Democratic candidate and retired astronaut Mark Kelly has defeated incumbent Sen. Martha McSally in the Arizona Senate race.- Advertisement –
Meanwhile, the conservative Club for Growth said it would spend $10 million on both Senate races. With massive sums guaranteed to flow in from all sides, though, it would be much bigger news if a major player didn’t get involved, so we likely won’t be devoting as much coverage to outside spending activity as we ordinarily would.Separately, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that, because the state will conduct a recount in the presidential race, a group of runoffs that had been scheduled for Dec. 1 will instead be consolidated with the Senate runoffs in January. The most prominent among these is an election for Georgia’s Public Service Commission between Republican incumbent Bubba McDonald and Democrat Daniel Blackman. All five of the current members on the commission, which regulates utilities, are Republicans.However, one notable election is staying put: Because the race for district attorney in Clarke and Oconee counties, which includes the city of Athens, is a special election, it cannot be moved under state law.Called RacesQuite a few contests remain uncalled, but we’re tracking all of them on our continually updated cheat-sheet, and of course we’ll cover each of them in the Digest once they’re resolved.● AK-Sen: Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan has defeated challenger Al Gross, an independent who won the Democratic nomination.● NC-Sen: The Associated Press has called North Carolina’s Senate race for Republican Thom Tillis, who defeated Democrat Cal Cunningham 49-47 to earn a second term. Cunningham conceded on Tuesday but the AP waited until Wednesday to issue its call.● AK-AL: Republican Rep. Don Young has defeated challenger Alyse Galvin, an independent who won the Democratic nomination, in a rematch of their 2018 race.● AZ-01: Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran has defeated Republican challenger Tiffany Shedd.● CA-34: Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez has prevailed over former prosecutor David Kim in an unexpectedly competitive intra-party race that the Associated Press waited more than a week to call. With most votes counted, Gomez led Kim just 53-47, despite outraising him $1.3 million to just $179,000 as of mid-October.Kim ran on an explicitly left-wing platform and benefited from an endorsement from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who helped popularize the idea of a universal basic income that Kim vocally supported. He relied on a large volunteer corps to make up his financial deficit and attacked Gomez for accepting campaign donations from the private prison industry and fossil fuel companies.Kim may have also benefited from the sizable Korean American population in California’s 34th District, dark blue turf located in downtown Los Angeles that includes the neighborhood known as Koreatown. Around 43% of the district traces its origins to Mexico, as Gomez does, while about 8% are of Korean ancestry, making this the most heavily Korean American district in the country.As political analyst Rob Pyers concluded, “The Koreatown precincts made the special election in 2017 closer than most people had anticipated.” Gomez, the establishment favorite, won that race by a relatively modest 59-41 against fellow Democrat Robert Lee Ahn, who was also Korean American.We could in fact see another special election for this seat soon: Politico recently reported that Gomez, who “secured more robust labor provisions” in the trade agreement that succeeded NAFTA, could be Joe Biden’s choice for U.S. trade representative. In a statement conceding the election, Kim left open the possibility that he could run once more, saying, “This is only the start of something big and something bold.”● WA-08: Freshman Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier has defeated Republican challenger Jesse Jensen. This contest proved to be unexpectedly close: With most votes counted, Schrier led just 52-48. Major outside groups paid little attention to this swingy district, which stretches from Seattle’s eastern suburbs to more rural areas past the Cascade Range, even though it hosted one of the most expensive races of 2018.● CA Ballot: The AP has called the election for California’s Proposition 15 for opponents, whose side currently leads 52-48 with most votes counted. The measure would have reformed the state’s property tax system by allowing large commercial properties to be reassessed at market value. Now, to the numbers! Oklahoma’s toplines barely budged over the last four years: In 2016, it voted 65-29 for Trump, while this year, it gave Trump a similar 65-33 victory, a shift that can be attributed to weaker showings by third-party candidates. For the fifth presidential election in a row, the GOP nominee for president carried every single one of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, and Trump, unsurprisingly, also won each of the Sooner State’s five congressional districts.While his statewide numbers didn’t shift much, Trump did see a larger collapse in the Oklahoma City-based 5th District, where his winning margin shrunk from 53-40 to 52-46—his weakest showing in the state. Democrats scored a major upset in the 5th in 2018 when Democrat Kendra Horn unseated Republican Steve Russell, but Trump’s decline at the top of the ticket wasn’t enough to save Horn, who lost her first bid for re-election to Republican Stephanie Bice 52-48. Democrats could conceivably win back a seat like this one in the future, but Republicans, who will have unfettered control over redistricting next year, may simply divide the blue island of Oklahoma City between multiple districts.Meanwhile, Trump once again took at least 60% of the vote in Oklahoma’s other four congressional districts. Trump’s strongest margin of victory came in Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s 2nd District in the eastern part of the state, which he took 76-22. This region, nicknamed “Little Dixie,” was relatively friendly turf for Democrats up until a decade ago: A previous version of the 2nd decisively elected Democratic Rep. Dan Boren to a fourth term as late as 2010. Boren retired in 2012, though, and Mullin has had no trouble holding it against all Democratic comers during any of his five campaigns.