Tag Archives: Fall

Norwegian krone weakens after stock market fall

The Norwegian krone is at its weakest since December after the sharp fall on the stock exchanges on Monday.

“There are several factors that came into play at the same time,” interest rate and currency strategist Nils Kristian Knudsen in Handelsbanken told the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

“It is obvious to point out the sharp falls on the stock exchange,” he said, adding that there was also a large fall in oil prices on Monday. Together with uncertainty about future developments, this is a bad combination for the Norwegian krone.

Knudsen says that the krone has weakened over many years. This is good news for Norwegian export-oriented industry. He adds that it is important to see it in context – if the underlying markets become weaker, a weaker krone exchange rate will help to dampen that effect.

A weaker krone also means that imports become more expensive.

On Tuesday, both the oil price and the main index rose from the start of trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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This post originally posted here Norway News

Prepare for Your Journey as Weird West Hits Xbox This Fall

Hello Xbox community! We’ve been working away on our debut title Weird West for a while now, and we’re extremely excited to announce that it’s coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S this Fall. As this is the first time we’re writing to you, we figured we’d give you an exclusive look at two of the journeys you’ll be taking during your time in the Old West.

Weird West

Weird West is a third-person immersive sim set in a dark fantasy reimagining of the Old West. Gunslingers, evil stalking the night, ritual performers, and people cursed to live freakish lives fill the world with unique and exciting encounters. And beware: Your ally can quickly become your foe as you hunt for the meaning of the burning mark at the heart of your story.

Weird West features five intertwined Journeys, and here we’ll dip into two of them, the Oneirist and the Pigman.

Weird West

The Oneirists have spent their time in the West perfecting the art of future telling to protect the land from its own dark devices. As a new initiate to their order, you’ll begin the Oneirist journey by slipping into your first vision trance that shows you a much grimmer future than initiates normally see. Your journey won’t be an easy one—a whole future hangs in the balance—but with a heap of magical abilities, alongside a six shooter or two, you’ll have as good a shot as you could hope for to save the West from what’s coming.

Weird West

Moving on to something a little different now: the Pigman journey. You were a man once, sure, but now your body’s been transformed into half-human half-pig by somebody with a bone to pick. Now you’re unsightly. Disgusting to the people you once knew; even entering a town in Weird West will cause folks to shout insults, or worse—sic the law on you. As your journey begins, you’ll thirst for one thing and one thing only: to find the person who did this to you and discover their reasons for doing it. But looking like a monster brings out the worst in people, so don’t expect it to be an easy ride.

Weird West

These are just two of the five journeys you’ll take in Weird West, where no two are the same. As an immersive experience, you’ll create posse’s, form friendships, and enemies.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, we’re extremely excited to be releasing on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S this Fall. Follow @WolfEyeGames and @devolverdigital for all the latest info on Weird West.

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This post originally posted here Xbox Wire

How to fall asleep faster – The 7 TikTok hacks to help you drift off quickly

Can’t fall asleep? You’re not alone. A massive 16 million Brits are suffering from sleepless nights, with a third saying they struggle with insomnia. Express.co.uk chatted to the sleep experts at MattressNextDay to find out the top seven sleep hacks on TikTok to help you fall asleep faster and whether they’re true or not.

Selfie

Snapping a picture of yourself before you go to bed could help to make sure you’re in the best sleeping position possible, according to TikToker @chiroseattle

The team at Mattress Next Day said: “Neck pain can stop you from getting a good night’s sleep, so take a selfie of your face and torso while lying in your sleeping position.

“With the photo in front, she suggests drawing a vertical line down the middle of your face, and then down the middle of your torso.

“If these don’t line up, your pillow is either too big or small and needs to be replaced.”

You can also use this hack to tell when it’s time to get a new and improved pillow – find out more here. 

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Listing

Listing random items in your head is a surefire way to get to sleep.

A psychology professor on TikTok (@psychologee) has shared their top tip to help you fall asleep in five minutes.

A spokesperson from Mattress Next Day said: “Known as the Cognitive Shuffle, they suggest listing random items in your head that aren’t directly related i.e. potatoes, Tarzan, a violin.

“This helps keep your mind off issues that prevent you from sleeping and tires your brain out – causing you to fall asleep faster.”

Socks

To fall asleep, your body needs to lower its temperature and socks can help.

According to @caseyrosenberg on TikTok, wearing socks increases blood flow to your feet which helps your body cool down.

This is true and it will also send a signal to your brain that it’s time for bed.

20-minute nap

TikTok user @dr.karanr states that we have a biphasic sleeping pattern.

