Daily Archives: March 24, 2020

Coronavirus Strands Spring Breaker Travelers in St. Barth and Anguilla – TownandCountrymag.com

Posted: March 24, 2020 at 7:49 pm

Although the two small islands are separated by only 27 miles of Caribbean sea and both are high-end, beach-ringed sanctuaries for East Coasters, Anguilla and St. Barth could not be more different. Anguilla is where billionaires go to get their beach bum on; St. Barth is where they go in high season to flaunt their mega yachts.

Each has its aficionados, who sometimes deign a day trip to their neighbor (about 40 minutes by boat), while remaining set in their affinity. But on the weekend of March 13start of college and private school spring break and high season par excellencethe most devoted among them, those who had not cancelled hotel and villa reservations despite intensifying Coronavirus uncertainties, found themselves in the same boat: desperately trying to figure out how to flee paradise and get back home.

Its eerie when something is so beautiful you think surely its the safest place to be, but then suddenly youre told its not, said New York-based jewelry designer and philanthropist Brooke Garber Neidich, who has been coming to St. Bart's for 35 years and arrived on March 14 to check on the progress on a house she and her husband are building on the islands Baie des Flamands, next to LVMHs newly expanded Cheval Blanc St. Bart's hotel. Neidich and her husband were among the fortunate.

We came by charter," she added. "We figured, well, [if things go south], we can always turn around and leaveand we did! she said.

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But for others things would get rougher by the day. On March 12, before most spring breakers had arrived, St. Maarten banned flights and passengers from Germany from landing at its Princess Juliana International Airport. SXM, as its called for short, is a hub, along with San Juans Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU), for visitors to Anguilla and St. Barth. From there, they board connecting flights on smaller aircraft operated by the likes of Seabourne, Tradewinds Aviation, or Winair, or, if headed to Anguilla, they board a ferry from a dock near SXM.

By Saturday, March 14, St. Maarten announced it was banning all flights from the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, effective Tuesday the 17. A day later, on March 15, France announced a lockdown. What ensued was pure chaos.

St. Maarten said the airport would remain open so people could get off, said a Westchester-based Anguilla homeowner whod arrived on the island on Friday the 13th on JetBlue and had a return flight booked with them. But airlines promptly cancelled all flights both ways, including mine. While the hotels are mostly empty, there are people in villas, and quite a few private jets. But many of us are stranded. There was to my knowledge no get yourselves home order from the State Department until most countries had closed their borders and all remaining flights were fullor wildly overbooked.

On Anguilla, the homeowner continued, tourists and expats with houses have sorted into two groups, those who are getting out via various meansDelta or United via SXM, charter to Puerto Ricos SJU, etceteraand those who decided its safer here.

"If the airlines want a $50 billion bailout, they will need to prove themselves competent to spend it.

There are no COVID-19 cases diagnosed on Anguilla as yet and everyone with symptoms is being assiduously quarantined. Everyone assumes its here nonetheless, another frequent visitor said, but it has been impressive to see how the island has coped. There have been regular, clear announcements from the health department, premier, and governor, all with consistent facts and advice. Locals are concerned but calmthey have been through so much, what with the destruction of Hurricane Irma [which struck in 2017]. They have set up a service to shop for seniors. And some take-out places give you an appointment time for your pick up, so there are never more than two people shopping at once. Restaurants are open but distancing table. Not everyone is observing protocols, but more do so every day.

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However, SXM Airport, my friend from Westchester said, was bedlamshed made two ferry trips there from Anguilla to catch flights on which shed re-booked herself but about whose cancellations she had not been notified.

Delta and Winair reps kept trying to pawn me off on each other. And there were no signs of Seabourne or JetBlue staff in the terminal. I looked because I would have liked to strangle one. I realize this is an unprecedented situation, but none of the airlines has covered itself with glory," she said.

"I am fit, well-off, have a place to stay back on Anguilla, had just a carry on, and can speak up for myself. If any of those had been different, I would have been far worse off. If the airlines want a $50 billion bailout, they will need to prove themselves competent to spend it. And they must have an obligation of care toward passengers, as in the E.U.

On St. Barth, Olivia Junieres was not going anywhereshe lives there and owns a consultancy/concierge company on the island, the O Agency. When I spoke to her last week, she said she had seen from her office window one Tradewinds flight from Puerto Rico landing earlier in the day on St. Barth's notoriously perilous (and picturesque) tiny airstrip.

Its eerie when something is so beautiful you think surely its the safest place to be, but then suddenly youre told its not.

But otherwise, the island is almost completely shut down. Our Bucket Regatta, which marks the high season for us and happens this week, was cancelled. Its the source of much of the annual income for many local businesses. The hotels are now closed through April 1, as are the restaurants and all but essential services. But Im fairly certain that another 15- to 30-day quarantine will be announced soon. (St. Bart's to date has three confirmed coronavirus cases.)

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Richard Mishaan, an interior designer based in New York, had rented a villa for his stay and arrived on St. Bart's via St. Maarten on March 14. At SXM, we saw an Air France plane that was sealed and grounded; there were five Germans aboard and they were being isolated, I was told. Once on St. Bart's, we had dinner with friends at Mayas (the popular see-and-be-seen spot on Gustavia harbor) and woke on Sunday to the news that the St. Maarten airport is closed to all incoming flights. That started to make us very uncomfortable. I was able to get flights to get back home the following day through Puerto Rico, but other friends had to wait until Wednesday, and some until Thursday. In San Juan, national guardsmen were taking peoples temperature at random. And the immigration officer told us that they had locked down the flights after ours.

Anguilla closed its port to passengers on midnight Friday, March 20, although cargo will continue coming in, if on a reduced schedule. French citizens on St. Barth and all other French Caribbean territories (there were still a few on Guadeloupe and Saint-Martin, Junieres told me) had to return home by last night, Sunday, March 22.


