ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey on Sunday passed 25,000 Covid-19-related deaths since the start of the outbreak in March, the health ministry said.
A daily toll of 140 fatalities saw the total figure rise to 25,073. Turkey has recorded more than 2.4 million infections since the first case was recorded on March 11 last year.
The government reintroduced restrictions at the start of December, including weekday evening curfews and weekend lockdowns, to stem a second wave of infections.
Restaurants and cafes have been restricted to take-away services, weddings and funerals are limited to 30 people and the over-65s and under-20s are banned from using public transport.
The number of daily cases has fallen to around 6,000 in recent days from a high of more than 33,000 in December.
Turkey began its vaccination program on Jan. 14, initially focusing on health workers and the elderly. More than 1.2 million people had been given the first dose of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine as of Saturday night, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Two in five Americans live where COVID strains hospital ICUs
— Pandemic stress puts medical workers at high risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse
— UK ramps up vaccination program, gives first shot to 6 million, but health secretary says nation is “long, long, long way” from easing its lockdown
— A year after virus lockdown, Wuhan dissident is more isolated than ever
— Dutch police clash with lockdown protesters in two cities
_ The entire University of Michigan athletic department is pausing after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant that transmits at a higher rate.
Follow all of AP’s...
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey on Sunday passed 25,000 COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the outbreak in March, the health ministry said.
A toll of 140 new fatalities saw the total figure rise to 25,073. Turkey has recorded more than 2.4 million infections since the first case was recorded on March 11.
The government reintroduced restrictions at the start of December, including weekday evening curfews and weekend lockdowns, to stem another surge of infections.
Restaurants and cafes have been restricted to takeout services, weddings and funerals are limited to 30 people and people over age 65 and under 20 are banned from using public transport.
“We all observe that the street restrictions are having a great impact on both the number of cases and the decrease in the number of patients,” Mustafa Necmi Ilhan, a member of the government’s scientific advisory committee, said Saturday.
“It’s necessary not to rush lifting the restrictions but when the number of cases and patients drops, of course they can be lifted.”
The number of daily cases has fallen to around 6,000 in recent days from a high of more than 33,000 in December.
Turkey began its vaccination program on Jan. 14, initially focusing on health workers and the elderly. More than 1.2 million people had been given a first dose of the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine as of Saturday night, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.
About 6.5 million doses were due to arrive from China on Monday, he added. Turkey earlier received an initial consignment of 3 million doses.
Turkey signed an agreement with Russia on Saturday to produce the Sputnik V vaccine.
TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Estonia’s two biggest political parties clinched a deal on Sunday to form a new government to be led by a female prime minister for the first time in the Baltic country’s history, replacing the previous Cabinet that collapsed into a corruption scandal earlier this month.
The party councils of the the opposition, center-right Reform Party and the ruling. left-leaning Center Party voted in favor of joining a Cabinet headed by Reform’s prime minister-designate and chairwoman Kaja Kallas.
Both parties are set to have seven ministerial portfolios in addition to Kallas' prime minister post in the 15-member government, which would muster a majority at the 101-seat Riigikogu Parliament.
A joint statement said the Reform Party and the Center Party “will form a government that will continue to effectively resolve the COVID-19 crisis, keep Estonia forward-looking and develop all areas and regions of our country.”
Earlier this month, President Kersti Kaljulaid, who is expected to appoint Kallas’ Cabinet in the next few days, said tackling Estonia’s worsening coronavirus situation and the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic should be an immediate priority for the new government.
Kaljulaid, Estonia's first female head of state since 2016, tasked Kallas to form the government as her pro-business and pro-entrepreneurship Reform Party emerged as the winner of Estonia’s March 2019 general election.
Pending approval from lawmakers, Kallas, 43, will become the first female head of government in the history of the small Baltic nation of 1.3 million which regained its independence amid the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
A lawyer and former European Parliament lawmaker, she is the daughter of Siim Kallas, one of the Reform Party’s...
URK, Netherlands (AP) — Rioters set fires in the center of the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven and pelted police with rocks Sunday at a banned demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures, while officers responded with tear gas and water cannons, arresting at least 30 people.
Police in the capital of Amsterdam also used a water cannon to disperse an outlawed anti-lockdown demonstration on a major square ringed by museums. Video showed police spraying people grouped against a wall of the Van Gogh Museum.
