Month: November 2020

first_imgCould he be The One? Katie Holmes is “on cloud nine” in her relationship with boyfriend Emilio Vitolo Jr., a source exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly.“She feels so blessed to be with a centered, down-to-earth, kindhearted companion who isn’t affected by the fame and puts happiness and traditional values first,” the insider adds of the NYC-based chef, 33, who “treats her like a total princess.”Katie Holmes Thinks Emilio Vitolo Jr Romance Can Go All WayEmilio Vitolo Jr. and Katie Holmes kissing in New York City. LRNYC/MEGA- Advertisement – The Secret: Dare to Dream actress, 41, was first linked to Vitolo Jr. in September and the duo has been hot and heavy ever since. Though they’re still in the early stages of their romance, the pair are already getting “serious.” Despite “some concern” from her loved ones, Holmes isn’t afraid of how quickly her relationship with Vitolo Jr. has progressed.“She doesn’t care what people may say about rushing into the romance,” the source tells Us. “In her mind, this is the real deal, they’re riding a beautiful wave together and she’s already decided it’s got the potential to go all the way.”Shortly after Holmes was first spotted locking lips with the restauranteur in September, a separate source told Us that the Dawson’s Creek alum was “head over heels in love with Emilio” and was happy to have finally found a “stable guy” to keep her company.Katie Holmes Thinks Emilio Vitolo Jr Romance Can Go All WayKatie Holmes and Emilio Vitolo Jr. Shutterstock; Courtesy Emilio Vitolo/Instagram- Advertisement – The Batman Begins actress was previously married to Tom Cruise from 2006 to 2012 and the pair share a 14-year-old daughter. More recently, Holmes sparked a romance with Jamie Foxx, from whom she split in August 2019 after six years of dating. At the time, a source told Us that Holmes was the one who decided to call it quits.Though she’s faced her fair share of ups and downs in her love life, Holmes feels secure in her budding romance with Vitolo Jr., who was previously engaged to designer Rachel Emmons.“Ultimately, she’s a grown woman who’s free to make her own choices,” the first source says. “She’s got some seriously protective friends and family though, so [Emilio] better carry on treating her this well if he knows what’s good for him!”- Advertisement – For more on Holmes’ new relationship, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! – Advertisement –last_img read more

first_imgFalse and misleading information surging in battleground states that have become the focus of the political battle — including Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia; No, Sharpies didn’t invalidate votes in Arizona. Republicans looking to cast doubts on the legitimacy of election results in the state circulated a conspiracy theory that alleged that poll workers had provided Trump voters with felt-tip pens to mark their ballots, which some claimed invalidated those ballots by making them unreadable by voting machines. Multiple Arizona officials said that there was no truth to that claim, and that votes with felt-tip pens were counted. [The New York Times] Could state legislatures pick electors to vote for Trump? It is not likely. Election law experts are highly skeptical. And leaders of the Republican majorities in legislatures in key states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia, said they saw no role for themselves in picking electors. [The New York Times] I spoke with Renee DiResta, a disinformation researcher at the Stanford Internet Observatory, who told me she was worried about three specific themes around election misinformation: Today’s newsletter is a dispatch from our colleagues in the tech bureau who have been covering the spread of disinformation in the aftermath of the election. First this from Davey Alba:President Trump’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge that Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the presidential election, along with his continual statements containing unfounded claims that the election was rigged, has left a huge information gap ripe for exploitation by bad actors, disinformation researchers have told me. And that has led to the worst-case scenario for the proliferation of misinformation about the election playing out: The volume of bad information, they say, is unprecedented.- Advertisement – Can Mr. Trump still win? No. He’s already lost. Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that he “will win.” This is false. Mr. Biden’s winning margins in the key battleground states he has captured are well above the thresholds of votes that have been changed in previous recounts. [The New York Times] – Advertisement – The re-emergence of misinformation incidents and delegitimization themes that pointed back to earlier allegations — ideas that a Democrat-led coup would take place, voting machines being tainted, and more. – Advertisement – As my colleagues Jim Rutenberg and Nick Corasaniti reported on Sunday, the roots of Mr. Trump’s approach — to cast doubt on the outcome of the vote — dates to before his election in 2016, and he advanced his plans throughout his term. But it took shape in earnest when the coronavirus pandemic upended normal life and led states to promote voting by mail.To be sure, misinformation of all kinds, not just about the election, had already been on the rise, compounded by the pandemic and stay-at-home orders that have caused more people to be glued to their screens and consuming social media.But a lot of it was tied to politics in one form or another. There was a surge in followers of the QAnon conspiracy, whose convoluted theory falsely claims that a cabal of Satan-worshiping, pedophile Democrats is plotting against President Trump. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the average membership in 10 large public QAnon Facebook groups swelled almost 600 percent from March through July. The repurposing of user-created content from Election Day, which documented one-off incidents, aggregated to support claims of fraud and illegitimacy; “These narratives are reaching audiences inclined to believe them, and so a significant concern remains around whether the losing side will accept the legitimacy of the outcome,” Ms. DiResta said.A lot of the claims are not new, with just the specifics updated. Indeed, I can’t tell you how many misinformation themes have been recycled in this period. Unsubstantiated rumors of dead people voting emerged early on in Michigan; the same rumor happened in Pennsylvania, only the supposed fraud was now at a much larger scale, including tens of thousands of people. Then the claims of voter fraud morphed into an unfounded accusation about impostors using maiden names to steal votes. Claims of ballots being magically lost or found, or being burned, or being carted into vote-counting sites by unauthorized people soared.For some solid advice on how to keep levelheaded in this period, especially coming out of this weekend, when protests about the election results were held, I would suggest listening to Nina Jankowicz, a disinformation analyst at the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank. She recommended trying to tune out politicians and political pundits for the time being, especially when you feel yourself starting to have a strong emotional response to social media posts.“I would recommend some ‘informational distancing’ — walk away from your device for a little while and if that information is still bugging you in a few minutes go and do some lateral reading,” Ms. Jankowicz said. “Figure out if anyone else is reporting what you’ve seen, and look at those official sources to see if they corroborate what you’ve just read or watched.”Stay safe out there in the internet seas, dear readers.Here from Joe Plambeck are some false and misleading rumors spreading about the election, and the truth behind the claims. No, Dominion voting machines did not delete Trump votes. President Trump last week spread new baseless claims that “glitches” in software made by Dominion Voting Systems changed vote tallies in Michigan and Georgia. The Dominion software was used in only two of the five counties that had problems in those states, and in every instance there was a detailed explanation for what had happened. In all of the cases, software did not affect the vote counts. [The New York Times] There is no proof that people stole maiden names to vote. The claim that unauthorized people had cast votes under the maiden names of real voters spread widely last week, much of it under the hashtag #MaidenGate. But there is no evidence behind those accusations. [The New York Times] – Advertisement –last_img read more

first_img The FDA has extended the public comment period on the prior notice interim final rule through July 13, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, acting FDA commissioner, told the health subcommittee Jun 25. The final rule will be published in March 2005. Historically, the FDA inspected less than 1% of imports. That percentage has doubled. FDA inspectors conducted 78,659 examinations of imported food shipments in fiscal year 2003, according to Herndon. The number far exceeded the agency’s goal of 48,000 field inspections for the year and was more than six times the 12,000 inspections conducted in fiscal 2001. Food importers give the new rules mixed reviews. “What we initially thought was 450,000, we’re thinking is more likely 250,000,” Herndon said. It’s also likely that some companies aren’t aware they need to register or that they don’t believe the rules apply to them. The notices allow agency officials to judge which shipments need inspection. The food security rules are jointly enforced by the FDA and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Despite increased inspections, few shipments have been detained. Since the prior-notice law took effect in December 2003, FDA and customs inspectors have detained 12 shipments because of concerns about food contamination or filth. None of the shipments was found to be a threat to people or animals, Herndon said. Importers must register with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and provide 2 to 8 hours’ notice of food shipments. The FDA has been receiving advance notice of about 150,000 shipments each week, according to the agency’s compliance summary information. About 99.3% of those notices are