Has the spread of Covid-19 peaked in the U.S.? What future Covid spread could look like

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the United States seems to have peaked, with cases in states hit hard by the delta variant earlier edging downward over the last week, according to an analysis by NBC News. It’s the longest sustained decline in cases in nearly three months, giving hope to some leading pandemic forecasters. Some hospitals in areas of the country with low vaccination rates are still in crisis mode, but overall the hospitalization rate in the U.S. has dropped, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week, Covid deaths in the U.S. topped 685,027, more than the estimated 675,000 people who died during the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic. On Thursday, Florida, a delta variant hot spot, tied its seven-day reported deaths average set two days before, with 376 lives lost. Further drop in the number of new Covid cases will be stubbornly slow, experts warn. Yet, there are glimmers of light. New Covid cases reached a high point Sept. 13, with a seven-day average of cases at 166,807, NBC News data finds. Since then, cases have been gradually dropping nationwide for seven of the last eight days. It’s the most consistent decline since June 23, a time period before the delta variant took hold in the U.S. “There’s pretty decent agreement that we’re at the peak in cases nationally,” said Shaun Truelove, assistant scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “There’s quite a bit of variability between states, but as a whole, it seems that we’re at or near the peak of this thing.” It will not be a sharp decline like we saw a sharp rise. Truelove is part of a team that works on the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, a series of models that estimates the trajectory of the virus at both national and local levels. Based on Johns Hopkins projections, cases will continue to decline nationally until at least January 2022, the end point of its current estimates. Truelove is cautiously optimistic about the coming months. “Barring any rapid new change to the virus, that’s kind of the direction we’re going to continue to go — downward,” he said. A ‘slow burn’ of high case counts Ali Mokdad, chief strategy officer at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, is also hopeful that — although there may be increases in cases in areas of low vaccination — cases nationally should continue to decline in the near future. However, he projects a “slow burn” of relatively high case counts. For full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic “It will not be a sharp decline like we saw a sharp rise,” Mokdad warned.There could be a bump around the December holidays due to seasonality of the virus, potential relaxation of physical distancing measures, and any waning immunity from the vaccines, he said. The current surge of cases, driven by the delta variant, took off rapidly earlier this summer to the surprise of many infectious disease modelers. “The delta variant has been really challenging to predict,” Truelove said. “Initially we didn’t think [cases] were going to go as high as they did.” He is hopeful that although there may be increases in cases in areas of low vaccination, nationally cases should continue to decline in the near future. According to the CDC, more than 182 million people, about 55 percent of the U.S. population, are fully vaccinated against Covid. Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease modeler at Columbia University, agreed that for the current surge, the peak in cases appears to be over. However, he cautioned that because death counts tend to lag case counts by weeks, the U.S. could still see deaths rise in the next few days before peaking. “I would imagine that it’s going to be next week that we’re probably going to see the peak of deaths nationally,” he said. “There may be some wiggle room there, but generally I’d say two to four weeks after the peak of cases, you can expect to see the peaks of deaths.” Shaman is hopeful that despite the lifting of public health measures in certain areas, the U.S. will follow the path of his models and continue to see a downward trajectory in cases over the coming weeks and months. “We have some governors and officials who are doing what seems to be their best to create conditions that are conducive for the spread of the virus,” he said, referring to the lack of mask mandates and even the outlawing of school mask mandates in certain states. The Covid forecasters are very careful about saying whether the end of the pandemic in the U.S. is near. The ferocious spread of the delta variant in the country over the summer caught many by surprise. “It was quite shocking,” Truelove said. “That’s just the nature of this pandemic. It just keeps throwing us curve balls that we wouldn’t have expected and they continue to challenge us.” He warned that projections could be thrown off by colder weather and the ever present potential for a new variant to emerge. “Who knows what other variants are going to come around, or if we’re going to have some surge for other reasons that we’re really not anticipating at this point,” Truelove said. Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter & Facebook. Source link  More...

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1 killed, 13 others injured in shooting at Kroger supermarket outside Memphis

One person was killed and at least 13 other people were injured in a shooting at a Kroger grocery store Thursday afternoon in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee. Officers responded to reports of an active shooter at the supermarket in Collierville, a suburb about 30 miles east of downtown Memphis, just after 1:30 p.m. local time, Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said. The suspect, who was not identified, is dead from what authorities said they believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lane said investigators are planning to execute search warrants at undisclosed locations as part of the investigation. “The suspected shooter’s vehicle is in the parking lot, and we are waiting on some additional equipment to get here to be able to safely check that vehicle, as well as some property that was on him,” Lane said. At least 12 people were taken to hospitals, and one person walked into a hospital for treatment, Lane said. Regional One Health Medical Center, a Level 1 trauma center in Memphis, reported that it had taken in nine of the injured and that four were in critical condition. Two people were being treated at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare; their conditions were not clear. At least one person was killed. People hug outside the Kroger in Collierville, Tenn., the scene of a shooting Thursday.Joe Rondone / The Commercial Appeal / USA Today Network Kroger referred questions to Collierville police in a statement Thursday. “The entire Kroger family offers our thoughts, prayers and support to the individuals and families of the victims during this difficult time,” the grocery chain said. “We are cooperating with local law enforcement, who have secured the store and parking lot. The store will remain closed while the police investigation continues, and we have initiated counseling services for our associates.” Authorities said they were working with witnesses to understand what unfolded before the shooting and did not have any information about a motive. “There were numerous employees that were working,” Lane said. “We found people hiding in freezers and in locked offices. … They were doing what they had been trained to do: run, hide, fight. And so, you know, I hate that we had to do it here.” Brignetta Dickerson, a Kroger employee, told NBC affiliate WMC of Memphis that she first thought the gunshots were balloons popping, until they continued and she ran. She, along with some customers and co-workers, headed toward the employee break room and kept running to the receiving area. “There’s another opening where you can go in and hide, through an incinerator. … He comes right behind us, starts shooting,” Dickerson said. “And he kept on shooting, shooting, shooting. He shot one of my co-workers in the head and shot one of the customers in the stomach.” Lane addressed a photo of a man on the store’s roof that had been circulating on social media, saying that he could not officially deny that the person was the shooter yet but that an employee had to be extricated off the roof. “I was part of a team that extricated an employee of Kroger from the top of the building,” Lane said. “So it’s more than likely going to be a Kroger employee that was working on the roof.” Doha Madani is a breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her. Source link  More...