Neidich, back in New York, is self-quarantining from her two-year-old grandson. He doesnt understand social distancing, she said, laughing. But I was at dinner with nine people at Tamarind [another popular St. Bart's spot] on Sunday. We sat at a round table. We didnt hug or kiss, but we were not 6 feet apart.

There is wide concern about the local St. Barth economy. The major hotels make money here through Aprilthat is now largely ruined," Junieres said. "Normally, they stay open through the summer as well, to accommodate the mainly French clientele that arrives here between July 15 and August 15whoever is not going to St. Tropez, or Greece, or Ibiza that year. They are able to stay open then because of the money they made in the early spring and the real money they start making again in November. Their not opening in the summer will affect restaurants and other businesses here.

"And this, she sighed, was going to be our first normal winter and spring since 2016. [Irma wreaked devastation in 2017.] But I believe the owner crowd will be back as soon as soon as they can. They are having work done on their houses.

My friend from Anguilla returned home on the last flight out on Friday night from St. Maarten, on United to Newark, New Jersey. If one more person on the plane talked about the last choppers getting out of Saigon in 1975, I would have coughed on them," she said. "Everyone at the ferry or airport had a story about canceled flights, crazy itineraries (one family with a bunch of kids was flying to St. Kitts and just hoping for an onward flight), and lack of communication from airlines and the U.S. government.

As for the COVID-19 situation on Anguilla, still no positive diagnoses, she said. "But there are concerns about Anguillans who came home last week, including 24 students, who were told to self-isolate and are not. But as one local told me, everyone knows who they are and runs away from them.

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17 Stellar Female Chefs Share What Advice Theyd Give To Their Younger Selves – Forbes

Posted: at 7:49 pm

Though March has turned out to be a very difficult one for the restaurant and hospitality industry, that doesnt mean we cant honor the incredible female restaurateurs around the country transforming the culinary scenes around them! March is Womens History Month and in celebration, weve decided to gather the best advice 17 chefs would give to their younger selves and share this insight during a chaotic time when we could all use some positivity and motivation. After all, hind sight is 20/20, right?

From entrepreneurs, business owners and visionaries to former Chopped champions, James Beard Award finalists and so much more, these chefs have had a whole lot of experiences to get them to where they are today. Without further ado, heres what words of wisdom theyd share with their younger selves.

Chef and Co-Owner Kathy Fang, Fang Restaurant

Chef and Co-Owner Kathy Fang, Fang Restaurant

San Francisco native Kathy Fang grew up in the kitchen of her familys restaurant, House of Nanking, before opening Fang Restaurant with her father in 2009 as co-owner and chef. An up-and-coming culinary star, Kathy has competed on a number of Food Network shows including Cutthroat Kitchen, Guys Grocery Games, and is a two-time CHOPPED champion.

I would have told myyoungerself to go work at more restaurants and gain mentorship from variouschefsI admire. The guidance and exposure to other restaurants help you grow as a chef with a broader background. I would have told myself to invest more time in developing and expanding my network in the hospitality industry as your connections and network in this field can help you with opportunities you otherwisemay not come across.

Chef Susan Lassalette, Pine Ridge Vineyards

Chef Susan Lassalette, Pine Ridge Vineyards

Chef Susan Lassalette is the winery chef at Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa Valleys renowned Stags Leap District, where she collaborates with the winemaking team to enhance the wines with each dish of her flavorful menus. After transitioning from the fashion world to a culinary career, Chef Lassalette served as head chef at several popular California restaurants such as chef de cuisine at Insalatas in San Anselmo.

When I began in the kitchen, I was in my late twenties and came from a career as a fashion stylist. I felt as though I had to make up for lost time and was determined to work my way up the ranks. In retrospect, I would tell myyoungerself to take my time. Looking back at my work life, I have found at times it is best to stop for a moment and reflect on where you are reevaluate what is important to you, and where you want to go. It may differ from the original path you set out on.

Flicka McGurrin, Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bars Owner

Flicka McGurrin, Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bars Owner

Flicka McGurrin, a 5th generation San Franciscan, has owned Pier 23 Cafe Restaurant & Bar on the Embarcadero in San Francisco for 35 years. Flicka McGurrin has paved the way forfemalebusiness owners in the restaurant industry, starting out as one of the only catering companies in San Francisco around the 70s, to now owning a San Francisco Legacy Business.

"Go for it! I think if you research it and try to understand what the business is all about you might get discouraged and you might chicken out.There are some mitigating factors. You have to make smart choices. You cant just open up in a dark alley and think somethings going to happen.Location is the most important thing.

Chef Eva de Gil, Telefric Barcelona

Chef Eva de Gil, Telefric Barcelona

Chef Eva de Gil is known for her roles on Top Chef Spain and The Real Master Chef China. She has worked her way from three Michelin starred Akelare, to the opening team of Cotton House Hotel, and now as restaurant chef of Palo Altos Telefric Barcelona sharing her love and passion for Spanish cuisine.

Having the knowledge I have now, the bestadviceI wouldgivemyyoungerself is to be more patient with myself and take things step by step instead of trying to do everything at once and be overwhelmed. I would tell myself to practice setting a goal, creating an action plan short term and long term. That way, you feel accomplished in the smell steps that are moving you toward your main goal.

Pastry Chef Tania Harris, The Lazy Goat

Pastry Chef Tania Harris, The Lazy Goat

A native of Mexico City, Chef Tania Harris is the Pastry Chef at The Lazy Goat, in Greenville, South Carolina. Tania was also a 2019 South Carolina Chef Ambassador.

"Work hard, stay true to yourself and trust your instincts. Throughout my career I feel like I've been challenged by different situations and sometimes because of fear I almost didn't take a chance and just go for it. Now I start to see the results of my hard work and I realize that the decisions I took were the correct ones and I shouldn't have second guessed myself."

