Coronavirus updates: CDC makes new death toll prediction for mid-August

first_imgSamara Heisz/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — The novel coronavirus pandemic has now killed more than 625,000 people worldwide.Over 15.3 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.The United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 143,701 deaths.Here is how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern: 2:25 p.m.: Positivity rate up to 13.2% among young New YorkersNew York is monitoring a rise in coronavirus cases among those ages 21 to 31 — the only age bracket in the state to see an increase.New Yorkers in their 20s or early 30s now have a 13.2% positivity rate — up from 9.9% one week earlier, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.Cuomo cautioned that the Albany area saw nearly 30 new positive cases linked to one 4th of July party.Those traveling to New York from states with a positivity rate higher than 10% over a one-week average are required to self-quarantine when arriving in the Empire State. 1:50 p.m.: CDC predicts up to 175,000 deaths in US by Aug. 15 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the U.S. should anticipate between 160,000 and 175,000 total reported COVID-19 deaths by Aug. 15.National and state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new U.S. deaths over the next four weeks will likely exceed the number reported over the last four weeks.States with the greatest likelihood of a larger number of deaths include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.12:20 p.m.: WHO director-general urges ‘young people to start a global movement for health’ WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday urged “young people to start a global movement for health.”“In recent years we’ve seen young people leading grassroots movements for climate change and racial equality,” Tedros said at a media briefing. “Now we need young people to start a global movement for health — for a world in which health is a human right, not a privilege.”“We will not be going back to the ‘old normal.’ The pandemic has already changed the way we live our lives. Part of adjusting to the ‘new normal’ is finding ways to live our lives safely,” Tedros said. “We’re asking everyone to treat the decisions about where they go, what they do and who they meet with as life-and-death decisions — because they are. It may not be your life, but your choices could be the difference between life and death for someone you love, or for a complete stranger.”There have been recent outbreaks linked to nightclubs and other social gatherings, Tedros said, stressing, “We all have a part to play in protecting ourselves and one another.”Tedros urged people to follow these two guidelines.“First, know your situation. Do you know how many cases were reported where you live yesterday? Do you know where to find that information?” he said.“Second, do you know how to minimize your exposure? Are you being careful to keep at least 1 meter from others? Are you still cleaning your hands regularly? Are you following the advice of your local authorities?” Tedros said. “No matter where you live or how old you are, you can be a leader in your community, not just to defeat the pandemic, but to build back better.”10:55 a.m.: Florida reports new daily death toll recordFlorida’s Department of Health reported an increase of 173 coronavirus fatalities on Thursday — a new daily record.The previous record was 156 fatalities on July 16. At least 5,632 people in Florida have now died from COVID-19, according to the state’s Department of Health.As of Thursday morning, Florida’s hospitals had just 15.67% of adult ICU beds available, according to the state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration.Four counties — Hernando, Monroe, Okeechobee and Putnam — had no available ICU beds, the agency said.These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates.9:45 a.m.: Kids account for 1 in 10 cases in San Antonio, young adults causing spread in Washington state, FEMA says Nationally, deaths in the last week are up 12.3% over the previous week, according to an internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC News.  In Texas, the positivity rate reached 19.2% — double the national average of 9%, the memo said. In Bexar County, Texas, which includes San Antonio, children under 18 now account for 1 in 10 new cases, according to the FEMA memo. Meanwhile, Washington state was in early stages of an exponential statewide outbreak as of July 17, according to the FEMA memo. Washington state recorded 5,986 new cases in the week ending July 20 — a 25.5% increase from the week prior, the memo said. Spread in Washington state is being driven by social gatherings and people in their 20s, the memo said.9 a.m.: FEMA administrator downplays persistent PPE shortagesIn an appearance on ABC News’ Good Morning America Thursday, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Peter Gaynor tried to downplay persistent personal protection equipment (PPE) shortages and stressed that the U.S. is on stronger footing now than in March or April. Gaynor admitted there “may be” some shortages and said gear may need to be moved around the country to surge resources to where they are needed most.“There may be places that have high cases, high hospitalizations, that do have some shortages,” he said. “We’re in a much better place and we can move PPE from around the country to where it’s needed the most.” When pressed about the doctors and nurses on the front lines without PPE, Gaynor responded, “If there is a hospital out there that does not have PPE, contact their state emergency manager, contact their state health director, and we will get PPE to you.”Gaynor also attributed PPE challenges to the fact that the gear is largely manufactured outside the U.S.  With hurricane season approaching, Gaynor said FEMA is prepared to deal with the simultaneous threats of potential natural disasters on top of the pandemic. “We’ve been at COVID-19 for months now. The agency has been up and running dealing with COVID-19. But we also have been preparing for the hurricane season. We knew it was coming,” Gaynor said. He said guidance has been sent to hurricane-prone areas on how to adapt their response plans as they also deal with the virus. 8:20 a.m.: Over 10,000 health workers in Africa infected with COVID-19, WHO saysOver 10,000 health workers in Africa have been infected with COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Only 7.8% of Africa’s health care centers have isolation capacities and just a third have the capacity to triage patients. Africa has reported more than 750,000 cases of COVID-19. At least 15,000 people have died. South Africa is now among the worst-hit countries in the world. With 394,948 cases and 5,940 deaths, South Africa accounts for more than half of the continent’s diagnosed cases and ranks fifth behind the U.S., Brazil, India, and Russia.7:16 a.m.: Flight attendant linked to Hawaiian Airlines COVID-19 cluster diesA Hawaiian Airlines employee that recently contracted COVID-19 died this week, the company announced.“I am very sad to report that one of our senior Los Angeles-based Flight Attendants, Jeff Kurtzman, passed away last night,” Hawaiian Airlines President & CEO Peter Ingram said in a statement. “He had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in California earlier this month.”A few weeks ago, the airline reported that a number of employees tested positive for the virus after a training session.“We continue to follow up with members of our ‘ohana who are recovering from the coronavirus,” Ingram’s statement said. “We are reminded every day that this virus is serious and highly transmissible. We have strengthened the mandates and protocols governing how we interact with each other at our facilities, and I urge us all to continue to practice the utmost vigilance.”Kurtzman was a senior Los Angeles-based flight attendant, and worked for Hawaiian Airlines since 1986.04:49 a.m.: Trump says testing is ‘overrated’In a week where President Donald Trump has been more vocal about wearing masks and saying the coronavirus will “get worse before it gets better,” he also continued to say Wednesday that coronavirus testing is “overrated,” but “he’s willing to keep doing it.”Trump, in an interview with Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel that aired Wednesday night, implied that the increased testing makes the U.S. “look bad” and said, “I don’t mind looking bad if it’s a good thing.”This comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country nears four million.“To me, every time you test a case it gets reported in the news, we found more cases. If instead of 50 we did 25, we have half the number of cases. So I personally think it’s overrated, but I am totally willing to keep doing it,” Trump said during the interview.In the U.S., deaths in the last week were up 12.3% over the previous week, according to an internal Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News.The memo also highlighted how some of the hardest-hit states, like Arizona, are facing tough choices to decide who gets care as hospitals run short on health care equipment and resources.The mixed messaging this week continues as the president urged Americans to wear masks only to show up hours later at his Washington hotel at a fundraiser speaking to supporters without one.During his interview with Siegel he said wearing masks “probably helps.”“I don’t think it’s something that you have to do or should do,” he told FOX News. “But everyone around me has tested, so I’m not the perfect person to talk about it. But I believe that you should wear it, even if there’s a 1% chance it helps.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

