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Steep drop in Illinois COVID cases, hospitalizations but deaths remain high, data shows

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Steep drop in Illinois COVID cases, hospitalizations but deaths remain high, data shows

Illinois continues to see significant declines in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the positivity rate.  In fact, more than 1,100 fewer people are hospitalized with COVID than were just one week ago.  

Thursday’s COVID numbers continue to show the omicron variant-fueled surge in Illinois is in retreat.  For the first time in weeks, no region in the Chicago-area is reporting fewer than 10% of its intensive care beds available. 

However, Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting the highest number of daily deaths in more than a year; and even the average number of daily deaths is higher than it’s been in a year, since before vaccines were widely available. This is not entirely unexpected since deaths typically lag behind infections by several weeks.

Here are today’s numbers:

  • 23,246 New Cases 
  • 6,258 Hospitalized (lowest since Jan 1)
  • 1,033 Intensive Care patients (lowest since Dec 29)
  • 198 Deaths (highest since Dec 5, 2020)

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Wisconsin Republicans gather to vote on endorsements

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Wisconsin Republicans gather to vote on endorsements

MIDDLETON, Wis. — Wisconsin Republicans are gathering Saturday to consider whether to endorse a candidate in the hotly contested governor’s race, as some argued they shouldn’t pick a favorite before the August primary in the battleground state.

The top candidates in the governor’s race were slated to make their pitch for an endorsement to more than 1,500 delegates attending the annual convention in the Madison suburb of Middleton. But first, those delegates must decide whether to include a “no endorsement” option as suggested by one gubernatorial candidate and other activists.

Winning the endorsement requires support from 60% of delegates.

The party’s endorsement is important because it unlocks funding from the state party, which can then spend as much as it wants on the winner. Being united is all the more important when facing an incumbent such as Gov. Tony Evers in a race that’s a top priority for Democrats nationally.

The Republican Party has endorsed candidates since 2009 and winning that backing was crucial to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s win in his first race in 2010. Johnson, who is up for reelection this year, was slated to address the convention before the endorsement speeches.

The gubernatorial candidates are former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who polls show is the frontrunner; construction business co-owner Tim Michels; business consultant and former Marine Kevin Nicholson; and state Rep. Timothy Ramthun.

Nicholson has advocated for no endorsement, but he still wants his name in consideration.

Whether there is an endorsement or not, voters will decide who advances to face Evers in November. The primary is Aug. 9.

Beating Evers and reelecting Johnson are top priorities for Wisconsin Republicans this year. But divisions within the party have been a distraction; Some Republicans have called for the ouster of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos for not pursuing Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud vigorously enough.

All of the GOP gubernatorial candidates have questioned the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s win in Wisconsin.

Ramthun, whose campaign for governor is focused on decertifying Biden’s win in 2020, said recently that Vos should be prosecuted over his response to the election.

Trump will hang heavy over the two-day convention. He hasn’t endorsed anyone in the governor’s race primary, but all of the main candidates except for Nicholson have met with him to try and get his blessing.

In addition to the governor’s race, Republicans will be voting on endorsements for statewide races for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer. The state Democratic Party convention will be June 25 in La Crosse. Democrats do not endorse.

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Australian prime minister concedes election defeat

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Australian prime minister concedes election defeat

By ROD McGUIRK

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s prime minister conceded defeat after an election Saturday that could deliver a minority government.

Scott Morrison acted quickly despite millions of votes yet to be counted because an Australian prime minister must attended a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with U.S., Japanese and Indian leaders.

“I believe it’s very important that this country has certainty. I think it’s very important this country can move forward,” Morrison said.

“And particularly over the course of this week with the important meetings that are being held, I think it’s vitally important there’s a very clear understanding about the government of this country,” he added.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as prime minister after his Labor party clenched its first electoral win since 2007.

Labor has promised more financial assistance and a robust social safety net as Australia grapples with the highest inflation since 2001 and soaring housing prices.

The party also plans to increase minimal wages, and on the foreign policy front, it proposed to establish a Pacific defense school to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence on the Solomon Islands on Australia’s doorstep.

It also wants to tackle climate change with a more ambitious 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Morrison’s Liberal party-led coalition was seeking a fourth three-year term. It holds the narrowest of majorities — 76 seats in the 151-member House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government.

