News, December 5th

27 deaths, 906 new cases reported Saturday

The death toll for COVID-19 patients in South Dakota continues to mount as the Department of Health reported 27 deaths Saturday.

That brings the total for the first five days of December to 145 and the overall total to 1,091. There were 14 men and 13 women among the deaths reported Saturday. Fifteen were over 80 and seven were in their 70s. There were three deaths reported for people in their 60s, one in their 50s and one in their 40s.

While those succumbing to coronavirus infection still skews toward older residents with 852 of the 1,091 deaths affecting patients over 70, 144 people in their 60s and 60 people in their 50s have died since March, as have 35 people under the age of 50. For comparison, an average flu season in South Dakota claims about 35 lives among patients of all ages.

Four Pennington County deaths were reported Saturday bringing the county’s total to 84 since March. Three deaths were reported in Spink and Yankton counties and two were reported in Codington, Hutchinson and McCook counties. There was one death in Brown, Buffalo, Deuel, Dewey, Lake, Meade, Minnehaha, Oglala-Lakota, Roberts, Todd and Tripp counties.

There are 512 people hospitalized for COVID-19 illnesses across South Dakota Saturday – down four from Friday’s daily report. One hundred and ten patients are in intensive care units and 61 are using ventilators. There are 96 patients in Black Hills region hospitals with 17 in ICU and 12 on ventilators.

The state reported 906 new infections Saturday on 1,857 people tested. That brings South Dakota’s total to 85,304 with 16,202 active infections – an increase of 277 from Friday.

Pennington County saw active infections increase by 37 to 1,876 with 125 new cases on 285 tests. The county has had 9,278 cases since March.

Lawrence County reported 34 new cases and Meade County added 27. There were 10 new infections in Oglala-Lakota County, seven in Custer County, three in Fall River County and two in Butte County.

Minnehaha County reported 210 positive tests and Lincoln County had 62. Codington County reported 45 new infections and Brown County had 36. Grant County reported 33 new cases, Davison County had 25, Brookings County had 24, Yankton County had 23 and Turner County had 22.

There were 16 positive tests in Beadle and Hughes counties and 14 in Roberts County. Eleven new cases were reported in Moody County and 10 in Charles Mix and Day counties.

Clay, Deuel and Lake counties had nine new cases and there were eight in Hamlin and Walworth counties. Bon Homme, Dewey and Tripp counties each had seven new cases and there were five in Buffalo, Harding, McCook and Union counties. Four new cases were reported in Bennett, Hutchinson and Mellette counties and three in Brule, Clark, Edmunds, Haakon, Hand, Jackson, Lyman, Stanley and Spink counties.

There were two positive tests in Aurora, Corson, Douglas, Hanson, Kingsbury, Marshall and Ziebach counties and one in Hyde, McPherson, Miner, Perkins, Sanborn and Todd counties.

People over 70 accounted for 118 positive tests Saturday. There were 129 new cases in children under 19 and 154 people in their 20s tested positive.

Nurturing Vietnam-Laos special solidarity relationship

NDO – Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith is visiting Vietnam and co-chairing the 43rd session of the Vietnam – Laos Inter-Governmental Committee from December 4 – 6. This is made at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. It is a political event of important significance in developing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos; increasing political trust; as well as creating a unified channel to direct and promote the implementation of the two countries’ high-level agreements.

We are happy to witness the great achievements that the Party, State and people of Laos have achieved during the country’s development. Laos is one of the countries with the highest economic growth rates in ASEAN and has maintained at around 7% per year in recent years, the exchange rate has been stable and the inflation rate has been low. The simple investment mechanism, along with the expansion of bank credit for agriculture and small enterprises, and the development of special economic zones have contributed to attracting foreign investors and developing the Lao economy. The political-security situation has basically been stable, social order and safety has been maintained. Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith has announced the victory of the first phase against the COVID-19 epidemic. Although the number of the cases in Laos is small, the economy has been strongly impactedby the pandemic.

The Party and State of Laos have advocated the foreign policy of peace, friendship, cooperation and independence; multilateralization and diversification of relationships; ready to be friends and partners with countries; and strengthening cooperative relations with neighbouring countries and strategic partners. Currently, Laos has diplomatic relations with 140 countries and more than 130 political parties in the world, and trade relations with 60 countries and territories, is a member of many prestigious regional and world organisations.

The visit to Vietnam made by Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith took place in the context of the positivedevelopment of relations between the two countries. Vietnam and Laos are close neighbours, with the two peoples sharing a time-honoured and faithful friendship. The bilateral great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation were founded by Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Lao Presidents Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong, and have been nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries.The two peoples have constantly fought for independence, freedom, peace and social progress, and have always worked side by side in the fight for national liberation as well as in the cause of national construction and development in each country.

