A few frequent flyers ‘dominate air travel’


John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, told BBC News: “Taxing frequent fliers is a good idea – but we also have to do something about air miles, which reward frequent fliers for flying more frequently. This is obscene during a climate crisis – and it should be stopped.”



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Magic rally in fourth, snap Clippers’ six-game win streak


LOS ANGELES — Chuma Okeke scored 18 points and the Orlando Magic rallied in the fourth quarter to snap Los Angeles’ six-game winning streak Tuesday night, defeating the Clippers 103-96.

The Magic didn’t have the lead until late in the fourth quarter and went on a 17-3 run to close the game and get their first road win since Feb. 12, ending a seven-game skid. Kawhi Leonard made a pair of free throws to give the Clippers a 93-86 lead with 2:36 remaining before the Magic scored 11 straight points to take the lead.

Terrence Ross tied it at 93 with 1:46 remaining on two free throws, and Wendell Carter Jr. put the Magic in front with 1:10 remaining with a tip-in after James Ennis III missed a layup, making it 95-94.

“This league is all about wins. We took a great step forward in the right direction,” Carter said. “It definitely is a confidence booster going up against one of the best teams in the Western Conference and getting a win on the road.”

While the Clippers are one of the league’s top teams, the Magic are a squad in transition. They traded five players — including their top three scorers — in three separate deals during last Thursday’s trade deadline.

Coach Steve Clifford hasn’t had much time to get some of the players acquired up to speed, but two had good games against the Clippers. Otto Porter Jr. scored 13 points, including eight in the final quarter, and Carter had 11 points.

“We have been a little bit limited in this stretch due to being on the road, but continue to add things, even if it is teaching them in a ballroom,” Clifford said. “This is the style we are going to have to play. We have to defend and be smart.”

Besides holding the Clippers to 32.7% shooting in the second half (16 of 49), the Magic outscored LA by 18 in the paint in the third and fourth quarters (36-18) as well as having a 15-2 advantage in fast-break points.

Orlando made 22 of its 25 free throws for the game, including 11 of 13 in the fourth quarter.

Leonard scored 28 points for the Clippers. Luke Kennard added 17 points and Ivica Zubac tallied his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

After a 24-point win over Milwaukee on Monday night, and with Denver up next on Thursday, coach Tyronn Lue thought that his team was winded in the final 12 minutes.

“I thought we struggled from the beginning, honestly. But when you’re down guys and you’re on a back-to-back, I think it’s just tough, trying to keep guys minutes down as much as we could.,” he said. “We missed a lot of shots and they got out in transition in the second half.”

The Clippers scored the game’s first 10 points — including a pair of 3-pointers by Kennard — and extended their lead to 16 points with under four minutes remaining in the second quarter.

LA led 51-37 at halftime on the strength of shooting 52.5% in the first half (21 of 40), but struggled in the third quarter, going 2 of 13 from beyond the arc as Orlando got within 73-70 at the end of the quarter.

The Clippers were 16 of 49 from the floor in the second half, including 6 of 22 on 3-pointers.

“I felt like we got some good shots, got some good looks in that second half that just didn’t fall,” Leonard said. “But obviously, just being more aggressive, attacking us when we’re missing shots, getting out in transition. They kept fighting. They didn’t quit.”

TIP INS

Magic: Ross played in his first game after missing the last seven due to a sore right knee and scored 15 points in 26 minutes. … The 66 points by Orlando in the second half is tied for second most it has had in the third and fourth quarters this season. It had 67 against Washington on Dec. 26.

Clippers: Nicolas Batum tied a season high with 10 rebounds. … Paul George missed his second straight game because of right foot soreness. He has been out for 13 games this season. … Marcus Morris Sr. (right calf contusion) did not play after scoring 25 points in Monday’s win over Milwaukee. … Rajon Rondo (right adductor soreness) has yet to play since being acquired from Atlanta last week, but Lue said Rondo and Patrick Beverley have been doing some on-court work.

UP NEXT

Magic: Travel to the New Orleans on Thursday. Orlando swept the season series last season.

Clippers: Host Denver on Thursday. LA won this season’s first meeting 121-108 on Christmas Day.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Some Californians Willing to Travel a Distance to Get COVID-19 Shots – NBC Bay Area


Everyday it seems many people are hearing stunning stories of friends and neighbors going to great lengths to get vaccinated as soon as they can as Bay Area counties continue to struggle with vaccine supply issues.

For example, thousands of cars coming and going at the Levi’s Stadium mass vaccination site in Santa Clara all day long but don’t be misled.

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib told NBC Bay Area the county received just 40,000 doses last week. “However, I would warn people, basically, that there aren’t many first dose appointments,” he said.

