Nationwide Restaurant Affiliation asks Congress for assist amid omicron

On March 18, 2021, people in New York City dine at an outdoor dining patio set up at a restaurant.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

The National Restaurant Association is asking Congress to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as the Omicron variant hits operators’ businesses.

Last year, lawmakers set up the $28.6 billion fund to help bars and restaurants struggling in the wake of the crisis pandemic. The grants were intended to cover a restaurant’s total pandemic losses of up to $5 million for a single location or $10 million for a business with fewer than 20 locations. Public companies were not eligible, but their franchisees could still apply.

With the fund depleted, restaurants pressed for Congress to refill it. Several lawmakers have introduced legislation to do so, but the bills haven’t gained traction and the Biden administration didn’t seem interested in backing the measure.

but the recent spike in Covid-19 cases and its impact on restaurants could change minds.

The latest National Restaurant Association survey of operators found that 88% of restaurants saw a drop in demand for indoor dining due to the Omicron variant. More than three-quarters of those polled told the trade group that business conditions are worse now than they were three months ago. And the majority of operators said their restaurant is less profitable today than it was before the pandemic.

“Alarmingly, the industry has still not recovered the more than 650,000 jobs lost at the start of the pandemic, a loss 45% more than the closest industry,” trade group top lobbyist Sean Kennedy wrote in a letter to the Congress leadership for both parties .

Kennedy also noted the benefits of the first round of RRF grants. The trade group estimates the first round of funding saved more than 900,000 restaurant jobs, and 96% of recipients said the grant made it more likely they could stay in business. A full replenishment of the fund would save more than 1.6 million jobs, the trade group estimates.

China’s blind pursuit of ‘absolute nationwide safety’ could result in Soviet-style collapse, warns advisor –

Beijing: The blind pursuit of “absolute national security” combined with excessive defense spending may lead to a Soviet-style collapse, China’s top foreign policy adviser has warned the ruling Communist Party led by President Xi Jinping.

The pursuit of “absolute national security” can come at a high price, said Jia Qingguo, a member of China’s top political advisory body Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and cited the collapse of the Soviet Union as evidence of the pitfalls of prioritizing military expansion over long-term security.



The collapse of the Soviet Union, officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR and ruled by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, has become an important lesson taught in the top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) schools across the country , to avert decisions that lead to his downfall.

Many Chinese leaders have frequently referred to the former USSR and asked the CCP to learn from its historical experiences.

Months after taking power in 2012, President Xi himself said that the collapse of party discipline led to the demise of the 20-million-strong Communist Party of the former USSR.

“If party members did and said what they wanted, the party would turn into a mob,” Xi said.

Jia, who was also a former dean of the School of International Relations at Peking University, says the unrestrained pursuit of security will drastically increase costs and drastically decrease benefits until the costs outweigh the benefits, according to Hong Kong based in southern China, the Morning Post reported on Sunday.



“Ignore and blindly pursue the comparative nature of security [it] absolutely make the country less secure because of prohibitive costs and failing to achieve absolute security,” writes Jia, who sits on the CPPCC Standing Committee, in the latest issue of the bimonthly Journal of International Security Studies.

His 22-page article is full of thinly veiled criticism of hawkish prospects, the Post reported.

Too much emphasis on defense spending could trigger an arms race, making all countries involved less secure, writes Jia, himself a US affairs specialist.

He cites decades of massive defense spending by the Soviet Union as a prime example of the downside of ignoring long-term security that led to the final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“The result was that the Soviet Union lagged behind in economic development and was unable to sustain its massive defense spending. People’s lives have not improved for a long time and this has led to a loss of political support, he notes.



“Actions like these sacrifice long-term interests for short-term gains and have greatly accelerated development [Soviet] Riot and collapse, he writes.

Since Xi took power, internal and external security has become central to CCP politics.

China’s military budget shot up to over $200 billion last year and is expected to increase further when the new budget proposals are announced in March this year.

However, Chinese analysts argue that unlike the Soviet Union, China paid the same attention to economic development that propelled the country to become the world’s second largest economy.