It was the worst violence to hit the Netherlands since the pandemic began and the second straight Sunday that police clashed with protesters in Amsterdam. The country has been in a tough lockdown since mid-December that is due to continue at least until Feb. 9.
In Eindhoven, 125 kilometers (78 miles) south of Amsterdam, a central square near the main railway station was littered with rocks, bicycles and shattered glass. The crowd of hundreds of demonstrators also was believed to include supporters of the anti-immigrant group PEGIDA, which had sought to demonstrate in the city.
Eindhoven police said they made at least 30 arrests by late afternoon and warned people to stay away from the city center amid the clashes. Trains to and from the station were halted and local media reported plundering at the station.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The violence came a day after anti-curfew rioters torched a coronavirus testing facility in the Dutch fishing village of Urk.
Video from Urk, 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Amsterdam, showed youths breaking into the coronavirus testing facility near the village’s harbor before it was set ablaze Saturday night.
The lockdown was imposed by the Dutch government to rein in the spread of the more...
LONDON (AP) — Britain is expanding a coronavirus vaccination program that has seen more than 6 million people get the first of two doses — even as the country’s death toll in the pandemic approaches 100,000.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that three-quarters of the U.K.’s over-80s have received a vaccine shot. He said three-quarters of nursing home residents have also had their first jab.
Health authorities said 6.35 million doses of vaccine have been administered since injections began last month, including almost 500,000 doses on Saturday, the highest one-day total so far. Health officials aim to give 15 million people, including everyone over 70, a first vaccine shot by Feb. 15, and cover the entire adult population by September.
Britain is inoculating people with two vaccines — one made by U.S. pharma firm Pfizer and German company BioNTech, the other by U.K.-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and Oxford University. It has also authorized a third, developed by Moderna.
It is giving the shots at doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies and vaccination centers set up in conference halls, sports stadiums and other large venues like Salisbury Cathedral. Thirty more locations are opening this week, including a former IKEA store and a museum of industrial history that was used as a set for the TV show “Peaky Blinders.”
Britain’s vaccination campaign is a rare success in a country with Europe’s worst confirmed coronavirus outbreak. The U.K. has recorded 97,939 deaths among people who tested positive, including 610 new deaths reported Sunday.
The U.K. is set within days to become the fifth country in the world to record 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico — all of which have much larger populations than...
NEW YORK (AP) — A former CIA software engineer charged with leaking government secrets to WikiLeaks says it's cruel and unusual punishment that he's awaiting trial in solitary confinement, housed in a vermin-infested cell of a jail unit where inmates are treated like “caged animals."
Joshua Schulte, 32, has asked a Manhattan federal judge to force the federal Bureau of Prisons to improve conditions at the Metropolitan Correction Center, where he has been held for over two years under highly restrictive conditions usually reserved for terrorism defendants.
In court papers Tuesday, Schulte maintained he is held in conditions “below that of impoverished persons living in third world countries.”
“It is barbaric and inhumane to lock human beings into boxes for years and years — it is a punishment worse than death,” the court filing said.
A message seeking comment was sent to the Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice.
Last year, a jury deadlocked on espionage charges alleging that Schulte stole a massive trove of the agency’s hacking tools and gave it to the organization that publishes news leaks. He was convicted of lesser charges of contempt of court and making false statements.
He is scheduled for another trial on espionage charges in June in what was said to be the largest leak in CIA history involving classified information. Afterward, he faces a separate trial on child pornography charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In his 20s, Schulte, originally from Lubbock, Texas, worked as a coder at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where digital sleuths design computer code to spy on foreign adversaries.
The so-called Vault 7 leak published in March 2017 by WikiLeaks revealed how the CIA hacked Apple and Android smartphones...
LONDON (AP) — Scotland’s leader said Sunday that she intends to hold a “legal referendum” on independence from the U.K. if she wins Scottish elections scheduled for May.
Such a move would put First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on a constitutional collision course with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who opposes another secession vote.
Scotland voted to remain in the U.K. by a margin of 55%-45% in a 2014 referendum that was billed as a once-in-a-generation event. A new binding referendum requires the U.K. government’s approval, and Johnson insists he’ll say no.
Sturgeon argues that Brexit has transformed the situation by dragging Scotland out of the European Union against its will. A narrow majority of U.K. voters opted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum, but a large majority in Scotland voted to stay.
A string of recent opinion polls suggests a small majority now supports Scotland becoming an independent country. Sturgeon says her Scottish National Party will run in May’s election “to seek the authority of the Scottish people” for a new referendum.