10 steps to Brexit to keep David Cameron up at night

first_imgPollsters privately insist nothing much has changed. The fundamentals remain stacked in the prime minister’s favor, they say. For Leave to win, support for Brexit needs to be 10 points further ahead, comfortably topping 50 percent in the polls.But Vote Leave, the official campaign for Brexit, smell blood. They are convinced of victory. Here are the 10 steps that would get them there:1. Discipline breaks downConventional wisdom has been turned on its head. The Remain campaign was supposed to be united and on message, while Brexiteers squabbled. No longer.Seeds of division were planted by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to stick to the script, his own MPs believe. Attacking the government’s so-called “project fear,” the Labour leader promised to kill the EU’s free trade deal with the U.S. and ensure Brussels became more interventionist on social policy under his leadership.Remain’s message discipline further frayed live on air last Thursday, as economic warnings were lost in a co-ordinated blizzard of calls to “take back control” from the line-up of Leave campaigners led by former London mayor Boris Johnson.Cabinet minister Amber Rudd attempted to regain the initiative by hurling insults at Johnson, winning headlines, but undermining her ally and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to set out the “positive case.” LONDON — David Cameron was supposed to be cruising to victory. A blizzard of dire economic warnings from across the world had effectively settled the question. The Leave campaign had lost the economic argument and could do nothing but raise fears about immigration.Or so many pundits thought.There is a growing sense of panic among pro-Remain MPs. Something isn’t right. Labour has been spooked by a surge in support for Brexit in its heartlands. Outside London, England does not feel like a country convinced by Remain. Without Labour voters, Cameron cannot hope to carry the country.5. TV debatesOne bad debate does not a Brexit make, but Cameron cannot afford a pattern to emerge.The prime minister emerged relatively unscathed from his first TV interrogation June 2 on Sky, primarily because hardly anyone bothered to watch with England playing Portugal on the other channel. His TV scuffle with Nigel Farage a few days later, watched by 4 million people, went well but did not move the dial.Then came the beating for Remain on Thursday when a co-ordinated assault from the three Brexit MPs saw Boris & Co. emerge triumphant.Downing Street will take solace in paltry viewing figures for the two-hour debate, with just 3 million tuning in — 1 million fewer than a DIY programme on the BBC that night.But if the public did not notice, Westminster and Fleet Street certainly did. A strong performance from Michael Gove in front of a BBC audience on Wednesday could give Leave momentum going into the final week. Cameron will need a strong showing on June 19 when it’s his turn to face questions. With less than two weeks until polling day, losing control of the message is a bad omen for Remain.2. England energizedVote Leave has produced a series of electoral maps which, if made public, would send shivers through Downing Street.Using computer bots to trawl past voting data, the campaign has broken down, postcode by postcode, expected turnout and Euroskepticism in each area of the country.The magnetic power of the status quo, pulling voters back from the brink, is far less powerful than in previous referendums such as in Quebec or Scotland.From the data, the campaign has produced two key maps showing the battleground areas. One shows strongly pro-EU postcodes with historically high turnouts, the other Euroskeptic areas with strong voting records.The two maps are immediately striking. The pro-EU map has big blue circles in just two areas — inner London and Scotland. The Brexit map, by contrast, is covered in blue everywhere in England outside the capital and Labour’s northern heartlands. 6. NewspapersIt might not seem so in Brussels, but British newspapers are not uniformly hostile to the EU.The left-wing Mirror tabloid has a working-class readership, of which around half will vote to leave, but the paper itself is pro-EU. The mass-market Daily Record in Scotland is also for Remain, along with the Guardian and Financial Times.A resentful nation toying with Brexit could be pushed over the edge by a humiliating defeat to a team of footballing minnows from central Europe.Nevertheless, most of the biggest circulation London newspapers are fiercely anti-EU. The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Sun have been relentlessly hostile to Number 10 throughout the campaign and are likely to remain so until polling day.Whether or not they officially campaign for Brexit, the die has been cast.And while newspapers do not have the power they once had, almost 4 million people a day still read the three main anti-EU newspapers. Their influence cannot be dismissed. The migrant crisis may also rear its head. Recent revelations about boatloads of Albanians attempting to cross the Channel to reach the U.K. coincided with a spike in support for leaving, Leave insiders say.A major incident in the final few days of the campaign and all bets are off. Also On POLITICO ‘I’ll pull UK out of the single market after Brexit’ By Tom McTague Vote Leave believe England’s southern Brexit belt holds the key to victory. If the South turns out and working class northerners stay home, Britain could be heading out of the EU.3. The Brexit ‘double differential’Number 10 consistently stress how important turnout will be, with Cameron publicly warning younger voters not to let their grandparents drag them out of Europe by failing to show up on June 23.Pollsters are cynical about the prime minister’s warning, insisting that in reality neither side has much of a demographic advantage. It is true that Brexit is boosted by its support among the elderly, who are more likely to vote than the young. But Remain is equally helped by support among the educated and wealthy, who are also more likely to turnout.Vote Leave believes it has two key advantages which have been overlooked: geography and enthusiasm. Support for remaining in the EU is higher in Labour’s inner cities where turnout is historically much lower than in wealthier Tory areas. This gives Brexit an in-built advantage in a nationwide referendum where the contest is a simple race for the most votes.The second boon for Brexit is that voters who want out are far more passionate than those who want to remain. Internal polling from Vote Leave has confirmed there is no love for the EU even among those who want to stay.This means the magnetic power of the status quo, pulling voters back from the brink, is far less powerful than in previous referendums such as in Quebec or Scotland. 7. FootballOn Monday June 20, barely 36 hours before polls open on Thursday morning, England play their final group game in the European Championships against Slovakia.After crashing out of the World Cup at the same stage two years ago, Number 10 will be praying history doesn’t repeat itself. A resentful nation toying with Brexit could be pushed over the edge by a humiliating defeat to a team of footballing minnows from central Europe.This scenario is not without precedent. In 1987, the unpopular Labour government in New Zealand was unexpectedly re-elected after the country won the Rugby World Cup. Twelve years later the country threw out the government after a shock loss in the semifinal of another Rugby World Cup.The European Championships could also serve to dampen turnout, boosting Brexit, by dominating the airwaves during the debates.On Wednesday Michael Gove goes head to head with France vs. Albania, while four days later Cameron is up against the Switzerland vs. France group game decider.On the 21st, the day of the live Wembley BBC debate, most of Northern Ireland will be in the pub after playing Germany at 5 pm. One of the best games of the opening group stages, Croatia v Spain, will also be televized that night. 9. Brexit ground warVote Leave is planning a door-knocking Brexit blitz in the last few days before the vote which they believe will see them over the line.Having built their own software to target voters based on canvassing returns, the campaign plans a major ground operation between Monday and Thursday next week to get people to encourage their friends and family to turn out for Brexit.Vote Leave says all their data collection has been geared towards the final push. In total they plan to knock on three million doors in the last two days.This operation rests on the campaign’s fired-up army of volunteers. Downing Street will hope the plan is as unsuccessful as Labour’s infamous boast to hold “5 million conversations” in the run up to the last election, which failed to swing the result.10. The unknownsWhat happens if there is a terrorist attack? No one knows.Vote Leave say they observed a brief upswing in support for Brexit immediately after the Paris terror attacks. In 2004 the Spanish government was kicked out three days after Al Qaeda attacked the Madrid rail network. A similar attack during the European Championships could spark an equally volatile political reaction in the U.K. While the timing is not ideal, Number 10 is not stupid. On referendum day itself there are no football games at all.8. Lecturing elitesThe U.K. government is banned from using its bureaucratic power to pump out propaganda for the final month of the campaign but this does not stop “independent” international bodies doing it for them.Vote Leave’s data collection is geared towards final canvassing push. In total they plan to knock on three million doors in the last two days.Just days before the vote, the International Monetary Fund — part funded by the U.K. — will publish a report likely to warn about the dangers of Brexit. George Osborne won’t miss the opportunity to use an annual speech at Mansion House to ram home his warnings.Far from being concerned, Vote Leave are positively thrilled at the prospect. The Chancellor pictured in white tie speaking to a room full of bankers is not a major concern, they point out.And while Christine Lagarde may be respected among certain circles, to most people in the country she will come over as a wealthy French woman lecturing them on how to vote, Vote Leave believe. The lower the turnout the more advantage Vote Leave feels is has. Anything between 55-60 percent and Britain is heading for Brexit, they believe.4. Half-hearted LabourLabour is caught in a trap and doesn’t know what to do. Unlike the Tories, Labour MPs were relatively united in their support for EU membership. But then the party’s core voters started telling them something different.“We’re getting killed, it’s madness,” one senior Labour MP said. “We’re being asked to argue with our voters, telling them that they’re wrong about immigration and the EU. And then at the end we’re supposed to turn around and say vote Labour. It’s like putting up a sign saying vote UKIP.”British PM David Cameron, right, and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn at the Palace of Westminster | Stefan Wermuth/WPA Pool via Getty ImagesThe problem reflects the irony at the heart of the Brexit debate: Wealthier voters tend to support the Euroskeptic Tories, but also favor British membership of the EU. Poorer voters want to leave, but support the pro-European Labour Party. UKIP is making hay from the confusion.Corbyn believes the answer is to support EU membership but criticize Brussels and call for reform to reflect voters concerns. Labour MPs are furious and claim he is simply undermining support for Remain.At a meeting of the shadow cabinet Tuesday last week Corbyn was forced to defend himself after open criticism from his team.last_img read more

