Heterotrophic bacteria isolated from five aquaticmicrobial mat samples from different locations in continental Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula were compared to assess their biodiversity. A total of 2,225 isolates obtained on different media and at different temperatures were included. After an initial grouping by whole-genome fingerprinting, partial 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis was used for further identification. These results were compared with previously published data obtained with the same methodology from terrestrial and aquatic microbial mat samples from two additional Antarctic regions. The phylotypes recovered in all these samples belonged to fivemajor phyla, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria,Firmicutes and Deinococcus-Thermus, and included severalpotentially new taxa. Ordination analyses were performed inorder to explore the variance in the diversity of the samples at genus level. Habitat type (terrestrial vs. aquatic) and specific conductivity in the lacustrine systems significantly explained the variation in bacterial community structure. Comparison of the phylotypes with sequences from public databases showed that a considerable proportion (36.9%) is currently known only from Antarctica. This suggests that in Antarctica, both cosmopolitan taxa and taxa with limited dispersal and a history of long-term isolated evolution occur.
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November 23, 2015: Monday Calls for service: 76Motor Vehicle Stops: 29Motor Vehicle Accidents: 0Property Checks: 19Alarms: 2The Police Department assisted with 2 Fire and 4 EMS callsDomestic violence, 600 block Haven Ave., at 1:33amBurglary, 4600 block Central Ave., at 10:17amWarrant, 800 block Central Ave., one in custody, at 2:00pmCDS, 1000 block Simpson Ave., one in custody, at 5:20pmTheft, 1200 block West Ave., at 11:13pm November 22, 2015: Sunday Calls for service: 76Motor Vehicle Stops: 34Motor Vehicle Accidents: 0Property Checks: 33Alarms: 0The Police Department assisted with 1 Fire and 5 EMS callsCriminal mischief, Route 52,, at 2:24amHarassment, 500 block Bay Ave., at 10:04pm November 24, 2015: TuesdayCalls for service: 62Motor Vehicle Stops: 11Motor Vehicle Accidents: 3Property Checks: 22Alarms: 5The Police Department assisted with 7 fire and 4 EMS callsMotor vehicle accident, 500 block Atlantic Ave., at 7:57amWarrant, 800 block Central Ave., one in custody, at 11:14pmWarrant, Route 52, one in custody, at 12:24pmMotor vehicle accident, 33rd St. & Central Ave., at 12:37pmMotor vehicle accident, 7th St. & Asbury Ave., at 3:08pmWarrant, Route 52, one in custody, at 3:22pm OCEAN CITY POLICE SUMMARIZED WEEK’S ACTIVITIES November 26, 2015: ThursdayCalls for service: 41Motor Vehicle Stops: 12Motor Vehicle Accidents: 0Property Checks: 9Alarms: 2The Police Department assisted with 6 fire and 4 EMS callsDomestic violence, 36th St., at 2:25pmTheft, 300 block Ocean Ave., at 7:58pm PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS:Just a reminder that it is a violation of a City Ordinance to have dogs on the boardwalk anytime during the year.City Ordinance 87-17sec.4-32 prohibits any Boat/Trailer over 22 feet in overall length from being parked on a city street. Any boat/trailer less than 22 feet in overall length can only remain on a city street for three consecutive days. Officers will be issuing summons and towing boats/trailers for any observed violations. Ocean City Police Department November 28, 2015: Saturday Calls for service: 97Motor Vehicle Stops: 53Motor Vehicle Accidents: 1Property Checks: 19Alarms: 1The Police Department assisted with 1 fire and 2 EMS callsDWI, Pinnacle Rd., one in custody, at 3:19amTheft, 100 block E. Atlantic Blvd., at 7:47amWarrant, 700 block West Ave., one in custody, at 8:00amWarrant, 9th Street, one in custody, at 10:46amMotor vehicle accident, 1500 block Asbury Ave., at 11:18pmWarrant, Route 52, 0ne in custody, at 2:38pm November 25, 2015: WednesdayCalls for service: 60Motor Vehicle Stops: 29Motor Vehicle Accidents: 0Property Checks: 20Alarms: 1The Police Department assisted with 4 fire and 2 EMS callsDomestic violence, 800 block Delancey Pl., at 12:52amTheft, 900 block Boardwalk, at 4:19amCDS, 800 block Central Ave., at 7:00pm November 22 – 28, 2015Calls for Service: 513Daily Average: 73 November 27, 2015: FridayCalls for service: 87Motor Vehicle Stops: 33Motor Vehicle Accidents: 2Property Checks: 23Alarms: 2The Police Department assisted with 5 fire and 4 EMS callsThreats, 800 block Delancey Pl., at 12:05amMotor vehicle accident, 14th St. & Bay Ave., at 8:53amBurglary, 900 block Brighton Pl., at 10:53amWarrant, 200 block Bay Ave., one in custody, at 11:06amTheft, 3500 block Bay Ave., at 12:55pmWarrant, Route 52, one in custody, at 2:26pmWarrant, 800 block Central Ave., one in custody, at 5:00pmMotor vehicle accident, 8th St. & Bay Ave., at 10:12pm