“If the SNP win the Scottish election in a few months’ time on a proposition of giving the people that choice, then what democrat could rightly stand in the way of that? Boris Johnson just clearly fears the verdict and the will of the Scottish people,” Sturgeon told the BBC.
The SNP says that if it wins a majority in the Scottish Parliament in May it will pass legislation allowing for a new referendum once the coronavirus pandemic is over. If Johnson’s government refused to agree, the issue would likely end up in the courts.
“I want to have a legal referendum, that’s what I’m going to seek the authority of the Scottish people for in May and if they give me that authority that’s what I intend...
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian authorities said that they seized an Iranian tanker and Panamanian tanker suspected of carrying out the illegal transfer of oil in their country's waters Sunday.
The tankers — the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Frea — were seized in waters off Indonesia's West Kalimantan province, said Wisnu Pramadita, a spokesman for the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency.
He said the tankers are suspected of a variety of violations, including not displaying national flags, shutting off their identification systems, anchoring illegally as well as the illegal transfer fuel between ships and spilling oil.
Authorities were escorting the two tankers to Batam island in Riau Islands province for further investigation, he said.
Iranian state television acknowledged the tanker’s seizure, citing Indonesian authorities. The report did not elaborate.
Iran, home to major oil and natural gas reserves, has seen its sales abroad deeply impacted by U.S. sanctions after former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018. That cut a crucial source of government revenue in Iran’s long-anemic economy.
In the time since, Iran has relied on black-market sales and deals with Venezuela to keep its sales going.
Iran’s state-owned fleet of oil tankers routinely travel turn off their Automatic Identification System trackers to try and mask where they deliver their cargo. Those AIS beacons, a safety measure so other ships know what’s around them, can be tracked. Analysts say those ships often transfer their oil to other ships, that then sell the crude under false pretenses.
BEIJING (AP) — Eleven workers trapped for two weeks inside a Chinese gold mine were brought safely to the surface on Sunday, a landmark achievement for an industry long-blighted by disasters and high death tolls.
State broadcaster CCTV showed workers being hauled up one-by-one in baskets on Sunday afternoon, their eyes shielded to protect them after so many days in darkness.
Some brought their hands together in gratitude and many appeared almost too weak to stand. They were swiftly covered in coats amid freezing temperatures and loaded into ambulances.
Hundreds of rescue workers and officials stood at attention and applauded as the workers were brought up from the mine in Qixia, a jurisdiction under Yantai in the eastern coastal province of Shandong.
One worker was reported to have died from a head wound following the explosion that deposited massive amounts of rubble in the shaft on Jan. 10 while the mine was still under construction.
The fate of 10 others who were underground at the time is unknown. Authorities have detained mine managers for delaying reporting the accident.
The cause of the accident is under investigation but the explosion was large enough to release 70 tons of debris that blocked the shaft, disabling elevators and trapping workers underground.
Rescuers drilled parallel shafts to send down food and nutrients and eventually bring up the survivors, 10 of whom had been in a lower chamber and one in a separate area slightly closer to the surface.
The official China Daily newspaper said on its website that seven of the workers were able to walk to ambulances on their own.
Such protracted and expensive rescue efforts are relatively new in China's mining industry, which used to average 5,000 deaths per year. Increased supervision has improved safety,...
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine facility in more than two months, although there was no immediate evidence the virus was spreading in the community.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said Sunday the case was a 56-year-old woman who recently returned from Europe.
Like other returning travelers, she spent 14 days in quarantine and twice tested negative before being returning home on Jan. 13. She later developed symptoms and tested positive.
He said health officials will conduct genome testing but are working under the assumption that the case is a more transmissible variant of the virus.
He said they are investigating to see whether its possible she caught the disease from another returning traveler who was staying in the same quarantine facility.
New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the virus, at least for now. Bloomfield said officials are ramping up contact tracing and testing efforts and hope to have more information about the case in the coming days.
Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region:
— A Chinese city has completed 2,600 temporary treatment rooms as the country’s north battles new clusters of the coronavirus. The single-occupancy rooms in the city of Nangong in Hebei province just outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heaters, toilets, showers and other amenities, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Special attention has been paid to Hebei because of its proximity to the capital and the province has locked down large areas to prevent further spread of the virus. The provincial capital Shijiazhung and the city of Xingtai, which encompasses Nangong, have been largely sealed off. Community isolation and large-scale testing have also been...