In 2020, despite having to postpone many foreign activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides still maintained high-level visits, meetings and cooperation mechanisms, notably with the successful organisation of the 42nd session of the Vietnam – Laos inter-governmental committee in Hanoi in January 2020. In the first six months of 2020, the two sides exchanged 27 delegations at all levels. The Lao Government and people appreciated that the Government and people of Vietnam, despite facing numerous difficulties, still actively shared and provided sincere support to Laos both in terms of materials and experience in COVID-19 prevention and control. The two sides coordinated to create conditions for people and goods to pass through the main border gates. However, due to the impact of the pandemic, the total two-way trade revenue as of October 2020 decreased by more than 12% compared to the same period in 2019, totalling US$815.5 million. To date, there are 413 projects of Vietnamese enterprises in Laos with a total registered capital of US$4.22 billion.

Defence and security cooperation continued to be one of the important pillars in the Vietnam-Laos relationship, contributing to maintaining political stability, security, and social order and safety in each country. Cooperation in education and training continued to be paid due attention. In 2020, Vietnam spent 1,000 scholarships for Lao cadres and students. Vietnamese provinces bordering Laos have proactively supported Lao localities with equipment and medical supplies for the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control, and received Lao patients for emergency and treatment, which have been appreciated by the Government and people of Laos. The two sides have coordinated closely and supported each other at regional and international cooperation forums; maintained ASEAN solidarity and consensus on strategic issues in the region; and managed and used water resources in the Mekong River sustainably and effectively.

The 43rd session of the Vietnam – Laos Inter-Governmental Committee held in Hanoi this time aims to continue affirm the foreign priority of both countries which is constantly developing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos, and enhancing political trust between the two countries. In the context of the current complicated world situation, the relationship between Vietnam and Laos has always been warm and sustainableand is growing increasingly strengthened and developed in all fields.

May the visit to Vietnam made by Lao PM Thongloun Sisoulith and the 43rd session of the Vietnam – Laos Inter-governmental Committee be a success, creating new impetus and contributing to nurturing the ever-green and ever-sustainable Vietnam-Laos special relations.

Popular British blogger disappears in French mountains, search underway

A popular British blogger may have gotten a ride from a stranger before disappearing in the French Pyrenees, sparking a search by rescue groups and authorities in two countries, according to reports.

The reports say Esther Dingley, 37, was last heard from Nov. 22 in the mountains in Luchonnais. She and her boyfriend write a widely-read blog documenting their hiking adventures. The search involves French and Spanish police.

On Friday, the BBC reported that the search for the woman had been halted due to bad weather.

Dingley, of Durham, told her Facebook followers Nov. 19 she had accepted a lift from a fellow hiker due to bad weather and had altered her plans, the Mirror reported Thursday.

The mystery man may have dropped Dingley off at Benasque on the Spanish side of the mountain range where police found her van, the paper reported.

Police are trying to track him down, according to the paper.

“This man would have had conversations with her and may know what she planned,” the paper quoted an investigative source in Spain as saying. “They may have arranged to meet and hike another route. It is imperative that we find him.”

Dingley was due to meet her boyfriend Dan Colegate, 38, on Nov. 25 at a farm in Gascony, where he was staying as she explored the Pyrenees on a month-long solo trek, according to the paper.

Talks between protesting farmers and Indian gov’t fail again

NEW DELHI — The Indian government and protesting farmers were unable to break their deadlock in talks on Saturday, with the farmers saying they will intensify their demonstrations against new agriculture laws and continue blocking key highways on the outskirts of the capital.

Protest leaders rejected the government’s offer to amend some contentious provisions of the new farm laws, which deregulate crop pricing, and stuck to the demand for total repeal.

The two sides will meet for further discussions on Wednesday.

Thousands of farmers are protesting reforms that they say could devastate crop prices and reduce their earnings. They have blocked highways on the outskirts of New Delhi for the last 10 days.

The farmers say the laws will lead the government to stop buying grain at minimum guaranteed prices and result in exploitation by corporations that will push down prices.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government insists the reforms will benefit farmers. It says they will allow farmers to market their produce and boost production through private investment. But farmers say they were never consulted.

Saturday’s talks between Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and 35 farmer leaders were the fifth since the laws were passed in September.

Halfway through the talks, farmer leaders held placards asking the government to answer “yes” or “no” to their demand for repealing new farm laws.

The farmers are camping along at least five major highways on the outskirts of the capital and have said they won’t leave until the government rolls back what they call the “black laws.”

The protesting farmers on Saturday also announced a nationwide strike for Tuesday. They said they would intensify their agitation and occupy toll plazas across the country on the strike day if the government didn’t abolish the laws.

Farmers have been protesting the laws for nearly two months in Punjab and Haryana states. The situation escalated last week when tens of thousands marched to New Delhi, where they clashed with police.

