Categories
Headline USA

Family appeal for help with finding Texas woman, 34, who hasn’t been seen since September in Florida

Family and friends of a missing Texas woman are pleading for help with finding her after they say she traveled to Florida for work over the summer but has not been seen or heard from in nearly three months.

Ashley Lucas, 34, left her home in Texas back in July and drove to the Florida panhandle, planning to stay there for two weeks caring for her a friend’s elderly mother.

But through a series of events involving Lucas’ struggle with drug addiction and mental health issues, she ended up getting involuntarily committed by the authorities, before disappearing on September 24.

She disappeared in Florida after leaving a mental health treatment facility

Where is Ashley? Ashley Lucas, 34, has been missing since last September. She disappeared in Florida after leaving a mental health treatment facility 

Lucas' roommate said she was last seen leaving a drug treatment facility on September 19, but her final sighting, according to the police, was on September 24

Lucas’ roommate said she was last seen leaving a drug treatment facility on September 19, but her final sighting, according to the police, was on September 24 

‘We just want to know that she’s OK,’ Ashley’s sister, Jennifer Ackerson, told NBC’s Dateline. ‘For no one to hear from her for this long… it doesn’t make sense.’

Ackerman said that during her last phone conversation with Lucas in late August, her sister told her she was planning to return home soon.

In was not unusual for Lucas to take off on her own for weeks at a time, but her sister said she would always call to check on their mother because she worried about her, to the point that she would request welfare checks from the police if she could not reach her by phone.

Lucas’ friend-turned-roommate Jeff Epperley said it all started in early July, when he asked the 34-year-old to travel to Lake Placid, Florida, to look after his mother while his sister, who has been caring for her, was away on vacation.

‘She worked for about 10 days before my sister came home early,’ Epperley said. ‘But Ashley wanted to stay in Florida so we ended up getting an apartment together.’

Lucas’ new life in Florida started out well, but according to Epperley, the situation took an alarming turn in late summer. 

Lucas left her home in Texas in early July and traveled to Florida, planning to stay there for two weeks caring for her a friend's elderly mother

She ended up staying and getting an apartment with a friend near Fort Lauderdale

Lucas left her home in Texas in early July and traveled to Florida, planning to stay there for two weeks caring for her a friend’s elderly mother. She ended up staying and getting an apartment with a friend near Fort Lauderdale 

‘She was going through a lot in her life… drug addiction, mental issues,’ the roommate recounted. ‘Seemed like that all came down on her at once and she started breaking down.’ 

Epperley said that not long before her disappearance, Lucas received a text message from a Florida number, which she claimed was from her mother who lives in Texas. The text sent her into a tailspin of paranoia, said the friend, because Lucas was convinced her mother had been kidnapped, and even blamed him for it.

Epperley said Lucas made several trips to the emergency room in August to seek treatment for her anxiety attacks, before ultimately checking herself into a drug rehabilitation facility in Fort Lauderdale. 

After not hearing from Lucas for several weeks, Epperley said he became concerned and began calling treatment facilities in the area in an attempt to track her down.

He eventually learned that Lucas was seen leaving a facility on NE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale on September 19, but she did not reach out to him. On October 9, Epperley reported his friend missing to the police, sparking an investigation. 

A spokesperson for the Fort Lauderdale Police Department revealed that Lucas was involuntarily committed under Florida’s Baker Act on September 24 and was last seen at the time of her release a few days later.   

The Baker Act allows judges, law enforcement officials, doctors or mental health professionals to involuntarily hold people struggling with mental illness for up to 72 hours if they are in danger of harming themselves or others.   

Jeff Epperley, Lucas' friend and roommate in Florida, said she was struggling with drug addiction and mental health problems

Lucas had sought treatment for panic attacks in August, before checking herself into rehab

Jeff Epperley, Lucas’ friend and roommate in Florida, said she was struggling with drug addiction and mental health problems, and had sought treatment for panic attacks in August, before checking herself into rehab 

The investigation into Lucas’ disappearance remains active, but police do not suspect foul play. 

Lucas’ sister has launched a Facebook page, Finding Ashley Lucas, in an effort to raise awareness of her case and encourage people who might have information on her whereabouts to come forward. 

‘There’s so many people out there who love her and are looking for her,’ Ackerson told Dateline. ‘We’re not giving up.’