If you’re going to start a business this year, you probably have come up with a plan already. Having a comprehensive plan in place is one of the most critical things you can do if you’re going to find success within your niche.
However, while you might have thought about expenses such as employee salaries and what it will cost to rent a brick-and-mortar location, you might have forgotten about certain other potential expenditures.
We’ve compiled a possible expense list for you to peruse. It’s probable that you won’t need everything on this list, but it’s more than likely you’ll need at least a couple of the items we’ll mention.…
BEIJING — A Chinese city has brought 2,600 temporary treatment rooms online as the country’s north battles new clusters of coronavirus.
The single-occupancy rooms in the city of Nangong in Hebei province just outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heaters, toilets, showers and other amenities, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Special attention has been paid to Hebei because of its proximity to the capital and the province has locked down large areas to prevent further spread of the virus. The provincial capital Shijiazhung and the city of Xingtai, which encompasses Nangong, have been largely sealed off from the rest of the country. Community isolation and large-scale testing have also been enforced.
China on Saturday marked the anniversary of the start of a 76-day lockdown in the central city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected in late 2019. A World Health Organization inspection team is in the city to probe the virus’ origins, amid stiff efforts by China to defend its response to the outbreak and promote theories that the virus might have come from elsewhere.
The National Health Commission on Sunday reported 19 additional cases had been detected in Hebei over the previous 24 hours. The far northeastern province of Heilongjiang reported another 29 cases, linked partly to an outbreak at a meat processing plant. Beijing, where around 2 million residents have been ordered to undergo new testing, reported two new confirmed cases.
China currently has 1,800 people being treated for COVID-19, 94 of them listed in serious condition, with another 1,017 being monitored in isolation for having tested positive for the virus without displaying symptoms.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
Life in the Chinese city of Wuhan has some normalcy a year after deadly...
DOVER, Del. (AP) — The Dupont Co. and its spinoff business Chemours have agreed to resolve legal disputes over environmental liabilities for pollution related to man-made chemicals associated with an increased risk of cancer and other health problems.
The binding memorandum of understanding announced Friday comes just over a month after Delaware’s Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that DuPont massively downplayed the cost of environmental liabilities imposed on Chemours when DuPont spun off its former performance chemicals unit in 2015.
The chemicals at issue are known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. They include perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which was used in the production of Teflon, and have also been used in firefighting foam, water-repellent clothing and many other household and personal items. They sometimes are referred to as “forever chemicals” because of their longevity in the environment.
The memorandum resolves legal disputes originating from the spinoff and establishes a cost-sharing arrangement and escrow account for potential future legacy PFAS liabilities arising out of pre-July 1, 2015 conduct.
DuPont, Chemours and Corteva, an independent public company that was previously the agriculture division of DowDuPont, also have agreed to resolve about 95 pending cases, as well as other unfiled matters, in multidistrict PFOA litigation in Ohio. The $83 million settlement will be split roughly equally among the three companies. It does not include a case that resulted in a $50 million jury verdict in March that DuPont is appealing.
The Ohio verdict stemmed from a class action lawsuit involving about 80,000 residents of Ohio and West Virginia who drank water that was contaminated by chemical releases from DuPont’s Washington Works facility near Parkersburg,...
NEW YORK (AP) — A weeklong strike at the nation’s largest wholesale produce market ended Saturday after workers overwhelmingly approved a deal that includes their largest pay increase in decades and more money for health coverage.
Employees at New York City’s Hunts Point Produce Market will receive raises totaling $1.85 per hour over three years, including an increase of 70 cents per hour in the first year, their union said. Management will also made additional contributions of 40 cents per hour to employee health care.
About 1,400 members of Teamsters Local 202 walked off the job at the Bronx market Jan. 17, upset with how they were being compensated while continuing to keep operations going throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the death of six employees. It was the first strike at the market since 1986.
“Some of us can get a little bit of safe harbor by working from home or telecommuting. These folks can not do that,” Local 202 President Danny Kane said in a telephone interview.
Workers will start returning to work at the market Sunday, the union said. About 97% of striking employees voted in favor of the deal, which will raise the average base pay for most workers to $20.42 per hour in its third year, the union said.
“With an average annual increase just under three-times the current cost of living increase, we feel this is a very fair and equitable deal,” Stephen Katzman, owner of S. Katzman Produce and co-president of the Hunts Point Cooperative Board, which manages the market, said in a statement.
