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Activists pressure Burlington mayor, city council to endorse BDS movement

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Activists pressure Burlington mayor, city council to endorse BDS movement

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WFFF) — Activists are asking the Burlington City Council and Mayor Miro Weinberger to pick a side in the Israel-Palestine conflict by approving a BDS-supporting resolution. BDS stands for the movement that wants to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel.

If passed, the resolution would make Burlington the first city in the country to declare support for BDS, which seeks to exert financial pressure on Israel and force its withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territories. Advocates say BDS would allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

Almost 20 justice groups have signed the resolution. Wafic Faour, a member of Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, said city leaders have a moral obligation to boycott companies that profit from the occupation. “The goal of this resolution,” he says, “is for the residents and citizens of Burlington to recognize the rights of the Palestinians under the Israeli occupation, recognize the human rights of the Palestinians, and justice for the Palestinians.”

But members of Vermont’s Jewish community are worried the resolution could fuel antisemitism in the city. “This is a very divisive time in our world and in our country, and this resolution will divide our community further,” said Rabbi Amy Small from Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington. “There is such strong feelings about Israel-Palestine and the resolution that is presented is very one-sided and lacks some essential information.”

She says she would like to see the two sides “become informed and educated together,” adding: “To work toward a just and lasting piece together for two states, for Israel and Palestine, which is something I’ve been engaged in for many years in my own activism.”

On Monday, Weinberger released a statement calling the resolution “counterproductive” and “inappropriate.” The mayor, who reportedly comes from a Jewish family himself, said, “I find it very unfortunate that the sponsors have brought it forward during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the holiest days of the year for our Jewish residents who are engaged in worship and acts of charity.”

The statement continues: “While I support efforts to advance full equality and human rights for all, I oppose the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to weaken and delegitimize an important and long-standing partner of the United States, the democratic State of Israel.”

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CDC Adds New Destinations to Highest Travel Warning Level, Including Bermuda and Antigua

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CDC Adds New Destinations to Highest Travel Warning Level, Including Bermuda and Antigua
Bermuda is among the three new destinations upgraded to Level 4 status.

The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added three new destinations to its highest Level 4 COVID-19 travel warning list, including Bermuda and the Caribbean isle of Antigua.

Travel restrictions and guidelines are rapidly changing amid the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant; the CDC updates its travel guidance weekly. The latest advisory has upgraded Bermuda, Antigua and Barbuda as well as Guyana to the “Very High” Level 4 category.

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A destination is considered to have a Level 4 “Very High” level of transmission if 500 or more new cases of COVID-19 are recorded per 100,000 people over a 28-day period. Bermuda, Antigua and Barbuda and Guyana were all previously assigned Level 3 “High” status, which is given to locales that have had between 100 and 500 cases per 100,000 residents within 28 days.

The CDC has raised a number of Caribbean islands to the Level 4 category over the past several weeks, including Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy and the Bahamas.

The CDC recommends Americans avoid travel to any destinations with Level 4 status, and that if you absolutely must travel to one of these locales, to make sure you are fully vaccinated beforehand. At the moment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises unvaccinated Americans to avoid all international travel.

US Will Ease Restrictions for Fully Vaccinated Foreign Travelers in
The U.S. will lift restrictions on vaccinated foreign travelers starting in November.

The CDC’s latest travel guidance comes after news from the White House that the U.S. will ease travel restrictions on vaccinated foreign visitors, starting in November. The new policy will require foreign travelers to provide proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test from within three days before traveling to the United States, while unvaccinated Americans will need to test negative for COVID-19 one day prior to travel in addition to testing negative again upon arrival. The CDC is also expected to issue an order that will require airlines to collection travelers’ phone numbers and email addresses, for a new contact tracing system.

CDC Adds New Destinations to Highest Travel Warning Level, Including Bermuda and Antigua

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Asian shares extend losses as China worries darken sentiment

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Asian shares extend losses as China worries darken sentiment

By YURI KAGEYAMA

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares declined Tuesday, with Tokyo down 2% as worries about heavily indebted Chinese real estate developers weighed on sentiment.

