly be something special for the people of Lošinj as well as for the competitors, considering that an extremely technically demanding track awaits them. According to previous information, we can expect a large number of Slovenian competitors. The biggest websites that represent cycling are interested in announcing this event precisely because of the uniqueness of the race and the very conclusion of the track, which is controversial for some because it is on the waterfront, which is the first time in the World Cup. World champions Loic Bruni, Miranda Miller and others have already trained on the track. ” Zmrzljak pointed out.In addition to an interesting sports offer, Lošinj can also offer its visitors a rich maritime heritage displayed through a year-round museum and festival offer. Nevertheless, Lošinj was the only place on the eastern Adriatic where sailing boats for regattas were specially built, which were also used for excursions and fishing. From these pasara, the national class of L-5 sailboats was created, designed by Anton Martinolić from Lošinj. Precisely on the basis of old photographs showing regattas of pasara in the port of Malološinj, two Lošinj regatta pasara were made according to the original designs. As part of the presentation, the famous Lošinj regatta pasara sailed down the Ljubljanica and introduced all spectators and passers-by to the Lošinj maritime world. The director of the Tourist Board of the City of Mali Lošinj, Dalibor Cvitković, commented on the excellent cooperation between the Croatian National Tourist Board in Slovenia and the Mali Lošinj Tourist Board. “For years, Slovenian guests have been the most frequent visitors to the island of Lošinj. They are especially important in the periods before and after the season because they record the largest number of arrivals, precisely because of the offer that Lošinj offers them in those periods. 26% is the share of Slovenian guests in overnight stays, and last year there was an increase in overnight stays and arrivals from the Slovenian market. We would like it to stay that way, that is, for that data to increase this year. We hope for a good response in the coming period, given the prepared events in the pre-season on the island of Lošinj. ” Cvitkovic concludes.Also, many visitors had the opportunity to taste Lošinj’s delicacies performed by top chefs Melkior Bašić and Zlatko Belužić and with sommelier Kristijan Merkaš. The musical performance of the Lošinj klapa Čikat also contributed to the original experience.Related news:LOŠINJ HOTELS & VILLAS INTRODUCES DIRECT AIRLINES FOR LOŠINJTHE WORLD CUP IN DOWNHILL ON LOŠINJ IS AN IDEAL OPPORTUNITY FOR THE PROMOTION OF THE ENTIRE KVARNER REGION AS A BIKE FRIENDLY DESTINATIONMALI LOŠINJ IS BUILDING A TOURIST YEAR STEP BY STEP, NOT A SEASONATTITUDES AND CONSUMPTION OF TOURISTS ON LOŠINJ TOMAS 2017
The Mediterranean is turning into a dangerous plastic trap, with record levels of microplastic pollution threatening marine species and human health, a new WWF report released today released in many countries around the world.On World Ocean Day, an alarming WWF reportExit from the plastic trap: saving the Mediterranean from plastic pollution”Points to the dramatic consequences that excessive plastic use, poor waste management and mass tourism have on one of the most visited regions in the world.Gathering the latest data and scientific evidence on the use of plastics in Europe and the many ways plastics affect marine ecosystems, the report presents a comprehensive roadmap of urgent measures that institutions, businesses and citizens must take to prevent plastic waste from reaching the sea. “The effects of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean are being felt around the world and are causing serious damage to both nature and human health. If plastic pollution increases, it will jeopardize the Mediterranean’s global reputation as a top tourist destination and source of quality fishery products, undermining local communities that depend on these sectors. The problem of plastics is also a symptom of the overall decline in the health of the Mediterranean and must serve as a call to concrete actionSaid John Tanzer, WWF International’s head of marine and ocean protection programs.Plastic products today make up 95 percent of waste floating in the Mediterranean or lying on beaches. Most plastic waste in the sea comes from Turkey and Spain, followed by Italy, Egypt and France. Due to increased tourism, the amount of marine litter increases by as much as 40 percent every summer.Large plastic parts injure, suffocate, and often kill marine animals, including protected and endangered species such as sea turtles and the Mediterranean seal. But it is precisely microplastics, smaller and more insidious, that have reached record levels of concentration of 1,25 million pieces per square kilometer in the Mediterranean, almost four times more than on the “plastic island” found in the North Pacific. By entering the food chain, fragments of microplastics endanger an increasing number of animal species, as well as humans.”In Europe, we produce a huge amount of plastic waste, most of which is sent to landfills, resulting in millions of tonnes of plastic entering the Mediterranean each year. This contaminated flow, combined with the semi-enclosed Mediterranean, has led to microplastics reaching record levels of concentration, threatening marine species and human health. We cannot allow the Mediterranean to drown in plastic. We need to act urgently and within the entire supply chain to save our sea from ubiquitous plastic”, Points out Mosor Prvan, expert associate for marine protection at WWF Adria.According to the report, delays and “holes” in plastic waste management in most Mediterranean countries are among the main causes of plastic pollution. Of the 27 million tonnes of plastic waste produced each year in Europe, only one third is recycled; half of the plastic waste in Italy, France and Spain ends up in landfills. Recycled plastics currently account for only six percent of plastic demand in Europe.WWF calls on governments, companies and individuals to adopt a series of measures to reduce plastic waste pollution in urban, coastal and marine environments in the Mediterranean and globally. These include the adoption of a legally binding international agreement on the disposal of plastic waste from the sea, supported by strong national targets for achieving 100 percent recycled and renewable plastic waste by 2030, and national bans on disposable plastic items such as bags. “Plastic pollution is too big a problem to be solved by just one continent, one government or one industrial sector. Only by working together can we free our oceans, seas, rivers, cities and lives from unnecessary plastic “, Concluded Mosor Prvan.ATTACHMENT: WWF report “Exit from the plastic trap: saving the Mediterranean from plastic pollution”