China’s economy grew 8.1 percent to $18 trillion in 2021, according to the latest official data.



Xi also conducted the largest anti-graft purge in CPC history. Over the past decade, the CCP’s Central Commission for Disciplinary Inspection (CCDI) has conducted investigations and punished more than four million cadres, including nearly 500 high-ranking officials. More than 900,000 have been expelled from the party, about 1 percent of its 95 million members, according to another article in the Post.

Analysts say Xi’s emphasis on security and his anti-graft campaign in the name of strengthening the country and the CCP have boosted his popularity and helped him consolidate power in the party.

The 68-year-old Xi, who will complete a decade in power this year, is expected to continue for life as the once-every-five-year CPC Congress is expected to approve an unprecedented third five-year congress later this year. tenure for him, unlike all of his predecessors who retired after two terms.

The Party elevated him to the status of CCP founder Mao Zedong, which set him apart from other leaders.

His elevation was defended on the grounds that the party and the country needed strong leadership to face the tough challenges posed by the US, EU and other Western countries.



Jia also warns in his article against an overemphasis on absolute security when it comes to supply chains.

“It is only by completely cutting off foreign trade and achieving economic independence that you can make it really impossible for other countries to exert pressure,” he writes.

But that would only reduce efficiency and let the country fall further behind, making the nation less secure, he warns.

“People concerned with security usually think of national security as the only value a country aspires to, as if once it is safe the country has achieved all its goals and its people are content,” he writes. “But that is not the case.”

The sole aim of maintaining security would also discourage companies from innovating and opening up to foreign companies, which would harm the overall efficiency of the economy, Jia adds.



China has slammed US missile sanctions as hypocrisy

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Arizona small companies don’t desire California-style employment legal guidelines | Nationwide Information

(The Center Square) – According to a new survey, small business owners in Copper State appear to have adopted the local slang “Don’t California my Arizona”.

The Arizona Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business released its annual survey of Main St. Entrepreneurs on Monday.

NFIB received answers to three questions this month from 247 small business owners across the state.

The first of these questions related to the use of the Californian ABC test to determine whether an employee is entitled to benefits and vacation as an independent contractor or as a full-time, higher-priced employee.

The legal examination asks whether the employee is “in connection with the execution of the work, both within the framework of the employment contract and actually free from the control and instructions of the hirer; the employee carries out work that is outside the normal course of business of the hirer; ”and whether the employee“ usually works in a self-employed trade, profession or business of the same type that is connected with the work performed ”.

The test was implemented with the passage of Assembly Bill 5 in California in 2019. He had strong support from the state unions, but was criticized from corporations and others warning of widespread impact on the California economy. Many industries, including freelance journalists, were exempted from the law if there was a change in 2020. Protection of the Right of Association or PRO Act would To install such a requirement nationwide.

The vast majority, 83% of Arizona companies, told the NFIB that they were not in favor of such a law.

“Every state has a tiny number of bad actors trying to get away with something by classifying full-time workers as independent contractors to save money on payroll taxes,” said Chad Heinrich, NFIB state director of Arizona. “But California chose to fire a bazooka at an anthill-sized problem when its top court in its Dynamex ruling penned its ABC test to identify an independent contractor’s employee. And, not to excel, the state legislature passed Assembly Bill 5, which has wreaked unnecessary havoc with a variety of occupational classifications and affects the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people.

“Our Arizona small business membership is clear about this: Keep this bad California idea out of here.”

The NFIB also asked business owners whether the state should “require companies that manufacture, sell, import, license or distribute product packaging materials to be responsible for the collection and recycling of these materials,” of whom 84% refused.

When asked, finally, whether Arizona should levy new taxes or fees on the “energy used by motorists, ships, or commercial and residential households to pay for the infrastructure needed to house EVs,” 91% of respondents disapproved of the idea.