completed on time, a marked improvement from earlier this year, Michael Herndon, a public affairs specialist with the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told CIDRAP News yesterday. “We’re going back now and examining to make sure the prior-notice information is accurate,” Herndon added. Stout also asked that the FDA eliminate requirements that food and beverage companies track lot or production codes for each retail product. If the food supply is threatened, Stout said, companies and retailers remove all the suspect products from shelves. The new system has led to more targeted inspections and prompted some criticism from the food industry. But as with a student’s homework assignment, filling in the blanks doesn’t always mean giving a right answer. Although most notices are complete, the information isn’t always accurate. “While FDA made many improvements to the proposed regulations, there is still room for more, especially with concern to prior notice and record keeping,” said Susan Stout, vice president of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, in congressional testimony Jun 25. Addressing the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she requested that the FDA provide feedback on incomplete notices. Registration remains a stumbling block. By Jun 24, only 208,277 foreign and domestic companies had registered with the FDA. By some FDA estimates, twice that many businesses need to register; others say the estimates have been adjusted. Herndon said Jun 29 that the FDA continues to work with importers to educate them about registration and completing the prior-notice forms. The FDA went gently into the new rules by emphasizing education. Now regulators are moving toward the enforcement end of the spectrum. Jun 30 (CIDRAP News) – As federal agencies near the Aug 12 deadline for full enforcement of the food security provisions of the 2002 Bioterrorism Act, authorities say the food industry is getting better at following the new rules. Inspectors also have more sophisticated tools to target suspect imports. When companies notify the FDA that a shipment is arriving, agency employees can run that information through up to 100 checks, looking for red flags such as easily contaminated foods, specific countries of origin, or a product that matches other intelligence information, an FDA spokesman said. “Even though the bigger picture is to protect Americans from bioterrorism, we’re still not in the business of impeding commerce,” he said. Amy Becker is a full-time reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and a freelance reporter for CIDRAP. She will enter the University of Minnesota’s graduate program in public health administration and policy in fall 2004.last_img read more

first_imgMar 10, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – US public health spending is very uneven from state to state and is eroding in the face of the economic recession, the nonprofit group Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) said in a report released today.State shares of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds for disease prevention and other public health purposes averaged $17.60 per person in fiscal year 2008, but they ranged all the way from $12.74 for Indiana to $52.78 for Alaska, says the report by the nonpartisan health advocacy group based in Washington, DC.Meanwhile, state and local public health departments shed 11,000 jobs in 2008, said Robert (Bobby) Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), at a press teleconference on the report today.”A survey by NACCHO and CSTE [the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists] found that another 10,000 public health jobs may be cut in the next year or two,” Pestronk added.Jeff Levi, executive director of TFAH, said overall public health spending, now about $35 billion a year, is about $20 billion short of what is needed.The report, titled “Shortchanging America’s Health: A State-by-State Look at How Federal Public Health Dollars Are Spent and Key State Health Facts,” was produced in cooperation with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.Uneven state sharesLevi said about 75% of the CDC’s budget is distributed to states and communities. For fiscal year 2008, those allocations totaled $5.35 billion, according to the report.”It’s a tiny fraction of what we spend on treating people after they become sick,” Levi said. “Our priorities are upside down.”By region, the Northeast and West received higher shares than the Midwest and South. State per capita amounts averaged $22.49 in the Northeast, $23.94 n the West, $18.43 in the South, and $17.69 in the Midwest.Levi said that for some programs the CDC just doesn’t have enough money to fund every state. “In most cases where states are on the lower end of the scale, it’s because there’s not enough funding to go around and it’s often up to the luck of the draw.” For example, he said only 22 states are funded for school health programs.Because the CDC has limited funds to distribute, it awards some money on the basis of a formula and the rest on a competitive basis, with the result that some states lose out, Jim Pearsol, chief program officer for public health performance