Fenstersheib said he expects numbers to remain flat again this week. That means for at least one more week, it’s going to be difficult to get your first shot in Santa Clara county.

For Santa Cruz county resident Vijay Char, he said it seemed impossible to find his first shot in his county, so he went to the MyTurn website. “It prompted me to go look in Solano, so I absolutely looked there,” he said.

Char tells NBC Bay Area that he and his wife drove more than two hours from their Aptos home, six days ago to a site in Fairfield, only to find a note above the door stating no vaccines ran out.

Char added that dozens of people showed up in the few hours as he waited there to see if more vaccines would arrive. “It was sad to see some of the older folks that were struggling out of their wheelchairs and getting into their walkers and hobbling over to the door only to find that rejection there,” he said.

The couple did not give up, finally setting up their appointments directly through CVS Pharmacy’s vaccination page. But it was a CVS that was located two and a half hours away in Fresno. “The drive, I mean, it’s okay during these times to get out of the routine and go somewhere,” Char said.

Another looming issue could drag out the supply problem. There is mounting skepticism over AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is still awaiting FDA emergency authorization. This comes after the company revealed that its publicly stated efficacy findings may have not been final.

Fenstersheib said he’s sure that the FDA and every federal and state agencies involved in approving the drug will vet the vaccine thoroughly. “To the point of making sure that no vaccine is authorized for this country that has unacceptable safety issues around it,” he said.

Fenstersheib believes everyone who wants to be fully vaccinated will be able to do so before the end of summer.





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Travel picking up: SFO officials see more flights being booked


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – After more than a year of staying home, San Francisco International Airport leaders say they’re starting to see more people booking flights.

Some people said they’ve been waiting to travel for a long time and many people are flying to tropical places for leisure.

“This is the first time that I’ve traveled since the pandemic,” Antonio Perez said.

Perez says it’s been more than a year since he’s checked in for a flight and he’s not alone in his decision to fly.

“Last month there were probably 10,000-11,000 people per-day going through our security checkpoints, that number is now up to 14,000-15,000 a day and continues to climb,” Doug Yakel said. 

Doug Yakel with San Francisco International Airport says many of these people are taking vacations.

“We’re not expecting much in business travel for the remainder of this year so we do think that as travel is starting to recover and it is, it’s really that leisure sector that is leading the recovery,” Yakel said. 

Airport leaders are trying to keep people safe — They have reminders for people to social distance, hand sanitizer available, and partitions up.

“Masking is still a requirement. Although a lot of states around the country have lifted their masking requirement at any airport on any aircraft in the united states it’s now a federal requirement that you wear a face mask at all times,” Yakel said. 

Still, Perez says he’ll be taking extra precautions on his flight.

“I cannot say that I feel very safe — That’s why I brought this one because I want to wear this on the plane because I think the air in the plane can be more contaminated than outside,” Perez said. 

Airport officials are looking into creating a digital health app that will be able to certify that people have been vaccinated or have had a negative test recently.



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This May Be the Most Underrated and Easiest Sleep Tip Ever


The global pandemic has caused many of us around the world to lose sleep for a variety of reasons. It could be due to the work-from-home situation or the lack of social activities, travel opportunities and more. This means that more should be done to regulate our sleeping patterns, especially if we find ourselves lying awake in the middle of the night with nothing but tech devices to rely on to fall asleep. 

For World Sleep Day on March 19, we consulted a wellness expert to provide more insights on how we can fall into a deep slumber without trouble. 

While we’ve previously shared a list of tips on how to fall asleep better, this new tip is remarkably easy to follow and studies have also found it to be effective.

(Related: Battling Insomnia Due to Covid-19? 8 Simple Tips to Improve the Way You Sleep)

“Despite the importance of sleep, it is constantly way up at the top of the list of concerns people have about their health. It’s safe to say that almost everyone can relate, we’ve all had a bad night’s sleep at some point in our lives. Maybe it was because of a long haul flight, woke stress or even young kids keeping us awake,” said Dr Tal Friedman, Head of Naturopathic and Research & Development Specialist at Chiva-Som Hua Hin, a luxury wellness and international health resort. 

“An entire industry has been built around trying to get people to sleep better. From speciality mattresses and bedding to essential oils, pillow mists and a wide variety of supplements. To be fair, I do enjoy many of those products and supplements and they do have their uses.”

However, he added there is one “deceptively simple tool that barely gets any mention”.

Journaling. That’s right, the simple act of writing could actually help you unwind and prep yourself for bed effectively every night.



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Desire for Normalcy Is Fueling a Busy Travel Season – NBC Boston


Hope is on the horizon for those dreaming of summer travel. With President Joe Biden targeting July 4 for small gatherings and public health experts giving summer getaways the green light, many are already planning an escape.

