News, August 1st

2020 Buffalo Chip Signature Rides

Graced with geological wonders and unbridled beauty, riding in the Black Hills is almost transcendental. This magic is a big reason rider come from the four corners of the earth to ride here each August during the Sturgis Rally. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-timer, one of the best ways to see this beautiful country, share some camaraderie, and support charitable causes is to join in one of the Buffalo Chip’s “Legendary Rides.”

Over the past 13 years the Legends Ride presented by GEICO Motorcycle has established itself as one of the most preeminent events of Sturgis. From Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler to R. Lee “Gunny” Ermey, a long list of celebrities has graced the ride over the years. The 2020 Legends Ride Road Captain is Academy Award-nominated actor Tom Berenger. Best known for his roles in Platoon and Major League, Berenger is a diehard rider who’s selflessly lent his support to the Legends Ride for years. A few years back Berenger shared a funny story of his first motorcycle, a 450cc Honda, and how on one of his first rides he hit an oil patch, fishtailed, and went down. Being chased by a German Shepherd on the same motorcycle was another fond memory. It’s little pearls like this that make this signature ride special.

The Legends Ride begins in the historic Wild West-themed town of Deadwood. It’s a street party at the new Outlaw Square in front of the Silverado-Franklin Hotel & Casino as music fills the air, motorcycles roll in, and celebrities begin to arrive and mingle with the crowd. The girls from the International Bikini Team, long-time supporters of the Legends Ride, have a knack for fostering a festive spirit. So do the kids of the Black Hills Special Olympics who show up every year. Their excitement is unbeatable, and the Special Olympics is one of the main benefactors from the benefit ride. To date, the Legends Ride has raised over a half million dollars for local charities and organizations, and overall, the Buffalo Chip has raised nearly a million dollars through all of its charitable endeavors. This year The Chip aims to break the million-dollar mark as magnanimity is always the pervasive spirit surrounding the Legends Ride.

This year’s ride takes place Monday, August 10, and begins at 11 a.m. in front of the historic Franklin Hotel in Deadwood. The 2020 charities are Special Olympics South Dakota – Rapid City Flame and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. In addition to Berenger, this year’s special guests include actor/musician Sean McNabb (Sons of Anarchy/Dokken), former Green Bay Packer star lineman Earl Dotson, and a veritable Who’s Who of custom motorcycle builders, from Cory and Zach Ness to the always colorful Rick Fairless, to Jerry and David Covington and many more.

Plenty of riders out there are race fans. If you love to ride your motorcycle and love NASCAR, the 2nd annual Rusty Wallace Ride is tailor-made for you. Wallace, a NASCAR ironman who won 55 races competing in 16 straight seasons, has invited some of his racing buddies and NASCAR friends to come hang out and support his second annual charity ride. The legendary list includes NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton, Clint Bowyer, Walker “The Legend” Evans, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, and Steve Wallace. The day will kick off with a party at Black Hills Harley-Davidson and an opportunity to meet the special guests and maybe even get an autograph or two. The riders will mount up for a brand-new route this year, one picked out by Wallace himself. Everybody will meet back up at the Buffalo Chip for a private reception including food and drinks. A silent auction will be held with incredible items up for grabs including a Daytona 500 replica hood autographed by the 2020 Daytona 500 starting grid. The incredible motorcycle Cory Ness of Arlen Ness Enterprises customized for Rusty Wallace, a 2020 Harley-Davidson FLXH Street Glide, will also go to its new owner as the bike is being sold off for charity. This year’s list of Rusty Wallace Ride charities includes South Dakota Special Olympics – Rapid City Flame, All Kids Bike, and the NASCAR Foundation charities. Grab a ticket and we’ll see you Wednesday, August 12, at Black Hills Harley-Davidson off Exit 55 in Rapid City at 10 a.m.

For 11 years now, the Biker Belles Ride & Celebration has been empowering women motorcyclists.

“When we created the event in 2009, we’d hoped it would change people’s lives for the better, and it’s amazing to see over a decade later how much it truly has. I can’t wait to see where the Biker Belles takes us in the years to come, and I hope you will join us on the journey,” said Biker Belles Program Manager Toni Woodruff.

The immersive event includes its signature “Morning Ride,” a scintillating run from Deadwood on scenic Hwy 385, Nemo Road, and Vanocker Canyon. The ride will be led by co-captains Savannah Rose and Diva Amy Skaling and ends at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads. There, women vendors, Comfort Zone pampering courtesy of Diva Amy, and mixing and mingling with some of the motorcycle industry’s pioneering women awaits. The Women & Wheels Bike Show kicks off not long after, giving riders a chance to showcase their prized motorcycles. A catered lunch follows, as does a symposium with Jody Perewitz, Lena Fairless, emceed by Sturgis Hall of Famer Marilyn Stemp. At the conclusion of the event, Biker Belles are invited to join other women riders attending the rally for the Women’s Rider Turnout at the CrossRoads. It happens to be the 19th amendment’s centennial, and currently women make up about 19% of riders. Sounds like cause for celebration, right? A drone will record the group and show the riding world what 19% looks like in real-time.