at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), told CIDRAP News in an interview.The TFAH report shows that state shares of federal health funding streams other than from the CDC also varied considerably. Funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) ranged from $9.96 for Kansas to $70.75 for Alaska, averaging $21.43 per person overall. The national total for 2008 was about $5.72 billion.Allocations for hospital preparedness for public health emergencies averaged $1.43 per person but varied from 72 cents for New York to $2.15 for Wyoming, the report says. The money is distributed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the Department of Health and Human Services. The total that went to states in 2008 was $361.6 million.The report also looks at state public health funding and shows wide disparities. It lists median state spending on public health at $33.71 per person, with a range all the way from $3.37 in Nevada to $172.21 in Hawaii. It notes that states allocate and report their budget in different ways and provide varying levels of detail, making comparisons difficult.Health budget cutsThe report says that at least 46 states are facing deficits in their 2009 and/or 2010 budgets.Pestronk said the state and local public health job losses last year and additional expected ones will have noticeable effects: “In the face of the Salmonella outbreak, restaurants won’t be inspected as frequently as they had been.” In addition, surveillance of infectious diseases will be reduced, and officials will sometimes have to decide between immunization and treatment programs, he said.A national survey of 2,422 local health departments in November and December found that more than half had either laid off employees or lost some through attrition, according to the report. It says that 44% of state health departments have a job vacancy rate of 10% or higher.Levi noted that the recently passed economic stimulus bill included $1 billion for public health. He said that includes $650 million for community disease prevention, $300 million to expand immunization programs, and $50 million to battle healthcare-associated infections.”We still don’t know the exact nature of the initiatives the administration will plug these funds into,” he said. The money will make a big difference, he said, adding, “It’s a critical investment but a one-time-only investment.”Pestronk said it appears that the immunization funds may be used mainly to buy vaccines, but NACCHO hopes the money can also be used to hire staff. “With the kinds of layoffs and cuts we’ve been talking about, the very staff needed to deliver the vaccines are being lost at the same time that funds are being made available to increase the supply,” he said.An analysis by TFAH and the New York Academy of Medicine concluded it would take a total of $55 billion to $60 billion a year, or $187 per person, to adequately fund public health, the report states. Levi said current spending totals about $35 billion.”Based on the current funding model, the federal government should provide 60 percent of this increase ($12 billion more than fiscal year 2005 dollars) and state and local governments should provide 40 percent of this increase ($8 billion annually),” the report says.It acknowledges that states and localities will find it tough to increase funding during the current recession, but suggests that they devise funding strategies to implement once the economy improves. Possible sources of new money include taxes on soda, candy, and tobacco products, it says.State officials’ viewsDavid Sundwall, MD, executive director of the Utah Department of Health, said he welcomed the essential message of the report but attached less importance to the state funding rankings. The report lists Utah as 39th in its share of CDC funding, at $15.73 per person.”Those of us who are state health officials are grateful that there are people looking at this because we’re convinced that public health in general is underfunded,” he told CIDRAP News. “In my view as state health officer, I wouldn’t consider the rankings as useful to me as the message. I’m not going to lose any sleep over the ranking but will use my voice to call for better funding for pubic health, as opposed to medical care and research.”At $2 trillion a year, US healthcare spending has gotten out of balance with the rest of the economy, Sundwall said, adding, “We’ve got to look at what we’re investing in the healthcare complex and get back into things that improve our health, and not just provide services.”Sundwall said he questions the utility of state rankings for health spending. He observed that in evaluations by the United Health Foundation, Utah consistently ranks high for general health indicators, but the state gets “dinged” for relatively low per capita spending on public health.”While I would welcome more money and we’d spend it wisely and well, I’m not sure it’s a fair indicator,” he said. “If I were a legislator and I saw our health rankings and some of the success we do enjoy, I’d probably put it into other competing causes.”Sundwall said public health in Utah is feeling the effects of the recession and resulting budget cuts, even though the economy there