In early counting on Saturday, the coalition was on track to win 38 seats, Labor 71, seven were unaligned lawmakers and 23 were too close to call.

Minor parties and independents appeared to be taking votes from the major parties, which increases the likelihood of a hung parliament and a minority government.

Australia most recent hung parliaments were from 2010-13, and during World War II.

A record proportion of postal votes because of the pandemic, which won’t be added to the count until Sunday, adds to the uncertainty in early counting.

As well as campaigning against Labor, Morrison’s conservative Liberals fought off a new challenge from so-called teal independent candidates to key government lawmakers’ reelection in party strongholds.

At least four Liberal lawmakers appeared to have lost their seats to teal independents including Liberal Party deputy leader Josh Frydenberg, who had been considered Morrison’s most likely successor.

“What we have achieved here is extraordinary,” teal candidate and former foreign correspondent Zoe Daniels said in her victory speech. “Safe Liberal seat. Two-term incumbent. Independent,” she added.

The teal independents are marketed as a greener shade than the Liberal Party’s traditional blue color and want stronger government action on reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions than either the government or Labor are proposing.

The government’s Senate leader Simon Birmingham was concerned by big swings toward several teal candidates.

“It is a clear problem that we are losing seats that are heartland seats, that have defined the Liberal Party for generations,” Birmingham said.

“If we lose those seats — it is not certain that we will — but there is clearly a big movement against us and there is clearly a big message in it,” Birmingham added.

Due to the pandemic, around half of Australia’s 17 million electors have voted early or applied for postal votes, which will likely slow the count.

Voting is compulsory for adult citizens and 92% of registered voters cast ballots at the last election.

Early polling for reasons of travel or work began two weeks ago and the Australian Electoral Commission will continue collecting postal votes for another two weeks.

The government changed regulations on Friday to enable people recently infected with COVID-19 to vote over the phone.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said more than 7,000 polling stations opened as planned and on time across Australia despite 15% of polling staff falling sick this week with COVID-19 and flu.

Albanese said he had thought Morrison would have called the election last weekend because Australia’s prime minister is expected at a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“If we get a clear outcome today then whoever is prime minister will be on a plane to Tokyo on Monday, which isn’t ideal, I’ve got to say, immediately after a campaign,” Albanese said.

Analysts have said that Morrison left the election until the latest date available to him to give himself more time to reduce Labor’s lead in opinion polls.

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7th Pay Commission: Rs 1.50 lakh will come in the bank account of employees, will get 18 months DA arrears, big update on DA

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7th Pay Commission: Modi Government Will Give Holi Gift To Government Employees! DA Will Increase So Much

7th Pay Commission: Rs 1.50 lakh will come in the bank account of employees, will get 18 months DA arrears, big update on DA

7th Pay Commission DA Arear Big Update: Government employees are waiting for 18 months Dearness Allowance (DA) for a long time. Employees are continuously demanding withheld DA from January 2020 to June 2021.

According to media reports, the government is planning to give a lump sum of Rs 1.50 to government employees. If this happens, a lot of money will come together in the salary of government employees.

Government employees hope that the government will consider giving DA arrears and find a solution soon. According to Shiv Gopal Mishra, Secretary (Staff Side) of the National Council of JCM, the council has placed a demand from the government but no solution has been found so far.

Will get this much DA arrears

The DA arrears of Level 1 employees will be between Rs 11,880 to Rs 37,000. At the same time, Level 13 employees will get Rs 1,44,200 to Rs 2,18,200 as DA arrears. DA is given to government employees and public sector employees and pensioners. It is given to the employees to help them with their living expenses.

Money will come together in salary

A meeting of the Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) will be held with the officials of the Ministry of Finance, Department of Personnel and Training and Department of Expenditure. In this, the one-time payment of DA arrears is to be discussed. There have been reports that the government may give Rs 1.50 lakh to the employees as DA arrears.

7th Pay Commission: Modi Government Will Give Holi Gift To Government Employees! DA Will Increase So Much

The post 7th Pay Commission: Rs 1.50 lakh will come in the bank account of employees, will get 18 months DA arrears, big update on DA appeared first on JK Breaking News.

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