Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, July 3

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump’s economy trumps Obama’sI felt compelled to respond to Mr. Guido’s June 1 letter of criticism of my comments and President Trump’s economy.Only in Democrat circles is an economy growing at 1.5 percent better than an economy growing at 3 percent. The better economy of Obama’s had the lowest labor participation rate ever. Under Trump, we are at all time high percentages. Don’t tell the black and Hispanic communities how bad things are. The unemployment rates in both communities are at all-time lows. Under Obama, more than 46 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, 42 million Americans are.Mr. Guido sited how well he did with his investments during Obama’s reign. The stock market did in fact do well, but not because the economy was strong. It in fact was struggling due to Obamacare and a rabid EPA. Rather, the compliant Fed pumped trillions of dollars into the economy and with interest rates kept artificially low, the stock market was the only place to put money for investments.Mr. Guido, do you remember Biden talking up the summer of recovery? What a joke. It never came.I love hearing Obama and Biden taking credit for this economy. What a farce. It wasn’t until we got a politically incorrect businessman who didn’t need the job and was willing to take a pay cut because he loves this country did we get on our feet.We are lucky to have Donald J. Trump as our president.Dave EdwardsHalfmoonOlder drivers need retesting for safetyEvery year at the beginning of summer, I dread turning the pages in the newspaper to read about another person being killed or seriously injured in a motorcycle accident.Most of the time, speed was a factor. But in other incidences, the fault of the accident was not the motorcyclist’s, but the automobile driver’s.The driver of the car may not have seen the single rider and may have pulled out in front of the motorcyclist or cut them off.In too many of the accidents, the auto driver is an older American. I think there should be a law that mandates when adults turn 70 years old, an updated driving test is required.The goal isn’t to revoke licenses, but to make the roads safer for everyone.Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital offers evaluation services for elderly drivers. For more information on the program call 518-386-3601.Mitch WalshNorth GreenbushMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

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Oliver twists Teesland

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Laing’s £11.4m SW1 sale

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Fight for City fringe heats up

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German bribes scandal hits JLL

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Nineteen dead, 139 infected with coronavirus in Iran: Health ministry

first_imgSeveral of Iran’s neighbors have closed their borders and banned flights from Iran due to fears over the virus, which could hurt the Islamic Republic’s already fragile economy.Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan have all reported cases of coronavirus involving people who traveled to Iran.President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that coronavirus must not become an enemy weapon that prevents business in Iran, according to the official presidency website.Iran’s economy has been battered since the United States withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.”Corona should not be turned into a weapon of our enemies for shutting down work and production in the country,” Rouhani said. “The Americans and our enemies during this time, around two years of which have passed, have wanted, with their sanctions and propaganda, to shut down production and economic activities in this country and for the people to suffer.” Topics : Nineteen people have died and 139 people have been infected by coronavirus in Iran, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said on Wednesday in an announcement on state TV.Iran has had the highest number of deaths from coronavirus outside China, where the virus emerged in late 2019.Iranian officials announced the first deaths and infections from coronavirus in the Islamic Republic last week, and the spike in numbers in a short period of time has led Iranians to criticize authorities online and accuse them of a cover-up, a charge officials have denied.last_img read more

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France warns against handshakes as corona infections soar

first_imgVeran called on citizens to help stop the spread of the virus by respecting authorities’ safety instructions.“Protect yourself and your loved ones,” he said.Separately, Defense Minister Florence Parly said on her Twitter feed that several confirmed coronavirus infections had been reported on the military base of Creil, north of Paris.French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said on Friday that the government will meet on Saturday to discuss the health crisis.On Thursday, the health ministry had reported 38 cases of coronavirus in France, of which two people had died, 12 were cured and 24 were hospitalized, with two of those being in a “serious condition”.Topics : French authorities on Friday recommended that people refrain from shaking hands to prevent infection from the coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases jumped by 19 to 57.France will also keep several schools in the Oise area north of Paris closed after holidays end on Sunday in order to halt the spread of the virus, Health Minister Olivier Veran said.“The virus is now circulating on our territory … I recommend that, for now, people do not shake hands,” Veran told reporters at a daily briefing about the outbreak.last_img read more