Executive Chef Jenifer Rogers, Passerelle Bistro

Executive Chef Jenifer Rogers, Passerelle Bistro

Executive Chef Jenifer Rogers restaurant,Passerelle Bistro, was named one of the most romantic restaurants in the world (CNN Travel).

"Don't be a hot head, for the most part your coworkers and employees are doing their best to do everything correctly for you. Be confident in your knowledge but do not ever rest on what you currently know; always read, learn and grow, not only from books and articles, but from every person around you. Be a sponge and ask the questions. You are more powerful than you know; when you think you can't work another hour, breakdown another chicken or deal with another coworker, push through because there is a reward."

Chef and Co-owner Karin Feeny, Kitchen Sync

Chef and Co-owner Karin Feeny, Kitchen Sync

Karin Feeny is the Chef and Co-owner of Kitchen Sync the nations #1 Independently Owned Green Certified Restaurant; specializing in farm-fresh, scratch-made fare served with extraordinary hospitality.

Be true to yourself. My path to restaurant ownership would have been far easier to navigate had I gone to culinary school. Instead of pursuing my dream of going to culinary school after graduating high school, I applied to a traditional four-year university. It just seemed like that was what was expected of me. Of course, now I know that doing what is expected may not always be whats right and best. Follow your passion and dont worry about what everyone else is doing.

Executive Chef & Pastry Chef Mari Katsumura, Ygen

Executive Chef & Pastry Chef Mari Katsumura, Ygen

Executive Chef & Pastry Chef Mari Katsumurais the daughter of the beloved Chef Yoshi Katsumura and opened Ygen to much acclaim, earning a Michelin star before just one year in business.

Throughout my career, I know I havent been a perfect employee or leader it has taken many years of reflection and constant reevaluation of my behavior to be where I am today. I think as a younger cook, I allowed my emotions and sensitivity to scenarios to govern my professional responses by making more reactive and impulsive decisions.

I try to pause now and be more deliberate with my words and tone when it comes to most communication. Another thing that young cooks or young leaders do not necessarily practice is healthy boundaries with work/life balance. I try to be more aware of this in my older age, since working in the food world is incredibly demanding and stressful in a lot of ways.

Pastry Chef Danielle Marelli, Travelle at The Langham

Pastry Chef Danielle Marelli,Travelle at The Langham

Pastry Chef Danielle Marellitakes on her position with energy and passion to deliver superior desserts, producing all components for plated desserts including ice cream and sorbets, as well as creating wedding cakes and custom cakes for on-site weddings and functions.

Advice I would give my younger self is to always do whats best for yourself. Block out all the noise and doubts and focus on whats best for you and makes you happiest. Everyone around you will have an opinion and that will never change, but so long as youre true to yourself and listening to what you want, success will follow and it will be your own.

Co-Owner and Executive Chef Christine Cikowski, Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Co-Owner and Executive Chef Christine Cikowski, Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Co-owner and Executive Chef Christine Cikowskihas received two consecutive Jean Banchet nominations for Chef of the Year in 2018 and 2019. Christine has worked closely on activist and community initiatives with Pilot Light, RAISE, the James Beard Foundation, Chicagos Green City Market, The Mayors Task Force for Working Families, and Step Up Womens Network, where shes held the position of chef chair for four years.

Things I wish I had known then that I know now: Assume positive intent. Its possible that someone screwed up/wronged you/is being difficult, but lets not start there. Start from a place of assuming positive intent. Assume that everyone is just doing the best they can.

Owner and Executive Chef Ann Ahmed, Lat14

Owner and Executive Chef Ann Ahmed, Lat14

Owner and Executive Chef Ann Ahmedhas received numerous local accolades, including being namedStar TribunesMaverick of the Year in 2019, and Lat14 being namedMinneapolis/St. Paul MagazinesBest Restaurant of the Year in 2019 and one of Eater Twin Cities 38 Essential Restaurants Winter 2020. Ann is also a fellow in the James Beard Foundations Womens Entrepreneurial Leadership program.

Ask more questions! I always felt that I had to settle for whatever answer I was given.Give yourself creditI shouldve been my own cheerleader.No one will cheer as loud as you cheering for yourself.Be confidentmy business was everything to me, yet I wasnt confident in my brand and my story (a story that was my life, and it was real but I always thought no one was interested in a little refugee girl).

Trust your gutnot everyone that you encounter will have good intentions, but your intuition is better than you know. And know that if you did something out of the kindness of your heart, youve made the right choice.Dare to be differentits okay to stand out, just make sure you stand tall. If I wouldve had the confidence 15 years ago, I wouldve probably been the first to open up a Laotian restaurant, which is currently the strongest trend in 2020.

Chef de Cuisine Mariya Russell, Kumiko and Kikk

Chef de Cuisine Mariya Russell, KumikoandKikk

Chef de Cuisine Mariya Russell was named Rookie of the Year for 2019 in Chicago Tribunes Dining Awards; Best Chef de Cuisine at the 2020 Jean Banchet Awards; and is a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards 2020 in the category of Best Chef: Great Lakes. She was also awarded the Outstanding Culinary Achievement Award by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White during the 2020 African American Heritage Month Celebration. In September 2019, Kikk was awarded its first Michelin star less than five months after the space opened, making Russell the first black woman to earn a Michelin star in history.

I would tell my younger self not to be afraid, and that you are so much stronger than you think! And Id remind myself to spend time with my dad. And also to listen, love, and take care of yourself every day.

Owner and Chef Samantha Fore, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites

Owner and Chef Samantha Fore,TukTuk Sri Lankan Bites

Lexington, KY-based Chef Samantha Fore has developed a cult following for her Sri Lankan pop-ups, TukTukSri Lankan Bites, marrying traditional Kentucky cuisine with Sri Lankan-inspired flavors and ingredients. Her work has been featured on the cover of Food & Wine, and she is a regular fixture at Brown in the South dinners, a roving dinner series that brings together South Asian chefs cooking in the southeastern United States.