- Advertisement – This is the fourth presidential election for our “pres-by-CD project,” as we informally call it, but there’s one key difference this time. A new round of redistricting is about to begin, meaning all-new congressional districts will be used in 2022. We’re crunching numbers for the current districts, though, so that we can measure how much the new boundaries do, or don’t, change the partisan makeup of each district, which is a very useful tool for evaluating gerrymandering. We’re also certain to see some special elections over the next two years that would be held using the existing district lines, so our data will help determine early on which races could be competitive.Campaign Action- Advertisement – P.S. After we’ve released the presidential results for all 435 House districts, Daily Kos Elections will circle back and continue our project to calculate the presidential election results for every legislative district in the country.Georgia Runoffs● GA-Sen-A, GA-Sen-B: Republican pollster Remington Research has boldly offered the first post-election surveys of Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoffs, finding small leads for both GOP incumbents. In the regular election, David Perdue is ahead of Jon Ossoff 50-46 while in the special election, Kelly Loeffler has a narrower 49-48 edge on Raphael Warnock.Remington, which did not mention a client, did not poll the Nov. 3 matchups in either contest, nor did the firm release many surveys elsewhere in the final month of the race, making it difficult to assess its accuracy in a year rife with polling whiffs. The only state Remington polled close enough to Election Day to merit a comparison with final results was Missouri, where it found Trump leading Biden 50-45 late last month and Republican Gov. Mike Parson up by a similar 50-44 over Democrat Nicole Galloway. Those numbers proved far too favorable for Democrats, however, as Trump and Parson both carried the state by identical 57-41 margins.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
The 23-member transition team announced by Mr. Biden last week indicates he will bolster the other responsibilities of the sprawling department. The team includes at least four former officials with Citizenship and Immigration Services, the legal immigration agency that has been mired in financial struggles. The leader of the team, Ur Jaddou, was a chief counsel for the agency under President Barack Obama and frequent critic of Mr. Trump’s policies. Mr. Warrick’s co-author, Caitlin Durkovich, is on Mr. Biden’s official transition team.The volunteer team has emphasized that change will come not from a drastic restructuring but from personnel. Of the 74 leadership positions at the Department of Homeland Security, 18 are either vacant or held by an acting official. Even those serving in acting capacities have had their appointments questioned by government watchdogs and the courts. As recently as Saturday, a federal judge said Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, was not serving lawfully when he issued a memo in July suspending protections for immigrants brought to the United States as children.Two advisers involved in the planning meetings said the team was advising the incoming administration to steer clear of all officials who led the agencies overseeing immigration, even those who publicly resisted the White House’s efforts or publicly turned against Mr. Trump.They are “poisoned,” one adviser said.Some transition officials have rallied around Alejandro N. Mayorkas, a former homeland security deputy secretary and director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, to be the next secretary.Mr. Mayorkas’s supporters believe his background as a U.S. attorney for California and as a Cuban immigrant would appeal to both the law enforcement officials in the agency and the immigrant communities in the United States. They emphasized that a decision on the position had not yet been made.But reinstating officials who served under Mr. Obama, who was criticized as the “deporter in chief” and who expanded detentions at the border to respond to a surge of migrants, could cause consternation on the left.“My hope is people can see some of the errors of their ways,” Ms. Franco said, adding, “We’ll be vigilant.” – Advertisement – But undoing Mr. Trump’s immigration policies will initially dominate.Many of the Trump administration’s policies cannot be immediately undone, and Mr. Biden is likely to face an early test if migration to the southwestern border surges with Mr. Trump’s pending departure.That could be politically fraught, balancing the demands of the Democratic left for more lenient immigration policies, with the concerns of moderates who fear such issues cost the party dearly in House and Senate elections this month. Mr. Trump campaigned on a hard-line immigration agenda when he won the election in 2016 and the policies remain a central appeal to many who have supported Mr. Trump.