And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Linkee-poo, good night and good luck

Wishing us all a better and brighter New Year.

Dawn Wells, and so it goes. True confession, I was always more preferential to Mary Ann.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled certain varieties of Sportmix pet food due to toxic levels of aflatoxin. Regulators said Wednesday they're aware of at least 28 dogs that have died due to the toxic mold and at least eight that have been sickened."

"Snowstorms, holidays and general inexperience in handling a pandemic response is to blame for a 'lag' in the number of Americans so far vaccinated for the coronavirus, according to U.S. officials… The federal government previously estimated that 20 million Americans would receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine by the end of the year. But as 2020, a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic, comes to a close on Thursday, the government appears set to fall well short of that goal." Who could have seen that?

"Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held a news conference on the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday afternoon… The governor discussed distribution of the vaccine and encouraged people who have the opportunity to receive the vaccine to take it."

"They are frontline workers with top-priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine, but they are refusing to take it… The vaccine doubts swirling among healthcare workers across the country come as a surprise to researchers, who assumed hospital staff would be among those most in tune with the scientific data backing the vaccines." Ah, well, that's where you made your mistake. As one of the newly minted lizard people, come on in, the water is fine.

"An implacable surge of Covid-19 cases has overwhelmed Southern California hospitals and intensive care units for most of December after public health officials warned for weeks that people should refrain from gathering with those outside their households over the holidays… Yet millions of Americans desperate to reconnect with loved ones and restore a sense of normalcy ignored the warnings on Thanksgiving. As a result, coronavirus cases spiked, and ICU capacity dwindled."

"A now-former employee at a Wisconsin medical center 'intentionally removed' 57 vials of a coronavirus vaccine from refrigeration, forcing officials to throw out nearly 500 doses, according to an internal investigation." Fucker.

"The U.K. National Health Service has pushed back the window for people to receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech — to a duration the companies tested on only a small percentage of patients… The NHS wrote a letter to hospitals saying those who are scheduled to receive their second dose after Jan. 4 should be rescheduled from three weeks’ time to 12, with most recipients booked in the last week of that time frame. The move would bring the window closer to the time frame for the just-approved vaccine made by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca."

"The year of Karen: how a meme changed the way Americans talked about racism"

"Workers in 20 states will get a pay hike on January 1 when the minimum wage increases, thanks to cost-of-living adjustments and other scheduled increases. Later in the year, another four states and Washington, D.C. will raise their baseline pay, which means that low-wage workers in almost half the nation could see higher pay next year."

"The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time unexpectedly fell last week, marking its second straight decline… Initial jobless claims declined by 19,000 to 787,000 in the week ended Dec. 26, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected initial jobless claims to rise to 828,000. The previous week’s total for initial claims was upwardly revised by 3,000 to 806,000."

How goes Brexit? An opinion… "But with Britain in a state of crisis because of the government’s botched response to the pandemic, most people will react with relief or perhaps indifference. For all the triumphalist claims of the Brexiters, the sunny uplands they told us to expect are no more than another cold, dark, wet winter’s day. The 11th-hour antics means there will be little scrutiny of a trade deal that could shape Britain’s economic destiny for a generation."

"Although the U.K. has now sealed a trade deal with the European Union, covering $900 billion in tariff-free goods and services annually, the British prime minister’s hopes for a new arrangement with the United States are confronting the reality of a transatlantic relationship that is now anything but special."

"Norwegian rescuers deployed drones and dogs to negotiate unstable clay soil in a search for 10 people still missing on Thursday after a landslide in southern Norway swept away more than a dozen buildings the previous day."

Even your car can be used against you. "In recent years, investigators have realized that automobiles — particularly newer models — can be treasure troves of digital evidence. Their onboard computers generate and store data that can be used to reconstruct where a vehicle has been and what its passengers were doing. They reveal everything from location, speed and acceleration to when doors were opened and closed, whether texts and calls were made while the cellphone was plugged into the infotainment system, as well as voice commands and web histories."

"America’s deadliest serial killer, Samuel Little, who confessed to strangling 93 people, has died in California aged 80 with the identity of almost half of his victims still unknown… Little said he targeted disadvantaged and mostly black women, including sex workers, in the belief that this would draw less attention from a disjointed law enforcement system that had little apparent interest in such victims – a calculation that proved grimly correct. His death means families of many of the victims may never have closure."

"New York City police turned to familiar tactics ahead of Thursday’s New Year’s Eve celebrations, deploying bomb-sniffing dogs and sand-filled sanitation trucks intended to guard against explosions… But the department’s playbook this year includes an unusual mandate: preventing crowds of any size from gathering in Times Square."

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on a package of controversial new laws that expand the government's powers to label individuals and organizations as 'foreign agents,' and introduce an array of new restrictions on media organizations." Enjoy your new "freedoms" my Russian friends.

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all but shut the door on President Donald Trump’s push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks, declaring Congress has provided enough pandemic aid as he blocked another attempt by Democrats to force a vote." Oh look, it's that "party of fiscal responsibility" again. Someone should have locked the door before they scuttled back inside.

"President Donald Trump is expected to return to Washington earlier than anticipated ahead of a planned disruption by Republicans when Congress meets next week to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win… Trump is now slated to leave Palm Beach before his annual New Year's Eve party, even though guests had already gathered at his south Florida club and were told Trump would be in attendance, according to three people familiar with the matter. The President typically relishes appearing on the red carpet in front of the press and his friends, but is skipping the event altogether this year in what will be an unusual move."

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