At the last traffic light review, holidaymakers faced devastation as no new nations were added to the list, and popular Portugal was rapidly removed. With the next travel review just days away, expected on or around June 24, Thomas Cook’s chief executive has shared a sunnier outlook this time aro
Speaking on GB News, the travel boss said he on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the most positive outlook, his confidence in summer travel resuming sits at “an eight”.
“I think we will see, particularly people who have been vaccinated, able to travel to amber countries,” he explained.
“There will be, I think, some tests involved but I think that has got to be the direction of travel given the rate of the incidence of coronavirus.
“Given how much is coming back from amber countries at the moment.
A complication of infection known as sepsis is the number one killer in US hospitals. So it’s not surprising that more than 100 health systems use an early warning system offered by Epic Systems, the dominant provider of US electronic health records. The system throws up alerts based on a proprietary formula tirelessly watching for signs of the condition in a patient’s test results.
But a new study using data from nearly 30,000 patients in University of Michigan hospitals suggests Epic’s system performs poorly. The authors say it missed two-thirds of sepsis cases, rarely found cases medical staff did not notice, and frequently issued false alarms.
Karandeep Singh, an assistant professor at University of Michigan who led the study, says the findings illustrate a broader problem with the proprietary algorithms increasingly used in health care. “They’re very widely used, and yet there’s very little published on these models,” Singh says. “To me that’s shocking.”
The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. An Epic spokesperson disputed the study’s conclusions, saying the company’s system has “helped clinicians save thousands of lives.”
Epic’s is not the first widely used health algorithm to trigger concerns that technology supposed to improve health care is not delivering, or even actively harmful. In 2019, a system used on millions of patients to prioritize access to special care for people with complex needs was found to lowball the needs of Black patients compared to white patients. That prompted some Democratic senators to ask federal regulators to investigate bias in health algorithms. A study published in April found that statistical models used to predict suicide risk in mental health patients performed well for white and Asian patients but poorly for Black patients.
The way sepsis stalks hospital wards has made it a special target of algorithmic aids for medical staff. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to health providers on sepsis encourage use of electronic medical records for surveillance and predictions. Epic has several competitors offering commercial warning systems, and some US research hospitals have built their own tools.
Automated sepsis warnings have huge potential, Singh says, because key symptoms of the condition, such as low blood pressure, can have other causes, making it difficult for staff to spot early. Starting sepsis treatment such as antibiotics just an hour sooner can make a big difference to patient survival. Hospital administrators often take special interest in sepsis response, in part because it contributes to US government hospital ratings.
Singh runs a lab at Michigan researching applications of machine learning to patient care. He got curious about Epic’s sepsis warning system after being asked to chair a committee at the university’s health system created to oversee uses of machine learning.
As Singh learned more about the tools in use at Michigan and other health systems, he became concerned that they mostly came from vendors that disclosed little about how they worked or performed. His own system had a license to use Epic’s sepsis prediction model, which the company told customers was highly accurate. But there had been no independent validation of its performance.
Singh and Michigan colleagues tested Epic’s prediction model on records for nearly 30,000 patients covering almost 40,000 hospitalizations in 2018 and 2019. The researchers noted how often Epic’s algorithm flagged people who developed sepsis as defined by the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. And they compared the alerts that the system would have triggered with sepsis treatments logged by staff, who did not see Epic sepsis alerts for patients included in the study.
The researchers say their results suggest Epic’s system wouldn’t make a hospital much better at catching sepsis and could burden staff with unnecessary alerts. The company’s algorithm did not identify two-thirds of the roughly 2,500 sepsis cases in the Michigan data. It would have alerted for 183 patients who developed sepsis but had not been given timely treatment by staff.
In a 2017 interview with Quartz, the multi-billionaire predicted that most jobs could be performed by robots. With this in mind, the philanthropist argued that we should introduce a “robot tax” – the profits from which could fund schools, care homes and other government run facilities.
He said that, in the future, “there will be taxes that relate to automation”.
