Merkel push for German lockdown blocked as dying toll passes 100,000

BERLIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 22: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) speaks with Vice Chancellor and Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

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Germany’s Covid-19 crisis continues to rock the nation with dire news on Thursday that the total number of deaths has now surpassed 100,000.

However, the country’s new coalition government is initially resisting a lockdown.

Germany reported massive new Covid cases on Thursday. with over 75,000 new infections in the last 24 hours (and up from 66,884 on Wednesday), while the death toll has now reached 100,119 after 351 more people died from the virus the previous day.

Government officials have been watching the rising cases with alarm for weeks, and the country’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to have pushed for a two-week lockdown at a meeting on Tuesday with the country’s new coalition government.

According to the Bild newspaper, the new government alliance of the left-wing Social Democrats and Greens as well as the business-friendly Free Democrats resisted the idea and preferred to wait to see whether the stricter Covid restrictions announced last week would help reduce infections.

While Merkel had proposed a lockdown starting Thursday that would have closed shops, bars and restaurants, the idea was rejected by the new government, which said it had been interpreted as a “bad political ploy” by the public, both old and new government, Picture reported Wednesday.

CNBC contacted the federal government for further comments on the picture report and learned that “the German government does not comment on the media coverage.

“However, the government referred to statements made by Merkel’s chief spokesman Steffen Seibert on Wednesday, in which he neither denied nor confirmed whether Merkel had pushed for a lockdown, and stated that the conversation between Merkel and the coalition leaders was confidential, but he said she” had discussed the gravity of the situation.

“At this meeting yesterday, the Chancellor made it clear to the heads of the traffic light coalition that, from her point of view, the situation is extremely serious. The drama is obvious in this country: the hospitals are filling rapidly. Free intensive care beds and available intensive care staff are becoming increasingly scarce, “said Seibert.

“Now we have to do what is necessary to slow down and break this fourth wave as quickly as possible. As I said, the Chancellor has made it clear to the heads of the future coalition that the situation is serious.”

Compulsory vaccination

(from left to right) Christian Lindner from the FDP, Olaf Scholz from the SPD and Annalene Baerbock and Robert Habeck from the Greens pose after they presented their amicable coalition agreement to the media on November 24, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.

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After the deal and the coalition’s political ambitions were announced on Wednesday, Scholz signaled that the Covid crisis was an immediate priority for the government. He started a press conference announcing the coalition agreement by saying the virus situation in Germany is serious and the country will expand its vaccination campaign, including mandating vaccines for some people.

“Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic. In facilities in which endangered groups of people are cared for, we should make vaccination compulsory,” said Scholz, without giving any details.

Meanwhile, the new finance minister Christian Lindner declared that the Germans should avoid any unnecessary contact this winter “in order to preserve our whole health in this pandemic”.

Germany already tightened the Covid rules during the last fourth wave of cases in the country.

Many federal states in Germany have already restricted access to public spaces such as bars, restaurants, cinemas and museums according to “2G rules” and restricted access only to those who have been vaccinated – “vaccinated” in German – or recovered, “recovered” . Some large German Christmas markets that were not canceled this year have also adopted 2G rules.

On Wednesday, new measures came into effect imposing “3G” rules on public transport and anyone entering a workplace, which means that more public spaces are open to vaccinated, recent genesis or people with a negative test (“tested”) .

If Germany decides to be vaccinated in some settings, it will not be the first. The UK, France and Italy are among the countries that have introduced (or are introducing) compulsory vaccination for some sectors such as healthcare or homeworkers.

Still, compulsory vaccinations are a sensitive issue and have many ethical issues, and Germany, like other countries, could face a backlash against the switch.

Continue reading: Are Covid Vaccine Regulations Ethical? That’s what doctors say

Germany has tried to encourage the voluntary uptake of Covid vaccination in its population, but at 68.1% of the population it has one of the lower Covid vaccination rates in Western Europe.

Vaccine hesitation, the upcoming winter season, and the spread of the highly infectious Delta-Covid variant, which is far more virulent than previous strains, are making it difficult to contain the virus this time around for Germany, a country widely praised for its initial handling of the pandemic .

Eire turns to vaccine passes to reopen its hospitality trade

People love to drink Guinness outside a pub in Dublin city center. On Monday 5th July 2021 in Dublin, Ireland.

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DUBLIN – Despite the spread of the highly contagious Delta Coronavirus variant, Ireland is relying on “vaccine passports” to fully reopen its bars and restaurants.

