Belmont police warn of ‘aggressive’ mountain lion

BELMONT (BCN) — Belmont police issued a warning early Wednesday that a mountain lion has been sighted in the 2500 block of Hastings Drive.

In a 4:47 a.m. tweet, police said “An aggressive mountain lion that fought & killed another mountain lion in the area was seen around 2:00 am. Game wardens have responded. Pls use caution!”

No additional information was provided.

Copyright © 2022 Bay City News, Inc.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/belmont-police-warn-of-aggressive-mountain-lion/

CDC adds 22 countries to level four travel warning list

(The Hill) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added 22 countries to its advisory list against travel on Tuesday.

The countries were added to the highest warning at a level four due to the rising levels of COVID-19. 

Some of the countries added include Israel, Australia, Egypt, Albania, Argentina, Uruguay, Panama, Qatar, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Suriname, Saint Lucia and Bolivia, Reuters reported

The level four rating now has more than 100 countries as nations struggle to combat the highly contagious omicron variant. 

The CDC advises that level four countries be avoided at all costs and a person be fully vaccinated if they do have to go to them. 

Less than 20 countries are on the CDC’s lowest warning level at level 1. 

In the past few weeks, popular travel destinations for Americans such as Canada and Aruba have moved up to the highest warning due to increased COVID-19 cases. 

Many countries paused travel from several African countries after the omicron variant was discovered to slow the spread of the virus, but the coronavirus still spread rapidly around the world.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/national/cdc-adds-22-countries-to-level-four-travel-warning-list/

Ford recalls 200,000 cars over brake light problem

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling about 200,000 cars in the U.S. to fix a problem that can stop the brake lights from turning off.

The recall covers certain 2014 and 2015 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ midsize cars as well as some 2015 Mustangs.

All were sold or registered in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Hawaii.

High temperatures and humidity can cause a rubber brake pedal part to disintegrate, keeping the lights on, confusing other drivers and increasing the risk of a crash.

Drivers with automatic transmissions also can shift out of “park” gear without having their foot on the brake.

Dealers will replace brake and clutch pedal bumpers. Owners will be notified by mail starting March 3.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/national/ford-recalls-200000-cars-over-brake-light-problem/

Stanford students circulate petition to repeal booster mandate

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A petition is circulating at Stanford University that asks to repeal a COVID-19 booster shot mandate.

At last check, it has nearly 1,700 signatures.

All students are required to show proof of vaccination by January 31 unless they have an approved exemption.

The petition states that those opposed to the mandate are not anti-vaccine or anti-booster, but instead support the rights of Stanford students to make their own medical choices moving forward.

Ninety-five percent of the students testing on campus are fully vaccinated.

Campus health officials put the booster mandate in place due to a continuous spike in cases since winter break. Students just returned for in-person classes. The winter quarter has been online.

Last week, 205 students tested positive and 287 staff members tested positive, according to the university.

As of Tuesday, 325 students are isolating in student housing – either because they have COVID-19 or because they were exposed to it.

The petition also says it would be more effective to lower COVID-19 cases by having students not return to campus at all, keeping online classes.

But this week classes are mostly in person and students have to get tested before returning to school.

As of now, Stanford has not responded to the petition, so students still have less than two weeks to get boosted otherwise they cannot come on campus.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/stanford-students-circulate-petition-to-repeal-booster-mandate/

Employers planning for big raises in 2022, survey finds

(NewsNation Now) — New data shows companies are doing more to keep employees happy, including putting more money in their pocketbooks.

A new survey by Willis Towers Watson shows that nearly a third of the more than 1,000 U.S. companies involved in the study are planning to bump up salaries from last year.

So how do you leverage this opportunity to earn more money in 2022?

“Raise your hand and say, ‘Boss, I’d like to earn more and I think I’m worth it,” Rebecca Knight, senior correspondent for Insider, said during an appearance on “Morning in America.” “A lot of people are doing it right now.”

We know that the “Great Resignation” is taking place. In November, the latest month for which figures are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.5 million people voluntarily left their jobs.

“One of the biggest reasons they’re doing so is to make more money,” Knight said.

