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Top medical adviser says 'no fans' safest for Tokyo Olympics

A report from Japan’s top medical adviser seems to put him at odds with Tokyo organizers and the Internal Olympic Committee.

TOKYO, Japan — The safest way to hold the Tokyo Olympics is without any fans, the top medical adviser to the Japanese government said in a report on Friday.

Dr. Shigeru Omi’s recommendation seems to put him at odds with organizers and the International Olympic Committee with the Olympics opening in just five weeks on July 23.

Fans from abroad were banned several months ago, and organizers are to announce early next week if some local fans should be allowed.

“We believe the risks of infections inside venues would be lowest by holding the event with no fans,” said the report, which was compiled by a group of 26 experts led by Omi, a former World Health Organization official. It was submitted to the government and Olympic officials

Widely circulated reports say the government wants to allow up to 10,000 people at some sports and cultural events. This policy is expected to be applied to the Olympics with smaller ceilings at smaller venues, and differences for indoor and outdoor venues.

“We believe it would be most desirable not to have fans inside venues,” Omi told a news conference on Friday after submitting the written report. “Regardless of holding the Olympics or not, Japan has continuing risks of a resurgence of the infections that puts pressure on the medical systems.”

Omi said that putting fans in the venues increased the risk — and not only there but afterward as people exit. He said the Olympics easily get more attention from the public than other sporting events and are likely to trigger more movements and more partying.

Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the local organizing committee, said that the final decision on fans was likely to be made Monday in a meeting with organizers, the IOC, the Tokyo metropolitan government, the Japanese government, and the International Paralympic Committee.

Hashimoto said if Tokyo decides to allow fans, the rules will have to be much stricter than for half-filled stadiums in Japan for baseball or soccer. She also said organizers would have to be ready to suddenly ban local fans if conditions change.

“Dr. Omi has indicated that ideally the best way is to hold the games without spectators — that was his recommendation,” Hashimoto said. “But if we are to hold the games with spectators, Dr. Omi also had his recommendations.”

Hashimoto said she had consulted with baseball and soccer officials in Japan, where games with fans have been largely problem free.

“But Dr. Omi has also mentioned that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are very special,” Hashimoto said. “Therefore Dr. Omi has mentioned that we need to be even more stringent than the other sports events. So we need to look at stricter rules. There is this risk of people who come to the games, and after watching they stop by bars and restaurants before going home. So it is recommended that we urge people to go straight home after watching the games.”

Ticket sales were to account for $ 800 million in income for the organizing committee. Much of it will be lost and government entities will have to make up the shortfall.

Organizers say about 3.6 million-3.7 million tickets are still held by residents of Japan. About 800,000 tickets were returned locally.

The total number of tickets originally announced for the Olympics was about 7.8 million.

The official cost of the Tokyo Olympics is $ 15.4 billion, although government audits suggest it is much higher. All but $ 6.7 billion is public money.

The IOC is pushing ahead with Tokyo, partly because it depends on broadcast rights sales for almost 75% of its income. Sponsors supply about 18%,

Emergency measures in Tokyo and other prefectures are being lifted on Sunday, although “quasi-emergency” restrictions will remain in place that may limit bar and restaurant hours.

Japan has attributed just over 14,000 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than many countries, but not as well as many in Asia. Only 15% of Japanese have at least one COVID-19 vaccination, and much of the public has been opposed to holding the Olympics.

Poll answers have shifted depending on how the question is phrased, and the country’s second-most widely circulated newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun, has said the games should be called off.

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This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Former White House Adviser Is Charged With Stealing From Charter School Network

Author: Azi Paybarah
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

According to the network’s website, “Seth Andrew founded Democracy Prep in 2005 to ensure that every single student will work hard, go to college, and change the world!” The phrase “Change the world!” is on the back of the yellow baseball cap that Mr. Andrew made part of his signature look.

The network’s first school opened in Harlem in 2006. It eventually expanded to 23 schools, in the Bronx; Camden, N.J.; San Antonio; and Las Vegas. Of the network’s 7,000 students, nearly all are students of color and 85 percent qualify for free lunch, according to the network’s website.

Under an agreement with the New York State Board of Regents, the charter network was required to “maintain an ‘escrow account’ that may be accessed only if the school dissolves,” prosecutors said. Mr. Andrew was a signatory to those accounts and had access to them, they said. The money in the accounts totaled a little more than $ 218,000.