Trump pushes for election audit in Texas, a state he won

Former President Donald Trump is pushing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for an “audit” of the 2020 election results in state he won handily, the latest move in his continuing efforts to undermine faith in the results of a presidential election he lost by millions of votes. “Despite my big win in Texas, I hear Texans want an election audit!” Trump wrote in a letter to Abbott, his close ally, that was made public by Trump’s political action committee Thursday. “You know your fellow Texans have big questions about the November 2020 Election,” the letter said. Trump has been stoking those doubts by continuing to falsely claim the election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him despite no evidence of any widespread fraud. Trump, who has not ruled out running for president again in 2024, has continued to publicly question the results in states he lost by narrow margins — he sent a letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger last week demanding he decertify his loss there — but the request for an audit in a state he won by a 600,000 vote margin over Joe Biden is a new tactic. It comes as the former president’s supporters have been pushing for audits and reviews of areas he won by blowout margins in hopes of unearthing fraud. An NBC News review earlier this week found a push to revisit November’s results is underway or being called for in at least nine counties Trump won by more than 24 points. Abbott’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The Texas governor is up for re-election in 2022 and is already trying to fend off conservative critics and primary opponents. “Texas needs you to act now,” Trump declared in the letter to Abbott. Trump urged that legislation be passed in the current special session called by the governor, calling it “the perfect, and maybe last, opportunity to pass this audit bill.” The bill would make it easier for candidates and county chairs to demand audits if they’re skeptical of the results. It was sponsored by Steve Toth, a state House Republican who unsuccessfully tried to sue to invalidate ballots cast in 2020 by drive-through. “Your citizens don’t trust the election system, and they want your leadership on this issue, which is the number one thing they care about,” Trump wrote to Abbott. Toth tweeted his thanks to the former president for his support, adding the hashtag “AuditAll50States.” Responding to Trump’s letter to him, Raffensperger told MSNBC on Wednesday that it’s well past time to move on. “At the end of the day, it’s been 10 months now and I think I — I’m alarmed and I think most people are alarmed that we’re still talking and still facing these issues of election disinformation, misinformation. It really at the end of the day hurts the social fabric of our nation,” he said. Dareh Gregorian is a politics reporter for NBC News. Source link  More...

Denver husbands are ‘a perfect match’ in love — and kidneys

Plenty of couples think they’re made for each other, but Denver husbands Reid Alexander and Rafael Díaz have medical proof. When Alexander, 24, needed a new kidney, Díaz, 28, turned out to be an ideal donor for the lifesaving organ. “It just feels like it was meant to be,” Díaz said. Alexander had been diagnosed at 17 with Alport syndrome, a genetic condition that scars the kidneys and eventually leads to renal failure. “It was definitely scary,” Alexander said of “being a teenager and thinking your kidneys are going to fail someday.  I had to mature really fast and be focused on staying healthy.”  Alport syndrome is relatively rare, affecting 1 in every 5,000 to 10,000 people, or between 30,000 and 60,000 people in the United States, according to the Alport Syndrome Foundation.  It can also cause vision and hearing loss. As a result, Alexander has worn hearing aids since his senior year of high school.  Husbands Rafael Diaz, left, and Reid Alexander share a tender moment together at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on Aug. 13. Courtesy Rafael Diaz After his diagnosis, he moved forward with his life — pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in fitness and wellness from Indiana University in Bloomington.  Then, in April 2020, as Alexander was readying to graduate, he got the call: His kidney function had dropped to 20 percent, and he was officially eligible for a transplant. He’d also need to start thinking about dialysis in the near future. Even with that diagnosis hanging over his head, Alexander graduated from college and moved to Denver a few months later to begin a job as a fitness instructor working with kids. A week after his move, Alexander went on the popular dating app Tinder and matched with Díaz, who had moved to the city from Mexico about 2 ½ years earlier. On Aug. 23 of last year, the two met in person in a park. Both said there was an immediate spark — Díaz told KMGH he knew he was interested when Alexander understood his Spanish — and they have spent nearly every day together since.  “We have a lot of things in common, and we make each other laugh all the time,” Díaz said. “We always spend a lot of time in the kitchen or watching movies.” Alexander said his condition came up fairly early in their relationship. “We were cooking dinner, and Raf was putting salt in something — salt is one of the things I really have to be careful about,” he said. “So I told him not to do that, and he asked why. So I talked about it, and we talked about why I wear hearing aids and all that.” Though they hadn’t been dating long, Díaz didn’t flinch. In fact, he asked to be tested as a potential donor almost right away. “I was like, ‘No, no, that’s so amazing, but you don’t have to do that.’ I mean, we were only dating a short while,” Alexander said. “But he would keep talking about it. It felt like such a serious thing: You’re giving me your organ.”  In February, Alexander’s kidneys worsened, and he had to begin dialysis. The procedure is critical, but it is a  major life disturbance, requiring three sessions a week lasting up to five hours each, he said. “I haven’t really been able to hold a 9-to-5 job because of the dialysis,” Alexander said, which often caused him to return home drained of energy and feeling dizzy.  On April 9, Díaz and Alexander got married in a small courthouse ceremony.  Alexander’s health continued to decline, and he moved up the transplant list. That’s when Díaz said he was getting tested — whether his husband wanted him to or not. “He really didn’t want me to do it!” Díaz said. “He was like, ‘No, no, you don’t have to.’ But I got tested anyway, and the doctors said we were a perfect match.” Their hospital in Denver thought the surgery was too risky given the size of Díaz’s kidney, so the procedure was performed at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where Alexander had started his treatment for Alport syndrome as a teen and where his parents could help with the couple’s convalescence.  On Aug. 13, almost exactly a year after that first date in the park, one of Díaz’s kidneys was implanted in his husband. “To know that someone is doing this incredible thing for you, and it’s someone you love, is really an amazing feeling,” Alexander said. Both the extraction and transplant surgeries went smoothly, and, thanks in part to their youth and otherwise good health, Díaz and Alexander were out of the hospital days earlier than expected. They’re now recuperating at Alexander’s parents’ house in Kokomo, Indiana.  Rafael Diaz, left, and Reid Alexander smile in a hospital room at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital on Aug. 14, the day after Diaz donated one of his kidneys to Alexander.Courtesy Rafael Diaz On Monday, five weeks after his operation, Alexander said his new kidney is working well, and he and Díaz are on the mend. Hospital protocol requires the couple to stay in Indiana for three months, though, leaving them unable to work. In addition, they have to avoid driving and flying for six to eight weeks.  To make sure his body doesn’t reject Díaz’s kidney, Alexander is on medications that wipe out his immune system. That leaves him susceptible to almost any infection, with Covid-19 only adding another layer of concern. “We have to be super crazy about washing hands and avoiding exposure to things because I don’t really have an immune system right now,” Alexander said.  He and Díaz have launched a GoFundMe to help cover rent and expenses, Alexander said. Díaz said the toughest, though, has been stepping back from his role as caretaker during his convalescence. A nutritionist, he’s been active in maintaining Alexander’s health almost since they met. “I took care of Reid before the surgery, and I will take care of this man for the rest of our lives,” Díaz said. “I want to take care of him right now, but it’s hard.” Alexander said he’s still in shock about the sacrifice his husband made. “Sometimes I forget,” Alexander said. “I mean, I know there’s a kidney in me now — it feels like a rock in my side. But I catch myself and think, ‘He gave me a kidney.’ It’s amazing. We’ve only been together a year, but we’ve always felt so connected, and now our bond is even stronger now. A part of him will always be with me.”  Follow NBC Out on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram Source link  More...

