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Should landlords have to share what’s been bugging them?

first_img Projections suggest obesity among U.S. adults may not plateau until 2050 Researchers develop model for designing more effective drug cocktails Obesity rate will reach at least 42% Pretty much anybody who’s been apartment hunting knows what they’re looking for in a place to live, and bedbugs usually aren’t on that list.So it might seem like a crazy idea for landlords to tell potential tenants about past bedbug infestations, but Alison Hill believes it will pay off in the long run.A John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellow, Hill is the co-author of a study that examines a requirement — proposed in a number of cities across the country — that would mandate such notifications. The results show that while landlords would experience a modest drop in rental income in the short term, they would make that money back in just a handful of years, and that the policy could dramatically slow the spread of the insects. The study is described in a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“We find that in most cases, these policies are expected to have some costs to landlords in the first few years after they are enacted,” Hill said. “There will be some lost rent and higher vacancies rates in apartments that have a history of infestation. But those costs all come back as gains later, because we find that these policies are effective at reducing the spread of infestations.”One way the bugs can spread, Hill said, is during moves. Tenants relocating from infested apartments may inadvertently bring bedbugs to their new place as well as leave them behind at their old one, since the bugs can live in walls and floors as well as in furniture.The proposed disclosure policy creates an unofficial quarantine period, Hill said, by reducing the chances that an infested unit is rented, allowing landlords time to thoroughly treat the space for bedbugs and decreasing the chances they’ll continue spreading.“When the overall level of bedbugs decreases,” Hill said, “landlords will spend less on costly pest-control efforts. There is less chance their apartments will be infested, and vacancy rates go back to normal. While for the first few years we predict there is a little extra cost to them — it depends on the rental market, but it’s on the order of 0.2 percent to 2 percent per unit per year — after the five-year mark they’re expected to see gains that are even higher than that.”The study’s first author, Sherrie Xie, a Ph.D. candidate and veterinary medicine student at the University of Pennsylvania, also developed an online tool to demonstrate how the policy can lead to savings for landlords over time.,The study was sparked, Hill said, by the fact that the re-emergence of bedbugs in recent decades doesn’t fall squarely to any particular governmental agency.“I’m a public health researcher,” she said. “I study infectious diseases like HIV and how we can control them, so to me bedbugs seem like an issue for public health agencies. But at the same time, it’s a problem that’s related to housing … so maybe people who deal with mice, rats, and cockroaches should be the ones dealing with them.“But the reality is that in many cities there is not really any agency responsible for bedbugs,” she continued. “So it’s basically a private thing that people have to deal with.”While that uncertainty has created problems for cities struggling to deal with bedbug outbreaks, it has also created a vacuum for research.“There’s no government funding agency that’s tasked with funding research on bedbugs,” Hill said. “Which just means there are a lot of unknowns about dealing with bedbugs.”In an effort to fill that vacuum, the National Science Foundation funded a working group made up of experts from a host of disciplines, including epidemiology, urban planning, economics, and entomology. The group was co-chaired by Michael Levy, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, who initiated the study and is its senior author.Based on her experience modeling infectious-disease transmission, Hill was invited to join the panel with an eye toward developing models that could make predictions about how best to control the spread of the insects. Another recruit to the team was Chris Rehmann, a professor of civil engineering at Iowa State University, who co-authored the study with Hill, Xie, and Levy.Going forward, Hill said, researchers are planning to expand the study to incorporate greater variety in the housing market and understand how various policies can drive rents up or down, while other studies are in the works that would examine how bedbugs spread from location to location using data on the bug’s genetics or the relocation patterns of a city’s residents.Other studies are planned that would focus on the mental health and economic effects of bedbug infestations on residents, she said.In the meantime, Hill’s co-authors are planning to present their findings to city officials in Philadelphia, where notification requirements are under consideration.“Our hope is to spread the word that disclosure policies can be a cost-effective way of slowing bedbug spread,” she said, “because while there are a handful of cities that have implemented these policies, many others haven’t. We hope our study provides some extra evidence to help make that decision.”This research was supported with funding from the National Science Foundation (via the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.center_img Forward thinking on HIV Relatedlast_img read more

