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3xLOGIC Introduces All-In-One Functionality For A Variety Of Cameras

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TalkLPNews Editor
3xLOGIC, the provider of integrated and intelligent security solutions, has announced the availability of its All-in-One Functionality, currently available in its serverless camera bundle, indoor cube camera, and 56-degree thermal camera offerings. All-in-One cameras feature onboard storage and, with the purchase of appropriate licensing, allow the camera to function as a standalone VIGIL Server. The cameras can also be used in conjunction with a VIGIL DVR for redundant storage capability. Affordable, edge-based solution As a standalone camera, All-in-One models are compatible with the entire VIGIL Software Suite, including direct access through VIGIL Client and its mobile app View Lite II, as well as with VIGIL Central Management for remote health monitoring and notification. “As dealers and customers look for more ways to balance and optimize video delivery and video verification, the need for camera-based edge storage and remote accessibility has increased,” says Bill Hobbs, VP of Global Sales. “The new All-in-One feature addresses these needs with an affordable, redundant, edge-based solution.” All-in-One Functionality is available on the following new solutions from 3xLOGIC: Flexibility, functionality, scalability, and future-proofing are at the heart of the serverless camera bundle Serverless camera bundle Designed for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as being suitable for educational, retail, healthcare, and warehouse and distribution environments, the 3xLOGIC Serverless Camera Bundle offers organizations that don’t have support staff to maintain on-site servers and infrastructure, the opportunity to benefit from a cutting edge security solution. Flexibility, functionality, scalability, and future-proofing are at the heart of the serverless camera bundle. As the world moves away from on-premises servers and into the cloud, 3xLOGIC has provided an interim step with serverless cameras that offer a “per camera” alternative. However, recognizing that requirements change, it is possible to add a server if required or transition to the highly cost-effective 3xLOGIC cloud solution. All-in-one functionality The serverless camera bundle incorporates 3xLOGIC VISIX devices that boast all-in-one functionality. Users can choose from the VISIX 5MP fixed 2.8mm lens indoor/outdoor vandal-proof mini-dome and VISIX 5MP fixed 4mm lens outdoor mini-bullet cameras, which are both available in 128GB or 256GB storage options. Both variants feature solid-state components, so there are no mechanical drives as failure points, and they can be configured using the VISIX Setup App. Remote access to live and recorded video is possible through VIGIL Client and/or the VIGIL View Lite II App. Indoor cube camera VX-2M-CPIR-IAW delivers recording at the highest quality while enabling fast live viewing The 2MP Indoor/Outdoor Multi-Sensor Cube Camera with Wi-Fi. Featuring built-in passive infrared (PIR) sensors, two-way audio, and digital I/O, the VX-2M-CPIR-IAW delivers a feature-rich IP camera, alarm annunciator, and audio in a single small unit. With dual-streaming compression, the VX-2M-CPIR-IAW delivers recording at the highest quality while enabling fast live viewing from anywhere regardless of available bandwidth. Maximum performance The camera can be used with optional edge recording for a true all-in-one solution or it can be coupled with the VIGIL Series of network video recorders (NVR) and video management system (VMS) software for superior point-to-point hardware compression and decompression to allow for maximum performance of the live-streamed video. This provides higher-quality video, more concurrent streams, and lower overall demand on CPU performance. 56-degree thermal imager The 56-degree thermal device is ideal for surveillance and detection applications with insufficient lighting The new 56-degree field of view (FoV) thermal imager provides enhanced detection capabilities and is ideal for surveillance applications with insufficient lighting or in areas where smoke, fog, or dust are an issue. The 56-degree thermal device is ideal for surveillance and detection applications with insufficient lighting, or for customers who want visibility where they once had none. Edge-based recording software and an advanced analytics engine eliminate the need for an on-site server. Equipment temperature monitoring In addition to detecting intruders, the thermal fulfills another increasingly important function: equipment temperature monitoring. The ability to monitor generators, electrical panels, and other equipment – and proactively notify the user of an overheating or runaway condition – is a highly effective way to manage and preserve assets and security. Target markets for this thermal device include car dealerships and equipment rental companies; pawnshops; utilities, sub-stations, and maintenance facilities; seaports, railyards, and airports; and K-12 education campuses.