InventHelp Inventor Develops Newly-Designed Spinner Model Toy (DLL-3861) | Nationwide Information

PITTSBURGH, Dec 16, 2021 / PRNewswire / – “I had this idea as a kid,” said the Heath inventor, Texas. “Growing up in Kenya I played with this invention and used bottle caps as a weirdo. “

He prototyped the INEOS SPINNER to help individuals pass the time and combat boredom. The invention provides a fun and entertaining new toy that can help relieve stress and release nervous energy. It could also be some kind of educational toy that would help children learn about scientific principles. In addition, it can help the elderly maintain manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and visual acuity.

The original design was made at. submitted Dallas InventHelp sales office. It is currently available for licensing or for sale to manufacturers or marketers. For more information, write to Dept. 20-DLL-3861, InventHelp, 217 Ninth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or call (412) 288-1300 ext. 1368. Learn more about InventHelp’s invention submission services at

View the original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE InventHelp

Austria declares nationwide lockdown as Covid circumstances surge

Police officers monitor compliance with the lockdown for unvaccinated persons on November 15, 2021 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Jan Hetfleisch | Getty Images

Austria will initiate a fourth national lockdown on Monday as Covid-19 cases continue to rise and become the first country in Western Europe to impose strict measures this fall.

The country’s unvaccinated are already prevented from leaving home for non-essential purposes.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday at a press conference that these blocking measures will be extended to the entire country from Monday. The lockdown would last a maximum of 20 days, said Schallenberg, but initially for 10 days.

He also announced that the Covid vaccination will be mandatory in Austria from February 1st.

On Thursday, Austria recorded 15,145 new cases of Covid-19, setting a new record high for daily positive tests. Hospital stays, deaths and the number of Covid patients in the intensive care unit are also increasing sharply in Austria.

Around 65% of the Austrian population are fully vaccinated against the virus, which Schallenberg previously described as “shamefully low”. After Liechtenstein, the country has the second lowest vaccination rate in Western Europe.

The Austrian Press Agency reported that the government ministers were negotiating until the early hours of Friday morning to work out measures that could help contain Austria’s escalating Covid crisis.

The implementation of a nationwide lockdown means a significant U-turn for Austria’s Chancellor, the told reporters just last week that the two-thirds of the population who had accepted the vaccination would not be forced to show “solidarity” with the unvaccinated.

The government’s original plan was to put unvaccinated people under lockdown once coronavirus patients occupied 30% of intensive care beds in hospitals – a move that came into effect on Monday.

However, the move has been criticized for being difficult to enforce as unvaccinated people were still given some freedoms to go to work, do their grocery shopping, and meet certain people outdoors.

Austrian police officers were carry out random checks this week to people over the age of 12 – who are currently blocked if they have not been vaccinated – to confirm their vaccination status.

While Schallenberg had previously refused to lock down all Austrians, some were members of the country’s coalition government call for stricter restrictions on those who have been vaccinated as hospitals and intensive care units were increasingly stressed.

The third largest party in the country, the right-wing FPÖ, pushed back the government, which said on Friday: “Austria is a dictatorship from today”.

The party was openly skeptical of Covid vaccines and had planned a demonstration against the lockdown measures for unvaccinated people in Vienna over the weekend.

Michio Kaku calls nuclear fusion check at nationwide lab ‘large step towards the holy grail of power analysis’

Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku praised a recent nuclear fusion experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“This is a huge step towards the holy grail of energy research,” said Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at City College and the City University of New York. “To break even, to gain more energy than you invest, and that could end up being a game changer.”

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced a major achievement in nuclear fusion, the it had back on August 8th, was able to use 1.3 megajoules of energy at its National ignition system, albeit very briefly. Kaku told CNBCs “The news with Shepard Smith“that the achievement was a huge step towards clean energy.

“A fusion reactor is carbon neutral, it does not produce carbon dioxide, it does not produce large amounts of nuclear waste, which is found in nuclear fission plants with uranium, it does not melt,” said the author of “The God Equation: The Search for a Theory of Everything.” “The fuel is sea water, hydrogen from sea water could be the base fuel.”

merger, the lesser known and opposite reaction to fission, is when two atoms collide to form a heavier atom and release energy. This is how the sun generates energy.

Kaku explained some of the disadvantages of nuclear fusion and why it is not currently an easily accessible source of energy.