Mr Gates added: “Right now, the human worker who does, say, $ 50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things.
“If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”
As bizarre as the concept seems – even bridging into the realm of science fiction – the system could help people with lower incomes.
According to a report from the Progressive Policy Think Tank (IPPR), around 44 percent of UK jobs could be automated – worth around £290bn.
Proponents of the prediction believe that, eventually, robots will generate so much taxable profit that humans will be able to live without working.
However, critics have warned that, with so many robots replacing human jobs (approximately 13.7 million according to IPPR), a robot tax would only serve to slow the transition to automation.
Mr Gates warned it is important to manage the displacement automation will produce.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Hamas launched rockets at Tel Aviv and toward Jerusalem early on Thursday and Israel vowed to keep pummelling the Islamist faction in Gaza despite a prediction by U.S. President Joe Biden that their fiercest hostilities in years might end soon.
There was no immediate word of casualties from the pre-dawn salvo, which set off sirens as far as northern Nahalal, 100 km (62 miles) from Gaza, sending thousands of Israelis to shelters.
At least 67 people have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, according to the enclave’s health ministry. Seven people have been killed in Israel, medical officials said.
With world powers demanding de-escalation of a conflict beginning to recall the Gaza war of 2014, Washington planned to send an envoy, Hady Amr, for talks with Israel and Palestinians.
“My expectation and hope is this will be closing down sooner than later, but Israel has a right to defend itself,” Biden said on Wednesday after speaking to Netanyahu.
Biden did not explain the reasons behind his optimism. Netanyahu’s office said he told the U.S. president that Israel would “continue acting to strike at the military capabilities of Hamas and the other terrorist groups active in the Gaza Strip”.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed a senior Hamas commander and bombed several buildings, including high-rises and a bank, which Israel said was linked to the faction’s activities.
Hamas signalled defiance, with its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, saying: “The confrontation with the enemy is open-ended.”
Israel launched its offensive after Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem during the fasting month of Ramadan.
These escalated ahead of a court hearing – now postponed – that could lead to the eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem homes claimed by Jewish settlers.
For Israel, the targeting of the two major cities posed a new challenge in the confrontation with Hamas, regarded as a terrorist group by Israel and the United States.
A Palestinian source said truce efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations had made no progress to end the violence.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and said Washington “was exerting efforts with all relevant parties to reach calm,” the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said. Abbas is a Hamas rival whose authority is limited to the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
STRIFE WITHIN ISRAEL
The fighting has touched off strife within Israel, where some in the Arab minority mounted violent pro-Palestinian protests. Media reported spreading street attacks by Jews on Arab passersby in ethnically mixed areas on Wednesday.
In Gaza, two multi-storey residential buildings and a tower housing media outlets, including one linked to Hamas, collapsed after Israel urged occupants to evacuate in advance of its air strikes, and another structure was heavily damaged.
“Israel has gone crazy,” said a man on a Gaza street, where people ran out of their homes as explosions rocked buildings.
Many in Israel also holed up in shelters as waves of rockets hit its heartland, some blown out of the sky by Iron Dome interceptors.
“All of Israel is under attack. It’s a very scary situation to be in,” said Margo Aronovic, a 26-year-old student, in Tel Aviv.
The fatalities in Israel include a soldier killed while patrolling the Gaza border and five six civilians, including two children and an Indian worker, medical authorities said.
U.S. energy corporation Chevron (NYSE:) said it had shut down the Tamar platform off the Israeli coast as a precaution. Israel said its energy needs would continue to be met.
At least two U.S. airlines cancelled flights from the United States to Tel Aviv on Wednesday and Thursday.
Israel, whose Ben Gurion Airport briefly suspended operations on Monday after a rocket barrage on Tel Aviv, said national airline El Al stood ready to provide supplemental flights.
