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Inside the Peninsula Hotel, Where Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu Prepped for the Met Gala

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Inside the Peninsula Hotel, Where Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu Prepped for the Met Gala
Met Gala co-chair Naomi Osaka was one of several attendees who chose to get ready for the big event at the plush Peninsula Hotel.

On Monday, September 13, the long-delayed Met Gala finally took place, as the most stylish stars attended the biggest night in fashion. Those that received a coveted invitation to the exclusive event donned their sartorial best for the evening, though certain guests were more successful in dressing for the theme, “American Independence,” than others.

Plenty of athletes were invited to the glamorous event, including tennis champions Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu, who both attended the Met Gala for the first time this year. Prior to heading over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the star athletes prepared for the big evening at the Peninsula Hotel.

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1631694002 737 All the Most Fashionable and Talked About Looks From the 2021
Emma Raducanu had a big week in New York, with her first U.S. Open win and first appearance at the Met Gala.

The five-star Fifth Avenue hotel, which finally reopened to guests in June 2021 after a 14-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, has long been a celeb-favorite, and has previously welcomed Met Gala guests including Halsey, Candice Swanepoel and Camila Mendes.

The hotel is composed of 235 rooms, including 55 suites. While all the rooms are perfectly lovely, with elegant yet contemporary interiors, certain accommodations stand a step above the rest, such as the new two-bedroom Fifth Avenue Suite.

The Peninsula wasn’t able to confirm which specific rooms the Met Gala attendees prepped in, but Osaka, who was a co-chair of this year’s event and wore Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière, shared Instagram snaps that appear to be from the Fifth Avenue Suite, which spans 2,530 square feet and has impressive views of the namesake street below. It also contains a dining room that comfortably seats 10 (which seems to have been used as a very chic glam room by Osaka), plus a private kitchen and study. If you’re interested, the suite typically costs approximately $19,000 a night.

There’s also the plush six-room Peninsula Suite, which is composed of three bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and a study, encompassing 3,300 square feet. Newly crowned 18-year-old U.S. Open winner Raducanu, who wore Chanel to the event, seems to have prepared for her first-ever Met Gala in the palatial suite, according to her Instagram photos. The price of such luxury? A staggering $22,000 per night.

Osaka and Raducanu weren’t the only stylish Met attendees to prep for the big night at the Peninsula, as Winnie Harlow, Ciara and Rosé all chose the Fifth Avenue hotel to to get ready for the 2021 Costume Institute Gala. Below, take a peek inside the stylish hotel.

1631739795 346 Inside the Peninsula Hotel Where Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu
The Peninsula Hotel is located on Fifth Avenue.

1631739795 294 Inside the Peninsula Hotel Where Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu
The Peninsula Suite.
1631739795 83 Inside the Peninsula Hotel Where Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu
A look at one of the standard rooms.
1631739795 388 Inside the Peninsula Hotel Where Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu
The Peninsula Suite is the largest of all the accommodations.
1631739795 327 Inside the Peninsula Hotel Where Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu
For people-watching, perhaps.

Inside the Peninsula Hotel, Where Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu Prepped for the Met Gala

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3 babies recently born to Afghan refugees at Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy

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3 babies recently born to Afghan refugees at Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy

SPARTA, Wis. — There’s new life at the Fort McCoy military base in western Wisconsin where more than 12,000 Afghan refugees are staying.

Three babies have been born to Afghan evacuees in recent days, according to Fort McCoy spokeswoman Cheryl Phillips.

“From all indications, the babies and mothers are doing well,” Phillips said.

Phillips declined to provide more details on the births, including whether the babies were born on base or at a local hospital, the State Journal reported.

Roughly 12,500 Afghan refugees are temporarily staying at Fort McCoy as of this week.

Fort McCoy, 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of La Crosse and the Minnesota border, is one of eight military bases in the U.S. that is housing refugees who fled from Afghanistan after the Taliban toppled Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government on Aug. 15.

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Moderna says vaccine’s effectiveness wanes over time

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Moderna says vaccine’s effectiveness wanes over time

(WXIN) — Moderna released information this week indicating protection from its COVID vaccine wanes over time as U.S. regulators try to determine the need for booster shots. The drugmaker shared information from a phase three study showing that breakthrough cases were less frequent in those who’ve been more recently vaccinated.

Researchers compared about 14,000 people in Moderna’s 2020 vaccine study who had gotten a first dose about a year ago with another 11,000 vaccinated last winter, roughly eight months ago. As delta surged in July and August, Moderna concluded that the more recently vaccinated group had a 36% lower rate of “breakthrough” infections than did those vaccinated longer ago.