This means we are built for two periods of sleep per day, so we should all be including an additional nap.

However, if you do nap, make sure that it only lasts for 20 minutes as this provides enough restorative sleep without drowsiness after waking.

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Cherry juice

Drinking cherry juice can apparently help you to sleep for an hour and a half extra.

A number of studies (and @bradysalcido on TikTok) suggest that consuming tart cherry juice can help calibrate your circadian rhythm (also known as your internal body clock) and help promote sleep at night.

Mattress Next Day explained: “This is because the juice helps increase your body’s production of melatonin, which is a critical hormone for your sleep.

“Further studies show that those who drink cherry juice can increase their sleep time by an average of 84 minutes, too.”

Cheese

The rumour that eating cheese before bed gives you nightmares is not true.

In fact, TikTok’s @dr.karanr states that cheese is packed with tryptophan, which is used by the brain to make melatonin and helps induce sleep.

It’s also high in calcium, which is effective in stress reduction and the stabilisation of your nervous system – both of which help you become more settled for sleep.

Pillow barrier

If you sleep in the same bed as someone else, you need to make a pillow barrier between you, according to TikTokers @rezaandpuja.

This not only gives you more space and can stop any arguments from occurring, but it suggests independence within a relationship.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Health
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New Zealand panic as children fall ill in high numbers – experts warn of ‘immunity debt’

Patrick Vallance warns coronavirus deaths will still rise

Hospitals across the country have been flooded with babies with a potentially-deadly respiratory virus. Wellington has recorded 46 children hospitalised with respiratory illnesses including respiratory syncytial virus – also known as RSV.

RSV is a common respiratory illness and in adults only produces very mild symptoms but for young children, it can make them extremely ill or even be fatal.

Doctors have warned New Zealand’s outbreak is likely due to children not developing immunity to other viruses suppressed by Covid lockdowns.

Epidemiologist and public health professor Michael Baker said: “What we’re seeing now is we’ve accumulated a whole lot of susceptible children that have missed out on exposure – so now they’re seeing it for the first time.”

Lockdowns in New Zealand last winter led to a 99.9 percent reduction in flu cases and a 98 percent reduction in RSV.

New Zealand panic as children hospitalised as lockdowns spark 'immunity debt' crisis

New Zealand panic as children hospitalised as lockdowns spark ‘immunity debt’ crisis (Image: WIKICC•GETTY)

New Zealand seeing rise of children hospitalised

New Zealand seeing rise of children hospitalised (Image: Getty)

But over the past five weeks, New Zealand has reported nearly 1,000 RSV cases, according to the Institute of Environmental Science and Research.

Middlemore hospital in Auckland has converted a playroom into a clinical space with 11 special care baby cots.

Heath boards across Auckland and Canterbury have also postponed surgeries to divert resources into children’s wards.

According to the Guardian, some hospitals have asked children under 12 not to visit in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

READ MORE: Sturgeon lashes out at Boris ‘throwing caution to the wind’ with plans

New Zealand managed to curb Covid-19

New Zealand managed to curb Covid-19 (Image: Getty)

John Tait, chief medical officer for the Wellington area’s district health boards, said the region had 46 children hospitalised.

He confirmed two were in intensive care and the numbers were “continually changing as patients are discharged and others admitted.”

Professor Baker added: “If you get a big peak it can overwhelm your health system, or put real pressure on it, which we’re seeing with RSV.”

He added how people experience near-universal exposure to RSV as children and said most are exposed in their first year of life.

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Coronavirus cases across the world

Coronavirus cases across the world (Image: Express)

Professor Baker continued: “If you remove that exposure for a period then you will have a bigger cohort of unexposed children, and therefore – as you can see we have happening at the moment – it can sustain a much bigger outbreak when they are eventually exposed to the virus.”

New Zealand’s director-general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said he was “certainly concerned about the sharp surge in RSV cases”.

He said: “We had very little RSV last year.

“There’s some speculation that [the current outbreak] may be partly exacerbated by the fact we didn’t have any last year and so there is a bigger pool of children who are susceptible to it.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden (Image: Getty)

Back in May, a collective of French doctors wrote a study of immunity debt and said: “This positive collateral effect in the short term is welcome, as it prevents additional overload of the healthcare system.

“The lack of immune stimulation… induced an ‘immunity debt’ which could have negative consequences when the pandemic is under control and [public health intervientions] are lifted.

“The longer these periods of ‘viral or bacterial low-exposure’ are, the greater the likelihood of future epidemics.”

Australia has also experienced a surge, with hospitals in Victoria being overcrowded by unusually high rates of RSV.