Bipartisan police reform legislation talks end without a deal, Sen. Booker says

Once-promising negotiations for a sweeping bipartisan police reform bill have broken down and Democrats will now “explore all other options,” Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said Wednesday. Booker and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., had been trying to work out a deal with Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., since the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in March, legislation that lacked enough Republican support to clear the Senate. “We made it clear from the beginning of our negotiations that a bill must ensure true accountability, transparency, and the policing standards necessary to bring an end to horrific incidents of violence Americans are routinely seeing — like the murder of George Floyd. After months of exhausting every possible pathway to a bipartisan deal, it remains out of reach right now,” Booker said in a statement. Booker called Scott just before noon on Wednesday to tell him the negotiations were over. The call came after a meeting on Tuesday between the trio where Booker and Bass presented a drastically scaled-back proposal, which Scott rejected, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The proposal included the minimum that Democrats were willing to accept and left out controversial provisions like qualified immunity, the criminalization of excessive use of force and no-knock warrants. The proposal included provisions to address mental health for police officers, a database of police misconduct and terminations, the militarization of police departments and would also make an executive order former Trump signed into law. “Unfortunately, even with this law enforcement support and further compromises we offered, there was still too wide a gulf with our negotiating partners and we faced significant obstacles to securing a bipartisan deal,” Booker said. “The time has come to explore all other options to achieve meaningful and common sense policing reform,” he added. It was unclear what the other options could be since passing legislation in the Senate is likely to require some Republican support. Scott said he was “deeply disappointed” by the announcement, and said “Democrats have once again squandered a crucial opportunity to implement meaningful reform to make our neighborhoods safer and mend the tenuous relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. Crime will continue to increase while safety decreases and more officers are going to walk away from the force because my negotiating partners walked away from the table.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki blamed the breakdown on Republicans and said President Joe Biden may take executive action on the issue. “Republicans rejected reforms that even the previous president had supported and refuse to engage on key issues that many law enforcement, were willing to address and so we’re disappointed. The president is disappointed,” Psaki said. Biden said in a statement that “I still hope to sign into law a comprehensive and meaningful police reform bill that honors the name and memory of George Floyd because we need legislation to ensure lasting and meaningful change. But this moment demands action, and we cannot allow those who stand in the way of progress to prevent us from answering the call.” He added that the White House would continue to work with lawmakers “who are serious about meaningful police reform” while also consulting with civil rights leaders and law enforcement about potential executive orders. Vice President Kamala Harris called the lack of Republican support “unconscionable.” “Millions of people marched in the streets to see reform and accountability, not further inaction,” she said in a tweet. “Moving forward, we are committed to exploring every available action at the executive level to advance the cause of justice in our nation.” The executive director of the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, also expressed dismay at the stalled bill. “It’s a shame that the bill that bore George Floyd’s name was not passed, but it does not diminish the fact that Mr. Floyd truly changed the world,” Jacari Harris said. “We will ensure that his caring spirit never dies,” Harris said. The issue of reforming qualified immunity, which shields police from civil liability, had been a sticking point in the talks, but Booker told reporters there were other areas of disagreement as well. “At this negotiating table, in this moment, we were not making progress. In fact, a recent back and forth … showed me that we were actually moving away from it,” he said. The talks had been dragging on for months with more setbacks than successes. They came to a critical juncture in June when Booker reached an agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police on changes to qualified immunity. But Scott walked away, saying that he couldn’t support it because the sheriffs balked. Since then, the two parties have failed to reach a consensus on several issues, including no-knock warrants, which was used when Breonna Taylor was killed, and the criminalization of excessive use of force. Scott countered that the two sides had “plenty of agreement” and would have made a difference to “families of victims who have lost their lives at the hands of police.” The talks had been dragging on for months with more setbacks than successes. They came to a critical juncture in June when Booker reached an agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police on changes to qualified immunity. But Scott walked away, saying that he couldn’t support it because the sheriffs balked. Since then, the two parties have failed to reach consensus on several issues, including no-knock warrants, which was used when Breonna Taylor was killed, and the criminalization of excessive use of force. In a separate statement, Bass agreed with Booker that the bill had gotten too watered down. “We accepted significant compromises, knowing that they would be a tough sell to our community, but still believing that we would be moving the needle forward on the issue. But every time, more was demanded to the point that there would be no progress made in the bill we were left discussing,” she said. Bass said the breakdown calls for a “re-engagement of the legislative process,” and urged President Joe Biden and the White House to “use their constitutionally-mandated power to bring about meaningful police reform.” Source link  More...