British MP: Michel Barnier said Chequers proposal is ‘dead’

first_imgAsked about preparations for a no-deal Brexit and whether the U.K. is in talks with the EU about side agreements to mitigate the most disruptive impacts, Raab said that these kinds of preparations could take one of three forms — unilateral action, non-legally binding memorandums of understanding with the EU, or “more formal arrangements.”He cited the European Central Bank’s engagement with the Bank of England as an example of where this kind of cooperation on no-deal preparedness is already taking place and said to “have the best mitigation in place we would need the EU to be as forward leaning as we are willing to be.” Also On POLITICO Brussels issues démarche on alleged British divide-and-rule tactic By Jacopo Barigazzi and Charlie Cooper Brexit Files Insight Why Brexit is Jeremy Corbyn’s best hope By Tom McTague LONDON — Michel Barnier told British MPs that Theresa May’s Chequers proposal is “dead,” according to a member of the House of Commons Brexit committee.MPs from the cross-party committee met the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator in Brussels Monday.Questioning Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab at a separate committee hearing in Westminster Wednesday, Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, who was present at the Barnier meeting, reported that the chief negotiator had said in French “les propositions sonts mortes [the proposals are dead].” A spokesperson for the European Commission did not immediately respond to a request to confirm whether Barnier used those words. Raab, appearing before the House of Commons European scrutiny committee, said he has regular meetings with Barnier and would not take Kinnock’s word for what happened.A spokesperson for the committee said it would be releasing a transcript of the meeting shortly.The Brexit secretary, despite having advocated for the U.K. to leave the EU, faced grueling questioning from Brexiteers on the committee, who strongly oppose the Chequers proposals, which they believe will bind the U.K. too closely to EU rules.Former Brexit minister David Jones asked Raab why, given the opposition of both Barnier and a large number of Conservative MPs, he is still “flogging a dead horse.”Raab insisted that the EU has reacted positively to large parts of the Chequers proposals and attributed some of the concerns in Brussels to “a slight nervousness that the U.K. might rather do well and establish a competitive advantage on leaving the EU.”“That ought to give people in this chamber and in the wider public a sense of confidence but of course it’s something the EU needs to be very mindful of,” he said.last_img read more