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Starved sports fans to get feast of competitive eating

first_imgOver a gallon of baked beans must be rapidly consumed for a place in the finals, where the first to finish 10 individual cups of ramen noodles will be crowned the champion.The competition will feature $11,500 in prize money, with $5,000 going to the winner.MLE and BetOnline.ag will also donate $10,000 to Feeding America, a hunger relief organization.  “Competitive eating is most powerful when conducted on-stage in front of a large audience, but it is also one of the few sports that professionals can perform from the confines of their own home,” MLE Chairman George Shea said in a statement.”While there has been substantial discussion about which professional sport would be the first to return – with baseball, basketball, golf and MMA all floating recent potential return plans – competitive eating is first to come back,” he said.”It is a powerful statement of American resilience.”The qualifying round will consist of 907 grams of sliced bologna while the quarterfinals will feature one family pack of Oreo cookies and a half gallon (1.9 liters) of milk. Topics :center_img While many Americans self-isolating during the coronavirus crisis have found comfort in frequent trips to the refrigerator, the pros are ready to make those who have overindulged feel better about themselves when they compete in a tournament starting Friday.Major League Eating on Tuesday said it would return to action with the BetOnline Quarantine Challenge, a bracket-style elimination tournament with eight of the world’s top competitive eaters facing off via video from their homes.The competition, which will feature male and female world number ones Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo, will be carried on MLE’s YouTube channel.last_img read more

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A tale of two Japanese drugs in tests to fight COVID-19

first_imgTopics : In the global hunt for coronavirus treatments, a Japanese antiviral medicine known as Avigan has won plaudits from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and $128 million in government funding.But it’s not the only game in town.Camostat, a 35-year old pancreatitis drug made by Osaka-based Ono Pharmaceutical Co, has captured the interest of scientists in Japan and overseas with little fanfare or state assistance. Abe’s administration has pledged to give away free supplies of the drug, with some 43 countries making formal requests. Fujifilm chairman Shigetaka Komori is a longtime backer of Abe, though the cabinet has denied there is any connection between their relationship and the government’s promotion of Avigan.The use of Avigan is decided by doctors and its approval will depend on medical and scientific evaluation in due course, said Fujifilm spokeswoman Kana Matsumoto.”The use of Avigan has nothing to do with the relationship between the Prime Minister and any particular company,” she said.Destructive to fetuses Avigan, known generically as favipiravir, was developed in the late 1990s by a company that was later purchased by Fujifilm as part of its transition from photo businesses to healthcare. The drug works by short-circuiting the reproduction mechanism of certain RNA viruses such as influenza.Avigan can be taken as a pill, which would make it more accessible than Gilead’s remdesivir, currently administered only as an intravenous infusion. But the mechanism that makes Avigan effective against viruses also makes it destructive to the rapid cell growth of fetuses.After being tested against a range of viruses, Avigan was finally approved in Japan in 2014, but only for emergency use against flu epidemics, and it was licensed in China where it has since gone off patent.Also clinically unproven is a camostat mesylate. Developed by Ono Pharmceutical, most famous for its blockbuster Opdivo cancer drug, camostat is a protease inhibitor that has been used primarily to treat pancreatitis and some types of cancer. But past laboratory and animal tests against SARS-CoV-1 showed it has antiviral functions, and it can be safely administered in high enough doses to match the concentrations that were effective in the lab.A study published in the scientific journal Cell in March found that camostat blocks an enzyme essential for the entry of the coronavirus into the lungs, drawing researchers’ interest. One of them was Dr. Joseph Vinetz, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine, who is ready to launch a clinical trial of camostat.”It’s got a 35-year track record, so it seemed to be a very safe drug,” he said. “I said we’ve got to try it. I’m a physician and we’re desperate for anything we can give to people.”Vinetz is still trying to raise money for the trial.”I’m 100% certain that we needed to start this trial a month ago. And we can have a definitive result in a month.”Ono launched camostat, known commercially in Japan as Foipan, as a treatment for chronic pancreatitis in 1985 and postoperative reflux esophagitis in 1994. The company is now supplying the drug for COVID-19 studies in Japan and overseas, according to spokesman Yukio Tani.Itzchak Levy at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel launched a self-funded camostat trial in April. “Up to now we recruited 14 patients and look forward to further recruitment,” Levy said.Another trial being carried out at the University of Kentucky is testing whether camostat can inhibit the virus’s preferred pathway into human cells, and with hydroxychloroquine – the malaria drug touted by Trump — also block the back door, boosting the treatment’s effectiveness.Existing science behind camostat’s mechanism of action and tolerance in patients “is why we were enthusiastic about its potential,” said Elijah Kakani, an assistant professor at the university involved in the research. “However, at this point we need to temper our enthusiasm and be objective in our evaluation of this medication for the problem at hand.” center_img The two compounds are among dozens undergoing testing around the globe and illustrate how the race to develop treatments and vaccines is still wide open despite politicians such as Abe and US President Donald Trump promoting the potential benefits of certain drugs.Gilead Science Inc’s remdesivir has pulled into the lead after promising early trial results prompted emergency approval in the United States and Japan. While remdesivir has shown promise in reducing recovery times of hospitalized patients, the search continues for additional treatment options.Interest in Avigan soared in March after a Chinese official said that it appeared to help patients recover from COVID-19, the flu-like infection caused by the coronavirus. It is now the subject of at least 14 clinical trials. Amidst a global rout in stocks, shares in Fujifilm have shot to record highs.Abe has called for Avigan to be approved for use by the end of this month if these trials are effective – unprecedented speed, particularly for a drug known to cause birth defects.last_img read more