“It turns out that when you heat hydrogen to tens of millions of degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of the sun, things get unstable, and so this reaction took place for over a hundred trillionth of a second, just a snap of your fingers, so in other words, us want to have a continuous flow of energy, not bursts of energy like we found here, “said Kaku.

Considering Cash for Children exhibition coming to the South Lorain Department, because of nationwide grant – Morning Journal

That Branch office south Lorain The Lorain Public Library System will host a traveling exhibit teaching youth and their families about money thanks to a competitive national grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Thinking Money for Kids is a new multimedia experience for children ages 7-11, as well as their parents, carers and educators, according to a press release from the Lorain Public Library System.

The interactive exhibit uses games, activities, and a fun story to help children understand what money is, its role in society, monetary decisions, and monetary values ​​like fairness, responsibility, and charity, the press release said.

The exhibition is on display in the South Lorain Branch, 2121 Homewood Drive, along with a number of related special events from August 16 through
September 26th

“Money is such an important issue that people often forget to talk to their children about,” says branch manager Ally Morgan. “We encourage people of all ages to explore Thinking Money for Kids.”

Lorain is one of 50 websites selected to host Thinking Money for Kids on its two-year tour of the United States, the press release said.

Nearly 130 public libraries across the country applied, according to the American Library Association.

In addition to the touring exhibit on loan, the Lorain Public Library System will receive $ 1,000 for public events related to the exhibit.

The library will also receive funding to send a staff member to a Thinking Money for Kids workshop held during the American Library Association’s annual conference in Washington, DC, where they can learn more about the exhibit and financial literacy issues, according to a press release Experienced.

For more information on Thinking Money for Children, see

In the present day in Leisure Historical past | Nationwide

The first commercial color television broadcast took place on June 25, 1951, when CBS broadcast a one-hour special from New York to four other cities.

In 1963 the singer George Michael was born in London.

In 1967 the Beatles recorded “All You Need Is Love” live on the “Our World” program, which was shown worldwide.

In 1969 guitarist Mick Taylor made his first concert appearance with the Rolling Stones. He replaced Brian Jones, who was found dead at his home about a week later.

In 1984 Prince released his album “Purple Rain”.

Also in 1984 Patti Scialfa (skee-AL’-fah) joined Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band as the backup singer, four days before the “Born in the USA” tour began.

In 1988, Debbie Gibson became the youngest artist to ever write, produce, and perform a number one hit when “Foolish Beat” topped the charts. The next day she graduated from high school.

In 1992 Billy Joel graduated from high school. Twenty-five years earlier he had overslept and missed his English and gymnastics finals.

In 1995, Pearl Jam canceled their tour due to an ongoing battle with Ticketmaster. They objected that the business had a monopoly and asked fans to pay too high a surcharge on concert tickets.

In 1997, actors Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly split. They had been married for ten months.

In 2006 the actress Nicole Kidman married the musician Keith Urban in Sydney.

In 2009, musician Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles. He was 50.

Also in 2009, actor Farrah Fawcett died of cancer outside of Los Angeles. She was 62.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress June Lockhart is 96 years old. Singer Eddie Floyd is 84. Actress Barbara Montgomery (“Amen”, The Women of Brewster Place “) is 82. Actress Mary Beth Peil (PEEL) (” The Good Wife “, Dawson’s Creek”) is 81. Singer Carly Simon is 76 Keyboardist-saxophonist Ian McDonald of Foreigner and King Crimson is 75. Actor-comedian Jimmie Walker is 74. Singer Tim Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House is 69. Keyboardist David Paich of Toto is 67. Actor Michael Sabatino (“NYPD Blue” ) is 66. Actor Ricky Gervais (jer-VAYZ ‘) ​​is 60. Actress Erica Gimpel (TV’s “Fame”, “Profiler”) is 57. Rapper Richie Rich is 54. Guitarist Sean Kelly (Sixpence None The Richer) is 50. Actress Angela Kinsey (“The Office”) is 50. Bassist Mike Kroeger (KROO’-ger) from Nickelback is 49. Actress Linda Cardellini (“ER”, “Scooby Doo”) is 46. Actor Busy Philipps (“ER”, ″ Dawson’s Creek) is 42.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.