Source:
Security Informed
ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions’ Incedo Business Access Control Solution Offers Greater Versatility For Clockwise’s Flexible Workspaces

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TalkLPNews Editor
Following a change in employment practices, created by the COVID-19 pandemic, many office-based employees now follow a hybrid schedule, working where they are needed or find convenient. The fast-growing use of flexible offices and co-working spaces is a testament to this emerging trend. With employees coming and going as they please, a change in how security and access control are managed is an urgent, but overlooked aspect that many firms are just waking up to now. Clockwise, renowned office space provider Clockwise is the UK and European provider of flexible office space for entrepreneurs and established businesses. The company’s expanding offering includes contemporary offices, meeting rooms, and shared workspaces, across multiple cities. Any business, which relies on flexibility, places high demands on door security and access control. Clockwise needs a broad choice of electronic devices to secure meeting rooms, private offices, communal spaces, and main entrances, which may not all require the same lock type. Access management should adapt to changing needs Access management must be able to adapt and change, as fast as Clockwise clients’ needs The office space demands of a start-up, freelance co-worker, or growing SMB can change at any time, so Clockwise offer a range of membership levels and packages. Access management must be able to adapt and change, as fast as Clockwise clients’ needs. Because tenants come and go frequently, Clockwise facility managers need tailoring of user access rights, to be as easy as possible. Clockwise’s own spaces and a portfolio may also evolve, so any access system must be able to scale instantly up or down. How flexibly Clockwise can deliver for their clients is essential to growing in such a competitive market. Incedo Business offers versatile access control The range of Incedo-enabled devices and door hardware, managed by simple cloud-based software, convinced Clockwise to choose ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions’ Incedo Business, for all their premises. This platform-based access solution connects security software and hardware within a single, future-proofed ecosystem. The diversity of Incedo-enabled devices enables Clockwise to select the ideal electronic lock for every opening in their properties. Internal private office doors, ‘Zoom rooms’ and meeting rooms, as well as communal area doors, and entrance/exits, are now secured with wireless access control devices from the Incedo Business range. Flexible system management options Incedo’s flexible system management options help Clockwise to operate access control with maximum efficiency. Administrators quickly create groups with tailored access for specific doors. Access permissions may also be time-limited, which is perfect for meeting room bookings or for facilitating access hours for different membership options. Private desk members get 24/7 admission, whereas hot-desk membership is only allowed entry during office hours. According to Clockwise, the flexibility to create groups and the ability to remotely update cards, both work really well for their business.
Source:
Security Informed
Genetec Provides Unified Security Platform To Enhance Security Solutions For Westfield UK

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TalkLPNews Editor
Safety In Smart Cities: How Video Surveillance Keeps Security Front And Center Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyze more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping center, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analyzed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analyzing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as license plate reading, behavioral analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fiber-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.
Source:
Security Informed
Evanston shooting leaves 1 dead, 4 teens wounded near gas station on Green Bay Road

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TalkLPNews Editor
EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- A shooting in north suburban Evanston Sunday night has left one person dead and four others wounded, police said.Police responded to the shooting at about 7:17 p.m. They found four of the victims found outside a Mobil gas station in the 1900-block of Green Bay Road. A fifth person was found about a block away on Green Bay Road.One of the victims was killed in the shooting, police said. Authorities have not released information on his identity.Responding officers located 5 gunshot victims. Four at 1950 Green Bay and a 5th one at 1918 Green Bay. One of the victims that was located at 1950 Green Bay has died.— Evanston, IL Police (@EvanstonPD) November 29, 2021The remaining victims who were wounded in the shooting are two male teenagers and 2 female teenagers ranging in age from 14-18 years old, police said. They were all transported to nearby hospitals.Responding officers located 5 gunshot victims. Four at 1950 Green Bay and a 5th one at 1918 Green Bay. One of the victims that was located at 1950 Green Bay has died.— Evanston, IL Police (@EvanstonPD) November 29, 2021Police said their investigation does not indicate further danger to the public and no suspects are in custody. Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.