According to Moderna data, there were 88 breakthrough cases out of 11,431 people vaccinated between December 2020 and March 2021. The company identified 162 breakthrough cases out of 14,746 people vaccinated from July 2020 through October 2020.

There were also fewer severe cases of COVID-19 in individuals who had been more recently vaccinated, Moderna said. The company believes the results show the need for booster shots, as the vaccine’s efficacy appears to wane over time. The analysis still needs to be peer-reviewed.

Pfizer-BioNTech is also seeking approval of an additional booster shot of its COVID-19 vaccine. A key Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory panel will convene this week to examine the need for booster shots in the U.S.

Pfizer said protection against COVID-19 is holding in the U.S. However, the company gave an extra dose to 306 people six to eight months after they received their second dose; the booster shot resulted in a threefold increase in virus-fighting antibodies.

Support for the booster shot has been mixed. While the Biden administration hoped to begin distributing doses on Sept. 20, the FDA has taken a cautious tone thus far. The agency will have the final say on the booster campaign and doesn’t necessarily have to follow the recommendations of its advisory panel. Booster shots have been approved for individuals with compromised immune systems.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Madrid: Denounce your hate Valor Christian

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Madrid: Denounce your hate Valor Christian

Valor Christian High School has hit the headlines as of late for dominating in 5A sports, but also for waving a proverbial anti-LGBTQ banner for all current and potential students, teachers, and employees to see.

The school does not embrace, love, and respect all as its leaders have stated, especially not students, families, or coaches who misalign with their anti-gay beliefs.

Valor has pushed out two LGBTQ athletic coaches within a year. Inoke Tonga, a devout Christian and openly gay man in August. And Lauren Benner, 2019 school coach of the year and the girls’ lacrosse head coach who lost her job in spring 2020.

Both faced similar interrogations with intrusive questioning about their sexuality and intimate relationships. They were asked to denounce their sexuality to keep their jobs. In other words, turn straight for pay. Convert or leave.

“My jaw was on the floor in disbelief,” Brenner wrote in an Instagram post. “I felt like I had just gone through a time travel machine that shot me back 50 years.”

This regressive ideology leaves toxic stress in the student body. It reinforces that it’s not safe to be gay. Examples of stigma, discrimination, and bias like these are detrimental to LGBTQ youth. This has the potential to deteriorate the mental health of students.

A protective tool deployed by LGBTQ people is pride. There’s power in embracing your authentic self. It’s the strongest weapon to defeat bigotry’s hate and embrace divine joy.

Take it from Keely Antonio, a Valor class of 2018 alum, who is out and proud now but was not in high school.

“I gotta be honest when I was there, during that time, I don’t think I would have been comfortable doing that,” Antonio told The Denver Post.

Surviving high school has led her to a life of helping others. Now she helps to empower LGBTQ+ adults.  She partnered and co-created Coming Out Happy with her girlfriend, Dani Max. The coaching duo helps others reconnect with their authentic selves.

Antonio was happy to learn that Tonga and Brenner chose to live their truth over her alma mater.

“I’m so proud that they are standing up for what they feel is right,” she said. “It gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes.”

The former coaches had the power to walk away with pride. But what about the students who are stuck in an institution that torments them. Classmates, allies, parents and alumni came together to show support.

“My obligation as someone called to love others as the Lord does is to speak out against bigotry and stand up,” Lucy Sarkissian a current student said.

The coaches’ dismissals sparked others to break the silence. Cole Watson, a 2018 alumni, started collecting statements online from survivors of Valor’s anti-LGBTQ culture.

“This has to change, and I’m hoping that sharing these stories can help catalyze it,” he said.

The online document has grown to 15 pages long and captures over a decade of incidents. It’s filled with anonymous and attributed statements. Together they describe a hellscape for LGBTQ students at Valor. It reveals the school’s history of discriminatory culture and harmful conditions.

“This school pushed me to suicidal ideation, and it took me YEARS to recover,” Watson wrote about his own experience.

Maxwell Wolf, a bisexual and trans alum, shares about the abuse survived at home and school.

“I have deep and lasting trauma as a result of Valor’s treatment,” Wolf’s statement said. “I was deeply depressed and suicidal because I was hopeless.”

“They failed me as a school, as Christians, and as people,” Wolf continued.

Educational institutions whether public or private have no right to damage young people. LGBTQ youth deserve safer spaces in all schools, including religious ones.