Thursday’s barrage on Tel Aviv prompted Israel to reroute an El Al flight from Brussels away from Ben Gurion, its intended destination, to Ramon Airport in the south. It appeared to be the first time Israel had used Ramon as a wartime alternative to Ben Gurion. A flight was previously diverted there due to bad weather, according to aviation tracker Avi Scharf.
The conflict has led to the freezing of talks by Netanyahu’s opponents on forming a governing coalition to unseat him after Israel’s inconclusive March 23 election.
Gaza’s health ministry said 17 of the people killed in the enclave were children and six were women. The Israeli military said on Thursday that some 350 of 1,500 rockets fired by Gaza factions had fallen short, potentially causing some Palestinian civilian casualties.
Although the latest problems in Jerusalem were the immediate trigger for hostilities, Palestinians have been frustrated as their aspirations for an independent state have suffered setbacks in recent years.
These include Washington’s recognition of disputed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a U.S. plan to end the conflict that they saw as favourable to Israel, and continued settlement building.
“Tracking with the impressive growth of the crypto market this year and increased participation from institutional investors, we have more than tripled our crypto under custody since the beginning of 2021.”
Gemini works with large asset managers including BlockFi, Blockchange, CoinList, CI Global Asset Management, DAiM, BTG Pactual, Caruso, Eaglebrook Advisors, and WealthSimple.
The New York-based company was founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. In the lead up to rival exchange Coinbase’s April 14 direct listing on the Nasdaq, the pair told Bloomberg they were “considering” taking Gemini public too.
Veteran Wall Street analyst and New Constructs CEO, David Trainer, said in a note to clients on Tuesday that he expects Coinbase’s share price to decline to $ 100 or even lower due to increasing competition. Trainer suggested that Coinbase is currently overvalued, noting its current valuation implies it will exceed the combined annual revenue of Intercontinental Exchange and Nasdaq.
“Investors should expect the stock to continue to underperform, as shares could fall to $ 100 or less as it becomes clear the company is unlikely to meet the future profit expectations baked into the stock price.”
Coinbase is expected to report first quarter earnings of $ 3.07 per share on revenue of $ 1.82 billion on Thursday. Trainer said that even if it exceeded expectations, this would only attract more competitors and drive down future revenues.
“Coinbase will likely not be able to sustain blowout earnings going forward as competition enters the market,” he said.
In April, Trainer warned the mooted $ 100B valuation for Coinbase was far too high due to stiffening competition from Gemini, Bitstamp, Kraken and Binance.
Figures released in March indicated Coinbase Custody had more than $ 90B assets under custody by the end of 2020.
Former Arsenal and Villarreal star Robert Pires believes Unai Emery’s impressive Europa League record means the La Liga side have a slight “advantage” going into their semi-final clash.
Emery won the competition three years in a row during his time at Sevilla and he guided Arsenal to the final in the 2018-19 season.
The 49-year-old is hoping to reach another Europa League final this year but he will have to get past Arsenal first and Pires believes there is not much to separate the two teams.
Speaking to AS, Pires said: “I have been lucky enough to play for two great teams, such as Arsenal and Villarreal.
“I was lucky to have the affection of the people and the two clubs, so seeing them now face each other in a semi-final is something special.
“It makes me feel strange. I see the situation at Arsenal with sadness, I speak with Arteta and I see that it has not been an easy year. What can save them is to win this Europa League and thus play the Champions League next year.
“It is difficult to give a favourite for the semi-final. I would say it is 50-50. It is difficult to get it right. I think Villarreal has an advantage because they have Emery, a coach who has done very well in that competition.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all that Villarreal is back in a semi-final. We all know the Villarreal project, its president and his idea.
“What I like the most is that it is a team that has a clear idea, that they like to play good football and that is something that I and the football people like.
“Everyone knows that if you go to see Villarreal, you are going to see a good team, a team with very good players and that it will surely complicate things for Arsenal.”
Jorge Masvidal came up short in his second bid to seize the welterweight title from around the waist of Kamaru Usman, but says that the next man up, UFC firebrand Colby Covington, will suffer a similar fate later this year.