NY Gives Child Abuse Survivors More Time To File Suits

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageALBANY — People who were sexually abused as children will have more time to file legal claims under a new state law against individuals and public and private institutions after concerns that the pandemic was keeping survivors from coming forward.Advocates and survivors had been pressing for an extension of the Child Victims Act amid the shutdown and disruption caused by the virus, including the closure of courts. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday he signed the latest extension of Aug. 14, 2021, for the legislation.The law lifted the statute of limitations even for allegations that were decades old, initially for a filing period of one year. New York’s law allows individuals to file civil lawsuits for childhood sexual abuse before they reach 55 years of age.“After fighting for the law’s passage for 13 long years, many feared the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the courts meant that the clock had run out on their opportunity to seek justice,” Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat said. The original deadline for those making claims under the Child Victims Act was Aug. 14, 2020. Cuomo initially moved the deadline to Jan. 14 with an executive order, and the new extension would extend it to Aug. 14.Attorney Jeff Herman, who represents victims of sexual abuse, cheered the move and said it also gives lawyers more time to investigate and vet cases amid virus-related shutdowns.“This means that survivors who do not yet know about the law or who know about the law but are not in a position emotionally and psychologically to do anything right now because of COVID will have sufficient time to seek justice,” he said.“It’s a win-win for everybody who cares about protecting children,” he added.last_img read more

Jerome Robbins is a Flower Murderer & More Lessons from Sondheim

first_img 3. Dream projects can be minimalist Very minimalist. Like, to the point where it doesn’t exist. “My idea of a dream project is not writing,” Sondheim says. “When you’re not hungry anymore, you get less eager to write.” Fortunately, Sondheim’s musical tummy is still rumbling; he is teaming up with David Ives for a new show at the Public Theater, adapted from the Luis Buñuel films The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and The Exterminating Angel. 1. There’s no such thing as a unified score “You can’t…because there’s dialogue in between,” he explains. Those pesky book writers. So how does he string together all those melodies? “I structure the long line before I start filling in everything.” Eventually, characters collide, and these interactions form key moments lifted from the materials he has already set up. OK. Sounds easy enough, right? 2. Need a new tune? Flip an old one Eventually, when you get to the moments, there is a sense of structure, and you don’t have to pull things out of thin air. “You take this one,” he explains, “and you turn it upside down, and it’s a new tune. You take this one, you take the harmonies and say, ‘Instead of major, let’s make it minor.’ And suddenly it’s a new song.” Hmm. When we play “The Miller’s Son” in reverse, it sounds like sh*t. How does he do it, exactly? 4. Sondheim is the Pied Piper of Broadway In true Sondheim fashion, the new project’s first half “will be a delight, and the second act will make you want to kill yourselves.” The composer added, “That’s what I like to write!” Don’t we know it, Sondheim. Don’t. We. Know. It. And we’ll continue to leap off the cliff while singing “Losing My Mind” every time. 5. How many flowers are left, Chino?! Sondheim recalls that during the early days of West Side Story, director/choreographer Jerome Robbins returned from a dance in the Bronx with the idea to have the girls present the guys with flowers, which they would put in the cuff of their pants. Cut to actually rehearsing it: “The stage was a battle of flowers going into people’s eyes, their hair, their ears.” Side note: “Jerry Robbins went up to a gang dance in the Bronx” is officially the best way to start any story. Take a break from the Into the Woods trailer for just a second. Composing legend Stephen Sondheim recently sat down with Adam Gopnik during The New Yorker Festival, and we’ve been mulling over some of the lessons and words of wisdom he shared. One of these days, we’ll use it to write the next great American musical. But for now, here are some of the most intriguing, baffling and—frankly—depressing tidbits from his talk. View Commentslast_img read more

Statement of Governor Douglas on the Economic Stimulus Plan

first_imgStatement of the Governor on Economic Stimulus PlanMay 1, 2008Montpelier, Vt. – At his weekly press conference Thursday, May 1, 2008, Governor Jim Douglas delivered the following opening statement:”As we approach Friday’s adjournment and final agreement on the two remaining items of the economic growth initiative – the sales tax holiday and targeted assistance for high unemployment areas – I want to thank the Special Committee on Economic Recovery and Opportunity, and House and Senate leadership for evaluating, enhancing and passing the 15-point Economic Growth Initiative I presented. They’ve done swift and diligent work on this important task.”Some said that this couldn’t be done – or that it was somehow a distractionbut this is a good example of what state government can achieve when all points of view are considered, strengthening the economy is the top priority and progress triumphs over partisanship.”This economic growth initiative will create jobs and help to ensure that Vermont emerges from this challenge with a stronger and more resilient economy.”In total, the package I presented could generate more than $214 million in direct economic activity and millions of dollars more in indirect economic multipliers. The Legislature’s additions add several million dollars more in value.”These proposals will help Vermonters who are struggling to afford housing; spur new industries and job growth, while strengthening existing businesses and our environment; provide tax relief to consumers; and make responsible investments in our infrastructure.”I’m also pleased the budget process is nearing a favorable resolution. Restoring Building Bright Futures early education funding and providing the necessary resources for Next Generation Scholarships, workforce training and mentoring programs are important investments in economic security.”###last_img read more

