Stati Uniti d'America

It’s Holiday Party Season at the White House. Masks Are Encouraged, but Not Required.

NY Times - 22 min 22 sec fa
More coronavirus restrictions will be in place for the 20 holiday parties that are planned than there were for the White House party on election night.

The Supreme Court Was Right to Block Cuomo’s Religious Restrictions

NY Times - 31 min 49 sec fa
The balance between Covid-19 precautions and civil liberties doesn’t need to be a partisan issue.

USWNT and US Soccer Settle Workplace Claims

NY Times - 49 min 25 sec fa
Both sides claimed victory with the agreement, which clears the way for the women’s team to appeal a court ruling that had rejected its equal pay claims.

Four Women Who Will Handle the Media in the Biden White House

NY Times - 1 ora 51 sec fa
President-elect Joe Biden is entering office with the stated intent of restoring credibility to government — and to the White House briefing room.

Biden and His Economic Team Urge Quick Action on Stimulus as Risks Mount

NY Times - 1 ora 1 min fa
The president-elect introduced key nominees in Delaware, while lawmakers exchanged new proposals with prospects for a deal still dim.

The Line for a Coronavirus Vaccine Is Forming

NY Times - 1 ora 6 min fa
How far will you be from the front?

Supreme Court Seems Ready to Limit Human Rights Suits Against Corporations

NY Times - 1 ora 12 min fa
Six citizens of Mali sued Nestlé USA and Cargill, saying the firms had profited from child slavery on Ivory Coast cocoa farms.

William Barr, Vaccine, Holiday Cookies: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

NY Times - 1 ora 16 min fa
Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.

Good News for Salmon, Bad News for Prospectors

NY Times - 1 ora 21 min fa
Denying a permit for the Pebble Mine in Alaska is a commendable move, finally, by the Trump administration.

Letter Boxed

NY Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:56
Solve this puzzle in less than 6 words.

The Crossword, Spelling Bee and More

NY Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:56
Solve the daily puzzle edited by Will Shortz, or try out other games like the Mini and Vertex.


NY Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:56
Our soothing matching game may help you de-stress.

The Grit and Glory of Dolly Parton

NY Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:51
More than 50 years into her legendary career, she’s still capturing America’s particular mythology — its dreams and its disappointments — like no other.

Disneyland lays off more than 11,500 employees, state records show

Daily News - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:48

Disney will lay off more than 11,500 Disneyland and Disney California Adventure employees as the company continues to struggle with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the eight-month closure of its Anaheim theme parks.

Disney announced 8,724 layoffs of Disneyland union employees due to continuing business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as the WARN Act. Disney filed the WARN Act notifications on Oct. 29 with the union layoffs set to take effect on Dec. 31.

Disney previously announced layoffs of 2,848 Disneyland non-union employees through WARN Act notifications on Sept. 29.

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SEE ALSO: What Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Paris reclosures could mean for Disneyland

Disneyland remains closed as large California theme parks are unlikely to return to full operation until early 2021 or next summer under COVID-19 health and safety reopening guidelines issued by the state. Across the esplanade, Disney California Adventure has partially reopened without rides for shopping and dining.

In a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Disney disclosed that layoffs at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products would climb from the previously announced 28,000 to 32,000 at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts.

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products includes the company’s theme park, cruise line, travel planning, retail, gaming and publishing divisions along with Walt Disney Imagineering.

The 11,572 Disneyland layoffs add to a grim and growing tally that last stood at 10,000 terminations. That number could grow if the latest tally does not include the 4,000 additional layoffs revealed by Disney in the latest SEC filing.

The Orlando Sentinel reported in late October that nearly 18,000 Disney World employees lost their jobs in the initial round of layoffs.

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SEE ALSO: How Disneyland park hopping could change after coronavirus closure

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman Josh D’Amaro said the layoffs were “heartbreaking” in a September letter to employees.

“As heartbreaking as it is to take this action, this is the only feasible option we have in light of the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on our business, including limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements and the continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic,” D’Amaro said in the letter.

Disney theme parks cut expenses, suspended capital projects and modified operations in an effort to avoid layoffs and furloughs, according to D’Amaro.

Before the layoffs, Disney employed more than 100,000 at its U.S. theme parks — 32,000 at Disneyland and 77,000 at Disney World.

Coronavirus: Here’s what color tier each California county is in on Dec. 1

Daily News - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:42

As of Tuesday, Dec. 1, California only has one county in the orange (moderate tier) and five counties in the red (substantial tier) according to the state’s four-tier coronavirus tracking system.

The state is no longer doing a weekly update and tier assignments may occur any day of the week and may occur more than once a week, officials said.

There are now 51 counties in the purple tier after Tuesday’s updates.

On Nov. 24 the state had 41 counties in purple, 11 counties in red, four in orange, two in yellow.

Counties are assigned to a tier based on metrics showing the speed and the spread of the virus in their borders.


A list of what businesses are impacted by each tier is included below.