According to Knight, employees got about a 2.8% salary bump last year. At the beginning of 2022, companies were considering about a 3% raise, but are now looking at about 3.4%.

“People are leaving their jobs in droves,” Knight said. “And companies are falling all over themselves to make sure their employees stay, to attract and retain the people they’ve got.”

Cost of living increases are normally around 3%, so companies might have to do a little better than that, especially with the inflation rates that we’re seeing.

But to keep and hire the best talent, is the money enough?

“So right now, it’s not working,” Knight said. “And it’s not working by a long shot because employees during this global pandemic — that has been pretty undeniably horrible for everyone — employees have really done a lot of soul searching and reflection and thinking they want more out of their lives, out of their careers. So they don’t just want the money.”

Of course, the money doesn’t hurt, but employees “want flexibility,” Knight said. “They want autonomy. They want to feel like the work that they’re doing matters. They want to feel purpose. They want to feel a connection with, not only with their colleagues but with their organizations.”

So employers have got their work cut out for them right now as we seem to be at a turning point in the marketplace, where employers are having to pay attention to the desire of their employees to want to make the world a better place while at work.

“We realize what we want out of our lives and I think employers if they are going to hold onto us and get the best out of us, they’re going to need to connect their mission, what they do, to what we’re searching for,” Knight said.

Watch the full interview with Rebecca Knight in the video player at the top of the page.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/business/employers-planning-for-big-raises-in-2022-survey-finds/

Man accused of groping nurse, punching 2 at vaccination clinic charged: DA

TUSTIN, Calif. (KTLA) — A 44-year-old man accused of punching two medical assistants at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in California and later groping a nurse who was providing him medical care has been charged with misdemeanor battery and resisting arrest.

On Dec. 30, Thomas Apollo of Poway was asked to leave the Families Together clinic in Tustin after he refused to wear a mask, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Apollo then allegedly started acting erratically, calling the clinic workers “murderers” and using expletives toward employees who asked him to put on a mask or go back outside.

He is accused of punching one of the medical assistants five times and another medical assistant twice. Several bystanders pinned Apollo down until police arrived.

“We just said, ‘Please sir, calm down, put your mask on’ and ‘we are just doing our jobs,’ and then suddenly he just started punching,” said Alexander Rossel, CEO of Families Together of Orange County. “It can happen again. My staff is afraid.”

Apollo then allegedly refused to follow commands given by Tustin police, who ultimately used a taser to subdue him so that he could be handcuffed.

Then at O.C. Global Medical Center, Apollo is accused of grabbing a nurse’s finger and bending it and groping her breast while she was treating him for minor cuts and scrapes.

“Instead of being treated with the same compassion and respect in which they treat their patients, these health care workers were punched in the face and physically assaulted for just trying to do their jobs,” O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “Violence of any kind will not be tolerated and we will hold this individual accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Apollo has been charged with one misdemeanor count of battery on a nurse, two misdemeanor counts of battery and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, the DA’s office said Tuesday.

He faces a maximum sentence of three years in the Orange County Jail if convicted on all counts.

Apollo is scheduled to be arraigned at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana on March 30.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/california/man-accused-of-groping-nurse-punching-2-at-vaccination-clinic-charged-da/

Man chases off Palo Alto burglary suspect with a bat

PALO ALTO (BCN) — A man in his 70s used a baseball bat to chase a burglar from his home early Tuesday morning in Palo Alto, and police captured the suspect a short time later as he tried to flee on a stolen bicycle.

Police arrested 44-year-old Juan Bartolo Rios, of Redwood City, on suspicion of one felony, residential burglary, and two misdemeanors, prowling and trespassing, according to a Tuesday news release from Palo Alto Police Department.

Police initially responded to 400 block of Sequoia Avenue after a 6:47 a.m. call from a woman who said her husband had just chased a burglary suspect who had entered their home.

As officers searched the neighborhood, another caller in the 1600 block of Escobita Avenue reported that she has just found the suspect hiding in her detached garage and that he had stolen a bicycle.