Epperley said he feels guilty for bringing Lucas out to Florida and is beginning to lose hope. He also revealed that she once told him that if she ever went missing, she would want him to come find her so her family would not worry.   

Lucas is described as 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 150lbs, with brown hair and green eyes. She has several tattoos on both arms, legs, and upper chest. 

Anyone with information on the woman’s whereabouts is being asked to contact the Fort Lauderdale Police Department (954) 828-6617.  

Categories
Technology US

Google pushes return to office to September and will test flexible work week

Google has pushed back its return to the office until September, and will experiment with a hybrid model allowing some employees to work from home part of the week, the company said. First reported by The New York Times, Google CEO Sundar Pichai emailed employees Sunday about plans to test a flexible work week once conditions are safe for people to return. Google employees would work three days in the office and the rest of the week at home under the new plan.

Pichai said the company is testing whether such a model would lead to greater productivity and employee well-being. “No company at our scale has ever created a fully hybrid work force model — though a few are starting to test it — so it will be interesting to try,” Pichai wrote.

According to CNBC, however, Google’s hybrid work model would require employees to live within commuting distance to their offices, and a fully-remote option wasn’t offered. And some employees may not be eligible for a flexible work week, such as those who need access to specialized equipment.

Facebook, Twitter, and Square are among the companies to announce they would permanently extend their current fully-remote work policies.

Google was one of the earliest tech companies to go fully remote as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, telling employees in March to work from home to support social distancing. It previously said it would keep its 200,000 full-time and contract employees working remotely until July 2021, but has now pushed that date back again.

Categories
Tech News

Google Delays Return to Office Until September 2021: Report


Alphabet’s Google will allow its employees to work from home until September next year, extending the return to the office by a few months, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The company was also testing the idea of a “flexible workweek” once it is safe to return to the office, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai told the company’s staff in an email on Sunday, according to the report.

As part of the plan, Google’s employees would be expected to work at least three days a week in the office while working from home the other days, the newspaper report said.

“We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being,” Pichai wrote in the email.

Google was one of the first companies to ask its employees to work from home due to the pandemic. It has previously delayed the timing by when the employees should return to the office from January next year to July.

© Thomson Reuters 2020
 


Is MacBook Air M1 the portable beast of a laptop that you always wanted? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



Source link

Categories
Headline USA Los Angeles New York

10,000 restaurants in the United States have closed since September due to coronavirus | The State

The increase in COVID-19 cases is leading to stricter rules and new closures.

Photo:
Mario Tama / Getty Images

Restaurants in the United States are in “free fall” amid the steady rise in coronavirus cases registering close to 10,000 stores that have had to close throughout the country temporarily or permanently since the beginning of September, according to a report from the National Restaurant Association that has requested Congress provide immediate financial relief.

Restaurateurs are asking lawmakers to pass $ 120 billion in aid for the industry that integrate 500,000 independent restaurants in the country.

Congressional leaders are currently negotiating a new stimulus package that, among other measures, would revive the Payment Protection Program (PPP), which aims to help small businesses but which does not specifically reserve funds for restaurants.

After the states eased restrictions in the summer, restaurants were able to recover a bit. However, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases is leading some cities and states to comply with stricter rules. A month ago Los Angeles restricted food to restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars.

“More than 500,000 restaurants of all types of businesses, chains and independents are in unprecedented economic decline,” wrote Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association (NRA) in a letter sent on 7 December to the leaders of Congress.

Kennedy added that “for every month that passes without a solution from Congress, Thousands more restaurants across the country will close their doors forever“.

An NRA finding found that almost 6 out of 10 independent chain and restaurant operators could fire or lay off workers for at least the next three months.

In November, the number of restaurant and bar workers declined by 18,000 after rising every month since April when closures caused a large number of job losses in the industry, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Related: Tom Brady’s company TB12 received a government loan of nearly $ 1 million in COVID-19 relief.

Restaurant owners are concerned about not being able to cover fixed costs amid the increase in pandemic cases, some of which received funding through PPP and the federal economic damage disaster loan program that helped cover the losses from closings in early spring.

Before the arrival of the holidays, several restaurants have been hired for private events, however, in the case of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo, warned that private dinners could be canceled starting next week. Now the restaurants would be thinking of reinforcing their delivery or take-out strategies in the face of the new measures while waiting for the authorization of the use of vaccines to apply to the population.