In a previous statement, management said that it was “proud to have kept our union workers — the vast majority of whom live right here in the Bronx — working and on payroll with full health benefits” while many people were unemployed...
LONDON (AP) — A major British doctors' group says the U.K. government should “urgently review” its decision to give people a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine up to 12 weeks after the first, rather than the shorter gap recommended by the manufacturer and the World Health Organization.
The U.K., which has Europe’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak, adopted the policy in order to give as many people as possible a first dose of vaccine quickly. So far almost 5.9 million people in Britain have received a shot of either a vaccine made by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech or one developed by U.K.-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
AstraZeneca has said it believes a first dose of its vaccine offers protection after 12 weeks, but Pfizer says it has not tested the efficacy of its jab after such a long gap.
The British Medical Association on Saturday urged England’s chief medical officer to “urgently review the U.K.’s current position of second doses after 12 weeks.”
In a statement, the association said there was “growing concern from the medical profession regarding the delay of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as Britain's strategy has become increasingly isolated from many other countries.”
“No other nation has adopted the U.K.‘s approach,” Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of the BMA council, told the BBC.
He said the WHO had recommended that the second Pfizer vaccine shot could be given up to six weeks after the first but only “in exceptional circumstances.”
“I do understand the trade-off and the rationale, but if that was the right thing to do then we would see other nations following suit,” Nagpaul said.
Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, defended...
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — One of the keys to President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion clean energy plan could be a mineral that lies in a salt flat above a prehistoric volcano just south of the Oregon-Nevada line.
But the question of how to extract lithium and whether former President Donald Trump’s Department of Interior rushed a mine through the approval process could be an early test for Biden and his nominee for Interior secretary, New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a record of decision on Trump’s final Friday in office for an open-pit lithium mine at Thacker Pass, which is roughly 53 miles (85 kilometers) north of Winnemucca, Nevada.
Lithium Americas, the company behind the mine, believes it can supply a quantity "critical for establishing a strong domestic lithium supply chain required to support a low-carbon economy,” its President and CEO Jon Evans said in a statement.
Lithium, long used for rechargeable batteries found in cellphones and laptops, is expected to become an increasingly valuable commodity if the new administration pushes carmakers to scale up electric vehicle production. But its extraction has splintered environmentalists. While technologists are eager to use it to transition away from carbon-based fuels, conservationists worry about the impact new mines have on endangered species and the environment.
The approval of the mine is among several eleventh-hour decisions issued by Trump’s Department of Interior to advance energy and mining projects, including a West Virginia oil pipeline and an Arizona copper mine on land the San Carlos Apache Tribe considers sacred. Unlike those decisions, which could be reversed, Thacker Pass procured the final federal permit needed to begin construction — one difficult to overturn.
“We are not going to fix the climate...
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When Mike Lindell, better known to TV viewers as the MyPillow Guy, went to the White House last week to try to persuade President Donald Trump to keep pushing bogus theories about the election, he came away disappointed. Unexpectedly, Trump passed him — and his claims about sabotaged voting machines — off on staffers. But the Trump true believer says he has something from Trump that softens that blow: the promise of an endorsement.
The president has told him before that he would back his bid for governor of Minnesota, Lindell told The Associated Press. “Mike, if you did it, I would get behind you,” Lindell said Trump told him.
It's a prospect that sends shivers down the spines of some Republicans in the state — where Trump lost by 7 percentage points — and cuts to the heart of the national party's existential crisis. While many Republicans, particularly those in Washington, are eager to move on from the former president and his personality-driven, racially divisive politics, Trump's acolytes across the country are already preparing to pick up the torch.
GOP state parties across the country are starting to look ahead to divisive primary fights that will test Trump's hold on Republican voters. In Wyoming, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney drew a primary challenge shortly after voting to impeach Trump for his role in the deadly riot Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol. And in Virginia, which holds its governor's election this year, a Trump-style Republican, state Sen. Amanda Chase, is running for the party's nomination, even as she was recently stripped of her committee assignments for comments calling the rioters “patriots."
In states like Virginia and Minnesota, there's little evidence that embracing Trump is a path to success for Republicans. Trump lost Virginia by 10 percentage points in November. And...
BATH, Maine (AP) — The commercial fishery for herring has suffered in recent years due to new restrictions, but those same rules could benefit some of Maine's most beloved birds — puffins.