Annual ‘Preserve S’Myelin for Katie’ golf match raises cash for Nationwide A number of Sclerosis Society

WESTMINSTER – If it’s summer – and it will be soon – it must be time for the annual local golf tournament that benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The fifth annual Keep S’Myelin for Katie golf tournament will tee off on Saturday at 9:00 am on the Woods of Westminster Golf Course. The 18-hole tournament, sponsored by resident companies Advanced Glass and Mirror, has quickly become a staple for local golfers looking to have fun and raise money for a good cause. Check-in for the tournament begins one hour before the start time.

The tournament, which raised more than $ 24,000 in the first four years of its existence, was founded and brought to life by Julie Tucker, whose daughter, Katie Hodge, 26, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis six years ago .

“Katie was diagnosed with MS when she was sophomore in college,” Tucker said. “That was a real hit for us.”

Multiple sclerosis was no unknown enemy to Tucker when Hodge was diagnosed.

“My first experience with MS was with my father. I never saw my father walk. When I was born, he was in a wheelchair, he was paraplegic, ”said Tucker, an office manager at Quabbin Regional Middle School. “He had a great sense of humor, and I think that’s why he lived with this debilitating disease for so long. My father was 59 when he died before one of my children – his grandchildren – were born. “

Hodge was diagnosed with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) shortly after her 20th birthday.

The name of the golf tournament “Keep S’Myelin for Katie” refers to multiple sclerosis as MS is an autoimmune disease. The immune system erodes the myelin sheath that covers the nerves, and the myelin sheath needs to be kept intact.

The symptoms of MS include: visual disturbances; Heat sensitivity; Numbness, especially in the feet; weakness; fatigue; Difficulty thinking clearly; Depression; Problems with balance; and lack of coordination. Relapsing and remitting MS refers to relapses after diagnosis that last at least 24 hours. Symptoms worsen during a relapse. A relapse is followed by remission. Symptoms will partially or completely go away during remission.

“The diagnosis of MS was devastating for Katie. All she knew about MS was that her grandfather had it and was in a wheelchair within a year of being diagnosed, ”Tucker said. “She had a tough first year; She had three relapses. Katie had many relapses in her first two years. ”

Hodge is currently the fourth drug doctors have tried to slow or stop their relapses.

“Katie had a really bad relapse (January 2020),” Tucker said. “We thought she was going to be bedridden, but she snapped back.”

The latest drug that Hodge prescribed 18 months ago is a three-hour infusion treatment given twice a year. Tucker said Hodge has not had a relapse since starting IV treatments.

“MS is so strange; it affects everyone differently, ”said Tucker.

Shortly after Hodge was diagnosed with MS, Tucker became involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“Our first walk for the MS Society was a three mile MS in Worcester. There we heard about the 50 mile Cape Cod Walk sponsored by the MS Society, ”said Tucker. “Katie initially resisted the 50 mile run, but when she finally decided we wanted to do it, she was glad she had. Since then she has been very committed to the MS society. You and I have actually been on the Steering Committee for the Cape Cod Walk for two years. “

Challenge Walk MS: Cape Cod 2021 takes place from September 10th to 12th. The race starts in Hyannis.

“This is our sixth year doing the Cape Cod Walk,” said Tucker. “Katie has run the full 80 miles in the last two years.”

All of Tucker’s fundraising goes to the Challenge Walk, which helps people diagnosed with MS in many ways, including providing funding options for various forms of medication and treatment plans, including that currently being run by Hodge.

Participant of the year

Tucker and the fundraising team she is on have raised $ 45,000 since joining the MS Society, including $ 24,000 from the first four years of the golf tournament. The team goal for this year is $ 15,000.

Tucker raises funds in a number of ways, including Facebook and sports grids (think Squares Pools). She put together sports grids for the Super Bowl and wanted to put one together for the Stanley Cup Finals if the Boston Bruins had progressed this far.

