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Virus concerns prompt Democrats to hold largely virtual nominating convention


first_imgDemocrats will hold a largely virtual convention in August to nominate Joe Biden as their presidential candidate, the party said on Wednesday, with Biden giving his acceptance speech in person in Milwaukee, but state delegations staying home.The decision comes as novel coronavirus cases are spiking in several states nationwide, including California, Florida and Texas, further upending the 2020 presidential race.Republicans, in contrast, plan to hold a largely in-person event in Jacksonville, Florida, in August, intending to have President Donald Trump accept his nomination on Aug. 27 before thousands in an indoor arena. “Leadership means being able to adapt to any situation,” Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement. “That’s exactly what we’ve done with our convention. Unlike this president, Joe Biden and Democrats are committed to protecting the health and safety of the American people.”Milwaukee was originally chosen as the site of the convention because Wisconsin is a battleground state in the Nov. 3 general election. Opinion polls show Biden with a lead over Trump there. Trump’s victory in Wisconsin in 2016 helped propel him to the presidency.Delegates will conduct all convention business remotely, including casting their votes for Biden as the nominee, the party said.A poll conducted by the University of North Florida released on Wednesday found that almost 60 percent of Jacksonville residents opposed the Republican convention being held in their city. Respondents cited concerns over the coronavirus and potential protests over racial justice and police brutality.Topics : The Republicans moved the speech from Charlotte, North Carolina, after the state’s Democratic governor refused to relax social-distancing rules aimed at curbing the coronavirus.It was not clear if Biden’s speech, expected for Aug. 20 at a Milwaukee convention center, would have a live audience.Biden, who was vice president for eight years under Barack Obama, has been critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, saying he has pressed states such as Florida to reopen their economies too quickly and disregarded health and safety concerns.After holding a rally at an arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, Trump spoke at a campaign event on Tuesday in Arizona, another state being hit hard by a surge of coronavirus cases.last_img read more


Hope leaps into ODI top 10


first_imgLONDON, CMC – West Indian batsman Shai Hope’s back-to-back unbeaten hundreds in the recent one-day series against Bangladesh, has catapulted him into the top 10 of the ICC batting rankings.In the latest one-day rankings released on Sunday, the 25-year-old Hope jumped 17 spots and now lies at a career-best eighth place.Indian stroke-maker Virat Kohli continues in number one in an unchanged top five.Hope finished the three-match series against Bangladesh with 297 runs to be adjudged Man-of-the-Series, even though West Indies went down 2-1 in the rubber.He carved out a superb unbeaten 146 in the series-levelling four-wicket win in Dhaka before hitting 108 not out in the decisive third game which the Caribbean side lost by eight wickets in Sylhet.Hope now has four career ODI hundreds with three of them coming inside his last seven innings. He averages an outstanding 47 – one of the highest in world cricket among current players.Shimron Hetmyer is the next best-ranked West Indies player at 40th.The only other bright spots for the Windies were the fast bowling pair of Oshane Thomas and Keemo Paul. While Thomas jumped 28 places to 146th in the bowling rankings, Paul moved up 53 spots to be 179th.Both ended with four wickets in the series.Off-spinner Ashley Nurse, missing the tour of Bangladesh through injury, is the highest-ranked West Indies bowler at 38th, with India fast bowling star Jasprit Bumrah top of the charts.last_img read more


Dozens killed in India after consuming poisonous liquor


first_imgAt least 72 people have died and several others have fallen sick from drinking illegally brewed liquor containing toxic methanol in several villages in northern India, officials said.At least 64 deaths were reported on Saturday from Saharanpur and Haridwar, adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand states respectively, after drinking the poisonous liquor.Eight more deaths were reported in another tragedy blamed on tainted liquor in Kushinagar district, also in Uttar Pradesh, regional official BD Gupta told the dpa news agency.The majority of the deaths were reported from the village of Balpur in Uttarakhand. Authorities launched a crackdown and suspended police and officials. In Saharanpur district, the death toll climbed from 16 to 36, top administrative official Alok Pandey told dpa by phone on Saturday.The villagers had consumed the tainted liquor suspected of being laced with methanol on Thursday.In the adjoining Haridwar district, the death toll had risen to 28 from 12 on Friday, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported.Twenty-two people were admitted to hospitals in Saharanpur but were in stable condition, Pandey said.The Saharanpur Police, suspecting that the alcohol may have come from the same source, arrested 30 people, many of them bootleggers. They seized hundreds of litres of tainted liquor in raids.Authorities in the region also suspended over 30 officials, including 10 Policemen, on charges of negligence or collusion in the illicit trade.They vowed to take strict action against the accused, saying they would demand the death penalty for those involved in the illicit trade once the case reaches the court.Later on Saturday, authorities in both states announced a compensation of 200,000 rupees (US$2800) each to the relatives of those killed.Deaths from illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed brands. Illicit liquor is cheap and often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency. (Al Jazeera)last_img read more