Atlantic puffins, known for their colorful beaks and waddling walks, were once nearly gone from Maine, the only U.S. state where they nest. Decades of conservation work have brought Maine's population of the birds to about 1,300 pairs that nest on small islands off the coast.
Those same Gulf of Maine waters are an important area for the U.S. herring fishery. The fishery has had to contend with quota cuts in recent years because of federal efforts to protect the fish's population, and more restrictions are on the way.
The U.S. catch of herring, based mostly in Maine and Massachusetts, fell from more than 200 million pounds in 2014 to less than 25 million pounds in 2019.
Puffins are dependent on small fish to survive, and new protections to the herring population could help them do that, said Don Lyons, director of conservation science for the National Audubon Society’s Seabird Institute in Bremen, Maine.
“Herring are certainly a key food source for puffins. The kind of fish they do best on, that they best raise chicks feeding,” Lyons said. “The declines of herring over the last decade or longer have not been good for puffins.”
The herring fishery is facing a new set of restrictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration starting Feb. 10. The restrictions include a prohibition on the use of certain fishing gear in inshore waters. They also include new rules that account for herring's role in the ecosystem, federal documents state.
That's good news for puffins, because small fish close to shore are vitally important for puffin parents to be able to feed...
When COVID-19 first swarmed the United States, one health insurer called some customers with a question: Do you have enough to eat?
Oscar Health wanted to know if people had adequate food for the next couple weeks and how they planned to stay stocked up while hunkering down at home.
“We’ve seen time and again, the lack of good and nutritional food causes members to get readmitted" to hospitals, Oscar executive Ananth Lalithakumar said.
Food has become a bigger focus for health insurers as they look to expand their coverage beyond just the care that happens in a doctor’s office. More plans are paying for temporary meal deliveries and some are teaching people how to cook and eat healthier foods.
Benefits experts say insurers and policymakers are growing used to treating food as a form of medicine that can help patients reduce blood sugar or blood pressure levels and stay out of expensive hospitals.
“People are finally getting comfortable with the idea that everybody saves money when you prevent certain things from happening or somebody’s condition from worsening,” said Andrew Shea, a senior vice president with the online insurance broker eHealth.
This push is still relatively small and happening mostly with government-funded programs like Medicaid or Medicare Advantage, the privately run versions of the government's health program for people who are 65 or older or have disabilities. But some employers that offer coverage to their workers also are growing interested.
Medicaid programs in several states are testing or developing food coverage. Next year, Medicare will start testing meal program vouchers for patients with malnutrition as part of a broader look at improving care and reducing costs.
Nearly 7 million people were enrolled last year in a Medicare...
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s health minister, who has faced criticism for consuming and endorsing a herbal syrup made by a sorcerer, has tested positive for COVID-19.
A Health Ministry official on Saturday confirmed that Pavithra Wanniarachchi became the highest-ranking official to be infected with the virus. She and her immediate contacts have been asked to self-quarantine.
Doctors have said there is no scientific basis for the syrup as remedy for the coronavirus. It's said to contain honey and nutmeg.
Thousands of people gathered in long queues in December in the town of Kegalle, northeast of the capital Colombo, to obtain the syrup, just days after Wanniarachchi and several other government officials publicly consumed it.
The maker of the syrup said he got the formula through his divine powers. In local media, he claimed the Hindu goddess Kaali appeared to him in a dream and gave the recipe to save humanity from the coronavirus.
Sri Lankans are used to taking both the regular medicine and indigenous alternative drugs to cure ailments.
Meanwhile on Saturday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced that Sri Lanka will receive the first stock of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India on Jan. 27.
He said India is giving this stock free of charge and his government is making arrangements to purchase more vaccines from India, China and Russia.
On Friday, Sri Lanka approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid warnings from doctors that front-line health workers should be quickly inoculated to prevent the medical system from collapsing. The vaccine was the first to be approved for emergency use in Sri Lanka.
The Health Ministry says the inoculation will begin by mid-February.
Sri Lanka has witnessed a fresh outbreak of the disease in October when two clusters...
BEIJING (AP) — Canada said its officials have met online with former diplomat Michael Kovrig, who has been held in China for more than two years in a case related to an executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
Canada’s Foreign Ministry said officials led by Ambassador Dominic Barton were given “on-site virtual consular access” to Kovrig on Thursday. The ministry said it was unable to release further details.
Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor have been confined since Dec. 10, 2018, just days after Canada detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant.
“The Canadian government remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor since December 2018 and continues to call for their immediate release,” the ministry said.