New Zealand has recorded only 26 Covid-related deaths

New Zealand has recorded only 26 Covid-related deaths (Image: Getty)

New Zealand has managed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

To date, there have been 2,408 confirmed cases of the virus with just 26 deaths.

As of 25 June 2021, a total of 1,090,651 vaccine doses have been administered.

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Author: Steven Brown
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: World Feed

There were ominous signs before the fall

Raysa Rodriguez was sleeping in her room on the ninth floor when she awoke disoriented. The building was swaying “like a sheet of paper.” She ran into the hallway to find that it had been impaled from floor to ceiling by a concrete pillar; the doors of the elevators were shorn off, exposing the shafts. 
Cassie Stratton was on the phone with her out-of-town husband, looking down from her fourth-floor balcony in horror as part of the pool deck below apparently vanished into a sink hole.
She “told him that the pool was collapsing, that the ground was shaking and cracking,” Stratton’s sister, Ashley Dean, told CNN’s John Berman. “It’s my understanding that she let out a very loud scream and the phone went dead.” 
Cassondra Stratton and Mike Stratton.
To many residents of the Champlain Towers South, the devastating partial collapse of the 13-story structure in Surfside, Florida, in the predawn hours of June 24 came on suddenly and left them traumatized, injured or dead in a matter of seconds.
But from what is known to date, the tower’s cave-in resembles less a cataclysmic event than a slow-motion catastrophe, made possible by years of missed warnings, mixed messaging and delayed action, according to public records, including emails and inspection reports, as well as experts who have spoken with CNN.
“This is obviously a tragedy beyond tragedy, and there seems to have been signs of concern,” said Daniella Levine Cava, mayor of Miami-Dade County. “We’re obviously going to be part of the investigation — the county is going to be doing everything in our power to make sure that we learn from this.”
The disaster appears to have exposed some of the limitations of condo associations, which are made up of condominium owners with a vested interest in the property but that seldom possess much expertise in structural engineering. And it has raised questions about whether other residential structures could be at risk in Miami-Dade County, where sea levels are rising, the salty air is corrosive and nearly two-thirds of all commercial, condo and apartment buildings are as old or older than the 40-year-old edifice that went down, according to a CNN analysis of county records. Some have since been renovated or had newer additions added on to them.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava delivers a speech during a rescue operation of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida on June 29, 2021.
To be sure, construction experts in Florida caution that a single deadly collapse doesn’t mean other older buildings are necessarily at risk.
“You can have a 40-year-old building that has no issues and a 20-year-old one that does, and it all boils down to how well it was maintained,” Peter Dyga, president of the trade group Associated Builders and Contractors, told CNN. “We’re probably going to overreact. But it’s understandable — people want a level of assurance that their building is safe.”
Still, Gary Slossberg, president of the National Home Building and Remodeling Corporation, a construction company in Boca Raton, Florida, said the collapse is “a wake-up-call on many fronts” and may lead to changes in laws or regulations about the frequency of building inspections.
The true toll of the collapse, of course, remains buried in the rubble. Authorities have confirmed at least 22 deaths, along with 126 unaccounted for.
A woman prays in front of photos at the makeshift memorial for the victims of the building collapse, near the site of the accident in Surfside, Florida on June 27, 2021.
For days the layers of impending heartbreak have rippled across social media, newspaper stories and television reports. The fundraising website GoFundMe has multiple campaigns aimed at assisting those touched by the tragedy: a mother awaiting news of her husband and son, a young woman who was spending the night with friends, a newlywed couple “still missing in the rubble.”
“We pray for a miracle,” one post says.
“We have hope that they will be found,” says another.
Nicole Ortiz was hit with the news that her sister, nephew and brother-in-law all died in the collapse.
“There’s no words to describe the pain of a loved one or the agony of waiting if they’re alive or not,” she told CNN. “Every hour, every day is different. I scream, I have almost fainted, I’ve cried.”