- Advertisement – “Obviously my members were hoping President Trump was going to win, and they were hoping he was going to win because of what happens with border security,” Mr. Judd said. ““Let’s hope Biden proves us wrong. But we’ve already seen this movie and we expect a replay.” WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has said that one of his first priorities will be rolling back his predecessor’s restrictive immigration policies. To do it, he may have to overhaul the Department of Homeland Security, which has been bent to President Trump’s will over the past four years.The department, created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has helped enforce some of Mr. Trump’s most divisive policies, like separating families at the border, banning travel from Muslim-majority countries and building his border wall. When the president tried to reframe his campaign around law and order this year, homeland security leaders rallied to the cause, deploying tactical officers to protect statues and confront protesters.- Advertisement – The Trump administration enacted more than 400 changes to tighten or choke off immigration, and while Mr. Biden can roll back the ones issued through executive orders or policy memorandums, rescinding policies that went through the full regulatory process will take time, according to Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute.“On immigration, I expect them to stick to things that are high profile, very easy procedurally and come with minimal logistical burden,” Ms. Pierce said. Mr. Biden has also revived the longstanding Democratic goal of creating a path to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants, but without a Democratic Senate, that is likely impossible. (Control of the Senate rests on two Senate runoff races in Georgia in January.)An expected surge of migration to the southwestern border in the coming months will test Mr. Biden’s ability to balance the demands of the liberal and moderate wings of his party while preventing overflowing border facilities.“We will treat our immigrants with respect and give them due process, which they aren’t having under this administration,” said Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, the chairwoman of the House appropriations subcommittee on homeland security who represented the Biden campaign in platform negotiations with Senator Bernie Sanders. “Will that be enough? Probably no.” – Advertisement – The pandemic is another immediate challenge.A threat assessment released by the Homeland Security Department in October concluded that the coronavirus had exacerbated “underlying economic and political conditions in the region” that have typically fueled migration.Mr. Biden has said he will look to revive a version of a program that allowed children and young adults to apply for refuge in their home country, rather than making the long, dangerous trip to the border to ask for asylum. He has also said he would bolster aid to Central America while deploying attachés from the Justice and Treasury Departments to combat corruption.But at the physical border, Mr. Biden’s plans center more so on what he will stop rather than what he will develop. That includes ending travel bans that restrict travel from 13 mostly Muslim and African countries and halting the Trump administration’s efforts to strip protections for about 700,000 young immigrants brought to the country as children.Mr. Biden also plans to raise the cap on refugee admissions to 125,000, impose a 100-day moratorium on deportations and direct Immigration and Customs Enforcement to focus on violent offenders. But it remains unclear how he will rebuild a deteriorated resettlement system to welcome that many immigrants or the specific details of his temporary halt on removing undocumented immigrants.The new administration will end the national emergency declaration that allowed Mr. Trump to divert billions of Pentagon dollars to the border wall, but an adviser involved in the transition said there were no plans to dismantle the 400 miles of wall already up.Other regulations will prove more challenging to unravel, like the maze of asylum restrictions imposed by the Trump administration and the public charge rule that allows green cards to be denied to immigrants who are deemed likely to use public assistance.Ms. Pierce said the new administration could begin the lengthy process of replacing the Trump regulations or, given that the public charge rule is still being litigated in court, revise that regulation in a settlement. After agents were videotaped hauling demonstrators off the streets of Portland, Ore., into unmarked vans, department critics called for systemic changes to the agency, or even its dismantlement. But the incoming administration is intent on keeping the department intact.Still, change is coming.Interviews with 16 current and former homeland security officials and advisers involved with Mr. Biden’s transition, and a review of his platform, suggest an agenda that aims to incorporate climate change in department policy, fill vacant posts and bolster responsibilities that Mr. Trump neglected, including disaster response and cybersecurity. “If it looks like they’re just kicking the can down the road, then people will be very angry,” said Marisa Franco, the executive director of Mijente, a Latino civil rights organization, who served on a task force that issued recommendations to the Biden campaign.Mr. Trump measured the success of his homeland security secretaries primarily by the progress of his border wall and the monthly totals of arrests made by his border agents. The group also features multiple former Obama administration officials who focused on cybersecurity, emergency response and transportation security. Mr. Trump had a team of only four transition advisers for homeland security.