Antonio believes LGBTQ people have the right to divine and beautiful purpose.

“This life is short and you deserve to create a life that feels good and aligned with who you are,” she said.

LGBTQ youth deserve to be all three if they want. Christian, gay and alive.

Tonga agreed in a recent social media post with a rainbow background. He asked for people to pray together, to fight for one another and console each other during the hard times.

“The best way to get our message across is to lead fervently with love,” he said.

LGBTQ+ students, family members and alumni have demonstrated fervent love and acceptance, the type Jesus Christ embodied.

Religious leaders take note. The sermon is in session, and this is how you live your value.

Mimi Madrid is a Denver-raised writer who has worked in non-profits serving youth, LGBTQ, and Latinx communities.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

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Goldberg: Biden’s vax stance will feed pandemic culture war

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Goldberg: Biden’s vax stance will feed pandemic culture war

Maybe President Biden should handle COVID-19 the way he’s handled Afghanistan.

It’s a strange thought, given how badly he botched the U.S. withdrawal. But at least Afghanistan Joe had a clear idea about what we needed to do. COVID Joe has no such exit strategy. He’s making it up as he goes.

“I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit,” Biden proclaimed on Aug. 31 — and he meant it.

However, he has no problem with a forever exit from the pandemic.

In his address unveiling his COVID plan, Biden failed to offer anything like an exit strategy or even a description of what victory might look like.

In fairness, one reason he didn’t is because he can’t. As with terrorism, permanent and total victory is impossible. As Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, explains: “SARS-CoV-2 will become an endemic virus settling alongside the other four strains of coronaviruses that circulate widely among us.” In February, 9 out of 10 leading immunologists, virologists and other experts surveyed by the British scientific journal Nature said it’s here to stay.

Part of Biden’s problem is that he already had his “mission accomplished” moment in July. And while it’s not his fault that the delta variant wrecked his victory lap — and his poll numbers on his handling of the pandemic — his response is clearly improvised, probably counterproductive, and very, very political.

Last week, Biden issued a sweeping mandate that all private businesses with 100 or more employees require workers to get vaccinated or receive a weekly coronavirus test. The mere fact that the administration is using a nebulous and constitutionally problematic authority under the Occupational Safety and Health Act suggests that it essentially rummaged around to find a power it didn’t think it had or would need. Such workarounds are its stock in trade. The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is trying to overturn state bans on mask mandates, and Biden’s now-voided extension of the eviction moratorium was pushed through by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden’s mandate on private businesses will probably involve no end of legal and bureaucratic headaches. The president’s defenders are already calling it a testing mandate, not a vaccination mandate — as Justice Department lawyers will surely argue in future lawsuits. Technically, employees of large businesses will have to be tested weekly but can opt out if they’re vaccinated. But Biden didn’t frame it as a testing mandate, he framed it as a vaccine mandate.

That raises constitutional concerns, as does his vow, “If these governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way.”

When Donald Trump declared he had “total” authority to fight COVID-19, Democrats rightly condemned his thumbless grasp of the Constitution. “We don’t have a king in this country. We didn’t want a king, so we have a Constitution and we elect a president. … All other powers remain to the states,” said Andrew Cuomo, then governor of New York and a liberal darling.

Now, because a Democrat is promising to ride roughshod over governors, Democrats celebrate.

This explains why Biden relishes this fight. He’s already achieved one of his goals — to change the subject from handing Afghanistan to the Taliban in time for the anniversary of 9/11. But the other political calculation is that he doesn’t need the support of people ideologically (and foolishly) opposed to getting vaccinated, but he does need the support of those who despise such people.

By pandering on vaccination, Biden isn’t dialing down the culture war dynamic of the pandemic, he’s intensifying it. Once he was on the side of constitutional and democratic norms, now he’s waving those aside.

Worse, he’s sending the signal to many of those most fed up with the pandemic that this will never end. That “never exit” message may seem smart politically, but it doesn’t encourage steadfastness or compliance. It fosters exhaustion and ever more polarization.


Jonah Goldberg is editor-in-chief of The Dispatch.

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Gen. Mark Milley says calls to China were ‘perfectly’ within scope of job

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Gen. Mark Milley says calls to China were ‘perfectly’ within scope of job

ATHENS, Greece — The top U.S. military officer said Friday that calls he made to his Chinese counterpart in the final stormy months of Donald Trump’s presidency were “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his job.