A born advocate for justice: US Attorney for Vermont Christina Nolan

first_imgUnited States Attorney for Vermont, Christina Nolan during her interview for this article, which first appeared in the December issue of Vermont Business Magazine. Photos: Randolph T. Joyce Marcel, Vermont Business Magazine Glass ceilings are being broken all over America in the wake of last month’s election, but Vermont has always been somewhat — I say somewhat — ahead of the game. While the state has never followed up on former Governor Madeleine Kunin’s tenure in office with another female governor, nor sent a woman to Congress, since 2017 US Attorney District of Vermont Christina Elizabeth Nolan, 41, has been the first female US attorney in Vermont’s history.As an added and celebratory note, she was sworn in by the first female US District Court for Vermont judge, the Honorable Christina Reiss.Nolan, 41, a hard-line law-and-order prosecutor, is a native Vermonter. She was born at Fletcher Allen (UVM Medical Center), grew up in Burlington, graduated from the University of Vermont summa cum laude in political science and history and got her law degree — magna cum laude —at Boston College Law School because it had a great reputation and wasn’t too far away from home.She was appointed to her current job by President Donald Trump after being recommended by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Governor Phil Scott. Her nomination was ratified unanimously by the US Senate.Photo: United States Attorney for Vermont, Christina Nolan during her interview for this article. Photo: Randolph T. HolhutTraditionally, the person in her job serves at the pleasure of the president and resigns when he leaves office.Since this is anything but a traditional election year, Nolan’s future may be in limbo long after this story appears in VBM.Politics aside, Nolan feels it is “an incredible honor” to be the first woman US attorney for Vermont.“For me, it adds a layer of responsibility,” Nolan said. “You want to be the first woman and do it well, not the first woman and do it badly. Nobody wants to do it badly. But I think that it added a layer of responsibility to a job that already carries tremendous responsibility. I hope it sends a message to every woman in Vermont — and maybe for any young woman, anywhere — that you can be anything you want to be in life. It’s just as my parents taught me: there is no field that you should consider not open to you because of your gender, including law enforcement. That’s the message I hope it sends. And while it may have taken a while to get to the place of the first woman, I know I won’t be the last woman. There will be others to follow because there’s so many great and qualified female attorneys in Vermont. There are glass ceilings to be broken all over the country — and in Vermont, for sure.”Nolan sees her job as preventing crime and getting justice for its victims when a crime occurs.“We enforce, here in the US Attorney’s Office, the criminal laws of the United States,” Nolan said. “We also represent the United States in civil actions. I am enforcing federal criminal laws which apply all over the country, including here in Vermont. And there’s an array of them covering everything from money laundering to violent crime, child sexual exploitation and drug trafficking.”Remaining impartial is critical, she said.“You don’t have any improper considerations that go into your charging decisions,” Nolan said. “You’re not allowed to consider anything impermissible. You’re not allowed to charge them because you don’t like something about them, or for a political reason, or any other improper reason. But we do represent our side. Does that make sense? You want to administer justice even-handedly and bring charges even-handedly, without any impermissible motives, just based on the facts, and the evidence and the law. You’re representing the United States. And so you’re doing the best you can by the people of the country, the people of Vermont, and the laws that they’ve enacted.”In distributing cases, Nolan’s office works closely with the Vermont Attorney General’s office.“There are many cases that could go to either place, because we both have potential to bring charges up for the same conduct,” Nolan said. “So we work very closely with the state’s attorneys to decide where it makes the most sense to charge a case. They know what cases to call us on and what cases could potentially be brought federally. We have only 15 full-time prosecutors in this office, so we can’t do them all. But we try to do as many as we can, where it makes sense and where we can best support our state prosecutors. There are some cases that can only go one way or the other and we know what those are. On the ones where it could go either way, they know to call us. We figure it out together. What makes the most sense? Who has enough resources? And where will we get the best result?”Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan holds Nolan in high regard.“I knew about her growing up,” Donovan said. “My sisters went to Rice Memorial High School with her. She was a great basketball player, and we’ve known people in common. She’s a great partner and I think very highly of her. Even though we’re clearly of different political parties and different political philosophies, when it comes to public safety the differences don’t matter, and we work on the areas that are important to Vermonters. I think she’s done a really nice job focusing on human trafficking and the heroin epidemic. She’s been a very good US attorney. We’ve been able to put our differences aside, and that’s how government should work.”Nolan is eminently newsworthy.She recently made national news when she announced her office had broken a “kickback” scandal relating to an electronic medical records company called Practice Fusion, Inc.The company took a $1 million bribe from the infamous drug company Purdue Pharma to quietly, successfully and illegally push its main product, the addictive drug OxyContin, to physicians during the height of the opioid addiction problem — a problem which still haunts Vermont and the entire US.The investigation, which began in Nolan’s office in 2016, resulted in the currently bankrupt Purdue Pharma settling with federal prosecutors for $8 billion.“And I hope that our case sends a message to Big Pharma and Big Tech, that we do have the determination and the talent and resources to investigate these,” Nolan said. “And we’re hoping it stops this from happening again.”This isn’t the first time Nolan has been front and center on a big breaking news story. In October her office released information about an 18-month multi-agency operation — colorfully named “Operation Fury Road” — that focused on drug and illegal gun traffic on Interstate 91. It resulted in 82 federal prosecutions.Also this year, Nolan announced that $6 million in federal funding was coming to Vermont nonprofits that support victims of domestic violence.Nolan’s been at the center of the Jay Peak EB-5 “Ponzi” scam that involved Miami investor Ariel Quiros and others who bilked millions from foreign investors in a case that is still winding its way through the courts.She has a background in white collar crime, but she’s also good at putting bad guys into prison.In September 2020, her office announced that Brian Folks, a drug dealer and sex trafficker, was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison. Besides selling drugs, Folks seduced young women, got them strung out on drugs, and then forced them into prostitution.And in April, Nolan was tapped by her boss, US Attorney General William Barr, to be one of two attorneys overseeing Department of Justice efforts to combat sexual harassment in housing during the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States.So, faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Maybe that’s a good ballpark description of Nolan.She’s definitely something of an avenging angel. She even chose law because of a fierce instinct to protect.“I think I’m just a born advocate for justice,” Nolan said. “I don’t like to see people harmed or victimized or taken advantage of, and I thought that being a lawyer would help address those wrongs, bring justice and hopefully prevent them from happening in the future. Or at least reduce the occurrence of them.”Nolan joined the Department of Justice in Vermont as an assistant US attorney in 2010. She was promoted to the top job in 2017.By all accounts, she has served her state well.“US Attorney Christina Nolan has played a critical role in bringing together our federal, state and local partners to tackle some of the toughest challenges we face in Vermont,” Leahy told VBM. “She has made it a priority to stem the flow of illicit drugs, track illegal gun sales, and support victims whose lives have been upended by criminal acts. Christina has not hesitated to take on complex cases, and in doing so, she has proven herself a highly respected and effective prosecutor.”Judge Reiss also has high praise for Nolan.“I met Christina Nolan when she began practicing in the District of Vermont as an assistant United States attorney on a contract basis,” Reiss said. “Because she did not have a permanent position, she had to prove herself in order to keep her job. Right from the start, she was thorough, prepared, and ready to learn. She was also more skilled than I would have expected from an attorney of her age and experience level. I knew very little about her other than she had been working in Massachusetts. I was delighted to find out that she was a Vermonter who had returned home.”Reiss stressed Nolan’s “quiet confidence” and her “natural courtroom presence: graceful and commanding.”She also said that Nolan is compassionate, intelligent, courageous, committed and has a “steady hand on the steering wheel.”“One thing I have noticed over the years is how incredibly well-spoken she is,” Reiss said. “She is a natural spokesperson for her office and handles difficult subject matters and probing questions directly, without excuses, and in a clear and coherent fashion. She makes it look easy, but it is not. I have not seen her lose her humility since she became US Attorney, so I don’t see a downside. Christina Nolan is competent, calm, even-tempered, confident, and comfortable with who she is. She is committed to the administration of justice, takes her job seriously, and consistently demonstrates integrity and common sense. She has a Vermonter’s common sense and work ethic. I believe that regardless of the heights she reaches in her career, her core values will remain unchanged.”Longtime Vermont journalist Mike Donoghue, who has covered federal prosecutors and federal court in the state off and on for almost 50 years, said Vermont has been blessed with a long line of extremely talented U.S. Attorneys including Nolan.Photo: United States Attorney for Vermont, Christina Nolan during her interview for this article. Photo: Randolph T. Holhut“Christina was an excellent Assistant US Attorney for about seven or eight years before President Trump elevated her,” said Donoghue, who still covers some federal court cases for several media outlets, including the Quiros case for VBM, as part of his semi-retirement.“Christina thinks fast on her feet whether it is a court hearing or a press conference,” Donoghue said. “Her arguments are solid. Her closing statements to the jury have all the elements needed to make a complex case understood. Christina often likes to say her small office gets into legal battles and they aren’t afraid to fight above their weight class. The work to successfully prosecute national pharmaceutical companies and fraud cases shows this. Since taking over the office, Christina has continued to focus on major crime issues in Vermont that attack the quality of life in the state: major drug cases, including overdose deaths; child pornography and human trafficking of children; convicted felons possessing firearms, especially related to domestic violence cases. The only disappointing thing about Christina is that since she became boss, she has put muzzles on her prosecutors, but it may be a directive from the Department of Justice in Washington. She won’t say who ordered it.”From her large and airy office on the third floor of Burlington’s Federal Building, with a beautiful view of the city’s church spires, Nolan oversees a staff of 56 and a budget of approximately $7 million.Seagulls fly outside her windows, and a corner coatrack holds a number of suit jackets she can grab when she needs to look official.She is small in stature but large in intelligence and energy.She is charming, fast-talking, funny and extremely literate.These days, Nolan’s job is mainly managerial.“It’s administrative —setting priorities, making strategic planning decisions about allocating resources, and making personnel decisions,” Nolan said. “It’s also outward-facing in the sense that I talk to the media. And I have responsibilities in Washington. I sit on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. There are about 12 or so US attorneys who advise the attorney general on all aspects of policy. I chair the controlled substances subcommittee. So I think a lot about drug policy.”Nolan said she enjoys her trips to Washington.“I think it’s fun to go down to Washington,” she said. “I love seeing my colleagues. I’ve met a lot of people that work at the Justice Department. It’s great to be involved and thinking about these policy questions. I think it’s a privilege to sit on that committee.”Nolan is known for being supportive of her staff; in turn, her staff is supportive of her.“Many in the office agree that Christina’s just been the biggest fan,” said First Assistant US Attorney Kevin J Doyle, who will become a US Magistrate’s Judge in February.“She’s so supportive of the work people here do. She’s a very caring person about each person in the office. She’ll show genuine interest in what’s going on in their personal and professional lives. She acknowledges the work they do, and that’s had a real positive impact on the morale of the office. People really enjoy working for her. She’s a very compassionate person.”Early LifeNolan grew up first on a dirt road in Westford and then in well-paved South Burlington.Her father was a carpenter who later on managed the maintenance crew at the Vermont National Guard. Her mother was a homemaker until Nolan was 12. Then, after divorce forced her into the labor market, she became a high school music teacher.Nolan is the oldest of seven children “if you count them all, which you should,” she said, because her father had three children in a second marriage. Essentially, Nolan and three siblings were raised by a single mother.“It was four kids and a mom, and she had her hands full,” Nolan said. “But I think I learned from both my parents how to treat people well. They certainly did. I think that’s probably the most important thing you can do in life. The other thing I learned from them — that maybe not every kid learns this, but you know, I’m really grateful to them for it — is you can be anything you want to be in life. They always encouraged me. The sky’s the limit. They encouraged me in sports, as well as whatever I wanted to do in life. And so I grew up feeling like I could be anyone I wanted to be.”“Go for what you wanted” was the message she got from her parents.“I think that’s particularly amazing, because they weren’t lawyers, they weren’t doctors,” Nolan said. “But they still recognized that they should instill that ethic in their children.”Behaving well towards others was more important to her parents than accumulating wealth, Nolan said.“They were not focused on money,” she said. “That was always less important. I mean, everybody wants to have some, right? But you know, they never had a lot, and I think they taught me that that is not what makes life rewarding or gives it its joy. It’s other things, like love and friendship and family. And loving what you do for work.”Growing up, Nolan did some babysitting; she also helped with the usual chores around the house.“My dad, like I said, was a carpenter,” she said. “Sometimes I went to work with him. And he would give me odd jobs to do on the properties he was working on. I can remember helping my dad stack wood. I don’t know that I was really paid for that, though. Maybe nominally.”Nolan played basketball in grammar school. At Rice she was a standout at track and cross country, and she especially shone as a point guard in varsity basketball.