The cast of the much anticpated film also includes Andy Serkis, Max von Sydow and…drumroll… the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker. Fisher and Hamill, of course, are no strangers to the Great White Way either. Fisher’s Broadway credits include Wishful Drinking and Agnes of God, and Hamill’s Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, Amadeus and The Elephant Man. Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. John Williams returns as the composer. The movie will open worldwide on December 18, 2015. Tony nominee and Harry Potter star Domhnall Gleeson (Lieutenant of Inishmore), will appear in the recently announced cast of Star Wars Episode VII. He joins off-Broadway alums Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, along with London stage vets John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. View Comments
About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. Tropical birds, juggling balls and top hats at the ready! The Illusionists: Turn of the Century is making magic, mayhem and merry on the Great White Way, and audiences are sure to be enchanted by their delightful and dangerous tricks. The production, which stars America’s Got Talent runners up The Clairvoyants, officially opened at the Palace Theatre on November 25. It’s a whole lot more than rabbits popping out of hats; these legendary magic makers are bringing both classic and never-before-experienced illusions to the Main Stem.To celebrate The Illusionists’ Broadway return, Broadway.com Resident Artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson gave the production’s headliners, which include Dana Daniels, Charlie Frye, Jonathan Goodwin, Justo Thaus, Mark Kalin, Jinger Leigh, Thommy Ten, Rick Thomas and Amelie van Tess, a dash of color as eye-popping as their acts.Broadway.com wishes the entire company of the The Illusionists: Turn of the Century a spellbinding run at the Palace Theatre. Experience the magic through January 1, 2017! The Illusionists – Turn of the Century View Comments Related Shows © Justin “Squigs” Robertson Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 1, 2017
RealtyTrac(R) (www.realtytrac.com(link is external)), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its January 2009 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report(TM), which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 274,399 U.S. properties during the month, a 10 percent decrease from the previous month but still up 18 percent from January 2008. The report also shows one in every 466 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in January.”The extensive foreclosure efforts on the part of lenders and government agencies appear to have impacted the January numbers — particularly the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moratorium on all foreclosure sales that was extended through the end of January along with Florida’s voluntary 45-day freeze on all new foreclosure actions and scheduling of foreclosure sales that was announced at the beginning of December,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “January REOs, which represent completed foreclosure sales to the foreclosing lender, were down 15 percent nationwide from the previous month. And in Florida overall foreclosure activity was down 20 percent from the previous month.”Nevada, California, Arizona post top state foreclosure ratesNevada foreclosure activity in January decreased 4 percent from the previous month, but the state continued to register the nation’s No. 1 foreclosure rate, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 14,444 Nevada properties in January, up 137 percent from January 2008.California posted the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate in January, with one in every 173 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month, and Arizona posted the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 182 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.Despite a 20 percent month-over-month drop in foreclosure activity, Florida posted the nation’s fourth highest state foreclosure rate, with one in every 214 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month.Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the nation’s 10 highest were Oregon, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Idaho and Ohio.California, Florida, Arizona post highest foreclosure totalsForeclosure filings were reported on 76,761 California properties, the most of any state despite a 14 percent decrease from the previous month. The state’s foreclosure activity in January still increased 34 percent from January 2008.Florida’s 40,770 properties receiving foreclosure filings in January was the second highest total of any state, and Arizona’s 14,674 properties receiving foreclosure filings was the third highest total of any stateIllinois foreclosure activity in January increased 16 percent from the previous month, giving the state 14,447 properties with foreclosure filings — the fourth highest state total. One in every 363 Illinois properties received a foreclosure filing in January, the nation’s sixth highest foreclosure rate.Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation’s 10 highest.California, Florida, Nevada cities post top metro foreclosure ratesCalifornia cities accounted for six of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates in January among metro areas with a population of 200,000 or more. Merced, Calif., posted the top metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 59 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month — nearly eight times the national average.Other California metro areas with foreclosure rates among the top 10: Riverside-San Bernardino at No. 4 with one in every 81 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Modesto at No. 5 with one in every 84 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Stockton at No. 6 with one in every 86 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Vallejo-Fairfield at No. 7 with one in every 100 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Bakersfield at No. 8 with one in every 120 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.Two Florida cities posted foreclosure rates among the top 10 metro foreclosure rates: Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 3 with one in every 80 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing and Port St. Lucie at No. 9 with one in every 123 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.With one in every 63 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, the Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., metro area posted the second highest metro foreclosure rate in January. The Reno-Sparks, Nev., metro area posted the 10th highest metro foreclosure rate, with one in every 128 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. Reno-Sparks was the only metro area in the top 10 that did not experience a month-over-month decrease in foreclosure activity, but all of the top 10 saw year-over-year increases in activity.Report methodologyThe RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report provides a count of the total number of properties with at least one foreclosure filing reported during the month — broken out by type of filing at the state and national level. Data is also available at the individual county level. Data is collected from more than 2,200 counties nationwide, and those counties account for more than 90 percent of the U.S. population. RealtyTrac’s report incorporates documents filed in all three phases of foreclosure: Default — Notice of Default (NOD) and Lis Pendens (LIS); Auction — Notice of Trustee Sale and Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NTS and NFS); and Real Estate Owned, or REO properties (that have been foreclosed on and repurchased by a bank). If more than one foreclosure document is filed against a property during the month or quarter, only the most recent filing is counted in the report. The report also checks if the same type of document was filed against a property in a previous month or quarter. If so, and if that previous filing occurred within the estimated foreclosure timeframe for the state the property is in, the report does not count the property in the current month. U.S. Foreclosure Market Data by State – Jan 2009 Properties with Foreclosure Filings Rate Rank State Name NOD LIS NTS NFS REO Total — U.S. 46,681 52,435 80,986 27,520 66,777 274,399 39 Alabama 0 0 377 0 543 920 32 Alaska 0 0 112 0 55 167 3 Arizona 1 0 10,128 0 4,545 14,674 22 Arkansas 170 0 1,060 0 286 1,516 2 California 37,693 0 22,731 0 16,337 76,761 11 Colorado 1 0 3,080 0 1,242 4,323 23 Connecticut 0 1,050 0 211 390 1,651 36 Delaware 0 1 0 102 71 174 District of Columbia 57 0 104 0 46 207 4 Florida 0 24,743 0 10,433 5,594 40,770 8 Georgia 1 0 7,112 0 2,794 9,907 30 Hawaii 53 0 253 0 31 337 9 Idaho 752 0 704 0 56 1,512 6 Illinois 0 7,484 0 4,322 2,641 14,447 14 Indiana 0 1,680 1 1,840 1,035 4,556 35 Iowa 0 0 448 0 229 677 34 Kansas 0 89 0 256 320 665 40 Kentucky 0 16 0 442 213 671 42 Louisiana 0 0 0 386 99 485 37 Maine 101 0 173 0 34 308 16 Maryland 0 2,878 0 412 407 3,697 20 Massachusetts 0 1,616 0 547 1,199 3,362 7 Michigan 0 0 8,127 0 3,291 11,418 28 Minnesota 1 0 725 0 1,160 1,886 43 Mississippi 0 0 243 0 32 275 27 Missouri 57 0 1,125 0 1,287 2,469 46 Montana 0 0 7 0 42 49 49 Nebraska 0 0 0 8 23 31 1 Nevada 6,064 0 4,532 0 3,848 14,444 19 New Hampshire 0 0 485 0 265 750 17 New Jersey 0 3,364 0 1,001 640 5,005 44 New Mexico 0 67 0 24 73 164 38 New York 0 1,988 0 930 578 3,496 33 North Carolina 334 0 891 0 1,161 2,386 45 North Dakota 0 0 0 27 25 52 10 Ohio 0 4,115 0 3,990 3,094 11,199 31 Oklahoma 275 0 186 0 512 973 5 Oregon 40 0 3,763 0 708 4,511 29 Pennsylvania 0 1,214 0 1,360 1,108 3,682 13 Rhode Island 0 0 386 0 359 745 21 South Carolina 0 1,052 0 520 891 2,463 47 South Dakota 0 0 0 38 1 39 18 Tennessee 1 0 2,057 0 1,604 3,662 26 Texas 6 0 5,720 0 4,028 9,754 12 Utah 705 0 538 