Be patient. I spent time in a number of different vocations just trying to find the one that felt right. I finally was honest with myself about being miserable in one of my gigs, and that led me to my truly fulfilling job its the dream. Patience is often overlooked or ignored, but it tends to bring the most clarity.

Chef Naomi Kimani, TRIBAL

Chef Naomi Kimani, TRIBAL

Chef Naomi Kimani has been working at Niyama Private Islands Maldives as a Sous Chef at TRIBALthe only Afro Latin restaurant in Maldives since August 2017. She has over 15 years of work experience, having worked in Africa, Middle East and Asia and has had the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry.

Remain curious and trust in your abilities. Nothing is impossible if you focus on your end goal".

Chef Casey Thompson

Partner and Executive Chef Casey Thompson, Georgette

Chef Casey Thompson was a fan favorite and finalist on Top Chef and helped open and served as the executive chef at Brownstone Restaurant in Fort Worth, TX and later Aveline restaurant and The European Bar & Lounge in San Francisco. Georgette is a new Sonoma restaurant slated to open late summer/fall of 2020

"If I had a conversation with my younger chef self, I would tell myself to have gone abroad to cook. I waited until I was older, more concerned with having a 'vacation' with cooking involved. When you are young, you are so carefree, less prideful, and you don't care where you sleep. You are a sponge when you are young. It is so important to work with people from all over the world. You learn so much and it will take you a long way in your career..."

Chef Wiparat Pratumma, Nest

Chef Wiparat Pratumma, Nest

Chef Wiparat Pratumma, has been working at Niyama Private Islands Maldives as a Sous chef at Nest for 2 years and 6 months. She joined Natures Playground as Chef de parties and through her exemplary culinary and leadership skills she was promoted to a Sous chef in October 2018.

Follow your dream, believe in yourself and dontgiveup.

Manresa Bread. Avery Ruzicka

Partner and Head Baker Avery Ruzicka, Manresa Bread

Over the span of seven years, Avery has built Manresa Bread from an overnight baking project to a full-scale enterprise with two bakery locations, an all-day caf, 24-hour commissary, and nationwide shipping capabilities. Avery was also 2019 James Beard Award finalist in the Outstanding Baker category.

When I was a young I would always tell myself I was working hard to get to where I wanted to be. I was working for free to get into the best kitchens I could. I was working 7 days a week to gain experience. I was saying no to anything outside of work to stay focused.

If I could, I would tell myself that I was already there. I was in three-star kitchens, I was surrounded by talented and focused cooks. Id found a career I loved, and wish I had taken time to enjoy being in the moment more than worrying that I needed to be more experienced, or more committed, or more in any way. I was too busy thinking I was not enough to realize I was and that I had my dream job.

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Construction Accidents and Personal Injuries, Everything You Ought To Know – The Libertarian Republic

Posted: at 7:48 pm

The construction sector is among the largest industries in the world. It has the highest number of employees as well as the most intensive labor activities. There are also lots of machines, high voltages of power, toxic chemicals, a lot of off-ground activities, and many other hazards. Its for these reasons that the construction industry has lots of accidents, most resulting in fatal injuries and even death. Research has shown that the construction industry loses nearly 1,000 personnel a day to work-related deaths. If you work in this industry, then its essential to understand the accidents that can occur, preventive measures to take, and what to do in case it happens to you.

According to research, four common accidents occur in the construction sector. These four hazards include:

As a construction worker, you often have to work from high points such as roofs, ladders, and scaffoldings. It puts one at the risk of falling and sustaining injuries. Research shows that about 39.2% of deaths are due to fall majorly because safety rules for heights are often overlooked.

Falls from heights are more common in construction but also preventable. Here are some ways to minimize falls:

Usually, a building under construction does not have doors, trails, or other protective measures installed. You can ensure the environment is well lit, and there are safety measures protecting you against every hole and openings on the site.

Ladders are mostly used to work on areas that are slightly off the ground. You need to use the ladder properly to avoid falls. It should be well-positioned and stable on even ground. Additionally, check the ladders regularly to ensure they are free from damages and defects.

In addition to ensuring site safety, personal protective equipment is also essential. It includes items such as non-slip shoes, boots, helmets, etc. The gears vary depending on your line of work and are necessary since they reduce construction risks by a higher percentage.

You can also be hit by anything from a truck to rolling or falling objects. Most cases of struck-by accidents include cranes or truck accidents. Well, many other objects can also result in fatal accidents that may lead to permanent disability or death. When doing masonry work, for example, there is an additional risk that involves lifting equipment used to position a slab or wall. In this case, a site manager or supervisor needs to ensure that materials used can handle the weight or force hence minimizing the risk of the slab or wall falling on the workers. Additionally, when working near suspended equipment or loads, ensure that the operator is fully aware of your presence.

Protective equipment reduces these risks quite significantly. Use gear like hard hats, face shields, and heavy-duty work gloves, etc. You also need to be careful and ensure your team members are aware of your location.

Electrocution is also quite common in construction sites. Workers will often be in contact with power lines or electrical materials that can pose a danger to them. That said, the most affected workers are the electrical power line installers. Most sustain fatal injuries and may die due to power leaks and other power-related failures.

Beware of power lines

Do not go near high power lines unless you are an electrical professional. Even if you are, you should beware of electrocution, thus ensuring you are protected.

Beware of ground faults

Watch out for ground faults. That is why it is necessary to have proper footwear in the construction site. The ground faults can result in burns, fires, and explosions. You also need to ensure that the ground fault protection is the acceptable electrical standards.

Watch out for equipment errors

Regardless of your role in the construction site, you must understand how the machines operate and be on the lookout for faults. Ensure you also know the dangers of the equipment, which can cause electrical shock.