Officers apprehended the suspect on the stolen bicycle without incident at 7:32 a.m. on Portola Avenue near Miramonte Avenue.

Copyright © 2022 Bay City News, Inc.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/man-chases-off-palo-alto-burglary-suspect-with-a-bat/

White House to make 400 million N95 masks available for free

WASHINGTON (The Hill) – The White House announced Wednesday that it is making 400 million N95 masks available for free, part of a string of actions aimed at fighting the surging omicron variant.  

The masks will be available for pickup at “tens of thousands of local pharmacies” as well as thousands of community health centers, the White House said. The masks will begin shipping later this week and will start to become available late next week, before being “fully up and running” in early February.  

Making high quality masks more available has been one of the areas where President Biden has been under pressure to step up the response to the virus.  

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and more than 50 Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill last week, for example, to send three N95 masks to every person in the U.S.  

Similar to action on testing, experts say the Biden administration should have acted months ago to make high quality masks more available, but the new steps are still progress.  

Biden first announced last week that an announcement on free high quality masks would be coming this week.  

The masks are being deployed from the Strategic National Stockpile, which currently has more than 750 million N95 masks, triple the number in January 2021, the White House said.  

Experts have been stepping up calls for people to use higher quality masks like N95s, which offer much better protection than simple cloth masks, especially in the face of the highly-transmissible omicron variant.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that N95 masks offer the highest level of protection. Experts have also recommended KN95 masks, another type of high quality mask, though consumers are warned to make sure the masks they are buying are not counterfeit.  

In addition to the mask announcement, a new website to order four rapid tests per residence went live on Tuesday, at covidtests.gov.  

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/national/white-house-to-make-400-million-n95-masks-available-for-free/

Is headache a symptom of the omicron COVID variant?

(NEXSTAR) – The omicron variant is forcing us to rethink what COVID-19 looks and feels like in its early days. While fever, coughing and loss of taste were the tell-tale early signs of the first strain of the coronavirus, early research suggests omicron manifests differently, especially early on in the illness.

One early symptom many are reporting is so mild and commonplace, it can be easy to miss: headaches.

A headache isn’t just one symptom of the omicron variant – it’s the second most common symptom, according to the ZOE Covid Study. The study is a joint effort created by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, King’s College London, Stanford University School of Medicine and the health app ZOE.

The study found the only symptom more commonly reported by people infected with the omicron variant was a runny nose.

Similar findings came out of an early omicron case study in Norway, which tracked 81 people infected with the virus from a Christmas party outbreak. About 68% of the partygoers who contracted the virus reported headaches as a symptom.

Another study by the U.K.’s Health Security Agency of COVID cases in December found headaches to be a common symptom, as well. The study also found people who caught the delta variant also reported headaches.

This collection of common symptoms have made omicron more easily confused with a cold than past COVID strains, especially for breakthrough cases among the vaccinated.

Dr. Maya N. Clark-Cutaia, who teaches at the New York University Meyers College of Nursing, told the New York Times that vaccinated people’s omicron symptoms often present like a “really bad cold” – including headaches, body aches and a fever – while unvaccinated people are more likely to see flulike symptoms and shortness of breath.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/health/coronavirus/is-headache-a-symptom-of-the-omicron-covid-variant/

Global airlines rush to change flights to the U.S. over 5G problem

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Airlines across the world, including the long-haul carrier Emirates, rushed Wednesday to cancel or change flights heading into the U.S. over an ongoing dispute about the rollout of 5G mobile phone technology near American airports.

The issue appeared to particularly impact the Boeing 777, a long-range, wide-body aircraft used by carriers worldwide — especially Emirates. Two Japanese airlines directly named the aircraft as being particularly affected by the 5G signals as they announced cancellations and changes to their schedules.

The cancellations come even after mobile phone carriers AT&T and Verizon said they will postpone new wireless service near some U.S. airports planned for this week. The FAA has cleared a number of aircraft to fly into airports with the 5G signals, but missing from the list is the Boeing 777.

Dubai-based Emirates, a key carrier for East-West travel, announced it would halt flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Miami, Newark, New Jersey, Orlando, Florida, San Francisco and Seattle over the issue beginning Wednesday. It said it would continue flights to Los Angeles, New York and Washington.