ABC’s reboot of ‘The Wonder Years’ recaptures the dramedy’s magic, and adds its own

In 1988, 29 million households watched the ABC premiere of “The Wonder Years,” a critically acclaimed family dramedy set in the 1960s that showcased one of the most transitional periods in American history. The show indulged TV viewers’ collective love of nostalgia even as it pushed the boundaries of the sitcom genre with its realism and its vulnerable take on adolescence. Now, more than 30 years since the show premiered, “The Wonder Years” returns to ABC (as well as Hulu) on Wednesday night with a brand new family as its focus. Set in the same period, amid racial strife, war and a flu pandemic that killed 100,000 Americans, the sitcom this time centers on a Black middle-class family, the Williamses, living in Montgomery, Alabama. Directed by “The Wonder Years” alum Fred Savage, who starred as 12-year-old Kevin Arnold in the original, the new series looks like a relic of the past, from the costuming to the musical references to the set design. Yet it’s never been more timely. Fred Savage starred as Kevin Arnold in “The Wonder Years” from 1988-1993.New World/Black-Marlens/Kobal/Shutterstock file We are living in such a polarized era, in which the days feel so off-kilter that it can be easy to forget that this country has found its way through equally tumultuous moments in the past. Revising “The Wonder Years” provides a clear throughline into that past and allows viewers to connect modern-day movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo to a previous era. Of course, telling our history through a sitcom makes it more digestible for those who may otherwise dismiss these important topics. Despite the uncertainty and the chaos of the ’60s, so much of what made the original series magnetic was its reckoning with the cares and concerns of tweens and teens. Like its predecessor, this version of “The Wonder Years” vividly captures the last few years of “pure unadulterated childhood” — as adult Kevin puts it in the original series pilot. This time, they are experienced by Kevin’s counterpart, Dean (Elisha “EJ” Williams), as perceived with the hindsight of his adult self. Related While the Williamses are a Black Southern family living during the civil rights movement, Dean is mainly concerned with baseball, living up to his siblings’ perceived perfection and comic-book-loving tomboy Keisa Clemmons (Milan Ray), who is the object of his obsession. Still, the events of the ’60s affect Dean directly in a way that they never touched Kevin. In the opening scene of the series, adult Dean (narrator Don Cheadle) mentions that his parents have already had the “police talk” with him; in the original, racial profiling and police brutality are things Kevin never had to contend with. And the plot is set up for more deep engagement with the Vietnam War. In the earlier series, the older brother of Winnie (Kevin’s love interest) dies in the war. This time, Dean’s older brother, Bruce, is the one who’s fighting. Moreover, the world around Dean is changing rapidly, and it’s not just overseas; his neighborhood and school have also been transformed. Although Alabama had enacted a law forbidding school desegregation in 1966, by 1968, when the show opens, integration had gone into effect. In the backdrop of the narrative, Dean’s all-Black elementary school has closed its doors, with Dean, his best friend, Cory (Amari O’Neil), and the rest of the neighborhood kids shipped over to the now-mixed Jefferson Davis Junior High School. How pointedly ironic that the school was named for the president of the Confederacy. As the reboot begins, adult Dean notes that the race riots of the previous summer had caused an exodus of white people, or “white flight,” from Montgomery. By the start of the school year, most of the students at Dean’s school have adjusted to integration, but moments of microaggression and outright racism persist, from white students’ refusal to use the water fountain to a teacher’s insensitive remarks. In keeping with the original show, “The Wonder Years'” reboot pilot opens at the moment before everything shifts for Dean. While he is focused on winning a baseball game, perhaps the most horrific moment of the year occurs: the death of Martin Luther King Jr. It was news that would ricochet across the Black community and the world, effectively changing everything that would come next. Related For all its acknowledgments of the social unrest of the era, however, “The Wonder Years” isn’t a heavy show. Many Black families, like the Williamses, lived whole and robust lives in which they didn’t have to consider white people and whiteness at every moment of their existence. Adult Dean notes that his all-Black neighborhood was a hub of warmth and safety, filled with entrepreneurs, veterans and a whole community of folks who looked just like him. The new “Wonder Years” has moments of absolute joy and levity, but it also proves that history continues to scream at us from the past. Fifty-plus years later, if we continue to ignore the lessons of previous generations, we will find ourselves in an endless cycle of repetition. It’s the very reason a rebooted show resonates so much at this time. Aramide A. Tinubu Aramide A. Tinubu is a film critic and entertainment writer who has been published in Ebony, Jet, Essence, Bustle, The Daily Mail, IndieWire and Blavity. She writes at her blog, Chocolate Girl in the City. Source link  More...

Student dead, others injured after drive-by shooting at Kentucky school bus stop

Two teenagers were shot, one fatally, while waiting Wednesday morning for their school bus, Louisville, Kentucky, police said. The students were on a corner in the city’s Russell neighborhood around 6:30 a.m. when someone in a vehicle drove by and opened fire, according to the Louisville Metro Police Department. One boy, 16, was pronounced dead at the hospital, while another suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said. A girl with minor injuries was not shot, according to authorities. Details on how she was injured were unclear. Police have not released the names of the victims. Other children at the bus stop were not injured, police said. “The biggest thing we’re taking away right now is that we had kids that couldn’t even wait at a bus stop this morning without getting shot, and that is horrifying and devastating, and we’re going to throw all our resources into finding out who did this,” Louisville Metro Police Maj. Shannon Lauder said Wednesday. Investigators asked for footage from cameras in the area as they search for a suspect. Police later said they were looking for a gray Jeep with the Illinois license plate BD91644. Alert: We’re looking for this vehicle in the area of this morning’s homicide. We need to talk to any occupants who may have information on this.Grey Jeep license plate with Illinois plate BD91644. Call 574-LMPD. You can remain anonymous. We need your help #LMPD #Louisville pic.twitter.com/j690CrF2CF — LMPD (@LMPD) September 22, 2021 “A teen who should be in school today will not be there, and will never be there again,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at a news conference Wednesday morning. He said the boy was the city’s 145th homicide victim this year. A Jefferson County Public Schools spokesperson said the students were headed to the district’s Eastern High School and the bus was close to picking them up. The official said the loss of a student was “devastating.” “All of our hearts are breaking right now,” they said. Elisha Fieldstadt is a breaking news reporter for NBC News. Source link  More...