This accident is also known as trenching. It could be due to being exposed to harmful chemicals or being trapped in between objects. The objects may squeeze, pinch, or crush you.

-Wear protective clothing

-Avoid loose clothes, hair, and Accessories-Ensure your hair is tied neatly and not hanging. Do not wear hanging accessories as they can be caught in the machines.

Now, construction accidents can cause:

-Broken bones



-Eye injuries

-Neck injuries

-Spinal cord injuries

-Brain Injuries

-Respiratory diseases


Due to the labor-intensive nature of the construction site, there is a chance that you or a colleague might be hurt at some point. The damage might be mild or fatal and can result in permanent disability or death. When this occurs, you should report it to the supervisor and get medical attention immediately. It is also vital to contact a construction accident attorney to assist you in getting compensated for severe injury cases. The attorney will guide you throughout the process of getting compensated and also represent you. Here are some of the steps you will need to follow to get compensated after a construction site accident.

Workers compensation is a form of insurance that gives benefits to employees when they get hurt at work. It is a requirement for employers to cover their workers at construction sites. This compensation will cover wage loss, medical expenses, and other damages incurred.

You can also sue your employer for compensation in case the accident occurred as a result of negligence on their part.

You can also sue a third party for the accident that occurred on the site. In this case, you file a workers compensation claim and a separate third-party lawsuit against the individual. To win this lawsuit, you need to prove that the injury caused was as a result of negligence on the part of the party.

This form of insurance allows the family to claim on behalf of the deceased employee. In this case, the death must have been caused by an injury that the employee sustained while working on the site or on duty.


The nature of work in the construction industry exposes you to numerous risks and dangers. These dangers can result in fatal conditions. It is, therefore, crucial to have sufficient knowledge of the industry as well as the emergency response steps to take in case of an accident. You should also know that the law protects you from these types of accidents. Thus, you ought to speak to a reputable and experienced construction accident attorney to fight for your rights.

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‘Tiger King’ is the weird docu-series distraction we can use right now – WICZ

Posted: at 7:47 pm

Review by Brian Lowry, CNN

People who own big cats are unusual, we're told near the outset of "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," which proceeds to prove that -- and then some -- over seven jaw-dropping episodes. Netflix has made a lot of noise with unscripted programming, but it's going to roar with this beyond-bizarre docu-series distraction, which demonstrates that outlandish people who love filming themselves are a formula for TV that's grrrr-reat.

It's hard to know, frankly, where to begin with all the strange twists and turns, but directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin rightly assume that it's easiest to work backward from the (almost) end: Joseph Maldonado-Passage, an eccentric keeper of tigers, lions and other big cats in Oklahoma who goes by the name "Joe Exotic," allegedly having orchestrated a murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin, a woman who runs a facility called Big Cat Rescue, who had lobbied to shut down operations like his.

After that, though, there's a whole lot to chew on. Big cats, it turns out, are a kind of aphrodisiac, inspiring what can only be described as cultish devotion -- including Joe's marriage to not one but two men; another big-cat owner, Bhagavan "Doc" Antle, who is basically a polygamist; and Jeff Lowe, who comes into Joe's orbit later and brags about using exotic pets as a come-on to find partners for threesomes.

But wait, there's more: The colorful characters that Joe attracts to work for him (including one who loses a limb to a tiger attack); Joe's desire to create his own media kingdom, enlisting a former "Inside Edition" correspondent, Rick Kirkham, to oversee his TV efforts; and finally, Joe's forays into politics, running for president before mounting a libertarian bid for governor of Oklahoma, despite being a little unclear on what a libertarian actually is.

Finally, there's Baskin, who would seemingly be the voice of reason in all this, objecting, as she does, to people housing and trading in dangerous cats. Still, she finances those efforts largely through the fortune she inherited from her late husband, who disappeared under the kind of mysterious circumstances that even a "Dateline NBC" producer might consider too good to be true.

Because the big-cat owners are showmen (beyond the zoo, Joe fancies himself a country-and-western singer), there's a whole lot of vamping for the cameras. They also tend to document their actions extensively, which makes the occasional use of reenactments here feel especially gratuitous.

Still, even by the standards of reality TV -- a genre populated by exhibitionists and those seeking their 15 minutes of fame -- "Tiger King" is so awash in hard-to-believe oddballs that lean into their image it genuinely feels like a Coen brothers movie come to life, the kind of thing any studio would return to the writer saying the screenplay was too over the top.

During the final chapter, one of Joe's employees says there's "a lot of drama in the zoo world." That's about the only thing that's understated in "Tiger King," which -- even amid the current glut of true crime -- is the kind of juicy morsel that's almost impossible to resist.

"Tiger King" premieres March 20 on Netflix.

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As Science And Business Go To War With Each Other, President Trump Pours Fuel On The Fire – Forbes

Posted: at 7:47 pm

By Abram Brown with Chris Helman

In his corner of the Texas oil patch, Bud Brigham has kept things going as much as he can in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the employees at Brigham Minerals, which he founded and currently chairs, are working from home. Brigham is also the chairman of Atlas Sand, whose plants are still going full throttle, he says, processing the sand that gets sold to frackers.

As the name of that company hints, Brigham is a libertarian, and he once financed a movie trilogy of Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged. I do wonder, are we overreacting? he says, doing his best Dagny Taggart imitation. Is the cure worse than the ailment?

That sentiment has spread widely in the last 48 hours. Tweets and email chains, many penned by desperate small-business owners, found their way to the Fox News punditry set. Just as the spread of coronavirus creates a curve of the number of people infected, this economic shutdown is creating a curve of the number of people affectedlosing their jobs, their homes, their businesses, Fox host Steve Hilton said Sunday night, asking viewers if they were familiar with that famous phrase: The cure is worse than the disease. It was then only a matter of time before the Tweeter-in-Chief weighed in. WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM, President Trump, caps lock emphatically on, wrote shortly before midnight Sunday. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO. He doubled down yesterday morning, retweeting those who agreed with himand finished by retweeting his own late-night tweet.