Source:
ABC7 – Chicago
Don't Fall For It: Alert Issued For Online Shopping Scams Involving Fake Websites

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TalkLPNews Editor
Shoppers looking for holiday deals online are being warned that thousands of fake websites are popping up every week and stealing money from victims, according to cybersecurity experts.The surge in these malicious sites has been sparked by the surge in online shopping as well as criminals taking advantage of the demand for products in short supply, the experts say. Victims often enter the name of the product they want in search engines and then are directed to one or more fake sites.Other malicious sites use phishing emails promoting discounts on various products.The number of phony shopping sites has jumped to more than 5,300 ones each week since the beginning of October, according to a newly released report by Check Point Research, a cyber threat intelligence provider."The global impact of these websites has peaked since the beginning of November," the report said.Check Point Research said it discovered a number of phishing emails containing subject lines such as: “Fashion MK Handbags 85% Off Shop Online Today”“Up to 80% OFF Michael Kors HandBags on Sale, High Fashion, Low Prices”“Shop All Michael Kors Handbags, Purses & Wallets Up To 70%”"The links contained in the emails directed people to websites with prices too good to be true, meaning that any buyers would receive either fraudulent products or no product at all," the report said. "The linked websites all had similar domain names with the same IP address range of 104.21.xxx.xxx. "Though the sites are no longer available, some were active during the second half of October, while others were still in business up to the second week of November."Share this story by clicking on the Facebook icon below. Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.
Source:
Daily Voice
WHO says overall global risk related to the new variant is assessed as 'very high' and urges member states to accelerate vaccination efforts

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TalkLPNews Editor
A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walks out from a shopping mall in Beijing, Nov. 29, 2021. (Andy Wong/AP)As countries around the world scramble to impose travel bans to stem the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, China remains outwardly calm -- at least for now. Despite two confirmed cases of the heavily mutated variant in Hong Kong, Chinese public health experts have expressed confidence in the country's existing border control measures.China's response -- or the lack thereof -- is hardly surprising. The country's border restrictions are already among the strictest in the world, with most foreign visitors, from tourists to students, banned from entering mainland China. Zhang Wenhong, an infectious disease expert in Shanghai and arguably China's most trusted voice on Covid-19, said the new variant would have "no major impact on China at this time."And at a conference in Guangzhou over the weekend, Zhong Nanshan, a top respiratory disease expert and government adviser, said China has no plans to take any "major action" in response to the Omicron variant.Meanwhile, in Chinese state media the prevailing mood is one of apparent vindication. As much of the world started to reopen and learn to live with Covid, China dug its heels and looked increasingly isolated by comparison. That isolation is now being extolled as a uniquely Chinese advantage in the fight against the new variant. Read the full analysis here.