Note: The state recently added a new metric called health equity. For a county with a population of greater than 106,000, the county must: Ensure that the test positivity rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods – the Healthy Places Index census tracts are used for that – do not significantly lag behind its overall county test positivity rate. There are additional conditions listed on the state’s site.


State metrics:


How different are the tiers?

Purple is the most restrictive, especially for education. Schools in the Widespread (purple) tier aren’t permitted to reopen for in-person instruction unless they receive a waiver from local health departments for TK-6 grades. Schools can reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the red tier for at least two weeks. If a county regresses back to the purple tier, schools won’t be forced to close again, but any that hadn’t open would be prevented from opening until the county clocks at least two weeks in the red tier.

Source: California Department of Finance 

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LAFC picks up options on Carlos Vela, Pablo Sisniega, Danny Musovski

Daily News - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:37

The Los Angeles Football Club announced Tuesday it had exercised contract options on forward Carlos Vela, goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega, forwards Danny Musovski.

Vela, the MLS MVP in 2019, struggled with an MCL sprain this season and played in just seven games this season.

Sisniega made 14 starts in goal for LAFC. Musovski, in his first season with LAFC, scored five goals in 15 games.

The club has declined options on goalkeeper Phillip Ejmadu, defenders Jesus Murillo and Andy Najar and forwards Adrien Perez and Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Wright-Phillips, the MLS Comeback Player of the Year, scored eight goals with six assists for LAFC. Wright-Phillips, along with Jordan Harvey and Dejan Jakovic, will be eligible for free agency when it begins Dec. 16.

The club announced that conversations are underway to purchasing the option for Murillo, who joined the club in October from Deportivo Independiente Medellin in Columbia.

Also, defender Mohamed El-Munir is out of contract and the loan agreement for defender Mark Segbers will expire at the end of the year.

LAFC currently has 20 players under contract, heading into the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal Dec. 16 against host Cruz Azul:

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Goalkeepers: Pablo Sisniega, Kenneth Vermeer

Defenders: Tristan Blackmon, Erik Duenas, Tony Leone, Diego Palacios, Eddie Segura, Mohamed Traore

Midfielders: Eduard Atuesta, Latif Blessing, Jose Cifuentes, Bryce Duke, Francisco Ginella, Mark-Anthony Kaye

Forwards: Danny Musovski, Kwadwo Opoku, Brian Rodriguez, Diego Rossi, Christian Torres, Carlos Vela

Long-awaited memorial honors victims of San Bernardino terrorist attack

Daily News - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:21

Every year around this time, as San Bernardino County collectively mourns the 14 men and women killed Dec. 2, 2015, in a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, Robert Velasco can’t help but wonder if there ever will come a time when people forget his youngest daughter’s name.

Soon, he won’t have to entertain the thought.

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, county officials expect to mark the five-year anniversary of what was the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11 with a ground-breaking ceremony on the long-awaited memorial honoring those whose names are forever ingrained in the county conscious:

Robert Adams, Isaac Amanios, Bennetta Betbadal, Harry Bowman, Sierra Clayborn, Juan Espinoza, Aurora Godoy, Shannon Johnson, Larry Daniel Kaufman, Damian Meins, Tin Nguyen, Nicholas Thalasinos, Yvette Velasco and Michael Wetzel.

“Five years is a long time,” Robert Velasco said, “and a lot of (victims’) family members I’ve spoken to are kind of frustrated. Of course, they would want the memorial to be completed already because they don’t want to feel like their family members have been forgotten.

“But when I see them, I try to assure them their family members have not been forgotten.”

An artist rendering of the December 2 Memorial bound for the San Bernardino County Government Center campus shows a bronze steel curtain with cast glass jewels to honor the victims of the 2015 terrorist attack at Inland Regional Center. (Rendering courtesy of San Bernardino County) In the works

Speaking in May 2016 on behalf of a special committee of victims’ loved ones, law enforcement personnel and county officials, longtime Supervisor Josie Gonzales announced that a memorial honoring those killed in the Dec. 2 attack would be built on the county Government Center campus in the heart of San Bernardino.

In the time since, Gonzales said last month, everyone involved has learned just how much planning goes into such an ambitious project.

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Throughout the entire process, however, from selecting an art consultant to putting out a request for proposals, to reviewing those proposals, ultimately landing on a favorite and providing feedback to the artist, Gonzales, who leaves the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 7 after four terms in office, said committee members have been true partners in the project.

“This has proved to be not only a labor of dedication,” she added, “but a labor of love for them.”

In hindsight, Velasco said, the longer each step of each phase of planning took, the more it seemed – to him and to others who lost a loved one in the attack – the much-anticipated memorial might never be built.

But memorials take time, Velasco said he learned in visiting the one raised two years ago in Aurora, Colo., for the victims of a 2012 mass shooting there, and as long as plans still were in place here, the father of four was going to see it through.