“If you look at what’s going on in the world now, in addition to border security and T.S.A. airline issues, you have a pandemic and an unprecedented hurricane season,” said Michael Chertoff, a homeland security secretary under President George W. Bush, referring to the Transportation Security Administration. Mr. Biden, he said, will take “a broader-based, more strategic approach.”A team composed mostly of volunteers separate from Mr. Biden’s official transition team has worked for weeks on that approach. Those volunteers, including Mr. Obama’s former director of the Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz, and his former deputy homeland security adviser, Amy Pope, have focused on infusing climate change research into the decision-making of the next department leadership.While the agency will not become “the department of climate,” one adviser said, the new administration will use the research to shape natural disaster response and resilience to assist the Coast Guard as it patrols the Arctic. The next homeland security leaders could rely on climate science to predict migration from places like Guatemala, where coffee rust has disrupted the crops farmers rely on. “This is something that needs to be a long term priority for D.H.S.,” said Thomas S. Warrick, a former top counterterrorism official in the department and a co-author of a report this year that emphasized the department’s future roles defending against cyberthreats, pandemics and white supremacy. He has said he will stop “metering,” which restricts the number of migrants who can seek protection at border ports. It is unclear if he would pull out of agreements with Central American countries that allow the United States to divert migrants seeking protection back to the region. He would end Mr. Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy that has sent more than 60,000 migrants back to Mexico to await asylum hearings that have been suspended during the pandemic.Mr. Biden’s advisers have discussed rushing asylum officers and immigration judges to the border to process those families and others seeking protection.“The real question is scale. Can they be scaled up quickly enough if there is a surge to the border?” said one official involved in the transition.Mr. Biden has not committed to lifting a public health emergency rule that has essentially sealed the border to asylum seekers. The Trump administration has cited the risk of the pandemic to empower Border Patrol agents to rapidly turn migrants back to Mexico or their home countries without providing the chance to have their asylum claims heard. An adviser to the campaign said the administration planned on consulting with public health officials to discuss the policy.Biden advisers also acknowledged the need to bolster the capacity at the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for sheltering migrant children traveling alone. That will take congressional approval.Mr. Biden has said he would cut funding used to detain migrants and instead rely more on programs that track migrants after they are released into the United States to make sure they appear at immigration court.Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, the Border Patrol’s union, said that would mean the return of “catch-and-release,” pejorative shorthand for releasing migrants from detention only for them to disappear. Mr. Trump has argued the policy encourages migration. The Presidential TransitionUpdated Nov. 14, 2020, 12:00 p.m. ET
Mar 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – North Korea yesterday confirmed recent reports of an avian influenza outbreak among poultry, but officials did not specify whether it involved the H5N1 virus, which has struck nine other Asian countries in the past 16 months.The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the outbreak had led to the killing and burial of hundreds of thousands of chickens on two or three farms in Pyongyang, the capital, according to news services.The statement did not say which strain of avian flu was involved, according to Associated Press (AP) and Reuters reports. Officials said no human cases had been discovered. Only Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia have had human cases of the illness since it began spreading in late 2003.South Korea had a number of H5N1 avian flu outbreaks in the winter of 2003-2004, but no outbreaks had been reported in North Korea until about 2 weeks ago. That was when South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported an outbreak in Pyongyang, saying the information had come from a South Korean businessman who met North Korean officials in Beijing. The North Korean government initially denied the report.The AP quoted the KCNA report yesterday as saying, “A dynamic work is now under way in different parts of the country to combat bird flu that plagues the world.”South Korean government officials yesterday offered to help North Korea prevent the spread of avian flu, according to a report today in the Korea Herald, a South Korean newspaper. The government called an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the possibility of holding talks with North Korea on technology and tools to fight the disease, the story said.The report also said the South Korean government would step up efforts to keep avian flu from spreading from the north. Plans called for banning poultry products from North Korea and disinfecting vehicles coming from there.When reports of the North Korean outbreak first surfaced, a South Korean company immediately canceled