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In Israel, Pompeo discusses West Bank and coronavirus with Netanyahu

first_imgBut appearing to dismiss reports that annexation talks were the purpose of Pompeo’s visit, a senior State Department official said: “I do think that we should dispel the notion that we flew halfway around the world to talk about annexation.”The Palestinians have rejected Trump’s plan, under which the vast majority of West Bank settlements would be incorporated into “contiguous Israeli territory”.The plan envisages a Palestinian state under near-complete Israeli security control, made up of stretches of land in the West Bank, as well as the Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean coast and two expanses of territory in Israel’s southern Negev desert.In televised remarks on Wednesday night, President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians would review their peace accords with Israel and agreements with the United States should Israel annex West Bank land.”We will hold the American and Israeli governments responsible for all the consequences,” Abbas said.Violence The Palestinians deem Israel’s settlements illegal under international law, as do most world powers. Israel and the Trump administration dispute that view.With Palestinian leaders warning that annexation could imperil the already limited cooperation between the sides, there has been a spike in violence in the West Bank.On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenager during a raid near the city of Hebron, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. The Israeli military said Palestinians had thrown rocks and fire-bombs at the soldiers, slightly injuring one of them.A day earlier, a Palestinian rock-thrower killed an Israeli soldier who was taking part in an arrest raid near Jenin city.The Palestinians have tried to rally European states to oppose any Israeli annexation, as France pushes for the European Union to consider punitive economic measures should Israel declare sovereignty in the West Bank.Arab countries have cautioned against Israeli annexation, including Jordan and Egypt, Israel’s neighbors and the only two Arab countries to sign peace treaties with it.Friction over China Trump and his senior officials have engaged in a war of words with China over the coronavirus crisis and Pompeo did so again on Wednesday.Addressing Netanyahu at the start of their three-hour meeting, Pompeo said: “You’re a great partner, you share information – unlike some other countries that try and obfuscate and hide that information – and we’ll talk about that country, too.”Pompeo did not name China and did not give specific examples of Israeli cooperation in the fight against coronavirus.Israeli business ties with China are an irritant in Netanyahu’s usually close relationship with the Trump administration.The United States has previously cautioned Israel against potential security threats from Chinese investment in its economy, prompting the Netanyahu government to set up a committee last October to vet such projects.US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus briefly summed up the Pompeo-Netanyahu meeting as a discussion of “our nations’ ongoing efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and counter Iran’s destabilizing influence in the region, as well as the steadfast US commitment to Israel’s security.”Trump’s pro-Israel moves have been widely seen as an effort to bolster his appeal to evangelical Christian voters, an important part of his political base that he is counting on to help him win re-election in November.  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Wednesday of the complexities of Israel’s planned de facto annexation of the occupied West Bank, saying after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the move must be done in accordance with a US peace plan.During a one-day visit to Israel, Pompeo took another swipe at China over what he said was Beijing’s lack of transparency about the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Wuhan late last year. China rejects allegations by US President Donald Trump’s administration that it withheld information about the virus.Pompeo held talks with Netanyahu and his political rival turned designated coalition partner Benny Gantz, a day before the inauguration of their new government. Topics :center_img The new government plans in July to begin debating extending sovereignty to Israeli settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley in the West Bank, territory Israel captured in a 1967 war and that Palestinians seek for a future state.In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, where he was quoted in Hebrew, Pompeo said the West Bank territorial moves were an Israeli decision that Netanyahu and Gantz have a right to make.But Pompeo noted the issue was complex and required coordination with Washington, which has formed a joint team with Israel to map out new territorial lines in the West Bank in accordance with Trump’s Middle East plan.He said he and the Israeli leaders also talked “about many other issues related to it – how to deal with all parties involved, and how to make sure the move is done properly” under Trump’s plan.last_img read more

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