House committee votes out Vermont jobs bill

first_imgThe House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development on Friday voted out its jobs bill with a favorable vote of 9-1-1. The bill assembles two dozen initiatives and focuses on the urgency of supporting business expansion and job creation in Vermont. It places special emphasis on enhancing the manufacturing and value-added agricultural sectors in Vermont.‘This bill sets forth a clear strategy for economic development and job growth,’ said Representative Bill Botzow, Chair of the Commerce Committee. ‘These are real, concrete programs we can employ even in times of constrained resources.’The bill enhances workforce training programs to help maximize opportunities for employees and provide a well trained pool of job applicants for employers. Workplace internships would be substantially expanded with state-wide coordination and administration. A tuition repayment program for graduates seeking jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics will encourage young people to stay or return to Vermont.Several elements expand and enhance programs to bring new capital into the market for business expansion in Vermont. A new initiative creates an Office of the Creative Economy will provide support to creative enterprises like software development, new media, and innovative commercial goods. The bill also streamlines the process for housing developers who include low and moderate income housing in designated neighborhoods.A substantial part of the bill focuses on expanding the value-added agriculture sector through support of the Farm-to-Plate initiative, local food coordinators for sales to institutional customers, skilled meat-cutter apprenticeships, and technical assistance for manufacturing compliance with good agricultural practices.The Committee worked closely with the House Committee on Agriculture to shape policy on the agricultural economy. The bill was drafted in collaboration with the new administration and was informed by testimony from a wide variety of businesses, agencies, industry groups, lenders, and advisors. The bill now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration before heading to the full House for its approval.last_img read more

Chile Protects Northern Border

first_img Although Chile is not considered a major producer of illegal narcotics, it is a significant transit country for Andean cocaine shipments headed for Europe and the United States, according to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of the U.S. Department of State. The South American nation is taking steps to prevent the entry and exit of drugs and contraband through its ports and borders. In October 2011, Defense Minister Andrés Allamand and Interior and Public Security Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter led the launch of the Northern Border Plan initiative that seeks to fight organized crime in the regions of Arica, Parinacota, Tarapacá and Antofagasta. The implementation of the plan will include purchasing fixed ground radars, a Coast Watcher Unit, as well as thermographic detection and command and control systems costing more than $5 billion. Sources: Ministry of Defense of Chile, U.S. Department of State By Dialogo January 01, 2012last_img read more

Both Holtsville Hal and Malverne Mel Predict Early Spring on Groundhog Day

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The groundhogs agree!Long Island’s pair of weather-predicting woodchucks did not see their shadows Tuesday, meaning Holtsville Hal and Malverne Mel each forecast an early spring on Groundhog Day, according to local lore.This year, Hal and Mel also made the same prognostication as New York City’s Staten Island Chuck, Connecticut’s Chuckles and the most famous groundhog of all, Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil.“Is this current warm weather more than a trend?” Phil’s handlers, dubbed the Inner Circle, told the crowd. “Per chance this winter has come to an end? There is no shadow to be cast, An early Spring is my forecast!”The news came as little surprise amid the warmer-than-usual winter. LI’s first major snow storm arrived just last week, which meteorologists have said was later than usual.Hal—who was ominously snowed in last year—and Mel agreed in 2015, when they both saw their shadows, predicting six more weeks of winter, which was also Phil’s forecast. LI’s groundhogs were last in disagreement in 2014.Not all of the groundhogs in the tri-state area concurred this year. Dunkirk Dave, in an upstate city south of Buffalo, saw his shadow. So did New Jersey’s two groundhogs, Milltown Mel and Essex Ed. The Garden State’s third groundhog, Jackson, died several days ago.last_img read more