In June a Yelp report revealed that about 16,000 restaurants had to close permanently.

You may be interested:

.

Categories
Technology US

UK bans installation of new Huawei 5G equipment from September

The UK government is banning the installation of new Huawei 5G equipment from September 2021 as part of its plans to phase out the Chinese firm’s technology by 2027, The Financial Times reports. The decision follows the government’s announcement in July that firms would be barred from buying new equipment from January 2021 over national security concerns.

The announcement means that any telecoms companies who have stockpiled Huawei equipment ahead of the January cutoff will now not be able to use this for long-term 5G rollouts. The Financial Times reports that some companies have been stockpiling this equipment since summer. Firms will still be allowed to maintain old equipment after September, according to BBC News.

New legislation set to be debated in Parliament this week will start the process of enshrining the ban in law and set out how it will be enforced. Under the Telecommunications Security Bill, telecoms companies could be fined up to 10 percent of turnover or £100,000 per day if they don’t comply with the new security standards.

While competitors Ericsson and Nokia have so far picked up several of the contracts to replace Huawei’s equipment, the government is promising to invest £250 million to encourage the growth of smaller players in the industry. This initiative will try to reduce the impact of removing Huawei’s equipment from 5G networks, and will include creating a new National Telecoms Lab as well as investing in new open radio technology.

Huawei declined to comment to the BBC on the announcement, and did not immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment. In the past, the firm has consistently denied posing a national security risk. The company’s vice-president Victor Zhang has said the UK’s decision to ban its equipment from the country’s networks is “politically motivated and not based on a fair evaluation of the risks”.

Categories
Tech News

Britain Bans New Huawei 5G Kit Installation from September 2021


British telecommunications firms must not install new Huawei 5G kit after September 2021, the government said on Monday, as part of a plan to purge the Chinese firm’s equipment from high speed mobile networks.

Britain has already ordered all Huawei equipment to be removed from its 5G network by the end of 2027, falling in line with intelligence allies including the United States who say the firm poses security risks.

China has criticised that decision, while Huawei said last week it was disappointed Britain was looking to exclude it from the 5G roll-out after the publication of new laws that could see firms fined GBP 1,00,000 (roughly Rs. 99 lakhs) if they break the ban.

Monday’s announcement comes ahead of a debate over new telecoms legislation in parliament and fleshes out the timeline for equipment removal.

“I am setting out a clear path for the complete removal of high risk vendors from our 5G networks,” digital minister Oliver Dowden said in a statement.

“This will be done through new and unprecedented powers to identify and ban telecoms equipment which poses a threat to our national security.”

The government also announced a new strategy to diversify the 5G supply chain, consisting of an initial GBP 250 million (roughly Rs. 2,500 crores) investment, trials in collaboration with Japanese firm NEC and the establishment of new research facilities.

Britain has already banned the buying new Huawei 5G kit after the end of the year.

Britain said its July decision was related to concerns that US sanctions on chip technology could affect supply lines. Huawei said at the time the decision was disappointing, and about US trade policy rather than security.

© Thomson Reuters 2020
 


iPhone 12 Pro Series Is Amazing, but Why Is It So Expensive in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



Source link

Categories
Canada

More than half of Canadians vaccinated by September, a military to lead the operation


Prime Justin Trudeau estimates that the majority of Canadians will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by September if all goes according to plan.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

“There is a very good chance, if everything works well, that we can vaccinate the majority of Canadians by next September,” he said Friday outside his residence in Rideau Cottage, claiming to be based on the advice. scientists.

He did not, however, provide more details on when first doses could be given, arguing that one needs to think as much about the “finish line” of the race as the “finish line” of the race. departure”.

Public health in Canada was already evoking an “optimistic” scenario where most of the 38 million Canadians would be vaccinated by the end of 2021. Trudeau therefore went further with the September horizon on Friday, saying he quoted the targets of scientists.

“It’s the same range,” argued Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr Howard Njoo.

It remains unclear whether the goal is for 51% of the population or 80%, for example, to be vaccinated by September.

“It’s hard to say with exact numbers and a percentage. I think the Prime Minister is optimistic and so am I. But there are a lot of unknowns, ”Dr. Njoo offered.

We do not yet know when the first Canadians – the most vulnerable to COVID-19 – will be vaccinated and provincial premiers like that of Quebec, François Legault, are getting impatient and calling for clear deadlines.