On Monday, U.S. stocks logged their biggest drop since May, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite sinking 2.2%.

Markets were closed Tuesday in Taiwan, Shanghai and South Korea.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 0.5% to 23,971.73 as selling of property developers slowed.

The Nikkei 225 dropped 601.48 points to 29,898.57. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 slipped 0.1% to 7,244.80.

Analysts said fears the damage from a property bust in China could ripple worldwide were drawing on memories of past financial crises such as the bursting of the Japanese “bubble” economy or the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis.

In Japan, that catastrophe is called the Lehman crisis for the 2008 collapse of the Lehman Brothers which aggravated the situation.

“The whisper is that this could be China’s ‘Lehman moment.’ Even with Chinese markets closed until Wednesday, we are seeing knock-on sell-offs around the world,” said RaboResearch.

The S&P 500 tumbled 1.7% on Monday to 4,357.73, its biggest drop since May. The S&P 500 was coming off two weeks of losses and is on track for its first monthly decline since January.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.8% to 33,970.47. The Nasdaq shed 2.2%, to 14,713.90. The Russell 2000 dropped 2.4% to 2,182.20.

Technology companies led the broader market lower. Apple fell 2.1% and chipmaker Nvidia dropped 3.6%.

Airlines were among the few bright spots. American Airlines rose 3% to lead all the gainers in the S&P 500. Delta Air Lines rose 1.7% and United Airlines added 1.6%.

“What’s happened here is that the list of risks has finally become too big to ignore,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. “There’s just a lot of uncertainty at a seasonally challenging time for markets.”

The worries over Chinese property developers and debt have recently centered on Evergrande, one of China’s biggest real estate developers, which looks like it may be unable to repay its debts.

Those property companies have been big drivers of the Chinese economy, which is the world’s second-largest.

If they fail to make good on their debts, the heavy losses taken by investors who hold their bonds would raise worries about their financial strength. Those bondholders could also be forced to sell other, unrelated investments to raise cash, which could hurt prices in seemingly unrelated markets.

It’s a product of how tightly connected global markets have become, and it’s a concept the financial world calls “contagion.”

Many analysts say they expect China’s government to prevent such a scenario, and that this does not look like a Lehman-type moment. Nevertheless, any hint of uncertainty may be enough to upset Wall Street after the S&P 500 has glided higher in almost uninterrupted fashion since October, leaving stocks looking expensive and with less room for error.

On top of those worries, investors are watching to see if the Federal Reserve might ease off the accelerator on its support for the economy. And heavy government spending to counter the impact of the pandemic has raised the likelihood that Congress may opt for a destructive game of chicken before allowing the U.S. Treasury to borrow more money.

The Fed is due to deliver its latest economic and interest rate policy update on Wednesday.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 61 cents to $70.90 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 57 cents to $74.49 a barrel.

In currency trading, the U.S. dollar added 10 cents to 109.49 Japanese yen. The euro cost $1.1740, up from $1.1726.

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AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise, Stan Choe and Alex Veiga contributed.

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Ex-probation officer convicted in real estate agent killing

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High school football: Ninth-ranked Woodbury rolls past Eagan 48-15

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former probation officer has been found guilty for her role in the kidnapping and killing of a Minneapolis real estate agent.

Jurors in Hennepin County on Monday found 29-year-old Elsa Segura guilty of luring Monique Baugh to a bogus home showing in Maple Grove on Dec. 31, 2019, and aiding in the kidnapping and murder of the victim, who was found fatally shot in a Minneapolis alley.

Segura’s attorney, Amanda Montgomery, told jurors her client had no knowledge of a plot, and that the prosecution’s case was speculation.

According to investigators, two men convicted in the case were part of a scheme aimed at getting to Baugh’s boyfriend, who had a feud with a former business associate and drug dealer. Baugh’s boyfriend was shot and wounded during an altercation after Baugh was kidnapped.