plans to import 40 tons of chicken from the North, the Herald story said.The AP story said the outbreak is a blow to the food supply of a nation that already suffers from food shortages and relies on foreign aid to feed its people.Two days ago, the United Nations’ World Food Program launched a new appeal for food gifts to the secretive communist country, the AP reported. The agency said a lack of supplies was forcing it to cut aid to children and the elderly.In other developments, Cambodian officials said a suspected human case of avian flu had been ruled out in a village where another person had died of the illness last week, according to a Mar 26 Agence France-Presse report.The story said Hon Sopheap, 18, had tested negative for the H5N1 virus. He is from the village of Keatha Vong Leu, near the Vietnamese border, which was also the home of Meas Ran, 28, who died of avian flu last week. He was Cambodia’s second human victim.The same story said 2 of 31 poultry in the village had tested positive for the virus. But Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun said the poultry outbreak had been contained after the culling of 139 chickens and ducks.Unofficially, 74 human cases of avian flu, including 49 deaths, have occurred in Asia since late 2003. Those include 55 cases with 35 deaths in Vietnam, 17 cases with 12 deaths in Thailand, and 2 fatal cases in Cambodia.
Dec 3, 2007, CIDRAP News story “Newspaper says lobbying helped sink anthrax vaccine” Last September, Emergent won an HHS contract worth up to $448 million to supply 18.75 million doses of BioThrax to HHS for the national stockpile. The company said its acquisition of the VaxGen vaccine will have no effect on the existing contract. The Los Angeles Times reported last December that a lobbying campaign by Emergent had been a factor in the HHS decision to cancel the VaxGen contract. Emergent has a second-generation anthrax vaccine candidate of its own, called rPA 102. Like VaxGen’s vaccine, its active ingredient is a recombinant form of protective antigen (rPA), an anthrax protein. VaxGen’s contract was the first awarded under Project BioShield, a $5.6 billion program to procure medical defenses against the effects of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. The aim of the contract was to provide a vaccine that requires fewer doses than the existing vaccine and has minimal side effects. May 5 VaxGen news release In a news release announcing the sale, VaxGen President James P. Panek said, “In Emergent, we believe we have identified a partner whose expertise in the field and track record in contracting with government agencies maximizes the chances of returns for our shareholders.” Apr 8 CIDRAP News story “DoD funds development of anthrax vaccine patch Emergent is unlikely to be the only company bidding for the new HHS anthrax vaccine contract. Last month, PharmAthene, an Annapolis, Md., company, announced it had acquired the biodefense business of the British firm Avecia, including the rights to an rPA anthrax vaccine that has gone through phase 2 clinical trials. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded VaxGen an $877 million contract in 2004 to produce 75 million doses of its second-generation anthrax vaccine for the Strategic National Stockpile. But HHS canceled the contract in December 2006, after problems with the vaccine’s stability caused the company to miss a deadline for starting a clinical trial. VaxGen, of South San Francisco, Calif., said it sold the vaccine and related technology to Emergent, based in Rockville, Md., for $2 million. Emergent may be required to pay up to an additional $8 million in milestone payments, plus a percentage of any future sales revenues. ” Emergent, in a release announcing its purchase, said the VaxGen vaccine’s stability has been improved and that a phase 2 clinical trial has been completed. The vaccine could be a leading candidate for a new HHS contract to supply anthrax vaccine for the national stockpile, the company said. The firm said plans call for making the vaccine at Emergent’s new facility in Lansing, Mich. HHS issued a request in February for proposals to provide 25 million doses of anthrax rPA vaccine, according to previous reports. See also: May 5 Emergent news releasehttp://investors.emergentbiosolutions.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=202582&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1139336 A May 5 report in the Washington Post said Emergent’s rPA 102 anthrax vaccine isn’t as far along in development as the VaxGen product. Facing a deadline to submit a proposal to HHS by the end of this month, Emergent decided to bet on the VaxGen vaccine, the story said. Dec 20, 2006, CIDRAP News story “HHS cancels VaxGen anthrax vaccine contract” May 7, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – VaxGen Inc. announced this week the sale of its experimental anthrax vaccine—which the US government pulled the plug on in 2006—to Emergent BioSolutions, maker of the only US-licensed anthrax vaccine. VaxGen spent more than $175 million to develop the vaccine, the Post reported. The story said the company laid off three quarters of its remaining 22 employees last month. Emergent produces BioThrax—also known as Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed—the licensed anthrax vaccine, developed in the 1950s. The product, which is required for US military personnel serving in high-risk areas such as the Middle East, is given in six doses over 18 months, followed by an annual booster. A number of service members have complained of serious side effects from the vaccine, and it was the subject of a long court battle after some sued to stop the program.