‘Be the first to get the best of the last’

Situated on a strip of peninsula wedged between the Biscayne Bay and Atlantic Ocean, the affluent hamlet of Surfside — population 5,600 — butts up against its better-known neighbor to the south, the city of Miami Beach. With 136 units, Champlain Towers South was a reflection of Greater Miami’s diversity: a mix of Orthodox Jews, snowbirds, foreign nationals from across Latin America, young families and retirees.
Champlain Towers South — and a sister structure, Champlain Towers North — were completed in 1981 by a consortium of developers that included two men from Canada; one of them, Nathan Reiber, was wanted back home for tax evasion, according to the Hamilton Spectator in Ontario. He pleaded guilty in 1996 — 15 years after the charge — and would ultimately become a prominent philanthropist in Miami. Reiber died in 2014, at age 86.
When it first went up, the building was billed as a luxury development with wraparound balconies, breathtaking ocean views, a heated pool and valet parking.  “Be the first to get the best of the last,” touted a newspaper ad pitching units in the Miami Herald in 1980.
In recent years selling prices in the building have remained high. A week before the disaster, a three-bedroom condo there sold for $ 710,000, according to realty company Redfin. The price of most condos ranged from $ 295,000 (for a one-bedroom in March 2020) to $ 980,000 (for a three-bedroom a year later), real estate records indicate.
An aerial view of Surfside Beach is seen in Miami, Florida, United States on July 1, 2021.
By 2018, when the tower’s stakeholders were preparing for its 40-year recertification — a stringent building review process enacted after the 1974 collapse of a rooftop parking lot into a building that killed seven in Miami — structural problems were coming to light. 
Morabito Consultants, the engineering firm hired to conduct the review, noted “abundant cracking and spalling” in concrete columns, beams and walls, “exposed, deteriorating rebar” and failing waterproofing beneath the pool deck and entrance that was causing “major structural damage.”
Also, a photo taken that year by a mechanical engineering firm shows a crack around the edge of a beam running along the top of the room. Engineers and experts consulted by CNN said it appears the same crack is visible in a photograph of the pool equipment room taken just days before the collapse — only the latter photo, first published by the Miami Herald, shows the crack in much worse condition.
The October 2018 report, put together by engineer Frank Morabito, did not indicate that the structure was at risk of collapse. But he provided the condo association with an initial cost estimate of $ 9 million for “extensive and necessary repairs,” including “significant cracks and breaks in the concrete, which required repairs to ensure the safety of the resident and the public,” the company said in a recent statement.
But, at the time, residents were essentially told not to worry.

Mounting repairs and sticker shock: ‘This is where we are now’

About a month after the report was released by Morabito, a condo association member, Mara Chouela, forwarded a copy of it to Surfside’s building official, Rosendo Prieto. Prieto came to the board’s regular meeting a couple days later and shared his professional opinion, saying the building appears to be “in very good shape,” according to minutes of the meeting.
The next year, 2019, seems to have been marked by strife. First, in the early part of the year, construction of a neighboring ultra-luxury high rise that would dwarf Champlain Towers prompted a series of complaints from residents about noise, debris and shaking.
Ultra-luxury high rise to the left, and Champlain Towers South on the right.
Once again, Chouela took action, firing off another email to Prieto in January.
“We are concerned that the construction next to Surfside is too close,” she wrote, attaching photos of construction equipment directly across from her building’s property wall. Workers were “digging too close to our property and we have concerns regarding the structure of our building.”
Prieto replied within half an hour.
“There is nothing for me to check,” he wrote.
The reason: The offending development, Eighty Seven Park, was directly across the border separating the town of Surfside from the city of Miami Beach, which runs between the two buildings.
Prieto, who most recently had been doing work in the Florida city of Doral, has come under fire for his comments about Champlain Towers, and is on a leave of absence. Out of “an abundance of caution,” the city is reviewing his projects in Doral, according to a statement Thursday. City spokesperson Maggie Santos on Friday said licensed experts were conducting an internal review of Prieto’s work. “As of this writing we have found no discrepancies or indications of wrongdoing,” she said. CNN’s multiple attempts to reach Prieto have been unsuccessful.
There’s no known evidence that the construction of Eighty Seven Park, which took place between 2016 and 2019, contributed to the collapse.
“We are confident that the construction of 87 Park did not cause or contribute to the collapse that took place in Surfside,” the development group behind Eighty Seven Park said in a statement to CNN Tuesday.
Later in the year, a majority of the seven-member condo board — including Chouela — quit amid infighting about the necessary repairs that were detailed in the report by Morabito Consultants, according to The Washington Post, citing board minutes and other board records.
Another ominous sign emerged in the fall of 2020. Morabito Consultants, the structural engineering firm that had put out the report two years prior and was working on repairs, said in an October letter that it found “deep” concrete deterioration near the pool and couldn’t perform improvements due in part to structural concerns about stability.
A newly obtained 2018 photograph shows the earlier stages of a crack in the concrete of the pool equipment room in the Surfside, Florida, building that collapsed. The 2018 photograph, shared with CNN by Tom Henz, a mechanical engineer whose firm did an electrical and mechanical inspection of the Champlain Towers South building that year as part of its 40-year recertification process, shows a crack around the edge of a beam running along the top of the room.
What’s more, to address the problem, Morabito said it would need to access the inside of the pool, but the pool “was to remain in service for the duration of this work,” the firm said in its letter, which was addressed to condo association president Jean Wodnicki and property manager Scott Stewart.
As a result, Morabito and a subcontractor would limit the work to loose concrete removal, stated the letter, which was obtained by CNN and first reported by USA Today.
Morabito Consultants did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on the letter, but it has defended its work at the tower in previous statements. Attempts by CNN to reach Wodnicki and Stewart were unsuccessful.
Fast forward to April, when Wodnicki sent residents a sobering letter.
“The observable damage such as in the garage has gotten significantly worse since the initial inspection,” Wodnicki wrote in the April 9 letter. “The concrete deterioration is accelerating. The roof situation got much worse, so extensive roof repairs had to be incorporated.”
The letter also had another piece of bad news: The costs of the repairs outlined in the 2018 report had swelled from $ 9 million to $ 15 million. The board approved a $ 15 million special assessment to cover the repairs. For each owner, it translated into a cost of at least $ 80,000. Monthly payments were set to begin July 1.
A portion of the condo tower crumbled to the ground during a partial collapse of the building on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida.
“A lot of this work could have been done or planned for in years gone by,” Wodnicki’s letter said. “But this is where we are now.”
Isabel Aguero, who owns an 11th-floor condo with her husband in the part of the building that remains standing, was one of the residents who opted for a monthly payment to help ease the sticker shock of the repair costs. On June 23, she filed the paperwork to make that happen, she told CNN.
Early the next morning, around 1:20 a.m., two-thirds of the building collapsed.