0 548 1,791 50 Vermont 0 0 0 0 6 6 15 Virginia 369 0 3,579 0 1,418 5,366 24 Washington 0 0 2,237 0 903 3,140 48 West Virginia 0 0 59 0 15 74 25 Wisconsin 0 1,078 0 671 950 2,699 41 Wyoming 0 0 43 0 40 83 Properties with Foreclosure Filings Rate Rank State Name 1/every X %Change %Change HU (rate) from from Dec 08 Jan 08 — U.S. 466 -9.56 17.77 39 Alabama 2,323 24.83 58.35 32 Alaska 1,690 -41.81 46.49 3 Arizona 182 -8.07 61.98 22 Arkansas 849 -16.43 29.35 2 California 173 -14.18 34.30 11 Colorado 492 -18.73 -36.73 23 Connecticut 871 -19.85 -55.34 36 Delaware 2,233 -58.77 0.58 District of Columbia 1,373 -31.46 -58.93 4 Florida 214 -19.76 35.10 8 Georgia 400 -1.24 -7.11 30 Hawaii 1,504 -32.46 173.98 9 Idaho 417 -5.38 105.71 6 Illinois 363 16.32 85.05 14 Indiana 610 -4.51 -17.94 35 Iowa 1,964 -23.68 31.71 34 Kansas 1,834 4.23 92.75 40 Kentucky 2,841 -23.92 17.31 42 Louisiana 3,833 -26.18 -32.64 37 Maine 2,262 13.65 48.79* 16 Maryland 627 -16.72 0.43 20 Massachusetts 810 -14.21 -57.80 7 Michigan 397 -15.75 6.25 28 Minnesota 1,222 -21.65 21.68 43 Mississippi 4,563 108.33* 69.75* 27 Missouri 1,072 -24.61** -26.50** 46 Montana 8,888 28.95 -45.56 49 Nebraska 25,187 -32.61 -87.84 1 Nevada 76 -3.96 137.29 19 New Hampshire 792 -14.29 -9.64 17 New Jersey 699 29.50 -2.11 44 New Mexico 5,257 -55.19 -57.18 38 New York 2,271 23.71 -28.08 33 North Carolina 1,729 -7.30 -29.26 45 North Dakota 5,972 18.18 126.09 10 Ohio 452 -0.54 -12.41 31 Oklahoma 1,668 -23.39 -21.02 5 Oregon 357 45.14 218.80* 29 Pennsylvania 1,488 -10.61 118.78 13 Rhode Island 605 -12.46 -4.73 21 South Carolina 821 35.85 462.33* 47 South Dakota 9,160 -13.33 77.27 18 Tennessee 744 -5.72 -13.61 26 Texas 967 2.73 -33.64 12 Utah 517 -4.63 85.02 50 Vermont 51,906 -62.50 500.00* 15 Virginia 610 -25.94** 4.15** 24 Washington 874 13.40 42.73 48 West Virginia 11,928 27.59 39.62 25 Wisconsin 949 16.99 28.40 41 Wyoming 2,920 3.75 93.02 *Actual increase may not be as high due to data collection changes or improvements ** Collection of some records previously classified as NOD in this state was discontinued starting in January 2009About RealtyTrac Inc.Ranked as the third largest real estate site by MediaMetrix and No. 53 on Inc. magazine’s 2006 Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, RealtyTrac Inc. (www.realtytrac.com(link is external)), is the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, providing all the resources that home seekers, investors and real estate agents need to locate, evaluate and buy properties below market value.Founded in 1996, RealtyTrac publishes the largest and most comprehensive national database of pre-foreclosure, foreclosure, For Sale By Owner, resale and new homes, with more than 1 million properties across the country, property reports, productivity tools and extensive professional resources. RealtyTrac hosts nearly 3 million unique visitors monthly and has been chosen to supply foreclosure data to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and The Wall Street Journal’s Real Estate Journal. For current news and information regarding foreclosure-related issues and trends, visit our blog at www.ForeclosurePulse.com(link is external).SOURCE RealtyTrac
In my last blog post, Exponential Technology to Reshape Financial Industry, I took a closer look at artificial intelligence and quantum computing, a couple of the exponential technologies I discussed during my 2015 TMG Executive Summit opening remarks.Like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, virtual and augmented reality have great potential to drive innovation within the financial sector. With virtual reality, specifically, we are seeing the technology move from the gaming universe into other industries. Designed to give people deep, visceral, real-life experiences, virtual reality will soon be used to trigger certain behaviors.It’s a fascinating concept, and one my family and I got to experience at the Iowa State Fair just a few weeks ago. My alma mater, Iowa State University, had an Oculus Rift headset at the fair and allowed visitors to try it on. What an experience for both the wearer and the watcher! When you saw from the outside what people were experiencing inside the headset, you got a very clear picture of the immersive qualities of virtual reality. Many people had to be physically held in place as they experienced the thrill of riding a roller coaster in virtual reality – while in true reality, they were simply standing in a tradeshow display booth. continue reading » 20SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