Ottawa is limited to saying that three million people are expected to receive the vaccine between January and March.

To do this, the federal authorities are counting on the planned first delivery of vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna. These suppliers could get the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States as early as December. Health Canada will also need to give its seal of approval, but officials have said the delay will be minimal.

Ottawa has reserved 40 million doses for these two vaccines, with options for an additional 132 million doses.

OTTAWA APPOINTS MAJOR-GENERAL RESPONSIBLE FOR DISTRIBUTION

Prime Minister Trudeau announced Friday that Major-General Dany Fortin of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be responsible for the federal operation to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

Originally from Montmagny, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Mr. Fortin will lead the operations and logistics center of the work team set up by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Mr. Fortin was the commander of the 1st Canadian Division, which responds to natural disasters. He was also the head of the NATO mission in Iraq.

Recall that the Government of Ontario has appointed retired General Rick Hillier, former CAF Chief of the Defense Staff, to lead the vaccination operation on its territory.

Quebec, for its part, opted for the senior official Jérôme Gagnon.

Federal health officials expect three million Canadians to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of March 2021.

Authorizations for Pfizer and Moderna vaccine candidates are expected to be the first to come in December.

Assistance to provinces

In his press briefing, Justin Trudeau also maintained that he expected the support provided by his government in the context of the COVID-19 crisis to the provinces to reach the people.

“Our government has already provided more than $ 25 billion to provinces and territories, including to help them improve ventilation in schools and obtain personal protective equipment,” he said.

Prime Minister Trudeau also announced an investment of $ 542 million to support child and family services in Indigenous communities.



Source link

Categories
Technology UK

Coronavirus has been circulating in Italy since September 2019, study claims


With coronavirus cases around the world now at over 54 million, scientists have been working to understand exactly how and when the deadly bug started spreading.

Now, researchers claim that coronavirus may have been circulating in Italy as early as September 2019.

A team from the National Cancer Institute (INT) of the Italian city of Milan say the findings indicate that COVID-19 might have spread beyond China earlier than previously thought.

The World Health Organization has said the new coronavirus and COVID-19, the respiratory disease it causes, were unknown before the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, in central China, in December.

Italy’s first COVID-19 patient was detected on Feb. 21 in a little town near Milan, in the northern region of Lombardy.

Coronavirus

But the Italian researchers’ findings, published by the INT’s scientific magazine Tumori Journal, show that 11,6% of 959 healthy volunteers enrolled in a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020, had developed coronavirus antibodies well before February.

A further specific SARS-CoV-2 antibodies test was carried out by the University of Siena for the same research titled “Unexpected detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the pre-pandemic period in Italy”.

It showed that four cases dated back to the first week of October were also positive for antibodies neutralizing the virus, meaning they had got infected in September, Giovanni Apolone, a co-author of the study, told Reuters.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

“This is the main finding: people with no symptoms not only were positive after the serological tests but had also antibodies able to kill the virus,” Apolone said.

“It means that the new coronavirus can circulate among the population for long and with a low rate of lethality not because it is disappearing but only to surge again,” he added.

Italian researchers told Reuters in March that they reported a higher than usual number of cases of severe pneumonia and flu in Lombardy in the last quarter of 2019 in a sign that the new coronavirus might have circulated earlier than previously thought.





Source link

Categories
Headlines UK

Economy bounced back by 15.5% in three months to September


The economy bounced back by 15.5 per cent in the three months to September – but it was already slowing down before the latest lockdown.

Official figures showed UK plc clawed back ground over the summer, as coronavirus cases fell and shops, bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen.

But the recovery tapered off in September, and by the end of the period GDP was still 9.7 per cent below where it was at the end of 2019. 

The Bank of England predicted last week that there will be a 2 per cent fall in the last quarter of the year, as curbs hammer activity again. However, there have been hopes of a quicker recovery after good news about the prospects for a vaccine.

The record surge in the third quarter came after a record fall in the second quarter, of 19.8 per cent. 

Rishi Sunak admitted that the draconian restrictions to combat the surge in infections had quelled the rebound, but insisted progress on mass testing and vaccines meant there were ‘reasons to be cautiously optimistic’. 