Martin Lewis shares ‘golden rules’ for handling credit & ‘best shifting deals since 2019′ | Personal Finance | Finance

Mr Lewis also shared his “golden rules” and best practices to quickly pay off credit card debt and avoiding extensive fees when doing so. Speaking on the Live ITV show, he explained how balance transfer debt shifting cards could help many Britons out of their credit card debt as well as the best deals currently on offer for students. When it comes to which balance transfer cards are the best to go with, Mr Lewis noted: “Always go for the lowest fee within the 0 percent length provided you’re sure you can repay it in that time.” He commented that the MBNA’s offer of up to 27 months 0 percent card with a one percent one-off fee of the amount of debt that is being shifted between the cards. However, this card also gives up to £30 cashback when shifting over £1,000. Mr Lewis pointed out that because of this, if one shifts between £1,000 and £3,000 it would effectively be no fee at all. “Think about it,” he said, “You shift £2000, there’s a £20 but they give you £30 cashback so they’re actually reducing your debt by £10 when you start.” DONT MISS:  Another card that was noteworthy for Mr Lewis was Santander’s which offers 31 months 0 percent for a once-off 2.75 percent fee of the debt being shifted. The money-maverick also shared his top three tips for dealing with credit cards and managing the debt, even when it comes to deals like these. “My golden rules: never miss the minimum repayment,” keeping on top of the repayments is vital to ensuring one’s interest rate stays low and decreases the chances of any penalties. He continued: “Clear the debt before the 0 percent ends or you’ll pay the APR of 20 percent or more,” while for some debt may seem insurmountable, it’s always best practice to deal with it as quickly as possible. This is especially important for those whose 0 percent ends soon as many simply forget that these fees are still creeping up on them. “Don’t spend or withdraw cash on it because that isn’t at a cheap rate,” while credit cards can be used to withdraw and spend, it usually comes at a higher price than taking the money from a general bank account.   As the new school year starts, Mr Lewis also weighed in on the top student back accounts currently on offer: “Santander gives a guaranteed £15,00 0 percent interest overdraft for those who are accepted and a free rail card for four years worth £100. “HSBC not guaranteed but £1,000 overdraft 0 percent in the first year and up to £3,000 in the last year and that gives you free £80 in credit on your account and £20 UberEats.” “Those are the two to beat if you’re looking what’s out there,” he concluded. The Martin Lewis Money Show is officially back for its usual run-time of September to March and appears to have aired just in time to help viewers with the energy crisis. In the current economic atmosphere, even Mr Lewis noted that he was slightly disdained at the fact that majority of this episode was focused around ‘damage control’ more than helping his viewers generate and use their wealth optimally. Source link  More...

Carer’s Allowance offers unpaid carers an extra £270 a month | Personal Finance | Finance

People who have just started to look after a neighbour, friend or relative could be completely unaware that they are entitled to claim an extra £67 a week if they spend at least 35 hours a week helping them. They don’t have to be related, or even live in the same house, as long as they are assisting them with everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, washing, managing bills and shopping. And it’s not just people with Alzheimer’s that might have a carer who is entitled to claim the Carer’s Allowance, it could be anyone with a mental health condition or other disability. The DWP does however ask that certain criteria is met and that the carer has been living in the UK for at least three years and isn’t in full time education. READ MORE: Nationwide is offering £100 and two percent interest rate on saving Source link  More...

Savings warning as older people face shortfall of over £10,000 – act now to maximise cash | Personal Finance | Finance

Recent research undertaken by the Yorkshire Building Society in its ‘The Nation’s Nest Egg’ report, showed Great Britain is currently facing a savings shortfall of £371billion. Although many people have managed to save more money during the last 18 months, this shows how far many individuals are from reaching a point of financial comfort. The shortfall equates to an average of £7,200, per person. However, the matter is exacerbated for those aged between 45 and 54, who face a sizeable savings gap of £10,280. Regardless of age, as inflation rises at record levels, many people will need to consider how they can make their money go further, and potentially make a series of changes. Express.co.uk spoke to Tina Hughes, director of savings at Yorkshire Building Society, who issued top tips for individuals on how to make one’s money go further in later life. Firstly, Britons are encouraged to review any savings they currently have, as a low interest environment means many will have to make sure their money is working as hard as possible. Recent figures have suggested there is approximately £246.5billion in accounts which currently pay no interest at all.  Ms Hughes stated that if individuals have built up money through their current account, it could be worth shopping around to see if any money could be transferred into an easy access or fixed term account. These could create better interest rates, but for the latter, in exchange for limited access. READ MORE: Free prescription age may rise to 66 – millions of items ‘unnecessary’ A second point to make one’s money go further is to look into spending habits, a perfect way to help boost savings. Ms Hughes said: “Be that reviewing your direct debits and seeing if there is anything you are paying for that you are not really using or simply making your own lunch instead of a shop bought sandwich. “Also, with energy prices and tariffs increasing, make sure you are on the best available deal as this could save you money. These small changes can go a long way, especially with inflation at an all-time high, as you may find outgoings increasing.” One big way where money could be saved is looking in detail at one’s mortgage. Although house prices have risen, mortgage rates are falling and so if someone has come to the end of their deal, they could remortgage to lock in the best possible rate. DON’T MISSInheritance Tax ‘more profitable’ for Rishi Sunak as receipts soar [ANALYSIS]DWP update as Britons’ bank accounts will be checked for benefit fraud [UPDATE]Excellent news for savers as provider offers new ‘best-buy’ account [INSIGHT] Remortgaging is often seen as one of the best ways to make big savings on monthly payments, and as this is likely to be a person’s largest monthly outgoing, it could make a real difference. However, older people are also encouraged to look at the idea of downsizing. They could stand to make money on selling a more expensive property in favour of a smaller one and then pocketing the difference in a savings account. Ms Hughes has also recommended individuals look at their pension pot, in order to understand how to make it work the hardest it possibly can to secure one’s future. She continued: “If you can afford to it is worth increasing your workplace pension contributions to as high as you can.  “A lot of firms will also match your contribution up to a certain percentage meaning you are building a healthier pension with their money supporting yours. “For those over the age of 55, the Government allows a ‘pension drawdown’ meaning you have the ability to take a quarter of the value of their pension, tax free.  “Investing these funds could well be a flexible option for those who want to increase potential returns on their pension, but as with any investment, this is not without risks and financial advice should be sought before any decisions are made.” Finally, Ms Hughes acknowledged there may be some individuals who are uncomfortable financially, and may need additional forms of support. This is particularly the case for many of those who have been struggling with the impacts of the pandemic on their day-to-day lives and financial security. As a result, then, she actively encouraged individuals to seek out advice and speak to experts, pointing Britons towards the Money Helper platform. The Government-led website is described as a “great resource” and covers issues such as debt, housing, loans, benefits, and even tips for saving and budgeting. Ms Hughes also said Britons can speak to their savings provider, whether this is Yorkshire Building Society, or someone else, who may be able to provide more tailored assistance.  Source link  More...