In his first public comments on the conversations, Gen. Mark Milley said such calls are “routine” and were done “to reassure both allies and adversaries in this case in order to ensure strategic stability.” The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to The Associated Press and another reporter traveling with him to Europe.

Milley has been at the center of a firestorm amid reports he made two calls to Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army to assure him that the United States was not going to suddenly go to war with or attack China.

Descriptions of the calls made last October and in January were first aired in excerpts from the forthcoming book “Peril” by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. The book says Milley told Li that he would warn Li in the event of an attack.

Milley on Friday offered only a brief defense of his calls, saying he plans a deeper discussion about the matter for Congress when he testifies at a hearing later in September.

“I think it’s best that I reserve my comments on the record until I do that in front of the lawmakers who have the lawful responsibility to oversee the U.S. military,” Milley said. “I’ll go into any level of detail Congress wants to go into in a couple of weeks.”

Milley and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are scheduled to testify Sept. 28 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, in what initially was going to be a hearing on the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation of Americans, Afghans and others from that country.

Now, however, Milley is expected to face tough questioning on the telephone calls, which came during Trump’s turbulent last months in office as he challenged the results of the 2020 election. The second call, on Jan. 8, came two days after a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s White House victory.

A special House committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol has asked for details about Milley’s calls. U.S. Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., leaders of the committee, have also sought records related to the November election, the transfer of power from Trump to Biden and the riot.

Milley was appointed Joint Chiefs chairman by Trump in 2019 and has remained in that post in the Biden administration. As chairman, Milley is the top military adviser to the president and to the defense secretary.

The White House and the Pentagon chief have said they continue to have full trust and confidence in Milley.

The new book says Milley, fearful of Trump’s actions late in his term, twice called his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the U.S. was not going to attack China. One call took place on Oct. 30, four days before the American election. The second call was on Jan. 8, less than two weeks before Biden’s inauguration and two days after the insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of Trump.

Some U.S. lawmakers have said Milley overstepped his authority, and they have called for Biden to fire him. Trump blasted Milley as treasonous, called him “a complete nutjob” and said Milley “never told me about calls being made to China.”

Biden told reporters after the disclosures in the book that “I have great confidence in Gen. Milley.”

Milley’s office, in a statement this week, said the calls were intended to convey “reassurance” to the Chinese military and were in line with his responsibilities as Joint Chiefs chairman.

The statement from Milley spokesman Col. Dave Butler also said that the calls were “staffed, coordinated and communicated” with the Pentagon and other federal agencies.

According to the book, which the AP obtained, Milley assured his Chinese counterpart in the first call that “the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay.” It said he told Li, “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”

“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley reportedly said.

Milley spoke with a number of other military leaders around the world after the Jan. 6 riot; they included leaders from the United Kingdom, Russia and Pakistan. A description of those calls in January referred to “several” other counterparts that Milley spoke to with similar messages of reassurance that the U.S. government was strong and in control.

The second call was meant to placate Chinese fears about the events of Jan. 6. But the book reports that Li wasn’t as easily assuaged, even after Milley promised him: “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

In response to the book, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., urged Biden to fire Milley, saying the general worked to “actively undermine” the American commander in chief, Trump.

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Carthage man arrested on rape charges

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Carthage man arrested on rape charges

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Tuesday, September 14, State Police arrested 29-year-old Tyler Henson, of Carthage, accused of having sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 17, in the town of Pamelia.

Henson was charged with three counts of third-degree Rape, and two counts of third-degree Criminal Sex Act both felonies.

Henson was arraigned in the city of Watertown Court and was released on his own recognizance.

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Broe looks to replace Cherry Creek office building with residential project

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Broe looks to replace Cherry Creek office building with residential project

Broe Real Estate Group recently broke ground on a new office building in Cherry Creek.

Now, it’s looking to potentially demolish an existing one about half a mile away and build a residential project in its place.

The firm, a division of Denver-based The Broe Group, has asked the city to rezone its 50 S. Steele St. property, a 1.4-acre site across from the eastern end of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

The property is home to a 10-story office building built in 1973, as well as a sizable parking lot. But Broe is asking the city to increase the zoning to C-MX-12, which allows structures up to 12 stories.

“The applicant is requesting to rezone the property to facilitate mixed use redevelopment of the site, and their tentative plan is to build a mixed-use building with ground floor retail and residential units above,” documents prepared by city staff state.

Denver’s Planning Board recommended approval of the request on Wednesday afternoon, with all seven members present voting in favor. The matter now goes to the City Council.

Broe has owned the 50 S. Steele St. property since at least the 1990s, according to property records.