Iraqis wanted to topple the system, but taboos fell instead

first_imgMocking clerics, falling in love at rallies and mending a broken society: even if Iraq’s young protesters have failed to overthrow entrenched politicians, they have scored by shattering decades-old taboos.Since October, the country of 40 million has been rocked by a historically large grassroots movement with big goals: ending corruption, unaccountable sectarian parties and overreach from neighboring Iran.Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi resigned in December, only to be replaced by ex-minister Mohammad Allawi, slammed by protesters as too close to the ruling elite.  Youth chant against a once-untouchable cluster of politicians and paramilitary commanders, and women spend nights in tents next to adult men. Students defy orders to return to class and neighborhoods once seen as dangerous are buzzing with people en route to demonstrate.Slogans like “Forget outdated traditions,” “End classism” and “No more differences” are trending on Twitter in Iraq. “Tahrir lets us dream,” wrote one activist whose friend — who ekes out a living driving a rickshaw — had fallen in love with a medic from a prestigious family. ‘More to life than surviving’ Since the 1970s, Iraq has endured Saddam Hussein’s authoritarian regime, back-to-back wars and devastating sanctions that isolated it from the world.There were few cellular phones and barely any internet access until the 2003 US-led invasion that collapsed Saddam’s nominally secular regime.Sectarian fighting gave rise to hardline Shiite and Sunni militias as society became more divided and religious.When Iraq defeated the Islamic State group in 2017 after years of fighting and displacement, many anticipated long-overdue peace and prosperity. “The young generation was in a coma for many years, but stability opened their eyes to the truth: there is more to life than just surviving,” said protester Ahmad Haddad, 32.”There’s living in dignity in a civil society, breaking conservative norms and loosening the grip of religious parties,” said Haddad.But instead of easing into normality, it was a sudden uprising that transformed Iraq.Hiyyam Shayea, a 50-year-old teacher in protest-hit Diwaniyah province, can testify to that. “There were some huge, surprising changes to a lot of social affairs,” said Shayea, wearing a traditional black robe at a recent rally in her hometown. Such a stance had long been unimaginable in the south, where tribal customs trump federal law and restrict women’s public role.But it has come at a high price. Around 550 people have been killed and 30,000 wounded in protest-related violence.”That was all for a homeland — one that’s civilized and civil, not backwards and outdated,” said Shayea. ‘In the end, what did you do?’Some are resisting the changes, describing rallies as hotbeds of promiscuity, alcohol and drugs, fuelled by the West.Leading Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr has tried to discredit the movement with such claims, insisting men and women stay separate and protests be “cleaned.” Women swiftly organized their own rally mocking Sadr, long untouchable because of his violent past as a militiaman and his diehard followers. In the protests’ early days, angry crowds slapped shoes against portraits of paramilitary leaders and Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, who held tremendous sway in Baghdad and was never publicly criticized.Soleimani was later killed in a US strike.Demonstrators also railed against “muhassassa,” the sectarian power-sharing system governing Iraq after Saddam.Few current protesters are old enough to remember Saddam — 60 percent of the population is under 25 — and blame their elders for Iraq’s slide into broken politics.The rallies exposed “a huge rift” between the two generations, Iraqi researcher Khaled Hamza told AFP.”We’re in the middle of a spontaneous movement by a group of youth who weren’t expected to be responsible for achieving what our generation couldn’t,” said Hamza, who is in his 60s.Protesters recognize it, too. In Baghdad, a woman in a pink headscarf carried a sign: “In the end, I made a revolution. What did you do?”Further south in oil-rich Basra, Heba, a protester in her 20s, said the rallies have changed her.”They strengthened our personalities, made us distinguish between right and wrong and demand our rights,” she said. The movement is now at a crossroads: numbers have dwindled as activists face an intimidation campaign and parties seek to recapture momentum with a new cabinet.”Now, it’s time to unite under a new vision, a plan that addresses Iraqis’ needs,” said protester Mohammad al-Ajeel.”What’s happening is huge, but it’s new for us. We can’t expect everything to happen overnight,” said Ajeel, a businessman living between Iraq and the UAE.”It may need years.” But what they have so far been unable to win politically, demonstrators have made up for with social change. “We scored one goal by bringing down the government, but socially we achieved much more,” said Ali Khraybit, 28.His best friend just proposed to a girl he met marching in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the anti-government movement’s epicenter. Like other squares across Iraq’s mainly-Shiite south, Tahrir has become a social experiment, a free space where conservative norms have been toppled. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Surabaya student investigated for so-called ‘sexual mummification’ of multiple victims