By yesterday, Trumps notion had become a mainstream talking point, as prominent observers including Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Fox News Laura Ingraham and Brit Hume and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis all insisted that an economic crash will kill more people than the virus, and we should therefore let those who are purportedly less at riskthe young and middle-agedgo back to producing and consuming.

All of which has scientists, doctors and other health-care professionals aghast. Their consensus: Stay home and dont go within six feet of anyone. We have to hunker down, says Vincent Racaniello, who teaches microbiology and immunology at Columbia University. He doesnt think its safe to resume normal life until the country reports no more than 10 new cases in a day. (The U.S. is currently reporting thousands per day.) Look at all the people dying in huge numbers on a daily basis in Italy, he adds. We need to prevent that. When Dr. Anthony Fauci, the governments leading expert on infectious diseases, didnt appear at yesterdays circus-like press briefing, Trump was asked if Fauci agreed with him on the need to ease social distancing to speed the reopening of the economy. No, he doesnt not agree, the president responded, his use of a double negative only muddying the waters further.

Does this standoff represent yet another culture war, this one with hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars on the line? This is probably unprecedented, says Greg Wawro, chair of Columbias political science department. It is bleak. Its bleak.

Both sides come armed with statistics. The science-first side argues in terms of sickness and mortality, citing a worst-case scenario that projects 160 million to 214 million Americans infected with COVID-19 and a death toll of 200,000 to 1.7 million. These models factor in the past few weeks in Europemodels that in fact seem optimistic given the pathetic state of testing in the U.S. so far, as well as government mandates far less draconian, even in New York and California, than in Italy and Spain.

The business-first side, meanwhile, cites lost dollars. On the positive end of things, Bank of America thinks the economy will slide 12% in the second quarter; Deutsche Bank predicts 12.9%. This would represent collapse, BofA economists wrote in a recent research report. Goldman Sachs forecasts a 24% drop. Global recession in 2020 is now our base case, Morgan Stanleys chief economist, Chetan Ahya, concluded in a recent report. Those estimates would likely translate to between 5 million and 8 million vaporized jobs. One Federal Reserve official, Mercer Bullard, said yesterday that unemployment could reach 30%, the highest in American history. (During the Great Depression, joblessness peaked at 24.9% in 1933.) These numbers feel like an almost self-inflicted wound given that just four weeks ago, the economy seemed headed to another year of healthy growth amid the longest expansion in American history.

I would love to see life going back to normal, says Luciana Borio, a physician who served on Trumps National Security Council. However, I do not think thats going to be by the end of this week.

To the science side, economic speculation is irrelevant. The most important thing here is to save peoples lives, and there is no value you can put on a persons life, right? says Columbias Racaniello. Especially if its someone who means something to you. Recognizing the potency of this argument, the business-first types have cobbled together dubious estimates of the lives taken by recession and poverty.

Theyre also trying to compare potential coronavirus deaths to those from heart disease (650,000 deaths annually), cancer (600,000) or automobile crashes (1.3 million), knowing that no one would advocate shutting the economy to stop such losses. Negative effects on the economy create lots of misery for people, says Harvard professor Jeffrey Miron, a former fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute. Adds David Friedman, a retired Santa Clara University professor and son of free-market apostle Milton Friedman: The government shutting down the economy or freezing the economy or printing $2 trillion to give to people doesnt make a whole lot of sense.

But the winning argument, on economic terms, belongs to the scientists. The idea that economy versus lives is a zero-sum game is false. The most vexing potential problem with COVID-19 isnt the death rate. Its the risk of a surge that collapses the U.S. health-care system, with most cities already preparing for triage and carnage on a scale never seen in peacetime America. That alone would cripple both the biggest player in the American economy and undermine whatever consumer and corporate confidence could be imbued with a business-as-usual attitude. Its why even President Trump was imploring everyone to flatten the curveat least until this weekend.

I would love to see life going back to normal, says Luciana Borio, a physician and the former chief scientist at the FDA, who served on Trumps National Security Council, planning for worst-case scenarios like these until she left when the president dismantled the groups team of health experts. I think we should try to do everything we can to bring it back to normal as soon as is feasible and responsible to do so. We shouldnt sit and wait a second longer than its needed. However, I do not think thats going to be by the end of this week.

Or next Monday. March 30 looms large, as Trump began urging distancing on March 15, for a suggested 15 days. Despite all the friendly PSAs, though, only a handful of states have imposed the kind of stay-at-home mandates that could actually stem this scourge. Most of the country is still congregating, which means most of the country will start getting sick only on or around March 30when the death counts in places like New York, judging by the experience of Europe, will start to become staggering.

Its all a false dichotomy. Business and science arent zero-sum, the same way that solving climate change should be viewed as an extraordinary investment opportunity rather than a cost. Great science blossoms under entrepreneurial capitalism. Great business is based on reason and data.

Data, or lack thereof, is the biggest culprit behind this catastrophe. Americas inability to amass enough test kitsmuch less masks and ventilators to protect health-care workersmeans were flying blind. Thats the biggest difference between the United States and a coronavirus role model like South Korea, which opened 600 testing centers and is now producing 100,000 testing kits per day.

It might be reasonable to gambleand try to restart thingsif you actually understand [the scope of the problem], says Borio. We dont.

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As Science And Business Go To War With Each Other, President Trump Pours Fuel On The Fire - Forbes

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Step Into the World of Cyberpunk 2077 When the Lore Book Launches in June – PlayStation LifeStyle

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When Cyberpunk 2077 was originally slated to launch on April 16th, its lore book from Dark Horse, The World of Cyberpunk 2077, wouldve hit stores a few days thereafter on April 21st. Since the games delay, however, not a word has been uttered about the lore books new release date. Now, an updated listing on Dark Horses website indicates the lore book will launch early this summer on June 17th.