Makin’ WUFI


first_imgIf you are ever suffering from insomnia, call me, and I will tell you all I learned about WUFI-Passive. It is the blessing (or curse?) of geekdom that led me enroll in a three-day-long WUFI-Passive training class (sponsored by PHIUS — the Passive House Institute of the United States) in downtown Chicago in early April.Don’t get me wrong — I love Chicago, and I got there a day early to wander the fabulous architectural canyons, and visit a few old friends at the Art Institute, like El Greco, Rodin, and Picasso. And the class itself was conducted at the nexus of the universe of architecture, in the exquisite High Modern Equitable Building. One can stand in its plaza at Michigan and Wacker Avenues, and from that single vantage point scan the history the skyscraper — from its inception in the days of Burnham, Jenney, and Sullivan, through its exuberant celebrations of the Wrigley and Tribune Buildings, to the megalomaniac culmination of the Trump Tower. Fine art and architecture — and Passive House — the perfect concordance of right brain and left. What is WUFI-Passive?Simply put, WUFI-Passive is the next generation of energy modeling, on track to supersede PHPP (the Passive House Planning Package), which only three years ago I had imagined was its apotheosis.What WUFI-Passive adds to the mix is a comprehensive analysis of the behavior of water vapor as it passes through walls, ceilings, and floors, over a period of years, and modeling of the energy consumed in removing water vapor from a given space. It then combines this information with another interface that includes all the inputs required for PHPP.The result is a real-time, dynamic energy modeling system that factors in the full costs of dealing with cooling loads. This is a marked improvement over PHPP, which could only summarize thermal loads by month or year, and dealt with latent loads in a cursory fashion.The PHI-PHIUS splitThis all goes to the heart of the split between PHIUS and its mother organization, the Passive House Institute. As Passive Houses began to come on line in the United States, it became clear that PHPP — which was developed in the milder climates of Germany — was not ideally suited for the range of extreme climates here at home.In class, it was noted that a recent Passivhaus project in New Orleans disappointed its planners — and occupants — because it failed to provide adequate comfort for its extremely humid climate. It was telling to hear from Katrin Klingenberg, the founder and guiding light of PHIUS, question some of the fundamental propositions of Passivhaus. WUFI-Passive will be the tool that gets us over that considerable hump.The software is expensiveWUFI-Passive — in its present state — is still a bit of a kluge. Our instructor, Prudence Ferreira, who is likely to be the smartest-person-in-the-room wherever she goes, struggled with the idiosyncrasies of the program, and with class input, came up with a significant list of proposed refinements. I stumbled through the fast-paced class, often losing track of the lecture while I tried to correct some entry on our practice exercises. Moreover, WUFI-Passive is an expensive piece of software. (The current cost of WUFI-Passive is $593 per year, or $1,612 for three years.)For the near future, we can still use PHPP to certify our projects — but the future of Passivhaus is headed down WUFI lane.Alan Abrams is a Certified Passive House Consultant, a Certified Passive House Builder, a Certified Green Professional (NAHB), and a Certified Professional Building Designer (American Institute of Building Designers). He is also the owner of Abrams Design Build in Takoma Park, Maryland. RELATED ARTICLESA Brief Introduction to WUFI, in 5 Easy PiecesWUFI Is Driving Me CrazyPassive House Certification: Looking Under the Hood Passivhaus, Part 3: So You Want to Be a Passivhaus Consultant?Passivhaus Buildings Don’t Heat ThemselvesPassivhaus For Beginnerslast_img read more


Vermont Utility Is the First to Offer Tesla Battery


first_imgTesla’s Powerwall battery will be installed in 500 Vermont homes next year, making Green Mountain Power the first utility in the country to offer a home battery option, SmartGrid News reports.The 7 kilowatt-hour battery, the smaller of two Powerwall options introduced by Tesla earlier this year, will provide four to six hours of backup power.Green Mountain plans to begin with ten customers in the Rutland area before offering it to customers in the rest of its service area. The price of the PowerWall battery and the SolarEdge inverter has been set at $6,500 (not including the cost of installation). Green Mountain is offering customers three payment options, including a lease that requires no upfront cost. In a statement, Green Mountain said the battery would allow utility customers to become more energy independent while allowing the utility to reduce peak demand on the grid.GMP President and CEO Mary Powell called the program a “game changer” that would move Vermont away from a century-old grid system to a more reliable and economical alternative. Three ways to payA Powerwall can be installed on homes with and without photovoltaic (PV) systems. Green Mountain is giving customers several ways of paying for the system: RELATED ARTICLES Tesla Will Sell Home BatteriesVermont Utility to Develop New Grid TechnologyThis Vermont Park Is Going Off-Gridcenter_img Lease. Customers pay nothing up front for the battery, but pay a monthly fee of $37.50, roughly $1.25 a day.Buy outright. Customers would pay the full $6,500 cost.Buy but share. Customers who pay the $6,500 purchase cost and share access to the battery would get a monthly credit on their bills of $31.76. That, the utility said, “represents the value of leveraging the battery to help lower peak energy costs.”The utility said the first batch of batteries would be arriving in January, with the balance to follow over the next several months. More than 500 customers had signed up for the program by Dec. 17, the utility said.The batteries can be installed indoors or outdoors, although they’re not designed to operate in temperatures below -4°F. The 220-pound batteries come with a 10-year warranty.Green Mountain has about 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont. It previously announced plans to run the Emerald Lake State Park entirely on solar electricity with a system combining PV panels and Powerwall batteries. Tesla has announced plans to sell the Powerwall to residential customers in Australia.last_img read more