is better than in many other places.Last September the Utah Legislature cut $33 million out of the health department’s budget, and the new budget the legislature is working on now would take about another $40 million, he said. “That requires me to lay off people. . . . It’s a sad, hard time to be a manager and have to go through these retrenchments. But we also acknowledge that in this economy, the public sector has to carry some freight just like the private sector.”Craig Acomb, chief financial officer at the Minnesota Department of Health, raised questions about how fully the TFAH report reflects Minnesota’s spending on public health and its share of federal health dollars. The state ranks 40th in CDC funds received, 48th in HRSA funds, and 28th in ASPR funds.While acknowledging that he hadn’t studied the report, he said it probably does not reflect a statewide health improvement program, passed this year, that will provide $47 million over the next 2 years to battle obesity and tobacco use.Also, he said, “A lot of public health in this state is funded at the local level,” with 53 community health boards across the state drawing funds from property taxes. Further, he said the state receives other federal funds for public health purposes not covered in the report, such as Environmental Protection Agency money to protect drinking water.”Even though we may not get the most money from the CDC, we have some of the highest health indicators in our people, with some of the lowest rates of diabetes, infant mortality, obesity,” Acomb said. “We’re certainly making effective use of the resources that we have.”Pearsol, of ASTHO, said he thinks the report “resonates well with what the states are experiencing.” He commented that the wide variation in CDC allocations to states shows that the CDC itself is underfunded, and added, “It’s quite true that the recession is having a devastating impact on general revenue funds in states. . . . Those [public health] job losses are real losses.””The whole point that TFAH is making is that doubling the investment would be more akin to the need from a population-based health perspective,” he said.See also: Mar 10 TFAH news release with link to the full reporthttp://healthyamericans.org/report/61/shortchanging09last_img read more

first_imgAs the most important characteristics of the destination, the respondents point out the price-quality ratio (69%), accommodation costs (58%), climatic conditions (44%), good transport connections (41%), but also diverse cultural and gastronomic offer, transport costs, event offer , nightlife and shopping opportunities.  Online reservations are more often among the oldest age group over 50 (66%), highly educated (54%) and those from Istria and the Littoral (58%). According to the results of the MasterIndex survey, which was conducted for Mastercard in May by the market research agency Improve, 56% of respondents are planning a summer vacation in Croatia. Those with a monthly income above HRK 12.000 (78%), respondents from Zagreb and the surrounding area (73%) and Slavonia and Lika (70-72%) plan to spend a summer vacation on the Adriatic in slightly larger numbers. However, a smaller number of respondents aged 50 to 55 (48%) have such plans, followed by those from Istria, Primorje and Gorski Kotar (41%) and Dalmatia (27%). On the other hand, only 27% of respondents do not plan to spend their holidays on the Croatian coast, while the most undecided are in Northern Croatia, where as many as 21% of respondents are still unsure where to go on vacation.  Accommodation reservation is most common online The main source of tourist information is the Internet The main factor in choosing a destination is the cost (77%), followed by the recommendation of friends and family (48%). Also, important factors are distance to destination (38%), online reviews (35%), destination security (30%) and local offer (25%). Positive reviews on the internet and destination security are gaining in importance compared to last year.  Other sources of information are articles on foreign websites (40%), travel agency websites (34%) and domestic (22%) and website (13%) bloggers and influencers. According to the research, Croatian citizens trust specialized sites the most.  Cash is most often used to buy souvenirs (81%), in restaurants, cafes and clubs (75%) and for tickets for concerts, museums, theaters and galleries (61%). On the other hand, cards are the most common method of payment in supermarkets (77%), at petrol stations (73%) and in clothing and footwear stores (67%).  Cost is a major factor in choosing a destinationcenter_img The people of Zagreb spend the summer in their own real estate, the Istrians love camps When it comes to paying for accommodation, the number of those who do it in cash is falling (56% of respondents, compared to 60% last year). Accommodation is paid for by 22% of Croats with a debit card, and 10% by internet banking. 