Check out a screenshot of the books updated listing below:

Priced at $39.99, The World of Cyberpunk 2077 is comprised of 192 pages. Within those pages, fans can expect a deep exploration of the sci-fi titles lore, world, characters, cybernetics, other technologies, and politics. Needless to say, those who pick up this companion tome are bound to find it teeming with interesting content.

Theres more than one version that will go on sale. The hardcover edition noted above will launch alongside a digital version, which costs $19.99. Dark Horse has a Deluxe Edition in the works, too, featuring a number of physical extras. For the list price of $99.99, fans can expect the Deluxe Edition to additionally include an exclusive Night City map cover, Night City graffiti slipcase cover, set of temporary tattoos, Johnny Silverhand poster, as well as a set of vehicle-centric postcards.

CD Projekt RED hasnt shown off much of Cyberpunk 2077 since last year. Though it was to appear in some capacity at recent events, such as Taipei Game Show and PAX East, those plans were nixed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Its currently unclear when the studio will share more information about the title, but CD Projekt RED counts among the first exhibitors signed up to take part in gamescom this August.

Cyberpunk 2077 will launch later this year on September 17th for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One platforms.

[Source: Dark Horse]

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Step Into the World of Cyberpunk 2077 When the Lore Book Launches in June - PlayStation LifeStyle

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PS5: 5 Games we’re playing on the PlayStation 5 God of War 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon Zero Dawn 2 & more – RealSport – RealSport

Posted: at 7:46 pm

The PS5 is releasing later this year, and with it will come a whole roster of incredible games!

With the PS5 set to release later this year, we are beyond excited to get our hands on some of the new titles that are expected to come with next-gen.

With the upgrades in both software and hardware, there is likely to be some outstanding graphics weve never been able to experience before on a console.

Not only are there games set to release on all platforms, but Sony has some hidden gems up their sleeve just for the PlayStation 5.

Continue below to read more on our top picks for the PlayStations 5, as well as an honourable mention!

The first Horizon Zero Dawn released over 3 years ago, leaving fans desperate for more cyber-hunting action!

HZD2 is set to be a PlayStation exclusive, so any Xbox fans will have to wait for a possible, but unlikely, Xbox release.

The new PS5 will allow the developers to create an even more in-depth world. With better hardware, the game will look and feel more realistic.

READ MORE: Horizon Zero Dawn 2: Release date, platforms, trailer, characters, enemies, gameplay, news & everything you need to know

The PS5 is also using an SSD instead of a hard drive, meaning games will load much faster. With HZD, this will create a much more fluid and natural experience.

The God of War series is notorious for its elaborate storytelling and overabundance of badass fight scenes.

The reboot continued with this formulae and gave us one of the greatest games of all time.

We follow Kratos through the new Norse mythology realm, where he journeys to deliver his wifes ashes to the highest point in all the realms.

READ MORE: God of War 2: Sequel to Santa Monica Studios Fourth GoW game teased by Developer!

At the end, we get a sneak peek into the next game with Thor coming to get revenge on Kratos for the deaths of his extended family.

We cant wait to get our hands on the next chapter of Kratos journey, with more Gods, Monsters and epic moments to experience!

The next Call of Duty is set to release in the Autumn of 2020. This means it is likely to come out before the release of the next console.

This will mean the game will release on both the PS4 and the upcoming PS5.

From the current information we have, we know the next COD will be set in the Cold War and will continue the Boots-on-the-ground feel that the series has been following for the last few years.

READ MORE: Modern Warfare 2019 Pre-Order: Captain Price Playable Character Leak In Blackout Black Ops 4 DLC 4, Cross platform, Maps & more

The story will continue on from the first Black Ops games, with possible original characters such as Mason and Reznov.

Although the current COD game, Modern Warfare, has amazing graphics, we can expect the new title to look even better.

Cyberpunk has found itself delayed from April to September 2020. This is unfortunate, as this means it will release just before the next-gen consoles are available.

CD Projekt Red had no plans to release the game on the PS5, but due to this delay, they are now considering a next-gen release given the circumstances.

From what weve seen, the graphics look stunning! With its ultra-realistic lighting and immersive story, Cyberpunk is at the top of everyones watchlist.

READ MORE: Cyberpunk 2077 Release Date: Trailer, Gameplay, Pre-order Bundles, Weapons, Leaked Map, Characters, PS5, Xbox Series X & everything else you need to know

Fans of The Witcher and other RPG games are hyped for Cyberpunks release, but we have a little way to go yet. Click here to read more about our coverage of Cyberpunk.

Set in Feudal Japan, Ghost of Tsushima takes an eastern spin on your standard RPG.

The combat and swordplay look amazing. It seems gritty and realistic allowing the player to pull off combos and deadly executions.

The story is in-depth and presented with beautiful cinematics and dialogue. Alongside a genuine Japanese score, it seems Ghost of Tsushima will be an extremely immersive experience.

READ MORE: PlayStation 5 Specs: PS5 is a huge step above PS4, but might be behind Xbox Series X

Since its reveal at E3 2018, weve been on the edge of our seat to get a better look at the core mechanics of the game, as well as more story details.

GOS is set to release on PS4 on the 26th June 2020, meaning well see a re-release of the game on PS5 later down the line.

Elder Scrolls VI was teased at E3 2018. Its reveal trailer simply showing the name and logo as well as some scenery.

With The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim become one of the biggest games of all time, there are high hopes for the next big Elder Scrolls game.

With Bethesda able to take advantage of the new system, we hope to see a much larger world to explore, as well as better graphics.