Clues emerge in the building’s lower reaches

Although the forensic investigation is expected to take months, engineers suspect the source of the problem was at the base of the building, perhaps near the pool deck, where substandard waterproofing had been flagged in the 2018 Morabito report.
Vacationers at a building next door to Champlain Towers South shot video of the doomed building minutes before it collapsed. The footage, provided to CNN, shows debris and water gushing into the underground garage, an area that the report said needed repairs.
Several engineers told CNN it’s possible a multitude of factors coincided to bring about the initial breaking point, which appeared to set off a compounding sequence of structural failures, causing the floors to drop, or “pancake,” on top of each other.
This aerial view shows search and rescue personnel working on site after the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, on June 24, 2021.
“Unless it’s a plane or a bomb that you know triggered this whole thing, sometimes you can’t get it down to one cause,” Allyn Kilsheimer, the structural engineer hired by the town of Surfside to identify the cause of the collapse, told CNN. “Sometimes … we don’t have enough information to decide between X, Y and Z, so it’s some combination of X, Y and Z,” he said. “But you don’t know what you’re going to end up with until you finish the whole study.”
Gregg Schlesinger, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based contractor and attorney who focuses on construction design, said the focus of any investigation should be on the columns, beams and slab at the foundation of the building.
“Did the building fail structurally? Yes. What makes up the structure? Concrete and steel,” he said. “Did that fail? Yes. Why did it fail? It was compromised. What portions were compromised? In the pictures (in the 2018 report), we definitely see a column that’s structurally compromised.”
Others noted that the building’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, with its corrosive seawater, increases the chances for spalling, wherein reinforced steel within the concrete begins to rust.
“I’ve seen up and down the coast hundreds of buildings where you have concrete problems,” said Greg Batista, a specialist in concrete repair projects. “If not maintained, whether it’s a concrete problem or a settling problem — it could be a bridge, it could be a building, it could be a dam or a sea wall — these kind of things happen if not tended to.”
One study last year showed that Champlain Towers South was sinking at a rate of about 2 millimeters a year from 1993 to 1999. The professor who conducted the study, Shimon Wdowinski of Florida International University’s Institute of Environment, told CNN that Champlain Towers South was the only building in the immediate area that was sinking.
However, other buildings set on wetlands in nearby Miami Beach were sinking at a faster rate, “so we didn’t think it was something unusual,” he said. Wdowinski said that while sinking alone would likely not cause the condo’s collapse, it could have been a contributing factor.