Ireland Tourism and hospitality dealt with stop-and-starts on reopening during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Office work resumed on July 26th in a kind of photo finish, with the government and hospitality industry setting the guidelines for the reopening that morning. This included final adjustments to the restaurant’s contact tracking requirements.

The main differentiator this time around is that restaurants and bars are only allowed to open their doors to fully vaccinated people or people who have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months. Outdoor seating remains available to all visitors.

The big test for businesses will be doing these customer vaccination checks.

The main means of proof of vaccination will be the EU’s digital Covid certificate, the same document on which Europe is pinning its hopes for revitalizing tourism on the continent.

Restaurants and bars are expected to scan the QR code on the certificate and check a customer’s ID to make sure they are fully vaccinated.

Noel Anderson is the managing director of Dublin restaurants Lemon & Duke and The Bridge 1859 and chairman of the trading association of the Licensed Vintners Association.

He told CNBC that in the first few days of reopening, customers are still opting for outdoor seating, but his staff have been trained on the new protocols, especially as the summer weather wears off.

“I firmly believe that this will be over in two or three weeks and that this will just be the norm. Hopefully it won’t be the norm for too long, ”he said.

He and many other hospitality businesses declined to request vaccination controls on the door.

“Ultimately, this was a government initiative. This was not being pushed by the pubs, but by the LVA, of which I am chairman, we didn’t want that,” he said.

“Either you want to stay closed until September and beyond, or that’s how you open it. When you have members who are closed [for over a year], you have no choice but to take it. “

data protection

The requirement of a vaccination certificate to enter a company premises has drawn some criticism, as it is claimed that it is discriminatory for unvaccinated people, while so-called vaccination cards or passports can also be tricky initiatives set up from a data protection and security point of view.

A spokesman for the Irish Data Protection Commission said hospitality companies need to be careful about the amount of data they collect and process and delete unneeded information.

“Owners / operators should not keep records that identify named people and details of their vaccinations or copies of certificates or identification documents as this is not required to meet their compliance obligations,” the DPC said.

The processing of personal data must be “justified on the basis of necessity and proportionality,” it said.

“The DPC has also made it clear that Covid-related laws must be time-bound and limited by sunset clauses to the duration of the pandemic in order to prevent excessive and disproportionate processing of personal data.”

Ireland won’t be an outlier in Europe for long when it comes to hospitality vaccination certificates France and Italy Introduction of similar requirements for entering bars, restaurants and cafes.

Careful approach

Not every bar and every restaurant wants to reopen its office staff. Pantibar, a popular gay bar in Dublin, has decided to keep Back office closed as most of the young employees are not yet fully vaccinated.

Another restaurateur, Barry McNerney, told CNBC that his Juniors and Paulie’s Pizza restaurants are not yet struggling to reopen indoors.

“I don’t know if the demand for indoor dining is very high. A lot of places have a young clientele, many of them wouldn’t be vaccinated so they couldn’t really eat inside.”

McNerney decided to wait and see how other companies deal with the new protocols and vaccine controls before diving in.

“We see how other operators are coping and then learn from them what the logistical challenges are.”

Despite the gradual reopening of the economy, many companies in Ireland are still threatened with rising numbers of Covid cases. The number of cases has risen steadily in the last few weeks, driven by the delta variant, with average daily numbers over 1,000.

The continued reopening of the hospitality industry has been criticized compared to the staggering spike in cases where Christmas restrictions were eased in late December, ultimately leading to lockdowns well into spring.

One key difference with the Christmas push is that vaccine rollout in Ireland is moving fast after a stuttering start earlier in the year. As of Friday, 3.2 million people had received at least one dose of the vaccine, 2.4 million of whom had received a double dose. The vaccination program has recently been expanded to include those under the age of 18.

Philly COVID-19: Philadelphia Metropolis Council passes outside leisure invoice

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – Restaurant owners love the warmer spring weather and the customers it brings, especially when it comes to outdoor dining.

Now music is played on the streets along with the sounds of happy and hungry guests. Restaurants with an alfresco dining permit will soon be able to apply for a permit to the city to provide al fresco entertainment.

“We lost over 200 full-service restaurants, 50 of which are permanently closed. We wanted to give businesses the opportunity to attract customers,” said Councilor Katherine Gilmore Richardson.

The bill, introduced by Gilmore Richardson, was passed unanimously by the city council and sent to Mayor Jim Kenney’s desk for signature.

“We really needed an opportunity to support our local restaurants and our local arts and culture,” said Gilmore Richardson.

This bill could be signed as early as next week to give restaurants the opportunity to expand the menu for their guests and get people to spend.