Just like the other two rides, charity is the underlying cause behind Biker Belles, and 100% of funds raised this year will go to three South Dakota-based charities that benefit women-related causes – Helping with Horsepower, the Strider Education Foundation, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. The 2020 Biker Belles begins at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, August 12, at The Lodge in Deadwood and wraps up at the Buffalo Chip CrossRoads at 2 p.m.

For all you history buffs out there, the Western Frontier Motorcycle Rides take you on a journey to the places history was made in the Black Hills, including the gravesite of Jonathan “Buffalo Chips” White, the campground’s namesake and a protégé of Buffalo Bill Cody. As you stop at spots like the Hoover General Store, Slim Buttes Overlook and the Spur Creek Saloon, local historian Paul Mitchell regales you with tales of Chief American Horse, “Buffalo Chips” and the Battle of Slim Buttes, mixing in stories about the US Cavalry, Cavalry scouts, Sioux Chiefs, Buffalo Bill Cody, and the Pony Express, too. Participants also get a chance to channel their inner Wild West spirit with some antique rifle shooting. The Cowboy Action Shooting experience includes shooting two single-action revolvers, a lever-action rifle and a double-barrel shotgun. If the thought of bigger, more crowded rides put you off, the Western Frontier Motorcycle Rides might be more up your alley because it’s limited to 20 people. Since groups are small, luckily there’s two chances to take part, Tuesday, August 11 and Thursday, August 13. The rides start early, 8 a.m. to be exact, and begin and end at The Chip

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip has made giving back to the local community a priority via its annual rides. Buffalo Chip President Rod Woodruff said he heard all too frequently how “the rally never did anything for the local folks.” This misnomer couldn’t be further from the truth. The biker community is a benevolent community, evident by the support it annually shows through the Buffalo Chip’s legendary rides.

China’s young jobseekers struggle despite economic recovery

Biology student Ma Jingjing wandered the hall of a job fair in central China among other young Chinese hoping to find work in an economy crushed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ma, 26, is one of almost nine million people graduating and entering the job market this year at a time of great uncertainty, an issue that has the ruling Communist Party worried to the point that President Xi Jinping has made it a priority.

The world’s second-largest economy may have rebounded sharply from a historic virus-induced contraction, but its young graduate jobless rate in June was more than three times that for urban unemployment.

Ma was among hundreds of young faces streaming in and out of the job fair on a recent weekend in Zhengzhou, where employers in industries ranging from real estate to manufacturing were recruiting.

Like many others, the aspiring teacher is “at a loss” and wondering if she should settle for any job or hold off work for further education.

“I have applied to seven or eight private schools, but only one has called me back for an interview,” she told AFP at the fair.

“I’ve studied for so many years and don’t want my family to pay for further training,” she said.

“I’m especially worried about my finances.”

Aware of the risk that mass unemployment can spark political unrest – jeopardizing the party’s pledge of prosperity in return for unquestioned political power – the government has been making efforts to boost graduate employment via state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

But poorer opportunities this year are pushing some into further studies, less ideal jobs, or other options.

Although China’s economy appeared to make a strong comeback in the second quarter – growing 3.2 percent on-year – analysts caution the rebound may be overestimated, with a gap re-emerging between national figures and higher-frequency data.

Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics told AFP there is no doubt China is recovering, but the magnitude would determine if growth is “strong enough to re-absorb some of the labor market problems” that emerged earlier this year, such as layoffs.

A gap in growth of a few percentage points could lead to a difference of millions of jobs created, he added.

Although China’s urban unemployment rate slipped to 5.7 percent in June, 19.3 percent of new graduates remained jobless, UOB economists said in a report, adding the labor market “continued to face challenges.”

Top-level economic data has not necessarily meant better hiring on the ground.

A 27-year-old surnamed Kang, who graduated in 2017, is back in the market after his contract in the communications industry in Beijing ended.

He decided to return to Zhengzhou but has only received around five callbacks after sending more than 30 resumes to firms – and is still looking for a job.

“The virus outbreak has limited travel and a lot of job fairs have been postponed or cancelled,” he said. “I’m extremely anxious.”

Lu Yifan, 25, said the pandemic had caused many overseas Chinese students like him to return home sooner than planned – adding to the flood of jobseekers.

And Guangdong graduate Zhao Jingying, 22, told AFP: “For us (this year), getting a single job offer is a feat.”

Another, Beijing-based Huo Ruixi, 23, left university in July but is planning a second round of further education after an unsuccessful five-month job search.

The crisis is also causing problems for employers.

Yang Changwei, manager at Deyou Real Estate, told AFP at the Zhengzhou fair it was getting harder to hire sales staff based on commission.

“It feels like jobseekers’ mindsets have shifted,” he said.

“In sales, you may or may not make deals but with other jobs there can be more stability in income. Because of the epidemic, financial pressures are larger as well.”

Officials are ramping up efforts to boost graduate employment, and Premier Li Keqiang announced over nine million new roles will be created this year.

A State Council guideline in March said smaller firms that recruit graduates with contracts longer than a year will be given a subsidy, while SOEs will “continuously expand” the scale of graduate-hiring this year and next.