Propelled by the network’s success, Mr. Andrew landed a job in 2013 in the United States Department of Education and later became a senior adviser in the Office of Educational Technology at the White House under President Barack Obama. In the administration, Mr. Andrew helped promote and improve STEM education, a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

While there, Mr. Andrew was still paid by the charter network, according to prosecutors. In November 2016, he left the administration, and by the following January he had formally severed ties with the charter network.

Two years later, Mr. Andrew began tapping into those escrow accounts, prosecutors said. On March 28, 2019, Mr. Andrew walked into a bank and closed two escrow accounts and walked out with two checks totaling more than $ 142,000, they said.

Later that day Mr. Andrew took one of those checks to open a new account at a different bank, prosecutors said. He told the second bank, which prosecutors did not identify, that he was a “key executive with control of” the charter network. Days later, Mr. Andrew used an A.T.M. to deposit the second check into that account, prosecutors said.

Trump adviser says former president will return to social media within months

Former Trump administration senior adviser Jason Miller said Sunday that the former president plans to return to social media in the coming months with his “own platform.”

Miller told Fox News’s Mediabuzz[1] that Trump was “returning to social media in two or three months” with “his own platform.” Miller also added the platform would “completely redefine the game” and rake in “tens of millions” of users.

The Hill has reached out to Trump’s representatives for comment. 

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The news comes months after Trump’s Twitter account was permanently suspended following posts made in early January that the platform determined posed the risk of “incitement of violence” in the wake of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

Trump, who had frequently posted on the platform before and during his presidency, had initially been temporarily suspended[2] from Twitter after the social media platform determined that posts he made about the riot were determined to have violated the site’s guidelines. 

Droves of his supporters overran the Capitol as Congress worked to certify Electoral College votes that affirmed his defeat in the presidential election. During the insurrection, Trump tweeted asking his supporters to “remain peaceful” and support law enforcement who his supporters rushed past to break into the Capitol. A Capitol Police officer died as a result of the riot.

The temporary suspension marked the first time that Twitter, which had been flagging certain posts Trump made containing misinformation in the weeks leading up to the January riot, locked the then-president out of his account. 

Not long after the temporary suspension, Twitter announced it would make the ban permanent, iting[3] the “risk of further incitement of violence” posed by the then-president’s posts.

In an interview last month[4], Twitter’s chief financial officer, Ned Segal, said the company’s ban on his account will remain even if he decides to run again for office.

“The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform whether you’re a commentator, you’re a CFO or you are a former or current public official,” Segal said.

Facebook[5] and YouTube[6] are also among the companies that placed suspensions on Trump’s accounts on their platforms after the Capitol riot.

References

  1. ^ Fox News’s Mediabuzz (www.foxnews.com)
  2. ^ temporarily suspended (thehill.com)
  3. ^ iting (thehill.com)
  4. ^ last month (thehill.com)
  5. ^ Facebook (thehill.com)
  6. ^ YouTube (thehill.com)

[email protected] (Aris Folley)

Software guru John McAfee and his top cryptocurrency adviser charged with fraud and money laundering by US federal prosecutors

Antivirus pioneer John McAfee has been charged with fraud and money laundering by prosecutors in New York. The businessman and one-time presidential candidate is accused of fraudulently promoting cryptocurrency on social media.

An indictment against McAfee was unsealed on Friday, and names both him and Jimmy Gale Watson – an adviser to McAfee – as defendants in a fraud and money laundering case. The pair are accused of using McAfee’s social media accounts to publicize various cryptocurrencies, inflating their value and allegedly netting McAfee more than $ 13 million. Another member of the McAfee team was allegedly tasked with laundering this money in a series of banking transactions.

“As alleged, McAfee and Watson used social media to perpetrate an age-old pump-and-dump scheme,” FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a Justice Department press release, referring to the practice of buying assets cheaply, before hyping up their value and selling them at this new, artificial price.
Also on rt.com Arrest in Spain of software genius John McAfee could spell the end of my former island neighbour’s wild escapades
McAfee has long considered himself an outlaw, and spent much of the last several years living on a yacht in the Caribbean, admittedly on the run from US tax authorities. He turned up in Spain last September and was arrested there the following month, awaiting extradition to the US to face tax evasion charges, as well as the latest fraud and money laundering accusations.

McAfee has continued to tweet his musings and observations from behind bars, while his wife, Janice McAfee, last month put out a message looking for American lawyers, preferably with a “sound understanding of cryptocurrency.”

If convicted on all of the latest counts, McAfee could face up to 60 years in prison, on top of whatever sentence he could also receive for tax evasion.

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