At Audley Travel, the phones are ringing off the hook from those looking to book.

“In the last three months, we’ve seen a 300% increase in bookings,” said Alex Shattuck of Audley Travel.

Shattuck said prices are still reasonable, but will be going up due to all of the pent-up demand. He also said many are looking to travel to domestic destinations first.

“Hawaii is our single biggest booking destination, followed by the U.S. national parks,” Shattuck said.

On Cape Cod, vacation rentals and hotels are also in hot demand. Matt Pitta, the director of communications for Red Jacket Resorts, said they are expecting a huge summer at their properties.

“We started getting hundreds of phone calls in January from people inquiring about availability, and from that point on, it has done nothing but accelerate,” Pitta said.

Pitta said the popular summer weekends are already starting to fill up and anyone looking to book a Cape escape should do so soon.

“If you want a certain room or date, don’t wait. There is so much demand this year, we are going have to hire more employees,” he said.

The travel and tourism industry is starting to bounce back in Boston, too. Martha Sheridan of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau said more people are starting to inquire about small weddings and events. She said what would help is more advance notice from the state about when the gathering limit will increase.

“We’re hopefully that will increase as vaccinations go up and infection rates go down. People are tired of being cooped up at home and they’re ready,” Sheridan said. “They’re not looking, they’re booking.”





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Metlakatla appeals to Ninth Circuit in fishing rights case against Dunleavy administration


The Metlakatla Longhouse. (Eric Stone/KRBD)

Metlakatla Indian Community is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of a fishing rights case against Gov. Mike Dunleavy and his administration. Lawyers for the tribe filed the appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday.

Lawyers argue that Metlakatla tribal members shouldn’t need state permits to fish in waters within a day’s travel of the community at the southern tip of the Southeast panhandle. When Congress created the Annette Islands Reserve in 1891 as the tribe’s permanent self-sustaining home, Metlakatla’s attorneys say lawmakers implicitly granted tribal members the right to fish in nearby waters — even outside the reserve’s boundaries.

The tribe asked the court to stop the state from enforcing commercial fishing regulations on tribal members.

But U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick sided with attorneys for the state, who argued that Congress did not intend to grant the tribe off-reservation fishing rights. Sedwick cited the language of the 1891 law and congressional debate surrounding the measure.

Sedwick also pointed to the tribe’s unique history — Metlakatla was founded in 1887 when around 800 Tsimshian people fled their previous home in Canada. The longtime federal judge contrasted that with the circumstances of many Lower 48 tribes who were forcefully relocated or negotiated treaties to relinquish land claims.

Metlakatla’s attorneys are due to submit their opening brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by May 10. The state’s answer is due June 9.

This story was produced as part of a collaboration between KRBD and Alaska’s Energy Desk.



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John Kerry to travel to Europe next week for climate talks