Official figures showed UK plc clawed back ground over the summer, as cases fell and shops, bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen

But the recovery tapered off in September, and by the end of the period GDP was still 9.7 per cent below where it was at the end of 2019

 But the recovery tapered off in September, and by the end of the period GDP was still 9.7 per cent below where it was at the end of 2019

ONS spokesman Jonathan Athow said: ‘While all main sectors of the economy continued to recover, the rate of growth slowed again with the economy still remaining well below its pre-pandemic peak.

‘The return of children to school boosted activity in the education sector. Housebuilding also continued to recover, while business strengthened for lawyers and accountants after a poor August.

‘However, pubs and restaurants saw less business, after the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme ended, and accommodation saw less business after a successful summer.’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, said: ‘Today’s figures show that our economy was recovering over the Summer, but started to slow going into Autumn. 

‘The steps we’ve had to take since to halt the spread of the virus mean growth has likely slowed further since then.

‘But there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic on the health side – including promising news on tests and vaccines. 

‘My economic priority continues to be jobs – that’s why we extended furlough through to March and I welcome the news today that nearly 20,000 new roles for young people have been created through our Kickstart scheme.’

The Bank of England said last week that it's central expectation is that the economy will not regain its level from last year until the start of 2022

The Bank of England said last week that it’s central expectation is that the economy will not regain its level from last year until the start of 2022

Economists have raised hopes UK plc could return to pre-pandemic levels within six months after the bombshell news about a vaccine.

A wave of optimism has been sweeping through scientists and ministers after Pfizer announced that early trials found its jabs were 90 per cent effective.

The government has said the UK – which already has 40million doses on order – could start vaccinating people before Christmas. Leading experts have suggested life could be ‘back to normal’ by Spring, as long as the government does not ‘screw up’ the rollout.

The Bank of England gave a grim assessment only last week that UK plc would not return to its level from the end of last year until mid-2022. 

But Douglas McWilliams, of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said GDP could get back to 2019 levels by ‘as early as mid-2021’. 

He tweeted this week: ‘This would give a GDP growth rate next year that might be double digit or close to that.’ 

The Office for National Statistics revealed earlier this year that public sector debt is now above £2 trillion for the first time ever

The Office for National Statistics revealed earlier this year that public sector debt is now above £2 trillion for the first time ever

The Bank of England said last week that it expected GDP to be 11 per cent lower this year

The Bank of England said last week that it expected GDP to be 11 per cent lower this year

Paul Dales at Capital Economics and Simon French at Panmure Gordon brought their predictions for a recovery forward from the first half of 2023 to the beginning of 2022. 

Capital Economics said unemployment was more likely to peak at 7 per cent next year, rather than the 9 per cent previously estimated.

In the latest Monetary Policy report, the Bank projected that economy would to shrink by 2 per cent between October and December, but not to go into a double-dip recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of falling.

GDP was predicted to be 11 per cent lower this year in real terms, worse than the 9.5 per cent the Bank suggested in August. 

The central expectation was that the economy would not regain its level from last year until the start of 2022.

The Bank also increased its mammoth bond-buying programme by £150billion to £895billion, warning that UK plc’s recovery was already ‘softening’ before the squeeze was announced on Saturday. 



Source link

Categories
Delhi The Buzz

States get Rs 51,000 crore less till September-end


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 29

Though the Centre has transferred Rs 2.60 lakh crore to state governments as devolution of share of taxes, this amount is Rs 51,000 crore less than the amount transferred to the states till the end of September in the last fiscal.

This is largely because in the first six months of the current fiscal, the Central Government has been able to collect only a quarter of the targeted amount for the full year. The Centre received Rs 5.65 lakh crore of receipts till September-end, which was about a quarter of budgetary estimates, according to the monthly account of the Union Government up to September 2020.

Worryingly, the Centre has spent a very small portion on capital expenditure or for the building of productive assets.

The total expenditure incurred by the government till the end of September was Rs 14.79 lakh crore. But most of it – Rs 13.13 lakh crore – was on the revenue account and just Rs 1.66 lakh crore on capital account.

In revenue expenditure, Rs 3.05 lakh crore was for interest payments and Rs 1.56 lakh crore on account of major subsidies.

Of the collections of Rs 5.65 lakh crore, tax revenue comprised the lion’s share – Rs. 4.58 lakh crore – non-tax revenue amounted to Rs 92,274 crore and non-debt capital receipts were Rs 14,635 crore of which recovery of loans were Rs 8,854 crore and disinvestment proceeds Rs 5,781crore.





Source link