The golf tournament will contain a large number of raffle items.

“I (am) pre-selling tickets for the golf tournament,” said Tucker. “Among the raffles are golf foursomes for the Wayland Country Club and the Woods of Westminster Golf Course. We also have a scratch card tree and some nice gift baskets and lots of gift certificates for a lot of different places. We also have homemade raffle items. “

For a closer look at Tucker’s fundraising efforts, visit

Nationwide park guests – and cash – are coming again after 2020 plunge | Cronkite Information

A Grand Canyon National Park Preventive Search and Rescue volunteer speaks to hikers along the Bright Angel Trail in this March photo. After the number of visitors to the national parks in Arizona fell to zero last year due to the pandemic, the number of visitors has recovered. (photo by National Park Service/Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON – After hitting a 40-year low in pandemic year 2020, national park visitors – and their dollars – are steadily returning, but are still below pre-pandemic levels, according to new data from the National Park Service.

Parking restrictions and total closings in response to COVID-19 caused the number of park visitors to drop from 327.5 million in 2019 to 237.1 million last year. At the same time national park visitor Spending collapsed from $ 21 billion to $ 14.5 billion.

The same was true of Arizona, where visitors to national parks totaled 12.5 million in 2019 to 7.7 million during the pandemic, and spending – from gasoline to groceries, from lodging to recreational activities – fell from $ 1.3 billion to $ 712 million.

“The 2020 calendar year was far from normal,” said Steve Sullivan, Grand Canyon Permits program manager at the Backcountry Information Center.

However, Sullivan said business picked up again in April 2021 and his office has already received more than 2,000 permit requests for September and October that nearly filled campsites.

“We still have a lot of people who want to come in the summer,” Sullivan said despite the brutal hiking conditions in Arizona during the summer.

Other Grand Canyon businesses were similarly upbeat. They said there was great interest and they were confident that park tourism would soon return to previous levels.

John Dillon, executive director of the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, said revenues of its 16 member companies fell by $ 22 million when the park closed in the first half of 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

“We’re doing very well, we’re recovering and there’s a lot of trust,” said Dillon, who said association members are already booking trips through 2023.

Visitor numbers for 2021 are not readily available for parks nationwide or nationwide. But monthly visitor Numbers at the Grand Canyon, the state’s most-visited park, confirm people keep coming back.

It would have been hard to go under: Visitors to the Grand Canyon hit zero in April 2020 when the park closed completely. The partial reopening began in late May last year, before Memorial Day weekend.

A sunrise from Hopi Point on the South Rim in 2018 – when visitors spent $ 1.8 billion in national parks in Arizona. Spending slumped along with visitors last year, but the numbers are starting to turn. (photo by M Quinn, National Park Service/Creative Commons)

As of April of this year, the Grand Canyon had 425,978 visitors who spent 6.6 million hours in the park, according to Park Service data. While that’s an improvement, it’s still 24% fewer than the 563,898 visitors who spent 8.7 million hours in the park in April 2019.

Sullivan said that hinterland permit applications “started a little slower in February and March” than a typical year, but that April and May were “pretty much on par with previous years.”

However, there are still challenges.

Sullivan said the parking infrastructure continues to hamper operations. Problems with the sewage treatment plant at the Bright Angel Campground at the bottom of the canyon, for example, have reduced the number of campers.

“We’re a bit limited at the moment, as our largest campsite in the canyon is only half full,” said Sullivan, who has 55 campers instead of the usual 110.

With foreign visitors making up a large part of the Grand Canyon’s tourism business, COVID-19 restrictions on international travel are another challenge. Tusayan Town Manager Charlie Hendrix said this created “some sort of delay” in getting back to normal business.

“We had wonderful local support, which we are very happy about, but we haven’t had any international trips yet,” she said.

But Dillon said improving the COVID-19 situation can only help. He cited vaccination rates as a key factor in restoring confidence and Maintain business.

“We haven’t had any COVID-19 outbreaks since June 14, 2020, and we saw 50,000 people for the remainder of the season last year,” Dillon said.