World’s novel H1N1 cases top 10,000The global number of novel H1N1 cases rose to 10,243 in 41 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today. The count includes 3,648 cases and 72 deaths from Mexico, 5,469 cases and 6 deaths in the United States as of yesterday, 496 cases and 1 death in Canada, and 9 cases and 1 death in Costa Rica. Greece was the only new country added to the list, with a report of one case.[WHO update 34]US case and fatality totals riseThe count of confirmed and probable novel H1N1 cases in the United States grew to 5,710, of which 8 were fatal, from 48 states and the District of Columbia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today. No new states reported confirmed cases. The newly reported deaths of a 44-year-old St Louis man and a 57-year-old Arizona woman were included in the fatality total.[Current CDC numbers]Many global companies have activated pandemic plansMore than half (55%) of global companies in a survey by a business association said they have activated pandemic response plans because of the H1N1 epidemic, according to Medical News Today. The survey covered 121 members of the Conference Board, a global nonprofit association of businesses. Almost all the companies said they were making special efforts to provide pandemic information to employees, and 81% said they have encouraged workers who feel sick to stay home.[Medical News Today report]Novel flu may lead to earlier seasonal flu vaccination campaignIf US officials decide to launch an H1N1 immunization campaign later this year, seasonal flu vaccination efforts may start earlier than usual, a CDC flu expert said at a news briefing today. Dr. Dan Jernigan said the CDC estimates that an H1N1 vaccine will become available sometime in the fall. “If possible, we do want to have earlier rollout of seasonal vaccine simply for that reason, to make it easier for an additional vaccine if that is the ultimate policy,” he said.[May 20 CDC briefing transcript]Glaxo offers 50 million vaccine doses to the WHOAt a meeting of United Nations officials yesterday, GlaxoSmithKline offered to donate 50 million doses of a pandemic vaccine to the WHO for use in poor countries if needed, a company spokesman told the Chicago Tribune. However, the offer has not been finalized by Glaxo or the WHO. Vaccine makers have voiced a commitment to providing doses to poor countries but gave few specifics at yesterday’s meeting.[May 20 Chicago Tribune article]Flu outbreak tests military pandemic plansThe novel flu outbreak, which launched from North America, wasn’t the overseas threat that the US military envisioned when it prepared its pandemic plan, according to details that surfaced in briefing documents obtained by the Associated Press. According to the closely guarded plan, in catastrophic circumstances the military would help law enforcement enforce quarantines, limit travel, and protect government buildings. The six-phase plan also calls for measures to protect the armed services.Taiwan reports first H1N1 case; Australia has 4 moreTaiwan reported its first novel H1N1 case, in a 52-year-old foreign physician who had been in the United States several months and arrived in Taiwan via Hong Kong on May 18, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Meanwhile, Australia reported four more cases, all in people who had recently been in the United States, raising the country’s total to five. Three cases were in young brothers from Melbourne; the fourth was in a 28-year-old Sydney woman, AFP reported.Test is negative in NYC child’s death as more schools closeNew York City health officials said a 16-month-old boy who died May 18 of suspected H1N1 flu tested negative for the virus, according to the Associated Press (AP). But samples were sent to the CDC for further testing. Meanwhile, City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden recommended closing three more schools as of today because of high rates of flu-like illness, bringing the number of closed schools in the city to 21.