China says the pair are being held on suspicion of endangering national security, but has also drawn clear links between their detention and the case against Meng, who is fighting deportation to the U.S. where she faces fraud charges.
Beijing says the detention of Meng, who is under house arrest at a luxury mansion she owns in Vancouver, is politically motivated and has demanded her immediate and unconditional release.
Chinese prosecutors announced last year that Kovrig had been charged on suspicion of spying for state secrets and intelligence, and Spavor on suspicion of spying for a foreign entity and illegally providing state secrets. It’s not publicly known where they are being held or under what conditions.
Canadian diplomats had been denied all access to the two men from January to October because of coronavirus precautions cited by the Chinese side.
Meng’s arrest severely damaged...
Starting a business is a monumental endeavor, and there are a few natural first steps to keep in mind to create a successful and long-lasting venture. Of course, it all started with an idea, but testing that idea’s validity and conducting research will help you tweak and refine that idea into a working business plan. From there, you’ll need to get your finances in order, determine your business structure, apply for licenses and permits, put together a team, and then brand and promote your company.
photo credit: Fikret tozak / Unsplash
In today’s internet-reliant world, having a website is the best way to market your company to potential consumers, and without one, people simply wouldn’t know that you exist.…
The post 5 Top-Rated WordPress Plugins for Small Business Sites appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Running a small business, even if that business is just you acting as a freelancer, isn’t easy, especially when you’re just starting out. It takes capital for initial expenditures like office space, utilities, equipment, advertising, and office supplies.
Of course there are a number of business items you can get for free, like business cards, websites, and even free business phone numbers and services. But in general, you’re going to have to pay out for some serious business necessities.
You can pay for these things in several different ways, the top three choices being, cash you have on hand, a line of credit you’ve already established with a small business friendly bank, or you can use a credit card that is solely dedicated to your business.…
The post 5 of The Best Credit Cards Designed for Small Business Owners appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Some of Pasco’s most prominent business owners could delay investing in hangars and other facilities at the Tri-Cities Airport over a proposed lease policy driven by the Federal Aviation Administration. The Port of Pasco is formalizing some aspects of its existing lease policy, which governs how port-owned land on the airport is leased – and released – to long-term tenants. While the change is nuanced, airport tenants such as…
The post Business owners say airport lease changes could chill investment appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
The all-volunteer group that developed the popular hiking trails on Badger and Candy mountains is $600,000 away from repeating its magic on Little Badger Mountain. Friends of Badger Mountain is turning to Tri-City businesses and other supporters to help it close a $1.5 million agreement to buy nearly 20 acres below the summit of Little Badger Mountain. It has raised about $900,000 to date to purchase the property, which is…
The post Friends of Badger Mountain is $600K away from key land deal appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Beyonce said “girls run the world” and we don’t disagree. But here’s to people who run teams, the Project Managers. Several qualities of excellent project managers differentiate them from their other team members, and rightly so.
It’s no big secret that being a Project Manager is not everybody’s cup of tea. Almost everyday, you face several challenges that you must overcome with patience and discipline. You may not always do it very skillfully, although don’t you wish that was possible?
Managing projects that concern the company’s existing practices and their overall mission are one of the many qualities of a project manager.…
The post Team Productivity Low? 5 Tips For Every Aspiring Project Manager Out There appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Graphics design needs come up all the time, from marketing materials to websites to social media. While it might be tempting to use someone in-house for your graphics design needs, you’ll quickly find that this is time consuming and might not always produce the most professional impact. You might then turn to outsourcing for your graphics design needs, but this is also a costly and sometimes time consuming process.
First, you have to find a graphics designer who can professionally produce the graphics you need for your website or marketing campaign, and you also likely want someone who can do so within a specific timeframe and budget.…
The post Why SME Need To Consider On-Demand Graphic Design Service Provider – Penji appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Choosing a vehicle for business is a slightly different exercise than choosing on for personal use. You’ll need something that’s practical, economical and comfortable – especially if you’re putting in a lot of miles. But you’ll also need to think about how your vehicle reflects on the business and its brand.
Let’s take a look at what you should be looking for when expanding your business fleet.