Cedric Berry and Berry Davis were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the kidnapping and murder of Baugh.

Segura was found guilty on one count each of aiding and abetting the crimes of premeditated first-degree murder, attempted premeditated first-degree murder, kidnapping and first-degree felony murder while committing kidnapping, the Star Tribune reported.

She is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 9.

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CVS hiring event Friday, Sept. 24: nearly 300 positions available locally

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CVS hiring event Friday, Sept. 24: nearly 300 positions available locally

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- CVS Health is holding a hiring event Friday, September 24. Of the 1,600 jobs available throughout New York, 284 are within 50 miles of Albany.

Most of the positions within the state are for temporary licensed pharmacists, trained pharmacy technicians, nurses, and retail associates, CVS said. Both full and part-time positions are available.

CVS also said they are raising the minimum wage to $15 effective July 2022. In the meantime, they said there will be incremental increases in its current hourly wages beginning immediately. They are also offering a bonus to any employee that refers a full-time pharmacist or pharmacy technician that is hired.

“Attracting and retaining top talent across our businesses is critical as we continue to redefine what it means to meet people’s health needs. These wage increases will have a meaningful impact on our colleagues and their families while helping the communities we serve prosper,” CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch said when the announcement was made on August 4.

Interested parties can search the CVS website for a more detailed report on open positions in the Capital Region or anywhere else in the nation. Candidates can also apply using the company’s mobile feature by texting “CVS” to 25000. No applications will be accepted in stores, the company said its entire hiring process is now virtual.

“By leveraging CVS Health’s innovation and technology, we’re making it easier for qualified and caring candidates to join our team and contribute to the company’s ongoing efforts to help solve the country’s health care challenges,” said Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Jeffrey Lackey.

CVS said they offer competitive pay, paid training, benefits including vacation time, paid holidays, health insurance, 401K with company match, tuition reimbursement, employee discounted stock purchase program, and a 20-30% discount at retail stores.

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Two officers injured in south St. Louis stolen car crash

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Two officers injured in south St. Louis stolen car crash

ST. LOUIS – Two St. Louis Police officers were injured just after midnight Tuesday in a crash with a stolen car.

That stolen car and police car crashed on Virginia Avenue near Winnebago Street in south St. Louis. One officer was hurt in the crash.

The other officer was injured while arresting the man and woman in the stolen car.

FOX 2’s Nissan Rogue Runner reporter Jason Maxwell was at the scene.

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Apple picking on the Front Range? While the orchards are limited, so far the 2021 crop is not.

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Apple picking on the Front Range? While the orchards are limited, so far the 2021 crop is not.

A banner apple harvest like the one happening now across Northern Colorado is exactly what brought Mike Biwer and Will Perez out West.

In the summer of 2019, the new farmers purchased 15 cultivated acres in Ault that were covered in some 2,000 fruit trees and just starting to grow 149 different apple varieties, plus a handful each of pears and plums.

They bought their plot, now Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store, from Walt Rosenberg of Masonville Orchards, who had always planned for a U-pick operation onsite.

That first autumn, the trees were young and the harvest small, according to Biwer. By the next year, all of the apple trees had succumbed to a late-season freeze.

Finally, this growing season, the apples are “bountiful,” Biwer said. “Last year we had no fruit; this year the volume and turnout have been spectacular. … We’re kind of coming into our sweet spot, no pun intended. McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Jonathan; some of the more popular apples are coming in.”

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Cashel Keena, 3, carries his own bag of handpicked apples at Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store on Sept. 19, 2021, in Ault. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

And while the apples are plentiful, Front Rangers looking to pick them for snacking, baking and more should get out to harvest while they still can.

The three-year boom-to-bust apple cycle that Biwer and Perez experienced in their first few growing seasons is a near-sure thing along the Front Range, according to Sharon Perdue, an 18-year apple grower and owner of Ya Ya Farm & Orchard in Longmont.

“The problem we have here is we get the April storms, so one in three years I have like no crop, two in three, I have like half a crop,” Perdue said. “This year’s is the best crop I’ve had since 2012.”