Učka Nature Park in cooperation with partners has launched the project “Učka 360” which aims to create new jobs, improve the tourist offer and extend the tourist season.By signing the grant agreement within the Call for Proposals Promoting Sustainable Use of Natural Heritage in National Parks and Nature Parks, within the Operational Program “Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020”, the Učka 360 ° project was officially launched.This is a project of the Public Institution Nature Park Učka and partners – Municipality of Kršan and the Association BIOM, which provides for the construction and equipping of the Visitor Center Gift and 4 more facilities (3 volunteer information centers in Rovozna, Podmaj and Lovranska Draga and interpretation center in the former school Susnjevica ), development of innovative programs based on natural and cultural heritage and improvement and expansion of existing educational programs of the Učka Nature Park.The total value of the Učka 360 ° Project is HRK 49.907.256,75, of which HRK 38.541.982,09 is the total eligible costs. The project is co-financed by the European Union with HRK 32.760.684,77 in grants from the European Regional Development Fund and the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency with HRK 3.449.711,97, while the rest of the eligible costs were provided by the Ministry of Environment and Energy from the state budget and partners.The general goal of the project is to improve the system of visits and education in the Učka Nature Park for the purpose of sustainable use of natural heritage, while the specific goals are to increase the attractiveness and diversity of the Učka Nature Park by developing infrastructure and programs for visitors and raising visitors’ knowledge of the Učka Nature Park. in visiting programs. The central place of the project is the construction of the Gift Center for Visitors, which will be realized by the reconstruction and conversion of the old farm building into a modern multipurpose building with interpretive, educational, tourist and administrative facilities. The contents of the Park realized through the project will create conditions for the creation of new jobs, will improve the tourist offer, contribute to the extension of the tourist season and the overall socio-economic development of the destination.The entire project must be implemented in 45 months, ie by April 2021.Related news: Griffon Vulture AS A TOURIST PRODUCT?
THE CITY IS PEOPLE, SO DOMESTIC PEOPLE ARE TOURISM AND THE BEST AMBASSADORS OF CROATIAN TOURISMLocal tourist tours are organized for their citizens by other tourist boards, such as in Vinkovci, Split, Rijeka and others. A very important segment that citizens must be familiar with and proud of if we are serious about tourism, especially in destinations that primarily live and develop from tourism.Get to know your city and all the hidden stories it tells Trust me, you will be pleasantly surprised. Be a tourist in your own city in order to experience it as well as possible and thus tell that story and experience to our tourists. Let us be proud of our identity, history, heritage, culture because we certainly have something to be proud of.Be ambassadors of Croatian tourism, tell stories.Related news: ZDTVH SENT TO INSTITUTIONS TO PROTECT QUALITY AND ACCURATE INTERPRETATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE AS WELL AS LICENSED TOURIST GUIDES The Zagreb Tourist Board, in cooperation with partners, is giving away free tours of the city to all fellow citizens and visitors on the occasion of the Zagreb City Day.Thus, on May 31, free tours will be held according to the dates as follows:10:00, 16:00 and 18:00 – a classic walking tour of the city at Croatian language11:00 am – classic walking tour of the city at in English12:00 and 16:00 – Meštrović’s Zagreb, thematic walking tour in CroatianDepartures are scheduled in front of the Tourist Information Center on Ban Jelačić Square, and each participant receives a gingerbread heart as a gift. Also, the City of Zagreb, in cooperation with the Tourist Board, will donate round trips of the ZET tourist bus to the citizens and visitors of our city. All those interested will be able to choose a ride on the Red or Green Line, and the departure times are as follows: Red line: 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 and Green line: 10:00, 12:00 and 15:00Free tickets for round trips by tourist “cabrio” bus will be available at the TIC on Ban Josip Jelačić Square, and departures are from Bakačeva Street. The number of tickets is limited by the capacity of the tourist bus and they are available for collection from Wednesday, May 30, 2018, from 9:00 am until the distribution of the total amount of available tickets, according to the Tourist Board.On the City of Zagreb Day, there will be a special shift of the guard of the honorary company Kravat Regiment, and the interactive tour of the Secret of Grič will begin its season. Numerous other events are starting for the weekend, such as: Summer at