continue reading » Being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, many people have turned to videogames for entertainment. One of the games that is popular in my household is Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch. If you’re not familiar with the game, here is the basic premise: The player’s character (a cartoon human) moves to a deserted island with a couple of anthropomorphic animals. Over time, the island is spruced up by plucking weeds, building homes, adding shops, and attracting new animal-residents.What does this have to do with credit unions? The player is given a home loan when he or she first goes to the island, which needs to be paid off in a currency called “bells.” The home loan is provided by a racoon named Tom Nook, who allows the player to repay their home loan with zero interest and on a pay-as-you-wish plan. You’d be hard-pressed to find a financial institution in the real world that offers those terms for a mortgage. There are also no disclosures in Animal Crossing – Tom Nook provides no loan estimate or closing disclosure, or any other documentation.Of course, in the real world credit unions and other financial institutions have to deal with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID). The NAFCU compliance team frequently gets questions regarding TRID, so let’s examine one aspect of it – the provisions relating to the loan estimate and whether or not a member is afforded the ability to “shop” for a settlement service. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Recently, the Culinary Heritage of the Split-Dalmatia County was presented in the Split-Dalmatia County, which became a member of the network, Regional Culinary Heritage Europe, which was developed in Sweden and Denmark in 1995.Specifically, it is about obtaining an internationally recognized gastro label that is a trademark of regional food and culinary tradition that guarantees a unique standard, but also opens up a number of opportunities for the presentation of indigenous products in foreign markets. Split-Dalmatia County is the holder of membership in Culinary Heritage Europe, and the Development Agency of Split-Dalmatia County, JU RERA coordinates the entire project. Thus, those who have the label become ambassadors of the Culinary Heritage of the Split-Dalmatia County.” The facilities that have this sign guarantee that its products grew under our sun, in our country, in our sea and rivers, and that they were prepared by our hands and in our way.“Points out Ivanka Luetić Boban, expert associate JU RERA and points out that we are part of a large family of culinary heritage across Europe made up of 1505 members from 44 regions. Each member receives a label that should be placed in a visible place and in this way he guarantees the authenticity and tradition of his gastronomic offer, and visibility for foreign tourists who have already recognized the label from long European countries.One of the main goals of the project is to revive and encourage the development of regions through indigenous culinary heritage, production of indigenous traditional products and include them in the local catering and tourism offer with special emphasis on rural households, which ultimately results in increased competitiveness and visibility. So far, 28 business entities in the Split-Dalmatia County have been members that have met the required criteria, and all articles are translated into 20 foreign languages and are included in the common web project platform.All this has a strong impact on the development of tourism in general, economic development with emphasis on the inclusion of local agricultural products in the catering offer, increasing employment of local people and general care for the environment and individual health, but also demographic renewal.The increase in views of our site since we joined has increased by 900%, which only speaks of how membership was a good move, says Luetic Boban and adds that thanks to the rich history of Split-Dalmatia County has a very diverse cuisine because many who “stayed” here left its impact. “It is our one great treasure, and our indigenous food is what makes us different. It is precisely our trump card, in addition to the beauty of the country, to offer that taste of food and drink that is unique and that the guest will taste and carry the memory of it. We have to offer what guests will not be able to eat or drink anywhere. ” concludes Luetić Boban and adds that they want to include other counties in Croatia in this project, in order to promote our indigenous cuisine and wealth throughout Europe.Among the members are five protected intangible cultural assets of the Republic of Croatia: Sinjska arambaša, hrapoćuša cake, macaroni cake, Poljica soparnik, vitalac, and soon they hope to protect varenik, bikle and Imotski cake. You can follow the project through Facebook pages.The ultimate goal in tourism can be summed up – to offer guests what has grown in our country, under our sun, in our sea and rivers and prepared in our way. This is exactly the main ingredient of tourism – authenticity. Because the motive for travel is to get to know a new way and culture of living. Let’s be what we are – Croats. It must be our main tourist product, our authentic story, not a copy.Become an ambassador of the Culinary Heritage of the Split-Dalmatia County, the invitation is open to everyone.