Wave of lawsuits demands accountability

The tragedy has already triggered at least five lawsuits.
Earlier this week, the family of resident Harold Rosenberg, who remains unaccounted for, sued the condo association and named Morabito Consultants as a defendant. The lawsuit blamed the company for failing to conduct a more thorough review in 2018 and for not certifying the building as safe “for continued occupancy.” The lawsuit accused the company of “an apparent attempt to wash away its failures” by filing some paperwork only after the building collapsed.
The company defended its actions in a statement to CNN, which read, in part: “Morabito Consulting did their job, just as they have done for nearly four decades — providing expert structural engineering counsel and services. And they will continue to work with the investigating authorities to understand why this structure failed, so that such a catastrophic event can never happen again.”
People join together in a community twilight vigil on the beach for those lost and missing during the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building on June 28, 2021 in Surfside, Florida.
Three other lawsuits have targeted the condo association.
In a statement on Friday, the condo association said the causes of the collapse will take time to understand. The association also said that its surviving board members support an independent receiver being appointed to oversee the legal and claims process.
“We know that answers will take time as part of a comprehensive investigation and we will continue to work with city, state, local, and federal officials in their rescue efforts, and to understand the causes of this tragedy,” it said.
One of the suits against the association was filed by Steven Rosenthal, who, according to court documents, owned a unit in the building and was standing next to the tower when it collapsed. Rosenthal breathed in dust “that did who knows what to the immune system,” his attorney, Bob McKee, told CNN.
A class-action suit against the association was filed on behalf of Raysa Rodriguez, the woman who awoke disoriented after the collapse and ran to the ninth-floor hallway to find the building in ruins.
In the court filing, Rodriguez — who, according to the document, was nearly finished paying her mortgage — described the harrowing scene in vivid detail.
“I knocked on several neighbors’ doors, no answer,” she said. “I run to the exit, open the doors that lead to the outside stairwell and saw the devastation. The beachside of Champlain had collapsed, pancaked. I screamed in horror.”
Rodriguez said a woman’s voice cried out from the rubble.
“She said, ‘Please help me! Please help me! Don’t leave me here!'” Rodriguez said. “I couldn’t see her. There were no lights. I was still in my pajamas. I ran inside and got dressed.”
Rodriguez gingerly made her way down the stairs with three neighbors: a mother and her 10-year-old son, who held a puppy; and an 80-year-old woman who used a walker.

Author: Rob Kuznia, Scott Glover, Curt Devine and Casey Tolan, CNN
Read more here >>> CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero

Cryptocurrency price LIVE: Night of horror as BTC, ETH and DOGE fall – but ADA bucks trend

The crypto world started to bounce back yesterday after plummeting to its lowest level of 2021 earlier in the week. However, the signs of recovery appear to have been short-lived as Bitcoin (BTC) has now fallen again from $ 33,767 at 12.15am to $ 32,420 at 4.25am, which is a 3.99 percent drop. Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH) fell from $ 1,972 at 0.20am to $ 1,896 at 3.50am – a 3.85 percent drop.

Meme coin Dogecoin (DOGE) also dropped from $ 0.2427 at 1am to $ 0.2235 at 3.15am after experiencing a 7.91 percent drop.

But Cardano (ADA) rose as it went from $ 1.21 at 2.30am to $ 1.31 at 5.45am, working out to a 8.26 percent rise.

Bitcoin in particular has had a tough week after it tumbled below $ 30,000 for the first time in five months following China’s announcement of its crypto-crackdown.

On Tuesday, it fell to about $ 28,890 and lost more than 50 percent of its value after reaching an all-time high of $ 64,870 in April.

It comes after banks in China were recently told not to accept cryptocurrency transactions.

Chinese authorise also forced Bitcoin mining in the province of Sichuan to cease last week.

The crackdown has sparked chaos as China made up around 65 percent of global Bitcoin production last year alone.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

While Leander ISD greenlights virtual learning for the fall, Austin ISD & others abandon plans

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — The Leander Independent School District Board of Trustees signed off on a plan to implement a 100% remote virtual learning option for families who want it in the fall.

The district will use $ 2.8 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) stimulus dollars in order to do so after Texas legislators failed to pass a guiding framework that give school districts the option while still receiving full state funding.

“Based on vaccine distribution, low COVID-19 transmission rates in classrooms, and guidance and rules set by TEA, we believe that the best opportunity for most students is to learn in-person with their teacher on our LISD campuses,” LISD district officials wrote. “In keeping with our mission to partner with families and create safe and supportive environments to nurture each student’s personal growth, we believe it is important to offer this remote learning option.”

A May survey revealed that 504 students from 356 families expressed a medical need requiring a remote learning option. While all 504 students may not end up committing to the required one-semester of virtual instruction, the results were telling-enough to allow the trustees to unanimously vote in favor of paying the required cost to implement a virtual plan.

Many other Central Texas school districts have abandoned any plan to offer a virtual option to families, most often citing the legislature’s failure to pass HB 1468 as the reason remote learning is no longer being considered.