“You can tell from my height I didn’t have any business trying to be under the rim,” she joked. “I did a lot of passing.”She was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame 10 years after she graduated.Nolan didn’t buy a car until she was in her 20’s.“I did want one,” she said. “But my parents were not the type to just buy things. I think they were the type to say, ‘If you want something, you have to earn it yourself.’ Including college and law school. That was all self-financed with scholarships, grants and loans that I’m still paying. And you know, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It makes you value the degree and the experience more when you’re personally financially responsible for it.”A City MouseNolan hadn’t done much traveling before moving to Boston.“I think the first time I went on a plane was in college for a cross country meet,” Nolan said. “So when I got to Boston, it felt like a big city. But you know, honestly, Boston College Law was the best school I got into. Also, I thought that the smaller size of the school would give it a collegial feel. But mostly, I thought it would be a change.”She loved law school and grew to enjoy Boston.“It was a little intimidating, being in the city and figuring out how to catch the train and which train to catch and where I needed to get off and move to the next one,” Nolan said. “It just felt really big. But there’s lots of things to love about a big city. I like food, and they have a lot of nice restaurants. I started to make friends. So I started to love it after a while, but not as much as I love it here in Vermont.”Nolan went straight from law school to a coveted job clerking for Massachusetts Federal Judge F Dennis Taylor IV.“On my first day, he said, ‘Are you ready to be a federal judge?’” Nolan said. “And I’m just out of law school! The reason he said that is because you really do research and draft the opinions of the court. It’s not to say he wouldn’t change them or make edits or even decide it should be a different outcome. But the main job is to sit, watch the hearings, do the research and draft opinions for the judge. That was a really interesting job to have right out of law school. It obviously helped with my legal analysis and my research abilities, but also hugely with writing. The judge was an excellent writer. He said, ‘I noticed as the year went on that your writing has improved.’ And I think that’s because when you’re being edited by him, the lessons start to take after a while.”While she was still in law school, Nolan worked as a summer associate at a big Boston law firm, Goodwin Procter LLP.According to Wikipedia, it is “a Global 50[2] law firm consisting of more than 1,200 lawyers with offices in Boston, Cambridge, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, New York City, Paris, Santa Monica, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. Goodwin focuses on complex transactional work, high-stakes litigation and advisory services in matters involving financial institutions, intellectual property, private equity, real estate capital markets, securities litigation, white collar defense, technology and life sciences.”This description doesn’t make Goodwin sound like a law firm welcoming to a burgeoning avenging angel, but Nolan was still learning and finding her footing.Judge Taylor had been a partner at the firm before he became a judge, so she had the advantage of a strong connection.When Nolan left clerking for Taylor, she took a job at Goodwin.“So if you think it’s intimidating to walk into the Federal Building in Burlington, wait till you walk into Goodwin Procter in Boston,” Nolan said. “It’s a big skyscraper building, all glass, massive lobby. It was a great experience, but it was like being thrown into the fire right away at a young age. A big law firm, hundreds and hundreds of lawyers, high-power clients. They did some pro bono work and I did some, too. But the best part of that experience was helping to represent a man named Rick Lane.”Lane had worked for the pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb; he was charged with securities fraud by the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.“I did think that the government probably overreached in that case,” Nolan said. “Of course, I was one of his lawyers, but the charges ended up being dismissed. There was a deferred prosecution agreement, which basically means, ultimately, if he complies with all the terms of it, the charges are dismissed. So our belief that he was being unfairly charged was actually vindicated.”It was a great experience for a future prosecutor, Nolan said.“I got to know him,” she said. “I went to the meetings where we were preparing for the trial which never happened. I got to see what it’s like to be a defendant, and what it means to charge somebody. Even if the charges are ultimately dismissed, charging somebody changes their life forever. His reputation went overnight from esteemed businessman who picked himself up by the bootstraps, someone with a great career, to being charged with a serious federal felony. It changed his life, his family’s life, and his ability to get work.”From her involvement in Lane’s case, Nolan learned how important it was to “get it right.”“You always want to err on the side of restraint,” she said. “Now, when I’m approving charging decisions, I always have in my mind that we can’t do this unless we’re as sure as we can be, because you don’t want to harm somebody’s life carelessly in an enduring and indelible way. You’ve got to be extremely cautious in your charging decisions.”Other cases didn’t go quite so well. Nolan recalled the first time she went to trial.“When I was at Goodwin Procter I did a six-month externship at the Middlesex County DA’s office,” she said. “They send associates at law firms to do these things because it gives you courtroom experience. So it’s my first week on the job. What happens is that you never know which case is actually going to trial. You don’t have any time to prepare. You read the police report and you meet your witnesses that day. It’s a whole different kind of court. Here in Vermont we prepare endlessly for trials, as we should. There the volume is so high that you just don’t have the ability to do that. So I get my first case for trial. It’s in front of this great judge who everybody respects and admires. She was a former prosecutor. I respect and admire her. And I was just horrible. I mean I was terrible. I was nervous. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I ended up being so bad that she threw the case out without letting the jury decide. And I was mortified.”After the jury was dismissed, the judge called Nolan up to the bench and gave her a serious tongue-lashing. Then Nolan slunk back to the office, only to learn that everyone there had already heard what happened.“And after that, I got a nickname,” Nolan said. “At the Middlesex County DA’s office I was called ‘Vinny,’ after the film ‘My Cousin Vinny.’ That one’s stuck forever. Even when I went back to work there for six months, they still call me Vinny.”Eventually, she became more comfortable in court.“I did see that judge again, as I got a little bit better,” Nolan said. “And she said, ‘You know, one thing about you I noticed is that you don’t make the same mistake twice. You make a lot of them, but you don’t make the same mistake twice.’ We’re not perfect, right? We’re going to make mistakes, but we use it as an opportunity for growth and maybe even inspiration. Right?”Eventually, Nolan went back to the Middlesex County DA’s office to work, this time for free, as a prosecutor.“I went to the prosecution side because I wanted to be in court, but also because at Goodwin Procter I didn’t feel like I was always on cases that were about advocating for justice,” Nolan said. “It was sometimes about who gets the money. And that just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wasn’t feeling motivated by that work. So I became a state prosecutor in Massachusetts, for no money initially. As I said, my parents didn’t teach me much about money.”Nolan worked for free for half a year until a position in the Vermont US Attorney’s Office opened up.“It made sense for me, because I was interested in being a federal prosecutor as opposed to a state prosecutor,” Nolan said. “And it’s my home state. So it was a great opportunity, and I’m really glad that I was hired. I love Vermont. I think Vermont is the best state in the union. It’s a special place to live, from its natural beauty to its independent-minded people to its stability. So I’m very happy to be here and have never wanted to be back in Boston since.”Back in VermontAs an assistant US attorney, Nolan was plunged into criminal cases that included things like drug trafficking, money laundering and violent crimes.Some of these cases were heartbreaking; all were motivating.“It goes back to wanting to become a lawyer,” Nolan said. “When I see injustice, when I see people harmed — innocent people, whether it be financially harmed, physically harmed or sexually harmed — it motivates me to want to do something about it, and try to get justice for them. And also to send a message to people who would do this in the future: Don’t do it, because there’s going to be consequences. So yeah, it’s sad for any human being who works on these cases, but it’s also what motivates prosecutors, I think, including me.”I asked if she got personally involved in some of her cases and she mentioned a 2015 murder case.“The defendant’s name was Richard Monroe,” Nolan said. “He was a UVM student, and the victim, Kevin DeOliveira, 23, was also a college student. Monroe shot him in the eye over a small drug squabble. Monroe thought that the victim, Kevin, owed him several thousand dollars. And he killed him. The reason I mentioned that case is not only because it was a hard case to investigate — it was a circumstantial case that took a while to put the pieces together. That was interesting and challenging, but it was also because of the mother of this college kid who died. I worked with her and got to know her in the process. And she was one of the most good-hearted people I’ve ever met. She loved her son. They were closely bonded. She lived with questions for a long, long time. How did my son die? Who killed him? And to be able to get those answers for her, being able to fight for her and get the certainty that this wonderful woman needed was very, very meaningful and rewarding.”The case was the culmination of a multi-agency investigation begun in early 2015. The effort was led by the Burlington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Nolan and Assistant United States Attorney Paul J Van de Graaf prosecuted the case.Monroe eventually pleaded guilty for possessing firearms in furtherance of his cocaine trafficking, discharging a handgun and killing Kevin DeOliveira. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.Attorney Mark Kaplan, who was Monroe’s defense attorney, turns out to be another admirer of Nolan’s.“As a prosecutor, she’s extremely competent and tenacious,” Kaplan said. “She’s very professional. How the prosecutors treat you as a person makes a difference. The judges really appreciate it up here when the defense and the prosecution treat each other respectfully. Christina is certainly someone who treats her opponents respectfully. I always felt she was above-board and straightforward. She does her job and does it competently. She’s an excellent prosecutor.”Nolan admits she sometimes has a soft spot for the victims she meets.“You do grow to care about the victims, whether you stay in touch with them or not,” Nolan said. “But you have to remember that you’re not their lawyer, you’re the lawyer for the United States. I was enforcing federal criminal laws which apply all over the country, including here in Vermont.”Jay PeakIn one of the largest financial scandals in Vermont history, Miami businessman Ariel Quiros, the owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Resort in Vermont, and his partners, were charged with enticing over 800 investors to fund a new biotech plant to be built in Newport, as well as to pay millions of dollars for upgrades to the ski resorts.The money came from foreign investors being promised American citizenship under the federal EB-5 Visa program.Under that program, foreign investors who put at least $500,000 into a qualified project are entitled to green cards — permanent residency in the United States — provided the projects create a certain number of jobs.This is where the words “Ponzi scheme” come into play.After a years-long Security and Exchange Council investigation, Quiros was found to be using his investors’ money to fund his own lavish lifestyle; each new investor’s money was being used to pay off Quiros’s last lavish living expense.The Newport plant never materialized, and somehow, Quiros and his partners misused over $200 million; they were forced to surrender more than $80 million in assets to the SEC, including Jay Peak and Burke Mountain Resort.Both Quiros and his main partner, Bill Stenger, have already reached monetary settlements with federal and state regulators.And Quiros has pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and concealing material information. His partners are still involved in legal wrangling, but Nolan was willing to talk a bit about the case.“That one is a case that only the US Attorney’s office could handle,” she said. “There may be some aspect that could be subject to state charges, but a large, years-long complex fraud case like that is going to be a US Attorney’s Office case, if anyone’s going to charge it. I will say, I think, that we have such dogged and talented prosecutors in this office that we’re the kind of office that will tackle that kind of case. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that every office would have the will to do that case, because it took millions and millions and millions of documents and years of investigation. It was very, very challenging. And so I have to be the kind of US attorney that says, ‘Yes, we are not going to back down from this. We are going to put the resources in.’ But it would not be possible without the prosecutors on the case who are just so talented and just so determined, and have such a strong work ethic. And of course, the law enforcement agencies that we work with, the FBI, and others, who also had the will and the talent to get that case charged. And we got a conviction.”As of last month, Quiros, who is facing up to 97 months in prison, was living in Miami. In November he went to court to ask permission to move to Puerto Rico and travel overseas for business.“The case is ongoing,” Nolan said. “This is really important. The two defendants who have not entered guilty pleas are presumed innocent still, and it’s a really important thing to emphasize. Until they’re found guilty by a jury, assuming they go to trial, or unless their case resolves in other ways, I want to emphasize that they’re entitled to the presumption of innocence — as is everybody until they’re convicted. So just because Mr Quiros entered a guilty plea does not mean those other two men are guilty of anything. We’ll have to see how the case goes. The presumption of innocence is one of the most important principles in the Constitution.”Domestic ViolenceThe pandemic appears to have increased domestic violence in Vermont, and Nolan has made a priority of holding abusers accountable. But she has chosen an unusual way of doing it: by using federal gun laws.In most domestic abuse cases, handled for the most part at the state level, the victim eventually has to confront her abuser in court; this is often a difficult and traumatic thing for the victim to do “because they’ve been controlled by the abuser for so long, because they are scared, because they just want to deal with their trauma, all kinds of different reasons,” Nolan told WCAX last year.But in the past few years, almost 40 percent of domestic violence cases have included a gun.That makes them federal cases, especially if the abusers are in possession of a gun with: a previous misdemeanor domestic violence conviction; under a restraining order; a drug user; have a prior felony; or have been found legally mentally defective. And in federal gun cases, the victim does not have to testify in court.