Masvidal was knocked out for the first time in his 50-fight career in last weekend’s UFC event in Jacksonville, Florida when Usman connected a flush right hand that sent ‘Gamebred’ crumpling to the canvas.
The win was Usman’s 14th in succession in the UFC and was enough to raise him to second place in the organization’s pound-for-pound list when the new rankings were released this week – and Masvidal says that Usman’s winning streak is set to continue when he welcomes the challenges of the controversial Covington.
“I think Kamaru keeps his hands up and comes to fight Colby the same fight that he did the first time. He just puts a thorough beating on him,” Masvidal told ESPN.
“Colby will try and get some takedowns on him, and it might not work. Colby’s gas tank with other wrestlers is not something he wants to do. That’s why he didn’t take a shot in the first fight, because he knows he’s going to have to get tired.”
The sequel between Usman and Covington will be a rematch of a fiercely competitive fight between the two in December 2019 which ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ won by late TKO finish – a conclusion which Covington has protested ever since.
But as far as Masvidal sees it, there isn’t much that Covington will be able to do against the man who stands alone as the world’s best welterweight fighter.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out plans to resume some international travel from May 17 in accordance with his new “traffic light” system. While travel is not set to resume until the middle of May, one expert has said he anticipates the full list of “green” and “amber” countries to be revealed in a matter of weeks.
Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, said in a tweet: “I understand #UKGov will publish its traffic lights system and details of which countries are red, amber, or green on May 7.”
The travel industry expert went on to predict as many as “20 to 30 countries” could be given the go-ahead for quarantine-free travel.
Travellers hoping to head to countries categorised as green will be able to avoid self-isolation on their return to the UK.
However, they will still be expected to follow the specific entry requirements of the destination they are visiting.
“As global data is updated on a Thursday each week, this enables the Government to take stock of the latest data on May 6 and then publish its thoughts on how countries will be rated,” he said.
“It doesn’t want to reveal the country ratings before then and be held responsible for making the wrong call.”
He also predicted some hotspots which could see holidaymakers jetting off without the need for self-isolation.
“Countries that will possibly be green include Israel, Barbados, Morocco, Maldives, Seychelles, Grenada, St. Lucia, Antigua, and the British Overseas Territories of Bermuda, Turks & Caicos, Falkland Islands, St. Helena and a clutch of others,” he explained.
Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on day two and day eight of their arrival back in the UK.
They will be given the option to shorten their quarantine time by taking part in “Test to Release” on day five.
Arrivals from “red list” countries will be required to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel.
The quarantine package must be booked before departure and costs £1,750 for one adult in one room over the 10 day period.
Any additional days required will be at a rate of £650.
A number of alternative opponents have thrown their hats into the octagon to face Conor McGregor after the Irishman former UFC champion furiously told Dustin Poirier that their July 10 trilogy showdown is off.
With their row on social media spilling over from the weekend until Monday evening after the Irishman didn’t appreciate being accused of “ghosting” a $ 500,000 donation to the New Orleans native’s charity, numerous names have said they would be ready to step in for Poirier.
“May 15 and July 10… book it,” demanded former Bellator champion and UFC newcomer Michael Chandler, who is used to being on standby after acting as a deputy for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win over Justin Gaethje last October.
Chandler will face Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight strap vacated by Khabib Nurmagomedov on May 15, making the prospect of potentially snatching his belt and becoming champion a possibility for McGregor.
“Red panty night?,” asked Rafael dos Anjos in another invitation, as Kevin Lee tagged both McGregor and UFC supremo Dana White to tell them he would be ready for action by July 10.
Others claimed that Diego Sanchez will fill the vacancy left by Poirier, but ESPN pundit Daniel Cormier reckons that the trilogy decider will still go ahead and has been given the venom it previously lacked in their second meeting in January.