The laws add to already existing resentment from farmers, who often complain of being ignored by the government in their push for better crop prices, additional loan waivers and irrigation systems to guarantee water during dry spells.

With nearly 60% of the Indian population depending on agriculture for their livelihoods, the growing farmer rebellion has rattled Modi’s administration and allies.

Modi and his leaders have also tried to allay farmers’ fears about the new laws while also dismissing their concerns. Some of his party leaders have called the farmers “misguided” and “anti-national,” a label often given those who criticize Modi or his policies.

Many opposition party leaders, activists and even some allies of Modi’s party have called the laws anti-farmer and expressed support for those protesting.

US court orders full reinstatement of DACA to protect undocumented immigrants, including Indians

Reversing the decision of the outgoing Trump administration, a federal court has ordered full reinstatement of an Obama-era programme that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the US as minors from deportation, a ruling that will help a large number of Indian migrants.

The Trump administration tried ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2017, but the US Supreme Court blocked its attempt in June.

On Friday, US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in the Eastern District of New York directed the Department of Homeland Security to extend the two-year renewals to DACA recipients and start accepting applications from first-time applicants beginning Monday.

This means that the first time since September 2017, new applicants who were not previously eligible may now apply for the programme which shield undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation.

The court believes that these additional remedies are reasonable. Indeed, the government has assured the court that a public notice along the lines described is forthcoming, Judge Garaufis said in his order.

The DACA is an immigration policy that allows some individuals with unlawful presence in the US after being brought to the country as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and become eligible for a work permit in the US. DACA recipients are often referred to as Dreamers. To be eligible for the programme, recipients cannot have felonies or serious misdemeanours on their records.

Approximately 640,000 immigrants are enrolled in the DACA programme.

According to a 2019 report by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), there are at least 630,000 Indians who are undocumented, a 72 per cent increase since 2010.

There are currently at least 4,300 active South Asian DACA recipients. As of August 2018, there are approximately 2,550 active Indian DACA recipients. Only 13 per cent of the overall 20,000 DACA eligible Indians have applied and received DACA, SAALT said.

There are 1,300 active Pakistani DACA recipients, 470 Bangladeshi recipients, 120 Sri Lankan recipients, and 60 Nepali recipients, it said.

The Trump administration can now appeal to a federal appeals court or go to the Supreme Court for temporary relief from enforcement of the judge’s order.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the court has upheld the Obama-era programme initiated under the presidency of Barack Obama, which respects American values and the will of the American people.

Dreamers need and deserve real, permanent action to ensure that they can continue to contribute to our nation. In the 117th Congress, our Democratic House Majority will once again pass bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers, which will be signed into law by the Biden-Harris Administration, she said.

In his final days in office, President Trump must end his ugly and inhumane assault on the young immigrant communities who bless and strengthen our country and obey this ruling immediately, Pelosi said.

House Majority Leader Steny H Hoyer described it as a victory for Dreamers, their families, and communities they contribute their talents to across the country.

However, I continue to believe we must solve the DACA crisis created by President Trump by enacting legislation to provide Dreamers with certainty they can remain here and pursue a pathway to citizenship, he said.

Hoyer said that House Democrats passed the American Dream and Promise Act nearly 18 months ago, and it has languished in the Republican-led Senate, notwithstanding the fact that a strong, bipartisan majority of Americans are demanding action, he said.

He urged the Trump Administration to accept first-time applications consistent with this decision.

Pro-immigration and lobbying group President Todd Schulte said the judge’s ruling makes clear that Chad Wolf acted unlawfully when he tried to slash DACA months ago.

The Judge ruled that the DACA 2012 memo is the law of the land, and that three days from now, on Monday, DHS must be prepared to implement this including accepting and processing new DACA applicants.

Thousands of young people who should have been eligible for deportation protection and work authorisation have been waiting for over three years to access this life-changing programme and live with peace of mind in the country they call home.

It is well past time for DHS to finally follow the repeated judicial orders and begin to accept these applications, Schulte said.

More than three years ago, the Trump administration attempted its fatal blow to the DACA programme, but immigrant youth and the movement fought back and won. After Trump lost at the Supreme Court, the administration in July tried once again to attack DACA limiting renewals to just one year and blocking overdue relief to DACA-eligible immigrant youth. Tonight, we celebrate another victory. Dreamers, and DACA, are here to stay, said Madhuri Grewal, federal immigration policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Grewal demanded that US President-elect Joe Biden must fulfill his commitment to introduce an immigration bill on day one to pursue permanent relief for immigrant communities.

Simultaneously, the Biden administration can and must provide immediate relief to immigrant youth and their communities. After four years of relentless attacks by the current administration and decades of uncertainty, people deserve to live without fear, she said.

Published by jim

Curator of things...

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