“The memorial committee members and I have lived the past five years together,” Gonzales said. “I have seen them and our county employee family go through visible pain and emotional breakdowns. We’ve seen the months pass and witnessed a slow process of healing. …

“Dec. 2, 2015, is a scar that we as a county, as a people, will wear forever,” Gonzales added. “It’s in the pages in the history of this county.”

A makeshift memorial site for the victims of the Dec. 2, 2015, terror attack that left 14 people dead and 22 wounded at the corner of Waterman Avenue and Orange Show Road outside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) Moving forward

Without a formal place to mourn on the yearly anniversary of the attack, former San Bernardino Councilwoman Virginia Marquez and plenty others have done so at the informal memorial at Waterman Avenue and Orange Show Road down the street from the Inland Regional Center.

But, as much healing as the site has brought the community, Marquez said, building something permanent in the victims’ honor has been a long time coming.

“The 14 people who died,” Marquez said, “they’re heroes in my eyes, along with our responders from the entire region. I’ll never forget that day. It was quite an event, but there were so many acts of kindness that followed, and I’m glad to see that five years later we’ll be witnessing the start of a fitting tribute.”

This past September, two years after requesting seven artists submit maquettes, or small models, of the memorial to the committee, county leaders approved a $187,500 contract with Oakland-based Hood Design Studio to design the site and the artwork.

“We are really happy,” said Velasco, whose daughter, like several other victims, has been recognized with a memorial garden in the county, courtesy of Upland’s Incredible Edible Community Garden. “Now that we see it’s getting closer, even though it’s been five years and still has not been completed, at least we have the groundwork and an artist that’s working with us.

“We’re getting closer to our goal,” Velasco added, “and I’m really happy. I try to share this with as many of the family members as well, so they know it’s going to be completed.

“It’s finally going to come true, after all this time, it will be done.”

An aerial rendering of the December 2 Memorial bound for the San Bernardino County Government Center campus shows a walkway lined by bronze steel curtains with 14 waves designed into them, one for each victim of the Dec. 2, 2015 terrorist attack at Inland Regional Center. (Rendering courtesy of San Bernardino County)

In renderings, which creative director Walter Hood crafted with input from Velasco and his fellow committee members, two bronze steel curtains line opposite sides of a walkway on the Government Center campus. Within waves, or coves, designed into the mesh curtains, glass jewels honor each victim.

There are 14 waves in all, seven per curtain and one for each victim, with each serving as a dedicated healing and reflection space.

Nearby, a statue is to mark the date of the attack and the names of those who died.

Hood, whose expansive portfolio includes The Broad Museum Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, has dubbed the memorial “Curtain of Courage” and is to submit final design documents for the artwork and associated features such as landscape and hardscape by Dec. 31.

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“The message for those who will come to see this memorial,” Gonzales said, fighting back tears, “either because they were alive and experienced it or have come after us and have no connection to anyone who was involved in that terrorist attack, the message has to be that we honor the memory of our own people.

“The memorial is there to mark what happened on Dec. 2, 2015,” Gonzales added, “and to include anyone and everyone who has suffered as a consequence of a terrorist attack, because regardless of your ethnicity, your race, what your culture is, the loss was great, and it is part of the history of this great county.”

Can my employer require me to take a coronavirus test? Ask the lawyer

Daily News - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:16

Q: The company I work for has told all employees that a coronavirus test is mandatory prior to returning to the work space. Is this legal?

-S.P., San Pedro

Ron Sokol

A: The short answer is yes. In April, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated that it is legal for employers to require employees to take COVID-19 viral tests. Further, in July, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing provided similar guidance. Employers have a responsibility to maintain a safe working environment.

Q: I was tired the other day, from a heavy workload and a poor night’s sleep. My boss quizzed me if I was having COVID-19 symptoms. This really bothered me because I would not have come in if that was the case. Am I off base or is he?

-T.C., Redondo Beach

A: An employer is entitled to ask employees if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (such as chills, fever, coughing or a sore throat). As noted above, your employer is to keep the work environment safe. Thus, your employer could require you to go home, depending upon what you tell him; however, privacy laws require the employer to keep confidential employee health information.

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Q: The company is making masks mandatory. Can I say no and still work there?

-L.B., Dana Point

A: First, employers may require employees to wear personal protective equipment (such as a mask during the coronavirus pandemic).  As to what will happen if you refuse, I cannot say, but the  employer may have a basis to send you packing.

Ron Sokol is a Manhattan Beach attorney with more than 35 years of experience. His column, which appears in print on Wednesdays, presents a summary of the law and should not be construed as legal advice. Email questions and comments to him at [email protected]

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Salesforce to Acquire Slack for $27.7 Billion

NY Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:13
The move caps an acquisitive streak by Salesforce and ends Slack’s run as an independent publicly traded company.

Georgia Republican Urges Trump to Condemn Election Threats

NY Times - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 23:09
An elections official in the state lashed out at President Trump, urging him to “stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.”