How other Central Texas school districts are planning for fall

The Texas Education Agency reports there is no existing statutory framework to authorize remote instruction for the fall 2021 school year. The agency used its disaster authority to allow full funding for remote instruction during the 2020/2021 school year, but it cannot be utilized any further. In addition, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath’s power, based on the state’s education code, was amended with the passage of HB 1525, which significantly limits any other options and leniency he can extend to school districts.

“As we plan our return to the on-campus experience our parents and students have come to expect from Round Rock ISD, we did, however, want to be able to provide a virtual option for a longer period of time for those students who may need it due to health concerns,” Round Rock ISD acting superintendent Dr. Daniel Presley wrote. “Unfortunately, a bill (HB 1468) in the Texas Legislature making that option possible for Round Rock ISD failed to pass this Legislative Session, which ended on Monday, May 31. Therefore the District will not be able to offer a virtual learning platform next school year.”

“In Hays CISD we are not offering a virtual option for next school year because it is not funded,” said Hays CISD spokesman Tim Savoy. “If anything changes over the summer with a special legislative session or a directive from the Texas Education Agency, we’d take another look at our plans.”

Georgetown and Eanes ISD also said they were no longer considering remote learning for students. Pflugerville ISD’s communication specialist Tamara Spence said a final decision would come mid-July after continuing to communicate with TEA Commissioner Mike Morath’s office.

In the Austin Independent School District, the Chief of Schools said the option was briefly considered, but abandoned. District leaders decided any potential plan wouldn’t serve enough students to justify the cost. AISD is expected to pocket more than $ 200 million in federal stimulus dollars, but hasn’t said yet how it plans to allocate it.

“Our students are in desperate need of opportunities to learn and engage and we recognize that a lot of that good work is happening in the classroom, face-to-face,” AISD Chief of Schools Dr. Anthony Mays said. “We followed suit, along with several other districts in terms of reopening our campuses, to make sure our students have the learning opportunities that we know yield better results.”

Some Austin ISD teachers are not pleased with the perceived lack of collaboration with community stakeholders, particularly as it relates to large-scale decisions.

Bronwyn Merritt, a 5th grade teacher at Brentwood Elementary, sent a letter to Dr. Mays and Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde, asking the district to fight back against state mandates and restrictions. She implored the leaders to exert influence and be a leader in supporting teachers, staff and families.

“We do have a voice and value as a district and a lot of power and pull. We can be on the right side of history here,” Merritt wrote.

Merritt suggested the district seek collaboration, particularly with the teachers who are working in the classrooms daily. In particular, she’s worried about what the fall looks like with 100% in-person attendance, specifically at her Brentwood campus, where all students will be working in portables until the reimagined campus is finished construction in 2022.

“I would have liked to see more discussion around that move to 100% in-person instead of getting an email in the summer saying virtual was off the table,” Merritt said. “I just really want to know that there is a place for every parent, every teacher and every student at the table, with the people who are making these massive decisions that affect us all.”

Reach KXAN’s Education Reporter Alex Caprariello by email at [email protected] or by phone at 512-703-5365, or find him on Twitter and Facebook.

Author: Alex Caprariello
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Human: Fall Flat Now Optimized for Xbox Series X|S Plus New Forest Level Out Now

Summary

  • Human: Fall Flat is now Optimized for Xbox Series X|S with Smart Delivery support.
  • Cross play on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC following the new update.
  • Grab your friends and explore lush woodland and snowy hilltops in new level Forest!

Today, brand-new level Forest arrives in Human: Fall Flat. This Worldwide Workshop competition-winning dreamscape offers more than your average camping trip, with crashed planes to clamber over, heavy machinery to control and cold climate conundrums to solve.

Designed by community creator Jack, the new Forest level takes our Humans on a woodland tour with a difference, jam packed with fiendish minecart puzzles, mountain climbing and massive ravines to cross.

What’s more, Human: Fall Flat is now Optimized for Xbox Series X|S with Smart Delivery support (existing owners can upgrade to the next-gen version for free), with a new update enabling players to cross play with friends on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC. Owners on Windows PC will also find their version of the game massively expanded from today with the levels Thermal, Factory, Golf, City, and Forest added for free!

There are now 17 levels in Human: Fall Flat and we’re still not done! We have lots of plans for the rest of 2021 including new level releases and skins all coming to your game, at no additional cost. Keep up to date by following us on Twitter @HumanFallFlat, our Discord channel here, or watch the latest trailers on our YouTube channel here.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the Human: Fall Flat community who help shape the future of our game.