Source:
CNN – Buzz
3 key questions about Omicron and why it's a wake-up call for US

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TalkLPNews Editor
The overall global risk related to the newly discovered B.1.1.529 strain of the novel coronavirus "is assessed as very high," the WHO said in a technical brief Monday. Experts are now racing to determine whether Omicron's mutations make it more transmissible, more severe and potentially more resistant to vaccines, but it could be weeks before we have answers.In the meantime, US travel restrictions on flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi went into effect overnight. The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa and has been detected in multiple countries. So far, no cases have been confirmed on US soil, but the variant has been detected over the border in Canada and experts say it will likely pop up in the US soon.With much about Omicron still unknown, officials say vaccinations and boosters remain the best protection available.Right now, about 59.1% of the US population is fully vaccinated, and about 19.1% of those fully vaccinated have received a booster dose, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins told CNN Sunday that Omicron reinforced the need for vaccination."We have to use every kind of tool in our toolbox to keep (Omicron) from getting in a situation that makes this worse," he said. "It also means we need to pay attention to those mitigation strategies that people are just really sick of, like wearing masks while indoors with other people who might not be vaccinated and keeping that social distance issue," he added. "I know, America -- you're really tired of hearing those things. But the virus is not tired of us. And it's shapeshifting itself."On Fox News Sunday, Collins appealed to those who haven't yet been vaccinated: "If Omicron is one more wake-up call, then let's wake up. And come on America, you can do this. These vaccines are safe, they're effective -- people have been using them for more than a year, 200 million people plus have gotten injected, these are something you want for yourself, your family, your community."Warnings about the renewed threat from the Omicron variant come as Americans have become weary of nearly two years of precautions and are returning from a Thanksgiving break that saw air travel at close to pre-pandemic levels.Critical two-week timelinePresident Joe Biden is expected to give an update on the US response to Covid-19 Monday, the White House said Sunday after Biden met with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other members of the Covid team. "Dr. Fauci informed the President that while it will take approximately two more weeks to have more definitive information on the transmissibility, severity, and other characteristics of the variant, he continues to believe that existing vaccines are likely to provide a degree of protection against severe cases of Covid," a readout of their meeting said. As for immediate recommendations, the White House said the Covid team is recommending boosters for all eligible vaccinated adults. "This is a clarion call as far as I'm concerned of saying let's put aside all of these differences that we have, and say, if you're not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you're fully vaccinated, get boosted," Fauci told NBC News on Sunday.Fauci explained that if tests show antibodies from a person who has been vaccinated can neutralize the Omicron variant of the virus, then "we're in pretty good shape.""If it looks like even at a high titer of antibody it doesn't, then what you've got to do is you've got to change and modify what the vaccine is going to be, which you can do pretty easily," Fauci said.Moderna's chief medical officer said Sunday that the company expects to know in a couple of weeks whether the new Omicron variant impacts the efficacy of its vaccine.If the company finds it needs to pivot and produce a new vaccine, Burton said Moderna is working on several approaches, including one that would be specific to the new variant."Our platform, we can move very fast. We think within weeks to maybe two to three months we would be able to have an Omicron-specific vaccine booster available for testing, and then for administration," he said. "This is going to go at the fastest possible speed, but we have to do careful science now. We don't want to misstep."BioNTech, the German company that partnered with Pfizer to make a Covid-19 vaccine, is also investigating Omicron's impact on their vaccine, with data expected in the coming weeks.Johnson & Johnson said it's also testing the effectiveness of its vaccine against Omicron.US travel restrictions go into effectSince the variant was first identified in South Africa, it has also been found in Botswana, Belgium, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK, Portugal, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Czech Republic and Hong Kong.The US is now restricting travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. Several other countries around the world have introduced similar measures.While the Biden administration believes the variant will likely show up the US, it instituted travel restrictions to buy time while health experts work to learn more about Omicron's potential impact.But on Sunday the US Travel Association urged the Biden administration to reconsider the restrictions."Covid variants are of concern, but closed borders have not prevented their presence in the United States while vaccinations have proven incredibly durable. That is why America's travel industry is a vocal proponent of everyone getting a vaccine," the association said in a statement. "With a vaccine and testing requirement in place to enter the US we continue to believe that assessing an individual's risk and health status is the best way to welcome qualified global travelers into the United States."Meantime, passengers arriving at Newark International Airport on a direct flight from Johannesburg Sunday morning described the impact of global travel restrictions.Kyle Bogert, of Hoboken, New Jersey, told CNN the rest of his family was still stranded in South Africa because their connecting flight through Dubai was canceled as they were on the way to the airport. "On the news you hear about all these variants popping up in different locations and you hear about airports getting shut down ... it's kind of in the back of your mind until you're there and you're stuck there, or your family is stuck there," he said.Bogert said passengers on his flight were advised to get tested for Covid-19 "within three to five days," but noted his exit from his flight was otherwise "normal."CNN's Nikki Carvajal, John Bonifield, Michael Nedelman, Frederik Pleitgen, Naomi Thomas, Pete Muntean and Sarah Fortinsky contributed to this report.