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is coming to the Switch next year

One of the bigger surprises of Nintendo’s latest Direct was a brand-new Kirby game — one that throws the cute pink ball into a post-apocalyptic world. It’s called Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and it looks to be a 3D exploration title about a world that’s been largely abandoned. Nintendo describes is as “a mysterious world full of abandoned structures from a past civilization.” It certainly looks less bright and cheerful compared to his previous adventures, though Kirby still has the ability to absorb other’s powers and wear cute outfits, and is fighting some familiar foes along the way. News of the game actually leaked out a bit earlier in the day. When it debuts, the game will join a growing list of Kirby titles on the Switch including Kirby Star Allies, Super Kirby Clash, and Kirby Fighters 2. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is coming to the Switch in Spring 2022. Source link  More...

Japanese Breakfast on composing Sable’s sprawling ambient soundtrack

This week marks the release of Sable, a beautiful indie title that looks like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild mixed with a comic from Jean “Moebius” Giraud. It’s not just the game’s art that’s striking, though; the whole experience is accompanied by an excellent original soundtrack composed by Michelle Zauner, the frontwoman for the indie rock band Japanese Breakfast. Ahead of Sable’s launch on Thursday and the release of the official soundtrack on Friday, I got the opportunity to talk to Zauner about composing the music for the game. It has a completely different sound than what you might be used to from her other work, so I wanted to know what it was like to make the music and where she got her inspiration. There was a lot to talk about, including glow worms, pop music, a humongous Spotify playlist, and the Chrono Cross soundtrack. Read on for the full conversation, which has been lightly edited for clarity. The Verge: How did you get involved with the project? Michelle Zauner: I believe in 2017, Daniel Fineberg, one of the developers, reached out to me on Twitter in a DM. I had just released my second album, “Soft Sounds From Another Planet,” and to help promote it, me and this woman named Elaine Fath worked on developing a mini-RPG game called Japanese BreakQuest that had mini versions of all of the songs from the album. Daniel and Greg [Kythreotis], the developers of Sable, really wanted to work with a composer that was outside of the gaming world and could offer a kind of something new to the world that they were building. I think Daniel was a fan of Japanese Breakfast, and, seeing that I was interested in games and enjoyed them, thought that I would be a good fit. I had only seen the GIFs of the art at that time because that was all that was really there. And I loved it and just knew I wanted to be involved right away. What was the process of actually working on Sable? I’m curious about how you collaborated with the developers. I don’t know if it’s normal or not, but I think that I was brought in very early. I was just so excited to be a part of it. I had just finished my second album and I was on the hunt for new projects, and so I started working on music really early on before I had even seen much of the game. At the time, there was just a large Word doc of what they were trying for and what the different biomes were going to look like. On tour, I was writing a lot with plugins on the computer, [thinking about] what, like, a glow worm cave would look like, based on a description. And then, in 2019, more of the game and more of the narrative started coming together. I would see sort of videos of the different areas and realize whether or not the music that I had composed earlier fit better in different sections, and so I just continued to write. “In 2020, I would say I spent a majority of my lockdown playing the updated builds of the game.” In 2020, I would say I spent a majority of my lockdown playing the updated builds of the game. That’s when the real concentrated work started happening; playing the updated builds every week and finding where we could put music in ways that can uplift certain sections, where to place the songs, and how to integrate the music with the sound designer, Martin Wallace. Did the developers change anything based on the music you created? Yeah, I do think so. I wrote “Glider” pretty early on in the process before the narrative was really shored up. I had maybe 10 key words of what I knew [the developers] were going for that I was working off of to incorporate lyrics. We all knew really early on that we were going to have a major moment in the game where you leave the main area and there’s this theme that plays. When you leave your village, [the developers] were inspired by the Jose Gonzalez composition in Red Dead Redemption; there being this long moment where you get a song that has vocals in it that paints the mood and the feeling of what it’s like to leave your hometown. I knew that that was going to be a big moment, and I wanted to tackle that problem pretty early. I think some of the lyrical content and some of the structure of that song helped inform some of the game. I also wrote the end theme before there was a cutscene at the end, and they were able to cut and edit to that. And I think that as they were coloring certain worlds, they were able to listen to music I had pitched and hopefully be inspired by that in some way. How was composing for Sable different than for Japanese Breakfast or writing your own music? Super different in two major ways. One is that Japanese Breakfast essentially is like a pop project. There’s a real structure in pop music with repeating choruses, and you’re constantly trying to create an earworm and get a hook out as quickly as possible. Whereas in these ambient instrumental pieces [in Sable] in which you’re traversing an open world, you really need them to not become grating. The sprawling ambient loops are a very new type of writing that I had to explore. Lyrically, [Sable] was very different. So much of my work in Japanese Breakfast is very personal and rooted in specific details of my life, while Sable has nothing to do with me. I had to write lyrics that were very broad and universal and touch on what it’s like to come of age or be uncertain about your future. It was really fun to learn that I don’t have to excavate my own personal trauma in order to write compelling music; I can write these themes that can apply to anyone and they can be moving in a unique way. Do you think you’ll take any of what you learned working on Sable to your next album? Yeah, absolutely. I think that “Better the Mask” [which you can hear part of in this trailer] may be the best song I’ve ever written. I’m most proud of my work on that song. I’ve become a lot more competent at arranging strings and piano for the first time. I’ve grown so much as a producer on this project, as the sole producer on the project, and I definitely will apply a lot of those lessons for Japanese Breakfast. I saw you had an amazing Spotify playlist with like 150 songs of inspiration [note: it actually has 173 songs]. How did that come together and how did you use it while you were writing things? I was pretty new to ambient music and I really fell in love with it over the course of working on this project. I started collecting a Spotify playlist to make sure that Greg and Daniel and Martin and I were in conversation of what the vibe was going to be like and that nothing was off-putting to them and because I ultimately felt like I was contributing to their world. I haven’t been the creative director on the project. I’m just a contributor. I think that [the playlist] was a really wonderful way to share my inspiration and talk to Greg and Daniel about what kind of music they were inspired by and thought of when creating these different spaces. [The playlist] was a really fun thing to toss back and forth and use as a reference point. What games were you inspired by, if any? The first video game I played as a kid that made me realize that video games were a real art form was this game called Secret of Mana for SNES. It’s an RPG game that I played with my father. I love the soundtrack to that game. The Breath of the Wild soundtrack was a really important one. I really love the Chrono Cross soundtrack, and particularly the variations of themes they have for another world. I thought about those a lot when working on the day and nighttime variations for the different biomes [in Sable]. And I like all of the Final Fantasy games, which have such incredible soundtracks. I know that Greg referenced Majora’s Mask a lot because there’s this haunting, strange quality that Koji Kondo has that we wanted to bring out for the Mask Caster or certain areas of the game. Do you think you’d work on any more games in the future? I hope that this is a good resume addition to showcase my breadth as a composer. Hopefully another really mesmerizing project like this will enter my life someday in the future. What kind of project would be most interesting to you? I don’t know. Sable was such a perfect project for me to be a part of. It was a real joy and honor to get to work on it. It would be fun to work on some kind of platformer that was less ambient and more obnoxious with an in-your-face kind of theme. If I could do more songs like the “Chum Lair” song on the soundtrack, I think that would be a fun new area to flex for me. And it’s very different from Sable. Source link  More...

