Trump’s White House event in focus over Covid spread

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Media captionSenator Mike Lee, who later tested positive for Covid-19, seen hugging other attendees

US President Donald Trump’s tweet on Friday confirming that he and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus shocked the world.

With Mr Trump now in hospital, there are growing questions about how the pair were exposed to the virus.

A crowded Rose Garden event is coming under intense focus – the ceremony on 26 September where Mr Trump formally announced his nomination of the conservative Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. The World Health Organization says it commonly takes around five to six days for symptoms to start after contracting the virus.

Footage from the scene showed few attendees wearing masks. The seating was not set two metres (six feet) apart, while some bumped fists, shook hands or even hugged one another in greeting.

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Attorney General Bill Barr greets guests including Chris Christie (wearing the pink tie)

Eight people who attended are now confirmed to have the virus – although it is unclear exactly where and when they caught it. Aside from the president and the First Lady:

  • New Jersey ex-Governor Chris Christie announced he had the virus on Saturday
  • Kellyanne Conway, who resigned as Mr Trump’s senior adviser in August, confirmed on Friday she had tested positive
  • Mike Lee, a Republican senator from Utah, confirmed his positive test on Twitter, as did North Carolina senator Thom Tillis
  • The University of Notre Dame confirmed their president, Reverend John Jenkins, also has Covid-19
  • An unnamed journalist who attended the event also has the virus, according to the White House Correspondents’ Association

Mr and Mrs Trump tested positive after the president’s communications director, Hope Hicks, contracted the virus. She did not attend the Rose Garden event.

Guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control recommend six feet of distance between people outside your home, and covering your nose and mouth when others are around you.

Dozens of lawmakers, family members and staff from the White House were at the event. Those who have tested positive were seated in the first few rows of the crowd.

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Those who have tested positive were sat in the first few rows of the packed event

Gatherings of more than 50 people at an event are banned under Washington DC coronavirus regulations, although federal property like the White House is exempt.

The Washington Post reports that authorities have left contact tracing efforts to the Trump administration. An official from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office told the paper that if all eight people were infected at the event, it would be one of the highest community spread incidents Washington DC has experienced.

City council member Brooke Pinto told the Washington Post it was “disappointing that the White House has flaunted not wearing masks and gathering large crowds”.

“That is not only dangerous messaging for the country, but it is

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Democrats focus on cutting off path to victory for Trump if presidency is thrown to House to decide

And, if successful in elevating Scholten, Biden’s trip could serve as a backstop for his own presidential bid.

A Scholten victory would likely give Democrats eight of Michigan’s 14 seats in the House, helping House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s newly stated goal of blocking Trump from a last-gasp effort to remain in the White House if he does not win the November election.

It’s all very complicated, but there is a remote chance that neither Trump nor Biden will be a clear winner in the electoral college.

In such a scenario, deciding the presidency falls to the House of Representatives, but in a rare twist mandated by the 12th Amendment after the contested 1800 election, each state’s delegation counts as one vote. So Montana and Alaska, with just one at-large representative, count the same as California with its 53 members and Texas with 36 members.

The victor must receive at least 26 votes, a clear majority. Trump, in recent days, has proclaimed he is ready to fight in courts if he should lose the race, and that he is ready to force the matter all the way to the House.

“I don’t want to go back to Congress, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress,” Trump told supporters at a rally Saturday in central Pennsylvania. “Does everyone understand that? I think it’s 26 to 22 or something.”

That is true — for now. Republicans have the delegation majority in 26 states, Democrats have 22 states, while Pennsylvania and Michigan are essentially tied. But, as Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted in a memo to her caucus Sunday, the new Congress sworn in the first week of January would cast those votes early next year ahead of the scheduled Jan. 20 inauguration.

With an already huge cash advantage over House Republicans, Pelosi has pleaded with her caucus and her donors to open their checkbooks to help flip those majorities to Democrats and cut off Trump’s path to a second term.

“What we hope to accomplish is to send a very clear message on Election Day to the president: There ain’t no light at [the end of] the tunnel for you in the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said Thursday at her weekly news conference. “That isn’t going to work. So don’t cause chaos because you think it will lead to a light at the end of the tunnel, because that light at the end of the tunnel in the House is going to be a train coming right at your plans.”

That message has landed in a select group of about 15 districts across six states, where already competitive races for the House now carry an even greater weight.

“The future of the presidency hangs in your race? No pressure there,” Scholten joked Thursday in a Zoom call with other Democratic candidates. “Right? We are certainly aware of the discussions around this.”

Michigan landed at an even seven-seven split after Democratic gains in the 2018 midterm elections. Then, Rep. Justin Amash

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House Reports Push for More Focus on China by Intelligence Agencies

WASHINGTON — The United States could fall behind in its global competition with China without additional resources to develop better intelligence on the Chinese government, and spy agencies must focus more on the challenge of pandemics and trade, according to a report by the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released Wednesday.