The building is topped with signage for Keller Williams Integrity Real Estate and law firm Riggs Abney. Other tenants include Nova Home Loans and SonderCenters.

In its rezoning application, the company said it began talking to the surrounding community about the possible change in 2019 and 2020, then resumed those efforts this year “after a brief pandemic-related hiatus.”

“Enhancements to the surrounding streetscape and pedestrian network are just a few notable examples of stakeholder-driven feedback to strengthen the development’s impact (on) the fabric of the neighborhood,” the company wrote.

The application notes that several nearby structures are 12 stories or more. But the property immediately to the north is zoned for just five stories.

Developers in Denver are not currently required to incorporate income-restricted units in new housing projects, although that will likely change soon. But Broe has agreed to voluntarily restrict 12.5 percent of units in a new residential project at the site to those making up to 80 percent of the area median income, according to documents prepared by city staff.

Thomas Gounley, BusinessDen

The building is topped with signage for Keller Williams Integrity Real Estate and law firm Riggs Abney.

Broe is planning about a 480-unit project, according to the documents, meaning there would be about 60 income-restricted units. Development plans for the project have not yet been submitted to the city for review.

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Editorial: Haiti learns hard way not to trust Biden

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Editorial: Haiti learns hard way not to trust Biden

With a friend like Joe Biden, who needs natural disasters?

On Aug. 14, a 7.2 earthquake hit the island nation of Haiti. At least 2,189 people were killed and 12,000 injured. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. It was followed by a tropical storm, and preceded by the assassination of its prime minister. A month later, the need for clean water, food and shelter continues.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration deported 86 Haitian nationals from the U.S. back to their native country, despite the multiple disasters that await.

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

Wasn’t Donald Trump supposed to  be the heartless one?

Human rights advocates are outraged, The Hill reported.

“That ICE would continue to carry out the mass deportations of our Haitian neighbors — with Haiti in the midst of its worst political, public health and economic crises yet — is cruel and callous,” said Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).

When the earthquake hit, Biden made a statement: the U.S. had Haiti’s back.

“The United States remains a close and enduring friend to the people of Haiti, and we will be there in the aftermath of this tragedy,” he said in part.

And by “there” he meant “over here,” sending any of you who make it “here” back over “there.”

Biden has Haiti’s back the same way he had Afghanistan’s.

“Just one month after this devastating earthquake and storm that resulted in the deaths of over 2,200 Haitians, injured 12,000 people, damaged or destroyed 120,000 homes and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, the administration sent a plane full of families to Haiti under Title 42, including children under the age of 3, without offering them legal protection and the opportunity to file for asylum,” said Guerline Jozef, co-founder and executive director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance.

Migrants expelled under Title 42 are repatriated to their home countries without the possibility of requesting asylum under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Defenders of Haitian migrants are particularly enraged about the Biden administration’s decision to repatriate Haitians, as the Department of Homeland Security recently designated Haiti for Temporary Protected Status, a program that suspends deportations to countries that have been hit by natural or manmade disasters.

A devastating 7.2 earthquake would certainly qualify. Lack of clean water, shelter, food would also tick the boxes.

“The news of renewed Haitian deportation flights is the type of morally indefensible news we would have expected from the Trump administration, not the Biden administration. Given the instability and suffering on the ground in Haiti, the last thing we should be doing is deporting Haitians. These deportation flights should stop, full stop,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice.

For a man who cleared his schedule to slam Trump as often as he could, that comparison must sting.

After an earthquake nearly leveled Haiti in 2010, Barack Obama’s administration halted deportations to Haiti for more than a year.

It was the decent thing to do. It was the right thing to do.

“The Biden administration has a moral obligation to lead with compassion and support those fleeing from the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Haiti,” Pressley said.

It’s stunning that the president needs to be reminded what this country stands for.