14% of respondents, most often those with higher incomes, decide to pay by credit card. Cash for payment of accommodation is least used by Dalmatians (28%), and most often by respondents from Slavonia and Northern Croatia (65%). Respondents from Dalmatia prefer to pay by credit card (44%). When it comes to booking accommodation, respondents increasingly use online bookings through specialized booking sites or travel agency sites (48% compared to last year’s 40%) and then direct contact by phone or email (29%). Slightly less than a quarter of respondents (22%) book accommodation through the accommodation provider’s website, while 10% of respondents do not need a reservation at all. Citizens do this less and less by phone or by e-mail with a travel agent (8%) or in the office of a travel agency (4%, compared to last year’s 8%). According to the survey, those who first come to the destination, and only then seek accommodation, is 5%. On average, respondents pay almost half of their holiday expenses (48%) with cards. In addition, almost a third of respondents who plan a holiday pay over 60% of the cost by card. Respondents pay almost half of their holiday expenses with cards  As the main source of information about the destinations they travel to, as many as 91% of respondents cite the Internet. This primarily applies to domestic online content (64%) and specialized applications and sites such as TripAdvisor (44%). Although this is the majority of respondents, there is a visible decrease compared to last year, when 62% of citizens planned to spend their summer holidays in Croatia.  During their stay on the domestic coast, 50% of respondents will stay in private accommodation, and 40% in their own or family property. Hotel accommodation will be chosen by 11% of respondents, accommodation in the camp by 5%, and sailing by 1%. At the same time, more than half of Zagreb residents will spend their holidays in their own or family real estate, compared to only 25% of Slavonians. That is why Slavonians mostly opt for private accommodation (63%), as well as Ličani (69%). When it comes to hotels, they are preferred by Dalmatians (16%), and least often by respondents from Lika, Kordun and Banovina (3%). Istrians are in the lead as camp lovers with as many as 15% of those who choose this type of accommodation. last_img read more

first_imgAttachment: ETC / European Tourism – Trends & Prospects Quarterly Report 3/2020 “The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is hitting Europe on the eve of the winter season, and it is now more important than ever for European countries to join forces to agree on common solutions, not only to curb the spread of the virus but also to support sustainable tourism recovery. passengers and most importantly protect millions of businesses, jobs and businesses that are at risk so they can survive the economic downturnSantander pointed out. Trend and opportunity to redefine the tourist product. To what extent Croatia understands this and is working on it, we will find out soon. The Covid-19 pandemic also affects destination choices in certain European countries. The summer season has shown a significant increase in those who want to travel to rural and coastal places, apparently as a result of concerns about visiting highly populated urban areas, where it is more difficult to practice social distancing. A new increase in Covid-19 cases and the reintroduction of travel restrictions have halted the recovery of European tourism with 68% of international tourist arrivals in Europe, according to data from the European Travel Commission (ETC) for the third quarter of 2020 in the analysis “European tourism: trends and prospects” Read the full report in the attachment. Speaking after the publication of the report, the CEO of ETC Eduardo Santander he said the direction of economic recovery across Europe will depend heavily on the recovery of the tourism sector, a sector that generates close to 10% of EU GDP and occupies over 22 million jobs. This change in travel preferences can ultimately alleviate the issue of over-tourism (overtorusim) and allow destinations to boost sustainable tourism demand. Increased interest in travel to “secondary destinations” will relieve some popular tourist hotspots that have previously struggled with excessive travel demand and help more evenly spread the economic benefits of tourism in countries. It is the latest forecasts that predict a faster recovery of domestic travel in Europe, exceeding the level from 2019 to 2022. It is also predicted that a faster return of European arrivals by 2023 will be supported by faster easing of travel restrictions and lower perceived risk compared to long-distance travel. It is now predicted that the total volume of travel will increase return to pre-pandemic levels only by 2024. The importance of domestic and intra-European travel should not be underestimated in terms of the role it will play in the recovery of the tourism sector over the coming months, the ETC report emphasizes. Alleviating pandemic restrictions across Europe led to a slight increase in July and August 2020 compared to previous months, signaling people’s enthusiasm and desire to travel again. However, the recent re-imposition of locks and travel restrictions has quickly halted any chance of an early recovery. Looking ahead in the coming months, increased uncertainty and negative risks continue to diminish the outlook for European arrivals, which will decline by 2020% in 61.last_img read more