“Nearly half of Vermont’s homicides each year occur in the domestic setting,” Nolan said. “Most domestic violence cases, by their nature, will be charged by the state prosecutors because the crime is usually the act of violence. There is no federal law per se, on that point. But where we can come in and help — and where I want us to come in and help — is where the person possesses a gun. Whether they use the gun to commit the abuse or they possessed it unlawfully outside the abuse, that can involve federal law because there are all kinds of federal prohibitions on people possessing firearms. And I want to bring those federal firearms charges to help our state prosecutors, take pressure off the victim and get better results.”Nolan is meeting with state prosecutors and police and trying to spread the word that the US Attorney’s office prioritizes these cases.Also, federal laws against cyber-stalking, and traveling to commit certain offenses across state lines, could also implicate domestic violence, Nolan said.“My pledge is, if we have the evidence, and we think we can prove it, we will do those domestic violence cases,” Nolan said. “It won’t be, it can’t be all, because we just don’t have jurisdiction overall. But we’ll do them where we can.”In 2019, Nolan’s office brought charges against five abusers. In 2020, it’s doubled that to 10.“So we’ve charged more this year, notwithstanding the challenges of the pandemic,” Nolan said. “I think it’s much harder for people to make reports because they’re more isolated in their at home with their abusers. And domestic violence is underreported anyway. So there’s been an increase this year. And that doesn’t even count the reports to the victim service providers and non-law enforcement entities. ‘Stay-at-home’ does not mean ‘stay in the crime scene.’ I worry a little bit that the isolation has exacerbated the problem somewhat based on the numbers. So it’s a big problem, and the federal government has a role to play in addressing it.”In September of this year, Nolan announced that more than $6 million in federal grant funds was coming to Vermont to support organizations that help victims of domestic violence.“The grants will help identify victims, support their recovery, and give them a chance at living the rest of their lives free from abuse,” Nolan said in a written statement when she announced the grants.Hard on DrugsThe COVID-19 pandemic may have pushed public attention away from the opioid epidemic, but Nolan has kept up the heat on the drug trade.“About 55 percent of our work is drug-related,” said Nolan. “Obviously, we have a drug crisis in Vermont. And we have an opioid epidemic. And unfortunately, we’ve got other drugs that are presenting challenges. So I’ve had to focus on that.”She discussed two federal cases that were resolved in October that address both sides of the opioid trade.One was Operation Fury Road; the other was the case against Purdue Pharma.On the illegal drug front, federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies from Vermont and Massachusetts recently completed an 18-month enforcement operation, Operation Fury Road, that targeted the “guns-for-drugs” pipeline — guns from Vermont going south, drugs from southern New England going north — which has long been a problem in the communities along Interstate 91.It resulted in the prosecution of 82 defendants in federal court for charges related to drug trafficking, unlawful possession of firearms, using firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, and other federal criminal violations.In April 2019, Nolan stood in the meeting room of the Brattleboro Police Department. Flanked by representatives of federal, state, and local law enforcement, she briefed reporters on the results of a series of drug raids in the Brattleboro area.“We are coming after those who prey on the lives of Vermonters by peddling poison and profiting from addiction,” Nolan said at the news briefing. “I promise we will be relentless.”Nolan also issued this warning: “If you are on Interstate 91 north headed for Brattleboro or St Johnsbury or anywhere else in the state with drugs, turn around and go home. You will be targets of collaborative investigations, criminal charges and stiff penalties. And, by that, I mean jail time.”But that turned out to be just a small piece of a much bigger investigation.Operation Fury Road included three law enforcement surges around Vermont during which federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies flooded into communities hit hard by the effects of the drug crisis and opioid overdose epidemic.The surges targeted drug and firearm trafficking in the Brattleboro area in April 2019; the Northeast Kingdom in November 2019; and the Rutland area in January 2020. It involved law enforcement agencies at all levels in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.“We asked them for help stopping drugs, deadly drugs, from coming to Vermont,” Nolan said. “We asked them for help interdicting dealers before they get here. We have to help them when it comes to Vermont guns, illegally acquired, ending up in crime scenes in their cities, which happens too frequently.”During Operation Fury Road, Nolan said law enforcement seized 128 firearms and 7,511 rounds of ammunition. Of those firearms, 57 were handguns. Several firearms were assault-style rifles and short-barreled weapons which were not registered as required by the National Firearms Act. Many of the firearms had been stolen from local Vermonters, purchased illegally at Vermont gun stores, or were otherwise illegally possessed.In addition to the firearms, law enforcement also seized approximately 40,200 bags of heroin (which equates to approximately 870 grams), 141 grams of bulk heroin, 1,489 grams of cocaine base, and 78 grams of powder cocaine.Much of the heroin seized during the operation was laced with fentanyl.The opioid battle is one with many fronts, one of them being the abuse of prescription drugs.While Operation Fury Road was impressive, Nolan’s biggest success so far has been the $8 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, after her office discovered the pharmaceutical company was involved in a “kickback“ scheme designed to boost sales of the drug.“I’ve met so many people whose addiction started with OxyContin,” Nolan said.So when Owen Foster, an assistant US attorney in Nolan’s office, discovered that in 2016 Purdue Pharma paid Practice Fusion Inc, a San Francisco-based electronic health records company, to create an alert system in its software to boost Purdue’s prescription sales, Nolan knew this was something big.“Purdue paid Practice Fusion nearly a million dollars to have prompts installed in the software that the health care doctors would see while they were treating a patient; the prompt encouraged the doctors to focus more on pain,” Nolan said, “and it suggested that they select Purdue’s extended release opioids like oxycodone as treatment, even when it wasn’t medically necessary or appropriate.”Nolan said the messages were “a clinical suggestion. These prompts, or alerts, can be perfectly legal if they’re clinically based. But these were a form of influence and, I would argue, manipulation.”The manipulation was subtle, “an opioid profit generator masquerading as a clinical tool,” Nolan said.“They knew they couldn’t advertise it as a profit generator,” Nolan said. “They sort of had to masquerade it as a clinical function. But, yes, over time, certain doctors were influenced. The doctors who received the prompts prescribed extended release opioids at a higher rate than those that did not.”Foster and another attorney, Michael Drescher, spent two years on the investigation, starting in August 2018. Nolan would not talk about the specifics, but she was pleased with what their work accomplished.Earlier this year, Nolan reached a $145 million settlement with Practice Fusion to resolve claims against that company stemming from the kickback scheme.And her office’s work led a federal settlement last month, where Purdue agreed to plead guilty in a federal court in New Jersey to two counts of conspiracy to violate the federal anti-kickback statute, plus charges of conspiring to defraud the federal government and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. The company will pay more than $8 billion in civil penalties.“To be able to be in one of the smallest offices in the country, with comparatively few resources, and get a conviction of that company, that’s something we’re very proud of,” said Nolan.And she also hopes this case “sends a message to Big Pharma and Big Tech that we do have the determination and the talent and resources to investigate these. And we’re hoping it stops this from happening again. Remember, these are opioids that are causing addictions that sometimes end in death. You can’t do one of these prompts just based on selling your opioids, it has to be based in medicine.”When Nolan announced the resolution of the case in a televised press conference in Washington, there was some negative kickback back here at home.The state of Vermont is involved in its own litigations against Purdue Pharma and its former owners, the Sackler family.Vermont Attorney General Donovan said the settlement doesn’t sufficiently punish the Sacklers and Purdue for creating the opioid crisis.“I think one of the biggest objections I have is that the settlement allows Purdue Pharma to become a public benefit corporation,” Donovan said. “I don’t think Purdue Pharma should be spun off that way. I think it should be put out of business. We’re currently in bankruptcy court making sure money comes back to the state.”Nolan declined to discuss Donovan’s comments.“All I know is I’m proud to have a first of its kind, first in the history of the country conviction,” she said. “Nobody’s ever convicted a pharmaceutical company of having a kickback like this.”While the opioid crisis has taken a back seat to the COVID-19 crisis, Nolan said she believes that the drug trade “hasn’t abated during COVID” and that during the “lockdown” period, “overdose deaths were actually up from the previous year.”She’s right. According to the Vermont Department of Health’s weekly opioid report, “As of November 18th, there have been 118 opioid-related deaths among Vermont residents. The number of opioid deaths each month is higher than previous years.”Nolan thought that “another thing that we have to be tuned into is that the isolation, based on the numbers, could be causing people to turn to drugs even more than they were. And they’re getting them from somebody, so the dealing is still happening. We can’t take our foot off the gas even during the pandemic. You have to be as vigilant as ever about crime during this time.”In her role as the state’s top federal attorney, Nolan said the opioid crisis is something more than just a matter of violating the law.“We’re losing these precious lives to this poison and people are profiting from it,” she said. “It’s just wrong. There need to be consequences. And the message needs to be, ‘don’t come to Vermont, if that’s what you’re gonna do.’”Sexual HarrassmentIn April of this year, Nolan and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband were directed by US Attorney General Barr to oversee and coordinate the Department of Justice’s national efforts to address sexual harassment by landlords during the pandemic.It seems that landlords with tenants who can’t pay their rent have been soliciting sexual favors, instead.“This comes in the form of saying, ‘I’ll forgive your rent this month, or I’ll lessen your rent this month, or you don’t have to pay it this month if you perform these sexual favors,’” Nolan said.Besides being depraved, these requests are against the law.“There’s something called the Federal Fair Housing Act,” Nolan said. “It prohibits gender discrimination in housing, and sexual harassment is a form of that.”The Justice Department was bringing similar cases across the country before the pandemic, but reports continued to come during the pandemic.“We had an initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing and we sort of breathed new life into it during the pandemic,” Nolan said. “I was assigned to coordinate efforts amongst all US Attorney’s offices to look for and be on guard for and build cases against landlords who are using the circumstances of the pandemic for exploitative reasons. It’s such egregious, awful behavior. I mean, when everyone else was coming together, including people in housing who were doing the right thing and being as generous and caring as they could be, that some landlords continued to take advantage of tenants — and in the worst possible, humiliating and degrading way.”Nolan is helping other state’s US attorneys learn how to make the cases stick.“This is an assignment that I was eager to take on, because it is it is just disgusting behavior that also happens to violate federal law in certain circumstances,” Nolan said. “There have been cases brought, not here in Vermont but across the country during the pandemic. There have been some great settlements on behalf of victims. And so I think it’s going very well. I think the goal was to make sure people know their rights and that the US Attorney’s offices knew the parameters of the law. I don’t think we’ve reached everybody yet, but I think we’re going to keep trying to reach people. We want people in the community to know their rights, know their friends’ rights and know how to report it. We also want state and local law enforcement knowing that this implicates federal law. I think the U.S. Attorneys offices across the country are putting a strong priority on it.”The FutureFor Nolan, who has accomplished so much during her three years as Vermont’s first female US Attorney, the future as of this writing is vague.The country is transitioning to a new president and a new ruling party, and Nolan is expected to resign so the incoming president can choose his own US Attorney for Vermont.Several people I talked to for this story said they knew of Democrats within the Vermont legal community who were already polishing up their resumes. (When I asked, Donovan adamantly denied being interested.)However, as long as Nolan’s boss will not concede that he lost the election, she is in limbo where she must decline to discuss her future.“I’m doing this job the best I can, every day,” Nolan said. “It’s a big, important job. I’m overwhelmed and so honored to have this job. And so I just think about the present. And I just try to focus on doing it the best I can every single day.”She said she’s had no offers to go into private practice and has no interest in a political career at the moment.“From the day I started, it’s been the best job I’ve ever had, being the US Attorney for Vermont,” Nolan said. “I have 56 people that I’m trying to serve and do right by. I have the state of Vermont that’s looking for us to enforce the law as best we can. That’s all I think about. If you think ahead, you’re not doing justice to the job you have. So I don’t know what the future holds. I really don’t.”Just before the deadline for this story, more than two weeks after Trump lost the election, I pressed her again for comment about her future. I got this formal statement:“We have never stated anything about my future plans. That is because I’m focused entirely on the very important job at hand. The people of Vermont and the country, and those in my office, deserve nothing less than my complete dedication every day to the job I took an oath to carry out. That is what they will get. The US Attorney serves at the pleasure of the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.”Joyce Marcel is a journalist in southern Vermont. In 2017 she was named the best business magazine profile writer in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publications. She is married to Randy Holhut, the photographer who took the photos for this story. He is also the news editor/acting operations manager of The Commons, a weekly newspaper in Brattleboro.last_img read more