It’s worth not only thinking about your criteria, but getting them all written down. That way, you’ll be able to account for any hidden costs, and make sure that the needs of your business are kept in mind.…
The post How to Choose the Right Car for your Business Fleet appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Content is king, yet one of the biggest challenges websites face is the creation of consistent, quality content. There are so many options when you’re looking for SEO writing services, but which ones are superb? Which ones are qualified? A content writing subscription can help you get the quantity of content that your brand needs, but will it get you the quality? Obviously, if you’re looking for content creation options, then you can always create content yourself, but this can be difficult.
First, you’ve got to create engaging and relevant content. Then, you’ve got to create a lot of it! If you don’t have time to do this, then you’ll turn to one of the aforementioned services or a copywriter.…
The post 6 Reasons Why Content Fuel Writing Service Can Help Solve Your Website’s Content Problems appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Business travel can throw up a range of challenges that might take even the experienced by surprise. But even if you aren’t bowled over by any of them, you might find yourself exhausted by the time you get to the hotel – and therefore not at your best when you come to conduct the actual business.
You might take some reassurance from the fact that this is a common problem, and that there are a few effective measures you might take to limit the stress, and to ensure that the journey doesn’t take too much out of you.
Knowing exactly how and when you’re going to get to the airport will take a load off your mind.…
2020 has been an eventful year in many aspects. Many businesses survived while many incurred losses. The pandemic has been a reality check for most business owners.
The most important lesson that all of us learned is that the world is going online, and we need to keep up with the pace. Hence, if you have had a business idea for a long time, you need to reevaluate it now. Will your business be able to survive in the post COVID world?
If you’re clueless about small business ideas that can be profitable in 2021, then worry not as we’ve got you covered.…
January kicks off a new calendar year, but also a fresh fiscal year for many organizations. This means new budgets, updated plans for projects, and goals for the year.
As you review your budgets and plans for the coming months, consider the various business processes currently in place within your organization. Evaluate what needs to be improved and how you can upgrade it. Check out these five priorities for 2021 that can help you move your business forward.
As your business grows, your inventory is likely to grow larger and more diverse. In 2021, it may be time to evaluate your existing systems to make sure you can manage your growing inventory to prevent overbuying or out of stock items.…
The Benton-Franklin Council of Governments has tapped Michelle Holt to succeed Stephanie Seamans as executive director. Holt will begin on Feb. 15. She comes to the job from the College of Eastern Idaho, where she has served as executive director for Workforce Training and Continuing Education since December 2016. She previously held leadership positions with…
Check stimulus payment status online The Internal Revenue service advises people to visit irs.gov to check the status of their second Economic Impact Payment. The IRS and the Treasury Department began issuing the latest stimulus payments in early January, with electronic deposits appearing before the scheduled payment date of Jan. 4. Paper checks will be…
It’s back to basics for Washington state businesses as Covid-19 infections rates rise. Gov. Jay Inslee debuted a new Covid-19 strategy that organizes Washington into eight regions and sets tough targets before restrictions meant to curtail the spread of the virus that causes the disease are loosened. Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery launched Jan.…
The post Inslee’s new recovery plan forces six counties to coordinate on Covid-19 appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Mid-Columbia lenders are ready to begin processing a new wave of Paycheck Protection Program loans. As a third edition of the popular forgivable loan ramped up in mid-January, local lenders said they would apply the lessons they learned from the first two but stood ready to respond to their customers, defying word that some lenders…
As members of the Prosser Chamber of Commerce struggled to pay renewal fees under pandemic-related financial pressure, the executive director found a novel solution. John-Paul Estey asked Yakima Federal Savings and Loan to allow it use sponsorship dollars for canceled events to cover dues owed by cash-strapped members. The bank agreed. Yakima Federal was on…
The post Cheering through the pain: Business groups lose members but not focus appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
You likely noticed changes to the front page of your Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business this month. We wanted to usher in the new year with a new look and feel as we celebrate the start of our publication’s 20th year. In addition to a modernized logo, we made some stylistic changes to the cover…
Ten months after the arrival of the coronavirus in Washington, the Legislature convened on Jan. 11 for a new session amid a pandemic that will shape every aspect of the session, from the way lawmakers conduct business (over computer screens instead of beneath the Capitol dome) to the issues they debate. There is cause for…
The post A message to the 2021 Legislature: First, do no harm appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Now that vaccines are available, we hope our lives will return to the way they were before the coronavirus pandemic blanketed the globe. That is not likely to occur. Last March our booming economy was clobbered by Covid-19. A worldwide pandemic ensued. There was no vaccine to counter it and even though vaccines were developed…
The post Empty office space hints at changes brought by Covid. Will it be permanent? appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.