In its announcement, Emirates cited the cancellation as necessary due to “operational concerns associated with the planned deployment of 5G mobile network services in the U.S. at certain airports.”

“We are working closely with aircraft manufacturers and the relevant authorities to alleviate operational concerns, and we hope to resume our U.S. services as soon as possible,” the state-owned airline said.

The United Arab Emirates successfully rolled out 5G coverage all around its airports without incident, like dozens of other countries. But in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration worries that the C-Band strand of 5G could interfere with radio altimeters.

Altimeters measure how high a plane is in the sky, a crucial piece of equipment for flying, particularly at night or in bad weather.

The FAA will allow planes with accurate, reliable altimeters to operate around high-power 5G. But planes with older altimeters will not be allowed to make landings under low-visibility conditions.

Part of the problem, according to the FAA, are the signal strength of the 5G towers.

“Base stations in rural areas of the United States are permitted to emit at higher levels in comparison to other countries which may affect radio altimeter equipment accuracy and reliability,” the FAA said in December.

The U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s chairwoman said in a statement that the 5G “deployment can safely co-exist with aviation technologies in the United States, just as it does in other countries around the world.” However, Jessica Rosenworcel added: “It is essential that the FAA now complete this process with both care and speed.”

AT&T and Verizon spent tens of billions of dollars for C-Band spectrum in a FCC government auction last year.

Of particular concern in the 5G rollout appears to be the Boeing 777, a major workhorse for Emirates, which only flies that model and the Airbus A380 jumbo jet. Its Mideast competitor, Qatar Airways, anticipates “minor delays” on return flights from the U.S. but says otherwise its dozen U.S. routes are operating as scheduled.

Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd. said in a statement that the FAA “has indicated that radio waves from the 5G wireless service may interfere with aircraft altimeters.”

“Boeing has announced flight restrictions on all airlines operating the Boeing 777 aircraft, and we have cancelled or changed the aircraft for some flights to/from the U.S. based on the announcement by Boeing,” ANA said. It cancelled 20 flights to the U.S. over the issue to cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

Japan Airlines Co. Ltd. similarly said that it had been informed that 5G signals “may interfere with the radio altimeter installed on the Boeing 777.”

“We will refrain from using this model on the continental United States line until we can confirm its safety and we regret to inform you that we will cancel the flight for which the aircraft cannot be changed to the Boeing 787,” the airline said. Eight of its flights were affected Wednesday — three passenger trips and five for cargo.

Chicago-based Boeing Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Air India also announced on Twitter it would cancel flights to Chicago, Newark, New York and San Francisco “due to deployment of the 5G communications” equipment. It said it would try to use other aircraft on U.S. routes as well.

Korean Air, South Korea’s biggest airline, switched four passenger planes from Boeing 777s to 787s and two cargo planes from 747-8s to 747-400s overnight, and will continue to avoid operating 777s and 747-8s at affected U.S. airports, spokeswoman Jill Chung said.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific said it is deploying different types of airplanes where necessary to the affected airports and that its flights to the United States have not been affected so far. Taiwan’s EVA Air also said it had taken “contingency measures to ensure flight safety,” without elaborating.

German airline Lufthansa said it had substituted Boeing 747-400 aircraft instead of 747-800s on three flights from Frankfurt to Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco, while cancelling one connection from Frankfurt to Miami. Austrian Airlines swapped a Boeing 767 in place of a 777 for one flight from Vienna to Newark.

Choi Jong-yun, a spokeswoman of Asiana Airlines, another South Korean carrier, said the company hasn’t been affected so far because it uses Airbus planes for passenger flights to the U.S. and doesn’t use the affected Boeing planes to transport cargo.

However, Choi said airlines have also been instructed by the FAA to avoid automatic landings at affected U.S. airports during bad weather conditions, regardless of plane type. Asiana will redirect its planes to nearby airports during those conditions, she said.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/national/global-airlines-rush-to-change-flights-to-the-u-s-over-5g-problem/

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