Mark-Taylor seeks recruits for new managed properties

first_imgBest Places to Work honoree Mark-Taylor is actively seeking team members to be part of its growing corps of professionals to manage new properties coming online this spring.Full and part-time positions are available, including assistant manager, leasing consultants, porters and maintenance technicians, for new luxury apartment communities throughout the Valley. The company is hoping to fill at least 20 positions, in addition to 40 recently hired positions to staff other new managed properties.Interested candidates are encouraged to complete an online application and research career opportunities, at Resumes can also be emailed to [email protected] or faxed to 480-281-5580.Mark-Taylor offers excellent long-term opportunities for individual interested in a career in the multifamily industry. Every employee is automatically enrolled in Mark-Taylor University, a state-of-the-art training program with customized courses and program to set employees on a path of continual success.Mark-Taylor benefits include medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, voluntary long-term disability, life and accidental disability, additional life, 401k and employee rental discounts. Career development paths are customized to foster growth through personal training programs designed to bring out the very best in each individual employee.last_img read more

Meditation, Exercise Could Protect You From The Flu

first_imgThe Huffington Post: Who knew meditation could be so handy during cold and flu season?A small new study finds that mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise seem to have protective effects against cold and flu, with people who engage in the practices having less severe, shorter and fewer symptoms of acute respiratory infection — and fewer days missed from work due to the sickness — than people who don’t engage in either practice.Specifically, undergoing mindfulness training was linked with a 40 to 50 percent decrease in symptoms, while exercise was linked with a 30 to 40 percent decrease in symptoms, researchers reported, compared with people who did neither activity.“The apparent 40 to 50 percent benefit of mindfulness training is a very important finding, as is the apparent 30 to 40 percent benefit of exercise training,” study researcher Dr. Bruce Barrett, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said in a statement. “If this pans out in future research, the impact could be substantive indeed.”Read the whole story: The Huffington Postlast_img read more