Source:
CNN – Buzz
Analysis: China extols isolation as countries rush to impose Omicron travel bans

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TalkLPNews Editor
Despite two confirmed cases of the heavily mutated variant in Hong Kong, Chinese public health experts have expressed confidence in the country's existing border control measures.China's response -- or the lack thereof -- is hardly surprising. The country's border restrictions are already among the strictest in the world, with most foreign visitors, from tourists to students, banned from entering mainland China. Those few who are allowed to enter, as well as returning Chinese citizens, must undergo at least 14 days of strict centralized quarantine. And that can be extended to up to 28 days by local authorities, often followed by another lengthy period of home observation.Zhang Wenhong, an infectious disease expert in Shanghai and arguably China's most trusted voice on Covid-19, said the new variant would have "no major impact on China at this time.""China's current rapid response and dynamic clearance strategy is capable of dealing with all types of new coronavirus variants," Zhang wrote in a social media post Sunday.And at a conference in Guangzhou over the weekend, Zhong Nanshan, a top respiratory disease expert and government adviser, said China has no plans to take any "major action" in response to the Omicron variant.Meanwhile, in Chinese state media the prevailing mood is one of apparent vindication. As much of the world started to reopen and learn to live with Covid, China dug its heels and looked increasingly isolated by comparison. That isolation is now being extolled as a uniquely Chinese advantage in the fight against the new variant. "Major Western countries have cut air links with countries such as South Africa, showing that these countries are frightened. Establishing an immune shield based on the vaccine alone has actually proved to be a risky route, and can even be said to have failed to a large extent," the Global Times, a state-run nationalist tabloid, said in an editorial Sunday."China's dynamic zero-case route has been criticized in the West in many ways. However, if the Omicron variant launches a new wave of attack, it is China that will be best able to block its invasion," said the editorial, which went on to declare China "a true impregnable fortress against the spread of the virus in the world today."Just how "impregnable" China's defense is against new variants is a question up for debate, given the Delta variant has repeatedly caused outbreaks in the country -- with increasing frequency and for longer durations. Nevertheless, the growing global concern and spate of travel bans sparked by the Omicron variant is most likely to lend domestic public support for the Chinese government to maintain its zero-tolerance approach on Covid for as long as it sees fit.The ruling Communist Party has tied the zero-Covid policy to its political legitimacy, touting it as evidence of the supposed superiority of its one-party system over Western democracies, especially the United States. But the strategy is also driven by pure necessity, because China simply could not afford to open up without more efficient vaccines or treatments. A study by mathematicians at the country's prestigious Peking University has found that China could face more than 630,000 Covid-19 infections a day if it dropped its zero-tolerance policies by lifting travel curbs.In the report published in China CDC Weekly by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mathematicians assessed the potential results if China adopted the same pandemic control tactics as countries like the United States, Britain, Spain, France and Israel.If China were to adopt the pandemic strategy of the US, its daily new cases would reach at least 637,155, the study found."The estimates revealed the real possibility of a colossal outbreak which would almost certainly induce an unaffordable burden on the medical system," the report said."Our findings have raised a clear warning that, for the time being, we are not ready to embrace 'open-up' strategies resting solely on the hypothesis of herd immunity induced by vaccination advocated by certain western countries."It concluded, "more efficient vaccinations or more specific treatment, preferably the combination of both, are needed before entry-exit quarantine measures and other Covid-19 response strategies in China can be safely lifted."Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at China's CDC, was quick to share the findings at a conference in Beijing on Sunday, calling China's zero-tolerance containment policy a "magic weapon" to control the pandemic.While acknowledging that there were "some different opinions" toward the approach among the public, Wu stressed that zero-tolerance containment and border restrictions are absolutely necessary for the coming months."We must stick to it, at least through this winter and next spring," he said.