first_imgContent warning: This story contains information about sexual assault that may be disturbing to some readers.Authorities are investigating allegations that a student at Airlangga University (Unair) in Surabaya, East Java, sexually assaulted multiple people after several first-person accounts of the allegations went viral on Twitter.The accused student, Gilang, allegedly tricked his victims into performing an act known as “bondage mummification” under the pretense of academic research. The case garnered public attention after a Twitter user with the handle @m_fikris gave an account of his encounter with Gilang, who allegedly claimed to be looking for a research subject for his thesis about “wrappings”.The user wrote that Gilang persistently begged him to take part in the research, saying he was at risk of failing his studies for not finishing his thesis. Gilang was in his fifth year of university.“I felt sorry, so I agreed to help. He told me that the research subject needed to be wrapped from head to toe so they could show emotions such as anxiety. [At first] I refused, but he convinced me that it was totally safe,” @m_fikris wrote.Gilang sent instructions for @m_fikris and his friend to take turns covering each other’s bodies, including their mouths and eyes, with duct tape. He also instructed them to wrap their bodies in jarik [traditional Javanese cloth]. Gilang asked them to record the process and to send him the footage afterwards.Another victim, who requested anonymity, said Gilang had asked him to visit his boarding house to help with his “research” last year. He said Gilang wrapped him in cloth, stripped him naked and sexually assaulted him.“The incident has traumatized me for the last eight months. I’ve had nightmares about it,” the person told The Jakarta Post.Read also: Child sex abuse survivors are five times more likely to be the victims of sexual assault later in lifeAnother victim, who asked to remain anonymous, said he managed an escape from Gilang’s attempts in March. The 19-year-old college freshman from Surabaya had initially agreed to help Gilang with his research.“As Gilang was not in Surabaya because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he asked me to carry out the wrapping process with one of his relatives and send him pictures and videos of the process,” the 19-year-old said.He met Gilang’s “relative”, a high school student who, he discovered, had been blackmailed by Gilang into participating in the so-called research.A third victim, a 24-year-old, said he had been assaulted by Gilang in 2015 when they were both university freshmen.While he was sleeping at Gilang’s boarding house after a university event, he said he could feel Gilang cover his body with a blanket and grope him.“Strangely, I could not move at that time. I suppose he had drugged me. I confronted him the next day, and he admitted all his actions,” said the victim.Read also: Justice delayed, denied for victims of sexual abuse in Catholic ChurchUnair spokesperson Suko Widodo confirmed that Gilang was a student at the university’s School of Cultural Sciences (FIB) and had enrolled in 2015.Suko added that the school’s ethics commission and the Surabaya Police were investigating the allegations against Gilang, including those filed several years ago.“I cannot say much because we haven’t been able to contact Gilang yet. However, we would expel him if he was found guilty of committing the sexual harassment [that he has been accused of] as it would be a serious violation,” the spokesperson said.Suko said no faculty members had received any prior reports but that he was looking into the matter further.The FIB has established an information center for victims who want to report their cases and has prepared counseling services for victims.Topics :last_img read more

Klopp reacts after Liverpool’s third defeat in four games

first_imgRead Also: Chelsea face uncertainty over Abraham injury“Nothing, it was always clear it would be difficult – it was always clear it was difficult. We did very well, but tonight not good enough in decisive moments and that’s what we have to accept.”Liverpool remain in pole position to lift the 2019/20 Premier League trophy, but will need to turn their tie against Atletico next week Wednesday around if they are to progress to the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… After the match, Klopp suggested that his team has not been as defensively astute in recent games as they have been for much of the season, and admitted they were just not good enough against Chelsea.“Look, it went our way for so long because we defended outstandingly,” he told LiverpoolFC.com.“Usually you don’t get a lot of chances against us and stuff like this, but now we have to admit that in the last three games – (maybe) four – we have conceded absolutely too many goals, that’s true.“From completely different situations, so it is not one problem, but we see it as well. I am not worried about the momentum – momentum is not something you get as a present, you have to get it to keep it.“We have always a chance to get it back. No, I am not concerned about the momentum, but it is football and we never thought it would be an easy season, it would be an easy period, it would be an easy game tonight. After Chelsea handed Liverpool their third defeat in four matches when they knocked them out of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, manager Jurgen Klopp commented on his side’s concerning dip in form.Advertisementcenter_img Promoted ContentThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World10 Hyper-Realistic 3D Street Art By Odeith11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made12 Countries With Higest Technology In The World7 Facts About Black Holes That Will Blow Your MindBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them8 Things You Didn’t Know About CoffeeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your PhoneWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World? Prior to their loss to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie last month, Klopp’s team had been on an incredible run across all competitions, especially in the Premier League.However, Liverpool have now lost three of their past four matches, scoring just three times and conceding eight goals in what has been a worrying spell for the European champions.On Tuesday, Frank Lampard’s Blues kicked the Reds out of England’s oldest cup competition courtesy of strikes from Willian and Ross Barkley, ending their treble hopes in the process.last_img read more