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Human Fall Flat

Curve Digital

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$ 19.99 $ 9.99
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***NEW LEVEL ‘FOREST’ AVAILABLE NOW*** Crossplay with friends on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10. Includes 17 great levels. Over 25million units sold across all formats. The great outdoors is calling! Grab your friends and explore lush woodland and snowy hilltops in search of rest and relaxation in new level Forest! Mystery and mayhem are just round the corner, not to mention crashed planes and heavy machinery. Did somebody take a wrong turn? Human: Fall Flat is a hilarious, light-hearted physics platformer set in a world of floating dreamscapes. Each dream level provides a new environment to navigate, from mansions, castles and Aztec adventures to snowy mountains, eerie nightscapes and industrial locations. Multiple routes through each level, and perfectly playful puzzles ensure exploration and ingenuity are rewarded. This game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One title and the Xbox Series X|S title.

Author: Nick Powell, Product Manager, Curve Digital
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

NYC Mayor: Public Schools Will Be All in Person This Fall

New York City schools will be all in person this fall with no remote options, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

“We can’t have a full recovery without full-strength schools, everyone back, sitting in those classrooms, kids learning again,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

The roughly 1 million students who attend traditional public schools will be in their classrooms with some version of the coronavirus protocols that have been in place in the current academic year, including mask wearing and COVID-19 testing, de Blasio said.

“It’s time. It’s really time to go full strength now,” he said.

After closing schools in March 2020, New York City was one of the first large U.S. cities to reopen school buildings in the fall of that year, but the majority of parents chose online-only learning for their children.

Children and staff members who have been in physical schoolrooms have been randomly tested for COVID-19, and the city has reported very low rates of virus transmission in the schools.

The head of the union that represents city teachers said that while there is “no substitute for in-person instruction,” some students might still need a remote option.

“We still have concerns about the safety of a small number of students with extreme medical challenges,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “For that small group of students, a remote option may still be necessary.”

Asked how city education officials could overcome the fears of parents who have chosen online-only learning for their children, de Blasio, a Democrat, said that “a lot of information, a lot of communication” would be the answer.

He said parents would be invited to visit their children’s schools starting in June to get “reacclimated” to the idea of in-person school.

“Anyone who has a question or concern, come into your child’s school. See what’s going on, get the answers,” the mayor said.

The announcement comes a week after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that the state’s public schools would open for in-person learning only in the fall.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has clashed with de Blasio throughout the pandemic over who has the right to set COVID-19 rules in New York City schools, has not announced any statewide policy for the 2021-2022 school year.

De Blasio said city schools would be able to accommodate all students under current guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that call for 3 feet of separation, but he speculated that the standard may be relaxed before the city’s public schools open on Sept. 13.

“I think the CDC’ll be changing those rules quite a bit between now and September,” de Blasio said. “But right now in New York City, we could have every child three feet apart, we could make that work if we had to.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

'Hocus Pocus 2' coming to Disney+ in Fall 2022

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy will be bringing the Sanderson Sisters back to life in the long-awaited ‘Hocus Pocus’ sequel.

WASHINGTON — It’s official, the original Sanderson Sisters will be back next year for Disney’s “Hocus Pocus 2.”
Bette Midler, who played Winifred Sanderson in the original 1993 “Hocus Pocus” movie, tweeted Thursday that the sequel will be released on Disney+ in Fall 2022. 
Disney confirmed that Midler will be joined by her original co-stars, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, who played Sarah and Mary Winifred, respectively. 
“Sistaaaahs! It’s been 300 years… But we’re BACK!” Midler tweeted. “#HocusPocus2 arrives Fall 2022 on @DisneyPlus.”
Midler’s tweet also included a photo of the upcoming movie’s logo.
The original film followed the three witches as they are awakened by a teenage boy in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night. 
In “Hocus Pocus 2,” three young women accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.
“RELATED: It’s happening! Disney teases ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ for the first time
While “Hairspray” director Adam Shankman was originally lined up to direct, he’s been replaced by “Step Up” director Anne Fletcher. 
“As heartbroken as I am that I won’t be able to direct my friends Bette, Sarah Jessica and Kathy in what is sure to be nothing short of a major event for Disney+ due to scheduling conflicts, I couldn’t be more pleased to be handing over the reins to Anne, who has brought so much laughter and joy into people’s lives with her previous work,” Shankman, who will serve as an executive producer, said in a statement.  He’s also currently directing the “Enchanted” sequel for Disney’s streaming platform.
Production on the movie will begin this fall. 

Author:
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Entertainment