The warnings in the report, the result of a classified two-year study of American intelligence agencies’ work, were similar to the conclusions of a Republican study on China also released Wednesday. While that report, by a task force of House Republican lawmakers, has a wider focus, it too called for a more aggressive stance toward China and better defenses against Chinese theft of intellectual property and efforts to influence American politics.

While there is a bipartisan consensus on China, the failure of Democrats and Republicans in the House to work together on the issue was another sign of the partisan dysfunction that has gripped Washington and that could be a hurdle to revising American policy on China despite the agreement.

The House Intelligence Committee report, primarily the work of the panel’s Democratic majority, calls for a “significant realignment of resources” to help the United States compete with China. The report calls for a broader look at national security threats, including climate change and pandemics, while trying to collect intelligence on China.

“Absent a significant and immediate reprioritization and realignment of resources, we will be ill prepared to compete with China — diplomatically, economically and militarily — on the global stage for decades to come,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the committee. “The good news is that we still have time to adapt.”

China has been a growing challenge for the United States. President Trump has said without evidence that the coronavirus pandemic originated at a Chinese laboratory, a conclusion the intelligence community has not backed up. China has also been accused by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence of stepping up its efforts to interfere in the November election.

The House report recommends a broader approach for the role of intelligence in the United States government, saying agencies’ insights need to be accessible to agencies outside the traditional confines of the national security establishment, like the Commerce Department and public health agencies.

The report also highlights the challenges laid bare by the pandemic and discusses tensions between Beijing and local government that hampered China’s initial understanding of it. The report says the emergence of the pandemic highlights the “continued potential for devastating and destabilizing global events originating in China.”

“The stakes are high. If the I.C. does not accurately characterize and contextualize Beijing’s intent, America’s leaders will fail to understand the factors that motivate Chinese decision-making,” the report said, using an abbreviation for the intelligence community.

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Global Electronic Weighing Machines Markets, 2019-2020 & 2027: Focus on Laboratory, Gem and Jewelry, Retail, Health, & Kitchen Scale

DUBLIN, Sept. 21, 2020 The “Electronic Weighing Machines Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Type (Laboratory Scale, Retail Scale), by Distribution Channel (Online, Offline), by Region, and Segment Forecasts, 2020 – 2027” report has been added to’s offering.

Electronic Weighing Machines Market Report Highlights

  • By type, the retail scale segment held the largest share of 33.1% in 2019.
  • The online distribution channel segment is expected to witness the fastest growth from 2020 to 2027.
  • Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period.

Reliability, accuracy, durability, portability, ease of calibration, and extra features are acting as major factors for increasing adoption and penetration of the product. The growing retail sector, laboratory activities, and increasing awareness about obesity among population have increased the frequency of weight measurement at home, which is driving the demand for electronic weighing machines.

In order to gain market share, companies are introducing new products in order to meet the growing demand. In April 2019, Truweigh LLC launched a water resistance digital pocket scale. The product also comes with an IP65 rating, making it dust-proof. The pocket weighing scale comes with a white backlit LCD and black titanium chrome platform.

Home-based business owners are the major consumers of portable weighing machines owing to the space-saving option, ease of portability, and high accuracy. Similarly, in 2018, Kern & Sohn GmbH launched a premium analytical balance with single-cell generation for rapid and stable weighing results. The device also comprises a bright OLED display with a large viewing angle and USB interfaces for the transfer of weighing data to external devices.

In terms of type, the retail scale segment held the largest share of 33.1% in 2019. The growing retail sector and rising number of small retail shops are acting as major factors for the segment growth. According to Census Bureau data, 2018 saw a net increase in retail stores in the United States. There were almost 3,100 more stores during the 4th quarter of 2018 compared to the 4th quarter of 2017. Similarly, stores with fewer than five employees witnessed an increase of 4,569 stores as of the 1st quarter of 2018 compared with the 1st quarter of 2017.

The offline distribution channel segment dominated the electronic weighing scale market with a revenue-based share of 94.5% in 2019. Majority of the offline sales are driven by the commercial segment. Shop owners and small retailers prefer purchasing from the salesperson of the company. Moreover, ease in the understanding of after-sales support pertaining to issues related to products with the executive is propelling the customers to purchase from brick and mortar retail stores, including distributors, specialty stores, hypermarkets, and supermarkets.

Asia Pacific dominated the market with a revenue-based share of 35.7% in 2019. The high adoption rate of the product, coupled with the presence of regional companies, is acting as a major factor for the regional market growth. Moreover, the strong presence of small retail stores, growing pharmaceutical industry, and increasing

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“Grow what you want to eat” local gardeners focus on organization, practical planting wins new Spokane Interstate Fair garden category

For Gabriele Tilley, successful gardening is about beauty and smart use of space.