Source:
CNN – Buzz
The President's attempts to limit the spread of the Omicron variant begin today with new US restrictions on travel from eight countries taking effect

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TalkLPNews Editor
Much is still unknown about the transmissibility of the new variant and how effective vaccines will be in protecting Americans against it, but the administration is attempting to strike a more proactive stance than they did this summer when they appeared to be caught flat-footed by the highly contagious Delta variant, which now accounts for the vast majority of cases in the United States -- and blunted Biden's efforts to speed the country back to normalcy in the first year of his term.In his haste to turn the page from the pandemic, Biden predicted a "summer of freedom" at the same time the Delta variant was taking hold across the United States and went so far as to proclaim that America was "closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus" at a July Fourth event. With those missteps in mind, Biden spent Sunday evening huddling with advisers, and plans to speak Monday on the situation. He moved rapidly to announce the new travel restrictions Friday after the World Health Organization labeled Omicron a "variant of concern," a signal that the White House was taking the new variant first identified by scientists in South Africa seriously. The travel bans alone, however, may offer little comfort to Americans given the widespread debate among public health officials about their effectiveness. Anxiety over this new Covid threat is particularly high after a week of heavy travel and a Thanksgiving holiday that had offered a fleeting sense that the nation was returning to normalcy. On Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Americans set a new pandemic-era air travel record with the Transportation Security Administration reporting that it screened 2.3 million passengers at airports on that day alone. Canadian health officials confirmed the country's first two cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant in Ottawa on Sunday. Germany and the United Kingdom have also confirmed cases within their borders, and on Sunday UK officials announced that face coverings will be mandatory in shops and on public transport, while all travelers returning to the UK will be required to undergo PCR testing for Covid-19. Scientists are especially concerned about the fact that Omicron has more than 30 mutations in a part of the virus called the spike protein, a structure the coronavirus uses to enter the cells it attacks -- raising fears that that it could evade the protections offered by the vaccines currently available in the United States. The uncertainty around the new variant has served as yet another setback for Biden and for the Democratic-controlled Congress given that their political success in next year's elections will hinge in part on showing that they have successfully led the nation out of the pandemic. Biden's poll numbers have slumped amid concerns about the economy, rising inflation and the supply chain crisis -- but the erosion of confidence among Americans about his handling of Covid-19 has been particularly notable given that it was once the area where voters gave him the highest marks. As he seeks to restore faith in his administration's handling of Covid, Biden's biggest challenge may be the stubborn resistance among the approximately 60 million American adults who remain unvaccinated and the political polarization around the tools at his disposal, including mask and vaccine mandates. Public health officials expressed fresh urgency Sunday about the need for unvaccinated Americans to get their shots -- and for those who are eligible for booster shots to get them. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has warned that Omicron could already be present in the United States. On NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday, Fauci called the threat of the new variant "a clarion call" for the country to "put aside all of these differences that we have and say if you're not vaccinated, get vaccinated; if you're fully vaccinated, get boosted; and get the children vaccinated."Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, acknowledged that many Americans feel a sense of exhaustion with pandemic mitigation strategies like masking and social distancing, but he said it was time to redouble those efforts and guard against complacency in the face of the new threat. "We have to use every kind of tool in our toolbox to keep (Omicron) from getting in a situation that makes this worse," he told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" Sunday, adding that officials are working with vaccine manufacturers to try to assess their effectiveness against the new strain. "There's no reason to panic. But it is a great reason to go get boosted."Many unanswered questions remain Moderna's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Burton said Sunday that Americans should brace for several weeks of uncertainty as scientists and vaccine manufacturers investigate the transmissibility of the new variant, the level of illness that it causes and whether the antibodies produced in response to the current vaccines