Philanthropist and ‘Kangaroo Jack’ co-writer Steve Bing dies by suicide

first_imgPhoto by Mario Tama/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The man behind Kangaroo Jack, Steve Bing, has died by suicide.  He was 55.Deadline confirms that Bing, a philanthropist, screenwriter and producer died Monday in Los Angeles.  The local police and the coroner’s office, while not identifying Bing by name, claim a man matching the 55-year-old’s description jumped to his death off a city apartment building that afternoon.His death is a major loss to the movie industry.Bing’s impact on Hollywood spans over three decades, starting when he inherited a $600 million fortune from his grandfather and dropped out of Stanford when he was 18 to pursue a career in the movie industry.He is credited for writing an episode of Married with Children and creating the story for the 1984 action film Missing in Action. Besides co-writing Kangaroo Jack in 2003, which starred Anthony Anderson and Jerry O’Connell, he invested $80 million into the 2004 Christmas film, The Polar Express.Bing went on to earn numerous movie credits for supporting other documentaries and films — such as the Rolling Stones’s concert documentary Shine a Light along with Rock the Kasbah and Beowulf.  The 55-year-old was also a known political donor, in which he contributed millions to Democratic causes such as environmental protection.  He was also a close friend of former President Bill Clinton, in which he forwarded $10 million of his fortune to the Clinton Foundation.Clinton mourned his friend’s death, tweeting, “He had a big heart, and he was willing to do anything he could for the people and causes he believed in. I will miss him and his enthusiasm more than I can say, and I hope he’s finally found peace.”According to TMZ, sources say Bing was suffering from depression.(The number for the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.) By Megan StoneCopyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Aguero sits out Argentina training; Messi and Di Maria work on set plays

first_img Upd. on 22/11/2016 at 03:06 CET EFE He picked up the knock in his country’s 1-0 win over Uruguay on Tuesday night. Although he trained the following day, it was deemed best he took a breather on Friday.  Manchester City striker Aguero didn’t take part at all because of a pain in his shoulder.  Sergio Aguero did not train on Friday, while Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria practiced free kicks away from the rest of their Argentina teammates. center_img On the pitch next to where the rest of the squad was training, Messi and Di Maria worked on dead ball situation with Sergio Romero in goal.  19/06/2015 Argentina have four points from two games in Group B at the Copa America and will take on Jamaica, who have lost both their matches, in their final game this weekend.last_img read more

Everything about EA Sports’ FIFA 20 so far

first_imgAdvertisement 3uiNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs9hx3mWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E7am8u( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 9qykWould you ever consider trying this?😱nCan your students do this? 🌚y2u88Roller skating! 3qo8See more on YT⬇️⬇️⬇️See moref0bcqBody tricks that only special people can do pt-1nqo5rzqHow though? 🤔😂#AdrenalineJunkies7vq8bA visualization of how Karma works wjb914Powered by Firework It’s that time of the year again when fans all over the world are craving for the next edition of their beloved FIFA video gaming franchise primarily because the European football seasons are coming to an end and with that some major reshuffling are set to take place in terms of team rosters and player ability changes. Well, no one actually needs any explanation to be excited about the new FIFA because by now it has become a tradition to invest one’s time and resources on FIFA year after year – such is the game. Here’s all what we know so far about FIFA 20.Advertisement When is the release date?Advertisement If we take the last Friday of September as the traditional release date, FIFA 20 will released on September 27 this year in shops and as a digital download. The EA play event in LA in mid-June will confirm this for us.How much will FIFA 20 cost?Advertisement Given past trends, it could cost anywhere between £59.99 to £64.99 .What are the new features?Dynamic weather is something that FIFA need to look into as PES has already incorporated something of that sort. A changing weather not just for show but also for effect on the pitch would definitely bring in some realism onto our screens.Euro 2020. FIFA has the Champions League license now and the UEFA Euro 2020 could be highly plausible in the new edition of the game.New FUT icons as usual! New legends woohoo!VR functionality? Hell yes and it’s probably on the way.New clubs, new leagues, new stadiums.Replacing ‘the journey’. Advertisementlast_img read more

MATCH TRACKER – National Football League Galway V Mayo

first_imgRoll on May 13th. Thanks for your company – Gerry Murphy Welcome to our Sunday Sport MATCH TRACKER of the National Football League match between Galway & Mayo at Pearse Stadium. 2pm. What a game!“Galway are now a proper Division 1 team” – Barry CullinaneEamonn Brannigan is the Galway Bay FM Man of the Match.FULL TIME: GALWAY 1-13 MAYO 0-1170+9. Jason Doherty points a close in free. Galway 1-13 Mayo 0-1170+7 James Brennan points for Mayo. Galway 1-13 Mayo 0-1070+6 Galway go down the field and Eamonn Brannigan points. Galway 1-13 Mayo 0-9Diarmuid O’Connor take retribution with a clothes-lines tackle on Eoghan Kerin….he gets a second yellow!..He’s offOhhhhhh….Killian O’Connor hits Eoghan Kerin off the ball. Straight RED. Both teams down to 14There will be 8 minutes of added time. We have 2 playedAdrian Varley come in for Barry McHughPaul Conroy gets a second yellow car…he’s off.Here we go again. It’s all kicking off. More handbags!Referee flashes at least four yellow cards….to who, we haven’t go a clue!Referee, Umpires and linesmen are having a committee meeting!65′ Both teams are involved in a big ‘bust up’ in the Galway back line. Everyone get in on the act. No fists flying!Almost 10.000 people in Pearse Stadium for this match.62′ Another move started from Rory Lavelle’s kick out ends with Eamonn Brannigan pointing. Galway 1-12 Mayo 0-961′ Killian O’Connor with another free narrows the gap. Galway 1-11 Mayo 0-9Tom Flynn is on for Peter Cooke59′ Yet another good moves sees Eamonn Brannigan finishing with a point. Galway 1-11 Mayo 0-855′ Galway making all the right decisions here. Another clever move see Barry McHugh add another point. Galway 1-10 Mayo 0-853′ Killian O’Connor point a free for Mayo. Galway 1-9 Mayo 0-851′ Clever play from Galway. They win a free….take it quick….get another closer in. Barry McHugh taps it over. Galway 1-9 Mayo 0-748′ High tackle? Diarmuid O’Connor on Damien Comer. Yellow Card for the Mayo man.46′ Galway respond with another super point from Paul Conroy following a great kickout from Rory Lavelle. Galway 1-8 May 0-746′ Mayo turn over the ball and race down the field. Colm Boyle points. Galway 1-7 Mayo 0-744′ Clever, patient play from Galway ends with Paul Conroy kicking a great point. Galway 1-7 Mayo 0-643′ Mayo win a free…it’s brought closer to the goals for backchat. Killian O’Connor punishes Galway. Galway 1-6 Mayo 0-641′ Great break from the backs by Galway right up the whole length of the field and Johnny Heaney take a lovely point. Galway 1-6 Mayo 0-539′ Barry McHugh takes the free and stretches the Galway lead to three points again. Galway 1-5 Mayo 0-537′ It will be free in for Galway but there is a stoppage in play as a Mayo player receives attention. Ger Mc Donagh comes inPatrick Sweeney makes way for Sean ArmstrongSECOND HALF UNDERWAY – Sean Armstrong comes on for GalwayMayo will ply with the aid of the wind in the second half“Galway are not in awe of Mayo, but still have a lot of work to do” – Frank MorrisHALF TIME Galway 1-4 Mayo 0-535+1′ Killian O’Connor adds a point for Mayo from a free with the last kick of part 1There will be 1 minute of added time at the end of the first halfMayo are also guilty of poor shot selection and wasting possession.Galway are creating a few more chances but not converting.Things are getting a bit messy out there. Lots of pulling and dragging off the ballYellow Card for Barry McHughJohnny Heaney & Kevin McLoughlin Yellow Cards.23′ Diarmuid O’Connor closes the gap again. Galway 1-4 Mayo 0-4Eoghan Kerin & Jason Doherty get Yellow Cards20′ Paddy Durkan gets a good point back for Mayo. It is their first from play. Galway 1-4 Mayo 0-319′ Shane Walsh adds a point from a free. Galway 1-4 Mayo 0-218′ GOAL for Galway. Barry McHugh with a fantastic finish gives David Clarke no chance. Galway 1-3 May 0-217′ Another free in for Mayo. This time Kevin McLoughlin taps it over. Galway 0-3 Mayo 0-215′ Quality score from Shane Walsh. He runs from half way and splits the posts. Galway 0-3 Mayo 0-113′ Easy free for Killian O’Connor in front of the posts. First point for Mayo. Galway 0-2 Mayo 0-18′ This time Sean Andy drives forward from full back, finds Comer in space. Same result! Galway 0-2 Mayo 0-07 Mins: Great pass from Paul Conroy sets up Damien Comer for the first point of the game. Galway 0-1 Mayo 0-02.02pm. Game On!Monaghan v Kerry, Cavan v Meath, Sligo v Fermanagh, Derry v Offaly all postponed following pitch inspections.Our sympathy goes to Mayo’s Andy Moran and the Moran family on the sad passing of Andy’s father Vincent yesterday. May he R.I.P.Barry McHugh starts on the Galway teamAfter an 8.30am pitch inspection the game does go ahead this afternoonprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more