James Harden, Rockets overwhelm lowly Cavaliers


first_imgHarden played just 29 minutes and 34 seconds, and made eight 3-pointers to extend his NBA record to 12 games in a row with at least five.“The step-back 3s, he’s perfected that,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s got 16 3s and they’re all step-backs. I don’t know how he does it … everybody knows what he’s doing and he still gets them off, and they’re kind of open. They’re not forced, so he’s just an incredible player.”Clint Capela added 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting after making just four of 16 field goals in a loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday night.Harden and fellow starters Capela and Tucker also sat out the fourth quarter with Houston up 113-81 entering the fourth. Even with the trio watching the final quarter from the bench, the Rockets maintained a huge lead and their 141 points were a season high and the most Cleveland has allowed this season.TIP-INSCavaliers: Rodney Hood returned after missing the last three games with a sore left Achilles tendon. He had six points, two assists and two rebounds in 18 minutes. … Cedi Osman had 15 points and Collin Sexton added 14. … Jordan Clarkson and Jalen Jones added 12 points each.Rockets: Paul missed his 10th game in a row with a strained left hamstring. … Gordon missed his sixth straight game with a bruised right knee. … It’s the sixth time this season Houston has scored 70 points or more in the first half.DATE NIGHT?Tucker boxed out a couple of Cavaliers and avoided grabbing the ball to help Harden collect his 10th rebound on Friday night. Tucker joked that Harden might owe him for the move.“Dinner, movies. I need a date,” Tucker joked. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Later, Harden was asked if Tucker deserves dinner for helping him get his triple-double.“I took P.J. to dinner, movies, Europe,” Harden said laughing. “I take P.J. everywhere with me. He gets enough already.”UP NEXTCavaliers: Visit Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.Rockets: Visit Orlando on Sunday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next James Harden had 43 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in 29 minutes — the first player in NBA history to have a 40-point triple-double in less than 30 minutes played — to lead the Houston Rockets to a 141-113 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night for their eighth win in 11 games.“I think we’ve all had that in the back of our mind. It was just a far reach earlier in the season,” Harden said. “Now it’s pretty close. We’ve just got to continue to do what we’ve been doing. Playing well, taking care of opportunities like this tonight. Just continue to get better, strive to get better.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Rockets, who were in 14th place in the West in early December, are 4 ½ games out of first place and tied with the Clippers for fifth.After the Cavaliers got a 117-108 win in the first meeting with Houston this season, the Rockets were determined to take care of business this time around. They did that, racing out to a 28-point lead after scoring a season-high 77 points in the first half behind 24 points from Harden. View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion It’s Harden’s 15th straight game with at least 30 points, his franchise-record 13th game with 40 points this season and the seventh in the last nine games as he has carried the team with Chris Paul and Eric Gordon out with injuries.Ante Zizic came off the bench to score 18 for the Cavaliers, whose season-long skid extended to 12 games.“We just couldn’t stop them,” Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said. “They were raining 3s all over the place. They broke us down off the dribble. They are in a rhythm now and playing very good basketball.”Harden needed less than 2 1/2 quarters to reach 30 points on Friday night, hitting a 3 with 7:41 left in the third to give him 32 points and push Houston’s lead 91-58. He joins Kobe Bryant (16 games in 2003) as the only players to score 30 points in at least 15 games in a row since the 1972-73 season.About three minutes later, he pushed his total to 40 after he was left wide open to drive into the lane for an easy layup to make it 99-68. Harden grabbed his 10th rebound with about 90 seconds left in the third quarter to give him his sixth triple-double this season and the 41st of his career.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives to the basket past Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets still have a way to go to reach their goal of earning the top seed in the Western Conference.But it seems far more attainable than it was just a month ago.ADVERTISEMENT Domantas Sabonis sharp again at MSG as Pacers beat Knickslast_img read more


Chinook salmon fishing banned in Yukon as stocks plunge


first_imgAPTN National NewsFor years the Yukon chinook salmon run has been on the decline. But fishers and experts are calling this years run the worst one yet.As a result, drastic measures are being taken including a full ban on chinook fishing in the U.S. and Canada.APTN’s Shirley McLean reports.last_img


Fort William First Nation still waiting for bridge fix


first_imgAPTN National NewsA northern Ontario First Nation continues to push for the reopening of a bridge that’s been closed for over two years.CN Rail has not fixed the bridge since it caught fire. That’s left Fort William First Nation with only one other access point.APTN’s Dennis Ward has this story.last_img