MSU, Zagreb Picnic in Maksimir, #WeLoveSound, etc. More detailed information available HEREGet to know your city and become ambassadors of Croatian tourism A great tourist story and a very important segment in the mosaic of our tourism that we have absolutely neglected. The city is the people, so the local people are tourism and the best ambassadors of Croatian tourism. The locals give rhythm and pulse to the destination / city, and the guests want to get to know us and our culture of living, customs, our stories… because that is the very essence of tourism.DID YOU KNOW HOW THE ZAGREB CABLE RAILWAY IS THE SHORTEST WIRE RAILWAY IN THE WORLD INTENDED FOR PUBLIC TRAFFIC! FORA STORY AND EXPERIENCE, ISN’T IT? RIDE WITH YOUR GUESTS THE CABLE AND TELL THEM THE STORY OF THE CITYAn ambassador of Croatian tourism is a person who is proud of our country, history, customs, culture, heritage, successes – proud to be a Croat. An ambassador of Croatian tourism is a person who promotes his tradition and his region, who respects himself, because if we do not respect ourselves, others will not respect us either. Anyone can be an ambassador of Croatian tourism, you can also be one. When a guest asks you what they can see in your city be prepared to refer them to all the local stories. Tell him a story about your tradition, culture and customs. Recommend him the great tourist stories he can experience in your city or surroundings. Also, in order to be an ambassador of Croatian tourism, you do not have to be a tourist worker. If guests on the street ask you for advice, you can certainly boast of some local tourist stories or at least refer it to the tourist board in the city.
The Ministry of Tourism significantly raised the sojourn tax for boaters in August last year. The mentioned decision to raise prices, without any added service or value, proved to be negative and we can hear from the marinas that guests are complaining and announcing their departure from Croatian safe ports.Namely, the drastic increase in the sojourn tax for owners or users of vessels has brought five to six times higher prices of taxes compared to the previous ones, depending on the category of the vessel and the time period for which the tax is paid. For example, the owner of a yacht 9 to 12 meters long has so far had to pay an annual fee of about 150 euros, and according to the new Decree on determining the amount of sojourn tax for 2018, the price will be about 775 euros, and for yachts 12 to 15 meters annual the fee jumped from 176 euros to 1.024 euros. Also, the Office abolished the payment of an annual lump sum for the use of marinas, which has been the normal practice so far.However, after protests from the profession, boaters and negative reactions from the moment, the Ministry of Tourism, as I unofficially find out, is considering reducing sojourn taxes next year, while this year a decision would be made to introduce a three-day vignette, targeting sailors sailing over the weekend fire-fighting measure to mitigate the effects of price increases.What is certainly positive is that the Ministry of Tourism and professional associations finally sat at the same table and talked openly, which should be a normal, logical and natural practice, and not to pass laws without consulting the profession. After all, the Ministry of Tourism is not an end in itself, but quite the opposite. This is not a political issue, but exclusively a market one, and the biggest problem is that the profession is not heard or consulted. This is another proof that politics must not make decisions without consulting the profession, but quite the opposite, first the profession and then politics.Also, unofficially, the amendment to the Ordinance on the method of paying the lump sum of the sojourn tax for boaters for next year is being considered, since no changes can be made this year, where the prices of sojourn taxes would be reduced. Although negative criticisms of boaters are coming from the field, the first five months of this year saw a 25% increase in the number of arrivals and a 29% increase in overnight stays compared to last year’s record year. However, many sailors find out the unpleasant news when they arrive at the destination or have not been able to react for this year, as one of the directors of the marina on the Adriatic points out.What is certain is that vessels are movable property, and if sailors are dissatisfied, they can easily move the vessel to another country. The negative consequences are already being felt in all marinas, and will only be felt next year. At the end of the season, the line will be drawn, and I wonder if anyone will respond if there is a rapid decline?In any case, if we are going to reduce the sojourn tax next year, it would be wise to make a decision now, at least the announcement of the decision, while boaters are here, with us, so that they can communicate it better and reduce possible negative consequences.Related news: BROCHURE FOR BOATERS RELATED TO THE PAYMENT OF THE RESIDENCE TAX IN 2018 PUBLISHED