READ MORE: Elder Scrolls 6 Location: Leaked internal memo may have just revealed the location of the next instalment

There is currently no set release date for The Elder Scrolls VI. If you wish to read more about the ESO VI, click here.

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PS5: 5 Games we're playing on the PlayStation 5 God of War 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Horizon Zero Dawn 2 & more - RealSport - RealSport

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The Kranio X is a Bluetooth speaker in the shape of a cybernetic lynx skull – The Verge

Posted: at 7:46 pm

File this one under Kickstarter products we cant easily explain: a fabricated cybernetic lynx skull that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. The Kranio X, as its called, is currently raising money on the crowdfunding platform for what seems like a very limited run of the product just $1,288 was the funding goal, and its already surpassed that with just 19 backers.

So what, exactly, is going on here? Well, according to Hong Kong-based industrial designer Alan Wong, he created the speaker casing in the shape of a lynx skull because he wanted to contrast a feral, organic feature with the cold, synthetic mechanical parts. It is not a real animal skull, of course; its 3D modeled out of various components and then hand-painted.

But its meant to evoke cyberpunk themes like the blurring lines between man and machine or, in this case, animal and machine. Technically speaking, the device is supposed to be a lynx with cybernetic implants (under the assumption that is a thing that will exist in the future) that has had its skull repurposed as an electronic device (in this case, a speaker). I could reasonably imagine something edgy and bizarre like that showing up in, say, Borderlands or perhaps Cyberpunk 2077, and that appears to be what Wong is going for.

For what its worth, the Kranio X is intended to be a hi-fi plug-in speaker, costing $269 under the first of two pledge tiers, with the other costing $359 alongside a poster, an engraving, and a copy of the stereolithography file the device will be manufactured from. It comes with a 4-inch, 10-watt inside, weighs just over 4.4 pounds, and has dimensions of 240 x 160 x 153 cm. It has Bluetooth 5.0, and Wong also lists the signal, sensitivity, and distortion metrics for those interested in a more detailed breakdown on the campaign page. The campaign is live until April 16th, 2020.

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The Kranio X is a Bluetooth speaker in the shape of a cybernetic lynx skull - The Verge

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Could Cyberpunk 2077 have Multiplayer ? – Gamer Turn

Posted: at 7:46 pm





Could Cyberpunk 2077have Multiplayer?

Heres what we think about the multiplayer aspect of Cyberpunk 2077, and what we can expect from it.

Engineer CD Projekt Red announced back in January that the discharge date for its up-and-coming RPG Cyberpunk 2077 was postponed to September 2020. Since then on, fans have been wondering how this can, if by any way, affect the multiplayer section of the game. Below, were going to go over what we know about Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer so far with the intention that you remember whats in store when the game dispatches in the not-so-distant future.

Could Cyberpunk 2077have Multiplayer?

Off chance you havent been aware of all the late 2077 Cyberpunk subtleties, you might think about whether the cutting edge RPG will have multiplayer and what that aspect of the game would look like. Indeed the short response is, Cyberpunk 2077 should have a portion of multiplayer. In any case, the programmers view multiplayer mode as their own undertaking which will discharge independently of the primary game. It is not yet clear what multiplayer mode would similarly look like.

The official CD Projekt Red Twitter page back in September 2019 confirmed that multiplayer was underway in a tweet hoping to contract game developers. After the release of Cyberpunk 2077 and its DLC content, the tweet went on to say the arrangement is to welcome you for some multiplayer action.

Since then, Cyberpunk 2077 has been postponed, but so far its safe to say that this is still the plan and players shouldnt expect multiplayer to start. In reality, we probably wont see the multiplayer part of Cyberpunk 2077 until more than a year after release of the game. CD Projekt Red publishing lead Micha Nowakowski confirmed during a recent conference call with investors that they are treating the multiplayer part of the game as its own triple-A release.


Could Cyberpunk 2077 have Multiplayer ? - Gamer Turn

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New game in The Witcher world to be developed after Cyberpunk 2077 – Infosurhoy

Posted: at 7:46 pm

The next entry in CD Projekt Reds highly successful video game adaptation of TheWitcher series is already in the planning stages. The developers CEO, Adam Kicinski, broke the news while speaking to Polish press and said the developer already has a small team working on a concept for another single-player title that is awaiting further development.

Once the studio finishes work on Cyberpunk 2077, which is set to release on September 17, it will reorganize to start work on the next game in The Witcher franchise. CD Projekt Red will divide into three internal teams with the largest group working on a multiplayer mode of Cyberpunk 2077 and another creating additions to the base game. The smallest of the three teams will start work on the developers next role-playing game.

Kicinski stresses that the next title is notThe Witcher 4 as the adventures of Geralt of Rivia was always meant to be a trilogy. He also reiterated that the studio wants to continue creating stories within that universe in addition to what it is currently doing with Cyberpunk 2077. All planned games are either Witcher or Cyberpunk, the studio head said.

Despite the latest title in The Witcher series entering development later this year, fans will still have to wait quite some time. Kicinski quickly shot the idea of a quick turnaround of its next ambitious RPG down when asked. He added the studios projects always last four to five years and that itd be difficult to imagine it releasing any sooner than that as they want to prioritize quality. CD Projekt Red Vice President of Finance Piotr Nielubowicz also chimed in on the next titles development by saying that it will take less commitment than Cyberpunk 2077 as theyre working in a world theyve already established rather than crafting one from the ground up.

CD Projekt Red originally releasedThe Witcher in 2007. Based upon the Polish novels of the same name, the RPG received critical praise upon release. The company followed it up with The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings in 2011 and The Witcher 3: Wild Huntin 2015 to even more commercial and critical acclaim. Cyberpunk 2077 will mark its firstgame outside of the fantasy universe.

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New game in The Witcher world to be developed after Cyberpunk 2077 - Infosurhoy

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