will be effective in thwarting it. Moderna is exploring the possibility of an Omicron-specific vaccine booster should that become necessary, Burton said. "This is a virus now with at least 50 mutations, many of them spanning the previous variants of concern, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. At least 30 mutations in the spike protein alone that we know lead to immune evasion and escape, and also increased replication," Burton said on CNN's "Newsroom." "This is a new wrench that has been thrown into the fight against Covid."Brown University School of Public Health Dean Dr. Ashish Jha has warned that the data about transmissibility of the new variant has looked "worrisome" thus far, in part because it has taken off quickly in South Africa. He warned in a guest essay in The New York Times this weekend that there is no time to waste, because if it "turns out to be as contagious and immune-evasive as many experts worry it might be, waiting until all the facts are in will leave us hopelessly far behind."In an interview on CNN's "Inside Politics" on Sunday, he explained that "we see all of these mutations in the spike protein in areas that our vaccines and our immune system target -- and that makes a lot of us concerned about immune evasion. We don't think that our vaccines are going to be rendered useless, but at the same time, we don't know how much of a hit the vaccines are going to take," he said. Jha argued that the effect of the travel ban against foreign nationals from the eight African countries would be "modest at best" and urged the Biden administration ramp up genomic surveillance, work with vaccine makers to create Omicron-specific vaccines and to push for a more robust effort to get more people vaccinated in Africa. Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst who is the former Baltimore health commissioner, said she believed the travel restrictions for the eight countries were necessary but added that the Biden administration should go even further by quarantining and re-testing all international travelers. As the US allows permanent residents and American citizens to return from the African nations affected by the restrictions, she added, they should also be required to re-test and quarantine to prevent the variant from spreading. "Otherwise, there are just too many loopholes and we're not really accomplishing our goal, which is to contain Omicron and try to prevent it from getting to this country, recognizing that it may already be in the US," she said. Some of the sharpest criticism of the travel bans enforced by the US and other countries came Sunday from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. "These restrictions are completely unjustified and unfairly discriminate against our country and our southern African sister countries," Ramaphosa said in an address on Sunday. "The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant. The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to and also to recover from the pandemic."Biden on Monday will have to answer those criticisms and whether there are more effective steps he can pursue against the new variant when he faces a nation looking for answers.
Source:
CNN – Buzz

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TalkLPNews Editor
Black Friday: US shoppers see fewer ‘doorbuster’ deals amid market selloffUS retailers offer smaller price markdowns amid tight suppliesCovid variant triggers stock market selloff and investor anxiety Bargain hunters ventured out in chilly weather on Black Friday, only to discover that many US retailers offered smaller price markdowns this year amid tight supplies.Thanksgiving weekend travel poised to approach pre-Covid levelsRead moreCovid fears and fewer “doorbuster” sales thinned crowds the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, which kicks off the year-end holiday shopping season.On the same day, the World Health Organization named the newly identified Omicron variant of the coronavirus as a “variant of concern”, triggering worldwide alarm and a selloff in the US stock market.Stores on Black Friday had the lowest level of clearance goods for sale in five years or more, Cowen analysts said in a note. Many shoppers chose to pick up merchandise curbside rather than venturing inside stores.Consumers had spent $6.6bn by 9pm ET, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index, which expected total spending of between $8.8bn and $9.2bn for the day.Walmart and Target stood to outperform other retailers in part because of their buy-online-pick-up-at-store services, Cowen said. Target added more than 18,000 “drive-up” parking spaces, more than doubling spots versus last year.Several retailers – including Walmart, Target and Best Buy – are expected to post lower fourth-quarter profit margins because of tight inventory and higher costs for raw materials, freight and labor. “Even though the holiday season should be OK from a sales standpoint – because retailers are discounting less – the margins won’t necessarily be higher because of inflation,” said Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Kodali.Consumers are entering the holiday season flush with cash thanks to multiple rounds of government pandemic relief and double-digit