“I think all that niceness is done and you’re going to start to see two guys that you want that [from],” the ex-‘champ champ’ claimed of UFC 264. “In the trilogy, you want a little bit of bad blood.” Also on rt.com‘The fight is off’: Furious Conor McGregor cancels UFC rematch with ‘f***ing braindead’ Dustin Poirier over charity donation claim
Holidays abroad are a distant memory for many in the UK. The Covid pandemic has deprived nearly everyone of travel for pleasure for months on end. Luckily it seems there is hope in sight with the end of lockdown approaching.
The expert continued: “It’s likely that we will see the green list starting with a small number of close to home destinations in Europe to begin with, with longer-haul options such as Thailand, who have just announced the reopening of Phuket to vaccinated travellers from July, the USA, northern Africa and Central America joining in due course.
“Travellers are likely to be subject to entry requirements such as vaccine passports, negative PCR tests or showing that they have recently recovered from Covid, based on the rules put in play by the destination.
“What is yet to be determined is whether travellers will need to present negative PCR tests on return to the UK, which could increase the cost of holidays significantly for families.
“There will be a period of ‘testing the water’ for the UK Government as they monitor if travel is having an impact on case numbers, with the Government responding to any changes by adding or removing countries from the list accordingly.”
Young predicted Greece, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Spain and Israel would be the first to open. This is what you need to know.
“Greece’s Minister has said they will begin test flights from the UK in April to a select number of airports, but these will only be for Brits who have a legal reason to travel,” Young detailed.
“The ambition is to open up to holidaymakers from May 17, but in a staged approach to most commonly used airports such as Corfu, Crete, Thessaloniki and Athens.”
Indeed, G Adventures have new hiking tours in Northern Greece, Crete and Corfu departing in June and beyond.
Portugal (Madeira and Azores)
Portugal has come a long way since being added to the red list due to risks posed by the Brazil variant and is now on top of case numbers making it “a good contender for the new green list.”
“Portugal has said they will welcome back Brits who can show a negative PCR test this summer,” Young detailed.
“Destinations such as Madeira have continued to support safe tourism from the UK throughout the pandemic, having been included on the previous travel corridor list and offering free PCR testing on arrival to travellers.”
G Adventures has new hiking trips in Madeira and the Azores scheduled to begin departures this June.
Israel’s “aggressive” vaccine rollout has seriously impressed in recent months so it too might make it onto the UK green list.
“Their hopes to vaccinate their population to then reopen for tourism has led to reports that Israel could be the next ‘Med’ destination for British travellers in the short term,” explained Young.
“Hot weather, great beaches, food and adventure make Israel a great all-round destination for summer travel.”
Spain travel saw a boost this week after the ban on arrivals from the UK was lifted on March 30 – although travel must still be essential.
This rule relaxation and popularity among Britons means it could feature on the green list.
“Travellers will still need to produce a negative PCR test but will not have to isolate on arrival,” said Young.
“As the most visited country by Brits each year, Spain will be keen to support the safe reintroduction of travel over the summer months but it’s yet to be determined if restrictions will be blanket across all of the Spanish islands, such as the Balearics and Canary Islands, or if they will have their own restrictions and measures in place.”
Where else will open up?
Looking further into the future, more long haul destinations will likely be added to the green list as countries improve their vaccine rollout.
Young predicts the USA, Costa Rica and Thailand will be added.
“With Aer Lingus confirming flights to the US from Manchester and the US Department of Transport giving the green light for summer flights, things are looking up for summer travel to the US,” the expert said.
“With America progressing well with their vaccine roll out and a number of European countries being off the cards this summer, British travellers may well look across the pond for a late summer break if the UK Government gives the go-ahead for travel in the coming months.”
Young commented: “Costa Rica has been open for tourism for a number of months, and we have been operating tours in destination, with great success since December.
“Low case numbers and such a diversity of offerings makes Costa Rica a great choice for British travellers.”
Thailand announced last week Phuket island would be opened up for vaccinated travellers from July 1.
“Roll out for the rest of the country still looks to be pegged for later in the year,” said Young. “Those who have received the vaccine will be able to visit the island if flying direct, not via Bangkok.”