Benzinga

Medically Necessary: FDA Way Behind On Facility Inspections

This is an excerpt from the March 4, 2021 edition of Medically Necessary, a health care supply chain newsletter. Subscribe here. Good afternoon. Medically Necessary is a newsletter by Matt Blois about the health care supply chain — how we get drugs, devices and medical supplies to health care providers and patients. FDA way behind on facility inspections The problem: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration largely stopped conducting surveillance inspections — periodic evaluations of manufacturing plants to ensure drug quality — during the coronavirus pandemic. The FDA only conducted three surveillance inspections of foriegn facilities between March and October of 2020, compared with more than 600 during the same period a year earlier. Domestic surveillance inspections plummeted as well, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. The agency conducted about 1,000 international inspections per year from 2016 through 2019. About 74% of manufacturers making active ingredients and 54% of facilities making finished drugs for the U.S. market are located outside the country. (Credit: Government Accountability Office) Why it matters: A recent report from a team at Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health says postponed FDA inspections contributed to drug shortages last year, including drugs critical for treating COVID-19 patients. The delays have also slowed the process for approving new drugs. The FDA recently deferred or denied approval for six drugs because it couldn’t inspect manufacturing facilities, according to this must-read story from Politico. A guidance document for drug manufacturers notes that the FDA would try to approve applications for manufacturing facilities by gathering information remotely, but if an inspection is needed they may need to delay a decision. The past: The GAO has criticized the FDA’s oversight of “an increasingly global pharmaceutical supply” for years, according to the GAO report. The GAO determined the FDA wasn’t conducting enough foriegn inspections in both 1998 and 2008. The agency made some recommendations and increased inspections. Inspections started to fall again in 2016. FDA officials said that was because they didn’t have enough staff to keep up, according to the GAO. The pandemic: While the FDA halted many inspections, the agency argued in an annual report from its Office of Pharmaceutical Quality that it still achieved its most important goals. The agency continued some pre-approval inspections — needed before a facility starts producing a drug — by requesting documentation or relying on inspections by European regulators. The FDA used those methods for more than 150 pre-approvals. In 2020, the FDA approved applications for production of 942 generic drugs, down only slightly from 2019. The FDA also told drug producers that manufacturing changes for drugs used to treat patients with COVID-19 would receive priority treatment, and some regulatory flexibility, in order to prevent shortages. In the absence of in-person inspections, FDA did look for other ways to monitor the quality of drug manufacturing during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the GAO called some of these measures inadequate. The agency allowed European regulators to vouch for the quality of drug manufacturers all over the world. Normally, the FDA only accepts those regulators’ inspections of European facilities. It beefed up inspection and testing of products as they entered the U.S., which caught dozens of drug quality problems. The future: The current backlog of inspections could also gum up the drug supply chain for years to come. The GAO report notes that the FDA wasn’t able to complete more than 1,000 of its planned inspections for fiscal year 2020. The FDA aims to inspect drug manufacturers at least once every five years. The backlog means the agency may not meet that goal, increasing the risk of poor-quality drugs entering the supply chain. Each year, the agency creates a list of facilities that need inspection. The highest-risk locations — those that have never been inspected or haven’t been inspected in five years — get priority. Remaining resources go toward other facilities. Previously, the FDA spent less than a third of its inspection resources on the highest-risk facilities, allowing the agency to stay ahead of the curve. By 2022, the GAO estimates the FDA will need to use the vast majority of its resources on high-risk facilities. (Credit: Government Accountability Office) Back on the horse: By October, the FDA started conducting some international inspections once again. FDA conducted nine pre-approval inspections in China during late 2020 and early 2021 but didn’t complete any surveillance inspections. The agency started inspections in India in January, completing two by Feb. 25. Catching up: Like a college student pulling an all-nighter after procrastinating all semester, the FDA is looking for creative ways to cram in inspections after falling behind. The FDA plans to continue using the tools, such as reports from European regulators and document reviews, that helped it carry out its work during the pandemic, but it’s also exploring creative options to speed things up. The agency is researching whether it could use videoconferencing tools to conduct inspections remotely. The Johns Hopkins University team recommended creating new partnerships, similar to agreements with European countries, that would allow inspections by regulators from countries with advanced pharmaceutical markets, like Australia or Japan, to stand in for FDA inspections during pandemics or other emergencies. The Office of Pharmaceutical Quality’s annual report also says the agency is developing a new risk management strategy to prepare for future disruptions. It’s not clear what that strategy looks like. Biden promises vaccine doses for all U.S. adults by May, prioritizes teachers (Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0) Supply boost: The Biden administration is promising to have enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate every adult in America by May. However, actually vaccinating every adult will be a different challenge. “It’s not enough to have the vaccine supply. We need vaccinators — people to put the shots in people’s arms, millions of Americans’ arms,” President Joe Biden acknowledged during a press conference on Tuesday. Biden highlighted the federal governments efforts to increase the number of vaccinators, such as enlisting retired doctors and nurses, deploying Federal Emergency Management personnel and the national guard to administer vaccines. Focus on schools: Biden also directed states to start vaccinating teachers so schools can reopen. Many states are already doing that. The White House set a goal of vaccinating every teacher by the end of March. “Let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is. And that means getting essential workers who provide that service — educators, school staff, childcare workers — get them vaccinated immediately,” Biden said on Tuesday. The federal government plans to allow teachers to get shots at retail pharmacies to achieve that goal. The numbers: There are still 18 states that haven’t made teachers eligible for early vaccines, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation policy database. In the 2017 to 2018 school year, there were about 4 million teachers in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The U.S. has recently been delivering about 1.8 million COVD-19 vaccine doses per day. Some days are well above 2 million doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. government is sending about 2.4 million doses to retail pharmacies every week, White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt reported on Twitter. Reading list: The best stories about the health care supply chain A Covid-19 Vaccine Without a Needle? These Firms Are On the Case —The Wall Street Journal Freight pilots are flying Covid-19 vaccines around the world — and calling for their turn to be vaccinated —STAT Amazon Care’s health provider has quietly filed paperwork to operate in 17 more states —STAT Merck’s COVID Manufacturing Deal With US Government Goes Well Beyond J&J Vaccine —The Pink Sheet Thanks for reading. Please send an email to mblois@freightwaves.com if you have questions, praise or grievances. If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here. Matt Blois See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaAir Cargo 2021: The Good, The Bad And The UglyRepublicans To White House: Limit Infrastructure Spending To Roads And Bridges© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.



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