The postponements come amid growing fears that the virus will spread in the United States as countries report new infections, companies announce curbs on employees’ travel and global stock markets continue to plummet.The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States is still relatively small at around 60, most of them repatriated American passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked in Japan.The coronavirus outbreak started in China late last year. The latest World Health Organization figures indicate over 82,000 people have been infected, with more than 2,700 deaths in China and 57 deaths in 46 other countries.While the outbreak appears to be easing in China, it has surged elsewhere and countries other than China now account for about three-quarters of new infections.China is not a member of ASEAN, which groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.Although the State Department has repeatedly stated that ASEAN is at the heart of its strategy to maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific” in the face of rising Chinese power, Trump’s decision not to attend the Bangkok meeting had raised questions about the US commitment to the region.Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review earlier this month quoted diplomatic sources as saying that leaders from Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand had planned to attend the Las Vegas summit. The United States has decided to postpone a meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian countries it had planned to host on March 14 due to worries about the coronavirus outbreak, two US officials familiar with the matter said on Friday.President Donald Trump had invited leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to meet in Las Vegas after he did not attend a summit with the group in Bangkok in November.”As the international community works together to defeat the novel coronavirus, the United States, in consultation with ASEAN partners, has made the difficult decision to postpone the ASEAN leaders meeting,” one of the sources, a senior administration official, told Reuters. The official added that the United States values its relationships with ASEAN member nations and looks forward to future meetings.A spokesperson for the US State Department provided an identical statement.The US-ASEAN Business Council said it was aware of the decision and said a major technology summit it was planning on the sidelines of the leaders’ meeting was also being postponed.”We look forward to working closely with US and ASEAN leadership to ensure the success of this important engagement at a later date,” the council’s vice president, Elizabeth Dugan, said in statement. Topics :
Detemple is not alone. Her pupils are among about 1.25 billion globally who cannot go to school as the coronavirus prompts countries to close borders, put citizens under lockdown and shut schools, factories and businesses.The EIB is asking its teachers to conduct their classes through the video web conferencing app Zoom. Minor teething problems aside, 14-year-old pupil Candice Lescure said the transition to a virtual learning environment had been smooth”It’s as if we’re in class,” she said, adding that the online lessons brought welcome contact with her friends.However, it has not been all straightforward in France. Assignments are being handed out via email, government education platforms, WhatsApp and even by post. Social media has been replete with parents pulling their hair out over dodgy internet connections, overloaded public portals, and the challenges of balancing day jobs and home-schooling.”We’re learning to live side-by-side,” Candice’s mother Marie said wryly.It is still not clear when schools will re-open.Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said the favored scenario was for schools to resume on May 4, after the Easter holidays, if the public health situation allowed, and that he still wanted school-leavers to sit their baccalaureate exams.In the meantime, Detemple said, her role was also to help parents keep their children sane during the unprecedented lockdown.”They’re stuck at home, with their parents, unable to see their friends,” she said. “Here we can take them into another universe.” English teacher Carole Detemple had three days to tear up the teaching playbook as she knew it and create a virtual classroom in which to educate pupils confined to their Paris apartments by the coronavirus.As she swaps the whiteboard for a webcam, the pandemic sweeping Europe is forcing Detemple, who teaches at the International Bilingual School (EIB), to rethink how she holds her classes.”I’m someone who constantly throws out questions to my pupils. I want replies from them, but with 26 of them on a screen, raising or not a hand icon, it’s incredibly difficult. So I’m totally changing how I do things,” she said. Topics :