wage increases as businesses compete for workers. Yet retailers lured shoppers to make holiday purchases as early as September this year, because the supply chain logjam has prevented them from quickly replenishing year-end merchandise.Holiday shopping ‘hell’: workers brace for unruly customers and labor strikesRead moreA Deloitte survey showed people spent 80% to 85% of their holiday gift budgets before Black Friday. For November and December, online sales are estimated to hit a record $207bn, up 10% from last year, according to Adobe Digital Economy Index. The National Retail Federation has forecast combined brick-and-mortar and online holiday sales to reach between $843.4bn and $859bn, 8.5% to 10.5% higher than 2020.Elver Gomez, a 21-year-old student in Chicago, said he didn’t find the Apple and Microsoft laptops he wanted while shopping at a Best Buy store Friday morning. “It seems like this year it’s either out of stock,” he said, or for sale at “not that great of a price”. Best Buy added a message to its website, warning of “limited qualities” and “no rainchecks”.Electronics – in short supply due to a global chip shortage – had the highest out-of-stock levels, followed by personal care and home and garden, according to Adobe. Through most of November, out-of-stocks were up 261% versus 2019.TopicsUS economyEconomicsnewsReuse this content
Source:
The Guardian
Destructive Rockland Shopping Center Fire Continues Burning For Hours, Bergen Companies Assist

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TalkLPNews Editor
UPDATE: Six firefighters were hospitalized with minor injuries Sunday in a stubborn hours-long blaze that broke out in a basement gun range, spread through a Rockland County shopping center and continued burning late into the night, authorities said.Firefighters from Mahwah, Montvale, Oradell and River Vale were among more than 100 from Rockland, Westchester and Bergen counties either at the Pearl River scene or in coverage through the afternoon and into the evening. The sneaky blaze began shortly before noon in the long-gun range at the Rockland Indoor Shooting Education Center -- commonly known as "The Rise" -- beneath the Dollar General store and other businesses in the North Middletown Road shopping center, Pearl River Fire Chief Jim Morrison said.The range was occupied at the time, Morrison told Rockland Video Productions.The shopping center was evacuated and area roads were closed as flames spread into a "void space" between the ceiling of the gun range and the floor of the stores above, travelling "all the way across the whole length of the building," the chief said.It continued to burn beneath Dollar General and the Dunkin Donuts next door past nightfall, causing problems for firefighters who couldn't get to it, he said. "The way the building was constructed, we're not able to get to the where the seat of the fire is," Morrison explained nearly an hour after nightfall. "Every time we open a space, there's another space."SEE: Pearl River Fire (Rockland Video Productions)The chief requested Westchester's Technical Rescue Team to use jackhammers to open the floors.He didn't say which departments the injured firefighters belong to. At least two of them were taken to Montefiore Nyack Hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning, Morrison said.EMS set up a tent at the scene to evaluate other firefighters.Mutual aid responders either at the scene or in coverage included firefighters from Hillcrest, Monsey, Nanuet, New City, Nyack, Orangeburg, Pearl River, Piermont, Sparkill, S. Spring Valley, Suffern, Tallman, Tappan, Thiells, West Haverstraw and West Nyack. The Rockland County Sheriff's Arson Unit and BCI were assisting in investigating the cause of the fire, Orangetown Police Capt. James Brown said.  The Rockland County hazardous materials and technical rescue squads also responded, along with Pearl River Ambulance, South Orangetown Ambulance, South Orangetown Rehab Unit, William P. Faist Ambulance, Spring Hill Ambulance, Congers Ambulance and Rockland Mobile Care, Brown said. The Orangetown Building Department and Orangetown and Rockland highway departments also assisted, the captain said. CHECK BACK FOR MORE DETAILS Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.
Source:
Daily Voice
Alhambra Ice-Cream Shop Victim Of Smash-And-Grab Burglary Early Saturday Morning

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TalkLPNews Editor
ALHAMBRA (CBSLA) – Police are investigating a smash-and-grab burglary at an Michoacana Alhambra, an ice-cream shop, located at 2130 S. Fremont Ave., in Alhambra.(credit: Michoacana Alhambra) READ MORE: Three People Injured In Multi-Vehicle Crash In OrangeThe incident occurred at around 3 a.m. Saturday morning and the suspects were partially caught on security camera.READ MORE: Silver Alert Issued For Local Artist, 87-Year-Old Billy Al Bengston, Last Seen Early Sunday MorningPolice said that there were three suspects who broke in to the business and stole an unknown amount of money.Michocana Alhambra posted a message on Facebook encouraging fellow businesses to secure their valuables at night and remain vigilant.MORE NEWS: Racehorse Dies At Santa Anita Park, 20th Such Incident This Year
Source:
CBS – Los Angeles