“There’s just so many apples, but maybe we’ll have a freeze by (October).”

In 2014, Perdue experienced the kind of “freak” fall storm that “literally froze the trees in half. I lost 600 trees alone that year, 15 years (of work) in one night,” she explained. “That’s partly why people don’t have orchards out here.”

After buying her 8-acre farm and restoring the land to grow 118 apple varieties, primarily heirloom, Perdue began taking fruit to local farmers markets, where she encountered Midwest and East Coast transplants who were looking to pick fruit themselves.

“People were telling me how they used to pick apples as kids,” she said of her market customers. “And I thought, ‘Well, why am I (picking apples) then?”

Ya Ya’s apple harvests have since become a community affair, with Perdue getting more requests for picking than she can fill. Now U-pick reservations for the following season start coming in around the first of each year.

Customers send email requests for U-pick appointments that Perdue starts responding to, in order, by July.

If she has more availability, she’ll open appointments to walk-ins. This year, she expects to have enough apples to do just that. Unless a cold snap comes.

Mike Biwer, left, and Will Perez, ...

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Mike Biwer, left, and Will Perez, pose for a portrait with baskets of their fresh apples inside the country store at Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store in Ault on Sept. 19, 2021. The two new-to-Colorado farmers bought what was formerly Masonville Orchards Ault operation back in June 2019.

Biwer and Perez are excited to open Adam’s Apple to anyone who makes the drive to Ault on the weekends, and by appointment Wednesdays through Fridays while the fruit lasts. So far, they’ve been amazed by the response.

“People want to come out and hang out in the country and be around trees,” Biwer said. “They’ll drive two to three hours just to pick apples … and it’s just overwhelming. It’s pretty cool.”

When they left the Midwest — and their careers in corporate sales and interior design, respectively — Biwer and Perez had no real agriculture experience, let alone experience living in a town of 2,000.

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New York’s Philharmonic is Back, but Change Is Still Underway

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New York’s Philharmonic is Back, but Change Is Still Underway
Musicians perform during the New York Philharmonic’s concert on September 17, 2021. KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

After a 556 day, coronavirus-induced hiatus from conventional concerts, New York’s Philharmonic returned last Friday for its return performance in the midst of drama surrounding the performance group. Jaap van Zweden, the Philharmonic’s music director, announced last week that he’ll be stepping down at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 season. Additionally, the Philharmonic’s David Geffen Hall is currently closed for renovations, and will once again be available to be visited in 2022. Overall, it’s been a period of intense upheaval for the iconic orchestra, which happens to hold the distinction of being America’s oldest.

In the past, the New York Times writes, van Zweden sometimes staged performances in which he made questionable decisions with the material; nevertheless, the director is prepared to steward the orchestra through his last season with aplomb. Plus, the feeling of being back out in front of a live audience was thrilling for the performers who’d been denied such an experience for so long.

“That kind of feeling, when we walk out and see a full audience, it’s very inspirational to us because we want to share the music with as many people as possible,” Frank Huang, the Philharmonic’s first violinist, told NY1. Huang acknowledged that many musicians onstage will now be wearing masks, but that “the familiarity of being on stage and performing for an audience, it is going to be there. You know, we feel very comfortable playing together as a group.”

Similar changes have been put in place for both performers and attendees of Broadway shows, which recently made their triumphant comeback after being teased for months by New York’s leaders. Proof of vaccination is required for Broadway audiences and stars alike, and children under the age of 12 wishing to attend a show are required to offer negative coronavirus tests.

New York’s Philharmonic is Back, but Change Is Still Underway

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Houston officer dead, another wounded while serving warrant

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Houston officer dead, another wounded while serving warrant

HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston police officer was killed and another was wounded Monday morning during a shooting that also killed a 31-year-old man whom the officers were attempting to arrest on drug charges, authorities said.

The veteran officers were each shot multiple times while attempting to serve an arrest warrant at an apartment complex on the city’s northeast side, Mayor Sylvester Turner said during a news conference.