Tilley’s garden, which is located in front of her Long Lake home, is a mix of flowers, vegetables, and ornamental plants all neatly organized in raised beds. Tilley has been cultivating her small garden patch for over a decade and normally would have submitted much of what she grows to the Spokane County Interstate Fair for judging.

After this year’s fair was moved online, the organizers developed a new category to allow gardeners to participate, by allowing them to submit photos and designs of their entire garden for judging. Tilley was the inaugural winner, garnering praise from the judges for her neat, organized plan and productive use of a small space.

She said the secret to her gardening success is likely her focus on plants she enjoys.

“Grow what you want to eat, and then go from there,” she said.

Her garden includes kale, eggplant, tomatoes and basil, often sharing raised beds with flowers. She said mixing the plants attracts bees and other pollinating insects, and it allows her to maximize space.

Everything in her garden is planted in a raised bed and much of it is held up by home made frames. Her pumpkins are draped over A-frames she made from zip ties and hog wire and her tomato crates are built from rebar. The A frame has allowed her to keep her gourds and pumpkins neat and organized, and provide support for sunflowers, which grow through several A-frames.

She said the neat arrangement of raised beds, the grass clippings she layers on the paths between them and the mixed plants also creates a space she wants to spend time in, a place she can create and relax in for hours.

“For me, it’s meditative,” she said.

Tilley said her garden also is a good place to start plants for the Friends of Manito, an non profit that supports Manito Park in Spokane. Tilley volunteers for the organization and has owned a pet sitting business and has worked as an orthodontics technician.

She said she’s been gardening for 30 years and has picked up many tips and tricks to make her own garden successful, but added there’s always more to learn. She recalled a recent issue with hundreds of volunteer pumpkin plans she accidentally grew after she composted pumpkins. She said the seeds must have germinated at some point and in the spring as she was constantly surprised by unexpected pumpkins.

“Gardening is still an adventure,” she said. “You make mistakes, but then you learn from them.”

For runner-up garden category winner Barb Goehner, gardening is about sharing what she grows with others and the joy of being outdoors.

“People have other joys, but I love this,” she said.

Goehner normally enters 30 to 40 vegetables in the fair every year, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced number of entries accepted into the fair this year, she only entered a pumpkin and photos

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Cleveland chef Doug Katz lays Fire Food and Drink to rest to focus on Zhug, Chutney B. and his Chimi ghost kitchen

CLEVELAND, OHIO — For almost 20 years, Doug Katz was a one-restaurant guy. Every bit of talent, inspiration, moxie, and charm he possessed was poured into Fire Food and Drink, his iconic, celebrated dining emporium that helped revive venerable and vulnerable Shaker Square when it needed it most.

On Saturday nights, the restaurant sparkled with glamour rare in the Cleveland restaurant world. It was the automatic reservation for every family celebration for many of East Siders, and it was where you schlepped to when you sought a side of panache with your weekend brunch.

Everyone on the well-polished staff may not have known your name, but chances were good that Katz did. Working the room tirelessly almost every night, he was the James Brown of Cleveland chef-owners. Chatting up the newbies, debriefing the regulars, serving up the entrees and then bussing the dishes. No restaurateur kept his ear closer to the customer base than Katz. And it paid off. His unique brand of innovative hyper-seasonal world cuisine marked by rich indulgent flavors achieved cult status over those two decades.

Then last fall, after several years of research and reflection, Katz opened Zhug, his personalized small-plate take on Mideastern food. From the day the door first opened at 12413 Cedar Rd. in Cleveland Heights, Zhug was, literally, a roaring success. A cacophony of music and noise spilled out into the neighborhood as the spill-over of waiting customers (and there was almost always waiting customers) enlivened and enriched the bars and bookshop nearby.

Life was mighty fine until this March, when the coronavirus pandemic officially hit, and in one unimaginable edict from the state capital, dining out in Cleveland came to a full dead stop. We’re not going to unzip body bags here but suffice it to say the city is still littered with the culinary carnage.

Everybody missed at least a beat or two. However, Katz was one of the first to turn his business towards whatever light was left. He shut down Fire for what he thought would be an eight-week hiatus, but within days, he had converted Zhug into a total take-out, curbside and delivery establishment. He admits he was not totally taken by surprise by the turn of events.

“Back in early January,” he relates, “out of the blue, my director of operations, Todd Thompson, asked if I had any contingency plans, just in case. We laughed about it at the time, but the seed had been planted and we had some time to think it through.”

Soon, carry-out exclusive Zhug, named for the fiery Middle Eastern hot sauce that’s an essential element of the cuisine, was running smoothly, with curried lamb hummus, prawns with mejadra rice, beet salads and zhug burgers flowing out the door.

Katz turned his attention to another concept that would have ordinarily taken, well, longer, but was up and running by mid-June. Chimi, short for chimichurri, an equally indispensable culinary component, this time a piquant parsley-based sauce of South American origin, launched in

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