Has the spread of Covid-19 peaked in the U.S.? What future Covid spread could look like

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the United States seems to have peaked, with cases in states hit hard by the delta variant earlier edging downward over the last week, according to an analysis by NBC News. It’s the longest sustained decline in cases in nearly three months, giving hope to some leading pandemic forecasters. Some hospitals in areas of the country with low vaccination rates are still in crisis mode, but overall the hospitalization rate in the U.S. has dropped, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week, Covid deaths in the U.S. topped 685,027, more than the estimated 675,000 people who died during the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic. On Thursday, Florida, a delta variant hot spot, tied its seven-day reported deaths average set two days before, with 376 lives lost. Further drop in the number of new Covid cases will be stubbornly slow, experts warn. Yet, there are glimmers of light. New Covid cases reached a high point Sept. 13, with a seven-day average of cases at 166,807, NBC News data finds. Since then, cases have been gradually dropping nationwide for seven of the last eight days. It’s the most consistent decline since June 23, a time period before the delta variant took hold in the U.S. “There’s pretty decent agreement that we’re at the peak in cases nationally,” said Shaun Truelove, assistant scientist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “There’s quite a bit of variability between states, but as a whole, it seems that we’re at or near the peak of this thing.” It will not be a sharp decline like we saw a sharp rise. Truelove is part of a team that works on the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, a series of models that estimates the trajectory of the virus at both national and local levels. Based on Johns Hopkins projections, cases will continue to decline nationally until at least January 2022, the end point of its current estimates. Truelove is cautiously optimistic about the coming months. “Barring any rapid new change to the virus, that’s kind of the direction we’re going to continue to go — downward,” he said. A ‘slow burn’ of high case counts Ali Mokdad, chief strategy officer at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, is also hopeful that — although there may be increases in cases in areas of low vaccination — cases nationally should continue to decline in the near future. However, he projects a “slow burn” of relatively high case counts. For full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic “It will not be a sharp decline like we saw a sharp rise,” Mokdad warned.There could be a bump around the December holidays due to seasonality of the virus, potential relaxation of physical distancing measures, and any waning immunity from the vaccines, he said. The current surge of cases, driven by the delta variant, took off rapidly earlier this summer to the surprise of many infectious disease modelers. “The delta variant has been really challenging to predict,” Truelove said. “Initially we didn’t think [cases] were going to go as high as they did.” He is hopeful that although there may be increases in cases in areas of low vaccination, nationally cases should continue to decline in the near future. According to the CDC, more than 182 million people, about 55 percent of the U.S. population, are fully vaccinated against Covid. Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease modeler at Columbia University, agreed that for the current surge, the peak in cases appears to be over. However, he cautioned that because death counts tend to lag case counts by weeks, the U.S. could still see deaths rise in the next few days before peaking. “I would imagine that it’s going to be next week that we’re probably going to see the peak of deaths nationally,” he said. “There may be some wiggle room there, but generally I’d say two to four weeks after the peak of cases, you can expect to see the peaks of deaths.” Shaman is hopeful that despite the lifting of public health measures in certain areas, the U.S. will follow the path of his models and continue to see a downward trajectory in cases over the coming weeks and months. “We have some governors and officials who are doing what seems to be their best to create conditions that are conducive for the spread of the virus,” he said, referring to the lack of mask mandates and even the outlawing of school mask mandates in certain states. The Covid forecasters are very careful about saying whether the end of the pandemic in the U.S. is near. The ferocious spread of the delta variant in the country over the summer caught many by surprise. “It was quite shocking,” Truelove said. “That’s just the nature of this pandemic. It just keeps throwing us curve balls that we wouldn’t have expected and they continue to challenge us.” He warned that projections could be thrown off by colder weather and the ever present potential for a new variant to emerge. “Who knows what other variants are going to come around, or if we’re going to have some surge for other reasons that we’re really not anticipating at this point,” Truelove said. Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter & Facebook. Source link  More...