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Pioneer Press Big Ten football picks: Week 3

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Pioneer Press Big Ten football picks: Week 3

Gophers beat reporter Andy Greder picks this week’s games:

FRIDAY

MARYLAND AT ILLINOIS, 8 p.m., FS1

The Illini will follow a season-opening win against Nebraska with three consecutive losses. That was a short honeymoon for Bret Bielema. Maryland, 29-20

SATURDAY

NO. 8 CINCINNATI AT INDIANA, 11 a.m., ESPN

The preseason darling Hoosiers were destroyed by Iowa in the opener, and their blowout win over FCS Idaho means little because the Bearcats will do what the Hawkeyes did. Cincinnati, 35-17 

NORTHERN ILLINOIS at No. 25 MICHIGAN, 11 a.m., BTN

When Jim Harbaugh’s quotes include George Patton and Neil Armstrong, you know the quirky ol’ ball coach is feeling pretty good about his team. Michigan, 40-10

MICHIGAN STATE AT NO. 24 Miami (Fla.), 11 a.m., ABC

The Spartans have had the lead longer in two games this season than they did in seven in 2020. They might add to that stat in this one, but they won’t leave with a win. Miami, 28-24

NEBRASKA AT NO. 3 OKLAHOMA, 11 a.m., FOX

The Cornhuskers reportedly tried to get out of rekindling their lost rivalry with Oklahoma. After this blowout, they will regret that not happening. Oklahoma, 42-18

GOPHERS AT COLORADO, NOON, PAC-12N

Thousands of Minnesota fans will make the trip to Boulder for this rare matchup. The team will make it entertaining, and won’t spoil the visit. Gophers, 24-21

PURDUE AT NO. 12 NOTRE DAME, 1:30 p.m., NBC

College football is weird. Example 12,472: Notre Dame won’t allow the Boilermakers to bring their 10-foot tall, 565-pound drum into its stadium’s main tunnel, so Purdue will have to go without the “World’s Largest Drum.” Notre Dame, 38-24

KENT STATE AT No. 5 IOWA, 2:30 p.m., BTN

The Big Ten West — and maybe the Big Ten Conference — runs through Iowa City after the Hawkeyes’ defense smothered two ranked teams to start the season. Iowa, 28-3

TULSA AT No. 9 OHIO STATE, 2:30 p.m., FS1

Oregon said they wanted to run the ball just like the Gophers did against Ohio State. Then the Ducks had even more success, and Buckeyes coach Ryan Day wouldn’t solo tackle the status of Key Coombs as defensive coordinator. Ohio State, 40-20

DELAWARE AT RUTGERS, 2:30 p.m., FS1

Given the thrilling nature of this matchup, this is a perfect place to share that we went 13-1 in Big Ten picks in Week 2. Thanks a lot, Ohio State. Rutgers, 24-9

NORTHWESTERN AT DUKE, 3 p.m., ACCN

The Wall Street Journal reported Oregon State-Purdue was the least-watched FOX game on Sept. 4, showing the new alliance’s scheduling won’t benefit everyone. Northwestern, 21-17

NO. 22 AUBURN at NO. 10 PENN STATE, 6:30 p.m. ABC

Auburn hasn’t played a road Big Ten game in nine decades and their first one is a “White Out” game at Happy Valley. Good luck with all that. Penn State, 31-23

Our picks: 20-3

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As case counts rise, Vermont adds staff for contact tracing

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As case counts rise, Vermont adds staff for contact tracing

Posted: Updated:

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont is boosting staff for contract tracing amid a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, state officials said.

The state had hired a contractor in the spring to allow some state workers who had been doing contract tracing to return to their jobs, said Human Services Secretary Mike Smith during the governor’s weekly virus briefing on Tuesday.

“The contract calls for them to increase their workforce as COVID-positive case counts rise. Recently, they failed to do that sufficiently leaving the state to fill the gap,” he said.

In response, as of Tuesday, the state has increased its staffing to 104 full-time equivalent employees doing contract tracing and other related duties, including reaching out to close contacts and to businesses and schools, Smith said.

“We will continue to add state workers, our National Guard service members, and additional contracted employees as needed,” he said. Vermonters who want to be tested for COVID-19 are urged to again make appointments rather than walk into a test site, as the state investigates reports of delays in receiving results amid a recent surge in cases, officials said.

“Now we are transitioning back to appointments because just showing up in a higher demand environment causes people to wait,” said Smith.

Testing reservations can be made on the Health Department and pharmacy websites. The state is also working to expand weekly surveillance testing in schools, Smith said.

“Many school districts expressed an interest in participating in this new program,” he said. By the end of September more than 101 schools, representing more than 37% of school districts, will have testing programs and 50 more schools are expected to start operating testing programs by mid-October, he said.

Vermont reported 139 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, for a statewide total since the pandemic began of over 30,580. One death was reported, bringing the total to 291. Three deaths were reported on Tuesday.

A total of 39 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including ten who were in intensive care, the Vermont Health Department reported Wednesday. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont has risen over the past two weeks from 137.57 on Aug. 30 to 150.14 on Sept. 13.

The Associated Press is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the U.S.

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