Henan authorities, for one, said at least half the recruitment positions at SOEs within the province should be reserved for this year’s graduates, while Nanjing city in Jiangsu province set aside one billion yuan (US$143 million) to provide 100,000 internships for struggling graduates, Xinhua news agency reported.

Fauci “cautiously optimistic” about safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine in late fall, early winter

US top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Friday (July 31) he is “cautiously optimistic” that the United States would have a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine this late fall or early winter.

“We hope that by the time we get into late fall and early winter, we will have in fact a vaccine that we can say that would be safe and effective. One can never guarantee the safety or effectiveness unless you do the trial, but we are cautiously optimistic this will be successful,” said Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at a House subcommittee hearing.

An experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Fauci’s agency and American biotechnology company Moderna, known as mRNA-1273, started phase 3 clinical trial on July 27 to evaluate if it can prevent COVID-19 in adults.

The trial, which will be conducted at US clinical research sites, is expected to enroll approximately 30,000 adult volunteers who do not have COVID-19.

According to Fauci, in the phase 1 study of the vaccine, it clearly showed that individuals who were vaccinated mounted a neutralizing antibody response that was at least comparable and, in many respects, better than in convalescent serum from individuals who had recovered from COVID-19.

Fauci said a COVID-19 vaccine may not be available to all Americans immediately, but in phases.

He reassured lawmakers that all safety precautions will be taken by the US Food and Drug Administration before the vaccine is made available to the public, encouraging all Americans to take the vaccine.

No end in sight to COVID crisis, and its impact will last for ‘decades to come’

Expressing “appreciation for WHO and partners’ COVID-19 pandemic response efforts”, the emergency committee convened by the UN health agency’s chief, made it clear that there is not yet an end in sight to the public health crisis that has so far infected more than 17 million and killed over 650,000 people.

The committee convened by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR), held its fourth meeting on 31 July.

In its statement following the meeting, published on Saturday, it highlighted the “anticipated lengthy duration” of the pandemic, noting “the importance of sustained community, national, regional, and global response efforts.” 

After a full discussion and review of the evidence, the Committee “unanimously agreed” the outbreak still constitutes a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Tedros accepted the advice of the Committee.

The Director-General declared a PHEIC – WHO’s highest level of alarm – on 30 January, at a time when there were fewer than 100 cases in total, and no deaths outside China.

“The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come”, Tedros told the Committee in his opening remarks on Friday.

“Many countries that believed they were past the worst are now grappling with new outbreaks. Some that were less affected in the earliest weeks are now seeing escalating numbers of cases and deaths. And some that had large outbreaks have brought them under control.”

The Committee made a range of recommendations to both WHO and Member States.

It advised the agency to continue to mobilize global and regional multilateral organizations and partners for COVID-19 preparedness and response and to support Member States in maintaining health services, while also accelerating the research and eventual access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

It advised countries to support these research efforts, including through funding, and to join in efforts to allow equitable allocation of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines by engaging in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, an unprecedented global collaboration between countries, philanthropists and business.

The committee also advised countries to strengthen public health policies to identify cases, and improve speedy contact tracing, “including in low-resource, vulnerable, or high-risk settings and to maintain essential health services with sufficient funding, supplies, and human resources.”

Countries were also advised the committee to implement proportionate measures and advice on travel, based on risk assessments, and to review these measures regularly.

President Donald J. Trump Approves Florida Emergency Declaration

Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the State of Florida and ordered Federal assistance to supplement the State’s response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Hurricane Isaias beginning on July 31, 2020 and continuing.

The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, and Volusia.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment, and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding.

Pete Gaynor, Administrator, FEMA, Department of Homeland Security, named Terry L. Quarles as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas.

U.S. House Foreign Affairs chairman subpoenas Pompeo

Eliot Engel, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, issued a subpoena on Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In a statement, Engel said his panel is investigating Pompeo’s “apparent use of Department of State resources to advance a political smear” of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, also the 2020 presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Sitting President Donald Trump, who will face off with Biden this November, had tried to push a narrative that Biden, when serving as the vice president, tried to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor to shield Burisma from an investigation in order to protect his son, Hunter Biden, who served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.

The White House’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate the Bidens were at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump. The Democratic-led House impeached the president in December 2019, while the Senate, controlled by Republicans, acquitted him in February this year.

Engel’s subpoena demands all records purportedly dealing with the Bidens and Burisma that the Department of State has produced to Republican-led Senate committees, said the statement.

“Secretary Pompeo has turned the State Department into an arm of the Trump campaign and he’s not even trying to disguise it,” Engel said. “I want to see the full record of what the department has sent to the Senate and I want the American people to see it too.”

The House Foreign Affairs Committee said it has learned that the State Department has produced 16,080 pages of allegedly responsive material to the Senate Committees since February. In testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Thursday, Pompeo committed to continuing to send information to Senate Republicans, according to the statement.

The House subpoena, directed to Pompeo, requires that the records be turned over by Aug. 7, said the statement.

Pompeo, 56, became the Trump administration’s second secretary of state in April 2018 after serving as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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