“This has been a tragic day today,” Turner said. “It is another reminder that police work is inherently dangerous.”

Senior Officer William Jeffrey, who joined the Houston Police Department in 1990, was pronounced dead at a hospital following the shooting, authorities said. He was 54. Sgt. Charles Vance, who joined the department in 1998, was in stable condition, according to police Chief Troy Finner. Vance is 49.

The officers arrived at the apartment around 7:30 a.m., knocked on the door and spoke with a woman who answered it, Finner said. He said the man then came out and began shooting at the officers.

“You’ve got a suspect with a female girlfriend with small kids in that apartment complex and he still fired upon our officers,” Finner said. He said police returned fire and that the man died on the scene.

Authorities didn’t identify the man the officers were attempting to arrest. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.

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This story has been corrected to show that Vance joined the department in 1998.

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Gophers in the NFL: Maxx Williams, De’Vondre Campbell stand out in Week 2

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Gophers in the NFL: Maxx Williams, De’Vondre Campbell stand out in Week 2

Before Sunday, Maxx Williams’ most productive day in the NFL came during his rookie season in 2015.

The former Gophers tight end from Waconia had career highs of seven receptions for 94 yards in the Arizona Cardinals’ 34-33 win over the Vikings at State Farm Stadium on Sunday. The seventh-year veteran’s previous bests were six receptions for 53 yards for the Ravens six years ago.

RELATED: Maxx Williams got ‘bragging rights’ in Arizona’s win over his home state Vikings

De’Vondre Campbell, one of Williams’ teammates on the Gophers in 2013-14, had his own big game for the Packers on Monday Night Football. He had 13 total tackles and an interceptions in the 35-17 win over the Lions. It was the fourth time Campbell has eclipsed 10-plus tackles in a game across his six-year career; his best tackle total was 17 for the Falcons two years ago.

His fourth-quarter interception was the Packers’ first pick of the season; it helped seal the NFC North win to put Green Bay (1-1) first in the division.

Four other former Gophers registered tackles this week: Jaguars’ Damien Wilson (six); Texans Eric Murray (five); Bucanneers’ Antoine Winfield Jr. (four); Washington’s Benjamin St-Juste (three). Giants’ Carter Coughlin played nearly 30 defensive snaps Sunday, but didn’t record a stat for a second-straight week.

Buccaneers wideout Tyler Johnson had his first reception of 2021, a five-yard grab against the Falcons. He played on three offensive plays in the season opener and had 17 snaps in Week 2.

Kicker Ryan Santoso was released by the Panthers after making his first NFL points in Week 1. He was picked up by the Titans for it’s practice squad, but was then waived Sunday.

Nine other former Gophers players were inactive, injured or on practice squads for Week 2.

After being cut by the Panthers in preseason, ex-U linebacker Jon Celestin is now coaching at Eden Prairie.

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Jersey City police catch baby thrown from balcony

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Jersey City police catch baby thrown from balcony

Jersey City Police Officer Eduardo Matute holds a baby he saved after the infant was thrown from a balcony on Sept. 18, 2021, officials said. (Credit: Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office)

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) — Jersey City police officers were hailed as heroes this weekend after they quickly sprung into action to catch a 1-month-old baby who was thrown from a balcony.

Officer Eduardo Matute was among several officers who responded to the scene on Saturday after someone called police and reported a child was in danger, according to officials. Upon arrival, they encountered a man who was dangling the baby from a second-story balcony and threatening to drop the infant, officials said.

Police set up a perimeter and several officers positioned themselves below the balcony as the man continued to threaten to throw the baby over the railing, according to officials. After a lengthy standoff, officials said the man dropped the infant, and Matute and other officers caught the child.

The baby was taken to a hospital for evaluation but was unharmed, according to officials. The man was arrested and faces charges.

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop praised the officers on social media Saturday evening. “We are lucky to have the men and woman of the JCPD, as every single day I see it firsthand they rise to meet any/all challenges,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

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