There are restrictions on the rules for noise regulations on the pavement.

Philadelphia restaurant owners will soon be able to apply for outdoor entertainment permission through the Philadelphia Streets Department.

CONNECTED: Covid-19 Vaccine Myths: These Don’t Get a Shot Reasons Don’t Last

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New York state legislature passes invoice to legalize leisure marijuana

New York lawmakers passed a law to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday, and Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would sign it.

The Senate voted 40-23 to pass the laws. Later that evening, the State Assembly voted 100-49 for the bill.

If the bill is signed, the Empire State, along with the District of Columbia, will be the 15th state in the country to legalize the drug for recreational use.

“For too long, the cannabis ban has disproportionately targeted color communities with harsh sentences, and after years of hard work, this landmark piece of legislation provides justice for long-marginalized communities, embraces a new industry that is growing the economy, and creates significant security for the public” said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement Tuesday evening after the bill was passed.

“I look forward to including this legislation in the law,” he said.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he supported legislation based on racial justice. “I think this bill goes a long way. I think there is more to be done, but it goes a long way,” said de Blasio aloud WDTV ABC 11.

Black and Latino New Yorkers combined accounted for 94% of marijuana-related arrests by the New York Police Department in 2020, although city statistics show the proportion of white New Yorkers who use marijuana is significantly higher than that of Latino or black residents. According to a survey by the New York Department of Health 24% of white residents reported using marijuana, compared with 14% of black and 12% of Latin American residentsthe most recent data available for the 2015-2016 biennium.

The vote to legalize weeds recently came after the neighboring state of New Jersey legalized the facility. The aim of the legislature was to pass the law as part of the state budget before April 1st.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger and Congregation Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes. The Senators debated for three hours, with Republicans claiming the bill was dangerous and not what all New Yorkers wanted.

“We met endlessly with everyone who asked us,” replied Krueger during the procedure. “The truth is, I’m not sure I have ever met such a diverse group of people as in the seven years my chief of staff and I worked on this bill.”

The legalization is expected to ultimately generate billions in revenue for the state, and New York City in particular, with a hefty 13% tax that includes a 9% state tax and 4% local tax. The measure also includes a potency tax of up to 3 cents per milligram of THC, the natural psychoactive component of marijuana that supplies the plant high.

An estimate by Cuomo’s office predicts that annual tax revenues from legal weed sales could add $ 350 million a year and 60,000 jobs to the state once the industry is fully established.

The measure allows possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana and 24 ounces of marijuana concentrate, and allows up to six plants to be grown at home.

The legislation also provides equity programs to provide loans and grants to people, including smallholders, disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

“My goal in implementing this legislation has always been to end the racially diverse enforcement of the marijuana ban that has weighed so heavily on color communities in our state, and to use the economic wind of legalization to heal and repair those same communities to contribute. ” “” Said Kruger in a press release.

“I’ve seen such injustices and for young people whose lives have been destroyed because they did something I did as a kid,” Krueger said as she recorded her voice for the measure. “Nobody put a gun to my head and nobody tried to put me in jail for being that nice white girl.”

Some officials are straight request for the bill to fund universal basic income and home ownership programs for communities hardest hit by the drug war.

“With the upcoming legalization of marijuana, we have the opportunity to legislate locally to make the concept of redress through a UBI and home ownership a reality for Rochester and its families.” said Rochester, New York, Mayor Lovely Warren, according to Rochesterfirst.com.

The bill will clear the criminal records of tens of thousands of people, has a goal from 40% reinvestment in color communities and 50% licenses for adult use to social justice claimants and small business owners.

The law also “creates a well-regulated industry to ensure that consumers know exactly what they are getting when they buy cannabis”.

The move creates a cannabis management bureau, which is an independent agency working with the New York State Liquor Authority. The agency would be in charge of regulating the recreational cannabis market and existing medical cannabis programs. The agency would also be overseen by a cannabis oversight committee made up of five members – three appointed by the governor and one each appointed by the Senate and the State Assembly.

Police groups and the New York Parent-Teacher Association have openly expressed concern about the bill.

“Absolute travesty. All of the research submitted shows it is harmful to children and makes the streets less safe,” said Kyle Belokopitsky, New York State PTA executive director. ABC 7 New York reported. “And I have absolutely no idea what lawmakers think when they think they want this to happen now.”

New York officials are launching an education and prevention campaign to reduce the risk of cannabis use in school-age children, and schools can participate in drug prevention and awareness programs. The state will also start a study looking at the effects of cannabis on driving.