Russian plane enters NATO member Estonia’s airspace for 6th time this year

NATO member Estonia said Thursday that a Russian air force plane violated its airspace in what the Baltic nation alleged was the sixth such incident this year by a Russian aircraft. The alleged intrusion took place at noon Wednesday as the Beriev A-50 plane entered Estonia’s airspace near the Baltic Sea island of Vaindloo and stayed there for less than one minute, Estonia’s military said in a statement. It added that the Russian plane’s crew had presented a flight plan but failed to maintain radio contact with Estonian Air Navigation Services and had the plane’s transponder switched off. Estonia’s Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Alexander Petrov to protest and gave him a note for Moscow about what it called a “very unfortunate and serious incident.” “Such a series of repeated violations (by Russian aircraft) is by no means acceptable,” the Estonian ministry added. Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics Vaindloo, a small island that belongs to Estonia, is near a corridor where Russian planes fly from the St. Petersburg area to Kaliningrad, Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave located between Poland and Lithuania. European Union member Estonia has recorded numerous air violations by Russian aircraft — civilian and military — in past years and made repeated protests to Moscow. Relations between Estonia and neighboring Russia have remained icy since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The two countries have yet to ratify a border treaty 30 years after Estonia, a former Soviet republic, regained its independence in August 1991. Source link  More...

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Meghan Markle ‘ignored’ Harry’s ‘need for reassurance’ in NYC outing

Meghan Markle, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, were snapped in New York City today visiting One World Observatory with the city’s mayor Bill De Blasio and Governor of NY Kathy Hochul. This was the royal couple’s first public appearance since the Duchess of Sussex gave birth to their daughter Lilibet, in June, 4. Body language expert Judi James exclusively told Express.co.uk how “nervous” Meghan and Harry were and at times they looked “awkward” when posing for photographs.  One World Trade Centre was built on the site of the original twin towers and the royal couple’s visit came two weeks after the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.  Earlier this month, Meghan and Harry paid tribute to the historical event by changing the homepage of the Archewell website to display the names of the almost 3,000 people who were tragically killed.  Today, they paid their respects in person.  Both wore dark ensembles for their visit as a mark of respect.  READ MORE: Princess Charlotte’s adorable Christmas jumper is back in stock Meghan had opted for wide-leg black trousers, with a navy roll-neck jumper and a long smart navy coat.  Her hair was slicked back into a bun and makeup was minimal.  Harry, on the other hand, wore a black suit, white shirt and black tie and shoes.  The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were asked if they were enjoying their visit to New York and Meghan replied: “It’s wonderful to be back.”  A member of the public also shouted “beautiful Meghan, I love you!” When they exited the building and Meghan smiled, replying: “Thank you.”  Looking at the images taken, Judi spoke about the couple’s body language with each other and individually.  Judi said: “Dressed in black and adopting some moments of suitably sombre body language to suit the venue and site they were visiting, Harry and Meghan also showed some signs of awkwardness or nerves for their first public outing together since the birth of their daughter. “Harry, in particular, performed some jacket-touching rituals and barrier gestures to suggest he was slightly ill-at-ease in front of the press cameras and some of his small touches, like the steering gesture on Meghan’s back and the back-touches inside the venue, as well as a couple of glances and words to her as they posed, suggested either a need for or a need to offer reassurance.  DON’T MISS…Weight loss: Woman shed 7st shares secret to success [PICTURES]Gardening: How often do you water an orchid? [EXPERT GUIDE]Inside the British royal residences you can stay in [NEWS] “Meghan’s lack of response on one occasion suggested that first-outing nerves might have been affecting her too,” she continued.  “Their partial smiles looked rigid and they were lightening smiles, vanishing as quickly as they had appeared. “Meghan’s reflective, somber pose alone at the rail looks iconic and moving. “Apart from some small smiles and low waves to the fans though the couple looked unusually awkward for most of the poses,” Judi added.  Meghan and Harry are no longer senior royals in the British royal family.  And despite surrendering their royal patronages and military appointments, the couple is still keen to carry out public appearances for issues and charities close to their hearts.  It was announced earlier this week the couple would be attending Saturday’s Global Citizen Live from Central Park “to continue their urgent work with world leaders in the pursuit of global vaccine equity to end the COVID-19 pandemic for everyone, everywhere”.  Source link  More...

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3.3 million Boppy baby loungers recalled after 8 infant deaths

The Boppy Company is recalling about 3.3 million baby loungers linked to eight infant deaths, both the company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday. The recall comes nearly a year after the CPSC issued a safety warning about similar pillow-like baby products. The infants reportedly suffocated after being placed on their back, side or stomach on the loungers, with the eight deaths occurring between December 2015 and June 2020, according to the CPSC and the Golden, Colorado-based company.  “These types of incidents are heartbreaking,” acting CPSC Chairman Robert S. Adler said in the recall notice. “Loungers and pillow-like products are not safe for infant sleep, due to the risk of suffocation. Since we know that infants sleep so much of the time – even in products not intended for sleep — and since suffocation can happen so quickly, these Boppy lounger products are simply too risky to remain on the market.” Boppy is “devastated to hear of these tragedies,” a Boppy spokesperson said in the statement of the infant deaths that occurred in the past six years. “The lounger was not marketed as an infant sleep product and includes warnings against unsupervised use.”  Recalled Boppy Newborn Loungers. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission The recall involves all Boppy Newborn Loungers, which were sold in three models: the Bobby Original Newborn Lounger, the Boppy Preferred Newborn Lounger and the Pottery Barn Kids Newborn Boppy Lounger. Parents and caregivers should stop using the loungers immediately and contact the company for a refund. Sold from January 2004 through September 2021 for between $30 and $44, the recalled products were distributed nationwide and in Canada by retailers including Amazon, Pottery Barn Kids, Target and Walmart.  The CPSC last October cautioned the public about letting babies fall asleep on such products, saying it was investigating reports of infant deaths.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should sleep on their backs on firm, flat surfaces free of bedding, padded bumpers or restraints.  An investigation by Consumer Reports published earlier this month connected at least 28 infant deaths to lounging pads and nursing pillows, with seven of those deaths tied to Boppy products.  Source link  More...

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