The law allows municipalities to pass laws that prohibit cannabis dispensaries and consumption licenses. The deadline is nine months after legalization.

If the bill is signed, legalization of the facility would take effect immediately, but legal recreational sales would not be expected to begin for a year or two.

– CNBC’s Lynne Pate contributed to this report.

Russell Crowe’s dad passes away | Leisure

Russell Crowe’s father has passed away.

The Oscar winner announced on Twitter that his father John Alexander Crowe died on Tuesday (3.30.21) at the age of 85. In a sweet post he remembered his father’s “sparkling eyes and cheeky demeanor”.

Russell wrote: “I got back to the bush last night. Although the sun is shining today and the pouring rain has subsided, this date will forever be marked by sadness. My dear old man, my lovely father, the gentlest man, has passed away . “

The 56-year-old star believes his father impressed people all over the world.

He continued, “I am posting this because I know there are people all over the world whose hearts he has touched and whose ribs he tickled with his sparkling eyes and his cheeky demeanor towards everyone and everything, and this is probably one just as efficient a way as anyone to get the news across. “

In another tweet, Russell added, “John Alexander Crowe, March 13, 1936 – March 30, 2021. Born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Died in Coffs Harbor, NSW, his homeland for the past 25 years. Rest in peace. (Sic ) “

Russell previously recalled that his father “rarely raised his voice” and put no pressure on him in his younger years.

He said, “My father took his guidance very easily. He hardly ever raised his voice, and he never cursed me until I was 16. He would make up words like ‘toil and thought’.”

“But I never really heard him swear until he taught me to drive when suddenly it was, ‘Russell, take your foot off the fuck-clutch!'”

Russell also remembered his father’s ingenuity and how he had always found a way to provide for his family.

The ‘Gladiator’ star said, “He was a resourceful man, and I remember he once bought a cane for three dollars at a flea market and turned it into a cricket bat for me.

“It was just that ugly old stick but he got some linseed oil and he oiled it and he bought a brightly colored rubber handle for it and when he gave it to me it was great. I’ve used that cricket bat all my junior years . “

College ‘voucher’ invoice giving public cash to non-public training passes narrowly by way of Iowa Senate

DUBUQUE, Iowa. (KWWL) – The Iowa Senate passed a new bill that passes public school taxpayers’ money directly to parents who wish to send their child to private schools as a “scholarship”.

After hours of debate, the bill was passed by 26-21 votes on Thursday evening.

Fast-paced legislation is the end result of a priority that Governor Reynolds set this month State of the country address.

The bill would make official their plan to give $ 5,200 in government funds direct to parents who may want to send their children to private or charter schools instead.

CONFLICTING VIEWS

Republicans say the bill gives parents more flexibility in choosing by using their majority to expedite the bill in the first few weeks of the session.

Dubuque Community School District released a statement to the parents against the bill. Superintendent Stan Rheingans, who calls the scholarships a “voucher program”, fears that the move would reduce her budget and possibly lead to program cuts and an increase in class size.

“We have some concerns about public dollars flowing into private schools,” Rheingans said. “If we get to the point where public schools are fully funded and schools that receive vouchers play by the same rules as we do, I would have fewer arguments.”

Democrats, including Dubuque’s Senator Pam Jochum, believe the public has not been given enough time to ponder the effects of the law.

AUDITOR: “IOWANS SHOULD BE ALERTED”

Auditor Rob Sand issued a statement on Thursday (the day the bill was due to be presented to the Senate) stating:

“Iowans should be alarmed that the voucher proposal lacks an independent review provision and, in fact, does not contain any review requirement.”

“The public will barely be able to see what is happening with their taxpayers’ money and less protection against fraud and abuse. In contrast, the proposal for a charter school contains examination requirements that meet today’s stringent requirements for public schools.”

Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand

“We have no control over how this money is spent,” Sand told KWWL.

Senator Sarah Garriott (D-22) went a step further, telling the Senate that she was considering the “coupon” portion of the bill as “money laundering” in an attempt to circumvent the protection of equality for Iowa students.

ADVICE AGREE YOUR SUPPORT

Trish Wilger is the managing director of Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education. The organization states that it is a “state subsidiary” CAPE, a “coalition of private primary and secondary schools” that is self-financed partly from the textbook industry.

Wilger backed off Sand’s testimony, saying she expected the Senate to provide a more robust accounting process for the funds.

“Surely we’d expect there to be ways to keep track of the accounts and make sure everyone is doing the right thing,” said Wilger.